User:Auri-El Reborn/The Hope of the Blessed
- 1 The Theme
- 2 Part One: Skyrim: Chapter One: The Battle of Solitude
- 3 Part One: Skyrim: Chapter Two: The Pale Ones
- 4 Part One: Skyrim: Chapter Three: Brothers
- 5 Part One: Skyrim: Chapter Four: Alliances
- 6 Part One: Skyrim: Chapter Five: Enter King Aldos
- 7 Part Two: Betrayals: Chapter One: Derith
- 8 Part Two: Betrayals: Chapter Two: The March on the Imperial City
- 9 Part Two: Betrayals: Chapter Three: The Battle for Aleswell
- 10 Part Two: Betrayals: Chapter Four: The Duel
- 11 Part Two: Betrayals: Chapter Five: Cellular Separation
- 12 Part Two: Betrayals: Chapter Six: The Siege of the Imperial City
- 13 Part Two: Betrayals: Chapter Seven: Emanalor
- 14 Part Two: Betrayals: Chapter Eight: Into the City
- 15 Part Two: Betrayals: Chapter Nine: The End of an Empire
This is the third part of my Rise of the Mer fanfiction series, The Hope of the Blessed. In this story, Areldir continues his conquest in Skyrim, making many new enemies -- and friends. Areldir's brother, Direnil, is also introduced. Skyrim is conquered after a book and a half.
Part One: Skyrim: Chapter One: The Battle of Solitude
The battering rams were ordered to the gates -- the Mages had to save their energy for the fight to come -- and ladders were brought to the walls. Chanting, jeering, and the like began to fill the cold, wintery air. As the chanting continued, it began to snow. Fresh snowfall was not a good thing for Areldir forces or the army of Solitude.
"Damn it." muttered Areldir under his breath. "Of all the rotten luck--"
It was not a light snowfall either, and it would soon develop into a blizzard. Of this, Areldir was sure. "Emanaril," said Areldir, "speed up the siege. I want our soldiers within those walls before the real storm starts."
"Yes, of course, my lord." Emanaril strode away towards the walls and began barking orders at the soldiers. They all replied in unison, "Yes sir!"
-- A Half An Hour Later --
The soldiers raised their swords and -- giving a frenzied battle-cry -- stormed though the gates of Solitude. The Battle of Solitude had begun.
The snowfall had picked up. There was still minor visibility, safe movement was possible, and there was not enough snow to freeze the soldiers. Things were going well, so far. The soldiers were fighting with the enemy now -- and winning. The Mages had not been sent from either force yet, as they were making sure the others were safe. Momentarily, they would join the battle. This is what it all came down to for Areldir. Solitude was one of the main cities in Skyrim. Conquering her would most likely cause the smaller cities to surrender. But then there was still Dawnstar. Dawnstar was the least of Areldir's worries right now in his opinion. Even so, he had to keep reminding himself to keep his head in the now.
"Areldir! Are you ready to go in, sir?" asked Emanaril.
"Yes." replied Areldir, and the two set off toward the fray.
Up, down, left, right. Areldir was flailing his sword every which-way. He still had total control over it. It was almost over, now. Their army had largely outnumbered the enemies'. Areldir killed a few more Nords and one Imperial. Unfortunately, there were a few Bosmer, Dunmer, and Altmer in the army that had had to be killed. Areldir suddenly saw the troops running away -- out the walls! The city was theirs, the Battle of Solitude had been won! Or had it?
As they marched through the city, towards the castle, 13 pale figures stepped out to face the army. They walked towards Areldir now, and as he realized what they were a shiver went down his spine...
Part One: Skyrim: Chapter Two: The Pale Ones
Forward they came -- the thirteen pale ones -- graceful as could be, radiating with the might of something ancient, powerful, and inexplicably cryptic. Areldir, despite his exceedingly excellent High Elven eyesight, was struggling to make out the forms of the figures. They were clad in flapping black cloth robes, tattered, but not much. Hooded, their faces were covered in shadow -- but it was quite obvious they were staring intently at the fray set before them. Damn, Areldir thought. If only I could see their eyes. Then I would know... The Altmer steeled his nerves. Was he a coward? Surely not, though he truly should have been trembling with awe and complete terror, stuck in place with helplessness and despair, or fleeing, screaming, begging for his life. He should have, but was not, for the young Areldir was arrogant and egotistical, thinking himself high above all others, believing -- foolishly -- that he was unmatched in his strength and power.
Things were about to get a whole lot more complicated for everyone. Perhaps had he just exhibited the reaction that he should have, things wouldn't have gone so downhill. But he didn't. The self-righteous Areldir walked forward -- with great trouble -- to meet this friend or foe, whatever they would prove to be. Fearlessly, he approached the them, and was met by them eventually.
"Greetings," said one of them, in a hushed, weary tone, though his accent was quite obviously Breton.
"Greetings," spoke another, in an equally cryptic voice, but this one a Dunmer.
The other the followed suit, but when there was just one left who had not spoken, Areldir looked at him. And his eyes met two fiery red ones, which held his gaze with such intensity that Areldir thought he felt the air become heavier.
