by Max Barry

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Region: The Empire of Tamriel

Whiterun 18th Sun's Dawn, 4E 203

"What is your business in Whiterun?" Asks a city guard at the gate of Whiterun. Other guards appear on the walls and surround the party, eying them curiously for their motley appearance and size as a group.

"I am on official business with my colleagues here for the Imperial Legion. We come from Dawnstar of Hjaalmarch0 and we wish to rest here before continuing south to alert the The Emperor of Tamriel of important news regarding the Akaviri Invasion and the aftermath of the Battle of Baan Malur. Great Redoran allowed some of the Tsaesci to depart and these supposedly were engaged by Ardoland. However another contingent of Akaviri, the Tang Mo led by one named Yingdo, was allowed to also escape, going the opposite way westward, and presumably south towards Valenwood, but what their real intentions or landing may be, or if more Akavir will show up, we do not know. You may bear this message to your Jarl, the Jarl of Dawnstar under Hjaalmarch0 was told the same report I have now told you and dispatched some men to guard Tamriel's coast." Sir Mazog at the head of the party when they reached the gates speaks boldly and plainly.

"The Empire you say...." The guards around the party move their hands to their weapons but do not yet draw them. The captain of the guard continues, "Whiterun has not yet submitted to the Empire nor to any of the factions fighting over Skyrim. It's not that we dislike the Empire, indeed many Imperial agents are here, as well as Storcloaks, Hjaalmarch0, Northern Skyrim, and Skyrim And Nordic Peoples folks. Envoys and civilians are welcome, but I cannot allow soldiers from either party into the city. We fear the presence of so large a number of armed Imperial Legionnaires may disrupt the peace here. We must keep the balance."

"Please good captain, we understand your concern. I am a born citizen of Whiterun." Medea comes forward beseeching the guard. "I am Medea Thundermoon, daughter of Madai Thundermoon of the Companions."

"You may enter then ma'am to see your father, but I cannot allow a whole army into the city." The guards look at each other recognizing Medea and her dad's names.

"Good captain, the reason I am come is to see my father about being married, my travelling companions must be allowed to enter with me." Medea tries a persuasion check on the captain, but it fails.

"I'm sorry ma'am I cannot allow the Imperial Legion soldiers of all the people into Whiterun, the balance of influence in the city from all the countries of Skyrim is too fragile I must keep the peace.....And by the Nine, is that a troll you're travelling with?!" Pointing to Trollz, the guard captain looks at them with some bemusement.

"Good captain..." Medea breathlessly pleas but the captain interrupts her.

"I'll tell you what, I know of your father's hard reputation and how hard it will be to ask him to let you be married. I remembered you plainly before as a little girl playing up at the Reach with the court wizards. You can bring in your fiancé, but he has to take off his Imperial Legion armor and insignia." The captain's expression softens and points to Sir Plutarch, mistaking him to be Medea's fiancé.

"Oh...he...no...My fiancé is this man." Medea blushes and puts her arm around Maerwyn nudging him forward some.

"A Wood Elf man and a Nord woman?" says one guard to the side with a tone of scandal. "Outrageous!" says another. Cassandra being a Breton a race that is the result of elfkind and mankind mixing blushes ashamed at the guards continued remarks quietly.

"I see....You two may enter." The Captain holds up his hand silencing his subordinates and giving them all a stern look from beneath his helmet.

"Oh white N'Wah I have a request of you." Asher steps forward haughtily in his full Ashland tribal outfit he makes some impression to the guards. "This wood elf and this Nordic woman saved my daughter from slavery during the Argonian Invasion of Morrowind last year, enabling her to marry a strong warrior of my tribe back home in Morrowind. I have pledged myself to defend the two in their bid to seek the approval of her father in accordance to all sacred law and custom. I must be allowed to enter the city with them to fulfill my oath."

"Very well, I suppose with a man like Madai that when he tells this elf no that he may need some protection, but that is all I can allow. The remainder of you can rough it outside the city with the Khajit merchants if you like, or else Riverwood is not far from here and is a safe enough journey I imagine for as many people as you all." The captain nods to Asher and the other guards accompany the rest of the party just past the drawbridge into Whiterun where some townsfolk, farmers, and Khajit travelling merchants have some tents and produce stands set up. Here Trollz transforms into a chicken and Asher scoops him up into his arms and sneaks him into the city following after Medea and Maerwyn.

