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Thread: [M] Skyrim: Rise of the Stormcloaks

  1. #191
    Rayne7's Avatar
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    Elisif had fallen asleep next to Raven after she was assured by Sybille he would be alright. Her arm was draped over him and her cheek rested on his chest. She wanted to hear his heart beat so she could reassure herself that he was still alive.

    As another morning came upon Skyrim, Elisif again awoke next to Raven. It was beginning to become familiar to her for him to be the first thing she saw when her eyes opened. Though, now as she looked upon him, he looked off.

    "Raven..." she mumbled, her voice low and soft as she continued to wake fully. She rested her hand on his chest and stroked it gently, hoping to stir him from sleep without startling him.

    "Raven," she repeated, now hovering over him with concern written on her face, her hair falling all around his head, "Please wake up. I need to see your eyes open," she pleaded, placing a palm on his cheek and then touching her forehead to his.

    "Please wake up, my love," she repeated a second time, "Wake up so I can keep those promises from yesterday..."

    Murderer! How many people have you killed? Dozens? Hundreds?

    You must speak with Astrid. Here in the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary...

    Don't you see? I prayed to the Night Mother! I am the Black Sacrament!

    Wraith woke with a start, covered in sweat even as he felt someone on top of him. Reacting on instinct alone, he reached up with his right and grabbed the back of their neck, pulling them to the bed beside him even as he reached up with his left to grab them by the throat while rolling on top of them. It wasn't until he sat astride Elisif, hand around her neck and the other raised to strike that he realized who it was he held.

    Elisif would have screamed at his actions, but she was too surprised. She stared up at the man she loved with his arm raised to strike her and other hand on her neck. She was absolutely terrified. Never had she been so afraid for her life besides when a dragon looked down on her. This, though, was more terrifying. Someone would hear a dragon and possible save her. Raven could try to kill her and no one would know until it was too late.

    "R-Raven-- S-stop--" Elisif choked out while he looked down at her with inhuman eyes filled with blood lust.

    Eyes widening, he scampered backwards until he fell off the bed onto the floor where he rolled backwards into a crouch in a dark corner, eyes looking everywhere in the same manner as a spooked animal.

    Elisif sat up shakily as he suddenly seemed to realize who she was and what he was doing and release her, falling off of the bed in the process. Her hand trembled as she raised it to her neck where he hand had been before while she looked at him like a deer being hunted.

    "Elisif?...." he looked at her with an emotion he had never truly felt until now. The light streaming through the window seared his eyes and made his head pound as a powerful thirst dried his throat. Wincing, he gripped his head in his hands as the pain reverberated throughout his skull in waves of pain that didn't let up. "Elisif, are you okay?" he managed to ask as the pain in his head became bearable, though his thirst went without being sated.

    When he finally spoke, tears filled her eyes as she looked at him in pain. Though she wished to comfort him, she felt too terrified to move and the vision of him looking down on her with anger kept flashing in her mind.

    Her heart raced and she couldn't stop trembling. Neither could she stop tears from streaming down her face. She had never been truly afraid of this man since she met him; even knowing he was an assassin. She had always trusted him.

    Though what had just happened was an accident, she didn't like the feeling of that trust being violated. To answer his question she shook her head, sitting on the edge of the bed silently for a good ten seconds before speaking.

    "I don't know, Raven," she said turning her head to look at him again, "Do I look okay?" she asked, somewhat rhetorically. She held her neck again, still feeling as though his hand were placed there.

    "I've never-- been so scared in my life. What is wrong with you? What happened in that cave?" she asked, now expecting an answer. Her voice was oddly calm despite the tears streaming down her cheeks.

    Only when her life is in danger does she see what you truly are, a voice spoke to him, followed by an ethereal laughter. If only she knew how many those hands have killed...

    Wraith growled at the voice inside his head, snarling in response. Re-focusing on Elisif, he forced himself to calm down as he tried to ignore the other voices. It hurt him to see her looking at him like one of his many victims, and it gave him pause. Was this guilt? Is that what he felt? It was foreign to him, much like fear. When he looked at Elisif, he felt sorry for what he had done, and the wounded look in her eyes made his heart ache for what he'd done. Remembering what he'd done, he couldn't help but feel afraid that he might do it again.

    "The bastard turned me..." Wraith said, even as a shiver rocked through his body with enough force to bring him to his hands and knees. This much effect was unusual when turning, that much he knew. It had to do with the weakened state his body was in when he was turned that he was like this. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. These...dreams. They're difficult to distinguish from reality."

    Reaching onto the table, he found a glass of water and downed it all to no avail. Growling, he carefully set the glass down, resisting the sudden impules to throw it violently into the wall. Hands shaking, he sat with his back in the corner, eyeing Elisif warily. He wanted to go to her, but didn't dare to. Burying his head into his hands, he tried to hide the anguish that crossed his features. "Please, don't leave me like this. Don't let them see me in this state. I need someone to help me."

    "Turned...?" Elisif asked, watching him while he reached for the water and then down the whole glass without pause.

    "Raven..." she said softly the fear in her eyes turning to concern and worry, "I won't leave you here. Of course I won't leave you."

    She watched him a moment, mulling over if she should go to him or not. He looked so vulnerable. She had never seen anything like this from him before; not even for a second. The state he was in refocused her mind, tearing her thoughts away from what might have happened had he been in his dream for a few moments longer.

    Unsure if it was wise or not, she knelt onto the floor with him and removed his hands from his face, looking at him with a smile even as tears continued to fall from her eyes, "It's okay now, Raven. I'm still here," she said, taking both of his hands in hers firmly. She kissed his knuckles and then lowered his trembling hands gently, looking straight into his eyes.

    "Oh, Raven, it's alright," she slowly reached up and touched his face. He felt extremely warm, "You've got a terrible fever, my love. It must have caused your vivid dream," she stroked his cheek with her thumb while her palm cupped his jaw, "I'll be here for you. Together we can face anything. Isn't that what you told me? 'That the world might never overtake us'? I have your back as you have mine because I love you."

    Her heart broke for him now. It was as if he had never been afraid before in his entire life and he was trying to understand it, "You're scared, but that's okay. When you're with me, you can feel anything you want and not be ashamed because I love you. I will help you through this."

    She sat on her knees and continued to watch him carefully, still a bit wary of him. But, most of the terror she felt was now masked by her love and concern for him.

    "By the gods, Raven I don't like things that rough," she tried to lighten the situation and brought her hand back to her face to cover her mouth as she let out a breathy laugh.

    Wraith heard Elisif approach him, and felt her hands upon his. Gently, she pulled them away and looked him in the eyes, tears still streaming down her cheeks as she looked upon him with compassion. Hearing her words, he reached out and grabbed the back of her neck, gently this time as he leaned forward and kissed her. Putting his arms around her as he deepened the kiss, he pulled away after a long moment and rested his head on her shoulder, nuzzling her.

    Elisif was startled for a moment when he reached out for her; not expecting him to do so while he was in this state of mind. She blinked a few times while they kissed but then wrapped her arms around him in return, holding him tightly.

    "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you, Elle. I would never want to hurt you." he said, kissing the side of her neck as he hugged her close. Closing his eyes and pulling her close, he held her even as his body continued to shiver.

    You will be the reason she dies, the voice said.

    "It's alright, my love..." Elisif whispered softly,"I know you didn't mean to. I forgive you," she stroked the back of his head gently as their embrace continued, trying to calm him from the shivering.

    "I love you. No matter what, never forget that." he whispered into her ear, hearing the whispering voices getting louder in his mind.

    "I wouldn't ever, I promise you that. Even should you perish, I wouldn't forget," she let go of him partway to look him in the eyes again with a hand upon the side of his neck. Her tears had begun to dry now and all she wanted to do was make him feel better.

    "You are etched onto my heart and there you will stay. Love is a strange thing. I thought I might not love another after Torygg passed. But, I've discovered that isn't how love works," she smiled, touching her forehead to his, "The heart doesn't run out of love. It makes room for more. So, should anything ever happen to you, you won't be replaced; and Torygg was not replaced by you. You each have a part of my heart and always will."

    She kissed him again very gently, supporting his head with her hand still on his neck. Pulling back again, she regarded him with a more serious expression, "We need to have Sybille look at you. You need to be honest with her and tell her what's going on... I can tell there is more going on than just what you are feeling physically. Your eyes can't lie to me."

    "Can you go to Sybille? I can walk with you there, but I really need to prepare for this trip to Morrowind," she looked at him, becoming worried again. She would have suggested going to Salendrial, but it would make sense for him to be more comfortable with Sybille since he knew her. Especially since he seemed so insecure about what was going on.

    "She can help you. I promise you that. I can only comfort you so much. Love is a powerful thing, but it does not heal anything physical," she smiled, her brows furrowed with concern, "Please go to her."

    Wraith grimaced as the voices got louder, though not distinct enough to make out individual words or voices. This wasn't a foe that could be slain with blade and blood, nor even magic or alchemy. This was an ailment that was within his mind and body, threatening to drive him into a madness even deeper than Ciceros'. Taking a calming breath, he cupped Elisif's cheek and smiled fondly for her sake.

