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Private The Lost

Discussion in 'Active Stories' started by Thesius, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. Thesius

    Thesius The Imperial Paladin

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    It is a mere five years after the Dragonborn of legend defeated Alduin, the world eater, and Miraak, servant of Hermaeus Mora. The civil war, put on hold during the dragon crisis, is now back on in full swing, with holds declaring their loyalty to the imperials or stormcloaks. However, that is far from the worse of the events plaguing Skyrim. Minor towns and villages, beneath the notice of soldiers on both sides, have had entire populations disappear, overnight. The hold guards have been unable to track the disappearances, and whatever tracks that are visible quickly deadend. To that end, both the would be high-queen Elisif of Solitude, and the leader of the rebellion, self proclaimed high-king Ulfric Stormcloak have put out calls for mercenaries and hunters, willing to hunt down the missing people, and bring their abductors to justice. The mercenaries are to assemble in dragonbridge, the place closest to nearest spate of disappearances.

    Cast

    Thesius as Alainne Renier

    @Alty as Cedrida Ibn'nar

    @Drahkma as Ardus Carn

    @TheShadedOne as J'Karta

    @TheArgonianDrell as Sothas Abrium and Aylira Taliir

    @Madrar as Merric Vasser

    @Harkatti as Emanuelle Antoire

    @Screeching Spasmodically as Luarin Drascua

    @Savannah Rendar as Savannah Kay Rendar

    @Signus as Arnjulf Briarhearth
     
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  2. Thesius

    Thesius The Imperial Paladin

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    The carriage crossed the ancient stone bridge that gave the town on the other side its name. Dragonbridge. The carriage had a single occupant, wearing heavy plate armour, though the man who wore it looked young and fit, more than capable of trudging about in the gear if he needed to. Beside him, within easy reach, was a long hafted steel warhammer, with symbols of Arkay etched into it,similar to the mans' armour. The man, Alainne Renier, just so happened to be a paladin of Arkay, sent by the order to investigate the strange disappearances throughout Skyrim.

    It was a bleak day, with thick grey clouds slowly drifting across the sky, blocking out the weak rays of the sun. 'Bleak weather for a bleak business' Alainne thought as the carriage came to a stop. Standing, the paladin grabbed his weapon and dropped to the hard, frozen earth, and walked around to the driver, handing him a large sack of coin. The ride from High Rock to Skyrim had been long and uneventful, but they had made good time. The driver murmured his thanks and stepped down himself, beginning to unharness his team of horses, and speaking with the local stable master to arrange lodgings for his team.
    fro
    Alainne left them behind, traveling along the main path into the town. He was aware of the looks directed at him, many were cautious, and a few were outright hostile. They didn't trust him, that much was obvious. Even if he was there to help. The breton glanced at the handful of buildings that made up the town center. A small smithy, an inn, a general store, and a two story building with imperial banners fluttering in a light, cool breeze.

    Further along, was the stable, and houses for the citizens. To his left were a couple of farm houses, but both seemed deserted. A wooden wall had been erected, complete with stakes and a gatehouse. He wasn't sure if it was the war or the disappearances that had prompted the inhabitants to put up such defences. His initial survey of the area complete, Alainne nodded to himself. It was time to collect information from the people. The inn tempted him with warm food and cold drink, but he shook off the temptation, instead making his way towards the building festooned with imperial flags.

    He pushed the door open, and was immediately aware of a half dozen set of eyes on him. Hands lingered near sword hilts, but the blades remained sheathed. For now. 'Paranoia, or caution?' Alainne wondered, lowering his hammer and holding out his free hand to show he meant no harm. One of the men started to speak "Think you might be lost, friend. The tavern's-"

    "Paladin? Paladin Renier, yes?" An older imperial, with an officers' marking on his breast plate stepped forwards. Alainne nodded, turning towards the man. "I am he. You requested the aid of my order, did you not?"

    "We did, sir. That is, jarl Elisif and general Tullius did. They sent a courier to tell me of your coming. Cassian Morius. I'm to fill you in on our investigation so far." The imperial shook Alainnes' hand.

    The paladin nodded, "tell me what you have."

    "It started a few months ago. At first, nobody paid any attention. People are declaring their intention to fight for one side or the other or they go hunting and are killed by some monster."

    "But you've disproved that already."

    "Yes. The hold guards aren't investigators, but they know the best hunting spots, and they hear gossip. But they found no blood, no bodies. It's only gotten worse, since."

    "How so?"

