The New Blades
Skyhaven Temple. A legend, a myth. A home?
Up the stairs, into the great hall. A gray-haired Imperial with military posture meets you, greets you. Someone- you don't quite catch who or what, in looking around at the ancient grandeur of the temple- leads your groups to a room to the side, deeper into the mountain. A storeroom. Each of your group is issued armor in turn, ill-fitting and crudely shaped. A quiet Argonian scurries about, handing out roughly right-sized armor. Then swords. These are sharp and deadly, beautiful, exotic weapons for an elite fighting force. Next, out onto a porch, under a shade. The armor hammered into shape for each person in turn, a heavy, powerful orc snapping and growling at each in turn, measuring and sizing and hammering, hammering, hammering.
Finally each piece was fitted to his satisfaction.
"It'll save your life," he growls. "You'll thank me for it."
Finally, shown to a set of barracks. Beds and chests for each. An oppressive silence reigns, each of you sizing up the others. Finally, a tall, white-haired Altmer woman entered, explaining she was to work with the fresh recruits for a time.
Before long, a Breton lad comes to fetch all of you, into the great hall, where you entered. An old Nord is standing on the raised area, in front of a large mural of a dragon, and many battles. He motions for you to be seated. At his side is the Imperial from before, with whom he confers briefly as you seat yourselves.
"Welcome," the old man begins, "to Skyhaven Temple, the last and greatest refuge of our order here in Skyrim. Perhaps in all the world. You come to us from many places. From guilds of thieves and from noble birth, from simple adventurers' lives, from lands far and wide. And we welcome you."
While he was giving this speech, the rest of the Blades slipped in unnoticed, surrounding the room. They all shouted as one, "Welcome, brothers! Welcome sisters!" A great roar came up. These people were obviously glad to have more recruits.
The old man continued, as the roar fell away. "Many of you do not know me. I am Esbern, the leader of this faction of Blades. This is my apprentice, Laerus. He will give you most of your assignments for now. Anything that comes from me, treat as very important, for it likely is." He cleared his throat. "Ah, well. Those are heavy matters, and you must be hungry. Let us feast!" Servants appeared carrying sumptuous dishes, placing them strategically along the table. Roasts, wild fowl, bread, and alcohol of any sort one could desire.
"A feast! To welcome you into our brotherhood." Esbern roared, then came down to the table, seating himself at the head.
For now, you are left to your own devices. Talk with those around you, or slip away to explore the large temple.
Jo'iit looked down, obviously they hadn't been prepared to arm and armor a housecat, so they'd simply presented her with standard sized equipment, she sniffed it, it smelled old. She could carry it with telekinesis, but why bother? She wasn't going to use it for anything much less wear it, so she simply left it in a pile and followed the others to the feast.
The smells of the feast delighted her, there was so much food, and while she felt a pang of longing for the sweet pastries of Elsweyr the array of dishes was more than she had hoped for, and certainly better food than she'd had in a long time. She weaved through the crowd of feet, careful not to let her tail get stepped on, and hopped up into the first empty chair she could see, the table was too high for her to see everything on it from her seat so she placed her paws on it and pulled her head up to look, wondering what the others would think, silently giggling as she imagined their reactions. Most outside Elsweyr didn't even realize Alfiq khajiit existed, having only met a few of the bipedal varieties. She looked over the food, wondering what to try first, and at the empty seats next to her, wondering who would sit there.
Arkenakterous walked down following the others. The armor the Blades had made for him seemed to fit fine, but outside of the Katana, he had little use for most of it. Still, for ceremonial gatherings it was worth wearing. The armor shimmered in the light and the Katana was highly ornate, the Orc had put more effort into the craft than most would give credit. Back on the sword however, he had never really used a weapon like it, he figured it would make for some fun spectacle later should the opportunity arise, and a last second defense if the worst case ended up happening.
Now studded in armor, Arkenakterous was sitting in the great hall, the others seemed to be excited but it was normal initiate dealings. He wasn't that easily sucked in after all. Still, a warm welcome was better than what he got outside of the college most of the time. In fact, he was quite hungry, this was a good idea. A large leg of meat came down on a plate nearby and Ark snatched it up and took a few bites before carefully slipping it under the table.
