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Acadian
Between Bjorn the Bully and The Ratman, it is looking like an invasion of the Bad Boyz in Skyrim. tongue.gif

Oooh, impersonating a Solutude guard. That'll jack up his bounty some more I bet.
Lopov
@Acadian - the Rat got rid of the uniform quite quickly, he figured it's better to walk around in something less obvious.

__

One of the Dawnstar guards heard a piercing shriek as he was passing Irgnir's house. He rushed inside and witnessed a gruesome scene, one that he couldn't forget until his peaceful death many years later. But the hooded man responsible for butchering poor Irgnir was still there, and the bloodied scimitar in his hands was a good enough proof for the guard to attempt to arrest the murderer.

But the Rat was too fast for justice and before the guard could alert his friends, he was already running out of Dawnstar. However, two men spotted the Rat- the first one was the famous bounty collector who's been searching for him ever since he killed two guards in Solitude. He's been trying to catch him for a while but the trail's gone cold close to the burned down shack about halfway between Solitude and Dawnstar. But the bounty collector was convinced that this was the man he's been looking for - his outfit gave him away. Because the Rat was wearing robes of restoration along with a knapsack and two days ago the bounty collector found a dead Vigilant of Stendarr - whoever killed him, took everything from him except for one thing...his amulet of Stendarr. Since Vigilantes have been wearing the same outfits, it wasn't hard for the collector to recognize the 'fake' vigilant.

The second man who joined the hunt on the Rat was a shady merchant called Sam who always enjoyed a good fight. He unsheathed his pair of silver swords and went chasing the Rat. Dawnstar guards saw the trio disappear in the snowstorm and figured that the murderer would be punished soon enough.

But when night fell and the snowstorm calmed down, guards went searching for the hunters because neither of them have returned. A distance west of Solitude they found their corpses, both of them stabbed through chest. The murderer has escaped and because of the snowstorm the trail after him has gone cold yet again.

Farther to the west, in the deck of the wreck of the Brinehammer, the Rat was lying in a dirty bed. His breathing was shallow because each breath caused him immense pain. He barely survived the fight with his hunters, and heavily wounded made his way back to his hideout - the Brinehammer. He will get better but it'll take some time. Such a shame that the Dawnstar guard interrupted him when he was about to have some fun with dead Irgnir.

ghastley
"When you accept the new level—which updates to the highest level you have currently earned—your character is fully healed, regaining any Health, Magicka, and Stamina that was depleted." UESP wiki.

You don't have to pick Health to get restored in health, but of course choosing that when it's low gets you most benefit as you restore to the new higher level.
Acadian
Yikes! Ratty really is a bad boy as he cuts a bloody swath westward from Solitude across the frozen north.

I do agree that the Vigilant outfit should serve him much better than a guard uniform.
Lopov
@ghastley - thanks, I didn't know that.

@Acadian - not to mention that Vigilant's outfit with a mod-added bear cloak is much more warm than the guard's uniform. santa.gif

__

About halfway through High Gate ruins Anska began doubting that the man for whom she supposed to be a mage from the College because of his robes, was in fact of any use to her. Not once, and she really meant it, not even once, did he help her fighting off Draugr, as soon as a fight started, he hid behind a nearest pillar and waited for her to deal with undead. Even when they meet Vokun, the guardian of the ruins, the "mage" left her all alone and hid somewhere in the main hall until the dragon priest was turned to ashes. But Anska didn't care too much because she trusted in her own skills and hopefully she taught the "mage" a thing or two about combat.

However, once they returned to the main hall, the "mage" showed his true face and while Anska may have defeated Vokun, she wasn't a match for the Rat. There were a lot of useful healing and magical potions in High Gate, a lot of them the Rat placed in his knapsack, careful not to break any bottles. But the biggest treasure was the staff of fireballs that belonged to the dragon priest and of course his mask which now found a new owner.

Well-equipped, the evildoer from High Rock wandered in the direction of the swamps.

Acadian
Aww, poor Anska fell victim to the Dirty Rat. biggrin.gif
Renee
Goodness. What happened to your "test" character? laugh.gif

9:39 AM, Middas, Last Seed 27, 4E 201: Bjorn Tubewyyld is in Fort Greenwall, doing some smithing. He's not very good at it yet, he's not a "Haaf-Mersey" yet, but he'll eventually get there. On his agenda today WHOA....

Ha that was cool! Just after getting done smithing one of the bandits says "I'll skin you alive!" and another one said some other typical one-liner. Fort Greenwall was under attack! viking.gif Bjorn grabbed his trusty battleaxe, expecting some group of adventurers or something, but it was merely a couple of giant spiders!

.. phew. On his agenda today, he's going to Riften to try to figure out who Maven Black-Briar is, because she has something she wants the Thieves Guild to do, I assume. After that, it's off to Whiterun, where Vex wants him to do something as well. There are two types of jobs in the TG, each handled by an different NPC. One type of job seems more "white collar", equivalent to deception and fraud here on Earth, while the other is good, old-fashioned break-ins and rough stuff. Bjorn is more of a rough stuff type of guy.

Renee
7:41 PM, Fredas Last Seed 29: Bjorn is in Whiterun, doing a couple TG quests. I must say, although I don't like a lot of the things Bjorn is doing in this quest, they're not as "innocently fun" as TG was in TES4, I am impressed with the writing in this questline. It does make me think a lot.

But that's not the reason I'm posting really. Right now Bjorn Tubewyyld is in Bannered Mare, having dinner and a chat with Mila, the little girl who helps her mother sell fruits and vegetables, it's fun most days, but hard work, whatever she says.

... you have to understand. Mila is standing there staring at Bjorn. She walked right up to him as he's sitting drinking his mead, and is literally staring at him. I took a couple pics of this, it's bizarre behavior.
Lopov
Looks like Bjorn is making quite a career in the guild of thieves.

