Friday, April 1, 2016

Luna's Story - Caught In The Hunt

Luna – Caught In The Hunt

Luna arrived in Bravil in the early afternoon, briefly wondering if there was a Daedric Prince of the Weather that they could thank, as it was a lovely sunny day. The last time they visited Bravil, it had rained for three days straight, and holing up in the Mage's Guild lobby had been the only logical thing to do: a bit of alchemy, a bit of chatter, and as dry as you can get in Bravil. So today's sunshine was very much appreciated by the young mage as they walked into town.


They quickly took a left turn into the nicer of the two inns, and bought a bed for the night from Gilgondorin, who grumpily accepted their payment of 20 gold before going back to wiping the bar. Luna bought a drink took a seat in the corner. Alarmingly, the talk around the tavern was that a local man had gone missing, according to his wife. Luna joined the conversation at this point, asking where to find her.


"Yeah, Ursanne Loche.... You'll probably have the best luck looking in the chapel. I guess she's got a bit more to pray about than most right now," Gilgondorin said, looking over his shoulder at Luna while gathering empty tankards from around the room. Luna left a tip on the bar and headed to the chapel.

Just as Gilgondorin said, Ursanne was reading in the front pew with a forlorn look on her face. Luna supposed they must look like an adventurer, because as they approached the woman, Ursanne called out to them with a quiet, "Excuse me," leaning toward Luna as they drew near.


"Are you Ursanne Loche?" Luna asked. She nodded and Luna followed up with a gentle smile and the words, "I hear that you're in a bit of trouble? Can I help?"

Ursanne explained that her husband Aleron had been missing sense the previous morning when he had gone to see an Orc usurer about some money he owed. It was apparently quite a lot of money, and the Orc, Kurdan gro-Dragol, was apparently not very pleasant. Ursanne feared for her husband's life, and so Luna put a steady hand over the distressed woman's trembling one and told her not to worry. Luna headed to the Lonely Suitor Lodge to speak with Kurdan.

They found him upstairs in the inn, shooting very unfriendly looks at anyone who drew too close. Luna, however, wasn't daunted and walked up to him with determination. After a bit of threatening and a lot of rudeness from Kurdan, they came to the conclusion that Kurdan wasn't going to help them unless they went along with whatever scheme he had going on. For whatever reason, he wanted Luna to take a boat to Fort Grief Island and retrieve a large battleaxe, The Axe of Dragol, from inside the keep. Considering that Kurdan was wearing full armor and already had a very large sword on his back, Luna felt that something was off about his story, but went along with it, as it seemed to the the only way to find Aleron.


"Sure mate," they said, nodding to the brutish Orc, "I'll get your axe, but Aleron had better be alright when I get back."

"Just get it. Then we'll talk," he practically growled. "There's a boat behind the magic shop. It's a little leaky, but it should get you there and back. Get going."

Luna climbed into the boat docked behind A Warlock's Luck and started rowing. After what seemed like forever, they made it to the island and looked up at the decrepit fort. They opened the gate and walked through, only to have it slam shut behind them. Not knowing what else to do, Luna headed toward the fort, and came face to face with Aleron Loche. He looked exhausted, so Luna's first question was simply, "Are you alright?"



Aleron explained that he had been here sense yesterday, when Kurdan sent him here after the axe, and that in fact, there never was an axe to begin with. Kurdan just used the axe story to lure people out to the fort, where they were trapped. Kurdan had a rather disturbing business practice of accepting money from people to come here and hunt living human prey. He called it The Hunter's Run, and the only way out was to venture inside the fort, kill the hunters, and collect the keys they carried. Unable to fight, Aleron had been stuck here, hoping that a more able-bodied adventurer would show up and make a rescue.

Luna steeled themselves and headed down into The Hunter's Run, lightning magic dancing across their fingertips. The first hunter was just inside the fort, and he fell quickly to Luna's spells. The second, a bit further in was no different. The third hunter was a bit more difficult, an angry Orc clad in daedric armor, but he too perished with lightning coursing through his body. 





