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> The Wobbly Goblet Playground
Elisabeth Hollow
post May 20 2013, 04:54 PM
Post #41


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From: Texas



Kayla looked at Abiene and nodded. "He was the last of five. Persistent bastard. You okay there?" she saw Abiene wringing her hands. "They were on a cave a little ways down the road, off the beaten path. I took care of them."


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Grits
post May 20 2013, 08:11 PM
Post #42


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From: The Gold Coast



Auguste

Vampires outside the inn, thought Auguste. Great. He dunked two tankards through the wash water and swiftly rubbed them dry.

The barmaid sauntered in from the tea room. She dipped a shoulder at Laegon and leaned on the end of his bar.

“Nothing to do, Stefania?” Auguste stashed the tankards and sloshed two goblets into his basin.

“All of my customers left when the rain let up,” Stefania pouted. “No more tips for me.”

“Go get some plates from Yetta.” Auguste nodded at the Imperial in dark armor. “That man is waiting for his meal.”

He gritted his teeth as she loitered for another moment. He hated correcting staff in front of the customers, and Stefania was on his last nerve.

Finally she headed into the kitchen.


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Darkness Eternal
post May 20 2013, 09:52 PM
Post #43


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From: Coldharbour



Lycus pulled off the heavy gauntlet that dressed each of his hands, and set them aside. The Breton barman slid a bottle of wine to Lycus, and shortly after the large Imperial was given his food by a younger Imperial girl. A rather fetching Imperial girl . . . delicate and innocent looking, but with an attitude that was normal for girls of her age.

He'd met plenty of girls her age, plenty of times. And it was only a bad habit that he stared with a fiery and intense look that suggested nothing friendly. Noticing the girl was unnerved, he kept staring even more until she slid the plate and hurried off.

The food was simple, but beautifully prepared and Lycus ate his fill. And with a stern voice, he looked to the bartender. “Who here can polish my armor and my shield?” he inquired with a mouthful of food.

He pushed away the cup given to him, and took the bottle in his hand and gulped down the drink. The white-eyed Dunmer woman spoke to him as he chugged the drink.

"An wanderer," Lycus said in a sigh as he set down the half-full bottle of wine. “Morrowind is not a safe place for any traveler. Not since the explosion. Not since the Argonians sacked the place. You'd be surprised to find others who still speak your people's language.” He gazed around the bar, and at the patrons and returned his eyes to the Dunmer. “I spent some time with your people there. Learned Dunmeri. Not many of them speak the tongue.” He swallowed his food before adding. "You're native to Morrowind or were you spawned elsewhere?”

This post has been edited by Darkness Eternal: May 20 2013, 09:53 PM


--------------------
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed.
I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.”
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Grits
post May 20 2013, 09:57 PM
Post #44


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Joined: 6-November 10
From: The Gold Coast



Hethilion

Hethilion hustled up the steps and past the still-dripping Imperial, a bottle of brandy in each hand. “This way if you please, mistress.”

Inside the chamber he placed the brandy on a small table. He uncorked one bottle and then paused, uncertain. Does she plan to drink both bottles? Is one for her journey? Should I bring a bucket in case she needs to vomit later? Eventually he placed the corkscrew on the table. She looked like a woman who could manage a cork on her own, if necessary.

The large copper bathing tub stood on its end in a corner. Hethilion cast a Feather spell and moved it easily into position near the fireplace. He swiftly put the arming racks and clothing stand into their places and dropped a bathing mat beside the tub.

“You will find towels and bathing cloths in the cupboard,” he said, bringing more spells to mind.

One hand held palm-downward over the tub cast a spell that turned the air within it to water, while the other heated it until steam began to curl up from the surface.

Hethilion clicked his heels together in self-satisfaction and turned, tucking his arms behind his back in a formal gesture that belied his coarse attire.

“Shall I light the fire?” he asked.


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Grits
post May 20 2013, 10:18 PM
Post #45


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From: The Gold Coast



Auguste

The big Imperial gave Stefania a look that should have stripped the meat from her bones. Auguste smiled to himself as she scuttled away. A few more scares like that might put some sense into her head, he thought. I’d hate to find her tied up behind the barn some morning.