"Hello," he spoke, and in that moment, a memory came to Areldir, a memory of a happier time long ago.
Areldir ran along the lush green feilds of his home in Sumerset Isle, laughing a giddy, cheerful laughter. He was young and innocent, living in his family's palace. It had been built just after the defeat of the Camoran Usurper, and had housed many great families for many generations. He ran faster still, as Direnil, his older brother, chased after him. Direnil was older, but just by a year -- something that the two were always bickering about. They sprinted across those fields, pursuing each other like nothing else in the world mattered. Direnil finally caught Areldir and tackled him to the ground playfully.
"Gotcha," he whispered in Areldir's ear and they both laughed. Direnil got to his feet, and extended a dirty hand to his exhausted brother. They loved each other very much in a brotherly way, and did almost everything together. While Areldir was showing an interest in magic and alchemy, Direnil showed a large interest in melee and ranged combat. They were so very different, and yet so very alike. They were brothers, after all.
"Kids, come in now!" yelled their mother, and togther the two raced each other back into the palace.
"Brother." The tall and proud Altmer said, confirmig Areldir's suspicions. Direnil -- his long-lost and beloved brother -- was a creature of the night. A child of Molag Bal.
He was a vampire.
Part One: Skyrim: Chapter Three: Brothers
Direnil led Areldir and the rest to his clan's hidden den, which was through a trapdoor under the shack of one of the clan members. The lair was a typical cave opening, except that it was full of old rickety wooden tables filled with ancient tomes and histories, written in the language known as Old Ehlnofey, though obviously the writer had full knowledge of the dead and mysterious language. "I see you enjoy my home, brother." Direnil said; Areldir refocused his attention to his brother. He had so many questions that he wantd to ask. But those would have to wait. First he needed to find out what Direnil wanted with him.
"What is it that you want from us, brother," he asked bitterly. Direnil frowned.
"You hate me don't, you?" he said. "Well I should expect no less, I guess. So narrow minded you all are, believing us all to be savage monsters. The truth is, some of us are civilized. Some of us just want to get along. We use the blood of criminals to sate our thirst. And also, don't be afriad of me biting you or anything," he said, rolling his eyes. " Because my thirst has been perfectly sated. And the best part -- the sun doesn't hurt me, as long as I'm well-fed. So with both of those things in mind, please, let's try to be civil."
The two glared at each other before Areldir finallt relaxed. "You really mean it, don't you?" he asked, and Direnil nodded. Areldir sighed. "So what do you wish of us, brother?"
At the formality, Direnil could help but laugh. "That more like it," he said sarcastically, and Areldir laughed as well. When the giggles had subsided, Direnil answered. "All I want is to discuss an alliance."
"An alliance?" Areldir said questioningly. "Seriously, stop teasing, what is it."
"That is it." Direnil said.
Areldir was ashamed at how he must have insulted his brother. "Oh," he said. "Sorry."
Direnil waved his hand, dismissing the situation. "Forget it. But let us do get down to business."
"Okay well, an alliance would be perfect, but I do wonder about something." Areldir said.
"And what would that be?" Direnil asked, although he already knew the question and his answer to it.
Areldir point up in a wavy motion. "Sunlight," he said simply.
"Ah, yes, well, you need not worry your mind with te details, but let me just say that it is... under control." he said with a smile.
"Direnil, let them go." Areldir said.
"Who?" he thought for a moment. "Oh. Oooooh. No, no, no, no, no. You think -- no. It's something else." he said. "You know what, just forget it, because I'm not telling you my secret. Our secret." Direnil said, beckoning to his clan. "Just know that we are with you and will travel with you. And tell your men not to worry about us, and that if they try anything we will not hesitate to kill them."
Areldir agreed to this, and they were dismissed for Direnil's clan to prepare for the journey.
When he returned to the camp outside of the wrecked walls of Solitude, he went over the next move using hand-drawn maps and other such things. After a long while, their next destination was finally decided. They would not head south to Falkreath. Instead, they would go through Dragonbridge to Snowhawk, then east to Dunstad Grove and and Stonehills and down the same road until they reached mighty Dawnstar.
Part One: Skyrim: Chapter Four: Alliances
The next two chapters will have no dialogue, and are simply historical recollections of the events.
Fortunately for Areldir's dwindling forces, the people of Dawnstar were far more welcoming of a new ruler than the other Nordic city-states. Skyrim had fragmented following the fall of Solitude, and Dawnstar, under a demagogue by the name of Julianus Maxentius (an Imperial by birth, and a lover of Nordic tradition and of military strategizing) had taken the villages of Dunstad Grove, Stonehills, Laintar Dale, Dungar Wall, Helarchen Creek, while Areldir's empire controlled Karthwasten, Lainlalten, Markarth Side, Amber Guard, Granitehall, Snowstar, Dragonbridge, and Haafingar (Solitude). Winter Hold, former capital of Skyrim, was by far the weakest city-state, only having control of Amol, Windhelm, Dragon Wood, and Pagran Village. Last but certainly not least, the most powerful city-state Whiterun controlled Blackmoor, North Hall, Falkrenth, Neugrad Watch, Riverwood, Oakwood, Nimalten City, Reich Cangate, Sungard, Vernim Wood, Greenwall, and Riften.
