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Civil War Aftermath Chapter 2: War of the Sundered Dragon

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Civil War Aftermath Chapter 2: War of the Sundered Dragon

Remnants of the Fourth Legion continue to be a painful thorn in the side of High King Ulfric Stormcloak, and High Queen Elisif Stormcloak. However with the help of Captain Baldur Red-Snow, now General Baldur Red-Snow, most resistance in Falkreath hold has been crushed. The IX Cohort of the Sixth Legion was utterly annihilated during the Battle of Camp Rommulas. The only thing standing in the way of a complete Stormcloak victory was a single mysterious legionary, who waged a brutal guerrilla campaign against General Red-Snow's forces on his lonesome for several months, before vanishing without a trace. On another front, the blockade by the Imperial Navy around Skyrim has faced heavy attack from the new and fresh Stormcloak fleet, led by the new High-Admiral Rebec . Various improvements have been issued to the new fleet. However upgrading the navy has cost a great deal, along with arming the young country's army, as such the High King's treasurer is dangerously close to debt. In other news, a brutal string of attacks on military targets have sprung up in the Whiterun hold, the soldiers responsible have called themselves, "The Sons of Whiterun" and are rumored to be lead by the exiled Jarl Balgruuf of Whiterun, and the Imperial General Tullius, though none of these rumors can be proven. To add further problems, the Fourth Legion, under General Marius Imperius, are on the verge of reaching Skyrim. Needing more help, High-King Ulfric Stormcloak has requested for General Red-Snow to head back to Solitude and join him on his High Council along with the likes of the legendary Galmar Stone-Fist, and Siltus Fury-Slash, the general left his second, Captain Boldir Iron-Brow, to take charge of the Stormcloak garrison in Falkreath. In Cyrodiil, the Dominion continues to exert its shadowy influence over the Empire's politics, and rumors are starting to spread that Emperor Amaund is being "influenced" by the High Over-Seer, along with the three members of his High Council, High General Titus (Representing the Legion), High Councillor Dixious (Representing the Elder Council) and Spymaster Leoindias. (Representing the Penitus Oculatus). Even worse, the Emperor is expected to announce his intentions to sanction an Imperial lead “Talos†hunting force, codenamed the “Imperial Inquisitionâ€, which will be lead by his young daughter, Princess Dales Motierre.


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General Baldur Red-Snow
Solitude Palace

General Baldur Red-Snow sat bored at the right side of his liege lord and king, Ulfric Stormcloak in the Solitude Throne room. To the left of Ulfric, sat High-Queen Elisif, along with Galmer Stone-Fist at her left. A farmer was claiming that "bandits' where harassing him and his family, and that he demanded protection.

"My Lord, I can easily dispatch a handful of my Necro Nords or Draugr Dunmer. The bandits would likely stop attacking at the mere sight of them."

"Baldur, the Imperials will be marching their Red Legions through our borders with the Thalmor very soon. We'll need every one of your Grim Ones over in Falkreath. I can't-"

Elisif spoke out and interrupted Ulfric.

"Love, surely you could spare five men? The number of Grim Ones has increased greatly since Baldur has become General. We can spare five men for patrol duty on a farm, and when the war begins, they'll be recalled. Does that work?"

Ulfric looked slightly annoyed that Elisif interrupted him, but he decided to listen to her for Baldur, since he grew to favor him.

"Hmm, fine. Baldur you can dispatch your men to the farm."

The farmer walked to Ulfric and Elisif and kissed their rings in gratitude, then he went to do the same to Baldur, but Baldur stood the man up and shook his hand.

"Thank you my King and Queen! And thank you General Red-Snow! Talos guide you." 

Ulfric turned his head towards his left-hand man, but before speaking the doors to the throne room barged open. A stormcloak soldier, while remaining composed, was sweating and obviously in fear.

"Sir-Ummmm Imperial messenger from the sixth Legion..." 

Ulfric leaned out of his chair at soldier's words.

"Send the dog in."

The soldier saluted, and left the room. He returned a few minutes later, with a figure that was hooded and cloaked in pitch black, except for the purple fang-less wolf sigil on the back of his cloak. The legionary's face was clouded in a unnatural darkness, that seemed like something from the void. He had a quiver of blackened arrows, and hung on his back was a massive Ebony greatbow. It seemed like he emitted a presence of dread where he walked.

Baldur as he stood waiting to hear the man's words, and was quite confused at the sight.

Is this Witchie? No, it's obviously not. Who is this?

Baldur pulled his shield off of his back and kept his hand on his axe just in case the strange figure tried something.

"What, are you in grieving or something? Ha!" said Baldur referring to the man's dark appearance.

Seemingly ignoring Baldur's words, the dark figure addressed the High-King, with a cold and emotionless tone,

"High King Stormcloak, General Marius Imperius of the sixth legion, implores you to surrender Skyrim back to the empire before this gets bloody and out of hand...".

"Sir, please. If I may? You do not need to speak to one so lowly as a grieving widow."

"By all means, Red-Snow. Proceed."

Baldur stepped forward in front of the throne, blocking the messenger's view of the royal couple.

Galmar chuckled at the sight.

"Hehehe, tell that dog what we think of his message, Baldur!"

Baldur smirked at the comment and addressed the dark figure before him.

"In the Palace of Skyrim's true sons and daughters,
Let me tell you what I think of your offer."

Baldur spat in the direction of the messenger's boots.

"If blood's what you want then blood there shall be,
We won't stop this war until Skyrim is free!"

The darkened figure seemingly starred at the assembled court, whom were now laughing at him. With a single swift move, he threw off his cloak and hood. The figure that awaited them was clad in a dark coat, which had dark leather guards under it. He wore dark leather boots and gloves. The right side of his face was heavily scarred, and his face was very pale. His right eye was covered in a dark eye-patch He had a cleanly shaven dark brown beard, along with dark brown hair. The figure's face looked...almost sad but at the same time filled with a darkly serious expression. In his dark tone he spoke,

"It's been a long time Baldur..."

Baldur was surprised at seeing his rival, but he did not let it show.

"Ah, I see it's the "Darkened Archer! or the "Grim Archer" as some call you. You kinda stole that name you know, from my Grim Ones. Why don't I get in on the fun and call myself the "Grim General"? Ha! So what do you want? I'm not accepting legion pups under my command."

Lorgar merely turned away From Baldur and addressed the High king.

"Tell me Ulfric Stormcloak? I could understand why you keep [censored]s around" He glanced at the High-Queen and then turned backed to Baldur "But why A Kin-slayer?"

"Kin slayer? You walk into our country with those cheese faced curs at your back, and you call me a kin slayer? I spoke to High Admiral Red-Eye, the stormcloak at your attendance. She told me how you broke your promise and allowed those [censored]s to torture her. And now we have word that the Imperials are helping them hunt down Talos worshipers in their own land! So you tell me? Who's the real Kin slayer here?"

Lorgar, now giving his full attention to Baldur spoke up,

"I took great personal risk trying to protect your High Admiral, Baldur, she would have suffered much worse if I hadn't." Lorgar smiled, revealing his fang-like teeth to the court "Why did you bring her up? Getting close eh Baldur? Maybe, you want to be closer for some...baser reasons..."

"What? Is that so strange in the Empire? For a man to long for a woman? Hahaha, that explains a lot, let me tell you! Now, I'd love to continue this pissing contest we have going here, but you're beginning to stink up Ulfric's Palace, dog. We have nothing left to say, Legate."

Lorgar laughed, a spine chilling and cold laugh, that made everyone in the room feel colder. Lorgar slowly approached Baldur, ignoring the stormcloak's drawing there swords and axes. As Lorgar walked across the rooms, Baldur could have sworn he saw the shadows dancing around Lorgar. Lorgar was now right infront of Baldur's face, before speaking to him,

"I'm no longer a Legate Baldur...I was court marshaled for cowardice and stripped of it. It's...Preafect now."

"Tell me Baldur, did your men really have to cut off my soldiers gentiles, did you have to behead them even if they were dead? Tell me, did you have to leave them after you and your soldiers had there fun? Did you get excited at the prospect of the crows picking there corpses clean? You couldn't even put them in a mass pit? You just left there bodies there.." 

"First of all, nice demotion. Second of all, don't blame my men for the actions of one man, namely myself. We don't bury our vermin. And you can expect worse to the next group of soldiers you bring across our borders. And since you seem to like it in here so much, perhaps you'd rather stay? I think the palace could use a dog for a pet."

Baldur signaled his men to surround Lorgar and trap him off.

"It seems you didn't learn your lesson from the last time we spoke, Lorgar."

As Lorgar started to back away, he could notice the stormcloaks closing in to surround him. Lorgar sprung into action. he grabbed the first one, and broke his neck with his hands, before kicking the second one in the ribs and then snapping his spine by bring him down upon his knee's. He quickly grabbed his discarded hood. Before Baldur, who had drawn his axe, could reach him, Lorgar had already drawn his bow, and fired two arrows simultaneously at the two guard blocking the entrance to the throne room. He started to sprint, and run at un-human speeds out of the throne room. Baldur could hear one last thing from Lorgar.

