The Elder Scrolls: Blades in the Night

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  1. OOC

    City Docks of Windhelm
    21 Evening Star, 4E 201
    Strange Folk

    Death loomed over City of Kings. Plumes of red smoke drifted skyward as distant the clang of steel echoed far beyond the city walls. From the ship-hands confined to their vessels to the farmers and soldiers gawking from across the icy inlet, all within a league could see the hellscape that would determine the fate of Skyrim. Curious ships even dropped anchor on the horizon to catch even a glimpse how the siege would fair. None had such a vantage point to best the walls and see the fighting within. That is, none yet.

    Days ago when guards upon the bridge sounded their horns the people of Windhelm fled any nearby refuge. They called the first day negotiation, but instead of handling peace talks the Stormcloak soldiers built barricades. Guards ensured anyone within the walls was brought to their home or at least an inn for accommodation. Outside the walls, nary a soldier or guard could be found. It was then that the strange folk arrived. Clad from head to toe in black with fur hoods and masks, the argonian who spotted them approaching on their tiny boats nearly took them for Imperials spies. Good fortune and years of segregation worked in favour of the strangers. The argonian saw no weapons and instead of raising an alarm they offered a hand. No one out of the dozen strange folk returned more than a nod before continuing toward one of several warehouses along the docks. All but one surrounded the door so that the remaining could pick the lock unseen. In the chaotic preparation for war no one noticed as the darkly dressed lot filed into the warehouse. It was here that they waited until the hour came.

    After days spent cooped up in the warehouse each among the strange folk claimed their space. Cloaks laid neatly upon the floor as makeshift bedrolls with masks and weapons close by should need arise. One rested in the shadows on each side of the door, four more behind a stack of crates in the center of the room, and the rest scattered along the back wall furthest from the door. During the waking hours they rummaged through crates and barrels. They found food and wine and thankfully a few decks of cards with which to pass the time. While most willed the hours away, one sat at attention beside a small vent. She wore her weapon on her hip and her hair bound into a thick graying brown braid that circled her crown. When the others laughed she winced, placing an ear closer to the vent.

    "I'm only saying you look hungry, why not have an a--" the young breton held his tongue as his companion shot a finger into the air.

    "Don't you dare," growled the orc. Her eyes narrowed and a shadow cast over her face. "No more godsdamned apples. Apples in every bloody barrel, bah! This whole godsdamned rebellion is fueled by bloody apples, probably would lower the arms for a bit of meat and potatoes and cheese. Oh, what I'd do for a slice of cheese."

    Raising a brow, the young breton chuckled, "A slice of cheese? I'd be more pleased with a bowl of Elsweyr fondue and some bread. What about the rest of you? Except you, Ealgian. I could do without your voice awhile." Bent half into an opened crate, the wood elf raised a middle finger back to the breton and continued his search.

    "By the Nine," the woman beside the vent gasped before abruptly standing. As suddenly as she stood the whole of the warehouse fell silent. "The Legion has broken through the gates. Our time is now."

    In a matter of minutes the dozen collected their things and abandoned the warehouse. Stacked in single file line they crept along the city wall under the cover of darkness, hearing the muffles sounds of war through the ancient stone. They approached the gates into the city with weapons drawn, but found no one. From the back of the line Ealgian could hear his orcish companion curse in disappointment. Their leader placed a hand on the gate and raised a short blade with two fingers outstretched for the rest to see. Two fingers turned into one. When the last finger lowered and the gate swung open the strange folk entered Windhelm.

    A line of wood spikes welcomed the strange folk. One by one the line passed through the gates, backs pressed against the inner wall as they maneuvered themselves around the barricade. A few bodies lay under a fresh dusting of snow riddled with arrows. They were Stormcloaks, likely picked off as a ploy to confuse the defenders. Or so their leader imagined, guiding her darkly clad followers toward the dark streets of the Grey Quarter. The metal ring of blades clashing grew louder and the colours worn by corpses more diverse. Dead men lay in the streets, some coiled in a ball like newborn babes, others with hands still gripping the wounds that killed them. If any among the strange folk felt ill or afraid they did let either show. The line followed their leader obediently until finally they neared the intersection of the courtyard and the Grey Quarter.

    The ground beneath their feet quaked and windows nearby shattered. Three Imperial soldiers flew from the inner courtyard, colliding hard against a nearby building before falling into the street before them. Two more followed after, these running to check on their comrades unaware of the strange folk hiding in the shadows. A quick glance passed down from the head of the line down. Watching the two Imperials crouched over their fallen, one of the strange folk, the wood elf, removed his mask. He crept from out the shadows into the street before letting out a long and pitiful cry. Both of the Imperials found him quickly and rushed toward with their weapons ready unaware of the darkly clad group they inadvertently let pass.

    Windhelm Prison
    22 Evening Star, 4E 201
    Ealgian Parikh

    Ealgian lie restless against the cold stone bed of his prison cell. He was an archer and a writer and a Blade, none of which particularly well suited for the impatient. Even so, after spending gods knows how many days locked in a stale warehouse his tolerance for small, enclosed spaces ran dangerously low. Lying inside a barren and dark room was simply not what he expected. Ealgian sat up from the pathetic attempt at a bed and stared at the rough stone wall. Some organizations gather around ideas and values shared long before finding others. The Blades were unlike those organizations. Unlike the recent recruits who swooned at the mere of the Dragonborn, Ealgian swore the oath for reasons far more personal. He was brought into a secret war and joined them to take some semblance of control. Three decades of hiding, of skirmishes without songs, of hopeful legends shared on long roads, only after all that did the true purpose of the Order appear. And as suddenly as the Dragonborn came, so too did she go. Ealgian shook his head. What had he expected?

    "Shor's Stone," came a voice carrying down into the hall. Then came the sound of mail and boots against the stone floor. "That couldn't be..."

    Ealgian rose from his bed and approached the cell door. He watched as others followed suit, surprised by how many shared the prison hall without his knowing. As his eye passed over each cell door he paused. Brow furrowed, Ealgian looked across the hall a few cells down from his own and exhaled audibly. Molspus, here?

    The thought broke when the Imperial soldiers entered the hall. Ealgian remained quiet as the first two passed him, one spitting 'sneak-thief', until the next lot appeared. His mouth fell agape at the sight of her. Two well armoured legionaries carried the Dragonborn, allowing her bare feet to drag against the ground. Her mouth was bound with a rag the same shade of blue as her tunic. She appeared relatively unharmed aside from the blood speckling her face and arms, but she something seemed amiss. Something in her eyes. Ealgian shut his eyes and leaned his head cell door after the guards passed from out his view. He could hear the sharp creak of another cell, then the sound of flesh falling against the stone. After another creak and click of a lock there was the hall fell silent. Ealgian opened his eyes to find the other prisoners watching what he could not see.

    "It just doesn't feel right. Stormcloaks killed my brother. Whole reason I enlisted in the Legion, just to see Ulfric's head on a pike. Never imagined I'd actually see Ulfric beheaded and now," the voice paused. Ealgian could hear a body shuffling. "If she followed Ulfric, should we have killed him?"

    A second voice shot back immediately. "Listen to yourself! Ulfric Stormcloak killed the High King, killed your brother, and killed countless more -- and for what? Power? Pah! I'll be the first to thank the Dragonborn. She is the legend without question and Alduin is defeated. But the dragons are no more. The moment she threw in with Ulfric she stopped being a hero. She could have brought peace to Skyrim, instead she helped tear it apart. Get a hold of yourself, man. This wench deserves not your sympathy."

    Another set of footsteps echoed down the hall. An Imperial soldier taller than the rest stamped a foot and exclaimed, "Celebrating the bitch who killed your brothers? Get out and clear the streets before disease begins to spread. General Tullius wants Windhelm cleared and livable by dawn. I mean now!"

    The soldiers marched out the hall leaving only the prisoners and the officer. Ealgian took a breath of relief watching the soldiers depart. He decided this officer was a gift, regarding their notable height and decorated armour. Indeed, there was much to the ornate golden lines running up the white Imperial breastplate unlike any he had seen before. Perhaps sensing his gaze, the officer paid each cell a fleeting look. No more than a brief glimpse, however, it was enough to reveal the golden skin beneath the armour. Ealgian turned himself toward his bucket, lowered his trousers, and began to piss. Out the corner of his eye he caught the altmer cringe and continue down the hall.

    "Dragon-Child," the altmer announced in a loud, mocking tone. "Or Hunter of Dragons, or what-ever else you nordic neanderthals believe you to be. A skilled warrior, I'll give you that. A strong voice does help. Though, seems a touch useless now." The altmer broke into a brief, hitch pitch laugh. "You failed, Dragon-Child. With you the Empire should have stood no chance, or at least crumbled in fear of what they thought you were. We thought you'd balance the odds. Keep the war going, at least a bit longer. Bit of a disappointment, actually. We'll do without though. You'll have to go, of course." Ealgian heard the familiar ring of steel and futilely pushed against his cell door. "Don't be worried, Dragon-Child. I hear there's a real Dragonborn elsewhere. Tamriel will be quite fine without you."

    Ealgian grit his teeth and pushed against door with all his weight. Though the bars whined, another sound caught his attention. Rushed, light taps and a cool breeze. When next the bosmer opened his eyes a darkly clad figure stood before him, fumbling at the lock. He paid them back with a small smile as the cell door swung open and the figure turned to the rest. His gaze went first to the end of the hall where the Dragonborn was kept. Slumped against the wall in a red pool lie the Imperial officer. Ealgian would have cursed him had the sound of boots not once more begun down the hall. Their masked leader helped the Dragonborn as the others began toward an open sewer grate. While the others lined up, each taking care to help lower the Dragonborn, Ealgian looked back onto the baffled prisoners taking in the strange sight. Eventually, his comrades had all but disappeared into the sewer, the last paid one last glance. They pointed to the end of the hall and whispered, "The docks."

    The sewer grate shut leaving Ealgian in no different a position from the rest. He drew in a deep breath, silently accepting his role, and turned to the rest of the prisoners.

