Categories > Games > Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion > The Quest For The Ruby Throne: Book One

Chapter 1: Serana's Confession

by karnag_gro_gornish 0 reviews

Serana recounts the tale of how she became a vampire. The memories are painful, but she has Karnag by her side to keep her strong.

Category: Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion - Rating: R - Genres: Drama,Fantasy - Warnings: [!!!] [V] [R] - Published: 2019-09-20 - 3073 words - Complete

The Ruby Throne Saga
The Adventures of Lyanna Stone and Karnag gro-Gornish
By Rowe Byers
And Isabella Lakhdari

Book One
By Karnag gro-Gornish
In order for any of what follows to make any sense, I must first explain a few things. My name is Karnag. I am one of the Orsimer of the clan Gornish from northern Cyrodiil. I spent my youth in the Gornish-Shul stronghold, where I was the youngest son of a mighty chief. However, unlike my older brothers, I was not destined to remain there, and when the Aldmeri Dominion invaded Cyrodiil at the end of the second century of the fourth era, I immediately joined His Eminence's legion, where I served aboard a war ship in lake Rumare. I did many things, but mostly I was an assistant to the ship's blacksmith. When battle came for the vessel, I helped load the catapults, repaired the timbers as they were shattered, and generally did whatever would help to ensure my own as well as the survival of my fellow crew mates.
But one day our luck ran out, and our ship sank. As far as I know, I was the sole survivor. When I swam to shore, I was taken captive by the enemy, and held in a camp where we were beaten and starved before I gained their trust. I told them I was valuable, for I knew how to mend metal. They allowed me to repair cracks in their blades, but unbeknownst to them, I purposefully added defects to every piece of metal I worked for them. But through cunning and no shortage of luck, I made my escape and freed my fellow prisoners. When I finally found friendly forces and told them of my escape, I was made an officer on the spot and placed in charge of two Contuburnia of men. I fought the rest of my battles on land, and over time rose to the rank of Centurion. But for all of our small tactical victories, our flank on the eastern side of the Niben was annihilated, and when the Dominion crossed the river, we were forced to retreat into northern Colovia, near the Hammerfell border.
But the day came when we had our vengeance. The Emperor himself, Titus Mede the second, with a legion at his back, a second legion from Skyrim, and my Legion, which was half of the survivors from Colovia and half the survivors from Hammerfell, all converged on the Imperial City which had fallen to the enemy. The marble rings were liberated, and the Dominion was effectively removed from Cyrodiil. But this came at a great cost, as we lost nearly as many men as we killed. Peace came for the Empire, and instead of returning home, I joined up with the legion of men returning to Skyrim to seek my fortune there.
I spent many years there, and eventually the day came where I was beaten down to the lowest point I have ever been to, when my sight was taken from my right eye. I'll explain further in a later chapter, but it was a life changing experience for me. It was shortly after that when I discovered my power as dragonborn, the day when Alduin, the world-eater, returned from exile in the area outside of time to fulfill his destiny. However, I fully intended to fulfill mine as well, which I ultimately would.
I learned the way of the Voice from the Greybeards, and their draconic leader Paarthurnax, and I learned the sword skills of the ancient Dragonguard from Delphine, the last of the blades. With the assistance of many along the way, I fought my way, alone, to the realm of Sovngarde, and plunged my trusty blade, Dawnbreaker, gifted to me from Meridia, patroness of righteousness, through the beating heart of a fallen god. I returned to Skyrim a hero, a commander among common men.
I would later come to join an ancient order of vampire hunters known as the Dawnguard, and it is during my tenure with them that this story truly begins. It was with the Dawnguard that I met the woman who would become my wife, Serana. After following the wisdom learned from an Elder Scroll, we journeyed to a cave in the Reach called Darkfall, where we one of the last remaining uncorrupted Falmer, the Snow Elves, Knight Paladin Gelebor. He possessed the thing we needed to end the reign of vampire king Harkon, Serana's father, however he required that in return, we kill his brother, Vyrthur, who many ages ago had been turned into a vampire himself.
This is where my story begins, and where my account of my life becomes a bit more cohesive than these scattered ramblings. To any who may be reading this tome, I pray that you walk away from this reading wiser than when you first began. Talos guide you.

