A Hero's Prologue: Fall Before the Rise


The Fall Before the Rise


          In the years before Skyrim, before the civil war ravaged the land and pit brother against brother, before the dragons returned to subjugate or destroy mankind as they had in the beginning, the tale of one of the greatest heroes of mankind began. But it was not in the north; rather, this tale begins in the town of Bravil, within the province of Cyrodiil. It was here that a child was born, Regulus Aurelius. The son of a priest and priestess, he would often hear of tales from the brave men and women who sought the blessings of the gods. From those warriors he would hear tales of bravery and strength, of valor and courage, of tales from veterans of the great war. The more he listened, the more he wanted to walk in their shoes, to experience what they did. These tales would follow him his entire life, and forge the fire of righteousness within his being that fueled his inner desire to become a protector.

          His desires held true, even as he grew into a young adult; Regulus still dreamed of being a hero. In a Cyrodiil still reeling from the devastation that was the Great War, surrounded by several war victims and veterans, Even someone as young as he could understand that a savior was what the world needed. Someone to defend the values of peace, and protect those that could not protect themselves. Every day he would play and practice his chivalry and knightly skills, in the hopes that one day he could save a life like the soldiers of the Legion, and even as his mother and father feared for their child's safety he would always train, for there was not a soul on Nirn that could dissuade him.

          It was at the age of 19 that his hopes would be answered. During the 4th Era, many factions and groups sprang up from the ashes of each crisis, including the Vigilants of Stendarr and the Keepers of the Razor. One such fellowship arose from the aftermath of the Great War, dedicated to growing strong for battle and defending those that would be victim to the machinations of war and daedra. This group was known as the Soldiers of Light. Their leader, Drascius Venario, being an exalted knight himself, saw the devastation that destroyed the empire first hand as a soldier in the war, and dedicated this group to protecting both the innocent whose lives were extinguished needlessly, and the soldiers who fought to defend them, with the aim of minimalizing the loss of life as much as possible.

          For Regulus, this group was his chance to finally prove himself. To gain the shield he would use to defend the weak and repel the wicked. To become the hero he believed the world needed in the face of the oppressors. Though despite his passion, he was unable to join the group until he was 20 years. But he was unwilling to sit around and wait for his age, so until that day he trained with intense drive, hoping to mold himself into his ideal knight. He constantly sought out the council of soldiers and veterans, and even learned the art of Restoration and Illusion. He built himself up from the ground into a fine warrior, one with a strong mace arm and an even stronger shield arm, and when he could finally call himself a man he travelled to Cheydinhal, the home of the Soldiers of Light, and became a member of one of the strongest and most noble factions in Cyrodiil.

          As a Soldier the results of his personal training reflected well, and he regularly surpassed the other novices of his group with the trials he was tasked with. He learned much on his missions as a squire to the more learned members, all of whom spoke of great praise about his talents and potential. Regulus truly held the desire to protect the innocent, and regularly prayed to the Divines to grant him the strength to forge his destiny. Whether he was tasked with assisting the citizens of Cheydinhal with varying degrees of mundane requests, or dispatching a dangerous beast that had been causing trouble to nearby farms and settlements, he took great pride in being the man he'd always desired to be. His feats and his beliefs inspired those that trained alongside him, and he was regularly tasked with helping new recruits train and study. Regulus was well on his way to becoming a true hero.

          It would not last.

          It started with an assault on a group of assassins, unaffiliated with the Dark Brotherhood or the Morag Tong, that seemed to crop up on their radar out of nowhere. It was business as usual for the Soldiers of Light: Assault the assassins quickly in an encirclement to ensure as few as possible escaped. But these assassins were far stronger than even the Dark Brotherhood assassins they had experience with; one of them could probably lead that group with the skills they held. The Soldiers were successful in the end, but a few lost their lives in the battle. In previous battles beforehand the worst that would occur to the knights was heavy injuries, but the foes this time around were more than they had ever faced. At one point Regulus even questioned whether or not they could survive the encounter. The lead knights determined that such a group must be kept under watch, but Regulus could not shake the feeling of forboding, that this assault had brought the beginning of something more terrifying...

          His omen came true less than a week afterwards. He and the rest of the Soldiers of Light travelled a ways off to offer a proper burial to those who fell in that battle. Each knight gave a few solemn words, and their bodies were returned to the earth. It is only as they were returning that they noticed the smoke coming from the direction of their base. They suspected vengeance, and rushed to battle. What they saw was dreadful: The men and women who stayed behind to watch the base were mercilessly slaughtered by a band of seven assassins, referring to themselves as the Sinister Seven. One of the assassins stepped forward, accusing the Soldiers of slaughtering his group, that the assassins they had purged was but one of many under their command, and that this assault on their base was payback for their extermination and disgrace.

