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#11635539 Oct 14, 2015 at 05:38 PM · Edited over 1 year ago
130 Posts
Xilliad was filled with inner turmoil; the smartest, most logical, and best decision tactically would be to retreat... his Imperial blood. The Nordic side of him, however, urged him to fight on, to avenge the Harbinger who treated him so well, to win glory in the eyes of the gods, to keep the honor of the Companions.

His line of thought was jarred as another vampire charged at him. The vampire swung a beautiful sword at him... the blade of a fallen Companion. Xilliad blocked the swing and followed up by slicing the vampire's head off. He grabbed the sword off of the fallen body.

He looked into the etching of the blade; time seemed to slow down.

It had been the blade of a senior Companion. The Companions were losing almost all of their leadership, their members. If they continued to fight, their order would end here, in this battle...

That realization brought Xilliad to the decision he knew had to be made.

He raised the blade over his head and waved it around. "Retreat! People of Whiterun, retreat! We must escape while we can! Companions, to me!" His original three fellow Companions formed up with him, along with a dozen others; guards, adventurers, other Companions.

"To the gate! We must clear a path for the people!" Xilliad motioned the blade forward, willing his comrades forward, slaying any Vampires foolish enough to stand in their way.

Together, they hacked, they slashed, the let loose volleys of arrows. The vampires were confident at first, but soon, they backed away from them in fear, despite their numbers. Xilliad led the charge to the gate, his shield of Ebony filling the air with an aura of fear, inspiring his comrades, frightening his foes.

The reached the gate, where several guards and Companions were already struggling against a small horde of vampires and thralls. With their new reinforcements, they fought with renewed vigor; eventually, the gate house was freed and back under control.

With the troops rallied, Xilliad had those still remaining keep the gate under control until, finally, it seemed they had rescued all that could be saved.

He shouted at the top of his lungs, "Retreat! The city is lost! People of Whiterun, retreat!"

And with that, the survivors of Whiterun fled the city. Xilliad, Kili, Fili, and Evelea fled decided to head East, toward Windhelm...
Rex: Hero

Valeiro: Psycho

Kojasta: Mystery

Solljus: Villain

Abaddon: Shadow

Xirad: Warrior
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#11699676 Nov 01, 2015 at 03:12 AM
328 Posts
"I don't know how 'smart' and 'fight' go well together." Storms hefted the sword up in his right hand, giving it a light shake to test the weight and balance. It certainly wasn't Firebrand or Frostbite, but it was suitable...for the moment. He didn't bother with the dagger, essentially shoving it into the Redguard's hand. "If you can figure out how that works, it's your prerogative."

The black-scaled Argonian began to ascend without another word, even as Hanir attempted to grab and merely grazed his left arm. With a grumble the Redguard quickly moved after, stopping at the pirate's side as they neared the top. A quick peek inside was enough to give Storms the confidence to appear in the room and strike down one of the three present guards. His gurgle alerted his compatriots, who stood hastily and drew their weapons. What they didn't expect, however, was the dagger Hanir possessed getting through into one of their throats, completely surprising the last. A brief struggle occurred, but the experienced pirate brought his foot straight into the crotch of the guard, before shoving the iron sword up through his chin.

Hanir drew the dagger from the dead guard as Storms shoved his own off his temporary sword...

[...]
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#11789542 Nov 24, 2015 at 03:38 AM
106 Posts
Elanna sleepily looked at Josmhirr who glanced quickly off at the guards. His hand seemed to slowly slide off to the dagger that sat just above his tail. Elanna's hand slid down to the blade and the metal scraping spread out along the clearing between the guards.

Josmhirr's dagger was thrown at the closest guard in an attempt to slow him before he started dashing back to Elanna. She was spun around in an instant, and quickly got her legs moving as Josmhirr started to push her. Unfortunately for Elanna, she hadn't slept as well as the Khajiit had with the cannibals... And she stumbled before falling next to her blade with a huff; man she was clumsy when she was tired.

Josmhirr was three steps ahead and was about to turn around before the wood elf pushed him ahead. "Later, just go!" More of being pushed than actually going himself, Josmhirr was only able to look back one more time as the guards swarmed around the fallen Breton, and kicking the drawven blade just out of the stunned girls reach. She was hauled up to her knees when she refocused, already starting to be bound by the rough guards. A guard grabbed her weapon and pushed the Breton forward, as the rest of his group ran after her comrades. And so began Elanna's slow and slugish walk to Dawnstar, only able to stay awake out of being pushed roughly every thirty seconds or so.
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#11799711 Nov 26, 2015 at 11:40 PM · Edited over 1 year ago
214 Posts
((Before you read this post, I apologize. I don't find any of these posts to be my best work, but I have elected to barrel through it in an attempt to get the story rolling rather than spend another number of weeks perfecting it. I really am sorry; but I promise that the post after this, things will get rolling in a much better way. Please simply bear through this one progression with me so that I can more easily get this story going. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.))

"Here, we see yet another 'Nexus of Fate.'" The old man huffs in laughter, apparently very proud of his name for the meetings of the novel's heroes. "The fated meeting of Stares-at-Storms and Elanna Moorsly. Ah, but I'm getting ahead of myself, aren't I? On with the story..."

***


"First, let us revisit our first pair..."


Scouring the city was a difficult feat, to put it lightly. As you ran through back alleys, waterways, and abandoned homes (if only to avoid the larger pockets of Dremora), you met great resistance. Daedra of all sorts seemed to be around every corner -- especially Dagon’s Black Knights -- and the Guard made it nonetheless hard by recognizing Dar’anjira.

However, you two made a surprisingly good team; your combative and magical capabilities worked well in tandem with each other, and your charge around the city was dotted with moments of profound teamwork (for instance, many fights would be filled with Anjira’s Illusion followed up by a flurry of steel and fire by Dacian).

You two checked the Black-Briar manor, the Jarl’s Keep, and even Boreas’ various hidey-holes that you, Dar’anjira, were all too familiar with; no luck. It would seem to both of you that Boreas had fled the city; the ambiguity of this conclusion was cleared away as you realized that every place Boreas could have gone to to hide was cleared of anything of value.

“That snake!” Anjira hisses.

“Oh, what is it?” Dacian asks impatiently.

“He’s escaped the city.” You two find yourself in an isolated corner. Dacian keeps watch, sword in hand, while the Khajiit looks over her map. “I would guess he’s heading straight for Markarth or Windhelm...perhaps we can catch up to him if we can get to your horse.”

You two are very close to the gate, which is guarded by an entire platoon of Dremora and their conjurers. Even with your skills, that many Daedra is simply too much; of course, you could try. Mateas is without a doubt alive, and in the woods just outside the city, waiting; but to fit three people on one horse?

This was a predicament.

There are other exits, such as the Ratways and the gate outside the Honningbrew Meadery. The former would take much longer and might give Boreas too great of a head start, and even then you’d have to fight your way through skeevers and the denizens of the sewers; but the latter would be guarded nearly as heavily as the front gate, and your chances of getting through are minimal.

That said, there is a chance. What will you do, Vampire and Khajiit? Will you try your luck, blow through the front or rear gate? Or will you take the safer option, slinking through the sewers? Mateas is waiting -- Boreas is laughing.

***


"...and then come back to Whiterun, where things have taken a turn for the worse for Xilliad."


And...that was that. Whiterun is lost; exactly as you said, Xilliad. You planted the seeds of rumor that the Companions were heading to Windhelm to attract any survivors, of which there were undoubtedly at least some...right?

It didn’t matter. You head for Windhelm now. What surprises you the most on your journey is the lack of vampires. The occasional beast may have troubled you, but it seemed that the horde of monsters were content with holding the capital. No attempt at pursuit was made to the evacuating population, either, meaning they weren’t planning to take any of the remaining settlements; at least, not immediately. Curious, but now was not the time to dwell on such things.

Evelea was the first to speak up. “This has never happened before. An army of vampires? Even the Volkihar weren’t this bad in the stories. What could this possibly mean?”

“Not to mention,” Kili responded, “I’ve heard that other capitals are under similar struggles. For all we know, Windhelm itself could be taken right now --”

“Don’t say that!” You find yourself interrupting. “The High King would never let Windhelm fall to Daedra. You know that.”

“Possibly,” Evelea interjected. “I guess we’ll see.”

Your journey around the Throat of the World was cut short by the fall of night. You set up camp in an abandoned Giant refuge, and spent the night sitting around a fire eating what was left of your rations. You would need to hunt, but that was tomorrow.

You sat around the fire. Despite your best efforts to keep up your own spirits, Xilliad, despair is ever-lingering in your heart, and your comrades’ hearts. Whiterun is lost.

Whiterun is lost.

The next day, you will make it to Windhelm with one full day of trekking. Now, though, you must make a decision; keep and use that despair, or liven your spirits in spite of the darkness. It is doubtful you are the last of the Companions, but right now, you are their Harbinger, Xilliad; do not falter. Do not waver. But most importantly, do not let them succumb to the imminent.

***


"But Eohlwynn remains, handling a far different kind of enemy..."


Very quickly, the dire situation became all too clear to you, Eohlwynn. Whiterun is lost; the capital has been captured by vampires, and the Companions, along with the city’s guard, has ordered a full retreat and evacuation from the city. Many have died, and many will, but Stendarr damn you if you wouldn’t get this little girl to her guardian.

Out the window and into the street, you saw the Companions; or, what remained of them. It seemed that many of their senior members had been cut down -- even the Harbinger, whose bloodied and defeated body particularly caught your eye -- and yet they were holding their own. The evacuation seemed to be going as well as it could, barring actually retaking the city, and there was an open path for you and the girl. You silently half-jogged to the crowd funneling out of the gates, the child’s hand in yours, and a watchful eye keeping a lookout for any stray arrows or firebolts.

You were just out of the gate when an old Nord man approached you with the greatest gratitude in his eyes. Her father.

“Oh, Jyllia,” he sobs, “thank Talos you’re okay! I was so worried you’d…” But his sentence was cut short by the shield in the child’s hand dropping to the ground and the little girl embracing her father. Tears stream from their eyes, and you look on with a nigh-unnoticeable smile.

“How can I express my gratitude to you?” He continues. “I -- I don’t have any money, but --”

You hold up a hand. “It’s alright.” And the man just smiled, and sobbed some more.

“Daddy,” she begins, worry lacing her voice, “where’s Mom?”

“She...she…” He chokes on his words. A look of understanding floods the little girl’s face; perhaps she was mature for her age, or maybe she didn’t really know why tears began to fall from her eyes.

Your hand finds it’s way onto Jyllia’s shoulder. “Your mother will want you to be strong. For your father. Go.”

They both look at you, nod, and run off with the rest of the evacuation.

And then the silence breaks, and you become aware of your surroundings.

Maltar.

Traitor? Buffoon?

One could say it was ‘up to her.’

***


"...and Stelio has finally returned home."


Your ride continued in silence. It seemed that both you and Fisher had many things racing through your minds -- some of them more than likely being the same thing -- and this did not seem a time for chatter. She had already explained all that she could; her vagueness when referring to ‘beyond the physical plane’ was more than likely a result of ignorance rather than her keeping anything from you. Your relationship warranted a certain level of confidence, anyway.

Fisher was the one to break it. “One other thing,” she began to say. After hours upon hours of riding, you were nearing Dawnstar; normally a two-day trip, you both silently agreed to simply book it long ago. “We think Dawnstar is under attack. They killed one of the initiates, which is...odd, for a city’s guard. We’re not exactly sure what’s going on, but we’ve been taking the long way around there, just in case.”

You nod in understanding, and that is exactly what you do; just before you reach the city, you stray off of the path, into the woods, and around the hillside that overlooks the capital. Embedded into the mountainside, you see the Black Door; infamous to some, but a symbol of home for you.

You and Fisher dismount your horse. She gives it a smack on the rear, and the horse runs off. You two approach the door, a feeling of anticipation filling both of you.

“What is the illusion of life?”

Out of pure instinct, you respond. “Innocence, my brother.”

“Welcome home.”

The Door creaks open, and you walk in side by side. Through a short hallway, you find yourself passing the Night Mother’s coffin -- closed -- into the main hall, where the faces of unfamiliar initiates and familiar siblings-in-death all turn to look at you.

“Thank Sithis you’re alright.” Zophiel, a High Elf assassin-mage -- who also happens to be the Listener -- embraces you, and clasps both of your shoulders, looking into your eyes with admiration. “We were all so worried about you and Fisher. Are you alright? Did you see Gabriel?”

Periods of rest from your work were commonplace. After a job, you at least had a day or two to recuperate before the next; but you know you are about to leave once again, and, despite your lone wolf style, you have grown to know these people as family.

You have a very sinking feeling this job will take you away for a long time, and possibly to your death. If I were Stelio, I would have taken the time to catch up with my comrades.

"Oh, and Zanik?"




***


"And now, finally, our second Nexus of Fate: the scaly pirate and the sleepy spelunker!"


Oh, no. Josmhirr wasn’t about to let that happen.

The guards that had tried to handle Elanna’s comrades were very quickly dispatched; upon her apparent capture, both Wood Elf and Khajiit began to fight with a ferocity like none other. This was...odd for the former. Normal for the latter, though.

Dagger and sword became bloodier and bloodier; while Nilus pigsticked two guards at once, Josmhirr would be slitting throats in a nigh-unseeable flurry of motion. Noting the defeat of their allies, the guards holding you, Elanna, let you go to charge the pair. Odd, you think; seeing such a display of carnage would make most men wet their pants, but here were these men throwing their lives away.

And thrown away they were, with Nilus and Josmhirr very quickly cutting into their vitals and watching them melt into red glop.

Wait, what?

“What are these men?” asks Josmhirr.

