Hey, this is Destana. I think I'm going to compile stories I'm not there for again today. We finished our victory party (the army was also celebrating down in Haven with the locals). And I addressed the command group in the morning.
"Good morning. I can see you're all pretty tired after two battles and partying all night. Anyway, good job everybody. I'm not one for big speeches like Ulfric. We're going to meet off the coast of Alinor in about a week. See you on the fifth of Rain's hand. Also, King Silverhand told us about a few Ayelid ruins I missed. I'm a dungeon connoisseur but I figured I'd let you guys have your pick if you want," I said.
Runa responded, "Yeah I'm kinda tired, gonna rest until we get there."
"Sounds like fun, I'm in," Fenrir said.
"I used to crawl dungeons in my mercenary days. Sure," Tusselle replied.
"And me, Roheisa!" She said, wanting to be noticed.
"I'll go too," Damien said.
"Bro, of course you'll go because Tusselle's going," Fenrir said.
"Don't you have a girlfriend?" Damien remarked.
Valiana raised an eyebrow, not really knowing what was going on, "Leave me out of this."
"Don't you have a wife?" Fenrir retorted.
"Hey assholes talking about me like i'm not here: I think I'm to go with Roheisa," Tusselle said, mildly annoyed.
I chuckled under my breath then said, "Hilarious."
"And I thought Runa had relationship problems," Calleius said from the alchemy station.
"Kids these days," Jura said next to him, trying his hand at enchanting.
Most of them headed out with the fleet. Only the four dungeoneers stayed, and I stayed with Valiana and the cats on the airship to ferry them across when they were done.
We set down Tuss and Ro near Elden Root to a dungeon named 'Laeloria.'
Tusselle grabbed a folding rowboat, as there seemed to be almost no horses in this country.
They discussed tactics for a moment, getting familiar with each other's skillsets.
"I punch people with a little magic. Good at stealth so I might wanna scout ahead," Tusselle said.
"I'm greatweapon conjuration, also good at stealth, Roheisa said, "Be honest, did you just pick me so the boys wouldn't bother you?"
"Boy is right. Maybe, but you're a quiet bird and I'm curious," Tusselle replied.
"What's that like?"
"What? Having men fight over you? Annoying. I'm sure boys love you where you're from," Tusselle looked her up and down.
"Not really, they think I'm weird," Roheisa replied.
"Nothing wrong with a little weird, little flower. Let's check the first one out."
"I'd like to take point if that's all right," Roheisa requested.
"Sure. In fact, I think I'll hang back and let you start."
Roheisa led the way and found maybe a dozen dark rooms with a few chests and no monsters to speak of.
When Tusselle caught up with her Ro said, "Essentially there's nothing here except a few chests and strange visual effects. It's almost like someone stopped midway through building this dungeon."
"Damn. We should demand a second dungeon. But before that I think I want to punch some bandits."
As I walked around the airship, bored out of my mind, I noticed Fenrir and Damien glaring at each other. Usually before they did a mission together they'd be joking around, having a meal, etc. But this energy was different. I decided I wouldn't bother them today and let them work through it. Honestly, all this over a sexual partner. Making a good case for free love here.
We set them down near Balsquare.
Fenrir and Damien looked at each other a moments then Fen said, "Look, where's going to need to work together at some point. So we may as well lay it all out. Not sure what your game is right now Damien."
"What do you mean my game?"
"I mean, you trying to have two women?" Fenrir asked.
"Well, are you?" Damien asked as they entered the dungeon.
"Up until recently, Valiana was giving me friend vibes but that all changed last night. As such, I decided I'd back off Tusselle," Fenrir said. Not to mention she may have had second thoughts regarding his age.
"I mean you already slept with her," Damien said.
Fenrir turned to face him, "Yeah, well, shoot your shot. But again, don't you have a wife?"
Damien sighed, like he was setting down a weight, "We're not married. We're not happy. We rushed into things. We all make mistakes."
Fen put his hand on his brother's shoulder, "You know you can tell me anything. We spent what, ten years in Oblivion together?"
"Seems pretty stupid to bicker over something like this when you put it like that," Damien said, "Granted, you started it."
Fenrir sighed, "You're impossible. I was just figuring out what you were trying to do, you brainiac! And I kinda give a shit about Tusselle so I didn't want her to get blindsighted by your secret family."
"I kinda give a shit about her too," Damien said.
"Oh, is the demon prince in love again?" Fenrir smiled.
"Eh, not love. Something. Mind if I hang back here? Just call me if you need me," Damien replied
"Yeah sure I guess," Fenrir replied, finishing up readying his gear, "You going to be brooding?"
Damien chuckled, but he didn't give a response.
