[Skill Book Series] The Voice of Strength (working title)

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Violet
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[Skill Book Series] The Voice of Strength (working title)

Post by Violet » Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:34 pm

NOTE: Vol. 1 is for Sneak, Vol. 2 is for Speechcraft, Vol. 3 is for Unarmored

The Voice of Strength Volume 1


by Bjald Soft-Fingers


Within Markarth Side, the great Hold Capital of The Reach stood the College of the Voice. Imposing as the statue before it, the College looms above the the manors and peasants alike. It is here that our story begins.

One fateful night, when the cold rain swept across the Karth River, greeting the habor with a dark, sinister embrace. A new student of the College, Sorethus Clavion, quickly rushes out into the storm with nothing but his clothes, a little over 200 gold pieces, a worn, cheap dagger in hand, and enough food and drink for a 3 days journey. He passed manors whose owners had spent the past week fortifying their homes for the storm, guards huddled beneath the stone overhangs of the city entrance in a failed attempt to escape the wind-swept rain while on duty, and soaked beggars wrapped in all manner of rags and torn book pages. As Sorethus past the the city gates, one of the guards asked in a weak, stuttered voice "Where are you going in this weather?" of which Sorethus replied in a whisper; "Home."

As the storm raged and terrifying lights darted across the weeping sky, Sorethus took refuge in a cave just south of the city. "I should've been able to make it farther..." he muttered to himself. He began planning "When the rain lets up, then I'll be off to Lainalten, there I can just take a carriage to Falcrenth and then again to Bruma, then I can just follow along the roads and reach Dethagrad in no time." It wasn't a great plan, if he had more time he could have saved more septims, sharpened his dagger, maybe bought a scroll or two. It didn't matter now, he needed to get out of there, despite him explaining he didn't want to go to Skyrim, to learn the way of the voice, his father still insisted. "You are Colovian, the Thu'um is in your blood. If you wish to inherit my fortune you will stay in Skyrim and learn the ways of your forefathers, or else don't come back at all." his father's voice still echoed in his head. "Just as warm as ever..." he muttered before losing consciousness within the ambiance of the growling thunder in the background.

He awoke the next morning, stepping outside the cavern entrance to meet the sun as it shined over the partly frosted mud and damp foliage. One great thing he could say about this wretched place, he thought, was the beautiful scenery. After taking in the sights and eating a light breakfast, he began walking down the road to Lainalten, where he continued for the next several days.

"It must've been at least 4 days by now and nothing. No caravaners, none of those damned Reachmen, no patroling guards, no one." he thought. "I'd even take a Hagraven at this p-" he stopped, being interupted by the vision of a farmstead in the distance. Running up to the front door tired, hungry, and yearning for human interaction, he opened the door with the nagging voice of his father's lessons on edicate only coming into his head after the fact. "Hello!? Is there anybody there? I'm in need of shelter and assistance!" he called in excitement and desperation. No one would answer. After a few minutes he decided that this farm was most likely abandoned. He immidiately locked found the kitchen, practically leaping over the dusty furniture to get to it, and in no more than an hour he was full. Swallowing portions the size of a Wormmouth. He found a warm, comfy bed upstairs where he rested his eyes for a moment, before once again drifting off into a deep slumber.

He woke up with frosted chains wrapped around his neck within what appeared to be a dark chasm. There stood a sillhoutte of a young woman glaring at him in the corner, growling at him as he attempted to plead for his freedom. "Where am I? Who are you? What is this place? Please just let me go, please!" he cried, fearing the end is nigh. The woman stepped out of the shadows, revealing her gnarled features and feathered arms. "My name is Klirvizantha, and you are my new pet."

"You... You're a Hagraven!" Sorethus exclaimed nervously.

"Yes I am, dear pet. And you're absolutely beautiful! Your face, it's so... delicious." Klirvizantha whispered while stroking his jaw with her mangled talon-hands.

She twirls her wrist toward the wall, unhinging the chains as they float into her claws. "You shall come with me, pet. We have much work to do." She yanks the chains towards the cavern tunnel pulling Sorethus toward her. She turns toward him dangling his coin purse in front of his face "This is a most helpful gift of you, pet." before leaving the Hagraven's lair.

It felt like weeks, with chain in hand, Klirvizantha lead Sorethus around like a dog on a leash. Traveling from cave to cave, lair to lair, seeing first hand the horrors her and her cohorts enacted in their respective dank depths. Being lead deep into the arctic wastes of Skyrim, he kept hearing speak of a gathering. "The grand channeling", "the gathering of ravens", "the council of crows", none of it registered in Sorethus's mind, it can't possibly be worse than what he's witnessed the vile bird-witch has done so far. No matter what this ceremony would be, he knew he must escape.

