Torac is my mage – the first mage that I have kept playing for more than 6 levels. He’s been difficult at times to play, but he has always been fun. I’ve more than once thought about turning the rest of his play through (which still has a lot of playtime left) into a Let’s Play or a Live Stream. In the event that this does happen, there needs to be a place where his back-story is recorded. This is the place for that story.
Due to some stupidity on my part – a lack of patience and a constant need to keep modding even after I have a beautiful, stable and very functional game – Torac’s game ended at level 56, just after becoming Arch Mage. However, I have rebuilt everything from the ground up and may – MAY – start Torac over. IF I do, I’m not going to make him an Altmer and I’m going to be changing a lot of things about his build. What I’ll probably do is create Torac II…not decided on that yet.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouofl_xFuoI]
Torac arrived in Skyrim with his mother. She was suffering from wounds received during a bandit attack. That attack had taken his father’s life and would soon take hers. As they crossed the border just south of Helgen, an old woman on a small cart saw them and stopped to help. She loaded them into her cart and took them to her home, a small shack north of Helgen.
The woman did everything she could to save Torac’s mother, but in the end her wounds were too severe. As Torac’s mother’s life faded, she asked the old woman to care for her son. The old woman agreed and Torac watched his mother die.
The old woman turned to Torac and introduced herself as Meena. “I am a student of Julianos and I will care for you as if you were my son. Grieve for your mother and father tonight. Tomorrow we will take her to Falkreath to bury her.”
Torac didn’t sleep that night – every time he closed his eyes he saw arrows flying from the shadows striking his father dead. He was afraid and he was angry. His anger boiled as he relived the event over and over. He could do nothing but sit and watch it. Why couldn’t he have stopped it? Why did they have to die? Why didn’t he die with them? Over and over he played the scenarios in his head. Over and over it ended the same way.
Meena did as she had promised. She raised Torac until the time that he could do everything he needed to do on his own. As he grew Meena discovered that Torac had an aptitude for magic and a very deep anger that he had a hard time controlling. She began his teaching in the schools of magic when he was a teenager – late for an Altmer.
The training taught him discipline and control, but it did not ease his anger. She did what she could to help him. “Don’t worry my boy. When you’re done with your studies, you’ll be able to protect yourself – and others. Mark my words.”
As Meena’s time approached, she began her last lessons for Torac, the last few things she had time for – the ability to conjure a mystical bow and sword and to show him the path to Winterhold.
“Torac my son, you must continue your studies with the Mages of Winterhold’s College. They can teach you what I do not have time to. But listen my son, you must release the anger and hatred within you or it will consume you.” With that Meena fell asleep. Torac found her the next morning with a pleasant look on her face. On the table next to her bed he found a note, a coin purse, a map and a key.
The note read: “The money is to bury me. The map is to show you how to get to Winterhold. The key is to the chest at the foot of my bed.”
In the chest Torac found Meena’s notes, journals, spell books, robes and enough money to keep him warm and fed as he made his way to Winterhold. That very morning, Torac left the little shack and took Meena to Falkreath. She was buried next his mother. After the burial, he sold the cart and bought enough provisions to get him to Winterhold. He left with a heavy heart and a purpose. A purpose that drives him to this day – the consumption of knowledge and the gathering of power so that he will never again fear the shadows.
As time passed Torac’s abilities grew. He learned at fast pace – a pace that sometimes astonished his masters. He excelled in conjuration, alchemy and enchanting. He also became proficient in the school of alteration and smithing of all things.
While he could wield a sword and use a bow proficiently, he always preferred the weapons he was taught to summon by Meena. They were lighter and he would never be without a weapon.
And so it went for years. Then one of the mages announced that Saarthal had been uncovered a few miles west of the college and news from the south indicated that someone or something had attacked Helgen. This brought memories of Meena and how she had given herself to see that he was protected. Maybe it was time that he started to protect those around him.
The next morning, Torac packed his things and left for the little cottage north of Helgen – home. When he arrived he found the place much as he had left it – surprisingly clean and warm. It was as if the cottage knew he was coming. He pushed that silly notion out of his head and set off for Helgen to see what was going on.
