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The Arena: Gladiators of Tamriel

Discussion in 'Skyrim Fan Fiction' started by solace84, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. solace84

    solace84 God of the Arena

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    The Arena: Gladiators of Tamriel
    Chapter 1: The Search

    Felian Oakenshield was a wood-elf of Valenwood. His tribe, known as the Moleki, was a fairer skinned people with different views than their Bosmer relatives. They were of human and elf kind much like the Breton's of High Rock, yet were more elven in nature and in way of life. The Moleki were a small band of Bosmer, cast aside from pure bloods due to their disagreements in faith and with the Green Pact. They lived deep within the forest lands of Valenwood, far from any and all.

    Felian was the tribe's head hunter, being that his father grew weak and old. His mother died when he was young so he learned from his father to be responsible and strong. These teachings he now passes on to his own son, Lenden, who is only a child. His wife, Eren, is the most beautiful of the tribe as claimed by all within it. Both Felian and Eren's families dwell within the group, which makes for a peaceful and respectful family.

    Felian's son notches a bow with an arrow and aims at a deer between trees. Felian and his brother-in-law, Reol, watch close behind the child.
    "Do not hesitate," Felian says.
    The boy releases the arrow and it strikes the deer, killing it almost instantly.
    "I got another one!" the excited child remarks.

    The trio enter back into their camp, where the families take in on numerous activities, such as washing clothes, cleaning, cooking, and sharpening items. Reol carries the deer behind his back and on into preparing it. Eren approaches, a smile upon her face.
    "I shot this one mother," Lenden said.
    "And you shot it well," Eren replied. "Now go get cleaned up for dinner."
    The boy ran off.
    "Do we spoil him?" Felian asked.
    Eren rubbed her hand through Felian's dark hair, which was held up by a pony-tail. "Perhaps," she said and they kiss. "Your father wanted to speak to you on your return."
    "Then I should go to him."

    Felian entered the tent where his father, Fanon, lie in bed.
    "My son, Felian the great returns to me," Fanon spoke.
    "You give to much credit, father."
    "A man can speak of his son in greatness if he so wishes. Come."
    Felian lies by the bed.
    "My time has come and gone, my son," Fanon said. "You now are the leader and protector of our people. Even though we live in peace, you know of the dangers that surround us throughout the lands. When is your next hunt, my son?"
    "We went out today just to teach my son a few things," he replied. "Reol and I head out again tomorrow's dawn. A week long hunt, perhaps."
    "I believe it to be time for you to uphold our ancestors belonging," his father spoke. "Open the chest."
    He pointed to a chest next to the bed, it was always there but Felian never bothered to ask about it. He opened it up and it revealed a katana sword, with metal armor below it. A glass helmet sat within as well, perched within an ebony shield.
    "It is Blade's armor and weaponry," Fanon said. "Brought down from our greatest ancestors. Thanden Oakenshield, member of the famed Blades."
    Felian held and marveled at the katana.
    "You know how to use a sword," his father said. "But that sword is swifter and more agile than any you have dealt with before, I promise you. I want you to wear these items on your hunt, for they will grant you luck."
    "Thank you, father," he said. "But metal may slow me down on my hunt."
    "Not this metal," his father replied. "This metal will feel like a sheet, yet protect like dragonbone."
    "Then I shall wear it proudly."

    Dawn came to early for Felian, who was enjoying the relaxation of his bed. He got up and equipped the armor as his wife rolled over.
    "Hunt well, my love," she said.
    He leant down and kissed her, saying, "I will. Go back to sleep."
    He exited their tent where Reol was, readying their horses.
    "Another beautiful morning brother," Reol said. "Shall we?"

    They rode many days into the thickness of Valenwood, adding more and more skins and meat to their cart.
    "Did you here word of the dragons in Skyrim?" asked Reol. They sat perched in a high tree, awaiting anything for a kill.
    "And where did you here such tales?" asked Felian.
    "From the markets," Reol said. "They say dragons roam freely up north. I should like to see one some day. What a sight they must be."
    "Well, if you ever do see one make sure it doesn't see you," Felian said and they laughed.
    A silence came over them and the sounds of the forest where only heard. Reol broke the silence moments later by asking, "Why are you wearing that armor, by the way? It's too shiny, it'll scare the game away."
    Felian laughed and said, "I know. It is a thing with my father, though. It means a great deal to him. And, it's not that bad. Pretty comfortable."
    They slept there that night, and when the sun rose the next morning they began to head back home. A good hunt.

    They were not far from home when they decided to walk alongside their horses, giving the animals a break.
    "Do you think there will ever be peace in all of Tamriel?" Reol asked. "Seems everyone is always fighting."
    "It is not my concern," Felian said. "As long as the fighting does not come in our home, it does not matter."
    "That's a bleak way to see it brother," Reol said. "There are a lot of people hurting out there. People that do not have what we have. Perhaps they need our help."
    "Our help? We are just mere hunters Reol, what could we possibly do to help?"
    "We are hunters, yes," Reol said. "Yet we are highly skilled in our craft. What if..."
    Felian noticed a thick smoke rising over the trees not far off. "Look!" he stopped Reol. "That is home."
    The elves jumped upon their steeds and rode fast. Felian felt a sick drop in his stomach, a feeling of worry.

    The elves rode into their camp to witness a horrific scene. Everything was burning, causing a thick smoke to encompass all around. Bodies lie on the ground, in great numbers.
    "No!" Reol screamed as he found his wife, lying dead in the mud.
    Felian, grounded now, pushed through the smoke and away from Reol.
    "Eren! Eren!" he yelled. He came upon his father, who still held life within him.
    "Father!" Felian grabbed hold of him, noticing a deep wound in his chest.
    "I tried to stop them, my son," Fanon said, spitting blood. "They attacked for no reason...for fun."
    "Who?" Felian asked, tears rolling down his face. "Who did this?"
    "The leader was called Hannibal the Grim," he said. "They left moments ago. My son, I am sorry."
    "No, father, I am sorry," Felian said. "I am sorry I was not here."
    Fanon's eyes rolled back into his head.
    "Father? Father?"
    Felian let him go. He turned to see the body of a small child, face down. He turned the child to reveal his son.
    "No!" he screamed. "My son..."
    Two horse riders came trotting back into the camp. One was a Nord, the other a dark elf.
    "See," the dark elf said. "I told you I heard something. Hannibal said no survivors!"
    The dark elf rode forward to Felian, who had raised into a fighting stance. The dark elf raised a spear on one side of the horse and directed it toward the wood elf. Felian, at the last moment, switched quickly to the other side of the horse and dug his katana deep into it. The horse fell dead and the dark elf crashed into the ground. Felian let the dark elf stumble to get up for a moment, then he drove his sword directly into the neck of the foe facing it downwards. It went through the dark elf's body parallel to his spine, until Felian ripped it out. He looked to the Nord, who had already dismounted.
    "I long for a challenge elf," the Nord said. "All these other elves died to quickly."
    "Why do you come here?" Felian asked as the two slowly approached one another. "Why do you slay the innocent?"
    "No one is innocent in Tamriel," the Nord replied. "We follow Hannibal the Grim. He is our leader into salvation. He led us here and he will lead us everywhere. Your tribe was merely upon our route."
    "Hannibal is a Nord, like you?"
    "He is Dunmer, a dark elf like the one you just slew," said the Nord.
    "Why does a Nord follow an elf?"
    "Race has nothing to do with Hannibal," the Nord replied. "He is the shadow and the death. The future. Enough with the talking, now we fight!"
    The Nord charged forward, wielding a two-handed steel blade. Felian blocked the first blow with his ebony shield and counter attacked with his katana. Back and forth they swung, blow for blow. The Nord was more experienced, however, and knocked Felian to the ground with his hilt. Felian rolled out of the way of continuous death strikes, until the Nord kicked away his shield and stomped his other leg on the wood-elf's chest. The Nord raised his sword high for a death blow, but an arrow pierced him in his un-armored chest. The Nord staggered away in pain. Reol came from the smoke wielding his readied elven bow.
    "You fight unfairly elf," the Nord said. "Where is your honor?"
    "You murder women and children," Reol said. "There is no honor here."
    Reol fired an arrow and it struck the Nord dead. Felian got to his feet and gathered his belongings.
    "They can not be far," Felian said.
    Reol nodded and they went off into the wilderness after the enemy.

    Night came upon them by the hour they found the bandits. They set a raging fire and partied with drink of ale. Felian and Reol krept closer. The sound of women screaming was heard, and Felian noticed his wife was among them. She looked beaten and bruised, as an orc kept hitting her.
    "We strike now," Felian said.
    "No," said Reol. "There are too many. Wait until most sleep."
    Felian didn't like the idea, but he knew he was right. They watched from the shadows.

