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Private {18+} The Hunt

Discussion in 'Active Stories' started by Thesius, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. Thesius

    Thesius The Imperial Paladin

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    Everyone has their secrets. Skeletons in the closet, something they wish to keep in the dark. For the Vansiere family, these secrets are darker than most. Centuries ago, in the second era, there was a man, Caspian Vansiere, first of his name, who made a deal with forces that no mortal should ever think of, never mind speak with. However, Caspian was a vain and foolish man, who desired power and beauty above all else.

    So, on a dark and stormy night, he sacrificed a dozen of the most beautiful elves and bretons he could capture. A pact was struck, and Caspians' wish was granted. He was transformed into a wondrous fusion of elf and man, above even the most beautiful of the breton people. He was granted a silver tongue, knowledge of the current lords and their weaknesses, and with that power, he carved out a small but formidable kingdom in north west Highrock, surrounded by mountains and forests.

    The depravity of Caspian Vansierre, now a lord with deadly arcane power, knowledge and despicable desires, knew no limits. Summoning foul creatures from the depths of oblivion, and bringing the dead back into horrific unlife. Stone by stone, Castle Vansierre was built high in the mountains. Screams and mad cackling could be heard among the dark forests and craggy peaks for leagues around.

    However, the castle was not quite secluded enough. Many lords, enraged by the abduction and slaughter of their people, formed a mighty alliance, lead, strangely enough, by Caspians' bastard son, Moran Vansierre. He led a grand army against the horrors the lord of castle Vansierre had summoned. It was Moran who drove his bastard sword through the heart of his cackling, insane father, on the highest tower of the castle.

    Though the lord is dead, many creatures not slain or banished scattered, and the forces of the allies were too spent to give chase. On that bloody day, Moran Vansierre, now lord of the castle, swore a fateful oath: neither he nor his children would rest until the region was cleared of the foulness his mad father had summoned.

    That was several generations ago. For many years, the proud sigil of house Vansierre, a silver crescent moon on a sable field, has flown over the once bloodied towers and gatehouse. The current lord, Horace Vansierre, a noble templar and father to many children, maintains his ancestors oath. He had several children, with the beautiful lady Vivian, his wife. He rose his offspring, male and female alike, as hunters of evil and upholders of the law, by any means necessary. When they came of age, he sent them throughout Tamriel, to hunt foulness wherever it may be found.

    But now, he summons his children home. One by one, they comply, heading not directly to the castle, but rather to the small village of Crossmore, perhaps half a days travel from the castle itself. However, it is a rainy and cold day, at the beginning of autumn, and the paths are not as safe as they once were. The siblings gather at the Restless Goblin inn, having not seen one another in several years, for some even longer. This, is where our story begins.
     
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  2. Thesius

    Thesius The Imperial Paladin

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    The rain hammered down on the village of Crossmore, cold and biting, and driven by a frigid wind that unleashed a mournful howl as it came down from the mountains. Those few citizens who were unfortunate enough to be out and about on such an afternoon rushed through the streets, those that had hoods keeping them pulled low over their heads. The few guards that belonged to the place had taken shelter under eaves and at the guard house near the front and back gates of the village. Yet, even in the pouring rain and freezing wind, the heavily armoured stranger walking down the middle of the street was an anomaly.

    Heavy plate armour, covering leather, and itself covered in small, scrollwork, dedicated to the god of life and death made him more than a little intimidating. The hood of a dark cloak concealed most of his face, but it would not have made much a difference if his face had been revealed. The eldest son of Horace Vansierre had not been seen in those parts for several years. Aric himself had some trouble remembering exactly. Five, he recalled vaguely. Of course, he had not spent much time away from the castle he had grown up in. His training, along with his siblings, had taken all of his attention.