The ceremony was two weeks away, and Klirvizantha had decided to rest in an old abandoned mine. This was his chance. He snuck into her makeshift chambers, picking up his chains as to not make a sound. The key was around her neck on a thick, knotted string, fashioned from what appears to be a griffon talon. "Fitting." he thought. The trick, he thought, was to untie the string and move the key out of the the string instead of the other way around, open the lock with chains in hand, then slowly place the chains on the ground and leave. "Simple, quick, and effective." He placed the chains on the cart she had been using as a table, and began untying the knot that had been revealed when she rolled over in her sleep. This wasn't anymore difficult than picking the locked door of his father's study to get to his liquor cabinet, where he kept his stash of kurst. It was as simple as one, two, three. Once the string had been untied, he made sure to keep hold of the top string as to not have it fall onto her face. Sorethus reached over to grab the key, but stopped as Klirvizantha groaned in her sleep. Gently, he slipped the key off the string and placed the string delicately on the bed near her. He was halfway there, only one last detail left before his freedom was assured. He quietly wrestled the lock around his throat loose, being sure to not let them hit the ground. As he turned to place them on the cart, he accidentally bumped into the chains there, causing them to fall with a loud clank at the side of her bed. Klirvizantha woke up.

"What are you doing, my favorite pet? Seeking some companionship?" Klirvizantha asked half asleep.

"I just wanted to make sure you were okay." Sorethus answered nervously.

"It's okay, pet. I'll never leave your side. Now get some rest, we have a long day ahead of us. We need to bring those Giant horns to Haganthezick, and the Giants won't be thrill of the acquisition..." she said while snuggling her veined feathers back under the sheets.

Sorethus slowly backed out of her chambers and quickly headed out of the mine into the dead of night. He was alone again, wandering the frozen landscape. Unsure of what awaits him on his journey back to Colovia.

Violet
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Post by Violet » Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:35 pm

The Voice of Strength Volume 2

Sorethus Clavion found himself stranded in the northern wastes of Skyrim. The son of a wealthy Colovian knight was alone, tired, and freezing. He wandered from mountain to mountain searching for any signs of civilization, yet there was nothing to be found but endless blizzard. "Dranstrar must be around here somewhere, if I can just find it, I could stowaway on a ship headed for Anvil. Maybe I could even convince the sailors to give me a leftover meal or two." he said to nothing but himself and the racing snow around him. His family was from Dethagrad, just out of reach from the nobility. On his 15th birthday, his father, Soccicius, had him pack up and leave for Markarth Side by the end of the month. For to inherit his fortune he must study the way of the voice at the famous College of the Voice there. Until recently, he had been studying the Thu'um, being a poor student, he only learned the basics of breath control and vague notions of the conquests of Tiber Septim and awe-inspiring power of Ysmir Wulfharth.

Being alone with the howling snowstorm and the sounds of his own footsteps crunching behind him "I don't know how much longer I can take this, I should've never left the College." he said shivering. Stumbling in the thick, knee-high snow, he fell into it with a large crunch. Too exhausted to crawl out back on his own two feet, he accepted his fate, he would die soon of frostbite, and in death he could have the freedom he always sought after. However, that freedom wouldn't come today, he noticed he could still hear the crunching of footsteps behind him. The Crunching grew louder and louder, soon the snow around him began to shake with the crunching. Crunch. Crunch. CRUNCH. He struggled to look up, there was a tall figure approaching swiftly. "Could this be that witch, Klirvizantha come to roast me alive?" he thought as the adrenaline began surging through his system. He quickly scurried out of the snow and ran in the opposite direction as fast as the snow around him allowed.

"Help!" he yelled, with no weapon to defend him with. CRUNCH. CRUNCH. Whatever it was, it was getting closer. He then fell again, this time tripping over a rock hidden underneath the snow. Tumbling down the side of a hill, he got a good look at the creature. It was a giant, with frozen stains of blood covering his loincloth. The enraged giant slid down the small white slope, winding back his club arm during the slide, lining it up with Sorethus's head. Roughly halfway down the slide, they both heard a loud, feminine yell coming from the side of them distracted the wounded giant. Distracting him enough to slip and tumble past Sorethus. When Sorethus got back up, he saw what appeared to be some savage beast fly past him, jumping on top of the giant's neck. With a loud crack of his neck the giant lay dead in the blizzard, and Sorethus stunning at what stood above it. A lone, unarmed woman, naked as the day she was born. Her flowing red lockes of hair seemingly danced around the snow, as her amber eyes shot through Sorethus like poison-tipped arrows. "Could this be a Berserker?" He thought, "Am I next?".

