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> The Scroll, the Priest and the Angry Imperial, Formerly known as, 'Dawn of a New Era'
redsrock
post Apr 13 2008, 10:02 PM
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Author's Note

My new fan-fic focuses on the 'new' Count of Skingrad, and the 'new' Cyrodiil. This story takes place three years after the Oblivion Crisis, and the story simply tells the Count's adventures, mishaps, etc. The first chapter is more of a 'telling' chapter, rather than a 'doing' chapter. It might seem boring, but I assure you, it has to be this way. I have to lay down all the ground work so that you don't get confused down the road. Trust me; there will be plenty of action in this fic. That is what has been lacking in my other tales.

Feel free to ask any questions about what's going on, I'd be glad to answer them for you. And of course I'd appreciate some feed back as well. tongue.gif


The Scroll, the Priest and the Angry Imperial


PROLOGUE

When the Gates of Oblivion were finally closed, and once Mehrunes Dagon and the Mythic Dawn were eliminated from existence, the province of Cyrodiil was still left with an enormous problem. They were without an Emperor, and without an Emperor Cyrodiil went into an immediate mode of panic.

Ever since the Oblivion Crisis, the cities of Cyrodiil have had to fend for themselves, resulting in several alliances. The territories of Cyrodiil have changed, and the map at the bottom explains everything.

As of now there are four regions spread out through Tamriel. These regions are simply classified as North, South, East and West. VERY simple, yes, but what's the point of making fancy names? Nobody cares anyway.

The North region, as you can see from the map, consists of Bruma and Chorrol. Essentially the entire area of the Jerall Mountains is under Northern control, and that in its self would make them a formidable foe if war were to break out. (Thankfully that has yet to happen) The leaders of the North are Countesses Arriana Valga (of Chorrol) and Narina Carvain (of Bruma). Both are skillful leaders in their own right, and Lady Carvain is a shrewd and tactful negotiator. As of now the Northerners are fairly quiet, and for the most part keep to themselves.

The East region consists of Cheydinhal and the Imperial City. The leaders are Count Andel Indarys (of Cheydinhal), and High Commander Adamus Hieronymus Lex (of Imperial City). Lex took over as leader of the Legion once the Chancellor Ocato was assassinated by an unknown assailant. It is rumored that Lex had something to do with the killing, but nothing is factual. After Ocato's death the Council got scared and decided to let Cyrodiil fend for itself as a whole. Yes, that does sound a bit absurd, but that is what has resulted.

Count Indarys lets Lex do most of the talking, though it is also rumored that Indarys wishes to employ a more Dunmerian influence within the Eastern leadership. It is highly unlikely for Lex to agree with that. Whatever is left of the Legion lies in the Eastern region. Though their area is the second smallest, they hold all advantages in terms of military because of their massive army-size.

You see, once Lex was formally named leader of the Legion (though of course he did this himself oddly enough, no doubt with a swift and iron first) he recalled all Legion troops from foreign lands. Now Morrowind stands Imperial-less, and Helseth is now the main-man over there, battling his way through the angry Ashlander tribes of course.

The Easterners are very active, fighting with the Southerners for area control. Also, the troops of Cheydinhal are currently dealing with some rebels in the northeast. As of now they have not bothered the North and West, but it is inevitable that something will happen sooner or later.

The South region includes the cities, Leyawiin and Bravil. Leaders of the region are Counts Marius Caro (of Leyawiin), and Regulus Terentius. The two leaders are power hungry, plain and simple. It is almost safe to say that the South and East are the 'bad guys' of Cyrodiil, but if one had to be chosen as the 'good guys' it would probably be the South. The East wants power all to them selves, and they pose the greatest threat. Either way the two forces are equally dangerous.

And last but not least is the West, which includes Anvil and Skingrad. The leaders of the West are Countess Millona Umbranox (of Anvil), and myself, Count Louis Vero (of Skingrad). There's no doubt in my mind you're wondering where Janus Hassildor is, correct? Well, I'll tell you.