    Hannibal, the dark elf, came from a tent. The others, of many different races, cheered him. Two twin Bretons stood behind him as he spoke.
    "My followers," the dark elf started. "An age of war is upon our lands. A civil war rages on in the north between Nord and Imperial. The Dunmer plan their attacks to be held soon, within Tamriel. The Emperor is dead and his son knows nothing of power. The world is weak, while we are the strong. Stick with me brothers and soon we will rule all the world. Our alliances will not see it coming. They do not know our strength. They do not know us yet, but soon they will fear us over all. I must head toward Skyrim to visit an ally in the high north, you all enjoy our victories and meet up at our site in a few days time. Gorund, my general, will lead you on. Follow his command, and meet us in time. Farewell!"
    Hannibal leaves upon a horse, with the two Breton twins following him. Gorund, an orc, speaks to the others: "Drink well tonight brothers, for we have a long road ahead of us!" The men cheer and drink.

    After a few hours, only a few stay standing about. Arrows take them down quickly and silently. The two elves press forward.
    "There are fourteen left," Felian said as they approach the camp.
    They enter and slice the throats of the bandits as they sleep. Reol continues as Felian approaches his wife, who is lain upon the ground a bloody mess.
    "Eren," Felian whispers. "Eren."
    She awakens and smiles when she sees him, though she is in a lot of pain.
    "Felian," she says. "I knew you would find me, my love. I knew it."
    He looks at her wounds. She appears to have been stabbed multiple times in the stomach area.
    "Oh no," said Felian. "I'm so sorry I was not there."
    "They are sick," she said. "They enjoy torture. Please, my love, end my life."
    Felian backs away, shocked. "No, Eren. You are going to be fine, I promise. There is nothing to fear now."
    She spit some blood out and said, "It is too late Felian. I know it. Please, you must do this...I can't feel anything."
    "You will be fine," he said. "I'm going to take you away now..."
    "I love you," she said. "I've always loved you. Always..."
    She dies in his arms. He tries to hold back the tears, but he can not.
    "Awaken!" the orc Gorund yells as he knocks Reol from his grasp. The few remaining bandits do so, and pick up arms. "Kill them!" the orc orders.
    Felian finds himself in battle against many foes. He menuevers quickly through them, killing many. Reol faces off with Gorund, but the orc is too seasoned for the hunter. The orc knocks Reol off of the cliff that the camp was set up next to.

    Felian sticks his blade in a bandit's heart, then dodges another blow by another bandit and comes back to slice off his head. Gorund charges Felian with a mace and swings furiously at him. The wood elf moves from a smashing blow and stabs his katana directly in Gorund's right eye; the orc screams in pain as he pushes off and retreats toward a horse. Felian is kept busy by two remaining bandits as Gorund flees, with all of the remaining horses running off in wild directions. One of the bandits raises his axe high while the other swings his blade low at the same time toward Felian. The wood elf blocks the low strike with his katana and ducks under the high, the high strike swings over Felian and strikes the other bandit in the throat. Felian then jams his blade straight into the last enemy, then releases as the body lumps to the floor. Reol climbs his way back up and watches as Felian holds his sisters' body in agony.

    Dawn approaches as the two wood-elves bury the last of their dead. They stand over the graves of Felian's wife, father, and son.
    "What do we do now?" Reol asks.
    "We go after them."
    "We have to hurry if we want to stay on their tracks."
    "They head north," said Felian. "Into Skyrim."

    A few months later...

    The two elves traveled light and swift, rarely being seen by anyone on their journey. They camped where they could and didn't even speak much to one another, for a fury was rising within them. They had a mission, and they would see it done. They traveled on foot now, for their horses held to much of their burden and died on the way. The walls of Whiterun were before them.
    "Whiterun," Reol said. "Maybe they went here."
    Felian knew the trail had gone cold long before this. He tried not to think about it and they went to the city.
    The Whiterun guards let them enter, pointing them in the direction of the Bannered Mare, a tavern. They entered the Mare and met face to face with numerous drunken people, all having a good time. No one glanced at the elves more than once. Reol went to the barmaiden.
    "A room for two please," he said.
    "Sure, ten gold," she replied as the elf handed it to her.
    "Have you seen any rough looking folks lately?" Reol asked her. "An orc with an eye wound maybe?"
    "Haven't seen anyone," she said. "The room is upstairs to the right."
    Reol nods and walks over to Felian. Before he could speak an elder man grabs his hand.
    "I've seen an orc recently," the man said and released his hand. "With a missing eye, too."
    "Where?" Felian asked.
    "Rorikstead, west of here," he replied. "Not but a few weeks ago maybe. The orc met up with some others there, looked to be full of trouble. I saw some Imperial soldiers heading that way, so I took off on my horse and came here. I don't like trouble, though I nearly got eaten by a sabre cat on the way. Damned things."
    "We may still have luck on our side," Reol said and they headed out, ignoring the room they purchased.

    They headed to the stables and snuck close to one of the black horses. The night sky shielded them as they stole the horse, both riding a single one together. Many hours later and Rorikstead was in their view. Reol, fighting to stay awake, wanted to suggest sleep but he could tell that Felian had become possessed with an eagerness to press on. The elves entered the tavern in the small town.

    "I think we need to sleep," Reol blurted out.
    "We are close," said Felian. "Be strong."
    Felian approached the counterman and said, "We are seeking an orc. An orc missing one eye. We heard word that this orc came this way."
    "Yeah we know the orc," the man said. "My son Erik saw the whole thing."
    Erik came up to them from behind. He was a strong shaped young man with red hair.
    "Yeah, I did," Erik said. "The orc and his buddies came in here ordering ale and screwing up the place while I was on shift. I knew some Imperials weren't far off, so I told my friend that was with me to fetch 'em. It wasn't long after that I learned one of them was Hannibal the Grim, one of the most wanted elves in Tamriel. Anyway, long story short, the Imperials came in with great numbers and arrested the men. They even gave me 500 gold for helping to catch the criminals."
    "The Imperials have them? Where? When?" asked Reol.
    "This was about a month or two ago," Erik said. "They took them to Solitude. Hey, are you guys on some sort of quest? You know, I can handle myself when it..."
    The elves left before he could finish his sentence.
    "Solitude's a hard ride north," Reol said.
    "Sleep when you're dead Reol."
    They went off again, heading north.

    Nightfall began when they reached the city of Solitude, having rode all day.
    "Have any orcs come this way?" Felian asked the first guard they came to.
    "There was one I saw," the guard replied. "Held up with Hannibal the Grim in our cells."
    Felian nodded to the guard and the elves headed in the city. They went into the barracks.

    "Stay at a safe distance!" the commanding officer told Felian of his visit. Felian looked to the cell, and there they were. Hannibal, the orc with a bandage covering his eye, and the twin Bretons all celled together.
    "These prisoners are mine to take," said Felian. "They have slain my people of Valenwood and I've come to bring justice."
    "You have no say here, elf," the officer claimed. "Valenwood is a long ways away. They're under Solitude law. Hannibal is our prisoner and will remain so."
    "Well, what will become of them then?"
    "They're to be transported to Cyrodil."
    "For what purpose?"
    "The New Emperor is to begin the Arena Games in a month in honor of their recent victories. For 40 days and nights the games shall be held and they need as many combatants as possible. Hannibal is to fight until death comes upon him."
    "And what if he survives the Games?" asked Reol.
    The guard laughs and says, "No one can. It is impossible. You give him too much credit. There is a slight problem however, as we are understaffed here in Solitude. Many of our men are busy elsewhere these days and we currently only have 2 guards for the job. We hired 3 mercenaries to help the escort, but we could use more. What say you?"
    "You will have our help," Felian said.
    "Great," the officer writes up a note and hands it to Felian. He shows him a point on a map of Skyrim. "All you have to do is escort the prisoners to here, we have a camp just outside of Falkreath. We have more men there, hand them the note and they will join your party. The escort begins tomorrow morning if you can help."
    "I can," Felian said. "I will get your prisoners to Cyrodil."
    "Was that lil' one your son among the elves?" Gorund the Orc broke his silence. "I remember him well. He screamed for you Daddy, but you never came. His neck broke so easily, like a twig. And the woman, oh she was so sweeeeet..."
    "When this is over, I will have your head," Felian said in a calm tone.
    "Hahaha, you would have to fight me in the Arena then elf" Gorund said. "You slew my men in the dark when they slept, like the coward you really are. One on one in the Arena, you would stand no chance!"
    Felian ignored the orc and headed out.