"I'll be seeing you Baldur... but you wont be seeing me..."

Baldur could notice that the High-Queen was screaming, and that Ulfric was trying to calm her down.

Baldur stood as he watched the man dash for the door with a smirk on his face.

Yes, that's it. Run little wolf. I'll be looking to put you down. Like the rabid beast you are.

"Carry your brothers away and prepare their bodies for resting. And tell the Grim Ones to be ready to march. My lord, shall I leave for Falkreath?"

"Yes, immediately. It's time to show Cyrodiil why Skyrim's never been taken from us."

"Yes sir. I'll show them what the Grim Ones can do."

With that, Baldur grabbed his horse and had him and his men make their way to the new command center in Falkreath hold. The war was finally about to begin. And the fate of Skyrim and her children would finally be decided.


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Lord Kitaneth

Hidden cave in Hjaalmarch


Osgumund was bored, there was no way to deny this. He had lost contact with the IX Cohort in Falkreath Hold and feared the worst. 

Food in this damnable hold is becoming scarcer and scarcer every day, and I constantly worry about how we will escape this wretched marsh." He writes in his journal. "I used to love Skyrim, I really did, but I have grown weary of this province, this landscape, and all the death. I've been here for 21 long years, and I simply wish to see my beloved Alinor again. Elenwen hasn't been seen or heard from for six months now, and I fear the Stormcloaks have finally found the IX Cohorts campThose poor souls; I so hope we are not next, for I wish to see my wife-" His journal entry was interrupted by his close friend and colleague, Lord Ranami, who he just called Valindil. 

"Osgumund, your scout just came back, he says he needs to speak with the both of us immediately. Come quickly." Valindil said this hurriedly and whatever the news might be, it sounded grave. He followed Valindil to the mouth of the cave, where one of his scouts, Anarin, stood panting and gasping for breath, as if he had just run a long distance. 

            "What news is there? Tell me, I am desperate for news from the outside world!!" Osgumund shouted. 

Anarin, through his rapid breaths, replied, "Courier... Thalmor courier... Dead... Road... Message...." He handed Osgumund the letter he had found on the body of the dead Elven courier. The letter read, 

My dearest Lords Kitaneth and Ramani,

It is with high spirits that I write this letter, for news has just reached my ears that the 6th Legion has reached Fort Pale Pass and will be awaiting your arrival. I send you this letter to tell you that you have been assigned to the 6th Legion instead of the IX Cohort, as no one has heard from them in over a week, and they are presumed dead. You must make your way to Falkreath Hold immediately, and wait near Evergreen Grove. More orders are to follow, and the next courier will be sent to Evergreen Grove, he may be waiting for you there, so be warned.

The letter was written in the variant of the language of the High-Elves that the Thalmor used. It was kind of a code of sorts, and 'I' was just short for 'High Inquisitor Elanande’. 

"Well, it looks like we are finally leaving bloody Morthal and we are on to greener pastures, literally." Osgumund declared, obviously joyful at the fact that he would finally be rejoining a Legion.

"Say, Osgumund," Valindil said. "How's that report for Elenwen coming?" 

"You mean the report on our little project? Ah yes, it is coming along quite nicely, but I'm afraid Elenwen is not ‘with us’ any longer, so I've been adjusting it as of late to make it suitable to present directly to High-Inquisitor Elanande."

"I've been thinking..." Valindil said cautiously. "I have been thinking that we should send someone to the Thalmor Embassy, you know, just to see if Elenwen is still there. Sure, we haven't heard from her in over 6 months, but we also haven't heard if she is dead or not. You remember the last time we visited there, the security was first rate: plenty of highly trained guards, thick, strong walls-"

"For the last time, NO! I don't want to risk any men on a mission like that!" Realizing that he had let his anger get the best of him, he apologized. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to yell. And you're right: we don't know of her whereabouts, but I don't want to risk any men on a daring mission like that at the moment. Maybe when we meet up with the Legion and once we retake Skyrim, but I just have my mind on other things at the moment."

Valindil was again, annoyed at his friend, but he had to obey Osgumund's orders, even if Osgumund was only just barely his superior.

"I shall retire for the night then, I will see you in the morning when we leave." Valindil said, as he left and went to bed.

"Good night my friend." Osgumund replied. He then descended into a state of deep thought.


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Lorgar Grim Maw, Pale Pass, Evening

"So, it was a complete waste of time then. That idiot-I mean his Majesty Motierre- was foolish to think we could reason with Ulfric," said General Marius Imperius.

Prefect Lorgar Grim-Maw was currently in the ancient Command Chamber of the Akavari fortress located in Pale Pass. Originally built and used by the Tsenci forces during their ill-invasion of Tamriel thousands of years ago, it was currently being occupied the sixth legion of the imperial army. Lorgar was with his commanding officer, General Marius Imperius, and Marius' third in command Legate Trixus. His second Legate Grasschus was absent from the meeting.

"Yes sir, as I said, they merely shrugged me off. They in fact tried to capture me, we all know how that turned out."

Marius chuckled. "Aye, the legendary 'Darkened Archer' evaded capture in none other then the capital of Skyrim, Ulfric must be embarrassed."

Legate Trixus, who kept his military composure, questioned Lorgar, "Who was the stormcloak officer who ordered your arrest, Specialist?"

"General Baldur Red-snow."

Trixus nodded his head, while General Marius addressed Lorgar once again. "You and him have a history?"

"Yes sir, he commanded the unit of Stormcloaks that decimated my Cohort." Lorgar, still at attention, said in his trademark cold voice. "Sir, I'm a tad bit fatigued from the operation, may I head back to my tent?"

Both Marius and Trixus saluted, with the General saying "Of course, Specialist."

Lorgar returned the salute, and headed out of the command chamber, and towards his tent. As he walked to his quarters, he noticed a raven approach him, until it actually dropped a letter at his feet, before resting on a rock. Lorgar picked the letter up, knowing already who it was from.

"I'm getting impatient. I'm starting to consider dropping your axe down the Sea of Ghosts. But we both know that would be a waste. So to keep me from growing too impatient, I want you to spy on Thalmor for me. I want you to find out their plans and troop movement. Every week from now on my raven will pick up the report. Keep in mind that you might find something worth knowing yourself, as this could benefit us both."


Lorgar took the note, and headed to his tent. Once he got there he took out ink and parchment from his trunk, before writing,

Killing one of the most ranking members of the Aldmeri dominion takes time. And I have much more interesting news than some report on a five man Justiciar team. You do know about that infernal Imperial Inquisition, correct? I have... classified information. Only Marius Knows about it, I stumbled upon it by accident while waiting for him in his room. The imperial Princesss Dales Motierre is being chosen to lead the inquisition, even better, she's going to be arriving in this camp in a few days for her first inspection...I give you this as a gift, use it as you will.

Once finished with the note, Lorgar left his tent and headed towards the resting raven, who was still in the exact same spot. Lorgar, knowing this raven was probably a good deal smarter then it looked, offered it the letter, which it took it is talons, before flying away.


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Samuel, his companions and Alef, Falkreath, Deadman's Drink, late evning:

The front door to the Deadman's Drink swung open and the smell of tobacco and mead filled his nostrils. This sort of place had never appealed much to him, at least not when it came to enjoying a cold drink and some food, but for business they were usually very good. Nice and public, so no one in their right mind would try anything.

Samuel was dressed in a simple, yet surprisingly fashionable studded leather armor and wore an ebony sword by his side. Fighting had never been a strong suit of his, even though he had some martial training, but dressing as if it was had always been a good disguise. The dark haired Colovian dressed for combat was rarely suspected of being what he really was.

One of his companions walked through the door first, per custom. A Nord named Rorek, dressed in the finest Nord Plate armor and with a warhammer. A viciously brutal fighter and he were very good at playing the “leader of a small mercenary bandâ€-card. This was of course because he had been one, before he started to work for Samuel. Like Samuel's two other companions, Rorek had become very loyal, almost to the point of fanaticism. How could be not? His family last line of defense was Samuel's contacts, and Rorek had stepped on more than a few toes in his days. And Samuel had never given him reason to turn on him. The pay was good, even without taking the more personal reasons into account.

The other people in the group were an Orc and a Breton. The Orc, a woman named Bahgras, was clad in heavy armor in her people's style and she carried a war axe of the same fashion. She had served the Legion for many years, as a heavy armored shock trooper, but after an incident with a nosy Thalmor Inquisitor she had ended up in Samuel's employment.

The Breton was the only one he didn't have any leverage on, but Samuel had come to trust him all the same. He was different, with the lack of a better word. An excellent and powerful spellcaster, but didn't appear to be very bright. However, he had been devoted to Samuel from the day they had met, with no explanation, ten years ago. No name had been given, so they had taken to call him Bill.

While Rorek approached the barkeep to order them a round of drinks, Samuel and his companions found a table in a dark corner. Not that which corner would have made any difference, since the whole place was pretty dark.