“I’m not sure. It looks...Daedric.” The words carry venom out of Nilus’ mouth. “Definitely the work of the devils. Possibly even a Prince. We’ll have to investigate further.”

And so you moved into Dawnstar. Elanna, you were very quickly invigorated by the cold and, while not as well as you would, you were able to aid your allies in getting through the city. At various points, Nilus stopped and inspected the town guard that attacked you, and reapplied the protective ward that may or may not be protecting you from something. You moved to inspect an inn, when -- whack!

A door flew open from the jailhouse. Out of it walked an Argonian in black armor wielding sickly scimitars and a Redguard in blue-dyed Alik’r garb.

“Nice outfit,” you say sarcastically, Storms, to Hanir.

“Same to you,” he replies, equally as snide, as he brushes dust off of his clothing.

And then you lock eyes. You, Stares-at-Storms, and you, Elanna Moorsly. In most cases, the Argonian would immediately distrust and cut down the trio that was in front of him, and Elanna would be less than trusting of a man who very clearly carried a darkness with him. But something stopped you. You weren’t sure what; perhaps the five of you all seemed simply different than the apparently indoctrinated town populace, and you went with that. Or maybe it was something else.

No matter.

Nilus approached the duo with his sword in hand, pointed at the Argonian. “Who are you? What are you doing here?”

“We could ask you the same thing,” said Hanir, his own scimitar sliding out of its sheath.

“And yet I asked you first.”

“Name’s Hanir. This is --”

“Stares-at-Storms,” the Argonian finds himself saying.

“Nilus,” the Wood Elf responds, apparently content with their answers. “The Khajiit is Josmhirr, and the girl’s Elanna.” She waves to the pair.

“The guards arrested us,” says Hanir. “I imagine they tried to the same to you.”

“Emphasis on ‘tried,’” interjects Josmhirr.

“Well, we still have a whole capital to investigate,” Nilus says, impatience apparent. “You can join us, or you’re on your own. Your choice.”

It may be nice to know what in the name of the Nine is going on here, Storms. But you do need to get to Windhelm. And Elanna, something about this Argonian is...compelling. Not romantically, of course, but compelling. Your gut tells you you should try your best to have him come along. And Storms? Your gut tells you the same.

Either way, you will need to fight through some Daedric guards, right?

***


"You're quite proud of 'Nexuses of Fate,' huh?" The younger asks his elder.

"And why shouldn't I be? It's creative! I'm having quite a lot of fun with this. I'm...fond of these memories, my boy. Years of sitting in this chair, reading; boring! And then, one day, I'm swept up in the intricacies of the Division, and I'm there for the Dawn. Glorious."

The scribe simply smiled and kept writing.

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#11799768 Nov 27, 2015 at 12:42 AM
130 Posts


After Evelea's comment, things quieted down around the campfire. Xilliad examined his comrades' faces; they hid it well, but he could see the fear in their eyes, the dread. He was the Harbinger now; he was the leader, the one they would look up to. It was his responsibility, no matter how afraid he himself was.

It was his duty.

He clears his throat. "Do you all know the story of the Hero of Kvatch?" The others all shake their heads. "Well, it is an old story. It was my favorite, as a child... my mother used to tell it to me. It is from the Oblivion Crisis... quite possibly the gravest moment in not just the Empire, but all of Tamriel. Does that jog any of your memories?" They shake their heads again.

"It was a time of nightmares. The whole world was in peril; the gates to Oblivion had been opened, and the Daedra ran rampant through all the land. The Emperor himself was dead, the only person who could close the gates to Oblivion. All hope was lost."

Xilliad takes a breath to look around at this friends. "But what happened... and the way it happened... is why it is my favorite story. A warrior rose up from nothing to save not only the Empire, but the entire world. He found the bastard son of the Emperor... the only man who could close the gates to Oblivion. The actions of the Hero of Kvatch saved all of Tamriel. Some say he was a criminal, others say he was just a simple peasant. But I don't think that's what matters. What matters is that nobody told him to do what he did; the odds were against him. All of literal Hell stood against him!"

Stopping for a moment, Xilliad draws the sword of the fallen Companion; the Skyforge Steel glinted in the moonlight. "What are a few Vampires against us?"

Fili looks up at Xilliad, his voice raised. "There's an entire army of those gods-forsaken bastards!"

Xilliad rises slowly to his feet. "You're right, Fili. There is an entire army of them. A massive army, one would say. But, also like you said... they have been forsaken by the gods. The gods are on our side."

Kili and Evelea look up at the would-be blacksmith, their eyes gleaming. The other twin looks down, his shoulders sagging. "But..."

Xilliad walks over to him and places a hand on his shoulder. "Do not be discouraged, my friend."

The Nord looks up. "Xilliad... there is no hope."

"There is always hope."

________________________________________________________________


The group of Companions awoke the next day. As they broke camp, Kili spoke up.

"So, Xilliad... what are we to call you? Harbinger?" Laughing, Kili shoulders a bag carrying his sleeping pack.

Xilliad smiles. "I am no Harbinger... you can call me what you like."

Evelea speaks up. "How about the Half-Blood Harbinger? Considering your heritage..."

The twins chuckle at this, and Xilliad turns to the she-elf, a glimmer in his eye. "Why, I do like that... the other boys and girls used to call me that as a lad. They meant it as an insult, but... I rather like it. In any case, are we all ready now? Good? Good. Let us journey onward."

Travelling the rest of the way to Windhelm was fairly peaceful. They ran into a bear and a troll along the way, but they proved to be little challenge against the four Companions.

Finally, they crest the hill leading down to Windhelm, the city in sight...



Rex: Hero

Valeiro: Psycho

Kojasta: Mystery

Solljus: Villain

Abaddon: Shadow

Xirad: Warrior
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#11799905 Nov 27, 2015 at 02:25 AM · Edited over 1 year ago
118 Posts
"Whiterun. . . is gone?" The words left her mouth just as quickly as the stray thought entered her mind. Eohlwynn watched the line of people who managed to get out in time, noting how few of them there truly was - And how all they had were what they could carry in their two arms. A pang of sympathy worked it's way through her body, a coldness that started at the soles of her feet and travelled up her body to her core.

Or, perhaps, that was the chill of the night Skyrim was so famous for.

Taking a deep breath and shaking free of her melancholy, the Witchhunter pulled her hood off, inhaling deeply as she set a brisk pace towards the camp she could just make out in the distance. Times like these were just what many of the Vigilants trained for - It may have been preferable to contain the situation, but after nearly being wiped out many Vigilants learned the value of preserving their order. Many of them had probably begun the evacuation long before any real orders came. The pride of the Nords notwithstanding, there weren't many who preferred dying fighting a losing battle.

She passed a Vigilant-embossed tent pitched in front of many refugees, a makeshift table holding a pot of stew while some homely woman ladled them a measured share. Beyond that, what remained of the Vigilant operation in Whiterun had set up three other tents. Women and men bustled about one with rags and religious totems and scrolls of what Wynn could only assume contained healing spells, while the other was eerily dark, nearly empty save for one or two heads she could spy through the opening. Not dead, but sleeping.

But as appealing applying her skill in healing magic or settling down in some stranger's sleeping bag to rest was, she angled for the third tent, where armed men and women bustled too and fro, Maltar standing behind a large desk with numerous daggers of various makes were stabbed into it - makeshift markers. This was war, or at least as close to war as the Vigilants could get with their sworn enemies.

Maltar looked up at Wynn's entrance, his face streaked with what Wynn could only hope was tribal paint. An angry glare contorted his expression as he sent those still lucky enough to be milling about to secure the perimeter and comb the refugees for disease. With them gone, that left just Maltar, his aid, and Eohlwynn in the room.

"Congratulations, Wandering Eye, you've just cost us Whiterun." Maltar began smugly, provoking a quirked eyebrow from Wynn at the attempt to sound overly noble. And using the moniker the Vigilants gave her as something of a joke due her rather nomadic lifestyle? Was he trying to ruin something? "Your investigations wrought nothing, and if not for the quick thinking of myself and Illia, here, our entire outpost, men and all, would be destroyed. Are you proud?"

He paused, nostrils flaring while his right hand, Illia, opened her mouth to speak, though quieted as Wynn held up a hand. "I'm not sure who you're trying to convince is the failure, here." The Daggerfall native measuredly folded her hands as she slowly paced around the table. "And if you're trying to make me the scapegoat of this debacle, you'd do well to remember that the only people who can hear us are your lovely Imperial woman, here, myself, and the two guards posted outside. Gossip they may make about me, they're hardly a lynching crowd. Yet."

Magic swirled about her, a testament to the cold fury building up in her body. "What I want to know is how a force of vampires that large found themselves in Whiterun. Even better, I want to know how a Vampire Lord took up residence in the city without so much as raising a flag with us." She paused just behind Maltar, who whirled around, contorted anger fading just enough for the fear to show through.

"Are you daft, woman? You and I both know just how good Lords are at keeping a low profile. It's inconceivable that any Vigilant under me should be blamed for this. You understand that, you Witch?!" His voice had slowly rose from an even tone to a full on yell, culminating in a yelp as Magical force closed in on his torso, lifting him effortlessly in the air. A hand directed this telekinetic Force with leisure. Both Guards and Illia stared at her in shock, the former having just bursted into the tent with weapons drawn while the latter drew her weapon, half-pointing it at Eohlwynn.

The Huntress' words were silken, sweet as honey and smooth as she spoke. "I understand. As that little pseudonym alludes, I am a wandering eye. I see many things." The man tried to flail, though she closed her hand and pulled it to her chest. Which, in turn, lowered him slowly so she could say softer and softer. "I've seen insolence of new Vigilants towards their experienced mentors, Vampires controlling entire towns and cities, incompetent leaders nearly wiping out outposts with sheer stupidity, even treachery amongst the Vigilants themselves."

Steadily the man's face contorted into a more and more furious expression, with redness peppering his darkened skin with outrage - Up until the last moment. That moment of clarity was what Wynn had been watching for. If he were truly a buffoon, he would have hung his head in shame, but this wasn't some total defeat due to utter lack of intelligence. This was a garter snake dealing with cobras. "Men, seize her! She's obviously been enthralled by one of the Vampires." He yelled at the top of his lungs. Surely the entire encampment heard.

Maltar flew out of the tent with a crack, Wynn having thrown him out with the spell she had cast. Illia rushed her, though this was no time for taking out her own people. The woman was no fighter, and it showed in her stance as she swung. Stepping into the swing, she playfully nipped at the woman's exposed neck while sending her to the ground in a practiced disarming technique.

The other two guards would have been an issue if she were aiming to take them out, but buying herself several seconds was another story. Parrying one's sword with Illia's own blade, she wasted no time knocking the other to the ground with a burst of telekinetic force to his leg. A millisecond passed between then and her sending a knee where no man likes to be touched so forcefully to down the other man. One was writhing on the ground as she dashed past them while the other was scrambling to get up, though that wasn't a problem.

Outside, many were gathered as Maltar stood facing Eohlwynn. "Someone get -!~" He managed to get out before the woman was upon him, ghostly armor cloaking her form like some spirit of vengeance. He had time enough to draw his blade, but not before a kick to the chest sent him sprawling to the ground. Illia's blade was at his throat before any more moves could be made.

"You have one chance. Tell. Me. Why." Her voice was venom, though didn't raise above a clear, even tone.

"SHE'S ENTHRALLED, SHE'S ENTHRALLED, THEY'VE GOTTEN HER!" He bellowed at the top of his lungs, though no one around her dared approach their leader and the wanderer cloaked in solid mist. Steel pressed against his throat and the man began to break down in sobs. He would die sooner than anyone could get close to her. "I-, They-, I don't wanna die. Please don't kill me. They promised me they'd raze the companions, and I would be able to build them back up from the ground again. And I-" He petered out into nothing but sobs.

"This man, your Leader, has just confessed to willingly conspiring with Vampires." Her voice was loud, clear. Authoritative. "In return for a chance at leading his own guild." She looked behind her, directly at the three closest to her - Illia stared at her, slow comprehension dawning in her eyes. There was no enthrallment - She may be a noncombatant, but she knew the signs of Vampiric enthrallment very well, and there was no sign of it in Eohlwynn's eyes. Nor was the hickey she'd just been given more than just that - A bruise from normal teeth, not hyper-sharpened canines built for sucking blood.

"For that," She lifted her steel long enough for him to breath. The misty armor faded from her form as she slid two fingers along the silver blade, fire erupting from the blade. "Your sentence is death." With that, she swung, severing the man's head from his body in one swift, cauterizing stroke.
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#11891057 Dec 23, 2015 at 09:23 PM · Edited 6 months ago
328 Posts
"Oh that's dandy." Dacian scowled at the entire opposition before them. But he wouldn't give the other options of escape a thought. The longer they spent in Riften, the more he hated the city, and more than likely his dear horse would get harmed in the invasion/attack/...invasion. Stuff. And that...was not something he desired to witness.

So, with the click of his tongue, he grabbed Anjira by the shoulder and pulled her back.

"We're going through that, follow my lead."

His palms were instantly lit with a pulsing, black and purple glow. With a small, Breton chant, he slammed them into the ground. The ground vibrated beneath their feet for a few moments, before the light spread. The numerous bodies surrounding them were engulfed in it, before their eyes flashed and began to rise.

Dacian smiled as he pulled his sword from the sheath and marched into view. His undead army of civilians and guards assembled behind him.

Anjira's said a very short chant as her hands were engulfed in dark clouds, purple lightning arcing throughout them and around her hands. The lightning arced out from her hands onto the ground nearby, engraving large purple runes into the ground. Two large Storm thralls formed from the runes and stone on the ground. Anji suddenly started to look extremely tired but quickly managed to pick herself back up, having just used most of her remaining magicka to conjure both thralls.

