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    New Member
    Ulfric won the civil war. The legion was routed at the battle of Solitude, general Tullius killed. The survivors either fled to camps in the wilds, or back to Cyrodiil. In an ironic twist of fate, it is now the imperials that must engage in guerilla warfare, if they are to survive in such a harsh environment. The Thalmor fled with their imperial allies, well aware of the fate that would befall them if they were to remain.

    Holds that were loyal to Ulfric during his uprising now enjoy greater prestige, trade, and lowered taxes. While Solitude remains the capital of the snowy kingdom, the High King prefers to spend most of his time in the Hall of Kings, at Windhelm. Those holds that sided with the empire, or remained neutral, have had their jarls replaced, with those loyal to the new king. Stormcloak garrisons are in place, to ensure the locals 'security'.

    Despite these new measures, things in the tundra homeland of the nords have returned to pre-war levels. If not for the disappearances. If not for dissidents to the new regime, found butchered in their home. If not for non-nords being treated with suspicion or outright anger, merely for not picking a side. If not for the strange creatures, glimpsed by patrolling guards and traveling merchants.

    Rumours and whispers abound, some stating that a shadowy organization has taken power, and is using the king as a puppet with which to do their bidding. Others state that the king himself made some dark bargain in order to win the war and now those powers have come for what is owed them.

    The king dismisses and denounces these rumour mongers, of course. He has placed an order, that any and all able-bodied adventurers and mercenaries put a stop to these sinister occurrences. He offers pardons and more than a little gold for any that answer this call. Of course...there may be more than one force at play here, and those who step forwards may quickly find themselves in over their heads.


    Telleroftales- Solun Decius
    Morbidbread- Thoras Lorian
    Fellowknight- Baroth Talsgor
    FelidaePrime- Zar'issa
    SoulOfChrysamere- Karshazo
    Kjol Ironhand
    DeadlyDalliances- Thalia Frostthorn
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    New Member
    It was a cool, grey day, just past noon on the sixteenth of Last Seed, when Solun Decius, blade for hire, formerly of the imperial third legion, entered the city of Whiterun. The streets were still slick with the recent rainfall, but that didn't stop merchants and shoppers from going about their day to day business.

    Farmers drove carts full of produce, hauled by long-horned oxen, up to the city's market square. Local merchants haggled over pieces of jewelry or entered the nearby apothecary or general store. Guards stood on every corner, the yellow of Whiterun hold mixing with the blue of Stormcloaks.

    Very few of these people noticed Solun. It wasn't that he was trying to hide- just the opposite, in fact. He strode up the rode, cloak wrapped around himself, head held high. But to the people of Whiterun, he was of little interest. Mercenaries and adventurers weren't exactly a rare commodity, these days.

    Even with the war over, Solun heard tales of strange happenings. Those that had sided with the empire in the war hadn't been happy with the stormcloak occupation of their homes. Those who had made too much of a fuss, Solun had heard, tended to disappear, or end up horribly murderer, their remains left as a none too subtle warning.

    The call for adventurers to come to Whiterun was strange. The stormcloaks had made no secret of their dislike of outsiders. For them to be asking for help now was more than a little strange. Solun took a seat at one of the free tables, and waited to see who else would come.


    New Member
    Whiterun was not the only city the cloaked khajiiti woman had been to in Skyrim. It was the most open to non-nords like herself, but she still had to be careful. With her past, there was bound to be a few people out there with a grudge against her, no matter how careful she'd been.

    So she found herself in the Bannered Mare, awaiting others that had somehow gotten wind of the notice sent out by Ulfric's people. She knew it was a risk- if the Stormcloaks had wanted to flush out those they saw as criminals or actual criminals, like herself, promising pardons to them was an excellent way to do so.

    She'd taken a chair at the back of the inn's common room, so that she could see anyone coming inside from the main door and the side door. As she waited, the door opened, and a cloaked man stepped through, his eyes sweeping the room in the manner of one who expected trouble everywhere he went. "Hello..." she purred to herself, "who's this?" She flicked her fingers in the man's direction, trying to draw his attention to her. If they were in Whiterun for the same reason, it could be helpful they speak.


