Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

32 Pages V < 1 2 3 4 > »   
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> I am Lena Wolf, Lena's life as it happens
macole
post May 24 2021, 08:19 PM
Post #21


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 10-January 20



Just the mention of monsters will get Geralt's attention every time.


--------------------
Vampire Hunter,
Endure and through enduring grow strong.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Acadian
post May 24 2021, 08:53 PM
Post #22


Paladin
Group Icon
Joined: 14-March 10
From: Las Vegas



Nice that Shroud Hearth Barrow is once again free of unghosts. Gerralt sure know his foes!

Oh, so that's what Astrid does if you let her live through your first encounter. Well, Lena does need info and to infiltrate deeper still.

"What have you done with the Rose?" - asked Sanguine.
"Lost it in a drinking game" - Lena blushed.
"That's my girl!" - laughed Sanguine patting her on the back. "If you want another one, you only have to ask - I'm sure I can come up with a suitable princely task for you!

- - Awesome!

So the Graydudes want Lena to head off to the other end of Skyrim to fetch a horn.


--------------------
Screenshot: Buffy in Artaeum
Stop by our sub forum!
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post May 24 2021, 09:59 PM
Post #23


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



QUOTE(macole @ May 24 2021, 08:19 PM) *

Just the mention of monsters will get Geralt's attention every time.


I think he might like it there on the moor. It might remind him of the swamps of Velen with the chill of Kaer Morhen.

QUOTE(Acadian @ May 24 2021, 08:53 PM) *

Nice that Shroud Hearth Barrow is once again free of unghosts. Gerralt sure know his foes!


Witchers are trained monster slayers - and I mean unnatural monsters predominantly from other worlds. Witchers can also lift curses and they know some simple magic. But most of all they indeed know their foes - this is the key. They have extremely acute senses due to mutations that they accrue during their formative years. Only a third of all youngsters make it through the training - the rest die as their bodies cannot take the mutations. But those who live have exceptionally fast reflexes, acute senses, amazing stamina (all-purpose), very high poison resistance and greatly extended life span. Plus of course the knowledge of monsters and elite fighting skills - primarily swords, but they are trained to use any imaginable weapon. In other ways they are just people, in so far as a supermutant can ever be "just" a person. Oh, and they cannot sire children, which makes certain things easier.


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post May 25 2021, 12:22 PM
Post #24


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



26 Sun's Dawn, 4E202 - The Sanctuary

“Well, since you like the mead here, you won’t mind if I pop out for day or so, will you?” – Lena looked at Hauk and Geralt with a most innocent expression. “You can play around with your new bow, too” – she added turning to Geralt. “Or lose it to Hauk in Gwent.”

Geralt wasn’t used to bows. Of course he knew how to use one – mostly in theory – but he always preferred his sword and a fire spray. But now with the dragons around, he was lacking a ranged weapon, so started training with the bow. They picked up some bows from the draugrs in the crypt, quite decent ones, judging by the new scars on Geralt’s neck. Now he wanted to return the favour.

“All right, you go do your thing” – Hauk replied looking up from his roast. “I’ll keep him busy – the soldiers at the Imperial camp here are getting bored and could use some practice. They’ve never fought a witcher before, either” – he added, grinning.

“Be fair now” – Lena smiled complicitly – “let them attack all at once.”

She hugged her brother, waved to Hauk and left into the night.



“Ah, raw meat” – Arnbjorn greeted Lena at the Sanctuary – “Astrid told me all about you. I don’t like you, and I will never like you, so you best remember that – I love my wife. But you can’t be all bad, since she brought you in.”

“Nice to meet you too, Arnbjorn” – Lena was a bit bewildered. Was that a challenge?

“I’m a werewolf, and I love my wife” – Arnbjorn repeated.

“Ummm…” – Lena wasn’t sure what he expected her to say.

“Don’t listen to the puppy” – Babette joined the conversation. She was just a girl… a child… What sort of a group was this?

Lena’s face must have shown her confusion, because Babette explained: “I was a little girl… once. About 300 years ago. Vampirism keeps you remarkably fresh.”

“Yes, I know” – Lena thought. “But who are you feeding on, Babette?” But she didn’t say anything.

The rest of the group was just as colourful. An ex-Shadowscale, a Redguard in desert garb (in Skyrim?), a grumpy old wizard, a Dark Elf who loved books, walks on the beach and unicorns…

“…and then I stabbed it with a crochet needle, just for fun.” She couldn’t crochet though, that was obvious – she actually said “crochet needle” – what a give-away. They are crochet hooks, of course, not needles… Let’s hope she could tell her swords from her axes better.

“I’m just an old man who doesn’t like to talk” – the wizard said rather unconvincingly. Then told Lena how he was such a prodigy since an early age, doing all sorts of advanced magic as a child, then setting their house on fire – quite by accident – then…

“Yeah, I get the idea” – Lena thought, listening, nodding, and offering gasps of surprise in all the right places. “That monkey suit fits you to the tee.”

The Dark Brotherhood armour design was… err… unusual, to put it mildly. They had leather armour and mage tunics and trousers, some gloves, some boots, some hoods – you could mix and match as you wanted. Black and red design. The armour was skin-tight and made her look like a giant spider woman, the mage’s tunic had big triangles on the front and back, just like a jester, all with a big Black Hand on red background. “So much for being a secret organisation!” – Lena thought in disgust. “Or have they gone commercial?”

She packed away her suit of gifted armour and excused herself for not wearing it: “I’m not good with light armour – always preferred heavy. I’ll switch to it when I’ve got my skills up.” They didn’t insist.

The Sanctuary was quite a cosy place all in all. They seemed to have taken over an old crypt, but there were no draugr alcoves – perhaps those had been cleared. There was a word wall though.

“Pretty, isn’t it?” – Babette commented seeing Lena studying the Wall. “That’s supposed to be in Dragon Language!” Babette pointed at the hieroglyphs. “No one can read it though.”

“You have no idea” – Lena thought but remained silent.

“Silence suits you” – commented Astrid joining them. “Gives you an air of mystery.”

“Oops – time for some small talk!” Lena thought and said with a smile, turning to Astrid: “Oh, I am just taking it all in! It’s amazing!”

“Isn’t it?” Astrid seemed quite pleased with herself. “I see you’ve been getting to know your new family.”

“Yes! And what about you? Tell me about yourself!” Lena said enthusiastically.

“Well, I killed my uncle and liked it. Then I killed again – and liked it even more. Life has been getting better ever since.”

“We have a lot of fun here” – added Babette.

“Can’t wait to join in!” Lena said, thinking that it was best not to ask about Sithis – he was a god of death and chaos, not pleasure and fun. She found a copy of the original Five Tenets, still framed on the wall, but smudged with ale and blood – you could hardly read the text. No one bothered reading it, clearly. “Are there any rules I need to be aware of?” – she asked, just to be sure.

“No, we’ve done away with the Tenets long ago” – answered Astrid. “All that discipline, and look at the state of the Dark Brotherhood now – we are the last group in Tamriel!”

“Oh, I see” – Lena answered, trying not to laugh.

The last group in Tamriel? I like to think of them as the Dark Knitting Circle” – she heard Sheogorath’s voice in her head. Yes, my Prince! You are right, as always.



Nazir had some contracts that no one wanted – just a few boring murders, not paying much, and under no time pressure.

“The targets aren’t going anywhere, so take your time” – he said, giving Lena the details.

“Yeah, why not just wait until they die of old age” – Lena thought making notes of locations. One was in Ivarstead – she might do that one first. She wasn’t planning on doing much work for them, but she wanted to see a few initial contracts through, to get a feel for how things were handled.

“I don’t want to get invested in someone who might be dead in a week” – said Nazir, cutting short their conversation. “Come back alive, and we’ll be the best of friends.”

“Oh, there’s no danger of that” – thought Lena, referring to both his statements. She thanked him for the contracts and took her leave.



It was raining dead hunters – there was one just outside the Sanctuary, and another one further up the road. There was no sign of struggle or wild animals anywhere.

“Sheo – is that your doing?” Lena asked into the emptiness. “I liked burning dogs better.”

She got no answer, and took it for a no. Was that a sign that she had embarked on a path of evil? Oh please keep up, it was way too late for that… Arkay embraced them all and never scorned her, and she didn’t much care for the rest. The god of death? I know him well… Welcome, Assassin.


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post May 26 2021, 07:30 AM
Post #25


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



27 Sun's Dawn, 4E202 - Nilheim - Riften

"Shhh - you'll wake him" - Hauk pulled Lena to the side. Geralt was still asleep in the other bed, it was 4 a.m. "You've got blood on your armour, you should be more careful - the guards here don't like murder." Hauk was wiping some smudges off Lena's cuirass.

"How..." - she started, but he put a hand over her mouth.

"Shhh..." - he looked at the door. "The guards have just been here looking for anything suspicious" - Hauk whispered into Lena's ear. "Give them half an hour and they'll forget about it, but you do need to lay low just now. They probably saw you come in."

And without another word, he quickly removed her cuirass and pulled her into the bed with him.

"Shhh..."

Lena saw where this was going and didn't protest - she trusted Hauk completely. He had far more experience in covert matters than she did - she'd simply get arrested and pay the fines, but it was far better not to get arrested.

"Oh - pardon me" - a guard walked into the room looking for Lena, and finding her in Hauk's embrace. "False alarm" - he added turning to another guard with a wink.

The guards left, and Lena raised her head to look over Hauk's shoulder. She saw shadows in the hall - the coast wasn't clear yet. She dived back.

The innkeep stuck his head into the door, looking at his guests with interest. The witcher was still asleep, clearly enjoying the comfort of a rather wide bed all to himself - here was a man who valued comfort when he had it. But the other guest... a Nord but not from here... and that girl - the witcher's sister... a much, much younger sister, by the looks of her... She was gone all day, then returned at night, and look where she's now... Well, love birds, you don't need to hide from me, I've seen worse.

The innkeep smirked and left.

