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> Redemption, part 2
jack cloudy
post Mar 6 2012, 08:29 PM
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Click here for Redemption Part 1


Alright, part 2. Still not much redeeming going on but whatever. Now instead of continuing the story, I figured I'd use this post for all the miscellaneous stuff. Things like a character list and the recap for part 1. So be warned that this post CONTAINS SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!


RECAP FOR PART 1 Again SPOILERS!

One night, the palace is breached by unknown assailants. Following standard protocol for such events, the Emperor is secretly transported to the prison by his Blades. The Imperial Battlemage, Ocato, declines to join him, claiming that the situation is under control and that his services aren't needed.

Despite having reached the prison safely, the Emperor soon finds that he is still in danger. It is then that Uriel receives help from an unexpected ally. Angoril Bobardi reveals that the very cell he has inhabited for decades, contains a secret escape route that was built during the simulacrum at the order of Jagar Tharn. With this passage and the considerable magical prowess of Angoril, the Emperor manages to flee the deadly trap.

Also freed from the prison by Angoril is Maorlatta Orgnum, a young (by elf-standards) and somewhat naive girl who was arrested for the crime of sleeping in the park. Once free, she quickly makes herself scarce and eventually finds herself in the shack of an old fisherman who lives on an island in Lake Rumare. The fisherman seeks the help of the thieves guild to rid her of the manacles and prison outfit that would have every Legionnaire arrest her on sight. Unfortunately, the one assigned to pick the locks on the manacles informs Vicente Valtieri instead, who takes a personal interest in the girl’s talent for camouflage. Maorlatta is saved by the Redguard Sorian, a young and rather strange lad who keeps going on and on about something he calls an Ansei. The two team up to go treasure hunting in a nearby Ayleid ruin.

Meanwhile, Angoril returns to the prison. Pretending to be from the palace, he gets a vital clue from the Argonian private investigator Grey-Tongue. The Argonian sends him to Chorrol to find the source of the assassins distinctive red robes. To get to Chorrol, he summons a shiftgate, circumventing days travelling. From Chorrol the trail leads to Kvatch, a city whose precise location he does not know. Unable to summon another shiftgate with reasonable accuracy, Angoril seeks more mundane passage to Kvatch.

While Angoril is travelling, Maorlatta and Sorian hit the Ayleid ruin. After some trouble with a zombie, they strike gold and find an abandoned office with some intact artefacts. They attempt to sell the artefacts in the Imperial city, where they are intercepted by Grey-Tongue and then Vicente Valtieri. Sorian again makes the vampire flee. The next morning Maorlatta wakes up in the Imperial palace with no recollection on how she got there or what happened during her stay at Grey-Tongue’s house. Jauffre interrogates her in the garden at the top of the tower.







Redemption's persons of questionable importance

Main characters:
Angoril Bobardi: An Altmeri sorcerer who inhabited a cell in the Imperial prison, fully aware of the secret escape route. After leaving the prison, he makes it his task to track down the leaders behind the red-robed assassins.

Maorlatta Orgnum: A Maormer from Pyandonea, sent to Tamriel at the command of king Orgnum. Circumstances land her in the same prison as the Altmer. After escaping, she returns to the pursuit of her own goals, one of which is to become filthy rich.

Side characters:
Grey-Tongue: An Argonian private investigator. He is a friend of Hieronymous Lex and has been hired by the guard-captain in the past. Grey-Tongue is hired now as well by the city-guard to investigate the events at the prison and find Uriel’s corpse.
Guard-Captain Hieronymous Lex: Hieronymous Lex is the man put in charge of investigating the massacre at the Imperial Prison. Upon finding that Uriel Septim was seen entering the prison that night, he hires Grey-Tongue to help him uncover the truth.
Sorian: A Redguard who saves Maorlatta from Vicente Valtieri. A simple wandering swordsman with a slight Ansei-obsession.
Rajn Geydar: A Wood Elf who lives in Kvatch. At one point possessed a piece of the Balac-Thurm.

Others:
Guard-Captain Argelius: A colleague of Hieronymous Lex who describes him as the man to call when you need subtlety.
Bannon: A merchant who travelled with Angoril from Chorrol to Kvatch
Baleni: Daughter of Rajn Geydar
Doruk: The Bouncer who worked at Rajn Geydar's restaurant. Deceased.
Penald Baurus: Blade and bodyguard of Uriel Septim.
Berius: Lord Protector and Head of the palaceguard in the Imperial City.
Valen Dreth: A Dunmeri prisoner. Not the most pleasant sort.
Jennifer Renault: Blade, recently promoted to captain.
Glenroy: Blade and bodyguard of Uriel Septim.

Fenasim:
A member of the emperor's Palace guard.
Mankar Camoran: The father of both Raven and Ruma. He is the leader of the Mythic Dawn and its prophet.
Raven Camoran: The ‘Hand’ of the Mythic Dawn, an organization with an unknown purpose. What is certain however, is that the Dawn wants Uriel Septim dead.
Ruma Camoran: The sister of Raven, she serves the Mythic Dawn as Priestess. In the same night that the attempt on the emperor’s life is made, she infiltrates the vaults beneath the Imperial palace to steal two artefacts.
Harrow: A member of the Dawn, Harrow used to be an Armiger stationed in Vvardenfell.

Ludius Bester: Member of Bester and Bester, the Kvatch Hall of Mercantile Interests. He runs the office in lower Kvatch.
Aelwin Merowald: An old fisherman who lost most of his leg to Slaughterfish. Friend of Delmar Tunius.
Rajn Geydar: Owner of the Eight Provinces, a restaurant in Kvatch.
Ra’Jezhr: A Khajiiti lockpicker in the employ of the Thieves Guild, Ra’Jezhr is also coerced into serving the Dark Brotherhood’s interests.
Simanuel Rosendorf IV: The owner of a silk-plantation near Chorrol

Umbacano: An Altmer who lives in the capital city. A well-known collector of Ayleid artefacts.
Uriel Septim VII: The Emperor of Tamriel.
Brother Tanner: A priest who serves in the Kvatch-temple. Looks like a Septim.
Delmar Tunius: An old fisherman who lives on a small island in lake Nibenay.
Vicente Valtieri: A member of the Dark Brotherhood, he takes interest in Maorlatta’s talents at stealth, and desires to make her an assassin, with or without her cooperation.

