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The Elder Scrolls: Ashlands (part 1)

(WRITTEN BY ETHAN WOODGATES)

It was 4E 259 and Morrowind had been in turmoil from the Aldmeri Dominion. The Red mountain remained dormant, ash covered the land, and the Dunmer were at odds with countless threats, the Nords to the west and the Argonians to the south. Tamriel was in peril and nobody knew what would happen if the Aldmeri Dominion would happen to gain a heavy influence over the citizens of every province.

House Redoran had control over Morrowind. The crater which was where Vivec City once stood still contained boiling water but had attracted visitors from all over Tamriel to see it. Raven Rock on Solstheim was a successful mining town since one of the miners had uncovered more ebony deposits fifty eight years earlier.

4th of Rain’s Hand 4E 259

This story began near a relatively new bandit camp on Vvardenfell, a camp which had caused trouble for the people of Seyda Neen for a few months, the camp was full of bandits who were dancing and drinking Sujamma and mead. They were mostly Dunmer and Bretons and there was the odd Nord. There were four sentries all Bosmer, Bosmer were referred to as wood elves by the non Mer (elf) races. The Bosmer were known throughout Tamriel for their efficiency with a bow.

The camp was surrounded by cliffs so there was only one way in or out. The camp had at least thirty bandits, all un-aware and all un-prepared.

Out of nowhere, arrows cut through the air towards the sentries, one after the other, killing all four of the Bosmer sentries without alarming the other bandits who were exaggerating their stories around a finely lit campfire. Camouflaged by the ash, a mysterious figure stood up, and then snuck over to one of the wooden watchtowers and began to silently scale it, fortunately for the bounty hunter, the bandits may have been able to build a stable structure, but they could never build a stable structure with no gaps that hands and feet can get into. When the bounty hunter reached the top, he could reach the ledge of the top of the cliff that wrapped around the camp. The bounty hunter heaved his own weight onto over the top of the cliff and used his uniquely tailored clothes to blend into the ash.

Down in the camp, one of the bandits was telling a familiar story to the bounty hunter, so he patched in to listen to find the most coincidental time to intervene.

‘Alright boys’ the bandit said ‘I have a story, but it’s not about me, no, it’s about an imperial, a young man, he is here in Morrowind, from what I’ve heard…’

‘Yeah, consider your picture painted Amnak; get on with your little tale.’ One of the bandits called.

‘Very well.’ Amnak continued, ‘He is here because someone here on Vvardenfell has called upon his services.’

The bounty hunter looked over for a place to shoot and distract the bandits, but he couldn’t see much as an ash cloud covered the skies and had got close enough to the ground to cause visibility issues.

‘He is one of the best fighters alive.’ Amnak explained, ‘if you see him, you cannot hope to beat him, his bow, his dagger or his scimitars will find a way to kill you one way or the other.’

‘If such a man exists, why haven’t we seen him yet?’ One of the bandits asked

Back on the ridge, the bounty hunter said under his breath, ‘because I don’t want you to.’

Amnak looked at a dagger he had pulled from his belt, ‘you see this dagger,’ he said, ‘I found it on a ridge not far from here with his name written on it, it was where we found some of our friends dead.’

One of the bandits screwed up their face, ‘Amnak, what are you suggesting?’ He asked

‘He is after something we have, maybe something we know, or…’

Suddenly there was a call, from a bandit who had wandered off.

‘Our sentries are down!’ Shouted the straggler, the bounty hunter threw a small knife into his throat.

‘We have an intruder, check everywhere, he does not leave here alive!’ Amnak shouted, ‘he’s here.’

The bandits put out the fire with haste, to prevent burning to death.

The bounty hunter jumped down into the centre of the camp into the view of the bandits. He saw the fear in the eyes of the bandits, he drew his scimitars and before long, his blades were cutting through bandit after bandit as they threw themselves at him in groups to take him down, but their plans were not as easy as they thought when they were listening to Amnak’s little tale. After all of the stabbing, slashing, stabbing, blocking, jumping, dodging and killing, it was just the bounty hunter and Amnak.

‘So it was you then?’ Amnak said, ‘you killed my friends?’

‘What did you expect?’ The bounty hunter replied.

‘Some of house Redoran’s best men.’ Amnak said.

‘Well unless you want to end up like your friends here, you’d better start answering my questions.’ The bounty hunter said with his deep and subtle voice.

