Hey there. Runa again. Last time was a whirlwind of emotion (but not really action). Rigmor signed the Noble Decree, then they branded her with treason, cut her hair and set her prison on fire. Turns out it was all a ruse to get me and Jura. We braved the labyrinth, spoke with and ended the ancient minotaur's suffering by his request, then got to a boat to take us to Roscrea.
Morag told me Rigmor was already on her way to Roscrea when the fire broke out, so no suspense there.
When we reached Dawnstar, I stepped off the small trading boat and thanked Aventus, "Good thing we have friends. I don't imagine you want to come with us to the frozen north to save this person you barely know."
Aventus looked like he felt compelled to say yes, "Well..."
"I'm joking. Please, don't come. You have an empire to build. And those fine clothes won't stand up against the cold very well," I smirked. Aventus smiled back.
Jura stepped off the boat and walked over the ridge, "And your armor will? Doesn't look very padded."
"Huh," I said, "I bought a couple coats at the docks before we cast off. I never thought of just putting fur under my armor. Thought I was ahead of the game this time. Again, it goes to you."
I took out an armful of coats, "Want a coat, Calleius?"
He smirked, "I have a liner I'm going to throw in."
"Dang," I sighed, "I'm going to be the only one who doesn't wear their armor. What a knob."
"I will take this cap though," Jura snagged an armored helm with fur over it.
"Any idea how long the resupply for Roscrea will be?" I asked Aventus.
"The supply ship guy said about four days," he replied.
"Best get a room at the Inn, then," I said, "They're going to treat her like an Imperial Princess, they said. Let's hope they weren't lying about that too."
We walked over to the Windpeak Inn.
"Sorry, we're remodeling," the Innkeeper said. I looked over to the bed, out in the common area, and the doors being off to the Inn rooms, "We have a functional eatery, and we do have cabins for a bit more gold. There's one with three beds."
"Hmm... I was hoping I could stay for a night," Aventus said, "Before I head out."
I nodded to him, whispering, "No problem. I was going to sleep in the sanctuary anyway."
Aventus and Calleius looked at each other as I was handing over the gold. Both of them had feelings about sleeping with me, or sleeping in the same room as me, but neither one of them was sure how to handle this situation.
Jura put his arms around both of them, "Well, I'm not giving up my bed."
Tensions were starting to get high, but that deflated things a little. About that time a large party walked in the door.
"I think we should sample local cuisine. They completely rebuilt this town after the dragon attacks. Maybe even a couple times since your day," a woman was explaining to another woman.
"Please, my apologies, your grace..." The Innkeeper started.
"It's alright. I just want some food. Not that I need it, I just like your mudcrab jambalaya."
"Mom?" I asked.
"Destana?" Jura asked.
It was my mom. I walked over and hugged her.
"This isn't Cyrodiil," she smirked. Her usual wit.
"Rigmor got banished to Roscrea. We're going to get her. This has been awful," I replied.
"Yeah, well. It is Rigmor. What could you expect?" Mom threw up her arms, smiling, "Girl's cursed."
"We're working through it," Jura said, "I'll keep you posted."
"What are you doing here?" I asked.
"Just checking on the ships for the invasion. They seem to be coming along. Also, checking out houses."
"Houses? Who is this with you?" I asked.
"Runa, it's me," the man said.
I blinked, "Damien?"
I hugged him and pinched his cheek, "What the heck, it's been like... three weeks. Your hair grew out like it's been months. What have you been doing, messing with time?"
He shrugged, "Yeah, well. You know me."
"Don't downplay it. My boy here is the HERO OF DAGGERFALL!!" Mom shouted it over the Inn crowd.
"Uh... what?" I think Jura and I both asked.
"Someday if I meet the Hero of Kvatch, then I'll have one degree of separation with all Tamriel's legendary heroes. Eternal Champion, Hero of Daggerfall, the Nerevarine, Ysgramor... and I guess, myself," Mom said. She got out her journal, flipped to the back page and checked off two boxes, then stowed it again.
"So is Ocato the Eternal Champion?" I asked, "I had my theories."
"Yeah, the Emperor admitted it," Damien replied.
"Emperor Uriel Septim VII. Damn, he's a legend," I said, "I feel like I've come up short in my journey."
"Well I was gone for about ten months, and I came back only a few days later," Damien said.
"So you're older than me now?" I asked flatly, "I remember when you were a little boy and I was fifteen. It's not a race, Damien!"
"I think we're about the same age," Damien responded, "I do have a baby now though. You should meet him. He's with Grandpa right now."
"Grandpa? Like... the daedric prince or the King?" I asked.
"Ulfric," Damien chuckled.
"Have you considered that you're now a~" Jura started.
But Mom cut him off, "Save it."
"Damn. A kid?" I said out loud, thinking I didn't even know what I wanted to do with my life and here my little brother was starting a family. But then...who was the mother? I peered over to their group.
"Tis all true," the woman standing next to Damien said. Must be her.
"Hi. We haven't met. I'm Runa, Damien's sister," I said.
