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Old 06-15-2017, 11:14 AM
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An Elder Scrolls fanfiction by Ruke

This shall be the start of many stories to come, hopefully. These short works will be based off the elder scrolls universe created by Bethesda, a game company famous for games like Fallout and Morrowind. For all intents and purposes, this is a fanfiction, a collection of stories that will follow the exploits and adventures of many characters.

Feel free to leave a comment after each post. Both critical and positive comments are welcome but know that I am writing this stuff for fun, not for the intent of publishing. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you enjoy the short story!

-Ruke

-----

He who favors the honey


The sound of a quill scratching ink onto paper, the flickering dance of a lone flame upon wax, the distant sound of a howling wind just outside, this is the ambiance of silent night's work. The candle is one of few sources of illumination in this small den of earth and stone. The furniture is sparse, but so is the room available to the man sitting at his worktable.

"One dram of Caraway, Dill, Ginseng, Rare Earth. One fluid ounce of water." He says out loud what he writes, so as to ingrain the information into this head for future remembrance. The man's handwriting is neat, but small, a fine cursive that few without learning can manage. It was the small details such as this that got Lawrence far, for his clientele respected such qualities.

After recording the items on a long sheet of parchment, he sets the unfurled scroll aside to let the ink dry. Lawrence then gets up and carefully brings over his tools. Today, he just needed the use of his weights and mortar and pestle. Throwing the three drams of ingredients into the mortar, he began grinding the contents into a fine powder. This takes but only a few minutes of his time, his hands trained to handle such routine motions without much thought. Setting the powder onto the scales for measurement, it turns out to be the exact amount he needed for the aphrodisiac.

With a brief nod of his head, he gathers the powder and drops it into the small vial he had prepared in advance. Mixing it well with the water, he lets the mixture settle then places a cork for sealed protection. Holding the vial up to candlelight, he swirls the liquid inside a few times to check for any inconsistencies. Lawrence is a man leaves nothing to chance. He always double-checks his work, even if it's something he's mixed countless times before for all it would take is one customer's complaint to stain his reputation in the higher circles of society.

"... and now for the finishing touch." Lawrence's hand glows a soft white, something he must always do to ensure the ingredients inside perform as they should. For what is alchemy if there is no magic involved? The liquid inside the vial changes color after the soft white glow envelopes it, a dark purple now a cherry tree pink, and now left on the lower portion of the vial, a magically embedded emblem of intricate design, Lawrence's trademark.

"The aphrodisiac is complete. Lady Arcadia will be quite pleased with this, I believe. Now to transport it by the scheduled time."

Lawrence Whight is a well-renowned alchemist who travels the many lands of Nirn, offering his alchemical services to those who need and can afford such. Known for his meticulous nature and attention to detail, his works are always of high quality, his appointments always kept, barring any unfortunate events that may occur outside of his control. Lawrence's elixirs, potions, and salve are sought after by all: the farmhands of rural villages, wealthy nobles of great cities, and of course the many adventurers and risk-takers found everywhere in between.

Having finished the last of his work for the day, he starts to put away his equipment, tools, and ingredients. Rolling his inventory list up, he stores the scroll within a case and inserts it into a pocket within the wall of earth and stone. If the room were big enough, he would store a bed in here, but alas, it is not. Tucking the chair underneath his work table, he pinches the flames upon the candles and shakes his hand from the minor burn, another practiced motion, his fingertips well callused to show.

His workspace cleared, and the candles put out, he straightens his clothing and proceeds to the wooden door, the last distinct feature of this small room. Stepping outside into the grassy plains of Skyrim, Lawrence takes in the clean mountain air with a deep breath and then exhales with a smile. Turning around to face a giant boulder, he squats down and places his hands underneath the door. He then slowly raises the bottom of the door up and starts to fold it. He folds the door a few more times until it is the size of a book, and then pulls it off of the boulder, placing it into his pack. The boulder is now just as he found it a day ago, no scratches, no holes, just a smooth stone surface. Lawrence mentally gives thanks to his old friend at the college for such an incredible tool. Having connections in high places sometimes pays off nicely, and not just in gold.

