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18+ The Eagle and the Dagger

Discussion in 'Active Stories' started by Malanima'ar the Stygian, Aug 10, 2020.

  1. Malanima'ar the Stygian

    Malanima'ar the Stygian Resplendent Daedra Conjurer

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    Out-of-game context HERE

    Two years have passed after the beginning of the fifth era and, with it, the might and soul of the Nords of Skyrim. Not long ago, the civil war had been won by The Empire and the usurper Ulfric Stormcloak killed in open battle in the city of Windhelm. For a few years there was peace, but shortly after came the small pockets of rebellion. They had started as nothing more than the odd attack on Imperial patrols and camps, but gradually they became more aggressive and more frequent. The attackers had always been dressed in Stormcloak attire and so, it was said that the rebellion never died.
    That was until the Aldmeri dominion began settling in: like a smothering respiratory disease from stoking fires for too long. This happened after an order had been passed by the Thalmor to 'assist' the Empire in snuffing out these attacks due to its 'ineptness to cope with the circumstances alone', but for some reason, the attacks never lulled nor stopped fully, until those of the mark of the Eagle chose to settle most of their forces in the cold province.
    It had happened gradually: spanned over a few years - hold guards were reinforced and Thalmor headquarters were erected in every hold, but soon the number of hold guards became sparse and Thalmor justiciars became the more common sight to see in all of the major cities.
    Then it happened - The Night of Mist...
    Seemingly, in one night, Imperial Jarls and iconic families disappeared: both Stormcloak and Empire sympathizers at once - gone, as if they had never been. Even the proud General Tulius was never seen again. It was as if the Empire had been taken off the map entirely in Skyrim. Nothing was said, for, in that same instant, it was quickly learned that anyone that spoke out of turn or questioned the event soon went missing too.
    So began the fifth era - with thunderous booms of a covert Aldmeri takeover; the likes of which had never been seen since The Great War.


    Our story begins in the city of Whiterun, under hushed tones and clandestine nooks in the city less-patrolled by Justiciars. The whispers of a movement against the Aldmeri Dominion occupation hang briefly on the tongues of some newcomers to the hold.


    - - -

    "What's this then?"
    The Justiciar cut open the small sack that had been pried from the Khajiit's hands. "Skooma?" The Altmer held the sack before the Khajiit who was almost prone, heaving from being winded. The Altmer then pulled out a handful of juniper berries and gawked at it with displeasure before casting all of them upon the cat who lay near-incapacitated on the ground. "Get lost, Cat! Take your stolen goods elsewhere!" The Justiciar spouted before kicking the Khajiit in the midsection a second time and heading back towards the main gate with his colleague.
    Malaeko watched as another Khajiit, no doubt the initial's spouse, tend to the creature, cursing under her breath. The Dunmer raised his head to the deluge that had been ensuing for the past two days without any sign of stopping: he hated the rain. He hated the mud it left too - always caking his shoes and finding its way into his rugs at home, and he was beginning to grow tired of the cold as well. After the second day of rain had started, he had uprooted all of his crops in the fear of them being washed away, only to discover that most of the roots had rotten away. In his anger, he blasted most of them into a smoldering heap of ash and steam and made his way to Whiterun in hopes of recovering some sort of finance through his enchanted trinkets.
    Now he was here: bearing witness to a situation that had become all too familiar to him. Of course, he didn't dislike the Khajiit but the thought of being inconvenienced by the effort of having an argument with and possibly being arrested by a Justiciar just didn't seem justified to him, ever. In fact, he was more displeased with the fact that he was getting soaked through on this rainy evening by standing and watching the events unfold in front of him than the actual events themselves.
    "Ugh." He grumbled to himself.
    To lull the displeasure he was experiencing, he decided to make his way into the city and to the Bannered Mare where he could possibly sell a few of his trinkets and potions - a few Septims ought to change his mood.
    The Dunmer halted at the main gate and lifted his arms, followed by the roll of his eyes as the guard approached for the routine pat-down. He kept all of his possessions in plain sight attached to his belt to avoid any unnecessary attention or questioning - Azura forbid if a guard found anything that even remotely seemed concealed.
    "A mage ought to have a dagger to defend himself. Where's your's?"
    By his accent, the guard was a Nord. Malaeko pulled up his nose in disgust: "Some weapons don't exist in this plane of existence. Can I go in now?"
    He thought he caught a smirk on the face on one of the Justiciars positioned not far behind the guard.
    "Go right on in." The guard answered after a few moments of hesitation.
    Ridiculous, Malaeko thought as he wandered into the city, lingering under the overhang to avoid the rain. His face contorted with irritation and his back slightly hunched from a load of years of rage and resentment, the Dunmer made his way to the tavern, muttering to himself and moaning about the extreme security measures that had been implemented a few years prior. Despite it becoming gradually more relaxed, Malaeko was still irritated by the fact that you had to be touched, checked, queried, and all but interrogated before going about your business.
    "Damned ridiculous." He cursed to himself.
    But what was the alternative: Nords and Stormcloaks roaming freely in a war of rebellion? No, he preferred his fellow, albeit stuck-up, Mer, but only just enough to tolerate them and prevent himself from doing something that might end with his head rolling about separate from his body.
    That wouldn't be so bad, would it?
    His thoughts were quickly sent spiraling as he was almost sent reeling from colliding with another footgoer.
    "Ugh!", he shouted: "What in the name of Oblivion is wrong with you? Idiot!"
    "My apologies." The young man, hooded and his face concealed, recovered quickly. "I am really sorry. Oh, and here: I think you dropped this."
    And the young man handed Malaeko a rolled-up piece of parchment. The Dunmer snatched it from his hands and looked on in disgust as the young man walked away.
    Blasted fool, he unrolled the paper, distracted by the fact that his robes were now soiled and most likely smelt of mud or city water.
    As he read, his eyes became wide with madness. The words glared back:

