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Private {18+} Ascension

Discussion in 'Active Stories' started by Madrar, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. Rafen

    Rafen Active Member

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    Caleb found the march not entirely unpleasant. In fact, it reminded him of his old mercenary days, and the long walks he used to take with Marlona. He'd never been one to dwell on the past, but the conditions were too identical to ignore. He shook away the memories as they passed through the imperial fort. The blade concealed under his robes had never felt so obvious as it did at that moment. He doubted the soldiers would recognize him this far north. But there was always the chance that they would simply decide to arrest everyone. On suspicion that they were harboring at least one unregistered mage. He glanced to the redguard woman, Adalia. She was tense, but not obviously nervous. He snorted softly, wishing he could keep himself under that kind of control.

    To his surprise, there was no sudden slamming of the gates- no orders for the company of mercenaries to come to a halt. They were watched as they crossed the outposts courtyard and out into pale pass. The gates were closed behind them, and the healer sighed with relief. Unclenching his hands, he continued to march along, but the man, or rather- mer he found himself beside drew his attention. The white hands of the dunmer rogue were unique among the party. So much so that they'd draw questions in any other setting. He remembered the elf saying something to the one horned argonian last night at the fire. "Your hands...does the symbolism of them bring you peace?"
     
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  2. Morbidbread

    Morbidbread Fight for the lost

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    The pass put Elrasur at ease, for some reason. He was well aware that there was a chance bandits or worse lurked above, waiting to cut them off from the outpost or running ahead. But he had fought his fair share of bandits and their 'official' counterparts. Neither had proved much of a challenge to the dark elf blade master. His attention was taken from the their surroundings when the robed human spoke. Caleb, he thought the man was called. Or at least, that's what he had heard when the man was speaking with the redguard mage and her young charge. "Your hands...does the symbolism of them bring you peace?"

    The dark elf stared down at them, so white that they were almost the same tone as the snow around them. He still remembered the fateful day he'd strode into the village, ready to deal out his own brand of justice to the imperial taxmen tormenting the impoverished folk. Remembered how, in his arrogance, he'd neglected to prepare for the powers of a mage, and been over come by the all encompassing rage. And he still keenly felt the guilt as he'd stared at his bloodied blades and the corpses of villager and imperial alike. He realized that the human was still awaiting an answer. "Peace? No. They serve as a reminder- zealotry and bloodlust will always lead to tragedy. A lesson I learned the hardest way." He smiled sadly, before extending one hand towards the human, "I am Elrasur. Your name is Caleb, is it not?"
     
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  3. Thesius

    Thesius The Imperial Paladin

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    The former paladin felt a grim smile creep across his features, though it was hidden beneath his skull helm. Thalien wasn't blindly leading them on then, as much as he pretended to be a simple mercenary. "Testing their loyalty, in other words." He offered an approving nod, though he doubted the man wanted or needed his approval. Still, he was indebted to the man and he'd offer his council when asked. "The question is, are you testing their loyalty to you, or to each other?"
     
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  4. The Seraph

    The Seraph Bringer of Dawn and the Morningstar

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    As Sylandres stood up, it became immediately clear he had hit his head on the fall. Through dazed eyes, the cold, steep and hard walls of the pass surrounded and Sylandres. They seemed faded. Unexpectedly, he was lifted up into the air swung over a jostling metal post. No, no, it appeared the post was in fact an armoured shoulder. Sylandres laid there for some time until his vision was made steady and his mind made clear. He then put his foot upon the shoulder and pushed off of the front of whomever was carrying him. To no surprise, the haulier was revealed to be his escort Uzar. Sylandres sighed and took out his tablet. He quickly scribbled onto it, "In the future, please treat my unconscious body with more care than you would afford a sack of barley." He then held it up to Uzar's eyes for a long moment and then began to walk along with the others, drifting off to the back.
     
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  5. Harkatti

    Harkatti Sorceress Supreme!