Anyone paying careful attention would notice the two dozen or so tiny spiders that came rushing out from under Ark's plated armor's legs and began devouring the leg. Given enough time the whole thing would be bone. They hadn't eaten in too long, Arkenakterous was actually worried they would starve. This was most certainly a good idea. He took another leg and began eating it for himself.
The armor was of no use to her - while it was fine craftsmanship and good metal, such distinctive armor on her would only lead her head to be run up on a pike or her body placed in an iron cage to rot away, a warning of the fate of traitors to the Thalmor Empire. The weapon was similarly distinctive, but more easily concealed. If nothing else, it could serve as a badge of identification to other agents of the Blades, something she had lacked previously. A good thing to have, provided she could adequately conceal it. Considerations would have to be made. The armor, on the other hand, was beyond useless. Of what possible value is highly distinctive armor to a secret society? A case could be made if it concealed the face, but this most assuredly did nothing of the kind.
Sometimes Mira wondered just how it was that the Blades had survived this long. Generous minds might attribute it to skill and training. Mira'a mind always tended to go more towards the Luck end of the spectrum.
And now servants were setting out food. Servants? Wasn't this a secret hideout? Why in the name of the eight - NINE, she corrected herself for the thousandth time - divines did they have anyone who wasn't a Blade in this place? How the hell had they gotten this food here secretly? And why? This was no time for revelry, they were at war on multiple fronts.
Survival in the land of the Thalmor was a trait not easily unlearned, and often mistaken for those of other races as paranoia. But it isn't paranoia when they really are out to get you, and that is especially true when you're working to undermine the Thalmor from within. When you're someone like Mira Dekovash, that kind of fear is part and parcel of your whole being.
She didn't sit. She did, however, speak, her voice as cold as the Sea of Ghosts in winter. "Our enemies do not stop to rest, nor to feast. We are at war, Master Esbern. Every moment we delay is a moment that Dragonkind and the Thalmor have to move with that much less opposition."
The armor was unnecessary in Kerl's opinion, yet another Imperial formality that got in the way of actual progress! However, he carried it through the line with the rest, eyes confused at the armor in his arms. After having it fitted to his body, the Dunmer put his Sabre-Cat fur back on, and carried it to the grand hall yet again.
"A feast! To welcome you into our brotherhood."
Kerl set the gear near the wall, pulled his tankard and plate from his bag, set the bag near the armor, and settled into the feast, piling seared slaughterfish, a slice of pie, venison, and spooned himself a bowl of cabbage and apple stew. Finally he grabbed three bottles of mead, a chunk of venison hanging from his lips, chewing as he poured two of the bottles into his tankard, the third he opened and allowed to sit a moment, allowing himself to finish the meat. Up-ending it, he swallowed down the honey drink and smacked his lips, ready to fight this most dangerous of foes, hunger. Various others sat around the table, but they were of no relevance to him, he was too busy feasting.
Seeing that it was relatively quiet, he took it upon himself to try to rouse the table into song, as any true Son of Skyrim would. Jumping atop his chair, tankard high in the air, he belted out a song everyone sitting around the table should know.
"Oh, there once was a hero named Ragnar the Red
Who came riding to Whiterun from ole Rorikstead
And the braggart did swagger and brandish his blade
As he told of bold battles and gold he had made
But then he went quiet, did Ragnar the Red
When he met the shield-maiden Matilda, who said;
"Oh, you talk and you lie and you drink all our mead
Now I think it's high time that you lie down and bleed!"
And so then came clashing and slashing of steel
As the brave lass Matilda charged in, full of zeal
And the braggart named Ragnar was boastful no more-
When his ugly red head rolled around on the floor!"
Gavin examined the armor carefully before putting it on, appraising its value. After so many years of theft it had become second nature to approximate the monetary worth of everything he saw, it helped him know what to take and what to leave behind, and he was usually accurate. The metals that went into the armor were fairly common, he was somewhat disappointed to note, giving the equipment little intrinsic value, the craftsmanship, however, was exquisite, and the distinctive markings that made it stand out as an authentic Blades artifact made up for it. The katana was even more interesting, a perfect replica of the weapons the ancient Akaviri used in their invasion, only the Blades knew how to make the exact copies.
