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A Dwemer Dovahkiin

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This journal belongs to Akita. Please note the runes on the first page, if you continue to read this and are not me, well lets hope you like fire.

 

I woke cold nearly three weeks ago now. It was darker than normal for Ayleid rooms. And the air, it felt as if something was smothering the place. I still couldn’t believe my father had sent me away, it wasn’t right. My spider, named Skitter, didn’t wake up like he normally would. I found out later that it was because his joints had rusted and the soul gem used to power him had run out. Which is still strange. Maybe the magic from the fort had slowly sucked all magic from his soul gem. But that doesn’t explain why his joints would be rusted shut.

But thats not the point. When I left my room the magic around me, it shattered. Broke. Severed. The walls, stones were missing, holes had formed and, the magic. Oh the magic. Once it flowed through the walls almost as well as steam flows through my home city. Now? It was suffocating. Trying to find a way out, but there wasn’t any magic to leave. It was terrifying. It was a ruin, I still don’t know what happened.

When I reached the surface, the entire land had changed. Flowers I had never seen sprouted up around me. And when night fell? I couldn’t even see recognizable constellations. The stars had changed. How much time has to pass for, for that to happen? Apparently? A lot. A lot of time. I reached a city, Brasi? Bravil? Brazil? It was a city of men and lizards (???? Which y'know I can -kinda- see) and cats(On two legs. They were Bipedal. Bi-PEDAL ?????) and elves. I didn’t recognize them though. One thing I did note, there weren’t any Ayleid, Dwemer, Chimer or Snow Elf.

Some asked me where my family was, or I think that’s what they were asking. It’s a human tongue that they speak. Mixed with other languages but it seems everyone speaks it. Which, if I could speak it, would be a relief. Unfortunately? I can’t. I did pick up people calling me a “Dunmer”. Just because my skin is almost stone in colour and my hair as black as night does not make me a “Dark Elf”.

I managed to ask where I could find a bed and a map. I was pointed towards an inn. It was rough and the beds no better. I miss home. I was handed the map the next morning. Where the Ayleids had left was now a “province” called Cyrodill. My home was far to the north, that I knew. Which was now called, Skyrim. I stayed one more morning and saw elves dressed in gold tinted armour dragging men out of their homes and tying them together. Some they killed. It was like watching the Ayleid slave runs or the experiments all over again.  

One stopped to glare at me. The owner of the inn forced me behind her with a snarl. There was a conversation and then the elf shrugged and stalked off to join the rest of his patrol. I was later told that they were looking for Talos supporters. Not that I know who Talos is in any way shape or form.

The days following were a blur, supplies to be gathered, languages to be learnt, and most importantly - the ability to get out undetected. The entire town had taken me under their wing. In was infuriating! They would just pop up asking if I needed anything or if I was alright. When I finally learned a good portion of the vocabulary (with of course the help of magic, bless my Mother wherever she is for the thought to teach me that spell) I told them that I was alright and they were being annoying. They had the audacity to laugh and ruffle my hair! My HAIR! Do they have ANY idea how long it takes to get it to look even slightly decent? How dare they?!

Not the point. I had to travel through the sewers. I burned my clothes, you just can’t get that smell out of clothing. Yuck. The land was very interesting to travel. I stopped at a different city a few days in, I believe it’s name was Cheydinhal. It wasn’t as bad as the first city, seeing as I could speak their language. But the city itself was failing. Beggars were a constant, one almost at every building. I didn’t step into their Chapel. It felt almost disrespectful to even think it, one of the priests called to me trying to get me to come in when I stared at the building. I walked off in the opposite direction.

The trek from their to the border wasn’t as hard as I’d thought it’d be. I still didn’t have any idea of how much time has past (and still don’t as I write this) but I’d wager on maybe a thousand years? I’ve collected a few books on history, most of the ones I could buy for cheap were related to the Chapels and I get the feeling that they’ll be very biased in their information. Which would be a problem if I could read them. Not like I could read Ayleid but this is almost a hundred times worse.

I made it to the border two days ago. Being asleep for as long as I have means that I apparently missed the fact that there’s a Civil War. I got arrested for not having the correct paperwork. Which was highly annoying. But I mean, with my track record? Not uncommon. The beheading for crossing the border however? Completely new.

There was a dragon. A DRAGON. I thought they’d all been killed off by the men? With an Elder Scroll I know is locked up in Mzulft. But that’s not the worst of it. It razed the city to the ground and almost promised to destroy the others, but I could’ve sworn that it looked exactly how Alduin had been described in the writings with the Elder Scroll. On that note, no matter the dragon if it came back that means that someone or something is bringing them back to life. Which brings me to present, in another Inn ready to head out at Dawn to a nearby city called (and I know this one) Whiterun.

