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18+ Degenerates

Discussion in 'Active Stories' started by TheShadedOne, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. TheShadedOne

    TheShadedOne The Angry One

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    It is the 220th year of the fourth era. The Second Great War has ended, in yet another stalemate, with the Dominion, lead by the Thalmor. Emperor Titus Mede III, lead the remnants of the Cyrodiilic Empire, against them. Both sides, reclaimed swathes of land in Valenwood, Hammerfell, and pockets of land in High Rock have sided with both factions. A wary peace has descended once more. Skyrim, recently independent after the bloody civil war, remains defiantly neutral.

    Various factions, criminal, mercenary, even mini-empires, have sprung up in the aftermath. These are uncertain times. Monsters, both human and otherwise roam the wilds in ever greater numbers, and those who live outside the walls of cities and castles have no guarantee of seeing the next dawn.

    In both the Empire, the Dominion, and the various independent kingdoms, crime runs rampant. With so many soldiers called to the newly drawn borders of both sides, very few remain behind to keep order. To compensate for this, city guards have been granted near limitless authority, beholden only to the lords of their towns and cities. "Mercy" is a word that falls on deaf ears more often than not. To make matters worse, many of these 'lawmen' are corrupt in the extreme, turning a blind eye to the crimes of the nobility, and exacting brutal 'justice' on those less well connected.

    Many in the Empire have voice their support for these men, however, clamouring for the extinction of the degenerates that prowl the streets of their fair land. However, some may still have a use for these 'degenerates'.
     
  2. TheShadedOne

    TheShadedOne The Angry One

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    Skingrad, business district
    Cyrodiil

    Skingrad had expanded in the decades since the Oblivion crisis Houses sprawled in every direction, surrounded by sturdy walls, and with the district known as Hightown, the shining jewel in the center. But with extension, had come squallor, and with the latest war between the Dominion and the Empire, conditions had not improved for the city. Anything outside of Hightown was slums, or the heavily guarded chapel of Julianos, where priests offered healing. For a price.

    The business district, normally quiet as merchants and those townsfolk who could afford it went about their business. However, on this particular day, an overcast afternoon, that threatened rain in the near future, the district was in an uproar. An extravagantly wealthy merchant, known to 'convince' the guards to remove his rivals, had been killed, his throat slit as he looked over the market square from the balcony of his manor. His corpse had fallen over the railing, skull shattering upon impact with the cobblestone street. A slender altmer woman had been seen fleeing the scene, and the guards were in pursuit.
    The altmer in question, Ylinia, ran through the streets, the clanking of armoured boots and angry shouts chasing her the whole way. Despite the consequences of being caught, she wasn't afraid. She had a healthy headstart, and had scouted the streets long before entering the residence of her target. And, if things should take a turn for the worse, she had a 'backup' in place. Her goal were the sprawling slums just outside the district, where she could vanish into the filthy tides of humanity.

    Turning for a side street, she was met by a pair of guardsmen, their halberds leading. Without missing a beat, the swift assassin danced to the side, into a dead end alley where filth piled high against the walls. She ran deep into the alley, stopping at the far wall, before turning to face her pursuers, a group of angry guardsmen, four in total, dressed in the crimson of the Empire, and making their way confidently towards their trapped prey. She smiled, and spread her arms, leaving her daggers in their sheathes. "Well done, boys. You've caught me." She then looked past the advancing guards, and raised her voice only slightly. "Feel free to join our merry gathering."
     
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  3. Drahkma

    Drahkma Dashing Imperial Officer.

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    Out of all the filth and squalor that had overtaken the city of Skingrad, a figure stood out. He was taller than most, with a face that spoke of the nobility of ages past. His keen blue eyes peered into the darkest corner, and those who lurked in such darkness feared to meet that seemed to glow with a cold hunger. The fact that he was a breton, not particularly common in the city, got him a few raised eyebrows, but apparently, it was not enough to rouse the city guard. Under his dark cloak, he wore plate armour, scarred from hundreds of battles, but still intact. Over one shoulder, he held the hilt of a great blade. It gleamed, even in the dim light of the grey day.

    His name, was Kyros Duenfeure, but most knew him as Kyros Bloodhand. He'd fought dozens of duels, and emerged victorious from every one of them. He was also a vampire, though one of the less...physically obvious ones. His flesh was cold as ice, and a pair of fangs made his smile all the more menacing. Not that any of the passers by suspected this. Over the decades, the breton had taken on a more passive approach. He fed only when necessary, and didn't reveal his strength unless the circumstances were truly dire. His years of training with his sword, Razor left him longing to meet a worthy foe. To engage in a duel where his skills would be tested to the limits, or he would finally meet the last rest.

    The sounds of pursuit reminded him of his purpose in the area. This was, after all, not an idle visit to the destitute outskirts of the business district. With his vampiric senses on alert, it was simplicity itself to find the source of the commotion. Whether certain of his arrival, or merely bluffing, a womans voice, light in tone, called out; "Feel free to join our merry gathering."

    Rounding the corner, he came across a scene that would have been dire, if he had not known the prowess of the apparently 'trapped' altmer woman. "Greetings." The bloodknight rumbled, drawing the attention of the four guardsmen. He shifted his sword from his shoulder to a ready position. Half a dozen strikes later, and the fight, if it could be called that, was over. He turned his attention onto his companion, after cleaning his blade on one of the fallen bodies. "Shall we depart?"
     