I wonder if there are any authentic antiques lying around. Gavin thought, scanning the room, mentally plotting out ever corner and hallway, anywhere there might be hidden secrets or wealth. He estimated how much it was worth, then how much he could sell it for to all the buyers he knew of. After a moment of quick calculations, he shook his head. He was supposed to have left that life behind him.
The Blades gear was more than adequate for combat, and he thought he might get a lot of use from it, however the armor was more restricting than his Thieve's Guild equipment, making it more difficult to move. It would be most useful in direct combat, or when stealth was secondary, however, until that time, Gavin thought he'd just stick with his regular equipment. No need to wear the fancy armor and attract unnecessary attention. He then looked about the room to his new brothers and sisters. Easier said than done. He thought.
At that moment, a dunmer began a rather raucous song, reminiscent of the nords. It was colorful, if nothing else, though he had heard worse things back in Anvil and with the Horkers. He ate a little of the food before him, and drank a little of the wine they poured. It all looked and smelled delicious, but he knew well enough the law of the streets, you only treated someone well when you wanted something. To treat an initiate to the Blades this well this soon meant that something big was going to happen soon. Something bigger, presumably, than the dragons that were still ransacking the countryside. "It's a bit more lively here than I would have expected from an organization that's supposed to be extinct." Gavin said generally to the people around him.
Esbern glanced up from a leg of goat,
"Yes, yes, but our battle can take a night for us to rest, and welcome our new recruits." Esbern smiled weakly, hoping she would remain silent, and at least try to enjoy herself.
"The ale is quite good...." Esbern began eating again, slightly startled at the songs start.
"Ragnar the Red? Haven't heard that one in years." If the redguard who lead them in started speaking was going to finish, he was interrupted by a loud crash as the orc who had refit their armor stood, knocking back his chair, joining in on the third chorus, his speech not quite slurred enough to use the excuse of drunkenness, and horribly off pitch. The redguards' polite chuckle turned to an outright laugh.
The argonian who gave them all the armor sitting next to the house cat tapped his fork to the tune, turning to the chair next to him.
"Erm...?" He sat motionless for a few seconds, before reaching out his hand to pet Jo's head. The nord sitting across from him noticed, running two fingers across his neck and attempting to get the argonians attention.
The bosmer sitting next to him noticed the spiders, and gave a disgusted look. He brought down his boot on the spider nearest him, a satisfying and dull crunch could be heard faintly under the boisterous song. The bosmer gavea mischievous grin, and continued eating. It was evident he didn't have a tongue.
The nord glanced next to him, at Gavin. The argonian shrugged, returning to his meal, uncomprehending of his friends warning but not willing to proceed.
"Yeah, we can be. Beats the hell out of being a Greybeard. Or a Thalmor." The nord gave a mocking shudder, and continued.
"You remember me? I recruited you. Hanhar is the name, if you didn't catch that. Good to see so many of you actually showed up..."Hanhar looked around the table, at the various activities people were engaged in.
before reaching out his hand to pet Jo's head.
Jo purred happily, and smiled at the nord, he seemed to have recognized what she was or perhaps he had seen her before? Finally she decided on what to eat and climbed onto the table, she lapped at her glass of mead then proceeded to start with a plate of horker meat, grabbing a chunk in her mouth and carrying it back to her plate where she began to chew on it, eyeing the salmon as her next target.
She had been careful not to step in any of the food or knock over anyone's glass but the salmon was a bit further off, she might have to use telekinesis to grab it. She wondered how those who were not aware of her would react, no doubt most of them would attribute it to some other mage being nice and giving her fish.
Talib entered the great hall a little late, wearing the clothing of a Redgaurd noble with the Blades Katana on the hip opposite his scimitar.
" Good armor, I'll take advantage of it later.
He smiled at the tone death elf singing the nordic folk song as he poured himself a tankard of mead. taking a little bit of meat off his plate, he offered it to Jo'iit before noticing the inteligence in her eyes.
"I, sorry, sister." he said in broken Kajiit.
Vireveryl came to the hall and sat near to Esbern, dressed in the blades armor, with the sword by her side, it was quite heavy for her, so she was unsure of traveling with it, but she still admired the workmanship and fine craft of the pieces.
