Fafnir, son of Balder, also known as Fafnir Ironbrow, Fafnir of the Red Ring, the Stormbringer and the Dragonborn, was a Nord hero that lived during the Fourth Era, and played major roles in the Dragon Crisis and Stormcloak Rebellion. Fafnir lead a tempestuous life that saw him in conflict throuhgout most of his mortal lifespan. Additionally Fafnir often took his role as the Dragonborn reluctantly due to his views on gods. In spite of this he would go on to do great things, and play a major part of Skyrim's history, as well as the rest of Tamriel.
Fafnir was born the son of Balder and Aslaug. Balder was a city guard of Bruma with a somewhat checkered past, whereas his mother Aslaug was a virtuous preistess of Talos. As strange as this union was Fafnir's parents loved each other deeply. Born a few year after the end of the Great War and the signing of the White-Gold Concordat, Fafnir lived much of his life influenced by the echoes of that war.
Fafnir's father Balder had fought alongside the Imperial Legion during the war to repulse the Aldmeri Dominion, and had often shown bitterness about the war's conclusion. Additionally Aslaug refused to give up her worship of Talos in spite of the terms of the Concordat. She adopted common clothes in public, and no longer sermonized for Talos openly, but in private she maintained her faith. She also continued to minister to the faith of other Talos worshippers in secret.
Despite this tension Fafnir lived a fairly decent childhood. His father was stern but proud of his young son, and he and his mother always maintained a strong, loving bond. His father taught him the basics of combat, and would also take him to the Gold Coast on occasion to teach him how to sail. His mother saw to his education and fostered in him a respect for the gods. It seemed that Fafnir would have a prosperous childhood, but tragedy would soon strike.
Aslaug had developed a fair sized secret following of Talos worshippers in Bruma. While the group did the best to keep their activities secret, the Thalmor were ever watchful, especially on Bruma, which had a strong history of Nord traditions and Talos worship. Soon they caught wind of the recidivist Priestess of Talos. Fafnir's family was sitting down to dinner when they came. The Thalmor came and arrested Aslaug, and dragged her out of her house in front of Balder and the then seven year old Fafnir.Crying and begging someone, anyone to save his mother, Fafnir watched as the Thalmor took her away never to be heard from a gain. They might have turned their eyes towards her family as well, but Aslaug had told her husband to renounce her if she was ever caught, and deny that he or Fafnir had any faith in Talos. Addtionally Balder had the favor of the Count of Bruma, and had never been known as a pious man to begin with. He held back his son and kept him from the Thalmor.
Thus Fafnir was spared from the attentions of the Thalmor, but the event would have a profound effect on the rest of his life. The event would leave him with a distrust for Mer in general, and a hatred for the Thalmor in particular. Additionally it caused Fafnir to develope a resentment toward the Divines. Fafnir had been taught by his mother that the gods were just, and that they silently watched over and protected the just and faithful. However when his mother, who was a kind woman and a fervant worshipper of Talos, was taken no gods had seen fit to intercede. Talos did not rain lightning upon the heads of the Justicars who were accosting his priestess. From that point on Fafnir harbored a resentment towards the gods. If they could not or would not intervene when one of their most faithful followers was struck with tragedy, then they were not fit to be worshipped.
Left in the care of his father Fafnir's childhood changed. While he loved his son, Fafnir had never been an ideal father. He had left much of the rearing of their son to Aslaug, and had mostly stepped in whenever Fafnir had needed discipline, or to teach him something useful. Now he had to raise his son alone, and he did not know where to start. So he did the closest thing he knew how to do. He trained Fafnir as a warrior. This was largely alright with Fafnir as losing his mother had instilled a desire for strength in him. He never wanted to be helpless when someone he loved needed him again.
However it did result in some tension between Fafnir in his father. Balder couldn't express his feelings well, and was a strict trainer. Under his father Fafnir's childhood largely ended. Balder largely became a harsh instructor and master, and Fafnir his apprentice. They never would go on to have a normal father/son relationship.
During his training Fafnir's father instilled in him a healthy respect for personal protection, helmets in particular. Balder would occasionally strike him at random, testing how prepared his son was to defend from a sudden attack. He would even occasionally smack Fafnir on the head witha wooden spoon his he dropped his guard. As a result of this Fafnir would bring his helmet to the dinner table. He developed the habit of carrying a helmet wherever he went, since it was an easily portable form of protection, and his father had taught him a variety of uses for a helmet. This is a habit that Fafnir would retain throughout his life, and one that he would become known for, leading to his alias Ironbrow since he almost always had a helmet on hand.
His Own ManEdit
At the age of fifteen the situation in Fafnir's household was at a breaking point. While he still respected his father, and appreciated the training and lessons he had given him, years of Balder's stern upbringing had created a tension between the two. Additionally Balder had since been made Guard Captain in Bruma and had less time for his son. Fafnir for his part wanted to go out in to the world and use what he had been learning for years, which Balder had been reluctant to do as he worried that his son might get into trouble. As a result of this situation even when Balder was home he and his son often argued, and the house gradually became less and less home to Fafnir.
Finally Balder relented. As the years had gone by he saw his son grow stronger, more headstrong and restless. He saw many of the traits that had spurred him into action, and into trouble as a youth. While this worried him it also made him realize that the two of them were to similar in temperment, and that if they continued to stay in the same house they would only clash in the end. His son was a man, and one that had inherited much of the volatile temperment he had possessed in his youth.
Balder sat Fafnir down to discuss his future. He explained that he was going to have Fafnir move not only out of the house, but out of Bruma as well. Balder felt this necessary as he believed that if Fafnir stayed the two of them would only quarrel all the more, and he didn't want Fafnir to cause trouble in the city he was responsible for. Fafnir agreed to this as he had intended to put distance between him and bruma anyway. Too many painful memories.
