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Everything posted by The_Good_Doctor

  1. Since everyone seemed to like the Fallout adventure poll idea, we've decided to do two this time. I've included info on both in the spoiler tags below. First though, there's the matter of the tie we had with the previous poll: The "machine hacking/distraction to escape", the "quietly sneak away", and the "Bed your lady and become her favorite pet". Y'all can vote in the comments between these three which one you think should be the one to be canon for the RP. Now, on to the new poll factions:
  2. The knife tugging scene at the beginning made me wince more than anything from a cartoon has before. That was brutal. Especially the sounds he was making, not something we've heard from Jack before. And the entire fight in the snow was awesome.
  3. That map is fanmade. We don't actually know how large or far away any of the eastern islands are in the lore. The best piece of canon info that we do have though is from the book "Report: Disaster at Ionith." It tells us that the voyage from Ersoneit to Akavir took the Empire's expeditionary force about five weeks. It's unknown how long it would take to reach Ersoneit from Tamriel though. I think details about the east are kept from us intentionally. Bethesda wants it to be mysterious. So the best answer I can give you is that it would definitely take many months.
  4. Little bit. Lots of fun but I didn't stay with it long.
  5. Not explicitly, but the only known place where people can learn the art is in Cloudrest. And considering the fact that the only face sculptor we meet across six games traveled across the Empire to sell her services to the wealthiest nobles, it seems to be a very exclusive field. And honestly, it is pretty fitting for the High Elves, who are known for both their vanity and for using weird types of magic to fix virtually all of their problems.
  6. There may very well not be more than a very small handful of face sculpters outside of Alinor (where humans aren't even let in). And infinite possibilities doesn't mean that everything that potentially could happen will. There may be a lot of people this trick wouldn't work on simply because there's not a reality in which they ever encounter a face sculpter.
  7. That's for BT to say as he's done the most research on the stuff, but I wold imagine that this would be really damned dangerous. Doubt many sane people would let a shadow mage change them this way.
  8. I suppose she already sort of has by meeting Winvale. It's not really possible yet to determine if Endar or Krojun are more powerful than him yet, or by how much if they are, but that shouldn't really matter as Morane wouldn't be able to tell anyway. Heck, she believes that Winvale is weaker than the wyrd except when it comes to shadow magic, which I personally doubt is the case.
  9. Gotcha. I vaguely remember that game because I thought the fighting was really good. I never owned or beat it though.
  10. Wasn't that the one with the really good sword fighting mechanics?
  11. Great post as always BT.
  12. (Continued) Carlotta, Mila, Maul (Colonelkillabee) Carlotta could only watch in horror as countless arrows turned her sister into a human pincushion. So many, that when she fell, those that went through propped her body up like some grotesque, bloody doll. "Back!" She screamed, "Mila, back into the sewers!" She quickly backed into the tunnel so that the archers to the sides could not get an angle on her, and then turned to run. To her horror, Garthar and Molgrom were clashing swords with four men who now blocked their escape. Where did they come from? She unsheathed her own dagger and took a step in their direction. Wait, where's Mila? In answer, the thug in the back let out a scream and fell to his knees, and then the man beside him did the same. This bought Garthar and Molgrom the relief they needed to defeat their own opponents, and then finish off the downed ones behind them. Mila stood at the back of the fray, having somehow gotten behind the four thugs. Her dagger gleamed with red. "Go! GO!" She shouted, sprinting toward her daughter. "We'll hide in the sewer!" Garthar hurried alongside them. Carlotta looked over her shoulder as she ran to see Molgrom still near the entrance. He had turned, no longer facing them, but instead the open sewer gate, which even now, she could see armed figures coming through. She didn't call after him. Molgrom had made his choice. He would die, but maybe it would buy them a few precious moments. They raced down the tunnel, this time not taking the drawbridge to the Flagon, but instead going down into the winding maze of sewers below. ~~~ "ARCHERS!" At the sound of Maul yelling for them at the top of his lungs, the approaching guards quickly stood aside to make way for the volley of arrows that shot through the sewer's entrance. Molgrom didn't stand a chance, but the strong willed man still stood, if weakly. His sword felt as though it weighed a ton as it dropped to the floor, but still, he stood. Maul came marching forward then, his newly acquired armor gleaming in the moonlight. He didn't stop to exchange words. He only pushed the man over before ordering the rest of his men into the sewers. Right over poor Molgrom. ~~~ "How many were there?" Garthar asked Carlotta as they ran. She had been the only one besides Vex to get a good look. "I don't know." she said, already beginning to feel the strain of running with lots of weight on her back take its toll. "Too many to count." The three of them rounded a bend into a familiar-looking passageway. "Have we already been here?" Carlotta asked, worried. She could hear the clamor of guards and thugs behind them. "No." Garthar assured her. Though he didn't look entirely positive. He led them through a dark hall that ended in a crossroads. There was a passage left, and a passage forward, each leading down a different sewer tunnel. This place is a maze. thought Carlotta. Hopefully it could throw off it at least split up their pursuers. Garthar started for the passage left. "Wait." she said, shrugging off her pack of provisions. She tossed it as far as she could down the forward tunnel. Maybe that will throw them off some. Garthar nodded in approval of the idea and continued on. Carlotta and Mila followed close by his side. ~~~ Maul's dead eyes were bloodshot from lack of sleep and hazed with anger as they darted around the dark back end of Riften that as he said, he always came back to. The anger and rage from meeting dead end after dead end when looking for them before was only made worse from the thought that these people were the reason that the sewer's awful stench once again assaulted his nostrils. He took point when the sewer passage way split up into three, but he was prepared. He sent a score of men in each direction, with him leading the middle charge. His advance could be heard by the scrape of Grimsever upon the stone wall, so that the ice that it emitted