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18+ An Era of Dusk

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

  1. Thesius

    Thesius The Imperial Paladin

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    The orc responded to Argus' question as he'd expected. He didn't think many orcs wandered the roads these days, and even fewer in legion armour. If they did, they certainly didn't survive as long as this one had. Before he could remark on that, the bartender made the mistake of drawing the greenskins attention.

    As if unaware that provoking a man in heavy armour with more than one weapon visible was a bad idea, he continued on about how not many 'of his kind' were seen around any more. The barkeep now had the orcs full attention. Aware that a murder in the towns' only tavern would go poorly for anyone caught by the guard, nord or not, Argus swiftly made his way to the orcs side.

    Aware also, that the orc might decide to turn on him, he gingerly grabbed his shoulder. "Stay calm. I'm sure our friend here didn't mean anything by those words, now did you?" The barkeep, greatful for a way out of his predicament, nodded rapidly. "Perhaps you have some tankards to clean out, and maybe a meal to prepare?" Again, the man nodded, then hurriedly went about his task. With a relieved sigh, Argus turned back to the orc "sorry about him. Some of my kinsmen are a little less...tactful than myself. What was your name?"

    As the orc responded, the door, swung open yet again. Except this time, it wasn't adventurers or mercenaries that entered. Three stormcloaks, walked in, their leader, a rugged individual, took in the small crowd with a look of disdain. He spat on the floor and spoke "Right. I'm captain Torhulf. Which of you leads this...rabble of cuthroats?" Argus glanced at the others. No one had really brought up the issue of leadership or working together even. The one thing Argus knew was that there was no way the captain would work fairly with a non-nord. He seemed like one of the purist radicals that Argus' father had spent hours entertaining back in Windhelm. With an apologetic half shrug to the others, he stepped forwards and, keeping the same gruff nordic accent he'd used since entering the bar, announced "that'd be me. Argus Hjarsson, at your service, captain."
     
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    #21 Thesius, Mar 8, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
  2. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    The captain turned to the nord at the bar, and nodded approvingly. "Aye, as it should be. A proper nord, are you?" He glanced bemusedly at the tall, robed nord standing beside the man called Argus, something in his expression conveying his disdain for mages, but not wanting to insult someone taller and apparently as fit as he was, never mind being a fellow nord.

    Without giving Argus the chance to confirm or deny his 'proper nordness' he continued. "As you've probably heard, these disappearances have been going on for just over a year now. The high king wants them stopped. The latest disappearances were a family of redguards. Their farm is a little outside of town, to the east. Speak to the guard there, and he'll let you poke around a bit. Speak with him if you've got any questions."

    Merric watched as the nord captain took one last look at the mixed bag of argonian,dunmer, khajiit and several humans, shook his head, and left the Four Shields, flanked by his fellow stormcloaks. Before he approached their self appointed leader, Merric noted movement at the door.
     
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  3. TheShadedOne

    TheShadedOne The Angry One

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    Kaliir smirked at the blue eyed dunmer, her lips curling back to reveal fangs. Something about his demeanour unsettled her, but she wasn't sure what. Maybe it was his entirely unpleasant, optimistic attitude. "The only way you're 'seeing' my blade, is when it's in full swing."

    The door opened again, but instead of more adventurers, a trio of stormcloak soldiers walked in. Their leader looked around disdainfully, then demanded the leader of the group inside the tavern. One of the nords standing at the bar stepped forwards and claimed the leadership.

    Kaliirs' eyes narrowed, both at the dismissiveness of the stormcloak captain and the presumptiveness of the man at the bar. The man and his comrades turned and left the bar. She turned back to the elf. "I don't like you." She declared, "but I like him less."
     
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  4. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    Sothas was in a good position to see the breton who walked inside, the latest adventurer type that had joined the growing group inside. The man barely had time to clear the doorway when three stormcloaks stomped inside, their leader glancing around for a moment, glaring at the non-humans in the crowd, before spitting and demanding their leader.