    Then his dedication to the paladin-priests of Arkay had taken much of his time, along with hunting the beasts that lurked the woods and mountains around castle Vansierre. He had been western Cyrodiil, tracking a particularly nasty necromancer, when a courier had somehow found him, and passed on his fathers' letter. He and his siblings had parted on more or less good terms, and he had left home with the blessing of both his mother and father.

    He was, he decided, excited to see his siblings, his mother and father, and the loyal retainers that served house Vansierre. But first, he was to head to the Restless Goblin inn, to await his siblings. The bartender nodded to him, and once he removed his hood, a barmaid smiled at his handsome visage. "Get you anything, stranger?" The girl asked, eyeing him up and down. Closer now, she got a good look at his pale flesh and silver blue eyes. A hint of uncertainty entered her face, as if she was suddenly wondering if approaching was a good idea. Aric smiled back at her, attempting to put her at ease.

    Even centuries later, the ancient family shame of the fey-like house Vansierre was passed among the peasantry. Horror stories of blood-mad, blue eyed maniacs, slaughtering and enslaving the inhabitants of villages like Crossmore. The womans' misgivings' seemed to fade away, and she stood a little more at ease. "Just a stew, and a tankard of ale, if you have it." She nodded and rushed off to see about his food and drink. Once it had arrived, Aric took his seat, and waited for his siblings to arrive.
     
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  3. Aethalia

    Aethalia Well-Known Member

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    Iliana scowled up at the rain and sighed, already missing the warm sands an sun of Hammerfell. But the letter secured in the letter pouch at her side, bearing her fathers' signature, had her concerned. Well, perhaps not concerned, but curious, at the least. Her horse, a sturdy mare who'd been a parting gift from her mother, whinnied as she and her rider passed through the gates of Crossmore. She guided the creature to the run down stables, and noted another equine was already there. A well cared for beast, that didn't look like it belonged to one of the locals. She remembered that the letter had mentioned her siblings being summoned back home as well.

    She wondered who had beaten her to the village as she dismounted and hitched her horse up. The letter had told her to head to the inn known as the Restless Goblin. Eagerly, she hurried through the muddied road, through the rain and a small crowd of peasants and guards hurrying along. With her hood up, her silver eyes and pale skin, though not as light as her other siblings, was hidden. Reaching the door to the inn, she pushed the door open, her enhanced senses picking up the smell of ale, sweat and smoke. She could hear murmured conversations, and the rain hitting the thatched roof above.

    She stepped further inside, removing her hood and looking around. Most of the people inside looked to be regulars, holding their own private conversations around the common room of the inn. She stepped further inside, rain water dripping to the dirty wooden floor. One figure stood out among the tunic and cloak wearing peasantry. The armour was familiar to her, as was the dark blonde hair and what little pale skin she could see. She stepped up to the table, swinging around so that she was facing the eldest son of house Vansierre. "Brother." She said, taking the seat, "I'm pleased to see you again. Are you the first back?"
     
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  4. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    The weather in Crossmore was miserable, the rain driven by an icy breeze, that encouraged citizen and guardsmen alike to remain inside. Jerrod Vansierre, second youngest of the Vansierre siblings, but certainly, at least in his own opinion, the wisest, of the six. He rode into the village on a sable horse, its' mane soaked from the rain, and quite possibly as miserable as Jerrod himself.

    The breton left his steed in the care of the village stable hands, with a pouch of gold and a promise to curse their entire family, should the beast be improperly cared for. Part of him knew that such threats were not the proper way to go about dealing with the small folk, but he was also somewhat irked to have to stop in Crossmore at all.

    Judging by the other horse he'd seen at the stables, only recently unsaddled and brushed, at least one of his siblings had beat him to the village. Securing his robes as best he could, the half-elf trudged through the mucky roads, sneering at those that got in his way, or made the mistake of staring into his silvery eyes. They had always brought more attention than those of his siblings, but Jerrod made no attempt to hide them.