    "Perhaps that would be wise." he commented dryly, eyeing Elisif. "Perhaps later we can keep your promise."

    Elisif laughed lightly, "Of course it's wise! Did you really think I'd make love to you while you were like this?" she asked, shaking her head, "Men..." she laughed again and hugged him.

    Grabbing his cloak, he drew it around himself and raised the hood. It would hide his weakness within it's folds, and discourage others from approaching him. "I shall see you later, love."

    "Please take care of yourself," Elisif started after him, taking his hand and pulling him towards her into one more embrace with her arms around his neck and biting his lip as he so often did to her, "If not for your own sake, then for mine... I'll meet you at the docks."
    Last edited by Rayne7; 10-27-2017 at 05:33 AM.
    "Tragedy and adversity are the stones upon which we sharpen our swords so that we may fight new battles."- Simi in Infinity, by Sherrylin Kenyon

    "Sweet Mother, Sweet Mother, Send your child unto me, For the Sins of the Unworthy must be Baptized in Blood and Fear"

  2. #192
    lain's Avatar
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    Elisif went about preparing for her departure, first taking the time to dress into her formal Jarl's clothing. Her thoughts remained on Raven and what had happened earlier. The man truly could be as scary as he was affectionate. It was no wonder that it came as a surprise to the rest of the brotherhood that he could be as kind and gentle as he was terrifying. Shaking her head, she tried to forget about it and left her room to go into the throne room: where a heated debate was taking place. Of course, it was Bryling complaining about something. Elisif stayed back until there was a break in the conversation, and then entered and sat on her throne.

    "Shame on you, Bryling. I'm tempted to appoint Salendrial just to put you in your place. If you would keep you mouth shut sometimes, you might have more privileges in my court," Elisif crossed her legs, eyeing Bryling disapprovingly. Then she chuckled as Falk further reprimanded her, "By the gods, I fear what will happen to my city in my absence! You all must learn to get along!"

    "Salendrial will stay and watch over things as has been suggested by everyone besides Bryling," Elisif said in a weary tone, tired of this kind of bickering in her court, "Until the course of my pregnancy is nearly over and I will need her in Morrowind."

    Then a guard entered and announced that the ship was ready. Elisif nodded and stood again, "Very well. I still have a few things to gather. I've been a little distracted lately."

    At this remark, Falk quirked an eyebrow and so did Bolgeir.

    Elisif folded her arms and tilted her head to the side looking at them offended, "Please! That's not the only thing distracting me. Now, if you'll all excuse me..." Elisif went about the palace, checking in with Sybille and Raven and catching the tail end of their conversation in the doorway before entering the room.

    "Gods! What have you done to yourself?" Sybille looked him over, annoyed. But, she calmed and then thought for a while, "You can try to drink this to cure the Vampirism. But, I can't promise it will work. The abomination you drank beforehand may have accelerated the process. Though, it's not so bad once you get used to it." Sybille smirked and grabbed a potion from the shelf, handing it to Raven.

    Elisif entered at this point, looking worried.

    "Oh, Jarl Elisif," Sybille addressed her in a casual tone, "I suppose you did hear what I just said. Don't worry. Like I said-- It's not that bad once you get used to it."

    "But... what about his head? He kept holding his head. What does that have to do with turning?" Elisif asked, expression worried again.

    "That other potion he drank--and too much of, might I add--might have changed the process of turning slightly. Side effects that don't normally happen may become more intense until the transformation is complete," she turned to Raven, "Headaches, tremors, nausea, emotional distress and even voices in you mind might be side effects. Well, voices other than the one you're used to hearing, Wraith. I only pray that your mind doesn't make you think She is asking you to do something that she is not really asking... You might want to stay away from Elisif until the turn is complete. Just to be safe."

    Elisif blinked, surprised by her statement, "Sybille, you really think that?"

    She nodded in reply, "Without a doubt. Elisif, I don't think you understand a lot about the man before you. Maybe there are certain aspects you know about that most people don't. Like him actually having the capacity to love someone," she sighed, looking at her nails and avoiding eye contact with Elisif, "Though I have no doubts that there are things he would never tell you and those things you don't want to know anyway."

    Elisif wanted to press further, but she was afraid. Sybille was right. She didn't want to know.

    "Don't worry, Elisif," Sybille looked up from her nails, "The odds are stacked on your side as far as your safety with Wraith. So long as he takes care of his own business and doesn't leave strings that lead to you."

    Elisif nodded, feeling a little better at Sybille's words, "Thank you Sybille."

    "As always, Jarl Elisif. Safe travels, to you both. Wraith, just follow the directions on the label of that tincture. It should help with the side effects of turning if it doesn't stop you from turning in the first place. If it doesn't, well, then welcome to my family," she smirked and then went back to her enchanting table.

    "I have a couple more things from my room that I need to retrieve, Raven. I... suppose I'll see you at the docks," she said with a nod, and then excused herself.
    Last edited by lain; 10-25-2017 at 05:49 PM.
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  3. #193
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    With everything that had gone on within the court of Solitude in the past few days, Liam figured it was probably a good idea to try raise Elisif's spirit and maybe cheer her up - with Raven bot exactly in the best position, with his vampiric affliction, Liam supposed it was up to him to make the fairest lady of them all smile, at least for a few moments. The ever perceptive knight had noticed that Elisif had become ever more withdrawn and quiet of late, and when she did speak to him, it was as if she carried this massive burden that drained all happiness from her. Well, I suppose nobody could maintain a cheerful demeanour with all that's happened these past few months...

    Today was the day that the Jarl and her small band of protectors were to set sail towards the Dunmeri held island of Solstheim, and the Breton had decided that he would finally gift the diamond encrusted necklace he had forged back in Jehanna to Ellie; he saw no point in throwing it away nor could he give it to someone else as it had her name on it. He had headed off to the Jarl's quarters, having hidden the necklace in there after returning from the expedition back home, and carefully retrieved the necklace from it's hiding place underneath the Jarl's dresser and frowning slightly at the accumulation of dust on the jewellery.

    Smiling confidently, Liam quickly stood up and smacked his head off the dresser next to Elisif's bed, accidentally loosening one of the handles and knocking it to the floor, the Breton cursing in annoyance. "Merde! Well, I guess I can try fix it... Shouldn't be too hard." Gingerly, he opened up the drawer and carefully attempted to slide the hinge back into place, finally succeeding in doing so after around five minutes of mild frustration. He was about to shut the drawer before his eyes locked on a black robe that was nearly folded on top of a pile of different clothing which Liam guessed was Raven's from the assortment of different shirts and hooded clothing. Does the man wear anything other than black? Carefully, he tried to refold the robe only to stop on realising what symbol was stitched onto the back.

    That's... That's the Black Hand of the Dark Brotherhood! Merde alors, he's a damned assassin! And... That bastard is sleeping in the same bed as Elisif...

    With a deep breath, Liam slowly contorted his face into a sneer and shut the drawer with a loud bang, the hinge breaking in two at the knights action. He quickly flung the robe into his bag and left the room, knowing full well that he had to speak to Elisif at once.

    I swear, if she knew all along...

  4. #194
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    Morning was beginning to slip into afternoon by the time Amryn finally convinced herself to leave her newfound canine companion behind. Only Satkal knew where she was going, and there was no guarantee that she'd be able to care for a dog along the way. The Redguard kicked snow into the remaining embers of her fire and rolled up what little she carried. She made one last sweep through the shack, collecting any food and potions that might come in handy later. Their original owner certainly had no further use of them.

    "Your home has been perfect for me to lay low in these past few days. I'd leave some coin for the service if it would do any good. I suppose I can at least leave what meat I have for Meeko." Amryn thanked the grave of the Nord she'd found dead in bed upon arriving. Hopefully a proper burial had been payment enough. In all honesty, she didn't have enough coin to spare anyway. She had only taken supplies and the minimum salary with her when she split off from her father's party. Desperate though she was to get away from them, she refused to stoop to thievery. That had been a week or so ago, and there wasn't much gold left.

    True to her word, the Redguard left the rest of her venison and a rabbit behind for the shack's new owner. She rubbed the top of his head a last time, saying "Take care of the place, boy. Perhaps another traveler will be by soon with more grub." Meeko whined in response, his scruffy tail thumping against the wooden floor. Amryn stepped out of the shack to see that the sun had risen even higher in the sky. She only made it a few yards before a huff of breath warmed the palm of her hand.

    "Meeko! Stay, boy. I can't take care of you." Amryn urged him away, but apparently not strongly enough. The dog followed her a few more steps with his eyes lowered and that same whine. "I'm serious, Meeko. Stay!" The second time was gruff enough to steer the dog back, but not without a last glance over his shaggy shoulder. At least he was familiar with this area. If he followed her too far and she could no longer care for him, he'd be much less likely to survive on his own. Knowing this didn't make parting ways any less painful. That mutt was the only friend she'd had since leaving the Alik'r troop.

    With a final sigh, Amryn readjusted her pack and made her way north. Morthal had been a bust as far as finding work went, and it was still a bit too close to Whiterun for Amryn's comfort. Solitude seemed like her next best bet at this point. Hopefully her stay with Meeko had helped her hide from her father and his men, rather than giving them a chance to beat her to Solitude. It was just starting to grow dark when the walls of Solitude and domed tower of the Blue Palace came into view.