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  4. Ten Feathers

    Ten Feathers Well-Known Member

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    The forest whipped by in a blur, branches and brush snapping as a trio of leather-clad fugitives crashed through the greenery. Shouts and curses followed the three, as their pursuers hastened to keep up with the nimble pirates. One pirate, with a wild grin and a dangerous gleam in his eye, laughed as he turned his head to watch as their hunters fell away behind them. And while his eyes saw what he'd been hoping for, his feet tripped up on a tree root, and the grin fell away from the pirate's face as he tumbled down a small ravine, and landed with a thump and a splash as his body slumped into the trickling stream. The other two cursed as they stopped, and started to head to his aid, but were halted by the sound of more mercenaries. With a shrug, one turned away and continued to their destination.

    "Idiot," muttered the other, as he too fled the scene. The sound of stomping boots, laughter, shrieks of pain, and a final sickening crunch echoed through the trees as he followed his companion.

    Hours passed as the two continued on their way, sometimes running, sometimes jogging, but always moving. Finally, after several detours and purposeful backtracking, they stopped and huddled under an overhang of dirt and stood stock still. Hardly breathing, the two waited for the sound of pursuit... but there was nothing. Just the sigh of the wind as it pushed through the trees. A bird warbled in the canopy. A single leaf, separated from its branch, flitted to and fro until it brushed against the Khajiit's muzzle fur, and held fast. Just in front of his eyes, it sat. He couldn't help but stare at it for a moment, before he began to raise his hand to swat it from his sight.

    Before he could, though, his companion's hand stayed him. He shifted his gaze to his captain, Tabivah, waiting for orders. And, with a barely perceptible sigh, she turned to face him. Her hot red eyes glanced over him, searching for injury, before she turned to face the forest once more.

    "You know this already," the Dunmer breathed, "but we were sold out. Never should have left that damned ship," she scolded herself.

    The Khajiit inhaled sharply, about to apologize for his mistake, but she held up a finger to silence him.
    "Skingrad," she said simply. "That's where we'll go. I have a contact who's made appearances there, though they may not wish to see me. Hard to find, harder to forget. Goes by-" but the name failed to be uttered, as an arrow embedded itself in her throat, pinning her to the wall of soft dirt behind them. A second arrow, not even half a heartbeat behind, thrummed as it struck the dirt his face was pressed against, the feathers tickling the bridge of his nose. Blood welled up from a shallow cut where, moments before, the leaf had rested. As it rolled out of the opening and onto his fur, the Khajiit's mind registered the situation, and his body instinctively rolled backwards, just in time to avoid three more arrows as they arrived at the spot he'd just been occupying.

    Turning as he fell back, the pirate's feet dug into the soil as he pushed off to the nearby trees. Dodging and weaving between the slim trunks of the surrounding trees, the nimble Khajiit put all of his effort into escaping that dreaded forest. No longer did he have someone's side to keep to. No longer did he have orders to take. No longer did he have to deal with the name-calling and drunken fistfights of that pirate ship. No longer did he have a home. It had been a long time since he'd felt so heart-achingly free of an anchor.

    Hot tears burned their way out of his eyes as he rushed headlong through the trees. His scabbard slapped against his thigh as his legs pumped in a frantic rhythm. For what felt like hours, he ran. Hours upon hours of green and trunks and blurred vision. And then he burst out of the trees, and stumbled, backpedaling to regain his balance, ultimately finding himself staring out of the twigs of a thorny bush. He turned about, and spotted the mercenaries he'd been fleeing from for what felt like a lifetime. Their swords gave off a dull shine in the grey light, but that shimmer disappeared as they sheathed their weapons, glaring at the city before them. They turned to one another, shouting and gesturing at the city, before slipping back into the trees. One stayed behind, though, staring at the massive walls. His hand slowly rose up behind his shoulder, and plucked an arrow from its quiver. He nocked it, and pulled the arrow to his cheek as he aimed at the clouds above the city. Even from a distance, the Khajiit felt the yearning to kill emanating from the bowman. Before he released the arrow, though, another mercenary appeared from behind, and got his attention. After a moment's hesitation, the bowman put his arrow back, slung the bow across his chest, and followed his comrade into the darkened forest.

    The Khajiit breathed a sigh of relief, and crawled out of his impromptu bolthole. The thorns scraped at his face and hands, and tugged at his clothing, but it was much better than being poked full of arrow holes. He inhaled sharply as he put weight onto his left leg, and squeezed his eyes shut while his fists balled up. Forcing the breath out again, the Khajiit limped his way to the city gates, and slipped inside while the guard was distracted. Following his nose, the cat made his way through the city, and found himself at the door of an inn. Its sign, once colorful and inviting, was now a disheveled, unreadable mess that flapped lamely in the breeze. Shrugging, he stepped inside and made his way over to the bar. He looked up at the barmaid and flashed his trademark grin.

    "This one is Dar'Kazhel, and he is looking for someone," he cooed to her, "Would the jewel of this fine establishment care to help?"
     
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  5. Andre Marek

    Andre Marek You can run, but you'll only die tired...

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    Rowan winced as the crowded marketplace renewed its bombardment of his senses. The sound of jingling coin purses, the neighing of horses and braying of mules filled the air. Merchants clad in brightly colored tunics waved their hands at passers by in an attempt to sell their goods, while guards roamed about, grim drops of crimson in the otherwise cheerful crowd. The smell of fresh bread, honeyed mead, and burnt meat wafted through the square, filling Rowans nose and making his mouth water even as he took a swig from his own wineskin.

    With a sigh, Rowan fit the stopper back into the skin and replaced it on his belt. The warm, sweet liquid did nothing to sate his appetite, which had been growing worse with each passing minute, but it did wonders to quell his growing annoyance with the hustle and bustle of those around him. Were it up to himself, he would have preferred to meet his client, a somewhat rotund merchant that perpetually smelled of cheese and onions, outside the city gates, or even better, at his shop. That way, Rowan could have dropped off the package he'd been hired to recover from a group of bandits between Skingrad and Kvatch, and been on his way far more quickly. However the petulant man had insisted on not meeting in or near his shop. He didn't want Rowan scaring off potential customers; what with his sword, armor and overall grim complexion.

