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Kassarock
25 | M | GMT
Greetings friends, partners, enemies, acquaintances, and strangers. I am Kassarock, or just Kass if you prefer, welcome to my profile. Anyway, I am a 20 something male roleplayer from the UK and a long time user of the site, although I have come and gone a fair bit over my time here. I used to be more active on the old site, and I still am relatively active in the off topic sections today, as well as in the guild's discord. So you might see me around.

I generally consider myself to be an advanced writer, I pretty much always write multiple paragraphs, and will drop walls of text if the mood takes me. My grammar is okay, but not formally perfect, so I do not expect that from my partners either. I normally like quite dark and dramatic themes in terms of content in my roleplays, regardless of genre. Unless I have got an interest check up, or have messaged you, I am not usually looking for new partners to write with.

I think that covers just about everything. Message me if you want to know more.
Original Join Date: 07/04/2009

Advanced, Casual, 1x1, Nation, Tabletop

Historical, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Romance, Drama

Writer, Archaeologist, Cymro

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Current Roleplays

The Arrangement | ACTIVE | 1x1 | Low fantasy romance about an arranged marriage to secure peace between two warring Kingdoms.

STORMCLOAK: Rise of Tyranny | ACTIVE | CASUAL | A group of rebels take on the Tyrant Ulfric Stormcloak after the events of TES V: Skyrim.

The Elder Scrolls: Stormcrown Interregnum | ACTIVE | ADVANCED | An unlikely group of rebels fight against the Count of Skingrad during the chaos of the early 4th era.

Of Blood and Burden | HIATUS | 1x1 | Dark fantasy about two young recruits serving in an Order of monster slayers.


Other Things

Current Avatar | mes0melas

Check out my Character Archive for other/old character sheets.

Most Recent Posts

Yeah work's been mad for me too recently, been doing 14 hour days all this week. Still can't complain, earned just over a grand what with all the overtime, and I have two weeks off once its done. Although I won't be relaxing for all of that as my partner is also moving house and I've been roped in to help out, as I'm the only one who drives lol.
Hey, I forgot this thread existed, oops.

So I just finished Thank You For Your Cooperation by Adam Wasserman. This book was a gift from a friend, because they knew I GM the Paranoia Tabletop System and this was apparently somewhat inspired (see: ripped off) from it. For those of you that don't know, Paranoia (and this book) are both set in sci-fi dystopias where humanity has somehow destroyed the world and now lives in an underground bunker under the totalitarian control of a paranoid and insane AI computer.

Overall it was a mediocre experience. The best parts of the book in my opinion were its setting and world building, which were largely lifted from its influences, and to a lesser extent the rather action packed plot. When it came to characterisation, it is pretty abysmal, esepcially so for the main character who was a text book Gary-stu with multiple unexplained hidden talents and frankly came off as something of an obnoxious arsehole when I think he was supposed to be likable. There characters who were supposed to be very intelligent, with very dumb plans, and a love interest who does something so repugnant to the main character it is ultimately inconceivable to me that he (or anyone else for that matter) would ever want to be with her.

There were some nice moments, particularly in a character that partially represented the child-like wonder and joy of experiencing a world outside of the totalitarian nightmare of the bunker. There was one particularly excellent scene where they show the main character fish living in river, it really conveyed just how magically it would be to see creatures that lived under water for the first time.

I also had some issues with the writing style, it was a very colloquial first person, but it didn't seem to completely commit to writing in the voice of someone raised in the kind of environment the story portrays. Lots of word choices that stuck out to me, and made me go 'but how does this character know about X?'. The author also has a habit of jumping around in the narrative, often jumping straight to an event and then explaining how they got there afterwards. It worked once or twice, but felt overused by the novel's end. It's also a self published affair, and unfortunately my edition was not particularly well proof-read.

I am currently reading On Friendship by Michel de Montaigne, a collection of Essays, by the author that first popularised the format. Not too much to say since I've only just started it. But it seems pretty readable for a 16th century translated philosophy text.


