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[Fiction] A Debt of Blood - Vol.1 - Feedback + Critiques Weclome

A Debt of Blood


Author's notes
Warning there is some strong language

A Debt of Blood, a title that is subject to change is a concept that I came up with to better detail the events that took place during Raska's time in Vvardenfell after freeing himself and his fellow slaves from the Caldera ebony mine. I felt that there was a wealth of creative opportunity that I left unexplored when I wrote that Raska had sought to search for his clan-mates and his mate. I believe it offers me a way to not only learn more about the character and flesh him out more, but offers my fellow role-players a way to gain insight as to why Raska is who he is and why he acts the way he does.

Currently I plan to have A Debt of Blood be a series of short-stories that will lead up to Raska's departure from Vvardenfell. If I feel it is enjoyed then I shall continue to write it, if it is not enjoyed then I will likely cease writing it, or at least not devote as much time to it in such a short period of time. I admit it has been a rough journey to bring the concept and story to a text format, yet fun. It took much longer than I had anticipated. I did enjoy the challenge of it and I hope that it has some entertainment value for you. As with all things I do appreciate any feedback. Thank you!

While this is 'finished' there are several issues I can see from the word 'go' and would love any feedback from you, the members of the ESO community. Any suggestions, feedback, critiques are welcomed and greatly appreciated.

The Story
"This one suspects your thirst for ash-skin blood has yet to be sated yes? Raska thought so..."

The sound of heavy rain drops breaking upon the earth filled the night as Raska leered toward the doorway of a Kudanat several yards from where he sat, hidden within the grass and ugly gray Vvardenfell terrain like a lion waiting for that perfect moment to pounce upon an unsuspecting prey. The rain pelted him rapidly, matting his golden fur and soaking his boiled netch leather trousers and boots. The brooding cathay male did not mind it, he enjoyed it in truth, it reminded him of one important fact; he was free. More importantly the thick masked the wagon and raiding party behind him. Even if the two guards posted outside were to look his direction they would not see the eerie glow of his eyes as they traced their forms, assessing them and finding them ill-equipped for the real storm that was about to fall upon them.

He carefully descended from the top of a large rock he had made his perch. He landed with a light splash, spraying water and mud in all directions. Raska would turn to what would be a seemingly empty plain, save for the occasional nix hound or scrib to a non-khajiit. Were they to wait for that brief moment when lightning flashes during a storm they would see it then, a pack of free khajiit slaves. Only a modest ten resided in their ranks. Their glowing eyes rested upon him. Raska struck an intimidating figure, his strong toned chest was exposed, muscle out-linings clearly seen despite the fur covering him. Large arms dangled from his core, strengthen by years of labor. All along his form hairless lines marked his body, the lion's share of these scars were present upon his back. Jagged interchanging scars stretched from the base of his shoulders to his lower back, every one placed upon him by the stinging bite of a whip. A mane of long brown matted hair flowed well beyond his broad shoulders adorned with painted wood and clay beads and braids, made all the more wild looking from the rain and lack of proper upkeep. His face bore strong dominate features much like of that the lions whom he shared a striking resemblance; a broad chin, and a pair of eyes that burned brightly like pools of molten gold. His face was painted, bearing a elaborate tribal marking, or perhaps the fur was dyed years ago. He looked very much the part of a barbarian, a wild fury of muscle and unchecked rage yet he maintained the stoic appearance of a hunter, intense focused eyes, hands steady in defiance of a rapidly beating heart in his breast threatening to burst forth his chest from anticipation.

The khajiit before him shared nothing in common in regards to appearance. Small wiry suthay made up the bulk of Raska's pride. One Ja'Amir stood as the perfect representation of a lynx. The amber stripped male bore pointed ears sporting tufts of fur, bushy mutton chomps, and a ever present grin upon his face. His personality reflected this, an eccentric cub, mischievous, he would claim himself as Rajhin or Baan Dar reborn if not better looking. A cathay-raht tiger stood the largest of them all towering over even Raska, known simply as Old Cat. His name never given, the tiger claimed once if his name was ever revealed to the dunmer it could put the Dominion at risk. The venerable male was a mass of fur and muscle, protected by various pieces of faded gold Ordinator armor scavenged upon his release, the pieces that would fit of course. His mane was shorter than Raska's by many lengths but was equally wild, a long coiled beard dangled loosely from his chin. He stood tall and proud, his head held skyward. Large tree-trunk sized arms crossed over an exposed stripped chest. He looked very much the soldier he claimed to be, save for the lack of proper grooming. Despite their vastly different appearances Raska would note one unifying elemental, a common trait, a feature present within the eyes of every khajiit before him; a thirst for blood.

"Let it us go" Raska ordered gesturing with his dripping maned head toward the covered wagon behind the group that was nestled in-between several trees but a few feet away from the main road. Two large cream colored guar were tied to a spiny skeletal tree. They yelped pitifully as a crack of lightning flashed, a thundering boom following it shortly. They pulled against their bindings whining lowly, but the rope held. The raiding party stood from their hiding places and moved to entered the wagon save for Ja'Amir and the Old Cat, they remained with Raska while he set himself to the task of strapping the harnesses to the guar and connecting the reins to them.

