Ancient Blood Ch 2

  • Ancient Blood Chapter 2

    The Arrival

        Avoiding the main roads, Jenassa cautiously leads her Master over the cold, harsh Jarell mountains and into Skyrim. After traveling all night, she finds a ruined fortress for Sebastian to take shelter in to wait out the day. "Master, I found a place for you to rest," she tells him. Sebastian grunts at the notion that he needs to “rest” after such a short journey, but cannot deny he is weary. "If you had preserved my Phylacteries...“ he stops himself and growls as the first rays of the sun peek out over the mountains and he feels his blood begin to burn within him. “Very well.  Lead on." With his groaning pet Vigilant still in tow, they make their way along the snowy pass.


        As they draw closer to the ruined fortress, Sebastian recognizes it. "Huh. Still  standing… well… sort of," he remarks. Jenassa looks back and asks, "You know this place, Master?" Sebastian nods, "The Bloodlet Throne, they called it. It was a vampire nest when I was last here. Some upstart called Vigar was trying to build up a small army of vampires to overthrow the Volkihar clan.  As if he stood a chance of toppling Harkon. The Volkihar have run this province since the third era. I can’t imagine that has changed even now." Jenassa pauses a moment, "Is it safe for you to be here in your condition?" Appearing annoyed at the comment Sebastian simply snorts, "Vigar is all bluster, assuming the fool is still alive. Even if all of my Phylacteries were destroyed, he would still pose no threat to me. I crap better magic than he is capable of. Now, get that door open!  The sun is rising!" Jenassa nods, "As you command, Master." Jenassa kneels in front of the door and picks the lock.


        They enter the darkened halls of the fortress.  The smell of death permeates the space.  Jenassa, feeling uneasy, readies her bow. "The air is foul in here. An evil power is indeed at work in this place." In an indifferent tone, Sebastian says "Vigar always was messy. I can barely make out his scent over the stench in these halls. The others... they are unfamiliar to me. They will not know me. We may need to kill or disable some of them."

        Jenassa drops into a crouched position near a corner, "Master... I hear footsteps." Just then the spell binding the Vigilant fails and his body turns to ash. "Well, so much for him," Sebastian closes his eyes, "I sense a fledgling. Female from the scent... She has little magical power, but she has a mortal with her. I sense no magic in him at all, but there is something… an enchanted weapon perhaps? Whatever it is, he may be more of a danger than she is. If they attack, kill the vampire. I will deal with the mortal.” Jenassa nods and pulls a silver arrow from her quiver.

        She remains hidden at the top of a dark stairwell leading down into the lower levels of the fortress while Sebastian walks openly down the steps. "Greetings, child," the hooded trespasser says. When the Fledgling vampire spots Sebastian, she draws an iron war axe from her belt, "You are not a member of this coven, vampire. Be gone and I may let you live." Sebastian smiles, "But why? I like this place. I think I'll stay." The female vampires growls, "I gave you a chance, fetcher!" With that, the young vampire, assured in her new found powers, sprints towards Sebastian. Before she can get close, however, Jenassa’s arrow drives deep into her chest, piercing her heart. The arrow strikes with such force that the young vampire is knocked back several feet. Seeing his master fall, the Nord Thrall draws his enchanted Battle Axe and prepares for combat. Sebastian stuns him with a lightning bolt and then leaps down upon him.  They both tumble to the ground ending with Sebastian’s fangs tearing into the Nord’s throat. The mighty warrior finds his physical strength useless against the might of the ancient vampire. He continues to struggle against Sebastian to his very last breath.

        "Ugh... His blood is filled with the flavor of cheap mead.  Still, somewhat refreshing,” Sebastian says. Color, modestly, returns to his face, “And we have a new pack mule.  I'll raise him later.  I’ll put more power into the spell this time. Hopefully he will last longer.  Hmmm… seems his battle axe does have a frost enchantment. May be useful." Jenassa joins her Master, “I prefer smaller blades. Large axes are too cumbersome.” Sebastian shrugs, “I tend to agree. I find a good long sword to be more versatile.” 

