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Wyldfyre

Discussion in 'Skyrim Fan Fiction' started by shadowkitty, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. KaitoGhost

    KaitoGhost Sea Sponge First Mate

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    Oh plops.
     
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  2. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    CHAPTER 111: AURIEL’S BOW

    Wyldfyre blinked. The bright sunlight startled her; as did the scents that assaulted her nostrils. She smelt another Werewolf, an Elf, a Vampire and...two Dragons? This was not the Hunting Grounds.

    “I’m not dead” she said as her vision cleared and she saw the owners of the scents, all peering down at her.

    “Well, that is debatable” Samuel half smiled, half frowned. He glanced to Serana.

    “What?” Wyldfyre asked then, worried. Her body felt numb. She could have sworn that she had plummeted to the ice below, broken every bone in her body and then drowned in the lake.

    “Not dead” one of the dragons said helpfully. Wyldfyre peered more closely at Serana. Her eyes glowed wildly and her mouth and chin was covered in blood, which had dripped down the front of her armour. Samuel also had a mixed look of awe and fright on his face. Now she was more curious than worried.

    “Alright. Can someone tell me what happened? Why am I not at the bottom of the lake?”

    “Well” Serana started “I saw you go over the balcony, but I couldn’t save you. I..was occupied with the Elf and when I saw what he did to you I..lost it”

    “A fitting end for my Brother” Wyldfyre swung her head around and saw Gelebor standing next to Samuel. He smiled sadly at her.

    “It still doesn’t explain how I am still alive, and back up here on the balcony I am assuming?”

    “I recovered your body from the lake” the smallest of the dragons said.

    “You broke our ice” the other stated rather sternly. It puffed warm air at her.

    “I’m sorry” she apologised. “I didn’t mean to plummet to my death into your lake”

    “I brought you back” the smaller dragon then said excitedly “With the Old One” Now Wyldfyre was really confused. She looked at Serana and raised a questioning eyebrow.

    “I healed you, but it wasn’t enough. The dragon and I combined...our blood, to bring you back.”

    “So I was dead?”

    “Close to it” Samuel said. Wyldfyre sat up, her head swimming slightly. Her body thrummed all over. She felt far from broken. She felt invigorated. She looked over the ruins of the balcony and saw the body of Gelebor’s brother laying in a crumpled heap, a large pool of blood spreading out from his neck. Then she realised what Serana had said.

    “Wait... you used your blood?”

    “And mine!” said the dragon. It pawed at the balcony railing restlessly. Bits of it crumbled under the dragon’s claws.

    “I’m sorry, but I was distraught.” Serana tried to defend her actions “I thought you were dying. I did what I thought necessary to bring you back. We gave you my blood and the dragon’s blood. It did the trick.”

    “I’m not a vampire” Wyldfyre stated. Indeed she did not detect any vampire urges inside her. It seemed her Were/Dragon mix had once again stopped any changes to her. She still wasn’t sure how she survived the fall however, and voice that question. It was the larger of the dragons who answered.

    “Your soft human body froze when it broke our ice and entered our lake. The cold preserved you until you were recovered and brought here.”

    “Alright” Wyldfyre nodded. There were many questions swirling through her head but she felt that only Paarthurnax could answer them. Instead, she stood as the others gave her room. Samuel shook his head, his eyes filled with awe.

    “I would never have believed it if I hadn’t of seen it with my own eyes. You are immortal Wyldfyre”

    “Pfft!” Wyldfyre snorted “I am no God, Samuel. Just lucky” But Samuel was not convinced. The dragons watched with curiosity as the four humans briefly examined the body of Gelebor’s fallen brother, then made their way down into the court yard. A shrine, that wasn’t there before, now stood in the middle of the yard.

    “And now, as promised” Gelebor said, inviting them to enter the shrine. In the centre of the shrine, floating mystically over the pedestal was a stunningly beautiful bow. It shone with an ethereal glow. Wyldfyre sighed. Finally, it was theirs.

    “You take it” Wyldfyre said to Serana. The vampire stepped forward and plucked the bow from mid air. She examined it closely.

    “It kind of..vibrates”

    “It is the power of Auri-El Himself” Gelebor said with reverence.

    “Err.. this may be a silly question” Samuel stepped forward “But what do we do with it now?”

    “That, is entirely your choice” Gelebor said and turned to Wyldfyre “You risked everything to get Auri-El's Bow, and in turn, you've restored the Chantry. I can't think of a more deserving champion to carry it than you. If you wish to learn more about the bow, or obtain Sunhallowed Arrows for it, I'd be more than happy to help. You've but to ask”

    “Sunhallowed Arrows?”

    “The bow has the power to control the sun. Shooting a Sunhallowed Elven Arrow from Auriel's Bow at the sun will cause it to undergo an explosion, causing beams of harmful sunlight to rain down on all enemies.”

    “If it has that affect on the sun then why is my father after it?” Serana asked. Gelebor’s face darkened.

    “Shooting a Bloodcursed Elven Arrow from Auriel's Bow at the sun will cause an explosion of darkness to form around it. This creates a false-night. When night becomes day in which a vampire is unaffected by the daylight.”

    “How long does it last for?” Wyldfyre asked then, her blood running cold.

    “If you have enough blood, indefinitely” The Snow Elf answered sombrely.

    “Serana” Wyldfyre turned to her friend.

    “I know” the vampire said, her face growing red with rage “My father intends to keep me chained to a wall somewhere so he can leech off me. Vampires walking around in the day time? It will mean the end of humanity as we know it”

    “I’m starting to wonder if retrieving this bow was such a good idea” Samuel said.

    “We can’t let it fall into their hands. The bow and Serana must be protected.” Wyldfyre said then. Serana recovered, squared her shoulders and looked at them all.

    “No, my father needs to be stopped. I will not run and hide. I’ve been hidden away for far too long. I will destroy him!” She shook the bow. “Gelebor, can you show us how to make these Sunhallowed Arrows?” Gelebor inclined his head and produced a quiver of Elven arrows from thin air. He handed the quiver to Wyldfyre and then took out all of the arrows, laying them out on the ground. He bowed his head and muttered a few words, Wyldfyre assumed, to his God. The arrows briefly glowed then lay there. Gelebor scooped them up and placed them back in the quiver.

    “I have made these few for you, but if you need any more you have but to ask.”

    “Thank you Gelebor” said Wyldfyre as she shouldered the bow and quiver. “What will you do now?”

    “You have given me a chance to restore the Chantry to the way it was. My Brother being a vampire was not what I was expecting, but in a way, I am glad.”

    “How so?”

    “It means that the Betrayed weren’t to blame for what happened here. It means that there is still hope that they might one day shed their hatred and learn to believe in Auri-El once again.”

    “You seem to be full of hope Gelebor” Serana said.

    “Indeed” the Elf nodded, even producing a small smile “It has been a long time since I felt this way. I am forever thankful to you all.”

    “You’re welcome Gelebor” Wyldfyre said.

    *****​

    Gelebor proved to be a gracious host. Of course the Chantry was very lacking in provisions, of which the Snow Elf said he would rectify. They stayed the night, regaining their strength and set off early the next morning. The dragons flew them over the vale to the mountain on the other side, setting them down just above the tree line.

    “We can not go any further” The largest dragon said. “Our bond to the vale is too great to stray any further from it”

    “That’s fine.” Wyldfyre reassured them. “It’s more than we could have hoped for, really” They bid farewell to the dragons; the smallest one giving Samuel an extra fond nudge, which nearly sent him sprawling into the snow. After the dragons disappeared over the mountain, Wyldfyre turned to the others. She had Auriel’s Bow strapped to her back, wrapped in furs to disguise it. Samuel bore her crossbow. They were very close to Castle Volkihar. A day and a half travel at best. They needed to make a decision. To assault the castle on their own and risk being defeated and the bow and Serana delivered into Harkon’s hands, or, to return to the Dawnguard and ask for their help and risk Samuel to Isran’s wrath. It was Samuel who came up with a plan.

    “So it’s decided. We go to the Dawnguard. Isran will no doubt want to know how it is that I am no longer a vampire. We tell him the story that I was cured in the Forgotten Vale.”

    “And if he is suspicious we tell him that the device used to cure you was destroyed in the battle with the Betrayed.” They had made a collective decision not to tell anyone about the existence of the Snow Elf Gelebor, blaming the Falmar instead. They also swore to never reveal the location of the Forgotten Vale itself. They all felt that it was a place that needed to be preserved and protected from man and his destructive nature.

    It was a longer journey to return to the Dawnguard. But they figured as long as they had Serana and the Bow safe, then the Vampires quest would be at a standstill. They travelled by day, Serana needing to protect herself from the full force of the sun. She could withstand quite a lot, being an Old One. But too much exposure did make her uncomfortable and drained her energy much quicker. They decided to stay in populated places at night, thinking that Vampires would be less reluctant to attack a city with guards and equally armed citizens. They learnt from tavern owners some distressing news however.

    There had been a number of vampire attacks on smaller settlements. They attacked in the midnight hours when only the night’s watch or whores were walking the streets. Wyldfyre was worried. They weren’t just killing the citizens. They were taking them. To be either cattle or newly blooded vampires. The situation was growing worse by the day. Wyldfyre and the others decided that all haste was necessary and so they travelled day and night to get back to Fort Dawnguard.

    They were challenged at the gates of the palisade that surrounded the fort. Wyldfyre had to convince the guards, who didn’t know her, that she was the Harbinger of the Companions and that her two companions were under her protection. Even so, they were escorted into the fort by a squad of armed men. Wyldfyre noticed a lot of activity. Men packing weapons, checking armour, packing provisions.

    “Looks like the whole fort is about to go mobile” Samuel muttered.

    “Indeed. It appears we arrived just in time” Wyldfyre nodded. They were taken up a floor and straight to Isran’s rooms. When the men announced their arrival Isran’s eyes flew to the group. He drew his weapon and lunged at Samuel. Wyldfyre however was ready and grabbed Samuel and Serana and shouted.

    “FEIM!” instantly all three became nothing but spectral beings, unable to be harmed. Isran staggered right through them, and the other guards shouted in alarm.

    “Isran!” Wyldfyre said sternly “Stay your hand! Samuel is no longer the enemy you think” Isran turned and tried to stab at Samuel again but his sword passed through the young man harmlessly.

    “What is this magic?” he sneered. “And why do you bring that thing back here, after you helped it escape in the first place?”

    “Isran. Samuel is no longer a vampire. He has been cured. AND we bring the only weapon that can defeat the vampire menace once and for all!” Her shout wore off and they became solid once again. Wyldfyre had her hand on her sword hilt, waiting to act if necessary. But Isran surprised her. He sheathed his sword and stood calmly.

    “I’m listening” he said slowly.

    *****​

    Isran certainly was suspicious. He asked many times as to the nature of the “device” that had cured Samuel. Why wasn’t the device used on Serana as well? Where is the Forgotten Vale located? How did they escape the Falmer? Wyldfyre and the others kept their answers as vague as possible, until she eventually grew annoyed and told Isran that they would answer no more questions. She may have used a little bit of her Dragon Aspect shout to drive the point home. After that, Isran was all business again and he filled them in on the Dawnguard’s plans to finally assault Castle Volkihar. He was sceptical about the power of Auriel’s Bow. Wyldfyre had to admit she was as well. She had not seen it in use and was concerned that they were putting all their hopes on it.

    She had to admit, later to Samuel and Serana, that Isran’s plan was both foolhardy and brilliant. They were going to attack the castle, just on dawn with the full force of the Guard. Every single member would be engaged in the battle. One of Isran’s men, a brute of a Nord called Gunmar, had even managed to train trolls and armour them as well. Wyldfyre wrinkled her nose at them as Gunmar showed her his little band of brutish soldiers. They looked at her with their three beady eyes, saliva dripping from their fangs.

