Chapter One: Samtira's Pet Lizard
Edited by randomguy on April 5, 2017 7:25PM
Before darkness there was nothing. Most mortals cannot comprehend this, they struggle to understand true darkness. Darker than a pitch black night, or the deep recesses of a dark cavern. Absent of all radiation, all hope. Beyond dream, beyond reality. True darkness is the absence of life, the absence of energy, and of will. Before this is nothing. I know this as the beginning of all things.
That is how we are born, from nothing into darkness. So I hatched, slowly breaking out from underneath a Hist tree into a starry midnight. I was a feral creature, no different from a slithering snake. I crawled around the base of the Hist, eating small rodents and insects. Then I climbed, devouring birds and butterflies until I fell. I fell from a great height onto spongy moss that lined the base of the hist. Life was good. I crawled back up the tree, my razor sharp claws puncture the trunk where bark is missing. Sap oozed from the tree, and I drank of it. My consciousness expands, now I realize how good it is to be alive. Now i am present, sentient, divine.
Dark elves descend. They come for my eggsiblings. They come to enslave us all. I will not let them. I am a diamond-back spawn most evil with naught but knives for fingers and toes and teeth. This spells death for dark elves, who would bring chains and fire to enslave my eggsiblings. I crawl up legs and slash throats. I gnash at jugulars. I strangle windpipes. It is not enough. For each mer slain, two appear. I move as if possessed, from dunmer to dunmer, gouging eyes and biting, clawing everything I can. “Kill it already, it is only a hatchling!” shouts the captain. I am full of the Hist-milk. I am born under the Shadow-stars. I have the blessing of the Base God Sithis, and these dunmer souls are my offering.
FIre consumes the swamp around me. Before I flee I send my unhatched eggsiblings to the realm of nothing, so they may be reborn into darkness and not born into slavery. There is no time for mourning , only running as flames lick at my tail. We escape slavery but only I live, only to flee my home and murder my brothers and sisters. I scamper through the endless swamp, far from flames, I sleep.
The din of fighting wakes me. Nearby, the crashing of steel and shouting subsides. I peer up from the underbrush and see a Redguard woman standing above several dead dark elves. She loots the slain dunmer, the bodies are stained with soot. Foolishly, I move to thank her and praise her heroism. I let out a feeble cry, for I do not speak. She whips around and greets me with her blade. It is a fine weapon, inscribed with runes for protection and destruction. I think it is beautiful. I touch the sword and cut myself, letting out a sharp cry. She laughs. Noticing the burns on my scales, she sheaths her greatsword. “Poor thing,” she picks me up and I bite her arms. More laughter. “Nice try,” she giggles. “I hope you like killing dark elves, my pet,” she smiles, “because that is all we are going to do.” Her Akaviri armor glistens in the sun, still smeared with blood from her recent encounter. The taste of blood and steel lingers in my mouth, and I wriggle out of her grasp. I hit the ground awkwardly and scramble to the corpses and begin to eat. “An argonian after my own heart!” While I dine, she retrieves her steed, the color of a starless night, an impressive beast. “Come now, little one, there’s more where that came from,” she motions at the bodies. She hops on her magnificent horse and beckons, I jump on the back and we ride into the swamp.
There was plenty more, we hit raiding parties nearly every day. The screams of dark elves fill the muggy air, their cries fill my heart with great joy. My belly is full with dunmer flesh, life is good. My warrior mother teaches me how to fight, how to survive, how to live freely. As so as I am grown enough, and I grow quickly, she teaches me how to wield a knife. To me it is more like a greatsword, my claws barely grasp it. I prefer fighting without a blade but she insist on it. On our next encounter I swing my knife wildly, a comic sight next to an Akaviri sword-singer. She deftly slices heads from shoulders, sweeps ankles from feet, delivers bone crushing slashes. Her sword pierces armor and punctures hearts. I manage to cut a few hamstrings and even land a killing blow with my knife, shoving it through an eye socket. After the battle is won, I scrape at the eye hole for a well deserved treat.
