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Old July 13th, 2012 (01:59 PM).
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Phantom Phantom is offline
Uh, I didn't do it
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Minnesota
Age: 24
Gender: Female
Nature: Brave
Posts: 1,130
Sweet Mother
-14-

Lydia

Lydia awoke to the smell of fresh baked bread, and the sound of faint music. Her leg throbbed beneath warm fur blankets. She was warm and comfortable, save for her leg. She felt like she could lay here forever, taking in the sweet smells and soft music. How had she gotten here? She remembered escaping the prison, and being chased by Thalmor agents. She jumped when she felt a cold cloth on her forehead. Someone was with her. The question was, who?

She opened her eyes, squinting in the light. "Welcome back," said a familiar voice. She saw Revak standing beside her bed. He was not wearing his armor, instead he wore a white tunic and black pants. His eyes looked tired, but they brightened as he smiled down at her. He dipped a wet cloth in a bowl of water, and gently pressed it against her head. "Your fever broke yesterday. You've been out for two days.

"Where are we?" Lydia rasped. She was surprised how soft her voice was.

"The Windpeak Inn, in Dawnstar. The Khajiit caravan was in town, and they happened to have a very talented healer traveling with them. "

"My leg," she said quickly, attempting to sit up, but stopped by her swirling vision.

"Will be fine," Revak explained, "in time. You just have to take it easy for a few days. "

Lydia nodded. "Thank you."

"No need," Revak said with a smile, "you would do the same for me." He paused, listening to the music for a moment. His smile faded. "What happened? Ralof told me that you had been arrested by the Thalmor, and that he was with a group of Stormcloaks that attacked the prison. He told me that you were the only ones that escaped. Why were you in a Thalmor prison?"

Lydia shook at the memory of that prison. "They were looking for you."

"What?" Revak said, surprised. "Why?"

Lydia shook her head. "They came to Breezehome, a group of them. They said I was under arrest, and so were you."

"They arrested you for being associated with me?" Revak said with a scowl.

"I think it was about you being Dragonborn."

Revak paused again, nodding. "They must think me a threat."

"Are you?"

"Now?" he smiled. "I suppose I am." He stopped, obviously deep in thought. "I'm sorry that this happened to you. It's my fault. I should have figured they would come for you, for me."

"I should have gone with you when you asked me, " Lydia admitted. She'd been so quick to dismiss him before. She never thought that her distrust of her Thane would lead to all of this happening. He had said he was destined to save the world, and that he was sent by the Divines. She had thought it impossible at first. But the more she thought the more it seemed to make sense. It could not have just been luck that Revak was passing by when the Thalmor found them. They had prayed for help, and it came in the form of Revak, the Dragonborn, who dispatched them like they were nothing but wooden targets.

She looked up at him, taking in the sight of him. His hair was slightly longer than she remembered; a testament to the time that had passed since she last saw him. He must have been on the road for quite some time, for the start of a sparse beard was appearing on his cheeks. But it was his eyes that drew her in. Before they had been bright and friendly, but something inside them had changed. His eyes were the eyes of an old man. There was wisdom in them, wisdom of the world, like he saw more than the normal person did. They were experienced eyes. She couldn't help but stare into them, become lost in them like two midnight blue pools that bore into her very soul. He was beautiful and terrifying at the same time. Was she falling for him?

What had happened to him on that mountain?

Revak sighed as he took a seat in the small wooden chair beside the bed. He removed the cloth from her forehead and dropped it in to the basin of water, leaving it there. He leaned forward, elbows on his knees and hands folded before him. "You had every right not to believe me. I imagine that it was a lot to take in at once," he said a little too calmly. His expression was soft, but she could tell he was holding back. He was angry with her, but the kind bastard wasn't about to let it show.

"No," she said slowly, "I didn't. I made an oath, to protect you, and instead you're protecting me." He was silent as a statue. "I'm sorry." She felt the tears threatening to fall. She held them back. From here on out, I will be there for this man. I made an oath. And I will not falter in whatever he needs me to do. That's how it should have been in the first place.

Revak shook his head. "There is no need to apologize," he said softly. "My story was a little too hard to swallow." His expression turned serious. "But what I told you was the truth; at least, it is what I could tell you. You just need to trust me."