We looked at each other for a moment. I squinted at her, and she stared right back. She was sizing me up. I felt like we two warrior women were about to arm wrestle.
She grabbed my hand and shook it with a strong grip, "Lady Brisienna Magnessen. Originally a noble of Bruma, but I'm sure the present-day family has no idea who I am."
"We don't do that here," I pulled her in for a hug, "Welcome to the family. This is Tyroni Calleius, my.... friend. And Aventus Aretino."
"Hey Aventus," Mom said, "I haven't seen you in years. You really grew up!"
He smiled, "Thanks, ma'am."
Mom looked at me, then at Aventus and Calleius. Then she looked at Jura.
She crept over to him while Damien, Brisienna and I gabbed about Daggerfall.
Jura shrugged a little, then gave her a face, whispering, "I'm letting them figure it out."
She stood on her toes and whispered in his ear, "They should just all figure it out together. You know what I mean."
"Well, that proves you're the broth of my shillelagh," he whispered back, "You seem a lot like me. A lot like me. Because I would've said the same thing. But they're all pretty confused about what they want. Runa and Calleius are pretty timid about such things, and Aventus is a little standoffish."
We sat down for an amazing lunch and mom paid handsomely. The innkeeper was very thankful for all the business. Later that evening, mom left. I walked over to the Dawnstar Sanctuary and checked in.
"Vala, you're running things so smoothly you might run me out of a job," I said.
"Thanks, Listener. Want to get some contracts for me while you're here? I could use a day off," She asked. I approached the Night Mother and gave her about a dozen contracts, most of them in Cyrodiil.
Later in the evening I commented, "Seems like underneath the apparent prosperity, a lot of people are unhappy down there. Sorry I keep dumping this work on you."
"She loves it," Azuk chuckled, sharpening his blade.
"It's okay. Sometimes I think you're meant for even more than being the chosen of Sithis," Vala said. I slept the night there, waking up extremely early for some reason. I found the cabin the boys were staying at.
Jura was outside in the cold morning air, practicing with his greataxe. It was a heavy, jagged ordeal.
"You still practice, after fifty years?" I asked.
"Yeah. Gotta stay sharp," he took a big drink of water and sat, "I'm not going to make any suggestions to you right now. All I'm going to say is Calleius left about an hour ago to go on a long walk. Aventus is still asleep in the cabin. I'm going to go get breakfast in the Inn proper. Do what you will with that information."
He walked away, then I walked over to the door. I put my hand on the knob.
I put my hand down. Then back on it. Then back down.
I opened the door, closing silently it behind me.
Aventus was laying there on the bed at the far side of the room, asleep. What should I do?
It was like a game of chicken with my hormones. Every time I would take a step, I would doubt myself. But somehow after a moment, I was sitting on the bed with my boots, gloves, cape and backpack off. The change in weight from me sitting didn't wake him. He just turned over, throwing the covers off him and exposing his nakedness. I calmly took a breath and put my hand on his thigh.
Aventus opened his eyes groggily and gave a lazy smile.
"What's happening?" He whispered.
"Shhh. I don't know," I said back, "I'm just listening to my body."
I leaned over and kissed him, running my hand up and down his thin but defined body. He reached up to me and started to undo clasps, my armor slipping off. He started to touch me, but I pushed him down so he fell on his back, resting his head on the footboard gently. I wanted to be in control of where this went. I took him into my mouth.
He let out little moans as I worked, and I found I was enjoying it. Both the challenge of manipulation and the manual skill of fitting it into my throat. After a minute I got up and kneeled before him as I continued.
Maybe I was naturally skilled at this, or maybe I'd been at it too long, but he took a hint and grabbed the back of my head, thrusting only a few times. Then he emptied his load down my throat. I blinked, swallowing.
I looked up at him, "Huh. I was thinking this would progress to sex, but that's fine. Do you eat a lot of fruit?"
"Oh, sorry," Aventus said, chuckling, "You were just doing that for... I dunno, twenty minutes? You're very good. Are you saying you want me to stay here longer?"
I sighed, "Maybe I don't know what I want. You should go do what is good for you."
He was unsure of how to react, but he helped me up.
After a minute I said, "Don't worry. There's always next time."
I threw on my armor quickly and walked over to the Inn.
I ordered a drink to wash the taste out of my mouth, and found Calleius sitting at one of the small tables, looking at me.
The place was jam packed for the breakfast rush, and I took the only available seat, across from him at the table.
"I wanted to thank you for being here," I said, taking a long drink, "I appreciate you."
"Sorry I wasn't there in the labyrinth," he replied.
"Don't worry about it," I took another drink, "I feel like you know a lot about me, but there's not much to know beyond who I am now and who adopted me. I want to know more about you. Got any family?"
"My father was a Captain in the Imperial Navy. Now he's retired, living the good life outside Kvatch as a farmer. I have three brothers. I'm the oldest."
"Like me. Maybe?" I smiled.