N E E D



Velyn Virith hurried back to his tent in the darkness of the rebels' camp. While others broke away from the meeting to drink and talk and make merry, he moved with a sense of urgency and with a singular purpose. The meeting had gone on for too long, the hour was too late. It has been all that he could do to stay the shaking of his hands and ignore the nauseating pit deep in his stomach, as the cold sweat began to drip from his brow. He had almost felt delirious by the end, the sickness was so acute, that he had started muttering things, old words and sayings from the life he had lived before. That dream he had been thrust from, into this waking nightmare.

He needed his fix. It would all seem better afterwards.

As soon as Velyn reached his own tent he darted inside, closing the fabric flaps behind him as quickly as he could, with naught but a furtive glance to see if anyone was watching him. He had to be somewhat circumspect in the camp, this was not the slums of Chedinhal, these were not people who would necessarily understand his need. For that's what this was now truly, a need, for Velyn felt sick when he went without it, in body and in soul.

It had been worst when he had first come here, half dead from the skirmish on the road. Mistress Deserine, Reinette, had healed him as best she could, but when he had awoken... it was not just the wounds he had taken that left him in agony. Somehow he had managed to crawl from his pallet, find his pack and open a vial. He had spilled it on the floor, and had licked it up from the dirt in order to get his fix. Skooma was not meant to be consumed that way, it had burnt his tongue and he had reopened some of his wounds in the process of rolling around on the floor. But it had been worth it, for surely he would have died without it.

Since then he had been careful. Only a little each morning and evening, taken in the privacy of his own tent. Enough to take the edge of his hunger off, stop the shakes and dull the ache in his heart. But still, Velyn's tolerance had somehow grown, and he had found himself needing more and more, until his remaining supply was a meagre thing.

He removed that meagre supply now from its hiding place. The sealed vials were hidden inside some of the empty slots of his scroll case, they fitted nicely in the spaces where once there had been poetry and sermons. He fumbled with the clasp that held the lid shut until burst open, spilling the vials onto his open bedroll. Gently he picked them up and turned them over his hands.

"Three vials." He spoke out loud, softly, almost as if trying to reassure himself, before carefully setting his precious supply back on the bedroll.

The pipe itself was something harder to conceal. Velyn had considered getting rid of it at one point, and just diluting his skooma with alcohol, the way that many of the native Cyrodilics consumed the drug. But drinking it he found had its downsides, it did not provide the same immediate rush of relief that the water pipe provided. Besides, such instruments were not only used for the consumption of skooma. Back in Morrowind it had not been uncommon to see a Dunmer fill its bowl with dried Hackle-Lo leaf, or some other fragrant herb. Still he did not remove it from his pack outside of the confines of his tent.

Quickly he began to set up the apparatus. He kept a cracked ceramic pitcher of water in his tent just for the very purpose of filling the lower chamber of the pipe. The stub of a candle that heated the skooma he lit by putting it across the edge of his enchanted glaive, the flame where springing to life at his command. He had once used that blade to slay daedra, ash ghouls, corpus monsters, necromancers, An-Xileel warriors. Once the candle was lit there was only one thing left to do.

Velyn picked up the vials from where he had left them on his bedroll. He turned them in his hands again, feeling the viscous liquid gently slosh against the inside of the inside of the glass. They felt reassuringly heavy in his light trembling grasp.

"Three vials. Three vials." He repeated the words he had said before. Like some kind of incantation, some kind of prayer.

Three vials, he reasoned, was more than enough to see him through the coming days. He had a plan, a schedule, and three vials would be enough. One vial would get him through the battle and its aftermath, then his duty here to the rebels would be discharged, and he would be free to go his own away again. The second vial was for the journey south, to Bravil, where he had been trying to go before he had somehow got entangled in the lives of these people. The third and final vial was to tide him over in Bravil until he could find a new supply there, which he did not think would be too difficult.

As long as he was sensible and rationed out what he had left, he would be fine. It was more than enough to see him through.

More than enough.