The former Skingrad Count stepped down shortly after the Oblivion Crisis, one year to be exact. Nobody knows the true reason for his departure, but I have my own theory. Count Hassildor was a vampire, though not many knew this. I myself knew because I was a personal diplomat for the former Count of Skingrad. Somehow a few others found out about his dirty secret, and in my eyes Janus felt the need to leave before a riot started. Either way it doesn't matter, I (along with my lovely wife), am the present and future of Skingrad.

Like the Northerners, we Westerners like to keep to ourselves and not cause a ruckus. Out of all the major cities in Cyrodiil I'd say Skingrad is the most prosperous. Many merchants come to my city simply for the fact that I will let just about anyone open shop, as long as their items aren't illegal of course. I don't want a city full of skooma and moon-sugar addicts, mind you.

And now, as I stand here on my balcony with the cool, evening wind blowing in my face, I can only feel lucky to be in the position I am now. Skingrad has been lucky to have had a peaceful atmosphere for the past few years, and that of course has made my transition to Count smooth as well. However, something tells me that the peace will not last much longer. I don't know why, but I have a very bad feeling something major is going to happen. I just wish I knew what it was.


http://s284.photobucket.com/albums/ll18/re...nt=Cyrodiil.jpg

This post has been edited by redsrock: Apr 20 2008, 02:35 PM


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Lord Veneficus
post Apr 13 2008, 10:03 PM
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Hey Red, isn't it the new count of Kvatch?


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redsrock
post Apr 13 2008, 10:06 PM
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QUOTE(Lord Veneficus @ Apr 13 2008, 10:03 PM) *

Hey Red, isn't it the new count of Kvatch?

No, what do you mean?


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Lord Veneficus
post Apr 13 2008, 10:08 PM
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I mean like are you talking about the new count of Kvatch or did Count Hassildor of Skingrad die or something?


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redsrock
post Apr 13 2008, 10:10 PM
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QUOTE(Lord Veneficus @ Apr 13 2008, 10:08 PM) *

I mean like are you talking about the new count of Kvatch or did Count Hassildor of Skingrad die or something?

It's all in the story. You must have missed it....


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Burnt Sierra
post Apr 13 2008, 10:12 PM
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QUOTE(redsrock @ Apr 13 2008, 10:02 PM) *

The leaders of the West are Countess Millona Umbranox (of Anvil), and myself, Count Philip Vero (of Skingrad). There’s no doubt in my mind you’re wondering where Janus Hassildor is, correct? Well, I’ll tell you.

The former Skingrad Count stepped down shortly after the Oblivion Crisis, one year to be exact. Nobody knows the true reason for his departure, but I have my own theory. Count Hassildor was a vampire, though not many knew this. I myself knew because I was a personal diplomat for the former Count of Skingrad. Somehow a few others found out about his dirty secret, and in my eyes Janus felt the need to leave before a riot started. Either way it doesn’t matter, I (along with my lovely wife), am the present and future of Skingrad.


Think that's quite clear actually smile.gif
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redsrock
post Apr 13 2008, 10:13 PM
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Lol, yep, there you go.


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Lord Veneficus
post Apr 13 2008, 10:16 PM
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QUOTE(Lord Veneficus @ Apr 13 2008, 04:08 PM) *

I mean like are you talking about the new count of Kvatch or did Count Hassildor of Skingrad die or something?

Oh okay. My bad, so what happened to Kvatch? They never rebuilt it?


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redsrock
post Apr 13 2008, 10:17 PM
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QUOTE(Lord Veneficus @ Apr 13 2008, 10:16 PM) *

QUOTE(Lord Veneficus @ Apr 13 2008, 04:08 PM) *

I mean like are you talking about the new count of Kvatch or did Count Hassildor of Skingrad die or something?

Oh okay. My bad, so what happened to Kvatch? They never rebuilt it?

I'll get to that later. I just didn't want to overload the reader with too much information in one post.

