Right, I'm trying to crack on with it...But then this
happened...One chapter, in three parts...And they're all long-ish...
Previously on KOTNNK...Aeirawen was part of the force attacking Fort Freedom, but then she and the other wood-elf Galasafon were attempting to bring the evil boo-hiss baddie Marrick Gellert back to New Kvatch...1.10 – Aeirawen...(pt. 1)The last woman and the last man on Nirn pulled their cloacks tighter against the fierce wind. After a time, they looked at the last of the Old Gods and waved farewell. The woman opened a portal, then she and the man walked out of the world.
The world was unmade.
The world was made.
The portal opened again and the first woman and first man on Nirn walked through into a verdant forest. They looked at each other, shrugged and disrobed. Then they made love, as they had many times down the ages.
As he woke later, the man stood up, picked a fruit and said simply to the now awake woman, “Apple?”. Then he looked behind her and paled. There stood the first of the New Gods, attended by his ever present two Angels.
- Taken from The Book of The World. Author unknown.
Aeirawen burst into the clearing with three horsemen bearing down on her. She pulled up sharply, which caused one of the horses to rear and throw her rider. Unfortunately not
the Khajiit that had been tracking her this whole time. Aeira crossed the distance to the downed man and planted the head of the Dragon Hammer she was still carrying into his
. Turning and flitting
into the centre of the clearing, she waited for the two others to gather themselves. She grinned briefly at them, even as she panted her fatigue away. Damn, she was tired. How long had she been running? She had no idea, but it was a damned long time. Speed augmentation was all well and good for a short
while, but over long distances? It was still down to your own fitness levels - you still had to
run dammit! Aeirawen laughed the thought of the portly Keern Ralman trying this.
The two bandits looked briefly at each other, as if wondering that the idea of a lone Bosmer knight in the centre of a clearing being quite so confident was
actually occurring to them both.
Aeira waited till they were fully committed, then she narrowed her white glowing eyes, smiled her most feral grin and launched herself into the speed augment. Raising her arms as time appeared slowed down, she swung the hammer with one hand into the chest of one, killing him instantly. Her left arm grabbed the other bandit’s sword arm as it fell. The rider twisted around in the saddle, his shoulder broke and almost sheared off, his ankle didn’t fare so well as it became twisted in his stirrup. His neck snapped the instant he hit the ground, so any pain was truly short lived. The horses carried on out of the clearing, as if they wanted nothing more to do with anything bar grazing.
Aeirawen fell to her knees with fatigue. This was getting too much now. How many more were there? She couldn’t keep this up all the way to Kvatch. If she was even headed
towards Kvatch by now. The Bosmer pushed herself up to stand, brushed her blonde hair back out of her face, and went to the nearest tree. She leant against it and looked up at the sun, then at the nearby trees.
north.” Aeira figured that she’d been headed generally
northeast all this time. If I head north at least I’ll get to the Colovian Highway
, she thought to herself and prepared to run again. Just then she heard another set of hoof-beats. Sighing but casting - for yet another time – her ease fatigue spell, she ran once more to the centre of the clearing, but kept the hammer’s head resting on the floor.
A huge white Anvillian destrier burst into the sunlit circle of the bloodied woodland glade.
?!” She almost wept with joy. “I thought I’d told you all
to head for Kvatch.” She reached the horse and hugged his neck. The horse replied by putting his head down on her shoulder as if hugging her back. “Still, being with J’Drell for so long I suppose you would
pick up a stubborn streak.” She grinned.
It wasn’t her beloved Dail, but if anything, J’Drell’s horse, Two, was probably better when it came down to it. The Anvillian horse’s endurance was legendary, and she had no idea how long was still to go. She grabbed the saddle’s horn with one hand and hauled herself on Two’s back.
Aeira silently thanked Brellin for the strength augments in her white Elven Plate heavy-armour. She put her hand to the red diamond on her chest-piece and prayed her thanks to Kynareth for delivering her this fortunate rescue.
She looked back the way she’d run. Finding Galas would be next to impossible with all the Bandits, Marauders and what have you in there. That goes for the Fort too really. Her only course then would be to head back to New Kvatch with the Dragon Hammer and tell the Commander what had happened.
She sighed deeply with frustration.
She securely tied the Dragon Hammer to the saddle, so as it wouldn’t bang against Two’s side as he ran.
Then she rode.
“Damn.” Said Galasafon.
“What?” Aeirawen asked.
She sighed, stopped tying all the other horses’ reins up to their saddles and came over to Kelleryn’s black horse. Bending down, Aeira cupped her hands and boosted Galas onto the saddle. She moved aside as he levitated the still prone form of Marrick Gellert onto the horse in front of him.
“This isn’t going to be comfortable for any of us old boy.” Galas patted the horse on his shoulder.
Aeirawen knew that Galas wasn’t a natural horseman. He could do when needed, but he preferred running.
“You going to be alright?” she looked up to him.
He looked about, smirked then shrugged, “I have a choice?” Then he grinned genuinely. “When has it ever been easy in this job?”
There was the slightest hint of wrong feeling and she ducked, just as an arrow passed in the space where her head had been. She screamed in Elvish, using her Command Beast spell, “Two, Jasper get them to Kvatch. NOW
J’Drell and Thedret’s horses being the most experienced of them, and possessed of truly amazing amount of intelligence whinnied and stamped their feet as the other horses started fleeing the incoming horde. The pair of Anvillians chased them down, herded them up into a line then headed dead northeast. A couple of the knights’ horses had crossbow bolts in their hinds, but nothing that would slow them unduly.
