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Who are we but the Earth Itself

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The rain poured down terribly, the storm conjured up the mightiest of thunder shaking the very trees with each roar, the lightning provided those who dare the storm with a moment of light before the darkness instantly engulfed them back into the shadows. The Reach was not a place for the faint of heart, nor was it a place one would be caught in if they were smart. The Reachmen held little mercy for those they considered enemies, at least the Frostbite Spiders were only evil due to thier hunger, and not rightfully evil, at least the bears, and wolves only did what came naturally to them. Men, Mer, and the Beastfolk chose whether or not they wished to kill someone just for the sheer joy and power they felt. No, the Reachmen held little mercy for those outside of their tribes, and they used magic that was dark and twisted.

Feroxus was making his way through the rough storm after making his way through many days of arduous travel this was only one of the many obstacles that fate had decided to throw at him. His leather armor, though soaked did what it could to keep him warm, the real life saver was the fur belt that he had kept after fending off a large brown bear in Wrothgar. He was soaked to the bone, his teeth wanted to chatter, his skin was freezing and the wind whipped at his face horribly. Regardless he pressed on, through the rugged terrain, though it was dark he could see, he had become accustomed to the night. It wasn't long though he began to notice the tell-tale signs that he was in the wrong part of Skyrim, and he would need to tread carefully.

Occasionally he could hear the loud shouts or screams of someone, other times he would see someone off in the distance that wore fewer clothes than most; though the real sign that gave it all away was the elk and deer skulls on the totem polls. Feroxus had encountered a group of Reachmen in Wrothgar, they were fighting a band of Orcs who on orders from the king needed to send supplies to a city in need, the caravan had been ambushed by the two dozen Reachmen. Feroxus came to the aid and slew some of the enemies but not before they released thier wild magic and killed a third of the caravan. Magic was a powerful tool, Feroxus respected the limits of it and was more inclined to the magic that came from nature, what the Reachmen had shown him on that day was even nature magic could be twisted horribly.

Keeping himself aware of the territory he was in he pressed onward toward the East of Skyrim, towards Riften, toward the more 'civil' side of the province. Eventually, he found a road and sighed in relief when he could see that it was heading more eastward, he smiled to himself happily. Three days of grueling climbing, and walking, and hard terrain and now he would have a much easier time walking onward. Though the storm still raged the rain had now ceased, and the wind had lessened quite so; the further he went down that road Feroxus could hear the chanting, the consistent soft tone before the sudden rise, and then it repeated.

The turning of the road brought Feroxus to a flatter landscape though not too far off was a butte adorned in old ruins, though that wasn't what caught his obsidian stare, it was the blaze that was adorning the summit, the Reachmen had made it a home of sorts. Feroxus was more inclined to turning and getting back on the rugged road before the loud anguished scream that came from the summit, followed by the pain scream of a woman. Willing himself into it he ran sprinting as fast as he could drawing his bow he scanned the mound for anyone he could see. Luckily there was none.

The chanting began its low words again, and Feroxus knew that he needed to be faster. Roughly climbing up the side of the mound, Feroxus was greeted with the loud sound of thunder, the frozen kiss of the wind, and the wet slap of rain again. Feroxus climbed up the side of the ruin in what might have been the remains of a watchtower he saw the scene. Two men and a woman were chanting thier song while a third stood at an altar intricately carved wooden stake in hand and a young woman, barely a woman, was at the altar trying to tug and pull away. The figure at the altar had the head of an elk upon his head as a mask, blood smeared upon his fur and leather armor, and his arms covered in blood and organic matter, this man clearly was leading the ritual; he then began the second part of the chant with the other three in sync.

The man lifted the stake high into the air ready to slam it down into the stomach of the woman, his wicked smile and his deep voice called out to his gods and just as he was about to deal the killing blow the sudden pain in his neck stopped him, the surprised faces of his three subordinates told him all he needed to know as he stumbled back, and fell down off the summit into the darkness of death. The three stunned didn't see where the arrow had come from, Feroxus fired his second and hit the man squarely in the chest, the man howled in agony and fell to his side before the other two spotted Feroxus. Jumping down from his perch he rushed the other two drawing his curved blades he finally spoke for the first time in days. "You're dead..." it was almost a feral growl as he began to lash out at his opponents.

