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Private {18+} Ascension

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

  1. Drahkma

    Drahkma Dashing Imperial Officer.

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    "I owe our leader a great debt. My service is his, so long as he requires it." Kyros nodded slowly. Debts of honour he could understand, and didn't lose any more respect for the man. In fact, it might have been the first time he felt any real respect for him. Rather than address whatever debt the man apparently owed to the warrior in dark armour, he said "get your rest, man of broken faith. Even if the white handed elf doesn't spot danger, I will."
     
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  2. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    The dawn was cold and dark. Thalien stirred first, freeing himself from his bed roll and watching as his breath formed a mist in front of his face. Grumbling, the half-breton gathered up his gear and started preparing to move. Breakfast could be had on the road and besides, the earlier they reached the pass, the sooner they would be in Skyrim.

    Movement beside him drew his attention- Var'Hess was approaching, rubbing furred hands together as he did so. "This one noted no problems during his watch. If anyone is out here with us, they are keeping their distance."

    Thalien nodded, acknowledging the report, then gestured to both the khajiit and Joren. "Rouse the others. We've a long march ahead of us, and no time to waste." The pair complied, shaking or nudging the rest of the mercenaries awake. "We've a few hours march ahead of us. Keep up, and take in what provisions you can. If all goes to plan, we'll resupply in Falkreath."

    Without another word, the mercenary pulled his hood up and started leading the company onwards. The outpost and the twin towers became visible, even as a light snowfall was released from the clouds above. What little sunlight managed to penetrate the trees was weak and provided little warmth.

    It was another hour of marching before the mercenaries reached the gates of the outpost. Half a dozen imperial legionnaires, in heavy armour and warm cloaks stood infront of it. A pair of archers patrolled the wall above, and the lookouts in the towers, who'd doubtlessly spotted their approach kilometres away, peered down to satisfy their curiosity.

    "Hold there." One of the soldiers on the ground called, sounding bored but authorative. A marking on his helmet identified him as an officer of some sorts. "You don't look like traders, and you're certainly not soldiers. What's your business at the Pale Pass?"

    "We're mercenaries, commissioned by the archon of Bruma himself. Traveling through Skyrim to reach High Rock, and put an end to the rebellion there."

    "Mercenaries, eh?" The officer peered past Thalien, scratching at a couple weeks growth of beard. "Well you sure aren't the first to come through. I reckon you won't be the last, either." He turned to look up at a soldier on the wall, "open the gates!"

    With a thunderous clunk, the heavy bars on the inside of the outpost were moved aside, and the gates swung inwards on well oiled hinges. "Right. Straight on through to the pass. It's a few hours march to Falkreath hold from here." The officer said, pointing.

    Thalien nodded his thanks and lead the group on through. Past the gates was a small courtyard, with utilitarian buildings on either side. Most likely barracks or storage areas. A stable stood against the far wall. A few soldiers paused to look at them, but didn't linger. Opposite the gate they'd just passed through was another, also swinging open to allow passage.

    Once the entire company was through, the gates slammed shut behind them, and the sound of the heavy locking bars being slid back into place could be heard. In front of them sat the Pale Pass. A narrow, snow covered canyon, dotted with boulders and evergreen trees. Steep walls of stone and ice stood to either side. Thalien made sure his sword was loose in its' scabbard, and lead the company onwards.
     
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  3. Rafen

    Rafen Well-Known Member

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    Caleb woke from the argument the last night still irritated at having been told off by no less than three people, most of whom he hadn't known were listening to the conversation, or even cared about it one way or another. The rest of the mercenaries were woken by the old khajiit that stuck to the dark armoured nords side, or his dark cloaked, halberd wielding bodyguard.

    Their leaders' words were nothing inspiring, but Caleb didn't have a choice in the matter, and he wasn't sure it would have made a difference if he'd abandoned the company. They were still going to march against the breton rebels. If he could keep the girl, Lilliana, safe in some way, perhaps he could forgive himself for his past actions. So he kept his mouth shut, kept his blade and armour hidden from the others, and marched on.

