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The Day’s Knight


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The knight stepped forward, glancing around the dimly lit tavern, the modest hearth barely causing a shine on his plated breast. He was tall, even for a Breton. Most would put him at fifty... maybe older. A stern face that had seen many a quarrel. His hair blonde-grey and thinning to the top of his head, and gathered in a loose tie as it rests on his cuirass.

“I am Sir Jerian Maurard, Knight of the Dragon. This is my charge, Sir Roderic Townway...”

From the darkness of the doorway a younger Breton emerged. Much younger than Jerian, perhaps twenty years his junior. He was at least a head shorter, but broader of shoulder, broader of stature. Thick leather-brown hair that falls by a closely cropped beard. The silver of his plate armour coming into view.

“...the Lord Commander sent us to this place to locate one of our own, who has been missing for most of this year. We are led to believe he has turned against his vows, against his kin. Joining in brotherhood with the savages of the Reach...” looking down at the Dragon crest on his cuirass, Jerian lets out a slight sigh, a forlorn look on his brow... 

Stepping forward, placing his hand on a wooden table, Roderic continued “...It is said a Breton, auburn haired and a visible scar on his cheek was sighted on the cliff overlooking this hamlet...” His tone becoming more stern, “...If not for the feeling in my heart, the scar alone is enough to say this is our sworn brother. We need anything that may be offered, that can tell us where he went or who he was with...”

Upon being met with disinterested eyes and disinterested whispering, the cause is deemed lost and Jerian looks at Roderic gesturing towards the door. Through the moist tavern stupor, a raspy voice cuts halting their would-be exit.

“Such burdens may be shared... for the right price...” the voice sneered. While scouring the host within the tavern, the source of the voice is quickly found. Piercing green eyes meet the two knights, who stand watching the cat as he slowly yet with a subtle abruptness comes forth, prompting Roderic to tighten the grip on his sword.

“With the severity of our cause friend, if you know anything... speak now” Jerian replies, slowly walking into the centre of the tavern to meet the Khajiit. Flashing a fearsome grin, the cat retorts “...and I tell you... such things have a price” tilting his head. Becoming somewhat annoyed, Jerian places his hand on his belt and growls quietly “surely there is no price for human decency?”

On hearing this the Khajiit looks to Roderic, seemingly noting his impatience. “Ah... but I’m not human...am I? I tell you one last time that such burdens come at a price... a price that you will willingly oblige... if your cause is as severe as you imply...”

The Khajiit steps back slightly and looks at the two knights, one to the other. The grin, slowly forming into a snarl, he hisses “there are other ways that I can get you to agree...” placing his claw inside his vest.

In an instant, Jerian lunges forward unsheathing his sword, as though he was thirty years younger. In a flash of steel light, the blade sits gently at the neck of the beast slowly turning the golden fur a dark crimson... and one that starts to trickle in a small stream down the blade of Jerian’s sword.

Forcing down a strong gulp, the Khajiit scurries his claw down to his side. His eyes twitch to his right towards the corner of the tavern, and back to meet Jerian’s. Following the sight, Jerian slowly turns his head and can see two small Khajiit whelps... no older than five or six. The boy, with his mane gathered into intricate braids holding the remnants of a stale crust. The girl, much smaller with brilliant sapphire blue eyes clutching on to a small tattered doll.

“Tell me what you know...” whispered Jerian, looking back and engulfed by an unspoken understanding.  Nodding and his eyes wide, the Khajiit relents and mouths the word… “Markarth”

The barkeep steps from behind the bar and waves off his clientele “nothing more to be seen here now you lot... as you were...” he then hands Jerian a rag that the latter uses to wipe down his sword. It is then handed to the Khajiit, who softly dabs it over the crimson fur.

“For your troubles...” says Jerian, placing a small but honest sized coin purse into the cats claw, a small smile spreading across his maw.

Outside the tavern, adjusting the saddle of his horse, Roderic turns to address his Lord. “You still paid him mi’Lord?” Not looking to meet the gaze of his charge, Jerian responds. “ I have looked into the eyes of many a man, mer and beast wanting to carve a reputation into the hide of a knight. I saw no such thing in that cats eyes, only a father resorting to a desperate measure to feed his children more than a mere stale crust...”