would leave a path to show where he and his men had already walked. "Stop your pointless running and make this easy for the both of us! Do so now and I'll spare the child! Make me angry and you'll all suffer." Maul barked out commands and bargains the entire way, his harsh voice echoing throughout the tunnels of Riften's bowels. ~~~ Maul's cold voice echoed from the distant tunnels behind them, but to Carlotta's relief, it sounded like he had taken a wrong turn at some point. Everything he shouted was distant and distorted. "What's he saying?" Mila asked as they ran. "I don't know," Carlotta answered, "but it doesn't matter. We can't let them catch us. How far are we Garthar?" "From the Flagon? I think we're getting close." "What do you mean 'you think'? You people live down here!" "Not down here!" the large thief's unease showed clearly. "I always took the drawbridge or the crypt exit." "Crypt exit? Is that where we're going?" "If we're lucky. Still don't know how I'm gonna get you past all the guild. I'll try my best." Carlotta realized that the thief very likely had no intention of doing that at all. He hadn't been seen. If he could slip away back among his guildmates, He and Mila would no longer be his problem. "Make sure you do." she said, as they came up on a closed door at the end of the passage. "Because we're in this together now." And if you try anything, your name will be the one I give up. Garthar seemed to understand. His eyes widened, and for a moment, he looked like little more than a child to Carlotta. A child who knew he was in way over his head. Breathing deeply, he opened the door. "Have you seen a woman and her daughter? And at least one thief with them?" Ahead was a small room with two exits. One led up a flight of stairs, and the other down another passage. In the corner, on a dirty bedroll, sat an old looking man in rags. He looked up at the pair of guards questioning him with a terrified expression. When the fleeing trio entered, his eyes widened and he pointed at them. Garthar wasted no time, rushing forward, he slashed one of the unprepared guards across the neck with his sword. The second was not so easily caught off-guard, and quickly slashed out with his own axe. Garthar dodged out of the way and caught the swing with his blade, hooking it under the axe head and locking their weapons together. The guard let go of his axe with his left hand and threw a punch at his cheek, knocking Garthar to he ground and disarming him. The thuggish guard smirked as he stepped forward, beginning to raise his axe for a killing blow. But by then, Carlotta was upon him, driving her dagger into his ribcage again and again and again, until her arm was covered in blood and the guard was no longer standing. Gods... That was too easy. Garthar looked impressed as he got back to his feet. "First time?" Still a little dazed, Carlotta nodded. She didn't even want to look and see how Mila responded to what she'd just seen. "Let's just keep-" "HERE!" the man in rags shouted into the tunnels. Carlotta had already forgotten about him. "They're OVER HE-" His screams were cut short by Garthar's sword in his throat. "They'd have heard that. Come on." He started up the stairs as the body collapsed. "The Flagon is higher, so we should be on the right path." ~~~ Heavy footsteps came closer from behind him as Maul stared at the ground in front of him. The guard came panting, thanking the gods that Maul left a path on the wall with his sword. "Sir, we found this pack, but nothing else. W-" The guard just then noticed the dead bodies on the ground in front of Maul. "We're getting closer. I know where they are. Take the men back. I'll take five with me the rest of the way. The rest go around back through the city. If the wife becomes too much trouble, then kill her. I'd prefer her alive though. But the daughter, she's the biggest target. Don't kill her no matter what." ~~~ "Look! Light!" Mila sprinted ahead of Carlotta and Garthar when she saw the moonlight pouring down into an upcoming chamber. The two of them hurried after her, only to see how disappointed the girl looked when she realized that the well above them from which the light came was far out of reach and too smooth to climb besides. It emptied into a little round patch of moss and flowers. A lunar moth fluttered above their heads. It was a tauntingly beautiful little patch of life contrasting the gloomy dark tunnels. Carlotta wasn't sure if this sight made her hopeful or slightly disheartened. Somehow, it seemed a bit of both. "Don't worry." Garthar said, "I know this spot. The guild is just ahead." Sure enough, they soon reached a corridor where the wall torches were lit and various signs of inhabitants showed. There was a wooden table with some old book and an empty plate sitting on it. There was a door at the far end, and a carving beside it. It depicted a diamond with a circle inside it. The mark was familiar to Carlotta, but she couldn't determine where from. Garthar led them through, into the familiar underground tavern: The Ragged Flagon. It stood more crowded than the previous times Carlotta had snuck through with Vex and Cynric. Then, there had only been the barkeep and a couple of patrons. Now, as they cautiously approached, she noticed the barkeep's large, dark brown-haired Nord bouncer yelling at someone in a corner, and quite a few thieves and lowlife patrons sat at various tables. A Redguard woman stood up beside some crates at the central platform, above the pool of water that filled the middle of the circular room. She seemed to be doing business with a Dunmer. Even a blacksmith was hammering iron at the far corner of the room. These people were all criminals of some sort or another. Thieves, thugs, fences, and fugitives alike flocked to the literal underground bar when the hour grew late. How are we supposed to convince any of these people to help us? Garthar seemed to know who best to talk to, as he led them around the right of the pool, straight into the heart of the group. She could feel plenty of cruel eyes on them as they passed. It almost made her jump when Mila's quivering fingers clutched at hers. Carlotta held her frightened daughter's hand and walked alongside her. They would stick near Garthar and he would do the talking. That's all it would take. Her greatest fear was of the door behind them. Any moment it could burst open and Maul could march in with his men. She cast the thoughts away along with any fear she may have shown. Mila's shaking reminded her that she needed to be strong. They approached a Wood Elf man with a bow on his back and wearing the same dark guild armor that Vex wore. The resemblance was not lost to Mila, as became clear when Carlotta felt the girl's grip tighten when the elf looked up at them and smiled with a hint of humor. "Well, well, Garthar," said the elf "I'd been wondering where you got off to. Sapphire was looking for you when last we spoke." He turned his slender, jet-black eyes on Carlotta and