Chapter One: Serana’s Confession
We stood over the body of Arch-Curate Vyrthur, wondering if the vampire was truly dead. As we did, the temple...came alive. A protrusion sprang from the floor, like one of those wayshrines in the vale. And our new friend Gelebor emerged. “Well, it seems you’ve succeeded,” said Gelebor, in an almost lachrymose tone. “I’m sorry to contribute to the extinction of your race, my friend.” I felt terrible. The Snow Elves had lost so much, and now there may only be one left. “Don’t be,” said Gelebor, “Vyrthur ceased to be my brother long ago.” He paused for a moment, as if collecting himself. “Well, you kept up your end of the bargain, so I’ll uphold mine. The bow is yours. Use it well. I can also enchant your arrows, if you're interested.”
“You know magic?” I asked, almost whimsically. “Snow Elf magic is something entirely alien in this era.”
“Yes,” Gelebor said, “I am quite knowledgeable in the Falmeri magical arts in relation to my charge as a Knight-Paladin of Auri-el.” Before I could say anything more, Serana approached Gelebor. “Maybe you can help me…” she said, trailing off. She took off her hood and looked into Gelebor’s eyes. And he realized that she was like Vurthur, a vampire. “Oh my. Well, I do know of a ritual to cleanse one of your...condition. But I daresay I never attempted it.”
“Please, Gelebor. I've lived for millennia as a vampire. I want nothing more than to reverse my father's treachery. I'm willing to do anything.”
“It is possible. Were you turned by a family member or...”
“I’m a daughter of Coldharbour. One of Molag Bal's chosen.”
“Auri-el protect us... For how long have you been afflicted?”
“I'm not entirely sure how many years have passed, I was sleeping for most of it. But I would wager at least four thousand.” Gelebor took a step back and sat down. He looked puzzled, as of searching for something to say. “There is a way. But it won’t be pleasant.” He turned to her. She gave a small smile and said, “Now where have I heard that before?” But Gelebor did not smile. “That’s what I mean. At the chantry, there was a ritual I knew of to cleanse the soul of the wickedness of the Daedric lords, Molag Bal included. But one of the prerequisites is recounting detail to a Confessor. I am but a Paladin, but given that, to my knowledge, no Confessors remain alive today, it will have to do.” What color there was drained from Serana’s already snow white skin. Her face took on an expression of horrified disgust, at remembering those memories she only wants to forget. “ detail do I have to go?” she asked with a shudder. “You must account the events of your transformation to me as if you were dictating a letter.”
“I was afraid that you would say that.”
“I’m sorry, my child. But it is the only way I know how.” At this point, I interjected, I took her hand and I said, “It’s alright, Serana. I’m here. You can do this.” But she slapped my hand away and snapped, “You don’t understand, Karnag! In case you never pieced it together, I was physically raped by Molag Bal, and my family let it happen with smiling faces! I don't want to go back there!” She started off but for only a moment, I lost my temper. “Dammit, Serana, I love you!” She stopped mid-stride as I said that. Her face went blank, as if she had never heard those words before. “Please, Serana, I want to help you. Listen to Gelebor, for Talos' sake.” Before I could say anymore, Gelebor stepped between us and said, “Serana, my child, please. I know this is hard for you, but you have to try.” As he said this, Serana broke down, and burst into tears. I knelt beside her, and took her hand in mine. Between sobs, she moaned out, “Do you know what it’s like to have a father that only wants to use you as a weapon, and a mother who cared more for protecting her power than her daughter?”
“Well, to a degree, I suppose. In the stronghold, my father was a respected chief and all of his sons were bred to be warriors, myself included. And my mother, well, she died when I was young. Too young to remember her. But you're right, I don't know what it is you're going through, but I can sympathize. I’m sorry.” Apologies are something Orcs are not taught in the strongholds. But I learned, during the time I’ve spent in her company that sometimes, an apology is all she wants to hear. Serana composed herself and apologized as well. “I... I didn’t mean to yell. It’s just...painful.”
“Come on, lets rest a while. Harkon isn’t going anywhere. We’ll sleep, have some food, then we can get this over with.”
And so, right there on the Chantry balcony, we set up camp for the night. Gelebor lit a fire, and I roasted up some venison from the local deer. It had a strange flavor to it, gamier than the deer of the rest of Skyrim. But filling all the same. As the sun set, we laid down to rest for the night. I awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of distant wolves and found that Serana had pulled herself tight against me. Maybe she was cold. Or maybe she felt safe. Regardless, I began to feel...strange. Love is not an emotion respected amongst my brethren. But I must admit, I had never felt true love for anyone before her. And maybe, just maybe, she felt the same.
Dawn broke the next day, and Gelebor was already awake. He had been preparing for a little while to perform the ceremony. Serana reluctantly awoke and got herself ready as well. She squeezed my hand silently as she prepared her mind for what was about to happen. We sat around a small shrine to Auri-el, the Snow Elves patron god, and Gelebor recited a small incantation, begging for Auri-el’s ear. He then told Serana to start.
