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The Vermintide of the 4th Century [Warhammer Fantasy/Elder Scrolls Crossover]

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Some Fucking Leaf, Oct 15, 2020 at 7:26 PM.

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  1. Threadmarks: Prologue
    Some Fucking Leaf

    Some Fucking Leaf Getting out there.

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    Skritch Gutcutter coughed. The air in his personal lair was choked with smoke and agitated dust-indeed, the entire warren of Clan Gnawmak was filled with an omnipresent smog. His ears twitched in anger at the news he had received from Skavenblight. The council were demanding more tribute, more Clanrats to fill their meat grinder instead of his own.

    Skritch hated the Council with a burning passion, their constant meddling in his affairs, taking more than what they deserved from the great Murderlord Skritch. Had he ever been given the chance, he knew that he could easily surpass the worthless wretches of Clan Mors and even become one of the Great Skaven clans. But the council constricted and confined him to his meagre position.

    To make matters worse, he has heard rumors that the surrounding clans were plotting to destroy everything Skritch had built. He cursed himself for not slaughtering the weaklings sooner. Naturally, he blamed his incompitent retinue for poisoning his mind against starting war against his neighboring clans, and was relieved to hear the news of their departure as food for the Skaven Slaves.

    “Sorry-sorry, Murderlord. We are ready-ready to prepare your nest-lair for moving!”

    The speaker wasA meek Clanrat at the entrance to Skritch’s lair. Without a word of reply to the weaklings, he waved them in, where they wasted no time collecting prized artifacts and trophies for the great migration that was about to occur.

    He chuckled to himself, Skritch was reminded of the secret project that his Clan had been constructing for many years. Thousands of loose ends and fodder were sacrificed to keep news of his great invention from reaching Skavenblight. The Skittergate!

    His whiskers twitched in anticipation for the activation of his secret project. The Skittergate would allow Clan Gnawmak to expand their influence without the constant meddling of the Council of 13. A portal that would lead Clan Gnawmak to somewhere they could build undisturbed and without the Council’s knowledge they would not pester and limit his ambitions.

    The warrens of Clan Gnawmak had been a scene of chaos as equipment, beasts, and most importantly, Breeders were prepared for departure. Only a precious few knew of the Skittergate, it’s reveal planned only once they were beginning their departure. The Clanrats who asked too many questions were dispatched with efficiency.

    Skritch’s ears twitched as he heard the familiar sound of heavy reverberating footsteps echoing down the tunnel leading to his chambers. He stood from his seat and anxiously awaited the figure to appear, Skak, his chief Warlock engineer.

    Skak covered himself in the characteristic metal plating of the Warlock engineer, a large cumbersome metal tank was affixed to the suit’s back, which was connected through a complex series of tubing to various parts of his body. His gunmetal mask covered the entirety of his face. Warpstone energy surging through his suit projected out of the glass eye sockets of the helm making them appear as though radiant green orbs.
    He wore a great, rounded gauntlet on his left hand which glowed the same familiar green as his eyes. His fingertips cracked with warp energy, prepared to surge from his hand at any moment. In his right hand he wore a much more form-fitting gauntlet which projected long serrated razor claws. The rest of his body was hidden beneath the thick dull gunmetal robe.

    “Murderlord Skritch, the Skittergate will be ready-working soon! Our Clan wait-waits for your signal!”

    Skak’s deep metallic voice echoed through his mask, although it made it difficult to understand, Skritch was delighted to hear the news.

    “Wait-waste no time, Skak! The Clan has pick-packed everything, yes-yes?” Skritch asked hastily. His patience upon hearing the news had dissipated and was replaced with an overwhelming eagerness to begin the migration.

    “I am happy-pleased to talk-tell you preparations are complete.”

    “No more waiting-watching? The Skittergate can activate, yes-yes?”

    “Yes-yes” came a raspy third voice.

    An extremely aged Skaven adorned in burlap robes approached the two, Master Moulder Brik appeared from the shadows, followed by a cadre of assistants.

    Brik was partially hairless, his head completely bare of fur. Half of his right ear had been chewed off and the other ear was slicked back against his head. His tattered robe revealed little about his body apart from his withered right leg which forced him to walk with a distinctive hobble.

    His followers looked similarly disheveled, each carrying a large sack filled with much-needed supplies.

    The promise of operating on the creatures across the gate enticed Brik to align himself with Skritch. Despite the substantial risk the move might pose.