    He was a proud son of house Vansierre, even if his father had spent most of his time doting on that damnably noble fool, Aric. Personally, he would have preferred to remain in his tower, studying the arcane, not trudging north, to the dreary woods and mountainsides. Regardless, he was not about to turn down the request from his father.

    The Restless Goblin was nothing fancy, but it beat camping in the rain by a long shot. Jerrod stepped inside and hung his soaking wet cloak on a peg by the door, before looking around. Most seemed to be regulars, drowning their sorrows or simply trying to get out of the rain for a bit. However, a familiar man and woman sat together at a table.

    He recognized the dour features of Aric and the braided hair of Iliana. Her skin had darkened somewhat, but he had heard that she'd been in Hammerfell for the past several years. He did not notice any of his other siblings, and so strode over to the table, planting his hands on it before taking a seat. "Brother, sister. You both look well."
     
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  5. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    Lucien Vansierre, cleric-priest of Mara, goddess of love and compassion, rode into the run down village of Crossmore in the pouring rain, his robes wet, and face obscured by a hood. He knew how superstitious the small folk could be, with magic, and especially around those of his ancestry. The Vansierres' weren't trusted, despite what they had done in the shadows for generations. 'Such is the lot of our kin' the cleric reflected somberly as he reached the patchwork stables and dismounted. 'Speaking of siblings...' There were already a pair of horses housed at the stables, and both looked recently ridden, their legs still dirty from the road.

    The cleric left his steed with instructions and gold to the stable master, before patting the satchel at his waist. He remembered his fathers' letter instructing him to meet his siblings at the Restless Goblin inn, before making the trip up to castle Vansierre. Their ancestral home, that Lucien, for one, had been away from for far too long. True, he was they youngest of the siblings, but he also felt he had garnered the most experience, dealing with the faitful from every corner of the world. Despite honestly enjoying his traveling and doing Mara's work, he would be happy to be among family once more.

    The road to the Restless Goblin was all but abandoned, folk trying desperately to keep warm and dry as best they could. For the most part, they paid Lucien no mind, and he returned the favour. But there was one, a young boy no more than twelve, who huddled in the corner, a bandaged arm held to his side, the other extended out to ignorant passerby. As a priest of Mara, he could no more ignore the pitiful sight than he could sever his own arm.

    Taking the short detour off the road, he approached the boy. Hopefully, he held his hand out, but Lucien gently brushed it aside. Instead he lightly laid his fingers against the dirty bandage, sensing the damaged flesh and nerves beneath. A cut, miraculously not infected, but it would be soon, if not tended to. Channeling his divine magic, he sent healing magic into the wound, eliminating the insidious spread of infection and repairing nerve endings and flesh. "Mara's blessing upon you, my son" the cleric murmured, before stepping back into the rain. His hood slipped back, pulled by a sudden burst of wind, and the boys' eyes widened in shock.

    Before he could soothe the child, he'd scrambled away, into the darkness of a nearby alley. Lucien was courteous enough to look away. Letting the boy know his family gifts meant he could penetrate the darkness as easily as any nocturnal creature, would only frighten him more. Tugging his hood back into place, he trudged down the mud and cobble street, until he reached the inn.

    Inside, he saw a trio of familiar figures, all at one table, the latest of them, a robed, familiar man, still dripping rain water onto the aged wooden floor. He approached, a thin smile already tugging at his lips. "Brothers, sister! Mother Mara's blessings be upon you all. I hope the road was as kind to you as it was me?"
     
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  6. Thesius

    Thesius The Imperial Paladin

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    Aric smiled at a familiar voice, from behind him, and the form of his sister, Iliana, second eldest of the Vansierre siblings swung around in front of him and took the seat opposite him. He barely had time to smile at her, noting that her skin was somewhat darker than before and her hair was now worn in tight braids, when a shadow loomed over them. His smile faltered for an instant. He loved all his siblings, but Jerrod Vansierre had a streak of haughty arrogance than grated on Arics' nerves, on a good day. On a bad day, the gaunt sorcerer had him grinding his teeth and praying to Arkay for patience. Jerrod had not changed much since they had parted several years ago. At least not physically. Aric knew little of the ways of magic, and his younger brother had never been one to share secrets. "Iliana, Jerrod. It is good to see you again. I'm sure mother and father will be pleased you could make it." The tone of his words were much more guarded than Aric had intended, but he smiled anyways.