    But it wasn't his lot to argue with the whims of those less intelligent than himself, lest he wind up engaged in a meaningless debate. So he contented himself with waiting, leaning on the corner of a shop, under the eaves where it was cool and shaded. His patience was eventually rewarded as he spotted the client squeezing his way towards him through the crowd.

    " 'bout fluffin time..." Rowan grumbled under his breath as the man ambled up to him looking disheveled.

    "Do you have it?" The man was out of breath, sweat dripped from his temples and his nostrils were flared, indicating just how little exorcise he got.

    "Not so fast friend. You got something for me?" Rowan didn't even bother to stand up straight. Instead he simply stared flatly into the mans eyes while he dug a coin purse from his pocket and proffered it to Rowan. Snatching it from the mans thick hand, Rowan undid the string and inspected the contents before uttering an annoyed grunt, "You're short."

    The man fidgeted under Rowans gaze but his voice didn't waver as he said, "You took longer than expected. Surely you don't expect me to fork over for tardiness?" It was apparent that the man thought he was still dealing with his friendly business associates.

    "Oh, I'm sorry, would you rather I had halted my pursuit on the second day and returned empty handed? You hired me to bring back your goods. I've brought them back, so you're going to pay me." As he spoke, Rowan shoved off the wall and lowered his hands to his sides in a relaxed but clearly threatening gesture. As was expected, the merchant swallowed hard before reaching into his pocket again and producing a second purse which Rowan accepted. Then he procured a small casket from his belt, wrapped in cloth, and handed it to the man. The merchant immediately shoved the box under one arm, hiding it from view as though wary of being robbed again and without a backward glance turned and wandered back into the crowd.

    Rowan smirked and shook his head as he watched the man go. Then he pocketed the coin before making his own way out of the market. As he left, he heard a woman scream somewhere behind him along with several shouts and the pounding of armored feet. He glanced over his shoulder, the fur on his collar tickled his mustache as he searched for the source of the commotion. Coming up empty, he put it from his mind, It obviously wasn't a concern of his, and instead focused on finding an inn where he could finally feed himself and down a drought or two of proper ale.

    After some searching, he managed to find a small tavern, far enough from the crowded market place that he would be able to find a table to himself. Despite looking respectable enough, Rowan noticed that the sign above the door was nearly illegible and upon entering he found that besides himself, there were only a handful of other patrons.


    "Mmm, perfect,"
    he mumbled. After catching the barmaids eye with a gesture resembling that of a man drinking from a mug, Rowan strode over to a free table near the back of the room and slide into a chair, his sheath clanking against the back. Once settled, he glanced around the room, his gaze coming to rest on the broad back of a figure standing at the bar. Only now did he realize that he was looking at a Khajiit, as evidence by the tip of his tail poking out below the bottom of his coat, and the pointed, feline ears atop his head. The rest of the Khajiit was garbed in leather armor, with little of his natural fur showing. On his hip he wore a slightly curved steel cutlass.

    Rowan stared at the sword and obviously worn armor and made a mental note of it as the maid sidled up with his ale. After ordering a meal, Rowan leaned back and took a large swig of the delicious black liquid before absentmindedly continuing to observe the other patrons.
     
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  6. Gilly the Kid

    Gilly the Kid New Member

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    Kazmirr Gra-Kush made her way through the colorful crowds of people swarming the Skingrad markets. It was normally pretty busy this time of day, much to the Orc's distaste, even after five years on the road she had still not grown used to cities, so much different from the quiet stronghold in High Rock she grew up in. A woman, a High Elf Kazmirr guessed from the height, shoved through groups of people as guards followed in hot pursuit. Kazmirr sighed, it was a common sight nowadays, chaos in Skyrim had spread to Cyrodiil, and now crime had become commonplace.

    Not forgetting her objective however, the Adventurer pushed through citizens and made her way to the Inn where her contractor awaited. She made her entrance into the Inn and sat at a table, vacant save for a middle aged Imperial man, looking eager. "I trust Felonius didn't give you too much trouble," he asked, a small smirked sprang from his worn face. "Ah no, Felonius gave up the parcel without any trouble," Kazmirr replied, "it was his thugs that put up a wild fight "

    The Orcish Woman pulled out a a ring, it flashed a vibrant blue glow. "Here is your ring, lucky you paid me such a sum of coin, i almost kept it for myself," Kazmirr teased. The Imperial shot a foul look at her. "Here, take your pay, good job as always, have you considered doing Mercenary work fulltime?" The Orc shrugged her shoulders, "alright pay, but im the adventuring sort, only take these jobs to make some septims."

    With that, the two said their farewells, and Kazmirr made her way to a Barmaid, paying for a room for the night. After stripping off her armor, the Orc sat down at the bar, ordering some Colovian brandy. It felt good to take off the heavy armor, letting her curves breath for once. She noticed a Khajiit man besides her, garnering her interest. She had seen few Cat men in her travels, but each time she found their unique appearance fascinating, not to mention their natural charm.

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  7. Ten Feathers

    Ten Feathers Well-Known Member

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    Dar'Kazhel had learned, from extensive personal experience, that to relax in a tavern was as good as jumping open-armed at a bandit's saber. And so he'd made a mental note of each and every patron that walked in the door, keeping tabs on them with a casual glance about. While the majority of the patrons were simple citizens, farmers and the odd merchant, two figures caught his interest.

