Things to Do in Markarth When You're Dead, Chapter 2

  • The door to the Silver-Blood Inn creaked open for what seemed like the eightieth time that hour. Yngvar jumped and looked over his shoulder. Not her. Why he hoped Sidonie might come out at all that evening, he had no idea. He could count on his hands the times he’d seen her in the tavern, so the chances weren’t good. More to the point, his impromptu scheme only ever had a tiny expectation of payout. He’d known it from its inception.


    But the mead was good, and at least at the inn he didn’t have to listen to Thonor and Betrid bitch at each other all night. He slid his chair to the other side of the table facing the door and stretched his arms over his head. His knuckles scraped against the stone wall at his back and he hissed, jerking his fingers down and shaking off what proved to be a minor scrape.


    Nothing a little mead couldn’t fix.


    He started to reach for his tankard, but dropped his hand to his sword instead as a voice rang out from beyond the bar.  The low buzz of conversation and music in the tavern faded to awkward silence.  




    As one, the eyes of every patron shifted to the depths of their drinks or the flickering fire on the back wall. Yngvar joined them and eased his hand back onto the table, suddenly missing Thonor and Betrid and their understated sniping. Kleppr and Frabbi usually confined their marital disputes to passive-aggressive swipes and snark as well, but every so often the pot seemed to boil over. And tonight was the night.  


    Someone,” Frabbi continued, throwing an arm out in Yngvar’s direction, “has been signaling for a mead. We wouldn’t want such an important patron to walk away unhappy, would we? You call yourself a bartender?” She leaned on the broom she’d been using to sweep cobwebs from a shadowy corner and fixed poison-dart eyes on her husband. “I swear, you’re useless as a cheese teapot.”


    Kleppr spun on his heel to face Yngvar, eyes wide and fearful. Yngvar glanced around to find everyone else’s eyes on him as well, patrons who’d peeked up from their meads to see who’d caused all the fuss. Surely Frabbi hadn’t meant him. He’d not signaled anyone. His tankard wasn’t even –


    He tipped it a little and grimaced. He didn’t remember having finished. Had he signaled without realizing? Maybe. With Sidonie taking up so much room in his thick head, anything was possible.  


    “I am sorry, sir,” Kleppr said, and executed a short bow. Two spots of red shone on his otherwise pale cheeks. “I-I didn’t see you, sir. The slight wasn’t intentional in the least, I hope you know how much we value-“


    “Fine. It’s fine, Kleppr. I ah, didn’t realize I was quite so thirsty.” He nodded his thanks and accepted the refill, hoping he’d said enough to reassure Kleppr he’d not incited a feud with the Silver-Bloods or endangered their position as proprietors by ignoring a member of their household. If they’d even done so at all. He still didn’t remember asking for another mead.


    Kleppr tittered and placed a hand over his heart. “Frabbi is dear to me, of course, but she does tend to let her emotions run away with her, and quite frankly has no idea how…complex running a business like this is.”


    Yngvar fought the urge to roll his eyes at Kleppr’s half-lidded, smarmy smirk. Frabbi might be a contentious asshole, but Kleppr was a condescending little shit. He’d seen Frabbi pore over accounts and books with as much competency as Kleppr. Annoying as their squabbles were, though, did he want to deal with finding new innkeepers just yet?




    “You both do an excellent job running this inn, and I look forward to letting Thongvor know that his investment is in such capable and ah…hard-working hands,” Yngvar said, lifting his chin in Frabbi’s direction. Kleppr turned to see his wife on her hands and knees scrubbing the floor. He gave a clipped nod and practically skipped back behind the bar.


    Yngvar snorted and grinned behind his tankard. Sipping the fresh, spicy beverage seemed to clear his mind and he snickered under his breath at the farce he’d allowed himself to get roped into. A favor to the gods – to Mara, no less. That made it all the richer for the telling, he supposed.


    A burst of raucous laughter sounded from a back corner and Yngvar forced himself not to look. He knew what he’d see: men from the village – Vorstag and Endon and Ogmund and maybe even that idiot Degaine – having fun and cutting up, maybe getting ready to sing a song or two. He knew what would happen if he went over there. Joined their table. Oh, they’d shift around and welcome him, ask him to pull up a chair. But the conversation would slow and stall, and within a quarter hour, they’d all find somewhere else they needed to be.


