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Books:The Origin of Cyrus!

Release Date 1998
Time Period Circa 2E 850 and 2E 864
Author(s) Michael Kirkbride
Publisher Bethesda Softworks
Pages 30
Game Redguard

The Origin of Cyrus! was a comic book included with The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard. The story sets the scene for the game of Redguard and is split between Cyrus' present day and a time a few years in his past. The present day story involves him returning to Hammerfell to search for his sister, events that form the central storyline of the game. The story of the past shows the reason for his leaving Hammerfell in the first place, and his adventures as part of a mercenary gang in Morrowind.

The comic was exclusively printed in a bound pamphlet titled The Elder Scrolls Adventures Volume R, which also contained the Redguard User's Guide and the Pocket Guide to the Empire, First Edition. The comic is not included in the UK edition of the Volume R pamphlet. Although the comic's cover stated that it was issue 24, and had a cover price of $2.50 U.S. and $3.00 Canada, only one issue was ever produced, and it was not available for separate purchase. It was written by Michael Kirkbride, with pencils by John Pearson, inks by Hugh Riley, and colors by Louise Sandoval. The original physical version of the comic was printed in shades of gray; the color version was only published digitally. In the gray version, Louise Sandoval was credited with "tones" rather than colors. All versions were lettered using Comic Sans MS.

In 2011, as part of their redesigned website, Bethesda made a color copy of the comic available for download as a PDF file. It is also archived here on the wiki as it appeared on the official Redguard website. This page contains the text of the comic, formatted to be readable on its own, along with images of each page to the right.

Questions and AnswersEdit

In addition to the comic, a mock Q&A section was also included in the format of fan sent mail. The answers contain information that can be used as a reference in lore articles.

When are you guys finally going to get into that 'dark secret' that Cyrus refuses to talk about? And what does it have to do with Iszara, who we've only seen in cryptic flashbacks? Now that the Duadeen story arc seems to be wrapping up, it's high time we learned about it!
Billy Fresno, PA
P.S. Why does Duadeen refer to Tiber Septim as the Cyrodiil? He's a Nord, if I remember correctly.
"Or a Breton, if you believe those jokers in Alcaire. Traditionally, anyone strong enough to take the Imperial Throne is known as the 'Cyrodiil,' no matter the province kingdom of their birth. It's a complicated the-king-is-the-land kind of thing that reaches back to the time when the Elves ruled the area before it was taken from them by the First Empire of the Nords. "Cyrodiil" is a pretty blanket term for every element of the Imperial Province: its common provincial name is Cyrodiil, the capital city is named Cyrodiil, the people are the Cyrodiils, and the Emperor is "The Cyrodiil." A lot of people still think it comes from the surname of Reman Cyrodiil, who built the region into the Second Empire of Men, but, really, he just took its ancient Elven name and stuck it onto his own (sorta like somebody in our world calling themselves "Jonny America"). And, while we're still on the subject, no, Tiber Septim isn't a Nord, he's an Atmoran.
As far as Cyrus' dark secret (and its relation to Iszara), I think you pretty much have the whole of it now, don't you?"

Dear TEAdventures,
I picked up the BATTLESPIRE one-shot last week—any chance of it becoming a full-fledged series?
Tally Isham, CO
"Afraid not, Tally. Those guys are hard at work on the Morrowind mini-series that we've been promising for two years now. And since it looks like we're still going to have to wait a while, we decided to devote a few pages of the current issue of TEA: Redguard to those wacky Dark Elves! Hope you liked it!"

In issue #20, Cyrus mentions the Eye of Argonia, an artifact that sounded important. What gives? I was stationed overseas during the early days of TEA: Redguard, so maybe I missed it, huh?
Alan Sundry, D.C.
"Don't fret, Alan, you didn't miss a thing about the Eye of Argonia in those issues (though you missed plenty of other stuff—better get down to the comic store!). Cyrus has been searching for the Eye all over Tamriel. All we can say is that it's a priceless gem that also serves as a key to the Lost City of Black Marsh. Stay tuned!"

