The Dragonborn Comes - Chapter 1 - Topaz_Fairy99 (2024)

Chapter Text

In all 26 years of his life, this had to be the number 1 worst birthday. At first, it wasn’t so bad. He’d drank half his weight’s worth of mead preemptively the night before and planned to do so again—though perhaps a little bit less so. Solveig internally remarked on his luck.

Of course he had to be set for the chopping block on his birthday.

He hadn’t done anything wrong, mind you. Just happened to be at the Cyrodiil border at the wrong time; the exact same time that Ulfric Stormcloak and his elite guard were.

Solveig lifted his head and squinted in the pale sunlight. The only sounds were birdsong, the occasional nicker or snort from the horses and the carriage wheels.

His head throbbed like mad, as if Zenithar was hammering his head like it was an anvil. Two other Nords sat across from him, one mumbling desperate prayers and the other wringing his bound hands over his lap. Ulfric Stormcloak himself sat next to him too, gagged to prevent him from using his Thu’um.

The blonde Nord directly across from him looked up and saw he was awake. His tired eyes lit up. “You’re finally awake.”

Apparently having someone to talk to was enough to lighten up his spirits, even if only a little bit. Solveig had to admit, he strongly disagreed with the rebels in this damn Civil War, but he was facing the end anyway. Might as well make idle chat before they're sent to Sovngarde.

Besides, even if this man was a Stormcloak, it'd be nice to have someone to talk to. "Aye."

"What happened with you? You're not a Stormcloak; were you trying to cross the border?" He guessed.

Solveig nodded. "Wrong place, wrong time."

The Stormcloak hummed. "Walked right into that ambush, same as us, huh? Same thing goes for the thief, I think."

The other Nord startled out of his desperate mutterings. “Damn you Stormcloaks. Skyrim’s been a mess since you came along; the Empire was nice and lazy before. If they hadn’t been looking for you, I coulda stolen that horse and been halfway to Hammerfell.”

The rebel next to him sighed. “Accept the end with some grace, thief. We’re all brothers and sisters in binds now, all headed toward the headsman’s axe.”

Solveig leaned back and stared at the sky. He took that moment to reminisce about his life as they passed the frosted pine trees. When he died today, he wasn’t sure he’d be able to be at peace beforehand. There were so many things he still wanted to do after all. Hell, he still hadn’t even gotten married yet.

Plus there was Vilkhor down in Riften, that idiot brother of his still needed someone to make sure he didn’t spend the rest of his life in jail.

He sighed heavily. The thief spoke up again, staring at Ulfric. "What's wrong with him huh?"

"Watch your tongue, thief! You're speaking to Ulfric Stormcloak, the true High King!"

Solveig grunted. "High King, sure."

Ulfric side eyed him and the thief blinked in surprise. "Ulfric? Jarl of Windhelm? Y-you’re the leader of the rebellion. Oh gods- where are they taking us?" He panicked.

"I don't know where we're going, but Sovngarde awaits…"

The thief's eyes went wide with horror and he went back to his desperate pleas. "Shor, Mara, Dibella, Kynareth, Akatosh- Divines, please help me."

Solveig closed his eyes. "Hey, what village are you from, horse thief?"

"Wh-why do you care?" He demanded.

"A Nord's last thoughts should be of home." He said. He was rather calm, surprisingly so. Solveig thought of the large farms outside Whiterun, the wide main street and market plaza. The training area behind Jorrvaskr and the Gildergreen garden in the Cloud District.

The thief looked down. "R-Rorikstead. I'm from Rorikstead."

The carriage fell silent once again as all of them mulled over their thoughts, no doubt thinking of home wherever it may be in their final hours.

Stone walls came into view, with banners on either side of the gate. Imperial scouts and archers stood on the ramparts, watching the prisoner carts come in. The wooden gate creaked open. A crowd was already beginning to gather to witness the death of Ulfric.

"Helgen?" He whispered the town name in surprise.

Orders were exchanged between commander and soldier and the General separated from the transport. A Thalmor envoy or perhaps a representative waited for him and they held a short conversation.

The rebel wrinkled his nose in distaste. “Tch, look at him. f*ckin bastard’s off to have a chit chat with the Thalmor. Damn elves, bet they pulled some strings the scheming arseholes.” He rolled his eyes.

Solveig raised a brow at the strong language but made no comment. The carts rounded a tall tower and the chopping block came into view. The fear and anxiety came flooding back and he breathed air through his cheeks.

I really am gonna die today, huh?

Apparently, that same sentiment hit the rebel as well. “Hmph, I used to be sweet on a girl from here. I remember she was the sweetest thing. Heh, I wonder if Vilod is still making that mead with Juniper berries mixed in too. Funny. When I was a boy, Imperial walls and towers… used to make me feel so safe.” He glanced up. "Hey, what's your name? Might as well share since we're looking death in the face."

He swallowed. "Solveig."

He smiled. "Good to meet you, Solveig. Mine's Ralof."

Solveig gave him a respectful nod. The carriages came to a rickety stop. Imperial spearmen and guards circled off the crowd from the execution area and a captain and a red haired legionnaire approached their cart. “Get these prisoners out of the carts!”

“Suppose it’s time.” He grunted quietly and stood with the others. Ulfric was first to step out of the carriage, then the horse thief, Ralof and finally himself. The Legionnaire held a list and quill in his hands.

“Tch, Empire loves their damn lists.” Ralof muttered under his breath. He threw a particularly nasty glare at the redheaded Legionnaire.

That same Legionnaire listed off Ulfric with a tone oozing with contempt. “Ulfric Stormcloak, Jarl of Windhelm.” He sighed. “Long list of crimes you’ve collected, hm?”

