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This article is part of the Poetic Edda

Ralof Blood-Born is an Atmoran Warrior-Tongue who was born in the Merethic Era before the Dragon War, and was one of the first humans taught the Thu'um by Paarthurnax, who helped raise him. He was separated from his surrogate father during the war. In his search he came across Clavicus Vile, who granted him immortality but tricked him, making him suffer for eternity. In 1E 140, Ralof heard that a Jarl had declared himself High King and wished to back his rightful claim.

History

Backstory

Ralof was born during the height of the tyranny of the dragons, who kept the Atmoran humans as mere thralls. His parents could barely take care of themselves so when he was born they abandoned him in the wilderness. Before the elements or animals could end his newborn life, Ralof's crying attracted the attention of a cultist. The cultist took the babe back to her temple in the nearby mountains and presented him to her master Paarthurnax. The sight of the beast brought Ralof to tears once more, his wails echoing throughout the temple. Instead of getting angry at the crying child, the dragon was impressed by the babe's mighty voice. He saw the potential in the child, thus he allowed his cultist to care for it so that it could grow into one of his followers. The dragon took an interest in his upbringing, teaching Ralof the language of his kind and the power of the Thu'um. Ralof came to view Paarthurnax as his surrogate father.

After he came to adulthood, Ralof was allowed to leave the cult and wander Skyrim to find a purpose in life. When he was 20 he became apprentice to a renown blacksmith in Ahrolsedovah (future Drekaholl). The Grey-Mane smith of the Skyforge taught him all he knew of the craft and Ralof became one of the most skilled smiths of his time. Having developed a close relationship with the Gray-Manes, he also did work for the Jorrvaskr Companions and from them learned the trade of a warrior.

A decade later, in ME 50, the Dragon War began and Ralof was caught in the middle of it. Due to his upbringing in Paarthurnax's cult, he did not despise the dragons as most other humans. The city were he lived similarly sided with the dragons in the early rebellion. Ralof, though, did not initially want to fight his fellow humans and stayed out of the war. Instead he sought out his parent and his cult, only to find their temple abandoned. Growing desperate after a half-decade of searching with no success he turned to dark powers to aid him. He encountered the Daedric Prince Clavicus Vile and knowing nothing about him was seduced by his promises, making a bargain with him. Vile gave him immortality, so age could not claim him, in exchange for a claim on his soul. Unbeknownst to Ralof, the deal was rotten to its core as Vile cursed him with eternal thirst that made it very difficult for him to even speak much less shout, which now caused him great anguish. He learned to push past the pain and adapt to his circumstance, though Vile taunted him ever since. He learned of a group of Thu'um wielding warriors known as the Tongues whom had appeared to fight the dragons. He joined their ranks when he suspected that his benevolent parent had been involved in their creation. However, Paarthurnax was no longer among them and they did not know where he had gone. He fought alongside the Tongues, taking up his parent's cause and together they won the war. After the war ended, the civil war between the holds began but Ralof wanted no part in it. He left to resume his search for Paarthurnax and that is what he did for over a century without coming any closer to his goal.

In 1E 139, he learned of the war that Jarl Harald had declared against the Snow Elves. Instead of fighting himself, he aided by making high quality weapons and armor for the soldiers. He came to respect the young Jarl for his wish to finish the mission of his ancestor Ysgramor, which reminded him of his actions with the Tongues. At the war's conclusion Harald had declared himself High King and Ralof decided to finally take a side. He had witnessed the many wars between the holds over the century and wanted an end to them, seeing Harald as a great leader that could bring peace to Skyrim. He headed for Harald's city to meet with the new High King and offer his services.

Walking Winter's Woe

Ralof arrived in the city of Vindhjalmr. His Daedric armor led to immediate conflict as several bystanders thought that he was some sort of demon. This led to the guards confronting him on the Great Bridge. He tried to talk them down, but with his coarse voice and the commotion, it was difficult to do so. It seemed like things were going to come to blows when the Swordthane arrived and drew his weapon, readying the guards to attack. Ralof shouted, coating himself in his Dragon Aspect and drawing his greatsword. He was not going to go down without a fight. However, upon seeing him use the Thu'um the guards hesitated. Instead of attacking they agreed to listen to him. Ralof told them that he was there to meet with the High King, wishing to serve him. The Swordthane told the guards to take Ralof into custody and escort him to the palace.

At the palace, Ralof was imprisoned in a cell to await for the High King to decide what to do with him. In the meantime, the Swordthane brought Harald's court wizard to investigate if he was a demon or a human. The old wizard used his magic on Ralof and was intrigued by what he found. He called on a colleague from the College to confirm his findings, which she did. They discovered that Ralof was indeed a human, but that his soul had been claimed by a Daedric Prince. They also discovered that Ralof was much older than he looked and that his tale of being a warrior from the Dragon War was likely true.

Eventually, Harald returned and came down to meet with Ralof. He was interested in the warrior and offered him a choice, serve him or die a heretic. Ralof accepted service, but was forced to renounce his allegiance to the dragons and Daedric Princes as well as his remove demonic armaments, which were taken into custody by Pedr. He reluctantly accepted the terms and became a soldier in Harald's army.

A couple days later, Jarl Arngrim of Sardalr had arrived in the city and challenged High King Harald for the right to rule in the old traditions of Atmora. The two dueled in the Hall of Trials, with Harald pulling a victory after a hard-fought battle. However, Arngrim's son Hrani tried to assassinate the injured Harald. He shot Harald with an arrow, hitting him in the chest. Before he could finish the assassination attempt, Arngrim's former housecarl Ragnarr stopped Hrani and protected the High King. Ralof was among Harald's men watching the duel and after the Housecarl Kane jumped into action, Ralof joined in against the Sardalr soldiers. He fought past the front line of defenders and charged against Hrani, joining the Orc soldier against the Jarlson's protectors. They came to Ragnarr's aid, forcing Hrani to rely on his thu'um. He froze Ragnarr and led his soldiers against them. The Tongue Geld entered the fray, then he and Ralof used their Thu'um to overpower Hrani and defeat him. With Hrani down, the other soldiers were soon defeated and the assassination attempt thwarted. Following the attempt, Harald called his banners to march his army to Sardalr, intent on conquering the holds.

Appearance

200 Centimeters tall, Extremely muscular physique, Short greying black hair, and Red eyes. Typically wears Blacksmith's clothing when not wearing armor.

Personality

Wise, Intelligent, Brave, Loyal

Statistics

  • Attributes: Strength and Endurance
  • Skills: Master Smithing, Master One-Handed, Master Block, Expert Heavy Armor
  • Shouts: Dragon Aspect (Full), Slow time (2/3), Unrelenting Force (1/3), Fire Breath (Full)
  • Powers: Resist Frost, Immortality, Thirst Curse
  • Equipment: A complete set of Daedric Armor (Of which He forged), A Dragonbone sword forged from the remains of dragon skeletons from the dragon war. A tattered cloak (attached to his armor)
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