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    1. MacabreFox 10 yrs ago


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6 yrs ago
Current Life tho
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Preferred RPs: Medieval/Historical/Fantasy/Victorian/Advanced/1x1

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@Poohead189 Should we do a collab for this next scene, or would you like for us to do individual posts?
I'm okay with keeping things OOC here for now, but I feel like if the RP keeps going for a good while, it would be useful to start a Discord up.
Two days ago

This had been unlike anything Rhona had ever experienced before in her life. She was…alone. Truly alone for the first time in her life. Alone, in the sense that there was no one else to speak with, no one else to turn to, absolutely no one. And for the most part, that idea did not overwhelm her. She thought mostly of Mercius, and of what her troubled dreams meant. When she closed her eyes, she saw nothing but hellfire, daedra, the wails of the dying. There would be times when Mercius would shake her from her sleep, calling her name in a worried tone. And she would wake, gasping for air, soaked in sweat, as if she stood next to a very hot fire, and every breath she tried to take, was wrenched from her very being.

She found the steel armor awkward, and it chaffed her in uncomfortable ways. Rhona felt out of place, and by the second day in, she thought that she was touched with disease. Perhaps these dreams weren’t some prophetic vision, and that the voice that called to her each night, “You have been chosen…”, like a priest repeating a mantra, hinted to something far more sinister.

What happens when I arrive in Kvatch, and I do not find the meaning to this dream? What if I am sick with some disease that is eating my mind? I should have stayed at the chapel with Mercius. He is old now, and there is no one else to tend to the dead., she thought at times.

Being alone at night, sleeping under the stars, was a new experience for her, one that left her stiff, and cold, when waking up in the morning. Mercius had given her what provisions he could spare, and showed her how to make a camp. Travelling by foot wasn’t ideal, but they had no horse to spare. There were two mares well past their youth, and they were to pull the wagon. Without them, the wagon could simply not be pulled. She wouldn’t hear of Mercius’ suggestion to take one of the spares.

Oh you foolish man, Mercius…, Rhona thought.

By the second day, she had reached the Silver Road, leading south towards the Imperial City. She kept in mind Mercius’ words, “Stay off the roads if you can afford, do not stray far, but stick to the trees. It’ll give you cover lest there be folk out there who seek to rob you, or worse.”.

She did as he said, and stuck to the off-beaten path, walking between the cool canopy of the trees. Rhona took this time to reflect on her life. Whatever may lay before her, she did not regret what she had to endure to bring her to this moment, whether it was a foolish endeavor or not. Of course, she wished to have better siblings, and better parents. She wished to have someone to call her own, someone to love her endlessly… her being ached for that. But, as she had come to accept with her time at the chapel, some wishes will simply not be granted. And Rhona had come to terms with that, love, familial love, romantic love, that was not to be a part of her life. She felt more of a caretaker, than a potential wife.

Not all prayers could, or would be answered.

And, it wasn’t as if she devotedly served Arkay, it was a… mutual understanding. A respect. Someone had to see the dead off, to prepare them, to help them cross over. And it was something that she found herself enjoying immensely. After all, the dead do not speak. They did not want, they did not pester you with meaningless questions. The dead… were simply dead. She was their caretaker. A shepherd for the dead. Rhona smiled at that thought.

As she carried on through the shadows of the trees, Rhona heard the wheels of several wagons approaching. Curious, she neared the treeline, ducking behind a bush to see who approached. It was a gaggle of cheery-faced travellers, all adorned in extravagant clothes. Although, extravagant might not be the correct word… flamboyant? Yes… yes that suited them better. She could blue and purple silks, beaded brassieres, and maidens with flowers in their hair. Rhona counted quickly. There had to be close to a dozen in their company. Perhaps she could hitch a ride with them?

Cautiously, she stepped from the underbrush, and waved at them, trying to appear as friendly as possible.

“Hullo!”, she called out.

“Aye! Who goes there?” A man with a bright red beard with beads adorning his ears returned, reigning in the horses that drove his wagon.

“Where abouts are you headed?” Rhona asked.

“Why, to Kvatch! Haven’t you heard of the Summer Games?”

“Ah… yes! I have…” She had not. “I wouldn’t suppose you have an extra seat to spare in your wagon? I’m headed to Kvatch myself.”

The man with the red beard looked to his counterpart, a Redguard woman adorned in red silk, and golden jewelry. “What do you think, Zakyra?”

“Well, I certainly say we do. Can’t let a poor young thing like that wander about the countryside on her own.” The woman named Zakyra waved her aboard, pointing to the rear of the wagon.

“Climb in back, and we’ll be off!”

And so, Rhona came to know that this group were actually a band of troubadours, they were seeking to perform as entertainment for the Summer Games. She could hardly recall any of their names after the first day, there were so many different faces, so many different colors.

1st Last Seed, 3E 433

The wagon full of troubadours came to a halt outside of the city, they were going to set up a camp. Rhona marveled at the sight of the city, it was unlike anything she had experienced in her small village life. This was the farthest she had been away from home. She bade her thanks, and said her goodbyes, and promptly set off into the city.