Latta’s evergrowing list of people only she knows:
Levvelyn of Glashorn: The hero of a popular series who spends most of his books saving the world, slaying vicious monsters, duelling devious Altmeri warlords and chasing the girl.
Irrillys: A fictional princess of Pyandonea, she is Levvelyn’s love interest. Posesses an unfortunate talent for being kidnapped by devious Altmeri warlords.
Mettildi: The Maormer that taught Maorlatta how to fight, though his methods traumatized her to the point where she is mentally incapable of defending herself.
Master Zelthir: Another Maormer put in charge of educating Maorlatta. Master Zelthir is a well-known and highly respected healer.

This post has been edited by jack cloudy: Sep 22 2013, 07:36 PM


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mALX
post Mar 7 2012, 01:14 AM
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From: Cyrodiil, the Wastelands, and BFE TN



I love the recap, and the list of characters - that may help me a lot to keep up with what is going on. I have had too little free time lately to catch up on your story, and every time I get some and try to start I've had to go back and refresh my mind about what was going on.

@ EVERYONE - whether you read the recap or not - the story itself is well worth reading anyway. I have had trouble finding it at times because it is archived, but when found it is an Awesome read !!!

So glad you are posting down here again, where your story will be easier to find, lol.


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McBadgere
post Mar 7 2012, 05:17 AM
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Yeah, why was it never down here?... huh.gif ...

*Makes note to go read it once he's done the others*...

Sounds cool though...

If vol 2 is here, then here I will be also...*Nods*...

Nice one!!...

*Applauds in admiration*... biggrin.gif ...
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Darkness Eternal
post Mar 8 2012, 05:31 PM
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Good, a recap. Now I can read the entire tale from start to finish as it goes along!

Yuss! Those are a lot of characters by the way. The main ones look very interesting so far.

This post has been edited by Darkness Eternal: Mar 8 2012, 05:31 PM


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And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed.
I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.”
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jack cloudy
post Mar 20 2012, 10:30 PM
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I just buried my father this morning. sad.gif I was hoping to do some proper planning, but that idea got left behind due to circumstances. I've got an idea for scenes much later in the story, but none for right now. So instead I'll be continuing on with simple improvisation. I'm sorry for the delay and my general lack of activity.

As for the character recap, most of them are either one-scene characters, or characters who only exist as part of Latta's background.


Chapter 7: North and South

Kvatch, Angoril Bobardi

Finding a caravan to travel with had been surprisingly easy. All he had to do was go to the wagon camp before Chorrol’s main gates and read the notices pinned to the wall of the nearby inn. There was no notification of caravans, but rather the time and day when Chorrol’s roadwatch set out and their destination. A quick askaround confirmed his suspicions that travellers were simply expected to travel with the patrol. It was almost identical to a plan he had once proposed in which each city would be allowed their own private force for securing their cities and roads. Their expenses would be regained through the increased trade revenue. His emperor had vetoed the plan, preferring to keep all military force in his own legions. But now the plan had been implemented. So the next day he simply showed up at the gates and followed the horsemen . A few uneventful days later he arrived at the village of low Kvatch.

He took in the settlement as he waited in line. There was no gate, just a simple barricade on the road that forced any passing wagons to zigzag. The place looked at once temporary and old. The buildings were simple squares made of wood, often with visible sections that had been replaced or expanded over the years. The only stone structure was a manhigh wall to the south but that one was still under construction. All things taken into consideration, low Kvatch was exactly what he had expected, an unofficial district placed solidly on the road between Anvil and Skingrad, primarily to extract toll from the many merchants travelling along this road. Kvatch itself was actually situated on the mountain to the north and its only access was via a winding path up the steep slope. Too steep for the heavier wagons and still a good two or three hours climb for everyone else. This permitted low Kvatch its second function and source of income as a waystation and market for weary travellers unable or unwilling to visit upper Kvatch.

“You’ve never actually told me why you’re going to Kvatch. The place is a bloody leech on us honest traders. No good products worth exporting, and a lot of taxes.” Bannon, the portly old Breton who had offered Angoril a ride on his wagon, remarked.
Angoril knew three reasons for visiting Kvatch. First was naturally the trail of the assassins, followed by an inspection of the temple. The list of regular donations he’d discovered in Ocato’s office had caught his eye and like most things that drew his attention once, he kept thinking about it. He knew from experience that Uriel liked funding temples of Tamriels prime faith, but rarely this much. Furthermore, discreet inquiries had revealed that none of his fellow travellers remembered any large-scale construction projects, which made the regular payments all the stranger. He doubted it was anything important but it wouldn’t take too much time and one never knew.

Finally there was the investigation in Rajn Treesap that he’d found in the same book. He had made use of the service of a young woman by that very name. Long ago, when he needed a good guide to Valenwood’s oldest trees. She had been good, cheap, and useful for his plans. If this was the same one, he would have to look into her and reassess if she still held value to him. The book mentioned she had been in Kvatch back in 3E 403 which had earned her a place on his to-do list. Perhaps people would still remember her or she was still here.

Those were his three reasons for visiting Kvatch and none of them he could tell Bannon.
“Kvatch was originally meant as a stronghold. Trade revenue or any source of livelihood for its occupants was not needed. If anyone, say the Camoran Usurper, invaded from Valenwood or Elsweyr, they would either be locked up in siege for months or leave themselves open for a rear assault by Kvatch’s garrison. It lies away from the main roads to improve its defensibility, but not so far that its army can’t strike out against nearby targets.” He explained and noticed with amusement that the lecture had come without thinking.
“Ease it, it has been many years since you last stood before a class. Just answer the man’s question instead of hoisting random trivia upon him.”
“An old friend of the family moved to Kvatch a while back. If figured I should look him up at least once before returning to Summerset.” Angoril answered after a short pause and the wagon moved ahead a few metres. Neither man said another word as they slowly drew closer to the barricade and the officials manning it. It was only when they passed the gate that Bannon talked again.



“There’s my next gain.” He said, waving at the wall.
“You wish to become a masoner?” Angoril asked and chuckled. Bannon grinned, shaking his head.
“If I were twenty years younger. No, I want to be a supplier. They take the bricks from old forts nobody but bandits use these days, then take them here. And Stendarr knows those poor sods need it. Leaches they may be, but I wouldn’t wish death by troll stampede on my worst enemies. So I figured I’d make some money hauling rocks. That, or maybe selling enchanted arrows to the foresters here. It depends on the price I can get at Skingrad for those.” The merchant’s voice drifted away at the last few words as he weighed his options.
“You would be cheapest if you went into Valenwood. They practically marry their bows there. You would get high quality and low prices. Back here you could double or even triple the price.” The Altmer suggested but Bannon shuddered at the thought.
“Valenwood? That’s where the trolls came from! I didn’t get this old by being suicidal.”

