User:Vesna/Fighters Guild Chronicles
This is my fanfic of what life probably is in the Fighters Guild about as soon as the events of the Elder Scrolls start. It does contain major spoilers for the entire Fighters Guild, as well as some other side quests.
Feel free to leave a comment or suggestion on the talk page. I would really appreciate it.
Chapter 1: A Typical Day
"Get up, you lazy meatbags!"
The voice thundered from below, accompanied by a small earthquake, and shook through the foundations of the Cheydinhal Fighters Guild building.
At the same time, upstairs, there became harried movement. As the Fighters Guild members jumped up and out of bed, they half-sleepily ran about, looking for their gear. The old wooden floor creaked audibly and raised clouds of dust.
"Ouch. Ohtimbar, you stepped on my foot!" a raised female Redguard voice could be heard.
"Oh, I'm sorry. By the way, have you seen my sword anywhere? The one with the broken hilt." Ohtimbar replied cheerfully.
"Nah. You should keep better track of your things. What time is it anyways? It feels like every day he makes us get up several minutes earlier. Elidor, you're near the clock." Rhienna said, quieter this time.
"What clock?" Elidor turned to see what clock Rienna was talking about, and the hilt of his shortsword brushed against the table. The clock tipped precariously. Before it could topple, it suddenly became surrounded by a purple glow. It froze for a second, and then gently sat back down onto the tabletop.
"Geez. You are so clumsy." Karin said. She was already clad in her chainmail armor, her Elven bow slung across her back.
"How did you get ready so quick? Do you by any chance sleep in your armor?" Brag gro-Bharg became skeptical.
Karin shook her head no, with a small smile on her lips. Then she proceeded to run down the stairs. Keld followed quickly, intending to not let Karin be the first one to check in. Elidor started for the door as well, but did not get far as he tripped over his maladjusted greaves.
"Chao. You'll be late, again," Rienna nimbly jumped over him and ran down the stairs after the other two. She was overtaken by Ohtimbar, who chose not to waste time going down the stairs, and jumped over the rail and landed on the first floor with a thud. Brag gro-Bharg helped Elidor rise before heading off downstairs as well. Elidor, this time more carefully, ran after him. Once downstairs, they assembled into a line in front of the large fireplace.
"Too long, meatbags. What are you? Butterflies? You need to get your head out of the clouds and down here where it belongs!" Burz gro-Khash, the head of the Cheydinhal Fighters Guild hall, practically yelled into the recruits' faces. No one dared to move. A slight clinking of metal caught Burz's attention. He turned around to face the source of the noise.
"Elidor! Your cuirass and greaves have been sloppily put on! Go back upstairs and GET IT DONE RIGHT!" as Elidor sulked back upstairs, snickers could be heard down the line. "WHAT ARE YOU LAUGHING AT?"
The laughter immediately ceased, as if all the air in the room was sucked out, leaving a huge vacuum.
After Elidor returned, Burz gro-Khash started briefing the company on the day's objectives. It was just another day. Training, training, and more training. He almost never assigned out contracts anymore.
"Down to the basement, meatbags," he yelled again, and watched dissatisfiedly as the recruits shuffled downstairs. He followed, nearly throwing Elidor down the stairs and slamming the door so hard, the entire place threatened to come down. The porter was working at the forge, but he still winced as the shockwave from the slammed door traveled down to his work area. A crash could be heard as a newly-forged steel boot fell onto the floor.
Luckily for him, Burz seemed to be too preoccupied with the other Fighters Guild members to notice the crash.
"Today we are going to learn how to disarm an opponent who is holding a hostage," he grabbed Rienna and turned her around, sliding a dagger under her throat. "Now let’s see if you meatbags have any original ideas for a change. Everyone hands up and down on the floor or she dies!" he pronounced the last as if he was the criminal. He made a very convincing one.
Nobody moved for a second. Everyone started to prepare for their attack. However, Keld moved first.
"Aahh, my stomach hurts!" He heaved forward, catching Burz completely unaware with his sudden headbutt attack. Burz fell down with a hefty thud while Rienna quickly jumped away. Everyone was silent for a few minutes. Even the porter had stopped his work to look at the amazing spectacle. The silence was broken by a quiet "uh-oh" as Burz began to get up.
"WHAT WAS THAT? YOU CALL THAT AN ATTACK?" he jumped up, his massive frame nearly twice that of Keld. He looked more like a rabid animal rather than an Orc. One didn't have to have much imagination to see white foam on his mouth.
