Ancient Blood Ch 7

  • Ancient Blood Chapter 7

    A Dragon Cometh

      The horizon begins to glow as the night is threatened by the rise of a new day's sun. Sebastian sits atop the stairs to Dragon’s Reach scribbling in his journal:


    25th of Last Seed 4 E 201


       I have been spending the last few evenings in Dragon’s Reach. While rumors of dragons continue to spread among the populous, there have been no further reports of a black dragon for a couple days now. I can sense Alduin’s power still in the province though. He’s moving between Dragon burial mounds, but I can’t see the pattern. I’ve been molding Farengar’s dreams to focus him on this task.


       Janessa has been hiding something from me. Well, perhaps hiding is the wrong word. She asked to be excused for a few days, only saying that she wanted to get out of the city for a while. I know she spoke to the Temple Priestess before she left. I do not suspect treachery, but she is up to something. I have left her to her own machinations for the time being. I am curious to see what she does.


      While I am not welcome within the Hall of Jorrvaskr, I have eyes within. The Dragonborn’s training among the companions is coming along well. Whether he is prepared to fight a dragon or not is  yet to be proven, but I fear fate will test him soon enough. When that test comes, I hope the boy is not found wanting… for all our sakes.


      Sebastian growls at the first rays of the sun to peek over the mountains, “Grrr…. Good morning, Magnus…” He looks down to see Jenassa scurrying through the streets toward the Temple of Kynareth. She is carrying a parcel with an alien mystical aura about it. Sebastian stands, “Where have you been, woman…” He puts his journal away and heads for the Bannered Mare.


      Sebastian lays beside the bed, pretending to be asleep, when Jenassa enters the room. He looks out the corner of his eye watching her struggle to remove her mud covered boots as silently as she can. She jumps when he says, “That’s a lot of mud…” “Oh!... Forgive me, Master.” She replies, “I won’t leave any mud on the floor. I’ll carry my boots out.” He sits up, “Leave them outside the door for the staff. That’s what they are paid for… What have you been doing to get in such a state?” She looks about furtively, “I was just… running an errand for the Temple. Keeping busy.” He lays back slowly, “Uh huh…”


      At midday, Sebastian rises to see Jenassa sitting on the edge of the bed with a wash basin beside her. She is applying an ointment to some irritated spots on her skin. “Where did those come from?” He asks. “Jenassa looks back, “It’s nothing, Master. The errand I spoke of angered some Spriggans. Nothing I could not handle…” Sebastian touches a series of lacerations on her back, “A Spriggan didn’t do this...” He begins casting a healing spell. Jenassa closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, “Ahhh.. thank you, Master… That was done by a hag raven… She caught me from behind, but my blade found her heart…. I took her claws and feathers and added them to your alchemy supplies.” Sebastian sits beside her, “The temple had you fight these creatures? On your own?” She looks back, “Not exactly. They were just... obstacles that were in the way. It was worth it… I think... Really. I’m fine”


      Sebastian’s face goes from a look of concern to a blank stare. She looks down and sees his satchel glowing a faint purple hue. “We have a problem…” He says. Jenassa starts putting her freshly cleaned armor on, “What’s wrong?” “A frightened guard has just run into Jorrvaskr.” he says, “The Jarl is demanding to see Thou’Var.” He holds up both hands casting a wide area Aura detection spell and fixates looking off to the south west, “The watchtower… It’s under attack… Several of the guards are dead.” Jenassa straps on her weapons, “Stormcloaks?” Sebastian stops casting his spell, “...I don’t think so…”


      Sebastian and Jenassa gear up and rush to the palace in time to see the Dragonborn and Irileth, personal Housecarl to the Jarl, come running out of the main doors. “Shaw!” The Dragonborn calls out, “Go rally your men, Irileth, I’ll catch up…” The Housecarl continues on. “What’s going on?” Sebastian asks. The Dragonborn takes a breath, “A dragon has attacked the western watchtower. The Jarl has asked me to join the town guards in re-enforcing the tower guards… what’s left of them. If you have any spells to aid us, they are more than welcome.” The dragonborn looks to Jenassa, “Finally found yourself a patron, did you?”  Sebastian looks back at Jenassa, “Yes, I find having an able second to be invaluable. You should consider it, as well. As for me, I’m just a traveling scholar, my boy… but I can try to keep you and your fellows from being burned to death in the dragon’s breath.”