    "Our things are down that way. If we start now, p'haps we'll live understand that bloody sight. What say you?"
    #1 Pellegrino, May 13, 2016
    Last edited: May 14, 2016
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  2. Windhelm Stables
    19 Evening Star, 8:00 PM
    Eralane Dornshade

    She had been tracking him for a day now. He had been with a pack of friends during his journey, and Eralane followed behind, keeping close, but keeping enough distance so avoid anyone becoming suspicious. The man in question: and Imperial tradesman. She had witnessed him trading rather precious materials with a group of Thalmor scum. He was alone when he did the trade, so he was full well aware of what he was doing. And it also included a document—so Eralane naturally assumed information was also being traded. The man had left the scene with a large, weighty bag of gold.

    That’s when she knew he deserved to die. But she would give this one a special treatment… she wouldn’t kill him from a distance. She wanted him dead by her own bare hands. She wanted to be the last thing he saw, the dark side of the Thalmor—the truth… the payment for helping those monsters. She wanted to squeeze the life from him, watch it fade from his eyes, watch him beg for forgiveness.

    And now he was entering Windhelm. What was he doing here? The Wood Elf crouched on the roof of the stables, shrouded in a hooded cloak, laying on the hidden edge of the triangular-topped roof, watching the group of traders head toward the front gates. Once they were a good distance away, she hopped off, brushing the dirt and wooden splinters from her cloak, and started to walk down the snow-covered stone walkway toward the front gates of the city. She couldn’t let herself be too far behind, or else she could lose them.

    The snow crunched under her fur boots as she walked at a brisk pace. She exchanged a nod with one of the guards before slipping into the large, heavy double doors into the city. She looked around swiftly, before seeing the back of her target walking toward the Gray District. Her brows furrowed. He was alone, now, they must have split up. Her heart started to beat a bit faster. The city was in a busy commotion, as they readied themselves for war. But Eralane didn’t think twice about it as she slid past guards and Storm Cloak soldiers.

    The Imperial made his way toward the small Corner-club. Eralane waited outside for a few moments, puffing on a pipe she pulled from inside her robes. She kept her hood up, remaining either overlooked, or unnoticed as other guards and soldiers ran back and forth through the streets. She chewed on the wooden end of her pipe. She lived for this… the adrenaline that pumped through her veins, like it did now. After a few moments she tucked her pipe away, tipping over the bowl, and stamping out the embers, before walking through the door and looking around. There he was, at the bar, having a conversation with the barkeep, Ambarys Rendar.

    There was a slight pause in their conversation when she entered, and she flashed a rather charismatic smile. She walked over to the bar, sitting down and pushing a few coins across the table, “Do you have any Honningbrew?” she asked, and a few moments later a large bottle was pushed across the wooden surface and the coins were taken from her. She thanked the barkeep, and popped the lid open, taking a drink. The Meadery definitely lived up to it’s name. She lifted her head back, taking a long, slow drink.

    That definitely caught the attention of the Imperial, which was exactly what she had been aiming at. The Imperial looked at her, and she watched him from the corner of her eye as he approached her. He sat down on the bar stool beside her, and she pretended not to notice him.

    “You’re one thirsty elf, aren’t you?” he asked, his voice deep, smooth, sleazy. So this was how she was going to get him alone… alright then. She felt disgusted, but put on her best smile and turned to look at him, “It’s a cold night,” she said, her voice velvety and alluring, “all a girl wants is a drink and a warm bed,” she said, chuckling in a low, seductive kind of way. She looked over at the barkeep again, and tossed him some coins, “I’ll take a room upstairs,” she said,

    “Alright, first on your left,” he said.

    “Now you know where to find me,” she said, flashing a smile and a wink to the Imperial as she slid off of the barstool and took the key and made her way up the stairs, taking her mead with her. She closed the door, sliding her bag off of her shoulder, and looked at the bed. She looked behind her at the door, before pulling her cloak off. She also removed her ebony bow, and arrows. She carefully removed the rest of her armor and clothing, before she was only wearing a loose tunic that came down to her mid-thigh. She leaned her back up against the wall, one foot on the floor, the other pressing up against the wall, so her knee was lifted. She took another swig from her mead. She’d need it to pull this off. She reached back to pull the hair tie from her hair and let it fall around her neck and shoulders. It was red—fiery red, her skin as smooth, tan, a bit roughed up here and there from being on the road. She listened and heard a series of footsteps come up the stairs, the floorboards creaking. She fluffed up her hair a bit, taking another drink, before the door opened, and then closed.

    There he was… the Imperial… she didn’t even know the bastard’s name—but that wasn’t important. He didn’t know hers either, he probably didn’t care—just wanted his bed warmed before he did some more cock-sucking for the Thalmor swine. A smirk spread across her lips. The man mistook her smiling as excitement for their impending intimacy—though Eralane was fantasizing about her fingers wrapped around his throat. He took a few strides forward, and Eralane lifted her arm to offer him her mead, “Best in Skyrim,” she said.

    He took it from her, taking a long drink, before looking down at her. A hand reached down to the hem of her tunic, lifting it slightly and tilting his head to get a glimpse of what was underneath. Normally, she would have killed him right then and there, for seeing her that way—seeing her in a way she never wanted any one to see. But he was going to die… so he wouldn’t walk away with an eye-full.

    She slowly moved her raised knee outward to give him a clearer view, “See anything you like?” she asked, smiling and biting her bottom lip.

    “Oh yes…” he said, stepping back to remove his own cloak, “I’ve heard you elven girls are wild… I’d like to see just how wild you can get,” he slid his hand between her legs. Now that was more than she had planned for. As almost a hair trigger reflex, her fist came up to collide with his nose. He definitely didn’t expect that, and he staggered back. He cursed, rather loudly, and she hit him again, pushing him back against the bed. She quickly pounced on top of him, knees and thighs tightly hugging his hips as both hands closed around his throat, tight, hard. He was still dazed from the two hits she gave him. She pressed her thumbs down against his throat, and his cries became softer. His hands flew about, clawing at her sides and trying to get at her face but she dodged them. She felt the adrenaline rush through her veins, and didn’t here the shouting coming from downstairs, and the footsteps up the stairs.

    “You traded with the Thalmor.. I know you did.. there are consequences for sympathizing with them…” Her fingers tightened, it hurt to squeeze so hard, but she didn’t think twice about it, “Ever heard of the Thalmor Butcher?” she asked, a smile stretching across her face, as a look of pure horror flashed in the man’s eyes.

    Her heat beat was loud in her ears as she felt his pulse slow down, his eyes start to roll. She wasn’t even aware when the wooden door to the room burst open. She was told twice to let go, but wouldn’t, until she herself received a painful blow to the side of the head, hard enough throw her from the bed, falling on her side on the wooden floor. Her vision blurred as she felt a trickle of blood run down the side of her temple, she tried to move, but everything grew darker, and she sank into unconsciousness.

    Windhelm Prison
    20 Evening Star, 12:00 AM

    As reality came back to her, Eralane’s head was splitting in pain. She was no longer laying on a wooden floor in a warm Corner-club, but on a cold, wet, damp stone floor. She slowly, agonizingly pulled herself up into a sitting position, cradling her head, as she looked down at herself. She wasn’t half naked anymore. Someone had given her simple shoes and pants. Prisoner’s clothes. She looked up slowly, one hand still against her head, where the blood was now dry. She looked over at the wooden door to the small, cramped cell she was in. She staggered to her feet, going to the window of the door, peering through the bars. Her, and a few other prisoners were there, as well as a guard or two.

    One of the guards turned around, looking at her, “Ah… the newcomer’s awake,” he said, looking a bit amused, gesturing toward Eralane. She blinked, taking a step back. The guard walked up to the door peeking inside, “Who knew the Thalmor Butcher was a little girl?” he said, sneering in at her. She had half a mind to run at him, but instead backed up until her back touched the wall. She slid down it slowly, bringing her hands up to cover her face, and then winced. Her hand hurt… the hand she’d use to punch him, whatever his name was. She looked down at it, her knuckles were swollen and red.

    “You’ll get that pretty little neck of yours chopped.” the words floated into her cell and she gritted her teeth as she sat down on the straw cot.

    Windhelm Prison
    22 Evening Star

    She didn’t know how long she was in there, and was surprised she wasn’t executed so quickly. But as the sounds of war echoed down into the dungeons, she remembered everything else that was going on in Skyrim. Perhaps in the confusion of the war, there would be a chance to escape. The battle raged on for several hours, until it had ended, and new prisoners started filing into the dungeon. She pulled herself up from her cot, still sore. She stood behind the bars of her door, and watched as people came in.

    She didn’t pay much attention to who all was coming in, but looked at each of their faces. She saw one—a Bosmer brother. Her brows knitted together as her amber eyes followed him into his cell. A potential ally, perhaps? Her thoughts were pushed away when another figure was escorted down a bit later. A woman, carried in, bound. The air was silent and tense when she was brought in… who was she?

    She watched the rest of the soldiers leave, and leaned her back up against the wooden stone wall in her cell. She started to look around for something to pick the lock with. She chewed at her bottom lip, before she heard the one officer start to speak. Her ears prickled. The Dragonborn? She ran back to her cell door and peered out, pressing against the door to try and get a good look at what was happening, Then she realized what was happening, the ring of steel, the threatening words from the officer, “No..” it came out of her lips. But just as soon as the man lifted his blade, it fell, and so did he.

    She turned to look down the hall at the end of the dungeon, where the door was now open, and a figure stood in front of each cell, one by one, unlocking them. When the figure came to her cell, she took a few steps back, slightly uneasy. Her door creaked open, and the figure was gone. She waited a few moments—for what felt like an eternity, before slowly walking out of her cell. She looked at the dead officer, and over to the sewage grate, where the dragon born, and many others had disappeared. Then to the Bosmer as he spoke.