“It began long ago in the ages before history began, in what I hear people call the 'Merethic' Era. My father was originally a warlord and king, descended from Ysgramor himself, and a devout worshiper of Molag Bal. Tradition dictated that on his summoning day, females of his faithful be...offered to him. When my eighteenth winter came along, it was my time. I was scared, but my family kept telling me how honored I should be, continually reminding me that there was no greater gift that could be bestowed on a young woman. I didn’t feel honored. I felt fear. Nothing but fear.
“The castle had an altar to Molag Bal long ago, built for the sole purpose of holding someone down. I knew what it meant, and I got sick every time I looked at it. I became even more terrified as each day passed until it was the 20th of Evening Star of that year. Against my will, I was dragged into the chapel, if it could even be called that. My family closed the chamber door and barred it, which was enough to terrify me by itself.
“From the other side of the door I heard my father chanting, ‘Lord Molag Bal, dominator of worlds, enslaver of souls, master of Coldharbour, we call you forth from Oblivion. We summon you this day with an offering. I give you my only begotten daughter, that she may receive your blessing, oh Lord.’
“Following the prayer, there was a dreadful silence, but after a minute, Molag Bal himself tore a hole through, I guess reality itself, and climbed through. He was horrifying. He stood as tall as three men; with the legs of a dragon, body of a man and head of some kind of unholy demon. I was shaking, and I couldn’t speak, let alone scream in fear. His voice was unbelievably loud, as if a peal of thunder mere inches from my face. ‘Do I scare you? Do you fear the Lord of Domination?’
“But I couldn’t say anything. I just closed my eyes and prayed for it to be over. ‘Open your eyes and gaze upon me, mortal! You will do as I command!’ So, further against my will, my eyes were opened, and he had shrunk down to the size of a normal man. He bellowed again, ‘Now, submit yourself to me!’
“I got scared and closed my eyes again, and whimpered no. He grabbed me by the throat and threw me at a wall, and I must have blacked out because the next thing I remember, I was already restrained on the altar. My clothes were torn, and all I could see was his wicked face staring at me. He lorded over me like a shiny trinket or some prized object. He said, almost growling, ‘This will not be over soon. You will not enjoy this.’
“And I started to cry again. I couldn’t help it. All I wanted was to have never been born.” Serana stopped, and asked Gelebor, “Do I really have to continue?”
“I’m so sorry, but it is the only way I know how. Auri-el must hear you and he must decide whether to cleanse your soul. I understand how difficult this must be for you, but please, you must continue.” She grabbed my hand, and held on to it this time as she started again. “Alright,” she said in a sigh, “this is where it gets...degrading.” She took another deep breath, and continued on with the story. At this point my stomach was sick; I didn't want to hear this as much as she didn't want to tell it, but I knew that I had to be strong for her. My mind wouldn't allow me not to be.
“I can't imagine what occurred while I was unconscious, but my robes were mere tattered shreds of cloth. And Molag Bal prepared to...bless me. It was no blessing. It was nothing but pain. He thrust himself... into me, and I felt the worst pain of my life, as if stabbed through my stomach by a knife made of flame. My vision went dark, and I could smell blood. My head ached as if it were in a wine press, and my chest felt like there was a mountain on it. In all of this, I didn’t even notice the fact that my heart had stopped.
“He kept going and going for what felt like hours. Each thrust was just as painful as the first. I screamed and cries and begged him to stop the louder I screamed, the more pleased he became. After a while I just went numb. I stopped resisting, silently praying for death. But I would not be so lucky. After who knows how many hours, he took one of his claws and cut his arm open and shot blood all over me, hot as the fires of Oblivion. And before I could cry out in disgust, he disappeared, vanished into the void.
“My family opened the chamber and cleaned me up. I didn’t say a word to them for months. I hated them for what they had forced me into. I still do. That’s why I’m here. My father needs to pay. For what he did to me, to my mother, to all the people he’s killed. He needs to die, and I will not rest until his body is lifeless at my feet.” She spoke with a burning rage. “Is that all I need to do, Gelebor?” Gelebor had his eyes closed and opened them. “I believe so. Your fate is in the hands of Auri-el. Now go, do what you must do, fight your battle. The next part of the ritual is to settle your debts, and I believe that you and your father have a heavy debt to settle. Wield his bow righteously, and it is my firm belief that he will guide your hand in battle.”
Serana and I stood to leave the Chantry. Auri-el’s bow was in my hands and a quiver full of sanctified arrows on my back, and I knew where we were going next. We took the portal back to Darkfall, and mounted our horses, headed towards Castle Volkihar. Serana asked me as we rode, “I’m sorry you had to listen to that, Karnag. I hope this doesn't change anything between us.”
“Absolutely not!” I responded. “It takes great strength to come through what you have. I would be proud to call you blood-kin to my people.”
“Is that good?”
“It is not a title given lightly. Orcs rarely associate with outsiders. So being blood-kin means you are ceremonially one of our own, and we will fight your battles alongside you. I may be an outcast from my stronghold so the title doesn't mean much, but to me, it means that you are someone worthy of respect and reverence.”
“I don’t know what to say, Karnag…”
“You don’t need to say a word, Serana. We have a job to do. Let’s ride.”
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