Both were fast to be sure though neither were ready for the wild spins, turns and parries he had made, Feroxus had trained hard and for many years to perfect his combat style, he flowed as fluid as water through an unobstructed stream. His metal blades were also proving to be too much for the stone and wooden style weapons they prefered. The female attackers axe had broken at the hilt, leaving her with no chance to defend the two impaling blades, one through the neck while the other impaled her stomach; the second attacker thinking he had the advantage foolishly charged in, and with a swift motion, Feroxus rolling to the side snagged the dagger the woman had sheathed on her hip and swiftly drew the blade across the man's throat causing a horrible croak before the gurgling ensured. Standing amongst the carnage he had made, and those of his enemies, he easily could see the difference in thier reasons for killing, and that gave him the ability to justify why the young woman had to see what she just saw. It justified why he would delay his trip to ensure no one would endure such a horrid fate.
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Posted Oct 26, 17 · OP · Last edited Nov 4, 17
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The storm picked up its symphony again, but Feroxus did not care he hadn't noticed the cut that he had received upon his side until they had gotten onto the road; he saved the young woman, now that he gauged that she was barely even two decades old; he made sure that as they moved through the night. Her name was Ayra, her hair was a sandy blonde, her eyes green as the groves of Valenwood, and her frame was petite, though the same height, which almost bugged Feroxus except for the fact that he was tall for his kind. Where do you live? he remembered asking her, she explained that they were from Cyrodiil, Bruma to be precise and they had family in Whiterun they planned on living with until they had acquired enough gold to get thier own home built. One problem was the storm was impeding thier progress, Feroxus had seen the shadow of more figures on the top The Reach was a place of rough rugged terrain, and not wanting to put her at risk, by traveling the roads, to only trade the Reachmen for bandits, at least in the rougher terrain would provide a bit of cover before reaching the open plains of Skyrim.

"Your family will rest in a better place now, knowing that you will be safe and that the killers were slain." Feroxus spoke out softly as they hiked through woodlands, though it was clear they were both tired, he wanted to ensure that both of them would have some measure of safety. With red puffy eyes and the face of sorrow and despair, she didn't say anything for a long time, until finally the words came from her lips. "Me father used to say all Mer were wretched things, and that all Mer were wretched and wicked things, h-he-he spoke ill of yer kinsmen, Bosmer the most how ye eat yer enemies, the fallen that ye have slain." her eyes seemed to brighten up slightly. "The terror that fell upon me heart when I saw ye down upon ye enemies, slaying them, the only thoughts I had were ye sir, were to eat them before me very eyes, and that ye was the worst monster. But ye simply spared me, and offered me food, and water, and ye are taking me to my family." her facial expression and eyes only seemed to question him, and before she answered he cut in. "My people do dine on our enemies, that is very true, that being said not all of us partake in such things. And why spare you?
You had not wronged me, had I arrived sooner I'd probably to be able to save all of those who were of your bloodline."
he frowned softly as he shook his head at her. "You nor your kin deserve such a fate at the hands of those who would twist Nirn into such dark things. You are young, and though the shadow of that night will haunt you, there is a chance of a better life still." with that he marched further up into the woods and she followed with a bit more of pep in her step.

The storm had ceased, though the clouds blotted out the sunlight still and from the looks of things, the night was fast approaching. They had marched far, and although they both were overly worried about being caught under the open night with nothing to provide them shelter the pair stumbled upon a shallow cave that would not be suitable for any beast to use as a home, it barely fit the both of them. Feroxus couldn't provide them with a fire, for the wood around them was drenched, and all the dead leaves were slowly intermixing with the muck and mud. Darkness fell upon the land, and Feroxus though weary sat up, waiting for the young woman to sleep. The name will not matter, it never does, for the name will get lost much faster than the face. his eyes began to get heavy, he let them shut, and just as he did, he heard the soft rustling in the distance. He didn't move nor did he act upon it, it slowly got closer, and closer until it was just at the mouth of the cave, the soft breathing was heard Feroxus could feel the malevolence of the being, his hand slowly slid down to the dagger on his belt and once he had it in hand he pounced.
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Posted Nov 1, 17 · OP · Last edited Nov 4, 17
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Regret is the feeling one gets when they do something they knew they shouldn't have done, or they realized that it was a fatal error; though it is usually the former because it is usually made from a conscious decision. For Feroxus, however, it was the latter, as he pounced upon the figured who bore the head of an elf over his, a spiked wooden club, and a hole in his chest where a heart should have been, Feroxus instantly saw the mistake he made. As the pair tumbled down the hill, and as they fought for control, Feroxus could feel the freezing cold quickly turning into frostbite going up his arms, his chest slowed his vision blurred. Time to sleep little elf, time to be devoured by the Reach and her cold embrace....time to di- the Briarheat, stopped suddenly as he blinked a few times, his bright green eyes stuck in confusion as he stared down to see Feroxus's leg going straight through his chest cavity, at the awkward angle the Bosmer forced himself into he was knee-deep through his enemy and the briar heart, the magical artificial heart of magic that these Reachmen used was gone kicked out into the wilds. Feroxus was able to pull his leg out after a few moments of struggle as his eyes shot up the hill at the sound of the loud scream.

