The History of Reynard the Fox ≈ Chapter 3

  • Some minutes after finishing my fine meal of poultry, I then came to be walking through the stone paths within this new land of Skyrim. The air of this land was thin and clear, crisp and clean. It failed to portray quite the sense of security as the stuffy warmth of Cyrodiil, yet I have always found the atmosphere of Cyrodiil just that - stuffy.


    The still calm and anticipation contained in the thin air of this land speaks to me of the wonderful opportunity that I find myself at liberty to become involved in. The plight caused of the Civil War.


    I mused of my end-goal as I walked onwards upon the winding path of the rocky earth, marveling - and not for the first time - just how very easy it would be to achieve this goal. Well, easy for one of my abilities anyway. I doubt many mere humans could manage quite such a feat.


    The hardest task I had to face was simply getting started. Like the domino effect, once I was started, I would be nigh impossible to stop. But how to get started? How to initially get involved with Ulfric Stormcloak - leader of the rebels - and General Tullius- leader of the Imperials. My goal required me to 'get into bed' with both, as it were - not that the praise is accurate in my intentions.


    Little did I know, the answer was marching - or forcibly being marched to tell the truth - towards me from further up the path I was walking.


    "Stop talking," I heard, and was instantly diving for the cover of a wide thicket, my body low but ears high and attentive. "And get a move on you Rebel scum or by all the Gods, I'll cut off your hands."


    I could not see the small band of Imperials and their apparently Rebel prisoner for the thicket I was hid within, and yet I understood the one who spoke to be a female Imperial - their commander, judging by the tone of her voice. Walking behind her, was two male Imperials - whose footsteps I could clearly hear by their armor. And stood between them, was a third person. I could not hear his footsteps so he must have wearing only light cloth, but I recognized the scent in the air, and knew it to be the fellow traveler, Ralof, with whom I had been talking before the ambush had been set upon us.


    All of this I had come to realize by utilizing my hearing and scent, long before the Rebel, Ralof, had even began to speak his reply. "By Sovngarde," the Rebel said, "if Ulfric were here now, he'd-"


    "What? Shout and blow us to pieces?" the Imperial woman shot back. "The days of the Rebel's are numbered, Nord. Get over it."


    "You saw the dragon! It is my belief that Talos sent him in our time of need, to free us from-"


    "Nonsense, the dragon attacked your people just as much as it attacked ours. You can be sure of one thing though, if the dragon doesn't finish your kind off, we certainly will."


    "While their is blood in my veins," the Nord muttered to himself, his foot falling mere inches away form my black snout, "I will fight against the tyranny of you Imperial scum."


    "Well then," the woman said, "we'll just have to be sure you're bled dry."


    The three Imperials marched their charge on through Skyrim's paths, the female commander continuing to exchange pleasant conversation with this Rebel - this Ralof whom I know.


    As a fox, I am fully aware of when silence and thought is key. I know when to strike my prey, and I know when to sit back and watch. And right now, my head was full of the interesting possibilities their passing and the nature of their conversation posed. A moment to gather my thoughts, that's all I need.


    So, what have I learnt? Helgen has been attacked by a dragon, the Rebel King survived and the fort was destroyed - it must have been, otherwise, why would they now be hastening away from it with a prisoner?


    Hmm... a dragon, hey? Well, this certainly puts a new spin on things. All the same, this attack is nothing more than an exploitable device at the moment and no concern of mine. It was time I put this newly discovered knowledge into good use.


    As the Imperial march passed me, I rose and stepped out from my place of hiding, intentionally allowing the bush to crack and wobble as I did so, attaining the attention of all three Imperials instantaneously, who turned about and drew their swords.


    I clambered out from beneath the hedge and found the tips of two swords pressing into my neck. Staying low, I turned my head up to the female who was stood a little way off with the prisoner. I allowed my voice to raise in pitch and to quivver a little while my eyes turned wide to emulate fear. "Please, don't kill me," I begged, parenthetically. Imperial commanders - the female ones especially - always like being parenthetically begged to. "I am but a lowly messenger."


    "What the hell are you," she said, "some kind of walking... dog... thing?"


    "What I am is unimportant. I have been sent to find you by the survives."


    Her brow furrowed. "Survivors? Of what?"


    "Don't you know?" I said, moving onto my knees, "Helgen's been attacked!"


    "Of course I know, Dog. I was there."


    "The survives, they've set up camp just a ways within the forest," I said, pointing to the bandit camp I had just come from. "They sent me to watch the road in case any other survivors came past."


