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Entry 56: My Unfair Lady


EnragedBard

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Hey, it’s me, Runa!  I volunteered to travel to Cyrodiil to figure out how I can get them on our side, while Fenrir went to Elswyer.  Oh yeah, we’re going to invade Alinor!

 

Mom gave me a letter from Sigunn of Bruma, asking for our help with Rigmor, an old friend of ours.  She also happens to be the Countess of Bruma, which is a good starting point for getting in with the new Emperor.  Anyway, I headed to Falkreath, meeting up with General Jura, Agrippina and Legate Calleius and saying bye to Fenrir and Shirley.  We didn’t actually make it out of town until late in the day and it was near nightfall when we got to the border. 

 

The moons were reflecting off the clouds, giving a strange darkness to the surroundings, but a strange white gleam to some of the patches of snow and the path. 

 

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I approached the gate guards.

“I’m here to collect an official pass,” I said.

“No need for that, could take hours.  A few coin and you’ll be over the border in no time,” he said.

Jura stepped up, “You trying to shake us down?”

The border guard backed off a little at the large, gruff, heavily-armored tough guy, “Just trying to do you a favor, friend.”

 

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I walked past them into the border station.

A man's voice came out of the next room, "Sarmenti, my dear, please.  I'm trying my best.  Hopefully I can get an appointment somewhere else in the Empire."

"Stultus, we've been stuck out here nearly two years.  The way those beasts outside look at me... it's only a matter of time."

Looking like he was trying to get out of this situation, the man saw me sitting in front of his desk, "May I help you?"

"I'm here to collect an official pass to cross the border into Cyrodiil," I said.

 

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"Oh, yes, you must be..." He got up, walking off to look for it, "Captain Grimbold of the Bruma garrison informed us you would probably be coming.  This one is signed by the house of Bruma.  Be sure you show it to the New Imperial Guards.  The New Emperor is very serious about immigration control and the guards are very ruthless in his implementation of... zero tolerance.  To not be in possession of an official document can be...fatal.  Your friends had good cause to make sure you adhered to the official channels."

 

"A lot has changed.  Last time I crossed this border I just used the caves and snuck past," I smirked.

"I'll... pretend I didn't hear that.  Those guards out there are nothing but criminals and people traffickers in Imperial colors.  They would wave you through for coin knowing you'd be killed on the other side.  Before you go, I have letters addressed to the 'Dragonborn.' Any chance you know him?"

"Her.  And I can accept those," I replied.

 

Two long letters.  I decided I'd read them on the road.  

"These are years old.  Why not just return them to sender while the barrier was up?  She probably thought 'the Dragonborn' was ignoring her," I said.

"Got me.  We actually didn't man this station with guards for nearly five years.  I used this station as a small house and all I got paid to do was watch the border.  The last guy quit because he got bored.  The good news is Cyrodiil is experiencing growth and stability since the new administration.  More so after the reinstatement of the Nine."

"Oh, you worship Talos here again?  I wonder what the Thalmor think of that," I said.

"We'll see what happens," Stultus groaned, "Maybe another war.  I'm sure your stay will be pleasant and enlightening.  One more thing was left for you."

He put a greatsword on the table - Rigmor's greatsword, Azura's Bane.

It made me think about how we trained together.  This thin little thing outstripped even my Moonlight Greatsword in power.  I strapped it to my back.

 

"Follow me," he stood, "Show the pass to the New Imperial guards at the Cyrodiil side of the border."

I opened the door I'd come in and waved my companions through.  We exited on the other side of the building, also on the other side of the gate.  It was probably 11 pm when we crossed the Skyrim gate.  We picked a flat spot and made camp about a mile down the road.  Calleius set up a large fur tent with four bedrolls and I built a fire just outside, Jura laid down while we built camp.

 

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"Give an old man a break," he grinned.

"You're taking the long watch," I squinted at him.

I cracked open the letters for my mom while I was laying there.

First one, written only a couple months after she went back to Bruma:

 

Spoiler

4E 209, Sun's Dusk

Hey Dragonborn,

 

It's so weird being back in Bruma again.  I was trying to figure out how long it had been since... well, since me and mom were taken from our home.  Must be about seven years but seems like a lifetime.  Things are totally so different now, but Bruma is just how I remembered it.  I'm trying so hard to meet the demands expected of me as a Countess.  Did you know Malesam is here?  Such an ass.  It's my duty to protect he descendants of blah blah blah and is always in my business.  Cerys has my back.  I don't know what I'd do without her.  There's also an old guy named Freathof.  He used to tutor the late Countess' daughter and now he tutors me.  I still think of you and miss you.  I know I was way too clingy and annoying.  I hope that isn't why you haven't come to see me already.  If you came to see me, I would really like that.  

