Chapter 11:


Traveling to the Reach was always a risk. The steep cliffs, the low rivers, and the Forsworn. Evelyn used their time on the road to explain the wild men that lived in the Reach. They had an odd respect for Hagravens, and in return, were able to turn their strongest fighters into Briarhearts. She had already told Artemis what a Hagraven was, but he didn't know what a Briarheart was. She takes a moment to explain, because she's not even really sure the whole story behind the strange undead fighters. All she knows it involves magic, and replacing the heart of the warrior, and putting a Briar Heart flower in it's place. It somehow makes them stronger, and they don't fear death. After all they're already dead. He shivers at the very thought. "Hey there's a reason most places frown on Necromancy. It just creates more problems then what's really necessary." He rises his brow at her. "So you never tried it?" "No, even I'm aware how dangerous it is. You won't even really find books on it." Not that she went out of her way to see if she could study Necromancy. She's not that crazy. They had left Ivarstead early in the morning. They had just past Whiterun and were following the road west. She was still riding Arvak while he rode Blackfire. "Summoning undead is not frowned upon since they mostly come from Oblivion. But the art of using an actual body is.." She shutters as she looks ahead. "I wouldn't dream of trying it. I've seen what it does to the spirits, it's horrible." All she has to do is think about Yngvild and what that crazy b*****d did.

As they get closer to Karthspire she gets off Arvak. "We should walk from here." Artemis nods and joins her, his horse returning to it's little statue. "I wonder, where does your horse go? I imagine it's not a creature of Oblivion." He glances down before his head tilts to the side. "Blackfire comes from the lower planes. Not sure how that works here, but that's all I know.." She taps her chin, but lets it go, it would be to hard for her to understand. "Fair enough." She moves slowly as they start to get closer to the camp. The whole thing is built over a river. Already the place was over run with the Forsworn. It really doesn't take long for them to take back what they lose. Artemis lowers his body as he watches them. They came from above, near Soljund's Sinkhole. She's gone this way before to find this place, and she could see them, but they don't notice her, yet. The Forsworn may not wear the best armor, only wearing fur that doesn't cover all their bodies. They make up for it in fighting style. Most duel wield, some use magic. But they are still dangerous. Her eyes scan the area, counting them to see if going down there was really worth it. She doubts they would just let her walk into the cave that lead to the temple. She sees a Hagraven and Artemis looks at it with wide eyes. She did warn him, but that hardly does him any good. He had no idea that's what they looked like. He just pictured some old woman covered in feathers. This is far worse, and the way it moves is unnerving.

"I have an idea." She smirks slightly, heading to a more open area. He just kind of watches as she picks just the right spot. "DurNehViir!" Her shout opens a large portal of sorts and out comes a huge dragon. It's some weird cross of living and undead. It looks like it's scales are melting off of it's body, but remains in place all at once. The large dragon turns to her. " Qahnaarin(Vanquisher) it is good to see you again." She bows her head to him. "Good to see you as well, think you can do me a favor, see those people down bellow?" He rises his head to take a look. "Say no more." He takes off and lets out a thunderous roar as he attacks the camp. She just sits back and watches. Her head turns to Artemis. "That's Durnehviir by the way." "Is...is he supposed to look like that?" "Sadly yes, he kind of got trapped in the Soul Cairn. He's not dead, but killing him will just send him back to the Soul Cairn so...he's like this weird middle." She looks back down. "We should join him." She pulls out her swords as she finds her way down to the camp to join in the confusion. He lets out a low sigh as he quickly follows after her. He lets her deal with the Hagraven because he really doesn't want to get close to the ugly thing. Most just make a run for it not anting to really deal with a dragon. Durnehviir already used his Soul Tear Shout on one of the Forsworn. He fell, then came back up as undead, fighting against his fellow brothers and sisters. Once the path was clear she just heads up the stairs into a cave. She slowly pokes her head in, to see the place empty. "Come on." Artemis follows, keeping his eyes open.