OH and everyone thinks I’m just a fucking Dunmer. Apparently they’re the “modern?” Chimer. So, I’m looked at as a member of a race that hates the Dwemer (me) almost as much as the Snow Elves. Great.

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Putting down the pencil Akita sighed, it had been a long day. A long week if she was being honest. Putting her head in her hands she sighed. She’d tried writing out the times, and tried to read the books she had but nothing was making sense, she couldn’t spot the towers of the Dwemer cities that came up from the ground. Not that she expected too but then, she hadn’t seen any elves that she could recognize by race.

“You’re a bit pale for a Dunmer ain’t ya?” The inn keeper had come up to her with the food she’d ordered. She stared at him, it didn’t matter how pale she was. Her entire stature wasn’t like the way the Chimer were. They were small lithe, great with magic, that she remembered. The Dwemer were sturdy, stood just taller than the Chimer and were definitely more squared off. But, the last time she’d tried to explain to someone, they’d laughed and called her imaginative.

The innkeeper took the falling of her face to mean something else entirely. “I ain’t gonna kick you out, but I’d be careful around here. The Nords in Windhelm don’t take to liking Dark Elves.”

“I did not expect you to kick me out.” Akita narrowed her eyes. There were reasons she didn’t like the races of men. Their narrow mindedness was one of them. “But I will take your warning. I had no intention of going there.” Grabbing the food from the man she turned back to her journal. There wasn’t any more she could write about the days that had past. It was hardy bread and soup that she had ordered. Not like what she was used to before her exile and better by far than the meager scraps she called the food she ate on the road.

At dawn the next day she set out again, heading up the mountain just off the road. When the sun finally rose high enough for her to get a good enough look she froze. Alftand, the grand entrance to Fal’Zhardum Din had collapsed into the ice around it. In fact it hadn’t even collapsed the structure was still mostly sound but it was buried under ice and snow. Akita’s legs fell out from under her, this had been her home.

The smallest piece of hope forced her back onto her feet, it was possible that the ice had come without warning and the top parts were ignored in favour of keeping the internal workings of the city stable. Down she went walking along the wooden bridges and platforms, refusing to see the damage she knew would have been repaired months ago. Tears slipped down her face as the further she went the more damage there was. Added to that, half of the remaining Constructs couldn’t recognize her and would attack on sight. She thanked her teachers for showing her the secrets of the constructs and how to dismantle them with ease.

It wasn’t until she saw the remaining Snow Elves that she truly started crying. “Du ark thuamer chun abakch. Thuachal ahvardn, du arkngd thua arkanach.” She’d tried so hard to protect them, to get them out of the experiments. She’d thought that after she was gone the others in her group would continue the path. She had been so wrong.

Holding the body of one of the snow elves she cried, repeating herself over and over, seeing what had truly become of her beloved city. It wasn’t just for the snow elves that she sobbed, but for her people, for their faults, for their misdemeanors, for their narcissism, and lastly for every reason she hated the races of men. Their narrow mindedness.

The other snow elves heard her cries, recognizing the tongue that she fell back into. Though they did not comfort her they crept closer and did not attack. So much had gone wrong with her trip and deep in her mind she knew it could only get worse. It couldn’t have been only a thousand years, these cities were built to hold for longer. Perhaps two or three millenia had gone past in her dreamless slumber. But she had to see this through, no matter what was on the other end.

Akita knew exactly what she would find at the grand entrance. There was no reason not to see it. Years had gone into the makings of the entrance, and hundreds had taken it away. It was still astounding but now, now it was only a fraction of what it should look like. Luck was with her when the Centurion recognized her as Dwemer, the two who fought at the entrance did not surprise her but it was after their deaths that she realised something. The stairs leading down were shut. Though not much of a surprise, most just used the elevators from a different city. The stairs were normally kept open to receive those who couldn’t use those elevators quite yet. So either someone had gone through and shut them, or her people had shut them on purpose.

She knew it shouldn’t have but the thought that someone could still be alive down there gave her the slivers of hope. But until she found a key, there was no way to enter the city. She resigned herself to that and headed to the elevator that took her to the surface.

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It was night when Akita reached the surface. Not that she was surprised, the city was located far beneath the surface and the elevator could only travel at a slow speed. Combined with how much time she’d spent in there, it was more surprising that it wasn’t the next day.

Taking the innkeepers words to heart, she headed farther north on her tired feet instead of southeast to Windhelm. It was disheartening to see her home in ruins like that, but the small spark of hope was still ignited. Someone had to be alive in Fal’Zhurdum Din. They just had to be, why else would the stairs be sealed off. One of the Kagr had to have sealed it. So she’d have to find a key to gain entrance, and then she could bring news of the surface. Her face split apart in a grin, it wasn’t too bad up here, maybe with her news they could rebuild the sections that had fallen into disrepair.

