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Thread: [M] Cinderstorm's ~ Elder Scrolls: the Fourth Era

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    Default [M] Cinderstorm's ~ Elder Scrolls: the Fourth Era

    The aged nordic city of Whiterun rest atop a snowy hill, an old, sprawling place with dwellings and halls of well-worked wood and straw-covered roofs, with stone foundations as old as the earth they rest upon. The great city stretched out across the valley hill, an old stone wall surrounding it's great length. From a distance, it almost looked as if the hill upon wich the city rested was the top of a giant's head, poking out of the earth, it's walls and city an old weathered crown, still gold and gleaming, as if harkening back to it's youthful glory. The city did not end at it's walls, bursting out on to the plains, those who could not afford to live within the walls built upon the land outside, or pehaps it ran out of room long ago, and even after this, farms stretched out for miles in each direction, giving the impression of an endless city of pale, earthen gold.

    Indeed, this half-gold city of wood and straw was a world unto itself, a kingly city in its own right, and though indeed the jarls were no less than kings, it had been ages since a true king had reigned here. The horse lords of Whiterun had not worn the title of kings since long ago in the second era, before the age of Talos, before the Empire. Now the kings were jarls, part of a greater whole, no less honorable, no less glorious. Though not all shared this sentiment, there were those who sought to remake the north, to return the land to her ancient glory, those who yearned for the return of the old ways, and the glory of the northern kings.

    Those like Ulfric Stormcloak, Jarl of Windhelm, he who would proclaim himself King of all the Nords. He called upon the Nordic Kings, the other Jarls, rallying them to throw off the yoke of the corrupt and failing Empire which had long since fallen from it's past glory, going so far even as to abandon Talos, and yet clinging so arrogantly to it's self-righteousness. It was sick and dying, and Skyrim deserved better. At least that was what the rebel king preached far in the frozen north, from his ancient throne in the Palace of Kings. But now his army of stormcloaks, his tempest horde, lie encamped upon a forested ridge, overlooking the expanse of the city of Whiterun, stretching along the horizon below as it's faint, distant torchlight shimmered dimly under the light of the moons and stars.

    It was the 201st year of the fourth era, the 20th of Evening Star; the last night before winter in Tamriel, but in the north, in Skyrim, winter had already begun. The rolling plains and hills of Whiterun were painted white, snow falling from the northern night sky with it's glowing ribbons, like rivers flowing from Aetherius. Perhaps the ancestors and the gods were watching from these rivers, peering down from invisible boats, waiting to welcome their progeny to the halls of Sovngarde, where the honored dead feasted and waged war eternal.

    Perhaps Talos himself was watching, Ulfric thought to himself, looking up at the sky. What a beautiful place his home was, no other place in the world was like it. The very air gave an excitement, a feeling of freedom, a crisp and cold freshness that would wake a man's mind and soul. It almost made him feel youthful again for a brief moment.

    Outsiders would complain in the summer, they likely couldn't even survive the winter. Only it's people really understood this land, appreciated it like no one else could. She was an old and beautiful place, she shouldn't be ruled over by a foreign people who thought her no more than a backwater, she deserved to be respected, loved as a mother. Do not worry, Ulfric thought. Your children will set you free.

    "Jarl Ulfric!" A gruff voice called. "Riders approach! Here come those Imperial dogs!" The rugged old voice belonged to Galmar Stone-Fist, Ulfric's personal huscarl and advisor.

    Ulfric looked down from the stars and his thoughts, looking east and returning his focus to the present. Fast approaching were 40 white colovian warhorses, smaller and leaner than those native to Skyrim, wearing gleaming armor. Atop each horse, men and women in gleaming plate with leather skirts and helms with crests of horse-hair, short red capes flowing behind them. They carried the legion standard, flapping in the wind as they rode, a black dragon stylized in the shape of a diamond upon a field of red.

    The horses approached in a clean, square formation and came to a halt near the tent Ulfric's men had set up. At the head of the horsemen, General Tullius removed the helm from his golden armor, revealing short white hair cut in clean military fashion. He had light brown eyes under a furrowed brow, a serious man, his face clean shaven and gaunt.

    Ulfric awaited him at the large fur tent, drinking mead from a hollowed-out ram's horn. The difference between the men was striking. Ulfric was at least a foot and a half taller than Tullius, strongly built, with a thick dark blonde and brown mane, the sides kept in braids, and a short beard recently grown to keep the winter air at bay. He wore dark furs over a dark suit of chainmail, exhaling white clouds of hot breath as he watched Tullius from blue eyes. His nose and brow were both prominent, and his face was angular with strong features, an old scar reaching down his left cheek from his own time in the Legion. An amulet of Talos hung boldy from his neck, bearing the likeness of an axe.

