Date:- 2E 581 First Seed Loredas 14th
The outskirts of the town was in ruins, burnt shells of buildings all starting to collapse in on themselves. Charred corpses littered the road where some of the occupants that had managed to escape the fires but either been cut down by the raiders or died from their burns. Volk charged past the devastation his senses hardened by years of constant warfare. Brom struggled as he looked for survivors, until Delte passed him and turned a corner in the road to head towards the town centre from a different angel to Volk's route. This snapped Brom from out of his doldrums, by the time he rounded the same corner Delte was stood on her horseback with daggers drawn bearing down on the raiders. As it reached the barricade she jumped off using the momentum to sail over the heads of the attackers. She landed on both feet and killed two of them in one move. Delte parried blow after blow from another two attackers, one of the attackers over extended and over balanced. Delte exploited this and dispatched him in one swift move. Brom fought for his life against an armoured man wielding a huge two handed sword. He caught an over head swing on his shield that popped the iron rim off its rivets the blow jarred Brom's arm and he pushed the large sword to the left while stepping in and killing the armoured man by ramming his sword up at an angle underneath the breastplate. He turned to check on Delte she had dispatched the other assailant and was now being hard pressed by a giant of a man swinging a huge two handed axe.
Delte dodged each swing of the slow weapon that was being used by the large man sporting a bushy black beard and long black greasy hair. The only attire he wore was a fur loin cloth. His naked torso was covered in daedric runes and ritual scars. Each time she tried to step in for the kill her opponent had seen it coming and checked the move. He swung the axe again and as Delte moved in anticipation of the attack he quickly changed its direction and caught a glancing blow to Delte's head. Dazed and disoriented she fell to the ground. Blood ran down one side of her face and her vision was blurred, laying on her back on the hard dirt packed road daggers crossed up in a guard position her legs pumped trying to move away and give her time to recover her senses. Slowly her vision cleared only to see the huge towering form of the man bearing down on her he brought his axe up high to finish her off. Delte closed her eyes waiting for the end.
The death blow never came Delte opened her eyes and saw Brom stood over her, the remains of his shield hung from his arm that had blocked the blow. His face a rictus of pain the snap Delte had heard was the sound of his arm breaking. She sat up and rammed her dagger between the 3rd and 4th rid of the bearded man killing him. He slowly toppled over backwards like a huge oak tree that had been felled. Brom sliced the leather straps to his now ruined shield that still clung to his broken arm, a movement in Brom's periphery vision got his attention. He turned to see another raider rushing towards them swinging two swords. The man stopped dead in his tracks and looked down at the two arrows that had appeared in his chest then fell down dead. Delte and Brom looked around and saw Johan stood on a barn roof nocking another arrow. A strange lull came over the scene of battle and a babies crys came from within one of the burning buildings, Delte's sharp hearing picked up the sound, before Brom could stop her she dove through the doorway and vanished into the flames. He looked over the barricades at where Volk and Left-Paw-Alight were fighting and made his way over to them to help in their skirmish.
Left-Paw-Alight used his staff to parry a sequence of attacks from a dunmer with a longsword and a parrying dagger. With each parry a ball of kinetic energy built up on each end of his staff. Left-Paw-Alight feinted to the right his dunmer opponent fell for the ruse and left himself open to the follow up attack. One end of Paws's staff struck him squarely in the chest, the kinetic energy on the end of the staff that struck the dunmer exploded and sent him flying back against the stable wall. His dead body fell to the floor the chest cavity caved in from the blast. Left-Paw-Alight looked around and saw three more attackers coming towards him, he twirled his staff and slammed the unspent energy ball onto the ground. A wave of kinetic energy spread out and threw the three would be attackers to the ground. Johan pinned each one with an arrow and they never got back up.
Delte dashed though the common room of the burning house, flames licked at her and the smoke made her eyes water. Her innate dunmer resistance to fire and heat allowed her to move fairly freely in the inferno. Another cry from a small room gained her attention and she homed in on it. A small bundle of blankets moved in a cot, Delte ran over and picked up the small baby and then made her way back out of the burning inferno.