    His smile became more genuine, and a little tension eased from his shoulders when the third newcomer spoke."Brothers, sister! Mother Mara's blessings be upon you all. I hope the road was as kind to you as it was me?" He turned in his seat to see another of his siblings, younger even than Jerrod. Lucien Vansierre, cleric of Mara, stood behind Jerrod, his unique glaive and gold-yellow robes making him stand out in the dingy tavern. He stood to clasp arms with his fellow servant of the divines. "And Arkays' blessing to you, brother. I must admit, I had little trouble reaching Crossmore, though I cannot speak for Jerrod or Iliana. They have only just arrived. Please, join us." He turned and waved for one of two free seats, realizing they would need to commandeer another table when the rest of their siblings arrived.
     
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  7. TheShadedOne

    TheShadedOne The Angry One

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    Serra Vansierre had never really liked sunlight anyways. Or at least thats what she told herself, as her booted foot sank past the ankle into a pool that was more mud than water. It had been raining in Crossmore since she'd arrived, and by the look of things, a good while before that. "No place like home" she muttered, yanking her cloak around herself. Her long coat kept the rain out just fine, but it didn't have a hood. The cloak she'd bought from a traveling merchant headed to Evermore, down south. The thin material was obviously made for warmer climates than Anticlere. But it kept the rain from making her hair a soaked mess, so she couldn't complain too much.

    She had been lurking around the small town for the better part of a week now, and had watched what could only be three of her siblings arrive one after the other. The letter had said to meet at the Restless Goblin inn, but she'd always been a bit of rebel anyways. Besides, she had contacts she wanted to meet with in town before she met her family. It was always best, in her opinion, to come with something to barter with. Even if those she was meeting were family. Especially her family.

    From what she'd heard in her travels up north, the Vansierre name was still about as valuable as horse dung. Never mind that Serra and her siblings had risked life and limb more times than she could count. Certainly more times than the miserable peasants that scurried through the streets could. Their father had always reminded Serra and her siblings that no matter what, they were still nobility. Which didn't count for much, she guessed, if all the other nobles thought you were scum.

    "Thanks, great-great-grandad." She muttered under her breath, glaring at a passing guardsman to stared in her direction a little longer than she would have liked. One look at the pale blue eyes, and the man swore under his breath and stomped on his way. A cough from behind her caught her attention. Most would have dismissed it out of hand, but she hadn't survived in the seedy underbelly as long as she had without paying attention.

    She turned, one hand dipping into her coat, fingers wrapping around the the hilt of a throwing knife. It took her only a moment to recognize the man half hidden and peaking at her from an alley. "Dupont!" She hissed, hurrying towards him. The breton was a greasy haired, gap-toothed little man, and more than a little sleazy. But he knew how to listen, and he knew how to keep his mouth shut. "I expected you days ago. What took you so long?"

    The man looked uncomfortable for a moment, before saying "eh- apologies, mistress. But you wanted to know the goings on since you had left. Getting information like that takes time, if you don't want to draw the wrong sort of attention."

    That made little sense. The people of Crossmore didn't like the Vansierres' anymore than the rest of High Rock, but there'd never been any open attacks against them. Then, Serra and the others had been gone for several years. Things changed. "What are you talking about? Who's attention are you trying to avoid?" Instead of answering, the man ducked back into the alley, waving for her to follow.

