Attn: "Birthright" is a time lapsed fic, taking place both during and after the Oblivion Crisis, as well as after the Dragon Crisis in Skyrim.
Summary: Raised in secret the Septim line lingers. Now the time has come for the last Septim to reveal herself, and unite the Empire that is rightfully hers, with an unseen ally, the last Dragonborn.
"So long as you and your heirs wear the Amulet of Kings, than shall this Dragonfire burn -an eternal flame- as a symbol to all men and gods of our faithfulness..."
- Trials of St. Alessia
Children of the Gods
Screams polluted the air, men, women, children, innocent people fleeing, innocent people dying because a select few thought themselves better than the rest. The crimes of the Mythic Dawn were many, but this, this was their worst offense. The Imperial City was burning, and somehow, Adria felt she was to blame.
What if she had escaped Paradise earlier? Could she have warned them? No. There was no way she could have known that the Gates would open within the city. Daedra swarmed the districts, paying no mind to whom they slaughtered. The guards battled in lonely groups of two or three, caught by surprise by the sudden appearance of the monsters. They never had a chance to mount a defense. In her heart she knew it to be the truth… the Imperial City was lost.
All was lost.
She felt a gentle hand on her shoulder. She looked up to see Martin looking at her with concern. "By Talos," Adria croaked, holding back tears. They had been separated from the Blades in the madness of the battle, taking refuge in a dark alley. All she had done, closing the Gates, purging the Great Gate of its Sigil Stone, invading Mankar's Paradise and retrieving lost Amulet of Kings, all of it was for nothing if the Imperial City was lost.
And what if Mehrunes Dagon managed to break through and reach the mortal world?
Martin frowned, his brows furrowed in concern, years of sadness etched on his face. Motioning for her to stay he glanced into the street, making sure they had not been discovered. He made his way back to Adria, placing both hands on her shoulders, and looking into her eyes. A fire burned in his eyes, one Adria had not seen in him since the Battle of Bruma, when they had tricked the daedra into opening a Great Gate. "We can do this," he said, holding her steady. "We must light the Dragonfires. It's the only way."
Adria straightened, resting her hand on his cheek. "I know."
Martin smiled with that foolish optimism that had led them through the trials of finding the Amulet of Kings. "Come then, Hero of Kvatch, we have a world to save."
Adria nodded and drew her bow, knocking an arrow as Martin drew his silver sword, a spell prepped in his off hand. It was a mad dash to the Temple District. Adria's heart ached each time she saw an Imperial Soldier fall, but they could not help. They avoided as much confrontation as they could, weaving through the path of least resistance to get to the Temple of the One, to finally light the Dragonfires.
Just as they reached the gates to the Temple District a group of Churls burst from it.
She held her breath as she drew the bow back, the arrow a whisper as it flew forward, and downing a churl as it pierced his neck. Martin stood straight as he raised his left hand before him, electricity cackling and striking forth with near perfect precision. Sometimes she forgot how powerful of a mage Martin truly was. She drew another shot, missing the heart in her haste as the daedra charged her. She ducked beneath its sword, and knocked it away with her bow hand, while it was distracted she took an arrow in her hand and stabbed it in the eye, driving the head deep into its skull. She looked up just in time to see Martin flay a Churl up the middle before blasting it away. The creature landed with a sickening thud several feet away. Martin wiped the blood from his cheek before turning to her, offering his hand. She took it, and together they pushed the gate open.
Only to have Adria's heart sink even further. The Temple still stood, but the entire eastern half of the district was in ruins. And it was no question why.
Standing there was the very avatar of Mehrunes Dagon himself.
The daedric prince stood hundreds of feet tall; she could barely bend her neck high enough to see his head. His skin was red as blood, two pairs of arms swung at the warriors at Dagon's feet, while he simply crushed any underfoot who dared venture too close. It was a massacre.
Adria caught the look on Martin's face before he had a chance to recollect himself. Fear. He shook his head, placing a gentle hand on her back.
"Come on!" he shouted, pushing her forward, "into the temple!"
They ran. Everything moved at a snail's pace. She shot arrow after arrow, scamps, dremora, anything and everything in their path they cut down together. At last they made it to the doors of the temple. The doors closed behind them, the sound echoing in the empty room. They caught their breath. "Mehrunes Dagon," she said between breaths, "he's here, he's actually bloody here!"
Martin said nothing, shaking his head.
"What do we do?"
"Nothing," he said finally.
Adria's eyes went wide. "What, what are you saying?"
He took her face in his hands. "I'm sorry, Adria."
Tears came, though she had no idea why. "Martin, what?"
He shook his head. "I know now what I must do." He leaned his forehead against hers. "Thank you," he said his voice no more than a whisper, "for everything." He wiped away a tear from her cheek. "I had lost hope, and you gave me it again. Everything I am, I owe that to you. I know now what it means to be Emperor, what the sacrifice is, and why only I can light the Dragonfires." She stared at him, her eyes wide. "I love you."
"Say it," he interrupted.
"Please," he choked.
She laid a hand on his cheek. "I love you."
Then he kissed her, pouring all his love into the one action, and before she could react he was gone, sprinting toward the altar, the Amulet of Kings in Hand. The world shook as the roof finally gave way, knocking Adria to the ground with its force.
The face of Destruction was staring down upon them.
He stood at the Altar, gazing at her once with forlorn eyes before he smashed the gem against the altar. As soon as the gem broke Martin was bathed in a golden light. More of the roof came crashing to the ground.
And then all Adria knew was darkness…
She felt the heat of fires consuming her, but she felt no pain. Instead she felt a rush, the daedra that had been at her heels moments ago were gone in an instant. She gripped the Sigil stone close, holding on for dear life. She had no idea what was happening. She didn't know what would happen if she dropped the stone, or if she moved too much. Soon she felt a release of air, a cool breeze on her face for a moment before she fell to her knees on solid ground. Her bow clattered on the ground in front of her as she knelt on her hands and knees.
She heard Ilend cough beside her. She extended a hand and patted him on the shoulder. "Are you all right?" she asked.
He nodded as he coughed into his hand. "You save my life. I will be forever grateful."
Adria laughed lightly. "We aren't out of this yet," she said, stumbling to her feet and offering her hand to the Kvatch guard. "We still have to take back your city."
He took her hand without a word. He was a coward. Adria knew this, but still, she couldn't leave him to die in Oblivion alone. She would not have that on her consciousness.
It was as she turned that she heard the strangest sound. Here they were, standing in the burning ruins of a besieged Kvatch.
And the city guard was cheering for her.
The guard captain, Salvian Matius was the first to reach her. "Imperial," he said, taking her arm, "who are you?"
She took his arm in turn. "Adria, and I'm just here to help."
"I'm glad you're here then!" he said with a dry smile. "You've done it, you've closed the gate!" He stepped from her and turned to the remainder of his men. "This young Imperial woman," he pointed to Adria, "has given us the chance we had thought we could only dream of! She closed the gate! This is our chance" He paused, taking in the crowd. "We held the line! But no more! Now it's time to take back our home from these monsters! We will show them our hearts! I know we all have suffered, but this is our only chance.
"Men!" he called, drawing his blade. "Let's go home!" He turned, and started forward, nodding once to Adria, who already had her bow in hand.