Ivriel - The Witch Arrow

Ivriel - Witch Arrow A full Backstory


(Skyrim - 17th of Last Seed, 4E201, The Rift near Ivarstead)

Moss green eyes locked in a mournful stare. A lingering kiss on the forehead. A scarlet red cloak fluttering in the wind amidst a wash of silver- gold locks. Distant memories of a distant time.… 

Ivriel smothered the last smoldering embers and retired for the eve. Tomorrow would come too soon, and with it the usual hapless villagers from Ivarstead, wanting her to cure their ailments, bless their crops, mix a tonic, or breathe new life into an over worked oxen. Each day brought more of the same— linear, boring… everyday life. and yet, a thrill of excitement burned in her belly, one she couldn’t explain. Ivriel closed her eyes and sent thoughts scrying out through winds of change in the air… 

Another Autumn Rift morning dawned sharp and clear—a warm, amber sunrise and a chilling breeze and earth that crackled underfoot like shattered glass, shimmering with shades of liquid gold and ruby and topaz. Melting frost fell like raindrops on a nearby icy stream. 

Moss-green eyes and tear-stained gloves, gentle hands pulling away from a chubby-fingered grasp. 

Ivriel shook away the unwanted memory, and supplanted it, as she always did, with thoughts of Anise. Anise had found her, long ago, on such a morning, and taken her in. Raised her as her own, and Ivriel owed her life to the crafty Nord witch. From her, Ivriel learned the way of the land and the ways of magic. Of the balance inherent in the world – to save a life, one must understand how to take it. To understand Nirn, one must learn the ways of man and mer and beast. Of Divines and the Daedra, for even the Planes of Oblivion traversed the paths of life. 

Ivriel offered up a murmur of thanks to Anise as she snipped sprigs of Frost Mirriam and wondered…what would she do if she found a babe on a cold morning, shivering and abandoned in an Autumn frost?  Would she raise the babe as her own? Teach her, love her, as Anise had, so many years ago? 


A doe knocked its hoof against the ice-crusted stream. Ivriel blinked, Anise and the babe she’d once been finally fading into memory. The doe watched Ivriel with liquid black eyes and lowered its head in invitation. Ivriel approached – slowly, reverently – and took off her glove, stroking the doe’s soft, brown neck. But the moment wasn’t to last. A rush of wings and feathers shattered the quiet, and the doe scampered away. 

Ivriel crouched – a predator? A hunter? No, something felt…wrong. The thrill of excitement burned in her belly again and she swallowed it down, good sense winning over adventure. No adventure to be had these days, anyway, with Vigilants in town, thickening the air into a miasma of righteousness and hypocrisy. “Glorified witch hunters they are she thought. They care naught but for their crusade to blot out anything with a sniff of magic, yet the hypocrites use It themselves”. Dissatisfied with hunting Daedra worshippers, the Vigilants had turned their attention toward solitary mages – herbalists, alchemists. 

Like Anise. Like her. 

A suspicion that one of the peasants in Ivarstead would sell her out for a pouch full of septims had been preying on her mind of late, more oft than not. They might depend on her for remedies and cures, but they did not trust her—an outsider and worst of all, a “knife-eared witch,” as she’d overheard herself described. And she didn’t trust them to turn down a purse full of gold, or hold up under a Vigilant’s thinly-veiled threat. The only certainty of life in Skyrim was violence – Stormcloaks and Imperials warring, Thalmor justiciars sniffing out heresy. Even the animals had been driven to madness, bear and wolf attacks becoming commonplace, with the endless smell of carrion on the wind from the war. 

It wasn’t too long ago that a villager had been bold enough to try and steal away with some of her reagents and potions, likely spurred on by some fool’s notion of bravado or cheered on by miscreants of the village. The foolish girl—Reyda—might have made it had she not escaped headlong into a bandit scouting party. But alas, she met her end with arrows sprouting from her back, face down in a stagnant pool of mud near the river’s edge. Ivriel had happened upon the corpse sometime later, but by then the poor wretch had half a leg torn off by wolves, her eyes had been taken by the crows, and crabs still nipped at the blackened flesh. 