First she’d find some place to rest her head and then she’d start traveling west to Nchuand’Zel. She almost couldn’t wait to see the sunlit city again. Her uncles workshop would be the first place she’d stop. Then she’d go to the Kagr of that city, see if they had a key she could borrow to gain entrance to her home. In her ecstatic happiness she started sprinting forward, visualizing everything she’d hoped she’d find. If her parents had perished she’d visit their graves but Dwemer could live for thousands of years. If not her mother than her father would surely still be living.

In the midst of her running and going through scenarios in her head she’d reached a city in almost no time at all. Though contrary to that thought it was dawn once again. Blinking back her exhaustion she entered the inn barely thinking to pay for her room before collapsing onto the bed. She hadn’t even closed her eyes before she was fast asleep.

When she awoke, she was curled up in a blanket she didn’t remember. Pulling off the covers made her realize that her boots had been removed as well. Frowning she gathered her things, pulling her boots and coat on in the process almost giddy as she remembered what she had planned for the next few weeks.

“Are you heading up to the college?” Before she could leave the innkeeper had called her back and handed her some bread and cheese.

“There is a College here? I was unaware. Would I be allowed to enter?” The innkeeper, as all the others did looked at her strangely for her choice of wording, but she needed to translate her words from Dwemer to Common. That itself wasn’t exactly easy, common had so many words that weren’t even that useful. It was just filling space.

“Yeah, farther into town is the College of Winterhold. College of Mages, dunno if you’d be allowed to enter. Think they got some sorta test for the new arrivals.” The innkeeper answered her with a shrug, grabbing his cloth to continue cleaning the tankards.

It made Akita pause, knowledge was everything she lived for. And if she could bring something about this land back, even if it was something to do with magic. She let the thought trail on for a few seconds before she made her decision. “Thank you for telling me. Perhaps I will head there first before continuing on in my journey.” Tilting her head in his direction, she left the inn facing the brutal cold she’d acclimated to.

On the other side of the town was the bridge and the College the innkeeper had mentioned, though it looked more like a castle than a house of knowledge. She stared at it longer than she had to. If what the innkeeper mentioned about a test rang through she knew she’d fail. Even with her schooling, magic had never truly been at the forefront of any of the teachers minds, baring a few necessary spells.

“Cross the bridge at your own peril! The way is dangerous, and the gate will not open. You shall not gain entry!” Akita looked over at the elven woman who had stepped up, slightly taking a step back.

“I was told this was a place for knowledge and magic. Was I told wrong in that I could enter?” Her words took the elf slightly by surprise, but with the way people acted around magic here perhaps she was the guard to prevent hatred from entering.

“Perhaps, but what is it you expect to find within?” Akita shifted under the gaze of the elf, what did she expect to find within? She had no real talent with magic, a few spells but nothing more. It had been her logic and fighting ability that put her apart from the rest.

“Answers. To questions that people scoff at. To things that have happened and will happen. I seek knowledge and answers which others will not tell me.” It wasn’t far from the truth, and she didn’t really want to say that she wanted to know how much people have learned over the centuries. Even with magic, she was certain she’d be turned away.

“It would seem that the College has what you seek. The question now is what can you offer for the College. Not just anyone is allowed inside. Those wishing to enter must show some degree of skill with magic. A small test, if you will.” There was what she figured was going to happen.

“Alright, what do I have to do?” Akita sighed shifting between her feet, hoping that she might just be able to do a simple spell for the test. Maybe something to do with wards? Or healing? Though she knew that would be unlikely.

“A small spell, most adventurers find it useful to have a light. The spell Candlelight has many uses, if you can perform this spell I’ll consider your test complete.” Akita nodded, it was a useful spell, and luckily one she knew. Even with all the lights in the Dwemer Cities and their unusual eyes, light was always useful. Casting the spell was simple enough, and good enough for the test it seemed as the elf smiled and lead her onto the bridge and into the college.

The courtyard was plain, with a statue of a mage in the center. The stonework had her frowning sometimes, the use of arches made her tilt her head. She thought about bringing up the structural weakness in it -perhaps listening to her father's lectures on architecture were actually useful- but thought better of it. If the structure was used as the college for as long as the stone seemed to appear, then it was better not to mention its shortcomings.

As soon as she had been led in, she was left on her own with instructions to find, and speak with, Mirabelle Ervine. Who was rather easy to find, all things considered. At least this time she had a name. She still didn’t know who the elf was who led her in here. Which would probably be embarrassing later on.