Children often stare at unusual people, that's why Mila is staring at him, I guess. In other words, this is the game's way of complimenting Bjorn's looks. wink.gif

__

Hadring, the proprietor of the Nightgate Inn, wondered where had the rich Orc disappeared. He's been staying with him for weeks and had paid a lot of gold in advance so it wouldn't make sense for him to leave just like that. He wondered whether he made a mistake by telling some passing traveler about how rich that Orc was - because the very next day both the Orc and the traveler left the inn yet neither of them returned.

...

"...fifty bloody septims...that's how rich that bastard was!..." the Rat cursed in the Nightgate Inn cellar after counting gold from the Orc's wardrobe. "Blasted Orc! Hope he rots with fishes." The Rat grabbed another bottle of wine from the Orc's room and put it in his backpack before leaving the cellar by the ladder, thus avoiding the main room where Hadring was cleaning mugs.

Once outside, he made his way a distance north where he met two adventurers earlier this day and they agreed to explore some Draugr ruin together. There were two of them - a lizard and a Redguard - the Rat intended to repeat the same game with them as he did with Anska but he'll keep the Redguard for the last. She was quite pretty.
Acadian
Renee – Sounds like Bjorn is enjoying his travels and doing thiefy stuffs. And it looks like little Mila has a crush on him. tongue.gif

Lopov – How dare that orc not have more gold than that after Ratty went to all the trouble of dumping him in the pond! Uh oh, going to try the Anska maneuver on another pair of dungeon divers. . . . ohmy.gif
Grits
Renee, Become a Bandit sounds like it will be a lot of fun with Bjorn. A daredevil Nord is never boring. laugh.gif Congrats on your intro mod! I liked the TG questline the best when I played a thug type of character. Bjorn sounds like a natural.

Lopov, it was fun to catch up on the Rat’s origins after seeing screenshots of him. Yikes, he really is a bad guy! Poor Salma. ohmy.gif

Lopov
@Acadian - chances are the Rat would leave the Orc alone if Hadring wouldn't mention that he must be rich. He mostly preys on women.

@Grits - yup, he's a bad guy indeed. indifferent.gif I wonder how long will he least.

__

Aeri, the owner of Anga's mill, could swear that she locked the door of her house when she left for work in the morning. But now they were unlocked. She carefully stepped inside but at a first glance everything seemed to be in order. As she tried to close the door behind her, someone quickly stepped inside.

"Ah, it's you."

She recognized the stranger which came to the mill earlier this day - judging by his robes he was probably a wizard but Aeri nonetheless offered him a job at the mill as long as he had an axe. Not the Falmeri one at his belt but a true wood-chopping axe. He wasn't interested then but perhaps now he changed his mind and came to tell her that.

"Can I help you?" she asked.

She never asked another question.
Acadian
Urg. Something tells me Ratty is not going into the lumber business. . . . wink.gif
Renee
Holy [censored] Lopov! That was quick! emot-ninja1.gif



Sundas, Frostfall 26, 4th Era 201
: Today in Skyrim Isaac the White emerges from the Arch Mage's towers, greets the people who dwell within his new home, and then realizes he actually has a new home. And what a splendid new home it is. He certainly could never have imagined.

He teleports himself into town*, into the Frozen Hearth, for some bread and chicken soup. Then he walks to Birna's Oddments to do some buying and selling, and then heads back to Sarthaal, to finish up some business he never got around to finishing: what is Gauldur's Amulet? Why is it on his person? He cannot remember, but is sure to find out.



* because of a glitch with the end of Mage's Guild main quest, Isaac can't just leave the college. It's surrounded by a huge, magical barrier still. XD I have to moveto him into town.
Tellie
Morndas, 6th of Second Seed, 4th Era 201

Call me cruel, many have done so after all. Once I may have cared, but no more. Now I'm just tired, for an hour I fought that blasted dragon that had been burning merrily away at the plains near Whiterun, so ancient Nord Hero of Legend that I am (and yes, it does have it's...perks) I naturally went after the blasted beast with Lydia at my side.

Lydia...beautiful woman, strong, feisty...and sadly more dim than the depths of Blackreach if all of the glowy...thingy's were to vanish. Truthfully, the College of Winterhold should have proclaimed me the greatest Master of Restoration by now, as keeping Lydia alive turned out to be a full time job, constantly getting in the way of my arrows, spells...I think I even hit her over the head with my axe once (thank the Nine for helmets and Restoration).

Naturally I quickly realized that this situation would not do, so exhausting my hard earned fortune (I and more importanly Lydia have the scars to prove it) I went to great lengts of trouble to procure two sets of the best armour one can buy.

Eorlund Grey-Mane was more than pleased to fashion us two suits of Daedric armor and as if by a stroke of luck (or more realistically as if to mock us) said dragon appeared. So how does the death of a mighty dragon lead to my current depression you might ask.

Well, let me tell you that spending a fortune on armour for your follower/best-friend/almost wife but not really, taking said magnet for all things dangerous up high into the mountains to kill a dragon, and then triumphantly slay said dragon with the very first shout you've ever learnt...I promise you, doing so is a very VERY bad idea.

Lydia would agree with you...had she not wandered into the blastwave of my shout and been blown clear of the mountain along with the dragon...I wonder. WIll it be easer to just drag the armour to the river and let whatever is left of her just 'flush out', or would burning the remains be best?. One thing's for sure, I did not sell two of my houses for that armour just to leave it in the woods.
mALX
QUOTE(Tellie @ Mar 19 2016, 09:50 PM) *

...keeping Lydia alive turned out to be a full time job, constantly getting in the way of my arrows, spells...I think I even hit her over the head with my axe once (thank the Nine for helmets and Restoration).

