Raven was nervous. Very nervous. Why? Because he was in the near of one of the great Talos shrines. The reason for it were that his partner Lycra found out that in the near of the shrine was a deposit of moonstone, which was important for making glass weapons. While Raven has an appreciation for her getting all her materials to craft armor and weapons herself, he isn't thrilled about the fact that it usually tend to lead in some problematic spots. And so far this is the most problematic one they got. Everybody in Skyrim knows that the Thalmor inspect these spots regularly in the imperial allied holds and thus mining moonstone ore near the Whiterun Talos shrine was dangerous. They could be mistaken for Talos worshippers. Oh, to people he trust he admits he worships to Talos as well, but in imperial holds he doesn't dare to even speak the name.
If it were for him, he would try to find moonstone elsewhere or buy it or have some more people around to fend off Thalmor agents and soldiers if they show up. And here he sometimes wonder if he made a deal with a deadric. Due his deal with Lycra, the two are sharing the complete income of the two to support their respective child. But since Lycra makes a lot of income by smithing, he has to help her with material gathering. So he has to hunt animals for their fur to create leather and leather stripes, help mining ore and transport the main part of her creations due the weight.
Shaking his head he is seriously thinking to save up part of the money he keeps for himself to buy a horse with pouches to put some weight off him.
Anyway… As Raven keep guard he asked to the Luxray “How much longer do you intent to mine? We are already much longer here as I dare to feel comfortable.”
“Relax Raven.” States Lycra “It is a very neat one here. Just one or two more hours then I got every bit of moonstone ore I could get here with my equipment. And after selling the weapons I could make from them, we have enough money to get to Solstheim.”
Lowering his weapon, Raven wondered “Why shoulder go to Solstheim? That place doesn't offer anything except for a closed down mine.”
“That is why I want to go there. Because I am betting they didn't get everything the mine is offering and we can get a lot from down there.”
“Your word in the ears if the nine.” Groans Raven with a frown. “Next you tell me we try to find ore in burrows and old Nordic graves.”
“Don't be ridiculous.” laughed Lycra “We are just hunting some other animals, since I want to try to work with some materials you only have over there.”
“Which involves animals only living there?” Wondered Raven “Do you think they would sell well here?”
“You won't know, until you try.” She stated “So we only get enough to forge three or four sets of armour, some shields and if possible a couple of weapons.”
“Only…” Muttered the Zangoose with a shaking head. His ears twitched as he heard the sound of a twig being broken. Instantly he has his crossbow raised and aimed at the direction of origin of the sound.
His body was tense, ready to fight, ready to attack whatever enemy might try to sneak up on them. The bushes in front of them shakes and Raven stepped back to give him space and more time if an attacker was storming out.
The bush rustling increased. Ravens grip on the crossbow tightens, ready to pull the trigger to kill or at least harm the one storming out.
From the bushes a person in heavy armor and a two handed sword, followed by two other in leather armor. One armed with a sword and shield, the other with arrow and bow.
Lifting up his weapon Raven sighs and told “Farkas! I nearly shot you!”
“It is nice to see you as well Raven. What are you doing here?”
“I am keeping the back of my partner free.” stated Raven “And the reason for your appearance here is?”
“We are hunting after a group of Falmer in the north of here. They are kidnapping people and we got the job to wipe them out before it gets out of the hand.”
Raven nodded to this info and stated “I will talk with my partner about it to see if she would be interested in this job.”
“Since when do you have a partner?” asks Farkas “Normally you are one who works solo.”
“Since I got a change in my life I cannot simply forget or ignore” replied Raven “You don’t need to know more.”
“Alright, alright” countered Farkas “I let you have the moment to talk with your partner.”
Nodding he moves towards the Luxray and stated “Lycra. What do you think of a Falmer hunt?”
“Falmer?” asks the female and raised up after she broke off the last piece of ore from the vein “Sounds interesting… at least I always have a few customers asking for equipment of Falmer making to either use it or decorate their walls.”
