About the Skyrim Permadeath Chronicles
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Huddled among the smoking embers of a dead city, Meo’dar-Meo’jo tried to rest but found sleep elusive. The stone floor was uncomfortable, this was true. More so were the images that came to mind whenever he closed his eyes. Yet it was the silence that finally drove him to push aside any notion of rest. A hushed stillness shrouded the tower, a real, solid thing that he was loath to disturb. Sometimes faint noises echoed up the stairwell, all the more alarming for the silence.
Meo’dar-Meo’jo shut the door leading to the stairs and retreated to his corner. His weary mind and the horrors of this place were conspiring against his imagination. He was mindful, too, of the daedra heart he carried in his bag. In the deepest, darkest depths of night, he wished he’d never taken it.
Dawn was yet a faint suggestion on the horizon when he fled the tower. The city’s carcass smoldered, casting smoke into the sky. Meo’dar-Meo’jo sensed a malignant, watchful presence in the ruins. He wondered if the fires would ever burn out, but of course they must. He hurried to find the horse, stepping lightly around the shrunken husks littering the ground.
The horse was gone, though the gate showed no sign of being disturbed. It had simply vanished. Meo’dar-Meo’jo glanced back toward the ruins. Vanished, or been consumed.
Lifting the bar, Meo’dar-Meo’jo slipped free of the city and sprinted down the road. Mayhap, this once, Meo’dar-Meo’jo was a coward.
A man sprinted up the incline toward Meo’dar-Meo’jo. An imperial soldier, and alone. Meo’dar-Meo’jo braced for conflict.
He was a courier, and after a few friendly words, hurried on his way. Meo’dar-Meo’jo decided to travel with him for a time, as there was safety in numbers. It also comforted him to see another living person after the long night he’d had, though he’d never admit such a thing to himself.
They entered a small town called Riverwood early in the morning. Meo’dar-Meo’jo stopped in the middle of the road, scarcely able to believe his eyes. A town, full of living, breathing people, none of who wanted to kill him. He nearly wept.
He bid farewell to the courier and wandered up to the first towns-person he saw. In a single, ale-stinking breath, Embry both insulted Meo’dar-Meo’jo and demanded coin for a drink. A drunk racist – the best kind. Meo’dar-Meo’jo waited until the nord turned around and then stole the man’s key. He would be paying Embry a visit upon a night. Oh yes, he would.
A whiny nord named Sven complained to Meo’dar-Meo’jo about some girl who would not return his affections. Who was this fool, to impose his life upon Meo’dar-Meo’jo? Whilst Sven was busy talking to an old woman, Meo’dar-Meo’jo took his house key. It would be quite a busy night.
Meo’dar-Meo’jo mounted the steps to the Sleeping Giant Inn and stepped inside. The place was empty, aside from the barkeeper and a woman. They argued, ignoring Meo’dar-Meo’jo. Tired, hungry, and growing impatient, Meo’dar-Meo’jo slipped around the bar and checked the barkeeper’s pockets…
The barkeeper abruptly spun on his heel, producing an iron mace from under the counter. Meo’dar-Meo’jo traded a few blows with the man, but when the woman rushed to join the fray holding a glowing sword, he quickly skirted around the counter and fled outside. They followed him out of Riverwood, howling for his blood. The face of a massive mountain blocked his path to the right, and a wide and rushing river barred the way left. As he ran, the path gradually narrowed until there was nothing but river and mountain. Meo’dar-Meo’jo turned and prepared to face his death.
They were gone. Either he’d given them the slip or they’d given up. Licking his wounds, Meo’dar-Meo’jo settled in to wait for the cover of night. He consumed the last of his provisions. Sleep would not come for him, though he felt weary to his bones. Night fell, and yet he waited longer, until he thought the townspeople must sleep. Then he stole back into Riverwood. Meo’dar-Meo’jo used the key to Sven’s house.
Sven and the old woman slept. There wasn’t much of value about the small house, but Meo’dar-Meo’jo took what he thought he could easily fence. The woman wore a gold ring and necklace. Ever so carefully, Meo’dar-Meo’jo removed the jewelry, marveling at his own abilities as he did so. Who, but Meo’dar-Meo’jo, would be so bold?