"Alright, wreak some havoc.. Target the Voidwalkers." she pulled out her dagger and conjured a sword, pointing the sword towards the horde of Daedra before them.

Anjira ran in after Dacian despite her newfound exhaustion, the thralls behind her and the vampire’s corpse army.
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#11898527 Dec 27, 2015 at 02:47 PM · Edited over 1 year ago
328 Posts

Storms clicked his tongue, annoyance spreading through his veins, alongside the growing feeling of a headache. Investigating the Capital? That was beyond his non-existent pay grade. And that was enough for him to just turn his nose toward the group and walk away without a word. He did, of course, have to go to Windhelm.

Well...was.

The Argonian frowned, his sharp teeth bared for but a moment, and his eyes drifted toward the Breton.

"Listen, Girl, I can tell by the way you carry yourself. Like me, you're not cut out for or up for stuff like this. Let these three fools deal with whatever this is. I'm going to Windhelm, away from this madness. And I'll extend an offer that will last as long as I'm in sight." At that, he marched down the Inn steps and strode toward the border of the town. "Travel with my and I may just put effort in keeping you alive!"

Elanna looked from her group to the Argonian before stifling a life. "You're going to walk away from all this?" She gestured her arms around her. "You must be a thief of some kind.. Since you walked out of there.." She pointed behind him to the jail house.

She looked around, "You know with no one here.. That would leave plenty of stuff for a raider of any sorts to take." Josmhirr face palmed at her and she blinked at him. Was she really encouraging someone to stay just to take peoples things? Well... It wasn't much different from hers except no one had claim on what she took.

"You got a Pirate mixed up with regular thugs."

Storms snorted, waving his hand dismissively.

"Have fun being heroes."
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#11907810 Dec 30, 2015 at 07:02 PM · Edited over 1 year ago
527 Posts
"We are betrayed, my friend. My last assignment was nearly just that, and all on Gabriel's account. Were it not for Fisher, I fear I would have drawn my last breath days ago." Stelio would go on to recount everything that had happened since his arrival in Whiterun. How he had taken precautions to ensure that his target's death looked like an accident, how Gabriel and three other members of his kind had arrived under dark of night and behind his back to take matters into their own hands, and how the trio in question was tasked with his murder. Running a hand through his hair, Stelio sighed. "To say that I am baffled would be a vast understatement. Pray, friends, tell us your versions of events." His eyes would scan the room, settling only briefly whenever his gaze happened to lock with someone else's.
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#11918392 Jan 03, 2016 at 11:22 PM · Edited 6 months ago
214 Posts
“This, dear reader,” the old man dictated, “is where the war truly began. It would be some time until it came to be called the War of Division, but many will agree now and later that this day marked the beginning of the Light of Namira’s war on all of Tamriel. This was the day that our heroes embarked on their true journeys; the day that their destinies synchronized, even if they weren’t fully aware of it.”

“Master?”

“Yes, boy?”

“I have a question.”

“Why, of course.”

“How do you know all of this? You may have been there, but that was much later.”

“Ah, good question. Well, it’s because --” he paused. A stroke of his beard and a playful smirk marked his conclusion. “How about I keep you in suspense, as I do the reader? You will find out how I came to know their pasts -- as well as their futures.”

The young man shook his head, smiling. “You know, you could stand to be more mature.”

“When you’re my age, you realize that life is simply too short to pretend that you’re not childish. Now, on with the story.” A cough. “Now...the day that their destinies synchronized, even if they weren’t aware of it. First…”

***


”...Eohlwynn resumed her status as a ‘Wandering Eye.’”


To your expectations, no one opposed you. The Redguard’s confession, combined with the obvious severity of the situation, made it all too clear to both the guards and Illia that they were betrayed. The Vigilants that had gathered around you were filled with disappointment and sadness at the betrayal at the hands of their admired leader, and the town guard cursed his name for allowing the fall of their beloved city. Among them was the Jarl.

Lerod Gray-Mane approached you, his white-blonde beard and braided hair flowing in the wind. His blue eyes were red with exhaustion, and his face was strained in holding back tears.

“My daughter is dead,” he says to you. “Dead at the hands of vampires; at the hands of this traitor, Maltar.” Four guards clad in a deep yellow flank him. A pleading look decorates his eyes, and you feel a request coming on. “You are the one that exposed him, correct?” You nod. “Vigilant, I must ask you a favor. One that I can only entrust to one of your order; and to one who is so versed in the entire province -- and not just Whiterun.”

“What is it?” You ask very simply.

“We must retake Whiterun. I don’t know how the other Holds are doing, but…” He pauses. Chokes on his tears. This man was very clearly on the brink of being broken, and this was likely to be his last order that is not muddled by grief. “But the Vigilants are what is needed to combat this enemy, at least in Skyrim. Whiterun is too important to be left in the hands of those creatures. Please...go to the other Holds. Gather your forces. I have no more men to expend on such a venture, and if you are to leave Whiterun anyway…” Rather than finish his sentence, he merely pleaded with his eyes.

The Vigilants looked at you with expectant eyes. Of course you were going to say yes; it was your duty, and however much you disliked the authority of the Vigilants -- especially Maltar -- you knew that Whiterun needed to be retaken.

“Very well. I’ll do it.” A happy murmur erupts from the small crowd around you, and the Jarl sighs from relief.

“Thank you, my girl. Please, take this.” He holds out a purse filled with couple hundred septims; quite a bit of money, for a nomad like yourself. You take it; after all, you are still a mercenary, even if your ‘company’ was founded on moral and religious principles.

“Where should I go first? What should I tell them?”

“Like I said, the other Holds...I don’t know what’s going on. No couriers have come, so I assume we are the first to be attacked. Go to Windhelm first; find Galifried, the High King, and tell him and the Hall there that Whiterun needs help. With luck, Galifried will give an edict to the Vigilants to take up arms for Skyrim, and your Order will agree. I will send couriers to the other Holds. If anyone hasn’t let their city fall, it’s the High King.”

“And then?”

“And then do what the High King tells you. Make sure you say I sent you, and that you are being directly appointed by myself to this task. Oh, here.” He fishes a crumpled letter out of his pocket, addressed to Fralia Stormcloak. “Deliver this to the King’s daughter as well, if you find the time.”

“Wait,” Illia interrupted. The girl, a Wood Elf, shakily spoke to the crowd. “This woman is a liability. Perhaps she exposed Maltar, but that doesn’t make her worthy of such a task!”

Unfortunately, the crowd agreed. You were, at times, a loose cannon; but you knew that this was a task that was suited to you alone, and opened your mouth to argue when the Jarl interjected:

“Then why don’t you go with her, Illia?” They were on a first-name basis, apparently. “There is strength in numbers, anyway, and she could use your assistance with Restoration magic.”

‘Annoyed’ was your emotion, then. “I’m perfectly fine when it comes to Restoration, Jarl Lerod.”

“And it would only help to have another healer, then, eh? Besides, this girl has mastered the Stendarr’s Aura spell, correct?”

The girl nods. You grunt. Either this was some childish attempt the hand of the Jarl at making you ‘get along’ with authority -- a final jovial moment in light of his daughter’s death -- or he was just truly stupid.

And so, you were off. Unknowingly, you were actually trailing right behind the apparent remainder of the Companions, Xilliad and company. Like them, you met little resistance on the long road to Windhelm, and unlike them, no real conversation was had. Communication to indicate you were setting up camp or leaving to hunt, perhaps, but you two never held a discussion.

You did learn, though, that Illia was an anointed priestess of Stendarr. She was taught by Maltar to wield a sword at at least a novice level, but her specialty was in Restoration; especially the more ancient, powerful spells said to have been given to mortals by the gods. She displayed little of those god-given talents on the first leg of your journey, but you felt the magical potency emanating from her. She even knew some useful alchemy spells and fortifying Alteration spells that aided in your hunting.

You slept by the warmth of a well-made fire, that night, and woke up the next morning nicely. And the next morning, after another day of walking, you saw Windhelm; and what you saw was exactly what Lerod feared.

Smoke very clearly rose from the city, and the sounds of war emanated from the Hold capital. The province capital. It was under attack; and the invaders?


Dremora. The handiwork of Mehrunes Dagon, and creatures you both knew all too well.

You saw waves upon waves of red-skinned demons charging the gates; the city wasn’t taken! In fact, it seemed that the majority of the enemy was isolated outside of Windhelm, and that the smoke inside was more than likely caused by one or two straggler groups that got through the gates. In fact, you noted that the Palace of the Kings, High King Galifried’s residence, was untouched; at least from what you could see, observing from a hillside slightly taller than the city walls.

You noted a group of four -- one of which you would come to know as Xilliad -- fighting with the city guard, and the True Stormcloaks. The “True” part of their name was colloquial, but these were Galifried’s most elite warriors, held in even higher regard than the Companions of Whiterun. They wore the town guards’ colors, but each True Stormcloak wore a heavy wolf-fur cloak, with the head of the beast acting as their ‘helmet.’ Non-Nords were not allowed to join their ranks, and many of the citizens of Skyrim dreamed of serving with them.

You knew of no other way into the city. You both descend the hill, and Illia remains close to you as you charge into the fray…

***


”...where Xilliad and his comrades entered their second battle against the spurned.”


The four of you witnessed turmoil, where Illia and Eohlwynn were about to witness the same. Without a second thought, the Companions charged into the battle alongside the Windhelm guard and True Stormcloaks.

The battle was bloody. Your group cut down Dremora left and right; and fighting alongside the True Stormcloaks, Xilliad? It filled you with vigor beyond belief. In this moment, you felt the path to Sovngarde open in your heart, and knew that if you died right now, that is where you would wake up.

But not today!

Kili and Fili worked in complete tandem. After one swung their huge battleaxe into the collarbone of one Dremora, the other would swing at anything that tried to kill the other while he recuperated. Your ebony shield met the black blades of many Daedra, and you found half the enemies you blocked falling to Evelea’s arrows and the other half to your Skyforge blade. You were continually rejuvenated by the fact that the inside of the city had hardly been touched, but the opposition did not seem to be letting up, and you considered retreating into the capital; you did have a mission, after all.

You find yourself back-to-back with one of the Stormcloaks. “What are you doing here?” he asked, his Nordic accent even deeper and more guttural than your father’s. “Not that we don’t appreciate the help, Companion --” he recognized your blade, it seems, “-- but it was rather out of nowhere.”

“We have a message for the High King! Whiterun has been taken by vampires!”

You both paused your conversation to send a whirlwind of steel at a crowd of Dremora, slaying them all in seconds. “Riften and Whiterun? By Talos…”

“Riften, too?” Your voice sank, but your body still held hard against the Daedric blades.

“Yes,” he said simply; somberly.

And so the battle went on, Xilliad, but you have a mission; to get into the Palace of Kings and warn Galifried Stormcloak of what has happened to Whiterun. To your knowledge, you are the first one here, but you could not pull yourself away from the battle.

Ah, but you had to, didn’t you?

“Go, Companions!” your new battle partner said. “We will cover your entry! Get to Galifried!”

“Thank you, friend! We will stay a bit longer, if only to say that we helped a sufficient amount. What is your name?"

"Kjorn! Yours?"

"Xilliad! Well met!"

You had a mission, though, Xilliad, and you couldn't dally for too long. But you are entitled to your fair share of blood; after all, you've come this far.

So go, Xilliad; go, 'False Harbinger.' Fight your battle, and then go to Galifried. Gather the Companions under your banner and restore what once was. Aid Eastmarch. Aid Whiterun. Aid The Rift.

Aid Skyrim!

***


"Meanwhile, Stares-at-Storms began his arduous journey to Windhelm...



The trio you happened upon stayed behind. It was time to get to Windhelm, and you were content with going on your own, but…

“Not so fast,” said Hanir as he ran up to you. “Wherever you’re going, I’m coming with you.”

“I’m going to Windhelm,” you say, annoyance in your voice. “Shouldn’t you go back to your wasteland of a province?”

“I’m heading to Riften. We could use each other’s help until we have to separate, right?” The man had a characteristic smile to him. How annoying.

“I suppose,” you grumble. You had to admit, the man seemed to know his way around a sword, and you couldn’t help but feel…uneasy about this journey. As if something was bound to go wrong.

And so you were off, Dawnstar quickly becoming a distant memory for both yourself and Hanir. You both agreed that the best route to take would be around the south of the mountains separating The Pale, Winterhold, and Eastmarch; the elements would become far too harsh around the northern valley, despite it being somewhat quicker. Besides, you were in no particular rush to find your first mate anyhow; you had no doubt in your mind she was alive and well.

Like the rest of the prophesied heroes of this story, Stares-at-Storms’ journey was without major incident, and it was one night’s rest and a couple of hours of walking before you reached Windhelm. Unlike the rest of them, though, you approached the rear, rather than the front.

Fire is what you saw. Evidently, something was going on in Skyrim, and Windhelm is being attacked. You knew not who the enemy was, but that wasn’t important. When you arrived, only one thing concerned you: whether or not Brunonia Bari was still alive.

You knew about this city; the heart of Skyrim, but also the heart of its xenophobia. An Argonian would draw much attention from the city’s residents, even during this time of battle. To try and enter the city through the front would be plain stupid, as well, and the docks were no doubt burned away if not under attack themselves.

So, naturally, you decided to go underwater.

You turn around to your Redguard companion. “This is where we split up, Hanir,” you said. You extended a hand to shake, out of respect, but he did not take it.

“I don’t think so, Stares-at-Storms. I’m gonna help you find your first mate! I mean, after all we’ve been through --”

“Look, Redguard,” you interjected. You found yourself very in his face, then, and prodded his chest with your scaly finger. “Stop following me. At first, we were on the same path, so it was alright; now you’re just getting on my nerves.” You turned to dive into the water surrounding the walls of Windhelm.

