Morrowind III: Leah Confronts Hrisskar by Denina

Morrowind III: Leah Confronts Hrisskar by Denina

Postby Denina » Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:00 pm

[bold]Morrowind III: Leah Confronts Hrisskar[/bold]

Leah walked to Seyda Neen after breakfast and a good night's sleep. She had taken a bath and had dressed simply for the task in expensive pants and shirt... nothing fancy. She looked around for Fargoth, but saw no sign of him. Perhaps he still slept.

She arrived in Arrille's and as soon as she opened the door, raucous laughter echoed down the stairs.

"Leah! Thank the Nine you're here. Fargoth is in trouble," he spoke loudly enough for Leah to hear, but not so loud as to call attention to her presence. Leah nodded.

She walked upstairs quietly. Hrisskar and Raflod had Fargoth in a vice grip and were shaking him and getting angry. From her vantage point, no one noticed her yet, but she saw everyone in the room. Elone was laughing quietly at the spectacle. Albecius was scowling fiercely. Tandram looked on with semi-amusement. Poor Fargoth looked sick and scared.

"Stop it!" Leah yelled. Stunned by her voice, everyone started. Leah was familiar to them and no one here had ever heard her yell. Her eyes were on Fargoth, whose expression turned from terror to relief.

She got right in Hrisskar's face. He reeked of mazte. "What is the name of the Nine are you doing?" Her voice was even, her eyes cold.

"None o' yer business, 'lil lady," he slurred. "You'd best be moving on."

"I'm making it my business. And I rank higher than you so I suggest you answer me immediately, Trooper."

"You? A member o' the Legion? Whats ye're rank? Agent?" He roared with laughter.

Leah grabbed him by the top of the cuirass where it met the neck and shoved him hard against the wall, setting him off balance. He struggled to regain his footing. "Agent!" Leah yelled, her face growing hot with her anger. "I am now Knight of the Imperial Dragon! If you spent less time drinking and paid more attention to your duties, maybe you would have known that."

Hrisskar scoffed. "Varus Vantinius is Knight o' the…"

"Varus is dead!" Leah shouted.

Silence permeated the room. All smiles disappeared. No one moved. What little sense Hrisskar had began to dawn on him. "Y--ye defeated him?"

"I did," she smiled, but not the type of smile Hrisskar wanted to see. "I think a stint in Fort Darius should whip you back into shape. Next time you're seen drunk you will be expelled. I suggest you sleep off your drunkenness and get the silt strider to Gnisis as soon as possible."

"But I don't have the gold for a trip like that!"

"Then walk!"

Hrisskar started stuttering with rage. Albecius spoke up. "Shut up, Hrisskar. You've said too much already.

"One more thing, if I ever catch you or any other guard bullying anyone again, you will be expelled from the Legion for good. Consider this a warning. You won't get another."

"I want proof that you're actually Knight of the Imperial Dragon." He scoffed. "Women don't belong in the Legion."

Everyone watched Leah for her reaction and grew frustrated by her ability to keep her emotions hidden. She opened her satchel and took out an enchanted cuirass. She held it up in front of Hrisskar. "Does this look familiar to you?"

Albecius gasped. "By the gods, that's the Lord's Mail!"

Leah's voice was now quiet, but lacked the sweetness most were accustomed to hearing from her. "I recovered it after it was stolen. I returned it to Varus. I recovered Chrysamere, returned it to Varus. I tried to reason with him about allowing me to become Grandmaster without a duel, but he stubbornly refused to listen and would not let me. The duel was short and swift. He wore the Lord's Mail and wielded Chrysamere in the duel. If you don"t wish to take orders from a woman, then leave the service. But as long as I am Knight of the Imperial Dragon, and as long as you are working for the Legion, you will obey my orders, and you will do so willingly. Is that perfectly clear, Trooper?"

Hrisskar saluted her. She turned to address Fargoth. A hacking spit echoed in the silent room and Leah felt it hit her hair. Everyone in the room gasped, even Raflod the Braggart.

Fargoth scowled and took a cloth from his pocket and handed it to Leah. She wiped off her hair, her face a mask. No one dared breathe. "You're expelled from the Legion, Hrisskar. Your armor and weapon are property of the Legion. Turn them over now."

"If you want 'em, you"ll have to take 'em back yourself."

Leah folded her arms in front of her. "You sure you want to die over some steel?"

"I'd rather die than surrender to a woman."

