Authors note: I've wanted to write something like this for a very long time now. Whenever I play open-ended games like Elder Scrolls, I tend to think about the way the people in game would live their lives if their world was reality; what would their daily schedules consist of, how would they make their living, what would be their past-times, etc etc. This follows the storyline of Oblivion, but it won't be a direct outline of the storyline from the game. It ways it'll bring explanations where there are none, and descriptions where there were a lack thereof.
Of course, this will mean that it won't be very "lore-friendly". And for that I apologize.
This first chapter is sort of a prequel to the storyline of the game, following the story of Lucre Ratorius of Akavir. Some of you will say that they are an extinct people, but the game never mentions them to be extinct. Like the Ayleids, they merely just disappeared without a trace.
Hope you enjoy it, and any criticism you have to offer is welcomed =)
Elder Scrolls Oblivion: A tale retold Chapter 1
There are times in a persons life where one must feel the weight of the world crash down upon their shoulders. Where they cut their ties with that of their own kin, either for their own self-enlightenment or simply to find their lot in life. Like a bird pushed from their nest, it's the ultimate "sink or swim" experience that weeds out the strong from the weak; the virtuous from immoral. It is through their actions in these ordeals that will force them to stand strong, or be crushed by the relenting nature of reality.
For Lucre Ratorius, this event could not have been any harsher.
It seemed it had been ages since he had been cast out from his home hidden away in the snow capped Jerall Mountains, wandering deep into the territory of the unknown. For as far as the eye could see, it was tree shrouded hill after hill, extending infinitely towards an uncertain horizon. Strange sounds of the local wildlife rang in his ears, untraceable smells graced his nostrils. Through all the stress and confusion of his uncertain voyage, it was somehow tranquil, as if he felt more in touch with nature than he had ever been in his entire life.
Lucre cursed his father for throwing him out into the wild as he did, although it was to be expected for a child his age. In the teachings of the old Akaviri, when a boy reaches the age of 18, he is to be sent out into the world to find his own path. His only belongings would be the sword that was forged in his family name at birth and enough food to last him a week, after which he would have to sustain himself under his own power. It was the ultimate test of Akaviri soldiers, where the strong would prevail and receive a heroes welcome upon their return, and the weak would fall lost and forgotten. Where hundreds would set out on this journey of suicide, only a select few would return in the following years.
Lucre was given no time to celebrate his birthday; before the sun even crested over the horizon, he was tasked to pack his things and set out before the first ray of crimson light graced the land with its warmth. His rations ran out within 5 days of his journey, and it was only by the grace of the Nine Divines that he was able to stumble across a bow and quiver full of arrows from an abandoned camp. His normally plump body was now thin and muscular from his daily diet of Venison and native herbs. His eyes were keen of his surroundings, always watchful for potential candidates for his next meal.
He crested over the top of grass covered hill, bathing himself in the light of the early morning sun. He tilted his head back and let the wind blow through his short brown hair, holding his arms out as he relished in the moment. He stood at the average height of a young Akaviri adult with a light build; skinny yet well muscled. He shared his mothers eyes; optics of a dark brown, the kind that seem to almost look through you rather than directly at you. His dark leathers glistened in the light of the sun; he already had to tighten the laces on the sides countless times due to all the weight that he had lost.
Just over the Horizon he could see the white capped summit of the White Gold Tower, the ancient Ayleid marvel that marked the capital of Cyrodiil; the tower where the emperor himself resides. Forested woodlands gave way to stone roads that cut through the foliage, giving him a straight shot towards the Imperial City. The words of his father repeated themselves in his head endlessly:
"Descend from these mountains, young Lucre! Go to the Imperial Capital of Cyrodiil, and open your sails to the winds of fate so that you can find your purpose in this world!" Those were the only words of 'wisdom' that his father had to offer him. While it gave him a destination, he did not have an inkling about what to do once he arrived.