She sets a fire and teaches me of her story. “I suppose I never properly introduced myself, my pet. I am Samtira. I once worked with the Akaviri Dragonguard in service to the Empire, now there is no Empire. There are daedra and daedra worshippers controlling the Imperial City. For a time I fought with the Drake of Blades to free imperial citizens, but it is a lost cause when so many daedra worshippers exist outside the city walls.” She sighs and becomes silent. The fire pops and crackles. She stirs the flame, “My family was killed by daedra worshipers, they were all dunmer. When fighting broke out in the city, the first thing I did was run home.” Tears run down her grimaced face. “I remember it so clearly, my brother and sister being dragged outside and executed. I took out those who murdered my siblings and ran inside only to find my parents dead, offerings to Molag Bal. To this day I wonder what foul beats they must have been to forsake the Tribunal, but I have come to learn they are all fickle things. Even now, in alliance with Argonia, they send raiding parties to enslave your people.” She turns and looks at me. I scamper towards her and embrace her with my tiny arms. “Eye lub joo,” I croak. “What’s that? You love me? Well ‘eye lub joo’ too.” I squeeze hard. The fire goes out. We sleep soundly.
The next day was quiet. The usual cacophony from the swamp lessened to a din. Sunbeams pierced the canopy, it made for a miserably hot afternoon. The jangling of looted dunmer weapons filled the air. “Do you want to play a game?” Samtira asks. “Yus,” I chirp. “OK, here’s the game, I throw a weapon, you bring it back. It’s called fetch.” She grabs an axe and throws it halfway up a tree. “Now fetch!” I scramble to retrieve it. With a few tugs the axe comes loose and falls. I carry it back. It appears a battleaxe to my small physique. This time she throws two knives. I quickly retrieve them, carrying what seemed like two swords. “Eye lob games,” I squeal. “Oh yeah? How about this!” she says throwing a mace straight up to be lodged in a branch. I climb up and grab the hilt of the mace.
Below me Samtira is ambushed. They knock her off her horse with a bolt of lightning. Three would be killers rush her body, and I descend, equipped with my mace. I bash in the back of one’s skull. I grab my knives and disembowel the next one. Samitra is locked in hand-to-hand combat. Ar lightning bolt scores the tree behind me. I slither towards the hidden mage. Another loosed bolt reveals his position. I leap and claw at his eyes. The screaming spellcaster throws lightning and fire, setting the swamp ablaze. I stay behind and hamstring him. I escape quickly, leaving the summoned hellfire to consume the blind mage. Samtira successfully strangles her opponent. We prepare for the worst, numbers we cannot handle, and attempt to leave.
Suddenly, a meteor comes hurdling down, Samtira braces for impact, I am sent flying. Behind us the blind mage begins summoning daedra. A twilight, a scamp, a clanfear, and a daedroth come from portals and advance onto our position. I land scorched onto the ground. A scamp pounces onto me, clawing at my neck. I grab its scrawny arms and headbutt it. Now it is dazed so I twist its neck and it drops dead on top of me. Samtira does well with her daedra, dodging the clanfear’s charge and cleaving it in two. The mage sets the ground ablaze, laying fire runes and daedric mines around him, for good measure. He is surrounded by magical explosives. The daedroth belches out fire at Samtira’s face, she ducks. Twisting her weight, she thrusts her greatsword upward to impale the daedra’s skull from below the bottom jaw. A bolt of lightning shoots from the twilight and catches my foot. It paralyzes me briefly, pain shoots from my toes to my tail to the top of my head and teeth and tongue. I squirm in agony. The mage begins to summon more minions, while throwing fire and lightning in all directions. Samtira roars, and dragon wings unfold from her back. She leaps into the air, her wings flap, propelling her into the mage. Her blade swings, destroying the twilight, and she lands on top of the mage. The force of impact annihilates him, and his corpse is launched into the swamp. Her wings disappear into thin air. I stand weakly, and wave at Samtira. “Still love games?” she shouts. “Yiss,” I respond. We waste no time, mount her steed, and ride through the night.
A few days pass, swamp becomes marsh. “I am sorry my pet but we have to leave the Black Marsh,” she sighs. “The hunters have become the hunted, I am not sure how many ambushes we can survive.” We set up camp as the sun sets. I catch some fish. Samtira carefully filets hers and roasts the meat over fire. I take mine raw, bones and all. Except for the heads. I only eat the eyes, the rest is bone anyway.
