It wasn't until a few days later that she came back to check up on me and her children. She was even bearing gifts for them and large amounts of food fit for a feast.
“Why would you want to save the emperor?” I asked after eating for a few minutes.
She just waved me off
“Like I said last time, I like 'em. They're all shiny and stuff, though to be fair Ulfric is the High King so you would think they'd focus on him. Guess the High King isn't considered the top dog when the Emperor isn't around.” she shrugged
“He's a traitor!” I spat seeing red at the mention of that Storm Cloak Leader
“Not according to the law.” she stated and handed me a book on every law still in effect in Skyrim “He challenged the King for his crown in combat and won. He is the High King.” she stated simply and I couldn't refute it because she was right “But that's not what I care about. I care not for kings, they can't do much, Emperors on the other hand can do plenty. Now then, the Dark brotherhood wants you dead because it would make your father focus elsewhere and less on what they were planning.” she hummed “All I need is your cooperation and you'll never have to worry about suffering while in my home.” she paused “Other than the pranks my kids my pull.” she conceded.
“Anything else?” I growled
“Yeah, expect the unexpected coming by.” she stated “You won't believe how many times I wake up because one or other wants to take the kids on a field trip.” she sighed “They really like the kids but I want to be with them when they drag them off so I can make sure they're safe. The only thing keeping them from taking something of mine as payment is because I'm good at my job.”
“And what job is that?” I asked warily
“Stopping the end.” she shrugged and something told me she wasn't lying about that. “Also, whatever you do, do NOT let the kids leave the house on the day that marks the first in a series of odd numbers for that day for anyone. Like if Morningstar was first and the next Morningstar was the ninth, they are forbidden to leave on that day no matter who comes knocking.” she warned
“Aw! But mom!” they shouted but she wasn't hearing any of it
“Uh-uh, last time I let you guys go I had to repeat what I did the first time but with the Order in full swing. All because you thought being Neat and Orderly was boring.” she deadpanned “Look, I just don't want you guys getting hurt and frankly I was scared to do anything because you kids would have probably gotten hurt.” she said worriedly and I felt a tug at my heart.
'Is this what dad feels like whenever he's making sure I have everything I need for my trips?' I wondered as I thought of all the times he'd make sure my sword was sharp, my armor tough, that I had plenty of potions and the like for poisonings and disease.
“Will I see my father again?” I wondered aloud
“Yes” my abductor stated “I'm only holding you until I see your father then I'm going to take you to him. This way you can be reunited and I can go kill a Brotherhood member in peace.”
“I thought there were rules in place for that?” I asked and she nodded
“Usually, but there have been times when that rule was waved when there was a traitor in the midsts. Someone from higher up would come in and slaughter an entire base if they could trace them back to it but not figure whom had done it. It's the most effective way when almost everyone is capable of covering their tracks so much.” she sighed “I'm not one for the killing aspects but...” her eyes trailed to the happy children as they chatted about the new cool stuff that she brought them and the trips they might take this time. “If it means that I'll be able to keep them safe in the end, it's worth it.”
We sat in silence
“What is your name?” I asked and she laughed
“I don't think we trust each other enough for that but since you'll have to contact me at some point then I guess I'll concede. I'm Yugi, pleased to meet your acquaintance.” she smiled and I found myself smiling back
“I am Gaius Maro, nice to meet you.” I answered back
We watched the kids play and after dinner was done.
And no matter what I now had an ally, and probably a new friend.
With Captain Mora thinking his son dead I now had to find some sort of Chef, well, I had to impersonate him. No one knew who or what the guy looked like but the Guild found out and I was supposed to take his place since they managed to kill him then I was to kill the emperor that was showing up to eat his cooking.
The fact everyone else doesn't think this is suspicious at all worries me.
'I thought we were smarter than this' I thought with a sigh 'I'm surprised they've lasted this long but whatever.'
They gave me a plant called Jarrin Root stating that it was so toxic that the Emperor would drop dead almost immediately. I raised an eyebrow as it as it looked like a florescent version of the root that gives you good luck when you eat it.
“When he eats that he'll drop dead in an instant.” Astrid stated and I blinked at her, clearing thinking she was stupid but she either didn't noticed or decided my ire wasn't worth attracting. Not like it mattered, I had the Guard's son so I'm safe for the time being.
