Pi showed her hero ID card to the Security Chief. Many areas of the city had been quarantined, and you could only enter them if you were of the proper security clearance. Faultline was one of these areas. The area had been shaken by an earthquake, years ago, and now was only inhabited by rival gangs. The authorities simply did not have the manpower to control the area, so generally only heroes that were willing to help were allowed in.
Paul, the security chief, handed Pi’s ID card back to her. “I’d like for ya to patrol the area around Aftershock for a while, we’ve had some reports of trouble out there. And if ya do ok with that, be sure to check back with Freedom Corps, they’ll probably bump your security level up to 20,” he added with a wink. Pi took her card, nodded, and stepped through the gate. It was not that long ago that she had arrived at Paragon City, shy and clueless. Although she was still quite shy, she had been able to hone her powers, gain in understanding of them, and even develop a few new ones! Of her new powers, the one she enjoyed most was the ability to hover and fly. She would never tire of ducking under stoplights, making slalom courses out of power poles, and doing tricks in the air just for the sheer fun of it.
“Well, are you ready?” Pi heard a familiar voice by her side. Smiling, she looked over and nodded at her friend Night Angle. Pi didn’t know much about Night Angle, not even what her real name was. Pi had learned rather quickly not to ask other heroes their real names. Most were very secretive of their real identities. If they wanted you to know, they would tell you. Night Angle was shorter than Pi, with long dark hair, dressed mostly in black spandex. Pi had met her one day through some mutual friends. When introduced, (using superhero names only, of course!) Pi’s interest was immediately perked. ‘Night Angle,’ she thought, ‘now here is someone I can relate to!’ Given that she used a symbol of geometry in her name, she must be intellectual and mathematically inclined. Pi couldn’t wait to discuss differential geometry with this little vixen over some hazelnut coffee! Later, Pi found out that her assumptions could not be more wrong. Night Angle had absolutely no interest in math or geometry or anything of the sort. She had simply misspelled her name when she had first registered to be a superhero, and once registered, the red tape to change a superhero name was phenomenal. She had meant to call herself Night Angel. She must have been in the same line as Pi and been registered by that same evil witch of the south, Glenda.
It wasn’t long before the two girls reached the area of Faultline known as Aftershock. The whole area was filled with deep crevices and slanting buildings that looked like they could topple over at any second. The entire place had been devastated by an earthquake, and it showed. The ground had been pushed up at such odd angles that flat areas were few and far between. They landed on what used to be a street, but was tilted at such a steep angle now, no car would ever be able to drive on it. “Look. Up there, that’s what we’re looking for,” Night Angle said. “Let’s do it!” she shouted as she headed off towards their foes. Pi shuddered as she saw what Night Angle was attacking. Pi had not thought to consider exactly what type of villain the security chief was having trouble with today in Aftershock. Up ahead was a group of zombies and cadavers, reapers and mortificators, the minions of the evil Dr. Vahzilok. Pi hated the undead! If it was true that every hero had a nemesis, the undead was definitely hers. They were icky and nasty, and really gave her the creeps because they were not alive. It wasn’t like the clockwork. The clockworks were not alive, but they were not supposed to be, they were mechanical. It was just something about the fact that the undead things were either made from, or were, former living beings that really bothered her. On top of the way she felt about them, most of Pi’s powers dealt with the mind, which was the very thing an undead creature lacked! So the very thing she hated being around the most, was also the very foe that her powers were least effective on.
The two girls by themselves did not make the perfect team, but they somehow managed to get the job done. Pi was repulsed and the undead were fairly resistant to most of her powers, and Night Angle was primarily a healer. In order to avoid being totally ineffective, the girls had to rely on the most primary power of all, their wit. Night Angle had the ability to teleport other beings short distances. So the girls flew up to a ledge on an oddly canting building, took up position there, and proceeded to teleport foes up to them one at a time. This area was filled with Dr. Vahzilok’s undead army and members of a cabal called the Circle of Thorns. However, most of what they ran into could not fly, save an occasional summoned demon or imp. So all but the one foe they teleported would stand under the ledge, angrily clawing at the building, trying in vain to climb up to their perch. The girls had cleverly picked a ledge that was just out of crossbow range, knowing that a crossbow was about the most powerful weapon that would be used by their particular enemies of the day.
