| The Dark Operation
, Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun is back for more... in Cyrodiil.
Dec 25 2007, 10:42 AM
Joined: 28-March 06
From: Desert canyons without end.
Note: Yes, I will be finishing the original (and working on the 2nd) A.H.L.i.t.S. story eventually, but I've been on an Oblivion playing binge so I figured I'd strike while the game is still fresh for me. Without further ado...
Weynon Priory, Imperial Province
Jauffre’s lips eased into a droll smile when saw the figure in black approaching, up the stars. “What news from Morrowind, Always-He-Lingers-in-the-Sun?” The figure in black pulled back his hood, revealing a red-brown, and scarred, argonian face. The grin was toothy, and Jauffre was reminded of the Naga from Waughin Jarth’s newest fiction. Jauffre thought it was fiction, at least.
“Call me Al, please. With Helseth consolidating his power, and everything else, I think I’ll be a frequent visitor.” The argonian handed over a large, sealed envelope.
“I imagine so… Al. How is the courier business treating you?”
“I have no complaints. I haven’t had to break into anyone’s home in six months.”
“Is that so? You did that a lot in the old days?”
“Almost as often as I cut a man’s throat.”
At that Jauffre’s eyes darted down to his katana. Quietly, he said, “I remember.” They were quiet for a moment, the two Blades, now a monk and a courier. The courier turned to leave, almost plowing into Brother Piner—running up the stairs.
“Jauffre! Jauffre! The emperor has been assassinated!”
Shadow’s Gate Cornerclub, Kragenmoor, Province of Morrowind
A puff of skooma smoke on the air. “Full report.”
“My horse pulled up lame on the way down from the pass, while I was trying to outrun a bandit. I killed the bandit; claimed 342 septims from the body, some family’s jewels. Sold the jewels and the horse in Cheydinhal.”
“Healing magic didn’t work on Many-Gallops?”
A swig of beer. Old rhetorical trick—very common in the west. “Right. Well, it worked, but only well enough to trot into Cheydinhal. I’ve had an eye on a black horse anyway.”
“You bought one?”
“I call her ‘Outruns-Bandits’. Very fast. I included the receipt in my written report.”
“Fine. Go on.”
“Anyway, there wasn’t any trouble the rest of the way I couldn’t outrun. I collected the most recent reports from the Palace and the Prison, and stayed overnight in the Market District. In the morning I made for the monastery and delivered the package to our colleague there. And then I discovered that Uriel and all of his heirs had been killed. I think I broke all land speed records on the way back here.”
“You were right to do so, friend. The times demand urgency.”
“We don’t have orders from the City already, do we? I don’t think I could wrap my brain around that kind of efficiency from the Elder Council.”
A smile. “No, Al. I’m expecting some sort of word from the Council by tomorrow, though. And I can guess what they’ll say.”
“So can I. ‘Stay put, we can’t afford instability in the provinces.’ So very predictable.” Another swig of beer. A nod and a puff of smoke from the other side of the table, rueful.
The beer drinker went on. “You know Caius, we must be quite the sight. Me in my all black with half-a-dozen empty beer bottles in front of me. You in that ridiculous monk’s robe—with skooma! We never change, do we?”
“So very predictable.”
This post has been edited by canis216: Jul 4 2009, 06:05 PM
Dec 29 2007, 04:57 AM
Joined: 28-March 06
From: Desert canyons without end.
Journal of an Imperial Courier: Waterfront District, the Imperial City
I heard a noise at the door. Anyone else, I’m sure, would have ignored it. I’m not anyone else. I felt a blade in each hand before I thought to grab them, and before I had chance to marvel at this I had the blades at the throat of tall imperial man wearing black.
“My, you are alert.”
Dark Brotherhood. I guess I wouldn’t need to go back to Kragenmoor and stick that dunmer’s head over a torch, after all. I drew my blades back from the assassin’s throat.
“You sleep rather soundly for a murderer. Yet not too soundly. That's good. You'll need a clear conscience—and a clear head—for what I'm about to propose.”
I kept silent. And a strong grip on my blades, just in case something went wrong.
“You prefer silence, then? As do I, my dear child. As do I. For is silence not the symphony of death, the orchestration of Sithis himself? Ironic, then, that I come to you now as Speaker for the Dark Brotherhood. My name is Lucien Lachance, and my voice is the will of the Night Mother. She's been watching you. Observing as you kill, admiring as you end life without pity or remorse. The Night Mother is most pleased... that is why I stand here before you. I bear an offering. An opportunity... to join our rather unique family...”
