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18+ The Last Dragonborn

Discussion in 'Skyrim Roleplaying' started by Zelda, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. Specter of Death

    Specter of Death Moderator
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    "Was a pleasure, to meet you, Ranger Thorrin. If you're in town for a few days, perhaps we could sit down and have a drink. I'm sure you've got some interesting stories," the woman's voice was friendly, despite the exhaustion that hid behind each word. She placed a hand on his upper arm with a gentle squeeze before she retreated back to her carriage, and climbed back up to her seat.

    "The pleasure was mine, miss Sweetwater. Not sure how long the mutt and I are going to be in town, but we aren't hard to find. My best to the lot of you," as the carriage began to pull away, Thorriniir remembered at the last second the promise he had made, and called out to her in a friendly holler, "And remember that I owe you one!"

    The Nord turned to face the tavern, then glanced down at the canine sitting to his side. She met his gaze and tilted her head in questionable expectation--which Thorriniir read without issue. "Yes, we get to eat and rest. But you have to be on your best behaviour, you hear?"

    He didn't wait for a response from his companion as he started toward the door. His now apparent exhaustion made the door feel heavy as he pushed through to the dining room. It was rather baron for the time of the day, with the few patrons within sitting scattered, to themselves. The familiar tune of Ragnar the Red was being played near the hearth of the fireplace, and the barkeep greeted Thorriniir with a simple friendly nod. The ranger returned it with a smile and parked himself down on a stool in front of the wooden counter. A simple hand gesture guaranteed Meadow's resting at the foot of the stool. The man behind the bar looked at him without a word and slid a bottle of mead towards Kyneth without hesitation. "Any food for ya sir?"

    "Two servings of whatever meat you've got readily prepared my friend," he raised the bottle in thanks towards the man and took a long drink. The flavours were mediocre at best, but the sweet and bitter taste was as refreshing as the coolest spring water he had ever had. "Now we wait and see if she shows up."
     
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  2. Snoball

    Snoball One pretty swell dood

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    Despite giving off a stoic, quiet vibe, the Nord Ingvar still felt like a breath of fresh air for Gor compared to others who the Orc has teamed with to tackle bounties. He had begun to lump them into two specific categories: the weak and timid welps who flee at the first sign of action, or blood-crazed murderers who probably enjoyed the thought of killing something more than getting payed. To Gor's delight, Ingvar appeared to be neither thankfully.

    "Ingvar, huh? I like it, sounds strong... focused. Think I've met an Ingvar once on my travels. Or was that an Igmund? ...Ingot maybe?" In truth, most Nord names just sort of blended in and sounded the same him. A secluded upbringing is likely the biggest factor to him easily slipping up names that weren't Orcish. Regardless, Gor has made sure to always remember the names of those who've made the biggest impact on his journeys. And there is a small part of him that certainly feels as though the man sitting across from him could be apart of that short list down the line. Time will tell as they say.

    A brief moment of quiet follows the exchange. It never really occurred to him, but Gor had only ever taken this same path to Shor's Stone once or twice at most. He'd never really stopped to admire the lush and beauty the Rift had to offer, or even Skyrim in general. In a land marred by conflict and bloodshed, Gor too was guilty of being one-track minded at times, and not appreciating what small quirks this land had to offer. The metallic, heavy smell of bloodshed and the sounds of hard steel meeting steel were a norm during his time in the stronghold, and although they are still relevant to his line of work, he knows they hold less weight to him nowadays. No, the fresh, crisp air of Skyrim's wilderness and the upbeat chirping of the birds and bugs all around are what Gor's senses prioritized these days.

    This momentary contemplative thought was soon over, as Ingvar brought the spaced out Orc back to his senses, asking him about his presence in Riften. "The weather's nice." The Nord just stares at him, likely not expecting such a blunt answer. "Hahaha, if only it were that simple. Ya see, I actually used to bodyguard for the Silver-Bloods. You know, the ones out in Markarth that walk around like they always have a giant's club rammed up their arses? Anyway, I kinda fell out of their good graces, somethin' about being a liability? Pretty sure that means handsome or somethin' like that. Still, it bothered them enough to send a couple goons after yours truly. They just kept throwin' guys at me to the point of being annoying, so I kinda just left. I ended up in Riften after taking a bounty near the border, and I just stayed. Gods know those pompous assholes are too lazy to try and send people all the way out here." Before the two even realized, the cart had already reached its destination, marking the end of Gor's rambling.

    From the looks of it, the small town already appeared to be in a state of unrest. Gor got a hearty chuckle out of Ingvar's sly commentary on the townspeople people yelling at the guards. He gave the Nord a nod of approval as the two approached the angry crowd. The two step into the crowd of people, still unnoticed due to the hysteria ensuing, and let the argument go on for a minute or two to gather a bit of information on the situation at hand. The frustrated Bosmer eventually breaks free from the townspeople's grip and charges to get past the guards. He's caught almost immediately and shoved back forcefully. The strength of the guards pushes the elf way back through the crowd. The back of his head ends up hitting Gor's chestplate, causing the elf to stagger a bit to the ground. Like a tree, the Orc is unmoved, and with dull, green eyes, he looks down to the elf and offers him a hand up. The crowd of onlooking townspeople begin to dissipate from the middle and form a ring, leaving Gor and Ingvar in the center. The Bosmer thanks Gor, and the orc turns his attention to the guards. "Could have pushed the guy with a little less force, ya know."

    "We do what we must for the safety of everyone here, Orc. No one is entering this mine, and that's that." The Orc scratched his head, amused by the guard's dedication to his job. "Just look at us, we're practically two nobodies. So what happens if we happen to head in there and bite the dirt. You can just tell your bosses that some homeless, lunatic Orc and his equally mad Nord friend were two of the bandits that died in there. I mean, let us try to help at least." The guards take a look at both men, realizing that they are certainly the most capable looking of the present townsfolk. The head guard ponders the statement before re-addressing the two. "If you're actually insane enough to want to risk your lives for a girl who may already be dead, then head on in. Word of warning though, we haven't any clue of what's down there. The only thing that's left the mine in the past couple days were the wretched screams of those bandits. Watch yourself down there." With that the guards part away from the door as the townsfolk rally on the two mysterious strangers. Gor looks to his blue-eyed companion once more before their descent.

    "So uh, let's not die then, yea?"

    @Zelda
     
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    #142 Snoball, Jun 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018
  3. Keidivh

    Keidivh Noble exile of High Rock

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    As they prepared to depart the village it was evident that Ihylin was still doing everything she could to ignore Rolard, doing her best not to even look in his direction as she spoke to the others.It gave him a sense of unease in the pit of his stomach, knowing that she was so infuriated with him. All from one single off hand remark disregarding his own health. For now he would simply have to resign himself to being ignored, taking a seat on the rear of the carriage as he put his pipe away. At the very least Thorrinir would provide some company. After speaking with him Rolard had no problem with having the man along. He was odd to be sure, but Rolard was an excellent judge of character, and he was an honorable sort to be sure.

    As the caravan approached the gates the oathbreaker pulled a hood over his head as to not be noticed. Usually he didn't care about being harassed by the guards upon entering a city, it was something he was accustomed to. Hell, it was a reputation he cultivated and encouraged even. But causing more trouble for the others wasn't something he wished to have hanging over his conscious on top of everything else. So he simply remained silent as Ihylin exchanged pleasantries, making crass jokes about the general as she made her way in. Tch, did the same to the old garrison commander at Akaire. Stendarr rest his soul.

    ~~~~~~~

    Once they had made their way inside, Rolard hopped of the caravan. After spending so many days in the thing he wasn't going to spend one more second in it than he had to. While Ihylin seemed to gesture for himself and Val to stay, Rolard made his way over to the ranger, giving his employer a moment to say her farewell before approaching the man.

    "My thanks for your gift and aid once again friend. A Seton does not see such kindness go unrewarded, and I'll see to it that it is repaid." Clasping his forearm and giving it a firm shake, Rolard followed after his travelling companions.

    ~~~~~~~

    As they approached Ihylin's house, Rolard couldn't help but give a whistle in admiration for the place. He had forgotten that Ihylin had owned Proudspire. It was a beautiful estate to be sure, it was good to see she had done so well for herself.

    Gathering what few supplies he had, the exile made his way into the home, taking a moment to appreciate the modest furnishings and decoration. Still, even with their journey over and the comfort of a house around them, tension was thick in the air. Lady Valencia would not forget what she had discovered at camp that first night. Her honor wouldn't allow it. She would confront him again, the question was would she try to take him to Wayrest to meet justice? He prayed to any Divine that still had the stomach to listen to him to avoid such a fate, for he couldn't allow that, and crossing blades with Valencia the Brave would be his most reprehensible action since killing his mentor. Aside from that she had asked him that question that lingered in his mind ever since she asked.

