lördag 7 april 2018

The season Unending, Autumn of Anarchy 1

Skyrim and the elder scrolls is the property of Bethesda, if they have a problem with anything I do I encourage them to contact me at once and we can hopefully sort it out

The season undending becomes a webcomic

Lo folks, it's been a long time since my last update and that is partially because I have had a lot of work to do at the university, secondly because I have been rethinking my The season undending fanfic. It felt rather stale. I don't think text may be the best medium for the story, so I have decided to rethink it and make it a webcomic instead. I used to draw as a kid, I even took art classes in my evening, I'll admit I was never very good, all my teachers told me I had the spark, natural talent but I was way to lazy to actually sit down and learn, well these days things are different I am trying to find passtimes which do not cater to my laziness but rather help me grow as a person and keep my mine active.
As such I have been sitting on youtube watching the "how to draw manga" videos by the esteemed Mark Crilley, and I realized that for all my slacking of a lot of the things he says "This is difficult and this will take time to learn, isn't that difficult for me, and does take that long to learn, now chalk it down to either the natural talent my art teachers talked about or the fact that how even if I am a slacker I have done this stuff before, I seem to have a knack for it. Now I'm not saying I am good or ever will be, my work will very likely be very basic at least at first, but  I hope to get better.
Oh and i don't mean it to be a manga but the style is simple and I have aces to a very good resource to learn it so I will start there and then hopefully move away from it in time.

Anyway I'll post my first strip in a moment, see you then.

söndag 6 augusti 2017

The Elder scrolls, Fanfic: The Season Unending, Book 1: Autumn of Anarchy, Chapter 3: Prying and suspicions

Previous Chapter

Actius was scouting ahead, he had a much easier time moving through the terrain than his elven traveling companion, and as such were constantly moving a few dozen yards ahead of him all the time. Which also saved him from the small talk. After last nights explanation of his past he was determined not to give the elf any more unnecessary information about himself than he absolutely needed. They had departed the farm they had stayd at over the night early in the morning, Actius had lamented having to leave most of the things he had found behind, but they needed to travel light and Fasendil had not concealed his disapproval of taking anything at all. That said once he had gotten rid of the elf Actius might get himself a pack animal and go over some of these places which the war had left empty, better the things were returned into the hands of the living than rust beside the dead. This farmhouse wasn't a big thing but there was probably plenty of loot to be found in Helgen. Then again would he need to resort to picking the bones of the war? The legate had promised him five hundred septims. That would keep him afloat for quite some time. Actius scaled the peak of the hill he had been climbing up and looked down on the valley on the other side. The  he stopped and waited for the legate to catch up.
"Why are you stopping" the legate asked when he got closer. Actius made  a motion with his head for the legate to come up and look. The legate climbed the few last steps and looked down.
"That is fort Neugard" Actius told him.
"Impressive fort, if in some disrepair" Actius looked at the fort. Perhaps the Legate was right, it was certainly more of a fort than Helgen had been. For was in a way a misnomer, because the word atleast to Actius always made him think of wooden structures, but this was more of a castle, built in the heavy sturdy grey granite that was so common in Skyrim. The entire thing lay on a small rocky cape, almost a cliff, jutting out into an alpine lake. The main keep was well on the cape but the outer wall extended beyond it, and went into a three quaters circle starting in the east, then south west, west and north west. The wall to the north west closest to the lake had collapsed however, it had probably slowly been pulled apart by ice from the lake over the course of many winters, and it had been replaced by wooden barricades. It was one of only three weakpoints in the structure, the other was the main gate to the west and then a place at the southern wall where the wall met a hill and the difference between ground level and top of the wall were somewhat lower.
"I guess" Actius said with a shrug.
"With the destruction of Helgen, this becomes the main strongpoint in these mountains" the legate thought aloud. "Perhaps even if Helgen still had existed, Helgen was more of a border trading town with a keep and some walls, this is a fort built for war"
"I'll take your word for it" Actius said with another shrug "A pile of rocks is a pile of rocks to me"
"Have you ever been inside?" The legate asked turning back to him, Actius pushed down a grunt of irritation.
"I don't trade with bandits" Actius said drily.
"Why not it's not like you're not on the same side of the law, poacher" The legate retorted.
"Yes it is!" Actius said indignantly. "Even if I admit to hunting game that does not belong to me, which I for the record don't"
"I've seen you do it, you shot that goat on someone else's land yesterday" the legate interjected, but Actius just ingored him and continued.
"I hunt, I don't kill people" He protested.
"I must have imagined the stormcloak boy you shot two days ago then"
"That was diffrent and you know it. I killed him in self defence" He paused. "Bandits kill for their own gain, murderers and rapists, not even the thieves guild want anything to do with their lot, it lcks the finesse they expect from their members" Actius fell quiet, he needed to learn to keep his mouth shut, the legate didn't seem to have noticed him admitting he knew the inner workings of the thieves guild though. Though you never knew. He decided to change the subject though. "That said I actually have been inside" The legate span around and looked at him.
"Really? But if you don't trade with them how..."
"I don't, but one of their patrols raided my camp one day when I was out hunting, I tracked them back here and sneaked in and took my stuff back, I even took some, shall we say interest in their loan" The legate opened his mouth "It's not like it's their stuff anyway" Actius interjected quickly.
"I'm sure you have a perfectly good rationalisation, that's not what I meant to ask about" the legate told him with a wry smile "I was going to ask how you managed to sneak into a heavily fortified and guarded bandit stronghold" Actuis shrugged.
"It's not as hard as it sounds, liek you said the fort is in some disrepair"
"So you went through the broken wall, one would have thought they'd guard it"
"Well obviously they do, that's why I didn't go that way, I climbed in on the bluff to the south, they have so many men watching the broken wall they forget to guard their other weakspots"
"That's still an impressive feat"
"Not so much climbing is essential in these parts, as for sneaking, can't be a hunter if you loudly blunder about and make noise" The legate wasn't listening though he was again regarding the fort like if it was a pusszle he was trying to figure out.
"Do you see the ruins on the far side of the lake" Actius asked and pointed to a point on the far side. the legate looked up at him startled.
"What? Oh" he looked where actius pointed "Yeah I see them why?"
"This afternoon we'll try Haemar's pass, if it's blocked, then that's where we need to go tomorrow, there's a tunnel under the mountains"
"If that is so why even bother with Haemar's pass?"
"Two reasons, first the tunnels aren't nearly as safe, secondly, the smugglers who we'll have to deal with if we use the tunnel don't work for free." The legate nodded, then seemed to realize something.
"This is your reason for wanting me dressed as a civlian isn't it?"
"The reasons I gave you earlier were valid points but yes it's part of why, if you win the war you're the law around here and the smugglers will not expose their secrets to you" Actius hesistated. "Unless they figure you for Thalmor at which point we'll have to fess up before they gut you and put you at the bottom of the lake, elves, especially high elves, aren't very popular around here."
"My only objection is that they gut the Thalmor before throwing them in the lake" the legate said with a wry smile. Actius laughed.
"have them try to swim with their armour on? Ha! you have a nasty sense of humor legate" Actius picked up his pack again "We should get going toward Haemar's pass"
"Who said I was joking" Fasendil muttered under his breath as he followed.

