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21 days ago
Current Remember, nobody actually enjoys roleplaying if there isn't at least five shameful fetishes uncovered by the 2nd page.
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1 yr ago
Somebody stole my mood ring. I don't know how to feel about it.
14 likes
2 yrs ago
Let's be honest, it's far more satisfying and challenging to actually imagine what a character looks like than paste a hundred gifs of a celebrity and call it good.
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2 yrs ago
So, a team of players who are good at playing as a team in a team-based game are individually bad players. Seems kind of silly when you put it like that, no?
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2 yrs ago
My goal these days is to have an RP that can actually finish, or the very least, last a few years. I see way too many die on page one to take chances
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Bio



Lowering the site's value since January 2012.


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The Master's Tower

Evening of 14th Sun's Height, 2E600, south of Sadrith Mora...



Tel Telvayn as it turned out was a monolithic fungal tower situated on a small island covered in dense foliage and volcanic rock. Around the perimeter was a neatly tended to stone walkway flanked by bioluminescent flowers and mushrooms, attracting brightly winged butterflies and dovahflies alike to their bright pedals, and from their flight glowing nectar was spread, shimmering through the air like a cloud of torch bugs that shimmered in the dark corners of the island. To the East there was a simple dock where a small fishing boat was anchored, and looping around the tower itself was a wall, several meters high that gave the impression that the occupants were not interested in visitors, benign or otherwise.

Gathered inside were the liberated captives who were presented with simple bed rolls and seating by well-dressed servants, mostly Argonians and Khajiit and a few elves, who did not wear slave bands and appeared to be well-fed and cared for. There was no particular set of standards to their garb, only that they appeared to be fine clothing. There was gossip among the servants about the newcomers, who were appropriately fed and their belongings offered to be tended to.

The guests were instructed that they could go anywhere outside of the tower, provided they stay out of sight if a boat or ship were spotted, and any chamber outside of the large circular foyer they currently occupied, the adjacent bathing chamber to the East, and the kitchen to the West were off-limits. Expressly forbidden were the magical lift in the center of the foyer, where only mages knowing the magical atonement and ability to levitate were able to access anyways, the workshop and study to the North unless otherwise invited, the basement level which was not elaborated upon, or the upper levels where the servants came and went on a whim.



The group was seated around a large circular table, seemingly shaped from a singular piece of gnarled wood that was carved and polished into a flat surface with tea cups and biscuits brought out. Standing at the end of the table, no longer garbed in the ferofungus armour and instead in Telvanni-patterned robes, a red and black knee-length coat over dark trousers and fasted about the waist with a belt. Silver embroidery added a stark contrast to the ensemble.

“It is nice to see none of you managed to lose yourself in my home and proved to be adequate at following basic instructions. Well done.” Turon said, hand behind his back and the other on his staff as he looked upon those around the table with dark eyes. “Other than the boundaries I have established for where you may wander during your stay, I will ask you do not pester my assistants. Before any of your imaginations can wander about the Telvanni slavery caste and the unpleasantries outsiders seem to maintain over the practice, allow me to assuage your fears; while each of my assistants have been purchased from the slave markets, they are treated as my employees. They are free to leave when they so wish and I maintain wages for each of them that they may spend as they see fit under the pretense they are purchasing supplies for myself, and when they wish to part ways, they will be provided transportation to a more hospitable part of Tamriel. In exchange, they help maintain my premises and take care of more domestic matters so I can attend to my studies in peace, and some of the more magically capable assist in my experiments and research.

“While I disagree with the principle of slavery as a practice, unlike most of my House and House Dres, I will bend the system to something that suits my needs. While I do not feel the need to defend myself and my integrity to the likes of you, the last thing I want to deal with is a bleeding heart trying in vain to free my assistants from my cruel and vile clutches like I am abusing house pets only to watch the poor rabbit get snatched by a cliff racer the second it leaves the property.” He rolled his eyes and exhaled annoyed through his nostrils. “If you must talk to them, take them at their word and let them go about their business. They’re only slaves according to the purchase receipts that I keep tucked away next to their writs of release that I draft up the day they enter my service. Now that bit of preamble is dispensed with, we can focus on the actual important business at hand; stopping the auroras and freeing people from the Witch-Emperor.” Turon said, placing a large map scroll on the table and unrolling it with a flick of the wrist. Clearly marked were several locations, including Balmora in fresh ink, and a series of neatly marked circles of different colours, red closer to the Imperial City, and grading lighter for each ring further out it went.

“Forgive the lack of accuracy and broad generalization of this map, but my cartographer and I only have limited information to work off of. The rings you see around Imperial City is the approximate range of the intensity of the auroras, the further out you go, the more subdued they are in general… save for ritual sites like the one you were delivered from. From my understanding, sites such as that are how the spell is maintained, or at least accentuated in more remote locations, with the Imperial City being the focal point where the spell appears to be maintained indefinitely.

“As stands, the city is unassailable, and I cannot determine if our inoculation to the effects is because of our remote proximity to the spell or if we have a general immunity to its effects. It is not an experiment I wish to pursue because I quite like my mind intact and not prostrating myself at the Shrine of Raxus. From all reports from my own observations and those I have enlisted to gather information from across Tamriel, those who are enthralled seem quite keen about this new Witch-Emperor and the war appears to be winding down… the factions simply have lost the enthusiasm for spelling each other’s blood for a throne that won’t be able to project authority any time in the foreseeable future. Even members of my own House aren’t immune to this pesticide-like charm; Councellors and masters who opposed joining the Ebonheart Pact on the grounds of we do not care about the affairs of others outside of our territory seem rather fond of this Raxus fellow and are only being kept in check by those in my House who seem to think they’ve lost their damned minds.” Turon’s face scrunched up.

“And so, I fear that our time is limited, because there’s two potential outcomes to the lot of us dawdling and waiting out this storm. The first is we use our immunity and become gibbering baffoons like the rest of Tamriel and we all lose our self-determination because we were lazy, or Raxus grows tired of playing the long game and elects to crush the rest of us by force when those under his clutches grow to be fanatically loyal. Considering I’ve already seen a pair of brothers stab each other over this, I think you can imagine how eager my fellow Telvanni will be to raze my tower and harvest my blood and study for centuries of accumulated knowledge if their new master deems me to be a threat to his interests. I quite like my home, as well as my blood, as I imagine the lot of you do about your own respective cherished keepsakes.”

The Telvanni gestured, and a servant came over with a plate covered in the black crystal shards, which he placed on the table. “Although I would love to be dramatic and say every shard represents a life taken to fuel the Witch-Emperor’s crusade against our freedom and very souls, the reality isn’t too far from the truth. Someone was sacrificed, a black soul gem embedded in their chests before a burst of energy shattered the crystal and their essence and maybe soul was given to the auroras. With the shards, you can see auras that make those of us immune to their effects when you have it on your person. It’s how you will know who you can trust, to a point. People are terrified and will do stupid things if they think it means they’ll be granted some degree of safety. I have an assistant fashioning some pendants and rings out of shards I collect for ease of convenience that I will have you lot pick out so you can have arguably the most effective tool to avoid being detected and finding answers to a problem that feels rather daunting in scale.

"The trouble is Raxus’ headhunters, the Praetorians, are all equipped with such enchanted macabre jewelry. It’s how they found you, and you have met them before, the charming fellows in Akaviri and Dragon armour that prowl around like the Ordinators in Mournhold. Unless you are confident you can take them, avoid them at all costs; they have an army of citizens and soldiers at their disposal and their mages know a suite of spells to take you alive.” Turon glanced at his fingers, studying his nails. “The lesson here is to assume most everyone can humiliate you without much fuss and the next time you wake up you’ll be having a black soul gem shoved into your chest cavity. Pick your moves carefully and focus on the priority targets.”

Turon picked up a teacup and studied it for a moment before setting it down, his hand engulfed in a frost spell that he swirled around the teacup for a few moments before picking it up again and sipping from it. “I have identified three priority individuals who will need to be dealt with to cripple Raxus’ operations and open him up to a coup de grace. I know their names from reports and interrogations, and their general influence and method of operations, but not much else, I’m afraid.

“The first is a lovely member of House Dres called Sybil Dres, a formerly prominent member of the House who from all accounts had either run awful of the Tribunal’s politics or grew disillusioned. She’s been rallying against the “false gods” and taking up faith with the Good Daedra again to the point that she’s managed to assemble a coalition of similarly disenfranchised members of Dunmeri society, and she has promised the Ashlanders much in the way of autonomy and boons for supporting her cause. For one reason or another, she fell in line with Raxus when he was a warlord and they’ve been bonded allies since the beginning. She’s the commander of the Praetorian guard and her experience as a slave master has made her uniquely qualified as a tracker and manhunter for those who wish to evade Raxus’ forces and she’s passed on these skills to her followers, and they really are an elite branch of Raxus’ armies. Finding her and eliminating her will, to my understanding, disrupt the ritual sites and put the Praetorians into disarray to the point they cannot effectively carry out their duties. It’ll keep people safe and weaken the influence of the auroras with her gone.