Mila. "Your companions... They aren't who I think they are. Are they?" Garthar's initial pause was answer enough. "...Look Niruin, we need to get through the Cistern. These two aren't with the guild, but they are no threat. Believe me, it's an emergency." He grabbed Carlotta's arm and gently led her past his apparent superior. "We're going now. Okay?" "Wait!" Conversations halted and eyes turned as the large bouncer crossed the room, eyes boring into Carlotta. "These two aren't going anywhere." Garthar's fists balled, but he held composure. "Dirge, lis-" "Shut up! My brother wrote for me to keep an eye out for..." he stepped closer, resting a hand on the pommel of his war axe and still eyeing Carlotta. "A pretty woman," he paced in front of them, stopping in front of Mila. "a young girl," he looked up again, but at Garthar. "And any traitors found with them." "Watch it, Dirge." Garthar said slowly. "Not everyone here has the same definition of traitor as Maul." Dirge snarled and drew his axe, prompting Garthar to draw his own blade in turn. The two stood eyeing one another. Everyone else watched in dangerous silence. "It doesn't matter what everyone here thinks. So, where is Vex? Has she decided to cut it and run?" "She's dead." Mila said angrily. Her grip on Carlotta's hand growing even tighter. "Maul killed her!" That brought a commotion from the spectators. "Vex was no traitor!" someone shouted. "Let them past!" Said another. "How can you know?" came a woman's voice. "Mercer seemed loyal and did the same!" A dozen more voices began arguing and shouting, and even a few more weapons could be heard sliding from their sheaths. Through it all, Dirge held fast. "You were right." he said, before briefly looking over their shoulders. A wicked smile crossed his lips. "But it doesn't matter." he swung his axe, meeting Garthar's sword with a loud metallic 'clang'. Carlotta pulled Mila a few feet back to clear her of the immediate threat, then looked back to see what Dirge had looked at. She groaned. At the entrance, stood a large man in a full suit of Nordic armor. Boldir's armor, she realized, but the wearer was the farthest thing from her husband. He and five men in Riften guard armor were entering the room, and even now making their way toward her. "Come on!" She nearly dragged Mila after her as she sprinted past the fighting men, the elf, and all others in the room, straight to the back of the tavern. There was only one door. The same one Vex had snuck her through before. Carlotta had thought there would be another, perhaps to lead to a larger HQ, or at least another section of the guild hideout. If this "crypt exit" existed, it would have to be this way. "No!" she heard someone shout from the chaos behind them. "Don't go that way!" Maybe it was Garthar, or one of the others trying to help. Or maybe it was Dirge attempting to halt their escape. She prayed for the latter as she opened the door and led Mila into the darkness beyond. ~~~ Maul came marching into the Ragged Flagon like Numidium himself. Heavy footed, deliberate and bent on destruction. He didn't say a word, but he didn't need to. Everyone knew what his presence there meant. He noticed where his targets went and was a little disappointed that they didn't make it further. He wanted to see the hope lost from their pretty faces when they saw he had the outside exits sealed off. After signalling for his men to stand at the door Carlotta lead Mila through, Maul yelled, "Brother! A word." Dirge heard the call, and appeared disappointed, as he was winning his fight. Garthar paused when he noticed that everyone in the room had halted their fighting upon Maul's commands. Capitalizing on this, Dirge delivered a heavy blow with his axe handle to the thief's forehead, knocking him unconscious to the ground. He met Maul halfway as he approached. Looking around the room at all the eyes on him, Maul finally rested his cold glare on Dirge. "Good job, brother. I knew I could count on you to stay loyal. Do me a favor; point out everyone here who raised blades in protection of those two in the Vault. Do it as best you can." As Maul had suspected, Dirge did not look so pleased with this command. Garthar and Vex had been direct traitors, and very openly in the end. But the rest had only stuck up for the memory of their friend. All of this, Maul knew, but their treachery could not simply be forgiven, and Dirge was the one who stood most loyal to their true masters. "It was... Uhh..." Dirge's eyes went all across the room, stopping on this guildmate and that. He was good for stopping an active traitor, but Dirge had lived half his life among these people. Asking him to rat on them was no small matter. Finally, his eyes rested on one and he nodded. "I know that one of them was-" A flying dagger took Dirge in the arm, cutting him short and staggering him back. Another bounced off of Maul's own armor, doing no damage. At that moment, the sound of various weapons being drawn echoed throughout the large room. Maul raised his hand at the sound of swords being drawn, then yelled at the top of his voice, "No! Stop. There's no need. Lower your weapons. I think this demonstration is the perfect way to show the problem we now have. You all know how important Maven is to this guild. I don't need to explain it to you. But Maven isn't the only one that these people have betrayed. Vex...Garthar..." Maul suddenly turned and put his eyes on another guild member. "Viper the Fleet... yea, I saw you throw the daggers. These guild members were planning to run away and never turn back, leaving all of you behind to fend for yourselves. And for what? To help people that murdered a member of Maven's family? Maven has been nothing but good to all of you. It's because of her that your purses are fat and you remain free from prison. Remember that now as I ask for you all to bring forth any traitors like Viper. Unless, you want to go back to the old days not too long ago when your stolen goods could barely pay for bread and water. I remember those days. I was one of you, after all." No one could see Maul's expression beneath the helmet, but there was some satisfaction there as he noticed Niruin slowly adjust his bow so that it now aimed at Viper. The elf had tried to be inconspicuous about it, as the previous target had been none other than Maul himself. Fortunate for him that he had, because he did not likely know that the tip of the ex-bandit Thrynn's sword was waiting inches behind his neck. Another thief, this one newer blood, slowly lowered his own shortsword, and another followed in suit. "Have you all forgotten the last ten days? Who is it that you think we would have had to fend for ourselves against?!" Viper raised his hands defensively when he saw that he did not have the backing he'd expected. "It is Maul who has hounded us without relent! And it was not Maven that dug us from our misfortunes! We did that ourselves! We don't need masters!" Most of the members looked uneasy after he