 

Love always, 

Rigmor

 

That was... deeply personal.  That guy probably shouldn't have given me this.  I'm getting some weird 'mommy' vibes from this.  Anyway, second one, written during the time crisis:

 

Spoiler

4E 214, Sun's Dusk

Dear Dragonbore,

 

Thanks for blanking my last letter, if you can't be bothered to come down to see me, then at least weite back.  How hard is that?  You are so not going to believe this, but the crap has totally hit the fan here in Cyrodiil.  Some badass bandit king has taken the Citadel, and I have been advised by Freathof and Malesam to declare Bruma a free city.  They burned Leyawiin and the nobles are calling for a peace treaty as I write.  If you try to come over the border be careful, the whole of Cyrodiil is pretty much in a state of anarchy.  Everyone's running around like headless chickens.  Malesam had to sit down from heart palpitations.  I totally cried laughing.  I would feel a lot safer if you were around.  

 

How's the dragon thing going?  We don't get much news out here but rumor is you saved the world again right?  Dragonborn, when are you going to come and see me?  Are you abandoning me?  I'll understand if that's what you want, but you need to let me know.  I am in limbo with nowhere left to turn.  If I don't hear from you after you get this letter, I'll know where I stand but I want you to know...

 

I'll never forget you and will always love you,

 

Rigmor. 

 

Gods, did nobody tell this girl about the time split?  Mom's been fighting dragons, vampires and a war over the past year (five years to Cyrodiil).  Somehow this teenager developed a giant crush on my mother.  Now we're both twenty, and there could be potential there - but I think my mom has all the love she can handle with Ulfric and Serana.  She's got a lot on her plate being queen of Skyrim. 

 

Sigunn's letter didn't show just how deep this was.  Or maybe Rigmor has moved on with her life since then.  Mom was probably right to let me go in her stead.

 

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I forced Jura to pack up the camp when we got up, while Calleius and I took in an amazing view of the Imperial City.

"You're wearing the general's style armor now, did you get a promotion?" I asked him.

"Ma'am, that's not how it works.  I just saved up for this, and the new helm.  My old one got destroyed in the Battle for Riften," Calleius said.  I swear he was wearing the closed helm so I couldn't see if he was looking at me.  But he definitely was, rather than looking at the city.

"I told you not to call me ma'am."

"All done, let's go!" Jura shouted.

 

We approached the Cyrodiil gate and I showed them my pass.

"This all seems in order," the guard said, "Be warned.  Keep your weapons sheathed.  Any acts of violence will be met with the full force of the law.  Of course, self defense is permitted."

There was a large blood stain on the left as we walked past.

"Move along, citizen.  Nothing to see here," a mounted guard said.

 

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Bruma wasn't very far off - a couple miles.  Seemed a shorter walk than I remembered.  We actually passed straight through the wilderness, which was relatively flat, until we came to the Bruma gates.  

"Welcome to the free city of Bruma, travelers," one of the yellow-tabarded guards said.

"I have a pass.  I believe it is a multipass," I said.

 

"Hah, no need for that here friend.  Through the gate to the right is the blacksmith.  The stable is at the stone steps..."

"I've been here before, though it's been a few years.  Are the Thalmor really out of here?" I asked.

"For now," he replied.

 

We walked in, and up the hill, a man was waiting for me.

I ran up to him and gave him a hug.

 

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"Aventus!  I see you got my letter.  I wasn't sure if it was going to make it to you and give you enough time to make it here," I said.

"Your mom only just sent us on this mission," Jura said.

"I was already planning on visiting him when the barrier came down," I said.

 

"Who's this?" Aventus asked.

"This is my friend Legate Calleius and my grandfather, General Jura," I replied.

"Who's this?" Calleius asked back.

 

"Aventus Aretino.  He's my friend from the orphanage I grew up in.  I was lucky enough to get adopted.  He was lucky enough to be rich and get access to his wealth when he grew up," I smirked.

He chuckled as the boys walked over, "I had  visions of building a trade empire using my fortune, and also... starting more orphanages.  Runa was my bodyguard for a couple years as we traveled around."