“Who here can polish my armor and my shield?” the man demanded. Auguste resisted the urge to check behind him for the army he must be addressing.

“Lleris,” Auguste said as the Imperial downed half the bottle of wine. The man turned and spoke to the blind Dunmer without replying.

Auguste stepped to the kitchen door. Stefania was there taking refuge with Yetta. “Go find that kid,” he told her. “The big fetcher wants his armor polished. I’d stay away from him if I was you, or he might have you polishing something else.”

Stefania lifted her chin and flounced out the back door.

Yetta glared at him from her spot by the water kettle.

“What?” Auguste asked. He trotted back to his bar, shaking his head. The skirts hung together in this establishment.


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Darkness Eternal
post May 20 2013, 11:34 PM
Post #46


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From: Coldharbour



Vera The Huntress.

Vera followed behind the Altmer who sped past her to lead the way. Each of his hand holding the brandy she requested a few minutes earlier. She stepped aside as they entered the room, and stood watch when he set the two bottles on the table. Uncorking one while uncertain whether to try and open the second. Vera was glad he didn't open the second one. She was saving that for a special occasion.

The Imperial folded her arms at her chest and waited as the High Elf used a spell to levitate the tub from its place, and maneuvered it toward the fireplace. He added a clothing rack near the large tub, that was placed near the fireplace. A mat was dropped just beside the bathrub to avoid getting the floor wet.

Anymore than it already is?

Vera was aware those who worked in this tavern prized efficient work and luxurious quality above else, and the friendly atmosphere was not missed. The huntess noticed from the moment she walked in that the entire place had a calm, soothing air to it. Unlike most of the taverns and inns she'd been to. Then again, Vera was never in the company of good, calm people. Though she was still sure some of the women in the floor below had their own stories and problems, and of course skills in a school of combat despite their warm demeanour.

The Hethilion told her she would find towels and bathing attire in the cupboard. Then he used another spell, and used it inside the tub. Miracuously turning the air into water! Years ago Vera would have dropped her jaw for seeing such a thing. Living in her home most of the time, and in the Fighter's Guild, she rarely saw mages or skilled spellcasters work their wonders. But as a seasoned woman who's been to the other side and seen countless things, she wasn't entirely impressed. But she was, of course, pleased.

The cold water began to boil, and steam rose up from the surface of the filled tub. He then held his arms behind his back, moved in a fancy gesture, and inquired if she would like to have the fire lit.

Vera turned to the fireplace, and stared. Then she turned back to the Altmer and nodded. She reached into her pocket, and grabbed the single coin given to her from the Orc proprietor. She flicked the gold piece into the air, and expected the Altmer to catch it.

"For your services, elf." She said. "Hell of a job you do here."




--------------------
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed.
I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.”
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Saquira
post May 21 2013, 12:15 AM
Post #47


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From: West of the College of Winterhold



Fedura Hlaalu took another sip from her glass as the man spoke, then continued to eat her mutton. It was filling and warm, seasoned with spices that she rarely had the opportunity to taste, and she did not hurry in consuming her meal, even though hunger had been nagging at her for a long time. Impatience or hurrying could result in suspicion towards her, something that Fedura did not wish to happen.

Her eyes shifted between the man next to her and her meal as she ate, observing him and trying to learn more about the man. He was a warrior, that much was obvious with the confident way he moved in the heavy armor, and he was also experienced. One of the inhabitants of the room who could prove to be a threat, for she still could not judge his character. And he spoke of Morrowind, a place which she held no memory of, and had never had any great wish to visit. All she knew of her homeland was what she'd heard and read.

"You're native to Morrowind or were you spawned elsewhere?” The question almost caused a frown to come upon her face. Spawned, who used that kind of language in polite company? As if a child was a daedra or some other abomination. Perhaps he did not much care for people, or perhaps he did not like her race in particular. It was hard for her to tell, and she did not give voice to the question that lingered in her mind.

