Forbidden Love Main Forums Creations 18+ Content The Call of the Reach

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  • BattleMage
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    Post count: 9

    This is my very first foray into the world of fan fiction. This story centers around my character – both canon and non – and Bishop as well as Cael. This story has been swirling around my brain for sometime so I decided to put it to paper. I hope you enjoy it – there will be several parts to this.

     

    Chapter 1 – The Beginning of the End

    “What are you THINKING! You are not SERIOUSLY going to get on the back of that dragon and trust him to fly you off to some unknown location to do battle with the World Eater! I’m sorry, Princess, but I am NOT going to stick my neck for you on this one.” Bishop angrily turned on his heel and started walking back to Dragonsreach.  Evony was standing beside Odahviing on the Great Porch ready to mount him and fly to Skuldafn and get to the portal of Sovngarde.

    “Bishop! Wait! You promised to stay with me on this journey. You said you LOVED ME! I TRUSTED you”! Evony sobbed as her heart just got ripped out of her chest by the man leaving her life forever. Completely gutted, Evony dropped to her knees as intense pain and sorrow swept over her. Her strangled scream left her small frame as her world collapsed in around her.

    The Jarl rushed to her side, as did her two shield-brothers Farkus and Vilkas. Both men’s wolf-like eyes burned with intense hatred for the ranger that retreated back to his forests between Riverwood and Falkreath. Evony couldn’t breathe, the pain was too much. Bishop’s love was Evony’s magical shield. All Dragonborn have an intense strength, matched by an intense weakness. Evony was no different. Her strength was passion and love. When she had the love of a good man, her powers were limitless, both as a master mage but especially her vast array of White Witch capabilities passed down her bloodline from the Aedra. Even the Thalmor feared her, she was the only creature on all of Nirn that had the blood magic to completely eliminate the entirety of the Aldmeri Dominion, and they knew it. This is why, for all of her life, they kept trying to assassinate her. They damn near did at Helgen until Alduin attacked and set Evony on a course over the last year that tangled her fate with the ranger she, now unfortunately, came to love.

    Evony knew falling in love was the biggest risk of her life – and so did Bishop. Bishop knew what walking away now, in this moment, meant – yet he still left. Now, her magic had gone dormant, leaving her without the ability to heal and draw from her master mage and White Witch magic she inherited at the passing of her mother, during her birth.

    Evony would be heading into the biggest battle of her life one where she had no magic and only two healing potions. What she did have were her Dragonborn shouts and her ability to dual wield her daedric daggers, custom enchanted to fit her fighting style. She would be going against her greatest threat with Alduin being at his strongest and now, Evony at her weakest.

    “We will fly with you to Skuldafn.” Vilkas gently urged.

    “You can’t go with me”, she quietly stated “only the Dragonborn can make it into the realm of Sovngarde. I have to go alone”.

    “You have no magic; it will be too overwhelming of a battle for you!” Farkus was genuinely concerned and knew Evony may not make it out alive now.

    Evony stood up, wiped the tears off her pale cheek, tucked her chin length white blonde hair behind her ears and settled herself on the back of the dragon. Evony was okay with not making it back from the realm of the dead, because right now, she didn’t want to.

    Evony was small for a Nord and the Heartland Elves of the Aedra, standing only 5’4”. Thin frame, deep blue eyes the color of a Stormcloak cuirass, but Evony was a fierce warrior and while skilled in many weapons, she preferred archery and single handed weapons. Evony chose her armor just as carefully wearing exquisite, enchanted, black vampire armor of royalty. Even though Evony was not of the vampire lineage – she still learned how to craft it when she was becoming a master smith. But right now the one skill that would serve Evony the best would be her stealth. Not knowing exactly what she would be walking in on – or how many – in her current state if she could sneak past – she would. She had no hell fire or ice storms at her disposal. Evony’s physical skills would have to be enough.

    Landing at Skuldafn, Odahviing took his leave, sensing the intense pain in his fellow dov. Once the dovah soos was shared, it bound Evony to these creatures. Some were her friends, and they felt her pain as intensely as she did. They were not pleased with the ranger that has completely destroyed their tiny dov, breaking her heart and leaving her completely defenseless before sending her into her most intense battle for the fate of the world.  No. The dov were not pleased. They knew if she made it out alive, she would need their help to heal her and get her to safety. Evony had the ability to draw health and stamina from her fellow dov when she needed it – but that conduit can go both ways. Knowing she cannot tap into any of their life force, they would have to channel it to her instead.

    Evony immediately went into stealth mode, pulling her hood up over her white blonde hair to blend better with the shadows. Thankfully it was dark here and pulling her bow from her back, she began making the journey, determined that if she were to fall today, she was taking that fire breathing bastard with her. Evony was getting angry. Angry was good.

