Skyrim RP series...Danifae (Chapter 18) Guard duty

  • Having adjusted the Stormcloak uniform to fit her, Danifae finally felt it was time to get out and explore Windhelm. She and her friends had been guests of Ulfric in the upper guestrooms of the Palace of the Kings, but she was getting restless. Staying here, she wasn't getting any closer to finding Ancano or rescuing Thorald, but she felt that she needed to get to know the city a bit better. She wanted to pay a visit to Aventus Aretino's house, as she'd heard he'd run away from Honorhall Orphanage and maybe returned back home, but she'd kept it to herself. On her brief visit to the orphanage on a previous trip to Riften, she'd really felt for the children staying there, as Grelod didn't offer them any kindness or loving. Also seeing the shackles attached to the wall made a shiver run down her spine.



    Therefore, late one night when her friends were sleeping, she crept out of the room dressed as a Stormcloak guard. It was a snug fit and her helmet fitted her perfectly and the best thing about her new uniform was that it didn't itch, unlike the last one that she'd borrowed. She walked confidently into the barracks and borrowed an axe and a light shield, to make the disguise even better. There wasn't much she could do to alter her height, she was smaller than Nords but as she was tall for a Bosmer, she was about average height with everyone else. So, as long as she wasn't spotted doing anything too much out of character for a guard, she was hopeful her 'patrol' of the city would pass off without incident.



    Slipping out of the barracks, a snowstorm was blowing. This would be perfect for her, as not many people would be out and about at this hour. She'd borrowed a map of the city so she knew roughly where the Aretino residence was. She lit a torch and walked calmly down the streets. She passed a few guards and she gave them a nod as she passed. Drawing near the house she saw a Dark Elf and a young boy taking shelter underneath an archway. As she drew closer to them they stopped their conversation, but not before her sharp ears caught the words 'Aretino' and 'Dark Brotherhood'. She calmly walked past them and rounded the corner, where she paused. The wind was howling so she couldn't hear most of what was said but the two soon moved on. She looked around and saw noone else in view so she extinguished her torch and moved over to the doorway. She carefully picked the lock and quickly slipped inside.


    She heard a voice chanting upstairs. Creeping up them, she looked round the room she ended up in. It was sparsely furnished but there were bits of food and drink scattered round. She saw a note lying on a table and she picked it up and read it. It was a note from Jarl Ulfric telling the boy that he was too young to stay here on his own since the death of his mother and he'd be shipped off to Honorhall. She replaced the note and crept towards the room where the chanting was coming from. She saw a ritualistic circle lit with candles and with bits of dead animals and bones scattered round. The boy was chanting the same mantra over and over whilst kneeling in the circle. His back was turned towards her so she watched him for a minute. The chanting included phrases such as 'Night Mother' and 'Dark Brotherhood' so she knew he was definitely trying to summon an assassination on someone.


    Eventually, the boy turned round and saw her standing there. He was startled and dropped the knife he was holding. 'Woah!' he said. 'Umm...I was only having a bit of fun. Please don't take me back to Grelod! She's horrible!'


    Danifae realised he thought she was a guard. At least her disguise was working on someone. She stepped into the doorway so he couldn't run past and said 'Relax. I'm not who you think I am. You performed the ritual of summoning?'


    'Are you from the Dark Brotherhood?'


    'I'm in disguise. I came to see you'


    The boy's face lit up 'Oh right! Good idea! I'm Aventus Aretino'


    Danifae smiled under her helmet. 'So, who do you want killed?'


    'That old hag Grelod at Honorhall Orphanage. They call her Grelod the Kind but she's an evil cruel woman. Contance should be in charge there, not her!'


    Danifae remembered Contance from her visit. She was more suited to looking after the children but with Grelod in charge she was limited with what she could do.


    'Are you sure you want Grelod to die?'


    'Yes, absolutely! I managed to run away from there, and left my friends behind. I want her to suffer and die horribly!'


    'What happened to your parents?'

    'My father died battling Imperials a few years ago. My mother died from a disease last year and I was shipped off to Honorhall. I hate that place! I'm not going back!' he cried, waving his knife around.


