Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

9 Pages V  1 2 3 > »   
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Killing in the Emperor's Name, A collection: An argonian assassin's world
canis216
post Nov 26 2006, 07:59 AM
Post #1


Knower
Group Icon
Joined: 28-March 06
From: Desert canyons without end.



Here you, the reader, will find works associated with Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun's life and work all together. His future stories will be found here, primarily. I think it's appropriate, as his tales have taken on a more serialized form--if not strictly so. I still intend to experiment with different perspectives and styles within his general narrative, so don't expect every installment to flow perfectly into the next--that isn't what I'm going for. I'd like to think that I'm using Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun's stories as a medium--evocation of the rough existence that is life on Vvardenfell.


--------------------
Read about Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun, a Blades assassin, in Killing in the Emperor's Name and The Dark Operation. And elsewhere.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
canis216
post Nov 26 2006, 08:00 AM
Post #2


Knower
Group Icon
Joined: 28-March 06
From: Desert canyons without end.



The Contract


An Argonian, dressed in black, walks into the South Wall Cornerclub and eases his way down to the bar. He sits next to an Imperial dressed in a hooded robe.

"Buy you a drink?" asks the Imperial.
"Yes, if worth the price."

The barkeep places a jug of cyrodiilic brandy in front of the Argonian, while the Imperial stands and walks away. After finishing his drink the Argonian follows him outside the cornerclub. Under the shadow of night, the Imperial takes a furtive pull from his skooma pipe.

”Gothren is sending a ‘messenger’ to see Divayth Fyr. Normally we’d just dismiss this sort of thing as Telvanni in-fighting, but the Emperor is concerned.”

The Imperial passes an envelope into the Argonian’s scaly hands.

“The assassin met Gothren earlier this evening. It won’t take him long reach Tel Fyr; you must hurry.”

The Argonian steps off into the night.

---------------------------------------------------

The sun is setting on Azura’s Coast, on the gentle waters of the Inner Sea. A small ship, not much more than a fishing boat, pulls alongside the sandy shore. Three Dunmer are aboard; two wear the rough rags of fishermen, and the taller of these two wears a tri-cornered hat. He likes to think of himself as a pirate, some sort of rogue. And the ladies love his hat. He turns to the third Dunmer, whose form is concealed beneath the plain brown robe of a monk.

“I’m sorry, sera, but I can take you no farther. The waters south of here are full of giant dreugh, and I’ll not risk my catch or my boat to them.”

The third Dunmer lowers his hood, revealing his wizened, scarred visage. “Very well. I thank you.” He passes the captain a modest pouch of gold. He steps off from the vessel, not to shore, but on the water, where he stands. A water-walking spell.

“I shall walk from here.”

He turns and walks south, over the infuriated slaughterfish and perplexed dreugh. It is good to be here on the coast, he’s thinking. I’ve had too many town jobs of late, relieving the petty jealousies of minor nobles, ignoble work for insufficient coin. But now Gothren was paying well; he must feel oddly threatened. Since Fyr had returned from Artaeum, the Archmagister knew he was no longer the most powerful mage in the Telvanni district.

He did not care for Gothren, or any of his clients for that matter, but he appreciated a job well-done. It irritated him that no boat offered passage to Tel Fyr overnight, and only that slow, pathetic skiff dared to navigate the shallow, rock-riddled waters during the day. He wanted to get the deed done immediately; clients like that, pay extra for it, even if it makes no practical difference. But he wouldn’t dare to water-walk all the way from Tel Aruhn; he wants to be fresh when he sneaks into the Tower of Tel Fyr. He knows enough about the wizard to be a little fearful. He will take Divayth Fyr in his sleep.

The sun is nearly gone. The veteran assassin scrambles onto a small prominence jutting out of the sea. Tel Fyr. The dying sun casts a soft amber glow onto the tower’s west side, while the east is cast into shadow, the friendly shadow from which he’ll approach the front door. The entire assassination is set in his mind, as if he had already done the deed. He can see it all: the spell of silence cast upon each door, the furtive climb up the tower shaft, the blade of his dagger drawn across Divayth Fyr’s throat, and the spell of recall that will spirit him away unseen, without a trace. Fyr’s wives won’t discover the body until morning.

Suspicion and blame will be cast about, threats made, more assassins hired. That’s all these political vendettas really are, he thinks; work programs for assassins.

He eases down from the pillar of stone, and slips down into the water. That’s funny, he thinks, I don’t recall dispelling that water-walking spell. He starts to recast the spell, then pauses. He doesn’t resurface.


--------------------
Read about Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun, a Blades assassin, in Killing in the Emperor's Name and The Dark Operation. And elsewhere.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
canis216
post Nov 26 2006, 08:01 AM
Post #3


Knower
Group Icon
Joined: 28-March 06
From: Desert canyons without end.



One Night at Desele’s


Zabarbael, the Molag Mar slave trader, stepped out from the warm confines of the siltstrider into an uncommonly gloomy, intolerably rainy day in the prosperous port city of Suran. He pulled up the hood on his simple brown robe. Though he had grown moderately wealthy renting slaves to wealthy pilgrims, the merchant dressed simply, as befitted a humble and pious temple-goer. He had business in the local slave market, but it could wait for tomorrow. He intended to stay for a few days, as he had grown tired of the sere landscape of Molag Amur.

No, as soon as Zabarbael descended the stair he made for the light of the red lantern, Desele’s House of Earthly Delights.

It had been at least a month since Zabarbael last patronized his favorite tavern; the caravaner’s strike had been most inconvenient, and service was just now returning to normal. But the crowd in Desele’s was undiminished. The Breton in the corner, collapsed with his skooma pipe in hand; the drunken Nord ogling Runa from the front table. Zabarbael felt immediately at home, and why not? The merchant may have made his money in Molag Mar, but he preferred to spend it at Desele’s.

The rains had driven in some unfamiliar faces as well, travelers holing up until a break in the weather. Three young Dunmer sat at a corner table, nearest Marelle, the fine young Breton dancer. Between pulls of greef they would speak into each other’s ears and laugh, as one. Zabarbael concluded that this was their first time in Suran. A pair of Imperials sat at the bar, locked in animated conversation. Their attire was elegant yet conservative. Agents of House Hlaalu perhaps; dealmakers, not nobles.

Finally Zabarbael spotted the right table. Occupied by two fellow merchants, acquaintances from Vivec City, and situated neither too close nor too far from the dancers.

“Zabarbael, friend, take a chair! How’s business? I don’t suppose the strike hurt you too badly?” inquired a middle-aged, somewhat corpulent Dunmer.

“I cannot lodge any great complaint, Tiras. I managed to reduce my stocks before the worst of the strike hit,” the slave trader replied, taking a seat between his friends. “Now that the strike is ended business has rebounded quickly. I’m in need of more slaves.”

