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[Home After the Fire]

rieldunai:

[Master Post] (I – delete before post)

[0]

She pushed herself to her knees and watched the language of his body as he spoke. Her head tilted slightly at the mention of the Brotherhood. She’d always known Veren wasn’t quite what he seemed, but they’d never really spoken about what he was. She sifted through her memories for anything related, any time when it might have been brought up or hinted at, but came up short. Maybe she hadn’t been paying attention.

Her gaze drifted toward the tent and the pile of furs that concealed the still form of their companion. The sight of Rieldunai and Veren when they’d been discovered and Rieldunai’s behaviors now rendered any further questions unnecessary. What questions she did have concerned Veren’s prognosis and Rieldunai probably couldn’t answer those anyway. They would have to wait for the healer.

The Dark Brotherhood, using souls to heal himself, vampires. It was all so surreal. She’d been worried, yes. But not nearly as worried as their condition suggested she should’ve been. And why should she have worried more than she had when Rieldunai had Vyldrakas to protect them. That was the great mystery, though, wasn’t it? That was a question that she could pose to Rieldunai, though she wasn’t sure she wanted to, considering his anguish as he spoke Artax’s name. The horse’s fate was obvious enough and not one she particularly wanted to dwell on. She wouldn’t try and comfort him with useless words. She sighed softly and sat quietly for a bit, allowing him that time to grieve his loss. But after a few moments, she broke the silence to ask him the question that was currently the most important in her mind.

She looked back over at him, her eyes on his back as he stood looking off into the distance. Quietly, she asked, “And Vyldrakas? What of her?” There was much more she could say on the subject; questions and musings concerning the painful details that were neither necessary nor welcome. She simply didn’t want to draw any conclusions from Vyldrakas’ absence. Instead, she blatantly refused to consider the possible implications for the time being.

[0]

Through his anguish, through the tumultuous battle raging inside of him, he heard her voice and answered immediately – something to take him away from the memory of his dead companion. His lost friend.

“The mage attempted to unbind her from my own soul without realizing the strength of our connection. Fool. While she was corporeal he managed to use a spell of pure force and dimensional attunement to trap her – keep her from returning to me or influencing her surroundings. Then he began the procedure to separate us.” He sighed a light smile crossing his lips as he remembered the ‘beast’ on the throne and their small talk.

“It clearly was unsuccessful.” He said through grit teeth.

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[Home After the Fire]

rieldunai:

[Master Post]

[0]

Alavesa’s hands moved so that they were both at the back of his head, her fingers pushing into his hair and tangling the locks around her them, balling handfuls of strands into her fists. When she pulled, it was not gently or lovingly. It was not with the passion of a long denied lover. It was with the sudden and seething anger of one whose fear and concern over the safety of a loved one had been just as great that she pulled back Rieldunai’s head and glared up into his eyes.

“Is that it, then?” she demanded with no small amount of vehemence as she moved her hands to his chest and pushed at him with equal fervence. Twisting away from him so she could pull herself into a sitting position, she gave him a sideways look, the fire dancing in her gaze as their eyes met. “We find you half dead and you just waltz out here and start manhandling me without so much as a comment on the weather? Do you have any idea how worried we’ve been? How worried some of us still are over Veren who, I’m assuming, doesn’t posses your rather impressive recuperative powers?” She huffed indignantly. “What happened, Rieldunai?”

[0]

For a single moment he remained in his half-kneeling position; his right hand was poised to grab at her and pull her back down toward him with all the care of a beast. He did not. He merely stopped all motion and remained, like a statue, still and fighting the tide of his ire at this sudden change.

She’ll be the death of me – or I her…

“We were ambushed.” He began as he rose to a stand and turned away from the fire of their camp. “The Dark Brotherhood sent several powerful agents to ‘collect’ Veren. Clearly they were waiting for Veren and I to take positions off the boat and le-”

The events came crashing back with such full force that he stepped back as if some great blow had been delivered. Staggering he moved further away from the camp only to spin on his heels and face the fires, eyes dancing toward the shore. Where no horses stood. Where no manes of white and black wavered with the wind. Where no familiar grunt could be heard. Every second of their ambush, the attack, and their capture. The sound of the altmer barking orders was as clear as if he were still there. The feel of his body succumbing to the ruins of battler. The smell of blood and steel – the sight of Artax.

“……….. Ar… art…. ax….” A trembling mutter escaped him as his right hand came across his mouth to seal shut whatever howl wanted desperately to break free. Tears fell freely but they did not fall hard. His left hand twitched, as if ready to reach for a sword that no longer rested on his hips.  

