Blood Of Our Ancestors (IC) ::

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    Dunmer Templar

    In a city stacked upon itself like an oyster-bed, the Scarp Keep stood out like a sea pillar. Its imposing bulk loomed over the rest of the city like a sulking, grey-stone hound on its haunches, keeping a watchful eye over the mound of wooden-roofed stone yurts nestled inside the walls. The wind howled around the northernmost reaches of the towers, licking the trio’s hair as they edged into the small gap in the great doors opened by two red, leaky-nosed guardsmer. The howls of wind, swirls of snows, the creak of war preparations all stilled themselves inside the utmost Sanctum of Orsimer-kind. The Great Statue of Mauloch dominated the central hall, glaring down at the hall of his children, with eyes that seemed to glow with martial pride. Great bundles of sage and juniper burned in surrounding braziers filling the room with a heady smoke. Center’s head swam at the sudden assault to his senses, after weeks of scentless snow and stone.

    He kept pace with the hulking Nord and the Ra Gada boy, trying not to look hungrier than he was. The bowl of soup had been delicious, but the void of long hunger was deeper than a single soup serving might fix. So he stretched upward, unlocking the cricks in his back, and walked with the Old Stride of the Saint-Singers. Compared with his companions, he remained a scant thing, broken by the world. Hopefully the king would not recognize raised hackles for the desperate maneuvre that they are. Center reserved his doubts; one does not become and remain king of such a wild people without understanding natural signs. Still, he had his pride, and determined to make a good showing of himself.

    Still, there was no point in show-boating his presence; he had no idea who might recognize him here, even now. Other foreigners, who once attended the Old Words. And so Center remained in the shadow of Bjarne’s sheer bulk upon reaching the steward, appearing for all the world like the Northerner’s colourful, patchwork, outcast shadow.

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    Ungoliant the Consumer


    Total Posts: 1450

    Altmer Sorcerer

    Gro-Oglakh supposed the intent of the foreigners. A small band of strangers of various races, sizes and… capacity. The steward eyed the brutish man, of comparable size to the Orsimer warrior-folk themselves, yet spared no thought to assume he could match their strength nor inhuman endurance. His skin was dark even for an Imperial, and yet he bore the fair, albeit rough, facial hair of the nordlings.

    Bjarne marched with renewed vigor, his heady daze faded, and yet the sickening incense threatening to encourage the ache in his ‘thinker’ – as so few would deign to put it.

    “I’ve never seen a statue of Malacath in full armour before.” Bjarne muttered, eyes fixated on the imposing figure of the Daedric Prince. The audible sneer of the steward drew his attention as she approached the party.

    “I do not expect you to understand our ways outsider, but do not make the mistake of uttering the likes of Mauloch in these halls again.” She too cast her gaze towards the statue, though with a wholly admirable expression as she admired the grandiosity of Trinimac’s nobility, even when merely cast into stone. “This is but a meek representation of the glory of Trinimac, yet remains our greatest.” Gro-Oglakh turned her attention back to the Nord and the others, “You are here because of the King’s request, I assume.”

    Bjarne offered a quick glance back at the pair behind him, though already knew the answer, “Aye.” The steward held back a grimace at the sight. A boy, barely entering manhood, whom looked as though he’d struggle to lift the weapon on his belt; a one-armed man that looked ready to crumble at a slight gust of wind; and the Nord… a drunk.

    “You reek of alcohol.”

    Bjarne offered a lopsided grin to the Orc, “Drink’s in my blood. Makes me stronger.”

    Makes you unreliable. She thought; and more so than he already was – given that he seemed to be all brawn and no brain. Gro-Oglakh gave a light huff, such reckless people would only get themselves killed, “Are there no more? You will achieve very little with only three of you.”

    ”What is bravery without a dash of recklessness?”

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    Breton Templar

    Asrirrus strolled up to the castle. It had been too long since the Breton had been in Orsinium. He had recently gotten wind of a 5000 Septim reward from the King in Orsinium. For some bandits. Those bandits must be causing a shit load of trouble if the Orcs cant handle them, he thought. The reward would go towards opening an apothecary or a hospital in Cyrodiil. He hoped he wasn’t late for group introductions. Huffing and puffing, he stopped at the gate, where an Orismer guard called down to him.


    “Why are you here, outsider?” said the guard in a raspy voice


    “Here for the reward for the bandits, assuming they havn’t left?”


    “They have not. Enter.”


    And with that, he stepped into the castle.

    Add me as a friend! I never fail to entertain…

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    Ava Blackthorne


    Total Posts: 3618

    Breton Sorcerer

    Valkyria Arcterium, Orsinium.

    ” Foolish logic. ” Valkyria thought to herself, as bit her lip, trying to keep herself from spitting out what she was thinking as the steward marched off. She knew trying to reason with them was pointless, even after all the time she had spent in Orsinium she had failed to earn the respect of King Gortwog’s steward.