...Lydia would agree with you...had she not wandered into the blastwave of my shout and been blown clear of the mountain along with the dragon...I wonder. WIll it be easer to just drag the armour to the river and let whatever is left of her just 'flush out', or would burning the remains be best?. One thing's for sure, I did not sell two of my houses for that armour just to leave it in the woods.



SPEW!!! I nearly choked to death on this!!!! Now I have to go watch "To Lydia With Love" on YouTube again, lol.

Renee
Man, poor Lydia. sad.gif But maybe she survived. Sometimes they survive the stuff we don't think they will.
Acadian
Poor Lydia. She died with a sword in her hand, forever free now of her oath to carry someone else's burdens. May her tankard in Sovngarde never run dry!
Lopov
I got a sudden inspiration for a new character today and decided to realize it. Gaming with the Rat is getting a bit tedious because his personality isn't really that complex, so I figure I need someone for more immersive roleplay. As you'll see, some things about my new character will be revealed with time.

1

Officially, borders of Skyrim were closed, but half an hour past midnight on the 18th of Last Seed 4€201, the heavy doors between the provinces of Nords and Imperials opened with a creaking sound. A muscular figure in exquisite clothes, covered with a fine bear’s cloak, wearing an Orcish greatsword on his back came through, and two soldiers immediately shut closed the doors behind him.

He piqued interest of every soldier in the outpost, even more so when he approached the Imperial Commander and openly handed him a full purse of clinking coins.

“As we agreed.”

“Mhm,” muttered the Commander, obviously feeling uneasy by talking to the man in noble clothes.

“Won’t you count the septims?” asked the stranger.

“No…no, there’s no need for that,” said the Commander, avoiding direct eye contact with the man.

“It’s good to trust, soldier, but not to do is SO much better,” remarked the stranger in a scornful tone.

“I assume you’ll be on your way now,” loudly said the Commander, still avoiding the man’s eyes.

“Of course, soldier. A bit edgy tonight, are we?”

Without further words, the nobleman turned around and slowly descended down the snowy path.

For a few seconds utter silence prevailed at the border outpost, soldiers were looking at their Commander, expecting some explanation but he obviously didn’t intend to give one. It seemed like the arrival of the stranger unnerved their superior.

“Excuse me, Commander,” asked one of the young recruits, ”but aren’t borders closed for everyone except for the Imperial Legion?”

“They are, soldier, they are,” answered the Commander, looking in the direction of the stranger. “Let’s just say that this man belonged to the Legion…once. And let’s leave it at that. Back to your posts, everyone!”

Soldiers assumed that their Commander wasn’t telling them the full story – neither he obviously expected to get paid in front of their eyes but it seemed that the nobleman intentionally did so.

“But who was this man?” asked a middle-aged soldier.

“Someone that you should hope never to see again. Now get back to your posts, all of you!”

Silently, soldiers obeyed their superior as he was still watching the stranger walking away in the distance. “I need this gold, I need it badly,” thought the Commander. “Damn bastard, paying me in front of my entire garrison instead in my tent as we agreed. But if I didn’t let him through, he’d bribe someone else. Might even kill someone. Gold and killings have never been a problem for the Bloody Noble.”
Acadian
Plenty of mystery here! Sounds like another bad boy has been loosed into Skyrim. One with noble blood this time.
Lopov
@Acadian - for some reason I have easier time playing shady or evil characters in Skyrim than I do good-aligned ones. In Oblivion and Morrowind I'm the opposite. Anyway, thanks for reading his story, all mysteries will be revealed with time.

2

“Your guest of honor will obviously be late,” Raerek said to his nephew Igmund, the Jarl of Markarth, knowing that he will recognize disapproval in his voice.

Igmund said nothing at first – sitting on his large stone throne, looking bored, he was pondering whether to even get into another discussion with his wise yet sometimes nagging uncle.

“In the letter he wrote that we can expect him in the second half of Last Seed,” said Igmund, “and today it’s only the 19th. There’s still plenty of time.”

Raerek frowned. “Like it matters. Even if he arrives tomorrow or the next month, why did you have to hire that brute from Cyrodiil for the job which our Thanes…”

“Please, uncle Raerek, not again and most of all - not today,” sighed Igmund, closed his eyes and leaned his head back on the cold throne. “I believe we said everything…that needed to be said regarding him.”

“Hmpf! Regarding the Bloody Noble, you can say it freely,” said Raerek, shaking his head. ”Fine, let’s not talk about him anymore. But once he arrives and you’ll see him at work, you’ll remember your uncle’s words. He didn’t acquire his nickname by killing mudcrabs.”





Far to the west of Understone Keep, in Fort Neugrad, the man whose arrival angered old Raerek, was sitting at the small wooden table. Slowly and precise, he was cutting a fine piece of horse haunch which he bought in Bruma before leaving his homeland. Next to his plate was a bottle of alto wine, waiting to be emptied. At first glance everything seemed to be in order, just some man in noble clothes eating fine dinner, but at second glance, many things were out of order.

The nobleman’s legs wearing fine boots weren’t placed on the floor but instead on a corpse of some bandit that was alive just a few minutes ago. All around the table lied more lifeless bandits - most of them stabbed through, but some had their throats cut or were without their heads, while walls around them were decorated with fresh, still warm blood. None of this seemed to lose the nobleman’s appetite, quite the contrary, there wasn’t much of the horse haunch left after a few bites and the bottle of alto wine was already half-empty.

Raerek from Markarth was certainly right about one thing – you don’t get a nickname such as the Bloody Noble by killing mudcrabs.
Acadian
Ahah. Some hints about why the big fellow has come to Skyrim. His dining scene was quite disturbing - poor horsie. tongue.gif
Kazaera
I've had a strangely hard time getting into Skyrim, but am giving it another shot. Two shots, in fact, because I currently have a Complicated Living Situation where I am only at home with my desktop every other weekend and have my laptop the rest of the time and have two save games on the go as a result. Both featuring characters who I really can't justify plonking in Skyrim in that time period but I'm doing it anyway.

