Dragon of the East - Arc 3, Chapter 3

  • Chases-The-Wind

    ~ ~ ~

    My back warmed against a roaring fireplace, muscles relaxing in the heat. A sharp tugging pain made me wince. Dar-Meena squeamishly plucked the last shard of glass from my scalp.

    “If there’s any more in there, find somebody with better eyes than mine,” she said, wiping her claws on a cloth.

    I raised a hand to the back of my head and cast a healing spell. The cuts quickly closed, leaving only stains of dried blood. Dar-Meena handed me her rag. I folded it to an unbloodied side, wetted it with water, and began dabbing myself clean.

    “Remind this one to get a helmet at the soonest opportunity,” I said.            

    Dar-Meena tilted her head. “Can you even wear a helmet? You’d have to get rid of your horns.”

    I stopped my hand in mid-dab and held it there.

    “What? What are you thinking?” she asked.

    “Second thoughts,” I said. My horns were non-negotiable.

    Our shelter from the cold Skyrim night was a warehouse built into the city’s outer wall, converted to a living quarters. It was dark. Dilapidated. If poverty had a smell, this place smelled of it. Dar-Meena and I were not alone – the resident dock workers of Windhelm, all exclusively Argonians, joined us by the fire. Upon knocking at their door, I had to repeatedly insist that I needed no medical supplies, only a light for Dar-Meena to find the glass. Our welcome into the assemblage was warm indeed. Smothering, even.

    “Are you a healer? I never guessed,” said a dark scaled man named Scouts-Many-Marshes. He seemed to be the de-facto leader of these workers, though one would not know this by appearances. They were all dressed in patchy clothes of poorly matching colors.

    “It’s nobody’s first guess,” Dar-Meena replied, still checking my feathers and preening them with her claws.

    “I’m fine now, thank you,” I said to her with a smile, indicating my wish for space. She pushed herself away to the other side of the fire, sitting cross-legged as I. The other Argonians were gathered around us on wooden chairs or the floor. Their beds were lined up behind us in the middle of the room. No privacy.

    “What an awful thing to happen,” said Scouts-Many-Marshes, sounding genuinely sad. “Rolff never bothers us like this. He spends most of his time yelling at the Dark Elves in their quarter. He must have been especially drunk…”

    “Chase set him right,” Dar-Meena huffed. “He won’t be throwing bottles again anytime soon.”

    I held my silence. The fracture I inflicted on that man would not heal seamlessly. There was no doubt in my mind that I had dealt permanent damage. Xhuth… I was so focused on disarming him, on eliminating the threat, that I failed to think of the long term consequences. I may have destroyed that man’s life.

    “Nothing’ll change,” another worker scoffed, a young man by the name of Neetrenaza. “The Nords still don’t appreciate us.”

    “Surely there must be some who do,” I said.

    “Trust me, marsh friend. You do not want to live in this city,” replied an old, spindly Saxhleel, skin pale and leathered. Stands-In-Shallows.

    “We don’t plan to,” Dar-Meena sneered. “We shouldn’t have come in the first place.”

    My eyes drifted to her. Indeed… Though the decision to come here was not mine…

    “Do all the Argonians in Windhelm live here? At the docks?” I asked.

    “By Ulfric’s decree,” Neetrenaza spat. “We’re forbidden from staying inside the walls. They like to keep us out here with the rest of the trash.”

    “Don’t listen to him,” said Shahvee, a thin green Argonian woman. “I know the dock doesn’t look nice… but we have shelter and food! Besides, fresh air is good for the gills.”

    “When those gills aren’t freezing solid,” Dar-Meena retorted, huddling in her legs.            

    “Good honest work staves off the cold.”

    “Uh-huh. You keep telling yourself that.”

    I cleared my throat. “Why dockworkers? Are there no craftsmen or apprentices among you?”

    “We work where we can get work,” said Scouts-Many-Marshes. “The Nords don’t like unloading their ships, so we do it instead.”

    “And what do you get for your work, huh?” Dar-Meena asked. “What are your broken backs worth to these Nords?”

