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Private {18+} What Dwells Below

Discussion in 'Active Stories' started by Aethalia, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. Aethalia

    Aethalia Well-Known Member

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    It is the year 213 of the fourth era. The dragons of Skyrim are gone, vanquished by the dragonborn years ago. After his duty was completed, the dragonborn too, faded into legend. With the defeat of the World-Eater, the imperials and stormcloaks that had settled on a truce for the duration of the Dragon Crisis, were back at each others throats. The war rekindled with the same savagery as before, and after seven brutal, bloody years of conflict, the war ended with Ulfric Stormcloak named the High King. The Legion retreated over the mountains, back to Cyrodiil, to regroup. The Thalmor, those that survived the purges, swiftly followed them. For a time, Skyrim enjoyed a wary peace.

    However, like most things, the peace did not last. Two years after the conclusion of the war, the king was found dead at an assassins hand. The news through Skyrim into chaos once again, but this time, the empire was ready. A fully rejuvenated legion of imperials marched through the Pale Pass, and crushed the disorganized remnants of Ulfrics army. The deposed jarl of Solitude, Elisif the fair, was reseated, and declared the High Queen. General Tullius and his forces remained in Skyrim as an advisor and peacekeeper of the region. Once again, peace reigned. Helgen was rebuilt, cities expanded,and many of the old forts were manned once again.

    But like Ulfrics' peace, this peace was troubled. The jarls of Windhelm, Dawnstar and Riften strained under Imperial law. Nameless things stirred in marshes of Morthal, and strange occurrences have been reported throughout the province. The legion, though concerned, is still worn out from the war. The Thalmor are more interested in rooting out Talos worshippers than tracking down missing villagers. But something must be done. To that end, couriers are dispatched to every major town and city, and messages are posted. Be they mercenaries, adventurers, and aspiring heroes, all are needed. The messages instruct those interested to meet at the Four Shields Tavern, in Dragonsbridge. Where a fresh mystery has surfaced...



    Cast List

    Aethalia as Syloria Melorae

    @Thesius as Murtagh Bordar

    @TheArgonianDrell as Daxos Xiavir

    @TheShadedOne as Varisha

    @Morbidbread as Raeval Alarys/ Kiln

    @Signus as Andros Haorsson

    @Drahkma as Therian Corvae

    @Rell as Jamiel Acosta

    @Madrar as Amareth Imraskir
     
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    #1 Aethalia, Sep 21, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  2. Aethalia

    Aethalia Well-Known Member

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    Syloria Melorae walked along the road, her robes shifting slightly in the cool breeze. The high elf shivered and pulled her hood forwards, trying to cover as much exposed skin as she could. For more than one reason. The war was finally over and Skyrim had begun the long, painful process of rebuilding. The Thalmor had been ousted along with the empire years earlier, but with the empires' return, the representatives and rulers of the aldmeri dominion were slowly creeping back into the isolated province. And while Dragonsbridge was technically 'imperial', Syloria was wary of advertising her race. The nords were part of the empire again, but they were not overly welcoming of outsiders. Especially outsiders who reminded them of the ban on Talos worship.

    She wanted to help the people of Skyrim. Things were happening- strange occurrences that had little logical explanations. Monsters in Morthal, murders in the isolated farmsteads and homes scattered throughout the land, and people disappearing from walled cities. The imperials and the newly coronated queen Elisif were overwhelmed. And even worse, murmurs of rebellion were spreading from the formerly radical rebels that dwelt in the holds of Dawnstar, Windhelm and Riften. Those jarls in charge of the holds were calling for open rebellion once more, and the ousting of all 'non nords'.

    The high elf huffed a sigh, and set foot on the fabled 'dragon bridge' that gave the town on the other side its name. Guards in imperial and hold livery patrolled the far side. A wall had been erected around the town, and the sturdy wooden gates were currently open. Below, the Karth river rushed on its way towards the sea. She reached the far end of the bridge, and a pair of guards stepped forwards, one holding his hand forwards, motioning her to halt. "Elf. What's your business here?" The human demanded gruffly, causing Sylorias' eyes to narrow slightly. She was very clearly not associated with the Thalmor, but that didn't mean she was liked.