This post has been edited by redsrock: Apr 13 2008, 10:17 PM


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Lord Veneficus
post Apr 13 2008, 10:20 PM
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Oh, sorry. Btw, I look forward to reading more of this. biggrin.gif


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redsrock
post Apr 13 2008, 10:46 PM
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Good, I hope this story gets more attentiont than my other did. wink.gif


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Steve
post Apr 14 2008, 04:06 AM
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Hmm, this does sound interesting. I personally love Skingrad. I have had many adventures there!!! lol
This story really has me interested. I have always wanted to read a story with politics of the Empire and, this story could be my wish!!!
Though, if it aint very political, I bet it would still be good!!!
As always, I shall follow your work!

yes, indeed!
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redsrock
post Apr 14 2008, 04:15 AM
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Great, I'm VERY glad to hear that. And yes it will involve lots of politics, among many other things. With this fic I am trying out stuff that I've neve tried before.


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Sphinx
post Apr 14 2008, 09:52 AM
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Many people wonder what fate awaits the whole continent of Tamirel after the septim line finishes.

To say that there would be 4 districts is would be extremely difficult to manage for those powerbrokers to achieve.
the countess of leyawin would have to oppose her mother for one to to stay loyal to her husband at any rate.

If the empire was no more, the history from books found whilst completing the game suggest that cyrodill would most certainly revert to their 2 seperate previous territories.

COLOVIA .(Kvatch,anvil,chorrol & skingrad) are totally have been at one in customs and trade for centuries and would have the Orcs eradicated.
The Elven and imperial populations resettled by financial inducements back east where they belong.

NIBANAY has always been the oposing district. cheydinhal,leyawin,Bravil and the Imperial city.

with Bruma tired of conflict remaining neutral due to obvious nordic influences from Skyrim if civil war brakes out .

kvatch should be rebuilt with a new count assending,
The Elven populations of Nibanay and morrowind dream of a return to their aylied culture but with no powerbase to draw from, they will look to previous secret sorcery to achieve their aims of taking back the white gold tower and with it the Imperial city.

All the other provinces of Tamriel would be in crisis over the direction of these alliances and will declare independance in their own right.

The nations of of Hammerfell and Skyrim would naturally ally with Colovia if conflict occurrs as Nords ,Bretons and Redguards have no time for imperials,orcs and elves generally.
Together this alliance would prefer a military expedition to Akavir awaits if they can avoid conflict in Cyrodiil.

Nibanay would ally with Morrowind and Summerset isle and recommence the slave trade of argonians from the black marsh as already told in books found in the arcade university.

I myself continue to play the game with 2 characters one a redguard from chorrol who is pro empire and has completed the Oblivion quest , the arch mage and is head of the fighters guild.

The other is also a redguard form skingrad who is the listener of the dark brotherhood and ruler of shivering isles refuses to hand over the amulet of kings to Jaffre.
He sits deliberately on the throne in skingrad and demands the return of Colovian independance fom the empire .
Of course he has a 150,000 bounty on his head as he regularly has to enforce his will, unfortunately Janis wont die.
Heronimus lex is already dead during one of his previous brotherhood quests.
Anvil due to the grey fox's return to be the count of that city will follow his sucessors wishes and continue to coerce chorrol and Skingrad away from imperial influence.

I shall still eagerly follow your interesting story with great interest to see how it pans out.

with respect

The sphinx

This post has been edited by Sphinx: Apr 14 2008, 11:17 AM
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redsrock
post Apr 14 2008, 02:09 PM
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A lot of what say makes sense, but that is simpy your opinion. But I happen to respect your opinion, since you actually seem to know what you're talking about.

But the whole 4 region thing, I don't really think it's that unrealistic at all. Basically it's four different countries living in one province. I mean, what is so unrealistic about it?

Also about me rebuilding Kvatch, well it is my story after all! tongue.gif And I haven't even mentioned it yet. You don't know what I have in store for the city.

But don't worry, things will get exciting sooner or later. Thanks for following the story too, I appreciate it.

This post has been edited by redsrock: Apr 14 2008, 02:10 PM


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redsrock
post Apr 14 2008, 03:50 PM
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CHAPTER ONE

"Come on, sweetie, come back to bed. It's two o'clock in the morning."

My wife did have a point, for it was early in the morning and the only ones out and about were my city guards; but I just couldn't get to sleep, at least no after what happened earlier.

"I'm wide awake, Rachel. I might as well wait it out."

