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Alessia Rian

"The shadows are my one and only friend... it is the only thing I can trust..."

0 · 343 views · located in Tamriel: Skyrim

a character in “War For Skyrim”, as played by Zentose

Description

Image

BASIC

- Full Name: Alessia Rian

- Nickname: Ali

- Age: 24

- Gender: Female

- Race: Imperial

- Faction: Imperial

- Guild Member: Ex-Dark Brotherhood

APPEARANCE

- Hair and Eyes: Alessia has long, dark brown hair, that reaches down to between her shoulder blades. She doesn't take much care of it, simply washing it when she bathes, yet it remains rather good looking, not as fair as a Nord, but still rather pleasant. Her eyes are a deep, dark, piercing, blue.

- Complexion: Her complexion is different than her Imperial brethren from living in Skyrim for too long and rarely going out during the day. Her skin is pale, yet still has the slightly dark tone of the Imperials. She is relatively unscarred, because she prefers to remain outside of the conflict area, but she does have a large scar near her right collarbone from being shot with an arrow, narrowly avoiding bother her lungs and heart.

Height and Weight: 5' 9'' (175.26 cm) | 141 lbs. (63.9 kg)

- Body Type: Alessia has a rather medium-sized body, not narrow and slim, but not wide and broad. She has a muscular waist, she exercises it daily to maximize her mobility(The abdomen is the key to all swift mobility in combat). Her arms are strong, but not as strong as the average swordsman. She has very strong legs, allowing her to spring very fast and also do long jogging for a good while. She has a medium sized bust, she would prefer it to be smaller, but there's nothing she can do about it, she's tried.

- Armor: Alessia wears full leather armor with a light chainmail vest beneath a black cloak.

PERSONAL INFORMATION

- Weapon: Alessia's weapon of choice is an Imperial bow with steel arrows. She coats her arrows in poison sometimes, having a wealth of different poisons to use. She also has a steel short sword.

- Mount: She has a dark brown horse from Cyrodiil, faster than the horses in Skyrim, but also smaller, and unable to stand the cold for an extended period of time. It's name is Pelagius.

- Quote: "As far as thinking about death and murder and various ways of killing people and how people die... I probably have the most twisted mind in Slayer." -Tom Araya

- Theme song: Fate's Dark Hand - Stuart Chatwood

- Brief History: Alessia was born in Skingrad, Cyrodiil, with the surname of Odiil. Her father, Lucan, was an adventurer and her mother, Illia, was an Alchemist. Illia stayed at their shop, selling alchemic reagents and potions, personally crafted by her mother, while Lucan ran off and got into trouble. Illia taught Alessia everything she knew about alchemy as well. Whenever he did get home he would drink too much and end up beating her mother, never laying a hand on her, for a time. When Lucan broke his leg in a cave, and was forced to stay at home for a two months, by this time Alessia was 13, grown and beautiful. her father beat and forced himself on her mother all the time, before he would hit her once or twice a day, but he was only at home a few days of the month. Needless to say, her mother killed herself, she was in bed with Alessia, and slit her own wrists while Alessia slept. She woke up doused in blood with her mother's corpse wrapped around her. Lucan's leg had healed, and after a mourning period of a week, Lucan was angry and blamed Alessia for her mother's death. He beat started to beat Alessia and tried to rape her, but Alessia got his dagger and killed him.

After a speedy getaway from the authorities, correctly assuming they wouldn't understand, she was found by an Assassin of the Dark Brotherhood. For no explicable reason, aside from him "seeing something within her," he took her and trained her to be an assassin for the Dark Brotherhood. She had seemingly lost all emotion by the time she was completed with her training at the age of 19. But nearly a year later, when she was on a high-value mission, she was spotted by a young girl, looking almost exactly like Alessia, and killed her. After she had made this split second decision, she looked at what she had done, and after a torrent of complex emotions, she finished off the girl's father, who had been sexually assaulting her, and left the dark brotherhood, violently. She was hunted by her brethren of the shadows, she was able to kill each and every one of the assassins they sent, knowing each and every secret they used. She was able to escape and go into hiding in Skyrim, living in Winterhold for a few years before moving to Solitude and joining the Empire under the fake surname of Rian. She has not seen any Dark Brotherhood Assassins since her escape, but still fears a reprisal... She trains the archer in Solitude and goes on specialized missions with little to no back-up whatsoever...

- Personality: Alessia is a complicated woman, she is always on guard, holding a dagger under her pillow at night and always keeping alert. She rarely trusts anyone, always ready for betrayal and attack. She has never had a romantic relationship in her life, and is rather appalled by the concept, letting someone get that close to her is against every fiber of her being. She rarely feels comfortable around people and loves the seclusion of nature. She does, however, absolutely despise spiders, she cannot go anywhere near a spider without hyperventilating and becoming completely useless. She also hates abusive men, for obvious reasons, and weak-willed women, never having forgiven her mother for giving up on life. She has no real hate for the Stormcloaks, but figured that the Empire would be able to protect her from the Dark Brotherhood better. She also has a major soft-spot for children, especially girls. She has no qualms whatsoever about killing, she did it for a living for a year. She doesn't enjoy killing either though, unlike most of the Dark Brotherhood, she just has an intense will to survive. She has a need to life, to survive, it nearly transcends everything about her, she will fight to survive, not to win, and she will side with anyone if it means living longer. However, she is paranoid, so sometimes what she thinks will keep her alive, turns out not to be true, such as Joining the Imperials instead of living in seclusion the rest of her life.

So begins...

Alessia Rian's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jorundr Blackmoon Character Portrait: Alessia Rian

0.00 INK

#, as written by Zentose
Jorundr Blackmoon


Blood... the essence of life, and the symbol of death... Where there is blood there is life, or an absence of it... The Imperial color is red, a symbol of power, a symbol of blood, a symbol of life and death. They believe that they control both life and death, they control the blood. The greatest son of Skyrim proved them wrong, that son was Ulfric Stormcloak. He will take control of Skyrim, he will remove the blood laden Empire, he will free the citizens, he will not control them, but rather keep them from being controlled... because blood, can only be spilt so many times...

Jorundr was personally picked by Ulfric himself to infiltrate Whiterun and be ready to aid any Stormcloak advance, whether it be peaceful, or warring... He had the good fortune of being on a leave from the Companions, so he just went back to Whiterun and joined them once again, lying in wait for when he would be called once again to fight against the Imperials.

Jorundr was in Jorrvaskr, the first night he had been back, most of the Companions were there, having a very loud and rambunctious party. Jorundr was the featured event, drink was being passed around like the world was ending, and everyone was laughing and fighting and having a great time. Two of the newest members were wrestling on the floor, both female, so most of the men were watching. Kodlak, Vignar, and Skjor were not in attendance though. Jorundr was locked in a drinking contest with one of the new Whelps.

They were eight flagons of mead into the contest, both drunk out of their minds, but the whelp more so. She placed a hand on Jorundr's shoulder to steady herself before saying, very drunkenly, "I... am going to wipe your ass..."

"Don't you mean whip...?" Jorundr responded, grabbing another flagon.

"Shut up!" she yelled, this was very unbecoming of her, but she was very, very drunk.

