User:Piratesahoy/The Tales of Porkchop/Chapters 31-34
Chapter 31: Black Heart Blight
Gusar squeezed through the hole in the ceiling and slowly swam up to the surface. Fatigue overwhelmed him, and in a last ditch effort, he managed to beach himself half immersed in the water. His first hour of sleep in a while, and it felt good for a while, but then he started dreaming.
In the Imperial City, a huge creature was destroying everything in sight, men were yelling, women were weeping, and children were screaming. The creature scaled walls, and toppled the white gold tower in a single swipe.
Then it was Skingrad, where a lone warthog was holding its own against a huge army, it looked like Bacon, but not as lazy apparently. The warthog was killing foes left and right, but then, he was overwhelmed, and was thrown off the bridge onto the pile of already dead bodies underneath.
Voices woke him from this nightmare, he quickly got up, hid behind a crate, the voices grew nearer, and they finally turned the corner. A large squad of marauders swam through the pool one by one and continued to walk by. All he could hear was fragments of conversation echoing through the cavern.
"How'd he figger this...?"
"What will you do when you get there...?"
"Everything in the count's room..."
"Do these greaves make my...?"
"So, where exactly in the castle...?"
Gusar was dumbfounded, he had no idea where he was, apparently in some sort of marauder lair, but what were they doing? And where were they going? Immediately sensing something amiss, he fled, time to find his ship and bust the hell out of dodge.
Porkchop ducked a claymore, blocked another with a tusk, and then threw himself onto the nearest legionnaire. Stupid move, he thought as soon as he left his feet. The flat of a claymore met him swiftly in his skull, and he was thrown back across the bridge, slamming into the door.
He struggled to regain footing, only now did he realize how tired he really was, nicks and bruises covered him, and his legs were too fatigued to stand, the world swam around him, he had pushed himself to the limit, and now he was done. In a half hearted attempt he lazily leapt for the nearest guard, who had plenty of time to throw his claymore sideways into Porkchop, knocking him off the bridge in midflight.
Thousands of eyes of both sides watched him as he dramatically fell from sight; joining the scores of bodies, he had slayed himself.
M'aiq walked with both satisfaction and disappointment. Behind him, the two guards who had been chasing him had fallen through the ice of the lake they attempted to cross; they were not nearly nimble enough. But M'aiq's attempt for assistance from the northern provinces had failed miserably. The Orcs had been roused to rebel against the Bretons in high rock, and the Imperials had crushed the rebellion of the Nords, Black Marsh had sided with the Imperials, and Morrowind was determined to remain out of any conflict.
He sighed, at this point, his only priority was to reunite the heroes and escape from the Imperial legion.
The dreugh roared with such ferocity that the Redguards all fled. The dreugh ignored them, and as they fled, they were cut down by normal land dreughs that jumped out from the ceilings. The battle now came down to Odryn, versus a huge land dreugh and its armies of normal sized ones.
"****ing beautiful" he said as he pulled down his visor.
He turned around quickly, and just as he suspected, there was a basket of loose spears behind him, trophies of the huge behemoth. Quickly he grasped one and thrust it into a nearby torch; the oil immediately turned the end of the spear into a raging inferno. He whipped around and threw the spear as hard as he could. He never bothered to check if it hit, but repeated for the next spear, and the next, until just as the claws were closing in to grasp him, one found its mark.
A shriek caused him to turn around, and a brilliant sight stood before him. The land dreugh was thrashing in agony, a flaming spear piercing it through the eye. It threw its appendages around violently, causing the world around Odryn to shake. He wanted to flee, but the intensity wrapped him up, and he stood entranced at such an impossible sight.
Then the dreugh threw an arm towards the ceiling and thrashed, the ceiling cracked under the intense force, then stone and dust poured through and began covering the dreugh. However, it shrugged it off and stepped on top, then, everybody in the sewer saw it at the same time; daylight.
The dreugh smashed the ceiling some more, and a huge hole appeared. The dreugh pulled itself above and through the hole, and the smaller dreughs followed it, Odryn was now alone, in an empty and vacant, still very spooky, cave.
Screams of the citizens of Chorrol could be heard through the hole. Odryn hoped to Akatosh that the dreugh would not be able to climb the walls, eventually the citizens would all be killed, and the dreugh would be out of food. The city of Chorrol would become its tomb and its cage.