Double checking to make sure all of his gear is accounted for, Lawrence then sets out towards a small hamlet, not far from his current location. Back on the road, he follows a sign post directing him to Rorikstead. He knows the people there to be friendly enough, tolerant of travelers such as himself, and the only thing he had to keep an eye out for in these parts is the occasional skeever rat.

The divines saw fit to give Lawrence a boon of luck for the day, for not a single skeever scampered his way. What he encountered instead was something of a surprise. A young lady rushes towards him with her dress held in one hand and a basket of flowers in another. She stumbles a bit, having lost her footing. Fortunately, Lawrence was already making his way over to her with similar haste and catches her fall.

"By the eight! What is wrong young one? Are you being chased?" Lawrence quickly darts his head to the side and reaches for his concealed dagger, but the young lady shakes her head and corrects him.

"No, sir! I am fine, but someone I know is not. I saw you exit that boulder over yonder," she points, " and I can only guess that you know magic. Can you help us?"

Relieved that the young lady was not in immediate danger, Lawrence softens his tense stance and takes his hand off of the hilt of his dagger, but hearing her words, he can tell that this was no time to relax.

"Lead the way," Lawrence says to her. "Though I am not a mage as you think it, I can help, of that I am sure!"

Encouraged by his words, the young lady rushes back to where she came, Rorikstead.




A farmer of middle age, most likely her father, Lawrence observes, lays in bed, struck immobile by a terrible injury to both of his legs. From what he could gather, this occurred recently, an accident out in the fields. Now, Lawrence is no healer, he cannot lay hands and magically bring life back to crippled limbs like these, but he is a man of his word. He told the young lady he could help, and will. As an alchemist, he has the means to mix an elixir and perform magics of his own.

Brought to Rorikstead's mayor, Rorik, Lawrence makes his intentions clear. "I was brought here by one of your people to help aid a man with great leg injuries. I know not the standard practices of healing magic, but I do know how to make potions that can do such. May I work my craft here to help this man?"

Rorik nods his head in response. "It is good you arrived then. Our healer left for Whiterun some time ago on important business. If you can help one of my people, I am sure that they will reward you somehow, a form of payment for your services, sir....?"

"Whight, Lawrence Whight."

"Then you have my blessings in this endeavor. There should be enough room at the Frost Fruit Inn for your craft. I shall let Mralki know of your coming, and have him accommodate any requests."

The mayor remembers who Lawrence is. Though it has been many months since his last visit, apparently the impression he left was good enough. With a gracious smile, Lawrence bows and gives thanks to the mayor. The alchemist, then, does not waste any more time and proceeds towards the inn to set up his various apparatuses.

Mralki, just as Rorik stated, was most helpful during the setup, saving him valuable time in the long run. Though the farmer's legs were not going to get any worse, Lawrence paid heed to the clock in his mind, the appointment he had to keep in Whiterun. He knew that the potion to be crafted was going to take the greater part of the day to make. Lawrence also knew that the materials going into this were going to be costly. He silently prayed to the divines that the small farming hamlet had something to properly compensate him for his time and resources spent.

Lawrence was a good person by nature, having the habit of helping others when opportune. Today, he happened to be nearby, and he had the materials needed on hand. He is an alchemist though, and he does not perform his craft for free. Though he is providing a great and noble service to a farmer of Rorikstead, Lawrence does still expect compensation in the end.

Rattling off the ingredients he needed out loud, the cost of this venture quickly became apparent to those around him, and some who were watching started to shuffle nervously.

"Mralki, the ingredients I need are found in that container of there. Please fetch me the Troll's Blood, Sulfur, Garnet, that patch of dirt and some of the water I have stored away over there... yes, that one. Thank you. I'm also going to need a clove of Garlic, some Juniper Berries, a Luna Moth Wing, and a Barnacle."

