Ancient Blood Ch 4

  • Ancient Blood Chapter 4



       Making their way down the cobblestone road, Sebastian goes over the prophecy of the last Dragonborn with Jenassa. Whiterun comes within sight as they pass the falls of White River.  Sebastian has a pained expression on his face as he looks upon the city, “Well… the war has not been kind to Whiterun. That or the Jarl is too cheap to maintain the city walls.” Just then a Dunmer thief jumps out from under a bridge extending across a creek running beside the road. “Alright, hand over your valuables! Or I’ll gut you like a fish.” the thief demands. The dead Nord just groans, Jenassa shakes her head, but Sebastian finds the encounter amusing. Sebastian holds out a plump coin purse, “Oh please, don’t hurt us. Here. Take it.” The thief, clad only in cheap hide armor, steps up to his Breton target slowly. Once close enough he goes to grab the coin purse. With a swift thrust, Sebastian drives his claws deep into the Dunmer man’s chest gripping his heart. Sebastian mocks his victim, “Never go cheap on your armor, boy.” Then he flings the thief out into the creek, ripping out his heart. Jenassa remarks, “Fool… are things so desperate in this province?” Sebastian bites down on the heart, drinking what blood he can get out of the heart before discarding it into the water. Rinsing his hands and face of the blood in the water, he says “War provideth for every man, in victory or in death… Seems this fellow preferred the latter.”


      As the three approach the main gate to Whiterun, a pair of guards stand their posts. “Halt!” one says, “The city is off limits with the dragons about.” Strong though they are, they are weak of mind. Sebastian casts a minor pacification spell on the two, “I know it’s dark tonight, my good man, but surely you soldiers recognize us. We come here all the time to sell our wares to the merchants in town. The Jarl gets first pick as a gift, of course. Can’t enter a lord’s land and not offer something. That’s just rude.” The guard steps back to his post, “Of… of course. I apologize, sir. Go on in.” The trio pass without further hendrence.


      Looking around, Sebastian says, “Ah Whiterun. You poor dear. They are not taking care of you.”  As they walk the streets he makes several comments about how the city is in shambles and how beautiful it was centuries ago. Sebastian stops, “Oh no… the Gildergreen… That is just shameful.” Jenassa looks at a burnt tree in the center of town, “The tree? Is it special?” Sebastian with a pained expression on his face says, “Well, it used to be… I remember when it was but a sapling. I believe they grew it from a cutting of the Eldergleam. A tree the followers of Kyne and Kenerath revere as sacred.” He turns back to Jenassa, “I’m going to get a room at the Inn. I think that shop near the entrance is still open. Go see what you can learn about our stranger. See if anyone else has made it by the gate guards.” Jenassa motions to the dead bandit, “What about him? He’s getting a bit… ripe.” Sebastian looks him over, “True… You there, go stand behind the inn until I come get you. Jenassa, take the rest of that junk in the pack we took from the bandits hideout and sell it to the shops when they open tomorrow. Perhaps we can purchase a couple of horses at the stables.” She nods, “As you wish, Master.” and she heads to the Drunken Huntsman near the main gate. The dead Bandit shuffles off behind the Bannered Mare Inn. 

       Sebastian enters the Inn and finds what one would expect from a Nord Tavern. Mead on the floor, fools dancing with their flagons in hand, and a bard with little talent plucking away on his lute. Once again, Sebastian feels a strange aura, but looking around he does not see the man from Helgen and tries to ignore his senses. He steps up to the Innkeeper. “What’ll you have?” she asks. “A bottle of Alto, my good woman, and a room if one is available.” He says.  She hands him a key to the lower room off the main floor, “The ground floor room is smaller than the attic room, but it’s been taken by another traveler.” With the help of a subtle charm spell, Sebastian asks about this traveler. The description matches the man from Helgen. “Thank you, dear. Any other news in town to share?” The Innkeeper bables on as Sebastian looks to the balcony and sees a shadowy figure pass the door frame. “Who are you... ?” he wonders to himself as he watches the attic and waits for Jenassa to return.


       A couple hours have passed when Jenassa enters the Inn. “There you are, my dear.” Sebastian says from a corner table. Jenassa sits across from him, “Apologies, Master. The Huntsman staff were uncooperative. I did get some fine elven arrows though. Did you learn anything?” He just nods to the attic, “Found our boy. When I’m certain he is asleep, I will sneak into the room and try to probe his mind. If I can do so without waking him, I should be able to learn something. If not… I’ll have to try a more direct approach.” The Innkeeper barks and a redgard waitress hurries over, “Can I get you anything?” Jenassa orders a Venison Chop, a sweet roll, and some Ale. When the waitress leaves, Jenassa looks around, “This place smells like a brewery…” Sebastian laughs, “That’s Nords for you… Our room should be ready for us. It’s in the back over there….Hmmm… haven’t seen or heard anything from the attic room for a while. Think I will go check on our boy.” He walks to the kitchen, the Redguard is busy fixing Jenassa’s meal. Unnoticed, Sebastian casts an invisibility spell, then creeps his way up into the attic room.


