A Legendary Destiny

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A Legendary Destiny

Postby neildarkstar » Mon Jul 08, 2013 3:25 pm

Legendary Destiny
by Neildarkstar

Magnifico sat quietly in a dark corner of the Sleeping Giant Inn, and considered his options. At dawn that morning, he'd been caught up in an ambush set by Imperial soldiers. They hadn't been trying to catch him of course - their intended prize was Ulfric Stormcloak, Jarl of Windhelm. Just because they weren't after Mag didn't mean they were going to let him go, however. Anyone caught up at the same time as the Jarl was considered a rebel, and food for the headsman's axe.

That stupid Imperial lackey had stood in front of Mag, asking "And who are you?" as if he really deserved and expected an answer. Actually, it had been a fair question, he supposed.

He'd been named Magnifico MacCormac after two legendary heroes of some other time and place, in the hope that he would live up to those Oh, So Glorious names. Fat chance of that. Mag, now a professional thief and sometimes assassin laughed softly, as he thought of his parent's foolhardy faith in the destiny of names. Running from a robbery gone bad, he'd crossed into skyrim with nothing but the ragged clothes on his back, an iron dagger, and a strong desire to live another day.

After hearing his alias, the Imperial Captain had said only "He goes to the block", and that simperingly apologetic lackey of a soldier had actually tried to claim sorrow over the fate soon to be dealt out. If Mag had managed to keep a weapon of any sort, that soldier would soon have been far sorrier...

Then, while Mag knelt over the headsman's block, a dragon, of all things, had appeared and attacked the town, allowing him to escape in the confusion and panic. What a hell of a day. Soldiers, ambushes, and even dragons...

Allied with one of the Stormcloak soldiers, he'd fought his way clear, and made it to Riverwood... unfortunately, too late in the day to sell of any of the Imperial gear he'd taken from the dead soldiery that had gotten in the way of his freedom.

Now here he was, sitting in the Inn, having spent the only three septims he'd found on a mug of ale.

His thoughts were interrupted by the loud rumble of his stomach, which reminded him he hadn't eaten since... was it yesterday, or the day before?

His eyes, wandering the Inn looking for a victim, settled on a young man who stood in a corner playing a flute. Yes, the corner behind the young man was dark, and there was a supporting pillar of wood nearby which would give some cover as well.

Mag rose from the chair, and idly moved closer to the young man, appearing to be listening intently to the music. When he was close enough, he slipped into the shadowy corner behind the pillar, and turned to get a closer look at his mark.

Typical Nord features adorned a face marked with the stamp of the narcissist, and vanity seemed to sprout like a weed on the young Nord's face. How nice... a target that would provide some amusement when he discovered he'd been robbed, no doubt.

Moving closer to his mark, Mag deftly cut away the young man's purse strings just as the melody of the flute reached it's crescendo. Ordinarily, that would have provided cover for the theft, but as it happened, the Nord moved with the ecstasy of his music in such a fashion as to give him a clear view of Mag crouching there with the purse strings in his hand.

Egads, what a day!

The music died suddenly, as the young Nord's face changed from pure amazement to a look of twisted rage, and Mag tried to calm him.

"Look, nothing's been taken, there's no harm done and I'll just be leaving now, alright?" Mag raised empty hands to show he was not preparing a weapon, and moved toward the door.

Face twisted in injured vanity and rage, the young man cried out "You should never have come here!" as he drew a dagger and attacked. He no doubt thought that killing an unarmed pickpocket would be an easy matter.

Easily avoiding the clumsy lunge, Mag leaped across the intervening space to the door, and fled out into the tenuous shelter of night. He'd only been outside a second before he realized the young man had followed him, as the dagger sliced his already ragged tunic and marked his skin.

With a curse, Mag ran farther into the darkness, out past the view of casual witnesses, then turned to face his outraged assailant.

"Leave off while you still breathe youngling, and we may laugh at this another day. Or, play the fool and press your attack. I'm certain you will have a lovely funeral in that case." Mag slipped into a crouch hands spread wide, and waited for the the young man's response.

It came soon enough in a murderous swing that might have cut him in half, had it touched more than air. The momentum of the swing brought the blade past Mag's right shoulder, and he moved forward swiftly. He grabbed the wrist that held the knife and twisted it sharply as he stepped beneath the swinging arm and turned. The result was that the young man's arm twisted violently, and the knife he held plunged deep into his sternum at an upward angle.

Even in the darkness, Mag could see the look of stunned amazement that flashed across his opponent's face before turning to a grimace of pain, swiftly followed by the blank look of death.

"Idiot!" Mag cursed softly as he took the bard's purse, dagger, flute, and other possessions. Turning away, he moved into the night as he heard the sound of approaching villagers calling out for "Sven" - who would never answer again.