On the laptop we have Indari, who got shipwrecked north of Dawnstar (with the help of an alternate start mod). She appears to have hit her head pretty badly in the process, because she ended up a level one character with 100 magicka and all of three known spells.......

So Indari was my main save for playing Tamriel Rebuilt, and various hilarious mod+artifact interactions means that the last time I saw her there she had 75% spell absorption and >1000 magicka, had inexplicably begun to regenerate magicka despite an Atronach birthsign (I still have no idea how that happened) and liked to start fights by dropping six summoned creatures at once and turning invisible to watch the fun. Needless to say, she's not happy about the change. In fact, after looting the corpse of a Thalmor who was apparently killed in her shipwreck (good start, Indari, I approve) she decided to walk/swim straight to Winterhold instead of to the closer Dawnstar. Who cares that she basically only owns the clothes on her back, she wants to get her spells back so she can properly strike fear in the hearts of the populace!!

...a plan which went awry the moment the gate guardian demanded to see Indari summon a flame atronach. Her paltry 100 magicka were sadly not sufficient. She was tempted to prove she knew enough magic to be allowed entrance by setting that $%^£ woman on fire, but I managed to talk her out of it just in time. Instead, she set off towards Windhelm in hopes of flambeeing some wolves, gaining some levels, and coming back later to take her revenge on that stuck-up Faralda who wouldn't let her into the college, most likely in a way that involves fire. You know, the usual.

Travelling to Windhelm may have involved clearing the outside of Fort Kastav of necromancers despite being all of level one, assisted by two random travellers who were apparently trying to get to a wedding in Solitude. (One of them didn't survive the battle - eh, she was just complaining about how far away Solitude was anyway. Now she doesn't have to go!) Indari's now wearing a looted necromancer robe, which may not sound like the best idea if you don't want the guards to attack you on sight but - considering she's heading to Windhelm - is probably an improvement over the looted Thalmor robe she was wearing before... blink.gif
SubRosa
The Atronach birthsign in Skyrim does not prevent your magicka from regenerating. Instead it just reduces it by 50%. With a few items that boost magicka regen, you won't even notice it at all.
Renee
Lopov: Goodness, that noble guy's sitting there eating over some dead bandit? :cold: Mercy! ... Love all the mystery going on. You always surprise when it comes to mystery.

Kazaera: Yes, that wouldn't be a good idea if Indari burned up that gatekeeper lady! Indari sounds fun. And I like that name "Indari".
Lopov
@Acadian - the mystery won't be a mystery for long. wink.gif Today's one won't shed much on light on the man but the following update will reveal a lot.

@Renee - well at least he didn't eat the bandit. laugh.gif

3

“For the darkness has passed and the legend yet grows…you’ll know, you’ll know, the Dragonborn’s come…”


Talsgar the Wanderer finished his performance by Lake Ilinalta and humbly bowed. The nobleman in fifties wearing a fine hat loudly applauded him.

“I salute you, most impressive. Now let me count the coins…” the nobleman circled his right wrist two times, then fully extended it, and a small blue orb appeared in the middle of the palm.

Though his left hand was much bigger than the magical orb, it disappeared as he put it inside, and much to Talsgar’s amazement, when he pulled it out again a few seconds later, he was holding a full purse of coins in his left hand.

“There you go…twenty five septims for the song. Fifty more for food and bed at the inn of your choosing. And another twenty five because I’m in a good mood.”

Talsgar was amazed again – it rarely happened that travelers gave him more gold than he requested and it never happened that they’d have their gold stored in some magical blue orb.

“Thank you, generous wanderer,” he said and bowed again. “When we meet the next time, I shall sing you for free. Now if you don’t mind me asking…”

“The magic in my hands?” the nobleman interrupted him. “I expected such a question. After all, it’s not something you see every day, right? Well, this…,” he said and repeated moves from before, and the blue orb appeared again, “…this is a gift from some Altmer sorcerer I met in Valenwood years ago. It’s a magical bag of holding. As you see, I travel without a horse, even without a backpack. I don’t need either because in this magical bag I have everything I need, and even more.” The nobleman slowly clenched his right fist and the orb disappeared.

“Amazing,” said Talsgar,” I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

“It's not easy to carry such a bag. One has to train hard, it's a mental training, even more strenuous than a physical one. But it pays off, my bard, it certainly pays off. As for now…I enjoyed our little meeting.”

“So have I,” agreed Talsgar. “I do hope we meet again.”

“I do think we will,” said the nobleman,” I intend to stay up north for a while.”

Talsgar and the nobleman nodded in goodbye and continued down the road passing Lake Ilinalta, the nobleman heading west towards the Reach and Talsgar heading east in the direction of Riverwood.




“What a generous man,” thought Talsgar, slowly counting coins again,” that’s what Skyrim needs - more people him.”

If the bard saw the nobleman sitting by the campfire atop Falkreath Watchtower a few hours later, humming the song of the Dragonborn, as he was skinning a severed head of some necromancer that used to live in the tower, he’d probably change his mind about Skyrim needing more people like him. The procedure was long and complicated if one wanted to skin a skull and remove organs, and the Bloody Noble certainly strived for perfection. As he was finished, he checked the skull from all angles again, then placed it inside the gem holder, standing in the middle of the campfire.

“There, there,” he muttered to himself as he once again inspected the skull from the distance, “a true piece of art. Unfortunately, very underappreciated.” Still humming the song of the Dragonborn, the Bloody Noble descended down the stairs of the watchtower, heading for Lake Ilinalta to wash his bloody hands.