"It worked. And it was original." Keld calmly answered. Burz seemed to be ready to explode again, but he managed to calm down. To everyone's surprise, he started laughing. It was a deep, throaty sound; like one a dog makes before it throws up.
"That it did, that it did. Right then, you pass. Now to the next exercise..."
Chapter 2: Later that Night
"Dervera! Another keg of beer, if you will!" Brag gro-Bharg yelled across the inn. While also being an Orc, he did not sound nearly as destructive as Burz.
"That will be another 6 gold for you!" Dervera Romalen, innkeeper of the Newlands Lodge, sweetly yelled back.
"I'll pay for that," Karin said, getting out the required amount. Brag helped the Dunmer place the heavy keg of beer on the table. As Karin paid Dervela, Brag poured out heaping portions of the beverages into stone mugs. After everything was ready, and Karin and Brag had sat down again (Brag gro-Bharg nearly overturned the table), everyone lifted their mugs in a toast.
"Who has an idea of what to toast for?" Rienna asked.
"Do we need a reason?" Ohtimbar replied. Keld and Elidor nodded to that, and with a thunking of glasses, each Fighters Guild member preceded do gulp down their share of the beverage. With another heavy thunk, the mugs were lowered back on the table.
It was almost like a tradition. After training, every day, the company of fellow guild-members would spend several hours in the Newlands Lodge chatting and drinking. Unless they had a contract. Those, however, became scarcer and scarcer and far in between. It served not only to limit their monthly income, but also made life more and more monotonous. Every day they did the same exact thing. Sure they were training, but for what?
"Oh look. It's Aldos. Poor soul. Ever since his wife has been killed a week ago, he's been drinking heavily." Rienna commented, with a genuine sadness on her face. It was definitely unusual, since she was mostly the optimistic one. "I haven't seen him sober since the night that...the night that he came back from the trip."
"Yah. He drinks because he wants to forget. I don't see anything wrong with that." Keld said, taking another swig of his beer. "Hey, Aldos! Come over here and drink with us! It's on us!"
"More like on me if you will," Karin whispered as she brought another coin seemingly out of nowhere.
"Hiya fella...fellow...fellows!" Aldos cheered drunkenly. "Another bout of," he took a pause here to gulp down some more of his beer, "misfortune. Stupid s'wit fined me for being," he took another gulp, "drunk. Five gold! Can you believe that s'wit of a captain?"
The other patrons at the table looked around. Most of them expected a guard to come in there and fine them for talking ill of the guard captain. After a nervous silence and everyone assured themselves they were not going to be arrested, the conversations renewed. However, this time it was all on one topic: the new captain of the guard.
There was a noticeable change in the atmosphere. The air now lay heavily on the patrons; so dense that it even muffled their conversations. The only still-cheerful one was Aldos, but that was only because he was too drunk to care, and too used to being fined repeatedly for a worthless misdemeanor. If being drunk was even a misdemeanor...
"I don't know where the count got that man, but I sure wish he would send him back." Elidor whispered, just barely audible enough for his fellow guild members to hear him. "Karin, you're new in this town, aren't you?" he asked, even though he well knew the answer, "You don't know how hard it is, friend. I got charged five gold for littering. LITTERING!"
"Well, isn't there someone who..."
Karin was interrupted by the slam of a door. Everyone turned to face the newcomer. Everyone quickly turned away. Hoods went up, obscuring faces. Even Drevela rightened up her apron and got behind the counter.
"Is Aldos Othran in here? I have an urgent message from Ulrich Leland," the guard proclaimed in a matter-of-fact voice. After looking around to see if he had everyone's attention, he turned around to face Aldos. "Aldos Othran, for outstanding fines owed to Count Indarys of Cheydinhal, your property has been seized by his lordship until you can pay off all your fines of which the grand total is 59 gold."
Aldos Othran, against better judgment, would not take the guard's order lying down. "By whose order is that, I wonder?" he yelled back.
"By the order of Ulrich Leland, captain of the Cheydinhal guard," the guard answered. Aldos was about to say something else, if not for a strange green glow that suddenly surrounded him. The green light started to draw a spiral behind Aldos until it became fainter and fainter and eventually disappeared. A few could tell it was an Illusion spell, but what kind?
A visible change seemed to come over Aldos. He seemed to forget all about the guard, and a peaceful, happy expression appeared on his face. He calmly sat down and started drinking as if nothing had happened. The guard had noticed the light, but he wasn't experienced in magic enough to tell what kind of spell had been cast, or even that it was a spell. In fact, he thought it was just a trick of the light. He turned around and walked out of the inn. He had to tell Ulrich that everything was all right, and there were no more fines to be had in the Newlands Lodge. The idea to fine all of the guests for loitering was rediculous also. Karin's Command Humanoid spell was that strong on him.