"Bahgras," Samuel spoke with a refined tone, just loud enough for the others at the table and without moving his lips. "When will Alef be here? I want to get this out of the way."

"Bahgras!" A female voice could be heard over the rest of the rabble. "I had hoped to see you. It's been so long."

A Dunmer woman walked towards them, wearing a smile on her face as if she just had seen a long lost friend. A good actress, in Samuel's opinion, and she was a loyal employee. So loyal, in fact, that she would be playing a vital role in his operations: The agent who dealt with more risky meetings, on his behalf and masquerading as a competitor of his.

"You brought friends?" Rorek was back and laid his left hand on her shoulder as he passed be her. "Good. Why don't we all sit down and have a drink? The more the merrier."

The drinks were passed around, while four people, dressed in rough leather, came over to them. All employees of Samuel, none aware that he was even there. After a while Alef leaned in towards Rorek and asked, camouflaged as if she gave him a quick kiss, if he had her orders. In return, he just smiled and pointed to the man who had been silent the entire time they had been drinking and creating an appearance of normalcy.

"Yes, I do, Alef," Samuel said, still only loud enough for those around the table to hear them. "You have been loyal and show promise. I think it is time you take the role of the recently deceased Vener as my competition. And your first job is to see if you can secure a deal with the Stormcloak leadership. They are a tad to clean for me to touch, you see."
When the last word came, her eyes flew open. A prestigious position to have; it meant you had earned his trust and would be given more freedom. And more advantages. She nodded, before the group returned to their revelry. Something that would continue for another hour or so. To keep up appearances of course.


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Falkreath forests

Skjari was sitting on his steed overlooking a small glade west of Helgen. It had been a quiet moonlit night and the constant nightmares, still haunting him throughout the ages. The air was cool and a mist was hanging over the forest. His search for the Thalmor had proven unsuccesful, despite searching every corner of the forest. He hadn't even felt a trace of Thalmor presence is his hunt. They simply couldn't have been in the forest or he would've found them. Without anything to hunt he was pondering about what he would do next when Karsh came flying down with a parchment in the talons. The raven dropped the rolled up parchment in his right hand before landing on his right shoulder, he hadn't expected answers so soon. Though it was good news, Lorgar was proving his value. Without ink and a parchment of his own he had to work with what he had. Using magic on the ink, he reshaped the message.

"If I can get her under my influence, the Thalmor would soon find themselves to be the prey. I need you to lure her out, deep into the forest with as little protection as possible. Once her guards are dead, I will convince her to my way of thinking. Find out any information about her that you can, I will need. She may also prove useful in tracing down the High Overseer. Deny this request if you wish, but know this: If I get hold of her, you will find the inquisition to be more lenient with your soldiers and the Thalmor that are plaguing your camps will soon thereafter know fear."

When the message had been reshaped Skjari handed it over to Karsh, but the raven just sat there on his shoulder instead of flying away. Then it came to him, Karsh must be hungry. He took a piece of preserved meat out from the horse bag and cut off a small piece of it with some magic and handed it over to the raven that ate it ravenous hunger. When the bird had finished it's meal it flew off to deliver the new message.
Skjari stayed at the overlook, pondering on how he would convince this little "princess" to his will. Hopefully Lorgar would come up with some information that could help. It had already become noon when Skjari decided to head further west. He had small feeling that there could be Thalmor there, it was this feeling that he had followed for six months to no avail. But this time the feeling was slightly different, so he decided to give it one last try.


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Boldir Iron-Brow

Jerall Mountains, south of Pale Pass


The Stormcloaks whistled. "You ever seen so many Imperials in one spot Captain?"

"No Erik, I haven't."

Boldir raised the lense back to his eye. He was on a mountain ledge far above Pale Pass. He, Erik, and a Draugr Dunmer named Ralven had been camped up here for two days now. They were trying to get as much info on the army and its leadership as they could. So far, they hadn't learned much that they didn't already know. They were being lead by General Marius, Lorgar was there, and from what Boldir could tell, there were at least two Legates other than him. No major Thalmor presence had made itself known so far, but some robed Altmer could be seen around the Fort every now and then. Sure, there were some grunts, but no major players on their side.

"How many would you say there are?"

"Forty-five hundred strong, easy."

"How can you tell?"

Boldir didn't look up . "It's an old Stormcloak trick. You see, you count the number of empty milk bottles every day and divide by five."

"Ha! I never knew you had a humorous side Captain. But serously, how could you even begin to tell?"

"How do you think, idiot? I counted tents."

The three stared on for another hour or so. Nothing interesting at all had happened, and Boldir had nothing left to do since he figured up the number of troops.

"Alright, I say we've seen enough."

Boldir rose to a crouch from his prone position and wrapped himself in his thick cloak. He was looking forward to returning to Neugrad, where he hadn't been in over a month.

"Let's go home." 


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Rebec Red-Eye
Blue Palace war room, Solitude

"They're calling you Hull-Breaker now," High King Ulfric said, smiling. "It's fitting."

"Ironic, you mean, since my ship is nothing but charred timbers." Rebec tried to smile but her usual cheerful manner was strained. "Sire, I've come to ask your permission to return to Falkreath."

Ulfric leaned back, his arms crossing. "More Thalmor business?" As Rebec began to protest, he held up a hand. "A joke. Did you forget your new rank? I need you here."

"The other captains know their business, and the Vice Admiral will be reporting to me. I know it's unusual, but I heard what happened in here the other day. That imperial, he is known to me."

"Yes, the one who captured you. Baldur told me."

"And I heard that imperials have been sighted in Pale Pass. Something is going on down there, and I promised Bal- General Red Snow- that I would help his men if I could, to make up for what I did. My brother will be here soon, hopefully with those redguard volunteers I told you about. When they arrive, let me take some reinforcements and supplies to Fort Neugrad."

Ulfric was silent a time, reluctant, but finally he agreed. "I can't deny that Pale Pass is a greater threat now than the blockade, thanks to you. Take care of Baldur for me. And take care of yourself. We can't afford to lose either of you. Talos guard you."

Rebec bowed and turned to walk briskly out. As she reached the door, Ulfric called after her. "You've proven your loyalty, Admiral, but don't forget, you're a true Stormcloak now. The men look up to you. I hope you'll remember that, should you be tempted to return to your previous ways."


Rebec had been given Erikur's house as her base, and she returned there from the palace. Upstairs, her bedroom door was closed and the room off limits, maps and charts spread out on almost every surface. The basement and ground floor was a sailor barracks, however, and it showed.

Kicking the feet of one sailor off an end table, Rebec shouted at another, "Sidano, get off the couch. I'm sick of finding cat hair everywhere." The Khajiit was unable to reply to his captain's jibe, since just then a knock came on the door, a messenger bringing news that the ship Northern Lights had just docked, along with a troop ship from Hammerfell.

Rebec took the entire distance to the harbor at a run, and when she saw the tall, blonde-bearded Nord step off onto the quay she gave a little yell and ran into his arms. Redguard crew members milled around them, offloading cargo.

After their greetings, Vilnur gestured behind him at a collection of warriors who were stepping out onto the deck and down to the gangplanks. Among them Rebec spied a familiar figure.

"Gods, Suri?!" She hugged her niece, who only smiled and stood silently at her father's side. "Your mother let you come?"

"A sore subject, little sister," Vilnur replied drily. "I saw some of your imperial friends on the way in. Waved hello for you."

"You didn't have any trouble?" The captain gave Rebec an expression that said she should be ashamed for asking such a question. She laughed and went on, "Alright, you're just in time. My ship's been destroyed. Yes, don't look at me like that, it wasn't my fault this time. I'm going with the redguard to Falkreath, so you'll have to take my place here. Let's get you settled in at the house and then I'll take you up to see Ulfric. I want to leave as soon as possible."

Rebec's plans had to be delayed, however, when the vice admiral fell ill the following day, a bout of ataxia that was going through some of the crews. Sending most of the Hammerfell troops on ahead to Falkreath with the supply caravan, Rebec stayed behind to keep command of the navy until her subordinate recovered. As she waited, Rebec eagerly sought out dispatches from Pale Pass. And she worried. Though the navy was her primary responsibility, the fate of the Necro Nords was also heavy on her mind.


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Titus Al-Nazzir

Arriving at the Pale Pass

Before dawn 


The Tribune Titus Al-Nazzir travels to the Imperial Camp at Pale Pass along with his team, the cloaked daggers.

He sat in a carriage separate from the rest of his crew. His inferiors were split between two larger carriages beside his. Despite their less than accommodating circumstances they remained stoic and motionless throughout the entire trip.

"I hear it only gets colder as we move up north," said the Tribune trying to break the ice between him and his team. Throughout the trip he would start conversations between himself and his inferiors but they never cared to respond; this time was no different. Despite their lack of response he continued, "It looks like we're getting close."

The dawn encroached upon the darkness of the morning as they arrived at the camp. It was almost like the light at the end of a tunnel, or an oasis in the freezing cold wilderness. As they approached the drop off section of the camp, the Tribune and his team immediately stood with the other Legionnaires reporting for duty.

They awaited their orders.




