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Tales of the Dead 4 - Contest Entry Thread

  • HydraTamer
    Soul Shriven
    13th day of Second Seed –
    I don’t normally volunteer to hunt for the entire legion camp. But stale bread and water is starting to get on my nerves. Dagon, Merrik, and Gaius have offered to help, and the commander gave us his assent. Seems he’s been growing tired of the food too.

    16th day of Second Seed –
    Everything is going smoothly. We found a nice place to set up camp underneath a large maple. Game is plentiful around here and we already have a good start.

    17th day of Second Seed –
    A madman startled us all as he ran into our newly made camp, babbling incoherently and throwing everything around. Dagon and I managed to tackle him to the ground. And with the help of Merrik and Gaius, the four of us managed to tie him to a tree.

    17th day of Second Seed –
    Turns out our madman is actually one of us who deserted several days ago. He still hasn’t shut up and it’s starting to annoy all of us. He keeps rambling about monsters that’re coming to get him. It’s getting on Dagon’s nerves the most. If he doesn’t calm down soon I’d hate to think what our best archer will do.

    18th day of Second Seed –
    Merrik saw an ogre last night. It didn’t bother us or get close to camp, and Merrik told us that it disappeared back into the wood. Not surprising- This is ogre territory after all; and one ogre is no match for our combined might. Unfortunately, when our madman heard of it, he renewed his fanatics. Dagon decided that deserters were killed anyway and expertly put an arrow through the man’s eye. Couldn’t be helped, I guess.

    20th day of Second Seed –
    The ogre returned again tonight on my watch. It left after I threw a flaming brand at it, so no harm done. Our hunting is going well so far and I hope to finish and meet up with the main camp soon.

    <The following words are written in an unsteady hand>

    21st day of Second Seed –
    I can’t believe it has come to this. The deserter was trying to warn us, and we didn’t listen. Four large ogre attacked us. Dagon couldn’t get to his bow fast enough and Merrik was the first to fall. I managed to climb into the maple as they were tearing Gaius apart. Two of them are dragging my mangled friends away, and the other two know I’m up here. Unless help comes, I doubt I’ll be able to hold out much longer… but I swear I won’t give them the pleasure of killing me themselves…
    Hiatum is the Void that carries out the will of the Almighty One; and we, the Hydra, serve it. - Rapiax
  • dandog322_ESO
    Soul Shriven
    Skooma runners. Dar'Jee knew them by sight, the two dark elves were clad in guar hide armor, dyed black, from head to toe. They sat around their campfire in silence, drinking their flin and eating their bread and potatoes.

    Probably stolen from some poor farmer or merchant, the Khajiit thought. He had been tracking the two for days, following their trail from Rimmen, now here-- a few miles south of Chorrol. They were probably intending to sell off most their cargo somewhere in Skyrim, perhaps Whiterun. Their planned destination mattered little to Dar'Jee, this would be their last stop.

    The Khajiit notched an arrow, and began his draw slowly, aiming for the dunmer one the right. The elf sported a shaved head and ugly, greying beard-- a mass of dirty knots, home to a weeks worth of crumbs. Just below it was his exposed throat. An easy kill.

    Maybe it was the wind, or maybe Dar'Jee simply wasn't as good as he thought, but the arrow was off by inches. Instead of finding it's place in the drug runners throat, it ended up hitting his bread, just seconds before he took a bite. The food was ripped from his hand in a torrent of crumbs, caught by the arrow and flung into the trunk of the great oak behind them.

    There was a moment of hesitation, the thugs were caught of guard, and Dar'Jee knew he needed to fire again, on target this time. He aimed his next arrow for the dunmer on the right, the arrow found it's mark, piercing through the soft flesh of the dark elfs stomach. The dunmeri armor did little to stop the projectile. The pain only served to make the dunmer more angry, he drew his dagger and began to charge, but he took only a step before another arrow found it's mark, ripping through flesh, bone, and leather alike, and pinning the hideous dunmer, against the tree, same as the bread.

    Dar'Jee fired off one more arrow into the stomach of the skooma runner before turning his attention to the second elf. The fool was confused, and scared witless, he had only just unsheathed his sword, still confused as to what happened to his dinner. Dar'Jee seized the opportunity, drawing his dagger, and rolling from the shadows. He was swift, slicing across the dark elfs throat. The elfs red eyes opened wide, his grip on the handle of his sword loosened. In one deft motion Dar'Jee disarmed the mer, and stabbed the blade down deep into his belly.

    "Help me...", the whisper came from the first dunmer, still pinned against the tree. Dar'Jee drew a final arrow, aimed at the dunmers forehead and fired.

    "The Brotherhood sends their regards."
    Edited by dandog322_ESO on April 3, 2015 12:58AM
  • Runhent
    Life if guarful! The camp

    I kicked the last ogre remains - just for mental calm, and examined the battlefield. Someone apparently camped here - there were a broken wagon, a few barrels, boxes, and decaying sleeping bags.

    And two skeletons beautifully decorated the trunk - one was pinned by arrows, the second was with the prosaic sword in the chest. I sat down beside it and inspected the hilt - you never know where something valuable will be found. Well, or at least I tried to understand why killers left arrows and the sword. No, no clues as usual. But I noticed something peeking out of the ground. Yeah, the diary. Blessed all the magicians (Dunmer for sure) who created a cheap and reliable way to save papers! Years, atrocious weather (typical for Reaper's March) - and this old book is intact. Interesting...
    Bosmer Traveller's Diary

    30th day of First Seed, Tirdas

    This camp is similar to dozens of others that we have camped while travelling. A self-made shed, sleeping bags, boxes from a cart.
    The same day as any other.