"Glad that's over," Karin whispered as soon as the door closed behind the guard. She suddenly felt tired, because strong spells really tended to cripple one's fatigue and magicka reserves very fast. She got out some flax seeds out of her alchemy pouch and ate them. The seeds made her feel somewhat better. Only as the magicka receded back into her did she notice that Elidor was trying to talk to her.
"Huh? What?" she mumbled, slowly feeling more like herself.
"That was amazing! What did you hit him with? I though we were all goners." Elidor was practically yelling now. The heavy atmosphere seemed to have lifted as the other guests were now happily back to their drinking.
"It was just a calming spell on Aldos and a command humanoid onto the guard," Karin answered. She looked over at Aldos. Her calm spell was obviously still in effect, because Aldos was now singing a song about cliff-racers. Either that or he was drunk again...
"Messing with people's minds is cowardly and simply wrong," Rhienna was angry, despite the fact that Karin had just done it to help them.
"Would you have rather paid some ridiculous fine? I'm sure you can still catch up to the guard if you hurry. Karin just saved our coinpurses," Keld raised his voice.
"Stop it, you two," Brag gro-Bharg intervened. "What's done is done. We are not here to argue over something as trivial as that."
The argument had ceased, but Karin still felt Rhienna's gaze on the back of her head. Unable to take the pressure, she said, "I think I'm going to retire early this evening," and slipped away before any of the others could say anything.
Chapter 3: A Contract!
Karin woke up, lazily stretching across the bed. The sunlight came through the window. Everything was peaceful...too peaceful. She began to notice the lack of sounds, and the sunbeams coming through the window told her that it was near noon. That wasn't right, as the Fighters Guild training usually started at dawn, and the activity was enough to wake a hibernating ogre.
She jumped out of bed and ran downstairs. It was unlikely that training started without her, but it was still a possibility. She saw Keld drinking beer at the table.
"Keld, what had happened? Aren't we training as usual today?" she asked as her panic slowly receded.
"Sorry, we didn't want to wake you up. Finally got a contract at Desolate Mine involving goblins, and Burz let Rhienna, Elidor, and Brag take it. You should see Burz, though. He was rambling about something. Perhaps something went wrong and he'll send you out." Keld answered calmly. Then he went back to drinking his beer. Karin rushed down to the basement. She didn't get far, as the door to the basement slammed open, and if Karin hadn't been quick, she would be squashed into the wall.
"KARIN! GET IN HERE!" Burz yelled. Then he noticed her standing right behind the open door. "Take these," he gave her several steel weapons, "down to the Desolate Mine. The stupid idiots forgot them. Take Ohtimbar with you." Burz paused for a while, while he cooled down. "Can't blame them though, for being excited. Hardly ever see contracts these days. It must be hard for them, hard."
Karin slung the weapons on her back as Ohtimbar ran in from the adjoining room and looked around bewildered, not knowing why he was called. He didn't get an answer, because Burz chose that moment to break out of his sentimentality mode and looked back at Karin and Ohtimbar as if wondering why they were still here. "Move it, meat!" he yelled. Karin didn't need a second reminder, and Ohtimbar wisely decided to follow her out the door.
"Where are we going again?" he asked.
"Desolate Mine. The other guys forgot their weapons out of excitement." Karin answered. The two ran out the city gates and down the road. Karin suddenly stopped.
"Wait a second. Where exactly is this Desolate Mine place?" she turned around to face Ohtimbar looking genuinely surprised, and hoping he had an answer.
"Huh? You're telling me you don't know where we're going?" Ohtimbar's expression started to match Karin's. After a few seconds, however, he managed to get over his initial shock, and, trying very hard not to laugh, he strode up to Mivryna Arano, the horse caretaker of the Cheydinhal stables. Karin immediately raised an eyebrow, somewhat familiar with Ohtimbar's habits.
“Pardon me, beautiful lass, would you know the way to the Desolate Mine? We’re from the Fighters Guild, we are, and need to help out our guild mates in an assignment there,” Ohtimbar was excellent at talking, but he often used it only to smooth-talk ladies.
Chapter 4: The Desolate Mine
“You’re a charming person, Ohtimbar,” Karin nearly dragged him up the road after Mivryna told them the directions. It was clear Ohtimbar would have preferred to stay and chat, but Karin dragged him on with clear determination to get them to their goal before dusk. It was at mid-afternoon when they finally saw their destination. There were a couple goblin corpses near the entrance to the cave. It seemed that the other recruits didn’t even need weapons to dispatch the stinky creatures.