    Soon all preparations were made and the whole castle emptied. They broke off into small groups, making their way to the castle by different routes so as not to raise any suspicion. Wyldfyre and the others travelled with Isran and his small elite group of guards. They lead a cracking pace across the province and were among the first to arrive at the rendezvous point, which was the old abandoned fort on the mainland, near the jetty that would take them over to the island on which the castle sat.

    Then came the laborious task of ferrying the soldiers over to the island. Some of the groups had come by way of the sea and so had brought more boats with them, but it still took the better part of the day to do it. The trolls, given how heavy they were with their steal plated armour, had to be ferried across one at a time. And that was only after Gunmar convinced them to even step into the small vessels in the first place. Trolls, it appeared, were not the sea faring type.

    Wyldfyre and the others were the first to set foot on the island. They scouted the area, finding no signs of life outside the castle. Serana grew restless as the day drew on, and so the three of them took up a lookout position in a small tower while the army was ferried across. They sat in a small circle, not daring to light a fire to warm themselves, and finding it not totally necessary anyway.

    “Did you see the strange looks we were getting from the soldiers?” Samuel asked. Serana nodded. Wyldfyre had noticed it as well. She figured it was due to the three of them being outsiders.

    “I did. But didn’t think much on it.”

    “Well I know why they look at me weird. I was a vampire and now I’m not. Serana, you are one, that is a good reason for them to be wary. But you Wyldfyre... I think they are scared of you” Again Wyldfyre snorted in amusement.

    “Afraid of me? I find that hard to believe Samuel.”

    “I know it to be true!” he protested. “You can see it in their eyes when you walk by. They stop what they are doing. Their eyes are full of fear and respect, and awe”. But Wyldfyre merely laughed.

    “Plus” Samuel continued “I’ve heard them talking. When they thought I couldn’t hear them. They think you are akin to a God or something. They have heard the stories, about how you defeated Alduin and Miraak”

    “Samuel” Wyldfyre warned, but he was adamant and continued.

    “And I may or may not have told them about your little fall in the Forgotten Vale..”

    “Samuel! Why would you do that?” Wyldfyre scolded.

    “I’m sorry. But some of them were questioning your integrity and I had to....”

    “Never mind” Wyldfyre held up a hand. “It’s done” she sighed. She had been wondering why the soldiers had been treating her different. Now she knew.

    “That fall would have killed anyone else” he said sullenly, pouting like a child that had just been reprimanded by an adult. Wyldfyre turned to him, her green eyes clear and blazing.

    “I would have had it not of been for Serana and the dragon. I am not a God Samuel. Just..slightly different. I’m not anything special. You need to stop thinking I am, because I’m just not”

    “Many would beg to differ” Serana added in.

    “Not you to?” Wyldfyre groaned. “Just..leave it will you? That’s the end of it.”

    “Of course, Harbinger” Samuel inclined his head reverently. Wyldfyre glared at him then turned her attention to the bow. She unwrapped it from its swaddle of furs and ran her fingers over the intricate carvings.

    “I just hope this works, otherwise this is going to be all for nothing.”

    “It will” Serana nodded, taking Wyldfyre’s hand in hers. “I know it will”

    “It’s going to be an epic battle either way. Samuel and I can’t change forms, nor do I think it wise for you to change into your other self Serana”

    “Not unless I want to be be-headed by your fidgety Dawnguard friend.”

    “Huh.. Isran is NO friend of mine” Wyldfyre frowned. How right she was about that, was soon to be revealed.
     
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  3. KaitoGhost

    KaitoGhost Sea Sponge First Mate

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    forshadowing...
     
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  4. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    CHAPTER 112: ASSAULT ON CASTLE VOLKIHAR

    There was no further reason to delay. The entire army was standing on the rocky shore of the island, the castle looming over them like a great hulking beast. Wyldfyre could tell the men and women of the Dawnguard were nervous. And they had a right to be. No-one knew for certain what they were about to come up against behind the large wooden door and beyond. They all carried their health potions and, more importantly, potions of cure disease. No-one wanted to be turned into a vampire. Wyldfyre knew that a little potion would only do so much though. The vampires inside that castle were old and very powerful. They could compel any one of them to do their bidding; even turning on their comrades. A small vile of liquid would not stop having one’s mind completely taken over.

    Isran gave the order and the army marched towards the bridge. As soon as they set foot on the rough stones however, four stone gargoyle statues burst into life. At that same moment, the doors to the castle also sprang open and vampires streamed out and charged down the bridge to aid the beasts. Spells and arrows flew through the air in all directions. All hell broke loose.

    Isran ordered the bulk of his army up the bridge to engage the gargoyles and the vampires, Wyldfyre and her companions among them. She found it difficult not to change into her wolf form. It would have been a lot easier to take the gargoyle out with her claws and large canines. She gritted her teeth instead and used her crossbow and magic attacks. She had made the decision not to use Auriel’s Bow until they came against Lord Harkon himself. They had a very limited number of arrows and she needed to preserve them for use against their greatest enemy. The bow remained strapped to her back and she used her crossbow instead.

    Serana and Samuel stuck close to her. They knew they would have to make their way into the castle even before all the vampires were taken down outside. She and Isran had gone over the plan many times. She and her companions, along with Isran and his elite force would storm the castle and look for Lord Harkon, the remainder of the army taking out stragglers and rescuing any humans they found in the castle dungeons. Wyldfyre spied Isran as he made his way towards them and she nodded. He returned the nod and called his guards to him.

    “Elite! With me!” He yelled, and they ran for the castle. They poured through the doors, those with crossbows taking aim at anything inside that moved. That included the human cattle that ran screaming from the large dining hall. Wyldfyre was beyond appalled.

    “Isran! Your men are killing innocents!” she yelled over the ruckus, but he either didn’t hear, or he was ignoring her. Wyldfyre growled in anger and shoved at a Dawnguard member who had just felled another of the poor humans who was trying to escape the fighting.

    “What are you doing?” She yelled at the man.

    “Following orders” was all the soldier said before rushing off. Wyldfyre looked around desperately for Serana and Samuel. She strode over to them.

    “Isran has his own agenda here. We need to find your father and get this over with” She said to them. Serana nodded.

    “I know where he will be. Follow me” and she took off up a flight of stairs, Wyldfyre and Samuel following behind. They left the fighting and sped along a hallway. Just before they reached the door she heard running footsteps behind her and Isran and a few of his soldiers were with him. She had no time to stop and yell at him though. Serana yanked on the ancient door and it screeched open.

    “When we are done here, you and I have things to talk about Isran” Wyldfyre glared at him. Isran stopped in front of her and his guards crowded around, too close for Wyldfyre’s liking. Something was off. She stepped through the door after Serana but before Samuel could follow her, the guards sprang forward, disarming Samuel and knocking him to the ground. Wyldfyre lunged at the door but it was slammed closed and when she tried to open it, she found that it had been barred, locking her and Serana inside. Isran had betrayed them.

    *****​

    Wyldfyre slammed herself against the door again and again, cursing Isran and calling for Samuel, but he did not answer her mental pleas. He had obviously been knocked unconscious. She was shocked at Isran’s betrayal, but also angry at herself for not having seen it coming. Samuel... what is he doing to him? She cried out in anger and frustration. She leant her head against the door sobbing, until a hand curled over hers.

    “Wyldfyre” Serana said softly “We can’t help Samuel now, but we can finish what we came here to do”. Wyldfyre turned and sniffed.

    “I can’t believe that man! After all the plans we went through. He was supposed to be here with us. But no, all along he had plans of his own”

    “I know my love, but we can’t do anything about it now” Serana soothed her. Wyldfyre glared at the door.

    “When I get out of here I am going to rip his heart out Serana, if he has hurt Samuel..”

    “Yes, and I will be there to help with that, but like I said. We are the ones in terrible danger right now.” She urged Wyldfyre away from the door. “My father is very close, up this hall and in the next room. He is waiting for us”. Wyldfyre took one last look at the door and turned.

    “All right, lead the way” They crept silently up the hall towards the room that Serana’s father, Lord Harkon was waiting for them in. The doors were open and a faint light spilled out onto the floor in the hall. Wyldfyre readied Auriel’s Bow. It thrummed in her hands and the arrow shone slightly. She took a deep breath and stepped boldly into the opening. The room beyond was large and dark, lit only by thin slits high up in the wall towards the back of the room. Lord Harkon was there, in his vampire lord form, hovering in front of some sort of fountain that flowed with blood instead of water. He sneered at Serana as they entered the room.

    "So, you've returned. Is your... dog keeping you entertained?"

    "You know why we're here father." Serana stepped forward slightly. Harkon briefly looked to Wyldfyre, who held Auriel’s Bow in front of her, notched with a Sunblessed arrow.

    "Of course I do. You disappoint me, daughter. You've taken everything I provided for you and thrown it all away for this... Hound”. Serana laughed at his words.

    "Provided for me? Are you mad? You've destroyed our family. You’ve taken countless lives. All for some made up prophecy! Well, no more! I'm done with you. And you will not touch Wyldfyre." Serana moved to Wyldfyre’s side.

    “Your voice drips with the venom of your mother's influence.” Harkon spat out angrily “How alike you've become.”

    "No” Serana shook her head “Because unlike her, I'm not afraid of you. I’m not hiding, not anymore." Harkon turned his anger onto Wyldfyre.

    "You! It appears I have you to thank for turning my daughter against me. I knew it was only a matter of time before she'd return with hatred in her heart."

    “That hatred was of your doing Harkon, and yours alone” Wyldfyre glared at him.

    "A small price to pay for the betterment of our kind." He said down to her.

    “Not if I have anything to do about it” She gripped the bow tighter.

    "Funny. The Werewolf turned vampire hunter. Do they know what you are out there? And what happens when you've slain me? Is Serana next?"

    “I would never harm Serana. She's too important to me” Wyldfyre said, causing Serana to stir beside her. Harkon shook his head slowly.

    "Then my daughter is truly lost. She died the moment she accepted a mortal into her life." If only he knew how wrong that statement was, but Wyldfyre was not about to tell him of her unusual blood mixture.

    “I'm only here to kill you, and this is about more than killing vampires”. Harkon peered at the bow, it was so close to being his.

    "Ah, of course. The prophecy. You've come here to stop me from taking Auriel's Bow and shrouding the world in darkness." Wyldfyre’s impatience got the better of her. She was done with this talk and worried for Samuel.

    “Enough of this!” she cried.

    "Yes, quite” Harkon agreed “I'm growing weary of speaking to you and my traitorous daughter. I'll give you a single chance to turn over the bow to me. There will not be a second."

    “I will never give you the bow Harkon” Wyldfyre said clearly. A flash of annoyance crossed over the vampires face.

    "Very well then, you leave me no choice!" He suddenly threw his arms up and released a spell. Skeletons strewn about the room that Wyldfyre had not noticed until now, sprang to life. They slowly stood and took up weapons and advanced on the pair. They both drew their swords and cut their way through the bone men. The skeletons were weak and served only as a distraction while Harkon called a couple of Gargoyle statues to life. The sound was almost deafening as the stone broke apart and the beasts sprang forward. Harkon himself threw his drain life spell at Wyldfyre and Serana. Wyldfyre could feel her energy draining as she battled one of the gargoyles. The beast had her pressed against a wall and it swiped at her with its huge clawed hands. Wyldfyre felt a searing pain in her leg as the beasts claws opened up gashes in her leg.

    Just as she thought that the gargoyle would be the end of her, a sword suddenly protruded from its stomach. Serana had saved her. She only had time to nod her thanks before two more of the creatures were brought to life by the Vampire Lord.

