Finding Home

Quaxo9
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Re: Finding Home

Post by Quaxo9 »

Fira-Nar

Fira was feeling quite good about their work exposing Duke Esten and the true nature of the elven refugee problem. She stood with her arms crossed at the gate to the camp, which was yet to sport a proper door. In lieu of wood and iron, she stood unofficial guard. The six hooded people immediately had her attention - and her suspicion.

"What do you want with...I mean, Drina who?"

The racial identity of the newcomers dawned on her a little too late, along with the realization that Drina very likely wanted nothing to do with other daedra. Not now. Probably not ever. Fira drew herself up and placed a precautionary hand on the grip of her weapon.
Monkey Kitty
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Re: Finding Home

Post by Monkey Kitty »

The Newcomers

The Dremora seemed amused. "There is no need to dissemble, mortal," she said with a hint of a smile in her voice. "We have not come here to threaten your little enclave, or your Dremora. We are here because... there are rumors in Coldharbour. About Drina. We have heard that she escaped... him. That she has escaped Molag Bal. If that is true, perhaps we might do the same."

Fira would probably know that what this Daedra was saying might be unusual, but was certainly not unprecedented. Many Dremora served either Mehrunes Dagon or Molag Bal - the two typically considered the most evil Daedric Princes by mortal standards - but not all. Some served other Princes, like Clavicus Vile, Peryite, Boethiah, and even Hermaeus Mora. Though Dremora tended toward a rigid hierarchy and clan structure, very occasionally allegiance struggles did break out.

Of the current six newcomers, Fira would recognize three as Dremora like Drina, and two others as Xivilai, another form of Daedra.

The sixth member of the group, however, was not a Daedra; when he threw back his hood, she would see the strikingly handsome visage of a vampire with raven hair and alabaster skin. "Allow me to sweeten the pot a bit, as it were," the vampire said. "I believe there is another of my kind here. Essessellia Adair Inday - known to you, I assume, as Sellia. She too belongs body and soul to Molag Bal. If you have no wish to help these Daedra out of charity, finding a way to break Bal's hold on them could provide avenues to free her also."
Monkey Kitty
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Re: Finding Home

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Anakita Snakecharm

It was some time before Anakita returned. She had been unable to find the plant she sought; the presence of so many people in various forms of need had stripped much of the countryside bare of useful plants like flax. In the end, she'd had to walk to Daggerfall City and barter for it, eventually finding some at exorbitant price and, since she had little local currency, trading some rather valuable supplies for it.

When she saw Nairn hadn't used her healing spring at all, she frowned a little. Yes, that was Nairn's way - but stubbornness was eventually going to run into practicality concerns.

"Look," Anakita said, dropping the goods into Nairn's hand. "I know you don't like to use magic. But this wasn't easy to get, and it's not going to be easy to replace once you use it. It's fine, for now, but I'm gonna be honest here... you need a better plan than this, or I don't know what's going to happen next time."
Quaxo9
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:33 pm

Re: Finding Home

Post by Quaxo9 »

Fira-Nar

The argonian was stunned. She stood staring at the little group for several moments longer than necessary after the vampire spoke.

"Right. Well. Um. I'll see if she wan...can talk to you. Maybe you could...wait? Over here?" Fira finally stirred to action and pointed to a spot in the shade near the gate. She nodded to a couple of the tieflings who were on watch and squinted at them while giving her chin a little lift in the direction of the entourage.

She headed toward the centre of the camp, starting to feel more like a village already for the structures being straightened, roads swept and the sounds of children at play. So different from the camp the tieflings formerly inhabited - and so very different from what this camp's previous owners had intended. It brought a smile to her face, it was peaceful despite the chaos. In spite of the chaos. She could get used to this.

It was the sound of Angus' voice that alerted her to her quarry. He was giving a blanket to a woman holding a baby and chatting amicably with the shy toddler clinging to her leg. And where Angus was...

Fira cleared her throat and waved at Drina while simultaneously nodding to indicate she wished to speak with her. In a way, she hated to interrupt, but on the other hand, she'd let these people inside the walls of the camp and she needed to know if she'd made a mistake.

