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The High King's Chosen: A Skyrim RP

Discussion in 'General Role Play' started by baratron, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. baratron

    baratron Moderator of Elder Scrolls
    Staff Member Moderator

    Chapter One: Receiving the Invitation

    Loredas 22nd Last Seed, 4E 202

    The thing that Dariel loathed most about the College of Winterhold was that its student dormitory, the Hall of Attainment, had no windows. Actually, no, scratch that. The thing that Dariel loathed most about the College of Winterhold was that it was in Winterhold. At the far northeast of the province of Skyrim, overlooking the Sea of Ghosts, it was always cold - even at the height of summer. The reason why it had no windows was, of course, because glass was insufficient to keep out the biting wind that blew in over the ocean. By the Nine, thick stone walls, fireplaces, and warming spells were barely enough!

    Dariel loved summers back on High Rock, when the sun would stream in through his bedroom window and wake him up early. In the dark of Winterhold, he was always running late. Brelyna Maryon had taken pity on him, and would wake him in time for lectures and tutorials, but there were no classes at the weekend. Nor was there anything else to do. He always had homework or research of some sort, and he enjoyed reading in the College's extensive library, but apart from that the only possible entertainments were drinking, sex, and pranking the other students. As a small Breton, Dariel had no head for alcohol, and he didn't find practical jokes funny – too many years of being smothered by his enormous family. As for the other, well... All of the attractive men in the College seemed to be straight, attached, or far too senior for him to approach.

    So it was rather late in the day when he woke up and went to check the pigeon-holes where post for students was kept. Noting the time rather guiltily, he was surprised to see Tolfdir standing there, still sorting the mail.

    “Ah, hello, young Dariel,” said Tolfdir, absently. The elderly mage always had an air of being somewhat detached from reality, as if he spent so much time thinking of his research that he only loosely existed on the plane of Mundus.

    “Hello, Tolfdir,” replied Dariel. “Was the post late today?”

    “Oh yes. It seems that even though we have a new Jarl, who insists that his men should bring the mail up to the College gates, some of the soldiers are still afraid of us. I had to go down to the Longhouse to collect it.” The elderly mage shook his head in disgust: perhaps at Nords and their prejudice against magic, perhaps simply at fools who didn't do their jobs properly. “Here, Dariel. There's something for you.”

    “Thank you,” said Dariel, automatically. He noted the rather ornate handwriting on the envelope, and was immediately intrigued. He'd expected any letter to be from his parents, siblings, or cousins – but this wasn't writing he recognised... or was it? Turning the envelope over, he saw the wax seal of the High King of Skyrim on the back.

    He must have turned pale, or squeaked, or... something, since Tolfdir looked at him with some concern, and asked “Is everything all right?”

    “Oh yes,” Dariel replied quickly, wanting nothing more than to get away to a private place to inspect the letter. “Fine. See you later, Tolfdir.”

    Dariel ran to the dining room, grabbed the makings of breakfast, and returned to his bedroom. He inspected the envelope closely, checking it for Alteration and Illusion spells to the best of his ability. It seemed genuine enough. Slitting the envelope open, taking care to preserve the seal in case it proved important later, he read the letter. Written in the painfully neat yet elaborate script of Proventus Avenicci, it was short and to the point.

    Dariel de Feu,

    You are requested to report to Dragonsreach on Turdas, 27th Last Seed. We have need of your particular talents. Bring all of the equipment you require for a lengthy expedition, though We will be able to provide anything you are lacking. Significant compensation will be paid.

    By order of the High King,


    Underneath was a scrawl which might have said “Balgruuf the Greater”, written by a hand more used to wielding an axe than a pen. It might also have said several other things, but Balgruuf the Greater seemed most likely under the circumstances. Dariel had to smile – he couldn't possibly imagine the down-to-earth former Jarl dictating a letter using the royal “we”, and was certain that was an affectation of Avenicci's.

    Was it real? Dariel had certainly met High King Balgruuf several times, having done a number of favours for the people of Whiterun over the years. The Jarl had taken a particular interest in him because of his family history. The letter was extremely vague as to the nature of the “talents” required or the “expedition” planned; and if Dariel were a less trusting man, he might have feared some sort of trap. But Dariel had no enemies, and the letter and its seal both appeared genuine.

    Should he speak to Mirabelle Ervine to explain his absence? Probably. But he knew she would ask questions that he wasn't sure he could – or should – answer. The High King's letter hinted at secrecy of some kind. Instead, he simply wrote her a note to explain that he had been summoned to Whiterun on urgent, personal business, and left it in her pigeon-hole. He wrote a similarly brief note to his parents to explain that he might be uncontactable for a while, and left that in the outgoing mail sack.

    He joined the other students for lunch, and decided to spend the rest of the day packing. Taking the letter at its word, he took the bare minimum of clothing, since he wasn't even sure where he'd be going, let alone what the climate there would be. Instead, he sorted through his books for anything that might be useful: dictionaries of runes, old spellbooks that had been in his family for generations. He packed enough food for the journey, some unusual potions, and spare alchemy ingredients. Then he settled down to sleep. It would be a long and uncomfortable journey to Whiterun on the bumpy carriage.
     
  2. Loredas 22nd Last Seed, 4E 202

    Onzer suspected he alone in the history of Skyrim went to Winterhold because it was warm. But it was. The College had big fires and thick walls, and floors with rugs on them, and proper beds with furs on them. And they gave you a free robe when you joined which Onzer invariably wore over a second set of clothes as a coat, for extra warmth.

    Simply put, it didn't get any better than this for Khajiit in Skyrim. Sometimes he could talk his way into an inn in the smaller settlements, but there was nowhere else he could call 'home' that wasn't at best a damp cave or a caravan tent (and he'd have to pay through the nose for the latter.) He liked living at the College. When he was actually there.