"My mother, Akatosh bless her, died a few years back. Nothing special. Died in her sleep. She was almost seventy," Calleius took a drink, digging in to the plate of food the wench gave him.
"Like anything, ma'am?" He asked.
"I'll have the same," I said. Then I turned to Calleius, "Sorry about your mom."
"Don't be. She lived a quiet, happy life."
"Gods, sometimes I wish I could just have a life away from all this intrigue and death and war. In the country," I said, "I'd get some sheep."
"Sometimes," Calleius looked in my eyes, "Some people are called for more."
"Do you think you were called to protect me?" I asked.
I smirked, slapping him on the shoulder, "Ooooh, now you're the mysterious one!"
Calleius chuckled, "Maybe I'm considering taking a page from Aventus' book in being daring. Or from Jura's book in being direct and decisive. Considering, mind you. I've still not worked up the courage necessary."
Not entirely sure what he meant, but having my guesses, I smiled, "Let me know when that happens."
We ate together. It was nice.
Aventus left later that day. We slept through the next couple days when finally it looked like our ship was coming in.
"This the re-supply run to Roscrea?" I asked.
"Welp, they never paid me for the last one, so, I'm starting to rethink it," the man said, "Bunch of cheapskates. I could make my money back selling these goods in Haafstad. Maybe even make a small profit in Kirkmore. The Empire did offer an outrageous premium, but I haven't seen one red Septim of that since the original payout."
"What's wrong?" Calleius approached.
"He's not going to Roscrea," I said.
"Now see here, sir. We've waited four days to board your boat to Roscrea," Calleius said.
"Wait, sir," the man said, "We haven't even discussed you being passengers. Why would you want to go to that frozen shithole of a fort? Practically Atmora."
"How much is the boat worth?" Jura asked.
I blinked. The balls on this man.
"Ten thousand septims," the man replied.
"Done," I said, taking out a huge sack of coin and dropping it at his feet.
"Girly, I was highballin'. Figured you'd haggle!" The boatman said.
Jura messed with his beard as he talked, "How about this - you stay on as the operator and take the extra as your wages for the next few months. After all, none of us know how to handle a boat. When we get to Roscrea we'll decide whether the Empire's going to pay or you should take a trip and try to make your money back."
"Shor's beard, that is a lot of gold you have just lying around," the boatman said.
"I'd like to see somebody try and take my gold," I grinned.
"Ohh! Just got a chill," the boatman said, "You do have a deal though. I'll peddle the perishables at the towns on the southern part of the island if needed. We can work out the details of our partnership while we sail. Hop on! Name's Floki, by the way."
We sailed for a few days, finding a galley blocking our path as we approached the north side of the island. The three of us took a small rowboat to the jetty, weaving between icebergs to be stealthy.
We tied the boat up to the dock. The place was deserted. And when we ventured toward the fort, we figured out why.
"Everybody's dead," I said. Civilian workers, women, children, Imperial soldiers.
"Whose ship is that?" I asked.
"They're not flying colors," Calleius put his hand over his forehead to try and see, "Not even pirate."
Jura pointed, "I hear fighting in the distance."
We pulled out our weapons and charged up the bank. We found Imperial soldiers, losing badly to some other Humans and Argonians? Large Argonians? But wearing armor that I'd never seen before.
"What the hell are these guys doing here?" Jura growled.
"Who are they?" I asked.
"Akaviri!" He yelled as he charged into battle.
He and Calleius aided the Imperials, and at once a cadre of the creatures charged in from behind us, swarming me as I lagged behind. Four of them used a vampire drain on me, but I blasted them with, "FUS - RO!"
Some of them shouted, "Aka-ko!" And then they all turned their attention towards me, even leaving Calleius and Jura, who now joined the melee I was in.
We were the victors, but they were skilled opponents.
Inside the fort we found another fight in which the Imperial soldiers were being finished off as we arrived. We fought our way through the room. Then we fought our way up the stairs, Jura and Calleius pressing shields against the Akaviri.
Calleius gave a mighty roar and pushed past them, flanking them between himself and us. We widdled down their turtle tactics, getting the best of them. Jura and I packed on the heals and we continued pushing our way in. I feared the worst for Rigmor, but also didn't know why these guys were here.
In the next room I took point and got the drop on the first of the group, immediately decapitating him.
We pushed our way to the last room. This was the big prison cell and a man was working on getting the bars open.
The red-armored man turned, pulling out a two-handed Akaviri Katana. He was one of the lizard-guys, tall and broad. He was alone, but he pointed at Jura.
"He's mine!" Jura pulled out a greatsword.
"We don't have time for this," I spat.
"This is personal," he said, "I remember you."
Jura charged forward and fought him blow for blow for a few minutes.
But he was fast. He dodged expertly several times while Jura's work with the greatsword, though fast, seemed slow in comparison.
Jura deflected a few blows that would've killed a normal man.
I shouldered the Moonlight Greatsword. If this went south, I would be ready with the crescent blade beam and an Unrelenting Force.
But it came too fast. The red man's stab toward Jura's neck from above came nearly faster than I could see.