“I was born in Morrowind, though I have no memory of it, as I did not live there long. And I have had no inclination to return to the place since, as I'm much too fond of the woods,” she said, uttering a half-truth that was vague, yet not impolite. Her white eyes looked right at him as she spoke, and she only turned them away from him to drink of the wine. “And what of you? From where do you hail?” she asked as soon as the drink had slipped down her throat and she turned her eyes to the human again briefly, before resuming the consumption of her meal.


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Grits
post May 21 2013, 12:16 AM
Post #48


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From: The Gold Coast



Abiene

“You okay there?” Kayla asked. “They were in a cave a little ways down the road, off the beaten path. I took care of them.”

Abiene smoothed her palms over her skirt. “That’s good to know. All of my defenses are against mortal threats, and I don’t often need to use them. I wouldn’t have the first idea what to do if I met a vampire. I mean, they can smell a mortal’s blood, can’t they? And an invisibility spell wouldn’t keep one from hearing a frightened heart beating.” She glanced at her plate and then back up at the Altmer. “Kayla, I know we’ve just met, but may I offer you some of these mushrooms? Look, I haven’t even touched this one.” She leaned in a little. “And don’t look now, but that lute player has been glancing over here at you. Should I ask him to play a song?”


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King Coin
post May 21 2013, 01:12 AM
Post #49


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I wish I could make poisons that strong. Aravi imagined what something that potent would do against a common bandit. Best not waste something that valuable against those pests.

Abiene’s reaction to the news of the vampire was exactly what she feared and hoped to avoid. Hopefully nobody else heard. Aravi was glad to hear the nest was taken care of, otherwise she would feel obligated to keep watch rather than rest for the night. She heard there were hot baths available and she intended on taking full advantage of the luxury. She imagined the hot water erasing all the aches and pains from her body. I wonder if they have bath oils? She would certainly ask, she loved the way her fur looked and felt after a bath with oils.

Abiene pointed out the lute player and Aravi watched for Kayla’s reaction.


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Aravi: A Khajiit in Skyrim

Recipient of the Colonel Mustard Official Badge of Awesomeosity
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Darkness Eternal
post May 21 2013, 02:40 AM
Post #50


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From: Coldharbour



~Lycus Desselius~

Lycus finished his fill with the hunger of a ravenous hound, and he gave no room for proper breathing. He picked off the remaining pieces of ham and mushroom with his dirty finger, and pushed the plate aside when there was nothing left but sauce.

There was no telling of the Dunmer woman who sat beside him other than she was a rogue, and was no stranger to combat. Not many Dunmers who were born in Morrowind and left shared in their native people's ideals. Outsiders, as the Dunmers always say, are people who do not belong in their lands. Even their own race born or raised in other provinces were outlanders.

She told him how she was fond of the woods, and not the barren ashland that use to be her people's home. Lycus drank his wine and slammed the bottle down. "You must be part Bosmer." Lycus muttered.

In the backround he heard conversations about the local nosferatu just a close distance outside of the tavern. It didn't surprise him. At this time of night, and with the storm, mortals made easy prey. In a stormy night no one could hear one scream, and in the Great Forest, it never really mattered.

The ones he'd encountered were feral creatures, howling and screeching in dark caverns. But there were those certain ones who could walk in a tavern dressed as a man and wearking the skin of a mortal. Those were the worse, and they had no issues with ordering the deaths of their own kind in hopes of securing territory or to conceal themselves. Lycus' woman once took a job from one of these noble vampires, to kill a man and also clear out a cavern filled with his own that was giving him too many issues. And personally, they were of no grievence to him. Lest they sniffed him out and revealed to others that he himself was not a mere mortal man.

"I hail from these lands," he told the Dunmer woman without looking at her directly. "But I've been just about everywhere and seen just about everything."

Weary from travel, and with a stomach full of food and wine, Lycus got to his feet and craned his neck from side to side, giving an audible crack. Of course, as any man would be who rode on a horse for days, he wanted nothing more right now but to sleep. An a full stomach paved the way for exhaustion. The brutish-looking Imperial grunted as he stepped grabbed his helmet, reached for the bottle of Surille brother's wine to drink and was slightly dissapointed that it was empty. Without pausing to even think, he threw out his hand and picked up the dunmer woman's Firebrand wine from beneath her and gulped down all of its contents. The new taste and the warm burn exploded in his mouth, and down his throat. His stomach felt hotter, too. With a gesture, he tossed away the empty glass bottle into the fire.