    There was one other Khajiit studying at the College, and Onzer kept pace with J'Zargo, his hands full of papers as the pair of them made their way through the magic-lit halls, J'Zargo doing his best to lose his taller, broader pursuer without actually breaking into a run.

    “Look, can you just explain this bit under part 3-A.”

    “No. No, J'Zargo can not,” J'Zargo snapped, halting outside the pigeon-holes, and angrily pulling out a sheaf of mail. “It is the weekend and J'Zargo is busy. Too busy to help you, Broadpaw.” Broadpaw was J'Zargo's mildly insulting name for Onzer, meant to indicate he was more muscle than brain. J'Zargo didn't help anyone willingly- he was far too competitive, but Onzer had worked out that appealing to a sense of fellow-feeling as a Khajiit, ladling on the flattery, and the fact that he desperately needed all the help he could get to scrape a pass in his theoretical subjects and was therefore no threat to J'Zargo's claimed genius meant he did get access to the other student's notes and the occasional tutoring lesson.

    “You have J'Zargo's notes, what more do you want?”

    “This one can barely read them. Your handwriting is terrible.”

    “If you stopped skipping classes, you wouldn't need to read J'Zargo's handwriting.”

    Onzer sighed and flicked his ears irritably. It was true, but not that simple. He did skip a lot of classes. He skipped them so he could earn tuition fees to pay for classes that he was skipping to earn money to pay for classes. It was a vicious cycle that he'd never imagined he'd be stuck in when he'd first been accepted to the College.

    He was going to argue more when he saw something in his pigeon-hole besides the usual dust. A single letter. With Onzer distracted, J'Zargo took the opportunity to slip away. Fancy seal. Onzer held the missive up to his nose and inhaled. Smelled genuine.

    He read the letter once he was back in his room, and didn't know what to make of it at all. Just what strange hat had Balgruuf pulled his name out of? The whole thing seemed a bit suspicious.

    Onzer,
    You are requested to report to Dragonsreach on Turdas, 27th Last Seed. We have need of your particular talents. Bring all of the equipment you require for a lengthy expedition, though We will be able to provide anything you are lacking. Significant compensation will be paid.
    By order of the High King,

    Balgruuf the Greater


    At least his handwriting was better than J'Zargo's. Onzer read it again, mentally substituting 'all expenses paid' for 'We will be able to provide anything you are lacking.' Weird. Possibly a trap. Definitely trouble. But he definitely needed the money. And this signature was guaranteed to get him inside Whiterun, which wasn't an opportunity to be easily passed up. What sort of Khajiit would he be if he let an opportunity like this slip by?

    Onzer folded it away, and spent the rest of the day going over J'Zargo's notes.

    The next morning he put on his fur armour and cloak rather than his College robe, stuffed himself at the breakfast table, and packed a few potions and some survival gear. Onzer travelled light; if Balgruuf's offer turned out to be less generous than it seemed, he'd manage.

    Then he flattened his ears against his skull and pulled the hood on his sabercat cloak up over his head and hurried through the snow to the cart. There was no option as to where to go. All roads, from Winterhold at least, lead to Windhelm.

    Onzer made himself as comfortable as he could in the back. The driver flicked the reins and Onzer snaked a hand into his armour to where he kept a small leather pouch of moon sugar against his chest. Then he saw someone hurrying through the snow towards them, and he withdrew his hand, empty.

    “Hey,” he said to the driver. “Hold up, we've got another fare.” He bared his teeth in a friendly smile and extended his hand to help the newcomer onto the cart.
     
  3. Dwayna DragonFire

    Dwayna DragonFire 2014 Little Cup Champion

    Loredas 22nd Last Seed, 4E 202

    It was colder in Skyrim than it had been in Cyrodiil and Hammerfell, but that did not bother the female Argonian. Her homeland was the Black Marsh, filled with swamplands and rainforests, so she was used to a little bit of cold. She had been in Falkreath for at least two weeks, but she found the city reminded her much of her homeland. It was refreshing to breath the fresh open air as she stood outside the Dead Man's Drink, taking in the sights of the forested area around her. Might even be a good place to settle down, she thought, If I ever lost the desire to continue exploring the rest of Tamriel.

    However, there were some things that made her think that she would rather go back to her home than stay in Skyrim. Some of the Nordic locals giving her the evil eye, as if she had done something wrong just for existing. Dunmer and Khajiit living in the same region, being able to be in her presence without retaliation, save for heated words. Things like a local courier simply standing there, trying to look anywhere but at the person he was supposed to be delivering a letter to.

    “Excuse me, miss,” he said, after much silent deliberation with himself, his trembling hands clasped around an envelope. “Are you Nakuma?”

    “Yes,” she hissed, the reply seeming to startle the man even further. “I am Nakuma.” A sudden loathing of his job spread over his face, but after a moment more of his cowardice, he finally reached out to give her the letter.

    She gently smoothed the letter over with the pads of her scaled palms, the crisp paper making a soft crinkling noise at the roughness of her skin. It was very real, no enchantments that she could see and no poison that she could smell. Her green eyes flicked back up to see that the courier had already left, perhaps satisfied that he had done his job, and all the better to be less uncomfortable. The back of the letter had an ornate seal, one that would probably be used by a noble or even a king. With a quick slice of her claws, she opened the letter and read the piece of parchment.

    Nakuma,

    You are requested to report to Dragonsreach on Turdas, 27th Last Seed. We have need of your particular talents. Bring all of the equipment you require for a lengthy expedition, though we will be able to provide anything you are lacking. Significant compensation will be paid.