“Decorating walls with Falmer equipment?” asks Raven “Using, I can understand if you have no other alternatives… but to buy one for that purpose?”
“Skyrim is a strange land for almost anything weird” mused Lycra
“Yeah… you got me here.”
“I pack up while you tell your friends that we are going to go with them.” stated Lycra “And at the conditions for our help are discussed on the way.”
Raven looked at her and wondered why on the way and not beforehand, but he decides to go with the flow.
Returning to Farkas he states “We are coming with you. Details about the trip will be discussed on the way.”
“Who is your partner that we cannot apply the rules of last time?” asked Farkas “There it stated we took everything of value, sold it and mixed with the reward for a good job gave you a fair share.”
“She is a blacksmith who gathers her own materials… and it seems she is interested in getting some Falmer equipment.” explains Raven
“She is free to have these” laughed Farkas “none of us would want to have these.”
“Indeed!” nodded one of the companions next to Farkas. Raven looked at the companion member. It was a young female dark elf and notes she is very flat for a female. Heck only her voice told Raven she is female. “Falmer have such terrible weapons. Why are they a threat anyway?”
“Joined recently?” asked Raven
“Yes I did! Earned the right by helping to fight a giant.” she stated
“Rule number one regarding Falmer! Never underestimate them.” stated Raven “I thought one of their dens beforehand and got myself killed nearly multiple times. ONe of the two only reasons I am not dead from this experience are my immunity to poison and the fact that the Falmer were dealing with Automatons of the Dwemer. But this time we aren’t going to a Dwemer ruins, so here is no way we get additional help. Which means we have to go very careful.”
“Raven is right here. We need a solid plan to survive a trip down there.” nodded Farkas and in this moment Lycra came. Seeing the Luxray the archer, who happened to be a male Salandit to state “I think we have a way now.” Raven decided to watch out for this one, as he wasn’t sure if his immunity ability is countering the corrosion ability of the poison/fire type in case the normal type got hit by a stray poison type move.
Farkas turns his head “What do you mean?” the north being lost for sure.
“Really?” asks Raven “Everybody knows that Luxray can see through walls.”
“But only if we concentrate” corrects Lycra “Good for hunting but brings a lot of trouble as well due people accusing us for spying on them and such.”
“Can feel with you.” nods the Saladit. “Because I am a Salandit, they expect that I join a Salazzle harem anytime soon. Not that our ability of poisoning steel and poison times makes any favors for us.”
“Sorry to hear that.” emphasized Lycra “Shall we go now?”
“BEfore we go, I prefer to know how you expect to share the rewards and loot here?” asks Farkas
“We keep equipment of the Falmer and anything we could use for raw materials for forging. Anything of value like gems and money it comes to the pool of rewards and our share depends on the estimated value of the Falmer equipment.”
“And how do we determinate the value? Your word?” asks the dark elf narrowed eyes.
“We can ask somebody of your trust.” intercepted Raven “And let it verify by somebody of our trust. And by distriptance you can decide which end of the scale you take for determinate our share of the reward.”
“That… sounds oddly fair” stated the dark elf.
“Who gave you the right to decide that?” asks Farkas to the dark elf who winced at the harsh tone of the experienced member of the companions. “We talk about it once we are back!”
“Yes Farkas.” shrudded the dark elf.
“So what do we know about the Falmer place?” asks Lycra while she is putting some of the ore into Ravens backpack.
“They are in a cave called Shimmermist Cave. Is also regularly visited by some Alchemist for raw materials which can be only found in caves.” explained Farkas “In my early days I was a few times there to escort traveling alchemist as in the near some bandits were often found. But to be honest not many really went deep there as the cave mostly single larger rooms with long narrows paths connecting them.”
“So in other words the cave is mostly unexplored?” asks Raven
“At least I have no idea what are in the deeper regions of the cave. If people know about the deeper places, they never wrote down or told around.” explains Farkas “So let go before the bodies make up a mountain.”
