Tales of a Seeker - Chapter IV: Pursuit

Yamurn awoke that morning to the yipping sound of the foxes, it was the 5th of Mid Year, five days had passed since his audience with Mora, five days that he had been either memorising his spells or out in the nearby city; Falkreath, gathering supplies for the journey, he knew the reach was treacherous, the savage Reachmen ruled the hills with an iron fist, he certainly didn't want to run into them.

Yamurn put went into his cupboard and pulled out his travelling gear, a simple robe with a few patches on it from where he had repaired the tears and moth eaten holes, he was not a mer with many coins to his name, he often was stared at or whispered about by the townsfolk, they were not used to the presence of Orsimer within their city and Falkreath was wary of outsiders to begin with. 

As he stepped outside his door, satchel over his shoulder and staff in hand, he heard the birds chirping in the trees, a tune that sounded familiar:

"There once was a woman as fair as an evening of springtime in old Stros M'Kai..." Yamurn sang along in his head, breathing in the potent scent of the nature around him. The Orsimer began to stride north-west, the gentle morning breeze was pleasant on his face as he trudged through the rich soil, a flock of birds passed overhead and somewhere in the distance atop the mountains a wolf howled, such a beautiful place this was. Yamurn was oblivious, however, he had still not taken his mind off some unanswered questions, what does Mora want with the secrets of human emotion? Who was the one that had last brought him unknown knowledge? These two questions, whilst irrelevant to his goal of knowledge, was irritating, Yamurn hated being deprived of knowledge...

Hours of uneventful walking passed and Yamurn neared the borders of Falkreath, he picked up a pungent stench, just north of his direction, he had decided to avoid the mountains for as long as possible and take the path through Whiterun hold, he should've expected this. He peered out from behind a rock, sure enough, a  giant camp, the stink of mammoth dung was almost overwhelming, with a grimace he casted his detect life spell, scouting the area for giants. After a few moments of scouting he spied two coming down from the north towards the camp, one held several skeevers in its hand, clearly crushed to death, Yamurn averted his gaze at the grotesque display of intestines and other organs

"I'll have to sneak around them..." he muttered under his breath, he had never been very adept in the illusion school and he lacked the ability to cast even the simplest spells within that school, "Drevis was right, I should've listened in his lectures..." he grumbled to himself, he raised his staff, he'd need the extra boost to his spell now, he pointed it towards an nearby rock and with a slight strain, he began to lift it up into the air, the weight of the boulder was like a block of steel pressing down on him, he grunted as his energy began to dwindle. To his relief, the Giants began to step towards it, as they did so Yamurn began to edge out from behind the outcrop he was hiding behind, taking his steps very carefully, he kept the rock steadily hovering in the air, the Giants were clearly intrigued by it and were taking turns to prod it with their massive clubs.

After a few suspense filled minutes, he finally was reaching the edge of the camp and the end of his concentration, until he stopped dead in his tracks, a mammoth, only a stones throw away had spied him and was slowly tramping towards him

"No, no, no!" Yamurn thought, a pit forming in his stomach as the mammoth raised its trunk and trumpeted it's protest, the two Giants looked to the mammoth and then to Yamurn who dropped the rock with a deafening thud, one of the Giants roared and began taking its hammering steps towards the Orsimer, his club held high, the other followed soon after. Yamurn gathered what little energy he had left and fled, the Giants hot on his trail.

The earth shook beneath his feet as the Giants followed him, he dug around in his satchel for an answer, he pulled out a stamina potion and quickly gulped it down, almost choking on the bittersweet liquid that gave him such relief and eased the ache in his sides and calves. The Giants refused to lose interest in him and continued to track him as he ran

"So this is what it's like to be the helpless prey..." Yamurn thought over the pounding of his heart and the thudding in his ears, there was only one thing for it then, he shouted at the top of his voice

"Help! Somebody, help!" he hated relying on others, but now it was do or die. All of a sudden an arrow whizzed through the air and struck the foremost Giant in the torso, then another and another, suddenly a rain of arrows sprayed down upon the duo, putting out their eyes, they roared their anguish and fell to their knees, before long the arrow storm killed them. Yamurn fell to his knees, one of the arrows had struck his ankle, the poison was slowly leaking into his veins and the world was growing dark.