    He nervously peered around, more so than would be considered normal, even by Skaven standards. His assistants shared the same demeanor as their master.

    “Ah, Brik we’ve been waiting-staying for you,” Skritch said impatiently. “I told you to scamper-scurry quick-quick!”

    Brik’s tail nervously jittered, “Sneaking-Skulking from Clan Moulder was hard-hard, had to wait-watch for right time.”

    Skritch had no patience for Brik’s problems and chose to ignore his excuse-making. His mind quickly drifted to more important issues and scrunched his nose as he turned back to Brik.

    “Brik where is Qwik hiding-crawling? Where-where is Yermak?” The metallic ratkin gave pause to Skritch’s questioning. Habitually grinding his claws against each other making a fine scraping noise.

    “Yermak is about to start-start the ritual, nobody has spotted-seen Qwik and his host-host!” Brik finally responded.

    Skritch grumbled to himself as he motioned for the party that had assembled in his chambers to follow him.

    The scene outside of his lair was chaotic, Clanrat and Skaven Slave alike ceaselessly carried crates of supplies toward a great chamber waiting to receive them. A cacophony of screeching, scraping and hammering filled the caverns that made up Clan Gnawmak’s warren.

    Despite intimately knowing the details of the preparation, Skritch was surprised to notice how bare many sections of the Skaven complex were. Where once the tunnels were crammed with loose material and supply, it was now clear enough to see the tiny burrows that the average Clanrat dug themselves as a home.

    The burrows were shallow and destitute, only barely managing to keep the Skaven off the path of oncoming traffic. A few of the more motivated Skaven created much deeper burrows, which doubtlessly had swapped hands on multiple occasions as the more envious Skaven aimed to capitalize on their hard work.

    The winding path the party took brought them to a tunnel sitting on a steep incline. The constant stream of Skaven thinned to nothing. Their skittering was replaced by the vigilant glares of his Stormvermin guards. Brik began to audibly wheeze, the straining effort of climbing the incline taking a great toll on his decrepit body. Two of his assistants rushed to assist the frail rat in his ascent.

    Finally they reached the plateau at the top. The tight, claustrophobic tunnels gave way to a great open chamber which stretched down for many kilometers to what appeared to be a mustering ground. A great stockpile of Warpstone lined the walls in haphazardly stacked piles, the crates that contained them constantly threatening to topple at the slightest provocation. Their soft green lustre was always a welcome sight.

    Beyond the muster ground was a gargantuan circular structure. Upon seeing it Skritch’s spirits were lifted immensely, the Skittergate. It stretched from one side of the chamber to the next and all the way to it’s ceiling. Wooden support beams stuck out of the walls and braced the structure from tipping or toppling. The gate itself was a patchwork of metal and wood supports. A hole with a large chunk of Warpstone protruded from the top of the Skittergate. Which would serve as a source of power to maintain the gate after the ritual was complete.

    Suddenly, Skritch sensed the looming presence of an as of yet unknown party directly behind him. He drew his specially made sword from its scabbard and turned to face the would-be attacker only to immediately reconsider that course of action. Qwik the Assassin and his cadre of gutter runners had finally arrived.

    “Quik! You took-used your time to get-get here!” The Muderlord absent-mindedly snapped. Soon realizing his mistake, his ears flattened against his head and prayed the Eshin Assassin not retaliate. But all he received in return was a slight nod from Qwik.

    Qwik was dressed head to toe in black, belts and straps carrying equipment such as spare daggers and poison seemed to zig-zag across his torso. His hood shrouded much of his visage in mystery, what was visible was then covered by a crude cloth mask. Leaving only his eyes as the most visible part of his body. A cloak stretched down his body, stopping just shy of the assassin’s tail.

    “The Skittergate is able-ready to activate, Murderlord! Failure-fall is not an option. We need only order-tell yermak to begin-start the ritual!” Brik echoed.

    Skritch impatiently grumbled, as he scanned the platform for any sign of the senile Greyseer. He was surprised to see his silhouette at the far railing, how his presence escaped him for so long, Skritch didn’t know.

    Yermak wore simple, filthy robes. Any colour they may have had long since faded. His horns stretch high above his head, the signs of curling present at their ends. His eyes were a cloudy grey. Yermak had been rendered blind long ago, however this did little to inhibit his greatness. He gripped an ornate staff which bore the symbols of both Clan Gnawmak and the Great Horned Rat.

