Ruevar Thursh: The Lord of Defeat.

#1Jacket_Dac_00Posted 4/13/2011 3:49:34 PM
A tall, pale, muscle-bound man of nord ancestry, with shoulder-length light brown hair, sat at a table near the bar inside the Merchant’s Inn, in the Imperial City. He wore fur boots, greaves, and a huntsman’s vest, giving him a barbaric appearance.
With a frown, he read a letter he had found inside a nearby Ayleid ruin, which he had recently searched for anything of value he could sell. He hadn’t bothered to read it until now.
The letter had been written by a necromancer named Jalbert. It was addressed to someone in the Imperial Guard force named Aluc. In the letter, Jalbert the necromancer reassured Aluc that he was okay, and didn’t blame him for attempting to arrest him when he and his patrol happened to stumble upon Jalbert in the act of stealing limbs from the graveyard.
The necromancer thanked his friend in the Imperial guard for intentionally allowing him to escape.

The nord man, whose name was Ruevar Thursh, sighed in irritation and leaned back in his chair.
“We’re all doomed,” he whispered to himself.
On the table in front of him lay a stack of newspapers. The headline of one read “Assassination.”
The feature story of that paper was about the Emperor and his three heirs, all of whom had recently been assassinated.
Another headline read “Gray Fox, man or Myth?”
It covered a rumor that a master thief known as the Gray Fox was terrorizing the city with a large band of thieves called the Thieves Guild.
Ruevar Thursh looked across the bar at a Wanted poster near the inn’s front door. There was an illustration of the Gray Fox.
“People must be taking the rumor seriously,” Ruevar whispered to himself, “if they’re putting up Wanted posters with his cowled face on them.”
Yet another headline on another paper read “Night Mother Rituals.”
The main topic of that article was a guild of assassins called the Dark Brotherhood, and the gruesome ritual involved in summoning them; something that, according to the article, happened far too often.

Ruevar laid the letter down on the stack of papers in front of him and looked at a plate full of food on the table. He didn’t feel much like eating. He had just gotten out of the Imperial City prison, and found Cyrodiil, his home province, on the brink of destruction. The Imperial Legion was getting torn apart. It was full of corruption, like Jalbert’s friend Aluc, and an Imperial guard Ruevar had heard about who was going around the market district harassing shoppers and merchants.

With corruption in its own ranks, the Imperial Legion would have an even harder time finding and destroying the Dark Brotherhood, the Gray Fox, and the necromancers, who, it seemed, were growing more daring. From Jalbert the necromancer’s letter, it sounded like he had been digging up a graveyard in the Imperial City itself. And if a necromancer could get in and out of the city with a bag full of limbs and grave soil fresh on his boots, even if he did have a friend sabotaging the guard force’s efforts, what else could be happening right under the Legion’s nose?
The Emperor and his three sons had all been assassinated, the Dark Brotherhood seemed to be finding good business, and if the rest of the necromancers were as audacious as Jalbert, that meant bad news for the Mages Guild, and probably everyone else.
“Of course,” Ruevar reminded himself, “this is just one necromancer. No need to worry."
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#2Jacket_Dac_00(Topic Creator)Posted 4/13/2011 3:54:59 PM
With another sigh, the nord got up from the table and went upstairs to the room he had rented. Lying on his bed was pair of fur gauntlets, an iron cuirass and an iron shield.
The shield had a few dents in it, one of which was caused by a reanimated skeleton swinging an axe at it. Ruevar Thursh had destroyed the skeleton and killed the man who had raised it from the dead; Jalbert the Necromancer, in the ayleid ruin Ruevar had plundered in search of valuable things to sell.
He needed to do that because his money hadn’t been returned to him when he was released from prison a few days earlier. The guard had claimed that Ruevar didn’t have any money when he was arrested. The nord knew that wasn’t true, but he could do nothing about it.
He had to raise more money. Luckily, the spoils of his recent dungeon-delving had filled his pockets with coin.

The rest of the dents in his shield were caused by two graverobbers Ruevar had caught in the act of robbing the Trentius family mausoleum the day earlier. Ruevar wasn’t a man to ignore injustice; if he saw someone in trouble, or a crime being committed, he helped.
By profession, he was a Fighters Guild mercenary. As a hobby, he was a vigilante. It was this dangerous lifestyle that had landed him in prison.
While on a Fighters Guild mission in the Imperial City, he had been confronted by a corrupt guardsman who demanded he pay a fine for a crime he hadn’t committed. When Ruevar denied having done anything wrong, the guard had attacked, and Ruevar had killed him.
Despite several witnesses and friends claiming Ruevar was innocent and killed the guard in self-defense, the nord had been arrested.