    Searching for King Gortwog would also prove pointless, if not get herself in more trouble, knowing this the Imperial marched off in search of Yashna gro-Oglakh. This time however she had a different idea, she had heard mention of bandits causing trouble in the region. This seemed like a foolish waste of time to her, but she knew that someone would be drawn in the allure of a reward. These so called ” Bandits ” Needed to be taken care of if she going to be able to focus on the primary issue at hand. It didn’t take her long before she caught up with Yashna gro-Oglakh, who was now speaking with a handful of strangers.

    She cleared her throat softly as she approached the small group, before facing the steward. ” Make that four. I will accompany them to deal with these bandits, the sooner we deal with this unfortunate distraction, the sooner we can return our full focus the matter of The Oblivion Gate’s. “

    ” I’m must say I’m surprised however, surely more then three people have taken a interest in dealing with these bandits? ” She questioned.

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    Bosmer Dragonknight

    A hint and splash of apprehension stopped Hatchelin from being the first to step up. He was familiar with small and medium game, though what loomed was enough to give him pause. He had spent some time pacing, staring off in the distance, though to no avail. He was a loner here, in a strange place. And while neither truly bothered him, it was the roughness of this province that stopped him from being his best.

    But it was decided. He was here.

    He’d been sizing up the steward from a distance, but there was still something more imposing when you could see them eye to eye. Mustering up an unfamiliar sense of purpose or courage, he made an appearance and sense of presence for himself. Dispensing with his shroud, he lowered his hood to make his features apparent.

    “Call me Hatchelin. Hunter by trade. Here for the bandit hunt.” He briskly remarked, letting the Orcs grumble something before letting him in proper. He noted the variety in the people assembled, as they contrasted starkly with the largely Orc centric decor. Drinking in the lay of the land within the castle, he readied himself for what was to come next, and how unpredictable the other four strangers would be.

    If you want to hide something evil, hide it in something boring.

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    Ungoliant the Consumer


    Total Posts: 1450

    Altmer Sorcerer

    “Five,” Yashna huffed, “Make that six.” She glanced past the party at another that seemed intent on joining the band. A meagre force, but until Orsinium could spare the forces, they had no choice but to send these people to their deaths until at last the thieves had been whittled down to nothing. “Come.” The steward ushered the six strangers away from the main entrance to the hall, and towards a corridor leading into the western wing of the keep.

    “You are not the first to attempt this, I am obliged to mention. There have been two mercenary parties before you, the last was formed of nine trained fighters.” She paused at a large door, though one supposed all were such size given the immensity of the Orsimer, “I’m sure you will have an easier job of it.” She reassured, though lacking any sincerity, and pushed the door ajar.

    Within was a large table spanning at least three metres by two, atop of which lay a map of Wrothgar. Bjarne noticed that all of the décor in the keep had thus far been of rather simplistic make; it was no palace, but a fortress. The entire city was layered in a manner that made it easily defensible, and at its crown sat this towering monstrosity. It seemed a history of war had the Orsimer prepared for another, and was perhaps the only reason this city seemed so unaffected by the Oblivion Crisis.

    The map was littered with flags and pins, there must’ve been dozens scattered about. “Oblivion Gates,” Gro-Oglakh looked to the Nordling, answering his internal question, “Their assault is ceaseless, and every time we manage to close one, several more open. It is a losing battle, but one we shall fight to the end.” She gave them all a calculating look, “The war is all across Tamriel, there is nowhere to flee even should one be driven to such lengths.”

    The steward gestured for them to come closer as she leaned over the table, “Orsinium,” She pointed her finger at the city, “The bandits were last at the tomb of Lord Agrum-Bashra, two days North-West from here,” The finger dragged across the map, stopping to point at empty space in the Wrothgarian Mountains, “Though that was just under one week ago.”

    The Nord shivered at the mere thought of heading so deeply into the mountains, “How can you be sure?” One could at least hope that she slightly misjudged the scaling of the map.

    “The surviving mercenary from the last party. She says they fought outside the tomb.” Her expression was one of bitterness, “They failed to break through the bandits’ defences, three of them fled from the battle whilst the others perished.” It was clear the Steward held contempt for the mercenary and her ‘cowardice’, “The others died on the journey and she returned.”

    “So can we speak with her?” Bjarne suggested. She could provide more information, such as how many there were, or perhaps a good route to take.

    “No,” Yashna spoke coldly, “She was hypothermic,” More encouragement regarding the bitter cold they were to face, “We barely got anything out of her ourselves before she required attention. There was no recovery, she died two nights ago.” It was clear the Steward cared little beyond that they could’ve gotten more out of her if they pushed for it; she would’ve died anyway. “Any more questions? If not, then I would suggest you prepare yourselves to leave as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the less chance you have of finding them.”

    ”What is bravery without a dash of recklessness?”

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    Ava Blackthorne


    Total Posts: 3618

    Breton Sorcerer

    Valkyria Arcterium, Orsinium.