    I have a question for you, Rolard. Say you love and care for someone so much, you would do anything for them, but your feelings towards them is wrong. What would be the better choice: to be by their side, while still making them happy, but painfully on the sidelines of their devotion that you watch in front of your eyes be given to someone else? Or to leave the person behind, despite your care for them, so that your heart is no longer crumbling beneath the weight of the bridge that once connected the two together, but lacking the light they so dearly give you?

    His next conversation with her would be... Complicated to put it mildly. It wasn't often one helped another settle a matter of the heart while at the same time deciding if he needed to die.

    Then of course there was Ihylin. His oldest friend, someone he drove out of his life for her own safety now dragged back in. How could he try to make up for everything he had done to hurt her, and not endanger her at the same time?

    Already he was overwhelmed and he hadn't even had the chance to set down his belongings.

    "There's a bath with running water downstairs, Rolard. Feel free to use it for a while. Lady Valencia and I have some things we need to discuss. Please."

    Hearing the earnestness in her voice for him to leave, Rolard didn't bother trying to argue. "As you wish my lady." He said softly before making his way over to dry tinder, setting it alight with but a touch, the ethereal blue flame flickering brightly. Without another word he gathered what little he had and made his way downstairs, not wanting to intrude upon whatever it was they to discuss.


    Once downstairs Rolard began lighting the candles, the soft blue glow soon lighting up the whole room. It gave the space an otherworldly feel to it, something he enjoyed. It felt like a small escape from Tamriel. Once his armor was removed and properly stored he undressed and entered the bath, giving a silent sigh as the warm water began to sooth his aching muscles, cleaning all of the cuts and lacerations that he had overlooked. Now that he thought on it, he hadn't had a warm bath since... Akaire. At his own home he and his kin bathed in the lake to keep clean, which was fine, but the embrace of warm water simply couldn't be beat.

    Resting his head against the edge of the bath, his azure eyes stared up into nothing, watching shadows dance in the ethereal light as he tried to let his mind drift, to not think for a moment. It was a peace that seemed to ever elude him. After a time he slipped his head under the water as well. As he floated there, the ex-knight wondered if this is what death was like. Floating in peaceful oblivion. It scared so many, but to him it seemed like a paradise.

    If that's the case Rolard, then why bother getting out? Just stay here, drift away. Tamriel would be a better place for it.

    Muscles tensed as it returned once more to him. You know I cannot, not when there are still those who depend on me. Not when my family name is tarnished.

    A disturbed laugh seemed to fill his head as unease and dread spread throughout his body. What a paltry lie you tell yourself. You already tarnished your family's name yourself, and no action can ever hope to salvage it. Why not admit to yourself what the real reason is? You're a coward who fears death because you know an honorless creature such as yourself doesn't deserve peace, in this life or the next.

    Lies! That is not the truth!
    The Breton screamed inwardly as his lungs began to burn. Bursting his head out of the water, Rolard gasped for breath as he tried to get oxygen back into his lungs. "That is not the truth." He muttered to himself weakly as he laid back once more against the edge of the tub, feeling more drained now then ever before.

    @Hart @Zelda @Specter of Death
     
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  4. Zelda

    Zelda Princess of Hyrule

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    The trip to Solitude felt so sudden. In comparison to the entire trip, it was the snap of a finger and they arrived at the gates. The friendly ranger left with a thanks of goodbye as Valencia nodded her head in return before the other three traveled to Ihylin's manor. It was quite the home; the exterior reminded her of Wayrest in a sense... truly the entire city reminded her of the kingdom she vowed to serve and protect with her life. It had been some time since she visited Solitude... and the sight of similar structures - while not exactly the same as home - gave a warm feeling in her chest. She had never been happier to make it to her final destination: and upset, at the same time. Many confrontations awaited her in the capital city.

    Entering the Proudspire Manor was a sight to behold: never did she realize the wealth of the woman whom she traveled with. Of course, that was silly of her to even assume she was not at least somewhat prosperous, as she was a successful merchant in her eyes. Her metal boots echoed on the stone floor, turning around to face the two. Ihylin was not hesitant to send Lord Seton away so the two women could be alone. The young yet white-haired woman could see the pain in Rolard's eyes as he took his leave. The knight glanced at the floor below her before raising her head to give the woman beside her a smile. "You have a wonderful home, love." Her smile was genuine, but it held the same pain that Rolard's eyes did so recently.

    The knight straightened her posture, her armor making small tinking sounds as they touched with her movements. "So what may you wish to discuss, Lady Sweetwater?" She asked politely. She knew certainly what to discuss, but she wanted to match her mindset. What they would discuss was no easy task...

    Not only did selfish heart burn with choices, but she pained for the situation of a person she'd call a friend. Ever since that first night, the woman of honor was astounded by Ihylin's bravery to grab her blade. Her hand still was wrapped by Valencia's doing. But how could she not face the criminal? For all she knew, he faced charges of treason. She had her doubts, and it was harder to face him as he seemed a changed man. Or was he? Either way, in her eyes, if Ihylin was willing to place her life between him and a royal guard, then surely he is a good man. Valencia took a seat next to the fireplace, sitting properly as most in a castle would be taught. T'was second nature. What was not second nature was facing the troubles of morality, when her morality had always been to serve those she vowed herself to without question.

    @Hart @Keidivh
     
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  5. Hart

    Hart Sassmaster

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    The merchant grunted as she hoisted the heavy kettle to hang over the fire, sighing to herself. Everyone was exhausted. The air was heavy with unanswered questions, thick and far too uncomfortable for her to continue putting on airs.

    Ihylin vaguely gestured for Valencia to have a seat at the bar, pulling the spare stool to the other side so that she could face her easily.

    "What we discuss," She began, "Are hard truths." Silence passed between them as she shuffled around the kitchen area, looking for her tea. Several canisters clattered on the counter, as well as a set of finer porcelain teacups and the matching pot. It seemed despite the weariness of the road, she wanted to remain a good host.


    "Ah... Kynereth have mercy, I'm out of out--no, no. There it is. Where did... mortar and pestle, found it." The merchant plunked a stone bowl on the counter with its matching part, letting her hands busy as she chattered idly. There was a bit of falsetto underlying in her voice as she spoke.


    "My da was the one who turned Proudspire over to me when he passed away. Left my ma and sister back in Cyrodiil for them to manage the shop on their own, and from the letters they've sent me, I'd say they're doing just fine. He always said I'd be the spread roots with the family tree." A colorful pinch of fragrant flowers was tossed into the little bowl, scatterings of blues, yellows, purples, and reds mixing together in a sort of bizarre artwork.
    "But he and ma and I used to travel all over Tamriel so he could craft for noblefolk of all sorts. Even saw the Mane, once. 'S got a lot of hair."

    Stone against stone ground together noisily.


    "Valenwood, though. I got bit by so many bloodsucker bugs that I was itching for a week straight. One of the less favorable trips. Ah, this needs something else..." Ihylin reached from another tincture, not looking up from her work. Sweet lavender smells drifted from the can as she dropped the tiniest pinch. The water within the kettle was starting to spit and hiss, and she changed the subject.


    "It's funny, this civil war the country is having. I understand both sides, but... Skyrim cannot stand on its own without the Empire. The only sane Jarls I've met are Balgruuf and Elisif, and she's not really well suited for her position yet. Jarl Igmund though? I think he regrets his false promises to Ulfric. Since that's how it all started, there in Markarth. But to take away the worship of the god? There's not a need for that."

    Dumping the finely ground contents of her bowl into the teapot set between them, Ihylin lapsed into silence, dropping ground elves ear and sweet honeycomb in as well. Steam rose from the pot as the tea began to steep.

    "This world of ours is full of problems." She murmured quietly. "Maybe I can help by listening to yours."

    @Zelda @Keidivh
     
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  6. Zelda

    Zelda Princess of Hyrule

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    The carriage ride was not bad; despite leaning slightly to the side with a few bumps in the road, it was a rather soothing journey. Listening to Gorlocke, a small chortle formed in the Nord's throat. Most Orc's were stern and serious; Gor was rather easygoing and hearty. Returning to Skyrim was a rather, eventful one for the Dragonborn, but even then he had traveled quite a lot before he left a few years ago. He knew Shor's Stone as a quite little mining settlement with one farm and a community of miners. Of course, he assumed it's grown in size since he visited so long ago.