The wagon rolled up to the barricade and an official stepped up to inform them of the current going fare. Both men paid, a one-piece for Angoril and a five-piece for Bannon and his wagon. The portly merchant steered the wagon through the sharp bend and into the open area beyond. Once through, Angoril decided it was time to leave.
“It was a fool’s advice I gave you then. Fare thee well, Bannon. Perhaps we shall see each other again.” He said and was about to leap from the wagon when a hand on his shoulder made him pause.

“Tell you what, Tennil. If it doesn’t work out for you here in Kvatch, you can come along with me. The building folk would pay quite generously for your feather spells.” Bannon whispered. Somewhat confused at the sudden conspirational tone their conversation had taken, the Altmer lowered his voice as well.
“I’ll think about it. I can’t make any promises though.” He muttered. Bannon cast a quick glance around, either looking for a place to park his wagon or checking for any eavesdroppers. Angoril suspected the latter. No one was near them but the wagon behind them, whose owner only gave enough attention to prevent ramming them. Soon he slipped off to the left to a space under the shade of a tree. Bannon nodded to himself and whispered one more thing before lightly shoving the Altmer off the wagon.
“And one more thing. Keep your talents on the low. This ain’t Summerset. The mages guild down here doesn’t like independents, especially skilled ones. And they’re very good at getting rid of thorns in their side, if you get my drift.”
Angoril nodded in silent acknowledgement. No independent mages, another aspect of the more ordened and safer Empire he had envisioned. Unfortunately, he qualified as one at the moment.

He watched Bannon park his wagon near the southern wall and walked towards the center of the village. The merchant had told him that Kvatchians often hawked their own wares at the market here instead of the one in upper Kvatch, which made this the place to start.


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Acadian
post Mar 21 2012, 01:06 AM
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Condolences on the loss of your father. sad.gif

I found this episode to be absorbing, entertaining and full of subtly presented plot thickening goodness.

“You would be cheapest if you went into Valenwood. They practically marry their bows there.”
I very much liked this!


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mALX
post Mar 21 2012, 01:59 AM
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Oh Jack, I am so very sorry for your loss. Even with his extreme illness toward the end, there is no way to prepare yourself for the loss of a parent. My very deepest condolences go out to you and your family.



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McBadgere
post Mar 23 2012, 05:29 AM
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So sorry about yer father... sad.gif ...

That you produced this excellence after that speaks much about you...

Nicely done...

Looking forward to more...
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Darkness Eternal
post Mar 23 2012, 05:36 AM
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Terribly sorry about your father, my condolensces. I hope you feel better. Chin up, alright? I know it can be tough at times.



--------------------
And yet I am, and live—like vapours tossed.
I long for scenes where man hath never trod
A place where woman never smiled or wept
There to abide with my Creator, God,
And sleep as I in childhood sweetly slept,
Untroubling and untroubled where I lie
The grass below—above the vaulted sky.”
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jack cloudy
post Mar 30 2012, 08:53 PM
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From: In a cold place.



Thanks, everyone. Thank you.


Chapter 7.2


The market consisted of three different types of stalls. There were the simple tents erected by passing merchants such as Bannon, or more often local farmers coming to sell their harvest. Second were the slightly more durable stalls with a wooden or straw awning. Last were the vendors operating out of an actual building. It were these that held his interest. Only a large clothier could have provided the robes. Not so much because of the number but because of the material. Silk was expensive and not something given to any random peasant trying to make extra coin during winter. The robe had also possessed a certain feature he had only discovered when it literally turned to sand in seconds. Or more accurately, the sand which had been turned into a robe returned to its proper state. It was a magecopy which gave further weight to Rosendorf’s implications. There had never been robes. There had only been one, devoid of frills to cheapen its cost, then multiplied by a mage.

The magic holding his copy together had grown so weak by the time he got his hands on the cloth he hadn’t noticed it was there till it was too late. The mage in him derided the spell-use and his own failure to detect it as sloppy while the politician realized that it was exactly what he would have given his assassins to wear. Though the magic matrix would have made them stand out like a lighthouse, their plan had not involved much stealth during its critical phase. It was likely that the assassins had timed their attack to take place when the robes were near their limit, using them as a way to hide their appearance rather than their presence. And what better disguise than one that would cease to exist after its purpose had been served?
“If I hadn’t been there to provide some free samples, they might never have been found at all.”

He went into the only clothier he could find and looked around. Boxes with folded pants, shirts, vests, dresses and skirts were placed throughout the sole room in an efficient manner while a rather more disordened pile lay atop the counter. No red robes however.
“Of course not. That would have been too easy.” Angoril thought.
“Just a moment!” A voice called out from the back of the store. A young Breton came and added a pair of shirts to the pile. Angoril appraised the man with a single glance and concluded that he would find no helpful information here. The storeclerk was more a boy than a man and too untidy to have inherited the store. More likely he was a hired help, here to run the place for a day. But it was too late to run out now and he wasn’t going to gamble on being right. So when the boy asked how he could help, the Altmer retrieved a small scrap of red silk and held it up.
“Would you happen to sell anything like this? I bought it not too long ago but I require a replacement now.” He said, remembering that the robe had looked brand-new when he got it.
“Ah, you mean in that material?” The wipnosed Breton asked after the scarcest of inspections. Angoril nodded and decided to keep things simple.
“For starters. It used to be a robe I’d bought for our wedding’s anniversary. But the dog got to it before I could give it to my wife. Stupid mutt.” He grumbled.
“This was all I could save.”