“Excuse my interruption. I was instructed to find a woman by the name of Mirabelle Ervine? I am to be a new student here.”

“Another new student?”  The woman Akita supposed was Mirabelle raised her eyebrows for a second before shaking her head. “I'm surprised at how many of you there are lately. Well, first you'll need these. While you're not required to wear them, you may find them more to your liking than your current clothes. I'll give you a brief tour, and then we'll get you to your first class. Are you ready to begin?” Akita shook her head slightly, the gold rings attached to her braids clinking together a few times.

“Would I be required to take the tour or could I look around on my own time? I would prefer being shown where books are kept if that is allowed.” Mirabelle nodded  her head slightly gesturing to the building behind her.

“The arcaneum? Very well I suppose, but please let me know when you’d be ready for the tour. The arcaneum is located above a floor in the Hall of Elements behind me. Take the door on your right when you walk into the building. Your room will be in the Hall of Attainment the tower to the right of the Hall of Elements. But please keep your voice down while inside as others may be working on experiments.” Akita had barely let the older woman finish before she was off, though she did notice the small shake of head from her as she left in a bound.

“Bthar da zem.” Akita’s mouth fell open at the sight of the arcaneum. Books covered nearly every surface available, and it appeared as if there was no end to the limit of books they had collected. It took all of three books to realize she still couldn’t read the language. The writing system just didn’t make any sense. Resigning herself to her fate she put her books back and walked up to the desk at the back.

“Excuse me. I was wondering if you had any books in Dwemeris, or had a way to translate the books here into it?” Akita’s question took the orc behind the desk off guard if the way his eyebrows tried to escape his face were anything to go off of.

“Dwemeris? Why would you want books in that language? Unfortunately there isn’t any books like that, and if there were they wouldn’t be accessible to just anyone. Now off with you, I’ve no time for games.” He thought it was a joke. Why did everyone treat her like she was just some imaginative child? It wasn’t her fault she can’t read the stone cursed language. Toss him into the future a few thousand years, see if he can read then.

Akita walked away with a huff, there was no point in staying here if there wasn’t a way to read the books. How was someone supposed to read that anyway with all it’s squiggles? The anger and annoyance must have shown on her face as an older Mage stopped her before she could leave the arcaneum.

“I don’t think I’ve seen that look on anyone's face leaving the arcaneum before. What seems to be the problem.” It was embarrassing enough the first time, but something in the man's posture made her look down at her feet.

“I cannot read the books within the arcaneum. You have nothing in Dwemeris, and no spell to translate. The orc at the desk yelled for playing games with him, but it is no game.” Akita took a chance to look at the man’s face and braced herself for the oncoming yells.

“Dwemeris, that’s the language of the Dwarves. Where would you have grown up for that to be the only language you can read?” He shook his head, while Akita frowned.

“In Fal’Zhurdum Din of course. Many look at me and see, what was it, Dun-mer? Just because my skin is grey does not make me one of them. I am Dwemer. I came to see if there was any knowledge from here I could take with me to Nchuand’Zel, for I was unable to gain access to my home.” She paused here taking in the other man’s look of dawning horror. “What is it that makes you look so? My Uncle lives in Nchuand’Zel, he is surely able to find me access. Or perhaps you’ve never been?” Her eyes light up at the thought to tell someone else of the city, besides Fal’Zhurdum Din it was her favourite. “It is the city of sun! Carved into the side of a mountain! Half of it has no stone above it so you can walk in sunlight. It is one of my fav-. You are looking at me like that again. Is something the matter?”

“You don’t know. Come, follow me.” Following the man down to the hall of the elements he led them both over to a bench along the edge of the wall. “You say you are Dwemer, are you aware of what has happened?”

“What happened? Well Alftand looks in need of major repair, but that is likely due to something that happened. My running theory is someone attacked and Alftand was abandoned so people could get into Fal’Zhurdum Din and then the passage was closed off. Which is why I need to get to Nchuand’Zel, so I can get the Kagr there to open the stairs. They are usually open.” If anything the man looked even more disheartened at her words.

“Your people vanished over 3000 years ago. Vanished without a trace, I’m afraid.” That was exactly the sort of this she had been dreading.

“What do you mean?” Akita asked dreading the answer to come.

“You’re people have been dead for thousands of years.” She wanted to scream, shout, anything. This couldn’t be true, he had to be a liar. Liar, had to be, her mother wasn’t gone. Her father wouldn’t have disappeared without trace. No. No.