    "Their death's are certain now," Reol said as they walked through the city. "We need not follow them. Justice is done."
    "Hannibal has a wide variety of followers who may attempt to free him along the way," Felian said. "I will make sure he gets to Cyrodil for his long-awaited execution in the Games. You need not follow, you have done enough already."
    "They were my family too Felian," Reol said. "I will follow you to see it through."
    Felian smiled. "I know, now let us get that much needed sleep."

    Chapter 2: The Escort


    Felian couldn't sleep very well the rest of the night. He was equipped and ready to go long before dawn. Reol was a bit slower in readying up, but he was there nonetheless. Soon enough the prisoners were being escorted out by a few guards. They were chained from arms to legs, creating a loud clanking noise throughout the air. Gorund stared deeply into Felian's eyes, but could say nothing as all of their mouths were gaged. Felian then noticed Hannibal the Grim, the so-called powerful and feared Dark Elf. He didn't seem much as well, Felian thought, but then again neither do I.
    "You must be Felian," one of the guards said. "My name is Albecius and this here is Caccia. I'll be driving the slaves with him. We've provided horses for you and the others to accompany us to Cyrodil."
    "Nice to meet you both," Felian said.
    "Let's get one thing straight," started Caccia, "We appreciate the help in the matter, but don't go thinking you and the other hirelings can just tell us what to do. We're in charge in all matters, got it wood elf?"
    "That is fine."
    The 3 mercenaries came up next. One was an Argonian, colored differently than any the wood elves had seen before. He was orange based, with etchings of yellow outlining his features. Then there were two humans, a woman of fare beauty and a hard-looked Breton.
    "Stare harder and I will enter your mind," the Argonian said to Reol, who was unknowingly examining the colors of the lizard. The wood elf quickly turned his sight.
    "I am Felian, and this is Reol," the wood elf said. "We have joined your team."
    "The famous Zij' Qua El at your service," the Argonian said.
    "Famous from what?" Reol asked.
    "This, that, and those," Zij' spat.
    "My name is Quinn Haven," said the Breton.
    "Felyse," the woman said, she had a crossbow clung to her side and a spear at the back.
    "Pleasure to meet you all," Reol said.
    "Alright, we are almost set," said Caccia the guard. "Gorund the Orc, Ernandre and Heniel of Breton blood, and the famous Hannibal the grim. You are sentenced to be relocated into Cyrodil for the Arena Games where you will undoubtedly die a horrible death. Your deaths will be of the people's amusement in the great city for all of your horrible crimes. Well, that's about it. Shall we?"
    The company headed out, with the 2 guards riding the caged carriage. Everyone else in the group mounted their horses and followed down the road.

    Quinn put his hood on, he preferred a surprise encounter to those willing to fight him. He looked over the prisoners and saw the two non humans and simply shrugged, they looked like they belong here. Then he saw the two Bretons and just shook his head. He had no sympathy for criminals and cut throats, but it still burned to see two of his kinsman in chains. He would keep a closer eye on those two. The Breton then rode up next to Felian's stead, as they trotted down the path. Quinn slapped a hand down on Felian's shoulder.
    "From what I hear we're to be getting a pretty sizable amount of gold," the Breton said, starting up a conversation. Felian noticed a flicker in his blue eyes at the thought of all the gold waiting to be made.
    "It is not gold I seek," Felian said. "These prisoners killed my people. I just want them to make it to Cyrodil, where they will pay for their crimes."
    'An honest man,' Quinn thought. He liked honest men. He simply smiled at the two elves and bowed politely with his hands at his side.
    "I am Quinn Haven, son to Kalo Haven. I do not fancy myself a mercenary but these are desperate times. If you don't mind I'd like to take point up front, I have sharp eyes and strong spells."
    "By all means," Felian said.
    With that the Breton flickered flames in the palm of his hands and sent a shot up into the sky that exploded as Quinn snapped his fingers, embers harmlessly falling from the sky. Reol looked in awe, as he and Felian rarely got to see the work of Mages.
    "I look forward to working with you all," He spoke softly and rode to the front as he began to stroke the mane of his horse.

    Felian pulled out a map.
    "We take the road through Dragon's bridge. That road should take us all the way into Cyrodil. There's a camp of Imperials we have to meet up with south east of Falkreath. If we keep riding and take few breaks we should reach the camp around this time tomorrow, and hopefully we don't have trouble on the way."
    "Hey!" said Caccia. "What did we tell you about thinking you're in charge of all of us, huh? Myself and Albecius here are the ones calling the shots. All of you hirelings get that through your heads!"
    "Fine," said Felian. "What should we do then?"
    The guards both thought for a moment. "...well, yeah I guess that's what we can do," Caccia said. "Not because you said it though, we already were gonna do that." "Reol, you should get in the back with Felyse," Felian said. "Quinn can take the lead and I'll ride alongside the prisoner carriage with Zij' on the other side.
    Reol nodded and headed to the back of the line, scowling at Hannibal as he passed. The woman rode silently with the group, and Reol decided to break her silence.
    "Where did you get such a weapon?" asked Reol of the crossbow she used.
    Felyse looked at the wood elf in an irritated way. Her short red hair covered her face for a moment from the wind, then cleared away as she decided to answer.
    "The Dawnguard possess these weapons," she said. "A team of vampire hunters."
    "You hunt vampires?" Reol asked.
    "I used to," the Nord woman responded. "Still would, if I could find some. They seem to be more rare these days. Hiding in their caves. Now, I just look for work."

    Quinn was far ahead of the slow moving group. He opened a small portal up with one of his hands, and a twin set of small fox hounds appeared. They tackled one another and were playing but stood up on all fours once they saw Quinn's face. They tilted their heads at him. He put his hands on they physical yet ethereal bodies and petted them.
    "Go on either side of the road and watch for anyone ok?" he said and the twin foxes instantly went off into the underbrush about 50 paces ahead of them. Quinn thought of his beliefs in Talos, and how his family was outlawed long ago from their home in Cyrodil by the Thalmor. He didn't tell anyone he once lived where they were heading, mainly because it didn't feel like home anyway.

    Zij'Qua El kept close to the front of the caravan. He liked to think himself as the spearhead, what with his heavy armor and shield.
    "This criminal, the Hannibal, how many under his employ?" the Argonian asked.
    "I was told he has somewhat of an army," Albercius the guard said. "He is a cult hero to many, of all races. When he fought for the Thalmor he was said to have held back the enemy for 30 days with only a handful of men.
    "Yeah," Caccia, the other guard, started. "Then he betrayed his own people. The elf is a joke."

    The company quickly trotted down the road and were soon passing through the small town of Dragon Bridge. The locals there stopped their work to witness the unusual group. A young kid ran close and chucked a cabbage at the passing prisoners. A man quickly grabbed the boy and took him elsewhere.
    "Well," started Albercius. "I guess staying discrete isn't gonna fly..."
    "Just stay sharp," Felian said as the group moved through the town.
    Zij'Qua El rode through the town with a smile upon his face. As the group passed through, the Argonian gave waves with his hand and even laughed as the child chucked the cabbage.
    "Wood Elf, we were ever far from being discrete," Zij' Qua El said. As the caravan overcame the Dragon Bridge the Argonian found his enchanted blade in hand. 'Forsworn country,' he thought.

    Quinn licked his dry lips and took out his canteen of water. He watched as the sly little ethereal foxes were playing on the far side of the bridge. Clearly there must of been no danger, but then again he knew the fox brothers often strayed from the task at hand if left out in the world for too long. The small town reminded him of his home back in Cyrodil. It hadn't dawned on him until now that Quinn might actually be able to visit his old home. Quinn grinned as the Argonian trotted up beside him.
    "Being discrete would of been boring," Quinn said. "If they are going to fight us, my friend, then I prefer it out in the open. I'd rather avoid causing a forest fire to flush them out." He tipped his hood back to show his face to the Argonian.
    "Pleasure to be in your company," the Argonian said.
    Quinn then noticed his two ethereal foxes sprinting towards him at full speed. He pulled his hood back over his face and put his palm out as the foxes jumped into it, becoming covered in magical embers.

    The company seemed to be on good terms, Felian thought to himself as he marveled at the foxes' magical embers. This job will make us all a lot of money, he thought, and then maybe I should go out and visit Valenwood again. Visit my family's resting place. The thought saddened him.

