The Outsider Act 5: Battle for Whiterun – Chapter 4 – Edward

  • - Edward, are you sure about this? How do you know that the Grey-Manes won’t betray us? –


    - The Grey-Manes stand to lose too much if we fail, but if we succeed they will have full control of the Whiterun court. Don’t worry Serana; your father sent you here with me because he trusts your abilities, and lady Katherine is confident that I can protect you –


    The guard ahead us signaled a stop. He is dressed in the colors of the Whiterun guard, but works undercover for clan Grey-Mane. My companion and I wore priest vestments to hide our armor, and hoods to keep our eyes far from the sight of the mortals. Honestly I don’t think Serana would do much, she’s been frozen for nearly a millennia. She might be older than me, but her years of combat experience probably don’t compare to mine. Still, I might not want to be smug about all of this yet, maybe she is as powerful as Harkon says…


    Under our priest robes we wore the armor specially crafted for the soldiers serving Katherine, I also brought an old enchanted whip, along with the ebony estoc carried by the others as well. It’s a fine blade, designed to find the flaws in a plated set, and pierce the chainmail under it. I honestly prefer to fight with my whip, but even if it’s enchanted by my Lady with a special magic that added an absurd amount of force to it’s strike, it still has little effect against heavy plated armor.


    Serana also carried the estoc issued to us, and nothing else. Again, I’ve yet to see if she proves useful, but after talking to others within the Volkihar I’ve collected that she is a gifted mage, and an extremely dangerous fencer.


    The Grey-Manes smuggled us into the city before the battle started, they used an ancient passage that led into old tunnels under the city, and inside the crypts. Under the cover of darkness we were moved to their clan house, and after the siege began we disguised in priest robes and now this man guided us to the guard barracks. We carried on with ease, the Grey-Mane patriarch made sure to put his men to guard the place, he had called every bribe, favor and threat he could. This needed to be perfect, his head depended on it.


    Soon we were faced with our objective. The guards that were on our side wore grey scarf’s to tell them from the others, and as soon as the one accompanying us signaled with his hand, they all pulled out daggers and stabbed the ones who lacked the scarf. Serana seemed unfazed, but beyond the cold mask she held I could see the disgust she felt from that scene. I didn’t particularly enjoy this either, but I’ll endure anything to make Katherine’s dream a reality.


    The leader of the group of guards approached me and nodded, signaling the door to the main hall. If all went according to plan the Jarl would be in his throne room, along with a few guards, nothing I can’t handle.


    The soldiers led the way to the main hall, only to be greeted by a confused Housecarl.


    - What are you lot doing here?! – Asked Irileth.


    - We were informed that reinforcements were required, can’t have the Jarl too safe now can we? – The leader of our escorts said.


    Irileth looked at him for a moment with a suspicious look, then her eyes widened and she went for the grip of her sword. The guard was faster though, and managed to draw a small dirk and stab her in the gut before she drew. He attempted to draw it back out, but it seemed stuck. Irileth shouted and drew her sword, only to miss her blind strike and get punched in the face by the leader of the group. As soon as she hit the floor the leader looked down his armor, only to see the bloodstain that gave him away. He cursed and told us to move forward, I could hear hurried footsteps.


    I dashed ahead, leaving my priest robes behind me and chasing after the sounds. I drew my sword and turned the corner, only to be greeted with steel closing in on my face. I managed to duck and slide under it, and when I looked around I found myself in the throne room of the Jarl, staring directly at an old “friend”.


    - Hello Edward, I didn’t expect to see you here… - Said Brennan, his characteristic straw hat was covering part of his face, but I could see eyes sparkling with anticipation. He could fool all those he liked, this “man of peace’s” blood raced and heated like any other’s when confronted with a fight. He likes to kill as much as Lucius. I will not forgive that.