So she threw the covers off of herself and got out of bed to join me. Then she closed the double doors to the inside, and pulled up two chairs requesting that I sit down and talk with her. My wife had always been like that; according to her sitting down and discussing matters was the answer to every problem.

"I'm sure it's nothing, Louie. You know Lex; he's always been paranoid that someone is going to take his throne away from him."

True, Lex was unquestionably paranoid, to say the least. Though what happened earlier today was still biting at my lip. A guard found a Legion spy milling around through the castle corridors, the ones that are off-limits for civilians. Now this isn't much of a surprise, especially coming from Lex. This has happened more than once before, but even then the spies never actually infiltrated my castle. Of course that doesn't mean that they have not been inside my castle before, only that my guards haven't caught them in the act just yet. I suppose I shouldn't worry too much, but I've just got a funny feeling something is up.

"I don't know, Rachel, this isn't like before. I think I'm going to pay Lex a visit tomorrow."

She didn't like that idea one bit, and her dark-skinned nose rose up in disapproval. "I think you're beginning to turn into Lex yourself. You're worrying too much, baby. The South and East are at war, they're always going to…"

Rather than let her finish I quickly cut her off, a tad bit rude I should add. "Exactly! The East is at war with the South, not us! Why would he order an agent to spy on us if he didn't have a plan up his sleeve?"

"Because he is Lex, Louis, plain and simple! I can't believe you're that surprised by this. Knowing Hieronymus I'm actually surprised he hasn't sent his whole army yet. You know that will come eventually," She said matter-of-factly.

"Yes, Rachel, I know. You don't have to remind me," I said, rubbing my hair. I was starting to get a headache from all of this stress.

She cuddled up beside me and put her head under my left arm to show her love. She always knew how to cheer me up. "Go ahead and speak with him tomorrow. Then you'll see you were wrong and I was right, just as usual," she said playfully.

"You know, you sound just like you mother unfortunately," I said humorously back.

"And just what is that supposed to mean? She is always right," She said, after lightly hitting my on the shoulder with a smile.

"True, you mother knows all," I said sarcastically, "But if I remember correctly, she did say you and I would never make it together. The last time I checked she was wrong about that one."

"Well, I guess that proves she's not a goddess," Rachel laughed.

"You could have fooled me," I said, sarcastically again.

She hit on the shoulder once more, this time a tad bit harder than before. "Oh shut up, Louie. Come, let's get back to bed."




Rachel doesn't mind my sarcasm simply because she knew exactly what I was talking about. She came from a Redguard family of seven kids and one mother. The father left the family for whatever reasons when she was just a baby girl, and her mother, who we'll call ‘Mrs. Levine" had a tough time of raising her children, but all in all I'd say she did a nice job.

When I first met Rachel, in the Imperial City of all places, I was on a business trip for Janus Hassildor. She was a librarian of the Arcane University and I was trying to find a certain book for my master. You can probably guess what that book was about, so I won't go any further on that matter.

I couldn't help but notice Rachel's beauty, and once I talked with her for a little while, I knew she was the one. But when I went to meet her mother, some couple of months later, Mrs. Levine didn't like me at all. With me being a Breton, and Rachel a Redguard, she disregarded me pretty much as scum. She didn't believe in cross-race dating or anything of that sort. But thankfully, after a lot of you-know-what kissing, she finally gave me the nod of approval. Not that I needed it or anything, but I'd rather have her approval than her disapproval. And the rest, as too many would say, is history.




The two of us then stood up and went back inside, and after a little fun, finally fell asleep.


+++++ +++++ +++++ +++++ +++++ +++++


I slept the entire night without waking up even once, which was strange for me. Usually I would toss and turn all night, and then would wake up several times to use the restroom. This night, however, was totally peaceful.

When I finally rose from my slumber it was almost eight-thirty in the morning, and Rachel was just slipping her elegant baby-blue dress over her slender, tan body.

"So you finally decided to join the rest of the world, huh?" she asked teasingly. "I was going to wake you up in a few minutes anyway."