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    "So, you have a name, or should I just call you lovely?" The khajiit woman asked mischievously with a grin. Despite the danger they were marching into, and the otherwise grim atmosphere, Elwyn couldn't stop a girlish giggle from escaping her lips. She quickly composed herself, realizing how ridicoulous an altmer woman in crimson armor laughing like a peasant maid must have looked. "I suppose you can call me whatever you like; but my name is Elwyn." She gestured to their surroundings, the white snowflakes settling on her khajiit companions' black fur. "Have you ever been this far north?"


    Cyrius rested a hand on the pommel of his sword and rubbed at his chin with his free hand. The vampire thought he had a pretty good read on his companions- though Var'Hess, seemed the most accepting. And their captain, but that seemed more a professional pragmatism. Which worked fine for him. But one could never have enough allies, and there were still some he hadn't spoken to. A quick look around revealed that that companion to the curt bosmer ranger was nearby. Sidling closer, he said casually "so, my one horned friend, how do you feel about Skyrim? And heading to High Rock to dispatch of this...rebel king?"
     
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  6. TheShadedOne

    TheShadedOne The Angry One

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    Athara grinned at the elf, revealing her predators teeth. The khajiit didn't mind the womans' laughter, even if it didn't fit with the current mood. She'd never been one to care about what others felt, and she wasn't about to start. If the rest of the mercs didn't like it, tough. "Well, Elwyn, I'm Athara." She scowled at the snow around her, feeling the cold seep into her fingers and ears. A particularly cruel clump of flakes landed on the bridge of her nose, and the assassin grumbled to herself as she wiped them away. "No, I haven't been. I'll take warmth and comfort over frozen tundra and monsters any day." She shrugged as they continued on. "Hopefully we won't be stuck in Skyrim for too long. Hard to...ah, enjoy yourself when you're constantly fighting for your life."
     
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  7. Screeching Spasmodically

    Screeching Spasmodically Spasmodic Screecher

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    Still walking alongside the imperial, Lilliana asked "does it bother you? All the killing, I mean? I know it would keep me at awake at night." The comment could have come across as hostile, like Caleb had last night, but the scribe didn't mean it that way. She wasn't sure how she meant it- she'd read about all the battles and victories of the imperial legion, but she'd never had a chance to talk to a real life soldier. The men guarding the archives in the imperial city had been in robes rather than armor, and she'd felt uneasy at best around them. This soldier,Orien, didn't seem anything like them. And he didn't seem like the murderer Caleb had all but called him around the fire last night.

    Adalia winced at her charges prying questions, wondering if they would be enough to get the imperial to snap right then and there. She'd heard a couple of the comments the imperial soldiers at the outpost had muttered or outright shouted after him. His restraint was commendable, she had to give him that, but his stoic attitude had to be fraying at the edges. After all, he was surrounded by people who at best, disliked the empire, and despised it at worse. Going into Skyrim would not make things better, if the news she heard from that wasteland was true. Her concern was not for him, of course. A rogue imperial was rare, but not something Adalia felt much sympathy for. However, Lilliana was sticking to his side, which, whether she realized it or not, placed her in a fair amount of danger. If he so much as singes a hair on her head, I'll turn him into a pile of ash. She promised herself. But for now, the situation was under control, so the storm mage left her to approach the robed elf.

    She noticed that he carried a slate tablet, and seemed to be passing messages on to the huge orc warrior in mixed armor. The orc had carried him from the courtyard after his fall, but the elf seemed more than capable of walking on his own now. She caught up to him, "hello, my name is Adalia." The elf didn't so much as twitch at the introduction. She frowned thoughtfully, then reached out and tapped him on the shoulder. She pointed at the tablet he clutched, and mimed writing on it, before pointing to herself.
     
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  8. Drahkma

    Drahkma Dashing Imperial Officer.

