Elder scrolls: Dead and damned

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    • It did not matter how many fires Ennoc lit within the halls of Lost Valkygg, the icy cold of the north still found its way into the ancient Nordic structure as though it was its home. It was inevitable, neither the location nor the acts committed by the Breton necromancer were very inviting for a warm, tropical climate. Not that he minded, the cold helped preserve the bodies he experimented on as well as the draugr he now used as both servants and guards.

      He'd have to give it to the Nords of the Merethic Era, they knew how to make things last; both buildings and bodies. The ancient tombs that littered Skyrim were marvels of ingenuity and craftsmanship, proven simply by the fact that many still stood strong after thousands of years of neglect and disrepair. The draugr were no different, while the secrets of their preservation techniques were lost to the ages, many necromancers still stand in awe at the brilliance of the process, and Ennoc was no different.

      When he first came here the amount of draugrs was startling and a bit frightening, but once he managed to take one or two down things went much easier in the clearing of the ancient halls. That's one of the benefits of studying the necromantic arts; for every enemy that falls you gain and extra ally. The draugr were helpful enough in both the creation of his workplace as well as the bringing of fresh, and preferably living, samples. Not a lot of people visit Labyrinthian, but the occasional brave adventurer, scholar searching for the secrets of Salidor's maze or bandits looking to settle satiated his need for experimentation. Even now a good five bodies were shackled in one of the back chambers. They were weak, but alive and that's all that mattered.

      Ennoc moved over to a stone table on which a dark ritual was prepared: the body of a Nord laid dead beside a filled, black soul gem, a bloody dagger and a briar heart. The man's chest had been cut open and his heart removed to make place for the seed. This form of necromancy wasn't that foreign for the Breton necromancer, but it was hard to study without in depth knowhow. Still, he had to pursue all forms of necromancy in order to find a true way to bring a person back to life instead of creating a mindless puppet to command.

      He place the briar seed in the chest cavity and began chanting "Heart of thorn, bones of the north", he stitched up the opening with leather straps and took the dagger "Rise from death, blood of my blood." He sliced open his hand and made the wound pour its blood onto the briar heart before taking the black soul gem and infusing the soul with the body. The Nord began to struggle and move before sitting up and staring blankly at Ennoc. It was clear right away, he was a mere undead zombie, perhaps stronger due to the briar heart, but mindless all the same.

      Discouraged the necromancer leaned against the table, one hand rubbing his eyes while sighed deeply. Another failed experiment, another wasted soul gem. If nothing else he had a new servant. "Join the draugr outside," Ennoc ordered the undead puppet "bring all intruders to me." The undead got up and moved out of the ritual area, picking up an ancient nordic sword as he went. Just when he was about to leave, Ennow yelled "Alive!" at him as a continuation of his command. It wouldn't be the first time they brought him mutilated corpses.

    #1 caligari, Jul 10, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2016
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  1. It was a dark night, and bitterly cold too; but neither the absence of light nor the heavy snow hindered one who was moving through the shadows. For this one, 'dark' was a laughable thing, and any snowflakes that fell on her exposed skin did not melt.

    All in all, it was the perfect night for a Vampire Lord such as Sylette to further her goals.

    She slowed her pace as she approached the Nordic ruins, her sharp eyes alert for any sudden movements. Truth be told, there was little in the night that could pose a threat to her. Then again, one did not achieve four centuries of Unlife if one was not alert to any possible danger: a surprise attack from a hulking frost troll had spelt the end for some tougher than she. Smoothly ascending one of the many jagged spires that shot up from the ruin, she surveyed the scene. While she was cloaked in darkness, other denizens of the night were not so fortunate: she could see the blood of the trolls wandering the night, their forms made apparent to her through their circulatory systems. She could faintly detect activity coming from the entrance to Labyrinthian, but these creatures were not made apparent by their blood and heat, for no blood flowed through their veins, and no heat warmed their cold limbs. Sylette's deep red lips curled up, revealing her fangs in a predatory grin. What she sought was within those winding walls.

    For a moment the cloud cover broke, the moon revealing the feminine silhouette of a figure perched atop a tall pillar of stone. It vanished behind the clouds again, and by the time it reappeared, the figure was gone.

    The first few draugr were laughably easy to slip by. The undead may have been tough, but that was about it: they were woefully lacking in perception, and Sylette took full advantage of this, slipping past them as easily as a breeze slips through the leaves of a tree. It was when she came across a lone, much... fresher undead servant that she took a moment to stop. The whisperings she had heard about her intended were faint, but it was said he commanded power unseen for centuries.

    It was time for that power to take its first test.