    New Member
    Thalia Frostthorn was aware of the scrutiny of the guardsmen as she approached the gates of Whiterun. Her skin, though not as dark as some redguards, still gave her away as 'not a nord'. She focused on moving with casual confidence, giving off the aura that she belonged as much as the next person.

    Which wasn't strictly untrue. She had been born and raised in Skyrim, and despite what the more hardcore of Ulfric's followers shouted, she was as much a nord as they were. She passed through the gates, but didn't make for the bannered mare at once.

    Instead, she took a detour down a shadowy alley, careful to ensure no one had noticed her step into the alley. Then she continued a little until she came across a nervous-looking bosmer. He sighed when he saw her, shoulders slumping with relief. "Damn, Thalia, you sure took your sweet time. I was about to-"

    "Save it," the redguard snapped, tossing a small coin purse his way. The elf's hand snapped out to catch it. "What can you tell me about this summons. Is it legitimate?"

    Her contact shrugged, "far as I can tell. But, listen, Thalia-" the elf licked his lips nervously, "I would walk away. If something has the Stormcloaks spooked-"

    She waved his concerns away. "I've taken risks before." She stepped aside and nodded back the way she'd come. "Go on. You upheld your part." The elf looked grateful and fled down the alley.

    She counted to ten, then followed, emerging into the gloomy autumn sunlight. The air cool and a chill breeze tugged at her cloak and hood. She made quick progress to the inn, pushing the door open and looking around. Despite it being the middle of the day, the place was far from deserted.

    A bard, several regulars, and the innkeeper were all there. Plus a khajiit woman that had conspicuously placed herself in a position to watch the entire inn, and an imperial man that seemed to have just entered the building ahead of her. It seemed her informant was right.


    New Member
    Kjol Ironhand trudged towards the gates of Whiterun, under the gaze of a quartet of local and stormcloak guardsmen. There was little suspicion in their eyes and as he got closer, one of the stormcloaks blinked in surprise. "Kjol? Kjol Ironhand? That you?"

    Kjol stopped and frowned at the speaker. "Brondur." He grinned at the other nord, "Been some time."

    "What brings ya to Whiterun?" The guardsman asked,

    "Ulfric's task. Apparently, he's wanting a band of mercenaries to check on these murders and disappearances." Kjol said.

    The two stormcloaks scowled and the whiterun guards exchanged glances. "Careful, kinsman," Brondur said, "you might not be a soldier anymore, but he's still our king."

    "Right" Kjol said, "forgive me. So how bad is it?"

    Brondur grimaced, "it's bad. But you'd better get in there. Heard they're gathering at the inn."

    Kjol thanked his former comrade and headed inside the city, tugging his cloak around him as he made his way to the inn. Though the streets were still busy, he made good time to the bannered mare, and stepped inside to see a redguard woman, another human, and a khajiit, who was already seated. "I assume we're all waiting around for the same reason?" He said to the redgaurd woman.


    New Member
    Solun quickly became aware of someone paying him more than passing attention. His gaze quickly found the khajiiti woman sitting in the way that suggested she was used to being hunted. And hunting. Obviously, she wasn't one of Ulfric's lackeys, looking to take advantage of the notice that'd been posted.

    Which meant she was in Whiterun for the same reasons he was. The former soldier made his way to her table and took a seat. "Good day," he said in way of greeting. "It's not often I see one of the khajiit in Skyrim these days."


    Devil Of The Details
    Baroth couldn’t sleep through the night. Between the routine night-terrors, an agonizing headache, and especially hyperactive speculation, it was pointless to even try. Instead he’d consult the map, fashioned from secondhand testimony, official reports (unofficially obtained), and no lack of personal investigation and scrutiny. The result took months of footwork, but contained nearly every disappearance and murder that had occurred. At best, the sighted beasts were summoned by Daedra to lay the groundwork for a larger scale invasion. At worst, well, not even Baroth could share such a pointed accusation without risking his life.