To the part-time clerk’s credit, he did help Angoril sift through the boxes but neither found another robe matching his recollections or even colour. Further inquiries in who owned the place didn’t help much either, as the store was apparently ran by half the clothiers in Kvatch as a communal place to offload surplus stock.
“You could try Bester and Bester. Go out the door and turn left. Their place is built into the left wing of the barracks. If anyone knows the shops out here, its them.” The Breton finally offered. Seeing no other solution other than heading for upper Kvatch, Angoril decided to follow the advice. Once there, he knocked on the door and entered. A luxuriously moustached Imperial greeted him at the door.
“Hello there, sir Altmer. Welcome to the Kvatch Hall of Mercantile Interests. I’m Ludius Bester and that young lad minding the books over there is my son Antonius.” The words came out with the ease of something he’d said daily for years, but they had not been dulled to mindnumbing routine. Ludius Bester led him into a smaller office while Antonius excused himself.
“Hopefully he’ll join in a year or two and then we can rename ourselves into Bester, Bester and Bester. Try not to repeat it, you might bite your tongue. But have a seat! Thea?”

Angoril repeated the story about the dog and his irate wife. Bester asked a few questions but became quiter and less excited with each answer. Though Angoril did wonder if he’d made an error in his story, he pressed on. Correcting earlier details was the quickest way to make a bluff fail. At the end Bester sighed and held up a hand to cut off the description of the robe’s weave. The other hand plucked at his moustache.
“I know the guy you want, but there is a problem.” He admitted and elaborated when Angoril frowned.
“There was an accident not too long ago. He’s dead.”

The Altmer let the news sink in. The man who possibly sold the robes, or at least the original, to the assassins was recently killed in an accident. He didn’t buy it. It would be too much of an coincidence. There was another option which he believed more likely, but he needed more information to make sure.
“My condolences. What happened?” He asked.
“He had a flying loom, know what that is?” Bester responded, now plucking the other end of his facial hair. He stopped only after a sudden wince and pang of pain told him he’d pulled too hard. Angoril shook his head. He'd never heard of such a thing.
“It’s a fancy contraption some guy in High Rock invented a decade or two ago, lets a single man weave more than five. Lovely thing, but gives an unfair advantage over the competition so we removed a few key components. Not to mention the accidents we had when untrained personell used it. Lost fingers mostly, but bad enough to outlaw it. Father has the parts in his vault at upper. Guess poor Belgoth forgot and took his chances. He was found, strangled.”
Bester couldn’t give anymore details and Angoril wasn’t going to ask. His interest would be too suspicious for simple Tennil. But it seemed likely that this Belgoth did not have an accident at all.
“If I had to get a costume made for my intrepid band of kingslayers, I would make sure to silence the source. And that loom would be an awfully convenient excuse. Legion investigators wouldn’t know how it worked and after Bester explained to them its purpose and the removal of vital items, they would rule it out as an accident. Though if I needed a costume, I would have gone for something that could implicate my enemies, not something that stands apart. Their choice of garb didn’t seem so much pragmatism but rather a religious statement of some sort.”

“I’m sorry I couldn’t help you.” Bester apologized after they left the office.
“That’s alright. Have a nice day.” Angoril muttered with a smile, his thoughts already elsewhere. He decided to head for upper Kvatch and see if he could break into Belgoth’s store for further clues.
“I’ll ask Bester about the other stores. Knowing their locations would allow me to indirectly narrow down the place of Belgoth’s.” He told himself and turned to ask but the Imperial had been thinking as well and come up with a plan of his own.
“Wait, I got an idea. We’re holding an open sale at Belgoth’s place to get rid of any leftover stock. If you return here tomorrow, I’ll take you to upper and show you in. Perhaps you’ll find something that suits your wife’s tastes. Junior can mind the office for a day. It would be good practice for him.” He suggested, brightening up again. To Angoril this seemed perfect. It would save him a lot of trouble and allow him legal entry instead of being forced to sneak in during the night.
“I’ll do that, thank you. Till tomorrow then.”



OOC: Added Bannon and Ludius Bester to the character list.

This post has been edited by jack cloudy: Feb 24 2013, 03:19 PM


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Zalphon
post Mar 31 2012, 03:14 AM
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I like how well you describe the market, Jack--I feel like I'm walking through it.


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"You have the same twenty-four hours as me; don't be mad just because you don't use yours like I do." -Tupac Shakur
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jack cloudy
post Apr 8 2012, 08:34 PM
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So some other scenes before I take Angoril to Kvatch. I don't think there are any useful pictures or descriptions of Kvatch from before the Daedra came calling. In-game it only serves as the place to show this crisis is serious. (at which it fails because it is the only one, but whatever.) The ruins don't tell me much really, apart from it having a church and a castle with a moat. I wonder how they get the water up there anyhow? Perhaps with an Archimedean screw?

So anyway, first you get a tiny bit of Sorian. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with it and how not to turn the drat thing into two thousand words of him talking about nothing. Also, Rosendorf and Umbacano added to the character-list.


Chapter 7.3


Bruma county, Sorian

It had been a week since we tried to hawk our Ayleid junk. One week since Maorlatta got kidnapped. I had to give it to her. The girl had a greater talent for finding trouble than Tiber Septim. That and some very stubborn enemies. I’d gone through a third confrontation with the vampire and this time it had gone badly. The damned thing just busted through the open window, scooped up the elf and ran off again before I could even blink.

Of course the first thing I’d done was to go to the nearest guard and demand help. They just laughed me away the moment I mentioned the Dark Brotherhood. I was better off finding her last will or writing my own. The fighter’s guild made the same lousy joke, even after I’d offered all the money we’d made. That had been the end of it. I had no one left to run to and wasn’t eager to go after the Dark Brotherhood on my own, even moreso since I had no idea on where to go. I knew the stories. No, it was best and safest to just forget about her.

It had been a week since then. And three days since Guard-Captain Lex hired me on as a Special Service Officer, his last act before his forced leave of duty. It had a nice ring to it and paid well. My first task was to escort Grey-Tongue as he followed two thieves. I hadn’t known the Argonian did those things but the thieves must have taken something important. Maybe even something that belonged to the Emperor. So naturally I accepted the responsibility of keeping his friend safe.

It had been three days since we left. First we used horses, but had to abandon them when the trail went off the road and onto an unmarked wildtrail. I had to admit the thieves were good. They kept splitting up, vanishing into thin air and then somehow reuniting. But my client persistently dogged their every step like a bloodhound with scales. We’d followed them along the Niben, up north through the Heartlands and now onto the bare slopes of the Jerall.