Placing his hand on Roderic’s shoulder, Jerian continues “...do not tarry on the urgency of our errand Sir Roderic, but we are still knights of this realm... what is a knights compass?”

“Protect and Serve”

“Protect and serve. The most sacred of any vow you have taken... never forget that”.





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The sun rises over the crags of the Reach illuminating the snowy peaks of the Throat, and cascading brilliant light to all corners of the North. So sinister a place yet with unspeakable beauty that would garner its own place on the spokes of Aubris. As the dawn brightens more of this rocky realm comes into view. Dykes turn into streams, streams into lakes, lakes into waterfalls that crash with a foreboding elegance.

As the morning draws on, so too does the quest of two wayward knights, clamouring their way through the terrain. One is Sir Jerian Maurard, the seasoned knight as dubious as he is cynical. Something that is known all too well to his companion, Sir Roderic Townway… who feels the ease in which Jerian followed this trail must be brought into question.

“Do you really feel he is in Markarth mi’Lord?” Roderic asks, slightly tilting his head to catch a glimpse at Jerian’s reaction. He would not have it. “That’s what the Khajiit said is it not?” Keeping his staunch expression fixed forwards.

“He did… but to off on his word alone…?” Roderic gazes off through an opening in two small peaks, awaiting yet not expecting a second reply. 

Halting his horse and causing it to rear, Jerian glances backwards “…then we will have lost a coin purse… and a day of our time” he says, a small grin appearing. Not meeting the glance, Roderic smirks knowingly and nods slowly. Turning back to his path, the grin fades as Jerian whispers to himself “…or my judgment has seen better days…” clutching the reins of his horse, he kicks harshly causing the horse to advance which appears to bring Jerian back from his thoughts.

Traversing the rocky valleys, the knights continue south and westward. The further they do, the more frequent are strange formations that take their place in the rocks. Roderic becomes uneasy with every severed goat head, skewered skeever and horridly twisted antler that seems to be set to several cave openings. “Yes, Roderic… we are deep in Forsworn territory” Jerian calls over, taking note of Roderic’s concerns.

The Forsworn. They had heard of them, men and women alike that shared their bloodline. These people were not of Daggerfall, of grandeur nor majesty. Nobility nor chivalry.  These were the savages of the Reach. Bloodthirsty, maniacal. Traded honour to live in the hills… the place they feel is theirs by birthright… the Reach. It is with them that these knights must deal, if they have any hopes in finding their friend.

“Up ahead… a signpost” Roderic gallops ahead to see what it states. Jerian holds back, keeping a close eye out. “Markarth is due West mi’Lord” Roderic calls back. His statement is met by a forceful nod as Jerian draws closer. His face quickly turns from relief to that of stern duress, as a sharp cry fills the valley… and the sight of Roderic falling from his horse clutching his chest.

Jerian approaches his fallen charge and leaps from his horse, grasping his shield from its fastening and holds it firm and high over them both as he crouches down to see the extent.

“An arrow… it… it came from there…” Roderic points past Jerian towards a sharp jutting rock that lies split, somewhat towering over the cobbler path… “Forsworn…? gasped Roderic, trying to pull at the hilt of his sword, his chest wound disallowing any success.

“No… worse than that, Breton”

A deep voice, bellows through the cold air like thunder. The figure shows himself, grinding the heft of his axe along a rock as he slowly saunters into view. The screeching of the iron makes Jerian wince. He was large… so large as he must have been at least twice the size of the Knight. Yes… this beast was of Nordic blood. Thick blonde hair braided to the back of his head, with shaven sides and deep blue woad that covered most of his head like a painted helm…

“Now why would two Bretons be using my road in such small company…” the Nord sneered, lifting his axe resting it on his broad shoulder. Roderic looked past this man and saw a woman, bow and arrow aloft… not taking her eyes off Jerian. She also appeared to be a Nord, heavy set wearing crude furs. He knows she is the one who has shot him, causing him to grasp the arrow and grimace in an ascending anger.