Balder encouraged Fafnir to pursue a respectable, peaceful trade at first, confusing Fafnir given the training he had been put through. Balder explained that he had trained his son thus so that he could protect himself, and because he knew his son would find someone else to train him if he hadn't, but despite this Fafnir insisted he wanted to be a warrior, and his father knew the futility of arguing this point. As such he encouraged his son to join the Imperial Legion, or to become a city guard like him, perhaps in Anvil. However Fafnir rejected this, and insisted he was going to join the fighter's guild, much to his father's dismay. They argued for a time, but Fafnir was his own man, and how he would forge his future was for him to decide. Forced to accept, Balder told his son that if he ended up becoming some lawless cutthroat in the end that he had better never return.
Thus Fafnir left Bruma and headed to Chorrol to begin his new life. On entering Chorrol Fafnir immediately headed towards the guild hall of the Fighters Guild. On the way there he met an old, grey haired Orc that expressed interest in his destination. On hearing where he was heading the Orc laughed at Fafnir, claiming that he doubted the young man would have what it took to join the guild. Angered, Fafnir asked the old Orc to give him any challenge of might, claiming that he would not fail. The old Orc challenged Fafnir to a match.
Fafnir was surprised. He did not believe that this Orc well past his prime had the gall to challenge him to a fight. This was further compounded by the fact that the Orc was unarmored, and armed only with a solid oak staff. Nonetheless Fafnir's pride had been wounded, and he accepted the challenge. At first Fafnir seemed to be doing well, and had the old Orc firmly on the defensive. Yet he never landed a hit no matter how close he came. The tide began to turn slowly, and soon Fafnir was the one playing defense. He quickly realized that he was facing a warrior that was far his superior, but instead of being cowed into submission this made Fafnir fight all the harder, for he wished to make this old warrior acknowledge his abilities.
Despite hisbest efforts Fafnir lost the match. Feeling dejected, Fafnir was prepared to leave chorrol in shame. However the old orc stopped him. He introduced himself as Vrogo, a former Grand Champion of the Arena in the Imperial City, and the current Guild Master of the Fighters Guild. Vrogo explained that he did this with every young warrior hoping to join the guild as a test of their skills and character. Vrogo claimed that he saw potential in the young Nord warrior, and thus welcomed him to the Fighters Guild.
The Fighters GuildEdit
Fafnir was humbled by his previous experience, but still eager to prove his worth. In those early months in the guild Fafnir took any job presetned to him. It did not matter how dangerous or petty a job was, Fafnir was determined to show his new comrades he could be depended on. He soon made friends among the other guild members, who appreciated his skill and bravery. Vrogo also became a very important part of Fafnir's life. Fafnir looked at the old Orc as a mentor, and Vrogo was happy to give advice and guidance to a promising young warrior.
However Fafnir did face difficulties as well. While he slowly became more disciplined, his temper still occasionally got him into trouble. He also had a habit of fighting recklessly that caused many of his companions and senior to censure him, Vrogo especially. Additionally while he was generally well liked there were also those that Fafnir found himself at odds with, as is usual in a group of proud, bold warriors. In particular he developed a heated rivalry with a Dunmer woman named Keyladi.
Keyladi was relatively new to the Fighters Guild like Fafnir, though she had already had some experience when she had served in the Redoran Guard in Morrowind. Keyvali had a dour demeanor and a sardonic wit that often chaffed others, but she was a strong disciplined and reliable warrior, and courageous in the face of danger. However what truly bothered Fafnir was that Keyladi was a Mer. The tragedy with his mother, as well as the sentiments of many of the Nords in Bruma he had grown up with left him with a deep distrust towards Elves. This combined with the fact that Keyladi was more than willing to stand her ground, and retaliate with biting words meant that she and Fafnir clashed often. In fact Vrogo felt that their rivalry was slowly getting out of hand.
Since the end of the Great War there had been some tension between the Men and Mer within the fighters guild, and the quarrel between Fanir and Keyladi was making it worse. Often other members of the guild would get pulled into their arguments, picking a side with either Fafnir or Keyladi, and those arguments would intensify as a result. Vrogo worried that their quarrel threatened to divide the guild, and often tried to convince them to make amends to no avail. Matters finally came to a head when Fafnir and Keyladi drew weapons during one of their arguments, and nearly fought a duel in the middle of the Guild. Luckily some senior members of the guild had been there to break things up, but Vrogo had enough of this feud.
He sat Keyladi and Fafnir down to talk with them. He explained that he was sending them along with a small group into the Colovian Highlands. An unusually cunning group of bandits had been causing trouble there, and the guild had been called in to deal with them. Given the illusiveness of this band it was likely that this job would take a few days, or even weeks. Naturally Fafnir and Keyladi were not happy with being forced to work together, and voiced their complaint. However Vrogo had made up his mind, and he also told him that he was finished tolerating their quarrels. Vrogo told Fafnir and Keyladi that if they could not find a way to reconcile before the job was over, then they were not to return to the guild.
A Bond Forged in FireEdit
They joined a group of six guild members for this job. The group was lead by a Redguard named Rowan. Rowan was a senior member of the guild, and had an impressive reputation as a warrior. He was often called Cold-Steel Rowan, and he was both an experienced fighter and a renouned tactician. Rowan had also been a man that Fafnir had looked up to even before joining the guild. The other members of the group were an Imperial named Justin, a Khajiit named Kiraa and a Bosmer named Fandal, who would be the team's tracker. Then of course there was Keyladi herself.
The job started out with little luck. The bandits were proving harder to track down than originally anticipated, and it always seemed as though the group was just one step behind. Adding to this frustration was the fact that Fafnir and Keyladi simply could not find a way to get along. Their exchanges often darkened the groups mood, compounding the frustration they felt at being unable to come to grips with the bandits.
Finally Rowan came up with a plan. He went to one of the local villages and told the traders there that the bandit threat had been dealt with. These traders had been unwilling to risk themselves while the bandit were around, and so they had hunkered down in the village, but now that they thought the bandits were dealt with they prepared to leave. Rowan then instructed his group to shadow the traders as they traveled. The Bandits were unlikely to pass up such a promising target, and once they pounced the group would finally come to blows with them.
Fafnir and Keyladi were against this idea. Doing this was essentially using the innocent traders as bait, and could endanger innocent lives. However Rowan had seniority, and he successfully argued that they had little luck trying to track the bandits via traditional methods. This did not sit well with Fafnir, but he was forced to agree nonetheless. However from that point on Fafnir would remember that Rowan was a man that cared more about results than he did about methods.