    Commander Morius sighed and rubbed at his face. "The Lylvieve family, here in Dragonbridge. Nice family, worked the farm on the north side of town. One night, a couple of weeks ago, they all go to sleep. Wake up the next day, both children, gone. From their own house, and no signs of a struggle. The parents were insane with grief. The man, Azzada, I think his name was, bought a sword from the smithy. Went out looking, against the guards advice and mine. Came back two days later, all bent out of shape. Rambling about 'things in the fog'. That night he butchers his wife and disappears, same as the kids. Tragic."

    "You didn't think to search around the farm for the missing children? Perhaps the mother was not Azzada's first victim." Alainne suggested.

    " 'course we did. Dug near every square metre of that farm. Even sent men up and down the Karth, in case he tried to dispose of the bodies that way. Nothing. Of course, now the citizens are up in arms, demanding we protect them. From what? We don't even know what's going on ourselves!" The frustration in the mans' face verged on despair. The paladin placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.

    " You did the right thing in contacting my order. I will find the ones responsible, and if those children still live, I'll do my utmost to rescue them. I swear it by Arkay."

    "I appreciate it, but even a paladin of Arkay can't do this by himself. Wait at the inn for a time. Some are bound to have been drawn by the notice the jarls are sending out. If not out of a desire to help, surely the reward will draw them in."

    Reluctantly, Alainne nodded. He would have preferred to start his search immediately, but more bodies meant better odds of success. "Very well. I shall wait at the tavern, for a time. But not over long- the longer we wait, the less chance we will find the children or Azzada alive, for that matter." He stood and shook hands with the commander one last time before turning for the door. Stepping outside, he found that the weather hadn't improved much, and the sky was beginning to darken. He trudged over to the Four Shields tavern, and pushed open the door, immediately aware that the bard in the corner had stopped playing, and every set of eyes in the place had fixed upon him. Quietly as his armour would allow, he sat alone in a table in the corner, where he could keep an eye on the door. "Something to eat or drink, sir?" The serving girl asked. "Water and grilled chicken, if you please." He handed over the payment, and settled back to wait for his food, and ponder the mystery laid before him.
     
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  3. Alty

    Alty Caw Caw

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    The music ceased, punctuated by a hushed buzz from a startled bard. The paper dented and stained from the quill's blade, and irritation was evident by the detective's rigid posture. Irritation not from the invading chill, but from the new freckle on the parchment. He lost his thought. His teeth gritted behind his lips when his throat tightened around 'damn'. He leered at his string of notes, whilst absorbing how the footsteps seemed burdened and sensing the tension the newcomer toted.
    A waitress dared weave through the dead air, and only then did Cedrida sigh out his little curse, though he did not articulate it. He gently put his quill to rest with a clean calamus in the gutter of the book. He wordlessly traced over his notes. All he had to do was listen. Rarely did he interrogate. He had to avoid being common. The scribble only held details of investigations; his memory was occupied with faces.

    Lylvieve (Redguards?)
    • dragonbridge
    • children | absent
    • man pursued; returned 2-3 days
    • killed woman the night of his arrival; vanished again
    • man | absent
    • hallucinations/illusions ?
    • man's sword; obtain info from nearby smi...

    These were his most recent notes. A blotch hoarded the place where a "th" would have been written. His new objective was to find the smith that made the man's sword. If the man pursued, he was in a hurry, so only nearby blade-crafters would be applicable.

    "Water and grilled chicken, if you please."

    The voice held many stories in its tone. Of what, Cedrida did not know. He was only a detective, not a mind-reader. Coins clinked when they were supplied, and steadily did he peer at the man in the opposite corner. He was mildly surprised to see a face instead of a helmet. The sir was heftily armored with fine craft of religious symbols. 'Arkay', the Ace recalled. The equipment was all a paladin's trademark.

    Perhaps it was the tame fire, but his eyes sparked like a mass of embers, only briefly. The hammer was engraved with threatening runes. Cedrida could feel his eyes go dry. He felt as if they were sizzling like water singeing a desert. He was not mortal, not even holy. He remained stable when letting his gaze drift back to his log, his bow glistening with its obsidian and gold hues of ebony beneath the book. The inn's palaver was slowly re-energizing, but the ranger almost flinched at how the pages rustled as they regrouped.

    'Damn' indeed. He counted the gold stitches bordering the black velvet, having caution for something besides whole communities vanishing. He already lost count of the gold bands. He pressed his tongue to the roof, and opted instead to look at the sparkling callendulas of the pit, his irises mirroring the flickering gold. His upper back flattened against the wall to simulate mild composure, forehead clouded by his hood's shadow. What was visible of his skin appeared burnished in this light, his fingertips made scarce to all eyes. His hands were clasped and guarding the journal atop the bow. This soldier of Arkay was, no doubt, present for more than just stopping by.
     