Ralof wrinkled his nose. “They’re only crimes because the Empire’s got their prissy panties in a twist.”

Solveig lifted a brow.

Ulfric shrugged with a muffled grunt. The Legionnaire’s eyes narrowed. “Join the others on the left.” He flipped to the next page of his list. Solveig watched as the rebellion leader walked to the other Stormcloaks, with his head still held high.

Ralof bowed his head as Ulfric passed him. “It has been an honor, Jarl Ulfric.”

The Legionnaire’s expression flickered with some unrecognizable emotion before falling neutral. “Ralof of Riverwood. Charges: Assault of Imperial Legion soldiers, killing of Imperial Legion soldiers and unlawful worship of Talos. Convicted of treason against the crown.”

Ralof’s mouth twitched in a scowl and he spat at the captain’s feet. Solveig’s eyes widened and the captain recoiled in disgust. “Guh!” She gritted her teeth. “Get in the line, damn rebel!”

He scoffed and walked toward the line. He stopped in front of the legionnaire. “Some friend you turned out to be, huh?”

The legionnaire froze, then looked away as Ralof marched off. He took a breath and returned to reading the list. Solveig exhaled. He knew if he was in his position, that would’ve gone differently. The sheer amount of disrespect was tangible.

“Lokir of Rorikstead. Convicted of larceny, robbery and assault. You were caught stealing.. a horse. Hm.”

Ah, so Lokir was his name. “Look, I wasn’t with them! This is a mistake, let me go!” Lokir pleaded. An Imperial soldier shoved him forward a bit, trying to discourage him from running.

He tried to shake him off with little luck, then stomped on the soldier’s foot. He bolted past the captain. “I’m not gonna die today!”

The captain cursed under her breath and whirled around. “Archers!”

Solveig winced and turned away as two arrows made their marks in his back. The captain sighed in frustration and turned back to him. He gulped.

He watched the legionnaire look through the list a few times, confusion writing itself on his face. “What’s your name?”

“Uh- Solveig Jorgaeld. Listen, I’m really not a rebel, I believe this is all a misunderstanding?” Solveig attempted diplomacy, though it went ignored.

He lifted a finger. “Uh- captain? He’s not a rebel, his name’s not on the list.”

The captain raised a brow. “Then he’s in league with the horse thief.” She said it like it was obvious.

“But-,”

The captain dismissed him. “To the block with him.”

A soldier’s hand firmly gripped Solveig’s shoulder and they led him into the small crowd of Stormcloaks. “Ah- wait hold on! I swear I didn’t do anything, I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time and-!”

The soldier shoved him forward and he got the hint to shut up. Begrudgingly. The General from earlier, a headsman and a Priestess of Arkay stood in front of them. Several Imperial soldiers with lances and shields surrounded the prisoners from behind and on both sides as well.

The General specifically stood in front of Ulfric, glaring at him with enough anger and contempt that it almost seemed he was trying to will the man to explode. “Ulfric. You know, some here in Helgen call you a hero. But a hero doesn’t use the Voice to murder his king and usurp his throne.” With every enunciated word, he jabbed at Ulfric’s chest.

You started this war! Plunged Skyrim into chaos, your own damn home! Now…” He shook his head in disappointed disgust. “Now the Empire is going to put you down and restore the peace you destroyed.” He turned. “Hope your heroes up in Sovngarde still think you’re somebody worthy of their halls after this.”

Solveig saw Ulfric’s fingers flex and one of his hands clench. Whatever muffled insult he spoke was lost under the gag. He was sure, if the man wasn’t gagged, he would’ve shouted the General apart where he stood, like he did the High King.

A strange roar or… something echoed down the mountains all of a sudden. He looked up and around uneasily. “What in the world?” Many others were prompted to look up as well. Anxious whispers spread through the crowd.

“Did you hear that?” One of the Stormcloaks next to him muttered.

“What was that?” The legionnaire from earlier asked.

“It’s nothing, carry on.” The General dismissed. He marched up to the priestess’s side.

“Yes, General Tullius!” Oh, so that’s General Tullius. That makes sense, though… he’s not as tall as Solveig would’ve expected. The captain turned to the Priestess of Arkay. “Give them their last rites.”

The priestess lifted her arms to the sky. “As we commend your souls to Aetherius, blessings of the Eight Divines upon you-

“Tch.” The Stormcloak on Solveig’s immediate right stomped forward. “For the love of Talos, shut up will you?”

A woman lurched forward, only to be stopped by one of her comrades. “Gunnar! Wait! We can escape, o-or something-!”

In unison, the Imperial spearmen brandished their weapons and pointed them at the Stormcloaks. Solveig glanced around at them. “Holy sh*t…”

“Alfhild.” The rebel looked back at the woman. “We die in honor. For the king!”

She nodded strongly. “For the king.”

Solveig, alongside the Imperials, could only watch really as the Stormcloaks started a defiant chant. Ulfric glared Tullius dead in the eye as he stomped alongside them.

“FOR THE KING!”

Even some in the crowd stomped with Ulfric. Their feet kicked up dust, acting as drums with every stomp. Tullius gritted his teeth. “Enough!” Gunnar chanted right up until the headsman took his very life, defiant to the end. Solveig looked down and swallowed.

It was only when the one who started it fell silent, did the others stop. A twinge of sympathy leaked into Solveig’s heart as Alfhild, who he could only assume knew the rebel personally, broke.

“You… you Imperial bastards!”

“Justice!” Someone in the crowd yelled.

“Death to the Stormcloaks!”

Solveig closed his eyes in respect. Even if he didn’t agree with their sentiments or values necessarily, everyone deserved respect. At least that’s what he thought, apparently some in the bloodthirsty crowd didn’t. Besides, he couldn’t help but silently praise the loyalty he showed.