    People in Markarth feared him, but didn’t like him. And until a few short days ago, that had been enough. He’d been content with his lot in life. He’d made his own choices, built his own tiny empire within the Silver-Blood clan. And at least he wasn’t down in the Warrens, or stuck in the mines. Once he made his fortune, he’d leave. Do whatever he wanted, under no one’s thumb. Maybe even go back to being a bard. Just not a poor bard this time.


    And when Sidonie’d swaggered into town last year with shaking hands and blood on her cheek and rendered him speechless, he’d comforted himself with the same lie.




    He’d talk to her eventually. When he was done being the Silver-Bloods’ lackey. When he had something to talk to her about. One day, he swore to himself. He’d work up the courage to speak, and he’d win her over.




    But someday never came, and he got used to living that comfortable, safe lie. So much easier than trying and failing.


    But in the days since Sidonie came to him with spiderwebs tangled in her curls and let him in on her crazy mission, he’d thought about it more than he liked to admit. And couldn’t help but see himself as Sidonie must: no, he wasn’t stuck in the Warrens or the mines, but he was the reason others were. People who’d fallen on hard times and couldn’t repay a debt. Or just done or said the wrong thing to piss off the wrong Silver-Blood.


    Who was he then, but some guy no one in the fucking Silver-Blood Inn wanted at their table? Sure, they’d cozy up when they wanted something done, or someone intimidated or bruised up a bit. But a woman like Sidonie…


    She didn’t need any of that. So why look twice at him? Even if she did read that poem and thought maybe, just maybe there might be more to him than she’d figured. He ground his teeth and cursed under his breath. Damned Mara, sticking her divine nose into his perfectly acceptable life.


    He flinched and mumbled a quiet apology, and reached for his mead. “It was a stupid plan,” he mumbled into his tankard, and flinched again as the echo rumbled up its pewter walls, mocking his life, his silly scheme, and his pointless, silent vigil.


    Yngvar’s back stiffened at another din of laughter and he shook his head and puffed a sigh. Well. He was who he was. No point changing now. He lifted his tankard and drained half of it. The night was growing old. He should leave. Sidonie wasn’t coming, and wouldn’t sit with him even if she did by some miracle appear in the tavern, so why stay?


    The chair creaked as he shoved against its arms and made to stand up. But nothing happened. Yngvar frowned and tried again. His legs wouldn’t work – they lay against the chair, useless as heavy stone. Was he sick? Drunk? Surely he hadn’t had enough mead to plaster his legs to his seat, had he? He tipped his mead again, and sure enough, still half full.


    The door creaked open again and quick footsteps clicked across the stone floor. They stilled at the bar, and continued through the tavern at a slower pace. Yngvar stared into his tankard and willed himself not to look.


    A shadow loomed over his table, and Yngvar did look up then, into rounded blue eyes over flushed cheeks. “Hey.”


    Sidonie. Gods, she’s so beautiful.


    “Hey, yourself,” he said, trying to keep his mind from running away with possibilities, now she was here. Sidonie pulled at the other chair and it didn’t budge. She scowled.


    “Ok, fine. You want to sit here and drink by yourself? Fine.”


    She turned to leave and Yngvar glanced under the table. He’d hooked his feet around her chair. Idiot.


    “No, wait. Sorry. I forgot I had my feet under the chair,” he said, and kicked it out from under the table, relief suffusing his chest. Whatever force had kept his legs glued to his chair had relaxed its hold, and Yngvar was grateful. Doubly so.


    “Please, sit.” He nodded toward the chair and laced his hands together behind his head, a satisfied smile forced across his lips. “So, did it work?”


    Sidonie fixed him with narrowed eyes and waited just a hair too long before sitting. Yngvar thought she seemed uneasy. Had Faleen discovered the deception? He knew there was always a chance it could happen. A closet romantic Faleen might be, but she’d never been stupid. If she’d guessed he’d written that poem…


    But Sidonie only nibbled at the inside corner of her mouth and nodded. “It did. Faleen and Calcelmo are sharing a late dinner as we speak.”