    But smaller pieces were still missing. Where did the beasts nest? How long had they been here, and what were they doing with the abducted? He didn’t worry too much of how he’d combat them, just those that held their leashes. He’d wondered too, what group this notice would attract and the dynamic that came with it; well, more along the lines of how seedy they would be and how much backstabbing was to be done? In the end, admittedly, it mattered very little to him. He’d hoped for their assistance, sure, but he counted on the violent fate that befell most adventurers.

    Just before noon, after prayer, a hot meal, and a frisky bout with one of the barmaids, Baroth took a seat in the Bannered Mare’s common room, next to the fire-pit. He was dressed down, in only a leather vest and some trousers, with his hair recently trimmed to a few inches and his beard reduced to a thick, lip-warming mustache. And though he appeared older, it was clear he kept himself in shape. He’d taken to reading The Prophet Arden-Sul, though he was far more focused on reading the room. A pair had caught his eye, a black-furred Khajiit and an Imperial man, though he took care not to glance directly.

    As he’d considered approaching them, the doors cracked and a redguard woman walked in with an auspicious scan of the room, and a burly Nord with a cut to the chase, shortly after her. ‘Seedy, no doubt’ he thought, ‘but five is hardly a band. Two or three more should do it.’ On that thought, Baroth went to the counter and closed out his lodgings with Hulda, who quietly scolded him for stinking up one of her barmaids. He apologized with a tip and a humble grin, though he knew better than to linger. He then opened a bar tab for the table of four, sending an ale to each of them. Rather than sit with them, he simply raised his own honey-brewed ale and said, “Glory to Ulfric.”, before taking his seat at the fire-pit once more. The words honestly tasted more like piss than he cared to admit.

    Fifteen Hours Beforehand

    “That’s it? You’ve nothing more to share?” The aging ex-captain stood next to the horse, steadying the reins as Baroth got situated in the saddle. Ramich Prinari, even under the luminous moonlit sky, somehow managed to glow like wadded up parchment paper. Her hair was done up in a tight-bun and her stance was stiff as a frozen draugr, Baroth knew cold fear when he saw it. Some part of him appreciated the irony of her situation; in under a year she’d lost her original crew, forced to hide out in some forest camp like the rebels she’d fought, in a land ruled by their heretic king. But in seeking justice, as Baroth understood, there was nothing one could fear losing.

    “Lying demands imagination, Captain, and I’ve no time to imagine excuses. Their inner circle is completely shut off, and he keeps a tight fist on everything. But he’s superstitious, and they’re scared of him, so the order is circumstantial." He whistled and trotted out towards the camp’s south exit, Ramich following. “The fires I set last night sent them into a panic. Cost me my cover, but it proved they're more scared of being found out than they are of him. That’s the chink.”

    “Hm. And with this group called by the summons, are you sure you can-”

    “Leaving so soon? All without keeping good on that promise of, what was it..” An altmer man one might mistake for a talking skeever approached, in a leisurely stroll with his freshly pampered skin gleaming in the moonlight. Sorcan Thilinael, an ambassador to the late Thalmor Embassy, and famous thorn in Baroth’s arse. “...ah yes, ‘smoking them out’. You’re two months too late, and no more legal grants to wager with.”

    “Then I wager my freedom. No doubt your superiors have questions for me, regarding failed plans for a particular ‘forced occupancy’ of a certain province.” Baroth’s words were pointed as daggers, but he wouldn’t further complicate Ramich’s ‘partnership’. “I could use a vacation to the Isles anyways, the tan needs some work.”

    “Hmph. Consider a holding cell for your complimentary stay, then.” He’d crossed his arms with that constipated look, and watched with the eyes of a snake as Baroth rode ahead.

    Thought as much. And yes, Captain,” He said, answering her unspoken question. “They’ll get me where I need, when I need it. This is their last chance too, after all.”
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    Fight for the lost
    The dunmer was an odd sight, and not just because the victorious stormcloaks were somewhat less than accommodating to his people. The crimson swirls of tattoos that covered his lower jaw, the purple longcoat that flapped in the wind, the glaive he held loosely in his right hand, even the silver and gold thread braiding his hair all worked to draw the eye.

    He smiled at a few people, winked at the more attractive women he came across, and tossed more than a few coins to children and beggars alike. He might not have officially been welcome, but the people of Whiterun that encountered him had gone from mistrusting to confused, with more than a few smiling faces watching his progress.