“No. No. No. No. No. You are a liar. Liar. They are not gone. My mother is- no no no. Da fahl bthun thua. Duumarkng amakai. Thuafahlchal ngahl. Fahl. Fahl. Fahl” Akita curled into herself, pulling her knees. Tears coming in waves she sobbed, he couldn’t speak the truth there had to be more somewhere. People don’t just vanish overnight.

But then, why was Alftand in such disrepair? Why were the Snow Elves left to themselves? Even if they were experiments, they wouldn’t just be left alone. People treated it as if she were joking when she mentioned being a Dwemer. She knew, she just hadn’t wanted to see it. Why would anyone want to see the truth?

She didn’t register being picked up and carried to her room. She felt so numb, everyone she knew was gone. She knew someone was in the room with her as she drifted off, and in the back of her mind she only wished that it had been her mother.

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I can’t believe that they’re all gone. Mother, Father. Even Uncle Zahlch. Alftand is a ruin, Nchuand’Zel has had men and mer living in it for centuries, you can’t even truly gain access to Fal’Zhurdum Din anymore. My people, our history, our mistakes and successes have all just, Vanished.

No one knows how it came about but I can wager a guess or two. Narcissism, like the Altmer (high elves, they’re the ones with gold skin and hair) or really any race of Mer, was our downfall. We thought we could gain what others could not, we scorned magic and the gods thinking ourselves higher. And what did we get? Nothing, not even a grave.

Without the additional years from the spell (note- over 3000) I am 150 years old. I know bits a pieces of what had occurred. Beneath the Red Mountain we found the Heart of Lorkhan. From it we wanted power, and so Kagrenac, High Tonal at the time, forged three artifacts. Keening, Sunder and Wraithguard. At first the main goal of these artifacts were used to tap into the heart. Numidium was a construct that had been worked on for decades, but we had never had the power to literally turn it on. It was that which the artifacts were used for.

When the Chimer found out what we had done, in their territory with stories from their culture, they were furious. The First Council, once had been a call for peace between us, was now a war. So many died. I don’t know much of what happened afterwards, in my naivety I tried to stop the experimentation on the Snow Elves and was exiled. So right after the war began I was tossed out on my hide. I couldn’t go east to the Chimer I knew, so where else do I go but South.

Which I suppose catches everything up. I’m leaving Winterhold shortly, everyone looks at me with various looks of pity. And since I suppose there really isn’t a point to going to Nchuand’Zel unless I want to argue with the supposed ‘master scholar of the Dwemer’ I’m going to head to Whiterun like I should have originally.

I want to go home so badly. To have mother so proud over one of my creations again. To have father do that little frown of his whenever the guards would drag me home from whatever I’d done that time. Maybe Aunt Arizch would show up unannounced again from across the water. Where the most I’d have to worry about was whether or not I was sneaking out again. Maybe I’ll find a way to join them. After all, if they’ve vanished perhaps the spell sent them to a pocket dimension like the Oblivion Planes.

I’ve learned the names of those at the college. The elf who gave me the test is Faralda, the old man Tolfdir. I can’t remember the Orc’s name but it was definitely orcish. Onmund is one of the novices. There is a man here however who hasn’t even glanced my way, and sometimes will physically refuse to look even in my general direction. His name is Arniel Gane. I think he’s doing something to do with the Dwemer and why they vanished. I hope he never gets the answer to that, only because I know he’d decide to try to copy it. That will help no one.

Whiterun to the Jarl, then maybe Riften? I hear there’s a guild of thieves that needs luck back on their side desperately. (Don't tell Enthir he talks in his sleep, who's Karliah any way?)

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Akita, true to herself, snuck out when the clouds fully covered the sky. While kind hearted, the people in the College would always seek more knowledge then they could truly need and Akita was done with questions and pitying looks. It took almost two days to reach the city of Whiterun, pausing every so often to stare at the land around her or to fight off wolves who thought her easy prey.

Farms dotted the land around the walled city, guards patrolled the roads leading in. It felt warm, even though the wind was brisk and chilled. Even without the ceiling of rock and metal above her head something about the city made her think of home.

“Halt. City’s closed with the dragons about. Official business only.” As she got to the gates the guards stopped her entrance. What good would stopping travelers do with dragons flying above. Perhaps it would be to stop refugees from farms and towns that would be burned down and prevent mass panic. But even then, wouldn’t they want to help those who were left with nothing?

“Riverwood calls for the Jarl’s aid and I come bearing news from Helgen.” That got her into the city with only a moment's pause. The market was the first thing she saw as she made her way into the city. No one even glanced at her, going about their business without even a thought to the threat of dragons. There was some tension true, but it was more towards the civil war and feuds from the city’s two major families that the dragons.