Acadian
A fun display of magic as Talsgar is generously rewarded by one who appreciates fine song. Magic bags of holding are wonderful for adventurers with big wardrobes and lots of shoes. . . . biggrin.gif

Hmm, the Bloody Noble's taste in art seems a bit different than his taste in music. Well, at least the necromancer no longer needed his skull. wink.gif
Renee
I totally thought the bard was going to roast...you know, I thought he was a goner. :cold: So that was a surprise. Bloody Noble is pretty sick!
Lopov
@Acadian - magical bags of holding are useful indeed. I still remember the blue one from Baldur's Gate II which I filled with so many items that when I went to check them, I forgot that I even put some of them inside in first place.

@Renee - curiosity didn't kill the bard. However, he wasn't so kind to revelers when one insulted him because he was drinking Black-Briar mead.

The following update is the longest by now, and has elements of fan-fic at times because it revolves around conversations and thoughts so maybe it's not the most appropriate for this thread but I'm putting it here nonetheless because such updates won't be too common. There will be more on occasion but most of them will be like previous ones. However, to clarify some things and reveal some past of the Bloody Noble and the name behind the nickname, I feel that such update is necessary.

4

News about the stranger in noble clothes preventing murder in the marketplace of Markarth, quickly made it to Understone Keep. Half an hour later, Jarl Igmund, his steward Raerek and his housecarl Faleen, saw the muscular figure with a greatsword on his back imposingly approaching them. They were awaiting him in silence as he made it atop the stairs and put down his fine hat, revealing the bald head beneath and dark red war-paint on his forehead and cheeks.

“Jarl Igmund, at last we meet,” loudly said the nobleman and bowed. “I’d arrive sooner but I was caught in a blizzard a day ago and had to spend night at the Old Hroldan Inn. But I believe you’ve been expecting me. Gentian Ubarda, at your service.”

“I am Igmund, the Jarl of Markarth and in the name of The Court of Markarth I welcome you to my town and my hold, Ubarda.”

“I’m pleased that you refer to me by my birth name. Too many people these days call me by some nicknames which I’ve gathered over years and which picture me as some bloodthirsty animal. Imagine being called the Skull Collector or the Head Skinner or the Bloody Noble - which I believe to be most known.”

Raerek frowned, thinking: ”Pompous murderer! You obviously revel in your nicknames, else you wouldn’t stress each one so loud and so proud.”

“As we agreed in the letter, I’m here to help you in your battle against Forsworn and local bandits. If your Thanes and soldiers put tails between their legs at the first sight of cavemen, I can assure you that Ubarda doesn’t,” reassuringly said the Bloody Noble.

“Our men are no weaklings!” angrily said Raerek, earning himself a dirty look from Igmund who immediately prevented his uncle from saying more. “Uncle Raerek, please. Our men are no weaklings but it’s a fact that we’re fighting a never-ending battle against the Forsworn and now it seems that even petty bandits are becoming more organized. I’m certain that sire Ubarda’s help will be most appreciated.”

“It will,” said Ubarda, then looked at Raerek with contempt. “If I may ask you, Jarl Igmund, who is this Draugr sitting by your side?”

Silence fell over the Court of Markarth. Faleen felt sudden heaviness as Ubarda insulted the steward, Igmund obviously didn’t expect such a question while Raerek seemed both scared and insulted at the “remark”.

“I will not allow you to insult my uncle and steward, Ubarda,” finally said Igmund. “He may be old but he’s been my wise advisor for many years. If we are to cooperate, you will have to behave yourself in our Court. I know of your reputation and I can assure you that our side of treaty will be respected as long as you will respect ours. We both agreed to that in our last letter.”

“Of course,” said Ubarda, looked at Raerek once again, this time a smile playing on his face which Raerek immediately recognized to be dishonest. “Arrogant bastard,” he thought but said nothing. As Ubarda and Igmund began discussing the difficult situation with the Forsworn, Raerek reminisced what had he learned about the Bloody Noble from dossiers and first-hand witnesses…



“Uncle! Are you still here?” Igmund’s question brought Raerek back to reality.

“Maybe he dozed off,” said Ubarda in a mocking tone. “It happens often in his age.”

“I haven’t dozed off!” protested Raerek.

“Well then we’d value your opinion,” said Igmund, “do you have anything against giving sire Ubarda ownership of the Vlindrel Hall while he stays with us? He offered 10,000 septims for the place which is more than our current price.” Raerek recognized the look in Igmund’s eyes – he won’t accept No for an answer. While he strongly disagreed with giving Ubarda one of the most luxurious houses in Markarth, he knew that Igmund already set up his mind.

“He can have it as long as he takes care of it,” said Raerek. “I’ll go and fetch the key for our honored guest.”
Raerek stood up from his stone chair and went in his office to find the key for the hall.

“What have I done to your uncle?” asked Ubarda, acting surprised as Raerek left.

Well you called him Draugr for a start, thought Faleen.

“He has his days but I value his opinion highly,” said Igmund. “You should remember that while you’re our guest.”

“I will, Jarl, I will. But you should remember one thing too – we signed a contract, remember? Five hundred gold for heads of the most prominent Forsworn leaders of the region and two hundred and fifty septims for clearing bandit camps - besides I’m allowed to take ALL their treasures which I find. As long as I’ll be bringing you their skinned heads…

“…there’s no need for skinning them. Your word will…” Igmund interrupted him.

“As long as I’ll be bringing you their skinned heads,” Ubarda went on just like Jarl said nothing,” septims better flow in my direction straight from your treasury. If that won’t happen, I will get angry…and you don’t want to know me when I’m angry. When your steward brings me the key, I’m leaving. I have to rest before I head for the hills tomorrow. When we meet again, rest assured, there’ll be less Forsworn and bandits in your hold. Thank you for your hospitality.”

He bowed once again, then put on his fine hat and went down the stairs. Without looking at approaching Raerek, he snatched the key from his hands, so the old man almost fell, and continued down the hall. In that moment Igmund for the first time thought whether his uncle was right that hiring the Bloody Noble was a mistake.
Acadian
Lots of good background on who and why the Bloody Noble is.