The Origin of Cyrus!Edit


The Story Thus Far....Edit

A man called Tiber Septim seeks to restore the glory of the Cyrodilic Empire, which has lain dormant for four hundred years. He will usher in a new era, the age of the Third Empire.
The Empire's former subject-lands have tried to resist this change, but, one by one, they have fallen. All of the human kingdoms are now under Septim's rule: Skyrim, High Rock, and Hammerfell, the homeland of the Redguards.
It has been conjectured that, had they not weakened themselves in their civil war, the Redguards could have halted the Empire's progress: that, united Hammerfell would be invincible.
Alas, with the death of their High King, the Redguards' long-divided camps, the Crowns and the Forebears, went to war. In the end, it seemed like the Crowns would keep the throne for themselves, but the Forebears, beaten and willing to try anything, invited the Empire's forces into Hammerfell to help them.
The Empire made short work of the Crowns' diminished forces, defeating them at last on the island of Stros M'kai.
In their youth, Cyrus and Iszara lived in Sentinel, capital of Hammerfell. Though it was traditionally a Forebear city, the High King of the Crowns sat in its palace. This was a troubled time, with talk of open rebellion ever in the air. With the Third Empire suddenly stirring on the borders, Hammerfell's breaking point was near.
As a forebear secession loomed, and their old conquerors began to surround them, the Redguards prepared for war.
Page 1

Page 1Edit

Michael Kirkbride
John Pearson
Hugh Riley
Louise Sandoval
Comic Sans MS

(Brennan's ship is shown sailing in a storm on the Iliac Bay.)

Dylxexes the Younger, of the First Era, states quite clearly that an adventure can only truly begin three ways: by death, by slur, or by letter.
To begin without one of these is to be relegated to the status of an indiscretion or, at best, an escapade.
Properly then do we embark, our foundation laid with the last, and best, of the three: the letter, invariably the most seductive catalyst of all--
--and thus the most powerful.
Page 2

Page 2Edit

(Cyrus is reading the letter from Tobias.)

Especially if it concerns the blood.
Written without flourish in a hand well-known.

(A man walks into the cabin from outside.)

Eli: "It's getting a bit rough out there, sir...?"
Cyrus: "Cyrus."
Brennan: "Of course. Perhaps we should wait, then, Sir Cyrus,
"until tomorrow when the Iliac is more cooperative."
Page 3

Page 3Edit

Cyrus: "No. We go on.
"You were paid double to make sure."
Brennan: "Fine. Wet gold spends as well, I suppose."
Cyrus: "Who's guiding the ship, Captain Brennan?"
Brennan: "Eli, the good water-logged lad. Boy needs a bit more weight anyway."
Cyrus: "Stros M'Kai by morning, captain."
Brennan: "Of course, Sir Cyrus. But tell me, why all the hurry?"

(A flashback begins when Cyrus was much younger and living in Sentinel.)

Tobias: "Why the hurry, laddie?"
Page 4

Page 4Edit

Tobias: "The seas wait long and you're a little short yet for a marine."
Cyrus: "You mean pirate Tobias!"
Tobias: "I guess I am a bit far from father's fair Skyrim, ain't I then, even with her colors raised."
"But it's called foreign relations in better quarters."
Man: "Captain."

(Tobias starts writing on a tablet.)

Cyrus: "It's called desertion and mercenary work and I want in.
"I can fight. You'll need me.
"There's a war on every coast these days"
Iszara: "Cyrus!"
Page 5

Page 5Edit

Iszara: "Cyrus, we have to go."
Cyrus: "G'bye, Captain Tobias--!"
Tobias: "Bye, then, lad--
"--I can see the lines forming from here!
"Next I'm ashore we'll talk about your enlistment!"
Iszara: "Must it be a Nord, Cyrus?"
Cyrus: "Half-Nord, and he's neat, Iszara. I like him."
Iszara: "He's artless and we only have twenty minutes."
Cyrus: "We'll go the back way."
Page 6

Page 6Edit

(The scene is set in a theater during a play.)