‘Well I’m afraid I do not have your answers, Trupil.’ Amnak spat.

‘So you know my name. I’m vaguely touched, trust me, you will know what I want.’ The bounty hunter shouted as the winds got louder.

Amnak attacked Trupil with his typical iron sword, Trupil disarmed Amnak with one hand and then used Amnak’s sword to cut him to his knees. Then Trupil dropped the iron sword and placed his scimitar to Amnak’s throat.

‘Now who supplied your little organisation with skooma?’ Trupil Demanded.

‘I… I don’t know’ Amnak answered with fear.

‘This can go easily for you if you just co-operate’ Trupil threatened.

‘What’s the point, it’s going to end with death either way.’ Amnak spat.

‘Yes, but one is considerably more painful than the other I’m afraid.’ Trupil snarled.

‘How about you get what you want, and I live?’ Amnak proposed fearfully.

‘Fair enough, now where is your supplier?’ Trupil asked again.

‘In Blacklight, a Khajiit who goes by the name: M’asslo.’ Amnak answered with more fear than before.

‘Thank you’ Trupil said before knocking Amnak out with his right hand.

Trupil wore a silver ring on his right index finger; it had markings that looked like drawings of Nerevar and the Tribunal.

Trupil carried Amnak on the back of his horse into Seyda Neen to let the law decide what to do with him.

The Dunmer people in the village gathered in groups to observe the traveller who had just done what would take 30 imperial troops to do. A few imperials also seemed to be amongst the crowds, all dying to find out what was under the cowl that covered most of Trupil’s face. His cowl was the colour of the ash just like the rest of his attire, his gloves were black and his boots were brown ish to blend in with the ash.

He dismounted his horse and pulled Amnak down from the horses back, Amnak was still unconscious and oblivious to what was going on. The people of Seyda Neen watched with anticipation at this “strange traveller” who had just done what they had dreaded to do for months.

A guard marched towards Trupil to arrest Amnak, Trupil simply handed his sleeping body over from his shoulder, causing Amnak to make a lout moan as he did to prove that the guard knew that Amnak was still alive.

‘So, you went into a camp full of bandits and simply killed them all?’ The guard asked

‘If it had gone down a different path, I wouldn’t be here to collect my pay.’ Trupil replied.

‘Well, a job is a job and even I have to say, you have earned a decent wage.’ The guard said.

‘Or put a bounty on my own head.’ Trupil joked with no obvious expressions of humour in his face, body or speech.

‘The bounty for “Amnak the Evasive” isn’t a high sum.’ The guard explained.

‘Is it enough to get a ship off of this rock?’ Trupil asked.

‘No.’ The guard replied, ‘to get off of Vvardenfell these days you need five hundred septims on a good day, this bounty is only one hundred septims.’

‘What happened to “honest pay for honest work”?’ Trupil asked.

‘Honest work, not our dirty work boy.’ The guard said. His distinctive accent making him sounds abrupt.

‘Well I guess you’ll have to return to your duty if you want to wash the tails of the Argonians in Black Marsh then.’ Trupil said.

‘I have spent eighty years serving as a guard here, and fifty on top of that serving as a soldier, so have some respect.’ The guard said as he removed his helmet to wipe the sweat from his blue-ish-grey forehead.

Trupil vaguely grinned before taking his one hundred septims and walking off. He entered the “corner club” or so the Dunmer called it, why they couldn’t just settle for tavern was beyond anyone who wasn’t a “dark elf”.

The guard shrugged his shoulders, ‘Imperials, bah.’

Inside the “corner club” a simple fire was cooking several pots full of soup and Sujamma and Matze stocked up on three layers of shelves above the bar where a sly looking Breton stood staring at Trupil, ‘can I get you something?’ He asked.

‘Do you have anything exotic?’ Trupil asked.

‘Depends are you a tourist, historian, fascist mage or an Imperial agent?’ The Breton asked.

‘I am just a traveller.’ Trupil lied.

‘So you weren’t the man who came strolling into town on that brown horse with the sleeping bandit then?’ The Breton asked.

‘Curiosity is what gets people killed my friend.’ Trupil said.

‘If you want to kill me then by all means kill me, just whatever you do, don’t use the fire, it is a painful way to die.’ The Breton said.

