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Maybe the real plot was the friends we made along the way. [Last Updated: January 18, 2019]

I'm 23 years old, a blue-collar worker, and my major is in Psychology! 4.0 baybeeeee

Obviously I enjoy reading and writing if I made an account on this website, and I like to think I'm not half bad at it. I first started writing and roleplaying at the start of 2010 and I've stuck with it ever since. I've had a couple of dry spells along the way, but I always seem to come back to it. I enjoy most genres, but if I had to pick a couple of favorites, they would be sci-fi and high fantasy, with the latter being preferred. Some of my favorite and best characters have come from Elder Scrolls roleplays! What can I say? It appeals to the D&D nerd in me.

Ask any of my friends and they'll tell you that the history sections of nearly all of my characters are obnoxiously long. Absurdly long. Probably too long. I probably definitely have a problem, and it's because I get so carried away with telling their story. I want my readers to know how their story influences them as a person and I love creating tragedy and watching a character overcome those tragedies and finding themselves, watching their identities shatter and coming back together. I've always been a fan of characters overcoming their weaknesses and obstacles and I try to make that show in many of my characters. You could say that I even try to write my characters in such a way so that they can inspire me, as pretentious as that also might sound.

I also try to research whatever it is I'm writing about so that I'm not just pulling shit out of my ass - unless that's what my character is doing, in which case I try to make sure that's made clear in my writing. Just because I'm a melodramatic piece of shit doesn't mean I don't try to write a compelling story. I typically enjoy writing characters with a grey morality because evil is cringey and benevolence is exhausting, so anything in between I think is the sweet spot. That being said, I still like to write characters who are outgoing and friendly. Even in the characters with a "positive morality", I try my best to incorporate flaws so that they still feel human. I've written an artist who loves being alive, is a compulsive flirt, and tries to see the beauty in all things. He is also a coward, a fool, and sometimes he's accidentally a thoughtless heart-breaker. I've also written a high-school valedictorian, who was a humble and intelligent young woman who wants to do right by the world and help others as they've helped her. This came after her depression post dropping out of Yale due to a bad drug problem. She's been clean for a while now, but her past haunts her. I've written a priestess who has suffered through an immense trauma and while she is typically a soft-spoken and compassionate individual, her trauma manifests itself through her buried frustration and bitterness, which stems from her crisis of faith.

So there you have it. Hope we can write together some time!

Prime Rib Boneheads
@He Who Walks Behind
@Ruler Inc

These Tickle My Funny Bone
You can find me in:

The Elder Scrolls: Fruits of Contention (Chapter 2) by @Gcold
The Elder Scrolls: Vengeance of the Deep by @Dervish
Mass Effect: Sinless by @Amaranth

Most Recent Posts

Finishing Seams

Early Afternoon, Last Seed 16
Used Sundries

To Saddi’s credit, he seemed like every ounce the successful bargain-hunter he boasted himself to be. Sent yesterday as an intermediary between Wylendriel and the town’s leatherworker, the Khajiit brought two untanned fox hides. While not a true leatherworker, Wylendriel knew well enough how to properly skin an animal as many Bosmer do, so the desirable fur was in pristine condition, and apparently Saddi was able to run with that well enough with the help of a few coins and other goods to sucker the trader into an awfully raw deal that resulted in the peddlar leaving with arms full of wool, furs, some scraps of leather, and even some feathers and, somehow and for some reason, a knitted white tablecloth. He insisted that they would find a use for it.

In the meantime, the fox meat was stewing in a pot over the fireplace, prepared by Saddi, and in junction with Marcel’s surprise treats and sweets, would prove to be a quite satisfying supper for those not attending the banquet or those too suspicious of what would be served. Though the meat was gamey, its toughness was reduced overnight and was as tender as butter, and the smell of the pot was enough to overcome the musty scent of the old building. It took some convincing from Gustav and Edith for him to not throw in a pinch of moon sugar while he was at it.

He also made sure that she understood the message that while he could make clothing, it wasn’t really his profession and that it wouldn’t be a perfect article of clothing -- but as confident as he was, he still assured her that it would still be pretty good, so honestly, who knows how it was going to turn out? But with only a day ahead of them to finish it, the pressure was on, and an apprentice plus a novice would be hard pressed to finish it on time even if the clothing was relatively simple and one had an in depth knowledge of the inspiring culture. That was, of course, until more help had arrived, and Wylendriel recognized her immediately as the crew member who she worked with to save others while on board the Tear at the Smuggler’s Cove.

Carrying lengths of measuring string, a sharp knife, and a few spools of black thread in her arms while under her arm was cloth sack with her own dress. Hair pinned away, dressed moderately light without gloves or cloak Maj entered Used Sundries. Complaining half heartedly, “It’s one fucking thing to mend a few holes but another to be fancy feast ready when you couldn’t give another shit about what a bunch of rich nobles pat themselves on the back-” She stopped herself seeing Wylendriel, “Oh, hello.”

“Didn’t realize you were needing help too, Wylendriel.” She said somewhat sheepishly.

Placing her tools down on the nearest table, “I can work pretty fast but this deadline is bullshit.”

Before the priestess could even get a breath out, Saddi had already picked up where Maj had left off with a burdened tone, “Ah, yes, the priestess needs lots of help apparently, but nothing that I am not thrilled to accompany her with -- damned Tree Pact--”

“Green Pact--”

“--keeping us from simply buying the clothes -- but I digress! Prima-- ah, naturalistic clothing shan’t be so hard, yes? And you, pirate? You say you work fast? Come, come! Help our chaplain look as ravishing as, well, furs and wools shall allow.”

Wylendriel sighed, shaking her head and trying to stifle a somewhat amused smirk before looking up at the redguard from her position sitting on the floorboards. In her hands as a rather long length of brown fur that would make up the lining of the dress, being punched through by a needle threaded with sinew. Despite her exasperation at Saddi’s eccentricities, she aimed her eyes to Maj with a humbled and inviting smile. While part of her wanted to ask her to pardon their new quartermaster, she opted for the more diplomatic approach of ignoring his forwardness.

“Maj,” she pleasantly greeted, “it has been a short while, hasn’t it? Join us, I don’t believe we’ve had the opportunity to appropriately introduce ourselves. I’m Wylendriel, the company’s chaplain. You can come to me for anything if there’s something troubling you.”

