LEVEL 1: The Bhosek Hounding Job
It hit her hard in that moment. That she was alone, that she’d screwed up so badly as to have been completely exiled from the world she’d known. In that moment, Lousie knew that she’d never see her family, or any of her friends, again.
It was a simple matter of fact- was it not? Open a familiar portal incorrectly, get killed by a demon and sent to the void for all eternity.
The only minor fact that began to reassure her was that somehow she’d gained some semblance of actual magic in this exchange of reality… But that meant now that she was well and truly dead. So what did it matter?
The Sun climbed high, and had begun setting before Louise began to get her internal storm of emotional rage under control, and it was dark by the time the corpse of the Dark Seducer had begun to bubble and decay into a puddle of liquids, leaving behind only its armor.
Louise Francoise le Blanc de la Valliere, formerly a noble in the land of Tristain, decided this was well enough of a kick to do Something.
And by “Something”, she supposed she would examine the creatures armor. It was an outfit made out of the coldest steel Louise had ever felt, and the metal shined in the dark despite a lack of light cast by the stars or the twin moons. The twin moons that were the wrong sizes and colors.
Any lingering hopes that she was still in her world were shattered upon seeing that.
Still, Louise returned her attention to the armor. “I guess it might be worth something to someone…” Or at the very least, function better as actual armor versus the prison rags she had on presently. Rags that had been soaked in water, then dried in the sun, and now clung to her skin in large, wrinkly chunks that seemed to have lost any semblance to actual cloth and gained more of a paper like texture and consistency.
Annoying, that, and not something she wanted to put up with for much longer, now that she was actually trying to be productive. So, Lousie dragged the Dark Seducer’s armor into a nearby cave, nearly stumbling over the pesky mud-born crabs and a corpse at its entrance as she did. The mudcrab paid the girl no mind as they munched on the corpse- a Dunmer woman who appeared to have been killed recently enough so as to not yet smell, but long enough ago that the blood flowing from the knife wound to the back had dried and crusted.
“Ewww…” Louise grimaced at the sight.
Further inside the cave were boxes and paintings- all kinds of stolen treasure and items- and another corpse, a Redguard man. In his hand was a note from the man- Siraj- to a woman, Terina, along with a small bracelet. The note made note of the Dunmer woman, Irila, betraying them, and using a poisoned blade.
Louise searched through the boxes, and found a replacement frost staff, along with a set of clothes that weren’t born from that accursed prison dimension. They were likely stolen, but it wasn’t likely that she’d be caught wearing them, and even if she were caught by any officer of the law, all she had to do was explain that she found them in a cave and needed replacement clothing, and would hapily return them if she got replacement clothes that weren’t themselves stolen.
She found a large carrying sack, and put the Dark Seducers armor into it, along with anything else she might be able to sell or use later on.
Now set up for traveling, Louise had to make a decision. Stay put until morning when the sun would be up and the desert heat would return, or search for civilization now? No, she decided, if she was going to move on from this place, she’d have to- “OW!” What little debate or decision there was left to do had immediately fallen to the wayside when a curious mudcrab came and tried to peck at one of Louise’s toes. “Find a town it is.” She nodded, and began walking down the course of the small channel until she found a place to walk further inland.
The first place she found, naturally, was a small inland pass that held another corpse that was clutching a large gear, and a note promising a reward for any “Dwarven Relics” to be delivered in good working order to someone named Rulorn. One gear would likely be enough, and since this person was dead…
“I might need cash once I find a town,” Louise nodded to herself, having only found a measly twenty five coins in the loot stash in the cave, and then shoved the gear into her bag.
A short walk later, Louise found a road, and from that road, she found Port Hunding just a bit further down the road. It seemed that whatever mystical divine powers ruled this world, they were smiling upon her for the moment.
“Now just to find Terina,” Louise said to herself, and began to search the town. Being still late at night, there were very few people out and about- but one redguard woman was sitting in a small area alone, and glared at Louise when she approached.
“Keep moving, I’m in no mood to chat.”
“Are you Terina?” Louise asked.
“What if I am?” the woman asked.
“I found this note and bracelet,” Louise offered them, “were they your brother’s?”
“I knew that Goblinspawn would put a dagger in our back,” Terina said after reading the note. “The Bracelet was given to my ancestors by King Fahel, Siraj always wore it.” She then offered Louise fourteen coins, “Take this in thanks. Ruptga guide you.”
“Sure… thanks,” Louise nodded.
After she found the Altmer who was working on a Dwemer Sphere and gave him the one gear she’d collected, Louise then went to find an inn to rent a room. It may have not been a glamorous palace, but at least she could sleep safely tonight rather than out in the open.
As she approached the inn, she passed by a large group of people talking to a man named Gugnir, who was complaining that Bhosek would never know about the Goblin threat they’d saved the town from.
Louise frowned, but let it slide for the moment as she went inside the “Screaming Mermaid” Inn.
Irkki, a Khajiit woman, was the Innkeeper, and let Louise stay the night for a mere ten coins. It was a far cry from what Louise knew inn rooms were worth back home, but given her short money supply, it was worth it, she supposed.
The bed wasn’t comfortable, but at least it was indoors.
Meanwhile, out at sea, a Bosmeri Nightblade fell from the sky, crashing just within sight of a boat that would soon have a mutineer problem.
In the morning, Louise asked Irkki if the Inn had any open job positions. Sadly, the Khajiiti woman informed her that there were none to be had. “What about boats out of here?”
