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Chapter Three Prologue: The High King


Collygon

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Hey guys! Welcome to the beginning of Chapter Three!

 

This is a prologue, so keep in mind it is much shorter than an act. One thing to note: this prologue takes place 20 years after the events of The Frost of Ages, but I still used many vanilla NPCs because I'm lazy. So I altered their names ever so slightly; just think of them as descendants of their vanilla counterparts, mmkay? Awesome! xD

 

(Bonus Points if you recognize the old man)

 

Let's begin!

 

 

 

 

In the heart of Dead Man's Drink, piles of lumber harbor warm, crackling flames in a large fire pit, slowly crumbling into ash.

 

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It is only midday, yet the Inn is occupied by many patrons trying to stave off the cold.

 

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Valia is not surprised. This isn't even the busiest time of the day. Many of the older citizens of Falkreath hustle inside around this time, complaining bitterly about the frigid temperatures. But come dusk, nearly the entire city will be crowding inside to escape the unbearable chill.

 

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Valia inherited the Inn after her mother's passing 15 years ago and every day since has been pretty much identical. She would wake up, serve customers, manage rooms, gossip with travelers, and then sleep after getting Nari or Nina to handle things for the night. But today is not one of those days.

 

Today is the tenth anniversary of the death of Skyrim's previous, and final, High King. It is a somber celebration, there are no parades or festivals to celebrate his reign. Some people travel to Solitude to give thanks to the Jagged Crown, now immortalized as a symbol of his reign, some take a daily vow of silence, in humble mourning, others take a different approach...

 

Man: Oh! Gods, yes!

 

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Woman: Ah! Ah! Ah!

 

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Man: Ooooooh... Ah...

 

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None of the patrons even bother trying to speak over the constant moaning, groaning, gasping, and hollering resounding from the back room. None of them minded however, as even the most vigorous man never stayed in there for more than a couple minutes. As expected, the cries begin to die down and shortly after an exhausted nord comes stumbling out.

 

Valia: Enjoy yourself, Bormun?

 

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Bormun: Haha, I don't know about myself, but I sure was enjoying her! Gods... I love this holiday.

 

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Valia: It sure sounded like it. But don't forget your part of the deal, it only comes free if you donate to the construction of the monument.

 

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Bormun: No worries, I did it this morning. The cart was nearly full by the time I left.

 

Bormun, with a spring in his step, spins on his heels and trots away. Valia returns her attention to the bar where she notices an older gentleman waiting patiently on the other end.

 

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Valia: Welcome to Dead Man's Drink, sir. What can I get for you?

 

Old Man: Some milk would be fine, thank you.

 

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Valia: You got it. So what brings you to Falkreath? Don't get much travelers around this time, especially today.

 

The man smiles and sighs. He leans against the counter and looks ahead in no particular direction.

 

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Old Man: I'm mourning an old friend. We traveled here once, long ago. Actually fought together in the war.

 

Valia hefts the jug of Milk and sets it on the table along with a tankard.

 

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Valia: Your friend, did he die in the war?

 

The old man gives a light chuckle, his eyes dipping down towards the counter top.

 

Old Man: Aye... you could say that.

 

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Woman: Hey, Valia? Is that all of them for now?

 

Valia turns away from the man, gesturing for him to help himself, and immediately sighs.

 

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Valia: Yes, it is. But seriously, for the hundredth time, get dressed before entering the hall.

 

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Nina: Oh, relax!

 

Nina saunters from the doorway. Pulling her tunic over her head, she starts to lace the back of her bodice.

 

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Nina: I'm dressed now, right? Besides, I'm pretty sure the entire town has seen me naked anyway.

 

Valia scoffs, but can't help a smile. The two girls had grown up together and have been friends all their lives. Though they ended up on very different paths, their occupations fit together quite nicely. Nina had earned quite a reputation and as a result quite a lot of gold. She would have had enough to retire years ago if she didn't give most of it to Valia and the Inn.

 

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Valia: That's... probably true. But rules are rules! I don't want to risk scaring off new customers, like this gentleman here.

 

The man laughs.