    Sylette silently cast a simple spell of Enthralment upon the servant. If it accepted her mastery, it would reveal the weak will of the one she sought. It was no surprise when the Nord turned to her, dull obeisance in his eyes, though Sylette did feel a moment's disappointment. And she'd thought that this would be the one... Untold powers? Pfah.

    Suddenly the Nord was leaping towards her, swinging its sword in a trajectory that would sever her head from her body. Though her eyes widened in surprise, Sylette managed to duck the blow before thrusting upwards with a claw-like hand. The Nord shot up, hit the ceiling with a sickening crunch, and fell to the floor unmoving. The vampire's eyes narrowed even as her lips curled back for the second time that night. It seemed she had found her man. Now, it was time to meet him. She brought forth the power for a much stronger Enthralment, then set to work.

    Five minutes later, the door to Ennoc's study opened. The failed briarheart came in, dragging behind it a small, cowering figure covered in a black robe. The figure began whimpering as it was pushed to its knees before the necromancer.

    "P-p-please!" The high, plaintive voice wailed. "Please, don't hurt me! I was just looking for shelter, I never wanted to come in here..." The woman's shoulders shook in racking sobs. "Oh, please..."

    Beneath the cloak, Sylette's eyes sparkled with pleasure even as she continued to sob.
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  2. When the briarheart experiment failed, Ennoc decided to call it a day, writing down his findings in one of his many journals on his desk. In all honesty, "desk" was a polite term for an old, wooden table cluttered with books and empty inkwells. The amount of tomes and research literature bordered on the absurd; besides the many pillars of books on the table that reached rather high into the room, there were also unkept piles on either side of the desk, wasting away on the floor simply because they've been deemed useless.

    The subjects the books ranged from the reinforcing of skeletons to the achieving of immortality through lichdom, they delved into the origins of Sload necromancy, hedge magic, gravesingers and many more dark arts. Oddly enough for a necromancer here and there among the books were tomes listing spells for restoration magic, they were incantations detailing offensive magic against the undead mostly such as; sun fire, turn undead, Stendarr's aura, and many more. The reason for this was because Ennoc tried and corrupted many ancient and dark rituals and sometimes this resulted in... unstable results needing to be dealt with effectively.

    He sat down, grabbed a quill and began writing.

    The briarheart experiment was a unique kind of failure: while the body took to both the soul and the briar heart effectively well, the formed creation proved to be yet another empty husk. I do not know whether this is the result of me corrupting the ritual, lack of information or perhaps any other factor. More research is required into this field, but I have my doubts if it will yield the desired results. Time will only tell.

    Ennoc was just about to write down the ritual itself, detailing his work, when his doors flung open and there before him stood his latest corruption holding on to a sobbing little figure.
    "P-p-please!" The high, plaintive voice wailed. "Please, don't hurt me! I was just looking for shelter, I never wanted to come in here..." The woman's shoulders shook in racking sobs. "Oh, please..."
    This was a rare sight indeed, it wasn't often that a lone woman wandered into Labyrinthian, even in the middle of a snowstorm. Many prefer to avoid the area entirely considering that if the trolls won't get you, the undead will.

    The Breton rose from his chair and was about to approach the captive when he felt something was... off; he felt no struggle, no desperate attempt of a soul trying to escape to Aetherius from his freshly created servant. With a flick of either hand, Ennoc conjured up two subjugated ghosts by his side, one was once forsworn, the other a vigilant of Stendarr and both were moaning in pain and despair. "What is this?" Ennoc asked in disbelief "Who are you? And how did you overthrow my command?" In truth the necromancer did not know whether to be impressed or concerned.
  3. Her ruse discovered almost immediately for what it was, Sylette let the pretence fall. As much as she liked fooling mortals, the role of damsel in distress was... Tiring. Her cries stopped and she rose lithely to her feet, though she kept her hood raised, ensuring her face remained in shadow. She may not have been able to fool the necromancer yet, but there was still no advantage to be had in revealing her nature to him. Not yet, anyway.

    With a lazy flick of her fingers, she brought her newly acquired thrall to her side. She didn't feel threatened by the Breton's conjurings; but why take chances? As her eyes scanned the room, taking in the stacks upon stacks of books, scenting with her sharp nose the smell of living bodies in a nearby room. All of it was promising. Sylette slowly raised her hands, gifting the man a slow three claps.

    "I must admit, I'm impressed," she said, her voice like velvet. If she was worried about the man's familiars, she did not show it. "That trick has never failed me before. Perhaps you do have potential." She sent her thrall charging towards the necromancer, sword raised. She had no doubt the attack would be fended off, but took the moment's distraction to leap back into the flickering shadows that lapped the edges of the room, away from the fires.