“How about those two across the room?” the third Dunmer chimed in. He was younger and dressed more extravagantly than his elders, and a good deal more inebriated.

“Keep your voice down, Foryn! Those lizard-men are free!” Tiras, a tactful fellow, quietly rebuked his friend.

Zabarbael could not help but look across the room, at the Argonians. They stood at the end of bar, exchanging a few quiet words but looking off into space. One he recognized; Hides-His-Eyes, a tracker of some local repute who sometimes met clients at Desele’s. He could not distinguish the other Argonian’s face; he wore a black hood.

The slurred smoky Dunmer voice carried on, “I’m celebrating, Tiras! Come now, I just bought out the most profitable slave market in the Ascadian Isles!” He called across the room, “Ho, lizard-men! My friend needs some cheap labor! Come ‘ere!”

Before either Zabarbael or Tiras could apologize for their friend the hooded Argonian had closed half the distance across the room, knocking over three very confused patrons in the process. A glowing dagger seemed to throb in his grasp.

“No!” Hides-His-Eyes hurried to the hooded Argonian’s side. “Remember your honor. We’ll go back to the tradehouse.”

This did not seem to satisfy the hooded Argonian, for hatred still burned in his eyes, but he sheathed the dagger and started for the door, followed by the tracker.

No sooner had the door shut than Foryn ordered another round of drinks, for himself and his friends. He declared ‘Happy Hour’, and ordered lap dances for every patron in the tavern. It was like nothing ever happened.

-----------------------------------------------

It was late, perhaps 3 AM. No one had left Desele’s. With Foryn buying drinks, there could be no foreseeable end to the party. But Zabarbael was tired; he’d learned it was quite impossible to drink the younger Dunmer under the table. If he left now he might be lucid enough to buy the needed slaves by afternoon.

He stepped out the door. The red lantern cast an oddly powerful glow, it seemed to nearly light up the night. It hurt his alcohol-racked brain. Then, squinting, Zabarbael looked up toward the mountains. The most profitable slave market in the Ascadian Isles was burning to the ground.


--------------------
Read about Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun, a Blades assassin, in Killing in the Emperor's Name and The Dark Operation. And elsewhere.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
canis216
post Nov 26 2006, 08:03 AM
Post #4


Knower
Group Icon
Joined: 28-March 06
From: Desert canyons without end.



By the Sea


Chun-Ook pulled into her home port, the Imperial fortress of Ebonheart, with a single passenger. Usually her owner, Nevosi Hlan, wouldn’t sale with fewer than four, but this Redguard paid well, and he had been eager to see his wife again anyway. A few younger Dunmer, new to the island, had taken a shine to her, and made her nervous when he was gone for more than a few days. He had been at sea more than a week, ferrying a load of Imperial fat cats to Raven Rock—a special fare, but tiresome. It didn’t trouble him much to leave Seyda Neen a few hours ahead of schedule.

The Redguard hadn’t said much as they sailed, but he knew that she worked at Arrille’s place. It seemed odd that she would pay so much for such a short trip—she could only be saving a few hours—but Nevosi wasn’t one to pry. Besides, the Redguard looked like she had enough on her mind, pacing the boat as she had been.

As Nevosi tied up to the great stone dock the Redguard hopped off Chun-Ook, but not before slipping the shipmaster a generous tip. A big spender, indeed.

“Thank you for your haste, shipmaster.” The Redguard spoke curtly.
“My pleasure, sera.”

At that the Redguard smiled, and strode briskly into the plaza, to the great dragon. Nevosi’s eyes followed her for a moment, and then returned to the task of securing his ship.

--------------------------------------

Just south of Castle Ebonheart, on the beach, the Argonian Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun was doing credit to his name. He was naked from the waist up, lying on his black robe, watching the few wispy white clouds as they drifted by. Five bottles of cyrodiilic brandy stood beside him; another five, empty, were strewn about on the sand.

“Elone, what the hell are you doing here?”

The Redguard, who had been observing the Argonian from behind a tree, just laughed. “Dead drunk and I still can’t sneak up on you. No wonder Caius sent me here.”

“Caius? What the hell does he want with me? The s’wit kicked me out the order two months ago.”

“Yes, I remember. After that incident in Suran.”

“Are you going to lecture me, too? I did it, and I’d gladly do it again.”

“They’re rebuilding.”

At that the Argonian grinned, as only an Argonian can.

--------------------------------------

Night had come to Ebonheart. Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun and Elone shared a table in the back corner of the Six Fishes, while the other patrons, a smattering of common folk and off-duty Imperial guards, gathered around the bard.

Elone looked, and spoke seriously. “Come now; let me tell you what Caius needs. We’re wasting time.” She cast a look over her shoulder, at the merry crowd.

“No, let me buy you another drink. I’m commemorating the two month anniversary of my dismissal, after all.”

Elone seized him by the shoulder. “Do this and all will be forgiven. Everything you threw away, we’ll return. Your pay, rank, papers—everything.”

“What could be so important? I’m damaged goods, a security risk. If the slavers had seen my face…”

“Don’t worry about that, Al. Let me tell you a story.”

---------------------------------------

Chun-Ook plied the Inner Sea once more, this time bearing for the mainland. Nevosi Hlan loved the sea, but for once wasn’t happy to be underway. Yes, it was a perfect day for sailing; the sky was painfully clear, and scarcely a wave broke Chun-Ook’s bow. But today Nevosi was carrying those same young Dunmer who had taken a liking to his wife. He had found even more reason to dislike them; not only were they loud and obnoxious fools, they were mercenaries in the employ of Orvas Dren. Apparently, they had some sort of important cargo to pick up, and they needed to bring it into Vvardenfell personally.

The sun was nearly set as Nevosi guided his ship into a small, secluded harbor. One of the younger Dunmer called gruffly from the bow, “You see that manor house to portside? Pull up to the dock.” Muttering, Nevosi followed the order. He could see the stinking light. But they were paying well, these buffoons, 2000 septims up front and another 2000 upon arrival back at Ebonheart. “Yes, yes, very good, shipmaster. Nethyn, jump down there and tie the ship up. Alright, shipmaster. You’ve done well for us. The five of us will go inside and gather the crates, there’ll be 10 in all, enough for a host of mercenaries.” At this, he looked at his fellows and grinned. “Let’s earn our wages, boys.”

As the mercenaries entered the manor Navosi took a moment to recline against Chun-Ook’s cabin door. He was thinking of the 2000 septims already in his pouch, and 2000 more to come. He thinks; I might take a vacation, a nice stay-at-home vacation. Make my wife happy. We’ll carouse at the Six Fishes, or perhaps join that drunkard on the beach. I’ve been working too hard, spending too much time at sea. Maybe I can get a job in the East Empire Company—I could handle logistics, coordinate shipping. And I shouldn’t have to leave Ebonheart, I don’t think…

Suddenly he is aware of a tremendous silence. Moving those crates should be noisy work, and hey, shouldn’t they have a couple of them out here by now? How long has it been? Ten minutes? Twenty? And what happened to that light?