    "Looks like I'll have to get a room for the night," Amryn muttered to herself, worried that she didn't have enough for both a bed and a meal. She'd just have to find work first thing in the morning. Even an odd job would do, as long as she had a roof over her head and her belly was fed. Perhaps the innkeeper would have a lead, or she could return to the sawmill she passed on the way in to ask for short-term employment. The chill of Skyrim evenings was already beginning to set in, so for now she rushed to the nearest inn to seek refuge.

    Once inside, Amryn glanced around the room for any familiar faces. Relieved to find none, she sidled up to the bar and asked, "Is ten gold enough for a room? I'd also like some mead and a bowl of whatever you have that's hot, please." She pocketed her room key and gulped the horker stew down. The barkeep had likely chosen this because it was more expensive than some of the other dishes, but it was so delicious that Amryn didn't mind, especially after only having her own cooking for a week. Satisfied, she began pulling at her mead in hearty gulps. "Thank you kindly, sir," she said after a while. "So tell me, do the skeevers in Skyrim actually wink? It's an odd name."

    The innkeeper's eyes lit up at the question. "Actually, I once had a pet skeever who would wink at me. They were much smaller back then, though. He'd perch on my shoulder until I was too drunk for him to balance on it. That was back when I was on your side of the bar, of course." He let out a deep laugh. "Named my inn after him when I finally sobered up enough to manage one. He was a good old boy. Cheers to him." The man lifted his mug to clink with hers.

    "Ay, cheers," Amryn answered before downing the rest of her mead. "And with that pleasant tale, good night." She tipped him one of her few remaining coins before retiring to her room. As the guard had advertised, the bed was indeed warm as she let herself sink into it, and much softer than the one back in Meeko's shack. In mere moments, she had already slipped into a deep sleep.
    Last edited by trouble.muffin; 11-03-2017 at 08:05 AM.

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  5. #195
    lain's Avatar
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    Elisif had made sure certain things were taken out to the docks ahead of her and then began looking for Liam to have him escort her down there, figuring that Raven would want to go on his own.

    Elisif approached a guard about it, "Have you seen Liam?"

    "Oh, the lad went into your room, broke something from the sound of it, and then stormed out," the guard seemed as confused as Elisif now looked.

    "I suppose he didn't mention what he was doing..." Elisif sighed and the guard shook his head, "Very well. He might already be waiting at the gates to escort me to the docks. Thank you," Elisif excused herself again and headed out into the palace courtyard, where she spotted him. She began to walk briskly towards him but slowed down when she saw his face. He didn't look very happy.

    "Liam?" Elisif approached him, "Would you mind escorting me to the docks?" she asked kindly with a smile, hoping to diffuse whatever situation had made him upset. Not giving him a chance to refuse (not that he would have) she put her arm in his and began walking.

    "Is something the matter?" Elisif looked up at him, worried, "I know that... things haven't been great between us and... I'm sorry for that," she said, looking at her feet for a moment before looking back up at him with a concerned expression.

    She recalled that the guard had said he was in her room before, "Did you need something earlier? A guard said that you went into my room. I'm sorry you didn't find me there."

    "Yes, I went to your room earlier. I hid the necklace I bought for you when I was in Jehanna there and went to retrieve it... I may have found something. Look, is there any chance we could speak alone, away from anyone who could overhear us? It's a delicate matter." Liam's voice hid a tone that was less than amused, almost angry even - his eyes kept darting about around the courtyard, scanning the area for anyone whom may overhear them. Nonetheless, he extended his arm out to his Jarl and walked with her towards the direction of the dockyard.

    "By the way, we need to up security near your quarters - nobody was stationed nearby for at least twenty minutes when I entered your room. If I was a thief or spy"Liam's face contorted into a sneer as he finished his sentence "or an assassin, nobody would have been able to intervene and protect you." The Breton was gritting his teeth so hard it felt as if they were going to break, he was so annoyed and angry and, most of all, ashamed that he had managed to let an assassin into the Blue Palace and close to Elisif. As he walked towards the steps that led into the port, Liam slowly helped the pregnant jarl down the steps, gently holding her hands and making sure she didn't stumble or fall before turning to her and sighing.

    "Look... I accidentally broke the hinge of your dresser this morning and was placing it back into its socket when I stumbled upon this" Liam proceeded to reach into his satchel and remove the robe he now knew belonged to a member of the Dark Brotherhood; assassinations were all too common in High Rock and he had learned early on about the types of symbols and artistry the group used. "When were you going to tell me that Raven was a member of the Dark Brotherhood?"

    Elisif watched Liam with a concerned expression until he revealed what was in the satchel he held; then it faded to turned to something mixed between irritation and guilt.

    "Well... ideally... I wouldn't have told you, Liam," she took his hand and tugged on it gently, "Let's go somewhere more private. There's no reason to not tell you the situation now."

    With that, she opened the door the lead below deck and walked with him into a room reserved to the deckhands and then shut the door, leaning on it for a moment to make sure it was all the way closed.

    "Before I explain, you must understand that I would never do anything to hurt Skyrim. You have to understand that I am not in danger from Raven or any of his associates because I have a contract with them," she took a deep breath and then continued, "I summoned the Dark Brotherhood last month to assist in the reclaiming of Skyrim. They have agreed to help me exercise my rights to the crown. Raven is the Listener. He is who they all go to for answers besides the Night Mother and Sithis himself," at this revelation, she knew he would protest, so she covered his mouth swiftly, "Shh," she hushed him quickly and then lowered her hand slowly, staring him down so that he might not speak yet.

    "I know this is a lot to take in and I'm sorry I couldn't tell you before. It was for your own safety. I wanted to minimize who was involved. Whatever consequences are because of my being linked to the Dark Brotherhood will be mine to deal with," her face softened a bit and she sat down on one of the cots in the room. She gestured for Liam to sit next to her, "Liam... I... didn't expect for things to go like this. I didn't expect to see Raven after that night," she looked at the floor and then back up to Liam, "I know I'm being reckless. You don't have to tell me that. Believe me, I've run this through my head so many times."

    "Gods, you must hate me right now..." she took another deep breath, looking at her palms that were resting in her lap, "I hope that... I can still count on you as my knight."

    Liam wanted in that moment to shout and scream and rant at how stupid it was to involve the Dark Brotherhood in reclaiming Skyrim from the Stormcloaks. If she ever wanted to do so, all she needed to do was tell Liam to take Ulfric's crown and he would have walked into the Palace of Kings and cut the bastard's ugly, conniving head from his shoulders. Yet, in that moment, Liam looked at the woman he cared for and couldn't help but sigh at her words, knowing deep down that she was only trying to protect him and the rest of the court. Damn it... There she goes making me feel like an idiot.

    With a sigh, Liam put his hands in Elisif's and looked her in the eye with a renewed sense of confidence, remembering the words that Aura had told him back in the Great Hall - Be a man. "Ellie, I don't hate you. I'm not a fan of being left out of the loop nor do I trust that snake Raven, but believe me, I trust you more than I do with anyone else in court.. Tenderly, the young man brushed a lock of Elisif's hair from her face and tried to muster up a somewhat reassuring smile before speaking. "You can always count on me to protect you from any and all who mean to cause you harm; if someone hurts you, I'll come running and make sure it doesn't happen again. I swore to protect you, Ellie and I figured that a knight should at least try to fufill his promises." At this, Liam laughed bashfully before eyeing what looked to be a small mark on Elisif's neck, almost as if someone had grabbed her by the throat. "I hope that's a love bite Elisif and not a bruise..."

    Elisif watched him warily, further so when he called her beloved a 'snake' and had the audacity to brush the hair out of her face in such an intimate way.

    "If you trust me, then you have to trust Raven. Further, I ask that you refrain from insulting him." Elisif replied shortly, standing up and markedly not answering his observation with any kind of reassurance.

    "Though it may have been a mistake so let myself do so: I've fallen in love with Raven and I can't just let you insult him," she turned to him, looking more than a little irritated, "Really, Liam, the fact that you feel the need to insult him just shows me how little you've matured. I know you can't like him and you don't have to and I don't expect you to. But if you disrespect one of us, you disrespect the other."

    "Do you really think that belittling him will send me into your arms?" she asked, continuing her rant, "Do you know that he hasn't said one bad thing about you to me? Do you know why?" she asked, stepping up closer to Liam and locking her eyes onto his, "It's because he knows that I do care about you. And that's the very reason why I'm so angry with you right now! Because I do love you!"

    At this exclamation she covered her mouth and stepped back. She turned her head to the side and closed her eyes, wishing she was somewhere else. Wishing that she was someone else. Dealing with anything else. Emotions swarmed and battled inside of her, threatening to ruin everything. Tears streamed down her face in frustration. That seemed to be all she did as of late.

    Well... That wasn't what i figured would happen. Liam hadn't planned on hearing Elisif tell him that she had those feelings for him, instead being under the impression she was going to continue to rant at him about supposedly belittling Raven. He could see she was under a lot of emotional stress, especially after what happened over the past few months - he didn't blame her. Tentatively, the young Breton stood up and ran a hand through his short blond locks, taking the situation in alongside a bit of air to steady himself before turning Elisif to face him.

