The Road to Ruin
The cold air rushed through the opening city gates as the small group made their way out of the city, through the streets beggars and the like gripped their rags and cloaks in an attempt to stave off the last of winters cold breath, the passing by of cloven hoofs left only foot prints in the snow as they started their journey home. At the front of the small group rode the unmovable Great Lord Gilvanis of House Dun’Silvar, he had decided to make the journey to Windhelm prior to spring to finalize some important business that he deemed too important for anyone other than himself to deal with… and for the first time in her life Rei’sala rode with him.
She had been riding just behind her father’s side the entire time they had traveled, and though his meeting had been brief she was placed in charge of the other retainers while they waited, this was a great honour for her as the Great Lord had only just been made her a retainer so she was ever eager to prove her usefulness to her lord! Her favour in her father’s eyes had only started a few months ago when she had shown him the fundamental principles of what she had been experimenting with, when he had shown great interest in her work she doubled her efforts to help refine it into an art, though he had never witnessed it in all of its entirety he would repeatedly say to her “You show great promise for House Dun’Silvar” and “Your new skills will prove an indispensable asset to OUR House”.
Several days out of Windhelm the Great Lord lead the group on a different route home, they passed many small struggling villages still recovering from the harsh Skyrim winter. As they moved further away from the more well-known roads the villages started to take on a more desperate look, as they passed through them they were all meet by villagers wearing the same face… that of fear! Rei’sala had never seen such hardship before and she could not help but feel for these people, she dared to ask her father why these people were suffering so “A small group of bandits have been preying on these villages during the winter” he answered “Taking what they need and letting the villagers fend for themselves… some did not last the winter”
“Why have the Jarls not done anything about this?” Pleaded Rei’sala “Why do they allow their people to suffer like this”
“These villages are currently being contested by the Jarls of Windhelm and Winterhold and both of them are holding claim to this land so while this is happening they under no one’s protection” His words were measured and well placed “So while this is happening these people will continue to suffer” it was a well-constructed lie, while yes this land was being contested by both Jarls they had repeatable sent their own soldiers to aid the villages to sway their support, both of them had lost several men to the bandits as well, but he had made sure that Rei’sala did not learn of this while in Windhelm.
They rode on, her father’s words played in her mind, every small village they passed was worse than he last, at last she dared to ask “Can we not do something to help these people my lord?” the Great Lord had been waiting for this moment “Is this not the purpose of House Dun’Silvar to bring just justice to those who believe they are beyond judgement? We cannot allow this to keep happening if we have the power to stop it!” the Great Lord stopped and turned to face Rei’sala
“And what will you do?” his voice was commanding and full of authority
“I will do what my lord commands of me” replied Rei’sala her words practiced and precise
“I will ask you again!” the Great Lords voice boomed like rolling thunder “What will you do!?”
“I will do as my lord commands of” before she could finish the Great Lord struck her with a swift backhand sending her flying from her saddle to the ground in a tangle of robes and reins, the Great Lord dismounted and walked towards his fallen daughter
“I will ask you again!” His eyes burned with a tamed fury “What will you do!?” slowly rising from the ground Rei’sala knelt in front of her father she knew she had gone too far and had to proceed with caution
“Forgive me my lord I spoke out of” he struck her again and much harder than before, she fell to the ground once more wincing in pain
“I will ask you for the last time” his voice menacing and full of intent “What will you do!?”
She was confused, she did not know how to answer, she had been told all of her life Your actions are not for you to decide but are instead a manifestation of your lord will, and now her lord was asking her what she would do? Rei’sala ran the question through her mind again and again ‘What will I do? What will I do? What could I do? What can I do?’ all she could hear was her father’s voice in her head, his hand on her face, she could see him in her mind full on contempt and disappointment for her “Useless” he would say to her until she felt like that all she was, the point of her existence… to be useless…
The Great Lord could feel the turmoil inside of her, he needed his new retainer to reach the point in which she willingly offered him what he needed of her, it was not enough that she served, she needed to act without hesitation, to serve without question, to serve without moral restrictions, only then could she truly be a part of House Dun’Silvar.
