Shouting Wolf, Hidden Vampire

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Greenie

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#1


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Morndas, 9:15 AM, 17th of Last Seed, 4E201

Tall and proud pine trees lined either side of the cobblestone street as the morning sun's rays passed through the thick branches, shining down upon the wagons making their way downhill. Their pace was neither fast nor slow, rather decisive and determined, a destination clearly in mind. The town of Helgen was neither the prettiest nor most popular place in Skyrim, but it did have a decent sized community, one currently readying itself for the very wagons coming their way. Mothers were ushering in their children whilst the menfolk stood outside, eyes on the road as they waited.

The second wagon that was the more interesting one of the two, for this was the one that carried none other that Ulfric Stormcloak, Jarl of Windhelm and leader of the Stormcloak rebellion. He was now simply a man bound and headed to a highly debated death. The Imperial guards had made sure he was properly gagged, as it was known he could use Thu'um, or he could Shout as it was more commonly known as. In fact, the rumours had it that he had shouted the High King Torygg to death. It only made sense that guards would not allow a word from him, be it even a whisper.

Across from Ulfric sat a horse thief bemoaning his fate, clearly not part of Ulfric's men. Next to him sat one of Ulfric's bodyguard's, a fair-haired and rather calm looking Nord. Across from this man was a curiously hooded figure- it was hard to make anything of them save for their hands being bound.

And lastly there was the man sitting between the hooded prisoner and Ulfric. He had been knocked out, but It seemed he was finally coming to...​


Posts 2-6 contain dialogue from the game Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and do not belong to either of us. They are marked with an asterisk.
 
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SkittlesAndSpike

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#2
Tucker flinched, light flooding his eyes as he came to. He blinked a few times, raising his head from the uncomfortable position it was in while he sat in the wagon unconscious. A groan left his mouth, but it was weak and hoarse, his throat and mouth nearly entirely dry. The first thing he saw was the back of the guard guiding the wagon he was in down the long, twisting road. It only took him a moment to remember what had happened to him and where he was.

“Hey, you! You’re finally awake.” * His head snapped in the direction of the voice, a mistake he regretted almost instantly. His head throbbed with pain in response to the sudden movement. Sitting in front of him was another man, hair blond and braided, a Nord like himself. “You were trying to cross the border, right? Walked right into that Imperial Ambush, same as us, and that thief over there.” *The man nodded his head in the direction of the Horse thief.

Tucker swallowed, hoping his saliva would wet his throat. It was no replacement for a good drink of water but it would have to do for now. It wasn’t like he was going to be offered one any time soon. “Yeah…thanks for the recap.” His mouth may have been dry but his voice was dripping with sarcasm. “I shouldn’t have even tried to leave in the first place.”

“Damn you Stormcloaks. Skyrim was fine until you came along. Empire was nice and lazy.” * The Horse Thief spoke up, hatred and fear in his voice. “If they hadn’t been looking for you, I could’ve stolen that horse and be halfway to Hammerfell.” * He looked to Tucker, his expression sympathetic and pleading. “You there. You and me – we shouldn’t be here. It’s these Stormcloaks the Empire wants.” *

“We’re all brothers and sisters in binds now, thief.” * The Nord spoke.

“He’s got a point, we don’t really belong here. I’m a lot of things but a Stormcloak? That’s the last thing I am.” Tucker told the blonde Nord. He didn’t pick a side Skyrim’s civil war, he never had to and hoped he never would. Politics was something he preferred to keep his head out of. He looked to the Horse thief next, shaking his head. “Worst comes to worst, I’ll just serve out my sentence and then go back home.”

“Shut up! Quiet back there!” * The Imperial soldier ordered, sick of their conversation. It was to no avail, however.

“What’s wrong with him?” * The horse thief asked, staring curiously at Ulfric. It was obvious he had no idea who the man was. He was curious as to why him, and only him, was gagged.

“Watch your tongue!”* The Nord spoke sharply, his calm demeanor breaking. “You’re speaking to Ulfric Stormcloak, the true High King!” *

“Ulfric? The Jarl of Windhelm? You’re the leader of the rebellion!” * The horse thief couldn’t hide the panic in his voice as realization dawned on him. He wasn’t riding with just a few Stormcloaks and a border hopper. “But if they’ve captured you…Oh, gods, where are they taking us?!” *

The calm attitude returned to the Nord, a sigh escaping him. “I don’t know where we’’re going, but Sovngarde awaits.” * He’d known from the beginning he wasn’t going to live to see the rest of the day. This was the end of his rebel days.

“This can’t be happening! This isn’t happening!” * The thief began to panic.

“It’s happening,” Tucker told him, a frown on his face, “You better believe it.” He was just as shocked as the thief was. He was expecting to be imprisoned at worst, not to be killed. All for some misunderstanding, he just happened to be sneaking over the border at the same time as the Stormcloak’s leader. “We’re going to die, so shut up and enjoy the ride. I’d rather not have to listen to you piss and moan and cry for the last few moments of my life.”