    “We need to attack him directly!” Serana shouted over the roars. Wyldfyre scanned the room for Harkon and found him hovering up in an alcove. She steeled herself, bringing Auriel’s Bow forward and aiming a Sunblessed arrow at the vampire. She released the arrow and it whistled through the air and struck the vampire in the stomach. The resulting explosion was spectacular. The room was suddenly bathed in a brilliant, yellow-gold light. The Vampire Lord screeched in pain, as did the gargoyle, and it recoiled from the light and scampered to darker corners of the room. Wyldfyre was impressed. She shot another arrow and it hit the vampire again. She had to shield her eyes as the blinding light lit the entire room. The vampire howled and then suddenly wasn’t there.

    Wyldfyre scanned the room, but she could not see Lord Harkon. She looked over to Serana, who was battling the remaining gargoyle. Wyldfyre went to her aid; swinging her sky forged steel one-handed while she gripped Auriel’s Bow in the other. They finished off the gargoyle and then turned in time to see Harkon re-appearing above the blood fountain. A shimmering barrier covered his form and it appeared he was gaining his strength back, drawing power from the fountain itself. Wyldfyre groaned inwardly. She had seen the same thing before when she had battled Miraak. He had sacrificed his dragons to gain back his health, making the battle with him stretch out longer than it should have. Harkon was the same, siphoning whatever mystical energies that blood fountain contained.

    She shot an arrow at the vampire but it shattered when it hit the barrier. All Wyldfyre and Serana could do was to wait until Harkon had fully regained his health again.

    “We must not let him back near that fountain!” Serana said to Wyldfyre quietly. The woman nodded and waited. She had no plan as to how to keep the vampire away from its source of regeneration apart from just hitting it with her full force. She gripped the bow, aiming it for the Vampire, waiting for the barrier to lower. But she wasn’t quick enough for as soon as the force field did lower, the Vampire dissolved into a screeching swarm of bats. The swarm flew straight at Wyldfyre. They darted in, each one biting and clawing at her as she tried to fend them off in vain. Soon she was dripping with blood from dozens of tiny wounds. Wyldfyre then remembered her dragon aspect shout and used it. As soon as the dragon armour had encased her body, she was protected by the creatures’ attacks. The bat swarm flew off and formed into Lord Harkon once again.

    “You are no match for me!” he mocked her as she tried to catch her breath. Wyldfyre grabbed another arrow and Harkon sped away before she could take aim. She growled in frustration.

    “Face me coward!” she yelled into the darkened room, her dragon armour glowing bright. But except for a whistling of the wind through the windows, there was no answer. Wyldfyre’s arm shook as she held the bow strung tight, arrow notched and ready, scanning the room for any movement. Then a faint rustling noise broke behind her and the bats swarmed at her again. They bounced off her protective barrier, unable to get through to her exposed skin underneath.

    The bats screeched angrily and flew off to attack Serana instead. Wyldfyre moved to the back of the room, positioning herself between the bat swarm and the blood fountain. Serana used her drain life on the small creatures and they flew off into an above alcove. This time Wyldfyre was ready and as soon as Harkon re-appeared she shot him with another Sunblessed arrow. It hit true and the vampire howled with rage as he was bathed in sunlight. His skin sizzled under the intense light and he sought out the blood fountain, only to find a glowing Wyldfyre in his way. Harkon drew his sword, a vicious looking long steel thing that glowed red and emanated evil.

    “Out of my way, she-wolf” the vampire Lord sneered at the woman. She stood steadfast though, not budging and inch, that damned cursed arrow pointed straight at his heart. For the first time ever in his long life, he started to doubt his abilities. He was afraid. And this shocked him to his core. He did the only thing he could though and moved forward, slicing his sword through the air. The woman fired the arrow and he was quick enough to knock it away, but not quick enough to do the same for the bolt that plunged into his side that came from another. He looked to his left and there, with a crossbow in her hands, was his daughter. Hatred filled her eyes as she notched another bolt.

    “Not another step, father” she said in a deadly tone. Harkon sneered at his defiant daughter.

    “I should have locked you up when I first read of that prophecy. Killed your traitorous mother and then none of this would be happening” He shook with rage “I would have the bow and Vampires would rule supreme over this cursed land! I would.....” He was interrupted by an explosion of sunlight as a Sunblessed arrow plunged into his heart. Harkon screamed in pain as the burning spread throughout his body. He dropped his sword and groped at his chest as globs of flesh started to fall off. His skin and insides bubbled and boiled and Wyldfyre and Serana recoiled in horror as the vampire literally melted in front of their eyes. A puddle of blood and gore was soon all that was left of the Vampire Lord.

    Wyldfyre stood there in the next few quiet seconds. They had done it. They had destroyed Harkon and along with him the threat to Skyrim. But it didn’t feel like a victory. It left Wyldfyre with a sour taste in her mouth and emptiness in her heart. Her thoughts turned immediately to Samuel and Isran. A clatter to her right brought her out of her thoughts. She turned to see Serana had dropped to her knees, face in hands and sobbing, her sword at her side. She went to her friend and threw her arm over her.

    “He was still my father” Wyldfyre heard Serana’s muffled sobs.

    “I know” Wyldfyre soothed. “And I understand your hurt”. Serana’s hand found its way into Wyldfyre’s and she squeezed it.

    “Thank you” was all she said. It was all that was needed.

    *****​

    The two women made their way through the castle. They had to go through a lot of the older part of the building to get back to the main hall. The door Isran had locked, remained so, and try as they might, the women could not break through the old ancient door. As they walked through the castle, it became very clear to the women that the fighting was over. In fact, it became clear to them that there was no other living thing in the castle. No noises echoed through the hallways. As they neared the main hall they could see evidence of the battle. Small ash piles where a vampire had perished, bodies of slain Dawnguard soldiers and most distressing of all, ragged corpses of human cattle that were killed by Isran’s men. Wyldfyre squatted at one of the bodies; a pretty Imperial woman, her throat slit and a bolt protruding from her chest.

    “Damn Isran to Oblivion!” Wyldfyre cursed. She stood and they continued to the main hall. It was strewn with ash piles, dead Death hounds, trolls and gargoyles, Dawnguard and humans. They searched the hall but Samuel was not among the fallen, and the remaining Dawnguard army, gone.

    “They must have taken him” Serana said, her fingers flexing dangerously. “Wyldfyre, would they have taken him back to Fort Dawnguard?”

    “It’s possible, but for what reason? Isran knows better than to cross me, and by taking one of my own, he has done precisely that.”

    “He will pay for his betrayal” Serana agreed. Before they left the castle, Serana and Wyldfyre went back to Valerica’s laboratory and wrote a note, attached it to Auriel’s Bow and threw it into the Soul Cairn.

    “Hopefully my mother will see that and she will come back to Skyrim”

    “And leave the bow behind, like we asked” Wyldfyre added. It was time for them to leave and Serana closed the Castle door behind them, placing her hand on the old wood for a second.

    “I don’t know if I even want to come back here” she sighed. She looked at Wyldfyre then squared her shoulders. “Come on. We have a certain Wolf pup to rescue.”
     
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  5. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    Sorry it's been so long. I've been going through a personal tragedy. But I almost have the next chapter finished and I will post it soon. <3
     
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  6. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    CHAPTER 113: The Silencing

    Fort Dawnguard stood ominously dark and silent as Wyldfyre and Serana approached. As soon as they were close enough Wyldfyre had sent out a call to Samuel, relief washing over her when he answered.

    “Samuel, are you all right?” she questioned her shield brother.

    “Hurt” Samuel answered. Wyldfyre’s heart thumped in her chest. Samuel’s communication to her was stilted, like how a Were beast would speak. Why had he transformed? What had they done to him? She gripped her crossbow tighter.

    “We are coming” she said as she slipped silently past the first palisade.

    “They know” Samuel then sent to her “They know we are Werebeast. The Circle. They know about all of us” Wyldfyre cursed under her breath, causing Serana to look at her with concern.

    “How Samuel? What happened?” And so Samuel, with his limited beast vocabulary, had told her of his capture and journey back to Fort Dawnguard. When he had come back to his senses he found that he was bound and thrown on the back of a horse, speeding along a narrow path, his captor, Isran, at the reins. From what he could tell, the Dawnguard had suffered a great loss at the battle of Castle Volkihar; reduced to a mere dozen men and women. When they had arrived at the Fort, he had been chained to the metal grating in the main circular entrance chamber. Isran and his men had tortured him, questioning him about being cured from vampirism. Samuel had not transformed into his beast form to protect the Circle, no matter what they inflicted upon him.

    Samuel had stuck to his story about finding a device in the Forgotten Vale. But Isran was not so convinced. He then started questioning the young man about the Companions, in particular the Circle. Samuel grew more alarmed when Isran’s questioning clearly started to reveal that he knew more than was safe to allow. Samuel endured the torture for days until he had finally broken and transformed into his beast form. It was like Isran had waited for that very moment, he and his men restraining Samuel in a way so that he could not transform back into his human self. After that he had been left alone, as if the castle had been abandoned. But now as Wyldfyre and Serana approached, he could feel the castle was coming to life again, but the Dawnguard members had remained silent and hidden in the shadows of the upper wings.

    “You can’t come here” Samuel fretted to his shield sister. “It’s a trap”

    “Of course it’s a trap...” Wyldfyre snorted. “..which is why we are coming in”. She broke off contact with the young man.

    “So it is as we suspected?” Serana asked.

    “Yes” Wyldfyre nodded “But it’s worse. Isran knows about the Circle. Samuel is in his beast form.”

    “Good thing we are prepared then” Serana said as they pushed through the Fort’s big double entrance door.

    Samuel, true to his story, was chained to the metal drainage that was inset into the floor of the main chamber. Wyldfyre’s nostrils flared as the acidic smell of blood hit her. She could not tell how extensive his injuries were, but the young wolf sat half slumped on the floor, his arms spread out wide on either side by the thick metal chains. A wave of anger washed over Wyldfyre when she realised that if Samuel were to change back into his human form, the tight chains would have caused his arms to be ripped out of their sockets. Now she understood why he had remained in this form.

    Wyldfyre sensed half a dozen people above in the castle’s upper wing. The ambush was inevitable. She sighed and stepped forward, over the threshold of the main hall, Serana close behind her. Before they were three steps in there was a thunderous crashing and grinding of gears and great metal gates rose up at the four exits of the hall, imprisoning them. Wyldfyre readied her crossbow and scanned the upper balconies until she saw the man she was most interested in seeing again. He sauntered out of the shadows, clapping his hands slowly.

    “Well done, Companion. Well done”

    “Isran” Wyldfyre spat his name in anger.

    “I didn’t think you and your vampire could do it, but here you are. Colour me impressed”

    “I don’t need accolades from you Isran.” Wyldfyre glared at the Redguard. Her bow was trained on the man, as were half a dozen aimed straight at her. “Not from one who murders innocents!”

    “I put those creatures out of their misery. It was a mercy killing.”

    “Killing those humans was no mercy Isran. They could have been sent back to their homes. What of their families, their loved ones? How do you intend to explain to them what happened at that castle?”

    “What do I intend?” the man sneered “I intend to do nothing, She-wolf” he waited for a second. “Oh yes. I know what you and your Circle members are.”

    “Clearly” she glared at him then glanced at Samuel, who was helpless in his chains. “as clearly as what your intentions are now.” Isran’s men shifted nervously. There were six men and women and each of them had their crossbows aimed at the three friends down below. The Redguard himself held a bow ready. “A step forward for you Isran. Don’t you normally like to keep things secret, like your betrayal at the castle?”

    “I suppose I should give you an explanation for that” Isran drawled “But I am wondering if you would be able to comprehend my reasoning”

    “Oh no please, by all means enlighten me” Wyldfyre said, her muscles straining against her crossbow. Normally she would interrupt the villain at this point, but Wyldfyre was stalling and as long as Isran didn’t know what she was doing, then she would let him have his little speech. She glared up at the man she hated with all her soul, but she heard no words from his mouth. Instead she was listening for the others. Samuel whimpered beside her and shifted in his chains; he sensed them to.