Akita made no effort to stop and speak with people, though she noted the inn for after the meeting with the Jarl. It would be nice to sleep in a bed again, though she’d always miss the stone beds of her home. The tree in the center of the city was bare and looked as if it was dying. To her right sat an upturned boat for a house, you could hear sounds of fighting all the way down on the street. Further up the steps she walked to the wooden castle at the top of the city. If a dragon attacked, this place would go in a wash of flame.

It was curious the inside, clean and wiped with servants running to and from. “What is the meaning of this interruption? Jarl Bulgruuf is not receiving visitors.” The dark elves voice caught her by surprise and she turned quickly heat rising to her cheeks.

“I come with news of Helgen. Riverwood calls for aid.” It made her feel small, the eyes of nearly everyone turned towards her. It was like the trial all over again, though this time she wasn’t going to be exiled at least. The dark elf nodded at her response, tilting her head towards the Jarl.

“Well, that explains why the guards let you in. Come on then, the Jarl will want to speak to you personally.” Up towards the throne she went still glancing around her. She caught the look the elf gave her once and stared forward after that.

“So, you were at Helgen. You saw this dragon with your own eyes?” The Jarl spoke harshly slightly leaning forward in his seat as Akita nodded.

“Yes. It destroyed Helgen and last I saw it was heading this way.” She tried to stand taller but with the eyes that stared at her it was all she could do to prevent herself from fleeing.

“By Ysmir, Irileth was right! What do you say now, Proventus? Shall we continue to trust in the strength of the walls? Against a Dragon?” Seeing as she appeared to be no longer needed here, Akita took a few steps back and went towards one of the pillars at the side of the room blending into the shadow with ease. When all the planning was done, it was clear that she was still expected to be in front of the Jarl. Belatedly she realized she hadn’t truly been dismissed but she didn’t exactly want to stand where everyone could see her again.

As if he knew exactly what she was thinking he stood and walked into a side room behind where she was standing. When he entered the room she was standing beside him.

“You have a knack for vanishing, I would hope that you would use it to help us and not to break the law.” One of those kids running around had to be his, that look on his face was far to perfected. So either he was a really bad kid who got that look a lot or he was really good at using the look.

“Of course I’d help.” He stared at her for a few seconds before she sighed. “And not to break the law should I know of the laws.” He still hadn’t said anything, only raising an eyebrow. “Alright fine, I won’t break into people's homes while they’re away and steal their valuables for I’m sure a very handy profit.” The Jarl nodded before turning to the mage who was obviously trying not to laugh at the situation. She really couldn’t blame him if he did start laughing, it was pretty funny.

“Farengar, I’ve found someone to help you with your little dragon project. Go ahead and fill her in on all the details.” Dragon project. Of course, why wouldn’t it be find the butterflies project or something. Farengar, the mage, frowned slightly looking her over before sighing.

“So the Jarl thinks you can be of use to me? What I need is someone who can fetch something for me, not a thirteen year old girl.” Akita sighed in frustration. If it wasn’t her age it was how small she was, and if it wasn’t that it was someone somewhere scoffing at her intelligence.

“Just tell me where I am going and what you would require gathering. I shall be the one to decide whether or not I can do this. You know not of my abilities or my experience so I would believe you should back off .” Farengar blinked for a few seconds staring at her with wide eyes. It was a staring contest until Balgruuf coughed a few times.

“I, ah, learned of a certain stone tablet said to be housed in Bleak Falls Barrow -- a "Dragon-stone," said to contain a map of dragon burial sites. Go to Bleak Falls Barrow, find this tablet -- no doubt in the main chamber -- and bring it to me. Simplicity itself.” The last was issued as a challenge. As if the mage didn’t truly think her capable of this. Her eyes rolled as she turned away heading out the door.

“Before you leave, I would-” She knew it was rude. But honestly, if the Jarl was about to say what she thought he was, one of them was going to find themselves dead. And with all his soldiers, it was likely to be her. So instead she simply vanished once more. It was becoming almost habit by that point anyway, but also tiring. She’d have to find a way for people to ignore her in plain sight.

Chapter Text

She remembered the man who led her from Helgen pointing up to a ruin at the top of the mountain when they were on their way to Riverwood. Climbing mountains had always been easy for her, it helped that the cities were huge and she could climb up the walls. So perhaps it was mountains but climbing in general that was easy. She found herself pondering the answer as she went up the mountain. Only to find a path, covered in snow but if the footprints were any sign a path. It didn’t matter much now as she stood at the base of the stairs but it would have been nice to know earlier.

Blood covered her set of daggers from the bandits she’d found outside as well as the pair that were at her feet. These two hadn’t seen her coming, cuts on either of their necks had brought them to their knees. It was easy if she was being honest, sneaking past the draugr that slept soundly. The stone knew what she was and made her steps even quieter as she made her way through the barrow. The hall of stories was interesting enough, not that she could read what they said.