"Thank you" - whispered Lena. "I'll be more careful next time."

She was tired after her long journey back and forth - the contract wasn't the only fight along the way.

"Skyrim has an awful lot of bandits" - she whispered to Hauk. "It must be the civil war, I don't remember it being that bad before. I am exhausted. Not all of that blood was from the contract."

She nestled next to her friend and fell asleep.

Hauk stroked her hair gently, thinking to himself again: "If only..."

...

"You can sleep some more, there is no rush" - Geralt looked into the room as Lena was about to get up.

"You heard me come in?"

"Of course I heard you, I'm a witcher" - he grinned. "I just didn't think it would help to show it."

"Well, I'm awake now, might as well get up" - Lena was putting her armour on. "What's for breakfast?"

...

It was a beautiful day, and Lena, Geralt and Hauk decided to ride East and see about those bandits at Nilheim that the Jarl wanted removed. As they approached the bridge to the tower, they saw a merchant sitting on the ground by his broken cart.

"Can you help me?" - he asked. "Bandits have attacked my cart and killed my horse. My camp is just over the bridge by that tower - get me there safely, and you'll be rewarded."

"Ai" - said Lena getting off her horse with a smile - "it will be our pleasure. Always up for a reward."

Of course this was a trap, but this time it were the bandits that got caught in it. Lena summoned a dremora already before the "merchant" declared that they would now be killed, and Hauk and Geralt were ready to join in while the bandits were still unsheathing their weapons. A short but fierce fight followed.

"We shall indeed be rewarded - he didn't lie" - laughed Lena. "But we will need to go to Riften for it. Shall we ride there today? The weather is lovely."

The weather was indeed lovely, and so they rode on.

...

"You have committed crimes against Skyrim and its people" - a guard stopped Lena's horse as they approached Riften. "Pay your fine and surrender any stolen goods."

"I think you're mistaking me for someone else" - Lena replied. "I don't steal. But I'll pay the fine since you asked nicely."

The fine was for an assault. She couldn't remember assaulting anyone unprovoked and not seeing it through.

"They couldn't prove murder and settled on an assault charge" - Hauk was explaining afterwards. "People rarely dispute assaults because everyone does it, just not everyone gets caught."

Ah, yes. She was in Skyrim.

The bounty for the bandits of Nilheim far outweighed the fine, and they still had plenty of coin for a meal and a room. They would stay the night, and go North West tomorrow.

Riften was strange. At the market Lena was approached by some fellow in expensive clothes insisting that none of her wealth had been earned by honest means...

"That depends what you consider honest work" - Lena thought spinning around. "You probably think I'm a wannabe thief and am going to be flattered."

"Well..." - she said hesitantly.

"I've got a proposition for you..." - Brynjolf suddenly broke off as Hauk stood behind Lena. "Well, I'll be at the Bee and Barb later if you want to talk."

"He's Thieves Guild" - Hauk said in Lena's ear. "Our paths had crossed at some point. I think he'll be staying out of your way now."

"Oh, that is interesting" - Lena was watching Brynjolf walk back to his stall on the market. She would remember his face.

They walked around the market some more, looked at the stalls, the Temple of Mara, the wooden houses on the main street. If it was supposed to remind Lena of Bravil, it didn't. Riften had the canal, the bridges and the wooden houses, and even the same patron Divine, but there was no Lucky Lady here and the atmosphere was decidedly different.

IPB Image

"I don't know you - you looking for trouble?" Lena was stopped by an aggressive looking character. "The Black-Briers don't want strangers poking their noses into their business."

"So, there is a business that needs poking, then?" Lena looked him straight in the eye. "Ogre" - she thought. "Equal in force and intelligence."

Maul wasn't used to not have an effect. He stared at Lena menacingly and clutched his fists. She smiled sweetly, but kept her gaze cold. Geralt appeared from a side alley - Maul didn't know him either. The dilemma of what to do next must have overwhelmed him, because he turned around and walked off without another word.

"What was all that about?" Geralt followed Maul with his gaze.

"I have no idea" - replied Lena. "A local bully, perhaps?"

"Another member of the Thieves Guild" - Hauk commented, catching up with them. "This town is drowning in them."

"The Jarl's steward didn't think that the Thieves Guild posed any threat" - Lena related her conversation with the steward earlier.

"That's a convenient stance if you can't solve the problem" - Hauk shook his head. "The Black-Briers are a powerful family, and they support the Thieves Guild. They also often call on your friend Astrid, but the relationship there is more strenuous, I understand. The Black-Briers are demanding customers."

Lena was listening with astonishment, although by now she should have known better.

"How..." - she started, but Geralt touched her arm.

"Let the man have some secrets" - he said. "It gives him an air of mystery."

They laughed and went to the Bee and Barb.

This post has been edited by Lena_Wolf: May 26 2021, 11:26 AM


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post May 26 2021, 06:46 PM
Post #26


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



28 Sun's Dawn, 4E202 - The road to Windhelm

"Let's ride North to Windhelm first, then turn West to Morthal" - Lena was saying at breakfast at the Bee and Barb. "I've got business near Windhelm, and it will be fun to stay right under Ulfrick's nose - right, Hauk?" - she winked at him.

"Oh, don't mind me, Windhelm is not off limits for Imperials, you know" - he replied, focusing on fried eggs on his plate. "Gosh, Argonians can really cook when they want to."

They set off after breakfast and tried to avoid too many distractions along the way. At Shor's Stone Lena started wondering how to get to the top of the mountain, as there was no obvious path - just ragged cliffs.

"What's on the top of the mountain?" - asked Geralt examining the rocks.

"I don't know for sure, but many mountain tops here have Word Walls and some have dragons to go with them" - answered Lena trying to guess whether there was a Word Wall on this mountain top.

"All right, let's see if we can find a way up - sounds like fun" - Geralt agreed.

They circled around the mountain, coming to the Northwind Mine first, but deciding against going in - a mine would go down, not up, surely. Then they found an ascending path on the West and came to a delightful spot - Clearspring Tarn. There was a cave below with a hunting bow on display and a troll ready to eat it. They killed the troll and left the bow where they found it.

"This is good for deer, not people" - remarked Lena examining the enchantment. "Leave it for the hunters."

After a short break by the pond, they continued up, and with a little persuasion their horses jumped over some rocks and landed on a platform with a Word Wall. There were no dragons in sight, just three confused skeletons in a bad mood. The skeletons taken care of, they looked around - the place was a camp, with several tents and bedrolls, some occupied by more skeletons. Then they spotted a set of doors leading into the rock.

"I bet there are more skeletons inside" - predicted Lena looking at Geralt.

"Your bet is off - that's too easy" - he laughed. "Of course there are more skeletons inside. Dead miners and guards, by the looks of it."

"Probably killed by the dragon last time one was here" - added Hauk.

They went in to clear the skeletons. The mine passage was quite short, descending quite steeply. Soon they came out on the other side.

"Why, that's the Northwind Mine!" - Lena exclaimed looking around. "It does go up when you look at it from this end. How odd."

So they were now where they had started a few hours ago. They rode straight North this time until they saw Dwelmer steps going up the mountain on the East side of the road.

"Oh - a Dwelmer ruin!" - Lena was getting excited.

"If we go in there, we might not come out for days - they can be very extensive" - Hauk was running his fingers along the relief on the metal door. "Perhaps we should come back another time."

This was sensible, of course. And boring. Lena went up some more steps and found another door - it wasn't locked.

"We'll just take a peek and come right out" - she said and quickly slipped in before her companions could argue.

Fortunately, this particular hall was quite small and looked like a storage locker. There were ingots of Dwarven metal, some books, and a translucent shard.

"I bet this shard is important for something!" - Lena exclaimed pointing at it but not picking it up. "I'm not touching it - it is bound to send me on a quest that I have no time for."

"Then make a note in your journal and let's go" - Hauk was itching to investigate it as well, but he knew this wasn't the right time. "This is Mzulft, by the way."

"How did you..?" - Lena started, but her companions just laughed.

Continuing up the mountain a bit further, they came to an Imperial camp. It was nearly 3 p.m. and high time for a break and a late lunch. The commander was in his tent, so they went to say hello.

"Optio" - the Legate greeted Hauk. "Back in Skyrim again, I see?"

Optio? Wow.

"On private business mostly this time" - Hauk replied shaking his hand. "We were just passing, and I wanted to say hello."

"It's quiet around here" - the Legate looked at his soldiers tending to the food. "Neither the Stormcloaks nor the Thalmor like Dwelmer ruins much."

They laughed as if it was an insider joke. May be it was. The Legate was old enough to have gone through the Great War.

IPB Image

After lunch our party continued on to Windhelm. They arrived in the evening, and went straight to Candlehearth Hall. The bard was singing "The Age of Oppression", but otherwise the atmosphere was agreeable.

"I need to pop out for a bit - I won't be long" - Lena said to Hauk and Geralt once they got settled down with mead and roast. "Save me some roast."

She went back out into the blizzard.

...

Lena returned to Windhelm within the hour - her business didn't take long. She walked around the city a bit - it was rather dark and brooding, with overbearing stone buildings. She came to the Palace of Kings - the seat of Ulfrick Stormcloak. It was a grand building, certainly, but "magnificent" wasn't the term for it. Menacing, rather. Lena didn't go in and turned left instead, continuing her walk. Everything was decorated with eagles here - or were they vultures? There was a bird figure on every fence post, giving the area a feel of a battlefield.

IPB Image

"Interesting choice of decoration" - Lena thought. "I'm not sure how I feel about that."

She noticed that one of the houses was for sale.

"You've got to be friends with Ulfrick to buy it though" - she thought, half-considering it. "But I still remember that old charm spell..."

Walking down the steps she came to the Hall of the Dead. Like everything in Windhelm, it was big, and to Lena's surprise, it looked empty. There were plenty of alcoves, but only a few were occupied - by skeletons, not draugr. The priest wasn't forthcoming, and didn't even want to talk.

"Strange" - Lena thought. "But where is the shrine to Arkay? Surely, they've got one?"