As it turned out Rowan's plan worked like a charm. The bandits fell upon the traders, and when they did the Fighters Guild was there to fall upon them. Things seemed to be going in the favor of the guild members, however they were caught off guard when reinforcements arrived for the bandits. It turned out that the band had been much larger than originally anticipated.
During the fighting Fafnir and Keyladi were separated from the rest of the group, and were forced to face the bandits together. At first they fought individually, two spearate fighters that were merely sharing the same battlefield. However this changed when Keyladi used her forearm to block an arrow that had been meant for Fafnir's throat. Shocked and unwilling to live in the debt of an Elf, Fafnir spent the rest of the battle fighting alongside the injured Keyladi, even fighting back to back at points.
Finally the battle was over, and the bandits had been slain. The rest of the group had faired pretty well. Kiraa and Rowan barely had a scratch on them. Justin had suffered a serious, but non-lethal wound during the fighting, and the group would have to carry him back to the guild. Fandal suffered minor injuries, though a wound on his arm would go bad a few days later, and cost the Bosmer his arm in the end. Sadly two of the traders had been lost in the scuffle.
Following the fighting Fafnir came to Keyladi to ask her why she had injured herself protecting someone she hated. She confirmed that she had an intense dislike for Fafnir, but told them that it did not matter, and that at the end of the day they were comrades in arms. This shocked and shamed Fafnir. From the moment he met her he had treated Keyladi as an enemy, and in spite of that she still viewed him as a comrade. Then and there he apologized for how he had treated her, and he swore an oath that from that day forward he had her back in all things. Keyladi dismissed him with a sarcastic jibe, but nonetheless from then on they fought alongside each other often, and it was said that when the two of them were together they were unbeatable.
The Warrior and the WolfEdit
Roughly two years after Fafnir first joined the Fighters guild he went on a job that he thought would be easy. There had been an increase in wolf activity on the roads near Bravil, and the Fighters Guild was hired to help cull their numbers somewhat. This seemed like it would be an easy job to Fafnir, as all he needed to do was hunt down a few wolves that had gotten too bold. At first that is exactly how it went, but Fafnir would soon be in for a surprise.
On the last night of the job Fafnir was slaying a small pack of wolves when a far larger beast emerged from the shadows. It turns out the local wolf population had become more aggressive because they were subserviant to a Werewolf. Now the beast was bearing down on him. While Fafnir was surprised by this developement, he showed no fear. After all he had faced monsters before, and surely even now his skills would allow him to win the day.
Fafnir was woefully mistaken. The werewolf's speed strength and ferocity quickly overwhelmed him. His sword was snapped in two by the Lycanthrope's teeth, his shield was ripped away from him by its feral strength and fafnir himself was wounded and cast to the ground. The Werewolf pounced on him and began to savagely rip him apart. Fafnir nearly lost his life, but just as he was about to lose consciousness he summoned the last of his strength, and plunged the broken blade of his sword into the Werewolf's neck.
The beast howled in agony, and then sped off into the trees. It looked to Fafnir like he inflicted a mortal wound, but he could never be sure. If he had ended the creature with his fateful strike, then no body was ever recovered. If the beast survived then it had fled the area, for the wolves no longer preyed upon the people of the area, at least no more than usual.
Pain and bloodloss quickly forced Fafnir into unconsciousness, and it was likely that he would have died helpless and alone if fate had not intervened. A Khajiit caravan was passing through the area, and by sheer chance happened upon Fafnir's wounded, bloody form. The Khajiit took Fafnir to Bravil for treatment. Fafnir's condition had been so bad that the town guards called both the local healer, and a priest, not knowing whether he ultimately needed treatment, or last rites.
Luckily for Fafnir he did survive the encounter. It had been a minor miracle that he kept his life, and had not contracted lycanthropy at the teeth and claws of his aggressor, but in this he was fortunate. However the job left a lasting impact on Fafnir. He developed a fear of Werewolves, and ever after the sounds of wolves howling would make him tense. He also took to carry a silver bladed dagger with him whereever he went, for that night he learned that there were some things that simply aren't afraid of steel.
A Shift in the WindEdit
Fafnir would go on to serve in the Fighters guild for a few more years. He would go on to look back on this period fondly, remembering when times were simpler, and he was surrounded by trusted friends and comrades. However this period would not last. The very first piece to fall was Fafnir's mentor Vrogo. Vrogo the Unbeaten had spent many years fighting, and leading the guild, but death comes for all. Contrary to most cases Vrogo did not meet his end on a battlefield at the end of a foe's sword. The legendary warrior would instead die peacefully in his sleep of old age, a strange fate for one who lived by the sword.
All of the guild mourned Vrogo's passing, but Fafnir had taken it particularly hard. Vrogo had taught him much about being a warrior and about life in general, and had become a paternal figure in Fafnir's life. Fafnir had always found a way to turn his grief into fury, and he did just that at Vrogo's passing. For the next month Fafnir mourned the only way he knew how, by fighting. He let his aimless anger wash over him, fighting with near suicidal recklessness. He was fortunate to have Keyladi watching his back, for otherwise he would likely have met his end in this dark period. Finally Keyladi snapped him out of it, reminding him that he had responsibilities and that Vrogo would not have approved of how he was acting.
Still a greater tragedy was mounting. This began with the appointment of a new Guild Master for the Fighters Guild. The one that ultimately recieved the post was none other than Cold-Steel Rowan. The appointment made some sense as Rowan had always been a brilliant tactician and strategist, and he had perhaps the finest mind for business of any in the guild. Still Fafnir was displeased with the outcome. Ever since his first mission with Rowan Fafnir had been an outspoken critic of the warrior. Rowan and Fafnir did not get along. Nonetheless Fafnir was forced to accept the decision and move on.
Rowan would for all intents and purposes prove an able Guild Master. Under his leadership the Fighters Guild's reputation grew. The guild successfully completed more jobs than they had in a long time, and with fewer losses. Most notably the guild's revenue increased by a considerable amount, with profits that it had not seen in decades. Still there was some discontent about how it went about this.