    "Ellie, I shouldn't have said anything... It was unfair of me to make you feel as if I were disrespecting Raven, even if me and him aren't the closest of friends." Liam wiped the tears from her cheeks before pulling his hands back down to his sides. "In fact, Raven is the reason I'm trying to be more assertive in court - he and I talked the other day and he made me realise that I can really do good within the court for the people of Haafingar. So, while we aren't ever going to be the best of friends, I don't detest the fellow. Figured I'd at least say that."

    With a sigh, Liam placed the robe he still clutched in his hands onto the table and sighed, pulling a chair out and motioning for Elisif to sit down, figuring they had a lot to talk about at the moment. "C'mon, let's try something different - let's forget what's happening outside this room for the moment, and have a conversation that we wouldn't normally have. It's a problem solver I used to settle issues with my siblings back in Daggerfall. I figured it might help us work out some of this stress you're having at the moment. Sound good?" Liam figured the two of them should at least try to sort this mess out, especially now that he knew she had feelings for him.

    Elisif calmed a bit when he didn't react to her exclamations. It wasn't like she didn't mean what she said... but she was very stressed. It eased her to hear that Liam had actually had a heart to heart with Raven. Sniffling, she regained her composure, putting her hair behind her ears.

    "These children are making me nuts already, Liam," she shook her head, furrowed brows wrinkling her forehead with worry. Though it wasn't really the children or the pregnancy. What happened that morning with Raven was still fresh in her mind and she was worried about him.

    "I'm glad to hear that you spoke with each other. Raven is... different... but he does have a side to him that others don't see. Past him being the Listener. It would surprise you. It's even surprised his associates... and Raven himself," she smiled slightly at this, but then watched curiously as Liam pulled out a chair and gestured for her to sit. Intrigued, she obliged.

    "A problem solver? Liam... it's not really a problem that can be solved. I have to eventually break your heart or his. There is no way to solve that. If you can solve that, then you are a god." she smiled satirically and crossed her legs, "But I suppose I'll humor you. Go ahead."

    The Breton smiled as his liege lord sat down, and extended his pinky finger out and locking it with Elisif's before speaking rather calmly considering the situation at hand. Closing his eyes, he instructed her on what to do. "Okay - close your eyes and take a deep breath. Tell me, what was your main aspiration growing up? Where did you want to go and what did you want to see? I'll start" the young Breton opened an eye and placed the necklace he had retrieved the other day from his pocket and gently placed it on the table, slowly in order to not draw attention and have the surprise ruined.

    Elisif closed her eyes and smiled, finding his little game endearing. At the very least, it was distracting her from other things and putting her in the moment-- which was something she needed right now.

    "I wanted to go to Skyrim - as a child, I had heard the stories of Ysgramor and the Five Hundred Companions, Olaf One-Eye and his battle with Numinex. Then, when my father told me that my mother was born in Solitude, presumably why I'm so tall for a Breton, it made me realise that I needed to go to the homeland of the Nords. It took me a while, what with me training for my knighthood and having to look after my family, but I finally made it here." Liam smiled, running his free hand through his hair before continuing."So, I suppose I'm still living my dream, what with the beautiful woman opposite me allowing me to serve as her knight. "

    The Breton had never told anyone whom his mother was before, not even his siblings knew the identity of the Bastard of Daggerfall's mother. It was a secret Liam had never felt comfortable talking about, a personal part of him that he had never felt comfortable sharing with anyone. "I've never told anyone about my mother before... Not even Thierry or Henry know, though I doubt either of them would seem particularly bothered about knowing. It's something I figured I'd share with you.". Liam coughed awkwardly before speaking. "So, your turn Ellie..."

    When Liam finished his story she smiled, though her eyes were still closed and her pinky still curled around his. She had forgotten that he was someone who could always make her think a different way than before. In this was particular way, he seemed wise beyond his years.

    "Thank you for that. I suppose I'll play along," she began, then taking a deep breath, remembering her life before she married Torygg, "Let's see... I grew up in Morthal, actually. I came from humble beginnings, if you can believe it," she chuckled lightly, "I always imagined being a princess in a fairy tale. You know, the 'have the prince come sweep you off your feet' type of thing. So, I resolved to not settle for anything less. I turned down so many young men through my teens and into my twenties. Looking back, I was so shallow... but, Torygg did notice me one day. The word was that I was the fairest in all of Skyrim and he had to go see for himself. So, he took the time to get to know me and we married very shortly after. It... wasn't even that long ago," she paused, feeling a pang of sorrow in her heart for a few moments. She took another deep breath and continued, "I've always wanted to be in love. That head over heels fairy tale love that supposedly went along with the whole prince thing," she managed a smile again, but it seemed a bit sadder, "I did love Torygg, of course and I still do. But... I don't think I found what I wanted in that way. Not to mention all of the politics that come along with being the High King's wife-- it sort of ruined the silly fantasy I had in my mind."

    "But..." she said quietly, "I think that... I'm close to finding what I want... though at this point, I'm not sure if I even deserve it. If I die alone it would be fitting, honestly," she finally opened her eyes, which were brimming with tears again as she looked up at Liam, "Liam... you don't know how much I just... am being torn apart. I wonder what might have happened if you hadn't been with Camilla."

    "My lady, whatever you may think, you deserve to have someone be with, whether that's me or Raven." Liam placed his hands in Elisif's and tried his best at a reassuring smile, his green eyes gazing into Elisif's with a confidence he'd never felt before.

    Elisif stood when he took her hands, watching him apprehensively and still looking a bit sad.

    "And I wonder what would have happened were you and Raven not together - but, as I've stated, it's a difficult situation. Camilla... It wasn't something I intended. I had been trying desperately to keep my mind off of you as I felt I was putting you at harms risk by having feelings for my liege lady. I admit, I did something foolish and stupid and rash but there's nothing I can do to take it back besides apologise and hope we can move on. I suppose it's the same way I feel about you being with Raven; it eats me alive to know he's the one you chose to spend your time with but it's of my own failure that it happened. I promise you though, that whatever you may think, there is no other woman in my life who even comes close to laying claim to my heart. You, are the only woman who I have or ever will love and - regardless of whom you spend your time with - I will always be there to protect you as your champion."

    By the time Liam had finished, he had finally realised that he didn't want anything more than to hold Elisif in his arms and allow her to feel at ease for once. He wanted to be there to raise her children and look after them as if they were his own. He finally understood that she was the only person whom the young knight would ever truly feel comfortable with and, without thinking, placed his hand upon her cheek and leaned in for a kiss.

    "Liam..." Elisif said softly, feeling tempted as he leaned in and a simultaneous feeling of impending doom. But, the 'what ifs' seemed too much for her to bear and she let herself give in. She kissed him tenderly, her hand on the back of his neck while she intensified the display of affection into a more passionate one.

    Suddenly, she ripped herself away from him and stepped back, catching her breath.

    "That... that was wrong, Liam. I shouldn't have done that," she shook her head, ashamed of herself, "I... I'm in love with Raven. I'm with him right now. I can't just forget that."

    She sighed and reached up to cup his cheek, smiling kindly at him, "I really don't know what the future holds for us. I don't know what the future holds for me and Raven. But, right now I am with him and I really do feel in love with him; and he needs me right now. He might not seem like it, but, he does."

    She took his hands in hers again, "Liam, you are young and strong. There might be more out there for you than just me. There's so much you haven't experienced and so much you want to do that you probably don't even know you want to do yet."

    Reaching around his neck, she hugged him tightly, bringing herself to her tiptoes in the process, "I know it isn't fair... but please... just be patient. Someone will be the love of your life whether it's me or someone else. At this moment, it can't be me. Too much has happened," she let him go and stepped back again, watching him with a pitiful expression. She did hate to say these things to him. But, it wasn't fair to not be honest and it wasn't fair to just forget about Raven-- nor did she want to.

    "Liam, you are stronger than you know. I see it in your eyes. You will be alright no matter what happens," with that, she took a deep breath and placed a hand on the doorknob, looking back at him one last time before opening the door and heading back to the deck. She knew she needed to talk to Raven now. If she didn't tell him what happened, no doubt he would find out somehow. So, she knew it was best to tell him herself... as much as she knew it would probably hurt him.

    She leaned on the railing and looked down at the anchor chain dancing in the water while people bustled around her. She waited for Raven with an anxious heart.
    Awesome Signature set by Hayabusa

  6. #196
    RPAs White Knight
    Fox Xalian's Avatar
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    Once everyone was on the ship, Swims-through-Ice gave the order to weigh anchor and head out. The decks were busy and bustling with activity. As winds changed the sails had to be adjusted, orders flew from Alendria and Erik to the crew. After passing some Stormcloak patrol ships they approached the waters behind the College of Winterhold. Camilla and Amber both knocked on the door to Elisif's quarters. "Elisif, are you decent?" Amber asked.


    Elisif had waited around above deck for a while, still not seeing Raven. She wondered if he had decided to take Sybille's advice and stay away for a while. It was unsettling for her either way.