"This yours?" she aggressively asked like a pack of hungry wolves ready to rip apart a deer carcass.

"N-No mam" he replied, trying to keep his eyes from drifting.

"Good." she huffed, grabbing the dead giant's arm in one hand and his club in another. "Hungry? Then pull." she commanded as she jestured him toward the other arm. "Camp will make there." she pointed east with the giant's club. As they headed east, the scrawny Colovian wimpered. He was never a particularly strong man, and under his current condition this was even more of a factor. After a few threats of being clubbed to death, however, he found the strength to quickly quiet down. "Who is this woman?" He thought to himself, "What awaits me at her camp?". "What is your name?" he asked while exhausted from struggling to pull his half of the giant. "Jytia" she stubbornly answered after several minutes of of ignoring the question.

They stopped near the entrance of an ice cave, where she dropped the giant's arm and strolled inside with a smirk on her face. "Wait, where are you going?" he asked, "Inside." she replied with a gleeful smirk on her face as she slowly disappeared within the icy darkness of the cavern entrance. "M-My name is Sorethus by the way!" he shouted in the darkness, with no answer but the cackling northern winds surrounding him.

The cave, as for as Sorethus could tell from its entrance, seemed devoid of all life. An air of dreadful silence permeated out of the hole as if all life was but a mere fantasy, a wishful thought of a long forgotten memory. As he nervously peered into the black mouth of the cave, Sorethus's frail body flew back onto the face of the dead giant as he heard a demonic roar below through the entrance. He had but a lone moment to get his bearings before the ground around him began to rumble. He tried to stand up but had trouble keeping on his feet as the earth shaked. He backed away from the cavern, as a strange wind began flowing into its icy depths. The earth had been shaking for nearly 10 minutes, the wind and snow rushing into the cave faster and faster. Then suddenly, it stopped within a blink of an eye. As if it was just his imagination.

"What the hell?" Sorethus said, confused at what just happened, but this was no time to stand about, the Berserker Jytia had been in that damnable cavern for far too long, and the sounds and rumbling he heard outside could be nothing good. He managed to muster up the courage to walk in. He legs, quivering, sheepishly walked down the ice floor, passing shattered icicles as he went deeper and deeper. Walls collapsed, frost trolls dismembered, the skeletal remains of what appears to be adventurers and travellers alike, shattered as if they were glass. The farther down he went, the harder it was to see. Soon he was stumbling in the dark, bumping into what felt like logs and bone.

After a while of searching, he could start to see a faint amber glow reflecting off the ice walls of the place. Soon, after gaining quite a number of blunders and bruises, he arrived at a campire where Jytia sat, feasting what appeared to be a cooked frost giant tongue skewered on a wooden knife. "Sit, eat." Jytia commanded while jesturing him to come sit with her. He took a bite out of a strange piece of what he could only describe as a "grotesque lump of an indescribable roast of flesh". It was divine, it was the best meal he's had since his first Feast of a Thousand Songs, a holiday held in Markarth Side on the 21st of Sun's Dusk, originally borrowed from the Bard's College in Solitude.
"Good, huh? Frost Giant liver is fantastic when properly cooked!" Jytia boasted. Sorethus looked puzzled for a moment, "I didn't know Berserkers were ones for conversation..."

"And I didn't know Cyrodiils were ones for the tundra" she teased. "Well, I'm not one for talking myself, but to live here you must be willing to adapt. In my world, words don't matter, the only thing that truly matters is the courage of your heart and the intentions of your mind. You look like the kind of person who cares more for words than their meaning. So in favor of communication, I'll speak to you on your own level. Using all of these fancy city words that you cherish so much."

"Okay, but why did you help me back there? Why are you helping me now? I've never heard of a Berserker being so kind." Sorethus asked nervously.

"I saw you cower in fear out there, as pitiful as a baby rabbit. If you are to have any hope of surviving out here then you're gonna need all the help you can use. But enough of this, I'm getting tired of all this babbling. Get some rest, because tomorrow I'm going to break you." she said with a sadistic smirk.

