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Private (18+) Hands of the Sorrowful Knight (Redux)

Discussion in 'Skyrim Roleplaying' started by CapObvious, Nov 24, 2016.

  1. CapObvious

    CapObvious Gramos Goat-Shaker

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    Hands of the Sorrowful Knight

    REDUX

    Adapted by: CapObvious


    Nirn has always been in need of a hero, in one form or another. The Eternal champion, the Nerevarine, the Hero of Kvatch, the Last Dragonborn; there has always been a hero who appeared at the darkest hour, or sometimes before, and saved the people of Tamriel from devastation and utter ruin.

    This was the first time in many years the world found itself not in need of such a hero. Ten years had passed since the end of the Civil War of Skyrim, which had ended with a truce between the Stormcloaks and Empire, as they bound together along with the Argonians of Black Marsh, and the then independent province of Hammerfell, to fight the true enemy they all faced. With fierce determination, and a newfound sense of purpose and might, the unified powers of these provinces completely drove back the Dominion out of Cyrodiilic lands, back into their own home turf. Unable to withstand the onslaught brought upon them by their allied enemies, despite great prowess of their own, the Dominion conceded, and disbanded shortly after, to the Empire’s relief. With the second Great War over, and their would be oppressors vanquished, the empire was able to reclaim the trust of the provinces who believed they had failed, and convinced them to realign themselves with the empire. Ulfric Stormcloak and Elisif the Fair arranged a political marriage, one that brought a staunch defender of the nordic heritage to the title of High King, while still keeping the Nordic province under Empiric rule, with enough dealings to satisfy both parties. Not the least of which was the reinstatement of Talos as the Ninth Divine, and his shrines and temple placements returned to their former glory.

    Thus a new age begins; the Fifth Era. A true age of peace and prosperity. One that the people of Tamriel had previously believed to only be a fairy tale.

    But something is stirring beneath this peaceful facade. Something far more dangerous than the wars that came before. Far more destructive than the attempted coup of Mehrunes Dagon, or even the return of Alduin. These dark, ageless forces have begun to manifest themselves in the City of Rorikstead, right smack dab in the relative middle of Skyrim.

    At first, it seemed like simple arguments, pettiness, and foolishness. But the people were becoming bitter, angry, and unruly. Riots broke out, people indiscriminately destroying the many businesses, old and new, that littered the walled city.

    That was only the beginning, however.

    Now, the cities walls are barricaded up higher than even a giant could peek over. The Whiterun guard are now surrounding the area of the city, now ordered to kill anything that attempts to leave those walls, all while keeping anyone else who arrived outside of it. The reasons behind this have not left Whiterun proper, as anyone who would have the potential of leaving were now trapped within the cities walls, and the guards had no business leaving the immediate area. Those who arrive to the cities closed walls are incarcerated for their own safety, aside from those who prove they are willing and able to continue the city’s quarantine.


    The guard’s numbers, as well as the numbers of those willing to help however, are beginning to thin, and they are in desperate need of a real hero. But there are none to speak of. The Dragonborn has vanished. Any who had aided her in her time in Skyrim have done the same. A small team of heroes have entered the city, but it has been a week since they entered, with no word from them as to whether they are even still alive. The guards believe them to be dead, and are not willing to check to be sure. However, two of the team's members remain outside the gates, helping the guards keep control of the walls. But their strength and will are wearing thin.


    Thankfully, there is a unknown force pulling seemingly random strangers toward Rorikstead, in a last ditch hope that one, or even all of them could somehow end this terrible plague that has Rorikstead in its deadly grasp.


    But would these strangers be enough?

    Timeline of the Events of SKYRIM to the current point in our timeline.

    4E 201 - Alduin attacks Helgen, bringing about the return of the dragons. The Dragonborn is discovered.

    4E 202, Evening Star- Right about the end of the year, Alduin is slain by the Dragonborn, with the help of the Tongues, bringing about the end of the dragon threat, as the amount of dragons is now finite.

    4E 203, Morning Star to Rain's Hand -The Dragonborn begins her crusade against the dragons with her blades, eradicating all Dragons who remained after Alduin's defeat. Aside from one particular dragon, who she is fond of. This brings the Dominion back to the forefront of the Empire's mind, and due to the Dragonborn, a call to action was made in the vein of uniting to defeat the Empire's gravest threat. A treaty between the Stormcloaks and the Empire is signed, rumors of a renewed war effort begin to spread. Envoys from Black Marsh and Hammerfell are seen in the Emperor's company. Rumors begin to spread like wild fire.

    4E 203, Sun's Dusk to 4E 207, Last Seed - The Second Great war takes place. The combined might of the Empire and it's new allies push The Dominion out of Cyrodiil, with fierce resistance. However, due to the Argonians cunning in battle, The Empires pride, and the Reguard's tenacity, the Dominion is completely pushed back into their own lands, and at the threat of pushing further over their borders, the Dominion surrenders. The Empire rejoices in it's victory against the elves, declaring that the victory was due to Talos, who had never given up on the Empire he had built with his own hands. This opened up further talks between Skyrim to possibly rejoin the Empire.

    4E 207, Frost Fall to 4E 208, Morning Star - The Nords officially declare an end to hostility between them and the Empire, with the promise of Talos's return to Divinity. Reparations are made to both parties. Ulfric Stormcloak and Elisif the Fair are wed politically to close the rift in Skyrim's heart. The wound heals slowly, but the act helped immensely. The Redguards and the Argonian's joined back shortly after, with promises and reparations made to them as well.

    4E 208 - The end of the Fourth Era, as declared by Titus Mede II. The Fifth Era would be an era of peace and prosperity, one that would be felt by all who remained under the Empires banner.

    5E 1 to 5E 5 - The peace that is promised is delivered, and a golden age has begun. Provinces rebuild from the wars that had plagued them in the previous era, and advances begin to be made as this peace seems to inspire many to build and create, instead of destruction and ruin.

    5E 5, Frost Fall - The Current location in the Timeline that we are located.



    WARNING

    The rp is 18+ so expect violence, swearing, sex, and more skooma than you can shake a stick at. This is to allow a deeper connection between characters, as well as be able to truly flesh out their feelings of duress or anger. If things like this offend you, you have been aptly warned, and I take no responsibility on what your sensitive eyes see.


    CAST AND CHARACTERS:

    CapObvious : Dolmas Hlerayn / Daxos Loran
    @Simus : Alice Psyrakon / Titus Psyrakon / Cilla Psyrakon
    @EpicVakarian : Ella Fisher
    @Hlíf 'Ulfr : Cosset Beaulieu / Brynn Ráðúlfr
    @Viarco Strong-Head : Rohael
     
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    #1 CapObvious, Nov 24, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
  2. CapObvious

    CapObvious Gramos Goat-Shaker

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    HELL MADE FLESH
    -Three days prior-

    “Hold the gates closed, men! We cannot allow ANYTHING to breach these walls. The people of Whiterun hold are depending on us!” The captain roared amongst the sound of hands beating on the opposite side of the gates, with the grunts of the city guard holding themselves against them, fear staining their faces, and blood staining their uniforms. The rain poured upon the town incessantly, causing the ground beneath their feet to grow muddy, causing them to slip about under them, making it impossible to get a good enough footing to close the large oaken doors. The captain scanned the immediate area, looking around for something, anything, to help barricade the door so his charges could be relieved. As he did so, a loud scream came from the direction of his guardsmen, and he turned, only to see his fears come to fruition.

    An arm managed to push it’s way through the crack of the door, reaching for the guards who stood there. The arm itself looked rotted, with pieces of the skin that once adorned it flopping and flailing as their source moved about erratically, looking for something to get a hold of. The captain immediately rushed for the gate to cleave the arm off, but didn’t get there fast enough.

    The strength of the force behind the gates pushed through just enough for the arm to have ample room to maneuver. It pulled back, and then lunged forward at the face of one of the guards, whose helmet had fallen off prior. It grabbed the back of the guards head and pulled it in toward the center of the gate, causing the man to lose himself in fear. His arms and legs flung about in pain as the guards attempted to pull him back out. The screams, both from him and the people who pulled back on him, hung in the air endlessly.

    The captain grabbed the man by the waist and tugged roughly, pulling them man free and sending them both to the floor. With a sense of purpose driving them to do so, the guards pushed the gates, finally bringing them together with a thick thud. Two of the guardsmen then left to quickly grab the large, oaken board and carried it over to the door, and placed it in the iron holdings that were built for it. The board bounced about as the creatures on the other side beat on the door continuously, causing the guards to jump back, but then quickly return to fasten the board in, and latch each side together. They waited for a moment to be sure it was enough, and then collectively sighed with pained relief.

    They had made it another day.

    The captain then rolled over, still clinging to the body of the soldier he had attempted to save. He let the man roll off of him and stood up slowly, his body aching from pains of the impact with the ground. He looked to his men, who all seemed to be staring back toward the body, watching it in a mix of fear and disgust. The captain looked to them quizzically, before looking for himself. As he looked to the guardsmen who now laid dead on the ground, he retched back in horror, and began to vomit. Profusely.

    The guard laid dead on the ground, body stiff, with his face having been eaten off with gnashing, dulled teeth. Blood poured from the gruesome opening, pooling underneath the corpse's malformed head. The guard captain looked to his the man again as he finished retching, and shook his head in disbelief.

    What the hell had happened in there?

    The captain looked to his guards, who all seemed distressed, as well as saddened by the loss of a brother in arms. He wiped the remains of his spew off of his chin, and spoke up, holding his side on instinct. “You two. Get Lis out of here. We will provide him with a proper burial shortly, for now keep your eyes on that damned gate. After what we’ve witnessed…” He paused, looking again at the gates, now scarred and etched toward the center from the fingers of the damned, before continuing. “I’m not putting all my faith into a plank of wood.” With that, he stepped away toward the outer barracks, and began to sob silently, now that his men were out of earshot. He brought his hand out toward the light where he could see it, and saw it coated in blood. He had been wounded. Something else had struck out at him as he clung to Lis. He didn’t want to further lower the morale of his men, but he was losing a lot of blood, and he wasn’t sure he was much longer for this world.

    What were they going to do now?

    He leaned against the wall of the barracks, his eyes looking out toward the north. His eyes felt heavy, and they seemed to begin to sink slowly. He blinked away the exhaustion, just in time to see something on the horizon. Two travelers, arriving on horseback, and heading toward their position. The captain stood slowly, his hand resting on his sword, waiting to be certain before he called out to the others. As their appearances came into view, however, his mind seemed to ease, and he began to jog painfully toward them.

    The men who were riding toward them seemed to realize his presence, as they bade their horses to speed up, and dashed toward the limping figure. The man stopped short as his breath dwindled, clutching his side again, and he fell to his knees just short of the man’s halting steed. The man in front, or he should say mer, jumped off of his horse and sped to the man’s side. He propped the man up against his knee, pulling a vial from his bag and pulling the cork. The man's eyes felt heavier, his head began to weigh another ten pounds. He felt the healing work of the elixir as it seeped into his wound, but still felt his consciousness slipping.

    “Damn it man. Stay with me, man. I need you alive!” The mer’s voice, urgent and fierce, bade him awake again. The captain’s eyes reached the mer’s, and he felt his muscles ease, no doubt the work of the mixture the elf had placed on him. As the man’s senses seemed to dull, his attention remained on the elf’s eyes. The red orbs were like fire, both they and the mer’s potion warming the man’s body and mind, bringing him back from the brink of unconsciousness, or even death. His strength began to return, and in seeing this, The mer spoke again. “What happened, guardsman? Why were you running?” The man’s eyes watered as his hand clasped the elf’s shoulder, his blood soaked fingers clutching the leather harness as he spoke. “I’ve watched Oblivion devour Rorikstead. This darkness if far worse than anything I’ve seen, or even heard in tales.” His voice grew more grim as the tears became too much to bear. “The end is here.” He mumbled out, the fear finally taking him. Dolmas’ eyes leapt to the horizon, to Rorikstead, and started feeling frantic. “No. Gods, No. This cannot be!” He looks back to the guard, before pulling him back to his feet, and leading him to his horse. He gave the man who rode behind him a meaningful look, which incited only a nod from him. The mer spoke to the guard again, after they both got situated. “Then we’re going to stop it.” The elf said as they rode. The captain smiled for the first time that entire week. “Thank you, sir…” The elf caught the pause, and cleared his throat before speaking again.

    “Dolmas. Dolmas Hlerayn.”
     
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  3. CapObvious

    CapObvious Gramos Goat-Shaker

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    -Current Day-


    The guards stood in the pouring rain, and watched the gate with an ominous silence. The two men who had rode in to save them, Dolmas and Daxos, had entered a few minutes before, but they had heard nothing from them since then. The guards looked to each other, unsure of what was happening, but were slowly becoming convinced that this damned city had claimed two more victims.

    That was until a loud roar came up toward the front of the gate, and sounds of fighting began to take place. One of the guards rushed up toward the guard tower, hurrying to see what it was that had produced that sound. The captain called out for the guard, trying to warn him. The town may have been focused on the new arrivals, but it was far from safe. But once again, the captain couldn’t get it done in time. As the guard reached the top, his eyes peeked over the wall, only for an arrow to strike him in the forehead, sending the man over the guardrail of the tower and down to the ground with a sickening thud. Some of the men rushed to him, while others stood and watched the door. The captain slapped his hand on the wall of the barrack, “Damned fool! It wasn’t safe!” He spat out, his hands reaching his hips and stepping back, his frustration getting to him again.

    But as he began to walk toward the gate, a loud explosion rocked them from the other side, a blast powerful enough to still send the guard reeling. They looked to the gates again, astonished that somehow they stood still, but even more astonished, that the sounds of the cursed and the fighting had ceased as well. It was the first time the entire week that the city fell silent, and none of them were sure it was a good thing.

    It remained silent for a while, before the captain slowly began to move toward the guard tower. He made his way up the steps slowly, half expecting the fighting to start raging again, but no sounds came. He stepped up the last few rungs and crept toward the edge, and nearly began to look over before another arrow sprung forth, this time missing and hitting the wall, right below his head. The captain reeled back, resting against the rail as he heard a voice raise from above the deafening silence.