"Ja'Amir does not understand why we do not just charge, there are only two guards" the young suthay mewed, bright blue eyes looking up to the larger males. "If the others inside hear fighting they may lock doors inside or set up ambush from within cave" the Old Cat explained quickly in a deep authoritative tone while not looking at Ja'Amir. He led one of the guars toward the front of the wagon. The guar pulled against him but the large cathay-raht but the Old Cat was much too strong, he hissed at it "stupid guar!" Raska looked between the two, a confident grin upon his painted muzzle, his tail swaying behind him. "We aim to kick the ant hill, in doing so draw out as many as possible. We do not know this cave and will be going in blind, it is better to cut dunmer numbers down before we go in. Whatever happens khajiit must ensure door stays open, yes? Raska would rather not have to worry about slaves being used against khajiit or worse Pact patrols finding us while we break down door" Raska explained in an oddly direct manner for a khajit while strapping a harness to a guar. Raska was thankful for the beating of the rain as it hid the drumming of his heart, and the sound of him taking in rapid breaths. He was excited, nervous, and eager to begin. He look toward the door to the cave illuminated by two torches on either side. There was a desperate yearning inside his gut that ate away at his resolve. He had to get inside. He had to find them, he had to find her.

Raska climbed into the driver seat of the wagon, there at the foot of the sitting bench rested a basic steel spear, a worn steel sword with a chipped blade, his make-shift bow and a quiver containing ten arrows. It was all he could manage with the poor quality of wood he been forced to work with the previous day. He frowned as he looked at the disappointing arsenal that laid before him, he knew this was all he had and it would have to do. Resting on top of the sitting bench was a rolled up grayish blanket, very heavy now having been soaked by the unrelenting rain. The cathay male sat upon the bench and curled his tail into his lap before wrapping the blanket around his core first then tossing the excess over his shoulder, concealing his exposed body and the weapons at his feet. He would feel something push against his back and turned sharply to see the curled kitten-ish grin of Ja'Amir, his blue eyes glinting as held a gondolier's hat to him, much like the ones worn by the ferryman of Vivec. "This should cover Raska's ugly mug, so as not to scare the guards, yes?" Teased the bold little suthay who quickly retreated back into the confines of the wagon, just barely escaping a heavy backhand from Raska. 'Foolish cub jokes before fight and during fight! Knows not when it is time to act as adult!' Raska fumed mentally as he reluctantly strapped the large hat to his head.

He cracked the reins once demanding the defiant guars' attention who were content at first with complaining to one another, growling and hissing. He cracked the reins once more and finally they moved. He steered them from the hidden spot back to the road. It was not long before they came within sight of the guards who called out to them. "Halt! What in the name of Oblivion is this? You a merchant? If so you best be turnin' yourself around" a lanky, shaggy crimson haired dunmer dressed in a set of boiled netch leather called. "Slave delivery" Raska replied doing his best to hide that distinctive khajiit accent. The khajiit kept his head low so as to keep his face hidden behind the rim of the large hat. The dunmer look to another of his kin, a heavy bald sort with a full white beard who stood at his post by the door, he simply shrugged. The thinner of the two drew his sword from its sheath and approached the wagon's rear side. "Slaves ya say huh? Lets see about that then!"

Raska's heart pounded loudly within his chest, worried that the plan was about to fall apart. He bent slightly to grip the spear shaft, readying himself to use it, throw it if need be. The dunmer would see two lines of khajiit on both sides of the wagon as he opened the flap of the caped wagon, their hands locked in manacles that were bound to a long chain connecting the lot. The khajiit kept their heads low, some whined weakly. "Keep it down you flea-bitten beasts!" The guard spat, narrowing his blood red eyes, examining the lot once more before nodding his head approvingly. "Right, all looks in order. Don't remember any there being any planned deliveries though, but not my job to argue with a fresh stock" he explained rubbing the back of his head..

"Hey! Uldren! Get the others out here and lets get them inside already! Bout time for shift change anyways!” he called loudly. The bald dunmer tapped on the door in a specific pattern. Shortly after four dunmer filed out of the cave entrance. Like the first they wore boiled netch leather armor, their hair ranging from a fiery crimson red to a faded gray. Raska grinned as his golden eyes followed their feet from under the hat, as they moved to flank the wagon, two on either side. The shaggy hair dunmer gripped the side of the wagon, bringing himself within touching distance of Raska as he pulled himself up, hanging to the khajiit's left. "So whats with the hat driver? You are a long way from a river you know that?" Raska felt his heart stop suddenly. He pivoted his head to avoid the dunmer's gaze. "It... is to p-protect thi... my face" the khajiit said catching himself, having almost said 'this one'. "Protect you from what? A bit of rain and moon-light or others from seeing your ugly face, hah!" The dunmer mocked, the others joined him in laughing. Raska shook his head. "No, it is to protect face from the blood" he growled deeply. "The what?"

The dunmer's eyes grew wide as a spear was driven into his gut without warning. He gripped at the shaft, gasping, sucking in breaths rapidly as blood dribbled out from his wound. Raska stood then letting the blanket and hat fall from him. The dunmer was met with a set of golden eyes that burned hot like twin suns. The khaiit bared his fangs and snarled at the dunmer. He held the frighten elf's gaze, savoring the fear, taking in the despair that was painted a crossed his ashen face as he gave the khajiit a pathetic pleading look, shaking his head. Raska used all his strength to push the dunmer forward sending him flying back from the wagon. "Takarr!(Attack!)" he bellowed loudly, his roar echoing, surpassing the ground shaking thunder from above.

