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located in Skyrim, a part of Skyrim: The Mentor & The Sellswords, one of the many universes on RPG.

Skyrim

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Character Portrait: Dominicus Drayk Character Portrait: Claren Character Portrait: Adrienne Jastal Character Portrait: Demea Ravenwing Character Portrait: Aria Windfoot Character Portrait: Sinderion Direnni Character Portrait: Cassadin Hawke Character Portrait: Lok-Indra Character Portrait: Vanryth Galero Character Portrait: S'Baad
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Contents
Prologue: Without a Leader
Chapter I: The Shadow Over Markarth
Chapter II: Hammer, Feather, and Flame
Chapter III: The Game Begins
Chapter IV: A Nest of Vipers
Chapter V: Waking Nightmares
Chapter VI: The Darkest Places
Chapter VII: The Fair Maiden
Chapter VIII: War Without, War Within
Chapter IX: The Library
Chapter X: Coldharbor
Epilogue: The Way Forward

Skyrim...

It was a land in turmoil. For years tensions had been on the rise between the Empire, seeking only to maintain peace in their northern province, to stay the wrath of the Aldmeri Dominion, and the local Nords, who believed their way of life was being threatened, and rightly so. The Elven Thalmor, representatives of the Dominion, sought to banish worship of Talos, and there was little the Empire could do to oppose them. Tensions reached a breaking point when Ulfric Stormcloak, Jarl of Windhelm, began his rebellion against the Empire by slaughtering the High King of Skyrim, Torygg, in spectacular fashion. Civil war appeared certain in Skyrim, at least until the Empire managed to lure Ulfric into a trap, forcing him and his men to surrender without a fight. The rebel Stormcloaks were then transported to the castle-town of Helgen, to be publicly executed, along with another individual who did not yet realize his importance. However, things did not go as Imperial General Tullius had planned. Helgen found itself attacked and destroyed by a creature out of myths and legends, and Ulfric and his loyal Stormcloak soldiers found themselves free once more... but these events have yet to reach the ears of anyone beyond the nearby town of Riverwood...

And though these events were of great import to the fate of the land itself, they are not the focus of this story, merely the backdrop. In the west of Skyrim, near Solitude, the Empire's seat of power in the province, was a large manor belonging to a man that went almost exclusively by the name of "The Mentor." It was a large building, complete with separate bed quarters, a large dining hall, a small library, training grounds, capable of housing perhaps a dozen individuals, and it was currently near its capacity. Those inside had experienced incredible amounts of change over the courses of their lives. Some had been murderers, others thieves, addicts, scum, monsters in the wild. They were none of these things now, due to the their Mentor's influence. Their lives and their talents had been turned towards a nobler purpose, and one by one, they became part of a group that had come to be known as The Sellswords. They were a guild of sorts, albeit one that wasn't openly accepting recruits. And though they didn't come close to the fame that the members of the fabled Companions received, the Sellswords did develop a reputation for being perhaps the most altruistic band of mercenaries in the land. The Mentor alone determined the contracts they would accept, and he and his recruits carried them out. For a time, all of their lives seemed to be on the mend. They were atoning for their past mistakes, finding out what they could do with their talents when they set their minds to it. They were building bonds of friendship, growing a sense of camaraderie. They were finding something of a purpose in the harsh, inhospitable north.

All that threatened to change upon the Mentor's disappearance. He had left the Manor before, often returning with new members for the others to meet, but not like this. He hadn't warned any of his students, hadn't given any plans to leave, hadn't received any contracts that day... nothing. It was as though he had simply up and left. And even though no one saw the Mentor depart, in their hearts, they could all feel it. The Mentor was gone, and he wouldn't be returning of his own accord. The Sellswords had always looked to him for guidance. Now he was gone, and they would have to decide for themselves what path to take. For many, the evils of their pasts would once again begin to creep up upon them, without the Mentor's guidance holding it back. All of them feared returning to the lives they had once led. some didn't have a choice; they could never go back. The only way was forward... to find the Mentor, and to find the answers behind it all.

All they had to go on was the hastily written note that had been found on his desk...




Prologue
Without a Leader



Dom Drayk
The Mentor's Manor, Dining Hall



Give him a chance. I believe in him. I believe in you. It starts in Markarth.

Drayk read the poorly scribbled note for what must have been the hundredth time that night. He hadn't even learned to read until the Mentor taught him two years ago. He knew the Mentor's handwriting, he'd stared at it for hours and hours those first few months, resisting the urge to light the paper on fire when he got frustrated. This didn't look like the Mentor's handwriting. It looked... like it was written in a panic. And in all the time he'd known the Mentor, and in all the time the others had known the Mentor (which was longer than Drayk, for some), they had never seen the man panic. He moved quickly when he needed to, but never panicked. But who would have written the note if not the Mentor? No one had gone up to see him in his study, no one new had entered the manor, and no one had left, for that matter. No one but the Mentor. Everything pointed to the Mentor leaving this note, and then simply vanishing without so much as a trace.

A full moon shone through one of the windows into the dining hall. It was somewhere around midnight now, meaning it had been over eight hours since anyone had seen the Mentor. Drayk sat in the chair to the right of the Mentor's, who had always sat at the head of their long table. It was a massive dining hall; perhaps three times their number could have comfortably enjoyed a meal in it. There was only one person missing from it now, but it felt as though the entire building was empty to Drayk.

More than anything, he felt frustrated. Everything the Mentor did made sense to him. Everything. Except this. Why would he leave like this? He wasn't dead, Drayk knew that much. The finest killer in the Dark Brotherhood wouldn't have stood a chance at bringing him down. He'd had time to write a note, albeit a poor one, so it didn't seem likely he was abducted or something ridiculous like that. Drayk had concluded that the man he'd known as a father had simply left in the middle of the day, without speaking to anyone, or being seen by anyone, and that there was a very good chance he wasn't coming back any time soon. It frustrated him to no end, and Drayk had learned that frustration turned his humor particularly acidic. He reminded himself to speak only when necessary tonight.

The Sellswords had gathered in the dining hall for an impromptu meeting of sorts. They had no leader now, so they had sort of just rallied here for a lack of a better place to be. It had been confusion, and a good few hours of searching the grounds before they'd concluded that the Mentor was nowhere to be found. And though it was midnight, of course none of them felt like sleeping. The Mentor was a symbol of their newfound purpose, and now he was gone. So they'd gathered for a talk, to determine their course of action. To Drayk, it was clear.

"It starts in Markarth," he said, sliding the note out onto the table. Everyone had seen it already, but it was still the only scrap of evidence they had to go on. "I say we start there. Take the horses and ride out at first light."

He looked around at the faces in the room. At Claren, Sinderion, Adrienne, Cassadin, Demea, Lok-Indra, Aria, Vanryth, and S'Baad. They were a screwed up bunch, but they were family now, and Drayk knew that whatever they did, they had to do as a group. They had no Mentor to lean on now, which meant they were just going to have to rely on each other.