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7 days ago
Current Goes to show that some people do live in a Myriad of strange Realities
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1 mo ago
Day of the eclipse and IT'S BLOODY RAINING
5 mos ago
Thanks for telling us your plan, Mister Master Manipulator. Now everyone knows that you think you can play mind games.
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6 mos ago
Two BARs go into a guy. He died in the hospital the next morning. More at eleven.
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7 mos ago
Ulfric Stormcloak is a Thalmor plant! Alduin's return is just a false flag operation!

Bio


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Background and roleplaying preferences

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A little about me

Greetings, I am Frizan. I'm a gamer and roleplayer of many years. My favorite game genre is stealth and, as a natural consequence, my favorite archetype is the rogue or thief. If a setting allows for rogue-type characters, it's almost a guarantee I will be playing one. Of course, that is not to say I can't play as anything else, I simply prefer playing the rogue, as it's what I have the most experience with. I can play warriors and even priests just fine. I really enjoy storycrafting with my fellow roleplayers, even if none of it actually gets implemented, it's a great way to drum up ideas for future projects. Also, it's just good fun!
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Preferred settings

It's eye-rollingly cliche, but the setting I normally stick with is Fantasy, ala Elder Scrolls or Dragon Age. I, of course, am open to most other settings. Settings I don't think I will ever get into though are school settings and other "slice of life" style settings. They simply do not appeal to me.
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Degree of seriousness

Once upon a time, I absolutely loved serious and "gritty" games. It's why I am now completely burnt out on them. You could say my edge has been dulled. Now, I seek roleplays that are non-serious in nature, where death is something that happens rarely, or at least does not get a whole lot of time devoted to it(though I haven't ruled out "serious" games entirely, they just need to be focused on something other than pure edge). As it stands now, I view player-character death not as some big event that's worth getting emotional over in any degree, it just means I have to start over with a new character and write up their sheet. It's an annoyance and nothing more. Besides, happiness isn't a sin and neither is character death the only way to conjure up drama. C'mon, get creative for once.
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Available methods of contact

I have a steam account, a Skype account, a Discord account, and I am also open to using Google Docs and Titan/Ether/Whateverpad.
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Resume

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Currently enrolled in:

The Elder Scrolls: Fruits of Contention
(ongoing and looking for more players!)

My Characters




The Elder Scrolls: Crimson Skies
(fresh off the drawing board and looking for more players!)

My Characters


Previously enrolled in:

Furor Titanicus
(dead)
Star Wars: Edge of Rebellion
(dead)




Most Recent Posts

<Snipped quote by Frizan>

That's the strangest slang for French kissing I've ever heard.


Y so quiet homies.

Show the Dervakiin yer love.


SORRY CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF RIPPING AND TEARING SOME DEMON FACES
A rebuttal against Naenya would have to wait, for the unmistakable sounds of advancing heretics echoed up through the winding halls and into the ears of Orintur, and it appeared to be a much larger force than the group had faced before. Gods above, and large it was indeed. Nearly a dozen of the demons and their hellspawn Scamp beastlings poured through the archway and into the party's poor excuse of a sanctuary. Adamiir and Veeza had already found their prey, and it was time for the Paladin to choose his own...and the mage that had just struck Naenya looked quite enticing to the furious Elf. Unfortunately, the Churl had already taken note of Orintur's gaze and struck him with a bolt of lightning midway through his charge. Orintur suddenly found himself unable to lift up his hammer to strike the mage, his right arm failing to barely bring the head off of the floor. It was a good thing then that Paladins were trained to be as versatile as they are zealous.

Getting close enough to get a decent grip on the Churl, Orintur grabbed its wrist and wrenched it away from himself with his good arm, sending the next bolt flying harmlessly into the stone floor, before landing an armored backhand to the mage's head. This left the mage open enough for the Paladin to grab his dagger and bury it into the demon's neck before it could retaliate. His foe had fallen, but the effect of their assault remained, and so Orintur was forced to leave his beloved hammer on the ground for the time being and rely on his dagger...and raw strength.

Standing over Naenya, Orintur remained on guard as he spoke to the she-Elf. "Can you stand, mage? Our fellows strike fast and true against these heretics, but I would not advise remaining on the ground as you are. I don't think Dremora will discriminate between the wounded and the battle-ready..."
As everything I could say has already been said, and oft times more eloquently/with far less salt, I will simply put in my two cents to say that I also believe that moderation on the Guild has been inconsistent at best, and would rather the team work with the community rather than hide away in their private chatlogs and devise "solutions" for the community without consultation.

I add my voice to this discussion so this whole thing has less of a chance to be blown under the rug as just something a "vocal minority" came up with. Accusing the grieved parties of vocal minority status is a common way to stifle discourse and attempt to discredit others in the eyes of third-party observers, and I'd hate to think the moderation staff, or even other regular users would stoop to such a low tactic.
@Dervish & @Frizan


An Unlikely Alliance


26th Sun's Height, Late Afternoon.

~ ~ ~

Try as they might, the guards weren't able to hide the massacre at the Iron-Breaker Mine for long, and keeping the crowd contained was neigh impossible. It was all they could do to keep nerves calm enough before the more belligerant sorts decided to take out their righteous indignition out on whoever they figured were responsible, and the likely candidates were just outside the gates.

