Location:- Broken Tower Redoubt.
Date:- 2E 581 First Seed Sundas 15th/16th
Midnight had arrived as Delte and Volk scaled down the cliff face to stand on top of one of the broken towers of the fort where the cultist had their base. They both peered over the battlements to the second floor roof top where the tortured victims were tied up on wooden crosses. Below them stood two guards at a door way that lead into the the towers interiors. Left-Paw-Alight and Johan quickly followed them down the cliff face and made their way over to where they lay surveying the battlements below.
Delte and Volk hauled themselves over the edge of the towers battlements and dropped down on top of the two guards killing them from the impact. As they moved between the tortured victims killing them and putting them out of their misery, as well as stopping any from raising an alarm Left-Paw-Alight and Johan climbed down the tower. The silence around the old fort was oppressive as no night animal wandered around or made a noise, as though they could sense the aura of evil that permeated the old fort.
After finishing with the torture victims Delte pressed her ear to the door that lead into the interior of the tower. She closed her eyes and tried to filter out the heavy breathing from Left-Paw-Alight and Johan from their exertion from climbing down the cliff and tower. Slowly she lifted the latch and pushed the door open without a sound and vanished inside leaving the others to wait for her to return with the all clear.
Inside the tower darkness shrouded Delte as she moved in the shadows careful not to make any sound from stepping on the detritus that was strewn across the floor. A fire burned in one of the rooms its door wide open. Two figures sat huddled at a wooden table playing a game of draughts chatting as they played the game. An open bottle of wine sat to one side with a tray of cheese and various fruits left over from their evening meal. Delte assumed these were the relief guards for the two that now lay dead outside. Delte moved to the door that opened out onto the landing and a stone stairway that wound its way down to the next floor. Candles placed on the steps gave off small pools of light that helped guide people down the flight of stairs, Delte remained in the shadows and stalked down the stairway to the first floor in the tower.
As the stairs ended it opened up into a large circular room with beds that lined the walls three of the beds were occupied with cultist laying on straw mattresses, the whole room was illuminated by a large iron chandelier with candles set into the holders giving the room a yellowy orange glow. Their heavy breathing denoted to Delte that they were all fast asleep in a deep slumber. She waited in the shadows looking for any patrols before making her move. A few moments went by and the only things that moved where the bed clothes with the rise and fall of their sleeping contents. She moved from occupied bed to occupied bed and slit the throats of the sleeping cultist quietly and without incident or thought. None of them would wake up again in this world.
Another dark stairway lead down to the ground floor, again she moved through the darkness avoiding the candle light that spilled out onto the stair way from the small groups of candles that had been placed to light the way down. Her eyes and ears alert for any sound or movement, perspiration started to form on her forehead from the effort of sneaking, a cool air blew up the stairway as a door was opened and closed again some where ahead of her. She heard a strange clicking sound move away from her location, Delte slowly made her way down the rest of the stairway and followed a corridor following the sound of the clicking noise.
Delte stopped at a door that lead to the outside of the fort and to the first floor battlements that looked directly onto the road below, she put her ear to the door and listened for any sound from the outside. Hearing nothing she grabbed a loose stone and wedged it under the door to stop anyone who was outside from gaining entry to the fort. She then restarted her route down the corridor in the same direction the clicking sound had gone but now had stopped. Another doorway that opened up into a circular corridor, she peeked through the open door and saw nothing but an empty corridor, this was starting to set her nerves on edge there should be more guards.
A creaking sound alerted her to movement behind her, she rolled away from the door as an arrow thudded into the frame where her head had just been. She spun round and in the darkness of an alcove she had missed two red eyes stared back at her unblinking. Delte saw the dark outline of a bow as the skeleton stepped forward and drew it back again for another shot. Delte rolled forward and using her dagger sliced the taught bow string, the half drawn arrow flew off and clattered on the flagstone floor. The skeleton swung the bow stave at Delte's head who dodged backwards to avoid the attack, the skeleton's follow up attack caught her unawares as the carved horn nocked end of the stave was thrust into her stomach. The leather armour she wore took most of the impact, but the blow still winded her. The stave came again at her head which she ducked to avoid, before the skeleton could launch another swing she lunged forward and threw her arm around the waist of the skeleton lifting its light frame up and throwing it to the ground. Delte groped around its skull face and found a purchase in its eye sockets, her thumb and little finger went deep into the eye sockets as the rest of her fingers grabbed the top part of the skull. She lifted its head up and smashed the back of the skull against the flagstone floor sending bits of bone in all directions, the glow in its eyes flickered and went out.