    They followed the path over another bridge with the Karth river running smoothly below. The grass turned stale and yellowish with fine colors of orange and red sprouting all around. Felian even noticed some purple lavender leaves growing at various places. A beautiful land, he thought. As they followed the path upstream of the river to their right, a large rocky wall formed to the left. It blocked their view of Skyrim to the west. The road turned slightly left and the company then came before what seemed like an abandoned fort, called Robber's Gorge.
    "Robber's Gorge," said Albercius the guard. "They keep clearing it out of bandits and it keeps filling right back up. We must be on our guard."
    "Maybe we can go through the river, it seems low enough," the Argonian suggested.
    "That'll take too long," the other guard Caccia added. "No, we go through, there's most likely no one here anyway."
    "Should a few of us pull ahead and see if it is abandoned?" asked Felian.
    "No, stay together. Come on!" The cart pushes forward. Felian, with bow in hand, stays close to one side.
    As they get closer, a bridge comes into view hovering over the path. The fort is built mainly to the left side with a small post in the rocks on the right. Suddenly, sounds of laughter sneak out all around the fort. The rebels laughing raise up from hiding.
    "Hello friends, what do we have here?" said a rebel. "This here is our path and if you want to use it you gotta pay the toll."
    "Out of our way, scum," Caccia yells. "This is Imperial business and to intrude is a crime with the penalty of death! Stand down and let us pass."
    The rebels hit a switch and a number of boulders and rocks shower down on the road, blocking the way.
    "Yeah, we don't see it that way friend," the rebel said. "And there are a lot more of us. Kill them!" The rebels attack...

    Zij'Qua El was already in the process of dismounting when the flip was switched. He ushered the horse away right when a few pebbles and gravel cascaded his armor. He turned to find a horde of rebels charging towards them.
    "To arms!" he yelled. The Argonian's shield was risen and upon the first rebel to get close enough. Zij' Qua El swung his blade, a trail of flame following it as it struck a rebel to the ground.
    Two rebels atop the bridge began to nock their bows with arrows. Felian, with an intense speed, pulled an arrow to his elven bow and released it into one of the rebels' faces, killing him instantly. The wood elf quickly readied another arrow for the other guard, who had just pulled his bow back to fire. Felian fired first and it entered the rebels' neck, pumping out spirts of blood into the air as the enemies' arrow fired off harmlessly in the other direction. Felian saw a number of rebels charging down the hill toward the rear, where the woman and Reol were. The two guards, Albercius and Caccia, unsheathed their swords but stayed with the carriage. Hannibal watched in excitement as the battle ensued.

    Quinn simply smiled as the rebels began to surround them. His hands became glowing orbs of darkness as with a flick of his wrists, two dancing astronachs suddenly appeared. A set of flame astronachs spun around Quinn as a flurry of arrows hurled towards them. The flames from the astronachs firebolts burned most of them away as the others generally missed. One arrow got through and pierced the clothing on Quinn's shoulder before harmlessly falling to the ground. Quinn laughed aloud as he held his hands together for a brief moment before spewing out a cone of flames towards the entrance of the fort, burning an unlucky rebel as he charged through, the searing flesh burning his skin. His flame astronachs were toying with a solitary rebel as he ran in fear. The flames looked back to their master and with a wicked grin from Quinn the two sent firebolts chasing after him. Igniting him and killing him instantly.

    Quinn was now standing behind his Argonian comrade and patted him on the shoulder.
    "I wager I can cut more of them down than you Zij," the breton said. "The loser buys our little band of misfits a round of the finest ale in Cyrodil!"
    And with the wicked grin that made Quinn seem slightly insane he held out his hands and two long blades appeared in his hands, the electric hum of the ethereal blades made the hair on his skin rise. As the blades came to life, the magic from the Flame Astronachs faded as they were close to corning another rebel. Quinn's brow was covered in sweat but his heart was beating faster than it had in years. Zij'Qua grunted at the Breton and said, "Very well. It is unfair, though, as they flee from me."
    Zij'Qua El stormed in, shield lifted to bash the nearest rebel and sword swinging as a whirlwind to decapitate and maim. As the flames of his ebony sword struck, he kept count of kills. However, he had buried himself too thickly in the battle and already a large amount of rebels were beginning to swamp him.

    Felian saw the Argonian and Quinn go on a spree within the rebels. A few grouped around the reptile, so Felian aimed his bow accordingly. He shot one down in the back of the neck, where his armor was weak. He aimed for another, but a fairly larger rebel dropped down from the bridge to the front of the group. The large rebel chucked a spear at Felian, who flipped backwards off of his horse to dodge it. He landed in a crouched stance and unsheathed his katana. The rebel charged forward and swung heavily at Felian with a two-handed mace. The wood elf rolled and dived out of the way of the crucial blows, and he blocked what he could. The elf sliced the rebel numerous times around the chest area, but the armor was too thick and the rebel kept pushing forward. Eventually, the large Nord grasped Felian and chucked him into the stone wall behind him. Felian knelt in pain. The rebel raised his mace high for a kill strike and then smashed it downward, but Felian was too fast. The elf spun around just missing the strike and brought his blade around to decapitate the enemy. Felian took a few heavy breaths trying to collect himself.

    Felyse and Reol had dismounted, and unsheathed their weapons as the bandits pressed in for the attack. They stayed back for ahwile, firing their ranged weapons from a fair distance. The enemies, however, got too close and they had to use their close-range tactics. Reol had a short blade, and the wood elf swayed from side to side cutting down the enemies as Felyse worked her spear like an expert. She flipped one rebel over her and attacked another, while Reol slit the throat of the downed opponent she had flipped. Reol turned and was met by a dagger to his left hipside, which caused the elf to shriek in a moments pain.
    "No!" Felyse yelled and she chucked her spear. It was an accurate throw, as it struck the enemy in the throat and he fell dead. Reol backed off in pain, looking down at his blood.
    "Are you okay?" Felyse asked, worried for the wood elf.
    "I'm fine," he responded.

    Quinn couldn't help but grin as the Argonian charged in, rarely had he even met Argonians in his travels, let alone a furious fighter amongst his race. Quinn took a moment to collect himself as he saw The Argonian moving like a whirlwind of destruction, blocking arrows and melee strikes as his enchanted flame sword set his foes on fire and left others mangled. Quinn opened his eyes and began dashing towards two single armed foes. As he sprinted towards them he dropped down to his knees and slid through the dirt, cutting their knees with the ethereal blades. Their screams of agony filled his ears enough to the point he flicked his sword away and sent a fireball to silence them. As he turned he saw a large Orc charging through the battlefield towards him. He had come out of the fort bellowing, his fury clear.
    "A challenge eh?" Quinn muttered. The Orc swung his hammer so hard that the ground shook as Quinn managed to side step the sluggish brute. His twin ethereal swords now swinging fast and hard, leaving two large X shaped magical cuts deep into his armor and flesh. He could smell the flesh burn as the Orc turned and swatted him back a few feet with his arm. The Orc's eyes were blood shot red. Before long he found himself standing back to back with the Argonian. Quinn spat out the blood that was pouring from his cheek, it tasted metallic and stung furiously, already swelling.
    "Well Zij... It would appear we are in a slight disadvantage."
    Quinn grinned as he let the humming blades dissipate from his hands and replaced them with burning flamings engulfing his fingers.
    "Shall we even the odds then?" Quinn said with a smile. The raging Orc bellowed out and charged at the two. The other rebels simply stood by and watched as the Orc raced towards them. Quinn grinned and set out firebolts that slowed him but did not stop him. Zij'Qua El finished shield bashing a foe into submission before turning towards the orc that was charging. The Argonian lifted his shield to meet the orc's hammer as it lashed out at him. Zij'Qua El had a worried looked as the hammer banged up his arm pretty bad and nearly broke the shield. The berserk orc had made an error however, his strike allowing an opening. The Argonian shot his blade straight into the orc's side, tip up and piercing lung and heart. As the enchanted blade burnt the orc from the inside out the lizard quickly, and brutally, ripped out the sword, spilling the orc's insides. It was this moment that Zij'Qua took a step back, shield arm low as it had taken some serious damage.
    "Berserkers, fearful things," the lizard grunted and fell to a knee. He had just noticed that an arrow was sticking into his calve.

    Felian saw that the rebels were nearly all gone as Felyse finished off the last few with her crossbow. Victory was assured.
    "Thanks for the help guys," Felian said sarcastically to the guards.
    "Hey, we have orders to..." one guard started.
    "Yeah, yeah, yeah," Felian rolled his eyes. "Help me get these rocks out of our way at least. We're losing sunlight. Next town is Rorikstead, I believe."
    The guards jumped down and started moving rocks with Felian, trying to contribute.
    "Stand still," the Breton Mage said to the Argonian. With his magic he begun to heal Zij'Qua's wound as the Argonian yanked the arrow out.
    "I killed ten by the way," the Argonian said.
    "And I lost count," Quinn said and they both laughed.

    "Gather anything of use," Felian said aloud. The bandits lie everywhere in great numbers. Hacked off arms, legs, and heads strewn across the fort.

