Bus Ride Fantasy

Skyrim FanFiction, Skyrim Erotica, and More

A Return to Morrowind

burning red mountain


I smelled the brimstone volcano from fifty miles off the coast of Vvardenfell. An awful smell—salty a putrid—like the entire world was smoldering in the distance.

The wind was gentle and favorable, though, and I was able to guide my skiff between the rocky islands and shoals of the Azura’s Coast. Steering that boat and listening to the single-sail flap in the breeze overhead, it was impossible not to remember the first time I came to this immense island a quarter millennia ago.

Chained up in the hold of an Imperial galley. Dumped off in Seyda Neen like a cheap piece of cargo. Told to go meet Caius Cosades.

It was much different the second time around, no way to argue that. But I couldn’t help feeling like my life was just a long, pointless walk in some massive circle. And that I was just now starting on the second loop.

Always, in the distance, the Red Mountain gurgled out lava and ash—an incessant, searing wound in the land.

But I did not come for the volcano. I came for Divayth Fyr.

Where else to start? I steered my skiff to Tel Fyr. It looked entirely abandoned—the mushroom buildings and the yawning towers were full of holes and covered with burn marks.

Just like the rest of the dying country.

I anchored my ship and stepped onto the rocky ground. Stretched out my arms and legs, then pulled my Akaviri katana from the hold, slid it through my belt, and strode towards the remnants of the wizard’s tower.

The main hall was burned out. Nothing left but scorched support beams—broken and bent in different directions like the skeleton of some enormous, crushed insect.

I remembered the great tower of Divayth Fyr in all of his majesty. Stretching up and up into a sky that wasn’t marred by burning ash. I remembered his four daughters—gray skinned and beautiful. I remembered the day Divayth Fyr gave me the Cuirass of the Savior’s Hide as a gift. Powerful armor that I still use for protection.

The tower was a ruin, though. It was just me, Hircine’s armor, and the memories that remained.

And the dark tunnel leading down to the Corprusarium.

I took one final breath of at least semi-fresh air, lit a torch, and then strode into the pit. For hundreds of years, Divayth had conducted his dark experiments down there. Funny that he would leave evidence of it behind—like a bite of a scrape left from an illicit and dangerous lover. Proof of his deviant tendencies.

He always was an absentminded bastard, though.

I didn’t know what I was looking for. Nothing in particular, really. In my experience, lowering your expectations and wandering around is the best way to figure out what’s coming next.

I wound through the dark tunnels, noting the piles of bones and pieces of Dwemer machinery, most of them half-sunk into the muddy ground. Had there been so much Dwemer technology the last time I was here? After so many years, it was difficult to remember.

As I approached the dark corner where Yagrum Bagarn—the last of the Dwemer—had made his home, I smelled a foulness in the air. Something much worse than the lingering scent of Corprus disease. An evil smell.

The reek of the Netherworld.

Sure enough, a dark shape melted out of the shadow in the far corner of the chamber. Two pale green eyes swimming in the blackness.

“What are you?” the person hissed, body still invisible in the dark. A female’s voice, though—old and papery, like soil that hadn’t seen water in years.

“Just an ordinary traveler,” I said. “Come to explore Vvardenfall.”

The woman took a few steps forward, moving just close enough for my torch to shed some light on her. She was a Breton with long black hair and perfect skin. A lithe body and haunting, impossibly green eyes.

A Morathi Necromancer. No doubt about it.

“A traveler, you may be,” she said. “But nothing is ordinary about you, Nerevarine. My master said you might turn up. It is an honor.”

I flicked my eyes around the chamber, making sure there was just one of them. I learned the hard way that the Morathi were not to be underestimated. Two or three of them could cause a powerful amount of trouble.

Seemed like she was alone, though.

“You lot have roused me from my stony sleep,” I said, moving the torch into my off-hand.

She grunted at that. “Did we send some ship across the vast sea and knock on the door of that ramshackle hut you’ve been calling a home? I think not. You are an uninvited annoyance. An interloper.”

I wondered how this Breton devil knew so much about my life, but decided not to ask for an explanation. Sometimes violence is the only way to get answers.

“That may be,” I said, pulling my blade from its scabbard. “But you’re the corpse-fucker who drew the short straw running into me, and you’re not walking out of this pit alive.”