The others jumped from the caped sides of the wagon, weapons in paw poised to strike at the dunmer. Uldren, the heavier guard rushed to the door as fast as his fat legs would allow, shouting "attack! We're under attack! Come qui-" The plump dunmer fell forward yelping in pain as he was struck in the small of his back with an arrow, his warnings cut short. A lucky shot Raska knew, for the string of his bow slacked due to the rain. "The door!" he shouted seeing a dunmer from within rushing with a blade drawn. Raska notched a arrow and fired quickly. The arrow missed it's mark, but deterred the dunmer for a moment who cursed in his infernal tongue withdrawing back. The old cathay-raht tiger rushed through the crowd of furred combatants and dunmer guards, a Ordinator shield and mace in his paws, passing Ja'Amir as he jumped on the back of a dunmer guard stabbing wildly at his neck with a shiv carved from a shard of ebony, cackling madly. The large tiger raised shield as he neared the door frame. He peek out from behind it to scan the forward tunnels.

Raska jumped from the top of wagon after strapping his sword to his belt, his bow held in his off-paw, the quiver strapped to his heavily scarred back. Raska stopped to pull the spear from the gut of the guard who laid twitching in a dirty mud filled puddle with one hand, Raska twisted and jerked the spear, causing more internal damage and widening the wound. The dunmer howled painfully. Raska turned dismissively to leave him to bleed out. He advanced hastily upon the fatter guard who was attempting to crawl away toward the grass. He scrambled more frantically as he turned his bald head only to see Raska with his spear raised looming over him like a shadow. "N-no, no, no... Wait!" He cried, but Raska would not wait. He plunged the spear into the dunmer's upper back, and pressed down hard with all of the strength his dominate arm possessed, driving it deeper, growling viciously as he did so. The fat guard squirmed, pinned to the ground by the spear which Raska left behind as he looked to the Old Cat.

When the last of the dunmer outside had fallen he signaled to the others with a wave of his paw, gesturing for them to fall in behind the Old Cat. The undiminished raiders fell in line, growling and hissing excitedly, licking their maws as if to get the last bit of taste from their lips after a good meal. "MOVE!" Raska roared, his body trembled noticeably, his blood ran hot through his veins, his muscles flexed with every deep shaking breath he took, ready to strike at another foe. They pushed forward into the long narrow tunnel ahead that twisted and turned, from a distance they could see an equally narrow chamber up ahead, larger rock formations and boulders were present inside, their placement seemed almost random in the tight chamber ahead as they rounded the corner. The khajiit ducked their heads to avoid hanging tree roots that had pierced through the ceiling. Scattered torches burned dimly, offering little in the ways of light. This did not matter, not to the hunter and his companions, khajiit possessed the Night's Eye and had no need of artificial light sources.

An arrow struck the shield suddenly and bounced off harmlessly. "Archer!" the tiger warned ducking his wide head behind the shield. Raska reached for another arrow and set it into place "where!?" He demanded with a hiss peering over the shield. He briefly spotted the figure of an elf strafing out from behind a large rock several feet away, he let loose an arrow and quickly retreated back to cover."Take cover!" Raska called. His warning, however, was not quick enough. He watched from behind the larger male as a black furred suthay male fell back, an arrow protruding from his neck. The smaller khajiit squirmed, rolling back and forth clutching the arrow shaft, wheezing wetly, gurgling his own blood involuntarily. His teary emeralds eye went wide and darted rapidly from side to side until they finally stopped, freezing in place. Raska watched the painful scene not looking away until the khajiit passed on, backing up instinctively as the Old Cat called for them to fall back and pressed against him.

"Dark moons upon them!" he cursed in a growl, shaking his head before jumping out from behind the Old Cat and his shield. "Wait!" the tiger would call from behind, his words were ignored. Raska held his bow firmly, the arrow fully drawn, his golden gaze fixated on the last spot the dunmer had last been. Raska continued to advance, tunnel visioning as he stepped closer to the narrow chamber. "Forward!" he called loudly in the commonly spoken tongue, a baiting tactic. The foolish dunmer went for it and spun out from his cover as he had done before. He would round back just in time to see Raska's hand loose an arrow. The arrow found it's mark in the dunmer's chest. The elf gasped, a pure look of bewilderment upon his face as he stumbled back looking at the arrow. He stepped back over the edge into a pool of cavern water fed by a natural waterfall located to the right of the entrance of the narrow chamber.

Raska moved further into the cave absentmindedly, ignoring the beginning of a staircase to his left, rather pleased with himself having proven himself the better archer. His victorious moment was brought to an abrupt end as an arrow hissed by his head, cutting the side of his face. He turned quickly to see another dunmer male holding a bow on top of a platform to his left, a elegantly robed female with long well brushed black hair at his side. "You missed you swit!" She crowed at the male as she waved her hands in what would seem an odd fashion to Raska, though in truth she was performing the necessary gesture for a spell. Raska wasted no time in grabbing another arrow, as did the dunmer archer. The khajiit was seconds faster than the elf and loosed his arrow first, striking the dunmer's side just below his rib cage, he fell back crying out in pain. "Burn cat!" The mage yelled throwing a ball of fire at Raska. The khajiit's ears pinned back as he went wide eyed. He dived off to his left back toward the others whom had followed closely and stood in a line behind a rock but a few feet away from the room Raska had left. He landed roughly upon his shoulder with a grunt. Raska quickly scrambled to his feet to join the others."Bah! Hate mages..." Raska complained.