Leah shrugged. "Fine, go sleep off your drunkenness. When you're sober, we'll discuss this again. I will not kill a man who lacks good sense."

Hrisskar shoved Leah. "You'll fight me now, coward!" Leah grabbed the railing for support as she nearly tumbled down the stairs. Her acrobatics training helped her regain balance and she leapt back to the top standing beside Hrisskar instead of in front of him. The anger in her eyes made everyone withdraw. Raflod the Braggart grabbed Fargoth and pulled him back toward Albecius.

"Hrisskar, you're a fool."

"And you'll be dead."

Elone yelled, shattering the silence. "Hrisskar, are you crazy? She's Knight of the Imperial Dragon! She could kill you before you even swung!"

"I would rather die than live humiliated by a woman."

"Then you deserve to die, you fool!" Elone turned her back on him.

Leah's mind raced. She could not kill him like this. He was drunk, unreasonable and likely unaware of what he was saying.

"Hrisskar, let's take this outside or neither one of us will ever be welcome at Arrille's. Leah jumped out of his reach down the stairs just as he tried to grab her. Just as agile, Fargoth followed her down and out before Hrisskar even realized it.

Once outside, Leah jumped off the porch. The door to Arrille's opened and Hrisskar stumbled out. He saw Fargoth and snarled. Leah saw the idea dawn on him. "Fargoth, jump!"

Fargoth didn't hesitate. He jumped high and Leah caught him easily. With him in her firm grasp, she ran to Foryn Gilnith's old shack. "Stay on the roof where he can't get to you. He might try to take you hostage otherwise." With a mighty boost, he leaped up and landed on the roof.

A crowd gathered near the muck pond and Hrisskar wavered unsteadily. When he was near Leah, he drew his sword. Leah prepared to fight unarmed. She watched his every move, ready to parry his attack. He raised his sword to swing. Leah watched his face and his body. His arm seemed to lose its strength and he dropped the sword harmlessly onto the ground, his eyes rolled back in his head and he sank to the ground. He was out cold.

The scene might have been funny except for Leah's face. She walked over to Hrisskar, confiscated his sword and removed his armor from his body. She picked him up and slung him over her shoulder. The crowd gasped, no one having realized how strong Leah really was. She carried him awkwardly but steadily toward Vodunius Nuccius' old house that Leah acquired after she gave him the money to leave Morrowind. Fargoth slid down from the roof and ran ahead to open the door for her once he realized where she was taking him. With help from some of the townsfolk, they maneuvered him in bed and he snored noisily. "Fargoth, please go get a pitcher of fresh water and a cup. He'll need it when he wakes up."

Fargoth nodded and left to do as he was asked. Leah placed the bucket near his bedside and rolled him over to sleep on his side. Leah turned to the townspeople gathered in the doorway. "Will one of you stay here and sit with him? He's likely to be ill at some point and if he vomits in his sleep, it could kill him. Someone needs to be here to make sure he doesn't die like that."

Eldafire turned on her heel and walked out. Indrele Rathryon spoke up. "I'll sit with him. I dislike him, but I don't wish a horrible death on anyone."

"Thank you, Indrele," Leah stood up and reached in her coin purse. She pulled out 100 gold coins and gave them to Indrele. "For your trouble. Please see to it that he eats a hearty meal when he wakes up. And no liquor."

"Yes, Leah. Thank you."

Leah left Indrele with her charge and walked back to Arrille's. She passed Fargoth with the water. "Indrele is staying with him."

He nodded and moved on. She entered the trade house. "Arrille, don't sell Hrisskar anymore liquor. He has a problem and as his commanding officer, I've decided he isn't going to drink anymore."

"But you expelled him!"

"I take it back. He and I are going to have a long talk when he wakes up. I guess I'm here for another day. He might still be expelled after the talk, but I hope he'll have better sense then."

Arrille nodded. "All right, I won't sell him any more booze, but it could create problems for me."

"Don't worry. I'll take care of it."

Arrille nodded and Leah told everyone in the trade house that she changed her mind about expelling him outright. She was going to wait and see how he was when he sobered up.

She walked outside and met Fargoth who was on his way in. "Leah, I put more water over to heat… so you can wash your hair."

"Thank you, my friend. I would love to wash my hair." She walked with him to his house. He took the water off the fire to let it cool and dug out some soap and found a clean towel for her.

"Well, I'll leave you alone to do that. I'll be outside."

"Thanks."