I stayed silent. He seemed to enjoy the sound of his own voice. Who was I to interrupt?
“So, I have your rapt attention. Splendid. Now listen closely. On the Green Road to the north of Bravil lies the Inn of Ill Omen. There you will find a man named Rufio. Kill him, and your initiation into the Dark Brotherhood will be complete. Do this, and the next time you sleep in a location I deem secure, I will reveal myself once more, bearing the love of your new family.”
I nodded my agreement, and he handed me a blade. Decent balance, but not to my standards…
“Please accept this token from the Dark Brotherhood. It is a virgin blade, and thirsts for blood. May it serve you well, as does your silence. Now, I bid you farewell. I do hope we'll meet again soon.”
And then Lucien Lachance was gone. Or that’s the impression he would like to give. He cast some sort of powerful chameleon spell and trotted away, quickly as he came. Once he was out of my door I tossed his “virgin blade” aside. It was clearly intended to be a nice weapon for a new initiate—someone relatively inexperienced. I had no use for it.
Rufio… Inn of Ill Omen. I wanted to know more about him. I had barely slept, but I knew that it was a three hour ride to the Inn of Ill Omen (I had passed it on the way back from the skooma den in Bravil) and that it was now 2:00 P.M. and that I wanted to do the job sometime shortly after midnight. That left me something like seven hours in which to discretely investigate this mark.
I pulled on my robe, secured my new bow on my back, and stepped out to look for the beggar. He wasn’t hard to find; his bedroll was laid out perhaps seventy yards from my waterfront lodgings. He was standing nearby, eating some day-old bread which I presume he bought with the coins I provided the day before.
I called to him, “Ancus, I need more information.” He smiled at my approach, and practically beamed when I held out a small sack of gold—forty pieces.
“Be ‘appy to oblige, friend. Most ‘appy. What d’ya need?”
“Ever heard of a man named Rufio?”
“I knows a man who ‘as. He’s in The Black ‘orse Courier. And in the impound.”
“In jail, you mean.”
“Aye, that’s what I says.”
I tossed the beggar another bag of gold and took my leave.
(Pasted into the journal; the name Claudius Arcadia underlined with a dark black mark)
Night Mother Rituals!
NIGHT MOTHER RITUALS ON THE RISE!
"And won't be tolerated!"
warns Imperial Legion.
by Agnes "the quill is mightier than the ebony sword" Earheardt
The Imperial City -- pinnacle of art, entertainment, scholarship... and ritualistic murder? So says Adamus Phillida, commander of the Imperial Legion forces in the Imperial City, and a staunch opponent of the mysterious assassin's guild known as the Dark Brotherhood. According to Phillida, Imperial Legion soldiers have discovered thirteen separate instances of the macabre "Black Sacrament," a sinister rite purportedly used to summon a member of the Dark Brotherhood, in order to arrange an assassination.
Whether or not a card-carrying killer shows up on a ritual performer's doorstep remains to be seen, but the Black Sacrament itself is very real, and truly the stuff of nightmares. As documented in the rare and taboo work "A Kiss, Sweet Mother," the Black Sacrament involves an effigy of the intended victim -- created from actual body parts, including a heart, skull, bones and flesh -- within a circle of candles. To proceed with the ritual, one must stab the effigy repeatedly with a dagger rubbed with the petals of a Nightshade plant, while whispering the plea, "Sweet Mother, sweet Mother, send your child unto me, for the sins of the unworthy must be baptized in blood and fear." As gruesome as this ritual may be, even more frightening is its intention -- the summoning of a mysterious assassin (who some witnesseses claim is always clad in a black hooded robe) who will then receive money to kill an innocent victim. No remorse. No regret. It is, as the merchant's say, simply business. And that's what worries Adamus Phillida.