        Sebastian and Jenassa remain just inside the entrance for several hours. Lightning runes are placed in the hallways leading to the chamber to keep out the undesirables.  Jenassa goes over events that have transpired during Sebastian's long slumber. She tells him of the eruption of Red Mountain, the Great War between the Empire and the Aldmeri dominion, the end of the Blades, the Argonian invasion of Morrowind, the fall of the Thieves Guild, the split of the Mages’ Guild into the Synod and College of Whispers factions, and of the rumors of the destruction of the Dark Brotherhood. Sebastian sits silently for a moment, taking in her summary of events. When she ends, he rubs the back of his head and jokingly says, "I leave you people alone for a century or two and it’s all gone to pot!”

        After making a small fire from a rotted bench and a tattered tapestry, Jenassa throws out a couple of bedrolls from the supply pack, “You should rest, Master. I will keep watch.” Sebastian lies back on one of the bedrolls, “You should sleep as well. I have set out ten powerful runes warding every entrance into this chamber. Nothing is getting in here today without us knowing.” Jenassa shakes her head, “I am fine, Master.” Sebastian snaps his fingers and points to the other bedroll, “You are exhausted!  You are dutiful to a fault, my dear, but you need to sleep. Now set yourself down there.” She puts her bow beside the bedroll and keeps a hand on her dagger as she reluctantly lies down, “As you say, Master.”


        As the day draws to its end, a small explosion is heard. “That’s twice now,” Jenassa complains, “Think they are foolish enough to try to get by the other eight?” Sebastian shrugs while looking around the room, “Vigar recruits for physical strength, not intelligence. Even a dog knows not to put its nose where it’s hot. Ignore them. They are no danger to us.” Jenassa gathers herself and notices her master’s attention is focused on two statues. She asks, “What is it, Master?” Sebastian motions to the two large stone gargoyles in the room, “These two… they don’t belong here. They don’t go with anything else in this room or the tower from what I remember of it. Perhaps a new acquisition? I don’t believe they were here before... odd...”

        Sebastian pulls out his journal and begins to scribble away. “So, the Aldmeri Dominion has been revived, you say? The elves have been busy, it seems. The Thieves Guild always was little more than a band of misfits… pickpockets, cutpurses, all around miscreants, but I'm surprised to learn that they have all but disbanded. I remember them being a tight knit group. Many of them never had families to speak of and saw the Guild as their family. I wonder… I cannot sense the evergloam. Odd, since we are so close to the temple. Something must have gone horribly wrong concerning the Nightingales." Confused, Jenassa questions the statement, "Evergloam? Nightingales? I don’t know these terms." He grins mischievously, "Nothing to be concerned about.  It has to do with Nocturnal, patron daedra of thieves. Nothing to do with us. Unless that is what I have been sensing.”  Sebastian closes his eyes and brushes his black hair back from his forehead.  “No. The disturbance is coming from the north east. The temple is off to the west."

        Jenassa looks at her maps for a moment, "The nearest settlement is a modest-sized town called Helgen. Beyond that, the small village of Riverwood. Neither seem very important. What are you writing?" Sebastian keeps his head down, “Nothing, just sketching these gargoyles. Like I said, they don’t seem to match the rest of the decor of this place. Always take note of oddities. Never know when they might be important.”

        With the Sun finally setting, Sebastian removes the rune blocking the exit, but leaves those deeper in. Jenassa asks,"What about the others, Master?" As he raises the fallen Nord, Sebastian says, "Leave them. Don't want anyone following us. Grab the supply pack and load up our new friend here and I will check the fledgling for any gold or jewels she might have been squirrelling away. We need to purchase some more food and water for you. You didn’t get yourself very much in the way of supplies, my dear. We will make for this Helgen and better prepare." Jenassa does as commanded while Sebastian pats down the dead fledgling. “Let’s see what you have, child. Some gold... an amethyst?…Where did you get that?” He pockets the pittance and then the three set out for Helgen.