    1st day of Rain's Hand, Middas

    Heavy rain began at night, and there're still no gaps in the clouds. And clouds are not visible - a solid wall of rain rounds us. The shed doesn't help, sleeping bags are wet. Meldor is gloomy and uncommunicative, and this Khajiit mercenary even did not even introduced himself. Made a contract with Meldor somewhere beforehand.
    So cold.

    2nd day of Rain's Hand, Turdas

    Rain lets up, but the road is more like a stream. The cart will not pass a feet.
    I heard screams at night. Meldor said it was thunder, and I'm too worried.
    The Khajiit went somewhere. Returned and whispered with Meldor, very quiet, I could not make out anything with the rustle of the rain drops.
    Real travelling with the merchant differs from the tavern tales.
    So cold.

    3rd day of Rain's Hand, Fredas

    Something happened at night. I woke up, and the rain goes, but there was neither Meldor nor the Khajiit in the camp.
    I didn't think that it would be so scary to be alone.
    I think I heard a loud voices in the distance. Meldor probably would say that it's my imagination.

    Can't sit back and wait any longer. I am going to go and search for traces - the ground is wet, there must be something!
    I just heard voices, but can't understand from where.

    Y'ffre bless me! I'm back, and there's Meldor's body nailed to the tree with arrows.
    I don't know what to do.
    Can't stay here.
    I don't know where to go.

    Hmm, I thought it was ogres. But yes, ogres with bows and swords? The Khajiit mercenary, who could have thought. There're large letters "B-R-I-G-A-N-D" on such mercenaries' faces.

    However, this story is quite common.

    I think there're a lot of mistakes here because my English isn't so good as I want :) Some kind of translation practice.
    Edited by Runhent on April 3, 2015 1:09AM
    Life is guarful!
    Gilryne Telvanni, Dunmer Sorcerer and Alchemist, at your service.
    EU | Ebonheart Pact | ElderScrolls.Net & RuESO | Guild of Adventure
  • Minjo
    Soul Shriven
    The Bosmer chieftain, Elmar Oakum, swore a vow to never allow his son to wield a bow. During his last campaign with the Aldmeri Dominion, Elmar earned the title of kagouti-eye, having slain 26 Covenant soldiers without consuming a single stamina potion. Ignorant to the fact that this war was far from over, Elmar secretly prayed that his juvenile son, Parcot, would live out his life in a time of peace.

    On the day Elmar returned from his recent campaign, he called for his son to hunt with him deep in the wooded lands of Greenshade, north of their small village. Excited to hear stories of his father’s battles, Parcot hurriedly followed his father into the woods.

    The two Bosmer reached a clearing in the dense woods, and Elmar stopped his son to rest. “Son,” Elmar started, as he placed one arm over his son’s shoulder. “Tomorrow I’m sending you to live with your uncle Wilmar.” He paused. “To learn woodworking skills.”

    The willful and excited expression on Parcot’s face morphed to disappointment. “But… father!” He exclaimed. “I want to be a warrior like you! I want to learn to wield a bow and be the most feared Bosmer in all of the Dominion!”

    Elmar’s grim expression changed to match the disappointment of his son’s. “Son, you don’t understand what it’s like to see the life taken from someone… or worse yet, having to take it yourself!” He let out a deep breath. “And I never want you to have to understand that!”

    Parcot frowned in silence.

    That night, Parcot awoke suddenly, having heard aggressive noises from outside his family’s cabin. He sheepishly crept to the front door, grabbed his father’s quiver shortbow, noticing his longbow was missing.

    A Dominion Orc stood writhing and screeching in pain, pinned to a great oak tree by the right arm and leg.

    “Son!” Elmar exclaimed as he noticed his son. “Get back inside!” Elmar began to charge at the Orc with his dagger drawn, but Parcot saw this as an opportunity to impress his father. He drew an arrow, took a deep breath, and let it fly towards the pinned Orc.

    The arrow flew about two feet to the left of Elmar’s head, narrowly missed the Orc, and plunged into the bark between his right arm and abdomen. The WHOOSH sound from the flying arrow prompted Elmar to stagger and duck, a conditioned reflex from having fought so many battles.

    The berserking Orc saw this window of opportunity, grabbed Elmar by the neck with his left hand, and swung him ninety degrees, smashing the back of Elmar’s head on the hard bark. The Orc grunted, drew his broadsword, and plunged it through Elmar’s abdomen and into the base of the great oak.

    “Father!” Parcot cried. He drew another arrow and let it fly, this one penetrating the Orc’s skull directly between his eyes.