said this, especially those who had drawn their weapons. Niruin, however, was still trying to sell that he had always been an unwaveringly loyal ally, and looked to Maul for permission to prove it. "Let me kill him, brother." Dirge growled as he came back to Maul's side clutching his bleeding arm. Maul decided then to take off his helmet. He wasn't the greatest at persuasion or speeches, but he was learning. He didn't yet give Niruin the signal until he truly needed to. "It was me hounding you, barking at your heels, true. But if I hadn't done that, Maven would have done a lot worse to you if she thought the guild was too compromised to be trusted any longer. Trusting this to me, to a fellow member, that was her showing mercy. After Viper is taken care of, this will all finally be over. Anyone else who was disloyal, your acceptance of his punishment will be considered your forgiveness. Then we can all go back to doing what we do best. Making gold." "He is NOT a fellow member!" Viper shouted desperately. The fear in his eyes made it clear that he knew the situation was direly against him. "And we do not owe the Black-Briars our loyalty! These recent days are proof that they dictate us beyond simple partnership. They kill us when it suits them for Talos's sake!" "They also keep the guards from flushing this place out!" Dirge added irritably. He was clearly itching to go and bury his axe in the thief's head. Viper's hopeless glances around the room only showed him what Maul wanted him to see. Nobody was going to raise a weapon to help him. Even those who agreed with what he said were not fool enough to attempt it at this point. They would only die alongside him. Maul nodded to Niruin then after placing on his new helmet. He had to, or he wouldn't be able to hide his grin otherwise. He knew his brother wanted the kill, clearly, but having his brother do it would only make things worse for Dirge as well as himself, since it would look as though he used his relationship to manipulate him. "Sorry, Viper. Disloyalty to the guild and to Maven can't be taken lightly. Looks like you should have taken to your namesake and ran with the other snakes." "I am no sn-" Viper the Fleet didn't get to finish his sentence, as a steel point piercing cleanly through his throat made him the third thief to fall to arrows tonight. He briefly dropped to his knees, gurgling blood down his chin and onto his clothes, and then collapsed face-first to the floor. Dirge looked angry to have his revenge robbed, but he said nothing. As usual, he would remain a loyal brother. "Your other... convicts," said Niruin, "the ones that came in with Garthar. They made for the Vaults. Possibly even the Warrens if they could find the way." Maul gave his brother a strong shake on his back in apology and to say thank you. He moved to the crowd without saying another word to the back where the Vaults were. As he passed Niruin, he clasped the elf's shoulder suddenly with a heavy gauntlet covered hand and while not looking at him said in a low menacing voice, "You're forgiven," before continuing on with his four men behind him. ~~~ The tunnels beyond the Ragged Flagon were even darker and more confusing than those before. Carlotta knew them no better than she knew Oblivion itself, but was no fool. She knew in her heart that she had made a grievous mistake coming back here. Whatever secret exit Garthar had referred to was long behind them by now. The thief had made it sound close, most likely somewhere in the Flagon itself. These tunnels were no escape to the outside world. They were where people came to avoid it. These tunnels were where lowlifes and outcasts of only the most hated sort came to live out their days when no one else would have them. Even as they passed from one dark room to the next, taking every confusing turn at random, Carlotta could see signs of life. One of the earlier rooms had contained a ragged bedroll, and the embers of a campfire still glowed in the center of the room. More than once, she heard footsteps. Not the heavy metal boots of Maul and his thugs, but the quick and quiet 'pitter patter' of someone running in soft boots or even bare feet. It wasn't constant or consistent. Sometimes it could be heard in tunnels ahead, and sometimes behind. But the inhabitants of these tunnels seemed to have no desire to be seen.That's fine, thought Carlotta, just as long as they keep their distance. As she and Mila rounded a corner from a small room and into a dark hall, Carlotta spotted a fairly well-lit chamber ahead. There were other paths she could take, but none promised anything more than more empty dark rooms and damp passages. At least this one stood out. With Mila's hand held in her left hand, and the red-stained steel dagger tightly clenched in her right, Carlotta edged lightly forward, trying to make as little noise as possible. When they reached the lit room, she was disappointed to find that it was none other than the one her sister had brought them to hide in earlier that night. "Hey," said Mila, "this is the-" "I know." she said, looking around carefully. Something was wrong here, but she couldn't quite place it. Mila gasped, "Didn't we put the lights out when we left?" That was it! Carlotta cast a nervous glance at the doorway to the little room she and Mila had spent most of their time in as Vex and the others had planned their escape. These tunnels were not guild turf. It was very possible that someone had waited for them to leave to take back this little corner of the Vaults to sleep in. Taking one step back, then a second, Carlotta said, "Let's not go through here. There were plenty of other passages to-" Her heart stopped as her back bumped against something warm, something breathing. "Hello!" whispered a cold, quiet voice into her ear. Carlotta spun around, pushing Mila behind her. She held out her dagger towards a tall, slender Nord man with the palest skin and most malicious smile she had ever seen. His eyes went up and down over her, looking almost hungry. The man was barefoot, and his shirt was ripped to the point that almost as much skin was exposed as covered. "Just what exactly do you plan on doing with that?" he asked, stepping forward, and holding up a blade of his own. It was steel, and bore the Empire's insignia of the dragon on it. "Why don't you just drop that poker of yours? The little one too. We won't be needing those for what comes next." He flicked his tongue across his lips, in a manner that looked a cross between some reptile and a starving man looking upon a feast. Carlotta could barely control her breathing. How had this man snuck up on them so quietly? "L- let us pass." she said, trying and failing to sound unphased. "Well aren't you brave? Pretty too. Not a lotta women like you down here." The white in the man's eyes was bloodshot, and there was definitely a certain, terrifying insanity in them. "I'm not gonna say it again. Weapons. Down." Carlotta could no longer feel Mila behind her, but she