    The man who'd introduced himself to the orc as Argus, stepped forwards, and the stormcloak captain nodded approvingly. Once that was done, the nord told them of a farm to the east, where the last people that had disappeared had lived. Sothas turned to their suddenly self appointed leader. "So what now? Do you want to investigate this farm?"

    Aylira grinned at the khajiit woman, thoroughly pleased with herself for having irritated her, even if she hadn't learned anything. "My names' Aylira. Have you been here long?"
     
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  5. Aethalia

    Aethalia Well-Known Member

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    Ysane was not a naturally stealthy woman. Life on a ship had made stealth all but impossible. Cramped quarters, prying eyes and little downtime, meant that everyone knew where everyone else most of the time. Before being confronted by the thalmor upon her ship, she had never seen the need for stealth.

    Life in prison, and perhaps more pertinently, life outside of prison had changed that. There was even less privacy when most of one's life was spent in a cell. She hadn't taken place in planning the riot, but she had, like so many others, taken advantage of it.

    At the height of the carnage, she had reclaimed her weapons and armour, and fled, killing an unfortunate guard who'd come across her when she was mere inches from making good on her escape. With freedom finally hers, Ysane had initially spent the first few months making for the coast.

    That was before she had heard of disappearances from a group of traveling merchants near Whiterun. Apparently, the high king, or one of his commanders, had decided to summon a group of mercenaries to the town of Dragon Bridge. Ysane had never been there before, but directions had been easy enough to acquire.

    She had slipped past the guard, concealing her identity the best she could with a scarf and hood. She was headed for the towns' tavern when she spotted a small group of Stormcloaks making their way inside.

    They were back out soon after, with the man she assumed to be their leader shooting a disgusted look over his shoulder. She peaked around the corner, spotting a large group of what she presumed to be mercenaries. Guessing they would be her comrades, she ensured her hood and scarf were concealing most of her features.

    She slipped inside, and nodded a greeting to those already inside, her eyes falling upon a tall nord, standing beside a slightly shorter, but more fiercesome looking argonian. A breton man was standing near the door, with a long scar on his forehead. "Good morning," she said to him cautiously.
     
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  6. Rell

    Rell Champion of Malacath!

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    Balgur felt a slight tug as a hand grabbed his armored shoulder and a voice in his ear urged him to stay calm. The nord that wasn't wearing robes, that he'd heard call himself Argus, stepped up beside him and started talking to the barkeep, who seemed perfectly happy to get started on the tasks Argus suggested.

    The old soldier glared at the man for another couple of beats, before he turned away. The nord in mantled robes drew his attention once again. The man had a short blade strapped to his back, and wore a pair of leather bracers,but his attire made Balgur think 'mage'. "No offense," he said to the potential mage, "but I thought nords frowned on wizards and magic?"

    Balgur had little time to listen to the maybe-wizards response before the door was almost thrown open and three soldiers in the familiar Stormcloak blue marched in. Their leader introduced himself as a captain and demanded the assorted mercenaries make their own leader known.

    The man who had intervened a moment ago stepped forwards, declaring himself as such. Balgur frownwed. More than was usual for him, anyways. Argus, as he was called didn't seem like much of a soldier or a leader, but he seemed quick on his feet. Unless they were very desperate, the former legionnaire doubted the Stormcloaks would have accepted Balgur or one of the elves or khajiit as a leader.

    He caught the glare of one soldier who was eyeing his legion armor with an ugly sneer on his face. Defiantly, Balgur jutted his chin out, daring the nord to make a move. The human looked away first, as the captain finished describing the location they were to investigate first. The group went out the same door, and Balgur glanced between the two nords. "Are they always that hostile, or is it just..." he waved to the assembled races inside "this?"
     