    Djor kept his ranger senses alert as they climbed higher into the Jeralls. The encounter with the minotaur a couple nights before still fresh in his mind. But the mercenary group made it all the way to the imperial outpost without incident, and the garrison there didn't seem suspicious of their leaders explanation. In fact, he seemed almost like he was used to seeing ragtag bands of warriors passing through, even making a comment on it as the gates swung open.

    The nord ranger kept his gaze straight ahead as the company passed through the outpost, under the curious gaze of several soldiers going about their business. Once they were past, and in the pass proper, he unslung his bow from his shoulder , and set an arrow to the string. It was quiet, peaceful, beautiful, even, with the snowflakes drifting down in the cold morning light.

    But the steep walls of the pass and undisturbed snow seemed too good to be true. "A good place for an ambush" he said quietly, keen eyes scanning likely hiding places. "Stay alert."
     
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  4. Screeching Spasmodically

    Screeching Spasmodically Spasmodic Screecher

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    Lilliana awoke shivering, pressed up against Adalia for warmth but she could still see her breath misting in front of her. A hand grabbed her shoulder and gave her a little shake. She gasped and looked up into the eyes of the khajiit man that seemed to work with or for the man she'd heard people call Thalien. "Rise, young one. We have a long day ahead of us."

    She pushed herself up, wiping at her eyes with cold fingers "what about breakfast?" She asked, being unable to smell any food cooking. Though given how cold she was, it was possible her nostrils had just frozen shut. The khajiit tilted his head, not looking unsympathetic. "We will have to take it on the road. No time to waste." He moved on to wake the others, and Lilliana rose to her knees and grabbed Adalia's shoulder, giving her a gentle shake.

    The storm mage was up in an instant, glancing about, before she focused on her young charge. "What is it? Everything alright, sweetheart?"

    "I'm fine. Cold, but fine. The khajiit, Var'Hess I think his name is, said we have to get moving."

    Adalia sighed and fixed an irritated glare on their 'captain'. The man urged them to use what rations they could spare, saying they'd resupply in Falkreath. The khajiit and the other dark armoured man were still shaking people awake, Caleb among them. The redguard transferred her annoyed stare to him. His attitude before had been unacceptable, even if he did make a good point.

    "Okay. It'll be a cold breakfast, I'm afraid but it's better than nothing." Both she and Lilliana dug through their bags, pulling out some dried fruit and wafers. It wasn't as good as a warm meal, but it gave them the energy they'd need to move on.

    Adalia blinked in surprise as a snowflake settled on the tip of her nose. A light snowfall had started as they walked further up the mountain, towards the pass. A group of imperial soldiers stopped them outside the guard post to the pass. Adalia had never been more aware of the fact that she was an unlicensed mage, but the imperials didn't seem too interested in her. The soldiers waved them through, and a few moments later, they were in the pass itself, and Adalia let out a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding.
     
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  5. Harkatti

    Harkatti Sorceress Supreme!

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    Cyrius had no need to be woken by the the hooded man or Var'Hess. Vampires had little need of rest, and he was no different. He'd noticed that the man in plate armour, the breton, had kept an eye over the clearing the same as Cyrius. When Thalien roused himself and announced that they were to march onwards to the pale pass, he was ready.

    The trip to the outpost was uneventful, and the guards stationed there seemed almost pleased to have people come through. The vampire assumed Skyrim was neither a very welcoming nor tempting place to visit, and that the outpost was there more to stop people coming into Cyrodiil, than stop mercenaries like the group Thalien lead from heading in.

    Elwyns' sharp ears caught the sound of people moving through the camp, and she was alert in an instant, her dagger unsheathed and concealed in her bedroll, and lightning dancing on the fingers of her other hand. As the confusion of sleep wore off, she realized that it was the khajiit and the halberd wielding nord, going about and waking everyone for a march up to the outpost.