Areldir chose to talk Dawnstar into a permanent alliance, in which Winter hold would be taken, it's lands becoming part of the Dawnstar Province. In an act of greed, Julianus accpeted the offer. In the year 4E 1057, Winter Hold fell, and all of northern and western Skyrim was under Areldir's control. However, before any plans could be carried out, the Empire -- which also retained control of Hammerfell and Elsweyr at this point -- took the city-state of Whiterun.
And finally, with Tiber Gratorius and at the head, the Imperial forces marched north to meet King Areldir, who marched south. The two massive armies met in the town of Dungar Wall. A great battle would soon begin, but there were more alliances to be made, for to the east, King Aldos Nerano, ruler of Morrowind, conquerer of Argonia, and ruler of one of the greatest empires in Tamriel, watched the war unfold with apparent curiosity. He literally did, for to the east of the battlefield he stood with his army, cautiously thinking on which side to take...
Part One: Skyrim: Chapter Five: Enter King Aldos
King Aldos Nerano was the first person to unite Morrowind in 327 years, since the death of King Drinar Verethi. Not only that, but he had also expanded into eastern Cyrodiil and taken Black Marsh. He sought to rebuild the Verethi Empire -- including the accomplishments of Drinar's son, Sul Verethi, which was to take Cyrodiil, Skyrim, Black Marsh, and Roscrea. His one and only goal was to take Eastern Skyrim and this point, and unknown to Areldir, he had already taken control of Winter Hold.
But in the end the king chose to ally himself with the Cyrodilic Empire, and the Battle of Dungar Wall began.
The outcome of the battle was clear, the Imperial and Dunmeri forces routed. Emperor Tiber, commander of the Skyrim campaign, fell back to Whiterun to await reinforcements, headed by General Flavius Lovitius, an ambitious young Imperial commander, and head of the Imperial Garrison in Derith, the northernmost city of Cyrodiil. King Aldos fell back to Winter Hold, but a scouting party tracked them, and Areldir sent Emanaril to take care of the threat. The first of the series of battles at Winter Hold were all draws in which King Aldos's and Emanaril's armies were forced to retreat. However in 4E 1059, Emanaril defeated King Aldos and he was taken prisoner, his soldiers executed. Fore three months he was held for ransom until Emanaril's demands were met by the Nerano Empire, and King Aldos made the travel back to his capital at Mournhold.
King Areldir sent Emanaril orders to stay in Winter Hold for now, and proceeded to Whiterun. In 4E 1059, Whiterun fell to the Altmeri Empire, but at a tragic cost. King Ragnar, Lord of Skyrim, and the greatest of Areldir's generals, died of a fatal wound delivered in battle. On the brighter side of things, Emperor Tiber Gratorius was taken and killed in the most brutal way Areldir could think of as revenge for Ragnar's death. However General Flavius had predicted Areldir's moves and trapped him in Whiterun two months following Tiber's death. Unfortunately, Flavius's soldier's morale was considerably low due to the death of their great expansionist emperor and the battle was an utter defeat.
The events of 4E 1059 caused chaos to erupt throughout the Cyrodilic Empire, and soon the ancient Thalmor regained control of Valenwood, Elsweyr freed itself, and Hammerfell broke free and made an alliance with Areldir's empire in 1060. Though Areldir had vowed to destroy humanity, he had come to see that Nords could be trusted. If so, why not Redguards? Why not Imperials? Soon King Areldir's mission was not about revenge. Instead, it was about unifying the lands of Tamriel under a new, stable and prosperous rule. It was about conquest. It was about power.
It was about war.
Part Two: Betrayals: Chapter One: Derith
In 4E 1060, invasion plans into Cyrodiil were already being made, while to the east, Emanaril prepared for an invasion of Morrowind under direct orders from King Areldir. Areldir chose the city of Derith as his first target. Six centuries before, the city of Bruma had been burned to the ground by the city-state of Cheydinhal during the War of the Dragon, the bloodiest civil war in Cyrodilic history. When King Amulius Luco united Cyrodiil in 4E 717, he built the city of Derith -- a namesake from his best friend Luther Deril. And so it was ironic that it would soon be struck by violence due to a civil war in the empire itself!
With General Flavius the closest thing to a ruler the empire had, he was an obvious priority for Areldir. The bloody assault that followed the war was not to be forgotten, as it was quite a Pyrrhic Victory for the Altmeri forces. The city was used as a training camp to bolster the fleeting remnants of the once mighty army. Somehow, Flavius Lovitius escaped to the Imperial City, only to die a painful death as punishment for failing to defend the empire's one and only frontier. The empire had lost its only source of inspiration, as the Elder Council had been disposed of by the Luco Dynasty years earlier. Once again, the counties of Cyrodiil became city-states, and again civil war ravaged the land.