She look at the dragon mural with glee, she had never before seen anything quite like it, it was well done to say the least.
@RuedyN: "I must thank you again for the wears and hospitality, this armor is by far the most beautiful I have seen, even more so than the garments worn by the Royal Guard"
She says, smiling to him in gratitude.
Upon seeing the feast she pours herself some Alto Wine, and makes herself a small plate of the fine food to slowly finish.
For a brief moment she thought she could hear small steps from under the table, as if some creatures were beneath it, but she felt she must have been imagining such silly things.
She looked around the room at the other members at the table, some looked like very strong warriors, some looked very lean and athletic, and some looked very powerful, at any rate she would assure that she did not develop any bad tidings with any of them.
She noticed a young Imperial man observing the hallway
@Arrogancy: "Quite the site isn't it? Considering the small amount of Blades there seem to be here, it must have been quite the effort"
She began to go along smoothly to the singing, it was rare to meet such a social Dunmer, but she thought it was possible he could just be light weighted.
Umbra was sitting towards one of the ends of the table, within conversational distance of the old Nordic man who brought them all together. At the time, Umbra was splitting his attention between a succulent take on roasted pig and the left gauntlet of the exotic Akaviri armor that had been bestowed upon him earlier that day. He sat in his chair, shamelessly enjoying what had happened to the poor swine while flipping through the lenses on his glasses, getting different views and angles of sight on the gauntlet in order to best assess it. For him at least, the armor was too heavy and restrictive. At the very least, he didn't want to wobble like a fool among his new compatriots, so he decided to strip some of the layers off and loosen it. He was distracted by the intricacy of the bands, however, and he was only dragged out of his rapt study by the complaints of a tall and rather lithe Altmer woman, apparently she didn't care much for ceremony. That was fine with him, she just didn't have to be as impatient about it.
"Miss, I think you overestimate the efficiency of our Thalmor friends. During my interactions with them, their responsiveness has yet to impress me. Besides, what's wrong with starting off our illustrious careers on a high note?"
The things he had been given would certainly serve, though he made a note to see if he could get another of the swords. He was still considering the best way to persuade one of the Blades to give him one when food was offered. Orric didn't need to be told twice to begin feasting, and he was shoveling food into his mouth and drinking before he'd even sat down.
He made sure to sit near the Imperial with sharp eyes. The way he'd taken in everything with a cold calculating stare from the very beginning was a skill that he had learned to appreciate. If something were to go wrong, it was likely that one would be the first to know. He left most of the watching up to the Imperial, however. He'd always lived by the philosophy that you should eat your food like it's your last meal, and with what he would be hunting down now, it very well might be. Nothing about the feast was spectacular, and the singing was a bit much, but it was free and it was filling and it was a hell of a lot better than having a blade at his neck.
"I, sorry, sister."
Jo accepted the piece of meat he offered, scarfing it down and purring happily at the man. She was surprised that he spoke any of the Ta'agra but more so that he had determined her gender, although she supposed that may have simply been a guess.
She concentrated and a thin bead of light appeared in the air between them, tracing the word "Jo" writing in the imperial language. The letters faded quickly, but hopefully he had grasped the meaning, Jo meant wizard in Ta'agra and was both her name and profession.
Belkin looked over his Armour with a keen eye, looking over its quality. Its protection was all over the place; the chest was just as strong as Ebony Armor, but the feet, helm and gauntlets were much less protective. He decided that his Ebony Armor would be much better for use thanks to its overall protection. The blade CERTAINLY wasn't anything to look at, his Ebony Sword looking much sharper, much less being much sharper.
He looked around at the place, taking in the sights and fellow recruits, like the Khajiit that was more Cat than Man, or the extremely loud Dunmer singing Ragnar the Red. He listened more than sang, staying quiet around these new comrades of his.
"Quite the site isn't it? Considering the small amount of Blades there seem to be here, it must have been quite the effort." A dunmer across from Gavin remarked, noticing his gaze.
"It's certainly something." He mused, "This place looks ancient. It must have taken a lot to reclaim it." Most structures in Skyrim didn't go unoccupied for long. Especially not those in good condition. "I'm Gavin, by the way." He added, almost as an afterthought. He had to start making friends sometime.