    “Yermak! Begin-start the ritual!” Skritch impatiently spat.

    The Greyseer hardly payed the Murderlord any attention, already mumbling an incantation under his breath. The Skittergate jolted to life, the giant Warpstone chunk now glowed radiantly. The ground rumbled and the very foundations of the platform began to rattle. Loose soil fell from the ceiling in great clumps, only adding to the poor air quality of the warrens.

    Warp lightning crackled and lashed out, now from within the gate. A green miasma now began to swirl from the innermost edges of the gate, spiralling towards its center. The energy became more concentrated until one could not see to the other side of the Skittergate. The platform rustled and shook violently, Skritch skittered towards the tunnel he emerged from in his desperate search for stable ground. The rest of his retinue had already disappeared down the tunnel long before he took notice. The only one left on the platform was Yermak who not only seemed unafraid of the happenings, but unphased as he chanted louder and louder.

    A bolt of warp lightning surged from the portal and struck an unlucky group of Clanrats who’s bodies lit a radiant green their screams penetrated Skritch’s ears despite being many kilometers away from the source. Their bodies exploded into ash which now coated the floor. The only other sign of their existence being the pungent stench of burnt flesh within the area.

    The tremors became more violent until the hapless Murderlord cursed himself, himself! For being so hasty in the Skittergate’s activation. He covered his head and pleaded with the Great Horned Rat for mercy in going behind his back. But just as instantly as the rumbling had started, it suddenly ceased. Skritch lowered his arms and scanned his surroundings. Was he dead? Had his Grey Seer sabotaged his ambition?

    He looked through the hole at the entrance to the Skittergate’s chamber, his eyes brightened and squealed in joy. The Skittergate, apart from the occasional bolt of Warp Lightning, had stabilized. The radiant green pool at its center spiralled and danced erratically. None were more proud of this success, however, than Brik. Despite being incapable of reading his emotions due to the metal mask he wore at all times, his jubilation was nigh uncontainable, though he did much to conceal this fact.

    The doors to the mustering grounds were opened and a constant wave of Clanrats flooded the open ground, many stopping to marvel at the magnificent gate before them. This turned out to be a foolish endeavour however as they were promptly knocked over by other eager ratkin and trampled to death. Their cheers soon filled the chamber and left very little room for Skritch to make the speech he had mentally prepared for.

    A horn sounded from beside the Murderlord and the crowd quieted to a whisper. As they awaited Skritch to speak. He composed himself and revealed himself plainly for all to see.

    “Clan Gnawmak,” he began. “We must migrate-move! We are stuck-trapped here, weak-weak Clans plan to kill us! The Council want-must keep us weak, they fear us!”

    The countless Skaven below roared in approval, raising their crude weapons high in the air. Skritch cackled, this is the moment he had been waiting for and he wished to savour it for all it’s worth.

    “Listen-follow Skritch, go through the Skittergate! Crush-kill all you find, burrow-build our city, leave no survivor-meat!”

    The crowd below him fervently cheered and chanted for Skritch and Clan Gnawmak. They would go where no other Skaven had been before, none knew what lies beyond the gate but each great Clan found their greatness by venturing and Gnawmak would be no different.

    “Now, scamper-scurry! Skitter-go! We must slaughter-stab for Skavendom!”

    And with that the countless hordes of Skaven surged through the Gate many were trampled, but many more washed over their remains. Crates of Warpstone were picked and carried through the Skittergate, weapons and supplies followed shortly thereafter, Skritch had ordered that even the Breeders be dragged from their dens and brought through to the other side. There was no time to lose, the neighboring Clans were sure to have noticed the earthquake, they would soon come to investigate what Skritch had hid from them. He wanted them to find nothing but empty warrens when they arrived.

    Finally, Skritch and his retinue gathered, and began their descent to the muster grounds themselves. There was much to do once they reached the other side, after all.
     
  2. mrttao

    mrttao Connoisseur.

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    Well this looks promising.
     
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  3. Some Fucking Leaf

    Some Fucking Leaf Getting out there.

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    Thank you!

    I haven't written anything in a while so hearing people's thoughts on my work is really helpful, hope you enjoy what I have planned for the future!
     