Khazki was elevated up on the rock face, having climbed up enough to have a vantage of the bodies and a space away from the gathering crowd that was only a quick ignition from turning into a mob. Khazki had seen crowds like this before in more than one province. It didn't matter what race it made up the bulk of a crowd, mob mentality was probably the single most dangerous and stupid thing in all of Tamriel. People became exponentially dumber as their numbers grew, and it only took one pushy loudmouth to push things off the deep end. It was a good enough reason to keep some space away from those sorts, and Khazki wanted to see the bodies. She would have looked for tracks, but given the amount of feet stomping around the mine, whoever did the deed was well extinguished. The only thing for certain was that the distinctly reptillian imprints an Argonian would leave were conspicuously absent.

Looking up from the laid out bodies that weren't covered yet, she looked to the crowd, scanning faces to see if any looked out of place, or were reacting abnormally.

It wasn't very hard for Sagax to dig up the quickly-spreading news of the incident at the city mines. A few minutes making himself inconspicuous near a bunch of gossipers next to the inn tipped himself and Piper off to the growing mob at the scene of the massacre. As they drew closer, the crowd became thicker and thicker, until Sagax could barely see past the mass of bodies in front of him. They had to get closer, though.

His small size may have kept Sagax from peering over the heads of the mob, but it was a boon in sliding through the narrow openings between the arms of the angry cityfolk. Piper operated with much less finesse, simply shoving her way past people that were too stubborn for her to walk through; thankfully everyone was too interested in what happened inside the mines to give her a piece of their mind. Eventually the two were able to make their way to the front of the crowd, giving them a good view of the crime scene. Guards were marching around the perimeter, and investigators made their way in and out of the opening of the mineshaft.

Tilting his head up, Sagax spied a stranger in quite heavy-looking armor, peering down from a hill at the scene. Were they the culprit, admiring their handiwork? Not likely, but what were they doing then? Perhaps exactly what Sagax and Piper were doing...maybe they would aid in their investigation?

That didn't take long. Khazki thought, staring right back at the two Imperials who seem more fixated on her rather than the mutilated corpses laid out like fruit market stalls. They looked somewhat familiar, or so she thought; humans tended to blur together in groups, although Imperials stood out from Nords thanks to their complexions and angular features. She offered a little sarcastic wave at her new fanclub before turning back to the crime scene. Although she got roped into trying to figure out who a murderer was in a land filled with them, a rather pointless endeavor, she found herself growing warmer to the idea; it was like a puzzle to be solved, and it was a novel idea. The poor bastards who got butchered beneath the earth deserved better than they got, and in interest of not meeting a similar fate down the road, she decided she should try to do right by these folk. She was a guest in Skyrim, an unwanted one, and she had a boss that knew her motivations for being here were entirely self-centered. It didn't hurt to earn goodwill, did it?

"I don't like the look of them." were Piper's first words concerning the mysterious stranger. Words that Sagax did not hear, as he was already making his way back out of the crowd. "What the-Hey! Where the fuck do you think you're going!?" she yelled out as she went back to shoving hapless strangers into each other while chasing her brother down. She eventually caught up to Sagax; he had lead Piper to the rock the stranger was perched on top of. He was already within speaking distance by the time Piper got to the foot of the hill. "Sagax, what the fuck are you do-"

"Good evening to you, friend." Sagax said, greeting Khazki with a warmness one would normally reserve for friends. "You have an interest in the mine massacre too, don't you? My sister and I are looking to investigate, and we would appreciate the help." One wouldn't be able to see Piper's facial expression, as she had donned her helmet, but her frustrated groan gave a clue as to her feelings about the stranger and her brother's naive friendliness.

"Oh yes, a rather large interest in staring at dead bodies. It's a macabre art collection down there." Khazki replied dryly, looking at the Imperial man's face through skeptical slits. "What makes you think I'm investigating? I could just be admiring the view." she replied, drumming her claws on a raised knee, a tapping ring coming from the metal. "What's your interest? Your friend there seems a bit squeemish." she remarked.

"Admiring the view, huh? Bullshit." Piper retorted, her helmet adding a tinny vibrato. She continued before Sagax could interject. "There are three people interested in the murders down there: investigators scoping out the scene, guards trying to keep the peace, and gossiping civilians looking for their next object of conversation. You sure as shit aren't a civilian, and you aren't wearing a guard uniform, so that narrows it down quite a bit, sister."

"We're investigating the recent murders here, and we're thinking the perps were hiding out in the mines...until the workers found them. Poor bastards."

Taking advantage of his sister's pause, Sagax spoke up. "Um, yes, that's the gist of it all. Perhaps if we could get into the mines, we may find a few clues pertaining to the identity of the killers. I'm sure the guards are competent, but fresh eyes may turn up something overlooked! Wouldn't you agree?"

Khazki threw up her hands in mock defeat. "Oh you caught me, nothing escapes your notice, does it Bucket?" the Khajiit replied mockingly. "If you must know, Ashav's paying me 20% less than everyone else to clear the name of the company's resident walking leather deposits before Dawnstar tears itself apart to save the Kamal the effort. So it does seem like we have a similar goal in mind." she looked to Sagex, the more reasonable one.

"So happens I was up here looking to find if there's a way to slip in the mine without drawing much attention, but I'm coming up short. I know the guards are supposed to cooperate with us in finding the killers, but I doubt they're going to want a bunch of paid killers stomping around over the corpses of their friends and family that worked the mines. Part of me doesn't think we'll find anything obvious in the mines, but I can see in the dark. I can see things they might not. So what do you call yourself?" Khazki asked, staring back at the crowd.

