Chapter 25:

The next couple of days go rather smoothly. Jarlaxle, for the most part is behaving himself. He's more interested in learning what he can so he stays out of the way for the most part. Drizzt is less of a problem and seems happy to help. Aela is more then happy to take him along on a job so he can get a better idea how the Companions operate. Once Evelyn is sure things will be fine without her, she leaves for Dawnstar. She can't remember the last time she's checked on the Brotherhood. Of course Artemis is right behind her as she uses her magic to teleport them to the Collage, then to Dawnstar. Things were quiet in the Sanctuary so she makes her way to the Night Mother. Artemis just makes his way to the large common area where everyone else is. Cicero is busy cleaning his dagger. "Brother it's good to see you again. We've heard the news." Nazir and Babette are close by. "What really happened?" Nazir is smart enough to know there's more to the story. However the assassin just shrugs slightly. "Ask Evelyn." It's her story to tell after all. He just got to be there and witness it all. Once she was done writing everything down and blinks to see everyone looking at her. She shuffles a bit, not really liking that all eyes were on her. "What?" Babette just giggles softly. "We heard about what happened at the ball. We know you had a hand in it." Evelyn bows to the vampire. "You guessed right. I slipped a potion in her drink and used my Thu'um, turning her into my personal puppet and made her hang herself."

Nazir is surprised by this. "I had no idea you had such power." "Bend Will, I thought I first I could only use it on dragons. But after testing it a few times it turns out that's not the case." Babette lets out a good laugh at this. "I wish I got to be there to see it, it would have been great." Evelyn just smiles brightly. "So what's the word so far on what the Thalmor are up to?" Nazir just shrugs slightly. "They're looking into it, but no doubt given time they'll leave. Here's hoping.." Nazir isn't a fan of the Thalmor, neither is Cicero since they took down a few Sanctuaries back in the day. After a moment of catching up she handed out some contracts. But she takes one for herself. It sounded simple, someone near Rorikstead needed someone taken care of. But she takes some time to talk to her fellow assassins to see what other information they had. Seems she hasn't really missed much, nothing really exciting happens this far north. But she just wants to make sure there's no more magical disturbances. A few hours pass before she heads out with Artemis. "Rorikstead is just a small farmland. Shouldn't be to hard to find the person looking to hire us. We just need to keep our heads down." People tend to notice those that don't belong. But the small area knows her well enough. She finds Shadowmere as he summons his own horse. She sits there for a moment, looking at the Nightmare. It's like any other horse, only it's hooves are covered in flames. It even snorts out dark smoke. She shakes her head after a moment and heads south.

Rorikstead isn't that hard to find really. As they enter the small village she finds a tiny farm house just on the very edge of the place. She jumps down as Artemis joins her and she lightly knocks on the door. It takes a minute or so before the door opens for her. She slowly makes her way in. The place was dark, the only thing lighting the place were candles. A lone male steps out, holding a dull looking dagger. "Are you with the Brotherhood?" She holds out her hand to calm him. "Yes, relax and lower your....weapon." She says the term loosely since it hardly looks like it could cut bread. He slowly lowers his hand. "I'm sick of it, watching, if I was strong enough I'd stop him myself." She rises her brow at him. "Who are you speaking of?" "Lemkil, the fellow with the two girls. He beats the ever living crap out of them. But no one does a thing. Says he's their father, can do what he wants with them. Loudly blames them for his wife's death." She knows the man all to well, she's not a fan of him either. "We'll take care of it." The only down side is the girls will be left without a parent, but it's better then the life they have at the moment. Once back outside she taps her chin. She has to be careful here, he rarely leaves his girls alone. Often making them work in his field. "We'll watch him a bit and see what he does for the day." For the most part, he keeps to himself, even when his kids try to talk to him. He ignores them and turns away from them. He'll even raise his hand to them. Artemis had to hold her back to make sure she didn't rush the jerk.