    She remained silent, expecting a response, but made no effort to reply either way.

    "Then again," she purred, her voice seeming to come from all sides. "I'm not convinced yet."

    With a sudden leap, she sprung out from the shadows behind the man, her sharp-nailed talons directed towards his heart.

    This was the real test: a trial by fire. She would soon know if he was worthy; if he wasn't, he'd be dead.
  4. Ennoc cared little for her empty words of flattery and praise, instead he held a far greater interest in her skills and knowledge. This was the first time someone invaded his hideaway, usurped his control over one of his minions and had the gall to walk right in his inner sanctum and stand before him without a shred of fear or doubt.

    The briarheart was the first to assault him, but his subjugated ghosts held him in check, and once again Ennoc felt that this creation was more trouble than he was worth. While the trio traded blows, the necromancer found himself surprised yet again as the woman before him vanished in the shadows. As if she had to prove to him even more how far out of the ordinary she actually was. He had a hunch what she really was; her dominion over lesser undead, her affinity for the shadows, her arrogant demeanour,... still he had to be sure before he began casting spells that might ultimately prove useless.

    In truth Ennoc cared little for fighting himself, he was a scholar first and foremost and let his undead creations do the fighting for him, but that didn't mean he didn't have tricks up his sleeve. As the woman taunted him from the shadows, the Breton quickly cast stoneflesh and just in time as his assailant jumped from the shadows, her claws bouncing off his now hardened outer shell. Still though, the brute force of the attack pushed him back a few steps, yet now it was clear to him, no ordinary mortal attacks with claws.

    "Enough!" he yelled as he formed a ball of light in his hand and cast the spell. The bright, swirling magic of Stendarr's aura wrapped itself around him and lit up every corner of the room. "I will not be intimidated in my own quarters!"
    #5 caligari, Jul 11, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2015
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  5. Too easy, she thought as her talon-like hand struck the mage. What a pity.

    Sylette was therefore shocked when her hand did not pierce soft flesh as expected, but instead met a hard resistance. Though the man was pushed back, it was not the killing blow that she had thought it to be. The vampire jumped smoothly back just in case of a counterattack. When none was forthcoming, she began to speak.

    "Well, consider me - hsssss!"

    "Enough! I will not be intimidated in my own quarters!"

    Oh, how the light burned! The energy of the Holy One was unmistakable, and it washed over her like sacred fire. Soon, her skin would begin to blister. After that... This needed to end. Now.

    With a rustle of fabric, Sylette let her cloak fall to the floor, revealing her lithe figure and skin pale as snow. Though the light caused her no small amount of pain, she stood tall, her crimson eyes boring into the man's. "Enough!" She cried, letting considerable power flow into the word. "It is not my intention to kill you. I simply had to make sure you were worthy before continuing. I am here to extend to you a... proposal." Sylette's skin was screaming at her in agony. Her eyes narrowed and her lips drew back involuntarily, baring her fangs in a snarl and giving her the look of a feral - and incredibly dangerous - animal.

    "Now extinguish that damned light before I have to do something you'll regret."
  6. When his spell forced his assailant back, all shred of doubt about her true nature was removed from Ennoc's mind. The sight of her pale skin and piercing red eyes merely reinforced what he already knew.

    Despite her skin being scorched off, her arrogant tone refused to leave her side as she began to speak of deals and cried out empty threats. In truth the Breton necromancer cared little for the life of someone who tried to take his, but having a vampire alive provided a unique opportunity to research one of the few undead types that didn't lose their higher brain functions after death and rebirth.

    First things first though, he thought as he turned to the undead briarheart. With a concentrated spell of turn undead he forced his former undead minion to flee into the hallway where a small group of his draugr made short work of the already weakened undead. He then turned back to the matter at hand and removed the aura from around him, but not before calling out to his ancient Nordic servants for reinforcements. He did not trust the nightspawned creature and would not be caught off guard again.

    Together with the only remaining ghost, the three draugr surrounded Ennoc and awaited his commands at a moment's notice. "Well?" He asked "Let's hear it, before you force me to do something you'll regret."
    #7 caligari, Jul 12, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2015
  7. Sylette seethed inwardly even as her body screamed its pain to her. The accursed Breton was proving to be more and more capable than she had though he'd be: first he had cast the prophylactic spell to ward his flesh; now he had the foresight to summon considerably more of his undead horde between the two of them before releasing the Holy Light.