"You remember me? I recruited you. Hanhar is the name, if you didn't catch that. Good to see so many of you actually showed up..." Gavin was pulled from his own thoughts by the sound of a nearby nord.
"Hanhar?" He asked, yes, the figure did look familiar. "Yes, I remember. The Thalmor Embassy job. Exciting stuff, though not terribly challenging. I've always said that the Thalmor keep their noses so high in the air they can't see when their wallets are stolen." He chuckled at that. Then he leaned forward. "Is it uncommon for so many to be initiated? I mean, I know this is an underground organization and all, but you make it sound like many of those you actually try to recruit refuse you."
The first thing any criminal worth his salt learned was how to take the pulse of an organization. The Blades seemed to be doing well enough for themselves, they were probably also getting some good press with the locals, slaying dragons and whatnot, but it was also important to know what the true aim was. Killing dragons was a good calling, building a good name was important, and feasting recruits showed off luxury; but to what end? If this organization was supposed to be about slaying dragons, then why were they spying on the Thalmor? There was more here than met the eye. There always was.
Jo accepted the piece of meat he offered, scarfing it down and purring happily at the man.
She concentrated and a thin bead of light appeared in the air between them, tracing the word "Jo" writing in the imperial language.
Talib read the word and paused for a second, scratching under his turbin while trying to remember what little Ta'agra he knew.
"Oh, a spellcaster! I don't care what they say in Stros M'Kai, you guys are useful to have around. so whats your name little one? I'm Talib No Shira."
After Kerl had gotten parts of the hall to start singing along with him and his song was finished, he drained his tankard. Noticing that it was empty, and he was still nowhere near sating his thirst, he emptied another two bottles into it, filling the thing to the brim and going to the nearest interesting individual he saw, an Imperial encased in ebony in this case.
The tankard in one hand, a rabbit leg in the other, Kerl threw the food arm around the man's shoulders, noisily drinking out of the tankard in his other hand.
"Well, aren't you a spoilsport, you Imperials don't know how to have any fun, do ya?"
Kerl poured a small part of his mead into the container in front of Belkin, a small portion of it slopping over the sides and onto the table,"Now drink! You're in Skyrim now, the greatest place in all of Tamriel! Food,drink,women, and monsters around every corner, a place merely a shadow of the glory of Sovngard!"
"Oh, a spellcaster! I don't care what they say in Stros M'Kai, you guys are useful to have around. so whats your name little one? I'm Talib No Shira."
Jo smiled inwardly, recognition was always nice, particularly when most struggled to believe that you could cast spells to begin with. She called up the bead of light again, this time writing her full name "Jo'iit" although the "Jo" had mostly faded by the time she had finished drawing the "iit".
She considered what to ask the redguard, eventually deciding to ask what he could do, after all he already knew she was a wizard. The bead of light drew out the word "Skills?" it hovered as the dot on the question mark, she hoped it didn't come across as rude but she had trouble drawing out longer sentences as they faded too fast. She took another bite out of her piece of horker meat.
Talib smiled, still trying to figure out his new teammate. As anyone familiar with polite soceity knows, adressing people with proper titles and rank is of upmost importantance. How should 'she' (or he, check would be rude) be regarded. is she an adult or a child? would picking up and snuggling the cute, fluffy kitty be affectionate or sexual harrasment?
This broke Talib from his contemplation. "My skills... well, I am a Swordsinger, a skill even more rare than dragon shouts. but then again, if that murderous brute Ulfric could master it, then it must be far easier than this."
picked up a small pork bone and concentrated, going beyond manna and summoning the latent power of his own life-force engery. a gold and emerald flame seemed to engulf the bone, then concentrated around the unharmed bone's edge in a clear flaming edge.
"The unskilled confuse this for a simple variation of the bound sword spell but I'm not expending a drop of magicka. Instead I harness my own chi to turn even a simple bone into something that can do this." Talib picked up a large leg of lamb and tossed it into the air. Then, in a few deft flashes of green the leg laid on the floor in eight pieces, all clean cuts straight though the bone.
Talib picked up the pieces of lamb and put them on his plate. he then dissipated the spirit sword and snapped the bone in half, handing the pieces to Jo'iit.