I'd say if it weren't for the bright rays of the sun shining through our window curtains I would probably still be sleeping. But I needed to wake up anyhow. I usually didn't sleep past seven o'clock, so this was definitely late for me. I rubbed my eyes and rolled out of bed, and then headed over to my mirror.

My brown hair was in a mess, and was hanging loosely below my ears. On a good day, whenever I had it kept neat and trim, it would stop just at my earlobes. Now I looked like some kind of monster. Oh well, it wasn't anything a simply comb would fix. Within one hour I had bathed and gotten myself ready for the trip to the Imperial City. But of course before I left I would need to speak with my Commander.

Rachel and I walked together to the throne room, and sat down at our seats. I saw one of the servants, and then asked, "Would you please fetch Commander Artellian and Captain Dion? Thank you."

Dion is the Captain of the city guard and my two honor-guards. Danus Artellian is the Commander of the Skingrad army. Within minutes the two appeared in front of me and I told them of my plans.

"I will be traveling to the Imperial City soon to talk with Lex about our little spy. I shall leave at noon and should return sometime in the evening. I don't know if I will be invited for dinner as a guest, but knowing Lex that is unlikely. Anyway, Dion, I need you to prepare my honor guards."

The Redguard Dion stood there with his usual polite demeanor. He was my favorite soldier by far. He never once would give me grief, and always did his job with a happy smile. I enjoyed having the service of Dion. He was an excellent soldier and a good person.

"Yes sir, right away," Dion said, just before marching off to complete my orders.

Then I turned my attention to Danus, who himself looked rather tired.

"You don't look too good, Danus; almost as if you didn't a good nights sleep last night."

"I was up all night searching for anymore spies. Somebody has to do it, since apparently a certain person can't do his job correctly," Danus said, with a mean tone.

I knew exactly who he was talking. His rude remarks were referring to Dion. The two have never gotten along, even when I was just a diplomat. The prime reason for their little ‘rival' is that Danus is stuck up. I hate to say that about my own commander, but it is true. In fact, if Danus wasn't such a skillful and knowledgeable officer I would have relieved him from his duties a long time ago.

Danus has criticized Dion more than once about correctly following orders. And of course Dion, with his sometimes sarcastic attitude, will fire back at him and give him what he deserves. But of course Dion has to watch what he says. Even though most people despise Danus, he is a rank above Dion.

And really, I don't despise Danus; I just think he's a pompous fool sometimes. I suppose I don't have a hatred for him since I've dealt with those kinds of people all my life. Even way back in Ebonheart as a child I had to put up with that nonsense. But that's a story for another day.

"Dion did what he could, Danus. But I didn't bring you hear to bad-mouth him. I want you to keep an eye on things while I'm gone, and be sure that Rachel always has an escort wherever she goes. Alright?"

I took a glimpse at Rachel and she rolled her eyes, but I simply shrugged it off.

"Yes, sir. Everything will be fine," Danus said, and then walked away. He didn't like my tone, I could tell easily. But what else was new?

"I can take care of myself, you know," Rachel said flatly, once Danus was out of earshot.

"Oh," I said with a hearty laugh, "It's not you I'm worried about. I would just feel terrible for the unlucky man who looks at you the wrong way!" Rachel really liked that one.

"Very funny, Louis. But seriously, enough with the jokes. I want to talk to you about your little trip."

I looked at her and raised my head in question. "Yeah, what about it?"

"Be careful, sweetie, I'm not kidding. I don't want anything happening to you out there."

"I thought you said there was nothing to worry about?" I asked questionably.

"I know what I said, but I was thinking last night in bed." She looked at the floor for a couple of seconds and then looked back up at me. "I…I can't honestly say what you should expect. Who knows what Lex is up to, and if it is something that involves Skingrad, well…I just don't want you to get hurt, Louis."

Right then I was reminded why I love my wife so much. Even though she was a bit sarcastic, even a bit bossy at times, she was still the most loving and caring person I had ever met. I reached over and took her hand in mine.

"Don't worry, Rachel. I won't let anything happen; I'm not stupid," I said with a wink. "Besides, I'll have twenty soldiers with me, plus two personal honor-guards within my carriage. Everything will be fine, I promise."

