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*4th of, Sun's Dusk (November), 4E 197*
One week after Jon Battle-Born's wedding in the Firemane Clan grounds, Jon arrived with Nurina, Alina and the rest of the household. The ones who met him after the mountain tunnel were his cousins.
"Jonhild, you are late, cousin."
"Where is mother?"
"At the Keep, you've got to hurry up."
The group sped through the Firemane glade and town arriving at the Keep at the end of the road. Jon walked in the place where his height wasn't that remarkable and passed through his relatives until he arrived on the second floor. He was led by the servants to a place where only his father Jonrad and his grandfather Tormund were waiting.
"Patriarch Tormund, Brother Jonrad, how is she?" Nurina asked.
"She has been in there for half an hour now, but… how did you arrive that fast?" Tormund Firemane asked.
"We received a Telepathic call from Grandma Jenna, Master Nurina teleported us at the gates right away." Alina replied.
"Yes… magic! Explains everything nowadays." Tormund didn't think too much about it.
"Jonhild, I wanted your mother to see you before she goes in." Jonrad said as he patted Jon's shoulder.
"I just wanted her to focus on your face so she can do a better job with the kid she is going to deliver. Can't have another kid as ugly as you."
"Do you want me to mess with your face, ugly old man?"
"You two, take it out."
"Sorry, father." "Sorry, grandfather."
Earlier this morning, Hilda had the signs of giving birth as her water broke. The whole clan was flipped outside down and the second floor of the keep was fairly emptied for her.
Jon was summoned by the 'Telepathy Scroll' that Nurina left for the Firemanes and they arrived as fast as they could, of course, it was faster than what anyone would expect.
With everyone waiting outside the door of the room where Hilda was giving birth, the events going inside were pretty much audible.
"Damn, did you feel that? I feel like Hilda punched someone." Jonrad thought out loud.
"Or someone punched from inside." Jon had a more terrifying thought.
"… Kid, you are evil."
"Just what I caught from you, old man."
Young Jon and Old Jon were having their own spar of words just in front of the door but what they didn't expect was a large woman coming out of the door and sending them away like loosen kites with a push.
"Out of my way. Someone bring some warm water here."
Skadi Firemane brought a wooden tub and shoved it at the nearest ones in front of her who were sent flying.
Alina took the tub and went on the errand.
"I think we should move out of the way."
Time passed and the two oversized troublemakers were called back again.
"Jonrad, they need you in there."
Tormund pushed Jonrad towards the door and nervousness started to appear on the latter's face.
Jonrad and Jon both were nervous since Hilda went in especially Jonrad. He was trying to not worry Jon by acting normal and funny around him yet Jon noticed that since the beginning.
Now in front of the door, the only free ones were Jon and his grandfather Tormund.
"Grandfather, do all the men in the clan act cheeky when they get nervous?" Jon asked.
"Haha! It's the theme of the family, boy."
"I see… I took that one too."
"What? You are all a Firemane, the most one of us. Safe to say, other than me and the kid that is being delivered right now, you are a Firemane from both the father and the mother. If only…"
"Sigh! I check the stars before dawn every day since last month."
"You mean… I see."
Apparently, Tormund Firemane was checking on the stars every night to see if they would turn into the Serpent Constellation or not. The Serpent would come any day once a year and very randomly at that. To Tormund Firemane, his grandchild Jon was born under it, his son-in-law Jonrad was born under it and…
"Ve was born under it."
Ve Firemane, Jonrad's father and Tormund's cousin who was as close as a brother, one of the survivors of the [Great Collapse] and the former Patriarch of the Clan.
"He was born under the Serpent too? I thought Serpents can't be patriarchs."
"They can't. Well, it was only him and I along with few children and women that survived and went to seek shelter at the Moonblade's home. I was injured and he led the Firemane bloodline to survival. We needed a miracle to establish ourselves again and we betted on the Fate of the Serpent, we survived, thrived and grew to what you see today."
"I see. Not too bad then… the Serpent, I mean."
"…" Tormund didn't reply.
Jon felt the awkwardness in the air and spoke.
"Mother asked me to check for the stars too and it seemed that this is not the night of the Serpent." Jon said.
Tormund turned to Jon with questioning eyes.
"Eh, you see, my Grandmaster, Nurina's Master is an almighty powerful wizard, I did he a favor lately and asked her about the Serpent night, it seems to be happening at the first days of Dawn Star (December)." Jon said.
"… Oh, I see. Thank you, child." Tormund's face became better.
If Ve's another grandson was also born under the Serpent then the line of Ve was truly favored to be tested by the Gods in Tormund's point of view. Tormund always wanted to see one of Ve's children to inherit the title of the Clan Head one day and now it seems possible.
"Father didn't tell me much about him. Grandpa Ve." Jon said.