    The war raged on throughout the rest of his life, but Parcot Oakum never wielded a bow again.
  • Meridian-KV
    Soul Shriven
    “My name is Tiras Veradien, and the scribbles on this paper will be my last. Jayden is dead, may the nine rest his soul. He was killed defending me from a pair of ogres not far from where I am writing now. It is a shame his sacrifice was in vain, he had been so hopeful in the notion that I would escape Dominion forces as he bled to death against a tree. The loyalty I have been able to inspire in others terrifies me, perhaps it is fitting that I am to be executed next to my most loyal follower. I should be slated for referring to Jayden as a mere “loyal follower,” he was first and foremost my only true friend in this world gone mad.
    The Dominion soldiers that have captured me are far too young, but I suppose that is to be expected in a kingdom that would send their men and women to be slaughtered in a pointless war. My captors spit on me and call me a mad man and a traitor, yet it is they who are mad. The fools do not yet realize that their blind obedience to the Dominion will be their undoing. They have yet to hold their friends as they breathe their final breaths screaming in agony and calling for out for their loved ones on a battlefield far away from home. It is this very fate that I have tried saving these young fools from and yet it will be by their hands that that I will at last meet my end. I am to be executed in front of the same tree my dear friend Jayden died defending me. I hope their marksmen’s aim is true so that I do not suffer greatly, yet given their youth I have my doubts. I suppose I do in their eyes I deserve to suffer.
    Here I should set the record straight, yes I did lead a rebellion against the Dominion and yes we had plotted to assassinate Queen Ayrenn and yes many have been killed by me and my followers, most of whom are dead or soon to be dead. But we did this to try to bring an end to the Dominions participation in this “War of the three Factions” and it’s pointless bloodshed. We believed that”
    Here the rest of the page was too soaked with blood for Thrynn to continue reading. “Find anything good?” asked Kalina. “This one had a dagger with an ornamented hilt and some strange letter” responded Thrynn as he looked upon the field of dead soldiers in front of him, their eyes gazing into oblivion. The enemy had been slaughtered. “By the divines” said Kalina. “Look at them. Most of them are just kids not two winters into adulthood.” Thrynn stood up still holding the bloodied letter “C’mon” he said “Let’s find some food.”
  • Bjorn_Odinsson69
    Soul Shriven
    Another Tale by Delastar Beanhart a Breton Adventurer

    I used to travel around Tameriel with the most unusual couple, A Nord named Thorkil Iron-Bear, and a Bosmer, Thallwen Fernhallow. I am sure not many people have seen a stranger love affair as a wood elf and nord together but I have. They were some of the most in love I have ever seen a Tragedy what befell them. Us three had many adventures together slaying beast and looting things. You know people put the strangest things in the strangest places, once I found a painting in an empty mead barrel. But I am side tracking back to the tale at hand. We three were helping a small village in the Rift with a mad wizard problem, a mad Redguard wizard problem if that tells you the degree of madness that he was a Redguard that trusted magick. So we ascended the Wizards tower killing many Daedra and atronachs. Thorkil with his two handed great-sword of frost, I with my magick and lightning staff, and Thallwen with her mighty bow, She never missed a shot. The Redguard wasn't much of a fight Thorkil picked him up and tossed him out a window. We looted the place and set up camp nearby on a wooded hilltop. We were sorting through the loot when Thorkil found an odd bottle shaped like a tornado and the lable read invulnerability, he sniffed it and took a swig. Thorkil started glowing a purple color he grabbed a knife and sliced his arm it mended instantly. Thallwen took some and they started playing with it though i objected. It went so far that she started doing trick shots with fruit off his head. Well the moron decided to put many fruit around his body and her use four arrows to shoot them off at once. She aimed fired and as the arrows pierced his body the affects of the potion wore off. She was devastated and I could not talk sense into her she took her life with a sword from the loot pile. I would have buried them but Ogres came out of no where I had to run.
  • Daegod
    Soul Shriven
    It was a beatifull place once, full with laught and smiles. Children, animals, beast. Everyone looks for love and happiness.
    Little Toru was always hidding in that old Mirandas barrel. Tico knows that but always plays blind and goes look under small rocks behind that ancient tree. Nobody there.
    Sanek laught was too loud, that wakes up Mirandas husband Teodor. "You old orc monkey", mumble old man and get back to his dreams about beautifull elven queen. "HAHAHA", laught Sanek watching Toru sneaky looking from barrel on Ticos back. Sanek make another sip of strong orcish ale and watch sun traveling on his every day path over the sky. Everything was always bright there full of live.
    Miranda loves that. She is waiting for Dunmer traders like every monday to buy some food and makes her granddaughter happy with new elven jewerly. She miss Iondag. He leave so early. She was patient makes his glass armor shiny like always. "Grandmaaaa" screams Tico cheerfully "they are comming". Miranda looks west but strong summer sun makes her blind. She smiles "Finaly. I need some deer meat for friday lunch."
    They was coming. Sharp looks and blades. Not to sell but to kill. Hearths filled with hate and evil..... The Imperials.
  • Azezalle
    Soul Shriven
    Wake up, lad! Wake up, son.
    Father, where has Mother gone?
    High up, now: tied one braid too many.
    Get up, get dressed. Hurry! Hurry!

    Father, the wagon rocks too fast!
    Hurry or the Plague catches us at last.
    Oh go, beast, go or we'll die!
    This is not the place I've decided to lie!

    Stop here, beast. This tree is fine.
    It will suit the purpose of drink in mind.
    Take your bow, son, against troll and ogre.
    But you said we were going to the next town over!

    Father, my skill with a bow is nothing but stale.
    Shut it and let me drink my ale.
    You will have moldy potatoes and bread,
    I only need mead to cloud my head.

    You drown your sorrows and your bother.
    I know this would've upset Mother.
    Hear me, Father, hear my plea!
    Why don't you ever listen to me?!

    We didn't run from the Plague fast enough.
    I feel it now; it's such a rush!
    Rage, anger, a surge of emotion,
    And I know them to be set in motion!

    Stand up, Father, I toss your mug aside!
    Do that again, and I'll bruise your hide.
    You will not touch me, not ever again!
    This time I'll be delivering the pain.

    You feel the arrow wrench through your leg?
    For mercy, you will soon beg.
    Once. Twice. Thrice. You see what I've done?!
    That's what happens when you don't listen to your son!

    Oh, for once I am a good shot.
    I've killed my father; I deserve to rot.
    His blade in my gut against this tree.
    My gods, why have you forsaken me?

    This Plague they feared was no sickness,
    Though it was a mortal illness.
    This Plague was not the rotting kind.
    This Plague was a Plague of the mind.
    Edited by Azezalle on April 3, 2015 1:14PM
  • anchutu
    Soul Shriven
    The Irony of Tragedy

    Jorah never liked adventures. While his friends often went hunting for wolves or even goblins, he prefered to stay inside and read a book or go fishing in a quiet lake.