(Made level 5 here – upgraded Health & Pickpocketing)
Meo’dar-Meo’jo crept across the street and entered another house. He was surprised to find the occupants awake. Alvor greeted him before returning to his conversation with his wife. Their young child blinked at Meo’dar-Meo’jo but said nothing, not even when Meo’dar-Meo’jo reached into Alvor’s pack for a healing potion. The nord felt him rummaging around and he and his wife chased Meo’dar-Meo’jo out of town. The woman took two arrows to the chest and scarcely seemed to notice. Once again, Meo’dar-Meo’jo found solace where stone met water.
Alvor was waiting when Meo’dar-Meo’jo returned. The nord stood in the middle of the road, massive hands upon hips. “You shall pay for what you’ve done.” He fought without weapons and his fists fell heavy like anvils, ringing Meo’dar-Meo’jo’s skull. Alvor exulted when Meo’dar-Meo’jo returned in kind. Meo’dar-Meo’jo felt a grudging respect for this nord, who fought as an equal.
This sense of kinship vanished when Alvor tried to run. Pouncing on him from behind, Meo’dar-Meo’jo beat him to death. Meo’dar-Meo’jo took the potion he’d so desired and then desecrated the body in the worst way he knew – he tossed it in the river.
Meo’dar-Meo’jo entered the Riverwood Trader. The owner greeted him before resuming his argument with a woman. These Riverwood merchants had no concept of service, it seemed. Meo’dar-Meo’jo helped himself to the contents of the man’s pocket, coming away with a healing potion. He was retrieving a second potion when his paw got caught.
Their argument forgotten, the duo descended upon Meo’dar-Meo’jo in a flurry of steel. Meo’dar-Meo’jo tried to slip away, but was trapped in a corner behind the bar. He quickly quaffed two of his healing potions to restore lost vitality, and then downed the potion of invisibility. The onslaught seized at once as the man and woman looked about with confusion. Meo’dar-Meo’jo slipped out of the deathtrap and moved to the other side of the store. The girl wandered in his direction. Meo’dar-Meo’jo socked her in the face. His disguise gone, the pair resumed their attack.
Bleeding profusely, Meo’dar-Meo’jo limped out into the street and hurried out of town. Checking for pursuit, Meo’dar-Meo’jo found the girl alone behind him. Snarling with outrage at having been chased in this manner three times, and now by a girl, Meo’dar-Meo’jo whirled and leapt upon her. Blood spattered stone as his claws ripped her apart.
Her male companion rushed around a boulder. Seeing the prone, bleeding woman, he cried out in rage and charged. They grappled, khajiit and nord, falling onto a rocky outcropping. The nord’s blade bit deep into Meo’dar-Meo’jo’s side. Blood pounded before Meo’dar-Meo’jo’s eyes and the world seemed to recede a pace.
Meo’dar-Meo’jo unleashed a final fury. The blows took the nord in the face, dropping him to his knees. It was over. Meo’dar-Meo’jo raised his paw for one final swipe.
An arrow sprouted between Meo’dar-Meo’jo’s shoulder blades. He half-turned, a pained but curious expression on his face. “What? Where?”
A shadowy assailant stood under a tree below the outcropping. The assailant loosed a second arrow, taking Meo’dar-Meo’jo in the stomach. The khajiit sagged to the stone. He urged his limbs to move, to hasten him away one final time, but they were beyond his ability to command.
Overhead the moon was bright and unblinking, shimmering like beaten silver on the river. Meo’dar-Meo’jo died with the rush of water in his ears.
So ends the tale of Meo’dar-Meo’jo, Khajiit thief and failed skooma smuggler.
I admittedly got a little sloppy in Riverwood, a little treasure happy you might say, and paid the ultimate price. It’s kinda funny – after wandering the hostile wilds for so long, I finally encounter a town and don’t survive the night.
This series does not die with Meo’dar-Meo’jo, however. In fact, right after he died, I rolled up a new character, who will make their introduction next week.
Comments or questions – let me know!