    "My business" she said, keeping her tone neutral, if not pleasant, "is the investigation of the murders that took place outside the town. Surely you heard someone was coming."

    "Aye." The guard said, "but that doesn't mean we can just let any odd stranger stumble through the place. Besides-"

    "Let her through!" Another voice, firm with authority rang out from behind the men, past the gates. "She's here at my request." Both guards turned at the demand, and some of the stiffness went out of the first guards bearing.

    "As you wish, sir."


    The redguard who approached walked with the same authority that he carried in his voice. His hazel eyes were hard, like the eyes of one who has seen one too many abominations in their time. He smiled grimly at the elven woman walking through the gate. "Welcome to Dragonsbridge. I wish it was under better circumstances."

    "So do I. What do you know?"

    Isran scratched his bearded chin "not alot. Apparently some farmer went mad and slaughtered his entire family."

    "Have the guards questioned him?"

    "He dove off the cliff. Best we can tell, he either swam down river or drowned."

    Sylorias' eyes widened "he jumped down there?" She repeated, looking back towards the precipice.

    The leader of the Dawnguard shrugged "like I said. The man went mad, butchered his wife and children, then leapt off the cliff. I've asked the guards not disturb anything. Would you like to investigate the place with me?"

    "Let us wait. Others are surely on their way. We'll fill them in as they arrive."

    "Good enough" Isran agreed. "I'll be at the penitus occulatus outpost with my men. Find me when you're ready."
     
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  3. Morbidbread

    Morbidbread Fight for the lost

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    In the corner of the Four Shields tavern, the only establishment where a traveler weary from the road could rest their feet in Dragonsbridge, sat a stranger to the land. Raeval Alarys, former guard captain of Raven Rock, current wandering sword and warlock, sat, eyeing the door warily. His unique bonemold helm was set off to one side, resting at the edge of the table. His short dark hair was concealed by shadows just like his grey skinned face. Only his eyes, a peculiar amber, were visible to the rest of the patrons. Which very well could have been the reason most of the people in the place were carefully avoiding that particular corner.

    Despite appearances, Raeval had no real intention of intimidating the people of Dragonsbridge. But he'd never been one for talking and even less for mingling with others. The change he'd gone through several years ago had done very little to improve his social skills. His fellow dunmer shunned him and most others thought him some form of sorcerer. Besides the elven greatsword that currently leaned against his left knee. The hilt was within easy reach, just in case someone was foolish or drunk enough to start a fight. The guards hadn't given him as much trouble as he'd expected coming into the town.

    He suspected that the current events going on throughout Skyrim recently and Dragonsbridge in specific, had them more concerned than a single dark elf with odd eyes. Raeval had investigated more than a few murder cases in his capacity as a guard captain on Solstheim. But never had he heard of the murderer commiting suicide so quickly afterwards. Being slain by guards trying to take them into custody was not unheard of but leaping off a cliff before anyone had even suspected them was. He hadn't yet examined the crime scene, but he would certainly make it a priority.

    For now he was content to listen and quietly gather information. A guardsman had told him that the man had been in good standing with the guard and had cherished his family. Nobody had suspected him as a violent man, much less a murderer. The former captain sipped the goblet of wine he'd been nursing since his arrival in the tavern. Things did not add up. The civil war was over and the imperial legion had long since secured the region. There was no drought or famine going around, near as he could tell. But something must have broken the mans' mind. A lovers' quarrel, perhaps? Possible, but unlikely. By all reports the mans' wife had kept to herself. "Curious" the elf murmured to himself.
     
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  4. Thesius

    Thesius The Imperial Paladin

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    The orc warrior sat at the bar of the Four Shields tavern,his appearance more suited to battles and brawling than brooding. Nobody expected an orc to be thoughtful, least of all one of his size. What could be seen of his forearms hinted at a past of bloodshed, if scars could be a reliable indicator of a persons past. He didn't meet the gaze of anyone around him but he could sense their stares. Not hostile but not exactly welcoming, either. Orcs were rare sights outside of their scattered strongholds even with the imperials finally succeeding in putting down Ulfric for good. The imperials hadn't claimed credit- of course they hadn't. The empire was much more politically savvy than the nords, and more willing to engage in underhanded activities. But revealing themselves to be the ones that had hired an assassin to remove the Stormcloak leader from power would have drawn out the war for much longer than it had. The northern jarls probably suspected, but they wouldn't commit troops over mere suspicion. Both sides were hurting.

