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Bones and Ashes

Medic_Droid
Greetings friends! Blood and Ashes is a fan fiction that I'm writing as I pass the time over the next two days. Just a random fan fiction that I came up with and felt like putting to paper, I don't know if I'll continue with it. This story features a Breton Necromancer Initiate. I apologize in advance for any improper spelling or grammar, I'm fairly out of practice. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Alric blearily lifted his head, trying to cast off his exhaustion. The acrid smoke stung his eyes as the fires mercilessly consumed the farmhouse. He struggled to stand and realized that a beam had fallen on his back and pinned him to the ground. Alric's eyes widened with alarm as he tried to desperately claw his way out from under the fallen debris.

With a cry of frustration, Alric stopped struggling and wet the roof of his mouth, trying to think as his eyes cast about the room. Dead rats littered the floor, he remembered trying to raise them from the dead as practice for his arts. Unfortunately, reanimating complete corpses required a great amount of patience, something that Alric never quite had.

An idea struck him, it was easier to simply bind bones together with dark energies and direct the mass with his will. Alric reached for a rat that had been dead for a few days, the agitated maggots squirmed within, making the flesh crawl and bulge in some places. He breathed heavily, disgusted by what he was about to do...but it was either this or burn to death in a miserable peasant house. Alric tightened his grip on the rat, forcing some of the maggots to burst from the eye sockets, as he felt their slimy bodies writhe down his forearms. He needed the bones and this was the only way to do it. He swallowed hard, closed his eyes, and brought it's lifeless body to his lips.



One Year Ago

Alric paced back and forth in the home that he had purchased for himself and his wife Selene less than a week ago. He led a quiet existence, nothing extraordinary happened like they do in the stories; for which he was internally grateful. Powerless. That word had been haunting him far too much of late. When he had discovered that his wife carried a sickness, he sent word to any healer that he heard of. Summoned them to his home in the hopes that they could cure the strange illness that gripped her. This was their last chance...his last chance to save her...the last of his gold had gone into this final healer.

Alric stopped his pacing for a moment at the thought of Selene. Still as beautiful as the day that they had met; he had been a simple archivist in High Rock, rushing to deliver tomes on Wards to a local instructor when he had passed by her. A woman selling flowers, wearing a blue dress with silver lining and floral designs; with soft brown hair, brown eyes that always seemed to shine, and a smile that disarmed him. His head swiveled, staring at her in awe before he'd crashed into a post, bruising his shoulder and spilling the tomes haphazardly along the cobblestone road.

His face flushed red with embarrassment as Alric quickly crawled along the ground gathering the tomes. As he comforted his shoulder and tried in vain to ignore the laughter of onlookers, he despaired at being unable to find the last book. Alric sat up on his heels and closed his eyes as he took a calming breath. "Excuse me, I think you dropped this." A voice sang out to him, his eyes popped open as he gazed up at the Flower Girl offering one of the fallen tomes to him.

The snide laughter of the onlookers completely flew out of his mind as he stared agape just as he had before. Catching himself, Alric accepted the volume, yet still remained sitting. "I'm very Alric, you returned the tome, thankful." His words spilled out in an embarrassing torrent and he quickly corrected himself. He was suddenly very self conscious; he'd just spoken like a fool, is getting redder than an apple, and now he was wondering if he'd smelled funny or if his hair was correctly groomed.

The flower girl just smiled at him and offered her hand. Alric stared at her hand dumbly. "It...looks a little cold and uncomfortable on the ground." She'd politely explained. He couldn't even imagine this beautiful woman getting her hands dirtied on his account, Alric stood up and raced away towards the Mage's Guild.

After delivering the tomes and receiving a withering lecture regarding punctuality, Alric began his return to the Histories and Mysteries Archives. He saw the flower shop that the woman had been standing in front of; curious, he peered through the window to see if she was inside. He scanned beyond the potted Monkshod and Alkanet Flowers and sure enough, she stood at the counter speaking with a customer.

On his way back, he was determined to go and thank her properly; But now he found himself sweating, shaking and unable to enter the shop. Tomorrow, he thought. Yes, Tomorrow he would be better dressed and much better with his words. Alric turned to head back to his archives, already internally rehearsing what he would say to the flower girl and how he would say it.