    "We should kill him, you know," Galmar said softly, stepping to Ulfric's side. "While we have the chance. Without their general, we could break them swiftly."

    "Perhaps," Ulfric replied. "But it would not be honorable. Whiterun will be ours regardless. We will toy with him yet a little longer."

    "They do not deserve honor."

    "No," Ulfric said grimly. "They do not."

    "We are here, Ulfric, to free Skyrim. Not to play fair with prancing generals."

    "I will consider it."

    "And if the fool tries the same on you?"

    "Then we kill him, and return his head to their camp."

    Tullius had been exchanging words with his own men. The two had agreed to meet here on neutral ground. Both armies had been camped near the city of Whiterun for almost two weeks now. Ulfric's army had arrived first, and set themselves up on the high ground, besieging the city, bombarding it with stones and burning oil pots from catapults, and cutting off suplies. Tullius and his forces arrived less than a week later and Ulfric pulled his men back to the ridge, allowing the Imperials to set up camp just outside the city. The two poked and prodded one another, skirmishing here and there, looking to gain any advantage over the other.

    Why hadn't Ulfric assaulted the city when he had the chance? Why wait for a larger force to come to it's defense? Tullius had been surprised when his army was met by Ulfric's skirmishers, they had harassed Tullius' army from the edge of Hjaalmarch all the way to Whiterun. Did he really intend to fight a battle here, on open ground? It would be madness, Tullius had the numbers, and more than that, Ulfric didn't have the cavalry to challenge him on open plains like this, especially not if Jarl Balgruuf sallied out from the gates to join the fight. And why bother hauling catapults all this way? With a power like the Voice, he could likely break down the city gates without siege engines. It was unnecessary destruction, he was sending a message.

    If Ulfric attacked, he would be at a severe disadvantage, even with the Voice, but if Tullius attacked, that ridge would put him at the disadvantage, his cavalry could end up all but useless. Whichever army took the offensive, would ultimately lose the battle. They were at a stalemate. No, not a stalemate, Balgruuf had already agreed to support the Empire, Tullis had already won. It was over, what was Ulfric doing? He'd all but backed himself into a corner. Unless... could he have put himself in this situation on purpose? Placed himself in a corner and pinned everything on this one battle so that his soldiers would fight to the last man?

    Divines! Tullius cursed at himself. The situation was more dangerous than he'd realized. He still had the advantage, a battle would still be winnable, but he needed to be careful, and adjust his strategy. For now, he dismounted his horse. Ulfric was growing restless by the tent, casting glaring looks at Tullius. He approached the tent cautiously with some of his guard following on foot, trying to dismiss the tension in the air. Ulfric's rebels had stopped their idle chatter, and now stared in silence, carefully watching the Imperials as they walked, some spitting at the ground near their feet.

    The two men locked eyes, neither said a word. Hanging in silence, measuring their opponent.

    "Wasting your gold on expensive horses instead of feeding your men, General?" Ulfric jeered.

    Tullius said nothing. He motioned for his guards to wait outside, and entered the tent. Ulfric scoffed and followed. It was much warmer in the large fur tent, there were chairs and a table. Ulfric poured a mug of mead and offered it to Tullius.

    "Drink."

    Tullius looked at him, confused, annoyed. "We're not here to drink." Ulfric frowned, but seemed to expect the response, setting the mug on the table. "You brought furniture with you?" Tullius was becoming convinced that Ulfric was nothing more than a madman, but these Nords did have a tendency toward strange behavior. They would call you their friend as they stabbed you in the gut. Sure, a Cyrodiil might do likewise, but not at the same time. Perhaps this whole land was mad. "Perhaps you've forgotten, but we're at war. This isn't a holiday."

    Ulfric had seated himself. "We're old. Standing and walking about on our feet all the time doesn't suit us." Ulfric met eyes with Tullius, the intensity from before had faded from his eyes. Perhaps the Nord was drunk. "Sit." Ulfric motioned to the chair across from him.

    "I'll stand, thank you," Tullius said, voice growing annoyed. "This should be brief. I assume you called me here to discuss the terms of your surrender? Unless all you seek is to waste my time."