    She strapped her armour and sword belt on as the others went about getting ready to move out. By the time that was complete, she looked around for the dark furred khajiit, but lost her in the crowd of her fellow mercenaries. She fell in with the others, and the imperial soldiers looked over her without paying any real attention. To them, she supposed, she was just another mercenary. Which was just fine by her.
     
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  6. The Seraph

    The Seraph When the Dawn Breaks, I shall be there

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    Sylandres had walked through the last few days in a paranoid haze. Every shadow seemed to creep about, looking for a chance to strike. His companions seemed oblivious, or perhaps did not care. He failed to talk to anyone and tried to seem rather uninviting. Soon they had reached an Imperial outpost, dark and jutting from the landscape. The trees were tall and seemingly stripped bare of their lower branches. "Most likely from bears looking for a scratching post. Must be wary for those," thought Syandres. He was rather disappointed that he would have to feel back towards where he had come from, though hopefully this guarded pass with its steep walls will prove to be more safe than the path he had taken.

    As they passed through the outpost an uncomfortable feeling spread through him. It seemed unwise to just go forth blindly. What if there were raving Daedra hordes waiting for the sacrifice from the cultists disguised as soildiers? What if there were bandits in employment by the guards to steal the goods or passerbys for coin and that Imperial in the group is in cahoots with them all? What if the path is icy? Sylandres saw a large watchtower off to the side and slipped out of the group. He circled it until he found a good spot. Sylandres backed up, readied his staff and ran towards the wall. As his staff made contact with the mortar, Sylandres lept up and propelled himself further with his staff. As he reached the apex of his leap, he put his feet against the wall and scrambled up, to make for time to dislodge the staff and stick it back in the wall. He quickly heaved himself up and grabbed the rampart above. Sylandres then gazed out upon Skyrim.

    A great forest stretched out, crowned by a lake in the horizon. The Throat of the World stood tall and unbroken to the east. A swath was cut through Skyrim, like a hoe carves a gardener's ditch, and was forged with the laments and the torments of the Nords. A bloody time that must have been. A pommel suddenly came down onto Sylandres' hand and a leering Imperial based upon him.
    "I do must remember to heal that," thought Sylandres. He proceeded to tumble down to the ground, wondering if this would finally be his end. As he landed on the Imperial (presumably) spy traveling alongside him, it became clear Sylandres would know more days.
     
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    #166 The Seraph, Jul 5, 2019
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  7. Morbidbread

    Morbidbread Fight for the lost

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    Elrasurs' watch went by without incident and a few hours before dawn, he was relieved by the the khajiit who introduced himself as Var'Hess. What little sleep he got was plagued by doubts about the actions they would be taking the further the mercenaries moved towards their goal.

    A boot in the ribs roused him, and he glanced up to see the hooded and cloaked halberd wielding nord towering over him. "Time to get going, I suppose." He murmured, quickly strapping on his armour and sword belt. The Talonmaster was ready to move out before many of his comrades, and kept his mouth shut as their leader, Thalien, declared that they would be marching for the outpost at the mouth of the pass, and then on to the pass proper.

    Skyrim awaited, and the dark elf couldn't help but wonder how the young battlemage, Orien, would react to the ruined province. Or to seeing his former comrades at the outpost. The assassin resolved to keep a close eye on the boy, remembering the trouble he'd very nearly started at the Maiden's Arms.

    The trip to the outpost went without incident, and the soldiers there seemed bored, and barely worthy of the title of sentries. An officer questioned their leader for a few moments, before shouting for one of the men up on the wall to allow them passage.

    Elrasur walked a mere half-pace behind the battle mage, and it seemed they would make it through to the pass in peace after all, when a body smashed into Orien from above. It took the dunmer assassin the space of three heartbeats to recognize the tattered clothing and complexion as the deaf bosmer who'd joined them at the tavern, resist the urge to draw his blades, and rush to assist the fallen mage.

    Grabbing the mans' armoured bicep, he hissed "do not make a scene!" Into his ear. "Just a fall! It's been a long march up here,and not all of us are quite awake." He assured one of the nearest imperials, who'd deviated from his usual routine to investigate the commotion.
     