Nevosi started to call out, but decided against it. No, that wouldn’t do. Instead, the shipmaster pulled out his cutlass, walked quietly across the deck, and cut the line securing Chun-Ook to the dock. A warm breeze kicked up out of the southwest, and Chun-Ook drifted away from the darkened manor house and mainland Morrowind.


--------------------
Read about Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun, a Blades assassin, in Killing in the Emperor's Name and The Dark Operation. And elsewhere.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
canis216
post Nov 26 2006, 08:04 AM
Post #5


Knower
Group Icon
Joined: 28-March 06
From: Desert canyons without end.



The Unwinding


It was near midnight at the South Wall Cornerclub, in the Hlaalu center of Balmora. For once the tavern was quiet—the arena in Vivec was hosting a fortnight of combat, and tonight the Hlaalu champions were headlining. While Phane Rielle served a pair of customers at the bar an Argonian and an Imperial coversed quietly at a corner table. The Imperial, a stout man of about 45 years, wore the plain garb of the commoner; the Argonian a black robe. The Imperial took an occasional pull from a fine skooma pipe, while the Argonian nursed a bottle of flin.

“The work is done, I take it?” The Imperial glanced up at his companion.

The Argonian kept his gaze upon the open bottle. “I killed the watchman and waited in the manor. The merchandise was there; weapons and armor for a host of mercenaries. The delivery boys never saw me in the corner, of course. I slit their throats as they lifted the crates.”

“Any witnesses?”

“The ship was gone after I cleaned it up. I think he may have figured out what happened; a working-mer is not nearly so foolish as a bunch of thugs in tin suits. But he didn’t see anything, I’m sure of that.”

“Dren is very rash. He thinks the Emperor is a doddering old fool. Perhaps this will be a lesson.”

“You don’t want me to take action?”

The Imperial chortled, “Knowing you, I imagine that Dren Plantation would burn to the ground. No, Dren is too well-connected. Relations with Hlaalu would be irrevocably strained. No, we’ll keep him contained, for now. I think he’ll have a difficult time attracting addition mercenaries, at least in the short term. But enough of that. Let’s talk about you’re future.”

The Argonian finally pried his eyes away from the drink. “What’s the next job?”

“Patience, friend. I need to process some paperwork, and return you to the good graces of the order. And we need to see how Dren responds. Take a few days off. Your orders will wait.”

--------------------------------------------------------

The Vivec arena was a veritable cauldron of sound. The crowd lived with each swing and strike of sword and axe, and each mighty spell cast commanded the audience’s admiration and wonder. The present duel was of particular interest—it was unusual for Telvanni to participate in the games, and these two young wizards were rising stars in the House. Unfortunately (for one of them, at least), they both desired to serve as Master Aryon’s mouth.

Rethyas Reloth, a Dunmer of perhaps 100 years age, was the favorite. He had insisted upon a duel to decide the matter, and had convinced Aryon that it such a duel would reflect favorably upon the House. Reloth had gained some notoriety as a conjurer of minor daedra. It was said that he had once summoned a cadre of fifteen Dremora to defend the town of Vos from pirates.

Galos Mathendis was not so well known, but all agreed that he was quite shrewd; it was rumored that he once tricked an underling of Master Neloth into surrendering the key to Tel Naga. The next morning, it was said, Neloth awoke to find his tower stripped of its valuables, his guards expertly drugged. The Master’s famed irritability was not soothed.

Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun, Argonian, was in the bleachers, comfortably drunk.

Reloth opened the contest by summoning the servent of Sheogorath, a Golden Saint. The daedroth sprinted forward, carrying a glass shield and a dark, wicked katana. Mathendis countered by downing a potion, evidently to fortify his speed, as he began to sprint rapidly around the arena perimeter, followed by the Golden Saint. Reloth grinned, and recited the incantation to summon a Dremora, his favored servant—but did not finish, as Methendis launched a massive shockball on the run. It was difficult to see much of what happened next—the shockball had nearly filled the battle pit, and the light had momentarily blinded much of the crowd. Such was the risk of attending a battle between mages. But Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun had been concentrating more on the bottle than the battle.

Reloth was gravely wounded; he pulled a vial from within his robe and downed it hurriedly. Then he froze, a look of terror carved onto his face.

Galos Mathendis turned and cast a spell upon the still-pursuing daedroth. The Golden Saint stopped. Then Reloth’s daedric servant walked calmly over to its paralyzed master and hacked him to pieces.

Much of the crowd was utterly confused, having been unable to see the denouement. When they recovered their vision, they saw Reloth dead, Mathendis alive. Those patrons who had seen the unfolding events, who had perhaps even wagered upon the dead mer, booed lustily.

Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun smiled, and lifted another bottle of flin to his scaly lips.


--------------------
Read about Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun, a Blades assassin, in Killing in the Emperor's Name and The Dark Operation. And elsewhere.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
canis216
post Nov 26 2006, 08:05 AM
Post #6


Knower
Group Icon
Joined: 28-March 06
From: Desert canyons without end.



Clinging to Life


A lilting western breeze pushes my little rowboat a short ways back toward the shore, slightly altering but in no way marring my view of the immaculate buff-colored clouds hovering over Ebonheart. My father used to say that the sea had no memory. I think that’s why, after escaping Vvardenfell, he set sail for Stros M’kai. He wanted to forget the eastern provinces.

I come to the sea to be alone in my dreams. There is something about these peaceful lapping waves of the southern coast… I remember better things.

The few storms are exciting. Not two years ago a squall carried a host of dreugh over the walls of Castle Ebonheart, and I myself saw a slaughterfish impaled atop a flagpole. It was as if the sea were expunging so many decades of bad memories, and the morning’s sunrise was all the brighter for it.

The breeze picks up, a little stronger. I sit up, and look to the west. A few gray clouds are gathering; nothing worrisome, but it will likely rain tonight. But what is that whistling?

I dive into the hull of my little boat, flipping it over but avoiding the arrow. I’m underwater—no reason to panic, even the dullest of my kin can breathe the sea without harm. But my robe is soaked, and weighing me down. Tear it off!—but don’t forget the dagger. It throbs as I seethe—no one interrupts my vacations.

I can’t see, but the scum must be on shore, waiting—no direct assault. The bridge! I swim for it, quickly; he’ll see my shadow but that’s alright. Excellent, in fact.

-------------------------------------

Run, run, run. The lizard mustn’t escape. Leap over the stone wall—there’s a guard watching but he won’t interfere—and up onto the bridge. He won’t be able to hide forever, the n’wah! Breathe, breathe; draw it back, yes, yes, the water shallows up, the arrow will penetrate.