    I looked around to see a few guards, but they mostly kept out of the swordsman’s way. They formed a shield wall to guard the way to the Jarl’s safe room, and in front of them were two others, a massive Amazon wielding a gigantic crimson sword and a small Breton woman, she had no visible weapons, but she wore a large red cape, maybe she hid something beneath it…


    I heard Serana’s steps behind me, as I looked back her face looked neutral, bored even. She simply walked next to me and spoke.


    - I see you have some sort of conflict with this swordsman; I’ll leave you to it. Focus your attention on him, he seems strong, I’ll kill the rest – She stated, like it was some obvious fact. I don’t like the way this woman speaks, she is talking about killing at least ten of the Jarl’s personal guard, plus two of Capran’s soldiers, she can’t possibly be that strong…


    I brought my attention back just in time, as Brennan charged me with his steel. He struck with a slash from the right, then quickly feinted and dealt the real blow from the left. I side stepped his strike on reflex, and parried his next strike with my sword. Bad move.


    I was launched back a few steps, and then I felt a searing pain in my sword hand, and it was followed by a wet, slushy feeling. I removed my glove and looked at my palm, as expected it was trickling with blood. I tried to flex my hand but the pain was too great, a few bones were probably broken with that last strike.


    By remaining calm and heightening my senses, a faint vibration in the air could be felt. And taking a closer look at the area around his sword, small disturbances were present, like the air itself was dancing around his blades. He charged again, and I dived out of the way, throwing my sword at him shortly after, it would do me no good against him. He dodged it by a very narrow margin, and the tip of the estoc sunk deep into the Jarl’s throne.


    A grunt of disapproval was heard, the guards didn’t seem to like my gesture, either disrespect or a bad omen, I don’t really care…


    I assumed they would have been helping Capran’s lackeys, but the Nord’s giant sword kept them at bay. The other woman stayed back, either she is overconfident of her partner’s abilities or she has some sort of ace in her sleeve. Either way, Serana didn’t seem impressed; in fact, she hadn’t even drawn her sword yet.


    Her dodges were slightly unnerving, she moved only enough for the blade to miss her by a few inches, and she still seemed bored… The Amazon went for a large overhead strike, one that was sidestepped with grace, and countered with precision. Harkon’s daughter leaped into the air with an icicle shaped like a dagger in her hands, slicing at the Amazon’s right shoulder, and then landing next to the Breton, backhand slapping her face.


    I couldn’t have myself distracted by it any longer, as I felt my opponent closing in on me. I turned my head to face him, but the only thing I saw was his straw hat, right at my face.


    I used my left hand to punch it, hoping to crack his skull underneath, but only found empty air behind it. After a moment of being slightly confused I realized what was happening and dodged forward, avoiding his backstab. He looked mildly disappointed, but assumed a battle stance once more, a slightly unnerving smile creeping up on his lips.


    I reached for my back and drew my whip, the one enchanted by Katherine; let’s see the power of her magic against Brennan’s technique…


    I uncoiled the tool and snapped it at him. I missed by one palm, probably wouldn’t if I could still move my right hand. The tip of the weapon hit a pillar of wood behind him, and completely destroyed the structure. It was the first time I saw that enchantment in effect, and I must say I’m very impressed…


    The impact generated force that in turn activated the enchantment rune and resulted in an explosion of Katherine’s built up power. It is a reverse gravitational field, released in a short burst, capable of breaking even the toughest materials. Brennan looked impressed, and slightly taunted me, asking if I needed Katherine’s help to win because I wasn’t skilled enough.


    I ignored his provocation and swung again, aiming for the floor near him instead of himself. The force released hit his foot, and made him trip, giving me all the time I needed.


    I leaped forward and swung with all the force I could muster. He attempted to dodge, but I predicted his moves, and hit him square in his gut. Brennan’s limp body was launched back, destroying the Jarl’s throne with his weight. His scimitars flew in different directions and he stopped moving, buried beneath the rubble.


