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Private {18+} Ascension

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

  1. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    As night began to fall, the flow of people entering the Maidens' Arms slowed to a trickle, and Thalien saw no more mercenaries. Another quick glance at the surrounding blades for hire revealed that they, like him were getting impatient. He took a count of the people that had arrived after Joren and himself, and was surprised at the sheer number- more than a dozen blades, including themselves.

    "We're expected to work with these people?" The warrior murmured to his companions, "how are we to trust they won't stab us in the back at the first opportunity?"

    "Hard to double cross someone if you're dead." Joren pointed out from his place in the shadows. Var'Hess chuckled, but the old khajiit seemed uneasy himself. Thalien had fought alongside him many times, and he knew it took a lot to shake the old cat. He wasn't concerned by the trustworthiness of the mercenaries in the tavern...something else, then.


    The feeling that something was wrong continued to grow in the back of his mind. "Var'Hess...this imperial that contacted you; who was he?"

    "This one never met him. Only a representative. Why do you ask?"

    At the very edge of his hearing, screams could be heard. Thalien loosened Ferrum Noctis in its' sheathe. "I think we are about to meet them." Several moments passed, and the screams and cries of alarm could be heard by everyone inside. A man in filthy clothing stumbled to the door, eyes wide with panic. "Imperials! Hundreds of 'em!"

    An instant later, the same man collapsed forwards, a pair of crossbow bolts sticking from his back. And imperial legionnaires in heavy plate and full helms stormed inside swords drawn and carrying kite shields with the imperial sigil. The patrons closest to the door staggered backwards, drawing swords, daggers, whatever weapon they had on hand.

    However it soon became clear that the soldiers were not attacking, merely forming an armoured wall to prevent escape. Behind them, soldiers armed with crossbows took up positions, aiming between the gaps of their shield bearing comrades. The mercenaries and other denizens of the under empire eyed the soldiers warily, but didn't dare make a move. The imperials were clearly waiting for something. Or someone.

    As it turned out, Thalien and the others did not have to wait long. A figure covered in armour stepped through the door. He was massive, closer to three metres in height than two, and so broad that he barely managed to fit through the door. His face was concealed behind a golden mask, with a single ruby coloured tear beneath each eye. It was an Archon.

    A man in imperial livery stepped forwards, but stayed safely behind the imperial shieldwall. "Presenting his glorious lordship, archon Bastianus of Bruma, conquerer of the north and protector of the Nibenay Basin."


    The giants' head turned slowly, taking in the assembled killers facing him. His eyes, a pale blue barely visible inside his helm, glittered with scorn. "So these are the very best of the scum to crawl forth?" He muttered, his voice rumbling from behind his helm. "

    With a grunt, he conceded, "I suppose they will suffice. Listen well, criminals of the empire! Your emperor requires your service. The rebels of High Rock have united under one banner. A king known as Giarald Marquette. Your task, is to put an end to this false rulers' reign. In return, any crimes you have committed in the past will be wiped away. In addition to this, you will each receive a sum of one thousand gold pieces upon completion of this task."

    A rumbling sounded within the armoured giants chest, and he placed a hand on the ornate hilt of his sword, "you have until dawn to depart. Any of you here now found in the city after dawn will be executed as traitors to the empire." With that ultimatum given, the archon turned and left the tavern. His soldiers backed out, keeping their weapons ready. Soon, the commotion caused by their arrival had faded, leaving the mercenaries to mull over his words.
     
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  2. Aethalia

    Aethalia Well-Known Member

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    Kylira smiled, the ink on her face twisting to make her seem even more predatory than she generally did. "Afraid, are we? Hardly makes sense, seeing as there are three of you, and only one of me." To enforce her words, and minimize the odds of getting shot by the dour looking elf, she chopped down with her axe, burying the head in the snow and frozen ground.

    "See? I'm cooperating. Now, are you going give me a cut of the reward, or do I go looking somewhere else?" She crossed her arms under her breasts and waited for one of the three to give her an answer. It was a blunt play to get inside the city, but she was more likely to get inside with the hunters than she was to slip past the guards. Especially with a legion of imperial soldiers outside the city.
     