"NO!" I shouted.
Calleius rebuffed the Akaviri with his shield.
"Do not touch him, sir."
The Akaviri shouted something in his language, swinging his sword with monstrous speed. Calleius parried the attack, then he parried another.
"I shall become a wall for you, my friends," Calleius said. He parried again and again as the Akaviri struck from different angles with blinding speed.
He parried another and with great speed he got behind the redman, making his first attack. The Akaviri whipped around and batted the attack away with his katana, disarming Calleius.
I pursed my lips, taking a step forward. As the Akaviri made another attack, I rammed my greatsword through his back. Calleius stepped aside as I pinned the man to the wall.
He shouted something in his language, but I was done waiting through this heroic honor crap. I pulled out the Langourwine Blade and stabbed him in the throat, killing him. Usually a sleep dagger, it is still a dagger.
I turned to Calleius, my face bloody from the spray.
"Impressive," he said.
"I wanted to win," I smiled.
Jura got to his feet as his restoration spells brought him back up, "Damn son! That was some amazing shield work! Needed Runa to close the deal, but I can't say much better for myself."
I found the key amongst the guards' bodies, then I said, "How's this for honor? If anybody asks, I'll tell them you beat him in single combat."
Jura and Calleius chuckled.
Rigmor ran over from behind a changing visor and hugged me as soon as the door was open.
"Oh thank the gods you guys are here," she said, "Who the hell are those guys? What's going on?"
Jura said, "They're from Akavir. The men are vampiric thralls. The lizards are Tsaesci. I've fought these guys before. Though I have no idea why they're here now."
I handed Rigmor a set of fur clothes and said, "Guess what I brought. I've been holding onto it."
I handed her her greatsword, and she shouted "Azura's Bane!"
"We'd better get back to the boat," Jura said.
We ran outside to find the galleon had gone, but so had our supply boat.
"Maybe they're chasing them down the coast. Gods, I hope not," I said.
"Uhh..." Rigmor said, "Where's this boat you speak of?"
We all looked down to find there was no rowboat.
"What the... fuck?" I asked.
"Great! Just great!" Rigmor shouted, "How the hell are we supposed to get out of here? Did you remember to tie it up?"
"Usually it's the lowest ranked person who ties up the boat," Jura looked at Calleius.
Calleius kneeled down and lifted up a rope that'd been cut. Then he pointed about ten feet into the harbor, "I see it, but it's underwater."
Jura sighed, "Looks like they cut the line and knocked a hole in it."
"So our only transport off this damn island has just vaporized. That's fucking great!" Rigmor shouted, "Can't you do anything right?"
"Lay off. We just killed an army of Akaviri to get to you," Jura said, "You'd be dead or captured if not for us."
"Captured, but also warm and with a way off the island!" Rigmor shouted back.
"This isn't helping and you know it," I said, "Anybody know how big this island is?"
"What, you want to hike through this tundra?" Rigmor asked.
"Floki said there were fishing villages on the south end of the island," I said.
"Never been here. But I think... three days journey?" Jura said noncommittally.
Calleius nodded, "I bet the fort has supplies."
"Yeah!" I pounded my fist into my hand, "We're all skilled in wilderness survival. Let's fuckin' do this!"
"You're kidding, right?" Rigmor followed along to the fort, saying flatly, "We're going to freeze to death."
"Do I look like I'm kidding?" I replied, "Have I ever let you down?"
"Well, there was the time when I got imprisoned at an..."
"Shhhh...." I put my finger on her lips, shushing her. When we got inside, we split up to get everything we could.
I checked the Governor's rooms. He'd barricaded himself inside, him and his wife committing suicide when it was clear they weren't going to make it.
"Long live the Empire, indeed," I said, rifling through their things. I found a new black pair of boots (Drakul Boots) that was actually an upgrade. And...!
I lifted an enchanted one-handed sword with extremely good craftsmanship.
When the boys came in, I asked, "Who wants this? I'm more of a big and thick weapons fighter myself."
Calleius smirked, "Phrasing. General Jura?"
He put down the fragments of the Bolgar sword he'd been using, "I will accept this. I keep destroying swords. Been needing a new magic one for ages."
"If it's any consolation there's also an enchanted Imperial sword in here too.
Calleius grabbed it.
"Look what I found," Rigmor said. She'd put her armor over the furs I'd provided and since it was chainmail it fit just fine. She threw on the black fur cloak I'd provided to complete the ensemble. She said, "They must've shipped my stuff from Cyrodiil along with me."
"I found rations," Jura said.
"I found some firewood," Calleius added.
"You ready for this?" I asked Rigmor.
"As I'll ever be," she replied, "Hey, sorry I yelled back there. I would follow you into hell itself if I needed to."
I smiled, somehow doubting she would be able to handle Oblivion. But, I could appreciate the sentiment.
The boys and Rigmor fastened down their fur lined armor and helms and I looked at my sad coats. I would be glad when I could get back in my real body armor.