     

    Chapter 2 – The Battle for the World

    Evony was able to sneak past the sentinel draugr and the two dragons perched nearby. Turning a corner she surveilled…..a shit-ton of death lords. Fantastic. Okay, one step at a time. Slowing picking her way, walking with the shadows and hoping Nocturnal would not forsake her like Bishop did; she made her way through the thrall. Thank god these mouth-breathers were not that smart and didn’t actually LOOK AROUND. Crossing an open area could be dangerous but she had to make it inside – she could see the glowing portal on the roof of this ancient site. Slowly opening the door to the first chamber she could see tombs opening with their draugr emerging and walking up the stairs she could make out pillar stone puzzles.

    Looking around for the clues to the pillars she was able to make it out of the first chamber without having to do battle. It always amazed her how these mindless walking dead could NOT hear the pillars turn or the metal gate lifting but if she stood up and SILENTLY walked a few steps – all hell would break loose. How does any of that make sense? There were definitely some weird quirks about being the Dragonborn.

    Pushing the WTF thoughts to the back of her mind she settled on the next chamber ahead. Making her way through more draugr, hulking draugr (because why not), draugr death lords and of course everyone’s favorite – the freakishly large frostbite spiders, Evony finally made it through chamber after chamber of ‘good times’ leaving the building and finding herself on the roof – with even more of her Daedra friends. Oh goody. Moving through them she slowly climbed the stairs to see two sentinel dragons and a dragon priest – well this day just keeps getting better and better, the trifecta of ‘you’re so fucked’ was between her and what could only be the portal to Sovngarde. Did the dead have to deal with the shit storm she just snuck through or did they get an express ride straight to the endless drinking and fighting in the Hall of Valor? Huh.  She may need to find out the answer to that when she landed on the other side.

    Evony nocked a daedric arrow into her bow of the same style, pulled back, and sent her projectile straight and true. The dragon priest crumbled and was turning to ash as she approached and scored a very nice mask. Awesome, something to add to her collection – she was going for the whole set. Watching for the reaction of the dragons perched above, she saw they were not about to start something with the tiny pale Nord/Elf that just one-shotted their priest. Taking this as a good sign, Evony continued up the stairs, around the planted staff, and onto the portal.

    She didn’t know what to expect when she arrived, but it was refreshing there was nothing trying to kill her – just yet. Drawing on her shouts (thankfully that ability wasn’t sidelined) she made her way through the mist, seeing  just how many of the souls there she knew – some comrades that fell during the civil war and others by her hand – that was kinda awkward seeing them here. Should she wave? Should she pretend she didn’t see them? Should she say sorry for killing you, but you had it coming? Or should she talk the same smack her summoned Dremora lords often did in battle with a quick “I smell weakness”? Damn she loved their trash-talk and wished she could summon them now. Instead she casually strolled by, tears rolling down her cheeks, remembering why she could not conjure the ‘twins’. No she had to push that pain back. She had to focus on the job at hand. Alduin had to die.

    Making her way up the stairs she stared at the monstrosity before her – was that a whale bone bridge? And what race was Tsun? Did they make Nords that big? Her bodyguard back home, Galvin, was extremely large for a Nord, standing as tall as the three High Elf brothers she grew up around – all with deadly good looks, easy ways about them, and all 6’6”. One would think that would have put the tiny Evony at a disadvantage sparring with these men she simply adored, but it did not – it just made Evony have to rely on her acrobatics a bit more.

    Tsun wanted to see what she was made of – okay let the battle begin. Pulling her dual daggers she opened with a fire shout before flipping over a bone barrier and starting her melee attack. Tsun countered and came back swinging – shitshitshitshitshit – damn he was formidable. But being Shors right-hand man, he would have to be. Evony dodged Tsun’s blows, regained her ground from his shouts – shouted back at him launching herself for a final melee assault. Finally coming out victorious, after taking one of her healing potions, she headed inside waiting for her stamina to regenerate – damn Tsun was REALLY formidable. Hell, Evony had an easier time taking down giants, but then again giants couldn’t shout at her. This was the first time she faced off against someone that had her particular skill-set. Wow, she was thankful that the only other person in Skyrim that could shout didn’t do it at her. No Evony had sided with Ulfric, while he is a power hungry bastard; he was the lesser of the two evils here is Skyrim. Especially with the Emperor being held under the thumb by her sworn enemies, the Aldmeri Dominion, the Emperor may not like it, but Evony was going to annihilate the Thalmor and deal with any repercussions from her family and the Empire later. Now to find her counterparts Paarthurnax spoke of. She found them in the corner of the large mead hall annnnnnnd they wanted to just run right back there and do more battle. Did they have ANY idea what it took for her to get here – Evony thought to herself, could I at least catch my breath and try the mead?