Ralof sighed at his side. “As fearless in death as he was in life.”

“You done?” The captain demanded, glaring at the rebels. When they were silent, she nodded. “Good. Next, the Nord in the rags!”

Solveig looked up, startled. “Oh sh*t.” That’s me! He froze. The strange roar came once again, this time sounding worryingly closer.

“There it is again, did you hear that?” The legionnaire remarked.

General Tullius rested his hand on the hilt of his sword and turned more vigilant. The captain however, had the opposite thought. “I said next prisoner!”

The legionnaire sighed. “To the block prisoner, nice and easy.”

I feel like we should be more concerned about that sound. Though, for one thing, the captain didn’t seem to care and for another, she probably thought it to be some pissed off giant somewhere. Solveig nervously stepped forward, the silence looming over him like a huge shadow.

Somehow, he thought it might’ve been nice to have a chant to shout to get past the ever eating fear. He kneeled down next to the still oozing body of the rebel and lay his head upon the stone. Sorry Vilkhor…

High above the town, a giant winged shadow flew overhead, masked by the clouds. Solveig’s heart skipped several horrified beats.

“What in Oblivion…?” General Tullius murmured behind him. Whatever hope he had of it being some sort of before death hallucination disappeared, and his gut dropped with it. Anxious gasps rippled through the crowd and soldiers alike.

Hot wind blew through the town, sending tumble weeds down the road. The pines groaned and cracked and the torches blew out.

Dinok fen bo.

Those guttural words, spoken in a language unlike any modern tongue, were their only warning. Fire came forth overhead, exploding the top of the tower and sending rubble everywhere. The source of the strange roaring, the voice, it all clicked.

“Dragon!!”

It circled around and landed on the remains of the tower. The headsman nearly dropped his axe in his shock as he whirled around at the earsplitting noise of claws scraping stone. A nigh deafening shout ripped through the air, and a wave of force knocked all of them down.

Clouds gathered and began to swirl in the skies, too quick for comfort. Thunder boomed and lightning struck. The echo seemed to rattle Solveig’s very bones and he shook his head. I gotta get up! Gotta run!

Meteors began to rain down and a voice yelled over the chaos. Strong arms pulled him up and dragged him off as his vision was still fading in. “C’mon Kinsman! Get up!”

He shook the last off and scrambled to his feet. Ralof grabbed his arm and they bolted for the tower across the road. Solveig stumbled through at the last moment, just before it shut it behind him.

Adrenaline pumped through his veins and boiled in his ears. He stood there panting for a moment before collecting himself and turning to face Ulfric and Ralof. Ulfric grabbed a dagger from a dead Imperial soldier’s belt and cut his binds, then took off the gag.

The young rebel looked to his Jarl for answers, fear apparent in his eyes. “Jarl Ulfric, could the legends be true?”

“Legends don’t burn down villages.” It’s a simple statement but it answered their burning questions and disbelief.

Flames lapped at the wood outside and quickly climbed. The wood started to smolder and burn. “We need to move, now!” Ulfric ordered.

Ralof lead the way. “Up through the tower, lets go!” He climbed the stairs, skipping two or even three at a time with Solveig hot on his heels.

Another Stormcloak was on the second floor, waiting for them. Rubble blocked the rest of the stairs and they tried to clear it. “Hold, on. We gotta clear this up!”

A furious roar shook the air and Solveig glanced up. He gripped Ralof’s collar and pulled him down. The dragon flew over and fire blew the walls and ceiling apart. They slammed into the wall by the steps, shutting their eyes until the beast passed.

Ralof exhaled and panted. “Thanks for that.”

Solveig nodded, still in shock. “Aye.” He swallowed and moved off the wall and to the new ledge. Ballistic arrows and destruction spells streaked through the air at the dragon. It all either bounced off, or the beast simply ignored it.

He cursed under his breath and looked down at the Inn below them. “Reckon we can make that?”

“We should be fine, go!”

Solveig nodded. “Lets just hope it holds.” He backtracked to the rubble then ran and jumped. He managed a roll on the second floor then yelled as he fell to the first. He grunted and stood back up.

The dragon let out another roar as it circled around, coming right for them. Solveig beckoned the rebels at the ledge. “Hurry! It’s about to make another round!”

Ralof ushered his comrades out. Ulfric was first naturally and he rolled on the remains of the second floor, then purposely dropped down to Solveig.

“You should consider joining us, Kinsman. You’ve seen the true face of the Empire today. Why else would you have nearly lost your head?” Ulfric prompted.

Solveig tossed him a glare. “I was simply caught in the crossfire and though there were misunderstandings, that certainly doesn’t mean I’ll be joining you.” He said curtly.

Ulfric narrowed his eyes slightly. “We’ll see where you stand once the smoke clears today.”

“I doubt I’ll change my mind.”

Apparently that was the wrong thing to say. Ulfric’s mouth twitched and the only warning Solveig had was him taking a deep breath.

“FUS RO DAH!!!” The shout flung him back through a burnt wall and he was sent tumbling several more yards. In the chaos, before he even had a chance to groan, he was lifted and dragged toward a wall.

“Stay down!” The legionnaire’s voice yelled. Solveig shut his eyes and they both flinched as the house they were backed up against had its roof blown to bits. Fire rushed through the streets like water, destroying everything in its path.

Ash, dust and cinders were blown in the wind.

He gave the Legionnaire a grateful nod. “Thanks.”

"You can thank me later." He helped Solveig up. "First, we have to survive this mess."

"Easier said than done." Solveig rolled his shoulders, trying to dismiss the ache from his Jarl given tumble. "Just in case we die, what's your name?"

"Hadvar. I'm an Auxiliary with the Legion. You?" He looked Solveig over. "Wait- you're that prisoner who's not supposed to be here. Solleif? Solgrin?"

