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Entry 57: Reunited


EnragedBard

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Hey, Runa again.  We're taking a trip to Cyrodiil to get them on our side, and I'm also helping out Sigunn with Rigmor.  Last time Legate Tyroni Calleius, General Jura and I crossed the border, met up with Aventus, and talked with Sigunn, Malesam and Freathof.  We tracked down Rigmor in the Roxey Inn, a few miles south of Bruma.

 

She was with three men - Grom, a big Nord, Tiny, a small man, and Ser Robere.

"A few more drinks and she'll be under the table, lights out.  War's over," Grom chuckled.

"You wish Grom.  I can drink as much as any man!" Rigmor said.  

"That's not very lady-like," Robere said.

"Butt out Bobby!" RIgmor giggled.

"Yeah!" Tiny said.

"Careful Tiny.  Remember who pays your wages," Robere said.

As I approached, I was behind her. 

"Who said I was a lady, anyway?" Rigmor commented.

 

"Who's this?  What business do you have with us, friend?" Robere stood and looked at me.

"State your business ma'am or I'll be forced to~" Robere started.

 

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"Bobby," Rigmor turned her head, "This... this is Runa.  One of my guardians from before."

"This is her?" Tiny asked.

"Oh, please accept my apologies for being rash.  Rigmor's told us so much about you," Robere said.

"Bobby you go ahead without me.  I'll catch up with you later," Rigmor said.

"Of course," Robere said, "It's a pleasure to meet you at long last.  I'm sure the Countess is in safe hands.   Come Grom, Tiny, we have a boat to catch."

We walked over to a corner table with two chairs.  Immediately Rigmor said, "And where the hell have you been?  You have no idea how worried I was for you.  You guys promised you would come visit me and for years, nothing!"

 

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"Don't just think you can walk back into my life."

"I read your letters to my mom, like yesterday.  They were at the border station, never got delivered," I said.

"Oh really?"

"Yeah, I don't know if anybody told you, but while five years passed out here, five months passed in Skyrim.  We couldn't get in or out.  To mom it's been about a year since we helped you.  And... we've been busy.  Fighting a war.  She's queen of Skyrim now," I explained.

"Well, what about you?" Rigmor asked, punching right to the vital points, "I know for a fact you were around during the period of the last five years."

I sighed.

"Well, I have a new life now.  How did you even find me?  You'd better not have been going through my things!" Rigmor said.

"They gave me a key and I needed to find you," I said.

"Is nothing sacred?" She folded her arms, "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't slap you and walk away.  Did my mother send for you?"

"Yes."

"By the gods," she said, "She's going to regret that.  Well, go on.  Tell me what finally brings you to Cyrodiil, to take the time to actually bother to see me now."

"Long story.  But your mother sent for me to make sure you're safe when you sign the Noble Decree," I explained.

"So that's the only reason?" She asked, "After everything we've been through together?"

 

"Well, sorry.  I do have responsibilities," I said.

"Not as sorry as I am," Rigmor stood, "I missed you so much.  Felt so alone.  Why did you not come back?"

She was just as childish as I remembered.  I stood up, about to speak. 

She cut me off, "Things have changed.  As you can see, I'm with Bobby now.  Being a Countess has its drawbacks, I have to have a noble match now."

 

Rigmor exhaled and sat back down, "Mother and Malesam wanted me to marry the Count of Chorrol.  No thanks.  Namby pamby."

I sat down again.

"I don't spend much time at the castle.  I met Bobby here at the Roxey.  This place reminds me of Riften.  I've been renting a room here, away from that stiff assed court.  I need to be who I am.  Bobby respects that.  He's not a noble in the real sense."

 

"I take it you told everyone about our adventures?" I asked.

"Definitely.  What have you been doing all this time?"

"Mom had a destiny.  Turns out I had one too.  I'm Listener of the Dark Brotherhood.  I reestablished all the sanctuaries in Skyrim and we're doing international work again," I replied.

"Wow!  The Listener?  I read a book about the Brotherhood a while back.  You're a dark queen of killers now?" She got wideeyed.

"Don't worry, I'm still the same girl," I said.

"You changed your entire look.  Got taller than me," she reached out and grabbed my braid, "Gods, your hair got so long."

I smirked.

"You're so beautiful.  You look even prettier now than I remembered."

I smiled big, "Thanks.  You haven't changed a lot.  But that's good.  I also like your hair."

Rigmor smiled, "So what do we do now?"

"The Lord Chancellor gave you a week to attend Imperial Court."

"At least that gives us some breathing room.  I'll need to change into something more... ladylike," she laughed, "How about we go back to Bruma?  We've never been here together.  I want to show you some of the places I knew as a kid.  Would you like that?"

"I'd love it," I smiled, taking her hand.

 

"It's so good to see you, Runa.  I know it might feel a little strange with how things have changed, how I've moved on, but it's what I want."

"I'm proud of you.  You seem to be keeping things together.  Let's go," I pulled her up out of her seat.

 

Calleius and Jura had been waiting for me outside.  Between the travel and the conversation outside, it was almost sunrise.

"Who are the old guys?" She asked.

Jura bursted out in laughter, "General Jura of Hammerfell."

"He's my grandfather.  That I recently met.  He said his old soldier senses were tingling at this mission and wanted to support me."

"Pleased to meet you," Rigmor shook his hand.

Rigmor turned to Calleius, "Countess Rigmor of Bruma.  And you are?"

"Legate Tyroni Calleius of the Imperial Legion, m'lady.  It is an honor," he replied.

"You're nothing like the ruffians from the New Imperial Legion.  You must be an old one," Rigmor said.

"Guilty, ma'am," Calleius said.

 

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She brought us back to her apartment (her old house) the guys waited outside and I sat at the chair near the entrance.