"Oh, my name is Sagax. Sagax Speculatus, and this is my sister, Piper..."

"Fuck's sake, why not just give her our fucking house number and safe key, too?"

"...and I'm under Ashav's employ as well. My sister, though, she's been contracted by the Jarl as an independent." Perhaps Piper could get them inside, Sagax thought to himself. If they knew she was under the employ of Skald, then possibly the guards would be more willing to let their group investigate the mines. The walking mass of steel that was his sister must have been thinking the same thing, as she had pulled out her contract. It seemed to be worth the try. If their efforts ended up in vain, then they would just have to figure something else out.

"I mean, if you're offering..." Khazki mused at Piper's outburst with a bemused smirk. "Well Sagax, Bucket, sounds like you've a better idea than sitting around like a pile of horker shit." she balanced forward, rising to her feet without using her hands. With an exaggerated stretch and kicking out her ankles to work out the kinks, she gestured ahead. "Lead the way and see if the Jarl's writing is legible enough to be taken seriously."

"Right then, fine, follow me then." Taking charge, Piper marched back down the hill and started clearing the cloud for Sagax and Khazki. "Agents of the Jarl coming through! Move! I said get the fuck out of my way!" Piper was smart this time, and pushed her way through the part of the crowd she hadn't already annoyed with her constant pushing and shoving. Eventually the Imperial was able to make her way to the front where she was stopped by a guard.

"I've been hired by the Jarl to investigate the recent string of murders here, and I think the deaths in the mines are connected. Let us through!" It was clear Piper didn't have the word 'diplomatic' in her vocabulary.

"Yeah? And Queen Elisef was my betrothed. You think pushing yourself around for the past half hour and gawking like a child wasn't going to go unnoticed?" The guard sneered. "Get lost, go investigate somewhere that isn't here."

Khazki rolled her head back, mouthing an annoyance at the situation. She looked at the guard, who eyed her with an arguably less trusting gaze than toward Piper. "She might be a loud mouth idiot without tact, but she's telling the truth. My friend here," She gestured to Sagex, "And I are a part of Ashav's crew. We got the shitstick and are supposed to figure out who decided to murder a bunch of people in town. Now I know you guards all have warm and cozy feelings towards cats like me, but face it; I have better senses than you and the sooner you help us find some leads, the less you'll have to watch your townsfolk get butchered. I mean, I get paid either way, but I'd rather earn my pay by sitting on my ass and drinking than stomping around looking for fake Argonians who probably are trying to impress someone and embarass you by making you lot look utterly incompetent. Now can we please get this over with?"

"Why you puffed up furball...we have the situation under control! Any minute now, our men in the mines will turn up something, and we'll solve this thrice-damned murder, and we don't need you, that buckethead, or your lanky whoreson 'friend'! How dare you try to use the poor folks that have died as some kind of...leverage to get me to let you stomp around as you see fit? I ought to..." The guard would have continued his sputtering rant, but he was stopped by one of his more level-headed collegues.

"Torbald! That's enough, man! These folks just want to help, and Talos knows we need every bit of help the gods afford us."

"Don't give me that crap, Rundi! These murders are Dawnstar's business, we don't need a bunch of unloyal sellswords romping around our city and mucking up our efforts. We'll find something soon!"

"Torbald, we've been searching this place for hours, and we haven't found anything. It's a damned winding maze down there, and our boys can't see a thing...we could always use fresh eyes, especially ones that can see in the dark. Besides, if they've been contracted by the Jarl, we'd be going against orders by barring them entry..."

Looking between his fellow guard and the group of mercs before him, Torbald eventually threw his hands up in the air and stormed off, muttering curses all the while.

"Right...sorry about him. He's just on edge. We all are, really, but don't let that scare you off. We're all glad you've agreed to help us. You can head on inside, but watch your step, and I'm not just talking about the pitfalls."

"Thanks. And for what it's worth, I'm sorry for what happened here." Khazki said with unusual sincerity, glancing at one of the bodies being covered by an arriving blanket and then at the guard, Torbald, stomping off. "Small town like this, everyone knows each other. I'm sure your friend is just trying to cope best he can. We'll be respectful... and careful." She said, placing a hand on the man's shoulder as she passed into the entrance, her eyes taking a few moments to adjust to the darkness. The smell of dust was prevailant, as was a damp musky smell thanks to the mine's proximity to the coast. Also pugnant was the rusty copper smell of fresh and drying blood. Khazki wrinkled her nose, walking careful as to not disturb anything, and to rely on other senses than her eyes. When the three of them were well past the entrance, Khazki chirped up, "You mentioned you were siblings, Sagex, yet you said you work for Ashav and Bucket's under contract by the Jarl. Tells me you two haven't been together long. What's the deal?"

"Oh, that's an absolutely great fuckin' story. Go ahead, Sagax, tell the nice lady about what you've been doing up here while your poor family was worried sick about you!" Piper's indignation was most certainly not unnoticed by her brother; he could tell she was hurt by what she percieved as Sagax abandoning her and Equa. He hoped he would be able to mend that wound, in time.