He spun around and started running through the mazelike sewers; he jumped gaps, turned corners, and never lost a step. Finally, he saw familiar terrain, and he had never been happier to get back into an abandoned mine. He ripped through the door, and then was back in the forest, and the remainder of his allies standing before him, half a dozen Redguards, the mage Tessius, Kasun the archer, and the two Breton battlemages that he had been using as special guards, Marcus and Tiberius. Wow he was a ****y general, he thought to himself.
They gathered around him and he said one word: "Run!"
The speaker finally found a pleasant sight, torchlight. She crept up behind a rock, and saw an astonishing sight in front of her. Four bandits had the goblin shaman on the ground, staked in through the wrists and ankles. As it bled, the bandits were teasing and torturing it. One bandit wrestled his arm into the goblins mouth, and pried out a tooth. Another was cutting out squares of skin with a dagger. The rest were playing with its shaman staff.
She stepped on a twig, and then ruined it further by cursing aloud. She quickly ducked behind a rock, but before she could even cast chameleon, a hand grabbed her shoulder and drove her into the torchlight. She stumbled into it, and the bandits immediately formed a circle around her, and the shaman in agony at her feet.
"What's a pretty young lass doing down here all by herself?"
She remained silent, putting on an unchanging emotionless face.
"She's a quiet one too, and that's some nice wear she has there."
"Haha, black leather..."
"Reminds me of that lass you had back in Anvil a few years back, Perator."
"Yeah, the one with Black Heart Blight!"
"Very funny, I never see you with a girl."
As they bickered, the speaker looked down at her armor, she had never grown out of it, and even though the robes she once wore were at home, she refused to wear them when she didn't have to. Unexpectedly, one of the bandits came from behind and ripped the straps to the armor off.
Two more came up, grabbed her, and began ripping at her, trying to take the armor off. She was now up in the air, three bandits ripping her clothing off until she was completely naked. They then threw her on the ground, right next to the shaman.
She lay there on the cold, wet ground. She was dazed from the impact of her head on the rock, and she could barely make out the outline of the ringleader of the bandits standing over her nude body. The other four were busy, either playing with her dagger and bow which they had stolen from her, or just not paying attention.
She searched the ground for a weapon, a rock, anything. She finally discovered the iron dagger, covered in goblin blood from torturing the goblin shaman. She grabbed the hilt, and waited, pretending to have no objection to the ringleader coming down on her. But just as he was coming down, she struck, and whipped the dagger up into his unsuspecting face. It stuck deep into the skull through the eye socket, and she stood up while holding the dagger still searching the back of his cranium from the inside. She then ripped the dagger out, blood and grey matter spilling all over the floor.
Only one bandit had seen this, and he stared in amazement at the beautiful nude woman who had just killed his boss. Before he could speak up, she threw the dagger like a bullet. The dagger flew right into his open mouth as it was about to yell, and it went through the back of it, sticking through his neck. He let out a squeak as he fell to the floor.
The other three bandits had seen this, and they braced themselves for an attack. One drew a sword, another mace, and the last one tried to use her bow. The first one with the sword charged, and she easily sidestepped his strike. In one fluid motion, she threw the bandit with his momentum behind her, disarmed him and stole his sword, and drove it into his back and pulled it back out. The dead bandit dropped to ground, the sword had impaled him through the heart.
The remaining bandits stood in awe, a woman, who was completely unarmed and without any armor, (or clothes for that matter) had just dispatched their comrade in less than a second.
The bandit with the bow unleashed an arrow. The speaker grabbed it in midair and broke it over her knee.
"You're not good with a bow, are you?" she said in a teasing manner
The bandit with the mace charged her, and she let him drive her back, parrying every time he swung. When the archer let another arrow loose, she knocked away his mace and threw him in front of the arrow's path. He stumbled and lay still on the ground, the arrow stuck through his skull.
Her attention turned to the bandit, who dropped the bow and fled into the darkness. She calmly walked over and picked up the bow, stretched back the twine, and let an arrow loose into the immense darkness. After a second or two of the arrow traveling, she heard the pleasant sound of a soft smacking noise and a small yelp.
Her finery was back in the crate outside of the cave, and she would need to go grab it, because her armor was ruined, torn, and covered with the blood of bandits. She began to walk out into the darkness, when she realized she had forgotten something.
She calmly walked back, pulled the iron dagger out of the dead bandit's mouth, walked over to the shaman, who was amazingly still alive, and ended its life humanely.