Delte lay there on the cold stone floor in the ruined remains of the skeleton. As she tried to catch her breath her hand searched around on her stomach where the blow had hit. Her fingers found a small dent in the leather body of her reinforced corset, if it wasn't for the armour the bow stave would of skewered her. Looking at the skeletal feet she realised that it must have been the skeleton that had come through the door, and the clicking sound was its feet striking the stone floor as it walked the patrol route it had been given by its master.
“You are going to have to be more careful Delte.” she reprimanded herself in a whisper.
She started to tap her fingers on the stone floor to a rhythm that entered her subconscious, a sickening feeling spread from the pit of her stomach as her rudimentary magicka skills detected the hint of dark magicka being worked. She sat bolt upright there was a lot of magicka energy being drawn down into the dungeons below the old fort. The rhythm she had detected was a faint drum beat that seemed to rise and fall in tempo.
Delte started to move again now following the sound of the drum beat. It wasn't long before she arrived on a long balcony that overlooked a hall with a flight of stone stairs at the far end leading up to another balcony. Her eyes scanned the scene but saw no one moving about the fort. Piles of bones lay in various places around the hall, the remains of the undead servants that had perished when she had killed their sleeping masters up stairs. Delte peeked over the edge of the balcony where she was and saw a pair of dremora guard standing at a door way that she assumed lead down into the fort dungeons.
Hours seemed to pass for Volk and the others who waited outside on the upper battlements for Delte's return. Johan had already killed the skeletons below on the lower battlements for target practice and now stood looking at the door with an arrow nocked on his bow ready for trouble. Left-Paw-Alight was meditating trying to clear his mind and call upon some help from any passing spirits that might be in the area, as he meditated he carved rune into small pieces of wood and stone and placed them into a pouch he wore on his belt. Volk meanwhile marched up and down like a caged animal waiting for release.
The door that Delte had used opened up and two guards stood looking at the three companions surprise etched on their faces. Johan let loose the arrow at the guard in front which hit its mark in the guards chest. The first guard dropped dead, the second guard drew his sword and opened his mouth to raise the alarm. Before he could move or make a sound a leather gloved hand covered his mouth from behind and a long bladed dagger sliced across his throat. As he fell forward dead Delte stood behind him, the shadows seemed to peal back reluctantly from her.
“Well what are you waiting for?” she said with a smile “A special invitation?”
“Took your time didn't you?” Volk grumbled.
“I had to do my hair and hide the bodies.” She replied as she fluttered her eyelashes at Volk which gained a smirk from him as he walked past her.
Johan walked past her into the tower without saying a word still unsure if he should be here, Left-Paw-Alight was next to enter the tower as he walked up to Delte he placed a finger in the dented leather of her corset where the bow stave had hit her from the skeleton and pushed her inside of the tower. Delte looked down and shrugged, Left-Paw-Alight smiled and shook his head. Delte had got the message from him without saying a word, she would have to be more careful.
“The route to the main hall is clear.” Delte gave them a quick scouting report “In the main hall there are two dremora standing guard at the entrance to the dungeons.”
“I sense there is a massive vortex of magicka energy coming from below us.” Left-Paw-Alight interrupted her “We need to move fast with this amount of energy they can rip a hole right through the veil between worlds and enter Oblivion.”
“Lets get moving then, time things got violent.” Volk said rolling his shoulders and walking out to the stone stairway that wound its way down to the base of the tower.
“But we don't know how many are in the dungeon.” Delte protested trying to urge caution as she followed Volk down the steps quickly followed by Johan and Left-Paw-Alight.
“We need to stop the ritual Delte before its to late.” Came Volk's reply as he stepped into the small barrack room on the first floor.
He stopped and looked at the bodies laying on their beds, blood stains covered the sheets and blood pooled on the floor below from where Delte had cut their throats whilst they slept. Left-Paw-Alight and Johan entered the room, Johan gasped at the sight and looked over to Delte in disbelief.