After a grueling day of fighting, the area was relatively clear. Pi bade farewell to Night Angle and headed back to her apartment. She was near exhaustion, both physically and mentally. The superhero known to others as Pi stepped out of her costume, into a hot shower, and emerged as just a girl named Jenny. Jenny picked up her crumpled costume, if you could call it that, and tossed it in the dirty clothes hamper. While other heroes had exotic and flashy costumes, hers was simply the clothes she had on when she first arrived in Paragon City. She had been wearing the uniform from her school that day. It seemed to fit with her superhero name, so after a lucky day shopping around at several thrift stores, she had several versions of a simple ‘costume’. Tonight she was just Jenny, though. She was tired and hungry, and just wanted to go out and have a bite to eat, and maybe take in a movie. After rummaging through her closet, Jenny donned her favorite pair of jeans, and her pink t-shirt, the one with the big purple heart on it. Jenny chuckled as she thought of the analogy. Sure she could wear a purple heart, because she had been wounded already many times in her fight against evil. Grabbing her keys, Jenny threw open the door to head out, only to be confronted by a small demon and another zombie!
The zombie reached out towards Jenny as she reached within herself to draw upon her powers. Normally she would be quicker than this, but these two had taken her by surprise. She was about a half second away from putting them both down for the count when the imp began to shout what was undoubtedly an incantation for some evil hold spell of it’s own.
“TRICK OR TREAT!”
Jenny retracted her mass hypnosis power at the last moment, almost ripping a tear in her own mind in the process. “Are you ok lady? You don’t look so hot,” the little zombie said. These were children! Jenny had completely forgotten that it was Halloween night. “just…just a moment,” Jenny said, as she ducked back inside. Was she really so exhausted that she had come that close to incapacitating a group of kids? Jenny splashed her face with cold water from the sink and grabbed a couple candy bars for the trick-or-treaters from the cabinet above. She really needed a break!
Later that night, Jenny stretched as she walked out of the movie theater. The movie had been mediocre, but she had a bellyful of pepperoni pizza and felt relaxed. The late October night was crisp, but not too cold. She looked forward to a casual walk home, then a good night’s sleep. As she strolled along, she saw a couple werewolves dart across the street up ahead. Curiously, she glanced at her watch. It was getting a bit late for the trick-or-treaters to still be out. Oh well, maybe it was the older kids, or even some guys on their way back from a party. She continued on her way, passing the pizzeria she had stopped at on the way to the movie. A few blocks later, she heard a shuffling off to her right. Looking down the alleyway, she saw two zombies, full-sized this time, shuffling towards her. Amazing, she thought, some people were really good at making themselves look like the real thing. Jenny decided to play along with these guys and appear frightened. “Eek!” she shouted and turned to run down the sidewalk. She ran headlong into a girl dressed in an odd black and white costume, with a pointy black hat, knocking both of them to the ground. The girl and her two friends were all dressed roughly the same, black and white leather outfits, black leather thigh boots, and the odd black hats. As she apologized and began to get up, Jenny suddenly recognized the hats, and therefore what the girls’ costumes represented. “Oh!” Jenny exclaimed, “You’re supposed to be witches!” “Supposed to be?” one of the girls cackled an evil laugh, “We ARE witches, sweetie, and looks like we just found a new toy!” Jenny suddenly found the stiletto heel of a black boot pushed into her chest and shoving her back down to the ground.