‘Have we met?’ Trupil asked.

‘If we have met I would be washing myself with netch scum.’ The Breton bartender joked.

‘I can feed it to you if you like?’ Trupil said.

‘That won’t be necessary at this given time.’ The bartender said.

‘I agree.' Trupil answered without hesitation.

‘You are a long way from Cyrodiil, what brings you out to this part of Tamriel?’ The bartender asked.

‘Why don’t you mind your own business and I’ll mind mine?’ Trupil replied.

‘From the moment you entered my inn your business became my business friend, perks of the trade.’ The Breton answered with a witty attitude.

‘Well okay then. If you want to know I’ll tell you, I am looking for a family member.’ Trupil lied.

‘Your petty lies don’t work on me Imperial.’ The bartender spat.

‘And your friendly face does not deceive me, you’re an expert mage who studied at “The College of Winterhold” In Skyrim before vanishing into thin air because your friend was murdered and you thought you would be blamed.’ Trupil spat back with a slightly raised voice.

‘How do you know about that?’ The bartender asked.

‘You are wanted in Skyrim, you cannot hide forever.’ Trupil threatened.

‘Nor do I need to.’ The bartender replied with a calm voice, ‘only until death and these elves don’t quite mix with Racist thugs.’

‘I don’t mix with them either, you know who I am.’ Trupil said in a hush tone that slowly escalated to a raised voice.

‘Why are you truly here?’ The bartender asked.

‘I’m here for a drink; your presence is mere coincidence.’ Trupil said quietly.

‘What can I get you, Sujamma, or Ale?’ The bartender asked.

‘I’ll settle for a bottle of Sujamma.’ Trupil answered.

A few minutes later Trupil decided he would rent a room for the night, an ash storm was brewing and he wanted to leave Vvardenfell in one piece. Although he wanted to find his target, he wouldn’t get to him in an ash storm, let alone get five metres.

The following morning, Trupil left the corner club to see several labourers scraping ash off of the footpaths and away from shops. Trupil walked across the cleared path and mounted his horse, and then without delay he rode out of Seyda Neen and into the cloud of unsettled ash.

Trupil rode for days around Vvardenfell, fulfilling contracts and earning money to leave the island and visit the mainland to tie up some loose ends and settle some scores. Trupil had received a letter a year prior telling him that the man he was looking for was in Morrowind somewhere, and when he was travelling Vvardenfell for his enemy, he learned that the man he was looking for was in Mournhold.

No matter what the task was, nobody had anything major to give him, he needed more septims and they had grown scarce on Vvardenfell. Things began to get repetitive until Trupil found a man with what looked like a letter bearing the seal of the great House Redoran, the main power in all of Morrowind, from Blacklight to Mournhold.

‘Is your name Trupil?’ The man asked.

‘Maybe, depends on your intentions I suppose.’ Trupil replied with a cocky grin.

‘Councillor Lleril Morvayn of Raven Rock is hoping for you to meet him on the isle of Solstheim to, discuss some things that you might be interested in…’ The man said.

‘Is it important?’ Trupil asked quickly.

‘I believe so, yes.’ The man said, almost as if he only knew the basic information of the councillor’s endeavour that was unlisted upon him.

‘You know nothing more?’ Trupil asked.

‘I know that if I did know I wouldn’t be passing extra information onto you without my master’s consent.’ The man replied.

‘I’ll take that as a no then?’ Trupil asked.

‘Yes, you do that, no need to pay for the trip to Solstheim, it is already booked.’ The man said. Trupil nodded slightly to show that he understood.

The man and Trupil travelled on horseback to the nearby port to catch a ferry to Solstheim. The “Broken Flora” sat in the docks waiting for Trupil and the man.

‘What took you so long boy?’ The captain bellowed, ‘Morvayn wanted to see this man quickly.’

‘Well, he isn’t the easiest thing you could find out there.’ The man replied calmly.

The captain spat, ‘this deck is for hard working men and women, you are neither of these, you may be a Nord on the outside but inside, you are nothing nut a flimsy coward earning money by working for a noble Dunmer who would much like your race to pack their bags and return to Atmora.’

‘I am sure you love each other underneath, really.’ Trupil interrupted.

‘Love a Nord-scum? Hah, I’d rather stick my ebony sword up my arse!’ The captain spat.

