Recent Statuses

11 mos ago
Current Welcome to Lemons' fourth year on RPGuild. PRAISE BE!
2 yrs ago
They will look for him from the white tower...but he will not return, from mountains or from sea...
2 yrs ago
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2 yrs ago
Thirty four.
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3 yrs ago
Never eat the lemons alone. My friend? He at the lemons alone. I had to put him down once he started to salivate.


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Most Recent Posts

@tobiax yuh

@tobiax It totally is Nimmie, or rather the art for her. I searched it up and got super attached. Not very good at doubling up, though; one or the other, I think. Leaning more towards Tori now, though, though I'd need to change her name to a color-based one. I just never really get to use her properly.
@BartimaeusA defensive character with metal arm weapon?

Sounds like there'll be a swole bae here after all. Maybe I will bring Tori back, @tobiax
Don't mind me, just interested enough to create a character.

Getting Lubricated
Collab with Stormy and the Schaftonater

17th of Midyear, late at night...

The last time Gaius had felt alcohol in his blood, it had been an uncountable time ago. At least, that’s what it felt like, though it was only a few months ago. Or something. Before the Imperial City had been sacked, in any case. He’d been occupied ever since, too much to open up a bottle or tip back a tankard, or keep very good track of time. And so, he found himself grimacing at the burn of liquor as it went down and looked ruefully at the two bottles that he’d purchased and would never be able to finish. Sighing, he slid them in his tunic pockets in lieu of drinking more, opting instead to wander aimlessly about the celebrations, a distraction that served just as well.

Perhaps an hour after his conversation with Meg, he spied another familiar face. Not someone he knew, no. A familiar face. Though he’d seen it most often in the mirror or the barracks instead of on a grizzled Ohmes-Raht, he knew the taut wariness that lurked behind the khajiit’s eyes: the look of a man who had seen a very large amount of combat. Despite his own wariness, he found himself fascinated by the man; had he seen him somewhere? Perhaps after the prison raid? He wasn’t sure. He’d barely even been conscious returning from Kthrakz, let alone awake enough to recognize a face. Weighing his options for a bit and fingering the still-pocketed bottle, he shrugged heavily to himself and approached the man, holding the unopened bottle out.

“Care to share a drink? You look like you could use one.”

“And a few more besides.” Sevari mumbled, only looking at the face to take the offered bottle and bidding him sit next to him, seeing the tell-tale signs of a life of military service in his every move, “Gaius. You look like a legionnaire. I’ve seen a lot of them in my time, worked with a few Legion men and women.”

“Sevari.” He offered his hand out to the man, straightforward, there was a comfort in that. No games, no tip-toeing. Talking to Legionnaires was a respite in the constant charade of service to the Penitus Oculatus, in which you weren’t supposed to exist. Inspectors, it was no wonder why his ilk were called Specters, a shortening and a bogeyman title. Here one day, gone the next, with a new name and a new job. “You were one of the men we sprang from Kthrakz. Milonem. The name is well-respected, isn’t it?”

Gaius nodded along as the newly-named Sevari introduced himself and gave him a firm handshake, sitting down beside him. “You’re not wrong. I’m a Legionnaire through and through. And right again: the Milonem family has been around for a decent long time. My father was Triarius in the Prima Cohort. We used to be much more well known; after Father and Mother died, I drove us into the ground before my much more competent sister--” he swallowed heavily as memories of Helena rippled through his mind, and he had to pause for a moment before he continued. “--Apologies. Before my more competent sister took over the administration.”

“On to matters more present, and,” he chuckled lamely, “less upsetting. You said that you’ve worked with the Legion before. What’s your line of work?” He had a sneaking suspicion, given that there weren’t a huge amount of jobs that aligned closely to the Legion, but he didn’t want to offend with haphazard guesses. Best to let Sevari speak on his own.

“Inspector.” Sevari said, leaving it at that. “Those special people who fight the Empire’s enemies when the Legion is too heavy-handed. I’ve been fighting the Empire’s enemies for a long, long time.”

Gaius cracked a wan grin, quickly warming up to the fellow soldier. “So have I, friend. So have I. And I suppose now I’m doing so even more with these damn Dwemer.” He fished the corked bottle out of his pocket, popping it open. “Still, I look forward to seeing the looks on their faces when we reclaim the Imperial City and burn their airships to cinders.” Raising the bottle in the air in toast, he prepared for the burn of the alcohol. “To wars, fought and won!”