Scowling, Jenny began to backpedal away. “Now wait just a minute!” she shouted, “You can go get your jollies somewhere else! You might want to think twice about who you’re messing with!” Jenny had no doubt she could handle three ordinary girls, who were probably just drunk and looking for kicks on the way home from a Halloween party. “Oh really?” the girl raised her eyebrows, “and just who are we dealing with here?” As she spoke, the girl rubbed her fingers together, producing some crackling sparks between them. ‘Got to be a parlor trick,’ Jenny thought to herself. Surely no superhero would-
About that time, Jenny heard a familiar shuffling sound directly behind her. Without looking back, she knew it was the guys dressed as zombies that she had seen in the alleyway just a few minutes ago. Good, maybe they would help her calm down these witch girls. Instead, something entirely different happened. Jenny felt two clammy hands grab her wrists and pin her arms behind her back, while effortlessly dragging her halfway to her feet. Instantly, Jenny knew the flesh of the hands that held her was not living flesh. The situation suddenly and forcefully became crystal clear and hit her like a thousand pound brick. She did not know how it had happened, but somehow the zombies, the witches, even the werewolves she had seen; they all were real! Perhaps that would have been something she would have picked up on had she not been so tired and exhausted. She could feel the hot breath of the zombie on her neck, as her head was roughly pulled to one side. Whether it was the sudden surprise of the situation, or her nauseating fear of things undead, or perhaps both, panic set in. Jenny felt her knees lose all strength and buckle, and the world started going all hazy and grey. She vaguely heard the zombie utter some unintelligible sound as it made ready to feast upon her neck. She knew she had the power to extricate herself from this, but she was both physically and mentally paralyzed by fear. Just as she felt the sickly maw of the creature touch her neck, she heard a female voice, shouting from somewhere seemingly far away. “HEY!! Leave her alone you freak, she’s ours!” Jenny felt herself being thrown one way, and was vaguely aware of the zombie flying in another direction. She hit something solid, presumably the wall of a nearby building, and slumped to the ground. As she gradually regained her senses, Jenny realized the witches were fighting the zombies. She also realized that black roots of some kind had emerged from the ground and was holding her fast in place. Two of the witches were in battle with the zombies, while the third one was watching her, concentrating on holding her in place. Jenny knew now what was happening. The witches hoped to defeat the zombies, and wanted her for themselves. Jenny shuddered, not wanting to think of the possibilities of that particular scenario.
The battle was about over. The witches, although wounded, were obviously going to defeat the zombies. Jenny knew that even held, she could use her own powers, but she had to wait and carefully pick the right time to use them. She had no power that would break the roots that held her, so she had to wait and hope that they would retract back into the ground soon. She could put the witches to sleep without the use of her hands, but what good would that be if she could do nothing else till her powers wore off? She could do some psychic damage, but not enough while held like this, in a three-on-one battle. As the last zombie was just about to fall, the witch that was controlling the roots that held Jenny looked at her smugly, then suddenly flew sideways across the concrete. She had been the recipient of the fist of a large robotic man that looked like he was made of chrome. Another large robotic man, this one more colorful than the first, jumped into the fray and attacked one of the other witches. Jenny suddenly realized she was free. The attack by the chrome man on the witch that was holding her must have broken her concentration and ended the spell. Now was the chance Jenny had been waiting for! Whoever these two guys were, they were obviously on Jenny’s side, and she wasn’t going to let them continue to fight alone. Still woozy, she sat where she was, leaned up against the brick wall, and used her power to dominate the will of all foes in an area, with the addition of a bit of psychic damage. All three of the witches suddenly stopped what they were doing, and grabbed their heads in pain, while the zombie that was barely standing finally crumpled to the ground. The two robotic looking men stopped fighting and looked around oddly, as if searching for something, then finally looked over at her. “You hero?” the colorful one asked. Jenny nodded feebly. “Awesome!” the other one said. The two robotic men then proceeded to take care of the witches, while Jenny made sure they didn’t fight back.
After the fight, the robots came over to where Jenny sat, and offered to help her up. Upon closer inspection, Jenny realized they may not have been robots; it appeared that they were wearing some sort of power armor. It was obvious to her by now, that these were two heroes, not unlike herself. “I’m Chromium Man, and this here’s Tibian,” the chrome colored one said, as he helped her up. “Hi, nice to meet you, I’m Jenny -er, I mean Pi, -er, well, I mean…oh just call me Jenny. Uh, what’s going on? Where did these things come from?” “Well, we’re not really sure,” Chromium Man replied, “A couple days ago, there was a report from a professor at Winthrop that something weird might be happening this weekend, and obviously, he was right. I don’t know what caused it, but the city seems to be under attack by all sorts of demonic beings! Also…” Chromium Man’s voice trailed off. “Also, what?” Jenny asked, not sure if she wanted to hear the rest. “They say sun not comin’ up anymore. We need to fight,” Tibian stated flatly. Jenny’s eyes widened as she looked up at Chromium Man, who nodded somberly. “That’s what they’re saying. Whatever has caused this has plunged the city into a perpetual night, so the vampires, werewolves, and all these creatures of the darkness can run free for as long as they want. But Tibian is right. We do need to fight this, in hopes that we can regain somehow control or stop it. How are you feeling? Would you like to join us?” Jenny stood up, dusted herself off, and sighed wearily. “Sure, I can help.”