What made the whole thing even worse was one of the children, Britte by name would start to yell and belittle her sister Sissel. Of course the poor girl was picking it up from their father. By the time the sun was starting to go down he forced the kids inside so he could go to the inn. He sat at a far table, wasting what little gold he had on booze, of course. Evelyn is close to just killing the b*****d herself right there, but Artemis holds her back again. He gives her look that tells her to let him handle this. She takes a slow deep breath but nods, heading off to the side. She picks her own spot as someone walks over. "Evelyn." She leans her head back. "Erik, good to see you." He looked far happier after she had talked to his father, Mralki to let the boy travel. Since then he looked much more sure of himself and even had a new set of armor. "Finally going to make your way to Jorrvaskr?" "Soon, I've been dealing with the bandits nearby, figured that was good work." She nods and makes room for him, still watching Artemis. She may as well talk with the young man. Meanwhile Artemis takes a seat and buys a good bottle of mead. He's not one for charm, but he knows how to read people. "Looks like you need a hit." Lemkil snorts, but takes the offered drink. "Take my advice, don't have children. Worthless good for nothing, do nothing but ask for things they can't have." He takes a swig of his offered drink. Artemis just scowls, but says nothing as he watches the man. He has learned a thing a two from Evelyn. Such as making poisons, he's still learning, but he gets the idea. He just wants the guy to get a bit sick. It slowly starts to work and he helps the drunken man outside.

Erik says nothing, but shakes his head sadly. "I'll never understand how people can turn out like that." Evelyn just pats his shoulder. "Well if nothing else he's a good example of how not to turn out as you get older." He nods at this as he waves to his father to get something to eat. Meanwhile Artemis leads the drunken man out far from the farm, up a large hill. He sees a strange bowl shape in the ground that looks to be a giant nest. But remembers this is a old burial site for a dragon. He grabs the hilt of his dagger and hits the back of the mans head. He hears a loud 'crack' as he hits the ground, landing in the large hole. He made it looked he stumbled and fell in a drunken state. He glances around before he sneaks off into the night before making his way back to the inn. He finds Evelyn, still talking to the same man as before. He looks young, inexperienced, but she seems to know him well enough. Even the owner is speaking with them. Mralki looks up when Artemis steps in. "Welcome back, where did that lout Lemkil run off to?" Artemis shrugs at this. "I helped him outside, last I say he was stumbling his way home. Told me to sod off so I did." He takes a seat on the other side of Evelyn, giving her the smallest nod. She returns the slight nod and smiles at Mralki. "I wouldn't worry to much, with any luck he'll pass out on his own lawn." The old Nord lets out a deep sigh as he cleans a mug in his hands. "I hope he gets some sense knocked into his head." She pays for her meal and gets up. "Sorry I have to run, but I should get going." She shakes Mralki hand. "Take care." "Thank you Dragonborn, you're welcome anytime." She bows her head, before heading out with Artemis. Before returning to their client she makes her way to Lemkil's farm.

She pokes her head to see that both girls were wide awake, waiting for their father. They looked to tired, hungry, and scared. She shakes her head slightly as she opens the door. Sissel recognizes her and slowly gets up. "It's you again." Britte looks at her, but crosses her arms. "We thought you were our father.." Evelyn takes a minute to think of what to tell them. She hands Sissle a large bag of gold. "Take this and go to Jouane. Your father won't be returning home anytime soon." Sissle just blinks at this, neither one of them upset. They don't argue, they take the gift and make their way to the old mages house. Evelyn knows well enough the guy will take good care of the children. Once the kids were safe she tells the client that Lemkil is dead and he pays them. "Thank you, hope that b*****d burns for what he did. What about the children?" "They're safe, don't you worry." He lets out a sigh and smiles, thanking her once again. They head north, with no one really the wiser. As they start to get farther away, Artemis turns to her. "What is with that place? All those people, but no women.." "You noticed, it's a bit messed up. But the rumor is they die 'mysterious' circumstances. In return, the land continues to flourish." His eyes go wide he almost doesn't believe it. But he knows well enough she would never lie about such things. "Try not to think about it to much, but here's to hoping those kids get a better start in life." They turn and made their way back to Dawnstar. With all the money the Brotherhood is making, they could set up a new hideout. So she hires a few new initiate to get it going. After getting a small group together to go make a new start they head off, separately to not rise suspicion.