Raska looked to the Old Cat as he collected himself who wore a disapproving look upon his wide face. "Raska should know better..." the Old Cat began to lecture before stopping as flash of gray rushed passed them, it had been Hiskar-Ja a gray furred mane-less male who rushed ahead up the wooden stairs, a raised sword in each paw. Hiskar-ja thought he would end the mage himself, seeking to prove his worth. "Wait!" the veteran called, but once again his words were ignored. "Stay!" Raska hissed looking back at the others for a moment, as he himself motioned to follow after him. A blood curdling scream suddenly echoed through out the cave. Raska looked to see a torrent of fire roaring forth from the mage's hands, the flames engulfing Hiskar-Ja. He howled loudly, the horrid cries seeped into the raiding party, bathing them in a unshakable sense of dread. Hiskar-Ja rolled madly down the stairs to the cavern floor. "HELP ME!" he cried, extending a paw out to the others. None moved, frozen by fear and shock, even Raska found his legs would not respond despite instinct demanding them to. The horrid stench of burning flesh and fur infiltrated and tormented their senses. They watched as Hiskar-ja's blackening flesh peeled back and boiled and bubbled. Long onyx tendrils of smoke rose from him as he wailed painfully.

“Move!” Raska roared to himself. He sprang into a half sprint then was halted as his vision blurred without warning, the room went white. A loud crack screeched through the tunnel causing Raska's ears to ring. He jumped back having nearly been caught by a bolt of lightning that shot from the mage like a bullet from a gun. Raska felt the iron grip of the Old Cat pulled him back. As his senses came back into focus he would understand why the Old Cat's grip was so tight, threatening to crush his shoulder. His ears pressed firmly against his head as he saw Hiskar-Ja. The blackened heap of seared flesh and patches of fur thrashed wildly against the floor, his slacking jaw filled with white foam as lightning coursed through him. His screams replaced with a wet hissing gargling sound. “B-bright moons...” Raska muttered weakly. They held firm behind a rock at the mouth of the entrance, eyes wide, heart having sunk down into the depths of Oblivion.

The khajiit party growled back in defiance, cursing in their native tongue as the hid from they mage. The Old Cat tapped the shield with his mace. "On me!" He gestured for Raska to follow. It did not take Raska long to understand the veteran's meaning. Raska reached for arrow from his quiver following behind the large cathay-raht. A fireball crashed into the shield the moment they stepped out from cover. Small embers showered over them, burning their fur in the slightest of ways. "Die damn you!" The female called from above. Raska jumped out and loosed an arrow, the arrow missed but the dunmer withdrew into the built-in store room, cursing them. 'Curse this bow!' Raska fumed internally as he nocked another arrow.

He looked to Ja'Amir who stood back in the tunnel. The small suthay licked at his maw as he fidgeted clearly bored with hiding behind rocks and in tunnel. Raska's eyes snapped back as his keen ears picked up the sound of creaking wood from the platform, he loosed the arrow nearly hitting his mark. He growled, angrily at himself. 'This is taking too long! We need to find better way!' He couched to himself, looking at the wooden stair case, then he saw it. How close the platform was to that wall, with just enough space for a small khajiit to fit in-between. He grinned as an idea sneaked its way into mind, oh what a clever hunter he was. "Ja'Amir, climb!" He hissed in their native tongue turning quickly back to loose another arrow, only for it to miss its mark. Ja'Amir looked to the stair case with a puzzled look. It would take a second for the plan to register, when it did he bounced in place rubbing his eager paws together.

The petite suthay dashed forward hastily toward the stairs, though he did not climb them in the traditional sense. Ja'Amir was quite the acrobat and proved this as he jumped onto the adjacent stone wall, sharp claws and nimble fingers served as hooks finding a place to grip in the porous cave wall assisting Ja'Amir in his ascent. Raska watched him from behind the mountain of cat that was the older veteran, a tinge of pride glinting in his primal eyes. "Now to keep her attention" he thought, not wishing for Ja'Amir to meet a similar fate as the last khajiit. A crooked grin formed along the clever hunter's painted muzzle, his golden eyes narrowing. "Ha! ugly ash-skin male couldn't khajiit if he stood still!" Raska taunted from below but the mage did not move. His heart beat was rapid as he looked back to the ignorant Ja'Amir, they had to get her attention otherwise he would meet a similar fate as Hiskar-ja. Another thought came to mind. "Drop shield!" he whispered from behind to the Old Cat. "Is Raska crazy?!" he retorted in a bitter tone. "Do it or Ja'Amir is dead" he demanded with a growl. The Old Cat groaned letting the shield fall from his grasp to the floor, it 'clanked' loudly as it did. The caster poked her head out just enough to see the shield hit the floor, Raska's plan had worked. She returned to her post with haste and oh how furious she was to have been mocked, she was eager to capitalize on what she thought was a blunder. The two khajiit fell back to the tunnel as a bolt of lightning shot from her hands. "Ha!" She spat from above.