Three hours later they had mad camp behind a rocky outcrop on the far side of one of the mountains flanking the entrance to haemar's pass. Actius had left the legate to set up camp while he went scouting. When he returned the legate had jsut got  afire going. He looked up as Actius approched him and lifted an inquiring eyebrow. Actius ignored him sat down and grabbed a water bad a downed a few gulps. Then he turned to the imperial legionary.
"Bad news" he told him "the Stormcloaks have already entered the pass, our options are limited, we can use the smugglers route I mentioned earlier, or wait two to three days for the stormcloaks to clear the pass and follow them" Actius took another gulp of water.
"Wouldn't work, unless their commander is a total fool he'll leave some forces in each end of the pass, not enough to hold it against a dedicated attack but enough to rush through to the other side of the pass join with the soldiers there and hold the pass until reinforcements arrive" Actius nodded to this. The legate knew his things.
"Seems resonable, and unfortunately for us he's not a complete fool, I saw smoke rising from the orphan's rock valley halfway up the side of the pas on the other side. A septim says there are stormcloak scouts there" He informed the elf.
"Did they see you? If so they could come looking for us and see the smoke from our fire..." Actius couldnät help giving a barking laugh.
"I don't get seen unless I mean to be seen legate" he said with a grin. "No one will be spotting out campfire"
"You know being called no one really hurts my feelings" an amused voice said fro the slope above him, actuis jumped to his feet drew his bown and nocked an arrow in one move.
"Woah woah, keep your arrow in your quiver there archer boy, we're not looking for trouble" The person spekaing was a girl, standing on an outcrop a some dozen feet above them, she had short red hair and simple clothes, beside her stood three others like her, another woman and two men. Actius did not lower his bow, but neither did he draw it.
"Who are you and why did you sneak up on us?"
"We saw the smoke from your campfire and decided to see if the people there were friendly" the younger  of the two men explained. Actius didn't lower his bow. "We're refugees we came to Helgen to seek safesty"
"Some safety that turned out to be" the woman with the mocking voice said with a bitter smile.
"Actius!" the legate snapped behind him. "You're not going to shoot refugees, lower your bow" Actius threw a sceptic glance over his shoulder.
"If they are refugees, they claim to be yes but I could claim to be a member of the imperial blades for all that they have to show for it"
"And what? You'll murder them because they might be dangerous? You told me no less than a few hours ago that you didn't kill people" Actius sighed, the legate was right he was not sure he could shoot these people either way not unless they actually attacked him, he unnocked the arrow and lowered the bow.
"Just one thing" he said with a tight voice "Our fire can't be seen from the road, so if you are refugees why were you trotting in the harsh terrain of the montains?" he asked them when they approached. The young redheaded girl with the mocking voice gave him a grin.
"Same reason you were I imagine, because we don't enjoy the company of stormcloaks"
"Why..." Actius started
"Because you're reachmen?" the legate overrode him turned to the girl.
"Yupp" She sat down "As an altmer I think you cna emphatise"
"That's why you chose to approach us?" she laughed
"Not even close, most of your kind hate us for halfbloods, almost as much as the nords do, no we chose to approach you when we heard him call you legate, an imperial legate can't exactly be a thalmor can he? Plus an imperial legate wouldn't abandon citizens fleeing for their lives would he?" Actius groaned the girl was pretty enough but boy did she talk, we couldn't really decide if she was the leader or just liked talking more then the others, well considering how little they talked he had met few people who seemed to like it less than they did.
"We shall render you what aid we can" he heard Fasendil promise her, his eyes snapped to the elf, was he mad? The last thing they needed was more people when trying to move by the smugglers path. But he understood Fasendil well enough to know he wouldn't be persuaded otherwise, Actius sigghed again.
"If I may ask" he heard Fasendil ask "Has the civil war spread to the reach then? Last I heard Markarth was delcared for the empire and all holds around it were either that too neutral" She made to answer but  the other woman of the group spoke first, she was in her early by the looks of her, her fair skin contrasted with a  shock of pitch black hair. Then there was a man who looked about the same age with auburn hair and last a man only a few years older than the girl who talked a lot.
"The civil war started in the reach legate, we have been fighting Ulfric stormcloak for twenty years before you started"
"Not we" the redhaired girl protested "The Forsworn, not that most nords care about the diffrence" Fasendil nodded. Actius did to, he had heard about the conflict in the reach. One of the reasons he had prefered to stay away from the area as much as possible. "We let because it is not our fight"
"Tyvysoges" The other woman said with something odd in her voice. The younger woman looked at her.
"Eira" she said, after how she had talked earlier this shortness of word seemed strange, also Actius had no idea what it meant "My name is Eira, you should use that Aderyn" Ah.
"What does Tyvysoges mean?" He asked the two women looked at him, as if startled he was there.
"It's a nickname, one that she doesn't particularly like" the older woman said.
"But her name is Eira?" Again they looked uncomofrtable.
"Yes" Eira replied. then took a breath and  indicaed to her friends in turn, "This is Aderyn, she's married to Madoc" she indicated the older man "And older sister to my husband Cairan" she indicated at the younger of the two men. Actius and Fasendil introduced themselves too.
"You seem a bit to young to be married" Actius told her.
"Reachmen have mer blood in our vein, perhaps even more than even the Bretons, we age like they do, how old do you think I am?"
"I don't know, ninteen? twenty? maybee twentyone" she looked more like fifteen or sixteen but after what he just had been told he pushed those numbers up a bit.
"I'm twenty nine" she told him with a grin. Actius blinked. much older, almost a decade older than himself, almost twice as old as he would have guessed. Her grin went even wider as if she knew what he was thinking. "Don't worry archer I'll outlive you a by a century, at least"
"And yet our Altmer friend here will outlive you by more than twice as much Eira" the old man known as Madoc told her "And have probably already lived longer than you will ever live"
"Unlikely" Fasendil replied curtly "There is a war going on, I may not live to see the end of the year"
"True... for us too" Eira said with a sad smile "The gods have a sick sense of humour, they gave us long lifespans then made sure that most reachmen never reach fourty by letting us live in a place of constant war"
Actius didn't know what to respond to that and apparently neither did Fasendil.

The next morning they were walking back towards the ruins next to fort Neugard. Actius was treading along as best as he could, Eira was walking next to him and making conversation, or what apssed formakign conversation with her, which was more like monologouing, she had that uncanny ability to talk a lot but not really say anything, she spoke of the weather, how muchn she liked nature, how mcuh she liked walking in nature, then she started on marching songs, which led her to songs she had heard and bards and skalds she had heard perform, it seemed she had worked at a tavern at some point but with that as with all things whenever he tried to ask her anything about the reach she deflected it. Truth be told though she didn't just speak, she also pried a lot, she kept up a constant stream of seemingly innocuous questions, whatever subject she was on, did he like the weather, had he seen worse weather up here, had he walked this land for long, what was nature like where he came from (despite deflecting his own questions about the nature in the reach), did he know any good marching songs, what songs did he know in general and so on. Actius deflected them mostly with as short replies as he could. She had probably done well in a tavern, some men would have felt special by the attentions shown by this young pretty girl. Actius however had a long experience in not talking about his past and whenever he failed to catch on one of her hooks she just launched right into the next subject. Only once did she go quiet. Jokingly he called her Tyvysoges, she just stopped and looked blankly at him.
"Please don't" she said in a voice that was very different from her usual higher pitch. Oddly when she looked at him like that he could almost believe she was almost thirty years old. He looked over at Cairan and found the man glaring at him. Odd he didn't seem to mind when his wife had spent and hour talking his ear of, but now  there was rage in his eyes. Eira had started walking again and gotten back on the subject of songs.
"Actius! A word if you please" Fasendil called him, from be back of their little caravan, in the middle of Eria's list of the best skalds she had heard.
"Certainly" Actius said glad to have an excuse to get away from the girl who never stopped talking. He fell back and joined Fasendil. They both fell back a bit further to be out of earshot of the others.
"So what do you think of our new traveling compnions"
"Divines" Actius hissed "She never ever stops talking that one" Fasendil gave him a thin smile.
"You like it"
"No I don't she's prying" Fasendil's smile got wider, Actius made a grimace "It's been a long time since I talked to a woman, ok?"
"I wouldn't do anything anyway, she looks like she's fifteen, sounds like she's fifteen too"
"no she doesn't she looks young yes but some of the traits you think as looking young are elfin traits, large eyes high cheekbones, they'll never go away. Never mind that's not what I'm talking about anyway, not her, the other three"
"What about them?"
"You have noticed they're all, except for the girl, all armed?"
"Yes" Actius shrugged "There's a civil war on can't blame them"
"It's more than that, look how they walk" Actius looked "Not now when they aren't carrying their gear, at least the two older of them walk like trained fighters, like those blades belong in their belt, the young  man has some of that too"
"Your point being?"
"That they may be deserters rather than refugees"
"Then why did you let them come along?"
"I can't leave them here based on my suspicions alone"
"Yes you could, you could have left them here even if they were refugees, should have even, this is not a safe road we are travelling and the last thing we need is dead weight"
"You are an odd man Actius, you can't kill a person other than in self defence, even when that person is obviously bad but you'd leave the innocent to be murdered, robbed, or raped?"
Actius was going to reply but realized that they had caught up to the others who had stopped. It was fairly obvious they had heard the last part. The three older ones looked at him with anger and the girl Eira looked at him with that blank stare again.
Actius rolled his eyes and opened his mouth to say something snappy in return, but then as his eyes wandered upwards he saw something that made him react. The gleam of sunlight on steel. The steel of the head of a crossbow bolt in flight.
"Get down!" He roared leaping forward and attempting to pull Eira out of the bolt's way.

Eira had no time to react as suddenly the archer roared something and leapt towards her. She took a step away from him and then she felt so.ething collide with her shoulder with enough force to break bones and send her crashing to the ground. Pain threatened to overwhelm her but instinct took over, she curled herself up to make a smaller target  then reached around and felt. More pain. There was an arrow lodged in her shoulder. No wait. Not an arrow, a bolt. An arrow would have been better the bolt had almost completely lodged itself in her shoulder. She tried to get to her feet. There was sounds of battle around her, her friends might need her. But trying to get to her feet without use of one of her hands were far harder than she had ever imagined and every time she tried and failed, collapsing back to the ground, pain flooded her and she had to struggle once again to retain consciousness. Meanwhile she was left helpless while the sound of battle waxed waned and then faded around her. And all she could do was hope it really was fading and not just her perception of it that did.

"I think that's all of them." Actius said. There had certainly been something to Fasendil's opinion of their new traveling companions, they certainly knew how to fight. There had been a number of archers, well crossbowmen really, and a dozen or so fighters. If they had all been the refugees they seemed they would be dead. But they weren't.
"The question is" Fasendil said behind him. "Who were these men? Just random brigMds or were they looking for us?"
"Why would anyone be looking for us?" Madoc said, he had approached the two of them without Actius noticing. The ma  had taken sword slash to his right arm and it now hung more or less useless. It's would heal but it would need binding at the moment it started bleeding furiously every time he tried to use it.
"Probably brigands" Actius replied. "Ranging out from Neugard. It's just over that ridge" He said and pointed.
"Perhaps... But they seemed well coordinated and equipped for brigands" Fasendil noted. "Also why attack refugees when they could be kicking clean the ruins of Helgen?"
"They could be stormcloaks looking for the two of you Madoc suggested turning away from them towards Eira.
"How very convenient that would have been, making it all about us and none about you yet it was you they shot at first" Fasendil remarked in a voice to low for Madoc to hear. He had knelt next to Eira. Where Aderyn already sat. Fasendil continued in a more carrying voice "If these were stormcloaks they would have been almost half the men who escpaed Helgen. They wouldnt leave that many behind. And if they did they'd be holding the pass not going of in some random direction into the highlands." Madoc looked up at him.
"I don't know!" He snarled "You're the soldier legate, you tell me!" Actius shrugged Fasendil made things complicated brigands who weren't brigands refugees who weren't refugees. In his experience things were generally what they seemed and the things that weren't well you bothered with them when they bothered you.
"Like I said!" He said in a loud voice to quell the argument "Probably brigands from Neugard" Madoc nodded.
Though Actius thought, if Madoc had really been concerned that Actius and the legate were pulling danger down on him and his friends he very quickly accepted the brigands solution, unlike Fasendil who still looked utterly unconvinced. Actius went and got some water and cloth for bandages in his gear, he had thrown it when the battle began, and knelt before Eira he wetted the cloth to clean her wound.

