Cassandra Nightshade was born in Valenwood, to Minthia and Aradriel Nightshade. As a young child, she loved the Forests of Valenwood, and would spend hours frolicking and sneaking past the horrific monsters that call Valenwood home, which she called Forest Friends. One night Cassandra came home to find her brother, Angorn, missing from home. She asked her parents where he had gone, and they had told her that he broke the Green Pact and was to be executed by hanging, but escaped somehow. She heard this at the young age of 18, so death was not a new concept to her, but she couldn't understand. Why would her parents let her beloved brother die because of some stupid rule?
As the years went on, Cassandra became a master of stealth and survival. She would often spend days or weeks out in the very dangerous forests of Valenwood, sneak killing monsters, and collecting resources for encampments. Quite the industrious and resourceful girl. But as she grew, she learned more of this "Green Pact" some foolishness designed by Jephre, the nature god of the Bosmer. Cassandra loved Jephre, but ever since she learned of this Green Pact, she
detested it. Not only had it tried to kill her brother, but countless others, native and non-native, just for an ideology? It sickened her. She went against it directly, starting to go against the teachings of her parents to never
take from the forest, only from those creatures that reside within. She found rooting through the guts of Thunderbugs for intestine to make bowstring, and using Hoarvar sacs as water skins disgusting.
A few days after her 40th birthday, she was found by her parents cutting down a tree. A bold move to do near any civilization, but also extremely sacreligious. She had become far more bold than she had been before. After all, she
had been harvesting the Forest for decades without any punishments. She thought herself above the law. After she had return home, however, she found 4 Aldmeri Dominion Bosmer at her door, who swiftly captured her, and proceeded to
take her to the capital of Valenwood, Grahtwood, for Execution through hanging. She could hear her parents cursing her as she was walked to the carriage, telling her to die like the heretic she was.
Now in her last moments of life, a rope around her neck, she had accepted her fate. Maybe Jephre was right. Maybe everyone was right. She was just a heretic, that didn't deserve the warm embrace of the Valenwood Forests. As she
closed her eyes, she could hear a feint ticking. She opened her eyes, and before she knew it a loud explosion could be heard. Coughing and gagging all around her, a screen of thick black smoke all around her, and suddenly she
was standing on her feet with a cut rope slung across her neck. She was very confused, until a male Bosmer had come to her side, masked and mysterious, taking her hand and running off into the trees.
Cassandra, still dazed, had not resisted, and the two ran off amidst the chaos, with Aldmeri soldiers barking orders and shuffling feet hungrily giving chase to wherever the Heretic went. Eventually, they escaped to the thick jungles of Grahtwood, but they weren't in the clear. Bosmer are well renowned for being master trackers, and magnificent hunters, so they had no doubt there would be a detachment of troops close by tracking their every move. They kept running, running and running. Cassandra's thoughts became clearer. What created that smoke? Who was this man? Where will she go? She hadn't had a clue, nor had the man said a single word to her yet. She was too nervous to ask him to say something, anything. About where they were going, who he was, what he did. So she kept running.
Eventually they had to stop, covering their tracks, and camping out in the woods. Cassandra was very happy to stop, and rest in the very familiar terrain she found herself in. She had noticed though, that the man wasn't afraid of
breaking the Green Pact either. He would collect branches, rip up plants, and collect food from nearby trees. This was no ordinary Bosmer, she thought. He was like her. The man so far had not even made a grunt, nor has he made any
noise whatsoever, she realized. He was better than she at stealth, and traversing the Forests undetected.
"Uh… Um Hello?" Cassandra said to the man, softly.
He looked at her very attentively, nodding.
"Who are you?" said Cassandra.
He looked down, shaking his head. He wouldn't tell her who he was. She had noticed that through all of this, his demeanor was not that of a hero, but that of someone who wished to do good. It was clear this daring escape was his
first foray into such an endeavor.
"Well it doesn't matter. Thank you for saving me. If it hadn't been for you, I'd be another cannibalized corpse." Cassandra said with a grim smile.
Even though the man was in a mask, she could tell he was smiling inside. He nodded, and started rummaging through the backpack he had had with him since he arrived.
"Do… You have a plan of where we are going?" Cassandra said, reaching over for a sack of berries she had scrounged up during the setting up of camp.