    The feeling of the blistering pain washing away almost made her sigh in relief. Almost. Her carriage remained proud as she surveyed the forces between her and the necromancers, flexing hands that were already starting to heal over. Her mind automatically began calculating the information, judging the most efficient path to cut through the draugr. Sylette wondered if she would succeed; her muscles ached for the challenge. But no. Now was a time to control her primal desires.

    When the Breton returned her own threat, Sylette looked down her nose at him in the way only the proudest of nobles achieve. "If you are wise, Necromancer of Lost Valkygg, you will not threaten me again. What you have seen so far has merely been a trial. Do not underestimate my wrath."

    She regarded him haughtily, extending a hand despite the mass of bodies between them. "Word of sinister exploits in the dark spread, for those who know where to listen. I come to offer you what I know you seek: power and the knowledge to use it. In return," she said, her lips curling upwards and revealing the barest hint of her fangs, "all I ask for is a... small favour."
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  8. Ennoc had difficulty restraining his laughter at her overwhelming arrogance and ill-restrained behaviour, her "warning" to not underestimate her could just as easily apply the other way around, but the Breton cared little for boasting or vain threats. Surprisingly enough she actually extended her hand, as though the previous encounter had never happened and she somehow believed herself to be a polite and well acting member of society. Less than surprising was the fact that Ennoc didn't bother to return the gesture.

    The mention that his acts and work have reached ears other than the ones he intended was both surprising and flattering, though the necromancer pretended he had no interest in flattery, the entire situation ultimately forced a smile on his face as he found it caressing his ego. Then her arrogance shined through once again as, despite her attempt on his life, she had the gall to ask for a favour.

    At first he was insulted that she would think he'd waste his time on some haughty bloodsucker after she disrupted his work and ruined one of his experiments, but once his initial flare of rage wore off and he returned to a calm state of mind he found the prospect of having access to potentially useful knowledge quite alluring. Though it would all depend on one simple thing: "What kind of favour?"
  9. "What kind of favour?"

    This time, Sylette's smile was genuine, her blood red lips parting to reveal her glistening white fangs in a show that was simultaneously seductive and threatening; akin to the way a snake mesmerizes its prey before striking. Stroke a man's ego, appeal to the thirst for knowledge that all magicians possess, and he will be snared. He was hesitant now, but the first step had been made. Now all she had to do was carefully reel him in.

    "Why, come to think of it, I would hardly even consider it a favour... More of a repayment, both for what I have, and what I can offer." Her eyes roamed the room theatrically, gesturing with her arms to take in all of the stacks of book, the endless pages of information the man had been poring over. "All of this information, and you still haven't found what you're for, have you?" She sighed deeply, her chest rising and falling prominently with the gesture. "Oh, it is such a shame."

    The look of wistfulness faded from the vampires eyes as she turned her cunning gaze back upon the necromancer. "My offer is this: I will give you the knowledge to extend your powers further than you can imagine. All I ask for is you to use these powers to assist me in destroying a... rival coven. And believe me, even what I have to offer now pales in comparison to the knowledge that this coven hoards.

    "So. What do you say, hmm?"
  10. It seemed too good to be true, simply weed out some brood of vampires and gain immeasurable knowledge? No, there was more to it than that; some secret agenda or hidden desire. Ennoc was no fool, he saw she merely wanted him as a tool, but who was he to speak? Mere seconds earlier he wanted to use her as one as well. It all didn't matter, even if it was but a slim chance that the knowledge would be worth it, he'd have to pursue it. "How many are there and where are they located?"

    Ennoc had no time to beat around the bush or torture her for the information, he'd simply do as she asked and destroy her if she even so much as thought about betraying him. The faster they'd get started, the faster they'd get it over with. Besides, he could use some more testing materials and he'd never heard of a vampire nest that didn't have thralls or dead bodies to spare and both could prove very useful.
  11. No matter how many times Sylette tempted the hearts of mortal men over the centuries, both with offers of power and other means, the rush of pleasure that success brought still produced the same skin-tingling effect. The man did not trust her. No, he would be a fool to do so, and at this point Sylette was certain that the man she was dealing with was no fool. She eyed him appraisingly, as a farmer does when viewing stock, before her gaze spread to encompass his gathered forces. While the amount of souls he could already dominate was impressive, she knew that forces such as these would not stand up to the clan she sought to eliminate.

    "Far to the west, beneath one of the towering mountains of the Reach, lies a series of caves inhabited by the Wyrdenfell Clan. A man of your impressive experience may have heard of them. Their numbers are many, and their home is not to be assaulted lightly. It will take time to prepare, time to discover what you must in order to face them. This is not a thing to be rushed into."