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    Kyros was vigilant as ever, the unliving knight scanning their surroundings as he marched alongside the mercenaries and cutthroats. He refused to see them as his companions. They were weak, unworthy of being acknowledged as equals, and his expression reflected as much. He was not quite sneering, but no one would call the slight curl of his lip complimentary. On a face as noble as his, it was a condemnation as much as if he'd openly declared his opinion of them. However, he had agreed to follow the self appointed captain, Thalien. And now they were headed to Skyrim, a land known for beasts and rebels. Perhaps there he would be challenged, though he doubted it. Skyrim was a shell of its' former self, and its greatest warriors had died years ago, executed by the empire, or killed in battle. A shame, really. The knights of High Rock...they, perhaps might prove a better test of skill.
     
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  9. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    Rajeem wasn't much interested in the conversations of others going on around him. He wasn't as aloof as the tall breton in the plate armour, with his near sneer and cold eyes. But he knew the dangers of carelessness when in unknown territory. True, the imperial legion had secured the pale pass years ago, but he very much doubted that they patrolled the entirety of the pass. It certainly wouldn't be the first time he'd been ambushed a narrow ravine such as this. The thought was enough to have him grip the hilt of his falchion and keep both his eyes and ears open. The approach of the pale imperial tore his attention from their surroundings. "so, my one horned friend, how do you feel about Skyrim? And heading to High Rock to dispatch of this...rebel king?"

    He shrugged. "A job is a job. But I hear Skyrim is more wasteland than an imperial province these days. If I were you, I'd keep my wits about me." He shrugged, "never been to High Rock before. But I imagine it's a lot like Hammerfell. Lots of death. Lots of fighting." He ran one of his hands along his remaining horn. "And we're hired to kill a king. That's difficult enough without a war going. We'll be godsdamn lucky if we manage to cross the border without being attacked by someone."
     
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  10. Rafen

    Rafen Active Member

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    The tattooed dunmer revealed that the whiteness of his hands, marked that way presumably at his own request, revealed that they served more as a reminder than anything else. A reminder of some tragedy, apparently. Caleb almost wished he needed a something physical to remind him of the tragedy he had sustained. But he had to only close his eyes to remember the last words his wife had spoken. And he had but to look around on most days, and to be reminded of the atrocities the empire had comitted. Both the masked man and the khajiit woman had raised good points, but he knew in his heart what the truth was. Monsters may lurk in the wilds of Skyrim, but who are the true monsters? The silent question was rhetorical in nature, for he knew full well what a real monster looked like. The dark elf, unaware of any of the thoughts going through Calebs' mind, introduced himself as Elrasur, and guessed that his name was Caleb. Not a hard estimate, seeing as it would have been easy to overhear his conversations with Adalia and Lilliana. "That's right. Tell me, Elrasur, you speak of tragedy and bloodlust. What was it that lead you to dye your hands as a reminder?"
     
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  11. Morbidbread

    Morbidbread Fight for the lost

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    The others around them seemed content to speak among themselves. Elrasur had forgotten what it was like to travel with others. For most of his life, he'd been solitary, believing and relying on his own skills, rather than the assistance of companions. Time would tell if he could rely on these people, the outcasts of society. So far they had worked together, but how long would that last? He did not agree with the empire or its ways, but one thing the archon had said rang true. They were scum, gathered under the imperial banner to do what they did best. Whether their task was righteous or not would be for the gods to decide. If they could hold together long enough to see their task done. Calebs' question took his thoughts back, to a massacre he could not push out of his dreams...or his memories. He glanced down at his hands once again, then over to the robed human. There was more to that one than met the eye, the elf was sure of it. "I would rather not speak of it. The memory is still fresh...and painful." He said quietly, and quickened his pace, preferring the gentle whisper of the wind and crunch of boots on fresh fallen snow to conversation.
     
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  12. Harkatti

    Harkatti Sorceress Supreme!

