Morrowind II: Leah Takes A Stand by Denina

Morrowind II: Leah Takes A Stand by Denina

Postby Denina » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:59 pm

Morrowind 2: Leah Takes A Stand

Leah left Ebonheart on foot, running as fast as she could. The guards, upon seeing her face, shrank back. Never had they seen such cold fury on her face.

She headed north along the coast, dodging rocks and trees and leaping high over the swamps, sometimes landing painfully, other times landing on high ground. Cliff racers trailed her, lusting for blood. It was only when she neared Hla Oad that she stopped to kill them, not wanting to drag them into town and endangering the town folk. One swung its tail near her head. With a blood curdling yell, she grabbed its tail in her fist and yanked on it hard. It screeched and she brought her sword down through its body. With a pitiful cry it fell into pieces. She slashed through the others leaving them in a bloody pile on the ground. Anger seethed within, but she could not forget her instincts. She carefully salvaged what she could of the broken creatures, managing to get one racer plume out of the four she killed. She did not need the plumes anyway, but she was not one to waste anything useful.

With a furious stomp, her ebony boots sank into the muddy ground as she reached Fat Leg's Drop Off and threw open the shack door. The force shook the entire shack. Trasteve's eyes widened. "Leah, take it easy. Don't destroy my shack. I don't have the funds to rebuild this dump."

Leah ignored him and somewhat more gently threw back the trap door and dropped down, ignoring the ladder and pulled the door shut. She glared at the Llemisa Marys as she walked by, her lip curled in a snarl. Llemisa, who hated Leah more than any other outlander, visibly shrank back, recognizing the rage in her eyes. She wisely kept her mouth shut. Leah went straight to Relam Arinith who was treating her to a glare of his own.

"I delivered your slave."

"I heard you brought that slave to some abolitionists. That cost me a lot of money, fool. I can't let that go too easily."

Leah brandished her sword and poised for the attack almost before he even finished running his mouth. She gave him the first hit, which she barely felt under her ebony armor and she cut loose. Her Daedric long sword came down on his shoulder, struck his side and nearly decapitated him. With a final groan, he sank to the ground. Leah smiled. "Dealing in slaves is deadly business. I'd stick to skooma runs if I were you." She disposed of his bloody corpse.

One by one, she briefly spoke with everyone in that cavern. She found only one more Camonna Tong member besides Llemisa. Still mad about Rabbina, she taunted him. He had a short fuse, as Leah expected, and he swung at her, actually hitting her in the face. As soon as she felt the contact, she grabbed his wrist and twisted hard, bringing her sword down killing him instantly. The last sound he made was a gasp of pain as he tried to breathe. He fell to the ground with a heavy thud. She disposed of his stinking corpse, glad to be rid of one more scum.

The Breton merchant on the platform above said something but Leah did not hear exactly what he said. She climbed the stairs and approached him.

"That was beautiful, Leah. He was a fair smith, but a wholly unpleasant chap. You did the world a favor."

"Did you know about Rabbina?" she blurted, not caring about the murder she just committed.

"Sadly, yes, but there was nothing I could do about it. I am a merchant, not a fighter. I would not have been able to stop him. She is not the first to be sent to her death. I'm glad you rescued her."

Cold fury swept over her features again. "Keeping slaves is one thing, but what he was doing is unforgivable. It makes my stomach turn. He actually made her swallow bags of moon sugar."

"Aye, I know the method. It's terrible how Khajiit and the lizard folk get treated. Most of them are actually quite peaceful."

Leah nodded. "I must go. That fetcher by the steps is next."

"Leah, she has committed no crime."

"Other than conspiring to murder outlanders in their beds? We are considered outlanders, remember?"

"Oh well, yes, they would like to do that. But Leah, you're a Knight. Until she commits a crime…"

"She's committed crimes. She's Camonna Tong. This is a case where guilt by association is proof positive."