The rest of the weekend was a blur for Jenny. Denizens of darkness seemed to be lurking around every corner. The only sleep she got was a catnap here and there for only a couple hours. She never even had a chance to stop and put on her “Pi” costume, as she had went right to work, helping Chromium Man and Tibian. She fought ghouls and spirits, vampires and werewolves, things she had seen only in horror movies, and things she had never even heard or dreamed of. Then finally, on Monday morning, after what seemed like an eternity, the darkness suddenly fell away to the breaking of the morning sun.
Several days later, Jenny stepped into an office at Freedom Corps. After about sixteen hours of sleep, she had gotten a message to report here. The woman at the information desk had directed her to this office. Jenny looked around nervously, wondering if she had broken some rule, or got into trouble. The portly man behind the desk stood as he smiled at her and put her at ease. “Pi, is it? It’s nice to meet you, I’m Joe Brooks” he said as he moved over towards an oak cabinet, “You were noticed fighting for our city this past weekend, as going above and beyond the call of duty.” “I was just doing my job, sir,” Jenny said softly. “Well, you do a good job of it, and it doesn’t go unnoticed.” Joe reached into the cabinet and brought out a small box, as he continued, “The mayor just wanted to show you and the heroes that fought for this city his gratitude for protecting us and our way of life. If not for you, who knows what might have happened. The light returned, and the forces of evil were pushed back, due mainly to the efforts of heroes like you.” Joe handed the box to her as he shook her hand. “On behalf of Paragon City, thank you, Pi.”
Jenny waited until she was back out in the lobby before looking inside the box. Upon opening it, she saw six brightly colored badges, all bearing a different insignia, one for each of the types of creatures she had fought. There was also a letter, thanking her for all her efforts and sacrifices in protecting Paragon City both this past weekend, and always. The letter was even signed by the mayor himself! Jenny smiled, clutched the box to her chest, and stepped out into the bright sunshine.
After dealing with Cicero, Kyssandra decided to just stay the night in Dawnstar. It was already twilight, so there wasn’t enough time to ride back to Falkreath. She could have ported home, and ported to Falkreath the next morning, but that would have meant leaving Shadowmere here. She had no doubt he could find his way home, but it just seemed wrong to make him do that. So she just passed the time by browsing some museum in Dawnstar, something to do with a cult called the Mythic Dawn. The proprietor had been trying to get customers every time she had passed the place, so having a few hours to kill, no pun intended, she took him up on it and browsed the place. Before she left, she found herself agreeing to go get some artifact for him, if she had the chance. He gave her a list of three pieces of it, and the three people that would have them. She knew she would need the money to finish college, so she accepted, then stayed the night in the inn.
Early the next morning, Kyssandra got up, and rode Shadowmere back to the Falkreath Sanctuary. Everyone there seemed a bit more settled down, and moreso when she told them Cicero had been taken care of. Thankfully, they did not ask her to elaborate.
It was now back to business, time to get on with the next part of the grand scheme. Festus Krex, the elder wizard of the group, was her contact for this phase.
“Have you ever heard of The Gourmet?” Festus asked as Kyssandra leaned on the credenza beside him.
“The cook? The one that writes the recipe books?” Kyssandra cocked her head.
“Well, that answers my question. yes, thats the one.”
“Yeah, I’ve seen his books in several kitchens of inns I’ve been in,” Kyssandra nodded.
“He is probably the most famous chef in Skyrim,” Festus said. “He is your next target.”
“Okay…so where, when, and how? …and why?.” Kyssandra wondered.
