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18+ When Gods Fall

Discussion in 'Active Stories' started by Harkatti, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    The brawl, like most, started with a disagreement between a large nord and a one eyes redguard man who'd been playing a game of chance moments before. The redguard was fast, Argus had to admit, escaping the nord even as the man threw a massive fist at him. Then the argonian assassin had to focus on his own predicament, as a man brandishing a broken mead bottle blundered towards him. His khajiit companion had already taken down one of the drunks.

    Argus was in his element, despite the longer ranged staff he generally used. The assassins hands moved quickly, disarming the man by twisting his wrist. Not giving the human a chance to react and perhaps reach for a more dangerous weapon, Argus struck him in the solar plexus, blasting the air from his lungs, and then landed a second blow against his torso, knocking the nord off balance and sending him tumbling backwards over an abandoned chair. With the immediate danger of being stabbed gone, he took a moment to look around. Mere seconds later, a blast of noise and light, what Argus presumed to be magical in nature, announced a new comer. A dark armoured imperial woman, with a no nonsense though not necessarily unpleasant attitude, she spoke, cautioning against any further misbehaviour. Her point made, she took a seat and signaled for refreshments.

    Intrigued, Argus made to join her, but before he could take more than two steps, an official looking man stepped inside, took a look at the minor devastation of the inns' first floor, and called all adventurers to the jarls' palace. Deciding to speak to the woman later, the argonian instead followed the high elf mage out into the cloudy afternoon turning towards evening. The one eyed redgaurd, Argus noted, lingered, and he found himself wondering if the man had the best intentions. However he did not want to miss what the jarl had to announce, and he doubted the man would be pleased to be kept waiting. As the group made their way up the stairs to the doors of dragonsreach, they were joined by a pair of masked individuals, a slender female, and an axe wielding male, both, as far as he could tell, were human. The man fell in with the rest, while the woman avoided the stairs in favour of scaling the rocks that dragonsreach sat upon.

    The dark clad woman, Elspeth, reached the top first, and offered her hand to the climber. She her assistance was ignored, and Argus reached the pair in time to hear the masked woman speak "What makes you assume I was sneaking?" It didn't seem like she was being intentionally confrontational, but there was little camaraderie in her voice. It was rough,though distinctly feminine,as if she didn't speak much.Argus set the butt of his staff on the cobblestone path leading to the double doors of dragonsreach. It connected with a sharp tap of metal striking stone. "In my experience, it is not the method that matters, but the result." Argus cut in smoothly, inclining his head slightly to the pair.
     
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  2. Harkatti

    Harkatti Sorceress Supreme!

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    Most of those that had come into the Bannered Mare after Arenaya and Cadrian stood and left the inn after the pair. The one eyed man, she noticed, was not among them. Not immediately, anyways. The walk to the wooden stair that lead to the jarls home was cold and grey. The winds hadn't let up, and the grey clouds still hung overhead, threatening rain. The afternoon was starting to become evening, and darkness was just starting to fall. A pair of masked figures, one smaller than the other and obviously more athletic, joined them.

    Words from behind her had Arenaya glance back to see the one eyed redguard speaking with the wood elf woman. Something about a fool and their gold. Ahead, at the top of the stair, the smaller newcomer was talking to the imperial woman, the black covered inquisitor of Stendarr. The altmer sorceress didn't know much about vigilants, or this inquisitor, but she decided to expand her knowledge, the first chance she got. For now though, she lead Cadrian onwards, her loyal bodyguard keeping a wary eye on the masked newcomers, especially the nearby woman. Arenaya, on the other hand, focused on the doors ahead of them, sweeping past her new companions, towards the guards that stood before the entrance, spears and shields in hand. One of them, a balding, scarred nord, nodded his head slightly, and gestured to the doors with his shield. "The jarl is expecting you."

    She pushed the doors open without acknowledging the humans' words, and once more stepped inside the entrance hall of dragonsreach. The others followed her. Or, she assumed they did. Arenaya was not in Whiterun, or Skyrim for that matter, to babysit a pack of eager would-be heroes. If her hunch was correct, they wouldn't be heroes for long. More like....lunch. Ascending the wide staircase that lead to the great hall of dragonsreach, she looked around. The feasting table had been moved since the last time she was inside, mere hours ago. Now a plain wooden table, covered in maps and wooden markers stood before the jarls throne. The man himself seemed slightly less desperate than he had at their first meeting. The noise of the approaching group drew his attention. "Ah. Good you are all here." He waved for them to step closer, around the table, and sent for someone called 'Nurien' Not a nordic name, she thought. The refugees the inquisitor had mentioned milled around uncertainly, clumping into groups of either friends or family. In some areas, people slumped against the walls, too exhausted to do much of anything.

    "Our scouts, those few that have made it back, have detected something to the north east of here. I don't know if any of you are familiar with Fellglow keep. Years ago, it was full of mages, conducting gods know what kinds of experiments. My men report lights and movement on the walls. I want you to go there. Make contact with whoever is inside. If they are friendly, bring them here, to safety. If not...well, if not, I assume you know what to do. This city protects too many innocents to have an enemy sitting so near."