The Breton wisely shut his mouth, not that it mattered. Leah was already gone. She stopped at the stairs. He heard a few angry words spoken, then the woman pulled a dagger on Leah and struck. Leah dropped her in two hits. The Breton flinched, but saw Leah"s features relax. She carefully disposed of the corpse, washed her hands and sword off in the pool nearby and left. He watched as she scraped off her boots against the wood of the trap door ladder before she left.

Leah left Hla Oad and only then did the day's events replay themselves. The fear and defeat in Rabbina's eyes, to be transformed to gratitude and relief when they reached the Argonian Mission. Leah had given her a very foul tasting potion, meant to expel the contents of her stomach. The bags of moon sugar came up, leaving Rabbina's throat very sore, but she would not get sick from the bags" material. Leah gave her draughts to restore her fatigue and health and that made her feel better. Im-Kilaya promised to take care of her. He then gave her gold to fund more slave rescue missions.

Once out of town, Leah sank to the ground and rested for a moment. For once no aggressive creature was in the vicinity. When she noticed the outline of a nix hound slowly wandering in her general direction, she sighed.

She stood up, scouted the area for more creatures. She could smell cliff racer dung, but none flew nearby. A betty netch floated overhead. Leah watched it for a moment and then walked in a general southerly direction. She did not feel like killing anymore that day so she stopped and cast a chameleon spell upon herself. She walked on in relative peace.

The thought occurred to her that she should return to Balmora to check on the guilds and House Hlaalu business, but since her rage subsided, she felt weary and heartsick. The new guild steward she had appointed for Balmora Fighters Guild seemed to be settling into the position well. Persius Mercius was in Vivec training the new guild steward she had appointed for Vivec. She knew he planned to return to Ald-ruhn by the end of the week. She made a mental note to pay him extra wages for his trouble. She considered Persius one of her best friends in Morrowind and they often went out of their way to assist each other.

The Mages Guild stewards really did not need checking on. They ran their branches capably enough though Edwinna Elbert was spending a lot of gold on research. She had had a long talk with Edwinna about not neglecting guild responsibilities while conducting her research and that the Ald-ruhn branch coffers were starting to dwindle. Edwinna had promised to turn that around. When Leah had checked the books a week later, less gold had been spent and there were more mercenary fees set aside. Proper payments had been made to those who had carried out the duties and a percentage left over for the guild.

In the distance she saw the lights flickering from Seyda Neen and decided she would invite Fargoth over for supper and some brandy. He was a good fellow and he often made her laugh. She sorely needed that this evening. She found him wandering in town. He stopped when he saw her and approached her, smiling.

"Leah, this is an honor."

"Hi, Fargoth. How are you?"

"As well as expected."

"Hrisskar bothering you again?"

"He cuffed me the other day because I had no money to pay him."

Leah"s anger returned. Fargoth noticed. "Now, now, don't worry about it. I can take care of myself. I am usually good at avoiding him. That time he was seeking me out. There was no avoiding him. It doesn't happen much."

"Shouldn't happen at all. I'm tired tonight but I will deal with him first thing tomorrow. I'm in town for the night. Want to come over for supper and drinks? I need a good laugh."

Fargoth smiled. "Of course." Leah stopped by Arrille's and bought a couple bottles of Cyrodiilic brandy and some flin. Arrille always kept a couple bottles in stock for when she visited. She went outside and met Fargoth, who just exited his house after making a quick change. Together they walked up the road toward her house just beyond the town. A cliff racer flew over and attacked Leah. With one sharp twist of her blade, it fell to the ground with a screech. She and Fargoth quickly disposed of its corpse and continued the short distance.

Leah unlocked the door and stepped in. The fire was out and there was a bit of a chill. "Fargoth, build up the fire, will you? I'm going downstairs to change and get out of this armor. I'll be right back."

She heard him build up the fire and she shed her armor and clothes and changed into common pants, shirt and shoes. She put away some of her treasures from her latest adventure trip and went back upstairs. She set the bottles on the table. Turning toward the fire Fargoth built she was surprised to find he had already filled the cauldron with water and it was already set over the fire.

"I knew you'd want to wash your face and hands."