Then I reached over and kissed her on the right cheek and stroked her long black hair, and that seemed to help lift her spirits, but only a little bit. I absolutely hated to see her upset. And unfortunately sometimes she used this known fact to get what she wanted. Like I said, she's an angel and a devil, if you will. I'm thirty-five-years of age right now and she is thirty-three. We've been married for five years now and I wouldn't want her any other way.



At around a quarter-till-noon I said my last goodbyes to Rachel and left the castle, escorted by two guards. I could tell she really didn't want me to go, but I didn't know why. She had never acted this anxious and questioning before. It was kind of strange now that I think about it, but oh well; I really didn't see a need to be so nervous. Lex may be a paranoid honoured user, but he would never attempt to take my life when there was really no call for it.

Outside of the city twenty soldiers were standing in place, with Dion at the front talking to my two honor-guards. The skies were bright blue and there wasn't a cloud in sight. The temperature was fairly warm, with a nice cool breeze coming in from the Abecean Sea.

"Is everything ready, Captain?" I asked Dion.

"Yes, sir. The men are prepared and ready to go. Judging by the skies I'd say you'll have a smooth trip. Too bad you're going to meet with Lex. He'll change all of that I'm sure," he said with a laugh.

I laughed along with him for several seconds and then boarded my carriage, along with my two personal honor-guards, Torlin the Redguard, and Vaden the Dunmer. Soon Dion motioned towards my coachman and we set off towards Skingrad.

"Good morning, sir," Torlin said with a cheerful smile.

"Good morning, Torlin. And you too, Vaden. You seem a little quiet this morning, though," I said.

"I apologize, sir. I just don't like the fact that the spy was able to infiltrate our castle so easily. But what gets me most is where we found him and what he was doing. He wasn't even trying to hide it seemed. Why would Hieronymus send such a fool to do his spying?" Torlin asked, thinking deeply at the same time.

"Well, that's why we're off for the Imperial City. We'll find our answers soon enough," I winked.

This post has been edited by redsrock: Apr 14 2008, 09:35 PM


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redsrock
post Apr 15 2008, 08:59 PM
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CHAPTER TWO

The closer we got to the Imperial City the more and more I thought about what was to come of my little meeting with Hieronymus Lex. Then again, there's always the chance of him not even being in the Imperial City. He's been known to actual be on the battlefield for many of this battles, commanding his troops. After all, before the Oblivion Crisis he was an Imperial officer.

Come to think of it, even if he is present I'm not exactly sure what I'll say. I suppose it'll be something along the lines of, ‘Hey, why are you sending spies into my castle?', but of course it will be worded more formally than that. The one good thing about Hieronymus Lex is that he isn't stupid. The southern leaders, now they aren't that intelligent, especially Terentius. However, Lex knows how to weasel himself out every situation, and I expect him to do the same with me.

"How long do you think we'll be in the Imperial City, sir?" Torlin asked after about thirty minutes of riding in the carriage.

"I don't know, hopefully not too long. I just want to make sure he isn't up to something; not that he'd tell me if he was, but I'll be able to tell for myself by the tone of his voice. And then of course he might invite me to dinner, though I doubt it."

Torlin chuckled at the last sentence and then started staring outside the carriage. Vaden was still thinking deeply about the spies from last night, so I decided to pick his brain with a few of my own questions.

"What's you're theory on our spy, Vaden?"

He looked at me, smiled, and then began. "If you ask me, it's only a matter of time until the East invades us anyhow. I believe the spy was searching for something in particular; something that would aid in a smooth invasion into Skingrad. If Lex captures us he essentially has the entire region. Everyone knows Anvil's army isn't anything to sneeze at."

"So what do you think the spy was after?" I asked.

"To be honest, I think the spy was looking for any hidden entrances inside the castle. Also, he was probably looking at our numbers and trying to figure out exactly how large our army is. But, there's also something else I've been thinking about."

He paused for a second, and now even Torlin was interested in what he had to say.

"He wants total control of Cyrodiil as whole. I think it's pretty safe to say about him."

