There is a traveling mighty Alik'r, the man who kills but sheds no tear. He runs you down without fear, he runs your through, this Alik'r. A man dark of skin and dreaded of a hair, walking into the darkened lair. If it is your door he enters there, then take note and now beware. He seeks to atone, this Alik'r, he seeks to be known, this man named Anzier.

My name is Anzier, and I am a former warrior of the Alik'r.  I retired early from service in Hammerfell to enjoy the sights of the Empire before it was too late to roam it freely - I suspect the Thalmor and their overlords at the Aldmeri Dominion will be making things very difficult for people in the very near future.  Spending my time on the roads, I run into a lot of people.  Believing that Stendar's strength is granted to give Mara's mercy to those who need it, I help all that I can along the way.  Sometimes, just every so often, in helping one person you make another upset.  More often than not, the one you've upset is very powerful, with even more powerful friends.  This ... this was one of those times ... and this is the story of how my extension of Strength and Mercy led to an all out slaughter that ultimately had to happen.  This is how one retired Redguard put to rest the entrie Dark Brotherhood.

"Anzier, we hate to see you leave.  Must you have adventures of your own?  Must you explore and see the sights of the Empire?  There are camps that need raided, borders defending, whelps to train!"  My now-former commander laughed as tried his best to jest a way of begging me to stay.  I couldn't stay, not after everything I'd seen.  Certainly not after the things I'd done, I couldn't stay.  It was all a matter of time before they found out.

"I'm afraid I must, the wilds of Blackmarsh call my name, the cities of Cyrodil becken for my coin and the mountains of Skyrim yearn to be topped by me!"

"I understand, just try to stay out of trouble, Anzier.  I know you, you mean well, but sometimes trouble finds you."

"It may as well be my middle name, then, old friend!"

With that I was interrupted by an overflow of well-wishers and gift-givers, so I didn't get to speak to my commander again before leaving.  It's probably just as well, my guild may have gotten to me and forced me to talk about it all.  Once everyone finally left the party there was nothing left but silence.  How did I end up alone?  A Swordmaster before I'd even seen thirty seasons, one helluva good smith (even if I do only say so, myself), and an all around good-looking fellow ... I should have had a strong woman by my side.  Somehow I missed my chance, though.  Most like I was working too much and had my head down as they all passed me by.  Oh well, not important now, only the preperation for leaving was important.

It was early, the moons nearly gone and the sun not quite peaking over the edge of the earth.  I had to leave as soon as possible, I was on the border so I could easily make it to Skyrim by lunch time.  I packed a small breakfast and ate on the road.  I packed light, just my most valued possessions.  I had with me my smithing hammer (given me by my grandfather, given him by his mother), my two Orcish swords (loot from a battle long past), a full set of steel plate armor (hand-crafted by your's truly), a handful of health salves, some coin, a couple torches, and my trusty mining pick.  

Along the road I found many people, most of them nice enough folk.  I made camp with some of them for the night and we told tales from our lands.  Ghost stories for the children when there were some.  One man told of a great force ready to rise up from the dead and destroy all of world around us - I have to admit, the way he told it had even me a little frightened.  However, not even ghost stories and legends of old, dead dragons can't keep me from sleep.  I learned to sleep in the saddle, or leaning on a wall, or nearly standing straigh up.  War does that to a man, you catch your winks when you can.

Every so often I'd see people needing assisstance of some kind of another.  One unfortunate fool (I use that term not so loosely) had his wagon wheel break on him.  He was beside himself, it seemed ... of course in his mind, he may have litterally been beside himself, ha!  I helped him convince some old farmer up the road a bit to help him get the wheel fixed so the man could be on his way.  The farmer was weary of him, but it was just a man saddened to be point of feigning madness.  The poor sod had lost his mother, and was on his way to burry her.  I can't believe the man wouldn't help the boy, but after some talking (and maybe some threatening) he decided it was best to get him on his way.

I found another poor soul on the roads...this one I couldn't do much for.  A traveling merchant or peddler of sorts being attacked by bandits.  No bandits I'd ever seen the like of before, they had animal heads and strange barbed weapons.  They appeared to be almost all Bretons, I did them in without too much trouble (a lot of fire and sparks, but they died all the same).  The poor woman was injured too badly.  She was bleeding out, and I didn't know what else to do for her.  I offered her a bandage to buy some time, but we were too far from any town to get help.  A simple healing salve would ease the pain some, but in the end the result would all be the same.  I offered the only other thing I knew, a warriors offer.  A clean, painless, quick death.  Her mouth said nothing, but her eyes practically screamed for me to do it.  So I took her hand and help it tight.  I looked her in the eye and said a quick prayer to the Eight for her.  Then it was done, a blade in just the right spot behind the neck took care of it all.  She was free of pain, and she would have died either way ... I tell myself this every night, yet still I see her in my dreams.  Apparently tales of dragons destroying Tamriel and ghost stories won't cause me to lose sleep, but a real ghost haunting my nightmares will.

After the deed was done I did my best to burry her off the road.  There was no shovel, and the ground was so rocky, so I could only get in about two and a half feet.  As I stood there cleaning my blade for the fifth time since she died (I never even got her name...I should have asked her what her name was) I noticed a man on a horse.  He was just standing there watching me.  How long had he been there?  Who was he?  I just stared back for what seemed like hours, but it could have only been minutes.  His horse appeared to be the same breed, possibly even from the same line, as the woman's had.  No, it couldn't be connected, it was the distance and the light playing tricks on my eyes...wasn't it?

If you enjoyed this, you can find links to each of my blog series on this forum thread.