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  4. TricksterPriest

    TricksterPriest 大六天魔王

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    Normally, I am sooooo not into Warhammer. But? I'll make an exception this time. :cool:
     
  5. EvaUnit01

    EvaUnit01 The man who stands at the top of AAWWEESSOOOMEEE

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    "Skittergate" is cute, that amuses me.

    I can't say at all that I'm familiar with Warhammer or TES... but you've done a great job of creating your atmosphere here, and it's drawn me in pretty well. You've also done a solid enough job of introducing your characters, and it'll be interesting to see where things go moving forward.
     
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  6. Threadmarks: Chapter 1
    Some Fucking Leaf

    Some Fucking Leaf Getting out there.

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    Skritch snickered to himself, even after five months, the prospect of having outwitted the Council of 13 still filled him with the most profound joy. Not only had the Skittergate brought them out of the reach of the meddling Council and the opportunistic neighboring clans, they had been brought to another world entirely!

    Many wondered to themselves how such a thing could have possibly happened, Greyseer Yermak was most perturbed when the Winds of Magic were reduced to but a draft. He insists however that the Winds slowly gain in strength with each passing month. Skritch however asked himself no such questions, of all the places he could have been sent to, this was the most optimal. Completely out of reach of any competition, Clan Gnawmak was free to expand as they pleased.

    What overjoyed Skritch the most, however, was the clean, almost immaculate quality of the air within his newly constructed warren. Not because he valued clean air or cared about keeping the land around him pure, but the sheer cathartic satisfaction of being the one at the helm when those are long since gone filled his rodent heart with an uncontrollable amount of excitement.

    “Murderlord! Our digger-scouts have returned!”

    A Clanrat barged into his newly finished lair with a scrap of crude parchment clutched in his right hand. Skritch’s ears perked up at the news, his spirits lifted such that his instinctual rage at the imprudent Clanrat’s careless entrance was forgiven. He ripped the parchment out of the smaller rat’s filthy grey-furred claws. And scanned the paper with great ferocity. He abandoned his efforts shortly thereafter, once realizing that he could simply demand the Clanrat tell him instead.

    “Out-out with it then! Did they fetch-find Warpsone? Fetch-find more bug-food?” Skritch spat impatiently.

    The Clanrat flattened his ears, looking down at his own feet for a moment before recomposing himself.

    “Yes-yes! More bug-food has been found! We managed to trick-trap the main breeder and brought it to Brik!”

    While this news did please Skritch, he did not want to hear about the mysterious colonies of giant insects they had encountered,

    “Warpstone! Did they fetch-find Warpstone!? Speak-speak now!”

    He loomed over the terrified messenger who barely managed to stutter out his reply.

    “S-sorry, Murderlord,” the Clanrat choked out. “The digger-scouts couldn’t seek-find any Warpstone- there’s none!”

    Skritch raised his hand to strike the messenger in a fit of rage, it took every ounce of his willpower to stay his hand. This new world was not all good tidings. Since they arrived, the Skaven had searched for Warpstone but found none. Thankfully through theft, subterfuge, and shrewd conservation, Clan Gnawmak had amassed a truly massive stockpile of the deadly material.

    The terrified messenger scrambled through his report, searching for more good news to placate the towering Murderlord before him.

    “Murderlord, I know-have good news! We have begun dig-digging our first under-city!”

    Skritch’s demeanor changed, his rage placated for the moment, he recomposed himself and motioned for the messenger to continue.

    “Following Qwik’s order-command, our burrowing-behemoths have reached the first city of the surface. They are call-calling it ‘Under-Cheydinhal’!”

    Skritch scrunched his nose, he had heard much about Cheydenhal. He had heard many reports from his scouts that expansion west had revealed a large city of man-things, very little was known about this city other than it’s name, but once the Undercity is fully established and Qwik can entrench his network across the city these mysteries will become clear.

    “And what-what of Mournhold? Have we tunnel-bore our way east? yes-yes?”

    The Clanrat timidly shook his head.

    “Angry hives of bug-things and Mer-thing tombs are slow-slowing our progress.”

    Skritch gritted his teeth, despite being equally far from both cities, their push east had been far slower. Tombs and underground complexes of all shapes and sizes dotted the landscape. Many of which contained monsters, undead and most worryingly, witnesses of their existence. All of which had to be meticulously dispatched before they could continue boring through towards Mournhold.