Meanwhile, in Morrowind, the city of Blacklight was under siege. King Aldos had seen this coming, but had not expected it to come so fast. In only three days, the small garrison of the city fell to the vast Altmeri horde. They could not contend with this might. Emanaril took pity and spared all the soldiers, on the condition that they join him. 73 accepted, and the other eight imprisoned. Blacklight was now part of Altmeri Empire.
And so ends this experimental, history-book-like narative of this tale.
Part Two: Betrayals: Chapter Two: The March on the Imperial City
Back in Derith, Areldir called his forces together at a bowl in the terrain outside of the city. "You stand now before a Great Siege Crawler, a structure from Mehrunes Dagon's realm of Oblivion, the door to which now forever locked. It was here that the Savior of Bruma, the Champion of Cyrodiil, the Hero of Kvatch bravely went in to a Great Gate and took the Great Sigil Stone before the Sige Crawler fully emerged through the gate. This ivasion of Tamriel, the aftershock of which was felt until King Amulius Luco took the throne of Cyrodiil in 717, and was felt even longer in some lands, was known as the Oblivion Crisis, and was the closing event of the Third Era, in 433."
"What does this have to do with anything?" called General Tevelilor.
"An excelent question, my god friend." Areldir responded. "Our invasion of Cyrodiil is not unlike this one, only different is one thing: This time, there is no HERO to save them. Tamriel will tremble and fall in awe of the might that we, her own people, have amassed against her! It is time that a new rule came to Tamriel. Whether it shall be me, or another, only the great Auri-El may know! But I promise you this: TAMRIEL WILL FALL!!!
Areldir's forces cheered and jeered at the thought. "Now, my soldiers, prepare to finish the fall of this corrupt Empire. Prepare to march on the weakened IMPERIAL CITY!"
And with the response that got, it was quite clear that the final invasion of the Empire, as a collective whole, was about to begin.
-- Two Days Later --
Two days following the march from Derith, King Areldir and his forces reached the town of Aleswell. "It has been a little over a millenia since this town was founded in the Third Era, and now it has grown to match the size of the now-deserted town of Chorrol." Areldir said to Emanaril. "In fact, friend, the fall of Chorrol in 4E 813 at the hands of King Caius Luco III, King of Cheydinhal, and son of Amulius Luco. Now, the heirs of that bloodline, now dominated by their counterparts, the Lucoriks, specifically King Alterix Lucorik and Prince Garan Lucorik II, rule this trade center. It has, in fact, become joint to the Imperial City."
Emanaril stared at him, not comprehending the implications of this seemingly-random bit of info. "In other words, Emanaril," Areldir explained. "We take the Aleswell District, and we have unrestricted access to the Imperial City's Elven Gardens District. The twon is poorly defended, and should fall fairly easily, as you can see."
"Shall I brief the men, lord?" Emanaril asked.
Areldir tipped hos head in thought for a few moments. "yes," he finally said. "Go ahead."
Emanaril nodded, and left to carry out his Master's orders.
"Tevelilor," Areldir called to his top General.
"Yes, my lord?" the general asked tentatively.
"Lead your Elite Forces southeast and southwest."
Areldir sighed, and put his hand on Tevelilor's shoulder. "I haven't told you everything about this battle. While in Derith, we discovered plans in which -- should we attack the Imperial City, Legion forces would be dispatched from the Imperial City's Bridge and the eastern Sewer Entrance. They would ambush us, boxing us in as we attempted to take the Aleswell District of the city. I want you to stop them." Areldir looked at him with intensity. "I trust you more than anyone else right now. My adviser, Emanaril, cannot be trusted. He lusts power. He has from the beginning. He was the Crown Prince of Skywatch during the Second War of Inheritance. He has plotted against me from the beginning. But you have not."
To Tevelilor, it sounded as thought that last comment possessed a double meaning, but he ignored it. They had a battle to win. He nodded, and left the King's presence.
And in the heart of Areldir, sorrow weighed heavily.
Part Two: Betrayals: Chapter Three: The Battle for Aleswell
Areldir blew the horn of battle, and the invasion began. Direnil and his coven were assigned -- along with Areldir and his Five Elites -- to take the city itself and defeat Commander Jolius. "Direnil," Areldir said.
"I want you to take Charont and Hirgith, and clear the city of all civilians. Do not kill them unless you must. We are invaders, not murderers."
"Understood... my lord." he said sarcastically. Areldir smiled, and took with him the other vampires.
After dispatching much of the garrison in Aleswell, Areldir and the vampires saw smoke rising from the northeast entrance to the Imperial City Sewers. "Either there's a huge fire over there, or that's Tevelilor's signal that he ahs succeeded."
"What's your next call, my leige?" One of the Vampires asked.
As Areldir was about to answer him, Direnil arrived alone on the scene. "Brother," he said. "Tevelilor... he was defeated by a counterattack on his flank.... he was captured.... managed to save him, but.... lost m-my two brothers..." Direnil collapsed to the ground. Areldir inspected a wound on his thigh.
"Silver... Commander Jolius is a crafty one, he is." said Areldir. "Its fixable, though." Then, as he began healing Direnil, Tevelilor ran to the King.