    A Nord, whose bald head was a fashion uncommon in every place Dar'Kazhel had been, pushed his way through the tavern's door and found himself a seat in the back, where he had the best vantage point. Though Dar'Kazhel tried to keep his presence understated, his scruff prickled every time he felt the man's gaze upon him. He was just about to get up from the bar to run when a second stranger entered the establishment. An Orcish woman, taller than he, strode right up to the bar, and seated herself beside Dar'Kazhel. His fingers, gripping the bar top, dug into the wood as his whole body tensed up. He was worried that the two irregulars in the bar could be working together, to end his life the way the other mercenaries killed his crewmates, and the thought was a far cry from appealing. He relaxed, though, when the Orc ordered herself a brandy and proceeded to drink it wholeheartedly.

    No way would one of them dull their senses with alcohol if they intended to bleed me, Dar'Kazhel thought to himself, as he rested against the bar. Putting on his most dashing grin, the Khajiit looked into the woman's eyes just as she glanced at him curiously. "This one is surprised," he purred to the Orc, "Dar'Kazhel had heard that beautiful flowers decorated all of Skingrad, but to have one sit beside him? Dar'Kazhel is gladdened, and humbled by this one's generosity." He flashed her a bigger grin, and took the opportunity to check on the Nord seated at the back wall.
     
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  8. Gilly the Kid

    Gilly the Kid New Member

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    Kazmirr felt her checks flush red as the mysterious Khajiit man threw a compliment her way. Although she had recieved many cat calls from her Orcish kin, rarely did a man outside her race pay her a compliment. "The pleasure is mine, not often I am in the presence of one such as yourself," she replied to the Cat. The way this one talked drove the Orc wild, so different from what she was accustomed to, yet so alluring.

    She noticed he seemed a little tense, "My name is Kasmirr Gra-Kush," she introduced herself, taking a generous swig of Brandy. "What should I call you?" The Orc asked curiously, gazing into the Khajiits eyes. She noticed his eyes dart from her to the side, prompting her to take notice of a rough looking Nord seated along the back of the bar. "Must be another Mercenary," she thought, "Cant blame him, Skingrad is ripe with jobs for those of us suited for the work,"

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  9. Stormmaiden

    Stormmaiden Active Member

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    Alathera stretched, observing the room, and at the same time, searching for her clothing which had been scattered across the room during the last nights 'activities'. "Must you leave?" Her former partner, an imperial mage, fairly handsome for a human, and as naked as she was. His eyes roamed over the ash grey of her skin, and ignoring the annoyance that flickered in her mismatched eyes. Despite the mans assumptions, she hadn't slept with him because of his looks, but what he had in his position.

    A ruby, spherical in shape, attached to a silver chain. The ruby all but hummed with magical potential, and better yet, it was attuned to fire. The mage didn't seem to realize what he had. So, she'd let him 'seduce' her, and accompanied him to the mansion his family owned. And now, with the enchanted ruby on a bedside table, it was there for the taking.

    "Yes." She replied shortly, flashing him a small smile, as she pulled her clothes on. "I have business in the city, and besides, I've never been one for long term relationships." Throwing her robe on, and stepping into her boots, she secreted the gem away for further study, once she could be alone with it. "Farewell." With those words of parting, she left the mansion, stepping outside into a grey day. In the distance, she could hear the shouts of the merchants in the business district.

    She made her way along the streets, her hand inside the pockets of her robes, clenched around the gem. A sign caught her eye, not remarkable because of any ornamentation, but because it was so worn down. Deciding such a place would be perfect, for a while, at least, she stepped inside, looking around as she did so. The usual patrons were present- mercenaries, farmers, a few townsfolk...none seemed terribly interested in her, so she picked a quiet corner, and pulled the gem from her pocket. Its center seemed to glow with an inner flame, entrancing in its beauty.
     
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  10. Zelda

    Zelda Student of the Mage's College

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    Each step was one adding to a long journey that had yet to end. The scent of rain sneaked between the faint breeze from the foreshadowing storm. In such a place as Skingrad, the woman seemed almost foreign, despite being mostly Nordic in ethnicity. Her vibrant icy blue eyes contrasted with the dark alleys she wandered past; much like a pair of crystals found in a dark cavern. These icy eyes were once filled with the warmth of a far kingdom, and brightness of hope for foreign lands. These eyes became cold from the harsh winter that dwindled over the souls of the damned lands.

    Despite the harsh civil unrest, the woman tried her best to keep her appearance one of a higher class. Her rare white hair was kept upright and clean, her armor and clothing sparkling with freshness and care. She was easy to spot in the crowds, which was something she commonly hoped for. While she did commit to sins such as murder and thievery, she only did so when necessary... sadly, this was often. To push these aside, she kept herself the promise to try to help those in need, at least, when she could afford to.

    Walking into the slums of the town, the stench and sound of the ill-ridden filled the atmosphere. She knew she was... and odd one, to use magic to heal herself while being such a warrior - or rather knight - of the past. But instead of listening to the fewer ridicules, she made sure to visit the slums when she was in town to heal the sick who were too ill to go to the shrine to pray to Julianos.

    "Please... Valencia... help my daughter!" A woman pleaded from the shadows, before coughing. The ex-knight walked over to the woman, nodding her head. "She is this way... please... she is very ill... she was bitten by a skeever..."

    The white-haired woman followed the brunette through the crowded slums, begging Valencia for coins she did not own. Finally, laying in a pile of hay, a small brunette girl lay with her arm extended, blood crusted while it oozed with puss. The young one coughed sickly, before moaning to her mother for help. Valencia knelt down beside the girl, taking her blood-crusted hand from the crimson flow that once drizzled to her fingertips.
    "Mama... who is this... will she hurt me...?" "It's okay... just relax love... I am here to heal you..." Valencia spoke gently, her tone in voice light and sweet.

