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Nightingale Hall by Isriana Nightingale Hall by Isriana
:onfire: Note: Thieves Guild questline spoilers ahead. If you have just started with the guild I suggest you skip this description. Also, if walls of text are not your thing I won't hold it against you.

Bron: I still don't like this.
Karliah: We've been over this already. This contract is strictly business.
Bron: Oh, yeah? Stealing a fancy vase and fencing it is business. Selling one's soul to a Daedric Prince in exchange for a sharp-looking getup and some vaguely defined ”powers” is something entirely different.
Karliah: I assure you, the edge we gain is worth the price.
Bron: Easy for you to say. You Dunmer are practically the children of Azura anyway. I, for one, was taught that clever Imperial boys and girls don't run with sharp objects, take sweetrolls from strangers, and that they especially do not meddle with Daedra.
Karliah: No offense, Bron, but you don't exactly strike me as a poster boy for the Imperial Cult.
Bron: Very observant of you. However, if I must deal with deities I do prefer the ones who don't hunt me down and feed on my face when I manage to upset them. No such luck with Daedra Lords.
Karliah: Nocturnal is not Molag Bal, you know. She doesn't harvest and enslave souls for the thrill of it.
Bron: Oh no, she just wants to bind our spirits to guard some hidden temple for all eternity. That's totally different.
Karliah: No need to get so prickly; I know what is at stake here. Still, there are worse fates.
Bron: Maybe I should try and take my chances with those...
Karliah: Really, Bron, what is your issue here?
Bron: I have two words for you: binding contract. In business you always leave a loophole in case something goes awry and you need to back down. I don't see one here. That is my issue.
Bron: Besides, I kind of like my soul. I've had it as long as I can remember. Sure, it's a bit shabby and frayed around the edges, but at least it's still mine.

Nevermind Bron - he just gets cranky when he's forced to use his soul as a currency... ;)
I really wish I would have been able to have a discussion like this in the game, though. Personally, the whole Nightingale thing made me all thrilled and amped up, but in roleplaying sense Bron would be far less inspired by the idea of striking the arrangement with Nocturnal. Not that he feels any special devotion towards the Nine (or the Eight, he really doesn't care) – it's more about the fact that while not necessarily malicious, even at best, Daedra tend to be unpredictable extremists. Ergo, they are not the best people to deal with if you have the tendency to shrink from your contracts every now and then.
Even more importantly, Bron isn't quite the type to tie himself down to, well, anything. Until that moment in Nightingale Hall he had at least a theoretical possibility to shake the dust of Riften off his feet whenever he would feel like it. Being the type of person to avoid all kinds of responsibilities in general, I can well picture my thief feeling more than just a bit cornered when Karliah starts to throw around words like ”oath”, ”binding terms” and ”guardian in life and death”. :XD:
In the light of all this, imagine Bron's face when it's Brynjolf's turn to offer him the position as a Guild Master... I mean come on, guys, poor dude just wanted to steal stuff.

I actually pondered for a while whether I should just walk away from the Trinity Restored quest for roleplaying reasons. In the end I decided that it was time for Bron to man up a little and take one for the team. After years of working solo and never staying in one place for long, he has actually grown to like the little guild in Riften. Plus he has a score to settle with Mercer – and I really wanted to get the Nightingale Armor. It's all badass and batman-ish. :ninja:

Take a look at some details and painting process below:

Bron Martes © me
Karliah and Brynjolf © Bethesda
from the game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

For more fan art inspired by The Elder Scrolls take a look at here!


Tumblr: [link]
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NeonSkater420 Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2014
Karliah: In order for this to work, Nocturnal must bind your soul so that it may protect the twilight sepulcher even in death.
Me: Pfft Big deal, I'm already a werewolf, Hercine took my soul long before I joined the guild.
Karliah: ...Didn't see that one coming.
JenniferO77 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Myrethy Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Oh, wow... Bron's last line in the dialogue... I didn't expect this to pull at my heartstrings so much!! It's signature worthy :heart:
DoomBringerr666 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014
i wish you could trade someone else's soul (mercer's/Brinyolf's) to keep yours. I would use naziem/hiemskr in half a heartbeat
warlord-titan Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013
I'm starting to think someone should write a book about your characters. I mean seriously they are brilliant
nirzor12 Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013
Wonderful piece of art..& really enjoyed that little conversation of your character :D
For the record, he should NEVER become guild master :P
But you did remind me of something. Although the Thieves guild arc is my favorite, I REALLY WANTED options other than selling my soul to Nocturnal. I would've probably helped out Karliah, then pulled off a Mercer and kept the Skeleton key to myself if I had the option.
Theplayer2 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2013
Actually, at the end of the Main Quest, Tsun says more or less that Sovngarde would be the Dragonborn's assured afterlife.

And he'll say this even AFTER you tell him you're a Nightingale.