Commander Hunding

Helgen Command post



Jodus was already hating his position. He was sent to Skyrim, polar opposites as far as climate goes from Hammerfell, and to boot, he had to be under the command of some hot shot Nord General. He had grown accustomed to being in charge, and didn't like the idea of taking orders from a Nord, but he understood the reason behind it. His men mostly kept to themselves, separate from the Stormcloaks, not because they were not friendly, but because they just didn't feel like they could trust them just yet. Nords were notoriously distrusting of outsiders, and this was no different. The only thing that stopped him from calling them racists was the fact that they got along so well with the Dunmer, who were not as distrusting to the Redguards.

They'll warm up to us. Nords don't trust outsiders until they prove they can be trusted. 

Jodun looked up as a stormcloak guarding on the walls called out to him.

"Commander Hunding! The General is coming!"

Baldur cursed the skies for raining down on him and his men, who finally trotted their way down to the Falkreath Command post. He once again grew used to the good side of Skyrim as he called it, and was once again thrown into the backside of Skyrim, complete with either rain and mud, or snow. He was nervous when one of his soldiers told him that Redguards would be meeting him there. He's never met anyone from Hammerfell before. He was however glad to have the extra men at his command, courtesy of High Admiral Red-Eye and her contacts in Hammerfell, which helped Ulfric organize a truce and an agreement to be allies with Hammerfell. Baldur got off his horse, and left his men on the roads awaiting his orders. Baldur approached the Commander to greet him and give him orders.

"Hello there, General. My name is Commander Jodun Hunding. A pleasure to meet you."

"Same to you. I am Baldur. General Baldur Red-Snow. How are things here?"

"Everything here's fine. The men are all ready for battle at your command, and the place is well stocked in supplies thanks to the last shipment."

"Good, I appreciate your men assisting Skyrim. I really do. The Imperials will be invading soon, so we'll need to have our forces moving. I'll have my command set up here. My men for now will be following me to the fort down the road. When I send word to you, you'll take your men south near Pale Pass, and me and my Captain will meet you there to face the Imperials. We wont go into all out war, we'll just kill while retreating to lower their numbers, and then we'll fall back near the fort, and set up camps to box them in and keep them from walking in through to Falkreath and this command center. When I leave, send a force of about three hundred men to burn any food nearby the Pale Pass that the Imperials can use to feed their men. Same goes for any farmland. Destroy any of it nearby including housing and have civilians move to Falkreath. Let them know the High King will compensate them once the war is over. You might want to make sure it's Stormcloaks who do this, as Nords won't take kindly to someone destroying their land, especially not strangers."

"You're fine with me giving orders to your men?"

"I am. I don't have time for distrust. You have an equal stake in this, and our people have been equally wronged by the Thalmor and the Empire alike. Now, I'll be heading out."

"Are you sure about this?"

"I am. The Imperials are likely to kill or arrest any civilians they encounter so that they can use their property to keep their men. So I'll ensure they can't. Without shelter, the cold weather will surely weaken them. And as for farmland, they'll have a somewhat reliable supply chain from pale pass, so I want this war to hurt their pockets. If they're going to eat, it won't be from our land."

With that, Baldur headed off to the Fort to meet up with Captain Boldir. Jodun was puzzled when the General told him to have Stormcloaks destroy the nearby agriculture.

That man does not play around. It's a ruthless tactic indeed. For one who just became a General, he sure knows what he's doing.


About an hour later, Jodun had selected the men that he would order to destroy the Falkreath agriculture. Before he gave the order however, one of his men called, saying a civilian wanted to speak to him.

What civilian would possibly want me?

As he walked over he saw that it was a Dunmer woman of all people.

"Are you Jordun? I was told you are the one in charge here. Do you have a moment?" a Dunmer of short stature approached him with a confident look, despite the fact that she had mispronounced his name.

Jodun had a lot on his mind, after the General had gave him his orders, and did not feel he had the time to speak to civilians. But despite this he kept up his guise of politeness.

"Hello to you. My name is Jodun Hunding, Commander of the Hammerfell soldiers here. What is your name, and why are you near a military outpost during a time of war, if you don't mind me asking?"

"Jodun... right, my bad," she smiled, apparently thankful for him being polite. "I had hoped to talk to one of the Stormcloaks, but this presents an opportunity. My name is Alef and I am here on behalf of a very important group. We deal in a product very useful. Information." 

"Well, right now I'm in the middle of preparing for a war, so unless you have information on the enemy, we have nothing to discuss. But if you can get me information, that is another story."

"You would be surprised what information we could arrange to sell you, mister Hunding," Alef smile changed a little, to that of a businessman who had managed to get a customer interested in their product. "We don't have any information on the current enemy positions, but we have many sources within the Empire. Including a major secret about their general, Marius." 

"What kind of secret exactly? How many times he's read the Argonian maid? Not to be rude, but if the information isn't something I can use to our advantage, then I have no need for it. Just so we're clear. But I am not a fool or a stranger to the value of information. I am prepared to pay you from my own pocket if you can guarantee me your information is worth my time. Can you do that?"

"I can indeed," she waved for him to follow her away from the others, to make sure no one could overhear them. "A secret that could be very useful indeed. Perhaps more so to the Stormcloak commanders, but they are affiliated with you and your warriors. I will leave what the information is about at this; the General might have more skeletons in his closet than what he can live with. And for a price..."

She let the word hang in the air for a moment, before she continued. "Safe to say, regarding the General we are offering more than just information. And you will need the government backing you to afford it. Not to mention, you will have to talk with a colleague of mine. As much as I hate to involve him- competition and all, you know- he will agree to the deal. But it will be worth it, of that you have my word." 

He thought the deal was a bit shady, and as far as he knew, going off to meet some stranger he knows nothing about offering "information" could easily be an Imperial trap. But if there was any chance the information was good...

"Tell you what. You tell whoever it is I need to talk to to meet me here at the command post, and I will hear what it is that they have to say. How much money are we talking for this information? My men brought money from the treasury here for supplies, so I should be able to afford it, considering the Stormcloaks are sharing their food and weapons with us."

"Hehe," she smiled again. "You have enough experience to not trust me fully. Good, we need buyers like you. Too many of them are careless and that posses unnecessary risks to us as well as them. As for the money: Ten thousand for the information, another twentyfive if you want us to help you act on it. Of course, the information will be off limited use unless you involve us. You will be hearing from us."

Without as much as a goodbye, Alef turned around and went in the direction she came from.

Jodun walked back to where the three hundred men were waiting for his orders as he pondered what information could possibly be worth that much gold.

Looks like this war just got a little more interesting...


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Lorgar Grim-Maw

Lorgar sat alone, reading a novel in his tent. It was a....Romantic novel, Lorgar's absolute favorite genre. He was introduced to the genre by his young cousin, Freya, in Solsthiem ten years ago when he was on leave. She had insisted on him to read one , and he agreed to it (Though he had secretly wondered how in Oblivion she managed to convince her father Skorn into letting her read this sort of stuff) . He was soon hooked on them. The current novel he was reading was the secret romance between two female soldiers (He personal favored the sub-genre called yure , which meant "Girl love" in Aldmeri, incipiently the book Frey made Lorgar read first was Yure ), one on the dominion's side and another a member of the imperial legion,

And then she whispered in her ear, "Make me-

Lorgar was rudely interrupted from his Yure by a large CROAK CROAK.

What in the all-maker's name...It's that bloody raven...

Indeed, it was the same Raven from before, again with a piece of parchment, Lorgar quickly took the note from the raven's talon's. before reading it in his head.

"If I can get her under my influence, the Thalmor would soon find themselves to be the prey. I need you to lure her out, deep into the forest with as little protection as possible. Once her guards are dead, I will convince her to my way of thinking. Find out any information about her that you can, I will need. She may also prove useful in tracing down the High Overseer. Deny this request if you wish, but know this: If I get hold of her, you will find the inquisition to be more lenient with your soldiers and the Thalmor that are plaguing your camps will soon thereafter know fear."

Lorgar stroked his brown beard, before putting down his book, and once again writing a letter.

I'll start searching for practical information on her first chance I get i'll tell you what I do know first . She's twenty years of age, and she's third in line for the throne. I saw her once before, during the ceremony were I was stripped of my rank of Legate. She's pretty small for her age, looks like she's fourteen or fifteen, she has long blonde curls and is always smiling. Don't let that fool you, her outward innocent is out-shadowed by her famous hate of Talos.

Lorgar put down the quill, and handed the Raven the letter. It CROAKED one last time, before flying off into the night, leaving Lorgar alone and able to read his Yure.


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Gracchus Quintus Ceno, Fort Pale Pass, Evening


The scream of men, the clashing of blades, the slickness of the blood and sea water mixture turning the gyrating deck into a massive platform of slippery death. The battle rang on, the searing heat of the flames a stark contrast to the bone-numbing cold of the Sea of Ghosts. The smell of the blood, thick and metallic, hung in the air, along with burning wood, and burning flesh, all but masking the salty sea air. Waves broke over and over against the two wooden behemoths, with nature being the third force in this battle. Gracchus saw a few men tumble over the side and into the frigid water, swallowed up by its deep blue intensity. The battle raged on, a vicious fight with crossbow bolts flying through the air, along with the flames currently being shot from his, and several others, hands onto the hull of the Harpy.