Leah laughed. "Thanks, old friend. I'm exhausted." Leah plopped down on the sofa. Fargoth sat beside her.

"After you wash, I have a surprise for you."

Leah frowned thoughtfully. "A surprise? What kind of surprise?"

Fargoth only grinned. "You'll see. Your water should be hot now."

"Oh, yeah." She got up and with a ragged shirt that acted as a pot holder, she took the cauldron out of the fire and poured the water into a bucket and allowed it to cool for a few minutes before she gave her hands, forearms and face a good scrub. She toweled her skin dry and took the bucket of soapy water to the door and tossed the contents out to the side.

Fishing around in the urns and baskets, she found some hound meat, crab meat, kwama eggs, marshmerrow and hackle-lo leaves. Adding some spices, she set the food to simmering over the fire and went back to sit down. Fargoth grinned mischievously.

"Ok, what's the surprise? Don't keep me in suspense any longer."

Fargoth dug into his satchel and pulled out an amulet. It looked expensive. Fargoth set it in her hand. She looked at him puzzled.

"Remember that ring you returned to me that you found that day you first got here?"

"Yes."

"Well, it always meant a lot to me that you returned it without hesitation and you could've kept it to use for yourself since you do so much adventuring, and I never had anything to give you in return. So, I saved some of my wages and bought you that amulet. I know you know about enchantments and thought maybe you could do a healing enchantment on it for yourself. I didn't know how to do that and well, enchanters aren't easy to find in this damp little squat."

Leah laughed. "Oh Fargoth, that's so sweet. Thank you. You know, you didn't have to do that. Your friendship was all the thanks I need."

"Oh, I know, but it's a pretty amulet and I thought you'd like it."

"I do. Thank you." She leaned over and gave him a hug. He grinned and hugged her back.

She got up then to tend to the food. Leah set the table and poured them each a glass of brandy.

"Wow, you use real silver dishes and silverware."

Leah looked down at them. "I've collected quite a bit of it on my adventures. The wood dishes never seem to get completely clean. These are much easier to keep clean."

"I know what you mean. But it is sturdy, and wears well."

"True, but I use what good stuff I can find."

Fargoth nodded and was quiet while they both ate the hearty meal. After dinner they each chewed a hackle-lo leaf and sat on the sofa. They discussed whether Zenithar was actually greedy or just business savvy, and Fargoth did a stunning impression of a Dunmer insisting that their ancestor worship was not necromancy. Leah laughed so hard she fell to the floor hugging her sides.

After a while they grew quiet and sat deep in thought, occasionally sipping the flin. Leah yawned.

"Well, that's my cue. You need to rest. I should head home and do the same."

Inspiration dawned on Leah. "Hey, wait a second. I'll be right back."

Leah got up and went downstairs. In her chest of drawers, she found a ring. She took it upstairs and handed it to Fargoth.

"It's a chameleon ring. When you use it, you will blend in with the surroundings and be hard to see. No creatures should bother you on your way home."

"Oh wow, don't you need this?"

Leah laughed. "I'm a little more direct in my methods. I hardly ever sneak around."

"Yeah, that would come with the ability of chopping cliff racers in half."

"Yeah…well, their tails are like whips. Better them than me."

Fargoth laughed. "Thanks, Leah. It was a great evening. I'm going to give this ring back to you tomorrow. If I don't, Hrisskar will take it away from me."

"No, he won't. I'm dealing with him when I wake up and get around tomorrow."

"What are you going to do?"

"Better if you don't know. You'll probably hear the rumors anyway."

"Don't" end up going to jail because of him."

"Oh, I won't. He's not worth it."

Fargoth smiled. "Good night, Leah. Sleep well."

"Thanks, you too."

He disappeared in the darkness. She waited a bit and when she heard no cries of fear or pain, she figured he made it home safe and closed the door and latched it. She yawned again, banked the fire and went downstairs. Exhausted, she shed her clothes and fell in bed, asleep before her head hit the pillow.
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Denina
Queen of Sarcasm
 
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:57 pm
Location: Balmora, usually

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