“It appears to be a cabin. I believe our trail leads right to them.” Grey-Tongue muttered. I clambered over a rock and stopped beside him. In the distance I did make out something that could be a cabin. If so, it could be the end of our chase. There was nowhere else to go beyond it but straight up. I gave the sword at my waist a little tug. The weight was reassuring. If those thieves weren’t going to come without a fight, I’d give them one they’d remember.
“What is that over there? A wall of ice?” I asked and pointed at the white mass that bridged the gap between two mountain-peaks. The cabin was built an arrowshot away from it.

The Argonian growled and nodded.
“It is more like a frozen river, called Ysmir’s tongue. It originates from Skyrim and runs up to here before melting. Supposedly there is a path leading through the ice to Skyrim.” He hissed, then growled once more. I could understand his frustration. If there was a path, then it meant we weren’t done running. But a path running through a frozen river was hard to imagine.
“So you think the thieves have gone through there? What did they steal anyway?” I asked him.
“Something very valuable, Sorian. Something very valuable. Pray they didn’t brave the gletsjer, for that would mean they’ve taken the guide living in that cabin. I would ill advice chasing them on foot by ourselves. The ice may look solid, but it is weak and treacherous.”

This post has been edited by jack cloudy: Feb 24 2013, 03:19 PM


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McBadgere
post Apr 9 2012, 06:26 AM
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Excellent stuff... biggrin.gif ...

I can picture it perfectly!...Covers much ground quickly and efficiently...

Brilliantly done...

Love it!...

Nice one!!...

*Applauds heartily*...
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mALX
post Apr 13 2012, 04:03 PM
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From: Cyrodiil, the Wastelands, and BFE TN




QUOTE

It had been a week since we tried to hawk our Ayleid junk. One week since Maorlatta got kidnapped. I had to give it to her. The girl had a greater talent for finding trouble than Tiber Septim.


LOVED this line!

As always, your writing/story are spectacular. I'm still not caught up with the back chapters - just haven't had enough free time to do a lot of reading. Excellent Write!


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jack cloudy
post Apr 19 2012, 10:49 PM
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From: In a cold place.



Chapter 7.4


Maorlatta

A wave of pure cold hit me at the same time as one of darkness. I wanted to hug myself and light a flare for light and warmth, but the damned chain stopped me from doing that. So I had to be satisfied with shivering uncontrollably and the muttering of a few words unbecoming a lady. This whole ‘forced recall’ thing was something I could do without. It was humiliating, uncomfortable and oppressing. The worst part? I was actually getting used to it.

Running away till I took one step too far and ended up right back where I started. I wasn’t even sure if I had to flee. So far I hadn’t been harmed in a physical way, just generally mistreated and dragged around like a pet. It was more a matter of principals and general uncertainty that made me oppose the nasty old man. Jauffre could claim he was Lord Emperor Uriel Septim’s best friend as much as he liked, he still hadn’t given me any proof. Perhaps most importantly was the fact he simply rubbed me the wrong way. I wasn’t going to deny that my behaviour was influenced by my personal feelings in the matter.

“How do you feel?” That man now asked from somewhere in the darkness. How did I feel? I’d tell him how I felt!
“A purple bunny is snorting granite and using my ribs as harpstrings. Thank you for asking. I'd feel a lot better if you removed that magical chain around my neck.” I grumbled back at him as I pulled myself up from the ground.
“Good enough. Kort, you can head back now.” The fake priest declared and behind me something harrumphed, then shuffled away. I turned to look but saw of course nothing.
“Who is Kort?” I wondered out loud. Jauffre ignored the question like he ignored all of them. I could hear him shuffling away as well, in the opposite direction. Turning around again, I tried to make a flare but the sound wouldn’t come and I developed a splitting headache instantly.
“Bogbreath.” I hissed at my invisible tormentor as I followed him with one hand on a numbingly cold wall and my feet sliding across the slippery ground.



Onwards we went, turning left and right, up and down, the only sounds the shuffling of our feet and the chattering of our teeth. How I wished for a fire to warm myself with, to light the way and reveal what kind of place we were in now. It was too cold in here. Not even winternights were this cold. And then there was the smell. I could smell nothing at all. Just water. Very clean water.

“I know it’s cold, but we’re almost there. Stop complaining.” Jauffre said when I asked him, for the twentieth time, to remove my leash and let me make a flare. It was the last drop. I refused to take another step.
“And do you care to tell me where ‘there’ is? Of course you don’t. Just like you haven’t told me why we’re going and why I have to wear this thing around my neck. No, I think I’d rather stay here. Or better yet, I’ll turn around and go back the other way. It couldn't be any worse than sticking to your heels!” I snapped at him and turned to do just that.
“Follow me.” Without asking, my feet turned back 180 degrees and went after the old man. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t budge from the course he’d set me. At first I didn’t know what was going on, then I screamed in helpless rage.
“Falseblooded son of a falseblooded son! Get Bonewither, you dungshoveler! I’m not your dog!”

Jauffre shook his head, not even looking at me.
“By Talos, I am so fortunate that your elvish split off from Aldmeris millenniae ago. I don’t even want to know what you said this time.”



It became brighter, though the new light revealed nothing but dark rock, slick as if worn down by an ancient river. Finally we turned one last corner and found ourselves at a door flanked by two tiny lanterns. The door was featureless, except for a thin slit from behind which more light gleamed. The light was obscured for a second, then the door was thrown open and a man stepped through, weapon in hand. Naturally I stopped instead of getting closer but Jauffre kept moving. I noticed that he held his hands out, showing the man his empty palms. Then I felt the queasiness of a purple bunny emerging and I scrambled after him.

“Master Jauffre! We expected you days ago!” The doorkeeper exclaimed once we were within arm’s reach of him. I noticed that despite the warmth of his greeting, he still had a hand firmly on the hilt of the now sheathed sword and for a moment, a very big finger twitched. It was all I could see. Jauffre however didn’t notice, or didn’t mind. He stepped into the door and grabbed the stranger’s shoulder.
“I suffered a few delays, Captain Steffan. But I am here now.” He said and then pulled me in as well.
“And this is?” Steffan asked. I could feel his eyes on me, but mine were still on his sword. It was such a frail looking thing, thin like a blade of grass. But a sword was a sword. It was still designed with murder in mind. I took a deep breath, trying to find the right words to say. Before I could answer, Jauffre’s hand went from the man’s shoulder to my mouth.
“A pain in the back end. I assume that he is here? I wish to see him at once.” He muttered dryly. The urge to bite those stinking fingers of his was overwhelming but I exercised restraint. I’d better wait till there weren’t any sharp murder instruments in the vicinity. Then I'd give him a pain in the back end to complain about.