    “Open the gates! The immediate area is clear.” The voice declared, this time coming from the imperial who had rode in with Dolmas. The guards looked unsure of what to do, but the captain spoke quickly. “Do as he says, lads.” There was another few moments of uncertainty, before two of them stepped forward and took down the board, and slowly began to open the gates outward. As more and more of the city came into view, a cheer came up from the ground below, and the captain rushed down to see what it was.

    As he reached the ground, he sprinted for the door, to see a beautiful sight. The two men stood together before the doors, surrounded by the bodies of the undead who had only an hour before been near bursting the door down and ripping them all apart. The men’s faces were both covered in a black ash, their bright eyes shining through almost comically. They began to walk toward the cheering guard, and Daxos spoke, raking his hands through his locks to bring them away from his sweat slicked forehead. “You really. REALLY. Need to warn me before you use that again.” The elf chuckled softly, and shook his head. “It worked, didn’t it?” The two of them were embraced by the guards, all of them beside themselves, all of them finally feeling something this outbreak had ripped away from them.

    Hope.

    The two men stood amongst them, and the elf spoke thusly. “We’ve removed the immediate threat, but there is still the matter of reclaiming the town. That is something that the two of us cannot do alone.” He rested on the heels of his feet, putting his hands on his hips as he spoke again. “We’ve seen a taste of what we’d be facing, and it’s not something two men can handle. We’d need a lot of help.” The captain stepped forward, his face solemn. “My men are in no shape to assault the city. They will get themselves killed. They are no soldiers.” The two looked amongst the guardsmen, and saw their faces. Despite their earlier sense of hope, they looked crestfallen, as the truth of the captain’s words sunk in. “We sent a courier to the college, and they've agreed to send us one or two of their best. But the courier we sent to the companions never arrived to Whiterun, so I fear the worst. We could attempt to contact them again, or even send out bounty letters. Something. Anything.” Dolmas nodded solemnly, stepping out away from the city gates, and looked out to the horizon. “Yes, that will have to do. Send out bounties, missives, whatever you can.” He turned to face the guards again, with a slight smile. “We’ll stick these bastards back in hell where they belong.”

    But as the words left Dolmas lips, thunder cracked above them causing them to look at the sky. The clouds were warped and spinning, circling around as if it were the beginning of a cyclone. The eye of it grew dark, and then, to everyone’s astonishment, a beam of light came down and touched Rorikstead, right smack in the center of the town. The light made a sort of pulsing sound, and stood there for a few moments, but what felt like an hour. It seemed to cause no harm to the town, but there was no way to be certain with the gates closed, and the high walls blocking their view.

    Through the pulsing sound, a booming voice, feminine in tone, called out, the force of her voice rocked the ground beneath them, and they nearly fell from their feet.

    -End this, my Champion.-

    Then, as quickly as it came, the pillar of light dissipated, causing a slew of looks of confusion and disbelief between all of them, aside from Dolmas. His cursed under his breath, his eyes betraying a sense of failure. Daxos could see Dolmas was conflicted, but felt it was just his eyes playing tricks on him. The elf was crafty, but this was beyond the alchemy table. There’s no way he’d know what had just taken place.

    Daxos spoke up as the guards seemed to look to them for answers. “Well, if you wanted to bring in help, I don’t think you could do much better than lighting the city up like a damn candle in the night.” He pointed toward the city, his voice growing bolder as he convinced himself what he was saying was true. “That light will draw people in. The voice even more so. I have a good feeling we’ll have our aid soon.” The people looked to him, and nodded, feeling sure that it would be enough to gather the attention of some travelers, and hopefully, some could-be heroes.

    It was their only hope.

    “Our help is coming, I’m sure of it.” The captain said, before looking out toward the horizon.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
  4. EpicVakarian

    EpicVakarian Calibration-Master General

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    The noise of the rain hammering down on the earth had long since lost all meaning to Ella. She'd set off from Whiterun earlier that day, and had been plagued by the incessant downpour the entire time. Her hair was plastered to her face, her outfit was soaked, and she was downright miserable.

    She needed to find shelter, to get out of the rain if nothing else. There were a small range of rocky mountains a little way to the south; perhaps she could find a small cave to set herself in until the rain died down.

    It took almost another hour to find a cave suitable for her needs. It was small, but not cramped. There was enough room for a fire without filling the cave with smoke. She set up a small fire, and stripped off to lay her clothes on the stone to dry out.

    It was times like this that Ella really wondered whether she'd done the right thing, setting out from the College on an adventure of her own. It got a little lonely sometimes, particularly during days like this. And it wasn't like she was pursuing anything in particular; she'd left Whiterun that morning, picked a direction and walked. It was generally what she did to give herself any sense of purpose, to keep herself busy doing something, anything.

    Ella was on the verge of falling asleep in the warmth of the fire, when suddenly something jerked her awake. She felt the earth shake, almost like a wave, coming from the north. A split second later, a deafening bang followed in its wake. It echoed around the cave, making Ella clutch her ears in pain as she jerked awake.
    What in the gods' names was that? she wondered to herself. The rain was still hammering down outside, but her curiosity got the better of her. She poked her head out of the cave, looking in the general direction that she'd felt the wave from. Through what little daylight was shining through the clouds, she could just about make out a small city. Her sense of direction made it Rorikstead, but she could be wrong.

    For a short time, the only sound was the perpetual pattering of the rain. Then there was a crack of thunder, and the clouds began to swirl above the city, twisting around and around and around. Faster and faster it span, until a beam of light shot down from the center, right into the city; so bright Ella had to cover her eyes. There was a pause, then a voice, so loud that Ella could feel it resonate throughout her torso, shaking her heart and quite literally taking her breath away.

    -End this, my champion.-
    It was jarring, to hear such a feminine voice along with the huge force of the volume. There was another pause, then the light dissipated, and the skies returned to normal.

    For a moment, Ella just stared at the city, the gears in her mind turning and turning.

    That doesn't sound good at all. No, that sounds ominous.
    The uneasiness resting in her stomach seemed to agree with her. But at the same time, part of herself was willing her to investigate.
    Well, what else would you do? Ignore that? For the sake of more random walks? Come on, now.

    And with that, her mind was made up.

    She ran back into the cave, pulled her clothes back on, summoned a faint flame in the palm of her hand to keep her warm, and stamped out the campfire. Gathering up the remainder of her things, she sighed, cursing herself for what she might be getting herself into. And she set off, back out into the rain, heading toward Rorikstead.

    As she approached, the city looked more and more out of the ordinary; instead of walls around the city itself, it seemed more like the majority of the settlement was actually outside the walls.

    How in the hell do they expect to withstand any kind of attack like that? she mused to herself.
    But as she got closer, she came to realise that what she had thought were houses were actually large military tents, and that Rorikstead looked as if it were under siege. There was a faint pillar of smoke rising from just behind the walls, and downwind, Ella caught a scent that almost made her empty her breakfast on the spot.

    It was burnt flesh, long-dead flesh, blood, vomit, fear.
    As she approached, she held the little flame tighter, her muscles tensing in apprehension. Some guards noticed her, and began to approach her.

    "Ma'am, you're going to have to stop, you can't enter the city; we're under quarantine here," one of the guards said, as they drew within earshot.

    "Quarantine of what? What was that explosion?"
    "Ma'am, unless you're here to help deal with this situation, for whatever reason; you'd be better off just going back the way you came. Trust me, wherever you came from, it's safer than here."
    "What situation?" she asked, getting a little agitated at the lack of information.
    "It's... difficult to explain." The guards glanced at each other. "Look, if you're here to help, go to the center of the camp. Find the Captain, and those two adventurers. They're the ones leading the efforts here."

    Ella thanked the guards, and began heading to a tall flagpole, which she assumed was near the center of the camp.

    What in Oblivion is going on here? she wondered to herself as she walked.
    Eventually, she caught a glimpse of a man who looked more military than the rest of the guardsmen scattered about the camp. He was talking to two men. One, a Dunmer, was tall and lean, with long hair swept back with a braid down one side. He had what looked like various tattoos covering his face, making him look more than a little intimidating. The other, a human (she couldn't tell which variety from this distance), was of similar height but a little stockier, with long blonde hair. He looked quite thuggish, but at the same time looked to command more authority than the Captain did.

    Based on their relatively unusual appearance, Ella took a wild guess that these were the two 'adventurers'. She walked briskly toward them, keeping her head down and the flame close to her chest.

    "Uh, hello?" she said to them, alerting them to her presence. "Are you the ones in... in charge here?" Their faces were blank, and it took Ella a moment to realise that, in the commotion of the camp, they hadn't heard her quiet question. So she asked again, louder; "Are you the ones in charge here?"
     
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  5. CapObvious

    CapObvious Gramos Goat-Shaker

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    The three men stood beneath the main tent in the center of the camp, still in the midst of the planning of getting a group through the city. Dolmas ran his hands over the map of the city in quick, commanding strokes, while Daxos paced around the table slowly, arms crossed, his eyes on the dancing over the crude depiction of the once beautiful city.

    Daxos had tuned out for some parts of the plan, as he lost focus from imagining what the city must have been like. The people who had called it home, who were now most likely wandering its streets, rotting...the women...the children...

    His mind stopped cold at the thought, and he bit his lip hard, unwilling to further entertain his imagination.

    His ears finally lent back to the task at hand in an effort to distract himself, catching the end of Dolmas' spiel. "...am correct, we will most likely be able to use those rooftops as vantage points. If we have any who can navigate them safely..." He paused, his face looking downward, further than the map went, as if he were about to stifle a sneeze. However, what came from his lips was far from that. In fact, Daxos would have preferred the sneeze.

    Dolmas' head snapped to the side violently, as his face remained pointed toward the table the map laid upon. A moment later, he let out a small burst of a cackle, one that came out so quick it sounded like a yelp. Dolmas clutched his mouth with his hand, acting as if he had done something unsavory. "You good?" Daxos said, his eyes tracing over the mer's features, looking for any hint as to where that came from. The mer cleared his throat, and nodded silently, before he opened his mouth to speak however, a voice barely rose from above the roar of the camp, as well as the patter of the rain.

    "Uh, hello?" The voice called out, the source standing outside the tent, carrying a small flame in her hand. The source was a young girl, most likely barely in her twenties, staring back at them. There was an uneasiness about her, as if she weren't fully committed to getting their attention.

    She spoke again, but her voice came out too low, the words not reaching the men's ears. The combined noise from everything that was transpiring in the camp made sure of that. The three of them looked to her, unsure of how to respond to the wordless question, before the girl got the hint, and spoke again.

    "Are you the ones in charge here?" She asked again, her voice cracking around the end, but just loud enough for them to understand.

    Daxos' eyes went to studying the girl as the Dolmas spoke up. The mer was thankful for the distraction, as it would most likely help them forget...whatever the hell they heard him do...

    "Yes, but who are you? What are you doing here?" He asked, before his attention went to the rain again, and spoke out, slapping himself on the forehead. "And for heaven's sake, come in, come in. Get out of that blasted storm." He waved her in, waiting until her head came completely under the tarp roof before he spoke again. "Now, yes, we are the one's in charge of...whatever in oblivion you would call this. We're currently trying to find a way into the city. However, there aren't enough people with true experience here."

    His eyes darted to the flame that the girl carried, and the wheels in his head began to turn. His eyes darted back to her, a curiosity staining his tone as he spoke. "You're a mage, I take it. Tell me. How experienced are you in your studies?"

    Daxos watched the young woman as they awaited her answer, his eyes scanning her features and form. She was a small one, lithe in frame, but lovely all the same. The paleness of her skin glowed in the light of the torches in the tent, both it and the rainwater that clung to her and her armor, which was far from anything he had seen in these parts of Tamriel, or anywhere in general. Unless he spoke of the Imperial city. Those folk most likely had ten of these outfits in every closet, that they only wore to brunch. On Morndas.

    His eyes moved back toward her face, to the blonde locks that framed it, and then her eyes. But when they did, Daxos heart felt as if it had beat it's last.

    No. There's no way.


    His eyes scoured hers, and felt something well up within him. Something he couldn't describe. Other than...No. He needed to step away. Now. Before she noticed. Before he lost himself.

    He spoke up, his voice quick and curt. "Excuse me." He ducked out of the tent hurridly, stepping back out into the rain, heading further into the camp. Dolmas looked concerned for brief moment, then looked to the woman again, awaiting her answer.
     
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  6. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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    "Cilla?"

    Alice knocked on the bedroom door again, louder this time. Cilla had obviously fallen back asleep. Her last reply of any kind was over ten minutes ago and at this rate they were going to be late.

    "Cilla!" Alice barked, losing her patience.

    "...What?" A very sleepy voice answered from the other side of the door.

    "It's almost noon. You need to get up." Alice said with her arms folded in mild amusement. How many times had she herself slept the morning away and been woken up like this? Quite a bit she thought with a smile.

    "Can't be noon already. I'm still too tired." Cilla said, her voice closer to the door, likely meaning she was out of bed.

    "Can I come in?" Alice asked.

    "Mhmm..." Cilla mumbled. "Yeah, the door's unlocked."

    Alice gently opened the door and walked in. The short skirt of her long sleeve blue dress rustled slightly as it slid against the doorframe. Her soft brown leather boots made almost no sound as they walked across the lacquered wooden floor and her white apron and blue and white striped tights made none. Her jewelry, her amulet of Talos, silver sapphire ring and silver sapphire earrings, sparkled in the muted afternoon light that shined through the closed white curtains. Cilla eyed her sister with more than a little admiration. Besides her head and hands Alice was completely covered yet none of her body was hidden. It was all there to see, shaping her outfit without rudely exposing itself. She looked radiant.

    Certainly better than Cilla did at the moment. Bags under her eyes, long brown hair a mess, red nail paint somehow smeared onto her pillow. Thank the gods she didn't wear makeup or that'd be all over her sheets from the way she slept. Her covers were half off the bed and trailing to the floor at the head as if she had kicked them off in the middle of the night. The only orderly thing on the girl was her pajamas. White with blue raindrops. Being a one piece long sleeve garnet with feet and closed with a front zipper they had no choice but to stay on her, keeping her in a very warm and very comfortable embrace despite her covers. Cilla, like her sister, had always had problems staying warm at night, even as a fire mage, but footy pajamas had been the perfect option since both were babies. They were rather expensive pieces of sleepwear but they were absolutely worth it. Made of soft fleece that seals you in from head neck to toe, keeps you warm all night and all morning and enchanted to resize and clean themselves. It was all money well spent and the girls loved them. Currently, Cilla's were a little twisted at the belly and rear but she straightened them out easily. Alice watched her little sister wake up and simply smiled at her.

