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> Ekali of the Frozen Heights, Book one
Saquira
post Dec 2 2011, 05:58 PM
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So, I've been working on this since before Skyrim came out now and I think it's about time I publish it. I'm still working on Felisas Memoires, I actually got really inspired yesterday and wrote up the ending so now I know exactly where I want to go with it. I just wanted to get started on publishing this story as well.

I'm no longer working on A Strange Love, you'll probably have gotten it by now but I just wanted to get it out. I might go back to it and continue sometime, but then I'll make a completely new version and it probably won't happen for a very long time.

I change a lot of the things in the main quest in this story, because the dragons really should be able to use all the shouts(it's their language after all) and a lot of other reasons. Ekali won't only follow the main quest though, not like Felisa did. And I'll also have this story be much more orderly, in that I'll divide every chapter in numbered parts and will be writing a "what came before" paragraph at the start of each update.

Anyway, this is the story of the khajiit Ekali, and her journey through Skyrim.

Ekali of the Frozen Heights
Book one


Prologue

The female threw herself across the cold stone just as fire lit the sky, melting the snow of her former location. The beast roared out his rage as he turned after the khajiit, pale fangs still hot from the fire. She thought up the words when its jaws clamped shut above her, forcing Ekali to roll out of the way as it brought its head down again.

Fo Krah!” The shout was loud, and covered the beast in frost as he lifted his muzzle towards the sky in rage. He flapped his wings, unleashing more fire in her direction, and took to the air.

Getting up from her crouch, the khajiit sprinted across the ice crusted stone, coming to a stop at her pack from which she drew a bow and quiver. The bow was already strung in anticipation for an event just like this, and she put an arrow to it just as the beast came around for another go. Her hands wouldn't be still as she aimed for the creature, and it was by chance that the arrow stuck in its throat. She sprinted again as he roared in fury, black eyes intent on her body.

Dovahkiin! Zun Haal Viik!” His powerful voice was triumphant as the bow flew out of the woman’s grasp, and she cursed, barely avoiding the swipe from his tail when he flew past. As it was the blast of wind knocked her of her feet, and she pictured a fireball in her mind as she got up again. The dragon was wrapped in flames mere moments before his feet connected with her shoulders and threw her backwards.

Her feline claws where out before she had time to process the empty space beneath her feet, clinging like picks to the ice encrusting the rocky mountain. The stone shuddered as the dragon landed and made his way towards the precipice on which she was hanging.

Dovahkiin.” The beast smiled at her as he lowered his head, looking over her white body.

The tension on her claws was causing a numbness in her hands when she hung there, and the khajiit grunted when she tried to get a better grip on the cliff side as well as getting her legs up. She'd be damned if she didn't get up, she knew that all to well.

“Trouble, Dovahkiin? Perhaps you should have practised your claws before coming, they often make a lot of difference.” He smiled again as he reached one of his feet out, extending a claw. He looked at it briefly before turning back at her. “How is it you say... oh yes, any last words?” Ekali kept quiet and he smiled again, edging further out on the edge to get to her.

The light of the blue green aurora reflected on his scales when he got closer, making him look even more majestic than before. His head had the shape of an arrowhead with spikes that were angled backwards from his face. His eyes were dark, and the scales had a soft brown colour to them.

She narrowed her eyes at the dragon as she tried to get a better grip on the ice, and clung tighter when the wind picked up, tousling her fur. The ice was mixed with snow, and her hands were barely noticeable because she didn't wear any gauntlets at the time.

The beast crept closer still, and put his foot on her paw to be able to break her grip. With a last smile that caused the blue light to be reflected by his teeth, he tore her away from the cliff, and opened his mouth to shout.

Fus Ro Dah!” The shout threw her further away from the ledge, away from any hope of survival, and caused her to yell out in shock.

Oh hellfire, was the one thought that went through her head as she looked down at the ground far beneath her, the wind wining past her ears.

* * *

End note: So, there's the prologue. You don't get to find out what happened for a long time though as the prologue takes place long after the first chapter, which I intend to post the first part of on Tuesday. And I really like constructive criticism. biggrin.gif


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McBadgere
post Dec 2 2011, 06:15 PM
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Lol...Constructive criticism... biggrin.gif ...