    ” This task sounds like we could use some help, thankfully I know a few people here in the city. They might be willing to help us, but some of them could take some convincing. I Also keep a large stockpile of supplies in my house, at the very least I can make sure everyone has everything they need before we go. “

    The Imperial was concerned after hearing that the mercenaries had failed to break through the bandit’s & their defenses. Having a few battle hardened Orc’s at their side would certainly make a difference, and after seeing the sad state of the drunken Nord she knew she couldn’t bet on strangers to be of any use.

    ” I Can also purchase certain items if I don’t have something we need. ” She added, knowing she had more than enough gold to cover other supplies. ” I Wouldn’t worry about being unable to find these bandits, if those mercenaries were unable to take care of them, their numbers must be vast. “

    ” A Group that size should be pretty easy to track, The Wrothgarian Mountains are a very dangerous place, even for those who know it well. My best guess is that these bandits might have turned Lord Agrum-Bashra’s Tomb into their own little fortress, probably trying to avoid The Oblivion Gates. ”

    She cleared her throat, and pointed at a certain spot on the map, her finger still noticeably covered in dried blood. ” This is where we fought the most recent Oblivion Gate, it’s a fair distance away from the tomb itself, but we will still need to be careful, the Daedra like to spread out in all directions causing chaos. “

    Having said all that she could think of off the top of her head, she stepped back from the table. That’s when she noticed the look of nervousness in the eyes of the Nord, she feared he would be nothing but dead weight. Valkyria had watched more than her fair share of men falling in battle due to drink, but also cowardice, those too afraid to act during a battle. Some being frozen in place, as they were cut down by their enemies, she would just have to hope…

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    Ungoliant the Consumer


    Total Posts: 1450

    Altmer Sorcerer

    Indeed the Nord was nervous to the point of distress… though merely at the mention of more people, “Woah, slow down there girl,” He slurred, “You want to invite more people on this trek, that’s all well and good, but their cost comes out of your reward. I ain’t willing to split for less than what we’re already being promised,” Should they come back at all successful, “Nor am I planning on fighting any Daedra. I’m here for one task, an’ that’s to bash in the skulls of them there bandits, get paid, and get fucken’ pissed till my toes fall off.”

    He frowned, coughing slightly, “Er, not that last bit.” The air soured at the mention of the Nordling’s approach to this entire task… or perhaps it was the audible bristling of the steward that made him want to indelibly stain his trousers with the marks of fearful flight. “Welp,” He heaved his pack, tightening the straps at his shoulders, and looked curiously about at the rest of their totally unprepared party, “I’m ready when you are.” He could not leave the presence of the Orc quickly enough.

    ”What is bravery without a dash of recklessness?”

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    Ava Blackthorne


    Total Posts: 3618

    Breton Sorcerer

    Valkyria Arcterium, Orsinium.

    ” My name is Valkyria Arcterium, and I’m not just some girl! ” She lashed back, slightly angered by his ignorance. ” If you don’t plan on fighting any Daedra then I highly suggest you retire to the local Inn, you aren’t fit of fighting the floor beneath your feet, much less a very dangerous group of bandits. “

    ” The Wrothgarian Mountains aren’t going to give you a second chance because you had too much to drink. I Suggest you take advantage of the time it will take to reach our destination to sober yourself up, there are things far worse than bandits in those Mountains, you would do well to remember that “

    The Imperial was angered by the Nord’s ignorance, he was bound to get himself killed if he planned on fighting in his current state. She knew he had to be be a bit tough with him, it seemed nobody else was interested in leading the party, so it would fall to her. She knew the land probably better than any of them anyway, this task needed to be taken care of quickly, and in order for that to happen someone had to be in charge of this group if they stood any chance at all.

    ” I Know this land like the back of my hand, so I will lead us to Lord Agrum-Bashra’s Tomb. I Have a lot of supplies should anyone need anything for the journey, if I don’t have it then I can buy it before we leave the city. We need to get moving soon, every second we delay we give them the chance to fortify their position more, or to get further away from us. So we will leave within the hour, should be more than enough time to prepare ourselves. “

    ” I’m going to see about rallying others to join us, if anyone needs supplies feel free to tag along. ” She spoke, as she turned around, and began walking towards the exit. She knew of a few Orc’s who would happily take up the chance to crack a few skulls, some of the others might take more convincing. 

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    Ungoliant the Consumer


    Total Posts: 1450

    Altmer Sorcerer

    Bjarne burst into laughter at the lass’s little tiff, “Aye, m’lady, I’ll bear ‘at in mind.” The Nordling sniggered at the Imperial; his kind could never have too much to drink. She seemed a little too confident in her abilities… maybe a little snow in the breastplate might cool her down some. At the mention of her willingness to lead, the Nord felt a little bile rise up in his throat. Imagine him, the brute of a Nord, taking orders from some pipsqueak that’d achieve no more than to make his ears ring.

