THE DIVINE CHAMPION
It is known that the gods do not interfere with the lives of mortals. There have been times thoughout our world's long history that the direct intervention of the gods has been needed. Not in two hundred years, not since the Great Oblivion Crisis, have the gods met to cast a fate unto the mortals. Though now it seems that their hand must be dealt once again, and though the gods may not privy themselves to say it, they fear for the lives of the mortals. For this time the danger on their doorstep of the mortals was of the god's own creation.
First-born of Akatosh
The End Bringer, and the World Eater
He can only be slain by a Dragonborn. The ancient heroes of men who wielded the Voice of the dragons and could steal their power, though these heroes died with the dragons, centuries ago; none remain.
The Pantheon of the Nine Divines
Even as a god his armor was uncomfortable. Talos shifted in his seat, very aware of the silence of the Pantheon. In his time among the Divines he never had seen them at a loss for words. Usually they would be arguing amongst each other, though now they had nothing to say.
The Nine were seated in a semicircle surrounding Lord Akatosh. Each god assumed a different form for the Pantheon (Talos recalled an awkward moment when Kynareth assumed the form of a tree for the length of the meeting); Akatosh took the form of a great golden dragon; Arkay a grim Imperial; Juliannos, a Breton mage ; Stendaar, a Dunmer; Mara a beautiful Imperial woman; Dibella a beautiful Breton; Kynareth, a Nord woman; and Zenithar a Khajiit with grey and black fur. Their forms differed on any given day. Then of course there was Talos who assumed the same form he had when he was but a man. Talos had been born a Nord, and he would serve the Divines as a Nord. He had short, light hair, midnight blue eyes, and was wearing his Imperial Dragon Armor, the very same that he'd worn at Sancre Tor when he was mortal. Aside from Talos and Akatosh the others were all wearing white robes. He guessed they assumed mortal appearences so that it would be easier for the god of men to comprehend the meeting. He nicely tried to ignore that fact.
Talos felt the eyes of the great golden dragon on him, burrowing into his soul. As lord of the gods Akatosh had that effect on the other Eight. Talos watched as Akatosh shifted his weight to his right rear leg, and then started to hum in the way dragons do when they are thinking of what to say. Finally Akatosh spoke to the entire Pantheon, "The first of my children has returned, and soon the others will follow," he said. His voice was deep and rich, yet somehow it still sounded like a mouth full of teeth, "Alduin has returned and the Divines grow silent?"
Silence, then, "Lord Akatosh," Juliannos said, turning toward the great dragon, "if it truly is Alduin, of which I have no doubt, then there is nothing to speak of. He is the harbinger of the end times. If he has returned then the time has come. You created him yourself. You know that better than anyone."
Smoke trailed from the dragon's snout, "Mey," Akatosh said in a half roar, "Why would we meet as such? If it were hopeless than we would stand aside and watch from above as daar joorre mey dir hevno ann dinoks?" he growled as he slipped back and forth from the language of the dragons and Common.
Arkay spoke so softly he could hardly be heard, "Perhaps it is time Lord Akatosh. They are doomed to death, as all mortals are, and Alduin's appearance-"
"Is a mistake!" interuppted Stendar. "The Nords of old manipulated time! If anything this timeline wasn't supposed to have happened. It should have ended thousands of years ago, but now the whole timeline is different!"
"Vahzah," Akatosh said dipping his horned head, "time has been... ripped, torn apart."
Mara stood, "They deserve a chance. Have you not heard their prayers? If the land of Skyrim is overtaken by dragons now they will have less than a chance. Especially with this civil war being waged! Talos?" she said eyeing him from where she stood.
He jumped at the sound of his name. Usually Talos took a back seat to their arguments. Talos shook his head as he sat forward in his chair, "I do not see an end to this war any time soon," his voice was quiet. He cleared his throat, "The Nords, these 'Stormcloaks' fight for the honor of their race and for their ancestors. They will not give in easily," he paused, considering the fact that they fought for him as well, "or at all."
It was Arkay who spoke again, this time he seemed to have found his voice, "They are sent to their ancestors, whether it be by the hand of other mortals or by the maw of Alduin!"
"And what sort of fate is that?" piped in Dibella, her voice was a squeak, "Killed and sent to Sovngarde only to be consumed by Alduin?"
"Their fates are sealed!" Juliannos said as he rose from his chair. His face was growing red with anger, "They destroyed the last of the Dragonborn!" He pointed at Talos, "Your own kin! They did this to themselves! The Septims were murdered by the hands of mortals! Their fates were sealed two hundred years ago, and they are lucky to have had this long at all! If we hadn't saved them from Mehrunes Dagon they'd all be servants to the daedra or dead!"
Zenithar stood as well, "He speaks sense," he looked at Juliannos his tail twitching. "The Dragonborn are dead, both their line and their kind are gone."
Are they? thought Talos as the others continue debating over whether or not they could do anything. The other Dragonborn were killed long after Talos had ascended. They were in Sovngarde now, and even Talos wouldn't step foot there now, not with Alduin lurking in the mists surrounding the Shor's Hall. Then an idea hit him. His heart jumped in his chest, there was one Dragonborn left alive! One who had never died, one who was never defeated, one who was so renown and powerful he became a living god. A living, breathing, Dragonborn, god, he thought. If were to return to Mundus he could defeat Alduin and even show those Altmer the reason that he'd become a god. He smiled at the thought.