Under Rowan's leadership the Guild had turned down many smaller offers in favor of taken jobs that payed more, making the Guild's services more expensive that it had been under Vrogo. This also changed the kind of clientele that the Guild focused its attentions on. Focus was shifted from more everyday clients to those that were wealthy, or in many cases to jobs offered by powerful groups like the Imperial court, or the East Empire Company. MAny believed that the guild had lost its heart.
The single most controversial move that Rowan made was having the Fighters Guild take jobs to hunt down Talos worshippers requested by the Thalmor. This caused outrage with many in the guild, and Fafnir was one of them. Fafnir had never cared for Talos worship much given his bitter view of the gods, and Talosd in particular. However the memory of how his mother was taken was still with him, and he still hated the Thalmor.
Despite this Rowan successfully argued that taking these jobs were within the guild's charter. The Fighters Guild was allowed to take any request from any individual or group as long as they had the means to pay, and their request did not violate the law. The White-Gold Concordat had essentially turned Talos worshippers into outlaws, and thus catching them was no different to other times when the Guild had been hired to go after outlaws. Rowan had built a powerful support base over the years, and his ditractors cound themselves unable to do anything about this controversial new policy. However many were still bitter, and quite a few members chose to leave the Fighters Guild rather than be a party to such activities. To his great shame Fafnir was not one of these men.
While Fafnir found this new direction as vile as the others he had a reason why he had to stay. Over the years his partnership with Keyladi had evolved from comradery to a strong friendship, and had finally blossomed into romance. Now Fafnir was considering marrying Keyladi. To start his new life together with her Fafnir wanted to buy a ring that he felt was worthy of her. Having never been especially adept at expressing his feelings he wanted a lavish ceremony to show what she meaned to him in spite of his disdain for pomp and circumstance. Most importantly he wanted a home for them. The too had been sleeping and eating in the guild hall, but Fafnir wanted a place just for them to build a life together. All of these things cost money.
So in spite of his misgivings towards Rowan and his leadership he stayed with the guild. He simply needed the money.However he made it quite clear to Rowan that he would not be accepting any jobs to hunt down Talos worshippers, and he would certainly never take any job requested by the Thalmor. This was an acceptable compromise to Rowan, as despite their bad blood Fafnir was a good warrior and a valuable member of the Guild.
In the mean time Fafnir agonized over how to rpopose to Keyladi. Fafnir had faced beasts, outlaws and death more times than he could count. Yet he found himself struggling to work up the nerve to propose to the woman he loved. He needn't have bothered. Never one to play defense Keyladi caught Fafnir off guard by proposing to him first. Shocked but joyful, Fafnir happily accepted. As a symbol of their engagement Keyladi gave Fafnir a wedding band made out of red gold, a keepsake that he would carry to this day. However their engagement would not last more than a few weeks.
Fafnir and a small group of his guildmates had just returned from a successful, and very profitable job. The group headed to the local tavern to drink and celebrate their fresh victory, and promptly bought everyone in the tavern a round of ale. As Fafnir sat with his comrades drinking, laughing and reminiscing about their recent battle another member of the Guild came in and gave Fafnir some bad news that would change his life. Rowan had brought in the merchant Victorion to hand to the Thalmor for Talos worship.
Victorion was an Imperial Merchant that Fafnir and some of his comrades had been hired by some time back. Victorion had hired them to defend him and his wares as they traveled. As the job went on Fafnir and his guildmates had warmed up to the amiable merchant, and victorion befriended them. Victorion came to trust the fighters enough that he felt comfortable confessing his ongoing worship of Talos to them. Fafnir had thought the man a fool, but he wished no harm upon him.
The pain of having lost a friend to the Thalmor was compounded by the fact that it needn't have happened. Victorion had been careful, and for all appearances the Thalmor had no clue about his Talos worship. Rowan had ordered him captured without a formal request, to keep on the good side of his profitable new clients. He could only have known because one of the guild members on that job had let slip Victorion's secret. Victorion would still be alive and free if he had not trusted Fafnir and his friends with his secret.
Fafnir was furious. He had stomached a lot from Rowan, but this was crossing a line in his eyes, legal or not. Fafnir thundered out of the tavern and towards Rowan's home, a little tipsy and very wrathful, to give his Guild master a piece of his mind. When he got there he immediately got into an argument with Rowan. The two continued to exchange words with increasing bile and anger behind them until Rowan in anger slapped Fafnir across the face. Fafnir answered in turn by punching Rowan in the nose. Just like that the two were fighting with one another furiously.
This is where things tuck a dark turn. To this day Fafnir is not sure who drew steel first. He would like to believe that it had been Rowan, but he was so drunk on ale and anger at the time that the whole fight was a blur. What is very clear was the result. Some members of the guild came to call upon Rowan, and when they arrived they found Fafnir, bloody and standing over the fresh corpse of their Guild Master. Fafnir considered trying to explain himself to the others for a moment, but he sound realized that he would never convince them of his innocence, and that he wasn't entirely sure he was innocent. Thus Fafnir fled.
Practically overnight Fafnir had gone from a respected peer in the Fighters Guild to a hunted criminal. The murder of the head of one of Tamriel's most notable guilds was no small event, and word spread fairly quickly. While at firstFafnir tried to simply stay out of the major cities, and stick to smaller, less traveled towns, he was quickly forced to hide out in the wilderness to avoid pursuers.
Even then they hounded him day and night. Fafnir found himself being chased across cyrodil by the authorities, an assortment of bounty hunters, and even some of his old comrades in the Fighters guild. He lived a mean life, fighting for survival and constantly running from one hiding spot to the next. However it wasn't the hunters that truly brought him low. He was a skilled warrior of many years, and danger was no stranger to him. What ultimately dragged him down was how his options quickly faded away.
As a wanted criminal Fafnir could not find legitimate work in the cities and towns. He quickly burned through what money he had on vital supplies and was soon in poverty. He also had nobody to reach out to. He had burned all his bridges when he killed Rowan. He could survive in the wilderness for a time by hunting and fishing, but he was not a woodsman by trade. As time went on Fafnir's gear fell into disrepair, he was beginning to starve and the mental strain of constantly looking over his back was getting to him. When a man is starving, alone and hunted it can be surprising how quickly they throw away their pride and principles. In his state of desperation Fafnir crossed the one line his father had warned him against those years ago. He became a bandit.