Steffan closed the door and gave us one last discomforting warning before returning to his post.
“Of course, master. You know where to look. There is however one thing you should know. At the moment, we trust no one. Not even you. But Renault and her team can explain things better than I can.”



Jauffre took off down an empty corridor till he stopped before one particular door. It was as featureless than the others, but I knew it was different. It was the smell, like an alchemy-lab. No, not that. Like a pharmacy, selling only the refined products and none of the ingredients. Also perfumes, of the kind spread by scented candles.
“You stay in the corner and keep your mouth shut.” The bald tyrant told me.
I mimicked his words silently, then added: “The magic word is please, oh great exalted master of refined wordchoice.”
Jauffre opened the door, letting out a welcome wave of heat, and stepped through. I followed and did as he asked, find the nearest corner from where I could see everything and everyone, then sulk there. The fact that it was near the burning fireplace was a complete coincidence.

There were four others in the room. Three men or women in the same steel shell as the doorkeeper’s, sitting by the bed of the most ancient elder I’d ever met. All the armoured ones began talking at once.
“Master Jauffre! You made it!”
“Sir, good to see you.”
“You’re looking healthy, master.”
“You’ve come.”

I got a good look at their armour as they swarmed around Jauffre like kids around the candywoman. The armour was…strange. Not the simple singlepiece of the cityguard, but a series of overlapping belts. It looked more sophisticated and oddly familiar.
“Yes, it is truly a blessing to see you all in fine health. But are you…everyone? I learned much at the palace I didn’t ask for and little I did. No one had actually seen what happened.”
They kept rattling on, Jauffre now as well though I didn’t pay any real attention to who was speaking or what they were saying.
“There is Fenasim down in the training hall. But yes, master. We are the only ones left.”



No, my eyes had drifted back to the elder in his bed who stared back at me. He was so frail it made my heart hurt. There was no flesh on his bones, just pale skin and two deep-sunken eyes. With each breath I could hear his lungs struggle and smell the sickly scent of someone whose insides are liquifing. His mouth opened and closed, but I could actually hear him talk. He closed his eyes, licked his lips and tried again. This time I heard him, barely.
“Come closer. Let me see your face.”

I stepped closer, close enough to count every single vein standing out against the skin.
“Yes, I’ve seen you before. You were at the prison, weren’t you?” The dying man whispered. I froze, shocked. The prison? Then this man was Uriel Septim! The man I’d been looking for! He looked even weaker and frailer than back then but yes, I now recognized that nose. The slope of his brow, the heavy jewel resting on his heart. The same jewel his statue in the palace had borne. If this was the Emperor, then those three were the same guards from that night.

I bowed as deep as I could, my nose almost brushing my knee. I stammered incoherently before I refound my voice.
“I was, Lord-Emperor Uriel Septim the Seventh, ruler of Tamriel. It is with great regret that I failed to follow formal etiquette that time. Please forgive my failings.” I said slowly and with the most dignity I could muster, hoping I didn’t mutilate the words somehow. The Emperor grimaced. Had I said something wrong? Then he spasmed as he coughed madly with all the force his flesh could muster.

I leapt to his side, forgetting all I’d learned about court protocol in that moment. My hand already moved in to remove that heavy stone that had to be torturing him. I stopped when I realized the epic blunder I’d made. Not only had I thrown aside diplomatic respect in favour of care for his health and comfort, I’d also earned the tips of three terrifyingly sharp things prodding my throat.
“Are you alright…Lord-Emperor Uriel Septim the Seventh, ruler of Tamriel?” I giggled nervously, though I wanted to scream. That I was just trying to help, that I didn’t want to get killed over something as stupid as this. What was a sick man doing in a cold place like this in the first place?! What kind of idiots where they to take him here?! And why wasn’t there a shorter form of address I was permitted to use?!

A silent gesture from the ancient ruler made the killers withdraw their arms and step back. Again he tried to talk, so soft it was more lipreading than listening that I did.
“It matters not. No, more important is you. The gloom did you no justice. Now that I see you clearly, I know why you’re here. Orgnum Maorlatta, I should have known you would come.”

If the sudden deathtreaths hadn’t knocked away what remained of my composure, then this did. How did the Emperor know my name? Jauffre hadn’t told him and there was no other way he could have found out. More than that! He didn’t just know my name, he even used it in the proper context! Familial bond first, then my personal name. What sorcery had he used to learn this much?
“That’s…quite…” I stammered but the Lord Emperor was plagued by more coughing. I waited till the attack ceased, terrified for his health and terrified for my own if I tried to help.

One of the guards cleared her throat when the last attack ceased. It was a woman, the only one other than me in the room.
“Master Jauffre, I think I should explain to you what transpired that night. The part before we entered the Imperial prison. The important part.”


OOC: The next update will be all flashback I believe. Because I don't think it is ever explained quite why or how the Emperor get's to the player's prison cell.

This post has been edited by jack cloudy: Feb 24 2013, 03:20 PM


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McBadgere
post Apr 20 2012, 06:10 AM
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Excellent stuff!!!...

Loving the whole attitude thing whilst following Jauffre... biggrin.gif ...Made I laugh that did... biggrin.gif ...

Definately a cool chapter, and then the rest of the Blades turned up...And...Right...And Uriel Septim!!...EXCELLENT!!... laugh.gif ...

Most brilliant chapter...

Nice one!!...

*Applauds heartily*...
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jack cloudy
post Apr 27 2012, 08:45 PM
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From: In a cold place.



I just couldn't decide how I wanted to write the next chapter. Should I do a quick summary, have captain Renault tell it in first person or third person. Or should I use the omnipresent narrator I use for the Angoril portions? I decided on the latter.

After that, the big question was basically how I could get the Emperor out of his home without making everybody involved look like incompetent idiots. And how could I make Ocato brush the whole thing off as 'doesn't need my help'? Heck, I'd never really thought about it much myself and I've got the feeling that the writers didn't at all. The Oblivion script probably started with "Emperor get's murdered, player is a prisoner, find a way to put those two together."

It would have made more sense I think if the game had started with the player in court, right when Uriel is about to give his verdict (no need to explain the crime that way.) Then BOOM! In come the Mythic Dawn! That way there is no need for an old man to run through half the city, across a bridge, into a prison and down a supposedly secret passage...while leaving the door open for pursuers.