    The power of the Argonian's hist mixed with the healing properties of the Mage patched him up fairly quickly. Once healed fully and the bleeding stopped, he stood again, seemingly as if nothing happened. His shield was nothing but scrap metal and splinters. The smell of ozone in the air was strong as his enchanted blade burnt off the blood and grim that lay on it. Finished, he holstered the blade and nodded to the Breton.
    "Thank you." Zij' Qua El then walked on over to his horse and mounted again, tossing aside his broken shield.
    "Perhaps we should scout ahead in the future to avoid attacks such as this," said the lizard.
    "Agreed." Felian nodded at the Argonian.

    Reol fell behind the group, his hand upon his wound.
    "Help!" Felyse yelled and everyone ran over.
    "Reol?" Felian had forgotten his brother kinsman. "What..."
    "He was stabbed by a daggar blade," Felyse said as the Mage moved in to heal.
    Quinn rubbed the wound with his magic, but nothing seemed to be happening.
    "What's wrong?" Felian asked. "Why is it not working?"
    "I can only heal minor cuts and bruises," the Mage replied. "The Argonian has a skin that heals as well, wood elves do not. This wound is too deep for my care. He may make it to the other town if we hurry."
    The group helped Felian prop Reol onto a horse and they set out.




    The sun was high at its' peak as Felian and Reol rode into Rorikstead, the others not far behind.
    "I need help!" Felian called out as the townsfolk approached. They escorted Reol, who was weary, into the tavern and onto a bed.
    "Erik," Felian called out to one of the townspeople he had met earlier in his travels. "Watch for my other companions, they will be here shortly."
    Erik nodded and said, "I will."

    "Are you a doctor?" asked Felian, as a random man worked on Reol's wound.
    "No, my name is Leo," the man said. "Gardener."
    "Felian..." Reol started. "We came far."
    "We have much further to go, Reol," he replied. "Stay strong. We need you with us."
    "I'll always be with you, as our family is," Reol said. "You must finish this without me."
    "No!" Felian slightly yelled. "Please, you're all I have left."
    Reol went to speak, but could not. His eyes stopped, motionless. His breath ceased.
    "Reol?" Felian began to cry. "Reol, wake up!"
    Leo stopped working on the elf.
    "I'm sorry," the man said.
    Everyone in the room backed off as Felian held Reol and screamed...

    Felian exited the tavern to see the group waiting for him. Felian went straight for the prisoner carriage and began to strangle Hannibal through the bars. The guards stopped him, pulling him back. Felian fell to the ground, a mess.

    They stayed the night with constant watch over the prisoners. A burial was held in Rorikstead for the fallen wood elf, and in the morning they began the journey again. Felian hardly spoke, and the others gave him his space.

    "If you guys need the help I will join you," Erik said, as the group was setting off.
    "That's not a good idea," Quinn told the young man. "You're needed here."
    With that, they were off toward Cyrodil.

    They travelled a long ends day through the beautiful wide open fields of the Whiterun Hold. Mammoths could be seen far off, with Giant masters at their ends. The skies began to darken as they reached the forests of the Falkreath Hold. Large trees surrounded on all sides, with a vast variety of greens sprouting in every direction. Sprinkles of rain began to pour down, revealing a mist of air encompassing them as the sky became darker and darker. The caravan was pulled onto a dirt track away from the main road and parked on a flat surface.
    "We should set camp here," Albercius the guard said. "At first light we head to the border where we should find our rendezvous point with our other men. From there, a straight shot into Cyrodil."
    A fire is created and a camp is set up. Within about an hour both guards are sound asleep. Felian sits a ways from the fire but not too far. He uses a flint he carried to light up some herb he had in his belongings. He smokes and the feeling gets him lightheaded as the rain comes down harder and makes it impossible to hear anything far off.
    'A beautiful place' he thought as he took another drag.

    They decided to stay on different watches, so that everyone could get their sleep while also watching the camp. Felian dozed off, as it was not his watch.

    Felyse decided to sleep for a bit, since she had 3rd watch. She did worry about the group, so she kept her spear right next to her readied for a fight.

    Zij'Qua El was never one to sleep easily without a roof overhead. He gave up sleep for the chance to commit maintenance upon his weapon and armor, so he had the first watch. The steady sound of rain and his whet stone sharpening the blades was relaxing to him and soon, the Argonian found himself entranced in a steady, repetitive process. His mind began to wander to the lands he had visited. He looked to the north and east, towards the mountains and where Whiterun Hold would lie beyond. He would never forget seeing skyforge steel being crafted. He would even secretly dream of his own hammer working at that noble smithy. The lizard snapped out of as he realized the dagger he worked upon was slowly cutting his finger. He had worked too hard on it.

    Felian held his wife and son in his arms.
    'I've missed you both so much' he said. 'I'll never leave you again!'
    His wife turned away and said, 'You must go back now, they need you.'
    Felian refused.
    'Go back, my love. They need you.'
    The wood elf awoke. The sky was dreary gray and the grass moist of dew. It still sprinkled rain over the camp. The Argonian was wide awake, fixated on his weapons. The guards were standing around, readying up.
    "I missed my watch?," Felian wondered.
    "We figured you needed the sleep moreso," said Quinn. "Don't worry, it was a quick night's watch for all of us. We're cooking up some beef if you're hungry."
    The guards kept talking back and forth as the food cooked. They talked about their past journeys and Skyrim women. Felian thought he heard rustling far out in the trees so he stayed motionless, though it could just by any animal he thought. He looked to the Argonian, who seemed to have heard it to. The rain started pouring more and lightning and thunder began high in the gray sky.
    "Yeah, she was my first," Albercius the guard told the other one. "Not the best first time, but it was okay."
    Felian heard it again, this time closer. Higher. The trees? Something or someone was in the trees, he thought.
    "Now there's one thing you always have to remember..." Albercius started, oblivious. "If you ever find yourself in that kind of situation, you need to....." "Ambush!!" Felian yelled.
    An arrow came out of the trees like a bolt of lightning and struck Albercius, mid-sentence, into his neck. The guard fell to the ground. The other guard, Caccia, dove under the caravan for protection. A number of arrows flew through the trees and into camp. Felian jumped to the side of a few rocks and readied his bow, but the many arrows reigning down on them made it impossible for him to move.
    "Zij' Qua El, stick to the mist!" he yelled.

    Felyse slung her crossbow from her back, and loaded a fresh bolt while moving into cover. She looked for arrows, and when she saw one coming at her, she fired and turned around. A thump was heard as the arrow got stuck in the shield on Felyse's back. The enemy was not so lucky as she heard the man scream as he fell. She then stormed towards Felian, and the two set up a defence.

    The argonian reflexively flew himself to the ground, behind the flat rock he used as a table for the weapons, before his mind even registered what was happening. He attempted to peer up, risking an arrow to the eye to see if he can catch who and where these assailants were.
    "Where was the watch!?" he shouted to Felian, "Why were we not warned!?"
    His hand shot for his blade and readied himself to launch from the rock when the opportune time arose.

    "Hannibal, we come for you!" a voice yelled in the trees. "Hail Hannibal!" "Hail Hannibal!"
    The savages continued firing from the trees, but a ground force began to run up to the camp. Savages of all races fought as one to free the criminal Hannibal.
    "Hannibal's men have come for him," Felian said to Felyse and then turned to yell at the Argonian. "Zij' Qua, go around and flank them while Felyse and I use cover fire!"
    Felian spotted a savage's location in a tree nearby. The wood elf aimed up into the air, correctly calculated the savages' position, and fired. The arrow went up and then came down, perfectly striking the savage and knocking him from the tree; dead. He then looked to cover the Argonian, but two large savages jumped around the corner and charged both him and Felyse.
    Felyse quickly fired her crossbow, which killed one, and then grabbed her spear and shield.
    "Keep 'em off my back!" she said to Felian before charging the other.

    Zij'Qua El nodded to the command of the wood elf and prepared himself to jump until a foe came racing at him. Instead he jumped forward, blade at hand, and swung the savage follower. Fire upon his ebony blade, he cut deep into the enemies' chest. Before a heartbeat went by, the Argonian grabbed the back of the dead man's neck and lifted it up to his height, using the corpse as a literal meat shield against oncoming arrows.

    Felian fired arrows rapidly, never missing a target. One ran up behind Felyse but recieved an arrow to the eye. An arrow came down upon him and pierced his Blades' armor at the shoulder, but it skid off. He then raised his bow and killed the one that shot at him.

    Felyse slew another man, then she saw one enemy at Hannibal's position, who was freeing the criminal. She threw her spear at the man, which pinned him to the cage piercing through the spine. Then, Felyse grabbed her crossbow again and reloaded.
    The enemy body was quickly pin cushioned as Zij'Qua El used it as a temporary shield. His blade lashed at any who came too close. He was slow moving, however, as the body was an awkward thing to hold up and he actually began to fall back from the pressure of the amount of savages that were focusing on him.
    "I do not think they like me very-" the Argonian was cut short as an arrow shot through his shield's neck and straight into his hand, causing him to shout quickly in pain. His strikes with the blade became more furious but less trained as this angered him.