    "Really?" The female thought for a moment. "Okay men, we'll regroup with the rest of the survivors and plan the next stage from there. Let the dog up."


    The soldiers moved. I drew myself to my feet. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Ralof point towards me and open his mouth to speak. I shot a harsh glare in his direction, and he seemed to understand the point and fell silent.


    "Dog," the female said, "lead us to the survives' camp."


    "I must apologize," I said, allowing my voice to drift into the soft, subtle tones I more often speak with, "but I am bound to remain here, hidden by the roadside, to alert others, such as yourself, that the survives are making camp in the forest here."


    "Nevertheless, you're coming with us. I don't want it turning out you were trying to trick us."


    "Nay, my friend. What advantage could I possibly hope to gain by that?" She appeared to consider this. I spoke on, my voice soothing in her ears. "Come now, you have been through much this day. You are no doubt hungry and tired. Go to the others - they have food and a fire. Go and rest, you deserve it."


    The Imperial woman sighed. "You speak truly, Dog. You may remain here while we go to our encampment. You have our gratitude."


    I smiled, wryly. "You are most welcome, my lady."


    "Come, men," she said as she turned, "bring the prisoner this way."


    You begin, now, to see the power of my voice. The prisoner, Ralof , stepped past me as the guards made there way off the path and into the forest. Checking the others briefly, I stepped close to him, extended a claw, slipped it through the rope binding his hands and sliced it through. The rope did not break, but frayed, enough so that it could be broken should Ralof tug hard enough.


    He turned to me, startled, and I spoke to him in a harsh whisper, "Do, nothing, yet."


    Grabbed by the arm, Ralof was then dragged through the hedge. The last Imperial following behind, speaking over his shoulder towards me. "Thank you, a little respite at last."


    "Don't mention it," said I, holding back a snicker. I shouldn't get too comfortable yet if I were you.


    The small party made there way into the the woods. I waited a moment, then followed behind them, ensuring I was not seen or heard as they made there way deeper in. Soon, the smoke from the bandits campfire came into view.


    "There," I heard the woman Imperial call, "It's the survivors! Come on, men, I know you are weary, but it's just a little further."


    I chuckled softly. If only they knew the encampment they were heading for was a bandit camp and not an Imperial. They approached, calling out to the other "Imperials" as they went.


    Moving swiftly, I circumnavigated and overtook the Imperial group and took up a position where I could see the two bandits, who had heard the Imperial's calling, and were now waiting in hiding inside two tents.


    The Imperials closed in. They looked about at the camp, no doubt wondering where the rest of these, so called, "survivors" were as they called out. The commander set the prisoner down on the floor beneath the fire and ordered the other two men to check inside the tents.


    The Imperials walked towards their goal. One approached the tent I had seen the female enter into with her sword. The Imperial pulled back the cloth door... and stumbled back, gurgling, with a sword-point thrust into his neck.


    The two surviving Imperials turned and drew there weapons sharply. The tent behind them burst open and the male stormed out, holding his woodcutting axe high aloft as he charged towards the closest Imperial and brought his axe down upon the Imperial soldiers. The Imperial raised his shield, but he was fatigued and enfeebled... and the axe more or less just went through the block and carried on several inches into the head beneath.


    I whistled to the Rebel prisoner as the two Nords approached the final Imperial. Spotting me, Ralof tugged at his bindings and freed himself, rushing up to his feet and running over towards me as the Imperial commander was slain - unable to defend herself from both sides at once as the female attacked from one side and the male from the other.


    You now start to see how whits alone can overcome any amount of bruit strength; how Reynard the Fox overcame three Imperials and two bandits without even drawing a weapon or setting a trap.


    Ralof joined me by my side and together the two of us marched away from the bloody scene, moving swiftly and silently, as the bandits started to loot the corpses of the dead. Once out of earshot, I would speak to the now free, Rebel prisoner. And then I shall see what advantage my saving his life might bring.


2 Comments   |   Felkros and 1 other like this.
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  June 25
    This was fun to read Mr.Small. I hope theres more to come. May I suggest adding links to  previous and future chapters ? It would aid readers in following your story. Add a link to your ToC too. That always helps.
    Sotek Loyal Hound of Hircine
    • Mr.Smail
      This was fun to read Mr.Small. I hope theres more to come. May I suggest adding links to  previous and future chapters ? It would aid readers in following your story. Add a link to your ToC too. That always helps.
      Sotek Loyal Hound of Hircine
        ·  June 26
      Thank you, Sotek.  I'll get on with that now.  Are there any required specifics for a ToC?  Or must it just contain links to all works in order?