    "What?" She asked.

    "Nothing." Alice said. "You just look really cute is all."

    "Thanks." Cilla said, taking a moment to examine herself. She was a mess this morning. "These guys do their job well. I just hope no one but you sees me in them."

    "How come? I was wearing footy pj's at your age. I still do."

    "And so you should. You'd never take them off if you had a choice. But considering this is me...well...they're kind of silly."

    "So what? Why is it anyone else's business what you wear to bed so long as you're comfortable?"

    Cilla thought about this for a minute and determined that she didn't really have a reason. "...No one's I guess."

    "Then I don't see a problem here." Alice kept smiling and picked up Cilla's covers. She laid them out blanket by blanket and remade her bed, then sat them both down. She put her left arm around Cilla's shoulders and rested her right hand on Cilla's right thigh.

    "You feeling okay? You look pretty rough." She said with rather annoying sisterly concern.

    "Yeah, I'm okay." Cilla said, moving her hair out of her face. She was more awake now. "I just had a bit too much to drink and was out really late."

    "About 3:00 a.m from what it sounded like."

    "Something like that. Sorry if I woke you up."

    "No big deal. I take it you had fun at the races with Brynn and Titus then?"

    Cilla was shocked. She hadn't told anyone where she had gone last night because she herself didn't know until about an hour before it happened. Her cheeks flushed with embarrassment. "Umm...Nnno. I was...at...a...music. Festival. With music..."

    Alice couldn't help but snicker at her sister's face. There were some bad liars in this world but Cilla was quite possibly the worst she'd ever met. Even worse than herself when she was younger.

    "Fine! Yes! We went to the races!" Cilla blurted out. "Where ELSE would you go on a Mundas night in Whiterun besides Jorvaaskr?"

    "That's a rather defensive reaction don't you think? You act like you guys were hitting skooma in Riften."

    "Wait. You're not mad at me?" Cilla asked, genuinely surprised.

    "Cilla, why would I be mad at you?" Alice said with her usual sincerity. "You're not a kid anymore. If you want to go to the horse races outside the city with your shield sister and gamble all of your money away then that's your choice. It's not what I would do but it's yours. That's okay."

    Cilla smiled. She had expected her sister to box her ears for being irresponsible and foolish but that wasn't the case at all. It was a nice surprise.

    "So did you guys have a good time?"

    "Oh hell yes." Cilla said with a grin. "There was this one rider, a big redguard riding a jet black horse. He falls off during the second lap, right? And everybody holds their breath because that's usually a very serious problem, but no. THIS guy, he gets up, shakes it off, SPITS A BLOODY TOOTH on the ground and then GETS BACK ON HIS HORSE and finishes the race! And he wins! The other riders were so stunned that they stopped riding! It was INCREDIBLE Alice! No healers, no cloth in his mouth, just tanks that six foot drop and goes!"

    "Sounds pretty amazing." Alice said.

    "Amazing isn't the word for it, that's freaking incredible! And I just happened to bet on this guy too so I made out like a bandit." She walked over and grabbed a fat coinpurse, dumping a few coins on the bed. "Five. Hundred. Septims. From fifty."

    "Holy crap." Alice said, genuinely amazed at her sister's stroke of luck. "How did Brynn and Titus make out?"

    "They...didn't do so well." Cilla said. "Titus lost about a hundred septims. Didn't seem to mind though. I guess he came prepared to lose that money."

    "That's usually a good mindset when you gamble."

    "Brynn? I'm not sure honestly. She didn't talk a whole lot and didn't show much of a reaction during payout so she may not have bet anything."

    "Did you ask her?"

    "I...Don't remember. I may or may not have bought a bottle of plum wine from Skingrad with some of my winnings and I may or may not have drank the bottle on the way home. I seem to remember Titus helping me to change and get in bed so if Brynn was talking about money I don't remember much. Honestly I think she was a big overwhelmed. Given her past I don't think she's seen a lot of horse races. Certainly not ones with Khajiit, Dunmer and all flavors of man."

    "I suppose she hasn't." Alice said, patting her sister's hand. "I'm glad you guys had a good time, and that you and Brynn are spending some time together. She needs a friend Cilla."

    "I know Alice, and thanks. Brynn's awesome. Honestly I think she's my favorite person to hang out with at Jorvaaskr, even more than Stonearm and Aela, awesome as they are."

    "I can understand that. Brynn's closer to your age and you guys have a lot of the same interests. You're actually really of cute together." She looked at the large clock on the wall. "We need to get going soon, okay? Titus'll meet us at the gates and Brynn's somewhere on the plains. Think you can be ready in about fifteen minutes?"

    "Yeah, I think so." Cilla said. Before Alice got up however, Cilla tightened her hand on hers. "Hey Alice?"

    "Yeah?"

    "Well..." Cilla tried to start but ended up silent after a short pause. She decided she couldn't put into words how she was feeling so she decided to simply feel it. She took Alice's hands, stood them both up and hugged her sister, resting her chin into his shoulder. Alice instantly hugged her sister back, holding her in a warm embrace. Her body was tense and she started crying. She was scared about something and she had no idea what to do about it.

    "Shhh..." Alice soothed. "What is it Cilla? What's wrong?" She whispered.

    "Alice, I think something really bad is gonna happen."

    "Why?" She cooed. "Why do you think that?"

    "Because...because of something really weird that happened last night."

    "What happened last night?"

    "Well...okay....when we were coming back into the city last night...I...I saw this big ray of light in the direction of Rorikstead. I'm talking light from heaven, completely out of nowhere at what must have been 2:00 a.m." She calmed down a little. Enough to speak. "Now I'm blind drunk at this point so I don't think much of it but then I hear this voice in my head. This big, loud and clear woman's voice. Coming straight from my skull, my head practically vibrates. It said...It said..."

    "End this, my champion." Alice said, finishing the sentence for her. Cilla pulled away so she could look into her sister's eyes and both of theirs were wide with revelation.

    "You heard it too then?" Cilla asked in amazement.

    "Yeah." Alice said. "I was in bed, dead asleep, and then I had a vision. I saw Rorikstead. It was walled of. The guards were struggling to hold the gates closed and there were...they were undead but they weren't drauger. They were too disheveled. Too much like the living but not. They were like corpses...trying to reach out for the guards. One of them...his face..."

    "I don't need to know Alice. I got it." Cilla said with a hand up. "If you heard what I heard and with your visions being then thing that they are I think we can safely say that this trip is not just a job to check up on the city."

    "I think you're right Cilla. Something terrible has happened at Rorikstead. I've got to assemble the 4th Legion."

    "No Alice! There's no time! Getting the Legion assembled would take days if not weeks! Something is going on right now and we have to move today, by ourselves, if we have any hope of getting there we we're needed."

    "Cilla, those guards have been out there for over a week and I haven't gotten a single report from them. This has become a military situation."

    "Dammit Alice, don't argue with me!" Cilla shouted, her hair and fists igniting in orange flame, her hair looking like a long firey serpent running down her back. "Bad plops is going down and we don't have time for you and dad to sit around some war table and figure out the best way to make a strategy to deploy an army to deal with it! We need to move right now and see what in Oblivion is going on out there! The best people that can do that are the Companions and you, me and Titus are the three companions that are going out there anyway so turn your brain off, grab your balls and let's get out there and find out what the hell is going on!"

    Alice blinked a couple of times, dumbstruck by her sister's literal explosion of passion. "...Then I guess we better get going then." She said. "Are you...gonna get dressed first?"

    "Umm...yeah...that's probably a good idea..." Cilla said, remembering she was still in her pj's and extinguishing her flames so she could change. "I'll be downstairs in a couple of minutes okay? Meet you by the front door?"

    "Sounds good." Alice said. "See you soon sis."

    "Right back atcha sis." Cilla said with a smile. Alice left her to change and closed the door.

    ***

    Half an hour later they had rendezvoused with Titus and were walking along the road on the plains of Whiterun. The tall, lean warrior was in the lead with Alice as rearguard and Cilla in the middle, now changed into her top mail-and-plate armor, red tights and boots. All three of them had packed heavy as they had no idea what was going to happen there. In addition to all normal camping supplies, including a tent, chairs and fur sleeping bags in Alice's enchanted backpack, there was also a little something for Brynn when they found her: A chicken pot pie, wrapped in a large white cloth with its pie pan and kept warm through a fire spell. Their stepmother Carlotta had made it for them for their journey but decided Brynn would enjoy some as well. Soon enough, they saw a crouched figure with a bow in the distance. She was on a rockface and looked like she was skinning something.

    "Brynn!" Alice called. "We've got something for you!"
     
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  7. Viarco Strong-Head

    Viarco Strong-Head By Azura, By Azura, By AzuUURUURAUURAARA

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    "AGH! Who in Arkay's name are YOU?!"

    Rohael had sworn to himself that he would no longer throw caution to the wind when it came to pursuing love, and at least form a bond with a potential lover beyond a bottle of mead; however, when he had stopped in Riften and met a young Nord merchant, her charming looks jettisoned caution out of the Redguard's mind. It was all a vague haze after drinks at the Bee and Barb, but after finding himself in a bed next to the Merchant, Rohael could infer the overnight events. What he had not been counting on, however, was the merchant having an unmentioned lover beforehand, whom he could assume was the very intimidating-looking fellow shouting at him now.

    He was no stranger to thinking on his feet, though, and he hoped he'd be able to do it in this situation as he scrambled to his feet and grabbed his clothes. "Only a man that's been led on like an ogre to a sweet roll, my Nord friend. This is just a misunderstanding, she had told me--"

    The livid Nord in front of them immediately cut him off. "I could care less, you filthy Redguard! Do you know what I can do to you for this?! I was a veteran of the Stormcloak Army..."

    Rohael hadn't noticed beforehand that the man was carrying a rather fiendish-looking blade at his side, which prompted him to make his peace with the Divines silently in his head, just in case. He'd been in various sticky situations, but his current naked state couldn't do much with his weapons and armor stashed in a pack on his horse just outside the city. Managing to slip on the rest of his clothes so he was somewhat dignified, the panicking Rohael continued to try and reason.

    "Now, listen, sir, I have no doubts you can kill me in twenty-six different ways right where I stand, but if I were to give you, say, a thousand gold pieces, would you consi--"

    Apparently not one for dialogue, the Nord cut him off again. "You DARE try to buy your way out of this?! I'll have your HEAD!!!" As the man unsheathed his blade, the best option Rohael deduced was to hurl himself out of the back door, and he took off running. Cursing to himself for ending up in a situation he viewed only thieves and brutes ended up in, he burst through the city gates and almost knocked his horse over with the force of his leap onto the saddle. He took off in the first direction he saw that led away from the city, as he could hear the Nord's shouts behind him. "I never forget a face, you hear me, milk-drinker?! NEVER!!!"

    Catching his breath once he got a fair distance away from Riften, Rohael traveled the path he was on for a while, stopped not too far from Riverwood, and traded his armor for his clothing.
    Is love in Skyrim truly THIS painstaking to find? Wouldn't have nearly as much trouble in Hammerfell, I'd wager, he thought, downtrodden, and as he was thinking this he noticed an odd cloud formation a far distance away; maybe in Rorikstead's general vicinity. Hopping back on his saddle, he witnessed it grow into some kind of maelstrom before a bright beam of light emanated from the center, and a voice that reverberated so strongly it about knocked the Redguard right back off his horse.

    -End this, my champion.-

    Whirling his head fully around him to see if the voice's source was somewhere around him, Rohael sat in confusion for a moment after finding none. Divines forbid I've attracted the attention of some kind of Daedra... he couldn't help but worry, as he wasn't even sure if anyone else even saw this anomaly. Even with this fear, though, he decided to make for Rorikstead. Rohael traveled down the path for a long while, alone with his thoughts and, now that he had escaped the ordeal, chuckling to himself about the comedic nature of what transpired with the Nord merchant.

    He arrived at the rainy Rorikstead to see quite the scene, its militaristic ambiance reminding him of Imperial camps he had seen when he had loosely worked for them for a time.
    But why in front of a cozy little village like Rorikstead? Rohael pondered as he came closer to the tents. He was just stepping off his saddle when a guardsman walked up to him.

    "Sir, this is as far as I'm going to have to let you go. Rorikstead's been quarantined." This just made the Redguard even more confused, and additionally caused an uneasy feeling to arise in the pit of his stomach.
    "'Quarantined'? What in Oblivion caused a quarantine?"

    As the guardsman spoke, Rohael could see a Nord woman enter into one of the tents through the rain, ushered in by a rather rugged-looking Dunmer. The guardsman had said something, but after realizing the Redguard hadn't heard him he followed his gaze towards the tent, and put two and two together. "If you're keen on helping, I suppose you should follow the girl into that tent. Like I said, though, I don't think this is something Skyrim, maybe even TAMRIEL has ever seen before. Keep your wits about you, Redguard."

    Giving the guard a swift nod, Rohael stepped up to the tent. He was able to maintain the cool confidence that had aided him in many battles and the like beforehand, but the unease hadn't left, so he placed a hand lightly on the mace at his side as he continued taking in the scene.

    The Nord had finished answering a question the Dunmer had, Rohael being able to make out it pertaining to her "studies" or something of the sort, and he waited for a lull in the conversation until he piped up.
    "Pardon me, but the whole 'huge beam of light' thing and apparent quarantine is telling me something serious is going on. Is there any way I can help?"
     
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  8. Daryl Dixon

    Daryl Dixon Well-Known Member

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    The sun beat down on Whiteruns Tundras as Elizabeth and Bryce trod through the tall grass, heading to the city. "Those bandits were retarded." She commented. He laughed. She liked it when he did that. "Yeah, they were pretty special."

    They could see the walled city, but still had a good 20 minutes to go. "Can you please tell me what happened in Helgen?" She asked. "I only ask because we were just in the area and it got me thinking..."