Rigmor changed downstairs and walked up wearing... some kind of tavern outfit mish-mash monstrosity.  

"What do you think?  I made it myself."

I raised an eyebrow, "It's ... okay, I guess."

"Oh HA HA.  Did you look at any of my drawings and poems?" She asked.

"Sorry, no.  I was looking for whoever ransacked this place."

"You're full of jokes, aren't you?" She asked, smirking.  She stepped downstairs and got back in her armor, then we left with the boys. 

 

"Isn't the Cathedral of Akatosh so beautiful?"  She said as we passed it, "You know, when I was a little girl, I always dreamed of getting married there.  A beautiful white wedding, music, bridesmaids and all that."

 

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"Every little girl's dream," I said, "Except mine, really.  I don't think I ever want to get married."

"Fat chance of that now that I'm nobility, I have to tow the line.  Everything is all arranged."

"You?  Towing the line?  Impossible!" I said.

 

"Yeah well, I'll be lucky to have any say about anything, let alone where I'll get married.  It'll probably be in that burned out wreck, Leyawiin if Bobby ever gets off his ass and proposes.  I did what you said I should - forged a new life."

We walked into the cabinet room and Rigmor's people were waiting.  

"Ok, someone had better explain to me what the hell is going on that's so important Runa had to be brought to Bruma," Rigmor said.

"My dear, do you think your poor mother enjoys taking responsibility in your absence?  No, she tires...she endures.  We're all tired of your gallivanting and flounting with that... common bandit boy.  That common ruffian!"

"How dare you?" Rigmor replied, "Might I remind you the only reason you're here is to protect and serve, serve being the apt word here Malesam."

"Serve yes, and I do... but to protect?  You have no idea, do you?  None at all, at just how much danger your life might be in, and come swaggering in like an arrogant brat, whenever you feel you can be bothered to grace us with your presence."

"Stop it!" Sigunn exploded, "I can't take any more of this!"

And she ran out the door, Cerys following.

 

"Milady Rigmor, I feel I must apologize most profusely for my seeming lack of respect.  It was never my intention to bully you or push you away.  It pains me to think we've grown apart since our arrival and I would like to make amends if you'd allow me."

"It's okay, Malesam.  I'm sorry too, and you're right.  I have been acting like a spoilt kid.  Also, let's ditch this m'lady crap, at least in private."

Freathof said, "This better life does come with responsibilities.  As you can no doubt see, it has taken its toll on Lady Sigunn.  Only compounded by her worrying about your visit to the Imperial City."

"When I get back, I promise I'll return to the castle and resume my duties," Rigmor replied apologetically.

Cerys walked back in, "She's sleeping.  She wants us to carry on without her."

"So what's going on anyway?" Rigmor asked.

Without rehashing what we said earlier, I'll say that Malesam explained it again, and then he said, "This doesn't feel right.  I don't trust any of them.  If they know of your ancestry, you will be in peril."

"Ancestry?" I asked.

"Oh, did your mother not tell you?  Her distant ancestor is Morgan Mede, she carried the bastard child of Titus Mede I," Malesam explained.  Then he turned back to Rigmor, "You would be seen as a threat to the current Emperor."

"I don't even want the throne," Rigmor said, "We discussed it before."

Freathof said, "Rigmor, my dear child, you would have no say in where the events would take you if they knew.  We can't allow you to go to the Imperial Palace alone or even with a small escort.  But Runa and her group..."

"Heroes of Wars, Dragonslayers, Commanders and Generals," Rigmor said.

"You see, Runa, how Rigmor needs you.  Your names carry weight.  But we must be tactful and play by their rules," Malesam said.

"Sethius cannot be trusted," Freathof added.

 

"Freathof, I'm scared," Rigmor admitted.  

"We're putting our faith in Runa.  You've both endured much worse," Freathof said, "Now, please excuse me.  I feel I must retire."

I squinted.  It's just about noon, old man.

"If anything happens at court, I will be there to represent you," Malesam said, "And Robere will be there with his father, Count Leyawiin.  Please refrain from any... uncourtly antics, and remember we're there on official business.  Act accordingly."

"Pff... okay then," Rigmor said.

"Come Cerys, it's been a long day," Malesam said.

 

"What is with these old guys and wanting to sleep at noon?" I asked, "Although we didn't actually sleep..." 

Rigmor giggled, then she said, "So what should I wear, a dress or my armor?"

"For the road, armor.  For the palace, dress up.  You could show it to me," I said.

"Maybe tomorrow morning," she yawned, "For now I'm going to my room.  I'm not old, but as you said, we didn't sleep."

I looked at Jura and he nodded, "I'm going to take in Bruma's sights.  C'mon Calleius!  Show me something I've never seen before!"

"Why're we...?" Calleius whispered.

"Shh... let Runa play the protective hero a little bit.  Maybe I'll check out your shield-work while the girls rest," Jura slapped the Legate on the back, "Runa, we're going to get a room at the Jerall View if you want to soak again later."

I grinned, "Excellent."

 

We walked to Rigmor's room and she laid down without even bothering to take off her armor.  I sat in the chair next to her.

I sat there for a little while, my eyes getting heavy.  Eventually, I passed out in the chair.  

 

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In what seemed like minutes, I blinked awake,  Rigmor poking me in the face.

"Hey there sleepy head, it's a beautiful day."

She was wearing a blue dress, her hair looking much more kempt. 

"Is... is it morning?"

"Yeah, we both slept like 16 hours," she replied.

I stretched, "Argh, this chair was not good for my back."

Rigmor smirked, "You slept in a chair next to me.  Maybe next time you could just lay in the bed."

 

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I smiled back, not having a response.

"Cerys and I picked out this dress."

"Looks good on you," I replied.

"I want to go out in style if this is my last chance," she said.