"I've been riding from Leyawiin. Took me days. Such a trip drains a man." He said, though it was more of a lie. He'd come from Anvil. He didn't want the Legion woman in the room to take notice of him, or have clues that he was a wanted man, though it would take four days or so for the word of his crime to reach the ears of those in that area. As far as he was concerned, they were still searching for him along the Gold Coast, and were inclined to believe he'd taken a ship to Hammerfell by now. Still, it didn't hurt to be careful. "Keep your eyes open. They say vampires are about, and I doubt these wenches too care of the last of them, if they did anything at all." He whispered in a coarse, mocking tone that only the dark elf woman or those with extremely good hearing could hear.

Whatever conversation he had could wait until tomorrow after he was rested. If he'd make it to tomorrow, that is. The owls and the creatures outside would keep him from sleep, and the noise and beating hearts of the talkative women would keep him awake all night. And of course, there was that one thing that would never let him sleep even after he's been riding half through Cyrodiil.

She'd better allow me to sleep it off, he thought. I'm not in the mood for it tonight.
Satisfied, the Imperial grabbed his shield and looked about for . . . what was his name? Lorkis? Larhist? Lheris?

"Lleris!" Lycus called out gruffly.

This post has been edited by Darkness Eternal: May 21 2013, 02:57 AM


--------------------
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed.
I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.”
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Elisabeth Hollow
post May 21 2013, 04:09 AM
Post #51


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Joined: 15-November 12
From: Texas



Kayla nodded her head at Abiene's queries. "Yeah, they can smell blood. And hear your heart. It leaves sneaking out for the most part. If you're good with a bow you can take them out from afar, before they can see or hear you." She looked at Abiene's plate hungrily. "Actually, yes, please. I would like your mushroom." She slid the plate to herself and gave Abiene a smile. "Go ahead and ask him." Her cheeks turned slightly red and she gave an embarrassed smile. "He's attractive for an elf. I usually go for Nords or Bretons." She took a small bite of the mushroom and washed it down with a mouthful of wine.


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King Coin
post May 21 2013, 04:22 AM
Post #52


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"Lleris!" a gruff, but oddly familiar voice called out loudly.

She looked at its source, the armored Imperial. His helmet was off and she could see his dirty and scarred face. She knew who he was now. She had seen him in another life, in Morrowind, when she was considered nothing but expendable property. A chill swept down her spine, and she felt twinge of fear. She’d seen him kill before she knew how to swing a blade properly. Seeing him brought all those memories back to her, and all the helplessness she had felt at the time. I’m not that person anymore, She told herself. She knew how to fight now. She would never be someone’s property again.

She realized she was staring. She turned her eyes back to Kayla and Abiene. She didn’t want him to notice her, or if he did, she didn’t want him to say anything to her. It appeared Abiene managed to give away some of her food. She tried to ignore the crawling sensation on her back.

This post has been edited by King Coin: May 21 2013, 04:23 AM


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Aravi: A Khajiit in Skyrim

Recipient of the Colonel Mustard Official Badge of Awesomeosity
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Grits
post May 21 2013, 12:10 PM
Post #53


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Joined: 6-November 10
From: The Gold Coast



Abiene

“Go ahead and ask him,” Kayla said, blushing. “He's attractive for an elf. I usually go for Nords or Bretons.”

“Not Imperials?” Abiene teased, lifting a brow at the armored man. Nords and Bretons, she thought. Now there’s a thought to warm the loins.

The Imperial rose to his feet and flung a bottle into the fire. “Lleris!” he bellowed.

Aravi seemed to be struggling for composure. Abiene slipped off the bar stool and glanced around.

A dark-haired Dunmer dashed in from the kitchen and slid to a halt in front of the Imperial. He was as tall as a man, but still boy-slim. “Yes, my lord!” he shouted back. The barman pressed a palm to his face.

