Nice shot of the young group in Summerset before departing.
Hey, it's Runa. I want to say our winning against the Thalmor was sweet, but as I walked the battlefield the night after, I think the term 'bittersweet' would be more apt.
Our dead, their dead, they all piled up. Too many to dig graves for. So they were burned. Well, until it rained. I found Galmar talking with Brutus Brutalis about old times. They were both old timers, though Brutus had aged well. I had a suspicion they'd fed him life water just so they could torture him for longer.
"I never see you without your helmet," I said to Galmar.
"This has been such a long and arduous road. But I believe, because of your mother we can finally enjoy peace on Nirn," he replied, letting the rain hit his face.
"You going to take a dose of the waters?" I asked him.
"No. No, I don't think so. I may change my mind in a few years if things go really well with Auri, but I think I was given enough time," Galmar replied.
I nodded. I could respect that.
When we rode back on the airship, I slept a lot. I'd been very tired lately. The rocking of the ship and made me a little sick. I spent a lot of the trip hanging over the railing.
When we finally got back, we pulled into Windhelm in the late hours of the evening. Everyone was already asleep. I nudged Roheisa. She'd agreed to stay in Skyrim, atleast for a tour.
"I'm up," she murmured, rolling out of the hammock. We got our gear ready and got dressed from night clothes.
"Ready?" She asked.
"Could I get some help?" I said, muffled, the cuirass stuck over my head and shoulders.
She reached up and unbuckled the shoulderpads and the bodypiece and re-fastened them... barely.
"Huh, I swear this fit a few days ago," I said, not really thinking much on it.
I put on my gauntlets, boots, cape and backpack and we disembarked.
"I like the architecture," Roheisa said.
"Yeah, mostly dead right now though," I replied. Not really wanting to stay at the Palace of Kings, I looked at the Candlehearth Inn, but it looked pretty full.
"We definitely should sleep, so you can see the interesting people and things in the daytime. But I have an idea," I said.
She followed me through the corridors of the city and we arrived on Aventus' doorstep.
"Whose house is this?" Roheisa asked.
"Just an old friend of mind," I replied. I knocked on the door, but after several minutes there was no answer. I bent over, sticking a lockpick in the lock.
"You sure this is alright?" Roheisa asked.
"Sure. It's fiiiine. He won't mind. We're very good friends," I replied as I popped the lock. I silently opened the door and pulled her in.
I walked in, not sneaking, but not exactly being loud either.
"Wow, this place is a mess. Run down. Looks like he stuck in the everburning candles and just hasn't been back in a while."
I looked around. Boards needed to be replaced. Objects strewn about.
I looked in the loft and the adjacent room. One of the beds was a collapsed pile of wood, the other one intact. I raised an eyebrow at what he'd been doing here. I mean, the sign outside still said 'Aretino.'
I pulled a bedroll out of my pack, "This is not ideal. But I'm tired. You take the bed."
"Please, princess..." Roheisa said.
"Don't worry about it. I brought us here. You have the good sleeping place," I was already laying down, not even bothering to take my armor off.
Ro shrugged and laid down. Early in the morning, maybe 4 am, I heard a woman shout, then a man shout.
I hopped down from the loft and ran into the adjacent room. Roheisa's scythe was up to a man's neck. She looked like she'd been woken from a dead sleep with a startle.
"Wait. Everybody stop!" I said, "Put the scythe down."
"Runa?" The man asked. As Roheisa put her weapon down, he ran over to me and hugged me, hard.
"It's been a few months, but for me it feels like a lifetime," I said.
"Same here. I've been traveling the seas. Back and forth between Elswyer, Hammerfell, Skyrim, even a little bit Morrowind. I think I have my route down."
"But enough about me. I like your hair. New armor. Sword. And I heard you went to war. The fleet's not even back in Skyrim yet. Looks like we won, huh?" Aventus smiled.
"Of course we did. They had me," I smiled back.
"Of course," Aventus got out his wine and sat at the table, "Care for a drink? Oh, who is your friend?"
"Ser Roheisa of Wayrest, this is Aventus Aretino," I said.
"Pleased to meet you," she bowed.
"The pleasure's all mine," he kissed her hand, bowing lower. He poured a couple glasses of wine and said, "Please, tell me all about your adventures."
"Just water for me, thanks," I replied, "I'll give you the short version~"
I went into detail about everything that'd happened, and he was amazed. Barely able to believe it. Before he commented though, he walked over to the safe in the back and pulled out a large sack, then put it on the table.
"What's this?" I asked.
He gestured for me to look inside.
"This is full of rubies," I blinked, "How much?"
"This is about thirty thousand septims worth. What I owe you, plus interest, plus a little extra. You were my first investor, and I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart," Aventus said.
I smiled, "I nearly forgot you owed me this."
"Spoken like a true princess," he said, and we all laughed.