    As Ingvar asked about his relevance in Riften, he was surprised by the rather blunt response. As soon as the Orc continued though, he was eased once again, his deep blue eyes listening intently. A few select words left the blond sputtering out laughter here and there from Gor's humor. It was interesting backstory to say the least, but it was entertaining, and portrayed the Orc as Ignvar assumed.

    The carriage began to slow as the horse muttered a few huffs as they pulled into town. the townsfolk were riled up over something with people arguing in a crowd. With such a small town, everyone had to be there. With his remark said to the odd fighting and an agreement, the two walked over to see what the fuss was about. Certainly it was about the rumors of a girl, but holding a Bosmer back from shouts at guards, and people taking sides? What on Nirn would that imply?

    With the Bosmer escaping the grasp of the townsfolk and charging towards the mine entrance, it was no surprise that he was pushed back. Unfortunately, he was pushed rather harshly, and straight into Gorlocke. The people scattered back in a circular formation, most likely out of fear for the Bosmer who stumbled to the ground. A big scary Orc just standing in the center probably scared a few. The Bosmer looked up at Gorlocke with a bit of fear at first, then embarrassment as he held out a hand. The man muttered a flustered thanks as he stood up, readjusting himself before facing the guardsmen again.

    Gor and the guards conversed for a bit, discussing the scene of the crime. In Ingvar's eyes, it was they usual excuse most of the guards gave. He knew a few guards who would risk their lives for the sake of others. He doesn't blame them for 'guarding', but certainly turning down those willing to help? "But that's my sister!" The guards looked over to the Bosmer and shook their heads. "I doesn't matter who it is. We've argued with you for awhile now; the answer is still no." "I'm the person who patrols this town on my own accord! You damned cowards don't believe me to be capable when I guard this town from bandit raids all the time!? When we asked for assistance, no one showed up! And now when I am trying to save my sister you reject me!? I swear on my life I-" "Enough" Ingvar spoke calmly but firmly, before Gor began to explain that he and the blond were willing to enter the cavern.

    With the Dragonborn and the Orc ready to go, the Bosmer firmly and bravely grabbed the blond's shoulder and turned him around. "Look; I may not look like a hero, but I need to be there. Not for the town, not for the glory, but for my sister. If I have to slaughter these guards to get to her, I will. Allow me to aid you; this is all I ask." His voice was cold but firm, and his eyes reflected a burning passion. They also showed a plea for help. Ingvar glanced to Gorlocke before facing the elf once again. "If you want your sister safe, we are not hesitating. If we must leave you behind down there for the sake of your sister, is that a risk you are willing to vow upon?" His tone was still calm and serious, letting the young man understand the ordeal.

    "Yes. For her, I would sacrifice my life." The Bosmer did not hesitate before speaking, showing all courage. The blond turned with a wink to Gor, letting him know everything would be fine. He was not one to boast, but he was confident they would be fine. Even if necromancers or Drauger were down below the surface, he was the Dragonborn. It would be a tough battle, but he was confident that they would be successful. "Alright." He agreed, turning as the guards moved aside. "Yeah; let's not die."

    @Snoball
     
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  7. Zelda

    Zelda Princess of Hyrule

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    It was funny. How far the knight had traveled from her home, only to listen to the life of another. The history of Lady Sweetwater only defined her character even more so than before. A successful traveling merchant who cares deeply about her family and yet traveled more than most adventurers. Her journey impressed Valencia. For all the places she's traveled and all the people she has met, Ihylin was still humble and driven. The white-haired woman was simply pleased to become acquainted with her... She would call Ihylin a friend, but with the issues regarding Lord Seton, Valencia was not certain if the feelings were mutual. But there she listened, watching the steam hiss and calm under the woman's control.

    The politics she spoke of were the knight's reason for being in Skyrim. It disheartened her to know that the war was still beginning, and even the years she spent in Skyrim was not enough to qualify her as being successful on her mission. She was supposed to help ease things from progressing to war. She was a diplomat of her kingdom, despite not being of royalty. They thought she could peacefully help the warriors of Nords; that they could relate to her story of fighting for what is right, but with the right sense of mind and logic.

    She failed.

    A small chuckle traveled past her closed lips, a hurt smile appearing on her face. Was this it? To share her story, her troubles, with the first person in years? Valencia was always kind; putting others before herself. The one time she wanted to be selfish, she felt guilty and ashamed. After all this time... she could no longer push aside her feelings. Solitude was her last destination in Skyrim. She already passed the key to her home secretly when she left Whiterun to a group of poor farmers whose home was destroyed by the fires of a Dragon. She had with her what she needed to get home... but was that the home she wanted? Yes... it was.

    "I have no reason to lie to you, love... after all the trouble I've caused you and Rolard." Her hands visibly shook for the first time in years as she clenched the blue scarf Prince Rodeyval made her so long ago. Sharing her feelings...? A designated knight of Wayrest with the highest honor? Brushing it aside to act like some child? "I was sent to Skyrim on a mission to stop the war from starting. I've been here for three years. As you know, I was the designated knight of Wayrest to serve Prince Rodeyval for the rest of my life. I was a proud and thankful warrior, as when I saved his life one fateful day, I was given the highest honor, as well as the armor, sword, and shield I bear. A year later I was sent here as a diplomat, and everyone was so proud of me... I was honored to take the roll."

    Tears formed around her eyes. No more hiding behind the perfect knightly appearance she always gave as a brave and esteemed warrior. She was done. "Little did I know, how much I would miss home so much because... because I ... I-I..." Her voice broke as tears flowed down her face in front of another for the first time since she came to Skyrim. "I fell in love with Rodeyval." Her tears left shadows on the scarf she held, visibly shaking from the years of bottling every emotion away. "It is wrong. I shouldn't have... but it just... i-it just happened... we grew up together... a-and he was the only person who cared about me for... me, other than my parents... we shared so much together... he was so kind and generous to everyone... I swore to protect his life, and I knew I my heart fluttered every time I saw him but... I couldn't share that. Everything I worked for would go to waste!" She cried out, covering her face with her hands.

    "He sent me away on this mission... why would he send me away? His personal guard? I started to think alone every night, if I truly deserved my place of honor... I grew up with him because of my father... did I get lucky to become his guard and save his life later that one day? Did he want to send me away to replace me? ...Yet he sent me letters every other week, telling me how his days were, asking me the same... I-I feel his heart is in the right place, but when you spend months alone serving Skyrim, how can you not contemplate on those things? And the last letter he sent... he..." She shook her head in cowardice. "He wants me to return to Wayrest... so that I can attend the engagement ball, where he chooses who he wishes to marry... and..." Her breathing was uneven, only displaying more so how long she had waited to release all the negative emotions out into the world. "He said he wanted his future wife "to meet his best friend"."

    Her icy blue eyes stared at Ihylin, and for the first time in so long, her eyes showed fear, confusion, heartbreak, worry, and sadness. She was no longer a knight who faced any opponent without fear. Instead, she was a damsel in distress, for the first time in her life. "How can I ever return to face him... wh-when I must serve him forever... beside another... as unrequited love?" Her hands clenched her scarf, looking up to Ihylin for security and safety. The knight had let every emotion she ever hid out, and she felt sick to her stomach. She was panicked, frightened, nervous, angry, and sad. How could a knight of her stature fall to such improper behavior? But it was far too late. "I love him, Ihylin..."

    @Hart @Keidivh
     
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  8. Hart

    Hart Sassmaster

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    Porcelain clattered quietly on the counter. A few steps, and the woman was out of her seat, skirting around the counter. Ihylin leaned into the broken knight, arms going around her in a tight embrace, letting the other expend years of tamped down emotions. Truthfully, the merchant didn't want Valencia to see to tears gathering in her own eyes.

    This knight, sworn to the one she grew up with and protected fiercely, was reduced to everything she inspired others to not be, and it stunned her. How could she give advice to something like this? How could she possibly begin to understand the heartache she had been through, the years she was away from the place she truly called home? Away from the man she loved?

    Exhaling, Ihylin gently squeezed Valencia. "Breath, Val." She murmured. "Breath."

    She waited until the other's breath had begun to even before she pulled away. Grasping the knight's hands in her own, Ihylin quirked her mouth in a smile. "You have got to be the strongest person I know to go through this, you know that? Loving someone so much and being sent away, but everyday you bear a smile and continue helping others."

    Giving a sheepish shrug, she cast her gaze to the floor. "Valencia the Brave suits you. You don't have to be alone in your trials."

    Porcelain clattered again as she took her seat, picking up the teapot. Steam rose from both cups, whispering upward in the pale blue light that was cast from the hearth. It was quiet for a moment as she thought.