    The Imperial’s departure was a welcome one, “She knows the land like the back of her hand, she says,” He grunted to the others, “Then I’m sure she won’t bear issue with making it alone. I’ve no mind to wait around for that rancid shrew to come gabbin’ all about this and that and all manner of shite she can spew between those… awfully pretty lips.” The drunk let out a violent belch, his head swimming slightly, “Fack. Sh’bose we’d best be on our way.”

    Much like the Imperial girl, Bjarne made his own way out of the room. He had his heading, for now all there was to do was follow it.

    ”What is bravery without a dash of recklessness?”

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    Imperial Templar

    Bolzog stood over the corpse atop his table. It wasn’t the freshest of specimens but for his purposes it would do. Rigor mortis along with the cold left the lifeless body rigid and statuesque. A quick grumble and he pulled out a syringe filled with a luminescent green fluid to inject into the body. After a few minutes of the fluid flowing through the body the muscles relaxed: now he could get to work. Bolzog held his hand above the body and started to utter his incantations, a sickly glow began to emanate around the corpse and then. Life.

    The body leant forward, its glassy eyes scanning the surroundings until making contact with its master. Once it had been an orsimer, one of those tasked with closing the oblivion gate and now it was something less. Any memories which resided inside the being were gone, all that were left was a shell, one which was filled with rage.

    “Stand!” The necromancer commanded and the undead did so. One more had joined his ranks.

    Recruitment had become very slow recently, there were few bodies as it was and then the setbacks from the daedra incinerating his undead. His raids on new oblivion gates resulted in many losses and he was now down to less than 10 zombies. That is if you could call them that, those that were left looked naught like their living counterparts. Instead, they were hideous abominations; rotten homunculi composed of metal and rotting flesh. Some wielding blades in place of hands and others with spikes protruding from their torso. They were created with one purpose in mind: to wage war.

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    Total Posts: 20

    Breton Templar

    It took a while for Astirrus to gather up his stuff. He heard a commotion from inside a building nearby and hid as an Imperial stormed out. A Nord, presumably drunk, soon followed. Astirrus recognized these people from the meeting with the King and began to follow. Should these not be members of the group and he followed them, he would look rather foolish. He suddenly wished he had asked his cousin Tomias to come. Then, thinking better of sending a message to the assassin, he jogged forward, attempting to catch up with the two travelers.


    Astirrus had called out before he knew what he was doing.
    “Hey! Are you two in the bandit hunting group?”

    He hoped the would turn around and answer soon because he was rapidly becoming more and more embarrassed.

    Add me as a friend! I never fail to entertain…

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    Nord Nightblade

    Nova Orsinium, Wrothgararian Mountains


    Hours Prior,  A quarter near Midnight at the Dragon Tail Inn…



    There was a gelid nip In the air at this particular time of night In Nova Orsinium, even Inside was perplexingly cold, and the dusty Inn air suffused with the thick smell of red frothgar; a Inn special or so was Implied amongst a nary few others who ordered such sweat minty drink.


    The Dragon Tail Inn didn’t receive to many customers as of late and had about only one regular at this time of night, and as It happens, they were an Outsider. One bearing notable features of a northerner with feathery dark-brown hair that fell below the nape of their neck and hung In strands across their face, covering a scar engraved pass their left eye which held a piercing shade of Icy blue and pale skin that could only be seen In resemblance to a Nords.


    The Outsider sat by his lonesome self at the corner of a small round oakwood table, bent over with his hand propped to his smooth shaven face and with his left crossed over the table. Bleakly staring over at the frozen window as If It were a moon lit lake. Staring off was vastly becoming his hobby and his least favorite pastime, but he was without a doubt getting better at It by now with each day passing by, fleetingly; he could give longing stares to walls, ceilings, corners, you name It, for hours on end without the slightest whisper. It had been like this for almost a fortnight since he arrived; his blandsome days were composed of resting, eating, and training; rinse and repeat.


    He could practically feel his mind staggering In from the shear weight of all encompassing boredom, continually build around him as he sat Idly by, alone In this empty Inn, set with commodious surroundings and orsimer tapestries and a cold hearth. When did things get this stale…? he ruminated, drifting ever so with a slightly perplexed countenance.


    Leaning back Into a creaking chair he hung his arm over the side edge as he reached his fingers around the handle of a pint sized Iron tankard with his free hand and stopped still as he heard footsteps closing In from outside. His eyes dragged sharply to the corner, then the door swung open and In came a snow covered orc. It was the Innkeeper, who finally made his way back arms full with chopped tinder. The Outsider steered his eyes away and closed them before drinking down the rest of his tankard, then set the cup aside.


    ”Tusk!.. the cold just blows through you on nights like these…” the orc grumbled, kicking the door shut In the face of a howling breeze trying to slip passed and walked passed with slightly ragged breaths. It looked like this winter was going to be especially severe In these parts of Wrothgaria.