After dinner I ask, “Where we go?” Samtira sits next to me, “Well we are going to meet a friend.” She draws a map in the dirt. “We are here,” she points to the bottom right corner of the map. “My friend is somewhere in here,” she circles the middle of the map. “And I would like to get here,” she draws an arrow from our position to the top left corner of the map. “Otay, wat dat,” I point to our position on the map. “That’s Shadowfen.” “Wat dat,”I point to the middle. “That’s Cyrodiil.” “Wat dat,” I point to the top left corner of the map, “That’s Craglorn."
After making preparations, the following morning we begin to cross a perilous mountain range. I am tired and my skin is dry, but we travel on. There are no trees, instead mushrooms, thistle, and wort are peppered across the desolate landscape. I nibble at each plant we cross. “Don’t eat that!” Samtira pleads, “you’ll get sick.” Some give me strength, others vitality. Some make me sick, others weaken me. The combination of many makes me vomit. “I told you, silly,” Samtira shakes her head. “Want to play a game?” she asks. “I lob,” I respond. “This game is called keep going so we get off these *** mountains.” I snort, “Das no game!” We march onward. A day of climbing and we are in moist wetland again. I fish, filleting mine this time. “I play game, it called ‘Hooman Preten’.” I try to roast my fish but it falls into flames. “You’re bad at this game.” I give up and eat my fish raw.
We ride through the Nibany Basin, coming from the Valus Mountains, and before that Shadowfen. Samtira tells me she found me not too far from the heart of Argonia. “I always felt I was being watched, but the argonians never communed with me. I assume I was permitted only because of the service I provided. Then I found you little one. I don’t think they let me take you, I figure you were assumed dead. Or maybe they wanted me to, maybe we are all pawns in games Gods play.” I look up at her, “I lob games.” She laughs. I grow to love her laugh. It is warm, deep, and fierce as if it comes from a belly of a dragon.
We set camp, and I try another round of ‘human pretend’. I cook my fish filets and take a bite, retch, spit it all out, and wipe my tongue. “I don’t like ‘hooman preten’,” I moan. Samtira is beside herself, howling in laughter. She gets control, sits up, and wipes tears from her cheeks, “My pet you are too funny.” I dive into a nearby river and fish for my meal.
As I surface with my already half-eaten meal, I bear witness to a enormous chains and metal falling from a portal in the sky. Samtira pulls me from the scruff of my neck out of the water. “Servants of Molag Bal are close, we must act quickly.” Where the metal anchor had fallen were several mages of the Worm Cult, followers of Molag Bal, performing a ritual to summon daedra and med our dimension to Coldharbour, Molag Bal’s domain. This would be hell on earth. Poised to strike, Samtira opens with a knife throw to the back. The cultists ignore their fallen comrade and continue their incantations. I ambush one and slit her throat with my small blade. Blood comes pouring onto the dolmen below.
The remaining cultists sacrifice themselves to Molag Bal, their bodies burst into blue flame. Fireballs rain from the portal in the sky, on impact daedra burst from hellfire. A swarm of bloodfiends appears. Samtira charges, dicing the monsters to bits. She looks at me and winks, “Easy enough.” More fireballs fall, out come three fire elementals. They begin slinging flames at the two of us. Samtira whips out her shield and I hide behind her. We assault the closest atronach. Samtira bashes it with her shield, the force of her attack knocks the daedra down. I stab at it furiously, it perishes and begins to explode.
We take cover behind Samtira’s Akaviri shield. Incoming fireballs are deflected, but we are hard pressed. Samtira angles her shield to reflect the fireballs back onto our attackers, stunning them. I dispatch one, Samtira smashes the other. More daedra spawn from fire. A couple oversized ogrim swing at us. Samtira is quick to gut one with her greatsword, a foul smelling liquid pours out, hissing and bubbling. The second Ogrim spits and spews at Samtira, who quickly grabs her shield to defend herself. Meanwhile I climb up the ogrim’s back and stab the skull of the beast. It falls hard, sending me for a tumble.