Fafnir was never proud of this decision, but he saw no other choice. He needed a way to make money so that he could feed himself and maintain his gear. He needed a relatively safe place where he could rest and recuperate in relative peace. Most of all he needed comrades that could watch his back so that he didn't need to constantly look over his shoulder. He could no longer find any of these via legitimate or honorable means, so he settled for fellow outlaws. It was a matter of survival.
Fafnir lent his sword arm to a group of bandits lead by the infamous Khajiit outlaw, Brajkit Redpaw. While by no means a prestigious group, this particular set of rogues had a fearsome reputation in Cyrodiil. These bandits were infamous for their raids along the famous Red Ring, the road that encircled the Imperial City and branched off into most of Cyrodiil's major highways. Fafnir saw this successful bandit group as his best option. Likewise Brajkit was overjoyed to have a professional warrior from the Fighters Guild join his men.
While Fafnir was never comfortable with his new lifestyle, he was very successful as a bandit. He was perahps the most talented warrior among the ragtag group, and his discipline and reliability quickly helped him to gain favor among his disreputable new comrades. Fafnir was often at the center of the fighting, facing the most dangerous challenges for the group, and usually coming out well. Fafnir gained notoriety as a bandit, earing the alias Fafnir of the Red Ring. This was because his group raided along the Red Ring road, and because of the red gold ring keepsake that he kept as a reminder of his love and better times. The fact that Keyladi's keepsake became linked to his now infamous career made Fafnir sick at heart, but he continued on anyway.
Fafnir was not the only member of note within this bandit group. It was here that Fafnir would meet a significant figure in his life, Sigurd Crow-Caller. Sigurd was a Nord hedge wizard that had likewise joined the group and made a name for himself. The outlaw mage was cold, ruthless, cunning and a skilled Battlemage. He earned the name Crow-Caller because he often left a feast for the crow in his wake. Since joining Sigurd had become the strategist of the group, and many considered him to be the true brains of the outfit.
Fafnir and Sigurd contrasted starkly. While living as a bandit Fafnir had always made sure to do as little harm as possible while getting the job done, and while he had no love for his comrades he always made sure to support and protect them as he had learned in the Guild. Sigurd on the other hand cared nothing for the lives of others or honor so long as he achieved the desired result. Fafnir and Sigurd loathed each other, but their fellows often noted that they worked well in battle together. Sigurd's strategies and magic worked well in tandem with Fafnir's martial skill and strength, though nobody had the nerve to say this to their faces.
Brajkit saw their abilities and popularity with his men as well, and became worried that they would try to usurp his position. He need not have worried as neither had any interest in taking over the bandit group. Fafnir was disgusted with his new life, and he would never stomach embracing it further by becoming the leader of a group of bandits. Sigurd on the other hand saw the position as beneath him. He had only joined the group as a means to sharpen his magical skills and build funds for far greater ambitions, though he never told his comrades what these plans were. Even if one of them were to take the position the other would inevitably oppose them, thus Brajkit's position was safe in spite of his paranoia.
Eventually Sigurd did leave to pursue his own unknown ends, leaving Fafnir much happier and Brajkit much more paranoid now that Fafnir's primary rival was gone. However it was business as usual in the end. The group continued on successfully even though it had lost an asset. However this chapter in Fafnir's life was about to end just as the ones before it did.
The bandit were preparing an ambush just as they normally did along the northern section of the Red Ring. They had heard that a group of wealthy traders were travelling down from up North, and prepared their trap. However this had been a ruse meant to draw them into conflict. When they sprung their trap they didn't find lightly defended traders, but rather guards. Bruma city Guards to be exact. The Legion had been stretched thin due ot a rebellion in Skyrim, and so Cyrodiil had enlisted the guards of its major cities to help pick up the slack.
Seeing the crest of his hometown emblazoned on his foes' shields caused Fafnir a pang of guilt. However he had long since learned to ignore that guilt and fight on. Besides this was a matter of fighting or dying. There would be no quarter in this battle. While the fighting went back and forth it seemed as though the Bandit would win the day. This changed when Brajkit knocked the helmet off of the Guard Captain's head, and Fafnir found himself staring at his father. Fafnir stepped in to block a killing blow that Brajkit was about to deliver to his father, and demanded that they retreat. Brajkit however saw this as Fafnir finally attemptiong to usurp his position, and ordered his men to kill Fafnir as well as the guards.
Now Fafnir changed sides. He quickly reorganized the panicked and disorganized guards, and went about fighting his own group of bandits. The fight was still close, but in the end Fafnir stood victorious over Brajkit's bloodied corpse, and what remained of the bandit clan surrendered. With them dealt with the Guards turned to Fafnir. Though he had helped them at the last moment he was still an outlaw. Fafnir dropped his weapons and gave up without a fight. His father arrested him, and shipped him back to the dungeon of Bruma.
Fafnir waited in the dungeon to face his fate, and his father. He and Balder had not had the chance to speak during the battle or on the way to Bruma, and Fafnir had dreaded facing his father's disapproval. He had done the very thing his father had warned him against doing. Now he would face him, as well as execution for his crime. It was then that his father limped in. This caused Fafnir some guilt as he believed that Balder had sustained the injury during the pervious fight. However Balder would reveal that he had recieved the injury that had crippled him a few years prior. This did little to ease Fafnir's discomfort as he withered under his father's glare.
His father growled three words, "Start talking boy", and Fafnir did. He told his father about everything that had happened since he left Bruma those years ago. He told him about Vrogo, Keyladi, the incident with the Werewolf, Rowan and the night he killed him. He told him about living as a fugitive, and then becoming a bandit. He told him of his achievements and pride. He told him about him failings and shame. When he was done his father's response surprised him.