    "You love him. Not because he's a prince, but genuine love formed from the bond you two have shared for years now." She chuckled. "Mara has a weird way of showing her own love and guidance. Perhaps Rodeyval sent you away because he trusted you with your mission. Even if... it was not completed, he believed you could go out and spread kindness that Tamriel so needs in these trying times. Perhaps, also, he cares for you more than you think?"

    She fell silent again to let Valencia gather her thoughts, spoon stirring lumps of sugar into her tea.

    "I can only think of two things that may help you make your decision, if I may be so bold. The first? Write him a letter. Pour your heart into your writing and tell him everything you've been feeling these last three years. You don't deserve to feel like you're trapped. That's not something anyone should have to feel.

    "I would hope he would know love when he sees it, or it smacks him in the face when he reads what you've said, what you've felt. Do not let him dance around an answer, you deserve to know what the future entails. An honorable man should tell truths when they need to be heard. The other option you could choose? You go to the engagement ball. Wear your brightest smile, your armor shone to the purest, shine like Valencia the Brave, the woman you are."


    Ihylin sighed to herself, bringing the cup to her lips. It clacked on the wood as her green eyed gaze looked into blue.

    "If what you say is true, and your love is truly unrequited? Tell him to let you go."

    @Zelda @Keidivh
     
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  9. Zelda

    Zelda Princess of Hyrule

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    The knight's hitched breaths let out cries of sorrow that did not seize. It was as if a mere second passed and she could already feel the warm embrace of Ihylin. Valencia tightly embraced her in return, sobbing into her arms. For a solid two minutes the woman cried, and for once in her life, did not hold it back. Every breath began to even under Lady Sweetwater's gentle tone, tears still streaming down her face; but the cries changed to soft breaths of an attempt to calm herself down.

    Once her cries subsided, she felt her hands go into the other woman's. Her reddened face lifted with her glossy eyes looking to Ihylin with hope. Tears still silently streamed down her face, but all her attention was on her... friend. Yes; she was a good friend. A great friend. An amazing friend. Hearing her words felt... far more genuine than any she heard in a long time. Most thanked her for her duties every time she saved someone and helped someone in need without anything in return. Those were genuine... but not as genuine as the words who met her ears.

    With the merchant's words, the knight smiled and sheepishly turned away with a small and light laugh. She wiped away the tears with her hands that continued to stream uncontrollably down her face. Years of inner torment... finally released. As Ihylin took her seat, Valencia took a deep and shaky breath, using her scarf to now soak her tears away. As Ihylin poured the tea and handed the knight a cup, she placed a few sugars and stirred. Her icy blue eyes gazed into the tea as she stirred, listening to the wise woman in front of her. Valencia was usually the one giving advice; and she was more than happy to be receiving it.

    The still teary-eyed woman laughed, placing her cup beside her as she dotted her scarf on her eyes and returned to look at Lady Sweetwater. "You are so kind, Ihylin... I... I am thankful for your words..." She sniffed, pausing before sighing. "I may sound like a smitten fool... but... my heart flutters with your words of hope, heh heh..." She laughs once again, taking a sip of her tea, her tears no longer running down her face. The remnants of salty trails with a red face and eyes reflected her calm but tired state of being.

    Carefully, the woman listened to the wise choices of the auburn-haired woman. They were both... tremendously beautiful and true to the heart. Taking another sip of the delicious tea, she took a heavy sigh with a gentle smile shining on her lips. "You are wise beyond your years, love... I believe these choices to be exactly what I needed to hear. Being alone to your thoughts doesn't help one think clearly, so I thank you for listening." Her smile was genuine; far more genuine than any she had the entire trip. That's not to say they weren't genuine, but this one was beautiful in comparison. "I... I wish to do both. I will write him a letter and send it tomorrow morning. Then, when the time is right; hopefully within a few days, I will leave Solitude for High Rock, and I will face him with that smile you say I hold."

    She gazed at the woman's hazel eyes, before laughing cheerfully, her eyes closing in the midst of pure joy. "You have no idea how happy you've made me...! I cannot thank you enough! Truly!"

    @Hart @Keidivh
     
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  10. Hart

    Hart Sassmaster

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    Ihylin merely smiled, chuckling under her breath. "If something as simple as having a talk over some tea makes you happy, then I'd be willing to oblige any time." Her cheeks pinked under Valencia's comment, and she laughed quietly, embarrassed.

    "Wise? No, not really... I'm just speaking my mind is all."

    Pouring herself another cup of tea, Ihylin set it aside, drawing water and a rag from the basin nearby. With a quick wring, she passed it over to Val. "For the time being. We'll just have to wait until Rolard decides to crawl out of the water. I'm itching for a bath, such a gross feeling with grime and blood and--ugh..." She shuddered comically, wringing out her own cloth to drape over her neck. The cool water left tracks on her skin as she sighed.

    Her mind turned inward, memories filtering back through a haze like a thick veil, scattered bits of bittersweet happiness. They were all in Solitude now. Which meant Rolard and Valencia had their own conversation to discuss, the life of a distant childhood friend so suddenly on the line. How was he suppose to prove his innocent? Was he innocent? They'd barely spoken to each other since her little blow up, and now there was a chance she'd never get to see him again.

    She exhaled noisily through her nose, frustrated.

    What about his family? Ihylin had met one of them, when she was a little older. The boy, Vaynar. The child's eyes were blue like his brother's, but not nearly as vivid and wild, instead a sky blue that reflected stars. She remembered cooing at him, absolutely enthralled when she managed to get bubbly laughter from him. Her mind drifted again, and the vague, blurry outline of two adults stood over a younger image of Rolard. She remembered this.

    It was the first time they had met.

    She hid behind her mother's apron skirts shyly, little hands gripping the folds of cloth tightly. It was her first time to High Rock, and her mother spoke about the complex customs that Bretons held highly in their societies. She didn't want to mess up, didn't want to make a fool of herself. Her father was greeted warmly by the two, as if they were good acquaintances, and she watched as they fell into easy conversation.

    Peering around her mother's legs again, Ihylin froze in shock when she found icy blue eyes locked to her own. She held her gaze for the longest time. He did not sneer at her, or act as if her were better, but merely on looked with curiosity.

    Her attention was broken when her father gestured at her. Sucking in a breath, fingers released fabric and quickly patted down her own ruffled dress, moving forward with hesitant steps. She moved close enough as she comfortably could at her father's side, leg sweeping out and bowing into a neat, formal curtsy.

    "Greatest pleasures to meet you, Lord and Lady Seton. We are thankful for your hospitality and kindness in exchange for the craftsmanship of the Sweetwater family. May years of prosperity be upon you."

    Tyren beamed brightly. "My daughter Ihylin is my apprentice, and will be working with me for your commission if that is alright? Even young, she shows great talent and pride for her work..." The words faded as she straightened, her eyes flickered upward. The young Seton was staring.

    He smiled at her, and she smiled back.


    Groaning to herself, Ihylin thumped her head on the table, grumbling. "I swear to Kynereth if Rolard doesn't get out of the bath soon I will go down there and drag him out," she half-joked.

    Rolling her head to the side to regard Valencia, her brow furrowed. She had more things to talk about, but how was she suppose to go about saying it? She sat up, scrubbing her face in her hand and looking troubled.

    "Val... I know you and... Lord Seton have some important things to discuss with the whole--" She waved her hand idly, trying to form words. "--thing. We didn't grow up together, but we were friends for a very long time before he--before the--damnit." This was harder than she thought it would be.

    "If you want me to be completely honest, I don't know what happened. He sent me letters after the event occurred, and I'd known him long enough to know that something was very, very wrong. Even if the words were a little vague and scattered, I knew something had happened. After that, he disappeared and I--I acted foolishly. Nearly drank myself to death because of it.

    "I just want to ask you to listen to him completely. To hear his side of the story. I kept--"
    Ihylin swallowed thickly, staring into her tea. "I found the letters he sent to me. All of them. If... you want to read them, to understand what I mean, if it will help him at all, then please--"

    The silversmith looked like she was going to cry. Sucking in a breath, she gave a sharp laugh and tried again.

    "Please give him a chance. He lost a lot of what he loved in such a short time."