The dreams had continued, last night in particular left her feeling on edge. It was as if she could smell sulphur, and when she inhaled, it singed her nose hairs. What in Arkay was happening? Now that she was here, Rhona had no idea on where to even start. Was she expecting the city to be in flames upon arriving? Because it certainly did not look the part. There was much life… jovial voices, singing, children running afoot, music playing, the people here were in high spirits. She decided to explore the city, to at least see what it had to offer, and then, to see if she could find the meaning behind her dreams.


I made some updates to Rhona’s sheet!

Let me know if there’s anything else I can expand on!
peeks in, dusts off the cobwebs, cracks knuckles

Hi strangers :3

After some serious consideration, these are my favorite moments:

Vengeance of the Deep ~ Favorite Moments

Dervish and I have come up with this idea, seeing as how we are nearing almost a year since this game began, and we want to hear your thoughts on what your favorite IC moments are since the game started till now. You can pick your top 2 favorites for each of the categories below. Please provide the appropriate post link for each category, and tell us what you liked about each post, and why!

1. Comedy
2. Action
3. Dialogue
4. Character Development
5. Character Relationship

Categories Explained:

1. Which post was your favorite that made you laugh?
2. Which post was your favorite that you feel displayed the best fight scene, or moment of action?
3. Which post was your favorite that showed the best form of character dialogue?
4. Which post was your favorite that you feel showed the best form of character development?
5. Which post was your favorite that showed a relationship between two characters? (Friendship or Intimate)
Everything Remains As It Never Was

On the horizon, before the first light of dawn kissed the lands, a trio of bright orbs burst forth unto the sky above. On land, another three burst from within the dense coastal forests. For those in the city who were awake to witness them, only a few understood their significance, but for the Legion, it is a sign of terrible things to come.

They were coming.

Anvil - 24th of Second Seed 6:30am[

“You know, when I asked if you had companions who would be interested in my proposal, I wasn’t quite expecting you to be quite so popular.” Roux pointed out, setting down what was likely the last of the crates to be loaded before the Intrepid would depart its moorings and set sail to the North, leaving the Gold Coast behind, and presumably, the war that had gripped Cyrodiil. Daro’Vasora glanced over her shoulder at the man as she checked over an itinerary and list of her companions that had agreed to come along, along with those who didn’t. The important thing was that they knew what ship was offering free passage if they had a last moment change of heart, but overall she was pleased with how successful Latro, Brynja, and herself had been in locating everyone over the previous day to let them know of the potential “job” and a chance to start somewhere without so much heavy baggage for them all. For the first time in a long while, Daro’Vasora felt hopeful for things to come. Even though she planned on ditching Roux at the earliest opportunity, she still felt that Hammerfell was where she was meant to go. For what reason, however, she couldn’t guess.

“A deal’s a deal, these people have been through a lot, and if you want me to join you on your expedition and begin to trust you again, you won’t question it.” The Khajiit replied, most of her own gear stored away. In truth, she always enjoyed sailing and the respite from life on land, this was one of those few opportunities to approach things with a fresh body and mind. It was always easy to forget about the troubles of the world when all around you was just an endless blue horizon and the most breathtaking night sky.

“Of course.” Roux replied with a smile, letting one of his crew members deal with the crate he’d carried aboard as he approached the Khajiit, “If they’re friends of yours and need a way to get away from the troubles of Cyrodiil, it’s not as if it’s trouble to take a few extra bodies for the voyage. We’ve the space for it, and I always make sure there’s enough supplies to last a long while in case of unforeseen circumstances like poor weather, or Kyne forbid, the ship bottoms out and wrecked. Hopefully most of them decide to lend a hand; we’ll all be richer at the end of it.”

“Right.” She replied, whether agreeably or dismissively, Roux couldn’t say.
The din of lookout bells began to toll, ringing out across the harbour from the watchtowers as shouting from the garrison suddenly broke out in alarm.

“What’s that about?” Daro’Vasora asked. Instead of replying, Roux grabbed his spyglass, looking out towards the western skyline.

“Oh, fuck.”


The Breton nodded, handing the spyglass over for her to look, “Looks like the Dominion wasn’t content to gobble up Skingrad without a fight. They’ve only been itching for a war for the past thirty bloody years, the Dwemer invasion was too good of an opportunity to pass up. We need to prepare to sail, now.” Roux urged, barking orders at some of the crew on deck, who immediately began preparations. He turned back to Daro’Vasora, “Were you expecting anyone else?”

In truth, only a handful of those she managed to contact the day before were here; others, she assumed, weren’t coming. However, if there was a chance to find any of them, it was at the Flowing Bowl. The only person she knew wouldn’t respond well to seeing her again was Rhea, and as much as she didn’t care for the Imperial, she felt that the Imperial deserved to be given the same courtesy that she extended everyone else. As much as Daro’Vasora didn’t agree with Rhea’s methods, one thing was clear; she did everything she thought she had to save those under her care. It was a great strength, and it would be wrong to abandon her because of bad blood.