Satria walked around the now calm town square. The goblins seemed, well, like vegetables. They didn't move, and just milled around and had no desire for killing anymore. He walked over to the Warthog, and saw the confusion in its eyes too. He didn't like the looks of this.
Then Gusar ran in to the city, unkempt, tired, and wet.
"Get in the boat!" he screamed, "Now!"
The warthog, Satria and another knight, as well as Gusar and his first mate, piled into the Cortazza, and they immediately set sail. They had enough time in the canal to see Marauders pouring out of the castle, and Imperial Legions now piling in through the front entrance. The two clashed, with the defenders of Bravil hopelessly stuck in between
The ship sailed out of port, arrows, and screams flying overhead.
Chapter 32: Dusk
It was settled. Voriahen slipped out down the passageway and down the rocks of the front of Skingrad castle. The bridge above him was filled with legionaries pouring in to ransack it, and below him was a corpse heap ten meters high, with blood trickling for hundreds of feet around it. Voriahen jumped onto the heap, and began pulling off bodies. Eventually, he found what he was looking for, Porkchop.
Porkchop was dead, stone cold. His fur was matted with blood, and he had a deep gash on his left side. Voriahen wrapped Porkchop up in a blanket, and the pair slowly began the long walk back towards Bravil, as the screams and shouts of Skingrad being ransacked were behind them.
M'aiq found Odryn as him and his company marched through the Great Forest, and he already knew what the plan would be in order to reunite everybody. He had run to the dock at the Upper Niben, made a prediction, and now he had to gather up all the remaining forces.
“M'aiq knows you must go to the dock at the west edge of the Upper Niben”
And with that, he vanished, before Odryn could even question him. His company shifted course, and headed towards the dock. He had too much experience with M'aiq to stop trusting him now
The speaker calmly walked out of the cave with no worries, she opened the crate, but her finery was gone. “Time to steal from the store” she thought to herself as she activated her chameleon, but as soon as she saw her apprentice, the murderer Ellsan, she dispelt it.
Ellsan was mounted on the speaker's horse and wearing normal clothes, not finery or shrouded armor. She trotted up to Talara and immediately rushing to talk.
“It's horrible, the guards discovered the sanctuary, I think I was the only one to escape, and well, it's just me and you”
Talara took a moment to think about this. It couldn't be possible, but with the rebellion and the thieves’ guild joining up with them, the Imperials must be trying to destroy all of its enemies possible.
“It's okay, we will travel North, to the Inn of Ill Omen, if that isn't safe, then we will flee Cyrodill.”
“Sithis help us, and by the way, why are you naked?”
Ellsan unzipped a pocket on the horse and threw some finery at Talara.
“Here, have a present.”
Satria walked down the deck towards the steer with purpose. His feet fell heavy, and as he stomped up to Gusar, the pirate turned around.
“Oi lad, how’s it going?”
Satria promptly grabbed Gusar by his collar, and swung at his face. Gusar absorbed the blow, then touched the area on his cheek where Satria had hit him, wiping off the blood and feeling at the cuts from the steel gauntlet he was wearing.
“You're just going to let the citizens die in the city like this?”
Only now did Gusar look as if he had been hit in the face, he stood there dumbfounded and finally said;
Satria brought Gusar face to face with him, and stared him down with fire in his eyes. Gusar looked back calmly.
“We are going back. Right now.”
“You seriously want to go back into that hellhole?”
“I want to save my friends, my family, and my neighbors.”
Gusar thought about it, either he could go back, spit in the kids face, or take advantage of the bad balance the kid was using in order to choke hold him, and reverse it on him. The problem was that he needed Satria; he was his second strongest warrior next to Bacon.
“Fine, we go back.”
“Good, was that so hard?”
“If you attack me like that again, your life will end.”
The two once again stared each other down, but Satria did not have enough will to hold the stare, and as soon as he looked away, Gusar walked to the steering wheel and spun the ship around. As they once again pulled up to the dark, they saw that the citizens were being largely ignored; the marauders and Imperials were too busy killing each other. All the citizens had gathered at the port in fact, and as they boarded the ship, Satria and Bacon jumped out to hold off the oncoming swarms.
The boarding took off without a hitch, and all wondered who would end up holding Bravil after this fray, but that was for another day, Gusar sailed off towards the Upper Niben.
M'aiq came across Voriahen just as the sun was setting. The old man had pain in his eyes, leaving the city and carrying Porkchop with him, but when he saw M'aiq, his eyes still lit up.