Aaamywho...

Nice one!!... biggrin.gif ...

Exciting, loved it!!...

Looking forward to more!!...

EDIT!!...Something I just thought of whilst putting my tea on... biggrin.gif ...While I agree that all the dragons would know all the words of the language...I think the fact that there are differing species, some would not be able to do the "active effect" shouts - fire dragons can't do frost damage and frost dragons, fire...Y'know?...Possibly the strength of magic depends on the size (original age?) of the individual dragons...So the Slow Time or whatever could be used by the older ones more effectively than the "younger" ones...

Just my twopenneth... biggrin.gif ...

Well done...Keep going...*Applauds*...

This post has been edited by McBadgere: Dec 2 2011, 06:32 PM
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Saquira
post Dec 2 2011, 09:56 PM
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Thanks tongue.gif Didn't really think further with the dragons than that it's silly that they can only use one shout, so I think I'll have to think a bit about that. Perhaps that they all know all of the words but only the oldest ones(blood dragons, Alduin, and the one that's actually willing to talk to you) are the only ones able to use all of them well enough for it to be worth it. Fire dragons might be able to use three shouts effectively, frost dragons seven shouts and blood dragons at least fourteen. Alduin has to be one of the most powerful who can use all of them. He won't be the only one but the others will also be given specific names. Will definitely be different for individual dragons, will have to think about it... I'm babbling now ain't I?

Thanks for pointing it out McBadgere. ^^ Gave me something more to think about, not sure if that's positive for me, but it'll make for a better story.


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McBadgere
post Dec 3 2011, 05:32 AM
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QUOTE
Gave me something more to think about, not sure if that's positive for me,


Sorry...*Pouts*... biggrin.gif ...

There's at least two other Dragons in the game that can do everything...But they're both good...I'm not sure if saying there's good dragons is a spoiler or not?...Aaamywho...Yes, good dragons...

QUOTE
I'm babbling now ain't I?


As if I can say anything about that...Lol... biggrin.gif ...
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mALX
post Dec 3 2011, 06:30 AM
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GAAAAH! Skyrim !!! Hope you'll post some screens too !!! Congrats on your new story !!


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Colonel Mustard
post Dec 3 2011, 05:03 PM
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Ooh, this looks good! Exciting combat with a dragon, shouts and even a literal cliffhanger for the reader to get hooked on. Like it, like it a lot!

There is a bit of nitpicking I can do though:
QUOTE
Perhaps you should have practised your claws before coming,

This sentence strikes me as a little strange, here; are you missing a word? Because at the moment it seems a little odd.

Still, it's a good piece you've got here at the moment, and I'm looking forward to more. FUS RO DAH!
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Zalphon
post Dec 4 2011, 07:09 AM
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*Raises a brow* I'll be reading this story, I think it'll be interesting biggrin.gif


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Saquira
post Dec 4 2011, 12:11 PM
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McBadgere: I believe I've already met the dragons you speak of, didn't want to mention them by name though. Already finished the MQ with Deesei.

mALX: There'll definitely be pictures coming biggrin.gif And thanks

Colonel Mustard: Thanks smile.gif That's one of the few errors I've ever done intentionally actually for the simple fact that most dragons would consider humanoids to be inferior and therefore are very unlikely to consider learning their language properly.

Zalphon: Thank you.


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King Coin
post Dec 5 2011, 11:34 PM
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A bad joke about cliffhangers springs to mind...

I shall be keeping an eye on this story. Looks intriguing.


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Saquira
post Dec 6 2011, 07:52 AM
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Chapter 1.1 Bloody white sights

The star-covered sky gazed down upon the mountains in the chilly night, making sure that every creature slept, and that no animal had left the side of their mate. The trees together with the rocks covered the fire from watching eyes, all but two pairs who looked down on the watchman who'd been placed to make sure that no one crept close to the sleeping bandits.