“Our business is ours. You have wounded my companion. You shall not bear any ill from us… we simply seek to pass…” Jerian lowers his shield, and arches his back to stand at full height. Still dwarfed by the Nord, but make no mistake… Jerian is still every bit as imposing. His age cannot hide that.

“You bore me ill the moment you trod this road… this is my road, and you will pay what you owe” the Nord glances past Jerians shoulder, beckoning the coming of several other men. All crudely clad in furs and hide.

Slowly raising to his feet, Roderic jerks the arrow from his breast letting out a quick snarl. Unsheathing his sword, he growls “perhaps you did not hear him… our business is ours. We seek to pass” the wound in his chest still bleeding, Roderic steps forward with an unyielding defiance.

Smiling, the Nord points his axe towards them. “You carry a fine sword there half-elf… a fine sword indeed…” Enraged at this name, Roderic grips the sword with both hands and through bared teeth… “…and by all means snow-back…you shall have it…”

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Not sure if you're aware of it, but your text is all black and therefore unreadable.

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The Nord removes his axe from his shoulder, and lunges forth in a sprint, bellowing loud like the clouds of Kyne. Roderic stands his ground, tightening the grip on his sword. Unwavering. The Nord woman standing a small distance behind let’s loose an arrow, which whistles past the Nords head looking for Jerian. The arrow is easily deflected by his shield.

Reaching his target, the Nord throws his full weight at Roderic, knocking the knight backwards and sends him crashing to the ground. Seeing this, Jerian advances, running through one bandit with his sword and slicing open his belly, and hurls his shield at the Nord woman clattering her bow out of her hands and sending her back to the rocks.

Roderic scurries to his feet just in time to avoid the axe descending down onto him, he stands atop of the axe, rendering it still and crushes the pommel of his sword into the face of his beastly foe. He does this again and again. The Nord slumps to the side, the blue woad on his head turning a dark indigo as his blood begins to flow.

Close by Jerian is taken by surprise, as a bandit jumps down into him from the jutting rock above and sends them both hurtling to the ground. Much younger, the bandit recovers first and straddles Jerian and clasps his hands around his throat. Jerian grabs the mans wrists and tries to free himself, but to no gain. This foe is too strong. A fear begins to crawl over Jerian, a feeling he has not had for many a year. Once again he tries in vain to free himself from the clutches of this mans grip.

Sensing the weakening of the knight, the bandit wildly smiles and raises his head to the skies and lets out a bloodcurdling scream. Then, he is silent. Jerian looks up to see the mans head tumble onto his breastplate and then down the rocky slopes. Roderic stood over him, his sword crimson.

“On your feet mi’Lord…” he reaches out and pulls Jerian up alongside him. “Where are the others?” Jerian hisses, clamouring the ground for his sword. He looks around to see the blood-soaked ground and several bodies laying on top of it. Jerian, realising he must have been held longer than he thought, nods at Roderic… a silent thank you. 

At the side of the road, crawling away slowly, was the brutish Nord. Groaning and talking to himself, his face a red pulp of flesh and blood. The pommel of Roderic’s sword had done its duty well. The knights follow behind. Finally Jerian steps on the Nords foot, halting his slow escape. Kicking him onto his back, Jerian holds his sword aloft and rests the point of the blade to the Nord’s throat.

“It did not have to be this way. You merely had to let us pass” balking at the statement, the Nord spat blood from his mouth and whispered   “Not bad for a half-elf and his ageing master…” Roderic grimaced and started to walk forward, his advance halted by a raised arm of Jerian’s. “We seek to know the whereabouts of a Forsworn clan that has in their company a knight…” 

“Is this knight a half-elf as well?” Mocked the Nord, wiping blood away from his remaining visage… “you ask me if I know of a half-elf knight that has thrown in with other half-elf madmen that carve a living out of rocks?” Letting out a weakened laugh, the Nord continues… “if I knew of such folly, which I don’t… do you really think I would tell you? The Forsworn… do yourselves a boon and turn back. Go back home to your high towers and pitiful wenches…” resting his head back, he continues “all who meet the Forsworn do not live to tell about it… I doubt your friend is still walking Nirn. He will likely be decorating their walls…” The Nord let’s out a sickening laugh.