“When the Emperor comes to visit, they have contracted The Gourmet to cook a meal for him. The identity of this person, he or she, is a very closely guarded secret. No one seems to know who it actually is. So, you are going to find this person, kill them, assume the identity of The Gourmet, and thats how you will get close to the Emperor!”
“So if no one knows who it is, how do I-”
“This!” Festus held up a book. “I was able to procure this book, at a cottage sale. It is a signed copy of The Gourmet’s cookbook, ‘Uncommon Tastes’. What is interesting is that the note is made out personally to someone named Anton Virane. So, this Anton Virane must have been there when the Gourmet signed it, so he would know who he is! I tracked down Anton, and he is the head chef for Understone Keep, in Markarth. Go there, find out from Anton who the Gourmet is, then go kill him. Since you are going to take his identity, take anything that could identify him that you can find, then make sure you hide the body well. Oh, and probably best to kill Anton also, on the off chance he runs his mouth to someone, or accidentally shows up at the dinner you’ll be at.”
So, Kyssandra headed off to Markarth. It was still very early, before lunch, so she could make it easily. Astrid had told her to ride Shadowmere as much as she wanted, so she decided to take her up on that. She liked the horse, he was fast, plus he needed the exercise. Also, with all the porting she had been doing, using a soul gem every time, even though she had the circlet that filled them daily, she was sure that at some point she would run out.
Kyssandra’s plan was to ride straight to Markarth. She went through several wolf packs, and bandit ambush points, but Shadowmere was fast and tough, so she didn’t stop for any of them. She just kept riding and easily outdistanced whatever danger she came across.
As she crossed a long bridge though, she suddenly remembered something. When she had been in the temple of Dibella, she had told mother Hamal that she would go see if she could find the young girl that was supposed to be the next Sybil of Dibella. They had sent sisters out to find the girl already, but none had returned. According to mother Hamal, the next Sybil was a young girl from the village of Karthwasten. Kyssandra realized, from plotting the route on her map, that she was going to ride right by this village, in a couple of minutes. May as well stop and get the girl, since she was heading on to Markarth anyway.
As she arrived in the village, she saw a commotion going on. There was always a commotion. All she could tell was that it was two groups of people, upset with one another. As she rode up, they dispersed. Kyssandra rode over to the first house in the line, and hailed the man that had gone up to his porch. After some initial pleasantries, she asked if there were any families with daughters in town. The man told her that Enmon and Mena were probably who she was looking for, but he doubted they would talk at the moment, what with all the trouble they were having with the mercenaries. When asked about that, he told her that a bunch of mercenaries had come to Karthwasten a while back, and basically taken over. They had shone up just after a forsworn raid, and had protected the town thereafter, from other raids. Now, they wanted the town leader, this man apparently, to sell the mine to Silver-blood family, in repayment for their services.
“huh.” Kyssandra thought. “Hang on a moment, I’ll go talk to them,” she said.
The Silver-bloods were those jokers that were running that whole prison scam thing, that she had been caught up in a couple weeks ago.
So up to the mines she went, wandering around through them, asking around, until she at last found their leader, a big nord who called himself Atar.
Atar looked Kyssandra up and down, appreciatively.
“And what would a pretty young lass like you be looking for me for?” he asked, “You are obviously no miner looking for work. Are you my evening’s entertainment?” He looked at his second in command with a loud laugh.
Kyssandra cocked her head. “That could be arranged I suppose,” she said, getting his attention, then continued, "if you take your men and leave these people be, afterwords."
Atar laughed even louder at that. “You hear that?” he called to the men around him, “this little girl thinks she can sleep with me, and it will pay the town’s debt to us! Har har! She thinks she is worth a mine!” He looked back at Kyssandra and sneered. “I think I will just have you for nothing, and I might even keep you.”
“Hold up a minute,” Kyssandra held up her hand. “If the town gives this mine to you, is it yours then? Do you keep it?”
“No,” he said, “we work for the Silver-bloods. They hired us. We get the deed to the mine, we give it to them, they pay us, and THEN we leave.”
“So its not that I would be worth a mine,” Kyssandra said, "its more like I’d be worth whatever the Silver-bloods pay you."