    Of course, there were exceptions to every rule. A nord in the blue uniform of Ulfric's stormcloaks walked into him, slamming his shoulder against the elf's. Thoras spun around at once, "a thousand apologies, my good sir!" He called after the departing soldier. "I was so taken with your great city that I failed to notice your approach!"

    The guard muttered something along the lines of 'piss off' and continued on his way. Thoras' smile remained fixed in place until he was sure the man wouldn't over hear him. "Bastard" he muttered, and made his way into the Bannered Mare.

    His entrance drew a few curious stares, but he could tell from a quick glance around the common room that he was far from the first new face in town. It appeared the king's missive had drawn more than a few curious adventurers. Or criminals. “Glory to Ulfric.” One of the men, less exotic than the redguard or khajiit, but notable all the same, saluted the table of four.

    Thoras sauntered over to the man, taking the stool next to him. "Glory to Ulfric indeed, my friend, though one might wonder what the high king wants with such a gathering of degenerate cutthroats."


    New Member
    The imperial joined her, sitting across from her, though he didn't volunteer his name. Smart. He made a comment about khajiit not being common in Skyrim these days. "True," she allowed, her voice low and husky, "we're as rare as imperial soldiers, come to think of it." Her ears flicked as the door opened several times in quick succession allowing a redguard, a nord, and a dunmer inside. The first two made their way towards the table she and the imperial shared, while the third joined a man in inconspicuous clothing near the firepit.

    He wouldn't have drawn her attention if he hadn't sent a round of drinks to the table she and three others now sat at. Though he paid lip service to Ulfric, she sensed he was somewhat less than sincere. She sat a little straighter, her interest piqued. "If this keeps up," she said, nodding to the newcomers, "we'll be the most notable gang of sellswords in Skyrim."


    New Member
    Thalia watched the imperial man join the khajiit with more than a little interest.They didn't seem to know one another, but they obviously had something to talk about. From behind her, a gruff, impatient voice said "I assume we're all waiting around for the same reason?"

    She turned to regard the speaker. He seemed a typical nord, battle hardened but lacking any sign of allegiance to the Whiterun guard or the stormcloaks. Another mercenary, it appeared. Thalia shrugged at him, "I'd guess so." Then she nodded towards the khajiit and imperial, "but it doesn't hurt to find out for sure." No sooner had she taken one of the free chairs at the table, than a tankard of ale was placed in front of her. She looked around to see a nord man raise a tankard in their direction and spout some platitude about Ulfric.

    She didn't repeat the phrase but she did heft her drink and gave a nod of appreciation. Then she looked at the khajiit and her companion. "Being noticed might not be a bad thing. Might entice the locals to cooperate." She suggested.
    *Scritch scritch scritch…*

    Mmm…begone. Karshazo is not done sleeping.

    *Scritch scritch scritch…*

    Oh for the Mane's sa—

    *Scritch scritch scritch…*

    Karshazo, now awake, remained motionless in his half-sitting position, eyes glued to the wall of his tent from which the scratching noises were coming, nerves steeled by years of adventuring keeping a short leash on the shiver of primal fear slithering its way down his spine. From the lack of tent supports caving in and absence of any heavy breathing or roaring, the groggy Khajiit quickly realized it must be some small varmint in dire need of a better place to try stealing food from. He took up the knife at his side and quietly crawled out of the tent to discover the perfectly sensible culprit: a dark brown rabbit emboldened by hunger. Karshazo growled under his breath; the little scamp wasn't even worth dulling his blade. He grabbed a small stone and chucked it at the creature, catching it square in its side and sending it scuttling off into the bush with a startled hiss.

    He chuckled as he stood and stretched his stiff limbs. The journey from Riften had been a long and arduous one, even more so than in the past thanks to the Stormcloak victory in the Civil War. He'd had to bypass entire settlements which he previously frequented with little to no difficulty. He'd had to scamper off into the woods and lay low at the sight of any group of people in the road, just in case they happened to be a band of Stormcloaks or similar zealots looking to make his life hell for no good reason at all. He'd found himself increasingly starved for fellowship among other travellers as more and more people avoided his company like the plague, as if they feared some grave punishment upon being caught consorting with his Khajiiti self or, even worse, because the Stormcloaks' sensibilities regarding non-Nords (and beast-folk in particular) had permeated each stratum of Skyrim's society to a sickening degree. He couldn't even remember the last time he'd seen a fellow Khajiit on the road, let alone a caravan. Were there even caravans in Skyrim anymore?

