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Lodge is looking for skilled players to fill following projects slots in our guild:

PvE Raid Core - we successfully filled existing gaps within our Core and are recruiting to complement it with additional "reserves". We looking forward to 2x DDs, 1x Healer, 1x Tank. Read more here for requirements and follow the instructions to join!

PvP Core - Please welcome @HawksHeart as our new PvP General. From this point on, we are looking forward to 1 more PvP General and skilled players to fill our PvP Core.

Roleplaying - Although we managed to recruit half a dozen RP enthusiasts to our RP Initiative, we still have RP Officer position open. If you are an avid RP player with extensive experience in RPing, please join us now! Additional slots for RP players are also available!

Social Players - currently recruiting towards our Social recruitment slots - invitation only by interview. Please contact me in-game (@Glevissig) for it.

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Nuin

Snowmonsters

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I

Cold to my bones

 

The Heartstone Inn was small but warm. Cobblestones strewn with hay made up the floor and the walls were crude wood. In the center of the rectangular room a fire was blazing in the large open fireplace. The inns guests sat hunched around the fire on low benches, alone, in pairs or in small groups. Nords, bretons a lonely argonian far away from home and the group of misplaced khajiits. The catpeople where rarely seen this far north and everyone else, even the argonian, eyed them suspiciously from time to time.

 

The inn keep, a large yellow-bearded nord walked amongst his customers offering strong ale and dry bread. R’Chia had convinced him to let them stay for the evening, but he had refused to rent out beds to them. No matter the amount of gold they offered, he would not bend. He muttered about fleas and a few nords had sniggered, the khajiits had ignored the insult and was seated nearest the entrance. But it was a fire, it was warm and they had been wandering for months in the cold snow. Everyone was happy to be inside.

 

Na’shiim was certain she would never get warm again. She felt cold to her very core, her bones frozen, her heart turned to ice. The cold unfriendly north was a fitting scene, reflecting her feelings back at her.

 

They were nine left.

 

Some had given up and had disappeared with half the caravans in the middle of the night. That had happened a few weeks after the death of Ri’Kara. He had been amongst the slain on the nightmareish night the children went missing. Many of the men and some of the women lost their lives in that dreadful fight.

 

All had fought gloriously. They had thought it an attack from the townsguard, and had realized too late it was the servants of Molag Bal. Mages and sorcerers mainly, just a few swordsmen. They had cut through the Wildwinds with fire, caravans had been burned. She still could not shake the image of Hanro tumbling around in the middle of it all screaming, while fire ate his clothes and then his fur and then his skin. Someone had sent an arrow through his left eye and thus ended his misery. As sudden as the attack, the attackers had vanished and everyone had been so bussy dousing the fires, it was not until later they realized the children where gone.

 

R’Chia had not hesitated to take the vacant position as leader of the Wildwinds and he had pushed through with the old plan: Go north. Na’shiim and the rest had followed, devastated, after they had searched through the forest with no luck.

 

“We are very close now, R’Chia-dar is certain tomorrow we will reach the ruins†his voice was a low hiss as his eyes sought each of theirs in turn. His yellow eyes, burning.

 

“And we will meet the dark ones and it will be a great fight, and this one asks only the brave to come withâ€.

 

Na’shiim looked him straight in the eyes. She knew he did not consider her a fighter, but he was wrong. She worried about Shaai though, so young. And Chia’ar was old, and the loss of her three children bore on her. She had been in a haze for months.

 

“It is a game for a thief to find the tome, this one trusts Ji’dar to lead†their eyes locked and Ji’dar gave R’Chia an almost unnoticeable nod.

 

“May Rajhin lend us his paws.â€

 

Shaai’s jingling tail was giving her away. R’Chia looked at her, his eyebrows raised.

 

“Sweet one?â€.

 

Shaai blinked a few times, her tail now swishing back and forth.

“This one…†she stopped and took a deep breath.

 

“This one is afraid. This one thinks it better to turn around and head south…†another deep breath, but no more words came from her.

 

R’Chia took her paw and stroked it calmingly.

 

“It will be fine, sweet Shaai, you stay with the caravans and take care of Chia’ar. It is better that way, you will be safe.†Everyone agreed on that and Shaai looked relieved, she had never been brave and she was no good fighter.

 

Was any of them good enough fighters for what lay ahead?

Na'shiim shivered and her fur rose. Just the cold she told herself. Just the cold.

 

(Edit: adjusting font O.o or trying to, was posted from labtop)

Edited by Nuin
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Thanks :) I'm pushing the story though, and wondering if that is a good idea... but they can't just run wild as if I have no say in the matter, can they?