 

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Old Man: Oh, I don't mind at all. What did you mean by all of them, if you don't mind me asking?

 

Nina smiles.

 

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Nina: I get a lot of customers this day of the year. The High King means a lot to me, actually.

 

Nina averts her eyes and begins to twirl her hair around her fingers.

 

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Nina: I know it isn't much, and it is certainly an odd way of doing it, but I want to repay him somehow.

 

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Nina: So I work practically for free on the day of his death. My only condition is that customers donate at least one gold piece to where I say. This year it's for his monument.

 

With a twinkle in his eye, the man leans back and grins.

 

Old Man: You know, I actually knew High King Coran.

 

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Old Man: We fought side by side. I trained him per-

 

Nina sighs.

 

Nina: Look, I've heard it all before. You knew him, you trained him, you saved his life, he saved yours... I get it.

 

Rolling her eyes, Nina turns and starts to walk away.

 

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Nina: I've already explained my price for the day, so don't bother trying to impress me.

 

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Nina: The cart is outsi-

 

Old Man: He was a scrawny lad. When I met him he was half dead.

 

Nina freezes. This is new. She has never heard anyone describe King Coran as anything less than heroic. But scrawny? That's ridiculous. When she saw him he was muscular, handsome, rugged, dashing, se- Anyway...

 

Nina: Scrawny?

 

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Old Man: I'll admit, the lads and I did... embellish... our story of him. He didn't really slay an entire nest of vampires.

 

The man tips the tankard to his lips, taking a deep gulp.

 

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Nina: You're trying to tell me he was a skinny man who wasn't able to kill vampires?

 

Pulling the tankard away, he lets out a long exhale.

 

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Old Man: When I met him he could barely swing a sword. When you met him, well, I don't think he needed to.

 

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Old Man: His people would for him.

 

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Old Man: The thing is... everyone was his people. We were his people, just like he was ours.

 

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Old Man: I don't think anyone else could have done it. We were tired of headstrong, belligerent war veterans willing to die for a cause.

 

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Old Man: We needed a leader. Someone who had nothing left to fight for but at the same time had everything to lose.

 

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Old Man: The war became his life. I can't even begin to guess how many hours he spent staring at that map.

 

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Old Man: Even while everyone would fight and bicker, myself included,...

 

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Old Man: He never turned away from the mission at hand.

 

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Old Man: Though he still had to keep everyone from tearing one another apart.

 

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Old Man: He broke up more fights between Ulfric and Tullius than there were on the actual battlefield.

 

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Old Man: Before the war was over, we named him High King.

 

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Old Man: His inauguration was quite the festival.

 

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Old Man: There were so many people.

 

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Old Man: I had never seen the guards act so alert

 

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Old Man: But I knew there was nothing to fear; everyone loved him.

 

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Old Man: He was to them...

 

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Old Man: He was to me...

 

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Old Man: ... A King.

 

The man swirls the tankard in his hands, now completely empty. His story caught the attention of the Inn's customers and one by one they gradually made their way over.

 

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Now the entire Inn is gathered around him, watching in silence and awe.

 

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Drust: Wow...

 

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Folus: Quite the tale.

 

Bormun: You must have know him well.

 

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Nina: Alright, maybe I spoke too soon.

 

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Celdor: High King Coran! The King who led us to victory! Hoorah!

 

The room erupts in claps and laughter. People start sharing tales of the High King and reminiscing of when they first saw him as children. But their smiles don't last long as the man speaks up, his voice dark and sharp like the edge of a blade.

 

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Old Man: You think we won?

 

Suddenly the room returns to silence, tension wafts through the air like a smog. The squinted eyes and wide smiles are replaced by widened brows and hanging jaws.

 

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Celdor: Uh... Well...

 

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Nina: We're all here, all alive. How could we have not won?

 

The man breaths deeply, twirling the tankard in his grip.

 

Old Man: It was not long into the war that we learned the truth.

 

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Old Man: We weren't fighting to win for we already lost. We lost before it even began.

 

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Old Man: This wasn't a war between good and evil, this was a war between gods. And we were the soldiers.