He said this almost in a quiet tone, though I don't know why. Torlin was now sitting on the edge of his seat, and I can't blame him. Vaden is a deep thinker, and was always coming up with complicated ideas about pretty much everything in the world. I simply nodded and he continued.

"I think, and let say this is just a gut feeling, that he will hire people on the inside once he finally decides to put his plan in motion and invade our region."

"You think there will be a traitor in our midst?" Torlin asked, a little surprised by Vaden's comments.

"Yes, of course. Doesn't it make sense to you? Lex is a dirty rat, and he will of course hire someone on our side that is a dirty rat as well. It would only help him, and Lex isn't stupid. He knows it will take more than mere brute force to sack our city."

Those were certainly some ideas to think about it. I didn't want to even begin to think that someone would betray my trust and the trust of my beloved city, but it did make sense.

"That is rubbish. No one here is low enough to do something like that! I can't believe you would even suggest such an idea!" Torlin said, probably a bit too harshly.

And here we go again. Torlin and Vaden are always debating. Sometimes things got out of hand and they would actually yell at each other. There was even one instance where they got into a fist fight over an argument. They tried to hide it from me, but they couldn't hide the bruises. I punished them by fining them fifty septims each. I can take the arguing, but I will not tolerate actually fighting with one another. Needless to say, I haven't had that problem since. It was one of those moments where I actually yelled at them, and I don't do that very often if I can avoid it.

"Oh really, Torlin? Do you really thing that nobody would betray us, even if they were tempted by the sound of gold coins pitter-patting on a wooden table? Think for second; our world is a greedy place. There's always someone who would do an evil deed if it brought them fame, fortune, or any other benefits."

Vaden had an excellent point, though I wasn't about to admit it out loud. I don't took sides in these arguments. It always ends with a mess and one or the other not talking to me for the rest of the day.

"I don't know, Vaden, it just seems like rubbish to me. You are right about the world being greedy. I'll admit that," Torlin said depressingly, sad because he was forced to partially concur with Vaden. "But I just don't want to believe that someone would double-cross us."

Vaden smiled widely at the fact that he was able to get Torlin to agree with him. "You actually agree with me? That's actually kind of scary," Vaden said, and then winked at me. Torlin was looking outside the window again, shaking his head in disgust.




We arrived in the Imperial City at around six o'clock in evening. After ordering my men to stay by the stables, and of course actually stabling my horses and carriage, courtesy of a friendly Orc, my honor-guards and I walked up to the two Imperial City soldiers guarding the entrance.

"Good evening, I am here to speak with Hieronymus Lex. Is he present at the moment?" I asked one of the guards.

The guard looked at his partner, then back at me and said, "Commander Lex is currently residing in his chambers, and is in the middle of a meeting. If you don't mind, I can escort you to the castle lobby, and there you may wait for him to finish."

"Yes, that will do. Lead the way then, please."

The guard opened the gates and led us through the city and toward the palace. My two honor-guards and I received plenty of stares, but that was quite common for my guards. They were definitely used to that by now.

Their armor is not regular Skingrad armor. Theirs is custom-made Imperial Knight Templar, all the way from Morrowind and forged by an expert smith. Its gold, red, and shiny brass colors are absolutely gorgeous to look at. It's no wonder they are stared at by many. I get attention myself, but that is only because I am a Count. I do not wear armor for simple traveling, usually just a nice blue-green robe outfit.

When we arrived entered the castle the three of us sat down at a circular table. Then the guard motioned for one of the servants. They spoke a few words and then the guard left and went back to his regular duties. Within minutes our table was full of some delicious looking food and plenty of wine to drink as well.

We ate lot, drank a little, and barely talked at all. In about twenty minutes down the steps walked Lex and following close behind was Count Indarys, co-leader of the Eastern Region. But what surprised me was who was walking behind Indarys. It was Countess Umbranox of Anvil.

"What is she doing here?" Vaden whispered just before Lex made his way over to our table.

"Louis, how good of you to drop by. Is there a problem?" Lex asked, trying to sway away from the fact that one of his enemies was walking peacefully through his castle.
"Yes, actually there is," I said, as Indarys and Umbranox quickly exited the castle. "My men caught one of your spies walking about through our corridors yesterday morning. I'd like to know why."