"Don't be so dramatic," I said, "I doubt they know.  How could they?"

"Sweet Runa.  Y'know, all these years since I last saw you.  Sometimes I wonder, why can't I just be normal?"

"Normal is boring," I said.

"It's like a curse.  I feel violated by my bloodline.  By destiny.  And every time I try and hide from it, it always comes to find me.  Every.  Single.  Time," Rigmor said.

"Mom felt the same way.  Finally she embraced her destiny.  But on her own terms.  Maybe that's the answer for you," I replied.

 

"Freathof told me a story about a girl once.  I don't actually remember any of the details, but I do remember she was trapped and alone, in this cesspit of a world.  Her name was Kintyra," Rigmor said.

"You're going to make it."

"You don't actually have any idea, do you?" She sighed, "Wait for me outside, I need to change and pack."

I smirked as I walked out the door, "You act like I've never seen boobies before."

 

I found Calleius and Jura at the cabinet room downstairs.

 

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"So... have fun last night?" Jura smirked.

"No.  I slept in a chair.  My neck hurts," I shook my head.  I knew he was trying to imply something, but I intentionally didn't dignify it with a response.

Rigmor emerged a few minutes later and we started to walk towards the entrance to town, "Alright.  Did you guys bring horses?" 

"Well I didn't bring mine.  He kinda just goes where he wants to," I said.  

"What a weird relationship with a horse," Rigmor said.  She hopped on her horse.

 

I turned, "Shadowmere!" 

"Now that is a cool horse," Rigmor said.

"Watch out, he bites," I snickered.

"Hey, you guys ride ahead," Jura said, "Going to get horses for us.  Don't worry, I'm really good at tracking."

"A'ight.  Hopefully there won't be any trouble," I replied.

We rode for an hour or so, and she stopped at a large tree near the roadside.

"I wanted to show you this.  When I was a kid, I would climb and just sit in the branches, gazing out over the Great Forest below," Rigmor said.  It had convenient ladders affixed to it.

"C'mon!  Where's your sense of adventure?" Rigmor climbed up.

"Adventure?  This journey so far has been extremely easy.  Not a monster, bandit or dragon in sight," I said as I followed, "Sort of like a vacation to the turmoil up north.  Even in peacetime Skyrim is a dangerous, wild land.  I think maybe if I ever wanted to get old and infirm I'd move here."

I sat down next to her on a branch, "Sure this'll hold my plate-mailed ass?"

 

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"Your big ass is safe."

"I dunno, I'm going to sit on the trunk," I replied.

"I've been meaning to come back here, but never got around to it.  I took it for granted when I returned home, all these places would be there for me to rediscover whenever I wanted," Rigmor said, "After everything, there's no place for me to actually feel safe and belong.  Seems like the crap just keeps following me everywhere I go right?  Here, that little girl is still playing amongst the trees."
"My advice is do what my mom did.  Make your own family."

"That's good advice," Rigmor smiled, "C'mon, there's one more thing I have to show you."  

She got up and slid down the ladder.

I leapt from the top of the tree, making a large dent in the grass.  I smiled, "The 'cushioned' enchantment on my cape means I can fall from any height and I'm fine."

"Neat trick.  Looks like the boys still haven't caught us.  We still have time," she led me down to a stream and a pond.

 

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"Just as I remembered it," Rigmor said.  I sat on a log.

"You like flowers?" She asked, then she cut me off, "No, silly me.  I forgot, you're a mighty warrior.  Cold-blooded killer."

"Ouch," I said, "I'm still a human girl."

"I should bring my stuff here, do some paintings.  I kinda kill all the flowers I try to plant."

 

She walked a little deeper into the copse of trees, "You know there used to be Minotaurs living around here.  What's this?"

I walked over and found a small overgrown shack with no door.

"Hey, I found a place for you to grow old and infirm," Rigmor laughed, "We can just hide here.  Live out here in the forest, forever.  No one will ever find us."

I shook my head, smiling, "I hear hooves.  Think the boys are here."

"Alright, let's get it over with," Rigmor said.  We turned to walk away, but she turned back and looked at the shack.  Suddenly, she took out her sword and hit it as hard as she could, "Fucking destiny!  Fuck you!  Azura!  Where are you when I need you?!"

She kneeled, crying a little, and it started to rain.  

 

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I picked her up gently, "C'mon.  Pull yourself together."

"Promise me... if they do some shit to me.  Kill every last one of them!" Rigmor took a deep breath, calming herself.

"Well, I do happen to be in possession of the largest network of assassins in Tamriel," I smiled.

 

When we walked back up the hill, Jura and Calleius were on two brown horses.

"Detour, eh?  Nice view of the Imperial City," Jura said.

"Let's go," I took off on Shadowmere, but then remembered he was really fast.  So I let Rigmor lead the way.

 

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It took a few hours.  We crossed through a couple small towns, then we crossed into the Imperial City, putting our horses at the stables.  Shadowmere just kind of started to walk off.

"Looks like your horse has better things to do," Jura chuckled.

"What can I say?  He's probably going to go murder some people," I laughed.

 

As we walked up to the city proper, Rigmor said, "Sorry about back there."

"It's ok."

"It wasn't ladylike, or called for."

 

We got to the outer ring and Jura said, "Talos Plaza.  It even still has the dragon statue."

"Talos?  This is just called the Plaza District," Rigmor said.

"Sir, they changed it after the Concordat," Calleius said.

"Dang.  I left before they changed that.  But wait, the Hotel is still called the Tiber Septim hotel.  How does that make sense?" Jura asked.

"I think they changed it back?" Rigmor suggested.

 

"Can it be true?  Oh the gods have brought you to me!" A strange man yelled from across the plaza.