    The Innkeeper who came In was a husky skunk bearded orc of grizzly stature, with a great unkempt mane of black hair, wearing a ragged white sleeved tunic and some baggy trousers with boots made entirely of dead fur and leather. His name was Zorn the and the pants he wore were a gaudy mess of murdered and mutilated skinned animals of all sorts. A bit of an eyesore, but they did Indeed look sorta cozy on those freezing nights.


    Little behind his usual shift the Orsimer finished sparking the hearth a couple minutes after he finished stacking the spare wood to the side of the hearth. Now It would only be a brief while before the hanging chill In the air was chased off.


    The weather In this part of the world was nothing to sneeze at, well maybe to It’s Inhabitants, but otherwise to outsiders was a different story. Though with exception, the outsider didn’t mind the freezing cold, and his outfit showed It; he wore only a distressed black tunic shirt and some black linen trousers to go with It, wearing nothing more than that.


    ”..Not a lot of customers today.. think I’ll call It a night.”  Zorn mumbled tiredly with an absent look, expiring hot air Into his thick callous palms, rubbing warmth Into them as held them out by the growing fire.



    The door swung open again and this time In came a striking female orc. She was adorned In crude leather armor with a small leather duffle bag hanging clasped In her hand, and double bladed spear of some kind hanging diagonally from a leather harness attached to her back. Mostly covered In snow from her back to shoulders and her swaying raven black hair. She closed the door behind her as she made her way Inside, then swept off the build up of snow around her shoulders. She didn’t look much like a city orc, but she also didn’t look like she was from around here.


    Zorn Internally sighed then rose gazing down at the sizzling fire.” I’m about to call It a night, so what’ll It be, you here for a drink or are you looking for rest..?” he asked. ”Rest, and drink to go with It..” she stolidly replied, pulling out a wooden stool by the bar.


    The stranger tilted his head back with both eyes rested closed as Zorn sauntered passed him, then with one eye slightly ajar he chanced a glance towards her direction to get a better look at her. I guess you could say she caught, his eye…


    She was oddly attractive…


    Be that as It may, she was big, even for an orc. She was nearly as tall as he wa… actually, no, she was maybe a couple Inches taller and built with strong muscles to spare. He could descry Intricate Inscriptions on her lean brazen arms as she swept off specs of snow from her long hair. They were Inked with dark black tribal tattoos, leading from across her neck to her shoulders down to just above her elbows and as she rubbed her hands the outsider could make ou…


    The orctress turned In his direction….


    Quickly averting his eyes away from her line of sight, he jerked his attention to the stony ceiling as he shut his eyes closed, doing so as sneakily as he mortally could without rising suspicion, then before tilting his head down he reached out calmly and firmed his hand around his tankard. Bringing the cold rim calmly to his lips, he sipped… even though It was empty, he feigned and acted accordingly as If his life depended on It; with Orcs It might as well have.


    Looking back at the window where he could see the snow fall he wondered why he couldn’t help but stare; force of habit maybe; either way this felt uncomfortable… he thought to himself, feeling a shadow of unease crawl up his back and a tear of sweat trickle down at his cold cheek. He could feel her gaze beaming at him from across the bar, and In return he Ignored It for the moment, until he was clear of the danger.


    Act normal, and she’ll look away, he ruminated. But he was for certain she saw him, even If It was just for a split second.


    “So what’ll It be, we have plenty of options here?” Zorn spoke handing over a menu. The orctress pulled her narrowed eyes away for a moment and replied back to Zorn,“That’s fine.” She gestured In response before concluding.”…a bottle of pink zinfandel and a key to a decent clean room.”


    “Sure thing. I’ll get you that drink for starters.” The Innkeeper scratched his head and walked off sliding the menu back In a shelf behind him, then he squatted down and snaked out a bottle. The women had already strewn a litter of crowns on the table before the Innkeeper returned so he set her bottle of pink zinfandel to the side, and counted the coin left to the side, muttering as he counted them In his palm.


    She’s probably looked away by now, the outsider concluded, feeling a little less tense now that he was In the clear. Setting the mug aside, he realized It was getting late and It was halfway passed midnight, that time to start hitting the bricks.


    …Before he was mentally ready to leave, he unthinkingly glanced once more at the orc…


    There the orctriss was, staring right. Back. At. Him. Eyes piercing.


    The awkward tensity was bad enough to to make him feel like his heart could twist Inside out. He sustained a straight unfazed expression as well as he could, for the moment, though he could feel his heart knocking hard against his chest like the bells of Evermore. Cold sweat rolled down the back of his neck and down his cheek, but he remained composed.


    Shit…  a quietly hushed scream echoed from his thoughts, regrettably realizing he’d just been, baited.


    She was a bount of a female orsimer, shockingly so; she was strikingly attractive and generously robust, but It was her unusual look In her eyes that caught his attention; they were a enthralling shade of blue, like the fading sky towards midwinters dusk.


    He began suspiciously questioning If there was something laced In that water he drank earlier. He knew there wasn’t and It was fairly common that crossbreeds like her and himself held preternatural distinctions both external and Internal.