But we didn't get that and I started my story in the stock prison, passage and everything. I think I have it now though.

So anyway, here's the start I'm going with. Next up will be a fight-scene, something I haven't done properly in ages.



Chapter 8: Night of disaster

Berius was a tall man and built like an ogre, though he only counted Imperials among his ancestors. Medals covered his broad chest like the glittering scales of a dragon. There was the crowned dragonhead that marked him as a member of the Emperor’s elite bodyguards. Other marks linked him to the Blades, the first Legion and the mage’s guild. There were medals of valor from campaigns in Skyrim and High Rock. There was the crossed sword and sceptre of the battlemage. One emblem he gave more care than all the others, always wearing it prominently at the center.
It was a small and shattered mask, a reward that had been given to less than a dozen men and women in all Tamriel and only issued once. Though Uriel Septim himself had given each of the masks, there had been no grand ceremony. Instead it had been conducted in a small room away from the public eye. If asked, he would not be able to reveal who else had received that same reward. But he could speak of why he had received it and so he often did with pride.

He had been there, wielding the sword, that day when the traitor Tharn and his demonic horde was defeated by the Eternal Champion.



Now older, balding and head of the palace-guard, he had lain aside his armour and sword. The fighting was something he left to his younger subordinates, such as the two that flanked the door leading to the Emperor’s suite. Berius stopped before them and silently appraised the two silverclad guardsmen. Being equals in length and weight, the two could have passed for identical twins or statues. Only the slow synchronized rising and falling of their chest revealed the life within the armour. Berius judged their stance, the condition of the ceremonial halberd in their hands and the more functional katana at their waists. He paid exceptional attention to the condition of their armour, noticing that no errant scratch, dent or speck of dust marred the polished facets. Finally when he was satisfied, he spoke.

“Wulfharth, you’re a bit jittery tonight. Nervous you’re going to emberass yourself in front of your new colleagues?” He laughed. One guard tipped his head and shrugged.
“No sir. I’m nervous that they will emberass us. Have you seen how young they are? That Redguard isn’t even close to hitting thirty!”
Berius shook his head. He understood the Nord’s problem. The palace guard were the elite of the elite, handpicked from the Blades like the Blades recruited among those with years of proven ability in war. Yet the only grand conflict in the last two decades had been a single battle in Morrowind.
“We recruit for skill, not age. Reserve your opinions till after observing their response to the mock intrusion I have planned. We’ll start shortly after they’ve arrived. For now I shall go in and prepare our lord.” He said.


He pressed his fingers against the bronze door and chanted the spell of release. With a soft click, the internal mechanism unlocked and the door sank downwards. He passed through the opening into a short corridor that hummed and warped under the influence of countless wards placed upon it. Wards that sapped his magicka, wards that held off the undead, that revealed the invisible, prevented conjurations and spells of destruction. A second door lay at the other side, sealed with the same mechanism as before though requiring a different chant to unlock. Berius opened it and entered the first room of the Imperial residence. There, seated amongst the furs of mammoths and the fragrance of Argonian incense, was Uriel Septim.

The man was asleep as he often was these days. Tired from the day’s politics and hard to wake. Berius shook the emperor gently till he stirred and began to rouse from his slumber. He knew from experience that it would take time for Uriel to fully awaken and that he was swift to drift away again. To help the former and counteract the latter, he moved to the bar that was nestled in one corner of the room.
“I shall pour you something hot, lord.” He muttered and reached out for a bottle of mead. His hand stopped in midair as he stared intently at the glass. The liquid inside sloshed around gently and he became aware of a vibration in the air, just beyond the edge of his hearing.
“What is going on?” Berius asked himself and turned towards the door he’d entered from.

The door clicked and sank beneath the carpet.


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McBadgere
post Apr 28 2012, 04:28 AM
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I'm going with the tunnel running straight from the palace to the prison, under the city... biggrin.gif ...

Love the chapter...Always like a good Blade section...And this was one!...

The magic door was excellently done...With all the magic wards...Brilliant!...

Loved the sound of Berius...Very cool character...

An excellent chapter indeed...

Nice one!!...

*Applauds heartily*...




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jack cloudy
post May 20 2012, 10:23 PM
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I'm not using a direct passage, but there will be a reason for why he goes to the prison instead of any of the two dozen safehouses the Blades keep in the IC. Or ya know, the Legion barracks.




Chapter 8.2


Through came one of the guards, all the wards rolling off his armour like water. He didn’t stop at the door or utter a single word regarding his reason for entry. He kept moving on a straight line for Uriel, red-tainted sword drawn and raised. Berius noted for himself that this was not the script he had prepared for the exercise, nor were the young Blades here to see it. Then all thought ceased and instinct took control. Honed by many years of service and more than one confrontation with a would-be assassin, it made him throw the glass in his hand at the running man. He did not expect an empty snifter to injure the intruder, even when aimed straight at the eyeslits of his helmet. But it made the palaceguard duck and slow for just half a step. In that half a step Berius began his own sprint to intercept the man before he could reach the Emperor.
Berius’ instinct held no illusions regarding his odds against a member of the palace-guard in full armour. The other man was younger, stronger, far better equipped and just as skilled. Berius had no sword, no armour, only the slimmest sliver of magicka in his veins and most importantly, a person to protect. No, a protracted engagement would only end badly for him and his charge. He knew he had to strike fast and decisively.

There was but one advantage he possessed. If the other was a traitor, then he was as aware of the situation as Berius himself was. Though constantly drilled not to, overconfidence would cloud his judgement. If the man was merely disguised as a palace-guard, then he would be even more ready to underestimate an older man whose muscles were making way for fat.
The two men crashed together at the center of the room like mountains. Ducking inside, Berius managed to avoid injury from the first swordswing by making the assassin’s arm hit him, rather than the weapon it wielded. He hooked a foot around an ankle where the other couldn’t see and used the residual momentum to throw the man to the ground.

On the floor they fought, both trying to gain even the slightest advantage. Berius worked his fists across the sides and joints, seeking nonexistent openings in the armour. If he’d had the stamina for it, he would have cursed how even the chain underlayer was guarded with a shielding spell. The blade’s blunt edge struck him across the back repeatedly, Failing to cut the vest but sending a lance of pain up his spine with each blow. Berius changed tactics and pinned the swordarm with a knee. Now the two men were at a temporary impasse and stared each other in the eyes. Suddenly the guard threw out his free hand which burned with a hungry flame and Berius reared back. Too late.