    By order of the High King,

    Balgruuf the Greater


    The name struck a note of familiarity within her mind, which caused her to look back into her memories of the past week. Nakuma had run into a group of mercenaries who called themselves the Companions, and had helped them complete a job in the same area for a cut of the profits. She remembered that they said their headquarters was in Whiterun, near Dragonsreach, and she should stop by sometime to join up with them if she felt it was prudent to do so.

    They must have mentioned me to their King, she thought, and their word was apparently worth some weight. When she first got into her line of work, she knew that 'significant compensation' was usually something equally dangerous. A soft sigh escaped her lips as she headed back into the inn to suit up and buy some provisions for the long road ahead. When she stepped out of her room in full steel plate an hour later, the innkeeper couldn't help but to look up from her duties, a slow smile spreading over the Imperial woman's face.

    "Got another job, Nakuma?" she asked, in the sort of nosy tone one might hear from someone who feels they need to know all the local gossip. "Hope it's paying well."

    "Enough to get me out of your hair for some time, Valga," snarked the Argonian, with a fanged smile. "Let's hope the Nine keep my health, lest I never come to fill your pockets with my gold again."

    The two women laughed together at the jest, soon dying down so that they could get to business. After filling a small pack with provisions and handing some more gold to the innkeeper, Nakuma nodded her head respectfully and left to plod down the road to Whiterun. Her free hand flew to the hilt of her steel longsword, just in case she needed to draw it along the way.
     
  4. baratron

    baratron Moderator of Elder Scrolls
    Staff Member Moderator

    Sundas 23rd Last Seed, 4E 202

    Dariel gazed up into the pale Nordic eyes of High King Balgruuf. The jarl was naked apart from the circlet of honour that he apparently always wore, even in bed. His taut muscles, chiselled features, and furred chest were everything Dariel had expected for a warrior king, and more. Balgruuf smiled, and ran a hand through his thick mane of blond hair. Leaning down to kiss Dariel's jaw, beard tickling his face, he rumbled “I have need of your particular talents” in that gorgeous accent of his.

    Suddenly the scene faded, to be replaced by a bad-tempered dark elf in mage apprentice robes. “Get up. Get up, Dariel!” she hissed, shaking him again with a grey hand. Dariel moaned, and rolled over. That dream was just starting to get interesting. Maybe he could fall back into it.

    Brelyna responded by starting to drag the layers of furs and blankets off her friend's bed. She hauled them onto the floor, one at a time, keeping up the litany of complaints. “Get up. It's for your own good. You told me that you needed to be woken early, even though it's Sundas.”

    “Huh?” To say the Breton was bad at mornings was an understatement. He huddled deeper into the blankets that he still possessed.

    Brelyna shook her head. “Okay. I am doing this not only for your own good, but at your own request.” She cast Ironflesh on herself, and picked up a large cup of snow. Lifting the covers, she dumped the frozen water down Dariel's neck. The Breton yelped, rolled onto his back, and had thrown a Fireball at her before he even knew what he was doing. Brelyna, used to this reaction, blocked it immediately with Steadfast Ward.

    “By Azura, Dariel, it's just as well that we Dunmer are fire-resistant. Finished your little tantrum now? You told me that you needed to get up in order to catch a carriage to Whiterun. Something vague about being needed for...”

    But Dariel was wide awake now, with adrenaline rushing through his veins. “Shit!” he yelled. “Why didn't you tell me that when you woke me?”

    “I actually did,” huffed Brelyna, entirely within her rights to be annoyed. “It's not my fault if you weren't listening. You were more interested in mumbling about High King Balgruuf.”

    “Shit!” shouted Dariel again, trying to find clothes. He threw off his wet nightshirt, trying to find trousers, socks, a shirt, and boots. Where were they all? Gods damnit, why hadn't he set them out ready for the morning? Jamming his feet into his boots, he threw his College robes on over the top and attempted to fasten the catches with fumbling hands. Giving up, he pulled his hood up against the cold, grabbed his bags, and ran for it.

    “Aww, damn!” He ran back and kissed Brelyna on the cheek. “Thank you for putting up with me, even though I'm a bear in the morning. I'll write to you!”

    “Make sure you do,” sniffed the Dunmer, shaking her head once more, before setting off back to her own room.

    Damned Winterhold. Why was it always winter? He was sure Last Seed should be warm. Back in High Rock, they'd be celebrating the festival of Harvest End round about now – the end of the farming season, complete with the fruits of the harvest. The best Winterhold could manage was a slightly thinner layer of snow. Dariel slipped on ice on the narrow bridge that linked the College to the rest of the town, and swore again. Part of the bridge was unstable, broken, with loose rocks and no walls, and he was lucky not to have fallen into the sea and broken his neck or drowned.

    He ran for the carriage, which looked like it was just setting off. Shit, shit, shit, and damn himself to Oblivion - he needed to catch it or he'd be walking to Windhelm! Another passenger turned towards him, and said something to the driver, which fortunately stopped the cart in its tracks. Dariel would have heaved a sigh of relief if his lungs were working well enough after sprinting in the cold air. As it was, he accepted the hands – or paws? - which dragged him into the cart and passed his bag of gold to the driver. The Nord flicked the horse's reins again, and the carriage lurched into motion.

    The other passenger was a Khajiit, and despite his fur armour and cloak, Dariel recognised him as a fellow member of the College. Not someone he knew well, since they shared very few classes – just the standard topics like Magical Safety and Research Methods which were the same regardless of Magical School specialisation. What was his name? Not J'zargo, that was the other Khajiit, the one who was insanely jealous of Dariel's fire mage abilities. This one was...

    Drawing a blank, Dariel decided to be polite instead. “Hi,” he said. “Thanks for your help there. I'm Dariel. I'm afraid I've totally forgotten your name?”
     