    The pitter-patter of feet could once again be heard down the tunnel to Skritch’s lair. He rolled his eyes and prepared himself to be pestered by yet another weakling. This one wore the distinct burlap robes of Master Moulder Brik’s cadre. Much like his master, this one’s hair had begun to fall out in patches, leaving his head naked.

    “Murderlord! Master Moulder Brik wishes-wants to speak-talk to you! Very-very important news, quick-quick!”

    Scritch wished to protest, preferring to remain within the confines of his lair. But it was important that his inner-circle view him as proactive. The risk of other Clans attacking may be gone, but treachery from within his own ranks was not only a possibility, but a reality. Skritch knew that even the scent of weakness might spur plans for his assassination and replacement. Not that he would ever allow himself to fall into such a position.

    He followed the Moulder acolyte down the winding halls of the Capital of Skritch’s new Under-Empire, which he has proudly dubbed ‘Ratwarren’. The wide tunnels felt cramped, he navigated a sea of fur, his Stormvermin bodyguards not far behind. Stacks of wood and Bug-thing shells littered the sides of the cavern.

    Despite how heavily trafficked as this route was, there was very little in the way of lighting save for the odd torch haphazardly banded to the side of the wall. Skritch had to rely primarily on his nightvision to navigate the cramped hall, he detested having to walk amongst the filthy lower classes of Ratwarren and made a mental note to create his own personal passageways to key locations throughout the city.

    Skaven packed shoulder to shoulder each pushed against one another carrying supplies to and from all corners of the Under-City, even in these short months since being here, the Skaven population had almost doubled. Ratwarren struggled to expand fast enough to accommodate the quickly growing population.

    The Acolyte took a left turn into another tunnel, the traffic seemed to thin somewhat as they pushed through the oncoming Skaven. It wasn’t long before a horrid stench assaulted Skritch’s nose, more than even he was used to, which also appeared to be the case for his bodyguard. The only member of the group unaffected was the Moulder Acolyte.

    Suddenly, the tunnel gave way to a massive chamber. Great braziers fully illuminated the chamber. The light revealed rows upon rows of cages containing captive bug-things, including most recently a Bug-thing Breeder.

    The four legged creature had a thick, Chitinous brown abdomen, a sharp spine rise stretched all the way down from it’s head to it’s thorax. The head and thorax themselves were, in stark contrast to the hard shell of the abdomen, soft and fleshy. The head had four eyes and many circular rows of teeth. It had a pale, maggot-like colour and texture. While it’s thorax appeared to be a sickly soft bag of organs and eggs. While the Bug-thing breeder easily towered over the average Skaven, it was dwarfed by the average Skaven Breeder.

    Three Bug-thing workers were allowed to attend to the Bug-thing breeder, grooming the bound beast while it struggled against the chains that held it to the floor. Skritch was pulled away from his observations as the Acolyte motioned for him to enter a nearby chamber. There he saw the withered figure of Brik, who was busy planning the next of what was to be many abominable creations.

    “Brik, what-what is it you want-need of me?”

    The shriveled Master Moulder slowly turned around and nodded to the Murderlord standing before him. Skritch could see 5 dark-skinned Mer-things behind Brik, they wore the clothes of a labourer. Each appeared to be in a different state of emotions, some tried with all their might to free themselves from their bonds, others cried, one particular mer-thing that caught Skritch’s attention appeared utterly resigned to his fate.

    “These five are prisoner-food from the last Bug-thing raid, they ran-fled to the surface when we dug-tunneled into their lair.” Brik said matter-of-factly. “I wanted-wished to experiment on them.”

    One of the mer-things spoke up tears streaming from his eyes as he choked what words he could.

    “Please, we’re just Kwama Miners, j-just let us go and you’ll never see us again!”

    Kwama? Skritch wondered what these mer-things could possibly be talking about. He eventually concluded that the mer-thing was simply speaking gibberish, completely incapable of handling his first interaction with a Skaven. Skritch snickered and turned to Brik.

    “Murder-kill-kill them soon, I don’t want them to escape-flee from here and warn-teach their friends of us!”

    Brik simply smiled and nodded in return, before gazing longingly at his five new test subjects.

    “Murderlord!”

    A piercing voice echoed from outside Brik’s chamber. A frenzied Clanrat messenger, clearly exhausted from prolonged sprinting collapsed into the room. After recovering from a particularly nasty bout of wheezing, the messenger began to stammer a series of words which Skritch could barely bother to understand.