    She still had a bruise on the side of her head, and her hand was bruised up as well around her knuckles, but she didn’t seem to have lost any energy. She looked behind her, at both the other prisoners, and the open dungeon door, “I say let’s get the hell out of here, brother.”
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  3. City Docks of Windhelm
    12 Evening Star, 4E 201
    Windhelm Pub

    Windhelm was filled with pubs, and these pubs were full of good and bad people. A place perfect for a gathering of fine sellswords, shitty companions and angry orcs. His business had led him here, to this very pub. Varus was looking for a Nord, one that didn't share the same ideals as the Stormcloaks. One that looked for a higher purpose in life and the Blades had taken notice. Before Varus would be fully inducted into the Blades, he was given mission to recruit more members. A verbal list was given, with names and cities but that was all. Varus had to search for them himself while avoiding the Imperials and Stormcloaks alike. He was safer in Stormcloak walls than Imperial, only because of his own actions. Varus, a 'decorated' Imperial Officer that was stationed in Solitude along with General Tulius to oversee Skyrim.

    Those days were long behind him. He had gone 'missing' for months now, ever since Delphine had recruited him to the Blades to serve a better purpose than a decorated man sitting inside a rock fortress, being sheltered away from the world. His Father hadn't become who he was because he hid. He became the man he was because he took initiative and went out when others didn't want him to. So Varus followed in his example. Leaving the Imperial Military behind in the middle of the night and riding away to the Blades old base of operations where he was given this task before becoming a full member.

    Bullshit if you ask him.

    A group of rowdy Stormcloaks slammed through the wooden door, chilled air gushing through the bodies before once more closed. "Waitress! Ale, now!" The man that lead the group barked.

    Varus sat at the bar counter wearing his steel armor lined with fur. He was use to the feel and weight of Steel Armor, it was what the Officers wore in the Military. Over the steel and lined fur was a cloak, black as night with hood drawn up to cover face. Eyes peered from the corners to glance as the Stormcloaks surrounded him without intent, only to grab drink and laugh. Varus's body tensed, hand gripping wooden cup as he tried to keep his head down, but the Stormcloaks bumped into him and spilled some mead onto his cloak. "Apologies!" The man that spilled drink began to pat at the cloak, but Varus stood up to try and get away from the guards. "It's fine, nothing to worry about." His voice stern, holding no true forgiveness in it. The hood shifted and guard took notice before drawing a hand up to knock down the hood.

    "What is it?" One of the Stormcloaks asked, setting his mead down as the laughter and chatter began to die down. "You look familiar...I swear I have seen you before." The man who was the leader of the Group, probably a ranking Captain, spoke and inched closer. Tension formed in the room as Varus laid hands down underneath cloak, fingertips brushing pommel of weapon. "No. You haven't, I just arrived at Windhelm." Varus was trying to defuse the situation and get out of the pub. Fuck the recruit, Varus would tell Delphine that he said no or was dead.

    "I haven't seen you in was when I was in was a poster along the walls." The man spoke slowly, trying to call upon memory to serve purpose. It clicked in the man's head, eyes widening as he knew who Varus was...or at least what Varus was worth. Tulius had placed a 'Bounty' on Varus's head to be returned back to Solitude alive. No Bounty if he came back a dead man. It was a hefty bounty as well, one that the pockets of the Empire could pay for. A bounty that could help pay for a vast amount of weapons, armor and supplies for a rebellion. "You are Va-!" The man's voice boomed before an open palm grabbed the side of his head, force being applied until Varus had slammed the mans head against the counter. Blood spattered from the mans mouth, body slumping to the floor.

    He was in too tight of quarters and surrounded to draw his weapon now. Instead, adrenaline and combat training rushed through his body as he moved with purpose.

    The four other Stormcloaks were barely dazed for a second before retaliating. The guard behind Varus reached out, grabbing shoulders only to receive an elbow to the ribs but no assault came as Varus was preoccupied with the next three soldiers. Varus lifted a heavy booted foot before pushing outward and kicking a man square in the chest, only to be tackled to the ground from his flank. Varus and the man tussled on the ground, rolling before Varus was ontop of him, hands raised before lowering back down in two quick strikes to the mans face. Before he could deliver anymore punches to the vulnerable man, he had an arm wrap around his neck and pull him off of the man. The third Stormcloak. The other three were getting up as Varus struggled with the man choking him out.

    Slamming his steel boot down onto the Stormcloaks foot, the lock on his neck loosened and gave Varus opportune moment to free him from the grasp of his attacker. Turning in a one-hundred and eighty degree, pivoting on one foot to do so. Varus extended arm out to grab the man by the back of his neck while facing him, free hand curling into a fist before delivering a strike square into the mans nose. Because of his grip on the back of the mans neck, the Stormcloak didn't tumble backwards, but his body slightly slumped as Varus delivered three more strikes to the mans face before letting go.

    Varus was skilled in Swordplay and Hand-To-Hand, but even with his physical prowess the space was too small and numbers too great. He was eventually subdued, receiving a few kicks and punches but not without giving a beating to the Stormcloaks. They should of killed him, but instead the figured the man had importance if their Captain mentioned his name. So to the Dungeons he went.

    Windhelm Dungeons/Prison
    22 Evening Star

    How many days had he been down here now? He had tried to keep track, but lack of sunlight and constant noise made it rather hard to keep track. He simply ate when food arrived and slept when tired, and attempted to work out in his little cell as much as possible because he didn't know how long he would be in here, he couldn't allow his body to fall into a lethargic slump of skin and bones. More people were brought in, some taken out to be freed...but mostly executed. Varus was still here, and he overheard a guard talking in the previous days about the bounty on his head, and giving him back to the Imperials for the money to support their rebellion. That didn't seem to be the plan anymore as Windhelm was under siege, and he was all but forgotten. Perhaps he could of been used as a bargaining chip to stop the Siege...perhaps not.

    Varus looked out his cell, watching a female bound being carried deeper inside. That must of been the Dragonborn. His eyes went back to the other cells, noting that there were two Bosmers in here with them, probably from the Grey Quarter and just being Elves. Nord's, especially in Windhelm, are extremely racist when it comes to Elves. One Bosmer appeared familiar to Varus, but he could not draw upon memory to answer question.

    It matter naught, everything seemed to happen fast. Men in cloaks came down into the dungeon, in short saving the Dragonborn. The Dragonborn seemed their main concern, but his cell was hastily unlocked, but no words spoken to him. Just a wide open door and freedom ahead...or the life of Imperial Service if he decided to stay behind or head towards the boots.

    Varus stepped out of his cell, head turning to look at the speaking Elves, and then over in the direction where all the confiscated items would be that was taken from their person when they were thrown down here. Now was not the time to exchange pleasantries with one another, freedom first and then words would be broken later. He had a question for the male Bosmer, who seemed awfully familiar, almost like Varus has seen the man multiple times, or at least glanced.

    Before approaching the freed Prisoners, he made way to all the confiscated items before taking his own and putting them on his person in a quick and timely order. Luckily for Varus, he had nothing of Value or an Heirloom from his family. His Father's Dagger, given to him when named Hero, was locked away in a strongbox back with the Blades. "Then we should gather our gear and start moving before it is too late." Varus had been a 'Leader' before. Except he had never led anyone into battle, and they were all professionally trained Soldiers. Varus was ready to move, the group could break bread when they were far away from Windhelm.
    #3 Artorias, May 16, 2016
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
  4. Valunstrad
    12 Evening Star, 4E 201
    Loïc Druadach

    The vampire had integrated herself well within the upper echelon of Windhelm, Loïc doubted anyone knew, even he had quite a bit of trouble figuring it out. He had been laying over in the ancient Nordic city scouring for rumours and whispers of nightly horrors; the city might differ, but the tales are always similar: disappearances, pale strangers, a radical change in behaviour from otherwise rational people and so on and so forth. Not all rumours bore fruit, sometimes they led to draugr, wispmothers, cannibals, cultists or other less favourable folk instead of vampires. This time however, he needed no silent whispers to put him on his hunt.

    His profession and past made him more nocturnal than most so his days in the candlehearth inn were spent more in bed rather than scouring the markets and dining in the hall. At night on the other hand he would spend his time wandering the cold and frozen streets passing only a few patrolling stormcloaks who would more often than not stop him for questioning. After all, what would a "Breton" be doing in Windhelm at night during a war, he must be a spy.

    He wasn't the only one not sleeping at nightly hours though, he had seen her before; a Nord woman, tall, blond and pale but pale skin was more common with Nords than with most other races. But as he saw more and more of her in the following days his suspicions grew until eventually he followed her on one of her nightly escapades.

    Vampires are quiet and attentive, but Loïc had been hunting them for years and even before that he knew the secrets to remaining unseen and unheard. She moved through Valunstrad and into one of the mansions in the back of the street, a house, Loïc noted, that wasn't hers. While he couldn't follow her inside, the windows would suffice. With silence and speed, the Reachman followed her with his gaze through the cracks in the boards covering the windows, she moved to the second floor and so did he although with harder means than a pair of stairs. On the second floor he noticed the Nord entering the bedchamber of the lord of the house. At this point she could've still been a late night call of pleasure, but that notion was quickly removed from the list of options when she hunched over the sleeping man and began draining him of his blood.

    A vampire who had gone so unnoticed that not even whispers of rumours surrounded her, by the et'ada, she could've been ancient... she could've been powerful. The idea alone brought Loïc to tremble with anticipation, should she be a vampiric lord and be brought to an end with his skill would be a great offering to both Hircine and Meridia.

    He waited, in silence and darkness, from the ledge of the second floor above the main entrance of the mansion for the nightspawn to emerge and when she finally did he fired a vampire's bane spell at her head. The blast was blinding in the night and her screams of pain and agony were further proof of her true being, not that Loïc needed any more. Screaming the names of the et'ada in the foul, guttural tongue of the Reach, he dropped down upon her with his axes and cleaved her skull in half.

    Loïc felt his hope shatter as once again a vampire he killed brought him nothing than more ash, more dust... and more disappointment. Enraged by the vampire's inability to even put up a fight he hacked into her body over and over with his axes until there was nothing more than indistinguishable pile of flesh and blood and ash.