  5. Loredas, 22nd Last Seed, 4E 202

    One of the first things that people noticed in Markarth was that it was built into the mountains. And indeed, one couldn't help but feel secure in the ancient dwarven city. Unforunately, such was not the case for the residents, who knew all too well that the barbaric Forsworn could attack at any moment. While a large-scale invasion was extremely unlikely, the Forsworn would send in only a couple of men in at a time, tasked with picking off innocent bystanders. At first, panic easily took hold of the citizens, but as time went by and the attacks became more and more infrequent, it turned into nothing more than a bitter nuisance.

    Aitahea sighed heavily as she stared up at the great mountains through the pre-dawn mist, the mighty peaks hidden behind thick clouds. She was probably the only person in Markarth who was even up at this hour, which suited her just fine. Considering the past few months...being alone was probably what she needed right now.

    With a final glance at the mountain, she sighed once more and slumped her shoulders, and reached up to move a lock of her white-blonde hair out of her face. As she began to turn around and leave, she heard a light set of footsteps behind her and immediately stopped, her body tensed. While only being dressed in a simple tunic and not having either of her swords, Aitahea did have something which would stop this probable Forsworn assailant in his tracks.

    Taking an incredibly brief moment to gather herself, Aitahea charged her palms with the physical manifestation of her hatred of the Forsworn, and quickly spun herself around to face her would-be assailant, a glint of malice in her cold gray eyes.

    "That's far enough, Fors-" Aitahea cut herself off when she realized her electrified hand was not on the chest of a barbarian, but instead that of a simple courier. Realizing her terrible mistake, she withdrew her hand and quelled the charge. "Sorry, I thought you were Forsworn."

    The courier, slightly less terrified than before, said "I...I have a letter for an...Aitahea of the Companions. D-Do you know where I could find this person?"

    A letter? And asking for a member of the Companions? Surely it wasn't Kodlak.... "Um...I'm Aitahea."

    "Ah." the courier responded, clearly relieved to be able to leave sooner than he expected. "Well...here you go. Have a nice day."

    The first rays of sunlight beginning to slowly crack through the clouds, Aitahea looked the letter over. It wasn't from Kodlak, that much was certain, but she didn't recognize the seal. Not that she would, though. Apart from her father, she rarely had any mail. A slight twinge of curiousity now upon her, she opened the letter.

    Aitahea,

    You are requested to report to Dragonsreach on Turdas, 27th Last Seed. We have need of your particular talents. Bring all of the equipment you require for a lengthy expedition, though We will be able to provide anything you are lacking. Significant compensation will be paid.

    By order of the High King,

    Balgruuf the Greater


    As a Nord, she was loyal, to a fault, to her High King. However, the thought of returning to Whiterun was a little unbearable for Aitahea. As much as she would like not to, it would be both foolish and rude of her to ignore a request such as this. Although, the part about a "lengthy expedition" was interesting enough, though she wasn't sure what her "particular talents" were.

    Aitahea headed back to her house and packed what she would need, donning her armor as well. While bandit raids were uncommon on the roads, it was better to be safe than dead. Before leaving she left a letter for her father:

    Father,

    I'm going away for a bit. I'm not sure when I'll be back. Sorry I couldn't have stayed longer.

    Aitahea


    She did feel a little bad about not being able to explain things better, but considering how little she knew about the situation, it wasn't like she could have tried any better.

    Exiting Markarth and reaching the stables, she found her stormy gray horse and saddled him up, equipped him with her gear, and began the several-day ride towards the place she once called home.
     
  6. Sundas 23rd Last Seed, 4E 202

    Onzer helped someone who he now recognised as a fellow student into the cart and shifted his bag slightly to make more room for the others' at their feet. He looked like he was planning a long trip as well. Lucky that Onzer had stopped the cart, otherwise he'd have been obliged to lug around a bag that looked much heavier than Onzer's own.

    “Unlikely,” Onzer said, making a 'think nothing of it' gesture at Dariel's thanks. “Since this one is quite sure we have not spoken before. Onzer is Onzer and glad to meet you.” He didn't know Dariel personally, but he did know of him, somewhat. He was one of the smart ones that J'Zargo was always fuming over and trying to upstage.

    It was a shame he hadn't thought to bring his notes; stuck on a cart for hours maybe Dariel would be willing to help Onzer with his theory. Onzer didn't need any help with his practical classes; he was quietly of the opinion that mages were either good at one or the other, and given the choice he'd rather struggle with the theory. But notes could get wet or blown away, and concentrating with the jolt and roll of the cart over uneven ground was bad enough – writing would be almost impossible.

    Onzer smiled, “Congratulations for Advanced Pyrothaumagics, by the way. J'Zargo didn't shut up about it for a week.” Onzer chuckled, a kind of rolling purr. He'd been so convinced he was going to top the class, too.

    Now that they were moving, albeit at walking pace, Onzer tried to huddle down a bit out of the wind; pulling his hood down and curling his tail in his lap before drawing his cloak around him. “Perhaps they should consider building a roof on these carts. Onzer would gladly pay extra to be out of the wind.”

    He considered asking Dariel where he was going, but that would invite the obvious reciprocal question, and Onzer wasn't prepared to say just yet, nor did he particularly want to start telling lies.

    Thus he fell quiet; it was too much effort to keep up small talk over the biting wind and snow, and warmer if he just sunk back into his cloak. Dariel seemed equally happy not to chat, instead reading. Onzer would have invited him to sit closer and keep warm; Khajiit saw it as only sensible in this climate to huddle together whenever possible – but most other people were at best disconcerted and at worst disgusted by the idea of huddling up to a Khajiit. It was better not to suggest it.

    Onzer shut his eyes and tried to sleep, aware of the pouch of sugar under his armour; so close and so far away. Long boring cart rides were practically made for sugar dreams, but there was no way to get to it without Dariel noticing and that was not something he wanted the College to find out about. So the ride seemed to take about three times as long as it usually did.

