Vvardenfell Bleeds (A Morrowind Fanfic)

Sep 26, 2011
Author's Note: This fanfic is intended for people who have played Morrowind. For those who haven't played the game, the terms and concepts of the Elder Scroll Universe, and the province of Morrowind might be confusing. The game itself has an incredibly complex lore.

Still, I tried to provide some context to help people who are less acquainted with the series. I'm using a free word-processor, so there might be some very simple mistakes (oversights) on my part. Still, I am looking to improve my writing, so I appreciate all criticism of the prose.

Thank you!

Vvardenfell Bleeds

Sorasa Indoril

The world was blur, pain, and disorientation. Behind her closed eyelids, images played themselves in feverish flashes. She saw flashes of death, destruction, boiling oceans, and cities swept away in the wind.

Cutting through it all was pain--terrible pain--which pierced her skull like a long knife.

Foggy memories replayed her last moments of consciousness. No. . . not a knife. It was a mace. I was hit with a mace.

Letting out a moan, Sorasa's eyes fluttered open. She gulped quick, pained breaths, filling her wounded lungs. All she could see at, at first, was light. Soresa writhed. The light made her head throb. It was easier to keep her eyes closed--less painful.

"Just relax." The voice came through, drifting through the deep currents of her consciousness.

Outlander. Unbeliever. Soresa thought with disgust. She could recognize the accent. That was all her mind could grasp before she was racked with another wave of pain.

Her teeth creaked as she squeezed them together, the salty taste of blood filled her mouth.

Her eyes were met with a dazzling light which seared itself into her, engulfing her. She squeezed her eyes as close to shut as she could, protecting them from the brilliant aura, but the light seemed to pierce even the skin of her eyelids.

As the white light hummed and pulsed above her, she felt her pain melting away. The buzzing in her ears went silent. The throbbing of her temple was the next to vanish. I'm being healed.

Soon, her only discomfort was the blinding white light above her. That faded away, glowing energy returning to the Imperial's old, shivering hands. He stepped back.

Sorasa brought her hand to her head, rubbing her temple.

There was some lingering pain where her wounds had once been. It was a phenomenon that was common with the use of Restoration magic. Shadow Pain was how they referred to it in the Ordinators. She blinked and saw candles mounted on the ceiling above her, the vaulted stone ceiling pulsed with their light.

Sorasa sat up, shrugging off a wave of nausea. A throbbing pain continued to pulse where the Restoration magic had done its work. Her hand massaged her brow, covering one of her eyes.

Her eyes fell down to her chest. Her once-gleaming bronze armor was ruined, crusted with mud. One of the long, elegant pauldrons of her ceremonial armor had been snapped in two, handiwork of one of the Daedra. A Dremora with a jagged Claymore, if Sorasa remembered correctly.

Is my memory damaged? On various campaigns against the heretics with the Order of War, Sorasa had seen some of her most seasoned comrades take hard knocks to the head. Most Ordinators were trained in restoration, so the wounded men had been tended to quickly enough, but sometimes after taking a head injury, even after getting healed, they came back different. A ten year veteran, Torvos, lost decades of memory in a single head injury. He'd gone from one of the most talented and fearsome Ordinators to a shell of a man. . . pathetic. If I can remember Torvos and the battle then my mind is probably still mine.

Still, the beast desecrated my armor. Sorasa felt a twinge of anger. She remembered the words of her captain when he finally gave her her armor after many years of harsh training and service to the Temple. This armor represents your faith, the honor of the Dunmer, your life, he had said with a serious look. That night, she had carefully examined each of the bronze sections, admiring their detail, their strength, their beauty. She could still remember the pride washing over her as she learned how to don her armor for the first time.

But as she looked down, she saw that her polished bronze breastplate had been shredded like paper with long jagged cuts. The sections that weren't torn to twisted bronze pieces were splattered with blood and mud.

Faith. The honor of the Dunmer. My life.

Sorasa's eyes went distant. She remembered blood dripping from her mouth, her helmeted head falling into a puddle. The rain pattered on her armored back as she struggled to regain her footing. Thunder shattered the sky, illuminating the carnage of the battlefield in long, bloody moments. The fire of battle pulsing through her veins, she was able to stand again despite the deep cuts in her stomach.

Sorasa now sat upon a stone altar in what appeared to be a Chapel room. An Outlander temple. But I fell in battle near Vivec. How did I arrive here? The dim pulsing of candlelight played off of the small portions of her bronze armor that weren't crusted over with crusted brown earth.

And of course, her helm was missing as well. Sorasa wished she had it--here in this den of Outlanders and unbelievers. Soresa ran a hand through her hair. Normally her black hair hung loosely behind her and down the sides of her face. Usually it was smooth. Once, years ago, she'd heard another girl say enviously that it was beautiful. But as she touched it, it felt stiff and dirty beneath her fingers, and the mud and blood in her hair made it stiff and disheveled.

Normally, her face would be concealed by the grim face of an Ordinator helm, a face of dispassionate bronze with small holes for her red eyes and a hole at the mouth to speak through. She liked the mask. When she wore it, she was an Ordinator. She was a shield of the faithful. All she needed was a harsh voice and all who heard it knew to obey.

Craftsmen labored to make each helm identical, but they were only human. Only the Almsivi could be perfect. We can but strive to their example.

Due to subtle differences in the craftsmanship, each bronze full-helm had a different face. Some looked angry--others simply grumpy. Some masks were very poorly done and appeared almost pleasant. The bronze face in Sorasa's helm had held a particularly nasty expression.