Not exactly a gentleman to miss a toast as it was occurring, the sight of Gaius and Sevari imbibing together hit that part of Fjolte that had missed and longed for familiar camaraderie and brotherhood. How could he continue to walk past that of all things? It was a festival was it not? He had been feeling much more himself in the days since his escape, and it was hard for Sevari not to stick out, the Nord had not seen much of him after he had walked through the prison, sour and heavy. He seemed less so now.

“Hah! Nothing like a toast among brothers—” he remarked with his usual beaming smile as he swaggered over with the confidence and enthusiasm that would have made anyone believe he had been part of their meeting all along. He had no ale of his own, but that didn't stop him from raising an invisible glass anyway, “to life, freedom, and friendship!” a mirthful chuckle rolled off his toast and he brought himself next to Sevari, giving him a hearty slap on the shoulder. “Thanks for saving my neck, friend…” for a second, his expression slipped into one far more serious and sincere than he wanted - not that Fjolte was one to disguise feelings. “You two look like you're talking a bit deep for a festival…”

“What else do two old fighters talk about but their aching knees and numerous stories about every scrape they’ve been in?” Sevari raised his cup a tad to the newly arrived Nord, resplendent in his insufferable fucking beauty, “Wouldn’t expect a Ponce like you to understand.” He quipped good-naturedly with an impish grin while lighting a cigar he’d put between his teeth, “Or could it be the first time in forty-some years that I’m wrong?”

“You might be wrong indeed. I've been in plenty of scrapes, don't let the smoulder fool you…” he laughed and took a seat on one of the stacked crates. “Us Nords come out of the womb ready to brawl, I certainly did. I'm still a man of my youth though, not as old as you two farts by the sounds of it.” He nodded in the direction of the Imperial. He could not remember seeing him in the escape. “I'm Fjolte, by the way, friend!”

“Gaius,” the Legionnaire responded in kind, inclining his head at the boisterous Nord. He smiled at his antics; after the soul-sucking trials of the past few weeks, talking to someone who seemed both generally happy and sane was a welcome reprieve. He turned to Sevari, eyes twinkling in a way that they hadn’t in far too long. “Careful, Sevari. This one looks like he could eat a cow and still have room left over to guzzle a keg and start punching.” With that, he turned back to Fjolte again, passing over the bottle after taking one more long pull and wiping his lips. “To life, freedom, and friendship!”

“Aye!” Sevari toasted, raising his glass. “I think Fjolte knows I’m only giving him shit. I pried the bars apart so he could crawl through them and taste the air of freedom again.”

He chuckled, “And that’s why he should think twice before calling me an old fart. Figured the baby-face young Nord would have some manners.” He took a gulp from his cup and chuckled good-naturedly, “Besides, I’m not even fifty yet, you ass.”

“You laugh at the thought of me eating a whole cow, but it’s been done! Of course, I had my brother Honon the Fat to help me but we cleaned it down to the bone just the two of us. Just regular Loredas activities…” he sighed, letting his thoughts wander to home. He hoped his family were alright. Sevari’s words lifted him from dipping his toes too much into the melancholy of it all, and he laughed aloud - his usual bellowing laugh. “You’re not that old, and I’m not that young. Don’t let this handsome mug fool you both, I’ve seen some shit.” He ran a hand through his sand-coloured hair, and let his laughter patter out. “So what’s next for you two then? Where will the wind carry you after tonight?”

Gaius exhaled a heavy breath. “The wind will carry me where it always has, eventually. Back to my people, back to my home, however long it takes me to get there. I don’t care how many miles and Dwemer lie between us, but I will see the Imperial City reclaimed.” Then a snort. “But after tonight? Hopefully a blacksmith.” He tossed his head back, draining the rest of the bottle and grimacing at the burn.

“Can’t have a legionnaire without his armor.” Sevari said, tipping back his own cup and growling at the burn, wiping his mouth off on his forearm, “Finally, someone who likes whiskey.”

He turned to Fjolte, an eyebrow cocked, “You’ve seen battle? When?”