    "Yeah. I can tell you about Helgen."

    "What did Alduin look like?"

    He took a deep breath, sighed, and remembered that terrible day. "The devil. Black as night, but scales sharper than any steel. He broke the sky," he told her, "rocks bigger than you or I combined crushed Nirn. They crushed our homes, our friends." He looked on ahead as he talked to her, occasionally looking at the ground in front of him. "People were there, and then they were just gone, burned to a crisp. Or lifted up and taken into the sky. I couldn't leave the farm for months. I was afraid some dragon would come and swoop me into the sky. Everything I've ever known, my entire environment was crushed. Not long after, Whiterun was attacked. The Dragonborn slew it, somehow. I remember watching them walk back into town, the Dragonborn and the surviving guards. It was crazy. She was my hero."

    As they neared the gates, he could see Delilah's old farm and his heart ached. "What's wrong?" He heard a soft voice aside him say. He trusted Elizabeth, so he told to her. "If someone had of said in a few years from now everybody you've ever loved will be dead I'd have laughed. Nothing ever happens in Helgen." He said.

    She remained silent. The two collected payment for the contract and made their way back to the stables. "Where to now?" She asked. "That contract in Ivarstead. Bloody hill galore."

    "At least we have horses."

    The two rode on to Ivarstead. They made their way deep into the forest, leaving the horses in town. The two crouched behind a tree as they spied their target. It was midday, they had stayed in town for the night and left in the morning.

    "We only need to retrieve the heirloom, we don't need to clear the ruin." Bryce said to her. "Our client said there was 6 bandits at most. I'll need you to summon some help."

    "Can you take that many at once?"

    "No... That's why I need you."

    The ruin was almost a complete wreck, save for one tower. The main part of the structure had wooden planks covering holes in the walls. "Use frost spells as often as you can, slow them down, stiff their joints, and make them afraid."

    "It drains me to make them afraid. It's so hard sometimes. I won't be able to do all of this at once."

    "Yes you can. Hey, it's easy. Don't worry. I've got this, you've got this. We'll be fine." He assured her. She nodded. "Let's go." He said.

    The pair stood up. Bryce walked into the ruin, Elizabeth hid out of view in the tree line. As he walked through the open wreck of a courtyard he could see a noose with what looked like a travelers body hanging from it. "STOP RIGHT THERE!" Someone yelled out.

    Bryce stopped and raised his hands. 3 men surrounded him. "I like that sword." One man said. "Dibs on the boots."
    "I've got whatever gold he's carrying on him!"

    Elizabeth's frost thrall stormed into the courtyard causing a small enough distraction for Bryce to draw his sword and cut down a man immediately. While the thrall engaged the two, Bryce noticed a few more men come from the door of the ruin. As the enemy approached Bryce aggressively right parried, sending the mans sword into the grass. Then he smashed the hilt of his blade into his face, breaking his jaw. As the bandit fell, he slashed open his chest and as the body hit the ground his gut was pierced through. Bryce brought his sword across the mans throat, cutting it open in a sharp savage movement as he looked up at the next enemy to let him know he was next. The bandit fled.

    Elizabeth watched on as Bryce continued to cut down the enemies. "1, 2, 3, 4, 5... No, somethings not right." She muttered to herself. "There wasn't suppose to be this many." Bryce continued to cut them down in a vicious dance, a dozen men were cut down when she lost count. It was brutal. She gasped as an arrow landed in a tree close to her position. They could see her. She looked up but couldn't spot the archers position. Another arrow, and then another. She could faintly hear Bryce yell out for her to run further back, but there was too many for him to face alone. She wanted to run away but she couldn't let him down. So she briefly closed her eyes and thought about something else.

    She charged in, arrows landed at her feet. Bandits laughed at her, mocking her. She ran right into the courtyard. She hadn't intended to, but couldn't stop due to the archers. She collapsed to the ground as one of the arrows went right through her right leg, just under the kneecap. She looked up and saw her thrall fall, so she summoned another. A bandit came at her, and she sent a fear spell at him. As he dropped his sword and ran, another came. She picked up his sword, it weighed a ton, and blocked a downwards thrust. As another strike was about to end her life she saw the tip of a katana pierce through his chest. The body was pulled backward. Elizabeth cast a spell of iron flesh on Bryce and passed out as he scooped her up by the waist and ran for the tower, being the only cover from the remaining foes.

    She was in and out of consciousness as they thudded up the stairs. She had hit her head hard when she fell. He placed her down in a small room up top. "Elizabeth." He said. "Elizabeth!" He shouted.

    I opened my eyes and could faintly see him. "Stay with me, come on!" He ripped a sleeve off my shirt and tied it around the wound, although the arrow was still right through my leg. I tried healing myself, but I was weak, and it was slow. "Just stay awake okay. You'll be fine. I got the necklace, we're getting paid and you're going to get better."

    She looked down at her leg and the sight of it just shocked her. It was... Right through the leg.

    "Bryce..."

    "Yeah?"

    "Does anything scare you? I'm terrified."

    "Just stay with me, keep your head down, I'll take care of you." He said. That's when an arrow burst through his stomach. I looked up at the wound, and up at him. He had never looked so full of hate. He turned around and beheaded the attacker, who had run forward to stab him. You could hear the skull crack as it thudded down the stairs.

    That's when he allowed himself to fall. He crashed face down onto the concrete at the top of the tower. Elizabeth's body filled with fear and she reached over and pulled him onto his back. He had blood on his mouth that she wiped away. She tore off another sleeve and stuffed it into the wound to soak up and clot the blood. She used healing magic on the area, which helped, but he wasn't breathing. So she gave him breath. She pinched his nose, tilted his head back and gave breaths into his mouth. She tried this multiple times, only pausing to continue healing when strength returned to her.

    "Come on. Come on! I can't do this without you. What do I do? What do I do...."

    She wouldn't give up on him until she had died too, so she continued on. Eventually, after so damn long, he sputtered and coughed. He coughed and heaved and it was magnificent. He was alive. She hugged him. He pushed her off, it was too painful. He passed out again, but he was alive. His wound was closing slightly, due to her magic, but it was still huge. It looked as if the arrow had gone through him and been wriggled up and down aggressively. She dragged him down the stairs, she dragged him out of the ruin all the while her frost thrall destroyed what few men lay left. The courtyard littered with the slain. He had killed so many...

    She had taken him far into the tree line when Bryce came to consciousness. They got up and carried each other, arm over shoulder, limping toward Ivarstead. They were both so exhausted that just a simple breath was an effort. As their lungs expanded with air it felt like it was weighing them down. They both continued rapid, deep breaths, dragging themselves to safety and pushing each other on.

    One of the townsfolk spotted them from afar and called for help. As they entered the town, Bryce fell to his knees, almost bringing Elizabeth with him. He'd lost a lot of blood. His breaths had become rapid and short. He held out his fist to the side. Confused, Elizabeth fist bumped him. "Another day down." He said before he collapsed to the floor. It's what Elizabeth said to him every night before they went to their separate rooms. She cried, having held it in a long time. Then they were both carried into town and given medical aid. The guard crowded them, asking what had happened and how many bandits they had dealt with. Apparently they had an extremely large bandit problem and trade was having trouble on the roads, leading to a shortage of supply, from what Elizabeth could gather through the incoherent mess.

    It was three days before Bryce even woke up, and a week before he could get out of bed. The arrow had been poisoned. He was lucky to be alive. Elizabeth had been taking care of him when the healers were no longer being paid. He had no idea what was going on and hadn't been the same since his injury. When he awoke, and could walk, all he did was train. He trained with the smith, the farmers, anybody who would raise a blade with him. When he couldn't find anyone he would do heaves, push ups, running.

    It caused him to reopen his wound one weekend, but he quickly learned his limits. When Bryce had asked for his reward, things got dicey. "I didn't hire you to clear the ruin."
    "You said there was 6 at most."
    "I was wrong. But it doesn't mean you're getting paid extra, you have to understand in your line of work sometimes-"
    Bryce slammed his fist down onto the table. "Bullpl*ps. Don't you tell me about my line of work. You provide false information that nearly got me and my associate killed."
    "There was a contract on lowering the bandit population... You'll have to speak with the guard."
    "You can. Give me the gold, or I'll stain the floorboards with your blood." Reluctantly, the man coughed up an extra 500 gold on top of the original 800.

    Two weeks later and Elizabeth decided she needed to talk with him. "Bryce." She said, cornering him in his room. He hadn't even got up for the day yet. He sat up onto his bed, he wasn't asleep. "Yeah? What's up, Beth?"
    "What's going on?"
    "What do you mean?"
    "You've hardly spoken to me since we got back. All you do is train, what are you training for?"
    "I think you're taking this way out of proportion. I always train."
    "No I'm not!" She yelled. "No I'm not."
    Seeing she was stressed, he stood up, put a shirt on and began to put on his armour over his clothes. "We nearly died. You nearly died. You haven't said anything about it, like it didn't happen. I don't know how you can just turn this all off, but I can't."
    "Beth," he said, "I failed. I need to be ready next time."
    "No, no you didn't." She said. "We're alive because of you. By The Nine how many did you even kill, 20, 30?"
    He winced at the numbers. It had been 34. "No, we're not. Look, after what happened I think it's best you don't do those sorts of contracts anymore."
    "How could you even say that? I've never felt more alive. And those are the only contracts we get... And they pay the most."

    Elizabeth didn't care too much for the money, she liked helping people, but they had to make a living. Bryce could see what she was trying to do and smiled. "How's your leg?"
    "Still limping, but better."
    He didn't say anything.
    "I've been uh, writing a song."
    "Oh really?" He said, remembering his friend Prenzie.
    "It's not finished. But I was wondering if we could go to Rorikstead."
    "Why?"
    "A traveler said he saw a huge flock of birds flying over Whiterun, coming from the south-west. Could be a sign."
    He laughed. He stopped believing in such things a long time ago. But for her sake, he decided they could go check it out. She saved his life. "You fit to travel, how are the horses?"
    "Yes, they're good, let's go!"
    "What, now!?"
    "Yes." She said, smiling.
    "Alright, screw it, let's go."

    After breakfast they rode west, stopping once in what they hoped to be an abandoned cave. It was damp inside, but they still managed to get a fire going. Bryce didn't sleep, as he couldn't. He hadn't slept in three days now and it was beginning to affect him. Rain was pouring down from the dark clouds above at the speed of a thousand startled gazelles and it was sapping at their morale.

    With rain, everything became heavier and it was uncomfortable. The horses didn't like it either. As they neared Rorikstead a bright light came down from the heavens and a booming voice called for its champion.

    Immediately, Elizabeth rode faster toward it. Bryce called for her to slow down, but she was set on finding out whatever that was. As they approached Rorikstead it became very apparent something was wrong. Military tents surrounded the city. They dismounted their horses. "This could be a blessing." Elizabeth said. "A bright light and godly voice, my gosh!"

    Bryce shook his head. She was so naive.

    "Halt." A guard said, as they approached the gates. "Rorikstead is under quarantine."

    "Why?" Elizabeth asked.

    "We need you to head back, ma'am. It's too dangerous." One of the guardsman said.

    Bryce stepped in front of her. "I don't think so. The lady asked you a question."

    Another guard came from behind. "Robert, stop. Bryce?"

    He turned to face the man. "Harris?"

    Bryce had been hired to exterminate a bandit population by Harris, he'd also been hired to clear the roads a few times. "You see the light in the sky?"
    "Yeah."
    "Means we're about to have another disaster. Why does Skyrim have to bleed once more?"
    "Looks like you've already had that disaster. Willing to hire external help?"
    "Personally, no. The two in the command tent might. Go speak to him. I just sent a young Mage looking for them too. That light is attracting you guys fast."
    "I just love shiny objects." He said with a smirk as he pushed forward to the center of the camp. As they neared the main tent someone exited very fast and brushed right past him.

    He didn't like this place already. He and Elizabeth entered the tent to get out of the rain. "That rain isn't letting up." Bryce said as he entered. He wasted no time introducing himself. "I'm Bryce, this is Elizabeth. Guard back there said you might need some hired help. We're willing to work if you're willing to pay. If you need a reference, most the guards here know me. By the looks of it, you need all the help you can get."

    Elizabeth stood back and smiled, trying to be friendly. She still had a bandage around her leg and limped a little, but she wasn't the combatant. In the room stood the Mage the guard had mentioned. Elizabeth sent a smile her way. It was nice seeing another female, where Bryce went there was only makes. And they smelled. She quickly lost focus and she zoned out, not paying any attention to what Bryce and the others were talking about.


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  9. EpicVakarian

    EpicVakarian Calibration-Master General

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    The human eyed her up and down, and the Dunmer spoke.
    "Yes, but who are you? What are you doing here?" Ella opened her mouth to respond, but before she could, the elf slapped his forehead and continued. "And for heaven's sake, come in, come in. Get out of that blasted storm."

    She was ushered in by the elf, and as soon as she was out of the rain, he spoke up again.
    "Now, yes, we are the ones in charge of... whatever in Oblivion you would call this. We're currently trying to find a way into the city. However, there aren't enough people with true experience here."
    He glanced down at the little flame in her hand, then back up at her face.
    "You're a mage, I take it." She nodded. "Tell me, how experienced are you in your studies?"

    Before she could answer, the human murmured a quick apology and hurried out of the tent. The elf furrowed his brow for a second before turning back to Ella.
    "Well, I, uh... I lived and studied at the College for 16 years. I specialise in destruction, alteration and conjuration magic." She reveled in the shock in the elf's eyes; most people gave a similar reaction to hearing that such a young woman had such extensive magical experience. "Oh, and my name is Ella."

    Before the elf could reply, a Redguard pushed his way into the tent.

    "Pardon me, but the whole 'huge beam of light' thing and apparent quarantine is telling me something serious is going on. Is there any way I can help?" He was fairly tall, wearing his long black hair in dreadlocks, tied back out of his face, and was in tremendous shape. Compared to him, Ella felt like nothing more than a mouse, too far from its nest.

    And before the elf could reply to that, another man entered, this time accompanied by a small woman. She felt like she recognised the woman from somewhere, but she couldn't quite put a finger on it.