    When the Argonian gave the order to raise the anchor and set sail, Elisif decided to go below deck to her own personal room where she lay on the bed, looking at the ceiling. The day had really been another tough one and it was hardly half over. She relived the moments she had with Liam and kept beating herself up about it. It was then that she heard a knock on the door and Amber's voice.

    "Decent?" Elisif asked, "I suppose it depends on what you mean by that," she sighed and stood up, walking to the door and opening it, smiling solemnly at Amber, "Come in, please," she stepped back and allowed room for her to enter.

    "Is everything alright?" she asked, sitting on a stool in front of a little vanity they had placed in her room for her. It seemed a little much considering the trip was only a day or so, but nonetheless it ended up on the boat.


    "Actually everything is half left" Camilla said, smirking as she hoped Elisif got the joke. Amber just groaned at it and ignored her friend. "Yes, we're just going to help get you in disguise just in case the Stormcloaks decide to search the ship" she said. "Now Ali lent us some Dunmer noble clothes of hers so you'll need to put those on" she added, placing some folded up clothing on the vanity. "And we'll need to make your skin a bit more grey" Camilla said, opening up a bag and pulling out some water, ash from the Palace fireplace and a brush. She started mixing the water and ash together while they waited for Elisif to change. "So how are you finding everyone's help so far?" Amber asked.


    Elisif quirked a brow at Camilla as she made the rather strained joke, "Um, sure..." she said, exchanging glances with Amber and then moving on, "I suppose a disguise is a good idea," Elisif agreed, eyeing the clothes and then picking them up.

    "Make my skin grey?" Elisif asked, apprehensive about this idea, "I suppose it would make sense... but my eyes are hardly Dunmer," she remarked as she changed out of her Jarl's outfit into the Dunmer noble clothing. It was certainly different than what she was used to.

    "I guess you will just need to put that on my neck and face and we'll just hope that no one looks at my eyes too closely."

    Though Elisif was fine with the idea of being in disguise, it was obvious her mind was elsewhere.


    "Well this is just a precaution, I doubt anyone will check of course since the captain will probably make it through without being spotted" Camilla said. Amber walked around Elisif once she was dressed and pulled the hood of the outfit over her head and walked back to the front. "Nope just the face, your neck is hidden enough" she said, grabbing the ash and water mix. She used the brush to lightly add it to her face, one she was done she held up the mirror. "Lady Ellie, you are looking like quite good for a Dunmer, Ali would be proud" Amber said, smiling.

    Once Amber stepped away for a bit Camilla smiled and walked up to Elisif. "Septim for your thoughts, ma'am?" she asked, having noticed Elisif's mind had been elsewhere, and not the fun Elswyer that the Khajiit came from.


    Elisif smiled at Amber's comment, "I sure hope so," she said, now deciding to sit on the edge of her bed. She watched the wall for a moment when suddenly Camilla appeared in front of her.

    "Oh," Elisif blinked, "Um, well-- it's complicated. I'm sure you know part of it... since you are part of it... but, I'm worried about Raven mostly. But, I did do something that I shouldn't have done."

    She sighed and folded her hands into her lap, sitting upright with perfect posture as she had always been taught to do. After a few moments, she continued.

    "I kissed Liam. I should have turned him away, but I didn't," she paused, her brow wrinkling with worry as she remembered the events of the day, "Today has just been a big mess. Raven was having some kind of side effects from being bitten and he's turning into a vampire. He really scared me this morning and I'm still worried about him."


    Camilla smiled broadly hearing that Elisif kissed Liam. But that smile faded as she heard Raven had been turned, her hand moved instinctively towards her weapon, Heartbreaker, which she had left in her quarters. "Well let us hope it was just his first time turning. I remember when Lucine and my cousin Caleb gained the beast blood, their first transformation was....well let's just say it's good we did it out in the wilderness so only some animals and bandits got killed" she said. This may have been the first time Elisif had heard she had two werebeasts in her court and helping her in the war.

    Amber had moved to the door when she heard a knock, a sailor had come down to them telling them they were approaching the border. Amber walked back to Camilla and Elisif after dismissing the messenger and looked at them both. "Well now's the moment of truth" she said simply.


    Elisif blinked in surprised when Camilla mentioned Lucine and Caleb turning and that they had 'beast blood'.

    "I-- I had no idea," she paused for a few moments in thought, "I suppose that would give us an edge.
    It's something that the Stormcloaks won't be expecting."

    Turning her head, she watched Amber open the door. Her expression changing from worrisome to determined and serious. Standing, she walked through the door, keeping her head pointed down slightly so that her hood cast a shadow over her eyes.

    "Let's go then," she said, her tone as serious as her expression. She remembered why she was here in the first place. It wasn't for herself. It wasn't for Raven, Liam, or even Torygg.

    It was for Skyrim.


    They were lucky, strong winds and ocean currents heading in the right direction, and a gap in the Stormcloak lines allowed thier ship to go right through to the Morrowind lines, where they were stopped by what appeared to be the lead Dunmer ship. "Hold it blockade runner, what is your business?" the Dunmer admiral asked. "Taking refugees to Solsthiem and hunting a pirate rumoured to be hiding in your waters, sir" Swims-through-Ice said. The Dunmer admiral had the ship searched and found nothing overly suspicious, save for a certain odd looking Dunmer woman. "Sorry for the delay, you may head on your way, oh and it is rumoured that pirate is on the other side of Morrowind on one of the islands, good luck hunter. And if you bring his ship to me then I will double the bounty" the admiral said, saluting them. Swims-through-Ice returned the salute and they were off.

    Almost as if the Gods themselves wanted them there quickly, they arrived before sunset that same day. "We've been very lucky lately, it make me nervous" Amber said. Once they docked they were met by one of the Raven Rock officials who knew Ali. Once Amber produced the letter from Ali he let them in and showed them to the manor house. "Interesting architecture, very spacious" Camilla said as they entered. "Lady Drel renovated it after it was gifted to her by the Councilor of Raven Rock for saving his life, it has a couple of extra rooms, the rest of you can stay in the Retching Netch Corner Club" the official said. "So who do you want to stay in the manor with you?" Amber asked, turning to Elisif.


    The whole process was rather nerve racking. Elisif maintained a stoic expression, but her heart raced while a couple of Dunmer looked her over suspiciously. But, the disguise seemed to do the trick and they were able to pass through rather swiftly. At Amber's comment of luck, Elisif nodded.

    "Indeed. But, let us not question it," she said, watching as the formalities of international travel took place. Everything again seemed to go smoothly and soon enough they arrived at the manor Ali was lending them.

    It was rather spacious. Elisif walked around the main room and peeked in the various bedrooms.

    "Who would I like to stay with me?" Elisif repeated the question Amber asked, "Well... Ideally, you, Camilla, Raven, and Liam."

    Elisif's stomach turned a bit, knowing that it might be a bit awkward. But, she needed all of them nonetheless.

    "It might be a bit awkward considering some personal things that have happened, but I need both Raven and Liam for protection. I need you, Amber, to help me if anything strange happens in my pregnancy. Camilla, I would need you to help me with day to day things," Elisif explained, "Now, I suppose we should begin getting settled."

    Elisif began ordering her servants around and telling them where to put the few things she did bring.


    Amber and Camilla nodded. With only two other bedrooms, and one of those being needed for most likely Liam, they decided Camilla would stay at the Retching Netch since Amber would be needed on hand and they would have Liam and Raven for protection, as well as Amber too. Plus Camilla would be able to get information and act ahead of most attempts against Elisif.

    Camilla walked to the Corner Club and ordered a room, which had been bought by Ali as per her requests in her letter. This'll be an interesting trip Camilla though as she ordered a bottle of Sujamma. She hadn't had Dunmer alcohol before, and Ali had suggested the Sujamma here was great. And she agreed as she took her first sip.

    Thank you to Alice for making my sig and avi <3


  7. #197
    Leanna's Avatar
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    Good Bye

    It was the evening before the murder of the maidservant.

    And before the main gate of the Blue Palace, Che waited silently, looking rather menial beside the grandeur of the great halls behind her. Over her shoulder a leathern satchel was slung, filled to the brim with every possession she could now call her own.

    Good bye, she thought to herself as she considered its facade, and then the Nords who inhabited the boxes of space both within and around.

    As cold as the land that reared them.

    It had been eight long years since Chenin had left Orsinium; and ever since that day, reality had slowly crept in, chipping away at her. It challenged every preconceived notion, every hopeful idea that Young Che had once held onto about the outside world.

    First Hammerfell.

    Then Cyrodiil.

    Now Skyrim.

    Everywhere she went, it was all much the same.

    Everywhere she went, they were all much the same.


    The realisation pained her.

    And now, Young Che was gone forever. The flickering fires of childish reverie truly were no match for the unrelenting rainstorms of reality. In her native culture, she had considered life too contained and overbearing; yet never took the time to perceive why her kind had embraced such isolation so wantonly. But now she knew.

    In reality, she was a fool for believing that life was better on the outside. In reality, there was little room for her in the world of humans. She was Orsimer, in reality, and thus a slave to the Sworn Oath and the Bloody Curse. Nothing would ever change that, and believing otherwise had proven to be nothing but a great stumbling stone.

