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Born of the Reach - Part X


Started by Harlwystyr
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Daggerfall Covenant
Breton
Part X

Dwyna ducked down by another set of crates. As the party went on, hunger and thirst started to sting the alert guards in the hall, and they began to undergo discreet raids to the outlying dinner tables to snatch at tarts and wine without notice. As they did, she saw that they were more concerned with watching the individual patrons than they were looking for newcomers, and she guessed that they expected treachery from within more than they did meddling from the outside.

There he was again, that tall noble. Certainly talk enough to be the old wizard, yes, but illusionary disguises could be changed to a great deal. However, she knew that most men disliked being shorter than they usually were and thus shed illusions upon themselves accordingly, lest there were reasons not to.

Then again, she could count four other men who were even taller, three of which were imposing enforcers of the party with steel-like faces, and thus unlikely to be the man. The third claimed to be a wizard from Shornhelm, but why would one disguise himself as a mage if he was, well, a mage? Then again, if she knew sorcerers, it was that they were vain and liked to appear far younger and more handsome than they were in nature. And the old man in the alley hadn’t been young; with his Old-Wise-One act helping little. She had been surprised at the agility of the old white-beard, though, and she wasn’t exactly slow herself, if she had to say it herself.

She blinked as the tall noble turned and looked at her with piercing eyes. Dwyna froze and quickly looked away, turning her back against the crates, drew her blade, and pretended to be busy cleaning the corners of her nails with it. Unless he came closer, all was good.

A groan came from her stomach as the smell of roasted boar wafted to her nostrils, and she quickly realized she hadn’t eaten in… gods, a long time. Dwyna sighed heavily, then sheathed her dagger, stepped around the crates, and marched right into the middle of the loud gathering toward the nearest table. Fortune favoured the bold, and hunger emboldens, she thought.

Her steps were quick and carefully calculated to bring her to her goal without gathering overmuch attention to herself. She was three steps away from the trays when servants lifted them and carried them out of the room. A piece of meat had escaped inches from her fingertips and was now headed for the kitchens. Mind set by another growl and a watery mouth, the daughter of the Reach stalked after it.

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With a big smirk on his lips, Harlwystyr turned away. Well, well, his playmate from Wayrest had exercised greater recklessness and determination than he’d given her credit for – and now discovered, like so many commoners gone to be glorious mercenaries in the name of good had realized before her, that nothing like adventure would make you hungry to the core. In such matters, drawn steel was usually served instead of a good feast, but there was no need to warn and thus shatter her hopes just yet. He had seen in her eyes that she knew there was no going back from her current predicament.

Turning the smirk into a mirthful grin, Harlwystyr looked around for the noble lady whom he’d conversed with a bit earlier, but she was now – perhaps prudently – completely gone from the room. There was a certain something about her that made him think of siring little mages. Ah, well…

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Many of the party-goers were so drunk by this point that they could put a nord mead hall to shame. Dwyna managed to step around the majority of the folk who were sprawled senseless on the floor, or busily emptying their stomachs, trying to catch sight of the tall nobleman again.

In an impressive leap that had drawn the eye of more than just drunk patron of the evening, she’d managed to snatch a piece of meat from the tray-in-flight, and it had been exceedingly good in taste. Venison with spiced redguard herbs and rich gravy, someone had said. The rich smell and taste still clung to her senses even after she had chewed down the last bite.

This couldn’t be anywhere near Wayrest, for none of these folk looked familiar, and their speech was subtly, if not noticeably different. They were debating and conspiring rebellion against a king that sounded nothing like the monarch of Wayrest, and she suddenly worried that warriors and mages of royal authority would burst the doors and strike down everyone there – wandering reachmen included.

Like a two-gold-good thief with no experience, she’d leapt into a magical door woven by a man she did not know to a place she did not recognize. Daedra spit, she had to find the old sorcerer!

The portal might only be rightly attuned to him, and he could be halfway across Tamriel for all that she knew. He might even be rallying crown forces to seize all these traitors at this very moment. He might be the head of this conspiracy – thought after the way he’d treated her, why hadn’t he used his magic to bind everyone to silence and quivering obedience?

Whatever he was up to, Dwyna also realised that she would have to look out for herself as well, and scout for an exit in case the revelry erupted into sudden violence. Being trapped down here with a band of drunken traitors wasn't ideal for a young woman.

Many of these traitors seemed to slowly be moving away from the shoulder-by-shoulder dancing crowd under the central chandelier, now. Both left and right, tiny groups of wildly plotting revelers were speaking dark corners for privacy. Towering bodyguards were everywhere, and Dwyna tried her best not to appear too interested in anything going on as she slowly moved along the walls and around pillars, looking for stairs that would lead up and out of the room.

"Well, that's what's so genius about it, you understand-"

She ducked away from the noble and his tall, staggeringly drunk companions and continued into the next hall.

"Ah, there you are, my lord;" a woman's voice snapped angrily, as its owner took a firm hold of the arm of an older man who looked more bewildered than any of his four bodyguards at the sight of his wife's arrival.

A throng of people marched towards the next cellar, holding each other at their arms and waving mugs around with such speed that they could knock city guards to the ground with one strike.

"Galain? Is that Galain Tuprau?" The speaker sounded as excited as a young girl with an impatient crush, as he caught up with three nobles.

One looked over his shoulder. "Aye, I'm Galain. And you might be-?"

"Happy to deal you death!" was the hissed reply, as a dagger was plucked from within a sleeve and buried deep in the neck of Galain, whilst a handful of sand was thrown into one of the victim's companions, and the other fled with a terrified shout. Gurgling as he struggled to speak and clutching vainly at his throat, Galain slumped to the ground. The man who had slain him stepped back took the opportunity to slay the man with pepper in his eyes ere hastening away like a passing shadow.
This post was last modified: March 18th 2014, 03:16 AM by Harlwystyr
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