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18+ Into the Abyss We Fall

Discussion in 'Active Stories' started by The Seraph, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. The Seraph

    The Seraph When the Dawn Breaks, I shall be there

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    The Bee and Barb bustled with the riff raff of Riften. Thieves, smugglers and pickpockets abound in the cramped inn. The two young Argonian barkeeps placated the inhabitants with copious amounts of ale and mead. As a result, the bar was filled with drunken revelry, amorous conversations and aimless shouting matches. In a forgotten corner, there sat two people planning an arduous journey. An Altmer man dressed in collegiate robes and a towering knight in all concealing armour. The man, Alindion, was giddily discussing the plans. "Allright, allright! Kthondmz, according to all accounts is very heavily fortified, especially in the Slaves Halls, the Laboratory and the Furnace. I do hope this goes swimmingly!"
    The knight in a stern, yet slightly feminine voice stated, "Calm yourself. This is shall indeed be a prosperous endeavour. None can resist the allure of gold and adventure. Now, how much abuse can these, 'automatons' endure?"
    "Ah yes, you're right," said Alindion, "Now, these animunculi are very tough. Numerous accounts state they can survive even a strong mercenary's attacks. Hopefully we shall get battle hardened folks!"
    "Yes, from what I have heard of term Dwemer ruins, only the mighty endure the destroying nature of the ruins." The knight paused. The door to Riften parted open, and in stepped the first of the ardent souls to undergo this journey. Alindion began to gleefully shout the person over, as he had done so for several other uninterested patrons and the knight hung her head in shame at his overly eager display.
     
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  2. Rafen

    Rafen Well-Known Member

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    Beran Masros strode purposefully through the streets, his tattered brown cloak shifting in the wind. The greatsword he carried in a leather and wood sheathe, over his right shoulder. The weapon was nearly as tall as a normal man, though on Beran, it seemed like it could be used as a standard longsword. The steel armour he wore shone in the light of torches mounted along the walls and rails of the city. He could feel eyes on him, watching from the shadows. The city of thieves was well named, and the guild that called the place home were very interested in visitors. He didn't fear for his life- the denizens of Riften were much more interested in his coin purse than they were his blood.

    Ahead of him, the most known inn of Riften, the Bee and Barb, stood with light pouring out of its' windows, and a lit lantern in the doorway. It was not the only tavern in the city, but it was the most accommodating, and by far the safest. Besides, the letter he'd received several days earlier had instructed him to report to this specific tavern. He pushed the door open, stepping past a smaller man who was headed in the opposite direction. His eyes were drawn to a couple of people at one of the tables. An excitable altmer male, in the robes of a mage or traveler, sat with a breton female, who looked decidedly less amused at the elfs' antics.

    Upon seeing Beran enter, the elf started waving in a completely undignified manner, summoning the tall nord over. Suppressing an amused smile, he marched over to them and bent towards the pair so that they could hear him better. "Greetings and well met. I am Beran Masros, wandering swordsman." He glanced at the elf, "I assume you're the one who sent the letter about this dwarven ruin?" His voice was as deep as would be expected in a man of his stature.
     
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  3. Rell

    Rell Champion of Malacath!

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    The redguard was not a very common sight, and he drew more than a few cautious or sometimes outright hostile stares from the guards and citizens alike as he swaggered down the streets of Riften. He whistled as he walked, an old breton marching tune he'd learned from drinking and gambling with soldiers in the taverns of High Rock. Not that Hallen Vaeur had marched anywhere in his life. Sailed, yes. Sauntered, certainly. But the life of a soldier was not for him. Adventure called to him and often landed him in a situation worse than the one he'd started in. However, he was not exactly poor, and with the exception of his eye, he was not poor health, either.

    He could swing a sword and dodge one better than most. Even if he preferred to talk his way out of confrontations, rather than into them. Reality was never than kind, he'd found out. Over the course of his travels he'd learned a few tricks in the taverns he frequented. He had also learned that fighting fair rarely got him anywhere. He was not some burly nord or orc who would gladly wade into a bar brawl or battlefield. But he was quick enough to avoid the fists of the afore mentioned brutes.