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[Home After the Fire]

rieldunai:

[Master Post]

[Under Cut for NSFW]

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[Home After the Fire]

rieldunai:

[Master Post]

[0]

All her life she’d dreamt about monsters. When other little girls had dreamt about their princes or their knights, her fantasies and daydreams had been rife with great horned beasts sitting upon thrones of bone and the bodies of their enemies strewn about their cloven hooves. While other little girls dreamt of flowers and sonnets, Alavesa had dreamt of blood and fire. When other little girls wanted to watch the sun rise, she wanted to watch the world burn. Other girls gushed over their romantic stories. Alavesa rolled her eyes and tossed the book aside when the hero won the fair maiden. The hero saving the princess and carrying her off to his castle to marry and live with happily ever after was not her idea of a good love story and never had been.

She admired the bad guy. The one arrogant enough to command the powers of Oblivion to seize what they wanted. The ones who would let nothing stand in the way of their ambition and desires. Men who conquered and overthrew.

She always felt that there was something more beyond the walls of her home, that there was more to life than cooking some man’s dinner every night and raising his children. She always felt that somewhere, out there in a world of magic and mystery was the beast she’d always imagined ravaging her, stalking, waiting. But then she’d grown up as all little girls do and over the course of years and under the weight of her mother’s tirades, she’d come to accept her imaginings for what they were; the wanderings of a fanciful and all too imaginative mind.

Maybe it was Rieldunai’s admittedly vague resemblance to the beast in her head, poking at memories she’d long since forgotten, when she chanced upon him under a waterfall near Riften, maskless, that kept her from running when she knew she should, every bit of common sense she possessed falling to the wayside. But it wasn’t that that made her stay through the days, weeks and months that followed. It wasn’t that that kept her hovering between anger and grief while he laid unconscious. He was just a man, but a man unlike any other and pretty words had meant nothing to her until he’d spoken them.

She couldn’t help but laugh when he put her onto her back, as he always seemed wont to do. She wrapped herself around him and pressed herself against the heat of his body. “All hail the conquering hero,” she teased before his mouth claimed hers, stealing her breath and her thoughts.

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Both hands went to her neck as he kissed her, deepening his zealous need for her as he growled in the back of his throat. He gave a light squeeze and, feeling her gasp and her body move, he let go only to snake his left hand to her wild locks of red hair where he pulled back forcing her head to crane, exposing her scar to him. His right index finger traced the scar upon her neck before dragging a sharp nail down her collarbone to the top string of her corset.

“A conqueror, maybe… but no hero… not me.” He grinned licking his teeth as he bared down upon her neck pressing fangs against her flesh but not breaking the skin. His right hand toying with her confined breasts.

[0]

Her hands moved to his wrists as his hands wrapped around her throat, lips parting as her breath escaped her and eyes drifting closed. He sent tremors through her body when he grabbed her hair, left a trail of goose bumps in this wake of his finger and her muscles tensed where he touched her. Her chest heaved on an intake of air.

White hot desire snaked through her when she felt his fangs against her and she reached under his arms to dig her nails into his back. She wanted to feel the agony of his bite tempering her lust, wanted to taste her blood on his tongue.

“Do it,” she hissed. “Bite me.” She dragged her nails along either side of his spine as she arched toward him to emphasize her words.

[0]

Gladly…” He whispered as he sunk his fangs into that same old scar only months healed.

Her blood was pure fire, her own soul and passion mixed into every succulent cell that spilled from her wound to his lips. Her curiosity and vigor, her doubt and fear, and her love – her very desire seemed to mingle in the proverbial cocktail that was just a fraction of the glory that she was. His right hand tugged hard on the lacing of her corset, not in an attempt to tear it loose from her body, but in tightening the thing around her. Teasing her more with its constriction. His fist tightened around her hair as her back arched and her nails dug into his back, growling like the beast he was and knowing all too well how much of himself was so unrestrained around her.

I will not die without you on my lips. Burning through my flesh and filling my veins with your inspiring agony. I won’t. I just can’t. Not again.

[0]

The air rushed into her lungs and caught as his fangs sank into her flesh and the searing agony of his bite shot through her forcing her nails deeper into his skin. She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t make a sound and the pain destroyed her thoughts and ability to think, reducing her to primal instinct. One hand found itself way into his hair, her fingers tangling into it, and her other clawed it’s way to his ass as she pressed herself into the bite.