    “Wyldfyre....”

    “Hush, whelp” she interrupted him. She needed to concentrate.

    The Circle had entered the valley unseen on swift feet. Wyldfyre could now feel them entering the castle via other entrances. She needed to indulge Isran long enough to give her family time to get into position. She sought out Aiden, high up in the western tower, making his way down the winding stairs.

    “Aiden”

    “Sister. Are you and the others all right?”

    “Samuel is hurt but we are fine for now, but I don’t know how long I can stall Isran. We are trapped in the main hall. Isran and six of his guard are in the upper wings. Aiden, do you feel Samuel?”

    “Yes, he is wolf”

    “You know what that means, don’t you?” Her question had an ominous air to it.

    “I do. I will relay this to the others. Hold on sister, we are coming” Wyldfyre’s focus returned to Isran.

    “...well? DO YOU?” Isran bellowed down at her. Wyldfyre blinked; having no idea what Isran had asked her.

    “I’m sorry, I lost interest” she said then. Isran’s face creased in anger.

    “It will be a pleasure to put you down. Strutting around my castle like you owned the place.” He paced back and forth ranting, like a man possessed.

    “He’s not in his right mind” Serana muttered, as the Redguard continued on with his rant.

    “I’m going to bury you and your friends here today. Then I am going to hunt down the rest of your kind. I knew from the moment I saw you that you were tainted” he sneered with disgust.

    “We are ready” Aiden informed her. Wyldfyre glanced sideways at Serana, who nodded slightly. She felt the presence of the others as well. Luckily, Isran and his men had no idea. Wyldfyre watched Isran pace back and forth then her eyes widened with alarm. Creeping up behind him in the shadows was Farkas. She swore silently to herself, angry that she had not been able to detect him with the others. Unfortunately Isran also saw her look of alarm and whirled about, spying Farkas ready to take him. It meant that the others had to react sooner as well, but their speed enabled them to take the rest of Isran’s men by surprise. Still, stray bolts rained down on them. Wyldfyre was occupied with trying to dodge bolts and trying to see if Farkas was alright. She heard Samuel growling beside her, and she had no idea where Serana was.

    Wyldfyre watched as Farkas and Isran lashed at each other. Isran had thrown his crossbow aside and was swinging at her husband with an evil looking war hammer. They looked to be quite evenly matched except for Isran was fuelled by madness now. He lashed wildly at Farkas, making him more dangerous and unpredictable. Farkas was hard pressed. Wyldfyre searched the upper wing for Aiden and momentarily she panicked when she could not see him. But then he appeared over the rail and looked down at her. He had obviously subdued his victim.

    “Help Farkas!” she sent up to him and he wasted no time in running around the balcony. Aiden joined Farkas and together the two of them drove Isran back towards the stairs and out of sight. Wyldfyre fretted when she could no longer see them. She checked the rest of her family and they all seemed to be in one piece. There was no sign of any of Isran’s men. She turned to see if Samuel was alright and was surprised to find him free from his chains and in his human form once again.

    “Samuel!” Wyldfyre exclaimed. She hugged the young man, not caring that he was naked. He shivered in her arms but not from the cold. “It’s alright” she soothed him “It’s over.” She remained hugging Samuel as the iron gates slowly lowered. Someone had thrown the leaver in the upper wings.

    “Wyldfyre!” Farkas called out to her, rushing over and embracing her tightly. Wyldfyre buried her face in his neck and half sobbed. When she pulled away she noticed his face was a white as a sheet.

    “What’s wrong? Are you hurt?” she began to look him over for wounds.

    “I’m fine” he glanced over to Aiden who Wyldfyre then noticed bore the same expression.

    “What’s going on? What happened?” She looked around “Where is Isran...where is Serana?”

    “Um, about that...” Farkas began and hesitated, looking at Aiden again.

    “Serana took the one you call Isran” Aiden said somewhat stilted.

    “She took him...how? where?”

    “She took him, up” Aiden looked up to the round opening in the ceiling. Wyldfyre stood confused for a second before she realised what Farkas and her brother had witnessed.

    “You saw her in her true form?” Both nodded slowly. Wyldfyre swallowed. “And she took Isran? Was he alive?”

    “When we last saw him he was. I saw her at his neck....”

    “Alright” Wyldfyre nodded slowly. Serana had taken Isran...alive. And where? She shook her head. She could smell the blood thick in the air and just wanted to leave the castle but first they had to take care of the bodies of Isran’s men. An idea came to her.

    “I have an idea to dispose of... the dead.” She said to the others who had by then gathered around. Aela had found clothing for Samuel and he was pulling on suede pants and leather boots.

    “Good” grunted the Huntress. She was dotted with blood. “The sooner we leave this place, the better for all of us” Wyldfyre directed them to a hidden cave in a large cavern at the back of the castle. A short distance inside the cave was a blackened bottomless chasm. They disposed of the bodies down there and went through the castle one last time before all departing the valley for good. Wyldfyre and Farkas parted ways from the others and made their way back to the Lake House slowly, wanting to spend some time together.

    They didn’t discuss what happened back at the Fort. They both felt the same, that the slaughter of Isran’s men was tragic but necessary. Instead they talked about mundane things like house repairs and training the new recruits. They did discuss Serana and Isran’s disappearance. Wyldfyre had one idea of where Serana had gone but they chose not to talk about it any further. Serana obviously had plans for the Dawnguard leader. Wyldfyre had learned very early on that what Serana wanted, Serana got. She wondered if she would ever see her friend again.

    “Oh I forgot to tell you” Farkas said as they walked along the road that lead to Falkreath. They were almost home “While you were gone, Tilma passed away”

    “What? What happened?”

    “It is a bit of a strange story. Tilma disappeared one day. No one knew where she had gone, I mean, there wasn’t any trace of her. No scent, nothing. After a couple of days this young lass walks up to the Mead Hall, announces she is the old lady’s grand-daughter, Tilma passed away while visiting the family and that she is to take over her duties as caretaker to the Companions.”

    “I didn’t even know that Tilma had family. How horrible” Farkas grunted in agreement.

    “We couldn’t even give her the burial that was fitting. Apparently the family did it.” he then said. Wyldfyre frowned. All those years that Tilma tended to every need of the Companions and not once did she ever mention a family. A whole other life. It was, odd. And sad. Wyldfyre was profoundly saddened by the news.

    “So this grand-daughter, she checks out?”

    “Freya” Farkas offered the name and shrugged “I guess. I left that up to Vilkas. He didn’t say anything was wrong. Why? You thing something may be up?” They passed under the guard house and entered the small village of Falkreath. Familiar scents assaulted Wyldfyre’s nostrils and she sighed. Home was a matter of minutes away.

    “I’m not sure. After Isran’s betrayal I guess I am suspicious of anyone I don’t know. I’m sure it’s nothing”

    “I’ll keep an eye on her” Farkas slid his arm around his wife’s waist and gave her a squeeze. “Come on, let’s hurry.”

    “What’s your rush?” Wyldfyre laughed as they left the village behind them, starting up the road to the Lake House.

    “Oh, for some reason I am really craving a nice long hot bath with a certain red-head” he looked at her, heat in his eyes. Wyldfyre’s grin widened and she arched an eyebrow.

    “Race you!” she sang as she took off up the road, Farkas close behind her.
     
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  7. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    Next chapter coming soon. Sorry for the wait.
    In short. I lost my Dad and my Husband had a heart transplant. And I have had to deal with some pretty heavy plops. Still working on sorting myself out but I am slowly getting the next chapter done.
     
  8. Onyx Black

    Onyx Black Lord of Onyx

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    Sorry to hear about your troubles - I do hope it all works out for you - I'm also loving this series thus far, and I don't want it to end.

    But oh well.
     
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  9. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    Thank you. And thank you so much for reading and enjoying my work; means a lot. I promise the next chapter isn't far away and I have more to come.
     
  10. Onyx Black

    Onyx Black Lord of Onyx

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    You're welcome - thank you for the rep as well.
     
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  11. dunklunk

    dunklunk You seem a decent fellow. I hate to die.

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    Sorry for your loss, shadowkitty.

    How'd your husband's heart transplant go? All's well, we hope.
     
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  12. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    Thank you <3
    Transplant went great. No problems so far except for a lot of healing and muscle pain. Weekly Biopsy's have all come back with zero rejection so far, so fingers crossed it continues to do so. It's a long road for recovery but we are taking it day to day.
     
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  13. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    I know I said this months ago, but I will be working on the next chapter tonight and hopefully it will be posted soon. Sorry it's taken me so long to get back into writing. Only just found the spirit/mojo./whatever now.
     
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  14. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    Finally it's here! The long awaited chapter. Hope those of you who are still with me (Thank you <3 ) enjoy.

    Chapter 114: The Traitor among Us
    Wyldfyre frowned at the letter she held. It was from a farmer who owned land in The Pale, north-east of Whiterun. He was calling for the Companions aid in eradicating a giant that had been terrorising his cattle. Giant’s normally kept to themselves and Wyldfyre found it unusual that this one had ventured so close to a farmstead. She was deciding who to send out on the job when she felt a presence beyond the closed door of the Harbinger’s rooms. She gave a sniff and realised it was Freya, the new maidservant.

    “Come in Freya” she called. A moment of stunned silence followed before the door opened a crack.

    “Oh, Harbinger. I’m not disturbing you, am I?” she asked. Wyldfyre did not like the girl. She always had an uneasy feeling when within her vicinity. It wasn’t anything Wyldfyre could quantify. She normally reserved judgement on her opinion of a person until after she had known them for a time. But with this girl it was an instant dislike; something dark and brooding lying just under the surface that annoyed her more and more each day.

    “No Freya. What is it I can do for you?” Wyldfyre placed the letter onto a stack of similar letters and covered them with a large leather-bound book. The girl slipped into the room and closed the door.

    “It’s just...” She stammered “I have a favour to ask of you. If I may be so bold” She stepped further into the room, then stopped. Wyldfyre frowned, annoyed at the girls liking for prolonging their conversations.

    “Freya, I am very busy here. So if you have something to ask just, please do so” she snapped. The girls face twitched slightly; in fear or anger, Wyldfyre couldn’t tell.

    “Yes Harbinger” she nodded “I wanted to know if I may take my leave for a time to visit my family.”

    “Of course” the Harbinger answered; anything to get the girl out from under her. “You know that you can come and go as you please. You need not ask my permission.”

    “Oh I know. I just wanted to be polite. Well, thank you. I shall leave on the morrow” she then curtsied and left, leaving Wyldfyre to stare at the closed door. It would be good to have the girl out from under her for a while. She was always hovering about within earshot. Wyldfyre was sure the girl was up to no good. Not that Farkas took Wyldfyre’s concerns seriously.

    “The girl is harmless” he grunted one night while listening to his Wife’s ranting. “If anything I think she idolises you”. Wyldfyre had narrowed her eyes, not believing Farkas for a second.

    She turned back to the stack of jobs waiting for her attention. Gathering them up, she left the Harbinger’s rooms and went up to the main hall where most of the Companions were gathered for the evening meal. She distributed the jobs and joined her husband.

    “The girl is leaving us for a time” she whispered as she slid into the chair next to him. Farkas grunted and bit into a roast lamb leg. Even though he was no longer a werewolf, his appetite was still voracious.

    “That’s a good thing, right?” he asked between chews. Wyldfyre glared at him then smiled. She knew he was teasing. She turned to her plate and stared down at the food. It sat there looking unappealing at her. She wrinkled her nose and pushed the plate away and sighed.

    “What troubles you my love?” Farkas asked her.

    “I really don’t know. I feel... restless. Like something is supposed to be happening.” She shrugged “I don’t know. I guess I’m just, well, bored.”

    “I thought you wanted nothing more than to settle down and not have to be running all over Skyrim on some adventure” He said as he reached for her untouched plate.