*grrrr* :P

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Professional writers will tell you that they often get surprised by where their characters take them, but maybe that's just a cliché saying. No matter, let them run wild! Let madness reign! :D

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II

And I spoke the magic words

 

A rat scurried across the marble floor, the click-click-click sound of its feet bouncing off the walls for a few seconds. Silence. A faint scratching, a highpitched rumbling of rock sliding off rock, small pops form sand and pebbles falling to the floor. The rat is hiding in a protruding pipe near the floor in a corner. It smells the air, whiskers waving, snatching up the tiniest movements, its nose finely tuned to any smell of danger. The air is full of old familiar smells: Crumbling dusty paper, decaying leather covered books, candles, crystalized blood. Newer smells of the colony rats, mice, spiders. And something crisp. Something new. A faint blue smell, sharp and crisp, as lightning and morning dew. The rat does not know this smell and it frightens it. Something in the back of the rat’s brain tells it to run, to hide, to warn its comrades. But it sits silently, only its nose mowing, up and down, up and down, so fast it becomes a blur. It seeks to extract all information from the smell. Suddenly a loud crash breaks the silence and the rat scurries down the pipe and is gone in seconds.

 

Na’shiim cursed Perelis shaking hands under her breath. Kra’dar hissed, Ji’dar just rolled his eyes. They had all stopped dead in their tracks when Pereli had dropped the piece of the wall, Kra’dar had carefully removed and they stood as frozen for minutes. Listening. Listening for the faintest sound of danger, of enemies approaching. Pereli looked mortified and scared as if Hircine was at his tail. Ji’dars ears twitched. Na’shiim had heard it too.

 

“Rats†Kra’dar hissed, “It’s just rats.â€

 

They relaxed a little, Pereli mimed I’m sorry. He should have stayed with Shaai and Chia’ar Na’shiim thought. The thief turned, reached up to the newly made hole, grabbed the edge, and lifted himself up and disappeared through the wall. A moment later they heard the faint sound of his feet touching the floor on the other side. Kra’dar motioned for her to climb up next. She was taller than Ji’dar and had no trouble reaching up, and it annoyed her fleetingly Kra’dar felt the need to help her up.

 

On the other side was a large square room. Ji’dar was studying the floor, looking for traps, footprints, clues. The room was empty, the floor clad in dust. She let herself slide down and took one tiny step sideways from the hole to make room for Pereli. Kra’dar came right after. They stayed close to the wall, waiting for the thief’s signal.

 

The walls where covered in paintings and symbols, perhaps some ancient language. Jo’Tian would know, but she was with R’Chia searching through the buildings to the east. Na’shiim could barely make out the different figures, the colours so faded with age. She looked for the familiar shapes: The snake, a wizard, a figure with a sword in hand. Temples often had paintings of the divines. There was a figure with a sword, but it was not the familiar proud-looking warrior. It had the sword raised high above its head, in front of this twisted portrait of the warrior a smaller figure knelt. Na’shiim gasped, realizing what the faint picture portrayed. Her eyes darted to the pile of mutilized beheaded bodies near the floor, following the airy figures upwards and ending at the huge figure with claw-like hands grabbing after the souls of the dead painted near the ceiling. Chains and cuffs hang from the ceiling high above their heads. Red eyes stared down at her. Was it the painting? She felt the cold seep from the stones and enter her, freezing her bones, her heart. They should have headed south, searched longer for the children.

 

“It’s just paintings, images, not real.†Kra’dars voice was soft, almost a purr. He placed a heavy comforting arm around her shoulder and dragged her into a hug. She leaned into his embrace and relaxed when his familiar smell surrounded her. Warmth from his body made her feel safe, feel home. She could almost imagine none of it had happened. That Malva and Silvaar would come home from gathering herbs in the forest any moment now, fighting with each other as usual.

 

“Traps are disarmed.†Ji’dars voice was barely audible. “And this one believes this is the room we want.â€

 

Na’shiim reluctantly pushed herself away from Kra’dars embrace and looked at the thief. He was studying the wall paintings, his hands tracing the faint figures, almost caressing them. The cold came creeping back, snugged around her angles, gliding up her legs and arms.

 

“But there is nothing here!?†Pereli sounded both agitated and frightened. He gestured with both hands, shrugged.

 

“Jo’Tians note… Na’sh, do you have it?â€

 

Na’shiim suddenly wished the old one had not gone with R’Chia-dar and the others. She wanted her near, with her magic and knowledge. She picked the scroll out of her pocket and unrolled it.

 

“Are you sure you know how to work it?†She looked up at  Pereli, but when she saw his ears all flat and is hairs on ends, her anger towards him disappeared. He is just scared, that’s all. Scared, like the rest of us.

 

“Jo’Tian told Na’shiim how to speak the words. This one will do her best.â€

 

She stepped into the middle of the room, careful not to look at the horrifying paintings. Dust whirled up in small clouds around her feet. At the center she turned towards the wall with the clawed figure, the Harvester of Souls, and she spoke the odd words with great care.

Edited by Nuin
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