Made sense of course that Gaius was a Legionnaire. Fjolte almost felt bad for his own past allegiances, but he was no longer ashamed and scared of consequence. He saw no use in hiding it. War put people against each other, simple as, and there was no going back from the truth of it now. “Aye, battle for Windhelm - some others during the civil war. That must have been the last one though… Most fucking memorable I’ll tell you that. Raelynn was there too, well, she was there after. Frightened and out of her depth pulling bodies from the wreckage…” he sighed with a soft laugh and ran his hands through his hair, hoping that he hadn’t just caused potential tension with two new friends. “Now we’re back in the thick of war, I suspect there will be more battles to come.”

Sevari cocked a brow at that. He spit off to the side and lit a cigar, letting the moment drag on as the tobacco crackled with his inhale. He let out the smoke as he spoke, quiet-like, and his eyes didn’t leave Fjolte’s, “Which side?”

The Nord just shrugged at the question and the corners of his mouth curled into an awkward smile, “the losing one.” Fjolte rolled his shoulders back - hoping that his confession wouldn't start a fight or damage any chance at bonding with the two of them, but there was a lightness to him that suggested he'd already accepted if they did choose to hold it against him.

Gaius tensed up, knee-jerk reaction to the presence of a Stormcloak at the ready. His lips began to curl into a snarl.

Then he paused, and thought for a moment before staring Fjolte dead in the eyes. “You know,” he began slowly, “I knew a lot of good men and women that died during the civil war. Riki Armandgove, Srani Briza, Sextus Quirinus, and so many more. Many were at Windhelm.” He heaved in a deep breath. “But there are bigger trolls to kill right now. Maybe after all this, then I'll have to fight you. But for now?” He forced out a lopsided grin. “I’ll shut up and drink.”

“I learnt a lot back then, did a lot of terrible things too - we all did. I like to think I've made good on that in the years since, and if not yet - well I'll keep working towards it,” he said hopefully, his eyes pointed up to the stars. “I don't tend to pick many fights these days either so good luck with that in the future,” the Nord began to laugh, “and for what it's worth, I don't intend to fly those colours anymore. I'm a free man now!”

“Now, now.” Sevari mumbled, taking a pull from his cigar, “What were we but two sides of the same coin? I was never in the Legion, but I was there in Skyrim. Always good men on either side. The real enemy is still out there, and I intend to shove these Dwemer assholes aside to get back to those piss-skinned, knife-eared Thalmor cunts.”

Gaius belted out a sudden laugh from deep in his belly, and raised his empty bottle. “The wisdom of an old soldier, eh?” He turned to Fjolte, this time with a huge, genuine, apologetic smile on his face. “Sorry about that, Fjolte. It’s been a long couple of weeks, as I’m sure it’s been for you too. Fuck the elves, hmm?” He tossed the bottle back, cocking his head for a moment in surprise when he realized that it was empty. “...Except Anifaire. She’s alright, from what I remember.”

“I bet there are some Dwemer that are alright. Good and bad eggs everywhere right? Let's just all get through it in one piece,” Fjolte commented as he placed his hands flat behind him and leaned back on the crate. “No need to apologise to me either. Not much I'll take offense to, brother.” He wondered whether or not he'd met Anifaire, he had recalled a quiet and timid Altmer from the escape, “Anifaire huh? That the girl with the voice softer than a unicorn's fart?”

Gaius nodded and stumbled, realizing that he was probably drunk and furthermore, that he didn’t care in the slightest. “If she’s tall, yellow and meek, that’s who you’re thinking of. Only high elf I’ve ever met that didn’t have a stick the size of Dagon up the arse.” He laughed. “There were three altmer in the Jeralls, counting her: freak that looked more like a ghost than an elf, named Sulandi or something stupid like that, and Durantel. Real shithead of an elf, carried himself like a Thalmor.” He swayed, leaning against a wall. “Couldn’t stand that fop bastard.”

“Ah, Durantel.” Sevari nodded, a knowing grin on his face, “He was on my list. I was going to spit him on my sword in Gilane back when I was masquerading as Dwemer Secret Police. Hell, I might’ve done it for fun.”