"Don't touch me" she said coldly. Actius startled, he knew she was angry with him but this bordered on foolishness. That said it was her choice so he just shrugged and handed the water bag and the cloth to Aderyn who gave him a sceptical look but took them. Crazy reachmen. Actius thought as he stood.

Previous Chapter

måndag 5 juni 2017

The Elder scrolls, Fanfic: The Season Unending, Book 1: Autumn of Anarchy, Chapter 2: Memories

Chapter 2:

Next Chapter
Previous Chapter

They began breaking camp at dawn. Actius and Fasendil walked east across the hillsides south of Helgen, travelling rather light, the tent, the clothes on their backa sword for Fasendil and Actius's bow and arrow, as well as leather helm each that they had taken from the stormcloaks. All other amrour they had buried at a marker location, Actius had meant to throw it away, to obviously imperial or stormcloak for traveling incognito but Fasendil wouldn't have it arguing the cost and time that went into making a scale or ringmail was far to great to simply let it rust. Any extra swords had been left along with the armour. Hadvar had decided to travel unarmed. As a nord he could simply claim to be a refugee and walk unharmed by both sides. That benefit was not as certain with the other two but they still kept the leather helms and Fasendil's sword hidden inside their packs. Actius kept the bow on hand, it was a hunting bow after all, it wouldn't look too out of place for anyone. He hoped no one would bother comming close enough to realize Fasendil was an elf. That could lead to all sorts of trouble.  
The first hours of their journey went by uneventful, they walked all morning, it soon became evident to Actius that Fasendil wans't used to traveling this far of the beaten road, so Actius was rather glad the weather stayed fair. They stopped and ate lunch near a cave spring called Graywater, after Actius had checked so that no one or nothing hostile was using the pond. He could tell some bears had used it recently but it was empty now. The afternoon went much the same except that since they were reaching the top of the slope Fasendil seemed a little more comfortable. Actius managed to shoot a mountain goat too, they tied the goat to a stick and carried it between them, it weighed them down but fresh meat might very well be in low supply in the comming days so they could not really pass up the opportunity. Late in the afternoon they saw smoke and Actius left Fasendil with their packs while he scouted ahead. He foudn arelativly burned down mountain farm. Perhaps the goat he had shot had escaped from here, the farms in the mountains usually mainly have cattle rather than try and raise crops in the rocky ground. Actius went and got Fasendil and they walked down to the ruins of the farm.
"What do you think happened here?" Fasendil asked Actius as they drew closer to it. "Bandits?"
"Could be" Admitted Actius "There is a bunch of them up in the ruins of fort Neugard"
"Fort Neugard?" Fasendil inquired him absent mindedly.
"Oh there's a ruin of an old imperial fort up here, on the northern side big lake, well big to be this far up, sorth of midway between the pale pass in the south and Haemar's pass in the east."
"Really? Why is it there?"
"You're the imperial soldier you tell me"
"I didn't even know it existed, odd that no one told me about it"
"Well the ones who knew about it probably just assumed you knew and the ones who didn't know couldn't have told you could they?"
"I guess, Helgen was built after the pale pass was rediscovered during the Oblivion crisis, this fort may be it's predecessor, meant to control Haemar's pass" Actius shrugged "So you think that the bandits there are the ones who burned this farm down"
"In truth? No, I think it was our scaly friend from yesterday, look at how the fire has spread and how the barn is scattered, it looks like it was scattered by something big, and the fire has spread like it was poured on to the wood. Or breathed" Actius took a pause and looked a little closer.
"Plus the inhabitants look like they were burned alive rather than stabbed" he said pointing at a smoking pile in the middle of the yard, He saw Fasendil flinch.
"That's the inhabitants?" He said with a abhorred look on his face.
"Well some of them, I guess the dragon may have eaten some" Fasendil looked at him with narrowed mouth and a raised eyebrow. "What?" Actius asked, then he considered what he had just said "Oh sorry about that understanding what an animal has done is an old habit"
"I preferred when we hunted animals to when they hunt us"
"You're in the wrong province then, giants, trolls, weres, sabercats, and bears are all capable of killing and eating humans" Actius informed him "Granted only trolls do so consitently the other creatures are smart enough to realize that humans are more trouble than they are worth"
Actius walked up the broken barn.
"What are you doing?" Fasendil said suspiciously. Actius grabbed a shovel from inside it and threw it to him.
"Can't leave these poor folk unburied can we?"
"No you're right we shouldn't"
"And while you do that I'll go over their house for supplies"

Earlier that day several miles to the north and many hundred feet lower down Oswulf was riding along the way alongside his marching his soldiers. Or walking was perhaps a better temr for it, unlike the imperials who always marched in formation the stormcloaks walked a loose group, sure they had scouts and a rearguard but discipline for the sake of discipline was not their thing. Oswuld suspected some of the former legions members in his forces disapproved but he did not feel inclined to do what needed to be done to enforce a stricter discipline at this point.
Oswulf was glad they had managed to find a horse for him. He was from Whiterun, the nobles of whiterun felt more at home in the saddle than on foot. Not that this was a spectacular horse of course but it beat walking. He had been gifted it by a band of refugees from Helgen who they had met along the road, it had been used by them to pull a wagon, now his men pulled that wagon instead, there were another three other wagons but Oswulf had gone for the most ridable horse. He had also fashioned himself a simple saddle from some furs. A noble of whiterun like himself had to know how to do that, out on the open plains of Whiterun you sometimes had to be able to survive with nothing but you mount and your resourcefullness. Oswulf thought about his home, Valtheim a village in eastern whiterun, about as far east as one could get before eastmarch began, it was one of many villages along the White river, at every waterfall or rapid there needed to be one, because the faltbottomed ships traveling on the river needed to be hauled unto a structure of waxed planks and actually pulled over land past the falls or rapids. Since there was money in that work small villages grew up to support it. Valtheim was rather diffrent though, highest falls in Skyrim where there was such place, and it wouldn't have been possible if not for an old Dwemer, dwarf, machine that used the power of the fall, througha  giantwaterwheel itself to pull the ships up the steep hillside beside it. As far as Oswulf knew it was the only such machine in the world. though the high elves of the summerset isles claimed they had one too, one better that they hadn't 'stolen from superior mer' as they put it. Oswulf was willing to bet his family fortune no such machine existed. It was just the usual elven superiority attitude talking.
Thinkig of home made him remember how he had first come to be in the service of Ulfric Stormcloak.

Oswulf had ridden up to the stables outside Windhelm, on one of the finest horses in all of Skyrim, he had thrown the reins to a stablehand and told him to take care of the horse. Oswuld had been clad in his finest armour and while he left his bow and long two handed spear on his pack horse he kept the armour and his axe with him. Then he marched up to the main gate.
"I am Oswulf of Valtheim!" He announced with high voice. "I have come to meet Ulfric Jarl of Windhelm!" It was very pompous, very cermonial, Oswulf liked it.
"Ulfric Stormcloak is the High King of Skryim" The guard growled at him. Oswulf looked at him for the first time. Some lowborn whelp had contradicted him, this was outragoeous.
"Not until he has been chosen by the moot, not that I expect you to understand these things, but at least understand that you should not contradict you betters" Oswulf told the guard coldly. The man made a motion of his hand towards his sword, Oswulf took a step forward and grabbed him by the neck "Inform jarl Ulfric that the Graf of Valtheim wishes to speak with him" Oswulf hurled the man back. He stared down the other guard who had made a motion to interfere, but then suddenly changed his mind. Oswulf stood there at the gate waiting until the first guard returned and told him that the jarl would see him now. Oswulf nodded and started walkign towards the palace of kings. Then he turned to the guard again.
"What is your name guard?" he asked.
"I am Raolf, of Riverwood"
"You have made an enemy here today ,Raolf of Riverwood, remember that"