    As her icy blue eyes hid under the covers of her eyelids, a warm glow rose from the palm of her hand. The glow gently streamed its way to the young girl, traveling from her hand and up her arm, before surrounding her body in a twisting flow of light warmth. Nearby slums watched curiously, the young girl watching the swirl of light. The wound quickly healed, the blood dissipating as the bite closed to fresh skin. Finally, the colors of a sunrise disappeared, Valencia opening her eyes once more. She released the girl's hand, before handing her a potion of Cure Disease.
    "We... we can't afford to pay you..." The white-haired woman shook her head, standing up.

    She did not meet eye contact with any of the slums as she looked off into space, still speaking to the woman.
    "I did not give the potion to you... I gave it to your daughter...it's a gift to her that you shall not pay." Valencia turned around, facing the young girl as she smiled. "May Julianos light your health once more."

    With that, the young woman made her mark for the day, and walked out of the slums, more people begging for help and coin. Behind her, the small girl mustered a
    "Thank you..." Soon she made her lead out of the slums and into the city once more. Crime was filled everywhere, as it was in slums, too. It made Valencia sick to her stomach that she had to be one of those... criminals, to merely eat at times. It was daunting for her to constantly give charity when she too needed it at times, but she knew it was for the best. Besides that she needed a way for her to feel forgiveness for the sins she commits. With charity, she felt she could cleanse her sword, bow, mind, and heart, for what she did... and does.
     
  11. Ten Feathers

    Ten Feathers Well-Known Member

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    Dar'Kazhel grinned as the Orc flushed, and grasped for a response. "The pleasure is mine, not often I am in the presence of one such as yourself," she finally managed, continuing to watch him. When he gave no response, she apparently opted for a different tact, and introduced herself before asking for his name.

    "Ah," the Khajiit sighed, "this one's name is Dar'Kazhel. Though his friends call him Kaz. This one may too, if she desires," he replied, turning his head to face the rows of alcohol perched upon the shelves behind the bar. His ears flickered as he weighed his options, and tried to decide if the Orc and Nord were threats, and if so, if they were working together. Not many had heard of the pirate ship he'd been first mate on, not this far from sea... but then, not many mercenaries could - or would - chase himself, his captain, and her second mate for as long as they did. Perhaps they'd infiltrated the city, to corner and finally kill Dar'Kazhel. He shivered as a phantom blade traced itself across his throat.

    Out of the corner of his eye, Dar'Kazhel watched as a robed Dunmer entered the tavern and found a table. Her heritage was interesting, but not enough to take special note of. Shrugging inwardly, he brushed her presence from his forethoughts, and planned his next words carefully.

    Making an imperceptible nod to himself, Dar'Kazhel sniffed, and twitched his nose as he turned to face the Orc once more.
    "This one has heard tales of sea bandits," he ventured, looking down into his mug's murky depths. "Loathsome cretins, Dar'Kazhel has heard, who show no mercy. If this one wished to... hunt for such vermin... who would he turn to for guidance?" Dar'Kazhel knew not whether or not the Orcish woman could provide any information, but he hoped that by simply saying the words aloud, someone might hear him, and tell him what he needed to hear. Or come to finish him off. Whichever the case, he would draw his blade when ready, and turn tail to run when necessary.
     
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  12. Zelda

    Zelda Student of the Mage's College

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    A sigh left the lips of the white-haired young woman in a graceful whisper. She longed for the peace she left her homeland for, and yet, her purpose was to dispel such evil in a place where she commits such sins to survive. She is still a rich woman, but she keep all of her coin away from even herself; emergency economy, so to say. Instead, she lived on only what she made from trading, assassinating, thievery, and alchemy.

    As she walked through the bustling streets, her icy eyes laid to rest upon the sign of an inn. It was worn and barely legible; similar to the mind of a wise old man. Valencia's curiosity was a great one, so her mind desired to put her presumptions aside. She took out a rag and began to make sure her armor what spotless. As usual, she wanted to signify and let others assume her as a level of high authority. She once was, and still is, but in a land afar. And who knew if the kingdom was safe and still existent. For now, she hoped the shiny armor would give others a shine of hope, rather than the dullness of a rusted blade.

    Walking into the inn, her vividly icy blue eyes scanned the inn/tavern. There were a handful of patrons either chatting away, dining alone, or simply resting by the fire. Valencia closed the door behind her, yearning for a small bite to eat and perhaps a drink.

    She visited inns and taverns often, looking for the news and perhaps a mercenary job, a trade, etc. She was successful most of time, at least. She walked up to the desk of a bar maiden, her sword clinking against her shield and her bow, and the woman behind the counter gave a welcoming smile. "Hello and Welcome. What may I get you?" She asked politely, the usual tone of any sweet-talking barterer. "Hello to you. I desire a glass of water and a sweet roll, please," Valencia spoke, handing her the correct amount of coin. The woman nodded her head after she gave Valencia a strange look from her order of water and she began to gather the food. Valencia walked her way over to a bench that was far enough away from the other patrons not to disturb them, but close enough to converse if a conversation sparked.

    Valencia was not much of a drinker unless she was looking for temporary happiness or it was a special occasion. She did enjoy a wine every now and then, though. Patiently she waited a short amount of time before the water and sweet roll was given to her. It had been awhile since she treated herself to something sweet rather than something filling such as bread or meat. "Thank you love. Have a blessed day," the white-haired young woman spoke, smiling as she took her meal and handed the maiden a tip. The woman smiled back with a nod and a "Enjoy your meal," before returning to the counter.