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  3. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    Rajeem snorted at the elf womans' words. He was not overly fond of the imperials, but they paid damn well, and they wouldn't thank him for bringing an elf that looked like she knew how to use that axe she had only now embedded into the snow. "Right...cooperating until we get you into the city, you mean. Most elves don't like the empire. And you look like the type to do more than sneer and skulk about."

    "I say we take her." Iornath said, the haughty bosmer sounding surprisingly thoughtful. "What harm could she cause the three of us, or a city full of imperial legionnaires and mages?"

    "You would side with your own kind, you bloody tree hugger." The argonian growled, but he didn't see much alternative. He was already out a good amount of gold due to their targets' untimely death, and he wasn't about to risk his neck fighting some elf with a death wish. "We'll take you to Bruma, but it's your funeral." He started to turn back towards the city, but Iornath stiffened in place.

    "Hold!" He drew his bowstring back, an arrow already set upon it. "Something is coming. Something big."

    Rajeem scowled and drew his weapon, hearing the thudding footsteps and heavy breathing. Then, through a clearing in the trees, it appeared. A minotaur, brown-beige furred, oval ears that flicked back and forth, bloodshot yellow eyes that glared down at the four hunters, and a pair of curving ivory horns, stained with gore and gleaming in the last rays of the sun. "Well that's just bloody fantastic." Rajeem remarked, before all hell broke loose.
     
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  4. Rafen

    Rafen Member

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    Djor turned his attention away from the elven woman in front of him as the sounds of something heavy crashing through the surrounding forest grew nearer. A few moments later, the source of the noise arrived in a flurry of snow and broken branches. A minotaur, standing well over six feet, glared down at them, eyes narrowed with bloodlust and hunger.

    The former soldier was no stranger to these beasts, but luckily his encounters with them had been few and far between. He doubted he'd make much progress with Wolftooth against the beast, so instead, he leapt away, out of immediate arms reach, and brought up his bow. He doubted he was as good a shot as their elven companion, but he'd been a ranger for several years. His shot struck it in the right bicep, drawing a pained growl but nothing more. His second shot, aimed at the head, was barely deflected by the beasts horn. It seemed that bows alone would not be enough to finish this fight.
     
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  5. Aethalia

    Aethalia Well-Known Member

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    Kylira had no bow, and she knew it'd be a bad idea to be standing in front of an enraged minotaur that outweighed her by several dozen pounds. Luckily she was not the focus of its wrath at the moment. The nord and argonian were backing away, the man trying to get a fatal shot, while the argonian seemed to be trying to figure out the best way to take down such a creature, but they were also keeping the minotaurs attention on them. Readying her axe, she loped towards the creature, and swung at the back of its left knee. Blood sprayed and the beast bellowed in rage. It half turned, swinging at her with a massive fist. She dodged backwards, slashing into the back of its arm as she did so. She landed easily, already on balance, allowing herself a small smile as blood coloured the snow. It started to turn towards her, eyes focusing on the elven woman. Her own smile twisted the tattoos into a fanged snarl, a fellow beast, just as dangerous, if somewhat smaller. With its' uninjured hand, it reached down and grabbed a dead tree trunk from the snow, bringing it up over its head. Luckily for Kylira, she was ready, dodging and rolling through the snow. The improvised weapon smashed into the ground, sending bits of wood and snow through the air. The elven assassin stood, a real snarl on her face now.
     