"Oh yeah, you wanted to establish trade to Skyrim.  How did that work out?"

"Well, uh... not so well, until now.  My trade is mostly coming from High Rock and Hammerfell and delivering to Cyrodiil via ship.  I already had a mind to send goods to Skyrim now that the barrier is down.  I stand to make a killing," Aventus said.

"Hmm..." Calleius was giving Jura a sideeye, but he didn't say anything.

 

"We're here to see the countess."

"Need help getting an audience?" Aventus asked.

"No.  Don't forget, I know her," I said.

"Well, allow me to accompany you to the keep," Aventus put his hand on the small of my back.  I've always liked when people do that.

We approached the keep guards.

"How can we help you, travelers?" The one on the left asked.

"I'm here to see the countess," I said.

"You'd be lucky to see her in there.  Better off checking Tap and Tack," he replied.

"Tap and Tack?" I asked, "Oh, I'm more of a Jerall View girl.  I like the baths."

 

"I know you," the one on the right said.

"You're making a mistake..." I smirked, and he chuckled at the joke.

"I was with you at the Battle of Whiterun.  You know, the one six years ago. Not the one in the Civil War.  And not the one I heard about you just fought against the Thalmor."

"Word travels fast," I said.

"It was an honor and a privilege to serve with you and the Dragonborn.  Oh, NOT the Dragonborn.  Though I heard the dragons slowed down.  Did she ever woman-up and deal with those buggers?" He asked.

"Yep.  Alduin's gone.  Apocalypse averted," I replied, "Is Sigunn in the keep?"

"Why yes.  Go on in," he replied.

 

We walked into the throne room, only to find a man dressed in black, speaking with the court, sans Rigmor.

"It has been two weeks since the Emperor requested the Countess' presence at the Imperial City.  The Emperor would like to know... no he demands to know why the Countess has not made the time to attend.  As you can see by my presence, it is absolutely imperative that she does."

 

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Sigunn responded, "I am sorry, Lord Chancellor.  I will make sure the Countess learns of the urgency of this matter."

"One might think Lady Sigunn has become the Countess, while her daughter..."

"Enough, Blackwell.  Mind your manners.  Please inform the Emperor the Countess will be forthcoming.  

Chancellor Blackwell replied, "I think you understand the gravity of the situation.  You have one week to comply.  Good day, m'lady."

 

As he walked out, Cerys came to get us and took us to the cabinet room to wait for our audience.

Sigunn still had a few matters to attend to.  As we were walking by, a man named Jimmy Ten-Fingers and Mathias were hashing out some sort of disagreement with chickens with Sigunn as the mediator.

 

We stood there for a while, waiting and I peered over to Cerys.

"How've you been?"

"Not too bad.  They gave me a pretty good life here.  Can't complain."

"Well you're looking great.  No, you look hot!  Hard to believe they let you wear that in court."

"Most the other women in court wish they could pull this off," Cerys smirked.

 

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"Well I know I couldn't.  Especially the heels," I whispered, "I've never learned to walk in heels."

 

Sigunn walked in about that time, "How long has it been?  And your dear mother should visit too.  Rigmor is so fond of her."

"Don't I know it, but you'll have to settle for Diet Dragonborn.  I'm not a dragonborn, but I do know a couple shouts," I chuckled, "It's been too long."

"Oh, she misses you too."

"So are you doing all the annoying work with Countess while she has all the fun?" I folded my arms.

"I attend to the mundane courtly duties... with the help of Court Advisor Malesam and Master Freathof."

Malesam, the old guy next to me, said, "I'm so pleased to make your acquaintance once again.  I seem to have this preference for cold wintry places.  We feel right at home here, right Cerys? Allow me to introduce you to Freathof."

 

"I've heard so much about you Runa.  It's good to finally meet you at long last," the other old guy, Freathof said.

"Come, let's sit.  Introduce me to your friends," Sigunn said.

"This is Legate Calleius of the old Imperial Legion.  He was instrumental in the war with the Thalmor up north," I replied.

"Oh my, we haven't heard word about the war yet.  I take it you did well?" Malesam asked.
"M'lady, the Thalmor took Riften, Falkreath, Helgen, Markarth and Morthal.  We stopped them and pushed them back at Whiterun and we kept pushing until they were out of Skyrim.  We found out they were using secret magics to beat us," Calleius said.

 

"This is General Jura of Hammerfell.  My grandfather," I continued.

He bowed, took Sigunn's hand and kissed it.