‘That can easily be arranged.’ Trupil said.

‘Captain, just get us to Solstheim with less whining.’ The man ordered, ‘we have orders.’

‘I do this for House Redoran boy.’ The captain said arrogantly.

‘I do this because you cannot clean your own backsides.’ Trupil said. The captain grunted angrily. The ship began to sail from the northern coast of Vvardenfell to Solstheim.

The ship sailed gently through the calm winds. Trupil took his hood off slowly as if to embrace the gentle breeze that carried the ship to the isle of Solstheim. Suddenly, an arrow shot across the deck of the ship, Trupil looked in the direction where the arrow came from, a ship, full of reavers and pirates; they were looking to rob the ship no doubt.

Trupil dived behind a crate just before another arrow came and hit the crate behind him. The crew ran for weapons to fight back, Trupil pulled an arrow from his quiver and readied his bow, before firing a shot with immense accuracy that hit one of the invaders directly in the eye. The pirates drew closer and closer to the ship, the messenger Trupil met back on Vvardenfell who was looking for him had disappeared. Trupil was puzzled, he was no more than a few paces away from him on the deck before and now, he had just vanished…

The pirates’ ship drew ever closer and time was of the essence here, there was no way Trupil could fight all of them - could he? There was only one way to find out and that turned out to be the only option. The pirates soon were close enough to board, and board they did, they ran onto the deck from thin wooden planks. Trupil drew his swords; he didn’t waste time because before anyone could have reacted he had already struck down two invaders and rolled over the back of a pirate recovering from his non-lethal first slash. Trupil then stabbed the wounded pirate before pulling his sword out just as swiftly as it entered the pirate’s chest; two more pirates then approached Trupil with their swords drawn and in front of their bodies. Trupil sheathed his swords as the pirates approached and just as he expected they attacked at the same time. Trupil dodged the incoming blows and grabbed the hilts of both pirates’ swords before using his feet behind their legs to drop them to the floor. The pirates looked up with fear as they were helplessly stabbed by their own weapons. Trupil was then confronted by a brute-like pirate who swung his axe at Trupil; he dodged the axe fine and then he buried his sword into the legs of the brute. The bulky man writhed in pain as he fell to his knees, then Trupil finished him off with a clean cut to the throat.

The pirates began to feel fear as Trupil cut them down one by one; the captain of the “Broken Flora” shot a pirate with his long-bow and drew their menacing attention. Trupil had no reason to like the ship’s captain; he was disrespectful, racist and self important but Trupil threw a knife into the crowd of pirates who were charging at the captain, the pirates suddenly stooped and turned to see Trupil staring at them with a taunting grin, they began to run at him and then Trupil disappeared, the pirates stood there looking at each other in disbelief, he couldn’t have vanished.

 

Suddenly a pirate fell to the ground to reveal Trupil, killing half of them before they could even get their heads around his disappearing act, it turns out that spell Trupil was taught by his father had come in handy. Trupil kicked a pirate in the chest and sent him falling overboard, and then he threw his “lucky” dagger into the throat of another pirate, now there were only a few invaders left on the deck of the “Broken Flora”. Two of the invaders attacked Trupil but Trupil had jumped to dodge the attacks before landing on their swords and disarming his attackers. The pirates looked at Trupil in shock as he pulled out two arrows from his quiver. Then the pirates began to attack with their daggers, Trupil dodged and blocked elegantly with no flaws before sticking an arrow into the both pirates’ hearts, it was clean and Trupil watched them fall backwards and off of the side of the ship. Trupil turned left to see the pirate captain running towards him, he drew his swords and they fought, this pirate was every bit as deadly as Trupil; his attacks were clean, swift and unforgivable if Trupil were to somehow make a mistake. His skill was as good as Trupil’s, well, almost; Trupil took advantage of anything to help him overcome this opponent. He was aware of his opponent’s shoddy foot placing and struck at his leg sending him staggering back.