Her body acted of its own accord grinding against him. Turning her head toward him as much as his own head would allow, she grabbed the tip of his ear between her teeth and pulled not so gently. A groan escaped her, causing her to turn her head away again, craning her neck to expose more of her skin to him. The hand at his ass slipped into his pants, nails biting into his flesh as she tightened her hold. Love, pain and anguish were all felt in equal measure and she felt she could drown in it, in him. The only thing that existed was him, his body on hers, and the burn of his bite. It was comforting and familiar as much as it was excruciating, draining away the fear and uncertainty of the past day and a half. He was here, he was alive and he was hers.

[0]

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[Home After the Fire]

rieldunai:

[Master Post]

[0]

Alavesa looked down at her hands and shook her head as she relaxed her grip. “No. I was just trying to keep quiet. It’s a bit of an effort, you know.” She looked back at him, relaxing visibly when he smiled and smiling in response. “I just didn’t want to inspire you to kill again.”

She took a deep breath and started talking. “Emaarion and Belwas have gone to find a healer or something for you and Veren. Well.. I guess Veren, now. Also, we lost Wyll and I’m trying oh so very hard not to break down in hysterical tears over that, which I suppose makes me a bad person and somewhat ungrateful considering he did die defending us. But the rest of us are fine and the boat is still intact and… are you all right?”

[0]

Divine’s grace how he wanted to touch her again… Slowly he lifted his hand to caress her cheek, brush back her hair and run clawed fingers along the edge of her ear before tracing her bottom lip with his thumb.

“I’m fine now that I know you’re okay.” He admitted. “I was worried about you.” Aedra and Daedra save the entity – the fool – that dares take you from me. Aetherius and all the planes of Mundus have no wall high enough to keep me out. His thoughts made him laugh suddenly. “… Emaarion’s out there looking for a khajiit camp then? Huh…” I knew it… “Well, it’ll help Veren. I can’t heal him.” He frowned at this. “I…. used a rather… you know what? I’m going to come out and say it. I used a captured soul’s energy to heal myself. There.”

[0]

Alavesa breathed and leaned her head into his touch. “I’m fine. More than fine. I’ll be better when Veren wakes up and we can get back to life as we know it, but I am infinitely better than I was five minutes ago.” She nodded and took his hand again. “He isn’t just looking for one. Apparently, he knows of one or something.”

She picked up the book and held it out to him. “I assumed this was important or you wouldn’t have brought it back with you. You’re not allowed to do that again, you know. Not that I expect you to listen to me, but I have to say it anyway. You’d think the dragon would’ve taught you something, but as usual, you are incorrigible.”

She shook her head when he told her about the soul. “So you’ve graduated from hearts to souls, then? I’m not sure that I’m entirely surprised, though I don’t care if you use a thousand of them as long as it brings you back to me.”

She gave him a long look before leaning forward and wrapping her arms around his neck. “Maybe I’ll care more later, but I can’t bring myself to right now.”

[0]

He ignored everything – the details of Wyll’s death, Emaarion leading Belwas to a known Khajiit camp, and even that twice now she made it a point to remind him he was never allowed to risk his life in a similar fashion again. As if the sky could tell the sea not to crash its waves against the shore. When she wrapped her arms around him he growled, his smile widening enough to flash his fangs.

“I would tear down the gates of Oblivion itself to come back to you.” He whispered, pressing his nose and forehead to hers. “A thousand souls are nothing to the price I’d pay to see you, hear you, and taste you again.”

Strong hands grabbed her off the log she’d been sitting on and twisted their bodies so that she fell flat on her back atop the bedroll beside her. Book and gem clattering to the floor and entirely forgotten as he pressed his lips to hers in a passionate kiss, one that tried desperately to convey what he dared not say.

I was so scared I’d never see you again. I missed you. I love you. I’m sorry.

[0]

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[Home After the Fire]

rieldunai:

[Master Post]

[0]

Just as the embers from her camp lifted skyward to dance along the night’s breeze so to did the Atronach dance. As Alavesa watched with some wonder she noticed its movement change very suddenly, spinning wildly to face her direction and take a defensive posture. Ready to strike. Ready to defend its master’s life against an incoming threat.

Alavesa sensed her atronach’s trepidation… and fear? She spun her head around only to find a strong hand grab her by the face thumb and fingers tight against her jaw. Another hand stretched out to the atronach which readied its attack only to stop dead in its movements.

Kneel.

And it did.

Alavesa stared into glowing blood-red eyes reflecting the light of their campfire like a waterfall of blood in a field of ruin. Snow-white hair fell over strong shoulders, his body was recovered and as her eyes wandered over every tense muscle and curved joint she saw more and more of his wound steadily stitching themselves together.