It was these memories, the ones of the sights, the sounds, the smells, that Gracchus remebered most of the attack, which happened only moments after the Stormcloak ship, known as Harpy, had sprung its trap on the Imperial blockade ship Bruma, who had sought to catch her blockade running. Then the Battlemages, sent by the Imperial high command, sprung their own trap. The Stormcloaks had taken to using grappling hooks to attack ships, and the Harpywas identified by intelligence to be the command ship, so a plan was devised to disguise Imperial Battlemages as sailors, and when the Stormcloak ship attacked, they would burn it to ash.


As Gracchus surveyed the battle, he noticed the grappling hooks were working as a disadvantage to the Stormcloaks, who were not able to free the Harpy from the Bruma. It's sails had caught flame, and so had parts of the deck and hull. Soon, Stormcloaks were fleeing, some even jumping into the Sea of Ghosts to escape the flames. The screams of those below decks was worse than those freezing in the water, as the fire crawled below decks, trapping the men there. Before they could see the sinking of the Harpy, the captain ordered them to set sail, just as another Stormcloak ship arrived to search for survivors.

All in all, the battle was not as one-sided as it might have seemed. The Imperial sailors were lousy fighters compared to their Stormcloak counterparts, and had it not been for the Battlemages catching the Harpy on fire, the Imperials surely would have lost. A majority of the Stormcloak sailors escaped, with only a few poor souls below decks the main casualties. Gracchus' Battlemage unit suffered two casualties in all, both fairly green, one by the name of Max Centari, another called Lunia Flaccus. Around 15 of the Imperial sailors died, with his estimates being that only 7 Stormcloaks had perished in the attack. All in all, the mission was a success, but one too costly to be repeated over an over.

Gracchus' job was complete, and he and his unit of battlemages were now to make their way to Falkreath, were they would meet with General Marius and begin the counter attack into Stormcloak territory. The blockade would resume, and the Imperial Navy would regain its hold on the sea, if only for a short time.

As Gracchus looked down into the mirror-like water of the bucket,trying to clear his head of the jarring memories, and was shocked at the age his reflection showed. The small scars he had received in the Great War from a Khajit mage still covered the left side of his face, and his permanent frown was just as prominent as it had ever been. His beard was neatly trimmed, one of the last things he had done before leaving Cyrodiil, but was slowly becoming more white than gray. The same was true for his hair, which was also losing its gray color. His forehead beneath was wrinkled, and so were his hands as the gripped the sides of the old water pail. They only thing seemingly not dulled by time were his eyes, their reflections like emeralds staring back at him. They had always been his favorite feature, mostly because they had been inherited from his mother, long gone but always remembered when he saw his eyes' reflections. They also were a favorite of his lovers back in the Imperial City, a thought that brought a rare smile to his face as he remembered his final night their before being redeployed.

He lifted the bucket from the soft mud of the pond, and noticed how it seemed heavier than it should. Just another sign I'm getting old, after this war it may be time to retire, he thought solemnly. With that he made his way back to Lil Ceno, and lifted up the bucket so the large dapple-gray horse could drink. After Lil Ceno had inhaled the water, Gracchus, reached in his pouch and pulled out a lone sugar cube, and let the horse lick it out of his open palm. He gently stroked the mane of the old steed, who also seemed to be losing his gray in favor of white. Just another thing they shared, like their names, which came about from his unit's idea that he and the horse had the same insistence on perfection, which was true, as neither had a hair ever out of place. He gently patted the horse on the head, and then set off towards the old Akavari Fortress, were the Imperial command had set up camp.


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Eduard Laenius- Just Outside of Fort Pale Pass, Evening

So this is the place I'll be staying, thought Eduard, as he approached his new station. Hopefully there are at least some pretty ladies to keep me company. Oh, what am I saying, there are never pretty ladies. As he entered the fort, his first priority was to find General Marius. The Command Chamber is where he is supposed to be at. So that is exactly where he headed.

As he entered the Command Chamber, he spotted the man he was looking for. It seemed as if the General had been waiting for him.

"Why don't you take a seat, Eduard? That is who I'm speaking to isn't it?" the General inquired, while pointing Eduard to a chair.

"Why yes, that would be me sir. Eduard Laenius, Praefect," replied Eduard. A general that gets to the point. Now that is something I could get used to. "What are your orders, General?"

The General took a seat, and then began to explain. â€œWell, I'd like to get to the point rather quickly. As you know, I'm a very busy man. You were brought here to work with another specialist of ours, Lorgar."

Lorgar? Isn't that the 'Darkened Archer'? I guess it doesn't matter, as I will find out anyways, Eduard thought. He then realized he was so busy thinking, he hadn't responded to the General.


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Velan Quintus- Fort Pale Pass, Evening

Velan was relaxed, and in a good mood. I have a good feeling about this group of soldiers. They all seem like good people. I should get to know some of my fellow Legionnaires. It never hurts to have a friend by your side in battle.

"Hey, you, what brought you to the Legion?" Velan asked one of his fellow soldiers, a male Nord.

"I've always felt a certain loyalty to the Empire, and joining the Legion is my way of showing support. The gold definitely doesn't hurt though!" exclaimed the man, with a chuckle. "How about you? What brings you here?"

"Well, I joined because of family tradition. I stayed because I love protecting the citizens of the Empire, and my fellow soldier. As you said though, the gold most definitely doesn't hurt!" replied Velan, with an even louder laugh. Some of the other soldiers joined with them, and soon everybody was laughing.

It seems I'll be working with some great men here. I can only hope their blades are as sharp as their laughter is loud.


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Valindil Ramani, Shrine of Zenithar Whiterun Hold, dusk

"Osgumund! It seems as though we have left the shrine of Auri-El back in Hjaalmarch, what are we to do?" Valindil asked, sounding annoyed at himself for having forgotten an item of such importance.

Osgumund, lost in thought and still packing up his bedroll and supplies, said he didn't care what they did.

"You know what you must do: go to the Thalmor Embassy and see for me if anyone is alive. I try not to, but I fear the worst has happened. Once you have evidence of Elenwen and the other's whereabouts, head to Northwatch, and find out what you can from there. As soon as you are finished, I want you to rush directly to fort Pale Pass and come directly to me with your information. Understand?"

"You don't actually want me to get the shrine? Are we to finish the journey without a shrine to pray at?"

"Yes, we will finish the journey with no shrine, but don't worry, I cast an invisibility spell on it and it is with me. Now go, do what I told you."

Valindil smiled to himself, turned around, and joined the group to finish their journey southwards.


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Tribune Titus Al-Nazzir and the Cloaked Daggers


The Captain stood before the legionnaires holding a list of orders for everyone accounted for. After a while it seemed like they were going to be passed over.

"Alright you all know your assignments" The captain said, "Now move out!"

"YES MA'AM" The other legion solders said in Unison as they went their seperate ways.

"Ummm," Al-Nazzir started, "aren't you forgetting someone?"

"You must be the Tribune," She said condescendingly ,"I have 'special orders' for you boy."

She handed him a letter which read,

"You may have gotten to where you are without combat experience but you have to earn your rank, boy. I've worked along side your family on both sides and they worked to get where you are today. I'm not treating you any different than anyone else. Your orders are to be on standby and join up with third cohort, under Tribune Auxis's command. Maybe when you get more hair on your chest you can lead on your own. I don't want your Momma crying to me if you get hurt.


-General Marius Imperius"


After he read the orders the captain mocked him saying, "maybe you can play make-believe soldier with you little playmates here while you wait, 'Tribune'". 


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Vordyn was waiting in the carriage ride. The morning fog covered the road to Fort Neugrad, creating a sense of dread and despair.


"Heh. Guess Falkreath really is gloomy year-round. Can't believe that I would prefer the cold of Eastmarch to this depressing forest. I can't imagine what father must have felt when he first arrived in this place. I can only hope I can live up to his legacy. To think that he is responsible for all these Draugr Dunmer is astonishing. He was truly a remarkable man. Still, I hope I can find out what really happened to him. He was too smart to get caught by so many Imperials like that," thought Vordyn, whose thoughts were broken when the carriage came to a sudden stop.


"Guess this is the fort. I suppose its time to introduce myself," said Vordyn, who jumped into the carriage. Vordyn entered through the entrance and saw many Stormcloaks there, both Nord and Dunmer, working together, side by side in perfect harmony. "I knew my father's death united the Dunmer and Nords, but I never expected this kind of unity," said Vordyn, who walked with stunned astonishment. Vordyn saw a group of Dunmer dressed in Nordic armor and training with a group of younger Nords. "Guess these are the Draugr Dunmer. Look just as cold as this land."


Vordyn continued his walking until he saw a group of Redguards there talking with some Stormcloaks. Vordyn thought, "What?! Now we have Redguards in the army? What's next, some Bosmer or Argonians?"