could hear her daughter's own staggered breathing to her back. Her presence was a constant reminder that giving up right now was not an option. There was no telling what this man might do to them given the chance. She gripped her dagger even more tightly and backed up a few steps, back into the lit room. "Come any closer, and I'll..." she forced her expression to harden. "I'll kill you." The man only smiled and flicked his tongue again, following until he stood in the empty doorframe. "You're dangerous, woman, but not enough for this place." In a quick, fluid motion the man flicked his sword, knocking the dagger from her hand, and then there was a moment of chaos. One that Carlotta could barely follow. She could hear Mila shouting out, and there was a blur of movement causing the man looked momentarily caught off-guard. Mila was in front of her, and the girl's dagger had somehow ended up in the man's right forearm. "Little bitch!" The Nord threw a wild elbow that struck Mila in the forehead, sending her to the ground on her back. He let out a ferocious scream and, dagger still in his arm, stabbed his Imperial blade straight at Carlotta. She tried to move, but the man was too fast. Carlotta saw Mila's horrified eyes looking up at her from the floor as the cold steel bit into her stomach. She then fell to her knees, taking the sword with her. "Now for you!" The crazed Nord cried out, pulling the dagger from his arm and tossing it aside. "You and I are gonna put on a show for mommy!" Carlotta's vision was slowly blurring, and she could only hear the sound of a struggle while her eyes slowly tried to close against her will. She groaned and reached out, finding nothing. "Don't..." And then the sound of struggling stopped. Along with the cries of pain or anger. All she could hear was the chilling, high-pitched whistle of the wind. We're underground. Carlotta thought, Why am I hearing the wind? The sound grew louder, and she realized that it was not the wind that she heard, but an actual whistle. Their attacker must have heard it as well, as she forced her eyes halfway open just in time to see him running off down the hall he had followed them from. Soon after, Mila was looking down on her. The girl's eyes were teary and red, and she looked terrified. "I'm sorry." she was saying. "I thought he was swinging at you. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry!" There was a pause in which all she could hear was weeping, and then Carlotta felt a sharp pain in her stomach. The shortsword was being pulled out of her. "Stop..." she managed to breath. Mila was shaking her head furiously, and continued to pull. The girl didn't understand. Carlotta spoke again through gritted teeth."Stop pulling it- Ahh!... so fast." She let out another cry and brought her hands to the wound. "Do it slowly!" Carlotta muttered what words she could remember from her old book, and her hands began to glow a bright gold. Now, Mila understood what she meant, and her expression changed from scared to hopeful. It hurt like all of Oblivion, and there was no shortage of crying out, but Mila continued to pull the blade out slowly and carefully, and the healing magic slowly repaired the areas it had touched. When the sword was finally out, Carlotta pressed both hands against the bloody wound and held them there, letting the magic run from her hands to the cut. The wound was not fully healed when the gold fizzed out. She needed a minute to replenish her magicka. Then came the whistling again. It was closer this time, echoing from somewhere back in the dark tunnels. Now, it was clearly accompanied by heavy, metallic footsteps. Oh no. It pained Carlotta to stand, but she somehow managed. Mila retrieved the daggers and handed hers back to her. Carlotta's bloody hand felt weak now, and she had a hard time holding the weapon with any real strength. "We need to hide." she said, and leading her daughter through the room more slowly than before, and into yet another dark passage of the Ratways. Behind them, they could hear the chilling whistles bounce throughout the dark maze of tunnels, and what seemed like deliberately slow footsteps accompanied the tune almost at the same beat. Carlotta felt dizzy, and the warm blood against her skin told her that she needed to find a place where she could finish the healing, or risk collapsing and leaving Mila to fend for herself. A couple of passages and rooms later, they entered another chamber. It seemed to be of similar size to the one they'd been attacked in, but it was hard to tell. The room was pitch dark, and the far walls could not even be seen. Carlotta made sure Mila was holding onto her sleeve as she felt her way along the wall, until she hit something wooden. It seemed to be some kind of furniture. Feeling around it some more, Carlotta realized that it was a wardrobe. She found the handle and opened the door. After taking a moment to feel around inside, she decided that it was empty, and then whispered to Mila. "Climb in. We'll hide in here." Her daughter obeyed, and they both climbed up into the large piece of furniture, before closing the doors. Blackness was all they could see for several moments, and then the entire inside lit up a bright gold as she set to finishing her healing work. Mila watched through teary eyes. Poor girl. She blames herself. "Look at me," Carlotta said, causing Mila's eyes to lift and meet her's. "We will be okay. Alright?" "I attacked the man." Mila sobbed, ignoring what she had said. "I made him stab you. I thought he was trying to hurt you!" "I know." Carlotta said, biting her lip as the magic touched at her tender flesh. "You did the right thing, sweetie. He was going to hurt me. You too. You stopped him." "The man chasing us stopped him." Mila said. "He was above me before he heard him." Carlotta didn't want to think about what that sick man may have wanted from them, but it did not matter now. He was gone and they still had their original threat to deal with. "He was a lot bigger than you, but you stalled him. You scared him and confused him. He may not have run if you hadn't done what you'd done." That made Mila brighten up somewhat. The girl wiped her eyes and nodded, just as Carlotta felt the outermost layer of her wound seal up. The magical glow faded, and they were once again left in the darkness, the only sound a steady rhythmic whistle echoing through the tunnels. Who is there whistling in my dark womb, bringing folks within this tomb, A child, a caretaker, carelessly hidden, and now they've gone and created their prison, Clang! Clang! Seductive wail, like the sky breath against a sail, Metal automaton, flashing bright! Please don't find me in the night..... Clang...clang...crackle... "Stay back..." said Maul whispering to his men. "Guard the entrance." As they nodded, the ironclad hunter slowly pounded is way into the darkness of the room, his feet meeting heavily and slowly against the stone floor beneath him. The man couldn't see a thing, so he took