More than enough meant there would be some left over at the end of all of this, and now he was sat here, with it in his hands, that seemed... wasteful... somehow. Surely he could make an exception from his plans, just for tonight? Do a little bit more than just take the edge off. The battle was tomorrow, he wouldn't be any good to anyone if he was too sick and shaking to fight. Better that he took that little extra now, tonight, than leaving it until he was in Bravil where they said good skooma was plentiful and cheap.

It seemed like a sensible idea to Velyn.

It was just one exception, taking a little bit more tonight, not to be repeated. After tonight he would stick to his plan, stick to his schedule, and he would still have enough to make to Bravil. He would be fine. And he would feel fine too. Just as soon as he had his fix.

So Velyn measured out a spoonful of the viscous liquid, careful not spill a drop despite his shaking hands, and placed it in the bowl of the pipe. He hesitated for a moment, adding a second spoonful. Two would do more than just take the edge off... but still he hesitated once more. This could be it, he thought to himself, this could be my very last chance. I could die tomorrow, many of us probably will. What good will any of this do me after I am dead? I shall not be joining my ancestors, there are none here who will care for my ashes. I will simply be gone. What need have I go any of this then? Better to use it now and dream for one last time.

Velyn added a third spoonful to the pipe bowl.

He closed the lid of the bowl, and sat there trembling as he waited for the skooma to heat up. Perhaps it was not wise to take so much on the night of a battle. But Velyn was through with wisdom now. Let him be a fool, and think only foolish thoughts, and believe in many foolish lies. That was what the skooma let him do. It let him forget the ugly truth, and it made his beautiful foolish lies whole and shining once more.

Velyn put the mouthpiece to his lips, and sucked hard upon it. Sweet vapour filled his lungs, calming his shaking nerves and soothing his aching soul. All the sickness, the pain, it went away. He could hear now that the night was full of music, and laughter, and merriment. He could perceive, despite the darkness, that his tent was filled with the most beautiful of shining light. It was an inner light, golden like the fire of enlightenment.

Another lungful of the sweetly cloying smoke, and Velyn began to feel distant, dizzy. He pushed aside his tiny horde of precious vials and lay down on his bedroll. It felt warm to the touch, like that of a living person, caressing him as he lay down. It had been a long time since had been caressed like that. A long time since had been someone's lover.

"Salas..." He breathed remembering the youth who taken his hand and shown him, hesitant and unsure, how to forget the world and to live inside a dream instead. They had comforted each other for a time, Velyn had tried to teach him what he had known, just as Salas had taught him. They had not loved each other, but he had come to care for him. What ever had happened to him in the end?

Velyn raised the mouthpiece once more and breathed deeply. He thought of Salas no more. The inner light grew brighter, the sounds from outside faded into a orchestral blur. He let his mind wander and drift upon an ocean of memories. He dove down into that sea, swimming deeper and deeper.

Until he found him.

Beautiful, golden, shining with all the light of His Godhood. His glory untarnished, just as Velyn remembered Him. The inner light had always been His, the secret fire. It was His warmth he felt against his skin. It was His touch that healed the hole in his chest where his heart had once laid. A voice spoke to him, familiar, dripping with lyrical power and sounding with all the secret syllables of the names of the divine.

"The fire is mine: let it consume thee."

He did as he was bade, and let the warmth and the light rush through him. He let it consume him, burn through him until he was only ashes, and longer still, until there was nothing left at all. Until he lost all sense of self. Until Velyn Virith had been dissolved, disintegrated, annihilated, in the face of God.

He lay there for a while, insensate, dreaming of his own sweet destruction.

Deep down he knew it was lie, but it did not matter, for Velyn had chosen to forget the truth.



Okay, I just focused on Ozragad, so if you want to flex your NPC muscles back at camp, feel free!

I meant to get something up sooner, but I've gotten really distracted by a couple of new group RPs I'm in. I just kept being like 'oh I'll just finish that off first' etc and then I looked back and realised I hadn't posted in almost a month! Oops.
Ozragad had somehow managed to avoid conversing with Manadwyndan or any of his other councillors until he was atop his great black stallion once more and riding out along the lakeshore to the hunting grounds. Then there was no escaping Lord Urathon or Captain Rhiathon, two of his three hunting companions. Other than that, they rode with a small group of guards, some huntsmen to handle the tracking dogs, and finally Elethiomel, Ozragad's kinsman and spur of the moment replacement for his planned third hunting companion, Manawyndan.