Oswulf entered the royal hall of the palace of Kings. He had once visited the court of King Torygg in Solitude but this, this was how a nord king should live.
"So you are Oswulf of Valtheim?" A large warrior sitting on the throne asked him. He knew that this must be Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak.
"I am"
"Oswulf Lichbreaker?" the Jarl pressed him "Who slew the lich at Yorgrim?" Oswulf could not help but grimmace, they had been almost twenty people who entered the nord tomb at Yorgrim, Oswulf had been the only one to make it out alive so he had been cheered as a hero and praised for destroying the lich. Atleast by the people, those who knew anything of war used the name to mock him.
"Yes" he replied stiffly.
"You introduced yourself at the gate as the Graf of Valtheim, does this mean that your brother and father are dead?"
"No my jarl"
"Then you are not the Graf of Valtheim and in all likeliehood never will be"
"My father is sick my jarl" Oswulf told him "And my brother conspires with the imperials to give our lands over to them"
"And so you turn to me?" Uldric asked him. "How many of the warriors of your village came with you?"
"None my jarl, I cna only offer my own axehand to your cause"
"the axehand of the lichbreaker" a jeering voice said from the side of the room. Oswulf turned to look and met a warrior in furs.
"Who are you?" Oswulf asked him.
"I am Galmar Stonefist" The man told him.
"Well Galmar Stonefist I am a noble of Skyrim and you should consider your tone when speaking to me"
"I fiught on Ulfric's side before your were a glint in your father's eye boy" Galmar told him.
"And I can trace my ancesty back to the five hundred companions who fought for Ysgramor"
"Enough!" Uldric decleared from his throne. "You will both treat each other with respect" He turned to Oswulf "To show a lack of respect for one of my advisors is to show lack of respect for me Oswulf" Then he turned to Galmar "To not show respect for one of the descendants of the five hundred is showing a lack of respect for the history of Skyrim Galmar"
"Yes my jarl" they both replied. Ulfric nodded to themself then looked up at Oswulf again "What of Jarl Balgruuf? He is your liege lord"
"He has yet to declare his intentions, just like most jarls, I have no doubt he will side with Skyrim too when time comes, and then my brother and father will feel compelled to..."
"If you know the mind of Jarl Balgruuf, then you know more than I do, he is a true nord that is true but the man has got a long memory too"
"my Jarl...?"
"Never mind, let's just say what Balgruuf and I have history" said Ulfric "Now as for you, we'll simply have to see how useful your axe arm are to us, Galmar, arrange a test for our friend"

Oswulf snapped out of his memories. Herman had approached him.
"Yes sergant?" he asked.
"We are comming up on Orphan's rock valley sir, this is the last good campsite this side of Haemar's pass. I would suggest we camp here and press on in the morning"
"Very well, see to it"

Actius skinned and butchered the goat while Fasendil was burying the bodies of the inhabitants. He had made up a fire and was setting up a crude smoking rack he had found inside the barn when the elf returned, his hari face and arms wet, which made Actius guess he had send a fair time trying to get himself clean near the farms well.
"Did we carry that today?" The elf asked with a look at the rack.
"Nope we sent mine of with Hadvar, pity really, I should have known it might come in handy"
"We're traveling not ranging for game"
"So I guess you wouldn't want a cut of fresh meat then?"
"Truth be told after having the smell of those people in my nose the last hours, I think I will pass"
"Eat legate, the meat is best when it's still fresh and I fear there won't be many chances for fresh meat in the commin days" Actius with experienced moved took a piece of meat that seemed the most done and flicked it unto the wooded plate. Unfortunatly just as with everythign else they only had the one, Actuis' one, if the legate had had any equipment then it had been lost with the rest of his things. Actiu handed the elf the plate, and while he at first regarded it doubtfully then sighed took out his beltknife and started eating. He finished the piece in no time, something which hardly surprised Actius, marching like the legionaries did required a whole other set of muscles from trekking up steephillside like they had the last day, he knew, before comming to Skyrim he had been in much worse shape to do it than the elf.
"How did you learn these things?" Fasendil asked him as if reading his mind "The mountaineering, the skinning, butchering, smoking. The only one of these skilsl you may have learned in the imperial city would be the archery" Actius shook his head.
"No I learned that after I came to Skyrim too, I arrived here in the autumn almost three years ago, got through the pale pass later than one really should, wearing nothing but the clothes on my back and carrying nothing but a crossbow and a dagger. I was an idiot" He gave the elf a rueful smile, he did not know why he was telling his companion this, perhaps because it's been such a lon time since he travelled with anyone.

Actius spent his first winter down in the valley near lake Ilinalta, or what he had though t to be winter, turned out it was what the nords called late autumn. While traveling in Falkreth hold he came upon a hunterscamp close to where the road, the white river and the easternmost part of lake Ilinalta met. Probably the same one Raolf had intended to go to. The hunters had taken a liking to the frozen imperial, and in exchage for simple services like chopping wood, fishing and gathering nuts and berries they had decided to teach him how to survive in the wilderness, they had taught him to track, to fish to use his crossbow or hunting, though most of them kept telling him it was still inferior a hunting weapon to real bow, they had also let him trade for things he needed, a real bedroll a tent his dagger, made for stabbing people, for a hunting knife, meant to serve as a tool. Shortly before the real winter began he had been resonable able to survive in Skyrim, then just before the last real snowstrms a woman came down from the high mountains. Her name was Angi, a nord hunter, and despite most of the hunters at the camp being older than her they all treated her with a respect bordering on reverence. Asking around Actius learned that Angi lived somewhere up in the mountains, all by herself, had done since she was but a teenager, winter itself could not kill her they said. Actius had gravitated towards the woman, she was about his age and had a natural fierceness about her. Whenever he tried to get near her she just mocked him furiously. But he kept tryign and when she left again for her home in the high  mountains she offered him to come along with her. It was Angi who really had made Actius into the man he was today, she had taught him the bow, though he was nowhere near as skilled as she was, and polished of the talents that the others had taught him the basics of.

"So where is she now?" Fasendil asked when Actius finished the story. Actius shrugged.
"No idea we lived in her cabin in the high mountains for maybe one and a half year, travelled when we could, one day she just packed up and left no idea where no idea why"
"I returned to the hunters camp at Lakeview point, they finally told me the entire story, her brother had gotten into a fight with two imperial soldiers at Helgen and gotten himself killed, so she killed them and then escaped into the mountains, this was when she was thirteen. I guess... that being so friendly with an imperial made her feel she betrayed her brothers memory or something, anyway I went up the cabin again took my things and left, that was perhaps a year ago, if she changes her mind and wishes to find me she will"
"And she's a better bowman that you" Fasendil said apperantly trying to change the subject.
"Far better, I never saw her miss" Actius said witha reufeul smile.
"I've never seen you miss either"
"There's a difference between not seeing someone miss in two days and eighteen months though"

"We have finished setting up camp sir"
Oswulf turned to look at Herman.
"Good job sergeant"  Oswulf told him absentmindedly.
"Sir?" The old soldier asked.
"Was there something else you wanted sergeant?" Oswulf aksed shaking his head as if to pohysically shake the memores out of it.
"I'd like your permition to send out some scouts in the surrounding area"
"Do you think it is nessecery? The imperials got hit worse than we did and they'll be retreating the other way. The men are tired and we don't have all that many men to begin with"
"That is all true"
"But we are effectivly blocking acess to Haemar's pass from our current position, and the imperial legion in skyrim has some pretty talented commanders, they may not be as docile as we would like them to be" Oswulf gave him a scrutinizing look, then he shrugged.
"Very well sergeant you may do as you please in this!
"Yes sir thank you sir"
Oswulf looked back into the fire as the old soldier left him. Funny how the most able warriors he had were also the ones with the closest ties to the enemy. On the other hand despite close ties to the legion he had chosen to fight for Skyrim. Oswuld foudn himself having more respect for the soldier than for the nobles who had turned against them. Despie him beign lowborn. On the other hand, when Skyrim was theirs once again the titles that had belonged to those nobles who had sided with the empire would need new owners, the five hundred companions of Ysgrammor hadn't been nobles when they joined Ysgrammor either. While it was obvious that older nobility was more prestigious, it was never to late to start a new dynasty. Though Ulfric would probably want to hand out titles to fools like Galmar Stonefist. And the memories returned.

Galmar had instructed him to travel north to Stillborn cavern to kill a marauding frost troll that HD been terrorising the north. Oswulf had left the hall and after retrieving hos horse led it down towards the docks. He would have to pass through to so called grey quaterback to get there. He did not relish this. A quater controlled by elves,in the city of ysgrammor. It was an insult to everything Oswulf believed in.  What was worse one of the elves had written a book boasting about it. How they would take over skyrim a piece at the time. Well not if Oswulf had anything to say in the matter, once they had thrown out the imperials these dark elves would be given a one way ticket back to Morrowind. 
"I don't want to learn to sail papa!" A nord child complained at an older man who looked like he might be his father.
"Nonsense! The cruel seas come from a lone line of competent sailors, if was only due to you grandfather's skill as a navigator that we became wealthy enough to buy our land"
"I want to be a warrior! Fight for skyrim!" the boy complained. Oswulf stopped and turned to the boy and his father.
"One does not exclude the other boy, Skyrim has a fine tradition of skilled sailor fighters, Ysgrammor himself came to this land over the sea, and the five hundred companions sailed along side him" Oswulf told the boy. "If you are brave and proud and do what your elders tell you then I have no doubt that you will bring glory to Skyrim" The boys father gave Oswulf a thankful smile.
"Thank you my lord, for encouraging my son" Oswulf gave him a polite nod in return.
"Is it true?" the boy demanded.
"Grimvar!" His father chastised him "You can't speak like that to a noble!"
"Don't worry about it, the boy is just curious about his heritage, nothing wrong with that" Oswulf said waving the matter away, he turned to the boy, Grimvar "Back in the old days, before the empire, sailing ships from Skyrim was the scourge of many of the neighbouring countries, the mere sight of our sail would send them running inland in a haste, it's said they sailed as far as the summerset isles and fought the elfs in their homeland, perhaps we will do that again once our land is ours again, show the elves that not all humans are slaves, when that happens we will need skilled sailors and navigators as much as strong sword arms"
"I'll be ready" The boy promised him.
"I know you will" Oswulf said with a smile. He turned to the boys father "Am I to understand that you own a ship my good man?"
"Yes... I do" The man said with some bewilderment.
"May I request to hire your vessel and your crew, Jarl Ulfric has asked me to deal with a situation north by stillborn cavern, a troll, and my horse is not quite the best way to get there"
"If it is in service to jarl Uldric then hiring the ship is not an issue, in fact I will gladly lend it and my crew to the stormcloak cause for free"
"You do honor to SKyrim my good man" Oswulf said. "I am Oswulf of Valtheim" he said and extended his hand.
"I am  Torsten of clan Cruel-sea" the man introduced himself taking it. "Oswulf? Not Oswulf lichbreaker?"
"Yes... yes I am" Oswulf had admitted a slight bit uncomfortably.
"Can I come?" Grimvar asked excitedly. Torsten turned to rebuke his son.
"He could stay in the boat, well away from harm" Oswulf suggested. Torsten still looked a bit uncomfortable "It may help to show him the virtue and importance of Skyrim's sailing men" Torsten sighed.
"Very well, Lichbreaker" He turned to his son "But you will promise to stay in the boat whatever happens"
"I promise father!"

