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Roleplay: The Crypt of Hearts

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Stygies VIII's picture
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"Ah... What are they doing? I bet they would enjoy the way talking to eachother instead of lingering in the town. I hoped to leave at noon but we have this delay. Thank Y'ffre it's not winter and days are still long. I'm actually happy that we have you and the healer, because we will need both of you.", the Bosmer said, looking at the newcomers.

She was still sitting on the grass, some rest was good before a long walk. The afternoon sky was almost cloudless and noone was out there, except the three travellers and two hunters who were minding their own business, returning to Carrickdown with some rabbits. They simply walked past the three, chatting about a missing boy in another town.

"So... where were you born? How did life lead you here? And I mean events before you were sent here or something", Cayliss tried to start another conversation, so that time would pass faster.

polarrobotfrog's picture
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"Kiraya was born in Vivec City, in Morrowind. I always hated it there." She scoffed. "This one's father always wanted her to follow the ways of the Tribunal. That got him nowhere fast. And how this one got here?" She sighed. "Kiraya cannot speak of her past." She glanced at the Dunmer for a brief moment, then looked down at the ground, pretending to be interested in the rocks and dirt.

Fiore1300's picture
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Yaalon looked at the Colovian for a moment and then nodded.

"We'll have you on, Hoster. If you have any belongings I suggest you get them. We're meeting outside town shorty."

The young Breton turned to Therence, shouldering up the strap of his travel sack.

"You ready? I think its past time to go."

Bibliophael's picture
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"I'm ready whenever you are."

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Hoster had taken leave of the tavern, and was inside the dusty barn he had been roosting in for the past few days. His pack was already full. It sat, leaning against the barn door like a bloated sow. Self-made, buckskin bag on a wooden external frame, straps made of leather and padded with woven grass, much like his poncho. 

He completed his provisioning by pouring the flin into a gutskin vessel he wore around his torso like a bandolier. Before he strapped the pack to his back, he lowered to the floor and assumed the lotus position. Back straight, legs crossed, palms up. His breathing was rhythmic, constant, and evenly paced. The Colovian's hand found the gutskin and uncorked it, bringing the flin to his lips. 

Not long after, he was standing at the crossroads with the gathering party, and wordlessly waited. 

VoxelMush's picture
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"Interesting, I was born in Vivec City too, raised there as well, in fact. It's very odd to see a non-Dunmer, a Khajiit even, to want to be part of the Tribunal Temple. Anyways, I was born into the Saren clan, a clan very deeply rooted in the Great House of Redoran, one of the political houses of Morrowind, and the Tribunal Temple.

Magic was always a passion of mine, so I was tutored the vocation of healer, for I had a natural talent for it and because I would be useful in the service of the Temple, a religion I was raised to be devoted to.

Now I'm here, in High Rock, because I serve the Temple as a missionary for Dunmer outside of Morrowind, convincing them to come to our homeland and worship the Three, healing the poor and sick, spreading the gracious humility and kindness of Almsivi."

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Therence arrived in time to hear the Dunmer finish a little sermon about the glory of her Tribunal. He gave a derisive snort. "Yes, 'gracious humility and kindness.' Hallmarks, I'm sure, of Dunmer culture, right alongside racism and slavery." He caught the Khajiit's eye. "What do you think, cat? You have the look of one who has experienced the ash-skins' 'kindness' first hand."

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The Khajiit snorted fake laughter, which was quickly replaced with a furrowed brow and bared teeth. "The Tribunal can go fuck itself. So can all Dunmer. Slavery has run its course, and this one hopes the Dunmer don't survive past the third era. It would benefit every race. Especially those that are considered nothing but cattle in the Dunmer's eyes." She spat at Ervesa's feet, clearly getting angry while voicing her opinion on the Tribunal, and the Dunmer in general. "Kiraya will not let herself be ordered around like a dog anymore. Especially not by a Dunmer." She spat the name like it was an insult. Her rage was going unchecked. Any moment now, and something bad might happen.

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"Devil-worshipping ash-skin"

"Shouldn't you be in Vvardenfell, licking the feet of that mongrel Vivec?"

"Yes, 'gracious humility and kindness.' Hallmarks, I'm sure, of Dunmer culture, right alongside racism and slavery."

"The Tribunal can go fuck itself. So can all Dunmer. Slavery has run its course, and this one hopes the Dunmer don't survive past the third era. It would benefit every race."

All her life, Ervesa had always been a calm and collected person. But today, her cool Temple-abiding personality could not take it.