    *Rumble…* And it was going to rain. Great.

    These thoughts and others occupied his mind as he packed up his camp and got back moving toward Whiterun. One more day's travel should do it assuming the latest bandit gang at the Valtheim Towers (ancient ruined watchtowers straddling the river) weren't too much trouble to sneak or argue past. When he got to the slope in the road that came just before the towers, whose ruined tops peered over the crest of the hill like children excited for a prank, he slowly crept up through the bush on the right side of the road.

    He saw an all too familiar sight at the towers: A couple of thugs guarded the road at the left tower's main door while a few fetchers with bows patrolled the tower's roofless top and the bridge connecting it to the other one across the river. He assumed he was too poor to pay whatever exorbitant toll they'd demand and he'd grown too cautious for a contest of speech or steel with that many people at once. Sometimes, intrepid travelers would get lucky and reach this place during a Stormcloak raid to clear out the bandits, allowing them to sneak past. He decided to wait for a bit to see if he'd be that lucky today, but after what must've been at least half an hour, still no such distraction came. He sighed in resignation to the need for circumvention and backtracked a bit until he found a decent spot in the river to cross. He spent the next while fashioning a crude raft out of bits of driftwood, crossing the river, and finding a spot in the mess of cliffs and slopes to climb up. Some time later, he finally found himself making progress toward Whiterun again as he strode across the plains that'd opened up around the hold's eponymous capital city. He spat at those damned towers as he passed them, still nestled down there in their natural choke point, looking all smug and proud of themselves at the immense disruption they caused to journey involving them.

    Not that the plains were a safe haven themselves, not at all. Herds of deer pranced across them all times of the year, and with them came wolves and sabre cats. Hell, even the giants and their mammoths sometimes got ornery enough to hassle people with the audacity to come a little too close to their encampments.

    *Ptt. Ptt ptt.* The jabs of coolness on his face announced the rain's arrival. He pulled his hood up and shivered slightly as he pressed on.

    Luckily for Karshazo, the rest of the day's travel only brought a soaking as he slowly but surely made it across the plains, the city of Whiterun and its great palace Dragonsreach looming ever closer all the way. At long last, he reached the road that wound around the city's outer perimeter and followed it past some farms great and small to the fortified path leading up to the gates. The rain had stopped by this point, but its sheen still dully glimmered in the light of the sun peeking through the clouds.

    As he started up the path, he cast a pensive glance at the spot off to the side where he'd always see old Ri'saad and his caravan camped, denied entry to the city because of who and what they were, *Better times…* He shook his head as he moved on. How telling it was to him that the caravans' meager permissions back then seemed like such liberties compared to how things were now. Sure, he enjoyed some inkling of renown in certain circles by dint of his accomplishments as an adventurer, but even as he approached the city's gates, he could feel this pall of judgment and contempt emanating from the stern stares of the city guards.

    Upon reaching the gates, one of the two guards in front of them put a hand up and stepped toward him. "Hold there, Khajiit. Who are you and what business brings you here?" he asked in a gruff and impatient voice.

    *And now we find out if this one's reputation's still good enough to enter this way or if he'll have to sneak in through the sewers.* He resisted the instinct to grip his saber's hilt and answered, "This one is Karshazo, a name you may well find known by some should you ask around town. I come here in response to High King Ulfric Stormcloak's call for adventurers."

    "Godsblood, another one? And with a right chip on his shoulder, no less." the guard muttered to himself as he glanced back at his partner.

    Karshazo's whiskers bristled with curiosity. *Another what? Adventurer in general or, dare I hope, another Khajiit?* He stood there locked in a staring contest with the guard for what seemed like an eternity before his partner finally broke the tense silence.