    “Eight Septims per day, plus lodging.”                 

    “Shit, my mother paid me more for doing chores as a hatchling.”        

    “We make do. We always have. Sometimes… cargo goes missing.”    

    I drew a frown. “You steal from them? Then you become no better than what the Nords think of you. Surely there’s no call for that.”

    “Chase, look at this place,” Dar-Meena said with a frown of her own. “They can’t get by on what the Nords give them. What choice do they have?”

    “The hearts of these Nords will not go out to thieves and bandits. We can all choose to be better people.”           

     “You can’t be ‘better people’ if you’re dying of cold and starvation.”

    “As I know, believe me,” I mildly scoffed. When base needs cannot be met, dignity is the first casualty. At times I take for granted that I am privileged in my self-sufficiency. I live outside the boundaries of social class, dependent on neither society nor law. It is hard enough leading the life of a wanderer. Harder still to live a life trapped in a cold, unwelcoming place.

    It would be unfair for me to compare my struggles to those of the dockworkers. As if barrels and crates of sea-bound cargo can be weighed next to a mountain of dead bodies.

    “We will not let this kindness go unpaid,” I said to Scouts-Many-Marshes. “Is there anything we can offer you in exchange for sheltering us?”

    Neetrenaza’s gaze wandered down to Xehtasken, lying on the floorboards beside me. “How good are you with that sword? I can think of a few things,” he sneered sarcastically.

    Dar-Meena gave a laugh. Sarcasm or no, I failed to appreciate the humor. I lowered my voice to an even tone.

    “I do not repay kindness with blood. This sword is for protection. No weapon should have to be carried for any reason more than that.”

    Dar-Meena pounced on my remark. “Really? Is this a recent philosophy of yours? Or have you always held it?”

    “I believe it now. That is all that matters.”

    “Seems to me you’ve got a lot of experience with a sword…”       

    “I can fight, yes. Have fought, for more than self-defense. Does that make me a hypocrite? Perhaps. If so, it is a brand I willingly accept.” I stared into the crackling fireplace, feeling the heat on my snout. “People change their minds. And I am no warrior at heart.”

    “Marsh friend, you cannot fool us,” said the old leathery man. “You have the face of a Saxhleel who’s survived many battles. You remind me of the Shadowscales, from the old histories.”

    A weak chuckle fell from my lips.                 

    “That compliment is unnecessary,” I whispered with a crooked smile. Some of my people still hold the Shadowscales in high esteem, as fabled legends. Sentiments of the naive. No praise for them will ever ride on my breath.

    Dar-Meena looked at me curiously, then regarded the dockworkers. “Gold’s an easy gift,” she said. “We’ll pay lodging for two. That okay with you, Chase?”

    “If everyone here is fine with it.”                                                                        

    “We are,” Scouts-Many-Marshes spoke with a smile. “Thank you.”

    I grinned in return. “The thanks are all ours, marsh brother.”                      

    The group of us went on to talk for a few minutes more, before our tiredness started to show. It was time to retire for the night. The dockworkers went to their cots, while Dar-Meena and I set our bedding in a corner at the back of the room. We brushed away cobwebs and dust, clearing a space on the floor, while the fire was left to burn out on its own.

    An hour passed. The building plunged into total darkness, save for a single candle on a crate by our beds. I lay restless on my pallet, too stirred to sleep. I used the time to meditate rather than worry about the days to come. That was a bridge I could hold off crossing.

    Meanwhile, it seemed I was not the only one having trouble falling asleep.

    “Chase, are you still awake?” Dar-Meena whispered.

    “Yes,” I whispered back.

    “Can you tell if the others are sleeping?”

    “They will not hear us. What sits on your mind?”

    I assumed it was something personal she wished to discuss. That, or…      

    “Who were the Shadowscales?” she asked, trying to catch me unwary.

    “They were an order of assassins, agents of the Dark Brotherhood that served the king of Black Marsh,” I answered, without missing a beat. Dar-Meena pouted.

    “That sounded rehearsed.”                                                                     

    “It was.”                     

    “Well fine, then. Were the Shadowscales a big deal?”                      