She smiled—perfect white teeth reflecting in the light of my torch.

“We’ll see.”

With a group of Necromancers, you always need to rush, otherwise they’ll raise the corpses on you and make a big fucking mess. But with just one, it’s a different story. Best to be patient—let them burn down some of their magicka before you make a move.

The Breton unleashed a huge ball of fire from her palms—flames pouring through the air and filling the chamber with light and heat.

It had been a long time since someone had tried to kill me. Decades. I was surprised by the thrill of it. Hear racing, mind focused.

I had gone looking for that feeling everywhere. There is nothing else like it.

My face flushed from the heat as I cast a shell around myself—fire bending away to each side and scorching the walls of chamber. She must have been an apprentice, because even for a Morathi Necromancer she was arrogant enough to think her magic would outlast mine.

I watched the flames weaken and dwindle. Saw the doubt creep across her face when she realized she could not keep it up much longer.

When her spell finally quit, I smiled at her. “Just so you know, I’m not going to leave your corpse around after I kill you,” I said. Taking a few steps to the left. “Your soul won’t be able to slink its way back into that sack of flesh after I’m gone. I’ve seen that trick before.”

She drew a jagged daedric dagger from her belt. “First you have to kill me!” she snarled.

I waited until she’d drawn her arm all the way back—preparing for a vicious thrust, no doubt—before I dropped my torch and bolted forward.

I cut off her arm before the torch had fallen halfway to the ground. When she came around for her killing stroke, there wasn’t anything to swing at me besides a bleeding stump.

Before her eyes had begun to widen with horror, I cut off her other arm and both her legs. Kicked her mutilated torso into the corner.

Then she had time to scream.

Between her shrieks and howls I felt her weaving a spell—trying to pull a set of phantom limbs from the Netherworld.

I opened up my palm and drank in her magicka—sucking her power down to nothing. An empty glass.

Caius had enjoyed tortures and interrogations. The pumping for information. And for a time, I must admit, I was relegated his methods. But between my travels and my sins I discovered a more elegant solution to the gathering of intelligence.

I cast a charm spell on the Breton. Wiping away the pain and the fear that was flooding through her destroyed body. It would never have work on her at full strength, but cutting off all of a person’s limbs has a way of diminishing their spirit. She clung to my charm like a child on her mother’s tit—drinking in the lies my spell sung to her.

You can trust me, it sung to her. He is a friend.

“Why were you waiting here?” I asked.

She didn’t even hesitate. “Divayth took what he could as Vvardenfell collapsed upon itself, but he was rushed…” she choked, blood pouring out of her mouth. “We thought he might return for something…a forgotten piece of machinery, maybe.”

“Where is he now?”

She made a shrugging motion as best she could with the stumps of her arms. “Nobody knows. There are many like me. Waiting…watching. Divayth will soon make his move, our Master is sure of it.”

“Where is you master? Where is Akavarin?”

She frowned at that—knowing it was secret information. I wove my spell deeper into the caverns of her mind. Watched her caution melt down to nothing.

“Skyrim,” she said, blooding dripping out from between her perfect teeth. “All roads lead to Skyrim.”

I nodded, and then drove my left hand into her chest. Wrapped my fist around the ventricles of her hear and then yanked it out. Burned it down to nothing with a flame spell.

I watched the life drain from her body. Smelled the rotten wisps of the Netherworld as her soul began to perform its dark, twisted search for a place to land.

Then I set it on fire, and started thinking about the fastest route to Skyrim.


5 comments on “A Return to Morrowind

  1. Elspeth Aurilie
    February 19, 2013

    Morrowind! I want to play again. The depiction of magic here is wonderful. I remember the corpusarium; it always made me so sad.

  2. Pingback: The Morathi Covenant Rises | Bus Ride Fantasy

  3. Pingback: A Conversation with Divayth Fyr | Bus Ride Fantasy

  4. Pingback: The Door to the Netherworld | Bus Ride Fantasy

  5. Pingback: The Wizard’s Tower | Bus Ride Fantasy

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This entry was posted on February 15, 2013 by in Skyrim Fiction, Tales of the Necromancer and tagged , .
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