“Nice and clean as always Delte.” Left-Paw-Alight remarked as he inspected the bodies “Just like a professional Dark Sister.”
“Don't insult me like that Paws, better you hit me with that staff it would be less painful.” came her reply in a sharp tone. She walked past Left-Paw-Alight and bumped shoulders with him as she passed without apologising.
Volk looked out of the room and down the next flight of stairs, carried faintly on the drafts of air he heard the sound of the drums below being used in the ritual Left-Paw-Alight had detected. He heard the vocal exchange between Left-Paw-Alight and Delte and rolled his eyes.
“She is Morag Tong Paws, now drop it will you.” Volk said as he spun around to face them.
Left-Paw-Alight stood in the centre of the round room mouth open and eyes wide at this revelation about Delte.
“How do you know?” He remarked as he regained his composure.
“She told me when we was captured by those vampires in Cyrodiil, before you and Veldam came back for us and purged the place.” Volk said to the shocked argonian. “She asked me not to tell anyone and I gave my word.”
“But they have a standing bounty on their heads for killing Potentate Versidue-Shaie.” Left-Paw-Alight added looking between Volk and Delte.
Delte sighed and said “Paws do you really think it was the Tong? If you were the Dark Brotherhood trying to get rid of the competition how would you do it?”
“Umm I see your point, I am sorry Delte. Why didn't you tell me though?” Left-Paw-Alight said feeling a little hurt.
“I didn't want to put you on the spot if anything happened to me, and when I told Volk I wanted to tell him because we wasn't sure we would make it out alive.” She said as she walked over to the argonian and gave him a hug “No harm done. We are still friends right?” She asked.
Left-Paw-Alight nodded and responded “Yes still friends, just wish you would of told me but I understand your reasons. You are good at keeping secrets Delte, anything else I should know?”
“Now where is the fun in knowing everything Paws?” She said with a smile as she followed Volk down the stairway “Come on we have a ritual to stop.”
The two dremora stood motionless at the entrance to the dungeons under the old fort. The only signs that there was any kind of life to the black armour that had red glowing runes engraved all over the suits were the two bright red eyes that peered from within the helmets. Their weapons were made of the same metal, both sported two handed swords that stood as tall as a mortal man the blades impossibly sharp that could cut through the toughest metal and stone on Nirn.
Johan drew back his bow with an ebony arrow nocked to the string, he sighted down the arrow at one of the dremora. The runes on the bow started to glow as he held his breath to steady his aim and loosed. As the black ebony arrow left the bow it was encased in ice from the magicka stored in the runes on the bow stave. The arrow slammed into the chest of the dremora on the right of the door killing it as the body was driven back by the force of the arrow to smash against the wall behind. The other dremora upon seeing Johan swung its sword high above its head and charged at him shouting “I smell weakness, die mortal.”
Left-Paw-Alight stepped out from a pillar on the balcony a halo of fire circling his hands, he clapped them together a small rune engraved piece of wood in his palms. As he clapped balls of fire leapt from him and slammed into the dremora. The impact put the daedra off balance mid charge, Delte and Volk took advantage of this and ran from their hiding places to attack the now wounded dremora. The fight was over very quickly Delte and Volk cut down the dremora before it could recover its balance.
Delte lead the way down into the dungeons keeping and eye open for traps and guards. Any that were found was quickly and quietly dispatched, the deeper they went into the dungeons the warmer the air became. Torches illuminated the tunnels that had been hewn into the living rock of the mountain. Cells with huge iron gratings line one wall, in each of them was a wooden bucket in a corner and a straw mattress that lay on the floor. Rats scurried about in the dark recesses and the constant drumming now picking up in tempo.
“Why the drums?” Johan asked aloud as they moved towards the sound.
“Magicka pulses with a life force of its own. It is created by life itself and in turn creates life.”Left-Paw-Alight explained the best he could “The drum represents a beating heart and helps focus the minds of the uninitiated in the Arts to be able to draw on its power.”
“How does that work for the undead though they have no heart?” Johan inquired fascinated by the subject.
“That is a different source of power, it comes from a different place and is the exact opposite of what we mortals do. Daedra use another type of magicka from us mortals as well and it is drawn from their patron lords or from pools of their own power.” He answered in the most simplest way possible for Johan to understand.