The Bloody Noble's actions, words and attitude would have resulted in bloodshed in the courts of most Jarl's I should think. Igmund may be weak, but in fairness, he is doubtless quite desperate due to the twin threats his hold faces from Forsworn and bandits.

Heh, this sounds like it's going to get very interesting!
Acadian
Broken bodies and blood-stained ground that clearly tells the story of two evenly matched patrols encountering each other.

As Buffy pauses in the eerie silence, she mourns the young lives cut short. Although neutral in the war, she’s seen enough to know that some of these soldiers that killed each other may have played together as children in the same village. Some may have even died at the hands of their own brother or sister. Even as a Bosmer, it breaks her heart to contemplate that the humans in red or blue coats seem more intent on killing each other than uniting against the real enemy.

She imagines the quiet laughter of Thalmor, yet her detection spell divines nothing but death around her.
Lopov
Sad and touching story of Buffy's thoughts about fallen soldiers and about consequences of war. sad.gif

QUOTE(Acadian @ Mar 28 2016, 04:13 AM) *
The Bloody Noble's actions, words and attitude would have resulted in bloodshed in the courts of most Jarl's I should think.

I figure that Ubarda has been quite (in)famous already during his lifetime and known to solve problems ruthlessly yet efficiently that's why even some leaders overlook his behavior and actions. For how long, though, that remains to be seen.
SubRosa
Skinned heads? Loviatar says that sounds tasty! laugh.gif But there isn't much meat on them. Drumsticks are better... wink.gif

Renee
Yeah, they shouldn't have hired him, that's for sure. Death by mudcrab? ... That alone has me shivering.
Lopov
@SubRosa - Ubarda and Loviatar could maybe work in a team as long as he'd be allowed to keep skulls and Loviatar'd keep organs. laugh.gif

@Renee - their meat is tasty but their pincers are sharp. wink.gif

5

When a Forsworn hunting party returned to Karthspire Camp at night, they found their brothers and sisters dead. It wasn’t a surprise, Forsworn were used to encountering their friends and relatives dead though in recent months such events were rare since usually they were the ones that killed whoever dared to attack them. But there was something else standing out in Karthspire – every corpse seemed withered, even young Forsworn seemed like they slightly aged when they died.

“Hmm…I know what caused this,” said one of the mages,” whoever killed our people, wields a weapon capable of absorbing health. Each wound on our brothers and sisters healed their slayer. Those that get struck with that kind of weapon, seem…seem like our fallen ones do. Judging from marks on their body, they were all killed with a sword… and a great one at that.”

This wasn’t the last finding for the party – when they found the corpse of the old hagraven, the wise yet hideous matriarch of the Karthspire camp, she was missing her skull. Her brains, eyes and other prominent organs were placed in a circle around her lifeless body but her skull was nowhere to be found.

“Then it’s true,” said one of the archers. “He’s here.”

“Who’s here?” asked the mage.

“Some rich guy from Cyrodiil who kills people for septims. The other day I met with some of our guys that spy in Markarth – they told me that the Jarl hired someone to oppress us. The Bloody Count or the Bloody Noble, is what they call him. One of his trademarks is head skinning.”



The arrival of infamous Gentian Ubarda stirred up a lot of curiosity among residents of Markarth. Though they almost never saw the man because he left the town at dawn and usually returned very late, some very lucky to see him on his walks between the Vlindrel Hall and Understone Keep. But he was never seen in other parts of the town, nor did he ever talk to any resident that met him.

Some noblemen of Markarth were angry because the Jarl refused to sell them the Vlindrel Hall for years yet he sold it to Ubarda immediately upon his arrival. It also became known that he hired servants from Understone Keep to carry from the hall anything which Ubarda called “unnecessary clutter”. When servants asked him if he wants them to redecorate the hall, he merely said that he’ll decorate the hall as he sees fit.

One day, when servants were just about to finish another emptying assignment, one of them removed a fresh gourd from one of several glazed platters. Ubarda quickly approached from behind and placed an odd skull on the platter instead. The servant was looking at it for a while, trying to figure out who it belongs to, and his curiosity didn’t go unnoticed for Ubarda.

“It’s from a hagraven,” he said, his arms crossed, proudly looking at the skull. “It’s the first in my collection. The nose is what gives it away, take a closer look if you want. There might still be a piece of flesh here and there – I wasn’t at my best because she screamed like only women are capable of.”

“She… screamed?” slowly asked the servant, not believing if what he heard, was true.

“Screaming, yes. I broke her arms and legs before flaying her ugly head. It’s not interesting if they’re dead when you do it, you know? Now go on, take a closer look at it.”

“No…no, t-t-hat won’t be necessary. T-t-hank you.” The servant hastily left the hall, tripping on the stairs leading from the Vlindrel Hall. As soon as he closed the door behind him, Ubarda’s laughter echoed over the empty house.

“And now half of Markarth will talk about a hagraven being flayed by the Bloody Noble. That’s how rumors are born. And soon they’ll spread. All over the town, all over the hold. Even if there isn’t any truth in them. Because you were dead by the time I skinned you, weren’t you, old crone?”
SubRosa
It’s not interesting if they’re dead when you do it, you know?

Actually Mr. Bloody, most of us don't know that... ohmy.gif laugh.gif
Acadian
I love the effects you supplied in support of an absorb health enchantment! Brilliant!

Nice job also with what you did with the hagskinning. A horrific incident, then just when we want to puke on his shoes, you explain how the extra disgust factor was intentionally to speed the rumor's spread. Well done!
Lopov
@SubRosa - well, then the Bloody Noble might teach us all a thing or two about head skinning. wink.gif

@Acadian - I came to the idea of "withering effect" because each successful hit with his sword seems to transfer some of the red magic to the Bloody Noble, which I imagine to be the life energy.