“You’re going to need help, pirate!”

“Why do you want so badly to follow me?”

He paused. He seemed genuinely perplexed by the question. “Fine, Stares-at-Storms. We’ll meet again; I’m sure of it.”

“Me, too,” you say sarcastically. Then, you were immersed in water, and began looking for the entrance to Windhelm’s sewer system.

You had experience swimming in armor. This particular set had become like a second skin to you, anyhow, and as an Argonian you had natural finesse when swimming in water. You could also see extremely clearly, as well, which made finding the grate leading to Windhelm’s underground that much easier.

With a loud clank, the grate slid to the slide and you pulled yourself out of the water and onto the slimy floors of the sewers. Skeevers dispersed at your arrival, and a foul stench filled your sensitive nostrils. What caught your attention was not what you saw or smelled, though; it was what you heard.

“They are all coming here,” spoke an unfamiliar voice, “save one.”

“Yes,” spoke another, “and there’s no doubt she’ll be taken care of by those in Dawnstar.” Their voices were getting more distant.

You wondered: did they mean the Breton girl you encountered in the Pale capital? Elanna?

Following swiftly, you replicated their every turn in hopes of getting out of the sewers. And, eventually, you were; and the two you were following were waiting for you just at the exit.

“...Hello,” you said, simply. The two individuals looking down at you now were two High Elves; one male, one female, both in black robes and wielding a magical staff.

“Why hello there,” said the female, looking at you with a sly smile. “Stares-at-Storms, right?” How in the hell did they know your name? “Don’t worry about the why, Argonian.” They both pointed their staves in your face threateningly, grinning like madmen. “Simply come along with us if you wish to find Bari.”

Were you to comply with their demands, you would have likely been taken to a back alley where you would be murdered per the agenda of some would-be assassins. Luckily, you didn’t have to.

The two of them seemed to jolt at the exact same time, and dropped; utterly, completely dead. You hauled yourself out of the sewer to find a familiar woman a few meters away from you, and throwing knives in the backs of your assailants.

The woman was Brunonia Bari.

“No time to explain,” she said, her voice just as sweet -- and laced with poison -- as ever. “Dremora are attacking; I need to get to my family.” She looked supremely worried, but after a few moments of looking at your confused face, well…

You both just cracked up.

“Good to see you again, Brunonia.”

“Likewise, Storms.”

Your heart lifts, Storms. Now, go; find her family and escape this godsforsaken city with your first mate!

***


"...while the unlikeliest duo approached from the other side of Skyrim."


Oh, this was a spectacle.

Anjira’s Storm Atronachs provided the perfect opponent to the conjurers and mages who supported their Dremora thralls, given the natural magicka-sapping effect that lightning spells had. Though the mages would have been able to handle the golems perfectly fine on their own, this effect in tandem with the relentless revenants that Dacian brought forth overwhelmed them.

And then, of course, there were the Black Knights who were directly combated by both Dacian’s undead and their owner, plus Anjira. Not to mention the resistance they were already facing in the form of Riften’s guard, who were more than confused at the arrival of these allies.

Together, you were able to cut a clear path through the middle of the conflict and escape with your lives. Amazingly, Mateas had already taken Si Si to the front gate in anticipation of your arrival (and at the risk of your horse, Dacian; this annoyed you thoroughly).

“Oh, Si Si!” The vampire immediately ran blindly to his horse and hugged the animal as tight as he could, and he was met with equally reciprocated affection. Completely ignoring the rider, you stroke and pat Si Si rampantly as Anjira spoke to Mateas.

“Thanks for the timely arrival, Imperial,” she said with a smirk.

“No problem,” he said, smiling back. “But, there’s an issue; one horse, three riders? I don’t think so.” He got off of the horse, then. “Here; take ‘er.”

“She was mine to begin with, fool,” Dacian sneered.

“True, true. Anyway, I’ll stay behind and try and make sense of what’s going on. You go ahead and get out of here, Anjira; I’m sure we’ll see each other again soon.”

Anjira was, honestly, reluctant to leave Mateas behind, but they weren’t about to steal another horse. “Alright,” she said. “I will see you soon, Mateas.”

He nodded, and both Dacian Antiquas and Dar’Anjira the Thief mounted the horse, with the former in the front.

“If nothing else,” Anjira said as you began riding, “Boreas will need to stop at Windhelm, if that isn’t his destination. We’ll need to get there in one shot; are you ready?”

“Si Si is the toughest, fastest horse in all of Tamriel,” Dacian said with a confident smirk. “She’ll get us there; don’t you worry, thief.”

((As with my post for Stelio Kontos, I’m leaving the journey to Windhelm out, for now. Here’s the tl;dr: you arrive in Windhelm and begin searching around for Boreas in the midst of the Dremora-filled battle that is ensuing there. Firstly, you’ll need to get into the city; you’ve already successfully bashed through one giant battle, so it might not be too hard, but it would be trying your luck a little bit. Luckily, Anjira happens to remember that Boreas held the High King as a personal contact, and is more than likely being held in the Palace of Kings if he hasn’t moved cities already. But Dacian then comes to the realization that, well...they’re both pretty recognizable faces to law enforcement at this point. It would be dangerous to anything other than sneak into the Palace. So, in closing: Get into Windhelm, get into the Palace, and have some friggin’ fun with it. Get creative. Develop the relationship between Anjira and Dacian, maybe! Nothing is out of your reach! And, remember, I’ll be writing in this tl;dr as a real narrative when I feel more up to it; I just needed to get this post up tonight, else we’d have to wait another week.))

***


"Stelio Kontos, on the other hand, was reunited with a...'Father' figure..."


What you were told, Stelio, was pretty much what you expected. Before Gabriel left, he made a show of how worried he was about you, and used that as an excuse to rendezvous with his allies and go to Whiterun to take you out. After Fisher had left, talk began spreading of possible treachery, and a few violent outbreaks (instigated by agents of Gabriel or those too stupidly loyal to him) ended in unfortunate death. According to Zophiel, the Night Mother ceased all communication with him after relaying that request specifically asking for you.

And, speaking of…

“It is time, Stelio” Zophiel said. He placed a hand on your shoulder. “The Night Mother is silent, and I’m not sure how she will speak to you. But you must go see her. Come, come.” He gestures to both you and Fisher, and the rest of the sanctuary looks on as you ascend the stairs into the Mother’s chamber.

You had seen the Night Mother scant few times before. Mostly in passing when returning to the sanctuary, witnessing Zophiel’s conversations with her, and once or twice when receiving a job. Now you were to speak to her yourself? There was doubt in your mind, Stelio, and for good reason: only the Listener is supposed to hear her voice.

Once inside the chamber, Fisher and Zophiel each take a side of the opening to the Night Mother’s coffin. Anticipation fills all of you, and they open the door.

Inside is a rotten corpse, as you have seen before. Her arms were crossed over her chest, and her head craned to one side. Torn rags dressed the Mother; centuries-old garb from when this woman was Sithis’ concubine. She is just how you remembered, sure, but this was still somewhat different. You felt her face was different. Her body language was...different. She looked like she had been expecting you.

“Do you...hear anything?” asked Fisher.

You shake your head.

And then everything was black.

No, not black. You find yourself in utter nothingness. To call it black would actually give it too much color; and to describe your state as silent would give it too much of a voice. You were in a void. Perhaps the Void. Did you just go unconscious? No, you were still aware. Too aware, in fact; for the state of absolute nothingness you were in, you could think clearly -- except you couldn’t even hear your own thoughts.

You could feel them, though. The confusion of where you were, despite having the ability to comfort yourself with the voice inside your head. And you could also feel...someone else.

Something else. A presence beyond explanation; one that caused such dread in you, such despair, that you were ready to end your life. In fact, you were certainly to plunge one of your blades into your bowels.

But you had no blades, Stelio. No hands, for that matter. No body. No mind.

No soul.

And yet, you felt it then; you felt one undeniable feeling that emitted from this inexplicable presence that was with you. You did not hear it as a word, or think it as a thought; you did not see it, hear it, taste it. At that moment, you simply knew the one truth of that entity:

S i t h i s.

This was not the Night Mother. No, rather, it was the Father that graced you with is madness-inducing presence now, and who told you what you must do. No words spoken, you then knew exactly where you needed to go.

W i n d h e l m.

You found yourself able to speak back to the Dread Father. Except, not really; he simply knew every question you were going to ask before you asked it. Who should I kill? Why? Are you really Sithis? Can Fisher come along? What about Gabriel Thorne?

F i n d. S t o r m c l o a k.

S i t h i s. W i l l. G u i d e.

Y e s.

Y e s.

S a n g u i n e o u s. T h o r n e. B l o o d.

And then, the most haunting one of all:

N o. F o r g i v e n e s s.

You knew what this meant. You were to find the High King Galifried; not kill him. And whatever it is you were meant to do, you were not to seek repentance through bloodshed this time around -- or through anything, for that matter.

And Gabriel Thorne must die by way of the Sanguineous.

And then you woke up.

You didn’t wake up peacefully, either, Stelio; in fact, you must have been screaming for five whole minutes before Fisher’s voice and touch was able to calm you down, along with efforts by Zophiel to pacify you using Illusion magic.

When you finally calmed down after your shrieking, you only began screaming again; this time, out of pain. Black ink seemed to be spreading across your wrist, and it burned more than any other pain you had ever felt before. The amorphous blackness eventually formed into names, as in a list: Kontos. Antiquas. Eerikkson. Moorsly. Anjira. Sekarthus. Stryker. R’en. You had no idea what these meant, but below said list then formed the signature of the Dark Brotherhood; a black hand, shaped in such a way that it seemed like it was gripping you.

You wasted no time leaving for Windhelm.

Fisher didn’t pry. You told her what you knew you had to do, and she followed you.

“Oh. Stelio?” She said, clearly seeming careful with her words.

“Hm?”

“One last thing. As the new leader, Shadowmere has...appeared to me. We can use him to travel, now.”

You grinned. This was going to be good.

((Because I’m tired of describing the journey to Windhelm, you’re being told OOCly that you got there without incident. Sorry; I’m going to write it in later, but you see how often I’ve had to write that for this cast of characters. You get to Windhelm, see the turmoil, and now Rambaldi and Fisher must find a way to get into the city; you could charge through the front, or get creative. I suggest getting creative. And, seriously? Have fun with it. Do some cool shit with Rambaldi so that they enter the city in a truly unique way and reach the Palace of Kings unscathed, or something. You could even kill some Dremora, if you really wanted to.))

***


"...and Elanna Moorsly had a entirely different experience from the rest of our heroes."


Unfortunately, your efforts to convince the Argonian to stay were obviously unsuccessful. The oddly dressed Alik’r left, too, so you were once again a trio in a situation that was, honestly, too crazy for words.

“No matter,” said Nilus. “We can investigate on our own.”

“You can investigate,” said Josmhirr. “We need to find our contact.”

“If you think he’s still alive or, in the very best of cases, still available to make an exchange for your loot, you’re wrong.”

The Khajiit scoffed. “Very well, then. But we’re visiting his house, first.”

“Deal.”

Luckily, the capital of The Pale wasn’t terribly large compared to the other Holds, so it only took a few minutes of a brisk jog to make it to the guard’s home. It was a quaint little place, likely built for him, his spouse, and a single child, if any. The three of you carefully, quietly entered the home, and what you found surprised you more than anything else had in the past few days:

The guard, his wife, and his child were…eating dinner? Not exactly what you expected, given the state of the other residents of Dawnstar so far.

“Ah!” the male Nord said, delight in his eyes. He immediately stood to greet your Khajiit companion. “You must be Josmhirr. Thank you so much for coming at such short notice; I’ll pay for any inconvenience you might have found along the way.” His family was smiling behind him, innocent as could be; could it be that just the guards were affected by this...strangeness? But this Nord wrote that he was a guard when contacting Josmhirr.

“Right,” Josmhirr responded skeptically. “Do you have any idea what’s going on, here, Nord?”

The man looked puzzled. “No, I don’t. Come, sit down and have some dinner. It’s the least we could do, given your arduous journey!”

And so, you did. You sat down and tried to explain as a group what they had experienced so far in Dawnstar -- minus the part where you all killed the town guard -- and they expressed utter disbelief. It seemed they no inkling of what was going on, and Nilus’ trained eyes did not see anything wrong with them; but he still suspected.

After dinner, it was time to give him the blade. Josmhirr told you to grab it out of his knapsack, and you did; out of the bag, you pulled a normal-looking steel blade with ancient writing along the blade. It looked like standard fare for a Nord family, which made you all the more bitter about the trouble you went through to get it here. You were still suspicious of the family -- all three of you were -- but so long as you got paid, at least you and Josmhirr would be content.

But as the Nord grabbed the blade from your hands, all your suspicions seemed to be confirmed.

It took but a moment. The blade was about to pierce your neck, Elanna, when his chest was run through with Nilus’ blade and the Wood Elf’s body seemed to cover the back of yours. The child and woman screamed, but their eyes flashed that signature red, and Josmhirr was quick to silence both of them.

You had little time to speak of the incident, as Nilus began ranting.

“I have a theory as to what is going on, here,” he said, letting go of you and letting the man melt into red. “I think there’s a Daedric Prince at work, here; no, definitely. And I think it’s Vaermina.”

“The Prince of nightmares?” you ask shakily, still shaken up by nearly dying. Josmhirr made a point to hold you close.

“Precisely. Her artifact is known to make...copies of people. Evil copies. I imagine there’s a group of priests of Vaermina somewhere in town, controlling the copied populace as well as keeping the originals hostage.”

“Where do you think they are?”

“Most likely underground, in a central location…” He strokes his chin thoughtfully. “The Dawnstar mine! Of course!”