    Her eyes glittered out from the flickering shadows, the firelight dancing across her exposed skin as she regarded him. "But if it is achieved, secrets of necromancy that have been hidden for over a millenia will fall into your hands."
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  12. The Wyrdenfell Clan, The name had reached his ears in the past, but he had never bothered to look into it as the details of vampire clans aren't in his field of research. Not that it mattered, vampires are vampires; attack during the day, use silver or special forged weaponry if possible, fire enchants and overwhelming force is all it took.

    Still, she was right about not rushing into it, underestimating vampires isn't a wise thing; a grudge can be a powerful thing if the one you've crossed can live forever. He'd have to gather some more minions, raise a small army. He already had certain creations in mind that would prove extremely useful in combat. "Very well," He said to the vampire "we have a deal. I'll need some time to prepare, make new creations. You can stay here in that time or you can go, either way it doesn't matter to me. If you wish to stay, there are living victims in the back, you can feed off them as long as you leave them alive. As far as sleeping places is concerned; I'm sure a bedroll wouldn't take too long to find, unless you prefer a coffin, in which case there are several in the main hall. Pick one you like and place it out of the way."

    Ennoc motioned out of the door, a slightly polite way of telling her to leave his personal quarters. He cared little for where she went as long as she stayed out of his way. "And don't even think about trying anything funny while you're here, I can assure you that any sign of betrayal or any attempt on my life again will the last thing you ever do"
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  13. "Try something funny? Me?" The vampire raised a hand to her breast in mock offence. "My dear, if I really wanted to kill you," she said, starting to slowly sway from side to side as she walked towards the man rather than the door he indicated, "I would not resort to such underhand tactics. I, unlike the nobles of this age, have honour. A worthy man like yourself? I'd look you in the eyes while I killed you."

    Sylette stopped mere inches in front of the man, her eyes unwavering as they stared at him. "And you would do well not to dismiss me so lightly. I am not simply here to hire you. I am here to help you... grow." The last word was little more than a breath, but standing as close to the man as she was Sylette knew he would hear.

    At this distance, her formidable senses could hear his heart beating steadily in his chest, feel the warmth of the blood pumping through his veins. It was a mouthwatering sensation, but Sylette held herself in check. She would feed soon enough.

    "Send one of your minions to examine the third urn on the left in the entrance hall of this ruin. In it is a tome that I think one of your... disposition will find useful. Perhaps it will reveal to you why that sad attempt at a briarheart was nothing more than a thoughtless shell, hmmm?"

    "For now, Necromancer of Lost Valkygg, I will hunt, and leave you to explore the knowledge I have gifted you. Let it be not be said that Sylette Shadowstalker is lacking in generosity." She brushed past the man, finally releasing the tension that the close proximity had created. Soon, even the sound of her footsteps had faded.
  14. For days Ennoc worked tirelessly on a small army of undead, the material left behind by his vampiric "partner" was most useful in the creation of even more briarhearts, though Ennoc still had to work out the kinks that come with the corruption of previously created spell of dark arts. Already he had a force to be reckoned with standing by in the main hall, motionless and silent they waited command.

    Druagr lords, ancient Nordic leaders of men who wielded great skill with weaponry and even mastered thu'ums in their living days, now several stood waiting his command. Corrupted shades, twisted and infected skeletal spirits of high ranking soldiers and warriors of Skyrim, now they merely waited for his command. Wraiths, ghosts of wizards that might've once wielded skill far greater than Ennoc ever hoped to have, now awaited his command. and lastly... skeletons.

    Skeletons were a personal favourite of Ennoc, while the art of creating proper skeletal minions has been abandoned in Skyrim mostly for the more readily available draugr, a select few still know how to make skeletons stronger than a piss in the wind. Skeletons were fast and strong, but they lacked durability, but that was easily fixed, not to mention that skeletons held little recollection of their former selves, making them more maleable and easier to command. No tiresome struggle for dominance with the original inhabitant.

    Even now Ennoc was working on reinforcing a skeletal servant; the process took time and was painstaking, but the result was worth it. The joints had to be reinforced with either leather straps or metal spikes, this was tricky as you couldn't make it too loose or it wouldn't matter, make it to tight and the skeleton has trouble moving making it useless. Next one needs to reinforce important parts like the spine or the femurs, basically anything that held it up; metal plating did the job nicely, basically amounting to putting armour on each bone separately. Actual armour, that was the last part, it protected the living, now it would protect the dead. Ennoc's location gave him a lot of access to ancient nordic armor so that was exactly what he used.