      The trio race to the front gates as Irileth gives a speech to the guards there assembled. Afterwards, they march on the Western Watchtower. When they arrive, the tower is in shambles. The grounds are ablaze with dragon’s fire and bodies litter the area. “Master…” Jenassa whispers,  “The sun… I beg you...” Sebastian looks at her, “I know what you are going to ask, and the answer is no. I will fight… My wards and portions will be needed if this battle is to have any chance of victory.”


       As the guard force approaches, a survivor sticks his head out of the ruins of the tower, “NO! Stay Back!... That dragon is still around somewhere!”  Sebastian hands out fire resistance potions and then closes his eyes trying to sense the dragon’s position, “TO THE SOUTH!... The beast comes!” The Dragonborn and guards draw their weapons and watch as an emerald dragon swoops in from the southern mountains. “Make every shot count!” Irileth shouts as the archers release their arrows. Sebastian summons twin Flame atronachs and prepares wards to block the dragon’s flames, “AIM FOR THE WINGS! Rip them apart! Bring the beast down!”


       The dragon makes several passes overhead as fire bolts and arrows fly up and slowly shred the dragon's wings until it is forced to land. “The wings will regenerate!” Sebastian calls out. Irileth commands her men, “ATTACK WHILE IT’S DOWN!!!” As the guards charge for the dragon, Jenassa steps in front of Sebastian placing her hand on his chest stopping him. She says nothing, but he knows she will die before allowing him anywhere near the dragon. After a brief pause, he knows she’s right. His magicka reserves are dwindling and with the sun hampering his ability to regenerate, it is too dangerous. Reluctantly, Sebastian steps back and Jenassa joins the guards and atronachs in attacking the dragon.


      The battle is the thing mead hall songs are made of. The dragon sustains several hard blows from war hammers and blades. One guard is eaten while an atronach is crushed under the beast's tail. All the while the creature's wings slowly regenerate. Jenassa sinks her blades into one of the wings trying to keep the monster grounded. From a raised position atop a pile of rubble, Sebastian hurls Ice spears into the dragon’s body until his magicka is spent. In an act of bravery or foolish desperation, the Dragonborn leaps onto the dragon’s tail and runs along it’s back to the head and tries to find a weak point in its scales to drive his sword through. Sebastian collapses and looks up at the sun, “Damn you…” he looks back to the battle and yells, “THE EYES, BOY! GO FOR THE EYES!!” The dragon tries to throw the dragonborn, but he manages to hold on tight and drives his flaming steel sword into the monster’s  right eye and into its brain. A wild swing of the dragon’s neck throws the dragonborn several yards away.


       The dragonborn comes to a rolling stop. He looks up from the ground and sees the dragon writhing in its death throes until it collapses lifeless to the ground. He looks back to Sebastian slumped to the ground against a broken stone column. Jenassa runs over to Sebastian and sits beside him,”Are you alright, Master.” Sebastian looks up, “Magnus is an ass… I’m fine. You did well out there.” Jenassa breathes a sigh of relief and lays her head on his shoulder, “So, is it dead?” Sebastian looks at the massive corpse, “ For now… The Dragonborn did kill it, but… I think something else has to happen… I’m not sure… wait… Look…”


       As the dragonborn approaches amidst cheers from the surviving guardsmen to retrieve his blade, the corpse starts to smolder and tremble. The scales glow and dissolve as an ancient power rushes up and out of the dragon’s remains. The power swirls through the air around the Dragonborn revealing his nature to all. Moments later, there is not but bones left of the once mighty beast. A guardsman rushes over to the Dragonborn, “By Shoar… you’re… You’re dragonborn…” Sebastian grins weakly, “Well… it’s a start… Jenassa, get me back to the Inn will you?” Jenassa helps him to his feet, “Yes, Master…” and they make their way back to Whiterun leaving the new Hero to bask in his glory.


       As the pair re-enter Whiterun’s main gate, a thunderous sound is heard coming from the mountains and strange words are carried by the winds, “DO--- VAH---KIIN!!!!” Sebastian looks up to the great mountain, “About time you did something, you old fools…” Jenassa looks at him, “What was that?” Sebastian smiles, “The summons of the Greybeards… Seems they finally know there is a Dragonborn down here… This world might just survive yet… hehe...ugh... Grrr.. get me out of this damned sun.” and they continue on to the inn to recover from their ordeal.


