Alda'hirakam ghar Ara; Chapter 96

  • The crazed reaver came at him laughing for some blood lust. Teldryn grunted, changing his stance. He focused on the reaver. Judging the reaver’s poise, he was eager for battle, but if he had killed many the older mer wasn’t sure. There had been been such enemies before and those battles had still been challenging as his opponents were unpredictable. This one however was as easy to read as an open book. Perhaps he had not killed that many.

    The swings came which Teldryn swiftly dodged by stepping aside. He slashed out at the reaver, but the reaver blocked it with his axe and snarled at him.

    “So you’re the one everyone talks about - Teldryn the fucking legendary Sero.” Another snarl. “We’ll see how legendary you are, s’wit.”

    Teldryn grunted. He kept hearing that nickname from the reavers and bandits, but it was a old taunt already. He shifted and slashed out fast. It seems he’s trying to study me. I should end this quickly. The older mer slashed out again, keeping the young reaver on his toes. Just a while longer…

    The reaver tried to block the older mer’s attacks, but it was clear that he was getting tired from constant blocking and parrying. He hissed in frustration and poised himself for a furious counter-strike.

    Teldryn shifted aside and slashed at the reaver’s leg, then his right upper arm. The young reaver screamed as he fell on his side, bleeding and crying for his mother. He finished it with a thrust in the reaver’s neck.

    Then he turned to look at his partner, who was getting up. No complications on that side. Good. His eyes shifted toward the reaver with a bow who was being harassed by his flame atronach. He began to walk toward the reaver.

    Ciel’nn had cleaned his sword and sheathed it. He started with his dagger which he had used to kill the reaver rogue who had thought he was his rival. The battle had lasted for a few minutes before he got onto him, and stabbed  him in the neck. As he had stared into the reaver’s eyes through the chitin helm visor, Ciel’nn had felt something stirring inside him. He thought he knew what it was but he couldn’t say out loud.

    Ciel’nn took a deep breath as the adrenaline began to fade. He looked to Teldryn who was walking toward the last standing reaver, and smirked when he glanced at the reaver that his partner had killed. He’s so deadly when he gets serious. The best bladesman on Nirn. He let out a soft chuckle and turned to walk toward his partner.

    Once the flame atronach had vanished, the reaver dropped his bow, and began to run away from the two mers that approached him.

    Ciel’nn grunted in amusement and dashed after the escaping reaver. He knew his partner would follow him. The ash shifted beneath his feet as he ran. The chitin armor felt like a second skin to him, not slowing him down.


    “Look at them,” one Redoran Guard hissed.

    Ahead of the Bulwark, the reavers seemed to give space for three other reavers that were heading straight for the gate. Cheers and shouting rose from the reavers as if they were their champions. Tenaru frowned as she drank a magicka potion. This could be a very difficult battle. One of the reavers had a ebony war axe, another had an glass mace and the third one carried sword.

    Avoni signaled to Captain Veleth’s group. “There’s three well armed reavers coming to you soon!” She then looked to her archers. “Archers! Follow my lead!” She took her own bow and notched an ebony arrow. “Shoot in turns! Don’t give them a seconds rest!” She aimed at the reaver who had the ebony war axe. We have to stop them!

    Captain Veleth gritted his teeth and looked to his men. “Looks like this is it, men.” He noticed Brivan shifting in his place, fear flashing in his eyes. He shouldn’t be in this group. He’s too young to be in the front lines. “Brivan Methanil, if you want you can go to defend the hill side gate.” The Captain said.

    Brivan shook his head. “No, Captain. I’ve chosen to defend the front gate.” His voice was steady. “Let me defend the town.” He gripped his sword tighter and heard grunts from the the other Redoran Guards. I’m doing this for Tenaru and for the town.

    The captain sighed. “Very well. Prepare for the incoming. Take positions!”

    Ondren stared at the corpses of the fallen reavers. He had expected something else other than this small group. Guess I should be thankful for that. I wouldn’t want to be at the front gate when they break through it. He glanced at Raryn who leaned against the nearby barrel.

    “Do you think there’s more coming?” Raryn asked, holding his wounded shoulder.

    “We will see.” Helain Elms replied in a quiet tone, looking around them. Some of their guards had fallen, but their defensive group was still a force to reckon with. “Today we’re truly being tested.” He said quietly as he looked at the sky. The ash storm kept raging like it had no end coming at all. Azura have mercy.

    The two young mer looked at each other at that, not sure what to make of it.

    I can’t believe it.

    “I fucking can’t believe it!”

    The shaking slowly faded, but his heart still raced. Slitter swallowed and gulped some water from his waterskin. He closed his eyes for a moment, trying to calm his bewildered mind. He rubbed his temples.