Fjolte nodded along with them, taking from his pocket a short smoking pipe, and letting it sit on his lower lip while he scrambled another pocket for his bag of alchemical ingredients. “Ahh yeah, Durantel. I wanted to kick my foot so far up is ass he’d smell my feet you know?” He said in a humourful tone, he didn’t know who the fuck Durantel was, but he’d clearly wound up Gaius and Sevari. Finally stumbling across the bag, he took a pinch and loaded the pipe with it. “Shit, need a light…” he muttered, looking to his left and right for a means to do so. “Be so kind as to pass your flame to a new friend?” He asked, motioning to the lit end of Sevari’s cigar. “I’ll share if you do, this will blow your knickers off.”

Sevari shrugged, puffing a few times on his cigar before handing it over, “That’s the most harmless thing anyone’s threatened to blow off of me.” He said, watching Fjolte light his pipe, “What is it? Moon sugar?”

He frowned a bit, “Don’t tell me you’re a fucking skooma smoker.”

Gaius laughed, maybe just a touch scornfully. “Thought you’d seen some shit, Sevari. Come on, if he was on the skooma, how would he have survived in prison? Boy would be dead from withdrawal already.”

“Very barely, is how. I knew a man who was hooked on it, I tied him to a post for five days and only gave him water twice a day.” He shrugged, as if torturing addicts was a simple hobby of his, “He got clean. He also gave me what I needed to know.”

“Not skooma,” he laughed as he took Sevari's cigar to light the end of the pipe. As he held the small flame into the bowl at the end, it lit up into a violet flame with magenta sparks. “This is something I created after several failed experiments. Can't tell you fellas what's in it though, don't want anyone stealing my recipe…” Fjolte laughed again and took a long drag from the pipe, letting the smoke fill all the way to his lungs - after holding it for some time, he exhaled it as a series of perfectly round rings before handing the pipe to the Ohmes-Raht with a grin, his pupils dilating just so.

After an hour or so, having finished the pipe entirely, the three were sat down around the piles of crates. Each once lounging back in their own way. Fjolte sat in his usual relaxed pose with one leg outstretched and the other brought up to his chest, his arm lounging lazily over his knee. There were beaded tears clinging to his eyelashes as he let rip a laugh from the pit of his stomach, and it wasn’t the first of that night either, his stomach felt sore from the endless clenching of laughter, so much so that his other hand grasped at it, and he panted in pain in between each roll of chuckles.

As stories, theories, ideas, and opinions were passed back and forth, the laughter carried on to an almost obnoxious level. “Do you… Do you… Do you think that it would be better to have hands for feet or feet for hands?”

”I have been told that I must have some giants blood in me somehow, you know, because of the size of my…”

”Bosmer women are so fucking hot. Dunmer women too… And Altmer… Women are hot”
“Yeah, women are hot.”
“This sand is pretty hot too, or is it just my arse?”

“If oranges are oranges, then why are lemons not yellows?”
“Why are grapes not purples?”
“And pineapples blues?”

”What the fuck happens if I get scared half to death… twice?”

”What’s the meaning of life?”

”Do teeth have a taste?”
“Mine taste like…. Teeth.”
“Yeah, mine too.”

”What language would we think in if we were deaf?”
“Can you hear your own head?”

“What was that sound? What’s that smell?”
“Sorry, my bad”
“Sounds like you blew your fucking knickers off.”
“Oh, gods.. Party is over. Abort”
“Yeah, fuck me.. I’m out.”

“What’d I do?!”

For Old Times

Lemons, and the incomparable Greenie

Nighttime, 17th of Midyear
Alik’r Desert, Hammerfell

There was something a little bit eerie about how quickly Restoration magic and alchemy healed up wounds, reflected Gaius.

Of course, he was grateful for it; if it didn’t work so well, he would be laid up with bloody bandages covering his back. As it was, he was up and walking. Not particularly happily, since it didn’t heal quickly enough to completely axe out the pain, but he didn’t want to remain bedridden from a wound again so soon after recovering from his last. And so, that night found him meandering cautiously about the celebrations, reflecting on what had happened over the past month. He plunked himself down heavily on an upturned, empty barrel with a wince and a sigh, feeling once again for the spot on his back where an ancestral shield had sat for decades. He dropped his head and shook it gently. “No more of that, Gaius,” he murmured to himself, “you’re alive, aren’t you?”