Aventus gave us a bit of a tour of the city (though I was fairly familiar, I never really lived in Windhelm). As we were walking later I asked him, smiling, "So, you have the funds. Why does your house look like trash?"
He shrugged, "Truth is, I never come home. I'm only in town a few days then I'm gone again. I figure it's good enough for a place I stay one or two days a month."
We took in a fight at the arena, shopped a little bit, did some sightseeing. I knew one day was enough for Windhelm, and I asked if we could stay one more night.
"I will sleep on my bedroll tonight," Roheisa said. Before Aventus could offer it to her, she waved him off, "You are the owner. Don't worry about it."
She looked between the two of us, perhaps knowing something had gone on, then she went to sleep early.
Aventus and I stayed up talking that night, him telling me about his journeys over the past few months.
It finally boiled down to us talking about the old times and the orphanage.
"Oh, have you been to Riften? I donated a hefty sum. They expanded it," Aventus said.
I smiled, seeing that boy I liked spending time with when we were little kids. We were both the weirdos. I leaned over and kissed him.
He pulled back.
"Sorry," he said.
"What is it?" I asked.
"Well, I know the two of us have quite a history. I just figured you had a lot going on with Calleius, and Rigmor, and your stories of Casius and others."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Well, I think I should tell you, I got married."
"Married??" I asked, a little shocked, "It's only been a couple months..."
"Well, we've known each other for a while. And that's the way of things in this life sometimes. You just want to grasp at happiness before you die, you know?"
I looked down at my belly, "Yeah, I know. I understand. Sorry I made things complicated for you. Who is she?"
"Not at all. Runa, I will always love you. Even if we're not together," Aventus put his arm around me, "She's captain of one of the ships I've been using to trade."
"Right," I said, "Think I'm going to turn in."
I quickly went to sleep on my bedroll.
The next morning Roheisa and I were out of there early, on to tour more of Skyrim before she had to go back. After a few weeks, we came back to Windhelm to complete the cycle before she got on a boat to Illiac Bay. At this point I was no longer tooling around in my golden armor. Not much point. We'd fought some bandits a time or two on the road, but in the cities, things were relatively safe. And my armor didn't fit.
I figured it was about time to go to Cyrodiil. I informed mom and the others, and got on the road. I decided I would stay in the Imperial City for a few months, really take an adventuring vacation.
Rigmor was just about as pregnant as me, staying in the adjacent room. Jura and I would talk between his administrative duties. Casius visited sometimes. And I saw Tusselle relatively often. And Calleius. For all intents and purposes, this was his baby.
Nobody really visited from Skyrim, but I didn't really need them to. I think it was always in my mind that I would be leaving to go back when the baby was born - with no plan whatsoever why, or what I would actually be doing. Or who would be taking care of the baby.
So months passed. Nothing much exciting. On the 3rd of Frostfall, Sethri came to my door raving about some problem. I rolled out of bed, wondering if being a princess could possibly mean not losing out on sleep.
"We have a situation," Sethri said.
"What.... kind of situation?" I yawned.
"A Princess Rigmor kind of situation," he said back.
"What is it this time?" I sighed.
"Blackwell assigned two personal bodyguards to follow Lady Rigmor around. She's not too pleased about it, and that's an understatement," he explained, "You're the only one with the authority to deal with it. And the balls I guess. They'll wind up with their guts around their ankles if you don't. And you have a visitor."
"Leave it to me. I'll deal with it. Who's the visitor?" I asked.
"Owner of the stables outside Bravil. That's where the chapel of Mara is, so I imagine he's got a," he pointed to my belly, distended beyond my wildest dreams now, "Bit of related information. You know, about the other one."
"Where's Rigmor now?" I asked.
"I've no idea. I've been keeping right out of her warpath," Sethri chuckled, "The visitor, Antonius Maro is in the audience chamber."
We walked together and Sethri took his leave when we reached the audience chamber. Inside, two members of the Penitus Oculatus were flanking the man. I casually walked in. (Also, kinda hard to run around like I normally do).
"Your highness," the man bowed, "Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Antonius Maro. I run the Bay Roan stables outside Bravil, but I come as a trusted messenger."
"Not any relation to the Penitus Maro by chance?"
"Yes, how did you guess?" He asked, "But nevermind that. My family's name gets around. I haven't had contact with my father and brother for some years."
"I see," I replied, betraying nothing. Pretty sure we killed those guys.
"Anyway, I was told to let you know the time is soon, and you should know what I mean," Maro said.
"I cannot relay the full message here to avoid word getting out. If you book yourself into the inn, Silverhome on the Water, I will contact you there and advise you on the next step."
"Couldn't we just stay at Bravil Keep?" I asked.
"It is vitally important you do not draw attention to yourself. From Mara herself, she wants this absolutely secret. Trust noone. Except, of course, myself. And the innkeeper. Her name is Rose."
"Rose?" I scratched my chin, wondering if it was the same Rose from years ago. When Mom and I saved Rigmor, we met a beautiful red-haired woman on the road who helped us. I was... fifteen or sixteen then. I replied finally, "Thank you Antonius."