    “Speak-talk clearly!” He barked.

    “The… The Skittergate, it has collapsed!”

    -------------------------------



    The Imperial City Prison, 4E 201

    Anarril Aediuth rubbed his hands together, the dank cell he had been stuffed in provided little heat or comfort. The cold iron shackles clung tightly to his wrists, constricting his pallid alabaster skin. His clothes were little more than rags, held to his body with a tied strand of chord. His long, ashen grey hair was matted from lack of washing.

    A brown rat skittered across the cold stone cell past his feet, squeezing through the rusted iron bars at the entrance and disappearing underneath a crack in the stone brick wall. He recoiled in disgust. Rats, he despised rats with a passion. He picked himself up and walked towards the only window in his cell. It was small, small enough that were he to attempt to squeeze through he would only manage to fit his head. To make matters worse the window was high above his head, with a considerable stretch his fingers just barely reached the sill of the window. After realizing the futility of his efforts he let go and landed on the floor.

    He let out a long protracted sigh. just how did he end up here? He knew the answer, of course. The question was one more of disbelief than any lack of knowledge. His home in Bruma was raided by the local garrison on suspicion of spying for the Thalmor. Despite not finding any evidence, Imperial authorities arrested him ‘just in case’. Of course they would find no evidence, he had traveled to Cyrodil long before the war!

    He spat in anger, the spit however did not travel far, landing on his foot. He jolted in disgust, trying to kick the saliva off of his skin. When that revealed itself to be an act of futility, he swallowed his pride and wiped the spit off with his hand. He quickly dived to a nearby puddle to wash his palm clean.

    He often missed the elegant beauty of the golden cities of the Somerset Isles. Fond memories of a more civilized place washed over him in a soothing catharsis. For but a moment, he forgot about the dirty cities of Man and their outright criminal dungeons. Had it not been for his passionate interest in the secrets of the Dwemer, he may very well have remained in the Isles his whole life.

    But alas, the cautionary tales of Lorkhan’s treachery he had been regaled with as a child, of the caging of the Aldmer and their search for their rightful divinity did little to fill him with fear. No, it caused quite the opposite. He was excited by these tales, he had long since enjoyed using his wit to solve and overcome challenges. And what was this but the greatest challenge of them all?

    His research brought him to the research of the Dwemer, which he believed to be a failed civilization. Ones who foolishly took a shortcut by using the Heart of Lorkhan, and undermined their solution towards immortality, divinity. He sought to continue where the Dwemer left off, he threw himself into the research of Tonal Architecture. Of course, when the Thalmor began to pressure him to find a mate and create pureblooded heirs, he decided to leave the Isles to Morrowind to uncover and study the Dwemer’s secrets personally.

    Of course, the bureaucracy of Morrowind stood in his way, despite his research standing to benefit all of reality, they insisted he await permission, and permits, and payment. Bah! He decided he would settle in Bruma and use his services as an artificer to raise money for his expeditions. Of course, then the war happened, and people’s attitude towards him changed.

    Friendly faces turned cold, those he called his neighbors now only offered him only angry glares and bitter words. One day, the guards showed up and brought him here, to this dark, wet, cold, cell.

    Arannil tilted his head, he could hear footsteps far down the hall. Each foot fall was accompanied by the rustling of metal against metal. He could distinctly tell apart two sets of steps. A pair of patrolling prison guards, he surmised. He walked closer to the bars of his cell, half-hoping these guards were intending to feed the prisoners. He could faintly hear their voices as they drew closer.

    “... since the war, we’ve barely gotten any battlemages at all, we’re undermanned, and understrength.” one particularly gruff voice said. The footfalls grew louder, and more pronounced.

    “Well hopefully I can be of some help, Venexus. We’ve got prisoners of all kinds in here.”
    Another more relaxed voice replied.

    Anarril’s face contorted, what are they talking about? He tried to angle his head to get a view of the two as they drew closer, but they were still out of view. The footsteps stopped, metallic rustling could be heard from around the corner followed by a clunk. A door creaked open, rusty metal squeaking as it was moved once again.

    “Who’s this one?” the gruff authoritative voice asked.

    Chains rustled as one of the two figures ordered whomever occupied the cell to get up. Annaril grumbled in frustration at not being able to see what was transpiring.

    “This one is…” the relaxed voice paused for a moment. “A Breton, quite the magician, this one. Killed his wife with a lightning bolt while she slept.”