    'But why am I here?' Murtagh wondered silently to himself. He had heard the call from the newly crowned high queen and he had heard the news of disappearances and murders. That being said, he was no hero and couldn't exactly be called an adventurer. The last time he'd fought anyone, with the intent to kill, anyways had been several weeks ago. Despite the murmurs of discontent in some of the holds, Skyrim was in a very fragile peace. Then Murtagh had his answer; even if many nords thought he didn't belong, he wanted to maintain that peace. For his kin at the strongholds as well as the people of Skyrim. They deserved something more than endless wars. He chuckled into the flagon of ale he held, wondering if the drink was making him sentimental after all his years as a mercenary.

    He lived on war and bloodshed for most of his life outside the stronghold. Fighting mostly for the empire but he'd taken jobs for a few 'interested third parties'. He shook his head wearily, still chuckling. His mirth came to an end when his ears, keener than most humans seemed to think, picked up conversation from one of the nords sitting a couple of stools away. The man was considerably drunker than the mercenary orsimer, swaying back and forth on his stool as he jabbed a finger into the face of his bemused friend. "It ain't natural I says!" He slurred, coming dangerously close to smacking his face off the hard wood of the bar. "Monsters in the swamps! People jus' vanishin' o'er night!"

    "Hjalgi, you're drunk and your mind's running wild. It's just bandits doing their usual thing." His friend said, "and you know those Morthal folk have always been a little skittish. Probably just saw a troll or something on its' way to the caves up in the mountains."

    "Aye." Hjalgi said, nodding and swaying in tandem. "Might be your right" he made to stand and made it two steps before he nearly pitched sideways into a table. Luckily for man and table, Hjalgi's friend was a little more sober, managing to avoid injury and a mess.

    "C'mon. Let's get you to a bed for the night." The pair stumbled off towards the inns' rooms, and Murtagh returned to his drink, but his mind was whirling. If the trouble was spreading so quickly that even some travelers, or at least he assumed they were travelers, had heard of it, action was needed. And if he was good at one thing, it was acting. He looked up from his flagon and noticed something, or rather someone, he had overlooked before. A figure in tan armour with amber eyes that seemed to glow in the light of the candle on the table the figure sat at. Almost certain the individual was not a regular given the cautious distance the others were giving him, very much like Murtagh himself, the orc lumbered over, scooping up his shield as he went.

    "Greetings," he said "I couldn't help but notice you,over here on your own. I think we're here for the same reason and it might be best if we work together, instead of apart."
     
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  5. Signus

    Signus Well-Known Member

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    Andros glanced up at the cloudless sky and scowled. His helmet and the cloth mask that covered the lower half of his face only offered limited protection against the burning rays of sunlight. His head hurt and pinpricks like needlemarks or the teeth of tiny creatures covered his skin. The bounty hunter heaved a sigh, expelling air that he didn't need. Hadn't needed for roughly five years or so. Some human habits had stuck with him in the transition to undeath. The great bridge waited ahead of them and he could hear the Karth river rushing past below. He could see guardsmen patrolling on the other side. He also saw figures in tan and brown, some with full face helms. Dawnguard.

    The nord cursed to himself, wondering what the order of vampire hunters were doing in Dragonsbridge. He'd heard of the murders and disappearances in the area but he'd heard nothing about vampires. He hesitated, running his thumb along the edge of his axe blade. He wanted to help but not if it meant having his head lopped off by a group of crossbow-toting zealots. It was too late to turn away now- they'd seen him and changing his course would likely raise some awkward questions. He cursed again, then set foot on the bridge, making sure his mask was in place, properly covering his lower jaw and set foot on the bridge, striding towards the sentries on the others side.

    He had barely made it across when the guards barred his path. "Close enough, friend." One man said as a third, this one in the tan and brown of the Dawnguard made his way over. "Let's see your face." The vampire hunter growled, fingering the haflt of his own axe. Andros shook his head, readying himself for a fight. He had no desire to shed the blood of the guardsmen but it looked like he was running out of options. "That's not going to happen. I'm here to help, not fight. Are you going to let me in or not?" The Dawnguard scowled and drew the axe from the loop in his belt, prompting the two guardsmen with him to draw their own weapons. "Lower the mask. Now."
     