His father was disappointed in him, and pissed as hell as Fafnir had predicted he would be. However he was also understanding, and perhaps even sympathetic. While he did not go into detail he explained to Fafnir that he had made similarly poor choices and mistakes before his relationship with Aslaug reformed him, and that he had always feared that Fafnir would follow the same path. He also noted that he had failed Fafnir as a father in many ways, and that if he allowed Fafnir's story to end like this, then the spirit of his wife would never ofrgive him. So he gave Fafnir a choice. Leave Cyrodiil and start afresh somewhere where nobody knew his name, or face the noose. Fafnir's choice was obvious.
That night Fafnir escaped the prison with a little help from his father. The next morning a man with a sack over his head was hanged in Fafnir's place. Fafnir had heard of a rebellion going on up North in Skyrim. Skryim was the province closest to his current position, and his ancestral homeland, so he figured that it was the best choice. Fafnir figured that he could work as a mercenary for the Legion, or one of the local lords against the rebels, and hopefully make enough money to start a new life. Thus hoping for a change in his fortunes Fafnir headed towards the border of Skyrim.
A New Land with New PerilsEdit
Fafnir's fresh start turned out to be much more chaotic than he could have ever expected. Fafnir had intended to live his life as a simple, but honorable mercenary in his ancestral homeland, but fate had far grander designs for the misfortunate Nord. Practically the moment he cross the Jerall Mountains int oSkyrim his plans went afoul. Fafnior found himself caught quite by chance in the Imperial Legion's ambush of the famous Ulfric Stormcloak.
The Legionnaires confused Fafnir for one of Ulfric's supporters and engaged him as well. Not wanting to run afoul of the Legion Fafnir did his best to defend himself while not killing any of the Legionnaires, attempting to buy himself time to explain the situation. Unfortunately his helmet was knocked off during the fighting and a stone from a sling caught him in the back of the head, knocking him unconscious instantly.
Packed into a cart with a Stormcloak warrior, a horse thief and Ulfric Stormcloak himself. When he next awoke the Stormcloak warrior, Ralof of Riverwood apprised him of his situation, explaining that they were being taken to the fort twon of Helgan to face the executioner's axe.
When Fafnir arrived at Helgan a Legion Officer named Hadvar inquired after Fafnir's identity. Fafnir tried to use this chance to expain the misunderstanding. Hadvar began to have doubts as to whether Fafnir was amiong the guilty parties, citing that he was not on the list of prisoners that had been anticipated. However Hadvar's commanding officer would have none of it, tating that Fafnir was likely making up a story to avoid execution. During this exchange Fafnir noted that the offcier had taken possession of Keyladi's ring.
Fafnir was ordered to the executioner's block along with the other Stormcloaks. He was chosen second to face the axe, and would likely have died then and there had fate not intervened. Just before the Executioner was going to take Fafnir's head an enormous black dragon attacked Helgan. In the confusion Fafnir managed to race into cover with Ralof.
As he attemtped to escape the burning town Fafnir was separated from Ralof. He was nearly burned to death by the draon's firey breath, but was pushed into cover just in time by the officer Hadvar. Despite having been complicit in his near execution Hadvar felt no ill will towards Fafnir, and attempted to guide him to safety. As the approached what was left of the fort Ralof returned, and urged Fafnir to come with him, while Hadvar likewise petitioned Fafnir to ignore the Stormcloak and remain with him.
While Fafnir was initially conflicted as to which man to go wtih Fafnir ultimately chose Ralof. He was unsure oif what the Legion might do to him if he remained, and Ralof had been decent to him from the beginning. While he could tell that Hadvar was a good man he could not be sure whether Hadvar's superior would be as good-natured. Additionally almost being executed and the confiscation of his belonging had soured him towards the Legion somewhat.
Fafnir followed Ralof into the fort and took possession of the clothing and gear of a fallen Stormcloak with Ralof's blessing. Despite this they were trapped in their current chamber as the nearby gates were locked. They then heard the approach of a pair of Legionnaires, one of which had been the Officer that oversaw the executions. RAlof and Fafnir set an ambush and managed to defeat the Legionnaires, with Fafnir personally killing the officer in payback for trying to have him killed.
After searching the bodies Fafnir reclaimed his red ring, and found a key to the locked gates. From that point on Fafnir and Ralof fought their way through the fortress while meeting up with other Stormcloaks. All the while they could hear the din of destruction as the dragon laid waste to Helgan. THey manage to escape the fort through a passage that lead to a set of underground caves. These caves were infested with the infamous Frostbite spiders of Skyrim, and even a huge bear, but Fafnir and Ralof managed to overcome them all. While moving through the cavern Fafnir came upon a horned iron helm that he instantly took a liking to. This helmet would go on to be one of his signature pieces of gear.
After finally returning to the surface and watching as the dragon flew into the distance Fafnir and Ralof had a moment to converse. Ralof explained the siuation in Skyrim as the Stormcloaks saw it, and urged Fafnir to join their cause. Fafnir however declined. He sympathized with the Stormcloaks in many ways, and had come to like Ralof, but he disagreed with much of their cause and had no intention in getting caught up in the war in such a fashion. He did however assure Ralof that he wouldn't be joining the Imperial Legion's side anytime soon either.
Ralof accepted Fafnir's reasoning, though he urged Fafnir to keep an open mind with regards to joining th Stormcloak cause. He then stated that he would be heading to him hometown of Riverwood where his sister owned a mill. He then offered to allow fafnir to stay with him and his sister for a night in exchange for his help escaping Helgan. Nearly peniless and without a place to stay Fafnir reluctantly agreed.
At Riverwood they spoke to Ralof's sister gertrude about what went on at Helgan.Gertrude was grateful to Fafnir for helping her brother escape the jaws of death, and offered to allow Fafnir to stay the night, which Fafnir agreed to.She was also horrified by the news, and asked Fafnir to take a message to the Jarl of the nearby city of Whiterun with regards to the dragon. Fafnir agreed, thinking it was the least he could do to repay the kindness she had shown him.
The Beginning of a LegendEdit
THe following mornuing Fafnir began his treck from Riverwood to Whiterun. However midway through his journey Fafnir was stopped by an Imoerial on the road. The Imperial explained to Fafnir in very friendly terms that there was a toll for using this road, and that he either had to pay, or give up all of his belongings. In short the man was a Highwayman. Unwilling to back down, and eager for a chance to vent his frustrations, Fafnir refused to pay the toll, and brandished his sword.