'As if anyone can get sick and die from this.' I thought heading into my room and pulling out a box with the same exact plant and popping one in my mouth 'These things are freakin' harmless.'
I shook my head at the memory of Yugi eating the Jarrin Roots she managed to get from some monsters. She scoffed at how people treated it like some sort of mega poison even though she stated that it was simply a glow version of the good luck root.
Her time with the Mad God made such poisons useless against her as helping the Duke retrieve his Chalice, she had to eat a type of drug called Felldew to find it, partaking in the Rite that made her Dutches of Mania, which involved her killing the Duke of Mania with Greenmote, and dealing with the noxious fumes for the Gatekeeper she was immune to practically everything that would be considered 'Deadly' to most mortals.
I never had the heart to tell her that, other than a tummy ache from minor poisons, major ones have no effect on her.
I made my way to the castle where the Emperor was waiting to try out the meal. I placed the Jarrin Root into the soup and my mouth watered at the smell that came forth from it.
“I hope the Emperor is willing to share.” I grinned “This soup as all my favorite ingredients.”
Bringing the meal to the Emperor he took a sip and promptly dropped dead.
“Uh.. Is he supposed to do that?” I asked not noticing the guards advancing on me. Picking up the bowl I took a sniff before taking a gulp of the soup. “Huh, I'm not feeling anything... Think he's allergic?” I asked looking around “What?” I asked when I noticed the shocked look on their faces.
“You're... You're not dead!” a guard shouted in shock
“Why the hell would I be dead?” I blinked “I eat the ingredient in this all the time that's why it's in the book.” I paused “Oh dear, he's not allergic is he?” My eyes widened “Oh shit, this isn't one of those plants everyone has a reaction too but not know it is it?”
I missed the look the guards passed to each other before hearing them walk towards me.
“Are you positive that this is something you eat?” a guard asked and I pulled out my snack box
“Yeah, see?” I popped it open and they gaped at all the Jarrin Roots I had in there “You want one?” I asked holding it out and he quickly shook his head along with the others.
“No, we're allergic.” he stated and I drooped
“Oh, more for me then I guess.” I shrugged popping a few in my mouth.
“By the Gods” I heard them whisper as I popped another one in my mouth and putting the box away.
“Meh, do you need me for this or?” I asked and they quickly shook their heads and took me to the back door. Thanking them I stepped out and saw Maro on the tower.
“YOU!” he bellowed
“Me?” I asked pointing at myself
“Your Dark Brotherhood buddy tipped me off. YOU killed MY son and I sent my men to burn down the-!”
“Yeah that's nice.” I cut in “And your son ain't dead.”
“He's not dead, he's at home babysitting my kids while I straighten out the Brotherhood. The group is pathetic and if I can't whip them into shape then they can burn.” I spat “It's in the rules.” I looked at him “Anywho, do you wanna see your son?” I asked and he just got angry
“You expect me to believe that you never murdered my son?!” he spat
“You expect me to believe that you're stupid enough to fall for fake dead body?” I shot back “It barely acted like a real body, I used wet wood for crying out loud. Hardly hard to spot, what? Does your church of choice do a spell to check for vitals and that's it?!” I reached into my pocket and pulled out a medallion “He said that I'd have to show you this.” I huffed
The Medallion was made of silver that had a enchanted stone in it's center. It's usually clear when it's previous master has been dead for a few years but when worn it turns red, if they die it turns black.
“It's still red...” he whispered
“Yes, now do you want to meet see him or do you wanna wait until I get the Dark Brotherhood to a heel? I don't need them finding out and trying to kill him if Astrid is still alive.” I huffed and he nodded
“Good” I tried to walk away but he jumped down and placed the blade at my throat
“But there's still the matter of you attempting to kill the Emperor.” he growled “Even though it was his double it still counts.”
“Uh, no. He's allergic to Jarrin Root, that's all.” I deadpanned
“That's the most toxic thing to man!” he spat
“Oh bullshit! I eat that stuff all the time and I haven't dropped dead yet.” I shot back pulling out my snack box “I need to get more as I ate some on the way here.” I popped one in my mouth to prove that it wasn't dangerous. “Seriously, if it's that common of an allergy then I'll keep this stuff for myself. Though why anyone would be allergic to the florescent version of the lucky root I'll never know.”
