The party of unlikely adventurers headed west towards the ruins of Nilheim Tower with their note of trade and a plan to catch a Skooma dealer and end a problem in The Rift…
The road to the tower was relatively clear, nothing but a Lone Wolf running into the group and fleeing (Again).
In a relatively short time they reached the climb to the tower.
" Alright, Ra’sava has a plan, we will go in and pretend that we are the ones here for the Trade and ask to see their leader, then we will politely tell him that he is to leave. " Ra’sava said with a nod.
" By politely, you mean ‘Beat until he understands what we want’ don’t you? " Asked Sashja.
Ra’sava paused in his steps and thought about it for a few moments, before turning and nodding. " Yes! Exactly! Is there a problem with this plan? "
" Nope, I like it. " Sashja reassured.
" I can work with this plan " Celeyane agreed and continued on forward.
" Oh! Wait wait wait wait. " Ra’sava threw his arms out wide to block anyone passing near him. " Before we go in, we need a good story. You Sashja will be… Uhh.. Crusher, yes. Stand beside me and be quiet and scary.. Yeah! Just like that. " Ra’sava said as he quickly turned away from the frowning Nord who was doing her best to look stern. " And you.. you will be.. Frosty. "
Celeyane stared blankly at him.
" Err.. Snowy? "
She continued to stare.
" Icicle? "
Still she stared.
" Oh come on! You have the big Ice Spear and all.. Bah.. fine, Freezer?.. Though I think I’ll have to fight someone for the copyright on that one.. so… The Ice Queen. "
" That’s as good as a yes! I’ll take it! " And with that, their plan was sorted and up the path they trod.
However, inside a dull set of voices could be heard, the occasional bout of laughter would roll from the cracks in the walls.
Ra’sava strode up and mentally prepared to knock on the door.. only when he reached it, the door was open and mostly off it’s hinges… so he readjusted his plan and moved to the inner door to knock on that one instead.
But before he did, he rechecked the note.. and his stomach did that little flippy thing without actually ever moving.
It’s okay, It’s okay.. this only changes the entire plan… everything I had counted on… but it’s okay.. I can run with this.. Ra’sava thought as he realized that he had misread the note… so… he knocked.
" Time to improvise. " he said just before he did.. which caused the other two to glance at him.. a sleight twitch may or may not have hit the two women…
Knock Knock Knock
A few moments passed before the door cracked open, revealing the hard expression of a Nordic Man who’s face looked as though it had seen more bar-brawls than a toilet seat had seen rears. A brief flash of recognition flickered across his face, but was quickly smothered as he grunted out a hoarse " What? "
‘A conversationalist’ Ra’sava thought before he said " Ah yes, Hello. This one is.. the uh.. one who is wanted in this Hold, Yes that is it. He is K’jaarti the Quick, also known as K’jaarti the Handsome, Sticky-Fingers K’jaarti, K’jaarti the Khajiit. " He finished, suddenly getting into his roll.
" Ah, K’jaarti, it is good to see you again. What are these two here for? "
Think quickly Ra’sava. " They are new recruits! " Perfect
" New recruits eh? Well, about time we had a few women about. Right boys? " he asked as he pushed the door open further to allow the trio inside.
Revealing five other Nordic men who each looked like they chewed Iron Ingots and spat out Nails. Who all also cheered out a collective set of agreements.
As the trio entered and began to move further into the room. The one who let them in, while still striding into the room, asked. " So, K’jaarti… "
" Yes? " Replied Ra’sava, holding his head high and walking with a little swagger.
" When did you leave? Because I swear you only just went upstairs. "
Ah damnit.. Thought Ra’sava.. before his mouth took over. " You have seen K’jaarti’s Alchemy skills, he was testing you. "
" Oh? Were you now? " He asked, turning around to face Ra’sava and the other two.. as the sounds of weapons being drawn from the seated men about them rung out through the large dining hall.
" Well, of course he was " the swagger stopped, the head held high from a successful ruse lessened slightly. " And you know that K’jaarti is K’jaarti because he said he is, after all, who else looks this good? "
" You changed your clothes very fast… And your Saber, where is it? I’ve never seen you without it. "
" Well.. I.. Uhh.. to make the test more effecti- " He cut himself off, as he lunged at the Bandit standing right in front of him, while Celeyane and Sashja drew their weapons.
A brawl ensued, tables were flipped, drinks were thrown, Ra’sava may or may not have hidden under a table and used it as a surprisingly effective defense while simultaneously stabbing someone in the foot, who proceeded to get very angry before deciding that he would much rather escape with a few toes missing rather than not escape at all, and fled while the rest of his companions were set on fire, bashed, shot, stabbed and mauled to death…
" Shit, shit, Shit! " the final bandit cursed as he backed up the stairs away from the trio of armed adventurers who had just burned and beat his companions to a pulp. " Oh no, I don’t want do go like this. "
It was of course at this moment, that things turned for the worse.
Clap… Clap… Clap
" Bravo, Bravo " A voice from above called, and the obnoxious sound of loud footsteps sounded as the source of them started to descend the stone steps. " What a show, what a show! K’jaarti is impressed. " He called while he kept applauding, like a noble at a show.
" K’jaarti! Good! Now we can beat them and- " He didn’t get to finish. Partially because now was the perfect cinematic time for him to stop, but mostly because his head sailed through the air in an arc and hit the ground with a wet thud.
" Now, K’jaarti has everyone’s attention yes? Good. He thinks you should all turn around and walk away. "
Sashja clenched her fist and before her brain could tell her heart and mouth to shut up, she shouted out " He was one of your own! Your comrade, how could you kill him? "
K’jaarti placed his hand on his chest, feigning being wounded. " Oh! K’jaarti is deeply hurt that you think he would harm one of his own. No no, he was not one of mine, he was the boss’s. " He waved a hand dismissively at the body of the Bandit before idly wiping off the blood on his saber on the poor dead guys clothing.