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  7. Andre Marek

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

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    Lorkas smiled as the Orc referenced his attire. It was no secret that he was a mage after all. "Mhmm you have a point, most of my people don't like mages," He indicated the Orcs armor in return, "But they like the Legion even less. No offense, I understand loyalty, but what possessed you to wear that particular armor into Skyrim?"

    While he spoke a tall woman entered the room wearing scaled Elven armor with a pair of curved swords at her waist. Despite her attempts to hide her features, Lorkas was sure she was a high elf from the hue of her skin. He narrowed his eyes briefly at the woman as she spoke to the man who had enter right before the Stormcloak captain. He didn't have anything in particular against her but he was beginning to worry that such a mixed group was going to attract the wrong sort of attention.

    He nodded at her, indicating her to the Orc,
    "Although she might be liked even less." He muttered, taking a sip from his ale.
     
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  8. Rafen

    Rafen Well-Known Member

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    Dren had long since finished his food, but he hadn't been able to properly enjoy it. First the strange dunmer, and now the other dunmer woman who seemed less curious, more...dangerous, was questioning Zarr. Finally, he looked over to her, eyes narrowed. "Names can be dangerous things. You should take care who you tell yours to."

    A bit of movement near the door made him glance in that direction, but he quickly averted his gaze and dropped his hand to the hilt of his sword. "Trouble" he muttered, hoping his companions keen ears would pick up the word. Three stormcloaks had marched inside.

    While Dren was fairly certain he could handle at least one of them, there was bound to be more where they came from. If word had spread that two fugitives had arrived in Dragon Bridge...

    His fears were put aside as the leader, a captain, announced at he was looking for whoever was in charge of the group assembled in the tavern. Dren was careful not to appear curious, but he heard someone with a nordic accent step forwards, and the captains' approval. He watched the three soldiers leave the inn, and released a breath he didn't realize he'd been holding.
     
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  9. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    Ayliras' eyes narrowed at the somewhat threatening tone the breton spoke in. "And blades are dangerous all the time" she looked from him to the khajiit woman at the mention of trouble. Clearly, they weren't too found of the stormcloaks. She had no love for them either, but they also seemed nervous around them. Leaning in, she said "what has you so spooked? Are you fugitives, or do you have something against stormcloaks for whatever reason?" She was leaning towards the former, but there were probably plenty of people with a grudge against the former rebels.
     
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  10. Rell

    Rell Champion of Malacath!

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    Balgur shrugged at the mages' question "Grew up in Skyrim, in one of the strongholds. Joined the legion when the war started up, about ten years back now. Maybe a little longer than that." He glanced over his shoulder to make sure the stormcloaks weren't heading back inside. They weren't stupid, but there was a difference between someone wearing legion armor and having been in the legion.

    "I retired after the empire left Skyrim. They let me keep the gear in recognition of my service. Besides," he grinned and rapped his knuckles against his breast plate "this is damn good armor. It'd be a shame to let it go to waste." It was only when he finished his explanation that he realized the mage was now looking slightly past him with a troubled expression on his face.


    "Although she might be liked even less." The man commented, and Balgur followed his stare to a woman in distinct scale armor and what skin that was visible being gold-toned. "Huh. Didn't think there were any elves sticking around these parts. Thalmor?"
     
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  11. Harkatti

    Harkatti Sorceress Supreme!

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    Dren confronted the dunmer woman, but she wasn't backing down, instead making a none too subtle hint about blades. Zarr's ears flattened and her eyes narrowed. The dark elf had crossed a line from nosiness to threats, and she wasn't about to let her intimidate her friend.

    "Trouble"
    the word was soft, but she recognized Drens' voice. Her ears perked up and she glanced to the side, towards the door. Three stormcloak soldiers had walked in, but none of them seemed very intersted in Zarr or Dren. Yet. The captain spoke with one of the other nrods at the bar for a few moments before all three turned and walked out again.