    His eyes settled on the Bee and Barb, an inn known for good service and the much coveted Black-Briar ale. His mouth watered at the thought of it, and he eagerly pushed his way inside. Riften was said to be the warmest of Skyrims' holds, but he much preferred to spend his time inside, rather than freezing his backside off in Skyrims' less than welcoming weather. The interior was much like every other tavern, dimly lit and smelling of ale, sweat, and smoke. His gaze picked out an unlikely trio situated at a table, consisting of an elf, a breton and, a large man with his back to Hallen.

    Making his way over, he got the attention of the argonian bartender, and a wink the a nord woman in leather armor leaning against the wall. She scowled and looked away. Reaching the trio at the table, he leaned between the armored breton and the robed elf. "Well,well. What are we all talking about? Something interesting, I hope. And with a good amount of gold thrown in at the end, yes?" The argonian man hustled over with a bottle of ale, and Hallen swapped it out for a handful of coins.
     
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  4. The Seraph

    The Seraph When the Dawn Breaks, I shall be there

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    Excitedly, Alindion half shouted, half whispered, "Yes, yes, yes! I am so glad you managed to come Beran! I did indeed. Now let's get into the details. First, would you be able to carry large amounts-"
    "Alindion, let's slow down. First-" stated Vienna before being interrupted by a well decorated Redguard she stood tall and large over. He spoke with a quick and slick voice. Only a fool wears his wealth, she thought while gazing upon his attire and jewelry. Before she could say anything, Alindion quickly greeted him.
    "Oh yes we are, and that gold could be shared, if you would not mind the mere, insignificant, possibility of dying horribly in an underground ruin? That sound like your cup of tea, including a thousand Septims and whatever we can haul off? Ah but where are my manners? I never even asked your name, so what is it?"
     
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  5. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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    Elspeth took a deep breath, slowly letting it out as she enjoyed her glass of wine. It was one of the few luxuries the code permitted and it made for a fine companion now that her chicken and potatoes were done. Her ears took in the sounds of the tavern as she sat at her table but her eyes never wavered from the group she was observing. The altmer chatted excitedly to the two men that had approached him, spinning tales of adventure and gold to be made were they to join his expedition. The same expedition outlined in the letter under Elspeth’s plate. Its premise was absolutely childish and she was now certain the elf had written it.

    Anyone with good sense knew to stay away from Dwemer ruins. Elspeth had performed plenty of resume missions to save terrified adventurers from savage Falmar and hulking constructs and plenty of those had ended up dead. Even so, there was a great deal to be learned in those places and the only way to do that was to go in and take a look. The young Breton woman seemed like a good companion for the elf. She was quiet, observant and carried herself like the soldier she appeared to be. The smooth rounded chestplate of her armour spoke to that. Elspeth had always rolled her eyes at the shaped breastcups of some women’s armour and the men who tried to sell it to her. No girl with actual combat training would wear that and Elspeth had seen too many foolish children die for it. Their chests split open right between those plates. Elspeth’s oldest daughter loved to wear such things simply to irritate her and it always worked. Elspeth would always be her mother. Even if Lassa has become a reckless monster.

    This Breton was different. She seemed to have a good head on her shoulders and was regularly curbing the elf’s excitement, much like Ria did and still does for Yvette. Indeed the Breton acted almost like an older sibling. Or a lover. Elspeth put that out of her mind however as that was just speculation. She was expected and she would not disappoint. The very fact that the courier who had delivered this letter to her had addressed her by name meant that the sender was at least somewhat informed on who she was. Exactly how much mattered little. The code dictated she help those in need and she would oblige. After paying her bill she stood up and walked over to the group, her ebony plate armor, wide brimmed hat and long trailing cloak making her look like the blade of judgement she was. She gently pushing aside the redguard man while keeping her distance from the large Nord. Such large men tended to take offense to being touched and Elspeth was in no mood for a fight.

