Closer to the Cure - A Change of Plans
Well, look at me. . Getting something done in a reasonable time frame. Heh, well, this is the third part of Briel's story. First off I would like to apologize for how long it is. . I got carried away with the screenshot junk.
Anyways, you can see the second part of her story here or the first part here.
The inn was quiet and the adventurers slept well, the peaceful warm environment was a nice change from the dark Volcanic Tundra. Faendal was the last of the group to get out of bed, because no one had the heart to wake him. He wasn't built for endurance like Ahtar, wasn't nearly as experienced as Erandur and Briel was now fully capable of traveling at night. Faendal wasn't any of these things, but he made up for it with his strong will, excellent marksmanship and his desire to help in any way he could.
It was nice to be able to relax for a bit, before heading off to Windhelm. The trip wouldn't be far at all, just a little further down the road and they would be at the Temple in no time. But it wasn't the length of the trip, it was the destination. Windhelm was freezing, and without any warm furs and pelts to keep around, the group didn't mind putting the short trip off for as long as possible.
But suddenly their relaxing day took a turn for the worse when they heard shouts coming from outside. Ahtar was quick to grap his axe, and Faendal jumped out bed and readied his bow. Kynesgrove was being attacked by vampires!
In the confusion the group split up and jumped into the fight. Ahtar quickly fought off two death hounds then moved to help Erandur with a powerful vampire mage. Faendal seemed to be protecting everyone at once, sending arrows flying at just the right time to defend town guards and his friends.
Briel tried using her new vampiric powers on the two thralls, since healing them certainly wasn't going to help here. After a few looks from the guards, Briel decided to switch back to healing those who were injured by the vampire. She wanted to make sure she didn't reveal herself to the guards and make sure none of the injured were infected.
The fight was over in just a few moments, their opponents were weakened by the sunlight and could not fight for very long. The few immortal that weren't killed ran off into the tundra before anyone could catch them.
Briel crawled towards one of the bodies, and started looking over it for a note or journel that would explain the sudden attack in the morning. It was strange behavior, and there must have been something they were here for . . But what? As she scanned over the lifeless body she began to wonder if they were after her, if she was the reason they had attacked Kynesgrove like this. These new thoughts scared her and were just too much to handle so soon after the attack.
They still needed to get to Windhelm, and if the vampires were truly after Briel, now would be the best time to go. She couldn't stay here and endanger the people here any longer than she already had.
Slightly worn from the fight they moved on towards Windhelm. The air was crisp and it was even more cold than they had expected, but luckily Windhelm wasn't far and there was another inn they could warm up at.
There was very little conversation on the way to Windhelm. The attack on Kynesgrove had already ruined the trip before it started and each adventurer was lost in thought. Being as close as they were it had gotten easier to tell what the others were feeling at times like this, and they didn't need to try to break the awkward silence to feel comforted by one another.
In no time they could see the frozen city. Covered in snow and ice, it didn't look nearly as inviting as the inns they had been to lately, but perhaps someone here would help them to Solitude. Better yet, maybe there would be a healer here. Anything would be helpful now.
The city walls were huge and intimidating. Huge braziers failed to keep anything warm, but gave off plenty of light at night. Briel had been to Windhelm several times before and was excited to go to the local inn. She would frequent the inn on her trips from Whiterun to Winterhold, and always stopped at Windhelm to see an old friend.
They walked through the huge city gates and took a quick look around the town before heading to the inn. Windhelm wasn't a pleasant place. Filled with Nords, the only people that could stand the extreme weather in Skyrim, Briel felt like a small child in a city of giants. She had nothing against the Nords, she had grown up with the Battle-Borns in Whiterun, but the people here were very different from the Battle-Borns. Like their home they were cold and unwelcoming.
The inn wasn't much different. It may have been warmer than the city, but the people weren't much better. There were a few good citizens, Windhelm wasn't an awful place, but these people were far too few. But perhaps Briel was just being too sensitive, her companions didn't seem to mind the locals' attitudes. Maybe it was just her.
The group spilt up as Briel rushed upstairs to see familar faces, while her friends stayed downstairs to relax with a couple drinks. Faendal and Erandur started a conversation with the innkeeper, and while she wasn't too friendly with either of the elves, she didn't turn away the paying customers.
Seeing Stenvar again was nice, Briel enjoyed his company. Although she wasn't sure about telling him about her new problems, she enjoyed just listening to his tales of his most recent adventures. But their meeting was interrupted when Ahtar ran upstairs in a hurry. He was smiling from ear to ear, but wouldn't tell Briel why.
"I've got good news, but we need a more private place to talk about it." He said in a hushed, but excited tone. Whatever it was he had to say most have been great, Ahtar was very rarely so secretive. But any news was good news, especially if it was regarding a cure.
Briel followed Ahtar, eager to hear what he had to say. On their way out the door into Windhelm, Faendal and Erandur stood up from the bar stools and joined them. Briel was so excited she had completely forgotten how cold it was outside, and still didn't mind as they ran through the city towards the Graveyard.
"Alright now, are you planning on telling me what's so great? I'd like to get happy before this cold sets in."
"There's been a change of plan, there's someone in Morthal who might know a cure!" Faendal shouted before Ahtar even got the chance to anwser.
Briel's spine shivered, whether she was finally getting cold or just excited to hear the news, she didn't really care. Finally they had a solid goal, they could stop traveling great distances only to be let down. Finally she might be cured, and things could go back to normal again.
This was the best news that she could have gotten. Although their happiness was cut short again when they heard shouts coming from the gates. What could possibly be happening at this time of the night?
The group raced towards the gates. Ahtar pulled his massive axe of his back, and Faendal readied his bow while Erandur put out his torch and gripped his mace. Briel raced behind them with her healing spells ready. Her worst fear was a dragon attacking. They weren't prepared for anything like that, and with all the rumors going around now she couldn't help but worry.
When they came around the tavern they saw just what was lurking around the town. Another vampire. Dead death hounds were scattered around the floor, and several thralls were already killed by the town guards. The vampire was the last of the attackers, but most of the guards were too injured by the time the adventurers arrived.
Ahtar charged towards the vampire with his axe in full swing, but the creature was struck down before he could reach it. Impaled with three ice spears, the vampire's body on the cold stones, lifeless. Ahtar slowly turned around to see the source of the spears.
Briel stood there in horror of what she had done. She hated more than anything the thought of taking a life, but some instinct took over her. Before she let her companions comment on her actions she headed for the gate, she was determined to get to Morthal as soon as possible.
Next part of Briel's story is here.