A long time coming....

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     The Saga of Scales: Table of Contents

    Previous Entry: You sure? Fine. I'll stand watch.

     

     

    A low, dangerous hiss escaped between the teeth of the hulking saxhleel as he stalked into the house, shoulders sway from side to side as his whole body twisted to take in every detail of his surroundings. With more in common with a sabre cat than a man he pawed forward into the domicile of this clearly very wealthy and opulent Markarth home. A women attempted to bar him entry as he took his first few steps in, the heavy metal door slamming behind him. As she took a few steps into the hallway that made up the entry her eyes suddenly grew wide with equal parts fear and recognition. With a quick jump she moved to the side, letting the beast pass without a word of a glance from the predator argonian.

     

    From in front of the fire an old man, looking something like a cross between a nord and a breton, his face creased with line upon line of age, stress, and experience. As the brutish warrior advanced upon the elderly man, his scales bristling with each step closer, the reachman still not turning to face his visitor.

     

    “Ahh, I wondered how long it would take you to come through my door. Been running around my city for some time now.” His voice was high but the way in which he formed each of his words made them heavy with meaning. This was clearly a man who did not waste his time or energy on anything he did not mean, not even speech.

     

    The argonian said nothing, cold, yellow-green eyes staring daggers into the man before him. Still the elderly man did not turn towards him. “Hmm never were much a conversationalist where you?” The old man said, finally turning around slightly in his chair to look at Scales towering above him. He was likely the first person in all of Markath that did not look upon the massive muscle-bound argonian and not show at least a little bit of fear. “You look good, been doing well for yourself from what I hear. Even gave Inigo a proper beating……” He smiled, a devilish, sickly smile that would make a normal man’s skin crawl. “He deserved it for failing me. I’ll let him sit in the jail in Riften and rot for a good long time, let his body shrivel and twist from the skooma withdrawal as he thinks about his failure before I send him back to the mines for an even longer ponder of his pitiful existence. Uaile over there told me to send him,” he gestured to the breton woman who had moved to the side as Scales entered, “she told me ‘no Nepos don’t send that fleabag, send me instead, I will happily pull every last scale from that lizard until he grovels at your feet’.” Imitating the woman’s voice the man’s voice was high and shrill, and dripping with the poison of sarcasm and condescension. “Hmm perhaps I should have listened to you in the first place my dear,” said Nepos, ignoring the dirty look of the breton woman as she drew a dagger and walked up behind Scales, who also paid her no attention.

     

    Nepos’ kept his eyes locked on Scales, his face gaining an even darker and more dangerous look to it. He stared at Scales for several long moments before speaking again, “Come now you dimwit speak up now, you think you are getting out of here alive? My servants will kill you long before you even get a claw on me. You think you are the first one to have gotten this far? You won’t be the last either, but here in Markarth I am in control. I have the Silver-bloods and that pathetic excuse for a jarl wrapped around my finger. Outside these walls the reachmen, my reachmen, work to reclaim the land that was ours by birth. You really think that some fucking lizard too dumb to speak or hold a thought more complex than eat or shit is going to fuck with me?” Nepos stood as he said this, laughing a cold, heartless laugh as two other bretons came up from behind Scales, their own blades drawn, their other hands at the ready, arcane energies already starting to form and coalesce in their fingers.

    With a deep inhale the massive saxhleel finally spoke, “I am not ‘lizard’,” he said, his eyes flashing with rage in the firelight. “My name is Qoc’cthu’eix, Scales-of-Iron in your vile tongue. Sixty-two years, three months, fourteen days and this morning I was taken from my home in Black Marsh and sold into slavery.” He took a step towards Nepos and for a slight moment, as the shadow of Scales passed over the elderly man there was a flicker of fear to the man’s eyes. “You might not have been the first to hold my chains, nor the one responsible for the murder of my family….. but you will be the last.” He took another step, the three breton servants at his back gripping their blades tighter, energies now crackling in their fists, energy arcing from finger to finger. “And I will be leaving here alive. I have not lived this long to waste my freedom now. You however will not, you will not hold my chains or those of any else….not anymore.” The argonian pushed the last few words from between his sharpened teeth with great force and conviction, letting them drift through the air, hang for a moment, and sink to the floor, seeming pulling all the air from the room down with it. Silence filled the space for a moment, no moment, no sound, nothing but the tension of the room reaching critical mass. The sound of metal on metal as Scales unhooked the twin axes, wicked and curved nordic steel, from his belt. This was all the spark the powderkeg needed as the room erupted into violence.

    In an instant Nepos and his three servants advanced on Scales. lightning arced from the hands of the two of the bretons towards Scales, blasting into his armored exterior, the tips of his scales already starting to blacken and smoke from the sheer intensity of the attack. A third made the motions for another spell but took vicious swing of a steel axe to the face in a sickening wet crack before crumpling to the stone floor in a pile of broken, bleeding flesh. Nepos, drew his own dagger and lunged at the argonian. Again and again he tried to drive the dagger into the thick iron-like hide of Scales to little lasting effect. An inferno of arcane fire erupted from his outstretched palm, engulfing Scales and singeing the fires that made up his armor. Still the brute paid no attention to Nepos, focusing instead on his underlings first. Another savage axe strike lashed out horizontally at the female Breton. She tried to block the blow with her dagger but the strength and power of her attacker was far too great as she was literally smashed aside, a primary crack sounding from the plethora of bones breaking from the impact, followed by a smaller, secondary crack of several bones on the other side of her torso as she struck the wall with enough force to crack the ancient dwarven stone. She too collapsed as the predatory gaze of Scales settled upon the third and final servant. With lightning arcing, flames scorching, burning away at the scales and flesh of the mountainous monster Scales, daggers bouncing off like they were nothing but insect bites, Scales swung high with both his axes. Frantically, the breton tried to form some necromantic spell to raise his fallen brethren but got barely a syllable out of his mouth before his head parted from his shoulders, more from the sheer force of the wedged blade than the sharpness of the axe heads.