    Felyse had reached the man who was impaled by her spear, then saw Zij'Qua El get hit by an arrow through his hand. She scrambled towards him, with her shield in front of her.

    Many thugs jumped to the ground and ran in for an attack. Felyse had a worried look as dozens charged in, but Quinn jumped before them. Two flame Astronach's attacked the oncoming enemies and mowed them down.
    "Get back!" Quinn yelled as his magic did its' work.

    "Are you okay?" Felyse asked the lizard.
    "I'm fine," he pulled the arrow out and held up the dead corpse for a shield again.
    "That's really gross," Felyse added.
    "Yet necessary."

    Felian unsheathed his katana blade and went over to Felyse and the Argonian. He had his back to them, as the enemies came from all around. They fought them off as they approached.

    Quinn found himself further from the group, alone. Enemies surrounded him, but he slew them one by one with a lone etheral blade. One of the Astronach's fell, while the other wasn't doing much better. Arrows poured down, and one struck Quinn in his right shoulder, causing him to lose control of his magic. The mage unsheathed his real blade and started swinging away, until he was struck by another arrow to the chest. He lifted his other hand to conjure up some help, but a dark elf savage was behind him, unknowingly. The Dunmer sliced Quinn's arm off, and Quinn screamed in pain.
    "Quinn!" Felian called out, realizing the Mage was in trouble. There was too many, though. Felian faught hard through the thick enemies, one after another.
    Another arrow reigned down on Quinn, again striking the chest as he fell to his knees. Quinn looked to the sky and thought of home as the Dunmer impailed him from behind with a blade. The dark elf pulled the sword out and Quinn fell to the ground; dead.

    "No!" Felian screamed, as a shield smashed into his face knocking him to the ground. He looked up, in a dazed state, and saw Caccia the guard had run out from hiding. The guard slew one savage, but the next bested him and stuck a blade through his chest. An Orc stood over Felian, wielding a two-handed axe high into the air. Suddenly, an arrow flew by and struck the Orc dead. A loud horn filled the air as more arrows poured down, this time toward the enemy.
    The Penitus Oculatus Agents, of Cyrodil, came riding in on high horses all armed to the teeth. They marched in and slew what was left of Hannibal's men, while few other savages escaped into the wilderness. One of the officers raised arms toward Zij' Qua El and Felyse.
    "No!" Felian yelled. "Stop! We fight on your side!"
    The officer stopped, then looked to his commander.
    "Lower your weapons!" the commanding officer ordered.
    Felian dropped his bow and katana and motioned for the others to do so as well. They did so, and the lizard dropped his very dead shield.
    "We are allies to you," Felian said. "We come to bring you Hannibal the Grim and his men. I have a note."
    The officer took the note and read it.
    "That must be Hannibal," the Commander said, looking to the prisoners. The officer then looked back to the group. "Chain them up!"
    "What?" Felyse cried.
    The other guards surrounded them and put irons on each of them.
    "What are you doing?" Felian asked.
    "You are to be transported to Cyrodil with the prisoners...as prisoners," the officer said.
    "Why?" asked the Argonian.
    "Mercenaries and hirelings are viewed as the same to criminals to the Emperor," said the Commander. "Especially in these times of the Arena games. Gather the weapons and head out!"

    The group was brought to Cyrodil in chains, just like their former prisoners. As they reached the great city, crowds and crowds of people formed all around them and honored the entrance of the Penitus Oculatus Agents. Many marveled at the sight of Hannibal, for stories of his crimes have travelled the lands. The prisoners were taken a different path than the group, yet they were both directed toward the Arena. Once there, the group was thrown into a cell underground where they were met with many other slaves.

    Chapter 3: The Arena

    "They can't do this, can they?" Felyse asked, as she noticed many male slaves taking a liking to her looks.
    "They did," the Argonian said.
    A burly slave walks up to Felyse.
    "Hey honey..."the man started.
    Felyse grabs the man's hand as it approached to touch her, breaks it, then flips the man on his back. The other slaves back off as the Argonian laughs.
    "The Arena. This is not where I wish to be," said the lizard. He looked towards Felian with a slight snarl in his voice, "Did you know of this?"
    "No friend," Felian replied to the Argonian. "The Imperials betrayed us for the amusement of the Emperor. I am sorry for this, but if we stick together we can make it out of here. I know we can."
    Felian had a slight bit of doubt troubling him. Felian looked around at the many races. Bretons, Khajiit, Argonians, Nords, and elf kind. Many with troubling looks upon their faces, some with more seasoned looks. He noticed an old man with one arm. 'The Imperials have truly lost their minds' he thought. He went over to one wall, where there were gates allowing the slaves to view the arena floor. It was night out and the fighting ground was empty. Four poles stuck out of the arena in the form of a square, if viewed from above. He noticed the hundreds of seats encircling around the ring. Around the second floor up was the Emperor's seating. He turned back and observed the slaves. Some were trying to sleep, others were balled up against a wall talking to themselves, many were practicing against statue figures. 'I better get to rest' he thought. 'Tomorrow might be my last day among the living'.

    Felyse walked up to the old man with one arm.
    "What are you doing here. You are way too old to fight... And you do not look like an instructor neither..."she asked.
    "Too old," the old man said. "Tell that to the Imperial dogs that put me in here. See an old man die for their amusement."
    "I am Felyse," she said. "These are my friends Felian and Zij' Qua El. We will look after you when we can."
    "My name is Isnar," the old man said. "We need to be sharp tomorrow," Felian said, changing the subject. "At least they let us keep our armor..."

    The argonian allowed the rest of his fellows to address the newcomer as he went over to a table full of weapons and armor, a sign of regret over his scaled face as he saw no shields he liked. "I dislike this very much."

    Within hours the halls were silent, save few talking here and there. Felian had fallen to sleep on one of the mats and the Argonianstared at the elf as he slept, wondering if the arena meant all of their dooms. After a moment, Zij'Qua placed his back to the wall and had blade in hand as he fell asleep. Though it did not come easy.

    Isnar looked around. It was morning. Many were asleep, many were awake. A large nord stared at the old man. Isnar stared back at him.
    "What are you looking at, old man?"
    Isnar sighed and looked away.
    "I asked you a question!"
    Isnar did not dignify him with a response. The large man stood up, Isnar thought he was much smaller when he was sitting down. The large man came even closer to him.
    "I'll bash your head in! We're all going to die anyway!" The nord said as he picked up a large rock within the cells, intending to hit the frail old man in the head. As the rock came down, Isnar rolled out of the way, reached into his roughskin tunic, pulled out a shiv and stuck the Nord in the throat. He continued stabbing him repeatedly until Felyse pulled him off.
    "Not as helpless as I thought," she muttered. "Isnar, are you any good with a shortsword?" Felyse liked this man, and didn't want him to die.
    "Only thing I've ever used is my iron war-axe, back home," he replied.

    The sound of the crowd was like thunder, rumbling throughout the Arena. The games started in the early morning and, by mid afternoon, the smell of death was everywhere. Small fights had already taken place and as the day raged on and the sun grew brighter, more and more people filled the seats of the Arena. Felian saw 3 men, clad in armor head to toe, at the ramp leading to the gate of the battlefield. The smaller of the 3 men was shaking, as piss flowed to the floor beneath him. A loud horn blew and the gates opened, while a few Imperial guards were telling them to proceed. The 3 men entered the Arena and the crowd 'booed'. A voice full of diction spoke out among the crowds, as they all quieted down to listen.
    "Ladies and gentleman, I give you the Savages of the Northern Seas! Ruthless men with no honor and no pride. They steal and murder from the honest, then run to their ships and flee."
    The crowd 'boos' even harder. The voice spoke again, "To set justice right among these savages there is but one man. One champion that chose to come fight for the Emperor and for the Imperials. Ladies and gentlemen, the Slayer of the one-eyed Giant Korath, I give you Dalious Durendail!"
    Dalious came from the red gates wielding two Imperial swords in each hand. He rose them high as the crowd cheered loudly, 'Dal-i-ous, Dal-i-ous, Dal-i-ous!!" He entered to the center of the Arena and bowed to the Emperor, Titus Mede III, which Felian just realized that the Emperor was only a young boy, barely a man if even. Dalious wore the shiniest metal armor Felian had ever seen, with designs of dragons on each breast plate. He had long black hair that came to his neck, with an oddly peaceful face and eyes. The Emperor nodded to Dalious as he bowed and the Voice boomed, "Begin!"
    The Dominus, Commander of the slaves, slashed his whip across the floors, taking Felian's focus away. The Dominus was a rather large Redguard, who's figure demanded attention.
    "The following need to get prepared for battle..."the Dominus spoke.
    He named off a few names and then said Felian and the rest of the group. Felian was ready. When the Dominus was finished he came to Felian.
    "You fight Hannibal and his men," he said.
    "I would have faught Hannibal and his men for free in the Arena," Felian said. "Why are we now prisoners when we have done nothing wrong?"
    "Not for me to discuss," the Dominus said. "The Emperor wanted to prolong Hannibal's execution for the later days of the Games, which is why you and your men are fighting them. He wanted Hannibal to gain popularity only to die later on, to please the crowd even more so. The Emperor underestimates you and your men, so prove him wrong. You will be playing the role of 'helpless villagers' in your fight, so that Imperials can kill the criminal later and salvage all the glory."
    "Do not worry," Felian said. "Hannibal and his men will fall today."
    "I like your confidence," the Dominus said. "Do not bring your bow."
    "Why not? I was told we could use any weapon."
    "The Arena is not only about surviving," the Dominus spoke. "It is about winning over the crowd, a feat that arrows end quickly. Give them a show they will never forget. You'll be wise to remember that, now get ready because your fight is after two more."
    "Tell me about the red side of the Arena," Felian asked, trying to get more information out of him.
    "The red side is set for Champions and warriors who choose to be involved," the Dominus spoke. "They can leave and enter at their will. The blue side fights the red side, or the blue fights the blue, but red can never fight red. By the way, you kill a Champion and you might become one."