You waste no time getting to the mine. The three of you all had experience going underground in search of your goal, so navigating the mine was no problem; you made a point to leave notches in the wall, and Nilus found a torch to guide your trio.

It was vacant. Despite it being after work hours, there were no leftover pickaxes, minecarts, or even any torches along the walls. Eerily, it was completely silent; you could even hear your own heartbeat, and every step you took echoed throughout the whole cave. Not exactly ideal, given that you were searching for Daedric priests, who would more than likely be hostile.

And it didn’t take you long to find them, either.

It was unlike anything you had ever seen before. Ten mages clad in lavender robes sat in a circle around what you could only presume to be the Skull of Corruption, pouring their magicka into it as it created a protective barrier around all of them. In the air of tall chamber floated what you assumed to be the original residents, each in their own protective bubble They spoke, but did not seem aware of your presence inside the room.

“They have eliminated many of our proxies…”

“The Argonian is now out of our grasp…”

“Where is the Breton?”

“We cannot see her…”

“No. I sense she is with us.”

“Alert the hunter.”

And then, all in unison: ”Xanya.”

The same crimson slime that the townspeople had been turning into appeared before you three now, forming a single individual: A red-haired Bosmer with a darker red hand of war paint seeming to cover her mouth. She seemed to wear something eerily close to standard Dark Brotherhood attire, but not quite. In fact, all of the color seemed to be drained from the cloth, and there were multiple claw-like marks along the fabric. Strapped to her back was also an ornate scroll of some kind; it made you uneasy.

You all just...stood there for a moment, staring at each other. Contemplating who was going to make the first move. In your heart, Elanna, you knew this was a fight you could not win. This...assassin was not going to be killed; defeated, maybe, but not killed.

And then Nilus drew his bow.

The female Wood Elf charged Nilus with incredibly speed; almost as if she had teleported. He was instantly knocked to the ground and a Daedric dagger found its way into ‘Xanya’’s hands. Josmhirr quickly intercepted the woman, but he didn’t even touch her before the woman once again moved with unimaginable swiftness back to her original position.

She was playing with you.

And then, in yet another blur of motion, she took Nilus by his hair, and they were both gone.

For a few moments, you and Josmhirr were alone. “Where did they go?” you asked.

“I don’t know,” the Khajiit responds. “She could be anywhere; Nilus could be dea--”

And then, she reappeared, disarming Josmhirr and putting her dagger to his neck.

“No!” you scream; you draw your sword.

“Run, Elanna! Run!” When you tried to step forward, Xanya very clearly made her dagger closer to breaking his skin. Her face was entirely stoic during this entire ordeal, and you only just noticed that her eyes were completely pitch black.

Nilus is gone. Josmhirr could easily be killed, but the woman has not yet; and the woman also cannot speak -- or won’t. You guessed she would not respond to a bribe, and yet you had no idea what she wanted.

You noticed that there was a tear in the barrier shielding the priests. This woman was no ally, but she may just want you to rip the Skull of Corruption from the mages’ hold. This would free their prisoners and allow to escape the town alive -- at which point, you and Josmhirr could leave. Would Xanya let you, though?

And then, yet another problem arose.

Two copies of Nilus and Josmhirr both rose from the ground. You saw Josmhirr’s face go slack; not dead, though.

At that point, Xanya laid Josmhirr on the ground and looked ready to attack the imposters; but, instead, she looked at you.

On your mark, Elanna Moorsly.

***


"..Sithis?" The young boy asked, fear in his voice. "Truly?"

"You have no idea the severity of what comes later, my boy. What Stelio Kontos sees later on in his adventure? Far more maddening than that small, isolated encounter with the Dread Father. Wait and listen, Jorgan. The War of Division has much more in store than the whispers of a dead god."
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#11918482 Jan 04, 2016 at 12:33 AM · Edited over 1 year ago
130 Posts
Wasting no time, Xilliad lashed his Skyforge sword out at the nearest charging Dremora. With a flourish of his sword, he shouted, "Companions! To me!" Despite having to fight their way to him, Kili, Fili, and Evelea found their way back to their leader's side. After they formed up behind him, Xilliad raised his shield and charged through a group of Dremora threatening to overrun the gate and enter the city; the other Companions joined him in cutting down the mob.

Gaining a moment of rest after finishing off the group, Xilliad turned to his followers. "Kili, Fili! I need you to stay here, help the guard fend off the horde. Evelea? Come with me; we're going to fight our way through to the Jarl." With a nod, Kili and Fili both ran back into the fray.

Turning, Xilliad and Evelea were met with a disturbing image.

Although not many of the Dremora horde had gotten through, there were dead civilians everywhere. Most of the guard and Stormcloaks had been busy at the gate, leaving the citizens of Windhelm on their own. It must not be forgotten, however, that these were Nordic citizens; they were fighting back. Several Dremora lay slain in the streets as well, but there was still fighting between them and Windhelm's residents.

((I hope this little section is alright. I enclosed it in case it wasn't up to par or unacceptable or some hish hash...))
(Nearby, a peculiar scene was unfolding. A group of five Dremora were being held back from a group of children by a huge orc. He was dressed strangely for an orc; he wore tattered white robes, and swung around a massive wooden stave.

"YOU WILL NOT TOUCH THESE CHILDREN, YOU FIENDS," the orc shouted.

Xilliad and Evelea nodded to each other before rushing in to help. The help was not needed, however; the orc slammed the ground with his stave, and the Dremora were flung backwards towards the opposite wall with a crunch.

The orc looked down at Xilliad and Evelea. "Greetings. Welcome to Windhelm, travelers. Will you help me protect these people?"

Xilliad raised an eyebrow. "What is your name, orc?"

"Melkorth."

The children behind the orc all began crying. Turning to them, the orc said, "Hush, children; all will be well. I will protect you."

Xilliad cleared his throat. "I am Xilliad. If you wish it, Melkorth, my companion, Evelea, will stay here to assist you. But I must speak to the High King at once. Do you know where he is?"

The orc nodded at the blonde. "Yes; he and his closest advisers are making a stand against some Dremora in the Palace of the Kings. The fighting there is fierce; most of the demons that got through ran directly there."

"Then I must go there! I wish you luck, Melkorth! Take care of Evelea! May the gods watch over you both!"

"And you as well, Xilliad."))

With that, Xilliad dashed away toward the Palace of Kings...
Rex: Hero

Valeiro: Psycho

Kojasta: Mystery

Solljus: Villain

Abaddon: Shadow

Xirad: Warrior
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#11944356 Jan 11, 2016 at 07:30 PM
118 Posts
The first day on the trail was spent in brooding silence. Eohlwynn was accustomed to travelling alone, and this. . .this nuisance thrust upon her was more than enough to make the normally stoic huntress glower. She'd almost always had a choice when it came to taking companions, but by and large no one wanted to accompany a woman who was mercenary first, Vigilant second.

Still, it was something akin to a pleasant surprise how much easier having another along with was, something Illia no doubt would have noticed. The awkwardness with which the priestess interrupted habits that had become ritualistic in nature was palpable, up to the point that she'd already begun unpacking one of their bags for an already-pitched tent. It was only then that Wynne's trademark annoyance became flushed embarrassment, and beyond that the two went about their business in not-quite-comfortable-but-not-uncomfortable silence. Save for the infrequent "I'm going to do such and such" declarations.

Wynne's other habits went uninterrupted, though. At nights, she'd hum a soft lullaby she'd often heard as a child as she opened a spellbook and practiced her magick. The morning before packing up camp was spent practicing with an ethereal blade, it's very form transforming as she moved from stance to stance - A popular practice of spellblades, to accommodate them just as much to the physicality of being in melee as much as shaping the magicka into a sustainable form on the fly - Whether it be a blade, armor, fire, or something else.

As they arrived at Windhelm, Wynne silently drew her blade conjured up the same mist-like armor she'd worn when she silenced Maltar for good. She stood there for several moments, watching the ebb and flow of battle, giving her companion some time to ready herself. Taking a deep breath, she glanced at Illia, offered a light nod to the fight below. "Stay close. Make for the gates." She said grimly, mouth drawn into a grim line. "Stop only if you see no way through. Otherwise, keep. Moving. Focus on wards. I'll keep them off us." She didn't wait for a reply to begin towards the battle, angling for the easiest point of entry.

It was only when she sensed her companions movement did they both break into a sprint. The battle quickly swallowed them up, Illia becoming a beacon of bright yellow energy as wards erupted from her hands and form while Eohlwynn became a dervish of steel and frosty mist, wielding her shortsword and conjured weaponry to lethal effect. Though the fight would prove glorious either way, depending on a Nord's perspective, Wynn wasn't there to fight. As Illia ran, Wynne was either at her blind spot or redirecting a Dremora away from them - be it through a simple parry as the priestess ran by, a slice carried by both momentum and zeal, or simply redirecting the enemies towards one of Windhelm's defenders.

Illia did more than her fair share, whether Wynne wanted to admit it or not. Restoration was a powerful school, and whatever cuts, bruises, and wounds she accumulated from her careless blitz were healed in short order - That's when her wards weren't stopping arrows and bolts of ice and lightning and fire dead in their tracks.

Just inside, she managed to catch a glimpse of some party heading up the street, though given they weren't dremora or robed fiends, she gave it no thought, pausing at the nearest defender - who happened to be overseeing the barricades. "I need to speak with the High King." She growled as her blade was replaced in it's sheath.

"You and everyone else. Palace of Kings. Could use some fortifyin'." The gangly-looking Nord replied, quirking a brow as the Witch-hunter brought out her bow and dispelled her armor.

A quick nod and a wordless glance to Illia, and they were both off, the Priestess' hands glowing with divine light while the Huntress' held a knocked arrow and several for successive shots.

First fortify, then message, and then? Finish this battle and find a place to rest. Preferably some place near a brothel. Or a decent bed. She'd settle for either at this point.
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#11983256 Jan 22, 2016 at 02:47 PM · Edited 6 months ago
328 Posts
"Where is your family?"

Believe it or not, the Pirate Captain's voice was laced with concern, his head focused on the Nord to his left. The pair jogged out the end of the sewer's alley, the first mate looking about as Stormcloaks either guided civilians to safety or rushed to the main gate to aid in the defense. Bari flashed a small smirk in his direction, eyes flickering with mischief despite the current situation. Storms blinked and frowned her, a look that screamed 'don't even'.

She just giggled in response.

"Scattered." She strode forward, her Captain quickly keeping pace. "Mum is with the rest of the non-fighters, Dad's at the Palace, and my brother's at the battle."

Storms slowed.

"Now I understand where you get your tendency to be a handful."

Bari turned on her heel, grinning.

"I'll take that as a compliment!"

The Pirates came to their respective sides again beside the Candlehearth Inn, the Argonian pulling up a piece of cloth over his head and snout. Even in this chaos, it would be too much of a handful to deal with Stormcloaks and any racism.

"Well, I doubt they'll let a scaly inside the Palace," Storm commented, eyeing the gate to his left, "I'll find your brother, you get your mother, then we go get your father. Meet back here."

"Got it, Captain."

Bari brought her hand up to his shoulder, a gesture Storms reciprocated. With a silent forehead bump, the pair split, the Argonian drawing Firebrand.

---

To say that the Argonian would've been surprised at what he saw the battle on the bridge would've been a false assumption. Would've. Except he wasn't at all expecting a horse to go speeding through the two armies, before turning around and charging back through, without a scratch.

He blinked once, then twice, before he shook his head in a 'not my problem' way.

He'd only met Bari's family once - from what he recalled it wasn't too pleasant - but it was enough to remember what her brother looked like: a typical Nord, with his hefty stern face and a look that screamed "pole up his ass". Oh, that and he kept his hair tied back with a single knot. He scanned the crowds of Stormcloaks, and when he saw his target he made his move quick.

The man sat beside two wounded Stormcloak soldiers closest to the gate, his palms alight with restoration magic. He didn't even notice when the Argonian approached, unsheathing his Firebrand. With a swing, he slammed the butt of it against the side of his cranium and caught him before he fell over. With a quick movement, he hauled the unconscious ass soldier up over his shoulder and broke into a jog back to the gates.

So close. Then he could get the hell out of this place.
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#11990970 Jan 24, 2016 at 09:44 PM · Edited 6 months ago
527 Posts
Several minutes earlier...

Cue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuugyqzqYdM

(00:01 to 00:54)
A murder of ravens circles in the skies above the dying city; their caws mock the screams of the dying. The forces of good and evil clash upon the streets below. Blood of different colors, rent from different creatures born of different deities flies into the air and spills onto stone. Some moments are so brutal that it's as though the creators themselves deem it necessary to view them in slow motion.

(00:54 to 1:10)
Above the Palace of Kings, atop the tallest peak of the mountain in which the shadow Windhelm resides in, and from an icy mist, appears the ethereal Shadowmere, with its eyes burning like torches in the dim light. Upon its back are the forms of Stelio and Fisher. The horse quietly makes its way to a ledge that overlooks the doomed city, and with its passengers looks down upon it.

(1:10 to 1:20)
A silent understanding is passed between the two friends through a simple nod. Shadowmere, responding to the touch of his mistress' heels upon his mighty flanks, snorts and retreats back into the icy mist from whence it came.

(1:20 to 1:36)
What it this thine eyes see now? Glimpses of the mighty steed's thundering hooves, steamy breath and the battle down below; all bombarding thy senses with blinding speed!

(1:36 to 1:58)
Starting from the perspective of the cliff's edge, looking up, Shadowmere leaps into thin air. It falls several dozen feet before landing on a smaller ledge down below. But it doesn't stop moving. In fact it doesn't even slow down. At top speed and with Stelio and Fisher still riding upon its back, it gallops down the side of the mountain toward the Palace of Kings.