-------------------------------------

“Where is that lizard?” The bowman whispers to himself, almost involuntarily. It’s been near two minutes, and he hasn’t seen or heard his mark. He leans over the wall, trying to look under the bridge. His eyes open wide.

“Been right here, friend.” Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun slashes his assailant across the throat. His left hand clings to the underside of the bridge.


--------------------
Read about Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun, a Blades assassin, in Killing in the Emperor's Name and The Dark Operation. And elsewhere.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
canis216
post Nov 26 2006, 08:08 AM
Post #7


Knower
Group Icon
Joined: 28-March 06
From: Desert canyons without end.



Friends and Brethren


It was quiet yet in the Black Shalk Cornerclub. The arena games would not start for several hours. Most of the club’s expatriate clientele were still nursing hangovers, and would not emerge to drink again until the evening battles. Still, a hardy few were scattered around the tavern: a half-sensible Nord in the corner; the young bard reworking his repertoire of poems, tales, and songs; three Dunmer playing cards near the door, and an Argonian at the bar. He nursed an open bottle of cyrodiilic brandy, exchanging the odd word here and there with the publican, a well-dressed middle-aged Dunmer. The Argonian started a bit when he felt a hand on his armored shoulder.

“Huleeya, let me buy you another drink.”

“Ahh, friend Lingers-in-the-Sun. You startled me. What brings you into Vivec at this hour? And where is your black robe?” Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun was instead wearing the dirty brown cotton robe of a commoner, with the hood drawn over his head.

“One of your brethren forced me to abandon it.”

Huleeya raised an eyebrow. “We should discuss this somewhere… more private. Let us go to Jobasha’s.”

“Very well. But first I want my drink. Riral, could you spare a bottle of brandy for each of us?” Riral Giral, publican, nodded and brought up two bottles from beneath the counter. The Argonian handed over a small pouch of gold. “Now, shall we?”

The door, unfortunately, was blocked. “Hey, two filthy lizards! Where do you think you’re going?” The three young card-playing Dunmer were all standing, and not nearly so drunk as would be desirable.

Huleeya turned to the racists, “Gentlemer, please—”

Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun pulled two blades from his robe and quite suddenly had one of the Dunmer against the wall; the flat of an ebony blade pressed to the elf’s midsection, a gleaming daedric dagger at his throat.

“I go wherever I please, softskin! Neither you nor the whole Dark Elven race can stop me!”

With that the Argonian brought the hilt of his shortsword down upon the Dunmer’s skull.

“Your friend will need a drink when he wakes up. And perhaps a healer. I suggest you attend to him.”

Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun strode between the two stunned Dark Elves and out the door.

“Come Huleeya. We can speak now.”

---------------------------------------------

The two Argonians sat at a small table at the bottom of Jobasha’s Rare Books, drinking quietly. The proprietor was up front, haggling with a customer, a Breton carrying an armload of cheap-looking texts. The guard, a ‘gift’ from the Duke, stood in the corner, watching none-too diligently, waiting for his shift to end.

“You know, Lingers-in-the-Sun, it is those rash acts which are responsible for our problem. If you had not burned down the slave market…”

“Was it not the right thing to do? I am not ashamed of what I did. And if Caius would let me kill the softskin… there would be no problem.”

“The slaver has a wealthy family. It would become their problem. You know how this works—a murder leads to an assassination, which leads to another assassination…”

“Yes, I know. Perpetual employment for assassins… except those who get killed, anyway….. So what can be done?”

“Your spymaster could transfer you out of Morrowind. My order has a long reach… but it does not often leave the province.”

“No. My honor forbids me to leave. You know this.”

“Yes… this is troublesome. Let me speak with my Grandmaster. We may be able to make… an arrangement.”

---------------------------------------------

A couple of Redoran were dueling in the arena, arrayed in bonemold armor, armed with silver claymores. Booze and money flowed freely throughout the stands, but for once Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun wasn’t drinking. But he wasn’t really watching the fight either; he was just… there. After a few moments parrying one of the Redoran’s caught his counterpart cleanly across the chest—he went down, sword falling to his side. Healers rushed to the arena center as victory was declared. The crowd cheered the victor, and two new combatants took the floor. It was all so sudden, simple, and clean.


--------------------
Read about Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun, a Blades assassin, in Killing in the Emperor's Name and The Dark Operation. And elsewhere.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
canis216
post Nov 26 2006, 08:09 AM
Post #8


Knower
Group Icon
Joined: 28-March 06
From: Desert canyons without end.



I Am Deceit


A flash of fine polished silver pulses through the air like a shooting star, ephemeral yet lodging itself into your cerebrum, becoming part of your dreams. It strikes yet another improbable mass of metal; it is sliding down to the hilt then pulled away, over the left shoulder. The atmosphere flees before the blow, so many subatomic particles fleeing into the dust and gloom. Somewhere the balance must be recalibrated, somewhere something, someone, is slipping. The flash of silver flows to gold in the torchlight, carrying an infinitesimal fraction of the sun into another man’s eyes. Did a man blink, or did the Alduin the world-eater flinch? Perhaps nothing happened at all, just a parry missed; the flash of silver-gold rakes across molded bone and rests.

Thus another arena contest ends.

-----------------------------------------

For a moment, I’m contemplating the Redoran. Yes, they know the value of honor and codes of conduct; to a Hlaalu they may seem irrational, but then the Hlaalu thrive on nuance, politicking, deceit, and suspicion. I envy the simpler ways of the Redoran, the way of the blade against blade, looking into your adversary’s eyes. I have more in common with the Hlaalu, resist as I might, lurking in the shadows. I am deceit.

I need a drink. There is no point to sobriety, in Vivec, at the arena. I can’t escape my dreams, but I can drown them out of my memory. Past the top step an aging Dunmer is offering booze to the unwashed and noble alike. I lay down a few drakes for a hefty bottle of greef; it seems appropriate today, and I deserve to suffer in the morning. The liquor is scandalously bitter; and for a moment I can’t breathe. Someday the sensation will last for an eternity—perhaps that’s why I keep taking another pull.

A Nord with a booming voice—an aspiring graybeard?—calls out the next match. It will be a few moments; neither of the Hlaalu combatants wants to be the first on the floor—they’re trying to find that final advantage.

That’s fine. I content myself to stroll around the perimeter of the stands. Spectators are making their bets, or tossing a few back. In one corner of the arena a group of young Dunmer lounge about, arms embracing the hips of their scantily clad escorts. Ah, there he is. The slaver. I can end this problem.