Having heard enough Roderic tilts his sword downwards, and with a mighty push, forces the sword through the Nords neck. A small dripping gurgle, and he is gone.

“I do not believe it!” Roderic turns to Jerian, with wild eyes he shouts further “I did not drag myself through musky taverns and mountains to be told by some half-wit snow-back that my struggles have been in vain!” Clutching his chest, a quick painful reminder of his wound calms him. Jerian sheathes his sword, and pulls the reins of his horse towards him. “We need to get to Markarth. As this task draws on, I feel the hopes of it’s success slipping away… stay your head on its course Roderic, or we too will slip away and be claimed by this savage land…”

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  • 1 month later...

“State your business” the guardsman bellowed from the top of the stone steps. Making his way down them, the guards holds his shield high… a stoic dominance reduced to equal grounds upon Jerian’s reply.

“Order of the Dragon, here for Daggerfall and it’s King” his tone softening, Jerian continues… “please, my friend is wounded. We were attacked in the mountain pass and are in need of aid, shelter, food…” Jerian holds his horse steady. The guard looks past Jerian’s shoulder and his eyes meet Roderic, clutching his chest and barely able to stand if not for the saddle of his horse.

“I’ll see your horses stabled. You’ll want to make your way to the top of the city, by the falls… look for the Hags Cure…” gently taking the reins of his horse from him, the guard nods his head towards the great bronze coloured doors at the head of the steps. Jerian nods in approval, and clasps Roderic by the arm and hoists it over his shoulders. The two knights venture forth up the steps and inside the stone city, leaving the mists of the mountains and the blood spilt that day,behind them…

Markarth. It was every bit as they had been told… magnificent. Stout buildings built right into the mountain face. Grey on greyest stone. A giant waterfall rained down on the city from high, painting the Keep the deepest murk iron.

The city was crawling with its denizens, all talking and trading… the din almost as loud as the crashing water of the falls and the striking of anvils. Something rather serine. Jerian sees a stone building with a board swinging from its rafters… “a mortar and pestle… this must be it Roderic”.

The Hags Cure was dimly lit, yet smelled like a fresh garden on the the slopes of Glenumbra. Jerian considers himself as well travelled as a silt strider… has seen the trees of Valenwood to the sands of Hammerfell, but even he has never seen some of the oddities displayed before him.

“What brings you to me?” A woman, clad in black and grey scraggly hair walks forward into the dim lighting. Roderic turns to her, but falls into a stool aptly nearby “I beg you, please see to this wound… breathing does not come easy…” Jerian continues… “we were attacked on the mountain pass not far from your city gates. My friend here took an arrow to the breast…”

“Indeed he did…” she lightly dabs the blood and takes a sharp whiff of it on the end of her bony finger and pulls her face away swiftly… “the wound begins to fester” she quickly walks to her alchemy table and begins grinding frantically. “I can make a poultice that will stop the infection… if you would have lingered any longer, he would have been lost to us….” Roderic looks at Jerian and hisses “all this had better be worth it…”

Upon hearing this, the woman walks back over to the stool in which Roderic sat and beckoned him to remove his armour. He does this, revealing a darkened crimson tunic. She begins applying the poultice to the wound… causing Roderic to grimace in pain.

“What could you possibly need in the Reach that you would willingly risk yourself for in this way?” The woman asks, not taking her eyes off her intricate work. Jerian turns away, lightly running his fingers through some frost miriam that hung above him. “…it is now that I would say our business is our own… but I fear we are going to need more aid than I could have fathomed…” Roderic glances over, a silent objection crossing his lips. The woman, still tending to the wound, raises her brow… a silent urging for Jerian to speak.

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  • 2 months later...