Lex poked his around as if to make sure the others were gone, and replied, "Follow me to my room, please. I assure you there is nothing going on, but I'd like to talk in private if you don't mind."

Torlin and Vaden looked at me, and I nodded for them stay put while I talk to Lex. So I followed him up the stairs and into his personal chambers. He closed the door behind us, and even locked it as well, which I thought to be kind of strange. Of course then again, like I've mentioned before, he is extremely paranoid.

"Please, sit down, Louis. So, you say you found one of my spies lurking around your castle?" Lex asked.

"Yes, yesterday morning to be exact," I replied after taking a seat in a nice comfortable arm-chair.

"Well, I can assure you it wasn't my spy," he said quickly.

"Yes, it was your spy. He said so himself and was wearing a Legion belt."

"Louis, I know you are not that naïve. Anybody can get there hands on an Imperial belt. It's not that hard. Plus, my spies are true professionals; meaning one, they don't get caught. Two, they wouldn't be wearing Legion material, because that just wouldn't make any sense. And three, why the hell would I send him to spy on you in the morning?"

He was brining up some very good points, but I didn't believe him. And also he was speaking very fast, and it was very odd in the way he was doing it; almost like he had planned this beforehand. But that still doesn't explain why he sent the spy in the morning.

"But the spy said he was sent by you. Doesn't that account for at least something?"

"Did you torture the spy to get that information?" he asked wit his arms crossed, looking rather impatient.

"No, he said it willingly without us doing anything to him."

"That why in the world would he tell you that? Not because he's a snitch, because I wouldn't hire a snitch to do my bidding, now would I?"

He said this with a rude and sarcastic tone, one that I didn't appreciate. So I decided to give him a little sarcasm of my own.

"I don't know, Hieronymus, you tell me."

He knew exactly what I was referring to. It was the way he obtained the seat of power in the Imperial City. He used a lot of dirty and shady tactics, and ever since he's been given a bad reputation. It was probably immature of me to refer back to that, but I couldn't help it. Beside, he set himself up for it anyway.

"I'll tell you for the last time," he said with an angry tone while point his finger at me. "I did not send that spy. Now, is there anything else you want to ask me? I have important business to attend to."

He was so mad with me right now; I could just feel the anger flowing off of him. "No, that will be all. But just to let you know, whether the spy is yours or not, the next time I catch a spy who says they are from the Imperial City I will take action."

"Louis, you are not Hassildor. Just remember that from now on…" he said with a mischievous little smile.

He opened the door and I marched out angry as ever. I knew what he was getting at. He was trying to bait me into an argument by hinting that I was not a good a leader as Hassildor was. But I was not weak, unlike him. I wasn't going to bite at the bait. Besides, I don't even agree with that statement. Just take a look at my city. It has never flourished as much as it is now.

I left his room and told my honor-guards to come with me. They knew I was angry and did not say a word in return. Once we were in the carriage and on our way towards Skingrad I simply looked out the window in anger. I very well knew that the spy was his, even if he wouldn't admit it. The honoured user is always trying to wiggle out of things. Though I don't believe he was after anything specific, contrary to Vaden's beliefs. I just think he's being his regular nosy paranoid self.

When neither Vaden nor Torlin said anything for a long time I broke the silence and explained to them of everything that went on. To some that might seem a bit strange, that I was giving information to my honor-guards. But I am what you would call ‘different'. I consider Torlin and Vaden friends, not just bodyguards. There are a lot of things that I do that are contradicting to what the other rulers believe in. But those are stories for another time.

This post has been edited by redsrock: Apr 15 2008, 09:52 PM


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redsrock
post Apr 16 2008, 03:03 PM
Post #18


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Any comments or suggestions?


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Steve
post Apr 16 2008, 10:28 PM
Post #19


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Great Lord Almighty!!!
This story I like very much indeed!
Reminds me of The Last Heir! Hope you take that as a compliment!
If I were him, I would punch Lex in the mouth!!! evil little bugger.
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redsrock
post Apr 16 2008, 11:24 PM
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Thanks, and of course I take it as a comment.


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