The Imperial Auditor - Chapter Eight

  • Well this was it, the days had passed quickly and my head was sore from the Nord mead the night before, Saadia’s knock on the door seemed much louder than normal. Once Saadia had left the bowl and jug of water on the drawers, I rose slowly on unsteady feet, staggering towards the bowl.

     

    Thought Break

    The night before I had returned to the inn following an afternoon spent at the alchemists, Arcadia, having looked over her ledgers and found them in good order; being an Imperial, I would not have expected less. As I had stepped over the threshold of the inn I had been hailed by some unkempt looking Nords.


    “Ho! ‘Guris! Come share a bottle with us,” called the shorter of the two.


    “You think he can handle it Agnarr,” sniggered the taller one, “still looks like a milk drinker to me.”


    “We’ll see Hals, but should be a fun night,” he winked at Hals, and I wondered what sort of trouble I would find myself in.


    “So, you think you’re up to taking down a few denizens of Bleak Falls Barrow?” Hals asked handing me a bottle, I couldn’t see the label, but I hoped it was ale as it was known to be the weakest alcohol in Skyrim, and I had planned on an early start the following morning.


    “Ha! Taking them down at the knees more like, then they’ll crawl after him,” Agnarr slapped me on the shoulder. “Drink up friend!”


    “The Jarl has asked me to go, and go I shall, whether I am ready...” I shrugged, not wanting to think too much of the days to come, I had spent much time preparing, but ready? No.


    Hals laughed, “Well at least you might make more than a dent now, and you’re holding that sword at knee level rather than dragging it.”


    I chuckled at their good natured ribbing, recalling that I had spent a number of days in the training area of the guard barracks at the direction of Commander Caius, and had often had the distracting company of Hals and Agnarr, the two guards who had first granted me access to the city, some days earlier.


    “I still think a wooden training sword would have been better, you’d have been able to do more damage with a better swing,” Agnarr nudged my elbow encouraging me to drink more quickly.


    As the evening went on, we were joined by more off duty guards, and my bottle never seemed to empty. Tales were told of their first fight, their first skirmish with bandits, their first arrest and so forth. The air was full of anticipation, and I was at a loss as to the cause.


    I noticed that the bard had taken a break, the guards becoming louder and my head swimming slightly, wishing that it had indeed been ale in the bottle. The bard approached Carlotta, who ran a stall in the market, backing her against the wall, everything else faded away.


    “What do you want Imperial?” I hadn’t realised that I had crossed the inn.


    “I don’t think that the lady is interested,” my back straightened, the inn stilled, holding its collective breath.


    “Auguris, it’s fine, I can handle him,” Carlotta placed a hand on my arm.


    “Oh, she’s interested,” the bard was staring intently at her, one hand pressed against the wall beside her head. This was no way to treat a lady, I was becoming angrier, imagining if it was my Ladia in Carlotta’s position.


    “Mikael, I’ve told you a thousand times no!” slapping his hand away, Carlotta tried to move towards the bar.


    Mikael grabbed her arm, the next thing I knew, I had grabbed his shoulder to pull him away and was swinging a fist. It landed badly, but gave Carlotta time to move out of his reach.


    “Damn you Imperial!”


    The bards fist connected with my jaw and I staggered. Finding my feet quickly, I lunged at him, my second blow connecting with his cheekbone.

     

    Thought Break

     

    As I stepped cautiously into the main hall of the inn, Hulda looked at me with a raised eyebrow. Saadia paused in the doorframe leading from the kitchen.

     

    “Potato M’m?”

     

    “Yes, I think so,” Hulda waved me over, “I won’t ask how your head is, I can tell just from looking at you.”

     

    I leant against the bar, not daring to sit on the stool, wincing slightly, moments later a tankard of filmjölk and a plate of bread were placed in front of me.

     

    Saadia returned with a muslin bag of what smelled like potato, I looked between both of the women, a puzzled look on my face.

     

    “The mead is still dulling your senses eh?” Hulda shook her head, “You’re going to have a nice bruise later from Mikael’s last punch, best to deal with it now before you set off.”

     

    “But… Potato?”

     

    “Aye, no point using a steak, we’d be outta cows in no time,” Hulda smiled, as Saadia pressed the bag into my hand. “And don’t worry, Mikael is in a worse state than you, he won’t be back in for a couple of days.”

     

    “I don’t recall much after the second punch,” I was juggling the potato bag and drinking the filmjölk at the same time, the left side of my face starting to pound as I became more awake.

     

    “Oh, best fight we’ve had in ages, and laugh. It was a good reason for a fight, Carlotta has been fending him off for months since he arrived in Whiterun,” she sighed. “The rest of the men were too scared to step in in case their women folk got the wrong idea.”

     

    I was stunned, “And they think I’m a milk drinker?”

     

    “Have you got on the wrong side of a Nord woman recently?” Hulda chuckled. “Don’t mind them, I think they like you, or you’d be locked up in a cell right now. The guards threw Mikael out telling him to take the night off, then they hauled you off to bed.”

     

    Time Break

     

    I stepped out into the brilliant sunshine of early morning, lifting my pack of supplies onto my back, I paused, noting the chill breeze blowing through the marketplace. Adjusting my slightly tattered cloak beneath the pack, which I had obtained from one of the merchants, I looked around, noting that Danica stood at the top of the steps leading to the Gildergreen, she nodded to me and turned to leave.

     

    Thought Break

                 

    Danica and I had spent a number of early mornings conversing at the Gildergreen, before the majority of the townsfolk began going about their business of the day.