Two days later Oswulf had kicked open the door of the palace of kings in windhelm and shoved Galmar stonefist up against a wall totally ignoring the crowd that formed to watch.
"Surprised to see me alive?" he roared. Stone fist had managed to shove him away and reached for his axe but Oswulf charged him swinging his fists before he could get it out. Roaring the older wariror met him. When Uldric had arrived summoned by his servants a few minutes later they were both trying to choke the life from each other's bodies.
"What is going on here?!" Ulfric Demanded. "Unhand each other!" neither had reacted,
"Now!" Ulfric demanded again. And then when they did not he had spoken a word in a strange language, that had been the first time Oswulf had experienced the thuum, it was not quite speaking nor quite shouting, it was power in it's rawest form, more primal than magic, more like the roar of some wild animal but the sound itself had claws. They had been throw away from each other.
"Enough!" Ulfric demanded as they had moved to attack each other again. "Enough I said, Galmar, explain to me what is going on here" he commanded his old friend.
"the lichbreaker here stormed into the hall and attacked me Ulfric" Galmar said to Ulfric.
"You tried to get me killed you son of a bitch!" Oswulf snarled at him. Ulfric turned to Oswulf.
"That is a harsh accusation lichbreaker, I assume you have a reason for making it"
"Stonefist here sent me north to stillborn cave, to kill a frost troll that he said his hunters had tracked back there" Oswulf explained to the Jarl. "When I arrived there I found not one troll but three of them, I would be dead if not for the brave sailors of the cruel-sea clan who rushed to my side when they realized the odds were against me."
"And you are certain that this was not an honest mistake?" asked sighing.
"No hunter worth his salt could mistake three trolls for one"
"You should thank me Lichbreaker, now we truly know that you are worth your salt" sneered at him.
"I'll choke the life out of you with my bare hands Stonefist!" Oswulf snarled at him "Two men died because of your little vendetta"
"Enough!" Ulfric said again with power. He turned to the old warrior "Galmar, you are to test the recruits, that means setting them challenges that they actually have a chance of succeeding at" then he turned to Oswulf "And you are never to attack a member of my court in my hall again Lichbreaker, if you feel slighted you will bring the matter to me"
Oswulf clenched his jaw, but then drew a deep breath. "Yes my jarl" he said throwing a nasty glance at the old warrior who glared right back. Ulfric sighed, he walked over and sat on his throne.
"Is Torsten Cruel-sea allright? I assume the boy is or you would have told me by now" Ulfric asked Oswulf, oswulf looked at the jarl eyes wide in surprise.
" Yes they are fine... How'd..."
"How did I know that Torsten and his boy went with you?" Ulfric said with a smile. "Very few things happen in my city without me knowing, the Cruel-sea clan and the families of the men who died will be compensated, as for Galmar his punishment is that he in his attempts to humiliate or wound you have achieved the opposite and only furthered your reputation, the slaying of three frost trolls is no mean feat even with aid, be satisfied with that Lichbreaker" Ulfric told him, it was the first time Oswulf had heard the title used without that hint of irony in the voice that he had come to expect from other fighters.

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lördag 11 mars 2017

The Season Unending Overview page

Lo folks this is the overview page for my Skyrim Fanfic Season unending. Here links will be posted for the different books and chapters and also for related work such as scrapped pieces.
Oh the elder scrolls franchise is the property of Bethesda so is all related work. If anyone who knows these things could comment and tell me whether that means I got to take the adds of the page it would be great.

The Elder Scrolls: The Season Unending
Book 1: Autumn of Anarchy
Chapter 1: 17th of Last Seed, 4E 201
Chapter 2: Memories
Chapter 3: Prying and Suspicions

Related things:
Introductary post with teaser
Scrapped first chapter: Traveling in Skyrim

The Elder scrolls, Fanfic: The Season Unending, Book 1: Autumn of Anarchy, Chapter 1: 17th of Last Seed, 4E 201

Chapter 1:
17th of Last Seed, 4E 201

Next chapter

Actius Arcturus woke up startled, he rolled out of his bedroll and reached for his knife. He had heard sound, a roaring sound, he peeked out if the tent. The sun was already up, though that was hardly surprising, you did not need to go much further north to end up in the land of the midnight sun, though that would have ended a few weeks earlier. The hillside outside the tent with dew as the frost of this night had thawed when the first rays of the sun had hit it. It was only mid Last Seed, yet this far north and this far into the mountains you still had frost in during the nights. The pale pass even further up would already have mudded down, making it impossible to get a wagon through it, effectively ending its use for anything but lone traveler son foot or horseback, another few weeks and the snow would begin and the pass would close entirely.
Though seeing all this Actius could not see any beast that may have made the roaring sound he had thought he had heard, no bears, nor wolves, no trolls nor werewolves. Nor even people who might have been were wolves a few moment earlier.
Actius withdrew into the tent and started getting dressed. Even in the summers a sudden bout of bad weather could kill you if you weren't well dressed. You could for an example have a snowstorm blowing down from one of the higher peaks, Skyrim was never to warm for freak snowstorms, not even down on the plains of Whiterun far far below.
Actius stringed his bow and stepped outside pulling an arrow from the quiver, the stood entirely still as soon as he left the tent. The key to not being seen was not moving, he slowly scanned the area around him with his eyes then slowly turned his head to scan the rest of the scene. Nothing. The village of Helgen was situated down in the pass below him, some wagons rolling towards the town, from Haemar's pass in the east as far as Actius could tell, and the vast imperial encampment beyond it. The empire had brought and entire extra legion into Skyrim because of the civil war. Moving more than a thousand men plus supplies and support through the pale pass will not have improved conditions up there.
Well it appeared that he had only dreamed the roar but it was morning and he might as well check his traps. He threw a last glance down towards the imperial encampment, he  was no big fan of the empire, he had grown up in the imperial capital, but had to leave there some years earlier rather hastily as he had made himself powerful enemies, but for all he feared that his troubles would catch up to him, the empire was way better than the alternative, these Stormcloaks.