"Oh!" Bottle in one hand and a couple of small spicy meat pies of sorts in the other, Meg had been making her way through the crowd, enjoying each and every spectacle that she came across, though now that she found herself hungry, there was nothing that truly caught her attention in the face of food and drink. With those in hand, the Nord woman was at last ready to fend off the heat and tiredness she felt returning by filling her stomach and allowing herself to get a little buzzed. She had not expected to bump into an old companion she hadn't seen since that fateful day in Imperial City.

Not one to shy away from dust, Meg settled herself on the ground next to the barrel that the older soldier had seated himself on, smiling up on him. "Been a while, eh?" she started, letting out a happy sigh. "T'think we'd finally meet 'gain over here of all places..." She blinked before holding out her pie holding hand. "Wanna bite?"

Gaius gave Meg an appreciative smile and a “thanks,” taking one of the pies and nibbling at the edges, lost somewhat in thought. He let a minute or so pass, then turned to face her, realizing, now that he wasn’t bleeding from a whipping and confronted with an Imperial ambassador, how much...rougher wasn’t the much more resilient Meg seemed than the Nord that he’d first met in the Jerall mountains. He’d had his doubts; perhaps it was overdose of soldiery, but her honest, easygoing exterior had caused him to wonder whether she’d be able to handle herself. That question had been answered quite fully now.

“To be completely honest? I thought you’d all scattered or died in the disastrous Colovian Rangers incident. I didn’t think I’d ever meet you again.” His face wrinkled with lines of sadness that hadn’t been there only two months before. “What a horror show that was. I wish I could slap some sense into whoever organized the sortie against the Dwemer outpost, but I don’t think that’s an option any more.” He heaved out a huge sigh. “But enough of that kind of talk. How have you all been? I saw some new faces.”

"Ahh, I'd never joined 'em," Meg replied after a moment. She leaned back against a wall and she contemplated the bottle in her hand, stretching out her legs though not so much that she would obstruct the path for anyone passing by. "I'd stayed with Judena an' the other in the camp in Skingrad... from there we'd gone t'Anvil." She smiled as she took a gulp from her bottle, settling it down to the side when she was done. "Aye, we have new faces- well, new for you... Raelynn came with us when we left Imperial City. Jaraleet an' Gregor joined us in Skingrad... uhm, then there's Maz an' Maj who we met in Gilane... Sevari, Zaveed an' Sirine are really new..." She blinked some, a little surprised that the latter two were still around. She didn't like being judgemental, but the dark tales she had heard of the one and the conversation she'd had with the other had her unsettled and confused.

"It's been wha', two months? Feels like ages..." She thought of Rhea, Brynja and Rhona, but decided tonight wasn't the time to broach painful subjects. Gaius didn't need to feel more sorrow after a long awaited freedom. "Seems fate's on our side now though. We've foun' Alim, we've foun' you, an' looks like we're finally ahead of the dwemer for once."

Gaius chuckled mirthlessly. “Fate, hmm? I guess, in some way, I came looking for you after Anvil. A…” he paused for a moment, “a friend told me that she’d heard through the merchant grapevine that there was a resistance against the Dwemer in Gilane. I thought if I rustled up enough trained fighters, I could tear Anvil apart. Funny how fate always finds a way to get you back on the track you need to be.”

He shook his head. “It’s a shame Rhea isn’t here to celebrate with us. If there’s anybody on Nirn who didn’t deserve the fate that they were dealt, it’s her.” He went quiet, looking down at the pie in his hands before abruptly changing the subject, standing up with a suppressed yawn and a lame smile on his face. “So, where did you find that drink? I could use some about now.”

Meg's eyes had dropped to the ground at the mention of Rhea's name, remembering how that last rush from Anvil had taken her life. It wasn't so long ago, yet after the events of Gilane, it felt like months... and still the pain remained. She had done all that she could for them, and in the end her life had been viciously stolen from her.

That could not happen to Daro'Vasora. Or anyone else in their group, for that matter.

"Oh, I got m'ways," Meg replied with a small smile, picking up the bottle and holding it up for the Imperial man to take. "Not stolen, don' worry." She had managed to pick it up for free though, the merchant rather enchanted by a tale told of one of her escapades in Skyrim. "It don' taste half bad either."