“The second is a Khajiit scoundrel named Renziir, a big shot in that nationalist crime syndicate, the Renrijra’krin. Unlike a lot of his peers, he’s truly believed in breaking the feudal system in Elsweyr and ensuring its independence from not only the Aldmeri Dominion but the kingdoms themselves. Sixteen tribes used to be independent, but living in unity he reckons, and they can be so again. He has his fingers in quite a few pies across Tamriel, including the slave trade and skooma trafficking, and he has amassed quite the illicit fortune built on destabilizing existing power and exploiting people’s vices. He’s the primary financier of Raxus’ forces, and while I am uncertain the hows or whys of why he has fallen in with Raxus, I imagine either he was promised something irresistible in exchange for his help, or Raxus found an ideological angle to pry into. Removing him will cripple the Witch-Emperor’s army’s supply lines and limit their effectiveness, as well as deprive a lot of the funding to maintain his empire’s many ambitious projects.

“And finally, we have a Reach Witch named Chief Tabitha that belonged to the Dreadhorn tribe, most famously known in recent history for sacking Falkreath and being a tribe of both Reachmen and Minotaurs. She was the advisor and personal mage to their fallen chieftain, the Minotaur Domihaus. With the power vacuum and infighting that followed, she emerged as the chieftain of the Dreadhorn tribe and turned to ancient rituals and their Old Spirits, what we know as the Daedric Princes, for power that would crush their enemies and deliver the Reach to the same prosperity and influence as the years of the Longhouse Emperors. Word is, Raxus came from the Reach and had been friends and allies with Tabitha from before his ambitions led him to our current predicament. It is unknown where he learned to do such an incredible spell of such unimaginable magnitude, but the Reach clans that have joined with Tabitha are the ones with the expertise in maintaining it and channeling it. I estimate that without Tabitha, the spell enthralling Tamriel will start to break since she seems to be the architect of at least the application of it.” Turon concluded, taking another long sip from his tea before frowning, flames forming around the teacup for a few moments before he returned to his drink.

“And there you have it, the culmination of the information I have gathered distilled down to its most basic components for you so you may make an informed decision. Make no mistake, Sybil, Renziir, and Tabitha are all the pillars in which Raxus’ festering dream rests upon, and should you deem it within your ability to remove them from the picture, the entire structure of his power crumbles irreparably, at least long enough for you to go after the Emperor himself.” Turon frowned, setting down the teacup. “I can see in your faces fear, uncertainty, doubt. All things that will only serve to cripple you from doing the right thing. Pacifism here is a coward patting themselves on the back, and this duty that falls upon you is the most important thing any of you will do in your lives. Take four lives to save millions, and I assume most of you are capable of understanding basic arithmetic to see how easy of a choice that is. For a Telvanni, certainty is power, and believe you me, there is a foundation of dead and crushed enemies beneath my feet that have granted me the ability to stand here today, before you, to herald in this coalition. I admire Raxus for his ambition and power, but culling rivals to advance my own is such a fundament of my house this merely feels like an exceptionally busy month in my life rather than a fundamental shift in the world.” Turon shrugged, stepping away from the table.

“Perhaps it is regrettable such a duty falls upon you, but so far, you’re the only ones left who are qualified to take up this mantle on account of you being alive. Perhaps in some other corner of Tamriel, others are forming similar plans and perhaps our preparations are redundant because they will succeed. But ask yourself this; what if they do not, and the only thing between the enslavement of every single person you have ever known and loved is you?” he let the question linger before walking away to his workshop.

“If any of you have need of me, I will be in my workshop, working on more solutions to these vexing problem we’ve been presented with. Take the night to compose yourself and rest, for tomorrow I will be sending you off after one of your targets. Farewell and enjoy your stay.” He paused for a moment, turning his head over his shoulder. “And please, at the bare minimum, don’t kill each other. We’re all adults here, not savages.”

14th Sun's Height, 2E600

"... you'll do... unbind..."

A pause, and then from further away, now clearer as her mind began to focus and take in more of the sounds of her surroundings. "... try not to kill one another..."

"... I may be of some service to you."

Stifling a cough, the small bosmer carefully moved her hands; her wrists were still aching from having been bound but now accompanied by the feeling of being free, no longer held together by manacles that were still restraining the others. Her hand tightened around the metal key in her hands. Ah. Though the room was still dark, now that her eyes had adjusted to the low light she could see there was more than a couple of more in here with her. Who they were didn't matter to the wood elf; clearly they were all enemies of whoever brought them here, and the enemy of one's enemy would hopefully be an ally, if not a friend.

Moving as quickly and as quietly as her body allowed her, Nimriell Briarwood found she didn't have to traverse far at all before her hand gently brushed against whoever was being held next to her. Patting at the person until she reached their binding, she quickly unlocked the bindings holding them. Her hand brushed against fur. Khajiit? Her nose was still wrinkling against the fading scent from the censer, but a strong nose might still get affected. Hopefully they had the sense not to breathe in too deeply.

"Careful," she muttered under her breath as she made sure the person could stand. "We are probably still in danger- this one's going to release the others here." The words of whomever had set her free came back and she hastily added, “This one urges you to see all here as allies.” For now. Wherever they were, they would need to work together if they wished to leave this forsaken place alive, of that she was certain.

Fortunately, it did not take too long for the nimble wood elf to unlock the others in the room. From what she counted, there seemed to be five others besides her. Would they be enough to face whatever had brought them here? She frowned, crouching next to the last individual she had unlocked- it seemed they were still groggy, eyes only half open. No times for niceties, she patted the person’s face somewhat roughly until she could see they were lucid.

“You’re finally awake. Come now, we need to hurry.”

By now, Do’Karth was coming to his senses, his head was pounding as the competing concoctions of whatever was in the vial the stranger had roused him with and the censer seemed to wildly disagree with each other. When the chains were freed, the Khajiit knelt, rubbing his irritated wrists and focusing on his breathing to clear his head. He was aware of the others in the room, and had been during their time together… people from various different races and presumably alliances, he thought, wondering if he was out from behind one blade and thrust into another.

When he felt confident enough to find his footing, he did so, his toes pressing into the cool cobblestone underfoot as he blinked away what felt like a never-ending nightmare. Without a word, he followed the directions their rescuer had given them, the scent telling Do’Karth it was a Dunmer, and he opened up the side chamber to find his gear, lest someone else arm themselves before he had the chance.

Janus had been somewhat stirred from his stupor, his first instinct to look for attackers showed him none. There were only strangers to him, and to each other. His eyes still hung on each one, though his mouth uttered no words as he followed the Khajiit to wherever he was going. He found his steps still unsure, like he was walking with another man’s legs.

His gear- and most importantly his sword- had to be here somewhere. He’d be damned if he let anyone else wear it at their hip, much less this Khajiit. They said no words between them though their paths seemed to be the same. He had to be a warrior, the thickness of his limbs and the mind to go straight for his things spoke of it. Whether that was a point of trust or contention was yet to be seen.

Over in the corner, the blue eyes of a Nord opened lazily, and a groggy yawn left her mouth uncontrollably. Joy stared at the painted gloom of the walls and from the chilling stroke of colour, her confusion became too much. Casting a glance down at her legs, one violet and the other teal; she was still in her tights. Following that she noticed that the sleeve of her doublet was torn at the elbow. “What…?” Any words cast into the prison still remained unheard to her ears as she brought herself shakily to all fours.

“Did I drink?” Joy mumbled to herself, trying to remember. There was a dull ache in her head and she fumbled around to feel the back of her skull. Her fingers found a stinging, swollen lump. “Ow.” The clattering of stars that blinked over her eyes thereafter was the stark wake up she needed to realise this situation wasn’t what it seemed.

I]"Uck."[/I]
Sait's mind throbbed against his skull like waking water; dull and aching, and muddied too far to see through. Trying to recall those last instants before unconsciousness was like trying to grab smoke - each failed swipe spreading the memory thinner. He remembered that he had fought. That he'd tried for peace, and when his soothing spells failed, he'd settled for Sadia's steel.

"Sadia."

Stirring fitfully, and struggling against nothing thanks to Nimriell, Sait finally opened his eyes. Groggy still, but unbound and distressingly unarmed, he braced himself against the cool stone of the floor and rose to meet his fellow captors. They were already on the move, and so too would he be - in seconds, he had decided he was keen to show this place the sole of his foot.

He followed their lead. It sounded like somebody was moving equipment in that next room - the tell-tale tumbling of metal against wood - and so he followed that. In doing so, he crossed somebody occluded by the dark, kneeling by another, and deduced that she was their saviour. That other figure, that strange voice, was surely the stuff of a nightmare. He whispered his gratitude in passing, his voice like the sea.

"Sen Alezer'i, friend."

