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18+ An Era of Dusk

Discussion in 'Active Stories' started by Madrar, Feb 28, 2020.

  1. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    Sothas looked down as someone tapped on the steel of his gauntlet. It was the other khajiit of the group, Kaliir, he thought her name was, had caught up to him. She asked about Aylira's whereabouts, suggesting rather bluntly that she had a better chance of finding something than he did. He chuckled, a deep rumble in his breast. He wasn't offended by the assumption, mostly because it was true. Aylira could get places he couldn't and was better at picking up on information they normally wouldn't come across. "She's around" he assured her, eyeing her curiously. "Now that we're alone, I've been meaning to ask; you seem a lot more...pragmatic, than our other companions. Are you tagging along solely for the money?"
     
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  2. Thesius

    Thesius The Imperial Paladin

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    After some time spent looking, Argus and Merric managed to find the inn that served travelers going through town. Stepping inside, he noticed Lorkas was just finishing speaking with a redguard woman, the innkeeper, he guessed. Looking around, Argus noted the place was very nearly empty, except for a couple of older men drinking at a table in the far corner of the room. Clearly, business wasn't doing to well, with the undead lurking in the swamps near the village. The innkeeper finished up with the wizard before turning to them. "Sorry about that. What can I help you gentlemen with?"

    "My companions and I require lodgings for the night. There are ten of us." He watched as the innkeepers' eyebrows shot up.

    "I'm sorry, but the Moorside doesn't have that many rooms to spare. We have travelers and a few wandering merchants that we've been renting rooms out to and they can't leave until these undead are dealt with." She explained. "I can give you six rooms, at most."

    Argus shot Merric a doubtful look. He wasn't exactly excited about telling the others they'd have to share rooms, especially since trust still seemed to be in short supply. On the other hand, it didn't look like the others had packed camping supplies and it was even less likely the people of Morthal would want to invite armed strangers into their homes. With a sigh, Argus reached for his coinpurse. "That'll have to do. We'll take all six." They could figure out who was staying with who later. He handed over the gold, and turned to Merric. "Should we go find the others?"
     
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  3. TheShadedOne

    TheShadedOne The Angry One

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    Kaliir shrugged, not bothered by the argonians' straightforwardness. "I'm not doing it because of my conscience, if that's what you're asking. Rescuing these people or stopping their kidnappers is just a means to an end. The sooner we find them, the sooner we're paid." She explained, keeping an ear out for any hints of conversation that would help them. But as she'd come to expect, the people were too skittish around them to give up any good information. She glanced up at Sothas, "your turn. Why are you here? The nords have made it pretty clear they don't like our kind. I saw you step in front of that other khajiit, back at the farmhouse. Are you one of those 'bleeding heart' types, that wants to make the world a better place, or are you a little more...pragmatic?"
     
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  4. Aethalia

    Aethalia Well-Known Member

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    Ysane glanced over, surprised, at the soft spoken statement from the oddly attired dunmer man who had made his way to her side. She had not had a chance to speak to the elf, nor much reason too, but it seemed he'd been watching her behaviour. Her hands drifted down to the hilts of her swords instinctively. The dunmer might not have been a nord, but she wasn't entirely sure he was to be trusted. "One does not need to speak to gather information, but since you approached, what business is it of yours how I go about doing anything?" She tilted her masked head to the side, being sure to keep an eye on the nearby guardsmen even as she faced her fellow mer.
     
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  5. Morbidbread

    Morbidbread Fight for the lost

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    Thoras paused, considering what to say next. It was fairly obvious the woman had her guard up, even without the somewhat antagonistic response. Her body language spoke of a bad history with nords, not surprising, considering she was an altmer and the activities of the Thalmor during the war. But something told him that it was more than mere racial tension. Besides, she didn't have the same aura of arrogance that the few thalmor agents Thoras had met had been swathed in. Something had happened to her, personally, with a nord or nords responsible, he guessed. Much like his own hatred and distrust of necromancy and magic users in general. "I am not your enemy" he assured her, "but if it's privacy you want, I will grant it." He peeled away from her, moving off to the right, with no real destination in mind.