    Arenaya scowled. "Why not send the guard? Or whatever soldiers you have to clear it out?"

    "I haven't the men to spare. Those few guards who aren't on duty right now are needed incase those damned corpses make a renewed assault. Now leave me. Rest tonight, at the guard barracks if the inn doesn't have enough rooms, but I want you gone at first light." Jarl Balgruuf turned away from them, making it clear the meeting was over.

    She turned away from the table, leaving the rest of the group to their planning and strategies. She was tired from the road, and her minimal participation in the barroom brawl. "We'll take one of the rooms at the inn. If we're to risk life and limb in the morning, I'd rather be comfortable tonight."

    "There was just a brawl in the tavern." Cadrian pointed out, "the innkeeper may not want us back."

    "Coin is coin. I'll pay double if I have to, but there's no way in Oblivion I'm shacking up with some flea-bitten guardsmen."

    A stream of half-drunk and bloodied patrons were leaving the inn when Arenaya and her companion arrived. Some glanced at them, but most seemed too sore to do much more than mutter a curse or two. The pair stepped inside, and were confronted by a very angry nord woman. "Oh no! You adventurers' are nothing but trouble! Sleep in the street for all I care, but you won't be causing any more trouble here!"

    "We mean no trouble." Arenaya explained, reaching for her belt, " I can pay double your usual rate, for a room. Just for tonight, if you wish." 'I doubt we'll be surviving this adventure to sleep here a second night, anyways.' The altmer held out the bulging coinpurse.

    The innkeeper hesitated, eyes on the pouch. With an annoyed grunt, she nodded. "Fine. A room for the night. But at the first sign of trouble, I'm calling the guard." She threatened.

    Arenaya thanked the woman and the two wasted no time in finding their room. "Take the bed." Cadrian instructed, as was his custom. He took a seat in one of the padded leather armchairs by the door, and was soon fast asleep, hand on hilt of his sword. The sorceress was soon fast asleep herself, despite her reservations of the coming day.
     
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    #42 Harkatti, Jul 16, 2018
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  3. Morbidbread

    Morbidbread Fight for the lost

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    The brawl ended as suddenly as it had started, with a blast of magic from an imperial woman. No mere adventurer, as it turned out- she introduced herself as an inquisitor of Stendarr, the god of mercy. He assumed she was a higher rank of vigilant, or perhaps something completely different. Before Karon could do more than take a step towards the woman, a servant of the jarl barged in, announcing that their presence was required in dragonsreach. The others moved to the door,some clearly armed and armored for war, like Karon and Beran , others in lighter gear, like the argonian by the door, and the altmer mage he'd spoken to earlier, even if there was no unity among their movement, they left the inn behind, the knight shooting an apologetic glance at the wreckage and slumped figures. 'I doubt we'll be allowed inside again.' he thought, even as he climbed the stairs to the jarls home.

    Refugees that had been mentioned by the inquisitor, Elspeth, crowded the entrance, and lined the walls. Many were huddled together, sharing food or tales among themselves. The guards moved among them, making sure they were all behaving themselves. While the skeletal men and women had Karons' sympathies, there was little he could do, and he knew it. He had no food or coin to offer, besides what little he carried for his own use, and he had no potions or healing spells to aid the wounded. "A shame." He murmured, "these people deserve better." In the main hall, the great feasting tables had been shifted against the walls, leaving the floor bare, save for a small table ,which the jarl and his men were gathered around.

    He expressed satisfaction at their speedy arrival, and gestured them over to the table. A map of the hold was laid out, with several wooden pieces scattered over it. Balgruuf explained that a few scouts had returned, reporting that a fort to the northeast of the city, Fellglow keep, had been occupied. By who, it wasn't known, which was why the jarl wanted the adventurers to head out at first light and secure it. Whether he planned to garrison it with his own troops, or simply cleared, he didn't say. "Do we know the layout of the fort? It is never a good idea to charge in blind."

    Balgruuf shook his head, "alas, no. The fort has not been properly garrisoned since the war. Once inside, you'll be as blind as we are."

    "Still, we should devise a strategy." Karon looked across the table, to the dark armored woman. "What say you, lady inquisitor? Have you any insight that may be of use?"
     
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  4. Rell

    Rell Member

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    Hallen glanced around as the group he found himself following entered dragonsreach, per the officials instructions. They were not the first to arrive. He remembered something about the refugees from Rorikstead and further out being guided by the inquisitor to the city. Apparently, they'd gone to the jarls' halls for safety. None of them looked like they'd come in from the road without suffering in some way. He felt for them, as he'd sympathized for the girl outside, but there wasn't much he could do. Hallen heard the breton knight murmur something under his breath, but he was too far back to hear the words. Up at the main hall, a finely dressed, if extremely stressed looking man must have been the jarl, and several others were assembled around them. The table had a large map of whiterun hold on it, with wooden pieces marking....Hallen wasn't quite sure.