    Yet, doubly painful was the realisation that going back to her own kind seemed like a non-option at this point, whether she desired to return or no.

    So where does one such as she go?


    Her inner self found comfort in this thought, just as the she caught the distant sight of her Khajiit friend, carrying a lighter load than the one he had left with an hour prior. She waved, before turning to take one last, long look at the Blue Palace. Sure, it boasted unique ornamentation with its domes and towers that stood proud; yet to Chenin, it was a hollow shell.

    Then suddenly, the Orc shifted demeanour, as if by reflex. She reprimanded herself for allowing sombreness to overtake her psyche, and a switch flipped within her mind, which metamorphosed melancholy into antagonism. Such a powerful tool it was, Che knew; when sadness weaponised itself by mutating into rancor. It was a most unnatural phenomenon, much like... the Orsimer.

    So. Good bye.

    Che then turned her back on the Blue Palace, and all of its hollowness.

    And may the daedra take you.


    There Will Be No Forgetting

    Not long after this, the friends began heading towards Solitude's marketplace, seeking to make preparations for their long journey south. Jo'sha could not hide his relief, his tawny eyes revealing the elation he felt to finally be putting these Nords behind him. Of course, the loss of his coin had been a major blow; but in the end, he just felt thankful that the two of them had successfully weathered the trials of this place.

    First, there had been the coup. They had been uncomfortably close to the mayhem brought on by those events, yet had still managed to find an inn to hole up in.

    Then came the ire of the Nord noble. That human's irrationality towards Khajiit had spurred their subsequent incarceration by the Templar, and more indirectly, the subjugation inflicted by that cold Jarl.

    Then had come the worst of all: Windhelm.

    Recalling the morning of the moot, Jo'sha's ears bent back in quiet consternation. On his way back to Candlehearth Hall to reunite with Che, the Khajiit had happened upon a scene that could not be erased from his mind's eye: two lynched Khajiit traders in an alleyway, with signs hanging from their necks.

    Clean our streets!

    Jo'sha's fur pricked up involuntarily at the memory. How easily that could have been his fate, he mused, as he considered the threats made by the Nord on the balcony.

    But this will all be forgotten soon. That Nord has been paid.

    In fact, only hours prior, the two had been summoned to the throne room for that exact reason. "The time for repayment has come," Falk Firebeard stated at their approach. "By the authority of Elisif the Fair, you have have been summoned here today for..." Falk stammered as he strummed through an unorganised assortment of scrolls. "...ah! Here it is. A loyal noble to the Jarl has written a formal accusation, claiming the Khajiit in question was caught during a botched attempt at robbery. The attempted robbery resulted in the destruction of the property, for which the lord demands punishment. In lieu of punishment, Elisif the Fair has required a fee to appease her loyal vassal. As of today, consider this debt paid, due to your service for our Jarl." Falk had then pronounced the matter closed, and the duo were excused from the throne room.

    "See, Shey? Now we can put all of this behind us," Jo'sha said while trying to put on an optimistic smile as they exited the Blue Palace. "Now, they will forget. Now, we may forget."

    "Forget?" was the only word Che could summon in response to that notion, as she raised one brow.

    No, Jo'sha. There will be no forgetting.

    "Forgetting is easier said than done. Anyway, were you able to barter for the amount I recommended for my armour?"

    Since the return to Solitude, Che had been determined to find the whereabouts of her Orsimer armour and daggers. The task proved easier than anticipated, she discovered, as there was something rather convenient of performing tasks as a maidservant. Essentially, as long as you offered the excuse of 'cleaning,' few ever regarded you with much suspicion.

    With this advantage, Che had made her way into the garrison to 'clean,' only to find that her armour had been stored within the armoury. The daggers, however, were a bit trickier to locate. She never did come across them, unfortunately. They were now her last tie to home, but she had no choice but to leave them behind.

    "Hmmm. Not as much as anticipated," Jo'sha as he pulled out a small pouch of septim. "But Shey, this one must tell you something."

    Jo'sha switched his tone to a whisper, deciding it might be best to proceed in Ta'agra.

    "Today in the market, this one ran into a Khajiit from the caravan that took us from Cyrodiil to Solitude. Due to the result of the moot, he said they are preparing to flee Skyrim, and warned Jo'sha to do the same. They will no longer risk a journey for business here, as they have grown afraid of this new High King."

    Che patiently looked into the soft brown eyes of her friend as he voiced his fears.

    "But do you know who this one is afraid of? Not Ulfric. But those who follow him."

    Jo'sha leaned in to whisper the reasons for his concerns, detailing everything that he had witnessed in Windhelm. Che listened intently, without batting an eye.

    No wonder the Nord fled with his half-Khajiit girl, she thought, before Jo'sha continued.

    "The caravan has been trading from outside the city, camped in the forest just beyond the Gates of Solitude. Should we wish to join them on their journey south, they will be leaving at midnight to travel under protection of darkness."

    Che knit her brows together.

    "Then we must leave immediately," she said. "You go find the Khajiit, and use the coin from my armour to secure a journey. I will meet you at the Gates of Solitude when it is time to disembark. I... have some loose ends that need attending to."

    The Orsimer then smiled at the Khajiit, remembering the promise she made to him back at Castle Dour. Finally she was doing something right.

    "And Jo'sha... cheer up. You're going home."

    He smiled at her words, before taking his leave to seek out the Khajiit.


    Only once Jo'sha was totally out of sight did Che make her move, with Falk's words still reverberating within her mind:

    The time for repayment has come.

    Now that she had sold her armour, she could afford to skim a bit off the top a bit for... 'personal expenses.' She quickly peeked into the satchel that rested on her hip, her gaze outlining the bag of coin within.

    Of course, no amount of money could ever buy what Che truly wanted.

    But... it can buy potion.

    First, the Orsimer asked a passerby where she could find an alchemist, and was soon directed towards Angeline's Aromatics. After securing her purchase, Che thanked the shopkeeper and safely placed the contents into her satchel.

    And... it can buy weapons.

    In finding the blacksmith, she needed guidance from no one. Instead, she followed the all too familiar clang, clang, clang of iron, which eventually lead her to Beirand. To her surprise, the stranger greeted her warmly, inviting her to look at his current stock. Che immediately began asking detailed questions regarding their design.

    "You know weaponry well," Beirand complimented after he had answered all of her queries.

    "My father is a smith," she responded absentmindedly, before choosing the weapons that had stuck out in particular. "And I'll take these two, please."

    Beirand offered his customer a smile, pleased to find that an Orc found his handiwork palatable. Che gestured back in gratitude, before also placing the weapons within the satchel.

    Upon exiting the shop, it had noticeably darkened, and she realised she was quickly running out of time. So the Orsimer took great care to complete her final errands, just as the sun had become fully set.

    Now, to confront the Nord.
    Last edited by Leanna; 11-13-2017 at 10:53 PM.

    I am the master of my fate
    I am the captain of my soul

    - William Ernest Henley

    If it's still on your mind
    It's worth taking the risk

    - Paulo Coelho

    I don't think all writers are sad
    I think it's the other way around
    All sad people write

    - Lang Leav

  8. #198
    trouble.muffin's Avatar
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    Aura had retired to a room at the Skeever after the incident with Elisif chasing after Raven. It was rather exhausting, catering to this Jarl. She seemed to not have her head on straight sometimes. Especially when it came to men.

    The next morning, Aura woke up suddenly from a dream that was both wonderful and terrifying. It was some kind of sweet roll army coming for her. She had to eat them to defeat them but she got full and… that was it. She woke up.

    Rubbing her eyes, she sat up and then started to smooth out her pale white hair proceeding to drag her feet to the lobby of the Skeever. She sat a table near a window, wincing slightly from the light coming in through it while a barmaid set a sweet roll on the table, knowing it was Aura’s favorite.

    Aura eyed the thing suspiciously, recalling the dream. It had started just like this. She was about to eat a sweet roll and then it suddenly grew giant and got arms and legs and then split into more giant rolls.

    “Hmmm…” she mumbled, poking it with a fork. Nothing happened.

    “Aha!” she exclaimed happily, devouring her breakfast in mere moments.

    The smell of fresh sweet rolls in the oven was a pleasant one to wake up to. Amryn rose for her daily stretches in a more cheerful mood than she had begun a morning with in months. Perhaps it was just because the isolation she had forced herself into was finally over, or the promise of delicious pastries, but something about the day felt hopeful. She was so broke that she’d be lucky to afford a sweet roll or two, yet things seemed like they were on the rise for the runaway Redguard. She wasn’t even hungover.

    Amryn strolled out of her room and up to the counter to spend her last gold on breakfast before asking for some guidance in her job search. Along the way, she noticed a pale woman who apparently shared her love for sweet rolls, though far more conspicuously so. Just as conspicuous as her affection for baked goods were her pointed ears.The Redguard’s smile widened at this sight. She had originally wanted both pastries for herself, but decided to offer the second to this fair-skinned elf.