6

“The Forsworn Briarheart in charge of the Broken Tower Redoubt is looking for his head. Have you seen it perhaps? Hahahaha, excuse me Jarl, I’m just joking. But it’s true – he no longer has his head and I’m here for my reward,” said the Bloody Noble and crossed his arms, protected with fine gilded wrist guards.

“Ubarda, I’m not interested in details what happened to him or what is yet to happen to his remains but here are your coins, just as we agreed.” From the tone in Igmund’s voice it was noticeable that he doesn’t fancy the Bloody Noble’s humor yet he was satisfied that there is one Forsworn Briarheart less on the loose.

“Always a pleasure, Jarl. Now I shall spend the rest of the day training in my home. I’ll arrive tomorrow in the morning for a new assignment. ” As Ubarda left the Court of Markarth, Igmund addressed his steward: “So far, so good, right uncle?”

“Well…I admit that clearing out the Broken Tower Redoubt and Karthspire Camp single-handedly is quite an achievement. I don’t approve of what he does with his victims…”

“Neither do I, uncle, but that’s his way of making Forsworn scared of him.”

“Or even more angry? More vengeful?”

“Definitely but once he clears more of their camps, word will get around and they’ll become afraid AND vengeful. That’s what he aims for and that’s what I hope for. Sooner or later his actions will gain attention of Forsworn leaders and they’ll be interested in his head, they might even come to take it by themselves. If we succeed and manage to remove these leaders, or even if Ubarda removes them by himself, we’ve won an important battle, uncle.”

“That’s right…that’s right. But for some reason I can’t get rid of some bad feeling....like something bad is going to happen. Something bloody. And that you will dearly regret that you ever hired the Bloody Noble. Just look at how he behaves himself in our court.”

“So far he didn’t give us any reason to be suspicious about his actions. My informants confirmed that camps which he claimed to clear, were cleared indeed. His behavior…well, it’s certainly not something we’re used to. ”

“He can be soapy if he wants but he can also talk like a beast. When I see him, I have a feeling that he has two faces. Neither of them is good but one is wilder than the other. Don’t trust him when he pretends to be kind. Maybe I’m just an old nagger but most of the time my premonitions turned out to be true. You know, even when I advised your father, he listened to me when I felt my sixth sense telling me something.”

“And what is your sixth sense telling you now?” sighed Igmund.

“That we should thank him for his assistance and send him back to Cyrodiil with our best regards.”

“Oh please…he only just arrived and so far everything’s going according to plans. Let the Forsworn feel some fear and if the plan we talked about earlier, works out as we hope to, then we’ll no longer need him in our hold. Then I’ll send him back home. Do you agree?”

“I don’t have any choice, do I?”

Raerek didn’t sleep well that night. He was having nightmares which he forgot when waking up. All except one – in that nightmare he was walking to the Court of Markarth like he did every morning. As he came to the stairs leading to the Jarl’s throne, he noticed something placed above the throne. At first he didn’t know what it was but as he was coming closer, he saw his own head mounted on the wall. Its mouth were wide open, its eye sockets empty, blood slowly running out of them. But as he screamed, the voice didn’t come from him but from his withered head.

Then he woke up.

Acadian
What a tense story this is growing into! On one hand, the Jarl is doing well to find a most capable mercenary. On the other hand, dare he ignore the sixth sense of his steward? That nightmare Raered had was terrifying indeed! ohmy.gif
Renee
Yeha, that dream is pretty intense! How many kill cams does he get by the way when he's fighting, by the way? I find that Isaac rarely got them, but Bjorn gets one almost every fight.
Lopov
@Acadian - only time will tell whether Raerek was right. wink.gif

@Renee - he gets killcams very often, just like Bjron, almost in every fight.

7

“Is there something wrong, Jarl? Or why are you looking at me like that?”

Igmund of Markarth couldn’t believe his own eyes. Something like that never happened ever since he was proclaimed the Jarl. To be mocked in such a way by an outsider. Faleen, walking tightly behind Igmund, was agape as well. She couldn’t believe that she’s seeing…

…the Bloody Noble sitting on the Mournful Throne.

She looked at the Jarl, waiting for orders, and noticed the astonishment on his face turning to anger. Fists clenched he approached his throne and looked down at the Bloody Noble.

“You have exactly one second to stand up from MY throne, Ubarda. Exactly. One. Second. Else I’ll have you thrown to Cidhna Mine and not all of your septims will get you out.”

“No need to get upset, Jarl,” said Ubarda and slowly stood up. “It’s not that comfortable anyway. See, I’m an early riser and I was thinking that maybe you are as well. So I came here, hoping to get a new bounty but one of the guards told me that you won’t arrive that soon. I was too lazy to walk back to Vlindrel Hall and Raerek’s chair is even more uncomfortable so I thought that…”

“Enough!” Igmund’s shout interrupted the speech of innocence, and it seemed to Faleen that for a second it even startled the Bloody Noble.

“This is your last warning, and I mean it,” continued Igmund, his voice threatening. “First you come to my Court and insult my uncle and now I find you sitting in my throne. I won’t have such behavior tolerated. You’re here to deal with the Forsworn and while for the time being we’re satisfied with your services, they don’t outweigh your idiotic behavior in our court. So I warn you, Ubarda, this is truly your last warning – if I ever find you sitting in my throne again OR doing anything else that I may find insulting, I will have you imprisoned. For a very long time.”

Even Faleen was surprised at her Jarl’s words – she assumed that Raerek’s sixth sense had something to do with the verbal force which Igmund unleased on the Bloody Noble. For a few seconds he was silent, the up-to-no-good smile playing on his face, making him look even more terrifying and Faleen got an impression that just when he wanted to say something rude back, he changed his mind in the last second.

“So… who’s my next target?” he asked, like nothing happened.