After collecting all three keys, Luna headed back out to give Aleron the good news, but upon stepping out of the fort, they witnessed the sad sight of Aleron falling to the ground, as Kurdan slashed him through with his sword. Luna rushed forward, and as the two circled each other, Kurdan with his sword at the ready and Luna's hands raised and crackling with electricity, Kurdan told them that he had never planned to let either of them escape. Luna and Aleron had been sent here to die, and with that knowledge, Luna lunged forward and shoved their lightning covered palm directly into Kurdan's chest. He didn't fall immediately, but a few more shocking blows had him lying dead at Luna's feet.


They took a moment to tend to Aleron's body, folding his hands across his chest and calling upon Azura to guide his spirit. Wiping tears from their eyes, Luna got up and headed back to give Ursanne the sad news. "How do you just tell someone that she's just become a widow?" Luna mumbled miserably, clambering back into the small boat. They sighed and started rowing back to Bravil.

Upon arriving back in town, Luna asked a nearby guard where the Loches lived, and then made their way to the second story shack a short walk away. Climbing the stairs, Luna went over their words again and again, trying to find the best way to break the horrible news to Ursanne. 


When Luna walked in, Ursanne could tell by their face that something was wrong, and Luna had to explain what they wished had never happened, and then held the older woman as she cried on their shoulder. Ursanne wanted to pay Luna for what they had done, but Luna felt that they had done nothing worthy of payment. Aleron was dead outside the fort, instead of standing there next to his wife, and so Luna gave her a comforting hug and made their way back outside.

It was raining now, which seemed fitting. Luna pulled their hood tightly around their face and headed to the shops, desperate to find a happy moment in the sad day. They made their way over to A Warlock's Luck and stepped into the warm and relatively dry interior. Luna chatted with the shopkeeper, Ungarion, an acquaintance through the mages guild, telling him the sad news of Aleron and gossiping briefly about the rest of Bravil.




Luna asked if he had any items of particular interest for an adventuring mage. Ungarion reached under the counter and pulled out a small box. Opening it revealed a rather plain looking ring, but upon closer inspection, Luna could see the glimmer of an enchantment on it's surface. “What does it do?” they asked.

"Well, it came to me from another traveling adventurer," Ungarion said with a smile. "He said he found it in an Ayleid ruin nearby, but had no use for it. Upon inspecting the ring, I could see how it would have little use to the heavily armored Nord, but knew a mage such as yourself might find it quite a bit more useful." His smile turned a bit darker and more mischievous as he said, "But be careful with it. It's enchantment isn't entirely pleasant. It strengthens your magicka, but weakens you physically."

Luna pulled their coin purse from their waist and found themself the proud owner of a new, slightly cursed ring. "At least that's one happy ending...." Luna said, slipping the ring on and heading back outside.

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Author's note: I know that the ending may seem kind of, "What the fuck? They just decided to go shopping?" But I didn't want to end it on a completely sad note and leave everyone feeling all bummed out after reading, so I just added a bit of what happened after I did the quest. And if anyone is wondering about the use of they pronouns: Luna is nonbinary, I am nonbinary, and we both use they/them/theirs for our pronouns.

Let me know how you liked the story please, but be kind. I am a very sensitive person. I stopped writing for quite a while after I received some not so nice criticism of my early Luna stories, which is why they get partway through the Mages Guild recommendations, and then there's nothing for a long time. So basically, let me know what you think, but be gentle. :)




3 comments:

  1. This was interesting, I enjoyed it!

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  2. I love your stories! I wish I could write half as well as you.

    I'm glad you added an after event to the sad ending, after all in real life it's like that: people die and those who remain must go on. And I find it hard to believe that you got negative comments on your stories before, don't mind them.

    As a non native speaker I find it intersting that you used the pronoun "themself" instead of "themselves" for one nonbinary person.

    The other thing I like is Oblivion's loading screens frame around the pictures, very effective. ;)

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    1. Thanks so much. <3 I like this story quite a bit as well. As for the pronoun, that is an oops. Themselves is what I meant.

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