A Day in the Life of a Dead Thrall (expe ...

A Day in the Life of a Dead Thrall (experimental first chapter)

Jan 25, 2022

Can you have a pilot episode of a story book? I'm sure you can.

Hello. This is the first experimental chapter of Eldaline and Skavild's adventures, which I put together in Febuary 2020.

Eldaline hadn't meant to kill him. No doubt he was a proud Nord warrior who had fallen on hard times and just happened to smell of ale, and had run screaming into the Thalmor Headquarters in Solitude with a big axe, shouting something about a missing cousin, a dead wife, or dog, or something, and the hero-god of mankind, Talos.
He found Eldaline on the staircase and called her a wicked stain upon the land.

Eldaline had been writing a romantic novel about a dragon priest and a Sload. As you can imagine, it wasn't going very well. This may be why she unleashed twelve powerful destruction spells all at once, sending him back down the stone stairs.
"That is not true at all! I have an immaculate record of conduct and was twice commended for bravery and brilliance during the war with the Empire. Can you say the same? Are you listening to me? Are you even alive?"

By the looks of things, he was not. Still shaking with anger, Eldaline searched the fallen warrior. The inscription on the locket around his neck read: 'TO MY DARLING SON SKAVILD, TO REWARD YOU FOR SIX MONTHS WITHOUT DRINKING TOO MUCH, FROM YOUR LOVING MOTHER'. Eldaline sighed.
"The Nords care so much for their young. It is almost nice to see. I have not seen my family in nearly a hundred years. But I will look after you now, Skavild. A great deal better than your mother ever could. Under my supervision you will understand true greatness." 

"Rise! I command you, rise and serve me!"
"Blargh!" Agreed the risen Skavild.

Eldaline looked at him thoughtfully.
"Could you go to Angeline's Aromatics and get me some ectoplasm, please?" She said.

"Good-morning!" Said the shopkeeper.
"Argh." Skavild said, cheerfully, presenting the list.
"I'm afraid I can't help you, young man. Except the purple things. I think I have some in stock."

"Uurgh!" Explained Skavild.
"Yes, I'm sure it is very important. But I simply don't have these ingredients."
"Orrrr!" He suggested.
"All right, I'll check the store-room. I might have a spoonful of trama root, but you'll need to go out ghost-hunting for the ectoplasm."

Out in the wide avenues of Solitude, a guard stopped Skavild to ask him why he was dead.
"Erk." Said Skavild, presenting his official document.

Skavild set off in search of 28 ghosts.
With the dull determination of the dead, he walked all day and into the night, until he found an abandoned tower.

"Skavild, my old fighting companion, as dear to me as any brother, you have come to visit me in my aaaaaaaaaargh." Said the ghost.
Skavild enjoyed collecting ectoplasm very much. As a boy he had collected marbles and rocks of varying sizes.
He remembered finding his favourite rock, behind a shrubbery in Riverwood. It had been too big to carry home, but he visited it every year.

Then, just as he killed his 28th ghost in a dark cave, Skavild realised: he was thinking! He was remembering! Had he been raised as a lich? No! He was breathing! Had he only been knocked out? That remained to be seen. But one thing was certain: He had his own thoughts, and was not a thrall of the hateful Thalmor! He could escape the hold and start a new life! And if he ever did ever anything stupid again, he could just hand over his Dead Thrall Document and let Eldaline the Archivist take the blame for all his actions forever! He could run around in the nude! Praise Talos! Everything was going to be all right!

"Skavild!" The voice from the doorway of the crypt chilled Skavild to his soul, if indeed he still had one. "There you are. I've been worried about you. I shouldn't have sent you out by yourself so soon. And you have got my ectoplasm. Have you been injured by the ghosts?"
"Urgh." Said Skavild. 

On the other hand, thought Skavild, Eldaline was different when she was wearing her leather underwear, it was very warm and dry in the Headquarters, and currently Skavild was living behind a woodpile at the back of the Winking Skeever. What about a new career as a dead thrall? Nobody needed to know he was alive. 

"What are you thinking, Skavild?" Said the voice of his Subconscious. "You were going to run away and be your own man. Are you really considering going back to Solitude with this creature, as some sort of... pet corpse?"
"Only until I can figure out a plan, Subconscious." Said Skavild, unaware that he was speaking out loud. "Until then, it's easy living for me while this stupid elf believes I'm dead."
"You're a Nord, and the grandson of Nords!" Said Skavild's Subconcious. "You bring shame upon them, and you dishonour Talos, whom you said you would never forsake!" 

"Ha!" Shouted Skavild. "And how is this bloody Thalmor going to know I'm worshipping Talos when she hasn't even noticed that I'm staring at her chest?" 

"Let's go home, Skavild." Said Eldaline. "You've had quite enough adventure for your first day."
"Argh." He said. 

Once back in his disturbing new home, Skavild was shown his living quarters.
"You disgusting traitor." Said Skavild's Subconscious, who had come along to see what would happen next. 

"This is as embarrassing for me as it must be for you." Said Eldaline. "But you are not very good at pretending to be dead, but I expect you to improve - I am not sure what went wrong, but I won't have the Imperials thinking my spells don't work. You must just have a very hard head or something. The next time you decide to have an argument with yourself, do it quietly. I like two eggs every morning, soft-boiled. Sleep well, Skavild." 

"I'll get you for this, Skavild." Said Skavild's Subconscious. 


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