He ran right up to me, "Hi, I'm Bolin!  I'm your biggest fan!  I can't believe I'm actually standing next to the Lis..."

Reflexively, I grabbed his shirt and pulled him to me, "Do not finish that sentence.  How do you know who I am?"

"Oh my!  So strong!  So dangerous!  I volunteered to work with the Da.... the Bark Drutherhood."

"Gods!  Be quiet.  Just call it the Cyrodiil chapter.  That's what you mean, right?" I asked, "Boy, Stabby has a lot of explaining to do."

"Oh yes!  That's who I contacted.  He sent me on a super secret mission.  He sent me to kill a man in this very plaza.  He described him as pale, but a little dark.  Wearing multi-colored clothing, carrying seven daggers, two maces and seventeen swords on his belt.  He's got a potion of ultimate stamina in his left pocket."

I was cracking up.  This was cruel.  

 

He continued, "I just want you to know, I love you so much, I will do anything you want.  Just name it.  I am your eternal servant.  I am your batman."

"Batman?" I asked, "Like you're volunteering to dress up in a bat costume?"

"IF THAT'S WHAT YOU WANT!" 

"Sorry, no, I don't need anything at the moment," I replied.

"Well if you change your mind.  Just call and I will be there..." Bolin said, then he ran away, giggling like a schoolgirl.  

 

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"I can't believe that just happened.  That was creepy.  Look!  He's still over there, he's waving," Rigmor said.

We hurriedly walked inside the TS Hotel, and Rigmor said to the concierge, "We require two~"

"We're fine sleeping on bedrolls, right Tyroni?" Jura patted the man on the back again.

"Okay, a room with two beds," Rigmor continued, "One for me and my personal batman.  We'll be staying a few nights."

"Batman?  Now I'm a batman?" I asked, "Well I do often hang out in darkness.  I do know the terror that lurks in the hearts of men.  I've been known to screech sometimes, mostly when I try to sing."

Rigmor raised her eyebrow, "You really don't know what that means do you?  I was trying to make a joke but you're so dense you didn't even get it."

"What?  What am I missing here?  I'm not cultured!" I said.

"Runa," Calleius whispered, "A batman is an officer's personal servant."

 

The concierge replied, "Of course, m'lady, I'll charge your account accordingly.  Upstairs on the left.  Your batman has full access to the laundry room in the basement.  Adjacent to the laundry room is the cesspit, so you'll be able to empty Countess Rigmor's chamber pot."

"Ahahaha!  It paid off!" Rigmor laughed.

She led us upstairs.  As we settled in, I said flatly, "I'm not doing any of those things."

"Lighten up," Rigmor smirked.

"I do have to say though, this is probably the biggest city I've ever been to," I laid back on my bed.

 

"My thoughts exactly.  Mind if I take a nap?" She asked.  It was only afternoon, but that was a long road.

The boys and I sat in the common area with tables that served the whole row of rooms.  This hotel's amenities for a single noble were bigger than a lot of people's houses in Skyrim.  We ordered some food on the Countess' tab, and about the time it arrived, Rigmor was emerging from the room.  

 

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"So how long have you known Ser Robere?" I asked.

"About a year.  Why do you ask?"  

"Bobby, can we trust him?" I asked.

"I think so. I like him.  And I'm still young.  You think I would be stuck with one of the old noble suitors?" She replied.

"Definitely not.  Just wondering," I replied.

"Hey!  Why don't we go grab a drink?" She asked, "I know a great tavern around the corner."

"That sounds amazing.  Let's go."

 

The four of us pulled into a hole-in-the-wall tavern called the Foaming Flask that barely had enough room to sit.  The boys stood by the bar while Rigmor grabbed a table.

"What do you want?" I asked her.

"I'll have what you're having, as long as it's got alcohol in it."

"Two of your most potent ales, please," I told the bartender.

"I'll bring 'em right over," he replied.  

I sat across from Rigmor.

"Special brew, we call it," the bartender said.

We both downed them.

"Wow!  What is in this stuff?" Rigmor coughed.

"Strong!" I said, "Another!"  Being a nord, I wanted to smash the thing at my feet, but I was nice and I just shouted instead.

"Remember that time we got thrown out of the Bannered Mare?" She asked.

"You mean you got thrown out of the Bannered Mare!"  

She laughed, "So what happened at the top of Blacklight Tower?" 

"He tried to jump off.  Mom was like, 'whaaat' and I just slew him before he could do it," I replied.

"Yeah, I froze too.  Not because I was confused, I was just scared I guess.  Ever see any of the other people from back then?"

"Not really.  How about Baa'Ren Dar?"

"Moved back to Torval in Elswyer.  Comes to visit us about once a year," she said, staring daggers at me.

 

About this time another special brew came to the table and we downed it.

Rigmor coughed again, "I guess they don't call it 'special' for nothing."

"So you learned some shouts, huh?  I thought only Dragonborns could do those," Rigmor said.

"Well I am a Nord. I know Unrelenting Force, which blows people away, and one that marks them for death.  Watch, I'll do it on these people."

"No!  Don't you dare!" Rigmor exclaimed, then she realized I was joking, "Ha!  You kidder!  So you said Destana killed Alduin right?  She saved the world and most the people down south don't even know about it."

"Yeah, she had to go to Sovngarde."

"Wow.  I really wish she'd come," Rigmor put her hand on mine, "But I'm enjoying my time with you too.  How about another brew?"

"Barkeep!  Anothuh one!"  I shouted.

 

We downed them again.

"Watch out, don't want to get too drunk," I said.

"This might be my last chance.  I'm going to ignore you and have fun," she replied.

 

Three bottles of very good strong ale.  About this time, everything started to get hazy and confusing.

I can tell you that we stumbled out onto the street.  I might have tried to incite a bar fight, though the locals seemed scared by the prospect of brawling.  