    There are some who do not recognize the legitimacy of the Aldmeri occupation.
    There are some who would see them gone.
    Ask for S at the Ragged Flagon


    Malaeko quickly turned to where the man went, but the latter was gone. The Dunmer's skinned blackened with rage as he realized the predicament in which he now found himself: he was in possession of a letter, clearly from some sort of resistance movement. If he reported it, he would surely be arrested and executed for treason, that much he knew. No Justiciar would simply confiscate the note and wave him off. He would be arrested as a conspirer against the Aldmeri Dominion.
    I need to get rid of this, he thought. But no sooner approached two Justiciars who were chatting to each other.
    "Ugh!" He cursed to himself before quickly rerolling the paper up and working it into his ponytail before storming off in the direction of the Bannered Mare.
    Who was that fool? And why did he give it to me? I don't want any part in this. Nothing.
    The old Dunmer swung the doors to the tavern open and stepped in. The usual chatter of the establishment stopped briefly as eyes looked him up and down upon his entry before continuing their conversations.
    Malaeko sighed with irritation: whether he wanted to be or not, he was now in a very dangerous situation. He looked about the room and found a number of Altmer guards, which made him shiver: for the first time in a very long one, Malaeko swallowed a hard, dry lump and broke out in a cold sweat. Although his head and face were covered mostly by his cowl, he could feel the usual tightness of his facial muscles ease and change, easily-recognizable as nervousness.
    He sheepishly made his way to a table in the corner of the tavern, behind one of the support pillars that obscured him from two Justiciars seated near the entrance. Now was the time to avoid drawing attention to himself. He wanted to act normal - his usual bitterness and indifference, but he couldn't. He couldn't help but try to hide in his chair as best as he possibly could.
    They're all watching me. I should have gone home. I should have left.
    And he curled up slightly in his chair as paranoia now reigned freely within him.
     
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    #1 Malanima'ar the Stygian, Aug 10, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
  2. Harkatti

    Harkatti Sorceress Supreme!

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    Amelia Greybrand stalked through the streets of Whiterun, hood down, eyes alert. She made sure to keep her cloak close around her and show the proper respect as a pair of justiciars meandered by, engaged in idle conversation as the rain hissed and plinked off their armour. The one nearest her gave her a curious look, but let her go on her way unmolested. They had little way of knowing that Amelia hadn't used the 'conventional' means of entering the city. Unless scaling the wall in the dead of night and dodging patrols was considered conventional now. Which, she thought as she spotted a beggar, hunched under a scrap of a cloak in the rain, bony hand held up pitifully, it might just be.