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    "Athara" She repeated the name, savouring it on her tongue. It was exotic, as names went, but not so much as to be unpronouncable or awkward. The khajiit went on to voice her dislike of the winter weather. "Well some might think it romantic, holed up by a warm fire while snow falls outside. At least, that's what I'm told. I didn't see much snow in Alinor, and Cyrodiil is fairly warm, except for Bruma, of course." Elwyn shrugged, disturbing a light layer of snow that had covered the shoulders of her elven gear. She would have to remember to acquire something warm once they were in Skyrim properly. If it was going to be this frigid the whole time, and who knew how long it would take to cross to High Rock. If they didn't all meet their end somewhere between the pass and the rebellious province they were headed to. She looked away from the midnight furred features of her companion, to the others among them. More than one were engaged in quiet conversation of their own, but despite the seeming innocence of it, she couldn't bring herself to trust them. The tall breton she'd spoken with earlier, walked by himself, something resembling a sneer on his features as he marched alone. Ahead of them, the pale imperial turned his head, as if aware of her scrutiny, and flashed her a smile. Despite the expression, there was something in his eyes. A cold, relentless hunger that chilled her blood. To Athara, she said "what do you make of our comrades? Can we trust them?"
     
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  13. Signus

    Signus Active Member

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    Orien glanced sharply at the girl. It seemed that the robed nord had imparted some of his 'wisdom' to her. Or maybe it was an innocent question, asked without malice. She had lead a very cloistered life, if what he'd heard from her so far was true. Living in the Imperial City and being confined to the archives sounded more like a prison sentence than a job. At least in the legion, he'd traveled throughout Cyrodiil and seen parts of Skyrim. But that wasn't the question she'd asked. "I don't enjoy killing. I owe my allegiance to the empire and the emperor, but that doesn't mean I seek out violence. On the battlefield there is no choice. If I don't kill the man fighting me, he's going to kill me. And we both know it." He shrugged, "but that's just a soldiers interpretation. Being a legionnaire is all I've known for most of my life."
     
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  14. TheShadedOne

    TheShadedOne The Angry One

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    Athara couldn't help but smirk. "I have to admit, I'm a little out of practice at romance. But perhaps you're right." A snowflake settled on the tip of her nose, and quickly began to melt. Wiping the water away with her thumb, she said "I'll find snow a lot more enjoyable once we're inside again." The snow was showing little signs of stopping, and the assassin wondered if they were going to be trapped inside a blizzard. With the pass as narrow as it was, there weren't any alternate paths, and she didn't like the idea of trudging through waist high snow banks. When Elwyn asked about their fellow mercenaries, the khajiit looked away from the elf, amber eyes narrowed slightly. They definitely weren't the most functional group, considering the fight that had almost broken out around the fire last night. She placed about even odds on them being wiped out in their first fight. Not that she was the one to ask about team work. "They're like us. Mercenaries, assassins. So no, I wouldn't trust them as far as I can throw them." She glanced at the elven woman, "of course, there's always the exception to the rule."
     
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  15. The Seraph

    The Seraph Bringer of Dawn and the Morningstar

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    As Sylandres was going about the walk through the pass, he felt a light tapping upon his shoulders. He turned his head to see the source and saw the Redguard woman who was with that pale Breton. She seemed inquisitive. Curiosity gets you killed, thought Sylandres. She pointed to his tablet and seemed to act out writing upon it. Perhaps she could discern his less than able state. He would have rather that she left him alone but to perhaps satisfy her into leaving him, Sylandres took the tablet in hand and inscribed upon it the words I am Sylandres and I cannot hear in case you could not tell. Who are you and what are your desires for this conversation?
     
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  16. Screeching Spasmodically

    Screeching Spasmodically Spasmodic Screecher

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    The wood elf scribbled a short message onto the tablet he carried, before handing it over. The elf was Sylandres, and as Adalia had guessed, he was deaf. By his expression, he wasn't too pleased to be bothered, which encouraged her to keep her own message short. On the tablet, she wrote: My name is Adalia. I'd noticed you off on your own, and passing messages to that orc who carried you after your fall. I understand if you don't want to 'talk'. But it would be in both our interests to make allies while we can. Especially traveling to a place like Skyrim. Your orc friend might be willing to help you for now, but he doesn't seem the most dependable fellow.