Oswulf Lichbreaker, Oswulf of Valtheim woke up startled, he had been sitting sleeping on the back of the wagon, hardly a comfortable position but with his legs and hand tied he had little choice in the matter. Three days, three days had he spent almost constantly sitting on this wagon, before that one day as they had stopped in Ivarstead, and another two days from darkwater crossing before that. He glanced over to the other cart, Raolf was sitting talking to some horsethief they had picked up in Ivarstead and Uldric Stormcloak was still bound and gagged. He wondered if either of them had a plan. A week earlier he would have scoffed at the idea of Raolf having much of plan but he had grown to respect the resourcefulness of the man as they had shed blood together on the ford at darkwater crossing.
It had been just after Oswulf joined Ulfric, which was just after Ulfric had slain the old high king in single combat. Ulfric was a veteran of the great war and understood these matters, he had known that, while the legion in Skyrim was fracturing as it's members picked a side, the empire would soon send another legion into the province. As such he had moved to prevent it. He had mustered all his men, his soldiers at jarl of Windehelm, his old militia that had helped him in his war in the reach twenty years earlier, the defectors from the Skyrim legion, all these, and others, and he had taken them south to block the Rift pass, hoping that holding one one of the pass would give him the strategic advanatage he needed to keep the a numerically superior enemy force out of SKyrim long enough for winter to close the passes, and then have Skyrim consolidated before the spring reopened them. His bid had been  strengthened  by two things, first of the imperial garrison at for Greenwall had mutinied and turned bandit allowing Ulfric to ignore the fort as he marched south, secondly the jarl of The Rift,  Laila Law-Giver had declared her support of him and sought t add her troops to his rather than oppose and delay him. But that never had a chance to happen, soon after passing Fort Greenwall a courier had arrived and informed them that as they were marching south the remenant of the Skyrim legion was  marching  east into the now unguarded eastmarch, heading for the hold capital, and Ulfrics own city, of Windhelm. Knowing his men would soon abandon him if he let their families die Ulfric had had no chocie but to turn he army around and march north again sending messege for jarl Laila to use her troops to hold the Rift pass as long as possible. The imperial forces must have been warned of their approach for they too turned around and made their stand at the ford at Darkwater crossing, the terrain was t their advantage being on the defensive on the far side of a ford Uldric needed to take to defend his own lands, but Ulfric outnumbered the imperial forces almost two to one. He had ordered the attack hoping ti sweep the imperial forces away with the sheer fury of his attack, but the well trained and disciplined imperial soldiers had held, Ulfric had been forced to settle for a slow battle of attrition to make his soldiers wear down the imperials. It was a good plan, simple, but the best plans often were as far as Oswulf was concerned, and it likely would have succeeded. If not for one thing that they had not known. Guessing that Ulfric would block the Rift pass the second Cyrodiil legion had marched into Skyrim not through the Rift pass which was still held by Jarl Laila, but through the much more risky pale pass in the west, in Falkreth. When they had left Windhelm Falkreth had been under the control of Jarl  Dengeir of Stuhn, one of Ulfric's oldest and truest supporters, but there appeared to have been a coup in Falkreth and his nephew  Siddgeir, an impeiral supporter, has overthrown his uncle and opened the pale pass to the imperials, who had marched north through the pass unhindered by  nothing  but the elements, and while the pale pass were really not suitable for major troop  movements  the empire in desperation had made it work. As such on the second day of fighting an imperial army had appeared at their back with almost twice as many men as Uldric had had to begin with. Ulfric's reminaing forces had been pushed into the river from both sides, determined to save the lives of as many of his men as possible Ulfric had told most of his forces to scatter downriver while moving his honourguard upriver, confident that the imperials would chose to concentrate on him rather than hunting down stragglers. When as many men as would get away had gotten away Ulfric had surrendered to save as many lives as possible, his hopes that a chance for rescue or escape would appear later on, though none had. Roughly a hundred men had been captured by the imperials, and now sat bound on the back on ten wagons, they had initially tried to bring them back to Cyrodiil, but jarl Laila had denied them passage through The Rift Pass, and then they had tried to use The pale pass, but it had been left so badly muddied by the  their first march through it for the wagons to be able to pass through, thus they had turned back toward Helgen, which they were now approaching  End of the line,  thought Oswulf.
He caught a glimpse of the perfect lines of imperial tents in their camps before the passed though the gate into the town. The army had marched directly here when they had heard of Jarl laila's contunued reistance to them, deployed to hol this end of the one remaining pass to Cyrodiil at all costs. Helgen was the largest town in Falkreth hold, yes the village of Falkreth, far to the west, was the capital of the hold but Helgen had almost five hundred people living in it, while Falkreth had about half that and had kept shrinking ever since the empire lost Hamerfell, and thus the passes to the west had lost most of their economic and strategic importance. The pale pass was not nearly as wide as the rift pass but it still served individual merchants well enough, at least during the height of summer.
The dirt roads of Helgen were lined with imperial soldiers on both sides, ever watchful for any attempt by the crowd beyond them to attempt to free the rebels. Oswuld wondered if any soldiers came from his own ancestral lands of Valtheim, what news they would in that case bring back to his father and elder brother.
He realized that now there seemed to be even more people here than the usual population, not just imperial soldiers but also people who looked like they were refugees from other parts of Skyrim, probably displaced by the war. Oswuld shook his head it was ok for the foreigners but many of these were nords, abandonind their homeland rather than fighting for it, disgraceful. But not all of them were nords, he saw two darskinned redgards from Hammerfell, their strange scarfs wrapped around their necks and long curved swords at their belt stood and watched the wagons pass with little if no intrest. And another group,  standing  just north of the Helgen keep, who could be Bretons but more likely were Reachmen, the now almost extinct aboriginal people of Skyrim's westernmost hold, known simply as The Reach. Some of the reachmen were avoiding to look at the wagons as they passed, but most of them glared with such feverent hatred at Ulfric that it almost caused Oswuld concern, they certainly looked like they would like to tear Ulfric apart with their bare hands. Oswulf could not understand their hatred of him, twentyfive years ago the Reachmen had risen up in the reach and for two years had reigned it in terror, summonin daedra practicing foul rites and butchering every nord they could get their hands on, then after th great war ended Uldric and his militia had defeated them, but Ulfric ever  magnanimous has spared all who would accept to live in peace with the nords, a gracious offer after how they had treated nords under their rule, yet most reachmen had refused  disappearing  into the hills of their homelands and  becoming  the foresworn , barbarians and bandits and murders who raided outlying nord farms and trade caravans. All Ulfric had ever done to them was end their reign of terror yet they still harboured such hatred for him. Oswulf put it from his mind, the Reachmen, like the somewhat more civilized Bretons, were part elves, their kind could not be expected to act like true humans, hatred for mankind simply ran in their blood, passed down from those of their  ancestors, the elves who had resisted humanity's first push into Tamriel. Who had a sacked the first human settlement on the continent, Saarthal, during the infamous night of tears, and butchered the entire population. Aside from Ysgramor who had returned to altmora and gathered his five hundred companions to revenge themselves upon the elves for this unwarranted act of  aggression. Speakign of elves he could even spy a an altmer,a   high elf, wearing imperial officers uniform. Disgraceful, the almter were the  ancestral  enemy of the empire now they were  commanding  it's soldiers.
The wagons had turned around the keep and a few houses right next to it and then rolled unto a big plaze just south of it. There they stopped. In the middle of the plaza was a platform upon which stood a block and a headsman. Oswulf kept his face controlled, he had known this was probably where it was going to end. He was the younger son of a noble house, he had always known he would not die of old age but die bringing glory to his family, he would have preferred it to be on the battlefield, but standing up for Talos, the hero god of man, against the empire, that Talos had created but who had fallen under the influence of elves and rejected the very god hero who created it, would have to be enough. No point in complaining about what the gods had in stores for them. Talos had alfter all become one with Lorkhan the god who had created man, who was also the missing god Shor, who was the ruler of the afterlife home of the brave, Sovrngard, so standing up for Talos would have to count for something with the lord of the afterlife.

As the wagons were being emptied legate Fasendil, were overlooking his troops formation, granted these were not really his troops, his own troops had been left in the Rift, but these were troops he had been assigned command of. he chanced a glance up hill. General Tullius, the imperial commander of the empire's forces in Skyrim was talking to one of the Thalmor, one of his fellow Almter, high elves, but not like him. The Thalmor were the ruling body of the Aldmeri dominion, the other power of Tamriel from the Cyrodiilic emprire which Fasendil served. The Thalmor were elven supremecists, they believed that man was inferior to mer, or elves as the human caleld them, and that non pureblooded elves such as the Bosmer, wood elves, Dunmer, dark elves, or Orsimer, orcs were inferior to pure blooded elves which is what they regarded thr Altmer as. Though of if they hated one thing more than lowborn elves and men, it was altmer like Fasendil who they felt betrayed their kind.
The dominion and the empire has fought a massive war only some twenty five years earlier, a war the aldmeri had starteed and a war that had ended with a victory for them, as part of this war the worship of Talos, who was once Tiber Septim, the founder of the empire, ascended to godhood, had been outlawed, under pain of death, initially the empire had been charged with upholding that law but when they Thalmor realized that the empire were intentionally doing a shoddy job of it they had demanded to be allowed to police it themselves. As such Thalmor agents now policed all of the Cyrociilic empire, looking for worshippers of Talos, elven defectors, and other undesirables. It was one of the leading causes of the current civil war in Skyrim.
The Thalmor Tullius was talking to wasn't any Thalmor either, it was Elenwen, the commander of the Thalmor forces in Cyrodiil. Fasendil edged closer to hear what they were saying,.
"Your Emperor will hear of this. By the terms of the White-Gold Concordat, I operate with full Imperial authority!" Elenwen snarled at the general
"I already told you, ambassador, that your authority is strictly restricted to enforcing the terms of the white gold concordat, Ulfric Stormcloak is here to be sentenced for treason and murder, neither crime which falls under the jurisdiction of the Thalmor"
"Ulfric Stormcloak is a self confessed Talos worshipper..."
"Yes, a fact for which you held him in prison for over twenty years! If you were so certain he was unrepentant then why did you let him go? I am sorry but the Thalmor has already let Ulfric Stormcloak slip through their fingers once with disastrous consequences, I will not permit that to happen again"
"You're making a terrible mistake" Elenwen informed him coldly. the general just ignored her, her rod past her and then saw Fasendil.
"Yes general!" Fasendil replied quickly
"You know better than to eavesdrop on the conversations of your superiors"
"I am sorry general, it won't happen again"
"See that it don't"
"Yes general" the general nodded and made a missive motion with his hand. "General?" Fasendil called his   attention again. Tullius looked at him with eyebrows raised in surprise.
"Yes legate?" he replied with a mix of amusement and irritation in his voice.
"You did the right thing, if you had turned over Ulfric to the Thalmor he'd be back in Windhelm this time tomorrow" Fasendil noted. General Tullius game him an apraising look, then nodded once aknoledging that he had heard the leggate but not commenting further on his statement and then rode over to the wagons and dismounted.
Actius was climbing down a steep hillside carrying two rabbit that he has snared. He was king of glad he hadn't gotten anything bigger, he would already have to change his original plan to sell pelts and furs in Helgen, with the imperial presence there it simply wasn't worth the risk. It was unlikely that anyone down there would know him but why risk it at all? No he would head west to Falkreth, he would get less for his pelts there, but there was no helping that.
It was then that he heard the sound again, the same sound that had awoken him that very morning. A roar, so loud that it made the roar of an angry giant seem like a whisper and seemed to fray on the fabric of reality itself.
He dropped down into a crouch, he was far to exposed on the hillside like this but there was no helping it, moving would only make him more visible. He scanned the landscape for the origin of the sound and then he found in sweeping down from one of the lower mountains of the side of the throat of the world, the highest mountain in all of tamriel, was a flying shape, and by how far it was from Actius and how big it looked from here it he concluded that it was immense. He had once seen one of the gargoyles that vampires sometimes use to protect their stronghold, this thing had wings too but there the similarities ended. This was not a gargoyle, it could only really be one thing. A dragon, and it was heading directly for Helgen.