    “I would say so. They existed for a very long time, an order sworn to protect our province and its people. Dark rituals and mysticism shrouded their identity.”

    “Rituals? Like what?”

    “Only Argonians born under the sign of The Shadow were recruited, for one thing.”

    Dar-Meena snorted. “Isn’t that Cyrodiilic astrology?”

    “The Saxhleel use different names, but the idea is the same. Everyone is born with a birthsign. Even you.”

    “You don’t have to tell me that. Twenty-first of Midyear’s my hatchday. That makes my sign… The Steed, I think. What about you?”

    I smiled. “Are you asking for my birthsign or my hatchday?”

    “Oh, I have to choose?” she said teasingly. “Hatchday.”

    “Hmm… That is… actually a good question. I don’t know.”

    “Huh?” Dar-Meena turned onto her side. “How do you not know what day you were born?”

    “I am not even certain of the year.”         

    “You don’t know your own age!?”

    “I rarely need to reference it. Give me a moment…”

    I mumbled to myself dates and events that I could remember. It had to have been before the signing of the White-Gold Concordat, but after Ajim-Okur became Arch-Warden of Archon, following the death of his predecessor. After some intense consideration, I came to an acceptable inference.

    “I could be wrong, do not hold me to this.” I glanced at Dar-Meena. “I must have been born a year after The Great War began, in the month of Second Seed. I suppose that would make me… thirty, yes?”

    Dar-Meena twitched like a broken clock.      

    “Thirty!?” she hissed. “You’re thirty years old!?”

    “You seem distressed...”

    “Chase, you are not nine years older than me. Don’t even joke about that.”       

    “I may be off by a year, but certainly no younger. Why does this bother you?”

    “It… doesn’t! Just forget I asked.”   

    “Certainly,” I said, settling back down.

    Thirty years. Twenty spent in Black Marsh. And I have been a killer for almost all of them. I often wonder about my hatching, what my parents might have named me. I was given the name Okan-Zeeus when I was taken to be trained as an assassin. As for my family, I do not remember them. There are hazy memories, some sights and sounds, but little else. I only know what Mahei-Ru spoke of them, that my mother relinquished me to join the Xanxhu-Loh, sparing me an impoverished childhood.

    I was too young to know what it all meant. Perhaps that was intentional. I find it difficult, either way, to forgive the An-Xileel for what they did to me. To us. I would have taken the life of poverty.

    “Wait a minute.” Dar-Meena stirred. “You said your hatchday was in Second Seed?”       

    “Yes,” I said. 

    “Then that makes your sign…”

    “The Shadow.”            

    There was a pause.

    “But you aren’t a Shadowscale.”

    “Why do you say that?”

    “It’s too obvious. You’ve been choosy about what details you give me.”

    So quick to catch on…

    “You are correct. I am not Shadowscale,” I said, staring up at the ceiling. “Their order dissolved long ago. I was born too late to be initiated into their ranks.” This, however, did not matter in the end; the Shadowscales were gone, but their mission carried on. We walked in their footsteps.

    “What were you, Chase? Before you became a wanderer?”

    “That will not be discussed now.”

    “Will it ever?”

    “If I have any say in the matter… no.”

    I heard a groan. “That figures. I don’t even know why I try.”     

    The young thief was selling herself short. She had learned more about me than most ever do. I would have commended her tenacity, if it was directed at anything else.

    “This one would ask you something,” I said. “How much confidence do you have in our new company?”

    “I’m willing to put up with those two, if that’s what you’re asking.”

    “You sided with them back at Kynesgrove. I find it hard to believe you would care so little after that.”

    Dar-Meena rolled onto her side, with a lazy face that seemed to mask something deeper.

    “Chase, I’m lying on this creaky floor in freezing Windhelm for you, not them. You’re the only reason I’m still here.” The snide manner of her speech left an unflattering taste. Yet the words themselves moved me. When did she become so trusting?

    “I see… I wish these circumstances were less perilous,” I said. “It would be easier to appreciate your help.”

    She made a small, sad sounding growl. Then don’t. Save yourself the trouble. I don’t care what you think of me.”