    His wife Norah was much like him. In her youth, she had been quite the hunter, but the years had made her weary and she prefered the feel of a spoon in her hands instead of a bow.

    Their son Noah was the one who encouraged them. Young and enthusiastic, he wanted to explore the world and meet new people, and he wanted his parents by his side.

    Old and tired as they were they refused him. However, they decided they would join their son on the first day on his journey. They would return to the city after that and Noah would move on.

    It was only a few hours after they left the city that they encountered an abandoned camp. It was full of barrels and targets and a single maple bow on top of a table.

    Picking up the bow, Norah immediately felt young again. She remember how good she was with it so she told Noah to pick up a potato and toss it in the air. With surprising speed, she hit it and stuck it against a nearby tree.

    Impressed by his mother's skill, Norah begged her to teach him how to use a bow. Since there were no more arrows on sight, she handed him the bow and walked towards the tree to pick the arrow from the potato.

    They never saw the hand that stabbed her. As she laid on the tree, dying with a dagger in her chest, Jorah run to her aid. But the invisible enemy was ready and a rain of arrows fell on him before he could get to her, impaling him against the tree. Watching his parents die, Noah fell to his knees. The last thing he saw before they took him was a band of ogres approaching him, speaking in a strange tongue. After that everything went black.

    As the remaining ogres finished taking the clothes from the two corpses a gust of wind took the camp by surprise. Some say it was conjured by Sheogorath himself, as the fallen apple still rests on Jorah's head on this day.
  • Gozz_ESO
    Soul Shriven
    A Caravan’s Fate

    A gentle breeze traversed the hilltops and scattered trees. The sky was growing darker as the sun made its descent on the horizon. A Dunmer caravan set up camp beneath a gnarled tree as strange creatures howled in the distance. One Dunmer in particular stood out from the group. The way his armour hugged his athletic frame like a second skin and how his sword hung naturally from his side marked him as a skilled warrior. Staring hawk-eyed into the wilderness; he watched. Seryn refused to lax in his duty. The entire caravan, including his wife, relied completely on him and one other guard for protection.
    “Seryn, darling, come eat. There’s no need to be so vigilant.”
    The narrow-eyed Dunmer tore his gaze from the wilderness to meet his wife’s eyes.
    “I don’t trust the wilds Mel, there’s a foul stench in the air.”
    The Dunmer woman laughed musically.
    “Come now, Brelyna’s cooking isn’t all that bad.”
    Seryn allowed himself to grin at the joke. He could never be too somber when Melisi was around.
    “I suppose a hot meal could do me some good, but I promised Balvar I’d take the first watch.”
    “You’ll be back long before nightfall Seryn, there’s no need to be so tense.”
    Reluctantly, but unable to refuse his wife, Seryn allowed Melisi to take his hand as she led him to a makeshift seat beside the crackling fire. Brelyna had a tankard of stew waiting for him.
    “It’s good,” he mumbled in between spoonfuls of the thick scrib stew, attempting to hide his disgust. Seryn hated the taste of scribs, but he didn’t want to dampen the spirits of his friends by refusing the meal. Smiling slightly, he handed the empty tankard back to Brelyna.
    An arrow whistled past Seryn’s head, finding the bark of the gnarled tree behind him. Instantly, he drew his blade. With a frantic look in his eyes, Seryn’s gaze found his wife.
    “Mel, run. NOW!”
    Melisi was frozen in shock. Seryn grabbed her arm and thrust her away from the camp.
    Tears now flowing from her gentle eyes, Melisi fled the camp into the untamed wilderness beyond. A second arrow soared past Seryn’s wife as she fled, narrowly missing its mark. The twang of a bowstring betrayed the location of its master. They were close. Unleashing an ancestral fury, Seryn descended upon the encroaching bandits. The archer died first. Like an apex predator Seryn moved through the attackers, killing as he went.
    Seryn winced as a blade grazed his side. He decapitated the one who wielded it.
    “Where are you damnit!”
    He spotted the still figure of the second guard slumped against a tree. The hilt of a sword protruded from his chest. Seryn could not overcome the bandits alone. Content to trade his life so that Melisi might escape, he resigned himself to his fate. As more archers emerged from the trees, three words escaped his lips:
    “So be it.”
  • chazisop
    Akh'iq was watching the two Covenant guards enjoying their little feast. His paws were marked with scratches from the sharp rocks that made up the cliffs, as was often the case in the province of High Rock. But the dagger-like rocks were not the greatest danger of that particular climb, for the area was riddled with caves; some of them having bones strewn in their entrances and giving out the unmistakable putrid smell of an ogre den. Yet, he had overcome that obstacle and now was staring at his target: the outpost overlooking the small inlet below, which would make a perfect anchorage for the Dominion raiding party. The area boasting ogres made it even better, as it meant fewer prying eyes. He was careful and his boat small enough to not be seen approaching, but the guards would definitely spot the larger ships.

    He watched as the guards were making such a ruckus, he was concerned more about them attracting ogres than his approach through the foliage being noticed. One guard, noticeably drunk, was boasting about his archery skills. As Akhi'q approached he heard taunts and the sound of coins hitting a wooden surface, probably the barrel those drunkards were using as a table.

    “Three tries - hic - I bet you can't even hit the practice target.”, one guard yelled. Akhi'q heard the thudding sound of the arrow hitting the tree bark, followed by a cackle.

    “I knew you could not even hit that, these will be the ten easiest gold coins I ever made!”