"My, a charmer I see," Sigunn smiled.

 

"And this is Aventus Aretino.  Childhood friend, traveling companion, and trade prince," I said.

"I'm no prince, but I am pleased to meet you," Aventus chuckled.

"Nice to meet you.  I must admit, your face looks familiar," Sigunn said.

"I've been in and out of Bruma quite a few times over the past few years, but never had any reason to speak with you directly."

"Please, help yourselves to refreshments," Sigunn said, and my entourage walked to the far side of the room where there were drinks.  Sigunn went over to a wash basin, washed her face, then sat down next to me.  

 

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"So what was that all about?  That Blackwell character.  Is that why you asked for help?"

"Martin Blackwell, Lord Chancellor to the Emperor," Sigunn replied.

Malesam added, "A very dangerous man.  He heads a very secretive and powerful spy network.  Former Lord Chancellor to Titus Mede II, and now works for the new... dynasty.  His loyalties lie with the Imperial Throne, no matter who's behind rests upon it.  He's bitter about failing to find Titus Mede II, leaving a long and bloody trail behind him."

 

How did they not find him?

My brain did a few somersaults.

Maybe... did the captain of the Emperor's ship go on the lam, not wanting to be blamed for the Emperor's death?  And we did kill the Penitus Oculatus who were involved, and the Council member, so nobody who knows what happened on the Empire side is still alive.

I chuckled out loud.

 

"He blames the Dark Brotherhood and utterly crushed the underground ring here in Cyrodiil," Malesam continued.

 

No, he didn't.  Stabby used a strawman hideout to make it look like we were done in.  I have some genius people working with me.

 

"He is cruel and devious and we have cause to fear him," Malesam continued.

"So anyway, what is this task you called me for?" I asked.

"Before Ariel Sethius can be coronated, he needs Rigmor to sign the Noble Decree," Sigunn explained.

"Our 'Bandit King' is to bestow upon himself the title of Titus Mede the third," Malesam said.

"Well that's..." I blinked, "Stupid.  Why not use your own name, start your own dynasty?  The Medes did that when the Septims died out."

 

"Of course, the girl has yet to sign it," Malesam said, "To do so, she would have to enter that nest of vipers - the Imperial City.  I cannot be sure whether they know of Rigmor's true ancestry.  If they do, she could be considered a threat to the Imperial Throne.  As far as they know, Titus Mede II left no living heir."

Freathof said, "As the noble houses of Cyrodiil bickered and argued, Sethius took the throne by right of combat, as Titus Mede I took the throne from Thules the Gibbering 200 years ago, who took over for High Chancellor Ocato when he was assassinated.  Who took over when Uriel Septim VII was assassinated.  Rigmor's ancestral link to Titus Mede I puts her in grave danger if Sethius were to find out."

"If all she has to do is sign this document, so be it, but we can not let her go alone.  This bandit king became Emperor by right of combat, we cannot change that, and don't want to.  When he entered power, they sent envoys and we declared Bruma to remain a free city," Sigunn said.

Malesam picked up, "Not like Leyawiin.  They fought back and were nearly razed to the ground.  The others signed the 'White-Gold Settlement' nearly overnight.  It's a wonder they let us keep our free status.  But they still need us to sign the 'Noble Decree' to legally become a part of the Mede Dynasty."

 

"Ariel Sethius sounds strong, but not very smart," I folded my arms, "Maybe there's something I'm missing.  Alessian, Reman, Septim, Mede - why not Sethius?"

"He is strong," Malesam said, "In absence of the Emperor the Elder Council called for General Quintus Vitalis of the Northern Legion.  By the time he arrived, the city was already taken and he couldn't even cross the bridge."

Freathof continued, "What remained of the council surrendered the city.  Quintis was sent with his army to the Hammerfell border to protect Anvil.  With the incorporation of the bandit legion and the surviving other legions, and with new recruits... there seems to be a stable peace now in Cyrodiil."

 

"So you just need us to protect her?" Jura asked, taking a long drink of ale at the far side of the room.

Sigunn sighed, "Yes.  Now if you'll excuse me, this was a long day in court.  I think I will retire."

"I believe I will retire as well.  Runa, if you wouldn't mind meeting me later at the Jerall View Inn," Aventus said.

I nodded, turning back to the group.