    "I will not surrender," Ulfric shook his head. "I cannot."

    "Then what are you doing here?" Tullius demanded. "What is it you think you'll accomplish? Is it a battle you want? You can't win. You don't have the men for it, we both know it. I have the numbers, I have the city, I have Balgruuf. You hardly have any cavalry, my men are better disciplined, and better equipped. You lead your people to their deaths!"

    "I lead my people to freedom! I lead my people to what is right!" The fire had returned to Ulfric's eyes. "If Sovngarde awaits us, then so be it! We will be welcomed with open arms as heroes. We will know peace, and we will die knowing that we gave our lives for what we believe in. I will not tolerate an Empire that does not stand up for it's people, that denies them their rights, and outlaws their gods!"

    There was a pause. Those words struck a chord. Tullius couldn't help but feel a tinge of guilt.

    "You can dress your farmhands outside in expensive costumes, but it does not change them. I see them for what they are, and farmhands and stable boys will not stop me. My men don't claim to be anything but who they are, nor do I. Your display of horses and pretend legionaries does not impress me, and neither do you."

    "They want us to kill each other, you know?" Tullius said, meeting eyes with the Nord. "They're funding all this, the Thalmor. Pulling strings, sending gold and weapons to fuel your rebellion. They want us to waste our men and resources fighting each other. This whole thing, it's just a sideshow of what's to come."

    "Then I will make sure they regret their mistake once Skyrim is free. If this war is so pointless, then leave. Take your men and leave Skyrim. Why does it matter if we rule ourselves?"

    "Because you fool, it will provoke war with the Dominion! The Empire is not ready for another Great War."

    "And when will it be ready? We must be ready now. We grow weaker fighting amongst ourselves while the Elves gain strength and grow bold. They step on all of us and bend the Empire to their will, and what does the Empire do? Nothing! You stall, because you are cowards! You are afraid of failure, you are afraid of death, you are afraid to do what is right! You stall against the Elves because the odds are not in your favor. Is this world ruled by luck or is it ruled by fate and the will of Gods and Men? We stall here for the same reason. My faith in Talos and in my people is stronger than any force. There will be no more stalling. There will be battle tomorrow."
    Last edited by Cinderella; 12-22-2018 at 05:00 PM.

  2. #2
    Red Ninja
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    Do'Magazo has been in many scary situations. Epic sea battles, Pirate Raids, bandits looking to take out the caravan. Even a couple of Dragon attacks when the Dragonborn was still roaming Skyrim, Do'Magazo himself even helped land the killing blow once. He went through quite a few arrows that day, luckily once the Dragonborn stabbed it through the eye Do'Magazo got most of his arrows back.

    As the Cathay-Raht looked out across plains around Whiterun watching the two armies glaring at each other from across the moors and hills. As he took a large bite from the venison chop in his hand, he shook his shaggy white-furred head. It was a miracle of the Nine that his Aunt's Caravan were allowed to actually enter the city before the armies showed up and shut down the roads in every direction. He half expected to be barred or killed upon entrance, but the Jarl was a smarter man than some of his peers. Should it come down to Whiterun vs one or both armies he'd need every available blade and arm to help hold the city.

    Aunt Ahkari, Mojjan, and Qa'Sinbar were gathered around their campfire by along the Eastern Wall. Even with war at their gates the people of Skyrim don't abandon all prejudice so they weren't allowed to sleep in The Bannered Mare. But they could still go eat and drink there, and as Master of The Whispering Fang finished his small meal he felt a thirst creep into his throat. Dropping down from his perch Magazo walked to his pack and pulled out his Dwarven knuckledusters. And attached them to the belt of his Steel Armor. They looked like the skeletons of Dwarven gauntlets with small golden spikes along the knuckles. They were weapons almost exclusively reserved for Khajiit Martial Artists, each was forged in Elsweyr and presented to the fighter upon earning the title of Do before the Council of the Grandmasters no matter which style the warrior practices. Iron or Steel knuckledusters were most common, but as the fighter grows and accomplishes more the materials are made available to upgrade the weapons someday Do'Magazo might even find himself carrying Dragonbone Knuckledusters.