"Hey, so, some dremora and a vampire showed up and they wanna talk to you about your...freedom. And stuff. From you know who. And they seemed kinda insistent that you could help them...if you can't or don't wanna talk to them I can go kick them out too, of course."

She added the last part hurriedly, remembering once again that Drina had made it pretty clear that she was breaking ties with all things dremora. Maybe she should have just sent them away...besides if Drina thought she could help Sellia, wouldn't she have already told her so?
Quaxo9
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Re: Finding Home

Post by Quaxo9 »

Nairn Tuckamore

She started awake as Anakita entered the tent. How had she slept so deeply? Beads of sweat dotted the pale woman's forehead as she scowled at Anakita for no reason other than her being suddenly awake. A questioning look soon replaced the frown as the vial of oil slid into her hand. She regarded it for a moment, then looked down in the direction of her wounds.

"There won't be a next time. Because the scars will remind me."

Her voice sounded distant, taking on the atonal quality of a recitation - but not quite. Her accent was soft and had the tell-tale lilt of a homesteader norn. Someone else's voice.

Her fingers touched the edges of the scars running near her latest wound. It was true - she had never made that mistake ever again. It was her constant reminder that if she were ever to be surrounded that she must stand and fight like a norn. That to run was unacceptable. Escape was loss beyond what a life could hold.
Monkey Kitty
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Re: Finding Home

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Anakita Snakecharm

Anakita regarded Nairn, perplexed.

This was clearly a Feelings Thing. Anakita felt out of her depth with Feelings Things.

This would be a better job for Tempest. Tempest was asleep, though - sleeping off the exhaustion of bringing two people back from the brink of death, as well as countless minor healing. The Ranger would not be so selfish as to disrupt the healer's sleep. No, Anakita would have to complete this act of diplomancy herself.

"Hm," Anakita said. "Well. Have you considered not doing that? I mean, do you really need a reminder? Do you think you're going to forget this either way? It seems to have made a pretty strong impression..."
Monkey Kitty
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Re: Finding Home

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Drina and Angus

"Thank you, Fira," Drina said. Her tone was careful, her expression unreadable. "I don't know that I have the answers they seek, but I will see to them."

Her phrasing, too, had been careful. Before approaching the other Daeda, she returned to Angus and linked her arm through his. "There are some Daedra here," she told Angus softly. "Do you think you would recognize those who harmed you?"

Angus nodded with complete confidence. He was intimately familiar with those who had tormented him. Their faces and forms were burned into his memory, probably until the end of his days. "Yes. I would know them."

To his own surprise, Angus realized he wasn't afraid. He was anxious, certainly - how would he react, if he saw his assailants again? But he was no longer terrified. In Coldharbour, every moment had been a terror. Now, things were different. Drina would defend him. Fira surely would too. If he merely cried out, he was sure the Rutherfords would be there too, the warrior and the mage standing between him and danger, guarding him from harm. Here, he was safe. No longer alone, but part of a whole, a valued member of their group. It made a difference.

They walked together until they found a vantage point where Angus could get a subtle glance at the Daedra. Drina kept her hold on his arm for comfort as he regarded them for a long moment.

"No," he finally said. "I've never seen any of them before."

"Good," Drina replied grimly.

Of course, that didn't render them blameless by human standards. Molag Bal's servants did not include many spotless innocents. Still, it meant their plea was worth considering. Had Angus identified them as his assailants, their fate would have been preordained.

There was one thing Drina did immediately notice about the group herself. Other than the vampire - that one, she did not recognize - they all appeared to be low in the pecking order. Dremora tended to be rigidly hierarchical. Molag Bal's servants were constantly seeking to dominate, not only outsiders but even each other. These particular Dremora and Xivilai had always ended up at the bottom of the hierarchy in Coldharbour. That was a good sign. It meant that their claims of wanting to break free were plausible, at least.

"I am here," Drina said, stepping into their field of view. Fira would notice her tone was different addressing her kin than addressing Angus. Though there was no hostility, there was also no warmth or gentleness. "Why are you seeking me?"