    A quick glance at the sky told him he had perhaps an hour before he was expected to rendezvous with the others, at the local inn. Sensing eyes upon him, he turned to see a young nord boy, ogling his purple coat. With a smile, he flipped a gold coin towards the lad, who snatched it out of the air. "There's another one in it for you if you can point me in the direction of the local inn." The boy pointed past him, deeper into the small town. He caught the second septim as easily as he had the first. "Much appreciated" he turned on his heel, making a lazy path back towards the inn.
     
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  6. Rafen

    Rafen Well-Known Member

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    Dren kept near Zarrs' side as they ambled through the the board walks and muddy streets of Morthal. The town, if it could be called that, was not much to look at. It was probably still better than trying to track missing people through the swamps, or attempting to set up camp there, he admitted to himself. Still, he could feel the suspicious gazes of the guards on him and the townsfolk avoided his gaze the best they could. Tapping his companion's shoulder, he said "perhaps start heading back to the inn, and keep your ears open on the way. I'll meet you back there." Not waiting to see if she did as he suggested, Dren moved on, further into town. He spotted the one he wanted to speak with, the hulking argonian, noticing he was currently speaking to the other khajiit of their group. He met Sothas' eye as he leaned against the wall of a building.
     
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  7. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    Sothas nodded, having half expected such an answer from the khajiit woman. Aylira, much to his chagrin, was more similar to Kaliir than he would have liked. She commented on him stepping in front of the other khajiit woman, Zarr, earlier, at the farmstead. "I admit, I have done things that I am not proud of. But not helping people because they don't like us is beyond petty. The people need our help, so we help them." He wondered if his words would have any impact on Kaliir. She seemed more curious about his motives than approving of them. He caught the suspicious breton, Dren, near the street intersection. The man met his gaze, clearly wanting a word with him. He nodded, letting the breton know that he'd seen him. To Kaliir, he said "excuse me" before going off to meet up with the man. "Dren. What is it you need?"

    Aylira was having little luck finding out anything of interest. By little, it was more like nothing of interest. The people shied away from her whenever she got close, and even if she had managed to corner one of them, she doubted she would have gained much in the ways of information. Flustered by the complete lack of results, she began making her way back towards the gates, and ran into the orc soldier. "So the people here aren't exactly volunteering information. Did you manage to find anything out?" She said, falling in beside him.
     
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  8. Rell

    Rell Champion of Malacath!

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    Balgur was headed towards the inn, frustrated by lack of results or anything that even hinted at where the villagers of Dragonsbridge had been taken. He could have looked for others to question, but he got the feeling that the guardsmen who had arrived when he was speaking to the woman would spread word to their comrades. A precaution, if nothing else. That was less than ideal since as far as he knew, the group had no idea where to look or where to go. Walking a straight path where they thought the villagers had been taken was well and good, but it didn't guarantee results. He was still trudging along when he saw the familiar dark elf woman approaching. She shared that she'd had about as much luck as he had. "Just that the people here don't want to talk to us. They seem as scared of us as they are the dead." He told her, "I hope the others are having more luck."
     
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  9. TheShadedOne

    TheShadedOne The Angry One

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    Kaliir let the argonian go, holding back her retort to Sothas' reasons for doing what he did. She had learned at an early age that nothing came for free. Not money, not food, not safety. If someone wanted those things, they needed to take it. Sothas, on the other hand, seemed to believe the world was full of people that were full of good intent, or at least were deserving of the help of people like her and the others. It was a naive view, she thought, bound to get him killed trying to help someone he shouldn't. Looking around the street, at the guards and civilians going about their day to day lives, she found she'd lost her inclination to question anyone and started heading back towards the inn. She didn't expect to run into any of her companions along the way or at the inn. She guessed there was at least half an hour until they were scheduled to meet up. So it was something of a surprise when she came across the garishly dressed dunmer man and his glaive. "I just can't get away from you, can I?"
     