Abiene couldn’t begin to guess the source of Aravi’s discomfort. She put a little hip sway in her walk to draw attention away from her flustered friend, though all eyes were surely on the big Imperial.

The bard gave her a disinterested smile as she approached.

“Hello, I’m Abiene.”

“Laegon.”

Abiene leaned on the bar and tilted her head back at Kayla. “Do you see my friend over there?”

He gave Kayla the kind of heated look that Casta Scribonia was always writing about. “I see her.”

“Will you play her a song? She’s from Skyrim, so it should be something with love and blood and beauty.”

The bard thought for a moment, strumming his lute. Then he began to sing.

“Thank you, Laegon.” Abiene dropped a thick coin into his open lute case and turned back to her friends.





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Colonel Mustard
post May 21 2013, 01:10 PM
Post #54


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From: The darkest pit of your soul. Hi there!



If there was one thing to thank Talos and Hircine for on this night, Theudebald gro-Chenniere reflected, it would have to be for the makers of good cloaks. Rain drummed off the thick fabric, covered with a layer of flexible Dreugh wax, and kept it off the rest of him.

Even with his hood up and cloak covering his crossbow and the heavy breastplate and mail he wore, Theudebald made for an imposing sight. He was a large man, especially for a Breton, brawny and thickset, with hair that was tousled and messy with rain and despite the fact he looked to be thirty at most, it was pure white. Sparks jumped and crackled from the head of a large Orsimer-forged warhammer that was slung over his back, tiny starbursts of light dancing like embers on a forge.

Squinting through the rain, the Breton could make out a light burning in the distance, illumination from a lantern or glow stones. With luck, that would mean civilisation and shelter, and perhaps a warm meal instead of the trail rations he had stowed away in his backpack. He picked up his pace, following the road towards Chorrol and taking a side pathway from the main thoroughfare towards the building, passing a sign saying ‘The Wobbly Goblet’.

The inn itself was not much further, and Theudebald found himself before a large, two-storey building. Glowing lanterns flanked a doorway, and there were benches outside, but the Breton ignored them in favour of the door. He pushed it open, out of the rain, and pulled his hood back. Judging by the mud and small puddle just by the doorway, he wasn’t the only one who had just come in out of the rain.

“I lay down on the ground, and the arms and legs of other men, were scattered all around,” a high elf with a lute was singing. “Some cursed, some prayed, some prayed then cursed, then prayed and bled some more.”

For the moment, Theudebald decided to pay the bard no heed, instead slinging his hammer off his back and resting its head on the damp floor so he could take his cloak off. Electrical sparks began to race and crackle from the head of weapon into the puddle he had accidentally placed it in before he tugged it out again.

He took a moment to survey the inn, and nodded after a moment; it seemed like a decent place, almost homely, and staying here out of the weather seemed like a good plan. He nodded to a High Elf who was hurrying towards him, and raised his rain-slicked cloak and packpack as he approached.

“There somewhere I can put these?” he asked. “And is there anything to eat?”
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Grits
post May 21 2013, 03:26 PM
Post #55


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Hethilion

The front door opened again, this time admitting a cloaked human who looked too big to be a Breton and too young for his white hair. Hethilion hurried forward as the man arranged his equipment.

“There somewhere I can put these?” asked the human. “And is there anything to eat?”

Hethilion gestured toward the peg rack with one hand and the bar with the other. “Yes and yes, and will you have a room, sir? Will you be wanting a bath?”

The pool of mud and rainwater widened under the newcomer’s feet. Hethilion reached for his mop. He spared one eye for Lleris, hoping that the big Imperial did not take off the lad’s head. His library beckoned, and there was enough mess to mop off the floor already.



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Saquira
post May 21 2013, 04:10 PM
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"You must be part Bosmer." A smile tugged at the corners of Fedura's lips at the man's comment, and she watched him as he told her he came from Cyrodiil. That he was a traveler was of course something she'd already deduced, as he must have spent quite some time in Morrowind to learn the language so well.