In a scream of rage, sadness, and who knows what else, the Dunmer's fist collided with the face of whoever was closest - the Khajiit.

She broke down in tears afterwards.

"I haven't done anything!" She said, in between powerful sobs. "I've always tried to spread good. I've never hurt anyone's feelings, I've never disrespected any of you, I've always been as kind and as polite as you could possibly want someone to be. I'm not racist, I don't want to enslave anyone, I don't own any slaves, neither does House Redoran, nor the Temple. I've never done anything to any you, I don't deserve this, why are you doing this to me?!" She said, breaking down into harder crying upon being done talking.

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Upon seeing the Dunmer punch the Khajiit, Yaalon knew he had to again step in to maintain party cohesion. He had quietly followed Therence along the burm of the road leading out of town, which was still a muddy mess, to the crossroads where the Bosmer guide had arranged for them to meet. Upon arriving, Therence had immediately found it necessary to goad the Khajiit and Dunmer into this row, and now the Dunmer was crying before the Khajiit had even dealt a returning blow.

"That's enough!" Yaalon said in his best, scolding tone. Stomping brusquely past Therence and positioning himself between the Khajiit and Dunmer, he faced the former.

"Kiraya, I suggest you hold your tongue. No Dark Elf will ordering you do to anything, but I will be if you choose this as your fight."

He then turned to the Dunmer healer, who was still sobbing.

"Get a hold of yourself, Elf. Save your tears. There will surely be much more worth crying over within the Crypt of Hearts."

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Kiraya turned her head and spat a bit of blood onto the ground. She rubbed her jaw and looked towards the young Breton and hissed in anger.

"And who in Oblivion do you think you are? You're so young, this one could mistake you for an orphaned child! Why should Kiraya listen to you? This one could snap your neck like a damn chicken's!" She shouted, not paying much attention to the words coming out of her mouth in her rage.

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And so without a word, those mysterious Bretons left him. Omekh sat for a moment.

Here he was, at the precipice of his journey. Mere months had passed since he set out, though it felt like years. Yet his resolve was stronger now than ever.

I'm coming, Seht. And I'm not coming alone.

And so the sentimental swordsman strode to the crossroads, to face death and perhaps worse.

As he approached the party, he found the healer in tears.

Therence.

He was thoroughly annoyed; in forsaking the traditionalist trappings of his own people, he found the same insularities in these. In moving to console his friend, he seared a glare into the witch hunter who was beginning to wear down even his own patience.

"There. Try not to let the Bretons get to you. I can't read the younger very well, but one as bitter as Therence can only be in a lot of pain. Let's respect that, even if he can't afford us the same. Seeing as the others don't seem to particularly care for either of us, let's try and stay out of their way for the most part. My reasons for coming have nothing to do with theirs, as it is."

He turned his attention to the party at large. The Khajiit had just finished spitting venom at Yaalon.

"Perhaps we should focus on slaying necromancers first, and ourselves later. Are we all ready, then?"

He glanced at Cayliss.

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Yaalon felt his temperature rise at the Khajiit's words and his face flushed. She was right, though. Maybe more right than she even realized. But this mission, his mission, would begin to change all of that. He had to keep a level head.

He opened his mouth to say something to Kiraya, but closed it after a moment when nothing presented itself. 

 

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"If you call this 'ready' to face down a lich, then gods save us all," Therence said, apparently unmoved by the scene he had caused. "But I, at least, am prepared. Come on, Yaalon. Let's go."

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She stepped closer to Yaalon, just an inch away from him.

"What's the matter? Are you too scared to talk back to Kiraya? Is it because she's a woman? Are you afraid you'll hurt her feelings? Well let Kiraya tell you something. She knows all about what it feels like to hurt. She knows how it feels emotionally, and even more so physically. She remembers when she was enslaved by a Dunmer. How he beat her senseless each night, and mounted her until she begged him to stop. And it's all because her father didn't want her anymore. Because she was a living reminder of his dead lover. That Dunmer eventually found himself dead in a river outside Suran." She stared him in the eyes a moment.

"And might this one suggest," She looked over to the pathetic sobbing heap that was Ervesa. "keeping that Tribunal bitch away from Kiraya. Lest someone gets hurt, or worse." She said, in a half-threatening manner.

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"NEROMANCERS FIRST.

OURSELVES LATER."