Great, I have a conscience now. Damn.

Brynja had set to helping those joining the Intrepid, find a sleeping space for the duration of the voyage. She resurfaced just as the bells began to toll, it was unnerving in the least. Brynja picked her way across the deck, and managed to catch the last bits of conversation between Roux and Daro’Vasora. She frowned at the news of Dominion ships on the horizon, and just as he asked the Khajiit if there was anyone else, she couldn’t help butting in, “Aye. Sora, I’ve not seen Rhona in the past two days. She lent me her room at the tavern, but I’ve not seen her since. I spoke with Megana, and she said Rhona was going off to find some food for the night on the 22nd. I can’t leave her behind, we need to find her. And…” Her words faltered, the thought of leaving Rhea behind saddened her. She had done so much for the group, couldn’t they at least return the favor? “And I want to find Rhea, at least give her the chance to come with us. She’s looked after us the best she could, she got us this far… let me ask if she wants to come with us.”

“She deserves that much. Go, find her. I’ll head to the Flowing Bowl and see if I can find anyone else. She’ll be much happier to see you than me, and we don’t have time for that shit.” Daro’Vasora said, grabbing her mace and turning back to Roux. “You better not fucking leave without us,” she warned before turning to sprint down the gangplank and head back into the city proper. Things were about to go to Oblivion in a hurry, and she wanted to get ahead of it.

The bells continued to toll, their metallic echo spreading across the city and rousing many of the residents from their slumber. And in particular, Rhea herself. The cacophony of the bells had shook her from her sleep, and brought her out onto the balcony. Her gaze swept over her surroundings, trying to find the source for the alarm. And there, black pinpricks on the horizon over the water. Her brows furrowed in confusion, what in Oblivion could that be… Her mind jumped to Skingrad, thinking of what Runil and Arawen had said.

No…, she swallowed hard as a chill crept over her, they weren’t lying. The Dominion? Her hands gripped the railing, trying to find the courage to breathe. Nowhere was safe anymore. She turned to head back inside to pack her belongings, knowing full well that when the Dominion docked their ships, chaos and panic would spread across the city, and when they seized control of the city, the gates of Anvil would close, preventing anyone from leaving, much like with Skingrad.

“Rhea!” A familiar voice drew her attention to a figure below in the streets looking up at her. It was Brynja.

“Brynja?” She called, a bit confused. The Nord giantess hadn’t come to seek her out over the past few days, and she wondered if she had harbored the same feelings towards her as Daro’Vasora.

“We have to go!”

“Go where?”

“We have to leave the city, there are Dominion ships on the sea. If we don’t go now, we’ll be stuck here.”


“Yes!” Brynja said, trying to keep her exasperation under control, “We’ve a ship, and we’re not leaving you behind.”

Hot tears stung Rhea’s eyes at her words, all was not lost. Her throat tightened, leaving her speechless, “I’m coming!”

Within minutes, Rhea had thrown her belongings together in her rucksack, her hands trembling as she fastened the strap. A final tug to secure it, and Rhea headed to the door, giving the room one last final look before descending the stairs. She emerged onto the streets below, and spotted Brynja looking particularly anxious. Many residents of Anvil along the harbor came to their doorsteps, and spilled onto the streets, curious as to why the bells rang. They could see ships on the horizon now, but those without a spyglass, none could tell that the ships belonged to the Dominion. At least not yet. Brynja turned her attention to Rhea as she approached, her worried expression softening into a half-smile.

“You’re a sight for sore eyes, Rhea. Let’s get going before it’s too late.”

“Right.” They set off at once, until a thought crossed Rhea’s mind, “Whose ship is it?”

“It’s a friend of Daro’Vasora’s. Said he would help get us out safely.” At the mention of Daro’Vasora, Rhea bit her lip.

“Did she send you?”

“Doesn’t really matter, but we’re not leaving you behind. You got us out of the mountains, out of the Imperial City, and out of Skingrad. Personally, I signed that contract saying that I would protect you and my fellow companions at all costs.”

“But I said you could part ways in the City-”

“I know. But you didn’t give up on us, so I’m not giving up on you.” Brynja admitted, as she wove through the people spilling out onto the streets, clearing a path for Rhea behind her.

“Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it.” Brynja said, more focused on weaving her way through the people.

Both women made their way back to the ship Brynja had mentioned, seemingly in the nick of time. Ahead, Daro’Vasora busied herself with helping a rather traumatized and blood splattered Rhona up the gangplank. She clung to Daro’Vasora’s arm sobbing loudly, while Gregor and Raelynn were just beginning to board. The air carried a desperate sense of urgency mixed with shouting as fighting broke out between Dominion infiltrators and the city guard, even some of the local populace had taken up arms. Sailors aboard the Intrepid stood at ready with bows and crossbows, taking the occasional shot at any of the invaders that were causing chaos in the streets. The Khajiit caught sight of Rhea and Brynja breaking their way through the unrest, and gave Rhona a reassuring push upwards onto the deck, she would be fine, though she didn’t let on much with why she was in the state that she was; Rhea couldn’t help but smile. Maybe Daro’Vasora had started to understand.

