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Re: Finding Home
Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2023 8:24 am
Her armour felt so light. The sword on her back, a mere feather. She was beyond excited. She - Fira-Nar the argonian with no head for planning - had come up with an idea and a whole group was going to execute it. It was a momentous occasion for the young templar. Nothing could ruin her mood today. Nothing.
"Your soul longs for battle."
The statement came from over her right shoulder, the voice atonal and impossible to read. The scholar. She must have noticed her excitement and made an assumption about the source.
"No! Well, I mean I guess sometimes. Sorta. But not right now. In the way...that...you're...meaning."
The Norn had fallen back, nose buried in a book, seemingly uninterested in her reply. That habit of hers was so infuriating. She'd expect Fira to be constantly paying attention when she decided to actually speak and then when Fira spoke, she'd stop listening before the argonian could finish. If she were any other person, Fira would take this is a direct insult and challenge her to a duel to settle the matter. Somehow, the weird one managed to make every interaction seem incredibly impersonal.
It really wasn't fair.
What really wasn't fair was that now she was thinking about the crazy "Norn" instead of her plan! This was her moment and she needed to be present. She caught up with Tempest and Cullen, placing herself within earshot of most of the entourage.
"So, the camp has an entrance from the north and from the west. We should probably split up and attack from both fronts. Perhaps set up an ambush on the north and drive them toward it."
Fira was certain that a heads-on attack would be the only way to relieve the camp of its denizens and was equally determined to ensure that all her people made it out alive.
Re: Finding Home
Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2023 5:23 pm
Githia crouched awkwardly by the campfire as the others made their preparations; she had nothing to prepare. All she would need was the sword on her back. The mage - Tempest - knelt beside her. It had been impossible to miss how thin the Tiefling was, the dullness of her eyes and her sunken cheeks.
"Have you eaten today?" Tempest asked gently.
Githia shifted awkwardly, nodded - then shook her head. "It's hard," she half-muttered, avoiding Tempest's eyes. "So many kids, never enough to go around, so I didn't-- it's okay. I'm not really hungry."
Undeterred by the obvious lie, Tempest began rummaging around in the bags of supplies for rations to offer.
Githia's already-red skin became even redder with a blush. "Nah, I'm alright, you don't have to..."
"No, Tempest is right," Cullen said briskly. "This is shaping up to be a difficult fight. We need everyone at their best. This is a wise use of our resources."
Finding that difficult to argue with, Githia stared at the ground, but accepted the offered food with a whispered thanks.
Angus would not be joining the party for the assault on the bandit camp. He had little skill in combat - and diplomacy with the bandits was vanishingly unlikely - so his presence would make him little more than a target. That had been embarrassing to admit, of course, but the others had agreed without any apparent scorn that his skills lay elsewhere. Angus was becoming less and less surprised by their kindness every time it was shown, and more and more... himself.
He had lost so much in Coldharbour. Not just to the physical pain. Their mockery, too, had clung to him like a layer of unwanted debris. A layer he was slowly scraping off.
Anakita was eying him with concern. "You okay?" she asked bluntly.
"Yes," Angus said. And that was the truth. "Just thinking how grateful I am. To all of you. For your kindness. For not..."
"Not laughing at me. You never have. None of you. About any of it."
"Oh," the Ranger said. "That's because it wasn't funny." She softened the bluntness of this statement by giving his shoulder an affectionate bump with her own, and he smiled back at her.
Sellia was nervous about the endeavor. Not about the fighting - that would be simple enough. Bandits and highway robbers had been her primary source of food for quite some time. And that was exactly the problem. The party had not seen her in action, not really. This would be an opportunity for her to feed - but surely that would horrify the others. Yet if she didn't, if she allowed her hunger to grow too desperate, she would lose control. Perhaps she could do it very covertly, so secretly that they wouldn't...
"You should feed," Gwindor said with perfect calm. "Assuming there are causalities, which seems inevitable. Everyone else is provisioned, after all."
Sellia looked at him steadily. "That won't...? You won't be...?"
He shook his head. "I've been a warrior my whole adult life, Sellia - if only by necessity. This is necessity for you. No one will begrudge it. Least of all me."
By the time they were ready to leave, Ulga too had returned from home and was ready to join the attack. Fully caught up on the plan, she nodded her agreement. "It's about time someone stood up to those bandits. Let's go."
Re: Finding Home
Posted: Sun Oct 22, 2023 7:53 pm
Nairn observed the newcomer with her usual intensity - and distance. She hadn't moved from her crook in the tree once she'd settled in with her newest book. The return of the group. The new plans. The ready-making. She kept an ear open and an eye on the proceedings. Conveniently, she'd finished her book by the time everyone was ready to leave. She left it in the tree. If she wasn't allowed to trade books, there was little sense carrying it around.
She saw fit to make an observation to the excitable argonian, but had other priorities she wished to discuss. With someone more articulate than Fira, preferably. Nairn locked step with Ulga.
