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18+ Forged

Discussion in 'Skyrim Fan Fiction' started by Madrar, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    4E 203, 2nd of Last Seed
    Cyrodiil, Imperial city

    Adrian March crossed his arms and shivered at the unusually cool breeze. Granted, he was standing atop the northern wall of the Imperial city, but even in Last Seed, the weather hadn't yet become this chilly. Looking out over the wall, he could just see the edge of the great forest, the trees gradually changing their colour from green to oranges, yellows, and red. The waters of the lake Rumare shone under the morning sun, the fierce breeze stirring up powerful waves.

    He wasn't in the city alone, of course. He was part of a small group, mercenaries, though these days, it felt more like they were Imperial soldiers. Unorthodox ones, of course- Adrian was fairly certain half of his weapons were considered far from 'regulation' among the Imperial army. They were known throughout the Empire as 'the Forged'. The Imperial had been with the group since its' leader, Eyleen Wrenn, had recruited him. He still remembered the day.

    He'd been sitting in a bar in Bruma, a down on his luck solo mercenary, hoping he'd hear something about a job. Then Eyleen had tapped him on the shoulder. She'd offered him a life, different than slumming it from town to town, killing for wealthy lords, and sometimes wealthy thugs. A life of adventuring, with a little mercenary work on the side. But what had (I)really(I) sold him, was the chance to do something (I)right(I). And they had. In the four years he'd stood at her side, he and Eyleen had put down several corrupt officials in Cyrodiil, a ring of Dunmeri slavers on Solstheim, kidnapping Nordic infants for gods knew what, and a skooma den in Skyrm. All free of charge. Plus their work for the Empire had done good things...even if it was in the shadows.

    Along the way, they'd picked up half a dozen other mercenaries. While most were in it for the money, at first, the group had forged a strong group, and proven themselves in battle numerous times. Hence, the name 'Forged'. They'd been called back to the Imperial city, still under reconstruction since the great war more than two decades ago. A lot had been rebuilt, and with the new emperors 'grand reconstruction' decree, Imperial forts and watchtowers were slowly being rebuilt. However, that didn't give Adrian any clue as to what he and his companions were there for.

    He knew next to nothing about architecture, and he hadn't been big on siege warfare during his time as a solo mercenary. So, it stood to reason, someone, somewhere, had a job for them. "Adrian!" A familiar voice called over the wind, from somewhere behind him, towards the stairs leading to the walltop. Turning, he couldn't help but grin at the approaching man- outfitted in fur-lined steel armour, with a round shield slung over his back and a flanged steel mace on his hip.

    "Caleb. Tired of the bar?" Adrian joked, having left the Breton and his other comrades, at the inn, minus Eyleen. The warrior smirked, and shook his head. His short brown hair, revealed the long scar that ran from his hairline to the top of his skull. He jerked a thumb over his shoulder

    "Eyleen wants to see you." Caleb Hassek, revealed, coming to his side.

    "About what?" He knew she'd left the Foaming Flask, the tavern the group had been staying at for the past couple of days, a few hours before he had, to meet with a possible employer.

    "Dunno. Said there's something she needs to speak with you about our next job." Calebs' expression was puzzled. There usually wasn't much consultation needed about jobs. They were, after all, blades for hire. However, their leader often checked with the others for interest in a job before taking it. Knowing that Eyleen wouldn't send for him if it wasn't important, he nodded for the Breton to lead the way.

    The pair made their down from the wall, merging with the crowds making their way through the streets. Despite the damage inflicted during the Great War, and the construction going on in many areas, most citizens still went about their day to day business. Life in Cyrodiils capital still continued as normal. Adrian and Caleb received a few strange looks, and both were very much aware of the stares directed towards them by the guardsmen on the corners of nearly every city block. "Where is she now?" She'd been at the inn before he'd left for his walk, but she'd been about to leave to meet with a potential client when he'd left.

    "The inn." Caleb replied shortly, as the building in question came into sight. The place had survived the last war unscathed, and still enjoyed quite a few customers, both locals, coming in for a drink, and travelers, looking for a place to stay, and unable to afford the fancier inns of the Imperial city. The pair of mercenaries entered, moving into the crowded common room. Despite the number of people inside, it wasn't hard to find their comrades. Eyleen, tall for a Breton, especially a Breton woman, stood near the table that had been claimed by the other mercs.

    She leaned casually against an empty chair, presumably Calebs' but Adrian picked up the subtle hints in her body language that said she was far from at ease. There were five others, besides Adrian, Caleb, and their leader. The most intimidating, by far, was Veran Thull, a Nord man, garbed entirely in bonemold armour, including a helmet with an odd sigil on his helm. Even out of his armour, Thull was a massive man, with arms nearly the size of a normal mans' thigh. That, combined with his brutal tactics Adrian had seen first hand in battle, and his gruff, quietly menacing demeanor, meant most kept their distance.

    The others in the group weren't quite as physically impressive, but all of them could hold their own. Nyandri, the Dunmer woman, wielded a pair of ebony shortswords with blinding speed and skill. Haymitch Resk, another Imperial, was a former thief, but surprisingly adept with the twin daggers at his belt. The Altmer, Ironir, was a powerful alteration mage, something he frequently reminded his companions of. The newest member of the group, a Nord woman, by the name of Erenja Vindjall, wielded a slender sword, and a mix of crimson cloth and steel plate. Unlike the others at the table, she had no drink or food before her, and a strange light lingered in her eyes.