    For now though the dull brass colored knucklesdusters were his show of rank and honor and he never went far without them. And considering the guards got antsy whenever they saw Magazo or Sinbar carrying their blades or bows out in the streets. Luckily they didn't know what knuckledusters were so the Cathay-Raht wouldn't be totally unarmed, not that he needed them, but they were his prized possessions so he always felt better having them close by. Coming over the last little hill Do'Magazo found himself between Warmaiden's and Breezehome. The whole of Whiterun was gripped by a somber fear with loyalties among the citizens split nearly down the middle between Imperials and Stormcloaks you never knew who was a spy or who would panic and try to fight their way through the gates and escape.

    Khajiit didn't care, Khajiit just wanted to get out of this cold damn country and return to Elsweyr where the womens' bodies weren't buried under furs and hostility and there were giant lizards flying around waiting to eat innocent Khajiit simply looking to turn a profit. He nodded and smiled to the tired looking guards as he passed them his eyes firmly locked onto the front door of the inn.


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  3. #3
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    Niel sat in the Bannered mare an sipped his tea. The bard was playing some local tune bout some warrior named Ragnar. He had tried to teach them some Altmer songs, but they weren't interested. At least he in't have to deal with threats of violence against him from the bar, unlike from those Grey-Manes. He still didn't understand why they thought he was a Thalmor even though he said he wasn't and denounced them to them. Luckily he was able to avoid the boy's clumsy blow, and that the guards intervened before it became bloody/ At least he knew to look for a knife in the back when the battle starts.

    About that he was getting impatient. He didn't seek the battle to begin, part of him wished it would all just go away. He didn't run from a good scrap, he wouldn't be as good as he is if he did, but this wasn't right. In the arena, you know you could die any day, every competitor knows this, they are prepared for it. But normal civilians? No, these people weren't prepared for death, but they would likely be targeted for easy slaughter, and he feared for the women. He had seen a town sacked before, if any of them survived, more than a few would have rape children growing in their bellies come a few months. He especially feared for the elves. He had seen the brutality the Stormcloaks bring upon them. That is why he feels no remorse killing them; young, ol, man or woman. They fight for a deluded madman and deserve no mercy.

    Shaking those thoughts from his mind, he dipped his quill back in his inkwell and continue writing in his notebook. He had given to writing poetry in the time waiting for the battle to be joined, when he wasn't keeping his limbs exercised, loose and ready. He knew battle was coming, and yearned to shake this horrid stasis from his bones. He wasn't sure how many he would kill, but he would make those up-jumped bandits pay dearly in blood.

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  4. #4
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    Fair fortune is a fickle thing, ever-changing depending on circumstances. Three days ago, Starkad Long-Fang would have considered himself most unlucky, his old work horse nursing an arthritic knee and unable to draw his cart. So, like any other Nord worth his beard, Starkad hauled his trapper wagon from the Rift to Whiterun Hold. It was slow going, and it made his beaten body ache fiercely in the aftermath. The foreboding cold did no favors for his silver-pale scars, the socket of his right eye a blistering coal of pain.

    A storm was coming, that much was for certain.

    Mara, however, had no such sobriety in her temperament. Bright-spirited, she hummed songs with a voice like the purest sterling chimes. It did enough to distract Starkad from his aches to keep him from gnawing on some dried blue mountain flower. Bad as things were, Mara was one of the greatest blessings, always capable of creasing Starkad's sun-browned cheeks with a smile. Even when she started singing "The Bear and the Maiden Fair", a song which she surely was too young to understand. It was those thrice-damned Rifters, brigands all.

    Once in Whiterun, things seemed better. Starkad's haul of furs, hides, and assorted animal parts the local alchemists used were eagerly bought up in the morning markets. Enough to rent a room at the Mare, get a hot meal, and a stiff drink. Starkad and his daughter, Mara, sat hunched low over deep and steaming bowls of venison stew. Mara's voice tittered in a giggle, the juniperberry-sweet sound fluttering at the borders of Starkad's perception. Ever since he boarded at the Mare, he'd been watching the damned elf like a hawk. The leviathan in the depths of Starkad's subconscious wanted to grab the pious Altmer by the ears and shuck him like corn.

    "Baba!" Mara called, louder this time, drawing the one-eyed Nord to the present.

    "Yes, little Mau?" Starkad said, his voice a mighty rumble opposed to hers. Standing in her chair, Mara reached across the table with a table linen and started dabbing her tiny hand over the bristling hairs of Starkad's chin, where it had dribbled between bites.