As Vordyn chuckled, he walked to the Redguards and asked, "Couldn't help but notice you people. Who exactly are you?" One warrior said, "We are a contingent of warriors from Hammerfell sent to this fort to assist in any way we can. Hammerfell and Skyrim are allies against our mutual foe. You must be Vordyn, son of Reval. I'm sorry for your loss."


Vordyn couldn't help but frown a bit. "Yeah, everyone has been saying that. I can only hope that I can live up to my father's legacy. I suppose I'll meet the captain now," said Vordyn, who left the warriors and was waiting to meet the captain of the fort. 


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The Captain walked away laughing, feeling proud of herself. When everyone was away, one of the cloaked daggers, a wood elf, stood in front of him. He was nearly a head shorter than the Tribune but he stood in front of him stabbing him with his eyes.

There was only silence between them until the wood elf finally said, "you got three more weeks with us, if you don't give us our next payment once the time comes around you're on your own." 


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Legate Gracchus Ceno, General Marius Imperius, Fort Pale Pass, Evening

The command center was situated in the main keep of the old Akavari fort, which they had painstakingly repaired to keep it from falling on their heads while the slept.

He entered the door just as soon as he has fed and watered his steed, and made his way to General Marius' command center.

"Legate Gracchus Ceno, reporting sir," he said as he saluted his commanding officer.

Marius without even glancing up saluted.

"How was the operation legate?"

Acknowledging Marius' salute, Gracchus relaxed and replied, "It went well. We lost two good battlemages, and several of those [censored] sailors, but the Harpy was destroyed, so it was overall successful."

Marius nodded his head. He picked up a scroll of parchment and started to write something down on it.

"Good, good. Sadly Lorgar brought back bad news from his trip to Solitude. Even worse read this letter I was given by a courier from Cyrodili three day's ago. " He offered a note to the legate, which read,

General Marius Imperius,
You are ordered to prepare for an inspection by Princess Dlaes Moirtre, High Inquisitor of the imperial Inquisition. You are not to inform the troops, since the visit will be a surprise.

Gracchus grabbed the parchment, and read its contents.

Anything that comes from this visit will most definitely be bad he thought.

"What could they possibly gain from constantly hounding us with these Thalmor dogs, and the Princess is coming to make matters even worse. We should be concentrating on the attack, not pleasing the Thalmor," he spit out, not even trying to hide his anger.

"Your right...Damm it..."

Marius covered his face with his hand, while saying.

"You do know how expensive the trip is going to cost? We'll have to put out every luxury we can afford; she is a princess after all. I want you to write a full budget report, and I’m going to put you in-charge of all the matters involving the princess's stay."

"Well [censored], just when I thought it couldn't get any worse. You know she is going to want the best quarters right, which you happen to be staying in. And her dogs are probably going to get mine and the other Legate's as well. I'll send some men to Bruma tonight to get some fine foods and such," said Gracchus.

With that he called to a guard, and told him "Send out five of the men and a wagon to Bruma, getting these supplies." Gracchus handed him a small note containing a list of fine foods, drinks, and linens.

"And make sure to send one of my battlemages with them, preferably Arius or Pilus, I trust them the most," he told the guard, who then saluted and left to hand out the orders.

With that, Gracchus again saluted, and headed for his quarters. 


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Eduard, Pale Pass Camp, Night

The specialist, was actually quite interested in meeting his new partner so he asked a passing by soldier if he knew where Lorgar was staying. The soldier gave him the location of Lorgar's tent. After he learned of Lorgar's location, Eduard wasted no time getting there.

So I'll be meeting the famous, maybe even infamous, "Darkened Archer". Wonder how that's gonna go, he thought as he neared the tent.

The specialist couldn't hear anything unusual coming from the tent, but noticed that the tent was illuminated, probably by a candle. Meaning Lorgar was most likely still awake.

Well, I guess there isn't any point in waiting around here, Eduard reasoned. Here goes nothing. Eduard entered the tent.

What awaited Eduard...was unexpected. He saw a man who appeared to be in his late thirties sitting on a chair. He had a cleanly shaven Dark Brown beard and dark brown hair. The right half of his face was scarred, and he wore a black eye-patch. Normal for a hardened Veteran? Yes. But the thing he had in his hands was not....It was a book, the books cover had a strange aldmeri art style (Looks like Anime and manga in our real world), with two girls who looked like they where still in school, holding hands while staring into each others eyes. The title of the novel was labelled "Lilly Love". The mans face was the real kicker, as he noticed someone was watching him, his left eye was wide open, along with mouth. He managed to mutter out,


Is this Lorgar? If so, what am I interrupting? Guess I better find out, thought Eduard.

"Sorry to intrude on whatever you might be doing, but are you Lorgar?" Eduard asked.

The man quickly hid whatever he was reading behind him, before saying in a cold voice,

"Yes I am, Praefect Lorgar Grimaw V Cohort. And you?"

What in the world did he put behind his back? I'll keep that in mind, thought Eduard as he made a mental note of what he saw. At least I know I am in the right place.

"Well met Lorgar. I am Praefect Eduard Laenius VI Cohort," replied Eduard. "Do you know why I am here?"

Lorgar slightly relaxed, though he still spoke in his cold voice. And he still hid the thing he was previously reading.

"Hmmm no I don't, did General Marius send you?"

"Right you are. I had you figured to be a smart man," replied Eduard, who flashed a quick half smile.

"Anyways, General Marius sent me because it seems we are going to be working together in the near future. So, I figured I'd find you and see who my partner is going to be. Can't be running missions with a stranger now, can I?"

"Ah, well good to meet you then, though I work alone alot, Haven't had a partner before. Have you by any chance heard of me before?" Lorgar asked.

"I am used to working solo myself, that's why I felt the need to get introduced as soon as I could," replied Eduard. "As for hearing about you, I have heard some stories. They call you "The Darkened Archer" if I'm not mistaken. Why, is there anything important I need to know, before I go?"

Lorgar smiled, revealing his fang-like teeth.

"Hah so you know that little "nickname". And no, there's nothing you should know about me. I'm just a soldier that does his job."

"Yes, I heard it from a couple people. It's good to know we are on the same page. I am also one who just wants to get his job done," said Eduard. "Anyways, I think I am going to to head off and get some rest. One last question though. When I came in, you were reading something. Would you care to share what you reading?"

Lorgar, the normally stoic and cold soldier, suddenly blushed bright red, while averting his eyes away from his new partner, before saying in a awkward voice .

"Ummm...it's about girls falling in love with each other..."

What in the world? An Imperial soldier, a famous one no less, reading about girls falling in love? Can't say I'll ever understand that, thought Eduard.

"Well, I won't keep you from your reading any longer. Have a good night, Lorgar," said Eduard, as he begins to leave the tent.

Lorgar, muttered something under his breath before suddenly blurting out.

" WAIT Ummm...Eduard...can you...please keep this your self?...it's very private and embarrassing...."

I see, he doesn't like others to know, thought Eduard. At least if I keep this secret, it'll help him trust me.

"Oh yeah, sure no problem. It's between you and me. You have my word," replied Eduard, as he made his way out of the tent.

Lorgar nodded his hand, obviously relived.

"Good night Eduard..."

Eduard then made his way to an open bed, and went to sleep. 


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Rebec and Suri

Bannered Mare, Whiterun

"Drink up. We're leaving at first light if not before. I've wasted enough time as it is." Rebec was going light on the mead herself, indication that she was serious about making fast time to Falkreath.

"You're very concerned about these men at the fort, auntie. I thought you didn't like soldiers."

"They're not the usual snowback bootlickers. Just do as I say. When we get down there, you'll have to go to the Hammerfell officers I suppose, but keep close to me if you can. If something happened to you, I could never face your father again."

Suri stood, leaving her mead unfinished. A foul drink. "So you've told me twenty times, auntie. I heard you the first time you said it."

"You've got a smart mouth on you, girl, you know that? That's how I know you're my blood."

The redguard girl smirked and turned to head to her room. A short time later Rebec stood as well, but was stopped by a dark-haired woman, an imperial by her look. "Excuse me. I heard you're among the soldiers going to Fort Neugrad. Do you know the captain there, a man by the name of Boldir Iron-Brow?"

"What, junior? He and I are best mates," Rebec answered expansively. "Which is to say, we killed a lot of imperials and got drunk together once. Why, does he owe you money? In that case I've never heard of him."

The woman blinked. "No, nothing like that. I, uh... Never mind. I'm sorry to bother you."


The party set out at daybreak the next morning. In addition to some Stormcloak infantry reinforcements, Rebec had brought some of the best fighters from her crew, and Suri was accompanied by a few Crown elite warriors her grandparents sent as guards. The wagons carried a few supplies, including some of Rebec's personal store of booty taken from imperial ships. They encountered Stormcloak sentries on the borders of Falkreath hold, who informed Rebec that the command center and Hammerfell troops were at Helgen.

It was raining as they pulled up to the town once destroyed by Alduin the World Eater. Rebec squinted up at the sky. "You'd think I was at sea again," she complained. "This hold must be the pisspot of the gods, I swear it." 