“Useless! Useless! USELESS!” the word pounded in her head over and over again until she could think of nothing else! She knew she wasn’t useless as the rest of the house thought, she would make them see that she was not useless, she would make them fear her that same way they feared the Great Lord… she would do the only thing she knew she could do that separated her from them…
“I know what I will do my Lord…” she slowly looked up looming figure that was the Great Lord Gilvanis of House Dun’Silvar “I will show you”
* * * * * * * * *
It did not take long for to find the bandits; while they were adept at hiding from the Jarls soldiers they were no match for the personal retinue of the Great Lord. They attacked the bandit hideout with fury and speed as they enacted their lords will! Only three lived through the attack and were bought back bound and gag to a small abandoned cabin that they had made camp at the night before, it was deep within the woods and a day’s travel to the nearest village… no one was coming for them and no one would hear them.
The Great Lord stood at the front of the cabin once their prisoners were inside and motioned for Rei’sala to approach
“Rei’sala of the House Dun’Silvar, I give you the honour of dispensing justice to these men” he moved with firm steps towards her until he stood directly in front of the small dunmer towering over her “I have passed judgement on these men for their wicked deeds now you will see to their punishment, these men will not be showed mercy and they will be executed by your hand”
“As you command my Lord” Rei’sala knelt down once more lowering her head, she could still hear them mocking her, see their eyes and the looks of frustration they shared I will show them all! She thought, quickly rising she walked in front of the Great Lord and entered the cabin “I will show you what I will do” she said just as he entered, she slowly removed her gloves and threw them to the ground in front of her father.
* * * * * * * * * * *
The moment the door closed it started, some unnatural horror filled the small abandoned cabin and leaked out from within the ruined walls to infect the night, the animals of the night made no noise and it seemed that even the wind was wary of traveling to close to the cabin, the air was still and filled with the stench of blood, a welcoming smell to the predators that stalked the night but none of them dared to come close. Pain and torment washed out in the night sky, and it touched them all, this was the best that House Dun’Silvar had to offer, the Great Lord own personal retinue and his most trusted retainers, men and mer and beast alike, all of them worth 100 men or more, and all of them felt it, they had seen and administered all manner of death all across Tamriel with brutal efficiency in the name of House Dun’Silvar… but this was different… something that was beyond death… something that should be happening. They all exchanged looks from their posts around the cabin… They knew no fear in their service to their lord… but this was different…
* * * * * * * * * * *
She was vengeance! She was fury! She had become something more then what she was! She had transformed herself into a god! A god of pain and blood who dealt in the currency of screams and they were offered to her freely! She could feel their pain, see the agony that she etched upon their souls! She could taste their fear, all of their fear! There was not one living thing that did not feel it, all was silent and still. Outside the lord’s retainers an even the Great Lord himself were horrified by the symphony of screams that she now conducted! She bent and molded, twisted and set, tore and broke, mended and straightened; again and again she unmade them only to remake them again and renew their torment.
It only ended once there was nothing left for her to work with, when there was nothing left to be undone. She looked up from her first true master piece and looked towards the Great Lord, she could see it in his eyes for the briefest of moments… absolute terror! She was no longer afraid of him, for he even for the briefest of moments was afraid of her, afraid of what she had done and afraid that he was unable to comprehend what he had just seen, she was no longer the useless little dunmer daughter of the invincible Gilvanis Dun’Silvar, she was something else now, someone else now.
She rose from the gore soaked floor reborn, the soft sound of snow melting escaped the from under the floor boards below, covered in blood and hands crackling with an unseen magickal energy Rei’sala slowly walked towards her father, she smiled at him for the first time she could remember! She had never felt so alive! She knew what she had done was not natural but she had never felt so righteous in her actions… she could hear her father’s voice “Your actions are not for you to decide but are instead a manifestation of your lord will” she finally understood what he had done, her lord had passed judgement on these men and had sentenced them to death for their crimes, he had placed his trust in her actions knowing that she would see it done in the name of her lord and house… and she knew that she had not disappointed him. She knelt down and lowered her head till it touched the floor
She spoke softly, her words well practiced and precise “I am yours to command my lord”