Predicament of The Pass - a Skyrim short story, part 1/2

  • Predicament of The Pass

    A Skyrim short story, part 1/2

     

    Lost in the wide and barren north, Gannex, Tribune of the Imperial legion stationed in Skyrim, bumps his head with Freja Okenskjoll, a great Nord Shield Maiden, in a mountain pass far too narrow for the volatile tempers of both. With the Stormcloaks hot at their heels, can Vinwryn, the greatest minstrel in all of Cyrodill, persuade the proud warriors from spilling each other's blood? Or will the predicament of the pass be settled by death?        

     

    ***

     

    Somewhere in Skyrim sometime after The Great War

     

    “Why is it always so gloomy?” asked Vinwryn in a complaining grumble, leaning forwards to carefully peer down the misty mountain slope. Moist rocks covered in mucky moss and patches of dirty snow welcomed her eyes with about as much loveliness as a frozen turd.

     

    Gannex didn’t answer her complaint, Vinwryn supposed he didn’t hear.

     

    She sighed, clutching the leather strap of her precious loot tighter. If she dropped it down that slope… she shivered at the thought. “A minstrel with no instrument is like a bird without wings”, she recalled her old master’s preaching. But it was more than that: Vinwryn didn’t much care about not being able to awe a crowd. Hell, she was stuck on a god’s forsaken mountain in the most uncivilized country in all of Tamriel, with a brute of an imperial tribune as her only company.

     

    No, she shivered because her loot had been her only refuge from the cold and harsh reality. To Vinwryn her loot was as essential to her identity as Gannex sword and honor was to his.

     

    She sighed again. Then whined. Then yawned drausely. She rubbed her eyes, “Why is it always so gloomy?” she asked a second time.

     

    “Because it’s the fall in Skyrim”, Gannex answered in a contemplating tone, “I find it interesting” he continued, “that the further north you go in winter, the darker the days become. But you reach a point when you’ve gone far enough north, when there is no daylight at all - only night… but of course that only happens during the winter”, he looked at the grey sky with wondering eyes.

     

    “Yes that’s very interesting” Vinwryn said bemused “However, to me the real question is how on earth Skyrim has a not-winter-time-of-year?”. Gannex’s constant optimism annoyed her more than it should. The man always behaved like a child playing some imaginary game. It was almost as if his entire life was inspired by the heroic tales of old; no matter how shitty the reality of their situation was, Gannex always tackled everything with a stupid enthusiasm and loud, bold statements like “By the power of the Emperor, I shall smite Thee, beast of the north!”.

     

    “Yes, don’t you think?” Gannex continued, the sarcasm in Vinwyn’s voice floating by his perception unnoticed, “But it also goes the opposite way in summer. You see, in the far north of Skyrim in the time of summer, there are no nights - the sun will circle the horizon all day and all night for a month on end”.  

     

    “Ohh, how lovely and warm that must be.”

     

    “No, not at all. In the north the sun gives light, but no warmth. It’s like a lantern I suppose - a very big lantern.”

     

    “Wouldn't surprise me”, Vinwryn said, “everything in this shit-hole of a land is cold”.

     

    “No. Not everything”, Gannex stated, “The mead is warm. The furs of my cloak are warm... ohhhh and the women are very warm, some might even call them hot, if you get my meaning” Gannex chuckled.  

     

    Vinwryn snorted obnoxiously, It was bad habit she was developing but she couldn’t help herself. When it came to Gannex obvious statements and stupidly honest remarks, she had no choice but to compensate with ridiculous sounds of her own.

     

    “You’re telling me that you find the women of Skyrim attractive?”, she asked accusingly, looking for an argument to take her mind off her aching feet.

     

    “Oh yes, very beautiful”

     

    “More beautiful than the women of Cyrodill?” She raised her eyebrow as she mouthed the question in a pointed tone.  

     

    “It’s not because Cyrodillic women aren’t pretty” Gannex said, rubbing his chin in contemplation of her question completely unfazed by her provocation, “It’s just that… well, it’s because the women in skyrim… hmmmm. This is a hard one” he muttered. “It’s because the women in Skyrim are more suited to men like me I suppose”.

     

    “Ohhh, more suited to ‘men like you’” she imitated, “what in the name of the Divines is that supposed to mean?”.

     

    “Well, Women in Skyrim are typically broader across the chest and softer around the hips I’d say. It might not suit the men of the Imperial court who like their wives all small, elegant and dressed in fine clothes. But I’m a more practical sort of man, and to me a nice round bottom is much more attractive than exquisite features and good manners”, He nodded to himself contently as he compared the two types of women he had in mind.

     

    Vinwyn smiled slyly to herself, Gannex had tumbled straight into her trap - no way for him to escape the argument now. She loved arguing, most minstrels do, but Gannex on the other hand hated it. He was big and strong and his loyalty to the Empire knew no bounds. But where his body was carved from iron, his mind was carved from butter; a fact Vinwryn knew, understood and abused whenever she could get away with it.  

     

    “Broader across the chest!?”, she shrieked with no little amount of fake outrage, “So that’s all a nasty man like you can think about? Big breasts? Why you!...” She clutched her fists in feigned anger and shook them at Gannex.

     

    “No, no” Gannex lifted his hands defensively, “It’s not necessarily the size that matters, it’s for the most part the shape that matte-”.

     

    “-Enough” Vinwryn cut him off, “I have had enough of this conversation!”, she hadn’t of course, but she wanted to bait him even further into a discussion. Gods how her feet hurt.

     

    Gannex lifted his eyebrow in feigned surprise, “But you were the one who asked me” he accused politely.

     

    “Why, you don’t say!” Vinwryn spat, her voice dripped venom like only a professional minstrel can make it.