We looked out onto the wintery expanse. Even trees were scarce up here. From the map in the governor's office there were a couple base camps on the way to the southern part of the island. And when we crossed the mountains it became much more habitable. Jura handed out cold resistance potions.
"Do these actually work for this?" I asked.
"Yes, but they only last a couple minutes. Save them until you feel like you can't bear it anymore."
We charged off into the icy infinity, wind whipping to our very bones.
I took point, keeping up a healthy jog. It was hours till we reached the first landmark, but I kept the sun on my right. The blizzard got denser and it got harder to tell.
"I hope you know where you're going! It's so cold!" Rigmor shouted over the winds.
We crested a ridge, and were attacked by a horde of Frostbite spiders.
"Finally, something to warm my bones!" I shouted. We made quick work of them, then looked out over the tundra again. We could finally see the mountains to the south.
"I'm freezing my ass off out here! How much farther is the first camp?" Rigmor asked.
I took out the map section I'd torn off, "Just over the next ridge!"
"We're lost aren't we?" She shouted back, "Honestly, you don't plan anything do you?"
"Trust me!" I shouted, ignoring her comments. And as it started to get dark, we found the base camp.
We made sure the tent was secure and lined it with our furs, then got inside, getting the first going.
Jura immediately laid on the floor of the tent and passed out, snoring in seconds. Rigmor claimed a bedroll to herself.
"So what happened back there in Cyrodiil?" SHe asked.
"It was a trap. They started a fire at the prison. We thought you were still there. So I ran in to save you," I said, sitting and stoking the fire.
"My hero. But who would do that?"
"Bobby. He's in on this shit. The whole thing," I said, nearly growling when I said his name.
"Bobby? For real?" She asked in disbelief.
"He just wanted Bruma. He's just a very good actor. And you know, I was really starting to warm up to him too," I jabbed at the sticks like I was stabbing someone, "Had me fooled too."
Rigmor sidled up to me and I told her about the Minotaur.
"Don't you ever get tired of saving me?" She asked, laying her head on my shoulder.
"Meh. I'm fine with it," I smiled.
"You must think I'm a real pain in the ass," Rigmor said.
"Kinda," I smiled again.
"You with the jokes again," Rigmor said. As she closed her eyes, she said, "Bleeding is she... forgotten is he... deeds long past. The gratitude of the people no longer lasts. Blood drips from the guilt, innocents paying the price of what wrongs built...."
She trailed off as she fell under the pull of sleep. I helped her lay her head down, laying with her a minute.
Then I crawled over, sitting on the bedroll Calleius was laying on.
"You should go to sleep," he whispered.
"You too," I said.
"I've always had trouble falling asleep in cold weather," Calleius whispered back.
"Not me. But this colder than I've ever been," I shivered, "Freezing my tits off out here. Could I... snuggle with you for warmth?"
"I'd like that..." Calleius said. He took off the outer layer of armor (and his helm) quietly so we could gather our fur against each other.
I got comfortable, but we just laid there for what seemed like a very long time.
I sat up again, facing him. We stared at each other for long moments. I looked over at Rigmor, and Jura, both fast asleep.
Maintaining eye contact with Calleius, I slowly unbuttoned my parka. Then I silently pulled it off.
Calleius blinked, "I thought you wanted to get warm. Do you have hypothermia? Is this paradoxical undressing?"
"No, I'm still f-f-freezing," I said, "You'd better find a way to keep me warm."
He opened his full body fur, rendering him naked, and let it lay on the bedroll under him.
"Is this what you want?" He asked.
"Maybe," I replied. I played with him a little bit.
I'm sure my fingers were like icicles, because he gasped when I touched him.
"Shh!" I looked at our friends, who were still asleep.
"Your hands are freezing," he whispered.
"How to do this without my hands..." I said. I enveloped it in my mouth with my hands mostly off, stroking it for a bit. Then I moved on top of him and let him position himself so I could slide on. I rode him, silently (though it was getting difficult to stay quiet after a few minutes).
Then I moved off him. I lay beside him.
"What's wrong?" He whispered.
"Getting cold. You should lay on top of me. Trap the heat against my body."
He smiled and slid on. For a while, he held my hands down and I was into it. But I started to whimper when I was really feeling it. He put a hand over my mouth to keep me quiet. We finished nearly at the same time.
We wrapped up in our furs and went to sleep in each other's arms.
The next day as we were getting ready, Rigmor said she'd had a vivid dream, or a vision.
"A nightmare?" I asked.
"Not really. We were looking at a strange mountain, kind of square. There were many children playing. A little girl left the others and came towards me. She pointed towards the mountain."
"Strange," I said, "Well, we'd better get going if we want to make the next camp before nightfall."
We jogged through the snow for several more hours.
"Y'know this must be what Atmora is like," Rigmor said, "Did you know men originated from there? Freathof said that it used to have green fields."
After most of another day, we crested a large hill and found a large pine forest. On the other side were the mountains.
Rigmor cupped her hands and howled like a wolf.
Wolves howled back.