"I trust you."

"You can't go back to Whiterun," Revak said calmly. "They will chase you wherever you go. "

Lydia nodded as she sat up. "I know."

Now it was Revak's turn to rise. "I know somewhere you can go, somewhere with friends." Lydia looked at him questioningly. "It's somewhere safe."

"Where is it?"

"A Temple in the sky," he smiled. "Now rest, we will leave as soon as you are able to travel."

Ralof

The night was starless, but the moon was full and bright. Moonlight flooded the room, outlining Lydia's sleeping form. Ralof crossed the room as quietly as he could and sat down in the wooden chair beside her bed. He smiled as she started snoring softly. He looked at her, relieved that she was going to live, that they were both going to live.

There was a moment where he wasn't so sure of that fact.

If it wasn't for Revak they would both be dead. It was a fact that Ralof knew all too well. Revak had saved his life. That was the second time Ralof was sentenced to death, and the second time he had barely escaped with Revak at his side. He made a note that if he were ever to be arrested again to bring the Nord with him.

Ralof smiled as he reached over to brush a stray strand of brown hair from Lydia's face, but froze when she stirred. He stood, still as a statue with his hand hovering above her until her breathing steadied again. She was beautiful woman. He hadn't had the chance to appreciate that before since they were running for their lives. But now he gazed at her sweetly sleeping form. He had come to care for her greatly since they met.

His hand strayed and reached for her hand that rested lightly at her side, grasping it gently. His heart jumped when she stirred again, but this time her eyes opened. She turned to him, shocked, but then relieved when she saw that it was only him. "Ralof?" she asked in a curious voice. She began to sit up.

"I'm sorry," Ralof said, backpedaling, "I was just – um…" His words stuck in his throat as his heart was beating so rapidly he felt that it would beat right out of his chest. He quickly took his hand back and stood.

"Ralof!" she cried, her eyes wide in shock. "BEHIND YOU!"

"What?" Ralof cursed as he turned, just in time to see a black form dart in from the corner, a dagger high and ready to pierce Ralof's back. Ralof grabbed the wrist holding the dagger and threw the black figure aside. Ralof heard the sound of metal hitting the ground; the bastard had dropped his weapon. Ralof reached for his blade, but cursed remembering that he had left it in his room, along with his other weapons.

The black clad figure stood straight, and launched himself at Ralof, who only just only managed to repel the attacker. They grappled, spinning as they each tried to overpower the other. Finally the attacker got the upper hand and thrust Ralof into the wall. Ralof heard the sound of glass breaking as he kept his arms on the attacker's shoulders, trying to prevent them from reaching his throat.

He caught movement from the corner of his eye, and he heard a grunt as something fell to the ground. He took a moment to glance over, and saw Lydia on the ground beside her bed, grasping her injured thigh and cursing profusely. The attacker took advantage of Ralof's momentary distraction and kneed Ralof in the groin. Ralof grunted in pain as the knee made contact, and his strength faded for a few seconds. The assassin's hands found Ralof's throat and tightened. Ralof felt the air trapped in his lungs. He panicked, groping blindly for the hired killer's hands and trying unsuccessfully to pull them away. "Someone wants you dead, Stormcloak," the killer growled. "The Brotherhood is 'appy to grant their wish."

"Ralof!" Lydia said, struggling to get to her feet.

"Don't worry lady; you'll get your turn."

"Let him go," said a familiar voice behind them. Revak stood in the doorway. The fight must have woken him from across the hall. He was in his bedclothes, only a pair of black pants, but he had managed to grab a dagger before he'd left his room. The assassin's grip slackened for a brief moment, but it was long enough for Ralof to take advantage of the situation. Ralof kneed the assassin in the groin, a payback that Ralof was more than happy to deliver. The assassin sagged. Ralof grabbed his shoulders and spun the assassin around, holding back his arms and leaving his chest wide open for Revak to attack.

"Do it!" Ralof rasped, his throat burning in pain.