    "That rain isn't letting up," the man said. "I'm Bryce, this is Elizabeth. Guard back there said you might need some hired help. We're willing to work if you're willing to pay. If you need a reference, most of the guards here know me. By the looks of it, you need all the help you can get."

    The woman, Elizabeth, for some reason decided to send a quick smile at Ella. Ella, not being the most confident person, simply gave a quick, very small smile back and lowered her head, trying to blend in as much as possible. She suddenly felt severely out of her depth, surrounded by all these people. As far as she was concerned, she was in her element when she was withdrawn into her own mind; her mind could perform manuevers and acts that simple warriors could only dream of. In social situations, however, she struggled. She crossed her arms over her chest and backed up slightly, trying her best to avoid the attention.
     
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  10. CapObvious

    CapObvious Gramos Goat-Shaker

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    Dolmas grew slightly overwhelmed as the tent suddenly became a boisterous hot spot, and annoyed as they all began talking at once while he was still trying to gauge the first arrival. The young mage claimed to be highly trained in her craft, and he needed more time to verify these claims. If she were being truthful, she would be a very welcome addition to the group.

    His annoyance at the interruptions, however, took a back seat, as he knew that over reacting could lead to losing these volunteers.

    Or in the last man's case, potential hires.

    Dolmas cleared his throat, looking to the woman again, who now had her face directed to the floor, seeming to be ill at ease with the sudden arrival of these new, outspoken individuals.

    Same here, kid. The dunmer thought to himself, before speaking again, this time to the most recent entrant, a young man named Bryce. "You would be correct in that assumption. We certainly won't be turning anyone away, not with Hell literally outside our doors."

    He paused for a moment, looking outside toward the city. "But I doubt you'll see any sort of coin lying around here in this encampment. Gold is the farthest thing from the minds of these men. They just want to be home with their families, some of which are behind those walls as we speak" He stood up straight, his hands resting on the pommel of the sword on his left hip.

    "We will find a way to pay you for your efforts in the chance we succeed, but it will be after the fact. We can discuss this more with the captain before we depart. Sound fair?"


    As he waited for Bryce's response, he turned to the Redguard who had offered his aid, and nodded to him. "Indeed, there is much you can do to help. However, I dare say it will take more than simply the six of us to get anything truly done around here." He studied them again, and noticed they looked exhausted. Worn from their journey, or simply from the lateness of the hour. "Maybe it would be best if we rest for the night, and wait until morning for things to possibly pick up. We won't be worth anything falling asleep during battle." He cracked a small smile, then nodded to his new allies. "Rest well. Take advantage of it. We're definitely going to need it."

    With that he stepped out of the tent, making his way in the direction the Imperial had run off to. What in the hells had gotten into him?
     
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  11. Hlíf 'Ulfr

    Hlíf 'Ulfr Princess Pants

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    Somewhere in the shadows, lurking, waiting for them was a monster. Its massive jaws hidden behind a snarling mask and billowing clouds of vapor, it had stalked them for days now always appearing at night. Neither had seen her but the screams of their companions were tell tale enough. As they had been picked off one by one the fear grew, mounted and had warped them and her into something beyond reality. They lived in a constant state of terror. It had cleansed them of their logic as they fled through the plains, like animals from their predation and she revealed in it. They were walking into a trap, and they only lived now for her enjoyment of the chase. They had no chance and it was getting cold, so cold...

    It was a black night, as well as frigid and yet the rain still fell. The moons had been blotted out by the black clouds that had swept across the land earlier this day and had stayed since. Not even the stars survived being cloaked by their presence and certainly not the monster herself. As they opened up, finally relinquishing their heavy burden, it only served to disorient them further. Every drop melded with the next to create a crescendo that blotted out the senses, the very winds violently screaming as they ripped at everything within their reach. It was a horrendous storm, both physically and in the minds of prey.

    Then suddenly the lady of the night, her face full of soft light,pushed through her swaddles revealing the true nature of the unnatural wretch, her pelt twinkling and encased in ice. The massive sides of the beast heaved in response to the even breathing, her muscles relaxed yet evident under the slate grey hide. It was clearly and by all accounts a werewolf that had stalked the group, cutting their numbers at such a calculated rate. She was a nightmare dredged from some unknown plain of existence and yet there was control, intelligence in those glowing eyes. Perhaps this is what made her so terrifying, she was no simple predator hunting for sustenance and instinct. She had chosen them.

    Tonight, though, tonight it would all end. It would end with jaws, claws and the tearing of flesh. The cracking of bones and the warm iron-like taste of blood. Her nose glistened as it released another breath, once more obscuring her face as it moved away from the open lands and towards the sky. From between the fangs, glistening in the light of the moon, slipped a glorious, bone-chilling howl. Then, just as it fell across the land, rolling over the hills to pool down in the low valleys the moon slipped away once more and all was dark. The men pushed themselves harder than they had ever before but it would not be enough. The hunt was upon them.

    Once unmoving, hidden within a cluster of boulders, the she wolf leapt to the top of the outcropping. Her nostrils flared aggressively to the rhythm of her quick yet deep breaths, making the best out of the scents that the night had to offer. Despite the abusive weather she was easily able to ascertain the direction in which they had fled and catapulting herself forwards flew over the ruins of their wagon. Though the flight was graceful it could not hope to match the landing for it was perfect in every sense and gave no resistance, perfectly flowing into the wolf's powerful gait.

    Her muscles sang out with joy as movement was granted to them, putting them once more to good use. This feeling, paired with the beating of her own heart and unwavering breathing was all that filled the beasts consciousness, that was until she heard his screaming. Veering left she zeroed in on the lifeforce of the man, he had slipped in the rain and as he scrambled up both knew in their hearts though hope attempted a last surge that this would bring about his death.

    She devoured the ground beneath her with incredible speed, now smelling his sweat and his fear, nearly tasting it in the air. The golden eyes now were granted view, a rumble escaping her as she closed in, her prey replying with a call to the gods. A shiver went up her body strong enough to fuel her bloodlust as she and he both realized that no god would not be coming to end his torment tonight. Death alone would be his savior.

    More quickly now she ran, his shape becoming more and more defined until her body pulled along next to his. Her eyes focused on his face, another shiver ran up her body as he realized he could look death in the face. His face was mangled by the twisted look of terror, his screams lost to her as she narrowed the gap. Time seemed to slow for her as her pearlesque teeth were revealed as her jaws opened, and moved to clamp down on the torso of the man. She had waited long enough and as her maw clamped down on the man, her teeth penetrating her skin she finally tasted the fruit of her patience. Halting her fast pace she met the grounds resistance, the man shaken aggressively and blood flying through the air. She wanted to savor this, and that she did as she slowly put more pressure on the bones, hearing them crunch and crackle. His death screams were shrill at first though soon became drowned by the blood bubbling from his mouth. Though a new scream replaced his, mourning his friends demise, the foreshadowing of his own.

    The follies of a madman, he had only served to give away his location. Dropping the sputtering man to the mud and bloodstained grass she prowled forwards, a devious idea having struck her. A chase similar to that having just transpired ensued though this one was much more short lived. As she closed in the man blubbered, his pace faltering, she jumped to sink her fangs into his legs. The two rolled together, the beast controlling their direction though as they slowed the two unexpectedly parted. The she-wolf played with him, walking in and out of his line of sight to finally appear behind him, nudging him in the back. It took a minute and a rather painful correction for the man to realize what the wolf wanted and to comply. She wanted him to move, and as he did she herded him.

    He tried to keep an even pace, she was sure that he used every bit of energy left in his body but as the blood steadily flowed from his leg he could not help but to fall and slow, but she didn’t care. He had earned his pain as far as she was concerned and as his pace slowed he was met with a merciless grumbling and a sharp and painful reminder of his duty to keep moving forward. They were approaching the broken body of the last member of his band, her nose, and his hysterics told her so much and as they came upon it he was pushed to his knees.

    He continued to bleat, tears mixing with the rain and his voice stolen by that same wind that lashed his hair across his face as she circled him. Her frame stalked smoothly, finally settling with her long muzzle facing his own stricken visage. In a final show of dominance, she opened her jaws to let loose a mighty roar, then ending his pathetic life with a single crunch and shake. The beast in her left little time for logical rejoicing as it made quick work of the bodies.

    When the bloody work was done she felt the change, its progression beginning to seep into her veins. Letting out on final howl she gave in to it, the pain and the pleasure of returning to her own form. Kneeling now with her face to the heavens she smiled. The rain pricked her bare, exposed skin as it landed washing away the blood and mud from her form, though her Nordic blood fought off the cold. She welcomed each familiar sensation, her long hair plastered to her face falling down her back, the fingers that pushed back each lock. Most of all she welcomed the peace that came with a duty fulfilled.

    She was reveling in this feeling when a bright streak of light crashed down in the distance, lighting up the gruesome scene and her figure for a brief space of time. It was the voice that followed however that made her thank each and every devine for the change, her sensitive wolfish ears would have suffered tenfold if not as a voice boomed:

    -End this, my Champion.-

    Knocked back into the grass she fought against the strength of the blast. Recovering with a newborn curiosity blooming in her chest.

    -*- ​

    The next day was altogether a different scene. It seemed that all the ferocity of the past had melted away revealing the deep compassionate heart of the woman herself. She had spent the morning stalking a deer, which has revealed itself to be lamed. She had cursed the unseasoned bow of the reckless poacher who has injured the deer and neglected to follow through on their shot continuously that morning as she went about following the frightened herbivore. It was in no way the most difficult hunt nor the most thrilling but it brought some unrest to her heart. As she stood over the creature she muttered words of thanks to it, of apology as well. She was content in the knowledge that though it has suffered in life it's death had come swiftly. The animal had no need to suffer. Nor would it go to waste.

    As the able hands of the nord finished their work she noticed an all too familiar line of horses approaching. A glorious smile lit her face as she cleaned her hands of blood and lifted herself to full stance. Against the skyline the woman's form was evident, stark in its outline, her long hair flowing about her and tousled by the breeze. She singled them with a wave before dropping once more to quickly package the meat, it would do them well to have it along their journey. Fresh meat was always welcome.

    "Brynn!" Alice called. "We've got something for you!"

    She heard a familiar voice call out, as she climbed most gracefully down the rock face. She would wait for them at the base of the rough, molted outcropping enjoying their approach. She glowed still with the success of the night's prior hunt, it was writ on her face.

    "Alice," Her warm and inviting voice responded "it is good to see you, all of you. What have you brought?"

    The scent was on the air of the food and though she could have guessed its origin she thought it polite to ask, allowing the pleasure of the reveal to fall on Alice. Her hip swung as she glided towards them, eager to ask news of the booming voice.

    "I must ask, did you hear the voice last night?"
    She questioned as they drew close enough to speak at a normal octave. "It had me on my knees. I would not have been surprised if it rivaled the call of the greybeards, save for the rain stifling it."
     
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  12. CapObvious

    CapObvious Gramos Goat-Shaker

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    The Imperial sit in the corner of the training room, fast asleep. He had exhausted himself training, his body not able to take the amount of frustration he had allowed to escape through his hands.

    Nor was the training dummy, whose head laid square in the center of the floor, tattered and broken.

    However, the amount of energy he expended did not afford
    him a dreamless night as he had hoped, nor even a peaceful slumber.

    No. That would have been too simple.

    Too easy.

    Too fair for life to give him a break. Even once.

    This night would be as the others when he remembered her.

    Nothing was there. Not a soul. He was alone, surrounded by nothing. There was no light, nor sound of anything around him. The silence that remained in it's stead was deafening, bringing a phantom ringing in his ears that would have drove the man insane, had he not soon heard something else to break it.

    At first it came out as mumbling. He couldn't make it out. He strained his ears to hear it, focusing away from the ringing noise that occupied his mind moments ago.

    Soon however, he wished he hadn't.

    Words. Three words. The three words that haunted him to hear, ones that brought a dagger in his chest at the sound of each.

    I.
    Will.
    Follow.


    The words burned in his ears and brought a sour taste to his mouth, as pictures began to flash in his head. The faces. The failures. The mistakes. As he began to recall everything, a light grew from behind him. He did not turn to look at first, as he knew what would be looking back at him when he did. He fought the urge to look, but failed, as the dream compelled him to turn and face his demons, regardless if he wanted to or not.

    He turned to look, and as he saw what stood before him, he felt the urge to fall upon his knees. To surrender. To give it all away. Knowing who it would have been didn't change the pain it brought him.

    There she stood. A woman. The woman. The love of his life, or had been at one time. She stood in the light that broke the unending void, looking into Daxos as if she could see inside him. She stood still, she did not breathe, she did not blink. She just watched. Her eyes, those infernal, golden maelstroms, never left him as she began to speak again, the words he dreaded returning to her lips.

    I will follow.

    He collapsed to the floor, knees hitting the ground below him soundlessly, his arms landing weakly to his sides, his sight not leaving the woman's face. As he watched her, the burning sensation in his stomach continuing, the light around the woman began to change. The almost holy aura broke down to a reddish orange, and the light it brought with it broke down to fire, merciless and devouring. It burned away at the woman's flesh and she shrieked, her suffering echoing throughout the empty space they occupied. Daxos felt his body leap up on instinct, as he rushed to her, his arms and legs pumping furiously, and yet still felt like he was going in slow motion.

    You failed me! The woman cried, betwixt her screams and cries for help; between the sounds of searing flesh and popping flame.

    She felt further and further away with every step, but yet he knew he could reach her. That he could make it. That he was going to save her. That this time would be different.

    He reached out his arms and flung himself forward, ready to tear her from the inferno. To free her from the pain she was feeling. To bring her back where she belonged.

    He felt the woman enter his arms as he fell into her, bringing them both to the ground. He clutched to her tightly, afraid to raise himself up from the ground. However, he did so, raising up to see the woman who was now beneath him.

    However, it was not the woman he knew. It was not the woman who stood burning only moments ago.

    Instead it was the face of the woman who he saw in the tent, her eyes piercing his mind as the woman's once had. And from her lips came the words, the dreadful words that burned his soul, but in her own voice.