The Khajiit raced towards them, ducking under a bound sword’s blade as a Bosmer mage in plains clothes attacked her. She drove her mace into the woman’s gut as an arrow from one of Roux’s men felled the Dominion infiltrator. Without missing a stride, she rushed towards the two, “Come on! You two are the last ones, everyone else is aboard. The Dominion’s trying to secure the harbour, and we won’t get out if those ships get here!” she urged.

“Right, let-” Rhea started, and suddenly a sharp pain filled her chest as she noticed a look of horror on Daro’Vasora’s face. Her vision briefly blurred out of focus, and she tried to speak, managing only a raspy hiss instead of the words that… what was she going to say? She looked down and saw jutting out through her chest a gleaming spike of ice, covered in her blood. The realization was immediate, and she struggled to breathe, her lung must have been punctured. She heard Brynja yelling that she couldn’t get the spike out, and a healing spell washed over her, easing the pain, but from the look on the two women's’ faces, it must have been fatal.

So this is it, then.

Her legs no longer supported her weight, she felt like her limbs were failing, a cold numbing sensation spreading over her. Daro’Vasora caught her, saying, “No, no… please, no. Brynja, help me!” Together they supported Rhea, carrying her aboard the ship.

“Don’t you fucking dare. Stay awake!” Daro’Vasora yelled, but Rhea wasn’t listening, not really. Her gaze turned towards the horizon, watching as the pretty blue waves crested without a care in the world. Despite herself, she smiled, her eyes growing too heavy to hold open anymore. There was still beauty in the world after all.

The Intrepid hit the open waters not long after, the ship too swift and manned by an experienced crew for the large and cumbersome of the Dominion war galleys to make chase, arrows and spells struck the waves far short of their target. Along with a handful of other vessels, many of Anvil’s privately owned ships made it to open water, escaping the Dominion’s clutches that now gripped Anvil. Roux had taken as many people as he could onboard, citizens and contractors alike, putting twin-massed black ship at capacity as it sailed into the open waters heading Northwest. With the help of Brynja, Raelynn and a few other members with the knowledge of burial preparations, they wrapped Rhea Valerius in linens and sealed her fatal wound. She had passed before even making it aboard the ship. After something of a brief memorial for the Imperial woman, those that had known Rhea parted ways for the voyage and Brynja went to look after a wide-eyed Rhona, leaving Daro’Vasora kneeling at Rhea’s side, surprised to find tears filling her eyes.

“I thought I hated you. Why does this bother me so much?” she asked the deceased woman quietly, looking the most at peace as she had since the expedition departed in the Jerall Mountains a lifetime ago. Gods, she deserved better than that; they all did. The weight from all of Rhea’s choices must have weighed on her until the very end, and Daro’Vasora felt guilt from her outburst when they arrived in Anvil. Was that what finally shattered Rhea’s will, did she feel like everything really was her mistake?

No answer or thought brought comfort, only more painful realizations. She had her hands cupped in front of her mouth as if praying, but the reality was it hurt to breathe. Nobody had to suffer for her own actions, Alkosh, why on Nirn did she stay with these people? She should have left as soon as they were out of the Jerall Mountains, ditched them like she always did. Or after they escaped from the Imperial City, or stayed on in Skingrad, or not tell them about her plan to leave Anvil.

“What did you do to me?” she asked again, inhaling sharply through her teeth, her eyes clamping shut on the tears that fought to break through. “Why do I give a damn what happens to any of them, or myself? Zegol died because of your impulsive stupidity, am I supposed to forgive you for any of that?”

The tranquil woman didn’t answer, leaving the Khajiit doubled over, her arms wrapping around her waist, and clenched her teeth so hard they hurt.

As if feeling Shanji-ko’s toe under her chin, she looked up again, feeling a breeze across the portside of the ship; she could see Jone and Jode just above the horizon and felt warmth. She knew in her heart what she felt deep inside, but never paid heed to. Placing a hand over Rhea’s, Daro’Vasora said, “I will look after them, no matter where the road leads us. I hope you found your peace, but the burden is no longer yours. I will take it if I must. Thank you, for doing your very best. I was a fool not to appreciate that.” Leaning down, Daro’Vasora kissed Rhea’s cold brow.

“Until we meet again.”

She left Rhea’s side, and found Roux standing not far off, leaning against the gunwale, staring at the moons, his face remarkably sombre. “I didn’t want to intrude.” he promised.

“You didn’t.” Daro’Vasora said, standing next to him and looking back towards where her ancestors could find her. “So, what awaits for us next?”

“Hammerfell. There’s some people I think you should meet.”

