Ebony and Snow Chapter 1 Part 2

Vilja’s incessant groans and retching accompanied the party all the way to the walls of Whiterun. THe night’s indulgences had caught up with the Nord to the mirth of her companions. Zora in particular teased her no end, calling her a milk drinker and at one point offering to remove Vilja’s headache with her sword!!! It was with great aplomb that the lady from Solstheim claimed to all and sundry that she was done with all manner of mead and ale!!!

The midday sun warmed a crisp day out in the Tundra. The party deployed itself with Deanthala taking the point, Lydia and Zora on the flanks while the hungover VIlja brought up the rear. They waded through the knee high tundra grass, its brown hues hiding the party from unfriendly eyes. The roar of mammoths could be heard from the nearby camps while the distant thuds of gigantic footsteps could be felt on the floor.

Amid the bushes they came upon a grisly scene. A bray horse lay gutted, well they actually smelt it before they saw it. Alongside the horse the body of a man lay eviscerated from one end of its abdomen to the other. The edges of the festering wound were a very unhealthy shade of green, a sure sign of a poisoned blade according to the nonplussed Zora. A bloody trail led off to the West and several meters into the bush another body was found. This time a Breton female. She wore a hooded mask and clad in light yet very supple leather armour. A search of the corpse produced a bandolier full of murky liquids, different shades of cloudy greens and reds, Zora once again confirmed their venomous nature (how did she have such an intimate knowledge of the assassin’s art?). Clearly the man was the intended victim but judging by the assassin’s neck he was no pushover as the dead Breton sported a deep cut that was caked with dried blood. Deana claimed the poisonous vials, as a budding alchemist she intended to study their composition.

View of the poison vials, courtesy of the Bandolier – Bags and Pouches Mod.

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They carried on pressing West, their state of alert heightened by the grisly discovery. Their destination, the Shrine to Zenithar was indeed overrun by Mudcrabs of a rather large disposition and a half eaten pilgrim in the Shrine’s immediate area clear evidence of the crustacean’s claim to the shrine.

The party wasted no time in charging in with blade and spell, a somewhat hasty move as Deana herself was to evidence as she received a very painful snip from an overly large pincer that easily sliced through her fur armour. An instant later she felt her skin tingle as a blue light shimmered around her slight frame. The smell of ozone precluded a spell of protection had been cast on her, no doubt Zora’s handiwork. A timely action as a second pincer sliced at her only to appear to bounce off her ethereal armour. A concentrated assault eventually saw all the mudcrabs seen too and they feasted on a hearty meal of roasted crab meat, after paying their respects to Zenithar of course.

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Ebony and Snow Chapter 1 Part 1

She slowly released her breath, released the grip on the longbow in her hands and felt the rush of air as the arrow sped towards the large wolf. The creature was already panting heavily, the left side of its snout a bloody mess thanks to Zora’s two handed sword. The wooden shaft travelled true, its iron point piercing sinew and bone to impale itself in the beast’s heart. It gave one last beat then gave out. The wolf collapsed in a heap, twitched one last time and settled into a puddle of its lifeblood that grew beneath it.

‘Great shot Deana,’ chirped Vilja. Her perfect countenance marred by three deep claw marks across her left cheek.

‘Bah. Get in close next time,’ barked Zora. ‘Get your hands dirty elf!’ A blue shimmering was testament to a protective spell she had cast on herself wearing off as she kneeled down by the wolf’s corpse and drew her hunting knife ready to skin the beast.

‘Big un aint it,’ said Deanthala. ‘Hunters Guild in Whiterun wasn’t lying.’ Indeed it was not and it was on a commission for that guild that Deanthala and her companions had been scouring the hills above Riverwood for the better part of the morning. A bounty had been posted in the Guild in The Drunken Huntsman in response to the people of Riverwood’s plea to rid the area of a large wolf preying on livestock. They had been able to corner the beast against the mountain side high above the village and would now be returning victorious.

Drinks in The Sleeping Giant were courtesy of Orgnar, having had lost his horse to the wolf. The beast’s pelt was displayed for all to see and an very inebriated Vilja fell off the bar while dancing ‘like they do in Solsthiem!

(OT She actually does this when plied with drink).

Deana sat in a corner and updated her Journal. Not knowing much of her Past she had promised herself a record of her Present, a way of not losing herself. She her noted some other bounties the Hunter’s Guild had posted. Her need to feel part of something made her want to support the Guild and if that meant these menial tasks then so be it.

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It seemed a little mud crab clearing would be in order in a shrine dedicated to Zenithar in the tundra to the West of Whiterun. Vilja’s drunken singing took her attention away from her journal and she could not help but join in with the raucous clapping that accompanied the Nord woman’s songs.

OT – I am using the Hunting in Skyrim mod by B1gBadDaddy to get the Hunter’s Guild

Ebony and Snow Prelude

Deanthala…a name that seems more Altmer than Dunmer, not surprising as she was brought up by two of the golden skinned elves not by her own ebony skinned people.

She doesn’t know much of her own Past. Yes she has heard snippets of a shipwreck in the Sea of Ghosts. Of a cradle being washed up on some distant shore. Her earliest memories are of cold air, mountain pines and deep snow. Kind golden eyes, so polar opposite to her own violet orbs. Violet hues that are also mirrored in her hair, contrasting exquisitely with the ebony tinge of her native skin. A village, thatched roofs, a small cottage set just outside the human community. A small cottage she returns to one day from the Wilds to find blood and torn bodies. Golden eyes now dark and dead, having lost their spark. Strange arrows strewn across the cottage walls, more blood inside flowing from a deeply cut throat.

Numb, speechless, cold, empty. No one wants to help the dark elf. The humans turn insular, the word ‘Forsworn’, she is turned away. Barely having come of age she returns to the blood spattered cottage and tries to give her parents – a funny concept to her but these Altmer were the only ones she knew – as much dignity as possible in death.

Being a child of the Northern Woods she turns to them for comfort learning first to survive and then thrive in the harsh Skyrim climate. Her bow her best friend, the stars her canopy, the forest her home. She hears about the Forsworn, about their struggle but she only wants revenge. She travels ever Southwards, a place Whiterun – a great hold with great opportunities – great forest, tall and warm.

She keeps to the woods and forests, to what she knows. Whiterun seems the largest place in the world to her. Walls of stone, a large palace atop a majestic hill – so many people. The weeks alone have made her nervous yet as the days pass she welcomes company again. A majestic beauty going by the name of Vilja befriends her in a tavern she had been staying at called the Bannered Mare. Together they begin to travel the lands around Whiterun. Her strong violet locks contrasting with the Nordic blonde of her companion.

They rescue another Nord seemingly trapped in Brittleshin Pass by some Necromancers. On odd native of Riverwood called Zora Fair-Hand. For lack of anything better to do she agrees to become a shield companion to Deanthala and Vilja. A third Nord, a woman named Lydia in the employ of the Jarl also joins their party as they seek adventure and fame. For the first time Deana, as they call her, experiences companionship and fellowship. A sense of belonging in this land of contrasts…

Ebony and Snow. Deana and Vilja

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OT I am using Vilja in Skyrim Mod, Interesting NPC’s and UFO to allow the variety in followers and to allow me to construct some sort of adventuring party. I will reference any mods that will have an impact on the direct storyline.