The Nord chuckled at Tucker's attitude, shaking his head. "Hey, what village are you from horse thief?" * He asked, taking a much softer and sympathetic tone.

"Why do you care?" * The thief responded, voice quivering.

"A Nord's last thoughts should be of home." *

As the wagon pulled into Helgen, Tucker couldn't help but agree. But try as he might, all he found himself thinking of was the smallest chance that he would be let go. Even as the thief answered the question, seemingly accepting his fate, Tucker's mind was unable to do the same. He had no criminal record nor was he a rebel. There had to be a chance he could be freed from whatever fate had in store for him.

But should he die? Well...he wasn't going to piss and moan and cry about it.
 
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Greenie

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#3
In the meantime, the only one who remained silent was the hooded figure sitting next to the recently awakened Nord. Truth be told, she had been expecting an execution. She was after all an assassin, what one may call a freelancer, choosing who she wished to kill and for how much. It seemed she had killed the wrong person recently, an Altmer noble who was also a Thalmor spy. She had hoped to lose the following troops by taking cover with Stormcloaks, but alas that had turned out sour... and here she was.

Unlike the others there, she was not Nord, not completely. Her father was, but her mother was a mix of Breton and Redguard. As Nords considered one from where there mothers were, the people of Skyrim would consider her an Breton. It made no difference to her, because above all, she was one thing that no one would mistake.

Nisha was a vampire.

She hid it rather well too, with her selective killing as well as maintaining some sort of peace with the rest of Skyrim, enough that there wasn't usually more than one or two assassin coming after her.

It had been a good enough life, she supposed. She didn't want to die just like the rest of the men here, but there was nothing she could do with her hands bound. It had been a good while since she had eaten or taken any blood, and so she was weak. At least she had been provided with a hood so she didn't suffer from sun damage.

They wouldn't want their prisoner to die before they reach the execution block, of course.

The wagon was now making its way through the winding streets. Though she didn't look behind or attempt to move in any way, Nisha could hear people muttering, children asking questions, uncertainty and nervousness in the air. Was it due to the prominent Stormcloak sitting in the wagon? Probably.... She wondered if there were any hidden rebels amongst the people of Helgen, perhaps some brave souls who wished to help their leader in this conundrum? It didn't seem likely though, not with all the Imperial soldiers gathered there.

It wasn't long before the wagon came to a stop and the Imperial Captain ordered for the prisoners to be led out. Nisha was the last one to leave, following as well as being towered over by the rest. A soldier of course had a list with the names of the prisoners to be executed, and there was her name along with the rest.

"Nisha of Winterhold." The Imperial soldier looked up, a little surprised, though that quickly disappeared as the horse thief attempted to escape, running away from the rest

"Halt! Archers!"* A mere couple of seconds after the Captain's orders the horse thief was shot dead, as was expected. "Anyone else feel like running?"*

Nisha was expecting the list to carry on as normal now- what was a dead thief to anyone aside from extra dirt to clean off the street?- but it seemed there was another something unexpected happening.

"Wait. You there."* Curiosity piqued, Nisha turned the slightest bit to look back, wondering who the Imperial soldier could be talking to. "Step forward. Who are you?"*​
 
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SkittlesAndSpike

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#4
Nisha of Winterhold? The name left the back of Tucker’s skull buzzing. It was familiar, but more so something he might have heard in passing. The tingling feeling was erased when the horse thief tried to make a run for it. It was almost like clockwork, the way he was shot down with no mercy. Tucker found himself feeling bad for the man despite his previous whining. But he had no time to feel bad, his name was called.

Tucker stepped forward without much hesitation. He wasn’t dumb enough to provoke any violence from the Imperials like the horse thief had, the poor guy. “I am Tucker of Markarth.” He answered the question, standing tall with his head held high and proud. He was a little scared, yes, but he wouldn't let it show, especially not with so many eyes on him. He was Nord alright, built like one too, standing taller than his questioner even.

“Ah, I see.” * The Imperial soldier shook his head, a sad look on his face. “You picked a bad time to come home to Skyrim, kinsman. I’m sorry. At least you’ll die here, in your homeland.” * He didn’t want to offer any false hope, but as his eyes scrolled the list in his hands, a frown graced his face. No such name was on his list. “Captain. What should we do?” * He called. “He’s not on the list.” *

“Forget the list.” * The captain scoffed, hands on her waist. “He goes to the block.” *

“By your orders, Captain. Follow the Captain, prisoner.” * He commanded. He felt sympathy for the man but not enough to make him even think about second-guessing the situation. At least he would die proud, like a Nord.

“Damn…” Tucker had to admit, he was hoping that he would be let free once he heard his name wasn’t on the list. It was almost crushing, he could feel his heart sink in his chest as he approached the chopping block, a steely look on his face. He also had to admit that, with the thief dead already, he was the biggest nobody to be executed today.

And that hurt.