The Circle of Fear

Anvil, 23rd of Second Seed
She awoke, disoriented, her eyes struggling to adjust to the dim lighting, while the side of her head throbbed something fierce. She felt nauseous as her stomach turned, while her mouth watered at the threat of upheaving. Rhona forced herself to sit up, her breathing rapid and shallow, and much to her surprise she found herself in a strange bedroom, one that wasn’t her rented room in The Flowing Bowl. Panic filled her as she heard the distinct sound of approaching footsteps from outside the room, her eyes widening in terror as she watched the door swing open.

“Ah, I’m glad to see you’re awake,” his words were smooth like that of a serpent. The towering figure dressed in black lingered in the doorway before Cezare crossed the room, and came to sit beside her on the bed, a tender smile stretching across his thin lips, “How does your head feel?” He asked, reaching a hand out and turning her head to the side. His touch alone made her want to recoil, but he was the snake and she was but a mouse in his hold.

“Where am I?” She countered, trying to find any strength to steel herself against him. His blue eyes twinkled in the candlelight, but she knew better than to trust him or his words. Rhona could have sworn she detected the scent of… what was it? Spice and citrus? At this moment it made her stomach twist, protesting at the overwhelming scent assaulting her nostrils. She noticed that Tobias was nowhere to be found. What had happened to her goat friend? She prayed that he had run away, perhaps he had followed Megana. Or perhaps he had found Danish.

“You’re safe. You’re with me, Rhona. What could make you happier?” His hand drifted to her chin, where he held it tight, forcing her to keep her gaze locked with his. She had wanted to believe that the Cezare she encountered in Skingrad was but a figment of her imagination. A terrible dream that she hoped would fade. Those were the last words she wanted to hear coming from him, least of all him reassuring her that she was safe.

“Being away-”

“Choose your words carefully, my love. I find that my patience with you has grown exceptionally thin.” The corner of his mouth drew up into a smirk as his fingers tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. She couldn’t bring herself to finish the sentence, and so she dropped her gaze. He still wore his black garb, tunic, trousers, and boots. Like a harbinger of death. “Now, come and join me downstairs for your midday meal, you’ve slept long enough and you’ll need your strength for the road.”

...midday meal?, Rhona thought, is it really the next day? How long have I been asleep? What even happened? The only thing she remembered was heading off to the Frisky Dolphin to find a hot meal for the evening, when she heard a peculiar whisper coming from an alleyway. She thought it had been an injured bird…

Cezare leaned in, and she drew away instinctively, he smiled despite his words that followed, “You are still my wife, and I still love you Rhona Amoretto. Downstairs in thirty minutes. I’m quite eager to share a meal with you again like the good old days.” She dared not resist him as he planted a kiss on her cheek. “Put on the dress over there too, I won’t have you dressed as a boy at my dinner table.”

Like the good old days…, she thought bitterly, when were there any good days with him?

When he left, Rhona scrambled from the bed, searching for her belongings, and discovered that she had none, Cezare must have taken them. She then checked the solitary window in the chamber, where she tried to lift it, but found it nailed shut. She could chance breaking the glass pane, but that wasn’t a wise idea. The sound alone would draw Cezare’s attention. Rhona was in the hands of the man that she feared. She rested her forehead against the cool glass, her breath slowly fogging up the window. She could see that the building was two-stories, and found herself looking at cobblestone below; a hard fall if she were to break the window and jump. She would surely break a leg, or worse. Rhona thought of using her magick against him, the problem was, she never mastered holding a steady flow for long. She could only use it in spurts, and it often tired her out tremendously. She thought of using her staff, but he would see it coming, and Cezare could certainly overpower her without much force. Not to mention she had no idea where he had taken it. The only resource she could fall back on was Durantel’s lessons. Then the question became, could she actually use it against him? Could she actually find the courage to rise up and strike him down now that they were face-to-face?

Rhona sighed with a heavy heart, Arkay take her now. She would rather die than carry on with Cezare. But for now, she would placate him and join him for food. Her attention shifted to the dress he mentioned, and like a moth to a flame, she drifted towards it. She examined the dress, simple in nature, a cream-colored linen dress with short sleeves. At least he had some sense for fashion in this sticky heat. She peeled off her clothes, and folded them, placing them on her before heading out of the room.

“No nonsense now,” A voice to her left nearly caused her to jump out of her skin. She turned to see a brute of a man leaning against the wall. He appeared older, tell-tale signs of age from the wrinkles around his mouth and eyes, with a short crop of grey hair indicated he was possibly in his forties. “Best hurry on downstairs. Cezare doesn’t like being kept waiting.” Rhona thought to question him on who he was, but she decided that he was right, better to move on before she angered Cezare. Rhona emerged onto the lower level and followed the smell of food. She soon found herself in the dining area where Cezare sat at the head of a long table. He smiled on seeing her in the dress, his blue eyes sweeping over in an approving fashion, but like a kicked dog, she came to take a seat beside him.