"Hmmm… He was a large warrior who favored the small weapon. Axes and Arming Swords, not too much of a long sword wielder like you. Just give him to axes or two swords then point him somewhere. He always delivered. I followed him since we were lads but he was older and he wanted to leave for his own adventure. He ended up in Cyrodiil and became a mercenary. Not much love was for Cyrodiil then especially after the Mede Dynasty taking over and the Oblivion Crisis still fresh in memory. When he returned, he was on some sort of a quest to hunt down some evil that got some of his friends. Not sharing much with me back then, he kept it all in his mind until Winterhold fell and we struggled till we reached here. We thrived thanks to him but he was still being haunted by something. After your father was born, he left the clan for me to lead and went on some hunt somewhere. We heard he is fighting a great enemy and went after him, we took the ships and sailed west, the Moonblades swore to follow and our sworn brother Hjor Moonblade, Sigurd's father, came with me. Jonrad was 16 by then. We…"
Tormund, who got immersed in the story, halted as he noticed he was going to tell a grim tale.
"…" Jon didn't ask his grandfather but kept looking.
"A tale for another time. Maybe your father will tell you."
"I see… What about my father? What is there that I don't know about him?" Jon asked.
"… Just look at yourself in a mirror, boy. You will know." Tormund smiled and said.
"Come on, grandpa. I'm way more handsome."
"See… you, your father and your grandfather, you are all that stubborn Nord that you can't tell anything to without cracking your skulls first."
"I am not going to disagree here." Jon said.
"Oh, one last thing you have in common, you three are all Clevermen."
'Cleverman' is a Nord native word that means Mage.
"Grandfather Ve was a mage too?"
"Not that much. You are a better mage than your father, your father is a better mage than his. From what I know, each one of you had a style. You are the bad image of mages who do strange things that no one understands. What is your specialty if you don't mind me asking?"
"… Thanks, I am a Mystic."
"Well, Jonrad is the famed [King of Ash], he likes to burn stuff and do things like Dragons."
"Yes, that's the word. Ve was not that much, actually, Hildy fights like him. A Healer who fights and heals himself constantly to keep fighting longer and longer until they sink in a blood sea of their making. Your grandfather liked to enchant too and he was good at it."
"Really? Is there anything I can see?" Jon eyes brightened up.
Tormund took his sword and showed it to Jon.
"Isn't that [Gram]?" Jon asked.
Gram is the sword of the Firemane Patriarch, the sword that represents the family. An Ebony one-handed sword with a golden hilt and a magnificent craftsmanship. Jon always admired the sword but he knew that Wulfur will be able to craft something similar one day but now as the sword was in his hand, he could feel the enchantment on it.
The first was a Flame Enchantment, as expected of a Firemane. The second came as a bit of surprise, it was truly domineering and powerful, a Disintegration enchantment that can break weapons and armors like mush.
"Truly amazing!" Jon's eyes were lusting for the sword now.
"Keep it in your pants, boy."
"That's exactly where it is going." Jon said. "Can I try something? I promise I won't cause a scene."
"Fine, but do it away."
Jon nodded and pointed the sword away from the crowded area then called out [Greed] and told it to mix with [Gram].
A one-handed ebony sword with a great craftsmanship was mixed with a shadowy entity that can transform items into a version more befitting for the nature of enchanting soul and the enchantment type, the result was shocking.
[Gram] transformed from its normal Carolingian sword appearance to demonic one much like a Daedric Sword from the game. [Greed] which had the ability to show the true nature of things it mixes with showed an image Jon didn't foresee.
"… Grandfather. Do you have any details on the soul Grandfather Ve used to enchant this blade with?"
Jon turned around and asked Tormund whose mouth was open agape. Jon retreated [Greed] back under his sleeves and handed the sword back to his grandfather.
"The type of the soul that was used for the Initial Enchantment. I suspect it is the Soul of a Daedra, am I right?" Jon asked.
Tormund was still recovering from the shock but he shook his head.
"The soul… it is not. It was a Vampire's soul. Your Grandfather was a vampire hunter."
The revelation that Tormund let out was shocking but Jon wasn't taken aback that much. Vampire hunting is a noble cause if the vampire was a harmful one.
To Jon's knowledge, vampires from the game and vampires, in reality, are really a world apart. There are normal Vampires and Noble Vampires as expected but the power and the diversity are far beyond the game. Vampires were an interesting research topic but Jon kept it under the rug as there weren't much details outside the forbidden section in the College's Arcanaeum.
"I guess that's to be expected from my dear family. The Grandfather is a vampire hunter, the Father is a Dragonknight ex-Blade, and I am a Dragonborn. My dear descendants, please don't disappoint your forefathers and conquer the world."
Jon was shaking his head left and right while sighing. It seems heroics were deep in the family. But still… the story that Tormund won't tell got him thinking. Jon knew that his grandfather Ve died in battle defending Tormund and Jonrad and that was a thing that the two of them don't prefer to talk about and turn cold if someone asked them. A few in the clan know the tale but Jon can't ask really in the open.
While his turmoil of thoughts, the door to the room opened and Jonrad walked out. A silly smiled was hanging on his face and a blue bruise around his left eye.
Jon laughed and Tormund shook his head.
"Yeah yeah, your mother is a feisty one. You can come in. It's a twin! A boy and a girl."
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