When he stood up and grabbed his bottle, only to put it back down again and take hers instead, Fedura's eyes narrowed slightly as the smile on her lips disappeared. She was however very surprised by his ability to drink the whole thing in one go, and as such her eyes did not stay narrowed for long. The whisper for her to keep her eyes open for vampires caused a grim smile to come upon her face.

“Don't worry, I always keep my eyes open,” she said as he stood there, thinking of something. Then he called out the name of a person who she assumed worked in the public house, and a moment later another man – this one much younger – came running out from the kitchen with a shout of; “Yes, my lord!” She couldn't help the snort of amusement that escaped her mouth as she turned back to her food to continue eating. The young man sounded like a Dunmer, and his ears were pointed.

A while after, the bard began to play on his lute, and then took up a pleasant song. She allowed her thoughts to wander as she finished the mutton dish, and began on the smaller plate of cheese and grapes. She thankfully still had a rather large glass of firebrand wine, or she might have been angrier at the man who'd thrown the bottle into the fire. As she thought of the day, and where she should head on the morrow, the door opened yet again to admit another patron. But she did not turn around this time, and instead drank of her wine as thoughts came and went in her head.


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Colonel Mustard
post May 21 2013, 04:34 PM
Post #57


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Theudebald nodded his thanks to the Altmer, and as he hung up his coat and pack, said; "I'll be taking a room for the night, definitely, and I'll have a bath later on in the evening, thank you. I'll be eating and putting my feet up a while first."

He his boots clean to avoid trekking mud across the floor and subsequently raising the ire of the Orc woman behind the bar and made his way over there. Pulling up a stool, he glanced at the menu for a moment before the bartender asked; "What can I get you?"

"I'll have..." Theudebald glanced at the menu again. "The slaughterfish, if there's any going. And a glass of Stros M'Kai rum to warm me up a little."

He glanced over at the Khajiit and Altmer women he shared the bar with and nodded a greeting to them.

"Evening," he said.
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Darkness Eternal
post May 21 2013, 07:12 PM
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The heavy Imperial noticed some of the patrons turned to him for a time, and then back to their meals and conversation with disinterest but one of them kept her eyes on him for a moment before turning around quickly. Like a dog or a wolf, Lycus could sense fear. He could smell it just as plainly as he could smell the rain or the food. It was almost palpable. But though he sensed something else in this girl, he felt as if he knew her from somewhere but he couldn’t remember. Like a man trying to recall a distant dream . . . he turned to her and was about to speak when -

“Yes, my lord!”

Lycus looked straight at the boy who responded to his beckon. This must be the one who polishes armor . . .

"I'm no lord." Lycus said.

He was the height of a man but had quite a boyish face and a youthful look to him. Lycus analyzed the fellow from his head to his toe and snorted a chuckle. "You’re the boy who polishes armor?"

Before the Lleris could respond, Lycus handed the Dunmer his gauntlets and told him to follow. "There is mud, blood and grime all over it. I want it polished and cleaned as if it were new." He said as he stopped at the foot of a flight of stairs leading to the floors above.

The front door opened and the entrance admitted another person inside. Lycus turned just in time to see a brute of a man, much like himself, enter the room. He was cloaked, and had his white hair as most men of his kind had. Wild and unkempt. No time for self-pampering. He had the look of a warrior about him, that much was clear. The warhammer slung on his back was evidence that this man could be dangerous, and the reflected sparks dancing about the edge told Lycus it was enchanted. Though most of Lycus' allies were men of that kind, he also had many enemies of that kind too.

The Imperial turned to the boy and climbed the stairs as the new song from the bard sounded off in the distance. "Do your job well, greyskin. This armor means a lot to me, and so does this helmet." Lycus said as he handed the boy(who's held the gauntlets in one hand) the snarling wolf helm with the closed visor. "If I find a scratch that was never there before . . . I'll break both of your hands."

The tone of voice Lycus had was not playful, and had a thick venom to it that suggested he wasn't joking, though Lycus enjoyed scaring Dunmers, especially the young ones who don't deserve a sword in their stomachs. Lleris looked simple enough, and with the way the High Elf cleaned the floor and the Nord woman prepared the meals, Lycus did not doubt he would do his job. If not, then perhaps a good scolding would be in order.