So the little group began to head north to the cave. Along the way, they made a combat plan regarding how to move forward.
Once they were there, Raven and the Salandit were moving in first with bow and crossbow ready. Followed by the two was Lycra with her blade drawn. Farkas and the dark elf were the last to go. And these two are the only ones with torches to light up the cave in case the Falmers had prepared any kinds of traps.
Thought each of them were not really comfortable as the Falmer totems outside at the cave entrance were a clear sign that the Falmer took this cave as their own quite some time ago. They followed the passage which leads down the cave and Lycra whispered “Frostspider ahead.”
Raven nodded and around the next corner he spot a room with a small river and an natural earth bridge. On the other side of the bridge were the mentioned spider and Raven could see it clearly thanks to the fluorescent plants in the cave, which serves as a natural lightsource. While not all details could be seen, it presented Raven enough light that he could kneels down and took a good aim before he would pull the trigger and the bolt left the weapon, speeding toward the unexpecting spider. It turned around for some reason and the projective slams into the head of the spider. it moved for a moment before the creature stopped. The other four came into this small room as well, the Salandit having bow and arrow ready while Farkas and the dark elf were ready to throw the torches to the ground and grab their weapons.
Raven reloaded his weapon while Lycra concentrates and stated “Nothing is coming… but… it seems… some Chaurus are in the way. And in the next room… some Falmers.”
“Thanks for the warning!” nodded Raven and they descend further into the cave. Raven had put his crossbow away and borrowed the two handed blade of Farkas to kill the Chaurus on the spot. The bug rushed up to raven after spitting its poison at Raven. Taking the hit he lifts the blade and once the Chaurus were close enough, the weapon swung down, cleaving the bug into two.
Then it was time for the next corner and Raven looked carefully. He saw a Falmer on a higher position, properly to keep guard. Looking back at Lycra she only raised one finger and Raven wondered why not more were in the near. Ignoring it for now, he carefully moves in a crouched so the dark elf could sneak into a position. Raven personally cursed at the moment for his steel boots and the archer shot, hitting the Falmer in the chest, which shouts in pain and fell down. It screeched in pain and Raven were quickly above it and slams his blade into the throat. It coughed and made a strange sound before it stopped moving. Pulling the blade off and he looks at Lycra and she states “Up ahead are several Falmer and Chaurus… that is the spot I worry. Especially as a Chaurus Hunter is there.”
“A hunter?” asks Farkas “Not good. They are the most dangerous of them.”
“Which means this one have to be taken out first” nodded Raven. Turning to the Salandit he stated “YOu are with me. We two take care of the Chaurus as we are immune to their poison. The rest take care of the Falmer.”
“That is a plan I can follow” agreed Farkas while the dark elf simply grunted.
Lycra nodded “I am with you here.”
“Then let’s go.”
They moved carefully down the path now and it got large enough so that two could stand side by side. And they could see that they must be in the largest room of the cave yet… and that a small Falmer village is down there. At the first Raven counts six Falmer huts, 15 Falmer, six Chaurus and one Chaurus hunter. The Chaurus are in a small rift which goes through the room. The two sides of the village are connected by one earth bridge while from the rift two earth ramps were raising up to the high of the huts.
Raven raised his crossbow and took a good aim, the Salandit took aim as well. Farkas, the dark elf and Lycra were standing behind them and got ready to move in.
Moments passed and the zangoose let out a breath, pulling the trigger of the crossbow. The bolt shoots out of the weapon and flew a straight line, directly into the Hunter's head. It gave a loud screech and speeds towards them but the arrow of the fire/poison type impacted with it and made it collapse on the ground, from where it struggles a bit before stopping. More screeches of the remaining Chaurus and they began to rush to the ramp while the Falmer rushed to attack the invaders. The five rushed forward as well and The Salandit shoots flamethrower at the ramp, pushing the Chaurus back while they feels the effects of the flames. The dark elf were the first to meet one of the Falmer and blocked its attack while Farkas came from the side and slams his blade into the enemy before pulling out to block the strike of the next one.