Bolorma, the furthest one in the cell and the last one to regain consciousness, was also the groggiest. Her eyelids felt like lead and her brain might as well be the swamps of Argonia. Someone patted her cheeks, but all Bolorma wanted to do was go back to sleep. That was the fume's advice, sleep. Did she hear other people shuffling around? Was it morning already?

"Five more minutes…" The Orc pleaded with whoever had woken her. She really didn't want to deal with reality right now.

At last, Janus had found it. His sword, though where his armor was, he’d no idea. Perhaps looted from him while he was unconscious, those bastards not wanting to try and take it while he was awake. It proved to him the measure of these men, they built halls like these and wore those robes like they were of great import. Only went to show that the loudest men were often the most empty. He wrapped the belt around himself and kept it snug, buckling it as he stepped out of the room. He froze as he heard a language he hadn’t in quite some time, looking to one of their compatriots and settling on him being the one to speak it.

Of a sudden, the threadbare cloth between everyone’s eyes and Janus’ tattoos seemed too little a defense. He gave the other man a wide berth and hoped he said nothing to him as they passed each other. Another of them was still struggling for lucidity on the floor. A woman, making nervous quips to no one. He stepped up to her and offered a wide hand, “Up you get, we’re leaving.”

He didn’t know why and he didn’t know who, but he wasn’t about to ask questions about his regained freedom… if it was freedom. You didn’t break into a place like this and set free a dangerous man like Janus- or potentially any of them- out of charity.

Carefully, Joy came to her feet, and to her senses. The big man was steady enough for her movement to not even sway him. Her hand felt dwarfed by his own. She offered him a smile in the dark for his gesture, “thank you Sir,” she said. As lost as she felt here, and as fearful too, she had not forgotten her manners.

The Nord woman practically tip-toed forwards from him, squinting across at the side chamber, and the activity there, the strangers hovering in the doorway. “I don’t suppose you happened to see a Lyre in there? And a Lute? Bag with stars on it?” Joy asked hopefully, biting at the corner of her lip. She didn’t expect that they would be there, she could barely remember what was even on her person when… Whatever happened, happened.

“Would this be it?” Do’Karth asked, holding the aforementioned bag with one hand and offering it to Joy. He’d realized most of the people here were likely citizens; other than the familiar Bosmer and the Imperial he eyed skeptically, there didn’t seem to be soldiers or warriors among them. There didn’t seem to be any reason for any of it, Do’Karth reflected with a frown, his maul resting on his shoulder, the snarling senche face staring up at the void of the ceiling.

His amber eyes glanced towards the side chamber, where unspeakable horrors had been committed, where their rescuer happened to go. Perhaps that was an encounter that could wait a few more moments, he decided, sorting through the crate that had his belongings put into it with more care than the prisoners were contained. He found his breastplate and began to strap it on with practiced hands.

“Is everyone okay?” Do’Karth asked out loud, deciding that if there were enemies among them, a truce was only sensible considering the much graver threat that had nearly enveloped them all. “This one is called Do’Karth. If you need assistance, he will lend his strength until we are free of this place.”

“Mm.” Janus grunted in response to the Khajiit. He’d heard stories about them, and not a lot of them good. Shifty eyes and quick hands, no sense of personal ownership. He didn’t trust him. If Janus offered his name, he wondered if he’d steal that too.

“I’m Joy,” answered the redhead with a soft wave of her hand as she took hold of her bag — instruments fixed in place across the back strap. The weight was familiar, as was its jingle as it exchanged hands.

Sait followed the suit of others, although he did so without urgency. This wasn't due to his otherwise being calm or placid, though; it was only that the motors in his head were drawing all the power from those which moved his feet.

He was full of fear, of course - but nonetheless fascinated, brimming already with half-theories and formulations. Even as he took Sadia back in hand- her ivory handle full of the same cold that had seeped into his bones- his mind was not on the relief of reunion. It was on the mystery of his missing moments, the terrible glistering o'erhead, and the boundless possibilities of it all.

By this time Nimriell had also followed the others to the room where their belongings were said to be stored, having made sure that the last person she had freed was able to understand her words and was up. She found her things quickly enough, and even better, her bow and quiver of arrows. With those in hand, she focused on the others still in the room. It seemed everyone was as confused as she was, but thankfully no one seemed to be trying to kill one another. That being said, it was no small relief when she heard the other Khajiit speak to confirm that indeed, he was a khajiit; if the issue of enmity amongst alliances rose up, as foolish as it would be in the current situation, she hoped that he would be on her side.

“This one is fine, thank Baan Dar…”

Wait, did he say his name was Do'Karth?!

Nimriell swerved to look up at the Khajiit, silver eyes widening when she realized she did recognize him.

---

Janus shook his head at the cat, then looked to the knife-ear that talked like one. Already he was lamenting his company. A knife-ear, a cat, even an enemy that might recognize his tattoos and cut his throat while he was sleeping. The bard was okay enough. He wanted to be out of this place, but could only settle for being out of this room. While he was here, he wanted answers, and the only one who could give them to him was the person that freed them. He followed to where he went, face a thin mask of ambiguity over the currents of anger and confusion, distrust and a need for vengeance. Getting even. Even if he didn’t want to, his father always told him there was a principle about these things.

“You.” Janus growled, inclining his head towards the stranger in the adjacent chamber, “You want something from us. Hurry up and tell us what it is.”

The armoured figure was busy studying the fallen Imperial and prodding around a cavity in the man's chest. He stopped his work for a moment, the slits on his helm turning towards Janus for a moment before returning to his grizzly project.

"I am aware you humans live exceptionally short, candle-length lives, but must you always be so impatient and droll?" The man replied with a minor hint of annoyance. "Pull up a chair, would you? I cannot abide idlers gawking over me while I work."

Scraping across the floor filled the chamber, and a chair bumped into Janus' leg, dragged towards him by the ever so helpful scamp.

"Screech?" it gargled.

With a pair of tongs, the figure tore out a blackened crystal with a faint purple glow from deep within from the chest cavity of the Imperial, studying it for a moment before sticking it into a bottle. He continued to rummage in the body.

After a moment, realizing Janus was still gawking idly, the figure sighed. "If you must know, it happened to be a surprise that you all still lived. This is the forth little house of unpleasantries I've come across, and the first where the occupants were still breathing."

He let that sink in for a moment as he continued his work, plucking another crystal shard free and containing it. "But since you are kindly offering a transactional proposition, I have a modest proposal for you. In exchange for rescuing you from a fate assuredly worse than death, I would like you to go to the source of this distasteful enterprise and have a few polite words with the man responsible."

He paused, visor turning to look to Janus. "And by polite words I mean vanquish his miserable life. I figured I needed to clarify since you seem rather incapable of inferring hidden meanings to phrases."

“How much?” Janus asked. “Get good at something and you should never do it for free. How much?”

"Oh, good. For a moment I was concerned I was conversing with someone with a modicum of intellect and inquisitiveness. Forgive me, it is has been some time since I had to speak of tongue of the insipid knuckle dragger, but I will endeavor to do my best. Ahem."

He stood, posture erect and a crystal in his hand. "Ahem. You kill bad man so you no get caught again and end up like this poor man." He approached, offering the shard to Janus. "How did I do? It physically pains me to lower myself to your level, but we Telvanni are nothing if not a tenacious lot who use whatever tools are at our disposal.”

"This shard will illuminate why you were captured in the first place, unless you were behaving like a guar that got into a confiscated skooma shipment. Hold it and you will see my aura illuminate around me, and everyone else in that room. Go ahead, take it; you seem like the sort of person who enjoys gimmicky baubles." The Dunmer said, offering the shard between two fingers.

He should’ve known it was another knife-ear. Always prattling on about who was more superior. That was the thing about mortals, long-lived or short, making yourself feel better than everyone in the room offered a slight comfort. “The aurora, the men that took us. They’re connected.” Janus shrugged, snatching the shard and watching the knife-ear glow like he’d said, “So? For someone with so much time, you like to spend it flapping your gums. If you want me to kill a man, tell me everything I need to know.”

"To understand a problem, you need to study and research it. Pieces of a very large puzzle, you see. One of which is the auroras; they are visible even far South and at all times of day. Curious, no? Even more curious is that they are most intense over Cyrodiil. Tell me, what do you make of that?" The Telvanni asked.

Janus nodded, “It’s here.” He looked up at the roof of this place, through which was the sky and the auroras, no doubt still swimming in the winds, “The source is here. Or there.”

Janus paused, he could’ve been anywhere. His last memory was at the tavern in Anvil before they took him. He could’ve been taken anywhere at this point depending on how long he’d been out. “Where the hells are we?”

The Dunmer nodded. "From limited information, an astute observation, but not entirely correct. You are currently in Morrowind, about a half-day walk from Balmora, to be specific. The reason I was able to reach this place quickly enough to release you was I've been trying to understand this phenomenon and was able to collect some evidence that allowed me to repurpose some Dwemer sensors I had procured to activate and alert me when an energy burst caused by the ritualistic sacrifices of people like us are released." He sighed. "It's a lot less taxing to create a portal when the site is figuratively in your backyard than trying to pinpoint a hole in the ground across the continent."