    He gathered that the jarl, Balguuf, he thought his name was, wanted the group to scout out a fort, Fellglow, several kilometres to the north east of the city itself. Hallen grinned, waiting for the punchline. None came. In fact, the breton knight chose that exact moment to stop mumbling to himself, and started discussing strategy with the inquisitor he'd first named as trouble, as if they did these things all the time. Looking over their armor and weapons, it was likely they did do this all the time. Sailing along the coast of Hammerfell had taught him that safety was not easy to come by, and one had to be on constant guard for pirate raids. His life on the land had taught him that wandering into a trap, especially one that consisted of ravenous monsters that had once been people, was a good way to die. Horribly. "You're joking. Surely, you're... you aren't joking, are you?" His grin faded slightly. "No offense to you, jarl, but are you out of your minds? The dead would swarm us as soon as we were out of bow range of the walls. It might as well be suicide."
     
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  5. TheShadedOne

    TheShadedOne The Angry One

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    "I hate this land." Miraska grumbled to herself, adjusting her grip the nordic battleaxe she carried. The weapon had served her faithfully for nearly a year now, after she'd taken it from its' former owner. A nord bandit with a nasty habit of carrying a ridiculous number of daggers. The axe as her second souvenir from that fight. The scar on her stomach was the second. She'd never been particularly fond of Skyrim, not even when she was a child, living in the Rift with her mother and siblings. The years had acclimated her to the harsh climate though. And if Miraska was good at anything, it was enduring. 'Stubborn and tough' her mother had called her. Among other names. Out of her siblings, she was, technically, the oldest. The first born daughter of the great assassin, Shadari. The one her mother had seen as nothing more than a disappointment.

    With a snarl, the khajiit shook her head, ice blue eyes scanning the terrain. Distraction in times like these would lead to death. A painful, drawn out death, if she was particularly unlucky. Her uncovered ears swiveled, taking in the sounds of the wild. What sounds remained, that was. Most of the animals had fled the plague of walking dead, and she didn't blame them. The dead were supposed to stay dead. They always had in the past. Now though, half rotten corpses wandered about, looking for living to feast on. Why, exactly, the dead had to eat, was a mystery to her. One that she had no plans to uncover. So long as they died when she cut them down, she was...well, not exactly happy, but satisfied.

    A rustle of clothing and the soft crunch of boots on grass drew her attention. She turned, fixing her eyes on her companion, her sister, Nirjha. Unlike the steel plate Miraska covered herself in, the other khajiit wore simple grey robes, a pouch with potions and scrolls attached to her belt. She was a mage, though not particularly powerful, from what Miraska had seen. Of course, she knew next to nothing about magic, so she didn't pry. "Come on. The city isn't far now."

    "What if they don't let us in?" Nirjha's green eyes, were full of worry. Green like their mothers....

    "They will. They need blades and mages to kill these things. We have both. Now come on."

    The sisters traveled in silence for the next half hour or so, their ears and other senses on guard. They hadn't seen any of the walking dead for several hours now, but neither were willing to relax until they'd reached the safety of the city walls. "I miss Lhassa." The words were sudden, and unexpected. Lhassa was the second of Shadari's daughters, and one that had parted ways with Miraska after a brutal fight in which they'd both said things that they hadn't really meant. Not that Miraska would ever admit that.

    "Lhassa's probably dead. Dumb bitch went off to join the dawnguard, remember? She left us." There was no more conversation after that. The gates came into sight, with a semi-circle of sharpened stakes defending them. Guards and soldiers aimed bows at them, and an unhelmed man shouted down to them.

    "State your business!"

    "What do you think, skeever brain? Let us in!" The khajiit warrior called to him.

    "How do we know you can be trusted?" The man responded.

    "Do we look like rotting corpses? Open the gates, or I'll come up there and open them myself!"

    A few of the men on the wall scowled at her, but the unhelmeted man nodded. "Open up." He ordered someone out of sight, and they began to swing open. Stepping through, the sisters noted several wagons being unloaded, and several dozen people moving around, seeming happy to be inside the walls. "The jarl will want to see you. Go to the top of the hill. Dragonsreach."

    Miraska nodded and started towards the building at the top of the hill. "Thank you!" Nirjha called back to him. The two khajiit made their way through the city, eventually climbing up the staircase that lead to Dragonsreach. Inside, unwashed, desperate looking people huddled against the walls. At the far end of the grand hall, a group of armoured and armed people gathered. It sounded to them like they were strategising about a trip outside the city. 'Looks like we showed up just in time.'

    "I'm guessing you're the jarl?" She said to one of the few men who wasn't wearing some sort of weapon or armour. "My sister and I are here to lend our assistance."

    "Good!" The man seemed happy enough to see the pair. "We were just planning an expedition for tomorrow morning. The pair of you could be useful." He waved them over.

    "So, what are we looking at?" She asked a masked man, wielding an axe similar to hers.
     
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  6. Rafen

    Rafen Active Member

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    The miserable situation of the refugees dismayed Beran. He'd brought as many people as he could find to Whiterun hoping to keep them safe. Now, while they were safe from the hordes of ravenous dead, it seemed they were doomed to a slow death. Even with the supply caravan the nordic inquisitor had escorted into the city, the supplies would not last forever. And housing for the refugees still needed to be assigned. Winter was coming, and Skyrim had never been kind to the homeless.