One of the nearby booths is unoccupied—the vendor sold moon sugar to one of Vivec’s buoyant armigers—I slip inside. The fight is beginning, the crowd’s fervor is building, the liquor flows, the Nord shouts. I take one last pull of greef, bracing for the burn, then extract my crossbow from inside my robe. One viper-bolt already sits in position. I set a couple more on the cool stone floor beside me—just in case. I’m a little drunk now. I rub a little dust on the Dwemer metal cradled in my arms, to absorb and diffract the torchlight. Then ease the sight over the countertop. He’s still there, the softskin, surrounded by women, lackeys, liquor, and a single Khajjit slave. Let’s adjust a little bit for the distance—I want to place the bolt right in his throat, so the s’wit never speaks another word, then perhaps a shot to the heart to finish him off. But one will be enough, I think—he’s never done a day of honest labor in his life, and his hardest living is crawling out of the tavern in the morning. Oh, will the poison make him suffer, yes, yes, yes! Ah here it is, easiest shot I’ll ever take, another Dunmer dead. Yes!, place that finger on the trigger, pull it back pull it back… ease off. Honor, for once. Honor forever.


--------------------
Read about Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun, a Blades assassin, in Killing in the Emperor's Name and The Dark Operation. And elsewhere.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
canis216
post Nov 26 2006, 08:11 AM
Post #9


Knower
Group Icon
Joined: 28-March 06
From: Desert canyons without end.



Breakfast in Balmora


Balyn, get up. Open your eyes. Get up!


Balyn looked up from bed. It was morning; he could see the diffuse dawn’s light through the window. Then he remembered. The man in the bar. A bag of gold changing hands. An appointment he must not miss. No, it couldn’t have happened, he thought, I must have been dreaming. Yet the sack of gold sat on his bed table, right by his head. The deal had been struck, and there was no going back.

Balyn eased his way out of bed and picked up his cheap green shirt and dusty pants from their place atop the storage chest. Soon, ALMSIVI willing, he might be able to afford something a little better. He pulled on his battered shoes, after briefly examining the ever-widening hole in the right heel. His profession took a remarkable toll on shoes, in spite of his efforts to walk softly. Finally, Balyn opened the chest and pulled out his prized flameblade. It was one of the few things he had left that truly worked.

As Balyn ate breakfast—a single serving of scrib jelly—the landlord slipped the monthly rental bill beneath the front door. Was it that time already?, he wondered. Damn. He took the paper from the floor and looked over the scrawlings—the rich lout must be losing at dice still; he’s jacked up rent the last 4 months. For a moment Balyn was tempted to rip apart the document cradled in his hands, but he reconsidered. He would have the money soon enough.

Ready now, Balyn climbed the ladder and out his trapdoor, atop his roof. It was why he wanted the place to begin with; the pursued assassin needs all the secrets he can muster. Today he didn’t wish for anyone to see him leave the house. By Vivec it was a lovely morning—soft sunlight cresting over the eastern hills of West Gash, not a cloud to be seen, and the Odai as placid and clear as ever. And standing above the city, Balyn could see his mark stumbling out of the Lucky Lockup, bottle in hand. The time has come. Balyn downed his last potion of invisibility, leaped down from the roof, and dashed to the Odai bridge.

The mark, a burly but well-dressed Imperial with short brown hair and a neatly trimmed beard, paused in front of the Council Club to take another pull of brandy. Quite suddenly an ill-dressed Dunmer, Balyn Omavel, appeared in front of him.

“Pardon me, sera. Do you have a moment?”

The Imperial looked at first confused, then vaguely angry. “Out of my way, elf. I haven’t any time to talk.”

“On the contrary. You have an eternity.”

At that Balyn seized the man and threw him into the wall. “Perhaps next time you’ll show some courtesy, n’wah!” Balyn slashed open the Imperial’s throat, spilling rich red blood over the walk. Passengers disembarking the strider would be appalled, no doubt. But the outlander was dead.

Balyn’s glance circled about. No one had seen—Balmora was still just waking up. The assassin mumbled a few words and found himself back in his home, like nothing happened. Save the blood on his hands.

He found his washbowl and began cleaning off the victim’s blood.

May Mephala forgive me.


--------------------
Read about Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun, a Blades assassin, in Killing in the Emperor's Name and The Dark Operation. And elsewhere.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
canis216
post Nov 26 2006, 08:12 AM
Post #10


Knower
Group Icon
Joined: 28-March 06
From: Desert canyons without end.



Only in Dreams


Fine late afternoon light plays off Lake Amaya, casting low shadows under each ripple. Eno sat upon the beach, fishing pole in his hand. A pair of small slaughterfish sat in the creel by his side. A pair of mudcrabs shambled about on the other end of the beach; he might look them up later. Crab meat would make a fine complement to his fish dinner. Eno smiled; that bottle of brandy would be a fine complement, too. At that a moment a modest breeze came gently across the waters, stirring yet another slaughterfish to the surface. This was big one; it approached the baited hook, and Eno’s eyes lit in anticipation. Now! He pulled in a fine ten pound snaggle-toothed slaughterfish. Dinner would be excellent.

The breeze eased, and the warm fading sun played on Eno’s back. He could scarcely ask for a finer day.

-------------------------------

“Wake up, Grandmaster. We need to talk.” The voice was quiet, yet harsh. Eno opened his eyes. A hooded figure glared at him through the dark, and held a black ebony blade to his throat. “Yes, a nice quiet talk. No shouting. You understand?”

“Yes, I understand… Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun. We were to meet in the morning. At the cornerclub.”

“Yes, Grandmaster, I did not forget. But you must understand, I was not inclined to allow you to…make arrangements... before our meeting.”

“You think we have no honor?”

“Honor… yes, I see your point. I am sorry. But I am inclined to paranoia, of late.”

“So you came to our headquarters instead. I fail to understand your thinking, Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun.” Eno lay still for a moment. “No matter. Take a seat, assassin, and we will discuss our business.”

--------------------------------

Two assassins sat quietly at a table, faces faintly illuminated by a solitary candle. An Argonian in a dark brown robe sat with his back to the wall; a wizened Dunmer in a fine red robe sat opposite. The Dunmer spoke, quietly, “I know that the situation is inconvenient to you, Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun. But the Morag Tong is not merely a business. Once we have accepted the contract, we must satisfy it. Mephala demands no less.” The Argonian’s raised his eyes from the table and looked into Eno Hlaalu’s face, “So, your honor demands that the Morag Tong continue to pursue me? On behalf of a foul, drunken, mother of mine-besotted slaver? What honor is this?”

“It is our way, Lingers-in-the-Sun. Our tradition. I fail to see why we should violate for you.”