    “Very late,” Yngvar said, and felt another rush of relief course through his gut. “Well, I can’t say I’m surprised. My lustrous verse never fails.”


    Yngvar sipped from his tankard to hide his fading grin and stared into the candlelight. “Did you…’dyou read it?” If she had read it, and she was here, to see him


    Sidonie glanced over her shoulder and back, shaking her head. “Of course not. Read someone’s sealed, private correspondence? What do you take me for?”


    “Oh, I forgot,” he said, plunking his tankard on the table with a little more force than he’d intended. That was that, then. He rolled his eyes and tried to ignore how that rush of relief skidded to a screeching halt and finally sank like a stone. “A prim and proper little law and order type like you would never-“


    Sidonie laughed. Not a titter or snicker, either, but a full-bodied belly laugh that ended with tears and a handkerchief at her eyes. A handkerchief she’d pulled from some secret compartment at the edge of her low-cut bodice, Yngvar couldn’t help but notice.


    “What’s so funny?”


    “I’ll tell you if you answer a question of mine.” Another shadow darkened the table. Sidonie looked up to smile and thank Kleppr as he set a goblet at her place. He nodded and filled it with red wine, and left the bottle on the table before going around back to the kitchens. “Why’d you keep it secret? You know, that you’re a bard.”


    “It’s not…how’s that a secret? It’s right there in my name,” Yngvar said, tapping the table with a forefinger.


    “Well, why not say anything about it? Why not talk about it?”


    “Why would I? To you, anyway.”


    Sidonie uttered an indignant snort, and took a long sip of wine. “What’s that supposed to mean?”


    “Like I said, you’re a law and order type. I could picture you harping at me, nagging me to give up my place here, go back to that life. I know what you think of me. Of what I do. What the,” he glanced around the tavern and lowered his voice to a whisper, “what the Silver-Bloods do.”


    She shivered and topped off her goblet. “After my time in Markarth is done, yeah, I’m going to need to bathe for at least a year or two. Straight. You’re right, I hate Thongvor. And Thonor. And I sort of hate Igmund a little for allowing it all to happen right under his nose.”


    Sidonie downed at least half her wine. Yngvar watched her stare into the candlelight. Her eyes were red and a little glassy, and he wondered just how much she’d had to drink before she got to the inn. His concern for her trumped his alarm over the thought of her leaving Markarth – he’d worry about that later.


    “But all that pales compared to how much I hate myself. I just-”


    “I’m sorry, what?” The absurdity of Sidonie hating herself struck Yngvar like a bad joke, and he laughed before he could stop himself. He did his best to stifle it, turn it into a cough. Looking closer, her eyes weren’t just glassy; they shone on the edge of tears. And her voice sounded husky and choked. But…why?


    “I don’t know how else to get everything done, so I just ignore it,” she said, rocking back and forth with her hands white-knuckled around the seat of her chair. “Don’t make waves. Don’t rock the boat. Gods, there’s just so much….I keep telling myself to keep my eyes on the prize, the big picture, and-“


    She broke off with a tiny sob and glanced his way for the merest second before coughing into her fist and sitting up, stiff as a blade against the chair back. He waited for her to continue and when she didn’t, nudged her foot with his own.


    Sidonie glared, and he backed off, his palms up in surrender. Yngvar watched in silence, then, watched candlelight flicker in her eyes, watched her drain the rest of her goblet and pour yet another. He was nearly ready to call it a night and offer to escort her safely home when she cleared her throat.


    “That’s quite enough cliches and hysterics for the moment, I’m sure you’ll be happy to hear. I’m not a law and order type at all, you know,” she said, tracing lines and swirls on the tabletop. “And I’m by no means prim and proper.”


    “I suppose I have no means with which to judge the, ah…prim and proper, but how can General Tullius’s paperweight not be a law and order type?” Yngvar crinkled his eyes over what he hoped was a gently-teasing smile. “Isn’t that sort of, part of the job description?”


    Her fingers stopped their tracing and she met his gaze and smiled back. “Paperweight?”