    “Good evening.” Elspeth said to the Breton girl. The elf’s attentions we’re still elsewhere.“My name is Elspeth and I am an Inquisitor of Stendarr. I received this letter yesterday asking for my assistance.” She held up the open envelope to confirm she had the right sender. “How may I be of service?”
     
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  6. The Seraph

    The Seraph When the Dawn Breaks, I shall be there

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    Vienna was about to try to reign in Alindion before a voice called out. She turned and nearly gasped. There she was, the heroine of all Vienna's childhood stories. The Immortal Crusader. "Inquisitor Elspesth," stated Vienna calmly, "We are honored to have you. I had Alindion send for you specifically. I have heard many stories of your grand quests, and many of your treks into Dwarvern ruins. It pleases me greatly to have you answer our summons. Now, give me a second." Vienna cleared her throat and placed a hand on Alindion's should to hush him. "To all the present mercenaries!" shouted Vienna, " You are going to delve into a Dwarvern ruin. You might die. Your pay is 1000 septims plus whatever you can bring back that is not of academic value. Anything of academic value with be confiscated. Any and all questions are to be addressed to Alindion. " Vienna bent down to Alindion and cautioned him to be orderly. She then turned back to Elspeth. "Now then Inquisitor, I am Vienna Castbrooke, a former knight of Daggerfall. What brings you here aside from our summons?"
     
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  7. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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    “It’s nice to hear I have a good reputation.” Elspeth said to the woman with a small smile. “And I appreciate your friend asking for my help, though the stories of my deeds tend to be exaggerated.” That was an understatement. Inquisitors were nothing less than ancient Nord heroes in many wild stories and Elspeth had been around long enough to become the hero of a several wild tales. She didn’t mind though. All of the stories about her and the Inquisition were wildly inflated but they all had a core of truth and they did give people hope. That made people more willing to help them and made her job somewhat easier so in the end there was no harm done. The woman turned away from Elspeth to announce their job and payment, which Elspeth patiently listened to. It wasn’t very eloquent but it realistically spelled out the danger of what they were doing and the payment was good. Technically the code didn’t allow Elspeth to keep any money for herself but the Inquisition needed money like any other organization so she was still able to accept payment. She would simply donate whatever she didn’t need to the treasury when she returned to Cyrodiil and 1000 septims was far more than she needed.

    Once the announcement was done the Breton woman turned back to Elspeth and introduced herself. “A pleasure to meet you Vienna.” She said, shaking Vienna’s hand. “Exploring a Dwemer ruin is a worthy expedition and a Daggerfall knight will be a worthy ally. I shall accept your quest and you may be able to help me in the process. I am tracking a very dangerous criminal and have deduced that she was recently here in Riftenbut has now left. Likely due to both my presence and the rumor of this expedition. She is a vampire and a powerful illusion mage who constantly searches for new power to steal and a Dwemer ruin would be just the place for her to plunder. I suspect that aiding you would be a more productive use of my time than burning down tenements looking for her.”
     
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  8. The_Lost_Foxtrot

    The_Lost_Foxtrot Luwd uf Shoduws

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    Vaylin hummed quietly to herself as she ate her small meal, chewing with a thoughtful expression while eyeing the growing group with curiosity. She listened to the Altmer ramble about Dwemer ruins, and that knightly looking woman with him warning of mayhaps of death. The Bosmer felt a small grin form on her lips as she stood up and walked over, an almost unnoticeable shadow following her like an guardian angel, a small skip to her light steps before she stopped by the female Nord talking to the knightly woman. She heard them introduce themselves to each other before she coughed politely to the group, a friendly grin still on her face. "Please forgive me, but I couldn't Help but overhear that you are the ones that was going to some Dwemer ruin" she said to the group as she pulled a letter from her satchel, and invitation and offer. "Vaylin Rosewood at your service, we would like to join you on this exciting adventure!" She stated loudly enough for the small group of people to hear, not bothering to cover up her subtle but big mistake for those who would read into it, she talked as if there was more then just her.
     