      Once in the room, Sebastian smiles. He is indeed the man from Helgen. Sebastian eases over to the side of the bed and dark tendrils reach out from the palms of his hands as he moves them just above the sleeping man’s body. Sebastian jerks his hands away and backs up slowly, “So it is true… you are of the dragon blood… And that black Dragon... No no, the Tongue’s killed him… or did they?… Are you the one the Elder Scroll foretold?” he whispers. He leans against a wall of the darkened room studying the sleeping Dragonborn. His mind races, “Alduin. That black dragon had to be Alduin… The fate of the world hinges on… this man? Insanity… He won’t survive a battle with -A- dragon, never mind The World Eater himself… I’m not in much better shape at the moment... A problem for tomorrow… Don’t you dare die, boy.”  He backs out of the room slowly and vanishes once more.


      Feeling the sun begin to rise, he goes to the lower room and finds a small bed, a chair, and a few cupboards. Sebastian groans, “Not much, but... I’ve slept in worse.” Closing the door behind him, Sebastian sits in the chair and pulls out his journal:


        18th of Last Seed, 4E 201,


      A Dragonborn. I have actually found a being of divine blood. One sip from him and I would be restored… But I know that the taste of such power would trigger a  blood frenzy. The possibility of killing him accidentally is too risky. With the return of the dragons, I need him at his full strength. I will have to continue searching for other sources of power. I have no interest in battling a dragon, but if this Dragonborn does not develop his abilities fast enough, I may have to. Even if I do bring a dragon down, only a Dova can truly kill another Dova.


      The dragon I saw attack Helgen MUST have been Alduin. The rest of the signs have already come to pass. The Brass Tower, Dagon’s invasion,  Red Mountain, and now a Civil War in Skyrim… It is as the Scroll foretold. The tongues claimed to have defeated Alduin, but it seems the World Eater is not so easily dispatched. How? How did they do it… and there were three of them then. Can only one be a match for Alduin?


      I need more power! I am depending on Jenassa far too much. Nords do not value magic users, so I shouldn’t be surprised that mages are hard to come by in this Province. There is a priestess in town. A powerful healer, but never alone. Making a public spectacle of a feeding would only draw unwanted attention. Especially of one so prominent. Shame, her blood would be ever so sweet. I will have to find another. In a city this size, there must be someone...


      Jenassa enters, “Only one bed?” Sebastian puts his journal back in his satchel and looks over, “Take it. Too soft for me. I prefer the floor anyway… consequences of sleeping in a Sarcophagus.” Jenassa sits on the bed and begins pulling off her armor, “What’s it like… Sleeping in there for so long. Do you feel the passing of time?” Sebastian shakes his head, “Not really. I would be disturbed now and then when the Draugr would go to the Dragon Priest.” Jenassa stuffs her armor in the Wardrobe, “I saw them do that every few weeks. Why would that disturb you?”  Sebastian looks to her as she gets into bed and marvels for a moment. No longer the scrawny urchin pickpocket he found on the streets of Skingrad. She has grown into a fine young woman. It only then dawns on him that she is nearly two hundred years old by now. Still young by Dunmer standards, but not a child any longer. He turns back to look at  the ceiling, “You don’t know, then?...  The draugr don’t just maintain and guard the tomb. When they approach their priest, they offer up a portion of the life force that drives them to him. The power builds up as they rest in their alcoves. The tomb itself is designed to harness that energy. It feeds the priest and grows his power. It’s the entire point of them being there. Such a transference sends... Ripples, I suppose, through the ether. For one sensitive to magic, it’s like a bell ringing out in the darkness. It’s...” He looks over, “Asleep already?” Sebastian walks over and pulls a blanket over her. He holds his hand over her head and a green aura begins to glow around his hand extending to her sleeping head, “Dream only sweet dreams and may nightmares never find you.” He steps back and lays on the floor looking to the ceiling, “What story will you live, Dragonborn?”


      Jenassa wakes around mid day, stepping quietly over Sebastian, careful not to wake him. Searching the wardrobe, she finds some common clothes. A bit loose fitting, but suitable for a day in town. After a light meal, she walks out and collects some items from the supply pack on the dead bandit, “Still here are you? Thought you would have turned to dust by now…” The zombie just moans. She shakes her head and then makes for the general store. The little slime of a man inside does his best to swindle her on the price of goods she has to trade, but a dagger against the throat convinces him to offer more satisfying deals.