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    #3 Alty, Jan 10, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  4. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    Merric Vasser gripped the hilt of his longsword as he marched along, eyes to the road ahead of him. He feared neither wild animals nor bandits, even with the dreary day passing into evening. He'd been in Skyrim for barely three months, and already he was weary of the war-torn province. Everywhere he went, people eyed him with distrust, and in some cases, fear. On one hand, the swordsman understood the suspicion- he was a stranger in this land in the middle of a war. Worse, he was a stranger who appeared mere days after people had disappeared from the area. For several weeks, he'd been tracking the disappearances. Trying to, at any rate. At every turn, he met with dead ends and more questions.

    Those he'd spoken with had no answers for him, and they were the more cautious ones. More often than not, a door was slammed in his face. He'd been about ready to give up on the whole venture when he stumbled across an official notice, while he was staying in the coastal city of Dawnstar. A summons for adventurers and mercenaries to assemble in the town of Dragonbridge, near the capital. With the opportunity to meet with like minded individuals, and perhaps finally put this mystery to rest. He'd booked passage on a ship from Dawnstar to Solitude. The trip had taken three days, due to the rough seas and foul weather.

    He'd been relieved when he finally set foot on the Solitude docks. He didn't dislike sea travel, but there was precious little to do on a boat, and the sailors had been generally quiet. He'd taken another day in the capital to purchase provisions and ask around, but even in the walled city, defended by imperial legionnaires and city guard alike, people were withdrawn and suspicious. The next day, at dawn, Merric had set out for Dragonbridge. Now, the town was in sight, its' gates open, but several red uniformed guards stood nearby.

    "I hope some answers' will be found here, at least." The young swordsman murmured to himself. A quick glance at the sky told him that the weather was as grim as the people. The guards did not challenge him as he passed through the gates, but he felt their eyes on him. Inside the town proper, all was silence, save for the whinnying of horses, and the sound of metal being hammered. No children played outside, and no joyful voices could be heard. Like the rest of the province, they seemed to have been effected by the disappearances as well.

    He walked to the town center, and glanced over his shoulder. A young woman watched from the half open door to a nearby house. When she noticed Merrics' attention was upon her, she gasped and slammed the door shut. Merric sighed, and turned towards the inn. Inns, he'd discovered in his travels, were excellent places for the gathering of information. He pushed the door open, and glanced around, noticing that he was not the first to arrive. A hooded man sat near the fire, a bow and journal on his lap. A second man, much more heavily armoured, sat alone, eating a meal. He contrasted the first man, who wore some sort of armoured robe, while the other man wore heavy plate, marked with religious symbols. 'A paladin of some sort. Interesting.'

    Merric passed them by for the innkeeper, who was currently wiping down the bar. When the breton stopped before her, she barely glanced up at him, before going back to her task. "Another mercenary? I guess the notices are getting some attention then. What can I get you?"

    He dropped a small coinpurse between them. "Information. What can you tell me about the disappearances in this area?"

    The womans' lips pressed together, as she scrubbed at a particularly stubborn stain. "Look, I just keep the inn. If you want to ask questions of people, I suggest those two over there." She nodded in the general direction of the two men.

    Merric frowned, but kept his tone polite as he thanked her and turned away, leaving the coin where it was. Even if they didn't trust him, there was still a war on. Business had to be suffering. So now he had a choice of people to question. The paladin, or the hooded and robed individual? The regulars seemed to be eyeing the armoured man more than the other. Which hinted that the other man, who seemed to be imperial, or perhaps redguard, had been in Dragonbridge longer than the paladin. He strode over to him, offering a nod. "Good evening. I believe we may be here on similar business." He paused, awaiting an answer from the man. Or at least an acknowledgement of his words.
     
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  5. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    A pair of unlikely figures walked along the road towards the town of Dragonbridge. One, was a massive argonian, most of his body covered in heavy armour, a long, curved blade at his side, and a massive shield slung over his back, held their by a wide, leather strap. The argonian had a distinct draconic appearance, with long horns that curved back, away from his skull, along with several bony growths lining the underside of his jaw. His scales were a dark grey, almost as dark as his armour, save for a narrow strip at his neck, under his jaw. A pair of perceptive, turqoise eyes took in their surroundings, keeping an eye out for ambushes.