"My lord!" he cried. "They've got us surrounded on out northern and eastern flanks. What would your call be?"
"How did they surround us? How did they know our plan?!" Areldir yelled, more to himself.
"I believe a... double agent is responsible, sir."
"EMANARIL!!!" Areldir roared. "Tevelilor, for the time being you are my advisor and leader of my Five Guard Elites. We are going to confront Jolius. If he is a true man, he will have no qualms facing me one-on-one."
"Actually, sir," Tevelilor said. "I think it would be best if I were the one to face him." Areldir narrowed his eyes.
"Go on..." he said skeptically.
"Well, my lord, you are vital to the mission. I am not. And I believe I am more than capable of taking him out."
"And in the event you fail?"
"In the event of my failure, lord, I will at least have been able to weaken him. You will be more than capable of delivering the finishing blow. That way, the enemy commander is dead, and the morale of our troops is at a relatively high level."
Areldir studied Tevelilor for a moment more before saying, "Very well, my friend. You are right."
"Thank you my liege." Tevelilor bowed.
Areldir raised his hand horizontally, palm outwards. "But let us not keep the Commander waiting."
Part Two: Betrayals: Chapter Four: The Duel
"Emanaril," Jolius Perithon summoned his loyal double-agent.
"My lord?" Emanaril asked when he arrived in the presence of his liege.
"Tevelilor, has he gone to the King?" Emanaril looked through his telescope, an old trinket from his pirating days.
"Yes, Commander, I do believe so." he replied promptly.
"Good. No doubt his sense of pride will cause him to implore his lord to allow him to duel me, as I'm sure the King realizes that a one-on-one duel is the only way to get out of this situation. Tevelilor will face me first, of that I have no doubt. What I'm not so sure about is how he intends to defeat me. Certainly his skills haven't increased by that much since we last met. After all, it has only been four years since I first appeared to him. To think it has taken them 3 years to get this far. It just shows how resilient our grand empire is. I wonder where Sheogorath's aid is. Would you happen to know, Emanaril." Jolius sent the Altmer a deathly stare. Emanaril knew something, something he wasn't telling Jolius.
Emanaril gazed through the lense one more time and said, "I-I haven't the slightest idea, my lord." he said shakily.
"Well, then, no matter. We should not keep the Kng waiting. Let us be off," And with that, the two mounted their steeds and rode down to the Aleswell area.
Tevelilor saw Jolius and Emanaril long before they saw him or Areldir. "My lord," he said.
"Yes?" Areldir raised a brow.
"They are almost here."
"Jolius has him with him?" Areldir questioned. He was almost certain of this, but he wished to be sure.
"Yes, my lord. The double-agent is with the Commander."
"Well the, all the more action." Areldir said with a smirk.
"Of course, my lord," Tevelilor couldn't help but smile in anticipation.
About ten minutes later, the Commander and Emanaril appeared before King Areldir. "I wish to extend my warmest greetings to you, King... Areldir was it?"
"Yes, unfortunately I cannot say the same to you, Commander Jolius Perithon."
Commander Jolius frowned in dissapproval. "Then allow us to get down to business. I assume you have summoned me in order to duel, but not eith you. Instead, with you General Tevelilor there. Would I be far off to say so, Altmer."
"No, you are pretty spot-on. Tevelilor, come," Areldir said.
Areldir took him aside, and whispered, "Listen to me, Jolius is up to something, something clever, devious... and easily detected. Fight him, and I will listen to what he says. I will cut in when I have deduced his purpose here. Do you understand me?" Tevelilor was about to argue when Areldir reiterrated, "Do you understand me?" Tevelilor nodded. "Very good. Now go, and please don't get yourself killed."
"Alright then, are we going to chat all day like old women or are we going to fight?" Jolius said.
Tevelilor stepped forward. The Commander smirked. "Then let us begin."
Tevelilor made the first move, casting an extremely powerful frost spell on Jolius. The Commander, however, was quick, too quick, even in his battle armor, and the spell hit a nearby tree with cracked and splintered, and was felled. Then Jolius, drawing his sword, charged Tevelilor. The Altmer summoned a Bound Daedric Longsword just in time, and caught Jolius' sword at the hilt. The Commander, however, was the better sword fighter, and instead of disarming him, Tevelilor's action had quite the opposite effect.
The weapon clattered to the floor a few feet away, and disappeared in a flash of red and yellow. "I'm suprised, Tevelilor." Jolius yelled. "Your power has increased much since I faced you in Alinor's Bay. Your power even rivals your father's. But as fate showed, that was not enough to save him from my wrath! Nor shall it be enough for you!" He charged Tevelilor yet again, and the sorceror pulled a silver dagger from its hiding place in his eloquent robe and stabbed Jolius right in the stomach after some evasive maneuvering.
"One thing my father was never good at: Close quarter combat. I, on the other hand, am a different story. I have served as a Pirate, Assassin, Soldier, Battlemage, and everything in between in my day. You don't stand a chance!" With a single word, Tevelilor activated his knife's enchantment, and Commander Jolius was vaporized.