    Either she did care or had simply mastered the art of softening me. My mood shifted.

    I said it would be easier, Dar-Meena. I still deem it worth the effort. I do appreciate you, very much.”

    Though still reserved, she seemed pleased with this. I could see her smile in the corner of my eye.

    “Good. Get used to it,” she said. “Because I won’t let you ditch us like you did me.”

    My eyes rested. “You still haven’t forgiven me for that, have you?”        

    “Forgiven you? Sure I have. I just don’t know how prone you are to repeat behavior. You’re the not the only one with a cautious bone in his body.”                                                                                              

    I turned to the thief and grinned. “Then why did you let me stay behind all by myself at the bridge to Windhelm? I could have left the moment you entered the city. I even considered it.”

    After a moment of stunned silence, her face showed new depths of darkness. But then, to my surprise, she laid her head back. And laughed.

    “You’re an ass, you know that?” she said. “Pulling every single rug out from under me. All of them. All the damn rugs.”

    I suppressed a laugh of my own, hearing one of the dockworkers shift in bed.

    “If I wanted to leave, I would have done it already,” I said. “I will not. Unless I am given a very good reason.”

    As we smiled at each other, all felt well between us. Better for me that she be happy than foul-tempered, at least. Conversing with that thief was like walking through a field of fire runes. In the past I would have given no thought to keeping company like her, if I had to keep company at all.

    And yet…                                    

    “Daedra and divines, it’s cold in here,” Dar-Meena said with a shiver.

    “Will you be warm enough for the night?” I asked. “Is there anything I can do?”

    It was an honest question. Honestly intended. The thief, however, seemed to hear a different tune. She fixed her yellow eyes on me, a curious look in them.

    “Are you offering something?” There was a lilt in her voice that sounded provocative.

    “Hm? Oh... Oh!” I immediately sat upright. “No, I didn’t mean– No! Dar-Meena I wouldn’t! I would never…!”


    “That is the farthest thing from my mind! I swear it! There is too much you don’t–”          

    Once more, unexpectedly, the young thief laughed.

    “Gods, will you shut up? You act like it’d be horrible.”

    She turned over, laying on her side away from me. I remained sitting straight-backed, like a stone.


    “Go to sleep.”

    After some painfully long seconds passed, I rested back down on the ground and faced the wall. The image of her smile, along with her words, seemed permanently fixed in my mind’s eye. I would have given almost anything to be somewhere else.

    This… does not bode well for me…                                                                                        

    Why did I stop trying to distance myself from her? I could not tell you. It seemed I gave up almost as soon as I began, back in the forests of the Rift.

    Forgive me. I speak as though I do not understand myself. My abstinence from companionship for so many years had taken its toll. Staying on the run from the An-Xileel, I discovered new depths to the meaning of lonesomeness. Over time I grew accustomed to the isolation, but even solitary creatures can find misery in solitude. The first weeks were the most unforgiving of all. I could never forget them.

    Okan-Zeeus, the great traitor of Black Marsh, the ruthless man who killed innocents, who dared to oppose the Hist…

    He spent his nights after escaping execution in the deep forests of Cyrodiil. He left himself bare and sparsely dressed before the elements, if only to be distracted from his grief. He sat huddled in trees through calm nights, cold winds, and bitter storms, crying himself to sleep like a child.

    He missed his home. For all the bloody horrors it had wrought upon him, he missed it. It was all he once had. Compared to that, this small but growing friendship with Dar-Meena was something worth holding on to.

    And as I thought of the fates of those Okan-Zeeus held close, fear sank in its teeth.


    I awoke; my mind was groggy. I had half a sense of my surroundings, but felt too tired to care about them. I drifted back into the effortless comfort of sleep. In the blurry film of my eyelids, I could see the door leading out, sunlight breaking through the cracks.


    I shot out of bed.

    No! I slept in!? I never sleep in!               

    I looked over at Dar-Meena’s pallet. It wasn’t there. All of the dockworkers were gone as well. I was alone. The room felt bigger, more imposing than it had the night before. I made no sudden movements. Then, gently, I reached for my sword. Xehtasken slid out of its scabbard.