The way forward is still open, she didn't bother resetting the platforms since no one could really get into the actual temple. Once they make it to the courtyard, a large face greats them. "Is that a door?" "Yes, it's.." She rubs her chin, trying to remember who the person was. "Reman Cyrodiil, that's the fellow. A hero to the Akavir, the people that built this place." She walks up the the seal, and cuts her finger, letting a few drops of blood hit it. The seal glows and the door opens. "They built this whole place, it's probably the last remains of the race." She leads him into the temple as he follows behind her. "What happened to them?" She lets out a low hum as they enter the main temple. The place was still lit from when Delphine and Esbern started to clean up the place. "Honestly I have no idea, I don't think anyone does..." The inside was a lot bigger then he thought it would be. Of course the first thing that catches his eye is the wall. She follows after him, the light still dancing across it. "Alduin's wall, I still remember what Esbern told me." She heads for the far end of the wall where it starts. "This panel goes back to the beginning of time, when Alduin and the Dragon Cult ruled over Skyrim. Here, the humans rebel against their dragon overlords -- the legendary Dragon War. Alduin's defeat is the centerpiece of the Wall. You see, here he is falling from the sky. The Nord Tongues -- masters of the Voice -- are arrayed against him." Artemis takes a closer look, running his hands over the cravings. He looks to the other end of someone standing up against Alduin. "So is this...you?" "Perhaps, it is possible they knew someone would stand against Alduin. Though he looks a bit manly."

He chuckles slightly as he steps away from the wall. "This place is huge, I'm guessing only you can enter this place.." "That seal we past, they made it so only those of the Dragonsblood can open it. So when I killed Esbern and Delphine I just resealed the door. I really had no plans to come back to this place." She lets a low sigh as she walks over to a nearby chair. She flops herself down and leans back. There's no sound here, only the cracking of the fires that light this place. Artemis decides to just go explore on his own and let her be for awhile. He finds sleeping quarters but some of the beds look worse for wear. He also finds some old swords and what looks to be some rusted armor. The place has been forgotten and it shows. What history this place had, was lost to the stones. After some wondering he finds a set of doors that lead him outside to a training yard. He blinks at the change of light as he steps outside. From what he can see, this place is remarkably high and step. There's no chance of anyone trying to climb up here. Luckily there's no fear of straying to close to the edge. There's a wooden bow and some arrows near a straw target, it's like the place is just frozen in time. He doesn't know why but he can't help but glance down to where the river is. He half expects to see two bodies down there. But chances are Evelyn Shouted them into the water bellow. Not a fate he wanted to find himself in.

He can't help but think back to when he was hanging off the edge near Mithral Hall. He hit the ground hard and only survived thanks to his dagger. It wasn't to long before Jarlaxle had found him and took him into the Underdark. He doesn't want to think about it anymore as he walks away from the edge. He hears a echoing roar and sees Durnehviir fly by. He's not sure where the dragon is going but maybe he should think about it to much. After exploring the outside he wonders back inside. He sees a few shelves, but all of them are empty. No doubt Evelyn helped herself to them. It seems she takes any books she can get her hands on. He finds her sitting in the middle of the floor near the wall. her legs are crossed under her, her hands resting on her knees. Her head was down, eyes closed. He doesn't want to bother her so he has to find something to do while she meditates. It's not something she tries often, but she takes this time to just breath deeply. She just wants to try and better understand herself, in a sense. If her soul was trying to talk to her in some way, she feels horrible for ignoring it. Though she's not even really sure where to start so she tries to look deep within herself. At first nothing really seems to happen, but after a few minutes or so she finds herself in a strange open space she's never seen before. It looks like an open field, but it's nothing but grass and nothing else. She turns as she sees the embodiment of her soul, the part of her that makes her Dragonborn.

Her 'dragon' is a Legendary Dragon, they are only second to Alduin in size. She had no idea her soul belonged to this dragon. It's a bit surreal to be sure. But the longer she stays here, the more she feels. Pain, anger, then rage. Mostly rage, there's so much it feels like it's burning inside of her. "Nihnzey(Betrayal)." She jolts as she wakes, breathing deeply. Artemis was close, seems he kept himself busy finding left over food. He turns his head to her. "What did you see?" She takes a slow deep breath. "My soul, the part of me that's the dragon. It's so angry..." She shakes her head, slowly moving her legs. There's a reason she doesn't sit like this anymore, her leg is numb. "Though I'm not sure if it's mad a me, or just mad in general. Paarthurnax said that death is a powerful emotion. But this, it feels like it burns..." She even rubs her chest a bit where her heart is. "Dragons do feel things more strongly then people do, but, damn." She wasn't really expecting this. As she sits there, she feels this strange hum coming from Charon's Claw. She looks down at the sword and pulls it out, looking it over. The sword is still unpleased it can't seem to get a grip of her. Not like it did with Artemis so it's making it's displeasure known to her. She can't help but laugh as she places the sword back in it's sheath. "Maybe I'm over thinking my approach. I don't really have a lot of experience talking to other dragons. I've only done it a few times." That or maybe she's missing something. Like a piece of the puzzle she needs to find. She rubs her chin as she thinks a bit deeper about this. If it feels betrayed by her, she's not sure. She should try talking to it again.