"I am your most humble and loyal servant, m'lady," he said.
Marius of the Penitus cleared his throat, "Permission to speak."
"It would be prudent to let myself and Tara to accompany you to Bravil."
"Given the circumstances," I looked down, "Two pregnant ladies going into potential danger. Sure. But Rigmor isn't going to like it. Just, go ahead of us and scout the area first."
Marius nodded, "As you command."
Speak of the devil. I could see Rigmor's bloated form darkening the doorway of the audience chamber, her guards barely able to keep up with her.
"Ruuuuna! We need to talk!" She approached.
I folded my arms over my belly.
"Who the hell are these guys watchng over me all the time?! I can't even take a dump without them falling over me!"
She walked past me.
"Majesty, it's me! Aenas, and Crispus!"
I smirked. They were good guys, if not a little bumbling.
"M'lordship wants us to make sure m'lady Rigmor's kept safe. It's an honor, truly it is."
I peered over to Jura, who was sitting in regular clothes, no crown, a pair of glasses, signing Imperial decrees on the other side of the hall. Without looking up, he gave me a single wave, "Yo."
I sighed, "I'll take charge of her. You guys can go have a drink."
"Crispus?" Aenas asked.
"Don't look at me. We wouldn't be here if the head mage hadn't banged his head."
"So this is punishment, then?" I folded my arms again, chuckling.
"We were in Chorrol after the Battle of Table Mountain. Aenas got so drunk he urinated in the doorway of the Mage's Guild."
"Sod off Crispus! That's not true!"
"Three or four of them came out, and began slipping all over Aenas' piss! The head mage slips, cracks his head on the doorway, an in an instant, we're running and getting fireballs up our arses!"
I covered my mouth, but couldn't help but laugh.
Aenas started to laugh with me, "Guess it was bleeding funny though."
"Don't worry about it. I'll take care of her. Go have a drink. Maybe don't get piss drunk," I smirked. They laughed and took the order, walking out the back.
I approached Rigmor.
"I don't think I can stand being cooped up here anymore for mY pRoTecTIoN!" She said.
"Well, you got your wish. The Priest of Mara summoned us to Bravil," I replied.
She smiled, "So what do we do, walk in there, 'hey just here to have a miracle baby, where's the birthing room?"
"We're to keep a low profile, book ourselves into the Inn. A message will arrive with directions."
"Great! Let's go!" Rigmor said.
"I sent the Penis guys ahead of us," I snickered.
"Yeah, maybe if I weren't the leader of one of their big enemies I'd have a little more respect for them."
"How's that going, by the way?" She asked.
"Eh, actually assassination is way down. I guess all our wars actually did something good for Tamriel. I've mostly backed off as a silent leader. Stabby gives me regular updates but a lot of the full members have second jobs. I mean we have a lot of members now. Kinda also turned into a spy network for Skyrim," I explained as we walked toward the stables, "Well, except for the Alik'r chapter. That one's been blowing up."
We found each other at the stables again, Rigmor in refitted armor and me still in my royal robes.
She got on Ren and I got on Shadowmere and we rode to Bravil, it taking a little more than a day.
We found our way to the Inn, trotting into the main road.
"Valiana is from here," I said as I got off Shadowmere. Then I remembered Rigmor had never met Valiana. Then I said, "Nevermind."
We dismounted and walked in.
"Come on in," an argonian said, "Warm drinks, warm beds, warm food. What can I help you with?"
"We're here to answer Mara's call," I said.
"Ah," he said, walking upstairs, "Rose, you've got visitors!"
"Wait, Rose?" Rigmor asked.
And it was her. She walked down the stairs.
"Hey girl! This is a wonderful surprise!" Rose shouted gleefully. Rigmor and Rose grabbed each other like they were seeing who could hug the hardest.
Then she looked at me and smirked, "And Runa. You still have the same dorky haircut."
I laughed out loud, "I grew it out, braided it, chopped off the sides, then cut it all and let it start growing from the beginning again."
"Quite a trip. You grew up," Rose smiled at me.
"That's not all," I smirked, "Lot of difference six years can make."
"By the gods it's been a long time. If it wasn't for you two, and the Dragonborn, I would not here right now. Which, it's true then? Destana is the Dragonborn?"
"Yep," I said.
Rigmor went and sat down, mumbling something about her back aching.
"You guys are like something out of a fairy tale."
I smiled at her.
"Looks like you took good care of her. Proud of you," Rose said, "Let's sit. I wanna catch up."
They talked for a minute while I went between looking at Rose and peering at everything else going on - seeing if there were any surprise access points, any traps... etc. I was thinking about how I would approach this as an assassin. After all, I am an assassin.
"Ever been back to Skyrim?" Rigmor asked.
"Nope. Wanted to start fresh. Try something new. Even though I'd lost everything, I never gave up."