    The scent of the sweet was as tempting as it looked. She took a small sip of the water first, before pulling out the book The Cake and the Diamond. It was a great book she had read and enjoyed before. It was quite humorous for an old Breton woman to fool them so well. Valencia, during her first time reading the novel, loved how the woman was a Breton, similar to her own heritage.

    She sat the book gently on the table, flipping the page she last left on. She then took a bite of the tasty treat while she read her novel.
     
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    #12 Zelda, Jan 12, 2017 at 4:57 PM
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  13. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    Soren Crowe, ranger, and one time assassin for the Bloodlet Throne Coven, made his way through the crowded streets of Skingrad. His pale features were covered by a dark hood, which helped to conceal his identity. He wasn't exactly...loved in the city. Working for Salthar Vivarians' vampires had left quite a hefty price on his head in the Empire. And High Rock. And Most parts of Skyrim. His departure from the Covens' service had been...less than amicable. Now, he was hunted by both the vampires and various Imperial agents.

    Fortunately for Crowe, he'd made a few reliable contacts during his work in the Empire. He was on his way to meet one such man now. An Imperial thief, smuggler, and contact of Soren, had gotten a message to the ranger, requesting a meeting. Turning a corner, he saw his contact, Gareth, standing near the wall of an alley. Upon seeing Crowe, the mans features took on a relieved cast. "Crowe!" He exclaimed, keeping his voice low to keep from drawing attention. "About time you got here! Some important merchant got thrown off his balcony. Guards are crawling all over the place."

    "Doesn't concern me." Soren said shortly, "you said you have information for me."

    Gareth nodded, reaching inside his tunic, and withdrawing a folded piece of parchment. "You'd better have something good for this, Crowe. I had to slip past an inquisitor just getting here."

    "An inquisitor is here!?" Hissed Soren, not at all eager to face one of the powerful vampires.

    But Gareth was already shaking his head, though there was a haunted look in his eyes. "No, no. Anvil. He was getting off a ship there. Some of his lackeys were already questioning dock workers."

    "And the Imperials just let them?"

    Gareth shrugged "Didn't seem to care. Maybe he greased the right palms. Maybe the guards in Anvil know what the Coven's capable of."

    Soren shrugged, and held his hand out for the paper, affecting an unconcerned expression. Gareth handed it over, allowing the ranger to peruse its contents. What the words on the parchment revealed, frightened him more than he thought possible. And he now understood the true reason for Gareths skittishness. "It's a lie, right? It can't be true....it just...."

    " Calm down." The ranger said, eyes flickering over the words once more. "They wouldn't make something like this up." He decided finally.

    "But-but...if this is real...by the gods!" Gareth gasped, his voice taking on a hysterical note. The sound of tramping, armoured boots coming nearer drew the rangers attention, but his contact seemed oblivious. He knew he had to do something. He also knew the information contained within the parchment couldn't be allowed to reach the public. Refolding the letter, he secured it in his belt pouch,before taking a firm hold on Gareths' shoulder.

    "For the record, I am sorry about this." The mans' face had just enough time to register confusion, before Crowes' dagger plunged into his throat. He lowered the dying thief to the grimy cobblestones, withdrawing his blade, and making his way out of the alley. Moments after, a shout indicated Gareths' body had been found.

    Soren needed a place to lay low. So the guards would have time to search for whoever it was they were hunting. He kept moving, his hood up, until he came across a non-descript tavern, clearly worn down and seemingly an excellent place for those who didn't want to be found to gather. So, the Imperial ranger stepped through the door, hand on the hilt of his sword, and glanced around. A pleasant looking barmaid was speaking to a Breton woman, presumably a knight, though she seemed the anomaly in such a place.

    Others were an Orc female, speaking to a Khajiit mail in worn leather armour, sitting at the bar, where a surly looking bartender wiped mugs with a filthy looking rag. Further into the tavern, a bald Nord man in armour that looked suited to both combat and travel. At one of the tables sat a Dunmer woman, apparently enthralled by a gem on a silver chain. He stepped to the bar and took a seat beside the Khajiit, and ordered a mug of ale. While he drank, he reflected on the contents of the letter. Wondering, what, exactly, he could do to ensure his survival.
     
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  14. Zelda

    Zelda Student of the Mage's College

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    While the book she read brought happy memories, it brought along distasteful ones that clashed with her treat. When she left High Rock, she planned on returning, until the chaos of Tamriel appeared once more. She left behind her mother - a Half Breton Half Nord - and her father - A full blooded Nord - back home. It upset her that she knew nothing of their well-being, as well as the royal family and their son. She took another bite of her sweet roll hoping to get the sour taste of memories from her mind as she read on.

    From the door, she watched a male walk in, as the place was beginning to become more lively. After a few moments, Valencia decided to observe her surroundings once again. She left her book open, but instead sat up a bit more as if a form of friendly welcoming. She looked about the tavern, taking another sip of fresh water. There were so many diverse people in one place: A Dunmer, a Khajiit, a Nord, an Orc, and more.

    She remembered long ago, when she would help travelers through the city of her home before she became a full-term Knight of the Roses. She thought it was amazing to meet all the different people of different ethnicity and cultures, all to be looking for a similar happiness... of course, it was the same culture and diversity that was driving Tamriel apart at the time.

    Not wanting to seem intrusive and cause any unnecessary conflict due to her prolonged observations, she returned to her book, reading away once more as she drank her water and took a bite of her sweet roll.