M'aiq told him the plan, and M'aiq walked with him, Voriahen was once the strongest warrior in all of Colovia, but now he was an aging man, and M'aiq sympathized.
The pair walked into the distance, towards the inn of ill omen....
Chapter 33: The Inn of ****y Wine
“Sorry, all out of food since the Imperial Legion quartered here,” said the bartender to the two starving, unkempt warriors. “But I can sell you two some very fine Surilie Brothers Vintage 399 that you will really enjoy, and it will fill you up good, I'll sell it to ya half price.”
Voriahen slumped back down in his chair. He and M'aiq were exhausted, and they still had some more left to travel. He watched as the bartender attempted to shield them from looking as he poured some cheap wine into two silver goblets, but both he and M'aiq were too tired to complain.
The entire inn was a train wreck; quite literally, an army had been through there. Now however, they were the only patrons, save a pair of strikingly beautiful women who were across the room, deep in discussion.
In the old days, Voriahen would’ve gone up and spoke to them; even in his old age he had kept a lot of charm, but now was hardly the place or time. M'aiq was not his outspoken self; indeed, it seemed that the constant running had taken a toll on him.
Porkchop was, well, in a sack under the table. Occasionally he would check on it, just to be safe. He still wasn't sure what he would do with it, but M'aiq told him that somebody at the dock in the Upper Niben would know, and M'aiq had always been right so far.
However, about five minutes after being served with some awful wine, the pair of women walked up to Voriahen. He prepared himself not to fall for any trick; he had heard stories and myths of Sirens in Anvil robbing ill-willed men.
One of them, a Breton with auburn hair, walked up to Voriahen.
“Aw, it's so nice to see a distinguished, experienced man, not like the one's we normally see”
“Well, I'll give you that I am 'experienced'”
The pair let out a very convincing fake giggle, and Voriahen almost caught himself thinking that it was sincere. The two women persisted, as the woman in the back, he couldn't tell what her race was, though she was of medium stature and had long, dark hair and very nice finery, stepped forward.
“Well, we were seeking a way out of Cyrodill, and we were wondering if there was anywhere you might no where we could find a way out.”
“Me and my friend M'aiq are traveling to a boat right now which will take us and some others all the way out of the Imperial Empire, we aren't quite sure where, but it won't be this hellhole.”
The pair of women were even closer now, almost rubbing up against him, he fought off his lust and managed to hold a straight face.
“May we... tag along” said the one in the finery, obviously the leader.
“Sure, why not?”
“When do we depart?”
“About half an hour, I have to swallow some more of the bartender’s bull****.”
He said the last part purposefully loud, making the bartender know that he knew the wine was a fake. Technically, the bartender could be fined or even jailed for this, but Voriahen dared not go to whatever shambles of the Imperial Government remained.
Talara and Ellsan returned to their table, and immediately began their discussion again; much planning needed to be done if they were going to escape.
“He wasn't bad looking,” Talara said as they sat down.
“Please, he's a dinosaur,” Ellsan replied.
“When you get older, you'll understand.”
“Yeah, he's got many years on me...”
“A young man would fit you perfectly.”
“Sure, if he was valiant and noble and rich, but are we talking about this now?”
“We're going to have to if we expect to blend in.”
“Can't we go into hiding?”
“The Imperial Legion will be scouring the land for rebels after this; they will have no qualms about killing the last two former Dark Brotherhood members in the process.”
“Fine, but then what's the plan?”
“I don't know, we'll have to play it by ear, hopefully there will be some available men there, and we can slip into society even more easily.”
“I guess your right.”
Talara looked at Ellsan, so young and still very naïve, it was important that she kept her protected. Ellsan caught her gaze, and Talara spoke up.
“Drop your armor somewhere before we leave, we can't be discovered.”
Chapter 34: Into the Darkness
The walk from the inn of ill omen to the dock was not nearly as long as anticipated, and as rain drizzled down on their backs, it seemed everyone was at the dock. Odryn watched as his old friend Voriahen walked up to the dock, his body soaked. Voriahen held in his arms a sack, and Odryn didn't bother asking what was in it, he assumed clothing.
In the meantime, Odryn and his warriors, who had been starving from the seige and the journey, had ransacked the crates on the dock, only to find huge stash of excellent food, along with jewelery, gold and other valuables.