"Solveig." He patiently corrected.

"Solveig. Sorry."

Another thundering shout erupted and Solveig cursed loudly. “f*ck! We need to go!”

Hadvar led the way. They ran through a back street, filled with smoke and smoldering wood. Solveig coughed. A cyclone tore through Helgen at terrifying speeds, picking up debris and people alike. Such terrifying power sent chills down his spine, despite the heat.

They rounded a corner and bolted out onto the main street. If the alleys were chaotic, they had nothing on the main one. Townspeople and soldiers crowded the area, with the people trying to flee and the soldiers desperately attempting to protect them.

Thankfully General Tullius was still alive, shouting orders. “Get to the keep! Get these people off the streets!!”

The dragon spoke again, though no one quite caught it. It circled around and flapped its wings, blowing flames, ash and cinders into the crowd. It landed with a snarl. Red eyes glowed behind the smoke.

YOL TOOR SHUL!

“Empire Phalanx!” Tullius slammed his blade into the ground and spectral Ebonheart Guards appeared in an unmovable line in front of him and all those behind him. They thrust their shields forward and flashed as the flames reached them.

Just in front of the line however, a young boy was still vulnerable. He cried over the dead and horrifically burned body of a man. Solveig lunged for the boy and grabbed him, taking him tumbling but out of the way of the flames. He shielded him from the flames and got his back burned in the process.

The dragon growled and took to the skies once again. He winced and looked the child over. “You alright?”

He nodded hurriedly. “I-I think so.”

“Good.” Solveig pointed to Tullius. “You see him?” The boy nodded again. “Stay with him, he’ll protect you.”

The boy quickly ran over and he gritted his teeth, biting back a pained groan. Hadvar came up behind him, boots skidding on the gravel.

“You alive?”

Solveig forced a chuckle. “Alive? Yes. Well? Bloody hell no.”

Hadvar laughed, despite the situation and helped him up. “C’mon, as long as you’re alive, you can make it.” They hurried down the street, toward what was left of the keep.

They crossed underneath a stone archway and arrived in the courtyard. On the opposite side and on their left, Ulfric shouted through some rubble that had fallen. Ralof and the woman from the execution came through and Ralof stopped. For a moment he looked shocked before his expression returned neutral.

Hadvar leveled him with a glare. “Ralof, you damn traitor!”

“We’re leaving, Hadvar. You’re not stopping us this time!”

“Fine. I hope that dragon takes you all to Sovngarde!” Hadvar yelled. He led Solveig past them and shouldered through the door of the keep. They ducked inside and he slammed it behind them. The keep rumbled, dislodging dust from the ceiling.

Solveig lowered himself onto a table with a groan. Hadvar hurried over to a crate, grabbing the dagger resting on top of it, then hurried back. “Here, let me get those off.”

He nodded his thanks and lifted his bound wrists. Hadvar cut the ropes off and Solveig winced slightly. His skin was red and raw and he rubbed the area a bit. He closed his eyes and an orange-ish white glow appeared around his hands.

The burns on his back slowly stopped throbbing and Solveig exhaled in relief. Hadvar raised a brow at the spell but made no comment. He instead searched the room, looking for any supplies they could use. He came across an armor set and a blade, alongside a couple potions.

Solveig felt the last of the pain fade and stood. “You find anything?”

Hadvar shrugged, still facing away from him. “Some armor and a couple potions but that’s it.” He turned and handed the gear to Solveig and put the small bottles in his pockets. Solveig put the light legionnaire armor on quickly and sheathed the sword on his left hip.

“We should keep moving.”

Hadvar gave him a nod. The keep rumbled and shook again, as if urging them on. They made their way through a musty hallway with moss growing where the walls met the floor. Mice squeaked and skittered past their feet. Dust-shrouded lanterns were their only light; placed about six feet apart.

They approached the main chamber of the keep and talking reached their ears. Solveig glanced at Hadvar. “You think it’s Ulfric?”

Hadvar sighed. “Maybe. We don’t have any other route though.” As they approached the door, Solveig took the left side and Hadvar the right. He peeked through the crack and saw two Stormcloaks, with Ulfric and Ralof nowhere in sight.

Solveig lifted two fingers up and Hadvar nodded. He took a breath and with a mental count of three, he opened the door. The two rather beefy Stormcloaks immediately stood up and drew their weapons. One had a particularly nasty looking warhammer.

He raised his hands quickly. “Whoa- negotiations first?”

“You can shove your ‘negotiations’ up your ass, damn Imperial!” Just as the smaller, well relatively speaking, Stormcloak charged for Solveig, Hadvar came busting through the door. He slammed the wood right into the man’s face, knocking him clean on his feet. He slumped against the wall, unconscious.

“Of course there’s two o’ ya!” The second Stormcloak yelled. She charged and swung the hammer full force at Hadvar. He managed to dodge with a hissed curse and the steel broke straight through the door.

She attempted to pull it out with a grunt and Solveig saw the opportunity. They went for her at the same time and she punched Hadvar to the ground with one hand, then backhanded Solveig. With a roar, she ripped the hammer out, with most of the door along with it. She spun and swung down at Hadvar as he was still on the floor. He rolled out of the way and the door exploded into splinters and broken pieces.

Solveig scrambled to his feet and the top of the hammer’s head slammed into his chest plate. He staggered back against the wall, wincing and catching his breath. Hadvar groaned and got up hurriedly and the Stormcloak hit him with the end of the shaft right in his gut.

As she went for Solveig, Hadvar recovered just in time and his sword stabbed right through her back. Solveig stepped away and panted.

Hadvar looked him over. “You alright?”