    'Aventus, calm down! You might hurt yourself!' Danifae tried to get the knife from him but he was quick and dodged round her. He continued to wave the knife around, slashing at the furniture. 'I want her dead! RIGHT NOW!' he yelled.


    Danifae didn't want to hurt him and she was getting worried that all the noise would attract attention and if she was caught here, uncomfortable questions would get asked, her identity revealed and trouble could brew despite her efforts to keep things calm between herself and the Nordic population.

    So, she called out 'Alright Aventus, I'll do it! But you have to calm down in the meantime and be patient. I'll get it done as soon as I can. But you have to promise me you won't do anything rash, stay hidden and get rid of that circle'


    'Ok. I promise. So you'll accept the contract then?' said Aventus, lowering the knife.


    'Contract...yes I'll take on the 'contract' '


    Aventus broke into a smile 'Oh this is going to be good. I can pay you' he said, walking over to a cabinet


    Danifae was about to say that it wasn't necessary but realised that wasn't the way that the Dark Brotherhood worked. If she didn't take any payment it would seem suspicious to the boy so she nodded. 'Yes, my payment...'


    He brought over a silver plate wth a family heirloom on it. 'This is worth quite a bit. I can't exactly go out and sell it myself so you can have it'


    Danifae thought this could be a good way to identify herself with the boy when she came back so agreed to take it. She stuffed it into her cuirass and said 'I'll be back with news as soon as I can. Stay safe until then' Then she sneaked back out the door and resumed her 'patrol'. She was able to walk round the docks and the marketplace, giving the odd greeting to anyone who ackowledged her. Then, after she felt a bit tired she headed back to the barracks, replaced her borrowed axe and shield and crept upstairs to her room. She passed Ulfric in his room, who seemed to be on edge. It was very late by this time and she quietly changed into some robes, stuffed the plate into her backpack, grabbed a couple of mead bottles and wandered out of her room again to speak to him.


    Ulfric was pacing his room when Danifae entered. She knocked on the door to get his attention. He stopped and looked round and she said 'You look like you need something to help you sleep' holding up the mead bottle.


    'Ah Danifae. What are you doing up at this hour?'


    'Like you, I was restless. I tend to try and get some exercise before turning in, and a good mead bottle helps too' she grinned. She passed him one of the bottles and Ulfric invited her to sit at the table. He closed the door behind her.


    'So lass, what's keeping you up so late. Good to see your wounds have healed, apart from your eye?'


    'I'll get that fixed soon. Actually, having a false eye may work to my advantage'


    Ulfric scratched his head at that. 'I don't quite follow...'


    Danifae smiled and said 'Let's just say that people will be looking for someone with one eye when I'm working for you'


    Ulfric paused then said 'Oh! I see. I raise a mead to that!' The two of them clinked bottles and drank. Ulfric then asked 'But what has you wandering my halls this late at night?'


    Danifae didn't think it wise to reveal what she had actually been doing that night.

    'Just thinking about tomorrow when we head out. I'm apprehensive but excited at the same time and I really want to help you as much as I can'


    'Did the supplies you ordered arrive?'


    'Yes. They seem to be perfect for my needs.'


    'Good. I think your idea of being my personal spy is a good one. Who'd suspect an elf to be working for me?' he grinned.


    'Yes, posing as a bard is a great opportunity. My friends can be my retinue'


    Just then there came a knock on the door. 'Enter' said Ulfric, and Jorleif stepped into the room. 'Ah my Jarl, my apologies. I didn't know you had company'


    'It's alright Jorleif. We're both feeling restless so we're having a late night aperitif. What brings you here at this hour?'