    “Making sure the contracts don’t fly away. Silver. Deals. That’s why you’re here, right? Safeguard what the Empire really needs from us?”


    Kleppr slid a plate full of bread and melted cheese on the table, and Sidonie thanked him with a smile and took another long drink of wine. She looked at Yngvar and cut her eyes to the plate in invitation.


    Yngvar took a small piece and chewed, watching her. He was pretty good at reading people, and Sidonie seemed to have a lot on her mind. Maybe she hadn’t read his poem, maybe she’d not fallen in line with his scheme. But who said he couldn’t reach the same end doing things the old-fashioned way, the way he’d planned from the beginning? After all, they were having a conversation, weren’t they? And sharing a meal together outside of working hours.




    So he waited while she took a big bite, pulling apart melty cheese with her fingers and cutting gooey strings with a knife.


    “I like to think I’m here to help. To help keep Markarth safe from war. From the Reachmen. From Ulfric. To learn from Calcelmo and Faleen and figure out how to fight Alduin. But what if I’m just hiding or…”


    Sidonie sighed and cut another piece of bread. “You’re someone with an ear to the underground, right? I’m just guessing here,” she said almost apologetically, around a mouthful of cheese.


    He nodded once and motioned with an open hand. “You got me. Go on.”


    “Ever…ever heard of a thief down in Riften called the Magpie?”


    Yngvar grinned. Everyone knew about the Magpie. She’d hit nearly every noble house in Skyrim. Nothing and no-one was sacred – according to rumor, she’d even broken into Maven Black-Briar’s manor house on a bet and got kicked from the Thieves Guild for her troubles. Twin spots of color appeared on Sidonie’s cheeks, and Yngvar’s grin faded.


    “What, did she steal something from you, too?”


    Sidonie didn’t smile or frown, or grouse about her grandmother’s emerald bracelet that vanished during the night, or some prized horse she never saw again. Instead, she locked her eyes on his and took a deep breath. When she spoke again, her voice barely rose above a whisper.


    “Can’t steal from myself, Yngvar.”


    He nodded again, and stilled. Even the breath in his lungs seemed to stagnate as every muscle in his body screamed at the absurdity of what she’d just confessed. No, he had to have heard wrong, that was the only explanation. “Say that again.”


    “I won’t.”


    “You can’t be serious,” Yngvar said, and tipped his tankard back. Empty. He slowly put it back down and clenched his fist around the handle, the rough pewter digging into his fingers. I’m not a law and order type, she’d said. All that rot about hating herself, and hiding from…whatever. Was this what she was hiding from? A criminal past? Impossible. “You can’t-”


    Sidonie stabbed at another piece of cheese bread with her knife and shoved it in her mouth.


    “Fuck, Sidonie.” Yngvar scrubbed a hand across his short beard and signaled Kleppr for another refill. When the bartender had come and gone, he took a long swallow. “Why are you telling me this?”


    “I didn’t stop being a thief over a change of heart, you know. Or because I got caught.” Sidonie kept her eyes on his, and Yngvar couldn’t look away. “There was a dragon. It attacked Riften and we all fought it, and…well, I am who I am. What I am. I wasn’t happy with that discovery, let me tell you,” Sidonie said, and laughed under her breath. “Turns out, Mercer Frey was…livid. He and a few others in the guild figured the dragon had attacked because of me, and I couldn’t tell them it wasn’t true. Found out later, he wrote to Tullius, let him know the dragonborn’s in Riften.”


    Yngvar hadn’t realized he was sitting on the edge of his seat, and he leaned back with a huff and took another drink. “And Tullius…”


    “I’m an Imperial asset, aren’t I? Mercer set me up. The rich nobleman I was supposed to rob on the road out of Falkreath turned out to be Tullius and his lackeys. Ambush,” she said, finally dropping her eyes to the table. “You can guess the rest.”


    So many questions rattled around in Yngvar’s head. How many would she answer? “Why didn’t you just leave? Go back to Riften, if you wanted, or start over somewhere else. Pretty sure the Magpie could get out of any dungeon in Castle Dour, I’m betting. You could have owned that guild.”