       She visits several of the shops, going back to the supply pack for things to sell off and stash items she buys. Even makes a trip up to the Court mage of Dragon’s Reach. The Jarl’s palace. His prices for Soul Gems and robes are outlandish, but with so many guards around, she cannot… “persuade” him to offer a better deal. As she leaves she grumbles, “Pray to every divine and daedric lord that I don’t meet you on the streets, sodding little twit…”


       Returning to the Inn, she sees the man from Helgen leaving.  She intentionally bumps into him, “Pardon me, Sirrah.” She looks him over as he helps her collect the items that were dropped in the collision, “Now where is such a well armed fellow heading off to in such a hurry… If you don’t mind me asking?” The Dragonborn looks at her suspiciously, “I’m on business for the Jarl. That’s all I can say.” She scowls, “Perhaps, I can be of some assistance… For a fee, of course.” The Dragonborn looks at her, “You? Are you a mercenary, then?” She scoffs, “I am an artisan. Blood and death are my art, but yes. For a modest price, I can make wonderful art for you.” He ponders the offer for a moment, “Perhaps another time.” “As you wish.” She nods.  He hands her the items and heads for the gate.


      She walks around and puts the soul gems in the supply pack and takes the enchanted robes into the Inn. She finds Sebastian sitting at the bar drinking a mug of Mead. “Drinking so early, Master?” Jenassa asks. He shrugs, “It’s from the brewery outside of town. Honningbrew they call it. It’s not bad… for mead, anyway. What I wouldn’t give for a good Sujamma...” Jenassa sits at the stool beside him, “I got you some things in town. I didn’t find any Sujamma, but I believe this robe should fit you. The court wizard claimed it to be well enchanted.” She presents the robes to him. Sebastian looks them over, “Indeed they are enchanted… Seems geared toward... conjuration magics, I think. The green and yellow color scheme is nice. Certainly better than the robes I took from that Vigilant… besides, if another one of these… “people” ask me for a blessing of Stendarr… Well done.” She nods, “I also saw the man from Helgen leaving town. Wouldn’t say where he was going, though.” After a final sip from his mug he puts it on the bar, “He’s heading for Bleak Falls Barrow. An old Nordic crypt… I overheard him asking for directions from the nord in the Iron Armor over there. It’s near Riverwood. If memory serves, there is a path leading up the mountain near that bridge we crossed last night.” Jenassa ponders a moment, “I see… are we following him or are we sticking around here for a while? It’s a sizable city. Plenty of places for you to go unseen on a...” She looks around, “Evening constitutional.” He looks the robes over again, “We will follow after him soon, but… You said there was a wizard in the palace?” She nods, “Yes.” He smirks, “Well then, I must pay a visit to Dragon’s Reach before we go.”  They walk back to the room and change into their traveling gear. Jenassa tells him of thepalace’s main hall layout, the number and placement of the guards, and location of the mage’s quarters while they wait for sunset.

      Upon entering the palace, Sebastian can sense the mage within. “Jenassa, my dear, go over to that book case and clean your dagger.” She looks confused at him, “I already cleaned…” then looks around at the guards, “Oh… I see.” She walks to the bookcase and pulls the blade from its scabbard. The guards all tense up and eye her closely as she is within throwing distance of the Jarl. With the guards suitably distracted, Sebastian slips into the mage’s study unnoticed. The mage is lost in a book near the back of the study with no line of sight for anyone outside. Sebastian steps lightly towards his target. Sparks jump between Sebastian’s fingers. A charm spell won’t work on this one. In one smooth swift action, he covers the mage’s mouth with one hand and places the other over his heart. The mage is stunned by the electricity flowing through him, leaving him unable to mount a defense. Sebastian’s grip is firm as he jerks the mage’s head to the side, and sinks his teeth into the mage’s neck. Only a few muffled screams are made before the mage becomes light headed and faints from blood loss in Sebastian’s embrace. Sebastian says, “If you were of less note, I would drain all of your blood… Be thankful my sire taught me restraint.” He then lifts the mage and places him at his desk. He uses a minor healing spell to seal the bite marks and drops the mage’s head on the desk. Giving the mage’s library a brief look, he stuffs a couple spell tombs in his satchel then leaves as quietly as he came.  He motions to Jenassa and she puts her dagger away following him out. They collect their “pack mule” and head for the stables.


       On the ride back to Riverwood, Jenassa asks “These horses consumed most of the gold I got in town… Did you feed well at least, Master?” Sebastian nods, “It will have to do for now… I do feel somewhat stronger, but I need a real sorcerer. Someone truly powerful. I’ll have to make do with these weaklings for the time being… I should be able to summon an atronach or two. And yes, the horses were expensive, but at least we don’t have to lug a foul smelling corpse around anymore.” Jenassa says, “Well… We should be able to make good time and catch up to this Dragonborn of yours. What exactly are you planning on doing with him? Will feeding on him restore your power?”  He says, “I have no intention of feeding on him. But I do intend to make certain the boy stays alive long enough to realize what power lies within him. That dragon wasn’t any normal dragon… That was Alduin, The World Eater. First among his kin. And if he has returned, then we will need a Dragonborn soon enough.” Sounding doubtful, Jessa asks “How can you be sure the prophecy is true and not just wishful thinking by the Blades. They may have come up with this tale just to make their order more valued.” Sebastian looks to her, “I know the prophecy is true because I am the one who divined it from the Elder Scroll. Now ride, Woman!”




    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