    Windhelm dungeon
    22 Evening Star, 4E 201
    Loïc Druadach

    Murder they called it, murder of a prominent member of Windhelm by a Breton outsider. How foolish, you can't murder what's already dead. Countless times he yelled at them to examine the body and witness the blood turn to ash, but they wouldn't listen and when the priestess of Arkay brought forth the evidence that his victim had indeed partially turned to ash they claimed he had used some sort of fire spell to burn her and cover his tracks. It was clear then they cared little for the truth, as long as the Breton was behind bars. Madness... madness and stupidity.

    Nine days he had spent there, nine days of boredom waiting for his own death. They had sentenced him to die, but with the war turning increasingly more sour for the Stormcloaks they could not afford to spend time on him. While he waited for his racist executioners he had amused himself with pissing on the jailers, placing poison runes outside his cell for the Stormcloaks to walk into and casting sun flares down the hall toward the guard barracks to create fancy light shows to hinder their rest. Occasionally they tried to come in his cell and try to teach him a lesson only to realise that he was more trouble than he was worth; once he stabbed a soldier in the eye with a piece of wood he smashed off his piss bucket, another time he tore out the neck of a jailer with nothing but his teeth.

    Eventually they just decided to stop giving him his meals, that was three days ago, but a man can go for weeks without food. It was the water that was the problem, he had survived by sucking the moisture seeping from the walls, but it was clear his body was beginning to fail so he was overjoyed when he had heard the empire had won against the stormcloaks. Perhaps they would listen to reason and logic in terms of his sentence, or at least bring him something to drink that didn't taste like centuries old stone.

    Eventually Imperials made their way into the dungeon, but they brought a woman with them instead of food so Loïc's interest was quickly fading. At least until they eventually stopped talking and someone decided to open his cell, then all of a sudden he was the most intrigued bastard in the entirety of Tamriel. He gazed in confusion as one by one the oddly dressed people in the dungeon disappeared in the sewer gate, eventually the other former prisoners began to speak.
    The male Bosmer was first "Our things are down that way. If we start now, p'haps we'll live understand that bloody sight. What say you?" If his stuff was down there he would be the first to go down, there was a bottle of mead in his pack after all and he was bloody thirsty. He gave a nod of approval to the little elf before heading toward the grate. What the other prisoners had to say was none of his concern for it was either more of the same or not directed toward him.
  5. Windhelm Dungeon
    22nd Evening Star
    Victoria Gunnarsdotter

    "For we are children, we fight all are lives and when Sovngarde beckons each one of us dies"

    Tor sang quietly to herself as she huddled in the corner of the cell that had been her world for what she thought was two months now. She only had this vague idea of how long she been imprisoned due to the scrapings she'd made on the wall that marked when the guards had brought the daily rations. She had no sense of night or day as no daylight penetrated this far into the dungeons of Windhelm keep, instead it was permanently lit by the greasy yellow light of animal fat torches.

    She took a moment to stretch out her limbs one at a time while also scraping dirt of the floor and rubbing it on her face before quickly huddling back into the darkest corner of her cell. The death throws of the Stormcloak rebellion had been audible deep into the dungeons as the imperials had slaughtered the last fragments of resistance. Since then the had been a regular stream of legionaries dragging captured and wounded prisoners past her cell.

    It had occurred to her that as long none of her newly captured former comrades recognized and outed her as a former Stormcloak she might be able to pass herself off as one of Ulfric's political prisoners. She might be able to get herself released from this fetid dark hole back, to feel the warmth of the sun and the crispness of the air on her skin once more. Thoughts of freedom of freedom filled her mind and she cared little for death of the rebellion, she had never been a true believer in Jarl Ulfric's dream and her incarceration had jaded her deeply.

    The sound of footsteps once again echoed down the corridor towards the door of her cell she risked peering out from behind her fingers to see who else was being added to the swollen ranks of prisoners. Tor gasped as the procession passed her cell door. There just visible to her between two legionaries was the Dragonborn.

    Covered in droplets of blood and gagged the Dragonborn was dragged passed Tor’s cell door and out of sight, but less than half a minuet later the sound of a cell door opening followed by the soft thump of a body hitting the hard stone of the dungeon floors reverberated along the corridor.

    The officer that followed the retreat of the legionaries didn’t hold Tor's attention for more than a second. It didn't surprise her that a high ranking officer of the empire would want to gloat over the defeat of the rebellion to the Stormcloak champion. Her ears pricked up at the outburst of laughter bust mostly whatever was being said was to muffled to make out. Tor proceeded to lean her back on the cell door too lost in thought to care about the snatches of conversation drifting down the corridor. Suddenly a small noise that nevertheless sounded like a thunderclap brought her back to the here and now. The noise was that of steel being drawn out of a leather scabbard and it took less than a heart beat for Tor to work out what was happening.

    "You imperial whores” she screamed, "you hurt her and I'll".

    She was cut short by a noise she also knew well, the soft squelch of steel piercing into flesh. Tor crashed to her knees, the noise from the other cells seemed to fade to nothingness as hot tears streamed down her face as grief and anger washed over her.

    The noise of the lock of her cell being worked caused the dimmed fire in her to rage back harsher and hotter. If she was going to die here today it would not be an execution. She'd take as many of these imperial bastards with her as she could so that when they met in Sovngarde the Dragonborn would know someone had avenged her.

    Tor dropped to her haunches and spun round reaching for the metal spoon she'd used to mark the walls. It couldn't really be called a weapon but using it to mark the walls had worn the cheap pig metal of the handle into a crude point and Tor felt sure that with enough force it would puncture any exposed artery's or veins she could find.

    As she came to face the cell door she was poised to leap in rage fueled defiance at any assailant. Instead she was met by the site of an empty doorway.

    Tor stepped carefully out of her cell with rage still pumping through her veins. Looking towards the keep she saw a dark figure unlock the last door before scuttling back past her. As she turned to follow him Tor was transfixed by the sight of the Dragonborn being lead out of a cell and down a sewer grate.

    "....p’haps we'll live understand that bloody sight. What say you?"

    As tidal waves of relief crashed over Tor she took stock of the other prisoners, some of whom had already brushed past her to get to the room where prisoners belongings were stored. After a moments hesitation she scraped THE DRAGONBORN SURVIVED XXII ES on the corridor wall and then ran after the disappearing backs of her fellow prisoners.
    #5 Applo, May 16, 2016
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  6. Near Greywater Grotto
    7 Evening Star, 4E 201
    Logan ey Ravensbourne

    "Take this," Torrhen mumbled, handing to Logan a small bag of coins, and taking from him a few bottles of skooma. Logan slipped the bag into his satchel, and then gripped onto his hilt of his sword. "You don't need to hold on to that, mate. I ain't gonna gut you and get your money back."

    "Shut up, Torrhen," Maegor grunted, lightly pushing his ginger-bearded comrade. "We've been buyin' off the Helgen folk for months, they trust us."

    "Whatever," Torrhen muttered, opening one of the bottles of skooma and sniffing it. "It's fucking cold, isn't it?"

    "Tell me about it," Amis replied, as he took a bottle from Torrhen. "Oh, fuck."

    Logan turned to face the three men, all of whom had widened eyes, before attempting to run. He turned his head too to see a dozen Imperial soldiers facing them, with one pointing straight in their direction. Immediately, they moved, and surrounded Logan, Maecar, Torrhen and Amis before any of them had the chance to flee. Without a second thought, Logan drew his blade.

    "Fucking trust them now, do ya?" Torrhen spat, as Logan gripped his sword.

    "Let us pass," Logan said quickly and loudly, eyeing one of the Imperial soldiers eagerly. "Nobody has to get hurt here. We're not looking for trouble."

    "It's just skooma," one of the soldiers laughed, turning to the commanding officer. "It's hardly like we haven't dabbled on duty before, is it?"

    "Fine," the commanding officer said, signalling the other soldiers to give way. Logan watched as the three bandits quickly scattered away without speaking a word. Logan smirked, sheathing his sword, and then turned to the commanding officer to offer his gratitude but before he could do so, another of the soldiers began to frown. Logan noticed this quickly.

    "Thank you," Logan began, but he was immediately cut off.

    "Here, sir, doesn't he look like one of them deserters from Neugrad?" the soldier asked.

    "Seize him!" the commander of the unit shouted, instantly recognising him. Before Logan had the chance to draw his weapon in his defense, one of the soldiers raced up to him from behind and barged him onto the ground. Unable to retaliate as they surrounded and held him down to the ground, he allowed them to tie a rope behind his arms. "Logan, wasn't it? I remember you now. You used to be a rebellious one, always arguing with Hadvar. Deserting scum, you'll get what's coming."

    Windhelm Dungeons
    22 Evening Star, 4E 201
    Logan ey Ravensbourne


    Logan sat upright, his eyes fixed to the stone wall of his cell. He'd been stuck in here for fourteen days already - long enough that he had grown a beard. Shaving was definitely first on the list of things to do upon his release. He could feel his mind inflating with hot air as he listened to someone singing, while the other prisoners bitched amongst themselves about why they shouldn't be here. Of course, they'd question it. He was unable to tell how many of these people were rapists or murderers, or anything of the sort. he himself was branded as a traitor - a deserter. He knew his fate, and he accepted that the punishment was fair. It was justice. But the Imperials had won their war and his sword was just one sword, like any other sword. He wasn't a captain or a legate like Tullius or Rikke. He was an insignificant pawn fighting someone else's war for a cause he didn't entirely understand nor believe in. His life wasn't worth being lost then, just as it wasn't worth losing now. He didn't want to die. Was that cowardice or common sense?