    Eventually, Windhelm rose dark and foreboding out of the snow, and Onzer stirred, trying to work some circulation into his legs. He couldn't tell if they were numb from cold or lack of blood flow.

    Dariel stirred, head rising from his cloak where he'd been hiding with his book. He looked around in some interest. "Well, this must be Windhelm," he said. "Is this the end of the journey for you, or will you be back on the cart tomorrow?"

    Onzer shook his head and started brushing snow off his cloak. “Onzer will keep going. Start the journey to Whiterun overnight.”

    "I'm not sure the cart runs overnight. That must depend on whether they have a change of drivers and horses... Hey, wait, you're going to Whiterun as well?" He appeared suddenly curious, green eyes flashing with interest.

    “They do if you pay extra. Not the same cart though. Maybe one with a roof?” He grinned hopefully, knowing there was no such thing. “Yes. Onzer has some business in the area. Are you going there too?” Not so strange; it was Skyrim's trading hub as well as the seat of the High King.

    "I am. That's curious, two student mages from Winterhold both going to Whiterun at the same time." Dariel was torn between asking whether the Khajiit had also been summoned by the High King, and keeping his mission secret. He erred on the side of discretion for now. "Anyway, I don't think I could afford to pay extra. I was planning to spend the night in the inn. Candle, uh... Candle-something Hall, it's called. Candlemass? Candleflame? Something like that. You'd be welcome to join me." Wait... did that sound flirty? He didn't know enough about Khajiit customs to know how it would come across.

    Onzer shrugged. Curiosity killed the Khajiit, and occasionally people who poked their noses into Khajiit business. Onzer couldn't afford anything much, but the promise of the High King's remuneration was making him reckless with what coin he had.

    Onzer didn't much care where Dariel was planning to spend the night until he got an invitation. He'd been fussing with his bag, but Dariel's words made him look up, curious smile on his face. He wasn't quite sure what to make of that, but whether or not it was meant innocently it was a nice thought, and sadly an invitation he was obliged to decline.

    “Khajiit are not welcome inside the walls of Skyrim's holds,” he shortly. Dariel was a mage's mage, he decided; completely innocent of the world, and probably of accidental flirting. “They wouldn't let Onzer into the city, let alone stay at the inn. And this one is certainly not planning on camping out when he could be travelling somewhere warmer. Maybe he will see you around Whiterun instead?”

    "Khajiit aren't allowed into the city? Really?" The Breton looked horrified, eyes flashing with anger. His hands clenched into fists - flames appeared within them, but he hardly seemed to notice. "That's... That's just completely unjustified. Some humans are thieves and smugglers too, and they don't ban us from cities. I thought Skyrim was more open-minded than High Rock, but it seems it's exactly the same... only the people here are prejudiced about different things."

    “Umm...” Onzer didn't know what to make of it. He looked at the flames in Dariel's hands for a moment, and reached out and patted his shoulder. “Hey, relax. Skyrim is what it is. And let's face it, Khajiit aren't welcome lots of places, just here they are honest about it.” He was actually rather touched, as well as amused, by Dariel's reaction. “But now you understand why Onzer sees no reason to stay here.” Pause. He swung his pack up onto his back. “As much as he would like to travel with new friends.” Onzer smiled again.

    OOC: Baratron wrote Dariel's part of the dialogue via IRC.
     
  7. (OOC: Sorry I haven't posted been travelling without my laptop and sure as hell wasn't posting from my phone and the site was down for ages)


    Fredas 21st Last Seed, 4E 202

    The dying campfire faded as did the small amount of smoke lifting up into the air leaving nothing but ash and charcoal. The brown mare stomped and scrapped its feet while flapping its lips and shaking its head waking its owner up. Steffan pulled himself out of his bedroll and changed into his full bodied fur armour. He then proceeded to look through his pack of supplies; it was fairly full with full soul gems and alchemy ingredients towards the bottom he found a few morsels of food, he fed a couple of carrots and apples to his horse.

    “There you go, lass eat up we’ll be rolling out to Solitude today” he told the horse empathetically while stroking the horses long face. He then went on to get some food for himself. He grabbed a hunk of bread and ripped a huge chunk out of it with his mouth. While chewing the bread a man emerged from out the shadows of the trees, he looked sort of weedy so Steffan left his guard lowered.

    “Delivery for Steffan Aurellius” the man called.

    “That would be me” Steffan replied. The courier handed over a small letter and disappeared back into the shadows, the letter was obviously from someone with money and bore a seal with the crest of Whiterun on it. Steffan open and pulled out the enveloped letter which read

    Steffan Aurellius,

    You are requested to report to Dragonsreach on Turdas, 27th Last Seed. We have need of your particular talents. Bring all of the equipment you require for a lengthy expedition, though we will be able to provide anything you are lacking. Significant compensation will be paid.

    By order of the High King,


    “Looks like we’ve got a summons from the High King himself, girl” Steffan said as he approached his horse. He swiftly rolled up his bed roll and tied it to the back of the horse along with the pack of supplies. He untied the brown mare and clambered onto her back, Steffan directed her towards Solitude as if the summons hadn’t even existed. The man on his horse charged through the mountainous hills littered with trees. Steffan quickly wasted any wolves willing to attack by firing an orcish arrow at them. Hours later after countless encounters with wolves, Steffan was finally approaching Solitude, he drove the horse into the stables and tied her up.

    “I’ll be back in the morning, just be good” Steffan explained to the horse while filling her trough up and taking his bag of supplies. Steffan waved goodnight to the mare and walked up the hill towards the large and regal gates of Solitude. Steffan walked straight into the Winking Skeever and approached Corpulus.