    Once done with the preparations, the ritual for the reanimation was but a minor task, child's play really, it only took several minutes. Novice necromancers have the nasty habit of reanimating every skeleton they come across, considering the difficulty of acquiring skeletons with all bones present and the inability to reanimate a damaged skeleton, Ennoc found this unacceptable.

    That was the last one he was planning on creating for the day, he sent it off to stand with the others as he moved to his desk. In his journal he kept a detailed account of his reanimations and gathered force; at the moment he had a powerful force of forty-six undead, each with their own fire enchanted weapon. He had hoped to create even more, but it appeared as he overestimated himself as these number drained him daily due to the mental struggle to keep all their original spirits in check. It would have to do.

    I finished the last of the creations and I must admit that this amount of power is exhilarating, I have obsessed over my work for so long I completely ignored the actual power at my fingertips. If only I could gather more, more power, more strength,... I could rebuild this ancient city as a haven for others like me. A place free of scrutiny and persecution, I could be the King of Worms of a new era.

    No, I must keep my focus on my research, I feel that I'm so close, the kinks in the creation of the briarheart are almost worked out; as soon as I manage to corrupt the ritual just right in order to create an undead with a working mind, I will then proceed with the attempts at capturing a soul already inhabiting Aetherius. I fear I will spend many restless nights on that project, but if I succeed, the result will be most worth it.
    The Breton rose from his chair and moved over to his bed in the chamber next door, beside it laid a coffin, colder than ice. As Ennoc opened it, a mist flowed over the edges revealing that the entire thing was lined with stalhrim, the nevermelting ice from Solstheim. The ice surrouned the body of a young female Imperial, should one not know any better they could mistake the body for merely being asleep due to the intense care Ennoc took in the preservation of the body.

    "Soon, my love," he whispered to her "I've almost grasped the knowledge needed." He touched her icy cheek for a second before resealing the coffin. He was tired, more tired than he'd been in quite a while, it was time for him to rest. He crawled into the bed and in barely a minute he was in a deep sleep.​
    #15 caligari, Jul 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2015
  15. A gust of cold wind tore through a narrow stone corridor as a slab of wall shifted ponderously to the side. Sylette sidled in through the small gap the slab had created, before sliding the wall back into place. The quiet calm of Lost Valkygg was restored as Sylette stalked down the hall, reflecting on the events of the past days.

    While Ennoc was reanimating and reinforcing dead bodies, bending the wills of spirits who had bowed to none while living, and dealing with the problem of arming such a force of monsters, Sylette had been busy in her own right. It was one thing to form a militia, but quite another to organize an effective way to move such a force halfway across the considerable width of Skyrim. And that was a normal militia: one such as Ennoc's Undead Legion was bound to attract the wrong sort of attention if they were seen or heard about by just about anyone.

    Fortunately, one does survive for almost half a millennia, and travel to the corners of Tamriel, without forming contacts of a certain variety. Those who would do any job, no matter how foul, for the right price - and for a little extra, become blind, deaf and mute regarding the job after it had been completed. A lot of gold was required to grease the palms of these contacts, but it was money Sylette paid without hesitation: the rewards upon completion of their plan would far outweigh such paltry costs.

    Besides, her mother had often exclaimed, in her haughty voice, that gold was something only the peasants worried about spending.

    The cunning vampire had also spent the time learning more about Ennoc: she was slowly gaining his trust, though it was clear that the man was far too clever and cautious to fully put his faith in a daughter of the night. It had not taken long before she had found an opportunity to search the man's private quarters, and what she found there filled her cold heart with joy. It was as the whispers had told her: the man was seeking not simply to reanimate, but truly restore someone. A lover no less - or at least that is what Sylette assumed from the fact that he kept the corpse in a coffin next to his own bed.

    While many would find such a discovery horrifying, Sylette paid no heed to the macabre nature of the Breton's desires. Instead, she plotted: plotted how she could twist, bend and fulfil the man's desires the way a smith manipulates metal, until he became the shape she desired. But Sylette was an old vampire, and patient in her age; she knew better than to act too soon. For now, continuing to gain his respect - if not his trust - was the most important thing.

    Sylette was now moving along a balcony which looked down upon the room in which Ennoc was gathering their accumulated forces. She could not resist the urge to stop and look upon the horde of creaking bones, preserved flesh and ancient steel, her lips splitting in a grin despite herself. The Wydernfell Elders themselves would surely not be able to stand up to such a force. Ennoc had been hard at work since she had last returned several days ago. Truly, the powers of the necromancer continued to surprise her. Satisfied with the ranks of mindless undead, Sylette continued upon her route to Ennoc's quarters. If he had followed his usual pattern of behaviour, he would have had several hours sleep by now.