He gestured to the body. "This man's sacrifice is what saved your own. He deserves a proper burial, far from this place. If nothing else, at least see to that, would you?" The Telvanni asked, his tone softer. "As for your observations, from what I've been able to understand is the auroras aren't perpetual or uniform in strength. They have sites like this for when they begin to wane and use the sacrifices to provide more energy to maintain the spell and intensity." He crossed his arms.

"It's some kind of soul magic, that I am fairly confident of, but it has the familiar taint of necromancy, however faint. I cannot make full sense of it yet, but I am finding threads to pull."

“May your memory be a blessing,” Joy said quietly. She had approached the man on the table slowly, there was some fright in her step but the expression of the Imperial drew her in to him and she took hold of his hand. The immediate coldness of it was almost off putting but she carried on. “You will be missed by those who loved you.” The Nord couldn’t have explained what the Dunmer was doing, and it was a shocking sight to her eyes. Even without what he was occupying himself with, there was a distinctly ominous air that fell around the place, hiding behind each shadow. This man had no one. All she could feel now was the regret for that.

“Morrowind?” Joy asked eventually, “I… Can’t remember where I was… Wasn’t Morrowind…”

“Well, we’re here now.” Janus said, taking in the arrival of the woman, Joy. He turned his attention back to the Telvanni, “Do you have a first lead for us then? Can’t find the man you want killed if we don’t know where to go after this.”

“How strange I should find myself here,” said Joy with a flicker of a bitter smile. She couldn’t find much of a word else, so took instead to positioning the Imperial neatly. She couldn’t bear to see him splayed out much longer. The gore of his wounds didn’t seem to bother her, it was the expression that did, and so with care she closed his mouth and eyes. Her mind worked delicately too to craft him a story — something she could hold onto. Perhaps he was a hero of his country. She gripped the thought.

With the Nord woman tending to the fallen, the Dunmer turned his attention back to Janus. “I might have something, but not here. I am unable to ascertain if there’s some manner of magical enchantment to this place or anything that might provide our mutual foes with information, and it is most irritable.” the Telvanni replied tersely. “I will leave it to you to speak to the others and determine your destination and I will create a portal to take you there. You can take your chances and go to Balmora for supplies and see what the locals know, or you may accompany me back to my estate where I will see to it a chartered ship with a trustworthy crew will take you where you need to go and I will provide what tools and information that’s within my power to provide. Just don’t dawdle, yes?”

Having done as much to the body to restore his dignity as she could have, Joy gave one last squeeze of his hand. Now to leave this ghastly room. “Ser?” she spoke out, quietly stepping away from the corpse. As was to be expected, the rest of her fleeting wits were returning the longer she was awake. It could have very easily been her on the table now, and would any of those that woke up with her have tended to her, or wished her safety to Sovngarde? “He can be buried now,” she came to the side of the Telvanni mage and turned her face to meet his eyes. “You saved us, thank you for that.”

The Nord surprised the Telvanni, using a respectful form of Dunmeri address. Perhaps she was a cultural liaison from the Ebonheart Pact?

“Your efforts are appreciated, we will have to see to the proper internment of his body.” he nodded, the featureless helm dipping slightly. “It was a pleasant surprise to find survivors for a change, I must admit. Preserving life has always been one of my aims, as well as thwarting the machinations of insipid mages who make a perversion of my craft. I will give them some credit for ingenuity; there isn’t often magic that I don’t have some passing familiarity with.”

Dismissing the thought with a shrug, he steepled his index fingers and thumbs over entwined hands. “Forgive me, I don’t believe I’ve caught your name.”

“My name is Joy,” she answered softly, before stepping out to join the others.

---

Having gotten her five minutes of beauty sleep, Bolorma begun to realize something was not right. She still had no idea where she was or what was happening, and she found everything but the robes on her body were gone. There were voices somewhere, so Bolorma followed them, hands on the cold walls as she stumbled through the corridor. She shook her head as she went. Her hair had come loose, and underneath it was a gash and dried blood on her forehead. Wait, she remembered someone had knocked her out, in Leyawiin. Was this still Leyawiin? Definetly not. Bolorma's so not in Leyawiin now.

She shook her head as went; her hair had come loose, and underneath it was a gash and dried blood. Wait, she remembered now. Someone had knocked her out in Leyawiin. Was this Leyawiin? Definitely now. Bolorma was so not in Leyawiin anymore.

Where she was next, however, was a room where her gear had been stowed. Inside this room were three individuals, a Bosmer woman, a bipedal Khajiit, and a Redguard man. She lingered around the doorway for a while, trying to figure out who they were. They were nobody she knew before. Then the Orc entered and scurried around the strangers, grabbing her bag, cloak and staff. She listened to a bit of their conversation, and decided to check the adjacent room. There, Bolorma overheard the conversation between a tall Imperial, a Nord bard, and a supposed Telvanni Dunmer.

After sheathing Sadia, Sait rummaged through his satchel for his notebook, and loosed it with aggressively academic intent. As clarity returned to him, however, so did the lack thereof - he didn't know anything. He didn't know where he was, or why. He didn't even know his fellow captive's names.

"This one is called Do’Karth. If you need assistance, he will lend his strength until we are free of this place."

“This one is called Nimriell,” the bosmer offered, wanting some familiarity amongst them. “Or Green, if that’s easier.”

Serendipity! Sait scrawled as much- Do'Karth. Nimriell; Green.- down in the margins of his book before bundling it away, satisfied that even the smallest amount of research had been conducted. Then, he followed the sound of voices to the doorway that overlooked the ritual chamber, and made himself known as the other onlookers had.

"My name is Sait, and if anybody is in need of a healer, I do a meager impression."

He looked onwards at the grim spectacle being performed in the chamber yonder, and tilted his head back with the click of his tongue. He cared less for the words exchanged than he did for the body broken open between them. One a fellow inmate, the other a fragment of what moments ago Sait presumed a nightmare.

"But much better than that man's."

Nimriell nodded, looking grim. It was S'rendarr's mercy that they had been found by the Dunmer and freed, seeing how none of them had been in their senses enough to fight off whomever had them prisoner. She did spare a small smile in the Redguard's direction, clasping her hand against her heart.

"Well met, Sait. And well met, Do'Karth. This one is pleased to see at least one familiar face." She let out a soft sigh, eyes shifting to Sait once more. She had seen Redguard warriors and pirates before, not healers or scholarly sorts as this one seemed. One the one hand, it was nice to know if someone got hurt, there would be someone to help. On the other hand, did this man, or any of the other new faces have any experiences of such precarious situations?

Sait likewise placed a hand over his heart, and tilted his head forwards in courtesy.

"Well met, Nimriell; Do'Karth. I'm late, I see, to something well beyond my ken! I'll spare asking about what's happening until I'm not so full of thought-fog, but who are these men?"

Nimriell's hand tightened around the key still in her hand as she looked over the others still in the room. She could now see that one of them was an orc. Easiest to pinpoint among them was her acquaintance, the khajiit known as Do’Karth. And lastly was the Redguard talking to her.

"Our rescuer is one of them," she said after a moment, looking up at Sait. "The other one... an unfortunate man who could have been any of us. Apparently we are currently in Morrowind.” She shook her head.

Exactly how long had they been out? She hadn’t been anywhere near the land of the Dunmer when she had been knocked out.

"[I]Morrowind?![I] I've gone in entirely the wrong direction! I've never so much as strayed further East of Riften! Why, this… this… [I]could be an opportunity."[I]

For all Sait knew, they were no further than the other side of the Velothi Mountains - but a border remained a border, and whilst on this side, it he supposed it would be only appropriate to collect the cognitions of the local Mer. He retrieved his notebook again.

Ah, the name was familiar, at least. Nimriell was someone Do’Karth had encountered during one of his assignments to Senchal. He collected his memories. “Nimriell, you were a member of the Shields of Senchal, were you not? Do’Karth is humbled to be in your company once more, although… he wishes in better circumstances.” he said quietly before bowing his head, hand over heart towards Sait.

“It pleases Do’Karth to find one such as yourself to be of kind disposition. There has been a war for most of our lives and it has been an unfortunately rare thing to find a human who does not immediately wish to put this one to the sword, like our rather grumpy Imperial companion, no?” he smiled slightly, looking towards where Janus was talking to the stranger in Telvanni-style armour, which Do’Karth narrowed his eyes towards. He knew all about them.

"Well, friends…" he called Do'Karth and Nimriell, strangers both, such as though it were their names: "I am no partisan. My investment in the war ends in what it does to its witnesses."
He wrestled with the contents of his satchel for a pencil- lest he spill his ink in the dark- and then began to record all he could see. Which, admittedly, was less than would fill the foreword of the inevitable paper he would write on this.