    “Oh yes, I am glad for that.” She played with a strand of her wild red hair. She could not explain her restlessness. She and her fellow Circle members who were still werewolves took every opportunity they could to run under the moon. More and more though, Wyldfyre found herself running further and further, stretching the limits of her speed, strength and the rising sun. On more than one occasion she had to hold up in a cave for the day when she found herself out at sunrise, without a stitch of clothing to cover herself with. Returning to Jorrvaskr across the countryside in either her Wolf form or naked was out of the question.

    “Never mind” she leaned over and kissed her husband on the cheek. “I just need a run. I’ll go out tonight”

    “Enjoy” Farkas said as he wacked his wife’s behind when she left.

    As Wyldfyre loped along the tundra she let her human thoughts fall to the back of her mind and surrendered to the pleasure of the hunt. The predator in her soon picked up a cacophony of smells and she turned in the direction of something she recognised immediately. Man. In the distance she could see the flame of a camp fire and as she neared she could hear the crackling of the wood and rowdy conversation. The Shewolf stayed beyond the circle of firelight watching the men for a while. They looked to be nothing more than a band of travelling merchants, the cart they rested against piled high with wares. The wolf grew hungry as delicious cooking smells wafted her way on the breeze and she turned and loped off into the night.

    In the early morning hours, after a long hot soak in the Mead Hall baths, Wyldfyre crawled into bed and kissed her husband before settling down.

    “Feel better?” he whispered to her in the darkness. Wyldfyre wasn’t sure what her answer was.

    *****​

    Athis and Ria were missing. It had been several days now since Wyldfyre had sent them on the Giant eradication job and the pair had not returned. The journey to the farm, at the most should have taken two days. But a week had passed with no sign of either. Wyldfyre began to worry. Both were seasoned warriors and could handle themselves in a fight with a Giant. She was starting to think that something had gone terribly wrong. She called a meeting in the Underforge to voice her concerns.

    “We can go take a look” Aela volunteered herself and Aiden. “Though it’s more likely the two are holed up together. You know what Ria is like”

    “I’m not so sure about that” Vilkas said. He leant against one of the stone alters. “I’ve had Athis tell me on more than one occasion that although he respects Ria as a fighter, he would never accept her advances. She’s just not his type”

    “And Athis and I were planning that trip to Solstheim” Azaril added. Wyldfyre knew about the trip the two Dark Elves were planning. They were set to leave once Athis returned from this last job.

    “All right” Aiden stood. “Aela and I will take a run and see what we can find out.”

    “Please be careful both of you. I have a really bad feeling about this” Wyldfyre pleaded with them. Aiden kissed her forehead.

    We will be fine, and back before you know it, he sent to her as the others broke up the meeting and left the chamber until it was only Wyldfyre and Farkas. She sighed as he moved behind her and massaged her shoulders.

    “You need to relax my Love” he soothed her. “Athis and Ria are fine. I’m sure of it”

    “I can’t help but be worried Farkas. They are family and I don’t like it when family goes missing”

    “Is there nothing I can do to take your mind off things?” he said as his hands slipped down further. His fingers found the ties to her tunic top and Wyldfyre could feel the sudden heat radiating off his body. A slow smile curved her lips as he kissed down her neck.

    *****​

    Wyldfyre’s fears grew more when, two days later, Aela sent her an urgent message as soon as the Huntress was within range. She was brief, in her wolf form, and so the others had gathered in the Underforge to meet the pair as soon as they arrived back. The Harbinger’s heart thumped in her chest when she saw the look on their faces as they emerged from the shadowed tunnel that lead out into the plains of Whiterun. Aela hesitated, clearly grief stricken and unable to get any word out. Aiden put a hand on her shoulder.

    “It is as we feared my Kin” he began “Athis and Ria are dead” he was met with gasps of distain.

    “What happened?” Wyldfyre asked on behalf of all of them.

    “As far as we can tell, it was a trap. The whole job was a falsehood to lure Companions out to the remote farm and ambush them.” Aela reported “The farmer and his family were dead. Whether they were killed before Ria and Athis arrived, that we do not know. But….”

    “That is not the worst part” Aiden continued “Our brother and sister were, killed and strung up on poles, stripped of clothing and skin..” he half sobbed.

    “By Ysmir!” Vilkas cursed.

    “Like damned rabbits!” Aela spat out hotly. Wyldfyre was shocked. Who would do such a thing, and why? Her grief turned into fury and she had a hard time controlling the pure rage that was building inside her. Now was not the time to lose control. She needed answers.

    “Any clues at all on who it could have been?” Vilkas asked the pair. Aiden brought forward an item wrapped in linen that Wyldfyre had not noticed until now. He slowly unwrapped it threw it onto the floor, the clash of metal on stone ringing in everyone’s ears.

    Wyldfyre stared at the Silver sword, shining menacingly in the candle light. She had never thought she would have to deal with this enemy again. She thought the last of them had been exterminated that night Vilkas and herself had taken their revenge on the death of Kodlak.

    Clearly this was not the case. The Silverhand had returned and had sent them a warning.

    Death was coming.

    *****​

    There was nothing Wyldfyre could do to stop the Companions continuing service to the people of Skyrim. She and her fellow Circle Members agreed that it would be a useless and cowardly move to recall everyone back and lock themselves away in the Hall. So they continued to answer calls for aid, doubling the size of their parties from two to four. Even then, they lost two more groups of Companions to the Silverhand. Each time a single Silver sword was left behind.

    The Circle were baffled as to how the Silverhand knew exactly where and when to strike. Soon suspicion was rife throughout the entire Guild as members starting suspecting there was a traitor amongst them.

    Wyldfyre and Farkas sifted through the piles of letters, trying to weed out the ones that seemed suspicious. It was a nervous time, waiting for each party to return safely back to Jorrvaskr and everyone’s mood soured considerably. Wyldfyre had to juggle her time between finding out more information about the Silverhand, sifting through letters of help, and settling fights between her own Companion members. Tensions were on a knife’s edge.

    The Circle gathered for an emergency meeting in the Underforge. Never in so many years had the Companions Guild been in such upheaval. Things were getting desperate and something had to be done. Wyldfyre was making her way through the hall with Farkas before she swore and turned back, causing Farkas to lift a questioning eyebrow.

    “Forgot my notes. You go on ahead” she said as she headed back down into the dorms. It was quiet down in the depths of the Mead Hall. Wyldfyre wandered absent-mindedly along the long corridor towards the Harbinger’s rooms. She was hoping this meeting would conclude with some sort of resolution to their dilemma. She frowned as she approached the doors. A feeling of a presence washing over her. She stopped and stood silently outside her room. Someone was on the other side of those doors.

    Wyldfyre slowly drew a dagger from her boot, the only weapon she had on her, and placed her other hand on the door handle, turning it ever so slowly until it released the door from its latch. She opened the door just a crack and placed her head against the door jamb so she could peer into her room. It was dark, lit only by two candles on the table at the far side of the room. On that table were all the letters for aid that now only she and Farkas were allowed to read. Rifling through those letters, taking notes on a scrap of paper was the maidservant Freya.

    Normally, Wyldfyre would have snuck in and taken the girl by surprise. But given the losses they had taken and the stress she was under, Wyldfyre did her second best thing. She did something rash. Bursting through the door she shouted at the girl, who swung around with a look of hate in her eyes.

    “I knew it!” Wyldfyre yelled as she stormed over to the girl. Freya, however seemed to be ready for Wyldfyre’s rush and suddenly flung a silver dagger at the Harbinger. It sank deep into her thigh, causing her to stumble.

    Farkas! she called out, forgetting herself. AIDEN! She grunted as the girl produced yet another dagger and was on her like a Hagraven in a den of Spriggens. She swung at the Harbinger wildly and Wyldfyre was hard pressed as she rose to her feet and had to step back a few paces. Wyldfyre could feel the others heading towards her but she had to fend off the girl until they could help. She swung at her, trying not to injure her too much. She wanted answers, and killing was not an option. Wyldfyre fended of Freya as she slashed and hacked, her little silver dagger just a streak in the candlelight. Wyldfyre briefly admired the girls spirit before she redirected her swing and caught the girl in the ribs, causing her to gasp and clutch her side.

    Now it was her turn to stumble back in pain, and Wyldfyre, still with the dagger embedded in her thigh, advanced on the girl.

    “Why Freya, why?” she demanded. The girl looked at her with hatred in her eyes.

    “The Silverhand will destroy you all!” She spat out, the hand clutching her side red with blood. She backed up, stumbling into the table and causing a candle stick to rock precariously. She grabbed the candle and the piece of paper she had been writing on.

    “Give that to me” Wyldfyre said in a deadly low voice. Whatever was written on that paper could be their only hope of finding the Silverhand’s whereabouts. She stepped closer but Freya held the paper closer to the candle.

    “If you want this, you need to let me walk out of here” she threatened.

    “Not a chance” Wyldfyre growled.

    “That’s what I thought” the girl said and thrust the paper into the flame. Wyldfyre lunged for the paper but missed as Freya rammed into her. They both went stumbling sideways, the dagger in Wyldfyre’s thigh getting wrenched painfully. The paper fluttered to the floor, taking light and burning the carpet underneath it. As Wyldfyre was momentarily distracted, Freya charged her again, dagger in hand, her eyes wild. Wyldfyre brought her dagger up, meaning to deflect the dagger’s arc but she miscalculated and the dagger plunged into the girl’s chest.

    Wyldfyre stumbled back, falling onto the bed, taking her dagger and the impaled girl with her just as the others burst through the door.

    “What in the Nines…?” Farkas yelled. He rushed over to Wyldfyre as she shoved the body off her. Wyldfyre was in no mood to be messed around with now. She rose off the bed and growled, while the others waited patiently for her to speak.

    “It was Freya. She is the traitor. I found her in here, going through all of the letters, writing notes on that” she pointed to the piece of paper that was now a crumpled ash pile. Farkas checked Freya then yanked Wyldfyre’s dagger out.

    “She’s dead” He stated unnecessarily then looked at his wife who stood there fuming “And you have a dagger in your leg”.

    “Yes Farkas” she said venomously “I am well aware of that”. She made to take out the dagger but Vilkas stayed her hand.

    “Wyldfyre” he said gently “You are not yourself right now. Pulling it out like that will only make it worse. Let us take care of you.” Wyldfyre narrowed her eyes at them all then finally relented. She had to admit, it was beginning to hurt a lot.

    “Fine” she sighed, allowing herself to be steered to the bed.
     
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    #254 shadowkitty, Feb 26, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
  15. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    Hot off the press!


    Chapter 115:


    “I blame myself” Vilkas said for perhaps the third time. They had all gathered in the Harbinger’s rooms so that Wyldfyre didn’t have to leave her bed. She sat propped up on pillows, absentmindedly picking at the bandage that was now wrapped tightly around her leg. The wound throbbed even after swallowing a healing potion. The dagger had gone in deep and the wound would take quite a while to heal, even with Wyldfyre’s fast healing. The body of the dead maidservant had been removed discretely and taken to the Underforge, to be disposed of at a later time. The aroma of blood still tainted the air.

    “My dear” Lydia rolled her eyes at her Husband “If you say that one more time I’ll get Farkas to thrash you. It’s not anyone’s fault.”

    “The girl deceived us all” Aiden nodded in agreeance. He was carefully examining the silver dagger that had moments before, been lodged in Wyldfyre’s thigh.

    “All of us except for Wyldfyre” Farkas said and looked at his wife. “I’m sorry for not taking your worries about her more seriously”. Wyldfyre gave a half smile, she couldn’t be mad at him, he looked so remorseful.

    “It’s fine. I can be overly dramatic at times I know” she winced as she tried to re-adjust herself. Her behind was starting to get numb. “I only wish that we could have discovered this sooner. And that she was still alive.”

    “Yes, we could have got more information out of her” Samuel sighed.