Fresh out of prison, he was eager to resume working to help Cyrodiil’s citizens in any way he could. Despite the corruption, he loved Cyrodiil and all of its towns, but none more than Bruma, the northernmost town in Cyrodiil, just south of the Skyrim border. The town in which he grew up.
“But I fear,” he whispered to himself, “it won’t be there much longer.”
Whispering to himself instead of thinking was a habit he had picked up in his lonely prison cell.
“Corruption within the Legion, a guild of assassins, the Emperor and his heirs assassinated, possibly by the Dark Brotherhood… Rumors of a master thief, a necromancer who can sneak into the heart of Cyrodiil and steal from its cemetery, graverobbers operating right next to the heavily guarded White Gold Tower…
He drifted off to sleep mumbling to himself about the various threats to his home. His dreams were full of chaos. In a few hours, he lost a thousand battles, and awoke early in the morning in a cold sweat.
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#3Jacket_Dac_00(Topic Creator)Posted 4/13/2011 3:58:34 PM
The road to his hometown was tough. It was uphill most of the way, and it was cold, though the cold didn’t bother the nord, who had spent most of his childhood in the north. Of course, he had a little bit of help tolerating the freezing temperature from his fur boots, greaves, and gauntlets. His furry huntsman vest, however, left his muscular arms and chest mostly bare. Over his vest he wore his iron cuirass, which didn’t cover much of his arms.

His return to the snow-covered town of Bruma wasn’t quite as wonderful as he had expected. Firstly, he discovered that his house had been repossessed and was up for sale.
Secondly, there was no welcoming party. He had plenty of friends here, and he was sure they would know he had been released from prison a few days ago, but after loitering outside what used to be his house for an hour, no one he knew stopped to talk to him. A few people waved and said “welcome back,” or “I’ve missed you,” and then continued on with their business.

“They repossessed it, after all I’ve done for them,” Ruevar mumbled to himself, while fighting back tears and staring into the window of what used to be his home; pressing his forehead up against the glass. “I’ve aided the Bruma guard force in seven raids on bandit encampments. I’ve hunted down two murderers, and ran into a burning building to save a guardsman’s infant son. This is how they thank me for my selfless service to the town I grew up in?”
He was staring hard at the reflection of his own eyes in the window. He heard a cracking sound and the image distorted; his forehead was pushing too hard on the glass, but in his furious, self-pitying trance he barely noticed. Cracks appeared in a web-like pattern, and then his bloodshot eyes shattered to reveal a dark, sad-looking room beyond them.
Ruevar decided to leave before a guard saw him standing by a broken window.

“My mage staff was in there,” he mumbled as he walked to the inn by the gate; Olav’s Tap and Tack. “And the sword my father gave me, my ceremonial shield, my books, the skull of the first wolf I killed… All probably auctioned off.”
When he reached the inn he stopped reflecting on his losses and searched for Olav the innkeeper, saw him at the back of the room and approached him.
He heard a few people in the corner talking about a man he knew called Bradon. Apparently he was a vampire and had been killed by a vampire hunter.
“Vampires infiltrating the towns,” he whispered, feeling yet another pang of sadness, this time at the loss of a friend. “Wonder how long he’s been one.”
He bought some food and rented a room from the innkeeper. He wolfed down a steak, then went to his room and rested, wondering what he was going to do.
“See if the guilds have thrown me out for getting arrested, I suppose. If not, I’ll do some work for them. Maybe I can buy my house back after a few… a few years.”
His dreams were chaotic and demoralizing.
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#4Jacket_Dac_00(Topic Creator)Posted 4/14/2011 4:43:35 PM
Having no home in Bruma, and not enough money to stay in the inn for very long, Ruevar headed toward the town of Chorrol, southwest of Bruma and northwest of the Imperial City, situated in a bright, cheerful forest. It was there that he planned to get a contract from the Fighters Guild to earn some money.
The inside of the Chorrol Fighters Guild hall was more or less like he remembered it. Wooden floors, stone walls, and looking about as cheerful as any place filled with armed mercenaries possibly could.
Across the room, he saw his superior, a dark elf named Modryn, speaking to someone Ruevar didn’t recognize. He heard a little bit of their conversation while waiting to speak with Modryn. It seemed someone called Maglir had defaulted on a contract, left the fighter’s guild, and joined something called “The Blackwood Company.” Modryn paid the stranger for taking care of Maglir’s contract.
Ruevar approached when the stranger left, and requested a contract. He wasn’t offered an official contract from his superior, but rather some private work that Modryn didn’t want to discuss in the guild hall. He told Ruevar to meet him in his house after sundown.
Walking outside, Ruevar searched for the sun. It was nearing the horizon; darkness wasn’t far off.