"Hear that? We don't want to continue at night. Wasn't the second base camp a cave?" She asked.
Calleius pointed down, "It's under this ridge."
"Damn. Good eye," Jura said. We found a small fire and a small cave entrance we had to crawl into.
"We ran out of wood at the last camp. Why not chop some?" Jura asked. We all looked at each other.
"I nominate Runa!" Rigmor said.
"Psh. Fine. But you get to gather twigs," I said back. I hacked off a large tree branch, then set to chopping. Calleius was putting the logs on and I was hacking them up with a woodcutter's axe, making this an assembly line affair.
"Hee hee. Choppity chop," Rigmor said, "Make sure you use your legs and shoulders and not all your back."
"Go find some twigs for kindling!" I said, getting sweaty.
"Ok! Keep your hair on!" Rigmor said.
"For what it's worth," I paused to chop a log, "I liked.... *CHOP* your long hair. *CHOP* It'll grow back."
"That bitch. First chance I get I'm gonna ram my sword right up her ass," Rigmor growled.
I laughed out loud, then she wandered off to gather.
"Guys! Would you look at this!" Rigmor said.
Jura and Calleius were setting up a tent outside and told me to go ahead.
I crawled into the cave that had bedrolls set up, fire already going from Rigmor.
The light flickered against walls covered in ancient cave paintings.
"These are wonderful!" I smiled at her.
"Amazing," I said.
"Giants. Hope we don't run into any," Rigmor said.
"How long do you think it'll take them to figure out I'm gone?" She asked, continuing to walk around.
"No idea. Depends on how long it takes them to figure out everybody is dead," I replied, "But they'll try to take Bruma."
"Think they can hold out?" Rigmor asked.
"Probably long enough until we figure out what we're going to do," I replied.
"We never did figure that out did we?"
"Malesam said he had a plan. Hopefully he wasn't just leading me on," I said.
"Speaking of which..." Rigmor turned to me, our faces flickering in the torchlight, "It's been nice."
"Being out here with you. For the first time in a long time, I feel free."
I sat down, "Better than being in Cyrodiil?"
"Bruma is nice. The rest - I don't think I ever want to go back there," she replied, "I don't ever want to see Morag Sethius again. Peak weirdness. You know when she cut my hair she tore off my dress and just... stared at me."
"I think she felt a kinship with you as someone who has suffered," I said.
"No way! You starting to feel sympathetic for her?"
"Absolutely not," I replied.
"You know when I was in that cell in that state... it was almost like ... being home. Like I knew my cursed life was headed back there. The question was just when. Like it's my destiny for my life to be shit," she said.
"That minotaur seemed to think both of us had some kind of destiny," I said back.
"How do you mean?"
"Al-Esh, his mother, told him to wait for one with the ancient blood of kings to set him free. And then some prophecy would be fulfilled, releasing the curse of Al'Esh. The chosen Queen of Tamriel. I don't know about any of this."
"Who? Morag? The Chosen Queen? Fuck'n bitch. You can't be serious," Rigmor said.
"I've never heard of Al'Esh."
"She's the Minotaur name for Alessia. Her lover was Morihaus, the bull-headed son of Kyraneth. She's said to be the mother of minotaurs. She's not a divine, but she became the first human saint upon death."
"Freathof taught you history and myth well I see," I said.
She smiled, "No way she's the chosen queen. I'd rather a thousand years of war than let her sit her ancient ass on the throne."
"We're not going to let that happen," I said, "In fact, when you give her your ass-sword treatment, better move over. See if we can fit two up in there. And mine is wide!"
Rigmor burst out in laughter.
She tripped on... something? And fell into my lap, still laughing.
She put her arms around my neck, "But thinking of you kept me just a little bit sane."
"Everything I've been through I would do again just to be here with you... in this moment," Rigmor said, "Our moment."
She leaned in and kissed me, and I returned it.
"I'm yours to do with whatever you want," Rigmor said.
I sighed, "Right now that sounds... really nice."
We undressed, not even under the pretense of keeping warm, a whirlwind of kissing and touching. After a moment she got on top of me and took control, rubbing herself against me until we both finished.
It was short, but sweet. We laid there for the night.
When I woke up she was sitting in one of the chairs outside.
"Another vision," she said, "A huge minotaur sitting on a throne. In one hand was a mace, the other had a soul gem. Below on the dais a Dragon was locked in battle with a serpent."
"I have no idea," I shook my head, "Listen... about last night.."
"Hey, it's ok. Just forget it. People need each other sometimes, that's all," she said back. She motioned with her eyes towards Calleius as the boys were packing up their tent.
I tilted my head.
She whispered back, "You're not as quiet as you think."
Then she giggled.
"Were you watching?" I whispered, louder.
"You're beautiful. How could I not?" Rigmor asked, then she grabbed my hand, "I've always loved you, you know. It wasn't always this way. But... I can share, y'know? Like your mom does."
I pursed my lips, not sure if that was a jab or just a statement of fact. I took a water skin from next to the fire where it'd been thawing, and took a long drink.