    @Zelda @Keidivh
     
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    #150 Hart, Jun 13, 2018
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  11. The Phantom

    The Phantom Consulting Criminal

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    The hunter entered Whiterun. It had been years since he last left this great city. He was just 18 when he was turned by the vampires of Halted Stream Camp and decided to dedicate the rest of his life to the study of vampirism. Reeves almost felt his childhood wash over him as he could smell the familiar scent of meat and herbs from the market while the clashing of steel on steel from Warmaiden's returned vivid memories of entering the city for the first time with his family. It was enough to warm even his cold heart. For just a moment he felt the pain of his father and siblings' deaths ignite a fire in his heart once more, seething anger causing his chest to tense as he felt the urge to slaughter their killers and mount their heads on their own camp walls flow through him. Then there was nothing.

    Farengar Secret-Fire, the court wizard of Whiterun, had been teaching Revus history and philosophy until his departure from Skyrim. He taught the vampire how to deal with his family's passing through understanding of fate and acceptance of what happens to you. It was a philosophy that Revus had always tried to maintain, to ensure that his emotions never got the better of him in order that he could fight tactically in battle but most importantly, so he could live his life in peace. The wizard had told him,
    "Whatever happens to you, child, remember this. Holding rage inside you might distract you in the short term, but in the end it won't change anything and you will still be in pain." At the time Revus could not grasp the wisdom in those words, couldn't let go of the rage that possessed him for the next year until he finally slew his family's killers.

    It was an arduous task: both avenging his family and letting go of his anger. He remembered returning to his family's house, Breezehome, after a day of tutelage and training under Farengar and the Companions only to see the look on his mother's face. Pale, eyes bloodshot and vacant with then dried makeup down her usually soft features. The image, even now, persists in Revus's mind when he thinks back to that day. That day when she told him that his father, brother and sister had been murdered in Halted Stream Mine after bandits took it over as their camp, a cold anger began to pervade his heart. His mother became a shell of herself, and it wasn't long before she too passed. The physicians merely told the young Breton that she died from a broken heart. It lit a fire within him, driving him to train the hardest and learn the fastest so that one day he might claim revenge on the killers.

    Revus Sailaron, aged 18, having lost everything he loved, decided to become a mercenary. Only small jobs at first: rescue the odd damsel, shake up debtors or guard some pretentious Imperial but it wasn't long before he gained a small reputation in Whiterun Hold. The Jarl decided that the bandits in Halted Stream Camp, the same bandits that killed his family had become far too problematic. Both travellers and citizens of Whiterun outside the walls were being taken and they feared a trafficking racket or worse. This was the young Sailaron's chance to not only prove himself as a hero to the people of his city, but to avenge his family and extinguish the flame that was slowly burning him from the inside.

    The next few days would impact Revus more than he could have known. He prepared to leave for the camp, equipped his armour, signature double-bladed sword and was all set to leave when he noticed the display case. It contained his father's heirloom dagger, a symbol of his family's noble status from Divines knew how many generations ago in High Rock. The blade was beautiful, pure silver with a cross guard hilt fashioned in the style of intertwining serpents.
    "
    This..." Revus thought "will be a fitting end to these murderers." And so he ventured to Halted Streams Camp and waltzed through the front door, blade in hand. The Breton put his natural magical prowess to work by casting a flesh spell to bolster his physical dexterity before meeting the bandits head on, easily dispatching the untrained thugs in a few minutes before entering the mine itself.

    Not a lot of time had passed before he had cleaved his way to the central chamber. There he was, mere feet away with his family's killer. The man, a Nord, turned to face him. He was clad in a dark, ornate set of ebony armour and had a wickedly sharp ebony sword in its sheathe. His eyes were a molten gold. Either side of him were two beautiful, dark haired women with the same burning look in their eyes, only nuanced, more entrancing. That was the last thing he thought. The first few days were a blur, all he could remember was waking up briefly to the see the same women in front of him as he slumped against the cave walls. The days after that he, though still foggy in his mind, was more aware of some memories. He remembered feeling pains in his neck, the cold of the cage door and the pleasure of the beautiful women with him every time he awoke. Then, after what he estimated to be little under two weeks, he came to.

    This hadn't happened before. Revus had finally awoken by himself, rather than by the orders of his new mistresses. He looked around, observing his cell, a small cutaway of a cave with a cell door crudely installed by his captors. He noted that all was silent and that his armour and weaponry were racked outside the cage. Beside him was a corpse, long dead it seemed and drained completely of blood. The Breton felt sick when he realised his family's fate must have been as slaves to these foul creatures until there life was literally taken from them. He noticed that the vampires had not given him any clothing to preserve his modesty and that he would be very vulnerable, even with a flesh spell. Revus observed the cage, beginning to try to pick the lock before dropping to the ground in pain. Passing out, all he could remember thinking was that there was something in him.

    Three days passed without memory, Revus observed his body and realised that this time he had been left untouched. Strangely he felt nothing but a thirst. Then the two women came around the corner and noticed in delight he was awake as they exchanged relief, having believed that their thrall had died.
    "
    I thought that you said our new boy-toy was dead!"
    "
    But he was! Master and I checked his pulse and then he drained him of what little was left."
    "
    Well, no matter, darling. He is clearly alive now. I say we celebrate with him."
    Upon entering the cage, they looked him in the eyes and instructed him to lie down. Though still beautiful, they strangely no longer had the same effect on him they did before, but he played along anyway. They both disrobed and laid by him, and as they went to bite his neck he pulled their skulls in to the rocky ground before kicking one of them further, killing her. He rushed out the room and grabbed his dagger just in time to see the remaining girl approaching him seductively. She tried to enthrall him again, but he appeared immune, playing along until she was about to embrace him before he stabbed the dagger through her heart.

    Observing the blood, it dawned on him why he was immune to their charms and what had happened as an unquenchable thirst manifested in him. He had become a vampire. He drank them until they were dry and took a moment to recover and calm himself before reclaiming his equipment and exiting the area. He heard the leader summon for the girls to return to him but instead it was Revus who answered the call.

    Revus, unable to resist dramatising the ordeal, called out
    "
    I'm afraid they aren't feeling too well right now. But fear not, I am here in their stead. Now, I do believe that I've waited long enough for this." He gave a mock salute with his weapon before finally engaging in the duel he had waited so long for. The two warriors circled each other for a time, sizing each other up until finally Revus's tentative approach to the fight would scar him forever as his opponent unleashed a torrent of flames without warning which hit Sailaron across the torso, burning straight through his armour and into his skin. Knowing there was only one way that he could survive this, due to his body's new vulnerability to fire, he did what his opponent certainly wasn't expecting. He charged into the flame, relying on his magic and speed, and slashed towards the vampire, who quickly called off the spell in order to raise his sword to block the blow. Revus then followed with an onslaught of strikes which the chief was struggling to deflect until attempting to track both blades proved too overwhelming and he went to block to one side as Revus span around and slashed at the other, slicing open his neck. He stumbled but before he could fall, Revus embraced him as a creature of the night, savouring every ounce of his life.

    The vampire chief dropped to his knees, unable to speak but eyes pleading. Revus merely drew his family dagger, whispered a vengeful prayer for his family and a curse for the murderer, before plunging it into his heart. The new fledgling waited for relief to wash over him, to feel the anger inside him subside now that all was accomplished. It was only then, as the fire inside burned brighter than ever, that he understood Farengar's words. Killing them did not change what happened. His family were still dead. His mother's broken face was still in his head. The anger still consumed him. There was nothing that he could do to change what had happened, and he realised that only by accepting this and the fact that his anger did nothing to aid him could he be free from the slain vampire's grasp.

    The hero of Whiterun, people started calling him after that. It wasn't an official title but the people and the Jarl showed great appreciation for his feat, though none knew that he was now a creature of the night. Not long after this, Revus traversed the land of Tamriel to make his fortune and enhance his new powers for 3 years, but a new mercenary contract brought him right back to where he had started. Revus, the vampire hunter, savoured the moment of triumphant return. He turned to his enthralled, noble lover
    "
    I'm home."
     
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  12. Zelda

    Zelda Princess of Hyrule

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    The knight was all smiles now that the two women had discussed Valencia's circumstances. It was the weight of years lifted from her heavy heart. She felt lightheaded by the end of the conversation by pure relief. With another sip of tea, her icy eyes watched as Ihylin prepared damp rags for the two of them. "Thank you, love," she spoke, taking the rag kindly. She placed the cool rag on her face at first with memories of her childhood flooding in. On hot summer nights, her mother would pat a cool rag on her face before placing it on her forehead to sleep. It was a relaxing feeling. Valencia removed the cloth from her face before placing it on the back of her neck.

