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Chapter Four Prologue: Nothing's Queens


Collygon

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Hey guys!

So, The Frost of Ages is back now. It feels kind of surreal to me, but also exciting!

 

I'll begin this by saying that from here on out you will need to have read earlier entries. I realize that it's been a long time though, so I don't expect any of you to really remember a significant portion of chapters 1-3. But don't worry, I will still have my previously sections starting at Act 1 and beyond. I won't include it in this prologue though. That being said, if you want a refresher for this prologue, you should read:

 

Chapter Two Act Six: An Intro's End

 

Also be aware that the visuals of my game will vary as chapter four goes on. Throughout shooting each act I was/am working on changing mods and altering my ENB to get just the look I want. So many of these shots will not be optimal. I'm fine with it, so I hope none of you mind it either. But they will definitely improve with each act onward.

 

But anyway! Let's begin The Frost of Ages once again with Chapter Four Prologue: Nothing's Queens.

 

Spoiler

A brazier cradles the remaining flame, flickering with a dull light that faintly illuminates the damp cavern; a light that sheds its warmth into the bodies already growing cold. With no one left to maintain them, the rest have all flickered out. It won't be long before this last one does too. 

 

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Amidst the carnage and death, a single figure strides through. She takes confident, yet cautious, steps. One in a few crunch against soft dirt; all of the rest slosh in pools of blood. 

 

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As she gazes across her surroundings, there is that pang, as if an icy hand clutches her heart.

 

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Every corpse's cold stare tightens the gnawing in her chest. They gaze off in every direction, into the ceiling, the walls, the floor, but not one falls onto her. It's what she tells herself, anyway.

 

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For she knows they are all watching her, blaming her, scorning her, and loathing her from where they are now. The corpses may have a cold stare, but their souls have a vengeful one.

 

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Castalia: I told you he'd do it.

 

Castalia props herself against the cavern wall. Her eyes pass over the woman kneeling in the center of the chamber, instead coming to the body before her. As she speaks, the woman straightens up slowly.

 

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Woman: So he did. Though I still don't know why we went through the trouble of this.

 

She takes a long look at the corpse before turning to face Castalia. 

 

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Woman: It's cruelty to toy with him like this. He should have been slain along with the rest.

 

Castalia sighs. As she pushes herself from the wall, she shakes her head.

 

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Castalia: His weave speeds up the process, Erinye, but only if he believes that she is dead.

 

Erinye stands up, causing Castalia to falter. She gulps behind her mask, taken by the daedra's features. Her skin is pink, and almost glows with a luminescence brighter than any other daedra. Sinister eyes, with pupils slit like a snake's, seem to scour Castalia's own soul. They would be the most frightening part of all if not for the collection of horns that festoon the right eye. They protrude from her forehead, down to her cheekbone, a deep black unlike any natural bone. Each one is decorated differently with either rings or chains, all a dazzling, polished gold. 

 

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Erinye: And does he?

 

Castalia stops before her and they both turn to the corpse below them.

 

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Castalia: What do you think?

 

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Isabel's body lies still on the cave floor. Blood no longer spills from her throat and has now collected into a shallow puddle, only just beginning to dry. 

 

Erinye: He really killed her then? His own wife?

 

Castalia: Well, he thought he did. By the end though, he didn't believe she was the same person. He wasn't wrong.

 

Castalia mutters the final words under her breath and pulls herself away. She attempts to steel herself, but Erinye cuts in with a scoff.

 

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Erinye: And he's supposed to be a hero? Crisis really does foster desperation.

 

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Erinye: So? You said he speeds things up. What's the next course of action?

 

The words slip out casually. Erinye's soft tone is inviting, almost cordial. Castalia looks past that and sees the sinister content apparent behind Erinye's stare.

 

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Castalia: We are not partners in this, Erinye. 

 

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Castalia: Let's not put on this facade when no one is around.

 

Castalia curls her lips in contempt as she speaks, earning a smirk from Erinye.

 

Erinye:  Very well.