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  6. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    Rajeem kept stopped backing away as the minotaur took an arrow to the arm and then an axe blade to the back of its knee. If anything, the creature was more angry, hefting a tree trunk, he flailed at the tattooed elf who managed to dodge aside and avoid being flattened. The altmer had wounded the minotaur, but now it was more angry than ever, flailing around with its' new weapon. Rajeem, glanced over at Iornath, who was a good distance away, his bow out and an arrow on the string, but seemed unwilling to loose unless he could guarantee a kill. It made sense, the bounty hunter reasoned, stepping towards the creature as it continued to take swings at the tattooed elf. She was good enough to keep out of range, but a good hit from the makeshift club, and she'd be crushed to death. At least if that happened, he wouldn't have to worry about her causing him trouble. But she'd stayed when she could have left the three of them to fight the beast. He had to at least try to help her, even if it wasn't the wisest course of action. "Here goes godsdamn nothing" Rajeem sighed, and sprinted forwards, before slashing into the beasts calf. It fell to its' knees once more, and the argonian was already diving as it tried to smack him with its' weapon. "Take the damned shot!" He bellowed, hoping Iornath, Djor or both would heed his words.

    Iornath mirrored the argonian as he backed away, moving in a different direction to confuse the beast as it tried to choose its' first victim. The human that had been accompanying them, Djor, fired one shot after the other, the first striking it high in the arm, but the other was deflected by its' curving horn. Iornath knew he could not get a fatal shot, not with the minotaurs' thick skin and quick movements. He needed it still, but the elven ranger seriously doubted it would hold still long enough for him to get a kill shot in. The elf woman, her face covered in tattoos, stalked forwards, hefting her axe. With a horizontal slash, she severed the tendons at the back of the minotaurs left knee. The bovine bellowed its pain and tried to smack her away, receiving another gash for the attempt. Apparently having enough of the tattooed elf, it grabbed a trunk of a fallen tree, and attempted to smash her. He saw the argonian, Rajeem, sprint forwards and slash at its' other leg, bringing it down once more. And Iornath saw his opportunity as it threw its' head back and howled. A single shaft punched into the hollow of the minotaurs throat, turning the roar into a gargling gasp.

    The beast stayed upright for another several moments before it crashed onto its side, blood painting the snow where it had fallen. The three gathered around it, ensuring it was dead and catching their breath. "Well. That was more than enough excitement for me." Rajeem chuckled, cleaning the blade of his falchion in the snow. Night had fallen during the fight, and the cold was starting to set in. "We should set camp. The imperials will have closed the gates by now in any case." He nodded at the tattooed elf, "you're welcome to stay, so long as you don't try to cut our throats."
     
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  7. Rafen

    Rafen Member

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    Djor set his bow aside. Rajeem had engaged the beast in close combat, and so had the tattooed elf. They were making little progress, but the minotaurs blood was starting to stain the snow around it. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the elf, Iornath, circling the fight, trying to get a good shot at the thing.

    Drawing Wolfstooth, he sprang forwards, slashing at the creatures side. He heard the argonian bounty hunter bellow something, and the elf loosed his arrow. It was an excellent shot, striking the minotaur in the hollow of its' throat. It went down hard, and didn't rise again. Rajeem suggested the four of them camp for the night. "I'll get a fire going." He sad, gathering the required firewood and striking a flame. They were sheltered somewhat from the cold by the nearby forest, and far enough from the minotaurs corpse that they would not be attacked by any scavengers.
     
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  8. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    Dawn saw the mercenaries departing the run down tavern, and heading out of the city. To Thaliens' mild surprise, Var'Hess accompanied them. Despite his age, the khajiit easily kept up with the rest of the group. "You're sure you can keep up, old cat?" Thalien teased, "I wouldn't want you to drop dead before you get your hands on the reward."

    The older mercenary hissed a laugh, "insolent welp. This one isn't about to miss a thousand gold! And to kill a king! How many can claim that honour?"

    Thalien grinned at the response, and nodded. "They do say that fortune favours the infamous. Of course, we need to survive getting to this king and returning to collect our reward."

    "If the imperials don't double cross us. We could be executed the moment we kill this breton king." Joren added, but the corpse-grin under his hood revealed what he thought of that. The gates of the city were now in sight, guarded by a group of enforcers, who were making sure to keep back from the mercenaries headed towards them.
     
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  9. Morbidbread

    Morbidbread Fight for the lost

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    Elrasur listened patiently to the imperials' story. It seemed feasible enough, but the dunmer was not overly familiar with the legions rules. The human finished his tale by saying that he was still loyal to the empire, even as a mercenary, and that he'd not be killing his fellow imperials. "Thank you for your honesty, and I doubt you have much to fear as far as killing your fellow imperials goes."