    The dark elf, Aylria, picked up on her behaviour. As annoying as the woman was, she was also fairly observant. That in itself could be trouble. But it was better to let her know a little, rather than have her asking around elsewhere. "We have...a fairly unfrindly past with the stormcloaks" Zarr admitted, motioning between herself and Dren.
     
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  12. Madrar

    Madrar The Shadow in the Dark.

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    Merric was in the midst of carefully watching the group that had already been present when he'd walked in. They were certainly a colourful assembly, with only three humans among them. Of those, only two seemed to be nords. Even more surprisingly, of the non humans, two were khajiit, and one was a hulking argonian that was covered in dark armour and had a large shield strapped to his back.He wondered how they would be able to travel anywhere without drawing far too much attention. He was about to approach the self appointed leader, a nord with a neatly trimmed dark beard and mustache, wearing a mix of leather and steel, when he heard a soft voice from behind him.

    "Good morning," the speaker was a tall woman, an elven woman, judging by what he could see of her face. It was clear she was trying to conceal her identity, at least to some extent. Merric noted the scimitars and scaled armour she wore. He'd heard stories of altmer being great sorcerers and wizards, but the elf before him seemed very much a warrior, rather than a mage. "Hello", Merric replied, "will you be joining us?"
     
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  13. Morbidbread

    Morbidbread Fight for the lost

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    Upon hearing the khajiits' words, Thoras placed a hand on his chest, over his heart. "You don't like me? I'm hurt. Truly, terribly wounded by your words." He turned abruptly on his heel, and strode towards the large argonian and the armoured nord. The Stormcloaks had left, and Thoras overheard the argonian wondering whether they should investigate the abandoned house to the east. "Not a bad idea, my armoured friend, but first, I believe introductions are in order." He performed an overly theatrical bow, planting his glaive, base down to one side, bending at the waist, and extending his other hand out to his side. "I, am Thoras Lorian, hunter of the wicked and all around wonderful individual, if I say so myself." He straightened from his bow and looked from the nord to the argonian. "What might your names be?"
     
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  14. TheArgonianDrell

    TheArgonianDrell Well-Known Member

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    Sothas looked down at the flamboyant dark elf, slightly amused. He was very much different than Aylira, he noted, as he could see his friend glaring at the khajiit and breton couple seated at a table not too far away. The glaive he wielded, however, looked quite deadly, and Sothas wasn't too keen to have him as an enemy. He didn't trust him, but he suspected that Aylira and Sothas would need allies if they were to find and stop whatever was taking people. He nodded, "I am Sothas Abrium. My companion over there is Aylira. If what you say is true, we're here on the same purpose."
     
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  15. Aethalia

    Aethalia Well-Known Member

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    Ysane inclined her head at the breton mans' question. "I hope so. I would certainly like to." She looked over to where the nord in forest green robes and an orc in legionary armour was watching them. "I may not be a nord, or native to Skyrim, but people here need help. Even if they are not too willing to accept it from an elf." Without lowering her scarf, the words were softened, but it was clear she meant them as much for the breton as she did the robed nord and the orc. Clearing her own name, if they were succesful, was something else that she wanted. But bringing that up now, that this new, unusual group were about to be traveling with a branded prison escapee, would be most unwise.

    Until it was safe to do so, for herself if no one else, she would keep that to herself. Her mind drifted, briefly, to the warm, friendly shores of Alinor. The land and friends she'd left behind there. It would be difficult to dodge the Thalmor, certainly, but it could be done. For all they knew, she'd dived overboard a ship, into the sea of ghosts ten years ago, and either drowned or frozen to deaths on icy shores. She nodded slightly to the breton, before taking a seat where she was close enough to observe the others, but not intruding on their group.
     