“Is it obr?” I whine. “Now is the no time to be afraid, my pet.” A mighty boom signals the arrival of a harvester. Immediately she starts sucking Samtira’s vitality, pulling her into the air. I leap onto the serpentine monstrosity, striking her face with my dagger. The harvester loosens its vampiric grip on Samtria, and she breaks free. Four orbs of Samtira’s energy are released, and move towards the monster. Samtira sprints from orb to orb, reclaiming her vitality. FInally the harvester pulls me off its face, only to find Samtira poised to decapitate the daedra. The harvester’s head rolls on the ground before it explodes in blue flame.
Without wasting a moment, Samtira begins activating pinions that glow and surround the dolmen. After they are activated they disappear into the dolmen, the workings of this hellish machinery are a mystery. Molag Bal’s voice booms through the portal, “The strong will overcome the weak. Let us see your true strength.” His diabolic laughter echoes as a flesh atronach and a party of Xivkyn appear before us. I am stunned. I want to flee. The hideous fleshy behemoth bellows and lunges at me. I roll away. The other daedra jump Samtira. She is forced on the defensive, using her shield to block a flurry of attacks. Her sword arm furiously parries incoming blows. I jump back to avoid another of the atrochach’s swings.
Suddenly, as if possessed, I leap to Samtira’s aid and cast a spell I do not know. A dark rune covers the ground around us. Samtira lets loose a battle cry and plunges a magical banner into the ground. My rune activates and dozens of summoned blades whirl around the daedra. “My pet! Activate the banner!” I feel Samtira’s spell and cast my energy towards it, chains shoot out from the banner and shackle the Xivkyn in place. FIre pulses from the base of the banner, burning the trapped daedra as they are cut by my veil of blades. Samtira swiftly executes the weaken Xivkyn.
We turn our focus to the mighty leviathan. Samtira pulls her flaming banner from the ground and launches it into the belly of the beast. It howls as fire consumes it. Then she synergizes with my spell and is enveloped in darkness, her wounds melt away into shadows and she is healed. I hide in my rune, but it begins to fade. The flesh atronach lunges at me, the stench of burning flesh fills my nose. Before i can react, Samtira jumps out from the shadows and cleaves the abomination’s head in two. As the monster falls it disintegrates covering me in ash. Fire rains harder than before, but to my delight, no daedra appear. Blue fireballs crash all around us. As we activate the final pinion Molag Bal cackles, “Your strength has won you the day, but soon will come a day where that will not be enough.”
The portal above implodes and closes, and a chest appears before us. “Praise Tall Papa! He has sent us a reward for our efforts.” She reaches into the chest and pulls out fistfuls of gold, an enchanted amulet, and several filled soul gems. I move towards the chest, Samtira informs me it is empty. I ignore her and peer inside to find a shortbow, darker than nightwood, and an empty soul gem. “Your gods must be smiling at you. Which reminds me, how did you learn the Veil of Blades technique. You demonstrated complete mastery over it. I believe it saved our lives, you saved mine. Was it divine intervention?” I shrug. I do not know that Sithis watches over me, granting me access to dark arts known only to masters of shadows. I have no knowledge of the Base God Nocturnal, nor do I know she has granted me the bow I now hold in my hands.
Samtira admires the shortbow, “It is still a bit big for you, soon you’ll grown into it.” I beg, “Arrow, please.” She passes me a dunmer arrow, for she does not favor the bow and has none of her own. “Good thing i kept these, they do not sell well, but they are light so I kept quite a few.” I notch the arrow and pull back as far as my arms will allow. I release and let the arrow fly, it travels far and lands in a river. I cheer, Samtira is impressed, “Already you are a better archer than I am.” She slaps me on the back. We return to our camp and dream.
Morning brings us visitors. A pair of villagers approach our humble camp. “Hail, traveler,” they wave. I begin to growl. Samtira glares at me, “Silence, these humans are no threat.” She turns to the villager, “Hail I am Samtira, former Dragonguard.” The villager approaches, “Well I am Steve, and this is my son Tobi. We live in a village not too far from here.” Another villager interrupts him, “Pa, who are you talking to?” Steve waves at the villager, “Ah, that be my other boy, David. We don’t have much in the interest of trading, but if you need rest from the road we have room for you.” Samtira smiles, “Can i bring my pet?” I pop my head out and give a toothy grin. “By the Eight, is that an argonian hatchling? I’ve met a few grown ones, I thought the youngsters never left the Black Marsh.” Samtira holds me close. “I found her burnt and alone, fleeing dark elf slavers. I offered her a ride and we have been together since.” I croak, “I love Samtira.” David exclaims, “It can talk!” His father and Samtira laugh. “She is only a few weeks old and already is a skilled fighter,” brags Samtira, “in fact she saved my life.” Tobi asks, “So what say you papa, can they stay?” Steve nods, “I just hope Sofi won’t mind the little lizard.”