He gestured vaguely at the splintered wood all over the floor. “Did… did you see what she did to the door?”

He made a grunt and shrugged in response. While holding his aching gut, he led the way through the next hall. They descended down a set of stairs, with dust falling from the ceiling. Solveig scowled and brushed off his shoulder.

The keep rumbled and the dragon roared distantly as they came down to the next floor. He glanced up at the ceiling. Small cracks had formed in the stone and he hoped they were simply from time not from the deadly fire breather outside.

Hadvar drew his sword suddenly and Solveig whirled around. Across the hall from them, Ulfric, Ralof, Alfhild and another Stormcloak woman he didn’t recognize stood. Ulfric’s eyes widened.

The cracks spread like veins through the ceiling. The dragon’s roar echoed around them and huge pieces of the stone crashed down between the two groups. Solveig grunted and pulled Hadvar through the nearest door; made of moldy and old wood. The rest of the hallway collapsed right where they had been standing.

“Holy sh*t…” Hadvar muttered.

“Auxiliary!” An Imperial Legionnaire rushed over, a middle aged man with greying brown hair. He helped them both up.

“Prefect Sergias?”

He patted Hadvar’s shoulder and looked Solveig over. “Who’s this? You’re not- wait, you were one of the prisoners!”

Solveig lifted his hands. “I’m on your side, not to worry.” He managed an exhausted smile.

Prefect Sergias analyzed him a bit longer then let it go with a shrug. “Ah, who cares? It was probably a mix up anyway.” He led the way a bit further into the room. “Thankfully, The Eight were merciful to us. There’s still some potions and such in this storeroom. Grab what you can.”

“Yes sir.” Hadvar said. He went over to a shelf and searched the drawers. Solveig went to a nearby table, but only found knocked over candlesticks, a couple dusty books and a small table cloth that had seen better days.

He sighed and tossed the book he’d been holding back onto the table. “You have any better luck?” He asked.

Hadvar came back holding a two small healing potions and even a stamina potion. “Not much, but it’ll do.”

“Bloody- I told you we should’ve gone lookin for sh*t!”

Solveig spun around in alarm at the unfamiliar voice. Two Stormcloaks had come into the room from the exit. He muttered a curse under his breath and stepped in front of Hadvar. “Hold onto those.”

“Yep.”

“Those are ours! We were in here first!” One ran for them, axe in hand. Sergias, who’d hid behind a barrel before they came in, shoulder bashed the second before they had time to follow.

Solveig drew his sword and blocked the Stormcloak’s axe. He gritted his teeth and with a grunt, he pushed their weapons aside and head-butted the man. That sent him stumbling back, holding his forehead.

“And here I thought Imperials didn’t fight dirty.” He chuckled.

Solveig shrugged. “You’d be surprised!” He lunged and stabbed at him. He dodged and smacked his back with the axe’s shaft. Solveig grunted and whirled around just as he swung his axe down. He knocked the weapon aside and sliced right across his chest.

The Stormcloak stumbled back and lifted his hand to the bleeding wound. He looked up at Solveig with an almost blank, fearful expression. “Well… sh*t.” He fell over, head thudding on the table corner.

Hadvar sighed and walked toward the exit. “C’mon.”

Solveig breathed a calming breath before following. Thankfully, Prefect Sergias had already taken care of the second one.

“Let’s keep moving. Who knows how many Stormcloaks are still poking around.” Sergias led the way.

As they walked down the musty hall, Hadvar bit his lip in thought. “Um, Prefect Sergias?”

“What is it Auxiliary?”

He sighed. “Is it me, or does there seem to be more Stormcloaks in the Keep than there were in the carts?”

Sergias shook his head. “Nope, it ain’t just you, kid. My guess is some escaped our ambush, then followed us with a plan to break out Ulfric before he was executed.”

Solveig grunted. “And we saw how that went.”

They were silent, mulling over their own thoughts as they descended deeper down into the depths of the Keep. He had to admit, it was rather impressive such a fortress was built. If only it was in better shape, smooth cobblestone grey walls and red carpets instead of mold and moss seeping through the stone and filthy grey-brown carpets. In some places, he was almost certain he heard it squelch when he stepped on it.

They arrived in a dusty old room with old crates covered in cobwebs. Rats skittered and squeaked along the edges of the room and by the crates. Even a large black spider about the size of a Septim made its way down the wall.

Then… he saw the floor. Bugs covered almost every inch, sometimes crawling over each other. Spiders, scorpions, huge co*ckroaches, every repulsive bug attracted to dark, damp rooms he could think of.

Hadvar made a noise of disgust as he tried to avoid stepping in anything. Solveig carefully stepped in the spots where he could still see the floor. “S’cuse me. Big Nord comin’ through.”

Prefect Sergias however, had no care and splatted with every step. He went over to the only still lit torch in the room and tore it off with some effort. He approached the back wall, and the light revealed the stone had been blown out. “Eh, that’s what I thought. We’ll have to go into the Keep’s secret caverns.”

“Caverns?”

“Uh-huh. It’s to get the governor or whatever they call it here to safety if the Keep comes under attack. Any halfway smartly designed keep or castle will have one.” Sergias explained, squinting to see further into the dark. He stepped over the few stone bricks and beckoned them. “C’mon. With any luck the exit is still open.”

Solveig and Hadvar shared a glance before following, jogging a bit to stay in the torch light. If the Keep was bad, the cavern was even worse. It was musty, dirty and wet. Icy water dripped from the ceiling, splattering in small pools on the moss covered ground.

They reached the end of that hall and Sergias suddenly gestured for them to duck down. Solveig and Hadvar went to one side and Sergias to the other.

Stormcloaks were in the next room, a couple patrolling the stone walkway. The walkway was in a large u shape, with a large sewage spout on the far right wall. Water flowed from it freely and down to the ground.