An intersection opened up where one corridor lead to a flight of stone steps, further up the corridor lights illuminated the entrance to a huge open natural cavern. From where they had stopped they could see the cavern was occupied by black robed figures all chanting and wearing masks or hoods to hide their faces.
Delte went up the dark stairway and reappeared after a few minutes. “This way it opens out onto a balcony that over looks the cavern.” She said to the others.
They all followed her up the dark stairs to the balcony that had been hewn into the natural rock of the cavern. Left-Paw-Alight cast wards and runes on the stairs to explode if any enemy followed them up.
Crouched low and looking over the rail into the cavern below the scene in front of them unfolded. The centre of the cavern was dominated by a huge black stone statue of Molag Bal. Stood before it was a man wearing a set of long red robes with gold thread and a human skull held aloft in one hand in the other was a ornate dagger with a pulsing purple gem on the end of its pommel, the blade of which was curved with wicked looking serrated edges forged of the same black metal seen from the daedra and their weapons and armour. His face was covered by a mask which was the same visage of the face on the statue.
Laying on the altar was a female altmer bound by chains and naked, she struggled against her bonds and where the chains rubbed against her delicate skin blood welts appeared. Set into the wall around the cavern were cells their entrances made of iron bars with locked doors. The drums were on a dais set apart from the statue and altar on this stood a man wearing a loin cloth his body wet with sweat as he beat the large drum. The skin of the drum had a strange leathery look to it while the bowl looked to made from the bones of various sentient races of Tamriel.
The drumming stopped and the man in the red robes plunged the dagger into the altmer's heart. At the point of her death the runes on the statue's legs glowed and a swirling gate appeared between them. Air from the cavern was drawn into the gate, and then a gust of wind came from the gate. Carried on the wind from the gate there was a horrible sickly stench of decay and death along with moans of an inhuman nature.
“Oh gods no they used that poor woman as the catalyst to open the gate.” Left-Paw-Alight said in a whisper “Her soul was used to open the gate, we need to stop this.”
The crowd of cultist prostrated themselves on the hard flagstone floor as shadowy figures started to appear in the Oblivion gate, the gate rippled at the figures stepped through. A procession of various daedra walked through the gate and stood on the dais looking at the cultists with their inhuman eyes. Robed daedra moved around the cavern to each cultist and acted out a small ritual with a inky black soul gem. At the end of the ritual a small transfer of energy from the cultist to the soul gem happened in a blue glowing mist.
“What are they doing?” Johan whispered.
“Allowing the daedra to condemn their souls to Molag Bal.” Delte said as she watched the scene “That crystal stores part of their soul so it will be forever linked to Coldharbour.”
“Look there.” Volk interrupted as he pointed at the cells “They are herding the captives to the gate.”
One by one each of the cells were opened and their occupants were roughly pulled out and whipped up to the gate by the dremora. Volk's eyes focused on the captives faces to see if he could see his wife amongst them. Realisation dawned on his face as he watched the dremora herd the slaves into the gate.
“No she is already in Coldharbour.” He said not seeing her in the crowd.
“Calm down Volk there are too many of them for us to handle.” Delte said as she put her hand on his arm. She felt him relax and he nodded.
The last of the slaves entered the portal along with their new masters, slowly the cavern started to empty leaving only the man stood on the dais wearing the red robes with gold thread along with the dead altmer.
“Now my dear you serve my lord in Coldharbour.” The priest spoke to the cooling corpse of the dead woman “And so shall your flesh server me in this world.” He finished and tenderly kissed the corpse as he groped its breasts. He stood up straight and picked up his dagger once more and slowly with great care carved out its heart and put it into a bowl. He then picked up a black soul gem and painted it with runes from the blood of the dead altmer. Left-Paw-Alight watched horrified and sank back down behind the railing of the balcony. “We need to stop this profanity.” He whispered.
“Agreed.” Volk said as he stood up and drew his two handed sword. He leapt down from the balcony and rolled as he landed on the floor below, at the end of the roll he was back on his feet and running towards the red robed priest.
“So much for being quiet.” Delte said as she drew her daggers and followed Volk.
Left-Paw-Alight stood up magical fire already circling his hands, Johan stood up as well his bow already being drawn.