After a while wandering through empty halls, she found it. She always offered a prayer for the soul that she'd just released.

IPB Image

As always, she received Arkay's blessing.

...

At the Candlehearth Hall entertainment was in full swing. Geralt was fighting two of the locals - apparently they provoked him.

"You say you're a Nord? Then prove it!"

"You want to fight me? Against the two of you, if I was kneeling with my hands bound behind my back and a sack over my head, then may be I'd be your equal. No, not even then."

Two minutes later no one was doubting that Geralt was a Nord. Mead and songs followed.

A mercenary in the corner had been looking at Hauk for some time. Finally he walked over to them.

"Mind if I ask" - he addressed Hauk - "were you not a travelling book seller some years back?"

"I might have been, why?"

"I'm Stenvar - I was but a lad then - you stayed with us on the farm during the War."

"If you say so" - Hauk's face was impenetrable. "I did stay with many families - accomodation during the War was hard to find, and a man has got to eat."

"I still have the book you gave me - The Book of The Dragonborn. I was fascinated by dragons, and look what happened - they are back."

"Umm... it is probably not your fault." Hauk's face was still impenetrable but Geralt and Lena were having a hard time not to laugh.

"Now I'm certain it's you!" - Stenvar wasn't offended, instead he laughed heartily. "I also now know that you were with the Legion at the time, Optio."

"You obviously also know that I am still with the Legion" - Hauk remained calm. "But I am no longer undercover and my rank is not a secret. Not even in Windhelm."

He looked around. A few people looked up at the mention of his rank, but War veterans were still respected in Windhelm, even if they were not with Ulfrick. Besides, Geralt's little display just before was enough to cool down most hot heads in the room.

"I wasn't thinking - I apologise" - Stenvar was getting red in the face. "I am a mercenary now, so mustn't take sides - mercenaries cannot be choosy." He crouched and lowered his voice. "I just wanted to ask - do you still do magic? I tried but it never came to anything."

"Of course, I am a Battlemage." Hauk snapped his fingers and a spectral rabbit hopped over the floor and into Stenvar's lap.

"Pumpkin!" - Stenvar exclaimed a little too loudly. Several people laughed. "You remember!"

"Pull up a chair and share some mead with us" - Hauk was now smiling. "Of course I remember."


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Acadian
post May 26 2021, 08:53 PM
Post #27


Paladin
Group Icon
Joined: 14-March 10
From: Las Vegas



The Dark Knitting Circle! And they have the goofy armor to back it up. tongue.gif
May I ask your inspiration for Babette? Her character seems familiar somehow.


Plenty of traveling as Lena's crew continues on to Riften then Windhelm.


--------------------
Screenshot: Buffy in Artaeum
Stop by our sub forum!
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post May 26 2021, 09:10 PM
Post #28


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



QUOTE(Acadian @ May 26 2021, 08:53 PM) *

The Dark Knitting Circle! And they have the goofy armor to back it up. tongue.gif
May I ask your inspiration for Babette? Her character seems familiar somehow.

Plenty of traveling as Lena's crew continues on to Riften then Windhelm.


The characters of the Dark Brotherhood are the real deal! And the armour too. Most of the dialogue is taken directly from the game. I didn't invent almost any of it... Not even Arnbjorn with his "I don't like you - I love my wife" line. I wonder what he'd say to a male Dragonborn? But he really seems to think that she's coming on to him... some ego there. ohmy.gif

The whole Dark Brotherhood line in Skyrim is a parody of the line in Oblivion, and I don't mean it nicely. Which is why I have a "solution" in mind. wink.gif

The Dark Knitting Circle is not my idea either. It comes from a mod that replaces all loading screens with Uncle Sheo's wisdom. biggrin.gif So yeah, Lena heard Uncle Sheo's voice in her head. It's all true!!! I don't write fiction. wink.gif


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post May 27 2021, 09:03 PM
Post #29


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



1 First Seed, 4E202 - Dawnstar

Going West from Windhelm and aiming for Morthal, they somehow ended up in Dawnstar.

"This doesn't look like a moor" - Geralt noted looking over the frozen landscape. "Are you sure we're going in the right direction?"

"It's Dawnstar over there" - Hauk pointed at some houses in the blizzard ahead. "We've veered North too much."

"We followed the road!" - Lena protested. "But since we're here, let's at least stop for lunch."

Dawnstar was a nice little village... err... hold capital. It did have a port however, with a longship moored in it and with a passenger boat taking you to Windhelm. They also had a blacksmith, an alchemist, an inn and a... Mythic Dawn museum.

"Oh, that brings back memories" - Lena grimaced. "I don't think I need to visit that - it might end badly for the owner."

They went to the inn for lunch.

"Why did you not mention that you were an Optio?" - Lena asked Hauk making short work of her roast potatoes.

"The same reason you never wear your Imperial Dragon armour" - Hauk smiled at her. "I am not an open book, and neither are you."

True. May be this is why they liked each other so much.

"While we are here, by the way" - Hauk changed the topic - "we might want to take a short detour North - there's an old Sanctuary there, from the time when the Dark Brotherhood still had branches in Skyrim."

Lena raised an eyebrow.

"Yes, I know about that" - Hauk continued before she could ask anything. "I also know that it's been abandoned for a very long time. The enchantment on the door should still hold though, because no bandit was ever able to make it into their home - and no undercover Legionnaire either." He winked. "But you might be able to enter - or not, if the current group hadn't managed to break the enchantment yet."

This was interesting and warranted an investigation - they would ride there after lunch and stay the night in Dawnstar.

"Pardon me - I am a priest of Mara" - a dark elf approached their table. "I wonder if I could ask for your assistance."

"We are not looking to get married just yet" - Lena looked at him suspiciously. She didn't like priests of Mara, finding them too interfering in people's private affairs.

"It is not about that" - the priest didn't take offence. "This town is suffering from nightmares - perhaps you've heard, and I believe they come from an old shrine of Vaermina nearby. I was hoping one of you would come with me there - there will be fighting to be done, no doubt, too much for me alone."

"Do you know what exactly is going on?" - asked Lena, still eyeing him with suspicion.

"Not exactly, no, but I have an idea which needs verifying" - the priest was evasive.

"Who is Vaermina?" - asked Geralt with interest.

"A Daedric Prince of nightmares, in a nutshell" - answered Lena. "Well, a female Prince, but they don't call them Princess for some reason. Too cute, probably." She grinned.

"This sounds interesting, I'll go" - Geralt agreed. Then turning to the priest he added: "Let me finish my lunch and I'll come and find you."

The priest walked away.

"You two can take care of your respective business here in the meantime, and I won't be getting in your way" - he added shooting a glance at Lena and Hauk and returning to his stew.

It was true that Lena had business in Dawnstar, but she did want to go to Morthal first to get that horn from the crypt and be done with it. But it was not to be. Ok, Dawnstar first then.

...

Geralt went with the priest to a tower nearby. The priest was more than evasive - he was clearly hiding something. He also seemed to know too much about Vaermina, and mostly about Vaermina followers and their secret rituals. Geralt tried asking some careful questions, but got no satisfactory reply.

Then everything became clear. A group of orcs had attacked the tower wanting to kill everyone inside for the nightmares that they were having. The people inside were no match for the orcs, and after heavy losses they decided to seal the tower and place everyone inside in suspension in order to protect Vaermina's artefact. Geralt was to pass through the magical barrier and face the devotees and the orcs inside. There he was to find the artefact and the priest would then destroy it to lift the nightmares. Why the nightmares had started just now was unclear, since the artefact had been there for a very long time. Geralt wanted answers.

Inside the suspended realm, Geralt found three people deciding to erect the barrier, one of whom looked familiar... yes, it was the priest, and Geralt was looking through his eyes. He had been one of Vaermina's followers, yet he ran at the last moment leaving his companions to die in suspension with no means to escape or get help.

"And Mara accepted him as her priest just like that?" - Geralt thought, his opinion of Mara dropping markedly.

There were choices to be made. Kill the priest or spare him, destroy the artefact or claim it for yourself. Either way, the nightmares would be lifted, Vaermina said.

Geralt could never refuse a woman, so he killed the priest and took Vaermina's artefact.

"A crystal skull..." - he thought turning the staff in his hand. "Reminds me of a raven's crystal skull... another time, another realm... lilac and gooseberries..." He inhaled deeply - he could almost smell it. He never told Yennefer where he'd gone to. He was wondering whether she'd find him anyway.

...

With the business taken care of, our three friends gathered at the inn. It was only early evening, and although the sun had set, the aurora and the moons were giving plenty of light. They decided to ride to the old Sanctuary.

"Well, there's the door, but it won't open" - said Lena, having tried to unlock the enchantment. "My enchantment from Cyrodiil won't work of course, and the local group hadn't been able to break it either. Good."

The Sanctuary in the South that Lena had visited, also carried an enchantment - but it had been tempered with. It was secure enough to keep casual trespassers out, but it wasn't the original thing - Lena could tell. It felt wrong. The enchantment on this door however felt different, so it could well have been original. Whether anyone could still open it, remained a question that even Lucien wouldn't know the answer to. But the Night Mother would.

There was nothing else to do here, so they returned to Dawnstar. The news of Geralt's adventure in Vaermina's tower spread fast - no one cared for what happened to the priest, they only wanted the nightmares to be lifted, and with the skull in Geralt's possession, they were all sure their troubles were over. You'd think they would all rush to their beds for a good sleep, but no - celebrations were running into the small hours, and our party could hardly get any sleep at all. But they would still ride to Morthal in the morning.

This post has been edited by Lena_Wolf: May 28 2021, 11:51 AM


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post May 28 2021, 03:23 PM
Post #30


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



2 First Seed, 4E202 - The Moor - Ustengrav

Riding West from Dawnstar, they soon saw the landscape change - they were coming onto the moors. Ustengrav was on the Eastern edge, and they decided to explore it before going into town. But first Geralt wanted to walk around the moor. It was obvious - the place touched him.