"Uh, well, I left home a few months ago to find employ in a mercenary company. Find riches, glory, so on and so on. My sister stayed back home with our mother while I found my way to Skyrim, and eventually into Ashav's company." Sagax purposefully neglected to mention the why of him leaving home to enter into the mercenary life. With the recent article calling for his father's capture and execution, he figured it was a good idea to just keep quiet. "Piper got here not too long ago, just yesterday in fact."

"Yeah, I came down here to make sure this knucklehead doesn't get his dumb ass killed. Those snow demons...don't like the sound of them one bit." Deep down Piper wished they could just go home, that the demons would just go away and never come back. She knew, though, that she would need to spill a lot of blood to set the world right again...if she even could. Attempting to break from her own miserable thoughts, Piper decided to ask the questions for a change. "What about you, Kitten? What are you doing in the oh-so great frozen north?"

Khazki's lips upturned in a bemused smile at the obvious tension between them. She was ahead of them and looking in a likewise direction, so there wasn't much of a reason for Bucket to lose her shit, as if she required a reason. She sounded suitably worried about the Kamal, however. It was something even the most bitter of rivals could find common ground in. "Spent a few years living in Morrowind, been traveling for the better part of a decade looking for fame and riches, came out this way when the Dunmer decided that anyone who wasn't grey and dull was an enemy of the state. It's too bad; life was nicer out that way than in Coldharbour's gentle cousin." The Khajiit replied, finding a blood pool splashed over the rocks next to the boardwalk, crouching next to it. She ran her fingers along the sleek liquid, feeling its texture and viscosity, taking in its scent. It didn't smell or feel sickly; it was one of the telltail signs of the cruder poisons.

"So ditching your family, huh? I've been there. So if you're so concerned about ditching your family, why'd you chase after a brother that could have been very well dead?" She asked, standing and carrying on, looking for something that stuck out. "Neither of you are going to find anything worthwhile working for a mercenary outfit. Only thing I'm getting out of it is a spot on a boat when those Frost Fucks finally catch up to where I am. At least you two can say the same. Safety in numbers and all that feel-good shit." she mused, feeling somewhat subdued from her verbal sparring the night before. It was hard to keep a skeptical guard up and focus on tracking down signs of the marauders at the same time.

"Oh, trust me, I'd have left any another dumb bastard for the vultures. Sagax is a very special dumb bastard, though. He's family...and family is all you can trust in this fucked up little world of ours. Can't really afford to let one of the few I have left bite the dirt." Piper had a more selfish motive, as well. She wanted that journal translated, to read just what exactly her teacher had wanted her to know. It was a strange feeling, the curiosity that ate at Piper's mind. Her brother was always the more inquisitive one, while she took most things at face value. It was almost unbearable; she needed to get that damn book translated soon, before her own curiosity drove her insane.

"I love you too, Piper. Glad you're here." His voice carried sarcasm, but Sagax's words were honest. Despite his desire for her to have stayed back home, Piper's presence put him at ease. The friends he had made in the company were nice, but Piper was different. They grew up together, knew everything about each other. He could depend on her, and she him. "As for the mercenary life, I don't know...it's oddly fulfilling. It's given me some purpose, and I've been able to meet a lot of interesting people from many walks of life. Not only that, but I feel that I've learned more in these past months than I have in the past ten years. I don't know, maybe it's just that soldiering is in my blood, being raised a Legion boy, but it's not often I find my mind occupied by regrets." Sagax walked carefully as he spoke, wary of any pits, discarded tools...or worse. Torches were sparsely place along the walls of the mine, but it was still fairly dark. He didn't have the trouble seeing that perhaps Piper did, but he was certainly outclassed by Khazki. Khajiit were always so interesting to Sagax. Giant cats that could speak, had unparalleled eyesight in the dark, and made for both incredibly fearsome warriors and the most dastardly thieves in Tamriel.

"He's always been the sentimental type...it's so cute, kind of like a child fawning over a toy or something."

Sagax could only sigh.

``Trusting family, huh? Must be nice." Khazki replied tersely, her tail flicking in annoyance as she reflected on exactly she left behind. It would have almost been too perfect if the Kamal decided to land on the outskirts of Senchal, but she wasn't that lucky. "Glad you're liking marching to someone else's drum and being thrown into potentially lethal situations that someone else decided for you. I'll be hitting the road when I get somewhere that the people are too fat and stupid to realize there's a war on, but until then..." the Khajiit trailed off, reaching what looked like the end of the mine, or at least this branch of it. Something caught her nose, and she crouched down, feeling the ground by where there were two unique bloodstains. Only instead of looking at the blood, she was after something else. Her fingers brushed across something that was certainly off of the other pebles and debris and she picked up what she was looking for; a hardened chunk of ash. "Found something. Ash shell chunks. Thought I caught the scent of something familiar." she told the others.

Both Imperials peered over Khazki's shoulders, trying to find out what exactly she was looking at. It wasn't until the Khajiit had the strange ashen rock in her hands that Sagax and Piper could see what she was talking about. "Ash shell?" inquired Sagax, "What's an Ash shell?" Something familiar? What did Khazki mean by that? "Something native to Morrowind?" said the Imperial, giving his best guess. "Could...could there have been Armigers hiding in these mines?" If Sagax guessed right, it meant that Dawnstar was in terrible danger.

"The hell's an Armiger?" Piper asked. "Sounds like a kind of salad." Well, salad would certainly be much less threatening, thought Sagax.