The soft twang of the bow and the noise as the arrow pierced the watchman’s throat, pinning him dead to the tree, went unnoticed by the people sleeping in the bedrolls. Thus allowing the owners of the two sets of eyes to creep unseen into the light of the fire.

She was the first one into the light, her bow now secured on her back and her dagger in hand. With her yellow khajiit eyes she looked back at the gray wolf following after her. He looked back at at the woman, and with an understanding that only they shared, each of them approached a sleeping bandit.

Simply pausing to note that the man was a nord, she slit his throat as quietly as possible, while the wolf used his claws for the same purpose on another man. In this manner they continued until the last four sleeping bandits were dead, but she still waited for a while before standing up straight, and giving a smile to her companion.

“Say Gladio, you don't think these might have been the people we were looking for?” she asked the wolf and turned from him to search the pockets of the man she'd just killed. He answered with two quick barks, and a faint smile appeared on the khajiits' lips.

“Why I think you're right, just look at what I found in this ones pocket,” She held the black amulet she'd found up into the air for Gladio to see, and he gave her an expression that could only be interpreted as a smug smile. Then she looked around the little clearing, and grabbed a couple of sacks lying by the fire. Beneath the ancient pines she then stopped to kneel by each bandit to remove their equipment and stuff it in the bags.

Most of their armour lay on the ground next to them, but it still was tedious work, and when Ekali went to recover the one arrow she had used, she was forced to break the shaft to have any chance of getting it out of the watchman. He slumped to the hard ground. The ground on the side of the mountain was tundra, the ice mixed with earth so frozen it did not even soften during summer. The Jerall Mountains never did attract much warmth though.

She undressed the dead man and put his fur armour in the sacks as well, then the female took him under his arms and dumped him in a pile with his companions. She used snow to extinguish the fire, and when she picked up the now filled sacks she sunk a couple inches into the snow from the weight.

“Come on boy, we gotta get going,” Ekali said, and with the wolf at her heels she began the trek into the forest again. Her eyes glanced up into the sky after a little while, noting the storm clouds coming further towards the mountains for every hour and she shivered, though not from the cold.

* * * * *

It was the thunder and the hard, cold wind that first told of the coming of the snowstorm. Gladio barked unhappily, and the woman whom was having a hard time staying on her feet looked around for a deep enough pile of snow. She bent down by a tree, and set to dig a hole with her hands. Understanding her intention, Gladio barked and came forth to help. She backed away, giving the wolf room to dig.

It didn't take very long with Gladios' help, but when the khajiit crawled into the shelter after him the storm had picked up it's pace and snow whirled past outside. There was so much of it you couldn't see your hand if you held it out in front of you, and the cold would have been excruciating for most people.

The cave of snow was barely big enough to sit in, and she took her bedroll from where she'd fastened it on her back, blocking the entrance with the sacks. Ekali then put the bedroll in the bottom of the cave, and laid down on it to wait out the storm. Accustomed to the situation, Gladio crouched down besides her, and she put her arms around him so that they could provide each other with warmth. After that, there wasn't much to do, and a silence soon fell upon the the snow cave.

This post has been edited by Saquira: Dec 6 2011, 05:13 PM


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McBadgere
post Dec 6 2011, 01:57 PM
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Much cool!!...Love it...Nothing like a good attack on a bandit camp to get the attention... biggrin.gif ...

One clumsy sentence nit...

QUOTE
allowing the owners of the two couple of eyes


Possibly "two sets of eyes"...*Shrug*...

More!!...

Nice one... biggrin.gif ...

PS...Love this bit...
QUOTE
The star-covered sky gazed down upon the mountains in the chilly night, making sure that every creature slept, and that no animal had left the side of their mate


Gave me goosebumps... biggrin.gif ...Nice one...

This post has been edited by McBadgere: Dec 6 2011, 01:58 PM
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King Coin
post Dec 6 2011, 04:40 PM
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I wonder what the amulet was? I enjoyed this start. I think it’s cool that Ekali has a wolf for a companion.
The storm at the end was a neat touch too. Looking forward to the next update.