Following the river roughly northwards, Mag again thanked the Gods for the excellence of his night vision. A man with more normal sight would be stumbling blindly in the near-total darkness, but Mag moved nimbly and swiftly through the nighted forest.

Eventually, he found a pile of downed timber beside a log, and crawled back into the twisted limbs before falling into an exhausted sleep.

He was awakened at dawn by the sounds of forest creatures doing their morning tasks - which seemed to mostly consist of chattering loudly about Mag's inconsiderate use of their playground. He stretched largely, wincing a bit as he stretched the skin scored by Sven's blade the night before. He then flicked a large bug from his shoulder, after considering for a moment whether that might be his breakfast. Surely something else would turn up...

He walked down the road more or less towards Whiterun. He'd been asked to convey a message to the Jarl regarding the dragon, and since he had no place else to be, he'd determined to honor that request.

As he walked, the day brightened, but only a little bit. Heavy clouds obscured the sun, leaving the forest inn a dimly-lit gloom that seemed to drink all sound and light. Wonderful, Mag thought. Now it's going to rain.

A drizzle soon began, quickly turning into a downpour that thoroughly soaked his ragged clothes. The rush of rain and water covered all sound, so it was a mutual surprise when he rounded a corner and walked directly into the arms of three Imperial soldiers. The lead soldier responded with an "Oomph! Watch where you're going, peasant!" as Mag kept his head down, eyes lowered, and tried to look as innocent as possible. His luck continued in a cursed fashion, as the other two soldiers yelled "Stop him! That's the one that escaped the headsman's axe yesterday!"

Mag pulled the first soldier's sword from its sheathe, and ran directly into the two following soldiers, knocking them off-balance as he made his run for freedom. There was a large structure just downhill from him, so Mag abandoned the road to run down and around the side of the building. He gained cover behind it just as arrows began whizzing by his head. Momentarily protected by the building from the archers, he ran on the length of the building then onto the road that fronted it. He glanced back to see the Imperials were rounding the building in hot pursuit, and when he turned his attention back to the front, he ran squarely into the arms of a Whiterun city guard who had stepped out in front of him. The guard's two fellows came from the side, and shortly they had a struggling Mag firmly in their grip.

Of course there followed a long discussion between city guards and Imperial soldiers. In the end, it was determined that the Jarl's jurisdiction, and the Jarl's justice would prevail. Disgruntled and empty-handed, the Imperials turned and headed back toward Helgen with muttered imprecations.

The Whiterun guards marched Mag to the Whiterun dungeon at the quickstep, and it was with no small amount of gratitude that Mag arrived in his new home. He was just in time to collapse on his pile of straw with a lukewarm bowl of lunch... whatever it was. He thought it might be a soup or very runny porridge, and some of the vegetables were still crawling (or swimming)... yet it was, however, filling and tasted altogether wonderful.

After his meal, he slept for a few hours, waking just before sunset. Moving silently as only a Bosmer can, he went to the door, and just for the hell of it tried to pick the lock. Nobody could have been more amazed at his success on the first try than he. Watching carefully, he sneaked out into the jail proper, and was headed for what appeared to be the main door, when several guards walked in through the door directly in front of him.

They took one look at him, gave out startled yells and raised the alarm. Mag turned to run, and the chase was on.

Scampering down the hall, leaping tables and overturning tables and chairs as he went, he leaped and dived madly between the swinging blades of the howling guards.

They would have no doubt caught him handily, if there just hadn't been quite so many of them. Unknowingly, Mag had made his break right at shift change, and twice as many guards as normal were present. Cursing loudly as they managed to hit each other with wild swings of their swords, and as they often fell in a tangle of armor, blades, and limbs they tried their best, but were unable to quite catch the scrambling Wood Elf.

Finally, he managed to locate a back door, and ran out into the falling darkness of the city. He hoped to pass unnoticed out of the city gates, but the yells of the guards who followed him soon had every guard in the place on full alert.

He ran down flights of steps, leaped small canals and benches, pushing citizenry out of the way as he went, tying to find an exit from the city itself. It seemed that everywhere he ran city guards leaped from nowhere to confront him, and he was soon completely lost as he turned and twisted his course to avoid swords, guards, and arrows.

At last, he pushed past a balding fat man who proclaimed loudly that he was Captain of the Guard and it seemed he apparently expected that fact would assure Mag's immediate surrender.

Mag's response was something like "Out of the way, baldy!" as he ran past the Captain and out the city gate that was directly behind him.

On the other side of the gate were two guards, who immediately took up the chase, spurred on by the breathless curses of their Captain.

Running swiftly now that he was in the open, Mag noticed the smell of horses in the air. He turned toward the source of that wonderful smell and soon found himself in a stable, where he was fortunate enough to discover a saddled horse waiting for it's owner. He leaped to it's back, and it waited no longer.

