June 10, 2013 at 5:12 PM #1107
Jone and Jode had gone through one cycle since I was incarcerated. My days settled into a routine. During the day, the Thalmor interrogators would take me down to the cells and attempt to get information out of me.
They tried lightning, frost, and fire, but all I would give the interrogators was a badly off-key version of Song of the Dragonborn. They all despised the song. I’d gained several new scars all over my body due to my insolence. Thankfully though, S’rendarr the Runt protected me from the worst of the pain.
Sheggorath only knew what the constant injuries did to my mind. I knew I was going mad, but some part of me remained sane enough to recognize and hide the madness.
Evenings were an entirely different matter. After my daily torture sessions, I was dressed in my prisoner’s clothes, and then I ate dinner with Elenwen, a battle of wits every night. She would ask me similar questions as her interrogators, but they always went in a roundabout way.
These battles of wits became an interesting game about how little could I give away to get as much as I wanted to know. I always left feeling like I’d given away more than I wanted her to know.
Tonight was no different than any other.
“Enjoy your day of toying with Nordic politics, Lady Elenwen?” I said, stabbing my food with a fork. The Thalmor never let me have a knife.
“I always wonder how you come out of those sessions with your wits intact, Sol’Dar,” the Altmer replied, using my surname.
I smiled a politician’s smile, one I’d seen many times on my father’s face. “Those? Your wizards must be weaker than you believe, Elenwen.”
“Hmn, or you’re stronger than I suspected. I’ll tell them to use stronger spells.”
“And yet I always comes back still perfectly sane,” I said in the Falkreath cadence I’d learned from Brynjolf. I constantly changed accents during the conversations, mostly to annoy her but also to practice.
“The Eight must be protecting you somehow.” Her face was in deep concentration. She’d had her interrogators increase their spell strength seven times in the past lunar month, yet Skooma Cat hadn’t fully blessed me with his curse.
“I believe you mean the Nine.” Frey’s northern Skyrim accent.
“Talos is a false god.”
“Some would say the Daedra are false gods. Those who do are usually struck down by whatever one they offended.” Sheggorath’s odd lilt I could never place.
“Who is your red-haired Nord friend that escaped?” She was suddenly very intense, compared to the previous bit of conversation.
I stared her down and snorted. I would never give away anything about my friend. “Switching topics, Elenwen? As if this one could be caught off guard like that.” A full Elsweyr accent.
Her reply was cut off by a dragon’s roar. Elenwen stood up and went to the window. “My archers and wizards are already dealing with it.”
“They won’t kill it,” I remarked, falling back to my own voice. “Only the Dragonborn can.”
“The Dragonborn is a lie the Nords tell themselves to make themselves feel better.”
I chuckled. “If you insist.”
The dragon roared again. I could now make out the words he was Shouting. Yol Toor Shul, the Fire Breath Shout. One of Frey’s favorites. He shouted again, and I revised my pronoun usage.
“That’s a female dovah,” I murmured. Far more vicious and deadly than her male cousins. Those Thalmor wouldn’t have an easy time getting rid of her.
“What was that, Khajiit?” Elenwen demanded.
I smiled. “A far greater challenge than your mer suspect.”
She strode over to me. “And you think you can defeat it.”
I casually nodded. “Alkosh protects me.”
She sneered. “If you think your Dragon Cat will protect you…”
I stood, impressed that she would actually let me take on the dragon. She directed me to the roof.
“I would suggest staying behind, Elenwen.”
She watched me from behind a powerful ward as I approached the dragon. The dragon hadn’t noticed me yet.
“Rahjin guide me, Alkosh protect me, Baan Dar save me,’” I prayed under my breath. I breathed deeply and called out, “Drem, yol, lok, briinah!”
The dovah whirled around. “Kaazze mindok dovah?” she asked me.
I snorted. Of course I knew Draconic if I was talking in it to her. Doesn’t matter if I’m a Khajiit or not. “Geh, although Tamrielic is easier for me.”
“Wo kos kaaz?”
“Zu’u Ziitafiir.” My name was difficult to translate into Draconic, but Spirit-Thief was close, if not a truly Draconic name.
“Zu’u Yolkoordun.” Fire-Summer-Grace.
“Why are you here?”
Yolkoordun struggled to find the Tamrielic words. “Zu’u here to help Dovahkiin find Dovahsos.”
I nodded. “Zu’u Dovahsos, briinah.” Frey clearly hadn’t forgotten about me, if he sent a dragon to help me.
“Zu’u daughter of Paarthurnax, not hin briinahi.”
“Yolkoordun, will you kill the fahliil and help me?”
“Geh.” She soared off and resumed her rampage through the Thalmor soldiers. I grinned and turned to face Elenwen.
“You… you’re the Dragonborn…” she whispered, my long ears barely catching it.