    The Cake and the Diamond was one of the reasons she became interested in alchemy as a young girl. Being as innocent as she was, she found it entertaining that such an old woman could fool such haughty men. She was amazed by how alchemy worked - or at least, how the story explained it did. The woman controlling the man without a bit of thought...? Amazing! She loved the end when she was little too; laughed every time.

    When she read the final line, she smiled a bit, remembering how her father would react rather immaturely and her mother would scold him while smiling herself. Those were the days of light. She lifted her head once more, her smile fading with the light of her past and into the darkness of the present. She looked back down to the book, closed the cover gently, and took another bite of her sweet roll, and a sip of her water.
     
  15. Ten Feathers

    Ten Feathers Well-Known Member

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    Dar'Kazhel, as always, kept tabs on the goings-on of wherever he stayed. Faces were noted, weapons were eyed, and dispositions measured. It was all calculated, continuous, and survival-oriented. If a room felt hostile, the pirate always made sure to discreetly leave, fight his way out, or - whenever possible - never enter the room at all. And so he did throughout the conversation with the Orc, watching the patrons, bar tenders, and waitresses.

    During their talk, because of his wariness, he'd been getting more and more uneasy. Not because of any hostility - quite the opposite. No one felt hostile to anyone else, though their interest in each other - no matter how mild - buzzed through the air like a swarm of locusts. Careful glances were thrown about, facades of disinterest raised like masks, even open curiosity. The lack of the darker emotions he'd grown accustomed to was far more unnerving than any mutilated corpse he'd come across whilst looting the shattered remnants of cannon-blasted ships. His tail switched back and forth, lashing along with his growing unease. One clawed hand reached up behind his head, scratching an itch that wasn't there.

    Finally, he'd had enough. Lifting his entire body from the stool with one hand placed beneath him, Dar'Kazhel spun himself about, and sat back down facing the room. Leaning back against the bar, arms propped behind him, the Khajiit switched tactics. Rather than carefully taking note of them all, he openly stared at the faces of those who'd caught his attention. If one looked back at him, he'd hold their gaze for a moment, lift his head in recognition, and then move on to the next. If they didn't look, he simply passed over them to look at another. He himself wasn't sure if he was looking to start a conversation, or a fight. Either would be better than the growing tension he felt.

    The only ones he didn't look at were those beside him, the Orc woman and the Imperial whose steps spoke of quiet lethality.

    "This one does not like a room that stares with closed eyes," he murmured, half to himself and half to his seat-mates.
     
  16. Zelda

    Zelda Student of the Mage's College

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    Gently, the young woman caressed her book with care. The edges were slightly worn, but The Cake and the Diamond was too classic for her to let go. She looked around again to the patrons trying to read them like her books. Who was the author? Where was the setting? What is the plot? When was it written? People were extremely similar to books, hence the phrase 'never judge a book by its over'. No matter what these patrons looked like, she could never know their story. The only way to know was to open the book and read. Reading the cover only holds a mere title to acknowledge.

    She returned to look down at her book, analyzing the worn edges once again. She smiled faintly to herself, happy that she at least owned the book to enjoy. There were many other books she enjoyed as well, but this one was one of her favorites. Her home had many book shelves that were overflowing with books. She valued education and knowledge highly as she desired to continue learning.

    While becoming lost in thoughts briefly, she suddenly felt a change in the atmosphere; it was... uneasy. No patrons had entered nor exited the inn, so why would such a heavy aura linger near her in such a way? With curiosity questioning such uneasiness, Valencia lifted her eyes, finding a Khajiit's staring at her.

    More often than not, when a person was stared at so openly in such a manner, they would be quickly questioned in a negative tone. While she was a bit concerned to why he would be staring at her in such a way, she did not respond in a negative manner. Instead, she raised her head and gently smiled, her vividly icy blue eyes meeting with the Khajiit's. "Hello love. Is there something you need?" Her tone was gentle and sweet, as her usual calm tone of voice.
     
  17. Ten Feathers

    Ten Feathers Well-Known Member

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    One of the irregulars he'd noticed was a white-haired Nordic woman. He couldn't quite place it, but she didn't seem to be a pure-blooded Nord. Regardless of her heritage, though, her hair was exceptionally distinguishing. Like fresh snow, stark in the fire-lit room. She must have felt his gaze, for she looked up to meet his gaze, eyes as blue as glaciers and just as hard as they focused on him. Her words, though, contrasted with the piercing gaze her felt her level at him. "Hello love. Is there something you need?"

    Never before had such a soft phrase felt so weighty and iron-clad. He couldn't help but gulp.

    Studying her for a moment, Dar'Kazhel noted her posture and studied the small bit of speech he could. This one is sitting like a lady upon a throne, he thought, and her voice is both commanding and compassionate. This white-topped woman has either been raised as a king's daughter, or trained to imitate one... This one believes the former to be true, though. Her hair is not that of a commoner's, and her armor is kept as spotless as a mannequin's display piece. The Khajiit lifted his boots and placed them upon one of the bars that kept his stool stable, resting his elbows on his knees and lacing his fingers together beneath his nose. Tilting his head to the side in mock curiosity, Dar'Kazhel forced his pupils to dilate as he gazed at her white-framed face.

    "This one had hoped the Fallen Princess could answer that question,"
    he crooned to her, hiding his thin smirk behind his hands. "Dar'Kazhel has heard of book-readers, but he presumed they would be found among dusty crones and their dusty tomes or mazes of shelves in a quiet city corner. And yet, here is one now... among thieves, beggars, and..." he paused as he placed a hand upon his own chest, "much, much worse. Would the Fallen Princess care to explain this to Dar'Kazhel?"
     
  18. Zelda

    Zelda Student of the Mage's College

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    After she spoke, it seemed a heavy tension of thoughts lingered between the two patrons. His silence was deafening, and to Valencia, was obvious he was choosing his words. She herself noticed a few major physical observations that could support certain traits.