Berius threw himself forward, smashing his head against the helmet and then, with his foe momentarily disorientated, he struck the fatal blow. His hand thrust through the narrow gap exposing the traitor’s eyes. Then he called upon all the magicka he could muster, manifesting it as a torrent of lightning. It wouldn’t draw the envy of even the least proficient apprentice but it was enough. Passed the protective wards permeating the helmet and sunken into vulnerable tissue, the electricity pouring from his fingers burned out the man’s brain almost instantly.
Too tired to speak, Berius crawled off the corpse. The armour began to shudder and the old man forced himself back into a combative stance. Surely the other could not have survived his spell? Steel shrieked, bolts flung themselves across the room, richochetting off the walls and shattering an expensive vase. The chestpiece split in two as the body occupying it began to change. Muscles coiled like living snakes, bones creaked and twisted. A fur, not of hair but of bronzed barbs, burst from the skin. The face, recognizable for a single second as it burst through the helmet, distorted. Distorted into a terrifying maw filled with fleshtearing teeth. It began to sizzle and smoke, then burst into flames.

Berius shook his head, stunned by the sight. He knew that face, both of them.
“Wulfharth, you….By Talos I thought we got all of you bastards. What’s next, Tharn walks in and apologizes for not going to our meetings in the last thirty years?” He growled to himself and a chilling realization came upon him. If one guard had been a monster in disguise, then how many others were there? Did he even have a palaceguard, or were they all inhuman beasts? The thought drove the rising fear back beneath the surface.
“No time to complain about fate. I’ve got to get ready for the next one. No goblin raids alone.” He told himself and carefully edged towards the burning corpse to pick up the katana with his right hand. Exposed bone glistened where the flesh had been stripped away from his fingers. With a mental shrug, he picked up the glass sword with his left hand.



“What was it?” The elderly man behind him asked. Adrenaline at the sudden threat had expediated his awakening. He now stood before his chair leaning heavily on his walking stick. Uriel’s favourite carpet burned away before his feet and a vile smog destroyed the painting on the ceiling but he paid it no heed. His eyes, untouched by fear, were fixated solely on the door as he repeated his question.
“That was a simulacrum. We’d better get out of sight of the door.” Berius sighed, his own eyes also watching the door. It had not rose back up on its own as it should.
The attack had not unnerved Uriel Septim, not even when the assassin burst out of the armour and burned away. But the mention of a single word was enough to make him tremble and speak a prayer.
“Simulacrum? As in the Imperial Simulacrum?” He whispered, referring to that infamous period when, betrayed by his most trusted advisor, he had been imprisoned in another realm and the throne taken by a copy. He held no memories of the event, as he had more then once sworn. But there were the dreams, always haunting him in the night since that day.

Berius gently led him to the cover of a few potted trees before he answered.
“Yes, and no. If that had been Tharn, we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. But that thing was one of his tools. Replaced most of the palaceguard with its ilk during the nineties when you were…you know. Course, there wasn’t a palaceguard left by the time we rescued you.” He shook his head at the end. To this day he still wondered if some of the men he killed that day had simply been unaware of the truth and tried to protect the palace from what they believed to be an out of control riot. But it had been necessary.
“It seems to me that you missed some.” Uriel pointed out. He kept his voice low as not to draw attention from anyone who might come investigate the opened door, or the dead man he suspected to lie just outside. Again Berius shook his head.

“Could be, but I doubt it. I remember asking the wood elf and she said we got them all. I’m inclined to believe her on that one. Only some general staff were spared and they were reassigned to less essential positions as a precaution. No, this wasn’t a survivor of that day. But Tharn could have deployed simulacra all across Tamriel without us knowing. Wulfharth, or the monster that took his form, must have been one of them.” He said. With the adrenaline of the fight fading, he became aware of his injuries. The harsh burning of his hand, the stiff ache of his bruised back. It wasn’t anything fatal or debilitating, but he definitely would need medical attention if he survived the night. For now, a simple spell to stop the bleeding would have to suffice.


“Didn’t Jauffre install a system to ferret out any infiltrants?” The emperor asked him after a short period of silence. From time to time the tower still trembled, but the cause of those vibrations seemed to go further and further away. Neither man knew what was going on, but both were convinced it could be nothing good.
“If Wulfharth had been replaced recently, we would know. You can claim the flesh, but you can’t just walk the walk and talk the talk. No, I think Wulfharth was already a simulacrum by the time he first entered our sights.” Berius replied and Uriel finished the thought.
“In other words, the simulacrum played the long game. Join the legion, show valor and prowess in battle. Become a Blade, show some more, be appointed here. It would take patience, skill and display of all the desired morals and values both in public and private.”

Uriel sighed. It was regrettable, but he had to admit that Wulfharth had been very thorough in eluding all the loyalty investigations that one received in a Legion and Blade career. It was even more regrettable that the tremors suggested he was not working alone.
“To the matter at hand, Berius. What do we do now?” He asked then and received a grim answer of his bodyguard.
“Now? Now we wait for the only ones we can still trust. The recruits. Pray they’re good, because if simulacra are involved, this will be far more dangerous than any test I could have come up with.”





OOC: Ok, maybe he switched a bit too fast from 'Hey dude, what's up?' to 'Kill Rage Murder". Meh, instinctive handwaves. Also, how come it's always two and a half pages in word but such a short piece of text on the forum? huh.gif

This post has been edited by jack cloudy: Feb 24 2013, 03:20 PM


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McBadgere
post May 22 2012, 03:23 AM
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That was just brilliant... biggrin.gif ...

Fair dues...

From this...

QUOTE
Berius’ instinct held no illusions regarding his odds against a member of the palace-guard in full armour. The other man was younger, stronger, far better equipped and just as skilled. Berius had no sword, no armour, only the slimmest sliver of magicka in his veins and most importantly, a person to protect. No, a protracted engagement would only end badly for him and his charge. He knew he had to strike fast and decisively.


To the lightning to the eyeballs end was brilliantly done...

Not familiar with the ealrier story as in the Jargar Tharn thing, but nicely done bringing the earler story into Oblivion...*Applauds*...Loved the way the armour shot the rivets out as the body changed back to its original form... biggrin.gif ...

Fantastic stuff Jack...

More!!...

Nice one!!...

*Applauds heartily*...
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