    "Ah, come off it, Sothir. What's one Khajiit gonna do? Besides, the more o' them what die workin' fer Ulfric, the better, eh?"

    Karshazo couldn't resist letting a slight grin play at the corners of his mouth upon hearing the second guard speak. That familiar, even timbre was music to his ears after this long day.

    The first guard threw up a hand in resignation and started off toward the entrance to the gatehouse. "Bah whatever, fine, go in. I need a drink anyhow…"

    The second guard waved for the gates to be opened and a few moments later, open the ancient wooden doors swung on their old, whiny hinges. As Karshazo walked on through, the leaned toward him.

    "Buy me a drink, housecat?" he whispered.

    "Sod off, snowman." Karshazo replied with a smirk.

    The main road through the city hadn't changed much since the last time he'd been there, although he wondered whether some of the buildings still had their original owners or businesses. There was the Drunken Huntsman and Warmaidens right across the bridge. Adrianne Avenicci could still be found hard at work at the forge around to the side. A few houses here and there, and a little square at the end with merchant stalls circled around a large well in the middle, and then the good old Bannered Mare Inn just past all that. It was a strange mix of pleasant familiarity and unsettling novelty. *Stormcloak blue doesn't suit this place nearly as well as Imperial red.* The inn being his destination, Karshazo hurried through the crowded streets, trying his best to stay as far away from any guards as possible while doing so.

    Upon entering the Mare, Karshazo threaded his way through the throng of merrymakers and up to the bar, where he forked over a few drakes for a much needed tankard of ale. He went off into a corner and studied the room some. It was mostly the usual gathering of working people looking to unwind plus the lute-strumming bard,, but one pocket of the inn hosted a group of people that he could tell pretty quickly weren't the average bunch of tavern-goers. *Didn't think this one would be the first one here.* He waited for a bit, enjoying his ale, before moving about the fringes of the room toward the group.

    "Greetings. It appears this one is a little late to the party." he said as he leaned against the wall.
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    Malog Bur Grishnag, or Wren, as he introduced himself these days, walked the cobblestoned roads of Whiterun hold, the cool breeze tugging at his surcoat and the hooded traveling cloak he wore over it. After the recent rain, everything was still and quiet, even the wolves that frequently roamed the former province had retreated to their dens.

    The only real noise was the mournful howl of the wind, racing through the hills and flattening the long grass. The orcish knight plodded along, grateful for the solitude. Stormcloaks were hardly kind to his people, and even less so to those who strayed out of the strongholds.

    The fact that Wren had never stepped foot in a stronghold probably wouldn't persuade them in any way whatsoever. The missive in his pocket, however, might be a different story.

    The high walls of Whiterun, the hold capital, came into view, along with guardsmen atop them, both in hold yellows and stormcloak blues. He could feel their eyes on him as he marched his way to the gate. He could see the tension in the body language of the men manning the gate, especially Ulfric's soldiers. "State your business!" Snapped one of the soldiers.

    "I come to offer aid," Wren said calmly, careful to keep his hands well away from the hilt of his weapon. "If you'll have me." He held out the missive and didn't resist when one of the men stepped forwards to snatch it away. He glanced over its contents before nodding to his companions.

    One of them motioned to someone out of sight, and the gates began to swing inwards. "Mind yourself while you're here, greenskin," snapped the stormcloak, handing the letter back. "The rest of your kind are holed up at the bannered mare."

    Wren tucked the note back into his pocket and strode into the city, and uphill, towards the inn the guard had mentioned. It was not hard to find, nor were the adventurers the guard had referred to especially hard to see. Two were khajiit, four were human, though one of them sat near the fire, with a peculiar-looking dunmer.

    The orc joined them instead of crowding the four at the table, and leaned against one of the broad wooden pillars nearby. "Good day," he said, "I had hoped I would find others of like mind here and the guard said as much. My name is Wren."


    Devil Of The Details
    Baroth mulled in silence as the group in the corner mingled, though he knew he couldn't exclude himself from that for long. He'd created questions that needed answering, he wouldn't wait long before someone approached to ask them. And he was more right than he'd wanted to be, as a Dunmer in provacative garb with glaring tattoos waltzed over and assumed a seat near him. One look and Baroth knew this man would be the reason they wouldn't be able to conduct any sort of clandestine affairs, let alone the infiltration he himself had pulled off.