    It had been a horrifying experience listening to a spirit that had came from the ash pit. It had talked to him. It had the nerve to say that he must go after the young mer. It had been something that the spirit hadn’t seen. Slitter grunted. He will hate me if I do. He might even kill me on sight.

    Slitter sighed. Still there had been an urgency in the spirit’s tone. What choice did he have? Surely, the young mer could handle things with the mercenary? He killed the Orc, didn’t he?

    But these are the reavers of ash. You know it, old mer. You know how they think, act… They’re ruthless. The kid may kill them but also die in doing so. Do you want that on your consciousness? He spared you and you sit here…

    Shut up! Just shut up!

    “I can’t believe I’m doing this.” Slitter muttered as he stood up. The Elder Othreloth was praying at the ash pit. He walked toward him.

    “I’m sorry, I…”

    The priest shifted, but he didn’t looked to the ex-criminal. “You do what you must do, child. Go with the Tribunal’s blessing.”

    Slitter frowned but nodded mostly to himself. He turned around and walked to a worn chest where he kept his old chitin armor and his battle axe.

    “I can’t believe I’m doing this.” He muttered as he began to don his armor.

    The young reaver screamed and struggled under Ciel’nn. He hissed as he tried to get a slash at his target. He then felt the mer weakening. His knife came down fast, a slash at the throat. Blood splashed on him. The young mer backed away and stood up, but he almost lost his balance as the adrenaline wore off.

    “I got you!” Teldryn grabbed his partner’s shoulders and steadied him. “There. I don’t think we’re on the wrong track.” He said, patting Ciel’nn’s shoulder. “This reaver was leading us  somewhere. See we’re off the main path.”

    Breathing heavily still, Ciel’nn looked around the area. He had no idea how long they’d been running after the reaver, but they were in a place he did not recognize. It didn’t matter as long as they’d reach Sildras. “Hopefully Sildras is somewhere nearby.” Ciel’nn finally said with a deep sigh. He then thought a moment and looked to his partner. “I have to tell you something, Teldryn.”

    The older mer looked to him with a frown. Has something changed? “Go on, Ciel’nn.”

    Ciel’nn averted his gaze. “I… Something in me is shifting. It’s… I…” He closed his eyes and bit his lip. “It’s dark, Teldryn.” His voice shifted. It was a fearful tone. The young mer opened his eyes and looked to Teldryn. “You said you’d be with me even if I choose something bad?”

    Teldryn stepped closer to him and embraced his partner. “I’ll be with you for whatever comes. For better or worse. I won’t leave your side, Ciel’nn.” He knew this was what Ciel’nn was afraid of the most.

    “When I looked into the rogue’s eyes, I felt something in me. I… I think I need it to survive.” Ciel’nn whispered. In his mind’s eye he found himself staring at the mer in blackened chitin armor. His inner strength.

    I have accepted it, Ciel’nn heard himself thinking and shivered briefly. It was scary as he didn’t know what he’d do if something would happen. He wrapped his arms tighter around Teldryn.

    “I think I know what you mean, but that will change nothing between us, Ciel’nn.” Teldryn hugged his partner tighter and rubbed his back, hoping it would calm his love’s mind.

    “Thank you, Teldryn.” Ciel’nn held his partner’s hand as he looked to the older mer. “I don’t know what’s ahead of us, but I’m glad I’m not facing it alone. I don’t want to be alone…”

    They continued their search for some time until they reached a hill where the snow line began, and the storm grew colder. The young mer looked around for footprints and other signs where the reavers might have come. The storm had erased most of the tracks, Ciel’nn found out.

    From the trees emerged a group of reavers. Ciel’nn counted at least ten of them, and all carried themselves as if they were veterans. He glanced at his partner. Their odds weren’t favorable at all.  No, it was dreadful at best. The young mer sighed. “They’ve seen us.” He’d rather be away from this island, but he felt something in stirring up.

    My blades rends their flesh…

    Teldryn patted his partner’s shoulder. “Remember everything I taught you and give them your piece of Oblivion.” He then looked into Ciel’nn’s eyes with all devotion and affection he had for him. “Whatever lies within you, daelha… Use it.” The older mer nodded when his partner’s lips parted in surprise. “Use it. Give no quarter to them.”

    Yes! They shall die!

    Ciel’nn wasn’t sure if he had actually heard the words or if he had imagined them. “Alright, Teldryn.” He heard himself saying, and getting his blades ready. His dagger was still poisoned, and the young mer smirked in delight. He turned his gaze toward the reavers that were rushing at them.

    Ciel’nn parried the first blow and returned it with a sharp slash at the reaver’s sword arm.  He kicked the mer down while he was distracted by the bleeding wound on his arm, and slashed at the throat. Surprised how fast it had happened, the young mer turned for the next target.