After we pack up, we head with Steve to his home. Sofi greets us warmly, and finds me to be extraordinarily adorable. “She’s absolutely precious. What do you call her?” Samtira is puzzled, her brow furrows, “So far I refer to her as ‘my pet’.” I stand up, “I no pet, I love games.” Samtira chuckles, “She loves to play games.” Sophie thinks, “you could call her Josiline, it means playful, or Maia, it means brave warrior.” I stamp my foot, “I am Lovegames!” Sophie protests, “Shouldn't it be Loves-Games or Loves-Playing-Games?” I run around the room shouting, “Lovegames,” over and over. Sofi becomes concerned,”She doesn’t know the customs of her people, you should name her.” Samtira objects, “She is not mine to command. I know nothing of her culture. I sought out a pet but I ended up with a fearsome companion. If she wishes to be called Lovegames, then henceforth she will be called Lovegames.” Steve chimes in, “Hear, hear.”
I squeal with glee. I am recognized as an autonomous being. I am a mighty warrior. I am a twice blessed disciple of Base Gods. I am a ruthless killer. I am an enemy to daedra and dunmer. I am Lovegames. I stand triumphantly chanting my name one last time before curling up at Samtira’s feet.
“Ma, look at all the fish we caught!” exclaims Tobi. I eye at them, licking my lips. “TIme to eat I suppose,” Sofi remarks. I look up at Samtira and begine to whine, “I no like human pretend.” “Just give it a shot, see if you like it.”
Sophie starts to cook and the smell is marvelous. As the aroma fills the house, we play a game with dice. I do not fully understand the game, but all I have to do is throw the dice and I am awarded points. Tobi and David seem to have a technique for their throws, but it is a mystery to me. Perhaps it is a ritual to summon the favor of Tall Papa or one of the Gods. The game comes to a close. Steve announces the winners, “Ok, so Samtira came last with a score of negative thirteen. David is next with fifteen points.” David stomps away. “I never win,” he cries. Steve sighs, “At least you weren’t last.” He looks at us, “He’s not a good loser. Moving on, Tobi had a remarkable fifty-five points. He had the highest score. However, Lovegames scored a zero, meaning she has shot the moons and won the game!” I leap up victoriously, “Lovegames wins!”
After the game, we all sit at the table. Sofi brings out a scrumptious meal. Baked fish on a bed of carrots and potatoes. Samtira serves me a small portion. I take a bite, and to my surprise I do not retch or gag. “Ith petty goo’,” I say with my mouth full. Samtira smiles, “This is the first time she has eaten anything cooked. I’ve seen her eat all manner of things raw.” Ske spared the gory detail of when I ate dunmer brains out of an eye socket.
After the meal I go outside and practice my archery. Tobi and David tag along. I shoot at a nearby thicket of trees. I am no marksman, but my arrows land on the same tree. The young boys want to try, and I am reluctant to give up my weapon. After enough cajoling, I hand David my bow. He could barely draw the bowstring. Tobi nearly shoots himself in the foot. I am quick to reclaim my bow. “Enough playtime boys, we got to get ready for tomorrow,” Steve waves them inside. I stay until darkness falls, turning trees into pincushions with my endless hail of arrows.
Samtira calls me inside. We eat a light meal. I have cheese for the first time, it is better than the fish, but not as good as raw meat. We play another game of dice, David wins, then retire. I share a bed with Samtira, her warm ebony skin pressed upon my cold brown scales. My warrior mother begins to snore, the sound lulls me to sleep.
anything over a 4 man is a zerg, anything over a duo is sweaty. true pvp is erp and telling ahtu to shut up