He followed the Captain, standing in line with the other prisoners, glancing between them. He'd rather look at them and not his would-be killers for now. He might say something that would make his last moments more painful than they needed to be. He peered at Nisha with curiosity, picking his brain as he recalled her name.

"Ulfric Stormcloack." * The voice belonged to someone he knew for sure. General Tulius of the Empire. A big name for sure. "Some here in Helgen call you a hero. But a hero doesn't use a power like the voice to murder his king and usurp the throne." * He stood with his arms crossed, listening to the muffled words of the rebel leader for a moment before speaking again. "You started this war, plunged Skyrim into chaos, and now the Empire is going to you down, and restore the peace!" *
 
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Greenie

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#5
The words had just left General Tulius when a loud sound rang in the distance, sounding almost like the roar of a beast. Everybody seemed unnerved, including the soldiers and guards but the General waved it off, determined to continue with the execution. The Captain ordered the Priestess to give the prisoners their last rites. It was hard to keep from rolling her eyes. Nisha wasn't one to revere any of the gods, not even the one who created her race, Molag Bal. No gods seemed to have appreciated the work she did cleaning Skyrim of scumbags, nor did the people for that matter, save for those who hired her, though perhaps fear was a better word than appreciation.

Still, there was nothing to do but listen to the droning of the priestess... or perhaps not. Nisha looked to her side in surprise as one of the Stormcloak rebels decided he had enough of last rites. She watched as he stalked over to the execution block on his own, easily allowing the Captain to push him down in place.

"My ancestors are smiling at me, Imperials. Can you say the same?"*

He was met with the blade of the executioner's ax, head falling neatly into the blood stained box as the Stormcloak's body fell to its side. A cry rang out of the crowd, a Stormcloak woman letting her anger for the Imperials show, which was met with retorts from the Imperial supporters. Nisha let out a soft laugh. Idiots, all of them. There were a few other murmurs, one commending the now dead man, but they were cut short by the Captain's order for the Nord man Tucker of Markath to come forward.

And once again there was a roar in the distance, this time louder and more worrisome. Nisha lifted her head toward the sky, glad the sun wasn't hitting directly at her at the moment. What is that? Where is it coming from?

The Captain it seemed was deliberately ignoring what was causing a stir among not just the prisoners, but the other bystanders.

"I said... next prisoner!"*

The Imperial soldier with the list seemed resigned. "To the block, prisoner. Nice and easy."*​
 
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SkittlesAndSpike

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#6
The second roar was enough for Tucker to shift his focus from his grim situation to the skies, eyes searching for the source of the sound. Was it thunder? The skies certainly seemed like they would support that. But the roar of thunder sounded like far more unnatural than that. It was like –

“He said move!” * One of the Imperial soldiers barked, snapping Tucker out of his train of thought.

“…” He opened his mouth, a quick-witted retort dancing on the tip of his tongue but he managed to keep it to himself as he approached the chopping block. As he was forced down to his knees and his head pushed into place, he realized that he was going to die, he might as well say whatever the hell he wanted.

The only problem was his witty remark had been forgotten. Great.

“…Your ancestors must be spitting on you right now.” Derivative, but it worked. He might as well keep going now. “I may die for nothing, but at least I die proud and with my honor and dignity in ta-“ He paused, seeing the silhouette of a large and impossible creature flying through the air, and he wasn’t the only one that saw it.

“What in Oblivion is that?!” * General Tulius cried out as the Executioner raised his axe high above his head, prepared to cleave through Tucker’s neck. He was pissed, to the point that he seemed to be immune to the shock and fear of the others. How dare this man speak of his ancestors in such a way? They loved him!

“Sentries, what do you see?” *

“It’s in the clouds!” *

Tucker didn’t notice the Executioner was still attempting to execute him. He was far too focused on the winged lizard that perched itself atop the tower behind the Executioner and let out another roar. Its claws sunk into the stone with ease and it opened its mouth, letting out a thunderous shout that disorientated the Executioners, citizens and soldiers alike. He couldn’t believe his eyes. Sitting right before him was a –

“Dragon!” A woman called out. *



The first shout to leave the beast’s mouth changed the skies itself. The clouds gathered and swirled about, blocking the sun and casting a depressing grey as far as the eye could see. The soldiers shot flaming arrows at the creature but to no avail. It continued to roar and shout, knocking several soldiers off their feet and even pushing Tucker out of the chopping block.

“Hey, you, Get up! Come on, the gods won’t give us another chance!” * The Stormcloak from before yelled to Tucker. “If you want to live, you’ll come too!” He shouted at Nisha. General Tulius and the soldiers were far too busy trying to usher the citizens to safety to pay attention to the executioners left alive. He had already begun running into a stone tower, dodging falling debris on the way.

Tucker let out a deep sigh, a grin growing on his face as he stumbled to his feet. He had a chance to live! And he would be damned if he was going to waste it by dying to this dragon, as epic as that would be. “Let’s go…!” He spoke to Nisha, his now freed sister in chains. “Unless you want to be the first person eaten by a dragon in centuries!” He made a mad dash for the tower, his arms held over his head as he ran.
 