As the darkness began to cloud his vision, Yamurn felt a hand on his shoulder and soon after, a bottle at his lips. A liquid poured into his mouth, having no choice, he swallowed, relief washed over him, he tried to mumble a thanks to his saviour, but before he could he felt something hard hit his head and everything went black.

When Yamurn came to, he was lying down on a crude bed made of animal skins, he sat up, an old woman looked over at him from where she was crouched over an Alchemy table, she was wearing the hides of several animals and an oddly shaped sword was at her side, it was made of both wood and bone, animal bones presumably.

"You, down, now" she said, she was far from formal but it was clear what she wanted, Yamurn was too tired to protest and obeyed and lay back. After a few minutes of silence he asked

"Where am I? What do you want?" the woman turned to him again and said

"You at camp, big ritual, very important" he grumbled, that didn't tell him much. Another woman walked into the tent, she was dressed in a similar fashion

"Elder, we require the Wereboar hide" she said, her way of speaking was much more formal than the way the elder woman spoke and her voice was like bells chiming, the woman turned around and said to her

"Yes, Abelia, here" she reached over to a rack and pulled off the magnificent hide of a wereboar, it had been cleaned so that there were no traces of the blood and perfectly tended to so that the tears in the hide were the wounds would be were completely gone

"Masterful" thought Yamurn to himself. Abelia looked at Yamurn and asked

"What of him?" the woman turned to him

"He be witness, good subject for king" drums began to sound from outside, it was clearly night time and there was a crackle of a fire and the smell of cooking meat, Abelia took the hide and ventured outside, the elder turned to him and took his wrist in her bony hand

"You, up" without protesting, but not without annoyance, the Orsimer stood as he was dragged out of the tent, his heart stopped when he saw a whole clan of Reachmen feasting around the fire, the one thing he had not wanted to run into... The drums stopped and a Hagraven prowled out from the nearby ruins, the Wereboar's hide was in her hands and she was holding it aloft triumphantly before a stone basin, several Forsworn stood before the basin and seemed to be praying to the basin as the Hagraven brandished the hide. Yamurn turned and saw Abelia next to him and asked

"What is going on?" Abelia looked at him with what seemed to be disgust, from what he had heard the Reachmen were not fond of outsiders, she said coldly

"A ritual for our Lord, the initiates shall receive his blessing" Yamurn nodded gruffly and asked

"And your Lord is?" Abelia replied with what seemed like admiration

"The Huntsman, the Father of Manbeasts, mighty Hircine!" Yamurn grimaced, not his type of Prince, savagery was nothing in the face of knowledge, but clearly not to these Forsworn.

"I don't understand, why am I important?" Abelia smirked at him

"You are a sacrifice, you shall be sacrificed for our Lord" Yamurn gritted his teeth, like that was happening

"When will that be?" he inquired

"Tomorrow, after the feast, you shall be sacrificed in a ritual to him" she replied, causing Yamurn to raise an eyebrow

"Why not tonight? It is his summoning day, is it not?" Abelia nodded

"We prepare the day before, do the rights on the day and sacrifice the day after" Yamurn rolled his eyes, that was the most asinine thing he had every heard.

The Hagraven gave one final flourish of the Wereboar hide and finally through it on the fire, with a roaring blast of fire that sent cinders flying over the audience of Forsworn and the ground to tremble at the might of the summon, a great horned figure appeared above the fire.

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Tags: Mortiferous, ToS

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Comment by Mortiferous on August 25, 2016 at 5:24pm

Cheers, Ajani. Sorry it was such a long time coming, I've had all sorts of issues with exams and laptops breaking, glad to see the back of it.

Comment by Ajani on August 25, 2016 at 5:22pm

Awesome! this was a super great chapter!

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