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  9. The Seraph

    The Seraph When the Dawn Breaks, I shall be there

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    Vienna gritted her teeth. She had heard just as many horror stories as wondrous songs regarding the Inquisitors. She put it aside and stated "I see. Well, if we encounter this vampire, we shall put her to rest as dead things should be." Out of the corner of her eye, Vienna was a most curious woman stride up to the group. She held an unsettling air about her, as if there was something there but just out of reach. As she introduced herself, Vienna looked around for her associate, but to no avail. She narrowed her eyes as she looked down upon the woman. She seemed harmless, but so does Alindion and Vienna watched him blow apart a dozen Legionaries during the War. "It is a pleasure to meet you Vaylin, but where is your associate?" questioned Vienna.
     
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  10. Rell

    Rell Champion of Malacath!

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    Hallen started to reply when someone grabbed him and shifted him aside. He turned, frowning and started to protest the rather rude action. He was not some piece of furniture to be positioned and maneuvered as people saw fit. His protest died on his lips when he took in the black armor and weaponry of the woman who had just joined their table. Thinking better of angering an inquisitor, as she'd introduced herself to the elf and breton at the table. Shaking his head ever so slightly, he turned back to the elf, remembering what he'd said about a thousand septims and the possibility of a miserable death. "Pah!" He exclaimed, waving a hand in an off handed manner. "What's life without the thrill of a near death experience, every now and then, hmm?"
     
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  11. IntrepidVenture

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    Dantus shrugged his robes closer around him as he peered up at the sign that swayed gently in the breeze. He'd heard that Riften was by far the warmest and most pleasant of the holds in Skyrim. In his opinion, it was still insufferably cold but he was from Leyawiin. Dantus much preferred the warmer climates. When the letter inviting him to Skyrim had arrived, he'd hesitated at first. The northmost province of the empire was not like Cyrodiil, where things were generally calm and present and order maintained by legion patrols. Bandits and monsters could be found just off the road. Then again, the lure of finding lore and artifacts of the ancient dwemer, disappeared for centuries now, was too much to resist.

    So he'd packed a small bag, just enough provisions for himself along with some gold and a couple of books for reading material. He'd booked travel by carriage from Leyawiin to Bruma and from there on to Riften. As always, he'd had his trusty staff and a repetoire of spells ready in case of trouble. So far all he'd seen was a pack of wolves who'd begun stalking the horse drawn carriage just out of Falkreath. A quick display of magic had been enough to scare them off and the rest of the trip had passed in relative silence.

    Now he was standing in the cold outside the inn that the letter had instructed him to come to. He suppressed a surge of giddiness and pushed the door open, stepping into the warmth. The sounds of drunken revelry were the first things to greet him. The patrons were mostly nords which made picking out the author of the letter all the easier. There was already a large group around the table so Dantus hurried over, robes flapping in a rather undignified manner.

    "Ah- hello there!"
    He exclaimed, thrusting a hand out to the robed altmer. He glanced over at the breton knight, guessing she was a bodyguard of some kind. "Dantus of Leyawiin, at your service. I cannot tell you how excited I am to be part of this expedition!" He beamed at the surrounding group, noting that most looked more the mercenary type rather than scholarly. "So, when do we start?"
     
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  12. The Seraph

    The Seraph When the Dawn Breaks, I shall be there

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    Alindion lit up even more at the redguard's words. "Good! Good, now I must wonder, what are your capabilities? What have you fought before, have you ever been in a Dwemer ruin be-" excitedly asked Alindion before being pleasantly interrupted yet again. He saw a waiting hand and upon that, an Imperial scholar! Alindion nearly let out a shout of relief that he would not be alone in this. Ignoring that he was staring at Vienna, Alindion excitedly said in nearly a single breath, "Welcome! Welcome! We are very, very grateful to have you! Now are you a scholar? You look the type! Good you're a scholar! Now, what is your name and have you ever studied the Dwemer before? Do you have your research with you?"
     