 

After a moment, Malesam continued, "I had hoped Rigmor might take responsibility for her position eventually.  She's been keeping unruly company as of late.  The new Count Leyawiin's son Robere de Medalius.  After the sacking of Leyawiin and the murder of the Count and his family, Sethius placed one of his trusted henchmen in the count's place."

"Well, if he makes her happy, good for her," I said.

"Of course," Malesam said, "But there's something else.  I fear Ariel Sethius is not the power behind the throne.  As a disciple of Boethiah I have certain privileges and insights.  There is real concern for Rigmor's safety in the Imperial City.  We believe Sethius' wife is a daughter of Coldharbour."

"A vampire lord?" I asked, "By itself that's not necessarily a cause for concern.  My mother and ... stepmother? are both vampire lords."

"My word," Freathof said, "We've heard specific tale of her wrongdoing, however.  We heard she's 300 years old, and she builds her power with the sacrifice of children.  We believe she's the mastermind behind Sethius' rise to bandit lord and usurpation of the Throne."

"Children?" Calleius finally sat down, his heroic tendencies grabbing his interest, "How can you be sure?"

"Besides my mistress' guidance... Go on Freathof," Malesam said.

He sighed, as if a deep personal weight were on him, then he said, "For many years I served the Count and Countess of Bruma and schooled their only child in the ways of ettiquette.  The Count had a riding accident and died.  Then one night, the child, Sofia of Bruma just vanished.  Oh how we searched... I never gave up.  But as the weeks turned into months and years, the poor countess become withdrawn.  She lost the will to live and...died of a broken heart."

 

I raised an eyebrow, surely this was tragic.  But I had to ask, "How long ago did Sofia disappear?  And how old was she?"

"About fifteen years ago.  She was sixteen at the time.  Nearly an adult, but still acted so childish... she reminded me of Rigmor," Freathof started to tear up, "M'lady Rigmor told me about what had befallen Sorella in Skyrim.  That she too had bad dreams, heard voices calling her... Oh how I wish I had taken more notice of the poor child...  I believe I shall also retire.  Recalling this has taken its toll."

 

When he left, Malesam looked at me, "Of course, this could all be hot wind and conjecture.  Cerys will show you to your room.  It is good to see you again, Runa.  I bid you good day."

I nodded, "Nice to see you again too."

 

After that Cerys showed us to our rooms.

"So, I'll get your opinion now since the workers always seem to have the best insights.  How do you think she's doing?" I asked.

"She's fine.  Lately she's been all over the place."

"Is this Robere character trustworthy?" I asked.

"Why does it concern you?" She smirked at me.

"I liked the girl.  Listen to me, I sound like an old man."

"Try the Tap and Tack, or her apartment.  See for yourself," Cerys handed me a key, then she left.  When we stepped outside, I realized it was evening, not yet dark. 

I turned to Jura and Calleius, "I think I need to relax for a little while.  I'm going to fuck off for a couple hours at the Jerall View.  Meet me at Tap and Tack at around sundown."

 

When I strode up to the lobby, Aventus was sitting there with a ledger, making notes.

He looked up, "Want to take a trip through the bathhouse?"

"Now you're speaking my language," I replied.

We both undressed at the entrance without thinking about it, and got into the hot water.  After a few minutes, Aventus asked, "What are you thinking about?"

"I'm just thinking about the first time we crossed the border.  Remember the caves, full of bandits?  They had their own fort down there."

 

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"I think they cleared it out now.  They've actually tightened up a lot," I said, "Maybe the old empire had a lot of detritus.  Remember how the Thalmor were trying to shut down the Shrine to St Martin?  He's not a god, we just think he's pretty cool.  Also gave his life to prevent the Daedra from ever invading again without us needing a dragon emperor."

 

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"I'm thinking about the first time we sat in the sauna.  That strange Khajiit that was talking our ear off.  And you were right, the Empire did collapse.  Of course, I know you and your mom started the first domino that sent the rest of them going down."

"What's done is done," I said, "The Emperor said to my mom it was better if it happened."

"You know what else?  I'm thinking of the last time we saw each other," Aventus said.

I sighed, "Please.  What's done is done.  We can't change what happened."

 

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"I wouldn't want to," Aventus said, "I've learned a lot since then.  We could... try again."

"Please!  You treated me like I was just a friend for years (which I'm fine with) and then you flip on me, we have sex, then you ghost me.  Not what I want," I said, annoyed.  Friends?  Sure.  Lovers?  Okay, maybe.  I'd have given it a shot.  