Rieldunai stared at her in silence his free hand brushing back a lock of hair as he kneeled before her. “Ancestors… I’m so glad you’re safe.” He breathed.

[0]

Fear bred anger as she tightened her grip on the gem and her fingernails dug into the cover of the book that rested in her lap, resisting her first impulse to strike out at him. She didn’t like being afraid, never had. She didn’t like the feel of it or the way it clouded your thinking. Anger bled into confusion as she registered the color of his eyes and her gaze moved over him. As she understood he was not only awake, but healing as he stood there.

She didn’t understand why the atronach would suddenly fear him when it never had before but she had a feeling it had to do with the contents of the book and whatever he and Veren had been through.

Her eyes never left him as she watched him kneel. She struggled for something to say, to regain her composure. The only thing she was sure of was that she needed to touch him, so she let go of the book and touched the hand at her face, curling her fingers between his palm and her jaw before pulling it away. With her other hand she touched his face, after setting the gem on the book.

“Well, I can’t very well die if you aren’t there for me to cast an accusing stare upon as I expire that will haunt you the rest of your days, can I?” she teased with absolutely no conviction or humor in her voice whatsoever. Her tone was concerned and her voice quiet when she asked, “What’s happened to you?”

[0]

Something happened – it was slight – as if some slight remark was made, some offense to his character. He narrowed his eyes clicking his tongue and cast an angry stare at the kneeling Atronach beside Alavesa that struggled to free itself from the intruding caster’s grip. When Alavesa spoke, her voice slamming into him like a charging lion he let out a sigh. Too much. It was all too much. His hand tightened around hers as his eyes focused back to her.

“The vampire…” He said, as if his voice was far away – and maybe it was. Maybe it was back in that cell. “Lendarius. He attempted to separate Vyldrakas from me.” At the end of his words he lifted his forearms – the bandages still there.

Rieldunai growled and let go of Alavesa’s hands to tear and rip away the coverings; bruised, angry wounds still so sore and sensitive. The fire suddenly jerked, and dimmed ever so slightly as Rieldunai’s slips curled into an ugly snarl. His wounds began to seal ashes and embers lifting from them as they healed.

[0]

Rieldunai’s mood suggested to her that she be quiet. She didn’t know if it were anger or pain he was suffering nor did she know what she could do to alleviate either. She glanced over at the atronach seeing the way Rieldunai looked at it, as if it was somehow offensive to him, and while she was loathe to send it away so soon, she did anyway, by simply willing it gone, and returned her attention to Rieldunai.

When he pulled his hands away, she gripped the sides of the book again and waited silently and unmoving as he struggled with whatever was happening to him. She could wait as long as it took for him to gain his footing.

[0]

Rieldunai looked to his healed wounds, the sigil finally gone it meant his mind was at ease the the spell could not be finished. He sighed, it was a sigh of relief. Red eyes looked curiously to the banished atronach before turning his gaze on Alavesa immediately noticing her tense knuckles as she gripped the vampire’s tome. His features softened almost instantly hands making their way to her thighs as he brought himself closer to her.

“No…” He said in a hushed tone. “There’s no need for that.” He said motioning, with his eyes, the way her hands held the tome to steady herself. He grinned. “I won’t bite unless you want me to.” He teased.

[0]

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[Home After the Fire]

rieldunai:

[Master Post]

—-

Veren and Rieldunai had been driven well past the point of endurance by sheer adrenaline and a need to know alone. As soon as they knew the others were safe and that they would be too, the adrenaline left their bodies in a rush. They didn’t even retain consciousness long enough to reach the boat.

The others wasted no time getting their inert bodies aboard and into the cabin, out of the weather. Leaving Alavesa to assess the physical damage and change the makeshift bandages as she could, Emaarion and Belwas dealt with planning their next move and plotting their new destination. When Alavesa gave them her assessment, leaving out as many details as she could, they knew they couldn’t leave Rieldunai and Veren’s recoveries to chance.

It was a very grim crew that beached the boat and made camp the next afternoon.

They set up camp in record time and moved Rieldunai and Veren to a tent while Alavesa boiled water from the river with which to bathe them and clean their wounds again before changing their bandages. Undressing and redressing unconscious bodies wasn’t new to her. Belwas’s drunken expeditions had left her with more than enough experience to be able to do so quickly, efficiently and with minimum jostling.

While she worried over them, she rambled incessantly, more for herself than for them, to fill the uncomfortable silence and stillness.