"I understand that," Rigmor said, "But you can look after yourself, right?"
"If you've got nothing to lose, you can only go up," Rose said.
"I also understand that," Rigmor said.
"I only took the good parts of me along. Like helping people. People come here to see me in Bravil all the time. I even made some balms for the count."
"What's wrong with him?" Rigmor asked.
"Caught some disease. Not life-threatening, just contagious. That's why the keep is out of bounds," Rose replied.
"Ah, that makes sense," I commented.
"Hey, why don't I go get a round of drinks?" Rigmor asked.
"Tell Matilda to put it on the tab," Rose said.
"Only water for me, thanks," I said. Rigmor and I looked at each other.
"Why's that?" Rigmor asked.
"Somebody told me it's not good for baby to drink alcohol. I don't think it's well known," I replied.
"Oh really? Well, I mean, my Mead's been very watered down so Kintyra should be fine. Not like I went on any benders. I was cooped up in the palace!" Rigmor said, "Though... I think I will stick to water from here on."
Rigmor stepped out of earshot and I realized I hadn't been talking very much. I looked back at Rose and she was staring with a slight smile, "Hi. Figured Rigmor and either you or your mom had something to do with Fort Black. I was in Bruma at the time."
"Yeah, the New Imperial Troops were barely trained. Easily snuck past them."
"We absorbed them into the Legion so they could be trained properly," I explained.
"I heard about Bravil and what a steaming pile of junk it was, and thought I would fit right in," she laughed.
Rigmor returned, "Here we go. Here's to absent friends. So Rose, how did you manage to become the proprietor of Silverhome?"
"It was a little run down and had been empty for about a year before I got here. I was staying at the chapel. I helped with gardening, keeping the graveyard with Antonius."
"Are you and Antonius...?" Rigmor asked.
"No, no. I'm very picky when it comes to that kind of thing," she peered over to me for a few seconds before she continued.
"I got involved when the countess and her child became very sick and they both made it. One morning a few days later the count arrived at the chapel and without saying a word, handed me the keys to Silverhome on the Water," Rose said, "But enough about me. I've heard about you guys' adventures. And I'm glad Cyrodiil has hope, especially after the dark days of the past few years."
"Oh, and the Thalmor are gone," I smiled big.
"For good?" Rose asked.
"Yep. They didn't take me with them," Rigmor sulked. Then she got up for more drinks. Thirsty girl.
Rose turned to me, "You've done an amazing job taking care of her. How long have you been together?"
"Who even knows, with all the time weirdness? But I guess I was away for a few years traveling the world while Rigmor stayed in Bruma and the time stuff was only in Skyrim."
"Are you two...?" Rose asked.
"Meh. Kinda. It's complicated. But not exclusive," I winked.
"Did you see yourself being a hero when you were young?" Rose smiled.
"I'm no hero. Just, generally the people who are assholes to others are also assholes to me, and I have to do something about them," I shrugged. Feel like my mom would say that too.
Rose laughed, "If the gods will it, so shall it be."
"Like us seeing each other again?" I asked.
"That's an ambiguous statement. If I didn't know any better I would think it was innocent. I remember when you were a sweet girl," Rose smiled.
"Please, I am innocent. Nothing bad or dangerous about me," I smirked.
"Well maybe it's me who's trying to lead you into an unsavory situation, then," Rose grinned.
Antonius suddenly appeared in the front doorway, "M'lady, my mistress will see you now."
"You go. I'm going to catch up with Rigmor," Rose waved.
The chapel was a short walk and the priestess received me, alone.
"Greetings. I am Uravasa Mona. It is my honor to receive you under these special circumstances," she said. She looked down at my belly, "But I'd heard the child had been carried by Lady Rigmor."
"The honor is mine," I said, "She is also pregnant. That's the miracle baby. This is just a regular baby."
"Wait... I was told it was by you. How can you also be pregnant?" Uravasa asked.
I sighed, "I am as baffled as you are."
She stared off into space, like she was thinking about the situation.
"Follow me," she said, and led me to her chambers, down a level.
Uravasa folded her arms, "This means you must've already been pregnant when you received the blessing."
"Yep. Sure was. Got pregnant only a matter of days before Rigmor did," I replied.
"Puzzling. Have you...reverted?" She asked.
"No, no. I still have a penis. Rigmor's going to have a baby within days, and I suspect so am I. I don't know what the heck to do,"
"We've prepared a special antechamber for the delivery in the undercroft. I communed with Mara, and Lady Rigmor should be due tomorrow morning. Bring her here early, we will be prepared," Uravasa said as if she was saying what she'd prepared to say but had no idea how to respond to what I'd said, "Rose will be on hand in case of complications. The people of Bravil owe her a debt of gratitude."
After a moment, she added, "I will commune with Mara concerning your... issues."
We stood, and she said, "There's something else. Mara warned me that something lurks. Watches. Some other celestial is blocking her vision. All she could see was a vision of Tang Mo."