That or being in the temple was setting it off. She glances around before standing up. "In hindsight maybe coming here wasn't the best idea. Given the Blades where the ones to kill every dragon." She lets out a heavy sigh, it still feels like such a waste to let this place go. But she has no desire to rebuild, or change it. If she could, she would burn the place down. But it was completely made of stone that would be impossible. All she can really do is reseal the door and let the place continue to be forgotten. After all she's the only one that knows of this place. Artemis is just sitting in a near by chair, looking rather bored. "Come on, lets get out of here, it's to depressing." He was more then happy to leave this place. She's just going to let the fires burn out on their own. She reseals the door and makes her way down the long pathway. "Delphine once told me it's my duty as the Dragonborn to slay dragons. Which makes sense, only I can truly kill them by taking their souls. But I couldn't kill Paarthurnax, even knowing he was once Alduin's lieutenant. But he changed, he saw what his brother was doing and went against him." She looks up as they head out of the cave. "If people can change, why not dragons, why are they different? Because of their past?" She flexes her hands. "What does that say about me? I'm just a mortal with the soul of a dragon myself. But to the Blades they were bound by honor to serve me. But only if I did what they said. I'm no one's puppet..." She shakes her head slightly, trying to center her thoughts a bit. A long walk sounds good and she just sort of picks a path, not really caring where she was going.

"There's a place like this back home, Cloud Ruler Temple. I went there once, the Thalmor tore most of it down." Her eyes narrow slightly as she walks. "Hell if they had it their way they would do the same here." She's starting to feel like she's talking far to much. If it bothers her new companion, he doesn't say anything. After some wondering about, they come across a few bandits. Seems they were trying to get away with some loot as she smiles. She's more then happy to deal with a few bandits. She whips out Charon's Claw as she takes a deep breath. "FusRoDah!" She knocks over the bandits, making them drop the large chest they were trying to carry. As soon as one of them gets up, she swings her sword out, removing his head. One's already dead as a few of then start to scramble to get onto their feet. Some make it, only to get a sword in the gut. One manages to try and attack her. She swings the sword again, creating a wall of ash. He unknowingly breaths it in and starts to cough. She doesn't bother with that one as the poor b*****d starts to hack up blood and falls over dead. Only one bandit is left and he turns tail and runs. She glances around before looking behind her. Artemis just watched the whole thing. "Um...sorry?" He can't help but smirk, watching her fight is rather entertaining. She turns to the large chest and picks the lock. "Lets see what we got." He joins her in sorting it all out. It's a good hull, gems, gold, a few interesting looking weapons. Amulets, and a few other items that look like it might be worth something. He pulls out a circlet, made out of silver. The center piece was a sapphire.

He keeps digging, finding a large amulet. He runs his fingers over it, there's was a bit of magic to it. It looked to be gold, or at least faded gold. "Think this is worth anything?" He holds up the amulet and she bites her lip. "No, that's an amulet of Mara. They don't really sell for much." He rises his brow at her. "Mara is the Goddess of love. In Skyrim, if Nords are ready to get married, they were those as a sign they're looking." He quickly throws the amulet back into the chest and she starts laughing. "Aww don't want to get hit by that arrow yet?" He scowls at her as she only laughs more. He lets out a low huff, but his brows rise after a moment. "Why aren't you married?" She was attractive, though he tries not to think about it to much. She can handle herself. "Oh come now, do I look like I could play housewife. Besides, I know all to well most fellows just want a woman that can pop out kids and that's not going to happen. That and most people I come across aren't to happy I refuse to stay at home to cook dinner. Look you're a grown a** man, cook your own dinner and shove it." He chuckles, sounds about right. "Honestly I just never considered it, I got enough on my plate without having to worry about one more thing. It's just one more thing to hold over my head in case anything happens.." She shrugs slightly as she takes what she wants from the chest. Not that she really needs the gold. But old habits die hard. "Lets go sell this junk in Whiterun, we can get a good deal." It takes her a moment to find the right path and he takes a few things as well, walking beside her.