Disclaimer: This is a fanfiction based upon the game Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and also is based upon the mod ‘Bathing Beauties Luxury Suite” by Migal130.
“Welcome,” the large creature said, speaking in a strange guttural voice. It was massive, dwarfing her. “You fear me Laat Dovahkiin.”
Zoe blinked at the name, so unfamiliar it sounded like gibberish to her. In her fear riddled mind she had trouble even forming a coherent thought with such a creature in front of her. She did manage to step back, almost stumbling over a rock behind her.
“I see, you are weak,” it stated, its massive head lowering down to look at her, a large eye peering at her. “I can see into your soul Dovahkin.”
Fear washed over her as she looked on not sure what she was seeing. Who wouldn’t be afraid of what she was facing. Anyone with a working brain would be afraid. Instead the massive creature rocked back slightly giving her a better look. It was still massive, and reminded her of a dragon.
“Yes Dovahkin, I am a dragon,” it replied back to her.
Glancing around looking for some place to hide she noticed the rocky terrain, and nothing to help her out before looking back up at the dragon who merely shook his head in disappointment.
“If you are the Dovahkin, then I fear for the future,” it replied back to her.
With that it spread it massive wings and in a sudden burst lifted off.
“Perhaps we’ll see each other again, and then you’ll be stronger,” it bellowed before leaving.
Zoe sat up in her bed, heart beating as she vaguely recalled the strange dream. She stretched looking around her small shack. It wasn’t much but it was her despite her not having much of anything. She had a roof over her head, a bed, table and chairs which was more than the poor in Imperial city had. The only real problem was food was scarce at the moment considering the harvest hadn’t been good. She wasn’t much of a farmer she realized far too late.
Her shack wasn’t in the best part of the empire, but close to the Imperial City and was able to be far enough away to miss out on the politics of the Thalmor now running Cyrodiil. She heard rumors of how things had been when the Thalmor conquered the city and felt glad she wasn’t closer.
Now, she gathered what coins she had making her way into the city. She stood taller than others, being a Nord and with blonde hair. There were some Nords around, but mostly Imperials and elves at the Imperial City. Looking at the impressive walls she wondered how the Thalmor managed to invade and couldn’t imagine the battle.
Entering the city she passed by a few people she knew, a few guards who merely looked her way. She had more than one encounter with some guards but still managed to be on their good side.
Moving though the city she wondered about the arena. She might be able to gain some gold there today. It was a risk and one she decided was worthy to take. Turning away from the bars she headed towards the arena and what she hoped was a good payday.
“Ah, Zoe, nice to see you today,” the bookie, Tegan, said to her as she approached the building. “We have several good fights today.”
“Yeah, who’s fighting?” Zoe asked, wondering who she might wish to wager on.
“Several new people against each other, testing them out to see if they are worthy of climbing the ranks,” Tegan replied, still looking as if he was ready to bust with information. “But the last fight, the grand-champion is fighting, Black-Eye against Jorius the Brave.”
Zoe nodded knowing they were both good fighters and went over what she knew about them. She had seen them both fight and realized Black-Eye was the stronger one.
“All right, how much for that last bet?” she asked.
“Ten gold coins minimum,” he replied back to her.
Zoe weighted the price knowing if she won it would be worth it. However, if she lost she would almost be wiped out. She didn’t gain anything by playing it safe though and nodded.
“Ten on Black-Eye then,” she stated with confidence, which she actually didn’t feel. This was a big gamble for her even as he took her money and handed her back a slip to redeem if she won.
“Good luck,” Tegan said as she made her way inside to watch the next new fighters. Perhaps she could find someone to bet on in the future.
Making her way into the spectator seats she noticed a few regulars who waved at her as she waved back at them. She’d been here enough to know some of them, not well but acquaintances. Not enough to trust them with anything, but to pass time while watching the fights.
“I see you’re out Zoe,” a voice said causing her to look over to see a High Elf nearby.
“Valis,” Zoe replied back to the elf, an arrogant person and part of the Thalmor. He thought the Thalmor ruled everything and were supreme. “I see you’re still ugly.”
“I’d be careful, a pretty young thing like you,” Valis replied back. “There are plenty of dangers lurking in the world.”
“Yeah, including you,” Zoe muttered back, heading for a seat far away from him to watch the fights hoping he wouldn’t follow. He could ruin a day just by looking at a person in her opinion. But he was part of the Thalmor and had ambition to go even higher.
For some reason he was obsessed with her which seemed unusual for an elf of his rank to even be interested in a human. She knew him to be a bit creepy and obsessive.
He didn’t follow but settled in with a few other Thalmor demanding attention of the servers. Zoe knew it would be a while before they got around to her for a drink which was fine with her.
She went over the fighters, none of which she really knew. She finally got a drink, knowing her coins were running out and she‘d need some new income soon.
Passing some time she watched the fights, using her observations to evaluate the new fighters. Some were actually good in her opinion, and she conversed with a few others who joined her to watch on their opinions.