Looking up towards everyone, after all the ingredients were gathered, Lawrence explains that mixing this particular potion will take a good eight hours, barring any interruptions, and with that, the alchemist began his work in earnest.

"... one karat of garnet, finely ground. Mix with rare earth, a dram's worth." He measures everything with pinpoint accuracy, using a special measuring stick to achieve a perfect balance on his weights. "...mix with pure water, subject to a fire of ten wyrms." A miniature furnace, magically prepared for his work, acts as a bunsen burner to help mold the base alchemical solution for his potion. Lawrence wipes some sweat from his face, a natural response being so close to the furnace, but does not let any get onto his work, careful as he is.

This continues as such for the next few hours as Lawrence prepares the other ingredients in a similar fashion.
Pulverizing things deftly in a mortar, taking quick measurements on the scales, mixing various quantities together in formulaic patterns, subjecting things to a fire stronger than ten dragons' breaths for just the right amount of time, calcinating, distilling and then fermenting the final product into a liquid to be ingested later, the whole process seems fantastical in itself, to the uneducated eye, but to Lawrence, this is just routine. It has to be, his reputation was on the line after all.

After eight hours pass, everyone gathers for the finishing touches. The flask in hand glows a soft white and the intricate design is engraved into the glass. The potion of regeneration starts to froth and bubble as if it has a life of its own now. Perhaps it does. With a smile, Lawrence tells the others that he is ready to administer the potion.

Brought to the bed-ridden farmer, Lawrence pulls back the covers to expose the crippled legs. Farming tools were dangerous in the hands of the untrained, the alchemist could not help but feel as he gazed upon the wounds once more. "The farming life is surely not for me, I'll stick to my solvents and elixirs thank you."

Tucking that thought away in the back of his mind, Lawrence pours the potion over the wounds. The magical effects start to show almost instantaneously: bones sew themselves back together, the flesh becomes whole and the skin stretches and covers the bloody area with ease. Everyone in the room crowded around the man, staring in awe, some in fear of the spectacle before them. It is when the farmer's legs started to jerk and move again that everyone jumped. Well, almost everyone. Lawrence just stood there and smiled.

"My work here is done. He will need to stay rested for a day, but afterward, he can go back to the fields if he so desires."

The room erupts with cheers and shouts of joy. Though the people in this farming hamlet live in a world full of magics and wonders, to see such a thing happen up close is considered a miracle for many. They practically treat Lawrence like a returning hero from some terrible war. But the merriment did not last for long, for those who finished cheering and laughing in relief finally caught a glimpse of the alchemist's now business-like expression. Lawrence was expecting payment.

The nervous shuffling, the diverting of eyes started once more. The people here clearly did not have enough gold to pay for such a powerful potion, and for a moment things became dire again. It was then that the young lady from before approached with a smile. The others looked at her in disbelief. 'Did she have enough coin stashed away somewhere?' Not quite.

Cradled within her hands laid a jar. It was filled with gold, but not of the solid coin that everyone usually associates it with. Inside was a special kind of gold, one that always won Lawrence's heart, a liquid gold. He smiled and raised his eyebrows towards her. "You clever little girl, you. How did you know?"

The young lady laughs and hands the pot over. "Rorik told me that you might find this to your liking. I suppose he was right then?"

Lawrence graciously accepts the pot of liquid gold and then dips his finger into its contents, pulls it back out and sucks on it. "Ah, he is most correct. I shall accept this pot of gold as payment, this pot of sweet, sweet honey!"

The group of farmers then bellowed in a shared laugh, though some did so awkwardly, knowing full well that they just dodged a bullet. The mayor, fully aware of this, continued to sweeten the reward.

"I understand you have another appointment to attend to, one in Whiterun, is that right?" Rorik asks Lawrence.

"Indeed. On foot, I may have reached it in time, but the farmer here took priority and time has now slipped through my hands. I shall have to run if I hope to keep my tardiness short."