“You look lovely. The dress fits you well. I’m happy to see that you’ve kept your figure.” He said, reaching out to take her hand in his, he kissed the top of her hand. The pit of her stomach twisted. She didn’t say anything, though her eyes followed him as he reached for a bottle of wine on the table, and proceeded to fill two silver goblets, one of which he passed to her.

“Where am I?” She asked, her eyes studied the red liquid for any indications of poison, not that she could see any, but she had her suspicions.

“A friend’s house.” He said with the most causal air. He took a sip from his goblet, and set it on the table. She doubted that he knew anyone in Anvil, but she dared not badger him on that subject. “You should eat, you need to keep your strength up.” Cezare encouraged, gesturing at the plate of food set before her. A chicken breast, bread, cheese, and an apple tart. Her stomach knotted, she knew his generosity to be a facade, an attempt to lure her back. Her hands trembled as she reached for the fork and knife, and cut into the meat. She ate a piece, her mind still searching for signs of treachery, but only found seasoned chicken. She swallowed nervously, and made slow work of eating her food, her eyes flickering to Cezare every now and then. His entire demeanor, one of content, she knew to be a lie; she watched as he ate without a single regret.

Halfway through her meal, Cezare set down his silverware, his gaze cemented on her, “I have to admit, you’ve done remarkably well since leaving me. I thought you died long ago, or at least ran off with someone else. Imagine my surprise when I laid eyes on you for the first time in what...two and a half years? My goodness, it was like a waking dream.” Rhona could feel fire boiling in her veins as he tried to play off what he did to her back in Skingrad, the bruise had long since faded after she healed it on her own accord, her hands curled around the silverware.

“How did you find me?”

“How? Oh my darling Rhona, you’re really not as clever as you think.” He smiled, though his eyes betrayed him, she saw something more… sinister, “I know who Calen is. A weak pathetic boy if I ever did meet one,” The color drained from her face at the mention of Calen, it was just as she feared. On seeing her expression, Cezare grinned wickedly, leaning closer towards her, “and when I discovered he left the stables, I was curious to see where he had gone off too, lo and behold, he brought me right to you.”

“I saw you leaving with that awfully big group of mercenaries, and I just couldn’t resist following you. So my friends and I, I’m certain you’ve met Silus already. He’s the one standing guard outside your room in case you decide to test me. There’s Pavo, Quintus, and Eduard. Charming fellows really. Anyways, you know how much I’ve missed you, so I decided to follow you all the way out here so I could take you home with me. Although we certainly cannot return to the Imperial City now, not with the Dwemer. But that’s a minor issue to overcome.”

“You fucking-”

“Ah, ah, ah. Watch your words. I’ve Pavo and Eduard keeping an eye on your precious Calen. I’m looking forward when I get to drive a blade right through him. You’ll be there to see it all happen.” He sank back into his chair, and propped his feet upon the table. Rhona couldn’t stand the smug expression etched on his face. The fire boiling in her veins came out.

“You’re a fucking monster!” Hot tears spilled forth as she leapt up from her chair, her hands balled into fists.

“Sit down. Now.” He swept his feet off the table, and grabbed his knife, driving it into the wooden surface of the table.

“No, I won’t let you hurt him! You’re a monster, Cezare! I hate you! I fucking hate you!”

Sit down.” He said, his tone hard and firm like a steel blade. Rhona had no choice and sank into her seat, her hands covering her face. “Quit crying. You’ve always looked disgusting when you cry.”

“I hate you.” She sobbed.

“Rhona, you’re my wife. And a good wife obeys her husband. Now quit crying before I give you something to cry about.” His tone changed into one of agitation, if she didn’t change her demeanor, it would cost her.

She didn’t listen to him. She didn’t care anymore, “I never loved you. I never wanted to marry you. I-”

“Goddamnit woman! You want to cry?!” Cezare flew out of his chair, he swept the food and silverware across the room where they crashed with a great crescendo. In all truth, Rhona was utterly terrified. She was scared, and she didn’t know what to do. All she could do was cry, harder now. An iron-like hand grabbed her upper arm, hoisting her up and out of her chair, it clattered backwards as Cezare pulled her to him.

“You are mine. Rhona. You think anyone is coming to save you this time? You cannot escape from me. You will bear my children, and we will be a happy family. Do you understand me?!” He shook her violently until she saw stars, her vision spinning.

“Stop it. Stop! Just let me go.” She cried aloud. He gave an angered huff, and threw her backwards with such force that she hit the floor before having a chance to catch herself.

“Get out of my sight!” He roared. Now she had done it. She had angered him to the point of no return. Cezare grabbed the bottle of wine off the table, and flung it at her head. It shattered against the wooden floorboards where crimson liquid and green glass shards glinted off the candlelight. She didn’t need to be told twice. Rhona clambered to her feet and rushed up to her chamber where Silus paid her no attention.

She slammed the door behind her, and collapsed against the door. Rhona wrapped her arms around her chest. Only if Brynja was here… or Durantel. Gods where had he been? Her body shook as she wept, sinking down to the floor, unable to control the wave of emotions rising up within her. She felt as if she were living back in the Imperial City with him all over again. She squeezed her eyes shut.