Oswulf looked up at the sudden sound. What was that, it sounded distant yet it echoed of the surrounding mountains in a way that suggested it was incredibly loud. There also seemed to be something odd about it, it was   a roar yet it seemed it carried words in some strange language. The imperials had just chopped of the head of one of Ulfric's officers now everyone had stopped and looked around themselves in fear.
"What was that!" the imperial captain shouted.
"Forget the rest! Ulfric is the important one!" General Tullius commanded. He looked to the captain who was still watching the skies "Captain! Do as you are told!" The captain jumped as if startled, looked and him then tooka   depp breath and collected herself. "You heard the man, Get Ulfric Stormcloak up here!" Two men grabbed Ulfric and started dragging him towards the platform and the headsman, Oswulf knew he neede dot do something, he charge the closest of the men despite his hand being bound. He could see Raolf doing the same thing on the other side, for a few moments there were struggle but then the guard that Oswulf had attacked got his shield arm free and bashed Oswulf sending him flying down into the mud. Oswulf lay on the groudn panting as he heard the other guard know down Raolf,   he started struggling to his feet despite his mouth tasting of blood, he could not allow them to kill Ulfric. But getting to his feet with his hands bound was harder than he thought and he fell over again. Then he heard the sound again, much much loser and much much louder then before.
"What in Oblivion is that!" He heard general Tullius shout. Then more roaring then the sound of fire, words being drawn, and crossbows beign fired. He felt soemone tug at him. And flipped him over, it was Raolf he had gotted his hand free soemhow and he had a knife, he cut Oswulf's hands free.
"I would appear that the gods have given us another chance, let's not waste it!" He called to Oswulf as he puleld him to his feet. Oswulf got up and what faced him was the scene from a nightmare, perched on top of the main keep in Helgen sat a black dragon, so massive that it made the walls of the keep crack under it's sheer weight. Oswuld just stared it at but Raolf tugged at him.
"Let's go!" he roared. Oswulf caught his senses and started running after Raolf towards one of the lesser towers, he threw a glance backward seeing the dragon throwing itself into a formation of imperial crossbowmen crushing a dozen of them under it's sheer bulk and then with claws tail and wings sending the rest flying some even being thrown over the wall. More than fifty people wiped out in an instant. All around him the townsfolk were fleeing while the imperial legionaries seemed to be of two minds, some joined the in their flight but a remarkable lot did what Oswulf wasn't sure he could have brought himself to do, they moved to stop the dragon. Some just charged some took pot shots with their bows or crossbows others locked shields to forma   wall between the dragon and the fleeing townsfolk. Yet others were hurling throwing spears and javelins at it. Oswulf had seen the imperial legion in combat at darkwater crossing, but it wasn't until now he really realized just how impressive a fighting machine the imperial legion really was. Likely they were all going to die, yet only handful in almost a thousand men deserted the others did what they were ordered to do and turned to face this being out of a nightmare. He reached the door of the tower and ducked inside. Ulfric was there and to Oswulf's relief he was uninjured. Uldric had gotten rid of the gag and was now speakign to Raolf.
"Legends don't burn down villages" he told Raolf. He turned to Oswulf "I see you are still with us Lichbreaker" he said with a wide smile. "You may claim that your reputation is unwarranted but I am beginning to think that you are indeed everything it promises you would be, assaulting an imperial legion with you hands tied certainly is a new watermark".
"Those people out there" he panted "Jarl Ulfric, we got to help them!"
"There is nothing we can do for them that the legion is not already doing, we got to make sure that whether the dragon or the legion wins we are no longer here when they do"
"You ahve th thu'um!"
"As do that dragon, listen to it's roars, can you not hear the words upon it? That it the Thu'um and on a level beyond anything I can do." Jarl Ulfric listened and then seemed to grow pale "Besides if what it is saying is true..."
"What is it saying Jarl Ulfric?" Raolf asked, clearly perplexed by the idea of the dragon saying anything.
"'It refers to itself as Alduin"

The smoke from Helgen made Actius choke, the smell of burning wood, stone and flesh. The dragon had attacked the town detroyed it and most of the imperial legion stationed around it. then it had rampaged through the ruins for a good hour as if intent on not leaving a single stone upon one another before finally taking of. Actius hadn't been born when the great war ended, he had never seen destruction on this scale before, probably around a thousand people wiped out in less than the span of three hours. Growing up he had seen a certain look in the eyes of the older generation, those who had witnessed the war, he now knew he would forever be marked by that look too. After the dragon had left Actius had sat on his spot on the hillside for a considerable amount of time fearing that if he moved the dragon might come back, it was an irrational fear of course but seeing destruction on this scale was a very good invoker or irrational fears.
As Actius approached his camp site he heard voices, someone was there, he crouched low and saw three stormcloak soldiers, two swordsmen and an archer, with two imperial prisoners, one of them clearly wounded, ransacking his camp, his precious furs scattered in the mud. They were probably looking for food. Actius stood and called out to them.
"Is there something I can help you with Stormcloaks!" He called a edge to his voice "Those are my things you are looting" the stormcloaks span around in chock and gawked at him.
"Who's there!" one of them called out, one of the ones with sword and shield "Come forward so we can see you" this one was obliviously the leader. Actius stepped a bit closer.
"An imperial spy!" the leader of the stormcloaks said when they got a better look at Actius. The archer aimed his bow at Actius, he kept it drawn as he aimed, clearly the bow and arrow was not his usual weapon. Only amateurs aimed with a drawn bow if held that way for long his arm would stiffen and his aim would suffer as a result.
"Hardly, just a hunter"
"Is that so? You're one of Jarl Sidgeirs hunters? Well Sidgeir had taken the side of the imperials against Skyrim so that again means you are an imperial spy"
"I am not with the jarl"
"Oh I see so not an imperial spy then, an imperial thief and poacher. These beasts belong to the people of Skyrim, you had no right to take them we, we are the true sons of skyrim and we are taking them back"
"So what you're saying I should just walk away and let you take what you want"
"Who said anything about letting you walk away imperial?" the leader replied and made a motion toward the archer whe drew the bow even further, Actius was not particularly scared, he was a considerable distance away still and the man had clearly overdrawn not to mention he seemed to be a louse archer at best. "There are enough imperials in slyrim as is, it matters little if you are a spy or a thief I am a lot more confortable if you're not sneaking around in these hills"
"Is that so? Well that changes things" Actium replied coldly taking several deep breaths and preparing.
"How so?"
"That means this is self defence" Actius shouted and drew and shot an arrow while taking a step to the side. Not that he really needed to take that step, the arrow of the stormcloak archer was no where near ether him or where he had been, in return Actius' arrow punched straight into the neck of the stormcloak archer. He fell slumping to the ground as the force of the impact broke his neck and killed him instantly. The stormcloaks reacted, brandishing his sword the leader charged Actius who relaized he would not have time to get another arrow of, atleast not if he wanted any hope of defending himself if he missed, he thre the bow and quiver and drew his long knife, while the same size as a small shortsword the knife was more of a tool than it was a weapon. Behind the stormcloak leader the other stormcloak took a few steps forward not knowing if he should follow his leader in the charge of keep watch on his prosinder. Truth be told either would have worked, but this half measure left his back exposed to the unhurt prisoner who quickly took a step in behind him drew the belt knife of the stomcloak and buried it in his back. Meanwhile the officer reached Actius who did a dance of desperate parries and dodges. He would have prefered to shoot all three stormcloak soldiers before they even saw him but he wasn't really all that comfortable with shooting people to begin with never mind assassinating three people in cold blood. Actius made a little to ambitious a dodge and found himself falling backwards, the stormcloak leader stepped forward sword raised and a grin of furious triumph on his face he swung downwards only for his blade to be parried. The imperial soldier, actually impeiral officer, Actius realized, had taken the sword of the stormcloak he had backstabbed and ran face the remaining stormcloak. After parrying the blow he did a twist of the blade forcing the stormcloak backwards, and himself stepping in front of Actius. Actius scrambled to his feet in time to see the end of the duel. The stormcloak was clearly outmatched, during his youth in the imperial capital Actius had once seen a show fight between two swordmasters, this was nothing like it, the imperial officer did not have that kind of training, but he was a professional with a lot of training and experience, the best that could be said for his opponent was that he was brave. After being pushed back a dozen steps he launched into a frenzy of attacks but each was parried if not with ease then with a meticulous efficiency, the stormcloak grew more tired with every strike he attempted, finally he missed altogether as the imperial officer simply took a step tot he side, his miss left him open and the imperial officer grabbed his sword with both hands and ran it straight through his opponents chest. The imperial officer stood there frozen with this sword in the gut of his enemy for a few heartbeats then he released the sword and the stormcloak collapsed on the ground. Ignoring Actius he picked up the blade the stormcloak leader had dropped and turned and walked back to the stormcloak he had stabbed in the back ealier, actius followed him. The man was still alive.
"Please" he choacked as the imperial officer came up to him "Please no, I don't want to die" Actius realized that the stormcloak was little more than a boy, probably not even twenty years old, some of the stormcloaks were been defectors from the imperial legion, this boy clearly wasn't one of them.
"You are dead already" The imperial officer said with a careful exact pronunciation. "You will slowly drown in your own blood, the only thing I can do for you, is a quick death" he said raising the blade.
"Damn you elf" the stormcloak spat "And then as the blade came down he whimped "Mother" before the blade ended his life. Again the imperial officer stood frozen for a moment before releasing his grip on the sword and straightening himself. Actius realized he was looking to see the life leave the eyes of his opponent. Though he could not really say why anyone would willingly do that.
Finally the imperial officer turned to him and took his helmet of. Actius was surprised, the man who stood before him was not a man at all, he was an elf, and altmer, high elf. Actius had heard the now dead stormcloak call the imperial an elf but his mind had not realy registered it before he saw his face. His skin was a pale golden colour just like most altmer, his eyes were slated almond shapes and a bright yellow, and he had long blonde hair slicked back from a rather 
"I thank you for your aid citizen" he said slightly reclining his head in what might have been a small bow or a curt nod. Actius shrugged.
"You did most of it yourself" he pointed out.
"But you gave me the opportunity. "Though as you said yourself it was self defence" he turned toward his wounded companion.
"Unlike what you did" Actius said before he could stop himself, the elf glanced back at him.
"Yes... unlike what I did" he said with a rueful smile. "I am a soldier, I go where the empire says I should go and i kill who the emprie says I should kill, it has been like that for a long time now" Actius felt a bit  ashamed  with himself, this man had just saved his life. The elf kneeled beside his friend and talked to him. The other imperial was a nord, with long dark blonde hair, clean shaven like most imperial soldiers.
"How are you feeling soldier?"
"I'm  all right  legate" the solider replied.
"You're not all right you took a really bad beating back there"
"Don't worry I'll be up as soon as the world stops spinning long enough for me to stand up without throwing up" the legate nodded then looked at Actium.
"My friend is pretty badly bruised, we'll need to  trespass  upon your hospitality a little further" Actius didn't like the idea at all, but then again it wasn't really a request.
"Sure, as long as you need" He said trying to feign actual entusiasm. The legate nodded.
"I am legate Fasendil of the second legion of the imperial army"
"Actius Arcturus, self employed" Actius said with a faint smile.
"Poacher" Fasendil translated.
"I keep getting that comment today" Actius grinned.
"Can't imagine why" the imperial soldier on the ground chuckled. "I am Hadvar of Riverwood" he introduced himself.