One, two, three, four… no, five Stormcloaks he counted. Bloody hell…

Sergias gave them a strong nod with a smirk. He took the torch and stood, walking right toward them. Solveig looked at Hadvar, confused. The redhead gave a shrug.

“Hey, Stormcloaks! Lookie here!” Sergias taunted. All of them looked in his direction and the two closest drew their weapons.

“You got a death wish, Imperial?”

“Maybe.” He lifted his arms out. “If I’m gonna go, y’all are burnin with me!” He put emphasis on the word and with all his might, threw the torch toward the middle walkway. Oil immediately lit and flames spread along it terrifyingly quickly. It caught two of the Stormcloaks on the other side of the room and the two right in front of Sergias.

He retreated back as Solveig and Hadvar came bursting into the room with a shared war cry. With two blows in unison, the last Stormcloak fell.

Hadvar panted and leaned on the wood railing. “May I say sir, with all due respect… that was crazy.”

Sergias laughed. “Wouldn’t’ve worked without you two.”

Solveig chuckled. “Damn.”

The flames burned away the last of the oil and faded. Hadvar led the way this time, circling around to the other side. A miniature draw bridge came into view, inconveniently still pulled up. A rusty old lever was on the wall, no doubt meant to draw it down.

Though… it looked rusty enough it might break. Solveig shrugged. “I’ll give that a try.”

“Hnm, if nothing else we can just break through the wood. Looks flimsy enough.” Sergias said.

He lifted a brow at that, though thankfully he had his back turned to the Prefect. He grabbed the lever and pulled down, straining with the effort. It finally went down with a loud thud and the bridge creaked as it lowered.

“There we are.”

Hadvar nodded. “Nicely done. Thing looked almost too rusted to move, let alone work.”

He chuckled. “Thanks.”

Sergias took another torch off the wall and carefully walked across the bridge. Once he was on the other side, he gave a satisfied nod. “Well, it didn’t collapse. That’s a good sign.”

Solveig gestured for Hadvar to go. “You first.”

“You sure?”

“Aye. I’m the biggest of us, if its gonna collapse, it’s going to be under me so I’ll go last.” He looked at the other side. “Besides, with some help that doesn’t seem too high to climb out of.”

Hadvar nodded and followed after Sergias. One plank splintered slightly, making all three men hold their breath. He made it across safe and sound though.

“Alright, you next.”

Solveig breathed in deeply. “Aye, right.” He lightly stepped on the first plank, wincing as it groaned under his weight. Every step was carefully placed, and horribly dreaded. For the first time in a while, they heard everything rumble ominously.

A part of him had hoped that perhaps the dragon was gone by now, but perhaps not. He took another step, slightly faster than the last one. It cracked.

He forced out a laugh. “Almost there.”

The cavern rumbled again and a boulder above him dislodged and slid down a bit. Solveig grimaced, trying hard not to look up or he’d lose his carefully measured focus.

“Come on…” Hadvar urged.

He took another hurried step and it splintered again. With another quake, the boulder, along with its friends, came rocketing down. Solveig cursed and dashed forward, then leaped.

Hadvar caught his arm with a grunt, causing Solveig to slam into the stone wall underneath. The air knocked out of his lungs and he caught his breath as Sergias and Hadvar helped him up.

He rolled onto the floor and panted, hands resting on his torso. He suddenly laughed. “Ah, it pays to be muscular, doesn’t it?”

Hadvar chuckled along with him, shaking his head in disbelief at how he could find humor in the situation.

Sergias offered his hand to Solveig, then to Hadvar. “It does, in most cases. Though I’d rather get a move on before the rest of the ceiling comes down on us.”

“Aye.”

They descended down a short flight of stairs and it was then the man-made stone of the keep disappeared into the natural muck of the cavern. A creek flowed down on their right, trickling down and carving a crevice that expanded to their left.

Solveig stepped over it. He’d rather not be wet and gross. Divines, I cannot wait for a nice warm bath. He ached for conversation of some kind as well, the silence was getting to him.

Almost as if he read his mind, Sergias asked. “Hey, Solveig, was it?”

He perked up. “Aye?”

“What were you doing on the border when it all happened anyway?”

He smiled. “Ah,” He shrugged. “Wrong place, wrong time I suppose. I heard the chaos and I suppose somebody mistook me for a Stormcloak. Knocked me out before I had a chance to say ‘sh*t’.”

Hadvar hummed. “A misunderstanding, then.”

“Eh yeah. I apologize on the Legionnaire’s behalf.” Sergias said.

Solveig waved his hand. “Bah, I’m just glad I didn’t get my head chopped off.” He laughed. “On my birthday, no less.”

Hadvar’s jaw dropped and covered his mouth with his fist. “O-on your birthday? Today’s your birthday?”

He nodded, pursing his lips together. “Mhm. 26th.”

“I’d say happy 26th but uh,” Sergias gestured around them, then let his hands drop back to his sides.

Solveig chuckled. “True.”

The cavern twisted and turned. Sergias stopped them suddenly. “Hold it.”

Hadvar glanced at him. “What is it?”

He pointed to the ground in front of them. “It’s slick.” He tossed the torch forward and they watched as it fell into a spider web covered chamber. It wasn’t too far below the mud covered slide in front of them, they’d survive with maybe a sprained ankle if they landed wrong.

“Spiders. Fun.” Solveig sighed and looked around. “Is there any other way out?”

Sergias shook his head. “Not anymore.”

There was a short pause, then the three men slowly leaned over in unison to see further into the chamber below.

Hadvar gave a shrug. “Can’t be worse than a dragon, right?”

Solveig looked at them. “Who wants to go first?”