It is opening night and their father's fared well.
The crowd is large and loud with laughter--
A testament to his wit and skill: a Crown playwright in a Forebear city, and he's bringing down the house.
Sentinel belongs to him--
There is a clamor for hours--
--all stage swords and flash--
--wherein the High King, ever a Crown, pays heavily for his faults--
--political, ancestral, and otherwise--
--and the Forebears are shook with smiles--
--in love with the thing.
Page 7

Page 7Edit

The stick about the head of the enemy, relentless.
In the center, though, the dead serious heart of all comedy: the point--
All too often, like this night, missed completely.
Only an unbridled and open loyalty could have produced such as this is--
--the belittled king--
--so utterly beloved.
So here is their father's real triumph-- a celebration of a Crown by the very city that hates him-- a jester's best parabola--
-- a satire refracted--
--of fools only to the foolish.
For Cyrus the only glittering things are the swords.
For Iszara--
-- the male lead--
--clad in Forebear stripes--
--his foot in the ass of of [sic] the High King's horse.
His name is Hakan and they will marry.
Page 8

Page 8Edit

(Time returns to the present, in Brennan's cabin.)

Cyrus: "My hurry needn't concern you, captain."
Brennan: "I'll hazard it's the civil war, or the Empire."
Cyrus: "I don't care about either."
Brennan: "Trouble in the heartland. That's my guess, anyway...."
Cyrus: "If it suits you."

(As Cyrus pores over the letter, he has another flashback to when S'rathra gave it to him.)

S'rathra: "<Your sister's disappearance draws a shudder.>"
Cyrus: "I need a ship."
S'rathra: "<The port is full of them and S'rathra's name goes far towards the price of passage.>"
Cyrus: "Money, too."
Page 9

Page 9Edit

S'rathra: "<Keep Duadeen's retainer. It's a family affair, after all.>
"<Tell S'rathra, why did you never mention your sister before..?>"
Cyrus: "We haven't spoken in ten years. There was trouble."
S'rathra: "<What kind?>"
Cyrus: "I killed her husband."
Invariably the most seductive.
Especially when it concerns the blood.

(Cyrus is now outside the tavern in Wayrest.)

Man: "'Ey, it's the Redguard--!
"Where're you goin'? We leave soon."
Cyrus: "Tell your lord I respectfully decline his offer."
Duadeen: "Tell him yourself."
Cyrus: "Duadeen.
"I must away elsewhere it seems...."
Duadeen: "I have a signature somewhere--
"-- that says otherwise."
Page 10

Page 10Edit

Cyrus: "My sister's gone missing."
Man: "Is that all..!?"
Duadeen: "Too open an excuse, and unlikely.
"Thugs musn't [sic] have ties to anything but ink and the glimmer of gold.
"You forget the general mystery of dangerous men.
"A sister's so domestic."
Man: "Aye.
"Mercenaries don't have families."
Cyrus: "Then you won't be missed."

(Cyrus kills the man, and his sabre is dripping with blood.)

Cyrus: "I'm ready to kill you all."
Duadeen: "That would be redundant.
"Men, let him through.
"Don't come back to High Rock, Cyrus."
Page 11

Page 11Edit

(Time shifts backward, to just after when Cyrus killed Hakan.)

Cyrus: "I can't ever come back to Hammerfell, captain."
Tobias: "Eventually, lad."

(A scene shows Tobias and his mercenary crew gathered around a table.)

So begins the mercenary translation--
Though they do not scare him, he waits mostly in hush. Silent except to confirm orders.
They whisper more than he would have thought.
And they take what gold they can--

(Another scene shows the mercenaries killing out in a snow-covered land, likely Skyrim.)

Somewhere an emperor is waiting to clear his throat--
The whole of the world is in turmoil it seems--
--and everyone needs a few extra swords.

(A third scene shows them in a room with several Witchmen.)

Cyrus: "...Who do they want us to kill?"
Tobias: "Ach..! Probably someone who's dead, already--"

(The final scene is in Black Marsh. Argonians are guiding the mercenaries in boats.)

They work wherever they can-- --in Argonia, saving diplomacy's fools--
--some dignitary sent to make a hasty alliance against the inevitable.
Imperial expansion
Cyrus: "I'm bettin' they ate 'im days ago."
Page 12

Page 12Edit

(Tobias and his mercenaries are in a dark room, talking to S'rathra.)