Wandering around town, chatting with people, listening to other people’s conversations to kill time, Ruevar heard little news. He was worried that his fears would be further justified, but the worst he heard was that a local argonian girl had disappeared, and something had been stolen from the Countess.

Modryn was waiting inside his home for Ruevar, and didn’t bother with greetings, he cut right to the chase. He gave the nord some information about the Blackwood Company; a group of honorless mercenaries who were somehow upstaging the Fighters Guild. Modryn wasn’t sure what the secret of their efficiency was.
“All I know for sure,” he said, “Is that they’ll accept any contract, and they’re good at what they do.”
He went on to talk about a contract he had failed to complete, which the Blackwood company had apparently completed after he’d given up on it. The contract, given by a mage named Argoth, was to recover an artifact from a man called Azani Blackheart.
“I snooped around,” Modryn said. “Argoth was killed, the artifact stolen.”
He made clear his suspicion that the Blackwood company hadn’t really killed Azani Blackheart, but instead made a deal with him.
“You mean,” Ruevar asked, “you think they convinced him to let them give the artifact to Argoth, and told him where to find Argoth so he could get his revenge and get the artifact back after Argoth pays them for getting it for him?”
They made plans to meet at the Leyawiin guild hall, which was closest to Blackheart’s fortress. Modryn was hoping that searching the place would shed some light on what really happened, and Ruevar, true to his nature, was all too eager to help.
Feel free to comment or ask questions.
#5Jacket_Dac_00(Topic Creator)Posted 4/14/2011 4:44:44 PM
The next morning, after spending the night in an inn, he bought some reading material for the road and began his journey south.
Shortly after leaving Chorrol behind, while walking through an old fort ruin and reading a copy of the book, “Guide to Leyawiin,” since he wasn’t very familiar with that city, a khajiit in fur armor approached him. Light iron shield at the ready, one hand on the hilt of his one-hand mace, he offered Ruevar a choice; “Your money or your life.”
For a moment, Ruevar couldn’t believe this was happening. Not that he wasn’t used to his life being in danger, but he was wearing fur armor and an iron cuirass, had an iron shield on his left arm, and an iron longsword in a sheath at his hip. He didn’t think highwaymen were daring enough to challenge someone who appeared to be evenly matched with them. He thought this one must be getting desperate. Either that or he’s an idiot, or very confident in his own abilities.
Ruevar slowly closed his book and stuffed it into his pack. Then he quickly reached for his sword. The khajiit drew his mace and swung it at the nord’s head. He blocked the blow with his shield, then thrust it into the khajiit’s face. He staggered back with blood dripping out of his nose.
Ruevar, sword now drawn, lobbed off the khajiit’s mace hand, then he thrust the knuckles of his sword hand into his opponent’s chest and released a blast of frigid magic. The highwayman screamed in agony at both the loss of his hand, and the magical ice searing his flesh. After a moment of suffering, he crumpled to the ground, his body having given in to the shock of a loss of a limb, the pain of ice burns, and the dramatic and dangerously rapid change in body temperature.
“One less criminal,” Ruevar said to himself, while wiping his blade off on the dead highwayman’s fur cuirass. “I’ll do better than that.”
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#6Jacket_Dac_00(Topic Creator)Posted 4/15/2011 7:17:06 PM
He finished reading “Guide to Leyawiin” long before passing the Imperial City. The book was a bunch of racist filth. Its author, AlessiaOttus, called the provinces of Elseweyr and Black Marsh “savage and uncivilized.” Though Ruevar had never been to either of those places and couldn’t argue with that claim, the author went on to insult argonians, khajiits, and orcs throughout the rest of the guide. She blamed what she called the “raffish rabble of Argonian and Khajiit descent” for keeping Leyawiin from being a pleasant and safe place to visit.
She also seemed to go out of her way to express surprise that an orc owned a bookshop in town, and point out the fact that it stocked multiple copies of a religious book appropriate for those who were “adapted to the meanest understanding.”
Ruevar held onto the book, planning to throw it into the Niben when he reached it.