 

The deadra chirps, amused. She tilts her head as a smile spreads across her face, forcing Castalia to step back. Erinye slowly holds out her hand. If Castalia did not know better, she'd think Erinye was offering it. Instead, a large spear materializes her grip. A chain dangles from the rear, holding a large, jagged flail that now dangles from her palm.

 

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Erinye: We can treat this relationship the way it really is. As master and slave.

 

As soon as the weapon manifests, Castalia becomes stiff. She gulps and leans back as Erinye licks her lips. She tips her hand side to side, swinging the flail like a pendulum.

 

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Erinye: Don't be afraid. You know I won't kill you. You're too important now.

 

Erinye flicks her wrist and the spear suddenly vanishes. Castalia lets out a breath and stumbles backwards. Taking a moment, she closes her eyes before straightening up and returning to a forced composure.

 

This time she turns away from Erinye and marches towards the other end of the room.

 

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Castalia: He will join the Dawnguard soon. In fact, he's telling his tale to them now. Eventually this will lead him to Riften, provided you play your part.

 

As Castalia speaks, Erinye listens in silence.

 

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Castalia: You should send your forces there. In the city is a man named Dennis, he is a Vigilant of Stendarr. Let him live, and he will flee to the Dawnguard.

 

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Castalia: This will result in both the Dawnguard and the Vigil of Stendarr attempt to re-seize the city.

 

Castalia stops before a table and sighs.

 

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Castalia: You will have both groups in your clutches.

 

She gulps and stares at the floor, despondently. 

 

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Castalia: All of them will die.

 

An eerie silence hangs over them as Castalia finishes. Erinye doesn't immediately respond. Castalia hears her armor clink as she shifts her footing.

 

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Just as the silence begins to grow uncomfortable, Erinye speaks up.

 

Erinye: I can handle that. Now, onto the other matter...

 

Compared to Erinye's brazen way of speaking, her next sentence is spoken tentatively. 

 

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Erinye: You know who I'm looking for. I also believe you have an idea where she might be. Am I wrong?

 

Castalia tenses up.

 

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Castalia: I won't help you with that.

 

The words come out a snarl. But where they were meant to be threatening, Erinye only appears to be amused.

 

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Erinye: You won't? Well... maybe I'll go to Malkor then.

 

At the mention of the name, Castalia whips around.

 

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Castalia: Don't you touch him.

 

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Erinye: Struck a nerve?

 

Castalia shoves off the table and stomps forward. 

 

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Castalia: Yeah. You did.

 

The two glare into one another with equally cold, unwavering stares. Erinye stands her ground as Castalia marches brazenly towards her.

 

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Erinye cocks her head. A smug grin curls over her lips.

 

Erinye: You really want to do this now?

 

Castalia doesn't respond. She comes to an abrupt halt a foot away from Erinye. She plants her feet firmly on the ground and glowers.

 

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Castalia: No. But I will if you so much as threaten him.

 

Erinye curls her lips. Castalia notices her brow twitch and her jaw begin to shift slightly. After a moment, the daedra eases back. With a roll of her eyes, she sighs.

 

Erinye: Fine. At least tell me what you can. It's for both of our benefits after all.

 

Castalia maintains the glare a second longer before turning away.

 

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Castalia: I'll only help you if you spare his life. Harm him, and I'll make sure you never achieve your goal.

 

Castalia hears Erinye breath in sharply, but softly exhale soon after.

 

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Erinye: I don't intend to anyway. But I understand the legitimacy of your threat. You have my word. I will not harm him.

 

 Castalia nods her head, feeling her heart lift. 

 

Castalia: I don't know her exact whereabouts, but I know how she entered Nirn. She's taken another form; stolen the body of a mortal.

 

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Castalia: From there, you will have to find her yourself. I-

 

Castlia cuts off as she turns around...

 

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Castalia: -huh?

 

...to see an empty room.

 

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Spoiler

Argus stares into the stone table, lost in thought. It's been hundreds of years since it was last used, yet not a shed of dust taints it.