    Felian turned back his attention to the Arena. Two of the armored men were dead upon the sands, while one charged Dalious Durendail. Dalious expertly swiped away the armored man's weapon and slashed him to his knees. Dalious put both of his swords around the fallen man's neck, then looked up to the Emperor. The Emperor raised his right hand into the air as a fist, with his thumb sticking out. Then the Emperor pointed the thumb 'down' and Dalious beheaded the fallen man, with a loud cheer following.

    "I really hope we don't have to fight him," Isnar the old spoke of Dalious Durendail. "The only advantage I have is underestimation."

    "Old man," said Felian. "How did you lose your arm?"
    "Long story my friend," said Isnar. "My father was very rich, and therefore, many people wanted him dead. When they finally caught up to our family, they took him, my mother, and my arm. Punishment was bestowed upon the murderers in the form of a one-armed man with an axe. I guess that just goes to show that living in Skyrim was a bad idea. 96 years old and still fighting!"

    Felian grabbed a glass helmet from the table of weapons and armors as Isnar spoke to him, and put it on his head.
    "You fulfilled your vengeance then," Felian said. "I'm moments away from mine." The next fight had begun.

    The dominus calls out: "Felian, Felyse, and Zij' Qua El to the ramp. You are next." Felian moves to the ramp.
    "Felyse," Felian said. "Do not die. If I'm to be stuck down here for awhile, I wouldn't mind a pretty face to be stuck down here with."
    Felian sets his bow down and readies his katana. He decides to not take a shield.
    "That's a good reason to keep you alive then." Felyse shot back to Felian, teasing.
    "You guys better come back. I need someone to talk to," Isnar grinned.
    Felyse nodded to the One-armed man. She equipped a black and red shield and a spear.
    "I wish I had my crossbow," she said.

    The time seemed to speed up while they waited on the ramp. Within moments a horn blew loudly and the gates opened. Imperials motioned them to the Arena. The Voice of the Arena called out: "Ladies and gentleman, in this fight, justice is to be seeked out from one of the most ruthless criminal Lords in all of Tamriel. In one of his dark sieges the criminal mastermind overtook and brutally destroyed the small village of Firn. I give you a re-enactment of that fateful massacre with these three 'Soldiers of Firn'!"
    The crowd did not cheer nor boo them as they entered, as many did not know anything about them. Most of the audience pitied them.
    "Now," the Voice started again. "Through thick and thin we have finally caught and obtained this master criminal. Wanted through out Tamriel in every land, even his own. I give you Hannibal the Grim and his savage followers!"
    The enemies enter the Arena, with many 'boos' and a few cheers. Gorund the Orc holds a mace and a shield, armored in steel with a horned helm. The orc clashes the mace against the shield, ready for battle. Hannibal and the twin Breton Mages wield nothing, relying upon their magics.

    Felyse bangs her shield and spear together, then shouts "FIRN!" as the two sides approach one another. She neared the one eyed Orc, who carelessly slung his weapon at Felyse. She was not weaken, however, and received the weapon on her large shield. She quickly stabbed, and wounded his arm. Then she stepped back a few paces, getting the orc to follow her.

    One of the Breton mages shot fire at the wood elf Felian. He dodged, and then dodged again as the other Breton shot ice.
    "You will now see our true power!" Hannibal yelled, as he conjured up an etheral sword.

    Felian saw Felyse and the Orc Gorund fighting. She seemed to have the upper hand, until the Orc sidestepped her spear thrust and smashed her back with his shield. Felian jumped in between the two and ducked under a swing from the mace while continually blocking and swinging his sword.

    Felyse got up and quickly charged one of the mages, the one with ice. Two ice cones were stuck in her shield by the time she reached the mage, and she stabbed for the eyes. The mage began to scream, and Felyse knew she hit her target. The Mage fell dead, while the other Breton screamed in anger toward her and charged.

    Felian let anger take control of him a little too much, as it clouded his fighting. The orc smashed Felian's face with his shield and the wood elf went flying to the ground.
    "You came all this way to kill me and now look at you," Gorund the orc said and kicked Felian's face, causing him to roll a few feet. "You couldn't stop me then...and you can't stop me now."
    The orc lifted his mace and brought it down to miss, as Felian rolled and got back to his feet.
    "I remember your wife," the orc spat and wiped some blood from his wound on his arm. "She screamed for you wood elf. I've never had so much fun taking a life than with her."
    "Your days of madness are at an end, orc."
    "Haha, prove it!" The orc charged in swinging madly and blindly. Felian kept to his footwork, and was always ahead of the pace. Felian knocked the mace back with his sword, then staggered the shield to cause Gorund to wobble backwards. With all his might, the elf stuck the orc through his steel armor and into his chest. "On your knees!" Felian demanded and twisted the blade within the orc. Gorund fell to his knees, dropping both his shield and mace.
    "Wh..what? Wait...I...I can't lose," the Orc said.
    "May you be seperated in the afterlife as well," Felian said and sliced off one of his arms, then the other. Then he chopped his head off and the crowd cheered.

    Dalious Durendail watched the fight patiently from the red side of the Arena. A man came to him and handed him a bag of coins.
    "You're winnings, sir."
    "Finally," Dalious said snatching the purse. "Now, point me in the direction of the brothel."

    The Argonian stayed out of the main thick of battle, not particularly liking his chances without a shield. However, as he circled around, he caught Hannibal, smirking to the side. Wishing to end it quickly Zij'Qua El charged at the Dark Elf. The dark elf, however, noticed him and side stepped the vertical chop. With a grace only a mer can hold he danced around the lizard, striking at the armor with conjured blades, yet lacking the strength behind the blows to pierce it. However, Argonians are wonderful at guerilla warfare, and just as easily Zij'Qua danced around as well. They thrusted at each other before Hannibal stepped back, and conjuring up a flame spell with his other hand, pouring it down on the lizard.

    Zij'Qua El was burning and he could feel a few scales popping. With fury he dashed forward, slamming his head like ram to the elf's abdomen. They both fell to the ground, Zij'Qua panting from the burns.

    Zij'Qua El staggered up before the dark elf and, throwing his full weight, stabbed the elf with his blade through the chest. Hannibal spasmed and jerked from the pain until, finally, he lay still. The lizard got to his feet, barely, and lifted the blade, soaking in the audience response.

    Felyse rushed towards the fire mage, dodging the fire rather than blocking, because her shield was wooden. She reached the mage, and he conjured up a sword. Felyse charged, spear aimed at the mage's chest, but she hit a magical barrier. She tried again, this time almost coming through. She jumped back from the sword, which was flailing around, and jumped forward again, this time impaling the man. His power quickly ebbed away, his blood spilling on the sand.

    Felian noticed the success of the others and smiled. He thought of his family as he looked up at the bright sky, feeling the warmth of the sun. The crowd continued cheering as the three bowed together before everyone.
    "Well done," Felian murmured.
    The voice called out, "Ladies and gentleman, your victors!"

    A cloaked man came to Felian later in the day and handed him a bag full of some coin.
    "For your victory, wood elf," the man said.
    "And what could a slave possibly buy with coin?" Felian asked.
    "There are many things," said the man. "The whores will come buy in the nightfall as ordered by Titus Mede III. Also, wine if it is desired."
    "And if I do not desire such things?"
    "Then maybe your fellows would."