“Hi, yes.” She said a smile tugging at the corner of her mouth in spite of her sour complaints. “Yes, I’m Maj Noor. Apparently now a surviving member of the Corsair Republic.” Maj’s expression was pained, but she jogged on. “Meeting amidst a disaster is about as appropriate a place to meet new faces as it can get while at sea.”

Elbowing Saddi she said, “Complaining about working with leathers instead of silk? Let me tell you just how ravishing a set of leathers can be, my former Captain would adorn herself in feathers, bits of gold, and polished steel. Striking out against the backdrop of the sea.”

“Wearing metal out at sea?” Saddi questioned. “Little wonder then why she-- ow!

The khajiit was quickly silenced as a wooden and stew-covered soup ladle came flying across the room and hit him in the chin, stopping Wylendriel from nearly punching him in his arm herself, and a quick look around the corner showed Dar’Jzo standing in front of the pot and facing the others with his arms crossed and needle-like eyes glaring into Saddi. A quick rub on his chin to massage away the sting, and Saddi instead finished with, “...I’m a fan of cotton, myself.”

With a sigh, Wylendriel attempted to move on. “The idea here is that I will be attending as a Spinner to act as a mediator by Gustav’s invitation. I know all of the traditional designs and I don’t intend on it being complicated, but I’m not a particularly skilled tailor, so Saddi has been doing most of the ornamentation and complicated stitches.”

“. . .I am a fan of cotton as well.” Maj said, not missing what Saddi had meant to say originally. “You got it, need some of the basics done to bring the pieces together.”

While the thought of missing Captain Sette hung onto Maj’s mood, she couldn’t help but continue her line of thought. “I used to help the Captain make those alterations, lots of details.” She scooped up the leather running a hand through the fur. “She was - er well, is a master illusionist, never missing a detail in whatever she crafted whether that was creating a intimidating pose of a cut-throat pirate, a speech to inspire fear in the target, or telling a ghost story. . . She always looked good while doing any of those things.” Maj said rolling up her sleeves.

Clearing space she laid out the pieces preparing a thicker needle for the leather, “We’re pulling off an illusion by dressing nicely, painting our faces and drinking to the defeat of those savage pirates.” She said through gritted teeth as her hands methodically began to thread the needle. “That’s how I see it.”

“Folks hide a lot with tiny illusions all the time.” She glanced to Wylendriel, “Clothing, the way the hold themselves, what they carry. I could go down a list that’s as long as a coastline.”

“That’s quite insightful of you.” Wylendriel commented, Maj’s words causing her to reflect upon herself for a moment. She’s been hiding quite a lot, but she wasn’t sure if she was so suave at it that she’d call it an illusion. It then made her question if the woman had noticed that and would begin prying, so she made the decision to turn the conversation around.

“It sounds as though you’re rather smitten by this captain of yours.” She said. “You must miss her quite a bit.”

Maj paused momentarily to laugh, “I was at first! Whether you fancy lads or lassies, you could be swept away as easily as the tide by Captain Sette.” She clarified. “She offered me a new life, mentored me. I miss her, I miss the crew but I’ve got this deep…” Her hand clenched around her stomach, “Deep as the marrow of my bones ache for Nephelle.”

Brow furrowing then softening as her thoughts shifted to her. Digging out from her pouch she quite proudly showed Wylendriel her sketchbook sketches of Nephelle’s profile, the narrow nose and cheeks, tall peaked ears signalling her Dunmer heritage. Written in Dunmeris below it was Nephelle’s name.

“I could go on for days about the Capn’ but Nephelle would take me an eternity.” Maj said as she resumed, needle prepared now and ready to begin piecing together the leather.

Wy listened and nodded on as Maj told her story, accepting a finished portion of the piece Saddi was working on and overlapped it with the fur, lining up the edges where it was appropriate, and pulled it over for Maj to work on while Wy got started on the other end. She found herself smiling fondly at the picture the redguard had drawn over her dunmer lover, and at the tenderness in voice as she said her name. She tried to think back if she, herself, ever had the fortune of being so close to someone -- then quickly retreated from such thoughts, knowing that only dismay had awaited her there. It sounded as though Maj was missing them sorely, and from the sounds of things, lost them in some tragic accident. Whether or not they were dead was yet to be determined, but there had to have been some turmoil there.

“There never is a true end to life.” Wy softly said as she worked at the stitches. “We simply change form. Us Bosmer believe we return to the Earth Bones -- the Ehlnofey, and our spirits are returned to Green, the land around us. Death, to us, is seen more as… a transition to a different phase of life, as it were, where we’re no longer bound by convention. Likewise, her spirit is kept alive through your art and love.”

The priestess huffed a sigh as she thought of her parents, then added, “Two wise Spinners told me once that your eyes are where the world begins. I’ve no doubt that there is a world beyond this one where Nephelle is waiting patiently for you and is eager to hear the exciting stories you have to tell.”

Kinder words than Maj expected and words she hardly felt she deserved to hear. “Th-thank you, Wylendriel, that is kind of you to say so.” Setting to work on the new pieces, sniffling under her nose she said, “Anyway I’ll try to finish this up quickly.”

“Thank you too.” Wy said again. The three of them worked together to finish the handcrafted robes just in time. Green-dyed wool was layered over the brown fur, Saddi taking care of the embroidery, and minimal stitching was used in favor of wrapping both ends around her torso and securing it to her waist with a stylized leather belt, accented by tuffs of strings and fur -- somehow Saddi figured out how to actually incorporate a tablecloth and some feathers into the dress while making look like it belonged there. Finishing up the dress, they scraped together some leather to turn some ordinary looking sandals into something slightly more fanciful by extending the straps to crawl halfway up to her knees. They'd then help Maj with the finishing touches of her own clothes.

Wearing non-traditional robes and masquerading as a Spinner sort of felt like sacrilege, and it didn’t have the same sentimental value to Wy as her old robes did -- but after hours of working with pleasant company, it had value all the same, and it still reminded her of home. With a new set of replacement robes, it was like she rediscovered her identity.

And she sort of felt pretty.

5pm, Last Seed 16
Rear Entrance, Evermore Castle

in collaboration with @Peik

Saddi and Cilo glanced at one another with some sense of apprehension -- this was not entirely unexpected, though certainly unfortunate and less preferred than a straight shot into the palace. Cilo, being more of the punching and kicking type anyway, had his eyes bouncing between Saddi and the guards with an expectant look. Saddi coughed and straightened his back, and with a smile, he turned the charm dial to five out of seven.