As the pirate captain was recovering, Trupil tried to plunge his sword into his chest and if it wasn’t for a random straggler which Trupil had missed, he would have succeeded; however this “survivor” blocked Trupil’s attack and sent him staggering back. The pirate used his other hand to punch Trupil in the face and knock him down to the cold deck floor. The pirate readied his sword to finish Trupil, but before he could run Trupil through with his patterned scimitar an arrow fired and hit Trupil’s would-be killer directly in the heart, sending him staggering back and falling overboard, Trupil, still recovering from the hit looked up to see the pirate captain about to stab him; he rolled away and dodged the attack with no time to spare. Trupil shot to his feet and as he did it, he drew his sword and plunged it hilt-deep into the chest of the pirate captain. Trupil turned to see the Nord-messenger who had disappeared when the ship got attacked holding a bow with an arrow prepared; the same type of arrow that had just saved Trupil’s life only moments before.

‘So I suppose I should be thanking you for saving me?’ Trupil assumed.

‘It is always a start.’ The messenger replied.

‘What is your name?’

‘My name is Fraznek.’

‘Well Fraznek, thank you.’

‘We need to get to Raven Rock and fast’

‘Why’s that?’

Fraznek’s face grew sinister, ‘I fear that these pirates where not just ordinary “pirates” who accidentally stumbled across one of the deadliest men alive and a House Redoran messenger carrying important information.’

The rest of the journey to Raven Rock was uneventful. Once they had arrived, Trupil realized the docks were full of merchant ships which had come from as far as Stros M’kai; an island south of Tamriel which belonged to Hammerfell. The distinctive desert-styled robes were worn by the Redguards who had sailed away from their homeland in search of un-measurable wealth. The Redguards were the most naturally talented warriors in Tamriel; they were not ones for simplicity either from what could be seen from the small mining settlement’s docks.

The docks were full of travelling merchants and mercenaries. The ships were all unique in their own ways; some had patterned flags, others had nicely carved wood and some were just typical and tatty. The newly renovated side of town which was abandoned up until recently was full of new shops and because of the income, the Councillor paid for the docks to be extended and thus more ships began appearing and the trade had never been better.

Trupil looked up at the banners that covered the walls of the first two buildings he saw. He was in House Redoran territory - and he knew it. Trupil walked with his hood up to keep a low profile between the buildings which had been covered in House Redoran flags, the crowds were pushy, which was just as expected for merchants with clients to meet. Trupil kept his head down as Fraznek escorted him to Morvayn Manor which would have looked like an ordinary house had it not been covered in House Redoran flags and the unmistakable Redoran Guard posted directly outside of the door. As Trupil and Fraznek walked to the door and the guard shot his head up and drew his sword.

‘Halt!’ He shouted. ‘What business do you have with the councillor?’

‘Do you not recognize his most trusted courier?’ Fraznek asked.

‘You are a Nord and I don’t like Nords.’ The guard spat.

‘Well, I’ll have you know that I am not from Windhelm.’ Fraznek laughed.

‘Well then, I recognize you but, I don’t recognize your companion?’ The guard asked.

Trupil spoke up, ‘I…’

‘He is our contact from Cyrodiil’ Fraznek interrupted. The guard looked up and down Trupil’s body. He was convinced.

‘Now let us pass.’ Fraznek ordered. The guard moved away from the door which he was blocking off only moments before.

‘Sorry about that Trupil, the councillor wants your meeting to be discreet.’ Fraznek explained.

‘Why?’ Trupil asked.

‘He fears that someone wants him dead - again.’

‘What do you mean again?’

‘This is not the first time somebody has plotted to have our great leader assassinated.’

‘Who do you suspect?’

‘That my dear friend is why you are here.’

‘What?’

‘We want you to thwart this plot if any exist.’

‘I’m no detective.’

‘You’re no fool either.’

Fraznek led Trupil up to the councillor’s desk in his bedroom where he sat, fiddling with a coin between his fingers.

‘As you requested milord’ Fraznek said with courtesy, it was obvious he had a lot of respect for his leader.

‘Good, now let me tell our friend the details.’ The councillor said with a friendly tone.

Fraznek left the room.

‘Trupil, is it?’ The councillor asked.

‘Yes it is.’ Trupil replied.

‘I am Lleril Morvayn.’ The councillor said

‘I know that’ Trupil laughed.

‘I would have been worried if you didn’t.’ Lleril replied.

‘What do you need?’

‘I fear that someone wants to overthrow House Redoran as the leading house of Morrowind.’

‘That wouldn’t be hard to believe.’ Trupil said.

‘I know; I have sent scouts into the other great houses.’

‘And what did you find out?’

‘Nothing, they were all clean.’