 

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Old Man: Just look outside and our defeat is clear.

 

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Old Man: The world is not what it used to be. Do you know is used to be green here? Did you know we used to worship the divines? Did you know there used to be seventeen daedric princes?

 

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Old Man: Did you know it was not always cold?

 

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Old Man: Everyday I try to believe there could have been a different outcome, that our world would not fall into the clutches of... Never mind.

 

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Old Man: This was our fate and we knew it would become yours. This is the result of our loss, this is The Frost... The Frost of Ages.

 

 

11 Comments


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Wow, a king who got Ulfric and Tullius to stop fighting, that's pretty cool. Great prologue, can't wait for the first part of this chapter. Keep up the great work.

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Yep, still epic, starting from the prologue. :)

 

PS : wouldn't the old man be on of the dawnguard guys ? ;)

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Real master piece. I had to giggle seeing crowd melted on the king's inauguration.

I love how you pay so much attention on face's expression.

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Wow Colly great work, I cant wait to see the next part.

 

PS: Was that old guy Esbern (Blades Dude) 

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The crowds are quit impressive, are you posing and arranging them all individually by hand? They look great and like a lot of work put into... 

I'm way to scared to have more than a couple of NPCs in one scene in case something crashes or I need to leave the game and reload the savegame.

Great prologue chapter!

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Wow, a king who got Ulfric and Tullius to stop fighting, that's pretty cool. Great prologue, can't wait for the first part of this chapter. Keep up the great work.

Thank you, r1pper! He may have managed to stop the war, but keeping those two from bickering would prove an even greater challenge, haha.

 

Yep, still epic, starting from the prologue. :)

 

PS : wouldn't the old man be on of the dawnguard guys ? ;)

Thank you! And yes, he is one of the Dawnguard guys :D

 

Real master piece. I had to giggle seeing crowd melted on the king's inauguration.

I love how you pay so much attention on face's expression.

Thank you so much! That was a fun scene to shoot, took me like an hour just to get them all set up xD

 

Wow Colly great work, I cant wait to see the next part.

 

PS: Was that old guy Esbern (Blades Dude) 

Thank you, Tex! And nope, not Esbern. He's actually one of the Dawnguard from the last act.

 

The crowds are quit impressive, are you posing and arranging them all individually by hand? They look great and like a lot of work put into... 

I'm way to scared to have more than a couple of NPCs in one scene in case something crashes or I need to leave the game and reload the savegame.

Great prologue chapter!

Thanks so much! Yes, I did do their expression and poses individually. In fact, many of the poses you saw are custom made in the pose mod I am planning to release eventually. It took a long time to set up, but well worth it. I was afraid of crashing too, haha, but I wanted to make the scene so badly I just took the risk. 

 

I agree with the crowd scene, that was impressive.

Thank you very much! :D

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The crowds are quit impressive, are you posing and arranging them all individually by hand? They look great and like a lot of work put into... 

I'm way to scared to have more than a couple of NPCs in one scene in case something crashes or I need to leave the game and reload the savegame.

Great prologue chapter!

Thanks so much! Yes, I did do their expression and poses individually. In fact, many of the poses you saw are custom made in the pose mod I am planning to release eventually. It took a long time to set up, but well worth it. I was afraid of crashing too, haha, but I wanted to make the scene so badly I just took the risk. 

 

Looking forward to the release then. The problem with a lot of the Halo Poser animations is that they are actually meant for random posing and sexy screenshots and not for writing / taking a story. Would be great to have a collection of poses that is more dedicated to storytelling.

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Excellent episode. great work as always. For me, the best picture was with Nina standing naked in high hills boots. Very hot scene.

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Excellent episode. great work as always. For me, the best picture was with Nina standing naked in high hills boots. Very hot scene.

Thank you very much! :D

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Just arrived here after the Epilogue of the final chapter, thanks for pointing me in this direction.

It's impressive that you've already had the whole story (or at least how it ends) more-or-less thought out 3 years prior to the actual conclusion... in a sense spoiling it as well through this prologue :P
 

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