She was half-way into her next flagon before she toppled over, asleep. The entire place cheered as Jorundr finished his own drink. He toppled into a chair, proud of his victory. Aela sat next to him, they joined the circle at roughly the same time, so they had a sibling type bond, more than the others that is. Aela smirked in the way she did before saying, "So, why'd you come back after all this time?"

Jorundr laughed loudly, very drunk, before saying. "Because I felt it was time to come back, is there a problem with that sheild-sister?"

Aela looked away and said, "No, not at all shield-brother," before standing up and leaving the room.

Jorundr continued to drink and tell stories of the adventures he had until the late hours of the night, before retiring to his bed. His orders were standing orders, nothing definite, nothing planned, he was simply suppose to wait and see...




Alessia Rian


The shadows were something to be admired... fading anything and everything within its grasp... to the point of disappearance... But the one bad thing about shadows, is that there is always light to illuminate them... to erase them... to discover what was previously out of reach... Shadows are weak compared to the light... yet the shadows are more welcoming... a Shadow cannot defeat light, but they can fade things away where light only illuminates...

Alessia was in the forest near Solitude, there were 8 people lined up with bows and legion armor on near her. Alessia slowly walked down the line, looking at every single one of the soldiers. The sun was low, barely illuminating the courtyard, yet still slowly rising. There were targets set up for training the archers, all 15 meters away from the line.

Alessia looked at the archers and said, "So, you're the newest archers then? I get to decide wether or not you're up to the task of being an archer for the Legion... it's a fun job..." Alessia slipped the bow off her shoulder and fired three arrows in quick succession at one of the targets, they all hit within 5 inches of the center, "Now, none of you have eaten today, and if you can't do that by the end of training this morning, you won't eat until tomorrow... If you hit the second ring, nothing happens, if you hit the third ring, you take a step back, if you hit anything outside of the third ring, you take two steps back, and if you miss, then I kick you out of this program and make sure you end up on the front lines whenever you enter battle... any questions?"

"Umm... yes ma'am..." a man said, a Redguard, smaller than average, but still bigger than Alessia, "Shouldn't we take a step forward to maximize our chances of success, rather than taking a step back when we miss?"

Alessia walked up to him, glared into his eyes for a moment, then punched him in the face with all her strength, knocking him down. She spat on him and said, "Any more questions? Good, now start shooting!"

The soldiers began firing, the Redguard stood up and did the same. After a half an hour with most people taking a few steps back, Legate Rikke wandered towards Alessia, who was sitting on a rock, eating a loaf of bread. When she saw the Legate, she stood up and said, "What is it ma'am?"

"Prefect Rian, General Tullius has a mission of the utmost importance for you," She stated, looking a bit displeased, the Legate never liked Alessia, thinking she rose through the ranks to quickly and that the General trusted her a bit too much, "He needs you to ride to Whiterun and do whatever you deem necessary to get Whiterun to accept the Empire's protection."

"Why is he sending me ma'am? Isn't this a job for a diplomat?" Alessia inquired, confused.

"Well, normally it would be, but the Jarl is being a bit too... obstinate... So we need you to go there, under the guise of a normal citizen, and do whatever you can to make him accept Legion rule."

"Whatever I can...?" Alessia grew a small smirk on her face as she thought to the possibilities of what 'whatever' meant...

Legate Rikke sighed before saying, "Yes, General Tullius has made it clear that you can do anything short of killing anyone in the Jarl's court."

Alessia saluted the Legate and said, "I shall proceed with gusto, would you mind directing these idiots back to a new teacher?"

"I suppose so, get your gear and leave within the hour."

Alessia nodded before leaving the forest. She returned to Solitude and went straight to the Imperial Base. There were a few soldiers practicing with wooden swords while being supervised. Heh... I guess those Stormcloaks are getting pretty tough if they are pulling out all the stops like this... Alessia thought to herself. She wandered into the large stone halls of the Imperial base, banners and torches littered the area, and not much else. She got to her room, only a few square meters, that she shared with another Prefect, a Breton girl named Lielle. She opened her large wooden chest and collected her items, a few potions of her own creation, poison mainly, her extra quiver, some salted meat, and her amulet to Sithis, a constant reminder of her old life, and something she always took with her when she needed to do a dangerous mission(believing that he and his wife, The Night Mother, would bless her).

She heard the door open just as she was getting ready to leave. When she turned to look at who it was, she saw her roommate Lielle, she was short, about 5' 4'', pale, with black hair and green eyes. She smiled and said, "You shipping out somewhere?"

"Yeah, the General wants me in Whiterun to act as a liaison for the Empire," Alessia responded, looking in her bag to make sure she had everything.

"Wouldn't a diplomat be better suited for that?" Lielle tilted her head in question of her answer.

"That's what I said!" Alessia responded, "I think the General likes me though, and he thinks I will be good for the task or something..."

Lielle giggled and said, "So that's why the Legate hates you, you're showing off a bit too much... you know... and she thinks she'll lose the General!"

"Ew... that's disgusting!" Alessia responded, still laughing at the thought, "Well, I have to go, see you when I get back!"

Alessia walked past Lielle and patted her on the shoulder as she said, "Hope you do well!"

Alessia left the area quickly, she thought Lielle was a bit too talkative, thinking of Alessia as her one true friend(she said it, not Alessia), she expected them to be sisters or something by this time, they had shared a room for two years, but Alessia really didn't like her that much, but at least she wasn't the traitorous type(which is the only reason she put up with her).

Alessia was at the stables in no time flat. She patted Pelagius on the side, saying "Good boy..." before saddling him and getting on top of him. It would take a day or two to get to Whiterun, she should probably stop in Rorikstead for the night, before riding on to Whiterun.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jorundr Blackmoon Character Portrait: Brynja the Huntress Character Portrait: Alessia Rian

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#, as written by Zentose
Jorundr Blackmoon


Jorundr woke up with a splitting headache, Aela was passed out on top of him in the middle of the main hall, for some reason the others chose to wake everyone up but them. When Jorundr woke up and said, "What in the Nine Divines?" the entire room started to laugh rambunctiously. They obviously all found it to be hilarious. He shook Aela and said, "Hey, get up, or people might start getting ideas about us..."

She began to wake up saying, "What the hell are you talking about...?" It was then that she felt Jorundr's chest, she looked up at him, angry and punched him in the face. Farkas came over, the loveable idiot, and lifted Aela off Jorundr, she scowled at him instead of criticizing him like usual. Jorundr was always pleasant to Farkas, no matter what the others thought, which probably added to why he help Aela off of him.

"You want a fight?" Jorundr said, grinning. They hadn't fought in years, and Jorundr was bored with all the drinking and partying, he wanted to fight, he really did. He stood up and looked her dead in the eyes.

"Oh, you wouldn't last a minute!" Aela said, grabbing a sky forge steel short sword from one of the innumerable weapon rakes around the room.

Jorundr was going for his own blade which was propped up against the wall(too big for any of their weapon rakes), when a woman opened the door. She was attractive, looked capable, and nordic. Aela seemed to recognize her, as well as most of the Companions in the room, but Jorundr had never seen her before. He walked over to her and asked, "And who might you be?"