The Argonian’s hiss rose to a growl, “I will tell you my way, Grandmaster. I will kill you, here and now. I will kill all your brethren in your sacred headquarters, and display their corpses right next to yours. Then I’ll let the rats inside. That’ll be fun. Then, I’ll go to your outpost in Balmora. I’ll kill every last one. Then I’ll go to Ald-ruhn. You can guess what I’ll be doing there. While I’m at it, I’ll stop in Sadrith Mora. I hate the Telvanni, but I’ll be killing Morag Tong.”

Silence.

“Would you like to talk some more, Grandmaster?”

“Yes, I think I would.”


--------------------
Read about Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun, a Blades assassin, in Killing in the Emperor's Name and The Dark Operation. And elsewhere.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
canis216
post Nov 26 2006, 08:13 AM
Post #11


Knower
Group Icon
Joined: 28-March 06
From: Desert canyons without end.



Freelancers


It was a merry evening in the Eight Plates. A tall, handsome young Dunmer—one of the newest members of the Balmora guard contingent—was performing a traditional dance atop his shield, surrounded by a clapping and giggling group of revelers, keeping time, drinking brandy. The troubadours played in the corner, an improvised band featuring the trader Ra’virr on the guarskins, Fast Eddie Theman on the lute, and the tailor Milie Hastien singing a fine old tune. Their music filled the dim space of Balmora’s finest tavern.

Balyn dearly wished he could join the revelry—Milie’s voice wasn’t the only fine thing she had going on—but he sat at the bar, and waited. This was business.

His client was late. Balyn consoled himself by nursing a bottle of mazte, taking a sip whenever he felt he needed to flee. After Balyn had nearly convinced himself to stand up and go, or join the party, a middle-aged mer smartly attired in a custom tailored shirt came down the stairs and made his way to the bar.

“I’m glad you waited for me, Balyn. I had some business to attend to. I’m sure you know how that goes.” Feigning agreement, Balyn nodded. “As you no doubt have guessed, I require your services once more. I’m concerned that one of my neighbors is watching me a little… closely. In my line of work I find such a trait worrisome, if not downright inconvenient. You know this man as an old skooma addict, but everytime I see the man I feel his eyes following me… I know this must seem ridiculous to you, but I can take no risks. My peace of mind is worth 2000 gold. What do you say?”

Balyn mulled it over. 2000! It was more than he had ever earned working for the Morag Tong. But, he thought, I must not seem too excited; no, I can negotiate, get a little more. But 2000!

“2500, Helas.”

“Impossible. 2100. No more.”

“Surely your peace of mind must be worth at least 2250 drakes.”

Vorar Helas smiled, and nodded. “Yes, it’s worth that much.”

The Dunmer shook hands. Vorar Helas ordered a bottle of brandy. Balyn Omavel joined the party.

-------------------------------------------------------

The sun was sending the first shafts of morning light over eastern hills when Balyn stumbled out of the Eight Plates. What a glorious night! He had taken his own awkward turn upon the shield, impressing no one, but his grace in poking fun at his own dancing had won him a peck on the cheek from Milie Hastien. It seemed that Balyn was finally finding his niche in Balmora—fewer Tong jobs meant more free time, and the opportunity for a social life.

But now it was time to head home, and off to bed. He would need to be well rested if he were to properly earn his gold. Balyn was not the most conscientious of the Morag Tong, perhaps, but he still believed in a job well-done, even when freelancing. Freelancing! The idea still sent a pulse of ice down Balyn’s spine, but a few more nights like this would ease the trauma. He smiled as he thought of his brother—Taren did not support his younger brother financially, nor would Balyn ask him to, but it gave Balyn some comfort knowing that he was safe from open retribution.

Balyn crossed the Odai and turned the corner around Hecerinde’s place, then started to jog. A figure in a dark brown robe was hunched over the trapdoor, on the roof. He shouted at the interloper, “Hey you! What are you doing? Get out of there!” The figure stood up, and then Balyn stopped, turned, and began to run. The trespasser cradled a crossbow in his arms. Balyn had almost reached the corner when he felt the white-hot poison bolt lodge itself in his back; he screamed. Staggering forward again, almost to the corner, almost to safety—he digged into his pockets for the healing potion he always carried—almost….. Another bolt struck him, in the neck. Balyn collapsed.

------------------------------------------------------

Eno Hlaalu and Huleeya were sharing a corner table at the Black Shalk Cornerclub when Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun strode briskly through the door.

“Back so soon, assassin?” Hlaalu looked him over.

“The freelancer is dead, Grandmaster.”

“That bittergreen works quickly indeed,” murmured the Dunmer.

“No bittergreen, Hlaalu. Not my style. Viper-bolts.”

Eno Hlaalu stood up; he nearly shouted, “What! Not your style! His brother will know! This is unacceptable!” Then he looked into a drawn crossbow.

“Unacceptable for you, perhaps, but I think I’ve done more than enough to satisfy our agreement, unless you want me to kill his brother, too. Or would you rather I kill you instead?” The Argonian did not lower the crossbow.

“Fine, assassin, have it your way. The writ on your head will…fade away. But tread carefully, Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun. Next time could be different.”

This post has been edited by canis216: Dec 17 2006, 08:59 AM


--------------------
Read about Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun, a Blades assassin, in Killing in the Emperor's Name and The Dark Operation. And elsewhere.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
canis216
post Nov 26 2006, 08:14 AM
Post #12


Knower
Group Icon
Joined: 28-March 06
From: Desert canyons without end.



Regrets


Caius Cosades and Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun sat quietly at the corner table of the South Wall Cornerclub soaking in the scene. A Bosmer and a Khajiit sat at the bar loudly debating which of their respective races made better thieves; the remaining patrons, also thieves, sat at tables adjacent to bar, inserting their own bawdy commentary into the discussion between drinks. Phane Rielle kept the liquor flowing liberally, as always, and put in a few good words for Bretons.

“But you must admit, Aengoth, that it is much easier to steal when cloaked in a spell of illusion”, he interjected.

Aengoth burst out laughing, “Come now, Phane. Even Breton magicks run out sometime. But I never have to worry about running out of stealth.”

“But what about picks and probes, friend? You wouldn’t be much of a thief without that hardware.”

“Not even little kitties forget their tools, good friend Phane Rielle! Habasi tells you that only the dumbest thief could do such a thing, an embarrassment to Habasi’s profession.”

------------------------------------------------

And so it went, on and on. It seemed to Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun that all these thieves did was drink, smoke, and talk.

He tossed back another brandy; Caius lit his skooma pipe.

------------------------------------------------

“Am I in the clear now, Caius? I am tired of waiting.”

Caius passed a small brown satchel across the table. “You’ll find some money and paperwork in there. Your license to kill has been restored. Also, your next mission is this envelope.” Caius passed an unmarked gray envelope to the Argonian. There’s no need to hurry on this one. I expect your mark won’t be in the open for a few days, anyway.”