    The other guard cursed and strung his bow, releasing a second arrow, just in time as Akh'iq found a spot a small distance behind him, which was dense enough to hide him yet allowed him a shot with his own bow. The second shot missed as well, sending the guard to an almost maniacal laughter that echoed through the forest and cliffs. Perhaps he was indeed possessed by Sheogorath himself, as he took two breadrolls, replaced the practice target with himself, balancing one breadroll on his head, holding the other using an arrow and taking bites.

    “I am so sure, you can't even hit”, he told chuckling, “I will even stand here as you take your final shot!”

    The other guard, annoyed, drew his bow but before he had a chance to aim, he heard an arrow flying beside him and hitting his fellow guard in his left eye. Panicked, he tried to turn around but stumbled on a fallen branch and fell by the tree. It was at this moment that Akh'iq, leaving his bow beside him had drawn his blade and used his nightblade skills to teleport to the guard and plunge a dagger in his thigh, cutting through the femoral artery.

    As the guard was slowly fading away, he saw Akh'iq taking the breadroll from the other guard's hand and nailing it to the tree.

    “I guess, one could say this one won the bet.”
  • olivier.vd.brandtb16_ESO
    No Flesh

    ‘Let’s get moving R’angroth, it’s staring at us.’
    ‘Grump, I’m still hungry. Nice bones, don’t you think S’roarsh?’ R’angroth exclaimed glancing at the skeleton from his cover behind the old and moldy bedrolls. ‘There might be some marrow inside, let’s crack them!’
    ‘Are you crazy? I’m telling you, it’s looking at us. That corpse is following me with the one eye it has left.’
    S’roarsh had to admit the hunger was gnawing at him, just as much as it was on R’angroth. And he didn’t know who he distrusted more, his mate or the skeleton. He had seen R’angroth glancing at him last night, probably assuming he was asleep. He had seen the red glimmer in his mate’s eye. Hunger did that to you. Just a second ago, he saw the same red glimmer in the eye of the skeleton.
    ‘Come on S’roarsh. Let’s at least get the potato’s, so I won’t have to start nibbling your legs tonight.’ R’angroth’s broad smile showing his fangs made his joke a threat. ‘Those Khajiit are no living death.’
    ‘Khajiit! You miserable moron, are you born blind? That’s not a Khajiit and never has been. Look at that skull.’
    It had been puzzling S’roarsh from the minute he noticed the red eye glancing at him. What had it been, a dark elf? In this area? The corpse looked like it had been killed in a cruel game of execution, pinned to a tree like that with a target on its skull. A sick game of archery, the real target tossed aside on the ground. It was just the kind of game R’angroth and his friends would enjoy. It made him nauseous, he wished he wasn’t so pathetic soft-hearted. He felt like a disgrace to his race.
    R’angroth dashed forward from his cover behind the bedroll, diving on the potato’s. The glimmer in the eye of the skeleton was definitely lighting up now. S’roarsh crouched behind the barrel while he suppressed a whimper. The skeleton grabbed R’angroth by the leg and set its teeth in the flesh. R’angroth bellowed with pain, striking the skeleton with all his force. That was a mistake and cost him dearly. The skeleton sank its teeth in R’angroth’s throat, blood spattering on the ground, the tree and the cast-away target. In a last attempt to save his life R’angroth severed the skull from the fleshless carcass, sending the skeletons head flying into the bushes.
    S’roarsh stared at the pile of lifeless bones and the fresh flesh on the ground. There it was, a fresh meal. Now was the time to overcome his fussiness. A meal was a meal after all. He left his cover and sank his fangs in the juicy leg of his mate. Suddenly he heard a noise from behind the tree. Another skeleton was staring at him with two red shining eyes, a dagger still stuck between its ribs.
    ‘Hello there,’ it said, ‘I’ve been dying to meet you.’
  • JayRush
    Soul Shriven
    “No,” Benric insisted, shaking his head. “And we’ll leave it at that.”
    I wriggled closer to him, my movements a little awkward due to the bindings around my hands and feet. “They’ll kill us if you don’t.”
    “That would probably be a better alternative!” He snarled. Clearly he was done discussing the matter, but I was as stubborn as a frost troll and refused to give up the proposition.
    The group of bandits couldn’t see us under the dark umbrage of the tree, thankfully, but my brother and I could see them just fine. There were about five of them around the fire, knocking back tankards of ale and ravaging legs of meat in between arguments about how they would split their gold.
    Actually, our gold.
    I frowned, “It was your magic that got us into this mess, and it’s your magic that’s going to get us out.”
    He bit his lip, lost in thought. “You want your life in the hands of a Mages Guild reject?”
    My older brother rarely discussed his dismissal from the Guild. I knew it wasn’t his favorite topic of conversation.
    “Better than in the hands of those five,” I nodded in the direction of our captors, who were lost in a drunken rendition of Ragnar the Red.
    “Fine,” He sighed. “There’s a scroll in my pocket.”
    I guess the highwaymen must have seen all the fidgeting I was doing beneath my brother’s robe, because pretty soon they were getting their weapons and walking over to where we sat.
    As he broke the seal and started chanting the bandits yelled out to us, “What’s he doin’?”
    We were running out of time. “Hurry!” I urged, and Benric stood up to get a better posture. The ogres on the outskirts of the camp were fixated on the scene, as if they knew what was about to happen.
    The first arrow hit my brother in the leg, the second one in his chest.
    “Keep going!” I yelled, as one of the bandits unsheathed a sword. Benric did as he was told, grimacing as he recounted the last words of the spell in the ancient tome. The third arrow landed next to the second, but I don’t think he even noticed.
    Just as they were on us, my brother finished the spell and a wave of energy seemed to wash over my entire body.
    Everything felt different once I was coherent. I felt much bigger, slower too, and all I wanted to do was growl. Looking up from the ground, I saw my brother’s body, pricked with arrows. Oddly enough a corpse that looked an awful lot like me sat next to him, a sword in their gut.
    A beast moaned next to me. I cocked my head towards an ogre that bore a scary resemblance to my brother. I opened my mouth to speak, but all that came out was a primal groan.
    Maybe being dead was preferable to switching bodies with an ogre.
  • Bulldogsrule7
    Soul Shriven

    It was pathetic, really.