Brom turned a corner on his way to help Volk and Paws. In the middle of the street a Breton woman was in a magical dual with a man in black robes wearing a blood red mask. Lighting arched between the two mages, the air had a tangy taste and smell of iron to it. The breton woman gave a cry of shock as her wards fell, this galvanised Brom into action. Quietly stepping up behind the enemy mage he rammed his sword into his back and gave it a twist, as he pulled it free the man fell dead to the ground. The breton woman stood straight and gave Brom a smile of thanks and ran back to the barricades.
With the death of the enemy mage most of the attackers vanished in puffs of acrid smoke and a scream as their tether to Nirn was severed. The remaining mortal attackers devoid of their daedric support dropped their weapons and fled. A huge cheer erupted from the citizens left alive as they realised their victory.
Delte ran through the front entrance to the burning house with the small child clutched tightly to her chest. Once out in the fresh air she took a few deep breath to clear her lungs of the smoke she had inhaled. Gently she placed the small bundle of sheets on the ground and unwrapped them. A small human child lay there before her unmoving, its tiny lips had gone blue. Tears welled up in Delte's eyes and ran down her soot covered face leaving clean tracks of skin. A blue glow emanated from her hands as she poured healing magicka into the small form that laid before her on the ground. A scaled hand was placed on her shoulder and a familiar voice spoke with concern. “Delte the child is dead.” Paws said to her “Save your energy for the living.”
Delte shook his hand off and carried on trying to heal the small baby. Paws shook his head and walked away.
People were milling around still dazed by what had happened to them and their small town, work teams had started to put out the fires and try to save what property they could. Brom sat on a stone wall as the breton woman healed his broken arm, his attention was alerted to three women huddled together crying over a burnt corpse of a man. Delte appeared holding a small bundle of soot stained blankets, her cloak was burnt around the edges, her leather armour covered in soot. Her face covered in black soot also apart from the strips of skin where her tears had cleaned it off. One of the women looked up at her and wailed as she recognised the blankets. She stood up and slowly walked towards Delte with apprehension. Delte smiled as a small leg moved and poked out from within the bundle. The woman stopped crying and hitched up her skirt and ran over to where Delte was stood. Delte gently handed over the baby to the woman, as the child recognised the familiar voice of it mother a happy gurgling sound came from the blankets.
“Some joy survived this day at least.” The breton woman said to Brom.
“Aye and to think I was going to stop her from going into the burning building.” Brom said as he flexed his fingers.
“You was concerned for a friend, that is understandable.” She said with a smile as she finished the healing spell.
Brom held out his open hand to the woman and looked into her green eyes framed by long black curly hair. “My name is Brom Shatter-Shield.” He said to her.
The breton woman looked down at his hand and gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek “Serena and thank you for helping fight off the attackers.”
Brom blushed and looked down at his feet to the amusement of Serena.
“I best see to the wounded.” She said to Brom as she picked up her staff and walked away. She paused and turned back to look at Brom and asked. “Why did they attack our town? Who were they?”
“Daedric cultists of Molag Bal.” Brom replied before he could stop himself.
Serena's smile faded “Are you and your friends hunting them?”
Brom nodded and walked over to her “I would like to help you with the injured, and maybe while you teach me some of the finer details I can talk to you about the attackers.”
Glad for the company she nodded and they started going around the wounded townsfolk.
Delte stood and watched the mother now reunited with her baby, dead townsfolk lay all about bunt and bleeding with open wounds on the ground. Left-Paw-Alight came to stand by her side and watched for a moment with a smile.
“I am glad you didn't listen to me Delte.” he said to her “The town elder wishes to talk with us, are you coming?”
Delte nodded and turned to leave with Paws to meet with the elder.