Alessia Rian


Alessia was expecting a pleasant ride to Whiterun, uneventful, not filled with a team of angry bandits wanting a bit more than money from her. It was mid day, she was halfway to Rorikstead, and she was ambushed by four bandits, all large nords. They circled around her horse, chuckling as they inspected her from an array of angles before the leader, a man wearing very fancy steel plate from head to toe spoke, "What's a fine thing like you doing on your own out here?"

Not wanting to stay around for much longer she pulled out her bow and fired an arrow through the eye slit on his helmet. He began to scream, obviously it hadn't gone through to his brain. Two of the four bandits ran to his side while the other charged at Alessia with an iron axe. Alessia drew her blade with her other hand and parried the attack before kicking her horse to get it moving away from the bandits. She sheathed her blade and drew her bow, firing another arrow into the man with the iron axe's throat, it didn't hit it dead on, but rather cut through it, he fell to his knees, blood pouring from the wound. Alessia smirked as the two unwounded bandits began to run away, leaving there boss on the ground, screaming in pain.

Alessia rode towards him and laughed, saying, "The price of loyalty nowadays, eh?"

"May Talos strike you down Imperial scum!" he said, standing up and removing the arrow from his eye, drawing a steel long sword.

"Not only are you a bandit, but you are also a Talos worshipper and an Imperial hater! This must be my lucky day!" Alessia really didn't care about Talos, or any of that, but the Imperials did, so she had to pretend to. She drew her blade and hopped off her horse. The Bandit charged at ehr and swung his sword downward, Alessia dodged the blade and sliced under his armpit, cutting his skin. He yelled before swinging his sword backwards at her, She deflected it, but his strength pushed her away from him, nearly pushing her over. She charged forward, deflected his blade downward right next to her, grabbed an arrow from her quiver with her off hand, then stabbed him in his other eye. He screamed and fell over, dropping his blade.

Alessia laughed, sheathing her blade and saying, "I know, maybe Talos will give you your sight back! Have fun finding your men!" She hopped back on Pelagius and rode off.

The rest of the ride to Whiterun was rather uneventful, until she noticed some people gathered around a Dragon Skeleton. I guess it is real then... Alessia thought. She would have investigated, but she had business to do and she didn't like being this close to Falkreath, knowing that the Dark Brotherhood outpost was there. She rode on past, not attempting to get a good look at any of the people. She put Pelagius into the stables and went in to Whiterun. A fine city, but still, she had no idea where to start her mission...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cole Character Portrait: Alessia Rian

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“The Jarl will not be taking any visitors until he awakes. Come back in a couple of hours.” A female Dunmer by the name of Irileth informed Cole. Apparently, the Jarl didn’t wake up as early as the Redguard and therefore he was still resting. She could’ve told him in a better tone, because it sound like he was unwelcome regardless, though she was that way with everyone, he noticed.

Cole, unable to do anything, promptly pulled a 180 without a word and left. He didn’t really like Irileth anyways, as she came off as a cow’s ass or at least in his opinion. Though, since they beat the Imperials, a lot of Dunmer did take on that air, as if they were better in some sort of way. The Aldemari Dominion was filled with overconfident elves that thought that their way was better than everyone elses and that Talos was not a god among man. Cole, being an avid Talos worshipper at one point in time, thought they were foolish and so began his hatred for them. However, Irileth was not a part of them nor was she to invoke his wrath, so he dropped any argument continued away from Dragonsreach.

With nothing to do, he aimlessly walked around Whiterun in search of a productive activity to do. The only thing keeping him company was the mild chill in the air, which didn’t bother him too much thanks to his Nord heritage. Oddly, he would prefer a warmer climate still, and though it could've been warmer in summertime, he loved it.

There was a disturbance he had sighted about an hour in his worthless walk around the city. Guards had lined themselves around the residence of Lokir the Ironfist, as he was known. Cole had spoken to this man a time or two, but didn’t really know much about the man, though in his opinion, the man carried himself like a somewhat decent fighter. Or at least he liked to brag like one.

He approached curiously and tapped a guard on the shoulder, who appeared to be standing there idly. “Sir, might I ask what the cause is for the intrusion?” Coyle asked the guard, thinking he may have broken a law or something. Again, he didn’t know too much about the man, except that he mentioned a daughter in one part of their chatter.

The guard turned and nearly jumped; as if completely unsuspecting that someone would be wandering why they were at a man’s home. “The owner of this house, one ‘Lokir the Ironfist’ has perished in a battle with the dragon at the Western Watchtower.” He read off some parchment which might have been his instructions from his superior. They were probably seizing the house, seeing as his daughter wasn’t there. She was supposedly in Solitude… or something, Cole wasn’t completely sober when he was told this, so he couldn’t exactly recall.

“That’s unfortunate… carry on, sir.” Cole stepped away from the man who took no time returning to his ‘work’. He only further regretted not going on that fight, maybe he could’ve prevented that man from dying? Well, regardless, he couldn’t do anything now. Hopefully someone’d tell the daughter so she could at least claim the residence, but that wasn’t his business. She’d probably be more upset that she lost her father than happy she got a home. The only thing he could do was pray that she wasn’t told outright, lest it hurt her more than need be.

With nothing else to do, he began towards the main gates of Whiterun. He was about to go for a ‘stroll’ outside. His ‘strolls’ consisted of venturing out into the wilds, and practicing his survival skills; mainly killing any feral creatures that found themselves idiotic enough to attack the Redguard. Occasionally, he’d get a bandit (or four) that would attack him in an attempt to steal his coin. This of course excited him, as he did so love the look in their eyes when they realized they picked the wrong person.

However, his plan was briefly halted by a woman entering the gates of the city. He glanced over her, noticing she wasn’t a citizen of Whiterun, at least not in the past few months. She had brown hair which reached to about her shoulders, and by the way she looked, she was Imperial though a bit paler than she should be for whatever reason. The most notable feature on her was he face, which showed she wasn’t completely sure on where she was going. Lost, maybe? Since he didn’t have anything else to do, he walked up to her and offered help, if she need or wanted it. He’d received an unwelcome greeting from a couple of imperials that told him that they might harbor a bit of racism towards Nords. That could just be that specific group, but he would still be on the guard.

“Ma’am, you aren’t from around here.” He stated, familiar with most everybody in the town. “Do you need directions?” he would assume she came for a reason and not just because she heard how great Whiterun was and how it was the best city in existence. Though, he could be wrong.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cole Character Portrait: Jorundr Blackmoon Character Portrait: Brynja the Huntress Character Portrait: Alessia Rian

0.00 INK

#, as written by Zentose
Jorundr Blackmoon


The woman acted a bit hostile towards him, inquiring to who he was before giving her own name. Aela, moved to the woman and called her "Brynja," obviously someone whom joined after Jorundr left. After Aela greeted Brynja, she introduced herself and went to the main area of the hall. Jorundr looked at Aela and asked, "When did she join? And when did she get the gift?" Aela, Skijor, and Jorundr were the members of the circle that loved their gift the most, using it for entertainment rather than when necessary like the rest of the circle.

Aela sighed a bit and said in a quiet, "She started trying to join not too long after you left... she joined the circle 2 years ago. She's a lot like you actually, she left a few months after she was given the gift, just like you... What was with the inhospitality anyway? You should have smelled that she was part of the circle."