    It was momentary at best though before she turned away. Effortlessly popping the cork off with a push of her thumb, then wasting no time In moderate sips as she raised the bottle and downed half the bottle In a single draught. She was Interesting, and he felt almost surprised at how she handled such a strong drink, somewhat startled by It to. Drinking half of what she sluiced down would’ve downed him on to the ground; though In actuality, that might of been putting lightly.


    The outsider’s unease subsided, but nonetheless he thought to himself with a rested eyed smile… R e J e c t e d. She didn’t appear to be all that Interested and that was fine but, still, another dull night at the Dragon Tail Inn. Gods be damned If something of Interest came to light.


    Mh.. just, Mh came to mind.. and consequently, that’s precisely how he felt, peering back at the window with a jaded countenance. Zorn was reaching above a high dusty shelf for a small strong box, littering the crowns In, closing It shut before sliding It back atop the shelf. Today was another unfortunate time to earn coin In Orsinium, he sighed crestfallenly at the amount of earnings he made In the Inn today; the only regular this time of night was the northerner; turning over he spared a glance at the outsider.


    Zorn brushed his thick olive green fingers through the thicket of his bushy beard, dragging his puzzled visage from back from him to her. There was Intensifying atmosphere growing between his only two customers. With business In It’s current state, losing either one of them would have been a low blow to his coin pockets.


    ”Ahem, I’ll be back shortly… Though It might take me a while to find that key, think I left It In a drawer up stairs…” he ended, but before he left he paused and quick glanced back at the women, making sure her attention was elsewhere, she eyed him with a composed look then turned away, and he turned to the outsider.


    The outsider could feel lurking eyes on him for second time and looked back at the Innkeeper giving him a severe darkening look. Zorn winked back with a sparkling gleam In his eye and gestured a thumbs up before sauntering his way out. The outsider furrowed his brows like, ”No, not a chance?” and turned away.


    It was a wasted effort, mainly because neither of them had ”that” kind of Interest In each other; not that It was anything personal.


    Zorn wasn’t your run of the mill orc placing tradition, honor, and culture before everything else. He was a loud stout hearted man with a tough hewn exterior that made approaching him difficult despite being an upbeat sorta guy. He’d settled down In Orsinium after years of sailing across Tamriel In his youth as a trader and began working here as a bartender, until the Inn became his, so In the end he ended up Inheriting two jobs, bartender and Innkeeper. He was also the persistently stubborn bloke who always poked around for a bit of conversation, something the outsider couldn’t relate to.


    To the Innkeeper returned and to his surprise he hadn’t been expecting It to be so, quiet. Silent as the grave as It were. Zorn’s expectations were admittedly a bit flabbergasted, but It was already a quarter past midnight and the longing for a warm bed and a cozy fur pillow with a side of blankets beckoned to him.


    Still, It was odd, he was so assured that… well It didn’t matter, he pondered scratching a finger at the side of his bushy brow. Moseying down the stone stairs he made his way around to the bar. The girl already finished with her drink sat quietly with her head tilted down, while the outsider sat by his lonesome near the burning hearth. Zorn set aside a Iron key to the young lass, yawning as he rubbed the Inside of his eyes. ”Your room Is up that stairway to the right at the end of the hall, and your door’s unlocked… so, yeah.. night, Im gonna go pass out. Rest well.” A arched brow winkled from her at his response.


    The Innkeeper didn’t mean to come off as, dismissive, but he was too tired to mention anything else and waved bye as he rotated away and blew out all the candles around the bar, locked the front door, then slogged away retiring to his room by the corner of the bar, shutting the door behind him.


    The room now benighted In wobbling shadows, with only a paltry lit hearth warmly glowing from the end of the room, which thankfully made most things In the dark visible, to a degree at least. It was better then blindly tripping over a chair or kicking the hell out of a sharp corner with your toe on something rigid..


    The stranger sat up twirled his chair facing the fire place and sat back, noticing muffled steps of someone closely approaching, to no surprise It was the girl but at the same time to his surprise It was her. She loomed over toweringly and swung a dragging chair over before asking,”Mind If I sit with you ?..I wanted to have a chat with you.” Before he answered she had already seated herself backwards In the oakwood chair and dropped her duffle bag behind her.


    ”…Surr–sure..” he still answered, unsure whether or not that was a question. Her chair groaned loudly like It’s stilts were about to blow out as she leaned forward with her arms folded on top of It.


    She, was a lot bigger up close. A lot bigger. The creaking ceased and she let out a Internal sigh, then stared off at the crackling red glow of the hearth. He steered his gaze back towards the fire but observed her from the corner of his eye momentarily. Her face was Impassive and she herself was somewhat hard to get a read on. But again, she was pretty.


    “So, couldn’t help but notice.. that you were staring at me…”


    “ I was, but weren’t you as well..”