    "You are a mess," he said in a way that one could hear her smile. Starkad chuckled in response,

    "Oh, little Mau, if only you knew." Lines crinkled in the corners of his eyes. When his daughter was satisfied with her work, Starkad rummaged in a belt pouch for a dried bud of blue mountain flower, chewing it contemplatively. He felt the numbness and bitterness along his tongue, and washed it down with a deep quaff of his brown ale. In a few moments, the chronic, gnawing pain in his eye and his joints faded to a dull murmur.

    Keen ears turned to the hall of the tavern, Starkad listened to the mutterings of patrons about. Some bore the semblance of off-duty guards, their gambesons unlaced, perched on benches and stools the same way Starkad did - poised to draw a sword, even if one wasn't there. Mentions of Stormcloak and impending battle made Starkad's hackles stand on end, and his blood roar behind his ears.

    "Do you have your dagger with you, Mau?" Starkad asked out of the side of his mouth, his one frigid eye sweeping the tavern with a tiger's scrutiny. Mara nodded, patting the side of her fur-lined coat.

    "Always, Baba." Clever girl as she was, Mara kept her little sgian dubh concealed. A grim sense of fatherly pride swelled in Starkad for a moment.

    "That's my girl. I need to step outside for a moment, dearest. Will you be alright?" Mara nodded once again to answer his question.

    "Yes, Baba. The wench is nice. She have me a sweetie last night as a gift," she said, her dazzling eyes bright in the dancing light of the candle. "I think she may like you, Baba."

    Starkad snorted into his mug.

    "None of that now, sweetling. Just wait here, I will return." Rising, Starkad felt his knee creak and pop, a reminder of being trampled by a horse once. Stepping behind Mara's chair, he kissed the young girl's cheek, blowing a raspberry in the same space, much to her amusement. Thumbing a few septims for the drink and meal, Starkad found the wench Mara spoke of, pressing another few septims into the woman's palm, calloused by honest work.

    "Keep an eye on the little one, please," Starkad said lowly, humbly. Closing her fingers around the minted coin, she nodded.

    "Like she were my own, sir. Don't fret." She had a voice like maple smoke and honey. Nodding his thanks, Starkad stepped outside the tavern. Skyrim's brisk air nipped at Starkad the moment the door closed behind him, the streets a chaotic din. Imperial red turned the streets of Whiterun into rivers of blood, steel glinting in the sunlight and banners snapping angrily. Thunder rolled in the distance.

    No, not thunder. It was too rhythmic, too constant. Shouldering through a cloister of Whiterun citizens watching the procession of troops, Starkad found the steep stairs to the battlements of Whiterun's walls. Ascending quickly with lengthy strides, Starkad saw the storm he felt coming days prior.

    A sea of slate blue gathered in the golden fields of Whiterun hold, and Starkad felt his heart begin to hammer. Swords and axes banged on shields, boots stomped trampled earth, forming a primal staccato. Starkad's hands closed into mallet-like fists, gnarled knuckles forming their own reply to the Stormcloak's taunting. Fickle fortune had spat in Starkad's only good eye, locking him and his daughter in a city about to be under siege. That leviathan churned in the pit of Starkad's center. An army of those he had once called kinsmen, those who reviled Starkad nearly as much as he loathed all else, stood as a wolf at the door.

    Talos willing, they will kill each other to a man, thought Starkad, glancing over the slope of his shoulder to the amassing Legionnaires. No wonder he saw none in the Mare. All had been mustered to defend the city. Opening his hands with an effort of will, Starkad gazed down at his leathery palms, thick with calluses and blisters from so many years of bearing Long-Fang into battle.

    "I'll kill them all myself, if I have to..." Starkad muttered, his breath escaping his lips in a cloud to be carried off by the wind.

    Returning to the Bannered Mare in a brisk pace, Starkad shouldered open the oak door so hard the iron hinges screeched in protest. "Mara," he called as he approached their table, "It is time to pack your things, dearest."

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  5. #5
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    Faint music, murmuring voices, the sound of heavy boots against the planked wood floor. All the sound one would expect in a tavern, all sounds that slowly pulled Ko'Zahrsi from her brief slumber. With a wide yawn, the alfiq-raht stretched and stood; her shimmering eyes peering cautiously out over the common room from her out-of-the-way corner behind the bar. She had arrived days before and, after a bit of luck with assisting to end a brawl before things got bloody with the aid of her illusion, managed to come to an unspoken agreement with the innkeeper. As long as she kept out of the way and helped keep the patrons from lashing out at each other because of their fear or stress, he would allow her to stay there both warm and fed. It was an offer she knew would have never been extended if there weren't an army nearly at the gates.