The Story Thus Far
When Torac, now 24, arrived at Helgen, he found it nearly destroyed – with pieces of it still smoldering. What could have heated the stone so hot that it would still be cooling WEEKS afterwards?
As Torac looked around he found charred bodies, dead animals, parts of buildings, pottery, weapons and armor bits scattered all around. Something definitely happened here and it wouldn’t have been pretty. Torac moved from courtyard to courtyard inside the fort’s walls. The devastation was everywhere. As he approached what looked like the fort’s archery practice range he discovered another charred body. Under it was a journal that explained how an adventurer had snuck across the border from Cyrodiil, was captured by an Imperial patrol at Dark Water Crossing where they had also captured Ulfric Stormcloak and a small band of his men. On the way to Helgen, the adventurer learned that Ulfric had killed High King Torryg and they all were going to be beheaded for treason against the empire. The journal went on to explain that shortly after they arrived in Helgen a dragon attacked and that all of the survivors had escaped into the keep.
Torac entered the keep in the hopes of finding survivors. What he found surprised him. Stormcloak and Imperial soldiers dead everywhere, a torture chamber, a jail, and a network of tunnels under Helgen. In the last large chamber of those tunnels he discovered an Imperial soldier, Hadvar, badly wounded who begged Torac to warn Riverwood and the Jarl of Whiterun of the danger of the dragon. After Torac nursed Hadvar to health with a potion, they set off to do just that.
The two made it to Riverwood, and shortly after explaining things to Hadvar’s uncle, Alvor, Torac set off to Whiterun to inform the Jarl of the attack on Helgen and ask for aid for Riverwood. There he was introduced to Farengar, Whiterun’s court wizard and was given a task by the Jarl – to find an ancient tablet in Bleak Falls Barrow.
Once the tablet was recovered, Torac assisted in the killing of a dragon that had attacked a watchtower in the north of Whiterun Hold. When that dragon died, Torac absorbed some sort of energy from it. The guards that witnessed this started calling him ‘Dragonborn’. He thought they had all gone mad. But as he made his way back to Whiterun the sky darkened, the wild grew calm and a sole crack of thunder was heard. Something else was carried with that thunder…a voice, a calling, a name: “Dovahkiin”.
When Torac gave his report to the Jarl of Whiterun, Balgruuf explained that the Greybeards were summoning the Dragonborn – summoning Torac – to their sanctuary on the Throat of the World. The Jarl said it was important for Torac to make his way there and begin his lessons in the “Way of the Voice”. It would be a long journey, ending with the climbing of 7000 steps up the highest peak in Skyrim at High Hrothgar, the home of the Greybeards.
He wouldn’t make this journey alone, for in proving himself worthy to the Jarl of Whiterun, he was given the opportunity to purchase property in the hold, the title of Thane and assigned a housecarl, Lydia. The two were strangers when Torac left for High Hrothgar, but they had become closest of friends by the time they reached the summit.
Along the way to the Sanctuary, the people of Skyrim asked Torac to complete several tasks. Everything from gathering bear pelts to solving the mystery of an ancient burrow in Ivarstead. His skills and talents came in handy because it was as if the whole world had turned on itself – even the wildlife attacked Torac as he journeyed to meet the Greybeards.
Meet them he did though. The realization that he was truly Dragonborn shook him. Why would he be given the gift? How could he save the world? He was not ready, he needed time and he needed power. This dragon, Aldiun, would not be stopped easily.
Thus began the life of the adventuring mage, Torac.
His first order of business was to return to Winterhold to learn and train. By the time he had returned, a group of students were making their way into Saarthal to assist in the excavation. They were led by Tolfdir, a master in Alteration. Torac accompanied them and discovered something that can only be called “Magnificent”. Little did he know that their discovery also brought danger. Torac was asked to help again – this time by a Psijic Monk – protect the Eye of Magnus, keep its power at bay. Keep it safe from those that would abuse its power.
