Chapter 1: Part One
Windhelm, the city of biting cold and loyal Stormcloaks. Blue banners hung on the tall stone walls, bearing the bear which resembled the strength of the Stormcloaks’ honor. Past Candlehearth Hall was the Palace of Kings. The building itself was a beauty. A tall palace of stone, strong and fit for any royalty. When entering the palace, a large hall which held a long table which could hold over a thousand men and still have room for more. Food covered the long table, scents of venison and warm bread filled this glorious hall. And at the end of this hall was a stone throne, and sitting in it was Jarl Ulfric. A stoic man of many battles won and heavy pride which made many men and women be filled with amazement.
As the usual, Ulfric was targeted by the damned Empire. A cold body had laid in front of him, clad with red and black. The colors of the Dark Brotherhood. A low sigh rumbled in his chest as he shut his eyes. It wasn’t the first assassin that he had encountered since he started this war with the Empire. It was hardly the last! He began to remember the day of Helgen, the memories had been so vivid.
Ulfric found himself being shoved onto a horse-drawn carriage to Helgen, as he regretted, to be executed. On the way there, he noticed as he looked around that a woman had been in his presence. Ralof had seemed to know this woman, as he tried waking her up.
“[Your Name]!” The woman began to stir, blood had been seeping from her hairline. She must’ve been beaten by the Imperial soldiers by the look of her. She had [Hair Color} hair which seemed to bask in the sun’s rays. She opened her eyes to look at Ralof and he sighed. “You’re finally awake!” Ulfric and the woman had made quick eye contact. Her eyes were the most beautiful shade of [Eye Color]. For some reason, they just pulled him in. They kept the eye contact, Ralof hadn’t noticed since he was in conversation with the horse thief which sat across from Ulfric.
“Ulfric!” A deep rumbling voice called to him, pulling him out of his stupor. He looked up to see the aged warrior which was dressed clad in Stormcloak Officer armor. He looked at the older man, noticing it had been Galmar. “Another one of the milkdrinker’s spies! When will they learn they cannot just attack future High King Ulfric?” His old friend had exclaimed to the other men in the room, but Ulfric couldn’t help but feel tired from all the excitement. He just wanted to daydream of that day. That woman… She left an imprint on him somehow. Ulfric stood up to dust himself off, stepping down the four steps in just two.
“Galmor, we must get the upper-hand. They’re getting too confident.” The old warrior looked up to Ulfric from the dead man on the ground. The guards quickly went to work by taking the body out of the peaceful hall. The two men had made their way to the War-Room, residing in the small room.
“We must act, Ulfric!” Ulfric regretted mentioning of so. His friend had always resorted to upfront attacks, but they didn’t have a good infiltrator in their army. Together in squads, yes they could attack. However, he didn’t have an expert on the subject. That would be an advantage indeed. He rubbed his temples tenderly, looking to Galmar.
“We need someone of great leadership. Ralof is a good man, but he’s not exactly what we’re looking for.” Galmar pressed his hands on the wooden table which held the map of holds and fortresses.
“We shall find someone of such character! We already have many men and women who hold honor in their hearts almost as much as we do Ulfric.” Ulfric had looked down at the map with thought. Suddenly, he could hear the large doors to the hall open but he assumed it was the guards finishing their job. A soft sigh passed the man’s lips.
“That isn’t easily found Galmar. We need someone who isn’t just honorable. We need someone who can lift the hearts of our men and women. I believe I am not enough to them. We need-”
“Ulfric!” Jorleif called to the Jarl almost chipper-like. Ulfric turned his head to the door, watching the old wooden surface being pushed open. “There is a woman here, claiming she knows you.”
“From Helgen.” Ulfric’s attention had fully been placed on his steward. He stood up straight and cleared his throat.
“Send her in immediately.” His voice had become serious, and Galmar only looked smug at this moment.
“Ah, this must be the woman you spoke about Ulfric. The one saved from execution by the dragon.” The mere mention of it had brought him back to the day which he escaped death.
The dragon had been flying over the hold, raining fire from above on the innocent people. Ulfric found himself inside a tower, tearing off the rag which covered his mouth. “Damned Imperials.” He had grumbled to himself as he rested from the running which he had done. He heard Ralof shouting outside for the woman, almost throwing her inside the tower. Shutting the door, he helped the woman up from the floor. Ulfric found himself looking at her again, but this time he had the honor of hearing her voice.
“Ulfric Stormcloak, this is [Your Name].” Ralof spoke up, breaking Ulfric’s stare.
“It is an honor to meet you Jarl Ulfric.” Her voice sounded heavenly, reminding him of the smooth tune of a lute.
