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Chapter 31: Descent to Fort Black


gregaaz

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Beyond the rough camp, the mine shafts started to gradually slope upwards. After a time, the party passed into a more developed section of the mine, with log stairs laid down on the steeper slopes and wooden doors separating distinct sections. Before Monywyr could extinguish his halo and cleave to the shadows, however, a roar turned all their heads to the gloom at the head of the stairs. A lone bandit observed them, urging on the source of the roars - a troll and a chitinous monster that could only be a chaurus. The three drew their weapons and met the enemy in battle. Monywyr shoved past the troll and struck down the bandit with a powerful swing from his greatsword, then dodged to the side to avoid another strike from the troll. To his dismay, the dodge rolled him straight onto a pressure plate, and he felt himself suddenly go limp as intense magical lightning shocked him senseless.

 

When he rose, he saw Rigmor doing her best to hold off the troll as it attempted to draw her into a crushing bear hug. From behind, Monywyr swung his sword in a long arc and lopped off one of the troll's arms. Taking a second to help Rigmor back to his feet, he realized Rosa was no longer with them.

 

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Monywyr called out to her, but all he heard in response were muffled groans and a rustling that reminded him of vines or some other kind of thick vegetation. With Rigmor in tow, they proceeded up the stairs towards the upper part of the chamber, where they discovered the reason for Rosa's absence.

 

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Momentarily shaking her head free, Rosa shouted down to them. "Hey, ah, ahhhhhhhh, get me down from.... here!" From the sound of her voice and the sharp intakes of breath, the invading tentalces weren't entirely unpleasant. 

 

"Hold on," Rigmor said, fumbling for a dagger at her belt, "I'll cut you down!" At the same time, Monywyr drew forth his hand axe, and the two of them set to work trying to free their companion.

 

It took a dozen strokes to sever enough of the tentacles that Rosa could break free, the rest of them quickly retracting into hidden crevices in the stone wall.

 

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Rosa took a second to catch her breath before tentatively returning to her feet.

 

"Damn," she said, "I think this whole mine is infested. Watch yourself near the walls - especially anywhere you see plants growing."

 

Rigmor, having now shaken off the shock of the moment, stared at Rosa. "First that... thing on the Guardian's face and now that... let's get out of here!"

 

Fortunately, it didn't take much longer to find an exit. Emerging into the cold night air, the party found themselves facing a steep mountain ridge - and a vivid aurora filling the night sky.

 

"Whoa," Rigmor said, "don't look down!" 

 

As if on queue, Monywyr felt a sudden weight on his wrists. He struggled to stay upright, but rapidly had to turn his efforts to not tumbling down the side of the mountain. And even as he tried to steady himself on his hands and knees, he felt his armor loosening and falling away. It was a less unpleasant experience than Monilee's torments from the molten nipple piercings, but had the same effect. Rigmor groaned as Monywyr found himself naked on crawling on his hands and knees, inches away from a deep precipice.

 

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"Guardian," Rigmor said tentatively, "You have a lantern stuck to your, um, ass."

 

Monywyr realized that he was indeed feeling a weight beyond that his shackles alone pulling him down, a weight pulling down on his hips.

 

Nocturnal, he silently cursed, enough of your games.

 

A whisper came back to him on the wind, then stop toying with me. I am waiting for you in Movarth's Lair.

 

"The curse?" Rosa asked.

 

Monywyr sighed. "Yes. Punishment apparently for not being quick enough to heed the Shadow Queen's commands."

 

"Ahh," she answered, "the business with Movarth's Lair."

 

"Indeed. Do you know where this place is?"

 

Rosa nodded slowly. "Not exactly, but I've heard rumors of a powerful vampire who holds sway over the marshes north of Morthal. That would be the place to start searching for the Lair, I think."

 

"Alright," Monywyr started, but Rigmor cut him off.

 

"You're not going to leave Rosa behind, are you? Guardian, please say you won't."

 

Monywyr looked to Rigmor. "Don't worry, one thing at a time. We'll free Rose, but then we must go to the Hjaalmarch. I don't have the power to directly confront Nocturnal yet, so we have to appease her - for a time."

 

Seemingly with little else to say, the party continued their descent, Monywyr increasingly shivering against the harsh mountain wind. He briefly managed to pull on some furs for a momentary respite, but despite his best efforts the laces would not stay tied for more than a minute or two at a time. So, he did his best to navigate the patchwork of platforms and ladders, seemingly the remains of surface mining operations long abandoned. Or... perhaps not so abandoned, for as they made their descent, the distant sound of pickaxes against stone greeted them. 