"Think you can handle these two?" Jura asked Calleius, "I've been chatting up a couple people tonight."

"You can count on me," Calleius replied.

 

 

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Calleius corralled us back to the Hotel and made sure we made it to our room.  He made sure we were safe, then went out.  

"What a guy," I said, "I think he wants to bang me."

Rigmor giggled, her cheeks rosy, her voice slurring, "You should just give him a blowjob or something.  Fair trade."

"I'm worried about taste like," I said.

"What..?  You're not talk right," Rigmor giggled again.

"You know, penises," I said, trying but failing to explain myself.

"We should sleep, I can't even stand," Rigmor said, then she fell on her butt on the floor, "Oop!  I missed the bed."

 

I reached down, still unsteady myself, and helped her up.  We grabbed onto each other to keep ourselves steady.  Then I stared into her eyes.  She seemed like she was lost staring back into mine.  Then she kissed me. 

 

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She pulled back and fell onto the bed, my mouth agape.  

"I am soo sorry.  I don't know what came over me," Rigmor said.

"We're drunk.  Just go to sleep.  I'm going to sleep too," I stumbled over towards my bed. 

I tripped over Calleius, who'd set up his bedroll.  I fell onto my bed.

 

"Are you okay?" He asked, now standing over me.

"Can you help me get this armor off?" I asked.

"Uhh..." He said.

"Nothing sexual.  It's just uncomfortable," I said, "Just close your eyes and feel around if you're nervous."

"Runa... that is an even worse idea," Calleius said.

 

I can only imagine that we were successful, because when I woke up I was wearing a sensible robe.

I quickly got dressed and had a huge drink of water from my waterskin.

Calleius handed me a plate of food.  I could hear Rigmor still snoring in the corner.

"You're a treasure," I said, then I froze, "So hey, did anything untoward happen last night?"

"You and Rigmor kissed.  I helped you undress.  You tried to pull me into bed with you.  I resisted, like a good gentleman.  You're very strong, by the way," he said, "Nothing happened."

"Ugh, sorry," I started eating, "Hey where's my grandpa?"

"Not sure.  He said he'd been talking some people up last night."

I blew air out, "Not sure I needed to hear that."

Rigmor groaned, rolling out of bed.  

Calleius handed her a plate of food and some water.

"Calleius, you're a saint," she said.

 

After a minute of eating, Rigmor said, "I kissed you, didn't I?"

"Gods, just, please, don't speak so loud.  Your voice is so high pitched," I said.

"Turn around, I'm going to get dressed," she said.

"Actually, I'm going to go downstairs.  Come down when you're done," I said.

Calleius followed, and we found Jura in the lobby, drinking a dark drink.  

"What is that?" I asked.

"Coffee.  It's a Redguard drink.  Oh, I guess you've never been to Hammerfell.  Our ancestors brought the beans over from Yokuda in ancient times.  Some call it the daedric drink.  Others, the gods' drink," Jura replied.  He poured a cup out of his urn, "Here, try it."

I took a drink.  It was bitter, like but unlike a strong alcohol.  In moments, I felt energized.

"I like this," I said, drinking more, "So where'd you go last night."

"I went home with a couple," he replied, lifting his coffee cup like he was toasting himself.

"Oh, when you said you were talking up a couple people..." Calleius started.

"I meant a married couple.  Everybody needs a little spice in their lives," Jura raised his cup again.

 

Rigmor walked down the stairs, "Would you kindly escort me to the ball?"

 

1882142079_Bonus57p.jpg.59311c98302a99128f82d8d295e789bf.jpg

 

I downed the coffee and we headed to the Imperial Palace.

"Halt!  Access to the Emperor's Way is closed.  State your identity and your business here."

"Countess Rigmor of Bruma.  This is..."

"No need m'lady.  You are expected in the imperial chamber," the soldier said.

 

As we approached the next set of guards, I spied Bolin sprinting at us at full speed.

"Well met, my L .... L.... lady!  I am filled with such joy to see you once again.  How are you on this fine day?  I could sing you a song, shine your shiny bits.  Anything for you."

"Is that a euphemism?" I asked.

Ignoring it, he replied, "Just name anything and I will do your bidding.  I am such a lucky lucky boy to be in your presence."

 

"I'm the lucky one," I said.

"Oh... oh my!" He giggled, "Have a nice day!"  Then he ran off.

"He's doing it again," Rigmor said.

"Hey!" The guard said, "He's supposed to be doing gardening work here.  Get back to work!"

 

694192623_Bonus57q.jpg.2c471bacb558d70b9d29703da96bf334.jpg

 

We stepped into the Imperial Palace.  

Robere was standing amongst the many counts and countesses, imperial guards, though no emperor or chancellor yet.

"Rigmor!  You're here at last!  You look radiant.  Guardian, thank you for escorting the countess here safely.  You have my sincere gratitude," Robere said.

 

899691888_Bonus57r.jpg.80bd7bcf47f631dd34947c0a0413a2b8.jpg

 

The Count of Leyawiin shouted, "Finally!  The mystery behind my errant son's disappearance is revealed.  Countess Rigmor of Bruma, Robere as told us all about you my lady."

We walked over to the Leyawiin group.  

"Looks like the Countess has you over a barrel, Bobby!" The Count chuckled bawdily.

"Good morning, Count Leyawiin," Rigmor said.

Jura stepped forward, chatting up the Count, grabbing his own share of the court breakfast that'd been provided.

 

Robere whispered to me, "Mind if I have a word with you?"

"Sure," I said, and we stepped off to the side, "What's up?"