"Here, I'll show you." She said, reaching over to hand the chunk to Piper. As the Imperial woman reached to grab it, the Khajiit grabbed hold of her wrist, her hand glowing with the pale green glow of alteration magic. Suddenly, Piper's forearm was steadily becoming encased with a shell of hardened ash, much like the rock that Khazki found on the ground. She released Piper, leaving her with a hard coated lower arm. "That's an ash shell, one of those Ashlander specialties they developed in response to their environment, they use it for immobilizing game, victims, and what I think happened was our killer used it to seal up a wound so they wouldn't drip blood everywhere." She explained, mostly looking at Sagex.

"Don't worry, Bucket; it isn't permenant. A particularly determined sort can break out of it with relative ease." The Khajiit assured her with an impish smirk. "So that's what I think we're dealing with, Ashlanders, but yeah, Armigers are likely, too. They're kind of like a vanguard mashed up with royal guard over in Morrowind, putting it loosely." she explained for Piper's benefit.

"FUCKING SHIT!" Piper's bellow seemed to echo for minutes off of the walls of the mines as she began striking the strange stone coating her arm. Eventually she started smacking it against a wall while Khazki explained the Ash shell and the Armigers.

"If it is Ashlanders, then these murders weren't just for murder's sake. If they were just scouts then they would want to be as inconspicuous as possible." Thinking back to Windhelm, it was remarkable to Sagax just how similar the two situations were. There was at least a shaky peace between the inhabitants, but then someone died, and then riots erupted. They were still at the murder part of the pattern so far, so maybe they could stop the chaos before it happened, giving the Kamals a nasty surprise if they assaulted Dawnstar: a unified populace completely ready for them. "We need to oust these killers as fast as we can, that much is very clear."

"Yeah, no shit, genius!" Piper had finally stopped swearing long enough to enter the conversation, it seemed she was able to break out of the stone surrounding her arm. "I read what happened at Windhelm, it doesn't take a gods-damned Moth Priest to put everything together. Well...when you've got all the info, anyway."

"All right, admit it, Piper, you're only able to figure it out because I told you about the Ashlanders last night."

"Shut up! I said 'when you've got all the info', didn't I!?"

Khazki let the two squabble for a bit, amused at the sibling rivalry that seemed to take precidence over the fact they were standing where around 8 workers died within the past couple hours. "If anyone had any sense in their thick Nord skulls, no one would be in Dawnstar when, not if, the Kamal arrive. Windhelm has massive walls and limited entry options, and from what I'm hearing even the fresh forces were ousted and forced to run for the hills within a few short days. What do you think Dawnstar has going for it?" The Khajiit asked rhetorically, picking up another piece of hardened ash, realizing that the guards outside would probably like to see it... well, more like need to.

"I believe its people have the will, spirit, and grit to beat back the Snow Demons. That's what Dawnstar has going for it. Windhelm had its walls, yes, but it was taken entirely by surprise. The Kamal attacked from what seemed like the Aether, their ships rolling in through the fog, hammering the city walls until they crumbled."

"Are you shitting me, Sagax? You need an army to fight off an invasion! You need troops, resources, and battle plans. What is willpower and spirit going to do?" Why couldn't her brother just face reality? All the belief and faith in the world wasn't going to beat back the Kamal, or any enemy for that matter. The gods weren't going to help, and there were no heroes to charge across the battlefield and secure easy victory. "When the Kamal get here, Sagax, we're fucking leaving, even if I have to drag you by your damn ear!"

"You need to learn to believe in people, Piper. They're capable of amazing feats, and every one can be more surprising than the last. Tamriel will prevail over the Snow Demons, I'm certain, now that we know just what we're up against."

Piper stared at Sagax for a few moments, her expression and whispers blocked by the hunk of metal over her head. It wasn't entirely clear what she thought of her brother's words, but one could only assume she disagreed vehemently. "Let's just...get these rocks back to the guards, tell'em what we think."

"People are also capable of slitting your throat for scraps of food, or your coin purse. They also tend to want other things if you happen to be a woman walking alone on the road, so don't put too much stock in the power of friendship and belief when people watch what happens to a body after sudden trauma, or when they get even the slightest bit hungry. Only thing separating us from the wolves is we agree to pretend to be civilized up until the point it no longer benefits us to play by the rules. Bucket's right; you don't want to put your theory to the test, or you're going to find out that the Kamal aren't the worst monsters you need to worry about." Khazki said, nodding at Piper's suggestion they return. They found what they came for.

The trio emerged from the mine's entrance and into the blinding morning light to the same chaos they left behind. Khazki found the same guard who permitted them entrance, handing him a chunk of the ash. "Whoever did this was probably Dunmer. They were using a spell that originated in the Ashlands." she explained to the guard.

Rundi looked over the stone, turning it over curiously. "The Ashlands? That's the place with all of those whacked-out tribals, right? Worship sand or whatever." Beckoning over Torbald, the guard showed his colleague the group's find. "I told you they'd find something...take a look at this. Cat says it's from Morrowind."

Without missing a beat, Torbald started up his irritable grumbling again. "Of course it'd be good-for-nothing grayskins! We need to report this to the Jarl immediately. Unfortunately, we have orders to keep these mines locked down, so I suppose you lot get the honor." Looking over to Khazki and the others, Torbald left some friendly parting words before returning to his patrol. "We'd have found this eventually...don't feel special because you sniffed out a few stones."

"He's right...well, about the first part. You should make your way to the Jarl, or whoever it is you report to. This is one hot piece of evidence you all have come across...watch your backs."