“Hmm…” Irkki nodded. “Yes, a boat is coming in just this morning. This one heard they had some mutiny troubles, though. Likely they’ll be setting sail again soon, you might be able to buy passage off with them real cheap.”
“Thank you,” Louise nodded, and went out to the docks.
The docks had a few large boats in place, but one had a stream of angry looking people filtering off of it, muttering about a traitor captain. Louise figured this had to be the right boat, and so approached a Bosmer girl who was glaring at the people leaving.
“Um, excuse me?” Louise ventured.
“Y’ah?” The Bosmer girl turned to look at Louise. “Wot is it?”
“Um… is this the Ship that came in this morning?” Louise asked.
“So wot if it is?” The Bosmer girl narrowed her eyes.
“I’d… like to book passage off of the island?” Louise asked.
“Hmf… Take it up with th’ Cap’n,” The Bosmer pointed up deck, “she’s up by th’ wheel. Ask for Kha-lean.”
“O…okay,” Louise nodded, and went through the dwindling crowd of mutineers onto the deck of the ship.
“Oh, one moar thing,” The Bosmer girl said, halting Louise before she could go any further. “If you even think of startin’ any trouble, my arrow’ll find tha’ back o’ your head before you can even blink.”
Louise simply gulped in response.
Up on deck, she quickly found the Redguard born captain of the ship- a woman who was talking in hushed tones with an Orc woman apparently named Lambur.
“Excuse me, Captain… Kha-lean?” Louise wasn’t sure of the exact pronounciation, and so tried to match the Bosmer girl.
“Oh, dear,” The Captain shook her head, “You were speaking with Karlieah, weren’t you?” She extended a hand, “Name’s ‘Kaleen’, not ‘Kha-lean’.”
“Oh, okay,” Louise nodded.
“So, what can I do for you?” Kaleen asked.
“I’d like passage off the island?” Louise asked.
“Ah, the ever so popular option,” Kaleen crossed her arms. “Fortunately for you, half my crew’s just… resigned. We have openings, if you’re willing to work a little to pay off the trip. I’m guessing you’re asking first because you don’t have much in the way of money?”
“Um… I’ve never sailed before,” Louise hung her head. “But, yeah… I, ah… I got dumped here on the island rather suddenly, and I don’t have much money on me so…”
“Well, I’ll tell you what,” Kaleen said, “stay here, talk with some of the crew, and get some training in on something you might find usefull even if you leave us. We’ll be in port for a few days so by the time I’ve finished up my business here, and gotten a new crew in shape, we’ll be sailing out to Betnik, and from there, to Daggerfall. You can decide if you want to stay on with us then, or move on. Sound good?”
“Yes, that sounds nice,” Louise nodded in agreement.
“Great! Welcome to the Spearhead.” Kaleen beamed.
Business, as Louise quickly found out, involved stealing a set of logs from a man who had taken over control over Port Hunding, and would behead anyone who got in his way, or did something to slight him.
While Louise learned how to mop up a deck- one of Kaleen’s crew was down in Saintsport, recruiting someone named Crafty Lerisa- while also killing the Seadrake pirate Captain who had also taken over that entire port town.
“I swear, I’ve never seen a girl eat so much so fast,” Louise stared.
“Well, she was starved, so…” The breton woman shook her head as they all watched the rescued Bosmer slave chow down. “Heh…It’s a good thing that Jarrin Root I gave Helane made her just as hungry…. forever.”
While Louise was taught how to quickly cut loose any ropes that needed cutting- an Altmer researcher joined their team with a pet Dwemer Spider.
“Aww, how cute!” Louise cooed at the little construct, enthralled by how cute the machine was for the most part.
“It’s one of my masterpieces!” The Altmer Mage Neramo said with a nod.
And while Louise took lessons on Provisioning (Belatedly, Lousie realized that she definitely should have taken classes on this back home in Tristain, if only to be able to cook her favorite foods here in this strange new world), Karlieah was recruiting a man named Jakarn out of the Grave.
“What… what are you wearing?” Louise stared at the girl who had ‘borrowed’ the Dark Seducer armor and had… ‘modified’ it to have no leggings.
“Wot? Never seen a gurl showin’ a bit of leg before?” Karlieah smirked. “Jakarn may be a damned good thief, but he’s a pervert who’ll forget what his best interests are if you distract him right.”
“Just… please tell me you didn’t damage it,” Louise hoped, “I wanted to sell it.”
“How’s bout I buy it off ya once we get paid, then?” Karlieah proposed.
“Fine,” Louise sighed.
The job went off without a hitch. Thanks to Lerisa’s costuming work, Karlieah had entered Bhosek’s palace as a servant, made her way to Bhosek himself, whom Jakarn had put out like a light thanks to a little drugging, and got the key to the chest, where, after it turned out that Neramo’s stun-rod had broken down on the first chance it had to be used, Karlieah quickly improvised and distracted the guard by lighting a fire, which sent the poor man running.
“Oh I still can’t believe tha look on his face!” Karlieah laughed. “The stupidest ‘I’m scared’ expression I’ve ever seen!
Thus, the group of thieves returned to the ship with the logs proving Bhosek’s defiance of the Redguard King’s orders, and they were paid handsomely for their work by the Royal family.
With all of that settled, The Spearhead’s crew set sail to Betnik, unaware of the fracture about to splinter their crew in half.