 

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The sound of pickaxes, and the voice of an elderly man. 

 

"This area is off limits to citizens. Turn around and go back the way you came." 

 

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Monywyr tried to sooth the main and explain that he was just passing through, but as he started to speak, ripples of pleasure emanated from the collar encircling his neck as it glowed with magical power. Despite his best efforts to calm his inflamed passion, Monywyr was helpless to prevent his penis from rising away from his body to point at the foreman like an accusing finger. Even his efforts to cover himself were thwarted, as the thick wrist irons held his wrists fast, crossed over his stomach.

 

"Ugh," the main groaned in disgust, "not through here you're not. And not like... hey, wait a minute, haven't I seen that girl somewhere before?" He raised his chin in Rigmor's direction, and she audibly hissed. 

 

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Monywyr considered threatening the man, but he held serious doubts about how intimidating he could be in his current condition. So instead, he went with the soft touch, and offered the man a comfortable bribe. 

 

Somewhat to his surprise, the gambit worked, and the old man smiled ruefully while he pocketed the coin.

 

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"Smooth," Rigmor whispered as they continued their descent, doing their best to slip past the miners. Just as they neared the bottom of the camp, Monywyr heard a rumble behind him. He turned, just in time to see the wooden planks twisting and rising up in the form of something akin to a gallows. Viney loops grasped at his ankles, and before he knew it he was suspended in mid air. The sound of picks stopped as the miners turned to see what the commotion was about. Monywyr struggled for a moment, but soon his efforts were cut short by an intense pressure on his neck. Crushing his airway closed, the iron collar defied every effort to relieve the suffocation. It continued seemingly for an eternity before at last, Monywyr fell to the ground, exhausted and senseless.

 

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"Hey," one of the miners protested, "you ripped up our deck with your... your magic. Who even said you perverts could co--"

 

Rosa cut him off, "give the poor man a break. Can't you see he's struck with a powerful curse. We're trying to clear out as fast as we can, and the foreman said we could pass."

 

Grumbling the miner shook his head in disgust. "You better clear out. Don't need any magic up here. Hell, if your friend there likes that kind of stuff, we can show him a thing or two." A few of the men behind him laughed darkly.

 

"Eww..." Rigmor groaned as Rosa helped Monywyr back to his feet.

 

"OK," she whispered, "that was... something. Come on, we need to get out of here before things go south."

 

Hurriedly, they descended the rest of the way through the mining camp, until Rigmor pointed to a distant tower.

 

"There," she said, "that's Fort Black. We're almost there."

 

"How do you know that's Fort Black?" Monywyr asked, somewhat incredulously.

 

"I know... a lot about the Thalmor's operations here," she said. "I've been waiting for this day... a chance to kill all those damn elves... for a long time." 

 

Silently, Monywyr wondered if this new body showed its half-elven blood as well as Monilee's had. If so, perhaps it was just as well he hadn't got around to cutting his hair yet.

 

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As expected, the rear entrance to Fort Black was only lightly defended. Monywyr, with Rosa fast behind him, quickly struck down a sentry while Rigmor picked off an archer from the wall. Before any of the remaining sentinels could raise a call to arms, Monywyr kicked in the rear door and emerged... directly into a packed dining hall. 

 

Acting as much from instinct as anything else, Monywyr smiled and whispered,

 

"LUV"

 

The Thalmor warriors rising from their seats shuddered, some of them freezing as if caught in a fit or a seizure before falling to the ground, franticly tearing at their clothes and proceeding to furiously masturbate. Even as the scene unfolded, another figure joined them - the ghostly shape of Nocturnal - alternately joining them in their pleasures and sliding her ghostly knife between their ribs. 

 

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The few enemies who had resisted the power of Monywyr's Thu'um ran back and forth, seemingly trying to make sense of what was happening. Even as Monywyr fell to his knees, exhausted, he could see Rigmor and Rosa falling on their foes with a shout of triumph, cleaving and stabbing. 

 

After a moment to catch his breath, Monywyr staggered to his feet, still seeing double but increasingly feeling his strength return. Then he watched, in order, four things pass from right to left across his field of vision: a wheel of cheese rolling along the stone floor, a naked high elf shrieking as he fled headlong, Nocturnal outlined in ghostly violet, dagger in hand, and Rigmor, clutching a fallen Thalmor's sword battle-ready.