    And he could see how a.. social image such as his might serve to agitate the locals, which could serve the group in its own way. That, along with the loose handling of his glaive and his all-inviting confidence, would lead Baroth to label him an asset indeed, perhaps even a reluctant killer. In company such as theirs, however, he wondered how big of a heart the Dunmer truly had to spare.

    "Same thing his lot always wants," Baroth started, letting himself slip gently into that thick Nordic cadence he knew all too well. "Names that won't be missed under the waving banner, and bodies that won't take the weight of his taxed coin to disperse. Make no mistake, friend, the glory is sure to be his. Whether we live.." He turned as another Khajiit squelched into the bar, in robes sodden from the rain, preceding an armored Orc, jangling in his plated armor. The numbers and their odds had, at last, rounded out. "..or die trying."

    The Orc offered his name as Wren, though Baroth recognized it as more of an alias than a birthright. Considering his dwarfed tusks and more polished features, Baroth might've guessed he wasn't full-breed. "Wren." He repeated, conjuring the phantom of recognition from the Orc's stalwart demeanor. The recalled image, he knew, belonged to another; an old friend he was sure had died in all this mess. He banished the thought, rejected the face, as quickly as it came.

    "We're of like-mind indeed, if you bear mind over coin." He gently pushed a vacant chair towards Wren and took the last swig of his ale. With a fist pressed to his chest, he bowed his head genially. "Hodlin Graves, at your disposal. Warm yourselves with drink and song, hm? Quiet moments like these are rare indeed, moreso than a fellowship like ours." He waved down one of the barmaids, whom refilled his ale and served the others as well. "Come seeking the pardon, perhaps a deeper pocket for coin?"


    New Member
    Zar'issa turned her attention to the redguard woman and her tail twitched with amusement. "Or, it might entice the locals to attack us on sight." She smirked, "but who knows?" The khajiit glanced away as the door opened twice more. She perked up as another of her kind entered the establishment, his boots squelching along the floor as he noticed their group and joined them, leaning against the wall nearby.

    When he spoke, he did so in third person, the fashion of many other khajiit. "Don't get too excited, kinsman." She said, "I'm not sure this is the type of party anyone is going to be thrilled to be a part of." Of course, she had no idea of what was really going on. For all she knew, there were a company of archers waiting to execute them as soon as they left the inn.

    Though that seemed a little excessive for a pack of mongrels that just so happened to have been summoned to Whiterun. She hooked a nearby chair with the back of her leg, and shoved it in the other khajiit's direction. "You look like you've been on your feet a while. Why not take a rest?"


    New Member
    Kjol drained his tankard as the others spoke and slammed his empty tankard down. "Ulfric doesn't care of the locals are happy about us being here." He grumbled, "He wants this matter dealt with, and if we happen to piss off his people, he can deny any involvement." He waved one of the barmaids over for a refill. "The sooner we get a move on, the sooner everybody gets a pardon and a nice pouch of gold."


    Fight for the lost
    Thoras listened to the nord stranger's interpretation. "Well, that's a rather bleak take on the situation," he got the attention of a passing barmaid, exchanging a goblet of wine for a handful of coins that were more than twice the cost of the drink. He winked at the girl, and she blushed before hurrying on her way. "For my part, I have no intentions of dying." He gave the wine an appreciative sniff before lifting it in the nord's direction, "to your health, friend."

    He downed half the goblet in one long drink as an orc, atypically garbed for his kind, joined them and introduced himself as Wren.
    "Thoras Lorian, at your service," the elf said, with a half-bow. "Or rather, at Ulfric's service."
    The nordic man was the first to greet Wren and with civility that surprised the orcish knight. The dunmer quickly followed suit, though the garishly coloured mer was somewhat more flippant than his companion. He took the offered seat, listening as the man suggested that they might have more in common than merely being summoned to the bannered mare. "I have little need for coin," he said, "my purpose, as I told the guard, is to help those in need."