    I. Will. Follow.

    Daxos woke with a start, leaping to his feet swinging, his arms flailing about in a fit of rage. As he did this, Dolmas tore into the tent, and shouted for Daxos to calm. When it did not work, Dolmas ran to grab the imperial, and clutched him to his chest. Daxos flung about still, but his arms were trapped beneath Dolmas' embrace. Despite the size difference, Dolmas was somehow able to bring the Imperial still, much to both their surprise.

    Daxos' mind returned to the present situation, and realized he was no longer in the nightmare. His quickened breath slowed, and he felt his tense form ease. Feeling this, Dolmas let go, and stepped back. Daxos breathed once more, then shook himself out. He didn't look to Dolmas, but spoke regardless. "Thanks." The elf soon replied. "Don't mention it. You should get yourself cleaned up. I'm gathering the others back to the tent, I'm sure they won't take you seriously looking a mess." The Imperial chuckled softly, then spoke again. "Will do, mother."

    Dolmas smiled without a word, before he stepped back out into the camp, and toward the tent the guards had provided for the group who had come to help. He peeked his head in, seeing that a few were awake. He spoke up, loud enough to disturb those who remained asleep. "Get yourselves ready and meet us back at the main tent. We're getting ready to go over our strategy here, shortly. We'll give some time for others to arrive, but it wouldn't hurt to get ready, yes?" One of them made a guttural snore, and he sighed in his annoyance. "Wake him, would you?" With that he popped his head back out, and made his way back to the original destination.

    It was time to prepare their date with Destiny.
     
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  13. EpicVakarian

    EpicVakarian Calibration-Master General

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    Ella always woke early; a trait evolved from traveling alone for nearly a year. However, she found herself awakening before dawn that morning.

    There had been a few brief introductions amongst themselves, and then a guard had taken them to a tent, where they could spend the night and rest up before they threw themselves into hell.

    Among all these strangers, Ella didn't feel comfortable anyway, and what little sleep she did manage was fraught with bad dreams. She'd been awake a good hour or two before the sun rose above the horizon.

    She was already sat upright, staring into nothingness, alone with her thoughts, by the time the elf poked his head into the tent.
    "Get yourselves ready and meet us back at the main tent. We're getting ready to go over our strategy here, shortly. We'll give you some time for others to arrive, but it wouldn't hurt to get ready, yes?"
    One of the group, Ella didn't see who, gave a loud snore; someone clearly hadn't awoken yet.
    "Wake him, would you?" the elf said, before leaving the tent.

    Ella stretched, then climbed out of the makeshift bed, casting a weak spell to wash herself of all the muck and dirt from the traveling. She was the first one out of the tent, not saying a word to any of the others; simply keeping her head down meekly and taking a brisk walk toward the central tent.

    Both the human and the elf were already at the tent, waiting for them. They seemed impressed at Ella's quick appearance. She gave a quick, faint smile to them both, which the elf returned; however the human's gaze faltered, and he turned away.

    "So we still don't know your names," she said quietly. At the same time, she realised she'd only introduced herself to the elf; the human had left beforehand.
    "I'm Ella," she murmured to him.

    She didn't get an immediate response, so she simply pulled herself back and waited for the others to arrive.
     
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  14. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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    Alice, Titus and Cilla were all off their horses when Brynn showed up, her hands wet with blood and her pack full of fresh venison. It was no mystery what she had been doing all morning. Cilla had never been much of a hunter but she could certainly chase down and drive off beasts when she had to. Alice was an excellent shot with her bow and had become an accomplished hunter over the years, though this pastime had become rarer as her responsibilities in the Legion had risen with her rank. Titus loved to hunt even more, stalking sabercats with his bow, chasing down rabbits with a knife or best of all, running with a wolfpack as a werewolf under the moonlight and slaughtering moose and deer by the herd in the beautiful ferocity of nature. But Brynn was on a whole other level. Her skill and passion for the hunt were such that she didn't just enjoy it, but NEEDED to do it in order to be happy. She outclassed both Psyrakon twins by far and almost all the companions. There were times when not even Aela could keep up with her, according to Titus. All of them were happy to see their friend and shield-sister content and in her element.

    "Alice," Her warm and inviting voice responded "It is good to see you, all of you. What have you brought?"

    "A gift my dear Brynn, from me, to you." Alice said with her usual kind liveliness. "One chicken pot pie, made by Carlotta this morning, with her love. Last time she saw you she was concerned that you weren't eating enough so she asked me to deliver this. Considering your pastoral habits I figured you wouldn't mind some home cooking."

    "Just remember to use the silverware Alice had doubtlessly brought with her." Titus said, giving his shield-sister a big smile and reaching out for a bigger hug. "You're around other people so you can't just drop it on the ground and eat it muzzle first."

    "Cilla, do you hear something?" Alice asked with a sly grin. "It sounds like projection."

    "Actually what you're hearing is 'Eat my underwear."

    "No thank you." Alice said, replying instantly to her brother's retort. "I've seen where they live and I'm still amazed blisterwort doesn't grow there."

    "I love the example you guys are setting." Cilla said, striding over to Brynn and giving her a sideways hug. "Our Brynnie has been loading herself up with meat all morning and you guys show your appreciation by discussing Titus' junk. You're truly an example to Skyrim's youth."

    "She's good." Alice said, nodding with approval.

    "Yeah, she is." Titus said. "A little annoying but that seems to run in the family."

    "Well, some things can't be helped. She's YOUR sister after all." Titus rolled his eyes but Alice ignored him. "Here Brynnie, hold out your hands and I'll get some water for you. And yes, we all heard that voice last night but we can talk about that later. Right now, let's eat."

    Alice conjured a small flame in one hand and a ball of ice in the other and deftly mixed the two together into a ball of semi-liquid steam and flowed over Brynn's bloody hands and forearms and dried them at the same time. Even though Alice was in her travelling/combat gear (Blue dress, white bodysuit, tight brown gloves, knee high brown boots, deep blue cloak, jewelry) her gloves never got wet. Once Brynn was cleaned up Cilla found a flat rock to set up on Alice got things ready. From her pack she produced an old blue and white checkered quilt that she spread over the rock like a tablecloth and then set out four white plates with a silver knife and fork each and a silver triangular spatula for serving the pot pie. There were even small folding stools for them to sit on. Cilla and Titus took every opportunity they could get to tease Alice about her rather extensive travel preparations and meticulous packing but they had to hand it to her, she came prepared for everything.

    After a couple of minutes they four of them were sitting down to eat and Alice was serving them. "So Brynn," She began. "Cilla tells me you guys went to the races last night."

    "I didn't tell her Brynn, Alice just kind of figured it out." Cilla interjected. She had asked Brynn not to tell Alice where they went but since the cat was already out of the bag with no harm done they might as well discuss it. "You didn't let anything slip or anything."

    "It wouldn't have mattered regardless." Alice said, looking to Cilla. "Like I told you this morning, you guys aren't kids anymore. It's okay for you guys to do this sort of thing." She turned back to Brynn, serving her a remarkably intact slice of pot pie. "Anyway sweetheart, what did you think? Cilla and I figured that given your history you couldn't have seen very many horse races. I hope it wasn't too much for you, or that you lost too much coin at the betting tables. Or had too much to drink."

    "Money well spent sister." Titus said.

    "I'll second that, hell yeah." Cilla added with a grin. "Which one of you guys carried me home by the way? Because I distinctly remember being carried."

    "I did. Brynn mentioned she wanted to do some hunting and left just after we entered the gates. You hollared at her not to get thrown into Aetherius by a giant."

    He looked at Brynn, eager to hear her take on their evening out and the fun he knew she had.
     
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  15. Hlíf 'Ulfr

    Hlíf 'Ulfr Princess Pants

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    "A gift my dear Brynn, from me, to you." Alice responded "One chicken pot pie, made by Carlotta this morning, with her love. Last time she saw you she was concerned that you weren't eating enough so she asked me to deliver this. Considering your pastoral habits I figured you wouldn't mind some home cooking."

    Carlotta, of course. It seemed that as most matrons do the woman had mistaken and attributed her fit, toned physique to a lack of food. Never the less she enjoyed the scent of the pie and would certainly not complain that a hot meal had been brought to her.

    "You are sweet to have thought of me."

    "Just remember to use the silverware Alice had doubtlessly brought with her. You're around other people so you can't just drop it on the ground and eat it muzzle first."

    "You really are wicked Titus." she beamed at the Imperial and as he leaned in for a large hug the smaller nord gave in completely to it, pressing herself to the man to return the embrace. In the back of her mind she could hear the words flying in between the group, they truly acted like siblings. It was comical, though she was grateful to be an onlooker. She would accept one more hug during this time, from Cilla, before things would move along with another prompt from Alice.

    "Here Brynnie, hold out your hands and I'll get some water for you. And yes, we all heard that voice last night but we can talk about that later. Right now, let's eat."

    Doing as she as asked she reflected on the pet name. It made her feel as though they thought her a child, though she did not fault them for how she felt. It was most likely just a term of endearment that she was reading too far in to, as per usual. As the stream of water turned from a pink to once more become clear she withdrew her hands. Nodding her thanks and turning to observe the proceedings.

    She watched with entertainment sparking in her eyes as the whole menagerie unfolded before her. Shining cutlery, brightly colored fabrics, dishware it all stank of the city of a life beyond her own wild prowling existence. Though, as she examined the two women, moving about their business she decided that it fit them well, it suited them. It seemed she was not so done with finery as she had thought years ago, a thought that elicited a grin. Perhaps her shield-brother would be understanding of her thought, though he had no doubt been exposed to it throughout his life. So, conceivably she was alone in this but she did not dwell as it mattered not.

    As she was beckoned to the table she sat with her own form of grace that seemed to radiate from her core, a confidence of movement that was evident despite the oddity of the little stools. She would be just as pleased if not more comfortable settled in the grass, but it was the consideration that had been put into it all that made her smile. The companions were a family, it was true, though this bunch truly cultivated this feeling.

    "So Brynn," Alice began as she sliced into the still hot pastry crust, "Cilla tells me you guys went to the races last night."

    Her smile broadened at the mention of the race, even more so as Cilla rushed to explain her lack of involvement in the reveal. Though Brynn was young she had an innate maturity as well as enough experience to feel independent. Beyond the Harbinger she had not felt the need to ask permission of anyone since the passing of her brother, a thought that singed her as her mind strayed close to it. Cilla had not quite the same situation as herself however and she knew, having been asked to keep the race to herself that Cilla had not given them away. Alice's reference to soon follow that they were no longer children nearly caused her to laugh, she had not been a child in some time and certainly not since before she had met the little family. Instead of laughing, however, she simply took the food, mouthing a thanks as to not interrupt.

    "Anyway sweetheart, what did you think? Cilla and I figured that given your history you couldn't have seen very many horse races. I hope it wasn't too much for you, or that you lost too much coin at the betting tables. Or had too much to drink."

    Ah yes, her history. As far as the group was aware her history consisted of growing up in the wilds, she had neglected to share any more information than that. They knew not of her days looking over the city and its finery, nor of her escape and subsequent travel across the province and over the border. She was far simpler in their minds, something she minded little.

    "Money well spent sister."Titus's voice cut through her thoughts and stayed her answer, instead raising her brow in amusement. She let the whole thing play out, she would add her voice to the mix soon enough.

    "I'll second that, hell yeah.Which one of you guys carried me home by the way? Because I distinctly remember being carried."

    "I did. Brynn mentioned she wanted to do some hunting and left just after we entered the gates. You hollered at her not to get thrown into Aetherius by a giant."

    A devious glimmer now lived in her gaze at the thoughts of the night before but she left that attached to her speech, hopefully removing any questions from the night previous. She did not think the two women would revel in it as much as she.

    "Too much for me? No, of course not. I've been in much more hectic situations in my past though I must say it was something else. The atmosphere, the drink, the merriment. Those Beautiful beasts. I was beginning to doubt whether horses that fast existed in Skyrim, I'd be interested in seeing how they do for stamina, though." She eyed the horses that were picketed not far from them while her mind was filled with the images of the more fleet steeds of Cyrodiil before quickly turning back to meet the eyes of the group. "I suppose you bet on that one horse you were eyeing Titus, though I didn’t bet that night I'd be willing to bet now that didn’t pan out as well as you had thought. What was it called again? Oh never mind, I could have told you he would have lost your gold. Though perhaps that was due to the fact that I was one of the more sober ones of the group."

    She winked at Titus and cast a grin towards Alice. She had been happy watching their enjoyment of the ongoings, though it was not something she would seek out herself.

    "It wasn't a moonlit hunt but it was certainly an experience." She finished, waiting for the voice still to be brought up. "Though I have to say, I'm surprised you're handling the sunlight so well Cilla."
     
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  16. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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    They listened to Brynn chime in on their evening and were all happy that she had enjoyed her evening. Alice in particular was happy that Brynn was able to enjoy the atmosphere, companionship and mounts so much. Horse races had really never been her thing, she saw little point in watching others ride when she could be riding herself, but her dad and Titus always loved the races back in the Imperial City. Almost as much as the fights. Cilla loved the races even more so since their mother never let her go to the fights. Those were no place for an eight year old girl and their father tended to agree.

    Cilla and Titus grinned when Brynn mentioned she was one of the more sober ones in the group. Titus had handled it better thanks to his wolf blood but they had both had plenty of drink. Cilla's grinn got wider when Brynn told them she was surprised she was handling the sun so well.

    "Well my head hurts but screw it. I had fun. I'd do it again tonight if I could." She said. Alice raised an eyebrow at that and Cilla gave her an unrepentant look. There was a bit more conversation but then everyone went quiet. Alice could tell they were all thinking about the voice from last night and Titus was the only one who hadn't discussed it with anyone. He was getting uncomfortable with the silence so he spoke up first.

    "That voice wasn't just someone shouting really loud was it." He spoke with clear apprehension. Two things Titus had always been afraid of in this world were daedra and magic and his instincts told him this voice was the cause of both.

    "No, I'm afraid not." Alice said, wiping her mouth with a napkin. "We need to go see what it was. Especially since there's been no news from Rorikstead or the guards I sent in over a week. Something is very wrong out there."

    "Remind me again why we didn't just leave last night? Or even talk to each other after we heard it?" Cilla added, irritated that they were talking about this again. She had secretly hoped she had just imagined the whole thing. Now they had to deal with it and her bad feeling from the morning hadn't gone away.