This was a proper Ayeleid dungeon. And Fenrir made me proud, using his mediocre sneak and ranged attacks to lighten the skeletons up, then plopping down his Dwemer Autocannon when he had a few targets to deal with and using Umbra and shield when they got close.
He was systematic and finally found a door to the lower levels. He found a key in the first room but continued forward and eventually found himself face-to-face with a horde of zombies and a Lich!
"Ooh about time to call for Damien!" He ripped the scroll Damien'd given him and his brother teleported to his side.
"A Lich?! Let's do it bro!" The half-daedra said with renewed vigor. He pulled two staves of Fireball out of his pack and blasted the undead in front of the boys to clear a path through the narrow hallway, and Fenrir ran in.
He took cover behind a pillar and started to pick off zombies while Damien focused on the Lich.
With Fenrir's first spray he managed to knock out three.
"Whoops!" Fenrir said.
"What oops!?" Damien asked.
"They had a prisoner. I think you nuked him to hell!" Fenrir responded, reloading.
"Or you pincushioned him!" Damien smiled, blasting the dais with fireballs.
Fenrir seemed to be the major annoyance here, because the Lich kept casting in Fenrir's direction.
"Yeah just focus on the other guy while I blast you to pieces!" Damien shouted.
About this time the last zombie fell and Fenrir ran in with his Crossbow-Shotgun in hand. He blasted the Lich once from point blank, dropped it, and pulled out his sword and shield. Being an excellent distraction, this gave Damien the chance to aim a large blast from his own hand behind the Lich's head on the wall. The thing went down.
"Why'd you wait until I ran in? I was staying back so you had all the room you needed to explode the thing," Fenrir said as he sheathed Umbra.
"Meh, fireballs are fine. Low cast time. I keep getting interrupted when I try and cast the bigger spells," Damien replied, "The Lich was focused on me for the first half of that fight."
"Fair enough," Fenrir said, ransacking the treasure.
He went to the room he'd skipped and found a horde of slightly tougher zombies and something supposed to be 'Driders' but they were just spiders that summoned daedra somehow. But the daedra were all melee fighters, and also stupid. Fenrir took them down with his assortment of crossbows.
"And that's it. Just out the back exit," he said.
Meanwhile Tusselle and Roheisa'd spent a little time killing bandits.
And approached the third dungeon a little after nightfall.
"Wasn't this an Imperial camp?" Roheisa asked.
"Well, we're done here. They probably packed up already," Tusselle responded.
As they neared, there was an eerie silence. Then it started to pour. As they approached, they noted the Thalmor bodies. And a huge, shadowy figure materialized between them. Without words, it took a swing at Tusselle.
"Whoa, guard up Ro!" She said.
Roheisa summed some skeletons to take on the giant, and Tusselle charged at the only living Thalmor - a mage. She decked it in the mouth, sending them on their back.
By the time Tusselle got back to Roheisa the skeles were down and the girl was running away from the creature.
Tusselle gave the thing an uppercut in the crotch, then another, and another.
"Follow my lead just keep punching it in the balls... if it has balls," Tusselle chuckled. She delivered blow after blow to the thing, and it even started to try and back away and cast spells, but Tusselle was relentless. It even started to run away from her.
Finally it got one off, and it looked like it was healed, good as new.
Tusselle growled, "Oh come on."
She chugged health and stamina potions and kept pummeling the thing. Eventually, it keeled over and died.
"You alright?" She asked Roheisa.
"I'm good," she replied, smiling sweetly.
"Were these guys trying to summon or control that thing?" Tusselle asked as she looked through the Thalmor's corpses.
Tusselle took point this time. And this dungeon was almost as much of a bust as the last one. It had a few corridors and skeletons to topple, as well as treasure, but it wasn't anything as exciting as Glenpoint (my dungeon) or Balsquare (the boys' dungeon). There was a strange blue light room she had to squeeze past some root to get to, but that was about it.
Tusselle found Roheisa at the entrance when she was done. She'd run ahead with Celerity a few times and outpaced the girl.
"We'd better meet up with the boys before they leave us here," Tusselle said, "That dungeon was almost as boring as the last."
"Disappointing to say the least," Roheisa said.
"They can't all be slam dunks. On the bright side the terror outside was fun to punch," Tusselle chuckled.
They made their way back to the meeting site of Woodhearth via the waterways of Valenwood and had a quick ale before they found the boys, who'd been waiting there for hours. And Valiana and I (Destana) were sitting with them.
"You guys ready to hit the road?" Tusselle asked, "It was nice doing some front-lining after so long, but Sialius is a mess without my natural organization system."
I patted the seat next to me, "You guys should have dinner before we go."
"We're probably going to sleep on the ship and head out in the morning anyway," Fenrir added, "The cats don't want to travel at night."
Tusselle shrugged, "There's a neat dining area in the airship. I think I'll take mine to go."