“Please just call me Ulfric.” He spoke softly to her, not being too rough since he had just gained his voice moments ago.
“Of course, Ulfric.” A bright smile had lit up her face immediately, warming his heart at the mere sight of it. A loud crash had interrupted their little interaction, and Ulfric swore that he couldn’t just have a moment to conversate with her. The three had moved quickly up the stairs to see the large hole in the side of the tower.
“[Your Name], you’re going to have to jump!” Ralof had shouted over the sounds of the dragon’s destruction. She looked at her friend with disbelief, almost making Ulfric laugh at her expression. “To the inn over there, don’t worry! I’ll meet up with you later.” The leader had stepped forward towards the woman and looked deep into the [Eye Color] which had spelled him in the first place.
“Be safe Unblooded.” A smirk had found itself on her face and she nodded. She took a couple steps back until her foot touched the rubble behind her.
“Ralof, if I make this jump you owe me a drink.” She quickly spoke before sprinting forward, jumping with all her power. She flew through the air, trying to grasp onto the wind. Ulfric could have sworn that for a moment, she donned wings. When she landed on her feet unscathed, she looked up to point up at the two men. That was the last time Ulfric saw the woman. Though he hoped it wouldn’t be.
The woman herself had walked into the room, meeting eyes with Galmar first. The old warrior had smiled gallantly towards her. “Well, well. I guess our luck is looking up. Hello Dragonborn.” She smiled at her title being spoken before tapping her closed fist over her heart in respect.
“Hello Stone-Fist. It is an honor meeting the first-in-command. And of course…” Her eyes moved from Galmar to Ulfric. His eyes caught hers again, he could feel the same feeling which he felt in Helgen. “Ulfric. I stayed safe like you asked.” The same smug smirk reached her plump lips again, making him smile for the first time in a long while.
“I hoped that you would. Ralof tells me how lucky the Stormcloaks are for having you on our side. Great warrior, he tells me.” He could tell that she had been slightly bashful of her friend telling about her without her knowing.
“Of course. You must know why I’m here then. I wish to join the cause. Damn Imperials deserve what’s going to them.” Passion in her heart, and determination in her spirit was what Ulfric could feel. He nodded to Galmar, who had been watching the interaction between the two suspiciously. He felt a connection between the pair which hadn’t been addressed directly, but he could certainly see a spark. Galmar decided to note this for later, silently hoping that Ulfric gets the Queen he needed.
“Well then Lass. Are you ready to take the oath?”
Chapter 2: Part Two
[Your Name] had proved herself many times over that showed she was what Ulfric was looking for. A leader who pushed the men past their limit to victory every time. After each battle, she would find herself looking for him. That was where she was suppose to report anyway. Ulfric had been resting in a chair by the hearth when he heard a soft knock on the door which could only be her. Ulfric expected her to let herself in, since she had grown as a soft spot in his heart for months now. She had gone with Galmar to get the Jagged Crown, proving herself to the old warrior officially. The Dovah had pushed the door of Ulfric’s Quarters open to find him sitting in front of a warm fire. The room was magnificent. Large banners had hung down from each of the four corners in his room, large dressers and tables rested against the walls. His large bed had rested in the middle of the room, neatly pressed to the bed as if the servants had already been here before her.
Ulfric had enjoyed the scent she brought in. The clash of mountain flowers and snowberries had been pleasant to him, though he never told her so. He could also tell that she recently had been to the Candlehearth Hall since he could smell the ale from where he was sitting. Though she drank not as much as he did, he could always smell more on her than anyone. It was almost… unsettling. He soon found himself caring for her health.
“Ulfric.” Her melodic tone of voice reached his ears, lifting his shoulders of weight that he hadn’t noticed he had.
“I hear that we’ve gained Whiterun. We’ve sent those Imperial bastards back to their mothers.” Ulfric heard her soft footsteps coming closer, making him take a light drink from his tankard. She had rested in the seat next to his, slightly calming him at the sight of her face.
“Do you hear them? The sounds of the men you’ve killed?” Her usually chest-warming voice had dulled down to a sorrowed tone which writhed at his heart. He turned to her to see the shadows cast over her face. Blood had speckled her face, which told him that she had come straight here after the victory at Whiterun. He had placed the tankard on the end table next to his chair and turned towards her.
“You’d be a monster if you didn’t. We all have killed someone we know on the other side.” Ulfric found himself putting effort to comforting her, and she couldn’t even lift her head from the pain which bottled up in her chest. “Don’t think of them Lass. Think of who you’re saving. Who you’re fighting for. Do you have anyone you’re fighting for?” Ulfric had hopes that she hadn’t been courting someone already, since he felt that he should have the privilege. Her head lifted up from her locked hands and a soft breath had escaped her.