"Sounds Akaviri," I replied.
"Do be careful. No one should know you're here, but Daedra have their ways," Uravasa said.
"I could just call on the Legions. Or my family, to surround and keep us safe," I shrugged.
"Please, the more people know, the worse our chances are. This is as you said, a miracle," she said, "A gift from the divines that surpasses any norm, like like my own birthing."
"I am also a child born of two mothers," Uravasa said.
I shrugged, "Well, alright."
I walked back to the Inn, just after nightfall, to find Rose standing at the bar, house cleared out.
"Hope everything went well," she said.
"She already went to bed. I booked you both in the adjacent rooms just up the stairs. I hope that's alright," Rose replied.
"Not a problem," I said.
"She was lights out as soon as she hit the pillow. Funny to think that if not for us she wouldn't be here."
"Think I should retire too?" I asked.
"Why don't I show you around the city at night? Would you like that?" She asked.
"That sounds great."
We walked around for a little bit, her showing me the shops nearby. We found the statue of Mara.
"Isn't she beautiful in the candlelight?"
"Honestly a little bit more bosom-y than I remember," I chuckled.
"Yeah, well, they're for feeding kids. Mara's for home and hearth. Makes sense she'd be stacked," Rose snickered.
"I think when I passed through here a few years ago this was an empty podium, right?" I asked.
Author's note: Before her return to Skyrim in Entry 31, Runa passed through here.
"She stands on the site of the "Lucky old lady" statue that was destroyed during the Skooma Wars," she explained, "C'mon, I wanna show you something else."
We crossed the bridge and she said, "Zenithar used to have a following here, but after the whole back wall was destroyed during a fight in those Skooma wars, he and the Mages' Guild were vacant."
"I know Medora Direnni returned the Mages' Guild to its' workable state," I said.
"Hey, yeah, you do know the area a little," Rose said, "Sadly, she's been gone for a while. And before that it fell back into a state of disrepair, just because no mages wanted to come back here."
We reached Zenithar's old podium, "His downed statue was replaced by this statue of Dibella, bringing hope and love to the city. One of the reasons I love it here."
"Makes sense she'd be naked," I said.
I slyly picked up a rose from the nearby bushes, then I handed it to her.
"How sweet," she sniffed it, "You've got me blushing."
"Don't say another word," Rose replied. She leaned in and kissed me. Then, smiling, she turned to walk back towards the Inn. She took off at a jog, giggling.
"Ach! Come back here! I'm not good at running right now!" I said. I quickly lost sight of her.
When we got back to the Inn, she was waiting on the second floor. I caught my breath.
"Rigmor's is on the left, yours is on the right," she turned to me.
"I guess I'll be going to bed then," I said.
"Don't you want to see where I live?" Rose asked coyly.
"Is it the... top floor?" I asked.
"C'mon, I'll show you my room. If you like... that is."
"I think you know where this is leading," I said.
"It leads wherever you want to take it," she replied. She slowly walked up the next flight of stairs, looking over her shoulder to see if I would follow.
I did follow. But I said as I waddled up the stairs, "Got a thing for pregnant ladies?"
"Just you," she replied.
"Well, you're going to be surprised at what you see," I said.
"Good surprised or bad surprised?"
"Well that depends on what you like," I replied.
When we finished, I fell asleep for a while. I was woken a few hours later with an image of the red-haired beauty staring at me in the dark.
"Creepy," I whispered.
She smiled, "I know you won't stay. Rigmor told me all about your many loves. And I was surprised to see what you have in your pants. Could I... get another round?"
"Sure," I shrugged.
She stood, "Not here though. I've always had this fantasy..."
She took me out to the Dibellan statue and we had sex again out there. Even better than the first time.
We heard the voices of guards from across the courtyard, and she took off again. I hid in the shadows while I frantically slipped my clothes on.
She was laughing when we met up again at the Inn.
"You've had your fun, but I'm dead tired," I half-smiled, "I'm going to my own room this time."
She kissed me on the cheek and I was out like a light.
A few hours later I was awoken again... this time by Rigmor. But it was only for a moment. She cuddled up behind me. Laying on my side was not ideal, but I was too tired to argue. I went back to sleep.
"My ladies!" I was awoken in the morning, my eyes feeling like they'd been dragged across the ground.
Antonius Maro. He burst into my room.
"It's lady Rigmor!" He said. I looked beside me and found a vacant spot on the bed. I stood up as fast as my swollen body would allow me.
"What's happening?" I asked.
"Lady Rigmor was out in the garden and went into labor. Rose left a few moments ago to help guide her to the chapel. If you hurry you can catch them," Maro replied.
I blew the little hairs out of my face and started to get dressed. Unfortunately, Rigmor seemed to be faring much better in the mobility and endurance department than me, so it was not likely I would catch her.
I got to the chapel as fast as I was able, going into stealth mode immediately as I entered. This is a trap, but I know how to deal with it.