out his sword and a dagger from his blade belt and clashed them together, sending elemental ice from it and illuminating a small portion of the room each time he did. Maul thought he saw a shape at the corner of his left eye, but then he heard something stir in front of him... He turned sharply, then ceased banging Grimsever, taking pause for a long time. More steps came, then there was some more whistling, made only the more sorrowful in pitch from the helmet around him and the thin slit from which the sound escaped. "I know you're in here, my little pups." Another crackle and flash of bluish light came from his blade. "Come to Maul." Another flash. "Or die like dogs." Maul heard another sound, something like scurrying in front of him and he instinctively made a grab for whoever it was. The person was small, frail, and smelled every bit as bad as their surroundings. Maul had the person, a woman from the sounds of it pinned to the wall by her neck, then scraped the point of his sword next to her head to make ice form next to her and glow to reveal her face. "A toothless hag. Hello, hag. Did you see any visitors in your lovely abode?" "Cling, clang! Bang! Dwarven construct, abduct! Abdu-" There was silence then for a time, before the sound of Maul wrenching Grimsever from the old woman's flesh filled the room some time later. The ripping of her muscles and innards while her bones scraped at his blade was made all the more grotesque from the echoing of it within the closed walls. And then the whistling began anew before fading in the distance. Then all was quiet. ~~~ As one part of the tunnels grew quieter, the next would gradually give way to Maul's tune. As it entered their room, suddenly louder than ever, Carlotta and Mila grew as still as stones. He had reached them. It was all Carlotta could do to stifle her own desire to shout out or to burst from the wardrobe and just run. Even if she didn't have Mila to worry about, that would never work. The dark halls would serve as her grave if Maul did not catch her himself. His heavy footsteps, so tantalizingly slow, could be heard under the equally taunting tune the man whistled. He isn't the least bit worried. Carlotta realized with fright. This was a game to Maul, one that he had no doubt that he would win. The footsteps and whistles continued. Rather than passing by and fading out into another tunnel, it remained steady, not leaving the dark room. Does he know? Has he found us? Mila was shaking, or perhaps they both were. Carlotta couldn't tell, but the sound of every heartbeat in her chest seemed as though it wanted to give them away. thud thud Maul's whistling crossed the room. The sound of it traveling everywhere, but the source moving from one spot to the next. After several seconds of traveling, it began growing louder, and closer. His tune even seemed to be speeding up. thud thud Carlotta wanted to rip out her heart and cast it away. The damned beating of it must've been echoing as loud as Maul. thud thud The whistling stopped. thud thud The footsteps stopped. thud thud He was right in front of the wardrobe. thud thud thud thud Carlotta held her dagger tightly, hoping that her daughter was ready for what might come next. Slowly, she brought her hand to the wardrobe door. thud thud "One..." she but breathed the word, so quietly that even Mila could not have heard it beside her. "Two..." thud thud thud Suddenly, the whistling started up again, and Maul's footsteps, slow and deliberate as ever, gradually carried it away from the wardrobe, then from the room. As she had hoped, it slowly began to distance itself from them into some other part of the Ratway. Mila let out a little sound that could've been a cross between a yelp and a cheer. Even inside the wardrobe, she covered her mouth for it, further muffling the sounds. Carlotta felt prepared to do the same. She exhaled deeply, having just realized that she'd been holding her breath for a very long time. she couldn't hold it in any longer. "Oh my goodness..." she said, breathing heavy. She relaxed her grip on the dagger. "I thought," Mila started, equally shaky, "I thought for sure he- he'd..." "He didn't." Carlotta said. Hollow as it was, this felt like a victory of sorts. Their enemy had failed to defeat them, at least for now. "Do you think this is what Pa felt like back when he defeated Imperials?" Mila asked, apparently of the same mind. "Perhaps," Carlotta hoped not. There was little joy in this victory, only relief. "but winning a battle is not winning a war. Maul headed on deeper. Let's try our best to double back. Maybe the entrance isn't guarded." she doubted it. Maul had been alone, after all. But if only one man, not in Skyrim's best armor, stood waiting, perhaps she could deal with him as she had the one who had attacked Garthar. They had to try. She slowly opened the wardrobe door and climbed out. "Let's go." ~~~ Thud....thud....thud... a slow and deliberate heartbeat was what Maul possessed. As slow and deliberate as his own footsteps. He was as cool as the damp wet passageways he traversed. As cool as the frost melded within his stolen blade. He'd find them. It was just a matter of time. And he had plenty. If death was a being, then he must have felt the way Maul did almost constantly. He contemplated that back in the room with the crazy old woman as her blood clung to his blade frozen. He stared into the darkness silently for a time and realized that even he was simply an inevitable victim with death's dogs biting at his heel. Good thing he was a Nord. Oh how unjust a universe they lived in where one such as himself could go to such a wondrous place... And with a truth like that, a truth born of a world with such uncaring gods making the rules, why should he ever feel shame or guilt for what only came natural? Not just to him, but the gods themselves. Even history of Tamriel has shown time and time again that the good suffer while the bad prosper. As if the universe wanted men and women like him to run it. Men and women like Ulfric Stormcloak. Or Maven. Snapping out of his thoughts and finding himself back out of the dark room with his men, Maul said, "Keep searching. If it goes on for too much longer, we'll seal off all the exits. Starve them out if we have to. But it won't come to that. I'm certain." ~~~ Backtracking proved more difficult than Carlotta had anticipated. What she thought had been the right way ended in dead end after dead end. They had made it back to the lit room, where fresh blood was still wet on the floor, but going any further proved difficult. On the bright side, the sound of Maul was gone, as was that of the man who had attacked them earlier. Carlotta wished now than ever for her sister. If Vex had slowed down, if she hadn't gotten herself killed, they could have avoided Maul for weeks down here. Wishing for the impossible only made Carlotta feel gloomier, because then she thought of Boldir, and how with him, they would not have needed to hide in the wardrobe. Maul