"You are free," one of the Xivilai said bluntly. "We seek to be free too. We are weary of being under his boot. Weary of the torments by those seeking to prove themselves stronger. We seek to know your secret, so that we may share in it."

Drina sighed. "I do not believe the road I took is open to you. But I... will help you."

She couldn't make that promise on behalf of any of her new comrades. She might even regret making it herself. But how she could abandon her kin to Coldharbour, if it was at all in her power to free them?
Quaxo9
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Re: Finding Home

Post by Quaxo9 »

Nairn Tuckamore

The Norn stared up at Anakita unblinking. Considered...not allowing every injury to dwell upon her skin in perpetuum? It was surprisingly a novel thought. She squinted down at her left hand, tracing the old puncture wounds that still lingered there.

It had been cruelty. Nairn perceived that now. At the time, everything had been confusing and she had no other point of reference. But she had learned much from her books and her travels. Yet, somehow, she had not applied this knowledge.

That though someone can be given the responsibility to care for another, they may not choose to do so in a way that benefits the other.

It was possible that this 'lesson' had not been given her Nairn's best interest. She had never really thought of this before. Her eyes returned to Anakita's. They were clearer now, betraying her mind's burst of activity.

"You...make a logical point. I will...consider further, but you...may be right."
Quaxo9
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Re: Finding Home

Post by Quaxo9 »

Fira Nar

She'd stood a few paces back when Drina and Angus approached the group for their discussion. Close enough to jump in if the group's intentions weren't as pure as they'd claimed, but far enough to give the idea of privacy. When things seemed to be going fine, Fira relaxed slightly and allowed her mind to wander away from planning a fight. Her eyes rested on the lone vampire in the group. His presence was a little odd. Fira pondered her options, then decided that it was only fair - if Drina knew that her kin were in the camp, Sellia should too.

It took a little longer for Fira to track down the vampire. She and Gwindor seemed to be as in separable as Drina and Angus. That was nice, she supposed. Everyone needed a friend. Waving, she approached the two.

"Hey Sellia, I just wanted to let you know that there's some vampire dude who seems to know you that just showed up with a bunch of Dremora. They were looking for Drina to find out how to get away from...you know...but anyway. I guess...it was just...hmm." What was she getting at again? Fira's eyes fazed out for a minute as she tried to figure out where she'd wanted to go with the conversation. It seemed such a weird thing to bring up...but... right, just because someone knows your name doesn't mean they're your friend.

"Oh, I guess I just thought you should know about him in case he's not someone you want to meet."
Monkey Kitty
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Re: Finding Home

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Sellia and Gwindor

"Thank you, Fira," Sellia said. She took a deep breath, and ran a hand through her hair in a quick spasm, an very human gesture for the vampire.

"I'm afraid, though, that I may not be as useful as you imagine in that regard. I have... a large gap in my memory, you see. I remember being an ordinary Bosmer, abducted for an experiment to create a stronger breed of vampire. And then I remember waking up in a grave as a vampire, clawing my way out after they discarded me when their experiment failed. But I remember nothing in between those two events. Nothing at all. I can only imagine the experience would have been... traumatic, though I do not know the precise nature of it. I don't know where I was in the meantime, or how much time passed. I would not know friend from foe, of anyone I may have met then. I'm sorry."

"This is not your fault," Gwindor assured her, wrapping a comforting arm around her and letting her lean against him.

Sellia appreciated his understanding, but it didn't solve the immediate problem - that she might or might not be able to identify the other vampire, even if they had crossed paths in the past. "Still," she mused. "I don't want to turn away someone in need of help. They said they were trying to get away from...? What should I do?"

She looked down at her hands abruptly. This wasn't something she had talked to Gwindor about yet. It hadn't seemed relevant. Sellia was not a worshipper of Molag Bal. Her soul was likely marked by Bal to claim after her death - but both she and Gwindor were functionally immortal, so barring some unhappy twist of fate, death wasn't a pressing worry. Now, though, she wondered if she should have pressed the subject further, before she let herself get attached to Gwindor. What had seemed a minor threat on the distant horizon had suddenly become a concern for today.
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