    Her eyes flicked to a produce stall, protected from the rain by a small overhang, with a whole selection of fruit and vegetables. An idea came to her, as a wealthy looking nord browsed the shopkeepers selection. Amelia lurked, not close enough to bring suspicion upon herself, but close enough to keep an eye on the proceedings. The nord, a man with a wiry beard and furred cloak that was getting wet and matted in the deluge, started to hand over a small coinpurse and Amelia made her move. She lowered her shoulder, striking the man square between the shoulder blades. He stumbled into the display, arms out to right himself. The purse went flying. The fruit went flying. Amelia deftly snatched up both and went on her way.

    It did not take the shopper and the shopkeeper long to realize they were both missing something. By that point, Amelia was already halfway across the market square, making a beeline to the sodden beggar. Predictably, both nord behind her started jabbing fingers and shouting at each other, prompting a pair of guards and an irritated looking justiciar to approach. Amelia dumped several apples and the coinpurse in the nords lap. He stared at the food and coin, then up at Amelia, who made a discreet 'shooing' motion with her fingers. The beggar didn't waste time thanking her- he scrambled to his feet and disappeared.

    With her task accomplished and chaos ensuing, Amelia headed towards the Bannered Mare, ready for a drink. As she reached the door, another guard stepped in front of her, gesturing for her to wait as he patted her down for weapons. She huffed dramatically as he ran his hands over her. "Oh!" She smirked as he reached her chest, "enjoying ourselves, are we?"

    The man shot her a poisonous glare, then drew the daggers that were sheathed on her hips. "What are the knives for?"

    She shrugged casually, aware that the mans' justiciar supervisor had taken a sudden interest. "A lady can't be too careful. Especially one traveling on her own. A dagger keeps mens' hands...where they should be."

    "You need two of them?" The guard said, clearly unconvinced.

    "Well, if one is good, surely two is better?"

    The guard grumbled under his breath as he handed them back. "Don't cause any trouble, breton."

    "Oh, I wouldn't dream of it" the breton grinned rogueishly as she was allowed into the tavern.

    She took a seat at one of the tables near the bar, spotting a disgruntled looking dark elf sitting by himself. She wondered what his problem might be, as she nursed her drink. Dunmer weren't exactly rare in Skyrim, but there was something about him that drew the eye.
     