    “Tortured it out of her” Aela said hotly. She was picking through the pile of ashes on the floor but evidently saw no clues as she stood and wiped off her hands. “Now what?”

    “At least, whomever she was giving information to, no longer has their spy in our home.” Vilkas said.

    “I wish we knew how she was doing it though” Wyldfyre lamented “Would have been a good way to lay a false trail, ambush them”

    “But now we are back to where we started, none the wiser on where they are. There could be more of them in Whiterun itself for all we know” said Samuel. Some of them nodded in agreement.

    “If we knew where she went when she left the Hall a month ago, we could perhaps track her movements” Wyldfyre said.

    “Maybe ask the carriage drivers, Inn keepers” Azaril volunteered. The Dark Elf had been quiet up until now. Wyldfyre had noticed his more sombre mood since the death of his friend Athis.

    “Good Azaril” she nodded enthusiastically “and the Khajiit, they travel all over. One of them could have seen her”

    “I know she has bought wares from them before. They will know of her if we ask them.” Lydia said.

    “She doesn’t like Werewolves yet she buys from Khajiit?” Aela shook her head.

    “Who knows the mind of a fanatic” Vilkas said “Obviously she only did it to keep up the facade”

    “Alright then” Wyldfyre said a little louder. “We go out into the country and ask around. But we do it inconspicuously. Don’t draw attention to ourselves. Hopefully at least one of us will find some clue to set us on the right path.” When the meeting was over and everyone had left the room, Farkas settled down onto the bed next to his wife.

    “A good plan my love” he said as he stroked her arm with a finger.

    “As good as any I guess” she shrugged.

    “Although” he continued “What was all this “We” and “Us” talk? You aren’t going anywhere”

    “Excuse me?” she looked at him and raised an eyebrow. She knew this argument was coming. In fact, she agreed with Farkas that she could not go traipsing around the Provence in her condition. It would have been foolhardy at best. But the fact that he brought it up before her, was annoying.

    “You heard me, Shewolf” Farkas gave her one of his lazy smiles that always undid her.

    “Hey! That’s not fair!” She laughed and punched him playfully. After giving him a quick kiss she wrinkled her nose.

    “Ick, the room reeks of blood. I don’t know if I want to….” She suddenly sat up.

    “What?” Farkas looked at her intently “What’s wrong?”

    “Farkas, I know who might know about the Silverhand!”

    “Who?”

    “I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner!” she smacked her good thigh in disgust.

    “Who?” Farkas asked again, getting a little impatient with his now excitable wife.

    “You’re not going to like it” she said then.

    “Just, for the love of Ysmir, tell me!”

    “Well this is if he is still alive, and it’s going to be a long journey, and it may be for nothing, but I think I need to go to Castle Volkihar.”

    “What?” Farkas asked a little too loudly.

    “No listen, then decide” She placed a hand on his chest and began talking rapidly “That day at Fort Dawnguard when we fought Isran and his men. When he started going on about eradicating all Werebeasts. I was wondering if he had been influenced by the Silverhand”

    “Okay” Farkas frowned.

    “And then you and Aiden saw Serana take him, we finished all of his followers, but maybe…Farkas maybe we didn’t get all of them. And maybe Isran is still alive and Serana has him at her Castle…”

    “That’s a lot of maybe’s, Wyldfyre” Farkas shook his head.

    “Yes I know, but shouldn’t we at least try? We’ve had no other leads as good as this before”

    “The others may find out something when they talk to the Khajiit and carriage drivers” Farkas argued.

    “Yes they might. And it will certainly help. But my love, even you must admit that, if Isran is alive, then he would be our best hope yet of finding the Silverhand.” Farkas thought for a while. Wyldfyre could see he was struggling to come up with another reason why it was a bad idea, but finally he threw up his hands.

    “Alright, yes I agree that it’s a good plan. But didn’t we also just agree that you are in no condition to go on a long trip?”

    “Well I am just going to have to put up with it. Serana won’t talk to anyone but me. And besides, we can ride there. My leg can heal on the way” She flashed a smile that she hoped would win him over.

    “Why do I even bother” he said, but then smiled also. He shuffled over and they rearranged the pillows so that they could both lay in each other’s arms. “When do we leave then?” he finally asked.

    “Tomorrow is as good a day as any” Wyldfyre smiled, leaning in for a kiss.

    *****​

    It was another three days before Farkas was satisfied that Wyldfyre’s leg was healed enough for her to be able to ride. It was still tightly bandaged and Wyldfyre also wore leather pants instead of her usual armour. She tried in vain to scratch at the wound under the tough leather.

    “It itches!” She complained to her husband before they had even left the Mead Hall.

    “Are you going to be like this the whole journey?” Farkas asked her as they headed out the door. Farkas was also in plain civilian armour. They thought it best to not travel in their wolf armour, given the circumstances.

    “Most likely” she grinned at him. Farkas rolled his eyes and swatted her on the backside. They met Samuel, who was also joining them, at the stables. He had been organising the horses and their supplies.

    “Are we ready to go?” He asked, eager to see Serana again.

    “If my wife can stop trying to scratch that wound open, yes” Farkas grunted, receiving a dark look from the Harbinger. Wyldfyre mounted her horse and the others followed suit. They were going to head west to Rorikstead, then turn north to Dragon Bridge; stopping at both towns for the night. It would take them three days of hard riding to get to Serana’s home.

    Wyldfyre was apprehensive about seeing the Vampire again. They had parted ways during the fight at Fort Dawnguard, Serana disappearing with Isran without so much as a goodbye. Wyldfyre felt a little hurt that her friend had left the way she did. She felt slightly abandoned.

    They passed the ruined Western Watchtower and Wyldfyre was struck with nostalgia as she remembered her first encounter with a dragon. She had been terrified that day. Wanting nothing more than to run and hide in the tower itself. But she couldn’t leave Ilirith and her men to fight the beast alone. That was the day her life took yet another turn she was not expecting. The Dragonborn. There was never a time in her previous simple life in her valley that she thought she was anything special. She still didn’t. Her thoughts were interrupted when she heard Farkas’s warning.

    “Steady now” They came to a halt as great, shaggy Mammoths lumbered across the road in front of them. They were far enough away to not bother the beasts. The mammoths were followed behind by a single giant; its club slung casually over its shoulder. It gave them a passing glance then shooed its pets across the road and into the tundra on the other side. Wyldfyre watched it for a while.

    “Has anyone ever communicated with a giant?” she asked.

    “Wyldfyre….” Farkas warned. He knew his wife had some reckless ideas at times.

    “I’m not sure” Samuel shrugged “Farmers give them a sacrificial cow to keep them from invading their lands, but I don’t think they actually sit around a fire and have an actual conversation with them.” Wyldfyre lightly flicked her horse’s reins and it set out again. She pretended not to hear Farkas’s sigh of relief.

    They had an uneventful stay at Rorikstead: sharing a quiet meal and retiring to their rooms, the Innkeeper delighted at having a full house for once. The next day dawned gloomy and they set out early under a light drizzle, which thankfully cleared toward mid-morning. They encountered a few more people on the road. Merchants, caravaners and folks just traveling for the adventure. They also encountered some not so friendly folk, having to negotiate their way past a small bandit camp. Farkas managed to convince them that it was in their best interest to let them past. The fact that Wyldfyre had her crossbow trained on their leader was also a very persuasive argument.

    “You should join us Miss” one bandit yelled down at her as the trio passed under their makeshift bridge “Could be worth your while. Make more money than you could imagine”

    “Leave it go Raul” someone called from within the palisade “She’d likely slit your throat in your sleep”. Wyldfyre laughed and kicked her horse into a trot. They made it to Dragonbridge while it was still daylight, but they decided to stay for the night. Farkas thought it best they weren’t out in the open when they had no idea where the Silverhand were.

    “They’re not going to attack here, not with a whole detachment of Stormcloaks across the road.” It was as Farkas said. A sizable number of Ulfric’s forces seemed to be camped in the town. Wyldfyre went over to investigate, approaching a soldier she recognised from her involvement in the Civil War.

    “Ho! If it isn’t Ice Veins herself!” He exclaimed heartily, a little too well into his cups. He shook her hand enthusiastically as other Stormcloaks watched on with interest.

    “Soldier” Wyldfyre greeted him, having no idea what his actual name was “What’s going on here?”

    “We’re exterminating Skeevers!” he laughed, taking another swig of mead.

    “You should probably ask Captain Ralof, he’s inside with Captain Longbow.” Another soldier volunteered. Wyldfyre smiled as she turned and entered the Soldiers outpost. Standing with his back to her, peering at a piece of parchment was her friend. The Captain recognised her and she held a finger to her lips. He grinned and continued with his conversation with Ralof.

    “If all goes well then we can have those mines cleared out by the end of the month. Maybe even earlier.”

    “Don’t say that until it’s done” Ralof chuckled, totally unaware of Wyldfyre’s presence.

    “I just thought if we had some help, maybe we could go home sooner”

    “And what kind of help are you suggesting?” Ralof asked. The Captain glanced over to Wyldfyre who nodded.

    “What about the Ice Veins? She could clear a whole mine on her own”

    “Wyldfyre!” Ralof laughed “I’m sure she could, but she is the Harbinger and the Dragonborn. I’m sure she is busy enough”

    “Why don’t you ask her yourself?” Wyldfyre asked. Ralof spun around and almost crushed Wyldfyre in a bear hug.

    “Damn girl, but you love to make an entrance!” he laughed, giving her a kiss on the cheek. The Captain laughed and excused himself.

    “Sit, sit!” Ralof ushered her over to the table and poured her a goblet of mead and one for himself. He settled down and took a sip. “So what brings you to Dragon Bridge?” he asked. Wyldfyre swallowed the mead and smiled.

    “I might ask the same of you?” She couldn’t go into her reasons for the journey she was taking. Ralof, although he was a close friend, didn’t need to know about Werewolves and Silverhand fanatics. A sour expression filled his face.

    “Bah!” he cursed “It’s those damned Reachmen. They are taking over almost every mine in the area, driving people out of the nearby settlements. Ulfric has sent a number of detachments, including mine, to clear them out. It’s dangerous work. I’ve lost a few friends in the process. Some of the bigger parties have those cursed Hagraven with them. We have had to bring in Battlemages. Can you imagine?” Wyldfyre could indeed imagine. She knew of Ralof’s aversion to anything to do with magic. She always kept her abilities under check when around him.

    “We’re here for just a little rest and recovery until we set out again.” He said then, leaning back in his chair.

    “Why are the Forsworn taking over mines?” She asked “They aren’t miners; they aren’t going to trade? What are they doing?”

    “Well that’s the thing” Ralof said, eyebrows raised “They are mining and trading with someone. But for whatever reason, so far we haven’t been able to find out.”

    “It’s strange” Wyldfyre frowned.

    “It is indeed” Ralof agreed. “Particularly when the mines they are targeting are full of nothing but silver”

    Wyldfyre’s blood ran cold.
     
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  16. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    Chapter 116: Reconnaissance

    “I don’t like this” Farkas growled “I don’t like this at all” he stomped back and forth, wearing a path through a small patch of blue mountain flower bushes. It was later that evening after Ralof’s revelation and the three of them had quietly made their way to one of the mines that was occupied by the Foresworn. Samuel leant against a large rock that they used for cover while spying on the outer area. So far they had seen three lookouts and one or two miners appearing every now and then, only to dump a load of what they presumed to be silver before disappearing back down into the mine.

    “I agree” the young wolf nodded “We should have at least brought some Stormcloaks with us Wyldfyre”

    “And what would that have gained us?” Wyldfyre frowned. She was busy adjusting her weapons so that their normal jingling was muffled. Her plan was to go alone into the mine, using her Ethereal Shout, gather as much information as she could, then slip out again unseen. “Ralof and his men are only interested in killing. We need information and that isn’t going to happen with dozens of Stormcloaks stomping around” she emphasized that last bit, frowning at Farkas, who stopped pacing.