Jorundr glared at Aela and said, "I've had some problems with others with similar gifts... Let's just say I don't trust anyone with it, unless they are from the circle... I should apologize shouldn't I..."

Aela slapped him in the back of the head and said, "You can do that after we fight."

Jorundr sighed and said, "Okay, give me a second..." Jorundr moved over to his blade, it was three times as thick as a normal blade, and was about 170 cm(5' 7'') long. he first put on his chest plate, shoulder guards and gauntlets. He lifted the blade up and rested in on his right shoulder, gripping the handle with a single hand, his right. He smirked at Aela and said, "We doing this?"

Aela was already moving towards the door. Jorundr began to follow but then looked at the girl, Brynja, and moved over to her. he looked at her for a second before saying, "I'm sorry, I was unaware that you were a shield-sister here... I tend to not trust those with the gift that I don't know..."

He thought he should say something else, but decided against it, moving outside to meet Aela in the courtyard. He heard people come out into the courtyard, but didn't bother to check who. He placed his left hand on the handle, ready to strike. Aela laughed, getting into a battle position, she had grabbed her shield without Jorundr noticing, before saying, "So you still use a sword that's two sizes too big? I hope you can swing it faster than last time, because I am much lighter on my feet..."

They used to fight every other week when they first joined, the day he left they fought and tied with each other. Aela charged forward, shield to her side and blade behind her, ready to strike. Jorundr swung his blade, obviously faster than Aela had expected, and Aela had just enough time to get her shield up to block the attack. The force from the strike, however, was too great for her to handle, she was pushed a good three meters away and landed on the ground. Jorundr jumped upward and brought his sword down towards her, she rolled out of the way with plenty of time. When Jorundr's blade hit the ground, the cobble cracked and broke, sending large rocks and dirt all over the place. Aela had already gotten up and was attempting to thrust her sword at Jorundr. Jorundr acted quickly, using his right gauntlet to parry the strike and send the blade away from him, while using his left to spin his blade around, against the ground, to build up momentum and swing it at Aela. She got her shield up once more and blocked the strike, making her skid for a few feet, but not fall. Jorundr jumped backward and lifted his sword onto his shoulder once more. He gripped it in the same manner as he started. he charged, and so did Aela. rather than block the attack, Aela tried to displace it with her blade, thinking it would move to her side, giving her a chance to strike at his throat. This wasn't the case, when she placed her blade to parry Jorundr's, it shattered. Jorundr's blade moved right through Aela's causing fragments of the blade to fly through the air. After it was broken, Jorundr stopped himself from moving the blade more to cut Aela, it stopped on her right shoulder, right next to her face. He moved the blade back and rested it on his shoulder once more.

Aela was petrified, dropping the broken blade to her side, without a word.




Alessia Rian


Alessia didn't know the layout of Whiterun at all, never having been there before. She did, however, know that she needed to get to Dragonsreach and get the jarl to side with the Legion. Her thoughts were interrupted by a man, he looked like a Nord at first, but he was much too dark skinned, Alessia's best guess was an Imperial, but she wasn't sure. He looked dirty and was wearing a full set of banded iron armor. Normally she would have brushed him off, not really partial to men, but he offered her directions, and she needed them. He seemed annoyingly forward with his statement and query, but Alessia decided not to think about it too much.

"Well, if you wouldn't mind, I would like to know here Dragonsreach is," Alessia stated plainly. She knew it was a bad idea to ask him for directions, but having one man know she was there was much less worse than seeming suspicious looking for the place. She always had to justify her actions, to herself mostly.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cole Character Portrait: Jorundr Blackmoon Character Portrait: Alessia Rian

0.00 INK

Cyrus Coyle




Dragonsreach, the home of the Jarl of Whiterun is where this woman was headed. As soon as she mentioned it, Cole remembered he was trying to talk to the Jarl and that he should have awakened from his slumber by now. Mentally face palming himself for forgetting, he gladly spoke.
“Ah, Dragonsreach… You just reminded me I have an errand there. Follow me and I’ll show you. I have to see if the Jarl wouldn’t mind helping me, for I am to travel to Solitude, so as to join the Imperial army.” He informed as his body shifted the opposite way. Starting conversation with a stranger isn’t what most people would do, but he felt that it would help the traveler ease up to the place.

The true reason for Cole’s meeting with the Jarl was because his father’s shield (which had been made in the Skyforge) was in a chest in Dragonsreach. His father had it in a special storage, which would only be accessed by the Jarl himself. Cole had the power to ask for it at any time, but wanted to make sure at least one of his father’s memorabilia remained intact if he were to perish. Though since he was now joining the Imperials, he figured he ought to take the shield out of retirement.

The other reason is that the Jarl also had in storage enough coin for him to purchase a horse. He’d need it for the journey there, as walking from Whiterun to Solitude would be a long and arduous death march if he didn’t have a steed.

Personally, Cole preferred to walk. However, he needed to get there without wasting too much time, lest the war end before he even joined. He had heard the Imperial Army had a strict and grueling initiation, training regimen and overall it was just a hard army to stick to. This didn’t frighten Cole one bit however. He was a warrior, a soldier, a Redguard. He would be damned if some training scared him away, he’d be damned if anything scared him away.

As they passed the Drunken Huntsman, Cole gave a glance over to the place of his preference for the past few months before looking straight on, the familiar tinge of cold air didn’t reach Cole too much, as his body was just about completely covered by his armor. The only places it could reach were his elbows and neck, the latter of which being bandits. He knew full well of this unprotected vital spot and used it against his foes, baiting them in and striking them down before they could reach it. It was fascinating how an enemy’s greatest weakness could be someone’s downfall if used properly. Someone needed to write a book with all of Coyle’s knowledge on the battlefield. Too bad he wasn’t a author and books weren’t his forte.

They began their ascent up the steps to Dragonsreach and past Jorrvaskyr. He looked to the ancient mead hall, noticing some form of battle occurring just outside of it. He longed to join, but he had to stick to his current task at hand, which was guiding this Imperial woman to Dragonsreach and then talking to the Jarl about his father’s belongings.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cole Character Portrait: Varnan Bovkin Character Portrait: Lynly Snowsong Character Portrait: Alessia Rian Character Portrait: Anirne Character Portrait: Erik the Swift

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Anirne
Western Watchtower


"You mean the towers south of Ivarstead? Aye, I've heard of it. Heard it was full of bandits though," the woman replied in that Nordic accent that Anirne was still getting used to. She continued on to mention that she had her own horse, which was something of a relief to the Altmer. Make no mistake, she would have shared if necessary, but she did rather value her personal space.

“Bandits are like cockroaches, they’re everywhere, you’ll never get rid of them all, but usually easy enough to deal with.” That was a true enough sentiment, she supposed.

“At least a bandit’s intentions are obvious,” she mused, a slight trace of melancholy entering her tone. Such was not the case with more insidious enemies than highwaymen, and unfortunately it was these with whom she personally most often dealt. In a sense, the danger posed by running off in search of a dragon was a welcome change. There was something big, cunning, and probably extremely violent, but at least you didn’t have to debate about whether or not you could trust it or if it would choose to put poison in your goblet.