"It is getting a little crowded," Damien said.
"Meh, okay," I said, "Sit for a minute while they pack up food."
Tusselle sat between Valiana and Damien, and Roheisa sat between me and Fenrir. They each went over their dungeon experiences.
"You guys did two dungeons, AND cleared out a bandit hideout?" Fenrir asked.
"Well the dungeons were crap," Tusselle replied.
The rest of us drank and ate for a minute in an awkward silence.
Eventually, when I drained my tankard, I said, "Alright. I'm just going to come out and say it."
"What?" Damien asked.
"There's so much sexual tension in this group I could cut it with my dagger," I said.
"What are you talking about..." Fenrir started.
I looked around for the response. Tusselle drew her lips wide in a fake smile. Valiana pursed her lips. Roheisa blushed. Fenrir and Damien met glances, not sure what they should do, or what I was getting at.
"I say all of you should just take some Skooma, have a sex party and be done with it," I said.
They all looked at each other. Not necessarily saying yes, but not saying no either.
"Are we really considering this?" Valiana asked, "I've done Skooma before. Not up there in my best experiences..."
Tusselle looked around, "I know you both wouldn't argue with squishing my girl parts. The only questions here are if Val's okay with that part..."
Valiana sighed, "Not like I own him. I've had a lot of sex. If it would make you guys happy, I'll participate."
"Wonderful," I said, "What was your other question?"
"If Roheisa's got the balls to participate," Tusselle smiled slyly.
"Oh well, I'm not sure..." Roheisa murmured.
"You don't have to if you don't want to," I said.
"Nonsense. A girl like this deserves to be thrown around a little bit," Tusselle leaned forward and booped her on the nose.
"To be honest, I thought she was like... sixteen or something," Damien said.
For the first time any of them had seen, Roheisa's eyes returned a fury like the sun.
"Yeah, me too to be honest," Damien added.
"I'm twenty-two!" Roheisa slapped Fenrir. While everyone was reacting, she slapped Damien.
They both blinked, looking to me and Tusselle for guidance. Roheisa had her hands over her mouth, and muffled, said, "I'm so sorry."
After a long pregnant pause, Tusselle said, "So you're saying you're open to the idea?"
Roheisa met eyes with her and started to giggle, then we all laughed.
When we stopped, I said, "Alright. So. Meet me in the dining area of the airship in two hours."
When I recalled back to the airship after my wild flight to Elswyer, they were all sitting at the table, waiting for me.
"Alright. So none of you are getting cold feet?" I asked.
They looked at me intently. I set down two small bowls.
"The first one is actually pure, safe Skooma. The second one is a natural aphrodisiac," I said, "I'm going to be your handler so none of you get hurt. Skullcat offered to help. So naturally I picked the other cat to help, since Skullcat is a hopeless addict."
The kids looked at each other for several seconds.
Sorry, this is not a fun spoiler. I'm going to leave the details of this encounter for another day. Suffice it to say, things did happen. You can use your imagination for now. I will come back to this soon in flashback form.
During the next few days we searched for the fleet, though it took us a while to find them.
The ships had stopped off in Daggerfall to resupply. Transport ships from Anvil pulled into port after them and the men once called 'Ariel Sethius bandit army' loaded back up the ships with men and replenished the forces we'd lost. It was a quiet night on the first of Rain's Hand when the sailors pulled the mooring lines and shoved off. At dinner, Jura and Casius Varon got to talking about the Great War, finding they'd just missed each other a whole host of times, but had never actually met before Casius' pirate days a couple months ago.
Callieus sidled up to Jura, "Sir, I would like to make a request."
"Yeah?" Jura asked.
Calleius looked over to Casius, who served as the Admiral of this fleet. Then he said, "I was wondering if I could have the night off. Runa and I barely got the chance to see Daggerfall."
Jura shrugged, "Don't think I'm going to get attacked? Now would be the perfect time, after we pulled out of Daggerfall. If it were me, I'd stowaway on the ship. Or take a rowboat out of High Rock. Of course, we have Galahad to heal me if need be. Go ahead."
Calleius walked off with Runa.
Casius chuckled, "You're awfully nonchalant about it. The last real emperor was killed by an assassin. On this very boat, infact."
"Oh, I thought this looked familiar. Did you manage to catch the Katariah?" Jura asked.
"Yeah. They ran from port as soon as Titus Mede was killed, thinking they'd get blamed," Casius replied, then he stood from his meal, "If you'll excuse me, I've got some business to attend to."
Emperor Jura nodded. It was late. Nobody else worked this late. Jura eyed the plate for a moment, "Casius!"
The Count turned, "Yes?"
"You said you were ravenous. But you barely touched your slop," Jura said.
"Not very appetizing," he replied.
"I think you're hiding something."