From behind the mask the cultist priest gave a cry of shock when he was alerted to their presence as he stepped aside to face Volk and Delte.
Volk bounded up the steps and leapt at the priest sword raised high, the priests hands flew out at Volk and a wave of energy hit Volk in the chest. The force sent the nord flying back the way he had come, he hit the floor and rolled to a stop his two handed sword clattered on the stone floor of the cavern.
Fire flew from Left-Paw-Alight's hands towards the priest and hit a magical shield that shimmered in front of the priest the fire spattered and faded. Johan loosed his arrow at the priest and as it hit the same magical shield the barrier shattered into fragments of light. The cultist priest laughed and started to summon a powerful magical tempest of lighting. His incantation was cut short along with his life as a pair of daggers sliced across his throat from behind.
“Enough from you.” Delte said as she watched his corpse hit the floor.
Volk stirred and retrieved his sword as Left-Paw-Alight and Johan came down to join them. Delte picked up a leather bound journal that the dead priest was carrying on his belt, cries of alarm echoed down the passage from the fort. Their fight with the priest had not gone unheard. She read the book quickly scanning the pages for clues, her eyes opened wide as she understood the place names, numbers and dates were linked to the lunar cycles.
“Volk your wife is already in Coldharbour.” She said as the sound of shouts and running feet echoed down the passage getting louder all the time.
“Then that is where we go next.” Volk responded as he took the book from her and began to read it “I will tear Coldharbour apart to look for her dead or alive I will find her.”
A cry of pain echoed around the cavern all their heads turned to its source. Johan laid on the floor with two arrows protruding from his stomach and one from the right side of his chest. Blood foamed on his lips showing one of his lungs had been punctured. Delte ran over to him and knelt by his side, a blue glow surrounding her hands as she concentrated healing energies into the wounds.
“Paws cover me.” Delte shouted as another arrow flew by her narrowly missing her head.
Volk stood by Delte sword raised and ready to defend Johan and Delte.
Left-Paw-Alight pulled a stone with a rune carved into one side of its flat surface and pointed it at the stone archway that held the cavern roof up where the passage entered. Ice surged forth from his outstretched hands and slammed against the rocks, another salvo of arrows came through the blizzard and Volk swung his sword knocking a few of the closer ones aside. Delte looked up at the entrance and saw the enemy archers were already reloading their bows and making ready to fire. She picked up her two daggers and threw them one after another at their attackers, both hit their marks killing two of the archers.
“Paws your aim is a little high.” Volk shouted out as he stepped forward to intercept two cultists who had braved the magical blizzard.
The air above them went from freezing cold to an intense heat, concentration etched on Left-Paw-Alight's face. He blasted the frozen rocks with the summoned inferno, a piece of wood held in his hands glowing with the same intense heat, slowly the wood crumbled away into dust. The stone split open with a crack and then a rumble as massive chunks of super heated rock fell onto the archers. More stone fell now sending a wave of dust to cover the occupants of the cavern, Volk cut down the surprised cultists and threw himself over Delte and Johan as a wave of explosions erupted from the tunnel in which they had entered the cavern. The stair way and part of the balcony collapsed and was sealed off to any more cultist from entering the cavern.
The rumbling stopped and the dust began to settle in the cavern “Everyone all right?” Left-Paw-Alight coughed trying to clear his lungs of the dust he had breathed in.
“I think so, Delte are you okay?” Volk asked as he picked himself up and looked around.
“Yeah, just get off me you big lump.” Came her reply “Johan is hurt badly, I can't heal him.”
Johan grabbed Delte's arm and smiled up at her “Its okay Delte.” He coughed “You and the others gave me something I never dreamed of gaining.”
Delte shook her head and carried on trying to heal the wounded nord “I will try and stabilise your wounds.”
“All the exits are blocked how do we get out now?” Volk said as he inspected the cave in and kicked a stone at the rubble. A sound of digging could be heard coming from the other side of the cave in. Volk smiled “Maybe we could wait for them to dig us out and we kill them as they enter the cavern.”
“I think we will be dead by the time that happens.” Delte said not looking up from Johan “We need to escape through Coldharbour now its the only chance of getting out alive.”
“I will start the ritual to summon the magicka needed to open the portal.” Left-Paw-Alight said as he ran up to the altar and started to chant.