    The discussion at the table drew his attention. He approached, tall enough to look over the heads of those assembled. He rested his greatsword against the floor, tip first, frowned at the map. He was not familiar with the keep in question. He'd seen it on his travels, certainly, but he'd never been inside, or close enough to be familiar with the layout."It's remote. Isolated. If the sentries are worthy of the title, they'll see us coming. Whatever we do tomorrow, the sentries will need to be removed or otherwise distracted first."

    "You're joking. Surely, you're... you aren't joking, are you?" The one eyed man stammered, glancing from one face to the other. Beran scowled at him. He disliked cowards, especially when their cowardice endangered innocents. "Defending the innocent is no joke. Like it or not, we will complete this task." His own gaze fixed on the redguards single eye, daring him to object.
     
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  7. Simus

    Simus An Excellent Site Member

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    "Mere supposition honestly." Elspeth answered when the masked girl asked her about sneaking. She said this after she flung herself up on the walkway to Dragonsreach and landed behind Elspeth in a crouching position, making it abundantly clear that she never needed her help. Elspeth was surprised but not at all worried. She could unsheathe her sword in a second and she did not need it to be dangerous. The girl was thumbing some writing on a lustrous silver sword but didn't draw it. Consequently, Elspeth kept her hand on the hilt of her sword but didn't draw it. After a few tense seconds she decided the girl wasn't a threat and decided to turn around and head inside. She didn't seem interested in talking and Elspeth wasn't going to encourage her. "Well, I'm happy you didn't need my help getting up. I'll see you inside."

    She took in the sight's of the Jarl's main hall and smiled with relief. The large feast tables that usually lined the center had been moved at the ends of the rooms and they were laden with both food and her refugees. Over half of them had crammed themselves onto the benches and were devouring everything the Jarl's servants were laying out for them and it was quite the feast. Bread, meat, wine, soup and grilled vegetables were in front of everyone on huge serving platters with large plates of sweetrools and taffy treats at the ends. Those who couldn't fit on the tables were sitting anywhere they could find room. A lucky few had found some chairs and small tables to sit down on but most of them were simply sitting on the floor or against the walls in circles. Friends, couples and families were all eating and drinking together. No one was holding back. To Elspeth's surprise, most people were chatty. Now that their minds were free for the first time in over a week they had a great deal to catch up on, free to babble and relax.

    As she walked among them someone handed her a piece of bread and she took a small bite from it. It was the best piece of bread she'd eaten in her entire life and was so enamored by food in her belly that she momentarily forgot that she was close to starving. Her flask had kept her strong during the march but she'd been just as hungry as everyone else. Finally getting some food almost made her lose control for just long enough to sit at the spot the refugees had made for her and eat with them. The Jarl needed her help first and foremost but she couldn't help anyone if she was fighting her own hunger along with the dead. She sat at the table, only now realizing how tired she was, and reached for some butter for her bread. She took small, polite bites and simply listened to the happy chatter of the people around her, mixed in with the occasional thanks and blessing to her. She had just poured herself a cool glass of wine and had taken her first sip when she realized someone at the Jarl's table by the throne was calling to her.

    It was the Breton knight she'd seen in the tavern. He had asked her if she had any insight into their current situation and she became embarrassed as she realized she wasn't even listening to them. She'd been entirely focused on her refugees and her own needs. She silently berated herself for being so selfish and immediately got up to join the others. She sat next to the knight as quietly as her full plate armor would allow and folded her arms at the table. Normally her enchanted ebony plate was heavy, but relatively comfortable and no bother at all for her to bear but eight days of marching and fighting would wear anyone down and she was eager to remove and polish it. After a long hot bath and a change into her long white nightgown.

    "I'm sorry sir knight." Elspeth said. "I'm afraid I wasn't listening to you. I allowed hunger and exhaustion to get the better of me when seeing to my charges. What was your question?"

    Before the knight could answer the one-eyed swindler from the tavern interjected, looking absolutely aghast about what they were to do. He was asking if all of this was a joke and complained about their odds outside the walls, calling them suicide. The large armored warrior Elspeth saw earlier stood up and told the man it was no joke. She had originally mistook the man for an imperial but now saw that he was a fellow Nord. He was wielding a massive greatsword that now rested on the table and she smiled at that. Even in these ever-darkening times her kinsmen fought for their home with the same courage and honor that they had always used. Elspeth felt that it was time to educate this complaining Redguard on that courage and honor.

    "No offense to you, jarl, but are you out of your minds? The dead would swarm us as soon as we were out of bow range of the walls. It might as well be suicide." The Redguard said, seeming to ignore the Nord warrior's stern words. This made Elspeth and every refugee who heard him, almost all of them in the hall, stand up and glare at the man.