    “Hey Corpulus, do you have a room for the night?” Steffan said cheerily, a smile came across Corpulus’ face.

    “Of course I do, my boy” Corpulus cheered back. Corpulus was like an uncle to Steffan providing a place to perform while he was training to be a bard and in return Steffan would entertain his guests and was close friends with Sorex and Minette.

    “So how much do I owe you?” Steffan replied.

    “For you nothing” Corpulus whispered so the other customers couldn’t hear, he then called Minette over and told her to show Steffan to his room.

    “Hello Minette, how are you and where is your brother?” Steffan enquired in a happy tone.

    “Oh I’m fine and Sorex is trying to impress Vivienne again” the little girl answered back. Steffan began to laugh a little.

    “He’ll never learn will he?” the man joviously cried.

    “Nope” Minette giggled as she opened the door to his room.

    “Alright, I’ll speak to you in a bit” he called back to her as she walked back downstairs. Steffan dropped his bag on the bed and changed out of his fur armour into some more comfortable clothes before proceeding downstairs. The Imperial ordered a flagon of mead unlike his usual self to celebrate being in good company. Steffan socialised with the other patrons and the two members of the Vinius family and told them about the summons. Shock and awe filled the room and they all celebrated. Within no time the hours grew late and Steffan headed for bed, he climbed into bed and drifted off to sleep.
     
  8. baratron

    baratron Moderator of Elder Scrolls
    Staff Member Moderator

    (OOC: Onzer's bits by Crunchy. And yes, I should have posted this a week ago.)

    Sundas 23rd Last Seed, 4E 202. Nighttime.

    Dariel sighed, letting his fire spell die out. “I don't know how you put up with that kind of treatment. It's almost worse than...” He had been about to say “than how they treat us in High Rock”, “us” meaning men who preferred men, but realised that would mean sharing his sexual orientation with an almost complete stranger. Normally he was better at engaging his brain before speaking.

    Instead, he rubbed his hand over his face, thinking. Staying in an inn would only be 10 septims a night plus whatever it cost to get a good meal, but he was intrigued to know what Onzer's business in Whiterun was. His parents and siblings had always told him he was far too nosy for his own good, but he didn't mean to be.

    “I guess you could go into the stables and ask how much it would be to keep going overnight? Maybe we could afford it, if we pooled our resources.” He shivered, violently, and sneezed. “Um... these warming spells are all very well, but I need to dry my clothes properly before making any kind of decision. And that requires something more dramatic and visible than what I've been using so far. I need to get away from the Nords before they start freaking out about magic and going 'Get those flames away from me'. Be right back.”

    Dariel walked round the corner, behind the stable. There was a Khajiit caravan just setting up camp; they were halfway through erecting their strangely-shaped tents. “Excuse me,” he said, nodding politely and walking a little further away, checking that no Windhelm City Guards were watching. Then he cast Flame Cloak on himself. The heat of the Fire spell warmed his clothes properly and started to dry them, but it was close to ten minutes before he felt dry enough to be sure he wouldn't catch a chill.

    He walked back round to the Windhelm Stables. Onzer was talking to the stablemaster, presumably about the cost of hiring an overnight cart. “Hey, Onzer!” he said. “There's a Khajiit camp around the back. Could you spend the night there?”

    Onzer pushed his hood off his head, despite the cold, letting his ears flick back up and adding another inch to his height. He left the stablemaster and stalked over to Dariel, the end of his tail flicking irritably. "So Onzer is supposed to change his plans on your say so and impose himself on other Khajiit, who may or may not be pleased to have an uninvited guest? Khajiit are there to serve, are they?" He looked tired and annoyed, and his ears were starting to flatten again.

    Dariel took a step back from the angry Khajiit and his claws. “I... I'm sorry!” he said, genuinely a little frightened. “I didn't mean to be offensive. Honestly, you're the first Khajiit I've spoken to at any length before. There aren't many in High Rock. Normally I only see them when I'm buying Moon Sugar.”

    Onzer raised his eyebrows - or at least the part of his face analogous to eyebrows. "Well, at least you didn't assume Onzer would be able to sell you some. This one has been approached many times by mages who think because he is furred he will find them sugar cheap." He ran a gloved hand over his mohawk, which seemed none the worse for having been under his hood all day. "Onzer is not stupid enough to poach on Enthir's territory," he muttered. He didn't ask further about the sugar. Instead he regarded Dariel thoughtfully, his eyes the colour of new-minted septims.

    "It is better not to travel alone if one can help it. But!" He showed his teeth, once again the picture of friendliness, "You owe Onzer some help with Pyrothaumagical Theory sometime, yes? Then enjoy your evening. Onzer will see you here tomorrow."

    Dariel nodded, then walked over the bridge to the city wondering what exactly had just happened. The inn was just inside the city gate – Candlehearth Hall, he noted – which meant he could avoid wandering around Windhelm in the dark. That had presumably been the innkeeper's intention when they'd built the place. He obtained a room and a bowl of stew easily, although the barmaid flirted heavily and hinted that she could visit him after her shift ended - “For you, sweetie, no charge.” He didn't want to think about what that meant; and while he might have preferred to spend the evening in the comfort of the upstairs hall listening to the bard in front of a roaring fire, he instead took his food to his room, locking the door behind him quite thoroughly. He hoped that Onzer had been able to obtain a meal and suitable lodging somewhere, and that someone – gods, not that barmaid! - would wake him in the morning.
     
  9. Loredas 22nd Last Seed, 4E 202

    The deer nibbled obliviously on the grass below it, completely unaware of its surroundings. On a mild morning such as this, the deer often ventured out into the open more than they usually did. Early morning posed few threats, as most of the deer’s main predators were still asleep at this time. Being relatively intelligent animals, the deer would make sure they’d be in and out before the bears and the wolves would awaken.