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  10. Rafen

    Rafen Well-Known Member

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    Dren hesitated, now that he was in close proximity to the grey scaled juggernaut of an argonian. He stood at least half a head shorter than the warrior and was nowhere near as bulky. He reminded himself they were on the same side and took a breath. "I would just like to thank you again for your help back at the farmstead. I-I know you didn't do it for me, but I appreciate it nevertheless." He took a breath "I think I speak for Zarr as well when I say we aren't used to people offering aid when we've got nothing to give in return." The breton looked away, not quite able to meet Sothas' gaze. "So...that's that. I just thought it should be said while we had some time alone." He turned awkwardly away, watching the other khajiit of their group make her way down the street. If he had to guess, he would assume she would not do the same for them.
     
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  11. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    Merric paused at the nords' question. It didn't feel like it was quite dusk outside yet and the tavern remained fairly empty of the crowd one would expect to be inside during the evening hours. He shook his head "No. Let's give them a little more time to discover what information they can." He suggested as he watched the group wizard, Lorkas, make his way back out into the streets. "Perhaps one of us should remain here, in case the others return early." The swordsman suggested, taking a seat near the door. He wasn't quite ready to retire to a room for the night, but he also wasn't sure what use he would be out on the streets. There was little to indicate the innkeeper knew much of the villagers that had either fled from Dragonsbridge or been taken, but asking could not hurt.

    He got back on his feet and walked over to the bar, where the redguard was busily wiping down the surface with a mostly clean rag. She glanced up as he approached "can I get you something to eat? Drink?"

    Merric shook his head, "just information for now, if you'd be so kind. My companions and I are tracking a group that may have abducted some people from Dragonsbridge. I was wondering if you had heard anything about their passage through town."

    The womans' eyes hardened and she shook her head. "Can't say that I have. We haven't had anyone just pass through since the dead started coming back. But..." she trailed off, looking to the side slightly, before saying "there's an old hunter. Knows the lay of the land pretty well. If anyone will have seen something that can help you, it'll be him."

    "Is he here now?" Merric asked, looking around the mostly empty common room.

    "No, but I'll point him out to you when he comes in." She offered.

    "That would be most appreciated," Merric told her, slipping a pair of septims across the bar towards her. She gave him a thin smile, before she went back to her work and he returned to his seat.
     
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  12. Andre Marek

    Andre Marek You can run, but you'll only die tired...

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    Lorkas was just enjoying the final mouthful of his ale when the door swung open and Argus and Merric strode inside, their eyes scanning the room. Although they had no doubt noticed him, neither made to speak with him. Instead, they both headed for the bar where Jonna stood cleaning a mug, and began bartering for what rooms were available. After a brief conversation they seemed to come to an agreement with Jonna. Lorkas, being somewhat distracted thinking about the strange gem, set his now empty mug down and proceeded to stand up from the table.

    Almost immediately he felt weak in the knees and he felt his head spin with dizziness. He almost fell back into his chair but managed to steady himself with a hand on the table as he recovered from the sudden burst of weariness. If he hadn't known better, he would have thought that he had drank half a dozen mugs of the potent ale rather than only one. 'That fight on the road must have taken more out of me than I thought.' Lorkas shook his head lightly as he made for the door. Once outside, Lorkas found the cool air helped greatly in clearing his head. As he descended the wooden steps, he sucked lungfulls of the humid air, feeling his strength return with each breath.

    The stroll across the town didn't take but a few minutes but refreshed him greatly. Upon reaching Falions home he knocked on the door and waited patiently for the mage. After a moment, he heard a deadbolt slide open and the door opened enough that Falion could peer out at him. Although he had aged a bit and it had been a few years since they had met, Falion still recognized him almost immediately.

    "Lorkas?" Falion said, obviously surprised, "It's been years hasn't it? What are you doing here?" He opened the door fully and gestured for Lorkas to enter. "I hope you didn't trek all the way through that swamp just for a few books?" Lorkas chuckled as he stepped through the doorway.