Two more Reachmen were dragging the girl out, the woman kicking and screaming with all of her might, she was nearly able to get away before bare club smashed her in the back of the head rendering her unconscious. Feroxus rushed up the hill toward the pair before the sudden shear pain from an arrow forced him back down the hill, his shoulder burned and was instantly sore, though this didn't stop him from standing up to run back up the hill again. Though no arrow met him this time, not a literal arrow, a large figure jumped over the crest of the hill down onto him, the maw massive and full of teeth, and the bright yellow eyes were all that Feroxus remembered before darkness swallowed him.

His dreams weren't wholly horrible, at the start they were full of pain and suffering, the Reachmen for whatever reason decided to sell him off to the Dominion, to those who were hunting him for a fallacy, that he had killed his mother and father, but the memory slowly fades, as he simply remembers rushing through the forest, something deep in his core willing him, drawing him near those that had betrayed him. He was stronger, faster, and his anger, rage, and pain were gone. Only the pleasure their deaths would bring, each of the deaths were violent, and the wind in the night made the unnerving sound that awoke him.

The true sound he heard was the sound of some dozen or so men and women chanting, howling, and yelling around a bonfire, they and thier hounds, no, massive wolves, white with scarlet markings, and thier pups. The men and woman were chanting wildly, and happily as they celebrated some win. Feroxus' eyes drifted over to the woman, not too far away, the young girl on the altar made of stone and bone. Of Pain and fear. The beasts though tamed bared thier teeth at thier masters whenever they rudely bumped into them. Feroxus weak and weary noted that as the night went on, and he expected his death to be soon.

"THE REACH! THE LAND! IT PROVIDES US WITH A BIT OF SPORT!" yelled one of the largest of the group, the chieftain or whatever figurehead they had. His loud shout stopped the party dead, and he marched toward Feroxus where one of the mages,
the 'Briar Hearts' and a woman, they both came and stood in front of thier captor with thier leader. The chieftain was an imposing male, long sandy blonde hair, a few long braids hung from his head, his face painted in dark blue paint, one eye, his left eye had been burned shut, his physique was imposing as was his height, he clearly was a warrior through and through, but he was more than just brawn. The mage wore the elk head, his dark eyes stared into Feroxus' he stood just a bit smaller than his from his leader but his hands etched with runes, and the briar heart in his chest glowed with a pervert aura. The woman simply stood there, with two daggers at her hips, she was clearly the strongest woman in the tribe, and could probably best some of the men as well, she glanced over Feroxus with a mixture of wonder and confusion. Feroxus still had all of his leather armoring on him, just his weapons were gone he narrowed his obsidian orbs at his captors, and the chieftain grabbed Feroxus' slender face as he growled out. "The Reach has a right to you first! So we will provide to her, and if she cannot kill this conniving worm! THEN WE WILL!" Feroxus' spit into the man's face as the crowd jeered, and the face before the woman's fist hit him square in the jaw, causing his vision to blur.

To the Feral Grove with him....
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Posted Nov 5, 17 · OP · Last edited Nov 6, 17
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How long had he been alone in the world? How long had he had to deal with the empty void that constantly decided to thrust him into his life? Or to thrust him into the fray? It was a constant unending source of agony, but it was also the type of constant danger he needed to be tossed into in order for the purest and primal part of him to emerge to the surface. The forest, the grove, the near-sentient thing would surely test his will to live; and so would the beasts that protected it.