    His companion so small she barely reached his chest. Her lighter armour made her seem even more diminutive, and the closeness between them made it seem like the massive argonian was protecting her. Hinting that she needed protection. Of course, if someone would have suggested that to the petite dunmer, she would have cut their tongue out in a heartbeat. Still, her large companion would have given his life in an instant to save hers, and she would do the same for him. Not that she would ever admit to such a weakness. In the few years they'd spent together, both had saved the other from certain death countless times. Often in the pursuit of helping others. Something that Sothas' dark elf friend, Ayliras' almost constantly complained about. And the reason the pair were currently in Skyrim.

    "I hate it here." The dunmer griped, drawing her cloak around herself. "It's too cold. And every nord I've met looks at us like we're some sort of dangerous animals." She glanced at her hulking companion. "Well...more dangerous." Sothas tilted his head towards her, eyes twinkling with unshed mirth. Scowling, she swatted his hand "stop looking at me like that. You know what I mean."

    "They're frightened. There's a war on, after all." Sothas pointed out, "and these disappearances are...unnatural."

    "So they should be glad we're risking our hides to help them." Aylira countered, "not slamming doors in our faces, and waving axes."

    "Fearful people are seldom rational." He reminded her, his tone admonishing. The argument, or rather a similar argument, had taken place since they'd arrived in Skyrim over a week ago. They'd had to fight both bandits and the rebel radicals, the Stormcloaks, who hadn't taken kindly to a pair of non-nords wandering the countryside. The attacks had decreased once they'd passed the town known as Morthal, but the people they'd come across were still wary of them.

    "If not for your bleeding heart, we could be drinking Stros M'kai someplace in Hammerfell. Come on, I can see the bridge." The dark elf griped, increasing her pace. The dragonbridge that gave the nearby town its' name was quite impressive, she had to admit. And old. And it cross a canyon, with a fast flowing river at the bottom. She froze at the bridge, staring down into the fast flowing water. The old fear was still there, ingrained into her being, no matter how much she tried to rationalize away the odds of her falling into the freezing, fast flowing river below.

    Sensing her unease, Sothas placed a comforting hand on his companions upper back, bracing her. "Aylira?"

    "What if it breaks?" She wondered out loud, her voice barely strong enough to be heard above the roar of the river.

    "It's stood for centuries. It won't break now."

    "But what if it does?"

    "Then you'll climb on my back, and I'll carry you across."

    That seemed to snap her out of her trance, and she glared at the argonian. "You're wearing armour, you big oaf. We'd sink, and then I'd drown for sure." She stared out across the bridge, at the town that was their goal, and set her jaw. "Let's go." She started across the bridge, stiff legged at first, but gaining confidence as she moved. With a sigh, Sothas followed.
     
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  6. Drahkma

    Drahkma Dashing Imperial Officer.

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    Splash! The Briarheart toppled tumbled into the puddle of cold, pure water, the blood running from a dozen minor injuries tainting the previously clear liquid. The man struggled to his hands and knees out of the shallow pool, and towards his crafted stone and wood axe. The Briarheart had lost the weapon, and a couple of fingers, attempting to stop a sword blow. The interior of the cave, eerily silent except for the Briarhearts gasps and splashing, and the ringing of steel clad boots approaching. The owner of those boots chuckled, but it was not a sound of mirth.

    "Six stormcloak rebels on Morndas, a pair of necromancers yesterday, and a whole camp of Forsworn today. All in all, it's been a damn good week" The owner of the previously mentioned boots drawled lazily. The Forsworn, sole survivor of the camps inhabitants, succeeded in finally getting out of the water, and reaching for his axe with his unmangled hand. When it was nearly in his hand, one of the mans' boots moved, the short, stubby spikes crunching into the Briarhearts ribs, and the force of the blow lifted him, to land heavily on his unwounded side.He looked into the attackers' eyes for the first time, the steel grey orbs that seemed to shine with an unnatural light.

    Well, the man certainly contained unnatural skill with the hand and a half sword now riding comfortably on his left hip. The Briarhearts men hadn't stood a chance against the blinding assault. Even the Briarheart himself, who'd thought he was a fairly competent warrior hadn't been able to get a blow in. Now, the victorious man, an Imperial by the looks of him, stood over him, his left hand resting easily on the pommel of a long dagger at his side. "You should have left off ambushing the Jarls convoys months ago. Before I caught your scent. Left Skyrim entirely. Now it's too late."