He looked past me and seemed to have gotten some sort of confirmation before re-sheathing his blade.
“Fine, you're free to go.” he huffed
“Alright, I'll make my way to the Sanctuary now.” I paused “Uh, there's a good chance that your men are probably dead right now so my condolences.” I stated before heading to the main gates, a whistle had Shadowmere next to me and we rode off down the road to the hide out.
“She ate a Jarrin Root” I deadpanned
“She fed it to the Emperor's Fake” I continued “thinking it was a wonderful spice and apparently doesn't know that it's toxic enough to shut down all the organs at once.”
“HOW THE HELL IS SHE STILL ALIVE?!”
Walking inside revealed the entire place in flames and I told Shadowmere to hide so he wouldn't get hurt. Most of the guards we're either dead or dying and Astrid was no-where to be found. Finding the Vampire and Redguard, the latter thought I betrayed them until I joined the fight, I found Astrid's husband as well though his injuries were grave. It was too late for treatment apparently as he had numerous silver arrows and daggers in his body so I numbed his him to make his passing as painless as possible for him.
“Thanks cub.” he murmured pulling me towards him “A reward for your loyalty and kindness despite wanting to kill some of us.” He handed me a note “Go to the Companion's main base and give the leader that letter. It will allow you to hunt with us, may the Nightmother embrace you with the night and the Dread Father join you in your hunts.” he breathed and his eyes closed, a content smile on his face as he finally passed on.
“Enjoy your hunts with Sithis.” I whispered then making my way through the blaze to find the Night Mother.
I soon found her coffin in the back, the flames not reaching this far yet.
“Night Mother!” I sighed happily opening it up
“Step inside quickly.” she said and I did what I was told, the doors closed behind me and I felt tired for some reason “Now sleep” she seemed to hiss “Rest.”
The world darkened.
I heard the sound of Bazir and that little Vampire girl talking outside the coffin. The doors opened, revealing the two with rocks all around them.
They were glad to see me and thanked me for the help, but wondered where we were going to live. Explained that I knew the location of the other sanctuary and that we could turn it into our new base and home. The Night Mother agreed and they helped me from the coffin, just to hear the sound of Astrid struggling to speak.
She explained that she was afraid of what I represented, that I was causing a change that she didn't want. From her fear she slaughtered all but two of her family and I, the outsider, still managed to live. She put a contract out on herself to make amends and give us a new start, honoring her request I killed her and we made our way to out new home.
“Now then” the Night Mother stated once everyone was settled “We will proceed with the plan.”
“What!” I squeaked
I didn't want to kill the Emperor!
“Be calm child, his death will still be up to you.” she soothed “But he is already expecting us, it would be rude to not show up.”
She had a point
“Alright, who should I contact?”
After letting everyone else know I made my way to the Bannered Mare where a man named Amaund Motierre.
Stupid name when you see the guy with it was an Elf, not one of the high elves but still.
“I don't believe it, you're still going through with the contract!” he gasped
I didn't bother telling him that I might not kill the guy.
“Oh thank you!” he gushed and I backed away
“Think nothing of it, I'm going now.” I hummed going invisible and leaving (The door to the room was open) though I made a note of the location as I planned on paying the little bastard a visit when i'm done.
He has no idea how lucky this realm has been when it came to their Emperors.
Palegius the third came to mind, mostly after he was cursed by his Necromancer Aunt Potema. She had one of her servants give him an amulet as a child that she claimed would give him protection when in reality it drained his sanity and he because Palegius the Mad. (I'm not making that up either, I came across the book explaining it when playing the game. Gives you a better perspective on how much this woman wanted to be queen.) and Potema herself when she nearly came back to the land of the living. As the only legitimate heir to the throne she would have become queen and well....
I shook my head, not wanting to even think about the world she wanted since she's had centuries to stew within her hatred. I was glad that I managed to stop her resurrection, but then again she wanted to kill me so I could take my place at her side as a guard.
Walking to the pier I found Maro seeing the Emperor off.
“You're here to kill him aren't you?” he asked and I shrugged
“Honestly?” I stated looking at the ship “I hope I won't have too.”
