1 Character Creation

A sudden change of perspective is always a strange thing. Think of how a person who sleepwalks wakes up in a different room, or how after getting black out drunk, you wake up on the tiled bathroom floor curled around a toilet. Neither are the best of scenarios.

Looking around, Rictus noticed how dimly lit the room appeared. There also appeared to be other people standing in what appeared to be a semicircle around another person. The dim lighting servers to make each person appear like they are standing in a shadow. Enough that you can tell general things about the person, but no facial features or defining traits. Remarkably, everyone standing around seemed to be calmly standing there waiting for something to happen. All eyes seemed to be drawn to the person standing before the crowd. They were remarkable unremarkable.

"You have all been selected to trial a new version of a classic game. I know you may not quite remember at the moment, but you have all signed up for this and everything is going according to plan. Your memory will catch up to you and there is just a slight delay for now as you sync with everything going on. Now the 18 of you have a big choice. First you will decide which skill you will have. I know there will be some overlap, but please pick your top three and then the skills will be assigned to each of you. Just so you all know, for whatever skill you pick you will be able to gain the perks from the original game as soon as you reach the level it unlocks. If you choose one of the magic skills, you will learn all the original spells once you reach that skill level. So, once you reach level 25 in a skill, you will learn all apprentice level skills in your school of magic."

As soon as the voice stopped talking, a screen appears before each of the people. Rictus sees 18 skills listed out before him. All the skills appeared to be from Skyrim. Rictus hardly hesitated selecting his top 3 skills: Alteration, Illusion, and Conjuration. Yes, alteration was weak in vanilla Skyrim, but he didn't really care. The whole school is worth it just for the fun times one can have with the paralyze spell. Watching people fall at your feet in combat was empowering, and if you have not paralyzed anyone as they were walking down stairs, then you are just missing out.

"Thank you all for your submissions. Now you will get to pick out your race and appearance. Remember, this will have an impact on what you can experience and how you can get your start in this world. "

A 3D model of now appeared on the screen with information beside it. Rictus read the information of himself: male, half Breton half Nord, 22, brown hair, brown eyes, 6'2 (or 1.88m for the rest of the world), 235 lbs (106kg). The image showed a slightly above average looks with a strong jaw covered by a short beard and a medium build with a bit of a belly. The race of being half Breton and Nord was new. After selecting the race tab, all the normal ones appeared as well as combinations for most of the races. Not finding any information about the bonuses of each race or even a description, Rictus decides to just leave it alone. 'Thinking logically, it should hopefully just be a combination of the two so a little frost resistance and better magic is the hope. Besides, depending on how immersive the game is, being at least part Nord in Skyrim would be better than not being a Nord at all.' With that thought, Rictus just accepts his character exactly as it appears. 'Yes, I could have made myself more attractive or at least gotten rid of some of this fat, but I am confident in myself and want a more realistic experience. Definitely not because I am lazy…'

"Alright now everyone, we are almost done. It is time to pick how you want to start the game. You will notice that the choices are similar to the alternate start mod which many of you are familiar with. Theses starts will have a longer lasting impact compared to old game though so make sure you chose wisely. Do not worry about picking the same start as someone else. "

Rictus did notice some new choices which did not seem very interesting to him: being the town drunk, being homeless, working on a trading ship, or being a servant to a Yarl. There were some which were interesting though: Start as the captain of a hold's guard, be apprenticed to a court magician, be the leader of a bandit group, join a cult. While these are interesting, none of them really help Rictus's interest for long.

'I think I would rather go with my usual start for a general character. The breeze home in Whiterun is just a classic. It definitely is not the best house, but I like the area and how close it is to everything. Besides, being in the middle of the map is not a bad starting place.' After Rictus made his selection, the guide began to speak again.

"Alright everyone, the choices have been made and you can now read how you will start in this wonderful world."

Once again looking at the screen, Rictus read what appeared before him.

What so many people crave, you actually get. A fresh start. While growing up as a small-time merchant's son is not an exciting life, it was still your life. As time went on, you became more involved with helping your father run his business. It seemed that your lot in life was to follow your father's footsteps, yet that was not the case. Your mother received a letter one day that her father (your grandfather) had passed away. He left to you his house in Whiterun Skyrim. Your uncle had just recently moved there in order to expand the family business, so this was the perfect opportunity to go somewhere beyond your home. The caravan from your old home to your new home was a long one, but the adventure of what awaits you carries you through.

'A young merchant, not a bad way to start off a new character. A merchant who is a family member could mean lower prices which is always a bonus. Much better start than almost getting your head chopped off and eaten by a dragon…' Rictus was distracted by more words appearing before him.

The time of Heroes has come upon the land yet again. Ancient beings are stirring, and forces are preparing themselves for what may come. Some say the heroes were born with the power, some say the heroes created their own power, and yet others say the heroes were gifted their power. One thing is for certain, that nothing is certain. All Nords know the tales of the dragonborn…a tale often forgotten is the emergence of the 18 heroes. Simply looking to the sky and seeing the constellations shows whether one of the Skilled walks the land. Just as the sun rises and falls, so to do the Skilled. Where one may fall, another may rise.

You are the Skilled of Alteration. While you may not start as the most powerful, you have unheard of growth potential and power in magical realm of Alteration. Whether you are a natural prodigy, blessed by the Aedra, cursed by the Daedra, or gained the attention of The Dreamer, it matters not. What matters is what you make of it.

Rictus's excitement at getting the skill he wants is interrupted by the guide beginning to speak again.

"Now that you all know the basics of your start in this world and what skill you are granted, you may be gone." As the guide finished saying these words, all but 3 of the people covered in shadow disappeared. "Ah now unto something a little more fun. You 3 were the only ones who we did not have any conflict regarding your skill, race, or start. So, you are getting a bonus. You may ask a boon for your character, and we will give it to you if it is within our power. Be quick about it though as we do not have all day."

Rapidly thinking, Rictus tries to think of what would be best. 'Gold is always good…but I can just make gold given time. Better starting equipment maybe…no I get better stuff. Maybe some cheats….no I don't want to start this out that way. Better spells than from vanilla…yeah that may just work. Which ones to pick though? I can only think of the spells from the Odin mod so maybe just go with that. I know there are others, but I can't remember the name of them.' With a steady voice Rictus lets the guide know of his decision.

"I would like to have the spells from the Odin Skyrim Magic overhaul if that is possible."

The guide stares at Rictus for an uncomfortable moment. "That should be possible and is a reasonable request unlike someone else." As they finish saying this, they appear to be staring at one of the other people left.

Which doesn't make much sense because Rictus did not hear the other person say anything at all. 'Come to think of it, I haven't heard anyone say anything…I have only said the one sentence aloud. Why have I only said one thing aloud? Shouldn't I be questioning this more? What is going on here? WHERE AM I??' Questions continued to rapidly pop into Rictus's mind. Things which should have been questioned long ago.

The guide seems to sigh while looking at Rictus's increasing confusion and panic. "It seems my time is up. Your request has been granted in full. Good luck in the trials to come. A word of advice, raise your skill as quickly as possible." As soon as the last word exits the guide's mouth, Rictus's vision slowly fades to black. Confusion and panic being lost in his fading consciousness.

Next chapter