Two assassins heard the doors open, but didn't hear me approach. Even in my current state, the first one fell instantly as I slashed him from behind. The second one turned to help his friend and I sprayed him with a, "FUS!" To stagger then finished him off.
"Hmm... Morag Tong by the looks of them," I murmured.
I continued into the undercroft, drinking an invisibility potion. I needed to avoid getting hit. Another assassin was running upstairs to see what the commotion was. Ran right past me, and I stabbed him through the back.
I heard the sounds of teleportation and summoning around me... and I knew I was surrounded. I quaffed another potion, knowing I needed to not get hit.
Three of them. Two in standard armor and a monkey man. I hid around a pillar, waiting for my moment. Then I heard a door open.
"Runa, is everything okay out there?"
Shit! Don't open the door you idiot..!
Rigmor emerged from the antechamber and engaged the three of them. I caught sight of Rigmor as their backs were turned and realized... she was in her normal armor, no longer pregnant. Oh, their attention is on her!
"FUS - RO - DAH!" I blasted all three of their bodies into the stone pillars and walls. Before he could recover, I chopped the Tang Mo (monkey man) over the shoulder and he fell to his knees. Then another chop and his head rolled off. The others slipped away.
I grabbed my belly, feeling a sharp pain, falling to one knee.
"Runa," Rigmor helped me up as the two other assassins charged at us.
She said to me, "I see you learned something new. You ok?"
"Yeah," I murmured.
"Wanna see something I learned?" Rigmor grinned.
"They're charging, better make it good!" I shouted back.
"It is," she replied, "FUS!"
The guy in front staggered and we both cleaved him with our greatswords.
And he went down. The last one took this opportunity to sneak attack Rigmor, but my shout was ready again and I gave him another full Unrelenting Force.
I charged over and stabbed his prone form, killing him.
By my reckoning, there were three, but two more had joined the fray since we started fighting, so we both went into stealth again. We split up, each taking one. I could hear fireblasts hitting Rigmor, and I got the drop on mine yet again.
"You never should've come here," he said, then I cleaved him across the back, then he shouted "I submit!"
He used an invisibility spell, but I was already slashing where he'd been, and felt my sword cleave through him. Rigmor took care of hers at the same time.
I found her after grabbing the Tang Mo's katana and circlet, "So I see you had the baby. You're already recovered?"
"There're spells to bring people back from the dead. You don't think there's a spell for this?" Rigmor chuckled, "But there's no time to waste."
We rushed to the antechamber to find the priestess, Rose, and the swaddled baby. A woman lie in the bed, dead. A spray of daggers had hit the woman, and nearly hit the baby, who was unharmed.
"No! Alana!" Rigmor rushed over to her.
"She... served her purpose here," Uravasa said, "Sad though it may be, she was your decoy."
"I...I did all I could, but I failed," Rose said.
"It's not your fault," I said.
"She is to be Sainted for shielding this child of destiny," Uravasa said.
"Obviously, this was the Morag Tong. Bugs just keep coming back after we killed them," I growled.
"They'll keep coming until the writ is fulfilled," Uravasa folded her arms.
Rigmor's face turned to rage, "I'm not planning on living my life looking over my shoulder. Runa's still pregnant, gods bless her she can still fight. I'm going to call the ambassador when we get back to the palace. Let's leave right away."
"Before you go, Mara told me to contact someone called Roheisa about your problem, ask her to help you. I'll take care of things here. Go," Uravasa said.
We rode back to the Imperial City in a hurry, and called for Morrowind's ambassador immediately. Though he was in the province, it took him two days.
I was still godsdamned pregnant. Even more late term than Rigmor'd been.
I could tell she was getting impatient waiting in the audience chamber. I walked in for breakfast and found her tapping her foot.
"Where the hell...?"
"Oh, they'll come. Or I'm going to send out a counter-hit on them," I growled.
"Oh hey, look who it is," I said.
"The Ambassador of Morrowind," one of my Penitus guys announced.
Jura walked down from the dais to stand by us, Calleius staying in the background of the throne room (he'd been hanging out).
I'd given him crap before for wearing 'regular-people' clothes around the palace, but he said he thought it made him seem approachable.
"Greetings, I came as soon as I could," the ambassador said.
I folded my arms, "Two days ago assassins of the Morag Tong murdered a young woman in Bravil. They had no writ for her execution. And they were acting outside Morrowind. The writ was for our child, Kintyra."
"Well, I'm sorry for your loss. But that hardly had anything to do with us. They're a law unto themselves."
"We're not idiots. The Morag Tong work for the houses of Morrowind," I replied.
"What do you expect me to do about it?"
"Inform the king he's going to annul the writ on the child," I growled, becoming tired of this man's unwillingness to help.
"I'm afraid you're mistaken. The Morag Tong are acting on their own. What exactly do you wish me to relay to him?"
"You tell him," I said through my teeth, "If anything happens to Princess Kintyra..."