“My friends, this is no mistake!” Saddi declared emphatically. “This is Bi’Lamayz here with a special EEC offer! We are liaisons from the company itself to deliver its thanks and acknowledgement of your business with us over the many years. As part of that thanks, we have sent you free -- yes, free -- free shipment of goods after buying one already! For only nineteen septims, you can have this free shipment of cheeses, furs, and wines! Have I mentioned that it’s free? Because it is, for only nineteen septims. But wait, there’s more! Redeeming this special and exclusive EEC offer within the next two minutes, and we will also throw in…”

Saddi reached into his back pocket to reveal a small vial of a clear liquid.

“...A special, patented, and free male enhancement formula! Simply dab the liquid on the affected area and you’ll be pleasing your lover of thus-far indeterminate gender in no time! For only nineteen septims, you can become the hero of the palace banquet and save your marriage and/or scandalous affair with FREE products, as thanks for your continued business with the East Empire Company!”

“Tis true, good sirs! Very potent! Although, if I may,” Cilo added, seemingly going with Saddi's charade, as he leaned forward to whisper something to the guards. “You do not wish to use too much of it; I had a friend who used an entire bottle of it before meeting with his lover; we had to rush him to a surgeon for a quick amputation.” His candor about the possible hazards of the formula were not well-received, it seemed, for one of the guards raised his eyebrows in fear and disapproval. Not the sort of impression you want to make when you are trying to get your products in. Saddi shot him a similarly disapproving glance.

Cilo pouted sadly upon the realization. “Oh, please, they cut it from our salary if these extra shipments are not accepted. Normally it'd be just a single wheel of cheese or a bottle of brandy, but the new superintendent's a total ass kisser; he decided to send the entire luxury stock when he heard 'banquet'. He'll take it out on us if we bring these back... Hmm…”

He raised a finger. “Tell you what, you folks must be missing out on all the snacks and drinks over here in the rear entrance. Why don't you just take it and, uh, 'disappear' it?”

“Reserve it.” Saddi corrected.

“That way, everyone wins. We say they loved the package, you folks have your cake and eat it too. What do you say?"

“Well I do like free stuff…” One muttered to himself. The other cast his eyes around the front of the palace -- they were early enough that there weren’t so many people gathered around the entrance, before shooting a thumb off to the side. “Bring it to the back. We’ll make sure that these supplies are, uh… stockpiled with the rest of our reserves.”

“Thank you most kindly!” Saddi said, clapping his hands together and bowing his head. The pair continued to pull their wagons of crates past the gate, without the extra pocket money that Saddi had been trying to fish, he noticed, causing him to shoot a disapproving glance toward Cilo. He could’ve bought himself a fancy wine while the rest of the company was partying! He could’ve bought both of them a fancy wine! He hoped Cilo remembered that while they sit in Used Sundries later tonight feeling thirsty and sober.

“We really must work on your sales pitch.” He grumbled.

“Sure, but it's my sincerity that got them,” Cilo replied back. “And they'd be scouring through the city looking for you had I not warned them about your, uh, formula.”

“Do not underestimate the power of placebo, my friend!” Saddi said confidently and with a humored smile. “If the man thinks he’s potent, then surely he’ll behave as such, yes? Grandfather taught me that one, didn’t he?”

Mid-stride, with a hop and kick into the side of the crate, the cheeky khajiit marched with pleasure at the sound of a hissing and grumbling old khajiit inside one of the crates he was hauling around the castle.

“Besides,” Saddi continued, mimicking Dar’Jzo’s thick accent since there was nothing his elder could do about it at the moment, “this one now gets paid more than the others because of such, ah… privilege of executive decisions.”

Cilo seemed nonplussed when Saddi mentioned the power of placebo, although the Khajiit's next remark got some cogs in his head running. A slightly questioning expression took shape on his face. “...You mean it's not the real deal? Gods be damned,” he replied in well-contained amazement. “Damned alchemy, I tell you. I had this friend by the name of Priapus Magnus back when I was in the Legion. One day he came in with a vial just the same as yours, said he got it from a merchant who sold oils from Akavir. My lad told me it was dragon's seed; apparently you rub it on your pecker and then it's diamonds afterwards. He had this Dunmer girl, insatiable, I tell you. Anyhow, the two rent a room, and hours later the innkeeper breaks in because of screaming. The bed's broken in half, the lass is rubbing her nethers in pain, and our lad has gone unconscious with his tool standing this tall!” Cilo held up both his hands with about a gladius' worth of space in between them. “We rushed him to this magic woman, she did her, uh, magic, yet it's growing worse. We had to rush him to a surgeon to burst some veins; in the end it took the garrison executioner's axe to separate him from the thing. Can you believe that?”

Cilo began chuckling. “Damn bastard sold the thing to the Temple of Dibella afterwards, where they pickled it; got enough money to live the rest of his life a rich man. I wonder if it was worth the price, though. I wouldn't give up on mine for any amount of money, I tell you.”

“Baan Dar, you weren’t joking back there.” Saddi muttered to himself, looking at Cilo with mild horror. He looked straight ahead and pressed on.

As the pair followed the road they were eventually led to a backdoor where servants and kitchen staff were either in a hurry as they performed chores like taking out garbage or cleaning old pots and pan, or taking a tobacco break rom the preparation. The smok, hickory smell of a mouth-watering roast wafted through the air, mingled with spice and a plethora of other dishes. As they approached, the servants’ eyes went crestfallen as Cilo and Saddi brought even more crates to them.

“Hello, all!” Saddi greeted cheerily. “Bring these to your cellar, would you? These are live animals for maximum freshness, so don’t go sticking your face and fingers into them, alright? We've had enough people lose fingers today.”

“Oh, yes,” Cilo added. “We've got giant snapping turtles in some of these boys. Makes for great soup, but, well... not the sort of beast you want to mess with!”