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  6. TheShadedOne

    TheShadedOne The Angry One

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    Varisha stalked through Dragonsbridge, moving like a shadow even in the daylight. The nightblade assassin stepped lightly behind a pair of guards, keen khajiiti senses on full alert and her hand never far from the crescent blade on her hip. She had committed no crimes in the hold, but she very much doubted the guardsmen would be pleased to find someone of her reputation skulking around their town. She'd already seen the dawnguard patrolling alongside the guardsmen. Their leader, the one she'd heard the others call 'Isran' had escorted an elven woman through the town gates not too long ago. She was curious but not enough to introduce herself just yet. She had found the posted plea nailed to a sign post just outside Riften. While she wasn't the altruistic type, she was willing to bet the jarls and the high queen were willing to pay a kings' ransom for someone to get to the bottom of the murders and disappearances.

    Dragonsbridge was quite a walk from Riften but Varisha had gone to extraordinary lengths for coin before. She doubted this time around would be much different. She fingered the hilt of her unusual blade as she listened in on the idle chatter between the two men she was shadowing. From what she could figure out, things were only getting stranger in Skyrim. Varisha herself was not unaccustomed to strange- but the news from the surrounding area pushed even at her understanding. People didn't generally murder their family and throw themselves off cliffs. People seeing monsters in the swamps of Morthal was nothing new- the hold was largely untamed, with few adventurers going far off the main road in that region.

    For Varisha herself, she had no interest in wading through filthy swamp water to validated some peasants' story. Raised voices near the bridge drew her attention and she froze, listening. She let the guardsmen march further ahead, before slipping into a side alley. The two guards continued, oblivious to the assassin that had been stalking them. She moved quietly and quickly through the town, back towards the bridge. There, she saw a group of mixed guards and Dawnguard. All of them were confronting a masked man with an impressive axe. Despite being outnumbered, the man seemed adamant about not lowering the cloth that concealed the lower half of his face.

    She abandoned her slinking movements and strode purposefully towards the group. She didn't know the man but it was clear he was in Dragonsbridge for the same reasons she was. Plus, from what she'd heard she was going to need all the help she could get. She stepped up beside the lead guard, placing a hand on his shoulder and calling on her illusion magics at the same time. "He doesn't need to lower his mask" she whispered, noting the mans' shoulders relaxing as her spell took effect. "He's free to enter Dragonsbridge and go about his business."

    The man grunted, shook his head and stepped aside "you don't need to lower your mask. Enter and be about your business." With that, the guard turned around and proceeded down the main street. "So," she stepped in front of the masked man, "instead of a thank you, I'll accept the reason you want to keep your identity secret so badly." She jerked her head towards the tavern, "you can tell me over a drink, if you like."
     
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  7. Morbidbread

    Morbidbread Fight for the lost

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    Raeval glanced up at the words, delivered in a gruff but not unkind tone. The orcish warrior who stared down at him did not strike him as one for conversation. However, he'd noticed the orc had mentioned that their reasons for being in the tavern were similar, if not identical. The former guard captain leaned forwards, glancing around at the others patrons. "It seems we do indeed share a purpose,stranger." He knew he could not make much of a difference on his own. Certainly not if things were as bad as whispers and rumours hinted at. "Tell me, what have you heard of the man that murdered his family and threw himself from the cliff?" He nodded out the door, where the guards and dawnguard doubtless mingled as they patrolled the streets. "The guards are vigilant, but they know little and what I have heard is naught but speculation and rumour mongering."
     
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  8. Screeching Spasmodically

    Screeching Spasmodically Spasmodic Screecher

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    "Interesting" was the first word to break the shrouded figures mouth in many hours. The ones before had been something along the lines of 'take me to the town called Dragonsbridge', directed at a carriage driver outside the city of Markarth. The trip had been long and uneventful, but Luarin Drascua, more commonly known as 'the Shadeling' to both employers and victims, was used to waiting. She hadn't actually taken the carriage all the way into the town itself. She'd paid the driver extra to stop several kilometers from the bridge itself and slipped in under the cover of darkness. While the empire had ultimately triumphed in the struggle for control of Skyrim, she was well aware that people of non-nordic descent were somewhat less than welcome in some places. She'd never been particularly interested in the provinces' politics and biases but the posted bounty had promised a reward. It would be practical to remain on the good side of the local authorities.