So even if Bron make this contract to Nocturnal, his soul won't be bound to Noturnal even if he wanted it to be.

Though it also means Bron's soul would technically bound for the Nord Warrior heaven.

Yeah, putting an Imperial thief in an afterlife full of Nord heroes, how you think he'd react to that?
RacoonDog90 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013
Technically, one's soul is not eternal bound to Nocturnal. Karliah even says so. The Dragonborn will serve her as a guardian when the need arises, even in death (So I would assume you are called from... wherever the heck the Dragonborn ends up after death) and defend the Ebonmere. Eventually you'll fulfill the contract and... personally, I don't want the 'highest honor' Gallus received to my Dragonborn. Just let her be on her way. That would suffice.

But for Vampire Dragonborns... D: Oh my God it's a damn conundrum!
nirzor12 Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2013
yeah..they're screwed :P
umirua Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Do you have some sort of a tutorial on youtube!?!?!!
TheShadowFolk Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Being made a Nightingale was one of the best moments in the game next to becoming a vampire lord :D
dark-wiedzmin Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The Elder Scrolls wonderful fanart :D Skyrim is a wonderful, breathtaking world, beautiful graphics and great realism. Thanks to this it looks great, but I got bored quickly... But your artwork has a wonderful dark atmosphere, and I like it :D
dragonbeam74686 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Spoiler Alert:
*At the the final Mercer vs. Your character.*
Mercer: Honor and gods among thieves, Such things don't go together with thieves! Why are you even doing this?
-To HELL WITH NOCTURNAL. IMMA GO GET RICH OFFA TEH FALMER EYES. Also. THat lock pick is really nice. I'll keep that I think. DIE DIE DIE.
I pick option numero 3.
lalaquen Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
Favorited for the "wall of Text" conversation in the description alone, although the image itself is, obviously, awesome and VERY well done. I so badly wanted to have that conversation, as well. As should Bryn. I mean, he doesn't even want the responsibility of being Guildmaster, but he's cool with selling his soul to guard a dusty hall until some Deadra arbitrarily decides that he's good and can pass on to Evergloam? I seriously doubt that. Not to mention the fact that the key suddenly being so important when Nocturnal was just giving it away for practically nothing (killing a few trolls, whoo) in Oblivion just felt kind of... odd. I mean, sure, that was a couple hundred years ago... but there have been thieves before, so why weren't we all SOL when she gave the key away to [random prisoner] hero then? Maybe she cursed us to be dependent on her for luck when we used an Elder Scroll to get around her first attempt to punish us for stealing her hood? I don't know. Trying to make sense of it all together gives me headaches.

Regardless! This picture is awesome, and your snarky Imperial makes my heart happy. <3
Grumblepunk Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
This is awesome. I always wondered who else went through this same moral dilemma. In the end, there is no way that my character would be willing to do this. He walked away and left them there. I wish there had been a way to RP through it, in game. As it stands, I will probably never know how this was supposed to turn out.
Demondragonsoul Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2012
actully....i have to point out somthing that bron can say and use as a loophole....

a dragon is a creation of akatosh and thus is a beng of creation itself...which is why its i belive we dont steal their souls...we merely send them back to akatosh and take their experiance and knowlkedge and copy it into our own being....thus dragon shouts are learned and used. anyway since a dragonborn is a mortal with a SOUL of a dragon...we are basicly parts of creation itself...and the deadra....they cant mess with that....

so a dragonborn can get OUT of a contract with any of the deadra lords and they cant own their soul because it goes back to akatosh...its basicly akatoshes way of doing the middle finger by acting through mortals to the deadra when they piss em off...of course they still die but they dont get the souls.
PunkRoctorok Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
wow your character looks a LOT like my imperial thief. same hair and beard i think.
fakushindanaraki Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012
Certainly awesome :D
Isriana Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! :w00t:
jashin3378 Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012
Wonderfully done
Oliver--Fey Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2012
so someone has stolen the key....again. and someone returns the key......again. am I the only one bothered by the fact that you sell your soul to the WEAKEST daedra prince in oblivion. I mean my god even Peryite has more power than her :iconfluttershyissrsplz:
ShootingStarz4ever Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2012
So if Bron can't stand contracts, how would he handle a marriage?

No wonder Vex keeps a distance.
Dreaming-in-Shadow Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
When I got to this part I almost freaked out. Though a couple of centuries serving as a sentiel (I assume they still get to talk to each other or have hobbies or something, I mean one was sat at a table with books on it) then a bit of peace and quiet as "being one with the shadows" doesn't sound so bad, in hindsight.