    The Dominus came in and put up tomorrow's fight sheet.
    "If you fought today, you need not tomorrow," the Dominus said.

    Many slaves get drunk as the night presses on. It is almost as if they forgot that they are fighting for their lives. Felian sits in a corner, thinking of how long he and the others could last.

    The Argonian was busy tending to his wounds, suffered from Hannibal's sword. He was crisp and did not feel good.
    "They should call you the Slayer of Hannibal now," Felyse said to the lizard, who said nothing back. She sat next to Felian.
    "Well," she said. "We survived. Are we really going to attempt to survive this whole thing?"
    Felian thought for a moment.
    "We have no choice," the wood elf replied.
     
  2. T116

    T116 Guardian

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    It's a shame that there's no to read. It was very good :)
     
  3. T116

    T116 Guardian

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    Damn I messed up no = nothing
     
  4. solace84

    solace84 God of the Arena

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    huh?
     
  5. T116

    T116 Guardian

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    Well I messed up on my first comment and fixed it up with another comment. So then no in the comment was ment to be nothing.
     
  6. Christopher Aurea Shuzen

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    Ummm. I'm a bit mad since I particapated and I get nothing in this. Whatever.
     
  7. solace84

    solace84 God of the Arena

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    I know what you meant, I just don't understand what you meant. You said "It's a shame there's nothing to read"...when there's a lot to read...
     
  8. solace84

    solace84 God of the Arena

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    This is based on the RP, not an exact account. I wanted this to fit the world of Skyrim, and there are no half-breeds of man and khajiit so I had to cut you. It would have made the story confusing, and you will get credit anyway when I'm done with the rest of it. Also, PM me your complaints in the future, don't post them here.
     
  9. solace84

    solace84 God of the Arena

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    CHAPTER 4: The Escape


    Many days have gone by as the dead rise in numbers. Isnar the old is standing next to the entrance ramp, ready for his fight. He holds an axe with his only hand, as Felyse comes to him.
    "Do not hesitate," she said. "You must be quick."
    "I'm 96 years old young lady," the old man said. "Quick is not an option."
    The gates opened and the old man entered the Arena.
    "He has been victorious before," Felian the wood elf said, trying to comfort Felyse. "He can do it again."

    Isnar stood across the arena from an orc, Bura Un; a warrior of the sands.
    "Ladies and gentleman," boomed the voice of the Arena. "Bura Un!"
    The crowd cheered.
    "That orc is too big," Felyse muttered, as they watched from the slave quarters.
    "Begin!" the voice called out, and the orc charged the one-armed old man. Isnar moved quickly at first, deflecting wild swings from the orc's sword for a good while. The orc had too much power though, and smashed his shield into the old man flinging him half way across the sands. The orc dove into the air and brought his sword straight down for a death strike, but Isnar rolled and stuck his axe into the orc's ankle. The crowd cheered for the old man this time, as Isnar got up and pulled a shiv from his belt side. The orc pulled the axe out and limped to the old man, swinging his sword wildly again. Isnar found an opening, and ducked under a blow to deliver his shiv directly into the orc's left eye. The orc fell crippled, but still alive. Isnar lifted his axe and stood over the defeated enemy.
    "Kill! Kill! Kill!" the audience yelled in excitement.
    The Emperor, Titus Mede III, stood up and all became silent, patiently awaiting his verdict. The young Emperor signaled his hand for a 'kill', and the crowd cheered again. Isnar brought the axe down and ended the foe. The applause was deafening.



    (to be continued...)
     
  10. Christopher Aurea Shuzen

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    Whatever.
     
  11. solace84

    solace84 God of the Arena

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    lol.
     
  12. solace84

    solace84 God of the Arena

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    (..continued...)

    Dalious Durendail, a champion of the Arena, walked by the slave quarters until he came to the wood elf, Felian.
    "You prove to be one of the best here Felian," Dalious told the elf.
    "I did not think you would have words with me..." Felian began. He knew Dalious, long ago. Even before he had a son, he and Dalious both served the Empire. "You are after all, a champion of the Arena now."
    "I always have time for old friends," Dalious said. "Though, I must say, I never thought I'd see you on those sides of the bars."
    "Your Emperor has betrayed us," Felian said. "His greed for competitors has enslaved us here."
    "Then you must fight your way out," said Dalious. "But I have troubling news for you...you fight me next. I requested it. If anyone should end you, then it should be me. I will give you a glorious death, old friend."
    "So be it," Felian responded as Dalious left. Felyse walked up to the elf.
    "What was that about?" she asked.
    "I think I may have found our ticket out of here," Felian said.

    The games began early the next day. The crowd boomed with noise and soon enough, it was Felian's turn to take the sands. The wood elf paced backstage.
    "He isn't that good, you can take him," Zij said, trying to ease Felian.
    "He is that good," Felian said. "Stick to the plan."
    The gates opened and Felian went up the ramp to the Arena.
    "Dal-i-ous, Dal-i-ous!!" the crowd yelled as the champion entered the ring, staring across at Felian.

    (cont..)
     
  13. solace84

    solace84 God of the Arena

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    (Continued...)


    "Ready for your glorious death?" Dalious asked.
    "I'm ready for what needs to be done," said Felian and the voice boomed, "Begin!"
    Dalious came at the wood elf quickly, as the two combatants blocked and attacked each other.
    Backstage, Felyse watched the fight with worry.
    "What if it doesn't work?" she asked.
    "Relax," said the Argonian. "It has to. Wait for the signal." The lizard eyed the Dominus and the other Imperial guards.

    The two in the arena faught a long hard battle, neither man seemingly tired or weakened.
    "That's enough of a show, wouldn't you say old friend?" Dalious asked.
    Felian nodded and then struck forward, as Dalious sidestepped and stuck his blade into the wood elf's side.
    "A glorious death," Dalious said and put a blade to the elf's throat. Dalious swiped his hand back as if he slit Felian's throat and the crowd cheered. A few Imperials ran up and dragged Dalious' body off the sands.

    They took the elf to a room under the Arena, filled with dead bodies and blood. The Imperials hacked the bodies here and dumped them into a sewage drain. One of the Imperials grabbed a blade and was about to cut up Felian's body, but then realized that there was no wound on his throat.
    "He has no wound..." the Imperial started as Felian rose up and killed the Imperial with his own blade, then quickly did the same to the other.
    Felian rose up, as the plan had worked. He dressed in Imperial armor and grabbed a few torches and some oils. The wood elf quickly went beneath the stands of the crowds and started burning the large wooden beams holding everything together.

    Isnar fell to the ground, faking a heart attack as the Dominus went to check on the old man.
    "The signal!" Zij said as he saw smoke rising from the stands. With that, the Argonian slit the throat of the Dominus as he focused on Isnar, and the other slaves quickly took over the Imperial guards.
    "Gain your freedom now!" Zij yelled as they opened up all the gates. Imperials didn't know what to do, and a battle quickly ensued on the streets of Cyrodil.
    The fires became large and collapsed the arena stands, bringing many crowd members down into the flames. Panick struck, as many slaves run through the sands of the arena, taking out the few Imperial soldiers around.
    "Kill them all!" the Emperor screamed from his seats, watching the chaos develop.
    Felyse aimed her crossbow at the Emperor and fired, bringing an end to his reign.
    Felian came out and yelled to his fellows, "Quickly! This way!"
    They followed hi under the Arena and back to the sewage drain.
    "This is the only way out," Felian said as some champions and guards came toward them. Suddenly Dalious jumped out and began attacking his own.
    "Go!" Dalious yelled back, as he fended off the rest.
    Felian nodded and the group went into the nasty waters.

    They surfaced outside the walls of Cyrodil in one great lake. They swam to the other side, where it was seemingly safe for the moment.
    "We did it," Felyse said. "I can't believe it worked."
    "Help!" Isnar the old called from the water, as they had almost forgotten about him. Felyse went down to the bay and helped him join the group.
    "I'm here, I made it," the old man said.
    "We have no time now," said Felian. "We must go our seperate ways."
    "Where will you go?" Zij asked.
    "Valenwood, to visit my family once again," the wood elf responded.
    Felyse gave him a hug and said, "I'll miss you."
    "If you ever make your way to Markarth, seek me out," said the Argonian. "You'll have friends there."
    "Thank you," said Felian and the three left together, heading north.

    Felian eventually made his way back to Valenwood and to where his family was buried.
    "I am free again," he said. "Soon, I will hold you in my arms again. One day. For now, I seek to help those that can not help themselves. There is a lot of pain in this world, and I believe I can help the helpless. Rest easy now, my loves. All is well."

    end.

    (continues in the RP: War of the Condemned)
     

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