    He turned his head slightly as they brought in yet another prisoner. He couldn't help but wonder why they were sparing the Stormcloaks rather than plunging a dagger into their hearts, to put them out of their misery. His eyes widened as he watched two Imperial guards carry in a woman. There was blood speckled on her face and arms, a blue rag stuffed inside her mouth, and her tunic was blue. She looked roughed up, but even through her messy hair, he couldn't mistake her for anyone else besides who she was - the Dragonborn. He clenched his fists in anger. As much as he wanted to rip her voicebox from her throat and shove it up her ass, he knew he had bigger issues to deal with in this moment of time. He didn't intend to stay here much longer, and certainly neither did she. If he could work with her, or at least pretend to, they could escape Windhelm's gates and then he could strike and destroy the Stormcloak bitch.

    He barely had a moment to listen to the announcement of the guard as he delivered his soliloquy mocking the Dragonborn when he heard the wine of one of the cell's doors as an old bosmer leaned against his cell's door. Suddenly, the Imperial guard fell to the ground, and Logan turned to see him, lying in a pool of his own blood. He turned his head back to the exit, to see a man enter the dungeon. he was hooded and clad in dark clothing, but one by one, he unlocked the cells and allowed everyone to go free. Logan smirked as his cell door chinked and unlocked. Now was the time to strike. He could kill her. Without taking a moment to glance upon any of the other prisoners, he followed them out into the hallways. It was good to be free.
    #6 derelict_lilyflower, May 19, 2016
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  7. Windhelm Prison
    22 Evening Star, 4E 201
    Ealgian Parikh

    Ealgian paid a passing glance at each of the prisoners. The inspired few to reply would be remembered, the rest he hoped did not squander the opportunity. Alas, there was little time to waste. Even as the lot of them retrieved their things and fastened their armour the sound of boots echoed. He was among the first to finish preparations and dared to steal a peak around the corner onto the prison hall. Two guards inspected the sewer entry before finally hefting it open. The bosmer grimaced until a guard stepped through the gate and he heard a pop. Something shattered within the sewer and all Ealgian saw was a flash of light and the guard re-emerge engulfed in flame. Panicked, the burning guard stumbled into a nearby cell followed by his comrade. Ealgian shook his head, his young breton comrade with an affection for the inflammatory fresh in mind.

    "Best not follow our curious saviours, the sewers appear trapped," the bosmer declared in a low voice. He waved to the prisoners and began down the hall. "Kill the two guards or spare them, but do not waste time."

    Voices carried from atop the narrow staircase. Ealgian glanced back toward the others, raising the hood of his mantle and taking care to quiet his ascent. He thought a proper escape might account for day and night and the cycle of guards coming and going to their watch. Hearing the conversations, nay, the arguments from the further ahead concerned him greatly. Nevertheless, Ealgian continued upward until the stairs led to a long hall leading into the guard barracks. The sconces lining the hall were cold and the way dark. Only the faint light of a hearth and a few sconces in the barracks proper lit the way. Ealgian crept into the hall standing tall with his back pressed against stone wall. How he looked forward to no longer creeping about in the shadows. Once again, the bosmer spared a brief look to the prisoners behind him. A few of them seemed quite accustomed to the shadows as well, though one -- a lithe nordic woman -- appeared particularly skilled. He paid her an unseen smile.

    "The legate has ordered an assembly in Candlehearth Hall post haste. Get moving, except you, Henrik," boomed a low, nordic voice. Ealgian felt a bead of sweat roll down his brow as a group of imperial soldiers traded curious looks then filed out into the great hall of the Palace of the Kings. Only after the barracks cleared of all but the two did the nord continue. "Henrik, is there any word?"

    The soldier wore only simple red and brown leathers. Henrik appeared a simple foot-soldier, though perhaps the poor light hid some detail. Allowing a brief quiet, Henrik replied, "Nothing good, m'lud. Neither Stone-Fist has been captured and Stormcloak children are gone as well. Galmar was reportedly present before Ulfric fell in the courtyard, no sightings after. His brother Rolff is believed to have fled with the Stormcloak children sometime before or during the siege. Couriers are on their way to Winterhold, Dawnstar, and Riften as we speak. They won't get far."

    "Their escape is a dangerous failure," the nord snapped, stepping closer to the hearth and grabbing a bottle of mead from the mantle. Ealgian noted the bags beneath the man's eyes and his full, well kept beard. "Listen and learn, Henrik. Ulfric Stormcloak earned a reputation as a warrior and one gifted with the ability to use the thu'um. A great man, if misguided. He bore two children -- boy and girl -- still too young to know politics or their own abilities, if any. While we toil to rebuild a peaceful Skyrim those children could claim the rebellion like some damned namesake. I have no doubt that the Stone-Fist brothers secreted these children away to do exactly that." The nord cracked the top from off the bottle and took a long drink. He then turned to the soldier with a hard expression. "The Stone-Fist clan originate from Dawnstar. Go there and learn of any other kin who might shelter them or the children. You are to refer to them only as criminals of war. Kill any of their ilk you uproot and send a courier with news. If you find the children or the brothers you shall bring me their heads. Understood? You will leave depart now while the rest gather."

    "I won't disappoint, Lord Battle-Born," Henrik replied dutifully, paying a salute before gathering his things and leaving.

    "Talos forgive me for my transgressions," the lord grumbled. "I hope Rikke is doing better than I." He drained the bottle then left the palace.

    Ealgian waited a moment before leading the group into the great hall. The chamber was full of all but people to enjoy such noble splendors. Sweet cakes and fresh bread and racks of lamb and massive plates of venison chop lay splayed across the impressive table with more bottles of mead and ale than any one could enjoy. Ealgian walked into the great hall of the Palace of the Kings as if a noble afforded such honours. Plucking a handful of bread, he regarded the hall and his fate-made companions. Those who followed suit, he recognized as those well aware of the road ahead. The rest he simply waved a hand.

    "When we step out of these gates time will be against us. You all heard that most will be in Candlehearth. If we're quick and we're lucky we shan't arouse attention. I figure we make way through the Grey Quarter and avoid the courtyard entirely. We can get to the docks from there and find a captain willing to rid us of this foul place. I imagine there'll be guards at the dock gates, if we've warriors in our midst I pray they'll lead the way," Ealgian explained his plan, glancing to the Molspus boy and man dressed in dawnguard armour. "Afraid time is short. If you feel the need to exchange names, make it quick. We shan't linger much longer." The bosmer finished his bread before straightening himself and standing beside the entrance of the Palace of the Kings in wait.

    After a little while the others joined Ealgian and the doors swung open enough for one man. The bosmer sneaked from out the Palace of the Kings into the outdoor entryway. Two great stone pillars tall as one's waist and topped with great fires lit the center of the space, leaving the boundaries of the space dark as night. Ealgian withdrew himself into the shadows with the others without concern for the great doors left ajar. He gave them no mind, instead, focusing his attention on the three soldiers warming themselves around the furthest pillar. They spoke loud and bold. Two complained of the relentless cold of Eastmarch, while the third, whose voice the prisoners had only just heard, spoke of Dawnstar and his great mission. Ealgian made his way around the perimeter of the entryway until he neared the opening into the courtyard and the Grey Quarter.

    "That's right! With the Dragon-Bitch captured and Ulfric's head on a pike, this excuse for a rebellion is all but ended. There's but one loose end and I will see to it personally," Henrik bragged to the two guards.

    One guard responded, doubt soaking each word. "Loose ends, aye? And what'll they be?"

    "Politics, my brothers. Politics. I'm sworn to secrecy," the bragger held out a hand with his reply, then looked about for listening ears. "Two offspring of a troublesome house will soon taste my blade. I'd smash in their skulls like the traitors they are had my orders not been to return their heads. But I can reveal no more. Your time straightening out this nest of treason will prove just as fun, undoubted."

    He boasts of killing children? Ealgian scowled at the disturbed words, but pushed the bastard from out his mind. He felt a fire in his belly, however, and expected a few others might as well. How many of the prisoners swore oaths to Ulfric Stormcloak -- did those oaths not include his blood?
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  8. Windhelm Prison
    22 Evening Star, 4E 201
    Victoria Gunnarsdotter

    Tor felt eyes upon her as she entered upon her as she entered the dungeons storage room. Turning to her right she saw the male wood elf that seemed to have taken charge watching her while putting on his armor. She took care fix him with what she thought was a carefully blank expression before she spoke.

    "yes elf?"

    The elf didn't reply but a thin smile flickered briefly across the corner of his mouth before he refocused his attentions to donning his equipment.

    Turning back to face the rest of the room Tor survey the scene of unfolding chaos in front of her. She had been the last one to enter the room and her fellow escapees had wasted no time in the search for their gear. Armor, weapons and other miscellaneous items had been liberally scattered across the floor as chest were rummaged through and boxes emptied. Tor didn't bother to follow in their stead, she and her sister had had few enough possessions to their name after the destruction of Helgen and Tor had left the few things of emotional or material value she had owned with Aunt Inge before joining the Stoarmcloaks. Almost all of her possession when she had been imprisoned had been Stormcloak issue and the last thing she wanted to do right now was look like a rebel. Instead she contented herself with sifting through the growing piles of flotsam on the floor until she found stuff she was happy with.

    She quickly pulled on a blood caked mail shirt and then a set of hide armor, fixing both in place with a belt before ripping the tattered fabric off her feet and slipping them into a pair of beautifully soft fur lined boots. On one hip she placed small steel dagger, on the other an iron sword that still had a decent edge and across her back she fasten a quiver steel arrows. She decided to forgo a bow as every one she had seen had been cracked or worn and was more likely to snap if she drew it then shoot an arrow.

    As Tor worked her fingers into a pair of gloves she studied the faces of her newly tooled up compatriots. One particular individual, a scruffy black haired imperial wearing dark leather armor covered in pockets held her attention, his face seemed familiar somehow. She could feel her mind pulling at threads as she tried to recall why she knew this man's face. Her concentration was shattered by a popping noise and by a torrent of curses and shrieks emanating from the direction of their cell.

    "Best not follow our curious saviors, the sewers appear trapped," the wood elf announced as he looked back from peering round the doorway. "Kill the two guards or spare them, but do not waste time."

    Not bothering to look down the corridor that the noise had come from Tor went to follow the elf as he proceeded up a flight of stairs.