    “Mm.. I guess, but then again you had your eyes on me from the start, didn’t you.” She stared.


    “Well…” He sighed then shrugged his shoulders.”..yeah, I guess you’ve got me there.” he solemnly admitted, dragging his eyes away as he rubbed the side of his neck.


    “ *Uhem*.. that might of been a bit forward of me..”she rubbed the nape of her neck and turned her attention elsewhere.”Your a Northerner, yes..”


    ”Your not wrong…” he vacantly replied, sparing a glance her way.


    “But your accent, It’s colovian?”


    “Something I picked up traveling through Cyrodiil. Your not from around here either, are you?” He surmised.


    “I aren’t wrong, but I’m afraid thats all Im obliged to mention.” She answered reluctantly, drawing her eyes away as she propped a elbow against the chair to the side of her face.


    His eyes rotated to the corner of his eye; everyone had their secrets, and so did he.”Understood.”


    ”Whats… *mh* never mind.”She abruptly dismissed, rising up from her seat.”It’s getting late… so, thanks for the chat I guess.” She concluded dismissively, picked up her bag, and without looking back she left with out another word.


    The stranger partially furrowed his brows, perplexed; just like that all of a sudden she had up and left. He rubbed the nape of his neck, contemplating as he dragged his plain gaze to the dusty uncaring stone cold floor. There was nothing that came to mind as to why she left so abruptly after shortly approaching him; maybe It was something else. Propping up from his seat he rubbed his finger at the Inside of his eye, before noticing vague glint from the corner of his eye, arching his brows slightly upward, he squatted, and to little surprise It was a Iron key resting at the side of her chair.


    The Orsimer probably left It behind when she, left…


    His visage darkened with suspicion…

    Leisurely walking bare foot up the chilled stone steps, he continued down through the partial darkness of the hall to his room which was on the left side. The air was so frigid up here he could feel It creep up his spine, It was considerably colder during the midwinter nights, something he’d grown used to during the first couple nights here.

    Opening his door ajar, he paused and gazed over his shoulder at the door to the right end of the hall, a little further down from his. There were only two spare rooms up stairs, his and her’s, the third being the Innkeeper’s quarters which was down stairs. The only reason this came to mind at this ungodly hour, was hooked around his finger.

    He wondered whether or not he should return It, but, he also questioned whether or not she left the key there on purpose; It could’ve been an accident, It really could’ve, but then again there was the other possibility, one that made him reluctant In returning It to her. It was a hard call to make, and at this time he wasn’t sure whether or not If she was already asleep, of course, there was another simplistic alternative to such a slight predicament; that being he approached her room quiet as a shadow and slid the key under her door.


    Face tilted downward, he gripped the door handle firmly before letting out a deep sigh and opened his eyes. It was too bloody damn late to be pondering over such trifling things.


    Stepping back, he closed his door gently shut and walked down the darker end of the hallway. It was dark but not to a point where he needed to strain his eyes just to see feet. With careful muffled steps he approached the way up to the front of a studded wood door, bending down he slid the key off his finger and caught It In his other hand, then began Inspecting the key for a prolonged couple seconds; he got back to contemplating.


    He realized he was stalling, and he knew why. Held back by last minute decisions that gnawed at his mind.


    Nature was a compelling force, as was damned curiosity and going against his better judgement was a force of habit that occurred more times than he’d like to recall; but again..  time was running short so It would either be now or never and It was time to make a choice…


    The outsider stood straight, eyes still locked on the the key with a deadpan expression.


    The decision was made.


    He knocked softly at the base of the door, certain she would answer, and that something would happen, one three things to be exact.


    The knob turned and the door creaked open as the striking orctress stepped between the doorway, clothed In nothing but a dusky rose pink night gown draping just above her knees. “..Uh… hi..” he murmured, respectfully keeping his eyes from looking anywhere beneath her neck.


    “Hey…”The orc skeptically eyed him.


    “Here, you left this near the fireplace.”He held the key out between his fingers. Her eyes followed, though her uninterested visage Implied she could care less about It.


    “…That’s fine.” She gestured.” You can hold onto that for me.” She dismissively dragged her gaze aside, then tilted over to the side of the doorway, legs crossed, and arms folded, avoiding eye contact.


    “Hm.. ?” Understanding what she meant, he flexed a brow and she In turn revealed a small furtive yet endearing smile; from tusk to tusk.”Took you long enough, but I’m surprised you came by.”


    ”I hope your not disappointed.” he whimsically remarked.


    ”That depends entirely on you..”


    ”So, what happens next.. ?” He queried, crossing his arms and he looked her back In the eyes.


    ”First, you should know what your In for before hand; I won’t do anything to seriously due you harm, but If It’s too much just say so, and It’s over. Understand this; what your getting Into might be too much for you to handle.”She forewarned In a stern but sullen tone.


    A roguish smile emerged from him. She had just out right challenged him, sternly so, though not Intentionally; but he didn’t mind a challenge; In fact he liked It; and he was really starting to take an Interest In her; more so than he already was. ”I’ll take your word for It.”