    If that wasn't enough - well, as the naive mortals liked to say, there was no rest for the wicked.

    Ennoc kept the doors to his quarters barred while he rested, a sign of both his lack of trust and Sylette's inability to seduce him - yet. In time, she told herself. Soon enough, those doors would be open for her, one way or another. She rapped hard on the fortified wood, calling out in a clear voice. "Ennoc, refresh yourself. There is work to be done yet. We are almost there, my dear. Almost."

    She turned, calling over her shoulder as she walked away. "I will be in my quarters when you are ready." This was a carefully thought out invitation: until now, Sylette had not kept Ennoc in the loop with her plans, nor had she ever extended the offer for him to visit the quarters she had appropriated upon their agreement.

    Before long, she arrived at her suite: a set of interlocking rooms all well lit with candlelight and furnished with thick rugs, spotted with low couches, ornate wooden dressers and completed by two well dressed thralls, who were just finishing the process of drawing a steaming bath. Sylette had taken no time in hiring a group of mercenaries to bring the goods in, and had enjoyed slaughtering and feeding on them once the job had been done. The opulent wealth was at ends with the rough hewn stone walls and dark ceiling high above, but for Sylette this was the best of both worlds: the dark coldness that vampires craved alongside the casual extravagance she had grown up with.

    In seconds she removed her travelling clothes and slipped into the bath, sighing in pleasure as the hot water caressed her ice cold skin. It could never truly warm her up, but the sensation of steaming water was... wonderful. With no more than a few curt words from their master, the two thralls propped up a thin paper screen in front of the bath, before leaving the room wordlessly.

    When Ennoc entered all he would see was the shadowed outline of the bath, the silhouette of a long, graceful neck and head extending out from one side.
    #16 Krimp, Jul 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
  16. Ennoc never enjoyed being woken up by anything other than his own volition and being torn from his sleep by a visitor he found most intrusive within his sanctum was something he hated most of all. He had hoped she'd find her own place to stay far from him, but that was wishful thinking. No, she not only took up residence within Lost Valkygg, she also commandeered one of the empty rooms he was planning on turning into an alchemy laboratory. Not only that, but she also revealed their location to a band of mercenaries in order to fill the ancient tomb with excessive decadence.

    His head pounded as he awoke, the souls of his undead minions cried out endlessly as they struggled for dominance. He truly had overestimated himself, but it all wouldn't matter soon, as the battle would rage his head would be cleared of several voices at a time, he just needed to keep it together a little while longer.

    From underneath his bed he took out a bottle of mead and a large magicka potion, one was for his strength in subduing the struggle, the other was for subduing the voices. The potion was the first to go because of the simple fact he hated the taste and used the mead to wash it down. With a sigh and the clutching of his head between his hands he rose from his resting place and moved to the door. The bar was easily removed though he preferred not having it at all, he would truly enjoy being able to sleep in peace again.

    Despite the enormous amount of pain he awoke with each morning, the necromancer felt proud each time he walked past his creations. Strong and loyal for as long as he could hold dominion over them, the feeling was addicting and lesser mages have fallen victim to the lust for more power.

    He walked to the vampire's quarters, passing by his lesser undead who were tirelessly working on maintaining the ruins and keeping the place clean, and knocked on the door. "Sylette," he called out as he entered the room. The chamber was warm to his surprise, he had always thought vampires didn't care for either heat or cold, but the reason why soon became clear to him "the minions stand ready, ar-" he stopped mid-sentence as he noticed he might've caught her in a bad time. The paper screen shielded her from prying eyes, but just barely and at that time Ennoc realised that despite her being a vampire, an undead and probably hundreds of years old, she was still a woman. It was true he had spent quite some time without... companionship, but as long as he could focus on his work he could ignore his more primitive needs. Though he wasn't focusing on his work now and his entire being might've skipped a beat while he took the time to recompose himself. "The minions stand ready, are the preparations complete for their transportation?"
  17. "Ah, Ennoc, you're here. Excellent." Situated behind the screen as she was, Sylette's feline smile of satisfaction was hidden from the necromancer. Surrounded by boiling water, the vampire could not feel the heat of his blood, but she did not need such means to take note of his reaction upon walking into the room: the hitch in his breathing, the way she heard his heart beat erratically for a moment before resuming at a speed much faster than it had before entering the room... Even one with weak, human senses could have picked up the way he had lost his train of thought. The thought of her naked in the same room had elicited more of a response from him than the night she had first appeared, striking at him from the shadows. It was almost enough to make her laugh: despite his reservations, Ennoc was clearly still a man, and men were forever slaves to desires of flesh.