“That will take a long time Paws even I can feel the magicka has left the room.” Delte responded as she carried on pouring healing magicka into Johan.
“Use my life force.” came a weak voice.
Everyone in the cavern turned to look at Johan as he smiled and closed his eyes. “Use my soul to power the gate, I am dying anyway may as well use me to save those that have a chance to live.”
“I will not allow it, it is anathema to everything I stand for and believe in the Arts.” Left-Paw-Alight said shaking with anger, slamming the end of his staff on the stone floor sending sparks of lighting up from the point on impact to drive home his point of view.
“How long till we run out of air?” Delte shouted at him and then pointed at the cave in “How long till the cultist break through?”
“And how long will it take to open the portal with magicka?” Volk added following Delte's train of thought.
Left-Paw-Alight looked down at the floor and did some quick calculations and said “To long to open with magicka. We would of run out of air before then.”
“Then it is settled we sacrifice Johan.” Delte said as she stood up and retrieved the ceremonial dagger “Sorry Johan if there was another way.”
“Just make it quick Delte.” Johan coughed.
“Spoken like a true son of Skyrim.” Volk said as he walked over to where he lay “I will look for you in Sovngarde when my time on this world ends.”
Delte picked up the priests dagger and turned it over in her hands as she examined it. Runes were engraved along its blade and pulsed with an inner red light. Faint red veins of energy could be seen deep in the metal blade pulsing in time to a rhythm all of its own. The handle was wrapped and bound in leather and held tightly in place by silver wire. On the pommel was a strange looking gem that seemed to have a swirling mist trapped within. When she held it up to the light a wave of energy washed over her making her feel sick with revulsion as her mind was given a vision of human sacrifice and what was awaiting them in Coldharbour.
She put her fingers into the pool of blood from the dead priest and drew the rune of Mephala on her face and turned to the others.
“Pick an aedra or daedra that watches over you and paint their rune onto your faces.” Delte ordered the Volk and Left-Paw-Alight.
“Did you have to use his blood though Delte?” Left-Paw-Alight groaned at her.
“Use what ever is at hand, waste not want not.” she replied as she walked back to where Johan lay on the floor.
She knelt down by his side and raised the dagger up in the air above his heart and began to chant a tongue Volk and Left-Paw-Alight had never heard before.
“What language is that?” Volk wondered aloud as he painted on his face with some white chalk that Left-Paw-Alight had handed to him the rune for Kyne.
“I think its ancient chimer, the dunmer are heavily into daedra worship. They have a set few who they deem as good daedra and some that are evil.” Left-Paw-Alight explained to Volk as he drew the rune for Stendarr on his face.
“I thought all daedra were bad, would never of thought there were some good ones.” Volk said as he walked over to the portal to get ready to enter Coldharbour.
Left-Paw-Alight chuckled and nodded at him “And that is the best way to be when it comes to daedra.”
Johan looked up at the dagger poised above his heart and closed his eyes, a smile spreading over his face knowing he was giving the others a small chance to save the slaves and Volk's wife.
Delte finished the ritual and plunged the dagger into Johan's heart, the blood rune on her face lit up as soul energy coursed through the dagger down her arm and out of her other hand that was now pointing at the portal. Delte screamed in pain as a spiralling red mist left her and headed for the portal, it was then she felt another presence in the dagger a sentient mind vying for control over her own mind. Volk moved away from the portal to try and help her, but Left-Paw-Alight held him back from interfering with the ritual.
“She is in a battle for control against a daedra spirit that was bound to the dagger.” He shouted above the noise of Delte's screams and the roar of magicka that was now flooding the cavern “If she looses or the connection is broken before the ritual ends she will die.”
Delte regained some control of her vocal chords and shouted “Mephala guides me, and my Will guides my blades. My soul is hers to take it does not belong to you fell blade.” With that the portal ignited into a swirling purple mist a clap of thunder echoed around the cavern as once again air was pulled into Coldharbour and then air was sucked back into the cavern from the realm in Oblivion bringing with it once more the stench of decay and death. Delte stood up swaying unsteadily on her feet sweat pouring from her face from the magical battle with the dagger.
“Lets go it won't last long.” She said as she pulled the dagger out of Johan and walked over to the portal.