    He subtly nodded to the townsfolk around them. "I speak not of Ulfric and his jarls and thanes, safe and comfortable with their soldiers. The common folk, who cannot fend for themselves are most worthy of our aid." He looked to the nord, "don't you think?"


    New Member
    Thalia shrugged at the khajiit before turning to face the nord beside her. "It leads to the same result, does it not?" She asked, "yes, some of the locals might resent our presence, but does that matter if we complete our task?" She looked from one to the next. "Besides, a signed pardon might not mean much to you, but being able to go about my business without being harassed by Ulfric's lapdogs."
    Karshazo accepted the offered seat from the other Khajiit with a smile and a nod. "One may be surprised what misfortunes strike his morbid fancy." he quipped as he settled into a fresh tankard of ale.

    He held his tongue as the others mused about the circumstances of their summoning and what directions this burgeoning adventure might go in. The group's general level of competence seemed quite high, which alleviated at least one of his concerns. He'd been in groups before where everybody might've enjoyed success if only they'd possessed the slightest inkling of wit, humility, or willingness to work with others. Hopefully egos wouldn't drive deadly wedges between everyone here. He also couldn't help stealing glances at the other Khajiit, his whiskers brimming with curiosity not only about the group but also specifically regarding her nature and intentions. He'd spent many years building the emotional and psychological walls one in his line of work had to build if he wished to survive the trade's gauntlet of exploitation and betrayal. And yet, it'd been so long since he'd been able to enjoy some proper fellowship with another Khajiit; the duel between heart and mind was afoot.

    His ears perked up at the latest words of the Orcish knight calling himself Wren: an interesting name for an interesting character. It was true that the Stormcloaks' victory wouldn't change much about the day-to-day struggles of the everymen. And yet, the hollow echoes of countless empty or poorly fulfilled promises couldn't help bouncing around inside his mind upon hearing such talk.

    Even though he hadn't been the one to which Wren's question had been addressed, Karshazo raised his tankard and said, "Khajiit salutes your words, Orsimer." and then, with a tinge of understanding bereftness seeping into his voice, added, "Let us hope our actions will prove such sentiment true and not complicate these people's lives beyond what is necessary."

    He then waved down a barmaid. *Khajiit will need much more ale to make it through this gathering.*


    Devil Of The Details
    "Nor I. Not until the work is done, at least." He spoke in a broad tone and offered a warm smile, tilting his ale back at Thoras and sipping at it heartily. As Wren posed the question of safeguarding the innocent, Baroth glanced about reflectively, at his people. He was their primogenitor, almost certainly the last in a line of living ancestors, and even now he couldn’t see himself in them.

    They were scared, yes, but restless most of all; for some, this triumph over the Empire was a divine glory, and for others, it had cost them all they held dear. It had reminded them of who they were, that their land was theirs, and by way of prejudiced scrutiny, it’d be theirs alone. They’d stand fast against Imperial invasion, but watch on as their kinsmen died or disappeared. Ironic, that victory should yield such a heavy price, and bring with it an even larger beast to waste.

    “Hm.. Whether they can fend for themselves or not, these people have been left with an awful lot of slack. Against mystical beasts, possibly serial abductors and murderers, they have admittedly little chance. Crude as we appear, we’re the last line of defense.” He then spotted a Khajiit, the wet-robed one, who reciprocated Wren’s sentiment with a raised tankard. Though Baroth would argue their gathering in public, and traversing as a multicultural group already complicated things. He agreed with an, “Aye, and a drink to that.”, to the robed Khajiit and offered a sultry glance over his female compatriot, the stalwart Redguard, as he sipped.

    “In short, yes. Helping just one of them, no matter how brutish or spiteful, is a step towards repairing this land. And that is a feat worth drinking to.” He held his mug over the firepit, letting the liquid warm to a steam. He then blew on it and took a long swig of the hot ale, finishing it in one go. Over time, that lasting burn had become more and more bothersome. 'A red flag', he mused, 'that it's already begun.'

    “And you, Thoras? Be it duty or glory, a pardon and a fat pouch of gold can still do a world of good.” He smirked with a nod to Wren. “Perhaps an even fatter pouch, should Sir Wren forfeit his share.”
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