User:Likelolwhat/No True Scotsman/She Was

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She Was
She was once the greatest of Heroes.
Now she is something else.

How was she reduced to this?

She was once a hero, greater than the Champion (either of them), greater than the Agent, greater than — yes — the Dragonborn now running around like an angry horker. Dangerous, perhaps, but only to a point — she was young, unguided, and utterly unaware of her destiny.

Not that it was anywhere close to her own destiny.

She was Nerevarine.

She was Incarnate.

She was immortal.

Perhaps it was her fault. Having fulfilled her calling, having eradicated the Tribunal, having explored every nook, every cranny, every ancestral tomb of Vvardenfell, she soon discovered not only that her reputation preceded her, but that there was little left to keep her from going insane.

So she traveled. Saw the world. Tamriel and beyond: Akavir to Atmora. Summerset to Solstheim. Danced beneath the moons with the snake folk, dived the sunken cities of Yokuda, even came close to death once or twice. But the Void eluded her.

It was quite the lonely existence. Her renown was enough that she couldn't escape the whispers, the fear, and so she had no friends and few acquaintances. Neloth was one, but he was ever busy with his studies, research, and general asshatery. She was too proud for his sure-as-the-tide "I told you so" if she opened up to him.

So she suffered. Slowly but surely, she cracked. Perhaps she was immune to diseases of the body, but little can protect from diseases of the mind. Perhaps she lingered too long in the perception-warping culture of the Sload, where nothing was, or maybe the moon sugar did give her an escape after all.

Strange, what one such as her got into when she had done everything. Nothing new under the moons, as some would say. But by the time she got to a place where there were no moons, it was too late. The Hero of Kvatch had risen — some upstart Imperial with an attention disorder — and peasant and pauper alike said the Nerevarine was far in the East, even as she stood before them.

No one believed her. No one, until she slit her own throat with one hand and shot them full of lightning with the other.

Stupid skeptics.

She did like to watch their bodies twitch, and that was how she found her real calling. Murder. She should have joined the Tong while she was still in Morrowind — Mephala was the only one, Aedra or Daedra, worth a damn. Bringing down entire nations through death? Fun.

She saw the glimmers of the Dominion's revival in the eyes of young Altmer. What could be more damning, more worthy to Mephala than a plot to bring down the Empire through the downfall of the Altmer? It would take hundreds of years to come to fruition, but she did have all time to plot.

So when her dear Morrowind fell, she was already too far gone. She had maneuvered her pawns and now all she had to do was wait for all to go to Oblivion. It did; then she discovered Oblivion wasn't far enough.

She hadn't planned for the child-Jarl to rebel, but it couldn't have turned out better if she had. Skyrim was the place to be: she could feel it. She made a new identity, a new name and story.

Then the dragons came. They were something new. Had she still been in Azura's good graces, perhaps she would have seen it coming. But once Helgen fell, she knew immediately that a Hero's reveal was imminent. The choice, though, surprised her. She had expected a Nord warrior, an archetype; but then destiny had chosen her as well, and Ophelia Tacitus. None of them screamed "Hero!"

And now, the Nerevarine was long forgotten even by her own people, scattered as they were to the winds like the very ash itself. Her own memories blurred together: what had she done with Moon-and-Star again? What was her purpose here again? And for — for goodness sake why was she continually drawn back to the same uncomfortable chair in the corner of the same stupid tavern, offering her services to the highest bidder and garnering pitying looks from that Bosmer?

She was Nerevarine.

She was Incarnate.

She was immortal.

She was something, once.