“Delte are you okay?” Left-Paw-Alight asked her in a concerned tone.
She nodded and gave a weak smile “I will be, wasn't expecting there to be a spirit in the dagger to be honest. A powerful one at that, but it now knows who’s its master is now. Paws hold onto my hand Volk you take hold of Paws's other hand. When we step through keep your eyes closed and mouth shut, and what ever you do; do not let go of each other.” With that she stepped through the portal with Left-Paw-Alight and Volk in tow.
All three stepped into the portal the air roared past their ears, Volk felt his ears pop and then an unimaginable pain swept over him as it felt like his whole body was being skewered with thousands of hot needles. He tried to scream but his mouth was instantly filled with hot ash, out of desperation he opened his eyes and instantly wished he had kept them shut. Then as sudden as it all began it was over, he was on his hands and knees looking at white sand and a black ocean as he moaned in pain and started to cough.
He looked over at Left-Paw-Alight and noticed the argonian mage throwing up his last meal and holding his head. “I feel sick.” Volk groaned as he slowly got up but instantly went back to his knees as his own stomach vented its contents.
“I feel like I have been turned inside out.” Left-Paw-Alight moaned and began to retch once more.
“Come on get up we are out in the open and need to move to cover before we are spotted.” Delte urged them as she stood guard with an arrow nocked to her bow that she had reclaimed from Johan.
“How come you are not effected as we are?” Left-Paw-Alight said as he steadily got to his feet and leant on his staff.
“Who is to say I am not effected? “ Delte offered back “When one travels to Oblivion you always leave a piece of yourself behind, sometimes its physical sometimes its mental. One thing for sure you are never the same again.”
Volk got to his feet and said “Lets get moving then.”
As they ran along the beach to some derelict buildings on the beach front small puffs of sand rose from where their feet struck the sand and slowly settled back down. Volk watched with interest and said “This sand is strange, it doesn't act like any sand I know of.”
“Its not sand.” Delte said “Its the ground up bones of Molag Bal's enemies that he has defeated over the ages.”
“Wish I never asked.” Volk said in a mumble.
“Yeah stop asking questions you don't want the answers to.” Left-Paw-Alight said with a chuckle.
“How would I know if I should ask them if I don't....... Shut it Paws.” Volk said laughing.
Inside the old derelict building there was old mouldy furniture along with burnt carpets and wall hangings, the wood had been scorched by flame and a thick layer of ash had settled over everything. The glass was still in some of the windows and Delte moved over to one and cleaned a small spot to look out of onto the street. Daedra and shackled mortal races could be seen milling about out side of the house in the streets. The slaves all had empty white eyes and drawn features as though they had been starved for weeks on end without any food, each of them dressed in long ragged robes. Volk joined Delte and looked out into the street through the window.
“Where did the new slaves go? They couldn't gotten far.” He said to Delte.
“Our gate opened in a random location because we didn't know the name of the link here or had a resonance stone.” She replied watching the street “My best guess is to look inside one of those towers that are dotted around the outer wall of the city. To be honest the quicker we leave this place the better for all.”
“I wonder what those large metal rings are doing floating up there above the towers.” Left-Paw-Alight added as he found a window to look out of.
“Not sure, but what ever they are it looks like trouble for Tamriel.” Delte confessed to him “We should make way to the nearest tower and try our luck there. Who knows we may find a kind soul here that can help us.”
“Is that even likely in a place like this?” Volk asked as he pulled away from the window.
Delte shrugged and said “This city is based on the Imperial City in Cyrodiil in a twisted sort of way, just as that city has its bad elements this one will have its good elements hidden away.”
The three of them left the building taking care not to be seen by the denizens of Coldharbour. The route they took was slow with having to move from alleyway to alleyway, while at the same time hiding from the roaming patrols of daedra. The clouds above the large tower at the centre of the city swirled in a huge vortex all made up of different shades of black and grey, with no sun or moon to guide them they had to rely on landmarks and their own sense of direction. It wasn't long before they found that some of the humans were not placid individuals and that some of them would attack on sight as they hunted for food amongst the rubbish that was strewn about on the ground. They was alone in an alien wasteland with danger around every corner, and where most of the cities occupants wanted to eat them or kill them.