    Now, she watched with mild interest. It wouldn't be long before the shaky calm wash shattered, everyone knew it. With careful and quiet steps, she drew away from the shadows and settled into a nice spot closer to the hearth as the firelight shimmered across her silky coat. There were the usual familiar faces, one or two who were ones that always merited keeping an eye on, and ones that she had only seen once or twice before. Men and women of various races and various talents, all on edge and all knowing the hell-storm that was looming. Such senseless violence these times wrought, such pain and bloodshed. It set on her stomach like a heavy stone, but what troubled the small Khajiit most were the faces and voices of the very young. Still so wide-eyed and vibrant, having no true fathomable idea of what was coming. It was that innocent ignorance of the ugliness of life that pulled the feline mage to Whiterun and the slim hope of shielding at least some from such horrors was why she resolved to stay as long as she had.
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  6. #6
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    "Hey cat! You got any skooma?" A rough Nordic man's voice filled the fuzzy ears of the napping Magazo. It had been a very long time since the Whispering Fang Master had really drunken alcohol it hit him harder than most would expect from such a large creature. So after four bottles of mead he was hunched over a corner table snoring gently.

    And he likely would've stayed that way until the Stormcloaks kicked the doors of the Mare down and ravaged the womenfolk. But as is the shadow that hangs over all Khajiit, people think he has stash of drugs somewhere. Slowly waking up his ears drooped and his calloused clawed hand covering his eyes from the obnoxiously bright firelight. It took him a few seconds but he responded with a head shake. "This one has no moon sugar friend." The Cathay-Raht slowly stood to his feet and tried to move past the Nord and his two burly friends, but the speaker placed a heavy gnarled hand on Magazo's armors chest and shoved him back to the chair. "I think you're lying fuzzball, you cats always have a stash now hand it over before we get rough."

    With a light groan the big Khajiit closed his eyes tight shaking he drink from his mind. "Do'Magazo has no skooma, just please leave him alone." He knew some Drunken Boxing, but he may have drunken more than he was skilled in. A surprisingly strong hand came around his furry throat and banged his head hard against the wall. His already ringing head becoming a tolling bell. "Whadda say boys? Shall we search him? I bet he didn't even pay the tax yet. Maybe after we're done with him we'll have to take it out of the females he's traveling with. I hear the Khajiit women are as warm as they look and very bendy." He began to laugh a nasty throat laugh when a flash of white crossed the space between them and he fell to the ground struck from a charcoal stick jammed into his neck clutching the protruding tool he began screaming in rage and pain.

    Almost wearily Magazo stood up coming to his full height which was a few inches above his antagonists. Reacting before thinking the two men charged with daggers drawn, with a sigh Do'Magazo moved, the first man swung wide coming up from the floor. The second choosing a direct stabbing thrust, these men were not warriors. Simply stepping back Magazo grabbed the first man's hand and forced him to stab his buddy through the arm causing him to howl in pain and drop his own knife which the Do caught and expertly spun around and drove into the leg of the first man before kicking him off his feet and into his still howling friend making them fall atop their first friend. Looming up Magazo's eyes glinted dangerously. "You will be leaving Do'Magazo's sight in five seconds or he will kill you all. And if you are ever thinking of messing with this one's family again you will be learning a very painful lesson." His voice low and dangerous as his claw lanced out towards a wall scone. It was a blur, but as the hand returned calmly to his side the candle developed a long cut and fell from it's perch to the floor in front of the men the flame still burning on the wick.

    Wide-eyed the three men scrambled to their feet and fled from the Inn practically tripping over each other to get away. With narrows eyes Magazo watched them leave before turned and eyeing everyone in the Inn his eyes locked onto a few of the patron. The stuffy looking Altmer, a one-eyed Nord and a Khajiit child, and lastly much to the fighter's surprise another Khajiit, this one a Alfiq-Raht, using the inboirn ability all Khajiit had he sent a mental massage to her.
    "Greetings little sister, Do'Magazo is warmed by your presence and this one hopes you enjoyed the show."

    With that he ordered some water and returned to his table.


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  7. #7
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    Through scratched lens Harpi could see a field of blue sweeping across the plains of Whiterun. One big whack of Nords ready to fight it out with another big whack of Nords. It would have been amusing to watch if not for the fact that Harpi was stuck in the very city these two armies would butcher each other for. Daedra take the city and all who want it, coming to Skyrim must have been the worst idea she had.