    The raid was going according to plan, every strategy going off without a hitch. Sure enough, all it had taken was a few well placed arrows, and the merchants had lost control of their carriage. The Bretons must have known that their days were numbered. At best, they only had a few hours to live. Most would have ran. Most would have searched for help, or shelter, or at least something to defend themselves with.

    But these two...These two were different. Ignoring what they must have surely known was their impending doom, they had set up camp, chatting and laughing without a care in the world.

    How could they be so relaxed? We asked each other. Our questions were met with equally confused shrugs. All the while, the Breton merchants carried on below, unloading their wares as their voices echoing across the valley.

    They were talking about their travels; making obscure references to old adventures and daring escapades. They reminisced over stories of a great hunt, laughed at a thrilling chase to win the hand of an elven princess, and solemnly recalled the discovery of an abandoned treasure trove.

    So we watched on, held back by curiosity.

    They weren't warriors, that much was certain. Or, if they were, they lacked weapons. Everything that came out of the carriage was just as one would expect from two merchants hoping to sell and profit on the market.

    Then they brought out the barrel. The Bretons took a great deal of effort to pull it out, making a grand show of its impressive weight. This only heightened our curiosity. Some among our number suggested the barrel was filled with gems. Others insisted it sealed away some powerful magical artifact. And still, those Bretons kept talking.

    Our bickering continued through the hour, growing steadily worse and worse.

    We couldn't wait any longer. We had to know what was in that barrel. Gathering our full force, we charged the camp, ready to do whatever was necessary to uncover the secrets that barrel held.

    The merchants seemed unsurprised by our attack. Sharing a grin with one another, they cast off the barrel’s lid. Reaching into its dark contents, they drew forth what would be the instruments of our destruction.

    Potatoes. Throwing them in rapid succession, one after another, they launched the things at us like arrows.

    They didn't seem very surprised when the potatoes didn't do anything either. Within minutes, we had slaughtered them. Suffice to say, we got carried away, maddened at our crushed vision of mystery and discovery.

    It was only after the battle that we realized some of our men had begun to They searched the camp, frantically trying to find something. No matter what we did, they ignored us, muttering darkly about what was really hidden inside the barrel. Not wanting the same to happen to us, we left in a hurry.
    As far as we know, they're still there.
  • averyf.95ub17_ESO
    Soul Shriven
    “C’mon, Syela! It’s just a bit further,” Thrath called back to his companion. His words carried the faint scent of rotmeth, the finest brew that Bramblebreach had to offer.

    “Are you sure it’s safe to leave the town?” Syela called. She too was tipsy, but not so drunk as her partner. “We’re going pretty close to the Wood Orc’s camp…” she stumbled in the darkness, tripping over a root.

    “It’ll be fine, Syela! I come here all the time with my buddies to practice archery. We’ve never,” he paused to belch obnoxiously. “I've never seen any orcs come near here. We do keep some sleeping pads and a barrel of rotmeth, in case they’re needed though.”

    They soon arrived at the small camp. “Here,” Thrath said, offering a flagon of brew to his girlfriend. She accepted it, and sat down at the base of a nearby tree. There was a dense layer of soft, green moss on the ground, making for a comfortable seat despite the tree’s roots.

    “So, babe, I have a question for you…” Thrath said, hiccuping furiously.

    “What is it?” she asked, turning to look up at him. She chuckled aloud when she found him asleep, leaning against the tree. Thrath’s snores were quiet enough, but a stream of drool found its way out of the corner of the bosmer’s mouth, barely visible in the light of their torches.

    Syela smiled to herself again. There was nothing left to do but relax, and maybe do some stargazing. Masser and Secunda were both new, and could not be seen anywhere in the night sky, but the stars that night were magnificent.

    Syela heard a muffled grunt come out of the darkness, near the small camp.

    “Who goes there?” Syela called out, sitting upright.

    “Hello?” She called again when there was no reply, but the darkness ate her words.

    The sound of a sharp whizzing noise, followed by a soft thud, entered her right ear. Looking around in surprise, she saw an arrow quivering in Thrath’s right shin, stuck between the tibia and fibula. It hit with such force that it had punctured even the tree’s rough bark.

    Thrath woke with a start, and stared down at his leg in awe. The alcohol in his blood had dulled his senses, and he felt little pain as two more arrows found their way into his abdomen. “Ow,” he said drunkenly.

    “Thrath!” Syela cried out. Before she could do anything, one of the goblins stuck her with its sword.

    “Thrath…” Syela whispered weakly, releasing the flagon from her grip. Blood spilled from his head as easily as alcohol did from her flagon. Syela gasped her last breath, as the goblin backed away from her corpse, leaving the sword in her gut.

    It was weeks later before anyone discovered their bodies. The hapless adventurer who did fared no better against the goblin tribe that resided there, and the goblin’s ogres made a tasty snack of his entrails as well.
    Edited by averyf.95ub17_ESO on April 4, 2015 3:26AM
  • Guar
    "Relirooooon," slurred Jorick, through a mug full of the finest Eastmarch mead "Oh Relirooon, guess what I've got?"

    He put down the mug and fumbled around in his bag for a minute before producing a well-crafted Colovian bow.