The Imperial headed up the stairs, and turned and stopped. Away from the view of the others, but still in sight of the Dunmer he began to remove parts of his armor. He unstrapped the buckles and took apart his bracers, his shoulder pauldrons and breastplate and grieves. He was left with a simple sweaty and stained shirt and his undergarment, though he wasn't embarrassed. The only things in his hands now were his two swords, and his dagger which he around his waist with one of his belts.

"After you've finished, stop by one of the rooms and leave the armor there. You'll know which one it is. I'll leave a marking at the door." Lycus explained, and climbed the steps into the halls above. Surely he was aware he did not pay for any of the rooms, nor did he need to. He would just share one.


****

Vera closed the door after the Altmer lit the fire for her. She inhaled deeply, and let out a satisfied sigh. She was alone for the moment, but not for too long. Vera took her time and measured up her surroundings. The bed was large, the tub was massive and the chamber was cozy enough to suit her needs. There was even a small mirror on the side.

She began to undress. Her old, tattered cloth lay across the foot of the bath. Though she thought it brown, it had been stained a thousand times into a muddy yellow. Her boots, black and muddy, were thrown to the side. Her skin was just as dirty, but bearing evidence of scars of past battles. Over her back, and above her shoulder, and just above her collarbone too. Both sustained in Tamriel and in Oblivion.

She walked up to her satchel and pulled out a stone statuette of the Daedric Huntsman, and brought it at the front of the mirror near the corner of the room. She collected a few candles from the room and set them near the miniature shrine. She bowed her head, and from her pockets recovered a thick piece of human skin that she took from one of her contracts a day earlier.

“Accept this offering, Father of us all, Sport of those who are not our ancestors. For the thrill was real, and my arrow was true. The prey has been slain in the hunt for the glory of the Huntsman. Let his blood and skin please your eyes, and in return, you grant me my blessings for the days to come.”

Vera opened her eyes, and in a sudden flash the skin began to burn and sizzle, though none of the candles touched it. And then, it crumbled and the remaining ashes scattered about the air. A smile slowly cracked from the corner of her lips, for she knew He was pleased.

After she murmured her prayers, she slid into the water. The bath was hot and relaxing, and every ache in her body seemed to slowly dissipate with each passing minute. Though it would return as quick as it left. As a Lycanthropy, she was prone to feeling every pain and ache in her body that she initially never knew she had. Such is the frustration, she thought as she settled in the tub.

The Imperial began washing her hair, scrubbing her scalp with her fingers and then smoothing out the tangles with a comb she picked up from the table. Then she began washing herself thoroughly; from her face to her breasts to her belly to soft curve of her buttocks. The water took on a slightly darker color as all the mud and uncleanness of her body seeped into the bath. She had half a mind to summon the High Elf again, but decided against it.

The door suddenly flung open, and Vera whirled her head to see the Imperial man. He was barefoot and wearing his undergarment and a simple lower-class shirt. He still had his customary long black hair and neatly trimmed black beard. His sable locks fell to the sides of his face an over his shoulders, and slightly down the back. He entered the room, and closed the door behind him and set his weapons aside.

“Where is your armor?”

“I gave it to the man downstairs to polish it.”

She raised an eyebrow. “You’d trust a man with your armor?”

He shrugged. “I’d polish it myself if I were not so tired.”

"You're blessed to have a lioness at your side doing the work, otherwise you'd be a lost man," Vera addressed him.

"That's why I married you." He said.

“The water is fine,” Vera replied as she closed her eyes, and set her head back. “I just got in. Join me.”

“I hope you didn’t blacken it.” Lycus answered her. He pulled the bottom of his shirt away and lifted it over his head, and tossed it to the side so that it joined with Vera’ dirty clothing.

She opened her eyes and regarded him with mild interest. “I’ll blacken your eye if you don’t hurry it up.”

The man smiled. “You missed me.”

Vera returned a grin. “Of course I did.”