 

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The stone altar, where Erinye's mortal head once rested, sits patiently. Beside it, the two soul gems, now empty, lie delicately in their containers. Argus can't get himself to be rid of them. They mean too much to him now.

 

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Argus sighs and pulls himself from the memory.

 

Argus: You could use the door.

 

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He remains focused on the table as Erinye enters. She materialized in the room in an instant, as if blinking into existence. 

 

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Erinye: I'd rather not. This is faster and easier.

 

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Erinye: Besides, it is time we stop lurking. I've grown impatient.

 

Argus tilts his head, intrigued.

 

Argus: What have you learned from her?

 

Erinye slides besides him and leans on the table.

 

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Erinye: A great deal. We have an opportunity to be rid of two annoying foes. I also have a lead on Boethiah.

 

Erinye speaks with glee and satisfaction. She watches Argus' reaction from the corner of her eye, and frowns as he does the same.

 

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Argus: I don't agree with the trust you put in her. She is Mephala's child. The other true children should not be trusted.

 

Erinye softly sighs, but nods her head.

 

Erinye: I know. But our relationship is not built on trust. It is built on mutual interest.

 

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Erinye: As long as I control Null, she has to help me.

 

As soon as she finishes, Erinye shoves off the table and make her way to the door.

 

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Argus: Where are you going? Shouldn't we get to work?

 

Erinye: In a minute.

 

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Erinye: I am going to visit my sister.

 

 

Spoiler

Erinye doesn't give Argus the chance to respond as she instantly blinks away. She opens her eyes and takes a moment to adjust; she isn't sure she'd even opened them until she remembers to look down. There she sees her armored body, and bright pink skin. She looks up. Everything is black. 

 

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Anyone else would believe they are seeing nothing; their eyes must be closed or all light has left the world. Erinye understands that it is none of those things. This is a separate realm, a plane of nothing and everything.

 

She is in Null.

 

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Erinye: Sister?

 

As she calls out, her voice is instantly swallowed by the expansive void. There is no echo nor fade, only the subtle sound of a gust of wind in response.

 

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Erinye: Ah, so you actually decided to stay this time. 

 

Erinye turns around and smiles. 

 

Erinye: I had to give Argus the information first, Sister. You know that.

 

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She rolls her eyes and scoffs.

 

Erinye: Hmmphf. You should've just kept him waiting, like you do with me.

 

Erinye sighs.

 

Erinye: We both owe him a little, Sister. We wouldn't exist without him.

 

She chuckles and shakes her head.

 

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Erinye: No. You wouldn't exist without him.

 

Erinye huffs, but ignores the remark. Clearing her throat, she changes the subject.

 

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Erinye: So? How is she faring?

 

As soon as Erinye speaks, her sister groans and rolls her eyes.

 

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Erinye: Exactly as she always has. Nothing happens here, Erinye. That's not going to change.

 

Erinye gives her sister a knowing smile.

 

Erinye: It will soon. Can I see her?

 

She raises an eyebrow, but the intrigue doesn't last long before her lips curl into a scowl once again.

 

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Erinye: Yeah, fine. I've started keeping her in a pocket realm since all the other souls started coming in.

 

She raises her arm and waves her hand elegantly through the air. Erinye hears a gust of wind that sharply cuts off. As it does, a girl materializes on the ground beside her sister's throne.

 

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Erinye smiles as her sister rolls her eyes.

 

Erinye: Here she is, naked and shackled despite being completely helpless otherwise.

 

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Erinye: Better safe than sorry, Sister.

 

Erinye faces the girl and smirks.

 

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Erinye: Hello, Isabel.

 

To be continued...

 

 

Author's Note:

Spoiler

No, typing Erinye for two different people was not a typo. 

 

Also, thank you for reading. Those of you who are still excited to read my stories, even after almost a whole year of hiatus, mean the world to me. I'll do my best to exceed expectations from here on out :) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Comments


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Very nice introduction to Erinye, I've been waiting for this for the last half year, since you showed her on your tumblr. Also her teased (human) backstory sounds very interesting.