    “To think I wanted this… I should have never left Morrowind…” She grumbled, her words muffled into a growl that shook through her bone mask. She had been perched on southern wall of the city, watching the army of Windhelm’s Jarl gather the moment it was spotted marching out of the forests of the Pale. Harpi could only thank the daedra she took the backroads of Eastmarch through the mountains to Whiterun. Even then the whole of Skyrim seemed cursed to mired in conflict. First it was news that dragons rampaged across the tundra months ago, and some prophesied hero who rose up to stop them. Almost like the tales of the Nerevarrine, but not quite.

    “Hey, you! Dunmer! Get down from there, that is guard post not your personal perch!”

    Harpi stonily turned her eyes down to the guard glowering up at her from the wooden roof of the guard post on the city wall. She said nothing, her silence punctuating the effect her disquieting stare she gave the guardsman. For a second she spotted the hesitation in his stance, but the coming war must have steeled his nerves as he repeated his warning, “I said get down from there! A battle is coming and the City Guard doesn’t need some elf lounging our battlements!”

    Harpi snorted, but complied, shifting her legs out from under her and dropped down from the roof. She landed softly just inches from the guardsman, her sudden landing causing the man to wince back. He cursed her, but by then she was already walking away and had forgotten him already. She meandered back into the main street of Whiterun, pondering her next move, and having a hard time of it. Trying to sneak through the Stormcloak picket would be suicide, and fighting her way was out of the question, and she highly doubted the rebels would take the twenty septims she had as bribery for safe passage. Harpi sighed, finally resigning herself to the notion that she was stuck hiding in this city as the armies fought it out. Perhaps she could loot the city when the battle ensued, these nord savages at least understood the notion of valuables.

    “You.” Harpi stopped a townswoman in her step with the forcefulness of her voice. The townswoman, an old human by the look of her, regarded the Dunmer with mutual disdain.

    “Muggin’ me in the middle of broad daylight, Dark Elf?” The elderly woman snorted, showing off that obnoxious nordic braggadocio.

    “Where can I buy a good wine in this city?” Harpi hissed back.

    “The Bannered Mare, now be off with ya, Knife Ear.”

    Harpi clicked her tongue at the old witch as they parted ways. Harpi had arrived just as some hulking nord slammed his way inside the tavern, and then seconds later the door slamming open again as more nords fled from the it. Harpi arched a brow, curious as to what was going on, and took her turn opening the door to go inside. She paid little attention to the others inside, and made no motion to remove her mask, going to the counter to order herself a bottle of wine and finding herself a spot by the hearth, squatting down and putting her hands to the fire to warm her hands. Harpi’s eyes went to the large Nord from before and how he hurriedly gathered a child and some small effects of his.

    He’s trying to flee the city, she realized, and thought it foolish.

    “You won’t make it past their pickets, Nord,” She rasped as he passed her by with his child. “Your babe will die in the attempt.”
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  8. #8
    The Dragon Lady
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    At the first sign of trouble, Ko'Zahrsi had risen to her feet to intervene, but the violent exchange between her blood-kin and the three men was over in seconds. When Magazo mentally reached out to her, she offered a slow blink and a nod, leaving him to sober up a bit more as she began to slowly pace around the hearth. Eyeing the patrons one by one, she mused over how best to shield and guide as many as she could from the city to safety. Being Alfiq-raht meant she could go about her business avoiding detection quite easily if she so chose, being listened to in these lands though... that was another matter entirely.

    Weighing her options, she eyed the Altmer. A magic user, to be sure, and perhaps a decent sword swinger by the look of him. From him, her gaze drifted to the opening door to observe the entrance of a Dunmer. A rogue or sword for higher by the look of it. From her, Zahrsi's sights drifted over the hulking one-eyed Nord. A bit beaten down and long in the tooth, but no doubt still quite formidable when he needed to be. His daughter was still quite young and, from the look of her, had a healthy dose of Khajiit blood in her own veins. She was unsure if the child would still hold the ability to communicate telepathically, but the small Khajiit knew at least one here could.