"Is that a threat?" He folded his arms, unamused.
I clenched my hand, going for my sword.
"No, this is a threat!" Rigmor said, stepping forward, "We're telling you to go back and tell whoever the hell actually runs your bog-filled ash-covered province that I am not going to be looking over my shoulder every waking moment for murdering scum who want to kill a child!"
She started pacing, "You call them a business? Say it's got nothing to do with you? Are the people who run Morrowind as poor, inept cowards as they look!? They cannot control what goes on in their own province?!"
"This is outrageous!" The Ambassador said.
"Not as outrageous as what will happen when we tear your province apart, piece by piece looking for the very scum you're sheltering!" Rigmor shouted.
Jura stepped forward, calmly, firmly, and said, "Go talk to your council. Did you hear what happened to Summerset? Skyrim has our back. The same thing could happen to you."
He shook his head, "You'll hear from me," and started to walk out.
"Good!" Rigmor yelled.
I said calmly, "If anything happens to that little girl, there's not a resurrection spell on Nirn that will be able to bring you back."
He kept walking.
Rigmor added, "Oh and remind them that acting out a gray writ outside of Morrowind is an act of war!!"
As the door shut behind him, Rigmor smirked at me, "Think he was scared enough?"
"I think he peed himself," I said back.
We all laughed and I clapped.
"With all of us together, we're unstoppable," Rigmor said.
Rigmor tilted her head and reached into her pocket.
"What is it?"
"A letter from Uravasa," she skimmed and summarized, "Rose isn't doing so well. She's not eating. She's taken to standing at the Dibella and Mara statues for long periods. After Alana... she's taking it badly and Ura is worried about her."
She sighed, "I owe her my life. And I don't want to see her suffering on her own.
"I can go and see her..." I trailed off, started to head to my room. But I only made it about halfway, all the damn stairs. I fell to my knees, feeling that pain in my stomach again. This time it didn't stop. I called for somebody... but the palace was so damn big.
I pushed open the guest room door and threw my gear on the floor. I kneeled down and pulled out my quest journal and ripped out a page.
I've been making a point to learn quality-of-life spells from Damien, and this one... it might save my life. The pain was so intense. I took out a quill and cast Missive.
At the College of Winterhold, Damien was just sitting down to breakfast.
A note appeared in his hands. He blinked.
Help, bring Roheisa. In Imperial Palace guest~~~~
The ink trailed off at the end. Damien scowled, thinking.
"How do I know where Roheisa would be~" He snapped his fingers, stole a page of parchment from Mirabelle, sitting across from him.
"Hey, that was my..." She started, but he shushed her.
"Urgent," he said as he turned over the page to the blank side and wrote a Missive to Roheisa.
Where are you? Need help. Write back. -Damien
Roheisa got the message in her hands, and finding it was some form of list...
"What is this...? Beets, turnips, milk," She puzzled, "Is this a shopping list? Finally, a new hand touches the list. Listen, hear me and obey. A foul darkness has seeped into my pantry..."
She turned it over, "Oh!"
Roheisa got out a pen and scribbled back, "I'm in Whiterun, at the Inn."
Seconds later Damien threw open the doors, "Come with me. Runa needs help!"
Luckily, Damien'd been working on a couple of new teleports with Carahil's tutelage. One of them was a Teleport to Bruma, one was to the Imperial City.
"What's going on?" Roheisa asked.
"Hell if I know," Damien replied, "Grab my shoulder."
She did and he finished his spell. They appeared near the Talos statue and sprinted into the palace.
The guards tried to stop them, but Damien yelled, "No time to argue! Princess Runa's in danger!"
He followed the sounds of my moans, I think. It'd only been a good five minutes since I missive'd him.
"Knew I could... count on you," I said on my hands and knees.
"Why'd you want her~ oh~!" Damien backed up a step when he saw I was definitely in labor, "I don't need to see this."
Roheisa cocked her head slightly, "I have a little knowledge of birthing babies. Why call me and not an actual priest or healer?"
"I don't know," I said, barely able to talk, "Mara said you could save my life."
"Mom gave me a recall scroll that'll recall her to me. After the giant centurion incident. I think this qualifies," Damien said. He cast the spell from the scroll and mom appeared to my right, nearly tripping over the bed.
She blinked, "Wha...?"
She blinked again, "I was in the middle of a dungeon... and now I'm here..."
"We're out of time, somebody figure something out!" I exclaimed. I pulled the robes over my head and Roheisa knelt down to get a look.
"You... you have a penis!" Roheisa exclaimed.
"No time to... explain... please help..." I said.
"Talos fuck," Mom said, "It's already been nine months?"
Damien and Roheisa looked at each other. I was wracking with pain and the three of them were paralyzed with indecision.
"Cesarean?" Mom asked, "None of us know what the fuck we're doing, but we have three healers here."
I got the sense that Mara, who was certainly watching, just facepalmed.