‘So do you suspect something more sinister than corrupt politics at play?’

Lleril’s frown grew deeper, ‘yes, I do believe it.’

‘What would you have me do?’ Trupil asked.

‘I have learned of a man in Mournhold who is looking to overthrow Dunmer power in Morrowind.’ Lleril said.

‘You want me to interrogate him?’ Trupil asked.

‘Do whatever you must to get the information I am looking for and I will see to it that you have been rewarded handsomely.’ Lleril said.

Trupil nodded his head understandingly, ‘so I am off to Mournhold?’

‘Yes, but not just yet. After all, you just arrived.’ Lleril laughed.

Trupil left Lleril in his own company; Trupil knew exactly who was pulling the strings in the plot against Dunmer control in Morrowind. The man behind it all was Restalax Faripond; an imperial, just like Trupil. Trupil however had a sense of equality whereas Restalax would have everybody enslaved under his rule; if he controlled Morrowind, Tamriel would be divided by war.

Trupil and Restalax had a history as enemies; many times had they fought each other in battles; Restalax usually had the upper hand because he was older and honed his skills over decades of training. Trupil wanted justice and revenge for what he had done; a long time ago, Restalax killed Trupil’s father in a massacre in his hometown.

That evening, Trupil and Lleril sat down at a banquet with the nobles and politicians in Raven Rock. Fraznek was there too but he was running errands and couldn’t talk much. Trupil was thinking about how the skooma dealer M’asslo and Restalax were inevitably connected, one helped the other and vice versa. They were in cities on two opposite ends of Morrowind. He could go after one and the other would escape and it would lead into a pointless chase that could span for decades.

Lleril gave Trupil a pat on the back, ‘I have booked you passage to Blacklight, I couldn’t book further without raising suspicion.’

‘That is alright.’ Trupil replied. ‘When do I leave?’

 ‘You leave tomorrow at mid-day.’ Lleril said.

‘Thank you Lleril.’

‘No, I should be thanking you.’

‘There is a skooma dealer in Blacklight; I think he works for Restalax.’

‘Restalax is the name of the man I suspect, how did you know?’

‘We have history and a few scores to settle.’

‘What do you mean by history?’

‘He killed my father.’ Trupil said.

‘So this is a revenge mission?’ Lleril asked.

‘No, it is for justice.’

‘Okay then, who is the dealer?’

‘I believe it to be a Kajiit by the name of M’asslo.’

‘That cat is untouchable.’

‘I have my ways.’ Trupil winked.

The following day at mid-day Trupil set sail for Blacklight, several other ships were leaving Raven Rock and several were arriving there too, the seas were calm but they were bursting with life. Upon arrival in Blacklight, Trupil looked across from the docks to the city. The city itself was rich in taste and had a slight resemblance to the city of Solitude in Skyrim. Trupil pulled his cowl over his head to hide his eyes with a dark shadow. As Trupil ventured deeper into the city, he saw a ladder and climbed onto the rooftop of a building. From there he saw a Kajiit looking suspicious giving a Breton a purple bottle in exchange for a purse that made a slight jingle sound.

‘M’asslo!’ Trupil called.

M’asslo panicked and ran, Trupil chased after him across the rooftops as he ran along the balconies; jumping across the gaps and attempting to turn corners to lose Trupil. Trupil jumped from one rooftop to another flawlessly in a nick of time to see his distinctive tail drag into a window, Trupil saw the window close but that didn’t stop him from kicking it in, diving across the bed and climbing out the open window on the other side. On the other side was a large gap that Trupil jumped and caught the ledge and pulled his body onto the rooftop, M’asslo climbed up a tower that was overlooking the rest of the city and just as he did, Trupil drew his bow and fired a warning shot, it smashed a window and caught a tuft of M’asslo’s fur as it made a loud smashing noise upon impact with the window. M’asslo took the advantage and slinked into the now open window and climbed the ladder on the inside up to the rooftop. The view of the city was short lived because just as M’asslo was onto the roof – Trupil was right behind him. It was at least four stories down to the next building, but M’asslo chanced it after laughing at Trupil’s assumed success. Trupil followed but the impact upon landing was painful and made him slow down to recover from the shock.

M’asslo looked over his shoulder at Trupil, who was this hooded man?

‘What do you want?’ M’asslo spat.

‘I wish for answers.’ Trupil said still recovering from the fall.