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mALX
post Dec 7 2011, 07:40 PM
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Her sneak must be phenomenal to get into a bandit camp without awakening them, Maxical can't get within 50 feet without an arrow in her, lol. Great Write !!


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Zalphon
post Dec 8 2011, 01:35 AM
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Looting the dead...for shame, for shame. Just kidding!


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Saquira
post Dec 9 2011, 08:01 AM
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Previously on Ekali of the Frozen Heights: In the last episode Ekali attacked a bandit camp together with the wolf Gladio. Having killed all of the bandits she found an amulet that indicated they were the people she'd been looking for, and packed up the equipment to take it with her. Then they were overcome by a snowstorm, and with the help of Gladio Ekali made a small snow-cave in which to wait it out.

Chapter 1.2 Cold blue skies

The sky was clear above the buzzing city, the kind of blue that you only ever see after a snowstorm, and because of it the air was even colder that usual. Ekali nodded to the guard on duty, and upon seeing the legions' mark on her shoulder, he let her through to the city itself.

It was a big city, though she'd been told it'd long ago been both larger and better kept. The southern part of the city, the area now on her left, was the huge slums where the largest part of the population lived. It was named the old quarter, because that's the part of the city which have barely changed since the Oblivion crisis. Old and run-down hovels dominated the old quarter, and of those with any money, only fools went there at any time of the day.

Even in the rest of the city it wasn't uncommon to see the foundation of a house which no one had ever bothered reconstructing. The merchants quarter was the one closest to where the khajiit stood at the present moment. That's where you went to have your things repaired or to buy new ones. Next to the gate through which she'd come there was a small tavern, the cheapest in town. Only travellers ever lived there.

From where she stood Ekali could see the chapel standing in the middle of the city. It towered over all buildings but the castle, to bad then that no one had ever bothered repairing it. Broken glass and dirty stones, even the priests only ever wore ragged robes. She wondered sometimes how the town looked 200 years ago, before the beginning of the Oblivion crisis and the end of the third era, but she still was happy that she came to Bruma. You grew accustomed to the cold after a while.

Taking a new grip on the sacks she'd got flung over her shoulder, the woman pulled her hood tighter around her head in a vain attempt to get warmer, then she forced her feet to move over the snow crusted stones. The only people outside were beggars at 2 pm, and she longed after a cup of Nordic ale after a long time in the snow. But duty required her to leave the sacks with the outlaws' equipment to the arms master in the barracks, and so that's where she headed.

The barracks had been relocated to the side of the northern gate just after an accident several years back, before she came to Bruma. It laid just between the north gate and the towns only bakery in the merchants quarter.

Ekalis' steps took her for a while along the White Road which went straight from the east gate to the castle, and through the square situated outside the chapel of Mara. Then she turned onto Axe Avenue towards the northern gate and zigzagged through the crowd. The avenue was by far the largest of the five streets going parallel to each other of which the Merchants quarter consisted and was thus the most trafficked of the roads. Here stood one of the branches of Divine Elegance as well as the Sparkling Pearl, without a doubt the most lavish inn in town. These where only two of the many buildings lining the street however, most of them so exclusive that she'd never put a foot within the door.

Because the road was so wide she got through the throng of people rather quickly, silently thanking the gods that it was the end of the week.

It didn't take long before the northern gate and walls met her eyes, and with them the barracks. Being one of the very few stone buildings within the city it was quite a sight, and every now and then guards entered and left the building.

Stepping up on the porch of the building she kicked the snow of her boots and reached out to open the door. At the same moment though, someone else opened it from inside and she stood where she was when one of the city watch stepped out. He recognised her rather quickly once he looked up.

“Ekali,” He said and both of them put their right hands to their chests in the customary legion greeting. “The captain was just starting to wonder whether you'd disappeared.”

“Janus. I was caught in a snowstorm a few days up the mountains after tracking the bandits and taking care of them,” she answered and he smiled, rubbing his hands together for warmth.

“It's almost so that I regret asking to be posted here in Bruma, it's so cold all the time.” He shivered slightly, and then looked at her again. “Well, me and a couple others are headed to the Spotted Snow-bear in a while, you coming?” It was first then that Ekali noticed that instead of wearing his guard armour the imperial wore the common wool breaches and shirt, mittens, fur boots and a wool scarf that he'd wrapped around his neck.