If I had it, I could scare this Imperial dog and be on my way. She glared at the robed priest, who was still watching her in silence.

She swung herself from the table she'd been laid on onto a scarlet carpet and swept the dimly lit room she had awoken in with her eyes. Imperial banners covered the walls. Beneath her boots, she felt the soft give of a thick Imperial carpet. She clenched her teeth at the sight of the Outlander religious banners.

She turned on the priest. He was watching her, a quivering old Imperial shrouded in a fading brown robe. Wrinkles sagged down his face and a few remaining wisps of white hair atop his bald freckled head. "I was fighting in Vivec. Why am I in this place, Outlander?" Scum, she might have said, had the man not just healed her.

Caution crossed the priest's wrinkled face. "There were many casualties, Sera. . ." the old man's explained ponderously. "The healers of Vivec were overtasked. You were shipped to Ebonheart with other wounded. You are in the Ebonheart Chapel."

Ebonheart. A den of Outlanders encroaching on ancient Dunmer lands, spouting heretical filth against Almsivi and the true faith. A port city filled with outlander filth like a pussy sore upon the land, the lands of Vvardenfell, my people's lands. The old man withered beneath Sorasa's glowing red eyes.

Still, if he hasn't fled Ebonheart. . . "Vivec withstood the attack?"

The old man nodded. "It was a miracle. . ." Sorasa was relieved at that. Stopping the Daedra attack on Vivec was essential. It was the seat of Lord Vivec and the Temple. If the city had fallen. . . No, Vivec would not allow the city which bears his name to fall to the foul Daedra.

"Hopefully you do not credit your false Imperial Gods with this miracle, it was the legions of the true faith which won the day." Sorasa scanned the shelves of the room. "Where is my helm?"

"You arrived without it, Sera."

Sorasa felt a flash of anger. Not his fault. She pursed her lips. "You have my thanks for treating my injuries, unbeliever."

Making her way out of the room, she entered the Chapel's common area. She was immediately assaulted by the sights and sounds of the writhing wounded, most of whom were Dunmer, long rectangles of light from the wide room's tall windows glowed upon them. The Imperial heretic priests scurried amidst them, humble brown robes stained with blood and gore as they administered magic.

Sorasa stopped, staring into the dozens of wounded men who lay in the chapel. The Tribunal preaches compassion, she thought. The elderly Imperial priest followed her from the room, and called out for the next heavily-wounded victim to be brought in.

I have no time to stay behind and heal these civilians. I am an Ordinator and we are under attack from the hordes of Oblivion. The Tribunal also preaches duty. I must do my duty.

Gritting her teeth, she made her way to the exit of the chapel. She moved through the wounded. As she walked, one of her bronze boots slid through a slick pool of blood that was collecting between a few corpses and her balance faltered. She caught herself on the rough-cut stone wall, pulling herself upright.

"Amalaxia's blessing, Ordinator."

Sorasa turned and saw the speaker, a fellow Dunmer. He was sitting against a the wall. Half of his face was charred black. One of his eyes had been melted away, drooling puss. Still, the man seemed calm. Sometimes wounds were so severe that they caused no pain, Sorasa had heard. A mercy that it is so for him.

"Bless you, Citizen." The empty words fell flatly from her lips. She made her way to the exit.

Sorasa pushed aside the door of the Chapel, exiting out to the Castle's courtyard. The smells of the dead and dying within the cramped chapel were replaced by the crisp smells of the sea air, and the moans of the wounded replaced by the gentle lapping of waves at the base of the castle.

The castle of Ebonheart was separated from the Outlander's trading city by a long stone bridge on the north side. But aside from that bridge, the castle was surrounded by the ocean. The castle was formidable. A small garrison perched atop the castle's high walls could easily withstand an attack by many times their number, and stack up any attacker on the bridge, pelting them from the castle's looming, circular towers. Clearly, the Empire anticipated that their occupation of the ancestral Dunmer lands, her people's lands, might be challenged for them to use their resources to construct such a strong fortress. Indeed, the resources of the heretic Imperials seemed nearly limitless, as if the ships which sailed the Inner Sea with their supplies and white-skinned occupants materialized from the mist itself. Better they stayed in the mist and left us alone.

She walked into the courtyard. Cobblestone coated with a crusty film of salty crust crunched beneath her bronze boots. The courtyard was wide; the Chapel behind her connected with the main castle, a small walkway cut through imposing buildings to provide an alternate path to the gate, and the thick parapet ran outside the courtyard.

Pulling herself up in a single swift motion, Sorasa mounted the wall in a narrow section which was built deliberately shorter to allow a defending archer to fire down at the base of the wall. She stared down the long precipice below where the water met the rocks. The fall looked to be twenty body-lengths.

"Hey lady, you can't swim in all that armor!" An Imperial servant called out.

"The fall alone will kill her."

Sorasa jumped.

At first, it was as if she were floating in the air, but soon she was falling down towards the rocky waves, air whipping past her face, the stained blue fabric of her uniform flapping in the wind. She felt the rush of excitement as she stretched out her hands. A purple glow thrummed from her palms and felt her descent slow, until her foot gently touched down into the calm water with a calm ripple.

She incanted another spell, and felt the water solidify, as if it were land beneath her feet. The gentlest ripples echoed out from her steps as she walked along the ocean's surface. Her blood stained boots sprinkled drops of blood into the ocean as she walked.

It would be a long walk back to Vivec--at least a day--but Sorasa's faith made her strong. She walked along the water's surface.