"It is cold, yet not freezing, there's the mist over the water, the buzz of dragonflies and the splashing of fish" - Geralt was getting poetic. "And rambling of walking bones right over there!"

A rogue skeleton put to rest, they continued wandering and trying not to get their feet too wet. The horses seemed to like it well enough, grazing on deathbells and nightshade. They were Nord horses - those mild toxins didn't harm them.

"I could well retire here, you know" - Geralt said looking at Lena.

"You? Retire? Whatever would you do with yourself?" - Lena couldn't quite imagine her brother chopping wood and making stew for the next couple of centuries.

"Well, provided Yen gets here, of course" - he looked into the distance with a longing.

IPB Image

"Did you tell her where you were going?"

"No."

Lena put her arm around Geralt's shoulders.

"But the djinn was gone, yet you both still felt the same, yes? Well then, she'll find you. She is a powerful sorceress."

"But what if..." - he didn't want to continue.

"Was that another test?"

"Ciri wanted her in Nilfgaard."

"Ciri is now the Empress - she made her choice. And what she said when she went to fight that Elf - did you forget?"

Ciri was Geralt's ward, and a daughter of an Emperor. She was also - in Lena's opinion - a selfish brat. Geralt had revered her though, which is why Ciri's disdainful remark to him was so painful: "What do you know of saving worlds? You are but a witcher." Lena could not forgive Ciri that, and Geralt of course could never forget it.

After that epic battle when their world was saved, Ciri took over the throne from her birth father and became the Empress of Nilfgaard. She decided she wanted Yennefer by her side as her adviser, and what Ciri wanted, Ciri got. Yennefer however wasn't that easy to manipulate, not even by Ciri - her unofficial ward. Lena believed that Yennefer would choose Geralt over Ciri in a heartbeat.

"Come, Wolf, you know her, she'll find you" - Lena stood before Geralt with her hands on his shoulders. "Give it time - it's not that easy."

A spectacular appearance of Yennefer stepping through a portal would have been nice right now, but it didn't happen. Finding Geralt on the other side of the Great Maelstrom was going to take time.

...

Ustengrav was just another crypt. Yes, it was extensive, and it had many draugr walking around, and even a remarkable waterfall grotto with an open sky and a Word Wall. It was all very impressive and a nice adventure in itself, but nothing looked like a test for a Dragonborn.

Then they came to an interesting setup of three stones and three consecutive falling gates. As you approached a stone, its associated gate was raised, and all three had to be raised for you to pass, yet you could never stand close enough to all three stones.

"Ok, you stand by that stone and you by this one" - Lena told Hauk and Geralt to take positions.

No, that didn't work. The stones wanted the same person to activate them all.

"So this is the test, then" - Geralt observed. "Do you have a trick to stretch yourself from here to there, Dragonborn? You don't even have a tail."

"I don't need a tail!" - Lena was feverishly thinking what to do. She stripped most of her gear and tried sprinting between the stones, which worked and got all the gates lifted at once, only to drop back to the ground by the time she got to the passage. She tried that again. And again. Hauk and Geralt stood there with their arms folded watching her with amusement.

"You may want to strip some more" - Hauk was being helpful. Lena wanted to punch him in the ribs, but again he was wearing armour, so she just glared at him instead.

Oh, wait. The Greybeards taught her this shout... It might just do the trick.

The Whirlwind Sprint shout got her through the gates, but only just. She'd been running back and forth for a good half hour before she finally cleared the gates and pulled on a chain from the other side to lock them open. Phew, what a test.

"So then, a Dragonborn is supposed to be swift, first and foremost" - Lena summarised her experience while getting dressed. "I'm ready for a snack now."

"Let's pass through those gates first" - Hauk was examining the mechanism. "They are not going to stay open for long."

Through the gates and up the corridor, more draugr were waiting, but eventually they found a suitable chamber for a lunch break.

"I was expecting something where you'd have to breathe fire" - Hauk said disappointedly. "Not run around in your knickers - as amusing as that was."

"I can't breathe fire" - said Lena defiantly.

"Isn't that what Firebrandy is for?" - Geralt chimed in.

"Well, if you are going to make fun of me, then at least pass me the cheese." She was going to be teased about this for the rest of her days, she just knew it. Best laugh it off then.

...

"Oh, that is an impressive hall - and there's an alter at the end!" - Lena exclaimed when they entered what looked like the main chamber. "The horn must be here."

There was a horn-shaped cradle on the alter, but no horn. Instead, there was a note asking the Dragonborn to come and see a "friend".

"What? In Riverwood?" - Lena was furious. "Is it the innkeep or the barmaid, do you think? And I thought you had to be Dragonborn to get here!!"

Hauk and Geralt backed off - Lena was almost breathing fire.

Alas, there was nothing else to do but to pack the note and leave.

"Whoever they are, they didn't make any friends here" - Hauk said to Geralt in a low voice. "Your sister has got quite a temper."

Geralt watched Lena put down a small crowd of draugrs with fire and rage.

"She'll cool off eventually" - Geralt said, keeping his distance. "This is what I must look like when I'm angry" - he thought to himself. He knew exactly how she felt.

...

It was quite late when they came out of Ustengrav, rather disappointed with the whole adventure. There was a fire pit and some bedrolls by the entrance, and they decided to camp right there for the night rather than go to Morthal. Lena was still fuming.

"I'll take the first watch" - she said. "I don't feel like sleeping."

Some hours later Geralt got up to take over, but instead of sleeping, Lena walked off into the moor.

No, she wasn't suicidal. She had spotted an abandoned shack nearby, and wanted to check whether that was indeed the place where Astrid had taken her. She still had the key.

The shack was covered in blood outside.

"Deer blood" - Lena noted, tasting it. "How theatrical."

Inside it was as she remembered it - damp, dark and dirty. The corpses of the subjects that she had killed were still there, now starting to smell. She looked around for a trace of the teleport.

"There it is" - she saw a faded imprint of a rune. "A single use portal. Astrid must have an activator with her, or a special spell. Their mage is really something."

This was clearly a custom spell created specifically for this purpose. Hauk was right - this was their training ground. Lena made a note to pay more attention to the mage next time she was at the Sanctuary, even if it did mean sitting through more of his stories of greatness.

She returned to the camp, now relaxed. She didn't have the horn, but at least she learned something at the shack, so the trip wasn't a complete waste. She could sleep now.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

3 First Seed, 4E202 - Delphine

The road to Riverwood was uneventful. Lena was unusually quiet and pushed on without distractions, Hauk and Geralt followed, sensing that it was best to let her be. In Riverwood Lena went straight for the inn.

"I am here to rent the attic room" - she told the barmaid.

"Well, we don't have an attic room, but you can have this one on the left" - replied the barmaid taking her money.

"This better be good" - Lena thought to herself going into the room and closing the door.

She didn't even have time to sit down when the barmaid came in asking her to follow. They crossed to the room opposite, where the barmaid opened a secret door leading to a cellar.

"Close the door and follow me" - said the barmaid in a commanding tone. She was no barmaid.

Lena decided to play along for now and see where this was going.

The cellar was set up as a small command post - armour, weapons, medicines, poisons and other supplies where here, as well as the crafting stations. There was a map of Skyrim on the table with some locations marked on it. It wasn't about the Civil War.

Delphine the barmaid gave Lena the horn and said that she was with the Blades. That figured. Elite troops who behaved like elite, weren't Lena's favourite people, and Delphine certainly fitted the profile - superiority incarnate.

"And if you prove to me that you are Dragonborn, I promise to tell you everything" - she said with an air of making an offer that Lena could not refuse. And this is where she was wrong.

"Thanks for the horn. I don't have to prove anything to you. Good day" - Lena said coldly and left.

The Blades weren't just the Emperor's personal guard, they were also dragon slayers, or had been, when there were still dragons around. There weren't many of the Blades left - the Thalmor were very thorough. But any troops can be rebuilt, and the Blades were no exception - fighting skills could be trained, no one was born a swordsman. What they needed however was a Dragonborn - someone who could permanently destroy dragon souls. The Blades' interest in Lena was obvious - they wanted her to fight and destroy dragons, now that the dragons were returning. They weren't interested in anything else. Lena didn't need to hear Delphine's story to figure it all out. She didn't know who else was around and how Delphine planned to rebuild the Blades, but she didn't care either. Find some other Dragonborn.

Thinking these thoughts, Lena returned to the hunter's cabin where Hauk was making stew.

"Well? Did you get the horn?" - he asked, stirring.

"Yes, here it is" - Lena turned it over in her hand. "It's a hunting horn."

"It's not what it is, it's where you got it from that matters though" - noted Hauk. "It was the barmaid, right?"

"Yes. She's with the Blades" - replied Lena rather reluctantly. She was annoyed and didn't want to talk about it.

"Yeah, I thought so" - Hauk smirked. "Never seen a barmaid command the ale to stop fermenting before."

Geralt returned with some venison and rabbit, and the mood much improved. They would have to go to Ivarstead again, but at least for now they could relax.

IPB Image

...

"I've got a house West from here" - Lena said at dinner, looking at Geralt. "In case you've had enough of Sven's mother. I hear she doesn't let you out of her sight when you are in Riverwood."

It was Geralt's turn to get annoyed.

"True - the woman is very persistent. Where is this house and why have you not said anything before?"

"It's not that far, but far enough" - Lena pointed down the road West. "It's by the lake there, near Pinewatch, if you know it. But I haven't been there in a long time, it might have squatters now. Pinewatch is a bandit base, after all. The Jarl granted me rights to the Lake View in exchange for some favours." Lena looked up from her bowl, and seeing a bemused expression on Geralt's face, she hastened to add: "Bandit removal favours. The Jarl is not very scrupulous who he associates with, and has regular disagreements that need 'resolving'. He wanted to make me a Thane, but I refused."

"Yeah, the Jarl of Falkreath has quite a reputation" - Hauk adding grinning.

"Well then, we need to ride there and see what it's like" - Geralt liked the idea. "I could use a break from Sven's mother."