    "The preparations for transport are indeed complete. I have upheld my side of the deal, as have you - in fact, I think you've outdone yourself, Ennoc." In a calculated gesture, Sylette stretched, her bare arms appearing as outlines on the screen as water fell off them, dripping audibly back into the bath. With a sigh, the vampire dropped her arms back below the lip. "The army you have created is what I hoped for, and more. Power suits you, my dear."

    Sylette was silent for a moment, giving the compliment time to sink in. "And there's much more to be had, soon." Her voice was rich with implication. "Now, look at that table in front of you."

    The table she mentioned was covered in one large piece of parchment, covered in thick, freely drawn lines that were clearly supposed to indicate the layout of a subterranean dwelling. "That map shows as much of the layout of the Wydernfell den as I can remember from my last visit, combined with reports from others who have visited their abode and survived. Believe me, it was not an easy map to piece together."

    The map, well lit by the many candles flickering in the room, showed a long, narrow passage marked 'entrance'. Beyond this was a warren of caves both small and large, interlocked in ways that made the eyes hurt. It was not as complex a place as Labyrinthian, but was still clearly a place one would not want to get lost in. "You will be commanding the troops, General," she said, laying emphasis on the title. "I thought that before we left it might be wise to begin formulating a strategy. I have not seen any other entrance to the den other than the one marked, and the clan will not leave that entrance without watchers. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to gain entrance without conflict. So tell me, Ennoc, how do you think we should approach this place?"
    #18 Krimp, Jul 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015
  18. The flattery of the vampire was beginning to bore the necromancer, she was alawys quick to say words of praise even about acts of necromancy a novice could achieve. While the stroking of his ego was something he reluctantly enjoyed, he did not keep her around for her honeyed words and the building of his vanity.

    As she pointed out the map he found his mind focusing on the singular thought of devising a battle plan, ignoring both the vampire in the room and the screams of agony of his servants in his mind. The area was intricate and slightly confusing, but that simply meant their opponents would be scattered and would have difficulty to unite or mount a decent force to counterattack. Why would they? Who would be mad enough to charge into a den of vampires looking for a battle?

    "We can hardly sneak in a force of shuffling, brainless undead, so we'll have to overwhelm them with both power and speed." He moved his finger over the narrow entrance. "The skeletons will go in first, their speed will be invaluable for quickly gaining a firm foothold within their den. The wraiths will follow in closely behind them, acting as long range support to suppress any vampires that get any smart ideas of staying out of range of the skeletons' blades. The briarhearts and draugr will be in the back as reserve troops; should the Wydernfell mount a counteroffensive strong enough to break through both the skeletons and the wraiths, the raw power of these undead shall show them just how wrong they are in thinking they can win this battle." A slight chuckle escaped Ennoc as he imagined the sight of a master vampire flying through the air after being hit by one of the draugr's shouts, the thought of something as arrogant as a brood leader at the mercy of a mere undead minion was something the Breton found hilarious.
  19. Sylette remained silent as the necromancer outlined his plans, watching the ripples her hands created as they passed through the warm water. "A good plan, Ennoc. Very similar to what I was thinking myself. Excuse me for a moment."

    With the sound of much dripping, the vampire climbed out of the bath. For a single moment, her ample curves were outlined plain as day against the screen; a moment later, they were somewhat covered as she bent over to wrap a towel around herself - although any modest lady would still have found such a display scandalous. It was not long before Sylette stepped out from behind the screen, wrapped in a silk robe the colour of blood that left only a little more to the imagination than the screen had. Her usually dark hair was darkened to a raven black when wet, and the way it fell flat down her head merely accentuated the bone white skin of her face and neck even more so than usual.

    She padded on bare feet to the table, leaning over the map on the opposite side than Ennoc. The scent of the oils she used in her bath hung rich and heavy in the air as she looked up at him with eyes that seemed to burn even brighter than normal. "If I might make one suggestion?" At a nod, she continued, "It may prove useful to use a few of your stronger troops within the wave of skeletons and wraiths. They can serve to either distract members of the clan who are looking to take down leaders, giving the multitude a chance to bring them down; or they could deliver killing blows to those distracted by your lesser minions."

    Breaking eye contact with the man, she looked back down on the map, a smile forming on her face. Months of travelling on hard roads, living in squalor, to track down both the resources she needed and the man who would best utilize these resources, it all became worth it in this one moment. The smile remained on her face as those glowing orbs fixed once again on Ennoc's. "Soon, even the most dangerous monsters of the night shall fear us."
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