Cicero was so over the moon when he heard the news. However, there was still one issue, how to create the doors. They needed a mage, one that would know how to make them. Because so far she still has no idea. "Think any of the old Sanctuaries would have text on the doors?" Cicero rocks side to side as he thinks it over. "We'll have to look on where the Brotherhood started. Considering how long we've been around. Cicero knows, Babette." The little vampire enters the area. "Yes brother?" "Any idea where we might find information on how to make the Black Doors?" The vampire taps her chin in thought. She was well over four hundred years old. If anyone knew history, it would be her. "Given everything I know, the Brotherhood started in Vvardenfell after we broke from the Morag Tong. However it would be impossible to figure out just where it started." Evelyn rubs the back of her head slightly. There had to be some way to figure this out. "I wonder, I talked to Urag a lot, he told me that the Collage keeps an archive. If anyone knows anything, he might have an answer." "It's worth a shot, after all they can't really say no to you." Babette says, even though she's been around a long time she's never seen anyone create a door. They've always just been there. "Alright, I'll make my way to the collage. It might take awhile to find anything." Artemis stands beside her as she teleports herself to the Collage. Once in her room she heads downstairs to where the Arcanaeum is. Urag was in the middle of reading when she walks up to him. He quickly puts down his book for her.

"Arch-Mage, what can I do for you?" Evelyn takes a minute to think on what to ask him. "I'm looking for information on the Dark Brotherhood. I know there's books on the Night Mother, Sithis, all that. But I've never seen anything about those strange doors. There's one in Falkreath. But it had been destroyed by the Penitus Oculatus." Urag rubs his chin as he thinks it over. "We might have something." He gets up and heads upstairs. It takes him awhile before he makes his way back to her with a rather old looking journal. The only think holding it together was some string and some luck. "This was left behind ages ago, it speaks of dark magic. I feel I should warn you before handing this over." She takes the old book, the cover was pure black with a red outline of a hand. "Thank you, I just want to take a peak I promise to be careful." She takes the book and heads for her room to study it farther. She has to be extra careful here, she doesn't want to tear a page. Or worse have it turn to dust. But the magic this thing was made out of, was still going strong. She unties the string and gets to work on reading. Artemis just takes a seat and waits. She takes her time, looking over the old text. Some of it is hard to make out, but over time it slowly starts to make sense. Making the doors is an old ritual that goes back countless years.

After about an hour or so she sits back. Artemis tilts his head at the look on her face. "Can't figure it out?" She shakes her head slowly. "The opposite, but this is...I did not expect this. So, from what I can understand, the door is hand made. Makes sense, after it's made a member of the Brotherhood must preform a ceremony. This includes a robe...I can't make out what it's called. A black soul gem, and for it to be a blood moon. Which are very rare. It also calls for some blood and nightshade but given the history of the Brotherhood, that's rather normal." It takes him a minute to say anything. "Why do you need a soul gem?" "That's...the weird part, you know how the door speaks....that's how." His eyes go wide at this. "That voice was a person?" "Aye, sounds that way, the ritual is more to bound the soul to the door to get it to ask the questions. It bounds them to Sithis, making sure only those of the Brotherhood can enter...I had no idea...." She leans back in her chair, leaning back and forth as she thinks. "I mean, in a way this make sense the only down side is the chances of a blood moon happening is next to zero..." She leans her arms on the desk, placing her chin on her hands. "I wonder if theirs a way around that..." She quickly goes back to the book, once again looking everything over. She reads the poor thing more times then what most people would before rebounding the book. "Alright, I think I got this. We'll need some help, but I think I got this."

She returns the book to Urag and thanks him. He bows his head to her as she makes her way to the tower to teleport back to Dawnstar. Once there, she makes her way into the Sanctuary and finds Cicero. "Cicero, I need your help. I know you're just the keeper, but I wonder if you wouldn't know if we have ceremonial robes. You know for like special events?" His eyes light up as he smiles. "Of course Listener, Cicero will check the storage~" He turns on his heels and heads off. She rises her brow as she looks at Artemis. "I had no idea we had a storage..." He just rises his shoulders at this, having no idea like her about such things. It doesn't take long before Cicero comes back, dragging a large chest. "Cicero, you could have asked for help at least.." She sighs slightly as she helps him out. She opens the chest to see a lovely silk robe. Black as the void itself as she slowly pulls it out. "Oh long has this been here?" "Cicero guesses it's been here for awhile. Found it while exploring the place. Wasn't sure what it was for, but Cicero figured it was important." She smiles brightly as she hugs him. "Good work Cicero, this is just what we need. Now all that's left is to make a door and get a black soul gem and we're ready to go!" She's never made a door, but she's willing to try.