Atar stared at her dumbly.
“Who hired you,” Kyssandra continued, "Thonar?"
Atar remained silent, wondering what she was driving at, but nodded.
“Well, Thonar is dead. So is Nepos the Nose. And all the other people in Markarth that could pay you.”
“Hmmmphh.” Atar scoffed. “How would you know that, so easily?”
“Because I killed them.” Kyssandra looked him in the eye. “I suggest you take plan A.”
Later in the day, Kyssandra headed back down the path, to the town leader’s house. He was still out on his porch.
"The mercenaries won’t be a problem anymore. Can you direct me to this Enmon and Mena’s house now?"
Ainethach, the leader, stared in awe, as Atar and his mercenaries came down the path behind Kyssandra, and left on the road. He pointed to a man walking a little ways away, and said that was Enmon.
When Kyssandra introduced herself to Enmon, he seemed nice enough. But when she asked about his little girl, he became quite flustered. Apparently when the forsworn had invaded the village, they had taken his daughter, and the sister of dibella that had come to talk with them. He did not know what the sister was there for, he assumed though, that she was just going to try to recruit his daughter to the sisterhood. Kyssandra told him that she had found, that his daughter was supposed to be the next Sybil of Dibella. Enmon brightened, and actually saw that as an honor. He knew where the forsworn had taken his daughter, Fjotra, it was the broken tower just across the long bridge. He was no warrior, but if Kyssandra was going there to try to rescue her, he would be glad to accompany and do what he could. Kyssandra told him to stay put. She would go to the tower and get the little girl.
At the tower, Kyssandra summoned both atronarchs, and mechanically fought her way through it. It was just filled with forsworn bandits, and all she really had to do was stay back, and resummon an atronarch as they were dispatched.
Eventually, she reached the top of the tower, and found the girl locked in a cell. Outside the cell, in the room, was a statue of Dibella, covered in blood, and a dead sister of Dibella.
Kyssandra found the key to the cell on one of the guards’ bodies, that the atronarchs had killed. She opened the door, and let the girl out. It was then that Kyssandra got her first look at this girl. Kyssandra had been expected a small child, for some reason, and had been apprehensive about taking her to the temple of Dibella. This was no small child. This girl was entirely of age, and looked to be only slightly younger than Kyssandra herself.
The girl introduced herself as Fjorta, and thanked Kyssandra profusely for rescuing her.
“The sister told me of my fate,” she said, “then they went and got that statue, and tortured and killed her in front of it, all the while making fun of it. I don’t know what they would have done to me…”
“We best get you to the temple fast,” Kyssandra said. “They can protect you.”
So the two girls headed out, straightway. They were attacked a couple times, but it was nothing Kyssandra could not handle, with her summoned creatures. They made it to Markarth, just as the sun started setting.
Kyssandra took the girl straight up to the temple, to Mother Hamal. Hamal breathed a visible sigh of relief, and took Fjorta in, telling her that she could start her training and initiation process immediately. She told one of the sisters to head out to Karthwastern, first thing in the morning, and inform Fjorta’s parents that she was safely at the temple. To Kyssandra, Mother Hamal offered her thanks. She bestowed upon Kyssandra the title of agent of Dibella, and said that with this blessing, Kyssandra would receive a permanent boon from Dibella, if she would kneel at the alter and receive it.
On her way out, Kyssandra did stop and kneel. She felt something. She wasn’t entirely sure what she got, but it was a blessing of Dibella, one that would not wear off over time, so she would take it.
After this, Kyssandra headed up to the palace. She still had to do what she had come here for in the first place, find the identity of the Gourmet. It was now after supper, so she found the chef, Anton Virane, in the kitchen with the rest of his staff. He was relaxing at a table, having just partaken in the evening meal, himself. Kyssandra slid onto the seat next to him.
“Who are you?” Anton asked. “Are you here to interview for a job in my kitchen?”
“Nah, I’m a horrible cook,” Kyssndra said lightly, “but I heard on good faith that you know who the Gourmet is. I was wondering if you’d let me in on the secret.”
“The Gourmet! No! Never! I don’t know who sent you here, but nothing will betray my trust. I’ll take the secret of the Gourmet’s identity to the grave!”