    Reliron made a grab for the bow but Jorick pulled it just out of reach while Reliron’s eyes glazed over looking at the smooth curves of the bow.

    Reliron, flabbergasted, asked Jorick "How d... How did you get it?"

    Jorick, cocky, replied "just a matter of persuasion, Reliron. Well, that and a dagger at the throat of the shopkeeper"

    "Jorick, you have to give me that.. You, you don’t even use bows. You've been using swords since.. well forever!"

    "Alright Rel, I'll give you the bow; If I can shoot this potato off your head."

    Reliron, hesitant, looked down at his mug then wistfully back at the bow.

    "I don't know Jorick, the last time you shot an arrow we ended up at the temple for weeks because of that guar herder."

    "Reliron you and I both know that was the guar’s fault. So will you do it or not? Because I bet this fine bow would fetch a decent price in Riften"

    "Agh.. You always did drive a hard bargain Jorick. But first I want to try it, make sure there are no enchantments like that 'Daedric' amulet you bought from that Khajit."

    "Alright, I'll throw this potato in the air you nail it to the tree and don't bring up that Khajit again"

    Jorick tossed the vegetable into the wind and an arrow, like a nail hit by Zenithar himself, flew straight through the potato planting it in the tree.

    Satisfied, Reliron handed back the bow.

    "Alright" he said, looking worried. "I'll do it, but try to aim the way I showed you" He handed over the bow, took a final swig from his mug, picked up the potato and stumbled over to the tree. Placing the potato on his head, he leaned against the tree and waited.

    As he was pulling back the bow Jorick asked Reliron in a nonchalant manner "You remember that Breton girl from Bruma?"

    "How could I forget?" replied Reliron, unsuspecting of what fate had in store.

    "Well you were probably too drunk to remember at the time but I had told you specifically to stay away from her. Well, old friend, this is payback."

    The arrow flew straight and true hitting the target with full impact.

    "You, you shot me" Reliron stammered, not quite having processed what just happened.

    Another arrow lodged itself in his shoulder and then another in his jaw, but not before Reliron was able to make a grab for Jorick's sword laying on the ground and stick it deep within its owners gut.

    Jorick, always a hardy Nord with a taste for mead, raised his tankard to his dead comrade with a toast “To the girl from Bruma!” The mead fell to the ground as Jorick departed for Sovngarde.
  • SauceBrigade
    Soul Shriven
    I felt the smoldering concoction rest deep at the bottom of my stomach, and as I opened my eyes, the scene presented itself before me. Beams of golden light were just peaking over the nearest mountain, so it had to be near daybreak. The tree that moments ago acted as a leaning post for two formations of bone was now vacant. Twas not unusual, for the potion typically brings the consumer back to either a few hours or just before the incident occurs. Instinctively I reached for my broadsword while whirling in a ninety degree angle to the left, yet nothing was there. Damn body! It's getting too jumpy in old age- before I could finish that thought my body went into autopilot again by brandishing four feet or dwarvish metal in an upwards, vertical slash. This time it wasn't a freak accident for an arrow shaft lie lodged deep in the tree behind me.
    My eyes scanned the landscape for the source of this malefic arrow and by TalosI found it. There were what appeared to be two merchants approaching where I stood in an all-out sprint, closing in on their vicinity was what appeared to be a horde of clanging iron and steel--bandits. The first merchant to reach the tree ran directly through my incorporeal form and collapsed at the base of the tree. It would seem he twisted his ankle a while back, it had swollen to an inhuman size. The merchant following behind him would not simply let his comrade go and without hesitation grabbed his fallen associate to drag him and prop his wounded body upon the tree. The merchant still able to stand rested his hand on the head of his companion and uttered the words"forgive me" as he drove his longsword deep into the man's abdomen. A single tear rolled down the merchant's right cheek as he watched the life ebb out of the man's features. The merchant turned to rest on the tree, and as he closed his eyes an arrow pierced through his skull. He let out one last yell of defiance as three more arrows entered his body, and his jaw went limp.
  • Tobinify
    Soul Shriven
    Oh dear pretty little journal,

    I write because a story needs to be told. Mine of course! A cute young girl appeared and snuck up on me. Which doesn’t happen too often. I panicked and accidentally possessed her. Or was it on purpose? I forget. It has been a few hours, but I decided to make the best of it and run into the forest like any young girl would do.

    I came upon a loving couple sitting by a fireplace, talking about how they missed their dearly departed. They looked so forlorn and I felt touched, truly I did. So I resurrect their loved ones! Only two of course. Otherwise the party would have been too big and there weren’t enough drinks to go around! The youthful couple were so excited, that is until their loved one tried to take a chomp out of their tiny little noses. Almost did too! Seems like these two were pretty good hunters. A swing there, a few arrows here, and the loved ones were sadly double dead.

    Their fighting abilities surprised and entertained me! I reveled in it! I offered drinks and bread and cheese for everyone! Yet, the two partiers quickly became party poopers and wanted me to leave. The ignorance of these two. Pointing a notched arrow at me. ME! A little girl! So I turned them into ogres. Well journal, you’ve been an excellent listener but I should really go back to Haskill. Poor little fellow is probably shaking in anticipation of my return. I'm sure the little girl I've borrowed can smell her way home. Tootles!

    Dear journal,

    Where am I? There are dead people and big monsters. I want to leave. The monsters won’t let me. They try talking but then, then one roared. I think they want to eat me, but they don’t. I don’t know, but, they won’t let me leave. I just want my papa...
  • vespidprime
    Soul Shriven
    Journal of Thranor Nightvale

    Loredas, 25th of Rain’s Hand

    It is the first night of my journey out of Elden Root. Some of our Aldmeri scouts spotted a small group of Daggerfall rebels trying to sneak in off of our Coast. My father sent me to find their exact location so our soldiers can intercept and get rid of the taint on our shores. Before I left he said, “Bosmer’s only allow those they want to touch the shores of this sacred land”.