"Always do." Khazki assured him, beaconing the siblings to follow her out of the sectioned off crime scene. It didn't necessarily get them closer to finding the killers, but at least they had an idea of what they were looking for. She handed the chunk to Piper via casual toss. "You're reporting to the Jarl, aren't you? Have fun. I'm going to see if the Argonian camp has anything that's relevant to what we're looking for." she said.

Flinching slightly at the sight of the Ash shell soaring towards her, Piper fumbled with it for a second before finally getting a good grip. "Yeah, you do that. I'll take this to the old gray-head running this shithole, maybe he can do something with the information in his infinite wisdom."

"After we're done over there, we can take the stone to Ashav, spread the word around about what we found. We'll have these killers in chains yet!" There shone again Sagax's great optimism, as if he was entirely oblivious to the possibility that the murderers may get off completely scot-free.

Khazki shrugged as she turned to walk off, deciding to let the man have his moment of hope. "Sure. You'll be the Hero of Dawnstar. I'll even let you take the credit." sticking a pair of knuckles under her chin, the Khajiit pressed until her neck cracked. "Just... yeah." she said, deciding against stating the obvious of be careful. Sagax seemed like he was too innocent for the hard, cold world in which they lived, and Khazki had seen so many promising people cut short from the most unassuming of circumstances. The killers probably knew that people were closing in on them; they wouldn't hesitate to put a stop to that. With a wave, she began to walk off. "See you later. You both owe me a drink."

"Yeah, yeah, we'll be fine, Kitten." Piper said as she beckoned to Sagax. "Come on, we've dawdled enough already."
Oblivion, inside the Kvatch gate Tower


The trip through the tower was disappointingly uneventful, at least to Orintur. A few petty Dremora and their pets, nothing like what the imposing tower of spikes and scorched stone would suggest from the outside. He had hoped for a chance to strike down more of the demons, but on the other hand he understood that the others would rather not fight every Daedra in Oblivion. A more than fair attitude, given the brutality of even the lowliest forms of Daedra. It may have been Orintur's duty to strike down the demons wherever he found them, but most people chose other paths, such as the mercenary life or priesthood, as was their right.

After striking down the last foe, everyone had found themselves in a small room, with two doors and what looked like religious pews. Orintur quietly growled in response to Naenya inane questions; such inquiries into the activities of demons were for heretics. The only things anyone needed to know about Daedra were the different methods of killing them, all else was irrelevant and even dangerous.

Peering through the only door that was unlocked, Orintur saw a thin bridge suspended several hundred feet above the molten ground surrounding the tower. He wasn't stupid, if he attempted to cross the bridge he'd topple straight off and splatter against the rocks. Instead, the elf elected to act as a rear guard, to defend against any Dremora that may find their way up the tower and attempt to flank behind the party. Glancing over at Naenya, the paladin was completely taken aback by her willingness to sit on the benches, and not only that, she had been smiling! Such a thing was not something to be smiling about! Did she not understand the dangers of her actions!?

"Madam, I would advise against physical contact with such constructs! There's no telling what foul energies the demons here have summoned through their heretical rituals...we must be absolutely certain we do not bring anything back with us into the mortal plane!"




Kvatch, refugee camp


An expert shot! Down the boar went, and nearby was the sound of a young girl's excited "Yes!" Approaching her prey's limp body, Uzka lifted it over her shoulder and made her way back to the camp. The boar would provide a good bit of meat for the people residing in the tents nearby; food was getting a little scarce, and so Uzka thought it would be a good idea to brush up a bit on her hunting. As the young orc was handing her kill over to a grateful civilian, frantic yelling echoed down the hill from the gates of Kvatch. Uzka didn't need to hear the exact words, she knew there was trouble, and immediately began sprinting up the path toward the barricades.

When she reached the top of the hill, Uzka was greeted by the sight of horrific lizard-like creatures swarming the barricades. Someone else was already there helping the defense, an Argonian. She didn't have much time to contemplate her next action, as her hand was forced by a Clannfear trying to make her their next meal. It had been weakened by the Argonian's atronach, but that didn't stop its ferocity. Leaping at the orc with jaws wide, the Clannfear caught an axe to its face for its trouble, the blow sending it tumbling to the ground limply. One amongst many, but it was one less trying to bite Uzka's face off. Assuming a defensive stance with her shield, Uzka waited for her next foe to reveal itself.
I've almost got a post up; bits and pieces but not enough to slap onto the IC. Writing's hard sometimes, mang.
If a "Newbie" forum is ever implemented, I don't think it would hurt for a blurb to be stickied at the top that encourages sociability. Something that explains that while perhaps not everyone on the Guild is looking to be your friend, they all do share a hobby with them: writing. The Guild is a place to write and talk about writing; styles, past/current/future projects, etc etc. So they shouldn't be shy about just going out and throwing out their ideas. Ah, of course, don't forget to reserve part of the blurb for the usual stuff about accepting and giving good criticism.
25th of Sun's Height, Sunset - Windpeak Inn




Sagax arrived back at Windpeak eventually, but he probably took more time than Piper would have liked. He had spent a good while simply walking the streets of Dawnstar, trying to get all his thoughts together. He had questions, questions like "Why the hell has my sister left the Imperial City?", and "What am I going to do?". Unfortunately, he would only receive an answer to the first question. Sitting down with Piper, Sagax spoke before she could even flinch.