“Well, as long as we have some drink, shall we think happier thoughts? We’re alive, aren’t we?” Taking the bottle, Gaius examined it for a moment, wondering what kind of drink it was, before shrugging and holding it to the sky. “To being alive!” With that, he took a long pull from the bottle, chugging down the liquor and enjoying the slight burn that came with it. When he was done, he handed the somewhat lighter vessel back to Meg. “So many terrible things have happened within the pasts few months, perhaps we forget that it hasn’t all been bad. Many good things have happened as well. Fate may be on our side now indeed.” He gave Meg a small, tame smile and a nod. “Thank you for reminding me of that, Megana.”

He leaned back, looking at the stars that wheeled in the glass-clear desert sky above him, marveling at how much brighter they looked than in the Imperial City. “If I had a drink of my own, Akatosh,” he muttered, “I’d pour it out in your name.”

Meg looked at the man, a little grin finding itself on her lips. “Well, y’can always pour it in yer mouth,” she suggested a little cheekily, though she did sober a little. “I’m kiddin’... an’ I agree too, best t’think of happier thoughts now.” Her mind wandered and she thought or her previous encounter earlier in the night with Sevari- it had been an unexpected yet enlightening experience, and she was very happy to have made a new friends… perhaps she could round off the night with yet another one.

“So, uhm, b’fore you came with us t’the mountains, where’d ya live?”

“Imperial City, all my life. Talos Plaza district, to be specific.” His face creased with a faraway worry for a bit, before he shook his head, dragging them back to the moment, doing his best to forget the current state of his home. “Somehow, most people that come to the city do so in times of crisis. I suppose that’s the nature of the seat of power. I wish they saw it in peace more than they do.” He leaned forwards, ceasing his reclining, and winced a bit as the remaining injuries in his back stretched. “It’s a beautiful city, it really is. Standing just inside the gate and looking up at the White-Gold Tower is a feeling that’s hard to duplicate, and at night, the Arcane University blazes with a rainbow of lights. It’s like looking at the aurora in Skyrim, only even brighter.”

He turned to her, nostalgic mistiness fading out of his eyes to be replaced with curiosity. “Speaking of Skyrim, what about you? Where were you born and raised?”

“Riverwood,” Meg replied immediately. “Lived there a few years ‘til Pa decided t’move t’Riften. Stayed there a good while ‘til er, he decided he wanted t’live in Whiterun, so we ended up headin’ that way.” Unlike with Sevari, who had found her admission of crime amusing, she was unsure whether Gaius would be of the same mindset. “My Pa, he’s an Imperial like ya, used t’live in Imperial City too, til he was ‘bout my age or maybe a li’l older. A soldier too… yer a soldier, right?” She didn’t wait for an answer, continuing her tale. “He… didn’ really enjoy tha’ kinda life, y’know?” She scratched the back of her neck, thinking she might actually understand why now. “Which was pro’ly a good thin’, else I’d not be around.”

If Gaius was surprised that Meg’s father was an Imperial soldier, he didn’t show it. In fact, he laughed, and not the half-hearted chuckle of before, but a full-throated, throw-your-head-back belly laugh. “Doesn’t sound too unlike my father. He was a soldier and loved it--shows you where I got it, I suppose--but he didn’t much like the fighting. Hated it, actually, even though he was very good at it. He just wanted to help the Empire, and fighting was the best way he had.” He shrugged. “I’ve always been fond of fighting, but I’m nowhere near as good as he was in his prime.”

“Still,” he went on, “I’m glad to know that Whiterun is still holding together. When last I saw it, it was in shambles. Is old man Balgruuf still Jarl?”

She couldn’t help but laugh out loud at hearing the Jarl called ‘old man’, it was funny and unexpected from the Imperial, though reminded her of how her own father would call the leader of Whiterun in the privacy of their home. “Aye, well, last I was there, he sure was- hadn’ been there for months ‘fore I left for Jerall.” She looked at the older man curiously, crossing her legs before turning so that she was facing him completely. “So were you like deployed there, or somethin’ else, jus’ passin’ through?”

“Stationed,” he replied shortly. “Battle of Whiterun. I was one of the legionnaires that defended the city. After the battle, Balgruuf got away from that housecarl of his and ended up drinking in the Bannered Mare nearly every night to show the people of his city that he was still part of them, even after the civil war. We had some interesting conversations over a flagon.”

“So if you hadn’t been in Whiterun before you left for the expedition, where were you? Just wandering, or were you somewhere more pressing?”