Do’Karth took notice of Sait’s notepad and felt a slight pang of regret before letting it pass and asking. “Are you some sort of scholar? It seems like quite a strange time to be writing, without much light, no less.”

"Ah! Of a kind, I suppose. Though scholars are usually... paid. And, um. Respected. Sometimes both, even. The lucky ones. But otherwise, yes, I suppose you could call me a scholar!"

Far from conspiratorial, Sait proudly bore a page in Do'Karth's direction. A thick body of heavily self-annotated text, written finely but then overwritten several times by post-hoc perusal. An interview transcript, perhaps - somebody's words interpreted and reinterpreted in relation to an elaborate "model of behaviour" organised on the adjacent page. All of it entirely functional, but illegible to the layman beyond the sum of its parts.

"I study people - and their minds. I suppose I'm an aspiring healer in that regard, too. And all of this is pure madness! So naturally, I have to record what I can. Whether what I'm writing is wholly legible will be another story, but it wouldn't be the first time I couldn't afford a candle to write by. I've learned to trust my hands. What of you two? Warriors, I take it?"

“Ah,” Do’Karth replied, turning his head away from the page, rubbing the nape of his neck. “This one never quite learned the words. He recognizes about half of what is on that page. But yes, this one is a warrior in the Mane’s service. He was on a scouting patrol in Cyrodiil when he was taken by Raxus’ forces.”

Having learned enough from the conversation in the other room, Bolorma returned to the first room.

“Warriors? I hope we’re not caught in a war here. Apparently that Dark Elf is a Telvanni; they’re usually trouble.” Bolorma finally spoke. She reckoned the Redguard must be another mage, though he doesn’t seem like a member of the guild, at least not in appearance.

“Here.” She summoned a magelight for Sait. “I’m Bolorma gra-Shulgin, warlock of the Mages Guild.”

Nimriell looked at the Orsimer, a little relieved that she could indeed speak and wasn't catatonic, which wouldn't have surprised her. She and any other soldier would be used to death and corpses, unfortunately, but it wasn't the same for people just trying to live life as normally as they could.

"Nimriell's happy to see you're up and awake," she said, giving the Balorma an acknowledging nod. "This one wouldn't call herself a warrior, perhaps more a soldier? As Do’Karth correctly remembered, this one was part of the Shields of Senchal." She always thought of herself as a Baandari peddler first, truth be told, though she hadn’t actually lived the wandering merchant life for a while. Giving a little shrug, she looked to the adjacent room. "As for the Dunmer, Telvanni or not, he is the one who freed us. This one would like to believe he is not about to lead us into more trouble, rather the opposite."

"Thanks for shaking me awake, uh, Nimrod?" What kind of parent would name their kid that? Bolorma tried to recall the names she just heard. Foreign accents, combined with the lingering drowsiness, made it hard to figure out what each of them was called exactly.

"Anyway, the Telvanni gave the other two some kind of enchanted artifact. You and I should check it out, Sate, or is it Sad?" The Orc gestured confusingly at the Redguard.

"And Docker, right?" Bolorma looked at the Khajiit. "Before careful around the Telvanni; I heard they keep Khajiits as slaves."

"Ugh, I probably just butchered everyone's name." Bolorma shook her head. She mumbled. "Oops."

Do’Karth smiled politely at Bolorma, a most curious Orsimer. He couldn’t help but find her disposition charming, despite her inability to recall names. “Do’Karth, and this one is familiar with the tales of the Telvanni. He never came across them often since they are not members of the Pact, but this one does not feel like being prospected for market value, yes?”

The Telvanni, as if summoned, stepped into the room. “Ah yes, the burning of my ears, the hushed whispers and fear over the great house Telvanni.” he said, his staff clanking against the cobblestone, pale bioluminescent green fungus glowing from within gnarled wood. His other hand was a fist held at the small of his back.

“As you’ve all astutely observed, I am indeed the one who delivered you from being used as a power source for some rather unpleasant bit of spellcraft. My name is Turon Telvayn, master of House Telvanni and the best chance you have at surviving the quite miserable events unfolding both inside and outside of these walls.

“As you might have surmised, you all uniquely special enough to have been selected by these boorish ghouls, but do not let that inflate your egos; although I have not determined the exact mechanications of why we all seem to be inoculated from the effects of the auroras, it does not mean you are some hero destined for greatness or to fulfill some eye-wateringly droll prophecy.” Turon explained, not unlike some college professor introducing some remedial class on restoration magic. “Perhaps it is something as bland as blood type, mental fortitude, or any number of other factors that make people resistant to this enthralling spell, and make no mistake; most of Tamriel isn’t so fortunate. It makes you a target. They will hunt you to the ends of the continent until none of us remain, and as much as I would love to be the soul saviour of Tamriel from the Witch-Emperor’s devious plots, I have neither the inclination nor the efficiency to pull off such a thing in a timely manner. There’s many more people like you out there who need assistance and will perish without it.”

He reached up and removed his helm, exposing his face for the first time. He was unblemished by scar or age, tidy brown hair parted down the middle and a neatly braided beard of much finer quality than the much coarser hair on Do’Karth’s chin. He looked upon the room with silver-coloured eyes, unlike most Dunmer.

"Wew," Bolorma whistled, "pretty boy."

“And so, as I have mentioned to your Imperial compatriot here, I am in need of your assistance. This nightmare will not end for anyone unless the spell is put to rest, and that means even though you survive today, there is no guarantee you will not be promptly recaptured and sacrificed unless you take precautions and put the wheel in motion to stopping this. And so, I leave you with two options; you may return to me back to my island estate off of the coast of Vvardenfell in Telvanni territory where you will be safe from the eyes of the Praetorians and I can arrange transport to your next destination to begin to stop this madness, or I can transport you outside of Balmora where you can enter town and speak to the locals, find supplies, and take your chances. I will support you either way, although I will have to depart company from time to time to pursue my own objectives, such as rescuing other groups such as yourself and obtaining materials and information for resisting these spells.

“I will leave you to decide which course is better for you, and I am painfully aware of the reputation my House has in the eyes of outsiders, but know that you would not be alive to have this conversation after my intervention and on my honour and that of my House you are under my protection so long as we share a common goal.”

Janus was the first to speak, stepping up beside the Dunmer and looking the others over. Whatever opinion of them he had, or they of each other didn’t matter now. It was survival or death, and Janus knew that wasn’t ever a choice at all. “I say we go with him. Hostile land, suspicious people, the more we stay hidden the better.”

It made the most sense, really, to listen to the advice of the man who had freed them. Nimriell cast a glance at the others, curious as to what their thoughts were, though she didn't wait to speak up. "This one agrees with the tall one. Before she was knocked out, there was no one else who had the same thoughts about Raxus as this one, not even her brother. Different though we may be, Nimriell believes staying together and hidden, for the time being, may be the best course for survival."

Sait's eyes (sometimes sated, occasionally sad, but always Sait) gleamed gold in the splendor of Bolorma's magelight as their somber saviour spoke. He wrote without looking, scrawling in long, looping lines the contents of his portents. "If what he says is so, then count me amongst you, my Imperial friend," Sait concurred, in blissful ignorance to Janus' preconceptions.

"My only request is that I be compensated with information. I work with the mad- for the mad- and I think some good can come of this terror. All you learn, Turon, I should like to know!"

“People are going to keep dying,” Joy said from the corner, her arms folded across her chest as she thought about it. “If I can… If I can do anything in my fortunate state then I consider it my duty. I will follow you Ser. Life will not return to us until it is done… I… Want to help.”

The Nord was going to leave it there too, but as parts of herself sparked back to life, she stepped forwards again with a slight look of distress; “whatever we do, we should decide quickly? Who knows how long we’ve been here… What if they send someone back? We’re in danger” She shook her head slowly, taking in the faces of those around her. “And I’m so very hungry,“ Joy said, the distress leaking back through into her tone just slightly. No sooner had she said it, her stomach growled in agreement.

"Very well." Bolorma concurred with the rest. "I think going with pretty boy, uh, I mean, Turon, is our best bet here. We can't afford splitting up until we're better prepared." She examined the Telvanni, which led to the conclusion that he must have a big...brain.

"I'm not sure if fighting an Emperor with the power to mind control entire nations is prudent." Bolorma crossed her arms, then quickly uncrossed them to gesture at Joy. "But she has the right idea; we need to leave now, before anything bad happens here."

"I just hope Dunmer food isn't as bad as they say." Bolorma whispered to Joy.

“I heard that.” Turon said to the Orc, slipping his helmet back on. “And don’t worry; it’s much worse.”

Clenching his fist tightly around his staff, Turon tapped it against the floor and a portal opened in the chamber, bathing the room in inviting daylight. On the other, a massive sea of fungal towers spread across the horizon, with the foreground being dominated by a massive mushroom, built on a base of granite and with a pair of large wooden doors allowing access up a flight of stairs.

“Right then, in you go. Tel Telvayn awaits.”