Charging out of the stable like mounted cavalry, he bowled down two guards, and soon he and his new equine friend disappeared into the night.

Riding Eastward on the smooth stones of the road, Mag suddenly realized his situation was really much worse now that he was free. No weapons, no armor, no food, he was defenseless in the night. He realized that the speed of the horse was his only defense, and he dared not dismount until he was somewhere safe. But... where in the world would that be?
"If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans." - Movie "Flypaper"
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neildarkstar
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Re: A Legendary Destiny

Postby Adul » Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:59 am

Hah, Mag is one unlucky Bosmer. :biggrin:

Loved the story, Neil! Is that the end or will there be more?
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Re: A Legendary Destiny

Postby neildarkstar » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:34 am

Adul wrote:Hah, Mag is one unlucky Bosmer. :biggrin:

Loved the story, Neil! Is that the end or will there be more?


I'm glad you enjoyed it. There will be more...
:biggrin:
"If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans." - Movie "Flypaper"
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Re: A Legendary Destiny

Postby Adul » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:40 am

neildarkstar wrote:I'm glad you enjoyed it. There will be more...

Good. :bouncy:

Oh, and I never liked Sven myself. I guess you could say I'm "camp Faendal."
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Re: A Legendary Destiny

Postby neildarkstar » Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:11 pm

Chapter 2

Mag held the horse to a canter as he rode into the night. As for the horse, it seemed he had stolen a fine, spirited mount with a good deal of endurance. Leaning forward, he spoke to it softly as he patted it's neck to get it familiarized with his voice. He thought it was a mare, but he was uncertain as to it's true color or markings.

They had crossed at least one bridge and started up a hill, he noticed torchlight ahead and to the left side of the road. Slowing his mount to a walk, he peered intently through the darkness toward the flickering and uncertain light as it moved around in what seemed to be aa small clearing.

Soon he was close enough to determine that the torch-bearer was a large individual dressed in full armor... and then he noticed the bodeies that lay scattered about the clearing. The bodies were in various states of undress, and Mag unconsciously reached for weapons he didn't have as it came to him that here was the scene of a battle, and the torch-bearer was in fact looting the bodies.

Unable to determine whether the looter was just a scavenger or had in fact actually slain the fallen in combat, Mag opted for caution and urged his mount into a sudden run as he passed within an arms length of the looter. The looter himself had apparently been unaware that he was not alone, and turned with a shout and Mag realized that the individual was a very large orc who began running heavily in hot pursuit. Only a moment had passed in this strange flight and pursuit, when Mag passed through the midst of a pack of wolves, apparently being drawn to the area by the scent of the bloody corpses.

Mag wondered what manner of witch he had pissed off as the mare bowled one of the snarling wolves over, while passing between the others. A moment later he heard howls of pain and the grunts of exertion from behind him as the surprised orc and the equally astonished wolves introduced themselves to each other.

Looking back, Mag couldn't resist a laugh as he saw that the sputtering torch lay on the ground illuminating a scene of total chaotic mayhem behind him. Snapping, snarling teeth closed on armored legs, while flashing blade rent only air more often than not as the dance of combat whirled madly in the reddish flickering light. Smiling, he continued on at an easy gallop, reassured that whoever won would likely not be up to pursuing him any time soon.

An hour or so later, Mag saw the light of a fire beside the road ahead. Muttering an imprecation and a hasty "Now what?" he rode up a low hill toward the fire and what he thought was a large structure beside it. As he got closer, he saw the building was a large tower, and the fire, bridged by a spit holding a cooking pot, was set near the door.

The food simmering in the pot smelled like something sent from heaven, and his stomach growled loudly as he remembered how long ago lunch had been. In fact, it growled so loudly that Mag almost didn't hear the soft creak of the tautening bowstring as a hidden archer took aim.

With a yell, Mag urged the mare into a run straight at the fire, then kicked the cooking pot into the fire as he passed. Clouds of steam rose from the near-extinguished fire, and Mag hoped the steam and changing light at least partially obscured him from the archer's sight. He heard the hum of arrows whizzing by from the side as well as from behind, as Mag rode into the darkness. Fortunately, none hit their mark but he was certain he felt the rush of air as they passed. Riding on, he listened an watched intently, but it seemed nobody was interested in following him from the tower.

The mare picked her steps carefully as he rode down a steep hill, negotiating turns in the dark. He heard the sound of water from the side of the road as he approached the bottom of the grade. After a moment's consideration, he turned the horse towards what he thought was a river or stream, and let her drink her fill. Not daring to dismount, he rode the mare into the rushing water until it was deep enough to reach down and scoop up handfuls to satisfy his own thirst.

Feeling refreshed, he turned back onto the road and continued toward his destination... wherever or whatever that might be.
"If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans." - Movie "Flypaper"
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