    Corpulus Vinius delivered the treats to Amryn along with some unfortunate news. “I can’t think of any leads at the moment, oddly enough,” he said. “I’d suggest checking at the Blue Palace, but I’ve seen a lot of new faces around as of late. The Jarl might finally have a full staff again. Ya might check with this one, though.” he pointed his chin towards the girl Amryn had noticed. “I know she’s been hanging about there. Might save the trip across town.”

    “Ah, okay. Thanks for the advice.” The Redguard replied as she paid him and headed over to the elf’s table. “Good morning! Corpulus said you might be able to let me know if the Jarl might have any opportunities for work at the palace. Would you mind? I can offer a sweet roll for the trouble.” Amryn passed the treat across the table and took a seat.

    Aura had been licking her fingers from the first sweet roll when she began eyeing the one this woman offered her. She pretended to be disinterested and looked at her fingernails.

    “Jarl is um…” Aura started, but stopped, unsure of this person and if they would keep a secret. She cleared her throat.

    “I can take you to training yard. Maybe Captain can help,” she stood up and started to walk towards the door, but stopped and grabbed the sweet roll with a smirk.

    “Follow, follow,” Aura gestured for the woman to follow her. On the way to the yard, she tried to make light conversation, “What is name? Er… what is your name?” she corrected herself, “I am Aura.”

    The elf seemed to be hiding something, but Amryn was too desperate for work to give into her curiosity and pry. She couldn’t afford to scare away the only lead she’d found so far, not that she’d want to deter such an interesting creature from opening up to her anyway. She followed the pale girl out of the inn, wiping the sugary remnants from her hands off on her robe.

    “Thanks for the help, miss. My name is Amryn, pleased to meet you.” With introductions out of the way, the Redguard braved a question she hoped wasn’t too personal. “Where are you from? I can’t quite pin your accent, but you definitely look like you belong in Skyrim. Not that your Common is terrible, or anything!” She searched the other girl’s face for signs of offence.

    “I ask out of curiosity, because I’m not from around here myself. I traveled from Hammerfell. We speak Common there too, but I probably still have a slight accent. I just haven’t been told as much. To be honest, I haven’t spoken with many others in Skyrim yet.” Amryn coughed, as if to clear her throat of the words she already wished she had swallowed. The more her lips flapped, the more pathetic she sounded. “Anyway, did you grow up around here?” She reiterated before falling silent again.

    A brow quirked, the elf watched the dark skinned woman oddly as she seemed to not know when to stop talking. She rambled on and on and the fact reminded Aura of how Jarl Elisif acted sometimes. She snickered quietly at the woman’s insecurity.

    “From dark place. Is close by but also far…” Aura answered her, finally. She looked up at the sky, thinking for a moment, “It’s best way to put it.”

    “Speak ‘Falmer’. Common is new to me. Maybe… four months…? Learn much in four months, yes?” Aura asked with a grin, obviously proud of the progress she had made.

    Her Redguard companion nodded enthusiastically in agreement, amazed that she had mastered so much in such a short time.

    Eventually, the two would make it to the training yard outside Caste Dour.

    “Ermm…” Aura looked around the yard, eventually finding Captain Aldis, “You!” Aura pointed at the man and ran up to him, “You are important, yes. This woman need work for… erm…” Aura lost her train of thought, suddenly forgetting anything she had ever learned in her life.

    “Well?” The captain approached Amryn, “You need work? Good. We need soldiers. In fact, some of the newer recruits are getting ready to leave on a training march.” he said, looking over her. He didn’t seem excited to hire the woman, but he knew that Solitude wasn’t in any position to turn down recruits right now either.

    Aura grinned and nodded at her new friend, “Hired!” she playfully punched her on the arm-- rather harshly.

    “Oh! This way!” Aura ran off again, going into the Castle Dour where the generals had been mapping out an attack.

    “Look, look,” Aura leaned over the tactical board, “Exciting, yes? March should be… hmmm…” she traced her finger along the plans, “Here… maybe?” Aura quirked her head to the side, suddenly finding it hard to read this board-- all the little man figures all over the board on the map… it was confusing. With a sigh, she stepped back, “Now head hurts…”

    The wide, open yard had reminded Amryn of the one her father had begun training her in back home. The most noticeable difference was that it never snowed in their part of Hammerfell. Regardless, she was eager to shake the rust off in a somewhat nostalgic place. She wasn’t sure how she felt about fighting for the Empire, but gold was gold, and this employment didn’t have to be permanent. Father would surely be proud, she thought to herself bitterly.

    “Thank you, sir.” Amryn saluted the captain stiffly before continuing. “I’ve had my share of combat training, yes. I know a few spells as well-- apprentice-level healing and adept destruction. However, I wouldn’t call myself a battlemage by any means. I’m definitely best with my sci- sword.” she answered him, barely keeping her exotic weapon proficiency a secret. It would hardly have been a surprise to the captain, but word could not get out of a scimitar-yielding Redguard woman so close to where she left the Alik’r.

    She followed Aura into the Castle Dour, the first stronghold of this stature she’d been inside away from home. Her arm throbbed a bit from the elf’s congratulatory punch, but she stifled any expression of the pain to avoid making her newfound companion feel guilty.

    Amryn looked at the map, wondering how many of these little pegs would represent fallen soldiers by the time their respective garrisons made their return from the flagged areas. It stood to reason that Amryn and Aura would be among the little pegs that departed for at least one of those areas.

    “Indeed,” she replied. “Don’t feel too bad if it doesn’t make sense. Father always said these are more like hopeful guides than master plans.” Amryn looked up from the figures and asked, “What shall we do in the meantime? Assuming you’ll allow me to remain in your company, of course.”

    Sitting down on a chair, Aura crossed her legs, leaning back in a rather lazy way as she picked her teeth. This woman had a strange smell about her. She was hiding a lot, that much was for sure. She watched Amryn curiously after she asked her what they would be doing in the meantime.

    “Aha! We should have fun. Training yard, go. See how skilled you are.”

    With a click of her tongue, she stood up again, “I pick bow and arrow. No worry, I won’t kill you,” she grinned and shook her finger at Amryn, “Funny thing: people think bows only good from far away. Nope. With good bow, actually stronger point blank. Come see.”

    Back out to the yard, they went. Aura had grabbed a practice bow that had been leaning on the wall next to some shields and swords.

    “I shoot from here first.” Aura readied her bow and an arrow, pointed at one of the targets in the yard around fifty feet away.


    She walked up to the target, gesturing for Amryn to follow, “Look. Hit bullseye. Most likely lethal shot,” she shrugged and bent over, looking at how deeply the arrow was lodged into the target, “But maybe not.”

    She plucked the arrow out of the target and then readied a new one, standing right up on the target.

    Releasing the arrow, it pierced straight through the target and into the ground behind it.

    “All the way through. Dead one-hundred-percent.”

    “HEY!” Captain Aldis yelled from across the yard, “Don’t break all my equipment!”

    Aura grinned sheepishly and picked up the arrows, “Sorry, Captain man!” she waved even as he leered at her for a few seconds. Eventually, he turned away, talking to some guards again.

    “Okay. Think fast!” Aura shot an arrow straight at Amryn, but in a way so that it would be easy to dodge. And, if she actually did hit her… there was always Salendrial at the palace...

    “Oi!” Amryn barked, leaping out of the arrow’s projectile. Hopefully the elf had made sure no one was standing behind her. “This is your idea of fun, huh? Trying to kill me?” She grinned, the gleam of her teeth and eyes showing that she wasn’t mad, as long as the shots remained playful.

    Aura had proved she could be unnaturally lethal with her bow, but she had also demonstrated remarkable restraint. It gave Amryn an idea for a game. “Shoot a few up in tall arcs,” she suggested. “But be sure to use the cheap ones, so we don’t piss off the captain.”

    Aura quirked a brow at her suggestion, interested to see what the Redguard would do against a rain of arrows, “Okay. Get ready!”

    Swiftly, she grabbed a bunch of arrows and shot several in the air, two at a time. A grin spread over her features as she waited to see what she was hoping to be some kind of impressive acrobatics.

    Amryn’s sword was still sheathed, leaving both palms open for spells. She shot small fireballs at the arrows in quick bursts. The first missed its mark, and the Redguard skipped backwards a step to avoid Aura’s arrow. It plummeted to the Earth where Amryn’s foot had been a second earlier with a dull thwunk.

    This first mistake helped her hone her aim, and the rest of Aura’s arrows were reduced to ash by the time they reached the ground. “Ra Gada!” the Redguard cheered, each syllable emphasized by another shot of flame. The expression was her own, just the name of a troop of her ancestors that she picked up from old folklore because she enjoyed the ring of it.

    Amryn’s smile widened as she fell into the rhythm of this target practice. It was a drill that had potential to save her on the battlefield, but it was also genuinely fun. Of course, if she were to try this in actual combat, they probably wouldn’t be heading her way in such a visible arc. Perhaps this could become an ongoing drill, if over time she could handle more realistic shots. For now, if Aura were to actually aim to injure, she’d likely succeed. Amryn resolved to make this newfound tactic her specialty through rigorous training. The other girl wasn’t even able to communicate with the Redguard to her fullest abilities just yet, and already she had revealed much from which Amryn could learn.