Shaking herself, she removed the unpleasant reminiscence from forefront of her mind and turned to address the problem at hand. Lynly- and that was quite the pretty name, she thought incidentally- was in possession of a horse just slightly smaller than Soldin, probably because it was a mare. With her extra height and heavy armor accounted for, the solution to Varnan’s problem was obvious.

“Well, I guess you’re with me, then. We’ll, ah… liberate the best horse we can from any bandit who might attack us, but for now it shouldn’t be a problem.” She swung up lightly on Soldin and offered a hand. “Unless you mind?” She supposed it was possible, but if her guess was correct, practicality would win out over any vague personal misgivings one might have about riding with a new acquaintance.

Either way, they were on the road shortly after, and after a short stop in Whiterun for any necessary supplies and a few hours’ rest, they were on their way. It would be a few days' journey, if she was guessing distance correctly, and though Anirne was still much colder than she’d ever had cause to be in her life, she couldn’t help but feel warmer at the prospect of having something to do, to study. The very essence of her lifestyle was academia mixed freely with practicum, and the chance to apply any of it to such a new and interesting situation was more than she could have hoped for.

The country, though wild and freezing, really was something to look at. She felt rather undignified, looking wide-eyed at everything as she did, and perhaps occasionally pulling her book from her pockets to write some note or sketch and interesting landscape feature wasn’t helping, but she almost couldn’t help herself. She’d seen precious little of the world outside her birthplace, and she was beginning to understand just how small Summerset really was. There were no bracing mountain breezes, and sky, though lovely and blue as it was here, didn’t seem to stretch on forever in quite the same way.

It crossed her mind that a bit of polite conversation might not go awry, and she was not at all averse to it, but then she was also not sure for what the protocols for such a situation were here. Were they on Summerset, she would have probably known her fellow researchers already, if not in person than at least by their credentials and reputation, which would have given her something to start with. Additionally, involving both of her compatriots in the same conversation might not be simple, as she guessed they were from widely-divergent backgrounds.

They were both from Skyrim, but she was not. Perhaps an inquiry after information? She did not wish to sound as though she were simply quizzing them, however. Conversation was close to an art form as far as her people were concerned, and it was one that she was admittedly not as practiced with as she would like to be.

She was saved from having to consider it much further at present when they rode past what appeared to be a medium-sized campsite. Anirne was well-prepared to think nothing of it, but the arrow that narrowly missed her nose demanded more attention than she was currently allotting it. “Oh, well… I suppose that counts as rather hostile, now doesn’t it?” she asked mildly to nobody in particular.

Her rhetorical question received wordless answer when approximately ten bandits stepped out in front of the two horses, effectively blocking the road. Fortunately, she’d made sure to purchase a horse who wasn’t spooked easily, including by the use of magic in his presence, and lightning flickered between her fingertips as the first man charged. She fired the spell off in a short burst. Fight first, ask questions later, I suppose…


Erik the Swift
Whiterun


Erik prowled restlessly around the streets of Whiterun for a time, waiting until the Jarl’s doors at Dragonsreach would open to public inquiry. Granted, he could have simply snuck in and confronted the man in his private quarters, but Jarl Ulfric had been clear: the message was to be delivered publicly. Of course, as the messenger, he was to swear up and down that he held no Stormcloak allegiance, which was much closer to the truth than Ulfric realized.

Nevertheless, he was conscious that this message put him in some form of personal jeopardy, which was probably why he’d been sent to do it, rather than an ordinary soldier who might die or a more valuable officer who couldn’t afford to. Wetwork, indeed.

He passed people here and there on the street, including one fellow who was speaking to a woman about his wish to join the Imperial Army. He marked down the man’s face, and details of his gait and carriage, and the same for the woman, just in case, but in truth he wished them luck. He passed both casually without a hint of ill intent, for truly he had none.

His feet eventually carried him to Warmaiden’s, a smithy that he gathered to be run by a woman surnamed Avenicci. Related to Jarl Balgruuf’s Imperial advisor, if his dossier was correct.

“Can I get you something?” The woman was leaning up against one of the wooden beams that supported her house, mace at her hip, arms crossed. Despite this, she did not seem immediately unfriendly, and he plastered on a smile, lifting his knife from his belt slowly and still sheathed.

“It could use a sharpening,” he replied amicably, handing the weapon over handle-first, “But smithing is not a skill of mine.” His intent was for her to be amused by his sheepish comment, and indeed she seemed so, smiling crookedly and testing the point of the thing against her thumb.

“Hm. It’s well-made; I shouldn’t have a problem honing it for you. It’ll run you fifty septims, though.” She eyed him skeptically, as though not expecting him to have the coin. That look was one he was used to, and he tossed her a small pouch with exactly that much in it.

“I appreciate it. Say… you wouldn’t happen to be the type who knows the local news, would you?” He’d asked the same question at the Bannered Mare, of course, and received a bounty and several interesting rumors for his trouble, but it always helped to diversify your sources.

“New, aren’t you?” she questioned with an aside glance, unbothered when he took up her former position as she moved to the stone grinder used to sharpen weapons. He merely replaced his smile in answer and she nodded. “Well, all most people are talking about these days is either the dragons or the war. Old Iron-fist is dead, and his daughter just got back to town to inherit, apparently. A lass named Brynja. Jarl Balgruuf still refuses to take sides, but word says he’ll probably deal with the Imperials eventually. Actually…” he knew the tones of a request when he heard them, and waited patiently for her question to present itself.

When he left, it was with both a sharpened knife and a greatsword to present to Proventus Avenicci in eventual hope that it would reach the Jarl. Interesting; this could present him with an advantage. If he got it to Avenicci before he delivered Ulfric’s message, the advisor might be less inclined to order his imprisonment.

It was always better when he didn’t have to kill people to keep a contract.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jorundr Blackmoon Character Portrait: Brynja the Huntress Character Portrait: Alessia Rian Character Portrait: Erik the Swift

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#, as written by Zentose
Jorundr Blackmoon


Needless to say, Jorundr was impressed with himself, he rarely was able to actually break another's sword, but seeing as she didn't even land a single strike on him, he was at full strength the entire time. He put out his hand to Aela, which she met with her own, and a smirk. She said with a hearty voice, "Well, I'm impressed that you were actually able to win, let alone break a sword."

"Well, it doesn't work all the time, but still, it impresses me each time I do it, which isn't often," Jorundr smirked, then he noticed some blood on Aela's face, one of the shards hard cut her cheek, mixing the war paint with blood. He looked into the crowd that was watching and said, "It's over, you can leave now."

Most of them left, going back inside Jorrvaskr for work or pleasure. Jorundr pulled off his gauntlet and wiped away the blood on Aela's cheek. She slapped it away almost immediately and said, "It's fine."

She walked away, obviously annoyed at Jorundr winning their match. She brushed past the girl, Brynja. Jorundr moved towards her and said, "So, you joined not to long after I left then? Did no one mention me?" He thought it odd that no one would have mentioned his existence to this girl, especially Aela.




Alessia Rian


Alessia was following the man, not really wanting to speak with him along their journey to Dragonsreach. She didn't like men that much, and she liked forward people even less, thinking you should watch a person closely before going right ahead and speaking to them, they could try and kill you or something... Trust shouldn't come as easily as attraction... But it wasn't Alessia's place to judge the witless fool.