For years the cat's assassins--
Doing whatever dirty work is required of them.
Cyrus desperately trying to displace the guilt of the past in the bloody deeds of the present--
Tobias: "Morrowind? You're outta your mind--!"
S'rathra: "<S'rathra thought you'd like a change of pace....>"
Man: "Oh, boy."
Tobias: "No, more like getting bored of our little band--
"--time to get rid of them."
S'rathra: "<Exaggeration.>"
Cyrus: "I'll go."
Man: "Forget it, Cyrus!"
Tobias: "He's right, lad.
"You don't know Morrowind--
"The place is... weird--"
S'rathra: "<Weird is relative.>"
Page 13

Page 13Edit

(The scene moves forward to a dock with Argonians, not far from Tear.)

They lose a few to fear--
--for it is Morrowind.
Land of the Dunmer, the Dark Elves....
The objective of the raid is, for S'rathra, curiously sentimental--
--free some kinsmen from a slaver camp.
Paid for by his own wealth.
The camp to be found near Tear, southernmost of Morrowind's horrors.

(There is a view of the slaver camp from a hill where the mercenaries wait for their moment to strike.)

Just above the swamps of Black Marsh--
-- in the land of ash.
Tobias: "We could turn around."
Cyrus: "Where's the money in that?"

Pages 14 - 18Edit

    Page 14
    Page 15
    Page 16
    Page 17
    Page 18

(The Raid on Tear. Cyrus sneaks up to a cage holding Khajiit slaves with Tobias and the others, but a Dunmer slaver spots him and attacks. They speak an incomprehensible language and have giant wasps known as parraptons in their service. Cyrus manages to free some of the slaves in the chaos. A powerful mage uses a spell on Tobias, knocking him to the ground with no weapon. Cyrus runs over, cuts the mage's hand off, and aims the remaining magicka power toward one of the parraptons, creating a huge explosion.)

Tobias: "Hell." (page 15)
Cyrus: "No!" (page 16)
Page 19

Page 19Edit

Something is surpassed in that moment. From then on he will work more or less--
Resolute in the mad rush to that which he cannot yet name.

(The flashback ends, and Cyrus is on the deck of Brennan's ship nearing Stros M'Kai.)

Brennan: "...Sir Cyrus?
"The island's in sight, Sir Cyrus. Let's let the boy get some sleep.
"Stros M'Kai! Jewel of Hammerfell!
"Glad to be back?"
Cyrus: "I will be, if I find her."

(Once again time goes back, now to the day of Iszara's wedding.)

Hakan: "Have you found her, then?"
Hakan's Friend: "No."
Page 20

Page 20Edit

Hakan's Friend: "Yes.
"There, Hakan."
The wedding seems, to Cyrus--
--a whole country's sigh of relief--
--though he knows both families have names of little consequence.
But with Hammerfell on the brink of civil war:
A Forebear is taking the hand of a Crown in the capital city!
And though everyone knows there is nothing prophetic about the union--
--nor in its sight shall the kingdom take measure--
--for to perhaps similarly align within against the enemy without, there is still genuine and heartfelt cheer in the crowd.
It's almost as if such ceremony must take place for the full regret to come later--
A brace for the kingdom's shame, a single bright spot to look back on--
--in the wake and lamentation of the end.
A happiness invented-- to give the grieving, later, more sorrow still.
Page 21

Page 21Edit

The joy lasts but few seasons. Initially all is well, with Izara [sic] only moving to an estate across town in the merchant quarter.
Close enough that Cyrus can still keep her company.

(Several scenes show respectively: Iszara at night, Hakan with the Forebear soldiers, Forebears shouting in the street, and Iszara and Hakan with Cyrus and their father.)

Though she is happy with Hakan--
--he is often gone.
Training with the Forebear underground.
Everywhere, a louder talk of trouble.
Of Sentinel's secession.
Izara's [sic] distress begins slow. She and Hakan are wise enough--
--not to mention the matter to her father when they visit.
Page 22

Page 22Edit

His own patriot shade runs deep.

(Cyrus is shown practicing swordplay with Hakan, while Iszara watches. Subsequent scenes depict Cyrus working the harbors and Cyrus with Hakan.)