  3. Malanima'ar the Stygian

    Malanima'ar the Stygian Resplendent Daedra Conjurer

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    "Would you like something to drink? Maybe something to eat?"
    Malaeko's soul almost left his being as the familiar face of Hulda, the innkeeper, appeared seemingly out of nowhere and startled the already-stirred Dunmer.
    "No, thank you." He placed his head in his one hand, now shaken by the experience.
    "Is everything okay? I didn't mean to startle you." Hulda raised an eyebrow.
    "Yes, fine thank you. I don't want anything right now. I'd like to be left alone for now." The old Dunmer dismissed her.
    He kept thinking of the note hidden away in his hair
    Of all the places...
    He reached behind his head unconsciously and adjusted his hair slightly to check if the piece of parchment was still concealed from view.
    It's still there
    His eyes snapped forward as the door to the tavern opened and let in a cloaked woman who wandered up to the bar and glanced a look at him. He reacted immediately by returning his hand to its resting place on the table.
    Who is that? A Thalmor agent? Can't be. I hope she didn't see anything.
    Malaeko looked about the room again and leant to one side to see the Justiciars seated near the entrance.
    Good. They're not watching me.
    He eyed out the Thalmor mage sitting in front of the firepit with his back to the Dunmer before returning his gaze about the room.
    Now, what am I going to do about this note? I need to get out of here first.
    And, as he attempted to stand up, he found his body unresponsive - glued to the wooden chair by fear.
    He wanted to leave, but he couldn't: something had triggered a response within him that connected fear to the Altmers in the room. His life hung in the balance between staying his chair or passing by the two seated at the door; his body chose the former.
    I need to go. Get up.
    He placed his hands on the seat of the chair and pushed with his arms to assist him.
    I need to leave.
    And, with nothing short of a brave effort, Malaeko stood up and remained awkwardly so for a few seconds. He looked at his feet and then snapped his crimson eyes to the door as it burst open: two Justiciars clad in their usual armour marched in and glanced about the room.
    By Azura!
    The high elf in the lead quickly caught sight of his two colleagues by the door and greeted both of them before speaking to them briefly. When the second pair stood up, Malaeko knew the next few minutes belonged to the divines and them alone.
    All four Justiciars glanced about the room - two of them approached a Nord in leather garb and the other two approached the Dunmer.
    Fack
    The Justiciar, a female, in tow of the first, drew her glass sword as the lead drew up close to Malaeko:
    "Strip." Was all that came eloquently from the mouth of the Altmer.
    Malaeko stood dumbfounded and bewildered, barely being able to comprehend the command.
    "I beg your pardon?" The Dunmer mage was barely able to answer.
    "Strip down. Don't make this more difficult for yourself than it has to be."
    Malaeko glanced over at the Nord - the poor fool had been instructed to do the same, but from a dangerously-close distance away from the tip of another Justiciar's sword. For once, Malaeko found pity for a Nord.
    "I will not ask again, Mer. Strip now or we'll do it to your corpse." The Altmer reinforced, with the other drawing closer.
    The note - they know. They must have found the man or seen what had happened
    The Dunmeri conjurer began by removing his shoes.
    Idiot. Facking idiot. I should have gone home straight away.
    As he began unfastening the cord that held his robes together, the Justiciar held out his hand in a gesture of wanting the coil purse and satchel attached to it. Malaeko gave him both quickly.
    "What's in the satchel?"
    "Uh, Rings, a pendant or two - enchanted. To sell for coin."
    The high elf's yellow eyes stared away for a few moments without saying anything - only the crackling of the fire in the centre of the tavern and the shuffling of garments from the Nord suffering the same fate.
    "Anything else?" The Justiciar inquired as he unfastened the coin purse and glanced inside.
    "No." Malaeko answered hastily. "Nothing else."
    "And then? Why have you stopped?" The Altmer gestured at the Dunmer who stood barefooted with his robes hanging open.
    Malaeko clenched his jaw before disrobing entirely. He kept his eyes fixed on the elf before him, making sure not to tilt his head too far forward as to not reveal anything about his hair.
    "Hmm, it's not him." The elf exclaimed to his colleague behind him after the Dunmeri mage stood before them in his loincloth. "Let's check the other tavern."
    "I need those." Malaeko exclaimed after the two as they moved away, and gestured at the purse and satchel still gripped by the one.
    The Altmer stopped and turned about before tossing the satchel back to the Dunmer, landing at his feet: "Take your magical jewellery, mage - the Dominion has no need for your magic. As for your coin: we are confiscating it to help with our investigation. I hope it isn't too much of an inconvenience." A snide grin crept onto the Altmer's visage.
    Malaeko felt his jaw clamp together and his eyelid twitch. His teeth fought against one another in a war of push, threatening to shatter under the pressure.
    "Of course not." The Dunmer replied cooly.
    He watched as the two Altmer moved off with the second pair following close behind and trailed by the Nord, now shackled and bound, his leather armour still lying in a crumpled heap. The door shut behind them, giving Malaeko the signal he needed to get dressed and leave.
    He did so effortlessly, cursing repeatedly under his breath, and made his way to the entrance with all eyes in the tavern on him. Hushed conversation birthed in the wake of his exit.
     
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    #3 Malanima'ar the Stygian, Aug 14, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
  4. Pufftuff

    Pufftuff Well-Known Member

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    *THUD* *THUD* The sound of metal sticking to wood could be heard echoing down and out of the alleyway. "Where is my money you said you would have it yesterday and I kindly gave you one extra. Don't try my patience." It was a old man stuck to the side of a building by his sleeves and pants. His long beard being shaven inches at a time with small throwing knives. "I swear to you I don't have your money." "Your a thief...steal it." hissed back. A tall slender Argonian dressed in a long, dark red leather trench coat, stood playing with a knife. "It's to dangerous to risk being caught by the justicars. Even you have to answer to them. Or disappear like the rest." Voice quaking the man swallowed shallowly as the Argonian walked towards him.

    Leaving the alleyway as the screams turned to a hushed whimper the Argonian tossed an ear over his shoulder.
    'The old man was right. Ever since those justicars showed up it's been bad for
    business. The war didn't impact us to much other than Maven being made Jarl, like she wasn't already.'

    On his way out of the city he bumped into a guard. "Damned idiot, can't even stand in place right." spoken in a calm tone. The Argonian made haste to a small campsite he had set up in the woods outside Riften as it was safer in the wilds than the city now a days.

    The guard reaching for his coin purse noticed it heavier and with a note inside. Reading the note.
    'I want to know everything you can tell me about the justicars in Riften. Names patrols everything you can get.
    This is an advance.
    -Tallon-ra
    P.S. Don't make me have to get my money back.'
    The note was dotted with blood.
     
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