By the time he made it out of the forest, the sun was now directly overhead in the sky. Forest gave way to rolling grasslands leading up to the white granite walls of the Imperial city. Their were long caravans of people of all races; from the Nords of the northern mountains to the Lizard people of the Argonians from the western marshes, people came from all around to this city in search of wealth and freedom. He instinctively gripped the hilt of his Akaviri Katana as he entered the slow moving flow of the crowd filtering through the gate, until he finally passed through the gates into the market district of the city. Guards clad in suits of iron stood at the gates with their hands upon the pommel of their blades, keeping a keen eye out for any ne'er-do-wells that would seek to cause havoc.
It took a conscious effort for him to release his grip on his katana. The guards were wary of those that walked into the city armed, and he did not want to make a scene of himself his first day in the city.
He had never experienced anything that could have prepared him for the sight of the city streets. Countless vendors dotted the sides of the street with merchants chanting their sale slogans in what almost seemed like a rhythmic pattern, selling anything from food to clothing to jewelry. A number of signs signified INN's that always seemed to claim that they were better than their clone that was just down the street.
This organized chaos stretched on for another mile, until he was greeted by the sight of yet another gate that was labeled "Talos Plaza". This district was considerably smaller than the market district, being filled with nothing but long chains of buildings that were used as homes. The center of the Plaza was dotted with luxurious INN's with heavily-clothed greeters out front, giving him friendly smiles as he passed. These streets seemed almost as if they were deserted in comparison to the others; because of the limitted size of homes, it didn't seem like many would like to spend much time there.
For hours he wandered aimlessly around the city, until the sun had set behind the walls of the city. He had seen everything from the Temple of the One to the Imperial City Arena, and even spent a large portion of time within the garden of the Imperial Arboretum, where they grew all varieties of folliage from the land outside the confined walls of the city. Darkness descended around him as he sat on a bench with his face burried in his hands. He felt lost and without purpose; he had done as his father had said, and was at a complete loss as to what to do next.
What the hell am I doing here? "Open your sails to the wind of fate". By the gods, what the hell am I supposed to get from that?
He was snapped back into consciousness by a blood-curtling scream that echoed throughout the Arboretum, along with the sickening sound of wrenching flesh. He shot to his feet as he whipped his sword out of its scabbard instinctively with a silky metallic tzing, turning on a heel towards the source of the shriek. He proceeded carefully forward with his blade extended outwards, moving lightly on his feet as to not make any noise to alert any passerbys. The district was completely deserted at this time of night, and it was so dark that one could not see any farther than five feet in front of them.
He stepped over a row of bushes onto the stone pathway, crossing and stepping into the next flower-garden. He came to an abrupt stop and caught his breath with a surprised gasp; a man veiled in a blood-red cloak stood before him, holding a dagger of warped steel that looked as if it was forged from volcanic rock, with shades of red and black shining along its edge. The hood of the persons cloak covered their face in darkness, but Lucre was absolutely sure that he had already been spotted.
The man charged him with both hands on his dagger's hilt, thrusting it directly towards Lucre's chest. He sidestepped the mans jabbed and flung his blade into an upward arch, tracing it against the side of the mans stomach. It was a superficial cut as he did not have much time to set his stance properly; he flipped his sword around brought it down towards the mans neck, who narrowly managed to twist his body around and check the blow with his small dagger. The clash of steel echoed through the once quiet district; Lucre took a few steps back and regained his composure, lowering himself into old patterns that were taught to him in his years of training.
"You there, HALT!"
Lucre jerked at the sound of the Guard's voice, breaking his concentration from the red-cloaked assassin. He had been so focused on the battle that he had almost completely forgotten where he was. He cursed under his breath as he turned back towards the man, only to find that he was no where to be seen. He looked around frantically in attempts to find him, when his eyes froze upon the sight that was only a few feet behind him. A body lay there with a single stab wound through the heart.
Lucre suddenly became aware of the blood on his sword.
A metal object collided against the back of his head, so hard that his vision went completely black upon impact. The last thing he felt was the cold soil of the flower garden before he slipped into darkness.
"By the authority of the Imperial Legion, you're under arrest for murder!"