    "Suicide you say?" Elspeth asked, her usual calm voice laced with steel. "Then would you care to explain how almost a hundred people, from infants to elders, made it here all the way from Rorikstead? With their harvest and animals, and the only people available to protect them were a few guards, some volunteer militia and myself? We were on the road for eight days and the food we brought with us will feed this city for just as many weeks. They're sitting behind us now, enjoying a meal that was likely most of the Jarl's larder and that they consider a feast of the gods. I've even heard a report of a warrior named Beran leading over a dozen people to the city by himself. So if all these people can make it here alive and able then a knave such as yourself travelling with a well-armed expedition should have no problem at all. I suggest you examine your surroundings before making such hopeless talk, and that you apologize for these people for being so rude to them. Refugees make dangerous thieves and insulting them will make you a target." Elspeth sat down once she was done. She wasn't one to give such impassioned speeches but an injustice ignored was an injustice tolerated. Plus she was really tired and was in no mood for such defeatist talk after all she'd been through.
     
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  8. Alty

    Alty Caw Caw

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    "Mere supposition honestly", came the words accompanied by a low-key face-off, or so Morthaine suspected from the woman's decision to mirror the assassin's fiddling of her blade. She kept her eyes on the face of the woman, not quite looking her in the eye, and still managing to see movement towards a weapon in the outer blur of her vision. She could almost smell the stiffness about the Stendarr-walker in this heavy aura. Morthaine refused unsettled movement, the one display of her face between her hood and the cover about her jaw was blank, perhaps even dull. She prided herself in minor degree, for the thumbing of the etched metal was solely a time-killer, as opposed to a readiness to defend oneself. In the midst of this heated moment, she heard the familiar hoarseness of an argonian's voice. She did not hear him past the knit of her brows when the woman ceased her part in this situation, excusing herself with,"Well, I'm happy you didn't need my help getting up. I'll see you inside."

    She eyed the path that trailed after the feet of the inquisitor. The curt response suited her just fine. There was a sneer behind her mask, and it was probably a good thing it was hidden, as a smile of any sort fitted rather hatefully on her face. Recalling the hard tap of a staff on stone, she finally answered the call. Her gaze echoed the sharpness of the sound, as she immediately went to defining all details about the face of the reptile. It was a bit of eye-candy to her, the impressive coloration of silvers and blues on the argonian's scales, of which the dark eyes were no match for. In this brief observation, the distant words cleared from the fog of her mind.

    "...not the method that matters, but the result."

    She did, in fact, agree, but the words only had enough impact to raise a brow. She dismissed all questions about who he was to attempt conversation- her focus was on the clothing. A fellow assassin, or impersonating one, as told from the softness of his footwear and the overcoat that presented much like a shadow. She internally snorted at the thought of mocking an assassin, whilst deciding whether to ignore the stranger, or to commence in a second long-term conversation of the day. Noted, she already cocked a brow in response- if there was a backing-out, it'd be a bit awkward. She repositioned herself into a more relaxed form, though she still maintained a natural uniformal stature that was probably practiced at some point in early life. Her face did not reveal any thoughts behind its usual placid glaze.

    "Who are you to speak such wisdom?"
     
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    #48 Alty, Jul 22, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
  9. Screeching Spasmodically

    Screeching Spasmodically Spasmodic Screecher

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    Khajiras' sensitive ears picked up the sounds of conversation and sounds of eating as she entered the jarls residence. A moment later her eyes adjusted to the murk even as her nose registered the scent of unwashed humans. She fought to keep a look of distaste from her expression, reminding herself that these people had struggled their way to the city from gods knew where, and probably hadn't yet had a chance to properly rest or refresh themselves. There were many seated on at the feasting tables, and many more standing or sitting around them. She started to comment on the situation to her argonian friend, but realized a moment later that he was no longer there. She recalled he'd been speaking with the nord woman and another masked, agile individual.

    Trusting Argus would catch up when he was done with the newcomer, she took the stairs, and joined the rest of the group, including another masked human, this one a man, standing around it and arguing. The one eyed redguard was arguing strongly against something. The nord woman, the stendarr vigilant or inquisitor or whatever she was, responded with a lengthy speech. The big nord who'd come into the bannered mare just ahead of her seemed in agreement. Humans, she reflected, certainly loved to talk. It was a wonder they got anything done. It was not the argument that had her attention, though. The fort the jarl was sending them to almost certainly had sentries, the big man had said. Sentries, she could slip around. Certainly none of those covered in armor and weapons would be able to slip past as easily as she could. "Khajira could do it." She muttered, and realized a little too late that she'd spoken just as a silence fell over the hall, and the jarl, his advisors, and she was sure, a couple of her new companions were staring at her a little bemusedly.

    "Slip past the sentries, Khajira means. After all, Khajiit is used to getting into places she should not." Perhaps not the wisest thing to say, but it was true. Before she could add anything else, the doors opened and two more khajiit entered. Her own ears perked up in interest. One, unusually covered in heavy armor, stepped forwards, and offered her services. The other, green eyed to the others blue, stood back, dressed in simple robes. Possibly a mage or alchemist. She nodded a silent greeting.
     