The smell of decay hung thick in the air. Ivriel knew the corpse would attract more predators to the area if she didn’t get rid of it, and so she had—by  pushing it further into river for  slaughterfish to finish off. But more bad luck intervened in the form of a small boy happening upon Ivriel’s work, and by the time Ivriel noticed the lad, it was too late. He’d started running as fast as his legs could carry him and screaming to the rest of the village folk about what he’d seen. 

They’d drawn their own conclusions, and to most of them it had been Ivriel who had slain Reyda. It was quite some time before any villagers returned to seek her services, and very few at that.  The ones who came were mistrustful and skittish as ever and would be gone as quick as they had come. “No,” she thought. “The die has been cast, the villagers will take the gold offered and tell the Vigilants what they want to hear, and soon they will be baying at my heels like hounds after the fox.” 

And so they were now, it seemed. The Vigilants  boarding at the tavern were likely biding their time,  learning as much as they could from the villagers. They wouldn’t be alone; they never were…. 

Ivriel eased out of her crouch, stuffing the reagents she’d gathered into her satchel fastening it close, and started back toward her hut. She found the quiet of the woods no longer peaceful, but eerie and tight. Her very bones tingled with warning. A nearby bush rustled. She spun around, and purple mist between her fingers coalesced into an ethereal bow. Her breath came in short gasps as she scanned the woods – the empty woods. Shivers crept over her spine. Someone else was there, someone who shouldn’t be. The animals of her forest knew her, accepted her, wouldn’t run from her. But others? A few steps more, and she heard another rustle and a flash of blue. A bawdy laugh. 

Ivriel let out a long exhale and relaxed her grip. Stormcloak soldiers, a pair of them. But they didn’t bother her – she could sneak past them as easily as the mist, especially when they desired nothing more than ale and a bed of warm furs after a night’s patrol. “It won’t be long before they happen across the hidden Imperial camp nestled in the woods,” she thought. “It would be a true pity if that handsome Altmer general met his fate at the end of a Stormcloak blade.”   

It wasn’t often she saw other mer in the area; she was used to feeling like an outsider and wondered if he would ever think to cast her a glance if he saw her. It wasn’t often she allowed herself such flights of fancy, and she felt her checks flush at the thought. She smiled and watched the soldiers walk down to Ivarstead. She turned back toward her hut. Her smile faded. Smoke drifted from the chimney, yet she was certain she had smothered her fire before she left that morning. She edged closer, under the trees, and squinted through a window. 

Two figures stood near the firepit – one wore a hood which obscured his face, but the other was a middle-aged Nord with a receding hairline, a great maul was slung over his shoulder. The thrill of excitement in her belly boiled over in fear and anger. The bow in her hand blinked back to Oblivion, and she crept closer, green light flashing at her fingertips “Not like this, not now. I will not be snuffed out by zealots on a mad crusade.”. 

The green light in Ivriel’s hands flared, and a moment later the hut filled with a blast of poisonous magic. The Nord coughed and gagged. “Argh, Tolan! It’s the knife- eared bitch, sh- ” 

A shimmering arrow erupted through the back of his neck and the Nord collapsed, clutching his ruined throat. Gouts of blood spilled out on the earthen floor. 

My earthen floor,” she thought, and turned flashing her green eyes on the Nord’s companion – the one he’d named Tolan – rushing from her hut. She ran after him and barely escaped the arc of his maul as he doubled back just outside the door. 

He screamed and struggled to regain his balance. “You’ll pay for that, witch!” 

“Maybe. One day,” Ivriel hissed, her throat tight with icy conviction. The ethereal bow faded once more and she raised her hands, a green light shimmering around her palms. The ground trembled and cracked and a dozen vines slithered free and wound around the Vigilant’s chest. “But today, this is my forest and you are not welcome. Leave now and I will spare your life.” 

Tolan gasped and spat at her feet. “This is not your forest, elf. This is Nord land and it is you who are unwelcome!” 