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Greenie

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#7
For a moment the world stood still for Nisha. Dragon? How was that even possible? Dragons like the Dwemer, were supposed to be gone, extinct, no longer a threat! Yet there was one, large, black and terrifying, and very ready to kill them all. If it wasn't for the fear of the dragon and burning by fire, she would have probably stayed still. However, she didn't wish to die, and the large man's words further spurred her to race after the Stormcloak and the man from Markath.

There was panic and pandemonium and rightly so. Imperials and Stormcloaks and normal civilians were nothing to the dragon, who was indiscriminately spewing fire wherever he could. He would pause to... well, it sounded like words but at the same time it was loud and thundering and certainly nothing any normal person had heard for many, many years, save those who lived in High Hrothgar or visited there. Nisha ignored and followed after the men, racing into a watchtower. Not the best of places to hide, but it provided a shield from the fire...

Not for long. Nisha had been making her way up but stumbled back as the wall was broken by the dragon- a little ahead and she certainly would have been dead. What to do now though? She looked back and then to the gaping hole. She didn't need anyone to tell her that escaping through it was probably the best way to go. Nimble and agile, she wasted no second in leaping from the window and landing on a wooden floor, barely escaping the fire. Not waiting to see if anyone else was here, she hurried through the and out of the dilapidated window only to exit in the midst of the town.​



Helgen was on fire and clearly beyond repair.

But for the time being, that was none of Nisha's concerns. She looked around, hearing voices of people yelling, shouting, crying... dying. Where was the one who had told her to get a move on? It would be a shame if a man who could grin in the face of death was to die here in chains.

There was another roar from the dragon, causing Nisha to curse aloud. "Oblivion take you!" she growled before rushing towards the keep, which for the time being seemed the safest place to go.​
 

SkittlesAndSpike

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#8
Tucker watched Nisha jump through the hole the dragon made in the tower, land quite gracefully and make her way towards the Keep. He realized that she was on to something; not only did he have to escape a fiery and painful death but he needed to escape the Empire, as well as the Stormcloaks. If he was seen escaping on his own who gave a damn? But with a Stormcloak…? That was what got him into this mess anyway.

But that depended on if anyone else made it out of this town alive in the first place. “I’ll be seeing you.” He gave the Nord a bump against his shoulder with his fist, a thank you and good luck of sorts, before imitating Nisha’s acrobatic feat. Or at least the best he could.

He was nowhere near as agile as she was. He’d overshot the jump, hitting the now burning wood, stumbling and falling over. His only saving grace would be that he rolled into his fall, scrambling back onto his feet and, using the momentum gained from his roll, burst through the weakened door. As he stumbled out he ran into the Imperial Soldier, the one who had the list of names. While a group of soldiers fighting a losing battle against the dragon, he was escaping with a child into another tower.

Between every shout and every breath of flames, he could hear the dragon speak. The words sounded like nothing he had ever heard before. But they sounded coherent, even if he couldn't understand them. Had his life not be at risk, had the mad beating of his heart not been so loud, he may have thought more of it.

The perfect cover. Tucker ran for the keep, running as fast as he could. It was dangerous and maybe not the smartest route, cutting across the center of town like this but the faster he got there, the better. Any other route would likely lead him into conflict with another party.

He almost made it to the keep when the dragon landed on the ground beside him. The weight of the beast shook the ground, causing Tucker to stumble and nearly fall, had he not caught himself with his hands. For a moment he assumed the worst, that this was the moment his life would end. He would be burned to ash and scattered to the wind, stepped on and reduced to nothing but a broken and disfigured mess or eaten. But it appeared fate was on his side.

The dragon inhaled deeply, sending fire careening toward the soldiers that had taken to shooting arrows its way. As terrible as it were, Tucker took some relief in hearing the screams of the soldiers. Their deaths meant his life continued. As the dragon continued to ransack the burning remnants of Helgen, Tucker continued his mad scramble for the Keep behind Nisha.
 

Greenie

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#9
The inside of the keep was bleary and dimly lit, but it did lessen the the ruckus that was still raging outside, and the building was much stronger than the ones that had been destroyed by the raging dragon. Still, it was probably best not to linger, seeing the black dragon had been strong enough to bust through the tower earlier, it was probably best to move further in.

Helgen wasn't a place Nisha had properly visited before, there had never been any real reason to, it simply being a small town a short ways from Riverwood, and that being not too long a walk away from Whiterun. Of all places to have to escape a dragon.... Well, she couldn't complain too much; it was because of the dragon that she still had a head attached to her neck. Shaking her head back, she let the hood fall away from her head, enjoying the feeling of slight freedom, even though her hands were still bound.