He gave me a confused look
“Tamriel has been very lucky when it comes to their Emperors.” I elaborated “Palagius, Potema almost making the crown, being the few bad ones while Martin and Uriel Septim being the best.” I looked sadly at the water “I miss them dearly” I admitted “For they were the reason I am on the path I am now, the reason I wish to keep the realm safe.” I chuckled “They saw the potential for greatness in me, I just had to find it myself.” Stepping to the waters edge “Well, I'm about to discuss the fate of the Emperor to the Emperor since he is expecting me anyway. I'm told it's rude to keep him waiting.”
“Wait” Maro stated and, turning to him, I was surprised to see him holding out a key. “For the doors, I ask that you do not kill my men.” he stated simply and grimaced “And though I hate to admit it, the man is waiting for you. I hope you can talk him out of an early grave.”
Taking the key I thanked him and dived into the water, my Ring of the Rumere ensuring that I'll never need a spell or potion for waterbreathing again. Swimming next to the ship I climbed the anchor chain and snuck past those guarding the ship and opened the door to the emperor's room with the key.
“Ah, you made it.” he hummed and I gave him a slight bow
“Though I wish it were under more happier circumstances.” I answered “I was told you wished to discuss your fate?” I asked and he nodded
“Yes, you see I don't mind the fact that you're here to kill me. Life and death go hand in hand, emperor's rise and fall, either by age or the Dark Brotherhood.” he chuckled “I'm just glad you're letting me speak.”
“I don't have to kill you.” I stated “I can state that I killed you and it can be made to look like I got a decoy or something.” I finished and he tilted his head at me
“Why are you concerned with the fate of your payroll?” he asked
“Because it was an Emperor that put me on this path. I was ruthless, basically given up on the so called good within sentient beings. Then I met Uriel Septim and he changed my mind, he saw something in me that I didn't know myself and that has lead me to Skyrim. Granted it's been a few years since then but a few years all the same.”
“A few... It's been nearly three hundred years since he ruled!” the current Emperor snapped
“And I'm the Dragonborn that was locked in a tomb because someone wanted to preserve me.” I snapped back “But that's besides the point, before I would have killed you in a heart beat because I lost faith in man, elf and mer. But they changed that and for that I don't want you to die, you've done nothing wrong and I don't kill people that haven't wrong me.”
“What about the countless contracts?!” he growled
“Oh, they wronged me. I just waited for revenge so it would be perfect as opposed to killing them off all willy nilly.” I shrugged “The first person I killed that wasn't a bandit was that old hag that was mistreating kids at an orphanage. The other guy living in luxury? Wife killer. The people were killed along those veins as I bother digging up their sorrid pasts to decide, if they do nothing wrong then I do nothing to them.” I shrugged “And before you ask, the wife beater was looking for another rich wife to snag before killing her too, your cousin would have been next but she was marrying someone else soooo.”
“And my cousin?” he asked
“I wasn't there for that contract, I was taking out a traitor.” I stated “Also, did you know that your double, and everyone in Skyrim, is allergic to Jarrin Root? It's really weird.”
“Uh.... Yes,” he stated, his eyes showed he was laughing about something “I was warned about that, can't do anything about it though.”
“Well, what's your decision?” I asked getting the conversation on track “I don't want to kill you honestly, but I'm here because you were waiting for me. So, that puts this all up to you.”
He smiled sadly
“And you're already here, so kill me.” he stated “All I ask is that you kill the person that ordered this, nothing more than that.”
“That, I can agree with.”
“My orders as your Emperor however, is to ensure everything in this room is taken back with you.” he stated and my eyes widened “Including everything on my person.”
“You have chosen to give living beings a chance once more, most of these very things belonged to the Emperors before me. It's only fair that the one they trusted use them now.” he stated and I nodded, drawing my Nightshade coated dagger.
“For what it's worth, I'm sorry.”
He merely smiled and I shoved the poisoned dagger into his heart, the organ stopped beating in seconds.
Gathering everything in the room liked he asked, including everything on his person I looked at the Emperor once more.
“It's not right for you to appear in the afterlife in such a way. As a favor from me, I will give you a cloak. So the dead will know you have my favor.” I stated wrapping him in my cowl, it shimmered and vanished.
My plea had been heard and accepted.
Now if only you got someone in your life...