The two adversaries dueled with one another along the road. To Fafnir's surprise his foe turned ouit to be more formidable than expected. The Imperials swordsmanship and footwork were impeccable, and he was a cunning foe proned to clever tricks. Noine the less Fafnir was slowly but surely proving himself the superior warriior. It seemed that victory was within his grasp when the Highwayman triggered a nearby rock trap that he had set up on an overhanging hill, knocking Fafnir out.
Fafnir awoke tied to a tree, and stripped of all but his small clothes. The thief was nearby rummaging through his belongings. The thief said that he was impressed at Fafnir's skill, but he still needed to make a living, and began packing Fafnir's belonging up. When the Thief got to Fafnir's ring Fafnir emphatically pleaded for him to leave it, explaining that it was a deeply personal memento. To his surprise his captor opted to leave him the ring.
With his work done the thief oprepared to leave. Fafnir asked the Imperial if he intended to leave Fafnir there to die defenseless. At this the man explained that the ropes used a special knot .With time and effort they would come undone. Fafnir raised the possibility that he might be set upon my wild beasts while tied. With a grin the man told Fafnir that he had accoiunted for that as well, and dosed him with a bucket of foul smelling yellow liquid. On being questioned the man explained gthat it was Troll piss, and that Fafnir should not ask how he acquired it. The smell of the urine would scare off all but the most ferocious or desperate of beasts. With that the man left with Fafnir grumbling of retribution all the while.
As a young man Fafnir was a deeply passionate and short tempered person. The loss of his mother and strained relationship with his father left him very angry and bitter through much of his young life, and he often expressed these feelings by getting into fights with other children, and in some uncommon cases adults. Fighting was the only way that Fafnir knew to deal with hardship, and as a result he had difficulty making friends and often got into trouble. Fafnir's tendancy towards anger would cool somewhat with age, experience and guidance from good friends and mentors.
However there would always be a part of Fafnir that boiled in his blood. Fafnir was prone to fits of berserker rage in which he would often fight with reckless abandon. These fits usually presented themselves when Fafnir was in extreme emotional distress, and occured most often when Fafnir lost someone he cared about. Fafnir once commented that rage was how he dealed with grief During these bouts Fafnir would fight with awe inspiring ferocity, but also with a complete lack of reason, oftencharge recklessly into suicidal situations. Balder, Fafnir's father believed that this was a trait that Fafnir inherited from him, as he too often drowned in his fury and bloodlust as a young man.
Fafnir was accutely aware of his temper, and commonly viewed it as his single greatest flaw. From Fafnir's view all the his greatest regrets and closest brushes with death came during times when he lost control of his anger. As such Fafnir worked continuously to keep his anger in check, believing his old master's adage "A true warrior is a master of his fury, not its servant."
From his youth Fafnir was often a lonely individual, having difficulty making friends and getting close to others. His violent temper often driving others away before they got to know him, and his awkwardness with expressing his feelings hampering him with those that remained. As a result Fafnir often tended toward solitude, keeping others at arms length.
This changed somewhat when he joined the Fighters Guild as he found companions that he could count on, and share his feelings with. During this time Fafnir was a bit more open and boisterous, revelling with his comrades in their victories, and sharing in their defeats,
After becoming an outlaw Fafnir would once again retreat inward with others, as the loss of his friends in the guild stung him deeply. However after meeting new comrades in Skyrim he once more opened up, if only with those he trusted. Fafnir is ever the quite, somber and somewhat belligerent individual, but his experience has taught him to appreciate true friends and reliable comrades, and he is fiercely loyal to those that manage to win his trust.
Fafnir is a pragmatic and somewhat cynical individual. His difficult circumstances have effected his world view to a fair extent. Fafnir would often scoff at those who would fight and die for "petty ideals", believing that it was foolish to die for things that may ultimately be of no benefit to those fighting for them. However he respected conviction and didn't truly hate those that fought for what they believed in. He did however resolve himself not to fight in battles that he had no stake in. This resolve would be tested as Fafnir had a strong since of justice in spite of his words, and he often fought for others if he came to like or admire them. He was particularly irritated when the strong abused the weak, and would intervene in spite of himself.'
In spite of his tendancy towards wrath Fafnir had developed a very forgiving nature by the time he came to Skyrim. His own crimes and experiences as an outlaw had taught him how easy it was to make mistakes, or be lead astray. He came to Skyrim looking for redemption and a second chance, and while there he found many others that were similar to him. Those that had done wrong, or wished toi change their lot often stirred sympathetic feelings in him. This could be both a bane and a boone, as Fafnir was quick to give those that seemed repentant a second chance, though in some cases this came back to bite him when he pardonned those that proved unworthy of that chance.
Due to the loss of his mother to the Thalmor and being raised among many prejudiced Nords in Bruma Fafnir was originally very biased against Mer. Fafnir viewed all Mer as untrustworthy and as potential Thalmor sympathizers. As a result he often got into quarrels with Mer, some justified some not, and he had particular difficulty working with the elves in the Fighters Guild. However after meeting with the Dunmer Keyladi, and eventually developing a romantic relationship with her he realized that his hatred was misplaced. He came to understand that not all Mer were aligned with the Thalmor, and he even developed an appreciation of Bosmer and Dunmer culture. He would always despise the Thalmor, and didn't care for Altmer culture, but he know longer felt the need to persecute Elves.
Due to the loss of his mother, herself a Priestess of Talos, Fafnir lost faith in the gods, Talos in particular. While he was not of the opinion that the Eight did not exist, he did believe that the gods did little to nothing to help out the plight of their followers, and he doubted Talos' divinity entirely. As Talos had been his mother's patron god and had done nothing when the Thalmor took her away for her beliefs, he felt betrayed by Talos and harbored bitterness towards the supposed god. He didn't feel spiteful towards Talos' mortal followers, though he did believe that they were wasting their devotion on a figure that was undeserving of it.