    “Oh, I wasn’t in a dungeon. Best room in the house for the dragonborn, eh?” Sidonie wiped at the corner of an eye and took a sip. “But I couldn’t go back. Back to Mercer, who’d betrayed me? And the rest of them, who stood by and did nothing. Did they come for me? No, they didn’t. Not even…”


    She sniffled and swallowed. Yngvar thought she was trying to fight back more tears. Who’d she been so close to in the Thieves Guild worth crying over?


    “No. No one came for me. So they can fucking rot in the sewers.”


    Yngvar glanced around the tavern, unsure if he was still awake or if Kleppr had slipped something a little more potent into his mead. He’d known Sidonie for a year. They’d worked side by side in the mines, in the Treasury House, the keep, for a whole year. And all this time, he’d worked next to the Magpie. Cringed in silent shame over his own dirty hands, and it was the damned Magpie who’d looked down her freckled, tip-tilted nose at him.


    Oh, she told the truth, he could see it in her eyes. Sorrow and regret and, he thought, peering closer, the tiniest sliver of pride. But still, he didn’t understand why. “Why are you telling me this?”


    “Because…I spent the last year comforting myself with the idea that you were the lowest of the low,” she said. Yngvar felt his stomach hit his feet at her words and matter-of-fact tone, and his face must have given him away. Sidonie shook her head slowly and looked away. “And it wasn’t even that, not really. It didn’t matter that you were bad, and those you worked for were worse. Only, that I was...”


    She exhaled heavily and the candlelight fluttered and danced, casting lively shadows on the stone wall behind their table. “I…I was better. I’d risen higher. My destiny had changed me, somehow. But after all this…”


    She shook her head again and took a drink. And another. And another. Yngvar watched with growing anxiety and a maybe little bit of awe. What else could she have to confess that required so much encouragement?


    “Has one of the Divines ever come to you in your dreams, Yngvar?”


    He shook his head. “What do you think?”


    Sidonie huffed. “I was the Magpie, remember. But Mara’s dream…it’s hard to describe without sounding crazy. Or just…”


    “Believe me,” Yngvar said, leaning forward, his hands braced on his thighs, “it won’t be the most shocking thing I’ve heard today.”


    “Ok, then.” A tiny smile quirked at the corner of Sidonie’s mouth. “Peace. That’s what it felt like. Just…peace. And love, and warmth. Like waking up in a soft bed on some random Loredas morning, wrapped in the arms of someone who loves you more than anything else in this world. Safe. Simple.” Yngvar watched her eyes grow soft, and her face relax. He’d never seen her so happy.


    “That’s not a world I’ve ever known. Or wanted.” Sidonie’s smile faded. “But Mara showed me. And then, asked me to do her a favor. For that kind of love,” she said, picking up her knife and digging aimlessly into the congealed cheese on her plate. “For love. And I couldn’t even do it without cutting corners. Without lying. Lying to one of my best friends.” The knife stilled. “My only friend, come to that. Fuck.”


    “Hey, that’s not so bad. It was for a good cause, anyway.”


    “No, it’s bad. Gods, what was Mara thinking, coming to me? Talos, or some Daedra, I could see. But Mara? Why? I can’t do anything good, for anyone. I’d still be a thief if not for that dragon. And even my job here is blood-soaked as a Reachman’s boot.”


    “Tullius may be a snake, sure,” Yngvar said. “But he knows how wars are fought. And won. Ulfric gets Markarth, Civil War’s going to take an awful lot more time to win, for the Empire. In a lot of minds, what you’re doing here is helping. Saving lives, over the long run.”


    “I’ve tried to rationalize it, but since that dream…I can’t anymore. It’s like somehow I see things. I see myself. And the truth is, I’m not doing this for Skyrim. I’m doing it for me,” she said, and looked up at him, her eyes like forget-me-nots in the rain. “Tullius yeah, he wants Markarth safe. For a secure Skyrim, I’ve told myself over and over. He even promised the Legion’s help against Alduin if I help him against Ulfric, but…“


    “You don’t believe he’ll deliver,” Yngvar guessed.


    “Of course not. Tullius is a lying shit who kidnaps people and blackmails them into doing his dirty work.” Sidonie dropped her knife on the table. “But it doesn’t matter.”