Raven jumped down to the Chaurus and impaled with the force he had behind his jump one of the six before kicking the next and slam into the third his claws with the help of crush claw. The Salandit burns some more the ramp before aiming with his bow once more and shoot one of the Falmers which had a bow himself.
Lycra were cutting down one of the Flamer before dashing with the help of Quick Attack another one. Due the impact with her steel armor, the Falmer fell down and was afterwards sliced open by a swing of her tail which glowed metallic due iron tail.
However she called in surprise as one of the other Falmer hits her arm with an axe. The armor protected her but in return she had to drop her sword.
The Falmer tried to slam his axe into the female's head. However she caught the swing with her arms and the Falmer suddenly found her fangs in its neck… followed by a strong electrical shock. she let go and spits something out. “Terrible taste….” before turning and joined her comrades in arm.
Raven were covered by the poison spit of the Chaurus as one of the two remaining ones grabbed his arm with its pinchers… but try to bend high quality metal with simple pinchers, even of a giant insect. Grunting annoyed Raven pulled his arm strong and ripped the arm free… with the pincers off the body. The Chaurus gave out a screech before Raven's sword removed the head.
Then he turns to the last one… only to see that it got roasted by a thunderbolt move. Shrugging Raven moves back up the ramp and joined the battle against the Falmer. Thought here weren’t that many left.
The Salandit in fact took out the last one with a well placed shot with a toxic tipped arrow. The group took a moment to secure the room to see if they got all of the Falmer. Once they confirmed it Raven checked the bodies and grunts “We have to explore the rest of the cave.”
“Why?” asks the dark elf.
“I don’t see anything among the dead that counts as their leader. Which means this bastard hides deeper. A shaman or Spellsword given that none of these Falmer have used any kind of magic.”
“Just great” stated Farkas “We better find it. Then we search this entire place here. I see a couple of chests and many dead people. I bet here are quite a number of things we can pull in.”
“I agree” nods Lycra while she is checking the blade of one of the Falmer “They got some nice pieces here. Got a nice cash in here.” and placed it away for later. The group went to the other side of the “village” and followed the tunnel there. As they followed it, they stopped as they witnessed a change of scenery…
“Dwemer constructions… we are in a part of an old dwemer ruin.” stated Farkas
“Properly more the last remains of such.” corrected Raven “Else we would see one or two traps of their origin already.”
“Got a point here.” nodded Farkas and they reached a door. Raven and the companion pushed the door open while the rest got their weapons ready.
Once they got it open, they stood still for a moment but nothing came. So they moved forward and the dark elf looked around the corner. “One Falmer… shaman. ONe hut. Falmer sitting on a rock. Either meditates or something else. No helmet.”
The Saladit nodded and moves into a shooting position. Carefully he aims and release the arrow. The arrow flew to its mark. However the Falmer turns it head as it heard the sound of the bow string but couldn’t realize what is going on fast enough to dodge. So the head got pierced by a steel tipped arrow.
The Falmer fell down on the ground and the Salandit cheered and runs forward “I got it!”
The other companions joined their comrade and they are instantly starting to rob the shaman of anything useful as well the hut and anything around here.
Lycra and Raven moved over to join as well and see if they can find something useful as well… until the zangoose stopped and his ears perked.
“Something wrong?” asked Lycra until her ears perked as well… somewhere a whistling sound were heard.
Raven got his crossbow ready and shouts “CEnturion!”
Farkas instantly pulled off, the other two confused until they heard metal hitting stone and they turned… and saw the golden colored, very large construction.
They instantly rushed off to be not hit. Raven instantly released a crossbolt and Luxray released her Thunderbolt and both attacks hit the autonom, slowly it down. Farkas came from the side and dodged under a swing of the construct and slams his blade into the knee. The Autonom retaliates with a steam burst and Farkas grunt in pain while retreating.