By way of horse signal, Two left them to Jasper’s care and stopped.
He turned and headed back the way he’d run.
The space the horses had recently left was deserted. Several men were on the floor, dead or dying. Two twisted his ears this way and that and located separate chases. He looked at the ground, sighed and followed that
It was not long before he caught up with the back of the pack. He nudged the nearest one towards a tree, it reared and fell backwards onto its rider. As sorry as he felt for doing it, several more horses went into trees headfirst.
Just then a scent caught him. He turned and ran a new direction, following some horses that had peeled off.
The chase. Nothing like it. He ran.
Aeirawen mopped the blood from the corner of her mouth and followed the Imperial outside, “I’m from Anvil you inbred son of a mule lover.”
inbred son of a mule lover.” Said the man picking himself up off the floor and brushing from his armour, the wooden debris of the door he’d so recently destroyed with his passing through it.
,” she said through clenched teeth, “the nearest I’ve ever been
to Valenwood is being shown Falinesti in a ‘scope from a hill above Anvil.
Just because your Emperor decided to open up your Legion to every
native born Cyrodiillian, don’t be surprised when you wind up with any
kriffing native of Cyrodiil.”
“Mind your language soldier, I am
your superior.” Said the Captain.
“Hah! Oh, I’m sorry sir
,” she said snarling the word out, “I have yet to hit the Hold. It’s sometimes difficult to restrain myself. Besides, I’m amazed you could be superior to anything that doesn’t live in the ground.”
She heard the distinctive scrape of metal on scabbard behind her, and turned sideways where she could, if needed, defend both sides. Just then she heard a voice.
“Ah, ah...It’s not polite to stab young ladies in the back.”
Aeirawen watched as the would-be assassin came out of the Hammered Ogre Inn with the point of an ebony sword at the base of his skull. Following him was a pretty young woman with copper-blonde hair.
“Ah, Captain Olford,” said the original Captain, the one that had been making a nuisance of himself towards Aeira all afternoon, and in the end, accused her of being a Bosmeri spy.
As if. Tall, blonde, blue-eyed, not exactly graceful and with little talent for Illusion, she doubted that invisibility would be in her repertoire any time soon. So no, spy was not
high on her list of things to do. Hitting people and things very
hard with axes and maybe setting them on fire, yes. Spy, no.
“Go pick on someone your own size Derment,” the soldier called Olford said, “but that would mean finding a scamp to bully wouldn’t it?”
Derment shot Olford a murderous look, but drew himself up imperiously, turned on his heel and marched towards the Legion quarter of Bruma, followed by his three armsmen.
Olford crossed to Aeirawen and asked, “You okay?”
Aeira wiped her mouth again, “Yes Captain, Ma’am, thank you.”
Olford tilted her head, smiled and held out her hand. “We’re off-duty soldier. Caroline Olford.”
Aeira shook the hand and then suddenly remembered, “Olford?! As in...”
“Yes,” Caroline rolled her green eyes, then affected a mock-aristocratic voice, “General Kenth Olford, hero of blah blah et-cetera.”
Aeira smiled. “You don’t think much of his reputation?”
“I have all the love in the world for my Daddy...But...” She shook her head, “Ach, we’ve only just met. There’ll be time enough for all that...Hopefully
Just then the owner of The Hammered Ogre came out and started complaining about his door and the cold and a million other things.
Caroline sighed and shook her head. “He’s an old friend of my Dad’s. Time to be the General’s daughter again. I’ll take care of this, you go clean yourself up and don’t worry, I’ll go see your commander and square all this
“Umm...Why would you do all this? Like you said, we’ve only just met.”
Caroline tilted her head again and drew her eyebrows together in an almost frown, “I think...Mara told me to.” She gestured vaguely up, “either that or it’s just the right thing to do.” She shrugged, “When you’re off-duty tomorrow, come find me here, we’ll go to my house and talk some more. You good with that?”
Aeira smiled, nodded and shook Caroline’s hand again. “Thank you.”
Caroline shrugged, smiled and indicated the still remonstrating innkeeper.
Aeira watched her go and was surprised at her own feeling of joy at the sudden turn in events. It felt like finding another sister in the unlikeliest of places. She shrugged and made her way back to the barracks.
Aeirawen was riding north, or as best as. She’s passed out of the thickest of the forest and was headed out into the farming communities that ran alongside one of the many rivers that started in the distant Colovian Highlands and made their meandering way down through County Kvatch to the estuary at Anvil.
Several riders burst out of the trees behind her. The Khajiit being the one in front.
.” She sighed.
Aeira urged Two on faster, and he responded with a surprising burst of extra pace. At least they’re not gaining
Minutes passed without incident, but always, the pursuit was there.
Looking ahead she could see a road, and in the distance she could see a block-train, coming from one of the mountains at the end of the Colovian chain that was being dismantled for the rebuilding of Kvatch.
Thanking Kynareth that she was going to be off the farmland soon, Aeirawen realised she’d have to tell the Commander about the damage. The Knights of The Nine may own these farms in order to feed the soldiery and, indeed, many of the workers, but that doesn’t mean they can ignore any damage wrought on them by
She reached the road and raced along it. Two seemed to be pleased at the firmer footing and responded to it. With joy it seemed. Aeira felt as if she was about to cry and indeed her eyes had watered, but she let one hand off the reins, wiped her eyes, then
used the free hand to pour Respite into Two as best as she could.
“Not far, Two. Not far now.”
Two offered no opinion, but put his head down and charged.
--------------------------------------------------------------This post has been edited by McBadgere: Dec 24 2011, 11:08 PM