    "Aha, no." He slipped his hand into his satchel and withdrew the gemstone, "I was actually hoping you could tell me a bit more about this."
     
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  13. Harkatti

    Harkatti Sorceress Supreme!

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    Zarr wasn't too keen on splitting up, especially with Dren behaving the way he had, but it seemed safe enough, for now. Of course, assuming safety was a great way to get killed. The small khajiit woman made her way through the village, heading towards where she thought the inn might be. She caught the occasional glimpse of the others from her group, though she kept her distance. There was a lot to think about, most of it involving what would happen when they caught up to whoever had taken the villagers. If someone had taken them. For all they knew, the people were simply looking for a way to flee Skyrim. She wasn't a military woman, but she was easily overlooked and fairly unthreatening. People tended not to guard their words so closely around her.

    Zarr had heard that there was a chance the empire might be planning a new offensive into Skyrim, while the nords were getting ever more paranoid. The way the stormcloak captain and his cronies had treated her and the other non-nords at Dragons bridge seemed to reinforce that. While she walked, she kept her ears perked, listening for any hints that would lead them to the farmers. Or at least something that would indicate that they'd been seen headed through or past Morthal. She didn't hear anything of the sort. Suppressing a sigh of disappointment, she began to work her way closer to the inn. She hoped they were on the right track- she definitely didn't fancy backtracking through that horrid swamp and facing off against more undead. Or worse, trolls.
     
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  14. Morbidbread

    Morbidbread Fight for the lost

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    Thoras was still making his slow, meandering way towards the inn, flashing grins at the passerby as they stared at the oddly attired, glaive-toting dark elf in their town, when he heard a slightly exasperated voice. "I just can't get away from you, can I?" Thoras spun on his heel to see Kaliir, greatsword still slung across her back, looking as vexed as she sounded. "Well if it isn't the embodiment of joy and pleasantries. Where were you, off kicking puppies?" He asked with a smirk designed purely to irritate her as he strolled closer. He didn't really expect a response, and though he was grateful for her assistance back in the swamp, he had no desire to let her hold the fact that she'd saved him from an unpleasant death over his head. Besides, it had hardly been his first brush with a promised end to his existence. Once he was only a couple feet away, he turned slightly, indicating they should continue along the road, towards the inn.
     
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  15. TheShadedOne

    TheShadedOne The Angry One

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    Kaliirs' ears tilted backwards and her tail twitched with barely suppressed annoyance. "Don't make me regret saving you." She reached back and touched the hilt of Moonfang. She turned in the direction he'd indicated, guessing that was where the inn was. "For your information, I was talking with that big argonian. Sothas." She told him as they walked, "for someone that can hack a man in half with that cleaver he carries, he seems...soft. Gave me some line about helping people because they needed help." She shrugged, "not my cup of tea, but I suppose everyone's allowed an opinion. Even if it's wrong." They walked a little further, before she asked "what about you? Besides strutting around town and being...flashy, what have you done?"
     
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  16. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    "I noticed that too" Aylira admitted, not surprised that the soldier had come across the same problems she had noticed. "I can't really say how long the dead have been around and I haven't bothered asking, but..." she stepped closer to him, "the defences were put up recently. They aren't necessarily poorly made, just done in a rush." Having relayed her bit of information, the dark elf fell silent, keeping pace with the orc as they walked. "Should we make our way to the inn? It must be getting close to the meeting time." She suggested.

    " I hope that you and Zarr don't feel that you owe me something. We need to work together if we're going to find these missing people.." He placed his hand on the bretons shoulder. "You can count on my help any time." He said sincerely, before looking up to the sky. "I think the time of our meeting is coming up. We should get a move on." He didn't mention that he was more than a little hurt by the suspicious glares shot his way by the passerby. A little suspicion was to be expected, but it wasn't like they'd snuck into town and taken the jarl hostage. "Trust is in short supply here. It's good we can rely on each other."
     