“I lost my family to the Imperials. Don’t have anyone left. They even killed my husband and daughter.” She spoke to the fire which listened to her words, but the words sank in his stomach. Ulfric had lost his father, though that was more of natural of his passing. He had no idea how she felt since she had the people she loved ripped from her. “Do you have anyone you’re fighting for Ulfric? I’m sure you’ve got some family or a woman you’re courting. You should be a lucky man if so.” Her words had hit him, but he didn’t know exactly what to say.
“I lost my father not too long ago.” He spoke in a melancholy tone, his words reached the comforting flame which listened to their sorrows. Ulfric had turned his head to look at her, to find her already gazing at him.
“I heard he was a great man. I met him once before. It was truly an honor, for me at least. For then, I was only common rabble in his presence.” Her trademark smile had returned and he felt once again the warmth. He gave her a genuine smile which no one else had seen, which he saved for when they were alone. Nothing more was said about someone courting him, and he was glad for so. Ulfric wanted to court this woman beside him, though he didn’t exactly have the words for it. As he finished the last drop of his ale, he pushed himself up out of the chair he was in.
“Let us forget this sorrow and fill it with some joy, shall we?” He held his arm out to her, and he visibly noticed that her mood lightened. She rose up to take her arm around his. They walked together down out of the quarters and into the hall to enjoy the meal which had been made. With the men and women celebrating of Whiterun being taken, Ulfric could feel the war winning itself with [Your Name] leading the way.
* * * * * *
Several months later, [Your Name] had already liberated several holds and was impressing Ulfric more and more. Though they had not been officially courting, [Your Name] had already kept a spot in his bed which she rested in each time she came. The Dovah already had enough on her plate, with the dragon which attacked Helgen. She informed him that his name was Alduin, which had been the dragon from the prophecy. When she came to the Palace, she always found her way into his room. At first he hadn’t noticed her come in, since he had been close to dead sleep. He could hear the wooden door slightly squeak at her arrival, padded footsteps had made their way to the other side of the bed.
Ulfric quietly turned to watch her dolefully taking her boots off. She rested them in the same spot every time, at the corner of her side of the bed. She shrugged her armor off of her torso, simply tossing it to the floor. She tugged her bloodied trousers off to replace them with a pair which she hid underneath Ulfric’s bed. He watched her silently, quickly noticing the struggle she had pulling off her shirt. “Let me help you.” His rugged voice had alarmed the Dova, making her turn to him too quickly. She gripped her side quickly, her face contorted into a grimace.
He sat up from his resting, making quick work of her shirt. This was the first time he had seen her undressed and he wished that he hadn’t. Her whole back had been severely burned, though it took him a moment to see it was old. Several claw marks had resided over the burn mark, being more recent than expected. There was one spot that she had bandages over, making Ulfric very concerned. [Your Name] had no shame of her scars, holding a clean shirt to him to help her. As he took the shirt, he tried to find the words to ask though it was difficult. Was this what the Imperials had done?
“How… What happened?” Ulfric’s voice usually filled the room, which the Dovah had loved. Though right now in this moment, it was only loud enough for her to hear.
“It was a house fire. Imperials led a raid to my home, and…” She paused and Ulfric had wished he never asked. The look which rested on her face broke his heart.
“It is okay. Do not continue if you do not wish to.” He muttered softly to her, putting the soft cotton shirt over her head. She looked at this man who shared a compassion with her, though it was not duly deserved. When her shirt was on, he laid back down for her to join him. She slowly lowered her body onto the soft surface, almost every ache that cried out was soothed by his bed. She found herself wrapping her arms around this man whom she had grown to love, even from the first moment they met. Something about his blue eyes she couldn’t resist. His warm embrace had filled the void which was her heart.
“Ulfric?” The Dovah had spoken up over the cold night’s crisp winds. It took him a moment to answer her.
“Yes, [Your Name]?” He spoke in a tone which he reserved for her only. Though, he hadn’t expected her bluntness to kick in at a moment such as this.
“Do you… love me Ulfric?” He had opened his eyes to look down at her. The look on her expression had left his mind blank. Could he say what he felt and not have her run away? Though she had been a widow and a mother with no child, could she really accept what he would say? He had placed his hand on her face, resting his fingertips in her hair. Once again, the smile which rested upon his lips had lifted her heart. She had hoped that he would accept her, even though she had been a woman with a lost purpose.