    Most deer, however, don’t track the sleeping patterns of Bosmer.

    Denego quietly clambered up to the canopy of the tree. His eyes narrowed, scanning the area like a hawk. They fell upon the lone deer. Silently pulling out an arrow, he fed it into his already-prepared Glass bow. His eyes narrowed further, homing in on their oblivious target. He pulled back the string, making little sound. He’d become acquainted with the art of stealth many years ago whilst in Valenwood, but he truly learned to apply it after he joined the Thieves’ Guild. He released the string. The arrow torpedoed through the heavy morning air, and gracefully skewered the deer through its head. Denego slid down the tree trunk effortlessly, making as little sound as possible. He didn’t like bears normally, never mind when they were tired and that little bit grouchier. He stalked up to his prize, licking his lips. He was partial to a bit of venison. Retrieving his arrow, he hoisted his kill upon his chiselled, broad shoulders, and set off back to Riften.

    He still lived on Plankside, albeit in a significantly larger house than he did in his Skooma-addicted days. He’d grown attached to the district, as dirty and unkempt as it was. Opening his door, he dumped his lunch-to-be on a wooden chair next to his dining table. Stripping himself of his standard-issue Thieves’ Guild armour, he dressed into a plain red tunic and pants. He returned to his dining table, and picked up the deer. He carried it over to his small kitchen and placed in on the chopping board. Taking a sharp knife out of its holder, he was seconds away from carving a slice of meat from his kill when he heard a loud, pronounced bang on his door. Confusion swept over his face. He very rarely got any kind of mail, let alone in such early hours. Carefully placing the knife down on the chopping board, he ambled towards the door. Once reaching it, he grasped the handle, and swung it open. Greeting him outside was a lanky, blonde haired young man, seriousness crossing his features. Denego looked at him incredulously. This was not the regular mailman. This fellow was dressed like a city guard, minus the helmet. The strangely-dressed young man reached into his satchel, and retrieved a letter, wrapped in a fancy seal. He placed the letter into Denegos outstretched hand.

    “Orders from the High King to deliver this summons to one Denego the Bosmer, of Riften. Judging by your appearance, you are Denego, correct?” the man spoke in a regal tone. Denego nodded, raising a bushy eyebrow. This was very strange indeed. He opened the letter, scanning its contents with growing curiosity.

    Denego,
    You are requested to report to Dragonsreach on Turdas, 27th Last Seed. We have need of your particular talents. Bring all of the equipment you require for a lengthy expedition, though we will be able to provide anything you are lacking. Significant compensation will be paid.
    By order of the High King,

    Balgruuf the Greater


    Denego’s jaw dropped. He raised his head, gawping incredulously at the man standing before him. The man bowed slightly
    “You are required to report to the High King by 3pm, 27th Last Seed. Tardiness is unacceptable.” The mailman spoke with conviction. Denego continued to stare at him open-mouthed. The man left, walking over to a nearby staircase and climbing up it.

    Denego re-read the passage maybe one hundred times. Each time his toothy grin extended. This was an opportunity of a lifetime. A lowly thief, a former Skooma junkie, being summoned for a quest by the High King. He folded the letter and placed it upon the dining table. He geared up, grabbing his Thieves’ Guild armour, Glass bow and quiver, and an Ebony sword. He grabbed the letter and left his home. He reached the gates of Riften. Denego quickly looked around for a carriage. Seeing none, he sighed. It looked like he would have to make this journey on foot. Stepping out into the wilds of Skyrim, he inhaled the sweet woodland air. He then began the long treck to Whiterun.
     
  10. Tailon

    Tailon Gryffindork

    Loredas 22nd Last Seed, 4E 202
    Sulinus had been sleeping when a Courier arrived at his door. The Imperial who opened the door wore only a simple robe, and his black hair lay loose around his shoulders as he collected the letter from the young man standing outside. He opened the letter as he turned around, closing the door behind him with his foot. He scratched absently at his beard as he walked through a large Main Hall into the kitchen, reading the letter while he walked,

    Sulinus,
    You are requested to report to Dragonsreach on Turdas, 27th Last Seed. We have need of your particular talents. Bring all of the equipment you require for a lengthy expedition, though We will be able to provide anything you are lacking. Significant compensation will be paid.
    By order of the High King,

    Balgruuf the Greater


    “Balgruuf?” he said to himself, “ High King, Balgruuf, now, I suppose. I haven’t worked for him in years, why call on me?”

    Sulinus thought it over a moment, then shrugged to himself as he got about his daily routine, leaving the letter on his kitchen table. Well over an hour later, Sulinus returned to the kitchen, his hair now pulled back into a ponytail, still in the process of strapping a pauldron to his leather armor. He scooped up the letter as he passed, walking back out through the main hall, past a massive fireplace into his personal armory. There, he recovered a simple looking but finely crafted sword, made of steel, and placed it in its scabbard, which he then put around his waist. He then crossed the room to retrieve a short-handled axe with a wide head, the handle of which was painted to give the impression of being made of solid steel, as well as a medium length spear, useable both on horseback and on foot. It too had a head of fine steel, and a narrow, red flag with a triangular tip attached just below the head, which bore no insignia. He carried the spear with him as he returned to the entrance hall, where he stopped momentarily to put on a dark cloak with an attached hood and retrieve a saddlebag he had prepared earlier, placing the letter inside.

    Sulinus stepped out into the sunny, verdant forests of Falkreth Hold with a grin on his face, breaking into a run to reach his personal stable in a matter of seconds. His horse, a white mare named Ariela, had been saddled by his steward previously, and Sulinus needed only attach the saddle bag and climb on board before Ariela could burst from the stables at a full gallop. Sulinus rode quickly down the short path from his manor to the main road, but just as quickly pulled Ariela to a walk with a “Woah, girl!” before she could trample an Argonian in steel plate armor that had been passing by at that moment. Sulinus turned Ariela onto the main rode, and pulled on her reins to slow her so that she would walk alongside the woman.