    "Why do I know your face?" she hissed as she passed the scruffy dark haired imperial. Any reaction that showed on the mans face were missed by Tor as she started up the stairs.

    Emerging into the dark hallway she saw that the Bosmer was pushed up against the wall and without hesitating she slipped across the hallway and crouched next to bench. Tor listen with mild indifference to the conversation that was coming from the room up ahead until she heard the voice that clearly belonged to the commander order the deaths of Ulfric's children. The bile rose in the back of her throat as they waited for both soldiers to leave the barracks, she had held precious little good will for Ulfric but for the empire to order the murder of his young children in cold blood was beyond sicking.

    Once the final solider had left the elf lead the group into the Great Hall. The sight that that met the party was almost overwhelming for someone who had lived on prison rations for the last two months. The great table that spanned the length of the hall heaved under the weight of the food and drink spread over them. Grabbing a bottle of mead Tor read the label and burst into a wide grin.

    "oh Vilod" she announced to the bottle "you and Helgen will never be truly gone while your juniper mead is still to be found"

    After taking a long drink from the bottle she grabbed a leg of chicken and some bread, eating as quickly as possible while the Bosmer made a speech. When he finished talking and moved towards the palace doors Tor stuffed as much bread as she could in one pocket, another bottle of Vilod's mead in the other before finishing the first bottle in one go and then strolled over to join him. Following the rest of the group she hung to the edge of the courtyard in the inky darkness at the edge of the light cast by the fires.

    "That's right! With the Dragon-Bitch captured and Ulfric's head on a pike, this excuse for a rebellion is all but ended. There's but one loose end and I will see to it personally"

    "Loose ends, aye? And what'll they be?"

    "Politics, my brothers. Politics. I'm sworn to secrecy," the bragger held out a hand with his reply, then looked about for listening ears. "Two offspring of a troublesome house will soon taste my blade. I'd smash in their skulls like the traitors they are had my orders not been to return their heads. But I can reveal no more. Your time straightening out this nest of treason will prove just as fun, undoubted."

    Tor felt rage building in her and was barley aware of her hands closing round the dagger at her hip as she listened to the solider bragging to his comrades. Not only did he have no respect for the dragon-born but he boasted gleefully of being ordered to murder children.

    "Honorless bastard" Tor whispered "I hope you ancestors are watching you now imperial."
    #8 Applo, May 26, 2016
    Last edited: May 27, 2016
  9. Windhelm Prison
    22 Evening Star, 4E 201
    Eralane Dornshade

    Eralane followed where the Wood Elf had pointed. She walked down the way, searching through the wooden chests before finding familiar apparel. She couldn’t help but let a relieved smile cross her face. They hadn’t destroyed everything. She let out a soft sigh, before quickly donning her leather armor. She gave no mind to her modesty—at this point, nothing was sacred. She worked fast, pulling on her cotton undergarments, and then swiftly tied her leathers together. She struggled to get some of the pieces tied together, but she managed, as she always did. She looked around, for perhaps a friendly face to offer some help, but everyone was wrapped up in arming themselves, or dressing themselves. She brought a hand up to the side of her face, gently touching where she had been hit several days prior. She winced—it was still sensitive, but nothing a little bit of healing potion wouldn’t fix. Besides—she needed to focus now. A bad headache wouldn’t help her aim at all. Once she was clothed, she pulled out her ebony bow. She ran her fingers along the decorative carvings affectionately, before testing the string—it was still good. No one had fucked with it—thank the gods.

    She found her bag, searching through it, before picking up one of the small health potions. There were three. She took a deep breath, before looking at the other ingredients she had. She had enough to scrape together some more potions once they were out. She was determined to get out. She hoped she wouldn’t have to use all of them. She took one of the bottles, uncorked it, and drained it at all at once, placing the empty glass back in the box. A few moments later, the headache was gone.

    She had a few other potions that could prove to be handy. She went through her arrows as well, running her fingers along the shafts and quickly counting them. All there. Very much a surprise. She put what could fit in her leather quiver, and then the rest she tucked head-first into her rucksack, wrapping the pointed tips with a leather cloth. She put the bag on, along with her quiver and pulled her dark cloak on around her body, pulling up the hood. Her amber eyes gleamed in the torch light. She was ready. She held the bow firmly in her hand.

    At the sound of the explosion and the scream of pain she whipped around, arrow drawn and ready, before relaxing, breathing out hard through her nostrils. Her sharp eyes watched her fellow Bosmer as he left, and she followed suit. She crouched low as they moved up the staircase, using the shadows as a second cloak. Her ears prickled as she heard a conversation happening at the top of the stairs. She tilted her head, brows knitting together as she concentrated on both the words, and keeping her footsteps quiet. Then, a group of Imperial soldiers started to file through the hallway, exiting into the Great Hall. Her knuckles turned white, and she stopped breathing. Then the conversation started again, and she let out a soft breath between her lips. She turned her head to look at the other prisoners behind her as she crouched in the shadows.

    Eralane didn’t care much for politics, but this was war. It wasn’t just politics anymore. Then she heard the word children and her head snapped up at attention as she looked toward the door. Her nostrils flared in anger and she prayed to any god that would listen that this one named Stone Fist wouldn’t be foolish enough to take the children to Dawnstar. That’s obviously the first place they were going to look. These children were being smuggled away, much like she had been those many years ago. No doubt they were frightened, scared. But their situation was much graver than hers had been. She made no move to satisfy the sudden rush of anger. Killing the Imperials would be foolish, and not only cost her her own life, but the lives of those around her. While her fellow prisoners were neither friend, nor foe, they were the same as she. Perhaps of different bloods, different births, different ranks, but this night, this moment, they were all the same. When the Nord called Henrik left, she resisted the urge to spit.

    Eralane stayed close to her racial brother as they crept into the great hall. She straitened her back as she looked around, seeing no one. Then she turned to the table, looking over the food and drink. She walked slowly, lowering her hood, keeping her eyes moving, looking at the doors as she took a bottle of mead uncorking it, and grabbed a piece of meat and a small loaf of bread and began to eat it. She hadn’t eaten much of late, and while the health potion aided in the stomach pain, food was the best remedy for hunger. She ate it quickly, once again disregarding her manners. She heard one of the fellow prisoners—a Nord woman, praise some of the mead that was on the table. Eralane gave a small smile, as she shoved the rest of the bread in her mouth, washing it all down with mead. She left the drink unfinished, but shoved a loaf of bread into her bag.

    She turned her head sharply as the Wood Elf began to speak. She listened to every word, before looking around at the others, “Call me Eralane,” she said, in a hushed voice, but loud enough for the others to hear, “I’m not strong with a sword, but I am with a bow,” she held up her ebony bow, “I can cover anyone who wishes to use a sword,” and with that she pulled her hood back up over her head, and followed the others out of the hall.

    Once again, she kept herself in the shadows, watching and listening carefully before they came across two guards, and the other—Henrik. She watched as they neared the entrance to the Grey Quarter, and her heart beat a bit faster. She heard the stinging, sickly words that Henrik spoke. He was proud to murder children. Honored to be given the opportunity of destroying the Stormcloak bloodline. She let out a sharp breath in anger, her hand reaching for an arrow, before she hesitated. No. Not now. She knew his name, and she knew his face. She would remember him, knew where he was going. But it was too dangerous right now, they needed to get out of Windhelm.

    She saw a movement in the shadows. The Nord woman had wrapped her fingers around her dagger. Eralane gently tapped her, not hard enough to startle her, but enough to get her attention. She slowly shook her head, mouthing It’s not worth it. But she had a poisoned arrow in her quiver, and if someone decided to strike, she would be ready to defend herself, and the others. She looked from the Nord woman to the Wood Elf, before she nodded her head toward the Gray Quarter. They needed to leave. Now. She looked back at the others behind them, studying their faces and reactions to see if she could read what they were planning on their faces.
  10. Windhelm Dungeons
    22 Evening Star, 4E 201
    Logan ey Ravensbourne


    "Best not follow our curious saviors, the sewers appear trapped," Logan heard the bosmer announce. He glanced towards the elf, and sneered. As if that wasn't obvious. "Kill the two guards or spare them, but do not waste time."

    As he stood there, continuing to fix his leather armour into place, Logan could feel someone's glare lurking on him, yet he didn't look up. These other people, these prisoners, they must have all been criminals in one shape or form. Or Stormcloaks. He had no sympathy for them. Not even for the bosmer, who seemed to be attempting to take charge during the surprising turn of events. His eyes turned to that woman. The Dragonborn. He lifted his sword from the side and smirked as the blade weighed down his arm. It was home, at last. Once he had put on all of his armour, he sheathed his sword and sighed to himself.

    "Why do I know your face?" he heard a woman hiss from behind him. He paid little to no attention to her words, until he realised that he was the only person within her vicinity at whom she could have addressed that question. He frowned slightly, unsure whether he even knew the woman. There was no need to study her features in aim of recognition. He had hardly spoken to any women since he had arrived in Skyrim, besides from any who had served in the Imperial army alongside him, and unless she had seen his face while he was a soldier, or was one of his many skooma customers, he would have been unable to answer that question.

    The further up the staircase that the group climbed, the quieter their footsteps had become. Overhearing the conversation between the Imperials, his indifference towards the content showed in the blank expression which seemed almost painted to his face. Sure, they were just children, but they were his children. This was war. Innocent people paid the price for acts beyond their control or measure, this was the way of the world. As they entered the Great Hall, his eyes widened slightly. It was as if the Stormcloaks had been preparing a massive banquet in celebration. Of what, he wasn't entirely sure, but whatever it was, the Imperials had duly interrupted that. As he walked towards the table, his eyes scanned the hall in search of an exit, but as long as that child-slaying commander was in the vicinity there was little anyone could really do but make a vain break for it.

    "Oh Vilod. You and Helgen will never be truly gone while your juniper mead is still to be found."