    With building apphrension, she slipped into the dark alleyway after him, her eyes adjusting quicker than any humans'. Dupont was nowhere to be found. But there were three heavy built males, in dark tunics, holding clubs and blades in their hand. "It's the Vansierre bitch. I told you she would be here. Same like the rest of that miserable pack." Cursing to herself for trusting Dupont, and for not scouting the alley before hand, she took a step backwards, hoping to lure the three into the open. That was when she heard feet sloshing through the muck behind her. "Nowhere to run, freak." One of the men behind her gloated. This day, Serra reflected, just got better and better.
     
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  8. The_Lost_Foxtrot

    The_Lost_Foxtrot Luwd uf Shoduws

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    The armored male grumbled lowly under his breath as he moved his horse through the rainy night, luckily his cloak and helmet kept him from being too wet but even so he could feel rain drip down his neck and other joints of the blank plated armor he wore. Wrapping the crimson cloak more around himself to keep warm he grimaced as he finally arrived in Crossmore, the streets was deserted in favor of finding shelter from the storm, with only a few guards going on partol here and there. Huffing to himself the nobleman moved towards the stables on the side of the town entrance before he hoisted himself off of the tired snow white mare he was gifted by his mother and father before his departure all those years ago.

    He gently patted the white beast as he took hold of the reins and lead her towards the stable boy, "clean her up, and give her some food and water as well" he requested while tossing the boy a small pouch of gold as payment. However as he was about to leave he paused at the sight of a couple of other horses there, being cleaned and fed like his. He hummed thoughtfully to himself before he left the stables and made his way down the street towards the Restless Goblin, where the letter form his father had instructed them to meet at before heading for their home. He had been within his small compound in Skingrad, looking into a vampire who was rumored to infest the nearby forest there as well as lookng for people to recruit for his little project before being visisted by a curior. Taking the letter and reading it he had ferlt the urgency in the writing and headed for High Rock immediately after giving the captain of the city guard the information he had gathered on the vampire.

    As he was deep in thought over the whole situation, he stopped when he heard some men shouting,
    "It's the Vansierre bitch. I told you she would be here. Same like the rest of that miserable pack." Taking his curiosity he followed the voices into a back alley, stepping to the side as a misreble looking man ran past him before he stepped around the corner. Raising an eyebrow in both amusement and curiosity he recognized one of his sisters right away do to her eyes and hair. "Nowhere to run, freak." One of the men replied in a rather smug tone. Arros let an obvious chuckle leave his lips as he crossed his gauntlet covered arms over his chest, "You seem to be in quite the pickle here eh, Serra dearest?" He said calmly and casually like he was talking about the weather and not some group of thugs harrassing his family member, his voice a bit muffled do to his helmet.
     
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  9. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    Lucien smiled at his eldest brothers' response, and accepted his invitation to take a seat. The others were silent for the most part, almost guarded, but he could not blame them. The Vansierre name had never been one that was held in high esteem. As a cleric of Mara, he was treated with a little more respect than most of his siblings. Such a status allowed him to speak with townsfolk and travelers without being judged, to an extent. His ancestry had bestowed him with the same pale skin and unnatural eyes as the rest of his family. People, especially the common folk, didn't trust that which was strange or different. There was resentment gathering towards Luciens' family, he had learned, though no one would say why or who was behind it. "Brothers, sister. I do not know what you have heard on the road, but I have heard stories of resentment and distrust towards our family in the region. It seems we are no more loved than we were when we left years ago."
     
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  10. Drahkma

    Drahkma Dashing Imperial Officer.

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    Cerian Vansierre glanced up at the sky, then, muttering to himself, then urged his horse to trudge through the ankle deep mud and freezing water that made up the road to Crossmore. 'Better than snow, I suppose' he thought, though the attempt to make light of his situation did not go as well as he would have liked. For one, the trudge up to Crossmore had been fraught with peril. That much he didn't mind. It was the people who'd given him issue. True enough, he'd gotten his fair share of curious stares from nords when he'd spent several years in the frozen province of Skyrim, but they hadn't known the history of the Vansierre family.