This post has been edited by Lena Wolf: May 29 2021, 01:26 AM


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post May 29 2021, 02:39 PM
Post #31


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



4-5 First Seed, 4E202 - Lake View - Helgen - Ivarstead

"This is brilliant!" - was Geralt's comment when he saw the Lake View house. "And there is even a necromancer down by the lake for my own personal pleasure."

"Well, the house is yours to live in if you want it" - Lena laughed. "Be gentle with the necromancer though - I think it's just a novice conjurer."

Geralt looked tired. Something was bothering him, and Lena thought it was probably Yennefer - that she hadn't followed him yet. But he didn't tell her where he was headed! Finding someone on the other side of the Great Maelstrom was difficult even for an accomplished sorceress like Yennefer, and you had to think of looking there in the first place. But logic was useless in the matters of the heart.

"Why don't you stay here while Hauk and I go to Ivarstead" - Lena suggested. "We'll come and see you before going back to Cyrodiil."

Geralt agreed.

4 First Seed

The way to Ivarstead went through Helgen. The Western gate was unlocked, and after dispatching a few bandits, Lena and Hauk decided to look around.

Wooden houses were all destroyed - burned by the dragon or just collapsed under its weight. The watch tower still stood, with the Imperial banner moving slightly in the breeze. Even the execution block was still there. Lena shivered - she did not cherish that particular memory.

The Southern and Eastern gates were locked, and there was a lone Imperial soldier on the Southern wall.

"Shall we walk over to him and see why he is there all alone?" - Lena suggested, thinking he might need help.

"No, not like this" - Hauk patted his steel plate armour. "Not unless we're dressed in Legion armour. He is confused, he'll think we are hostile - I've seen a lot of that during the War. I'll send word from the next camp."

They slipped quietly towards the Eastern gate and unlocked it.

IPB Image

"Ralof!"

Ralof was standing on the other side, looking lost.

"Hello" - he said. He didn't recognise Lena. It's been months and months since the dragon attack.

"What are you doing here? Why don't you go to the camp just up the road?" Lena remembered a Stormcloak camp nearby.

"Camp? What camp? Why?"

Lena looked at Hauk but he only shook his head.

"Well, there's food in the tower" - she turned to Ralof.

"I'm Ok, there are rabbits here. And snowberries."

She noticed a small campsite under the trees by the wall. Ralof would be Ok for a few more days, then she'd take him to his sister in Riverwood if he was still there on their way back. The Legion might do it if they got there first. She thought of letting the Stormcloaks at the camp know, but recalling their last encounter, she reconsidered. If the Stormcloaks were resorting to robbing passing travellers for food, then Ralof was better off on his own.

...

The innkeep in Ivarstead was glad to see them again, they stayed the night and Lena would go up to High Hrothgar in the morning.

"I don't have a double bed for you love birds, but I think you won't mind" - the innkeep winked at them.

They didn't mind. Skyrim beds were wide enough for two people, and were far better than scant bedrolls that they had to share so many times before. Love birds - no, friends - yes.

5 First Seed

"I'll go with you this time" - said Hauk in the morning. "Sanguine might not appear every time, and dremora churls aren't that powerful against frost trolls."

Lena had told him how she was surprised when Sanguine appeared instead of a churl last time she went to High Hrothgar.

"There might not be a frost troll there this time" - Lena objected. But then changed her mind: "But still, I'd be glad of your company."

IPB Image

She was uncomfortable with this whole Dragonborn business. She didn't like Delphine but felt that she would not be able to avoid her for much longer. Lena still remembered quite vividly the disdain of the Blades last time around - during the Oblivion Crisis. They made her an "honorary" Blade, meaning: you are not good enough to be one of us, but we have to follow orders. Yet it was she and the "mere" city guards that were closing those damned Oblivion gates while the Blades stayed away in the Cloud Ruler Temple. She never wanted to deal with another Blade ever again, but it looked like she had to this time.

And the Greybeards. Wise old men? Or monks keeping secrets from the unworthy populace? Why was the Thu'um so important to the Nords in the first place? They never explained it properly, always saying evasive things like: "Follow the path of the Voice". Which path was that? The one with a frost troll along the way, it seemed.

She asked Hauk about the Thu'um but he didn't know any more than anyone else. He could tell her the legends and stories that every Nord child grew up with, but he didn't know where they came from, exactly.

"You will probably need to follow up on this and see where it leads you, if you want to find out" - he said. "I've got a feeling you'll get embroiled in everything along the way, Civil War included. Can't say I envy you there."

"Do you think I should join the Legion sooner rather than later?"

"I would not rush that" - Hauk looked at her searching. "You have other business as well. General Talius does not approve of Lucien Lachance."

"They would not need to know."

"Oh, they already know. Why do you think Hadvar is here? They are keeping an eye on you."

Lena would never join the Stormcloaks but this surveillance by the Legion wasn't exactly pleasant either.

"So what about that execution?" - she suddenly remembered the Helgen incident. "Did they actually mean to behead me?"

"No, not then. You were not Dragonborn yet" - Hauk seemed certain. "They don't want to behead you now either - they need you. And if you behave yourself and keep Lucien out of Skyrim, they may even forgive you your little hobby."

"Ok, I promise not to assassinate any important generals" - Lena joked.

"Be careful with that. Wars bring a lot of work for any group of assassins, even one as mediocre as Astrid's."

What?! How did he... Lena opened her mouth in surprise but Hauk was already laughing, so she didn't say anything.

...

IPB Image

"Ok, since you already know, I'll tell you" - Lena stopped her horse and turned to face Hauk. "These assassins are strange. Strange that they don't know - or don't care - that I'm Dragonborn, strange that they have no idea that the Dark Brotherhood is not dead... and now they think they've got the Night Mother here because Cicero brought with him a woman's corpse. It seems too ridiculous for anyone to believe."

"Wishful thinking, perhaps?" - you didn't need to be with the Dark Brotherhood to know that the Night Mother wasn't a mortal woman.

"It's as if they use our name and symbolism to get work - I doubt they'd get any otherwise" - Lena looked uncertain. "They've taken over an old Sanctuary but it isn't theirs by right. They say they've done away with the old ways in order to survive, but I think Astrid simply used the name to build a brand new group that has nothing to do with us. There have never been any 'old ways' here - it's just Astrid and her rule."

"You don't like it."

"I... no."

"You could change it."

Lena looked at Hauk wondering what he was suggesting.

"I don't want to build my own group, even under the Night Mother, if that's what you mean" - she said slowly. "I am an Assassin, not a Listener. That's a very different job."

"I know just how you feel" - Hauk said after a pause. "The same reason why I am an Optio and not a Legate."

"Yeah - field work. Offices are not for us" - Lena said smiling complicitly.

They had already been to High Hrothgar to deliver the horn - and nothing noteworthy happened. They were now headed back to the Lake View where they would spend the night and set off to Cyrodiil in the morning.


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post May 29 2021, 04:17 PM
Post #32


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



Note about Ralof

Poor Ralof is actually really standing by the Eastern gate of Helgen in my game, feeling lost. I started this playthrough with an alternate start (Fast Alternate Start for PS4) as a Dark Brotherhood assassin, so I didn't go through the Helgen tutorial. However, "Before the Storm" quest is still started when you go talk to Alvor, and there you find Hadvar saying you saved his life. So this is then the default. Ralof however is left in Helgen and never moved to Riverwood as he would be normally if you followed Hadvar.

Of course this gives me an idea. I didn't like existing Helgen rebuilt alternatives, so I might come up with something myself. Also, Ralof would make for an interesting friend with a good story, as long as you don't pair him up with Hadvar... hmmm... cool.gif


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post May 29 2021, 07:31 PM
Post #33


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



7 First Seed, 4E202 - Report

Lena was gone for three weeks, and now once again she was sitting at dinner with Lucien. She brought her report on the Dark Brotherhood group in Skyrim.

"It's a bunch of murderers. They kill for the pleasure of killing."

"Well, an assassin should not be avert to killing" - Lucien smiled. "What do you mean, exactly?"

"Exactly what I said: the only thing that drives them is the pleasure that they derive from taking a life. They don't care who or why. They don't serve Sithis or anyone else - only their own Pleasure."

"You don't serve Sithis either, or so you said."

"I don't. I serve the Brotherhood though."

"Yes."

Lucien gave Lena a long look.

"I was one of the young assassins sent to eliminate any and all of the members of Crimson Scar - your great-uncle's group" - he said still keeping his eyes on Lena's. "We were warned that the Crimson Scar members were superior to us in strength and skill, partly because they were vampires. For once, we were told to come back alive - retreating if necessary. 'Kill just one of them and come back' - we were told. 'There will be many more visits until we've killed them all.' It was a very unusual approach for the Dark Brotherhood."

Lucien was watching Lena's reaction. He knew that she had read her great-uncles journal and was aware of the events.

"In the end I killed your great-uncle."

Lena didn't divert her gaze.

"He was a crazy man and Sithis would have been pleased with either outcome. Whoever spills more blood. But Uncle had turned on his brothers first by turning some of them to his side, and thus he betrayed the Brotherhood. You were right to kill him."

"You do not blame me then?"

"No, Lucien."

They sat in silence for a while.

"Why did you disobey my order back then and refused to perform Purification?" - it seemed that Lucien had wanted to ask that question for a long time.

"I did not trust the 'evidence'. It didn't make sense to me. I could not see anyone in Cheydinhal to be traitors or why I should be above suspicion. I thought you might have been framed to give that order. I didn't trust where it came from. I served my family."

"And paid dearly for that. I am glad however that you proved to be a better assassin than the ones that were sent after you."

"Is that why you wanted me to rejoin?"

"You are my Silencer, I never replaced you" - Lucien answered simply.

"But... I refused your order! I was exiled, I never made it past Assassin" - Lena protested. "And I'm still climbing up through the ranks all over again."