    When the Dunmer woman spoke about there being no chance, Ko'Zahrsi gave a low, growling mew. Slipping slowly past them, she rubbed herself lightly against the child's leg in attempt to comfort and reassure her before returning with resolved intent to where the Cathay-Raht sat. Cuffing his tail with a velveted paw, she brushed his mind with her own. "Ko'Zahrsi has need of your assistance, big brother. Khajiit knows a way to safety for all, but she cannot do this alone."
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  9. #9
    A Storm Is Coming
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    Starkad's brow furrowed steeply with an unspoken vexation as the rough-voiced dunmer woman's words raked past the nord's notched ears. With a gentle nudge from Starkad's hand, Mara started, then hopped out of her chair. Fear shone brightly in her opalescent eyes, but the soft nudging of a striped cat against her leg brought a wont smile as she bent to run her hand along the feline's pine.

    "Mara," Starkad said firmly. "Upstairs, mau. Gather your things, then return to me, aye?" Mara straightened and nodded, half her face vanishing in the loops of her scarf,

    "Y-yes, baba." Mara said, her minute stride awkward in the span of steps. He watched until Mara vanished from sight. A fresh mug of rich brown ale sat on the table. The wench had certainly earned her coin. Raising the tankard to his lips, Starkad quaffed deep, sucking down the nutty malted ale to calm the ravenous and half-forgotten thing that had been roused by the promise of blood. Rich amber dribbled down Starkad's bristling flaxen chin as he hollowed the tankard of its contents and softly placed it down upon the table. Not the typical boisterous drinking of a Nord.

    "The hours before a siege begins are the most crucial," said Starkad, slowly turning to the dunmer. His hands came to rest on his hips in a soldierly way, a man accustomed to a sword or axe easily within touch of those iron-boned hands. "Looting, thievery, worse." Starkad's wolfish expression scrunched as he took a deep breath of the heady tavern air.

    "It doesn't matter if we hold up here or try to leave under cover of night, at least one fool will die thinking her easy prey." Starkad said with a stony certainty, his one eye baleful and cold in the shadow of his brow. "But the longer we stay here, the worse it will get."

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  10. #10
    Red Ninja
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    Do'Magazo leaned down picked up the smaller Khajiit placing her around his shoulders before responding. "Do'Magazo is listening, tell him plan please."

    The small Khajiit gave a small huffing squeak of surprise when first lifted off the ground, but soon settled onto his shoulders as though she were lounging on a wide branch. Unable to resist the sudden urge, she nipped at one of his ears. "Listen well to Ko'Zahrsi, big brother, there is a place not far from this tavern where Khajiit can access the sewers. It may prove a tight fit for several, but it will deliver all who follow it beyond the city's walls. Ko'Zahrsi has traveled its path many times."

    The fighter's ear instinctively flicked away, but he did listen to her. "Let us go scout it our first. Do'Magazo and Ko'Zahrsi will not be the only ones to escape." Getting up with the Alfiq-Raht still on his shoulders the big cat-man moved for the backdoor. "Do'Magazo doesn't know this city well lead the way little sister."

    Directing the Cathay-Raht by instruction alone would have taken too much of the precious little time they had. Once they stepped through the door, Zahrsi shifted and dropped almost silently to the ground beside him. With little more than a glancing nod, she took point and quickly leading him through the streets and alleys until she slowed at a small footbridge.

    With a quick glance over her shoulder to make sure she hadn't lost him, she dropped into the drainage canal and disappeared beneath it. The entrance beneath was wide enough to be slipped through one at a time, but also barred with an old iron grate who's bars barely allowed the Alfiq-raht herself entry. Poking her head back through the bars, she mewed softly "This iron is flaking and showing well it's age, brother, does Do'Magazo think he can open it?"

    Following silently behind the female, Do'Magazo did his best to memorize the layout of Whiterun his naturally forward thinking mind planning other escape routes if needed. As they arrived at the grate he dropped into the water studying it closely. Gripping it in his powerful claws he yanked backwards the bars gave an inch or two in their sockets but held firm at the edges.

    Releasing it he crouched down and tried to force his bulky body through the bars. Once again they wiggled and bowed a little but held. The second test a failure he began looking around for a hinge or a lock or maybe even a broken bar to target and wreck the grate's integrity. He found a couple, but he would need something stronger than his knuckledusters to break through. He sighed leaning back on his haunches before responding. "In time, but Do'Magazo is thinking time is not a luxury we have. If we bring the big Nord, Dunmer and Altmer here maybe between all of us we can break through and escape."

    Ko'zahrsi nodded, slipping from under the footbridge and leaping out of the canal. "Quickly then, dear brother, before strangers begin forsaking reason for madness."

    With a light grunt the big Khajiit climbed back up onto the road and picked his new friend up knowing the way back to the Bannered Mare and being able to move quicker than his companion when the time came.


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