"and note," he said with no lack of swagger in his step or voice "that i am a rank amateur in the art of the Swordsinger. the Ansei masters were unstoppable, capable of cutting though even ebony armor with a flick of the wrist."
Ark looked in horror as his pet was crushed under the ignorant boot of that...creature. No longer an elf, not an equal, just trash. How could it see such a lovable creature and kill it? So much of this trash liked to do that. It wasn't right! Spiders were wonderful magnificent creatures and it was just trying not to starve!
Ark quietly fired a small jet of poison magic at the Bosmer's food. Not enough to be noticeable up front, but enough that once it finished scarfing that meal, especially since it wasn't tasting its food, the creature wouldn't be in fighting shape for a few weeks. The pain would be horrible, not enough for a murder of a friend, but horrible enough for Ark to not kill him.
Moving on, it seemed some of the new recruits were meeting up. Ark grabbed the bone part of the leg and placed the food in his pack, his pets could finish it out of harm's way. "Hello there, I remember you guys, you are the new recruits too right? My name is Arkenakterous, but my allies call me Ark. Nice to meet you all."
"that i am a rank amateur in the art of the Swordsinger. the Ansei masters were unstoppable, capable of cutting though even ebony armor with a flick of the wrist."
Jo was mildly amused by the display, swords held little use for her and she didn't see how it was so impressive compared to a summoned blade, but Talib seemed proud of it. She had never heard of the art at least, although shouting still seemed much more useful to her though she doubted that either art would ever be something she could do. She did her best to appear as impressed as Talib seemed to expect her to be. She supposed that it would be a more impressive skill to witness in action, although he certainly seemed to be very skilled with the blade which was something she could respect.
She turned back to her food, tearing out another bite of horker meat, then lapping up another few swallows of mead, she did not say anything more, waiting to see if Talib would ask her anything else. She was rather interested in the concept of chi, but she wasn't sure how to ask about it yet.
"Well, aren't you a spoilsport, you Imperials don't know how to have any fun, do ya?" came an interruption who decided to wrap one of his arms around Belkins shoulder and unaskingly filling up his tankard. "Now drink! You're in Skyrim now, the greatest place in all of Tamriel! Food, drink, women, and monsters around every corner, a place merely a shadow of the glory of Sovngard!" came another annoying remark from the Dunmer.
Belkin grimaced and shock the arm off of him, before responding. "Sorry, Parties were never really my family's thing, especially after the war and everything. We'd much rather stoke our minds to the forge or the battle than just try to drown it" he said, before taking the tankard and taking a gulp from the tankard before continuing. "Still, that doesn't mean we don't drink from time to time".
"Still, that doesn't mean we don't drink from time to time".
Kerl's face changed to unamused,"Well, so much getting one of you to loosen up for real. And this ain't a party buddy, this..."He indicated his tankard and the spread,"Is a feast. And probably the last time in a while you get a good hot meal, I know it's been months since I just got to sit and sup instead of going out and hunting first. But at least you like a good fight, HAH!"
The Dunmer struck Belkin on the back, hard, sending vibrations throughout the metal that quieted quickly,"WOW,"He said, flexing his fingers,"That's nice, not as good as the Skyforge, but it's got a nice ring to it,"He gulped down half of his tankard,"I think."
He held out his hand to the Imperial after wiping it on his pants,"Kerl Telvanistra."
"Well, so much getting one of you to loosen up for real. And this ain't a party buddy, this..." the Dunmer replied, "Is a feast. And probably the last time in a while you get a good hot meal, I know it's been months since I just got to sit and sup instead of going out and hunting first. But at least you like a good fight, HAH!"
Belkin sighed inwardly, it wasn't that he was never a fun-loving guy, he just wanted a bit of piece and quiet right now, not be accosted by someone he just met. The Dunmer then struck the back of his armor, not making a dent in it at all, if fact making him flex out his fingers from the force. "WOW, That's nice, not as good as the Skyforge, but it's got a nice ring to it," he said before downing more of his Tankard "I think." 'Yeah, only because the last time we needed to use the Skyforge was when the gates to Oblivion opened and we were tasked with helping and equipping the Imperial Guard' thought Belkin, drinking some more.
