Snippet #2156793

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




Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dominicus Drayk Character Portrait: Adrienne Jastal Character Portrait: Sinderion Direnni Character Portrait: Vanryth Galero
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Once everyone was settled and eating, Drayk brought up the possibility of having to fight the Imperials to gain control of the caravan and speak with the prisoner. Adrienne had considered that it might have to happen that way, though the young woman would vastly prefer that it didn't. Mercenaries they were, but as the Mentor had always made a point to remind them, violence was not always the answer. She chewed her lower lip for a moment, a contemplative frown turning her mouth downwards. "Well... the best advantages for such a small group are positioning and surprise." That much was likely obvous to all of them. "If we want to have both of them if it comes to that, then I could try stopping the caravan and talking to the prisoner on my own. We could decide what we want to ask beforehand in case it works. Otherwise, I suppose we could devise a signal in case it turns out they're less than amenable to the idea of letting me speak to him."

"That puts you at great risk," Sinderion pointed out softly, before spooning another portion of stew into his mouth. The Altmer chewed thoughtfully. It was not in his nature (which was perhaps more protective than most would suspect) to allow his friends to place themselves in inordinate danger. Still he saw the virtue in what she suggested. Swallowing, he continued. "Perhaps it would be wiser if at least two of us made the intial request. You are admittedly most suitable to do the actual talking, but..." he hesitated slightly, then shook his head, choosing not to complete the thought. Possibly, Drayk or Van would take it up. Perhaps they had something else in mind entirely. Either way, he lapsed back into familiar silence.

The idea of having to fight a retinue of Imperial soldiers did not appeal to Van. He was still sore from the following night-- plus he was severely lacking in weaponry. He suppose it was possible that if push came to shove, there was the option to rely on his magic at least until he could liberate something from a dead soldier. He didn't like that idea either. He was fully hoping that they could make it out of this without undue violence, wisdom of age perhaps. He scratched his beard for a moment, listening to Sinder put forward his own opinion on the matter before flipping his journey to a blank page on his knee and putting pencil to paper. His writing was messy due his tender hand, but he managed and before long showed his companions his thoughts.

Vanryth Galero wrote:If that is indeed the path we choose, I would volunteer Drayk. His shield and magicks would prove more useful to protect Adrienne with than my own or Sinderion's blades. However, I would rather prefer it if we could conduct our business without needless bloodshed. A retinue of Imperials are not a tribe of Forsworn, and I do not envy the idea of facing them down while at the same time worrying about their prisoners taking the chance to flee. But. The Imperials are not savages, they would not attack us without merit. Words I believe shall win this day.

The irony of the last sentence was not lost on Vanryth.

Drayk found himself immediately agreeing with both of his mer companions. While he highly doubted a group of Imperial soldiers would attack Adrienne simply for asking to speak with a prisoner, he strongly disliked the idea of sending her to speak with them on her own. Not only for the risk it would put her at, but because the mage figured something like that would seem... suspicious. If she introduced herself as a Sellswords, under the direction of the Mentor, the soldiers would likely wonder where her companions were. The Sellswords rarely did anything alone, after all.

"Yeah, I'll go," he said in response to reading Van's suggestion, a little more quickly than he'd intended. "And it might be better for Van and Sinder to stay out of sight. You know, with lots of Nords not taking too kindly to elven races." He couldn't speak for the entire Legion, of course, but there was certainly a good deal of racism among the locals here. Especially the Stormcloaks. In the event that they did get to speak to the prisoners, he didn't want them to be turned away because some Stormcloak refused to speak to a man who traveled with an Altmer.

Trusting himself to protect Adrienne in the event things went poorly was another matter, considering that she'd done as much protecting of him against the Forsworn as he had done for her. But the Imperials were not fond of fighting with mages, from what he had seen of their troops. If worst came to worst, it probably wouldn't be a problem.

"There is... one other thing I wanted your opinions on. Since we have some time to talk about it." He paused, and his eyes fell on the little fire Adrienne had constructed. He felt like he was trying to word things carefully for himself more than the others. He needed to know he was doing this for the right reason. "Last night, with the frost atronach, and the fire... I lost my head. Couldn't focus. I probably would've died if Adrienne hadn't been there with a potion." He had his arms draped loosely about his knees at this point, and managed to pull his eyes from the flame and force them to meet Adrienne's, hoping a little awkward nod would convey at least some measure of thanks. He had always been terrible at that kind of thing.