“Of course. Why wouldn’t I? You’re a young maiden who has strength in your spirit and love in your heart. You put any woman to shame.” His words had enlightened her, her smile came back. Even though there hadn’t been much light in the room, he could still see the smile which he was in love with. “Let us rest now. The Dragonborn has her destiny in front of her.” He muttered lightly to her, her embrace became warmer to the touch. They wrapped themselves on each other, falling asleep to the sound of the other’s breathing.
Chapter 3: Part Three
The fateful day had come. The Stormcloaks had finally built up to this day where they would take down Solitude. She had to admit she had been nervous, some of her friends had been in the city. She hoped that her good friends at the Bard’s college hadn’t decided to be outside when this battle happened. She knew how much they enjoyed the thought of making battle poems and songs. The Dovah had found herself in a slum of a moment. She had talked repeatedly to Ralof about how she felt with killing many good men who were fathers, brothers, uncles, sons. And to the women who were mothers, sisters, aunts, and daughters. [Your Name] felt the need to know every man and woman she cut down with her blade. Of course she didn’t go to the families. That would tear her apart.
The Dovah’s ears filled with her lover’s voice, his speech before the battle was taking longer than expected. She could almost hear the voices being cut down by her battleaxe, and she felt a warm hand rest on her shoulder. She turned her head to gaze up at the old warrior who cared for her on the battlefield and home. The courage began to fill her again as her lover’s words came to an end, and the fight began. She pulled the battleaxe which rested on her shoulders, holding the handle tightly in her hands. Her lover had looked over to her as if to cue something and the Dovah had stepped forward to the shut doors of Solitude.
“Fus...Ro… DAH!” She shouted Unrelenting Force to throw the doors off their hinges. She turned back to the army waiting for her command and a wide grin grew on her face. “FOR SKYRIM!!!” She yelled at the top of her lungs and all the men and women she fought beside had answered her call. The Dovah had turned to the city which they would take over, propelling herself forward. Her axe cut through many Imperials, many of them had no familiarity to her. It was until she started hearing someone calling out to her.
“[Your Name]!” A voice taunted her outwardly, causing her to turn towards it. A big thud had impacted with her shoulder and the world numbed quickly. The sounds of swords clashing had dulled out. She looked up to see someone that she would’ve never expected. The gentle features which had been imprinted in her mind had alarmed her quickly. “It’s a shame!” He called out to her, the tears had been hot against her cheeks. The Dovah had stood up, gripping her battleaxe. She swiftly slammed the blunt side into the male’s face, knocking him down. He fell with a thud and almost knocked himself out from the impact.
“What? Was it a shame that we married?” She hissed down to the male at her feet. The tears still came down her face, showing a thin line between the dirt and blood that stained her face. The Dovah had lifted up her axe above her head to give the final blow before another thud impacted her body. She still threw her axe down to split his skull in half. Two large arrows had stuck out of her torso, pushing much of the air out of her lungs. The Dovah had pressed on to Castle Dour despite her injuries, slashing through Imperials which got in her way. It was only mere seconds to her that she made it past the barriers which blocked their way and she was at the doors of Castle Dour. She pushed the door open to find Ulfric and Galmar fighting a woman in Imperial Officer armor. Then she gazed over to her real target. General Tullius. She dropped her axe to take out her bow. She pulled the string back, aiming straight for Tullius’ chest.
“Watch out!” She shouted to the men whom she fought for, releasing the string to fire the arrow. It impacted with the middle of the General’s chest, making him gasp for air. Ulfric turned to see the man whom he was going to make surrender on his last few breaths. He gazed up to see the Dovah grasping her bow. She pulled back the string, aiming the bow at him. The arrow had released and blew past his head to kill Rikke, blood spilled down her forehead. “Ulfric…” [Your Name] had smiled at him with a bright smile.
Ulfric had turned to Tullius who had already passed from bleeding out. She struck him straight in the heart, killing him in a quick moment. When he looked back, he watched as [Your Name] fell to her knees. The room went silent as he rushed to her side. His hands grasped her shoulders as he looked up into [Eye Color] eyes which had fading lights. “No. Keep your focus on me, [Your Name]. Don’t you dare die.” She lifted her hand to grip on the arrow through her shoulder.
“Ulfric?” Her voice came out as melodious as usual. His hands moved to her face, making her keep her eyes on his. He pressed her forehead to his, shocking Galmar who had been watching.
“Yes, [Your Name]? I’m here.” Galmar had rushed out of the room, looking for any healer to help. She took a deep breath in, then spoke again.