“Then I think I can take care of something else. Take a look at this note—I found on the body of one of the locals.” Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun passed a crumpled piece of paper to the Imperial. “An unfortunate side job I had to take. You understand, of course.”

“Yes, of course…” he murmured—then Caius Cosades’ eyes opened wide. “Vorar Helas hired someone to kill me? I knew he was dirty, still….. Very well. You can eliminate him. Assassination may be legal in Morrowind, but this is a crime against the Empire.”

Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun nodded. “I expected as much. He’ll be dead by morning.”

-------------------------------------------------
Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun exited the South Wall at about 2:30 AM, under the eternally vigilant masses of Masser and Secunda. The night was clear, cool—only a few burning lanterns gave warmth to the streets. The assassin checked his blades—ready. He threw the hood of his robe on—he was wearing black once more—and made his way up the stairs, to highest Labor Town. No movement graced the street, and the only sound came drifting up from the South Wall—the argument had not yet ended, indeed, when could it ever end?

Vorar Helas lived in a modest two story house at the end of street, next to the spymaster. The hooded Argonian crept up the back stairs to the rear door—locked of course, but no problem, Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun pulled a pick out from his robe, smiling as he thought of debating thieves and little kitties breaking into homes in Elsweyr or the Imperial City—anywhere and everywhere really. Reverie took the assassin nearly to Iliac Bay, until he heard a muffled scream inside the very home he was breaking into.

He jerked the pick, and the lock was undone.

Inside—he stood in the bedroom, blades at the ready. Helas was not in bed. But someone was downstairs, shuffling about, muttering.

Now Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun was barely breathing, staying quiet, concentrating at the task at hand. He eased his way down the stairs—he smelled blood.

A trim Dunmer male, dressed casually, stood over a gutted, bleeding Khajiit slave. A bloody dagger lay on the stone floor.

“Helas!” The assassin leapt down the stairs at the wide-eyed Dunmer, raising his ebony shortsword. Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun brought the hilt down upon Vorar Helas’ skull.

“You barbaric scum! I was just going to kill you! Now you suffer!”

Helas, just conscious still, struggled to rise. “Wha… what are you going to d-d-do, lizard.”

At that the Argonian struck Helas’ face with the flat of the blade. “The better question, scum, is what won’t I do. My skill in destruction magic is modest, Dunmer, but I think you’ll come to regret it nonetheless. But I think I’ll start with a few ‘noise’ spells—just as a warm-up. I assure you this will hurt quite a bit. You’ll beg me to slit your throat before I’m done.”

------------------------------------------------

The sun was high over Balmora when Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun sat down on Caius Cosade’s bed and stared down the stony floor. “It’s done Caius. I think I may have exceeded my orders…”

Cosades stood across the room, leaning against the wall. “I thought I heard a few screams, Al. I won’t ask what happened. I don’t really want to know—I've seen too much on Vvardenfell already. My superiors seem to think so, too. I’ve been recalled. It’s just as well—Helas may have told his Camonna Tong superiors about my interest.

“Recalled? Where will I get my orders?”

“The Nerevarine will be ranking agent on the island, but you’ll get your orders through Elone, for a while. The Emperor still has need of your services here.”

“Wait, wait… the Nerevarine? The incarnation of Indoril Nerevar, the Temple saint? You’re joking, right?”

Caius Cosades said nothing.

“Damn…”

Then the Imperial smiled.

“Caius? Damn, I thought you were serious for a minute there. The Nerevarine! Good one, old friend! Heh, I hope you keep your sense of humor back in the City. I’m heading back to Ebonheart—I need the rest.” With that the Argonian saluted his spymaster and stepped out the door.

Caius Cosades stood and smiled.

This post has been edited by canis216: Nov 26 2006, 10:18 AM


--------------------
Read about Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun, a Blades assassin, in Killing in the Emperor's Name and The Dark Operation. And elsewhere.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
canis216
post Nov 30 2006, 07:15 AM
Post #13


Knower
Group Icon
Joined: 28-March 06
From: Desert canyons without end.



An Accident

Early in the afternoon a tall argonian in a fine red and gold robe strode into Ebonheart’s Six Fishes and after a brief glance about the near empty tavern, made his way to the one occupied table, in the far corner.

“Drinking already, Sun-Lingerer?”

“I never stopped drinking, Im-Kilaya. I was in here at eight last night, and I have no immediate plans to leave today.” Several bottles of brandy sat on the table in front of the black-robed assassin.

“It is an awfully expensive habit, friend. I don’t know how you can support it.” Im-Kilaya took the seat opposite Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun.

“I get by. I’m not buying expensive robes—unlike you.”

“It is business, Heik-Auri. I must represent our home to these dark elves—you know better than I what they think of us.”

The assassin took another drink. “Don’t remind me. I get into enough trouble.”

“Is it worth it? We could offer you… more satisfying work. And the pay…”

Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun pounded the almost-empty bottle down on the table. “Stop it. We’ve had this conversation before, Im-Kilaya. I can’t. I would be… an outlaw. It’s too risky. I do well by the Empire.”

A sigh escaped Im-Kilaya. “I’m sorry, friend. It’s just… No, I won’t burden you. Let’s drink.” He ordered his own bottle of brandy.

-----------------------------------------------------

Nevosi Hlan was pointing Chun-Ook into the west wind when his passenger began pacing about the deck. “Sera, it’s a long way to Gnaar Mok yet. You might find it better to wait in my cabin. I have a few books.”

The passenger, an older dunmer man dressed in a plain yet tasteful blue robe, stopped a moment and gazed up at the shipmaster. “No thank you, captain, I’m afraid I’m entirely too on edge to get any enjoyment from literature today. I’ve not seen the inside of my manor for some years, and I’m not sure what to expect. I’ve been in hiding too long.”

At that Nevosi could not help but raise an eyebrow. “In hiding, sera?”

The older dunmer grinned ruefully, “Yes, hiding. I am Radryn Arenim, and I dared to barter for my Lord Crassius Curio’s death. Foolish of me; I could have just waited the man out—it would have been my turn soon enough.”

“Sera, even I know it isn’t wise to offend a Councilman.”

Arenim chortled, “Yes, I was being a fool—but I learned my lesson.”

“Indeed.” A third had joined Nevosi and Arenim on the deck, emerging from the captain’s quarters. “This time you hired the Dark Brotherhood. I’m sure they’ll be much more discreet.”

The newcomer, an argonian in a black robe, leapt across the deck, daedric dagger drawn. Before Radryn Arenim could draw his sword the argonian slashed him across the throat and shoved him overboard, into the Inner Sea.

“Master Arenim fell overboard in rough seas, shipmaster.” The argonian watched the floating body drift away—he did not look up. “You will drop me off in Seyda Neen.”

Nevosi stood still, eyes wide, trying not to look overboard. “Yes sera, I understand. Accidents will happen.”