          Each knight raised arms and engaged their enemy. The veterans stood at the vanguard, raising their shields in defense so that the squires could strike true upon the enemies. Several knights skilled in archery took aim from the rear, raining arrows down on the seven with great accuracy. The heavy arms forces struck from the sides, aiming to cripple the flank and make encirclement easier overall. The set up was flawless in design and execution, for the knights were well trained and coordinated. Yet even in the face of this formation the result could not be changed: The soldiers were massacred. One by one, the minions of the seven engaged and destroyed the knights. Though a few could withstand their assault long enough to mount their own their efforts were undone by the seven themselves. This was a battle they could not win, and as the flames of destruction raged on in the background, consuming the knights' home, Regulus could do naught but stare.

          He dreamed of the day when he could raise arms and defend those he loved and cared for. He had befriended many within the fellowship. His closest allies, his mentors, those he tutored. As he rose to a knee after hitting the ground from a devastating blow he watched as each of those he knew and held dear were destroyed by the Sinister Seven. All the hope he held for himself and his fellowship were ruined before his eyes, as the carnage played out unhindered. Everything was gone now. All that he cared for was now gone. Even those that aimed to flee were shot down without prejudice. Drascius Venario himself lead a final stand by himself, hoping to strike his foe and leave his mark, but he was given no such chance, and met an ignoble end.

          Finally, there was only Regulus, down on both knees and utterly shell-shocked, broken and traumatized. As his enemies began to set upon him he tried pathetically to stand for battle. Staggering on his feet, his shield and mace had unusually large weight, and he could not raise them. Even when he did raise his shield he could not bring it to defend himself. The Sinister Seven laughed at his miserable appearance as they stood over him, and knocked him backwards with little effort, knocking the last of his fighting spirit from his body. They offered to spare him if he swore never to raise a weapon or shield again, which he agreed to through quivering lips. Satisfied with their revenge, they left the broken knight to the remains of his brethren. For the first time in his life, he truly came to understand how weak he truly was.

          The guards of Cheydinhal, who fell back due to the dangers of those merciless assassins, finally appeared to save Regulus, who could only give them a look of utter despair and fear. Some of the soldiers fell to their own knees in horror and sadness, having known some of the knights beforehand. Even as the battle came to an end the fires raged on, only to finally exstinguish from Kynareth's tears above. Tears for the soldiers who hopelessly died on that day. As the cold rain fell upon Regulus, the weight of the cataclysm finally rendered him unconcious.

          He awoke in a temple of Kynareth within the city, tended to by the priests. They returned to him his arms and armor, but he found that he still could not muster the strength to even move his weapon or shield, as if they weighed as much as a small mountain in his hands. And even as he tried in futile effort to wield them, the horrible visions of that dreadful day reawoke the fear within his heart, causing him to recoil from his own equipment in terror. Not just their weight, but the weight of fear crippled him. He could no longer wield a weapon or shield. The gravity of it all finally broke the man, who huddled up to his equipment, crying more tears than any man should have to shed in their lifetime.

          5 years would pass after that day. Regulus, once proud knight of the Soldiers of Light, lived only as a civilian for its duration. His fervor, which burned bright within his soul, now existed as but an ember, kept alit only by the love and care of those around him. He still could not wield equipment, and no matter how hard he try the trauma of that day still gripped his heart like steel chains. Sometimes as he lay asleep he would be visited by Vaermina, who left him nightmares reliving that day, and whose endings are almost always different, but never good. Yet despite all the trauma, somewhere deep within his heart, the ember within his souls till flared with the desire to fight and protect. His fear and his righteousness would often come into conflict within him, especially as the years went by and he gathered more of his lost strength.

          Regulus was unable to move forward with his life, so long as that terrible day still lay fresh within his mind. The memories of this land, as well as the Soldiers of Light, held his heart in its grasp. As time passed he felt more and more weighted down as complacency set in. It was easier to cease moving, to give up. Yet even as he accepted his new destiny, a sense of defeat and disappointment set in that made it even harder to live his life. As if his old self would constantly berate him, and look down upon the fallen soul in disgust. Now along with the painful memories he had to deal with the constant self-deprication he subjected himself to, and he could no longer withstand it all. He thought hard about what must be done, how he can be free from this burden on his soul, but every possibility led to only one conclusion: He must leave Cheydinhal - nay, he must leave Cyrodiil itself.

          He spent months gathering his things. He had planned to travel to Skyrim, in the hopes that the bitter cold northern lands may help him to forget. In the back of his mind he knew he was just running; he couldn't bear the pain of staying in that town any longer, and chose the easy way out rather than grow strong again. Earlier in the years he had an old friend of his take his old Soldier of Light equipment with him on their way to Skyrim, and he'd hoped that he could trouble him further for a place to stay, at least temporarily. He had no real idea what he would do once he'd reached the province, and he'd even heard of the civil war that raged on, yet he had no better alternatives. He had to leave. He was no longer worthy of staying. He was Regulus Aurelius, fallen Soldier of Light. No longer a knight in shining armor. The blessings of the Divines would no longer shine upon him.

          Little did he know, the gods had far greater plans for this fallen knight...

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  • This is an incredible story Blackblood. 

  • It’s a shame that I’m just now getting around to reading this. You really have a talent for captivating writing. Your character builds and roleplay profiles are certainly proof of that. 

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