“Who eats snapping turtles?” Saddi whispered to him with an incredulous and confounded expression on his face as he shook his head. He looked to the equally confused staff of servants, and put his hands out in a calm demeanor, “He jokes, he jokes! You know how roosters can be, always such assholes. Should’ve heard the ruckus they were making in these crates before we hired an illusion mage to muffle them. Anyway, the payments have already been sorted out! Have a wonderful day!”
Loose Ends

w/ @Leidenschaft

Within the past couple of hours, there have been more than just a few things that gave Aries pause. First came Gregor and his cute little doll in tow. Were time not of the essence, she would’ve questioned him right then and there and motioned to leave him to the proverbial wolves. However, the soft hearts of Samara would’ve forbade that and were simply grateful to see his face again. Regardless, her own line of questioning need not be said, for she was sure that questions would be asked eventually whether it was from her or not given time. Then not long after trekking the desert, an exercise not taken lightly even if her enchanted ring had protected her from some of the sun’s heat, they had come upon a grisly scene of blood soaked sand and mounds of buried people surrounding a caravan. Standing front and center were two khajiit, neither of which she had any hope of seeing any time soon, and another woman.

Not only was she faced by a ruthless killer, a traitor, and their accomplice, it would seem that Dar’Vasora had also broken her own word to keep them warned of the dangers ahead. What good was a scout if they could not relay to the others what awaited them? Even Calen, the bard who was supposed to be the outrider between the main group and the scouts, was caught off guard after learning who the khajiit were. So to say that even he was surprised goes to show the opaque leadership that Samara was following. Then it became clear why they had been so incompetent thus far: they never had any real leadership to begin with. Had the attack on the palace really risked so much for so little? There was something to be said for the comfort of sheep, but not a lot. Not enough to justify losing Gilane.

Regardless of logistics or reasoning, no matter how much Aries might've agreed to the plan should she and the others been consulted, the fact remains that a lack of trust in leadership ultimately undoes all authorities.

Despite how she felt about Sora, she kept her eyes trained on Zaveed and Sevari, her eyes narrowed and lip curled with suspicion and disgust. She didn’t trust Zaveed to uphold any sort of bargain given his brutal and savage history of whoring himself to the Dwemer, and Sevari less so given his now discovered penchant for betrayal. When he approached her, her hands were tightly clenched into fists and she did not utter a single world back to him. She had little to say that would’ve been any business of the others to hear, and besides that, the simmering expression of rage in her eyes said everything to Sevari she needed to say. She would keep herself on guard until they reached their destination. One wrong move, and she was going to unleash absolute hell onto them.

Zaveed, Sevari, Gregor, Jaraleet -- she was quite possibly surrounded by treachery on all sides. Though there was nothing treacherous confirmed yet for the latter two outside of stupid decisions, she didn’t want to take any chances. Who else was at her back? Daro’Vasora and Latro just made liars of themselves, Judena had a fish’s memory, a bard, and a spineless nord and altmer girl. Those who were left, while capable, she felt were foolish. Even when she reached the cavern and cupped handful of water in her hands to drink from, she did so with her back facing a wall and eyeing the others carefully. Surely enough, like Sevari warned her in the desert, she watched him approach once again. Very few people have been able to provoke responses out of her in the past, but it was as if he was an hearth, the way she felt her blood simmer and boil with each step that brought him closer.

And it practically singed him to stand near it. But he stood, face not betraying any apology nor malice. He simply sighed, “At least fucking yell at me for something… Janelle.” Sevari shook his head, “I can’t stand this fucking silent treatment.”

“I'm sufficiently professional as to not debase myself in the presence of company.” Aries responded coldly. She stood to her full height, though still finding herself looking up at the much taller khajiit. Her hands were still tightly clenched into fists. “It's the same reason you're still alive right now. So, was that your plan all along? To rid of me and your so called friends by having Irranhu cell do the coward’s work for him? Or did you simply abandon your post and leave everyone to die? Convince me why I shouldn't burn you alive.”

“Janelle.” Sevari’s face twisted into anger for but a second before he calmed himself, “Do you even remember why we had to take refuge in the Haunted Tide? Irranhu cell attacked my convoy. They were going to kill Latro and probably the rest of Samara after. You know the game of spies and politics, who would benefit by having you dead?”

Sevari huffed, “Not me. I didn’t abandon shit, either. I was arrested. There were Thalmor in the Palace, they were working with the Ministry of Order and had every file of every Penitus Oculatus Agent in Hammerfell.” He added more quietly, a bit more worriedly, “Or even Tamriel. They said they raided the headquarters in Chorrol, that’s how they knew who I was and what I was doing here.”

“Fingalto and Erincaro Syintar, and every Thalmor spy in Tamriel, want us and everyone who knows us or has ever known us, dead.” Sevari said, “This would be a shit time for me to enlist my would-be murderers to murder you. So burn me, Janelle, to ashes. Burn everything here. Do their job for them.”

“I ought to, for the audacity of thinking I’m a fucking moron.” She retorted. “Your convoy was attacked because you were still posing as a dwemer mercenary! And as if I’ve forgotten your outburst in that escape tunnel? Yet you still dare to call yourself an agent! Add to that, somehow, that someone of your caliber gets arrested, but when you’re released, where do you go? You run away, out of town with your murderous, whoring brother. But he isn’t, is he? Not really. So what reason is there left for me to trust you?”

Aries refused to let herself be intimidated by the much larger Ohmes and stepped forward herself, her eyes staring daggers into his. “If you think you can get away with lying to me, then you’ve clearly forgotten who I am.”

“He isn’t.” Sevari said, gravely, “But he’s the closest one I’ve got. I’m in Hammerfell because of him, he’s the smuggler I paid for before all this happened to get me here in time to kill Erincaro Syintar and force his father out of hiding. The last step before the grand finale of the mission that’s been my life.” He sighed, jaw set as he looked away from Aries for a moment, looking back at her as he continued, “His name is Zaveed, I’ve known him since I was a boy and before my time in the Bhaanu Sasra where I was flipped to the Imperial Cause. His sister, the other person I’ve lived with long ago and had feelings for had been placed just rightly by fate,” he frowned, “to be on that ship. I failed because of that. There.”

Aries crossed her arms and gave Sevari a dry look as she shifted her weight to one leg. She didn’t look very impressed with his admission. “That’s it?” She asked, expecting more. “Did your childhood fancy happen to neuter you? I’ve stabbed my fiancée’s foot to the floor after I exposed his house for fraud and conspiracy. Then I immediately denounced the most powerful family in Daggerfall into poverty. Out of spite.”

“Mm.” Sevari let that quip about his feelings for Marassa go. Like a great many things, it was something he should let go. It only made him weak, but was that not a good thing, in that moment? For Zaveed? Now wasn’t the time, “You’re right. I’ve no excuses, no sorrys. What now then? Have me prostrate myself and beg forgiveness, or…?”