Unknown location, 14th Sun's Height, 2E600...

It was a dark and dismal room residing in a claustrophobic old dungeon that had held prisoners once upon a time but had fallen out of use as the eras marched on, like many other things in the world. Thick and damp stones dominated, seemingly drinking the light of the sparse torch sconces; it was as if the walls themselves were so starved that they would consume everything that dared approached. For the current occupants that might have very well been a literal sentiment.

Chained to the wall were an assortment of prisoners, keep only slightly lucid from some sort of concoction burning slowly in a large pair of censers in the room, the pungent incense making the victims only semi-aware of their surroundings and one of their number being dragged into the adjacent chamber, only offering the most modest of protestations against the red and black robed mage, their features concealed beneath a hood that seemed to completely shadow their face such was the darkness and lack of lighting in the room, and the prisoner was dragged out of sight. A few moments later, a blood curdling scream filled the oppressive chambers followed by a flash of purple light and deafening silence. Footsteps and a door opening and closing followed, their jailor leaving the prisoners to their own hazy thoughts for a few moments while he disappeared into sections unknown.

From within the sacrificial chamber, an unknown figure steps out of the shadows, footsteps light as soft leather boots tread across the cobblestone with some authority. The figure was clad in blue-grey ferofungus armour over leathers, a wooden staff in hand as he approached the victim, gazing upon the now quite dead Imperial’s wide-eyed visage through the narrow vertical slits that circled his helm. With a clinical eye, he paid close attention to the new hole in the chest cavity of the victim and the figure grunted.

“Pity.”

The door chamber opened once more and the jailor returned, a notepad in hand and a collection jar. He looked up and noticed the armoured figure standing in the middle of the chamber, staff resting on the floor in a clutched ashen hand. The jailor drew his own blade and his fingers cracked with electricity. “Identify yourself!”

“You really must do a better job masking these sorts of places; they reek of death and Daedric magic.” the figure replied as if speaking to an undisciplined pupil. “Today is most auspicious, however; I’ve always seemed to discover these lairs after they are cleansed, and here I am having caught you in the act. Sloppy work, although I admit to finding it intriguing, albeit unabidable.”

With a flash, lightning was unleashed towards the armoured figure, who reacted swiftly and a cast ward with his staff absorbed the spell while his fingers illuminated with a dark purple aura, a scamp appearing in the room that immediately lunged at the figure and started grappling with the jailor, trying to bite at the exposed flesh. As the man struggled with the scamp, the intruder worked another spell, a ghastly pale blue illuminating the chamber. With a sharp jab of his staff, the jailor was knocked backwards towards the corpse of his victim, whose arms suddenly grabbed onto the jailor, who was currently having his flesh torn by a scamp that had peeled apart his robes and meager protective armour.

“No, stop, stop!” he pleaded, struggling in vain. The dead Imperial’s hands clutched at the jailor’s throat and the intruder whistled, the scamp releasing the jailor, albeit reluctantly, and hopping onto the floor with a hiss.

The jailor’s eyes went wide as his hand clutched over the fingers digging into his throat, crushing his windpipe as furious brown eyes stared ruefully at the jailor, whose feet kicked out and ineffectively stopped along with his gurgles of protestation. The undead Imperial continued his assault towards his killer long after he stopped moving until the intruder reached out and suddenly jerked his hand back, tendrils of wispy blue energy coming back as tendrils towards his balled fist, illuminating his hand for a moment. Both bodies laid still.

The intruder gestured to the scamp, who dragged the jailor off of the dead Imperial by the ankles and dropped him close to his master, who knelt down and produced a key from the man’s belt. Walking to the other chamber with the prisoners, he quickly extinguished the censer and produced a vial from a pouch on his belt, shaking it vigorously as he uncorked it and walked in a row along the prisoners, holding the vial beneath their noses and letting the aerosol reagent enter their airways. Within a few moments, the haze was beginning to lift from the prisoners and satisfied with his work studied the faces of the prisoners.

“You seem to retain some basic manner of comprehension and lucidity. You’ll do.” he said to a wood elf with short hair and auspicious facial markings. He unlatched her bindings before pressing the key into her hand. “Unbind your compatriots, will you?” he said, the request seemingly a minor annoyance for him as he had other more pressing thoughts to attend to.

He headed back to the side chamber before pausing, as if remembering a crucial item. “Ah, yes. When you all regain your senses, try not to kill one another, hm? Your frivolous war has left quite a bit of bad blood between you people and I find petty squabbles tiresome. Your belongings are in an adjacent chamber… someone appeared to be cataloguing it. You are free to go as you please, it matters not to me. But if you wish for some… illumination of the circumstances that brought you all here, I believe I may be of some service to you.”

And with that, the mysterious figure disappeared back into the ritual chamber. The scamp peered curiously through the doorframe before disappearing to follow his master.

@Captain Jenno

First off, *thank you* for showing out to pronounce Sait’s name; I was calling him Say-t because there’s a college in Alberta here called Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and that’s how it’s pronounced.

Ahem.

I really love the descriptive text you have for Sait’s skills and how he has learned and applies them; it brings out a lot in his personality. I really love how he feels like a real support character where his spells are really reflective of his personality and backstory, and it’s going to force you to be creative with how you apply them. The themes around his fixation on the mind and understanding it really shines through and how he has dedicated himself to helping others. I can’t wait to see how you apply this in the game.

I have genuinely missed your writing; right off the hop the way you hook into his backstory and set the stage is nothing short of enrapturing, and you have such a beautiful poetic prose that brings things to life so vibrantly and pulls me into the scene and the emotional weight of what’s going on. It’s not traditional in the way it doesn’t start from the beginning, but it provides such brilliant context for what’s to come that it’s really lovely. In a way, how Sait’s experience in losing his father and his quest to rationalize it and question his own faith really gives me some slight Lovecraft vibes where you can picture his obsession and fixations leading down a dark and dangerous path.

“He carried about him a bonhomie that was irresistible, and he drank Eno's love to its lees like a drunkard.” This is just a lovely bit of phrasing, I just thought I’d point that out. I like how Eno wasn’t an entirely successful blacksmith who was also taking on the mantle of being the provider of her family. I have a friend who lost her parents and had to raise her brothers on her own and try to maintain their estate, her struggles and love for her family really reminds me of Eno, and I can only hope she finds her own Torran.

I really love how Torran became a sort of paternal figure to Sait, even if he was his brother-in-law, it’s a very wholesome relationship that ended up building the foundation for Sait’s path and purpose in life and it’s a really effective use of auxiliary characters building on your main character. Torran and Eno matter to Sait, and were and are formulating characters that still play a part in his life as opposed to an Obi-wan style mentor that shows up, teaches a valuable skill and lesson, and promptly fucks off when their purpose has been expended. There’s genuine warmth here and it feels like a real family.

One trait you’ve woven into Sait I absolutely adore is how he uses Illusion magic as a form of healing and treatment for patients to comfort them, and it’s really heartwarming and brilliant in execution. It’s little things like that that give Sait this aura of goodness to him that really makes him stand out in a lovely way. It’s such an important thing; healing of the mind and soul is just as important as the body, and it’s conveyed really well in how you write this character.

“The Witch’s Tit” I’d love to see the sign for that particular establishment. Top’s pulled up for open, down for closed?
It’s an interesting turn of events for Sait heading to Skyrim at the behest of someone who seems to share Sait’s particular worldview, and even when the blinders come off and Sait realizes he’s been used, Gal not being real, it’s compelling that the situation still works to Sait’s benefit as it provides and avenue to pursue his fixation on understanding madness. It’s very pragmatic and interesting, and it’s a good window for him to learn the hard way that things aren’t always as they appear and motivations aren’t always altruistic.

And I really love how Sait’s background and motivations seem to reflect nicely on the plot itself; it’s a perspective about the alteration of mind that he’s got this innate connection with that really seals this off so nicely.

Honestly, Sait is a brilliant character and you have such a magnificent way of writing it really is such a genuine joy to read. There isn’t anything I’d change, and I welcome him and Sait into this story we’re all going to craft together.
I absolutely love how you describe appearances; it’s got this very poetic flourish to it that makes the imagery pop without feeling superfluous. I can picture Joy so vividly even without having seen your lovely artwork for her! I know you’re going for a kindly and gentle souled character and your word choice here really helps convey that sort of personality without even having to describe that aspect about Joy; you just have this beautiful talent for finding the best words that carry so much weight. It makes the sudden appearances of scars and old wounds that much more jarring and horrible; it’s like a splash of cold water while you’re dreaming. It makes you feel compassion for this character, and we haven’t even got to the bio yet!
If I had to find a way to describe Joy’s personality in a single word, it would be “seasonal”. There’s something about how she carries herself where she expects her encounters with people to be fleeting and temporary, but instead of finding that discouraging and a “why bother” sort of situation, she really takes the time to cherish the moments she has with people, and there’s just this genuine warmth and moment to moment love that really sticks out about her. It’s so easy to go with an orphan character who is distrustful and really negatively affected by their experiences, but Joy seems to have transcended that where possible, even after enduring abuse and carrying scars from the experience. There’s an inner strength to her that she’s weathered so many storms and instead of lashing out, she faces down her demons with a smile. I feel like she’s yearning for love and acceptance and a place where things stay for a change, but she’s not trying to force anything, and I find that really admirable.