‘Well, you’ll have to catch me first.’ M’asslo laughed as he slunk away.

Trupil shook off the pain and ran after him but he was gone.

Trupil looked across over the city, he just vanished in a style that he would. This wasn’t going to be easy. Restalax’s influence over M’asslo’s training was obviously present, like it was for Trupil before he killed his father in cold blood right in front of Trupil.

Trupil suddenly caught a glimpse of M’asslo in the crowds and that was an opportunity which could not be ignored. He leaped down from his perch on the rooftop to directly behind M’asslo, M’asslo saw him and in the blink of an eye he turned and swiped his sword at Trupil, Trupil dodged the attack with ease and then he drew his swords, M’asslo looked at his gleaming reflection on the sharp blades, they struck fear into his heart. M’asslo gave a loud gulp before attacking Trupil savagely and recklessly. Trupil dodged and reflected and worked M’asslo to tire him out and tire him out it did, he watched as M’asslo gave in to his skill.

‘So, you are the one I was warned about.’ M’asslo spat as he dropped to his knees.

‘Who warned you?’ Trupil asked although he already knew.

‘Restalax warned me about you, and he said he would no longer fund our skooma dealings if he sensed you were on to him.’

‘You sided with a man who would rob you of your freedom for what – skooma?’

‘He doesn’t want to rob us of our freedom, he wants freedom.’

‘No.’ Trupil said, ‘he wants you to think that.’

‘What do you want with him?’

‘My business is my own, tell me what his game is and we will part ways as if we had just passed each other in the street.’ Trupil lied, the backstreet was empty and Trupil held his swords to M’asslo’s throat.

‘He wants to be rid of Dunmer supremacy here in Morrowind.’ M’asslo said.

‘Thank you.’ Trupil’s grip tightened.

‘Now let me go, just like you said you would.’ M’asslo said with a petrified tone.

‘I’m sorry but that would be like letting your lifelong nemesis walk away from you without sticking a blade in a painful place for everything he has done.’ Trupil said.

‘What?’

Trupil knocked M’asslo out, ‘I will not kill you because you did not know.’

Trupil left M’asslo there in the streets and was confronted by guards.

‘Stop right there!’ A guard shouted looking at Trupil. Trupil ran and climbed a ladder and onto the rooftops where he outran the guards who where chasing him because of the damage he had caused to the city whilst chasing M’asslo. Trupil used everything but the guards were not going to stop. They fired arrows at him all wildly missing, Trupil caught one arrow as it shot directly at him as he was jumping, he snapped the arrow and dived into the water back at the docks and then went under, the guards could not follow as their armour was too heavy.

Trupil resurfaced out of range of the guards and swam to land near the city. Trupil hauled himself onto the bay where he found himself looking at the city which he had just escaped. Trupil left his horse on Solstheim where it was taken for protection. If Trupil was going to do this he had to do it alone.

Trupil looked up at the Red Mountain in the distance, breathing heavily as he did. He drew one of his swords; he messed with the sword in his hand with skill.

A few days later, Trupil was just outside of Mournhold. He hauled himself over a hill to reveal the majestic-looking city.

‘Wow.’ Trupil whispered, ‘it has been so long since I was last here.’

The view was magnificent, the city was flourishing and it was market day. Trupil began to descend to the front gates. Two guards stood on either side of the gate. Trupil walked into the city with no hassle from the guards. The first thing Trupil did when he entered the city is rent a room at the local tavern. He paid the bartender who then led Trupil to a spacious room with a balcony overlooking the city.

Later that evening, Trupil peered over the city to see a familiar face conferring with a thug-like character in front of several other thugs. It was Restalax and he wasn’t going to let this opportunity fly. Trupil grabbed his swords and his bow and put on his unique light armour and put his hood up, he collected his arrows and then he climbed out of the balcony and onto the rooftop. From there he could survey the area to an ideal perch not far from where the thug-leader was now addressing the other thugs.

‘Settle down!’ He ordered, ‘just now, I have received payment for the elimination of a man by the name of Trupil Poldeskyr.’

Trupil heard it and jumped the rooftops with significant stealth, causing no damage to the tiles or windows.

‘I accepted the contract, and I received news that he is here in the city.’ The thug continued, ‘spread out and find him and if you find him, kill him.’