“Not me, that’s for sure.” Sergias said.

Solveig nodded. “Alright, might as well. See you down there!” He waved and started his descent. The mud quickly slipped him out from under his feet, landing flat on his back with an “Oof”. He fell a couple meters down and rolled.

In the new unknown area, he surveyed what he could see. Huge pale spider webs covered the walls and corners, and even some… uncomfortably large egg sacks were grouped up together against the walls. He looked back up to Hadvar and Sergias.

“No spiders, least not yet! Come on down!” He called. Behind him, the center of the ceiling moved.

Hadvar came down first, then Sergias. Hadvar wiped the worst of the mud off as best he could. “Can’t wait for a bath…” He muttered.

Solveig walked toward the chamber’s exit. The hairs on the back of his neck stood and he stopped. He slowly turned and nearly shat himself right then.

On the back wall, a giant spider loomed over Hadvar and Sergias. In the poor light, it looked straight black, but some parts on its abdomen were lighter, suggesting some brown coloring.

“f*ck, spider!”

Hadvar whirled around and drew his sword and slashed just in time. The blade made its mark on one of its pedipalps, causing it to recoil. Prefect Sergias cursed and they retreated over to Solveig. The spider screeched at them and crawled up the wall to one of the corners.

Suddenly, several smaller spiders came skittering out of the walls. Tunnels that had been hidden by webs now seemed to spill with new enemies.

Solveig drew his sword. “f*ck, I hate spiders.”

“You can say that again.” Sergias agreed.

He exhaled sharply and went for the nearest one. It chittered and swiped at him. He stepped back and its grippers, though they were sized more akin to claws just due to the creature’s size, scratched his knee guard.

He slashed at it again and missed, apparently pissing it off. It leaped at him and knocked him down, mandibles wiggling.

“sh*t! Get… off!”

Hadvar came barreling in and tackled the arachnid off him. Solveig hurriedly stood and saw him wrestling the thing, out of reach of its fangs. He stabbed his blade through its head and it dropped. Solveig gave him a grateful nod and they continued.

The big one crawled up along the ceiling then dropped down, rising up on its back four legs. It’s fangs were as long as swords and thick as branches. It leaned back then spat a large wad of venom at Solveig and Hadvar.

They rolled in opposite directions, though some of it caught Solveig’s lower arm. He winced and curled over it. Where the drops had landed, his skin grew red and inflamed and numbness slowly took hold of his forearm. sh*t, that’s my sword arm!

“You alright, Solveig?!” Sergias demanded from where he tangled with a few small spiders himself.

“It’s venom got my arm!” He shouted back.

The large spider screeched and raced right for him. He cursed and lifted his blade with his other arm. It lunged fangs first and he slid under, slicing into its belly.

It shrieked in pain and retreated back toward the walls. Sergias gave chase and cut into one of its legs. It kicked him several feet and into one of the egg sack clusters.

“Prefect!” Hadvar yelled.

The egg sacks burst open as he crashed into them and hundreds of tiny pale colored spiders swarmed him. The only parts of Sergias they could see were his limbs as they thrashed in futile efforts. His screams got cut off by strangled gurgles, the spiders no doubt going inside his body.

“Oh, f*ck!” Solveig cursed. His stomach turned at the sight. He opted his blade out for magic as the little ones started swarming the floor. A steady stream of flames came from his hands and he focused it all, making sure to burn every last one. “Die, die, die!”

Hadvar shook himself out of his shock and took care of the last medium sized spider. Now the only one left was the big one.

It dropped down again and they tag teamed it. Solveig went for its legs as Hadvar distracted it. He hacked at its pedipalps and mandibles, grunting with effort. It screeched again and reared up. Hadvar saw the opportunity and slid underneath, sticking the creature right in the abdomen.

With a yell, he twisted his sword and it shrieked. Solveig stabbed through its head at the same time and it dropped dead. Hadvar grunted under the weight. Solveig lifted the corpse using his still functional upper arm and shoulder, then helped him out with his good one.

Hadvar shook his hair out and scowled in disgust. “Ugh… Divines, I never want to go through that again.”

Solveig nodded breathlessly. “Aye.” He sighed as he looked to what was left of Sergias. “May you have peace…”

Hadvar groaned and stumbled toward the exit without a word. Solveig followed. They came out into another natural chamber, thankfully empty, and Hadvar lowered himself down with a wince.

He sat down as well. “Need any healing?”

“Mhm.”

Solveig searched through their bags and handed him a potion. He gulped it down and his whole face puckered up a bit. “Ugh- it’s bitter.”

He chuckled. “They tend to be.” He drank one, scowling at the taste himself. He tossed the bottle into the creek in front of them and leaned against the wall.

Hadvar sighed again. “You know, I didn’t really know him that well, but he was a good officer.”

“Aye. He got us this far.” Solveig chuckled. “He didn’t assume I was a bloody Stormcloak either.”

They fell quiet and simply rested for a few minutes. The only sound was the flow of water and maybe a distant rumble now and then.

Solveig begrudgingly got up with a grunt. “C’mon. We’re almost there.” He offered his hand.

Hadvar stared at him with a defeated expression. “How do you know?”

He shrugged with a smile. “Optimism.” He grabbed his arm and hefted him up.

Hadvar rolled his shoulders out. “If you say so.”

Solveig led the way, beckoning him to follow. They crossed a small arch that stretched over the creek and came across a broken old wagon. Moldy cabbages and carrots were the only thing in it though, covered in buzzing flies.

He carefully avoided it and they walked to the other side of the cavern. The ground become more and more solid as they went and even some frost glimmered on top of rocks. Solveig surveyed everything slowly.

Then they felt it. A breeze.

He laughed in dumbfounded joy. “I was right! Haha!” He clapped Hadvar’s shoulder and quickened his pace.