The man pulled out three parchments. She understood what the first one was, it was a map of Valenwood. All three sections were there, Greenshade her home, Grahtwood the capitol of Valenwood, and Malabar Tor the ancestral home of the
Bosmer. The other two were different. Still maps, but the tops read "Cyrodiil" and "Skyrim". She had no idea what these were. Were they continents? The man set down all 3 parchments in a configuration. He drew with a piece of charcoal a line through all three. It was clear, this was to be a very long voyage through continents, she had understood, to get to this Skyrim place. She nodded.
"I understand. I don't belong here in Valenwood anymore. I am an outcast, a criminal, a Heretic. I must find a new home in this… Sky-rim." She said as she looked sullen at the realization. This was not her home any longer. She was without a home.
He looked at sullen as she did, although he could not tell her, there was something about this man. He cared for her well being, this was obvious, but also about her emotions.
"Well I suppose we should-" she gulped down the last berry in her berry sack "settle in for the night. It's getting very late, and I assume we must leave early in the morn." she said, the man nodding in reply.
As they fell asleep, Cassandra started crying. She couldn't help it. Her home, her family, everything she had ever known, has been torn away from her. She has nothing left except the adventure in her heart, and the skills she had
learned. She decided though, that she wouldn't let this ruin her life. She had always known she did not belong. As she drifted off to sleep, she could hear the Forest. Bugs chirping steadily, the wind through the trees, the distant waters of the Alinor Ocean smacking up against the shores of Grahtwood.
The next morning, she heard rustling. She got up, grabbed her daggers, and snuck outside stealthily. She could see 3 Bosmer skulking up the way they had come originally, wearing black and gold armor. These were Aldmeri scouts. She rushed out, throwing a dagger into the neck of one of the soldiers. He grasped his throat, and fell to the ground with a gurgling sound. The other two, surprised, pulled out their short swords.
"Help!" Cassandra called out, pulling a third dagger from her belt as she dodged one sword, parrying the other with her blade.
The man rushed out, he had slept with his dark green and brown wear on, although the hat he wore with the mask was off. She could see he had short dark red hair, that was all frazzled and untidy, but she could not pay it any mind, lest she get captured or worse. He had a bow, one that did not look familiar to her. It was a dark stone color, with red highlights that pulsed with strange energy. He knocked an arrow, and shot it through one of the ambusher's eyes. It slid into his skull, and he landed with a dull thud on the ground. Cassandra lept for the opportunity to lash out at the last assailant, but he had been quicker and more skilled in the art of combat, and he used this opportunity to slash her across the back deep. She fell with a cry on the ground, her back having a thick, deep cut across it diagonally. What hurt even more was the body of the Aldmeri soldier falling on top of her, with an arrow in his throat.
The man quickly rushed to Cassandra's aid, getting the soldier off of her, and turning her over. He took out a potion, and put it to Cassandra's lips. It tasted awful, like a bunch of flowers stuffed into watery dirt and mixed with a rusty fork. She gagged it down, but she was in so much pain she could do nothing else. A sudden warmth filled her chest as she drank, her back's pain disappeared instantly, and started tingling. She almost felt lighter, like she was falling. Her eyes popped open and saw that she was in the man's lap, being fed this potion that took away all her pain. She could feel the cold blood in the back of her shirt, but the tearing pain she felt in that battle had disappeared entirely. She stood up, nodding at the man that was sitting on his legs, and looked around.
She saw three corpses all around her. She was horrified. She knew that they looked to kill both of them, but the pooling blood being retrieved by the Forest, their bodies slowly decaying and being reclaimed by Jephre, lie there still, unmoving, without souls. She stumbled back, she can't believe what she and the man had done.
"N-No… W-We gotta get the fuck out of here!" she yelled at the man, still staring at the bodies she had created.
The man stood up, walked into his tent, retrieved something, and walked back out. He offered a hand to Cassandra, who took it quickly, and they departed without so much as recollecting their tents and belongings. Cassandra was missing a dagger, her lucky throwing dagger, to one of those soldiers. It had struck true, even though it wasn't a very well aimed throw. She had killed many animals with these knives, she carved them out of the bones of various mammals she had killed through the years, but she had never thrown it at another elf, nor Khajiit, nor Human. She felt queasy and light headed, but kept pushing on, forcing the thoughts out from her brain.
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