"Kerl Telvanistra." said the Dunmer, holding out his hand after wiping it. Belkin shook it in response. "Belkin....Belkin Ebenum-Cor...as in THE Ebenum-Cor's!" he said, hoping Kerl had some knowledge of Imperial history.
"Belkin....Belkin Ebenum-Cor...as in THE Ebenum-Cor's!"
"Is that supposed to mean something southerner?"Kerl said as he drained the last of his tankard,"I could tell you right now that I'm the last descendent of the pure Redoran household and it'd mean almost nothing to you, same as it does to me. Now tell me,"He said, leaning in close enough for the two to be sharing the same mead-soaked air,"Are you worthy of your family name?"
Kerl leaned back again, a shocked expression appearing on his face as he looked into his tankard,"By the Nine, I've gone and let myself get empty!" He then dashed off back to his seat, grabbed another two bottles and poured them into the tankard, while simultaneously spearing a slice of venison and a roasted goat leg.
"Is that supposed to mean something southerner?" replied Kerl replied, not knowing of Belkin's heritage. "I could tell you right now that I'm the last descendent of the pure Redoran household and it'd mean almost nothing to you, same as it does to me. Now tell me,"He spoke, leaning in so that Belkin could smell the mead in his breath, "Are you worthy of your family name?"
Belkin started to reply "Well, if y-" but was interrupted by Kerl. "By the Nine, I've gone and let myself get empty!" he said, going away to get some more mead. Belkin waited till he was well enough away, then sighed in relief. "Great, a temple full are readied warriors and I get accosted by the drunken Dunmer, thanks Talos, and you too Zenithar!" he said to himself.
Talib noticed the singing elf 'making friends' and walked over to deflate the tension. large, quite men in fancy armor rarely took kindly to being slapped and questioned.
Now tell me,"He spoke, leaning in so that Belkin could smell the mead in his breath, "Are you worthy of your family name?"
Talib walked beside Belkin "And that is why we Redguard have no family names, just titles, and the vast majority of those aren't hereditary. If I were another dumb pirate theres no way I'd be able to claim the title No Shira. I'd bet your worthy of your name though. Troll Hunters right?
"I'm Gavin, by the way." He added, almost as an afterthought. He had to start making friends sometime.
"Vireveryl, charmed" she said before the man turned to talk to the Nord
Across the table was a Redguard who seemed to be preforming magical tricks for a... House-cat? It confused her more to see the cat responding through spell, perhaps it was one of the many sub-species of Khajiit, but none that she knew of, it was not the sort of subject she would study.
She also noticed and Imperial having a slightly awkward conversation with the seemingly drunk Dunmer
The feast was still quite full on the table, despite how much these individuals seemed to eat, the blades must have gone to some extent for this feast, perhaps it is to prepare them for something, but she is unsure what.
Vymar received his new gear and started inspecting it. The armor was nice, very durable stuff and ornate to boot, but he would have no practical use for it in the field. He was no heavy infantryman. He slipped it on anyway to show his gratitude, and moved his eyes to the sword. It was very light, but also extremely sharp. In the right hands, it was an incredibly deadly tool. In Vymar's hands, it was less so but still useful. He strapped it to his belt. It banged against his bow, so he took a moment to fix it. When he looked back up, he realized that everyone else had progressed into the dinning room. Feeling foolish, Vymar hurried in after them.
Looking around, Vymar saw a tall Breton waving at him. He walked over to the man and took a seat next to him. "Vymar Dragonslayer!" he boomed. "I was beginning to fear that you wouldn't be joining us. I'm the agent that recruited you." he added in response to Vymar's confused expression.
"Happy to be here." Vymar said. Indeed, he now recognized him as the hooded man from the cave, the one who had told him to come here. "But could you not announce my name to the world? I like to keep a low profile."
The Breton chuckled to himself. "Then you're going to fit right in here." He leaned back in his chair and took a sip from his cup. "Please, help your self. It's not everyday that we manage to smuggle in this much fine drink."
Happy to obey, Vymar poured himself a mug of ale and a slab of pork to dibble on. He sung along with the rest, but was sure not to over do it. Like he said, he wanted to keep a low profile.