"I'd rather take it slow if there is anything real between us," Rigmor said, then she patted me on the head as she was getting up, "You did ok for your first time."
She whispered, "I can tell you've never been with a woman before."
I coughed on my water.
"Be right back! Gotta pee!" Rigmor shouted as she ran off over the next ridge.
I looked over to Calleius and Jura, who seemed to be having their own conversation.
Rigmor came sprinting back a moment later, "Help! I found some locals!"
A horde of frost trolls and giants were charging over the hill after her.
We all unsheathed our weapons and flung ourselves into the fray. But after a moment it was clear there were way too many of them.
Rigmor and I charged up the ridge, being separated from the guys. We led them onto a frozen lake on the hopes some of them would fall into the water. I turned as she escaped across the lake. "FUS!" I shouted, blasting a bunch of the ice apart, sending a bunch of them into the depths.
It slowed them down a bit. Up the hill from the lake, the rest swarmed straight toward us. Jura and Calleius, who'd gone around the lake, rejoined us.
"Oh no! They got your cape!" I yelled to him.
"Had to sacrifice it to the greater good," Calleius shouted back, "Let's run! There're too many of them!"
Then we heard the howls of wolves in the forest beyond.
"Gods!" I swore.
"Our best hope is to make it to the cave and use the bottleneck!" Jura said.
We ran past the huge pack of wolves into the mouth of the cave that'd been marked on our map as the tunnel to the south portion of the island.
A huge bear popped out, flattening the wolves. He seemed to hold the line for us while we fled.
"Do you think that's Mr Bear?" Rigmor asked.
"Your bear friend from Skyrim? How do you think he would've gotten here from the mainland?" I asked, "Floated on an iceberg?"
"Hey, it could happen!" Rigmor said.
We reached the other end of the cave before the boys and I found her admiring the view to the valley below.
"That's quite a view," she said.
"Yeah!" I said back, "Now to find a way down."
"I know a way down," Rigmor smirked as she turned toward me, "Beats you jumping out of a tree."
She leaned back and fell toward the waterfall.
"Wait! You don't have a..." I sighed, then I leapt forward, following her.
I reached her on the shore of the surprisingly warm lagoon below.
Rigmor was already stripping off the underneath fur layers and wringing them out. I was forced to just pull my clothes off and do the same.
She was giggling at me.
"Where's your sense of adventure?" she asked.
"After what we've been through, cold and defeated," I took a deep breath as the cool air hit my skin, "It is pretty warm here though. Doubt it'll be so warm down south."
I started putting my armor on.
Jura and Calleius emerged from the forest.
"Wait.. how'd you..?" I started.
"A simple Alteration spell called Slow Fall. Drop Zone also would've worked," Jura replied, "Might want to stop princess from taking unnecessary risks."
"I have a cape," I replied.
"The other princess," Jura pointed at Rigmor.
"You're a wet blanket," she stuck her tongue out at him.
"We can follow this river to the logging camp and then to the villages. Maybe our supply ship is still in port down here," I said.
"Hopefully he's ok," Calleius said.
Rigmor and I walked out in front, following the river.
After a while, she said, "I haven't had this much fun since I was a kid. What did you do... y'know, when you were a kid?"
I shrugged, "I don't remember."
"What do you mean you don't remember?" She asked, "There must be something you keep with you from back then."
"The first thing I remember was the orphanage. I don't remember anything before I was 8 or 9."
"I'm not avoiding the subject. I really don't know," I replied, "Though, I really don't want to talk about it."
"Ok. Well, I have enough bad memories for two people!" Rigmor said loudly. She started telling me about her old house in Bruma, her dad, her best friend... trips to Anvil... how they got in trouble for throwing snowballs one time.
"Loona's dad got a job in Morrowind. Doubt I'll ever see her again," Rigmor said.
"We could always go someday," I said, "Have Sethri show us around."
She laughed, "I'd like that."
We passed the sea after a while as we passed down off the valley.
"Hmm... what's that?" She asked.
"Looks like an Imperial War Galley," Calleius replied.
"Maybe looking for us. Who knows," I said.
"Keep moving. Need to get out of here," Jura said.
We passed over a downed tree, then found the old logging camp.
"We can take a short break here, but best not delay," Jura said.
Rigmor sat. She asked, "So, thought of what we're going to do when we get back?"
"Go back to Bruma through Skyrim over the Jerall Mountains. See if we can get some support while we're passing through," I replied.
"Best not involve Skyrim directly. Might be seen as a sign of aggression," Jura replied.
"We'll see who we can find. I have a few friends," I said.
Jura and Calleius were leaning on a fallen tree, eating rations.
Jura reached out his hand to me, "Shh.. I hear something."
He took out his bow, and shot into the brush. An Akaviri yelled, and they sprang from the forest.
It was a strike group, and they were dealt with without too much trouble. Still, tenacious fighters.
The lead had a note on him, written in Akaviri.