(1:58 to 2:27)
Shadowmere clears the gap between the ledge just above the Palace of Kings, lands on, and subsequently slides slantways down the gable roof [that can be seen in this picture on the left]. The fighters in the yard, at the sound of the creature's echoing whinnies, look up just in time to see it explode into black smoke... smoke that serves as temporary cover for the forms of Fisher and Rambaldi! The two Brotherhood assassins each land upon the shoulders of a Dremora, and in the process plunge their blades through their skulls.

When they stand upright, Fisher gives a cry of warning to Rambaldi, who in turn ducks to allow her to literally roll over his back in order to gain enough momentum to hurl a throwing dagger into the face of an oncoming hostile with lethal force. From this point until the designated musical cue listed above, the pair of friends fight alongside the city's guards in a scene designed to be reminiscent of this.

(2:27 to 3:52)
In order to help the narratives merge, segments from the progress of the other major characters in play would be inserted between shots of Fisher, Rambaldi and the Stormcloaks all fighting for control of the palace's courtyard. To say that it all amounts to one great, big, bloody affair might be something of an understatement. Between the soaring blades and flying spells, death is practically everywhere. But eventually...

(3:52 to 4:32)
The Dremora attempting to lay siege to the palace temporarily fall back, giving our heroes and their allies a reprieve. Even though their bodies make them look like they are close to collapsing from a mixture of exhaustion and wounds sustained during the skirmish, Stelio-slash-Rambaldi and Fisher's expressions tell a different story. They will go on... but for how long?
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#11998530 Jan 26, 2016 at 06:47 PM · Edited over 1 year ago
106 Posts
Elanna looked around quickly, taking a deep breath as she tried to think. She had to save him.. For how much he had already done for her. She looked back at the creature after her quick glance. With another deep breath she began to circle the woman, making her way to the alter.. thing..

As she moved, the purple ball returned to her hand, this time a bit bigger.. This was going to take a lot more out of her then she'd like. The ball grew one more time before she slammed it into the ground, three of her purple wolves sprang from the ground, quickly charging at the replicas of her party.

As Elanna turned around, she stumbled slightly but got quickly to a run. With a quick dash, sliding under the fake Josmhirr's blade and arm, and jumped into the tear. The wolves charged right after her, latching quickly onto the two of them only to restrain them; hoping that whatever pain happened to that THING, wouldn't go onto Josmhirr himself. She wobbled slightly as she regained her balance, rushing at the skull and giving two quick tugs before ripping it from it's pedestal.
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#12055724 Feb 11, 2016 at 05:20 PM · Edited 6 months ago
19 Posts
Si Si whinnied in protest as her rider pulled back on her reins. The horse and it's pair of travelers crested the top of a small cliff, and Dacian bit the inside of his cheek. Before them lay the bridge to Windhelm...and the Dremora who laid siege on their side.
"That's no good," the Vampire tsked, "thief, any other way that's apparent to you?"

Dar'anjira crossed her arms, staring out at the landscape across from them. Her eyes would lock onto the mountain range and the small town of Kynesgrove that lied slightly to the south of where they stood.
"Hmm.. what if we headed up to Boethiah’s Shrine and back down to the docks?" she motioned to the top of the mountain range ahead of them and then to the small piers near the bridge. “Could avoid notice that way.”

"That would take quite the some of time." Dacian glanced backward with a frown. "Your Boreas could be gone, or the city overrun."

"Point taken." she turned to face her companion and smirked to him, cracking her knuckles. "Up for some more carnage then?"

"Now before we commit to that," the vampire paused, holding up a finger, "we have to acknowledge that the guard may be more paranoid than thankful....so..." He brought the finger to his lip.
"We may have to take a dive midway across the bridge." He smirked. "Don't cats hate water?"

Her smirk vanished near instantaneously, a frown taking it’s place, “I’d rather kill all the daedra and guards then go in water that cold.." she crossed her arms, scratching her head a little bit "I could try and sneak us through.." she started to conjure a ball of magicka in the style of Illusion magic in her right hand as a demonstration.

"In the midst of a battle, with how much magicka you still have in reserve?"

She groaned “Are you gonna make me swim in that?"

Dacian snickered. "Indeed."

She let out an annoyed sigh, “You're a terrible friend…” she turned to him "I go right, you go left?”

"Whatever you say. Boreas isn't my goal. It's getting you off my ass."

"And I thought we were becoming good friends." she huffed mockingly and smirked to him "Ready when you are, pal."

------------------------------------------------------------------

The two quickly reached the bridge to Windhelm, Anjira kept a close eye on the Dremora in front of and readied a spell in both hands, ready to make them invisible or attack the combatants if they so much as motioned their weapons toward Si Si and the two riding her back.

"When we get there," Dacian whispered in a hiss back to the woman, "Si Si will cause a distraction and break through the Dremora ranks. We can rush and dive, make our way to the docks right after. Be sure to cloak us!"

Anjira nodded and sighed, still now liking the plan, "Cloak after we breach, then swim to the docks, got that right?"

"What I just said," Dacian blankly responded.

Anjira sighed momentarily "I know, now let me focus." She conjured two balls of magicka in her hands molding them to have a spectral or ethereal appearance, she pushed both hands together and pulled them back apart, revealing a single ball of the same magicka floating in the space in between where her hands now were "Ready whenever." she looked past Dacian to the row of Dremora before them

With a click of his tongue, Dacian pressed the sides of his horse and sent her straight through the crowd. Dremora stumbled and got trampled beneath her hooves, until Si Si cleared the crowd and Dacian leapt from his horse. Hitting the ground in a roll, he looked up at the Khajiit and his horse, before pivoting and sprinting to the side of the bridge.

Anjira tore her hands away from the ball that rested in the space between them, the ball immediately started to expand into a giant sphere of magicka that engulfed the three of them, the source following close behind it's caster. Anjira jumped off Si Si almost immediately after Dacian, she ran to the side of the bridge next to the vampire, needing to take a deep breath before diving off the bridge and immediately starting to tear through the water to the docks.

Si Si whinnied loud and turned back the way she came, appearing to turn into a blur as she escaped the midst of the battle. Dacian himself leaned over the edge of the dock, clasping Anjira's wet furry palm and pulling her free. "Ey, would you look at that? You -can- swim!" He chuckled to himself.

Anjira shook herself in an attempt to get some of the water off of her as she was pulled onto the dock, she turned to Dacian, glaring, growling, and hissing at him at the same time. She had her arms crossed over her chest and her whole body was shivering "Let's just... get inside..."
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#13076149 Feb 19, 2017 at 01:36 PM · Edited 6 months ago
214 Posts
((Hello, friends! Welcome back! Sorry it's been so long. I won't bore you all with a huge foreword, as there's plenty to read below, but I'd just like to thank everyone for being so patient with me. Now, let's kick some daedra butt, yeah?))

Jorgan had to look up at the old man, then. “I… remember this. It seems like so long ago, but I very distinctly remember that huge, hulking --”

“Sh-sh-shhh! We haven’t got there yet, boy!”

The boy looked at the old man incredulously. “What? It’s not as if there’s anyone around that the story could be spoiled for.”


A beard stroked, he chuckled. “You never know who could be listening, young one. Now…”

“Keep writing?”

***


”The War begins…”


Outside the gates…

Dremora seemed to arrive with no end. Following Eohlwynn Stryker and Xilliad Eerrikson’s bold entry through the front gate, the Stormcloaks slowly dwindled, letting more and more through and losing more and more of their number to the seemingly limitless summonings of Dagon’s priests. Eventually, the battle cries of the heroic nords fell quiet, kneeling to the sound of daedric metal against the soil.

Inside the city…

Struggle. As the main guard failed against the onslaught of daedra, men, women, and children were cut down mercilessly with gigantic, curved black blades and various harmful elements from the mages’ fingertips.

[This section is meant to detail a shared experience with Zanik and Storms, along with the current crew of NPCs (Evelea, Tepegrog, and Melkorth). This will be written in later today/early tomorrow, but their players will still get a chance to post at the end.]

Fire adorned Windhelm like a garnish, but soon enough it would swallow the city whole. That is, unless they could be stopped...[...]

[...]

At the Palace of Kings…

The Stormcloaks and Brotherhood defended the palace well. Given their initial wave of fighting, it might have felt to them as if this band of mortals could hold off the daedric army forever. But not even the ever-optimistic Fisher would believe this falsehood, as the continually increasing number of demons with each successive wave suggested that Windhelm was falling, and there was little to do but stall its inevitable fate. And it seemed even more hopeless as the forms of dremora warriors and mages piled into the courtyard, not attacking, simply taunting the Brotherhood assassins by waiting in a crowded semicircle, open towards them.

Then, an Imperial warrior, almost all of his body covered in armor decorated as if it were screaming -- save his head, which held a handsome face and long black hair -- approached from the crowd, his presence filling all there with a sense of dread. Even the dremora themselves seemed to fear this man, despite him being clearly on their side of this conflict. And, despite all of the others around him, the man was looking directly at Rambaldi, grinning arrogantly.

And so, Stelio approached, drawing the Sanguineous and letting it rest at his side, subtle green tendrils emanating from the blade and almost grasping for this man’s life force.

“Assassin,” he began, his voice deep and thundering, “tell me something. Why do you defend this castle? What do you, a servant of the Dread Father, owe the High King? You could leave this place and go on with your life. So why fight us?”

“It is enough that you put innocents in danger for the service of Dagon,” Rambaldi found himself responding, “for me to defend this place with my life.” As if to emphasize his point, the assassin brought his sword into a battle-ready position across his frame.

The black-haired man closed his eyes, then, chuckling to himself. “And I suppose it’s better to do the same thing in service of Sithis, yes?”

“I seek repentance in my own way.”

“Yes, you do… Kontos.” He knew his name. How?

It didn’t matter. “And what is your name, cretin?”

In a show of dramatic flair, the Imperial drew his beast of a sword, holding it in both of his hands and letting the tip rest on the stone ground. “If you must know: I am Marius, Champion of Mehrunes Dagon and wielder of his reforged Razor.” The blade glinted against the sunlight as if to confirm what he was saying.

Mehrunes’ Razor, the legendary weapon of its namesake Daedric Prince. Rambaldi had heard stories of these sorts of artifacts, but had never seen one in person, and this one in particular had possibly the most fear surrounding it: a blade that, with each strike, allows Dagon himself to try to reach into its target’s body and rip away their soul. In essence, it was a sword that had a chance to kill its intended mark without even touching it.

Stelio looked at the man with fear, but was careful to not show it in his body language. “One question, Marius.”

“Of course.”

“Why? Why is all of this happening? Whiterun, Windhelm… and I can only assume many others.”

Another chuckle from Marius, followed by him raising his blade and pointing it at the assassin, ready to fight. But he withdrew it, instead examining the dark blade with a perverse admiration as he spoke. “Yes, it was all rather sudden. Skyrim, inspiration to all the oppressed, the spurned. A symbol of freedom, if a xenophobic brand of it. The perfect place to grab a foothold in tamriel; the northernmost point where we can begin to spread our influence. But I’m sure, Stelio, that you meant in a broader sense: ‘Why are we trying to take over Tamriel?’ Well, very simply, assassin: The Light and its cohorts are tired of bowing to ancient gods that don’t care about us. The Aedra are dead…

“And unfortunately for you, the Daedra have never been more alive.”

Bringing his sword closer to himself, he seemed about to charge at his conversational partner when an arrow flew at his head and was only stopped by a mage’s record-time telekinesis spell.

Marius turned completely around, his nose just inches from the poisoned metal tip of the projectile. With an armored hand, he took the thing from midair and examined it with an expression that made it seem as if he were impressed. “Well-crafted. It seems miss Stryker has joined us, then.”

Dagon’s champion’s head turned upwards and to the left, drawing literally everyone else’s eyes to a Breton perched upon a wall, another arrow knocked in her bow:

Eohlwynn Stryker.

“Illia!” the archer called, and she jumped down in front of Marius after shooting another arrow; but before she had even hit the ground, the Breton had begun radiating golden light so grand it rivaled the sun, and surrounding by the spherical aura that was unmistakably that of the god of mercy, Stendarr.

The Nord girl Illia, who had found her way into the courtyard through a small tunnel, used Stendarr’s Aura to allow Eohlwynn to hit the ground entirely unscathed and without pain, which in turn led her to use Marius’ dodging the arrow to unleash a barrage of shortsword strikes against the man, and all the while the Aura protected her from the Razor’s effects. All the champion could do was block, but he was being pushed back farther and farther; and Rambaldi was right behind him.

He wasted no time and went in for the kill, using all of his strength to run Marius through with his blade.

But at the very last moment, Marius was able to launch a powerful strike against Stryker’s sword and use that split second of her recovery to parry the Sanguineous. And unfortunately, Rambaldi was not protected by Stendarr in that moment…

He felt as if two hands were attempting to crush his heart into mush and rip it out of his body, and he fell to the ground, hardly able to breathe. Stelio was not dead, no; close to it, but the Razor had not taken him this time. However, merely being parried by the blade had left him incapacitated for the foreseeable future.

His blade interlocked with Eohlwynn’s, Marius looked back at the assassin. “Survived, eh? I suppose Sithis wants to keep you around that bad, then.”

He grunted as Stryker pressed him, her form still glowing. “You quarrel is with me, dark one,” she said with venom on her tongue (and, more than likely, her blade).

The crowd of dremora and mages looked on, worried that their champion might actually be defeated. But the dark knight merely pressed on, intent on dispatching these enemies on his own.

So they battled, Eohlwynn and Marius, Aedric and Daedric forces being perfectly represented in the light of the former and darkness of the latter. Neither gave the other the edge, with the man’s brute force being perfectly met by the agile and versatile woman.

But eventually, the golden light surrounding Eohlwynn began to flicker and inevitably faded.