Much to her relief Valis hadn’t made any more moves towards where she sat meaning she could enjoy the matches in peace. But looking over there was something about how he acted which disturbed her. Putting it out of her mind she settled down to watch the featured match, Black-Eye and Jorius.
Black-Eye entered wearing the champion armor and part of Zoe wondered what it might be like to have such armor. Taking a moment to imagine herself in such armor and having the pride and prestige which would go with it, something she would never have. She had some tell her she had potential with a blade but never considered herself that good.
Focusing back on the fight which had now started she noticed something strange with the movements of Black-Eye. He seemed sluggish, as if he wasn’t feeling right. He should have been the more dangerous of the two but this fight seemed very different. Did something happen to Black-Eye?
“Come on Jorius, today’s your day!” she heard Valis shout.
She heard others shouting encouragement and support for Black-Eye but as the match continued she noticed Jorius taking over.
A bad feeling washed over her the longer the fight lasted. Black-Eye seemed less able to keep up with Jorius. The swings from the champion much more clumsy and unwieldy than even before the match started. It made her wonder what had happened in the short time since the battle started.
Then, something she expected and hoped not to happen, Jordius struck the winning blow and the match was over. She lost her bet and had no almost no money. She took the risk and lost, sure others would call her stupid for even trying it but she knew what could happen. She didn’t feel sorry, only a sense of what to do now.
“You dirty bastard, you Thalmor filth,” a voice said causing everyone to look. A male Nord stood pointing at Valis. “You rigged that last match, didn’t you?”
Even from where she sat she knew the Nord was drunk as he rushed Valis. The elf easily sidestepped the rush before countering with an ice spell knocking the man out. Valis calmly walked over to the now prone man.
“You’re lucky Nord I’m in a good mood, I’ll let you live,” Valis said to him despite the fact he was out cold. Valis then looked over at Zoe and smiled. “The offer still stands.”
With that he laughed before making his way out of the spectator’s seats making Zoe wonder if he had rigged the match. He didn’t appear at all surprised or even insulted by the accusation the Nord had made. A couple of the Nord’s friends picked him up and carried him out leaving her with only a few others.
“You know, it makes sense,” another person said, an Orc. “I’ve never seen Black-Eye fight so badly.”
“I know, but do you want to make that accusation?” an Imperial said.
Zoe knew them both but not their names, only in passing at the arena. She stopped to listen in.
“Jorius is good, but not that good,” the Orc said. “Unless, they all knew something was wrong with Black-Eye.”
“You saying they knew, tossed him out there to lose?” the Imperial said.
“Why not, they know something’s wrong, hype it up, people bet on the champion and he loses, they net a large profit,” the Orc said.
Zoe shook her head. It made a bit of sense to her. They had informed her when she was betting. Nothing but new fighters and then this match. Perhaps the Orc was right, this wasn’t Valis’ fault, but the fact he bet on Jorius meant he probably knew about it.
Making her way outside she didn’t bother looking at Tegan, wondering if the two who had been arguing were on to something. A lot of people probably did bet on Black-Eye, he had been champion for a while. Were they right, had he thrown the match, or been injured in some way and not told anyone? If so, then she had been played and now had almost no money.
She supposed some hunting or fishing might get her some meat to sell, or a hide if nothing else. Her options really were limited as she made her way down the street not paying attention to her surroundings. Unfortunately she bumped into Valis and his friends on the street who were looking at an older woman who eyed him strangely.
“Why don’t you go and bother someone else you creepy old hag,” Valis said to the woman obviously not wanting to be near her. She was dressed in simple clothes, long white hair braided and hazel eyes which seemed to look right through you.
The woman didn’t seem to even mind the perceived insult and continued to look at them all before turning towards Zoe and stared intently. She looked at everyone realizing she actually agreed with Valis, the woman was creepy. Of course she’d never actually say that but thought it as the woman approached her.
“Zoe, you change your mind?” Valis asked realizing she was there.
“Don’t hold your breath,” Zoe replied back to him, even as the woman now invaded her personal space, peering up at her with aged eyes. Zoe backed away slightly even as the old woman followed before taking her hand.
“Be wary,” the woman said, her voice crackling from old age. Zoe tried to pull away but the strength of the old woman surprised her. “The World Eater returns, only the last of the line can stop him. For within you is great potential power, use it wisely.”
“Her? Ha!” Valis said with a snort as the others around him laughed as well. It didn’t faze the old woman who merely looked back at him.
“Arrogance is to be blind, and the ego fuels that blindness,” the woman said turning away from Zoe and towards them. “But a warning to you elf, not that it’ll do much good. Do not go north to Skyrim, for there you will die in your ego and arrogance.”
“Whatever old woman, now get out of my sight,” Valis said, shoving the woman away.
Zoe used his inattention to move away from the group in a direction they were not looking. She had no idea what the old woman meant, was she even a seer? The idea of her having a great power made her recall the dream she had this morning.
She could only now recall a vague large creature talking to her but what about she could not recall anything else. There was something that the creature wanted something from her.
Shaking her head she began walking back to home wondering what she might do next considering she was basically out of money. She needed to get some coin fast, but how?
End part 1