Had he overreacted in his anger and distrust of his councillor? Now that he was getting from the crowd and his temper was beginning to cool he felt somewhat foolish. How could Manawyndan, an old man, hope to harm in any way when he was alongside his loyal guardsmen and fellow councillors? Worse he had dragged a mere child into the middle of whatever scheme might be swirling around him. When has harming innocents ever stopped you from doing whatever you liked before? Do not think you have changed so much, or that you care any more just because he is of your blood.

From behind, he heard the approaching hooves of two more horses, drawing nearer to him. Ozragad glanced behind to see his companions approaching him, Lord Urathon and Captain Rhiathon. They both wore severe expressions on their faces. No doubt they wished to lecture him about his sudden exclusion of Manawyndan.

Urathon was the elder of the two, though not as old as Manawyndan or even Ozragad himself, his Lord Justicar, overseer of the Formori's laws and his courts. He was a serious man, with a habitually grave visage. He gave the appearance of orderly man, hair always pulled back, goatee always neatly trimmed. But Ozragad knew he was at home in the field, for hunting was one of his few passions, that and his young wife back at their camp.

"Your Majesty, if we ma-"

Urathon began, Rhiathon cut across him. Where Urathon was a sober and orderly man, Riathon had a warrior's heart. Her head was shaved of all hair, her arm as strong as any man's, Ozragad could not remember the last time he saw her out of armour. She had a fiery temper too, one that reminded him all too much of his own. But that was one of the reasons Ozragad had her as captain of his guard, she had little respect for anyone other than him and always acted without delay, she would never hesitate when it came to defending him.

"Sire, the hunt has been extensively planned to ensure your safety, I would greatly appreciate it if you would consult with me before making any further changes to our security arrangements."

"Noted, captain." He could feel a slight turn to his lip. Notice no reproach in her voice about Manawyndan, just that he had done so without consulting his guard captain first. There was no love lost between Rhiathon and Manawyndan, they were very different people, and had often clashed at his war councils.

"Yes," Urathon tried to continue for where he had been interrupting. "But is it truly wise to exclude Lord Manawyndan considering t-"

"What's done is done, Urathon. I will hear no more of this. Now, can we please focus on the task at hand? Hunting. The King spoke in a tone that brook no argument. He put his fingers to his lips and blew hard against them, emitting a shrieking whistle. "Elethiomel! Get up here boy!"

With more than just a little trepidation the youth lashed his reins and brought his horse up to ride alongside the rest of the hunting companions. Ozragad had though of him as a child earlier, but he could see now that wasn't strictly true. His cousin's son was young, but was on the cusp of manhood now. He looked like Cheldarine too, with a heart shaped face and long auburn hair worn loose, though his was silk smooth where his cousin's was curled and coiled.

"Y-you summoned me, Your Majesty?" There was tremble to his voice, in fact he seemed nervous to even be there. Well, it was hardly surprising considering the circumstances were rather unexpected. Still Ozragad his not remember his kinsman to be of a timid temperament, as far as he recalled he had been a headstrong boy, though he had not seen him a few years.

"We are planning our strategy for today. Do you hunt much, up at the Ergyng estates? It was good land for coursing as far as I remember." His features relaxed and the tension went out of his body as the conversation turned towards the matter of hunting. He must have realised that he had been caught in some form of political quagmire, Ozragad thought.

"Yes, sire, I am fair hunter, particularly with the bow. No doubt anywhere near as experienced as yourself, sire, or your lord and ladyship."

"Urathon is fine tracker and rider. Captain Rhiathon has a good spear arm, but little else."

"You wound me, sire, though my hunting skills are not my primary asset. I am here to ensure Your Majesty may hunt in peace. Ozragad thought there was little chance of that even if there was no attempt on his life today.

"Well, we are all here. I think those woods up ahead look as likely spot as any to start. Loose the dogs and see if we can pick up a scent."