He grinned and walked out. Leah removed her shirt, leaned over the bucket, wet her hair, scrubbed and rinsed.

After she was done she took the buckets of soapy water outside and dumped them. She rinsed them out and gathered more water to put over Fargoth's fire. Fargoth had been talking to a guard and came over to help her.

"I heard you changed your mind about expelling Hrisskar."

"Sort of. I'm going to wait until he's sober before I expel him. That way he knows precisely why. I'm going to give him a chance to redeem himself. If he doesn't, then I'll expel him."

"What if he still wants to duel you?"

"Then he's a fool. Nords are mostly courageous to a fault, but they normally have good survival instincts."

Fargoth nodded. They sat out on the stoop in front of his house. "You handled that really well this morning."

Leah shrugged. "I didn't want to kill him while he was drunk. Nothing honorable in it. Nor is it necessary."

"But you may have to."

"We'll see."

Hrisskar slept most of the day. Around 4:00 p.m., Indrele left to get a hot meal from Arrille's. Leah paid for it herself. After he ate, Indrele came out and told Leah he was awake, fed and hung over.

She went into Vodunius' old house and closed the door. Hrisskar was sitting at the table, his head in his hands holding it up. He was shirtless. Leah sat across from him.

"Do you remember this morning?" she asked quietly.

"I don't remember anything but I know I drank too much."

"Yes, you did," Leah concurred. "This morning you nearly shook Fargoth to death, spit in my hair, refused to obey orders because I'm a woman, tried to duel me and ultimately passed out as you tried to make the first swing at me."

Hrisskar groaned. "Is this a joke, lass?"

"I'm afraid it's not. You can ask anyone in town if you wish. You made an utter fool of yourself. And you made the Legion look bad. Your fellow guards are not very happy with you."

He groaned again.

"Hrisskar, I'm Knight of the Imperial Dragon now."

"Then I guess I'd better make plans to return to Skyrim. I'm finished here."

"Not necessarily. I'm willing to give you another chance to redeem yourself if you wish to take it."

He rubbed his eyes and the bags made them look droopy. He held her gaze, waiting.

"I will transfer you to Fort Darius in Gnisis. There, you will give up the drink, follow orders and be a model guard for the others to look up to. After a year, if you've proven yourself to be a model Trooper, I will consider promoting you and/or transferring you to one of the other forts."

"I can't believe you ain't expellin' me."

"I did last night, but changed my mind when I realized just how drunk you really were. When you challenged me to a duel, I knew you weren't all there. I showed you Chrysamere and the Lord's Mail. You didn't stand a chance against me. Even Elone yelled at you not to be a fool."

"I was a fool. You have more honor than I. Thank you for not killing me. I really don't want to die."

"Isn't it only right for the Knight of the Imperial Dragon to be honorable?"

"I guess."

"Will you give up the drink and go to Gnisis?"

"Do I have a choice?"

"You could go back to Skyrim."

He shook his head. "I will go to Gnisis. I won't return to Skyrim a disgrace."

Leah nodded. "You can take the silt strider if you have the gold to do it, but if you don't, you will have to travel by foot. I think that would be good experience for you. The Legion will not pay your silt strider fare."

"I didn't expect you to. I'll have to go on foot."

"That's what I thought. I expect you to report to General Darius at Madach's within a week. That should give you plenty of time to get there on foot."

He nodded.

"One more thing," Leah said. "You will also return every gold piece you've ever stolen from Fargoth and any of the other residents here. I will visit Gnisis periodically and you will give me the gold to give to him. This is not negotiable. There will be no more protection rackets in the Legion. If I hear of them, you will be expelled without warning."

He nodded, unwilling or unable to argue.

"You may stay here for the night if you wish. I expect you to soon leave for Gnisis."

He nodded.

"I'm leaving now. I expect you to remember well what I've said. General Darius is strict, but fair. I expect good reports from him about you."

Leah left. She visited Captain Gravius and informed him of Hrisskar's orders. He nodded and she told him that any officer found to be running protection rackets from the residents were to be expelled from the Legion without warnings. He nodded his assent.

Leah stopped in to say goodbye to Fargoth and walked to her house, glad the day's events were done. She planned to get some rest and then head to Balmora first thing in the morning. She had enough of Seyda Neen for a while, though hoped it would be more a more pleasant place without Hrisskar there, and hoped her plan to send him to Fort Darius would not be folly.
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Denina
Queen of Sarcasm
 
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:57 pm
Location: Balmora, usually

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