Glad to see Isabel back, so she might become a deadra now to challenge/temped Talen?

 

Btw. there are a couple of image links broken in the beginning, you might want to look into this.

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Must agree with Alter Native, Wanobi and Jayomms here : it's nice to read the Frost of age again, and this episode is full of promises. The concept of being turned or being a base to create a daedra intrigues me, and... well frontal nudity isn't that frequent in your writings, so seeing it with such a lighting and then realizing it's Isabel was breathtaking from two points of view. And dat build up with the two children defying each other from the stare... Excellent start, Collygon ! :D

 

Malicia : « The verrucas girl with pink skin is very nice, but we need to see about Taevya now. She's the hero, so even if she's not a redhead, she deserves it. :classic_sleepy: »

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On 11/14/2018 at 2:38 PM, Jayomms said:

:) Welcome back ;)

 

:classic_laugh: Isabel is my sisters name ? ;)

Thank you! :)

On 11/14/2018 at 4:16 PM, Alter Native said:

Very nice introduction to Erinye, I've been waiting for this for the last half year, since you showed her on your tumblr. Also her teased (human) backstory sounds very interesting.

Glad to see Isabel back, so she might become a deadra now to challenge/temped Talen?

 

Btw. there are a couple of image links broken in the beginning, you might want to look into this.

Glad to be back. :) Strange. I don't see any broken links. Maybe they fixed themselves, or it could be something to do with flickr. I'll look into it. Obviously I won't say what lies ahead in Isabel's fate, but I think you'll be surprised. Thanks!

On 11/14/2018 at 7:32 PM, SpyVsPie said:

Wow! Every shot is just gorgeous, really impressive stuff!

Thanks you! :D

On 11/14/2018 at 11:03 PM, WANOBI12 said:

Awesome,

I absolutely love the concept and execution of Null in this story!

Also the boobs!

Thank you! Haha, yes, boobs xD 

22 hours ago, Tirloque said:

Must agree with Alter Native, Wanobi and Jayomms here : it's nice to read the Frost of age again, and this episode is full of promises. The concept of being turned or being a base to create a daedra intrigues me, and... well frontal nudity isn't that frequent in your writings, so seeing it with such a lighting and then realizing it's Isabel was breathtaking from two points of view. And dat build up with the two children defying each other from the stare... Excellent start, Collygon ! :D

 

Malicia : « The verrucas girl with pink skin is very nice, but we need to see about Taevya now. She's the hero, so even if she's not a redhead, she deserves it. :classic_sleepy: »

It's nice to write it again :) I really wanted this prologue to do exactly that, be full of possible paths, plot points, and moments of intrigue, without being obvious. I'm glad Erinye's story line is already interesting! Thank you!-

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19 minutes ago, Collygon said:

Glad to be back. :) Strange. I don't see any broken links. Maybe they fixed themselves, or it could be something to do with flickr. I'll look into it. Obviously I won't say what lies ahead in Isabel's fate, but I think you'll be surprised. Thanks!

You are aware of the recent flickr policy changes? Starting January 2019 a free account can only store a maximum of 1000 images. 

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2 hours ago, Alter Native said:

You are aware of the recent flickr policy changes? Starting January 2019 a free account can only store a maximum of 1000 images. 

I am, yeah... A cruel twist of fate. It seems I am destined to change hosts every fucking month -.- But no, I'm honestly thinking of paying for it. I refuse to fix 1000+ image links again.

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8 minutes ago, Collygon said:

I am, yeah... A cruel twist of fate. It seems I am destined to change hosts every fucking month -.- But no, I'm honestly thinking of paying for it. I refuse to fix 1000+ image links again.

Oh god, that sounds like hell ?

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4 hours ago, SpyVsPie said:

Oh god, that sounds like hell ?

You have no idea, lmao. I'm literally going to pay money just to not have to do it ?

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