On their way up to Dragonsreach, another man passed them, and looked at her for a time, she caught his gaze and noticed something... peculiar about him... He was attractive, indeed, but he was also very pale... Nords were not the darkest species by far, but he seemed abnormally pale. Alessia, being in the Dark Brotherhood for a good while, had come into contact with many a vampire, but not as of late so her mind didn't quite place it. If she was around him for long enough, or was curious enough about him to think about it for a time, then she might have figured it out. But that was not the case at that moment.

They arrived at Dragonsreach, Alessia had a good layout of the town in her memory from their walk, but now she needed to do some reconnaissance on the layout of Dragonsreach. She looked at the man who guided her and said, "I thank you for your time, but now I must part from you, I have business to take care of..." She opened the large doors and went in, still unsure of her plan.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Varnan Bovkin Character Portrait: Lynly Snowsong Character Portrait: Alessia Rian Character Portrait: Anirne Character Portrait: Erik the Swift

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Anirne
Bandit Camp


The smile tilted Anirne’s lips upwards even as the second bolt of lightning left her hands. Let it never be said that her companions were without sharpened wits; both were dry of humor and apparently just as likely to treat battle with diffidence as she. Well, perhaps Lynly was a bit more solemn about it, but then Anirne supposed she would be also if she had to go charging into the middle of it.

With a terse instruction, the Nord woman took off into the fray, shattering the unified line the bandits had put up and devolving the battle into chaos in short order. This was undeniably a positive for the three of them, who were easily outnumbered and out-armed by the bandits. Varnan was already on the archers as Lynly had instructed, so Anirne took the opportunity to even their odds a little bit. A quick Stoneflesh spell fortified her defenses, and she leaped lightly from Soldin’s back, drawing the attention of three of the more heavily-armed warrior types.

She was staring down a middle-aged Nord with a hammer, a younger man dual-wielding a sword and a mace, and a woman with a sword and shield, who had already taken some damage from her lightning bolts. The first reached her before the others, giving his steel weapon a mighty swing. Shifting her weight, Anirne stepped back with all due celerity, blasting him in the face with a chain lightning spell, which bounced from him to his compatriots behind him. It was enough to drop the already-injured woman to her knees, and Anirne did not hesitate, finishing the job in just enough time to duck under a swing from the mace.

The slope did not help her, and she lost her footing on loose terrain, stumbling. Her hands shot out to cushion the fall, sharp flakes of rock cutting into her gloved palms. The Altmer flinched, but there wasn’t time. The hammer was coming at her again, and she rolled to the side, narrowly missing a devastating and doubtless fatal blow to the head. If there had been any doubt that these bandits were serious, it was gone now.

She transitioned her roll into a smooth motion that carried her to her feet, summoning a bound sword to fend off the dual-wielder while she dealt with the largest of the three. Training took over, and she danced to one side of the next blow, more mindful of her surroundings this time. Moving in closer, she deposited a Flame Rune immediately behind him, then tucked and rolled to the side when it combusted as he regained his balance after another missed swing.

Glancing across the battlefield, she noted quickly that Lynly was being assisted by a Flame Atronach, no doubt Varnan’s doing, but the Breton himself was staring at the wrong end of an arrow. Her remaining magicka was limited, but she made a quick decision and drew upon it, casting Fear on the last archer and watching as he hesitated, body slowly taking on the tremor of the truly terrified. Hopefully that would buy her ally enough time to think of something-

Pain bloomed across Anirne’s back. Apparently, the dual-wielder had defeated her bound sword faster than she anticipated. Staggering forward, the Altmer drew her enchanted dagger, whirling to face him in enough time to block the incoming swing. The mace came in from the other side, and she managed to shift her body enough that it only caught her magical armor, causing the stoneflesh spell to waver, but hold.

She was out of magicka for the moment, but with enough time, it would come back. For now, she’d have to rely on the quickness of her feet and the acuity of her mind. Gritting her teeth, the Psijic monk heaved, throwing the man off-balance enough to allow her to retreat. The two circled each other warily, but Anirne’s back was still bleeding freely from a shallow, though broad, cut.


Erik the Swift
Whiterun, Dragonsreach


Erik slipped into the fortress quietly, but not with any particular application of stealth. He’d circled back around once he’d hit the edge of town and ascended the steps to the hold. His first task was to find Proventus Avenicci, not terribly difficult when one considered the low density of Imperials in the building. Most would have taken this to mean that the Jarl would support the Stormcloaks, but Erik knew differently. Avenicci himself was evidence of that. A loyalist to the end, and high enough up in the court to stand at the Jarl’s left. Only Balgruuf’s personal Housecarl, a dunmer woman named Irileth, had his ear more often.

Nevertheless, he was tasked to try, and so he would.

Avenicci hadn’t yet taken up his post for the day, though a glance down the hall confirmed that Irileth had. Instead, Erik was able to pull him aside and deliver the sword, pulling it from his back and speaking in low tones to the man, who handed him a coin purse for his trouble. Now, there was irony for you.

He next approached the throne, which was set on a dais at the end of a long room. This was fairy traditional, though Dragonsreach was conspicuously larger than the typical longhouse, a testament to the wealth trade had brought to the region.

“Jarl Balgruuf the Greater,” Erik greeted, bowing and ignoring the fact that Irileth’s sword was drawn.

“What brings a visitor to my halls so early, and without forewarning?” The Jarl inquired, though they both knew the war was the only answer to that question. Well, aside perhaps from dragons, but that was someone else’s provenance, not his.

“I carry a message from Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak.” Typically, he was supposed to include something like ‘true High King of Skyrim’ after this, but he did not, and all three of the people on the dais took note of that. Slowly, so as not to earn himself an attempted sword to the stomach, he removed the axe that hung at his hip. Everyone present knew what it meant, it seemed, except maybe Proventus. The Jarl beckoned him forward even as the doors behind them opened again. The scent that accompanied this was one half of the duo from earlier, and Erik found himself curious as to just who that woman might be.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t something he could find out at present, and so he remained facing forward as the Jarl took the axe into his hand, seeming to consider it. Nevertheless, Erik could read body language well enough to say that this was little more than a formality. He wasn’t going to go for it, and from the look in Irileth’s face, she knew it too. Fortunately, she also did not look inclined to order the household guards to attack him. Frankly, he was glad of that, for it meant he wouldn’t have to risk his life fighting his way out. Erik knew he was skilled, but no man was invulnerable, nor indeed any vampire...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jorundr Blackmoon Character Portrait: Brynja the Huntress Character Portrait: Alessia Rian Character Portrait: Fadali Romari Character Portrait: Erik the Swift

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Jorundr Blackmoon


"Last I checked the only person who was angry with me was Aela, but that's how she always was with me..." Jorundr looked at the door that Aela had ran into, he thought about all the fights he had lost, and all the ones he had won, none were as quick as this one... He looked back at the girl and said, "I'm Jorundr Blackmoon by the way."

It was then that Jorundr smelled something, he began to sniff at the air, it was a smell he remembered all too well, a Wereshark. He had met a large band of them in a beach cave in Highrock, he almost lost an arm to one of them, but he was able to escape. It was the last time he had to run from a fight, and it was something he didn't want to repeat. The smell of wereshark was distinct, though some may think it the smell of all fish, to the nose of a trained werewolf, it could be made out in a field of fish. During the time Jorundr was exploring Skyrim(and some nearby areas as well), he developed aspects of the beast as much as he could without transforming. He growled lightly before saying, "There's a wereshark nearby..."