“Wrong, Elenwen. WULD NAH!” I Shouted. The force of my Shout moved me behind Elenwen. I summoned an Oblivion blade and swung at her. She parried with her own blade. “I’m Dragonblood, but not the Dragonborn. That honor belongs to my red-headed Nord friend.”
The look of surprise on her face was priceless. I created a ward with my other hand just as she fired a thunderbolt at me.
“TIID KLO UL!” I Shouted, slowing time down for Elenwen. I shoved my Oblivion blade in her stomach just as time went back to normal.
She looked down, and I grinned. “Too slow, Elenwen.” She slashed wildly, and I easily blocked it with a ward. I pulled my own blade out of her, and she fell to her knees.
“Coward. A stomach wound is a dishonorable way to kill an enemy.”
I paused. “The name, Altmer, is Loki Dar’Renrij, Landless Thief, formerly Lok’nir Sol’Dar, Soul-Thief. I am the last of the Commanders of the Dar’Jo Army, the Senche-Raht son of the Cathay-Raht Lok’nir Ri’Dar, the most respected thief in Elsweyr, as well as Lord of the Mane’s Chosen and High Commander of the Dar’Jo Rebellion, and the Dagi Anarkis Jo’Khaj, the Desert Mage and the ironically named Lady of the Tenmar Forest. I am Dovahsos and Ziitafiir. I am the Champion of Shegorrath, Merrunz, and Azurah.” I leaned in closed, my voice a low and threatening growl. “But, most importantly, I am not a coward. Zu’u ni nivahriin. I do not give my friends away. I do not let others do my work for me.
“You, however, you do. May you never see the Aetherius, and may S’rendarr grant you no mercy.”
I turned and left her to die as I searched through the Embassy Barracks in search of my true sword, my dagger, my armor, and my bow.
I retrieved them and pulled my armor on, stripping off the burlap clothes in exchange for the familiar Siligonder Chitin armor. The white magic burst and the black arrow of the Dar’Jo greeted me as a old friend.
On went my arrows and my swordbelt, Tafiirzinyah‘s familiar weight bumping against my left leg. My tail swung slowly in happiness as I made my way outside, firing arrows at the cowardly Thalmor who stayed inside while Yolkoordun was out there.
“YOLKOORDUN!” I shouted, calling for the dovah.
“Here, Dovahsos,” she said as she landed in front of me.
“WULD!” I Shouted to get up on her back, and she took off, soaring towards the Throat of the World.
“Loki!” I heard Frey shout as Yolkoordun landed at the Throat of the World.
I slid off the female dragon. “Thank you, Yolkoordun. Lok, Thu’um.”
“Lok, Thu’um, Ziitafiir.” She flew off into the night.
Frey came up from behind me and grabbed me in a hug that felt like it came from a cave bear. “By Talos, I thought you’d never come back.”
“Baan Dar saved me, with the help of the dragon.”
He let me down gently. “Did they hurt you at all?”
“A little,” I said, showing some of my more visible scars. “Nothing permanent, and only a few signs of madness. S’rendarr had mercy.”
Frey snorted. “You were crazy enough anyways, Loki.”
The two of us walked towards a Word Wall at the top of the mountain. “Gods, I missed you,” we said simultaneously.
A dragon landed out of the sky, and I jumped back, startled.
“Relax, Loki. This is Paarthurnax,” Frey said, calming me down. “He’s taught me a lot in the past month.”
“Drem, yol, lok, Ziitafiir,” the elderly dragon greeted.
“Drem, yol, lok,” I replied. “Yolkoordun is your daughter?”
The dragon nodded. “In a sense, geh. That matters not. Dovahkiin, tell your friend what happened.”
I turned to Frey.
“I got an Elder Scroll while you were gone, and I learned a new Shout from it. I fought Alduin, although he escaped before I could defeat him.”
“A bloody Elder Scroll,” I swore. I’d heard of the legends before, but Frey had actually seen one.
Frey reached into his pack and pulled out a huge and ornate scroll. The Elder Scroll.
“Here, Loki. You’ll need to learn Dragonrend if we want to defeat Alduin.”
I nodded and reached for the Scroll. I hesistated, though, and pulled my hand back. “I think I need some time to myself, first, Frey.”
My Nord friend looked heartbroken, but he nodded. “I understand.”
“You must hurry, young ones,” Paarthurnax said. “Alduin is growing stronger, even after the Dovahkiin’s near-victory. You must plan on how to reach Sovngarde to defeat him.”
We nodded together. Frey took me by the shoulder and led me down to High Hrothgar to rest.
I collapsed on a bed in my armor, truly resting for the first time in over a month.
I knew it couldn’t last.
June 14, 2013 at 8:44 PM #1124
Dear god never have a better story than this in my life.
Khajiit will smell you coming, or, he might not...June 15, 2013 at 11:10 AM #1125
This is great stuff. Akitcougar is a very good writer.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.