    "Because you weren't even able to stand last night." Titus said. "Besides, some of us may or may not have gone out there last night..."

    Alice put down her napkin and gave him a hard look. "What do you mean by that Titus? What did you do."

    "Nothing stupid. I promise." He said, putting a hand up to show his sincerity. "I couldn't sleep after I'd put Cilla to bed so I decided to shift and do a little hunting. I was tracking a deer and was about to pounce when I heard the voice. It was so loud I howled in pain and the deer scattered."

    "Wait a minute, you hunt DEER while you're shifted?" Cilla said with a chuckle.

    "Do you know how FAST they can run when you're eight feet tall and furry!? It's an AWESOME chase!"

    "Do you KNOW how many bandits are in the area? You could absolutely murderfluff them! In their own forts!"

    "You can't just CHARGE into a bandit fort! You've got to work them, make them scared. Snicker when they poo their pants at the slightest noise. Do you know how LONG that takes by yourself?!"

    "Guys!" Alice snapped, standing up and putting her hands on the blanket-covered rock. "We are here to discuss the strange and eldritch voice we all heard last night, NOT Titus' chew toys. Now Titus, you said your skull practically split open when you heard that voice and your deer ran. What did you do then?"

    "Okay. Well I was really pissed at whoever had made that noise but also awestruck. It was as if it came from my own skull and I absolutely had to find it. It was like a spirit possessed me. I NEEDED to find where that light I saw came from because I somehow knew that voice was there. So I ran. I ran as hard as I could, on all fours and faster than a postman's horse in the rain. I ran for over an hour and found myself on a hill overlooking Rorikstead. Your guards are still there Alice and they're dug in tight around the gate. Full barricades and a dozen archers trained on it at all times. I watched them from the bushes for over an hour and they never moved. I also saw some civilians mulling around the cap, specifically around a guest tent. Something bad is going on there Alice and they need every man they have to deal with it."

    "That must be why the haven't sent any riders." Alice said. She was listening to Titus with her gloved hands folded, in full Commander mode. "Titus, which civilians did you see down there? Did you recognize any of them?"

    "No. No I'm not sure who they were but there were two, an Imperial and a Dunmer, who carried themselves like they were the leaders of the group. I know the guards don't have the best training but their commander is still a full-time soldier. He's got to be at his wits' end if he's turned over the operation to these people."

    "We've got to get moving." Alice said, standing up. "We've wasted too much time already. Gods damn it, why didn't I See this? Why didn't we move sooner? We should have moved last night. I couldn't go back to sleep for an hour after that light."

    "Don't start this Alice. There was no way you could have known and we weren't ready." Cilla said.

    "You're right of course." Alice said. "Everyone mount up. Brynn, are you ready to go?"

    "I am ready Alice. I have been ready ever since last night."

    "Let's go then. Ride with Titus, try to get a little rest so you can shift if we need you. I've got this mess. Let's go."

    Alice cleaned and packed everything with practiced efficiency and within minutes everyone was ready to do. They headed off to Rorikstead just as some rain clouds started to move in.

    ***
    Two hours later the group had arrived at the outskirts of Rorikstead in the middle of a rainstorm. Alice was cold, wet and worried but she hid some of it while bundled up in her blue cloak. Titus and Brynn were wet but neither seemed to mind the cold much and Brynn actually seemed to enjoy it. Cilla was the only dry one because she had wreathed herself in flame, the fire drying her skin almost as fast as the rain could hit it. To say her mount was startled by this was an understatement but she had kept control of the animal for long enough for it to realize it was not burning but was in fact dry and in flame as well. It had felt invigorated and had stayed ahead of the group by a good twenty meters, only stopping when commanded to do so by its riders reins. The horses had moved at full gallop so when their party dismounted all three mounts laid down to rest, welcoming the rain that cooled their heated bodies.

    Alice was shivering so much her teeth were chattering but she refused a flame spell from Cilla. She didn't want to scare anyone by being on fire and Cilla tended not to notice collateral damage with her spells. Better to not take the chance.

    "Guard." Alice said to a sentry outside a palisade gate around the guard camp.

    The boy was confused as to who this was at first but then noticed the silver legion pins on Alice's collar. "Legate Psyrakon! Thank the Gods you've arrived! Something terrible has happened her ma'am! The entire town's gone mad! Where are the rest of your men? We''re desperate for reinforcements!"

    "I'm sorry guardsmen, this is all we are. We didn't know you were even in trouble until this morning and we didn't have time to assemble a force. These are Companions. They'll help us out."

    "The Companions? Thank Talos, I knew you wouldn't forsake us ma'am! You all couldn't have arrived at a better time. There was some sort of...strange light from the center of the city late last night with a booming voice. It sounded like the Gods themselves ma'am and we were terrified but it also brought some adventurers to the camp. Powerful ones that can help us! The Captain, divines bless him, he's lost so many men in the last week ma'am that he's just not sure what to do anymore. He's let two of the adventurers take over. A...a dark elf named Dolmas and an Imperial named Daxos I believe. They're inside the war tent ma'am. I'd get inside if I were you. Terrible weather and you look soaked and freezing ma'am. And it'll be dark soon and when that happens...well...you'll see."

    "That'll be enough Guardsmen." Alice said, holding herself underneath her cloak and moving her arms up and down to try and keep warm. Her hood showed only her mouth it was so plastered with water. She tried not to focus on her steaming breath. "We'll head inside now."

    The four headed towards the command tent. Cilla and Titus were concerned about their sister, and not just because she looked soaked and frozen. Alice felt like every situation she was involved in was hers to solve and her fault if it failed. She had authority over the guardsmen as a Legion Legate but they weren't her men. They were the guard captains'. She needed to let him command his own men and not get wrapped around the axle about this. They intended to remind her of that.

    When they got inside Alice stopped in front of the guard captain, soaking wet and rubbing her gloves together, trying to get some feeling back into her numb hands. It looked like the man was trying to get a little sleep. Probably the first he'd had in days. He immediately stood up and at attention when he saw Alice.

    "Captain." She said, bouncing a bit. Her tall leather boots were wet on the outside but her feet were still dry, even if her toes were numb. She was trying to move them some to get some feeling back. Her voice was slow with cold. "Your sentry tells me you've got a bad situation here and it's at the center of town. What happened here? The sentry said you handed this situation over to a Dolmas and Daxos. Was that the Imperial and Dunmer that I passed just outside the tent?"
     
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  17. CapObvious

    CapObvious Gramos Goat-Shaker

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    Captain Caius Aurius leapt to his feet in attention as the woman entered, his mind fogged from his attempt at sleep, but somehow still able to function. Still able to realize who the voice belonged to.

    "Captain." He didn't respond, only waiting for the Legate to say her piece. "Your sentry tells me you've got a bad situation here and it's at the center of town. What happened here? The sentry said you handed this situation over to a Dolmas and Daxos. Was that the Imperial and Dunmer that I passed just outside the tent?"

    The captain spoke almost immediately, ready to unload everything that had taken place as he had done with the two men.

    "Ma'am. The news I have is not good, by any means. The city has been overrun with the undead. Not simply draugr, but the people who lived there, killed then brought back to life in hell's gruesome image. The guards you sent as well as my own fought bravely, but we couldn't take back the city on our own. We were pushed outside the city, where we've been stuck for over a week. We attempted to send a courier to whiterun with a request for aid, but we received no word. The courier never returned, so we feared the worst.

    The new arrivals, Daxos and Dolmas, came in and seemed to have fended off the tide somewhat. They have proven themselves capable men, natural leaders. I handed the situation over to them out of desperation, as I had run out of both ideas, and hope." He breathed, letting himself regain his wits after his long report. He shook his head, looking down to the ground. "This has taken it's toll on me, and I'm not sure if I have the strength to continue my post when this is all over. I just...I've buried more friends this week than I have in over fifteen years of service."
    He realized he was rambling, going into more detail than the Legate probably wanted. He cleared his throat, and wiped a solitary tear that had clung to the lower lid of his left eye. "But yes, ma'am. The two you mentioned are the same men. They are gathering their group in the main tent, should you wish me to take you to them."

    ---

    Dolmas and Daxos looked to the mage who had entered the tent, much quicker than either of them would have believed possible. Dolmas was pleased with her quickness, while Daxos felt only dread. The girl smiled to them, faintly, which both of them reacted to differently. Dolmas returned the gesture. Daxos however, did not. He looked to her, a pained expression overtaking his features before he turned away, looking toward a table that stood behind the center one, covered in reports and journals.

    The mage then spoke after a few more moments, bringing a small shock to the pair of them, as it had been eerily quiet aside from the rustle of the camp that took place outside their tent.

    "So we still don't know your names," The young mage said, looking to the pair of them. The Elf nodded, a small smile on his lips. "You're right, of course. You may call me Dolmas." The woman then spoke again, looking to the imperial this time, who still had his back turned to her. "I'm Ella..." The woman said, her voice trailing off as she realized he wasn't listening. She stepped back awkwardly and looked away, likely unsure of what to say next.

    Dolmas had to get the man in gear.

    The elf then nudged the imperial with his boot, causing him to turn around. His eyes met Ella's again, his body tensing up in result, the look she gave him making his stomach do backflips. This time, however, he held himself more appropriately, bowing his head to her politely. "Daxos. Daxos Loran." He didn't say more, unsure if he should.

    It certainly wouldn't end pleasantly if he did.

    Before either of them could speak again, the doors of the tent were flooded with people, catching the attention of all three of them. The captain was leading them, whoever they were. Dolmas stepped from around the table to greet him, as the captain spoke.

    "Gentlemen, I do believe I found the rest of your aid." He said proudly, stepping aside to let them come into view, his arm outstretched as if he were presenting a high class meal, or guests at an Imperial ball. "Legate Alice Psyrakon, with her siblings, Titus and Cilla, who belong to the Companions. With them is Brynn, also of the Companions of legend."

    Dolmas and Daxos both looked to them, their eyes betraying their interest. As Dolmas looked upon the Legate, he couldn't shake the feeling of slight Deja vu. This seemed familiar.

    He returned his attentions to the present, looking to Alice. "Legate. It's a pleasure. Dolmas Hlerayn." He bowed his head, before Daxos did the same. Dolmas smiled to himself. "I think our chances of survival increased two-fold don't you?" Dolmas said, his eyes turning to Daxos, who was studying the companions the Legate had brought with her. "I'd say even more than that, with warriors like these in tow. I've also heard of Legate Psyrakon's exploits in the second defense of the Imperial City. With a record like hers..." He looked to Alice, who's face seemed to sink a bit, causing him to think critically. The reasoning as to why she possibly reacted that way popped into his head shortly after, and he bowed it again, this time in apology.

    "My apologies. Those were trying times. I shan't speak of them again." He looked away again, this time Dolmas stepping in. "Thank you for coming to our aid. It is appreciated. We were just about to go over the strategy with our group. We still have a few stragglers we're waiting on before we begin."

    He paused, waiting for her to speak, as the pair of them had been babbling long enough.
     
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  18. Hlíf 'Ulfr

    Hlíf 'Ulfr Princess Pants

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    The glacial eyes, cold and unmoved stared into the white abyss before her. The warm toned hands stained slightly by ink grasped the smooth, bone-chilling gray stone that lined the pathway, finally free of the fine fur mittens that dangled from her thin wrist. In her mind, there was nothingness, for just that moment, as the wind whisked away the never ending shower of flakes so too did it steal away with her thought. She had come to the end of a path she had traveled now for months. Each field journal consulted, every detailed illustration signed, all research and first-hand account bound into one simple book. Her body felt empty, it was unsettling but at least it brought about some comfort to be alone. It was a perplexing type of feeling, to shy away from rather than welcome. She needed something more, a task, though as she looked out into the blinding white she doubted she would find it in the storm.

    She felt an icy feeling travel through her veins, though not from the sub-zero temperatures but rather from somewhere deep within her chest. It was dangerous and so opposite the fire that usually engulfed her that she forced herself to remember the warmth of having an occupied mind. Remembering the feeling of the old leather covers and the smell of equally antiquated pages surrounding her as a bird in its nest eased her anxiety some and allowed her to address at least to some degree the eyes she felt hanging on her like a wet linen sheet.

    She had known the figure was standing there, hiding form that weather she embraced, for some time but simply could not be bothered to coddle the student in the ways most decent people would do. She was straightforward and had little time for their pettiness which had certainly earned her a reputation, however, that did not negate the fact that she was brilliant and an astoundingly good source of information. This mean she had seen her fair share of fear and stress in the faces of student looming in the background, hoping desperately to be acknowledged and to not have to make the approach on their own. She rarely gave in to this, unless truly impressed by their dedication to waiting or if she was amidst work that would have been ill-mannered to interrupt. Certainly, neither of these applied now and so she waited, as she had done before. It could be seen as cruel but she simply saw it as forcing some bravery, learning to be confident.

    It appeared that time and chance had favored her for just as she had reconciled with the fact that the student would approach and break her solitude the boy was upon her with no further need to wait. He was a wiry Dunmer with a short gate and light steps, she imagined he thought himself as quiet as a church mouse but his footfall still betrayed him. On approach, he seemed to have a look of determination across his face as if he was firmly set on casing aside any apprehension to approach the woman. Cosset was unsure what exactly to do with this. Something buried inside her urged her to push him back into line, that in fear there was safety, yet the common sense that currently ruled her stated that this was unneeded. Instead she turned to face him with her lips pressed together and her gaze locked on to his face. He was taller, it was true, but they both recognized who commanded the most respect and dominance between the two. He bowed his head, stuttering slightly as he began as a side effect of the weather.

    "Ma, Ma'am. I'm sorry to interrupt you, I was just-"

    "Enough." She said simply, knowing he would carry on for far longer than was necessary if she allowed it "What is it you need, or has someone sent you?

    "Oh, well I was sent to deliver you this letter, by one of the professors." He said, clearly taken aback as he pulled the aforementioned letter from somewhere on his person.

    It squirmed wildly in his hands as the wind beckoned it to follow with a more than demanding touch causing Cosset to take action immediately. Firmly she stepped forward and took hold of the envelope, giving the boy a reproachful look. This was no place to toss around important papers, in the middle of a squall that could carry off a young child and she had no intention of losing the original.