“Maybe y’ran into my Pa then,” Meg replied with a small smile. As the days passed on and they kept moving from one location to the other, she found herself thinking more and more of her father and little brother, wondering how they might be. She didn’t hate or even dislike her stepmother, but felt rather indifferent. It was an odd feeling for one who liked to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but there was still lingering feelings or discontent.

“I left Whiterun, erm… a li’l after my twentieth,” she added after a moment of thought. “I wanted adventure? I was workin’ at farms in Whiterun, sometimes usin’ m’sword t’protect wares… I wanted t’see more though.” She smiled as she looked up at Gaius, wondering if he’d find her itchy feet and wanderlust relatable. “I used t’go after bandits for bounties, t’was dangerous but I managed… but I started treasure huntin’ once I bumped into a friend from Riften.”

A little after her twentieth… Gaius smiled, more to himself than to Meg. He’d forgotten how young many of the people on the ill-fated Jerall expedition had been, many seeming still in their twenties. He laughed at her description of her antsy, wandering feet. “One of the perks of being in the Legion: there’s a lot of all-expenses-paid travel. I wish I could’ve wandered when I was that young, but,” his face pulled into a jokingly-sour expression, “I ended up having to run the family finances for a few years. Not a fun time, I can tell you!”

He leaned back again, settling into a position more comfortable for his back, before continuing with a bit of a non-sequitur. “What kind of people are your family?” After a beat, he realized that the question might have been a tad out of place and went on: “I don’t mean to pry. My parents died when I was fairly young, and so I enjoy hearing people talk about theirs.” Something that might have been a faint blush faded onto his face, and he turned his body--not just the head this time--towards Meg, listening intently with a ‘go on’ expression.

“Oh it ain’ pryin’,” Meg replied with a shake of her head. “I don’ mind talkin’ ‘bout them at all. There’s my Pa, o’course. Ma died when I was just a li’l thing… Pa didn’ get married ‘gain ‘til I was grown up. So there’s his wife, an’ my li’l brother, Sylven.” She rubbed the back of her neck, thinking of Marne and wondering how things would have been if her own mother had still been alive. Would they have remained in Riverwood? If that was the case, would she had ever met J’raij? Would she ever learn the skills that brought her to this place at this time?

“Pa’d say I’m like Ma,” she continued. “I dunno though- she sounded more like someone who rushed into battle. Me, I like stayin’ back ‘less I havta go forward. Guess I got some of m’Pa in me too.”

Another laugh burst from Gaius, and he felt the knot of tension in his stomach that had been there since the Imperial City unravel slightly. He wiped a laughter-laden tear from his eye, then stood shakily from the barrel, still grinning. “Thanks for talking to an old man like me, Meg. You’ve helped more than you know.” He gave her a Legionnaire’s salute, then made to walk off back into the festival.

Now, let’s see about getting some more of that drink.
@Euphonium Hey dude, thanks for letting me know instead of stringing me along. Darn decent of you, and I hope you get everything squared away! All the best!
I just had the best sushi ahhhhhhhh
A Chance Encounter

A collab with the fantastic Poohead

Prison near Gilane, 13th of Midyear, 4E208

Gaius would not need to wait long, for from within the dark corners of his cell, a clear whistle was heard that flowed along with his tune. “Hey, no need to stop I didn’t mean to interrupt.” a familiar voice said, a smooth, attractive quality to the voice. “I mean, I was never in the Legion. But I feel nostalgic for the tune. Haven’t heard it in awhile.”

As Giaus’s vision attuned itself to the dark, the Legionnare would recognize the princely yet roguish image of Alim, thoroughly shackled by two manacles on each arm, instead of one each. “Long time no see, right?”

For a moment, Gaius simply stared dumbly, totally poleaxed by the sheer coincidence of seeing Alim again in this one particular place. Then, leaning forward towards the other man as far as he could given the length of his chains, “Alim...what in Talos’ name did you do?”

“Hey, it’s good seeing you too.” Alim said, smiling. He wasn’t being sarcastic either, he honestly took his friend Gaius surprise as a warm welcome. “I um...well you see there’s this girl. Wait you know her, Anifaire? I was going to steal the biggest gem I could find in the city for her, and it happened to be on the finger of the mayor’s wife. I tried to take it in the night, she...wanted to sleep with me. I said I wasn’t that guy anymore. She called the guards…”
He showed his teeth as if it was too painful to remember what happened next. “I ended up here.”