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  16. Thesius

    Thesius The Imperial Paladin

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    Argus looked around, at the various races scattered throughout the Four Shields, and wondered how, in the divines' names, he was going to pass himself off as a simple spokesman and not some turncoat guiding a bunch of imperial spies around the country. I came here to help people. He reminded himself sternly, trying and failing to ignore the amused sounding chuckle at the back of his mind. "One problem at a time," he muttered, and then belatedly realized two things. One, he had just spoken aloud in the midst of a group of strangers. Two, a tattooed, blue eyed dunmer man was looking at him expectantly, and Argus realized he had introduced himself as Thoras Lorian. A strange name for a dark elf, he thought, never having met a dark elf with a name quite like that during his time in Windhelm. "Excuse me, master Lorian." He said, keeping the gruff, nordic commoner accent he'd adopted since walking into the place, "I am Argus Hjorsson. And-" he looked around, "the, eh, 'spokesperson' for this group."

    He glanced over to the nord who he'd heard introduce himself as Lorkas, currently speaking with the legion-armoured orc man. Then, remembering the nord captain relaying the information about the farm, walked into the center of the tavern. He thumped his fist down on the center of an empty table, hoping to gain the attention of at least some of the others. When a few of them had looked up from their conversations, he nodded "good morning. I realize I might have been a little straight forwards when I told the captain" he jerked a thumb towards the door the stormcloaks had left, "that I was in charge. Don't think I expect any of you to follow me." He took a moment to look at the khajiit with the sword nearly taller than she was, and the new comer, a woman with the distinct skin colour of an altmer. "But we share a common purpose; helping the people here. I suggest we go look at this farmhouse. The sooner we find those missing folks...the sooner we'll get paid." He added the extra incentive, wondering how many actually present had joined up at the promise of gold.

    Without another word, he nodded to the dunmer man, Thoras, and the argonian, before leaving the tavern. The sun was truly shining now, but the wind was as cold as it had been hours before. He left town headed east, mentally reciting the captains' directions. More people were in the streets now, and quite a few eyed his armour and weapons as he strode past. Eventually, he left the town proper behind, and after maybe another ten minutes of walking, reached the farmhouse that they'd been directed to. A local guardsman stood at the closed door, and he nodded to Argus. "Are you the ones come to investigate?" He asked.

    "Aye, that'd be us. Did you hear or see anything strange while on guard?"

    The guard, maybe a year shy of manhood, looked nervous, eyeing the strange group behind him, "no, sir. I was only posted here a couple hours ago. I'll tell you though, was mighty spooky before sun up."

    With a friendly pat on the shoulder, Argus said "why don't you go get yourself something to eat? We'll probably be a while."

    The young guard nodded and went back the way the group had come. Argus eyed the quiet farmhouse and the surroundings wearily before speaking again "might as well take a look around. Call out if you find anything."
     
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  17. Harkatti

    Harkatti Sorceress Supreme!

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    Before the dark elf woman could ask any other pryring questions, one of the nords at the bar, the one who'd spoken up when as their leader, stepped into what was roughly the middle of the tavern and rapped his knuckles on the top of an unoccupied table. Zarr, already having watched him approach, notice he seemed preoccupied with something else. He took a moment to gather himself, and then launched into a long-winded speech about how he wasn't expecting them to follow him, but how their purposes were the same. The petite khajiit glanced across the table at Dren, knowing that wasn't exactly true for their case. If having this nord, and anyone else who was being lumped into the same group believe they were joining the group for gold or out of altruism, helped their cause, it was best not to speak up.

    She stole a quick glance at a few of the others, wondering at their own motives. She had no intentions of prying, of course. Most people, she found, tended to trade question for question, and Zarr wasn't sure any of them were trustworthy. She definitely didn't intend to stick her neck out for any of them- the sole exception being Dren, and didn't expect them do stick theirs out for her. The nord finished his speech and stepped outside without another look at the group.