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Clanging of smiths' hammers echoes around the city of Whiterun. As Maerwyn, Medea, Asher, and Trollz concealed in chicken form pass through the street Medea stops to pause in front of a house. She puts her hand on the door and sighs, her eyes well up with some tears. Maerwyn puts his arm around her and hugs her and they continue on to the main market area of the city. Here Maerwyn sells off the minor treasures they have found at the giant's camp a couple days a go.

Continuing up the large stone steps to the higher area of Whiterun, the sound of a preacher for Talos greets their ears. The large and famous tree, Gildergreen, of Whiterun overlooks the scene. Medea takes a seat on a bench as various Nordic people pass by to their homes, or up another flight of stairs to the Dragonsreach, the longhouse which is the seat of the city's government. Nearby in the Reach's shadow is the Temple of Kynareth.

Maerwyn enters the Temple of Kynareth. He emerges not long after with a priestess following him. Bending down on one knee to Medea seated he takes her hand and she looks at him surprised. Maerwyn then presents to her an amulet of Mara which he has just purchased from the priestess. Asher stands up respectfully to the side and smiles.

"Medea Thundermoon, I Maerwyn Greenleaf of Valenwood, present you this token of Mara before the priestess of Kynareth and the witness of the Divines. Will you marry me?" Maerwyn proposes to Medea, who has happy tears in her eyes as she picks up the amulet of Mara and puts it around her neck.

"Yes of course!" Medea kisses Maerwyn and the two hold eachother happily.

"All that is left now my child is to ask her hand of her father and I shall conduct the ceremony." The high priestess of Kynareth smiles at the two lovers. They all turn around to face the short road leading to the Companions' hold, Jorrvaskr where the clanging of more smiths can be heard.

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"Oy Madai, you have visitors!" A Companion laughs yelling across the ancient Nordic hall as he conducts the guests into the main feasting room of the legendary fighters.

A powerfully built and muscular Nordic man with bright blonde hair rises out of his seat at the feasting table and turns about. Tattoos line his exposed strong arms leading presumably to his chest beneath a light armored cuirass. Madai has a handsome face and much of his look along with his blonde hair are very similar to his daughter Medea. There is though a sort of wildness about his eyes, as if an eternally fierce and hungry animal lies beneath them. He stands tall, even for a Nord, towering and his eyes fix on his daughter immediately.

"You have come back." Madai says coldly looking at his daughter with some scorn in his eyes.

"Sir I have come to...."Maerwyn steps forward boldly and begins to speak but is silenced immediately.

"Oh look the elf. I heard you had survived and gained the gift of Hircine and you repay me by running off with my daughter?! You are a fool to stand before me now, I'll give you one minute just for what little courage a weakling like you has shown to walk out of here alive." Madai barks at Maerwyn, a savage grin plays across his face as he snaps his mouth shut.

"I declare my love for you daughter and have come to ask your blessing to marry her!" Maerwyn stands his ground defiantly and shouts back at Madai.

"You what?!" Madai's teeth clench as first in anger and then his face twists into a laugh and he guffaws for a solid minute with the other Companions nearby. "You? You came all the way here to ask me to marry my daughter after running off with her? You really are a fool!" Madai's fierce countenance resumes and he withdraws his axe.

"We don't need your permission father, we just have to ask you in front of the Divine's representative." Medea shouts back some tears in her eyes and looks over at the priestess of Kynareth.

"So you brought the priestess of the Temple thinking that would stop me." Madai laughs madly and then suddenly lurches forward swinging his axe down at Maerwyn.

Asher drops Trollz and deftly steps forward pulling his spear up into his hands as he steps. In the split second blink of an eye the Dunmer chief raises the spear with both hands blocking the blow just below the axehead. The two men's arms quake as Madai's presses forward with his great strength. Asher drops his arms some a Maerwyn steps back and the Dunmer chieftain delivers a kick into Madai's waist staggering him backwards. The other Companions rise from their seats and withdraw their weapons.

"Let the boy fight me like a man!" Madai bellows angrily at Asher.

"I will fight you on behalf of the young man for my oath. He is noble and brought to me my daughter and let her be married. Give him your blessing if I win." Asher challenges Madai and moves in front of him in fighting stance, spear poised.