    Here, in High Rock, especially the closer they got to the ancestral home of his family, the more likely people were to recognize him. The family name had been dragged through the mud for generations. The peasantry were too scared to act out against him as he rode through their villages and hamlets. But he was sure they'd slit his throat in his sleep, given half a chance. The people had long memories, and the horror stories had only gotten worse with time. Given the choice, Cerian would have much preferred to stay in Skyrim. There, at least, he wouldn't have to sleep with one eye open. And that wasn't taking into consideration what lay at the castle where he and his siblings had spent their youth.

    For every noble that outright stated their dislike of the family, there were half a dozen others who preened and crowed at them, thanking them for hunting the monsters of the wilds. Cerian had never understood why his father put up with the sycophants. It was a large part of why he'd chosen to go to Skyrim- there the people said what they meant. Even if the place was bitterly cold and a wrong step could land you in a trolls den.

    He spotted the town gate just as a pair of miserable looking guards spotted him. Cerian tugged on the reigns, slowing his horse as one of the men held up a hand, gesturing for him to halt. "Hold it. Town's closed 'til morning."

    Cerian scowled down at the man "I'm not waiting until morning, you pillock. Move aside, or I'll ride you down."

    The other guard threw back his head and laughed "just who do you think you are, son? We can't just be letting anyone in after dark."

    Cerian grinned, and pulled his hood back just far enough so that they could get a better look at his face. "Just who do you think I am?"

    The first guard cursed, and the seconds' smile fell right off his face. "Master Vansierre. Of course, your siblings have already come through. I mean, they're stayin' at the Restless Goblin. "

    "My twin as well?" He asked, eager to meet with his sister.

    The two guards glanced at each other, then stepped aside. "Might be, sir. We weren't keepin' a count of how they looked like."

    Cerian scowled at the mangled sentence "that doesn't- nevermind. I'm guessing I can keep my horse at the stables?" A pair of nods came back in confirmation. With an annoyed mumble of thanks, Cerian rode through the gate, noting when he reached the stables, he seemed to be the last one of his siblings to arrive. With a grumbled curse, he dismounted, handed over the stabling gold, and trudged towards the Restless Goblin. He threw open the door, and sure enough, spotted his siblings, most of them, anyways, seated around a table.

    With a warm chuckle, he walked up to them, resting his palms on the table surface as he leaned over his assembled siblings. "Well met! I suppose it would be my luck to arrive last. Where are Serra and Arros? I saw there horses at the stables."
     
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  11. TheShadedOne

    TheShadedOne The Angry One

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    Serras' hand brushed against the hilt of her sword, the other going under her long coat, one of the knives she kept hidden there. These men weren't much a threat, considering the creatures she had faced in the past. But there were at least three of them, and only one of her. Until she heard the strike of metal boots on the watery street around the corner. A figure in full plate armour, glistening in the rain, stopped at the mouth of the alleyway. Normally, the black and gold armour would have been intimidating, but to her, it was a welcome sight. "You seem to be in quite the pickle here eh, Serra dearest?" She grinned as the group suddenly looked a little less certain of themselves, glancing between her and her brother. "Not at all, Arros. These gentlemen and I were just discussing what miserable weather we're having. Isn't that right?"

    The leader of the group glanced from Serra to Arros, then at his fellow thugs. "Uh, that's right, miss. We were just giving you a hard time. We'll be goin' now." The two men blocking the entrance of the alley stepped aside and slipped past her. "You have yourselves a pleasant night, master Vansierre, miss Vansierre. Welcome back to Crossmore." The gang slipped further back into the alley until they turned a corner, out of sight. She quickly joined Arros, in the street "thanks for that" she said quietly, "the next time I see that worm Dupont, I'll feed him his own entrails." She scowled up at the darkening sky, then at the near abandoned road "we should probably go meet up with the others."
     
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