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  8. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    The trip to the pale pass went almost entirely without incident, save for the earless bosmer that had been tagging along with the group of mercenaries since the Maidens' Arms, falling off a wall, on top of the imperial battle mage. Or former imperial mage. That drew a snort from Rajeem and a sneer from Iornath.

    The elven ranger made his way to the front of the group where the nord, also a ranger, by his gear and demeanor, stood examing the steep walls of the narrow pass. He mentioned that it was a good place for an ambush, and cautioned the others to be on their guard. "The wisest thing that's been said today." Iornath murmured, "I will scout ahead" he announced, setting an arrow to his bowstring and leaving the others behind as he carefully traversed the path, occasionally pausing to wave the all clear to the group.
     
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  9. Signus

    Signus Well-Known Member

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    Come the dawn, the time Orien had been quietly dreading arrived. The mercenary captain announced that they were moving on to the pale pass, but first they had to get through the outpost on the imperial side of the mountains. If there happened to be confessors or perhaps other mages, they'd realize what he was in an instant.

    So it was that the march up to the outpost had his gut in knots, and the imposing ballistae on either tower did not make him feel any better. He pulled his hood up as the captain of their group started speaking with an officer on the ground. His robes and armour were a bit of a give away, but there was nothing he could do about that now.

    To his surprise, the men let them through without a fuss, and Orien began walking through the outpost with the rest of the group, keeping his head down and hood up. It was going to be fine, he told himself despite the curious looks of several soldiers. A few made comments about deserters or traitors, but none came closer for better look. He was a couple metres from the second gate, when something fell from the sky.

    "Oof!" The battle mage was knocked off his feet, and his hand flew to the hilt of his sword. "What-" before he could finish his sentence, Elrasur was at his side, hissing for him to not make a scene. Legionnaires had clustered around the three of them, and Orien nodded ever so slightly. He grabbed the thing that'd struck him, the robed wood elf he'd noticed in the tavern back at Bruma, and did his best to walk him to the pass.

    The comments of the imperial soldiers burned in his ears.

    "Damned clumsy fool."

    "Traitorous dog."

    "Looks like a deserter- no wonder he threw his lot in with this scum."


    He should have drawn his sword and taught the irrelevant bastards a lesson for daring to speak about a son of the fifth legion in such a way. But he didn't. He bowed his head and joined the others on the other side of the outpost.
     
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  10. Screeching Spasmodically

    Screeching Spasmodically Spasmodic Screecher

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    The wind tugged at Lillianas' hair as they started into the pass. It was peaceful at least, and she lowered her guard only slightly. Not that she could have done anything if they had been attacked anyways. What could I do? Faint at them? A commotion behind them, back towards the small fort. At first she thought the imperials were coming after them.

    To her relief, it was just some of the others, Orien supporting a robed elf and followed by the dark elf with white hands. That wasn't what concerned her however. Oriens' jaw was set and his eyes were fixed determinedly ahead of him. Something about the outpost had upset him. Leaving Adalia to traipse on without her, she fell back and laid a gentle hand on the mans' arm. "You know you never told me where you were from. My bet is Cheydinhal or Leyawiin, you know because of the accent."
     
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  11. Signus

    Signus Well-Known Member

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    Orien hadn't been expecting the girl, Lilliana to approach him as they marched on, and he almost chuckled at the nearness of her guess. "I'm from Leyawiin. My whole family served in the legion stationed out of the city. I carried on the tradition when I came of age." He remembered she had asked the same question of him the night before. "I'm sorry I never got around to answering last night. I was out of line by arguing with your healer friend."
     
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  12. Rell

    Rell Champion of Malacath!

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    The march up the mountain silenced the voice in Uzars' head. For a short while at least, for which he was grateful. Normally, only killing could bring him some sort of peace. But the focus needed to watch his footing and keep an eye on his deaf charge, the robed elf, kept him lucid. For now, at least.