    The fearful expression on the servant’s face bounced and rolled across the room as Scales turned to face his intended target, now freed from the irritation of the minions he now faced the master himself. In a hissed roar Scales lashed out with blow after blow, the old man so physical inferior to his attacker that to the omniscient observer one might actually feel sorry for the frail old man. To his credit though, despite the sheer overwhelming odds and the massively underestimated enemy that in a split second would end him, robbing him of all the power and wealth he had amassed in his long life, Nepos fought on. With another berserk roar though, Scales battered the cruel old man with more savage strikes, not stopping even when the bleeding, broken, already dead corpse hit the floor. Still he did not stop as he knelt over the body, continuously raining blow after blow. Pure, white hot rage boiled up, fueled by a lifetime of hatred and memories of abuse, loss, and pain. Dropping his axes to the floor Scales continued his assault, mutilating the body with his bare fists. Thick argonian claws savaged the still unblemished spaces between his axe strikes, coating both man and beast in crimson red.

    After several long moments, his chest heaving with deep, heavy breaths Scales pulled back. Crawling backwards he pulled himself up and onto the chair that a minute ago Nepos had occupied. The iron tang of blood filled the air as silence once again returned to the room, the only sound the crackling of the fire in the hearth, still burning onward as if nothing had changed. Scales continued to catch his breath, his normally cold yellow-green eyes burned hot in the firelight as he watched the flames dance. It seemed like hours that he sat there but in reality it was only a minute, perhaps two before the door to the house exploded inward and a horde of green clad guards of Markarth burst in, clearly drawn by the screams, roars, and other sounds of his recent battle. The four in front, each large and imposing nords in their own right, must still like children next to Scales tackled the argonian to the ground. Scales however did not fight, did not resist. Bending and twisting his arms behind his back they clasped two sets of manacles on him before hauling him to his feet. Ropes and chains were thrown around him as they treated him more like a rabid animal than a sentient prisoner and now six guards in number held him at various points, literally dragging him to the door.

    Outside in the morning light Scales could see Borgakh pinned to the ground by three more guards who struggled to contain the very much resisting she-orc. With a quick flash she saw Scales behind pulled in chains from the house and for a split second the caught eyes as Scales shook his head at her. Regrettably, she stopped trying to wrestle the guards off her. As Scales was pulled toward and down the steps, the large contingent of guards following after him, the three holding Borgakh down likewise followed, one of the pushing the orc warrior to the ground with a sneer and a laugh before running off after the others. If looks could kill he would have hit the ground dead as Borgakh stared daggers into the nord’s back. Looking over the stone railing Borgakh watched the mass of green make its way west with Scales at their center. Even she knew exactly where they were headed, Cidhna Mine, the great prison of Markarth where once you go in, no one ever escapes…...

     

     

    Next Entry: Reflection in Blood

Comments

7 Comments   |   Paws and 1 other like this.
  • SpottedFawn
    SpottedFawn   ·  August 24
    Incredible chapter, here! The action flowed really well, though with a bit of proofreading I think it would flow even better! :) Ran into a couple of sentences that sounded funny.

    I've been enjoying the journal format of getting to know Scale...  more
    • Amornar
      Amornar
      SpottedFawn
      SpottedFawn
      SpottedFawn
      Incredible chapter, here! The action flowed really well, though with a bit of proofreading I think it would flow even better! :) Ran into a couple of sentences that sounded funny.

      I've been enjoying the journal format of getting to know Scales-of-Iron, b...  more
        ·  August 24
      Thanks Spotted, I really didn't do a good job proofing and I knew that lol. I tried to focus on the content itself and with mostly journals I got into the habit that people would make some small errors writing anyway. *insert innocent face* ;)
  • Dragonborn1921
    Dragonborn1921   ·  August 24
    Whoo, yeah great chapter Armo. I really liked how Scales reacted to metting ole' Nepos and the whole fight scene was really cool. I liked the difference between this one and the earlier one, just felt entirely different (because they were.....  more
    • Amornar
      Amornar
      Dragonborn1921
      Dragonborn1921
      Dragonborn1921
      Whoo, yeah great chapter Armo. I really liked how Scales reacted to metting ole' Nepos and the whole fight scene was really cool. I liked the difference between this one and the earlier one, just felt entirely different (because they were.....  more
        ·  August 24
      Glad you enjoyed! I have enjoyed reading your replies through the morning as you work through the entries. Only two more left! :)
  • Paws
    Paws   ·  August 20
    The action here is vivid, visceral, and violent. The tension preceeding it is perfect, and the aftermath of Scales hacking Nepos and his crew apart and subsequent arrest is a lingering anxiety that won't now be calmed until the next chapter.
    • Amornar
      Amornar
      Paws
      Paws
      Paws
      The action here is vivid, visceral, and violent. The tension preceeding it is perfect, and the aftermath of Scales hacking Nepos and his crew apart and subsequent arrest is a lingering anxiety that won't now be calmed until the next chapter.
        ·  August 20
      Hit refresh.... :)
      • Paws
        Paws
        Amornar
        Amornar
        Amornar
        Hit refresh.... :)
          ·  August 20
        Another chapter already? fingers flying over keys today!