    A small laugh left Valencia's lips with a grin, nodding her head in agreement. "Ah yes; I agree. And again, thank you for sharing your home." She was certainly happy she did not have to go to the public bathhouse; not that she had a problem with it, it was just more relaxing to be away from it all. Valencia closed her eyes briefly, as Ihylin seemed to let her own thoughts drift, and she took whatever relaxation she could. She knew another heavy conversation awaited her... so as brief a moment it was, she soaked in what she could. The sound of Ihylin's voice returning made Valencia's eyes open once more; not from sleep, but from rest.

    If one were deaf, the mere facial expressions the auburn-haired woman gave was enough to tell she was in distress. The words only amplified the emotions she conveyed. The white-haired young woman's expression was calm, but at attention. The pain in her voice and they way she avoided eye contact at moments was enough for Valencia. She knew that she had poured out her heart, and there was no reason Ihylin should hesitate to do the same. From her story, it was certain that Lady Sweetwater cared a lot for Lord Seton, and the knight would respect that.

    Valencia stood before calmly walking over to Ihylin, taking a slight knee in front of her, and placing a hand on her shoulder. "Love... I promise, from the bottom of my heart, I will listen to every word he has to say. If not for his sake... but your own." She gave a small smile, that was less of happiness, but more of reassurance; that she would keep her promise. "I am no manipulative politician... I am a knight that serves for justice and to aid those who need it." She stood, placing her hand over her heart, before bowing to the woman in front of her. "On my honor as a knight, I will serve this trial against Lord Seton with fairness, as I shall never imprison one in my name for false accusations." She rose with a sad smile, lowering her hand. "I still must serve my highness... but, I hope that Rolard is innocent; truly."

    @Hart @Keidivh
     
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  13. Snoball

    Snoball One pretty swell dood

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    Gor scratched his head, putting two and two together to grasp the gravity of the situation here. Though he initially had a bad feeling they may find the blonde elf's sister already dead within the mine, the information that he and his sister were regular protectors of the small settlement alleviated that concern somewhat. Still, details were scarce, so the Nord and Orc duo were likely in the dark as to what they should expect down there. The mystery only furthered Gor's eagerness though, as he rubbed his massive, rugged hands together in anticipation for their descent. With a wink from Ingvar and a look of approval from the Bosmer, the trio converged into the now open mine.

    "Time to go to work."

    Once the three stepped through, the guard shut the doors behind them. The chanting words of encouragement by the townspeople soon died out beyond the wooden barrier, and soon, dead silence. The torches that lined the cave's walls have gone out, leaving only behind the cold embers on their tips. A faint stench of dust and death looms around the quiet mine, yet there appears to be no sign of corpses. Yet.

    "Gods, what's that stench? This smells like a horker graveyard." The only signs of life readily able to be seen are a couple dead spiders here and there. If only that's what they were here to deal with. As the three slowly advance, it becomes harder to see further down as the creaky boards they walk on wind down through the cave system. Gor can make out some fallen debris from this height, but his vision is still quite obscured. He turned to the elf, knowing they'd have to delve downward even more.

    "No signs of your sister yet, elf. She must have had a damn good reason for going as far into this hellhole as she did." Gor of course said this hoping they would not find her at the bottom of the rubble, but the situation was undoubtedly looking bleak. Despite this, he still tried to remain positive in the hopes of keeping the Bosmer's spirits up.

    "But uhh, there's still quite a bit of mine left to explore. Plenty of uh, opportunities to find her in one piece and ya know, not dead." Gor took a big, dry gulp and stopped talking before he kept shoving his boot further in his mouth. He looked to Ingvar to try and change the subject. "So, whenever you're ready to start climbing down, Ing. Looks like a long way down."

    @Zelda
     
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  14. Zelda

    Zelda Princess of Hyrule

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    The ungodly smell; it tainted the walls of the mine that usually already stank of natural gases and sweat. However, as Gor spoke, it was a smell that Ingvar remembered well. "The smell of rotting corpses." The Nord commented, making the elf beside them give a slight shudder. He had traveled to many Nordic crypts in his time, but the scent never truly left the memory. Surely, he assumed, the smell was of the bandits prior.

    As they walked across creaking wood, one could hear a tumble of pebbles in the distance. How a miner could not fear every creak and tumble for the whole place to fall down was beyond the Nord man. The torches flickered and danced on the stone walls, echoing their crackles down unseen pathways. Drips of water in the distance added an unnerving sound against the cold pathways. Glancing towards the Bosmer, Ingvar tried to get the boy's mind off of the dangers that lurked ahead. "Say... what's our name, elf? I'm Ignvar and this is Gor." He spoke, glancing to the orc and then back to the blond. "Aldon. Aldon Malenddal. And my sister is Faye." he spoke, adding in his sister.

    As the giant orc spoke, the two men looked to him. Aldon frowned before lowering his head as they walked. "I... I have no idea why she would come down here. I told her not to but-!" He stopped himself, sighing aloud. "She just doesn't understand this world." When Gor stopped in his tracks to speak of climbing, Ingvar took a step forward and looked downward. It seemed like the ground swallowed the dead-end pathway. "I don't think this was part of the miners', uh, mine." Falling rocks settled at the bottom, seemingly covering one body already. It did not look like a miner, but was an adult wearing leather armor, so Ingvar assumed it was a bandit.

    Glancing to a sturdy looking wooden pole, a make-shift pulley system was made for one person at a time to slowly bring themselves downward. His icy eyes met with the two men, giving a small smile. "Well, as Gor said, it's a long way down. We'd better start."

    The Nord placed one foot on the wooden platform as he pressed pressure on the pulley, holding tightly on the rope. It seemed sturdy enough. He stood on it entirely before kneeling to ensure balance. Calmly he released the rope hand-by-hand, making his way down. Once he reached the bottom, he stepped off and pulled the rope to bring the platform and continued to pull on the rope till it reached the top. "Alright you two are good!" He shouted upwards, stepping back so he could investigate the area.

    From above, the elf walked over to the pulley system. "I'll go next I suppose... so it doesn't break." He muttered under his breath, a small nod to the idea that the large orc may or may not break the system. He was slow at first, but made a quick descent after becoming acquainted with the rope system. "Okay you're good!" The young man said, bringing the platform back to the top.

    What he didn't notice was Ingvar's surprised looked from behind him. This was no fallen cave system. "Ingvar, how's everything lo-" The elf's words froze in his mouth when he turned around to see the detailed and ancient tunnel. A Nordic Crypt.

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  15. Zelda

    Zelda Princess of Hyrule

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    "Princess Celica." Wisps of dark brunette hair gently flew as a beautiful young woman turned to face the voice of calling. Her hazel eyes glistened before a warm smile rose to her face. "Ah, Lady Guinevere. Good afternoon" She spoke, her dress slightly dancing along with the breeze. The woman stood above the people, her eyes watching them go about their daily business.

    "I was getting a bit of fresh air. Is their something you need?" She asked, removing her hands from the side walls to face the much older woman. A wrinkled smile appeared on the grey-haired woman's face. "Yes dear; just to remind you about your meeting with General Tullius in half an hour." The old woman was a maiden of the castle who regularly cooked, cleaned, and did various tasks. Upon Celica's arrival, she was given the task of caring for the princess. She was at first reluctant, but fell in love with the sweet woman the moment they sat down for a chat over tea.

    "Is it already time? My goodness! Thank you for the reminder." "Not a worry, Princess. I already set your armor and polished it so it is ready to wear." "Thank you again Lady Guinevere! You are the best!" Celica quickly walked off, holding her dress as she made her way up and down stairs through different hallways and doorways. The old woman merely smiled as the hazel-eyed female vanished into the castle.

    Before she could enter her room, she found her loyal knight awaiting her. "Princess," he spoke, bowing as he held his helmet in one hand. "You do not need to be so formal Arthur - no one is here." She giggled, tapping his arm as she opened the door to the guest room. "I am going to change quickly and we need to meet with General Tulius. Just give me a few moments." "Yes, Princess." The woman's hazel eyes playfully glared at the man until he smiled slightly. "Yes Celica." She grinned in acceptance as she shut the door.

    A gentle sigh left the woman's lips as she began to undress, properly placing her clothing on the bed for Guinevere to easily find. She picked up the armor and layer after layer placed it over her body. The metal shimmered the colors of gold and silver in the light from the windows. Her red underarmor was her signature color, along with the amethyst crystals that donned the armor. Gold embroidery lined the red underarmor, sparkling too in the light. A light cape to signify status flowed upon her back, her boots tapping against the floor.

    She met her reflection in the mirror as she removed her tiara to braid her hair in the back. It traveled far down to her waist, elegantly tied in silver and gold ribbon with amethyst ends. The woman placed her tiara back upon her head, adjusting it before glancing in the mirror once more. Celica attached her sheathed sword to her armored belt before exiting the room. "I am ready." She spoke with a smile, shutting the doors behind her. Her and Arthur walked side-by-side as they began to make their way to the Castle Dour.
     