A man in his twilight years dressed in scale mail leaning on a large two handed sword was deep in conversation with Volk. The man's long grey hair blew freely in the breeze. He sported a long bushy beard that was more grey than its original red, but his blue eyes still held some fire of life to them. His armour had gone rusty in places and some of the straps had not been fastened due to the rush of putting it on during the initial attack. The sword he leaned on had fresh notches along its length and was now slightly bent from the years of use and now neglect.
“Delte, Paws this is elder Sven Jager.” Volk said as way of introduction “He has some interesting information about our friends.”
“Delte, Paws thank you for your timely intervention.” Sven said “If you hadn't of come when you did we would all be dead.”
“Brom and Johan are helping tend the wounded.” Paws told Volk and Sven as he shook hands with the elder.
“As I was saying to Volk the raiders came from the north.” Sven said to the three of them “Not sure why though, all we have here is grain, potatoes and goats.”
“People.” Delte said in reply “You have people that is why they attacked.”
“Sorry miss but I don't understand.” Sven replied as he ran his fingers through his long grey hair.
“They are daedric cultists looking for slaves and souls of sentient beings.” She explained to the elder “You need to send word to Whiterun and Markarth and let them know what has transpired here.”
“We go north from here then?” Paws said looking at Volk.
“I have had reports from local hunters about strange lights and sightings of undead at an old fort on the boarder to the Reach and Whiterun.” Sven said as Volk stroked his beard in thought “I thought nothing of it until now, you know hunters drunk around a camp fire telling each other stories.”
Volk nodded in agreement and said “Hardly worth our time investigating rumours from drunk wildmen. We go north from here.”
“No!” came the reply from Delte “We should investigate the fort. These hunters if they are anything like the ashlanders of Morrowind simple ghost stories wouldn't scare them. They are often made of sturdier stuff than your average local.”
“I am not going to argue Delte.” Volk turned and looked her in her eyes “We go north, I am not going to gamble on this one. My wife and child's lives are at steak here.”
“What is north from here Volk? Where can the cultists hide and do their worshipping north of here?” Delte replied back.
“From here only Morthal and Solitude.” Paws said as he followed the discussion “No ruins to speak of or any real cave systems.”
“Brom.” Volk shouted over to his brother and waved him to come over.
Brom left Serena and walked over to where Volk was stood a huge grin on his face.
“Stop your flirting with that breton whore, I have a job for you.” Volk said as he approached.
“She is not a whore, and her name is Serena.” Brom said in a hurt tone “She is the town healer for Rorikstead and the out lying farms.”
“No matter, I want you to ride to our clan longhall and report to the old bear. Ask him to send Kavak and his oathsworn over to Rorikstead to bolster the defences here.”
Brom nodded and walked over to where Johan had tied up the horses Delte walked with him.
“Thank you Brom for saving my life.” Delte said as she walked arm in arm with the young nord.
Brom shrugged “It's ok, I broke my arm but Serena fixed it for me.”
“She likes you Brom, be careful on the road.” Delte replied with a smile.
“How do you know she likes me?” Brom asked as he mounted his horse.
“Woman's intuition.” Delte said with a smile and a wink as she left Brom and walked back to Volk and Paws. Johan followed close behind with bow in hand.
“So where to now?” Johan asked Delte as they walked back.
“An old fort west of here on the boarder to the Reach and Whiterun.” Delte replied.
“I thought Volk was set on going north.” Johan said in a confused tone.
“He is.” came the reply from Delte with a knowing smile.
When Delte had arrived back to the conversation Volk had planted daggers and stones on the ground. One large rock showed where Rorikstead was and two daggers showed Solitude and Morthal. A twig showed where the ruined fort was on the boarder of the two holds. Volk shook his head “The only thing north of here would be reachmen and they are more xenophobic than the maormer.” he said
“You also have your family hold on the northern boarders to Whiterun and Morthal Volk.” Paws said as he looked at the makeshift map “If the cultists are north of here they would of run afoul of your fathers patrols.”
“Yes your right so Delte's assumptions maybe correct and its the only thing we have to go on.” Volk conceded the point “I guess we go to the old fort of Broken Tower from here then and hope the hunters were right to fear the place.”