        Returning to the frosty pass, Jenassa clings to her thin cloak as she darts from one set of trees to the next.  Sebastian follows with the risen Nord. The sound of snarls and hissing echo in the distance. Jenassa crouches by a large boulder and watches as a frost troll fights off two giant Frostbite spiders. “They seem to be fighting over a dead fox,” Sebastian says. “They are blocking our path,” Jenassa responds, taking aim with her bow. “Hold,” Sebastian says, “Let them kill each other. The troll will win, but not before being weakened by the spider’s venom.”

        Jenassa waits for the right moment.  When the second spider falls, she releases her arrow. It buries itself deep in the troll’s back but does not drop it. The beast turns and roars before charging towards her. She quickly fires two more arrows, one of which strikes it’s heart, bringing the mighty beast down. The troll’s momentum causes it to slide a few feet before coming to a halt. Sebastian says, “Take the fox’s hide. It’s still in good shape. The spider’s venom must have killed it. The troll would have done more damage.” She moves swiftly to skin the fox as Sebastian collects spider venom in vials from his satchel. Afterwards, they continue on down the pass.

        A couple hours later, Helgen comes into view. The two find the place sealed shut for the night with a strong Nord posted sleepily at the gate. With a distant glare, Sebastian places the guard into a trance. They approach quietly. “Open the gate, my good man.  We kind folk pose no threat,” Sebastian offers.  The guard wakes slowly and beckons to the guards on the other side. The large gate unlocks and opens.  With a smile to the guard, Sebastian says, “You may return to your sleep now.” The Guard passes out and slumps against the wall as the trio proceeds inside.

        "Everything seems quiet here, Master," Jenassa says. "Indeed it does. How disappointing." Sebastian looks up towards the dark spectre of the great mountain at Skyrim’s heart.  He frowns. "The Throat of the World. The disturbance is coming from there.” Jenassa follows his gaze, “That’s a long way to travel.” Sebastian nods, “Indeed,” and hands Jenassa some of the gold and the gemstone he took off the vampire back at the ruined tower, “Get us a room at the Inn.  We will set off from here tomorrow night. And get yourself some decent food, will you? I’m going to further acquaint myself with that town guard over there... seems like such a lonely patrol." Jenassa counts the gold as she dashes off to find the inn.

        The dawn finds a dessicated Nord hidden behind some barrels on Helgen’s east wall. A sleepy Jenassa awakens from her brief sleep in their room at the inn, and a disconcerted Sebastian paces at the inn’s entrance.  It isn’t the growing sunlight of morning that upsets him. Sebastian feels an odd presence looming over the town. Similar in nature to the tremor in the ether that had awakened him from his long slumber. An ominous power is swiftly approaching the town.

        Sebastian pulls a hood over his head, compelled to investigate. The sun strikes him as he steps outside. Sebastian growls, feeling himself weaken in the light of day. Jenassa and their pack mule follow him. "Master?" Jenassa calls out. “You should have slept,” Sebastian replies. Jenassa looks at him concerned, “And you should not be out during the day. We’ve just set in. What vexes you, Master?” Pondering a moment, Sebastian says, "I'm not sure. Something approaches. I’ve felt this before, but I can't seem to place it. It’s an old power and yet...moving and... asleep? I’m just not sure."  Sebastian is visibly agitated at himself for lacking the words to describe what his senses are telling him.

        Just then, the main gates of the town open and a caravan of Imperials makes its way through the streets. They bring with them a group of prisoners in the back of a pair of old wooden carriages. "What's this?" Sebastian asks the innkeeper sweeping the front porch as many of Helgen’s citizens emerge from their homes to watch the procession. "Those are Stormcloaks in the wagons,” the innkeeper says. “And it appears there is a priest of Mara and a headsman waiting.'' He points to the imperial tower at the center of town. “They aren’t to be jailed, it seems," Sebastian says as he watches the spectacle.