Before Torac could finish that task, Ancano, the Thalmor “advisor” to the Archmage, started to draw power from it. Torac returned with information about the Eye, he discovered the Hall of Elements protected by some ward and the Archmage and Mirabelle Ervine, the Master Wazard of the College trying to figure out a way past it. With their combined power, the ward was broken and when they advanced on Ancano a blast of energy pushed Torac and Mirabelle to the edge of the Hall of Elements, but the Archmage was no where to be seen. When Torac came to his senses, he left the hall and discovered the Archmage dead just outside.
Torac’s information pointed him to the Staff of Magnus and its last known resting place – Labyrintian. Torac left immediately to recover the Staff.
The Eye can only be stopped by the Staff of Magnus and it’s in the Labyrinthian. Too bad this information could only be discerned AFTER Savros Aren, the Archmage of Winterhold was killed.
Torac made his way to that ancient city. He nearly froze to death battling the undead and trolls that he found infesting it. But there was more, the surface terrors were nothing compared to what lay underneath. Using the Torc of Labyrintian, apparently held by Savros and given to Torac after the Archmage’s death, Torac opened the ruin and found nothing but death – skeletons, ghosts and a Skeletal Dragon. Luckily for Torac, the place was dark and his limited stealth skills combined with a potion of Invisibility allowed him to find a semi-hidden location where he could dispatch the host of undead before they found him.
But these were but minor disturbances compared to the real power hidden in Labyrinthian, the power that held the Staff of Magnus. This power taunted him. When it did, it pulled Torac’s magic reserves to near nothing. Every time this thing spoke it was as if Torac had been shoved into a dark room. He was afraid, like he was when he was a boy watched his father die.
But he pushed on through the fear. His strength returned quickly after the taunts and he finally found his oppressor. The problem was, he didn’t know what he found. This thing looked like a dragaur, but it wore a mask and the robes of a mage and it floated above the ground. Worse still, it was protected by a shield of pure energy. That energy was provided by the long sealed-in college mates of Savros Aren.
At some point in the past six mages, Savros Aren among them, looking for notoriety, glory and fame, snuck away from the College of Winterhold and came to Labyrinthian in search of it. As Torac moved through the ruin, he witnessed parts of their misguided journey. Three of the six died to horrors that Torac had made it past. Savros and the other two made it to the cavern where Torac now stood. Two of those mages still resided there. They were feeding or fueling the energy shield around this monster. Savros was the only one to make it out, sealing the other two in with this…thing. Now they were his puppets. Puppets that Torac was forced to put down to get past the shield around the monster.
After a long battle where Torac was drained three times, he finally defeated the creature. He took the thing’s mask and clothing in the hopes that he could find out what it was.
But his problems were not over. For as he made his way out of the ruin, he was met by an agent of the Thalmor. An agent that was ordered there by Ancano, the one that had opened The Eye and put the whole of Winterhold in danger. The overly-suspicious skeever-faced weasel that hounded Torac and every other mage nearly every waking moment.
This agent had two orders, retrieve The Staff of Magnus and kill Torac.
How did he put it? “Ancano wants you dead.” He said it so coolly, so matter of factly; like it had already happened. That tone actually stunned Torac. How could he talk to me like that?
When the first strike of Sparks hit Torac, he snapped. How dare you think that you – you miserable little worm – could have the power needed to kill me. With that Torac released his Thu’um, something that he had not done since the Greybeards had asked him to prove himself Dragonborn. But this time it was different. This time it was the full power of Unrelenting Force coupled with Torac’s anger.
The blast threw the high-elf across the small room and drove him into the wall. The force of impact knocked the elf unconscious. As Torac approached he slowly flicked his fingers. Small flames started to dance around in his palms. Lydia pleaded with Torac not to do it. “He’s done for Torac, just forget him.” she said. To which Torac replied “Oh, he’s done for. No doubt of that. But I want him dead…”
With that, Torac raised his hands and twin jets of flame came together where the elf lay. The elf started to scream. A few seconds later the screaming stopped. The flames continued. Not until Torac’s energy was depleted did they stop.
As Torac turned to leave Labyrinthian he said “Now I want Ancano dead.”
… to be continued.