"But several of our patrols have not returned yet my lord" the stormcloak scout unformed him. Oswulf Lichbreaker made an irritated grimace. Having to explain himself to this commoner! Ulric was  a great leader but the organisation of his forces left quite a lot to be desired.
"If they are still alive they'll have to catch up with us" he explained and then repeated his order "we march for Haemar's pass immedeatly"
After having escaped Helgen they had gathered their forces east of town, Ulfric and ten men of his bodyguard tgey had   managed to find horses for a d they had ridden immedeatly for Windhelm. They could not permit their leader to be captured again. Ulfric had left Oswulf in charge of gathering up the survivors. He had managed to gather up about half of the roughly hundred men that the imperial had been shipping to Helgen for execution. Any who had not yet been found he was fairly confident would not be found either. He had even had small parties out harrying the surviving imperial and trying to rescue any remaining prisoners, not tenting salvaging for supplies amongst the ruins. What the scout said was right two such groups, a total.of ten men,   had yet to return but again Oswulf was relativly certain that they would not return either. It was a gamble he had made he had known some would not return when he sent them out, but because he had the imperial would take longer to regroup their survivors,not to mention his scouts had killed more than twice their numbers in imperial stragglers. And secured supplies they would need for their march east. It was a sucessor even haven lost almost a fifth of his men to it. Of course none had been more effective at it than Ulfric himself who had returned from his first and only sortie with a dozen horses.
"My lord" the scout began. Oswulf sighed.
"What is it now?" He asked. The scout pointed towards a bruised man who had just returned. Oswulf turned to him.
"Report?"   He demanded. The man was an old soldier probably a veteran from the great war. Someone who had himself been part of the imperial army until almost half of the Skyrim legion had defected at the onset of the civil war. The veterans always liked when proper military terms were used. The scout saluted.
"I am the only one returning from my group sir" he informed Oswulf.
"How come?" Oswulf asked.
"We found one if the thalmor sir, cost us three men in the fighting and the last one died of his wound on the way back. But that thalmor won't be dragging anyone's family of to be tortured ever again" Oswulf nodded, four men for one of the Thalmor was a good exchange. Granted Ulfric had told him not to waste men on trying to fight the Thalmor, but the deed was done chastising the man for having killed one of those elven butchers would only make Oswulf's men angry.
"You did well soldier" he is teas told him. "Get those wound seen to and get a ride on one of the wagons. We are leaving"
"What about the last group sir" the younger scout asked again.  Oswulf turned to his older comrade. "You've been out there,what are the odds of then still being alive?" 
"The legion is actually starting to muster quite large groups of stragglers, this was Jermund's group? The one who went west?" Oswulf nodded. "They are dead sir, I saw Tullius ride west at the head of a larger force than we had here and a dozen thalmor was marching that way too. Fortunately for us, unfortunatly for Jermund,they all seems to be going either north west toward Riverwood or directly west towards Falkreth. If we head east now we should be able to put a stopper in Haemund's pass and prevent them from pushing it to he rift."
Oswulf nodded,it was almost word for word what Ulfric had predicted they would do,and concluded that they themselves should do as a response.
"What is your name soldier?"
"Herman, sir"
"Well Herman for sucess in the battle against the thalmor I am promoting you to sergeant and placing as my second in command" replacing the whelp who kept questioning him Oswulf concluded with satisfaction.But it was also a move well liked by the men.  Rewarding bravery was always popular either the men. "See to that we get moving" the veteran saluted and then turned and started giving orders and very soon the preparations were underway. After someone was looking at Herman's wounds he told his comander "sir I really don't deserve the promotion, I wanted to avoid the thalmor, it was the others who were brave"
"Wanting to avoid a mere five on one odds against a thalmor makes you smart not cowardly"
"All I did was surviving"
"That's all I did to earn the nickname lichbreaker" Oswulf told him with a bitter smile. "You have seen the world sergeant, this is how things go, it is good for  the morale for the men to think it isn't but it's not the reality of things, who dies and who comes back is as much luck as it is skill"

Actius wasn't sure how he felt about the way the rabbit roasting above the fire smelled, while he was undoubtably hungry it also reminded him of the smell that still were carried down from Helgen whenever there was a gust of wind, the smell of  burning  flesh, not roasting  rabbit  but roasted people. He looked at his companions, they were  undoubtedly  feeling the same way.
Actius had spent what had remained of his afternoon tending to the wounded Hadvar, while Fasendil had removed anything valuable from the bodies of the dead stormcloaks and dragged the bodies away from the campp, wouldnät do for them to draw  scavengers  to the camp. When he had been finished he had taken over keeping an eye on their friend, who was no looking a lot better, while Actius has skinned and cooked the rabits he had caught that morning.
They ate in silence, every one of them lost in their own thoughts. When they had finished the legate looked up at Hadvar.
"How are you feeling now soldier?" He asked him.
"Much better sir" the nord answered.
"Well enough to travel in the morning?" The legate pushed. The soldier shrugged.
"Depends on where, if you're planning on returning to the rift... I don't think I'll be climbing up an down a mountain in the next week"
"I can't wait a week for you, I can't even spare the time to bring you to safety" the legate said with a sigh
"If I may offer a solution legate" Hadvar interjected, the legate looked at him then nodded.
"I have family in Riverwood, I could go there, I could make it there on my own, rest up and then head on to Solitude, it would also let me make sure they are allright"
"Are you certain you can make it to Riverwood on your own?"
"I grew up in these parts sir, I know them like the back of my hand, I just follow the road north and it'll take me to the lakeview hunterscamp, I can spend the first night there I know some of the hunters who live there well, and then I should be able to reach Riverwood the next day"
"That'll leave me free to go to the Rift" He paused "I'll need a guide through these mountains though" He looked up at Actius "The imperial legion would obviously compensate you well for your help."
"You live in these mountains, I dare say you know the way to Haemar's pass?"
"Yes... I do..." Actius stopped and though about it, he did know these mountains very well.
"And you are also a experienced woodsman and  mountaineer, the Stormcloaks will mostly have withdrawn east, if I am to avoid them I could really use your help" Actius nodded, knowing the terrain avoiding the Stormcloaks would not be easy.
"They are already ahead of us, they'll likely reach and shut Haemar's pass before we get there"
"So you're saying there is no way to get into the Rift?" Actius smiled.
"There are very few places I can't get in to if I want to legate" he said. "I could probalby sneak right though their camp if I needed to, steal the food of the plate of their commander as I did so, no the problem is getting you past"
"So you will do it?"
Actius stopped and thought, when had he decided to do it? He didn't want anything more than  necessary  to do with these imperials, it left him as considerable risk to keep dealing with them, but he also could not stop himself from considering the possibilities on how to get into the rift. Damn it this is always how I end up getting into trouble. He chided himself silently.
"I will do it, we'll keep of the road, see how far they have gotten, if getting you past them is not an option then there are other paths through these mountains, if one is  travelling  on foot and knows where to look. He looked at his camp, he'd have to abandon most of his furs and pelts though. Or atleast find somewhere to stash them..."
"I can bring your things to the lakeview camp, they'll hold on to them for you" Hadvar told him Actius looked up at him, that was a much better solution
"Can you carry them? You are wounded"
"It's all down hill there should be no problem, I might even meet some more imperial survivors along the way to give me a hand."
"Then it's settled" the legate said "Hadvar take the things you don't need for this trip to the Lakeview camp where they'll keep them for you, meanwhile you and I go east to the rift"
"Nothing is settled legate" Actius objected "You said I would be compensated, what kind of compensation are we taking here"
"five hundred septims if you can get me to the western rift inside of a week, lus I may decide to do something about your criminal records"
"I don't have a criminal record" Actius objected hurridly, the legate gave him a stern look.
"No then why does someone, who by the accent comes from the imperial capital, live alone in the Jerall mountains? Almost like he is running from something. And in my experience that something is usually the law" Actius decided it was best to change subject.
"Ok ok you got youserself a deal"

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