"The Counts are becoming agitated.  They just want her to sign the decree so they can go home.  They don't recognize her as nobility, they say she is a commoner.  Of course, I defended her honor robustly.  When the Count of Chorrol suggested Bruma wasn't doing enough to stop bandits sneaking through the Jerral mountains to raid the Northern Counties, my father countered with 'as soon as Bruma signs the decree it'll be signing its status away under international law as a Free City.'  Once Sethius proclaims himself Titus Mede III, he will own Bruma.  My father said they have plans for Bruma.  I don't know what."

"Why're you telling me this?" I asked.

"I love Rigmor.  I have a plan to protect her, decree or no decree.  I'm going to publicly propose.  This would bring Bruma and Leyawiin into an official alliance.  None of the other cities could make a move against us."
"Marriage for alliances," I folded my arms, "These people know this game and have played it their whole lives.  This might be dangerous."

 

"Is Rigmor not worth it?" He asked, "Look at them, using sweet words on her.  They don't know her.  Don't think for a second they don't think of my father and I the same way.  They think we're bandit scum."

"I understand.  I was an orphan," I replied.

"Could you warn her?  I intend to be her knight in shining armor."

I nodded, "I'd be glad to."

"Thank you.  I never forget who my friends are," Robere said.

 

193319033_Bonus57s.jpg.00eb8c9d971bd518c4101e2b6b615df9.jpg

 

 

As we returned, the Countess of Chorrol was saying, "Count Leyawiin, please leave the poor Countess Bruma alone.  She's blushing!  Oh, Ser Robere and Countess Rigmor make such a lovely match, don't you think?"

I grabbed Runa's hand gently and whispered to her, "We need to talk, privately."

She followed me to an isolated spot, "What?"

"When you sign the decree, the Emperor's going to make a move.  Bobby said he doesn't know what, but he's going to block them by publicly proposing to you."

"Tell me you're joking..."

"Nope.  He wants to be your knight in shining armor," I said.

"Of course!  Sethius couldn't touch us if I was engaged and allied with Leyawiin," she said back, "Of course I'll accept.  This nightmare can finally end."

 

Blackwell entered the hall, flanked by guards, "Attention!  Please accept my sincere apologies.  But the Emperor is not available at this time.  Please help yourselves to the refreshments provided, then return to the guest rooms provided.  The Emperor thanks you for your patience, continued support and understanding."

Then he turned to Rigmor, "If my lady would follow me, I can show you to your designated quarters."

 

We walked to a room, and Blackwell said, "Here we are.  I would also like to take the opportunity to thank you for finally attending, and would like you to convey my respects to Lady Sigunn, upon your return."

"Thank you, Lord Chancellor," she replied.

 

All four of us walked inside, to which Rigmor said, "Ugh!  Now I remember why I liked living at the Roxey Inn so much."

"Stiff assed court crap," I said back.

"Blackwell has an icicle permanently stuck up his ass," she said and we laughed.

"Wait, did Calleius just laugh?" I smiled.

"Certainly not," he was smiling under that helmet.

 

"And what's the deal with the Emperor not being able to attend his own coronation?  The thing that's delaying whatever his plans are," I shrugged.

"He's probably got a lot to do," Jura said.

"Pretty impressive courtly manners out there though," I said to Rigmor, "Want to go back?"

"It was all Freathof.  And no, that drained me.  I'm going to hang out here," Rigmor said.

 

We took yet another break, and later on a messenger told us the signing would be tomorrow morning.  We fucked off for a while, then went to bed.  I saw some sort of images in my dreams, but I accounted it just to bad dreams.

 

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Rigmor got me up in the morning.  Just as well.  We were definitely more put together today than yesterday.

"Nervous?" I asked.

"I'm ready to get it over with," Rigmor said.  

I walked over to Callaius, who was still sleeping, in his armor.

"Wake up," I said.  He stayed there.  I pulled the bedroll out from under him like a magician with a tablecloth.

 

1886516817_Bonus57u.jpg.873994014b6004e82ec61395e9727771.jpg

 

"Ma'am, I don't believe you need my help for a meeting.  I do believe I will go speak with the Legion commander here," he said.

"Just, um... close your eyes," I said.  I pulled off my sleeping clothes, and put on a black dress instead of my armor.  We walked into the Emperor's audience chamber again, and got in our places, Jura sitting at one of the benches in the back.  This time, Ariel and Morag Sethius were on the dais.

 

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Morag stood and started to speak, "Many months ago, we rode into this city.  Not on a mission of conquest, but of liberation.  Liberation of an empire left buckling under the weight of poverty and recession.  An Empire, ravished by pirates and bandits from the lawless border regions."

Bandits, like these guys.  Trying to pretend they're better than their old contemporaries.

"An Empire, threatened by a Dominion, with its sights on reclaiming this land for the Elven Nations.  It was left abandoned by its predecessor.  In this very room, upon this very floor, lay the crowns of this once great seat of civilization.  And by legal right of combat, it was the people of this great city that placed them upon our heads.  The old replaced the new, bringing prosperity."

 

1540927178_Bonus57w.jpg.109df8dd35547a025387be58fe17d302.jpg

 

"A new era dawns.  And with it the creation of a New Imperial Army to protect and serve the six counties of Cyrodiil and the Imperial Territories."

Just High Rock.

"Provinces and colonies once weak, annexed and lost will be once again reclaimed and the world will tremble and know its place."

Oh hell no.  That's not going to happen.  I can see that they're not going to be very receptive to our proposal.  But they're stupid if they're going to start a war with Skyrim, or Hammerfell.

 

"History is to be made this day, this very moment, as the County of Bruma returns to the fold.  We shall stand united once again, seven counties of Cyrodill to show to the world our strength, unity and fortitude in our wholeness."

Great cheers rang out.

She continued, "They shall come to know our resolve, and our intention to be a global force to be reckoned with.  They shall come to know of our intention to expend our Empire as is our divine right."