Sashja ground her teeth as she watched the cocky Khajiit stride down the steps.
" Now " He said as he took up his shield, a rather fancy looking black Chitin Medium shield. " K’jaarti will ask you again, will you please leave? K’jaarti will even pay you to away. "
" What? Just like that? " Asked Ra’sava, sounding rather confused.
" Yes, just like that. You see, K’jaarti is being paid to stop anyone from going on and disturbing the ritual. " He said with an idle wave of his hand, as though it were simply the pure fact.
" What Ritual? " Ra’sava found himself asking.
" The one that the guy in the robes is doing on the Priestess, something about taking her heart. " K’jaarti blinked once. " Oh, K’jaarti couldn’t stop his mouth in time. Whoops. " He said with absolutely no air of actually being sorry.
" Well.. now I can’t just walk away. " Sashja said with a shrug, then with a quick motion and an uttered word, threw her hands forward and sent a blast of fire hurling the Khajiit’s way.
Ra’sava let out a whoop, Celeyane swapped her Ice Bow out for an Icy Long Spear…. and K’jaarti dusted off his clothing, looking entirely uneffected.
" Oh…well.. Damn. " Ra’sava said with all the grace and charisma of a trained speaker.
" Well damn. " K’jaarti agreed, then sighed. " K’jaarti guesses this means you will not leave peacefully? Fine, K’jaarti will fight you all. "
" Hah! All of us?! " Crowed Sashja and Ra’sava together. Celeyane remained quiet and watched the Khajiit warily.
" Yes, all of you. At once. " He said with a straight face and a cocky tilt of his head.
Ra’sava eyed him, then cocked his head to the side slightly… then promptly and quickly hurled a dagger at the Khajiit as he shouted " Attack! "
K’jaarti deflected the thrown knife with a contemptuous flick of his Saber. " K’jaarti may enjoy this. "
The Following battle was fairly short, though hard fought, with the Khajiit K’jaarti suffering only a minor wound before he decided the battle was not worth the money he was being paid and quaffed a potion then vanished.
" K’jaarti would hurry if he was you, that madman will be nearly finished what he is doing by now and K’jaarti will be nowhere near by when it is finished. Goodbye we will meet again, K’jaarti is sure. " His voice echoed off the walls of the dining hall and seemed to have no source, but nothing else followed.
" We had best hurry. " Celeyane said with a nod, and the three of them rushed up the stairs.
The next room was fairly sparse and it didn’t take them long to find a hidden door underneath a mat.
" Well.. this is disappointing, how unoriginal " Ra’sava said with a sniff, then flipped the mat over, called the other two to him, then went down the ladder one after the other.
After they had all reached the bottom, a voice spoke up.
" Well… if you’re here, you beat K’jaarti. "
The three of them nearly jumped from their skins at the voice.
" Who are you? " Sashja demanded from the tall Nord who leaned against a heavy looking door across the room.
He rolled a shoulder in a small shrug and pushed himself off the door.
He was a tall man, Easily Six foot Five and built like a brick house, he had a rather handsome face and wore a solid set of plate armour over his chest and one arm, he had a fine steel longsword at one hip.
" It doesn’t matter, I surrender. All I ask is that you let me leave here freely. If you beat K’jaarti, this isn’t worth the money I’m being paid. "
The trio blinked, taken aback.
" Does that sound good? " He prompted again.
" Leave your sword here. " Celeyane said, pointing to a corner of the room away from them.
" Ouch, leaving me without my lively-hood. Fine. " He set the sword aside, before turning back to them. " That all? Can I go now? "
" Uh… " Ra’sava said with all the elegance of a politician who had just been told he had stepped in something unmentionable. " Yes, yes you may go. "
And so he did.. without a fuss.
" Well.. that was unexpected.. " Ra’sava said, then pushed open the door at the far end of the room.
A robed figure stood at the far end of the room behind an Alter, facing them. On the alter lay a motionless figure of a young looking woman. The room was illuminated by only a few torches, yet Ra’sava could see clearly, and that the woman was breathing shallowly.
" It’s over! We have come to stop you, you are bested. " He called across the room as he stepped in and the other two followed.
" It is not over yet, and I will deliver this
beautiful young woman to Namira! " The word ‘beautiful’ was said as though it were utterly disgusting, then the man raised his head. Dark skin showed and red eyes glared out from within the folds of the hood. " Kill them! " The Dunmer shouted.
Then a Giant Spider dropped from the darkened ceiling above.
One hell of a fight ensued.
Ra’sava struck the final blow on the Fanatic Dunmer while Sashja dueled the Giant Spider and kept it’s attention.
Celeyane decided that the Dunmer would look better as a pincushion and during the battle had stuck him with several arrows, while simultaneously avoiding the draining touches of the Dunmer’s ancestor spirit.
They took the Priestess from the alter and the ritual devices on it also, but not before dropping a Black Soul Gem which was sitting near her, and chipping it.
They carried her from the ruins while Ra’sava dealt with the dead.. and an undead.
The group left the now burning tower behind (Courtesy of Ra’sava) and after spending some time to quickly repair the wagon with a makeshift wheel cap, they made their way back to Riften.
During the Travel the Priestess did not improve and the group discovered that she was afflicted by a strange poison or disease, so they stopped near a farm and convinced the owner to lend them a horse to help tow the cart (They had been pushing it for a few kilometers..) to get the priestess to Riften and to a Priest.