"Wait!" Damien shouted, "Brain blast!"
"Brain what?" Mom asked.
"Ro, you know that thing you do with the changing your body?" Damien asked.
"Have you ever tried to do it to somebody else?"
"Well, try it on Runa!" Damien said.
"I don't know how...?" Roheisa replied.
"Wait, spells can be reduced to a series of runes or circles," Mom said, "Most people who learn spells don't actually know the deeper codes."
"Right," Damien said, "But they teach you the deep lore at the college."
"I have a spell for making others invisible, and one for healing others. I can figure out what the rune is."
Damien nodded, "That's what I was thinking. Roheisa just concentrate on the change and Mom and I can change your power to affect Runa."
Roheisa returned a look of confusion, "Okay... well, ready?"
Mom and Damien both extracted the rune and both said, "Ready."
Roheisa concentrated and touched Runa, Damien and Mom using their unbound unspelled power to change her power to affect 'other.'
"I have finished," Roheisa said.
I looked down, "Oh my gods. I am so happy to see you. My vagina... I've missed you!"
I gasped, feeling the back of my channel stretching out to the dilation it was meant to have.
"So much to catch up on, you and I," I said.
"She's completely lost it," Mom said, meaning my mind.
"Not yet! She's crowning!" Roheisa shouted as I shouted in pain. She threw off her gauntlets to prepare to catch.
Mom and Ro knelt under me as I squatted.
"Maybe get Calleius so I can punch him in the balls!" I shouted.
Damien hurried out into the hall.
It was all a blur from there. Maybe an hour passed with me laboring and then he came. Mom and Roheisa caught him. Mom cleaned him off while Ro led me to the bed to my right.
Mom looked down at her grandson, wrapping him up, "Little beautiful baby. Have you decided on a name?"
She bounced him a little as she slowly walked over.
I looked up, finding Calleius at the door.
"No," I answered, then she handed me the baby.
"Thanks, grandma," I said.
"I was already a grandma," Mom cackled, "I'm immortal. I no longer have a problem with this."
"Tyroni," I said, feeding the baby, "Come over and meet your son."
Smiling, he approached. He touched the little guy's head as he breastfed. When I was done, I handed him to Calleius.
I smiled at Roheisa, Damien and mom, "Anybody give me a little healing and stamina? I'd prefer not to be bedridden for days. Rigmor cheated. I wanna cheat."
They pulled everything out of their hats they could and within the hour I was feeling like my old self again. In that time, the child had fallen asleep with Calleius. I slipped on my Tiber Septim armor.
"Where you off to in such a hurry?" Calleius asked.
"Want to show him off to Rigmor. Want to go find Rose and bring her here to safety."
"Rose?" Mom asked. She smirked, remembering the beauty of the woman and knowing I was planning on dipping my hands in yet another pot of honey.
We took him out and showed Rigmor, who was just as excited as I was. I pumped more boob fluid into skins, leaving the baby with Calleius, and headed back to Bravil to quickly help a friend.
I found her at the statue of Dibella. I approached slowly, but she heard my footsteps.
Without turning, Rose said, "I thought that the love of Dibella existed in this place... but there is no love, only death, hate, anger and despair."
"There was nothing you could've done for Alana. But she was sainted. There is glory waiting for her in aetherius," I said.
"The record will show she was brave, she endured and gave her life gladly for the love of the gods," Rose said. She paused, then her words cracked as tears formed in her eyes, "But she was scared. She cried and screamed and died. And for what? Why must people die for the will of the gods...? She was innocent."
"I'm sorry, I have to go. I can't stay here. Not after this..."
"I don't know... maybe the gold coast..." Rose replied, tears streaming down her face.
"Come with me to the Imperial City," I said.
"And what... be your nursemaid? I don't think so," she turned around and looked me up in down in my pristine armor.
"There's room for you in the palace. Imperial Court Physician. Help us with Kintyra, and... my boy."
She smiled a little bit, despite her tears, "That her name?"
We smiled at each other for a moment.
"You look good," she laughed, which turned into a light sob.
Finally, she said, "Okay, I'll come. But only if you promise me a holiday dream home on the Gold Coast."
"Done!" I said, feeling more chipper than I'd been in a while.
We got on our horses. And actually, I felt happier than I'd been in a long time. I'd been living in the shadow of death for nearly a year - living my life like it would soon end. And now I felt like I could go on living. Both literally, and emotionally. And now I have a son and a daughter.
Told you she was going to be pregnant, whether the mod wanted it to happen or not! Hurray for GIMP (essentially, free photoshop)
And hey Rigmor counts as a Nord, so she got a lucky 1% Unrelenting Force so now she can canonically shout. Runa's been practicing.
Maybe a little long, convoluted, little bit of emotion, but definitely worth doing.
I'm thinking of calling Kintyra and old what's-his-name the half-twins. I seriously want to think about the name, and I haven't given it enough thought. Anybody got any ideas?
Edited by EnragedBard