Ja'Amir wore a wide impish grin as he reached the top and grasped the edge of the platform. He pulled himself up with ease and dusted himself off gently as if no one was in danger of dying and looked to the female. He grinned as he padded excitably toward her. There was a bounce to his soft steps, literally and metaphorically. He wondered how blind she must have been to not have seen his approach while she issued insult after insult toward his friends following a fire spell or bolt of lightning. Brave and agile Ja'Amir was about to save the day he thought, the thought made him overwhelmingly gleeful. Oh what a terrible thing the mind of a ja'khajiit is, his formulating something awful as he came with touching distance. "L-look.. out" wheezed a factor Ja'Amir had forgotten to take into consideration, the wounded dunmer archer that shared the wooden platform. Ja'Amir's body skipped forward much like his heart, paws out stretched. The dunmer female turned only to see the curled grin of the young lynx look-a-like before she was pushed over the edge. "Watch your step!" He shouted as he sent her over screaming. His blue eyes followed her as she came crashing down onto the stone floor, with thud. He turned on a heel and gave the archer a threatening glare, his nose twitching. "How dare he ruin Ja'Amir's fun" he fumed, bouncing his way toward him a ebony shank in paw. "Ja'Amir shall teach you manners friend" he hissed delightfully.

The slaves below fell upon the fallen dunmer mage like a pack of ravenous wolves, save for Raska and the Old Cat. Blades fell upon her form like sharp steel fangs biting and tearing into her flesh. They added their tune to Ja'Amir's bitter sweet melody of murder that echoed from the platform. Raska stepped forward to the group watching them sate their rage, he fed off them then as they did him, a twisted approving grin stretched along his face. While the Old Cat from behind shook his head, he mourned their loss as much as any but found their behavior beneath them and their race, but he did not issue a complaint. No, he knew war was a terrible thing and the tantalizing pull of revenge and how stirred others to such actions. Raska moved beyond the mage and the others shadowed by the Old Cat, he dismissed her displaying a perfect disconnection. She deserved no pity he thought as his gaze moved to the steaming half charred remains of Hiskar-ja. That stomach churning stench of seared flesh hung over the wide glazened eyed corpse like a thick impenetrable aura. "Bright moons guide you to Llesw'er" Raska muttered with a bowed head and raised paw grimacing, vowing without thought or word to make the dunmer pay for giving him a poor death.

“Raska! There is food up here!” Called Ja'Amir from the platform. Raska turned his head sharply to Ja'Amir who stood at the platform's edge, paws and chest splattered red with fresh blood. He was chewing on what looked to be scrib jerky clutched in his right paw, looking rather pleased with himself. Raska's ears pinned back as his face contorted making him look feral. “Silence!” He hissed through gritted fangs, “foolish ja'khajiit!” he groaned mentally. Raska look forward to the tunnel ahead, it was a dead-end from what he could see save for the bottom plank to what he thought to be a set of stairs. “Help khajiit!” A weak choked voice called. Raska's ears perked high as his heart jumped into his throat and froze. “Come...” he said hastily. But that firm grip of the Old Cat caught him. “No more rushing in like mad sugar-tooth!” He growled, situated in a combat ready stance, knees bent and the damaged Ordinator shield raised. Raska would not be deterred, not when his clan or /her/ could be in there. He pulled sharply against the grip of the Old Cat snarling defiantly. His heart had come back to life and beat with purpose rapidly as if to make up for beats loss after staling out. “Let go!” He growled finally breaking the grip. He jumped a few steps away and slung his bow over his shoulder and reached for sword. “Lets finish this!” He roared before turning to charge.

Raska charged forward. He could see it now, the wooden slave pin that the stairs lead to stashed away in a raised pocket within the left side of the small cavern-like room. He could see the glowing eyes of khajiit in between the planks of the poorly crafted pin. Paws reached out in between as if to take hold of him and embrace him. His hearts raced faster as a fresh desperate wave of hope washed over him and carried him away mentally, robbing him of his keen senses. He would not hear their warnings. “Look out!” Without warning something hit him in his throat, something long and thin. The sudden impact and pain caused him to gag, and gasp for air. Raska felt the ground disappear from his under him. The world tipped back and his sight rose back to the ceiling. He saw it then, an ebony colored arm as he found himself suspended in mid-air, frozen there for a brief moment as time stood still permitting his mind to take all the time it needed to register the sudden event. Then time resumed it's normal course and he hit the ground hard, the landing forced the air from him causing him to double over in pain gasping. He looked up while desperately trying to refill his lungs with air with a deep heavy breaths.

A sword blade glinted from the torch light high above his head ready to come down upon him. A dunmer outfitted in bonemeal wearing a mask over his face held it firmly, a jet-black mohawk upon a shaven head. Raska swung at him weakly to discourage the blow but his efforts would not be needed. He would see the dunmer be tossed into the wall as the Old Cat charged shield first and crashed into the dunmer. The dunmer was sent forward several feet from Raska and the Old Cat. There was a sudden cheering and roaring from the slave pin. The wooden pin creaked and moaned against the weight of them as they pressed into the make-shift walls to see what was transpiring on the ground level. The dunmer rolled into the wall, grunting from the pain. “That is all you got you damned beast?!” He barked from a crouched position. He went to stand but the Old Cat had already advanced upon him. “Khajiit would not suggested that!” He growled moving to the dunmer's flank. The dunmer turned and looked up, his sword arm brought back as if to swing. His face was met with the armored knee of the large cathay-raht. Blood sprayed from the dunmer's bruised face. His head collided with the wall behind him. “Gah!” He cried from the pain. The Old Cat took hold of the dunmer's arms and hoisted him onto his feet and slammed him back into the stone wall with great force, showing that his size was not just for show. The gasped as the air was forced from his lungs, his hand letting the blade fall from his grasp.