    Logan's head snapped up sharply. His eyes slowly made their way towards the woman he had spoken these words. Vilod? Helgen? Juniper mead? His blank stare turned into a heavy frown. Perhaps now was the perfect to inspect his memory after all. Her dark brown hair reached down to her shoulders and her skin was covered in dirt. Her frame was slightly narrow, and her limbs were thin and wiry, yet he was still unable to identify her. Matlara, perhaps? No, she was far too young to be her. He watched her take a swig from the bottle, before eating some bread and a leg of chicken.

    "Afraid time is short. If you feel the need to exchange names, make it quick. We shan't linger much longer."

    Logan followed them into the courtyard quietly. The flames from a nearby torch lit up her face, and even at the angle he was looking at her from, he immediately recognised her deep green eyes. Victoria. He remembered her now - the tall dark haired girl from Helgen, Karl's little sister. Everything suddenly returned to memory now. His father wrote to him frequently about the ongoing events in Helgen - if memory served well, Karl had fled to join the Stormcloaks. And now, here was his innocent little sister, or one of them, trapped in Windhelm's prison.

    "Honorless bastard," he heard Victoria whisper. "I hope your ancestors are watching you now Imperial."

    The grin on his face faded as her whispers confirmed what he feared the most. How could she have joined the Stormcloaks? What good could she have possibly seen? He looked over towards the people who had spoken about killing Ulfric's children. If they were to be killed... He watched another bosmer, a woman this time, mouth that it wasn't worth it, but an idea spontaneously formed in his head.

    "It is worth it," he whispered, glaring at the bosmer woman, before he quietly passed her so that he was directly behind Victoria. "I know your face too. Victoria, isn't it? Seven years has changed you much." His eyes turned to the Imperials who had conversed so casually about slaying children, and he shook his head. This was no time for idle small talk - he had to make it quick. "Fuck Imperials, and fuck Stormcloaks. None of that matters now. I refuse to let anyone hurt children. That man there was a friend of mine in the army once, so I don't know if I can bring myself to kill him. But you can. I will go and distract the others, then we can both get out of here."
  11. Windhelm dungeon
    22 Evening Star, 4E 201
    Loïc Druadach

    At the sound of screaming men after they foolishly wandered into a trap, Loïc could not help but chuckle. Attentive guards indeed if they just go headfirst into the unkown and then expect everything to be fine. "Best not follow our curious saviours, the sewers appear trapped," Wow, did you figure that out all on your own, Loïc thought at the statement. "Kill the two guards or spare them, but do not waste time." Loïc wasn't planning on going ass to ass with a bunch of idiot guards in the middle of an escape attempt, but what he did do was leave behind a poison rune essentially trapping the guards between a trapped sewer and a trapped hallway. A sick little joke he found most amusing.

    As he was led to his gear he was quick to don his Dawnguard armour, the absurd amount of belts on the thing made it easy and quick to put on so he did not waste any time there. Both his axes were still there, as was his crossbow, but he could not find his helmet for the life of him. No matter, he'd get another one later, fort Dawnguard was filled with them. As he was collecting his gear, he looked around at his fellow escapees, a unique bunch so much could be said with some already starting to get familiar with each other. An odd place to start making friends in his opinion. He slid his hawk skull amulet around his neck before reaching into his pack and taking out a bottle of mead; with quite some speed he began chugging the drink out of nothing but pure thirst.

    When he was done he headed down the hallway after the elf and into the grand hall. The main table there was filled with food and drink and as someone who hadn't received rations in days, Loïc was quick to gorge himself on the venison and other meats. In one fell swoop he stuffed his pack with bread and cheese and other things that would not go bad quickly in his pack before grabbing a roasted chicken and tearing the flesh from its bones as he made his way outside.

    More guards, more talking... More time for Loïc the stuff himself with chicken. The Imperials outside were talking about killing children of an important stormcloak faction and Loïc found himself unable to care less until he saw some of his "companions" getting all antsy at the sight and sound of the boasting soldier. As he saw the Nord reaching for her dagger followed by her being spurred on by the ravenhaired Imperial, he swiftly grabbed her by the shoulder and with gritted teeth hissed at her "If you put this escape attempt at risk, I'll fucking kill you myself." He took out his crossbow, tightened the string and placed in a bolt "You might run fast, but I guarantee you won't make it to him."
  12. Windhelm Dungeon
    22 Evening Star
    Varus Malspus

    After Varus had finished strapping on his Gear, he looked around the Dungeon after the others had joined with them. Footsteps, Imperial footsteps came down and tried to follow after the Dragonborn in the sewer but was met by a trap. The sound of their screams sounded more like surprise and some pain, and that they would leave. Varus couldn't imagine what it would be like to tell those Soldier's families that they were killed in Windhelm's dungeon by escaped prisoners. He wasn't an Imperial Officer anymore, but he was in those shoes for awhile. He never had to do anything as stomach churning as sending out letters of the deceased, coin for their compensation, and various other things. General Tulius made sure that Viryn's boy was sheltered away from such things of an Officer.

    Another reason why Varus hated his last name. He didn't hate General Tulius or his Father, he just hated how he was treated because of all of it.

    Varus followed the group up and out of the dungeon, hiding around the corners as they sneaked through the Castle of Windhelm. From where they stay in shadows, they could hear orders being issued out to a man named Henrik, orders to kill Ulfric's children because the Stone-Fist had taken them to safety. Varus understood why the order was given and why the Children were ordered to be killed. It was a Necessary evil in the eyes of the Empire. If they let the Children live, then sometime in the near future another Stormcloak rebellion will rise up. If the Imperials simply tracked down Stone-Fist, killed everyone but the Children and took them in? The Empire couldn't hide the Children's identity forever.

    Once the room was cleared, they could walk freely into the banquet hall. Varus took a piece of bread before taking a chunk out of it and eating it. He was slightly hungry, the guard had been feeding him to keep him in good health for the trade on his bounty. He wasn't in as rough shape as the others, which might come in handy for him.

    They didn't stay in the banquet hall for long, moving outside and ducking down. Henrik was out here, bragging to the other soldiers about being sent on the mission to kill the kids. It made Varus's stomach churn hearing a man so happy to kill children, and not because it was for the good of the Empire. Just because Henrik was a shit Imperial like that. He could see the others tensing as the woman, Tor, ready to burst and lunge at the Imperials. He gritted his teeth because he wanted to escape, and this Nord was about to blow their cover.

    In honesty, Varus would be fine if the party decided to go insane and raise the alarms by attacking Henrik. Varus would probably be roughed up and captured before they finally realized who he was and returned back to Solitude, with General Tulius.

    "You two are fucking perfect for one another. Go ahead and try to kill him, raise the alarm and see yourself back in the Dungeon. Pray they execute you instead." Varus spoke through clenched teeth at the other Imperial and Nordling woman. "I refuse to go back." Varus kept low and started to move again. He moved beside the pillar, aiming to go around the soldiers and to safety and get out of this place. He would not wait with that group. They were ready to throw away the one chance they all received to escape this place.

    If the alarm was raised, and the group didn't move fast and know exactly where they were going, then it would be all over. Too many Imperials stalked the city of Windhelm currently. It was just captured by an Army. A war camp is probably being prepared outside the city for the Soldiers that have no room inside the ruined city. Varus also hadn't shared his name yet because he didn't know these people! What if they decided to try and throw him out in the open as a distraction, or if they escaped try and turn him in for the bounty and collect?
  13. Palace of the Kings courtyard
    22 Evening Star, 4E 201
    Victoria Gunnarsdotter

    Had Tor been able to observe the tableau that was unfolding in the flickering shadows that surrounded the edge of the courtyard, she would have been struck by how much she resembled a sabre cat that had spotted its quarry. Her body was totally still save for the flaring of nostrils which each deep intake of breath and her left hand clenching and re-clenching round the handle of her dagger. Her eyes remained fixed on the three soldiers ahead of her, only breaking contact momentarily when a tap on her shoulder made her aware of a face at the edge of her vision shaking and and mouthing something at her. The meaning of the soundless words was lost on Tor as her mind spun wildly with rage and fear.

    How could the empire do this? In one night they had allowed the Thalmor to try and kill the Dragonborn and now were preparing to murder two innocent children for the sins of the farther. Was anyone safe from this vengeful wrath of the empire? An imagine of Tor's young sister drifted across her mind. Was Cerys safe? WAS CERYS SAFE? If the empire was prepared to go this far who was to say the wouldn't come after any Stormcloaks and their families for reprisal, or maybe they'd just let the Thalmor loose to take and murder who ever they wanted.

    "It is worth it.......Victoria........refuse to let anyone hurt children.............kill him."

    The word trickled through the layers of anger and dread the enveloped Tor's mind so furtively that she barley noticed that they weren't her thoughts. It seemed I have least one ally at my back and they are right, I refuse to let this vermin in front of me hurt children regardless of their lineage. Killing this scum will spare the lives of children and make sure that Cerys is safe. He has to die.

    A small part of her mind protested that killing this solider would not keep her sister safe, but fear, anger and increasingly mead, which was already starting to flush Tor's sun starved cheeks silenced these dissenting thoughts. Their grip over her mind was now so strong that she didn't notice when the heavily armored reach-man grabbed her shoulder or hear the clicks of a crossbow being drawn and the bolt slotted home.

    The only external sign that a decision had been arrived at were the knuckles on Tor's left hand, which grew steadily whiter as her hand clamped down hard on the leather covered dagger handle as she steeled herself to act.
    #13 Applo, May 27, 2016
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
  14. Logan waited to see how Victoria would respond to his words, but before he had the chance to see, he watched as a Breton man came behind her and grabbed her shoulder aggressively. She seemed to not respond to this, as if she was so caught up in her anger, and his eyes fell upon her knuckles, which had turned white as it grasped the dagger's handle. It was as if she was waiting for the opportune moment to strike, preying on the men as a lioness would a gazelle.

    "If you put this escape attempt at risk, I'll fucking kill you myself." Logan watched as the man lifted his crossbow, tightened the string and placed in a bolt. Immediately, he moved his hand to his hilt and glared in the man's direction. "You might run fast, but I guarantee you won't make it to him."