    He slashed at a reaver close to him. Not wasting time by watching his death gurgles as the poison did its work, Ciel’nn rushed toward another reaver who was making his way behind his companion. He let out a growl and leaped at the reaver with his dagger coming down in a curve. It slashed across the reaver’s throat.

    With Teldryn’s back secured, Ciel’nn moved onto the next reaver.  In the midst of delivering deaths he glanced at his partner who was as deadly as his name. It brought a brief smirk on the young mer’s lips.

    After a while when the last of the ten reavers lay dead, Ciel’nn and Teldryn took a breath. Although Ciel’nn felt like he would go on in his battle frenzy that was now fading. He looked around at the corpses of the reavers and was satisfied. Then he looked to Teldryn for injuries. If the older mer was in pain he didn’t show it. Ciel’nn studied his partner a moment longer. “Are you—”

    “I’m fine, Ciel’nn.” Teldryn said after a moment. He was glad that Ciel’nn hadn’t gotten any serious injuries. “That was really something. I wonder if they’re Sildras’ band. They sure— “ He stopped and frowned, his gaze shifted toward the tree line.

    “N’chow!” Ciel’nn cursed and added more curses as they watched more reavers coming. He frowned as one of them stopped to look at them, tilting his head. Behind the standing reaver came more and more reavers. Ciel’nn’s heart raced as he held his breath. By instinct he took a step back, nearly stumbling onto a dead reaver behind him. No! Too many of them!

    Teldryn cursed and turned to Ciel’nn. “Do you have your scroll with you?” Maybe, just maybe we have enough time… He was regarded by Ciel’nn’s fearful eyes. “What?” He heard his partner saying in a shaky tone. “The scroll Neloth gave you? Do you have it? Use it before they reach us!”

    “I think so.” Ciel’nn nearly threw his backpack down and began to search for the scroll. He couldn’t fathom how it would help their situation. He didn’t see any way out of it but fight and die. They were facing too many reavers. He found the scroll and pulled it out.

    “Hurry! We have to try whatever it has stored for us!” Teldryn had placed himself between the reavers and Ciel’nn, and prayed for the Tribunal.

    Ciel’nn turned toward the reavers, but stayed behind his partner. His hands tingled while he held the scroll. He was afraid to use it but had no choice. Another urgent call from his Teldryn, and he broke the seal. The power of the scroll sent a sensation through his body. A sensation he hadn’t experienced before. It scared him more as he rolled it open. His heart raced and was nearly exploding.

    Then words in daedric runes came to his mind and somehow he knew what to say.

    “I’m a descendant of Cirath Telvanni,
    I call the power of my ancestor,
    Obey the bond and be summoned,
    Before me!
    Kliksaath, hear my summons!”

    In an instant, daedric runes appeared around in  a circle, forming a protection circle, then the circle extended as a second line of runes in purple appeared. Both glowed as the summoning was finalizing, a portal opening. Then a loud growl as the Dremora Lord came from a portal. “I hate this! I shall kill everyone!” It snarled.

    Everyone was quiet.

    Teldryn didn’t dare to breath.

    Ciel’nn stared at the Dremora Lord before him. By Azura! She’s bigger than I remember, he thought his mouth open. He had hoped it would be something else. There was not knowing if she’d obey him. The young mer swallowed.

    “Oh! Little mortal.” Kliksaath regarded the young mer. “Still alive I see. It’s been a while.” She purred in delight. “Did you want something?” She shifted with a clink of her armor. The Dremora Lord ignored the reavers around them.

    “Kliksaath.” Ciel’nn found his voice again. “Kill the reavers.” He noted the shift the in circle of the reavers and hoped Teldryn would shift closer to him.

    A sly smirk spread across the Dremora Lord’s lips as she slowly turned around to regard the mass of reavers. Their fear tasted delicious. She’d take this command. “As you command, little mortal.” Kliksaath murmured as her hand went to her two-handed sword. Then she was slashing and gouging the reavers that tried to flee with their lives. She laughed at their futile attempt to fight back.

    Ciel’nn stared numb at the display of blood and gore before him. He still held the scroll in his hands. Such ancestor power. I never knew you, aunt, but your powers frighten me. He didn’t know if he would call the Dremora Lord his ally or not. The young mer didn’t want to deal with the Daedra. Not like this. Ciel’nn felt a touch on his arm and looked to his partner.

    “I think it’s best that we’ll go after Sildras now.” Teldryn nodded toward the tree line. “I think your… It keeps them busy.” He could tell his partner was shaken by the scroll. He couldn’t blame Ciel’nn, given what he has been through. To his relief, Ciel’nn nodded.

    Sildras…I’m coming for you!



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