Raska scrambled to get back onto his feet. He bent over and rested his paws upon his knees while taking in deep breaths, his long mane covering most of his face as it hung loosely. “T-this... one is grateful” he began with a smirk to thank the Old Cat. His ears flicked as they caught the sound of rapidly approaching footsteps coming from his right. A younger looking dunmer with long silken white hair charged from a room that had been veiled with long elaborate sheets, a sword in hand. Raska straighten himself up quickly and growled at the dunmer, his fangs and sword bared. The rest of Raska's pride came rushing into the tight room with weapons the ready, growling fiercely. The younger dunmer stopped dead in his tracks, his crimson eyes widened. “I-I give up” he stuttered as he fell back in attempt to retreat, abandoning his sword. “Where is key!?” Raska demanded as he fall upon him with a feral expression. The dunmer winched as if struck and quickly fumbled to retrieved a key-ring from his belt. Raska growled once more to inspire him to move faster. The dunmer yelped and handed him the keys and covered him his face with his arms. “You bloody coward!” Spat the other male. “Don't do nothing!” He added just as the Old Cat slammed a fist into his side, causing him to double over and curse bitterly.

Raska turned to see Ja'Amir behind him, still covered in blood with an eager look upon his face, ready to continue. Raska tossed Ja'Amir the key-ring and looked up to the pin. There was a sudden ear piercing cheer from the slaves as a whole. “Free khajiit and take them to the wagon. Be sure to scout for Pact patrols first!” Raska ordered hotly in a growl-ish tone. Raska pointed to two of the cathay males in the huddling group and gestured for them to follow him. “Come, bring other ash-skin.” Raska ordered turning to step into the smaller room the younger dunmer had charged from. Raska would hear the dunmer yelp and whine from behind him as he entered beyond the sheet covered threshold into a circular room. It was of a modest size. A large table situated in the middle with some books and papers on the top and a few plates. Around the left edge was a table where a whip and a few weapons that upon its surface, the table itself rested next to a stack of brown sacks, likely full of saltrice and other grains. To the far right was a few hammocks tied in between short wooden posts. A small pit fire sat up in the northern most part of the room with something in a black kettle cooking. He leaned over to sniff at the stew. He picked up the ladle that rested in the stew-pot and sipped at its contents. “Better cooks than fighters” he murmured to himself in a amused tone, licking his maw.

He replaced the ladle and moved to the table to search through its contents. Raska found nothing relating to slaves, or the sale of them. Just an old copy of the Lustly Argonian Maid which brought a disgusted look to his painted face. As well as some old some notes regarding the area and Pact movements, which made him perk a brow. 'There has to be something here like last time!' he thought to himself. There was a sudden crash from behind as the Old Cat bought the armored dunmer into the room and forced him into a chair next to the table. “Sit!” The cathay-raht demanded with a growl keeping the dunmer in the chair by pressing his weight upon the elf's shoulders. The weaker of the two was brought in by the two males, each holding one of his arms and pulled him forward. Raska could tell they had to hold him up. 'Pathetic' he thought bitterly. “Who do you think you are huh?! You khajiit aint going to get away with this! Let us go now and you might live!” The older elf fumed, rocking in the chair. “Sush!” The other hissed in a wet tone, shivering against the other males. Raska rounded the table to the older male. “Khajiit have already gotten away with it. Now, where is slave documents and maps?”

The dunmer scoffed at Raska as he stood over him. “Bah! There aint none of that here you swit!” the dunmer spat. Raska had hoped for such a response, he grinned broadly while cracking his knuckles. “One hoped you'd say that” he said in a rising hiss. Raska brought his right arm back and delivered a heavy blow to the the dunmer's jaw. The sound of bone meeting bone echoed briefly. The dunmer jerked to the side, nearly tipping over in his chair. He grunted from the blow, but the elf was not so easily broken. He spat blood upon the floor and licked his lips clean. “Thats all you got you worthless, sorry excuse for a walking rug!” The dunmer shot back viciously. Raska swung once more, the results identical to the first. Raska laughed deeply in his throat. The Old Cat could tell from the burning glow in Raska's eyes that he enjoyed it. Raska enjoyed having the power to put the dunmer inside a slave's shoe in a position where life was no longer guaranteed. “This one has all day and night for this!” Raska exclaimed happily, stretching his arms out wide. “Not when the Pact comes to drag you pathetic wastes of meat and fur back to your cages where you beasts belong!” The elf returned, his words laced with venom.

The next blow came fast and heavy as did the next, and the next. Raska attacked suddenly in a flurry. 'They want beast!? Raska will show them!' He raged internally delivering blow after blow with great speed and power. While his blood ran hot with anger due to the elf's poor word choice he was also excited by it. Blood sprayed from all directions painting Raska's exposed chest, which he wore with great pride. “WHERE!?” He roared delivering another punch that knocked the elf out of the Old Cat's grip. The chair tipped over and crashed onto the floor. The other dunmer fidgeted against them weakly, nearly sobbing as he watched the brutal treatment of his associate. “Stop!” He cried from where he stood, arms bound. A foolish kind gesture that was not rewarded. Raska turned on a heel and threw a fist into the gut of the younger dunmer. He went wide eyed and sucked in a breath and held it, dry wheezing sounds poured from the weaker of the two.