 

One by one they passed from his view, and a moment later he heard the dying cry of the Thalmor, followed by Rigmor's quiet, satisfied drawl. "Lightweight loser..."

 

From beyond, a cultured Elven voice pleased. "I yield, I yield!" Followed a moment later by a piteous scream and the sound of Rosa's battleax biting deep into flesh and bone.

 

At last, Monywyr's vision cleared and he surveyed the scene. Dead Thalmor everywhere. Some dead in the seats they had occupied, some fallen where the tide of battle claimed them, others sprawled naked where the power of Monywyr's Thu'um had destroyed them in the peak of their ecstasy. 

 

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"Oh my stars," Rigmor whispered, "we really did it... and you... you did it, Guardian. You truly are Dragonborn."

 

Monywyr nodded his assent. "It's true, but there'll be other times to talk about who I am. For now, let's see if we can find a key or something else useful on these bodies. Help me search them, both of you."

 

The two women nodded their assent, and they all began the grisly work of searching the dead. 

 

"Hey, Rigmor," Monywyr said as he reached for a finely made looking flail, "do you knooooo-" he gagged as a sudden pressure forced itself against his face. Oblivion take them, he silently spat, cursed!

 

Rosa approached, saying, "oh no, not again. Do you need help?" Monywyr tried to speak but after several failed attempts made do with a negating hand gesture. While he tried his best to escape from the gag, the rest of the party continued their search. 

 

Just as Monywyr gave up on trying to remove the gag - a complex contraption of gears and pistons that forged its way obscenely into the depths of his mouth and throat on a regular cycle, he felt himself pulled sharply towards the ceiling. Nocturnal had returned, whip in hand.

 

"You were supposed to meet me at Movarth's Lair, Dragonborn, and instead of you here, chasing after some woman. Perhaps a little pain will motivate you to understand that I am the only whose concerns you should be interested in."

 

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One after another, the blows fell. Each time it laid across his flesh, the whip's suckers pinched and bit, drawing blood as they withdrew. 

 

"I had hoped you would serve me to seek our the pleasure I can grant you, but I should have known you would be the same, defiant fool as before. It matters not. You'll learn that pain is pleasure, and the ultimate pleasure is total submission to your Shadow Queen. Now writhe, worm. Writhe, and despair."

 

The punishment continued for some minutes more until abruptly Nocturnal vanished and Monywyr fell to the ground in a heap.

 

"Dragonborn!" Rigmor shouted, "what happened?"

 

Monywyr could only groan as the gag's piston penetrated deep into his throad.

 

"Nocturnal," she hissed, "it has to be."

 

After another short rest, Monywyr regained his feet once more. Rosa waved a keyring she and found, and with an affirmative nod from Monywyr they proceeded deeper into the fort. Soon they found themselves approaching a door. Monywyr paused - he couldn't hear anything, but he sensed trouble beyond. Holding up one hand for silence, he started to creep towards the door.

 

"I don't like where this is going..." Rigmor whispered, only to be shooshed by Rosa.

 

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Silently, Monywyr slid a pick into the lock, quietly probing the tumblers until it snapped open. Beyond, a voice whispered, "is someone there?"

 

Monywyr pushed the door open, discovering the opposite room was full of Thalmor, surrounding one who was dressed in dark wizarding robes. Forgetting for a moment the presence of the gag, he spoke, projecting his Thu'um.

 

"LUV"

 

It was as if the piston disappeared the moment he started to speak. With a shockwave like a mighty drum, the elves recoiled, seemingly confused. Whatever powers their leader posessed, they did nothing to protect him from the word of power, and despite visibly struggling to resist, he tore open his robe, letting it fall to the ground as he grasped as his fast-rising erection. The elf gritted his teeth, sweating, but we helpless to resist his urges and ultimately fell to the floor insensate to the world around him. 

 

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Not insensate were Rosa and Rigmor, quickly demonstrated that not only was Rigmor proficient in the use of a flail, but that the mostly naked elves' flesh was readily torn apart by the beak-like plate at the end of its chain. This was good, for the Monywyr found himself far from exempt from the power, reduced to helplessly rubbing the base of his penis with one hand while his pinched his nipples with the other. With equal gusto, he vigorously sucked at the now very solid piston, drawing it deep into his mouth and fighting to hold it in against its mechanical action. At last, his moment of climax arrived, and he thrust his hips high in the air as he released his seed in a spurting column.

 

Rigmor flinched away from the sight, covering her eyes with one hand, but Rosa just laughed. 