    She claimed to have come from the ruined city of Caldrin, a place of nightmares, if the stories Adrian had heard were true. She refused to answer any questions about her past, or life in the city, before it had been destroyed. But she was a good fighter, and hadn't shown any sign of betraying them. Ironir had hinted he knew the womans' secret, but either out of a sense of honour, or more likely, smug satisfaction at knowing something his fellows didn't, had refused to share.

    Turning his attention from the other mercenaries, he approached Eyleen, "you wanted to talk?"

    The Breton nodded, before glancing around at the patrons crowding around the inn. "Not here." Without another word, she started pushing her way through the crowd, one hand on the sword at her hip. He followed, making his way to her side as the emerged into the street. She remained silent until they'd left the Talos Plaza district. "We have a job offer."

    That didn't seem like a problem to Adrian. The group could run on the profits from their last job for a while. But not forever, and despite the help they'd bestowed upon various towns and villages, feelings of accomplishment wouldn't keep their equipment working, or their stomachs full. "Somehow, I don't think that's the whole of it." He remarked light-heartedly. But the grim look that remained on Eyleens face told the Imperial she was at least a little troubled.

    "It's a retrieval job....and an elimination." Adrian frowned, slowing as he did. Retrieval jobs weren't rare- mercenaries were hired to break into a building, and 'retrieve' an object, by force, if necessary. The Forged had participated in nearly a dozen such jobs, usually for ranking Imperial lords and ladies. Most of the time, it was simple, with little to no danger involved. What had him confused, was the mix of an elimination contract on top of it. Usually, they were issued when a lord wanted a group of bandits or monsters taken care of. The thing was, monsters, and for the most part, bandits, lacked the intelligence to break into a city and run off with valuable trinkets.

    Which meant some noble wanted one of his rivals killed. "We're not assassins" he pointed out, and his companion nodded, as if reaffirming the fact to herself. And while it was true, they did need the gold. "What's their offer?"

    "Eight thousand gold pieces. Per person."

    Adrian almost stumbled. The amount was probably nothing to an Imperial lord, but it was certainly more than the group had seen for quite some time. Eyleens' expression, however, was less than enthusiastic. And while he wouldn't have scoffed at the payout, he respected his friend far too much to disregard her opinion. "What do you think of the job?" He asked, putting emphasis on his words.

    The woman slowed as they rounded the temple of the One. "I don't like the secrecy." She stated bluntly. "The pay is good, but how many lords are this cloak and dagger about hiring a group of mercenaries?"

    "Imperials don't like their good names being dragged through the mud." He said, "or maybe he doesn't think we're up to the task, and wants to be able to deny involvement."

    "Maybe." She agreed quietly, before shaking her head slightly. "I'll bring it up with the others." The Breton flashed him a small smile, "thank you for walking with me. I just needed to think out loud you know?"

    Adrian inclined his head in a mock bow. "You know you can count on me, Eyleen. Even if we end up turning the job down."

    This time, her smile was a little wider. "I know, Adrian. After all we've been through, I know I can confide in you." She glanced at the sky. "And now we'd better head back to the Flask. I promised the lords representative I'd meet with him and give our decision before this evening." The pair of mercenaries walked back to their lodgings in relative silence. The sun had only just begun to set when they arrived.

    The tavern had only become more crowded in the time Adrian had been gone. The two of them had to shove their way through at least a dozen sweaty, raucous drunks before reaching the table their companions still held. Two seats, Ironirs' and Erenjas were empty, but the Caleb had claimed one,his legs stretched out under the table, and a mug was clenched in his fist. Nyandri, Haymich, and Veran shared it with him. "Took the two of you long enough!" Nyandri exclaimed, "did you get lost or something?"

    Eyleen fixed the mer with an admonishing gaze. "We've got a job opportunity. Retrieval and elimination." She explained, running a hand through her auburn hair as she did so.

    "Fascinating." An unmistakable Altmer voice drawled from behind them. Ironir rejoined the group, a glass of wine in one hand. His hazel hair and green-gold eyes set him apart from the typical high elf. Unlike the other mercs, who wore various degrees of armour, he wore a dark robe, with intricate designs around the shoulders and collar. "I presume the pay is significant?"

    "Significant enough" Adrian retorted, drawing a smirk from the arrogant elf.

    At the same time, Eyleen replied "eight thousand-per person." That bit of information drew the eyes of those around the table.

    "Well...that's quite a score, eh?" The normally talkative Haymich noted, the former thieves eyes widening considerably.

    "What's the catch?" Nyandri asked, the Dunmer woman downing a gulp of mead after her question.

    "Secrecy." Eyleen replied. "Our employer, so far, refuses to meet with us. I've only spoken with his representative."

    "Interesting." Ironir remarked. "Either this lord doesn't want it known he's consorting with mercenaries, or-"

    "He doesn't think we can pull it off." Caleb interrupted, but the Altmer didn't appear offended, even offering a nod of agreement.
    He rested a hand on the handle of his hilt. "I vote we take the job. How bad could it get?"

    "Me too." Grumbled Veran, his low voice barely audible above the sound of revelry. Erenja, the newest member, glanced around the table before offering her agreement with a slight inclination of her head.

    "It's settled, then." Eyleen said, turning for the door. "I have to meet with our employers man. Be back soon."
     
    • Winner Winner x 1

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