I should have stayed near the inn. Vaermina please, please, if this is a dream please wake me from it. Rhona tucked her face into her arms as she drew up her knees against her chest.

Hours later…

Rhona had resigned herself to defeat and climbed into bed, her back to the door. This was it. This was her reality. She was trapped with her worst nightmare. And she couldn’t wake up from it. No one could help her now. No one could hear her cries. No one would come to save her. There was no Aurelia. There was no Calen. There was no Durantel. And all she could do was cry. Gods, how much she hated herself at this moment.

You’re nothing but a coward., she thought to herself. You should have left with Aurelia. You would be safe in Valenwood now... You wouldn’t be here. You wouldn’t have put Calen in this position- Her thoughts were interrupted at the sound of glass shattering. She sat up in bed at the sound, her ears straining to hear over the stifling silence that followed. There it was. Footsteps. Heavy. Footsteps. She swallowed hard at the sound, her heart began to race. It was like a daedra being summoned from the planes of Oblivion. She could hear indistinguishable shouting from the far corners of the house, and it grew louder as did the footsteps. Soon the words became clear, and she knew it was Cezare. And he was coming for her.

“Does she think she can fool me?!” Another crash. More broken glass. “Let the Gods be damned, I want that bastard found! How hard is it to find one pathetic bard in this whole fucking city?!” She could hear the creak of the stairs under his weight.

“She’s my wife. I’ll show her how a husband behaves!”

Rhona flew out of bed, scouring the room for anything she could use as a weapon in self-defense. The footsteps began to climb the stairs, and though his words were slurred, Cezare would be at her door in moments. Her hands began to sweat and shake with fear.

“Rhona!” He bellowed like a great beast. His boots reached the landing. She decided that the best course of action was to feign ignorance. Not having found a weapon, she returned to bed, and climbed under the covers. She sat up when the door flew open. Cezare’s inebriated figure sagged against the doorframe. His blue eyes were rimmed with red, and his black tunic, now loosened, hung off one shoulder. She knew he was drunk by the way he swayed on his feet. He smiled at her, she was unsure of his intentions.

“Cezare?” She asked, feigning a tired air.

“Ah, my love. Did I wake you?” He crossed the room, and sank onto the edge of her bed. His hand reached out, caressing her face in a brusque manner.

“Forgive me *hic*, I couldn’t stop thinking about you… about your beauty…” the pads of his thumbs drifted across her lips, “about those lips…” He pulled her to him, and while she stiffened in his arms, trying to pull away as gently as she could, his embrace tightened, crushing her against him. She dared not protest. He forced a kiss upon her, his lips nearly bruising her own. She turned her head away as he tried to force her mouth open, his tongue meeting a wall of clenched teeth. He grabbed a fistful of her hair, and yanked her head back so that he could look at her proper.

“I will make you love me.”


“I will.” He said earnestly, and pulled the blanket away. She still wore her dress he had ordered her to wear. Rhona remained still, a mouse still in the clutches of the serpent's coil. He bent his head, and kissed the exposed part of her neck, his rough lips drifting down to her collarbone. She shut her eyes, her lips pursed into a hard line. If she weren’t being forced under lock and key, she would have struck him. She would have pushed him away. She would have done something. But he had her under his control. He was taller, and far stronger than her. His hands came around her waist, exploring the contours of her hips, his breath hot against her skin, and then he pushed her down underneath him. One hand cupped her cheek, and again the smile on his face came. It was as if he was entirely oblivious to her discomfort, and more so, to the pain he brought her. He never cared for her. Not even now. He hadn’t changed. And she still hated him.

“You are the only woman I have ever loved. And I want you to love me like I do you. You are my wife… let me be a good husband to you. Let me love you.” He rocked backwards, and tugged off his tunic in the clumsiest manner, where he cast it onto the floor. Part of her couldn’t help but notice that, he too, had maintained his figure. Despite being an alcoholic, Cezare’s body still held a degree of lean muscle, his chest still covered in smooth straight hair that tapered into a thin line before disappearing below his belted trousers. But then she remembered where she was, and her stomach turned.

Arkay, strike me dead.

Cezare knelt to kiss her again, when he stopped, and turned his face away from her as he let out revolting burp, and collapsed beside her, “...*hic*... I’ll make you look at me the way you look… *hic* when you talk about that idiot boy.” Rhona laid still, until she heard a soft snore rise from him. Had he really passed out? She twisted herself to look at him, and sure enough, he lay flat on his back, reeking of alcohol, but asleep nonetheless. She decided to play it safe and remain where she was for the night, though she couldn’t think of anything else except what morning would bring.