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  10. Morbidbread

    Morbidbread Fight for the lost

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    To Karons' dismay, the meeting quickly turned into an argument, with the one eyed gambler declaring the entire journey a suicidal task, earning himself the ire of Beran, Elspeth and every refugee within earshot. "Friends, please! Fighting among ourselves will serve no purpose." Looking at the one eyed man, he stated "there is no denying that this task has its' dangers, but all of us here are have at least some experience dealing with the dead. If we remain collected and fight together, we will prevail."

    The knight smiled at the inquisitors' response. "Forgive me, madame inquisitor. I had forgotten you did not get a chance to dine before we were summoned. " He performed a small bow, before continuing, " I merely asked if you might have some insight into the situation. You seem well traveled. "

    Beran pointed out that if they were going to approach during the day, the sentries, if indeed there were any, would need to be silenced. A lull in the conversation brought silence to the table for the moment. In which the khajiit decided to mutter that she herself could do it. By the slightly shocked look on her face, Karon guessed she hadn't thought anyone would hear her. A moment sooner, and no one would have. The knight felt a small smile grow on his face. "There you have it. But that still leaves the issue of getting close enough to the fortress without being blasted by magic or harried by arrows."
     
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  11. Signus

    Signus Active Member

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    Andros didn't agree with one side or the other. The redguard thief seemed put on the backfoot by the sudden glares directed his way. The armored woman, a nord, gave an impassioned speech about how if she, a handful of guard and militia could make the journey from Roriksstead to Whiterun, their own expedition should have no problem at all. She wasn't wrong, though the vampiric bounty hunter was glad of the mask protecting his features. The woman seemed the type to behave as if their every action was blessed by some god or another. If correct, he would need to keep a very close eye on her. The others didn't dwell on the redguards words though, instead turning to the matter of actually gaining acess to the fort itself.

    It would be difficult, as the others had already pointed out. The small khajiit woman suggested that she could scale the walls and silence the sentries. Andros nodded his agreement, but his thoughts were on the masked woman still outside. "There's another who could be of help." He jerked a thumb over his shoulder, "she's outside." As he said that, the doors opened, but it wasn't the masked one who walked in. A pair of khajiit, one in robes, possibly a mage, the other in heavy plate, with and axe similar to Andros. She told the jarl that she and her sister were ready to assist him, and the man promptly assigned them to the expedition. The axewoman stepped closer, glanced at the map, then up at Andros. "So, what are we looking at?"

    "Fellglow Keep. North east of here. Can't say I know much about the place. We're supposed to head out in the morning and see who, or what is in there now. We're having a bit of a dilemma trying to plan our way inside though."
     
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  12. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    Nurian and Farengar spent nearly an hour going over notes and searching through what little ancient knowledge the court mage had acquired, but it was all in vain. As far as the two were concerned, the dead had suddenly decided to come back to life to feed upon the living. The plague that had started the whole thing was just as much a mystery.

    The masked mer had been about to take his leave and attempt to secure a room for himself in the bannered mare when he heard the sound of conversation, which quickly turned heatedThese voices were new, so obviously not the refugees who had settled in over an hour ago.

    Taking his leave of Farengar, Nurian left the mages quarters and entered the main hall. The jarl was surrounded by a group of well armed and armoured individuals, doubtless the adventurers the jarl had called upon for aid. It was, he had to admit, a diverse group, with a one eyed redguard, a trio of khajiit, several nords, and a breton knight.

    As he approached, he heard the words 'fellglow keep' and 'sentries' . Apparently, they were discussing either how best to take or how best to garrison the fort to the north east. "A daunting task, it seems. The fort, if properly garrisoned, will be difficult to take, and harder to hold. The better question is; why have the dead not swarmed the walls and slain whoever dwells within themselves?"

    Noticing that he'd gotten the attention of several of the adventurers, he bowed at the waist. "Nurian the masked, at your service."
     
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  13. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    The dark armoured nord went inside along with most of the others, including the khajiit woman he'd been speaking with at the inn. The hooded and masked woman turned to face him fully, her face, what he could see of it was voided of emotion. An impressive ability, Argus decided. Most were unable to completely hide their feelings, even with years of training. Fortunately for the argonian, most had trouble reading the expressions of his people.

    "Who are you to speak such wisdom?"

    "One who has tested the practical applications of such words. As for my name, it is Argus Drall. Here to lend my skills, such as they are, to the jarl. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say I've come to help the people of Whiterun. I assume you are here for a similar reason. I hear there is a substantial reward for aiding the hold."
     
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  14. Rell

    Rell Member

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    The groups reaction to his statement of their dubius mental competence didn't quite result in an uproar, but it was pretty damn close. The knight, predictably, the massive nord with a greatsword, and the other nord, the woman inquisitor he'd already pegged as trouble all told him off in some way. To top things off, most of the refugees that were close enough to hear him glared, showing they didn't appreciate his lack of confidence. One of the things Hallen had learned early on, was to know when he was beaten. Arguing the point now wouldn't help his case, and doing so infront of the jarl might just get him tossed out of the city. With a defeated sigh, he held his hands up to show his surrender. "Very well. I'll accompany you on this little adventure. But remember my words when we're neck deep in the undead." With that he backed away from the table, not having much experience with breaching fortresses. If they'd been speaking of a naval engagement, he would have been first to suggest ideas, but he was no tactician when it came to sieges of forts.
     