It was a tremendous discovery for her, the room beyond the hall looked almost untouched. In the back of her mind she knew she ought to be wary, to make sure that nothing would come out of the stonework and attack her. But then the whispers started echoing in the back of her mind. Her bag and daggers were left behind by the strange coffin thing on the platform as she walked closer.

With each step she took the voices grew louder and louder. One word branding itself into her brain. Fus. Force. In the haze of the fading voices, Akita failed to hear the opening of the coffin. Didn’t hear the grumbling of the draugr as it spotted her or it’s footsteps as it walked forward lumbering with it’s ax in hand.

The stone screaming broke her out of the haze just in time to duck and dodge the ax coming down towards her head. Her daggers were too far for her to reach and there was no way that she was going to leave the barrow without her bag or that stupid dragonstone. Next time Farengar wanted something he was going to have to get it herself.

Without her blades she was forced into an endless section of dodging with the draugr. One wrong move would be all it took for her death, one wrong move. It swung the ax down, she dodged left. Right into the stone wall. There was no escape this time, as she quickly attempted to back up away from the draugr only to find her back already against stone.

Fear plagued her for a second, bringing her arms up above her head in some desperate attempt to protect herself. The clang of steel against steel made her lift her head. In a matter of seconds the draugr had been dispatched.

Her feet were sore and her pride was hammered, she didn’t need anyone to save her. Didn’t need to have a life debt on her hands. Cursing herself in all the languages she knew she collected her things from the platform. If only she hadn’t left her things behind, that in itself was an idiot’s mistake. She was 150! She should’ve known better! Her tutors were probably rolling in their graves -if they had had graves that is. She would have been forced to go over her basics for months had they been alive.

“Are you alright?” The mans voice was gruff, he had stood over to the side while she collected her things.

“I am fine.” Her voice was colder than she meant it, though her frustration with herself was quickly being put onto him.

“If you say so. Why’d a kid like you go into this place anyway?” The way the man said it made her blood boil.

That was it. That was the last straw. Seething with rage she turned around to face him. “I am not a child ! How many times must it be said before you people will hear me? Do you use your skull for nothing besides bashing it into anothers? Uk fahl mzuach thuamer ars charhk zarachzun orchirach ark anacharo! Thu istarach novamer! Uz da, uz da-” Sobs echoed as she fell down onto her knees wrapping her arms around herself. Had her people been there, there would be no need for her to be in this situation. Had her people been there, she’d still be exiled.

“Hey, it’s alright. C’mon kid let’s get you out of here.” Vaguely she felt him wipe away the tears that were falling down her cheeks. In the back of her mind, the stone around her was echoing the way she felt.

“I am not a-” Standing she tried to brush away the man’s words weakly.

“I know. C’mon.” He led the way up and out of the barrow, not once looking back. Which gave Akita the time she needed to recompose herself before they reached the out. “What’s your name anyway?” The kid was left unsaid but the vague impression of it was still there.

“Akita. Before you ask, I was given the task to find the dragonstone within. What drove you to follow me?” The stone in question was tied to her bag and was actually really heavy. She’d be glad to get rid of it soon.

He turned back just in time to see her head tilt, the gold rings in her braids clinging as they hit one another. “I’m Farkas, saw you leaving the city in a rush after heading up to Dragonsreach. Figured a k- someone like you might need some backup.” Again the kid was implied. She huffed slightly reminding herself of something she really ought to say now that they were out of danger on the way back to Whiterun.

“I do not usually require help. A mistake on my part for leaving my blades somewhere I could not reach. I suppose I would offer thanks for saving my life. I apologize for snapping at you.” His nod told her he’d acknowledged it, though if she told him what her words meant she was certain he’d leave her for the wolves.

“What’d you say anyway?”

“I, do not desire to repeat myself in a language you understand me in. Know that it was not nice, had I truly been a child I fear my mouth would have been washed and rinsed several times.” That got a laugh from him, as she blushed slightly.

“Hah. You keep saying your not a child, how old are you then?” In retrospect he was probably expecting her to say 15 or something, not her actual age.

“Would you believe me if I told you?” He paused as he turned to face her. In the sunlight her grey skin looked paler than it was.

“What are you like over a hundred?” Her silence gave him her answer. “Seriously?”

“I will reach 153 next summer.” Her matter-of-fact voice was muffled slightly as she winced.