The dark elf had gone in and strikes the centurion multiple times but his sword did only so much damage… and the centurions hammer impacted with the shield but due the force behind it, the elf flew back and lands hard, his shield broken as well his arm and he cried out in pain.
Cursing Raven rushed forward with Lycra and the two began to dance with Farkas around the Centurion, hitting it here and there before retreating to get out of the hitting range of the centurion.
The Saladit were at the other side of the room and fire his arrows and flame thrower, as he wasn’t much of a close range fighter.
THe four continued as the centurion released its hot steam towards the lizard, thought as he had fire type, the damage were neglectable for him, so he continues with his attacks. As Raven got behind it, he slashed his sword at one knee of the centurion before hitting the other one, causing it to fall over and Lycra followed by salto which delivers a heavy blow in form of an iron tail followed by her sword at the head of the construct. All backed off as more steam came out of the machine but this was over soon and it stopped working.
Raven sheathed his sword and cursed “I am used to a lot but a Centurion without any of the other Dwarven Automatons? That is new!”
Then he let out a heavy sight and asks “Everybody alright?”
“No harm here” stated Lycra
“Only scratches on me and Meldo there” stated Farkas, gesturing to the Salandit “But Drendasi here broke his arm. Even with the help of a healer I doubt he would be hunting soon.”
“Then let’s salvage this place and go back.” stated Raven “For today we got enough.”
“I agree with you.” nodded Farkas and they began to check. They began with the chests, the centurion and of course the dead shaman. From the centurion and some other parts of the room they got different dwemer parts which could be molten down and of course some a core Raven is planning to take to Markarth, as the dwemer researcher there is always looking for things like these and pays well. Oh and the great Soul gem took Raven for himself.
They also cut the Falmer ears off in the entire cave and took the chitin of the chorus to prove that they indeed killed the Falmer and also either sell or use these parts. And like they agreed they took every usable piece of Falmer equipment with them.
At the end of their raid, they got several gems, a large sack of gold, several arrows, the Falmer ones for Raven and Lycra while the Salandit claimed the rest, a couple of iron weapons, mostly daggers and swords from the people which got caught by the Falmer and enough Falmer equipment to outfit every member of the companions with some weapons and half of them with armory.
Thought as it was such a large package, everybody were severy overloaded and it was a crawl for them to head back to Whiterun. IN fact so long they had to stop at the Whitewatch towers.
Raven and Farkas talked with the commander there and after paying him some money, they were allowed to rest there, while the commander send for a carriage so the group could transport their loot more easily.
Once they got in Whiterun thought, Raven and Farkas instantly went off to get people of their trust regarding judging the equipments worth they salvaged.
Even with the difference, after selling the iron weapons and some of the gems they found, their share in gold of this trip were 3 000 Gold. Meaning not only they have a roof for the night and a warm meal, but they can afford to transport their entire load by carriage back to Lycras shop. Which happens to be within Solitude.
However due the time, they went to the Bannered Mare and purchased a room for the night and ordered a good meal.
As they waited Lycra began “It was a good work today.”
“I agree. You gave a good fight, especially as this centurion has appeared.”
“Thank you! I think this situation would have turned more ugly if you haven’t noticed the centurion in time. Well now I got enough materials for now that my traveling plans are a bit further in the future. All these raw materials and the plundered equipment… it will take a while until I got everything lined up for selling.”
“I see.” stated Raven “Then once we are in Solitude, I will see if I get a temporary job until you are ready to go again.”
Lycra bit her lip a little but didn’T say against his plan. Instead stated “To support your son it is a good idea… though, before you do, I suggest that you first visit my shop to see where I life and so I can introduce you to my daughter Lightning.”
“I think we can work with this.” nodded Raven while enjoying his meal.
As they ate, Lycra mused to herself “Could it be… that I can do it… after what happened with…” thought never dared to finish that thought, deciding to call it a day after her meal.