--------------------
Read about Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun, a Blades assassin, in Killing in the Emperor's Name and The Dark Operation. And elsewhere.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
The Metal Mallet
post Nov 30 2006, 08:56 PM
Post #14


Master
Group Icon
Joined: 18-June 06
From: Kitchener, ON, Canada



Hehe, poor guy, guess you should've kept to hiding. tongue.gif

Nice stuff Canis!


--------------------
I am currently a Writer in The Order of Schola.
Official Fan Fiction Forum "Commentasaurus"

"This body, holding me makes me feel eternal. All this pain is an illusion" - Parabola (Tool)
"This here ain't called boasting, it's called truthin' " - Mango Kid (Danko Jones)
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
jack cloudy
post Nov 30 2006, 09:41 PM
Post #15


Master
Group Icon
Joined: 11-February 06
From: In a cold place.



I haven't commented here yet. The compilation is a nice idea.

As for the latest installment, I definitely liked it. Linger has some style, even though he uses it to kill. Famous last words are everything.


--------------------
Fabulous hairneedle attack! I'm gonna be bald before I hit twenty.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Black Hand
post Dec 2 2006, 05:38 AM
Post #16


Master
Group Icon
Joined: 26-December 05
From: Where the sun shines everyday in hell.



haHA! i like this Argonians style more and more!
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
canis216
post Dec 17 2006, 08:38 AM
Post #17


Knower
Group Icon
Joined: 28-March 06
From: Desert canyons without end.



Thug Life

Everyone knows Nolus Atrius, the Balmora magistrate, is on the take, right?

Yeah, that’s what I’m wondering about. Can’t the Legion just arrest him? Why bring me into this?

Atrius has powerful friends. His greatest patron is on the Elder Council. How do you think he got where is?

So how can we go after him at all? Who gave these orders?

Who else? The Emperor.

Atrius isn’t that important.

Orvas Dren is.


-----------------------------------------------------

I set the bottle back down upon the bar. “Dren? Is there anything he isn’t behind on this gods-forsaken island?”

“OK, Elone, just tell me what I need to do.”

“Like I said, Atrius has power behind him, so this can’t look like a Blades job. Getting involved in Council politics wouldn’t be good for us. There’s no way the Morag Tong could take the job—dark elves only. So, you need to make it look like he made someone angry. It needs to look like the work of Cammona Tong thugs—like one of his clientele murdered him.”

I took another sip of brandy. “So… brutal, sloppy, a complete amateur job. It won’t be easy—I’m too good.”

“Don’t get full of yourself, Al. You’re not exactly subtle yourself. “ Elone’s voice was rising now, “Have you forgotten about Suran…?”

“Don’t remind me dammit! And that wasn’t a job! That was just… oh hell…” I sighed, “Just let me do the damn job.”

-----------------------------------------------------

The silt strider arrived in Balmora just after 10; perfect timing so far as I was concerned. I hesitated just a moment before making my way down the steps. I couldn’t help it; whenever I take the silt strider into town I’m immediately confronted by the Council Club, the local Cammona Tong hangout. I’d never entered it—even I’m not that crazy—but I’d often contemplated what I would do if were to go inside. It made me shudder, the way the thought appealed to me. I didn’t want to go in there, yet it was all I could do to resist the impulse.

Instead, I walked toward Balmora’s manor district, headquarters to House Hlaalu, home to a few nobles and wealthy merchants, and branch office for the local Morag Tong. Nolus Atrius lived catty-corner to the assassins. I wonder if they made him nervous. In any case, the magistrate’s home was my destination. Still, I loitered around the alchemist’s shop for a few moments before making my approach—assuring myself that the Hlaalu guards were not gazing down upon me from their towers.

Fortunately, the guards were being lax in their duties, as is their wont. I walked right up to Atrius’ front door and kicked it in—like any thug worth his salt would. Of course it made a terrible noise, but I slipped inside as quickly as I could, shutting the door behind me, and drawing my ebony. I heard the sound of footsteps upstairs—he must have been in bed—and curses that could only fly from the mouth of a rich imperial snob.

“What the hell is going on down there? Which one of you fools is interrupting my sleep now?”

He’s coming down the stairs—is it steel that I hear? He must have grabbed a blade—he may not be as foolish as I thought. Quickly, I flatten myself against the wall, next to the doorway. But no, he is a fool; he comes charging down off the stairs caution to the wind. “Where—“

That was when the flat of my shortsword met the back of Nolus Atrius’ head.

------------------------------------------------------

Nolus Atrius, a silver-haired imperial man of about 45 years, awoke in his bedroom, tied to his own chair. I stood before him, my ebony shortsword in hand.

“Nolus Atrius, magistrate of Balmora, it is my distinct pleasure to inform you that by order of His Majesty the Emperor Uriel VII, you are to be executed—“

“Executed by a lizard? Scum, you couldn’t execute a…” Before he could go further, I interrupted the magistrate with the flat of my blade.

“Silence! Now, normally I’d just cut your throat and be done, but circumstances demand that your death be rather slow and extremely painful.”

“Consider this a reward for your many years of faithful service.”


--------------------
Read about Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun, a Blades assassin, in Killing in the Emperor's Name and The Dark Operation. And elsewhere.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
minque
post Dec 17 2006, 09:34 AM
Post #18


Wise Woman
Group Icon
Joined: 11-February 05
From: Where I can watch you!!



Nice! I like your interactions between charachters....especially those we "know" from in-game, makes them alive!

Good work!


--------------------
Chomh fada agus a bhionn daoine ah creiduint in aif�iseach, leanfaidh said na n-aingniomhi a choireamh (Voltaire)

Facebook


IPB Image
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
jack cloudy
post Dec 17 2006, 11:18 AM
Post #19


Master
Group Icon
Joined: 11-February 06
From: In a cold place.



Crap, I've looked for Nolus Atrius myself but could never find him. Crap again! *storms off into Balmora, waving a rather large Claymore.*

*Comes running back.*

By the way, I love the dialogue here. Al knows how to choose his words.
*storms off again*


--------------------
Fabulous hairneedle attack! I'm gonna be bald before I hit twenty.
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
The Metal Mallet
post Dec 17 2006, 08:57 PM
Post #20


Master
Group Icon
Joined: 18-June 06
From: Kitchener, ON, Canada



That Argonian can just be plain nasty! I love it!

I can't wait to see what his next duty will be...


--------------------
I am currently a Writer in The Order of Schola.
Official Fan Fiction Forum "Commentasaurus"

"This body, holding me makes me feel eternal. All this pain is an illusion" - Parabola (Tool)
"This here ain't called boasting, it's called truthin' " - Mango Kid (Danko Jones)
User is offlineProfile CardPM
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

9 Pages V  1 2 3 > » 
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: 7th December 2019 - 11:09 PM