    "You raise that crossbow and I'll put my sword through your throat," he growled, his eyes turning towards the Breton. He didn't have time for this. If he decided to fire at her before she even reached the Imperial, the guards would be alerted to their position anyway. He heard the other Imperial speak, and his eyes narrowed slightly. Malspus' son? He shook his head slightly, before turning back to face Victoria. "We should do it - if they die, our escape route is secured. You, Viryn's boy, charge with us and it'll be a fair fight. More than fair, if the crossbow collaborates. Don't you think your bolts would be better turned at them? Take out one of the guards from here as we run, then you can follow these people to the docks with your tail between your legs if it suits you."

    He wasn't sure how effective it had been, but he had hoped the words had gone through. Sure, it was in everyone's interests to survive, but surely they wouldn't allow children to be butchered in their own beds. He glanced over towards the Imperial guards around the campfire. Even if they were Stormcloak children...

    "So, what do you say?" he asked, raising a single brow, as he drew his sword and tightened his grasp of the handle. "We'll be doing all of Skyrim a favour, and covering our backs at the same time."
    #14 derelict_lilyflower, May 29, 2016
    Last edited: May 29, 2016
  15. Windhelm
    22 Evening Star, 4E 201
    Eralane Dornshade

    Eralane resisted the urge to roll her eyes. She gripped her ebony bow, starting to feel nervous as they quietly bickered amongst themselves. She threw an exasperated expression at her brother-elf. As if saying, “Help me.” She passed a hand wearily over her face as she crept back deeper into the shadows, letting the others converse as she watched them carefully. A few moments before she had considered aiding in the defense of the others—but now she was having second thoughts. Let the Nords and other men kill each other, she would have no part of it—not now.

    “If you hold off, and just leave now, I’ll aid you in tracking him down myself,” she whispered, “We know where he’s going. If we move fast, we can get there first, or wait for him on the road and kill them then. That way, we all live to fight another day—if we fight now, even if we kill the three of them, an alarm might be raised, and our safety compromised. Please,” she looked between the Nord woman and the two imperials and the Reachman. She just shook her heads, hoping perhaps they would listen to reason. However, she wasn’t going to wait for them to make a mistake. She slid past the Nord and stood next to the wood elf, ready to make their way through the Grey Quarter.
  16. Windhelm
    12 Evening Star, 4E 201

    Loïc Druadach

    "You raise that crossbow and I'll put my sword through your throat," Bold words from someone as shortsighted as this Imperial. "You wouldn't be the first to try, and I'll asure you, you won't be the last." Before he could say any more he went babbling on even more. "We should do it - if they die, our escape route is secured. You, Viryn's boy, charge with us and it'll be a fair fight. More than fair, if the crossbow collaborates. Don't you think your bolts would be better turned at them? Take out one of the guards from here as we run, then you can follow these people to the docks with your tail between your legs if it suits you."

    "You're a fool if you think that's all there is to it; we're in an occupied city, fresh from a battle with a force comprised of regular citizens whom had taken up arms. Every imperial here is on high alert, one word from any of these guards and there'll be soldiers coming out of the bleedin' woodwork. You want to die here, fine by me, but don't count me in to your madness." He placed the crossbow back on his back, loaded and all, before sneaking off back to the entrance of the grey quarter.
  17. Windhelm
    Candlehearth Hall
    22 Evening Star, 4E 201
    Odleif Battle-Born

    A few hours passed since Legate Rikke led the charge through the ancient gates of Windhelm. Bodies piled all around the gate, some ran through by wooden barricades, others frozen in place as they reached for gaping wounds. Odleif looked upon each body for their colours. Reds and blues dulled in the torchlight, but the whites of their eyes shimmered all the same. Frost lay upon the fallen like a blanket to preserve them until morning when the barricades would be scraped and pyres made in their places. Windhelm was a true nordic city. He hoped a true nordic memorial would offer a little respite from an undoubtedly challenging time.

    "Who goes there?" came a challenge.

    Odleif approached the entrance of Candlehearth Hall and the soldiers standing on guard. "Odleif Battle-Born, Son of Olfrid Battle-Born, Tribune of the Imperial Legion, and Thane of Whiterun," he replied, voice hard as he recounted each action to his name. The soldiers straightened the backs and cleared the way to the door. Odleif nodded appreciatively, then scanned the courtyard stacked with freezing bodies. "A horrid sight, undoubted. Know that your guard here prevents foolish action on part of the mourning and rebel sympathizers. I've no doubt there are enemies lurking about in the night. Your service is noted, lads."

    Faint music and the smell of ale and sweat filled Candlehearth Hall. A soldier still wearing his leathers ascended the stairs with a platter stacked with ale to the sound of men and women cheering. Down the hall Odleif noticed a few women and men dressed in fine fabrics tempting the soldiers to exert themselves once more. Meanwhile, Legate Rikke sat quietly at the bar before a tankard. She wore her steel cuirass speckled with blood and grime with a fur-topped red mantle hung elegantly from her shoulders. Odleif paid her a sharp salute before a warm smile.

    "By the Nine, Oddy," Rikke gasped. She stood and waved a hand over Odleif. "Should never have paid the rumours any thought. Some said you were ran through by the Dragonborn, one swore it was an arrow to the knee. You're real, aye? Not some phantom or vision from tainted ale?"

    The lines etching seriousness into the tribune's face turned into an comical smile as Odleif let slip an unbridled laugh. He had nearly forgotten the feeling. Shaking his head, he grabbed a tankard for himself and raised it high. "Real and with the scars as proof. You heard part truths, Rikke. My brother was ran through and many a guard and soldier suffered arrows undoubted. I left half deaf with a few broken ribs. Legate Cipius sent me to the Rift shortly after and haven't stopped marching yet. They say these last few months tasted your blood as well. Talos guides us, Rikke."

    "To Talos," the nords declared quiet, but clear. Rikke finished her drink and stood, eyes already on the stairs. She replied, "Three arrows during an ambush in the night. Nothing compared to you or what the men and women upstairs have endured. I know Whiterun was important to you, Oddy. And as we both can see tonight has been no easier." Rikke nodded to one anothers' tankards quickly drunk dry. "A great man died today and too few True Nords wear red. We must stand together, Oddy."

    The legate set down her tankard and approached the stair. She knew her comrade, watched his back and the lines appear across his face. Odleif understood such and recognized he must be an open book to Rikke, that to her the weight he now carried must be plain to see. Odleif Battle-Born, eldest son of Olfrid Battle-Born, now killer of Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak. A brother and a True Nord.

    Grey Quarter
    22 Evening Star, 4E 201
    Ealgian Parikh

    Ealgian flattened himself against the stone walls of the courtyard. Hearing the others argue with full confidence their voices shan't carry to the very bastards they discussed killing churned his stomach. He watched in horror as one of the two guards beside Henrik twitched, then began to turn his head. The bosmer cringed and extended a hand to the rest of them. A hush fell over the group while the curious guard scanned the yard, eyes straining to make meaning of the shadows all around. His breath stopped itself until the guard shrugged and returned to his attention to the fire. Thank the gods, the fire must've spoiled his eye for the night. Ealgian waved his hand toward the opening toward the Grey Quarter.

    A light snow began to drift onto Windhelm as the prisoners passed through the dilapidated alley of a street. The bosmer could hear the ring of swordplay echoing from behind, presumably from the Palace of the Kings, but the decisions of others were that alone. He had his own problems now. Ealgian knelt behind a stack of barrels piled several meters from the gates to the dock. Aside from the barricades familiar from his arrival, far worse for wear than before, now enforced with three imperial soldiers. Each man wore a steel cuirass and held a torch in one hand. He heard the sizzle of snowflakes hitting the flame. He saw a stillness in the soldiers and eyes that revealed neither weariness nor distraction. These were men familiar with the bitter-cold of Skyrim and more sleep than most. Ealgian took his bow in hand then ducked back behind the barrels.

    Facing the rest, the bosmer whispered, "Shan't be easy. I don't imagine the stables are any less guarded, though. I can wound them, but I expect that armour will require another approach to best --"

    "Fooken knife-ears! Git back to Morrowind, the whole lot of yuh," came a slurred and drunken shout. While Ealgian looked passed the others at misfortune made manifest, so too did the guards turn their attention to the road leading into the Grey Quarter. "Ulfric might be dead -- Talos bless him -- buh I swear yuhl git yours. Traitors! Spies!" Two soldiers jogged toward to investigate until one slowed and leveled her sword to the barrels.

    "You lot, stop there!"

    "Damn the ignorant to Oblivion," Ealgian grumbled and notched an arrow. The bosmer stood from behind the barrel, loosing a steel missile for the more attentive of the two soldiers. Metal clicked as a spark jumped from the cuirass and a broken arrow ricocheted aside into the snow. He fired a second before recognizing the failure with a silent prayer in mind that one of these prisoners might know how to handle a blade.
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  18. That accursed Bosmer, he led them straight into the arms of the Imperials and then made them angry by plinking arrows at them with such a force he might as well have been throwing quills. "Dammit, elf, aim for the neck or joints if you're planning on wasting arrows." The Reachman rose from his hiding spot and drew his crossbow. It was a stroke of luck he had already loaded it earlier for speed of the essence and since the entire contraption's design allowed its projectiles to pierce armour, well, the quickly made steel armour of the empire could do little against it.

    Loïc pulled the lever and the bolt shot out and lodged itself straight in the shoulder of the closest guard, the Reachman cursed himself in silence that it wasn't a kill shot, but it would have to do. The wounded imperial fell backwards clutching his wound while his comrade charged in. While Loïc's crossbow allowed for armour piercing shots, it was a bitch to reload, he would not have enough time to load another bolt for the second guard so he didn't. Once again the bow found its resting place on his back and instead he drew his axes. With the names of the et'ada on his lips, yelled in the vile, guttural language of the reach, he charged at his opponent. What is dead would not kill them and what is dead does not yell for aid.
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