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  17. Morbidbread

    Morbidbread Fight for the lost

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    Thoras made a point of looking hurt as Kaliir described his attire as 'flashy'. "I prefer the word 'flamboyant'. Besides, this could be the official garb of a dunmeri house." Groups of locals were beginning to make their way towards the inn, paralleling Thoras and Kaliir. The dunmer smiled at some and winked at a few as they eyed the odd pair. Dunmer weren't especially common this far from Windhelm and he imagined khajiit were even more rare. The flow of foot traffic increased, indicating that dusk was fast approaching and work had ceased for the day. He wondered if the others had made their own way already, or if they were still out and about trying to gather what information they could. Looking back at his companion, he said "for all you know, you could have just-" the words came to an abrupt stop, unusual for a silver tongued individual such as he.

    Something, movement to their right caught his eye and caused him to lose his train of thought. He slowed his pace as well, turning more fully and giving the area a more thorough visual scan. People moved around him as he focused. Whatever had seen, if it was anything at all, was no longer there. A guard gave him a strange look as he walked past and a few men in workers tunics grumbled as they stepped around him. The dunmer paid them no mind, trying in vain to catch the glimpse of a black cloak or robe that he was sure he'd seen not five moments ago. When he saw no one wearing such a cloak or other article of cloth that could be described as 'black' he sighed and made to catch up to his companion.
     
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  18. TheShadedOne

    TheShadedOne The Angry One

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    Kaliir snorted at the dunmers' protest- she couldn't contain herself. As annoying as he was, some of the things that came out of his mouth were too ridiculous not to laugh at. "If that's true, the dunmeri houses have s*** fashion sense." She remarked, continuing with the growing crowd of people. The elf started to say something else, but his sentence abruptly cut off. That seemed unusual; in the short time she'd known him, he'd seemed incapable of keeping his mouth shut for more than a couple seconds. She turned to look at him, only to find that he had fallen behind and was staring off to the right. People were having to move around him, he was so focused on whatever it was he was looking for. With a grumble, she doubled back to his side "what is it now?" She demanded, trying to follow his eyeline. She didn't see anything except townsfolk and the occasional guard. The elf didn't answer her and she frowned, starting to get concerned. Reaching out, she flicked her fingers against the back of his hand. "Hey. Are you alright?"
     
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  19. Morbidbread

    Morbidbread Fight for the lost

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    Thoras scanned the crowd in vain as he moved, nearly running into Kaliir as she flicked her fingers against the back of his hand. He realized that he hadn't even noticed her coming back to meet him. Judging by the mix of irritation and a little concern on her face, she'd been trying to get his attention with no luck. He opened his mouth and found that a witty remark was not coming forth. He could not fathom why the glimpse of a cloaked figure had shaken him so, but he was not thrilled about it. He prided himself on his ability to remark on any situation at the drop of a septim. Being robbed of that, even temporarily, did not sit well. "I thought I saw someone" he pointed in the direction, off to the right, away from the path leading towards the inn. "Wearing a dark cloak or robe, perhaps. But I must have been mistaken, or perhaps I'm more weary than I thought." He shrugged and managed a small smile, attempting to forget the sense of unease that had settled over him. "Nothing a stiff drink and good meal won't cure though. Come on."
     
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  20. TheShadedOne

    TheShadedOne The Angry One

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    Hearing his words, Kaliir glanced around, keeping a close eye on the crowd, suddenly on guard. She didn't see anyone in robes and the few people she saw wearing cloaks were mostly fur lined and thick to help with the cold. She did, however, see a narrow path between a pair of houses, leading to the east. She glanced meaningfully towards it, before reaching up and loosening the strap that held Moonfang to her back. "Might be nothing, but it can't hurt to go take a look." She started leading him down the path, splitting her attention between the ground, looking for tracks, and the path ahead, looking for people. She saw neither but didn't let that discourage her. The passage of people had mucked up the ground too much for her to make out any indicator that someone had been fleeing from them. "If there was someone, they might be trying to scale the wall."
     
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