“Looks like you’re out of time, Vigilant,” Marius cackled, his breath heavy. Admittedly, that was the witchhunter’s only true defense against this blade; and Illia would not be able to cast that spell a second time so quickly after. But Marius was still tired, now, and more importantly he was still cocky. By this point, their battle had rotated so that Marius was once again with his back to his compatriots, with Eohlwynn’s body guarding the incapacitated Stelio Kontos, who was being cared for by Fisher.

“I am done playing,” he continued. Gesturing back toward his army with a free hand and forward to the remainder of his opposition in a sweeping upward arc, he shouted, “Charge!

So, daedra and their summoners began to overwhelm the Stormcloaks. The Nords, Fisher, and Eohlwynn all surrounded Rambaldi in a protective circle as Illia attempted to heal him to capacity, all grateful for his contribution to the fight and not willing to let the dremora take him. They held for a long while, their skills far surpassing the daedra’s; but not Marius’ blade. With each strike, no matter how well blocked or parried, yet another soldier fell to the ground. His demonic cackling as Dagon ripped the souls of the Stormcloaks out of their bodies only helped to demoralize them, and all seemed lost, despite their efforts.

And then, demons screamed.

No, not the battle-fueled shrieks of dremora, but the screams of fading out of existence as a shield of ebony in the shape of a dragon’s skull came bashing a path through the crowd, followed by a female Khajiit and a male Breton on a horse, who cut down all that the shield made stagger.

Marius, who had locked blades with another Stormcloak (who subsequently fainted under the pain of the Razor), looked back and grunted with annoyance. “Did the other Princes even do their jobs?! Damn half-nord!”

The man wielding the shield was revealed to be Xilliad Eerikkson, who shouted a stereotypically nordic battle cry as he rampaged through the last of the crowd and found himself in front of Marius, who raised his blade high up in the air and swung it downward in rage.

“No!” shouted a Stormcloak. “That’s the Razor!”

Knowing instantly what that implied, Xilliad sidestepped instead of blocking with his shield, turning to block an incoming dremora and cleave his collarbone with an axe.

Dar’anjira the red-furred khajiit and the vampiric Dacian Antiquas leaped off of their horse Si Si skillfully, landing in front of Marius and behind Xilliad, who covered their rears.

“Got this handled, nord?” shouted Dacian to Xilliad, who looked back at him with an incredible smile.

“Normally I wouldn’t defend someone like you, but something tells me you’re worth protecting. I’ve got this!” And with another cry, he bashed a mage’s head in with his weapon, giving the khajiit and breton all the faith they needed.

“You know,” said Anjira, “I all I wanted was to find Boreas. But this battle’s getting in my way, which is…” she cocked her head. “...rather unacceptable.”

“And I can’t stand dremora after the last city we were in,” scoffed Dacian. “This’ll be a good stretch after we slew all those other Dagon-ites.”

Marius grinned at the pair as the rest of the battle went on around them, like they were standing in the eye of the storm. “You truly think you can challenge me, cat and… bat?” He laughed heartily, completely faithful in the fact that no one would dare attempt to strike him from behind because of fear of death. “I’ll leave you alive, Antiquas, even if it’s only so that Molag Bal can finish you personally. But this thief?” He brandished his blade. “I’ve got no use for you, meat.” He began to swing the Razor.

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” asked Dar’anjira to Dacian as time seemed to almost slow.

“Almost certainly,” the vampire responded.

“I’ll take those odds.”

As the blade seemed about to slice Anjira in half, Dacian put himself -- and his blade -- in front of the godsword, blocking the Razor entirely and locking blades with the man.

Marius had won; he smiled a sick, psychotic smile.

But so did Dacian.

“No!” Marius said, his voice quavering as he realized how exactly his opponent was not dead. “Damn your kind… your soul is in Coldharbour! I suppose this was Bal’s plan all along, right? Kill Dagon’s champion so that his can rule Windhelm instead. Well I won’t have it!

Like a maniac, Marius swung away at Dacian, his broadsword clearly having the advantage over the normal sword the vampire wielded.

But that was the beauty of having a partner. Dar’anjira acted as a third and fourth hand of Dacian’s, swinging at Dagon’s champion with her daggers each time he attempted to recover from a strike. Of course, he blocked with the Razor, so the khajiit had to be careful each time to retract her strike. The objective was to wear him down, and wear him down they did as Xilliad protected their backs and dealt with any healers attempting to restore Marius’ stamina.

The three combatants paused, all taking a breath and wearing various expressions: Marius’ that of an enraged, annoyed infant; Dacian’s a smile of a man who knew he was winning, knew he had a distinct advantage no one else had; and Dar’anjira’s that of a smug pride, since she had avoided the Razor entirely.

“Ready to die, son of Dagon?” the red-furred thief asked the Imperial.

That actually caused a bit of a smirk in the man. “You cannot kill me, daughter of Azura.” And he readied for one final strike. “Now you will d --”

“Nord!” she commanded Xilliad, spurring Marius to begin an overhead strike, and the blacksmith turned completely around, beginning to charge Marius with his shield and raise it as the Razor came crashing down. But in a swift set of motions, Dacian parried the blade from the inside, leaving his chest completely unguarded; Xilliad bashed him with his shield, causing a stagger; and Anjira ripped the Razor from his grip with a telekinesis spell, throwing it to the feet of Eohlwynn Stryker who kicked it back inside the circle surrounding Rambaldi.

Marius fell to his knees, stunned, his eyes glassy against the pale Windhelm sky.

“I’ve… failed.”

“Indeed you have,” came a distinctly Argonian voice from behind, who was revealed to be Stares-at-Storms clad in wet black armor, accompanied by the dark elf Evelea, the Breton Brunonia, the orcs Melkorth and Tepegrog, and the dunmer Zanik R’en. He grabbed the man, who was still staring blankly at the sky, by the hair. And, drawing Firebrand, he slit the man’s throat, which erupted in a mixture of flames and blood.

The battle paused entirely. Stormcloaks, warriors, assassins, mages, dremora, thieves, vampires, and pirates all stared at the lifeless form of someone that almost seemed immortal. He was still on his knees, as if for a final testament to his strength; not even dying would make him fall.

But Stares-at-Storms simply kicked him over. Respect for the dead was for the weak.

“That was my kill, you know,” said Dacian with a respectful smirk.

“Oh, please,” Anjira interjected. “It was mine.”


“Clearly,” said Stares-at-Storms smugly, “it was mine, considering I took it.”

Zanik R’en stepped forward then, mace in hand. “Despite how much I adore this petty banter about who deserved to end a man’s life, I believe we have a city to defend.”

“Yes,” said the strained Rambaldi as his circle of bodies opened to reveal him, “we do.” He stood with effort, drew the Sanguineous, and everyone lined up around him: The stormcloaks at one end, Fisher, Eohlwynn, Illia, Xilliad, Dar’Anjira, Dacian, Stares-at-Storms, Evelea, Tepegrog, Melkorth, and Zanik R’en at the other end.

Xilliad Eerikkson, the False Harbinger, shouted louder than anyone else ever could:

FOR SKYRIM!

***


”...while Elanna Moorsly fights a different sort of battle.”


As soon as Elanna removed the Skull from its holding place, her sight went completely black and she fell unconscious. As she slept, she heard faceless voices:

‘Elanna,’ Josmhirr called, his voice afraid and quavering, ‘where are you?’

‘Where am I?’ asked Nilus. Moorsly heard the wood elf scream with utter terror, and his shrieking slowly became quieter and quieter until it faded away.

The breton found herself calling for anyone she could think; “Nilus? Josmhirr? Mother? Father?”

And then, another voice was heard; this time the voice of an old woman unfamiliar to Elanna, but it was also different; very slightly, hardly noticeably, the deep and raspy voice of a demon along with the voices of Josmhirr and Nilus echoed what the old woman was saying ever so quietly. ‘Elanna Moorsly,’ she said, ‘come to me. Allow yourself to awaken in my plane, treasure hunter, so that we may converse.’

Elanna attempted to open her eyes.

And what she awoke to, standing, was that old woman with long, white hair, wearing robes that seemed like they should belong to some kind of priest. Was this woman a mage? It would explain her surroundings, but in all the tomes she had uncovered in her travels, Elanna had never heard of a mage with this kind of illusory power.

Around her laid an ever-changing landscape with trees that grew and died within seconds, bubbling black soil, and a river of a strange liquid that was a mix of bright psychedelic colors. The older woman sat upon a levitating, ornate throne made of a sleek black stone with screaming faces carved into it. And the elder herself looked to Elanna with a sweet, grandmotherly smile.

“Hello,” she said simply with her quadruple-layered voice. Elenna’s breath was heavy, her mind hardly able to comprehend everything that was going on around her. Sweat drenched her red hair. In her periphery, what seemed to be shadows or demons taunted her, but every time she turned to look at them they dissipated.

“Fear not, child. They will not hurt you. Focus on me.”

And she did, finding some sort of ease in focusing singularly on the strange woman in front of her.

“Where am I? Where are Nilus and Josmhirr?”

“Where you are may… trouble you. Best if you ease into it.” A gesture of the old woman’s hand, and Elanna found a platter floating to her with cups of various teas resting upon it. She did not take any. “As for your companions, they are safe. Actually, they are in situations similar to yours, but I allowed my underlings to explain to them exactly what was happening.”

“And who are you? And what exactly is happening?”

The woman paused. “Hm. That is difficult to explain, but I will try. Please, have some tea.” Elanna reluctantly took a cup as the platter floated past her once more. “I suppose we should start at the beginning; or, at least, close to it. You know of Akatosh? Or Auri-El, perhaps even Alkosh. Whatever you prefer.”

“The deity that appears in possibly all Tamrielic mythologies. Usually portrayed as the creator, or… bringer of time.”

“Yes. Akatosh came, bringing time, and then Lorkhan came, bringing matter. This is how you and your world came to be.” She spoke as if she were separate from Elanna, and in more than a racial sense. Who was this woman? “But Mundus is not random; the Aedra made sure of that. They set guidelines, tools of fate that would allow this world to last without their direct interference. You may have heard whispers of these tools in your studies, Miss Moorsly.”

Elanna thought for a moment. “No… those are legends.”

The old woman chuckled. “No, not legends. Merely… elusive. Purposefully elusive. I will not explain the complex web of lies and alliances within the sphere of godhood; but know, Elanna, that you are a machination of these tools.”

The breton girl wracked her brain for a long moment after that, but it couldn’t be possible. She was no Dragonborn; how could she be fated to change the course of history? Could her name really be written in those legendary, indestructible parchments?

The only question she could think to ask was, “Who are you?”

The woman sighed, leaning back in her throne. “I have many names. You know me best as Vaermina.”

Vaermina, the Daedric Prince of Nightmares. And if Elanna’s knowledge was correct, she now resided in the dark god’s plane of Oblivion: Quagmire, the ever-shifting non-reality that reflected the greatest fears of those walking its swampy floors. Elanna was speechless.

“Surprised? Well, I suppose you should be, but --”

“Why tell me this?” She interrupted. “What do you want with me?”

Vaermina rose from her throne, then, and began pacing in front of the girl.

“I don’t have armies like Dagon or Molag Bal. I do not have much to barter, like Mora or Vile. I have not had a champion since the Dragon Crisis, and he is long dead. The Daedra have formed a Coalition, of which I am a part, and I have little to offer other than a small group of dedicated cultists. And what better champion, Elanna, than a champion that is, according to the Elder Scrolls, fated to stop us?”

“You… expect me to join you?”

The Prince seemed to think for a moment. “No. In fact, I fully expect you to attack me. The scrolls say it is so. But know, my dear, that the Elder Scrolls -- as I said -- are guidelines, not rules. They are merely ethereal ebbs and flows favoring one course of action, and you are entirely allowed to disobey. Fight your fate and use your skills to serve me, Elanna Moorsly, and believe me: it will be worth your while.”

To be the champion of a Daedric Prince. While one could never ignore the temptation involved with such a request, at what price would servitude to a demon come?

“And if I refuse?”

Another laugh from the dark god. “If you refuse? Well, I can only keep you here so long as you are asleep, but my cultists will make sure that is for a while. I suppose you could attempt to escape this place, though I doubt you could. I will not kill you; the prospect of you changing your mind is too tempting. You will also likely never find your friends again, who would be freed from my grasp as soon as you agreed.” The Prince found her way back to her throne and sat upon it, seeming bored. “The choice is yours, mortal.”

Vaermina made a lifting gesture with one hand, and a pedestal rose from the cracking ground. The pedestal held the bust of a scamp, whose mouth was positioned like a baby bird waiting to be fed, next to an ornate ritual knife. The contract would be made in blood.

Elanna approached the pedestal. “What would you have me do if I accept?”

“In order to serve the Prince of Nightmares, you must endure horror. You will be thrust into a world of your greatest fears, and you will conquer them.”

The measly treasure-hunter, born a poor slum dog, was now at a crossroads. Would she give her blood to Vaermina? The reward would be great, and she would save her friends; but she would oppose the Aedra, her own fate, and the citizens of Tamriel; not the most appealing future for a simple girl.

But would she challenge a god?

***


“Yes, this is where the War of Division truly began. Now, I know what you may be thinking: why title a book about the War of Division Unifying Dawn? Well, you will have to keep reading, but allow me to tell you one thing: the War of Division was possibly one of the most unifying things in all the history of Tamriel.”