Tevelilor then turned to Emanaril. "As for you, traitor." he said. "Your pathetic life shall be spared. Leave. NOW!" The quivering Emanaril did just so.
"Keep the trophies," he said to Areldir, who stood in shock. "The spell leaves his armor. Just wait for the mist to clear." He passed the King by, and left to stand on the shore.
He had one the duel. He had claimed victory for the Altmeri Empire this day. And as he stood on the shore, he stared out eagerly towards the next -- and grand -- prize, the Imperial City.
Part Two: Betrayals: Chapter Five: Cellular Separation
"Direnil, my brother," Areldir welcomed his vampiric sibling into his tent. "The Siege is nearly at hand. What keeps you from your perparations?"
"Areldir, you and I are... more than brothers. We are one, singular cell. But sometimes that one cell must seaparate for the sake of continuing life. Brother, I have never told you this, but I do in fact have a son. He is a half-elf, his mother an Imperial by the name of Jilia Sylari. We have named him Telvir Sylari, after Father."
"I don't like the sound of this. What are you saying Direnil?"
"I belive that I am saying... our time together -- as allies -- has come to an end. My coven, however, is willing to stay with you and has elected a new leader. You remember Gaston Charont, do you not? Well, he now gives the clan your orders."
Areldir eyed his brother desperately for a moment more. "You too shall leave me then...?" he said finally, closing his eyes.
"No, I am not leaving you like Emanaril did..."
"I wasn't talking about Emanaril!" he interjected. "I have forseen many betrayals in my forces... but you? We were... 'inseperable!"
"And we still are." Direnil made his retort. "We must simply parts ways for awhile, that is all."
Areldir's despair finally got the best of him, and he collapsed into his chair, tears in his eyes. "I can't believe that for the first time in centuries... I am actually shedding tears. And to think that it was you who would cause this." He laughed humorlously.
"No, no, no. You misunderstand. I am quite happy that I at last show emotion. It's just... oh forget it. Direnil... just leave. Go!"
He turned to leave, and then, turning his head back, said, "We will see each other again. Of that I am sure."
"Of course we will," he said, tremors in his voice, though considering the circumstances, it did seem quite convincing to Direnil. And to Areldir, for they both wanted to believe.
But as the Vampire left, Areldir was not so sure of his own words.
Part Two: Betrayals: Chapter Six: The Siege of the Imperial City
"Lord, the men await your arrival. What keeps you?" Tevelilor entered the King's Tent of his own accord. He looked to the corner of the tent and saw Areldir there, at his writing desk. "Lord?"
Areldir's eyes were crazed, unblinking; he hadn't slept all night. "Tevelilor, sometimes one cell must become two, for the sake of the continuity of life. But when one leaves, sometimes the other will whither, die... lose touch... the will to live..." His voice was now trembling, a low mumble. He continued his rambling for only a moment more, and then slowly turned to look at Tevelilor. "Lead those men. I... I... I cannot..." he looked down for a moment, and then got up to lay on his bedroll. From there he did not move -- did not respond when Tevelilor called out to him -- and so Teveilor had no choice but to comply.
"Alright, listen up. This war ends here, it ends today. We are going to march down there and take control of White-Gold Tower. Once we have done so we will have the most extensive Empire in existence. For those that do not know, the Redguards have taken Colovia, though lost northern land to King Edgar Francois of Daggerfall. Therefore, they are our next immediate target. Knowing this, the denizens of Hammerfell have taken up arm against us and now march from Chorrol. And so we must concentrate our most powerful Heavy Shock Troops on their position. Mordok gro-Shurbog, lead the Orcish and Nordic forces to the settlement at Weye. Take up a defensive position there, and barricade the area. This isn't going to be a picnic for you and your men. Lieutenant Endhrenehl, lead your archers to the top of the Garrison Towers and strike when the Imperial Forces begin to make their way across the Northern Bridge. The rest of you, on me! MOVE!" Tevelilor was quite surpised that no one inquired where Areldir was.
At that point, a though occured to him: Where was Direnil?
He questioned another Vampire by the name of Hirgith, and the Nord responded, "He left not too long ago. I presume that's why Areldir isn't here. He did say this would happen."
"Well I assume the other men know as well?"
"Yes, Direnil announced it when you were out scouting. Then he just up and left. Gaston is in charge of us now."
"Very well, then. Thank you for filling me in," Tevelilor said. "Now prepare for battle." Hirgith bowed deeply and then left to rally with Gaston Charont.
30 Minutes Later
"Prepare you bows, archers!" Tevelilor yelled as the Northern Gate opened, and Legionaries poured out across the bridge. "Steady... steady... steady..." he awaited the perfect and precise moment. "FIRE!!!" In a defeaning whirring sound, a thousand arrows were released from the Ten Guard Towers. Tehy were massive, and had several floors, easily supporting 100 Archers per tower. "Prepare the flame arrows! Ground troops, take up position behind the barricades!" he said.