    Before he could elaborate, a man, some denizen of the streets, staggered in, shouting about imperials, before dropping dead, courtesy of the crossbow bolts in his back. Almost two dozen legionnaires in heavy armor stormed inside, followed by their crossbow wielding comrades. That was not the last of them though. A man, a herald, announced the arrival of the heavily armored individual to come through the door next.

    Archon Bastianus of Bruma. Elrasur gripped the hilts of his blades under the table, wondering if the archon was perhaps part giant. He towered over even the tallest of the assembled soldiers and mercenaries. However, he was not there to fight, instead giving them their assignment to kill the king of the bretons, and warning them to be gone at dawn the next day.

    The next morning

    Elrasur awoke slightly before the suns' rays touched the city, and was dressed and armed when the light began to shine on the roofs and streets of Bruma. The pair of similarly armored men lead them on, the old khajiit beside them. With the pace they set, it was not long before the gates were in sight . The enforcers there maintained a wary distance, not eager to get into an altercation with such a well armed group. Outside, the road was churned up into a mix of slush, droppings, and muck, with nearly undisturbed fields of snow to either side. "So it begins," the elf murmured.

     
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  10. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    Dawn lit up a clear sky, with the occassional cloud drifting across it. The fire from the night before had long since gone out, leaving embers glowing a dull red. Rajeem pulled his bedroll tighter around him and cursed the cold vehemently. He glanced around, and noted that the damned stubborn elf, Iornath, was already up and about, standing at the edge of the camp, arms folded, eyes scanning the forest for further threats. "About time you woke." The elf said curtly over his shoulder, " We are wasting daylight." Rajeem emerged from the roll and quickly gathered his gear, before rousing the others. He held up the sack containing the bandit leaders' severed head, "we should get moving. Bruma's to the south."

    The four made their way through the forest, cautious of any other monsters that might be lurking nearby, but found none. Where the forest ended, the city was visible in the distance, but closer still, were hundreds of white tents- a legion of imperial soldiers was encamped a short distance from the road. Red uniformed sentries could be seen on patrol, and the standards flapped in a stiff breeze. Iornaths' lip curled, but he was no fool- he was no match for a legion of soldiers on an open field. So he kept his hands close to his weapons, but made no hostile moves, and soon the four were on the road to Bruma. Rumor had it that it had been paved with the bones of the nordic rebels, and walking it now, the elf had little reason to doubt it. Most of the road was too covered with muck and slush, but here and there, a grimy, skull shaped object could be seen staring up at them.

    Rajeem shoved his way through the crowd around the gates, merchants haggling with the enforcers, handing out bribes. The larger the bribe, the faster that merchant got inside. The argonian bounty hunter and his companions made their way to one of the guards that was leaning on the halberd in his hands, clearly wanting nothing more than to get back to the barracks and sleep. "What d'you want, argonian? We're not letting just anyone through the gates, y'know."

    In response, the one horned argonian hefted the stained sack. "Here to collect the bounty. Cassius Ballus is dead." The guard stared at the sack for a moment, before grabbing it. "Wait here" he instructed, and walked into a guardhouse with his gory trophy. A few moments later a guard sergeant stepped out with four smaller leather pouches in hand. "The bounty was for him alive, so you get less. Fifty gold, and you'll be grateful." He tossed the pouches to each of them. Rajeem caught his and scowled, but before he could argue the point, a company of heavily armed and armoured mercenaries headed out. "What about them? Headed somewhere interesting?"

    The sergeant shrugged. "Beats me. Heard the archon was looking for some blades to work for him. I'd say that's them." Rajeem eyed the group, an idea forming. Anyone working for the archon would probably take in quite the reward. Motioning to the others, he called out to the lead man, a dark haired human with dark armour and an elaborate sword. "You there! Up to take four more?" He heard Iornaths' exasperated hiss, and ignored it. If the damned elf wanted inside the city so badly, he could find his own way.
     
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