The others were still at each other's throats as Talos stood and walked into the middle of the Pantheon, his armor clinking with each movement like war drums proclaiming a march. None seemed to notice him save for Akatosh who nodded, and then with a great roar the dragon god sent a stream of golden flame into the air, silencing the warring gods. They stared at him as he started to speak, "Alduin is my creation," he began, his voice heavy with emotion, "Prodah, it is foretold. As I create, he devours." He stopped, and looked at each god in turn, "Alduin heyv. It is Alduin's duty. This what he was created for, though this is not the time, and this is no longer the world he was created to destroy. Only a Dovahkiin can prevent Alduin from exerting his wrath on the mortal realm and the realms beyond. They bought themselves time, selfishly, though now there is no more Dragonborn to save them. No way to stop the end."
All were silent, then there the sound of heavy armored footfalls as Talos approached Akatosh, "Niid, Drog Akatosh," he said, adopting the dragon tongue, "There remains one Dovahkiin alive." The others stared at him, "I am not one of the original Eight. I was a man, a warrior, and a Nord. Most of all I was Dragonborn. I never died. I ascended," he turned watching the other Divines carefully.
The others watched him with wild eyes as the god of men continued, "As you all know the Empire has banned my worship. It was my own creation, my blood and tears and life force into that Empire, and they throw me away like I was nothing. The Thalmor, the High Elves, believe that they can become gods, that they can control the gods. It is an insult made directly in our faces; an insult we have ignored for far too long!" Talos' eyes grew fierce, "Return me to Skyrim. They banned my people from worshipping me. Now the Nords have rebelled against my Empire, doing so in my name. Let me show you that I still deserve to serve among you as a Divine." At that he knelt before Akatosh, "Let me return to the mortal world," Talos said, looking up at Akatosh, "and save my people from the hands of false gods."
Akatosh lowered his head to look into Talos' eyes, "Dovahkiin? Do you truly wish to do this?"
Talos nodded, "Yes, my lord."
Akatosh snorted then raised his head above the crowd, "Do any object the Dragonborn's request?"
Akatosh faced Talos again, "Good luck, Zeymah, I hope to see you in Sovngarde when you have succeeded."
Then the great dragon breathed upon Talos, and the world was consumed in darkness.
He felt a cold stone beneath him. Talos tried to rise, but his body fought against him. His head was pounding, his ears ringing, his stomach lurching, and his very breath felt stolen away. But this was both new and familiar to him. Pain, he thought. He hadn't experienced pain in so long; so very long. He lay there on his back in the darkness that surrounded him. He was unsure of where he was, only that it was dark and cold.
Talos was vaguely aware that he was naked. He sat cross legged as he tried to organize his thoughts. First things first, he thought, who am I? Obviously due to lack of fur, scales, or enormous teeth he was not Orc, Khajiit, or Argonian. He stood, unsteady at first, and he stared at his hands. They were large and free of any marks or calluses. He judged by his height and weight he was Nord. So I am still myself then, good. He touched his brow where he had a taken a scar from an ax and found it was not there. He was new. He was young again, not even out of his twenties. I have been given another life.
Now for the second task, where was he exactly? He turned left, arms outstreched until his hands found rock. He followed it until he found a door leading into a central chamber. Grasping the door frame he entered, and then fell to his knees when he saw an altar before him. Of course, he thought staring at the altar where his Imperial Dragon Armor once lay. The others had returned him to where he'd left. Sancre Tor. His mind raced. Memories and nightmares from the battle of Sancre Tor. It was the siege that had made him a god in the eyes of his people. He glanced at the tomb of Reman III. He touched the ancient stone that held the bones of the great man. This was where he found the Amulet of Kings a milennia ago, but Talos remembered it like it was yesterday.
The temple had turned to ruin. By the looks of it there had not been a visitor there for centuries. There were no obstacles to hinder his path. With a quiet prayer to Arkay for the souls of those buried here, Talos began to search the graves and tombs of the dead in search of any sort of armor or clothing, and a weapon if he should be so lucky. These graves were those of Bretons and Nords, dead from the battle of Sancre Tor. Yet there were a few here who were once Blades, and others who were once royalty. Though they were now long forgotten. He found the ruins of Sancre Tor had been looted long ago. He found nothing but rags, yet rags were better than nothing when it came to going bare into the world. If he was remembering right Sancre Tor was in the Frostback Mountains bordering Skyrim. He would need protection from the cold. He managed to find some ancient fur armor, and a rusted blade. Deciding that there was nothing more of use there, he left.
As he left the ruins he was blinded by the light of the sun and pure white of the snow. For a moment he was at a loss for direction. Then he remembered, like an old memory from a lifetime ago.
Alduin. The Pantheon.
The mountain pass was treacherous. It slowed his pace, and forced him to rest. He found a small outcropping in lee of the wind and he stopped, thinking of starting a fire and camping for the night. That was when he heard it; the sound of fighting, swords clashing, and shouts. He started running in the direction of the fighting. He found the battle, a small skirmish really. Talos recognized the Imperial banner, unchanged this new era. The blue banner must be the Stormcloaks and their rebellion.
"Die rebel bastard!" he heard behind him. Talos turned, his hand on his blade. But he was too slow, and the Imperial had the jump on him. Next thing Talos knew the Legionaire's shield made contact with his head. Talos' world went black.
As suggested, list of translations for the Dragon Language as it appears...
Mey - Fool
daar joorre mey dir hevno ann dinokke - *rough* these fool mortals to die brutal deaths
Vahzah - True
Prodah - Foretold
Alduin heyv - Alduin's duty
Dovahkiin - Dragonborn
Niid, Drog Akatosh - No, Lord Akatosh
Zeymah - Brother