Cyrus doesn't care, and hassles his brother-in-law to no end to show him the sword tricks that have been learned while preparing the hidden militias.
More exciting than working the harbors, that's for sure, these rumors of war.
Hakan takes notice, and confides in his new student the true nature of the Forebear cause.
Hakan: "We are the righteous foundation upon which this country rests.
"And we have too long suffered its weight."

(Later on, Cyrus is in a dark room with his father.)

Cyrus' Father: "Where did you hear this?"
Page 23

Page 23Edit

Cyrus' Father: "And why would you shame your ancestors so? We are Crowns, Cyrus, and the weight they speak of is the king, a noble burden to be sure."
Cyrus: "But you make fun of the king in everything you've written."
Cyrus' Father: "Son.
"My mockery of him is the mockery of the mockery of his enemies."
Cyrus: "So the Forebears are right in nothing?"
Cyrus' Father: "In complaint? Yes.
"In demand for rapprochement?
"In some cases.
"In secession? Never. It is not the way for us.
"And it will not be the way for you.
"And if the king is challenged we--I, you, your sister, others--shall rise alike as he to meet it--
"--for we are Crowns alike as he.
"Naha 'mei dogo Ra Gada lonhe trai, Sura."
Cyrus: "What..?"
Page 24

Page 24Edit

(An illustration of a battle between the Ra Gada and Orcs covers the background.)

It meant, 'The Forebears know their place, Cyrus.' And it will be the last time he is unclear. He writes it in a night....
It is an epic of the Ra Gada-- the ancestors of the Forebears-- from whom the Redguards got their name--
A bloody and thrilling account of that holy invasion, where the Ra Gada drove the Orcs from Hammerfell to make way for the king and his royal family--
A story three thousand years old--
Wherein the Forebears are cast rightly in the roles of heroes--
--stalwart first champions of the throne, and the king's finest, best men.
And where the king is a man worth fighting for.
There is none of the comedy for which the author is known, only a celebration of the truth of old blood--
--and the lines they have since established.
There is no subtlety in the message.
Just admonition from an honorable past.
Page 25

Page 25Edit

His shortest work is the widest seen--
And it has immediate effects.
The Redguards are reminded of when they stood together against the unknown.
And with the Empire as close as Sancre Tor, and even bending the Nord kings to their will--

(Scenes show Thassad II and Baron Volag making a truce, and the militias marching out of Sentinel.)

--the Redguards wonder when Hammerfell's time will come.
Baron Volag, holder of Sentinel's outlying territories, and the chosen spokesman of the Forebears, strikes an accord with the king.
With the Crowns.
Some say it is an ephemeral truce--
--that will last only so long as the old feelings stirred by an embroidered history stay strong.
But it works for a measure--
--and the militias disband to join Volag's men in the plains of the dragon stand.

(Hakan looks out the window of his estate as the militias leave.)

And for those who do not go, it turns bitter.
A slow rot that realizes it's been made to marry the the [sic] devil's own daughter.
Page 26

Page 26Edit

(Iszara, Cyrus, their father, as well as Hakan and others celebrate in what appears to be a tavern.)

A celebration of the playwright is held, and the Crowns and Forebears attend in equal numbers--
Drinks and laughter and the sense of something lifted--
Cyrus is drunk to here, in such good spirits that he mentions nothing about Hakan's strange absence to Iszara.
Indeed, a rock that's been lifted.
And the snakes have scurried out.
Hakan: "Tukta-mab'ro *
"No lo'igra***"
Hakan: "Liar."
Iszara: "Hakan, not this--"

(Hakan strikes Iszara with his hand. Cyrus comes rushing over with his sabre.)

So it begins--
Page 27

Page 27Edit

The civil war they thought suppressed, embodied now in the drunken youths before them.
In this one duel they see the inevitability of what will come.
In each champion--
--the armies they will side with.
Sooner or later everything brought to stave off this fate.

(Cyrus stabs Hakan through the chest.)

Will be cut down.
Page 28

Page 28Edit

(Hakan lies dead. Iszara has no words, only tears. The next scene shows Cyrus running to Tobias' ship.)

Run, he thinks
It's all he can think.
Tobias: ".... Ach ... Get on, then ..."
Cyrus: "I can't ever come back to Hammerfell, captain."
Tobias: "Eventually, lad."

Next issue: the search for Iszara begins!