Her tirade was serrated, scorching. There was a hate there that frightened even Omekh; to have a heart so ravaged, but still live...She was strong, and rightfully dangerous. So he resented his words, but knew they were necessary. He tried to soften them,

"We are all our own masters here. None of us want to take anything from you."

His eyes pleaded peace.

"Be at ease, there are worthier fights to come."

polarrobotfrog's picture
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She started to snarl, quite audibly at everyone present, but she was staring directly at Omekh. Again, her eyes turned bright orange and red, and her claws grew longer. She stared down Omekh for what seemed like far too long.

He was right, though. She knew he was right. She quickly spun around, turning her back towards the party, and she stopped snarling, though her claws and eyes did not revert.

VoxelMush's picture
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"Thank you, Redguard. You're a shining beacon of light against these cold, dark people."

She recovered from her crying and stood up, turning to the young Breton as she spoke, ignoring the Khajiit whose back was now facing the party:

"I'm ready whenever everyone else is. Let's get this over with."

Stygies VIII's picture
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Cayliss listened to the tales of Kiraya and Ervesa, their life stories were interesting. However... the answers brought conflict between the two. That was unexpected, at least for the Bosmer. She went silent and listened to the exchange of words, a bit surprised by the course of events. More party members arrived during the quarrel and that pleased her and made her uneasy at the same time. Yaalon's presence helped a lot.

Cayliss stood up when the Khajiit has got the punch and let Yaalon say what he had to say.

"Listen, that youngling is a youngling, but he has papers from the Mages Guild itself. I don't know how about you, but someone who has Mages Guild papers and tries to gather people for a dangerous adventure is not just a simple person", the Wood Elf said to everyone, looking at them one by one.

"Ah, slavery in Morrowind... a terrbile thing and I understand the pain here... but that healer... I doubt she will do anything bad, she needs to work with us to get the coin, yes? But if that's your will, I bet Ervesa can understand and just not talk to you now. Just don't die on the way if you will need a healer and refuse to get the help, please." she said to Kiraya in a calm voice. That was her try at bringing them all back together. She glanced at the Ohmes-raht's changes, but did not say anything about that.

Cayliss set off to the road ahead of everyone, splashing the water and mud around a bit, she was too light to really make anyone dirty, and then went to the right side of the path, where ground was more solid and less wet. Of course, she pointed that fact out, so that everyone could walk easily.

On the way, Cayliss wanted Kiraya to stay with her at the front of the group, because both her and the Bosmer had acute senses. It was up to the rest what positions they took, but a warrior or someone with a bow at the end was not a bad idea, she suggested. It was not too dangerous, yet, but some caution was good. The countryside was grassy, but the longer was the distance from Carrickdown, the more bushes and trees covered the hills, forming a green blanket of nature. It was far from being quiet, songs of various birds filled the air. If anyone was paying attention, they could only see the animals, some forest streams and no danger... yet.

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Ervesa took the central position in the convoy, so that she would be better protected from dangers due to her weaker combat skills, and so that she could reach anyone of the party easily, without being too far away from anyone.

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Kiraya complied and stayed with Cayliss at the front. By then her claws and eyes had returned to their normal states, and she had calmed down. She did not speak, however.

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The young Breton sorcerer walked just ahead of the Dunmer woman, whom he now knew as Ervesa. She walked quietly behind him, and Yaalon didn't feel like talking. So he just strode ahead, keeping pace with those in front of him.

Despite everything, the day was quite marvelous. The sun was warm on his shoulders, and the birds warbled and chirped beautifully over a very gentle breeze.  The vegetation was vibrant in the way that it could only ever be in spring time as new leaves burst from buds and filled out the formerly gray and barren branches of winter. Among this verdant landscape splashes of color could be see throughout, and Yaalon himself identified the deep purples of Delphinium and sunny yellow of tiny Buttercups. The ground felt quite spongy underfoot, but it was free of mud and for that Yaalon was grateful.

It was a shame that, after many dark and dreary overcast days, he would be forsaking this oasis of sunlight to dive into a tomb. 

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Dirty barefeet seamlessly transitioned from grace to stumbling and then back again, as Hoster fluttered to and fro from the back of the convoy to its midsection, like a butterfly wafting in a fog of Cyrodilic liquor. Sunlight beamed down from Magnus, quickly drying the mud climbing up his shins into dust. In the heat he slung his grass poncho over his shoulder and his traveling pack. The landscape of pastures  and quaint thatched huts shrank away and then regained in verticality in the form of tall spruce and wide oaks, while the undergrowth on either side of the trade road tangled in the creeping ivy and sprigs of lavender that characterized this side of High Rock. The road remained clear and wide for now, and the Boiche and the cat ran up ahead while remaining in earshot. His hands first found his flinskin, taking a swig and corking it, before finding his waterskin. He spat some onto his hand, washing his forehead and thick, grey mustache of sweat and road dirt. 