    Beside Orien, Lilliana frowned thoughtfully. He wasn't anything like she'd come to expect. Of course, she hadn't really known what to expect,besides the impressions Caleb had passed on in the tavern. She wanted to ask more questions- she had an almost endless supply, but she could taste the pain and sense of loss coming off the man. It saddened her as much as it brought that dark, unwelcome but familiar pleasure buzzing all over her body. It was time to end their conversation, before she did something foolish. "T-thank you.I think I understand." She stuttered, rejoining Adalia. That,she thought, quickly wiping a bit of sweat from her brow, was too close.
     
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  17. Harkatti

    Harkatti Sorceress Supreme!

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    "You certainly raise valid points. But think of the rewards, my friend. Coin and pardons for all. I imagine they'll erect statues for the lot of us in the imperial city." The vampire said with a chuckle. Of course, odds were the imperials would simply go back on their word and have the entire company of mercenaries executed. Or have them shipped off to the back end of nowhere, and forget about them. The imperial grinned, remembering their destination. As far as most were concerned, they already were headed for the back end of nowhere. He glanced up at the falling snow and was glad that his condition made him immune to the frigid weathers Skyrim was known for. "As for High Rock, I'm sure we'll deal with that particular problem when we get to it."
     
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  18. Aethalia

    Aethalia Well-Known Member

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    "Hmmm. Makes one wonder why they choose to stay. Myself, I prefer to be able to go outside without the fear of being eaten by some horror." She said, "though I suppose it does add some spice to life. Even if it is a short one." She glanced at him as he told her about his work near the border of High Rock. Their ultimate destination, presumably, even if it would have been faster to take a ship from the coast of Cyrodiil and sail around, avoiding Skyrim completely. Perhaps their leader worried about the state of the open waters. If, like the masked assassin had said, Skyrim was a place of slavers and bandits, the seas would almost certainly be rife with piracy. Perhaps worse, if some stories were true. Despite being altmer, she had never liked the sea. It was too open, and all the skills in the world wouldn't save you if the boat you were on happened to capsize.

    Her head hurt. Not a natural, fleeting pain either. Rather, it felt like someone stabbing the inside of her skull with hot pokers. She squeezed her eyes shut and clenched her jaw, willing the headache away. She guessed it was some last vestige of the controlling spells the Confessors had placed on her during her 'training'. Or perhaps it was just pain. It was not the only malady she suffered from, and her scars from years ago would sometimes remind her of the knives that had caused them. "what about you? ever been on Skyrim?" The question pulled her back to the present, and she stared at the masked face of the assassin, tilted in curiosity. She wondered if her discomfort had been obvious, then dismissed it. Of course it hadn't. She was too wise to reveal a weakness to an ally she had no clue if she could trust. She answered the question in the same breezy tone she had commented on his description of Skyrim. "Me? No, never. This will be a new experience for me, I expect."
     
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  19. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    Thalien grinned at the former paladins question. It was clear that the man shared his concerns about the loyalty of the group. None of them had really fought together before, and in truth, Thalien and Vintors trust was built more on the debt the man owed him rather than familiarity."The two lead to the same result. Even if they are happy to stab me in the back, we still need each other to survive. Especially in a place like Skyrim."

    The bare headed half-nord shrugged. "If they wish to challenge me for leadership of the company, they're free to do so. But I have no intention of stepping down. I admit, I'm not a born leader, but I know what needs to be done."The heavy snowfall was slowly lightening, as was the depth of the snow on the ground. He could see rock and dirt arpund the trunks of the trees, and tge pass before them. He guessed they were nearing the end of the pass.
     
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    #199 Madrar, Aug 6, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  20. The Seraph

    The Seraph Bringer of Dawn and the Morningstar

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    Sylandres read the words that Adalia wrote upon his tablet and in turn replied, I appreciate your offer. He held it up for her to gaze upon and then made on his way. Perhaps she is right, thought Sylandres, He does seem rather flighty and nervous. Perhaps I should be a tad bit more wary. Sylandres continued on his way, admiring the walls of the pass as they lost their imposing nature and the trees of the forest began to triumph over the landscape in the distance.
     
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    #200 The Seraph, Aug 7, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019

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