    I looked over to see if my partner needed my help, but what I saw surprised me quite a bit…


    Serana was standing with her boot over the Breton’s neck, chocking the woman under her weight. The Amazon was backed into a corner, blood trickling down her shoulder, and a large cut on her forehead, dripping crimson over her eyes. She kept pressuring the Breton till she moved no more, and then she pulled her foot off and kicked her to the side. Serana hadn’t even drawn her sword…


    She shot a cold glare to the guards at the door, they were simply too scared to move. Serana weaved a pattern of magicka on her hands, and then blasted them with a wave of cold, freezing most of them, and outright killing others.


    Serana looked back to me and shot me a look of disparagement. Blood trickled down my hand, my posture showed my fatigue, I was covered in sweat, and my hair was messy because of it. She, however looked like a fucking princess… Her uppity look annoyed me, and I could feel the disdain in her eyes.


    - Are you coming? We might not want to wait forever… - She said, signaling the passage.


    I passed my hand through my hair to get it out of my face, and looked over to the gate leading out of the keep. The Grey-Mane loyalists that came with us had barred the gate, and I kept hearing angry sounds from outside, axes and screams.


    I nodded and was about to follow her, but then I heard someone moving behind us. From the pile of rubble I saw a figure rise. Brennan looked like he was on a bad shape, his clothes were torn in places, he had a piece of wood stuck through his gut, and he had blood trickling down his face, into his left eye. Brennan pulled it out and tore his sleeve to try and stop the bleeding. He doesn’t seem fazed by the wound, of course he isn’t, he is a monster, just like Lucius…


    He cracked his neck and stretched his arms, as he did that I saw a bit of his chest, wait, and is there something attached to it? Never mind that, if I tear his head out he will die, I know that much.


    Brennan looked around and reached for his scimitars. He still seemed a bit dazed, and was confused to not find his blades. He looked around and saw both of them, one to each side. He looked at both, and as soon as he started to go for one, Serana dived in and grabbed his face, proceeding to smash it into the wall.


    Serana threw him back down again, and as he struggled to get back on his feet she charged her hands with lighting and electrocuted him. Brennan screamed, a painful shout of agony came out of his lungs, and the vampire princess simply remained neutral, her expression exuded boredom. This is ridiculous… How strong is this woman? How can she fight all those opponents without even breaking a sweat?


    - You’re not the one I’m looking for… - Brennan was still moving, but he couldn’t even stand up. As I walked over to finish the job I heard a loud boom, one that came from the gate of the keep…


    - FUS ROH DAH!!! – The gate of the keep was blasted out of its hinges, the shear force of the impact crushed most of the soldiers, and I had to duck behind a nearby pillar to avoid the flying debris.


    I must admit, that girl knows how to make an entrance…


    After the dust settled a figure emerged from the broken frame. The form was completely covered in armor, and carried a heavy mace to her side. Her shell was made completely out of bones, fused together with pieces of black ebony metal. It seemed very thick, and after a bit more observation it also seemed a bit loose fitting. She wore no helm; revealing her flawlessly fair complexion, long braid of jet-black hair, and bright, vampiric eyes. She wielded a demonic mace, slung over her shoulder and emanating a negative energy.


    I hate her.


    She embodies hunger, anger, and pleasure in killing, torturing…


    She is everything Katherine always despised about our kind, all that she ever wanted to avoid…


    The Last Dragonborn… The one named Ruby…


    I stood up once more and readied my whip, taking point in front of Serana. Ruby seemed surprised to see me again, and then smiled with excitement, until she saw Serana. I looked back and was surprised to see how the woman behind me change her expression for the first time since I met her…


    She seemed surprised, and then conflicted, like Ruby coming in changed the whole foundation of her mission. Serana took a step forward, then stopped.


    - You… - She said – Why are you here? Of all places… -


    - I’m wondering why I’m finding you in the side of this twat! – Said Ruby, shooting me a look when she did.


    - I didn’t plan for this… I wanted to find Him first… - Said the vampire princess, biting her lower lip in her process.