Raska paced the room rapidly, flexing his sore knuckles, wild primal eyes tracing every detail of the room. 'Where could they be?!' he fumed. “Pick him back up!” Raska hissed stopping at a table situated in the left side of the room. The other males moved from the weaker dunmer who they dropped to the floor and picked up the other. The Old Cat moved to speak to Raska, an exhausted expression upon his face accompanying a concerned glint in his eyes. He leaned to whisper to Raska. “This one has no love for dunmer, but perhaps Raska should bait fly with sugar'd honey rather than harsh sandstone, yes?” The Old Cat offered. “Raska will not repay his words with such kindness!” He retorted with a snarl. “Well then at least avoid the jaw. It is hard to form words when one's jaw is broken.” Raska shook his head disapprovingly, though he accepted it as truth. “We can not be here long, not with cart and bodies outside!” Raska hissed back to him as his gaze moved down to the table. Raska's golden eyes narrowed dangerously as his paw rested upon a whip on the table. There was a sudden gleeful stirring sensation within him. 'Perhaps it is time to repay debt' Raska thought to himself as a vicious fanged smile crept along his muzzle. He picked it up and held it for a moment. “This will do” he said in a eager tone then turned to move to the elf. The Old Cat's paw clutched Raska's left bicep. “What does khajiit think he is doing?!” He hissed to Raska, his tired eyes wide and filled with confusion. Raska leaned in and shot the elder a heated feral look. “What one must do!” he growled and jerked away.

Raska stepped lightly to the younger dunmer upon the floor shaking like a timid rabbit fearful of being eaten by a wolf. He grabbed the empty chair that had once held the foreman, or Raska assumed that was the armored dunmer's title. “Sit!” He stated clearly in a tone that suggested he had no desire to repeat himself. The dunmer did so slowly shakily. “Move elf to support beam!” Raska ordered, pointing to one of the support beams located in the mouth of the entrance to the room. The two khajiiti males did so without question, one chuckling fiendishly to himself. The armored dunmer struggled but was overpowered and pressed against a support beam, his hands and legs bound with rope found in the small room among the general supplies. “Lets me go!” The dunmer shouted at them in a voice that was laced with fear and concern. His back was facing Raska, his head turned as far as he could so that those devilish red eyes his people were so well known for could stare back at him in defiance.

Raska stood tall, his shoulders perhaps slacked from years of labor having caused damage but it only made him look menacing. His fur was raised as he took a moment to himself, remembering the years he had been forced to endure the bite of a whip. His jaw clenched as he summoned every ounce of hate he had buried. “Remove his armor” Raska added in a deep threatening tone. The dunmer continued to struggle against them but it was useless. The males tore away at his yellowish Bonemeal armor chest plate then ripped away his shirt, claws rending the thin cloth that he had wore under, revealing the clean untouched ebony back of the dunmer.

“Do you even know how to use that thing cat! Doubt it! Come on then! Give me all ya got!” The rage-filled dunmer resisted, which drove Raska to a burning point, fueled more by having to respect his courage. The younger elf said nothing, he waited with bated breath, too scared to react himself. The Old Cat shook his head, a disgusted expression upon his muzzle. But were he to try and stop Raska it could lead to a division among them he knew, and preventing that was more important to him than one dunmer. Raska's fur bristled out as the dunmer ranted on. “Fine!” He hissed furiously looking up the blank canvas that was the dunmer's back. Raska took a moment to try and remember how the dunmer had done it to him. He uncoiled a small portion before flicking his wrist to give the whip some slack. There was a childish eagerness that swelled into him. His breaths became rapid as he feigned a strike or two before bringing the length up and snapping his wrist. The room was filled with that iconic 'crack' as the whip shot almost instantly and bit into the dunmer's back, leaving in its wake a long ravine like gash that bled heavily. The dunmer sucked in a breath and groaned painfully, trying to resist shouting, he would deny Raska that pleasure for as long as he could.

Raska snorted hotly, a cruel smirk perking along his muzzle. “Where are they?” he growled from behind, his tongue polishing his fangs as he waited. “*** off!” The dunmer shot back. “Very well.” With that said Raska pulled his arm back with a quick jerk and swung once more. The blow left another long jagged gash in its wake like the first. Raska could not feign some measure of enjoyment as he visited upon the dunmer the same treatment he had been given. The small room was filled with a hiss as the dunmer resisted the urge to cry out. Raska swung once more then again and again.

The vengeful cathay gave into a darker desire that had laid hidden beneath the surface of who he was. A hungering desire consumed him and fed him as he took it in and allowed it to strengthen him and fuel his swings. He found joy in the dunmer's cries as his resolve gave way to the pain Raska inflicted upon him with each blow that tore at his now crimson back, the ebony colored hidden under a waterfall of blood. The Old Cat stood in place as he watched in horror resisting the urge to stop this display of madness. The other males watched as well, frozen in place like Old Cat, their pupils fully dilated despite the low light as if by instinct to taken in the scene more, fearful that they would miss a single swing.

“Where!” Raska roar rearing back for another heavy swing. The length of the whip lashed forward. It to Raska's surprise coiled around dunmer's neck rather than cut into his back. The vengeful cathay male sucked in a breath, surprised at this development. He heard the wet, bloodied gasping of the dunmer then, his crimson eyes widened as he struggled to take in air. Raska scoffed at this, the darker presence in him grinned widely from within and took over and inspired his next action. Raska without thought began to wrap the excess length around his arm tightening the grip of the whip around the dunmer's neck. There was a intoxicating sense of satisfaction that resided inside him as he held the dunmer's life in his paw. There was a dark connection, one he could feel but did not think on. He turned and fell to a knee, further tightening the whip's grip. Raska's looked to the other dunmer, his fiery gaze meeting the now terror-stricken elf. He wanted the elf to see him, to see what fate he had in store for him.