        The innkeeper tells his son, at his feet, to go inside. The boy complains to his father, but takes a rap to the side of his head before doing as he was told. The Imperials line up the prisoners for the headsman, calling out names from a list. One of the prisoners catches Sebastian's attention, "That Nord. He is… different… very different..." Jenassa looks the man over, "The one in the rags? He doesn't seem anything special to me. Just another Nord." Sebastian gazes at the man in rags, "The strange power is his. It is untapped. It is likely he does not even know of it.  Whatever this power is...” He pauses to study the Nord. “Damn it to Oblivion! I know I have felt this power before! Why...wait...No... Can’t be… Can it?" Suddenly he recognizes the signature of the power emanating from the Nord. He thinks to himself, "A Dragonborn… Has Akatosh blessed another? And we just happen to come across him? I have lived too long to believe in coincidences.”

        As the first of the stormcloaks takes his place on the headsman’s block he shouts a few taunts at his captors before the axe comes down without a word of response from the Imperials. The Nord in rags is called to the block next by a heavily armored female officer of the empire. Sebastian attempts to ready a lightning spell, but weakened by the sun, the spell fails. "Damn it.  If I were stronger.” Sebastian balls up his fist in frustration then composes himself. He lets out a sigh and laments, “Such a shame. These idiots don't understand what he..." A dark and terrifying roar rings out across the mountains interrupting Sebastian. 

     The mortals look around in ignorant confusion and continue their business.  Sebastian knows the sound all too well. His mind races at the implications, "That’s what I felt! Not just the Dragonborn.” He looks to Jenassa, “We have to go… Now!" He urges. Jenassa asks, "Master? What is it? What’s wrong?" He growls, "Just move!" and rushes for the north gate. The Nord in rags takes his position on the block as another roar travels the winds. It is much closer this time. As the Headsman raises his axe, a great black dragon swoops down on Helgen, perching itself on the imperial guard tower above the bloodied courtyard. With a thunderous sound, the beast calls flaming stones down from the heavens. "GODS!! What is that?" Jenassa exclaims. "RUN, WOMAN!" Sebastian cries out as they race away from Helgen.

        Once at a safe distance, they turn and watch as the dragon attacks the town.  Sebastian takes shelter from the sun under the shade of a large pine tree and raises a hand glowing a faint purple hue. Magicka radiates from his fingers as he casts a life detection spell. He senses the man-in-rags and lets out a sigh of relief, "He yet lives! Talos is clearly watching over you, boy! Don’t you dare die in there!"

        "What do we do now, Master?" Jenassa asks. Pulling at his hood, Sebastian scowls, “We get me out of this damned sun is what." Jenassa looks at her map, "Riverwood in the closest settlement. It's a small village north of here. This road leads straight to it. You should be able to feed there without drawing too much notice.” They walk swiftly along the road, casting an occasional look back to Helgen. In so little time the entire town is burning, its people screaming, and the great black dragon flies off into the distant north east. "We will see that one again," Sebastian says, and watches the nightmare vanish into the far clouds. “To Riverwood!” he says.



    The Story So Far:

    Ancient Blood Ch 1   Ancient Blood Ch 2   Ancient Blood Ch 3   Ancient Blood Ch 4   Ancient Blood Ch 5   Ancient Blood Ch 6   Ancient Blood Ch 7 Ancient Blood Ch 8   Ancient Blood Ch 9   Ancient Blood Ch 10   Ancient Blood Ch 11   Ancient Blood Ch 12   Ancient Blood Ch 13   Ancient Blood Ch 14   Ancient Blood Ch 15   Ancient Blood Ch 16   Ancient Blood Ch 17   Ancient Blood Ch 18   Ancient Blood Ch 19   Ancient Blood Ch 20   Ancient Blood Ch 21