Posted first on Gutter Kings
Over three weeks by ship. Another two days over land, trying to find a hole in the ground in the middle of nowhere. It took three hours to sneak into that cave, avoiding all manner of local wildlife and the native occupants. And there I crouched, the same position for almost five hours. In a rocky crevice, 30ft off the ground, staring at my target. Waiting for him to make a mistake.
My life wasn't always like this. My parents died when I was very young. My older brother got the castle in Southpoint. I got the hunting lodge in the Velothi Mountains. My brother was raised by a full staff to become a lord of a prosperous city. I was raised by an old Dunmer manservant to wile away my days hunting and trapping as a lord of nowhere. At 16, it's amazing what you will choose to believe off the little bit you think you know.
So I ran away. Made it all the way to Cheydenhal and signed up for the Imperial Legion. I was so much smaller than the other recruits, who included a lot of local Nord immigrants, that I was sure the instructors would send me to the local constable for trying to sign up too young. But instead they packed me into the back of wagon and sent me off to Bleaker's Outpost. They bought it.
I was the runt of the pack, and was beaten for it. Sometimes by the other boys. Sometimes not. Had my nose broken a few times. Learned how to break the noses of others. I marched. I swung a sword. I learned how heavy a legionnaires armor really is. And I learned what the price of that armor is after a very long day in the sun.
Training was rough. But training was also quick. Six months, and we were deployed. A skirmish in the Murkwood against a rampaging band of lizards got me three new scars and a bloody cough when the nights get too wet. That took a year, moving two full legions there and back. Fighting only lasted 10 days. Makes you wonder if it was worth it.
My third year found me breaking frost off my armor in a camp near Drayon Gate, south of Dragonstar, when we were ambushed by barbarians and half our legion decimated. Officially the ambush failed. Unofficially, I lost three good friends, one of which was a tall Nord with a broken nose, and gained a little bit of a limp when the weather turns cold.
Nine months, and I'm rotting back in a camp at Castle Brindle when I get called to tent by my commander. A promotion packet is waiting for me. "Due to my outstanding service", it said. I was being promoted to Lieutenant. Which was absurd, if you consider I was only 20 and just made Legionary two months prior, with sergeants in my unit that were twice my age and skill. Then I read the second page, realizing that they had used my real name the whole time, and it made sense.
The second page was my resignation from Imperial service, signed by my commanding officer. And in walked my manservant. They saluted me as I left, riding on the back of a dapple grey gelding headed for that same small lodge in the Velothi Mountains.
Togga the Skewerer was a mean little goblin in a camp that was making deals with unknown parties. The deals weren't my business. But Togga's signature of cutting ears off any Altmer he could skewer? That was important. Important to somebody. Somebody with money enough to pay for a boat ride and still make it worth my while. Money enough to cover me in durzog dung and give me cramps while I crouch along a cave wall.
The two durzog's near by started scrapping again, over a bone some idiot had tossed between them. They fought all the time. But Togga didn't care for it. He'd get mad, yell a bit, and start swinging on them with that bent bow of his. Durzog's aren't like dogs or other pets. They aren't pets at all. They respect power and violence. And they'll attack anything that shows a little weakness. Anything that bleeds.
When Togga stepped on the bear trap that snapped his leg off below the knee, there was a lot of blood. It took me so long to move that trap where I wanted it without those damn durzog's noticing. And the cave was littered with so many of the rusted ankle-crackers, most overgrown with moss, that none of the other goblins seemed confused on why it was there. I didn't start making my way down out of that crevice until they settled back down. The client wanted his ears. I was sure I saw his head roll over to the side somewhere.
Ruze Aulus. Mayor of Dhalmora. Archer, hunter, assassin. Nightblade.
Gral. Mountain Terror. Barbarian, marauder, murderer. Nightblade.
Na'Djin. Knight-Blade. Knight, vanguard, defender. Nightblade.
Ruze is a veteran of the PC Beta, lived through the year one drought, survived the buy-to-play conversion, and has stepped foot in the hells known as Craglorn. He mained a nightlbade when nightblades weren't good, and has never worn a robe. He converted from PC during the console betas, and hasn't regretted it a moment since.
He'd rank ESO:TU (in it's current state) a 4.8 out of 5, loving the game almost entirely.
This is an multiplayer game. I should be able to log in, join a dungeon, join a battleground, queue for a dolmen or world boss or delve, teleport in, play for 20 minutes, and not worry about getting kicked, failing to join, having perfect voice coms, or being unable to complete content because someone's lagging behind. Group Finder and matchmaking is broken. Take a note from Destiny and build a system that allows from drop-in/drop-out functionality and quick play.