"C'mon Runa, we're adults now.  Things aren't so cut and dry.  People aren't always strongly together or not together.  It's not just being totally alone and being married.  There are gradiations in between.  Proximity fuels relationships.  And you know I had to move to where the supplies were and you had your own mission."

I sighed, "Yeah, well.  I'm not as experienced with this as my mom.  This always seemed to come naturally.  I'm awkward when it comes to sex."

"Like I was saying before, sex is a learning experience," he stood up.

"I swear this was meant to have the effect of me walking away mysteriously, not my dong swinging around comically, and near your face."

I smirked, "Well, go ahead.  Make your exit."

"Okay."

"All I'm saying is," he turned to walk away, and at the door he said, "Think about it."

"Ohh!  Sooo mysterious!" I shouted as he walked down the hall.  

 

I lounged there for a good twenty minutes before I got bored being by myself.  That conversation had really ruined the mood.  I realized I had my armor, but hadn't brought a towel, so I covered using robes and looked for Aventus' room.

I heard voices coming from his room.

 

"Do you even know her?" Aventus asked.

"Sir, all I'm saying is, the lady is my friend and she seems distraught by your presence."

It was Calleius.  I decided I would dry off in the hallway and put my armor on before I walked in to crash through the conversation they were having about me.

"Look, man, it's complicated.  We're not together.  Maybe someday.  Just what do you want out of your friendship from her?" Aventus asked.

"I seek only her protection," Calleius replied.

"Nice guy, huh?  I bet you think you deserve a reward from the lady for being her saviour, don't you?  Men like you give the rest of us a bad name," 

"Sir, I take exception to that remark," Calleius replied angrily, "You will take that back, or face my blade."

I finished with my armor at this point and rushed in, standing between them.  

 

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"Whoa!  Calm down!" I put my hands on both their shoulders.

I looked at Aventus, "First of all, I just told you us is not going to happen right now."

Then I turned to Calleius, "And I'm not a child.  I can defend myself.  And my honor, if there is such a thing.  You should go."

 

Like a whipped dog, Calleius hung his head and walked out. 

I turned to Aventus again, "Look, it's not as if I'm not attracted to you.  I like you.  But this is ... weird."

"You're telling me.  Your guy there has a serious crush on you," Aventus said.

"Us is weird too.  I'm sorry, I don't know what I want.  Hey, if you want, we're going to the Imperial City soon, it seems.  You could always come with."

Aventus sighed, "I'm sorry, I can't.  You know I need to get things going with Skyrim.  And I haven't been back home in years.  I can't just follow you around like a lost puppy because you call."

"You mean like I did with you!?" I yelled, and turned to walk out.  

Aventus grabbed my arm, and pulled me close.  Then he kissed me.

I pulled away.  

 

And you know the scene in the old romance novels where the heroine slaps the hero for manhandling him?

 

This was not like that.  I gave him an uppercut in his gut, lifting him off the ground with the force.  He doubled over in pain, falling on the floor grasping his stomach.

"Ugh...." He said, "Sorry... caught up.... in the moment."

"I might've been a little rough, sorry," I turned, "I'll see you later, Aventus."

 

I found Calleius waiting outside.  I decided using words like a blunt object was the way to go today, "Hey, so was what he said in there right?  Do you have a massive crush on me and think you can get certain 'rewards' if you help me out?"

"Uhh..." He was speechless.

"Okay, well, let me tell you who I am.  Aventus tried to kiss me and I nearly knocked him out.  I'm skilled assassin who routinely bisects and decapitates people.  I'm not some precious flower to be won, or fawned over, or protected.  If you treat me like one of your legion buddies, but with a vagina, then you might have a shot with me," I exhaled, "If you actually want that."

 

"Ma'am...... Runa.  There are many women in the Imperial Legion.  I treat both men and women with respect.  It's part of my code," Calleius said, "But I believe I know what you mean.  I must confess you are a beautiful young lady, but I expect nothing for my protection.  It's just my way.  That man has no idea who I am."

 

It was around sunset at this point, probably best time to catch somebody when they'd started drinking, so I went with Calleius and found Jura outside the Tap and Tack.

 

1020251666_Bonus56r.jpg.5bbd6d4c1184958f83e217f5079f8b17.jpg

 

Inside I found a few people drinking, but no girl of the hour.  I asked the barkeep, "Looking for Rigmor.  Know where she is?"

"That girl?" He chuckled, "She's a wildcat, hardly surprising with what she's been through."
"I take it she comes in here often," I said.