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  15. Alty

    Alty Caw Caw

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    It was a real bore to listen to, though she did expect an unimpressive introduction. Her demeanor never wavered from stolid, her eyes bright with attention, or so it seemed. The only hint of interest she gave was swiping two fingers over her thumb in acknowledgement of the lizard's name. Upon the claim that Argus was here for the people's sake, however, her jaw tightened beneath her cover, assuming he was hinting at the dolts of the group. Fortunately, he was not one of the fools, as he implied that she was here of similar reason; here to aid the citizens. She remained rigid in her stature. The reward was undoubtfully the result of pressure on the Jarl.

    This in mind, she decided that going inside would allow to identify the cretins from a position on the sidelines. She snatched a lingering glance at the hook the fellow assassin possessed, before nodding a wordless gesture of departure, not a word of her name. She turned her back with very fragile trust in Argus, near-soundlessly walking into the depths of a large room with a large variety of voices. She did not hail if she was followed, and she did not return any new or familiar gazes. She held herself erect, her gate soundless and typically long as she made aim for a pillar where seemingly less of the refugees were bundled. Whilst immediately spotting her vampiric ally, she leaned against the aged wood of her supporter, her arms crossing after removal of her mouth's concealment. The air was much too heavy to afford keeping the access to her lungs hidden.

    Her eyes were lidded, not that any observers would know due to the dim (yet comforting) lighting. Her hood casted darkly over her upper features, contrasting with what was visible of her scar that winked in the flicker of torchlight. In her scrutiny, she noted the absence of a mage and her body guard, though the slot was taken by two khajiits, evidently of the same blood though vastly unalike in attitude. There was another feline, though she was just another plank in the floor in Morthaine's eyes. She spotted one of the "cretins" in her self-assigned task- the redguard, dismayed by the conversation. With the (little) knowledge she already had of this man, fingers drilled into her arms with the tightness of a bowstring. Her face was overall normal (with the usual unnerving stoic facade), except for the judgement in her eyes. He was saved, however, by the entrance of so-called Nurian, of which also was at risk to bear witness to the swordswoman's unamusement. Both were probably saved by the thick obscurity that completely cloaked her upper identity.

    Only then did she note the mildly wary emotions on the faces about the walls, noting their feasting was coming to an end one by one. She recognized her own discontent from personal famine, having lasted since the beginning of yesterday. She distracted herself once more by the redguard's decision of parting from the table, seeming reluctant in his agreement.

    "Very well. I'll accompany you on this little adventure. But remember my words when we're neck deep in the undead."

    She would be keeping track of his direction. She expected the coward to flee at any moment during this "adventure." Hopefully he knew better than to exceed her predictions.
     
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    #55 Alty, Jul 31, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
  16. Signus

    Signus Active Member

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    The conversation, even without the objections by the redguard, was going in circles. Everyone agreed that something had to be done, but none had settled on a concrete plan. Even with the addition of the two khajiit, who hadn't spoken since their arrival, merely watching the discussion go on. The doors opened once again, and the masked woman from earlier, the one he'd revealed his condition to, stepped inside, quickly finding a place away from the main group.

    Andros stepped forwards, placing both hands on the table. "What about a two pronged assault? The heavier elements of our party-" he pointed at the nord inquisitor, the knight, the steel-armored khajiit, and the greatsword wielder, "-lead a head on assault. Meanwhile, the rest of us find a gap in their defenses and slip inside. We'll take out the defenders on the walls and regroup in the courtyard. "
     
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  17. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    Rather than confirm or deny his assumption, the masked and hooded woman turned her back on him, a bold gesture, considering she knew very little about him. Confident in her abilities then. Or a fool. She seemed like him, lightly armoured, and he'd seen her display her climbing skills along with the others. With a shrug, Argus followed her inside, pausing to let his eyes adapt to the dim light inside the jarls hall. Braziers provided light, and the assassin noticed people moving around the hall, too many to be just the jarls' servants. Refugees, almost certainly. Most looked exhausted from the road, or from what they'd seen on it. Others simply seemed happy to have somewhere to rest, sprawling out on whatever they could use as beds, or simply the stone floor. Argus pitied them, but there was nothing he could do.

    Voices tinged with irritation, and in some cases outright anger, could be heard from ahead. Argus lengthened his stride, and noted the others from the inn standing around a plain table, along with a blonde haired, tired looking nord who he assumed was the jarl. A masked axeman, who, Argus noted, had not been at the inn, spoke up, suggesting multiple attacks. The argonian frowned, wondering just what he'd missed. Joining the group, he stepped up beside the nord inquisitor, Elspeth, and peered down at the map. Several carved pieces of wood sat upon the parchment, presumably pinpointing strategic locations. It seemed their target was a fort to the north east, though the name was unfamiliar to him. He nodded to the masked man, nordic, by his accent, "A sound plan. But we must keep in mind that even the best laid plans fall apart upon contact with the enemy. This enemy in particular."
     