Jura grabbed it and read out loud, "Kill all. Leave no witnesses. Bring girl to Table Mountain. Dead or alive. Then M.S., written in our tongue."
He crumpled it, "We'd better go."
We as jogged down the road, I asked, "How do you know Akaviri, old man?"
"I'll tell you later. Long story."
"Ugh," Rigmor slowed down.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"I'm really.. tired."
"Catch vampirism from their drains?" I asked.
Jura shook his head, "That doesn't make you tired. But the Akaviri have another version of the disease called the Living Death. If you become a vampire, you're immune, but you can still be a carrier. Unfortunately, our Cure Disease spell doesn't know the Living Death. It can't cure it."
We continued on, hoping to find civilization and the correct tools to cure Rigmor. We came upon a shack in the woods.
"C'mon!" Rigmor walked into the open door. Nobody was within. She laid down upon the stranger's bed, "I feel like I could sleep for a hundred years."
Calleius followed me in.
I looked outside to find Jura on the porch.
"What's the matter? We can pay and apologize to whoever lives here," I said.
"Getting those bad vibes again. I'm going to stay out here," Jura folded his arms.
When I turned, there was an old woman there.
"Bah!" I jumped, "Oh, sorry about this. My friend is feeling very sick."
"I know you mean no harm," she replied. She looked at Rigmor for a moment, then said, "She's afflicted. Did you do battle with the undead?"
"Well, now they're dead," I replied.
"She is afflicted with the Living Death. It puts you into a sleep so deep you never wake. The rest of you are lucky you weren't affected," the woman walked past me, going over to her alchemy table.
Speaking of which, I was now acutely aware of the sun going down. I drank a Cure Disease potion to cure Sanguinare Vampiris in the early stages and offered more to the boys.
Jura put up his hand in a stop signal, and casted the Cure Disease spell on both of them.
"It's good to know you were prepared this time, though," he smiled, "I do love me some Alchemy."
The old woman said from her table, "I have a recipe that will save her, but you must act quickly and gather ingredients."
She gave me a list and a location, and I walked out into the night.
Shadowmere was waiting on the road for me.
I squinted, "How... did you get here?"
He gave me a look like he was as confused as I was. I mounted him and took off alone.
It only took me an hour or so to get there, get the materials and get back.
I handed them over.
"Good job. The fever is taking hold and her temperature is rising. Once I administer the potion we should start seeing results."
She ground it and mixed it for several minutes.
She gave Rigmor some of it, then she gave the remainder to me in a bottle, "It's a cure for men and mer, but poison to the undead. Here. Take the rest."
I sat down and watched Rigmor. I said to the woman, "How can we thank you?"
"No need. I like helping people. Especially heroes," she smiled a big, toothy smile, "I'm a soothsayer. I have had many dreams and visions of possible permutations of the future for this world. Some are good. Most are not. The path has always been hard, but it is worth working for."
I leaned back, nodding.
I said to Jura, "Still not coming in?"
"My partner and I came to this land many times in the old days. You know there is a werewolf who lives nearby. I followed him and watched him once, wondering if he preyed on the nearby village. I mostly saw animal bones in his cave, and he never returned to human form after he hunted. Very peculiar," she said. She sat down next to Rigmor, watching her fever begin to lessen. She yelled some things, still a bit hysterical, but then she calmed.
"That's a good girl," she said, then she offered me the seat again.
She sat down across the room in an old rocking chair.
"Thank you again..." I said, "Wait, what is your name?"
"All in good time, Dragonchild," the woman murmured, and I drifted off to sleep.
FINALLY! ACTION!! (more than one kind). That was an emotional rollercoaster. I'm hoping that her opening up finally is not seen as out of character, but her attempt to live in the moment. People in dire situations do some crazy things. Coming out of my cage is referring to both Rigmor literally, and Runa, metaphorically. Believe it or not, she still doesn't know what she wants after experimentation. Even Rigmor is more certain about sex than Runa, and she's a mess!
The cabin thing in Dawnstar and remodel is that my Dawnstar overhaul messed up parts of the Inn while leaving the common room and most other parts useable. I like working around weird mod-isms.
Sorry the Rigmor x Runa didn't make it in pictures. It was part of the mod that it just went to black screen and didn't give me a chance to Sexlab it up before I was on to the next adventure.
The 'I don't remember anything' dialogue in the forest is meant to be 'I don't remember anything before Helgen.' But that wouldn't have even worked for Destana. Since A - She wasn't at Helgen when it was destroyed and B - She does remember her life before coming to Skyrim. So I completely changed it to something relevant that fits in with Runa's story.
I honestly don't know why Jura didn't walk in to the shack. But I'm using the weird mod-isms to add to the story. Jura seems to have the most unusual things he's doing and it's really rounding out his personality.
- Walking across the dais.
- Not wanting to ever get out of the 'lay down' position, seeming like a lazy old man sometimes.
- Not entering the shack.
- Not using the correct weapon so I've had to change it a couple times, then getting a BOMB sword in the fort.
Edited by EnragedBard