Posted by GnomeSplosion
Early Frostfall, 4E 171
The pilgrimage from the Imperial City was going well this time. Adrielle got to leave right as the summer heat had waned and given way to the cooler fall weather. This year her journey southeast would be during the cold weather she favored from her heritage and upbringing in the middle reaches of Skyrim.
Her journey along the Gold Road toward Skingrad had been uneventful other than the occasional trader passing, trying to get their wares to one city or another, and away from the creatures that roam the Great Forest.
The road to Anvil was a long one but she had made it several times, at least twice a year for the last three years. She had come to be acquainted with the folk of County Skingrad, Kvatch and Anvil and was glad to promote the teachings of her patron Dibella wherever hearts would open to them. Fortunately her natural physique and talents kept her safe from the occasional bandit or wild animal and she had been fortunate enough to only encounter a spriggan once on her journey.
A day outside of Skingrad toward The Gold Coast Adrielle spotted a young Argonian man on the side of the road looking flustered, a smashed cart beside him. She did not know this man and she knew many of those who held business in these roads. He dressed as a merchant and his broken cart with missing horse told her he was in some sort of dire straits. She touched her holy symbol of Dibella and approached the needful traveler with a friendly “Hail!”
He claimed to be a merchant from Bravil trading goods from Black Marsh, his wares came all the way from Helstrom and were very valuable, or they were before they were stolen from him. The scaled merchant spun a tale of a flight from bandits as they attempted to run him down, take his wares, steal his horse and smash the smaller of his wagons and taking the larger. He told a woeful tale of being unable to sell his wares to cover the costs of his travel now. He then fell to his knees and pleaded aloud for help from any of the Nine that could hear him. It was then that Adrielle realized she must have been put in this place by Dibella for a reason.
With a hearty chuckle, the towering Nord offered her hand and hefted the man up easily and stated to him “You are in luck friend, for Dibella has put me on your path, and it never hurts to help.” The Argonian, who names himself Wades-in-Shallows, was elated for the assistance and then declares that with all the goods taken, the wagon shouldn’t be too far ahead and if they hurry, they could catch up in a few hours. The turn about in temperament struck the Dibellan as odd, but she chalked it up to happiness at gaining aid in such a trying time and they made haste to catch the bandits who robbed Wades-in-Shallows.
They traveled fast along the Gold Road toward Kvatch and made good time. Adrielle’s large stride and dauntless endurance coupled with the cooler weather allowed her to travel miles in short time. It was not long before Wades-in-Shallows, panting, asked her to slow; that they should be around the next bend or so, that he could hear the merrymaking of the bandits. Adrielle tilted her ear and thought she heard the sound of wares clanking and horse hooves clopping. Girding herself for a fight she caught her breath and willed energy into her hands in preparation for trouble.
She came around the bend and caught the wagon and it’s driver and two guards by surprise. She demanded that they return the goods so that no one would come to harm. The rough looking guards immediately took up an offensive stance and the driver cowered which caught Adrielle off guard. She looked over her shoulder for her Argonian companion and found herself alone in the road facing off against two angry men at the back of the wagon. Realizing that things were going wrong she took a step back to re-evaluate her situation and raised her hands for peace just in time to glance up and spot Wades-in Shallows sneak up behind the wagon driver and cut his throat.
Adrielle choked out a “No!” and one guard turned to look while the other advanced on her, sword drawn. She realized she might be able to save the wagon driver if she got to him, but that meant getting through the guards first, which meant they may have to get hurt. She turned her focus from the scoundrel Wades-in-Shallows and toward the advancing guard and encased her hands in frost and channeled her magicka into an energy draining blast of cold, which enveloped the guard and brought him to his knees, teeth chattering, body shaking until he pitched over unconscious.
Her focus on the first guard distracted her enough to allow the second guard an opening which he took. Taking the primary threat to heart he leapt at the Nord woman and struck hard with his mace, hammering at her armor. Adrielle caught a glance at Wades-in-Shallows as he used her distraction to gather goods from the wagon before returning her focus to defending her life. The Dibellan magister extended her control of the elements and surrounded herself with a wreath of crackling electricity. The guard did not notice in time, struck hard and was rebounded with a loud pop and arc of energy, leaving him stunned on the ground.
The Dibellan shakily started toward the driver and noticed that Wades-in-Shallows wasn’t to be seen. Her halting steps became a swift stride and then a sprint straight to the front of the wagon to the aid of the felled man. She dropped to her knees and cradled the stranger’s head in her lap trying to channel life and care into his wound but it wouldn’t close. It took what seemed an eternity of prayer and focus and energy before Adrielle noticed that the blood had stopped pouring from his neck before she had even gotten to him; it had been a quick death. She slumped, the world drown out in a low buzz ringing in her ears and she didn’t arise until hands were on her shoulders and arms, twisting them behind her, lifting her up painfully. She did not resist as they bound her hands and began to march. The guards words were muffled, the scenery was gray and no birds sung as Adrielle complacently allowed herself to be taken to the Imperial City for justice to be done.