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Alef, Falkreath forest, 2am

Alef stood in the middle of the forest, having just rendezvoused with her men, in the shadow of a large stone. Samuel should arrive any minute now, or so she thought. It might not have been the right time yet, but she just had to wait. Samuel could be running late, right?

A few times she thought she heard someone walking by them, but it turned out to only be animals that scurried away as soon as it detected them. Foxes, probably. They were common here in Falkreath.

After an hour or so, four silhouettes appeared in front of them. By the looks of it, they fit the appearance of the people they had met in the tavern. Before long this was confirmed when Bill lit up a hovering light.

"Alef, good to see you are on time," Samuel remarked with a smile that didn't appear entirely genuine. Probably just her nerves, he had no reason to be displeased with her. "Did it go as planned?"

"Not entirely," she replied with a confidence that must have seemed strange to him. ˜Not entirely" wouldn't impress him, as so many former employees could attest. He simply raised an eyebrow to signal that he wanted an explanation.

“You see, I ended up talking to the leader of the Hammerfell division, a man named-“

“Jodun Hunding,” Samuel completed her line for her, with a stern tone. "I know of him, and it appears that's not entirely an inaccurate description of what you did. You followed my instructions to the letter, as I expected you to. It appears I will have to arrange a meeting with General Marius as soon as possible then."

"Rorek," he turned to the Nord at his side.

"Yes, sir, I will make sure the General is informed of your presence in Skyrim and that he is to set up a meeting with you, per the usual routes," almost automatically Rorek gave himself the orders for his future actions, before he turned around and went back in the direction they came from; in the direction of Falkreath city.

"But, sir," Alef protested. "I didn't tell you how it went with Jodun Hunding."

"You didn't need to," his reply was delivered with a small, almost unnoticeable laughter. "All I needed to know was that you talked to mister Hunding."

As she had left the Hammerfell warriors' camp, so did Samuel and his two remaining companions. And before long, the light Bill had summoned went out, leaving Alef and her men alone in the dark. 


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General Red-Snow

Fort Neugrad

Previous day before Rebec reached Helgen


It did not take too long for Baldur and his five hundred Grim Ones to reach his old fort. Nostalgia waved over him as he saw the spot that Reval had fought with Do'jhul. Nostalgia quickly turned to sorrow, so Baldur forced the thought out of his mind. The place was as busy as it always was, except it had way more men than normal on the walls and guarding the perimeter outside.

Well, Boldir runs a tight ship as always I see.

As Baldur approached the gate, a Draugr Dunmer approached him and his army to greet him.

"You, Dunmer. Where's your Captain?"

"G-General Baldur! Captain Boldir's been running recon in Pale Pass on the invading forces. He should be back any minute now."

"Dismissed. Okay men, make yourselves at home. I'll be in my old quarters until Boldir gets here."




Erik whisled a tune as the three Grim Ones approached Fort Neugrad. Boldir had grown fond of the man. He was cheerful, and more importantly, he was skilled. That's why he'd become Boldir's go-to Nord for important missions over the past few months. He was due a promotion. This was only Boldir's second time taking Ralven on a mission. So far, he was proving reliable. He didn’t speak much, but as a man of few words himself, that suited Boldir just fine.

After traveling a little further down the path, Boldir saw the large fort poking above the trees in the distance. It was an impressive sight fully repaired. "Home sweet home."

As the trio approached, the gate guard recognized Boldir and allowed them through.

"Captain." The man saluted.

"Corporal." Boldir dismounted. "Erik, do me a favor and hitch this horse for me."

"Want me to shine your boots while I'm at it?"

"Keep up the jokes and I just might."

Erik grinned and bowed his head. "Of course master. Whatever you say."

Before Boldir went inside he took a look around. There were more soldiers here now than when he left. Specifically, there were more Necro Nords. Everywhere the Captain looked, he saw Carved Nordic armor. There must've been a hundred or so in the courtyard alone.

Baldur wasn't kidding when he wrote that there'd be reinforcements. Good. We’ll need them.

Boldir headed through the doors of the fort and up the stairs. It's gonna be nice to lay down in my own bed for a bit after sleeping in camps and on mountains for so long. He thought about this as he reached the doors to his quarters. Boldir opened the door only to find a familiar figure sitting up on his bed. A friend he regrettably hadn't been able to see in months.


"Boldir, long time no see! Hey, we don't have time to catch up, I'm afraid. We need to have the men organized and ready to head down to Pale Pass. The commander Jodun of Hammerfell will meet us there."

"Great. I don't suppose you know where I just got back from do you?" 

"Yes, recon. Don't worry, we're not attacking just yet, we'll be waiting. There will be a war council before we head in. Anyway, what did you see?"

Boldir moved into the room and dropped his two bags beside the bed. He walked to his desk and sat down at it. "I saw our favorite Legate, Lorgar, along with most of their leadership. General Marius was indeed the one in charge, if the drawings are accurate. Their forces number in the mid four thousands. That's before any Thalmor reinforcements, none of which showed up while I was there. In fact, I saw very few Thalmor at all in the camp. Just a few robed ones here and there." 

"Make no mistake, they're here. Maybe not in full force, but I'm guessing at least few hundred if not more, judging from information we have on the state of Cyrodiil. So the enemy outnumbers us by probably a thousand. That's fine, I can work with that. Good work on the recon. Oh, by the way, our Legate is actually a Praefect now. Demoted."

"Demoted eh? I assume it has something to do with him going troll-shit and disappearing for months? That would explain why he slept in a tent while the other leaders stayed in the fort." 

"Yea, I actually feel a bit sorry for him. Killing your enemy is one thing, but having all his brothers killed, and then having him go to the people he lives to protect call him a coward and strip him of his rank? I never intended for that. But, he killed to many of our kinsmen. I won't hesitate if we meet again."

"Aye, he’ll have a rough time of it. After what we’ve seen of him, I’d say a person like that isn't fit to be in charge of men anyway. " 

"Agreed. And speaking of leading men."

Baldur was thinking of battle strategy his whole way here from Solitude, so he was anctious to finally unload what he was thinking, which consequentially made him speak in a fast pace as he described his strategy.

"We need to have the men ready to march and set up camp. We don't need tents besides the one for a war room of sorts. We'll just sleep under the stars. I'll take care of the men since you just got back and you must be tired, but I'll give you a breakdown of what I'm thinking. We'll have the stormcloak men all carrying bows and arrows as well as their swords and shields. I know the area well from when me and dad went to and from Bruma. It's covered by rocky hills and forest. Perfect place for ambushes. They will by no means openly engage the enemy. The Hammerfell men will ambush, kill for a minute, run and hide, then the Stormcloaks while they're distracted will shoot arrows from the hills all the way down the entire path. Their goal isn't to stop them from advancing, but to make the advance as bloody and costly as possible. You'll supervise the ambushes. My Grim Ones will be waiting for your return, and there we will be waiting with our shield wall, and we'll pepper them with more arrows while the shield wall holds them back.

"And just so you know, I've ordered the Hammerfell Commander to send some stormcloak soldiers to go near the Pale Pass and destroy nearby agriculture. You may see a lot of burned forest fires and houses there. Just a heads up. We'll see civilians walking around heading up to Falkreath as well. I know it's harsh, but we can't have the enemy living off our land, and hunger along with the cold will give us an advantage."

Boldir grimaced. Killing in battle never phased him, even torturing the enemy wasn't too bad, because at the end of the say, they were the enemy. By coming here they invited whatever he did to them. But destroying the homes of the people they were supposed to protect rubbed him the wrong way. He knew it was necessary, and so he kept his mouth shut, but he didn't like it. "What time will you need me up?" 

"You'll hear my battle horn. That will signify it's time to leave. I'll have the men mobilized in two hours." Baldur walked out the door that used to be his own, but re-opened it and poked his head in to talk to Boldir.

"Oh, by the way. I know you well enough by now to know burning homes and farms doesn't sit well with you. It doesn't with me either. But this war holds more than the fate of our lands. Heard of those purges in Valenwood? With the Dominion at the Empire's heels, this war is about the fate of our race as well as our home. More sacrifices will be made."

Baldur looked towards the ground as he said this, not wanting to see the reaction in his eyes. Instead of waiting for his reply, Baldur closed the door behind him and went about his task. 


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Jodun and Rebec




Jodun was up on the walls bright and early to watch the sun rise as he normally did, but sadly the weather of Falkreath hold did not permit it. He was still thinking about the Dunmer woman and when he'd get the information from her contacts. He was also thinking what the General would have to say about this, but since Jodun was paying for it from his side, he figured he did not need to tell him anything unless it bared fruit. He saw Rebec and her crew plus stormcloak soldiers approaching the Helgen doorway, and hopped down off the wall to greet them.

"Hey, are you the Admiral? I hear you're the one responsible for our presence in this hold. If so, you'll have to forgive me if I seem irritated around you, as I'm not used to all this doom and gloom. Pleased to meet you all. I am Commander Jodus Hunding, at your service."

