Status: Ongoing...


The Relic Hunters

Blood smeared the floor around the altar, and bloodied footprints lead from the altar to the table below and back again. Strangers drawn together by one secretive lust sat around the table, they laughed and feasted together. Warm mead and frost-chilled wine sloshed in toasting mugs and dripped down matted chin hairs onto the tainted feast. The reclaiming of Reachcliff Cave was a great triumph for the coven, and the feast was in honor of the three Champions that made it happen.

One of the three honored guests sat on the floor near the altar and stared out over the dining coven in silent awe. He was a young Bosmer no more than fourteen years old, with a strong youthful form but a childlike face. His features were soft and round, with dark amber eyes that illuminated his face in the reflection of torchlight. He looked harmless to most, but a certain few could catch the burning behind his eyes. Danger came in many forms.

He watched as the coven feasted and listened to the roars of conversation and the occasional sound of cracking bones. Marrow was the sweetest treat of the feast in the Bosmer’s eyes, and finally hunger regained control and he pushed himself to his feet to attain another portion. He pulled a small dagger from his waist and approached the altar, amber eyes filled with the glow of flame and the lust of flesh. A deviant smirk warped his features and he cut into the already open and bloody cavity in the chest of the offering. Skillfully he snapped a rib, and with a quick turn of his wrist he pulled the bone free and immediately stuck the end into his mouth. Meat still stuck to the bone, and the sour flavor of human blood mixed with the ever wonderful taste of marrow was almost more than what the elf could handle. He growled faintly and started to shred the meat off of the rib with sharp teeth, pausing only when he felt the familiar weight of a hand on his shoulder.

“Slow down, you’ll lose control Herin.”

The woman’s voice was soothing, and almost immediately the Bosmer’s tensed shouldered slackened and his ferocity towards his meal weakened incredibly. As a child would, Herin turned and stared up at his companion with wide eyes accenting an expression false innocence. The rib bone was still clutched firmly between his teeth and in his fist.

The face he stared into was that of the woman who saved his life. She was a Nord woman with many battle scars and stories for each one. The kind expression she currently wore was one that was saved for himself and their other comrade; otherwise her worn features were usually twisted into a disdainful scowl. One eye was blind and held a permanent squint, the lid heavy with scar tissue, while the other still held the brilliant blue iris is had when she was in her youth. Her red hair was graying, and even in its unkempt state was still held together with loose curls, wooden beads, and slivers of bone.

“I’m in control, Frigga.” Herin spoke around the bone, “I’m in control.” He started to suckle on the bone, and occasionally crunched it with his teeth to loosen the marrow inside.

“Good.” Frigga ruffled the elf’s dark hair and turned back to the altar. She looked upon the murdered priest of Arkay—or what was left of him—with no regret for what she had been a part of. It was all worth it for the artifact.

She silently picked meat from her teeth with her nail as she observed the masterfully carved ring that adorned her finger. Namira’s artifact, a glorious prize and honor for such little work. Clearing the cave with help from the other two had been easy, and luring the priest back here afterward was even easier. Sticking him with her blade and having that first taste of his flesh had sealed her fate, and it was she that Namira had chosen to speak to and gift with her ring. There was no jealousy in the group over this; all of the artifacts were shared.

Frigga turned her attention to the third member of their party; an Orc warrior who renounced her husband and Chieftain for the life of a sell sword. She called herself ‘Cub’. Frigga couldn’t help but notice that Cub’s fingers were clean of blood. A conniving grin came to her face as she approached the much larger warrior.

“Cub, my love,” she cooed, “You have not partaken in the feast. You don’t want to insult our hostess, do you?” Frigga seemed to float soundlessly in front of Cub. She reached out would a bloodied hand and caringly pushed one of the Orc’s thick dreadlocks away from her face. Cub had the most beautiful blue eyes she had even seen on an Orc; Frigga would swim in them if she could.

“I do not want to insult Malacath by feasting in Namira’s name.” Cub answered. Her voice was unemotional; it always was when she made up her mind about something. This only drove Frigga to push further.

“In that case you insult Malacath by swinging around Molag Bal’s mace in combat.” Frigga pushed her torso against Cub’s and reached out with her ringed hand. She fondled the handle of Bal’s mace suggestively, light reflected off Namira’s ring—it was dominant there in the cave so close to Namira’s shrine. She watched doubt form on Cub’s features and pressed onward. “You don’t fight in Bal’s name…nor will you feast in Namira’s.”

Frigga slowly, intimately, pushed Cub backwards, slowly guiding her until the Orsimer’s lower back pressed against the edge of the altar. “My love we must celebrate,” she urged as she once again reached around Cub, this time to retrieve a chalice from atop the altar. “And here with our new friends…our new coven…we will celebrate in the way of Namira…but for our own desires.” She held up the chalice between them, the dark red liquid inside sloshing over the rim and down over her fingers.

“I want Malacath’s artifact…”

“Shh…I know.” Frigga put the cup to Cub’s lips and smeared the split blood across them. “I know my love…but patience. Malacath’s relic is out of our reach for now…we must focus on what is feasible at this time.” Delight swelled within her as Cub’s lips parted, allowing Frigga to pour the chalice of blood into her mouth. “I was thinking…maybe…the Wabbajack could be our next target.” She tossed the chalice over her shoulder; it shattered when it hit the floor.

“We’ll go in search of madness?” Cub asked as Frigga drew closer. She leaned back farther on the altar and could feel her arm brushing the corpse.

“We’re already mad, my love.” Frigga breathed before she wrapped Cub’s lips into a moist kiss. When she slowly pulled away, Frigga ran her hand along Cub’s thigh and dipped her fingers beneath the tattered dress her comrade was wearing. The Orc’s wetness enveloped her fingers, and the faint gasp that passed from her lips smelled of the blood she just drank. “So the Wabbajack should be easy to locate.”

Herin was once again sat on the floor. He watched Frigga’s assault on Cub’s person as he continued to nurse the marrow from another piece of bone. As Frigga lowered to her knees and hid her face beneath Cub’s skirts Herin stood back up and approached the altar to continue feeding. He didn’t notice the different moans and creaks that suddenly replaced the sound of conversation in the humid cavern.