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  16. Snoball

    Snoball One pretty swell dood

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    A light shower of fresh snowfall kisses the mountaintop that Skyrim's Thalmor Embassy sits atop of. The setting sun shimmers off the gilded Elven armor worn by a few Thalmor knights who are lined up on both sides of the snow-topped steps, forming a small path in front of the building. Their formation leads to a carriage waiting at the gates, while the vehicle's driver communicates with a very intimidating Altmer woman donned from head-to-toe in a beautiful glass armor set. She finishes her preparations with the driver and walks past the lined-up knights to signal her superior.

    "The carriage is ready for you, m'lord." At the top of the stone steps emerges High Rock's First Emissary, Lord Azrael of Dusk. Dressed in a gold and black ornate tunic imported from his home of Alinor, the High Elf lifts the cape portion of his tunic as to not trip over the snow-touched steps of the embassy. With a stone cold face he nods at his glass-armored retainer, she takes this cue to flank him as they head towards the carriage. The knights bow as the two pass them, while the final knight on each row joins the 1st Emissary and his retainer as they mount the carriage. When they are settled in, the carriage driver signals for the cold, metal gates to open once more as the small group head out to conduct business in Solitude.

    "Status report, Saphira." asks Azrael, as the carriage trudges along the cobblestone path. "General Tullius should already know to expect our arrival shortly. Though talks for having you attending his summit with Princess Alabora were met with more resistance than we had anticipated, the Imperials wisely came to the conclusion that any matter concerning High Rock and its people had to be discussed with the First Emissary of its Thalmor division present, m'lord." Azrael can't help but smirk over learning of the Imperials' cooperation, especially considering Celica or the nobles representing High Rock would have fought tooth-and-nail for him to not be a part of these talks.

    "Are there any other diplomats from High Rock's kingdoms that are aware of our presence at the summit?" "I cannot say, your Lordship. Regardless, the Imperials hold these talks. As they have agreed to us being there, I imagine there is but little their pitiful kings and queens can do to overrule this decision." Azrael responds with a contented sigh, and looks out in the direction of Haafingar's beautiful horizon, taking in a breath of the crisp, northern air as they advance further towards Solitude. Saphira takes note of Azrael's mind drifting elsewhere momentarily. "Is everything alright, m'lord?"

    "Your concern is admirable, but quite misplaced. At times I simply envision the fruits of our labor, and how tricky men have been making it for us." With a look of concern in her eye, Saphira reassures Azrael. "You needn't trouble yourself with such thoughts. I too wish for you to succeed as quick and efficiently as is possible." At this point Solitude's gates have come into view.

    "Ah, but where is your sense of sport, my dear retainer? The lives of men are like grains of sand compared to the deserts of time we have to see our destinies through. Whether it be a few days, or countless years from now, I assure you we will live to see High Rock governed by those truly worthy of such power..."
    The carriage approaches the gate and begins slowing down.

    "...Like you, m'lord."
    It has now come to a full stop as they have reached their destination.

    "But of course."

    Upon disembarking, Azrael orders the one of the two knights to stay behind and guard the parked carriage while he takes Saphira and the other knight with him into the city. The Altmer receives the usual shady looks from the guards, but is met with no opposition as they open the gates for him. With many eyes upon him, the First Emissary makes his way up to Castle Dour.
     
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  17. Zelda

    Zelda Princess of Hyrule

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    Each step down the streets of Solitude Celica took deep breaths, the politics running through her head. While kind, she knew she must be serious and assertive during these meetings, as she has before, to ensure the safety of her home and the efforts of the Imperial Legion to unify Skyrim.

    She would not be involved if she didn't need the humans of all lands to unify; in order to destroy the extremists of the Aldmeri Dominion of course. Not that she blamed all High-Elves for the terror, as the Thalmor killed their own people. She wanted peace, and the Thalmor were in the way. If she needed to be involved in such affairs, she would be in order to protect who she could. She was only a mere lady from High Rock, but her determination was far stronger.

    "Did you ever receive message as to what this meeting inquires?" She questioned, turning to face Arthur. He shook his head calmly. "No, unfortunately. Yesterday they simply said it was important and that I notify you of its urgency." Celica faced forward, her eyes squinting in thought. 'They've never not told me what a meeting was about unless it was unimportant... but this is different.'

    Her loyal knight noticed her uneasiness, and gently placed his hand on her shoulder, the metal from his gauntlets and her pauldron clinking from the touch. "It will be fine. Just stay confident as you always are." The princess couldn't help but smile from his kindness. Placing her hand over his, she grinned. "Thank you Arthur."

    Guards escorted them as they traveled through town, keeping eyes for assassins or dangers lurking in the shadows. Children stared at the princess, smiling and waving. Celica gave a happy grin, waving back to them as they scampered away in glee.

    The stone walls surrounded them eventually, the Castle Dour doors straight ahead. The guards moved aside from the doors, bowing to the princess as she arrived. She gave small smiles and nods to them respectfully before the doors were opened, her face in a serious expression. Her posture was perfect for the sake of confidence, and Arthur walked beside her.

    General Tullius gave them a half-hearted smile as they entered, greeting them. "Good afternoon Princess," he spoke, clearly his throat. Celica in all honesty was not a fan of the General; he was very... snobbish. She much preferred the presence of Legate Rikke, who she was happy to see. They walked along the carpet leading to the tactics table. The table was cleared of the map of Skyrim and other various papers; instead, envelopes and closed rolls of paper cluttered the scene.

    With her hands behind her back and her posture tall, she spoke eloquently to the general. "Are you ready to inform me as to what we will be discussing today?" Rikke was quick to leave for a brief moment, tension filling the air. General Tullius was ready for the backlash and was willing to shoot it down immediately. "At this summit we will be discussing terms of political involvement of High Rock and the Thalmor for the Imperial Legion."

    The princess immediately tensed from the T-word. The Thamor's presence in High Rock was low... and in most places, unwelcome. They had stayed fairly neutral, but it seems the Thalmor's thirst for power was only increasing for High Rock. Arthur became uneasy himself, knowing the wrath building within the woman, only being restrained by her desire to stay professional.

    "I have said this once, and I will say it only once more; I am not here for them. I am here for humankind and the peace between us and the elves. I will not agree to Thalmor presence anywhere near my kingdom. If you wanted to discuss these things on a professional level, perhaps it would've been wise of you to bring in other nobles of High Rock. And how immature of you to not tell me what was going on here." Her words burned the room, anger seething from her tongue, her hands balling into fists.

    "You wouldn't come if I had told you!" he retorted, not amused by her reaction. "So everyone knew about this except me. Very well: Save the Thalmor their time and tell them the summit's off."

    The princess turned on her heels, about to leave, when General Tullius called out to her. "Princess Alabora!" She stopped, not turning to face him. "He specifically asked to meet with you on these matters." Her head slightly turned, her braid swaying with her movement. "Who is 'he'?"

    "Lord Azrael Volaire."

    @Snoball
     
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  18. Keidivh

    Keidivh Noble exile of High Rock

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    Finding his bath was far from relaxing, Rolard eventually dragged himself out of the warm water, his skin yearning instead for the familiar comfort of cold steel armor. Being so close to his old homeland caused the ex-knights skin to crawl, and he was reminded why he so rarely frequented Haafingar and the Reach. For a moment he considered putting his armor back on, but thought better of it. More likely than not it would attract unwanted attention on his companions. Moreover Ihylin wouldn't be too happy seeing him walking in around in plate armor in her house, and he wasn't sure Solitude would be able to survive her wrath should he choose to push her any further. Stowing away his equipment, Rolard decided to make his way back to the foyer, hoping he had given Ihylin and Valencia enough time to have their discussion. What it was about he could only imagine, though if any of it was about him he doubted it would be good. Valencia had stayed her blade for the time being, but this wouldn't last forever. Soon enough her honor would dictate he be brought to Wayrest to be tried for his crimes, real or otherwise.

    Heading up the stairs, the tired warrior could feel his joints aching, screaming at him in protest as he made his ascent. The worst of that damned disease was behind him now, but Rockjoint rarely offered a quick recovery. Had he been on an excursion by himself, it very well could have been the end of him. Yet the two women above saved his life, though he gave neither a strong reason to do so. This left him all the more indebted to him, and all the more uncomfortable with the situation he was in. For some time now he had survived on his own, able to weather anything Tamriel had to throw at him. To rely on another for his well being felt... Wrong. Perhaps because he knew it couldn't last.