 

"Dragonborn, at this rate you're going to steal my nickname from me. Though 'Monywyr Round-Bottom' doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, does it?"

 

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Monywyr rolled over on his hands and knees, pushing his way to his feet. He tried to speak again, but his mouth remained firmly plugged. After a moment of frustration, he gestured at the Thalmor officer, lying dead on the floor behind his map table. Rosa and Monywyr searched the elf's discarded robes, but Rigmor seemed enthralled with the map. Rosa retrieved a journal from a pocked on the inside of the cloak, while Monywyr retrieved a key hanging from a chain around the elf's neck.

 

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"By the Nine Divines," Rigmor said breathlessly, drawing Monywyr's attention back to her. "I think you better take a look at this."

 

Monywyr raised an inquisitive eyebrow and Rigmor pointed to the table. "Looks like an invasion. From the southlands - Elsewyr and Valenwood - and the sea. They must want to completely usurp Skyrim and the Empire."

 

Rosa interjected, flipping through the journal, "Hey, Rose is alright."

 

Hmmph? Monywyr inquited as Rigmor asked, "What?"

 

"It's in this journal - logbook really - she managed to escape from the fort."

 

Monywyr groaned in frustration. This had to be Nocturnal's work. Making their detour to the fort pointless, and also denying Rose - and whatever power she had to cloud Nocturnal's vision - from Monywyr. Unable to explain his irritation, he kicked a bowl across the room, sending it clattering into the far wall.

 

"Huh? Aren't you happy?" Rosa asked.

 

Urfghhh khhas eeem. Monywyr gave up trying to talk around the piston and nodded affirmatively.

 

"What happened?" Rigmor asked, "Where is she? Does it say?"

 

Rosa nodded slowly. "Last spotted crossing the border into Cyrodiil."

 

The tension visibly eased in Rigmor's posture. "Then she's safe. Well... safe for now, if this map is to be believed." Monywyr realized that at some point Rigmor had acquired a black eye in the course of their invasion. 

 

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Pointing at the injury, he cocked his head in silent interrogation.

 

"Pfft, I'm fine. One of the elves in the dining room tried to go for his sword... till he realized it was on the floor with his belt and his pants. He got a good punch on him, but I put my knife into his guts, so I think we're even."

 

Rosa was studying the map now with a look of concern.

 

"This is... ambitious. Even by Thalmor standards. If they can really do this, it would be the end of the Empire, once and for all. And the journal spoke of assassinations... of three targets."

 

"Yes," Rigmor said quietly. "But who... it must be the Queen, for one, and then Tullius - the power behind the throne. But who is the third, and how will they get away with it?"

 

Rosa laughed, "I'm guessing, 'blame Ulfric Stormcloak.'"

 

"But then why go through all this trouble?" Rigmor asked, "Why risk elven lives when they chould just quietly give the Stormcloaks enough resources to take Solitude, and their targets with it?"

 

Rosa paused to think on this, but Monywyr pointed to the map, and to the Cyrodillic border.

 

"Of course," Rosa said, "Assassinate Elisif, and Tullius takes over. Assassinate Tullius, and the Empire has to send a new general. General Titus and his legion march north, just in time for the Thalmor southern flank to attack.

 

"Ugh, that just makes too much sense," Rigmor groaned. "Then their northern force keeps the legions tied up in Skyrim, and Cyrodiil is unprotected."

 

Rosa interjected, "We had better get back to Angi's. I don't think our intrusion is going to go unnoticed much longer. Grab that map and let's go."

 

Monywyr rolled up the map in one of the elves' discarded cloaks, and the trio ventured into the next room, searching for a discrete exit. The found themselves in a corridor, spiraling around and down towards what they presumed was the ground level of the fort. Just as they paused, hearing elven voices approaching from below, Monywyr spied an iron cell door with a large and solid looking lock. He slipped in the leader's key, and the grate slipped open obediently. Silently beckoning, his two companions crossed beyond, and Monywyr locked the gate behind them. They found themselves in a small antechamber with another door - this one solid wood - and they slipped through, closing it moments before the approaching enemies would have seen them. 

 

On the far side, they found them confronted with a grisly sight - the body of a redguard, bedecked in the armor of the Alik'r warriors, lay dead, stretched out on a table. To his side, a deep violet stone sat jauntily in a sconce.

 

Rigmor hissed, "A black soul gem. Necromancy. Dragonborn, I think you've led us out of the frying pan and into the fire."

 

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Edited by gregaaz

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