Revak closed the gap, an ebony dagger in his hand. His hands were steady and his face was cold as he aimed the tip of the dagger to the assassin's exposed throat. Without a sound Revak plunged the black blade into the assassin's windpipe and twisted. The assassin twitched once then went limp in Ralof's arms as his life blood pooled at their feet, black in the moonlight. Ralof dropped the dead assassin at his feet, panting heavily.

Revak kneeled, removing the assassin's hood and revealing a dead Dunmer before them. He scowled as he stood, dropping the hood to the ground. "Dark Brotherhood," he said curtly.

Ralof nodded, words failing him as he tried to fill his starving lungs with air. "Why? Who would want Ralof dead?" Lydia said for him as she rose unsteadily from the ground.

"I have a good idea who," Revak cursed.

Ralof had never seen him this angry before. "Who?" Ralof managed to say between pained breaths.

Revak took the blade unceremoniously from the ground, wiping it on the armor of the dead assassin before walking back to the door. "The Thalmor," he growled, leaving Lydia and Ralof dumbstruck and alone.

Revak

Revak was silent as he lit the final candle. His armor reflected the moonlight. Revak sighed, his breath becoming a white mist that floated above and then beyond sight. It seemed the world was determined to slow his progress. The Elder Scroll, however, wherever it was, wouldn't be moving. The Dark Brotherhood was beginning to do more than just be annoying. He needed to solve this problem before the pattern continued. If it truly was the Thalmor that were hiring the Dark Brotherhood then he needed to remove the problem where he could, and right now, that was with the Brotherhood.

And he would do that by speaking to the Night Mother herself, through her Listener.

He knew of one sure way to get the Brotherhood's attention.

They prepared the Black Sacrament just outside the city of Dawnstar. The surrounding woods were thick, and this clearing was far enough inside that they wouldn't be heard, save for the woodland creatures. The Sacrament was an ancient rite of blood, a prayer to the Night Mother herself, a call for aid. Once Revak said the words the Sacrament would be finished and an agent of the Dark Brotherhood would meet with him.

Or, at least, that's what Revak remembered of it. It had been a very, very, long time since he called upon the assassins. The black memory was one that he did not want to recall again.

It ritual required few things. Most were easy enough to find,candles, nightshade, and, of course, a corpse. Though the Dark Brotherhood was kind enough to have given them a donation; the dead assassin from the night before lay in the center of the circle. Revak took account of the spread before him and nodded.

Revak kneeled at the edge of the circle, the black ebony blade in hand. Steeling his face he drew the blade across his palm. The cut was not very deep, but it drew enough blood that a few drops fell into the snow. That should get the Night Mother's attention, Revak thought, not only the blood of the Dragonborn, but blood of the Ninth Divine.

The wind grew still as the blood hit the snow, as if the world was listening to Revak's dark prayer. He took the prayer stone and rapped it once against the ground. "Sweet Mother, sweet Mother, send your child unto me. For the sins of the unworthy must be baptized in blood and fear," he chanted, accenting every line with another tap of the stone. The world remained still, scowling Revak somehow got the feeling he was being blatantly ignored.

Fine, then, he thought with a growl. He had only brought this on once before, but that was after days of meditation and training. Arngeir had pressured him to learn to control what he called Revak's 'Divine Aura', meaning that, for a short time, Revak could call upon his power as a Divine. But it was only for a short time. He inhaled deeply and held it there. He felt the power that was flowing around him, the sky, the moon, the trees, and the very air, all of it held the power of creation, and the power of the Divines was bound to it.

Revak's skin became hot with power. He opened his eyes and saw his skin glowing gold in the moonlight as his power radiated from him. He scowled and chanted again. "Sweet Mother," he said with more command, "sweet Mother! Send your child unto me! For the sins of the unworthy must be baptized in blood and fear!"

Power drunk, he continued, "As the Ninth Divine, Talos Stormcrown who is also Tiber Septim, I call upon you! Heed my offering, and listen to my command; for I am both man and Divine! Bring me your Listener!" As he said the last words a golden shockwave of power burst forth, and then dissipated along with his Divine Aura.

The world grew cold again, and a chill went down Revak's spine.

In that moment he knew his Black Sacrament had been accepted, and now all he needed to do was wait.


Next chapter should be up very soon.
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