"Yeah.  I watched the kid grow up.  It was a shock when they took her family away, they were well liked in Bruma.  But when they came back, and as nobles!  Love a good rags to riches story myself," he said, "You can try her apartment if you know where it is."

 

We walked to her house and I knocked.  No answer.  I unlocked it with the key, and was greeted with the pigsty of somebody half my age.  

 

1146917959_Bonus56s.jpg.8affcc9fe7aa08563d3393522ad77c99.jpg

 

I found a few interesting things: a poem, clothes that might fit me, finally I found a note in the wastebasket that 'Bobby,' Sir Robere, wanted to meet at the Roxey Inn, which I remembered was just south of town.  

"Might as well," I said, and we made the walk.

 

487001290_Bonus56t.jpg.7f8fabca777567eae90e22b4e424851b.jpg

 

When I stepped inside, the boys stood near the doorway as I approached their table.  And there she was.

 

866194521_Bonus56u.jpg.1a5603a081d16f366daa67e8feab358b.jpg

 

 

Spoiler

Yeah, I completely skipped the scene in the Whiterun Tavern.  License!

 

Surely, there can be more than one person named Sofia in Tamriel.... it couldn't be...! THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE!!!

 

This was mostly travel, and building the beginning of the story.  RoC is a long mod, and I'm probably going to have to alternate Damien/Runa and then Runa/Fenrir to get it all.  I'm trying my best to make Runa, Damien, Destana and Fenrir all sound a little bit different.  Runa is more friendly.  Not as wild as her mother, not as sure of herself as Damien (and Destana).

 

I'm definitely going to have to make some edits to dialogue here and there, as despite the name of the blog, Runa is DEFINITELY NOT the Dragonborn.  Also, now that I've practically finished playing it, I'm excited to get back to Damien's story in a couple entries.  Not so say this one wasn't fun too.  I read back over and I really liked the writing here.

 

Anyway, give me your thoughts.  They sustain me.

 

 

Edited by EnragedBard

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Been typing in a hurry? Or distracted? Unusual number of typos for you. ^^

"It was an honor and a privelage

 

 "To do so, she could have to enter that nest of vipers --- probably should be "would" rather than "could".

"A vampire lord?" I asked, "My itself that's not necessarily a cause for concern. --- "By" instead of "My" I suppose?

"Shrine to Mt Martin?" --- A shrine to a Mountain? Not unheard of, but appears a tad fishy in this case anyway. ^^
 

Not really a typo, and maybe it's just my limited grasp of English, but this makes no sense to me: "So are you doing all the annoying work with Countess" --- "with Countess"?

 

*************

 

Multipass ... yes, she knows it's a multipass ... ok he knows in this case. I'm not really a fan of Milla Jovovich, but I like that movie well enough anyway. ^^

Lots of storytelling and character development, always nice. It is not easy to tell what's part of the mod and what's RP, but hey I guess that's a good thing. ^^
No idea on what RoC entails (so also no idea what leaving out the Whiterun Tavern scene means). One thing for sure, so far RoC seems a lot more story heavy than Skygererfall, but then Runa hadn't had to start at level 1 again, so that too might play a role. ^^

Also wondering if Calleius is really the role model of a Paladin or just not honest with himself.

 

Quote

Runa is more friendly.  Not as wild as her mother, not as sure of herself as Damien (and Destana).

And not as comfortable around the other sex ... at least not in all situations, or better she handles some situations in an unusual way for her family. ^^


After you are done, I would like your honest impression on RoC, especially in comparison to RoB, including the mechanics. ^^

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EB: "Anyway, give me your thoughts.  They sustain me."

 

In other words: "Minions! Send nourishment for my famished author-ian brain!"

Well, I am not a genie, with or without lamp, so I am not going to say "I listen and obey." but regardless...😄

 

Again, in somewhat chronological order:

 

- Skipping the Tavern-sceen in Whiterun was ok, as far as I am concerend, since in it you only get a letter from Sigun, asking you to come to Bruma plus some exposition to set the mood. I think this shoud answer Talesiens question in this regard.

 

- I liked, that you pointed out the sword you recieved at the border post. Because, IMO unfortunately, the weapons you get during/at the end of RoB are quite OP. And this one is no different. As reference: For my characters (with no skill with twohanded weapons) this sword was about twice as powerful as a generic ebony greatsword.