He took off in the direction of the smell, not waiting for any kind of response from the girl.

The wereshark was a dunmer female, atractive in her own right, and imprisoned... The guards were silver hand, their blades were evidence of that. Jorundr planned to watch them for a chance to save the girl, he didn't trust other were-creatures, but he hated the Silver Hand more...




Alessia Rian


Alessia moved in quietly so as not to disturb anything that might be going on, and something was definitely happening. The man she saw early was there, holding an axe out to the Jarl, everyone in the entire hall was staring intently at the scene. Alessia moved to a servant, an old Nord woman, and asked, "Can you explain what's going on miss?"

She was still, holding her broom, she didn't even turn her head to Alessia as she spoke, "That man is presenting the Jarl with Ulfric Stormcloak's axe..."

Alessia may not have been a Nord, but she still knew enough about the customs to understand the severity of the situation, this meant either Whiterun was with, or against, the Legion. Not even ten minutes after entering the town, her mission was on the line. She looked at the one presenting the axe, it was then that she realized what he was, a vampire. What was a vampire doing working for the Stormcloaks...? She would have to question him once this scene was over, he seemed... interesting... to say the least...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Varnan Bovkin Character Portrait: Lynly Snowsong Character Portrait: Alessia Rian Character Portrait: Anirne Character Portrait: Erik the Swift

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Anirne
Bandit Camp


The bandit across from her was presently chuckling to himself, an unpleasant sound that sent slithering tendrils up Anirne’s spine. This, in turn, made her rather angry, as she did not like feeling apprehension, especially not for such a small matter.

Well, perhaps that was relative. Her masters would perhaps have been able to handle this affair without breaking a sweat, but talented as she was, she was nothing next to them, and yet inexperienced. She couldn’t be more glad for her allies in this mad rush at the moment, though she certainly would not have wished this upon them if it had been her choice. Funny, that she was willing to risk a dragon but couldn’t stand the thought of dealing with more bandits.

Maybe it was the way this one was looking at her. Like she was some kind of abomination, an insult to all mankind. Or maybe it was just what he was saying. “What’s wrong, little girl? All out of your fancy Thalmor magic, are you?” She gritted her teeth and scowled at him. She would not give this man the victory of knowing he’d gotten to her. Really, it was her fault for having such an obvious trigger. So instead, she smiled mirthlessly and spun the dagger in her hand, not minding much if he heard the resultant crackle of electricity.

“Not quite out of magic yet, though the delivery must be a little more… direct.”

The bandit, apparently already tired of talking, charged her, and Anirne rose to the balls of her feet, knowing that her survival would be dependent on her maneuverability. This man had strength, stamina, and probably experience on her, so that she was obviously more mobile and just a little faster was precious little comfort. Still, she’d deal with it.

His first strike met her blade, but she knew she couldn’t leave it at a contest of muscle, for she’d surely lose. So she adjusted her body’s position even as he took advantage of her relative lack of mobility and went in with the mace, aiming for her hip. Anirne responded by ducking under the junction of their blades and skittering away, but the motion pulled uncomfortably at the wound on her back, and she flinched.

Perhaps he would have taken advantage of her momentary lapse, but lucky for her, he was easily manipulable and more than a little stupid, so when a taunt came his way from across the field, he responded without thinking twice. Breathing a sigh of relief, Anirne turned to survey the damage.

Varnan was dealing with her tormentor, and it looked like Lynly had the last one well-in-hand, judging from the fact that she had not yet even been detected by the greatsword-wielding orc. Nodding to herself, Anirne began going through the bodies, looking for something quite specific. She pocketed a few coins, but it wasn’t until she hit the charred remains of the archers that she stumbled upon what she was looking for. With a grim smile, she lifted the glass vials and unstoppered one, downing it immediately and reveling in the pinprick tingling that accompanied rapid and sudden magicka regeneration. Ignoring her wound for the moment, she threaded her way over to Varnan first, handing him the other magicka potion wordlessly and crouching beside him.

“Perhaps wolves is better,” she agreed. “I’ve never known cockroaches to bite.” She noted that his injuries seemed to be largely focused on his ribcage, but that was not a problem. “I realize you might be able to do this on your own, but please allow me.” With her magicka newly-restored, it wouldn’t be a problem, given that her expertise in restoration meant the costs for such spells were minimal.

Without really waiting for a proper response (she was a tad too much the healer to allow patients to protest overmuch), she took a deep breath and called upon her healing hands spell, allowing the pale-gold light to flow freely from herself to her compatriot until such time as her senses informed her that he was fully healed. Stepping back, she offered him a hand up and then looked around, searching for Lynly.

By this time, the woman had successfully dispatched her last opponent, though Anirne noticed she was favoring her wrist and missing her shield. Those two things were probably connected, but she did not know enough about Lynly’s preferred form of combat to tell for sure. “Do you mind?” she asked, gently taking the woman’s elbow and examining the injury. Fracture, probably, but she wasn’t going to waste time poking it and causing pain when she could just fix it and be done. The same spell was repeated until Lynly was fine as well, and then Anirne turned her attention to herself, doublecasting her most basic spell until the wound had closed up. The sensation was warm and pleasant, then cooled off as it completed.

Rolling her shoulders, the Altmer looked at the others, and then around. “Well, should we see what these people have? I admit, robbing the dead hardly seems kind, but I suppose they aren’t going to need it anymore. I think there were a couple of horses tethered that way.” She pointed towards the camp proper, though she really only remembered blurring past it on Soldin and seeing maybe the flick of a tail or something.


Erik the Swift
Whiterun, Dragonsreach


The Jarl on his throne appeared to be deep in thought, but it wasn’t too much longer before his eyes wandered back to the messenger. His brow furrowed, and Erik knew exactly what he was seeing. Soften out a few of the squared angles of his face, tint his complexion a little darker, and add about twenty pounds of muscle, and he’d be nearly identical to a young Torygg. Fortunately, not many people knew what a young Torygg looked like anymore, but Balgruuf obviously did.

He said nothing, merely staring flatly back, and his utter lack of reaction had the opposite effect from the one it usually did. “I swear you look familiar, young man. From which family are you?”

“None one such as your excellency would know,” he demurred politely, resisting the urge to lie with the truth and mention that his family all went by one name and had fur.

The Jarl frowned, but appeared to accept this as truth, shaking his head to himself. He glanced back down at the axe, then took a deep breath as if to steady the words that would follow. “I’m afraid I cannot accept this. Return it to Jarl Ulfric, if you would.” It was phrased as a request, but Erik knew a command when he heard one. Rather than hand it directly back to him, Balgruuf gave it to his Housecarl, and Irileth to Erik, who accepted it with a nod. As if that would stop me from attacking you had I been ordered to. Perhaps the Jarl was still expecting the same fanaticism that characterized the majority of the Stormcloaks, perhaps he was just paranoid.