“Well, that can be arranged…” Anton balked, as Kyssandra continued, in a whispered tone, “I AM with the dark brotherhood you know…”
“Wh-whh- what? The dark brotherhood you say?” Anton paled. "Now hold up just a minute…lets not be hasty. I’m sure my good friend would not want me to endanger my own well being over this! Um…yes! I’ll tell you! The Gourmet is an orc named Balagog gro-Nolob. He resided up at an inn called the Nightengale, up abov-"
It was Kyssandra’s turn to balk. “above Whiterun.” she finished. "The orc up in the basement of the Nightengale?"
"I know who that orc is! I’ve been to that inn several times! Who would’ve- You sure that’s the Gourmet?"
Anton nodded again.
“wow.” Kyssandra said. “never would’ve guessed that one.”
“So…we good?..you’re not gonna kill me?” Anton looked at her earnestly.
“Oh no, I’m still gonna kill you.” Kyssandra said, matter of factly.
“Ack.” Anton gulped.
"You know, loose ends and all…"
Kyssandra sighed as Anton jumped up and took off running. Did he just wet his pants?
Kyssandra chased Anton all through the palace, if you could call it that. She was in the palace of Markarth, which was filled with people, so she couldn’t summon any atronarchs, or appear to be chasing him. If the little wimp had any sense at all, he would just go stay beside the guards, or in one of the common rooms, and she wouldn’t be able to do a thing to him. But every time he saw her enter an area, and come towards him, he would scamper off. Finally, they made to an obscure area, a gigantic cavern in the mountain, it looked like some ruins, or something. There were a couple wizards, researching things, and a couple guards patrolling the area. No one was really paying attention to Kyssandra and Anton though. He tried to escape, running all the way up to the ramp to the top of some ruin gazebo tower thing. It was about 30 feet or so up. As Kyssandra followed him up there, he looked around frantically. There was no other way down, other than the narrow ramp he had come up on. He looked as if he were contemplating jumping. Kyssandra suddenly had an idea. “I’m tired of this. I can’t do anything with all these people in here.” she said, shrugging, and turned to head back down. But as she walked, she spread her hands, and softly cast a powerful rune of fire on the ramp behind her.
As she got down the ramp, and was heading out the door, back towards the main palace, she heard the rune explode. Then she heard the unmistakable sound of a body hitting the ground. Then guards and wizards shouting at each other,
“What was he doing up there?!”
“Wasn’t there someone else with him?”
"Not sure, but it killed the poor chap."
Kyssandra smiled, ducked into a dark corner, and teleported back to the college.
Kyssandra stayed the night in her own bed, but in the morning, she freshened up and teleported back to Markarth, to get Shadowmere. She did not tarry, she went straight from the portal to the stable, and took off towards Whiterun. Along the way, she was attacked, and this particular attack was not one she could avoid. These men would not let up. So she got a little distance, hopped off the horse, summoned two atronarchs, and fought it out. These men were relentless, but she finally won the fight. After it was done, in searching the bodies for any gold, or anything she could sell, she found a telling note.
Well that was interesting.
By now, a heavy fog had settled. Kyssandra got back on Shadowmere, and rode on north, on up to the Nightengale Inn. No need to wait on this.
She came in from the back side, down near the lake. Was that…? By the nine, this was her lucky day. The orc she was looking for, Balag gro-bar-whatsisname, was actually standing down there, on the pier, gazing out over the lake. Not another soul was anywhere to be seen. Why couldn’t that meat merchant from Whiterun do something like this?
Kyssandra dismounted Shadowmere, summoned her atronarchs, and approached the orc silently. If he knew she was there, he gave no indication of it.
Turns out, she did not even need the atronarchs. One hit with a lightening bolt, and the orc went down in a crumpled heap. Kyssandra searched him, and found a writ of passage, his identification papers. She quickly took it, and anything else that looked like it would be something personal, something that would identify him as the true Gourmet. Then, looking around, still seeing no one, she finished the job by hiding the body. This was just too perfect. She simply pushed the body off the edge of the pier, and watched as it splashed and sank to the bottom of the lake.
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