 

- Runa seems to be quite terrifying, much more then one would think, since she was able to "force" Jura to take care of packing up the tent after the camping sceen. Who is supposed to be a lvl84 veteran warrior. I supposed, "Hell (or oblivion?) hath no fury..." and all that applies here too. Or does he, perhaps, turn into a doting grandpa, who let's his little girl be the "boss" for now? 😉

 

- The whole conversation in Castle Bruma with Sigun, Malesam and the others where CTD hell for me the first time around. Like 10 crashes just to get to the end of the sequence. Hope you had no such issues. If you did: I had some more trouble in the Hotel/Imperial City but after that it got ALOT better. With almost nothing to the very end.

Speaking of Malesam: He is a follower of Boethiah, not Azura.

 

- Good job at placing the two "Beyond Skyrim: Bruma" screenshots in. (The Thalmor in front of the church and the one, where Runa is sneaking through some underground ruins). They really fit in well.

 

- And then, there is the bathhouse sceen: All I will say, for now, is, that OSP, whom I have referenced before, has recently released a video regarding love triangles. So, be advised, that yet more author-trickery has been revealed to the public.😁

 

 

Speaking of Runa: I think, you managed, to make Runa sound sufficiently different compared to the others. In fact, I would go so far as to say, that she could be her very own character, completely unrelated to Destana. While I was able to "hear" D. speaking in Damien's entries in Skygerfall, this was not the case here. So, Thumps up in that regard.

 

And as a final note: On the last screenshot in the Tavern, there is one big Nord in imperial armor sitting across the table from Rigmor. His name is Grom.

Now, imagine my surprise, when I read that name the first time, since, when I first played RoB, my PC was named Grom. He was an Orc. So, I suppose, after I "retired" him, he learned to disguise himself as a burly Nord, trained with twohanded weapons and became a bodyguard to a local noble near Bruma. Maybe.

 

My Grom and Rigmor during the events of RoB:

 

RoB Grom and Rigmor.jpg

Edited by HM1919
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Oh thanks for the Boethiah thing. He doesn't mention her by name, which I thought would be confusing to the audience so I explicitly said it. 

 

And it turns out it was confusing... to me!  Gonna fix. 

 

Edit: I've also been wondering when if ever I could use the BS Bruma stuff.  This is good. 

Edited by EnragedBard
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Ok, One more little snack for EB's brain:

622010016_Reforging-TotheMasses-AlikrGeneralScimitar.jpg.138efe1df8df690716e23293832fcbbc.jpg1220328174_AlikrGeneralScimitar3rdperson.jpg.82122a28767fcca64a9f39c474271d55.jpg

 

So, I came across this weapons in my game. It's from the mod

"Reforging - to the masses"

 

SE Version here:

https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/49030?tab=images

 

It made me think of Destana immediately. Since the "extra damage to elves"-effect is from the vanilla game (from the Wuuthrad-Axe) I was wondering, if you could use the CK to put together a personal weapon for D. For the upcoming invasion/war against the dominion.

Not that she needs it at this point, but I think it would fit very well, from an RP perspective.

 

If you do, you could perhaps make it a dagger or something else, that is relatively small. Give it to Jura. And before some important battle have him give it to D. for "good luck".

Something like: J. to D.: "So, this thing has been with me since the Great War. Nasty piece of steel, really. Has seen the blood of many elves, back in the day. Take it for good luck. And see you on the other side."

Edited by HM1919
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ON the subject of love triangle, it's looking like a square.

 

And I think Destana is pretty firmly in the claw + dagger and bow camp now. 

 

I really like the claw.  Both the aesthetics (beastly), brutality, and the fact that it counts as a dagger.  Two claws ends up looking weird, but she's been doing offhand dagger for forever now, so offhand dagger seems like a good choice.

 

But then the general sword seems like a good fit for Jura!   

 

 

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Call me a slow-poke if you have to but: A love square?

Runa+Aventus+Calleius+who? Rigmor?

 

Ok,ok, I will be patient and wait.

 

Oh, and I went with the use-the-CK approach to avoid you having to install more mods. For obvious reasons. But if you are cool with it, then I think I can really recommend the mod mentioned above. It adds ALOT of variety and it removes the need to decide between semi-realistic weapons (iron and steel) and powerful weapons later in the game. Since many of the basic steel weapons from Reforging are on par with vanilla elven/glass weaponry. Also, they can be found frequently in the world. So if D. is not forging herself, that's not a big issue.

Edited by HM1919
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