“Stop! Stop it! You're gonna kill him!” He pleaded with Raska, nearly lurching forward from the chair. Raska did not loosened his grip, he kept it tight. He chuckled lowly to the dunmer as he relished the moment of complete and absolute control he held over them. The dunmer's rested in his paw, a fresh wave of ecstasy washed over him as he pulled tighter. He enjoyed the fear in the dunmer's eye and drank it in with a thirst that could not be quenched. He felt then the resistance from the dunmer ease up, his coughing and wheezing had ceased. Raska looked over his shoulder to see the wide eyed elf's head slack against his shoulder. Fear was etched onto his ashen face, frozen there. Raska could not resist letting a twisted smirk perk into the corner of his muzzle as his head turned back to his remaining victim.

“By the t-three. Hes dead. ***! Y-you killed him! ***!!!” Cried the other in a frantic voice nearing absolute panic. Raska stood up and tossed the bloodied whip aside as he approached the remaining elf. “***! No... no, not me!” Raska loomed over him like the shadow of great storm and took hold of his shirt. “Where!” He demanded in a roar, bringing the elf to tears. He pointed a finger toward the center table. “There okay! Under there! There's a trap door, just... just let me go, take whatever you want!” He whimpered wetly. Raska gestured to the others to check the table with a nod of his head. The elf would feel the heated gaze of Raska resting upon him burning like a wild fire that threaten to consume him.

The two males flipped the table over with haste, and pulled away the rug that hid a trap door. They pulled it open, one peered down into it. “The elf speaks true!” One called to Raska while the other climbed down the a rusty ladder that rested at the mouth of trap door. “There are papers down here" the other shouted. Raska nodded idly as he listened to him. His gaze still locked with the elf's. “See! See! Now please let me go! I won't tell anyone! I swear!” The dunmer pleaded. Raska smiled to him as a paw went for the dagger strapped the dunmer's belt. He pulled the blade from it's sheath. Raska kneeled in front of the elf, now shaking madly trying to summon the courage to act. “Ash-skin is right... he won't” he hissed lowly as he stabbed the blade into the elf's chest. He leaned into the dunmer, driving the blade deeper. Raska shook excitedly, savoring the dunmer's pain as he fed the darker being inside him. The dark elf frowned as if to beg or cry as he sucked into breath after breath as if doing so would save him as the blade was driven into his heart. Raska's head followed and raised with the dunmer's as the elf head slowly moved skyward, wide terror stricken red eyes rolling back until at last he passed on.

Raska held the position for a moment, his paw gripping still the dagger before jolting up. He shook his head as he looked at the dead elf before him, paws moving to grip his mane for a moment. 'What... has khajiit done? He... No! No he needed to learn, yes... that is it. Raska did what he must do' he argued mentally for a moment before the Old Cat called to him, saving him from himself. “Raska, theses men were unarmed” he said in a low shame-filled tone as he slowly moved to Raska's right flank claws clasped behind him. Raska shot him a look. “So they were” he said with a renewed vigor fueled by the challenging tone of the elder. “They told Raska what he wanted to know, well that one” the Old Cat added pointing the dunmer with a dagger in his chest. “So they did”, “they had surrendered to-” The Old had went to continue but Raska cut him off with a growl and turned from the Cathay-Raht. “Is Old Cat content with stating the obvious or does he have point?!” He said looking over his shoulder back to the elder khajiit. The Old Cat shook his head disapprovingly, reasoning perhaps that this was not the time or place to lecture foolish cubs.

Raska nodded his head, wearing a cruel victorious grin on his face. His subset gold eyes narrowed as he looked the elder over. Raska could feel the shame in the elder's eyes that rested upon his bloodied form, which gave birth to contempt. “Good... Old Cat should help find documents. This one would speak with those freed this day and see who would join. There is yet much to be done and much more dunmer blood to be spill."
  • Krist
    Seems well written, and a story I can get into. I think it would be better served in shorter installments on this format, OR, that may just be me personally.

    Second....write for you. It doesn't matter how many post wow, and awesome, and such. If you are like me, it is a story inside that you just feel a need to write. Write it. Enjoy it. Others will too.

    Keep it up. Good work. :)
    "Krist the Lionheart? No. Lionheart was my dog" -Krist
    "Darling, if looks were everything, I would be king of the world" -Luke
    "That place, between day and night, that purple color just before dark, that is where you will find me"- Hughe
  • Raska
    Krist wrote: »
    Seems well written, and a story I can get into. I think it would be better served in shorter installments on this format, OR, that may just be me personally.

    Second....write for you. It doesn't matter how many post wow, and awesome, and such. If you are like me, it is a story inside that you just feel a need to write. Write it. Enjoy it. Others will too.

    Keep it up. Good work. :)

    Thank you for the feedback. I admit this first draft ended up being much longer than expected. I know with revising and editing it could be shorten, which is something I look to do later on.

    I regards to installments, as mentioned is the first story of like four I have swimming around in my head. Each one is going to detail a raid of some kind, as well show how the situation affects the character. I have been focused on work, role-playing, and trying to level my first character in game, and to top it all off with the occasion drops of drama from all three. So I have yet to start the second installment.

    You are right. I do want to write it, and I feel I will have it all out there at some point. I just need to kick myself into gear. :smile:
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