“Don’t be so dramatic.” Aries sighed as she pinched the bridge of her nose. “That still doesn’t explain why you just left Gilane while the rest of us were fighting for our lives. I held them off, you know that? Irranhu. I’m the reason why Samara had enough time to escape with their lives. I assaulted a damn castle by their side. I got everyone out of the city. There’s no question who they would trust more between us. Where were you through all of that?”

Sevari sighed, “Latro already has made it very known he resents me for my absence. I was trying to get the blueprints of the Palace back to Samara when I was apprehended.” He shook his head, “The only reason we’re having this conversation and you’re not wondering after me while I’m on my way to be hanged in Alinor is because of that childhood fancy. The Caliph’s escape tunnel leads outside the city walls, I went to the only other place I knew to. Risking entry back into the city was too dangerous.” He frowned and shrugged.

“If they wouldn’t have shot me at the gates. My brother and his new… girl,” he said, eyes going to Sirine milling about the camp, “found me there.”

“You know what I would’ve done?” Aries rhetorically asked. “I would’ve turned back around and got back to work. Incinerating everyone in my way if I had to. The burden of leadership… remember?”

Her eyes bounced from Sevari to Zaveed and Sirine on the other side of the cavern. She continued, saying, “You’ve seen me frustrated. You’ve seen me annoyed. But you haven’t seen me pissed, and you haven’t seen what I’m capable of. Least of all, what I’m capable of when I’m pissed.”

As if to show her meaning, a single spark arced between her fingers before the friction in the air around her hand settled down. She glance returned to Sevari, but once simmering and wrathful, it was now cold and dispassionate, even if it did eventually warm up just a little bit. “If it really did come down to the three of you against me… your window of opportunity would only last a second. I just want you to understand that, and that you don’t have a choice but to make it all up to me. I… I would rather have some decent help again. I’d prefer that over the alternative.”

Sevari frowned at that, watching the magic flow from her fingers. He responded with a decidedly less threatening act of fishing a cigar from his coat and lighting it with some magic of his own, “If you’ll accept it, Janelle,” he said, puffing on the cigar to get it lit for a moment before continuing, “You’ll have it.” He hooked a finger on his collar and dragged it down enough to see the tattoo of the Red Diamond, dark upon his brown skin, “I still am what I am.”

“You’re not out of the woods yet.” She added with a warning. “But at least I can trust you’re more capable than these louts. I’m beginning to question if my gamble on Samara had any payoff.”

“We’ve spent a lot of time cultivating relationships with some of them. Latro and Jaraleet are closer with each other, and they’re close to me.” He said, “Sora might trust me the most out of the three of us she found on the road if only because I’m not my asshole of a brother.”

He took a puff of his cigar and let the cloud linger before blowing it away himself, “And we’re all headed in the same direction. From what Sora says, we’ve got a tool to end this threat.”

“Jaraleet?” She repeated incredulously, needling Sevari for information. “The argonian, yes? The one credited with taking liberties and torturing Nblec to death? The very thing that plummeted Gilane into chaos?

“Uh huh.” He answered, nonchalantly, “After my first meeting with him and Latro, I put his skills to use on Hassiim. He’s good. Very good. Better than any amateur assassins and hitmen you’d find in a roadside inn.” He shook his head, “I think he’s working for a foreign power. But as for torturing Nblec to death? He could do it, but why? He doesn’t seem barbaric enough for the task.”

“Foreign power? Hm. Duly noted.” She commented. While she was suspicious of Sevari for her own reasons, which were somewhat emphasized by his association with the argonian, Nblec died before his turncoat. Plus he was willing to give information on his new friend, one, which, he seemed friendly enough with to be certain of his innocence and to attempt defending it. As disturbing of a thought as Jaraleet’s allegiance was, she didn’t linger on it for very long in the shadow of a much more foreboding implication. One that was beginning to confirm a much earlier suspicion she had for a certain Imperial. “Who does that leave us with then? The bard, Latro, and Gregor, along with his little tart. As far as I see it, it comes between Latro and Gregor. Watching the Reachman fight was like watching an animal, but honestly? Rumor has it that the bard got hurt while trying to protect him. So look who that leaves us with…”

That necromantic fuck, Sevari thought, keeping the burning malice off his face. So, he might be responsible for fucking not only his brother up, but near everything else. “So,” he asked, drawing out the word in a low growl, “What’s to do then?”

“As much as I'd like for him to simply drop dead…” Aries returned in her own, seething voice, “we should bide our time. Given camaraderie complications, plus a man prone to impulsive action, it would be best to take care of such business outside the company of others. Let’s see if we can’t pressure a confession out of that one, first. I would sleep better knowing I didn’t choose mistakenly."

Sevari nodded wordlessly in response, looking back up at Gregor, watching the man talk with Zaveed. Ever since he first arrived in Gilane, he felt as though the city itself was trying to drink his blood through its gutters. Now that he left, maybe it was just all of Hammerfell. “Oh, trust me, I’ve my own reasons to make him drop dead.” He let that thought simmer until he spoke again, “But I agree. I might have bloody hands, but I like to think I go after the right ones.”

He turned to Aries, “Jaraleet, Latro, maybe I can leverage them. Get them to talk about what happened in that safehouse with Nblec.” He nodded over to the other bars, Calen, “Him too. They all know Gregor. Let’s see how well.”

"This won't change the past, but it will give the past some deserved justice." Aries admitted solemnly. "We tied off our loose ends for now. Let's see where we can't cut a few more."
Days before…

A few candidates were already checked off the list.

Cherk was orderly, methodical, and most of all, efficient. He went down the list of recruits to see who was left. Most of the crew was already accounted for, there were just a few left to collect. They still needed an engineer other than Kori’andh to do the actual maintenance while she was flying. Of the two on this list, one was clearly more qualified. One was more of a soldier, and would probably make for a decent mercenary, but he needed a specialist. Self-taught mechanics couldn’t fix spaceships or decrypt computer code. A bona-fide engineer that could create automatic robotics and program a VI? That’s the type of person he needed. What sealed the deal was that they already had a little bit of experience with contracts like the one he had in store for her.

Her name on the record was Cheyenne Jung, apparently wanted for questioning by the Citadel regarding the Luna incident. However, word around Omega says such a woman went by the name Shy.