“I have never been able to cast a spell, but I like to believe that the other orphans and I created magic by the fireplace from pure imagination.” < I quite love this line. It’s so sincere and it really makes it feel like there’s more magic than just the spells you can cast, but intangible things carry their own sort of spell. It’s just a delightful aside.
“across the border to High Rock where I wound up on the outskirts of Jehanna.” < Something that’s really easy to miss, but Jehanna hasn’t actually been founded yet! The closest city to the dock area that will one day become Jehanna is actually Orsinium, of all places. I’d say Evermore might be the next most feasible place, as it’s not too far away from the border of Hammerfell and Skyrim; I imagine a lot of travellers passed through there.
“Her temper was coarse, in a way that I could only liken to a saber-cat with a thorn wedged in her paw.” < another lovely descriptive bit!

I am *so* glad that Minasi didn’t take Joy to the brothel to work as a prostitute. That would have been super dark, and not that that’s a bad thing, but it was a pleasant surprise Joy was brought on to take care of the establishment and the people within it. It really shows the origins of her motherly and kind ways where this surrogate mother might have been harsh, but she clearly cared about Joy in a way that’s unique to her and maybe not ideal. Her parting gift is actually touching, and it’s really interesting to see how she shaped Joy into the woman she would grow up to be.
“tended to agents of the Empire.” < Worth noting, the Empire’s more or less been collapsed without an Emperor for a long while now;

“It began with the assassination of the last Akaviri Potentate, Savirien Chorak, and every one of his heirs on one bloody night during Sun's Dawn of 2E 430, by orders of the Night Mother. She hired members of the Morag Tong,[1] which then became the Dark Brotherhood in the 430th year of the Second Era.[2] It ended in the 854th year of the Second Era with the establishment of the Third Empire by Tiber Septim.
The Interregnum was a time of great turmoil. The Reman Empire, which had survived through the Akaviri Potentates, fell, and resulted in a series of "insurrections, misrules, and loss of power."[3] The Chim-el Adabal, or Amulet of Kings, was lost amid the "petty wars of gone-heathen kings." In Cyrodiil, the East and the West fought one another.[4] “

The Three Banners War started in 2E 582 and we are at 2E 600 in the timeline. For Joy living in High Rock, she’d be encountering Covenant soldiers from Hammerfell, High Rock, and Wrothgar. The High King’s personal guard is called the Lion’s Guard.
You have Speechcraft written as two separate skills; you can combine the two, even if they have different purposes. Maybe you could sub it out for something like Mercantile? She did work in a Brothel for ages; I imagine she had some hand in the accounting side of things and taking payment from clients.

Joy is a, well, absolute Joy of a character to read! I greatly appreciate you bringing her into this and I don’t see anything about her that’s brought up reason for concern. If you have any questions about my points or suggestions, don’t be a stranger!

Hey gang! Let's try to have our character sheets in by Thurs-Friday!







Character List



Male: 3
Female: 3

Races of Man
Nord:
Nord

Imperial:
Janus

Breton:
Redguard:
Sait


Races of Mer
Altmer:
Dunmer:
Bosmer:
Nimriell

Orsimer:
Bolorma


Beast Races
Argonian:

Khajiit:
Do'Karth


Player Characters




Do'Karth
Khajiit | 35 | The Lady | 2h Blunt
@Dervish

Nimriell Briarwood
Bosmer | 42 | The Warrior | Athletics
@Greenie

Joy
Nord | 33 | The Serpent | Provisioning/ Speechcraft
@Stormflyx

Sait Sunfall
Redguard | 28 | The Shadow | Speechcraft/ Illusion
@Captain Jenno

Janus Kresimir
Imperial | 42 | The Steed | 1h Blade
@Leidenschaft

Bolorma gra-Shulgin
Orsimer | 33 | The Apprentice | Destruction
@Gcold


Race: Khajiit, Suthay-raht
Sex: Male
Age: 35
Family Origins: Orcrest, Anequina, Elsweyr
Birthsign: The Lady
Appearance:


Standing at 5’06” (152cm) and weighing 190 pounds (86.1 kg), Do’Karth is impressively statured for a Suthay-raht, the largest of the digitigrade furstocks of Khajiit, walking on the balls of his feet with heels off the ground. Having spent the entirety of his youth training to be an assassin for the Renrijra Krin and much of his adult life honing body and mind at the Star Haven Adeptorium, Do’Karth is in peak physical condition for his age and sporting a martial artist’s build.

Like most Khajiit, Do’Karth has feline features, such as a long tail, ovaloid lips over a squared and powerful jaw, tiger-like stripes and colouration and a cougar-like visage. Lighter white patches of colour adorn his lips, neck, chest and brow, making his brown-black nose stand much more visible, although the contrast is pleasant, and a long muddy-brown mane juts out from his crown down to his shoulders and a tidy braided beard hanging several inches from his chin. Despite his fierce stature, his striking amber-coloured and feline slit eyes portrays a sense of serenity and compassion to those familiar with his gaze, but to others unfamiliar with Khajiit might be given the impression of a cunning and predatory stare. Adding to the battle-hardened appearance, Do’Karth sports a large facial scar traversing the left side of his face to his left ear, along with a number of others across his body. Years of war have taken their toll, but Do’Karth wears the scars with pride and he does not seem to suffer from any lasting injury.

The Khajiit’s casual attire is traditional Anequinan garb, a simple green hip-length robe called a budi that was fastened about his waist by a sash and tucked into navy blue trousers. The budi was asymetric so the opening could traverse from one hip to the other and securing in place with a sash, giving a triangular neckline that exposed the nape of his neck. Various Khajiiti adornments and bangles covered his arms and neck with depictions of the moon phases.

The only other article of clothing of note are simple black foot wraps that are secured up his ankles and leave his clawed toes exposed, as well as his heels.




Equipment:
Do’Karth’s armour is much heavier than many of his contemporaries in Elsweyr, taking inspiration from a variety of cultures and martial practices he has encountered on the battlefield and off, coloured a deep blue-silver on the steel and the fabrics of the ankle-length gambeson a dark jade green. Although ornate in decoration, the armour was practical and allowed for an excellent compromise between protection and mobility, with a breastplate, segmented vambraces, gauntlets that had a plate that protected the back of his hand and fingers, oval pauldrons, faulds, and sabatons that offered protection almost to the knee. His helm is the most decorative item, depicting a stylized visage of a snarling senche, having an Akaviri-style shikoro plating protecting his neck. While his legs lack armoured plating, the gambeson he wears is thick and cut and arrow resistant.

Do’Karth has a variety of armaments, including a steel war club, whose head shares a similar snarling senche visage to his helm and has decorative adornment comprised of Khajiiti moonstone and leather-wrapped grips. Carried on his hip is a shamshir, a long-curved blade with a protective cross-guard and a hooked hilt, which is used in conjunction with an oval shield adorned in the shape of two crescents meeting around a circular boss in the center. Both weapons are traditional Khajiiti arms and while robust and well-cared for aren’t anything atypical for a warrior to carry.


Misc. Possessions:
Do’Karth wears an amulet of Alkosh, a somewhat uncommon thing in an age where Riddle’thar is more commonly venerated.

He has a travel pack with a bed roll and blanket, a firestarting kit, a simple dining kit and cooking pot, a change of clothing, a ration pack of dried meats and fruits, moon sugar, and water skin, a sewing pack, and a blank journal filled with sketches.


Family and Associations:
Renrijra Krin, the criminal syndicate that raised and trained him. He has since disavowed and distanced them.

The Mane's Chosen, the elite guard unit he is currently a member of that serves the Mane's interests in Elsweyr and beyond.

The Aldmeri Dominion, the overall political and military alliance Elsweyr is a part of. Do'Karth has fought under this banner for years now.

Khali-ri, the Mane of Elsweyr.

Gharesh-ri, the Speaker for the Mane, more often than not the man Do'Karth reports to.

Nimriell Briarwood, associate from Senchal.


Favoured Skills:
Highly Proficient: Two-handed blunt
Moderately Proficient: Hand-to-Hand, 1h Sword, Block, Heavy Armour
Somewhat Proficient: Acrobatics


History:



Born in Orcrest in 2E 565 in the midst of the Knahaten Flu that had been ravaging the city for years and an Imperial Legion occupation, Do’Karth was called Turga by his parents, who scraped by with what they could in the besieged city, which seemed to be abandoned by the gods and was rife with crime, death, and despair. Despite the hardships, both of Turga’s parents had done what they could for their child and always searched for ways to give him a life similar to what they had remembered had come before, before the flu and before the Imperials.