His pace matched the Temple priest's, as the Colovian sprinkled tobacco into a cornhusk and rolled it perfectly in one motion. His finger shot a spark that embered the newly pressed cigarette dangling from his lip.

"Ervesa. You in fucking Necrom? You don't look like a prayer-dog patrolling no tomb. Nor a fire-spitting shade protectin' your kin bones. That means you're not dead yet. Curses, and anger, and beatins' ain't the end.  It's over when you're dead. Your three Devils are not done cutting you into a strong shape yet. There's gonna be more curses and beatins' on the road yet traveled, so grow a broad back. And next time, left foot forward and put more weight into your shoulder. Throw a fuckin' bomb like Lie Rock, cause whoever you hit won't have the Love to stop that. What we're gonna hit won't be afraid of dyin',".

The monk exhaled a cloud of smoke, sinking through the haze and falling back to the rear of the line, hoping the priest understood his advice. She'd need it. They would all need it, - unity and resolve in the Crypt. He let loose an audible laugh from the back of the line, bending nirnwards in a dance-like motion while maintaining marching pace, bringing a handful of sour wood sorrel to his gnashing teeth. 

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"R-Right, I'll keep that in mind. Thanks, Hoster."

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Behind Hoster, Omekh heard his kind words to Ervesa, fouled though they might have been. They moved him to chuckle as the monk danced back to the rear. Then Omekh suddenly fell silent before speaking ahead towards the healer.

"Wait, did he mean you struck someone before I had arrived?"

That the dunmer girl most serene had that kind of fire in her stupefied him. He was impressed.

He spoke, hushed but excited,
"Who was it? Was it Therence?"

The image was too good to be true.

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Kiraya, with her sharp senses, could hear almost everything the party was saying. Of course, the ones at the back were harder to hear than the ones right behind her.

"Who was it? Was it Therence?"

Upon hearing this, Kiraya turned around enough to scowl and shake her head at Omekh. She was not amused.

She was surprised when Ervesa hit her, she had not expected something like that from her. If Yaalon hadn't intervened when he did, Ervesa most likely would've gotten a face full of claw after that.

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Ervesa sighed upon hearing Omekh's question, but the Redguard was clearly curious and somewhat amused by the event, so the Dunmer answered, quietly:

"The Khajiit. Her insults were a bit too much."

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Therence grunted as the drunk joined him at the rear of the procession. "What's your real interest in all this, Colovian?" he said quietly. "Bored? Trying to spare a few fools an unnecessary death? The coin? Come on. What were you even doing in that backwater?" He glanced sideways at the man. "And what was that you said earlier about 'them' sending you after some Ayleid bastard?"

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While the party was traversing through the countryside, Kiraya turned to Cayliss.

"About what happened at the crossroads... Kiraya got rather... carried away, as you surely saw." She remained silent for a minute or two.

"This one knows you have better eyesight than the others, since you are a Bosmer and all. You didn't happen to... notice anything... different about this one, did you?" Kiraya asked, a little nervously.

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The Colovian smiled when a kingfisher darted above their heads and staggered as the old Breton walked even-paced aside him. He breathed the fire out and spat into the dirt, readjusting his pack set into his broad shoulders. The road ahead looked long, at least for him. 

"Never bored. Coin. And if I can. Travelin',".

He swallowed his dead cigarette.

"'Round these dyin' days, the Guild don't do much work straight on from the Emperor, or the council. But when the Ruby Throne hollers out for you to burn some cunting Daedra back to Oblivion, or minister to some plague, you gotta fuckin' answer, hm? The Empire is Law, and the Law is Sacred. Or they eat you, too. Must've gotten that from the snakes. Dead Ayleid rise up unexpectedly somewheres by Brazil, and at first there weren't much to worry about, 'cept missin' glory and drakes seekin' adventurers. Then the paddies started emptying. Some silk merchant ships went down. Asked me to see if I could set it straight. Not just me, got some fresh young cunts with snake-made swords too. Weren't no more Ayleid,".

The kingfisher passed above again.

"Lookin' for the drink,".

He took another swig.