Fafnir was originally outraged when he learned of his destiny as the Dragonborn. The idea that the gods had chosen him as a kind of champion did not sit well wiuth him at all. From his perspective the gods had sat idly by during the times in his life where he could have used their help, and had then arbitrarily chosen him to fight their battles for them. Furthermore he resented Arngeir for trying to push him towards the aesthetic priniples of the Greybeards. Fafnir woulkd eventually come to accept his role as the Dragonborn, but always made clear that he fought as the Dragonborn for the people he cared about, not the gods.
IN terms of the politics of Skyrim Fafnir considered himself neutral for the most part. He sympathized with the Stormcloaks in that he hated the Thalmor, felt that the Empire's current policies were cowardly and selfserving and doubted Elisif's qualifications as High Queen. He also respected Ulfric's resolve and prowess as a warrior. HoweverFafnir had no love for Talos worship and felt that the Stormcloak rebellion was ultimately pointless. He had been born in Cyrodiil, and thus still had sympathies for the Empire and ti's people, and he did not believe that Skyhrim gaining independence would do any good with regards to dealing with the Thalmor, and might actually do more harm. Additionally after learning to use the Thu'uum himself he acknowledged that Ulfric's use of the Voice in his duel with Torygg gave him an unfair advantage, and thus was not honorable. He tended to sympathize more with the empire than he did the Stormcloaks, but tried to remain neutral for as long as he could.
Among Fafnir's quirks are an odd obsession with helmets and a fear of Werewolves. The former came about during his training as a boy with his father. Balder would often rap Fafnir atop his head if he saw his son's guard had dropped. as a result Fafnir took to carrying a helmet whereever he went just in case. Balder would go on to find more uses for a helmet as he aged including but not limited to using one as a bowl when proper kitchenwear was unavailable, using it as a weapon of last resort and other things. He refused to go anywhere without a sturdy helmet at hand, and would even sleep and bath with one always within reach, much to the befuddlement of his companions. He became particularly attached to a hoirned Iron Helmet that he acquired shortly after entering Skyrim, having used it as a weapon in his first ever fight with a dragon.
His fear of Werewolves came as the result of a near diastrous job he had taken during his tenure in the Fighters Guild, during whcih a Werewolf nearly mauled him to death. Ever since that incident Fafnir always kept a silver dagger on hand, just in case. This also caused him to become slightly nervous if he heard wolves howling in the distance, though he did not fear regular wolves when met face to face.
This fear caused issues when Fafnir learned the truth behind the Companions. His distress at learning of their lycanthropic nature nearly drove him to leave the Companions, and he only remained after Skjorr turned him into a Werewolf against his wishes to protect their secret. Fafnir's time as a Werewolf was stressful to say the least. He was horrified at what he had become initially, and having always had difficulty controlling his temper felt as if his new bloodlust threatened to overwhelm him at any moment. He eventually lost his fear of Werewolves due to the experience, but was decidedly against living as one, and jumped at the chance to cure himself when it presented itself. He kept the silver dagger regardless.
Skills and AbilitiesEdit
The Ironbrow is the name that has been given to the unassuming Iron Helmet that has become one of Fafnir's signatures. Named after one of Fafnir's more well known aliases the Ironbrow began as a simple Iron Helmet with a pair of curling ram's horns. Fafnir acquired it while escaping from the dungeons in Helgan during Alduin's first attack. Since then the helmet has been everywhere with Fafnir, and he considered it lucky. Later in his travels his friend Phrenic would place powerful enchantments, and etch special protective runes on upon, and inside it. These magical modifications placed powerful protective spells on the wearer. While wearing the Ironbrow one's body became much more resilient, with skin as strong as chainmail. Furthermore the feeling of pain was reduced and the wearer would not bleed from their wounds until the helmet was removed. Finally the helmet itself was near indestructible, and the force of any blow against it directly would be completely negated, no matter how inhuman that force was. Wearing the Ironbrow Fafnir would not feel anything even if a giants club struck his head. As a resuklt Fafnir adopted the somewhat questionable tactic of blocking mortal blows with his head if he did not think he could avoid it. Aside from all this Fafnir loving maintained and improved the helmet throughout his journeys, and it is thus of the highest quality any simple Iron Helm could be.
A treasured memento of Fafnir's past. The Red Oath-Band is in fact a wedding band that was given tio him by Keyladi when the two engaged to be married. A simple band of red gold, the ring serves Fafnir as a reminder of when life was simpler and more blissful. When Fafnir became a fugitive he kept the ring as a reminder of what he lost, and wore the ring on a chain as an amulet. The ring would be part of the reason why Fafnir gained the epithet "of the Red Ring" much to his shame given that alias' connection to his time as a bandit. As it turned out Keyladi had the ring enchanted with a spell that protected the wearer from fire. The enchantment laid dormant, to be activated after the recital of an incantation that Keyladi had intended to work into her wedding vows. Years later after reconciling with Fafnir Keyladi would activate the enchantment as a symbol that while they would never join in matrimony, they still shared an unbreakable bond. The Red Oath-Band gives Fafnir a significant resistance to fire.
Fafnir's mightiest weapon. This unique and powerful enchanted warhammer was gifted to Fafnir by Storn Crag-Strider shortly before his death. A masterwork of Skaal craftsmanship and imbued with powerful enchantment known only to Storn, the weapon is something to be feared and envied. The warhammer deals a powerful bolt of lightning to anything it strikes, and strikes with such force that a full force blow sounds just like a thunderclap. Additionally so long as it remains in hand its wielder is covered with a Whirlwind Cloak, thus making Fafnir difficult to so much as approach in battle. With the Gavel in his hands Fafnir truly lives up to his alias "the Stormbringer".
Talon of DawnEdit
Friends and AlliesEdit
Arguably Fafnir's first permanent companion upon enteriong Skyrim, the outlaw Daniel Krine has forged a strong bond with Fafnir over their journeys together. Fafnir and Daniel's relationship with one another had a very messy start, and intitially they got on like a sack stuffed with cats. However after working with one another, and coming to appreciate each others better qualities the two have become the closest of friends. Their starkly contrasting personalities often still lead them to bickering, but the two have become as close a brothers. Fafnir values Daniel for his cunning and his skills as a thief. Fafnir doesn't always trust his underhanded friend's words, but always trusts his intentions.