The thugs spread out; this just made things easier for Trupil. He saw Restalax and the thug-leader walk inside a house with two thugs protecting the door. Trupil saw a trap door, and so he jumped onto the roof to discover that the trap door was locked and needed a key to be opened. Trupil caught a glimpse of the thugs as they searched the streets.

Trupil used the rooftops to his advantage again as he took up position on a perch behind one thug. Trupil drew his bow and fired, the shot flew into the thug’s neck killing him instantly. Trupil then pounced lightly across the rooftops to see another thug and just like the last he killed him with one very accurate shot to the back of the neck. Two more thugs roamed the streets looking for him; he slowly approached and slit the throat of another thug and like the other two he had no key on his corpse.

The last thug saw Trupil coming and as he fired the arrow the thug dodged and drew his own bow to fire back but Trupil had already departed from the rooftop and landed behind cover; a cart was in the street and Trupil used it as cover. He prepared himself and then the thug ran around the cart to find nothing (that spell worked a treat) Trupil had vanished; he re-appeared on the roof, readied his bow, whistled and fired a shot right into the heart of the thug.

Trupil searched the thug’s corpse to find a batch of keys that all looked different. Trupil didn’t have the time to identify the key because he needed to get to Restalax and finish this. He used the rooftops and again managed to get to the rooftop with the trap-door where he tried every key until he found the right one; he opened the hatch and crept in down the ladder.

The attic was a dark room, full of dust, crates and old books all with the same title: “Horker Attacks”. Trupil heard the door open and hid in a crate, it was Restalax and his deadly bodyguard (not like he needed a bodyguard). Restalax drew his sword and began opening the crates with the tip of his sword. As he searched, he missed a few out (Trupil’s included) and then he left feeling satisfied that no assassins or bounty hunters had got into his lair. When he left, Trupil crept out of the crate and silently managed to get across the room without making a sound.

Trupil left the attic and stealthily killed the thug who was stood looking over the balcony outside the door and down the stairs. Over the balcony was a table about three floors down in a vast room with several thugs and Restalax and his menacing bodyguard.

Trupil saw the chandelier and had a plan; he drew his bow and fired one shot with such a force that it pierced the chain holding up the chandelier. The chandelier dropped onto the table and killed one of the many thugs who were sat down there.

‘What the…’ One of the guards said as he looked at the body of his dead colleague.

Restalax took in a deep breath, ‘you can come out Trupil!’ He shouted almost as if he was mocking Trupil’s efforts. Trupil jumped from the balcony to the floor where he drew his swords.

‘So you have finally come to kill me.’ Restalax sneered.

‘I am surprised it took me so long.’ Trupil spat.

‘You have the same defiance that your father had, that is what got him killed.’

‘You killed him.’

‘In battle’

‘You killed him in cold blood!’

Restalax laughed, ‘and you were there weren’t you, that was twenty years ago boy, Tamriel has moved on, it is high time you do so too.’

‘Not until you are dead.’ Trupil said confidently as he raised his swords defensively.

‘You have such arrogance, and to think that your father would be proud.’ Restalax taunted as he stepped forward drawing his Stalhrim sword.

Trupil lunged out of rage at Restalax and Restalax dodged swiftly and managed to make Trupil drop one of his scimitars. Trupil then drew his lucky dagger and swiped across to send Restalax back so he could back off and evade Restalax’s skills by avoiding him. The thugs began to attack, Trupil dispatched of them swiftly and easily.

Restalax and his bodyguard now faced Trupil, two against one and all of them deadly. Trupil managed to wound Restalax by lodging his dagger into Restalax’s arm, and then it was just him and the bodyguard. The bodyguard was a brute styled fighter; his attacks were sloppy but every time Trupil tried to go on the offensive he just stepped out the way and slapped Trupil with the back of his hand. The bodyguard swung his axe wildly and Trupil dodged with ease but it was tiring him.

Trupil saw that the wall was fragile because of the marks that pierced it in a lot of places; he stabbed the wall with his sword and used his sword to vault up onto a balcony where he drew his bow and fired arrow after arrow at the bodyguard who was either shaking it off, catching the arrows or dodging them. Trupil lunged down and lodged the top of his bow into the bodyguard’s chest and into his heart; killing him. Trupil collected his weapons that were scattered but Restalax was gone…

(END OF PART 1)