"If the Bretons are descended from Elves, why the sudden aggression? Are the displaced elves from another land?"
She was, of course, thinking of the Norn emigration from their homeland and the subsequent invasion of a land belonging to someone else. The other races hadn't given her people the warmest welcome, but they had either been unwilling or unable to repel the Norn once they had decided on the location of their new home. Were these elves also stuck between being unable to return home and a hostile new world?
Re: Finding Home
Posted: Sat Nov 18, 2023 1:15 pm
Ulga blew out a puff of air - a soft hmm sound - and said, "That's a complicated question, Nairn. You're right about Tamriel's ancient history, but for the answer to this, you need to look to more recent events. A decade or so ago, Daedra and their cultists invaded our central province, Cyrodiil. That's a story for another time in itself, but for now the pertinent part is that this left the former Empire broken and the Ruby Throne - the seat of the Emperor - vacant and without a clear contender. This was the start of what we call the Three Banners War... which is still technically ongoing, although most territories simply gave up and stopped caring about choosing a ruler long ago, so you only run into isolated pockets of fighting now. It wasn't always isolated, though. At first it was a cruel conflict, and a bloody one. Tamriel split into three main political entities. The Ebonheart Pact to the north, supporting King Jorunn, the Daggerfall Covenant roughly to the west - the land we're currently in - supporting King Emeric, and the Aldmeri Dominion to the south supporting Queen Ayrenn. It was a pointless war, Nairn. No one really gained anything by it, in the end. But there were crimes of war committed on all sides nonetheless. To varying degrees, of course..."
For a moment, Ulga found herself back in a memory. The swamp air was close around her. Her heart pounded, her breath coming fast and shallow as she ran, eggs dissolving in her hands as she attempted to save the hatchery, the hope of an entire generation of a village's Argonian children. For every one she saved, another five were lost as grinning, pointed-eared soldiers looked on...
She shook her head clear it, and went on.
"...But yes, on all sides. Nearly anyone in Tamriel could find reason to be angry at someone for some atrocity in living memory, I'm sorry to say. Mind you, the provinces of Tamriel have never been entirely racially segregated. You can find nearly any type of person in any land. But the Southern Provinces, Ayrenn's domain, are known to be the ancestral home of the Altmer and the Bosmer - the so-called 'high elves' and 'wood elves' respectively. Of course, that doesn't mean the elves here in Glenumbra consider the southern lands their home. Most who live here have been here for generations. But there are many here who have suffered at the hands of Ayrenn's soldiers, and don't distinguish one Mer from another, even one who has been their neighbor and has never so much as seen Summerset."
"As for the displaced elves..." Ulga gave a little shrug. "I'm sure some have lived here all their lives. Elves are a minority population here, but as I said, they have always existed. Others, perhaps, have fled here as refugees from other parts of Tamriel - war often forces people to leave their lands and wander in search of safer ground. But I wonder... is it really this many? The concentration of elves here seems much higher than I would expect either of those factors to account for. We know for sure at least some are from elsewhere, like that Aimosh who blamed Tempest for the death of his friend came from the same world as the Rutherfords. As for how they ended up here, though, or why - that I can't say. Perhaps we can find out."
Re: Finding Home
Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2023 7:21 am
Tempest Rutherford and Drina
"Healer? A question, if I may?"
The Dremora approached respectfully, almost hesitantly.
Tempest nodded. "Of course. What did you want to ask?"
"The Tieflings. You and the rest of your group are determined to help them. Why? They offer no material benefit to you. Whether they live or die does not affect your own future at all."
"Well," Tempest replied, "I suppose it's because we feel compassion for them."
Drina nodded thoughtfully. "Ah. Compassion. A human emotion. Daedra do not experience compassion."
"You don't? Forgive me for sounding skeptical, but you certainly appeared to be showing compassion when you saved Angus. What material benefit did he offer you?"
Drina nodded amiably. "Yes, I see how to human eyes, that might have appeared to be the same. But my own motives were quite different. The Xivkyn who tormented Angus had been cruel to all of us, to any creature they considered beneath them. As devotees of Molag Bal, the Xivkyn feed on domination. They gained a great deal of satisfaction from the humiliation and degradation they inflicted on Angus. I was angry about how they had treated me in the past, and I chose to deprive them of their prize. By doing so, I demonstrated my superiority over them. That is all."
"Hm," Tempest replied. "Really? 'That is all'?"
Drina frowned slightly. "Yes. That is all. Why do you disbelieve me?"
"Because the story didn't end there, did it? You could have dumped Angus anywhere, and still claimed the same satisfaction. Don't forget I saw him after Coldharbour. I could tell you had healed him as much as you could. You provided for him. You stayed by his side. He seemed accustomed to you holding his hand..."
Drina shook her head vehemently. "No. It is different," she insisted. "Compassion is for humans. Not Dremora."
"So be it, if you wish," Tempest replied with a smile - an easy acquiescence, since they both knew she'd won the argument.