"When you refused and several other assassins failed to purify Cheydinhal, the traitor panicked. He started substituting dead drops for Silencers of the other Speakers, and indeed several important people were killed before we figured out what was happening. But because it wasn't my Silencer doing it, and because I myself was exiled at the time - oh yes - when the others found the traitor, found his diaries, everything, my exile was called off, as well as the hunt for you. You were already gone - to the Shivering Isles, as we now know. I made you my Silencer then."

He got up, took a package from a chest and put it in front of Lena on the table.

"Of course, you didn't know it. Now you do. These are yours."

"Black Hand robes!" - Lena touched the folded robes as if to ascertain they were real. The cloth felt smooth, the enchantment tickled.

"Your current climbing through the ranks is just a formality, and because you refused a promotion - remember?" - he smiled.

"I asked for a house instead" - Lena smiled back. "But what good was it to you to have an absent Silencer?"

"I didn't want anyone else. I would wait for you to return - and you have."

"You've waited 200 years."

"It was worth it."

Lena looked up, then continued patting the robes, smoothing out the wrinkles, sliding her hand into the glove.

Lucien brought another bottle of Tamika West Weald - Lena's favourite.

"So what of the Skyrim group - should we eliminate them?"

"No, leave them be. They keep the name of the Dark Brotherhood known in Skyrim" - Lena raised a toast. "Here's to your ghost, Lucien - they believe you to be dead along with everyone in Cheydinhal!"

They drank and tried not to choke with laughter.

"My ghost?" - Lucien was amused.

Lena snapped her fingers and a Spectral Assassin appeared before them.

"You summon me again, sister" - he said. He did look a little like Lucien. He looked around, didn't see any threats, and just stood there, with his arms folded.

"Their mage came up with this spell."

"He doesn't recognise me" - said Lucien. "Whose ghost is it?"

"I have no idea" - said Lena. "I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't anyone's ghost at all. Their mage is quite gifted, this apparition could be completely synthetic." She dispelled the Spectral Assassin.

History books recorded the Purification of the Cheydinhal Sanctuary as completed with the Dark Brotherhood collapsing some time after that. But we all know that history books have little to do with reality. It seems that the Skyrim group imagined themselves to be the only surviving Dark Brotherhood group, and Cicero only confirmed their belief. Cicero however had never been a member of the Dark Brotherhood, just as the Night Mother could not be killed because she wasn't any one woman.

Lena didn't want to speak of the Skyrim group any more.

"Astrid told me to join the Thieves Guild to help deal with the fines and jail sentences. Me - Thieves Guild!!"

"I can see you doing it with only one purpose, and that won't be to deal with the fines" - Lucien nodded.

"Despicable" - they said together and laughed. More wine and cheese followed.

"I..." - Lena started hesitantly. She had to get something off her chest. "I wasn't away all of this time..." - she fidgeted. "I was coming and going... especially in the beginning. I had things that needed taking care of."

"I know" - Lucien didn't sound surprised. "The cure for vampirism being one."

"Yes" - that was not all, clearly. Lena continued to fidget. "And... I came here many a time, and I stayed here while you were away."

"And took some of my poisoned apples, yet left other excellent poisons behind. I know. I wasn't always away."

Lena knew of course that Lucien could just disappear, yet she had never checked to see whether she was alone.

"Is that why you replaced that narrow cot by this double bed? Added other furniture? I was expecting to run into someone else here, but never have, and after a while decided you just wanted more comfort."

"I came in late one night and you were asleep in my bed. This was the first time I saw you after you'd disappeared. I slept on the floor, and left before you woke up. Borba was very accommodating regarding the furniture. She's very discreet, too."

Borba. Of course.

"You kept my flowers" - Lucien said after a pause.

"I... I was surprised at the lily of the valley" - Lena said. "Are you sure?"

IPB Image

"That I love you? Of course." He paused. "I require nothing of you, you keep your freedom. But if you ever... I'm here."

...

Lena was overwhelmed. She stood looking at Lucien, not able to move or say anything, and she didn't know what she would say. Tears ran down her face, yet she was smiling, her heart beating fast. She took a step forward and stretched out her arm - and touched Lucien on the shoulder. It was as if she had expected him not to be there. No, he was there, she hadn't dreamt it.

Lucien watched Lena's reaction in silence, giving her time to regain control. When she didn't, he stepped towards her and pulled her into a tight embrace - the way friends do after a long separation. For this was what they were first and foremost - old friends.

"Stay here tonight" - he said wiping her tears. "You need a good rest. I'll vanish and give you peace."

"I..." - Lena found her voice. "No, Lucien, don't go."

She got into bed and fell asleep, exhausted. It had been a long day.


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Renee
post May 30 2021, 03:32 PM
Post #34


Councilor
Group Icon
Joined: 19-March 13
From: Ellicott City, Maryland



I am going back to the beginning, just because it'll answer some stuff, and flesh out some other stuff. Over at Beth's forums we were deep into Lena's story, so let's find out how it starts.

QUOTE
Having tried this and that without much success and having had enough of goblins stealing my sweetrolls, I walked into Bravil's Mages Guild hoping to steal one of theirs.


Awesome! This is like a lot of 16 year-olds who have been thrust onto the streets, I'd imagine. Just so you know, Acadian's Buffy also grew up in Bravil.

Oh okay good. So she gets taken in by the Mages Guild. Could she perform any magic at that point? Or I suppose they saw something in her, and wanted to take her in; steer a young Lena on the right path.

She went to jail for stealing a sweetroll. unsure.gif

And became infected with vampire's disease. Mages Guild had no prob with this, but the FG kicked her to the curb!

I am glad she told Thieves Guild to fokke off. Not that they haven't got their place in Tamriel, but for some reason I don't think being in TG suits her.

Did you (and her) enjoy closing Oblivion gates? How long did she spend doing so, roughly? I'll let you know later why I ask these things.

I like how you continue her story into the 4th Era. As you know, I have done this with basically most of my PC characters, as well. smile.gif A lot of my characters on console (PS3 or Xbox) lived in the 3rd Era, and did most of those quests in the vanilla game, whereas a lot of my characters on PC live in the 4th Era. It's how I explain all the modded content in their games, which weren't around before!

Whoa, she meets Geralt! As in THE Witcher. emot-ninja1.gif

This post has been edited by Renee: May 30 2021, 03:53 PM


--------------------
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post May 30 2021, 08:26 PM
Post #35


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



QUOTE(Renee @ May 30 2021, 03:32 PM) *

So she gets taken in by the Mages Guild. Could she perform any magic at that point? Or I suppose they saw something in her, and wanted to take her in; steer a young Lena on the right path.

She might have been able to do some simple magic, she was rather gifted, being a Breton and her mother having been a mage. Not that she remembered her mother really - she died when Lena was four. But I think mostly the mages saw some potential and tookher in, you know how Kud-Ei is. smile.gif

QUOTE
She went to jail for stealing a sweetroll. unsure.gif

Not just a sweetroll, or rather this wasn't the first time she got caught. It was the famous "one sweetroll too many" situation. The City Watch had figured that a short stay in jail might make her think twice next time.

QUOTE

Did you (and her) enjoy closing Oblivion gates? How long did she spend doing so, roughly? I'll let you know later why I ask these things.

It took about 3.5 years to get it all sorted... If anyone tells you that the Oblivion Crisis was over within a week, just laugh in their face. wink.gif But of course there were other things going on as well, and as a vampire, she had to stay out of the sun... She closed a LOT of gates. It was easy enough once her illusion skill got so high that she could get 100% chameleon with rings and spells, but the sun was always a problem, or molten lava as is the case in Mehrus Dagon's realm. On the flip side however, Xivilai blood proved very nutritious. If you could get them to sleep first, that is. Or paralyse them for long enough. Dremora too - Sanguine is still being careful.

But did she enjoy it? It was fun at first, but became tedious after some time.


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post May 30 2021, 10:22 PM
Post #36


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



8-10 First Seed, 4E202 - Dark Fissure

After that long conversation with Lucien the night before, Lena still felt overwhelmed. She was vaguely aware of Lucien moving around the room while she slept, so he didn't leave. He was making breakfast when she got up, and he didn't look tired - he must have slept too. It seemed this wasn't the first time, as he said, but it was the first time that Lena became aware of what she had been doing: staying in someone else's home without their permission. This was going to have consequences.

8 First Seed

Lucien finished cooking. A classic fry-up with a bloody steak for Lena.

"You look pale" - he said.

Last night, when he hugged her, his neck was so close to her face... and all she could think about was how good that vein looked... and that scent...

She had been drained, overwhelmed and exhausted - the things they discussed literally turned her world upside down. Two hundred years was a long time to wait. He must have been part-elf, because he didn't age much and he wasn't a vampire. An Imperial with a Breton name...

Lena's mind was mulling over these thoughts while she finished her steak. She was feeling better now, and the visions of Lucien's veins faded away. She looked up. Lucien met her eyes, smiled and nodded.

"What?"

"Your eyes are back to amber" - he said.

...

It was time to get going, Lena had things to do, and Lucien probably did as well. She tried on her new Black Hand robes. Yes, she would be using these today. They were just like mage's black robes, almost the same, no insignia, nothing like the flashy outfits of Skyrim assassins that made them stand out a mile and be noticed - and perhaps that was the point.

"No need for advertising here" - she thought.

9 First Seed

It was almost 9 a.m. but Lena hadn't slept yet. With her business in the Imperial City completed, she stopped by the Arcane University to make some custom spells and to plunder their garden. She then went to her house on the Waterfront to practice the spells and brew poisons and potions. She was going to travel alone for a while and wanted to be prepared. She hadn't noticed that she'd been up all night.

"Well, I can sleep there" - she thought. The Mages Guild wanted her to do some surveillance and it could well take days on end, even a week if she was unlucky. She packed a bedroll and some provisions and set off to the Dark Fissure.

10 First Seed

Midnight came, and Masser was in Revenant. This meant that Masser stood just at the right angle in the sky to send a beam of purple light. What luck that it happened on the first night! It was a weekly phenomenon.