Not remember the journey here, he could only remember the rhythmic chanting and the rotten smell of flesh. His dreams were a myriad of indecipherable images with blood, offal, and limbs; his body torn asunder before suddenly erupting into life as his skin melted and peeled away before suddenly he awoke; his eyes filled with the low hanging arms of trees, and each of them tipped with dark menacing hands, the ground smelt of the sweetly sickening smell of decaying plant matter. He had one weapon, and he was only left with his pants and boots; the frigid cold made the hair on his neck stand on end.

Standing up listening to the voice of the forest, more so if there were any animals, only a few birds sang, and they sang solemnly, each tree seemed to groan in protest as the Bosmer walked past each one, he could feel the insidious magic reaching for him in the air, as the mists seemed to engulf the ground. The grove was beautiful in some ways, or at least it was, Feroxus could see that before the corruption it was a place of solace and contemplation. But no more.

The day seemed to be stuck in a perpetual morning stage or was it the mist that blotted the sun out and gave the masterful illusion. Regardless it became apparent to Feroxus that he was not alone; the feral roar that echoed through the grove and the sudden snapping of tree branches gave way to the type of beast Feroxus would have to deal with. Running through the forest to escape the horror.

Breaking through the treeline his first few steps were measured as he broke out into a meadow, his eyes taking in the scenery around him, he was inside a bowl-shaped valley covered in forest; the grass he stood in came up to his stomach and he was out in the middle of the open field where at the far end stood an imposing figure. The massive horned bovine head varnished in black blood matted fur stared the Bosmer down; the corded muscles of the beast were barely obscured by the leather armor it wore, the large crude ax it held made up of the natural elements, wood, and stone only added to the perversion Feroxus was in. The hunt had begun, and Feroxus wasn't on the firing end of the arrow.
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Posted Nov 13, 17 · OP · Last edited Nov 13, 17
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Only barely missing the first headlong rush by diving to the side Feroxus followed through with the dive into a roll and was up in an instant. Running toward the treeline the loud bestial roar only set him to run faster. Fear was something Feroxus had grown to know fairly well while on the road outside of Valenwood, and into the whole of Tamerial. It had been a vague memory up until now, too bad for him the memories were being dredged up causing panic. Well this is how I die.. Feroxus' suddenly lurched forward as he struck with a sudden sharp pain in his left shoulder. Screaming out, he rolled with the momentum and fell over only to hear the snap of what looked to be a javelin's shaft clatter against some stones and branches, the head of it still digging into him Feroxus groaned, sitting only for a few moments before the Minotaur began his surge through the bramble, and branches. Feroxus was up again, trying to avoid anything that would jar the sharp metal in his shoulder more than it had to. The pain drove his adrenaline he kept on running, and evading as the Minotaur tried to keep up; eventually, only a bellow issued out and Feroxus knew that for the moment, he had lost his pursuer.

The day waned, and the grove was not kind to the Bosmer at all as he found every bramble bush, thorn, and vine in existence. He would know nothing but pain and anguish as his hands and feet carried him through the forest, through the tight-knit trees, the ocean of bushes, and the syrupy muck. Never letting his guard down he clawed on through until he noted there was the mouth of a cave not too far off. From him, slowly he trudged his way through the knowing very well it could be his end. The cave was well lit, and for the most part seemed empty. The silence would have to sate him for he needed time to think and act, slowly he crept further into the cave, nothing aside from dirt, dust, and the smell of mold. Until a glint in the distance caught his eye, then another, and another, until slowly all eight eyes appeared from the darkness and the beast sprang forth. Feroxus barely avoided the attack as the spider jumped toward him, he rolled to the side and began to run, for this spider was alone and that would have to due. He avoided another pounce before he was pushed back against a wall. Yelling in primal fury he held back the two frontmost legs which were the only things he could grab on to preventing him from being killed by the arachnid. Slowly after getting his foot up, he launched the spider into the other side of the wall and its legs flailed as it tried to flip itself upright.

Feroxus acting quickly grabbed a large rock and began his own attack, over and over the rock slammed, the spider flailed and squealed and whined as the rock kept on striking the monster until its center mass turned into a green mushy mass. Feroxus kept screaming, the bloody mush flung and squelched and painted his arms and chest and fast until he shook his head screaming in pure fury, rage and annoyance. Sitting there he stared at the spider dead, he began to walk back further into the cave, finding its last meal, and the gear it wore. Lucky me.. Maybe the Bosmer had a chance at surviving the grove afterall.
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Posted Dec 7, 17 · OP · Last edited Dec 7, 17
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