    Serana stood frozen for a moment, but then turned around, muttering to herself. I became impatient, and turned to face Ruby, uncoiling my whip and swinging at her. Ruby charged, using her voice to shout the ancient words, throwing me back with the sheer force of it. She ran and swung her mace down with full force, but I managed to dodge at the last second. She quickly followed up though, and hit my injured arm.


    I fell back once more. But as soon as she was getting near me again I whipped her chest, sending her falling backwards. Her armor was hardly scratched, but the impact was probably enough to break a few ribs. Her back was against a wall, and she was having trouble getting up. I weaved a pattern of magicka with my hand, and lighting formed around it. I readied and released the energy in Ruby’s direction.


    Before my spell was released though, a hand grabbed Ruby and threw her across the room, and then the same hand released magicka in a ward pattern, blocking my lighting. It is Serana! My surprise mixed with anger as I intensified the power of my magic. Her ward held, and she simply scoffed when I ran out of magicka. She walked over to me and sidestepped the strike of my whip; punching me in the gut with monstrous strength, sending me flying across the room.


    I tried to get up, but I felt that my ribs had been broken. It was hard to breath, and even harder to move. I struggled to speak, and even more to grip my weapon, ready to defend myself against such monstrous might.


    - Why? – I said as I struggled to get the words out – Why would you betray us? Why would you betray your father? –


    Ruby got up and interrupted her before she could answer.


    - I’ve a better question, why in oblivion are you here? And why the fuck do you think you can show your godamm face after abandoning us at the castle?! We helped you dammit! And I didn’t hear you speak a fucking word when your father and Shade were about to rip each other apart! – She said, out of the other soldier’s earshot. I just now noticed that the only one that came in was the Dragonborn, the others were probably too scared to come in, I don’t blame them, I wouldn’t want to get in between this battle of monsters, if I wasn’t one myself…


    - I… - Serana seemed to struggle for words, she refused to look Ruby in her eyes, gazing at her feet while answering the Dragonborn – I came here to kill Him! –


    Ruby looked at her with a look of disbelief.


    - What in oblivion do you mean by that woman? –


    - Your master… I came here to kill Him! – Serana answered.


    - I might not like him, but I know it is because of him that you’re awake now! Is that how you repay him?! –


    - I just did – She said with determination – I just saved your life, we’re even –


    - Why!? –


    - Because He is a monster. Just like my father… - Ruby looked at her with a look of disbelief, and Serana continued – I want my family back… The monsters took my family from me… My father… My mother… - She looked at her own hands after saying that – Even myself… So I came to a conclusion. I will kill the monsters. All of them… - She looked distraught, but then took a deep breath and finished her little speech – Even you –


    Ruby mustered a look of anger, like she was saying, “After all I did for you…”


    - I will kill Him, I will kill you, I will kill father, and I will kill her… - She said, shooting me a look of anger. – I will rid the world of monsters… monsters like me… -


    Serana turned around and walked towards the back of the keep. She took another look at us before fleeing, and then ran towards the balcony at the end of the keep.


    I reached for my pouch before Ruby took notice of me, and when she did I already had the scroll in my hand. After releasing magicka into the paper the runes ignited and I was engulfed in purple flames. The voyage is always hard on a person’s body, but this time I couldn’t take it, I simply let go of my consciousness and let my limp body float to wherever the portal took me…


  • Soneca the Exiled
    Soneca the Exiled   ·  July 4, 2014
    Thank you man! And I hopped you enjoyed the story so far. The Breton would be Zoe, the one that lost the arm earlier, I know how you feel, I do have many characters and I plan to make a "Cast" page, just so that it's easier to remember their traits. I do ...  more
  • adds-many-comments
    adds-many-comments   ·  July 4, 2014
    Whoa! Serena is badass! Intresting to see from edwards view. I know sophia is the amazon, not sure about the breton women, may have to read the other chapters again. Damn my memory, I'm usually good at this stuff. Been waiting for this chapter, you don't ...  more