The Hunt had begun.

V E L Y N V I R I T H




Original Art by Minttu

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Character Information


Name - Velyn Virith of House Redoran
Gender - Male
Race - Dunmer
Age - 36, born 3rd of Sun's Dawn, 3E412
Faction - House Redoran (former), Buoyant Armigers (former)
Class - Spellsword
Birthsign - The Lady

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Skills and Attributes

Major: Agility
Minor: Personality

Expert:
Spear

Adept:
Light Armour, Speech, Acrobatics

Apprentice:
Sneak, Short Blade, Alteration

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Spells

Alteration
Shield, an arcane shield that protects the user from harm.
Water Breathing, the ability to breath underwater.
Water Walking, the ability to walk upon the surface of water.
Slowfall, the ability to float instead of falling.

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Character Equipment

Weapons
Chitin Glaive, fashioned in the traditional Dumner style.
Twinned Steel Wakizashi and Tanto, worn at the waist.


Armour
Full set of Light Dunmeri Chitin Armour.

Enchanted Items
The Chitin Glaive bears a minor flame enchantment on its blade.

Miscellaneous
Red Travelling Cloak.
Kagouti Hide Travelling Pack.
Spare Clothing.
Paper Lantern.
Few Days Rations.
Jar of Sujamma, a potent liquor of Morrowind.
Dunmeri Lute, similar to a Shamisen.
Skooma Pipe.
Three Vials of Skooma.
Books and Scrolls, mostly the teachings and poetry of Vivec.
Carved Guar Tooth Amulet, containing Ancestral Ashes.
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A P P E A R A N C E

Velyn Virith is a young male Dunmer. The Dunmer age slower than their human counterparts after they reach physical maturity, and hence he has a touch of boyish youth about him still, despite having seen three decades. He is of an average height, but slender and long limbed, with the lithe musculature of a dancer or acrobat. The comparison is even more apt when you see him in move, his steps are light and quick, his motions fluid and graceful, at least they are when he is sober.

His face is handsome, the features sharp and angular like many of his kind, but not to the point of harshness, the bloom of youth softens them still. The skin is ashen grey, the narrow eyes blood red, between them sits a high aquiline nose that leads to a lightly arched brow. There's something sad about those eyes, when caught unguarded, the look in them verges between desperate hunger and utter despondency. But there's another look they take on too, with increasing regularity these days, the glazed half aware stare of the skooma addict.

Ceremonial Dunmer tattoos mark his face and body. A scarab sits on his throat and neck, it curves up to cup his jaw, its forelegs peaking out onto the point of his chin. A pattern of waves adorns his left cheek, it marks him as one of the Buoyant Armigers and curves up from the side of his neck to caress the side of his high wide cheekbone. He wears the Hand of the ALMSIVI Tribunal over his heart, and a depiction of a seated figure, flames about their head, on his back.

When they cast him out from the Temple, he cut his hair free of the topknot its warriors wore. The shorn locks have grown since then and they now hang around his face once more in loose black strands. Through the dark hairs you can make out his pointed ears, from which dangle a few golden rings, several empty holes indicate they were once adorned with many more than are currently on display.

Other than the chitinous armour and the red cloak that wraps around it to keep out the ash of his homeland, Velyn has few clothes with him. That which he does own are of fine quality, rich in colour, but poorly maintained and cared for, near threadbare in places. Around his slender neck hangs a carved pendant or amulet, a hollowed out Guar tooth sealed with resin, containing a fragment of the ashes from the funerary pits of his family's ancestral tomb.


P E R S O N A L I T Y

What is remains when a person has nothing left to believe in? One of the many answers to that question, is Velyn Virith. Like a ship thrown against the rocks, or a tower built on unstable foundations, he finds himself tumbling down and shattered into a thousand pieces. All that he thought he knew and loved is gone, and in its absence nothing makes sense to him anymore.