7:00am - Anvil, 24th of Second Seed

Rhona awoke to find Cezare gone from her bed. She had survived the night unmolested by him. But would she survive this day? A knock came from her door and then it opened, Silus peered inside at her. “Miss, your husband says you should join him in the dining area.” She sighed, but nodded. Rhona made herself ready and headed down the flight of stairs where she entered into the dining area. Much to her surprise she discovered Cezare dressed as if he were to set out on the road. He wore the same black tunic and trousers, though now he had a cape buckled around his neck, and leather gloves fastened on his hands. At his side hung a shortsword buckled to his belt. He smiled on seeing her.

“There you are. I trust you slept well?” He came around the table, and embraced her, planting a kiss on her cheek. It took every fiber in her being not to shirk away from him, survive, do not antagonize, “Now, I’ve readied your rucksack.” Cezare plucked the leather satchel off the table and passed it to her.

“What’s happening?”

“We’re leaving the city. And today is the day that you’ll watch me kill Calen.”


“Ah, ah. It’ll be good sport to skewer the lad, and a good lesson for you. Come. Pavo, Quintus and Eduard have gone to find him, they gave me explicit instructions for us to be in the market square when the time comes. And then? We’ll sail for Rihad or Gilane. Cyrodiil isn’t safe for us anymore. Not if we’re to start a family proper.” He took her by the hand, leading her to the door. Before he opened it, he turned to look her in the eye, “If you scream, I’ll cut out your tongue. And I do hate the idea of you not having a tongue, but I will if you test me.” With her hand in his, he led her from the house and into the city.

There was a peculiar air that hungover the city, Rhona could see it in the people around her. They scurried from place to place, they looked anxious, on edge, even afraid. But she had no idea why. They made their way to the market square where Cezare ducked off into a darkened alleyway. The sky overhead was thick with dark grey clouds, threatening rain. He had given her back her staff, unknowing of what it was capable of, and together they waited in the shadows. Rhona prayed silently to Nocturne to keep Calen hidden from Cezare’s goons. She would only blame herself if anything happened to him. The sound of approaching footsteps made her heart race, please…, she thought, her hands curling around her staff. Entering the alleyway were two Imperial men. Calen was not with them.

“We can’t find him.”

“Well keep looking! I’m not leaving until he’s found. I want his blood on my blade.”

“Right away.” And with that, they took off into the throng of people. Rhona gripped her staff ever tighter, her eyes focusing on the smooth cobblestone until her eyes were in a state of tunnel vision.

“I have to say-” That was it. She had had enough. She couldn’t stand to hear another word come out of his mouth. Not anymore. Not while she had a chance. And she wasn’t going to waste it. Her lessons from Durantel came flowing back to her, and she reacted instantaneously. She felt like she moved through molasses, time slowed, her heart skipped a beat. Rhona swung her staff low, and drove it with great force where the wooden stave connected with Cezare’s kneecap. He howled as he clutched at his knee, dropping to the ground in pain.

“You fucking cunt! I’ll-” Cezare didn’t finish his sentence as her staff came crashing down on his head. The last expression on his face showed complete surprise as she struck him. She swung again. And again. And again. She kept swinging until she could hardly breathe. Her lungs burned with fire, and her limbs stung from the blows delivered. When Rhona stopped to catch her breath, she realized then what she had done as she stared at the carnage before her. He wasn’t moving. Cezare’s face resembled a bloodied mess. Blood had pooled beneath his head, while brown curls stuck to his face slick with crimson. The walls and surrounding cobblestones bore witness of what she had done, splattered with dark red droplets. She looked down at herself, her eyes widening at the sight of bright red blood showing starkly against her linen dress. Her hands, and wrists held evidence, and she presumed her face as well. Her breathing came in shallow waves. Gods. Did she kill him? She needed to go. She needed to get out of here. As she turned around, she came face to face with Daro’Vasora.

The Khajiit’s eyes were wide, and for a moment, words were stuck in her throat at the sight of the unassuming Rhona covered in the blood of a man she might have just bludgeoned to death. “Shit, that’s… tell me later. We need to leave, now.”

“I… Daro’Vasora… I swear… it’s…” Rhona couldn’t find the words as she stumbled towards her, her hands slipping on the wooden staff slick with blood, “I didn’t mean to… he… he threatened to kill Calen, and I… I couldn’t let him.”

Daro’Vasora gripped Rhona by the shoulders. “Look, I’ve crippled men for life for less, I don’t know what your business with that asshole is, but the city’s under siege and unless we move we’re all going to be trapped.” she released Rhona and wound up a heavy kick into the prone man’s abdomen, prompting an ejection of blood from Cezare’s mouth. “There, he threatened to kill a friend, I hit him after you did, you’re morally off the hook. You can tell me on the way, but now isn’t the time for being conflicted or scared, you understand?”

“I…” she paused, her head swimming, “yes. Let’s go. I…” A dizzying wave came over her as she stumbled forward, crashing into Daro’Vasora.

The Khajiit steadied Rhona, shaking her head. “Piece of shit did a number on you, didn’t he? I’ll take care of you when you’re safe, but be strong for a bit longer, alright? One foot after the other.” She said, as she supported the injured enchantress, leading her out of the alley way.
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