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  13. The_Lost_Foxtrot

    The_Lost_Foxtrot Luwd uf Shoduws

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    Vaylin blinked twice at Vienna's question, before she chuckled and rubbed the back of her neck in slight embaressment, a feeling of annoyence and slight amusement not her own creeping up her back, "oh his around, his just a bit....shy.... around others" she stated with another chuckle, adjusting her bow over her shoulder before returning her focus to the two women before her, "so you lot must have been to quite a few Dwemer ruins in you're time to plan such a big expodition then? you know of the various traps and mechanics down there? like the spiders and spheres" she asked in one go before her eyes lit up in excitement. "Oohh! maybe we'll even run into one of those big star light locked vaults of theirs!? now that would be fun! or is it sun light? I can never seem to remember that part...." she declared happily before ending in a small thoughtful murmur as she placed a hand over her mought in wonder, unconsciously tapping into some old knowledge and memories not her own.
     
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  14. Aspen

    Aspen Member

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    "Remember, we're here on behalf of house Dorell. They're as interested in these Dwemer as this...Alindion" Emilia said to her menacing companion as the pair approached the door to Riftens' Bee and Barb inn. Neither were overly familiar with Skyrim or her people, but they had been charged to accompany the sender of the letter, Alindion, and ensure the man or mers' survival. Why a knight and her faithful companion were needed for an archaeological dig, besides to fend off the occasional bandit attack. It was well known that the Dwemer themselves had been gone for centuries. Whatever they faced, Emilia was confident she and her silent friend could handle it. She strongly expected convincing Alindion to share his discoveries with house Dorell would be the greatest difficulty they faced.

    Hjorek, never one for tact or strategy, shoved the door to the inn open with one mailed fist and stormed inside. He paid little heed to those in his path as he strode forward, nearly knocking an aging nord man off his feet. "Hey!" The man started to protest the rough treatment. His words died in his throat as Hjoreks head snapped around to glare down at the older man. Thinking better of starting a fight with such a man, the nord scurried outside without a backwards glance. "Hjorek, mind yourself here. We're far from home, and despite what we heard from that Mjoll woman, I don't think everyone here is corrupt or a thief."

    The nord grunted something that might have been a halfhearted apology. "Nevermind that now. Let's see if we can find Alindion and convince him to accept our service." She looked around,noticing a fairly large group around a table at one side of the inn. "Looks promising" she said, leading her friend over to the table. An alert looking breton knight sat beside a typically tall robed altmer. "Greetings." Emilia removed her helmet and bowed deeply. "I am Emilia Menirost, of Northpoint. This is my friend, Hjorek Ironspite. We offer our services on behalf of house Dorell of Northpoint." Hjorek merely grunted, not bothering to bow, his icy blue eyes taking in the group.
     
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  15. The Seraph

    The Seraph When the Dawn Breaks, I shall be there

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    Vienna stared at the woman, a little unnerved.
    ". . . Right. Well, ask Elspeth or Alindion about the Dwemer. They know more then me." She turned her attention over to Alindion who was, as usual, getting a little distracted. Vienna sighed as she bent down to the redguard. "Forgive him, he truly does get distracted often. I agree with you though. Life is not worth living should you fail to indulge in it." As she looked at Alindion, Vienna felt a tinge of guilt at saying this, for she knew she did not follow it. She straightened herself to see her another Breton woman and a great, enarmoured Nord. The woman, who carried herself as a knight would, introduced herself as Emilia and her companion as Hjorek. "It is a pleasure to meet you Emilia. I feel that with our motley band of warriors, we shall be able to defend against these dwarvern machine men." Vienna then had a prickling thought. She bent down and whispered so very slightly to Alindion, "How much gold do we have?"
    He quickly counted and calculated and then, even quieter, "Enough to pay them half now and half later. Well, when we find that other half in Kthondamz." Vienna sighed deeply, and then proceeded to make an announcement.I
    "To all present mercenaries and other bar patrons!" she shouted loudly, " We will not accept any other mercenaries or scholars and the ones present shall be paid half now and half later! " Vienna quieted down and let the others mingle. She noticed a massive Nord at the back, who has this far been silent. She strode over to him and introduced herself. "You there. I am Vienna Castebrook, one of your employers. I have noticed you are quiet. Why?"
     