 

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Again, fuck no.  No need to stir the pot now, but no.

Chancellor Blackwell said, "Please, step forward, Countess Rigmor of Bruma and sign the Noble Decree.  Would you like to say anything to the assemblage?"

She stepped up to the document, "Only that I would like to thank the Emperor for this opportunity.  And thank all the noble houses for their openness and kindness since I arrived.  You can be assured of house Bruma's loyalty and support."

 

She signed.

 

"The houses of Cyrodiil are united!" Blackwell said, "Long live the Emperor!"

Just then, Robere stepped next to the podium.

"As many of you might know, Countess Rigmor and I have been acquainted this past year, and I cannot think of any better occasion to tell her of my undying love for her, and to humbly ask her something that's a long time overdue," he kneeled, "Rigmor, it would be my greatest honor if you would become my wife."

 

"By the gods!" Rigmor was pretty darn good at acting, "Yes!  Of course!" 

 

With that the assembly was dismissed, and Ariel and Morag Sethius filed out with their personal guard in an extreme hurry.

 

Blackwell walked over to me as the rest were milling about, "Bravo.  Bravo.  Most impressive.  I had you pegged for a rube."

"I'm sorry?" I asked.

"Oh I think you know what I mean.  Morag Sethius sucker punched by a stroke of genius.  You should be proud of yourself."

"I am, but I still have no idea what you're talking about," I replied.

 

"Meet me in the temple gardens tomorrow morning before the coronation.  There are some things I would like to discuss," Blackwell said.

"My boy," the Count of Leyawiin was talking to Robere, "You certainly don't fail to deliver.  What showmanship!  Congratulations are in order!  More wine!  A toast to the happy couple!"

 

Spoiler

Bolin was a challenge, but I think I figured out how to make it work.  In RoC, he's a huge dragonborn fan.  In this version, he's such a big fan of assassins that he joined the DB by badgering Stabby.  But he's an incompetent assassin and can't keep his mouth shut.  So Stabby gave him a target that will never show up, because he doesn't exist.

 

There is a lot of reminiscing in this mod.  Oof.  I threw in a little bit, but I kept some out.  Trying to push forward to the actual adventure here.  In fact, I haven't had combat since this began.  This mod could do with some pacing, but I understand they were trying to cultivate familiarity.

 

Jeebus Crisp!  I just want to kill something!  It's strange that this is 100% the opposite of Skygerfall, which is nearly 100% combat and dungeons.  And this is all court intrigue.  I know it picks up just after this, though.  

 

Also, another SFW today.  I do believe things will heat up soon.  For now, enjoy the dialogue.

 

 

Edited by EnragedBard

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LL seems to be losing images right now. Sorry if they don't all show up.  I'll see what I can do if there are problems. 

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So, just FYI, for me the first three images don't show up, making the one with Rigmor and Runa next to the cathedral the first that I can actually see. No big deal, though.

 

Before I forget: Good job making me laugh during the very first paragraph: Legate Tyroni Calleius? Is that an imperial version of Tyrone? As in: Chad and Tyrone? He didn't seem to be that type of guy so far.

 

Since this entry mostly follows the events of RoC, which doesn't allow for much wiggle-room with the storytelling, I don't have much to say this time.

 

I think, the modifications you made to the dialogues where quite subtle. Which I liked. Including the thing with Bolin. First I thought, you had him set up to look for the vanilla Cicero but the 2 maces, 7 daggers and 17 swords didn't really fit old Stabby MacJesterpants. Personally I think, it should have been a "Stallion's Potion" instead of a generic ultimate stamina one, to make it even more unlikely, that the correct target ever shows up. 😉 Quite amusing, regardless.👍

https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Bothela's_Discreet_Delivery

 

As a sidenote: I was just like Runa during the Hotel scene, since the whole "Batman"- Joke flew right over my head.

 

EB:

"Are you okay?" He asked, now standing over me.

"Can you help me get this armor off?" I asked.

"Uhh..." He said.

"Nothing sexual.  It's just uncomfortable," I said, "Just close your eyes and feel around if you're nervous."

"Runa... that is an even worse idea," Calleius said.

 

Sure, Runa. Whatever you say. Or is this the point, where the old in-vino-veritas comes into play?🧐😁 

 

Oh, and I can see more and more how Jura is D.'s dad. He barely has arrived and is already looking for hook-ups. So I suppose, D. really had to turn out the way she did.

 

One question: When I played through RoC I repeatedly ran into "corrupted" paintings on the walls of Bruma Keep as well as in the Imperial City. See example below. Did you notice something like that as well?

890869878_RoCcorruptedwallpainting.jpg.4afc67d4f1d4b8cd299f067b5970dc6b.jpg

 

 

Edited by HM1919
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I haven't had any corrupted paintings. And no crashes or anything. Been very stable. Which might not be the case when enemies start spawning. 

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Hope it stays that way. I had virtually no crashes after leaving the Imperial City and no issues during combat. In the end only a handful more CTDs after returning to Bruma, as usual in the keep. Also, it was an older version of RoC and it was on Skyrim LE. So hopefully that's all fixed by now.

Edited by HM1919
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After looking at views, I realized that last week I probably posted too many entries.  Also, V-Week got a lot of views, but that might also be because of the great boob shot on the cover.  

😄

 

Oh and I re-uploaded the first three images.

Edited by EnragedBard
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The missing images are fine for me now.

As for the "too many entries"-part: Chapter 54 and 55 where posted withing 24 hrs... Which is rare, even for you. But hey, I won't complain!😁

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, EnragedBard said:

but that might also be because of the great boob shot on the cover.  

😄

Well, you could always make a pin-up-calender post. With D. and whoever else of your characters can be convinced, cajoled or smooth-talked into participating. Considering, that this is LL such a post might get quite a few views.