From the swirling chaos of his doubt and despair, pieces of who Velyn Virith once was sometimes emerge. He is still exceptionally courteous in his speech, stringing words together like poet, in either Imperial Common or his native Dumeris. He writes little, but some nights he still plays the lute he brought with him when he left Morrowind. In the darkness, he sings to the slow sad music, keening ballads that echo with wails of lost lovers and sundered hearts.

When he fights he is reckless, fighting with no shield, and with his head bare. He often allows his opponents to strike the first blow, a long standing tradition of the honour duels of the Dunmer people, especially of the Redorans. While perhaps a noble sentiment in the honour bound house Velyn hails from, on the battlefield it is a foolhardy tactic, one that will likely end up getting him killed one day. He does not seem to care.

He still says that he wishes to fight for what is good and noble, that he cares about protecting the common people, and living up to the ideals of his faith. But there is no passion to those words, they are learned by rote. To Velyn, gallantry is a routine, he does it because he does not know what else to do.

Velyn is not unfriendly, but neither does he pursue any form of closeness to the other rebels he finds himself associated with, content to wait out his time alone in between their battles. If approached he is companionable enough, if not for the somewhat bitter edge to what passes as his humour. He still laughs at lot, frequently at himself, but not in a pleasant way. There's something harsh about it, as if he considers himself the butt of some great and terrible joke. The only time his spirits truly seem to lift is when the sweet smelling smoke of Skooma hangs in the air around his tent and on his threadbare clothes. Those nights he does not play or sing, he prefers to lie insensate, and dream of times long gone.

In truth the emotion he most commonly seems to elicit in others is a mixture of pity and disgust. Pity because who does not know the feelings of loss and heartbreak. Disgust because Velyn seems to have given himself over to wallowing in such feelings.

All of his pain, all of his loss, his doubt, his yearning, his love, and his grief can be found in one word, one name, one letter written in uncertainty.

Vivec.
H I S T O R Y

Velyn Virith was born on Vvardenfell on the third day of Sun's Dawn in the four hundred and twelfth year of the Third Era. He was the son of Theldyn Virith, Kinsman to the Great House Redoran, Hetman of the fishing port of Ald Velothi. Most of Velyn's childhood was spent between the Redoran district capital of Auld'ruhn and his family's ancestral estates in the West Gast. Like his brothers and cousins, he was bonded to his house from birth, and was expected to follow in his father's footsteps as another proud Redoran warrior, but fate had other plans for Velyn Virith.

He couldn't have been more than five, perhaps six, when the course of his life was irrevocably changed. His father had business with a clan of fellow Redoran nobles, the Saren clan of the city of Vivec, and he brought young Velyn with him on the long journey down to the greatest city on Vvardenfell. While his father conducted his business, he left young Velyn with a retainer to show the young boy the sights of the city.

It happened the second morning they were there, as he passed over one of the high bridges that linked the upper plazas of the cantons. A crowd had come out to line the waterways, and being a curious young child, Velyn pushed his way through to the railings to witness the cause of the excitement.

A regatta was being held on the grand canal. Barges of beaten gold, wreathed with floral garlands, floated upon the shimmering waters. The oars of each barge were manned by a host beautiful maidens and comely youths. Groups of troubadours and musicians filled the air with the sound of lutes, and pipes, and drums. From the gilded decks, knights clad in iridescent glass laughed and sang as they threw roses to the adorning crowds. And there, hovering above them all, a seated figure, half gold, smiling, and radiating the light of Heaven itself.

This was the first time Velyn saw a God. He vowed that day that it would not be the last.

He would not forget what he saw that day. On the long journey by strider back to their home it was all he could think about. He wanted to live in that light, and bathe himself in its warmth. The Redorans were one of the more pious of the Dunmer Great Houses, but even amongst them, Velyn's single minded dedication to the faith and in particular to Lord Vivec, struck many of his kinsmen as being unusual.

As soon as he was old enough he pledged himself as novice to the Temple, the first step in what he thought would be a lifetime spent in that glorious light. Once he had proved himself in feats of arms, exhibitions of arts, and generosity of alms, Velyn was apprenticed into the Buoyant Armigers. That order of iridescent knights he had glimpsed upon those gilded barges many years ago.