She looked around for anything blade-like, ignoring whoever had entered the keep after her. Eyes narrowed, she hurried to a table, scanning the meager offerings about it, though paused when she saw a knife. "Good." She smiled, grabbing the knife with one of the hands and flipping it around so that she could saw through the ropes. She didn't wait until it was complete, yanking her hands apart so that the rope tore away. A shake of her wrists and the remaining bits fell to the ground.

"Heh." Already she could feel her magicka returning to her, now that the magicka draining ropes were gone. She let out a sigh of pleasure before turning to look at the Nord. Now that there wasn't eminent death awaiting either of them, she could finally appreciate how tall he was, even for a Nord. "Tucker of Markath? I'll cut your ropes for you, if you want."
 

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#10
With the words of the winged beast being reduced and the heat of its flames no longer licking at his skin, Tucker let out a long overdue sigh of relief. They were free, free of their captors and free of the dragon, at least for the moment anyway. Still, it was a good sign when you went from having your head placed on the chopping block to being offered to have the rope around your hands cut. He offered his hands to Nisha most gratefully. "Yes please!"

Once his binds were cut he shook his hands, rubbing the red and irritated skin on his wrists, chaffed by the coarse rope. "Ysmir's beard is it good to be free!" He couldn't help the grin on his face. "Thank you, Nisha of Winterhold, was it? Now we've got to find our way out of here." He wasn't keen on sticking around. Either the dragon would find them or the Imperials would. Both scenarios were not favorable. "Maybe arm ourselves in the process." A Nord felt truly safest with a weapon in his hand.

He looked around the room, taking note of a few scattered coins, a book here and there and some half-eaten food before his eyes finally landed on a crate in the back. As good a place to start as any, he headed over and tossed the wooden lid aside, whistling at the bounty he'd found. "I found armor, imperial armor." He told her, lifting the chest piece out of the crate. He wasn't crazy about the style or the statement but the protection it would give him was better than the cloth he had now.

"Sword too." He pulled the chest piece over his head, patting it before pulling out the sword, waving it around a bit. It was iron, a plain and simple metal just like the craftsmanship of the sword, but it would do the job should he need it. "There's another crate over there, maybe you ought to check it out." He mentioned to Nisha, setting aside the sword to fit on the rest of the armor.
 

Greenie

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#11
Nisha wasn't too sure if she wanted to wear Imperial armour, but it was better than going out in the clothes she had been forced to wear whilst a prisoner. She nodded in the direction of Tucker and then headed over to one of the chests. Thankfully it was unlocked an easy to open. Inside where an assortment of clothes along with some pieces of Imperial armour, namely the chest piece and boots. There was a helmet as well but she didn't quite want anything aside from her hood. She immediately pulled on the chest piece and then discarded the foot wrappings she was given, pulling on the boots.

"Not my sort of attire," she muttered with a grimace, "but better than nothing."

She then headed to the crate that the large Nord mentioned. "Hm..." She didn't need to fiddle through the crate much to see an old but study looking bow. There were a few arrows as well in a shabby quiver; she sighed but picked it up as it was better than nothing. Once Nisha has strapped both onto her back, she pushed through the rest of the scraps within, pausing when her fingers brushed against a hilt.

"A dagger..." Along with a bow and her magic, daggers were one of her preferred weapons. She stuffed it under her belt and looked to Tucker. "Right, I'm ready."

The room had a door at the far end, leading down a narrow dimly lit hallway that further led into another hallway. This one was even longer, and at the end there seemed to be a lit room. With her sharp hearing, Nisha could hear the sound of a couple of men and women.

"There are people there... possibly Stormcloaks. We should be quiet..." Slowly she started forward, pulling an arrow from the quiver as she held the bow before her, ready to shoot at will.​
 
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SkittlesAndSpike

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#12
Tucker patted his chest piece down. Imperial armor was...well it was ugly, to be honest, but he wasn't looking for style, just protection. "Could do without the whole skirt thing, though." He muttered to himself.

"Right, quiet." He nodded his head and moved slowly towards the door, trying to stop the armor from making too much noise. He gripped the hilt of his sword tightly in his hand as he opened the door, moving into the hallway slowly so as not to rustle his armor and make any noise. As he approached the end of the hall, he flattened himself against the wall to hide from sight. He could hear them now, at least four of them, and, from the way they were talking it was clear they were stormcloaks, at least the majority of them. There was one person that was Imperial.

"Please, we can all escape together, we don't have to fight each other. That monster is still out there!" Tucker recognized the owner of the voice as the Imperial officer that had asked his name. Poor bastard was probably about to die at the hands of the stormcloaks.

"Let you go back to your "great work"? I don't think so." One of the Stormcloaks cried out. The sounds of metal clashing and grunts could be heard as the battle began.

Tucker's first instinct was to sneak past, but that didn't seem possible, what with there being two others in the room. Plus, the guy wasn't an ass, not really. He was just doing his job. "We should help the guy." He whispered to Nisha, his grip on his sword tightening. He'd already made his mind up. "If they kill him and he doesn't take one of them out, then it'll just be three against two." A disadvantage he wasn't too keen on having.

