User:Rook/To Kill a Nightingale
To Kill a Nightingale
Note:This story takes place after Reaper of Souls.
My name, is Raven Trandel, a Dunmer of 17. I have trained in the art of the thieves for most of my life. I, along with my two companions, J'rska and Vanir, was trained in the skills of a true Nightingale by Karliah, one of deadliest archers the Nightingales have ever had. My world, is one at war. The Dragonborn, Marcus Whitestrake, was assassinated by a Stormcloak agent. Solitude was captured, and General Tullius and Elisif killed. Most of the Legion here in Skyrim was forced to retreat, excluding a few men still hiding away. The Imperial City is under siege by the Stormcloaks. Ulfric is mistreating his subjects, even the Nords. We Nightingales and Thieves are less of thieves, and more of rebels against the New Stormcloak Empire. My suspicion is that an outside force is acting on him. But how anyone could break his will that easily, remains unknown. I am recording my adventures in this journal so that, should someone find it, they will remember by tale.
Chapter 1: Imminent Death
Raven kept feeling the jerk on his arms, from where a rope was tied around his wrists. The rope in turn was tied to a horse-drawn cart. Stormcloaks surrounded him, their hands never straying far from their weapons. His hands Raven's weapons were missing, specifically, his dual Ebony daggers, the trusty Nightingale shortsword, his mini-crossbow gauntlets, and his Nightingale crafted bow, given to him by his mentor, Karliah, before she died. "Blast it," he thought for the fifth time, "there's no way I'll be able to escape from these brutes, especially not with my hands bound like this. I'd dislocate them both before I could even knock one of those soldiers out." So Raven kept walking. Finally, they reached the city of Solitude, or what was left of it. The city was damaged badly in the siege, it's watchtowers were falling apart and liable to drop a stone on the head of some not-overly cautious person. The East Empire company had been destroyed. Then Raven was dismayed to realize that the Nightingale hood that completely hid his face was not up. The hood had given him the nickname, "The Black Hawk", like the old "Gray Fox". Raven wanted to have is hood on, so that he may be able to face his death as he had lived his life. A legend. As they strode in, Raven spotted a small crowd of emaciated people, and a man dressed in executioner's garb, standing near a small chopping block. He was led over to the block by the executioner. Raven had just resigned himself to his fate, when he noticed the people's eyes. They were sad, and the remnants of a fire that had kept them warm was flickering out. Then Raven knew what he had to do.
Chapter 2: Escape from the Storm
The soldiers fatal mistake was their pride. They thought that since they had contained Raven so well bringing him here, they had untied him, and let him go to the executioner unbound. Just as the executioner was about to push Raven down, Raven rolled to the side, and the executioner lost his balance. As the soldiers were yelling, Raven darted in again, and relieved the headsman of his axe. He leaped off the platform where the block was located, and brought his axe down on the nearest soldier. He was a whirlwind, quickly dispatching he men who had contained him. The only man who was able to repel his attacks was a man dressed in Stormcloak captain armor. Raven noticed that the man had taken Raven's daggers and sword for his own. Raven feinted a slash at the man's head, but as the man raised his shield to protect his head, Raven swung the axe at his legs, knocking him over, and finishing him. Raven turned around, hearing shouts from a new group of soldiers. He seized his daggers and sword from the captain's body, and retrieved his other weapons from the cart. After he strapped on on his crossbow gauntlets, he fired a poisoned bolt into the crowd of soldiers, felling one of them. He burst through the gates, whistling loudly, and thinking, "Shade! I need you!" He heard a soft whinny, and ran to the cart where he thought it had come from. He saw that Shade, his horse, had been bound and muzzled. The soldiers around the cart were drinking and congratulating themselves, and they barely noticed the enraged Dunmer charging towards them. Raven dispatched them all with his daggers. In their drunken state, they were no match for his skill. Raven could hear the soldiers from the city chasing him, he quickly cut Shade lose, mounted, and said, "Go, Shade! To the Nightingale Hall, with utmost haste!" And with that, the horse galloped away, in the direction of Riften, with his rider sitting backwards, firing arrows at the soldiers pursuing them.
Chapter 3: Shelter
When Raven reached the entrance to the Hall, he could barely muster the strength to knock on the door. He was exhausted from the continuous ride and various bouts he'd had with Stormcloaks, before reaching the relatively safe Hold of the Rift, which was secretly rebelling against the New Empire. Raven was covered in various cuts, scrapes, and wounds, as well as a thick coating of mud. "What is the only peaceful release?" a deep voice from behind the black door asked.
"Death in the service of Nocturnal," Raven replied, "And you can stuff the voice, J'rska, I know it's you."
There was a moments silence, and the door swung open, revealing a young, pouting Khajiit.
"How did you know it was.." the Khajiit began to ask, then he noticed Raven's injuries, "Oh, gods!" he exclaimed.
J'rska draped Raven's arm over his shoulder, and began to practically drag him through the doorway, and into the base. An Altmer sat by a roaring fireplace, warming himself.
The Elf looked up, and seeing the two enter, gestured for them to come over to him. J'rska complied, and laid Raven on the rug.
The Elf tutted as he examined Raven's injuries. "Couldn't handle a few Stormies, huh?" he asked, a grin on his face.
"For your information, Vanir," Raven said, "I handled quite a lot more than a few, you'd look like this too if you fought six groups of soldiers, with eight men apiece, and without any rest before each fight. You'd look even worse, I'd wager."
Vanir grunted, and began to heal the wounds. After about fifteen minutes, he shrank back, and made Raven drink something from a small bottle. Immediately, Raven felt feeling and energy seep back into his body. He groaned and sat up.
"Now," Vanir said, leaning back, "tell us everything, and we'll tell you what's new."
"Well," Jason replied, "it's a long story." And with that, he began to relay his tale, describing how he had been captured while he was helping Stormcloak prisoners escape, he had been caught in a pass, and the people he was trying to help were slaughtered.
After Raven finished, Vanir whistled and began to relate to Raven the current pre-war efforts, expenses, and battle plans. Raven listened carefully, and got up, thinking to head to his quarters. And that was when he noticed the figure in the corner. He did the first thing that came to his mind, he instinctively seized a throwing star from his boot, and flung it. The figure, however dodged with uncanny speed, and tackled Raven. Despite his struggles, Raven couldn't escape the iron grip of the figure.
Vanir and J'rska walked over, laughing their heads off, "Oh yeah," Vanir managed to choke out, "I forgot to tell you. Meet Selene, she's our newest member."
Raven flushed bright red as Selene and his teammates laughed.