"No need," the mayor says with a raised hand. "I have prepared a carriage for you to take to Whiterun. So long as you don't mind sharing it with some vegetables..."

It was Lawrence's turn to laugh. "Not a problem, good sir! The divines are surely smiling down upon me now. What luck!"

-----

And that is that. I hope the flow of the story was easy enough to follow. Unfortunately, since I've been posting written material in a post-like format these past few years, some of that may have shown through in the short story. If that is the case, don't be afraid to say something.

Thanks for reading it to the very end!
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Last edited by Rukellian; 06-15-2017 at 11:19 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2018, 10:29 AM
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I enjoyed it! Anything with Elder Scrolls as a foundation.

Shall we hear more of Lawrence someday?
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Old 12-17-2018, 02:36 PM
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I'm glad you enjoyed that short story! It is always nice to hear from a reader, and since you asked, I shall respond. I will craft another story following the adventures of Lawrence and those he meets. I cannot promise you a set time that it will be completed, but it WILL come. Now that I know that someone is waiting for another story, I shall endeavor not to disappoint.

You can expect to see it come up within the month or early January, if my current motivation and inspiration hold up, both being quite fickle moods I'm afraid to admit.
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Last edited by Rukellian; 12-17-2018 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 02-25-2019, 05:22 AM
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The next chapter of this short story series is turning out to be a lot longer than I anticipated. I will have to break it down into multiple parts and make sure that each part could be a story of its own. The planning process is nearly done, I just need to start actually typing it out now and submit the portions to an editor.

I have not forgotten! Rest assured. I just want to make sure that I'm giving my best here. So as to avoid breaking any more light promises, I cannot and will not give a timeframe for when it will be finished. Though, I think it is safe to say that you can expect it sometime this year? I'm not that lazy
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Old 04-20-2019, 10:45 PM
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Hey, just gave this a quick read. Good stuff! I hope work on the subsequent pieces is going smoothly.
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Old 04-21-2019, 08:37 AM
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Thank you for taking the time to read it. As for the current status on the subsequent stories that follow... not going as smoothly.

A lot of my work is usually done in my head before I even start typing but with this story, in particular, I find myself being a bit too critical on how things would be laid out and written. I'm still trying to get a good grasp on normal dialogue sequences between people and finding a healthy balance between that dialogue, internal thought, and third-person narration to bring everything to a cohesive and smooth whole. More often than not, when I start writing things down, the sequences depicted appear fragmented, choppy. Something is always missing that doesn't make it look right. I'm a semi-perfectionist in that sense and do not like settling for less.

So, yeah... it's taking me a lot longer than I thought in churning out that second story. I suppose the reason why I was able to create the first one was that I wasn't as critical about my work then, as I am now.
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Old 04-21-2019, 12:39 PM
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I definitely understand that, but it's also important to remember that the hardest part is getting everything down in the first place. I usually find it's best to just type exactly what I'm thinking and force myself not to proofread until it's also out.
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Old 08-30-2019, 08:08 AM
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I'm definitely a Skyrim fan and I really enjoyed your story! But I notice that it is some time since you first posted it. I was wondering how the project is progressing.

I hope we can see more from this character!
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Old 08-30-2019, 09:15 AM
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Here is what I have so far for the sequel. It's not to my current standards right now, but I guess I've kept enough people waiting for... something, anything really. I've been in a creative writing mood for the past couple of months now, so chances are good I will pick up on this again when I have the time. Until then, enjoy the first part of Chapter 2.

Eyes that shined like fire
Part 1

It was a bad batch and Lawrence was never one to be athletic, even when it counted the most. With Meoki’s thugs just seconds away from thrusting a sword into his back, the young alchemist’s chances in getting away dwindled with each passing moment. His lungs were on fire and his legs were about to give out, of this he was sure. The forest path he took, much to his misfortune, was fraught with large tree roots and treacherous shrubberies that seemed to jump at the chance to snatch at his ankles. One wrong leap or step and he could kiss his brief life goodbye.