    “It’s better we do this on our own.” She continued, sliding a dagger into her right boot “We know what we are looking for, I know what we are looking for. I’ll be in and out and then we can leave the mine for Ralof to clear out”

    “It’s not that I don’t agree with you” Farkas said then “I don’t like the plan of you going in there alone. Couldn’t at least one of us…?”

    “It can’t be done” Wyldfyre shook her head “I can hold the Ethereal shout for a time on my own, but keeping it going for two bodies, would put too much strain on me. Not to mention it would be awkward. We’d have to be joined the entire way. Hold hands or something.”

    “That would be problematic” Samuel agreed. Farkas merely grunted and went back to watching over the encampment below. Wyldfyre came up behind him and circled her arms around his waist. She leaned on him and breathed in his scent.

    “I’ll be careful my Love” she promised him “All I want to do is confirm our fears that the Silverhand is somehow involved in this”

    “You’ll be in and out” he said. Wyldfyre nodded and Farkas turned so that he could look into her eyes.

    “In and out” Wyldfyre promised.

    *****​

    The night was chilly as Wyldfyre left their hiding spot and carefully made her way down to the camp below. They had not seen much activity for two hours, with two of the lookouts returning to the mine, presumably to sleep. Only one guard remained and he stood near the fire, peering into the flames instead of out into the wilderness. Wyldfyre shook her head at his incompetence until she reminded herself that this was perfect for her, as the light from the firelight would impede the Reachman’s vision.

    She edged around the circle of light that the camp fire cast. At one stage she had to go further back into the trees so that the light given off by a smelter didn’t give her away. After she passed the smelter she had easy access to the mine’s crude wooden entrance. She opened the door a fraction, thankful that it didn’t creak too loudly, and slipped inside. She didn’t have to use her Ethereal shout even once.

    Wyldfyre waited as her eyes adjusted to the dim light of the mine. She listened for any sounds of life but could not hear anything. Even so, she moved carefully down the sloped mine shaft. A corner lay ahead and a beam of flickering light danced upon the stone walls. Wyldfyre edged closer until she was able to peek around the corner. It was a large cut out area, common in mines for workers to rest and eat. Most of the floor was covered with bed rolls and sleeping bodies.

    Wyldfyre went back up the main passage a few paces and quietly shouted the ancient words. She checked herself and, satisfied that she was sufficiently see-through, took a deep breath and stepped out into the cavern. She silently picked her way through the mass of sleeping bodies, stopping dead still any time someone stirred. It took longer than she had of liked to reach the other side of the cavern. The passage beyond seemed devoid of any life so she kept going as the Ethereal shout wore off.

    As the mine spiralled deeper into the earth, a sense of foreboding grew inside her. At one stage, Wyldfyre had had to use the shout for so long that she was almost caught when the affect wore off. She only just managed to slip behind a stack of barrels, as a group of five foresworn marched past her. She lay in the darkness for a while as she regained some of her strength. Using the shout for so long was beginning to take its toll and for the first time, Wyldfyre also doubted her plan. She rested for ten minutes then continued on, delving deeper into the mine. She checked every note, every scroll every book she found, but nothing led her to believe that this clan of Reachmen had contact with the Silverhand.

    Finally, she came out on to a platform that overlooked a large cavern. The floor below was littered with carts, shovels and pick axes. Three smelters flickered along one wall and over the far side was a ramp that led to another level. There were three large huts on this level, surrounding a fire pit in the middle. Wyldfyre had no doubts that the Clan’s leader, the Briarheart, resided in one of those huts.

    “Let’s just hope their Hagraven is not here with them” Wyldfyre whispered to herself. She walked down two flights of stairs then hopped over the railing, jumping down the final flight, so that she could stay in the shadows. Wyldfyre scanned the area before she moved on any further. She saw no signs of a Hagraven living in the mine. She remained at full alert none the less. She could see piles of silver ore, ready to be carted off. She crept over to a table next to the first smelter and began searching for clues. Finding nothing once again, she searched the whole area before she sighed and looked up to the Foresworn huts. She would have to go up there.

    *****​

    “She’s been way too long!” Farkas fretted. A faint touch of pink painted the horizon as dawn approached. He had started pacing again and Samuel could see why it annoyed the Harbinger so much.

    “Give her a few more minutes” Samuel said, although he was just as worried. “If we go in there looking for her, she’ll be mad”

    “I’d rather her mad at me than dead” Farkas grunted, readying his weapons. Samuel rolled his eyes just as a jingling of weapons and armour and the snort of a horse made them both turn. Ralof, with his Stormcloaks behind him, sat there with a look of surprise on his face.

    “Farkas? What are you doing here? Where is Wyldfyre?”

    *****​

    Wyldfyre was hiding behind a foresworn hut. She had carefully snuck up the ramp, keeping to the shadows as much as she could. When she reached level ground she immediately turned left so that she could circle around the back of the huts. The first hut on the opposite side had two clan members inside. A male and female who had obviously partaken in some strenuous activity before they had both fallen asleep, wrapped in each other’s arms and legs. Wyldfyre figured that if there was any information to be gathered, it would be in the hut that belonged to the Briarheart, which would be the one that was the most protected. The hut towards the back of the chamber.

    She clung to the cavern walls and edged closer to the hut. It was bigger than the other two and had a crude pallet bed, a table and chair and a large chest. A lone man slept inside. Wyldfyre swallowed as she crept closer. The Briarhearts were a formidable enemy. Having been blessed by their Hagraven patrons, their real hearts were removed, to be replaced by something dark and evil. They had quick reflexes and were stronger than any normal man.

    She held back into the shadows and used her Ethereal shout, a mere whisper from her lips. As soon as her entire body shimmered and became ghostly she moved forward into the hut. She moved to the table first and found a number of letters. She went to pick them up then swore to herself. Her hands passed straight through the parchment. The Ethereal Shout may have made her mostly invisible, but it also stopped her from being able to pick up anything that wasn’t attached to her when she initially released the shout. She stood there thinking of a plan and only came up with one solution. She would have to wait until the shout wore off, dangerously exposing herself and raising the possibility of being caught to highly likely.

    It was a tense few minutes as Wyldfyre stood in the Briarheart’s hut. The man slept mere inches away from her. She silently willed the shout to wear off and almost panicked when it actually started to. As her hands became solid, she gathered up all of the letters and turned towards the light of the fire, shuffling through each one. Most of them were from other Foresworn clans. It seemed that some sort of uprising was in the planning stages. Wyldfyre made a mental note to inform someone about that.

    Almost at the bottom of the stack her eyes fell upon the letter she was half dreading and half wishing for. She quickly read it then folded it and stuffed it down the front of her armour. She returned the stack of letters to the table and as she turned, a hand grabbed her arm.

    “I told you I did not want you tonight” a sleepy voice mumbled “Go back to your bedroll Anise” Wyldfyre’s heart pounded as she twisted her body to look at the Foresworn. He still had his eyes closed. Wyldfyre’s eyes widened in horror at the sight of the man’s chest. Blackened flesh gave way to a gaping hole in which resided a bloodied Briar seed. It pulsed as a normal heart would, but the blood from the man’s body merely squirted over the seed. Wyldfyre backed away, stumbling into the chair, the Briarheart still clutching her arm. Her movement caused him to jerk sideways and he grunted and sprang awake.

    “Anise! I said…” his eyes flew open wider as he realised there was an intruder in his hut. Wyldfyre took off out of the hut just as a cacophony of noise sounded from the passage that led to the upper levels of the mine. A Foresworn appeared at the platform.

    “Soldiers! We are under attack!” He shouted, just as an arrow flew past his head, missing him by inches. He whirled around and ran back up the passage, disappearing from view. Wyldfyre stopped abruptly as the foresworn from the other two huts dashed from their beds, some unclothed, but all brandishing weapons. They looked up to the platform where the noise of the attack was coming from, and then all turned to their leader’s hut. None of them expected to see a tall, armed Nord woman standing there. They gripped their weapons and started for her. Wyldfyre knew she was in trouble. There were five Foresworn against one Dragonborn. She acted on instinct.

    “Fus Ro DAH!” The force of her shout blew the foresworn in front of her off over the side of the level, along with embers and chunks of burning wood from the fire, which was extinguished immediately. She whirled around in time to see the Briarheart charging her. He collided with her and they both smashed to the floor. With the fire no longer lighting the area, it would have been hard for a normal human to see. But Wyldfyre’s Wolf senses kicked in and she rolled to the side and sprang to her feet. She ripped her sword from its fastening and brandished it in front of her. The Briarheart had also regained his feet and was arming himself with a crude sword. Its blade was covered in sharp pointed canine teeth and the Briarheart wielded it expertly.

    “Time for you to die She-wolf!” Wyldfyre’s heart skipped a beat. He knows me? She thought wildly. This was more confirmation that at least this group of Foresworn were involved with the Silverhand. She didn’t have time to think any further as she dodged a wide swing of the Briarheart’s sword. She reflected each blow, backing further into the darkness with each advance of the Briarheart. She had no idea if the blessings of the Hagravens gave the Foresworn leaders heightened senses such as sight. This one appeared to not be impeded by the dim light.

    They swung at each other as the battle poured into the cavern before them. Wyldfyre could see flashes of blue as the Stormcloaks drove the Reachmen further into the mine. The fighting was incredibly loud as the clash of swords and cries of dying men and women echoed off the stone walls. As Wyldfyre and the Briarheart slashed at each other, they were joined by more Foresworn, looking to their leader for a plan of action. Seeing him already engaged in his own battle, they advanced upon the pair.

    “She is mine!” The Briarheart shouted “Defend this level!” The Foresworn immediately obeyed and spread out, blocking any Stormcloak advancement up to the level. Wyldfyre grunted as she landed heavily on her injured leg. It was beginning to throb and she tried to keep her weight off it. But she was hard pressed by the Foresworn leader and she had no choice but to back up and change her tactics to defensive manoeuvres. She could not use any of her shouts for fear of hitting any of Ralof’s men, who were now engaged with the Foresworn trying to block access to the level.

    “Ha!” the Briarheart yelled in triumph “Now I have you!” Wyldfyre was brought down to her knees as a particularly savage blow from the toothed sword ripped her own sword from her hands. The man advanced slowly, a malicious smile growing on his face.

    “What do you think I will be rewarded with when I present your head?” he asked her.

    “Who are you working for?” Wyldfyre asked boldly. But the Briarheart threw his head back and laughed. Wyldfyre slipped her dagger from her boot and flung it. It sank into the man’s chest, missing the Briar seed by a hair’s width. His head snapped forward and he stared at the hilt of the dagger. He lowered his sword and grabbed the hilt of the dagger with his other hand and slowly drew it from his body. Even though he grunted in pain, it didn’t seem to have done him much damage. Wyldfyre looked on as he flung the dagger away angrily.

    “It will take more than that to end me, She-wolf” he sneered. He advanced on her, raising his sword over his head, ready to take hers off. Wyldfyre lunged forward just as an arrow suddenly pierced through the Briarhearts neck, causing him to hesitate for a second. She reached up and took the Briar seed in her hand, tearing it out of the man’s chest. The Reachman died instantly, but the swords momentum carried him forwards towards Wyldfyre. She was still on her knees, in a precarious position, and could do nothing to stop him from crashing into her. They both fell to the ground, the body landing heavily on Wyldfyre.

    “UGH!” Wyldfyre grunted with distaste as she hefted the body off her. A hand grabbed hers and pulled her to her feet.

    “Thank Ysmir!” Farkas said as he took his wife in his arms. The battle was over. The Foresworn had been destroyed.

    “Nice timing” She smiled. Looking over her husband’s shoulder, she realised that everyone else was staring at her. She stepped back and Farkas looked at her hand, his eyes widening in surprise.