    Smirking, the mans hand left his dagger and went to the haft of his steel war axe, removing it from his belt, and hefting it. "No.. Please!" Those were the last words the man spoke. The axe descended, cutting cleanly through flesh, bone, and sinew. Ardus Carn waited for the dead Briarhearts neck to stop spraying blood, and his body to stop twitching, before scooping it up by the hair. "This isn't personal" he assured the dead man. "Just business"

    Several hours later
    The trip to Solitude was long but despite the increasing cloud cover, he made it to the gates of the capital without being rained on.
    Approaching was a small group of guards, and once they saw him, they altered their path to meet with his. Once they'd closed the distance, Ardus held up a sack, that had a dark stain at the bottom. "The Briarheart who's been plaguing the Jarl.He and his group won't be bothering anyone else. Ever" one of the guards stepped forwards, and accepted the gruesome package with a grimace. "Well done as usual, Wolf." He tossed the hunter a bulging coinpurse. "If you're looking for more work, head to Dragonbridge. Big contract offered to hunt down whatever's been abducting people."

    Ardus considered for a moment, before nodding, securing the bounty payment. He'd heard of the disappearances throughout Skyrim, but no one had thought to hire him, so he hadn't looked into it. But if there really was a 'big contract' that'd been put out, it was in his best interests to at least head down to Dragonbridge and sniff around. The town wasn't far from the capital, so the Wolf set out on foot, his newly acquired coin jingling in time with his footsteps.

    He reached the town in good time, and headed straight for the inn. Everyone knew the inn was the best place to get information, short of talking with the locals. He pushed the door open, and realized that he was not the first to have heard of the job. A hooded man sat near the fire at one part of the inn, speaking with another man in a long coat and a pair of swords. A third man in heavy plate with religious symbology of Arkay etched into it sat by himself. Rather than approach any of them, he went straight to the bar, taking an empty stool and gesturing the barkeep over. "Brandy. And make sure it's in a clean cup."
     
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  7. Harkatti

    Harkatti Sorceress Supreme!

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    Emanuelle Antoire, more commonly known as the Raven Knight, rode her bay mare along the road at a steady pace. The beast had not failed her even once on the long, hard road from High Rock. Her mask and the cold, grey eyes that stared from it unnerved most innocent travelers, and those bandits foolish enough to attack she dispatched easily enough. She'd seen the evidence of war and death everywhere she'd looked as she made her way to the town known as Dragonsbridge. Columns of soldiers marching along the road, or corpses scattered in an open field, being picked apart by scavengers.

    As if sensing the atmosphere in Skyrim, the weather had soon turned for the worse. She supposed she was lucky, to be traveling towards the capital, rather than the northern holds, where it was said people froze solid if they dared the cold for more than a few hours. Nonsense, she was sure, but she had no desire to find out the hard way. Skyrim was known as a scarcely inhabited land, but the closer she traveled to the capital, the less life she saw. The cause of this was no real mystery. Emanuelle had heard of the disappearances. People vanishing without a trace, never to be heard from again. It was the sole reason she was in the war torn province. To find who or what was abducting folk, and put and end to them.

    From atop her steed, she could see the town, and the bridge leading up to it. Both matched the information she'd received from the surly miner outside Markarth. She was to follow the Karth river until she reached a bridge shaped like a dragon, and follow it across to reach the town mentioned in the notice. She tapped her horse with her heels, urging her into a canter. The mare obliged, carrying her towards the bridge at a faster pace. A couple of people, the first souls Emanuelle had seen in days were crossing. "Make way!" She shouted, giving them the option to move or be trampled.

    Crossing the bridge, she quickly dismounted and tossed the stablemaster a coinpurse, handing him the reins. Walking further into the town, she looked around until she spotted the inn. A sign hanging from the balcony declared it the 'Four Shields' tavern. Making sure the metallic mask concealed her upper face, while the cloth scarf covered her mouth and lower face. She pushed the door open, and still standing in the doorway, looked around. Four men, two in a corner near the fire, one at the bar with a mug of something, all fit the description of mercenaries. Perhaps contracted to fight in the war, hunt bandits, or perhaps they too had seen the same notice. But it was the fourth man, sitting by himself that drew her interest. Covered in heavy plate except for his head, a hammer with the symbol of Arkay on it next to him, his appearance all but screamed 'paladin.' She approached, left hand resting easily on the pommel of her sword. "Excuse me, sir. But it seems we have something of a common purpose. The disappearing people of Skyrim." Her voice was nasal and slightly muffled, but unmistakably feminine.
     
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  8. Signus

    Signus Active Member

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    "Hmph. Miserable weather." The robed old man complained, mostly to himself. The roads seemed to be abandoned, save for the occasional troops of soldiers, or heavily guarded merchant wagons. It had been the better part of three decades since he'd been in his homeland. And through poor judgement or poor luck, he'd returned in the middle of a civil war. While the nord rebels hadn't attacked him, they had asked him i he was a 'true nord' all while eyeing his staff. "By the flame, what even is a 'true nord?'" He asked no one in particular, "I mean, surely, any nord would be a nord? Or perhaps only nords who follow this Ulfric fellow are true nords. Which is ridiculous."