"Why did you follow me here, Piper?" He tried to make himself sound as stern as possible, something he had tried and failed at before with his sister; she was simply sterner, not to mention hard-headed. The Imperial had already abandoned the possibility of getting Piper to go back home, but he at least wanted a straight explanation for her actions.

Leaning back in her chair with arms crossed, Piper responded simply. "I heard you guys were having trouble up here, so I thought I'd come and help." She looked around absentmindedly, focusing on nothing in particular. One of her tells, of course, which Sagax was very familiar with, and she his. Not always an indicator that she was lying, but perhaps simply not telling him everything.

"Right...so you waltzed all the way up here, to the very end of Skyrim, just because?"

"Yes! That's exactly fucking it!" Piper shouted irritably. "Like I said, I'm here to make sure you can come back home in one piece! What, am I not allowed to give a shit about you or something!?" Glancing around at the curious eyes of the other patrons, Piper's voice rose further. "What the hell are you looking at!?"

Getting Piper's attention and signaling for her to quiet down a bit, Sagax responded calmly. "Alright, alright I get it, and I'm happy that I got to see you again, but you didn't have to come down here armed to the teeth! Seriously, we're fine. I'm fi-"

"Bullshit!" Piper said in a half-whisper, gritting her teeth and smacking the table with her palm. "I know what happened at Windhelm, Sagax! Everybody in Tamriel knows about the Demons!" Leaning in closer, she continued in a voice that mocked the calmness of her brother's. "I've also heard some stories. One that really, really stuck out to me was about some crazed man in Cyrodiilic leathers making a mad dash towards a frigate, just before it mysteriously exploded...have any idea who that was?"

After a few moments of silence, Piper spoke up again. "Why don't you just start from the beginning, when you joined this company of yours?" Not really seeing any way out of his situation, Sagax began to retell the recent exploits of the merry band of mercenaries he signed on with. Piper's jaw seemed to drop lower and lower with every sentence. It didn't help that she kept asking for more details about everything; what could have taken ten minutes ended up stealing an hour away from them. When the tale was finally finished, Piper just rubbed her eyes and groaned. "What am I going to do with you, Sagax..."

"See, I could kind of tolerate your hobby of climbing anything that was tall enough to kill you if you fell, but bombs, Sagax? I mean where did you guys even get those things, those arcane charges or whatever you called them?"

"I don't know from where specifically, Ashav just told us they were for breaching the Forsworn gate. We didn't use all of them in the assault, and it would have been a waste to just sell them off..."

"But why are you using them?"

"Well, they've come in handy, and the company comes across a lot of very...problematic situations-"

Sighing, Piper interjected. "No no no, Sagax, why are you using them? I mean you specifically. Why the hell do you keep getting sent off to do shit with those exploding death plates?"

"Well..." Sagax began, "I'd say because Ashav not only values my skillset, but also knows how to make good use of it, so he sends me to sabotauge the enemy...which just so happens to mean 'use arcane charges to blow their ships sky high'." If one listened closely, they would make out a hint of pride in the man's voice.

"You're a madman, Sagax, I swear. You belong in the fucking loony bin." Piper responded with an exasperated laugh. "Values your skillset? My ass. He's just using you, even if he does throw a coin your way every other blue moon. Don't even get me started on that bitch from earlier...these people aren't your friends, Sagax. Not a single one. The only people in this world that care about you are father, mother and I. You shouldn't trust these people with anything...bunch of liars, crooks and thieves they are." Piper's tone seethed with vitriol, something her brother had gotten used to a long time ago. She was just so filled with hate, and it never seemed to die down. Did her temperament worry Sagax? Sometimes, but he believed that if she would just let more people into her life, or give them a chance at least, she would be so much happier. So far, though, attempts to get Piper to open up had been entirely unsuccessful. Wouldn't stop Sagax from trying some more, though.

"You're wrong, Piper, like you always are about people. The men and women in this company are a good sort. Harp on about whatever faults you find all you like, it won't change the truth, or what I think about the people around me." How many times have the two of them argued about this sort of thing? The tally was probably in the hundreds, and it ended the exact same way every time, with neither of them budging from their points of view. Sagax could cut with a knife the frustration radiating from Piper, and she could no doubt feel his judgmental eyes on her.

After a solid minute of silence, Piper spoke suddenly. "It's getting late, we should get some sleep." There was always something to break off from the argument when it got awkwardly quiet, and Piper was always fairly good at finding it. "I've got us both rooms. I didn't come with much, but it was enough for that, at least. Right next to mine, just over there."

Whether he liked it or not, Piper was there to stay, and there wasn't anything he could say or do to dissuade her. Choking down his desire to argue further, Sagax retired, getting a surprisingly quiet night of sleep. Perhaps the old man was too busy to pay a visit.




26th of Sun's Height, Morning - Windpeak Inn




The sun was out, birds were singing, and wind quietly rattled the window of the room. It seemed to be a gentle morning, stress-free, and for that Sagax was grateful-

"What the fuck!?"


Jolting upright, still half asleep and out of his armor, the Imperial was less than ready for the sudden noise that blasted through his door. Then came the banging and shouting for him to get up; it was Piper's voice, filled with a distress not common for her. Slipping on his boots and cloak, Sagax strode over to the door and flung it open hurriedly. Piper, in her own set of casual wear and with greatly disheveled hair, immediately grabbed her brother by the arm and lead him just outside of the inn. She then shoved a bit of paper into his hands and pointed to a specific area. "Read it!"