    I never sleep in.                                                                                                                      

    My webbed feet carried me across the floor, silently, eyes darting from shadow to shadow. The air was cold enough to show my breath and a shudder ran down my tail. Something felt horribly amiss. I would have noticed if the others had left.

    There was no good reason I did not.

    As I approached the door I could hear commotion on the other side. Hammers banging, voices calling out. It was all too inaudible. What was happening? Where was Dar-Meena?

    The door began to open. I sucked in a breath and hid behind a support beam, claws tightening around my sword. Sunlight poured into the room.

    “Hey, Chase? Are you awake y–” Dar-Meena stopped in the doorway and stared. “What in Oblivion are you doing?”

    I was standing half concealed behind a wooden beam, dressed only in underclothes, holding a drawn weapon. It must have been a sight.


    “Chase, what’s happening?”

    Nothing came to me. There were no sensible words to say. I could hear the sounds outside more clearly, the noise of busy dockworkers hammering crates and loading cargo.

    “Say something!”                                           

    “You all left, I… I didn’t know…”             

    The young thief sighed and leaned her head into her fist. “The others went to work early in the morning,” she said. “I left to run errands. You were really tired, so I didn’t wake you up.”

    I was fixed on the bright sunlight behind Dar-Meena. “I should… not have been tired…”

    “Come on, don’t you know how many nights you’ve spent awake these past weeks? It’s no wonder you’re so sleepy!” She put her hands on her hip. “Chase, I’m serious, what’s gotten into you? Did you think you were in danger?”

    What could I say? What in all the worlds could I possibly say that wouldn’t make me seem a fool?

    “I wasn’t sure…”                           

    Dar-Meena glanced uncomfortably outside. “Look, forget it. Just get yourself sorted and meet me by the docks. I’ll wait for you.”

    The door shut behind her. Once more the room was dark and empty.

    With an angry snarl, I smeared a hand down my snout. Wake up, pond scum! This slackness is beneath you. I returned to my pallet, sheathed my blade, and began donning my armor piece by piece. Half-way I stopped, sitting on the floor; my emotions caught up with my tired body. Eyes gently closed, I scooped up Xehtasken and stood it point-down in the gap between my legs, pressing the sword’s cold steel handguard against my nose.

    In that moment, I felt the weakest I had ever been in years.                                                


    The noon-time sun threatened to blind me. Dar-Meena and I walked through the streets of Windhelm, making for the main gates. Our companions were waiting for us on the other side of the river, rested and ready to travel. The day was warmer than the last, a sentiment that sadly amounted to little. My feet felt painfully numb, wet snow clinging to my boots. I kept my tail swaying vigorously for blood flow.

    “Dar-Meena, you seem… happy today,” I said as we walked.

    “You’d be too if you made a fortune selling dragon scales,” she chirped. “A shame we spent most of it already.”

    “You did?” My eyes tapered. “I am afraid to ask on what…”

    “You’ll see for yourself. It’s a surprise.”

    “I do not like surprises.”

    “Even better!”

    I drew my hood down tight as people walked by, sunlight still trying to burn my eyes out. Too much noise. Too much commotion. Human cities always felt so tightly packed. In Black Marsh, at least, my people have the sense to respect the space of others.

    On the subject of space… Dar-Meena seemed to be walking unusually close to me. It may have been my own imagining. The thought of last night still persisted. I glanced at the thief, hopelessly trying to read her. What was she thinking about? There was nothing in her expression, besides the obvious cheerfulness. Nothing in the swing of her arms, the loll of her head and feathers, the swaying of her shapely tail…

    I suddenly felt the urge to hit myself.           

    Stop it! This is completely unlike you!

    “You did not have any trouble selling the scales?” I asked, for no good reason.

    “Nope,” she said.                   

    “None at all?”

    “Chase, I’d bet my tail that I’m a better haggler than you, the Nord, and the elf combined. Not to brag or anything.”

    “Xhu... You mentioned once something about your mother and a merchant…?” We walked into the shade of some buildings. Relief from the sun at last. I savored it.