“So, Belwas knew somehow, perhaps a shielding spell or something, and warned us of the impending danger. We decided to stay in the water. Granted, it left us out in the open but there’s a reason castles have moats. Belwas and I summoned flame atronachs. Normally he’d summon a frost atronach, but we didn’t want to risk the extra weight and movement and a storm atronach didn’t seem much safer. At least with the fire atronachs we only had to worry about setting the boat on fire, but that wasn’t as much of a concern for us considering, you know, all the water around us. We did, however, slosh as much onto the deck as we could in the time we had and we pulled up the sails to avoid burning them as much as possible.”

Even as she was speaking, she was examining the carved runes on Rieldunai’s body and the gashes in Veren’s hands, trying to reconstruct events as much as she could. She’d found the heart wrapped in bloody cloth that Veren had on him and after examining it, decided to wrap it back up and leave it next to him exactly as she found it. After all, it must have some significance.

“Meanwhile, Bel and I opted, obviously, for destruction magic. Sparks and fire. Sparks, in this case, to electrify the water, and between the atronachs and our ranged spells, surprisingly few of them even managed to make it onto the boat. The ones that did, of course, made Emaarion’s acquaintance as well as Wyll’s. And Belwas, well, you know how he is. Always has to be right in the middle of the worst of it. We’ll try to get the gore cleaned up before you wake up, but I’m afraid there’s not much we can do for the scorch marks and please go easy on Emaarion. He took care of the boat as much as he could, all things considered. Oh, speaking of Wyll, we lost him. Try not to be too broken up about it. Perhaps when you wake up, you can explain to me why nords always think they’re going to the Hall of Heroes when they are anything but. Is dying in battle really the only requirement? Because I would think, given the name Hall of Heroes, that you had to be an actual.. well, you know.. hero.. to gain entrance. Though I guess Wyll’s death qualifies as a hero’s death in this instance. Or are Sovengarde and the Hall of Heroes not actually the same thing?”

She took a breath and sat back on her heels, observing her handiwork.

“Really, you two,” she said quietly and with a sigh, “This isn’t funny at all. I have half a mind to leave you both naked under the same pelt and let you wonder how you ended up that way. Fortunately for you, I am compassionate enough to save that little adventure for when you are both passed out drunk.”

She brushed Veren’s hair from his face and kissed Rieldunai lightly on the lips before leaving them to rest and returning to the fire where she sat and pored over the book they’d had in their possession.

The only things the book told her that she didn’t already know was that Rieldunai did not have a daedric pact and that Vyldrakas had free will and could be influencing him. Closing the book, she looked up at the sky, pondering what she’d read. It was something she knew she and Rieldunai would have to talk about and she wasn’t going to rush to any conclusions until they had. One thing at a time. First, he had to be in a place where he could talk.

She turned her attention to her atronach, watching as it spun lazily above the ground. For now, anyway, they seemed safe.

[0]

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evil-of-eden:

Knights and fair maidens.

The first three are by Sir Frank Dicksee: http://art-magique.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/sir-franck-dicksee.html

The last two by Edmund Blair Leighton: http://www.artmagick.com/articles/article.aspx?id=11813

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drakynoch-art:

Alavesa – Fire Haired witch of “The Bastard” river bandit crew of Skyrim. 

Yeah she’s so fucking beautiful though omfg. Rieldunai’s lover. All done on the tablet. Added my signature and cropped the fuck out of it in PSTouch. I like Autodesk’s copic setting… but I have no clue on how to really use them. Must practice more with them. 

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He was the equivalent of seven or eight human years when she was born.  From the moment he first laid eyes on her tiny, helpless, fragile, mewling form, he knew he had to protect her.  That it was his familial duty as ‘big brother’.

“Dhuanare,” whispered Emaarion, tugging on his older brother’s robes as they watched from the doorway of their mother’s birthing room.  “How will she survive?”

“Well, the same way you did, I would imagine.  Parenting.  Then I’ll have two of you finger painting all over my lessons,” Dhuanare said as he started away from the door.

Emaarion fidgeted, torn between staying and keeping an eye on his new sister and interrogating his brother further.  The need for answers finally won out and the young altmer went scampering after Dhuanare.  “I can’t believe she came out of mother’s stomach.”  He shuddered from his head to his toes.  “That’s disgusting.”

Dhuanare smiled.  “Yes.  I said the same thing when you were born.”

Emaarion ignored his brother’s comment and continued talking, a dreamy, faraway look in his eyes.  “What do you think she’ll be like?  Do you think she’ll like me?  She won’t like you.  You scowl too much.  What do you think she’ll grow up to be?”

Dhuanare sighed.  “I don’t know and I don’t care, as long as she’s quiet.”

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