    Jorleif looked at Danifae and said 'I'm not sure if this is for her ears'


    Danifae made to get up but Ulfric said 'Whatever you have to say, Jorleif, you can say in front of Danifae. Remember she's in my trust. She's here to help us'


    Jorleif apologised then said 'The Forsworn. Their attacks are becoming more aggressive. One of our spies has reported they're attacking innocent travelers on the roads in the Reach'


    Ulfric got up and started pacing again 'It's difficult to retaliate against them, seeing as they know the land so well. And the distance from here to there means it's difficult to send my troops there anyway, if I had any to spare'


    Danifae had read about the tribes of Reachmen trying to reclaim their land. She could sympathise in some respects but the way they were going about it felt wrong to her. 'They should try negotiating instead of killing' she said


    Jorlief looked at her and said 'They've been fighting their war of attrition for several years. Now, it seems that since the Civil War is keeping our forces occupied they're being more forceful'


    Danifae said 'You know, my friend Zora is a Breton. Maybe we could help bring an end to their fighting, one way or another'


    Ulfric's jaw gaped and Jorleif looked as though he'd swallowed his beard. Danifae just smiled at them both and calmly drank her mead. Once they'd regained their composure Ulfric said to her 'You know, if you could pull that off it would mean I could concentrate more fully on the war. But aren't you taking on too much?'


    'Look, I said I wanted to help as much as I can. Who better to get into their camps than my friends and me as we 'travel' from town to town.'


    Jorleif said 'It'll be dangerous. The Briarhearts are fierce warriors but the Hagravens are even worse, so I've heard. They turn women into one of them through some horrible ritual'


    This made Danifae chuckle as she thought of Grelod as a Hagraven. Ulfric and Jorleif looked at her. 'Oh it's nothing. I'm just thinking of a horrible person as a Hagraven' she smiled.


    'Oh right' said Jorleif. 'How are the travel plans coming along, Danifae?'


    'We're heading out in the morning. I have some business to take care of in Riften first' she said, pointing to her eye. 'Then I'll be all set for our campaign'


    Ulfric chuckled 'Our campaign! Spoken like a true Nord!' he said, raising his bottle of mead. Danifae raised hers and together they drained their bottles. Jorleif excused himself, saying something about looking over some reports.


    'There. I think I can sleep now' said Danifae. 'Time for bed'. She stumbled over the chair and Ulfric caught her before she fell. She giggled and Ulfric said to her 'One too many meads I think. Thank you for offering to help the cause. As I said, if I find any information about Ancano I'll let you know'.


    He looked down at her and his face swam before her eye. He was so handsome with the scar on his face. She ran her fingers down the scar and felt the roughness in her fingers. He caught her hand in his and instead of pulling it away he caressed it. His face loomed over hers and then...


    With a loud cough he straightened up and led her to the doorway. 'I enjoyed our little chat' he said to her, looking a little embarrassed. Danifae felt a hot flush run up her face and she said 'So did I. I really think I should get some sleep now. We've a long day ahead of us tomorrow'


    'Likewise. Running a city with a war on, there's very few quiet moments. Until tomorrow then' and he escorted her out of the room and closed the door quietly behind him. Danifae seemed to have a spring in her step as she walked back to her room. She found Zora leaning against the wall outside her door. Zora looked up when she saw Danifae approaching 'Ah the missing sleeper returns! You seem to be in a good mood tonight' she said joyfully.


    Danifae gave her a smile and said 'Let's just say that progress is being made...'







    Table of Contents








6 Comments   |   GailOlm and 3 others like this.
  • Karver the Lorc
    Karver the Lorc   ·  July 17, 2018
    So Dani is pretending to be Dark Brotherhood and Ulfric can actually unwind. This chapter is full of surprises :D
    • HaggisHunter
      Karver the Lorc
      Karver the Lorc
      Karver the Lorc
      So Dani is pretending to be Dark Brotherhood and Ulfric can actually unwind. This chapter is full of surprises :D
        ·  July 17, 2018
      Stronger mead than she's used to... ;)
  • Caladran
    Caladran   ·  January 3, 2018
    One too many mead certainly! :D That was funny to read.
    • HaggisHunter
      One too many mead certainly! :D That was funny to read.
        ·  January 3, 2018
      Yeah well Danifae needs some humour in her life. Glad you enjoyed it...;)
  • GailOlm
    GailOlm   ·  January 1, 2018
    Oh, my! Danifae and Ulfric. 
    • HaggisHunter
      Oh, my! Danifae and Ulfric. 
        ·  January 2, 2018
      Seems that mead can go to people's heads... ;)