       After sundown, the Dragonborn walks into the Inn looking for Sebastian and the innkeeper directs him to the attic room. The Dragonborn finds Sebastian laying on the bed drinking from a flask and Jenassa sitting beside him. “Are you alright, my friend?” the Dragonborn asks. “Oh… just over exerting myself out there is all. Dangers of magic and all that… What of you, Thou’Var? Quite a day…” The Dragonborn leans against the door frame, “They are calling me ‘dragonborn’... I’m not sure I know what that means.” Sebastian takes a sip from his flask, “It means you are touched by the gods, my boy… You heard the Greybeards summons… Your destiny is calling. Best not to procrastinate. My advice… Take a second with you… and a horse. It’s a long way to High Hrothgar. Skyrim is filled with dangers, even for a Dragonborn.” The Dragonborn shrugs, “I could wait for you to…” Sebastian shakes his head, “No… we have our own travel itinerary… The return of the dragons and a dragonborn being summoned to the High Hrothgar… Greater things are afoot here. I must prepare. There are people I must speak to. And they are NOT atop the Throat of the World. But good luck to you, my boy. Stay alive. We will meet again, I’m sure.” The Dragonborn nods, “I understand. Well… I told the Jarl about your actions as well… He insisted I was to give you these… A purse of septims and blood rubies. Not bad for bringing down a dragon.” The Dragonborn tosses the purse to Jenassa, “Take care of him, will you?” She nods, “Of course.”


       After the Dragonborn takes his leave, Sebastian takes another sip from his flask pondering his next steps. He closes the lid to the flask and sits up from the bed. He looks at Jenassa and says, “I’m going out.” Jenassa looks confused, “What itinerary were you talking about? Are we going to follow Thou’Var?” He shakes his head, “No… My flask is empty... First, I am going to the hall of the dead. The priest there is often alone… Restock the supply pack and prepare our horses… I will meet you by the stables.” Jenassa collects their belongings while Sebastian checks out at the bar and buys a few last minute privions.

      As Sebastian and Jenassa exit the Bannered Mare, he stops just outside the door. He notices a small crowd of people. “Wait.” He says, “Look at that…” Jenassa looks up towards the Gildergreen, “Are those…?”  Sebastian smiles, “Indeed… The Gildergreen blooms again.” Jenassa smiles, “So it did work?” Sebastian looks at her, “What? You did this?” She shrugs, “I asked the priestess if there was anything that could be done about the tree…” Sebastian just stares at her, “So this was your ‘errand’ was it?” Jenassa shrugs again. He kisses her forehead, “We’ll have to come back when it’s in full bloom. A sight to see… Go get the horses ready.” And he makes his way to the Hall of the Dead in the Wind district behind the Temple.


       With the townsfolk consumed by the revival of the Gildergreen and sharing tales of the death of a dragon, Sebastian is not noticed slipping into the Hall of the Dead. The Priest is old and has already retired for the evening. Sebastian moves silently to the priest's bed chambers and takes measure of the old priest. He sets the flask under the outstretched arm of the priest that hangs off the edge of the bed. Sabastian weaves a calming spell in one hand while drawing a blade across the hanging wrist of the sleeping priest. The Priest's blood slowly fills the Flask. Once there is enough, Sebastian switches to a healing spell. “There you go” He says, “Sleep well, Priest… Sleep well…” He pulls the vial of the Dragonborn’s blood from his satchel and pours a small amount into the flask before capping it off and giving it a good shake.

       Grabbing an Alto wine bottle on his way out, Sebastian exits the Hall and makes for the Main Gate. Jenassa has the horses ready and waiting, “Did you get your ‘Provisions’, Master?” He holds up the flask and the wine bottle, “I have what I need for the time being.” Mounting their horses, Jenassa asks, ”So where exactly are we going?” Sebastian looks over, “Falkreath… There was a vampire with a small steading out there last I was here. She makes... or made… enchanted armors and trinkets, for Vampires, designed to counteract the weakness brought on by the sun. We will head for Brittleshin Pass. It cuts through the mountain into Falkreath.” and they begin their ride to the neighboring hold to the South. After a few moments, Jenassa questions, “Wait.. if she can do this, then why do you not already have such items?” Sebastian looks back at her, “Because she’s a crazy cat lady! Brilliant, but crazy. And asks an obnoxious price for her works. She never cared for gold or jewels. She collects Daedric artifacts. She’ll demand I ‘fetch’ something for her collection that was too dangerous for her to go after herself.”




    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