Before the Fall of Helgen – Introduction

You are not from here you say? Worry not, my story will make more sense as we gain speed. Skyrim is a wild and beautiful place. To the foreigner it is complex and daunting. Nords are the indigenous people of Skyrim and I am just another Nord from the farmlands south of the city of Windhelm.

Proudly, I boast Windhelm is the  home of the Nord hero Ulfric Stormcloak. He drove the hill-people from the city of Markarth, and many Nords believe he will drive the Empire from Skyrim. However, like every other unknown Nord living outside the walls of Windhelm, I have no influence or voice in the court of our leader, our Jarl, Ulfric Stormcloak. In fact, I have nothing to say about the ‘Stormcloak Rebellion,’ nor an opinion.

Of course I’m lying to you. Well—not quite lying, but trying to remain what Imperials would consider diplomatic. I’m a Nord–Skyrim is my home–and I’m forced to watch it being ripped apart by a bloody civil war. There is a saying here in in these parts of Tamriel–it is wiser to slap a sleeping bear than it is to let a Nord show feelings. It was a group of Nords showing their feelings that started this bloody revolt. No, this is not the time or place to speak of politics, nor is it the time to express where my beliefs and loyalties lie.

I am Strumbul War-Proud

Now is the time to know how I got swept up into all this mess—now is the time for you to hear my name. My given name is Strumbul War-Proud, and I am the last Nord to carry the brand of War-Proud.

It is said that the War-Proud name began as a gift granted by Tiber Septim––the man-god Talos himself. The name was a reward given to a loyal knight when the war against the Ayleids had finally ended with the capture of the Whitegold Tower in the country of Cyrodiil. Imperial City is what it has been renamed, and it is where generations of Emperors in the Septim bloodline have ruled.

It is said that the War-Prouds always stood protectively near the emperors’ bloodline, all the way until the sacrifice of the uncrowned Emperor, Martin Septim. This event closed out the third era and gave birth to the current problems of the empire. The Oblivion Crisis ended nearly two-hundred years ago.

Before I was big enough to wear my Pa’s bassinet, the War-Prouds were again called into action to spilled blood against the elves, this time fighting the High Elves of the Aldmeri Dominion. Many of my name-sake ancestors died for an elected king, and as final insult, the High Elves won the war and took back most of the land Tiber Septim won two eras earlier.

My father returned and succumbed to drink. He set his great axe down and picked up farming. Shortly after entering my adulthood, I buried my father. Up until a month ago,  only two War-Proud’s remained, the other was my aunt who ran a smithy in the Imperial city of Bruma. My aunt died recently of Ataxia, leaving me as the last breathing War-Proud. I’d just finished handling her estate and was returning to Windhelm.

Coming back into Skyrim, I’d just crossed the southern border from Cyrodiil when everything turned surreal. Next to me in the thick woods heading north along the same road was a large group of insurgents. “Stormcloaks” they are called. Being how I’m Nord, they left me alone.

However, the large contingent of Imperial soldiers setting the ambush around the next curve didn’t ignore my presence. Walking alone in the middle of the road, I was an easy target for the high elf wizard to lay out with a paralyzing spell.

So this is how my country greets me while returning from a period of mourning.

Strumbul the prisoner.


About Jake Elliot

I write short stories and books. My tales have popped up in several anthologies. Book three is almost ready, but I've been saying that for awhile now.
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8 Responses to Before the Fall of Helgen – Introduction

  1. Pyrelle says:

    Good solid start to your story. Looking forward to reading more.

  2. Wendy says:

    Just discovered you through Erica North’s site. This is a great start. Strumbul has a lot of personality, and the story has pulled me right in.

  3. “It was at the end of the second era when the War-Proud name was granted to one of my ancestors by Tiber Septim.”

    I absolutely love how you’ve incorporated lore into this. I also like that your protagonist is a little older. I am really looking forward to reading more!

  4. ericanorth says:

    He has a very distinct and compelling voice. Intriguing start.

  5. adantur says:

    I probably shouldn’t stretch myself to keeping up with yet another Skyrim blog but I’m intrigued, you got yourself a reader!

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