((Hey, folks. Here I’m going to be employing a simplified version of Thyssen’s Cinematic RNG combat system. However, instead of me writing out the actions of the enemies (because look at that fucking novel above), you all are going to take it entirely in your hands to write out your characters’ combat actions, as well as the actions of any NPCs your character is attached to. I say “simplified” because I’m simply gonna roll a number between 1 and 50 and you’re going to detail how you take care of that number of enemies; however, you never need to actually list the number, especially if it’s over ten, and you don’t need to write out each individual kill. It’s just to give you a prompt of sorts to have an idea of what your character does. Also, you are welcome to make your enemies any type of daedra or mage you want, but the former has to be within the sphere of Mehrunes Dagon. And, of course, you all have the option of posting collaboratively with another player, but of course you need to approach them. And here are your numbers, all randomly generated:

Rambaldi/Fisher: 45
Eohlwynn/Illia: 25
Xilliad/Melkorth/Evelea/Kili/Fili/Stormcloaks: 23 (I will write out this post.)
Dacian/Si Si: 32
Dar’anjira: 1 (Make it special!)
Stares-at-Storms/Hanir/Brunonia: 17
Zanik/Tepegrog: 50 (Welcome back!)

Remember, there’s battle going on all around you; pay attention to your fellow players’ posts! AND HAVE SOME FUN!))
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#13079411 Feb 20, 2017 at 10:12 PM · Edited 6 months ago
106 Posts
Elanna moved her hand to the knife, slowly picking it up as she held it over her hand. What was she doing? Was she actually about to do it? Appose all of the people of the world she lived in.. She didn't love it, that's for sure, but she didn't hate it.. And the Aedra and scrolls of destiny? Psh, when had Destiny or gods been there to help her or her family?!

Se took another breath, her hand shaking a little with the dagger in it. But her friend, and that Bosmer.. No fuck the Bosmer fuck that guy since he just showed up, he might have saved us but he wasn't there before!.. But Josmhirr.. What would he think of her?

Her mind flashed to all their memories, running through a field being chased by angry old people when a deal went south, the time they climbed up into old ruins in the snow and he caught her when her rope snapped.. And that time where he professed his love to he- no that was a dream.. Come on brain focus on what's real!

Elanna took a deep breath, looking up at the daedric prince. It was a daedric prince! She couldn't fight it, no way no how.. She knew it deep in her heart, especially with her lack of confidence without Josmhirr..

The blade slid across Elanna's hand slowly, causing her to wince a little in pain. With her poor eyes closed tightly, her hand gently squeezed before squeezing faster from the pain as he fist locked up. The blood dripped slowly into the things maw, keeping her eyes closed as she tried not to cry.

"This better save my friends.. And if this is all real, and I'm not.. under some spell and you lie to me! No place in Oblivion, no Aedra or Daedra will save you, from what will come.." Oh man she really hoped she could back that up if it was true.

As soon as she set the knife down, her mind snapped quickly around her. The room she was in seemed to have changed again, leaving her in a small room full of doors. She stared between them all quickly, turning in at least seven-hundred and twenty degrees. As the she reached for the door the doors pushed closer into her, the handles being taken over by more wood. She now stood with only enough space for her body, breathing heavily as she looked frantically around her.

<c>
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#13082102 Feb 22, 2017 at 01:07 AM
19 Posts
Dar'Anjira would be among the first of the ones to charge off into battle against the followers of Dagon, leaving her cloak behind in Dacian's hands. She'd run in faster than almost anyone else on the battlefield, running through the crowds as if they weren't even there, but oddly enough, not killing any of them. Some of the Stormcloaks might have thought she was running away like a stereotypically cowardly Khajiit, not charging in to look for a Daedra who looked to be respected by the others or had power of them such as a commander.

She'd eventually make her way up to the top of a wall overlooking the whole courtyard, perched atop of it in a very similar manner to Eohlwynn had been. A transparent, purple, Daedric bow would take it's place in her hands as Anjira scanned the entire courtyard for what she was searching for, one of the ones giving commands to the others. Eventually she would spot one lone Xivilai officer standing behind most of the army, larger than the others on the frontlines, holding an extremely ornate Daedric style battleaxe held in one hand. The scarlet-furred Khajiit would give off a mischeivous grin and fire a single arrow in the direction of her new target, aimed directly at his eye, fully expecting for him to catch or dodge it. While the arrow flew through the air, she would run along the walls to get as close to the Xivilai as she could.

Just as she had expected, the arrow missed it's mark, finding itself caught in the teeth of her target's axe, barely blocked. The Xivilai immediately turned to look at where the arrow had been fired from only to see nothing there, which was to be expected considering Anjira was already jumping down to the man with her essentially glowing bow still in her hands, she'd fire two arrows into the man from behind and his side. She'd release her grip on the bow and let it turn into smoke before almost immediately unsheathing Liskina and summoning a bound dagger into her free hand, basically pouncing on the man from behind and making an attempt to plunge her daggers into his neck while he was distracted. The man proved to be more formidable than she had expected however and almost immediately threw her off and onto the ground, she laid there for a moment, relatively impressed by the Daedra's reaction speed, until his battleaxe came down at her.

She just barely rolled out of the way and jumped back away from the very enraged Xivilai, at this point the smaller Daedra were watching the battle, only holding back from attacking because they had no doubts the Xivilai could handle this tiny little Khajiit. Anji smirked ahead at him and released her grip on her bound dagger, letting it vanish as she put Liskina back in it's sheath. A small transparent ball of Magicka formed in her hand as she did this, but she didn't appear to want to do anything with it. The man charged the Khajiit, not even bothering to think about what she was planning.

The officer's axe come down on top of her, but whenever he looked at his axe, she wasn't there, it was imbedded in the floor and otherwise perfectly clean but he was almost certain she hadn't dodged his attack. He looked around frantically for her, until there came a sudden, very sharp pain in the back of his neck. He turned around and tried to swat whatever it was off his back, but it was already gone. He grabbed at where the pain was but only came back with an odd purple smoke surrounding his hand for a moment.

Only a moment later, the Khajiit appeared in front of him out of nowhere, holding a bound dagger in her hand which would soon extend to the size of a shortsword. The battleaxe is yanked out of the ground and swung horizontally at Anjira, but she ducks under the axe and jumps towards the Daedra, taking a slash at it's shoulder and a fist to her stomach. She was sent flying slightly upwards before landing on the ground back first, only to see the axe coming once more, Anji just barely rolling out of the way again, the axe chopping some hair off her head. She immediately jumps to her feet, waiting a second before running towards the Xivilai, faking him out with a straight dash before going around his right and running him through the back with her sword and releasing her grip. The Daedra's heel slams into her stomach, sending her back into the ground behind him.

She was starting to edge away, trying to regain her breath after it had just been knocked out of her completely. She conjures her bow and starts firing arrows from near point blank range into his exposed chest only actually managing to get off three or four, one of which would have completely missed and grazed his side. She stands up as the man gets progressively closer to her and starts to lift his axe once more, she unsheaths Liskina in return and tries to run around his side, only to get thrown away. She stumbles back and ducks under his next attack, sliding under his legs and climbing up his back, her claws on her feet digging into his back, she conjures a bound dagger in her free hand and plunges them into his neck. She kicks off his back and watches as he and his axe fall over, the lesser Daedra around them watching on, completely stunned for a moment. She casts a mass Pacifying spell around her before running away through the now much smaller army of Daedra, leaving all of them to everyone else.

She ran back to the Palace of Kings, extremely exhausted. Once again she had tried to take on an enemy way stronger than she could handle and in hindsight, she really shouldn't have tried to take him on by herself.
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#13102744 Mar 02, 2017 at 11:10 PM · Edited 6 months ago
527 Posts
((Note: You have https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_UgfB95Wu0 to thank for this particular post.))

- - - - -

Stelio had meant to charge forward with the rest of his newfound ally, but something gave him pause. It was a peculiar sensation, like a mixture of sensing an itch on a part of your body that you cannot reach, and coming to the realization that you're being watched. He glanced this way and that, trying to discover the source of the disturbance. Finally, his eyes came to rest upon...

'The reforged Razor of Mehrunes Dagon...'

Stelio knelt and stretched out his hand, ready to claim the blade as his own even though he had no right to. His mind, racing a mile a minute, thought of the possibilities of what it could accomplish while in his possession.

'The Dagger of the Final Wounds, Bane of the Righteous... Kingslayer...'

He could see it almost as clearly as the sky on a cloudless day; a life where he was no longer constantly wracked with guilt about having to take the life of another living being. He would truly become what the Brotherhood had set out to make him -- the perfect killer. Yes. Yes, it was a risk worth taking. He was damned one way or another, so why not?

'Unto thee I beg, release me from the torment of my sins, and give me the power to do what must be done!'

((Cue https://youtu.be/wL3f2lN2T8Y.))

His fingers wrapped themselves around the hilt of the weapon. Suddenly a voice sounded in his head, distant like thunder from an approaching storm, and yet still somehow close enough that it felt like it was being whispered into his ear. It said to him...

"Wh͝e͟ń I̴ ̢will w͜a͢l̨k͏ ҉t̕h̵e ͘ear̴th a͡gain̵, th͟e ̛Fa͝i̷t͠h͢f͝u͢l ҉am͢o͜n͢g ̛y̵oų sh̷al͜l̨ ̢re̶ce͟i̢v̧e͞ y͘òúr̴ r̶e҉w͞a͠r̵d:͞ ̸t҉o ̴b̶e ͢set̶ above a͟ll̀ ̡ot̸he̷r mor̨tal͘s̡ for͞e͠ve͢r̢.͠ ҉A̴s fo̴r t̷h͟e res̕t͡: t͠he ͝wea͟k̵ sh͝a̛l͢l ҉be͢ ̴wińnowęd̕:͞ ͘th̢e ͢t̴i͝m͜i̛d s̷h̵a͡ll b̕e͘ ͞c̷ast ͞d҉o͡wń:͢ ̛th͡e ̕mig͘h͘ty̷ s̴h͡all ̛tŗemb͏lȩ at ͡my҉ fee͘t ̸a̢nd͢ ̧p͘ray̵ f̸o̶r̕ ͢pa̸rd͠on͞."

For the first time ever, the skull-like helmet of Rambaldi manifested itself over his features without the requirement of a ritual.

"̀͠In͡ ҉y̨ou ̧I͏͞ s͘e̵̵͢n̶͏s̨͜e a ̨p͝҉o͏te͞n͟t̡̛ia̵l͝ ̴͝th҉͜á̸t̸̨ ̵y͠͡o̷̧͡ur͝҉̛ ̸p̸̛ŗ̕e̢d͝e͝͝c̢ęs̨s̡̀͞o̵ŕ ̡̡l̨͘͝a͢͞c̢̨͠k̢̧èd͜.͟ ͟B҉l̡a̶c͢k t̛h̨́̀oú͡g͏͞h̨́ ̴͞i̴n̵͘͠ ̧̧hea̵̛͠r̛̕͟t͡ ͡a͏n͜d́ ͏t̢͝a̶͟͠r̡͟n͜͞is͟͞h͝e͞d̴̷ ̢̢i̸ń s҉o̴͞u̡l ͘͘h͘͟e̴ ̢m̨͘a̵̢y͢ ̴̴h͡á͢v̴͟e͞ ̷͠b̷͢ȩ̕en͝,͢ ͏͞ḩè́ d̵emo͜n̷̢͢s̵t͝҉ŕ̷a̢t͞e̶d͢ ̡̀ąn̷̶ ͏̀i҉n̶̛͡ab͏̵i͜͜li͝ty t̷̀o̸̵̕ ͟a̢d̕ap̸t̶̡ ̕͞wḩ̵e̶̶n͟͢ ̨̀͠i̷̛ņ t͜҉͝ḩ̴e͘ ͟ṕ҉̨r̵̀e̡s͜͜ȩ͠n̨c̡̕҉e̵ ͝o͞҉f͟ ̶̨ẃh̛a̶t̨ ́t͜h̶į̴͘s̷͟͏ ͝wó̶̧r̀ĺḑ͘ c̕͡al͞l̨s͝ ҉͠'̷̢h͢͝͡e̵̵ŕ͝o̸͏̧es.́͘'́̀͜ S͡h͢o̢͘ẁ͢ ̷̶m̛e̕͟,̧͞ ̶͠de͏̕ḿ̢o̴n̸̡̛str̨at͟͏e̢ ͏t̀o͘ ̕m̛e͏̛̀,͜ ̧͟͜w͜͜ha̧҉̢t̨͠͞ ̢͢y̴͝o̵u͏̵̧ ̷̡̡a̶̧͠r̶̷̛e͠ ͢͝ca̸͝p͝a̴̡͜b̷̧͜lè͟ ̷of͝ a͝c̶̀hí̶҉é̢v̢͞i̡n̢͟g ̢͢w͜͠i̸t͏͜͡h̡́͘ ͠͞m͏͝͡ỳ̵̷ ́in͢s̨tŕum҉e̢̡͟ǹ̸t̴͠!҉҉͠"̀͠

A cold mist spilled forth from the skull's open mouth and curled like serpents into the air. Stelio's chest rose and fell in a staccato rhythm, and his entire body appeared to vibrate. And then, all at once, it stopped.

"I see..."

Stelio's head jerked in the direction of the sounds of encroaching chaos. "You wish me to show you... what I am capable of... when rid of my qualms..." As he spoke, the hollow sockets of the his helmet's eyes began to emit light, as though they had been stuffed with burning coals. More mist came rushing forth as Stelio exhaled. And then he said, "I accept."

Before Fisher - or anyone else for that matter - could get a grasp of what the almighty Hell was going on with the man, he drew Sanguine and brought it to bear, blade facing out, over his opposite arm, while he pointed the Razor straight forward. He had never demonstrated such strength before, but it was clear where he was drawing it from. And then... a tiny cloud was all that stood in place of Stelio, as he dashed forward to meet the horde of Daedra head-on! He yelled, the Daedra screamed, and then blood began to fill the air, and splash down upon the cobblestone ground in copious amount...
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