"FIRE!!!" he screamed, adn set the force and the gate on fire. "That fire will keep them busy for a few minutes at least. He walked over to his scrying bowl, where the image of Gaston Charont crouched just inside a hole in the walls with his coven. Tevelilor gave the signal, and the Vampires moved to infiltrate the city. They took with them two mages who had set explosive enchantments just below the gate and walls of the Northern side of the city. It would take five minutes at the most for them to get inside the city and blow the charges. They had been sure to begin the assault at night for this very purpose. Tevlilor then moved forward to the front of the barricade. They had a mere 56 soldiers here, most of them Imperials and Altmer. "CHARGE!!!" he ordered, and the company collided with the remnants of the first wave.
Part Two: Betrayals: Chapter Seven: Emanalor
NOTE: Due to the fact that I seemed to have somehow deleted an entire chapter (#7) and that this is getting over length, these next few chapters shall be exceptionally short, though I shall try to wrap things up nicely in two chapters. Thanks for reading!
Emanalor of Sunhold wandered through the Imperial City's Center of Trade and Commerce -- formerly known as the Market District -- in search of a good armor shop. He had just recently finished shopping at the Mystic Emporium, an establishment centered around the arcane arts, and owned by his his closest friends, Urimil (the shop had been owned by Urimil's family since his father's father, Calindil, founded it in 3E 419). He looked over to a shop in an inlet -- near an obscure statue of an ancient warior raising his sword in a viscious battle cry, no doubt some forgotten hero of humans -- to a store at which he was a regular, The Adamant Protector. He knew the owner, who's name was Cadlius Lucorik, and was given a remarkable guaranteed discount. Emanalor figured that since he was in the area, he may as well check the place out to see if there was anything new to hit the shelves.
"The Merchant's Inn. A wonderful place is it not?" Emanalor jumped as a mysterious man adressed him. His voice was obviously that of an Altmer, and his rather tall stature did nothing to contradict that deduction. He was clad in the darkest robes Emanalor had ever seen, though they glistened around the edges -- which implied the aplication of an enchantment upon the garment -- which was the only thing to give the figure form in the shadows it floated in.
"Who are you?" Emanalor said in a calm, demanding fashion.
The man smiled. "Oh, no one in particular," he said aloofly, though something about the way he said it made Emanalor feel uneasy. "However, I think you might. Just. Know me." And with that he removed his hood to reveal a face which Emanalor hadn't seen in over 300 years and had hoped to never see again. Beneath that abyss of a hood was the face of Emanaril, his estranged power-hungry brother.
"I never thought to see you again." Emanalor gasped.
Emanaril only smiled.
Part Two: Betrayals: Chapter Eight: Into the City
Despite what I said before, this will be the one of the longest chapters I have ever posted on this site. Then again, I do need to rap this up with a great final chapter, now don't I? Enjoy!
Things were not going well for Tevelilor.
They had managed to face the first and second onslaughts, but the thrid and most powerful had proven to be quite overwhelming for Tevelilor and his forces. They were down to their last 14 ground troops, the Imperial Forces to about 38. At this rate, they were doomed to be defeated with ease by the Legion, even with the aid of the Bosmer archers on the tops of the Towers of Aleswell (14 of them there were, but 20 Imperial Archers fired on them from the City Walls, which meant that they could be of no assistance to their infantry comrades). But suddenly, in the gate of the Imperial City, 20 soldiers in brilliant Dwemer armor appeared, their leader in possession of two rare Daedric artifacts -- the Spellbreaker and the Daedric Crescent Blade -- and charged the Imperial Forces in a defeaning unisoned battle cry.
In Ehlnofex -- now a mojor language in Tamriel -- Tevelilor adressed his soldiers. "Take not a single step back from the merciless onslaught before us, for -- behold! -- aid arrives from the Enemy's Gates itself. Forward into hell!" And the battle began to tip in Tevelilor's favor.
And from the encampment above, Areldir rode on horseback with a host of 12 including himself, clad in the unbelievably rare Ayleid armor. Tevelilor's forces split down the middle once the order was given, and both the unknown company and Areldir's charged the Imperial forces. The results were what one would expect -- total and complete victory for the Invaders. But unlike his other battles, this victory would not be easily achieved.
Areldir Aloriel rode to the head of the the forces which had issued from the gates of the Imperial City. "I thank you now for the aid of your men," he spoke to the man at the head. He was clad in the grandest armor of the force, obviously being in the style of the High Dwemer Lords of old. "But may I ask now, who are you?"
The man -- an Altmer of suprisingly high stature -- smiled. "I am Emanalor of Sunhold -- brother of Emanaril of Sunhold," he answered.
"And why -- and how -- would you come to lead an entire battalion of soldiers in the city of our enemies against them?"
And he answered, "Not all of the people of the Imperial City are with the Monarchy or the government. Indeed, very little are, but even less are willing to take up arms against their overlords. But all those which I could find and which would join us I have now gathered here before us. Few of the smithies of the City have taken up arms, but many are willing to supply arms to rise up with. As for why..." he said, choosing his words carefully here. "Perhaps you may remember the betrayal of Emanaril my brother." Areldir's rage was visible at the memory. "Indeed he was a power-hungry man -- he has been so since childhood. And he acted upon this in these times just as he would have any other.