“Sorry, can't. I have to get these bags to the quartermaster and then I intend to take a warm bath. Maybe later though.” She hefted the bags up for him to see them better, and he nodded.

“Al right, we'll probably be there for quite a long while anyway. I heard a caravan just arrived from The Imperial City and would like to know what news they bring. Someone ought to have talked to them. Just don't take too long will you. I think Felix's got a crush on you. He's been absolutely miserable this last month,” he said and smirked.

“Felix don't ever get a crush, he just gets sick all the time. And when do I ever take long when I do something?” She said and he stepped down from the porch with a shrug.

“True that. You do take quite a long time tracking in the mountains though.”

“Well, at least I catch what I set out to catch. Not like the last forester up here. You told me he never got anything done and spent a third of every month in town. And then he went and killed himself in a snowstorm because he couldn't dig a proper snow cave. I read the report on his death.” The khajiit shook her head in disgust and Janus snickered.

“I'll see you later I suppose,” He said and walked away from her along the eastern road when she stepped inside the door to the barracks.

The Bruma barracks were divided into three levels. The cellar with storage and practice area, the ground floor held the dining area and that's where the captain of the guard had his office. The second level was where everyone slept and took care of other business. It looked quite a bit like the Fighter's guild hall, though there wasn't any ornaments around.

She turned to the cellar door and walked down, hailing the quartermaster and putting her load on the table before him.

“You had a good hunt?” He asked when all of the formalities had been taken care of and he'd stowed away the equipment in the room behind him.

“Yeah, I got caught in a snowstorm on the way back, but otherwise it was a quite calm trip. If you don't count on the fact that I spent a lot of time hunting outlaws and making sure they didn't see me that is.” He smiled and shook my hand.

“I'm sure it wasn't to hard for you. Now I've got some paperwork to do, and I imagine you'd like to take a bath. We can talk more later,” he said and she smiled before walking back up the stairs.

This post has been edited by Saquira: Dec 12 2011, 07:08 AM


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King Coin
post Dec 12 2011, 06:54 AM
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I was trying to figure out what town Ekali was in, only to realize I was thinking of the wrong province when it was revealed!

Chapel of Talos? That wouldn’t be tolerated in an Imperial city at these times. Rebellious.

A warm bath sounds like it would be absolutely wonderful after trekking around the Jeralls.

When I was thinking of my character's backstory a few months ago, one angle that I thought about was the possibly that she was a legion scout or forester. A Khajiit would be a natural in either of those roles.


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Saquira
post Dec 12 2011, 07:14 AM
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Chapel of Talos?! How did that get in there... It's supposed to be Mara, sorry.

Thanks for the comments! I'm going to avoid saying more than that, because I don't want to give anything out, but several answers will be provided before the end of the chapter. I've mapped it out so that the last part of the chapter will be posted on the 23:rd. After that it will take a while since we're going on vacation on the 25:th and I'm quite positive I won't have access to any computer.


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McBadgere
post Dec 12 2011, 01:55 PM
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Niiice... biggrin.gif ...

I like Bruma...I think it's my fave city on Oblivion...'Tis were my first char makes his home...Him being a Nord and all... tongue.gif ...

Aaamywho...Brilliant write...Love the descriptions of the places...Makes Bruma larger than it is in the game...Love that...

Nice one... biggrin.gif ...*applauds*...
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Saquira
post Dec 13 2011, 07:23 AM
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McBadgere: Bruma always was my favorite city in the game to.

Previously on Ekali of the Frozen Heights: Ekali arrived in Bruma after hunting down some bandits and preceded to give their equipment to the arms master after having been given an invitation to drink with some friends. Then she went to take a bath. Next, she takes her friends offer and gets some news she'd rather not have.

Chapter 1.3 News to ruffle feathers

The noise level was high in the tavern even before she stepped within it's doors. People laughing and shouting out to each other, occasionally the clatter of jugs as a drunk lost hold of their drink. Her eyes looked over the familiar building, the huge logs of which the walls are built weathered by time, and a smile crept upon her lips at the sight of the spotted snow bear on the sign.