She stuck out like a sore thumb the Afterlife Club of Omega. The woman was the only one at her table next to the stage of dancing asari, and unlike the rest of the lowlives who called Omega their home, she didn’t look like much of a killer. In fact, she didn’t look like much at all. She wasn’t wearing armor or openly brandishing any weapons, but this didn’t keep him any less on his toes. According to the dossier he created based on floating rumors, she might have been odd and peculiar, but she also had a reputation for being a pretty efficient bounty hunter. As he closed the distance, her appearance became clearer underneath the neon lights. The saturated colors bounced off her buttoned up shirt printed with palm trees and pineapples, and her blonde hair adopted the lights’ pink and blue hues. Her feet were propped onto a metallic dome, a device of some kind, which was set onto the table. As he approached, she turned her head toward him, giving him a glimpse of her slanted eyes. They looked bored and unimpressed, even if there was an amused smile on her face from the performance of the dancing asari. This must’ve been what counted as a relaxing evening he had just interrupted.

“Shy Jung?”

“Did I finally get my own bounty?” She asked.

“No, I--”

“Damn. Was hoping to collect on myself.”

“I wanted to offer you a job.” He declared confidently, pointing his finger at her.

“A job?” Shy parroted back with an amused huff. “No thanks, I can’t dance. Ask one of these ladies.”

“I represent a group of mercenaries looking for someone skilled enough to patch together a hull just as well as an AI.” He explained.

“Don’t feel like it.” She was quick to answer.

The volus was left momentarily speechless before he tried to continue his sales pitch. “Are you quite sure? I think I can provide you with an opportunity to--”

“Look little man,” Shy interrupted, “why are you so dead-set on competing with the Blue Suns and the Blood Pack?”

“I’m more interested in smaller game at the moment…” He explained further. “The job pays well.”

“And why should I be interested in a low-paying job where I work with other small-fry mercs?” Shy challenged. It was hard to tell with her face unchanging, but she didn’t seem sold on the idea of working with others. “And why me?”

“Well, I understand you have some history. I don’t know the whole story, but perhaps with enough time invested, we can help you take care of that. As for you? As I understand it, you haven’t had the opportunity to finish many jobs. But despite that, I hear you’re a brilliant tech. That’s untapped potential.”

“The best.” Shy asserted nonchalantly.

“We could use someone like that. I assume you can support that claim?”

He wasn’t sure if Shy could’ve narrowed her eyes even further, but somehow she did it. Did he sabotage his own recruitment by doubting her? His concerns were lifted when the slightest smirk appeared on Shy’s face.

“Of course I can.” She said. “How about I finish a job right now?”

“Are you serious?”

“Never.” She said as she removed her feet from the table. She sat up in her seat and righted the metal dome in front of her before flipping it over and cracking open its casing, exposing the wiring inside. “But shit, it’s no skin off my back. Why not?”

After rewiring whatever was inside, she slapped the casing back on and rolled the dome around and hitched on some kind of magnetic device that was previously secured to her belt, then screwed off some kind cap on top of the machine and plucked the wiry antenna right next to it. One of the omni-tools on her wrists were taken off, and as if she was simply changing a battery, plucked a chip from inside of it and inserted it into a slot within the dome before taking the centerpiece of her tool and twisted it into a port that the cap was previously covering. She slid the antennae back into its port and screwed the cap back over the centerpiece before returning to the omni-tool on her other wrist. The volus looked over her shoulder and saw that she was waiting for a signal. ’Drone connection secured.’ Then with a swipe of her hand, she turned on the device and the sphere began to lift off of the table. Another port opened and out came a barreled lens -- video suddenly came to live on a projected monitor from her omni-tool. As if she was showing off, she swiped around on the interface and the drone spun around, its camera sending video feedback to her tool.

“Now who would be a good… aha. This guy. Smallfry. Babo, collect a bounty on the human, Sten “Deadeye” Eysenck.”

In response, the scouting drone hummed and buzzed, as if processing the request before the computer floated away above the crowd. Shy turned to look at the Volus and smirked. “Check this out.”

Sten was enjoying a relaxing sip of a Full Biotic Kick from his cocktail glass in the Fortune’s Den. He blended in well with the seedier crowd, even for a human among aliens. It was the best place a man with a bounty could get a decent drink, and compared to some of the big-leaguers surrounding him from all sides, he was small fry. Even if he was one man, nobody was going to open fire in here. Once one person starts shooting, everyone does. That’s how it worked here. Nobody was taking any chances. And to think it all started with a little bit of desertion! Pfft, fuck the Citadel. Fuck the Alliance. There wasn’t any way in hell he was going to face off against an entire Geth fleet. It was suicide.

He set his drink down and dealt his hand, much to the chagrin of the aliens around the table. Which a cocky laugh, he punched a few buttons of a computer installed into the table and he saw the number of credits to his name swell.

“Someone ought to knock you off your high horse, as you humans say.” One deep-throated krogan grumbled. “Or kick you in the quads, at least.”

“Learn to play better and you just might!” Sten goaded, leaning back into his chair. “That’s why you don’t mess with the best.”

“The best, he says,” remarked a similarly disgruntled turian, “the one who spends all his time hiding out in shithole clubs like this one. Maybe if he could keep a crew of pirates together, then he wouldn’t have so much free time on his hands.”

“Oh please,” Sten drawled, “that again? Look, if I said it once, I said it a thousand times: I didn’t need those lowlives. Amateurs like those can’t even hold up a--”

“But mutinies aren’t usually consensual on the captain’s part, are they? They threw your ass into a pod and jettisoned you out into space like they were taking out the trash. Nobody cares about you, Sten. Your bounty isn’t worth shit, and for as long as your annoying ass has been here, nobody has even bothered to try and claim it.”

...Sten rolled his eyes at the memory of the exchange, recounting the moments that lead up to this point. Looks like he ate his words.

It wasn’t but a minute after that did that blasted scouting drone buzz through the crowd, stopped in front of him, and a little red light by the top of its head turn red before deploying two holographic drones of its own and a sardonic, feminine voice demanded that he turned himself it. Immediately alarmed, Sten had just jumped away from the table before they opened fire on his chair.

His lucky chair.