    “I’m a dead woman, Yngvar.”


    For the second time that evening, Yngvar was unsure he’d heard right. “What?”


    “I might as well be, anyway. It’s fucking prophecy. Have you seen a dragon?” Yngvar nodded, and she covered her mouth and shook her head, her eyes wild above quivering fingers. “The dragon I’m supposed to fight – Alduin – he’s…”


    Yngvar looked at her in alarm. He thought she might be sick, and he glanced around for a bowl or flowerpot to grab just in case. “What, is he bigger, or something?”


    “Is he bigger? Yeah. Like Markarth is bigger than Karthwasten. Or that little mining village outside of town. Size isn’t the half of it, though. He can conjure storms from the skies. Bring fiery rocks down from wherever the fuck, I don’t know. But they’re the size of mammoths,” she said, and laughed. “And I’m supposed to fight that? It doesn’t matter how well I fight or what Shouts I learn. All he has to do is make one of them fall on me, and I’m done.”


    Yngvar again sat on the edge of his seat. He couldn’t help it. If what she said was true…


    “I can’t beat Alduin, no one can. He’s going to kill me, and then everyone else. And if Alduin doesn’t, Ulfric will. Or Tullius, once it’s all over,” Sidonie raised her brows at Yngvar’s stunned expression and laughed again. “He’s not going to want someone like me hanging about once I’ve outlived my usefulness, is he? No, the man I work for isn’t on my side. But it doesn’t matter.”


    “It doesn’t matter,” Sidonie whispered, and gripped her fingers around her knife once more. “So believe me when I say I’m not doing this for Skyrim. I’m doing it for me. I’m hiding. Here, in this fucking stone fortress on top of the misery of everyone trapped down in those mines. Because I’m scared. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to fight Alduin. I don’t want to be responsible for the end of the godsdamned world, Yngvar. For the last year I’ve told myself and everyone else – I’m learning. Waiting. Gaining strength. But for what? For some fucking impossible task that some fucking insane god threw at the wrong fucking person?”


    Yngvar glanced around the tavern, but no one seemed to be paying them any attention. Ogmund had stood up to sing and play his lute, and even Kleppr and Frabbi joined hands to listen. Another choked sob issued from Sidonie’s throat, and Yngvar thought back to earlier that evening when he’d sat alone, willing the door to open and Sidonie to swagger through it. And everything about her he didn’t know.


    “And now I know Mara must be insane as well. Or sadistic. How could she do that to me? How could she show me all that? How could she make me feel…make me want…”


    Her lower lip trembled, and she blinked, spilling tears in shining rivulets down her cheeks. “When it's something I’ll never have. Something I’ll never fucking have.” She wiped her face on her sleeve and cleared her throat. “You asked why I told you. About…everything. Well, you’re a bard who got run out of Solitude. You’re housecarl for the nastiest people I’ve known this side of Maven Black-Briar, and I’ve been looking down on you since I moved here. But now that you know…who’s worse? Tell me that.”


    Yngvar sat, stunned. He’d imagined what it would be like to be dragonborn. A legendary figure, mysterious and powerful. Basking in fame and glory and riches. But he’d never thought of this, and bet everything he owned no one else did either. How could they? Even now, watching Sidonie gasp for air, watching her heart breaking before his eyes...


    No, the vastness of it all was something he couldn’t comprehend, try as he might. Sidonie was alone in that, and Yngvar found his heart breaking a little as well.  


    He choked out a laugh, resting an elbow on the table and stabbing a piece of bread with his own knife. “You’re looking for judgment from me, or some sort of accusation? Righteous anger? Go back to the keep and talk to Verulus. Or maybe that Vigilant – he’s probably right outside, muttering in front of that old house, still. I’m sure he could give you an earful,” he said, and met her eyes. “But not me.”


    Sidonie stared over her wine and drained the last mouthful. She picked up the bottle and tipped it over, and a lone red drop splashed into her goblet.


    Yngvar started to signal for Kleppr, but Sidonie motioned him to stop. “I drank a full bottle before going out. Need to go home,” she said, and wiped her eyes again.


    “Want me to walk you?”