    He quietly dreaded the moment his sanity slipped at an inconvenient time and cost the others their lives. He dared not mention it to their leader or anyone else for that matter. Uzar knew they'd turn on him in an instant, and people would die, including himself....the orc froze in place. He could no longer remember why that was such a bad thing. Wasn't it his curse to die in combat? Not glorious, honorable combat, but in a frenzied rage, shrieking and bellowing like an animal.

    The distraction cost him- when he came to himself the robed elf was missing. Grunting an irritated curse, he hurried through the gates, just in time to see him crashing down upon the imperial soldier in their group. With an irritated growl, Uzar grabbed the elf by his waist, and slung him over a shoulder, like a sack of potatoes. With the troublesome elf safely in his custody, he stomped along after the rest of the mercnearies.
     
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  13. Thesius

    Thesius The Imperial Paladin

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    Vintor was silent for most of the journey leading up to and past the outpost. He was quietly surprised when the garrison didn't stop at least the redguard mage, and even more so when they didn't arrest the imperial battlemage, since the former paladin was nearly certain the man was a deserter. He'd seen plenty of deserters on 'display' during his time in the empire. But the imperials let them pass without comment, save for an incident where an elf managed to fall off the wall, probably with 'assistance' onto the imperial mage.

    The imperial moved up through the group as they left the outpost and entered Pale Pass proper. The easiest way through the Jerall mountains, and doubtless the site of many an ambush. Bandits loved when the terrain favoured them, and the steep walls of the pass and clumps of evergreen trees certainly did that.

    Having caught up to Thalien and Joren, he admitted "Seems I was mistaken about the mages. The imperials were a lot less vigilant than I assumed. What is your plan when we reach Falkreath? Last I heard, nord rebels still lurk in the forests of that hold."
     
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  14. Aethalia

    Aethalia Well-Known Member

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    Kylira was silent for much of the trip. She was also well rested and impatient for some kind of action. Nothing had stumbled across their camp during the night, and they hadn't come across anyone during their trek to the imperial outpost. The boredom was almost insufferable.

    To alleviate some of it, she watched her companions. Most were what one would have expected from mercenaries and assassins. The typical scum of the under empire. Not that Kylira could hold herself as superior to them...could she?

    She lived for the hunt, after all. These days, it was the only thing that made her feel truly alive. The panicked breath of her prey, the irregular thunder of their feet as they fled, and the finale, the whimpering and pleading as they attempted to bargain with their hunter. Even thinking of her last pursuit brought a tingle of pleasure to her flesh.

    Then something caught her eye- the big orc, the one in mismatched armour and the vacant expression- had stopped in place, staring off at a point in the distance while the rest of the group moved on.'How strange' she mused, as she watched him snap back to the present and trudge on after the others. Something seemed...wrong about him, as if he fought with himself in that short span of time. Like he had back at the camp. 'He will need watching' she noted.

    Before long they were at the imperial outpost, and then past it into the pass. She found herself walking beside the masked assassin. The one who could turn into a bird and referred to himself as 'the grimm'. "So, pretty bird, what do you think of Skyrim? Have you been before?" She asked, casually assigning him a new name for her own amusement.
     
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  15. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    The company of mercenaries, assassins, and outcasts made their way further into the snow covered pass. The wood elf, tall and pale for his race, scouted ahead, pausing to examine their surroundings every dozen or so paces. Besides the wind, the crunch of boots on snow and the songs of various birds, it was silent in the pass.

    Vintor made his way up to the head of the column, matching Thaliens' pace. The former paladin wanted to know the plan moving forwards. "If all goes well, we won't be in Falkreath long enough for the rebels to discover our presence. Markarth is staging area for the war on the bretons. We'll make speed to there, and then on to High Rock. If the rebels are aware of us...well, I suppose we'll find out how we fight as a unit."
     