    "I will take that, thank you." She nearly sneered, removing it from his possession. "If you would kindly follow me inside, I would rather not lose it to the storm. I can imagine whoever sent you with it would be most displeased if that were to happen.

    With that she strode onwards, towards the more protected interior of the college, those quiet steps following behind her. She didn’t bother to ask him politely his name or his chosen field of study, she was not in the market for false pleasantries and if she was, to be honest, which she seldom was not she did not care. It was enough that he had delivered the letter to her, and almost lost it in the process, what she needed out of him she would soon know. Then, and only then would she have reason to raise her voice to him again.

    Halting just outside of the winds grasp she turned her back to the stone pillars and raised the letter. She examined it thoroughly, its creases and its imperfections even going so far as to lift it to her nose. The rider must have pushed himself as amongst the faint smells was that of sweat, horse and man alike and so she surmised it was of some urgency. Wasting no more time she slipped her adept fingers into the already open envelope, raising her voice but not her eyes.

    "I trust you had nothing to do with this." She indicated to the Dunmer not expecting a response before unfolding the page, her brows lifting as her eyes scanned the page.

    To all of able body and mind, I call upon you in dire need. Rorikstead has been overtaken; the dead walk it's streets! We are impossibly outnumbered, and no attempts to defeat this atrocity on our own has yielded anything but more death, and if I'm not mistaken, more monstrosities to fend off as we wait for the darkness that holds the city to begin expanding outward into other holds, or even other provinces. Any attempts to contact any authority have been met with silence, and we have nowhere else to turn. Please. PLEASE. Send us any and all aid you can to bring Rorikstead back from the brink. Any and all expenses, travel, reward and otherwise, will be compensated upon arrival and dismissal after the task is completed. If such a task can be completed.

    I know it may be hard to care, with the city so far from your location, or maybe even hard to commit much to this effort, but any and all help would be a godsend, and would be more than appropriately rewarded. Please. Help us.

    Divines preserve us,

    Guard Captain Caius Aurius
    Whiterun Guard

    She leaned back, resting herself against the unforgiving stone, she was intrigued. The Breton could not recall an instance of such a phenomena gracing her eyes before beyond that of the dragur rising in their tombs. Her heart started to pound as she thought of the research and all manner of curiosities involved. In some sick way, the void inside her began to fill her veins with hot blood once more.

    "You are dismissed." She said absently.

    She was in no way surprised that it was herself that the college was choosing to send. Her obsession seemed to be the strange and unusual, the unsolved and the dangerous. This certainly fit the bill. Beyond that, Cosset harbored the belief that of all of those willing to represent the college she was one that they would miss the least. They would have no qualms sending her knocking on death's door, but she would show them as she had time and time again. They would not see the end of her as she was sure they wished. With an inborn tenacity shooting through her she made the obvious choice to follow through on the call to aid. If not her, then who else?

    As was the norm the Breton woman was throwing her leg over the cremello horse in record time, prepared and ready to depart. Bundled in warm furs and equipped with all she may need the woman once more noted the ease that was provided when one was prepared to take leave under the light of the midnight moon. With a straight back the woman pushed the last wisp of soft curls from her face and touched heels to the warm flank of the beast. Within moments they were both no more than ghosts disappearing together into the gray.

    -*-

    It was a desperate scene when she arrived, the woman nearly choking on the heaviness of it all. Despite the best attempts of the icey pellets that rained down from the sky this place could not be washed clean. Death and fear invaded her nose and mud clung to the legs of her horse with impressive fever. The people themselves did little to improve on this despite the slightly hopeful look that lit on some of the faces she passed by, the letter was more than correct. They were all in dire need, from the movement to each individual man and woman.

    "Guard!" Her voice rang out like a clear bell amongst the drudgery attracting the desired attention as she halted her mount.

    "I've come by Captain Caius Aurius's request from the college." She indicated, dismounting and handing her reins to another man nearby. "Lead me to whoever is in charge here."

    "Good, I'm glad that you have come, we can use all the help we can get. I'll lead you to join the others."
    The guard informed, a strong nordic accent falling from inside his helm.

    Looking out from under her hood and sidestepping deep puddles she followed, nearing a tent from which the muffled sound of voices could be heard. With a nod in thanks and a half smile, she dismissed her guide and pushed open the fabric flap. Her eyes could not have taken in all the information that was before her fast enough for her liking. She had seen a greater variety of people on several accounts, there was a distinct lack of bestial races present and a single Dunmer accounted for the entire mer aspect of the group. She could not assume of course that this was done purposefully but she noted it. Quickly taking stock and collecting as many details as possible she spoke out, announcing herself.

    "I hope I'm not interrupting but I believe someone was expecting me." Her eyes fell on the two from whom she could sense some form of leadership "I've been sent from the college."

    She did her very best to keep the venom from seeping into her eyes.
     
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  19. CapObvious

    CapObvious Gramos Goat-Shaker

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    As he had waited for the Legate to speak, another came in the tent, speaking up as she looked about, her eyes finally resting on the pair of them as they stood front and center.

    "I hope I'm not interrupting but I believe someone was expecting me." Dolmas looked to the Captain, who gave him a small shrug. After a moment, she spoke again, seeming to have decided to focus her attention to Dolmas. "I've been sent from the college." His eyes lit up at this, and he smiled, his hands resting on the table before him.

    "Ah. That explains it. We were indeed waiting for a few from the college. No doubt they explained what you would be helping with, so you know we're needing all we can get. Glad to see that courier managed to make his destination at least. Though I had hoped for...more of you." He cocked his head to the side as he studied her, before he shook his head. "No matter. I'm sure they've sent their best and brightest. You've got that look about you." He stood up straight, now looking at the group among them, who all returned his gaze, waiting for him to tell them all what he had planned to do. He looked toward the back and noticed the others had managed to sneak in behind the new group, both of the men looking much more refreshed than the night prior. It looked like everyone was here...

    So it was time to get the show on the road.

    Dolmas waved his arms toward the table, inviting everyone to step closer. "Please, everyone get to where you can see. I want you all to make sure you understand what we're dealing with here." When they all got situated, he began to dole it all out.

    "Alright. So. I'm sure you've heard from the guards the fate of the city. We'll be dealing with undead, far different than any bonewalkers you've seen, or read about. These things are faster, and more savage than anything I've ever witnessed. I daresay their like hasn't been seen before on this plane, nor any other. We need an effective strategy to combat these cretins, and put them out of their misery." He winced as he recalled the faces of the creatures when he had entered the gates himself. "I wouldn't have wished this fate upon anyone." He looked back up, and realized he was trailing off. He cleared his throat, bringing his hand back down on the map.

    "This is a map of the city of Rorikstead. I'm not sure if you've all been nearby since the war, but as you can already tell, the city looks quite a bit different then it had prior. It is elaborate, with streets winding and weaving like a labyrinth. However, the main street has stayed mostly in tact, leading to a straight shot down the middle, which leads to the town square." He drug his finger across the center of the map, then dropped it down on the circular courtyard in the center. "That's where we believe that light dropped, so odds are that will be where the horde is thickest, most likely drawn to whatever that voice brought down with it." He tapped the circle again. "We need to find out what we can about this "champion" as well as see to the destruction of the damned who walk the streets. Then, if we can, we'll find the source of the corruption, and put it out. Permanently." He looked to the group, making sure everyone was on the same page, then looked to Daxos, who was eyeing everyone's reactions to the briefing. "Daxos, show them how we're playing this."

    The fire in the Imperial's eyes lit up, his shaken demeanor now shifting to a more commanding presence, almost as if someone had pulled a lever in his head. He stepped forward from the shadows, putting his hands on the table, pointing toward the entrance.

    "We'll be heading in from the front gates. There hasn't been any sign of the undead returning to the front due to the light, so it would be smartest to take advantage of this while we can. The team we've got here is eleven strong, an odd number, but still large enough to be split up into three teams. One will take the center of the road here, while the other two will take to the rooftops here, and here."

    He pointed to each side of the middle path, running his fingers up and down the crude lines.

    "Both teams on the roofs will be there to keep an eye out for any signs of trouble, as well as supporting the ground team whenever possible. Those teams would be led by Dolmas..."


    He looked to Alice, raising his hand to her.

    "And you, if you wouldn't mind. You've got the most leadership experience out of the group, so it's a easy pick." He pointed toward the center road again. "I would take my team up the middle path, where the resistance will obviously be strongest. I'll need a few who won't mind getting their hands dirty with me down there. While some of the mages and ranged fighters would do better to take to the roof, keeping them out of the majority of the horde's reach, and keep to where they can take out anything our swords can't reach. So based on party make up..."

    He paused, looking toward the group, all of them watching him. He didn't know their names, their histories, anything substantial about them as human beings, but he had been reading people for most of his life, and could easily pick up where each would be best suited.

    Seemed like his past horrors brought one positive, all things considered.

    After a moment of studying them more, he began to plot out the teams. "To keep things from getting too cluttered up there, I think we'll stick to three on each set of roofs, while the bulk of the team remains with me." He pointed to Titus, Rohael, Brynn and Cilla. "You lot will stick to the ground with me. While you," He paused, pointing to Cosset and Bryce, "Will go with Dolmas. And you," He looked to Elizabeth and Ella. "Will stick with the Legate."

    Keep her as far from you as possible. You'll need to focus... He thought to himself.He looked to Ella as she absorbed the information he gave her, his eyes settling into hers for the briefest of moments, before he looked back to the bulk of the group, and clearing his throat.

    "If you believe you would perform better in a different placement, let me know. But I do believe this set up is the best way to deal with the threat at hand." He looked to Dolmas, who picked up after him. "We've been mulling this plan over for a while, and it continuously seems the best course of action. I believe it will provide the best chance of us all coming out of this alive, while still completing the task at hand." He paused for a moment, looking down to the table, his eyes glossing over as if he were looking through it. "I think it would be best to get acquainted with the people you've been assigned with while you prepare, to get a feel for how this is going to work. We'll be kicking down the doors in a few hours, so get rested and geared up. Once we go in, there won't be any turning back until we're done." He stood up straight, walking toward the entrance of the tent, before he turned back to everyone right beneath the tent's fold.

    "Thank you for this. I do believe the people of Rorikstead would thank you as well, could they do so themselves." He turned on his heels and left, with Daxos in tow shortly after, leaving the others to speak amongst themselves before the time came.
     
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  20. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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    There was a lot going on inside this tent. Alice wanted to talk with the guard captain after he gave his report, to comfort him in some way, to let him know he had done a good job, but as soon as he was done he walked their group over to Dolmas and Daxos and introduced them. He ushered in Alice with sweeping arms as if he was a house servant in the Imperial City introducing high-profile guests to his master. As soon as Daxos opened his mouth it confirmed what Alice had been hoping to avoid: Her reputation as a "war hero." She was proud of her service to the Empire and the Legion during the Second Great War and grateful to finally go back to Cyrodiil after so many years in exile but she had lost, and killed, too many good, honorable people who fought for the exact same thing she did. She had never felt like a hero and Cyrodiil wasn't her home anymore. There were too many memories there, old painful ones, and the war added more. Skyrim was her home now and it always would be. She had come back here hoping to leave the war and everything with it back in the south. It seemed her reputation had followed her.

    She appreciated Daxos stopping himself after realizing how she might be feeling. He didn't really know because he wasn't her but he had enough empathy to understand and that was enough. Alice simply smiled and nodded at him.

    Then something less painful but less comfortable entered the tent. Cosset Beaulieu, a fellow student from the College of Winterhold and one of the few people in this world that Alice wasn't comfortable around. Cosset was an excellent mage and a brilliant researcher but she was aloof, isolated and cold as ice. She was about three years older than Cilla and had about three years seniority over Alice and Cilla. She had helped them both with their studies and adaptation to the environment but never really took the time to get to know them and neither understood why. Alice completely understood her quiet, isolated manner and just assumed she was shy like she was but over the years she began to wonder if Cosset just didn't like people. She had been concerned that Cosset wasn't happy but had decided to keep her distance. Obviously the girl wanted her space and Alice would respect that.

    Cilla however had been less understanding. She had been moved up to Cosset's level of destruction magic fairly early in her studies, achieving in months what had taken the girl years to achieve. She liked the girl's honesty and she had certainly been a helpful classmate but she'd never really been interested in being friends and Cilla could never understand why. Alice had tried to explain to her that some people just didn't get alone but she'd never really gotten the message.

    They all listened to the meeting and it was a good plan. Alice had no objections so she didn't voice any. She decided it was a good time to introduce herself and discuss what she knew of group dynamics.

    "Daxos, Dolmas," She said, shaking both their hands and taking off her cloak and laying it over a chair back. She was still cold but less wet now. "Thank you for organizing this meeting. You both have a good plan and you have my full support in executing it. I want you both to know that you're a becon of hope to these guardsmen and the townsfolk outside that they're protecting. You've kept their hope alive and now we can help restore it. I would like to let you know however that the mage Cosset, the girl in the blue hood and robes and my sister Cilla have had a less than amicable history. It shouldn't be a problem as they're in separate groups but you need to be aware of that. Also, I know it's a lot to ask but do you mind if we rest for a few hours before we move. We rode hard and fast to get to you all through this ghastly weather and I for one am soaked, freezing and exhausted. You've already held out for a week and now we're here to help secure the area. I recommend we wait until the rain stops. It's affecting everyone's morale and it's so cold it's mixed with ice. That kind of weather seriously hampers an army's awareness of the area and will make those rooftops dangerous to scale. Plus it actually strengthens the dead and we do not want to give them that advantage. If we must move now however my companions and I are ready but as an experienced soldier I do not recommend it. In the meantime I don't suppose one of these tents has a fire and a place for me to change?"

    Titus had gone off to meet with his group but Cilla had noticed Cosset and immediately moved toward her. It had been a while since they'd seen each other and maybe she'd opened up some more. Cilla decided to try and make her feel welcome and, hopefully, not come off as annoying again.

    "Hi Cosset." She said with a nod, showing the girl a sincere smile. "It's...good to see you again. How have you been?"
     
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    #20 Simus, Dec 3, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2016

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