never would have been the threat he was. She knew where Boldir was. They just needed to get out of the tunnels. A thought struck Carlotta. Vex had said that there was no escape from the city down here, but she said nothing of escapes to other parts of the city. Already, they had seen a well. Perhaps there were more things of that nature in the dark halls. Not stopping, they continued their search. More than once, finding themselves in the same rooms they had been in previously, or facing turns they had seen before. Carlotta wasn't sure how much time had passed without a word before she heard the shouting. "HERE!" it was a voice of unmistakable joy, but it sounded wicked and hate-filled. She knew the owner. It was the same man who had been after them before. The one who had stabbed her. Carlotta turned back, but could see him nowhere. His voice echoed behind them. He's following us! she realized. Trying to lure Maul our way! "They're down this tunnel! Yes yes yes, they are! Hehehehaha! Follow my voice!" "Come on!" She once again grabbed Mila's hand and began running. They took countless twists and turns without slowing. But now she could hear the unhinged man's footsteps behind them, keeping his distance seemingly on purpose. He wasn't going to disappear. They needed to find some sort of exit, and soon. "Down the tunnel!" The man practically sang, his voice ringing through the entire Ratway "Down the tunnel, right right left. I KNOW you hear me killer! There be two pretty ladies in here for you! Hurry up or I might take the little one myself! Ha!" A few moments passed with the man giving chase before suddenly he ran smack into something solid in the middle of the hall. After he recovered and got up, he saw a huge metal man staring him down between dark slits that reminded him of the dark narrow passageways that he lived in, concealing killers just like his did. "Killer's here. Now. That last little comment. Tell me why they stuck you in here, will you?" The dirty man looked Maul up and down with an expression the bordered on terrified. He had not hoped to end up confronting him face to face, it seemed. "They- uh... nobody did. I make my own choices." The sound of two pairs of footsteps traveled away from where they stood. "They are going that way." the man said, pointing in their direction and easing away from Maul, all the while fidgeting his fingers. "Thought you... Hehe..." His tongue flicked out like a snake's, running across his lips in a flash before disappearing again between yellow teeth, "thought you'd want to know." Maul lifted his head as if looking at someone behind him, then nodded. When the man looked behind him, Maul's goons came out of the shadows and grabbed him from behind. Maul turned around and continued where the man told him to go. "Make sure he can't go after little ones anymore boys. Oh, and thanks for the information, friend." "Wait wait wait!" As he set off, Maul could hear the man being thrown to the ground behind him, followed by a heavy strike, presumably to his groin. "Aeeeeeiiii!" ~~~ The most intense screams of pain Carlotta had ever heard rang out behind them. It sounded as though their two pursuers had met, and that the weaker man had found more than he'd bargained for. Carlotta tried not to take pleasure in the man getting what he deserved, but a pinch of satisfaction was there nonetheless. No matter what was happening to him now, the man was likely getting off easier than he deserved. The crossroads and confusing paths seemed to lessen as they ran, forming a fairly straight shot with only a very few chances to veer off. They went straight, then left, then right, then left again. Up a flight of steps and then- "Look!" Mila's voice sounded nearly choked on excitement as they came up a flight of steps and saw a light ahead. Not the orange glow of a torch, but the dim blueish light that could only mean a clear night sky. Carlotta felt a boost of hope as she and Mila raced on through the dark hall, the light growing larger and larger. "Yes!... Yes!" The next bend revealed the light source. The old and broken stones of the sewers had collapsed in this spot, and given way to the dirt and growth of the world above. Through all of that was a hole, just large enough for them to fit through. "Come on Mila... I'll boost you up, then you reach down to help me." "Okay." Mila sheathed her dagger and came to her side. "I'm ready." A familiar voice from behind them called out and said, "Climbing up to Aetherius, little Magnus? What, not having fun down in the dirt anymore?" Carlotta glanced back, only to see Maul himself, clad head to toe in her husband's armor, casually making his way toward them. He had gained on them far more quickly than she had thought possible. Carlotta didn't take the time to do more than glance. There wasn't time for the both of them to escape. There was barely even time for Mila. "Go!" she shouted, clapping her hands together. "But-" "Climb!" She could not meet her daughter's eyes, but she felt the girl's boot in her hands. Hearing Maul approaching, Carlotta used every bit of energy she had left to lift Mila high. The girl jumped as she was raised, and the last thing Carlotta saw was her daughter's fingers latching around the roots above. She smiled, and then something struck the back of her head. She slumped unconscious to the ground. The young girl was all that remained now, but she was above even Maul's reach. It didn't matter though. Even from below, Maul could see the girl's grip on the roots was not going to be enough. Mila was clambering and grasping desperately, but the earth was loose and broken, and everything she grabbed broke up and pulled free. There she was, not even a foot away from her freedom, but the gods would not have it. With one final and desperate grasp, the girl's hand slipped between the dirt and roots, and she fell, landing hard on her back just beside her sleeping mother. "Uugh..." the girl painfully moaned. She was looking up at him now, meeting his eyes with unmistakable hatred. Her dirty fingers were trying to pull something free from her belt. A dagger. As it eased from its sheath, he saw that the blade glowed bright, magical white. His eyes flashed with wonderment at the exquisite little shard of metal, and he quickly disarmed her with a strong slap to her hand from his own enchanted weapon, making her drop the blade. Just as quickly, he grabbed little Mila by the back of her tunic and lifted her off the ground, watching her for a time as she struggled. The girl tried to kick and claw, but she was winded from the fall and exhausted from the running, and there was little energy left in her. After a long moment's pause, he finally acted, and ceased her struggling with a knock to the skull from the front of his helmeted head. Maul unceremoniously threw the girl over his shoulder, and then went to retrieve the mother. The girls had made an impressive attempt, but nobody escapes the Black-Briars in their own city. Nobody.