 

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26 minutes ago, HM1919 said:

The missing images are fine for me now.

As for the "too many entries"-part: Chapter 54 and 55 where posted withing 24 hrs... Which is rare, even for you. But hey, I won't complain!😁

 

Yeah I kinda went ham on typing.  I've played a bit ahead and didn't have a lot of work to do otherwise.

 

That calendar thing is a great idea.  I'm imagining a picture of Destana posing, then a picture of Runa with her arms crossed.  Then another picture of Destana, bending over backwards or something.  Then a majestic, proud tasteful shot of Serana. etc

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Well, just to give credit where it's due, the calender thing wasn't really my idea. I just remembered a post on the old "Tales of Iron" blog here on LL and figured D. and company could do something similar.

 

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Interesting story and quite a few funny bon mots. Not many people remember batman as once being an alternate term for an orderly. Comic culture overrode that, I guess. ^^
Runa sure did grow into her role, naturally riding ahead ... until she remembers the others horses will be hard-pressed to keep pace, I appreciate such little asides. I wager by the end of that trip shadowmere was indeed ready to kill someone, having to go at such a snails pace. (We can all relate I guess, it's likely like trying to follow a NPC in Skyrim ... ^^)
 

When they met Bolin again and him being supposed to be a gardener I would've sworn he is going to die before this episode ends, catching an arrow for the listener or something ... well he might get lucky it seems. ^^

I found it a pretty entertaining episode, even with "nothing happening" it feels like it drove the story forward a good bit. Actually makes me wonder if such an episode (then not having any real in game base) would work for Destana as well, having her do more 'mundane' things while Serana (and perhaps Ulfric and/or Valerica) help her come to terms with trauma and eventually start the healing for good. Well could also be spiced up a bit by Destana beating up some Draugr/Bandits/Automatons in between, but not sure that is really necessary or fitting ... OTOH it's Destana, her beating something up is kinda always in character. ^^

I won't complain about to many entries either, views ... not sure it's just number of entries, might also be this being loverslab. Some entries about a guy, some about the most restrained female that ever had this many words to her in LL history. ;) Also got to face it Skygerfall does not make for a great story so far. You did a good job in making it a fun read nonetheless, but it lacks the depth of say this episode and well the graphics are also a bit bland, even for Skyrim standards.


Hehe, that "calender" discussion kinda reminded me on that bard/painter from Troubles of Heroine that makes the DB model for him first in very modest heroic style and then subsequently lewder. Never got to the end of that, but knowing ToH it probably ended up pretty extreme.

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Am 15.03.2022 um 19:47 Uhr sagte Talesien:

Interessante Geschichte und einige lustige Bonmots. Nicht viele Leute erinnern sich, dass Batman einst ein alternativer Begriff für einen Krankenpfleger war. Die Comic-Kultur hat das außer Kraft gesetzt, denke ich. ^^
Runa ist sicher in ihre Rolle hineingewachsen und reitet natürlich voraus ... bis sie sich daran erinnert, dass die anderen Pferde kaum mithalten können, schätze ich solche kleinen Nebensächlichkeiten. Ich wette, dass Shadowmere am Ende dieser Reise tatsächlich bereit war, jemanden zu töten, weil er so im Schneckentempo gehen musste. (Wir können uns wohl alle darauf beziehen, es ist wahrscheinlich so, als würde man versuchen, einem NPC in Skyrim zu folgen ... ^^)
 

Als sie Bolin wieder trafen und er ein Gärtner sein sollte, hätte ich geschworen, dass er sterben wird, bevor diese Episode endet, einen Pfeil für den Zuhörer fängt oder so ... nun, er könnte Glück haben, wie es scheint. ^^

Ich fand es eine ziemlich unterhaltsame Episode, selbst wenn "nichts passiert", fühlt es sich an, als hätte es die Geschichte ein gutes Stück vorangetrieben. Eigentlich frage ich mich, ob eine solche Episode (die dann keine echte Spielbasis hat) auch für Destana funktionieren würde, wenn sie mehr "banale" Dinge tun würde, während Serana (und vielleicht Ulfric und / oder Valerica) ihr helfen, sich damit abzufinden Trauma und schließlich die Heilung für immer beginnen. Könnte auch ein bisschen aufgepeppt werden, indem Destana zwischendurch ein paar Draugr/Bandits/Automatons verprügelt, aber ich bin mir nicht sicher, ob das wirklich notwendig oder passend ist ... OTOH, es ist Destana, dass sie etwas verprügelt hat irgendwie immer Charakter. ^^

Ich werde mich auch nicht über zu viele Einträge beschweren, Aufrufe ... ich bin mir nicht sicher, ob es nur die Anzahl der Einträge ist, könnte auch ein Loverlab sein. Einige Einträge über einen Typen, einige über die zurückhaltendste Frau, die jemals so viele Worte in der Geschichte von LL zu ihr hatte. ;)Ich muss auch damit rechnen, dass Skygerfall bisher keine großartige Geschichte liefert. Sie haben gute Arbeit geleistet, indem Sie es trotzdem zu einer unterhaltsamen Lektüre gemacht haben, aber es fehlt die Tiefe, sagen wir, diese Episode, und nun, die Grafik ist auch ein bisschen langweilig, selbst für Skyrim-Verhältnisse.


Hehe, diese "Kalender"-Diskussion erinnerte mich irgendwie an diesen Barden/Maler aus Troubles of Heroine, der das DB-Modell für ihn zuerst in sehr bescheidenem heroischem Stil und dann anschließend unzüchtig macht. Bin nie bis zum Ende gekommen, aber wenn ich ToH kenne, endete es wahrscheinlich ziemlich extrem.

Thanks for this info about the term "batman" - I was very confused at first - but now the background is explained

 

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