He didn't wait for Nisha's response. He jumped out of the hall and into the room, bring his sword down against the closest Stormcloak, slashing his back. The stormcloak yelped in pain and stumbled away for a moment to recollect himself.​
 

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#13
Nisha raised an eyebrow at Tucker's words. So the man from Markarth wasn't a Stormcloak then? Hm... He didn't seem like a Forsworn either, nor did he seem like an Imperial supporter. Could it be he had no real allegiance, like herself? Either way, there was nothing she could do to stop him from barging into the room, taking the Stormcloaks by surprise. Which of course gave her all the advantage she needed.

Smiling, she pulled an arrow from her quiver and brought it to her bow. Four Stormcloaks, one Imperial officer, one Tucker. Since he wanted to help the Imperial, Nisha aimed away from her two 'allies' and pointed it at the furthest Stormcloak, a woman who seemed to be intent on hacking the Imperial officer into bits. Her arrow flew with precision, hitting the Stormcloak woman right through the eye. There was a look of shock in her good eye before she toppled to the ground.

One down, three to go. She nocked another arrow, though not before one whizzed by her, grazing her shoulder. If it wasn't for the armour she had just put on, she would have probably been cut. "Feisty." She looked away from the Stormcloak she had been aiming at, catching sight of the fellow furthest away from the doorway. He had a bow and was readying to shoot once more.

"Not this time." Another grin on her face, Nisha let the arrow fly, this time hitting the soldier straight in his throat. With a gurgle, he fell to the ground, blood dribbling from his mouth.

"The rest are yours," she called out to Tucker and the Imperial officer, leaning casually against the wall.​
 

SkittlesAndSpike

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#14
The Stormcloak Tucker slashed turned around and swung his sword at Tucker, but the Nord was able to parry the attack, diverting the blade away and thrusting the hilt of his sword into the Stormcloak's throat. A broken gasp escaped his mouth as he sunk to the ground, clutching at his throat before sinking to the ground. "Thank you for leaving me some!" Tucker replied to Nisha. Two for him, two for her, seemed like a pretty fair split. He had to admit, despite the circumstances, he the fight would be somewhat cathartic for him. Any stress from the previous event was altogether forgotten as turned in time to face the last Stormcloak.

The Stormcloak rushed Tucker, his greatsword raised high over his head as he prepared to bring it down on Tucker's head. Before he could, Tucker slammed his fist into his face, causing the stormcloak to stumble backward, losing control of his heavy weapon and dropping it on the process. Tucker took advantage of the moment of unbalance and thrust his sword into the stormcloak's torso, pulling the blade out as the now dead body crumpled to the ground. He shook the blood from his sword, a smile on his face. "That felt good. You're a pretty nice shot." He complimented Nisha before turning to the Imperial Officer they'd just saved. "Are you alright?"

"It's a good thing you two came along when you did. I don't think I would have made it out of that fight alive." The Imperial sheathed his sword, a sigh of relief leaving him. For a moment, he believed they were Imperial soldiers as well, but he recognized the two of them now that combat was over. "Wait...you're the prisoners. Tucker of Markarth, Nisha of Winterhold."

Despite remembering their names, he only seemed a bit more apprehensive. "Regardless of who you are, thank you for helping me. My name is Hadvar." He placed a hand over his heart, signifying his genuine gratefulness. "I do hope that we can put what came before this moment behind us?" He asked, hopeful they wouldn't be as eager to kill him as the Stormcloaks were.​
 

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#15

"I'm nothing if not generous," Nisha replied, hiding a smirk as she watched the man from Markarth and the Imperial officer. Currently the latter seemed to simply be keeping himself from being killed, while the former was doing the opposite. She was pretty sure any exhaustion from before was being wiped out as he downed the two enemies in a far more brutish way than she had. That sort of fighting, with large weapons and fists, was not her style. Being stealthy or hitting enemies from a distance, that was her forte. Or magic, but in such close quarters, she really didn't want to fry her current allies.

She pushed away from the wall as the last Stormcloak fell to the ground, entering the room. Nodding at the compliment, she looked at the now saved man, listening to his words with a neutral expression on her face. "Hadvar, eh?" She stepped closer, as if she was going to inspect the man, though at the last second she simply leaned over and pulled the arrows out of the two men she had shot before grabbing the arrows the now dead Stormcloak soldier had.

"Well, it would've been easier if we'd just sided with the Stormcloak's, so it's safe to say we've already put that behind us." She replaced the arrows in her quiver after standing up straight, eyes on the redheaded man. "If you can lead us out of hear, we'll even say that moment is forgiven. Sounds fair enough to me." She was assuming he knew the place better than both her and Tucker, seeing he had been an officer here.

For his part, Hadvar nodded, the grateful look still present on his face. "Of course," he replied, hand resting on the pommel of his sword. Having allies when Stormcloaks were about was definitely a positive thing, especially since they considered him a traitor to his own race. "Through that door is another hallway. Follow me." There was no saying what these two would say when they saw the torture chamber, but there was no other way to lead them out safely. Even he- no, it wasn't an even. Hadvar disliked the fact that they had to use torture, even if it was commonplace in war.