“Do you still love me?” She spoke in a quiet tone, which she only used each night they laid together. A warm smile lit up his face as he wiped away the tears off her face. The small action smeared blood and dirt across her cheeks.
“Of course. I have loved you ever since you jumped off that tower.” A laugh escaped her lips which had been split from being so dry.
“Ralof still owes me a drink for that. I hurt my ankle doing that.” She couldn’t help but laugh at her lover’s memory of that day. He often told her about his thoughts of Helgen and the people he saw burning from Alduin’s flames. Though it was indirect, he spoke of his fear of her being killed by the dragon. “Ulfric, please help me up. It would be better for me to stand up to pull these arrows out.” After the Dovah had gotten up, Galmar had brought help and she was taken away to be cared for. Ulfric did his victory speech in front of all the men and women, then finding himself searching for his lover instinctively. Galmar caught up with his old friend, clapping a hand on his shoulder. The old warrior had let out a sigh.
“She’ll be fine Ulfric. This is the Dragonborn we're talking about! She’ll live to be the High Queen.” Ulfric didn’t ask Galmar, and it would stay that way. Sometimes, the old man knew more than he should've.
* ** ***
Ulfric had to go back to Windhelm against his own wishes, the word of his lover had been quiet. She hadn’t been released, and he couldn’t send anyone to go see since most everyone had gone home to celebrate. As it should be, he thought. With most of his hope gone that evening, he decided to retreat to bed to try and relax. He deserved that much. He slowly sat down on his side of the bed, taking off his boots and placing them at the corner of the bed like she did. It was something small, but he noticed what he did. Ulfric placed his head in his hands, his mind drifted to think of her. He reached under his tunic to pull out an Amulet of Mara that he kept as a promise. However, he might never follow though.
He grasped the little trinket in his hands, wishing that he had told her how much he wanted her by his side. Now, who knows if she would be there? Ulfric had so much doubt within his heart, that he found himself frozen to sitting on the bed. He shook his head to break his trance, realizing all the things he had to do the next morn. The soon-to-be High King had undressed himself of his tunic and his trousers, and took to bed. It was many hours later when he had found himself at the verge of sleeping. It was until the very sound that he had heard every early morning that he knew all too well.
A squeaking of his door had startled him awake. Though he didn’t show it, this was the very moment he had been waiting for. The familiar light-footed steps into his room had filled his heart with hope. The other side of his bed had sunken, and a soft sigh passed her lips. The first boot wasn’t too much trouble, but it was always the second one that was becoming stuck. With one last tug, she found that a rock was in her boot. A groan passed her lips as she discovered a new ache in her back. She pushed her boots to the corner of the bed, and undressed herself. As usual, first came her armor. Only this time, she couldn’t get it off her back. The wound that she had suffered clenched in burning fury, making it only difficult for her to move in any way.
Ulfric had turned over slowly so she wouldn’t notice, slowly helping her out with her problem. Once the armor was done with, her trousers came off with ease. The Dovah had turned to her lover with a smile on her face. “Good morning, my King.” The term came out which she hadn’t ever called him. Though she knew it would always come, she didn’t call him that until it was fully guaranteed. When she laid down, Ulfric pinned her down below him. The pair hadn’t done something like that since it was Ulfric who said he didn’t want such activities. The Dovah had been surprised by her lover’s actions. It was until she noticed there had been a string tickling her arm. When she looked up, she wished that she hadn’t looked. There had been an amulet of Mara in his hand.
“Ulfric? What is…” Ulfric looked deep into his lover’s eyes, searching for something in particular. He pressed his body against hers, but she had no hesitation of holding back. His lips had landed on her neck, right where he thought was her sensitive spot. She let out a soft moan, sending chills through his body. He may be a man of honor and respect, but he had still been a man.
“[Your Name]. I want you to marry me.” He muttered the words gently into her neck, as if not wanting to look at her in case she told him no. The Dovah was shocked, not able to move from the request that was asked of her. That would mean she would have to stop adventuring. Settle down with Ulfric. Bear his children, but forget her destiny of being Dragonborn.
Then the thought of Ulfric’s bright blue eyes had made her melt. He would never make her settle down without second thought. He didn’t force her to do anything unless she wanted to do so. His rough and calloused hands had always held her at night when she couldn’t close her eyes. The Dovah didn’t know what to say. She began to think of little heirs to the throne running around, destined for great things. There would be more Dragonborns in the world, and Paarthurnax could use the company. She thought of her children learning the common tongue, then the Dovah speech. They could rule the world as the Nords would dream of. She lifted her lover’s head to look deep into his blue eyes.
“Ulfric… of course I’ll be your wife.”
“No. You will be my High Queen.”