This post has been edited by Darkness Eternal: May 21 2013, 07:36 PM


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And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed.
I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.”
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Grits
post May 21 2013, 11:53 PM
Post #59


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From: The Gold Coast



Yetta

Lleris staggered into the kitchen, weighed down by pieces of black armor. Bograk followed.

“Into the scullery,” Yetta told him, though he already knew.

“Guh, this stuff smells like animal,” said Lleris.

“It smells like work,” said Bograk. “We don’t all get to play with flowers for a living.”

Yetta knew that was a dig at her rose cakes and herbal teas. She pointed a finger at her boss. “Those flowers—” she started, but then the back door opened.

Tooth-in-the-Grass strolled through it wearing only a slaughterfish over one shoulder. “Got one,” he said, handing the mallet back to Yetta. He flopped the fish down onto her cleaning board.

Yetta got busy with her knives.

“He’ll break my hands if I scratch this,” Lleris said, his tone still cheerful. “He’s kind of a prick.”

Bograk watched Lleris place the pieces on the cleaning rack. “You couldn’t scratch that if you tried. Check every strap and buckle for wear, you don’t want one to break right after you’ve cleaned it. He might come back and show you your guts.”

Yetta could smell wax and cleaning fluid over the fish. “Hey! Crack open the window!” she called.

Tooth swiped a kitchen towel over his scales and shook his feathers dry. Yetta did her best not to peek.

“Fetcher called me a greyskin.” Lleris was still going on about the Imperial.

“Well, are you one?” Tooth asked him. He winked at Bograk.

“What’s that, scaletail?” the orc shot back.

“Not a thing, tusker.” Tooth turned to Yetta. “Did you hear something, snowback?”

Auguste strode into the kitchen.

“Need something, softbelly?” Yetta asked him.

The Breton stared at her. “What is your problem?”

Tooth and Bograk laughing together sounded like a hog choking on a turtle.

“Steak or fillet?” Yetta asked Auguste.

“I told you, he wants slaughterfish! Did you… yeah, you got one.” He turned on his heel.

“Is he a big fellow or little?” Yetta called after him. “The customer who’s waiting? Auguste!”

“Another big one,” Auguste said over his shoulder.

Yetta looked down at the fish. “Fillets, then,” she said. “I’ll grill the whole fish.”

Tooth stepped back into his clothes.

“You can learn a lot from cleaning armor,” Bograk was saying to Lleris. “Look at the places where the plates turned a blow. Here, and here. Think where a quick lad might slip a blade through. Good. Which room did he go in?”

“South chamber.”

Bograk nodded. “The other Imperial. I thought as much. They have the same manner.”

Yetta glanced at Tooth for an explanation. He hooked an arm and mimed shoveling food in.

“She didn’t take offense when I offered it.” The orc continued. “I doubt we’ll have trouble from them, at least tonight.”

“I’m going to serve this on a platter,” Yetta announced. “Has anyone seen Stefania?”

Bograk looked around as if the girl might be hiding behind the butter churn. “I thought she was in here with you.”

“Probably crawled up Laegon’s trouser leg,” said Tooth. He tossed his towel onto the table. “Need anything carried out?” he asked Yetta.

She smiled at him and shook her head. “Thanks for getting the fish.”



.


This post has been edited by Grits: May 22 2013, 12:07 AM


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King Coin
post May 22 2013, 01:39 AM
Post #60


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Aravi breathed a sigh of relief when the Imperial went up the stairs, presumably to his room. She would be perfectly happy to not see him again. She picked at her food while Abiene requested a song from the bard. She pushed aside her plate and pulled her dessert in front of her. She had no appetite anymore, but maybe she could enjoy this.

Another man sat down at the counter and ordered his food. Aravi wasn’t sure what race he was. He looked like a Breton, but he was unusually large if he was. Then again, I’m unusually small for a Suthay-raht. And then his hair was white. Like my fur.
He looked over at her. “Evening.”

“Good evening,” she replied. “I’m Aravi.”

This post has been edited by King Coin: May 29 2013, 03:12 AM


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Aravi: A Khajiit in Skyrim

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