"Who are you to talk to me thus in my land about my family you interloping Dark Elf?" Madai sneers at Asher. "I won't let a coward that has others fight on his behalf marry my daughter. I will kill you too if you stand in my way again!"

Madai steps forward again and Asher jumps forward to meet him. Asher thrust his spear at Madai's face, but the Nord turns his face in time to dodge it and with his free hand reaches up and grasps the spear and snaps off the end with just his one hand. Closing the distance between them Madai slams his fist into Asher's surprised face while running into him, knocking the old Dunmer warrior to the ground. Madai reposes himself and swings with his axe at Maerwyn hitting him in the face with the flat side of the axe and staggering him.

Madai prepares a power blow to chop into Maerwyn when several things happen at once. Trollz in chicken form begins writhing and twisting and transforming. At the same time Medea discharges the Finger of the Mountain at her own father. Madai reacts just in time to dodge the lethal spell which blows a chair to splinters across the mead hall. Madai recomposes himself and dodging an ill aimed punch by Maerwyn pushes the wood elf off balance a prepares his axe to bite his back.

Just then Trollz, back in his normal trollform tackles Madai to the ground. Surprised the Nord stars swinging both of his fists, dropping his axe, decking out at Trollz. On top of him Trollz recovers and fends off the blows and punches back down at Madai. Maerwyn rushes forward and pulls Trollz off his would be father-in-law and the two topple over backwards. Madai gets up picking his axe up as he leaps to his feet quit agilely for such a big man. His fierce sneer turns for just a second to one of curiosity as he sees the troll's back and recognizes the Savior's Hide of Hircine.

"Where did the troll come from?" Madai barks at Maerwyn allowing him and Trollz to get to their feet.

"He is my friend." Maerwyn states.

"That beast transformed right in front of our eyes Madai, we all saw it!" One of the Companions steps forward looking at Trollz amazed and the other Companions in the hall whom have been watching the brawl speak up agreeing.

"I wondered why I smelled Hircine's Gift in the room, but yet not on you." Madai snarls at Maerwyn.

"Yes I cured that curse, but I couldn't cure it for Trollz." Maerwyn states warily looking around at the Companions, many of which he knows are secretly werewolves.

"Coward!" Madai barks. "How can you give up the Gift?! And how can a troll have it...….unless...." Madai's eyes falls on Trollz and he thinks of the Savior's Hide.

"Hircine cursed Trollz when Maerwyn freed me from dreadful Daedra's cult. We seek to cure him, perhaps you know of a way." Medea steps forward and talking past her father asks the other Companions whom look at Trollz more seriously and with great curiosity.

"Do not speak of lord Hircine like that brat! Hircine has gifted this beast....Why? How can this be we have faithfully served him all our lives?" Madai's expression is dismayed but he hardens it again thinking to himself of the Savior's Hide which the other Companions seem to have not noticed.

"H-Hirseen bad!" Trollz bellows and all the Companions jump back a little bit in surprise.

"The beast speaks!?" One Companion says aloud incredulously.

"Seeing that you are determined to defy and dishonor me no matter what I do, I will let you marry this pathetic excuse of an elf...."Madai turns back to his daughter Medea and the two, father and daughter with the same eyes, hair, and facial features look back at eachother in silence for a while. "...But on a condition. This troll, and the blessing of Hircine which he carries if I can cure him belong to me."

"I cannot give Trollz to anyone he is his own person he is not just a mere animal." Maerwyn protests.

"Hmm, some nobility at least. I don't mean the beast itself, for all the beasts belong to the Lord of the Hunt! I mean that which it carries, the blessing which I think both you and I know is allowing this creature to partake in the blessing of lycanthropy." Madai looks at Maerwyn subtly hinting he demands the Savior's Hide as a dowry.

"You can cure him? We tried with the Wolfsbane Potion, but it did not work on him." Maerwyn questions.

"Yes, this sort of thing requires a special ritual. The Wolfsbane Potion only really works on those that have acquired Hircine's blessing through the bite." One of the older Companions nods, noticing the Savior's Hide on Trollz too.

"A special ritual indeed..." Madai gives a wild sort of smirk. "Very well then, prepare the wedding to be held near the Sleeping Tree Camp. We will hold the wedding and remove the blessing of lord Hircine from the beast there in the same day."

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