Of course, he wasn’t really paying attention to the ground when stumbling through the darkness of the forest, no, his attention was instead split between the pursuers breathing down his neck and the constant barrage of tree branches smacking into his face as he plowed on through. For a brief moment between panicked breaths and a thundering heart, his mind took a brief respite, only a second, less than a second, and imagined that his pursuers were also getting smacked in the face with branches as they followed him. This brought out an unexpected laugh from Lawrence, which only seemed to infuriate Meoki’s thugs even further.

"Great… just what I needed. Now my death will be a slow and torturous one!"

It was a bad batch and Lawrence regretted every moment of it. Things weren’t supposed to turn out this way, he thought to himself between ragged breaths. He was striving to be an alchemist, one of the best too. Like the great practitioners of old, he sought lessons from the Mages Guild and from nature itself. Though he was lacking in magical aptitude at the time, his experience in the field of botany and resource gathering gave him an edge in his studies. Confident of his textbook knowledge in various flora and fauna, Lawrence sped through his early alchemical lessons, even skipping steps that he thought were not needed, or taking shortcuts where he thought it would help.

It was a bad batch and he was… dead! Stumbling over something on the ground, Lawrence loses his footing and falls face-first into the ground. "So this is where it ends?" His frantic thoughts piece together one last message. The alchemist’s life flashes before his eyes within milliseconds and reviews his life’s adventure as if through the eyes of a bystander. Certainly, the blade should have come by now, so why wasn’t Lawrence dead yet?

Confused within this surreal state of knowing that death was just a step away, he is yanked out of the mental daze, quite literally. Within the corner of his eyes, Lawrence notices an arm shoot out of nowhere and pull him to the side before he even reaches the ground. A hand quickly covers his mouth and tightens.

Though this only lasted for a few seconds as Meoki’s thugs thundered past him, his thundering heart and high level of adrenaline made the moment feel like an eternity. "What…. Just happened?" After a minute or so passes, the arm that grabbed him releases its grip and is followed by a raspy whisper.

“This one cannot believe your stupid luck! You would have been dead if not for your incessant shrieking echoing through the forest.” Lawrence turns around quickly and instantly recognizes his rescuer. It was none other than the S’rri, the friendly Khajiit merchant that sold him some alchemy ingredients just a few days ago!

“Come, the trail is still warm and Meoki’s dogs will backtrack and sniff your fear out. Follow this one if you want to live to see tomorrow.”

Gulping slowly, and nodding his head, Lawrence followed her advice, a nervous smile now forming on his face. The eight must have surely been watching over him today. His prayers had been answered, but… S’rri? She was supposed to have already set up shop in Anvil by now. Why was she in the cold forests of the north bordering Skyrim?

Turning her head to make sure Lawrence was keeping up with her graceful movements through the forest, she shares a smile that seems to suggest she knew what he was thinking.

"Lawrence wasn’t done paying off his debt."

Waking up suddenly from a jostle of the cart, he rubs his eyes and looks up to early dusk. The cabbage shipment from Rorikstead was making good time, which meant that he would be in Whiterun before nightfall. Checking to make sure his belongings were still with him, Lawrence stretches and looks out into the distance.

A few tents could be seen pitched, just over the outer walls of Whiterun’s stables. The smells of spices and exotic wares could be detected all the way from the Western Watchtower. Lawrence couldn’t help but smile. Ri’saad’s caravan was stationed here for the day, which meant he could catch up on the latest news from abroad before heading inside the city’s gates.

Looking up into the brilliant orange and red sky, the alchemist guessed that he had an hour or so before he would have to find a room for the night and finish his delivery. Plenty of time.

*to be continued*
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Old 10-02-2019, 08:48 PM
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This was entertaining to read and the end wasn't expected (even though the title of the short story should prove me wrong). Thank you so much for writing this and keep them coming if you please!
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