The bosmer noticed that Ark had gotten up, and that he seemed to think that people ate with their eyes closed. He took another sample bite before throwing it down, and getting up to follow the dunmer. The mer was of average bosmer height, and sneaky. Almost nobody noticed his approach, save Laerus who contented himself with observing and drinking slightly.
"Barymar, what are you doing." The bsomer stopped and glared at him.
"... Okay, don't TELL me what you're doing, but can you get some charcoal and paper?" Barymar took a moment, and nodded, holding up his index finger.
One second. He snuck up behind the dunmer, who he had suspected attempted to poison him, and turned around, placing his arm around the neck of Ark, and flipping the mer with a grunt. Laerus' eyes widened, and he quickly returned to his drink. No need to get involved in that.
The orc that had sung with him, deciding that he'd embarrassed himself enough, went back to the keg for more ale. Nordic stuff was okay, but there was certainly better. He sighed drinking, waving to Kerl as he approached for more booze.
"Hell of a singing voice, if I do say so myself. I'm Thralmung... And that's a blade flipping one of the recruits. Hold on a second." Thralmung storlled over, tapping Barymars shoulder, and punching him in the face. The force seemed to lift the bosmer off the ground, sending him sprawling.
"Laerus, Avik, get this guy outta here." The redguard nodded, as well as Laerus. The two got up, bringing the bosmer deeper into the lair.
"Now, Kerl, where were we?"
The argonian, upon seeing the cat was sentient, had retreated to his food, until he noticed the newcomer.
"Hello, sir. I didn't notice you here. You ARE a recruit, right?" he smiled, hoping for polite conversation with someone who at least looked normal.
"Now, Kerl, where were we?"
Kerl had learned of the Orsimer from his mother's tutoring, but had only run into one other in his travels across Skyrim, and he had been less than typical, fancying himself a bard of sorts. What he did know was that they were a culture that valued strength and martial discipline, and with that in mind, he set his utensils back inside his pack and rearranged his Cat-skin.
"I believe,"He said,"We were saying hello."
He swung a strong right, strong enough to stagger the orc.
"That is how you say hello, right?"
"Hello, sir. I didn't notice you here. You ARE a recruit, right?"
"Umm, yes, yes I am." Vymar said, caught off guard by the others appearance. He hadn't dealt with argonians very much, but from what he'd heard they were a respectable people, if a bit odd. "The name's Vymar Hijval. Pleased to meet you." he said, and extended a handshake.
She turned to regard the man who had spoken to her, the Orc of their group. He didn't look like the typical warrior member of their kind, more of a scholar. Curious.
"I'll start with your second thought. There's nothing wrong with it if this were peace time - it is not. We are at war. Men and women of all races and kinds are suffering and dying while we dine and revel. Maybe we could do something about it, perhaps not, but we should be trying. As for your commentary on the Thalmor, trust me, they are far more dangerous than you would know. I should know - I am one."
As for your commentary on the Thalmor, trust me, they are far more dangerous than you would know. I should know - I am one.
Prematurely finishing his inspection of the gauntlet, Umbra flicked the lenses of his glasses to his normal vision, then turned and faced the woman properly. As he stared at her, face straight as an arrow, his visage slowly expanded like a bubble. When he could contain it no more, Umbra tilted his head back, releasing the explosion of howling laughter he had been building up. Composing himself, he then turned to the Altmer woman and began to address her properly.
"Thank you, miss, I haven't laughed that hard in weeks. Anyway, on a less tangential note, when it takes an organization greater than two weeks to hunt down a single man who is rabble-rousing fairly successfully against them in Markarth, then they don't get rated that high by me in terms of efficiency. That's just me, though. You might have other standards. Besides, the general active oppression is pretty much gone these days. Sure, those damn flying lizards are roaming around, but I haven't heard of any attacks in a while. The Dominion's pretty much stabilized as much as it can, and unless we're willing to behead one of the major cities, there'd not much we can do about the regicidal Ulfric and his band of merry violent men. Besides, like I mentioned before: high points. They're good for starting off on."
To accentuate his point, Umbra knocked back a flagon of some sort of alcoholic beverage. Somehow managing to swallow it down, Umbra promptly started coughing up a fit and looking woozy, as the drink was much stronger than he thought/was prepared for. He stuck with clear water for the rest of the meal.