Nodding with finality, he made three steps before the shop door opened and an all-too-familiar voice called to him. "Would you like a flower? We're having a giveaway at the moment." Alric spun on his heels and his robes twisted along with him as he faced her. He stood in place, seemingly paralyzed as the flower girl walked up to him, twirling a flower's stem between her thumbs and forefingers. She scanned the front of his robes in search of a pocket and smiled at finding one; She placed it easily into his pocket and walked back towards her shop without another word.

Alric finally found his voice as she was leaving and called out, "What's your name?" As his right hand unconsciously rested upon the flower in the front pocket of his robes. The flower girl turned around as the door slowly closed behind her, still smiling as she gazed into his eyes. "It's Selene!"

Powerless. Alric was violently pulled back into the present at the sound of his wife's coughing in the next room. The door opened and Alric heard the man speaking quiet encouraging words before it closed. His hopes rose as he turned to meet the healer. His eyes were heavy and he breathed out a heavy sigh as he motioned to one of two chairs facing one another. Alric's throat tightened and his hopes fell.

In a strange daze, he bid the healer farewell and quietly knocked upon the bedroom door before entering. Selene lay in the bed, her forehead beaded with sweat, her breathing was ragged, and her skin was pale. He sad in the chair at her bedside and took her right hand gingerly in his own. He stared at the golden ring upon her finger and surprisingly saw a drop of water fall upon it, then another. Before he could stop himself, Alric wept, clinging to her hand in a vain and desperate attempt to keep his wife in the world of the living. He alternated between praying to and cursing the Eight Divines all through the last night that he had with her until she stopped breathing entirely. The silence after her death had been maddening, Alric embraced her and screamed her name until he was hoarse, trying to bring her back to life with sheer will alone. Physically and emotionally exhausted, he sank to his knees and slept, still clutching her hand in his.

Powerless.

She had been buried alongside her dead relatives in a decent cemetery, it was far enough away from town to avoid the sounds of hustle and bustle. A quiet place where one could visit and reflect on the departed, memories of laughter...and love. Alric stood before her grave long after their friends and family had gone. Strangers came and paid their respects before passing onwards again. He didn't need to grieve, he already knew what he was going to do. He had been able to acquire a bottle of Essence of Nightshade. Alric had decided that an existence without the one person in the world who made him feel complete would be a hollow existence and one with only complacency to offer...not happiness.

Thunder sounded in the distance as rain began to fall all around him and before long, the small drizzle turned into a fairly heavy storm. Alric barely noticed, all that he could think of, was what his gravestone would look like beside hers. He heard footsteps approaching and didn't bother to offer a greeting. A hooded and robed figure stood beside him for a while, staring at Selene's grave as well. He felt a strange comfort in having this person there, he didn't feel so alone in his grief.

After a time, the stranger walked forward and rested a small black book against Selene's gravestone. As he passed by Alric, he placed a hand upon his shoulder. "I know that look in your eyes. I once wore the same expression. You don't have to join her...there are alternatives." The stranger released his hand and walked briskly down the path.

Power...

Frowning in confusion, Alric picked up the small book and brushed away the water that had begun to gather upon it's surface. He opened the front cover to reveal the sigil of Oblivion with a introduction to Necromancy, but it was what was beside it that caused Alric to begin crying again. He fell to his knees, clutching the book to his chest as he wailed, the Essence of Nightshade fell out of his pocket and broke against a stone.

Neatly folded between the front page and the cover...was an Alkanet Flower.


Chapter 2


The skeletal silhouettes of the dead vermin skittered along the floor with purpose. Alric had shut his eyes in concentration, gritting his teeth as he forced himself to focus and direct the rats with his will. Desperation had allowed him to consume the flesh from five rats before his stomach failed him. Alric carefully wove the threads from the void through the bones of the rats, speaking the careful incantations, and almost laughed with delirious delight as they slowly raised their skulls and stared at him with eyes that weren't there.

He led them to one end of the beam that had fallen on top of him, thankfully it hadn't caught fire yet. The rats began gnawing at the beam, looking for a space that would be weak. Alric's concentration broke suddenly with a flash of searing pain shooting up his arm. Waking, he saw that a piece of flaming debris had fallen on his left arm. Shouting in panic, Alric frantically slapped his arm repeatedly, smothering the flames. His eyes welled with tears at the pain and his nose curled at the smell of burnt flesh, he scanned around the farmhouse and realized with alarm that his window of escape was getting smaller.