"I can't let that happen again, you know? Maybe next time it'll be someone else who pays the price when I'm made incompetent by the sight of a little flame. I... I need to overcome that. Stop hiding from it, but learn to beat it. Does... that make sense? It doesn't have to be an evil force anymore. I know better now. The old man taught me to be better now." He looked to the group, hoping for some reassurance. He was tired of being on his own.

Satisfied that the plan was settled (truly, she did not think they had to worry about it coming to blows, but caution was not a bad thing), Adrienne had been about to suggest packing up camp when Drayk spoke again, this time with considerably more hesitancy. She stilled, folding her small hands neatly into her lap. What followed... she could not say it was entirely unexpected, but she was conflicted. On the one hand, he was undeniably right. They were small in number, and their task seemed to be growing more enormous by the day. Everyone had to be at their best, and that was no less true of him than it was of her.

On the other hand... she was afraid. Not of Drayk, of couse not, but of what trying to suddenly overcome such a personal sticking point when already in a horrible situation like this might do to him. She swallowed, contemplating her hands, but glanced up again at the Mentor's mention. Pursing her lips, she turned that thought over in her mind several times. Recalling the few scant sentences on the note as well, the pieces fell into place and locked there. This was to be a wholehearted commitment; half-measures would not help any of them.

Her expression and words were solemn, but not at all unfriendly. "...Just tell me what you need me to do, and I'll do it," she vowed, not presuming to speak for Sinder or Van. The fact of the matter was, the situation was making harsh demands of them all, and they needed to do some changing, some growing, to accomodate that, else they would never succeed. If they were going to find him, they needed to believe in themselves and in each other, just as he believed in them. He'd said so, and never once had he lied to her. That was enough.

Sinder watched the exchange of words in ponderous silence. Whether or not Drayk knew it, his words also resonated deeply with the Altmer, who may at some point in the future need to do some bettering of his own. The problem was, he already felt his back pressed against a wall where his own matter was concerned, and what of his worse nature had escaped him thus far had proven exactly as he expected it to be. He could not allow himself to simply assume that the same would be true of Drayk, but... he had his doubts about how ready the young man was to actually confront his demons head-on. Perhaps it was simply Sinderion's own weakness that allowed his to be just as strong (only caged) as they had been more than a decade previous, but they weren't things that could be banished simply because one willed them gone.

Still... he had a feeling he sensed Adrienne's underlying point. "There is no course in such matters that is not dangerous in some way," he pointed out. "If you feel that the danger of remaining as you are outweighs the risk to all of us should you fail, then I think your proposed course is the best one." He emphasized the words 'all of us' just barely, but quite on purpose. The continued survival of each of them relied upon mutual trust, and that meant that they had to sacrifice a certain kind of wariness and simply assume that they would not be stabbed (or in this case immolated) from behind. Small steps, if you please.

But that thought was surely obvious, and he did not wish to condescend by expressing it.

"I won't fail," Drayk said, a definite conviction in his voice, "not with you guys here. I lost myself before because there was no one but me, because I was incapable of letting anyone help me. Incapable of admitting that I needed help." Adrienne's pledge to help had meant more to him than she could know. Or perhaps she knew just how much it meant. She had always been a closed book to him. And while he couldn't think of Sinder as an elder brother just yet, he knew he could trust the Altmer to do what was right, in the event that he forgot. That was his great, dark fear of tackling this... that he would forget how far he had come, that he would forget everything he'd come to know since the Mentor pulled him out from under the headsman's axe. But he had a confidence now he never had when he had just arrived in the manor. He'd never had anything before he couldn't stand to see hurt, and certainly not by him.

"We can take it bit by bit. No fireballs in battle just yet, obviously. What I need from you," he said, looking first to Adrienne, then Sinderion, and then Vanryth, "is just to stop me if I go too far. There's never been anyone to stop me before, not since the Mentor. I need to know that you can do that, if you have to."

"Done," Sinder replied simply. It wasn't a difficult promise to make, not when he understood exactly how much that guarantee was necessary.

Van too nodded in agreement. He may have felt old, but he was still young enough to jerk a young man's collar when the time needed.

Adrienne faced a bit more difficulty acquiescing to this than her promise should have afforded her, but the fact of the matter was, she simply had no idea if she'd be able to, both literally and in the sense of causing a friend harm. Her companions meant more to her than anything, and she detested the thought of even trying to cause any of them harm. She had to believe it wouldn't come to that. Chewing her lip, she nodded. "Okay. But... I don't think we'll need to, for the record." She flashed a smile, but couldn't sustain it for long; the topic was just too... personal, in every sense of the word.