Gaius heaved a heavy sigh and let his head drop, letting himself fall backwards as he ceased to pull at the chains. “I might have believed you if we weren’t in the middle of a Dwemer occupation, but you strike me as having bigger trolls to spear.” He paused for a moment. “Unless you’re serious, in which case I don’t know whether to admire you for not letting it ruin your fun, or smack you upside the head for doing something so ass-backwards stupid during a hostile takeover. Probably both.”

Alim had to smile at that. “Well, we never really did spend much time together in the group. But I think you know me well enough to believe me.” he said, then added. “It’s a shame though, you seem a stout fellow. How’d you end up here, if you don’t mind me asking?”

At that, the little smile that had crept over Gaius’ face at Alim’s response winked out. “Well, hmm, after the incident at Skingrad, I got into an…altercation with a few Thalmor soldiers for saying some less-than-savory things about the Rangers. I...well, you can’t see it from here, but there’s a lovely new arrow scar in my chest.” He laughed drily. “To put it short, a Nord from Chorrol paralyzed the Justiciars and stopped me from bleeding out. Nice girl,” he added quietly at the end.

“Then,” he gave a mighty shrug, “I learned that Anvil had been attacked by the Dominion. If you remember, I’m not the fondest of the elves, so I was quite angry. I took out a loan to get a suit of armor and discovered that there’s an insurrection of some sort against the Dwemer out in Hammerfell that might be able to help me with retaking Anvil. Then I saw a Dwemer on the street, jumped at her, and got arrested from there.” He gently flopped a manacled wrist. “The rest is history, I suppose.”

“You almost didn’t believe me story, and then you had the balls to attack a Dwemer on the street without checking the local allegiance?” Alim laughed incredulously. “I have to say, I like it though.” He paused for a moment. “I’m actually somewhat ashamed of Hammerfell. Routing all of these invasions, and then the Dwemer wade in and they don’t even put up a fight. You’d think Hammerfell would be where the Dwemer would get stopped in their tracks. Even Talos had trouble here.”

Alim closed his eyes, sighing. “I am sorry that you are stuck here with me. Out of the two of us, you likely deserve being here least. My being gone, at least the others would probably be better off.”

Gaius’ face fell into something between disappointment and anger. “They didn’t put up a fight? Against those butchers? Ashamed of them indeed.”

Reaching a hand up and rubbing his forehead, Gaius bit out a scornful laugh. “You said it yourself. I was stupid enough to attack a civilian, I deserve to be here.” After a moment, his hand stopped moving and he jerked his head up, eyes glinting. “‘The others?’ Do you mean Rhea, Daro’Vasora, Latro? Them? They’re still alive?”

Then those glinting eyes widened. “Wait, you said Anifaire? What’s going on between…never mind,” he laughed, smiling wide, “with you, I think I can guess.”

Alim chuckled guiltily. “Well, something was going to happen between Ani and I, but now that I’m here that seems unlikely.” he admitted. “And yeah, most of them. Rhea died.” He wished he could have said it in a more congenial way, but it was all he could do to not make it sound harsh. “She died a few weeks ago on our way to Hammerfell. It’s a shame, she was probably the only person here who lived life in a similar fashion to me. She deserved better.”

“Anyway, now that we’re here. We might as well pass the time by planning an escape, eh?” the rogue suggested. “Not that it is likely, but the one thing prisons never got right was keeping people locked up with nothing to do, because eventually you’ll think up a good plan to get out.”

The happiness that had bubbled up through Gaius was rapidly quashed down as he heard the news and he sobered rapidly, lightly touching four fingers to his forehead. “Yes. Yes she did.” There wasn’t much that he remembered from Rhea; he hadn’t spent enough time in her company to really understand her at all. Still, he remembered her being willing to do what she had to do to take care of those under her jurisdiction, and that was something that Gaius could respect. “Still, it’s good to hear that most are still around.”

At the mention of an escape plan, he squinted at the ground, writing idly in the dust on the cell floor. “It’s not as though we have anything else to do, is it?” His mind began bubbling with ideas, but, somewhat predictably, he came up with little. Breaking out of prisons had never particularly been his forte.
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