"This brazen increase in Night Mother rituals is an affront to the decent, peace-loving citizens of the Empire. The Imperial Legion exists for one reason and one reason only -- to protect and serve the people of Tamriel. How in Azura's name can we do that when people take it upon themselves to contact paid assassins and have innocent people murdered? How can I sleep at night knowing my Legion can't possibly save the life of someone marked for death by the Dark Brotherhood? Anyone who carries out this "Black Sacrament" makes a mockery of the Imperial Legion, and as Commander, that's something I just can't tolerate. From this point forward, any citizen found in the possession of items related to the Night Mother ritual will be incarcerated in the Imperial Prison indefinitely, and their property seized by the Empire. There's no fine high enough, no standard prison sentence long enough, for the type of malcontent who would show such a blatant disregard for our dear Emperor's laws and the wellfare of the fine people of Tamriel"
To be sure, Adamus Phillida is not one to issue empty threats. Indeed, the Black Horse Courier has learned that one Claudius Arcadia, until recently a resident of the Talos Plaza District of the Imperial City, is now residing in a cold, dank cell in the Imperial Prison, and his house has become the newest Imperial Legion outpost. So before you take the law into your own hands, dear reader, remember -- you'll go further in life with a warm smile than a cold blade. And if you've got a grudge that won't be soothed, a score that can't be settled, you can always move to Morrowind and have the government-sanctioned Morag Tong do the killing for you.
I decided against breaking into Arcadia’s home to look for references to Rufio. It was likely that the legion had removed any pertinent evidence, and it was possible that they would have posted a guard to keep out curiosity seekers. The Black Horse Courier suggested as much. I decided to take the direct route—visiting Claudius Arcadia in prison.
I decided against wearing my black robes in to visit him. I didn’t want the Watch thinking me a Dark Brotherhood assassin, coming to visit a client. I donned mage’s robes instead, so very common in the City. I left the bow at home, and concealed my blades best as I could. From there it was a simple matter to talk to the jailer, who was quite receptive to bribery. Shortly I found myself standing face-to-face with Claudius Arcadia.
I started to introduce myself (dishonestly, of course, as a guard was watching) but as soon as he saw me he blurted, “So I wanted somebody murdered! So I prayed to the Night Mother! What, is that a crime now? They even took my house, those bastards!”
My lies thus delayed, I turned up the sympathy. “Mr. Arcadia, I saw notice of your trouble in the Courier, and I, Speaks-Well, would like to help you. While the Legion has a legitimate interest here, I believe they have acted too harshly. If you told me more of your case, I might be able to exert some public pressure in your favor.”
He seemed rather incredulous—and very, very bitter. “How could you possibly help me? What can you know of my pain?”
Putting on a grave face, I whispered close to his ear, “I know about Rufio.”
That opened his eyes wide, I dare say. “You know about that scum? What he did to my little…” His voice faded away into sobbing.
“I’m sorry, Claudius. I’ll leave you be. And I’ll see what I can do for you.” With that, I left. I could kill Rufio.
This post has been edited by canis216: Jul 4 2009, 06:07 PM
Posts in this topic
canis216 The Dark Operation Dec 25 2007, 10:42 AM canis216 2.
Kragenmoor – the next night
Two figure... Dec 26 2007, 01:32 AM The Metal Mallet Oh boy oh boy! Our favourite Argonian is back... Dec 26 2007, 07:13 AM jack cloudy Dun dun dun. Al has returned.
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It... Dec 27 2007, 09:52 PM jack cloudy While I personally consider the 'duel'-met... Dec 28 2007, 09:12 PM canis216
While I personally consider the 'duel'-me... Dec 28 2007, 10:41 PM The Metal Mallet Enjoyable update. Al always brings a smirk to my ... Dec 28 2007, 11:17 PM canis216 Post-machine!
================================... Dec 28 2007, 11:45 PM Olen Most entertaining. A good read and I like Al... Dec 29 2007, 12:32 AM The Metal Mallet Killing "innocent" skooma addicts, that ... Dec 29 2007, 01:49 AM treydog This is going wonderfully. Al is such a fun chara... Dec 29 2007, 02:40 AM canis216
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H... Jan 26 2008, 02:20 PM The Metal Mallet Things continue to move along nicely. Some fun li... Jan 28 2008, 04:10 AM canis216
Hm, a change of tense in the story. Interesting, ... Jan 28 2008, 05:03 AM treydog Always got to love Al's "Ohhh, scary... Jan 30 2008, 03:42 AM redsrock I for one am I glad you changed tense. I write in... Feb 3 2008, 05:44 PM minque Nice as always Canis! Your Al really is a funn... Feb 5 2008, 12:17 AM Agent Griff Since I saw it mentioned in your story, I thought ... Feb 12 2008, 08:59 AM Lord Revan Shadowscales are Argonians born under the sign of ... Feb 12 2008, 10:46 PM canis216 What Revan said is good. I should also add that if... Feb 13 2008, 03:03 AM canis216 9.
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Exemplary work as usual canis.
Wha Mallie said..... Mar 2 2008, 02:36 PM canis216 10.
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