    Regardless, the war was not his business. Not at the moment, anyways, and probably not ever. He had no interest in fighting the empire or fighting for them. He was here because he'd heard of the disappearing people of the land, ignored by the two sides. Up until now. While he was secluded in his tower or isolated in his travel, news still reached him. Either by couriers he allowed to rest for the night before continuing on their way, or from more arcane sources.

    He was no longer a young man, but he was still a capable wizard, and in good health for his age. The flame would guide his steps, and purge whatever evil was hiding itself under the chaos of the war. Of course, he still needed to reach Dragonsbridge, where others of a similar mind were gathering. As the sun set, he came in sight of the town, the bridge mounting the ravine that held the Karth river. A horseman, or perhaps horsewoman thundered across, nearly running over a pair that were crossing the bridge themselves.

    Arnjulf did not bother with them, but he assumed they were in fact mercenaries or adventurers headed to the town to offer their services. He walked past an abandoned looking farm, and towards the tavern, which stood opposite and a little ways ahead of a building with imperial flags hanging off it. The eccentric pyromancer pushed the door open and swept past several rough looking individuals, noting their gear and appearance, but refraining from speaking. Instead he chose an isolated chair and from a pocket inside his robes, drew out a pipe and pouch. With delicate care, he measured out the pipe weed, and with a snap of his fingers, ignited it. With a contented sigh, the old man stroked his singed beard and watched the others, happy to pass the time puffing on his pipe.
     
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  9. TheShadedOne

    TheShadedOne The Angry One

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    J'karta had been in Dragonsbridge for a few days now, and suspected he was the first, or nearly the first to arrive. More by coincidence than design. He'd been turning in a bounty near Morthal when he'd heard that a reward was being offered for discovering what had become of people that had gone missing all over the province. It seemed someone had finally taken an interest. Every one from the jarls on down knew about the problem, but they'd been too busy with their little war to investigate. With both sides still at each others throats, mercenaries and others, like J'karta had been summoned to find out the fates of the lost villagers and hunters and whoever else had gone missing. He'd made good time away from the marshes of Morthal, to the town named after a bridge.

    He'd asked some questions, and learned that the owner of one of the farms had gone seemingly insane after leaving to search for his missing children. He'd murdered his wife and disappeared. Same as their children, apparently. Except the children hadn't killed anyone. That he knew of. Perhaps the children had killed someone, and this search was some sort of farce. People being caught up in the wave of panic and hiding a murder or three behind the same disappearances throughout the province. Either way, nobody knew much beyond that- the children vanished, the father went out after them, and then came back, murdered his wife, and vanished again.

    At the moment, J'karta was standing with his back against the stone of the dragonbridge, pondering his options. He'd seen the wagon carrying the heavily armoured human. And then the man with two swords and a long coat, and finally a horsewoman, riding along the bridge at speed. All of them made their way to the tavern, except for the first man, who went to the building across the street first. Doubtless they were going to join up before heading out to begin their search. With a stretch and a sigh, he pushed away from the wall, and started towards the tavern to introduce himself and join the group, when his keen ears picked up movement along the bridge. More mercenaries? Bleeding-heart adventurers? Not soldiers, not nearly loud enough.

    Curious, the khajiit turned around and made for the foot of the bridge. An unlikely pair were walking towards him. One, was a massive, heavily armoured and grey scaled argonian, who looked more like the dragons that had been wandering Skyrim only a few years ago than any other lizard she'd met. Beside him was a tiny woman, dunmer, but she looked no less dangerous, but in a different way than her large companion. Deciding to play the part of greedy khajiit mercenary, which wasn't so far from the truth anyways, he stepped towards them and bowed. "Greetings. This one welcomes you to Dragonsbridge. This one is known as J'karta. You are here because of the notice, yes? J'karta too, is hoping for coin to come of this. Others have arrived before you. They are in the tavern, now."
     
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  10. Thesius

    Thesius The Imperial Paladin

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    Alainne was most of the way through his meal, but his attention was more on the individuals coming into the tavern. It was a mixed bag, to be sure, but most seemed to have come for one thing; the missing villagers. But most seemed to be there for the reward offered, not for the saving of those poor souls. The first to enter after Alainne had taken his seat was another breton, a pair of swords on his belt, and a mixture of leather and steel armour. He seemed friendly enough as he spoke to the hooded and robed figure sitting near the fire. Sitting near the fire as if he was cold, despite the warmth in the place. Or if he had something to hide. That in itself was not really cause for suspicion. Many had lead less than lawful lives, and so close to the capital, they hoped to avoid recognition. Perhaps. The order had taught Alainne to suspect everyone, and the more they tried to hide, the more convinced he grew that he needed closer inspection.