Ivriel closed her fist and vines tightened around Tolan’s throat. “So be it,” she said grimly and motioned with her hand, purple mist wreathing her fingers. A great wolf padded to her side. Another gesture, and the wolf stepped closer to the Vigilant, until the two stood face to face. The wolf’s breath steamed through bared teeth in the cold morning air. Slaver streamed from its jaws. Ivriel tilted her head and sneered. “You will die a fool. A fool who was given the chance to lea—“ 


A crossbow quarrel whistled past and pierced the wolf’s side. The beast yelped and sank to its knees. Ivriel spun on her heel and summoned her bow. Three hooded figures garbed in robes and mail strode toward the hut. 

Tolan screamed through labored breath and flung an arm toward Ivriel. “Kill her! Kill the witch!” 

This time, the quarrel missed its mark, finding purchase in the wall of her hut. She whispered a spell and her flesh turned to armor of stone. Her own arrow flew true, knocking the Vigilant bowman to the ground. Blood spurted through his fingers as he grasped at his chest. After that, everything blurred into fire spells and whizzing arrows and the smell of blood and burned cloth. In the midst of the confusion, Ivriel’s wolf lunged at the Vigilant mage, savaging his arm in his jaws. With no flames to dodge, Ivriel took careful aim and took the mage down with an arrow to the throat. 

A yelp sounded behind her, followed by a whoosh as her wolf collapsed into purple mist. The third Vigilant held a bloody flanged mace, and grinned. “Give it up, knife-ear, you’ve lost!” 

Ivriel heard a rustling and turned, keeping one eye on the bloody mace. Tolan had freed himself from her vines and the two Vigilants paced around her, tightening their circle with each turn. “I would advise you pray for mercy,” seethed Tolan. “But Stendarr does not grant it to the likes of you, foul witch!” 

Ivriel wasted no time on prayer. She drew her bow and loosed. Her arrow pierced the maced Vigilant’s shoulder. He screamed and staggered, but Tolan charged, sweeping Ivriel’s legs out from under. Her head crashed to the ground and when her vision cleared, all she saw was the sky. “Beautiful and blue, she thought, like winter roses.”  

The maul crashed down on her chest. 

Ivriel gasped and forced her eyes open. A sharp pain stabbed through her chest and she wheezed, blood dribbling from her mouth and down her chin. She struggled to rise and her vision darkened again as the pain in her chest and head almost dragged her back down. Eventually, she hobbled to her hut. Stoneware and broken glass littered the floor, and parchment soaked into a pool of fresh blood on the floor. 

“At least I gave as good as I got, she thought, remembering the old Nord she’d killed. One shot, too”. She winced, baring bloody teeth as another wave of pain nearly doubled her over. 

Ivriel slapped a hand over her chest and sighed as a golden glow sank into her skin. “But that won’t last long. I have to find herbs. Need something stronger.” Her hand glowed golden over her chest once more, and she managed to stand. 

The door clicked shut behind Ivriel. She took one step, then another, toward the forest. As she’d done hundreds of times before. But this time was different. This time she had a plan. 

This time…this time, she wouldn’t stop. Not until she’d reached the Hall of the Vigilants. And left none alive. 

Author's Note:

I'll Start by saying holy damn this story took forever to get finished, and though it is not too much longer than the I feel it adds some more depth to an already intersting character. I very much enjoyed bringing Ivriel too life, and am happy to be able to share more of the character with you all. 

Much gratitude to Ilanisilver, who helped me a ton with editing, general feedback throughout the stories creation and just being all round awesome person, thank you.

Anyway guys thanks for stopping by if you enjoyed the read please let me know what you thought in the comments section. And if you'd like to see the build you can find it here. Cheers - Furrion

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  • Awesome build, awesome story. What's not to love? Again Kudos to you Furion

    • Cheers Nystee, glad you enjoyed the read mate. This took me a very long time to finish but I am very happy to have it finally here to share with everyone :). I got another character story here too for my Shadow of Dawn. If you follow the tag you should find it if you'd like to check it out :)

      • Going to check that out

        • Awesome mate enjoy!

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