    “I didn’t and you can’t prove that I did.” A third, almost bored sounding voice retorted in an almost disinterested manner. “The name is Astielvin Anice, at your service sir.”

    “Yeah yeah, just come with us, murderer.” the second voice said dismissively. The footsteps resumed, now he could distinguish between three sets of footsteps. The footfalls grew louder and more intense, Anarril looked closely through the bars of his cell. Three men emerged from the corner. The first was a short-haired imperial, a piece of parchment in one hand, and his helmet in the other. His uniform identified him as one of the guards of the prison. The second, much taller man was donned in the armour of an Imperial Lieutenant. His smug grin seemed all the more ostentatious paired with the plumed helmet he wore. The third was a short, bald, Breton man dressed in the same prisoner’s rags as Anarril was.

    They continued to walk until the Lieutenant stopped at the Altmer’s cell. He inspected him closely before turning to the prison guard and patting him on the shoulder.

    “Who’s this one?”

    The guard moved his finger down the parchment, occasionally looking back at the High Elf’s face. Confident he had found what he was looking for, he turned to the Lieutenant.

    “This one is… An Altmer, arrested for stealing magical artifacts from the Bruma Mages Guild,” he chuckled to himself. “Not the smartest move, was it there, elf?”

    Anarril was outraged, not only was he thrown in prison for something he did not do, but the guards had the audacity to fabricate charges solely to save face. The Lieutenant looked closely at him before motioning for him to leave his cell.

    “Altmer make good mages, right? Alright, prisoner, you’re coming with me.”

    Anarril was phased, while it was true that Altmer were more magically inclined than most other races, he was a simple artificer, not some explosion-obsessed battle mage! He immediately calmed himself down, realizing this as an opportunity to escape from the squalid conditions he had been subjected to. Not wanting to anger a member of the Imperial Legion, Anarril thought it best to obey the man’s orders. The guard briefly surveyed the parchment, was he looking for people suspected of being magically inclined? He started to piece what was happening together, they’re not drafting me into the Legion, are they?

    “That should be all of them, Venexus. You sure you want to take these two?”

    The Lieutenant, apparently named Venexus nodded, “I’d have hoped for more, but these two will do.”

    Anarril and the Breton were herded through the cramped corridors of the prison, the halls were brightly lit, far brighter than the cell he had been kept in. He was relieved to be even within the presence of relative comfort, even if he could not stay and enjoy it for long. He was quickly led through a side door to the outside of the prison where a wooden cart full of prisoners in similar situations to himself were waiting. Two legionaries stood by watching over the prisoners like hawks, waiting for the slightest excuse to strike.

    He shielded his eyes from the bright rays of the evening sun. The darkness of his cell did very little to prepare him for the bright luminescence of the outside. Eventually, however, his eyes adjusted and the pain subsided. For the first time in months, be breathed in the fresh air of the outside. The feeling was almost intoxicating and a much needed reprieve from the stale, humid air of the dungeon. The Breton, Astielvin, appeared to have the same reaction as him. The rays of light reflected perfectly off of his bald head.

    He and Astielvin were made to sit at the end of the cart, the two legionaries mounted their horses and rode behind the carriage. Within minutes the cart began to move. Where they were going, he had no idea. He felt a nudge against his shin, it was Astielvin, the Breton gave him a friendly nod.

    “Good day to you, elf! The name’s Astielvin!” his voice seemed almost chipper, understandable considering how they had been liberated from their past situation. Anarril nodded in return.

    “Likewise, my name is Anarril. Do you have any idea where we are going?”

    Astielvin laughed in response, shaking his head as he did.

    “Of course not! Why would I?”

    Anarril, realizing the obvious answer to his question, was briefly amazed by the stupidity of his own words.

    “Not to worry, my friend. We’ve got a long way to go, I’m sure we’ll find out eventually!”
     
  7. EvaUnit01

    EvaUnit01 The man who stands at the top of AAWWEESSOOOMEEE

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    Corruption... corruption never changes.

    Still, at least we have some prospective heroes now to square off against Skritch and his legion of vermin.
     
  8. Vanbers

    Vanbers I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Well, in the Imperials defence, Altmer aren't really... people, y'know?

    "The Thalmor meet the Skaven" would be a highly amusing scenario, now that I think about it.
     
    Some Fucking Leaf and mrttao like this.
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