You could get whatever drink you wanted in there as the owner cared a lot about her spirits. Whether that was a sujamma from Morrowind or a bottle of Tamika's from the third era, she'd have gotten it. Of course the Tamika's wouldn't come cheaply, but then it was about two hundred years old as well.

The spotted snow bear was also the tavern that all of the guards and the Fighters Guild went to. There was even an occasional magi in there, which all in all made it a rather orderly place, not that one would think so hearing all the noise. The few civilians in the place were the middle class shop keepers. The high class wouldn't come because they didn't want to mix with “common fighters” and the lesser class wouldn't come because they couldn't afford it for the most part, and the owner didn't accept ill-gotten means. Some of them simply wanted trouble, and if you came there looking for trouble, you'd be thrown out through the door.

Stepping up on the porch, she opened the door and slowly inhaled as a wave of alcohol and noise pushed itself against her. The khajiits eyes slid over the room to locate the group with whom she usually drank, and she made her way across the familiar establishment. One of the guardsmen with Nordic heritage, Olaf Strongaxe, raised his jug in greeting as she approached. Greeting all of them she seated herself at the table and waved for a serving wench.

“So, have you had any luck with your quarry?” Olaf asked and the woman smiled in return.

“Are all of you Nords so blunt?” she asked in answer and ordered a jug of mead from the waiter when she came up.

“Aye, most definitely,” Olaf said and let out a booming laugh. There were several amused smiles around the table, and as soon as Olaf went quiet Ekali began the telling of what she'd done those last weeks. When she finished talking, Janus was the one who continued the conversation.

“So, when do we get to meet this wolf whom have been guarding your back? Gladio, I believe you called him.” She'd gotten her jug a while ago, and took a swig from it before answering.

“Never probably. He's not very fond of towns, the smells and noises tend to be to much for him.” She looked pointedly at Olaf when saying the last, and the rest of the men either guffawed or chuckled loudly. “Have anything interesting happened lately?”

“Very little. Some nwah started shouting about the end of the world a couple weeks ago. Apparently someone’s minions are going to engulf the world in fire, and then that someone is going to eat it. I think that's what he meant anyway. To make a long story short we threw him in the dungeon, and he haven't bothered anyone since.” The single dark elf of the guard, Neven, said and chuckled. She smiled back at him.

“And then there was the centurion whom arrived a two days ago. Arurus Brecus, was that his name? Anyway he was asking around about you,” Olaf cut in, and the females spirits dropped noticeably.

“Arturius Braccus, Olaf, that's what he's called,” Janus said and then looked at Ekali, continuing when he noticed the solemn expression on her face. “Do you know him?”

“He was my commanding officer back in the Imperial City, we didn't part on the best of terms.” She shrugged. “Can't imagine why he'd want to meet me.”

“Perhaps he just want to see how you are, doesn't have to be anything bad you know,” Neven said and she looked over at him.

“That's why we didn't part on the best of terms, because he wanted to see me,” she grumbled, and Olaf spewed his drink over the table.

“An Imperial wanted to... Sorry, just have to get the picture out of my brain. But then it just makes even less sense.” Neven stammered when he spoke, and she glared at him.

“I don't want to talk about it,” she hissed and he nodded.

“Um sure. Hey, Janus I heard you're getting married. Who's the lucky girl?” The rest of them around the table took a while longer than Neven to recover, and so it took a while before Janus registered what he'd said. The khajiit sunk down in the chair and didn't look much like she wanted to be there. She drank to much while her friends talked, which in turn made certain that she wouldn't remember the nights events.

This post has been edited by Saquira: Jan 31 2012, 10:24 PM


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McBadgere
post Dec 14 2011, 04:34 AM
Post #20


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Joined: 21-October 11



Oooh, a mysterious past too! (well...She hinted at what it was but y'know?)... biggrin.gif ...

Blimey... biggrin.gif ...

Nice one!... biggrin.gif ...
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