"It" was the latest edition of the Tamrielic Gazette. What in the world was printed on the harmless piece of paper to make Piper's voice quake as it did? As he read, the answer became very, very clear to Sagax.

Caius Speculatus' wife, Equa, was taken into custody by the Penitus Occulatus. Official press briefing states the move is for Equa's own safety, as the suspected vampire Caius could be plotting to turn his family. However, some believe the move is to draw out Caius and the Seventh Estate from hiding.

"They...they have mother!" he whispered unsteadily. Looking up, Sagax met his sister's frantic eyes. "What are we going to do? What can we even do!?"

"I don't fucking know!" she responded, putting her head in her hands. "The caravan I got here with is gone, and it'd take me weeks to get back to the Imperial City on my own...fuck! Fuck, fuck...fucking fuck!" Seething silently for a few moments, Piper spoke up again after she was able to calm herself enough to speak sensibly. "Shit, even if I did go back, what the hell would I be able to do? I'd be thrown into a cell too! For her safety...bullshit! Who knows what those pig-heads are doing to her right now? And Varulae...they'll go for her next, I'm sure of it!"

Piper looked back over to her brother for a moment, before gripping him by his shirt collar with both hands and nearly lifting Sagax clear off the ground. "I'm staying here; I won't lose you too, Sagax! Who the hell are you signed on with!? Ashav? Where is he!?"

"He-he's busy! Besides, it's too late for you to sign on right now anyway! The investigation-"

"What investigation? Who ordered it? The...Jarl, or whatever it is Counts are called here? Would they have me?" Releasing Sagax from her death grip, Piper allowed her brother to speak.

"Um...well, I suppose he might? I've heard talk of the Jarl hiring on independents. You wouldn't be associated with our company, so you would most likely take orders from the Jarl himself and his representatives, but I would assume you'd be paid all the same and..." Before he could finish, Piper was already heading back inside Windpeak.

"Grab your gear, Sagax! We need to be presentable!"




26th of Sun's Height, Late Morning - The White Hall




With their first steps into the longhouse, Piper and Sagax could already feel watchful eyes upon them. Both kept their hands as far away from their blades as possible as they presented themselves before Jarl Skald, whose uninterested gaze turned into a scowl at the sight of Piper's shield. Skald's Housecarl, Jod, began a very warm welcoming speech.

"You stand before the Jarl of Dawnstar, Skald Felgeif the Elder. While in his city and home, you will show him the proper respect befitting a Jarl. Keep your distance, your blades sheathed, and speak only when spoken to. The Jarl's word is law, and you will respect the law for as long as you remain in Dawnstar. Am I clear?" After a confirmation of understanding, Jod allowed the pair to come a few inches closer to the throne.

"And what do you want, Imperial whelps?" The grumbling voice of the Jarl was filled with obvious disdain, in particular his emphasis on "Imperial". Perhaps purposefully not giving his guests a chance to respond, Skald almost immediately began speaking again. "Well? I haven't got all day! You Imperials, you spend too much damn time gawking when you should be getting on with your business..."

Stepping forward, Piper bowed slightly out of begrudging respect. "My lord, I wish to lend my skills to you for the upcoming murder investigation. I have equipment and the training to match, and I have the skill to hunt down and drag the culprit to your throne begging for forgiveness."

"Oh goodie, another Imperial meddling in Dawnstar's business...fine! With any luck, maybe you'll end up the same as that accursed piss-skin..." Clapping his hands, Skald shouted at a corner where a tired-looking man stood. "Bulfrek! Get over here! And bring me my quill! The good one!" Before he began writing, and without even looking up at Piper, Skald addressed the lass. "Oh, and it's Jarl to you, Imperial. There are no lords here in Skyrim, sitting in cushion-filled castles eating candies all day long..."

After a few moments of scribbling, Skald handed off a sheet of paper to Jod, who then gave it to Piper, along with a dingy quill. "Sign at the bottom there, on the line. Your pay's listed at the very end of the terms...you do know how to read, don't you?" A very charming man, Skald was, and Piper was warming up to him oh so well; she even shared a friendly glare with the Jarl. She wanted to argue about her pay, which was an absolutely paltry sum, but figured she wouldn't get very far with the old codger, so she quietly signed her name. "There, congratulations, you're hired. Bye-bye, so long, farewell...no, really, get out. Or my Housecarl will escort you."

Both Imperials left quietly and made their way back to Windpeak. Neither spoke much more; Piper was still seething about the recent news, while Sagax simply felt dejected. Would the situation get better at some point?

Sagax felt pessimistic about the odds.
Khazki snickered. “You know, the whole ‘you carry a big sword and therefore a small cock’ argument only works when you actually have a cock. This isn’t about covering up my problems, it’s about keeping the problems out,” she said, tapping on her breast piece, and then lifting her sword to her shoulder to rest. “And getting rid of them, respectfully. I don’t give anyone a chance until they prove that they’re not a worthless bag of bones that hides all sorts of nasty thoughts behind smiles and kind gestures. Word of advice? People always want something out of you. Your body, your money, whatever you have on you. Travel around a bit; you’ll see what I mean.”


@Dervish

I think Khazki and Piper are going to get along really well. Or they'll mutually hate each other, either is likely.
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