As Gusar saw their outlines in the distance, he abandoned the steering wheel immediately, allowing his first mate to seize it. He gaped in horror as he saw the crates of food that were supposed to last him and a half a dozen others three months completely destroyed. His loot was gone as well.
Then these same people who had done this to him wanted a ride, he almost abandoned them there.
Then he saw a very fine looking young Breton sitting along with her friend. He looked at her from the top deck, she smiled back, and Gusar proceeded to give the order to allow them to board.
Gusar took the liberty of assigning everybody rooms in the behemoth Cortazza, Odryn and Voriahen both got luxury rooms on the top deck next to the Captain's Cabin, but then Gusar reserved another for the two elegant women, then another for Satria, but just to put on a show, one for M'aiq of course, and the last went to the mage Tessius. The rest took normal, much simpler, very cramped rooms, or were part of the crew, in which case they got hammocks.
The meeting happened on the top deck, just before they set sail. All attended, and they stood on the middle part of the ship, with Odryn, Gusar and Voriahen standing at the wheel, looking down at them.
“We are here to decide who will lead us from now on,” Odryn shouted across the deck, “The count of Bravil is dead, and so is his son.”
Voriahen stepped up, “Odryn, it would be an honor for you to serve us.”
Odryn smiled, “Voriahen, I would like to appear modest, but if you insist...”
A noise butted in from somebody in the crowd, “But surely the count must have some heir?”
“No, we have checked, and all of his heirs are presumed dead.”
Murmors spread throughout the mass, Odryn heard whispers like “presumed?” and “who is this guy?”
“Fine, we will go over it once more...” Odryn said as he drew out a hierarchal chart, “As you can see, the count's direct heirs died in a skooma raid incident, and another in battle, then his only nephews were Surnod, Rusak and Satria are all thought dead in battle.”
“Satria's alive,” some people shouted, the crowd immediately began searching for the teenager who was the sole remaining heir of Bravil, eventually they found him, and he was shoved up to the front. As Satria caught Odryn's stare as he walked up, Odryn had definitely wanted to rule, and now he was analyzing the boy-king who would soon be his leader.
Gusar too gave him a wry gaze, and Satria was again forced to look away. He walked up to the stand with his chin up, but still he felt small next to the three, all of whom were of tall stature. Odryn noticed the mark of a small crown on his armor, and he nodded, now showing at least a shred of respect.
Odryn slowly pulled an amulet out of his pocket; it was the one his uncle had worn. He suddenly became aware of how intensely quiet it was. Everybody was staring at him. He gingerly lifted the amulet, and wrapped it around his neck. After about ten seconds of dead and utter quiet, other than the water lapping against the side of the ship, Voriahen spoke up, “Hail King Satria!,” to which most of the crowd yelled “Hail!,” back, the others either didn't say anything or muttered under their breath.
Satria stood in front of the entire crowd, his legs locked and he began to sweat, they expected a speech.
He began muttering and improvising in his mind, then finally came out with something.
“This has been thrust to me very spontaneously, and I am very new to this, but I think that I can make this work...” he stared at the crowd, they were listening so far, but beginning to lose interest, “We were fighting goblins, and then bandits, and then marauders, but the fact remains, it was those pigs sitting in the Imperial City who were ultimately responsible for our demise.” The crowd began to perk up at this, and Satria now operated solely upon pure frustration and anger towards the crowd's common enemy, “They not only declined to send aid in our time of need, but they attacked us! And weakened us, and killed our brothers. Many of your friends have died in combat, and so have mine, but put your faith in me...” the crowd was now clinging to his every word, “and by my honor, we will have revenge.
That night, as Gusar sailed the ship down the Niben, M'aiq stole into Voriahen's chamber and removed Porkchop's body, as they sailed close to a dock near Bravil, M'aiq jumped out, holding Porkchop very gingerly.
M'aiq pulled out a map he had been given many years ago; he stared at the words and location, “Kynareth's Grotto,” for as long as it took him to memorize it, then he ripped the map in half and threw it into the water next to him.
He ran off into the dark night, as the ship sailed down the sea glittering in moonlight
An Imperial patrol of forty men came across Chorrol deserted. They began searching for evidence about what went on, they already had seen news of the battle, but the last word was that the Imperials had won, what was going on. Numerous guards had appeared to jump off the walls to their deaths, committing suicide. What was going on here?
Finally, two guards grabbed the doors to the main gate, and opened them wide.