Rebec dismounts from her horse and wipes the rain from her hands before extending one to shake Jodun's. "I am the admiral, so Ulfric tells me. Falkreath can't be helped, but I know you Hammerfell boys were just itching to kill Thalmor. Here you'll get your chance." Gesturing with her head towards Suri, she says, "This is my niece, she's one of yours. Try not to get her killed, please."

"No promises in war, ma'am, but I'll do my best. You arrived just in time. We're awaiting orders from the General to leave to Pale Pass. Will you be joining us?"

Rebec cranes her neck around, searching the faces going in and out of the restored keep. "Is General Red-Snow or the captain here? I should report in to them first." 

"No he is not here. He is either at the fort or near Pale Pass. He does not want us to leave until he sends word. So you will need to stay here for now. He should have sent a messenger by now, so we'll probably be leaving in a few hours, which is why the men are already packed and ready to leave."

"Are things that hot? I was afraid they were. Gods damn these horker-brained imperials and their elven masters. We'll make them pay for every inch of Skyrim dirt they set their boots on." Rebec mutters a few other curses. "Alright then, give us a few minutes to gear up and we're at your service, Jodun Hunding. I'm pleased to fight with you. At least with a redguard you don't have to wonder if they're going to shoot at you or the Thalmor. With Nords you can't tell anymore, I'm ashamed to say."

"Don't be so sure. We've had to deal with a few traitors ourselves. The Thalmor have their fingres in every pot. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be going to make sure our men are ready. It was a pleasure speaking with you."

"Commander, wait." Rebec glances around to see that no one is near, especially Suri. Satisfied, she takes a small pouch from her purse and tosses it at the redguard. Inside is an assortment of gems, highly valuable. "I was to bribe you with this to keep Suri in the rearguard. Forget that. She won't listen anyway, and what's going on here is too important. Keep the gems, I figure you'll need them. And I'm very grateful that you and your men are here."

"Wow, I never...expected such generosity amongst your people! Your men treat us well since we're helping them fight, but you did not need to give me this gift. Here.."

Jodun took a ring off of his finger that had a snake design whose body formed the band, and the head formed the amulet on the front.

"This ring belonged to my brother. It's an old Redguard dessert dweller design. He had a talent for alteration magic. Much more than myself, so when he became more advanced, he no longer needed it, so he gave it to me. It grants the one who wears it the ability to paralyze an opponent with a spell, but only once per day. It's not as valuable as the gems that you gave me, but it has sentimental value, as he is now dead. Thalmor."

After Jodun's explanation, he tossed the ring to Rebec.

"Use it wisely, and don't miss."

Rebec catches the ring and looks at it, silent a few moments. She recognizes that it is worth far more in real terms than a few baubles, though she had just given away a small fortune. I'm a terrible trader, this is why I can never pay the bills, her mercenary sense screams. A shield brother you can trust is worth far more, the warrior in her argues back. Lifting her eyes again, Rebec says, "I'll take this now, but you'll get it back someday. After it's paid back to the Thalmor some of what is owed."

Jodun smiles at the Admiral as he says, "Consider it a loan, then. I'll hold you to that promise."

Rebec slides the ring onto her finger. "You're a true Nord, Commander. I don't say that even to most Nords." She grins and turns to walk into the keep, stopping to threaten the soldiers offloading her supplies that the cargo on her own wagon is to go to no one but Boldir Iron-Brow, on pain of excruciating death.

Well, that definitely wasn't what I had expected. I guess I should go ba-

"Commander! Commander! The General has reached Pale Pass, and is waiting for your arrival."

A stormcloak soldier had finally been sent by Baldur. Jodun thought he'd send word when he was leaving, but he figured he'd want to have his men gain position first. Saves confusion and time when the men would be ordered to mobilize.

"Okay, you're with us then. Move into formation with your fellow Stormcloaks. We'll leave immediately." 


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Osgumund Kitaneth, Evergreen Grove, evening


After a week of travel, the group happy to be able to rest for a few days, and in such a beautiful location. Evergreen Grove was a secluded pond, and was exactly where the group was to meet the Thalmor courier. He was not there, as the High Inquisitor had said he may be, but at least that meant they could rest a few more days. 

Osgumund replied, “sort it amongst yourselves; I am far too tired to care at the moment.â€


 Then the head suddenly said in a ghastly tone:

"He is coming."

Directly after the words had been uttered, a blood-freezing shriek was heard from deep inside the forest. They eventually turned back to camp, with Valindil staying behind to bury the corpse with magic.



When it was near midnight, strange noises were heard from nearby. Strange noises, the likes of which no one there had ever heard, even the seasoned adventurer: Osgumund. The noises continued throughout the night,and after several hours, they couldn’t take it any longer. 

“The thought that someone would kill four members of the Thalmor is infuriating!†Osgumund added. “It’s settled then: no one is to leave camp or sleep until the courier arrives. I mean it.â€



It was an exhausting night, but early the next morning, the courier arrived with news of Osgumund’s orders from the High-Inquisitor. The letter read;


"Lord Kitaneth and Lord Ramani,


I have arranged a trip to Fort Pale Pass, where the 6th Legion is bivouacked. The pair of you are to travel to the fort with no delay, and are to help with the preparation for my visit.

Osgumund: I want you to compile a report on the officers upon your arrival. I know that you will not have time to write a report of all of them, but at least this will give me something to go on when I arrive. I am set to arrive in a week, so be ready. 

Another thing I want you to do, Osgumund. You are to speak to General Marius about assisting in the training of the Imperial Battlemages. I want you to teach them as much as you can about Elven magic. Twenty Battlemages from Alinor are traveling with me, and I am putting them directly under your control. 

Valindil: You are to meet with the other Thalmor Justiciars and the Thalmor Archers to give them training. I want the Thalmor troops to be in perfect condition for the invasion of Skyrim, and I will tolerate no laziness from any of the troops, especially you, Valindil. You are sometimes known to disappear and reappear hours later; none of that will be happening. 

-My regards, Princess Mortierre, High Inquisitor of the Imperial Inquisition"

“Well then, we had better be off at once!†Osgumund said, happy to be out of this dreadful place. 


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Eduard Laenius- Fort Pale Pass, Night


Eduard was about to fall sleep, before he remembered his night wasn’t finished. I can’t believe I almost forgot, he thought. Hopefully I am not late. He got up and made his way to the agreed meeting place, making sure no one followed.

As he arrived to the spot, it would seem the place was empty. At least to an untrained eye. I’m on time, good.

“You can stop hiding now, Jon. It’s just me. The hawk who always gets his meal,” said Eduard.

“Ahh Eduard. I almost thought you wouldn’t show up,” Jon replied, as he seemed to form from the shadows around him.

“I always show up. Now, what news do you bring?†asked Eduard, as he handed Jon his pay. Better be good.

“I’m afraid the news isn’t too great. A small group of bandits attacked Livia at her house. We were able to kill all except their leader. He told us he would be back,†Jon explained. He backed up a little as he gave the news, as he knew it wouldn’t go over well.

Attacked? By a filthy, foul clan of bandits? I should be there. I should be there, hunting, stalking this shell of a man. Eduard was seething with anger in his mind.

“What is being done to find this piece of filth? Do I need to come? I’ll come along. He won’t live long enough to regret this. I am going to roast this man, and eat him in front of his ignorant little clan,†Eduard exclaimed. He went on to list equally horrible things that he would do if he found the leader of the bandits.

“No, none of that will be necessary. We have found someone who knows where this leader is, and have sent some men to dispatch him. We used some of the money from your old jobs to do so. We figured that would be okay, given the circumstances,†said Jon.

“My own money isn’t important to me. You made a good decision Jon, and I won’t forget it. Send me the man’s right eye. I want to be sure this rat is dead. I trust you guys, but I just have to know on this one. Do not fail me,†replied Eduard, as he began to calm down. “If your attempt to kill him fails, I will kill the man myself. Oh before you go, in my anger, I forgot to ask about Livia. How is she doing?â€

“She is doing fine. She wants you to know she is okay, and wishes you well on your new assignments, whatever those may be. She heard about your last outburst when the thief attempted to rob her. She says to watch your anger. That we have been helpful. Her words, not mine,†Jon answered.

“She always hated when I got like this. Don’t tell her about this one, alright? I would like her to think I’m listening to her advice,†Eduard said with a half-smile. He also gave Jon an extra bag of gold. “You did good. Don’t let my anger fool you. I am pleased you kept her alive. But that bandit dies. And he dies violently, you understand? Tell Livia I love her, and that my new assignment is going well. I am very tired, so I am going to bed now. I’ll see you soon Jon.â€

“Alright. I’ll be sure to let her know. See you soon. The next password is ‘The wolf who only eats fruit’,†said Jon, as he faded back into the shadows.

Damn, of course something would happen to Livia. Can’t anything go smoothly for once? I can’t let this ruin my concentration. Did I say I would eat that man? What is the matter with me sometimes, Eduard thought, as he reflected on his words.

He then made his way back to the Fort, eager to finally get some sleep. 


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