    Aura watched gleefully while Amryn shot at the arrows. Though, she did snicker when she missed the first one and it nearly fell onto her foot.

    “Fire magic! I only know some frost. But, pretty good at it,” she shrugged, noticing now that they had attracted a bit of attention from the soldiers, “Hit these!” she exclaimed, shaking her hands a moment before shooting ice spikes into the air, causing a few soldiers to scatter for fear of one falling on them. They had seen Aura fire arrows and were confident that she wouldn’t hit them with those unless she wanted to. But, ice spikes seemed a different story. They were far clunkier and tougher to predict the trajectory of.

    “Heh. Now they run?!” Amryn laughed, watching the other soldiers duck and scatter as she blasted each spike. Their paths were more random, but they were slow enough to hit every time. Only lightning spells were even faster than flame. The icicles melted in mid-air, splashing down in rather anti-climactic puddles.

    “Hmmm…” She paused, brainstorming a way to give their new comrades in arms a better show. “How about a kinda tug-of-war? Shoot it steady, instead of in bursts.” Amryn sent a small, but continuous flame into the sky with one palm. Once Aura produced her counterpart, she would make the fire stronger by using both hands.

    Aura snickered, having far too much fun, “See who wins? Ice versus fire!” she exclaimed, doing a twirl before casting a steady frost spell toward Amryn and slowly walking towards her while the spell built up against Amryn’s flame spell. Surely, both sides would become more intense as the duel continued.

    The soldiers around them began watching closer, forming a circle around them.

    Aura, beginning to feel the heat from the flames, decided that she did not like it at all. She winced and tried to intensify the frost in her hands. However, she couldn’t seem to make this spell much stronger. Cursing in Falmer, she parried and swiftly drew an arrow while still casting the frost spell to shoot at Amryns feet. It hit the ground just between them and made it slick like a pond frozen over in the mountains, and it would make it very difficult to stand for anyone. Especially someone who was not expecting it.

    Aura proceeded to laugh hysterically at her own antics.

    “That was cheap, Elf!”

    “Get up, Redguard! She isn’t paying attention! Tackle her!”

    Some of the soldiers cheered for Amryn while the ones who were on Aura’s side simply laughed along with her.

    While she had stayed focused on their elemental dual in the air, the elf had taken advantage of the moment to slip a shot at the base of her feet. The ground’s surface became a slick sheet of ice that even a Nord with notice may not have been able to navigate, let alone a desert-dweller without forewarning. Amryn’s boots became airborne as she fell. Her hands were too preoccupied to brace for impact in time, and her tailbone slammed down hard enough to leave a deep crack in the ice.

    “My ass!” The Redguard shouted, pulling herself back into a standing position with a visible wince. “Now I kick yours,” she snarled, charging the elf, who was still letting out delighted peals of shrill laughter. Amryn would have found it hilarious too, had it not bruised her bum, so she couldn’t hold it against the other girl too much. She tackled the other girl, raised a fist up high, and by the time it reached Aura’s side her fingers had spread to tickle, rather than punch. She didn’t really want to beat up her newfound friend, assuming that she even could, but embarrassing her was a different thing entirely.

    “You’re not getting up ‘til you admit that my fire was stronger and that’s why you had to take such a cheap shot!” Amryn teased, pinning the elf down with her legs and one hand while using the other to tickle her mercilessly.

    Aura’s laughter intensified as she was now on the ground being tickled when she thought she was going to be punched.
    “Sssstooopp…!” Aura fidgeted and flailed and eventually kicked her off right as Captain Aldis pushed through the soldiers around them (who were now whistling).

    “That’s enough!” He yelled, causing the whole yard to go silent.

    Aura sat up and blinked a few times, processing the gruff voice that entered her pointed ears. “Heh…” she scratched the back of her head and stood up, “Sorry, captain man.”

    “And stop calling me that,” he replied, leering at Aura once more and then shifting his gaze to Amryn, “You both will need to answer to the leader of the March, Lucine. After this incident she might not even want you. So, I suggest you straighten up,” he looked at Aura again, “You aren’t setting a very good example for our new recruit. Cut it out or you’ll lose dessert privileges.”

    Aura’s jaw dropped, “Not fair! Fine. I buy at Skeever,” she folded her arms and looked away. She didn’t usually like dining with the soldiers anyway. She stuck her tongue out at Aldis after he turned her back, then going to lean on the wall with her arms still folded, “Lucine doesn’t care. She is nice unlike captain man…” she muttered to herself, now waiting for the woman to appear to either praise or scold them.
    Last edited by trouble.muffin; 11-13-2017 at 02:15 AM.

    ♥This set was made by my dear, sweet Ru.♥

    Message to those with whom I role-play or chat: I'm dealing with some pretty heavy family issues and likely will be for the next couple of days. Not sure when I'll be able to reply, but I'm not dropping out of anything. I just may take longer than usual because it's difficult to focus my scattered thoughts on anything productive.

  9. #199
    RPAs White Knight
    Fox Xalian's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Somewhere in Australia
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    Lucine and Timur

    Lucine and her father smiled and shook Reila's hand. Lucine turned back to the map table quickly, as she looked at the female commander a bit to long. "So, Reila, you'll be attached to....either my group or Adra's group, so you'll either be in Falkreath or Whiterun, I'll leave that up to you to decide" she said, pointing to the marker for the main part of the force that was still outside Solitude and the Rangers who were also with the main force. "By the time the main army gets there of course, Fort Sungard should be ours" she added. "I hope you didn't unpack you supplies, we should've been moved out 5 hours ago" Timur said as they grabbed thier backpacks from beside the door and went out to where the militia was training to find the Captain berating Aura and some other Redguard girl. "Alright Captain that's enough" Timur said. "You and you, will be with us as well. Aura your archery expertise will be needed in Falkreath, as for you I think I have a nice place in my army for you" Lucine said, looking at Amryn.

    Her and Timur lead the three new additions outside to where the proper army was. Actual warriors stood around. Lucine whistled for her horse, who came over in full heavy armour. "General Lucine Shula Starseer, the Moonfire of Sentinal, you are hereby in command of the Lancers" Timur said to his daughter. Lucine started by saluting but then hugged her father. "But what about you? What are you commanding?" she asked. "Light cavalry, where I belong" Timur said. Lucine nodded then looked at Reila, Aura and Amryn. "Alright you three will be forming up with the main force until we reach Rorikstead, when Aura and maybe Reila will break off with the Rangers to link up with Adra at Fort Sungard to begin operations in Falkreath" Lucine said. At the mention of the rangers their leader came over. "So these are my new prospects? Interesting. Adra will have to size them up herself" he said. "Adra already knows that one, she helped save Elisif's life" Lucine said, pointing to Aura. "Ah you're the one she said she requested, pleasure to meet you. I am simply Birch" the Ranger said. Lucine then gave the signal to mount up and everyone got into rank and file and the army was moving, towards the Plains of Whiterun. Light cavalry first, followed by heavy cavalry and lancers, with the regular troops and supply train behind them. All up, 200 soldiers marching.

    Siege of Fort Sungard
    The Forsworn and Ashlanders gathered at the front of the fort, siege weapons on hand. They had managed to find some old Imperial catapults and siege towers in a hidden cache. But that wasn't all, since they wanted the fort intact they had send Ali and some others to the road near the bottom of the cliff where a small cave was that would lead into the Fort itself. "So we go in there and open the gates, sounds like a suicide mission" Adra said, smiling. "Don't worry, they'll be to busy with themselves to give us much of a problem" Ali said, readying her mayhem spell. "Well then, let us begin" Adra said. They made thier way inside, three Infiltrators, an Ashlander Scout and a Forsworn Briarheart followed close. Once they got in some of the guards noticed them, only to meet the business end of multiple arrows from Adra, one of the Infiltrators and the Ashlander. Once they snuck out into the main courtyard Ali stepped forward. "Where'd that Dunmer bitch come from?" one of the soldiers yelled. "Maybe she's a whore who got lost, guess we better show her where the bedrooms are" another one said, they all laughed and moved closer. "All of them, Boethia!" Ali shouted, setting off her spells and causing them to turn on each other, thinking the others where traitors. The Ashlander and Briarheart opened the gate as the catapults fires flaming bundles of hay and thatch as the Fort, trying to smoke out the soldiers. The rest of the army charged in.

    It took the better part of the day for the fighting to stop, by the time they reached the commander's quarters the white flag was already being waved. The remaining command staff and soldiers surrendered unconditionally, handing control of the fort over. The new prisoners were locked in the dungeon, and the banners were changed to the new Wolf and Crescent Moon banners of the Grand Army of West Skyrim.

    Blockade of Dawnstar
    With word of the Dawnstar fleet being over at the border it was decided by the Admiral that they would blockade the city. The fleet consisted of one Galleon similar to the Waverunner and ten smaller frigates, all armed with ballistae and, in the Galleon's case, two experimental cannons, the secret weapon of the Starseer fleet. Unfortunately only very minimal ammunition was available for the cannons, so they would only be used as a last resort. With one of the Stormcloak ports now cut off from the world, their finds would be shattered.

    Thank you to Alice for making my sig and avi <3


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