    Zarr had more experience hiding from people than looking for them, but she stood as well, tapping Dren twice on the shoulder to get him up. If nothing else, searching for missing nords would, divines willing, keep her away from the nosy dark elves. She kept behind their 'leader' as he walked eastwards, keeping to herself as much as possible and avoiding eye contact. After about ten minutes, they reached the farmhouse, where a nord guard, not a stormcloak, it seemed, spoke briefly with the man. "might as well take a look around. Call out if you find anything."

    "Right" Zarr murmured to herself, then glanced at the darkened windows of the house. If someone, or something had taken the place as its' own, she definitely didn't want to be the first inside. "We'll look around out here" she told the nord, then nudged her companion "c'mon, Dren." She stepped around the house, keeping an eye to the ground. Whatever had taken the people inside must have first been outside. She examined prints in the ground, seeking any unusual disturbance. As she looked around, she asked Dren "what do you think of this group?"
     
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  18. Rafen

    Rafen Well-Known Member

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    Dren paid little attention to the nord as he made his speech. He never took his eyes off the dunmer woman sitting at the table nearby. The blue eyed dark elf, at least, had seemed more politely interested, if somewhat intrusive. The woman, on the other hand, made him wonder if someone had recognized Zarr and himself. They'd been careful, but caution could only go so far. Either way, it seemed they were stuck with this new group now. The stormcloaks or at least their captain, had made it clear that non-nords weren't welcome and non-humans even less so.

    He got up with Zarr, and followed the nord outside, eventually arriving with the others who had chosen to leave the inn at an abandoned, willingly or not, farmhouse. The nord who'd been in the lead suggested they look around for hints as to what might have happened, and Zarr volunteered to look around outside, nudging him to follow. "what do you think of this group?" She asked as soon as they were out of earshot of the others. "They're mercenaries. Most of them, anyways. I think we need to be very careful, if we're going to be travelling with them for any amount of time."
     
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  19. Morbidbread

    Morbidbread Fight for the lost

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    Thoras inclined his head with a smile to the two men. "Sothas Abrium, and Argus Hjorsson. A pleasure and an honour to meet you." If the nord was listening, he gave no impression of it, instead wandering to the center of the tavern and getting the attention of the others scattered around the place. The mage hunter shrugged and leaned against the bar, ignoring the suspicious glare of the bartender, who was keeping well out of arms' reach of the orc.

    The dark elf nodded to the robed nord who had been in conversation with the orc up until a few moments ago. "I'd wager my last coin that you're a mage." He glanced at the hilt of the shortsword protruding over the humans' shoulder. "Though one that takes the proper precautions. Smart." He narrowed his eyes as he watched Argus march out the door, followed by a few of the others. "I suppose we should follow. Won't be much gold in it for us if we lag behind, eh?" He motioned for the mage to precede him, both to be courteous and so he could keep an eye on him. The nord didn't seem a necromancer or other practicioner of foul magics, but blind trust was for fools. "After you."
     
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  20. Andre Marek

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

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    Lorkas gave a wry smile to the dark elf, nodding his head and stepping through the doorway. Once outside he saw that Argus was already well on his way out of town with a few of the others following not far behind. Lorkas couldn't blame the man for taking the initiative. It probably would have fallen to himself next if the other Nord hadn't been so forthcoming. Now he just wondered how the rest of the group would enjoy having someone else speaking for them.

    He glanced back at the dark elf, "So I take it you don't like mages much hmm?" Lorkas didn't see much point in pretending he was anything other than what he was. Especially not if their group of dangerous strangers was going to make it very far in the search for the culprit behind the disappearances.

    "Don't like magic? Or just those that use it?" As he spoke, he snapped his fingers loudly, a small flame popped into existence and then out again with a flourish of his hand, "Many of my countrymen would refuse to speak to me on account of it you know. Not that it bothers me too much."

    As they neared the farmhouse that was the site of the latest disappearance, Lorkas could see that a few of the others had begun to spread out over the rough property. He looked over to the dark elf one more, "I don't think I caught your name..."
     
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