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  16. Rafen

    Rafen Well-Known Member

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    Beran stared down at the seated altmer, wondering at his words. He started to tell the elf that he was no pack mule, but others barged into the tavern in increasing numbers. Soon, he was surrounded by small group of scholars and mercenaries, all hoping to get in on the elf, Alindions, expedition. He had started to wonder if, indeed, there would be a reward at all for accompanying the scholar and his stern looking bodyguard-knight. Usually, he had little need for reward and if the cause was just, demanded nothing for himself. But his funds were starting to run low, and he could get by on good deeds and kindness forever. Then he noticed the knightess approaching, her face unscrutable. She introduced herself and demanded to know why he had been silent thus far. "Sometimes silence is the best option, madame. In truth, I'm better with a blade than words. I have already introduced myself to your comrade." He nodded towards the elf who seemed positively beside himself with excitement.
     
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  17. IntrepidVenture

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    The altmer lit up at Dantius' words, barraging the imperial with questions, all in a single breath. "I-well, yes, I am a scholar, though I deal with Aylied, mostly. As for my name, I am Dantius of Leyawiin." Before the elf could continue his ramblings the imperial held both hands forwards. "But I must admit, the Dwemer fascinate me. They may not be as ancient as the Aylieds, but they were an advanced civilization all the same, from what I have read."

    He looked around, eyes widening slightly as he took in all the armed and armored figures around him. "I do, ehm, have a slight questions for you, though; are all these mercenaries really necessary? I mean, I am no stranger to haunted ruins and monsters, but surely, the Dwemer have no such creatures' lurking about their ancient cities?"
     
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  18. The Seraph

    The Seraph When the Dawn Breaks, I shall be there

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    Alindion was beside himself that any scholar, much less one of an ancient Mer, arrived. Though the Ayleids and the Dwemer were very, very different, he was at least pleased that a scholarly eye was to aid him. Alindion excitedly answered, "Oh yes indeed! The Dwemer had no compare then and now, save for maybe a few Daedra or Divines. As for the mercenaries, Dantius, I had not intended for there to be so many, but the more the better! We will will need it!" Alindion chuckled heartlessly at that thought. "The Dwemer left behind traps and automatons, all of which still function and are still quite dangerous. But that is not what I fear. I only have fear of the unknown, which unfortunately seems to compose the Dwemer. You see, they were fighting a war, against something from the depths. 'The Subjugated' they called them. It seems as if this war was still raging when the battle at Vvardenfell reached its apex and Kagrenac completed his experiment. Then, every Dwemer from Resdayn to Volenfell disappeared. Whether the Subjugated are still there or not, I do not know. It is best to be prepared though." Alindion then suddenly snapped out of his unusual solemness. "Oh, but no need too worry! We are well defended! Ha, hahaha!"

    Vienna regarded the Nord rather studiously. There are many people I have to watch out for. Many suspicious people. Her heart turned slightly at the thought of what she might have to do. "I see. Well, if there is any comfort, I feel the same." Vienna continued examining the group. Many people she had uneasy feelings about, such as the boisterous Redguard or the unnerving Breton, but the pair of Emilia and Hjorek truly filled her with suspicion, albeit not on first sight. As she whispered and muttered to her stoic friend, they seemed to hold ulterior motivations. It failed to help that they were in service of House Dorell, whom Daggerfall, and by extension Vienna, were not in the best company. She decided to cast such thoughts aside and then, as was becoming typically, announced, "To all mercenaries and scholars! Meet outside the gates of Riften at dawn tomorrow!" She then proceeded to her room followed by an Alindion reluctant to leave his riveting and fledgling conversation. As they settled into their separate rooms, Vienna let out a soft chuckle. Of course. Of course that silly fool would run out of money. As her laughter turned more hysterical, it was suddenly quieted by an intruding thought. Elspeth, the Immortal Crusader, yet so lithe and young. She thought also of Alindion. Almost twice her age and yet so, so young. When he is old and wise, I will be but dust, won't I? She pushed away such thoughts, for they would not trouble her tonight as they have before. Vienna instead went to a dreamless slumber while th e thinking of striding across the winds of eternity with Alindion.