"You certainly don't hold your fists back when you're fighting." Nisha looked to Tucker as she followed along the Imperial officer. "Where'd you learn to fight? Something tells you didn't spend much time mining quicksilver."
 

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#16
"I hardly spent time in the mines, if I'm being honest. I didn't hate it, I just felt like there was something else I could do." Tucker answered Nisha as he followed along. "I was there for maybe a year, no more, no less." He couldn't stand it in there eventually. Maybe it was the Nord in him, but the world was big, bigger than the land of Skyrim. He'd wanted to see more of it, and to do that meant he needed skills. "The roads of Skyrim are dangerous, and some would say the roads outside of Skyrim are even more so. Can't travel and not know how to use a sword."

In fact, it was that journey that had gotten him caught in the first place. He'd stepped outside of the borders of Skyrim for awhile, and he'd gotten caught on his way back in. But his adventure had definitely paid off. He'd gotten to see a tad bit of Cyrodil before coming home, but it wasn't much. He had to return for fear of never getting back into his country. Ironically, that fear had nearly gotten him killed.

"What about you? You're pretty quick with that bow, and crazy accurate for as fast as you fired those arrows." It was impressive how quickly she had killed two of the Stormcloaks, faster than he did his two. Both shots were fatal, but the first one, the arrow that had pierced the eye of the Stormcloak was more than just impressive. It took two parts training and maybe one part luck to deliver a shot like that.

"Actually, even your name has been bugging me. It sounded familiar. Like something I'd heard before." He raised an eyebrow ever so slightly as he tried to recall it again. "Nothing I've heard a lot, just something in passing. You must be famous, then, eh? Maybe for those fancy bow skills. Even Hadvar here looked surprised by your name." He gave her a smirk.​
 

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#17

It wasn't a surprise that her name got that reaction. "I wouldn't exactly say famous," she replied with a light shrug, looking up at the much larger Nord. "Infamous is a better word. My archery is good, but that's simply when I don't feel like wasting effort in getting close. My true skill is with these." She patted at one of the daggers at her waist. "You could say I'm an assassin, though not part of the Brotherhood." A chuckle escaped her. "I'm quite certain they want me dead since I stole many of their marks. All that I've learned is through years of training with my father and then practice."

"It could be also be you're both more familiar with the name Loras," she continued, eyeing Hadvar's back before looking beyond him to where the hallway was ending. "My father, Loras, used to be as well known as Lord Harkon Volhikar, though many years ago. It's been quite a while since he has done anything... punishment worthy."

She didn't quite enjoy talking about him, truth be told, even if she loved him. The two didn't see eye to eye on many things, including her chosen path in life, or even her lack of allegiance to either side of the civil war. Luckily enough, it was hard to tell where either could be at any given time, even though they had a permanent home near Winterhold, under the craggy snow covered mountains looking out to the sea.

Thankfully the time for talk came to an end. Hadvar entered the room, followed by the other two. Nisha's eyes narrowed, spotting the cruel tools of torture, the cells, and the caged skeletons of men locked up for far too long. There were two men already in there, an Imperial solder, and a thin and unpleasant person she could could only assume was the torturer. Just from his looks and style of speech she could tell he enjoy what he did.

She looked to Hadvar, who seemed somewhat irritated with the fellow. To be fair, he was irritating her as well, especially with his apathetic nature and the way he was denying there being a dragon. Her fingers itched, but she kept them still.
 

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#18
Loras did strike a match in the darkness of Tucker's mind. That was a name he could recognize, if only a little. So did the other name she mentioned, Harkon Volhikar. But those names didn't belong to just any lords. Had he more time, he might have asked her more about it, but they'd arrived at the next room and it was probably better that he focused on getting out of Helgen than learning a stranger's story. Especially since it was likely he might not see her again once they got out of these catacombs. It didn't matter to him what she might be anyway, but it would make sense as to why she was on the Imperial's list then.

The torture devices in the room made Tucker cringe with each look at them. He was no stranger to violence, nor brutality, but torture left a bad taste in his mouth. It was one thing to kill someone, it was another to prolong their pain and agony. The room even had a foul stench to go along with it, one that made Tucker curl his nose up in disgust. The skeletons in the cages made him grimace. They didn't even bury the bodies?

Still, he had no time to judge, not really. The Torturer didn't believe there was a dragon bearing down on them? Fine, he could stay here and rot like the bodies he'd left. At least the younger man wasn't willing to take any chances. "Tch, even if there's no way out this way, it'd be better than standing in this room," Tucker spoke up, shaking his head. "Whether you believe it or not, there's a dragon out there. It's not safe." He didn't believe the Torturer.