    Before he could take any action, the door to the Four Shields opened once more, bringing a gust of cold air with it. A figure with a peculiar avian mask stepped inside, and quickly made their way to the table Alainne had claimed. "Excuse me, sir. But it seems we have something of a common purpose. The disappearing people of Skyrim." A woman then, though it was hard to tell. She made very little effort to advertise her sexuality. He didn't miss the way her left hand rested on the pommel of her sword, nor the dagger sheathed on her other hip. A swordswoman who knew how to use the blades she carried. "Indeed? You'll have to excuse me if I ask who you are, exactly. I'm not accustomed to strangers approaching and suggesting we work together."
     
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  11. Alty

    Alty Caw Caw

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    Cedrida's consternation was present, though not quite visible, and lessened with each armed individual welcoming themselves into the tavern. In spite of, he analyzed every prominent detail to separate and recognize what may be his hunters, hindrances, or - most absurdly - allies. He thumbed the trio of hooks guarding his left fingers; he was sorting his nerves with a dry expression. Something was most definitely going on. He was beginning to suspect the news had spread, the source perhaps being the Legion and Stormcloaks getting ticked over their decreasing headcount and mass confusion.
    His mingle with any of the individuals started just when the innkeeper nodded her chin to his presence. The scar at the lower right corner of his face blinked in annoyance. He uttered a mute sigh as he prepared for idle conversation by stashing his log into its case and checking for the weight of rope at his side and the knife on his back. His attention on the paladin fleeted; he was occupied with a raven now. The glance was not quick enough to avoid having the runes paint spots in the vampire's vision.

    "Good evening. I believe we may be here on similar business."

    His suspicions confirmed, he brazenly displayed his ambers with the slightest leer. He stayed mute throughout his examination of this man now that he was closer. A breton. He could easily see the flexibility of the coat's fabric within every crease and the blurred reflections and scratches decorating the plates. Even the slightest dent in the forehead scar was obvious. This man was at an acceptable distance, but Cedrida's visual enhancements might someday put an ache to his head.

    He blinked once. The spots disappeared. Just as if he were to ignore the breton, he transferred his acknowledgement elsewhere, namely the man clad in dusky armor and starless steel. He licked over his lips in contemplation, feeling the ghost of cracked skin that would be present if he were still alive. The bounty hunter did not scare Cedrida, but this man made his guardedness spike. A snap caught his ear and a spark caught his corner eye.


    The reply came brusquely, "I am all for irony, but 'good evening' is taking it too far." The friendly approacher received a side-eye, a brow raised to compliment. The half-breed's articulation of the common language was fair, but his accent showed every bit of his origins with his r's and v's somewhat hummed. His brief evasion of the greeting was for a fang-check, making positive that his mouth would not open wide enough to flash the full extent of his disease.

    "What do you know?", he queried - not to know where to start illustrating the recent events, but to know how much has been leaked to the public.
     
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    #11 Alty, Jan 24, 2019
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  12. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    Aylira neatly leapt aside when she heard the clatter of hooves on the bridge behind herself and Sothas. The rider passed them by, her features covered by a strange mask, and didn't spare them a sideways glance. The assassin made a rude gesture and shouted a string of dunmer curses' after them, while Sothas merely shook his head in resignation.

    They were nearly off the bridge when a khajiit in light armour not unlike Sothas' dunmer companions' stepped out in front of them. "Greetings. This one welcomes you to Dragonsbridge. This one is known as J'karta. You are here because of the notice, yes? J'karta too, is hoping for coin to come of this. Others have arrived before you. They are in the tavern, now."

    Aylira scowled at the khajiit and leveled an accusing finger. "Jumping out in front of me is a good way to get stabbed, fur licker. Now which way to the tavern?"

    "This way, my friend." Sothas murmured, guiding her with a hand on her shoulder. To the khajiit, he said "I must apologize for my companion. She is usually not this...irritable. Let us buy you a drink, to compensate." He started walking towards the tavern, hearing the dark elf behind him mutter "you can buy him a drink..."

    He pushed the door open, and looked around. The four shields tavern, it was called, and it was apparent the khajiit, J'karta, hadn't lied. Mercenary types, including the masked woman, were inside, and several were at the bar or engaged in conversation. "It would seem we are the last to arrive."
     