But the he order in found himself in was somewhat different from how he had imagined it. In those days the fear of the Sharmat hung over Vvardenfell, and recently the ALMSIVI had receded from the outside world. Rather than spending his time at the side of the Lord he had adored from far, Velyn was dispatched to the fortress of Molag Mar in the magma strewn wastes of Molag Amur. There he began his work as an Armiger, hunting down the blight of the Sharmat, slaying Sixth House Cultist and Corpus Monsters.

That was the year that the Nerevarine returned, and by his hand, the fall of the Dagoth Ur. There was upheaval in the wake on St. Nerevar's return, the amnesty on the Dissident priests, the events in Mournhold where it was rumoured that the Tribunes Sotha Sil and Almalexia were both slain. To many it was a time of uncertainty and fear. But to Velyn those few years were glorious.

Vvardenfell was freed from the threat of the Sharmat and his monsters, and Velyn's Lord was freed from his ancient duty of maintaining the Ghost Fence. For those precious few years Velyn bathed in the light of his Lord. There was time for music and poetry in those years. There was time for dancing, and nights where they would join their Lord in rituals that had been long neglected. It was in those years that Velyn learned the secrets of carnal exultation, it was everything Velyn had ever dreamed of.

And then it was over.

It was when the Gates of Oblivion opened that everything began to go wrong. Portals opened up across Morrowind, and Tamriel beyond. The Imperials sat behind the walls of their fortresses, on the mainland some even marched back through the passes of the Velothi Mountains to defend Cyrodil while Morrowind burned. The Armigers were dispatched to keep the city of Vivec safe from Daedric incursions. The city held, but elsewhere the situation was dire.

In Ald'ruhn, where Velyn had spent much of his childhood, where he had first served as a temple novice, the fighting was the worst. The city was practically destroyed, its defenders going so far as to resurrect the great Emperor Crab Skar, demolishing the council halls and manors of their most powerful citizens in the process. Once the city of Vivec was secure Velyn had fought his way north to meet up with a Redoran army from the mainland. But they too late. By the time they arrived there was little left by corpses and rubble.

Theldyn Virith, his father, was among the dead. Velyn was left to burn his body and make sure his ashes were interned with his ancestors.

In all this madness there was no sign of Lord Vivec, the Living God had disappeared around the time the Crisis. There was no sign of the Nerevarine either, who it was rumoured had travelled to the continent of Akavir. The people of Morrowind did their best to pick up the pieces, and rebuild their shattered lives and cities, Velyn was amongst them. For though their Lord had disappeared, though his father was dead, Velyn had the support of the Temple and of his sworn brothers. That was enough.

Besides, Velyn could not forget what it meant to see a God in all their glory. He never would. So he kept his faith, as best he could.

Those were trying years for Morrowind, there was fighting amongst the houses as the Hlaalu lost their place of preeminent and were expelled from the Grand Council. Imperial authority collapsed with the lack of an Emperor on the throne. While the Dunmer simultaneously tried to rebuild and fought amongst themselves, an even greater threat loomed. One that had been hanging over them for a long time.

Baar Dau, the Ministry of Truth, Lie Rock. It had floated above the City of Vivec for millennia, suspended there by the Living God himself and held in place by his power and the faith of people who lived beneath. But it appeared the Crisis, the deaths of the Tribunes, and the disappearance of the God had weakened that faith. In truth, those years were first where Velyn felt his own waver. Sometimes at night he wonders if he too is partly to blame for what happened when Baar Dau fell.

He had not been in the city. If he had, he would not be here today. The Palace and High Fane were directly beneath the impact, none who were there survived. Instead Velyn was at the Armiger's fortress at Molag Mar. All they saw was a burning light on the horizon, a terrible shaking in the ground, and the roaring hot winds of the blast wave when it finally reached them. It was only when that the mountain had answered with ash and fire, filling the Foyadas with lava and trapping them in their stronghold.

When boats from the mainland finally reached them he had tried to go to the city to search for survivors. They had told him there was no point, the city was gone and waters where it had once stood boiled. They call it Scathing Bay now. He had thought then to try to reach Ghostgate, to find the other chapter of their order, but that fortress had sat upon the Foyada Mamaea, and had been incinerated in the eruption. So, with no other option, he had gone to the mainland.