    Eventually emerging from the bathing room, Rolard could still pick up the sound of chatter from the common area. While it wasn't his intention to eavesdrop, his ears couldn't help but perk up upon hearing his name be mentioned. Slowly he made his way closer towards the room, taking care not to make any noise. What he heard left a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. Ihylin was interceding on his behalf, to convince Valencia to be merciful. Oblivion... This is exactly why I tried to keep her away. Of course Ihylin would try to convince Val to be merciful. After all, she had already stood between him and and her blade. Something that struck fear into his heart, the thought of her dying for him. There could be no greater waste. Though his family was innocent, blood stained his hands. He wasn't innocent. Wasn't worth dying for. For half a moment he was ready to storm in the room and say just that, but thankfully managed to restrain himself. Instead he simply wrapped his arctic fur cloak around himself and stepped outside. The icy air kissed his still damp skin, the invigorating feeling offering him some clarity of mind.

    For a moment anyways. He soon found himself conflicted on what action to take. Flee? He very well could. Just step down from the porch and keep walking til his feet bled. It would remove the current problems he had after all. But after finding out what had happened the last time he had cut Ihylin off so abruptly, he couldn't will himself to do it. Instead he simply sat back in one of the oak chairs that overlooked the city street, watching flurries of snow rush down towards him from the castle that dominated the skyline, looming heavily over him. As he lit his pipe and inhaled, he couldn't help but feel as if he was gazing at an executioners axe, looming over his head.
     
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  19. Hart

    Hart Sassmaster

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    With Valencia's words, Ihylin's anger dulled into a low throb, nothing more than a nagging headache at the base of her skull. Frankly, she hated feeling this useless. Pissed at Rolard? Yes. Ready to whack him with the biggest stick she could find? Absolutely. But there was so much she didn't know since they lost contact, so many empty spots in the truth that there was barely a puzzle to piece together.

    Annoyed, she furrowed her brow, glaring into her cup of tea as she drank. How in the name of Oblivion was she going to get the truth from him?

    If it even is the truth, she though dolefully.

    No, no. Do not do that, don't you dare make yourself look like a kicked puppy. March up to him, grab him by the ear, and make him tell you the truth!

    Setting her cup down a little too hard, remnants of tea sloshed over the edge on to the counter.

    "Right, then. I'm going to check on his-royal-pain-in-the-ass. If the bath is open, feel free to use it. I need to do a few things before I can start winding down for the night."

    Leaving Val to the remainder of her tea, Ihylin wove her way across the cold floors of her home, feet padding near silent across stone. That was one thing she hated the most about this place. It was bitterly chilly, always. Shadows of other houses kept the stones cool to the touch, and the bitter winds of the Ghost Sea were no help either. Yet... she loved the city. Hustle and bustle of the crowds, the fading beauty of the Blue Palace, the aurora of the night sky when she was lucky enough to see it were some of the things that kept her rooted here.

    Yet she knew there were things wrong here in Solitude. The ever-looming presence of Thalmor breathing down the necks of the jarls, the blatant imbalance of power in the court, and the war. Who could ever ignore this damned war. Respectfully, she wanted to remain ignorant to it, the injustices that plagued the entire country. To remain young and optimistic.

    Her reunion with Rolard Seton, Oathbreaker, painfully reminded her that it could not remain that way.

    Wood creaked as she descended the stairs, pausing by the doorway of the bathing area. She rapped on the frame sharply. With the lack of response and assuming it empty, Ihylin pushing past the half curtain that kept the area obscure.

    And she couldn't help snorting at the blue flamed candles lining the bath.

    "Flair for the dramatic, much?"

    Ihylin held her hand over the ghostly fire, letting the heat lick at her fingertips for moments to long, drawing her hand back with a sharp inhale when the sting became too intense.

    She'd have thought by now that'd she'd be mostly fireproof, as much as she worked in the forge. She had the scars to prove it. But heat or not, she'd let herself get burned.

    Not to mention the distinct lack of Rol in the area. His armor, cleaned and polished, sat neatly in a pile. So he couldn't have gone far enough to have completely disappeared. That relieved her to a degree.

    So the woman made her way back into the main room of her home, idly mentioning the use of the bath to Valencia and mumbling something about needing to run an errand, slinging a heavy cloak over her shoulders and shoving her feet into thicker boots. The nights in Solitude, no matter the season, were always so bone-chillingly cold. Perhaps, then, that was another thing she hated.

    Figuring he'd taken himself on a walk to clear his head, Ihylin was prepared to march through the streets to find him, already ready to curse him up and down for making her walk about in the cold. She was not, however, expecting to trip over him on her front porch, having seated himself in her favorite chair and nearly tripping over him.

    Angrily she sputtered, straightening herself enough to spin around and glare at him, ready to berate and scold him with the remaining fury that was kindled in the back of her brain. Yet everything she had, all that she would throw at him, fizzled into nothing when she looked at him.

    Seton had everything about him that was true in a man who suffered greatly. His eyes to the sky, looking for something she could not see. Thoughts supplied a steady stream of words she thought were appropriate to the situation, yet one among all stood against the rest, resounding in her brain.

    She slumped with her back against the wall, until she was sitting in the snow, peering up at him, arms propped up against bent knees.

    Heartbroken.

    Ihylin's voice was soft when she finally spoke. "Rol... I--I don't know if you've gotten over your sickness entirely, yet. If you wouldn't fight me for once, I'd like to take you to the temple, have the healers give you a once over, and expel anything remaining. Of course, if you'd like to stay here and keep coughing for another week, go on ahead. I won't stop you. It's not like I can."

    @Keidivh @Zelda
     
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  20. Snoball

    Snoball One pretty swell dood

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    The Imperial guards open Castle Dour's metal doors for Azrael and his knights. The Imperial soldiers they pass on their way to the war room can't help but give them the most condescending of looks, something Azrael has grown all too accustomed too. Saphira and the others wait outside the war room, meanwhile Azrael can see that the woman of the hour has already arrived.

    "Who is 'he'?"

    "Lord Azrael Volaire."

    "Good evening, Princess."

    Azrael passes the around Celica to get to the other side of the table. The two lock eyes in a fiery gaze so tense that it could melt all of Skyrim's snowy mountain tops. Although only a couple of seconds, it feels like it takes years for Azrael to join Tullius on his side of the table. This is likely a clear indication as to what direction this "discussion" is going to go in. He addresses Celica in a rather upbeat, sing-songy tone.

    "My, my, your Highness. I must admit you are quite the difficult woman to track down. If I knew any better, I would say it was almost as if you were trying to avoid me." The strong, abrupt end to his sentence causes a moment of awkward silence in the room. Azrael breaks this moment of silence by clearing his throat and slightly laughing it off.

    "Haha, I jest, your majesty. Nothing like small banter to break the ice on this chilly evening. In truth, I could not even begin to imagine the hectic lives that High Rock's royalty must lead. As a fearless leader and war hero to her people, it is I who should count himself lucky to be within your presence." Tullius grumbles uncomfortably, not wanting to draw this out for too long.

    "Ambassador, don't you feel it's best to get into our negotiations as soon as possible? We are already late into the evening."

    "Always straight to business, aren't we, General? Nothing wrong with a bit of formalities, but for our guest I suppose I shall make an exception." Tullius rolls his eyes, having to comply with the Thalmor no doubt drives a dagger directly into his proud Imperial pride.

    "As the General alluded to, we've much negotiations to discuss, Princess. I know you and your family have not always been the most welcoming to the positive reform I attempt to bring to the Kingdom of Evermore, despite my changes being for the benefit of all of High Rock's people." Azrael pauses and lets out an annoyed sigh, thinking back to the previous attempts at "change" in Evermore that were derailed by the Alabora family.

    "However, what brings us here this evening will not only allow both the Kingdoms of High Rock and the Thalmor to prosper, but our Imperial neighbors here in Skyrim as well. So much so, it was an offer Tullius was just overjoyed to help discuss. Isn't that right, General?" Azrael says this in a mocking voice, almost taunting Tullius with his words.

    "..Sure."

    A couple of Imperial soldiers arrive into the incredibly tense war room to deliver lavish wooden chairs ordered by Azrael for the three to sit in while they discuss. Azrael sits quite comfortably, crossing one leg over the other. Tullius sits down most uncomfortably, no doubt disappointed and upset that he had to lure the Princess here without context. A seat is also positioned behind Celica.

    "Make yourself comfortable, Princess. There is much to discuss, after all."

    @Zelda
     
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