“That smells awful, like rotten eggs,” Ohtimbar couldn’t help commenting as he climbed over a dead goblin’s body.
“Tell me about it,” Karin replied. Then, creaking open the mine door, she shuffled inside, followed closely by Ohtimbar. The smell just got worse. It wasn’t only goblin now; there was the smell of blood in the air. This new revelation did nothing to help set Karin’s mind at peace. In fact, it just made her more edgy.
“Heya! I wondered just about when you’d show up,” Elidor called from farther in the cave, “gotta be honest, waiting in this smelly dump for several hours isn’t very pleasant.”
“Oh spare me. Who was the one who forgot the weapons?” Rhienna playfully retorted.
“Hey, I was excited! This is my first contract in over 3 months!” Elidor said back. He was right. Karin only joined a month ago, but it was still proving to be annoying.
“Anyways,” Karin started before the two could forget why they were there, “Here’s the weapons shipment.” She threw the three weapons on the ground in front of a campfire.
“Wait, there are only three weapons. What are you fighting with?” Elidor asked as he took up the sword.
“Ohtimbar always brings his sword with him. As for me, well, for this once I can use some magic. No illusion, I promise,” Karin quickly added as Rhienna threw her a mean glance, “Just destruction, and maybe some mysticism.” Rhienna seemed somewhat reassured by this. Karin rightfully guessed that she, like most Redguards, viewed magic as a necessary evil and its wielders as cowards and traitors. Not a very pleasant image.
“I’m ready,” Brag said as he slung the warhammer onto his back. Rhienna nodded, and Elidor unsheathed his sword.
Karin didn’t wait for the others, preferring to charge forward at full speed. She wasn’t even in her armor, but still Ohtimbar was catching up. Surprisingly, Brag overtook him, and the big burly Orc was wearing all heavy steel armor. Karin cast a quick detect life. There were two purple clouds ahead. She readied the first spell.
She emerged from the corridor into a wide room. The two shapes noticed her. Behind the spell’s purple haze, she could see the snarling faces of the goblins. She let loose her frost spell. It caught the further goblin in the head, killing him immediately. Brag charged in front of her just as the second goblin came up to counterattack. The warhammer effectively smashed the stupid creature’s head into a pulp.
Due to their delay in dealing with those couple of goblins, Ohtimbar and Rhienna charged ahead into a side passage. Elidor followed Bragh and Karin down another. They seemed to follow a never-ending labyrinth, filled with narrow corridors in which Brahg had to stoop to get through, and large rooms that goblins usually occupied in small groups. Working together, the trio made it to another room. This one steeply inclined down into the deepest part of the mine.
Elidor and Brag charged ahead. Karin was the first to notice the tripwire. She yelled a warning to the other two, but it came too late. A carefully concealed wooden platform above the entrance tipped, and several logs rolled down onto the two fighters. The two watched in horror as the logs fell down toward them. The logs fell closer…
…And in a split second, each one was surrounded in a hazy lavender aura. They seemed to float for a few seconds, and then started to hover away a few feet. There they finally dropped, and rolled down to the very end of the passage, squashing a very surprised shaman to the wall.
“Oof. Close one. Thanks a lot, Karin,” Brag said. He sat down from the excitement and looked over to where Karin was standing. The girl merely shrugged. Casting a short-duration wide-range Detect Life spell, she turned around several times to check for survivors. The only other purple shapes visible were herself and her two companions, and what she guessed to be Ohtimbar and Rhienna in an adjacent cavern.
"They're all dead," Karin declared after the last remnants of the spell dissipated. "You guys go ahead and report to Burz. I want to check for plants. Cairn Bolette and Wisp Stalks only grow underground." The two walked past her and down the narrow corridor. Karin barely heard Brag explaining what had happened to Rhienna and Ohtimbar, who had just finally caught up. She walked down the descending passage, being extra careful not to trip over any logs. At the end of the corridor, she turned into a small side room. There were several Wisp Stalks there, as well as a chest. In a few moments, the chest stood open; emptied of its contents, and the mushrooms lacked any caps. Karin began the long trek back to the surface. The stench made it hard to concentrate, and the maze of passages soon had her confused. As she finally saw the exit, she muttered something and ran for the door, not being sure of how much longer she could stand to be in there.
She ran through the door... and saw something completely unexpected...