    “You ripped a Briarheart’s heart out?” He asked in amazement. Wyldfyre was slightly embarrassed and surprised she still held on to the disgusting thing. It oozed blackened blood and still pulsed in her hand.

    “Yuck!” she dropped the Briar seed and it made a squishy plop sound as it hit the dirt. Wyldfyre strode forward, her hand bloody. She pushed through the growing number of Stormcloak soldiers, some still with their mouths open. Once again the Dragonborn had done something quite remarkable. Soon word would spread of her daring defeat of a Foresworn Briarheart. Even now the soldiers gossiped amongst themselves.

    But all the Dragonborn wanted right now, was a nice hot bath.
     
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  17. A.Auditore

    A.Auditore maybe...

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    patiently waits for more :D
     
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  18. shadowkitty

    shadowkitty Mistress of Shadows

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    Could it be? Another chapter finally? Is anyone still even reading this? lol. Anyway, here it is. Enjoy.

    Chapter 117:

    Wyldfyre stopped for a moment and took in the castle that loomed over them, covering the ground in a shroud of eerie darkness. She didn’t think she would ever set foot in Castle Volkihar again, yet, here she was.

    “I didn’t think I would ever lay eyes on this place again” Samuel said, as if hearing her thoughts. Wyldfyre nodded. The grounds were a lot more decorative than when Wyldfyre and Isran’s army had stormed the castle. Small sucklings had been planted and wild flowers now grew in tidy rows along the side of the cobblestone road. Obviously Serana had been busy. But with who’s help?

    “Impressive” Farkas grunted, fingering his sword pommel nervously. He looked to his wife “You want to go in or are we going to stand here a little more?” he smiled at her, trying to ease the tension.

    “I guess” Wyldfyre sighed and moved towards the bridge. The gates were up and the three Companions walked up to the great ancient door. Farkas took the knocker and bashed it on the old wood. They were all slightly startled when the door immediately creaked open. A young blonde haired Nord popped her head out then smiled widely as she opened the door wider. She looked like an angel in a flowing white silk gown.

    “Ah, my mistress has been expecting you. Enter” she stepped to the side. As Wyldfyre passed her she noticed the Nord was a vampire. Newly blooded by the smell. Once they were in and the door firmly closed behind them, they stood in the gloomy foyer as the girl walked forward and began chatting. The Companions followed closely behind.

    “Lady Serana has been waiting for you for some days now. She is up in her rooms but she told me to let you straight in. My name is Arabella by the way.” They passed through the main hall that was vastly different from the last time Wyldfyre had been there. It was now brightly lit with braziers, the long tables that once held human cattle were now scrubbed clean and decorated with red cloth and vases holding mountain flowers of all colours. The stone walls of the castle were richly decorated with paintings and curtains. A few more vampires wandered around, all female, Wyldfyre noticed. They appeared to be completely at ease with their fully armed visitors encased in steel. Wyldfyre felt a little awkward as she watched them almost float about in flowing silken gowns. There were three or four Deathhounds that lounged around on the stone floors or curled up on rugs.

    “No men” Samuel whispered.

    “Indeed” Arabella answered, her vampire hearing picking up his observation “It’s how my Mistress wanted it. If we want a male, then we go and …obtain one.” She laughed “Willingly of course” she added, eyeing Samuel up and down.

    “Of course” Wyldfyre said, her eyebrow raised. They continued through the hall and up the stairs to the left that took them through a long hallway with many closed doors on either side. At the far end a double door opened up into what Wyldfyre assumed to be Serana’s private chambers. Arabella nodded politely and closed the doors behind them, leaving them alone.

    “Ah, you’re here!” came a voice from above and Wyldfyre saw a movement in the upper balcony. She led the others up the stairs to a sprawling bedroom with a large canopy bed and massive fireplace. Thick heavy drapes covered the windows, casting a shadow over everything. It reminded her of Ulfric’s rooms back in Windhelm. Serana herself was seated at a small round table, looking over a parchment, but she put it down as soon as she saw the Harbinger. A smile lit up her face as she stood gracefully and hurried over to her friend. Wyldfyre was engulfed in an embrace that she returned.

    “It’s so good to see you again!” Serana breathed. She stood back and smiled at Farkas.

    “Farkas dear, how are you?”

    “As good as can be expected Serana” he answered. Serana nodded, knowing what he meant by that statement. She then turned to Samuel and she took his hands in hers, causing the young man to blush furiously. She was, dressed in quite a flimsy gown.

    “Samuel” she smiled “You are as handsome as ever” she winked at him and he stammered for words.

    “I…” Wyldfyre intervened and took Serana’s hands and steered her over to the table.

    “You can flirt with my Wolfpup later” she said then looked serious. “Arabella told us you knew we were coming? Do you also know why it is we are here?” Serana sat down delicately and indicated the others to the plush chairs that surrounded the table.

    “Well I have my suspicions, but then you were always one to surprise, Wyldfyre”

    “It’s the Silverhand” Wyldfyre said bluntly. She wasn’t in the mood to draw things out. “They have attacked us, killed our people. Right in our very own Hall.” Serana’s eyebrows shot up in surprise.

    “And we have also seen evidence that they are once again mobilising, recruiting; and in league with the Foresworn”

    “I didn’t think it had gone so far” Serana looked off into the distance. Farkas sat forward.

    “What do you mean?”

    “There has been…whispers” she said then, suddenly looking guilty.

    “Serana” Wyldfyre squinted her eyes. The hairs on the back of her neck rose as she came to a conclusion she didn’t want to believe “I know you know something, and I am not leaving until you tell me just what in Oblivion it is that you were thinking?” Serana blinked, and Farkas looked to his wife, confusion on his face.

    “Well, I guess my little secret is up.” She sighed then looked over to the other side of the room. “You can come out now Dear”. The three Companions turned in their seats and all of Wyldfyre’s senses went into overdrive as a man stepped out of the shadows.

    It was Isran.

    *****

    “Isran” Wyldfyre hissed. All three of them were out of their seat in seconds, weapons drawn as the man that Wyldfyre most hated in the world calmly walked towards them. The man she never had the chance to exact her revenge upon. If he hadn’t been unarmed, wearing nothing but a small loincloth and had that far-away look in his eyes she would have taken his head off right then.

    Clearly Farkas was thinking the same thing as he stepped towards the Redguard. But Serana stopped them all from reacting.

    “Stay your hands everyone. He is of no danger to us anymore” Wyldfyre watched in disbelief as Isran walked over to Serana and kneeled in front of her.

    “You called for me, my Queen?” he said in his deep monotone voice. Serana smiled down at the man indulgently, laying a snow white hand on his bare shoulder.

    “Isran dear, would you be so kind as to fetch some refreshments for our guests?” The Redguard nodded and stood, his expression stoic as he silently left the room. Wyldfyre and the others watched the little exchange in disbelief.

    “I guess I have some explaining to do” Serana said to them then. The Harbinger rammed her sword back into its scabbard and sat, her companions following suit. She remained silent as Serana began her story.

    *****

    “What do you think about all of this?” Farkas asked his wife later on. They had been shown to the rooms they would be staying in while they remained at the castle. A luxurious suite in a tower on the east side of the building. Samuel’s rooms were on the floor below. Half way through Serana’s tale of the battle at Fort Dawnguard, Isran had returned with a large platter of food and a jug of mead. After which, he had remained silently at Serana’s side. The three Companions cast wary glances at the Ex Dawnguard leader while Serana told them of how she had stolen away with the man and brought him back to her ancestral home. Wyldfyre shook her head in disbelief again as she recalled Serana’s words;

    “At first I wanted to drain him dry. Destroy him for what he had done. But then I thought that would have been too good for him. I wanted him to pay, and a slow and agonising death seemed too easy…”

    The Harbinger turned from her sombre reflection on the window and looked at her husband. He was sitting on the plush bed that was draped with sabre cat skins. His armour discarded, he wore only suede pants. Wyldfyre played with the ties of her tunic top.

    “I’m still trying to digest it” she admitted “I mean, I half expected something like this, but, I was hoping she had just killed him and been done with it. Why has she kept him alive all this time?” Farkas lifted an eyebrow.

    “I can think of two reasons off the top of my head” he smirked. Wyldfyre shuddered. The thought of Serana and Isran engaging in pleasurable activities turned her stomach. The other use for the man was obvious. He was a walking blood donor.

    “It just seems, wrong” she said, screwing up her nose in distaste. Farkas chuckled and went to his love. He stroked a finger down her face.

    “Well from what you have told me of Serana, I’m kind of not surprised” he said. Wyldfyre nodded in agreement. She was tired from their travels and the days revelations. Serana had promised to release Isran of his compulsion so that they could question him about the Silverhand. But she only agreed to do it the next day, forcing them to stay at least one night at the castle. She sighed and wrapped her arms around her husband’s waist.

    “I’m not looking forward to tomorrow to be honest” she said against his bare skin. “I’ve kind of gotten used to this new dull Isran” Farkas stroked her hair then ran his hands down her back, a gesture he knew soothed his wife.

    “It’s got to be done if we want answers. Serana will take off the compulsion, we’ll beat some answers out of him and if things get out of hand, then she thralls him back again.”

    “Or you could lop his head off” Wyldfyre then giggled. Farkas chuckled.

    “Either way, we’ll get what we need from him. You’ll see” he pulled away from her slightly so that he could look her in the eyes. No longer satisfied with just stroking her back, his hands moved under her tunic top and found her breasts.

    “I guess” she shrugged. She was no longer thinking about Isran, or Serana, or anything except for what Farkas was now doing with his hands. Her tiredness forgotten, she was filled with a new desire and glanced over to the large bed. It looked very inviting. Farkas however, had other plans as he led her to the massive fireplace that warmed the whole room and cast a golden glow upon everything. A thick white fur rug adorned the floor and they both sank into it, lost in each other’s touch.

    Outside, in the darkening night, hovering on silent wings, Serana in her Vampire Lord form watched as the two bodies moved as one. Her inner desires longed to open the window and step through, to join the two in their pleasure. To give them a night so pure and full of a bliss they had never felt the likes of. She hovered closer and reached for the window handle. But then rational took over and she moved away, sighing with frustration. It had been so long since she had felt the touch of a lover. Her sessions with Isran did nothing to quench the need for her to be loved back. She would have gone to Samuel but Arabella was seeing to him.

    Serana turned and flew upwards seeking out the one place she felt truly at peace. She alighted softly on the mossy ground of her mother’s garden, transforming back into the beautiful, raven-haired woman with snow white skin. She sat on a stone bench and watched the flicker of moonlight on the small pond. A large cloak was draped around her naked form and a figure sat next to her.

    “What troubles you, daughter?” the figure asked.

    “She is here Mother” Serana looked at Valerica, “Here in my own house and I can’t even get near her” she sighed again in frustration. Valerica raised an eyebrow, knowing full well who her daughter was talking about and still finding it odd that she held such affection for such a distasteful creature. But she was her only daughter, who rescued her from the Soul Cairn and the Ideal Masters and she thought she should show some amount of concern.

    “Why ever not? You are a Daughter of Coldharbour. Take her” There, that was motherly wasn’t it?

    “Oh mother,” Serana shook her head “You don’t understand”

    “I’m trying to” it was Valerica’s turn to sigh “Believe me, I find it most odd, your feelings towards this,…”

    “Wyldfyre, her name is Wyldfyre”

    “Alright, your feelings towards Wyldfyre, but I am doing my best to understand. To help you. What is the problem then?”

    “Her mate, her husband is here as well” Serana answered her mother. Valerica was silent for a while.

    “And why is that a problem?” she really didn’t see the issue. Serana wanted the girl, she should take her, husband or not. Serana sighed and stood, discarding the cloak.

    “Just, forget it. Like I said, you will never understand” and with that she turned and flew upwards and out of the garden.
     
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