He was silent for the rest of the way to Whiterun, she was certain she’d offended him somehow. So when they reached the gates she simply vanished, leaving him with a pouch of gold coins on his belt. She watched him walk up the steps to Jorrvaskr from the shadows, shoulders sagging. It had been nice to have someone to actually talk to and not expect some great all-knowing response or require her assistance.

Turning her head towards Dragonsreach she sighed, better get this over with.

Chapter Text

The stairs seemed longer as she walked up them a second time. Her bag was definitely heavier then it had been. She nodded to Irileth who was standing by the Jarl before turning into the small room Farengar occupied.

“You see? The terminology is clearly First Era or even earlier. I'm convinced this is a copy of a much older text. Perhaps dating to just after the Dragon War. If so, I could use this to cross-reference the names with the other later texts.” That was Farengar. His voice still sounded as if he was trying to prove his worth. 

“Good. I'm glad you're making progress. My employers are anxious to have some tangible answers.” That voice was new, it’s owner was obviously a woman. Though her features were covered by a hood as she leaned over the table.

“Oh, have no fear. The Jarl himself has finally taken an interest, so I'm now able to devote most of my time to this research.” Akita considered speaking up and making herself known to either of the researchers but curiosity got the best of her. It would have been easy to slip into the shadows and listen in but she was conscious of the promise she had made the Jarl. So instead she stood over to the side watching the two interact. 

“Time is running, Farengar, don't forget. This isn't some theoretical question. Dragons have come back.” It was hard to hold back the snort. Obviously they had come back, Helgen had been destroyed by one. Who was operating under theoreticals anymore?

“Yes, yes. Don't worry. Although the chance to see a living dragon up close would be tremendously valuable... Now, let me show you something else I found… very intriguing. I think your employers may be interested as well.” This was getting boring. Stepping closer she made sure that her steps were heard, watching as Farengar turned to the noise. “Hmm? Ah, yes, the Jarl's protege! Back from Bleak Falls Barrow? You didn't die, it seems.”

“If you expected me to perish, then I question your intentions in sending me in the first place.” At least the mage had the decency to blush before changing the topic spotting the stone still tied to her bag. Akita sighed rolling her eyes at his attitude. Mages. Honestly.

“Ah! The Dragonstone of Bleak Falls Barrow! Seems you are a cut above the usual brutes the Jarl sends my way.” Handing him the stone she scoffed. Coughing to hide her laughter as Farengar struggled slightly with the weight she replied narrowing her eyes slightly.

“Try not to injure yourself attempting not to insult someone. Your words will echo more than your actions, though they do more harm.” Even with as large an ego as he had, Farengar could hear the warning in her voice. 

“Yes, well. My associate-” Irileth barged in before he could finish his sentence and possibly make himself look more like a fool than he already did.

“Farengar! Farengar, you need to come at once. A dragon's been sighted nearby. You should come, too.” A dragon. Near the city. Oh there was no way this was coincidence. Someone's god was laughing at her. Probably the Falmers. 

“A dragon! How exciting! Where was it seen? What was it doing?” She wanted to smack some sense into the mage. This wasn’t something to be excited about. It was a dragon attack. 

“I'd take this a bit more seriously if I were you. If a dragon decides to attack Whiterun I don't know if we can stop it. Let's go.” Following the two of them was an easy task. At the top of the stairs she walked around the pillar leaning on it from the side. 

“So, Irileth tells me you came from the western watchtower.” Though she couldn’t fully see them she listened as he told his story, the watchtower was under attack it seemed, guards had died and the guard ran back to Whiterun to warn everyone. 

Akita listened silently as Irileth was ordered to kill the dragon however was necessary. Before Farengar could speak, from which she felt slightly happy, the Jarl turned to her. 

“There's no time to stand on ceremony, my friend. I need your help again. I want you to go with Irileth and help her fight this dragon.” The Jarl looked her over for a second, noting her posture as she leaned against the pillar watching with vague interest. “You survived Helgen, so you have more experience with dragons than anyone else here. But I haven't forgotten the service you did for me in retrieving the Dragonstone for Farengar. Please accept this gift from my personal armory.” Akita stared at the sword he handed her before sighing and accepting the gift. 

“I should come along. I would very much like to see this dragon.” Farengar, as per the normal Akita had witnessed, was far more excited with the idea of seeing a dragon up close than realizing what would happen when the dragon was finished with the watchtower. This time Akita walked over and reached up smacking the mage on the back of his head.

“Have you no brain scholar? It is a dragon, not some toy or spell for you to play with.” The Jarl looked over watching the interaction before turning back to Irileth as Akita turned to face him again.

“One last thing, Irileth. This isn't a death or glory mission. I need to know what we're dealing with.” Akita started walking down the stairs before she could catch Irileth’s response to him. There was a dragon that needed killing.