The legionnaire followed, a relieved smile on his face. The walls shifted to smooth grey stone and the breeze grew stronger. Light streaked through a narrow crevice, just wide enough for them to squeeze through.

“Alright, you first. Go, go.” Solveig urged.

Hadvar squeezed through relatively easy and once they were both on the other side, they both took a deep breath. Their first one in a while that wasn’t filled with smoke, dust or a foul stench. Hadvar glanced around and pulled him down suddenly, ducking behind a large boulder.

The dragon flew overhead with a whoosh of wind that bent the trees. It roared and flapped its wings, heading straight for the mountains.

Hadvar hissed a curse. “Those overlook Riverwood.”

“sh*t. We should warn them, at the very least.”

Hadvar nodded and stepped out from behind the boulder. “Yeah. My uncle’s the blacksmith there, we could get supplies. We’ll probably have to camp overnight though.”

He led the way and they walked in silence, skidding down the loose rocks. Birdsong accompanied them, easing their fear alongside the calm breeze. Evergreens and pine trees grew on either side as well. Foliage and wildflowers swayed in the wind.

Solveig picked what berries he knew were safe to eat. In his travels across Whiterun hold, Falkreath and even Haafingar every now and then, he’d written properties of various plants. He was no alchemist, certainly, but he knew what would kill him and what wouldn’t.

Hadvar was quiet as they walked. He couldn’t blame the man, his own thoughts and reflections wouldn’t let him speak much either. After all, it isn’t everyday you survive a dragon attack. Solveig simply hoped General Tullius at least made it out safely. If he hadn’t… this whole war was doomed.

The wind kicked up a bit. Storm clouds were coming over the mountains, dark and looming. Solveig sighed. If that wind was anything to go off of, that storm might be upon them that night.

“Hadvar.”

“Mm?” Hadvar glanced back. Solveig pointed to the clouds and he frowned. “Damn. Alright, let’s try and find a cave or something.”

They continued in silence, making good distance over the course of that day. Just as the sun began to set and the clouds sprinkled rain over them, they discovered a cave. Trees roots and vines curled over the entrance, veiling it so well Solveig almost didn’t see it.

He drew his sword in case of bandits or other unpleasant vagabonds, and left no corner unexplored. It was a tiny thing, really, barely stretching several yards deep. It had no other caverns either. He returned to see Hadvar starting on a fire, or trying to anyway.

“Blessed thing… C’mon.” He muttered.

Solveig chuckled and came over. He bent down and let out a few sparks with destruction magic. “There you go.”

Hadvar blinked in surprise as it lit. He always seemed to forget he could use magic. “Oh, thanks.”

He groaned quietly as he sat down on the cold stone. He wrung his hands over the fire as Hadvar brought out their food, setting it down between them. The legionnaire looked at him as he grabbed a few berries.

“Got any plans for after this whole mess? Reunite with family, I imagine.”

Solveig smiled, happy to finally have a conversation. “I’d like to visit Riften as soon as possible, got a foolhardy younger brother I need to check on.”

Hadvar nodded. “Riften’s solid Stormcloak territory, far from the war. He should be fine.”

“Aye. Doesn’t stop an older brother from worrying, though.”

Hadvar chuckled. “I have a cousin I worry over sometimes.”

He raised a brow. “What’re they like?”

Hadvar shrugged. “Excitable, bit naïve. Though that’s more her age I think.”

Solveig smiled. He thought back to when he and his brother were children. Little troublemakers they were. He looked up from his food. “She look up to you?”

He shook his head. “Nah. Girl wants to be a smith, like my uncle.” He gulped down the last of his berries and nuts and stood. “Go ahead and get some rest, Solveig. I’ll take the first watch.”

“Aye? Alright then.” He yawned and stretched the achiness of the day out. Moving a bit to the side, he laid down and used his arms as a make shift pillow. Exhausted slumber claimed him soon after.

~~~

Solveig dreamed. He could not see, nor smell or feel, only hear. Voices whispered around him, flitting from one side to the other. They spoke in a language he did not know, but they urged him. Encouraged him.

What are they saying? He thought. He tried to discern them, but his efforts were futile.

Then one voice spoke above the rest, clear as dragon fire against the night. "Dovahkiin, alok dii kul. Zul do fin ven, wahl lin zahkrii. Zaan hin sahrot ahrk kriist."

The Dragonborn Comes - Chapter 1 - Topaz_Fairy99 (2024)

FAQs

The Dragonborn Comes - Chapter 1 - Topaz_Fairy99? ›

The current "Dragonborn

Dragonborn
Dragonborn involves the player character (the current Dragonborn) coming into contact with the first Dragonborn, Miraak. The expansion takes place on the island of Solstheim, previously featured in the Bloodmoon expansion for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › The_Elder_Scrolls_V:_Skyri...
" (aka player, you) is a Male Nord.

What gender are dragons in Skyrim? ›

The dragons just simply exist. This corresponds with a later comment which reads: “No gender. Dragons just are. They're the children of Akatosh, they don't reproduce.

Can the Dragonborn be female? ›

The sexual dimorphism of dragon born is subtle. Female dragonborn are taller and more muscular compared to the males. The head of a female dragonborn on the other hand is slightly smaller then the heads of the males.

Do dragonborns have gender? ›

Dragonborn do not have a gender divide like many other races do. Gender is usually not not even thought about when a Dragonborn is seeing who is the strongest; most fit to fight; etc.

Is the Dragonborn canonically male or female? ›

The race of the hero is never canonically confirmed and ultimately player determined. However, pre-release content of Skyrim and later artwork depict and refer to the hero as a male Nord. Legends depicts a "Young Dragonborn" as a female Nord.

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