“I'm not listening to this” I called out
Fine, but at least get all the weapons and stuff.”
“Fine” I huffed gathering said weapons (They weren't the Emperor's nor in the room but meh) before escaping through the window and swimming back to shore.
“Did you do it?” Maro asked and I gave a sad nod “Come, you look like you could use a drink.”
“I wish he asked to live.” I whimpered, I was surprised at the hug he engulfed me in
“Yeah well, he stated that he'd ask for it and hoped you'd obey.” he pulled back “You are going to get the bastard that ordered this aren't you?” he growled
“Oh yeah, big time.” I stated “Like I said earlier, Tamriel has been lucky with it's Emperors.” I stated and he led me to a nearby pub.
Though, nearby wouldn't be accurate as we fast traveled to Whiterun
We were the only ones there and I had a few mugs of wine since I couldn't hold my mead all that well.
“You know...” I started with a slight hiccup as I realized something “Technically, you Imperials are trespassing.”
“What?” Maro blinked, a hiccup marring his words as well
“Don't worry, I had to explain it to Gaius too.” I stated sagely
“So, that guy that got hanged, was basically murdered because he's the only one that remembered that particular law about the High King?” Maro stated and I nodded
“And that Ulfric wasn't breaking the law but we were because we decided to arrest the new king for treason?”
“Very much so.”
“Yeah, I decided to look up a few of those laws mentioned and found a whole book on 'em. The laws are still in effect, even the marriage one.”
“Marriage one?” he asked
“Yeah, the one that states that all you gotta do is wear the amulet of Mara showing that you're unbound. Once you've gotten enough good publicity from your deeds you'll be sought after as a spouse.” I explained
“Have you tried it?”
“Gods no, once people start connecting the dots I'll be hunted down for sure. And frankly, I'm not a huge fan of those Highelves.”
“They're are allies!” he protested and I snorted
“They're traitors to their kind and jealous of anyone else when it comes to power.” I stated “I even told them how I stopped the Oblivion crisis, they haven't told a soul since then. Can't have that bit of information running around as it'll make them look like the hateful bigots they truly are.”
“Wait... That means Talos really ascended to Godhood?!” he gaped
“Yup, you need his blood to open a gate between here and Oblivion, the dragon fires being unlit weakened the barrier enough for it to work. You also need his blood to seal them shut.” I stretched “Unfortunately, the barrier broke but we were able to stop the war machine they were using to destroy several of the towns. The last of the Septim line sacrificed himself to save all of Tameriel, the lad is missed heavily.”
“You know, you're extremely well mannered for being drunk.” he stated
“Ah, but it could also be that you yourself are drunk and thus can understand me much better than the less drunk people.” I pointed out
“Touche” he said gulping down his drink “Well, I want to see my son but I think we're too drunk for travel.”
“Nah, we can walk.” I hummed “It's a beautiful night, why waste it with sleep when we aren't tired?” I asked
“But we will be.” he pointed out and I nodded
“Alright, I'll order two rooms for us then. We can head out when we're sober.” I hummed letting the patron of the place know and buying the two rooms.
Heading up we said our good nights and slept in our respective rooms.
“Good morning!” I chirped as Maro walked down the steps into the dining area
“How the hell are you so chipper in the morning?” he grumbled
“I drank a lot of water and ate food when I was drinking. Counters the effects of alcohol somewhat by soaking it up.” I explained and he huffed “Here” I stated handing him some mead “You'll be fine with a slight buzz, it'll get rid of the headache as well.”
“Thanks” he sighed taking a gulp of the Mead
“Good, ready to go?” I asked and he shook his head after taking a few more swigs
“Give me an hour and meet me back here, I got some work I need to do first.” he sighed
“Sure, I got something to do anyway.” I shrugged “I want to see this forge I've been hearing so much about.”
Parting ways I ran to the Skyforge where the Companions resided and give the leader a letter explaining whatever was placed so that I may get my so called 'gift' from them. Knocking on the door an old man stepped out. He was Nord, gray hair that went past his shoulders and matching beard that went down his chest greeted me.
“Ah, hello Madam.” he greeted “What brings you here?”
“I was asked to give this to the leader of the Companions” I answered
“I am he.” the man stated and I nodded “Do you have an idea on what it's about?”