  13. I feel the same way. Star Wars was like a nice garden that got way overgrown and started sprouting weeds. Disney hacked it back down to the roots and is planting new stuff.
  14. Yeah, they don't really ever contradict, do they? It's been a good many years since I've seen the 2003 version, but from what I remember, it basically showed Anakin being knighted as a full-fledged Jedi, and then there was a montage of various events in the Clone Wars (which the 2008 show would take place during), and then we get to see a few battles ourselves, and it ends with them going after Count Dooku just after he captures Palpatine to kick off ep3. Basically, it left enough years open that the two versions could coexist. I always thought they did, actually.
  15. To be honest it was more of a joke about how he runs away all the damn time. I actually think Grievous is a pretty cool villain.
  16. It's been a while, so I'm not 100% on this, but wasn't it the other way around, with something done with Boba to distinguish him from the rest? I remember that he was designed to age at a normal rate, at least.
  17. Grievous is proof that being a Jedi Killer isn't enough to keep you from being a punk ass bitch. Let's stick to Jango's more worthy feats. Like the coat thing. In all honestly, the Kamino fight in Attack of the Clones was a pretty cool scene. It made it more believable that he could make a living hunting Jedi. I also enjoyed the bit where that random Jedi leapt up on the balcony and Jango just casually gunned him back down. I also think this is a cool idea. He'd be like the Hound of Star Wars.
  18. If we're talking in a hypothetical situation in which Cyrodiil is willing to devote all their efforts to conquering, I would bet on them having the island within a year. Less if slaughter is their goal. If they devoted a realistic amount of effort into the conquest, I would say somewhere between 2 and 3 years, as I predict Dales could do it quicker than Uriel V by virtue of having better motives than shits and giggles. If we're talking slaughter with a realistic amount of resources, I would wager it'd take a couple, give or take depending on how thorough they are.
  19. Yes. Province isn't really the right word now that Cyrodiil is alone. Skyrim, High Rock, Hammerfell, etc. are all independent kingdoms now. Not provinces of the Empire.
  20. Those lightening bolts would've been anything but chilly. In fact, this coat thing really has me reconsidering Jango's character as a whole. I never paid him much mind before because the head losing thing really was a turn-off for me too, but maybe he's more badass than he gets credit for. In fact, maybe he's one of the most dangerous characters in the Star Wars canon. Think about it. If Mace Windu's coat is a good indicator of the threat someone poses to him (and by now I'm convinced that it is), then logically, Jango>Palpatine. And since we know that Palpatine defeats Yoda at the end of ep3, Jango also > Yoda When he battled Obi Wan in Kamino, Jango managed to keep all of his limbs, which is exactly three more limbs than Darth Vader kept when he dueled Obi Wan in ep3, two more than Grievous kept in the same movie, and two more than Dark Maul kept in the Phantom Menace. Bonus points for not getting burned. And since Vader goes on to kill Obi Wan in round 2, we can deduce that Jango, who faired even better than Vader in his own first encounter, would do even better in a hypothetical round 2. So here we have conclusive proof that Jango Fett>Palpatine, Yoda, Darth Vader, Obi Wan, General Grievous, and Darth Maul. And let's not forget that by donating a little hair and some blood, he was able to practically wipe out the entire Jedi Order post mortem through the Clones. It seems to me that the only being that held the power to top Jango Fett was, tragically, the guy who happened to meet him in the field. Motherfuckin' Samuel L. Jackson.
  21. I just don't see it, man. Not if they seriously committed to it. We're talking about one of the most powerful kingdoms in the world with a massive population, schools on top of schools for mages, and a lots of well-trained and disciplined armies going up against an undeniably strong and noble people... who are practically a blip on the map. If we're being realistic, you could probably fit Roscrea's entire population into any one of Cyrodiil's counties and have food and room to spare.
  22. Actually, this is a huge testament to Jango's skill. Even Palpatine wasn't able to make Mace take off his coat.
  23. Balrog mentioned after the war. In which case, I think he's right. Maintaining an actual assault on Roscrea wouldn't be all that difficult for a few Legions if they're in good condition (which could take a few years' worth recovery). They would have to sail all the way around Tamriel, making for a somewhat difficult journey, but once there, they could maintain a supply line through the EEC presence in Skyrim. Roscrea wouldn't be able to stand without allies.