IPB Image

The necromancers had set up an alter to convert grand soul gems into black ones under this light. Lena observed the ritual from the one place where the necromancers weren't looking: above them.

After that she decided to have a closer look at the alter. One of the alcolytes was still there.

IPB Image

"Unwise" - Lena thought. "My black robes are not the same as your black robes."

She had enough information for Raminus Polus, but she was tired and decided to spend the day in Cheydinhal. She was also due at the Sanctuary to report on her job in the Imperial City. Raminus could wait another day.


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post May 30 2021, 11:31 PM
Post #37


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



10 First Seed, 4E202 - Family

"Precise and discreet, as usual" - said Ocheeva handing over the bonus. "We expect another contract soon, if you want it."

"I do" - Lena looked determined. "I've been away far too long."

"Nonsense" - Ocheeva smiled warmly. "He always knew you'd be back."

Lena looked in Ocheeva's amber eyes and saw her adoptive grandmother before her. She too could see everything plainly.

"How..." - she hesitated. "Why did the others allow him to appoint an absent Silencer?"

"He didn't give them any choice. The Night Mother reluctantly agreed, the others followed. He was very busy doing everything himself, especially during the War there was a lot of work."

Lena fidgeted.

"I suppose I should be going... I'll be around, just leave a note upstairs when you need me." She stood up to leave.

"Oh" - she sat down again. "There's an ex-Shadowscale among the Skyrim assassins. Claims to be the last of his kind. I thought you might want to know. I'll be going back there at some point, in case you need anything."

"Thank you, dear" - Ocheeva smiled. "He's just a fool. His cell collapsed or else he was made to believe that it collapsed, and now he thinks he's the last one. They probably put him there on purpose too - without him knowing it. Not all Shadowscales are blessed with brains, you know. But I'll send word, all the same."

Ocheeva took Lena's hand.

"Those robes suit you. Don't worry about anything, dear. Things will fall into place when the time is right, and it isn't for a while yet."

Was that Lena's grandmother talking? Or was it just the Argonian way?

...

The news of Lena's reinstated rank spread quickly through the Sanctuary, not the least because she was wearing her Black Hand robes.

"Good to see you're really back, sister" - Antoinetta Marie greeted her. "I'm glad you didn't get killed... err... you know!" - she beamed at Lena. "I still think I should have Ocheeva's job, and I don't mind telling you this, since you know talent when you see it, too."

This had become a running joke in the Sanctuary over the years. Antoinette Marie was ambitious, and believed herself to be an exceptionally talented assassin. While she certainly had her merits, she was... shall we say... too talkative. And her cooking made Vicente ill.

"I thought you were gone for good" - Gogron joined in. "I was probably the only one surprised when you reappeared. I'm not that subtle!" - he chuckled. "Is it true that you're a Silencer? Have been all this time? Is that why Ocheeva and Vicente were out on jobs more often than usual? To fill in?"

Gogron was definitely not subtle - and not trying to be, either. "Bonus - what bonus?" - he used to say and chuckle. But he never missed his mark, doing things his way.

"Don't you start, Gogron" - Telaendril gave him a tender look. Then turning to Lena, she added, smiling: "He's such a brute! We're all glad you're back, wearing those robes. Even M'raaj-Dar, although he'll still say that the new recruit isn't fit to polish his boots..."

"We are also all glad to still be alive" - Teinaava hissed into Lena's ear. He was the only one to mention the failed Purification. "After that Argonian heart, I wouldn't take my chances against your Sufferthorn, Silencer."

Vicente was crossing the hall when he saw them talking.

"If I could have a word..." - he smiled at Lena.

She followed him to his quarters.

"I know you cured your vampirism, but that cure has some negative effects, does it not?" - he smiled again. "And I don't mean the looks - you obviously fixed that. That cure also leaves you weakened, your blood doesn't regenerate as well as it should. You noticed it, no doubt."

Lena was thinking of all those encounters with ghosts and liches that seemed to affect her far worse than anyone else. Like those ghosts in the Benirus Manor, and Hauk offering his neck to her afterwards. May be he wasn't joking.

"You are no longer a vampire, but you can still drink blood - and assimilate it into your own, like a vampire. You don't need it to survive, but you can still use it."

That explained those sudden urges... It seemed Hauk wasn't joking.

"Ah - but you no longer have the fangs. Or do you?" - Vicente seemed to have researched this topic very well. "Janus Hassildor and I had a long talk with your cure potion on the table. When Janus' wife could not be saved by it, he had to rethink his own existence. He offered me the cure too - we go a long way - but neither of us wanted it in the end. We had no one among the living that we would want to grow old with."

Lena was listening, and wondering just why she had been so eager to take that cure back then. She was young and inexperienced, she had assumed the cure would make her like before... and was bitterly disappointed when it didn't. This was a lesson in not assuming anything and not giving in to wishful thinking. The witch had never promised to make her like before - she only promised to make her mortal.

"I just wanted to say" - Vicente saw shadows passing over Lena's face - "now that you've taken that cure, you might need blood to recover from a bad fight."

Hauk wasn't joking.

"I have bottled blood here, as you know, just ask when you need it. Sister."

Sister. Lena was really back with her family. And Hauk... he knew what an ex-vampire would need... and was willing to provide it. Lena finally knew who her friends were.


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post May 31 2021, 04:35 PM
Post #38


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



12 First Seed, 4E202 - Othrelos

"Someone killed Othrelos in his house in the Imperial City" - Garrus was saying to Lena over dinner. She had returned to Cheydinhal and bumped into him in the street. Garrus was just coming off duty, so they decided to catch up.

"Othrelos?" - Lena raised an eyebrow. "Who was he?"

Garrus smirked.

"It's Ok, I'm off duty, I won't tell anyone" - he winked at her. Garrus Darelliun was the Captain of the Cheydinhal City Guard, and Lena's friend. "He had a small non-fatal stab wound, but mostly his heart ripped apart as if from electrocution. His girlfriend found him."

"While holding the bloody dagger, no doubt. Was he seeing someone else?"

"He was, but they never found the dagger" - Garrus confirmed. "Leave the dagger there, next time. Or leave some dagger, anyway, I doubt you'll part with yours." He pointed at her Sufferthorn.

"So, she zapped him then" - Lena wasn't giving up.

"No scorch marks. It was poison, just like Fathis Ules. We are not all idiots, you know" - Garrus looked at her smiling. He was such a tease!

"Poor man... Othrelos, you said?" - Lena smiled back. "Scornful women can be quite dangerous, as Fathis Ules also found out."

"I wonder who's next" - Garrus mused. "They seem to be going for the Thieves Guild, and there have been reports of a peculiar wraith haunting the abandoned house in Anvil. Appeared fairly recently."

"Peculiar - how so?"

"It speaks - whispers - of the wrath of Sithis."

"Sithis?"

"Oh please! I know it's your doing" - Garrus looked Lena in the eye. "I am not Adamus Philida, and this is Cheydinhal, so don't worry - this is not going on report."

Lena wasn't worried about it going on report, but speaking about Dark Brotherhood business was against the rules. Except in this case.

"I heard Countess Umbranox put out a contract on her husband's life" - she said. "He didn't stay with her very long after he was unmasked as the Grey Fox a long time ago. Apparently he got bored with honest life and disappeared on her. So here's another scornful woman."

"I've heard the same" - Garrus nodded. "But what's with the wraith?"

"I hear the lady wanted him to be afraid first, a quick death being too merciful for her liking."

"That explains the deaths of the other Thieves Guild members, too. Very good indeed!" Garrus did not approve of the Thieves Guild.

"How do you like your Captain's duties, now that you are no longer stuck patrolling the throne room all day?" - asked Lena changing the topic.

"Much better!" - Garrus refilled their goblets. "That Regina Regis is also whipping the guards into shape as I never could. As a second in command, she runs the barracks now, while I... why, I get to stroll around town and talk to passers by!"

...

"So where are you off to next?" - Garrus asked after a while.

"South. To face some necromancers for the Mages Guild at Nenyond Twyll and to retrieve something from a tomb at Water's Edge for the Fighters Guild" - Lena went through her journal.

"Is Hauk with you?"

"No, he's been called away."

"Well, if you'd like company..." - Garrus put on his most charming smile - "I'm sure I can get time off."

IPB Image

It's been a month since their last adventure together, and Garrus was getting bored. Lena couldn't refuse him, even if she wanted to.


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post May 31 2021, 05:23 PM
Post #39


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



What follows happened over a month ago - this is how Garrus and Lena met.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

2 Sun's Dawn, 4E202 - Garrus Darelliun

Garrus Darelliun was pushing 40. Born too late to fight in the Great War, he grew up in its shadow, admiring the great heros and wishing he'd be just a bit older to join them. Instead, he joined the Imperial City Watch.

The Imperial City had many attractions for a young man, many attractions in female form. He was quite the ladies' man and was having the time of his life until one of the ladies turned out to be a rich heiress not willing to share. He heard the wedding bells ring, dropped everything and ran - he applied for a transfer to Chorrol where there was an opening at the Castle.

Chorrol was boring. After the pleasures of the Imperial City, Garrus was suffering from the lack of entertainment. Chapel services on Sundas and getting drunk at The Grey Mare was just not cutting it for him. He started looking at the castle maids... Quite shapely girls, for the most part. Garrus' life improved for a short while until the Captain took him to one side and said that the Countess did not appreciate such libertarian tastes in her guards, and Garrus was either to stop it immediately, or else to seek transfer.

"I'd choose transfer" - advised the Captain. "The Countess is very pious. Emfrid and I have to sneak around so much to keep our relationship under wraps - we don't really want to get married, not now anyway. But in Chorrol you are either married or you practice abstinence. If I were you, I'd choose Cheydinhal - it is basically a Dunmer and Orc city, they have very different ideas of propriety. You'll fit right in."

The Captain was right. Cheydinhal was a bit strange at first, but Garrus quickly found his pace. The ladies were very friendly indeed.