Either way, Erik did not show any reaction as he received the axe, merely sliding it back into the leather loop at his belt wordlessly. “Of course, Jarl Balgruuf. I’ll see that he receives it in… due time. I think, however, that I am rather tired from my journey here, and may yet dine at the Bannered Mare before I leave.”

The message in this statement was twofold: first, he was simply stating an intention, but he was the furthest thing from tired and showed no signs of fatigue whatsoever. The second was more interesting; Erik had implied that he would take his sweet time getting back to Windhelm, perhaps telling Ulfric that Balgruuf had deliberated long or that he had been delayed. Either way, he was going to be giving the Jarl more time to prepare for the incoming invasion. Erik bowed shallowly and departed, fully intending to resume his spot against the wall at the tavern.

Passing by the woman from earlier on his way out, he nodded politely, but did not pause in his steps.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jorundr Blackmoon Character Portrait: Alessia Rian Character Portrait: Fadali Romari Character Portrait: Erik the Swift

0.00 INK

#, as written by Zentose
Jorundr Blackmoon


Jorundr watched the wereshark escape by using magic, it gave her a bit of a head start, but she would have soon been recaptured. She began to yell and plead for help, the guards didn't seem that interested, the woman being a dunmer and all. Jorundr sighed before moving in to aid her. She was running towards the city, the Silver Hand was rapidly approaching her on horseback, her plan wouldn't have worked without intervention from another person, a bit flawed in Jorundr's mind, but it didn't matter, he needed to help her. Jorundr's first move was to remove the sword from his back, resting it on his shoulder, then he moved quickly, but he didn't run or anything, behind the girl and swung his blade with both hands, cutting through the horses' front legs, making the man on top of it fall forwards past Jorundr. He moved back to where the man was, his face in the dirt, a few teeth knocked out and groveling in pain. The man tried to get up, but Jorundr slammed his foot on the back of his neck, forcing him back down. He turned to the rest of the group, all standing still, and simply glared at them.

Jorundr lifted his sword onto his shoulder and turned back to the Silver Hand, they weren't moving, before saying to the wereshark, "Never thought I would see a wereshark beg for help... you okay?"





Alessia Rian


Alessia watched as the Jarl gave the axe back to the vampire, she knew her best bet would be to go and offer Imperial aid, then her mission would be completed, but she didn't trust the vampire... He walked past her with a nod, not changing his pace for a moment. She turned and watched him as he moved out, deciding her next action carefully... rather than doing the logical thing, which would have been to go and speak to the Jarl, she decided to speak to the man and figure out what exactly he was doing and why...

She moved away from her position in the shadows and moved quickly to his side, not speaking for a good time. She looked at him, noticing that he was quite handsome for the first time, before saying in a hushed tone, "So, what's it like working for the Stormcloaks? I may not be a nord, but I still support them." She realized that it wasn't the best thing to start with, but it was better than asking why a vampire would be working for the Stormcloaks.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Varnan Bovkin Character Portrait: Lynly Snowsong Character Portrait: Alessia Rian Character Portrait: Anirne Character Portrait: Erik the Swift

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Anirne
Bandit Camp


Anirne didn’t make any particular effort to answer either of her companion’s next comments, but this was not out of a desire to be rude. Rather, she went to retrieve he horses and lead them to the camp, as that seemed to be the plan for a moment. She’d admit, a hot meal sounded nice; they’d been living on road-rations for a while, and she missed freshly-cooked food.

Clucking her tongue, she coaxed Berry and Soldin to the encampment, though left them loose. These Skyrim horses seemed intelligent enough to stick by their riders, and tying them seemed silly in light of that.

The smell his her nose before the sight of the meal, and her stomach responded, much to her mortification. “Looks good,” she said simply, stepping gingerly into the camp proper and looking for vessels in which to eat. She found a few, and cracked and slightly grimy though they might be, they’d do with a little bit of ingenuity.

Taking up a few handfuls of snow, Anirne washed the bowls and plates as best she could, stacking them neatly on a tree stump near the cookpot when she was done. “Makes you winder why they bothered to attack, when they could have been eating instead,” she mused, smiling broadly at her cohorts. This was a nice change from the monotony of riding all day, even if it had come about by means most unfortunate.

Settling onto a log by the merrily-crackling fire, she reached back and grabbed another handful of snow, using it to wash herself of bandit-blood as well as she could. The icy substance sliding over the bare skin of her hands and face was not the most welcome sensation, but it was leagues better than letting ichor crust there. Being a mage was usually sufficient to avoid the worst of the battle-grime, but she’d wound up in closer quarters than she usually found prudent on several occasions today.

After her fingers had regained their heat from a few moments held out to the fire, she cleaned her knife as she waited for the stew to finish, sliding a whetstone along the length of the blade. The raspy sound that this produced was unique, but rather soft, and she decided that this might be the perfect time to start a conversation. Though she had felt some barrier to conversation earlier, there was something about facing down death with another person that tended to remove much of that reticence. Perhaps it was just her.

“The Old Tongue has a phrase for this sort of situation,” she started, lifting her gaze from her work. “Ke’lah hassir ah vectoris. Fortune favors the daring. I suppose three people odd enough to go looking for a dragon qualify, don’t you?” The tongue to which she referred was Aldmeris, something the Psijics tried very hard to preserve and reconstruct where possible. That particular phrase had always been one of her favorites, as it seemed to indicate that “fortune” was as much a matter of personal initiative as anything else, and not something you sat around and waited for. It suited her own inclinations.


Erik the Swift
Whiterun


He was aware of her presence before she chose to approach, and though he did nothing about it, he was puzzled. She had been in Dragonsreach, and it had seemed logical that she was there to speak to the Jarl. He knew for a fact she wasn’t one of Ulfric’s lackeys; he would have remembered the presence of an Imperial.

For a while, they simply walked, and Erik did not mind it. It simply took some people longer to speak than others. This was a very well-known fact among Khajit, and sometimes, when something particularly insightful had been brought to someone’s attention, they would ruminate upon it for some time and resume the conversation days, perhaps even weeks later. He used the opportunity to both study the woman (though for the most part with his ears and nose, not his eyes) and decide how long he would safely be able to delay before meandering his way back to Ulfric with the news that he’d been expecting anyway.

He could probably stretch his stay for another day, more if he could concoct some sufficiently “urgent” business to occupy him in the meantime, but it would have to be pretty momentous to take priority over this delivery.

The young woman’s voice broke into his train of thought, and he glanced at her skeptically out of the corner of his eye. He could handle this one of two ways: charming deflection or blunt honesty. Somehow, he doubted her story, but that was just years of growing up among the world’s most accomplished liars and tale-spinners. A wry smile twisted his mouth, and he decided it didn’t matter; his answer was the same regardless of who the fair lass was.

“I serve Ulfric Stormcloak because I am bound by contract, not because I believe in him or his cause. That said, I think he’s going to come away victorious, and the purely practical thing to do is to stay out of his way. I would prefer it not be so, but there are some people who simply cannot be denied. Serving him is not a choice, it is an obligation, and about as pleasant as you would expect that to be.” He shrugged casually, his demeanor entirely unruffled as he described the ‘future High King of Skyrim’ in a less-than-flattering light. If she was really a loyalist, she’d take offense, and he’d be interested to see how that went for her. If not, well, then he was right and there probably wouldn’t be an issue.