Despite having had a hand in their attempted executions, Hadvar seemed trustworthy enough. His life was on the line as well, why would he lead them to a dead end? He seemed an honest and noble type. Whatever it meant, Tucker was sure it was better than waiting around for dragons or, god forbid, more stormcloaks. Regardless, Tucker decided to forge on ahead after Hadvar.

The next hall was long but different from all the ones before. The stone bricks that formed the previous halls were nowhere to be seen, and in its place was solid rock, covered in moss and mushrooms. The sound of rushing water filled the room, signifying that they were no longer in the catacombs beneath Helgen, but a cave system. The flowing water led to the way out, the sunlight shining through the exit in the cave wall.

Standing between the group and the exit was a large cave bear. It was asleep, its torso rising and falling as it slept soundly. Laying next to the bear was the chewed up bones of a skeleton that belonged to some poor soul that had wandered into the cave. Hadvar took this moment to sign that they would have to sneak by. He was unsure if either of them would understand what he meant, but he just hoped that they would understand what he meant. He'd rather not have to fight this beast, it could prove to be difficult.

Unfortunately, the sound of Tucker's armor clanking as he moved was enough to wake the creature up, and it didn't take it long to spot the group and let out a magnificent roar, one that the cave only served to amplify.​
 

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#19

While Tucker, Hadvar and the torturer's assistant had carried on further, Nisha lingered behind. She had no love for this room, but she had seen that there was some coin in one of the cells, along with a dusty old potion bottle. It was locked, but that was no matter to her. Picking locks was as easy as nocking an arrow for her.

Still, there was one thing to deal with. She turned around just in time to hear the old torturer. "What, you're not going to go along with your ragtag group of friends?" he asked, a smirk creeping on his lips. "Or maybe you're enjoying the sight here only those weaklings?"

"Neither of those, I just have something I need to do first."

"Huh." The Torturer seemed confused for the slightest moment; it took only that little second for Nisha to pull her dagger from her waist and plunge it in his throat before slicing horizontally, leaving a gaping, bleeding hole. She yanked the blade away, letting the old man fall to the ground.

"Enjoy Oblivion." Now that he was done for, she wiped her dagger on his clothes before looking through his pockets. A few more gold coins, a key, and a vial of potions. Perfect. She stuffed them both in her pocket before catching sight of a satchel on the table. That should be more useful than putting stuff where it may break. With that thought, she emptied most of her pocket, placing the content in the satchel and thereafter slinging it over her shoulder. Luckily for her, the key she had found on the torturer unlocked the cell she had planned to pick open, saving her from wasting any of her picks.

It wasn't long before she caught up with the trio once she had put the gold and potion from the cell in the satchel. They were clearly out of the keep, in an underground cave system. If she hadn't been in a hurry to get out of Helgen, Nisha would have paused to take in the sight. However, she pressed, only stopping to pick up more arrows from other fallen soldiers who had thought to take the same path.

And then came their obstacle, the sleeping bear. For Nisha it would have been easy enough to sneak away. However, fate had decided to test them some more. The torturer's assistant seemed visibly nervous, and at the roar from the bear, he split, making a dash for the exit. The bear raced after him and immediately knocked him down, the man's head hitting against the rocky ground with a crack.

"We'll end up that way if we don't kill him." Nisha sounded a little tense in comparison to earlier. People could be talked to, delayed. Animals were wild and did not listen to any sort of persuasion. "I'll shoot it- you two go for the kill!" Even as she nocked her arrow, the bear let out another roar before rushing their way. Nisha's arrow pierced the beast's shoulder, but it wasn't enough. "It's coming!"
 

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#20
Tucker flinched when the Torturer's assistant's head was dashed against the rocky ground. There was no way he survived, perhaps it would have been better if he stayed behind. He didn't know if that was true, but he did know that they had to do something about that bear before it did something about them. He wrapped both hands around the hilt of his sword, holding it in a tight, ready to fight.

He aimed the tip of his blade for its throat and thrust his sword forward, hoping to kill the animal as fast as possible. Unfortunately for him, the bear raised itself onto its back legs, towering over Tucker. His stab only piercing its chest instead. With an angered growl, the bear swiped its paw horizontally, slamming its claws into Tucker's side and knocking him away. Luckily for the Nord, the armor had protected his side from being torn apart, but it couldn't stop him from being knocked to the ground.

While Tucker stumbled back onto his feet, the bear tried to finish him off, aiming to slam both of its paws on Tucker's head with the full force of his weight. Fortunately for him, Hadvar intervened. As the bear came down, Hadvar stepped in and swing his sword upwards, the blade slicing through the bear's thick pelt and deep into its arm. "It's staggered!" He yelled out to both Tucker and Nisha. The animal had fallen backward, a cry of pain and anger emanating from its throat.

Tucker stood back up and with a cry of his own swung his blade in a downward arc, cutting deep into the bear's body. The pelt was thick, but he was strong enough to through it and deep into the flesh. But the bear was strong enough to resist the pain enough to kick him in the stomach with his paw before aiming to sink its teeth into Hadvar's exposed arm.