That was 15 years ago. The ladies were still friendly, and Garrus was still popular, but he started to wonder whether he was missing out on something in life. Marriage and family? Nah, that couldn't be it. His own house? But as the second in command, he had his own room at the barracks and was quite content, so that wasn't it either. Something intangible, something to do with the heroes of the Great War that he used to admire as a boy... Something that Borba mentioned about that new girl in town - an adventurer, she said. Adventurer...

Garrus was pondering this and that standing guard in the throne room of the castle, when Lena walked in saying that Aldos Othran had lost it, attacked a guard and was killed, and now Llevana Nedaren wanted to finish Ulrich Leland in retaliation for her friend. Oh no! Garrus wouldn't stand for murder, but had no issues with a bit of snooping around. He gave Lena a key to Ulrich's room and hoped she had the skill to remain undetected. She did - she brought the evidence that put Ulrich in prison and promoted Garrus to Captain. Lena got her reward and left, and Garrus resumed being bored.

Adventurer... what was it like? Who was this girl? She looked so young, but somehow seemed to be older...

One big boon of being the Captain of a City Guard was an almost unrestricted access to the Imperial Archives, in particular if you had an excuse. Lena taking over the Abandoned House was a good excuse to request her file, even though the Count didn't ask for it for some reason.

Lena's file made for interesting reading. Born some 20 years before the Oblivion Crisis... with a string of petty thefts - mostly food... was briefly jailed at the Imperial Prison... turned up in Kvatch and Bruma... was a registered vampire but no assaults... member of the Mages Guild... some unconfirmed rumours of... reducted... then nothing. Vanished. Disappeared from the face of the Nirn. And then almost 200 years later she reappeared, started reclaiming her citizen's rights. There was no reason to refuse, and she was no longer a vampire. Proceedings took time, but now she's fully reinstated. Age? Unknown.

When the renovations of the Wolf Sanctuary were complete, the Count asked Garrus to verify that the building was conform planning regulations.

"Planning... regulations?" - Garrus never heard of them before.

"Well, you know, it's been abandoned for so long, and there is that well behind it, and I hear there's a passage in the basement that needed to be blocked - just see that it's all safe to use, will you? We don't want any accidents to befall our citizens, do we?" - The Count looked at Garrus with significance. Could the rumours be true? That there was a reason for that house to be abandoned? And if Lena now owned it, it must mean that she... Oh!

If an inspection of a sensitive nature was to be made, Garrus was the man for the job - the Count knew his people. Garrus didn't disappoint.

IPB Image

"You are always such a welcome sight!" - he greeted Lena when she came to see him in the throne room in response to his note. He was genuinely glad to see her, glad for the opportunity to make her acquaintance. As the Captain of the Guard, it was not normally his duty to guard the throne room 13 hours a day, but the Count hadn't yet appointed a replacement, and Garrus was stuck in the castle until 10 p.m. But in this case he didn't mind.

"Can I come after 10 p.m.?" - He didn't have a choice, and Lena couldn't refuse.

The inspection went well. The well hadn't been touched and looked completely abandoned, like before. Lena didn't need it because she had plumbing done in the basement. Oh yes, that door was locked, and she hadn't seen anyone coming or going... Better not ask if she had the key.

Lena showed Garrus around her new home. It was simple and comfortable.

"You called it the Wolf Sanctuary" - said Garrus. "I can see the sanctuary in it. I hope to never see the wolf."

He smiled. Lena smiled back. He stayed for dinner.

...

"I've got to run - I'll be late for duty" - the bells on the chapel marked 6 a.m.

"When was the last time you were on leave?" - Lena asked.

Garrus could not remember. He was sure he was owed some. Definitely.

"I'll speak to the Count, he is waiting for my report anyway. Come and see me at the castle... after you've had some sleep. I'll be patrolling the throne room."

...

Some time in late morning Lena went to the castle. Garrus was standing in the throne room wearing a set of ebony armour.

"I got time off!" - he beamed. "The Count got someone new to patrol the throne room - a certain Regina Regis, my newly appointed second in command. She looks just like me - it's uncanny."

Garrus looked at Regina sideways.

"The Count was happy with my report and when I mentioned that I might travel with you, he immediately declared that I could have as much leave as I wanted. I hadn't taken any in 15 years! So I went to Borba's - she wasn't happy to wake up this early, I can tell you - but she softened up a bit when I said I was there for this armour. I've been eyeing it for months, but had no use for it until now."

"Come on then, my handsome knight!" - Lena smiled. "The world better watch out."

IPB Image


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Lena Wolf
post Jun 1 2021, 11:44 AM
Post #40


Mouth
Group Icon
Joined: 18-May 21
From: Bravil



13 First Seed, 4E202 - Shadowhunt - Robes - Arena

While Garrus was arranging his time off, Lena decided to take care of some chores and to test her new bow - a bonus from the last job. It was an unassuming but exceptionally light steel bow named "Shadowhunt" with a quad enchantment: weakness to poison, damage health and magicka, and turn undead. Good both for necromancers and their creations. So she went to the Dark Fissure again to clear it out.

The bow worked wonders. It also had an exceptionally high charge: 115 uses, 6700 units of charge.

"How do you even make that?" - she wondered. "A grand soul gem can only hold 1600 units, and the same for a black gem that can take sentient souls. What kind of a soul gives 6700 units of charge? A god?"

Let's hope not. She remembered Feyfolken - a book she read about a quill enchanted with an unusually large soul. Too bad no one knew whose soul it was.

...

Dark Fissure had a large chain of caverns with necromancers and undead, as expected. Shadowhunt performed admirably, delivering a poisoned arrow from stealth for maximum effect. Although necromancers could rarely be silenced, they would become confused when their zombies turned around and ran away. Even liches who were normally immune to turn undead spells, stopped their approach, although did not retreat.

The caverns inside Dark Fissure looked ordinary except for one where someone made a home, guarded by a couple of wraiths and liches. This must have been some important necromancer!

IPB Image

Unfortunately he or she was not at home, and Lena decided not to abuse their hospitality.

"Somehow I don't think they would take it as kindly as Lucien did" - she thought, blushing slightly at the thought of her trespassing on Lucien's privacy all these years. She felt uneasy about it now, but it was much too late for that!

She was enjoying her new robes as well. It was clothing, so did not hamper magic, and although it did not provide any shielding, it had a five-fold enchantment to raise her skills of blade, marksman, sneak, illusion and speechcraft. In addition, the boots were so light and quiet, that they gave no penalty on sneaking at all.

"Nice not to have to sneak barefoot over these sharp stones" - she thought.

She took a closer look at the necromancers' robes and hoods. Black robes with a necromancy symbol on the front, no enchantment. But gosh were they heavy! And the hoods - as heavy as the robes.

"Whatever they are made of!" - Lena wondered. "This hood alone weighs as much as my robe, boots and gloves taken together." She patted the fabric. The necromancer robes felt soft. "Oh, this is velvet!" That was quite luxurious, and explained the weight. Her own robes were silk, however.

...

Having finished clearing the Dark Fissure, she returned to the Imperial City - she needed stealth for her next assignment and decided to enchant a plain black silk robe and hood with chameleon so that together with rings and spells she could get full concealment. Problem was - she didn't have a black silk hood to go with the robe.

"Well, I could use this blue mage's hood - it's nice and light" - she thought. "But blue doesn't go with black."

Oh girl - you are enchanting with chameleon! No one is ever going to see the colour of that robe or hood! But no, she knew what colour it was, and that was enough to put her off. So, where does one get a black silk hood? Because obviously, a black velvet hood from the necromancers set was not going to work with a black silk robe...

...

"Pssst, over here!"

Someone called out from behind a bush.

"Huh?" - Lena turned to look. She had just left Roach at the Chestnut Stables and was walking towards the Market District along the City Wall - much quicker to walk on the outside than through the city districts.

"Pssst, look what I've got for sale! You won't find this at your local store, that's for sure!" - Shady Sam beckoned her to see his wares. Potions, poisons, lockpicks and skooma.

"Ummm... I see" - Lena said, looking him over. He was wearing a black silk hood. "I want your hood, and I'll even pay for it" - she said.

"What - are you with the City Watch?!" - cried Sam, drawing his sword.

...

"So, one black silk hood sorted" - Lena thought picking up the hood. "Idiot."

...

The rest of the day was uneventful. Lena finished her chores - shopping, enchanting, spell making - and stopped by Hauk's house to say hello - she missed him. But Hauk wasn't at home, he'd been called away on Legion business after their trip to Skyrim, and was being kept busy still. Outside the Tiber Septim Hotel Lena ran into Jowan who was still staying in the Imperial City. He looked busy and a bit bashed up.

"What have you been up to?" - she asked, looking over his bruised face.

"Arena."

"What? You are competing?"

She thought it was probably unwise. Jowan was a mage, not a fighter.

"Yeah, I watched some fights, placed some bets, lost a lot of money" - he said, looking up. "Then I thought - I can do it just as well as they can. And yes, now I'm competing."

"Well, you are obviously not dead yet" - Lena was dubious about this whole idea. "Try to stay that way, will you? If you need money, you can always come with me - wraiths and liches might be a safer bet than angry Arena combatants."

"Ah - but they don't realise I'm a blood mage" - he said, grinning. "They draw my blood and think they are winning, and that's where they go wrong..." He lifted up his tunic to show some poorly healed gashes. "But you are right - this is getting too much. I'll need to take a break and let it heal first."

They agreed to meet up again soon, and parted. Lena was shaking her head. "Well, I hope you're still alive next time I'm here" - she thought to herself about Jowan. He was clearly getting himself into trouble again.

She picked up Roach and rode to Cheydinhal. Garrus was probably already waiting - they would set off South in the morning.

This post has been edited by Lena Wolf: Jun 2 2021, 08:50 AM


--------------------
"What is life's greatest illusion?"
"Innocence, my brother."

User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

32 Pages V < 1 2 3 4 > » 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 

- Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 21st February 2024 - 04:59 AM