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  13. Screeching Spasmodically

    Screeching Spasmodically Spasmodic Screecher

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    From atop a thatched roof, the Shadeling watched the town of Dragonsbridge. For nearly three hours, she had laid there, watching the comings and goings of townsfolk, guards, and the mercenaries that were arriving in town . There were too few to make up a proper mercenary company, but too many for them to be simply passing through.

    It must have been the disappearances. Specifically, the farmer who's children had vanished, and days later, the man had gone insane and murdered his wife, before vanishing without a trace. Like so many others throughout Skyrim. She'd seen the guards investigating the farmhouse near the bridge, and heard talk of mounting expeditions to chase after the farmer. But there had been no tracks worth following.

    And with the paranoia at an all time high, the guards were needed to keep order inside the town. Which was why the mercenaries had arrived in Dragonbridge at this time, surely. After all, she was there for the same reason, after all. She'd had word of a hefty reward offered for whoever could hunt down and discover the missing people. Or bring justice to the dead.

    Moving limbs made stiff by cold and stillness, the Shadeling, known as Luarin Drascua to a select few, hopped from the roof to the frozen ground, rolling both to absorb the impact of landing, and to get out of sight, the assassin stood behind one house, listening for a shout from one of the guards. Nothing. Satisfied that she was reliably hidden, she strolled towards the tavern, intending to blend with the rest of the group. As just another common mercenary.

    The warmth and smell of the place smacked her like a hammer, but she forced her way forwards, and more importantly, a hooded and masked woman standing in the door would bring up questions. Rather than engage the mercenaries currently inside, she picked a secluded corner, where she could observe the others.
     
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  14. Harkatti

    Harkatti Sorceress Supreme!

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    "Indeed? You'll have to excuse me if I ask who you are, exactly. I'm not accustomed to strangers approaching and suggesting we work together." The man was suspicious, and perhaps he was right to be so. Nobody knew who or what was taking the people of Skyrim. For all he knew, she could be an agent of whatever was taking people.

    She inclined her head, the 'beak' of her mask dipping with her. "You must forgive my appearance, sir. A woman if often not taken as seriously as a man, and the mask commands attention, if not respect. I am Emmanuelle, but I am more commonly known as the Raven Knight. I've come to assist the people of this land. But I'll need assistance myself, if I hope to accomplish anything."

    She glanced over her shoulder as the door opened again, and yet more mercenaries trouped inside, but they avoided joining the conversation for now. That was fine for her, though. The paladin didn't trust her but she wasn't exactly trusting of the others in the tavern. It would be an interesting venture if they all ended up working together.
     
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  15. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    The redguards' brusque, somewhat guarded reply was expected. He seemed very much a mercenary of shorts, as did the man at the bar. If Merric had to guess, the redguard wasn't from the area. His accent, for one. It was slight, but when almost in Skyrim spoke with the thick nordic accent, something different stood out. This close to the man, he could tell he was paler than most of the people of Hammerfell, perhaps the result of a mixed bloodline. Not nordic, but imperial? Breton? With a mental shrug, Merric decided the mans' ancestry didn't particularly matter, so long as he knew how to use that bow of his.

    The swordsman addressed the question that had been put to him. "I doubt I know more than you. What I know for certain is that the jarls are getting desperate." He said,"they've put out a notice throughout Skyrim, possibly beyond, seeking aid. Besides that, I know little. The people are frightened and they won't speak to me. I did hear that the most recent disappearances have happened here, in dragonsbridge. A farmer and his family, though I don't know their names."

    Merric fell silent, looking away from the redguard to the door as it opened to allow a slim figure, with an avian mask and covered in a mismash of armours stepped inside. They didn't so much glance in his direction before approaching the plate armoured paladin and striking up a conversation. The door swung shut again, keeping the cold evening air from slipping inside.
     
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  16. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    Inside, Sothas at least, was aware of the stares directed at him. And no wonder. He was taller than any of the patrons, bulky enough even without his armour to ensure that none but the most foolhardy drunk would dare pick a fight with him. The 'regulars' were mostly townsfolk with a few off duty guards here and there. Aside from a few quiet conversations, most kept to themselves. None of them would meet the gaze of Aylira or her companion, but there was a man at the bar who clearly wasn't a local. With an unspoken agreement, the two mercenaries stepped forwards, taking an empty stool on either side of the man. "You don't seem to be from around here. So my friend and I were wondering if you've heard anything new about these disappearances." Aylira said, taking the initiative for once.
     
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