    “No,” she said, and slowly rose from her chair. “Nobody’s going to touch me.”


    He knew that was true. But still…


    A thought popped into his mind. He’d offended her, asking if she’d read the poem meant for Faleen. But why then, had she told him about the Magpie, all her fears, all her shame? If she’d really been offended by such a question, why open up to him like that? After everything she’d told him, his little scheme seemed small in importance. Insignificant, really. But he had to know.




    She grabbed the back of the chair and looked down at him, her face flushed and her eyes red and droopy. Damn, she really did need to go home. Get some sleep.


    “Did you read that poem?”


    Sidonie shook her head and grinned. “Of course I fucking read it, Yngvar. Of course I did,” she said, placing a handful of Septims on the table. “For the bread and wine.”


    She let go of the chair and turned away, but stopped before taking a step and spun back around. “You know, that woman in…what, Morthal did you say?”


    Yngvar forced himself to nod, and leaned back in his chair.


    Sidonie opened her mouth and started to speak, but a tear rolled down her cheek and she laughed instead, all the way out the door.


    He stared after her, forcing himself to breathe. In and out. She’d laughed like that, exactly like that – bitter and jangling like coins falling into a beggar’s bowl – when she’d told him of Alduin. And her fear that Tullius would kill her once she’d served her purpose.


    His legs twitched in his chair, and he felt something pushing upward. Some sort of force, or presence. Or maybe it was just a gut feeling that Sidonie was alone and scared and completely smashed, and he’d be exactly the loser he’d always thought he was if he let her walk through Markarth alone.  




    The sweet, strange voice whispering in his ear gave Yngvar the last push he needed. He took a deep breath and followed Sidonie into the night.


    Notes: How did I get here from the game? Well, the poem, of course. And in the game, after I pay Yngvar for the poem, he goes right to the Silver Blood Inn and starts getting drunk. Hence, the scheme where he wrote the poem for the DB but is way too insecure to give it to her to read, so he gives it to her for Faleen in the wild and stupid hope that she'd read it and develop feelings for him. I know I've done far more ridiculous things to get the attention of someone I like, so it didn't seem like too far a stretch. ;)






6 Comments   |   A-Pocky-Hah! and 5 others like this.
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  July 19, 2018
    Hope theres more of your work to find as I make my way through the blogs.
    • ilanisilver
      Hope theres more of your work to find as I make my way through the blogs.
        ·  July 19, 2018
      I wish there was! There’s a christmas-themed story in there somewhere and a CB story, but I’ve had difficulty getting back into writing for a bit. Hopefully that will change soon, but thanks for reading what you have! :)
  • Karver the Lorc
    Karver the Lorc   ·  May 5, 2018
    Who has the right to judge us and who are we to judge others? Only we can judge ourselves. It is that interesting line of thought "I am a terrible person, but I am still better than you" which makes it so real. Nicely woven together, Ilani. :)
    • ilanisilver
      Karver the Lorc
      Karver the Lorc
      Karver the Lorc
      Who has the right to judge us and who are we to judge others? Only we can judge ourselves. It is that interesting line of thought "I am a terrible person, but I am still better than you" which makes it so real. Nicely woven together, Ilani. :)
        ·  May 5, 2018
      Thanks! That means a lot. This chapter was hard to write. She’s the one confronting this side of herself, but it’s his POV. So yeah, I’m glad the emotions and turmoil come though there. Thanks!!
  • A-Pocky-Hah!
    A-Pocky-Hah!   ·  April 25, 2018
    Damn, well I was hoping for a slow-burn romance. But this will do I suppose. Just don't rush it too early. 
    BTW, have you read The Alchemist and the Dragonborn on FFN? It's probably my only favorite fan-fic. Great characters with the classic ro...  more
    • ilanisilver
      Damn, well I was hoping for a slow-burn romance. But this will do I suppose. Just don't rush it too early. 
      BTW, have you read The Alchemist and the Dragonborn on FFN? It's probably my only favorite fan-fic. Great characters with the classic romantic...  more
        ·  April 25, 2018
      I'l check it out. this is going to be 4 maybe 5 chapters, unless i change my mind. romantic, yes, but not so much a slow burn.