“Something about a gift?” I answered remembering what Astrid's husband told me “He was a good man.” I said sadly and handed him the letter in question. “I helped him out and he told me to come here to get my reward. Whatever it may be.”
His eyes widened upon reading it.
“Come with me” he said and he allowed me inside and through the back. The back was empty save for a few chairs and tables with some fruit and vegetables. Looking around he motioned me to follow and we walked to a stone wall, though I was surprised when said wall opened into a secret room, and made our way inside. “This is the gift he wishes to bestow upon you, the gift of the wolf.”
“Wait... I can be a werewolf?” I blinked then grinned “I can be a guard dog?! AWESOME! How do I do this?” I asked excitedly and he laughed heartedly
“Most aren't excited about this sort of thing, as werewolves end up in Hiercine's domain.”
I shook my head
“Not me, a Deadric Prince that happens to be a good friend of mine has a claim on my soul so I'm going to the Shivering Isles, as for the Halls of Hero's.” he fought a smile at that “I've been there, not my cup of tea really as I believe there's more to a place than drinking and fighting for all eternity.” I shrugged
He blinked in shock
“The Mad God has claim upon you?!” he squeaked
“Meh, it's more as a thank you than an actual stealing.” I shrugged “I saved his realm a few years back, nothing major, and he had me rule over his domain for a few years after I got him and another Deadric Prince on good terms with each other. As thanks, I'll be spending the rest of my days in the company of the Mad God and chatting with the Nine.”
“That's amazing!” he awed
“Not really, they're kinda the reason I pick up random stuff.” I hummed “By the way, this yours?” I asked holding up a dagger. He took it back with a blink
“Where'd you get this?”
“From the door.”
“What?” I asked
“Right... Look, simply taste the...”
“No, I'm not tasting blood that's been sitting in a dank cave in a dusty ass basin that's been sitting here for who knows how long. I don't know what's been in here!”
“Stop being a jerk and drink it.” Talos sighed and the old man jumped in shock
“Uh, if you don't wish to drink it simply cut your finger and dip that in there. The point is to have the blood inside of you.” he said
“I'm not gonna kill a bunch of guards am I?” I asked worriedly, I didn't want to kill Maro by mistake.
“No child, we of the Nine-”
“Don' ferget meh!” Sheogorath shouted
“Yes, well, we of the Nine and One Deadric Prince shall ensure that you don't become a wild animal.” Talos assured “You shall become a werewolf but you'll simply be a wolf instead of a recognizable breed.”
“Can I have black fur?” I asked
“Why black? Why not Polka Dots? Or yellow stripes?” Sheo asked
“How about Dark gray fur, black markings around my eyes, and charcoal tips on my ears and tail?” I elaborated.
“It shall be so.” Talos stated
“Now cut you finger already, I wanna see what you become with your dragon blood!” said an excited Mara.
“Schweeet!” I sang doing as told
I groaned in pain as my body shrank and lengthened, my arms becoming paws and I felt my tailbone lengthened and my normal ears stretch and move.
Soon, the transformation was complete and I looked into a pool of water in the cave.
I had gotten what I asked for but I noticed that my fur shined as if made from scales and that I was unusally large. Almost as tall as my normal height but just below 4ft with me being 5ft4 in length. My tail was long and bushy and the markings began at the side of my face and to the corners of my eyes in a curve.
“Awesome!” I barked then paused “Sweet! I can talk!”
“Yeah, Sheogorath thought it would be helpful.” Talos stated
“I like the scaling of the fur, should help you blend in when it's night.” Said Mara
“Amazing” whispered the old man as I changed back, I was glad to see that I was still wearing clothes.
“Me that time” Talos stated “We know how you feel about walking around pratially nude.”
“This awesome!” I grinned “Just think of all the trouble I can cause! The trouble I can prevent! The look of confusion on people's faces when they see a well mannered wolf giving piggyback rides to kids!”
“Build up a decent reputation first.” they all warned
“Fine.” I checked the time “Crap, I gotta meet Maro soon anyway. Thanks for the gift!” running out and meeting Maro back at the pub.
“My business is concluded, ready?” he asked and I nodded
“Yup, come on. We can fast travel to the area nearby and walk the rest of the way, I don't want to give the impression that you abducted me or something.” I shrugged.