And so after getting their fill, they both got ready for bed. Jytia comfortably laying on the iced floor, while Sorethus opting to grab some rags found around the cavern to makeshift a bedroll to snuggle up to the fire in. Jytia was quickly fast asleep, while Sorethus fretted about what exactly she meant by "breaking him". This worry only lasted for a moment however, as his weary body simply couldn't keep up with his hyperactive mind. Another day was about to begin.

Violet
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Post by Violet » Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:36 pm

The Voice of Strength Volume 3 (UNFINISHED ATM)

The sun quickly rose, peaking into the iced cavern, filling the quiet tundra full of life and beauty. "Get up" Jytia, the Berserker, barked at the still sleeping Sorethus. It's morning. Sorethus forced his eyes to creek open as the naked nord stood over him. "You have 20 minutes to get your bearings, then meet me outside." she commanded.

Upon stumbling out of the cavern into the morning tundra, the sky was clear, for once. His cracked, frostbitten lips couldn't help but open in awe of the majesty of the Skyrim mountain-side. "Beautiful, isn't it?" Jytia said, agreeing with the look of wonder on his face. "Back when I was in my clan I used to wake up early to see the view."

"Your clan?"

"Ha! You don't believe I was always a lone wolf, do you? If I grew up alone in the wilderness, how would I have the ability to speak?"

"I..."

She sighed, putting her hand on his shoulder "Everyone has a past to remember, everyone has a story to tell. Just because one doesn't yap about their life all day doesn't mean they haven't lived it."

"So, what's your story?" Sorethus questioned. "Let's just say there's a reason I left the clan and choose to live as a berserker. Now, it's time I get you in fighting shape! First off, take off all of your clothes."

"Um, you want me to do what?" Sorethus blushed.

Jytia walk over to a tree poking out of the snow. Pointing toward it with her giant's club, "You see this tree?". Sorethus nodded. Within seconds she bashed the trunk with her club, crushing it with a single blow. As the head of the tree fell into the snow with a loud crash; she turned to him, swinging the club above her head and rest on her shoulder. "This tree is you. It may look hardy and capable, but its insides are weak and its bark, brittle. If you are to survive this landscape you have to be able to build up your endurance, and that starts with your ability to resist the elements. So strip."

Sorethus stood naked in the snow, shivering as the cold air surrounded his body and snow seeped into his toenails. His futile attempts at covering himself proved useless.

"The first thing I want you to stand there, and stop covering yourself." She commanded.

"But--"

"Do you want me to train you or not?" Jytia scolded.

After some hesitation, Sorethus sheepishly revealed himself, catching Jytia's eyes wander downward for just a moment before snapping back into reality. "Fine, are you happy?" Sorethus's shivering lips barked. "We'll see... Now I'm going to go out and bring us something to eat. Wait here until I get back."

"Can I at least put my clothes back on?" Sorethus whined. Jytia turned with a menacing leer, with a look as if she was a feral Raki eyeing her prey, preparing for the coming slaughter.

"No."

Sorethus watched the sun slowly rise up to the top of the sky, it had been hours of standing. He began to think that Jytia had died, or simply forgot about him. He waited, and waited, his feet ached too much to feel the increasing frostbite taking hold of his body. He watched what appeared to be the same twenty clouds pass by, as well as two seemingly love sick parvil birds chasing each other through out the day - which he named "Polydor" and "Eloisa" after the famous lovers of legends. After the midday had come and went, with no Jytia in sight, he couldn't take this torture anymore. He collapsed, unable to continue to stand with no sign of Jytia returning to end this suffering. He laid sunken in the snow, yet unlike before, he wasn't cold, in fact he wasn't anything. The only thing he could feel was the agonizing pain in his legs and feet.

"Hey!" Jytia called out from across the mountain. "Did I say you could rest?" Her scolding voice carrying all the way from across the icy range.

Sorethus looked up, stunned by what he saw. Jytia pulling a mammoth by its snout as if it weighed but a sack of potatoes. Before he knew could find the will to stand upright, she had arrived.

"Just one day and you're already an axe-length's away from death? Ha!" She reached out her hand to him, yanking him up on his feet. "Come on, this thing isn't going to eat itself." After a long day, they settled back into their cave to feast on the mammoth she had slain.

For months they trained, his tolerance for these extreme colds began growing, as had his endurance. After the first few weeks of endurance training, they began on combat. She lessons were harsh, and his learning was slow, but eventually he began showing improvements. "Your puny arms won't be able to make so much as a Rat whimper, what you need to do is focus on being able outlast them. At least long enough for your opponent to be weakened so much so that they'll actually feel your pathetic excuse for a punch." Jytia warned him, recognizing his rather frail nature.

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