    While she had no words to focus upon, she had only his appearance. She despised the attempt to judge a book from its cover without a single sentence to grasp upon. His clothes of tattered leather gave her at least the hint that he was not of hearty combat, unless he was a risky fellow who did not mind close-cuts. His amber eyes were common of the Khajiits, while his body structure was more built that most. His stare was attention-seeking, and as for the reason why, she had yet to discover.

    However, the moment he spoke, her jaw tightened.
    Fallen Princess... the words taunted her past in unnerving wisps. His entire demeanor was one that could either be of disinterest or taunting curiosity. Quite frankly, his body language and choice of words made the knight tense with her jaw and her grip on her book ever so slightly. The softness of her face lingered, but had faltered ever so slightly due to the tenseness of her jaw.

    It was an easy point to state that he was a smart one; his observational skills keen enough to notice her features. She knew very well where he would find such evidence, with her body language, actual language, and appearance. However, she was internally taken aback by his tone and diction. She was unsure if his words were of innocent curiosity or to taunt her.

    It would be obvious, if one were to observe well enough, that she held tension from his words. However, she stayed calm, her voice just as soft and sweet to clash with her weaponry, taking a few moments to choose her words just as carefully.
    "You are a bright one, Dar'Kazhel. Either blessed with intellect or earning of it." She began, her voice still just as gentle as it was before. She refused to give too much of her past to anyone, unless they were from it. The choice of words as 'Fallen Princess' had stabbed her stomach deeply, which the pain still lingered.

    "You are observant... and not incorrect to use such a description. My past is one of light, and it brings me joy to speak of it. But alas, it now pains me far too much to share with strangers my own story to what brings me here..."
    She paused, looking down to her book. Gently lifting it from the table, she faced it towards the Khajiit, giving a small smile despite her upset heart. "I can tell you I value knowledge greatly, and books are a wonderful gateway to such intelligence... thus, I will read anywhere that gives me the opportunity to do so." Her tone was still gentle and soft, much like her smile, but it clashed with her stunning eyes that met with the Khajiit's warm ones once again.
     
  19. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    The unremarkable tavern was, the down on his luck scribe decided, a good place for any kind of person to disappear. Caiden Soricus had been living in relative comfort in the Imperial city, up until he'd written something that was somewhat less than complimentary about their current emperor. Within a fortnight, he'd been chased from the city, and he was fairly certain there was a price on his head. One did not humiliate the emperor and his servants without paying a price.

    Through nervous habit, Caiden Soricus took in the patrons. A surly bartender, several women who also seemed to work at the place, and a group of dangerous looking individuals. Pushing down his rising fear, the young scribe made his way to the bar, noting, out of the corner of his eye, he noted a hooded figure, equipped with both bow and sword. The barkeep glanced up at him, his frown lever leaving his face. " Get you something, friend?"

    "J-just water, please." As the man plonked the mug of clear liquid down in front of him, he reached for his coinpurse...only to find it was gone, doubtless snatched by one of the quick fingered rogues who roamed the streets of Skingrad. The bartender, already an unpleasant seeming fellow, scowled. "No coin, no drink." And made to snatch the mug. Only to find his wrist in the group of the hooded stranger. "I'll pay for his drink." The man said, his voice firm, with hint of a threat. A handful of coins landed between them, and the hooded man released the bartender, who withdrew, after claiming his payment. Turning to his benefactor, Caiden inclined his head. "Y-you have my thanks, good sir." The man nodded, but his attention seemed divided, eyes flicking to the numerous other patrons in the place.
     
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  20. Zelda

    Zelda Student of the Mage's College

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    Keeping herself calm was fairly easy, as she was usually level-headed in most situations. Considering she was nothing but polite to the stranger, she simply hoped peace would remain between her and the Khajiit. Inside her was an everlasting flame of warmth that faced the chilling darkness, attempting to dispel its sinful ignorance that dug its way into Valencia. The recent events have caused the poor royal-like knight in a cold state of helplessness and shame. She promised herself time and time again to try her best to gain forgiveness for her crimes. She committed very few, but she still feels the heavy guilt holding her down - enough to drive anyone mad, if they felt such guilt that is.

    With the sound of the inn door opening once again, Valencia kept her eye on the Khajit as she spoke. However, after speaking her final words, she couldn't help by turn and face the voice of a stammering male at the bar. His stutter but polite voice was very similar to her great friend, interest, and prince of Wayrest, Rodeyval. The two were great childhood childhood friends - enough to be considered "best friends". He was as kind as she, but far more on the shy side. He still managed to muster up his courage when needed, but never could help his famous meekness and bashfulness that followed him. In her teen years, Valencia very much so fancied him. She longed for the life of a royal, and was pleased by her friend's righteous personality. However, despite her progress, it never moved more than the friendship. Of course, she was saddened but, was absolutely happy their friendship she valued greatly was preserved. When she saved his life a few years later, he made her a lovely blue scarf, to which she wore almost every day from that point onward. It was and is her most prized possession.

    Leaving her memories behind that the stammering male resurrected, she smiled to him, before bringing her attention back to Dar'Khazel. "We are all here for a reason, I suppose..." She began, gently rubbing the cloth of her scarf between her fingers and thumb. She smiled still, a bit more genuinely. "I may have fallen a bit... But that does not mean my hope has not, love." Her icy eyes met with the warm amber ones once again. Instead, she gave a soft and light laugh. "Oh here I am... Rambling on once more... Please; tell me how you fell upon this inn, if you care to share." She spoke cheerily with a grin.
     

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