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  18. Screeching Spasmodically

    Screeching Spasmodically Spasmodic Screecher

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    Khajira set her hands on her hips. This talk was getting tiring. The jarl had summoned them, true, but they were getting nowhere, even after her idea. Only the masked man with the axe seemed even a little interested in the idea. The one eyed man still seemed reluctant to do anything that involved leaving the city. Even after being shouted down by three of the assembled warriors, he spouted some dire warning, before moving to the edge of the group. A masked man, robed and masked, joined them, "A daunting task, it seems. The fort, if properly garrisoned, will be difficult to take, and harder to hold. The better question is; why have the dead not swarmed the walls and slain whoever dwells within themselves?"

    "A good question, this one thinks. Perhaps magic that keeps them away?" She suggested. Khajira did not know much about mages or spells, though it made sense to her that the undead could be kept away with some arcane power. The discussion moved on, but Khajira was more interested in the woman who'd slipped in. Her upper face was hidden by the poor lighting and the hem of her hood, but the torchlight illuminated a long scar that passed through the center of her lips. The khajiit woman tilted her head slightly, examining the shrouded womans' gear and clothing. The masked axeman spoke again, suggesting a two pronged attack against the fortress, pointing at Khajira and several others and having them assigned to slipping over the castle walls. He then selected several to head in on a direct assault and hold the attention of whatever was inside. "It is settled then. Khajiit and others will slip inside, while the rest rush the entrance as a distraction." She hid a yawn behind her hand. "But we should get some rest before the night is completely gone."
     
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  19. Rafen

    Rafen Active Member

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    With the less than enthusiastic redguard dealt with, the group turned their attention to the problem of Fellglow keep. There was some confused half plans, and worries about being bombarded by the defenders if they were spotted. Worries Beran shared. Storming a position that favored the defenders was never a good idea, and if the attackers prevailed, it was generally at high cost. If the fort was indeed inhabited by unfriendly individuals, getting inside would be difficult, to put it mildly. To his mild surprise, it was the masked man, who, up until now hadn't said much, suggested the group split up, with the stealthier, lightly armored types slipping past the defenses while the others caused a distraction at the main gates. It was a good plan, even if it involved Beran rushing directly into the teeth of the defenses. He'd had worse odds, and chances were he would again before this plague of undead was resolved.

    He nodded his agreement with the khajiit woman who'd been at the inn. "Aye. We should all get our rest. If we are to take this fort at first light, we will need our strength." He noticed the masked and hooded woman he'd first encountered by the wall slipping inside and leaning against one of pillars, her face shadowed. She seemed content to observe the proceedings without adding anything of her own. He got the idea she was not much a team player. That might cause a problem at a later date, but alienating her now would accomplish nothing. "I will meet you all at the gates at dawn." He announced, moving to the exit with a nod to the two khajiit newcomers as he did so.

    Darkness had fallen, and the damnable wind chilled even him. Picking up his pace, he took the stairs down to the city proper and made his way to the barracks. "The jarl suggested we rest here." He suggested to the guard outside, who was warming himself by one of the braziers. "Aye, we heard." The man replied. "There's plenty of empty beds. Jarl ordered some new barracks constructed and a lot of the lads sleep there now. Help yourself." Beran nodded his thanks, and pushed inside, careful not to wake the guardsmen who were trying to rest. A game of dice was going on in one corner, and he found himself hoping that the one eyed coward did not try to swindle these men as well. He found an empty bed, fresh furs dumped atop it. Quickly, he stripped out of his armor until he was naked to the waist, revealing the bandages covering his broad chest. He crawled beneath the furs, rested his head upon the straw pillow, and was asleep in a moment.
     
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  20. Rell

    Rell Member

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    The conversation still dragged on, but by now Hallen had lost interest. He was still tired from the road, and he doubted the others would finish their planning any time soon. The door to the hall opened, and the same blasted woman that had been at the tavern entered, skirting the edge of the group before setting her back against one of the many pillars in dragonsreach. Hallen was careful not to make eye contact, glancing to the othe side of the hall even as the argonian he'd seen in the bar joined the group. The large nord who'd told him off announced he was going to get some rest and planned to see the rest of the group at first light.

    "I think I'll join you." Hallen said quietly, having nothing to add to the continuing conversation. He followed the nord outside, wrapping his cloak around him in a vain attempt to escape the biting winds. It was getting colder, now that the sun had set. He eyed the inn longingly, but knew better than to go in their. He hadn't thrown the first punch, but there was a good chance the innkeeper would be less than pleased to see him. He trudged along the road instead, until he reached the guardhouse, near the gates. A single guard stood on duty, warming himself by a lit brazier. Hallen stepped inside, grateful for the warmth, and selected an empty bed. Joining the game of dice in the corner was tempting, but he had no wish to anger a few dozen guards. Instead he laid on the bed on his back, resting his head on his arms. He still didn't agree with the plan, but he had come to Whiterun to help, and help he would." I may be as insane as the rest of them." With that thought in the back of his mind, he drifted to sleep.
     
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