     

    “You are too dramatic sometimes, you know that right?”

     

    “It’s my bloody job to be dramatic! I am a minstrel, a MINSTREL”, she slumped her shoulders, “Tell me, what is a minstrel doing on a dirty, cold, ugly, stupid mountain in a land of barbarians and big-breasted women? I should be in a warm tavern, singing and getting paid to do so” she whined depressedly.

     

    Gannex straightened his back “We are serving his majesty Emperor Titus Mede the Second through means of General Tullius in the campaign against the Aldmeri Dominion”, he raised his hand to his brow in salute, “I serve thy emperor with great pride and without question!”.

     

    Vinwryn sighed, “Who's the dramatic one now?”.

     

    They continued their hike in silence for awhile. Vinwryn was lost in thought, thankfully forgetting her aching feet and to some extent her bad mood.

     

    Although Vinwryn hadn’t noticed, Gannex had stopped his march and peered out at the horizon through squinted eyes. Vinwryn almost bumped into his broad muscular back. She could tell from the set of his brows, and the clenching muscle in his jaw that he didn’t like what he saw one little bit.

     

    “What is it Gannex?” She asked worriedly. Dumb question, she thought to herself as she followed his stare.

     

    The mountain trail wound up ahead of them until it entered a rugged cliffside pass and in that pass stood the silhouette of someone who could only be just about as huge as Gannex, sword in hands, point to the ground, legs half spread and long hair fluttering in the wind.

     

    “Shit” Vinwryn muttered, “Just what we bloody need”.

     

    Gannex shifted his shoulders and continued up the path with renewed vigor. As they neared the pass and the giant of a man blocking it, Vinwryn noticed that it wasn't a man at all. It was a woman - if you could call that giant, redheaded, big-breasted beast a woman at all.

     

    “Hello my friends!” The red headed giant of a woman shouted once they were in hearing range “You shall go no further, this is my pass, turn back from whence you came!”

     

    “Shit” Vinwryn muttered once more, but she already knew it was too late.

     

    “Your pass?” Gannex shouted back placing his hands on his hips in a questioning gesture “Last time i checked Skyrim was a part of The Empire and thus this pass is in fact owned by The Emperor!”

     

    “Thats funny!” The woman shouted back “Last time I checked the Emperor has not ever been on this mountain and will not ever come to it! Is a coin your coin if you toss it on the ground and leave it? No, it is not!”

     

    “You know she has a point right?” Vinwryn pointed out to Gannex. They had come closer to the woman now and there was no longer any need of shouting. By Oblivion she was huge, almost as tall as Gannex and his mother must have been fucked by a giant Vinwryn was sure of it.

     

    “That’s an interesting question” Gannex mused “It depends if someone picks up the coin I suppose. For if I were to leave my cloak on the ground and someone else picked it up I could tell him it was mine, couldn't I? And he would have to give it back”.

     

    “Yes, but since you are not the emperor I don't have to give you my mountain now do I?”

     

    Gannex puffed up his barrel shaped chest as only a man of a certain degree of bravado can manage. “I may not be the emperor, but I can bloody well make sure his prop-”

     

    “Are you too finished measuring the sizes of eachother cocks yet?” Vinwryn cut Gannex off.

     

    The red headed giant raised an eyebrow, “Sorry to disappoint” she said in a bemused tone, “But I’m afraid I have no cock as I am a woman”

     

    “A woman!” Vinwryn exclaimed “I would never have guessed”.

     

    The redhead frowned at that.

     

    Unluckily for Vinwryn her sarcasm went completely above Gannex’ head, “But look at the size of her breasts Vin, how can she not be a woman?” He exclaimed at her, the dumb oaf.

     

    The redhead’s frown turned to a smile, “A shame your companion doesn't have any at all, ay big man? I bet it’s like sleeping with a teenage boy” She laughed.

     

    Vinwryn snorted obnoxiously at her, “And I guess you're like sleeping with a red haired troll!” She shouted back “Except you smell worse”.

     

    “Now now you two!” Gannex interrupted “can we stop measuring the the wetness of each others vag-”

     

    “SHUT UP!” both women shouted, livid with the anger most men refer to as ‘bitch rage’.

     

    “Inas…” Gannex finished.

     

    It was at that moment an arrow came whistling through the air and struck the ground right next to Vinwryn’s left foot. She screamed and jumped to the side.

     

    “By Shor's bones” The Nord woman said “Who’s shooting at us”.

     

    “The Stormcloaks” Gannex replied, “they’ve been chasing us for days now”. He ducked behind a stone and Vinwryn followed behind him.

     

    “Bloody Ulfric” The woman said as she joined them behind the cover of the rock “He should never have started that damned rebellion, it will costs the lives of hundreds”.

     

    “Then we settle this after?” Gannex asked. Peering over the side of the stone from the path he and Vin had come.

     

    “Yes” The redhead replied, “How many?”

     

    “Probably eight men all in all, if I should guess” Gannex said as he drew his sword and unslung his shield from his back.

     

    “By Talos, what the hell did you two do for eight of Ulfric’s lot to chase you?” She asked.

     

    “Stole something” Vinwryn said as she unslung her shortbow and carefully hid her loot behind a small bush.

     

    “What did you steal?” The redhead asked.

     

    “Never mind” Said Gannex, “I’m Gannex Marcus Verenus, Imperial Tribune under general Tullius is the campaign of Skyrim. What's your name?” He asked her.

     

    “You want to know my name all of a sudden?” She asked him.

     

    “I won't fight with someone who’s name I don't know, it’s a matter of principal”.

     

    The redhead seemed to understand that, although it seemed both unnecessary and stupid to Vinwryn. “I’m Freja Okensjkoll” The redhead said as she and Gannex jumped from the cover of the rock.   

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