Casius sighed, "How are you so damn perceptive?"
"Part of my charm, I think."
"I was going to Runa's room," Casius replied.
"With Calleius? Wow. Did not predict that. You do know..." Jura said, "Nevermind. If you don't know, you'll figure it out. Make your own judgments."
"Thought you'd react a little worse to that," Casius responded.
"Meh. You're all adults. Though... you're pretty old," Jura replied. He stood up too, "You know, I think I'm going to my room. This isn't very appetizing."
The cook scowled at both of them as they walked out.
Jura sat down at the Katariah's desk after passing a skeleton crew worth of night watchmen. He shuffled through papers, maps, plans, etc. Then he let out a big sigh, taking his coffee mug into his hand. He used his skills in Destruction to heat up the mug as he held it.
"Might not be as good as fresh, but the staff's already had to put up with me enough tonight," Jura muttered, thinking he sometimes preferred doing everything for himself like a normal human-being. He sipped the awful coffee for a few minutes, looking out the back window.
In the silence of the night, Emperor Jura heard a scraping, then a clicking of the door in front of him. No normal person who holds a key takes that much work to open a door so quietly.
"And once again, I prove Calleius the fool. I told him you can't stop the Thalmor from trying every underhanded tactic they can. Never could."
"Don't be shy. You haven't come this far just to stand there staring."
The elf woman slowly walked toward the desk and finally asked, "You're expecting me?"
"Sure I was. Sooner or later. You and I have a date with destiny. But that's how it is with assassins and emperors, am I right? C'mon, come closer. Take your prize."
She smiled. She'd never heard of an Emperor going down so easy. No guards worth reckoning. No defenses. He wasn't even wearing his armor. This would be easy. She walked around the desk.
"But first, would you honor an old man's request?"
The elf laughed loudly, spitting at his request.
Not a chance. She drew his dagger and thrusted it towards Emperor Jura.
"You first," the old Redguard smirked,
"What?" She replied, and with a flash, Jura gripped the elf's hand. There was a loud crack as her wrist twisted the wrong direction. The dagger clanked to the ground and Jura threw her bodily across the room. She flipped over and her stomach hit the table to Jura's left. He reached down and got his sword and shield off the ground under the desk.
"How dare you..." she choked out as she rolled onto the floor, headfirst.
Jura slashed her across the side as she rolled to her feet, then he did a fierce downward chop across her body, activating his sword's enchant and flinging her again. This time she slammed into the small table near the door, her spine cracking out of place.
Jura looked down at her writhing form, "You remind me of someone. Damn shame it had to end this way. You were on the wrong side today."
Then he stabbed her in the chest and her writhing stopped. He dragged the body toward the back door to dump it in the sea, but his chamber was rocked by an explosion.
"What the hell??"
"We're under attack!" A distant shout went out.
Jura slipped on his armor and ran to the source, and found Runa with several dead Penitus Oculatus.
"Sorry, I... couldn't protect these men. The Thalmor attacked. Hit and run," Runa growled.
"Where'd they go?" Jura asked.
"Calleius and Casius ran after them, that way!" She pointed.
Jura rushed to the deck, but whatever had been, was now over. Fires were being put out.
"What happened? Damage report!" Casius shouted.
"I was attacked by an assassin," Jura said, then he cut them off, "I'm alright."
"They made their attack, then they ran," the watchman said.
"What did they want besides to kill me?" Jura asked.
The sun was starting to rise.
Calleus joined the group, "Sir, I think I know. They blew a hole in the other command ship."
"What else?" Jura asked.
"They took General Sialius. Ulfric Stormcloak is badly wounded."
Galahad walked on deck, cradling Ulfric, "I don't think even I can heal him here."
"Can't you resurrect people?" Jura asked.
"Yeah. Listen. We're about fifty miles off High Rock. I'm going to take Ulfric and get him to a team of Restoration mages who can do far more than I, faster," Galahad said, "I will sustain him while I travel."
"Travel? It's open ocean!" Jura replied.
Galahad unfurled a large pair of feathery wings, "Don't ask questions. There's no time."
And he was off, Ulfric's lifeless form in hand.
"Bastards. Destana's going to be pissed," Jura said, then he turned to Calleius, "Son, this is your lucky day."
"I don't feel very lucky," Calleius said, "They caught us with our pants down."
"No, I mean. You're getting a spot promotion. General Tyroni Calleius. Find Quintus, tell him to take Sialius' seat. Take charge of your men, get everything in order."
With a heavy heart, Calleius nodded, "Yes sir."
My original idea was to have Jura twist her hand around and stab her with her own dagger, but of course there's no way to do that in Skyrim. So I figured cutting to a killmove via her dagger would work. But I couldn't get it to trigger (even with Director's Tools mod) so this is the result.
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Edited by EnragedBard