    Sundas, 26th of Rain’s Hand

    I know the terrain of Valenwood like the back of my hand and yet nights alone in the woods leave me unsettled for at night the true monsters come out to play. However, I am making great progress from the capital and will soon be upon Woodhearth come tomorrow.

    Morndas, 27th of Rain’s Hand

    I made it to Woodhearth early this morning and have been tracking its shoreline in hopes that I will see some sign of the rebels passing. It would appear I will be heading south tomorrow to Greenheart based off some rumors from locals. Hopefully I can still have time to join in the festivities of Jester’s day tomorrow. A day when mischief is accepted and all of Tamriel joins in its celebration. We shall see what the divines bring for tomorrow.

    Tirdas, 28th of Rain’s Hand

    I have just spotted the rebels boat and tracked them down to the ruins of Carac Dena. The ruin has been rumored to be filled with ogres so they have decided to set up a small camp against a mountain wall instead of going inside. I have already sent word to my father and the Aldmeri troops of Elden Root, they will be upon this scum by tomorrows end and our lands will be cleansed. As all of Tamriel celebrates Jester’s Day, Baan Dar has decided to play a trick on me and has left me to watch this group of Daggerfall rebels tarnish our sacred land as they drink merrily together, in their false hope of some victory.

    The night has fallen and the rebels haven’t moved from their position. Their fire is starting to simmer down and many of them are slowly passing into sleep. I think I have spotted something moving in the darkness, but the night is sometimes misleading.

    The camp just erupted into a frenzy. Ogres have just emerged from the ruins and started attacking the rebels. The rebels are falling easily due to their drunken state. All I see are flashes of silver as daggers fly, swords slash, and arrows fly.

    The sun has just broke the horizon and the scene is a massacre. Ogres are feasting on the rebels bodies and some rebels bodies are filled with their comrades weapons. Baan Dar had played his final trick of the night and in the process cleansed our lands. My father will be pleased.
    Edited by vespidprime on April 4, 2015 3:14AM
  • Eiron77
    Everything in the wizard’s cave was covered in dust, abandoned long ago. Behind an old, wooden desk—just past a mess of glass alembics—nestled a weathered journal within a crevice of the rock wall. Its faded pages detailed many twisted experiments, revealing the depths of his madness, hidden from the prying eyes of the Mages Guild.

    Morndas, 1st day of Rain’s Hand, 2E 571

    Yesternight I set my thralls upon a group of adventurers that had, to their misfortune, set up camp near my cave. It is fortunate they felt safe enough in these woods to light a campfire as I might not have noticed them otherwise. With dawn’s rise my enclave most certainly would have been discovered. It is not a lie I panicked when their campfire’s light peaked through the cave’s mouth. I feared the Mages’ Guild had found me!

    Nevertheless, their misfortune was my gain. As my thralls fed upon their dead and I bound the last of three survivors, the earth trembled. Thunderous roars erupted around us. Huge bodies crashed through the trees and rushed into the firelight. The campfire had enraged a band of ogres! I quickly encircled us within a protective ward, knocking them back thirty yards, barely saving us from being smashed to bits.

    The ogres eventually ceased bashing at the invisible barrier, glaring at us in puffs of rage. Glancing around I realized I had created a small arena providing a rare chance to test the ogres’ feeble brains. I could peer into their thoughts and unlock the secrets within their minds as they become frustrated spectators, rather than participants of combat. And if I can access their minds, I can turn them into thralls. The potential of such massive slaves was staggering.

    The stage set, I released the survivors' bonds presenting them with an ultimatum. I could release my wards and expose them to the ogres' mercy or they could fight one another to the death. The last survivor free to go. Without hesitation the archer snatched up his bow and in the space of one breath fired three arrows pinning his first compatriot to a tree, mortally wounded. He seized a sword in the next breath, rushed upon the other, and gutted him. It was amazing and utterly unexpected. I might have actually kept my word, but his efficiency was also his mistake. It was too quick for the slow-witted ogres to comprehend. I had learned nothing. So I bound him again, stuffed a conjured potato into his mouth for my own amusement, and left him as a distraction for my escape.

    Loredas, 24th day of Rain’s Hand, 2E 571
    I've returned to the campsite every few days and with each visit find fresh potatoes littered around the corpses of the first two. (There is no trace of the third). Curious, I've hidden the last three nights watching as the ogres’ make poor attempts to reenact the archer’s fight, throwing and smashing potatoes with their weapons.

    Very interesting.
  • biby1093
    Soul Shriven
    Tirdas 6th of Sun's Height, 2E 124

    The voices are back again. The Eight have abandoned me now. I have escaped civilization and now live among the wilds. My companion has already given in to the shrieking voices, and is now dancing with a potato on his head. The voices tell me to "stab people with spoons" at this moment. Stendarr have mercy on my soul. I pray that Sheogorath leaves me in peace, this torment is too much. This is what happens when you make a deal with the Mad God. All this suffering just for one lousy book. I feel madness tightening its grip on my mind. It's only a matter of time before I jump cheese kittens dust chicke-ywfedg...
    Lurks-in-shadows put the page down. It was clear what happened. The author of the journal and his friend had been driven insane. Lurks-in-Shadows arrived in time to put them out of their misery with some well-placed shots from his bow, and a swing of a great sword. He walked away, leaving the two in peace. The divines have their souls now.
    Edited by biby1093 on April 4, 2015 6:08PM
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