"He saw, rightly, that if he aided the Imperials and they won, he would have more of a chance at Lordship over all of Tamriel then he would with you. He is a double-crosser, to the extreme. He would have betrayed you only to betray those he had turned to in order to slay you. But this failure was the last straw for him, I think. He came to me not two days ago, the day of the Battle of Aleswell. He told me of the events of the past 300 years of his life, and at the end of his tale he asked but one last thing of me, one last thing before he would 'close himself off from the outside world'. He asked of me to aid you in the final stages of your quest, and to do for you what he did not. I will do so, only if you will accept my aid." He knelt before Areldir in allegiance.
Areldir did not hesitate in his response; he needed all the help that he could get. "Rise now, Emanalor of Sunhold, and be my equal." And so did Emanalor the Pure come into the Tale of Areldir.
Gaston Charont had led the Clan of Vampires up the walls. There they quickly dispatched of the Archers and dropped down to the city below. With all of the Imperial forces out on the north, east, and west approaches of the Imperial City, there was no one to stop them from beginning to dig their way into the walls themselves. There they were to wait for the Horn of King Alinor to sound. Then they would sabotage the walls, and two of them would be dispatched to open the gates.
And everything, to Gaston's surprise, went well.
It was but noon when the Horn sounded, and the vampires filled the hole they had made (and placed various objects enchanted with an explosive effect) with Fire spells -- rather ironic was it, thought Gaston, that Vampires would be using Fire-based attacks -- which caused that portion of the wall to come crumbling down.
The two Vampires that had been dispatched to the Gatehouse had to only get through two Guardsmen before they reached the controls for the gate. But from the gatehouse they would not escape, for then a fire trap was triggered engulfing the two in flames. Soon the gatehouse was burning up, and so the forces of Areldir poured into the City with the utmost haste. The burning structure collapsed behind them, sealing them within the City.
They had no way out this time.
Part Two: Betrayals: Chapter Nine: The End of an Empire
"Tevelilor, Emanalor," Areldir called his generals forth. "How many made it into the city before the walls collapsed?"
"18 of my men are here," Emanalor said.
"We have 9 infantry, 7 Mages, and 13 archers. With the 6 remaining Vampires, that gives us 32 troops. Which means..."
"We have 50 troops total. I also have my 3 Elite Guards, and..." he gave them a sly look. "The Forces of Madness shall soon be issuing from portals to our world around the Imperial City. That should give us some 100 troops. That will easily be enough to overwhelm the city, considering we have the support of the people."
And right he was.
The host of 50 marched through the city's Center of Trade and Commerce all the way to the gates to the Palace, which were quickly opened. "Tevelilor," Areldir summoned him. "Take your men into the Temple district, then to Talos Plaza. After you clear those two areas, meet up with our westward invasion force." Tevelilor took 20 soldiers and left to follow out his orders.
"Emanalor," he now summoned him. "Take your force and the rest of mine and assault the Arena. Then take Industrial, and let our eastward force through the gates." He nodded, bowed, and was off.
"As for the rest of you," he addressed his guards and the vampires. "Come with me. We shall take the Imperial Palace."
With the 20 troops he had been alotted, Tevelilor was certainly proving himself to be an able general. He had already cleared out the north gate area of the Temple district with no casualties and was slowly making his way towards the Temple of Akatosh (also called "The Temple of the One", thought he former title had been applied following the Oblivion Crisis when the Avatar of Akatosh statue came to dominate Temple District). This was the only district in the city where the Altmeri Empire seemed out of favor, mostly due to overzealous religious folks.
"Men... halt!" he yelled from the front of the small line. The area seemed a little too quiet, considering the clamour that had been heard only a minute earlier. He ordered his men to stay while he made his way towards the Temple, and entered.
"What the..." Tevelilor was greeted by the sight of numerous bodies of Imperial Legion Soldiers strung across the floor, stuck to the ceilings, and impaled on the spikes of the Temple of Akatosh. It was a gruesome sight and, what's worse: one without an explanation. "By the Gods, what has happened here?!"
"Justice, milord," a deep, cryptic voice said. Out of the shadows came a man that Tevelilor had not seen in 23 years. "Isn't this what you wanted?"
"No, Talxen. I wanted justice, not murder," the Altmer said.
The Dunmer man smiled. "For what it's worth, they attacked me first."
Tevelilor glared at him. "Why are you here, anyway?"
Tevelilor laughed at that. "I released you from service over 20 years ago, Talxen."
"I did not say I was serving you, did I?" Talxen said heatedly.
"Well... no... but—"
"But what? No, I am here to serve one person. These men invoked the wrath of my Master, and so they had to die."
"And who is this 'Master'?"
"I serve the Lord of Murder; of Silence; of Dread. I serve the Father Sithis, and the Night Mother. They are my parents, my Masters." He paused. "And the Brotherhood, my family."
"And how did these men invoke the wrath of Sithis?"
Talxen shrugged. "That is for Him to know, and me to leave alone."