Remembering the rats, Alric cursed under his breath, closed his eyes and steadied his breathing as he tried to immerse himself in the darkness of his mind. He reached out to the Necrotic energies that he once held a solid grip on and found nothing...Frowning in thought, he reached out once more and sought the familiar skeletal forms that he had bound. Still, nothing answered his call.

His eyes snapping open, Alric strained his neck to see what had become of his only outlet of power. The rats had been reduced to piles of ashes, his loss of concentration had broken the link between his mind and their energies. He stared in disbelief at his luck and coughed as the smoke now descended upon him.

It would be easier if he just closed his eyes, the fire and smoke stung them anyway...Alric's eyes closed and he allowed himself to cry quietly as he thought of Selene. It hadn't been long before the heat seemed to disappear and the sounds of wood being cracked by fire faded away.

A good portion of the roof of the farmhouse collapsed inwards, crashing to the floor violently as the flames snaked their way through anything that could burn. Jergen casually walked through the front door, wearing a black robe with his hood down. His straight dark hair fell to his neck, his hands hanging idly by his side, and his lazy blue eyes scanning the farmhouse for the source of the disturbance that he'd felt.

It certainly wasn't a lich, a revenant, or an organized coven. It was most likely some fool who thought to practice dark arts...still...who started the fire?... Jergen's thoughts were interrupted as a shower of burning wood fell towards him, he idly pulled a reserve of his magicka out from within his being and created a magic ward, manipulating it into a shielding dome of water that covered his person and the wood sizzled out just above his robes before bouncing off harmlessly.

Turning to leave, Jergen saw a man trapped beneath a beam. He sighed and walked over, bored with the chore of having to save someone after all. The ward of water extinguishing the flames he walked closest to. He frowned as he approached Alric, noticing a few pools of vomit and the innards of small creatures near his hands and face. The man certainly didn't look like a farmer, gaunt with sunken eyes and stick-like features. Jergen looked beyond him and saw a multitude of candles arrayed in patterns against the walls and small iron cages with dead rats inside.

So...this is the fool who was practicing Necromancy. It seemed he wasn't able to control the mass of an entire body, he consumed the flesh so that he could easily manipulate the bones. I'd give him points for being clever and I'd deduct points for exploring the Dark Arts in the first place.

Jergen sighed as he considered struggled internally with what he ought to do. He came when he felt the disturbing chill of darkness, believing that he'd have to put down some unholy creature. Instead he found a man who had been playing with dead rats...Still, he never enjoyed leaving people to horrible deaths, no matter how much they may have deserved it.

Jergen focused his shield inwards, gathering magicka towards it, making it grow and pull more water from the earth and the air. A bead of sweat formed on his forehead from the effort. He held his hands outward with the ward focused between his palms, pulsing, ready to burst. Satisfied with the water that he'd built up within and certain of it's outcome, Jergen released his power outwards and turned the ward inside out.

Instantly, a torrent of water flew in all directions, pushing weak and loose debris out with a forceful wave. Every spark of flame was extinguished and what was once a raging inferno was now a quiet and very wet charred ruin. Jergen breathed out in annoyance as he felt water soak every article of clothing that he was wearing.

He looked down at the man's limp body, no longer burdened by the beam. Jergen reached down and picked Alric up, cursing as he did so. Kyne destroy my bleeding heart and save me from the works of fools... He wrestled with the weight of his own wet clothes and the man he carried into the forest, cursing as he did so.

Jergen half-walked and half-stumbled away as a number of guards with buckets of water descended upon the farmhouse, shouting out instructions and calling out to its residents.
Edited by Medic_Droid on March 31, 2014 8:37PM
"Doubt thou that the stars are fire, doubt that the sun doth move.
Doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt my love." -Hamlet Act 2 Scene 2
  • Foxesz
    Foxesz
    ✭✭✭
    Lovely read, I thoroughly enjoyed the entire story (didn't see many mistakes either, hehe!).

    Seems we're both writing while waiting for our release, yeah? :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
    I'm a roleplayer through and through, questions regarding that are always welcome!
  • Medic_Droid
    Haha, yeah. It's a good way to pass the time. Thanks for reading.
    "Doubt thou that the stars are fire, doubt that the sun doth move.
    Doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt my love." -Hamlet Act 2 Scene 2
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