He spent a few nights at a few different roadside inns and settlements, until he finally reached Bravil, an old town of soggy, weather-beaten wood sitting right on the edge of Niben Bay.
Walking toward the Fighters Guild hall, he heard some people talking about a missing person.
Inside the hall, he rooted through a few chests and barrels and weapon racks in the main room. He was pleased to find a silver longsword, and replaced his iron one with it.
He stayed one night in the Bravil hall, sold some things including his old iron sword the next day, and continued on his journey after taking a quick detour to the edge of Niben Bay. He hurled his “Guide to Leyawiin” as far as he could throw it. It opened and tumbled through the air like a crazed bird and pages flew out of it before it landed in the water.
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#7Jacket_Dac_00(Topic Creator)Posted 4/17/2011 12:40:14 AM(edited)
Upon arriving at Leyawiin, a town situated in a swampy region of southern Cyrodiil, Ruevar was given a chance to help the Legion and its citizens. Not unusual, but always welcome.
A guard outside the gate, seeing his armor and sword, asked him to collect on a criminal’s bounty. The guard couldn’t do it himself, because said criminal, a skooma dealer, always ran when his lookout told him a guard was approaching.
This was something Ruevar had done many times before; approach the place in a casual manner, he could look like a potential buyer, the dealer wouldn’t run. When he gets inside, he kills everyone unless they surrender. If they surrender, he hauls them back to town where they will be imprisoned.

It was no different this time. He pushed open the door of the little house in which the dealer and his lookout were staying, out in the marshes of County Leyawiin, just a short walk from town.
The criminals, a dunmer and a nord, watched him enter, claymores drawn.
Ruevar drew his sword the moment he entered and the dealers attacked. His shield and shield arm held up against the blows of two claymores, and then he quickly stabbed one of the dealers in the leg. His torso wouldn’t be a good target for a blade, as he had an iron cuirass on, but all of his limbs were fair game. He lost one of them to Ruevar’s blade, then another before the dunmer managed to swing his giant blade again. It was blocked again by Ruevar’s shield.
The dunmer was wearing full chainmail, it would be hard to get a blade through it. Instead, Ruevar slammed his sword hand’s knuckles into the dealer’s gut and sent a blast of searing frost across his body. The dealer doubled over, and Ruevar thrust his sword into his opponent’s pointed blue ear. It came out the other ear.

(I probably should have marked spoilers in the topic title. There will be big spoilers later)
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#8Jacket_Dac_00(Topic Creator)Posted 4/17/2011 11:25:47 AM
Back at the gate, he showed the guard the dealer’s ring and collected on the bounty, then headed inside the town of Leyawiin feeling rather pleased with himself.
Sure, Cyrodiil was in serious trouble, but it might turn out okay. Ruevar Thursh would work to make it all better.
“Plenty of problems,” he muttered, while searching around for the Fighters Guild hall, “Assassins, no emperor, no heirs, Fighters Guild has competition, honorless competition that seems to be winning the struggle for superiority, and… and the guild can’t even give me a real contract because it’s so obsessed with it’s competitor… But… I can help…”

He met up with Modryn at the local Fighters Guild hall and they set out to the Ayleid ruin of Arpenia; Blackheart’s fortress. It was a short, uneventful hike out of town. The swamp air was thick and smelled funny, but Ruevar ceased to notice it after just a short while.

They reached the ruin and headed inside. It was almost pitch black inside; Ruevar used a light spell to make his skin emanate a ghostly green glow. They used it to traverse the dark tunnels.
Ruevar had plundered several Ayleid ruins in his time. As far as ruins usually went, this one was rather small. It ended in a large chamber. The magical glow didn’t reach the back of it. He and Modryn had to walk toward the darkness, weapons drawn, waiting for an attack; though it seemed unlikely that if anyone lived here, they would do so in darkness. The nord was fairly sure that they would find no one here.