“… we have been sent by the Lords of our realm to find one of our own. Sightings of the savages of the Reach… or Reachmen as you may know them, suggests he has joined with them” the woman glances to her side in the direction of Jerian upon hearing his opening plea. “This is a betrayal that we are honour bound to put right or avenge” Jerian, continuing to run his fingers through the plumage stops at this statement and stares blankly into the hearth. Roderic continues, pulling sharper breaths between his words “… the latter, we would prefer not to be the way this task ends…” the woman lightly dabs at Roderic’s wound and hands him a clean tunic which he slowly pull over his head.

She moves to the table top and places the bloodied rags and needle atop of it, not taking her eyes off Jerian. 

“Am I a savage?” She quietly says, her words met with lowered brows and puzzled looks from her visitors. She glances to and from them both, and repeats “…am I a savage…? I have just dirtied my hands with the poultice I have made to save your sworn brother… I have tainted my linens with the blood of your sworn brother… yet you come into my home and refer to myself and mine… as savages…”

Jerian studies the woman’s face… intricate paint covered it, and the more he looked at her, the more he began to realise that his words had cut. She was of the Reach. This woman, who had saved Roderic with a few grinds of her mortar without knowing their names, is of the same ilk that they had been sent to hunt.

“I shall not keep you any longer. Go, hunt down the savages you have been sent to find. Release your friend… be it in freedom or in death…” she then turns away, but Jerian reaches forward and pulls her arm back. He then whispers “forgive me… I was wrong…”

Still facing away but tilting her head back towards him the woman retorts… “save your words… Leave this place with words of warning if you would hear them…” She then turns to Jerian and her voice deepens… “This place, Skyrim… will betray you as swiftly as your prejudices if you do not keep your mind aloft…”

Jerian stares blindly at the woman… finding himself unable to speak. She then yanks her arm out of Jerians grasp and leaves the room.

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  • 4 months later...

The two knights emerge from the large copper-brass door, closing their eyes to the mist that lashes at their face born of the crashing falls that descends just mere inches from them. Each droplet like small frosty needles that seems to bring back Jerian from his thoughts.

“Well, that could have gone better mi’lord…” says Roderic, turning to his companion squinting through the heavy mist. Jerian looks on, his face not altering, forlorn. Changing his tone, Roderic places his hand on Jerian’s shoulder “there’s no way you could have known she was a native…”

Glancing his eyes towards Roderic and then back out to the stone city before him, Jerian releases a deep breath and shakes his head, yielding small pearls of water. “There was a time Roderic that I could halt a siege or quarrel without even drawing my sword… without even touching it” slowly he walks forwards making his way down large stone steps, Roderic one step behind.

“In my twilight years, I find myself unable to study people…my surroundings. There was a time I could lunge forth with the fury of the Aedra and leave a Khajiit’s nape bloodless…” Jerian stops and looks at the sun, it’s god-rays beating down on his troubled brow… “I fear after this, there won’t be many more tales from Jerian the Old…”

Stepping in front of him, Roderic’s face turns to  one of scorn, his hand clutching his dressed wound. “Jerian the Old…? Are there many knights who could fend off forty orc’s… shieldless… on the slopes of Glenumbra…?” Etching closer, Roderic’s tone hardens… “Are there many knights who gave a woman and child a reprieve while cutting down every bandit that dare force their way into her cabin that day… with nigh a sworn brother in sight…?”

Jerian’s eyes lock with Roderic’s, and takes a step back as the latter’s passion takes hold. “Eighteen winters only had I seen when learning of the great triumphs of Sir Jerian… from Stros M’Kai to Rivenspire…” clutching Jerian’s lapel, dragging him forward… “There is only one man… one knight… that any young boy wanting to show his mettle wanted to emulate… wanted to be… and that was you”

Jerian looked down, unable to meet another man’s gaze for the first time… “Sir Jerian Maurard… Jerian the Strong, the Noble… the Old? Perhaps. Though this does not tell who you are… what you have been…”

A harsh release sends Jerian back a step. Having a clear toll on Roderic, he lowers and sits on a stone foundation, the days toil starting to wear thin on his will. Jerian steps forward and hoists him up. “Finished…?” He says softly, a small grin appearing.

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