Also; Awesome Armour > Soul

My only issue now is that my dovahkin's soul also belongs to Hircine and Sithis. And, if "champion" is daedric code for "owned soul", then I also owe my dovahkin's soul to Molag Bal, Sanguine, Sheogorath, Azura... and possibly all the other daedric princes... good grief.
SynneWarrior Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2012
I absolutely LOVE this.

roolleeeplay x3 its all so fun!
PredQueen Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012
Ohhh I remember Molag Bal. "Go in the house" they said, "It will be fine" they said. Well now I have a rusty mace courtesy of the Daedric Prince of RAPE.
Hlaalu66 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012
i like this picture :3 great done indeed ;)
TheLugia702 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I got the Nightingale armor yesterday. Not as Batman-ish as you described it (Even the Christian Bale one). I'm never gonna take it off, it has the best enhancements that I could need right now
Jei-Dinofelini Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
amazing just amazing
Kyouningyou Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Hobbyist
You should write the dialogue for these games. So much better than what actually happened. Out of curiosity, whan is Brynjolf doing during this entire scene?
ImNotCreativeBiteMe Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2012
Heres my solution e.e FUCK DEATH xD When i get dawngaurd ima vampire it up. Whats that? gotta guard a dusty tomb for eternity after death? Mk. *a thousand years later* Problem? xD *insert trollface*
DancinFox Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2012   Digital Artist
Absolutely same thoughts about this nightingale thing =D
I was going to do it...eventually. But some lines about "Nocturnal and I, in life and death, happy ever after" would be nice. ^^
Anyway, "batman-ish" armor totally worth that. =D
SlayerSyrena Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012  Professional General Artist
There's gonna be a huge row over who gets Cevenor once he kicks the bucket. Cev also hated the idea of guarding a dusty old ruin for all eternity. Seriously... Yet, thanks to Bethesda's weirdness, he's made commitments to so many Daedric princes, or whatever, that it's completely ridiculous.

Sorta like being the leader of everything in Skyrim. Absurd, yet fun. No one in Skyrim cares though. Still treat him like a nobody.

Anyways, enough commenting on your description. This illustration is fantastic. I've jealously hoarded your tutorial version and I will attack anyone who tries to take it from me.
TheRoseThief Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
This ish really awesome, I like the atmosphere you captured in this :).....It's one of the cooler moments in the game, even tho the whole world of skyrim ish awesome
Temerice Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, I remember when I did that quest. I was all "So we're going to sell our souls to a Daedric prince? Do I reeaaaally have to? What if I want to keep my soul? D: "

Beautiful painting <3 . And that "wall of text" was really nice, too. "Besides, I kind of like my soul. I've had it as long as I can remember. Sure, it's a bit shabby and frayed around the edges, but at least it's still mine" made me giggle : D

...Yep, I think I'll fave this one ~
Kwenos Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012

Also, yep, it bothered me too. A thief character happily acquiring an eternal servitude contract? Really? I had Grips refusing every and each Daedra she found just because "Principles, man, I bow to no one unless it's to empty their coin purse". And then, this. Headcanon: this never happened. Never. Ever.
Qwackster Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012  Student Writer
Bron reminds me of Alistair from Dragon Age Origins... xD
Anyway, sweet pic, and awesome writing.
tieflingwizard Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012
My character wouldn't be affected by this at all. My character is associated with Mehrunes Dagon, Hircine, Clavicus Vile, Molag Bal, and Sheogorath. Going to do Peyrite's quest and Meridia's quest soon. And from a background sense, Azura and Nocturnal. (He was a member of a thieves guild in the Imperial City led by a Khajiit raised Argonian noble.)
Leonar-Cousland Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012
They be walking down the hall....Like Bosses!
Isriana Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Indeed! :iconawesomeglassesplz:
Leonar-Cousland Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012
MehOfKirkwall Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I'm just waiting for when my Dragonborn dies.

Almost all of the lords 'own' her soul.... BOOM battle royal.

Great picture and the convo adds more to the feel of it~
Isriana Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's going to be the most epic afterlife show... :XD:
Anyway, thanks a lot! I'm glad you like it!
MehOfKirkwall Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012  Hobbyist Writer

I have a feeling the Wabbajack would come in handy then.
criplaysooflay Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012
Even Neaera agrees with bron... Why can't things just be simple!?
Isriana Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Indeed! Bron would have been perfectly happy just stealing stuff and let Brynjolf become the new guild master or whatever. He really isn't impressed about any of this... :XD:
criplaysooflay Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012
Speaking of the annoyances of Immortal beings, I suspect bron is having massive headaches with the recent vampire crisis no?
Isriana Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, to put it mildly. :D But I do love the crossbow!
criplaysooflay Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2012
I LOVE THAT CROSS BOW! and the added archery kill cam...
SCTYA Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Love the picture and love the conversation even more. I don't know if I brought this up to you before or not but do you write stories about your characters? If you don't, you seriously should.
Isriana Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much! :tighthug:
Yeah, I do write about them - bits and pieces, mostly. I'd love to make a fanfic or something like that one day, but I'm really self-conscious about my writing since I'm not a native English speaker - I'm always worried that I make tons of mistakes... :D
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