    The next day at the brilliant dawn, Alindion hopelessly argued with the carriage driver. They already had carriage of supplies, but it could not hold seven, maybe eight people. Scowling beneath her concealing helmet at the first of their many troubles, Vienna turned to greet the mercenaries and scholars. After a brief and brusque welcome, Vienna asked if them,
    "Well, we are merely being delayed by a carriage driver who insists upon an impossible price just to go a little off road. If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear them."
     
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    #18 The Seraph, Oct 29, 2019
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  19. IntrepidVenture

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    Dantius nodded along with the altmers words, tempted to be lured in by the mers' infectious enthusiasm. "Yes, indeed. Quite well protected indeed." He glanced nervously at the group of mercenaries. Shortly afterwards, both the altmer and the breton knight who guarded him declared they were headed to bed.

    The imperial turned to the remainder, none of whom looked particularly like scholars. A tall, helmeted man who'd said nothing the whole time he'd been standing there, "so. Um, how are you liking Skyrim so far? Not the most pleasant place, I'll admit." He noted the large nord with the greatsword standing nearby. "Ah, meaning no offence, my good man."
     
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  20. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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    After Vienna gave some terse instructions on where to be in the morning Elspeth took her leave. Her thank for the girl’s pledge to help her was a little abrupt but the party was starting to break up and truthfully the room was getting a bit crowded and Elspeth was ready for some quiet. She didn’t look it but she was still an aging mother of almost sixty. She went to her room and stripped out of her armor, feeling the relief all over her body as she lifted a very real weight. It was only after she stripped her long underwear that she realized the room was freezing. Somehow a window was open in addition to her fireplace being empty. Fortunately that was easy to fix. She closed the window, started a fire and changed into a fresh pair of long underwear, paying no attention to the scars that decades of monster hunting had given her. Over the long underwear she pulled on a pair of dark blue pants and a lighter blue button down shirt. Then she laid herself out onto her made up bed and simply thought. She thought of the day’s affairs, the hunt she’d been on for years and she thought about her daughters. Yvette, Ria, Lassa, the lights of her life. The girls she would always love. Even if the last had become a monster. A monster she would have to kill.

    After about ten minutes her eyes opened. The room had gotten significantly warmer and she had hoped this would make her drowsy. Instead she just felt anxious. This operation she had signed up for seemed like a giant mess waiting to happen. A mismatched group of knights, fighters and thugs being led by an incredibly naïve man and a young woman who already seemed stressed. No one that eager or that uptight was someone you wanted in a dark dusty underground ruin filled with things that wanted to kill you. Everything from ancient constructs to bloodthirsty Falmer to perfectly ordinary threats like dehydration from lack of clean water. Or infection from a rusty cut or something as simple as stepping the wrong way and falling to your death. She knew she was making herself needlessly worried and that she needed to get some rest but that didn’t change her being a victim of her own experience. She decided to go for a walk. She pulled on a pair of soft tall leather boots and went for a walk down the inn’s halls. Most of the doors were closed and it was getting late so things were quiet. She passed an open door and she was surprised to realize she knew the occupants. Vienna and Allindon were in the room, apparently having a relaxed conversation. Considering the door was already open Elspeth decided to walk in and socialize, hoping to ease her anxiety.

    “Good evening.” She said with a polite smile. “I wanted to congratulate you both on assembling a team for your expedition. You did well today. I do have a question though: Neither of you are committed to going in these ruins with such a group and they are exceedingly dangerous. Why exactly are you doing this?”
     
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