    Her taciturn expression darkened as she starkly glared back.”Seriously, this Is your only and last chance, to walk away; no hard feelings will be had on my end.” She admonished coldly, he could feel the Icy touch of her words but could see the softness behind her stark gaze.


    The Outsider had a way of perceptibly seeing passed the exteriors of others; passed their facades and the masks they hid behind; It wasn’t any consequence of how well hidden they’re truer natures were, In the end, their eyes always betrayed them. For a moment he could see that she was gentle, sensitive even, and almost caring for his own well being.


    Being strong wasn’t always a blessing. That was something he learned long, long ago.


    ” I’ll remain here, for now, If It’s alright with you.” He ended, casting a resolute look her way.


    ”Don’t think I’ll hold back for a moment.” Her voice darkened but her stark visage faded, with a wolfish smirk to take It’s place; she would hold him to every word that came from his lips.


    ”Can I ask your name..?” Her voice deepened.


    ”.. Artorius..” He replied, stepping closer. ”Whats yours..?”


    ” Drusilla.” She whispered.


    With all said and done, they stared deep Into each others eyes. Both filled with pure burning vehemence, stirred with a boiling feeling that seethed from within their aching chests, boiling like hell under water, to a point It was almost out of their control. Artorius leaned In closer, softly touching his lips against hers as she embraced his cheek with her firm gentle hand. Backing away she lead him with long burning kisses, guiding his direction In a rotation before detaching away, then she pushed him over with one hand onto the bed. Closing the door behind her as she locked It with the key she had snaked out from his hand, then tossing It aside as she mounted over on top him.


    Everything beyond that small commodious surrounding became less and less tangible, detached from the matters of the world, where nothing else mattered; nor should It have.


    It was just her and him, breaths steady, becoming one In a deep passionate embrace.




    Present Day, Morn at the Dragon Tail Inn



    The churning and turning of water, the vague and gentle sense of the ocean swaying back and forth, rocking him side to side. The sound of rowing aloft placid waters soothed him. There was nothing he could see, his eyes were blinded by a fold of darkness that surrounded him, leaving him adrift In a wake of blinding darkness. Falling asleep once more, his senses fade as the murmuring voice of the ocean continues to churn.


    Artorius awoke, creaking his weary eyes half way to the presence of a dimly lit room filtered In by a ray of faded blue light that reflected from the frozen window opposite to his side. Vaguely remembering the dream he just had, It felt familiar In some sense, In some way. He searched his memory for a moment, but nothing came to light; only faint sense of nostalgia remained with him.


    Last night had worn him out through and through. Laying flat on his chest he laid exposed to the autumnal chill naked In his bare skin, for some reason without any of blankets to keep him covered. His clothes were probably littered somewhere In the room but, he had no Intention of getting up.


    He couldn’t feel much of anything below his waist, save for a some numb soreness; hell he could barely feel his legs, It was just pure plain numbness tingling all the way up to his toes. Thus the stamina required to stand was going to be a bit of a problem; not that he planned on It anyway.

    It wasn’t like he had much of a full schedule. Though If he did, rest would be marked as his first on the to do list, after all he didn’t catch much sleep last night; his visage was left with dark circles and stretch marks; he could barely keep them open If not for the cold.

    Last night though was, Interesting to say the least; no words could describe It, every sensual touch was like sweet burning anodyne to the senses; the only word that came close to describing It was, near absolute contention. He wasn’t normally prone to sharing himself with another In such a way; at least It had been a fairly long while since he did. But further more, no regrets whatsoever, only very, very tender sensitive areas that could probably use some Icing along with slightly stinging scratch marks at the rear of his back.


    Then with enough Initiative he managed to sluggishly roll over onto his backside, strands of hair draping down across his face as he rotated over and swung his eye to the side. To very little surprise Drusil laid nestled beside him all curled up, and, covered with all the blankets.


    Greedily hogging It all as she snoozed.


    It was to no surprise that she was behind the missing covers, she did seem like the type; he thought.


    Watching her sleep for a moment; expiring out with a small muffled yawn Artorius attempted to snag away a blanket as gently as he could without waking her up. Tugging It slowly off bit by bit, he pulled In decent amount of covers, enough to keep the cold away. At last, he relieved, now he’d sleep In a little longer.


    Drusilla pulled back on the blanket again and reflexively he gripped onto It by an end, tugging It back over himself as she stubbornly contested for It. Oddly enough she was still asleep, for a moment he thought she was purposely doing It, before long Artorius gave a curt groan and let go, surrendering the covers. The blanket was her’s and he scowled as she wrapped herself In It while the cold creeped back over him.


    Casting a sigh, he laid back Into the fur mattress; ultimately he didn’t want to wake her up and the cold wasn’t so bad he’d risk doing so. It was preferable to freeze to death than to being mauled alive…


    ….What a night…

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