“Forsworn leader at Bruca’s Leap Redoubt,” curtly replied the Jarl and handed him the bounty.

“Do you want me to bring any souvenirs? Skulls, eyes, testicles?”

“No. I already said that what you call souvenirs…aren’t necessary,” answered the Jarl while sitting down on his throne.

“I shall be on my way then.”

As always, the Bloody Noble slightly bowed before putting on his fine hat and walking down the stairs.

Igmund was glad that his uncle was still asleep and didn’t see the incident else he’d now have to listen to another speech.

SubRosa
I wonder if Ubarda is getting comfortable on that throne after all, and if Igmund's skull might one day grace his collection?
Acadian
I see the Bloody Noble testing his limits. It remains troublingly unclear what his intentions are. I do wonder if he wants to leave Markarth with a Jarlish souvenir in his pack. . . . ohmy.gif
Renee
That dude loves pushing boundaries, does he not? Ha ha.

My Skyrim season has pretty much come to a close. It's just too consistently warm outside, I can't get immersed into Skyrim if it's not chilly + "bad" weather IRL. indifferent.gif I will return to Bjorn in October most likely, I may even have an unpublished White Wizard to throw up here.

Cheers to Urbada. Hopefully he'll make his return too, 'cause I wanna see where his saga goes.
Lopov
@SubRosa & Acadian - I think that not even Ubarda himself has everything planned in advance but he surely likes to provoke. He wouldn't mind a Jarl's skull in his collection but by doing so, he would undoubtedly bring wrath of entire Skyrim upon himself.

@Renee - Looks like you infected me with your syndrome, Renee, I also have difficulties playing Skyrim now when April is unusually warm here in Slovenia. Chances are that Ubarda's tale will continue in the autumn. I have two more stories written which I'll post, afterwards I'll probably take a long break from Skyrim.

Today's story has little to do with events from the game but I prefer for each of my characters to have some proper backstory and occasionally I feel more like writing about it than about actual game.

8

All except one Divine have turned their back on Ubarda years ago, like they did on everyone else that lived an infamous life. The one exception was Julianos.

Ubarda’s hand was a mere inch away from the shrine of the God of Wisdom and Logic, a battle going on inside him, struggling whether to touch the shrine or not. He rarely felt fear but each time he was about to touch the shrine of Julianos, he was afraid. Very afraid. Because if nothing happened, if he wouldn’t even get imbibed with the Divine magic, then he knew that Loque’s life had ended.

With a sweating hand he touched the shrine and in the same second he was encircled in blue magic, the energy of the only Divine that was still partly at his side, flowing through him, healing minor wounds and bringing him peace. Ubarda closed his eyes and smiled, and unlike most others, this smile was an honest one.

“He lives…” he said with a whispering voice.

Ubarda's thoughts shifted to the distant past, how many time has passed since then, he asked himself? Ten years? No, it must have been more – fifteen years? That was more like it. His hand still on the shrine, he could see himself standing outside his manor on the Gold Coast. It was a sunny and warm day in the Rain’s Hand but he didn’t feel any warmth. He was looking at the man in brown hooded robes walking away from the manor, nothing but a small bag at his belt and an enchanted staff on his back. The woman came running from the manor, sobbing. She tried to run after the man in hooded robes, convince him to return but Ubarda strongly grabbed her by the shoulder. The woman tried to wriggle free from his grasp until a forceful slap in her face sent her flying backwards, reminding her of her place in the family. As Ubarda once again looked at the man in hooded robes, their eyes met and he saw a pitying look on his face.

“I pity you, father,” said the young man. “You are nothing but a prisoner of your own fears. I shall pray for you, father. Every day I shall pray to Julianos for you.” Having said that, the man turned around and left the estate…

…never returning.

Just as the vision appeared, it was now gone in a second. Ubarda opened his eyes – he was back in Harmugstahl, his hand still resting on the shrine of Julianos. He never saw his eldest son since that cold sunny day in Rain’s Hand but he knew that he’s still alive and that was enough. For as long as Loque would pray to Julianos, his father would receive blessing at his shrines and thus know that his son still lives.

“A blessing and a curse, that’s what you are to me, Loque,” Ubarda said to empty halls of Harmugstahl. “A blessing and a curse,” he said again, the smile gone from his face. “My greatest pride when you were but a boy and my greatest disappointment when you grew up. We could have achieved so many things together. But you preferred to be… just a priest. A lowly, worthless priest.”
Acadian
A very neat glimpse into Ubarda's past! And the more we learn of him, the more questions are raised. What an enigma he is! Very clever to tie his ability to get a blessing from Julianos to his son.
Renee
Yes, I echo this too. Such an enigma. That part when he smiles (and it being a real smile) that's what got me. smile.gif

This is gonna sound weird but I'm glad we're taking a break from Skyrim. It'll be so awesome when we return.
Grits
Lildereth is presently riding along the shores of Lake Ilinalta in the rain. Jerric is somewhere in the vicinity, she doesn’t keep track of him when he is following and he always seems to catch up before it’s time to chop the firewood. They will eventually make their way to Ivarstead. For now they are on wood elf time. happy.gif
Acadian
How nice to hear that Lil is keeping at least one dainty foot and Jerric one heavy boot in Skyrim. What a beautiful area Lil is in. That's the perfect place for wood elf time - just a few butterflies past a waterfall. happy.gif
Grits
Thanks, Acadian! I’ve had terrible trouble with my laptop since about the end of March, and I’ve been leaving my most precious Skyrim saves alone while I worked on it. It is such a great feeling to get back. There’s a lot to enjoy in ESO, but it lacks the majesty of Skyrim. Jerric is in ESO’s Shroud Hearth Barrow right now, which inspired Lil to take him there (the long way, lol) in her Skyrim game. It’s interesting to see how the two game environments compare.
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