24th of Frost Fall, 3E 432
I awoke to the echoing boom of a thunderclap. My body jerked in response to the loud noise, but that wasn’t the worst of it. Heavy droplets of rain were beating against my scales. What bothered me most wasn’t their temperature, but rather the force they hit with. They were drops of water, but they felt like shards of hail.
I pulled my hood up over the ebon spines protruding from my skull. I covered my face for the most part and looked up. The dark grasp of night still held the sky. The one joy was that there were thousands of tiny, silver lights to compliment the beauty of Masser and Secunda.
I never understood why I found such beauty in looking up at the sky—it was just relaxing. One step at a time, I found myself walking forward. I really had no direction, but I enjoyed walking the streets. My barefoot feet sunk into puddles, but came out all the same. My eyes scanned the sea of rickety shacks and poorly built apartment complexes; this was Bravil—home.
The sun began to rise as the moons faded from view. When the moons set, the rain slowly turned to a light sprinkle and finally to nothingness. As I walked through the streets, a familiar voice stopped me in my tracks. “Meekus,” it shouted. “Come ‘ere, I got you breakfast.” I turned around to see the speaker. It was Hrisskar Bearheart. His blonde hair was graying with age, as was his well-groomed beard.
“Hrisskar,” I stated as I pushed myself towards him. “How are you, Old Friend?” He was sitting outside his shack, casually smiling at me. Bearheart had always looked out for me. I never really understood why he treated me well, but he did.
“Haven’t had to use this lately,” Hrisskar smiled as he shook the sheathed sword at his belt. “But on a more important note, I’ve got something nice for you.” He reached into a bag tied around his belt and pulled out a skinned slaughterfish. The skinned beast had char marks on it from the fire. The dead fish was at least six pounds, maybe seven.
I looked at the meal. “You bought me a slaughterfish?” I asked. “That had to cost at least ten septims, Hrisskar.” He tossed the beast at me and I sunk my teeth into it, tearing a rather large chunk out of the center. It was bland and dry, but it was filling. With that bite, I shoved it into my knapsack.
“You like it, Meekus?” the Nord let out a weak laugh. “Listen, the Canal’s a good place to fish. Get yourself a net and pull them beasties up. Anyways, I’ve got to handle some business—I’ll talk to you on the morrow.”
I scurried away, but a particular fellow drew my attention. A man dressed head-to-toe in black with a matching cloak was walking through town. He held a crossbow in his hand, but I also noticed he had a short sword at his belt. Who was this stranger? Rarely did people come to this void—especially not adventurers. Who was he?
This man had an aura of fear. I carefully watched him, but when he turned around a corner—I lost him. How did a stranger escape me in my own territory? The streets of Bravil were my home. How would an outsider evade me?
I turned around to see the tip of the crossbow bolt less than a foot away from my face. “It’s not healthy to follow strangers, Argonian,” his raspy voice hissed under his ebon balaclava. “Why are you following me?” His scarlet eyes inspired fear in me—the icy grip of dread took hold of me. I did my best to mask this feeling, but I wasn’t entirely sure if it worked.
“It’s rare to find outsiders in Bravil,” I responded. “Care to elaborate as to why you’re here, Outsider?” His eyes looked directly at me. He seemed annoyed at my response. Although he didn’t seem pleased, he did lower his crossbow.
“You’re a good stalker, Argonian, but I’m better. Why are you here? This place is a collective of people who can’t go on with their lives—why stay?”
Honestly, I didn’t know how to respond to that. I could say Hrisskar, but he wasn’t the reason I stayed. I stayed, because I didn’t know any other way of life. My earliest memories since I hatched were of the streets of Bravil.
“I stay because it is all I’ve ever known, Outsider.”
“Do you not ever seek something more? Something beyond going through the motions of life to live and eventually die in an alleyway?”
“If I sought more, then I’d only end up disappointed—these streets are the only thing I’ve ever known.”
The dark-clad individual sat down with his back against one of the apartment complexes in the alley. “Sit,” he ordered. “I am offering you a chance to leave behind the life of a pauper. I am seeking an apprentice and you’re a blank slate with a talent in stalking.”
“What do you mean?” I looked up at him as I pulled out my slaughterfish. “Why would an adventurer seek me as a pupil?”
“I’m a Witch-Hunter, Argonian,” he elaborated. “Rarely do people investigate strange happenings as you did with me. This is why I think you’d make a fine apprentice.”
“What’s your name, Witch-Hunter?”
“You may call me: Kelas. What’s your name, Argonian?”
“Meekus, your life as a Witch-Hunter’s apprentice begins today.” He reached into a knapsack of his own and pulled out a black-velvet bag at that literally bulged with septims. Kelas set the smaller bag in my hand.
“A suit of armor, a weapon for close-combat and a weapon for ranged combat,” he laconically voiced. “The change is yours to do with as you please. Remember, the items you purchase will keep you alive; choose wisely.”
This post has been edited by Zalphon: Mar 31 2012, 10:35 AM
In this cesspool of lies, distrust, and hatred there are champions. Those who live and breathe honor, integrity and morals. Which one are you? One of those who make up the cesspool? Or one of those who bring light to the darkness?