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  16. The_Lost_Foxtrot

    The_Lost_Foxtrot Luwd uf Shoduws

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    Mathias walked briskly among the other mercanaries and sellswords as they marched through the border gates and now moving towards Falkreath to resupply on their rations and other essentual Equipment. The masked assassin grumbled slightly under his breath about the Cold, he had been woken up rather rudely by the old Khajiit to get ready for the march, luckily he didn't really have anything to pack so he took a quick swig of his supress potion before he joined the pack of cutthroats.

    The Grimm was deep in his thoughts as he prectically glided through the crowd like a shadow, bumping into no one while looking Down. "So, pretty bird, what do you think of Skyrim? Have you been before?" someone asked from his side. The half Breton went for his dagger, Raven's Claw, before he realized it was just the Altmer woman from last night, Kylira if he remember right. He slowly lowered his hand into a relaxed manner as he gave her a long and intense stare before he finaly looked forward again, but his shoulders were still tense incase he would need to jump into action. He was both annoyed and amused by her apparent New nickname for himand wanted to Object to it because of his reputation, but ultimetly decided not to care to much about it in the end.

    "I've been there a few times, mostly on jobs and such in the west bacause of its Close range to High Rock. Personaly I think the People are stubborn and hardened by the harsh land that they thrive in, the predators are more Vicious thein the common animals like Wolves. and With the recent rebelion in both High Rock and in Skyrim itself the land is probably a heaven for bandits and slavers that takes advantage of the chaos" he admitted calmly, feeling something akin to kinship towards the recently defeated men of the North and their adaptness to the Cold and harsh lands they live in

    He shook his head and returned his gaze towards his New...Companion and comrade and gave her a once over, his eyes lingering on some spesific charistics like her cloak, face tatoos and clawed gauntlets and gave a small nod in respect. "what about you? ever been on Skyrim?" he asked in an even tone as he tilted his head slightly to the side, almost like a curious dog.
     
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  17. Screeching Spasmodically

    Screeching Spasmodically Spasmodic Screecher

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    To Lilliana's surprise, the man apologized for his actions earlier, and said he was from Leyawiin. "I've always wanted to go to Leyawiin" she confessed, "but my family couldn't afford it when I was younger, and my duties kept me busy in the imperial archives."

    Adalia, still not exactly willing to trust the imperial, wrapped an arm around the younger womans' shoulders and pulled her close. "Maybe we can visit there, once all this is over." Lilliana looked up at the storm mage and smiled "I would like that. Once this is over." She looked back to the soldier "do you miss your home? Would you go back if you could?"
     
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  18. Harkatti

    Harkatti Sorceress Supreme!

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    Walking behind the altmer with the axe and the masked assassin, Cyrius casually eavesdropped on their conversation. When the conversation turned to Skyrim, he chuckled "oh yes, sounds like an absolutely lovely place. Bandits wherever you look, when they aren't freedom fighters, and wherever they aren't, monsters of every stripe. I can't wait to get there."
     
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  19. Signus

    Signus Well-Known Member

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    Orien considered the girls question. On the one hand, it had been years since he'd seen his parents. The legion was keeping his father busy, and Orien himself had little time to return home to his mother. On the other, the fifth legion had taken him in and treated him well with no demands other than loyal service to the emperor. Service he'd gladly given, until the Confessors had come for him. Still he found himself shaking his head. "There are times when I wish to go back to Leyawiin. But the legion is my home." Once again, he was reminded of what the Confessors had taken from him. They'd done more than merely attempt to break his body. By branding him as a rogue mage, they'd broken his ties with the fifth. "Was my home." He corrected softly.
     
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  20. TheShadedOne

    TheShadedOne The Angry One

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    Athara was not a scout, and she knew it. The wood elf and a nord trekked ahead of the others, bows out and keeping an eye out for signs of a trap. The pass wasn't too wide, but it was exposed from above, and the assassin couldn't help but glance up at the top of the canyon, half expecting to see someone staring down at them. Wanting, needing to take her mind off impending ambushes, she slipped an arm around the altmer womans waist. "So, you have a name, or should I just call you lovely?" She asked with a mischievous grin.
     
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