    “Ho there, fellow traveler!” he exclaimed from Ariela’s back, “I hadn’t been expecting company on this trip, but we seem to be going in the same direction! My name is Sulinus Rulician, might I ask yours?”
     
  11. Dwayna DragonFire

    Dwayna DragonFire 2014 Little Cup Champion

    Loredas 22nd Last Seed, 4E 202, slightly later than before.

    The unmistakable sounds of horse footfalls sounded behind Nakuma, causing her to look back to see a man in leather armor riding down the path at a gallop. She was worried for a moment that he might run her over, but she saw him pull at the reins and slow to a trot just in time. He turned to her with an exhilarated grin on his face, indicating that he was either a very jovial person or that he enjoyed the ride.

    “Ho there, fellow traveler!” the man exclaimed from the back of the horse, “I hadn’t been expecting company on this trip, but we seem to be going in the same direction! My name is Sulinus Rulician, might I ask yours?”

    She looked the man over again, seeing that he was an Imperial. Relationships between the two species weren't particularly strained in any way, so it really depended on the person in general. Sulinus seemed like a reasonable character on first impression, so she was willing to give him a chance.

    "Nakuma," she replied shortly, not usually one for small talk. "I had not been expecting company either, but we do seem to be heading down the same path. If you have room on your horse, perhaps I could offer you some coin for a trip to Whiterun?" She pulled out ten gold pieces from her coin purse, offering them to the man with an open hand. More often than not, offering money was the most efficient way of getting something done, especially to the mind of a mercenary.
     
  12. Morndas 24th Last Seed, 4E 202.

    Onzer rather reluctantly stuck his head out of the Khajiit tent, and watched his breath steam in the cold morning air. It was really, really hard to get out of bed on mornings like this, but he knew the sooner he did so the sooner he’d be somewhere warmer.

    It wouldn’t take all that long, either, once they were over the first range of hills, they’d be among the forests of Eastmarch and away from the snow. Onzer huffed and bundled himself up in his furs before bidding his fellow Khajiits farewell and making his way to the stables.

    The night in the camp had passed as such nights usually did. Once the cost of his accommodation had been decided on and paid he’d sat around the fire with them, and they told stories and passed on news and gossip from the network of Khajiit caravans that stretched across all of Tamriel. Onzer was no stranger to these Khajiit; his business with the Thieves Guild had brought him into contact with all of the traders at some point or another.

    No recent news caught his attention, there was nothing new regarding the High King or anything else that might be relevant. He decided that on the whole, it was reassuring.

    They’d had product to move, if he was interested, but Onzer decided that visiting the High King with ten pounds of sugar in his pack was probably asking for more trouble than he could handle, so he politely declined. One thing his years as a bandit had taught him was that you didn't cross the revenue streams if you could possibly help it.

    Onzer had also come up with a solution to his problem from the day before. Now he knew in advance he'd be sharing a cart, he’d slipped a lump of sugar under his tongue before he left the camp. Now he was assured a much more pleasant journey.

    To his surprise, Dariel was already waiting for him at the stables, looking cold and tired. Apparently Windhelm wasn’t as accommodating as he’d thought. Onzer didn’t question him, instead smiling his usual toothy smile.

    “Greetings, friend. Are you ready to continue our adventure?” Onzer could see absolutely no reason to hang around any longer than they had to, and Dariel apparently agreed.

    Dariel also presented him with a bag of sweetrolls, apparently as some sort of apology for something or other. Onzer could taste sweetness, and when he stuck his nose in the bag he could smell sweetness and he wasn’t going to feel bad about anything this morning. He did think it was a nice gesture, however.

    “We can share them,” he decided.

    They settled themselves in the back of the cart, and since it wasn't actually snowing this time, Onzer stretched himself out on his bench, his head propped up on his pack so he could look at the clouds and the birds, and the odd butterfly that drifted into his field of vision. He was obliged to bend his knees to fit on the bench, and his tail hung over the end. It was okay, life was still sweet.

    He even said as much. He didn’t speak much after that, finding himself more interested in the sky, and the sound of his own breathing, but when he did speak he didn't quite seem to be having the same conversation that Dariel was, his answers slightly off.

    "The moons look closer the further away one sits from the fire. Onzer wonders why, sometimes." Half an hour later he added, "Perhaps it is better not to wonder so much as choose carefully where one sits." He yawned; the sugar had almost all dissolved. Onzer’s tongue flicked out and he licked the end of his nose as he remembered the sweetrolls.

    "Let's eat, hm?" He took one for himself before handing the bag over. Still lying on his back he picked bits of roll off the underside of his sweetroll, getting crumbs in his whiskers and on the front of his fur armour. It was only when the roll was barely holding together that he relented and ate the bits with the sweet cream on top, licking the hairless pads of his fingers when he was done. His precious gloves were fingerless, mostly to allow him free use of his short, sharp claws.

    The driver said something when the approached Darkwater Crossing, and Onzer smiled.

    "Darkwaterrrr," he purred, rolling the name around his mouth. "A good place. They welcome Khajiit, and other travelers. Better than Windhelm." They'd still be obliged to camp out, but it was different when everyone camped together. Khajiit knew of friendly places, and passed the information among them; it was not coincidence that the residents of Darkwater never had cause to accuse the Khajiit caravans of theft.

    The river was slower there too, and Onzer wondered if he should have a bath before visiting the king. He’d wait and see what the weather was like before making up his mind, he decided.

    “Been there before?” he asked Dariel agreeably.
     

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