Bus Ride Fantasy

Skyrim FanFiction, Skyrim Erotica, and More

The Lair of the Beast

the lair of the beast

Narova woke up next to a fire.

There were just a few bits of wood still burning—tiny embers glowing in the darkness. Must have been a few hours old, at least.

Garland the Green’s sword was next to her, she’d been gripping it tight with one fist.

Still alive, she thought.

Narova blinked a few times, letting her eyes adjust. The back of her head was throbbing, and when she touched it with her hand, pain shot through the base of her skull. Then it wrapped all the way around to her face and ran through the seams of broken bones that Festus had healed for her.

Narova tried to sit up, but immediately regretted it. Too much pain. The cavern was gloomy, but the damp, fecund smell of forest and growth wasn’t far away. Water rushed in the distance, too. Strange sounds and smells, for a cave.

Her memories drifted back in bits and pieces, as if the death she’d wrought in Dead Man’s Drink was a hazy night of heavy drinking instead of a wild rage of murder

Festus was dead. And she should be, too. That much Narova knew. The last thing she remembered was an axe being unslung, meant for her neck.

That, and the howling.

“That was foolish,” a voice called from the dark of the cave. Deep and rough.

Arnbjorn.

Narova squinted into the dimness. She could just make out the edges of his body. He was squatting in the corner—arms hunched over, knuckles pressed into the earth. Narova could tell from his posture and his scent that he hadn’t been a human for very long.

The last wisps of the beast hovered around him like morning-fog filling a mountain valley. Time would burn it away, same as the sun does to fog, but right now it was thick and dense and opaque.

“What happened?” Narova asked. Her voice sending spikes of pain through her jaw and skull.

Arnbjorn sighed. Stood. Walked over to the fire.

He was naked and powerful—muscles cutting hard shadows across his arms and chest in the firelight. His hair was wet and he smelled like a stream, but beneath that there was an unmistakable whiff of carnage. Narova could see a few bits and flakes of blood he hadn’t washed off.

“You almost got yourself killed. That’s what happened.”

“How many….” Narova trailed off. “There must have been twenty, thirty of them.”

Arnbjorn shrugged. “Falkreath will be needing a new garrison, I guess.”

He looked at her. Held her eyes for a long time. Narova could still see flecks of orange and gold inside those placid blue lakes.

The final, burning remnants of the animal inside.

“You can never go back to Falkreath,” Arnbjorn said. “The Jarl put out a warrant for your execution. Ten thousand Septims for anyone who brings him your head.”

Narova sat up, fighting back a gasp from the pain. Arnbjorn picked up a leather canteen and held it out to her.

“I’ve had worse bounties on my head,” she said, taking the canteen and drinking deeply. It was good Alto wine—rich and spicy. “I still do.”

She passed the wine back to him. He shook his head.

“Still full?” she asked.

He didn’t answer. Just flopped down across the fire and looked at her again. Narova wondered what he was looking for in there.

“I’m sorry about Festus. He was a gifted killer. I liked him.”

Narova took another gulp of wine. Swished it around in her mouth and spat it out on the soft earth of the cave.

“What are you going to do about it?” she asked.

Arnbjorn let out a heavy breath. “Astrid wants to wait and see. She doesn’t like the way this has played out so far.”

“No shit.”

“The people who hired us for the job, they want to meet. Astrid thinks we should get more details. They asked for you, specifically. They seem very interested in your last job out in the marsh.”

Oh I bet they do, Narova thought. Except she knew there wasn’t any “they.” Just one man: Divayth Fyr. Garland the Green had been a vague, riddling bastard, but he had told her enough to make it clear this wasn’t a normal contract.

“What do you think?” she asked him.

“I think there are some lives that need taking. Talking and waiting won’t get the dark work done.” There was no doubt in his voice. No second guessing. There never was.

Narova smiled.

“Good.”

He squinted, looked off into the gloom of the cave and then back at her. “Thing is, whoever it was that got Festus won’t make for easy revenging. We go rushing back to Mzinchaleft all fire and steel, we’ll be toes up ourselves, I expect.”

Narova frowned. She didn’t like it, but she knew he was right. Festus was twice the mage she was. Gods, even comparing herself to him was a joke.

“Might be that’s true. But I know someone who might be able to help. Someone with…useful skills. He’s near Riften.” She paused. “Where are we, anyway?”

“East of Whiterun. This was my home for a while.”

“You carried me all the way from Falkreath to Whiterun?” Narova asked. That was a three-day ride.

Arnbjorn shrugged, dropped his eyes to the fire. “This is the only place I knew we’d be safe. Knew we could be…alone.”

“Alone?” Narova asked.

He raised his eyes up again.

“Festus is dead. There’s no changing that,” he said. “But we’re alive, and I’m thinking we best make the most of it. Sithis is never far behind.”

“No,” Narova said. “He isn’t.”

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10 comments on “The Lair of the Beast

  1. Pingback: The Trail « Bus Ride Fantasy

  2. Sem
    February 13, 2013

    I really enjoy reading these stories 😀

    • Fargoth
      February 13, 2013

      Thank you! So glad that you like them.

  3. Elspeth Aurilie
    February 19, 2013

    I think Narova is the best literary antiheroine I’ve come across in a long time.

  4. Tennyson
    March 4, 2013

    Brilliant! I really enjoyed your writing and look forward to more! I just upgraded my PC just so I can play Skyrim and I can hardly wait to get started on the new DB path.

    • Fargoth
      March 4, 2013

      Thanks, so glad you like the stories! I wish my PC was even in range of playing Skyim…I’m stuck on the old Playstation 3.

      • Tennyson
        March 6, 2013

        Epic Fail! LOL I got my video card yesterday and then realized two things. One, I bought the wrong game. Oblivion arrived instead of Skyrim! and Two, my PC is a dinosaur. Now, for another upgrade. It will be close to $400 before I can play the game! If you like spy fiction check out my blog. Cheers! ET

      • Fargoth
        March 6, 2013

        Oh no! Bummer man. I’ll give your blog a read tonight for sure.

  5. Pingback: It’s Already Here | Bus Ride Fantasy

  6. Pingback: Three Frost Trolls | Bus Ride Fantasy

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This entry was posted on February 11, 2013 by in Skyrim Fiction, Tales of Narova Black Hair and tagged , .
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