I want to be a bit nerdy today and tell you all about my Dragonborn from Skyrim. I’ve written an entire backstory for her that, in my humble opinion, is one of the best backstories I’ve ever written. Going over it is also preparing me for writing the backstory on my own original characters for my story idea. So, here’s the story of Levonia the Dragonborn.
Her name is Levonia and she is a Black Nord because why the fuck should all the Nords in-game be white? She grew up on a small farm outside of Markarth with her mother (Syllia), father (Harold), and twin sister (Lieria). They were viewed as “outsiders” by the people of Markarth because they didn’t have the typical “Nord” look. As a matter of fact, a lot of people believed that they were lying about their Nord heritage in a feeble attempt to fit in. They also weren’t accepted by the native residents of Markarth, the Reachmen, because since they were Nords they were viewed as invaders. That left her family in an odd situation. They had to constantly be on guard about the Nords in Markarth, and elsewhere, being hostile towards them and they had to worry about constant attacks from the Forsworn.
Due to the constant threat of attack, her parents knew how to protect themselves. Her father was a master at wielding a sword and shield and her mother was well-known for her proficiency with daggers and a bow. While Levonia was definitely daddy’s little girl, she took after her mother most when it came to weapons. She could hold her own with a sword and shield and wasn’t too bad with a bow. Put a dagger in each hand though and there wasn’t anyone in a 50 mile radius that had a chance of besting her. As soon as she figured out that daggers were where her talent lied, she would frequently go into Markarth to trade with vendors for new ones or try to use the forge to make her own.
Lieria on the other hand was extremely talented when it came to alchemy and magic. When Lieria and Levonia were 13, a hunter stumbled onto their doorstep. He’d been badly hurt by a bear and was in desperate need of help. Lieria had been experimenting with a new recipe for a health potion for weeks and had been arguing with her parents for the same amount of time about testing it on herself to see if it actually worked. They insisted it was too dangerous and forbade her from doing it. Of course it didn’t stop her from testing it after they went to bed at night.
When the injured hunter showed up, she figured this would be the perfect time to show her parents just how well her health potions worked. So while Levonia and Harold set off for Markarth to get help and Syllia was busy gathering supplies to clean and dress the wounds, Lieria gave the hunter her newly perfected health potion. By the time her mother figured out what she had done, the bleeding had already stopped. When Levonia and Harold came back with a healer, the hunter’s wounds were closed and healing and all the poor man needed was a few days rest and some food.
The healer was astonished at what Lieria had managed to accomplish. He questioned her about the potion she had used and found it hard to believe a girl so young had made it herself. It took a while, but she did manage to convince the man that she did indeed make the potion herself. The healer offered more money than the family saw in a year for the recipe to the healing potion. The offer was very tempting but everyone Levonia’s family was a shrewd businessman. Instead of giving the healer the recipe and taking the one time offer of money, they agreed to provide the healer with a constant supply of that and other potions for a fee. Lieria’s potions soon became a main source of income for the family and for the first time they were able to live relatively comfortably.
Word soon spread that Levonia’s family were the ones responsible for the much improved supply of potions at the local shops and the locals started to open up to them more. As she got older, Levonia began spending more and more time in Markarth. She would spar with the miners, sharpening her skills with daggers or learning hand to hand combat, or trade stories and broker deals with the shopkeepers in the inn. By the time she was 20, the locals viewed Levonia and her family as one of their own. Lieria was known for her potions that seemed to cure all ails and Levonia was known for he sharp daggers and even sharper tongue. The family slowly let down their guard as the years passed by, the threat of Forsworn attacks becoming a far off memory. They would soon come to regret that.
A week after her 21st birthday, Levonia took a trip into Markarth to deliver their monthly supply of potions and catch up with some friends she hadn’t seen in a while. It was a journey she’d made many times before so she didn’t worry at all about the family she was leaving at home. She kissed them all goodbye and promised to bring them back everything on their lists when she returned in a weeks time.
Two nights later she was laughing and drinking with friends from the mine at the inn. While a miner was in the middle of telling a very raunchy joke, a guard burst through the door, covered in blood and searching frantically for Levonia. When she was able to calm him down, he told her the Forsworn were attacking her home. He and two other guards were on patrol near her home when they attacked. He barely got away with his life.
She left the inn without a word, got on her horse, and rode as fast as she could toward her home. By the time she got there, it was all over. Her father’s body was in the field and her mother and sister’s bodies were in the house. The two guards were lying dead by the road. Everything of value was stolen, the only thing she could salvage from the remains of her home was her mother’s locket, her father’s shield, and her sister’s potions recipes.
After her family’s bodies were laid to rest in the hall of the dead, she went back to her former home and burnt it to the ground. She couldn’t stand to see it, let alone live there after what had happened. She blamed herself constantly for what happened. Her friends tried to make her feel better, letting her know that there was nothing she could have done. That if she were there, they’d be laying six bodies to rest, not five but their reassurances fell on deaf ears.
For the next few weeks, Levonia tried to figure out what to do with her life. She’d never imagined living in a world without her family, so she really didn’t know what to do next. One night, while sleeping in the inn, she dreamed of a tribe she’d only heard of in bedtime stories her parents would tell her and Lieria when they couldn’t sleep at night. They were called the Skaal. Her mother would tell her of the small village in the snowy mountains where they lived and worshiped the All-Maker. She would speak about how their family were descendents of that tribe and one day, they would return to their ancestral home. Her father would speak of how they should take special care not to harm wolves or bears for they were sacred to their people.
When Levonia awoke the next morning, she knew exactly what she was going to do. She was going to Solstheim, to Skaal Village. She had to know if there was any truth to her parent’s stories, or if they were just that, bedtime stories. Unfortunately, while attempting to cross the border she got caught in the middle of some fighting between Stormcloak and Imperial fighters and got knocked out. That’s how she found herself on the back of a cart headed towards Helgen to be beheaded.