    Starting a fight at the gates because the sentries, understandably, would be reluctant to allow her inside the walls of their town. After all, in her robes and armour, she hardly looked the part of a paragon of virtue. So after infiltrating Dragonsbridge, she'd picked a perch on one of the taller buildings and settled in to wait. She noted the arrival of the robed altmer woman, a paladin or cleric of some type judging by the welcome she recieved from the dawnguard soldiers nearby. She also noted with some interest the khajiit woman who stalked the patrolling guardsmen, seemingly without any goal in mind. The confrontation at the town gate appeared to vindicate her decision to rely on stealth rather than walking in boldly.

    To her mild surprise, the khajiit broke off her shadowing of the guards, without either soldier realizing their corporeal shadow had left their heels, and went to the assistance of the man arguing with a mixed bag of danwguards and hold guardsmen. She wondered briefly if they were partners or friends but deemed it unlikely. Neither seemed completely at ease with the other, even as the khajiit suggested the man buy her a drink. Together, the pair headed for the local tavern still unaware of the assassins' scrutiny. Once the pair were out of sight, the assassin pulled her robes tighter around her and settled in to wait for more arrivals.
     
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  9. The Seraph

    The Seraph Bringer of Dawn and the Morningstar

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    Serilius walked upon the frozen cobblestone road with a pep in his step. He held upon his face a sickly saccharine smile to complement the unsettling sterility of his general appearance. He was ambling onwards to Morthal, for he had plans in mind for this sick and diseased land but everybody needs to rest their feet every once in awhile. Twigs bristled behind him. Serilius merely smiled even wider. He heard a quick rustling and a retching noise. Serilius lept to the side of the road, unsheathing his sword and igniting his flame. Sickly green bile rushed out to where he was, and its sender? A worshipper of Peryite. Serilius laughed a laugh of fury and hatred. He jovially beseeched the diseased one, "Ah, one of you! I would have thought that you would have been disheartened after that shrine and its attendants burned in my light and love, but I guess not."
    "Peryite curse you, demon!" screeched the woman with wrath in her voice. She was soon met with a wall of golden fire. It did not hurt as it engulfed her, nor did it hurt as her skin cracked and charred, or when the fat on her body melted off, or when her eyes burst, saving her from having view this horror. It only took a several moments for her to succumb to her wounds. Serilius let his flame die when she stopped writhing. He merely smiled as he doused himself in the flame to rid his body and soul of her presence.

    At last he reached Morthal, a wretched, diseased mire. He felt the instinctual need to cleanse himself, but when he unveiled his flame, a nearby local sneered at him. Serilius merely smiled and continued on his way as the townspeople gazed in terror and wonder at the burning man. He entered the in grandly, the last of his flames dying. Serilius strode over to the innskeeper and beseeched of her something to drink. She eagerly snatched a mug from an unconscious patron and poured more ale in it. Staring in horror, Serilius asked if her
    "Are you not going to wash that?"
    "Oh, oh right! I'm sorry. Just not used to pouring a drink for anybody but him," she stated, nodding over to the unconscious man. She poured out the drink and scrubbed the mug with a rag, but it was not enough for him.
    "You know what, I do believe I am fine. I will just head on out," said Serilius, barely trying to mask his abject disgust. He quickly rushed out of the inn and continued on his merry way. Dragonsbridge cannot possibly be that far off, can it? he thought.

    Several hours later, Dragonsbridge was on the near horizon. Serilius laughed out of relief.
    This will be it! thought Serilius, This is where I shall begin. All the cleansings in Cyrodiil were nothing compared to my grand plan. I will start here, I will answer this call, and with light and glory, I shall cleanse this land. The people will herald me as the dawn of a new age! I will purify this land and from here all of Tamriel! They will sing my name from Betony to Lilmothiit!
    "I will be the light, the glory of this world!"
    Serilius muttered these last few words out loud, "All will be cleansed by my own will and hand! He softly laughed, brushing away the tears that seemed to accompany his quiet moments.
     
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