    “My mother was the merchant,” Dar-Meena said. “She wanted me to be one too. We have a family business in Chorrol, a general goods store. I had to put up with her tutoring for nine miserable years.”

    “What was so miserable about it?”

    She rolled her eyes. “Don’t get me started. My mother was a shrew, with a temper to match an ogre. She’d sooner slap my wrist than offer a word of encouragement.”

    “Hmm. There is a saying about apples not falling far from trees...”

    Her tail whipped me in the leg. I flinched and nearly plowed into a passing Nord. I was forced to apologize profusely.

    “She wanted me to take over the store after her. I didn’t,” she said, after my episode was over. Though irritated at her lack of concern, I recovered my composure.

    “Is that the reason you left?”

    The change was subtle. Dar-Meena had already stopped smiling, but now there was something else behind it. Something darker.

    “Part of the reason.” She turned to me with a smirk. “By the way, I got something today. I hope you haven’t forgotten our agreement.”

    Dar-Meena showed me her bag and pulled something out partway from inside the pouch. It was a book with a yellow cover, emblazoned with the image of a phoenix with outstretched wings. To the uninformed, it was a pleasant cover design. I knew, however, that the symbol represented one of the five schools of magic – Restoration.

    “A spell tome! You were able to afford one?”

    Dar-Meena shoved the book back in her bag and wore a devilish grin.

    “Yeah… sure. Let’s go with that.”

    My surprise slowly became a scowl.

    “You didn’t…”

    “What do you mean? I said nothing.”

    “Dar-Meena! If you stole that–”

    “You’ll what? Turn me over to the guards?” She flung me a hard look. “In this city?”       

    I fell silent. Her low cunning appalled me. After thwarting her theft in Riften, I gave no thought to future occasions. There was nothing I could do but rebuke her.

    “Xhuth, you thought this through!”

    So glad you noticed.”

    “I am not traveling across Skyrim with a thief, Dar-Meena,” I said, glaring. “You’ll get no mercy from me if I catch you stealing again.” She merely laughed.

    “Then I won’t be this up-front anymore and let you enjoy the bliss of ignorance.”

    My fangs showed. “I mean it.”

    Her eyes flashed. “So do I.”

    Xhuth, what more was there to say? Dar-Meena could talk me down with aplomb. I rubbed the scales on my snout. Why did she have to be a thief? If there was one thing about her I could not tolerate…

    Nearing the city gates, we came upon the Candleharth Hall, and the steps leading to it where the two drunks had attacked us. The inn’s sign was broken. Beyond that, there were almost no traces of last night’s struggle. Yet people had seen the fight, seen me. I hissed under my breath at the thought. Whatever city we traveled to next, I needed to stay out. Trouble was doing a good job of following me in this province.

    We walked across the river bridge, white sunlight glistening in the water below. At the other end, I saw Falura and Reinhardt by the roadside. Falura was sitting atop her horse. Reinhardt was… sitting atop his horse. And there were two other horses, with no one sitting on them. Dar-Meena extended her arm in presentation.

    Horses?” I stepped back.                                                                                  

    “Horses,” she said.

    “No one spoke anything to me about horses!”

    “We decided on it this morning,” Falura said, trotting up to us. “Thanks to the coin your friend was able to make, we could afford three more mounts.”

    “Beats walking, don’t it?” Reinhardt added from afar.

    A growl escaped the cage of my teeth. “Am I allowed to partake in decision making? Or is my voice in this group symbolic?”       

    “Course it’s not!” Reinhardt said, grinning as he joined us. “Your Voice is for killing dragons.”

    It was then that I, the rogue assassin Okan-Zeeus, surrounded by horses and struck speechless by a pun, realized that my darkest days were fast approaching.

    Dar-Meena leapt onto her brown mare and rode up to me, handling the horse’s reins as if they were her arms and tail. “Go ahead,” she said. “Saddle up. You’re the one who didn’t want to waste time getting to Riverwood.”