It had been a chase through Omega since that point, but with all the time he spent here, he knew this place like the back of his hand. A well placed proximity mine was enough to stir up enough dust and debris for the bots to lose his trail, and from there, it didn’t take long for him to find a shortcut to the Kima district. One way in, one way out. If there was someone after him, they’d be easy pickings. He set another proximity mine on the stairwell to keep anyone from sneaking up on him from another angle, and upstairs, he comfortably positioned himself next to the window with his sniper rifle. The Volkov X; this shit was top of the line, and he didn’t earn the nickname Deadeye ironically. However came across that bridge was as good as dead.

Surely enough, someone came.

They looked like a young woman, blonde, and wearing a black, lightly-armored suit. She was flanked by her three drones and casually walked across the bridge without a care in the world. Dumb bitch. He knew well enough that taking her out meant taking out the drones too. He carefully lined up his shot as she made her way across, making sure to remain patient, allowing her to get closer for an easier shot and to build up her confidence. If she felt safe, then she wouldn’t be as on guard. As the next minute passed, and the woman made her way to the end of the bridge, Sten smirked.

‘It’s the end of the line for you.’

With bated breath, he pulled the trigger, and a explosion roared from within the chamber, followed by the shattering of glass and an energy projectile ripping through the air and through the woman’s head.

Yet she still stood.

In that very moment, static arced across her body before turning to light, a hologram, like the two defense drones that were at her side, before disappearing. Sten barely had time to react before the two drones unleashed a barrage on his location. He immediately took cover behind the piece of wall below the window as more bit of glass rained down on him. His mind racing for a solution -- he still couldn’t believe he let himself get baited like that! Then, amidst the hail of fire he was under, he heard a thunk! from outside. Did they just launch something? He looked up as a piece of metal soared over his head and onto the floor behind him. It slid across the ground for a few feet and coming to a halt. From the device, a sentry turret was raised, a jet of exhaust allow it to hover in the air as it, too, began to assail him with energy bolts.

Sten cursed and swore as a bolt hit him in his gun toting arm and another in his leg, having just enough strength left to dive behind a large piece of furniture and corner himself. He was desperate for a plan and a way out, and all he had left was his pistol and a shitty old tactical cloak that would buy him a few seconds at best. He winced as he heard the drones outside blow apart the entrance downstairs. He had the mine still situated by the staircase, so that should also…

But as he waited for the sound of the explosion, none came. The sentry turret ripped apart his barricade had suddenly ceased fire, and what would’ve been the ideal moment to come up with a plan thanks to the silence, was spent wondering why his mine didn’t go off and dreading whatever was coming next.

The sound of the woman’s voice echoed through the room, sounding clear as day, “Oh, look at that. Looks like you’re cornered.”

‘Shit.’ Frantically, he attempted to activate a device on his harness. Expecting his form to camouflage, he instead found the device exploding into sparks. ‘Fuck!’

With a last act of defiance, Sten stood on his good leg from behind the furniture and aimed his gun at the drones positioned around him, but as he pulled the trigger, no shots came. He watched sparks fly out from the battery pack and the vent was exhausting out more steam than a pistol should ever have to. He looked up helplessly at the drones cornering him. Did these things remotely sabotage all of his tech?

“Where are you?!” He shouted through the room.

In response, the tool atop the mother drone’s head created an orange-colored holographic display. On it was the video transmission of a blonde-haired woman -- not in armor, but a Hawaiian-printed shirt, and a volus looking over her shoulder. There were asari dancing in the background.

“Hey there.” She said with a smirk on her face. “Looks like you’re in a pretty tight spot.”


Kori’s piloting needed some work, Shy thought. All this tossing and turning, one would think she flew them all through an asteroid field. She even had plans for giving the quarian shit later, something along the lines of, “is this how quarians fly?” or “It’s a wonder the migrant fleet isn’t orbiting around some planet like debris.” But the truth of the matter was far less humorous. To think she just wasted the brain power to cash in on a bounty without even getting off her ass just to get shoved into a pod of dysfunctional squares and a B-list horror monster and get framed for something she didn’t even do. Again.

She looked around the ship, eyeballing to see if there was anyone who actually could pull something off like that and get the rest of them in trouble. Zaash? She doubted he was smart enough. Naryxa? Heavens, no, too… uh, so anyway… Kyo? Possibly, ninja boy could probably sneak on board, but maybe too smart to get himself in trouble too. Ardan? Possibly. He does seem like the type to blow people up, possibly not smart enough to not incriminate himself. But that was the problem: all six of them were incriminated. Who wasn’t? Kori and and Cherk?

As Kori’andh explained the shituation, Shy seemed unfazed, still sitting in her chair with her feet propped on top of the table. She gave the people in the room another once over, and even seemed to give an appreciative nod at the accuracy of her own depiction.

“Fucking sweet.” She simply said. “Clever. So, what’s next then? You and shorty are turning us in? Haha, jokes on us, that was the plan all along? Get six chumps on your ship and frame them for an easy bounty?”

Shy scratched her head behind her ear. “Huh… I should’ve thought of that.”

Noon, Last Seed 15
Outside Evermoor

Dar’Jzo had not been so quick to lend out his bow and gutting knife this morning, and his thoughts were much harder to read than those of other people, but Wylendriel could sense there was a moment of deliberation and reflection before hesitating to hand them to her with a nod. She wanted to believe that it might had to do with her new reputation after the healing feats she performed back at the Smuggler’s Cove, but maybe he was just a generous sort. It was hard to tell. Regardless, it had been a while since she held a proper bow in her hands, remembering fondly back on the old horn longbows back in Valenwood. She was out of practice, and not just in shooting, but in hunting. The landscape of eastern High Rock was much craggier than the dense forests and jungles of her homeland, so she didn’t know where the local wildlife hunted for foraged. Her first few attempts on a deer’s life turned up nothing, and she saw nothing of its size since then.

But when she saw a fox weaving in and out of the rocks, she rested her back against a tree and harkened back to her old lessons. Feet in line with her shouders. Head turned ninety degrees away from where she’s facing. Begin aiming before you draw. Draw with the muscles in her back, not her arms – her back felt slightly numb ever since the cove, but not so much that it would distract her. Wylendriel pulled the string back toward her ear, her arms straight and rigid and the string brushing against her cheek. One eye was close while the other locked onto the fox like a hawk. Loose.