It was a good thing that he had, for soon the mainland would have need of every warrior Morrowind could provide. In the moment of their greatest ever weakness the Argonians invaded. The lizard men sacked every city they came upon, even as the ash and fire rained down still. No where was spared, not even Mournhold, a holy city of the Tribunal and the capital of all Morrowind. The jewel of their province which had somehow miraculously escaped the ravages of the Red Year was reduced to another smoking ruin.

That's what Morrowind was those days, a land of smoking ruins, refugees, warfare, and death.

And somehow, Velyn kept his faith.

He fought with his sworn brothers, with his fellow Redorans, with anyone who would defend Morrowind. Perhaps that's what allowed him to keep his faith, he had no time to think about what was happening around him, he was too busy trying to survive. So went on as he always had done, being an Armiger, doing his deeds of Love and War in the name of his Lord, Vivec.

The war was terrible and it was long. The Argonians made it as far East and North as Port Telvannis, they even made it onto Vvardenfell itself. Their armies fell most heavily on the Dres and the Telvannis, but no where was truly safe from their wrath. Over the years more and more of his brothers fell, but the Redoran led armies slowly routed the Argonian warbands from much of their lands. Mournhold was recovered, even if it was a ruin, and new fortified borders and lines of defence were drawn up between these two new independent powers.

Suddenly there wasn't anymore fighting to be done. So Velyn went back to the Temple. Only to find there was no Temple for him to go back to.

While he had been away at the front, the balance of power in the Temple had changed dramatically. With the loss of the traditional centres of orthodox Temple power, Vivec and Mournhold, there were new Archcanons at the head of the faith, and they had very different ideas about the status of the Old Tribunal. The Dissident Priests and the New Temple, as it later came to be called, had emerged triumphant from the rubble of their nation and they decried Vivec as a false god.

He should have just accepted it. The evidence was plain enough, Vivec had not protected them, and he was gone. But Velyn couldn't forget. He couldn't forget what it was to see a God in the flesh. To see the light of Heaven itself. To touch it.

Velyn kept his faith. And won himself exile for it.

Bereft of his Lord, his Land, and his Love, it was only then that Velyn finally broke.

Spurned from the homeland he had fought for, he fled to Cyrodil, following in the footsteps of countless Dunmer refugees across the Velothi Mountains. There he found a province also lost to chaos and war as the Stormcrown Interregnum unfolded. In the camps outside of Cheydinhal he fell into low company and discovered something which could take away the pain that felt in every waking moment. Skooma.

He frittered away what money he had left, when it was gone he began to sell his possessions. When he started to run out of things to sell he began to offer his services in exchange for a fix. That was first time he had killed in cold blood, without a higher purpose, in those days he was little more than drug addled thug. He acted without the Will of Love.

He left Cheydinhal when he argued with a dealer over a payment he had been owed, it became physical, and when the dust had settled the other man was dead. Velyn took every vial the man had on him and ran. It was no longer safe for him in camps there, so he decided to go overland to Bravil, where he had heard Skooma was cheap and plentiful. That had been the main concern on Velyn's mind at the time.

Going overland to Bravil however, meant travelling by Skingrad.

There were always refugees on the road, looking for somewhere safe, so he had travelled on the edge of convoy. He had not truly been a part of them, but when a patrol of the Count's men fell upon the refugees he found himself unable to turn away. These were cruel men, who subjected the weak and desperate to harassment and depravity to satisfied their own base needs. In that moment Velyn had felt some old instinct reawaken in him, and before he had fully known what he was doing, the bloody tip of his spear was protruding through the chest of one of the soldiers.

Singlehanded he had slaughtered the patrol, taking a few grievous wounds in the process. Many of the refugees fled the scene, only a few remained to tell the band of rebels who emerged from the woods what had happened. They took the wounded Dunmer in and nursed him back to some degree of health.

That was how Velyn Virith met Isobel Aurelia.




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