His hunch was confirmed when the back wall of the chamber came into view. They were alone. Azani Blackheart was gone.
Modryn suggested that he may have moved his base of operations to a nearby ruin. It seemed a long shot; after all, if Blackheart wanted to move, it would probably be because he knew that his current location was known and he didn’t want people to find him. Why would he move to the second place someone was likely to look for him?
But, having no other ideas, Ruevar Followed Modryn to the ruin known as Atatar. The trek there was long and miserable, it had begun raining when they were in Arpenia. By the time they arrived at Atatar, they were both drenched and Ruevar’s fur armor smelled.
Feel free to comment or ask questions.
#9Jacket_Dac_00(Topic Creator)Posted 4/17/2011 11:30:32 AM
The first creatures they found in the ruin were dead. A few rats, which appeared to have been mutilated by something that hated them, but did not want to eat them. Most likely, people.

After creeping through the dark ruin, dimly lit by glowing crystals, they saw the silhouette of a person up ahead, against a strangely glowing mist. Not bothering to try and sneak up on the person, they approached at a quick walk.
When the person, an altmer, was able to see them clearly by the light of the mist, she drew her bow and nocked an arrow, but was too late to fire; Ruevar’s sword had impaled her stomach.
The two guild fighters found themselves on a balcony, overlooking a large room full of the glowing mist, and when the altmer woman screamed in pain and shock before Modryn covered her mouth, someone inside the chamber looked up and saw them. He drew a weapon and ran toward the stairs leading to the balcony. Ruevar and Modryn met him there, and Modryn’s spiked mace turned the side of the bandit’s head into mush, and nearly took the intact half of his face with it.

They met and killed a few more bandits while trekking through the dark ruin. Some time later, they found themselves on another balcony, overlooking another large, dark chamber, in which Ruevar could make out the figures of at least two people.
The balcony stretched along two walls of the chamber, but there was no visible way down to the chamber, just another hallway that led into total darkness. They were about to head toward it when someone in the chamber below spotted them and called out to the other person.
Ruevar and Modryn ran for the hallway, which turned out to be a staircase to a lower level, now in more danger. Not only did they not know what was down there, but they were now being hunted.
They descended the stairs at a run, Ruevar casting another light spell, and found themselves wading through shin-deep water.
At the edge of the light spell, mudcrabs the size of a man’s torso appeared, skittering toward them. They ran as best they could through the flooded hallway, Modryn beating the crabs back with his mace.
At the end of the hall was a staircase taking them higher up, out of the water.
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#10Jacket_Dac_00(Topic Creator)Posted 4/17/2011 11:32:49 AM
After the terror of wading through a dark tunnel flooded with shallow water, surrounded by monsters with claws and too many legs, the scene that met them at the top of the stairs came as a surreal shock. A small, candle-lit room, and a bookshelf full of books.
It was peaceful, comfortable. For a moment, Ruevar couldn’t believe it was real.

Remembering that they had a job to do, the nord led the way out of the room through an archway. Ahead of them was a gate, and past that was a dark room. Ruevar’s light spell had worn off, but there was a source of light somewhere out of sight, illuminating the dark figure of an armored man with a claymore strapped to his back. He wasn’t looking at them.
Ruevar pushed the gate open and he and Modryn crept up behind the man. The sound of their armor plates scraping together gave them away; the man, a redguard, turned around and drew his claymore.
Ruevar cast his light spell and Modryn swung at the redguard’s head. He parried the blow and took a shot at the dunmer.
Ruevar swung his sword at the redguard’s arm and missed, but Modryn’s mace collided with his opponent’s armored chest, staggering him. Ruevar took another swing and his sword bit into the redguard’s elven breastplate, but not deeply enough. He yanked the blade out and was hit in the face by the hilt of his opponent’s claymore, but he’d given Modryn an opening. His mace caved in the top of the redguard’s head and he crumpled. The spiked mace took some of his hair with it.

Modryn took a ring off the redguard’s finger, informing Ruevar that this was Azani Blackheart. He would use this ring to prove that the Blackwood Company didn’t complete the contract as it had claimed to.
As this wasn’t an official contract, Modryn couldn’t pay Ruevar for his help, but the valuable artifact Azani Carried, that the mage Argoth had wanted, happened to be his claymore, which was fair game. Ruevar took it, planning to sell it later.
He and Modryn made their way out of Atatar. They never came across the bandits who had seen them on the balcony.
Feel free to comment or ask questions.