The arrow lodged itself in the fox’s neck, cutting its cry short before bleeding out in seconds. For a moment, Wy could almost hear the rustling of a dense forest canopy and a distant waterfall as the moment of the kill briefly made her feel at home and a slight, cool breeze passed over the field. She looked up at the sky as if that breeze was a sign. Are you still watching? She continued to stare into the blue sky with a single cloud hovering above, no thick canopy blocking her view. Then she broke out of her sense of nostalgia, and she shivered, remembering that she wasn’t in Valenwood anymore and the winds up north were much colder – though not as cold as Skyrim, all she had on her back was one of the sailors’ shirts. Her warm robes of wool, fur, and leather were irreversibly ruined, and aside from a few mementos in her bag, she had little else from home that she could still hold onto. Hunting was one of the few ways she could still hold onto her customs, and that would not be the last fox to die today.

Her sense of remorse brought on a single tear to roll down her cheek, curiously, as it was one that she did not expect to shed. Her remorse was quickly replaced by resolve, and as she brushed that single tear away, she said to herself, "Let that be the last one."

Used Sundries

Two dead foxes were laid onto a kitchen table in Used Sundries. The ramshackle room was fashioned into something that resembled a kitchen more than it did a real kitchen, and the small fireplace was repurposed for cooking instead of only warmth. Dar’Jzo was grateful to have his bow back and complimented Wylendriel on her hunt. Saddi, their new quartermaster, was grateful for fresh food that no one had to pay for and as looking forward to cooking it up to keep the company’s morale high before the banquet. Those two were apparently related in one way or another, so she found it curious that they conveniently happened across Saddi in Jehanna; unless it was Dar'Jzo's plan all along to reach the boy, in which case, she didn't give the old khajiit's cunning enough credit. It was somewhat endearing to watch the two of them interact with one another while Saddi tried to figure out the logistics of stuffing his grandfather into a box, the latter's indignant reception of the prospect, and the former's insistence on trying to make it as comfortable as possible.

Wylendriel, on the other hand, was grateful that she took the opportunity for her outing to hunt. She thought at first that she might find some comfort by releasing her pent-up anger and anxiety onto something, seeking an escape from a daedra’s torment, but instead found comfort in its mundane simplicity and the nostalgia it evoked. She didn’t what it meant, but figured after some time meditating on it, she would figure it out in time.

She slipped the hook end of Dar’Jzo’s knife slipped underneath the skin of their bellies, and with a careful yank down the center, its guts spilled open onto the waxed cloth covered kitchen table, which Saddi would wrap up and carry elsewhere while Wylendriel collected the pouring blood in a bowl -- a process which had quickly bloodied her own hands, but she seemed to pay very little heed to the macabre mess.

“Don’t throw it out.” Wy called after him, still focused on carefully separating the skin from the meat. “Save it; use every part of the animal.”

“Who’s going to eat this?” Saddi ask incredulously.

“Who doesn't eat sausage?” She replied with a question of her own, rolling the last edge of skin off and flipping the fox back onto the table. “Bones for arrows and bonemeal. These hides are for a trade for wool and tanned fur. If I’m going to pretend to be a Spinner, I need to dress the part.”

Saddi sighed. “Well, I’ve never tried making fox meat before. Or Spinner robes.”

“Brine the meat in salt water overnight with some kind of acid.” She said, scraping the leftover particles of fat and flesh still attached to the skin. “They won’t be traditional Spinner robes, but the Bretons won’t know that. Those who might would know Spinner robes are all leather, bone, and antler. They’re not banquet attire, so they could figure I might have simply redressed to fit in better.”

"You should allow me to do the trading, priestess!" Saddi insisted, dramatically gesticulating toward himself with a particular flair of confidence. "I mean no offense, but what is a, ah, priestess of naturalistic sensibilities to a Baandari vis-à-vis the art of the deal?"

"...Vis-a-vis?" Wylendriel repeated. She felt like she was supposed to be slighted, but was caught too off guard by the pleasantries of his voice, the content of his speech, and usage of his vocabulary to really decipher the meaning behind his words.

"It's a Breton phrase." Saddi explained dismissively with a wave of his hand. "But is that not the point? The business-khajiit must know his customer, yes? Shrewd Bretons would steal the clothes from your back with but words and coin, but I could steal the clothes from theirs instead. Trade is simply the métier of the Baandari! That was, ah, another Breton word, by the way."

"You sound very proud of your lineage." Wy noted.

"Should I not be? There has never been a finer clan to grace Tamriel, and our history goes back several eras!" Saddi beamed, looking to Dar'Jzo for approval. He simply grunted and seemed to give a critical glance that gave the proud and enthused Khajiit pause. Saddi's disposition shifted slightly before recomposing himself. This did not go unnoticed by Wy, who now found herself wondering the nature of their relationship and more about Dar'Jzo's past. Was he a Baandari too, then? The quiet and serious Khajiit didn't seem like a typical trader at all unlike Saddi, who was far more sociable and animated. Still, she felt that Saddi's presence was able to shed some of the mystery surrounding him, though she figured there would be many more mystery to be solved. More importantly, if Saddi was as capable as he was confident, then perhaps it wouldn't be such a bad idea for him to go in her stead.

"Very well, then..." She said, finding a slight smile sneaking onto her face. Saddi's pride in his family reminded her of her own. She felt a bit a worried that masquerading as a Spinner would be sacrilegious, but on another hand, she felt that it was a good way to honor them and show that she hasn't forgotten her roots. She had been reflecting on her own culture for a while now in preparation for this, and she felt more at ease because of it. Life and death was a cycle and the natural order of things. Though she regretted her inability to save the lives of those at the Smuggler's Cove, she was reminded that it wasn't the end. For the first time in a while, the mundane was able to bring her some semblance of peace. The terrors and horrors from a few fortnights ago seemed so far away in light of everything that has happened since then, but it also brought memory of why she has come so far to begin with -- her pilgrimage. She took a deep breath in and stared into the bowl of fox blood, observing her reflection in its red, shimmering surface. She wasn't the same person as she was before. The Bosmer who began this journey was afraid and uncertain.

Soon, she'll have to start over.
<Snipped quote by DearTrickster>

Sure. What's Maj's fake identity?

And Wylendriel's, @Spoopy Scary?

Maybe a Spinner named Silva. Which does mean some less fancy clothes, by Breton standards. Possibly as a plus one to one of the people joining who could feasibly have ties to Valenwood?
Wy needs to let loose and party and Dar'Jzo will be Schrödinger's Cat.
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