    My horse stood in front of me. I looked into the dark glossy eyes of the great hoofed creature, feeling an imminent dread. I would have to suffer through this embarrassment. The young thief led her horse closer to me, two or three trots.

    “Chase… You do know how to ride a horse, don’t you?”                

    I folded my arms. Dar-Meena’s face lit up with what I can only call fiendish delight.

    “You don’t?”

    “I have only ever ridden one once,” I muttered. “It was not an experience I wish to repeat. I prefer to keep the ground beneath my own two feet, thank you.”

    With a hand on top of her head, Dar-Meena exclaimed to the Nord and Dunmer. “Are you two hearing this?” She turned back to me. “Chase, don’t be a wet blanket. We need these horses if we’re going to keep traveling.”

    “Assuming we cannot refund them.”                                           

    “Riding’s not that hard, it just takes time to learn. Can you at least get in a saddle?”

    “That depends. Is there a proper method…?”

    She walked me through the technique. I checked the saddle, stirrups, and reins. As I leapt upon the horse, it started to walk without my prompting. I was helplessly along for the – admittedly slow – ride.

    “Pull his mane,” Dar-Meena said. I did. The horse stopped moving, to my amazement. Perhaps controlling these creatures was not so difficult after all, though I presumed a trainer had done most of the hard work.

    “What now?” I asked, still knowing only three techniques: how to stop, how to mount, and how to be violently dismounted by gravity.

    Dar-Meena rode up beside me and took my horse’s rein into her hand. “We start slow. I’ll guide the horse along for a while and let you get a feel for it. Just relax and keep your shoulders back. He can tell if you’re tense, might make him fidgety.”


    Falura wore a bemused smile. “Surely you would not rank this mount as low as, say, a dragon?”

    “This is a close contender,” I replied. Root worms were higher on the list than these beasts. Those you ride by sitting inside their intestinal tracts.

    “They’ll be singing songs, you know, when all this is over and we’ve beaten the dragons,” Reinhardt chuckled. “Ah, the tale of the Chestnut horse! Vanquisher of oats and bane of the Dragonborn.”

    Dar-Meena gave a laugh and Falura simpered. I took the joking in stride. I had been uncertain of the future before; now it promised even more uncertainty.

    Uncertainty… and humiliation.

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25 Comments   |   Fallout Night likes this.
  • The Wing
    The Wing   ·  February 16, 2016
    Blaugh, I got to this really late. XP
    I love Chase's perspective. He is an interesting creature, and as his past unfolds he grows ever more enigmatic.
    Here are some typos I noticed:
    We can all cho[o]se to be better people...
    I lied...  more
  • Fallout Night
    Fallout Night   ·  February 9, 2016
    It's an honor to be seen as a motivation, for i am merely a member of the audience in this  fantastic show!
  • Okan-Zeeus
    Okan-Zeeus   ·  February 9, 2016
    Friend, I take that as a big compliment. Folks like you give me determination to keep going.  
  • Fallout Night
    Fallout Night   ·  February 8, 2016
    Thanks man! Can't wait for more! Is it bad that i kinda lurk around your page? I'm just really into the story.
  • Okan-Zeeus
    Okan-Zeeus   ·  February 8, 2016
    @Ebon + @Fallout
    Never got around to fixing it. Sidetracked and whatnot. Should be good now.
  • Fallout Night
    Fallout Night   ·  February 8, 2016
    I noticed that too! 
  • Ebonslayer
    Ebonslayer   ·  February 8, 2016
    Just read it again and noticed this.

    The young thief sighed and leaned her head into her first.

    First should probably be fist.
  • Teekus
    Teekus   ·  February 7, 2016
    Good chapter. I think there's some romance brewing between Chase and Dar-Meena. After all if Chase wants to ensure that the dragonborn bloodline continues he's gonna have to do something soon. I wonder what will happen once they get to Riverwood and meet ...  more
  • LokaCola
    LokaCola   ·  February 4, 2016
    That's a flaw of Chase I did not expect him to hav, which made it even more amusing, hehe. Great chapter as always!
  • Sindeed
    Sindeed   ·  February 1, 2016
    Good as always!