However, fate had not been kind to Turga’s parents and both had contracted the Knahaten Flu before they could find a way to escape the city’s Imperial quarantine and in desperation approached the Renrijra Krin, a group of outlaws dedicated to the liberation of Elsweyr and staunch nationalists who had been able to smuggle in supplies and provide care for the citizens of Orcrest in hopes of obtaining recruits. Pleading with the group to take their son, Turga’s parents knew they were condemning their son to a life of violence and crime, but it was better than him dying as an infant, forgotten and alone in the streets of Orcrest. Although he would never remember their faces or kindness, this would be the last time the newly renamed Karth, named after a river in the Reach, would ever see his parents again.

Karth was whisked away from Orcrest and to a desert camp with his new family, being raised on how to survive in the Northern Elsweyr desert and live off the land, as well as being trained to be a warrior and in the arts of subterfuge, walking in Boethra’s shadow. He never received any sort of proper education and the harsh realities of life all but ensured Karth would never have anything resembling a normal childhood, but he was well taken care of despite the violent and idealistic ways of the Renrijra Krin. His brothers and sisters were other orphans and each of them were being molded into warriors and raiders that hunted from the shadows and were taught of the weakness of the Mane and the Elsweyr Confederacy’s rulers, how they failed to protect the people and throw out the Imperials and save their families from the Knahaten Flu, instilling into their young wards a carefully cultivated hatred towards the powers that ruled their homelands and being offered a simple rhetorical question to drive them; “What are you willing to do about it?”



Some were trained to be warriors from the start, mastering the weapons and being taken to participate in raids on Imperial patrols and convoys to steal supplies. Others were being trained in the shadowy arts of thieving and spycraft. But for Karth, it became obvious that he was being groomed for something else in between. When he was 17 to the best of his estimation, he was approached by one of the clan elders with a new purpose; he was to become a sleeper agent, living and working in Torval under strict orders to monitor the Mane, and if the situation should call for it, be the one to strike him down. With a heavy and proud heart, Karth accepted his assignment alongside two others who would join him in this duty. After another year of training, Karth set out towards Pellitine and leaving the deserts for the first time in his life.

Torval was a tropical city, rich in both geography and more mercantile means, as well as having a vibrant culture dominated by an aristocratic society that seemed more severely dominated by castes and wealth. The city’s palace was impressive, being constructed of Valenwood timber, and the outlying regions were dominated by moon sugar plantations. For the next two years, Karth served as a labourer in those plantations until chance intervened and Karth was able to intercept a bandit who had assaulted and robbed a merchant, putting the criminal down with an impressive display of martial arts, fearlessly facing down the man’s dagger and desperation. A guardsman who was in pursuit witnessed this and Karth became an overnight town hero for his deed, and soon after he was offered the opportunity to apply for the city guards, where he excelled at their testing and he was soon accepted into their ranks.

For the next three years, Karth patrolled Torval and grew to knew each of its streets and many of its prominent citizens well, and his heart grew fond of the city. Being a guard gave him a purpose he didn’t knew he craved and he was having difficulty keeping his ultimate mission close to his heart; the Mane he saw periodically, an honourable young woman named Khali-ri who had taken the mantle 5 years ago shortly before Karth arrived in Torval, might have to die at his hand. It was a proposition that felt increasingly impossible to carry out, for a sense of duty and justice that had filled his heart, as well as being immersed in the society surrounding him, made his roots to the desert and the Renrijra Krin seem like a lifetime ago.



One day, when Karth returned from drinks with his comrades in the guard, he found a dagger with a red ribbon laying on his bed. Knowing what it represented, he knew it was time. The 23-year-old Suthay-raht sighed and picked up the symbol of his destiny with distain.

Karth infiltrated the palace, and found the Mane with her advisors and retinue of guards. The dagger weighed heavily in his hands, and many emotions overcame Karth; what mattered more to him, his family that raised him and saved him from certain death, or this new life that was built on a lie that brought him a measure of purpose and happiness? As he stepped into the chamber, holding the weapon, he didn’t know what he was going to do.

His eyes made contact with Khali-ri’s, and Karth was filled with a shame greater than the fear of death from the drawing of blades. Tears streamed from his eyes as he fell to his knees holding the dagger forward as an offering. Those who recognized it gasped audibly and Karth was aware of the calls for his immediate execution. Foosteps crossed the floor, and he felt the dagger gingerly plucked from his grasp and a hand on his cheek. Looking up, the smiling face of Khali-ri was kneeling in front of him.

“You are no assassin; the pain in your eyes is plain to see. You offer your life willingly rather than carry out a deed better served by those who hear Lorkaj’s drums, and you show courage to approach me and risk everything to do the right thing. My advisors call for your death, and perhaps my sister would have seen wisdom in that, but from one warrior to another, let me be the first to extend a hand in friendship and give you the opportunity to walk the path of a true Khajiit. Will you allow me the honour?” the Mane asked.

And Do’Karth accepted.

Raised by Khali-ri’s hand, the newly honoured Do’Karth became a member of the Mane’s Chosen, a group of warriors trained to serve the Mane’s agenda and serve her and Elsweyr with dignity and conviction, and Do’Karth swore an oath to disavow the Renrijra Krin and offer himself body and soul to the Mane. A small group comprised of a few dozen individuals, the Mane’s Chosen was formed under Khali-ri due to the pressing dangers of the Three Banners War that had broken out in 2E582 alongside the Planemeld, Molag Bal’s attempt to assimilate Tamriel into Coldharbour that was thwarted in the early years of the war. Do’Karth was sent to the Star Haven Adeptorium to finish his training after Queen Khamira had finished liberating Anequina from the Imperials that had conquered their homeland and slain her family. Soon after, Do’Karth would be sent into the maelstrom of war, discovering a world larger and more dangerous than he could ever anticipate.




Do'Karth had found himself campaigning across not only Elsweyr, but Valenwood and Auridon to assist allies in the Aldmeri Dominion during cooperative operations between the three races and he has participated in battles across Tamriel against the Ebonheart Pact to the East and the Daggerfall Covenant to the North, finding himself a part of both clashes of armies and simple scouting missions and skirmishes alike. The war, now in its 18th year, has been going on for as long as Do'Karth can remember, and each battle fought reminds him of what's at stake at home and what the Imperial occupation had done to his people; he vowed to never let that happen again.

However, Do'Karth has long learned to respect his enemy and has learned of the different cultures and fighting techniques of his foes, finding an appreciation in the differences they shared and oftentimes wondering if he would have enjoyed traveling to the far corners of Tamriel in times of peace. It was the rise of the warlord Raxus that has confounded both Do'Karth and the Mane, and after the warlord who had seemingly come out of thin air was handily defeating Dominion forces in the field and disappearing like a ghost brought up questions of the nature of this foe. When the Imperial City fell after years of struggle between the three factions, Do'Karth was charged with tracking down officers of the so-called Witch-Emperor and uncovering intelligence.

It wasn't long after the auroras appeared in the sky and Do'Karth found himself estranged from his brothers and sisters in arms, who did nothing to stop the mysteriously armoured figures from apprehending him. Despite his valiant resistance, he was overwhelmed and when he came to again, he was in a dark place where the smell of death and foul magic filled the air...



Personality:

A composed, welcoming, and resourceful individual, Do'Karth has lived a hard but rewarding life that has been shaped by the world and conflicts around him. Although he has known exceptional hardships from the loss of his family in Orcrest to the endless war that has dominated the lives of so many, Do'Karth has navigated these challenges with a composed sense of grace and humility that was earned through equal measures of his experiences and his innate nature.

Do'Karth is a warm soul that is curious about the world and people around him, and having firsthand experience of having his worldview turned upside down from his interactions with the Mane, the Khajiit knows that things are not often as black and white as they appear, and those he clashes swords with more often than not probably have some remarkably similar stories to his own. He cherishes these differences, and although he is a fierce protector of his homeland and devoted to the Mane and the Dominion, he just yearn for the day peace finally breaks and he can try to understand life that isn't shrouded in the hardships and struggles of war.

For this warrior, meditation and humbleness are one of of the same coin as the ferociousness and cunning he employs as a warrior. In his down time, Do'Karth takes in the beauty of the world and the comfort in his companions and often passes the time sketching or enjoying what cities and villages have to offer when he isn't on duty or tending to his gear. He is merciful in battle, sparing those he bests at arms if they are defeated and treating prisoners with compassion, but when fighting, Do'Karth moves with precision and purpose, using his trained body to its fullest extent and knowing when to strike and when to recover, favouring a more defensive style of fighting that takes advantage of an enemy's mistake or exhaustion. Even outside of his armour, Do'Karth is an accomplished martial artist and he trains both in and out of armour, and without weapons as often as he does.
As a heads-up, this is invite only to start. We may reach out to others as the story picks up steam and it's determined we would like more players, but for now please bear in mind that a big part of our selection has to do with reliability and activity.
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