     

    We had begun by talking about my original reason for being in Skyrim, but quickly moved onto my family, whom I had left behind in Weye, and also my parents.

     

    Danica was most interested in my mother, Peregrina Ottus by her maiden name, though she had not spoken much of her worship of the Divine’s when I was young, Danica was most certain that her preference would have been Mara. On enquiring about my maternal grandmother, I had shaken my head, I had not had the opportunity to meet her, Augusta, of the family Geonette, having passed on prior to my birth. This particular side of the family was only quietly discussed on rare occasions due to the distant Breton lineage.

     

    Alongside our conversations regarding my family, and the Divine’s, Mara and Kynareth, Danica began to teach me how to focus myself, something my old sword master had never managed. Danica laughed when I told her this, telling me that my sword master had endeavoured to teach me in the ways of destruction, not restoration or protection and that this, was why I had struggled.


    I learnt to identify and acknowledge a warm flicker within me, Danica told me that rather than the flame of destruction, this was the warmth of restoration. With practice I would grow more confident and able, Danica assured me. I was conflicted, as much as I could feel the flicker, my fathers teaching was to trust in sword and shield, and my mother's attempts to introduce other ways of thinking were obstructed, being a means employed by lesser peoples.

     

    Thought Break

                  

    I felt a small hand grasp at mine, distracting me from my thoughts, looking down I saw Lucia holding up an apple.

     

    “You need more than bread for breakfast.” Looking down suddenly, Lucia whispered, “Be safe.”

     

    “I will try little one, and when I come back we will work more on your reading, yes?” I smiled down at her, taking the apple. The small girl had been sleeping behind the inn, but from my meager earnings in the city looking over the merchants accounts, I had been passing coin to Hulda to allow her sleep in a corner in the kitchen, so that she would be warm and dry.

     

    The child ducked back inside, most likely to find the book that I had given her, or to find Saadia to ask for chores to secure her food for the day. A sad state of affairs, her parents having died, and no family willing to look after her, but I had pressed Hulda to promise to keep an eye on her until I returned. If I returned.

     

    Making my way down through the Plains District to the main gate, I noticed that Proventus’ daughter, Adrianne, was out early working the tanning rack, one of two blacksmiths in Whiterun, the other I had not yet met, but I understood he was from one of the oldest families in the city. As I approached, a large burly bearded Nord stepped from the shop, Warmaiden’s, and spoke quietly with her, passing a small bundle; as he moved away, Adrianne spoke.

     

    “Auguris! I heard what happened at the inn last night, it’s about time someone did something,” as she stepped away from the rack, I noticed that Adrianne was carrying a small roll of leather, handing it to me, she explained it was a “just in case” for inside Bleak Falls Barrow.

     

    Peeking in the end of the roll, I could see the small glints of a set of lock picks as the sunlight hit them. I nodded to her, thinking that I would not need them, but appreciated the gesture and turned to cross the small stone bridge that led to the main gate.

     

    Imerial Seal

     

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Comments

9 Comments   |   Karver the Lorc and 2 others like this.
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  August 2, 2018
    Wow... way to go Auguris.   Nicely done with Lucia too. So, Bleaks..... say hi to the spider....  hahaha cannot wait
    • Meli
      Meli
      Sotek
      Sotek
      Sotek
      Wow... way to go Auguris.   Nicely done with Lucia too. So, Bleaks..... say hi to the spider....  hahaha cannot wait
        ·  August 2, 2018
      Thanks Sotek, I have notes for the next chapter, but can't say the current heat in the UK is helping me get back into it :( 
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  June 28, 2018
    I will get to this Meli. Catching up with Blogs at the moment.
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  June 26, 2018
    He left the inn! Progress!  I'm interested to see this guy in Bleak Falls Barrow. :D
    • Meli
      Meli
      The Long-Chapper
      The Long-Chapper
      The Long-Chapper
      He left the inn! Progress!  I'm interested to see this guy in Bleak Falls Barrow. :D
        ·  June 26, 2018
      Oh I wish I could hint, but Karver may just lose it if I let anything out of the bag just yet lol :D
      • Karver the Lorc
        Karver the Lorc
        Meli
        Meli
        Meli
        Oh I wish I could hint, but Karver may just lose it if I let anything out of the bag just yet lol :D
          ·  June 26, 2018
        Whaaaaaa?! :O
        You make it sound like I'm a squeeler or something. I ain't a squeeler :D
        • Meli
          Meli
          Karver the Lorc
          Karver the Lorc
          Karver the Lorc
          Whaaaaaa?! :O
          You make it sound like I'm a squeeler or something. I ain't a squeeler :D
            ·  June 26, 2018
          Not a squealer, more like rotfpmsl ;-)
  • Karver the Lorc
    Karver the Lorc   ·  June 26, 2018
    It was nice to see Auguris grow a pair. Heh, I kinda expected him to get his ass handed over to him even by Mikael, but it´s good that Auguris dished out as much as he received.

    I still feel like Bleak Falls gonna test this guy to the limit...  more
    • Meli
      Meli
      Karver the Lorc
      Karver the Lorc
      Karver the Lorc
      It was nice to see Auguris grow a pair. Heh, I kinda expected him to get his ass handed over to him even by Mikael, but it´s good that Auguris dished out as much as he received.

      I still feel like Bleak Falls gonna test this guy to the limit and it will...  more
        ·  June 26, 2018
      It's amazing what a few days of filmjolk and a night of Nord Mead will do for a man lol


      Running? That and lots more, but that would be telling ;-)