    Nope, not in the stars. Okay. Off to ‘smite the wyrm’. Making the battle line with the three heroes of old, the power of the Voice combined bringing Alduin out of hiding. Things were going okay until he countered with the exploding boulders – again! Damn I hated those things , Evony quickly lamented to herself– dodge, dodge, shout. Dodge, dodge, shout. Same routine as at the Throat of the World. That day seemed like a lifetime ago – back when….and here come the tears again.

    Can’t. Think. About. That.

    Alduin’s down! Awesome, leap onto the boulder, vault to his back, sink daggers, and …..FUCK! An exploding boulder slipped Evony’s footing during her vault to Alduin’s back and he easily caught her in his powerful jaws sinking teeth through her armor, breaking bones, and puncturing one of her lungs. Evony was able to rip her trapped arm free, tearing more flesh from her bicep and shoulder, maneuvering around to sink her daggers into Alduin’s skull.

    In his death throes he released his captive as he cried his last shouts and flaked out. She laughed out at loud at that one. He flaked out.  Wow, she has lost a lot of blood. Her last potion was crushed, and she couldn’t heal.

    Tsun is approaching her, he’s talking but she can’t make out what he is saying, she is starting to lose consciousness. The cheering heroes gathered around her knowing if she stayed any longer she would bleed out in Sovngarde. As convenient as that would have been for her, dying in the place she would end up, the Gods and heroes had other plans. Tsun did a slow time shout to stem the blood flow and shouted a warning to the dragons that she was coming in and was dying. The dragons sensed Evony’s life quickly ebbing and did the only thing they could do, fly down to High Hrothgar and retrieve the Graybeards. It would take human hands to help her.

    As Evony’s body made it back to the Throat of the World, the slow time wore off and her blood quickly drenched the area around her. Her heartbeat slowed as the blood emptied from her body. Soon, there was no more heart beat. The Dragonborn was dead on the Throat of the World.

     

    Chapter 3 – Dragon Magic

    Evony lay dead, in a pool of her dragon blood, but it would seem that dovah souls are very stubborn and do not give up that easily. Evony’s dragon soul held onto the small body giving Odahviing the few seconds he needed to lay down close to her and channeled some of his life force into the body next to him – speaking dragon to dragon – the spark of life had returned. The mighty creature’s healing magic managed to slow the internal bleeding, restoring hope, as the Graybeards – having no restoration magic of their own – packed Evony’s wounds full of the unmelting snow, further slowing the blood leakage. Master Arngier looked at Odahviing and the other dragons, “Odahviing, carry her to safety, all of you scatter in different directions – no one can know where to find her. She is too weak to protect herself and she has no magic to draw from. We will spread the word she died here today. Her enemies will be many and those that believe she is still alive will be on the hunt”. Together the Graybeards lifted their voices to the sky and shouted once more to all of Skyrim Dovahkiin Dilon. The Dragonborn is dead.

    Odahviing knew exactly where to take his fellow dov, to the one place where he was shown kindness – he knew these people would know how to help the tiny dragon he gently picked up in his claws, tucking his feet close to his body and lifting off from the Throat of the World. On his journey with his little care package, he thought back to the day he first encountered this remarkable human. Odahviing was sleeping in a beautiful forest only to be awakened by a group of warriors. Advancing on him, the dragon was reading himself for battle. Upon seeing the dragon gearing up for battle the warrior leader lowered his weapon and looking into the eyes of the beast, simply nodded his head and carried on with his men following close behind. Outside of the Dragonborn, no other mortal has shown that leniency, he is used to being attacked on sight – which is why he prefers to stay more to himself but Odahviing has found an ‘alliance’ with the people of the forest. They leave him be and he does the same with them. Odahviing has found refuge in the forests of the Reach.

    Evony needs human assistance, and the kindness Odahviing saw in that man’s eyes tells him, he is the one who can heal and protect the tiny dovah, until she can do it for herself again. Odahviing was able to channel some more health into Evony a little bit more during their travels, sealing some of the punctures to her lung – but her damage is too severe and he has to use his energies to fly as fast as he can. Entering the lands he knows so well, he soared just over the treetops until the village came into sight. Gently landing at the base of the large, multi-leveled village, in front of the mighty Chieftain, Odahviing uncurls his claw to reveal the last thing the soft-spoken, blonde leader of this tribe could have expected, the Dragonborn, barely clinging to life.

    Cael immediately called out to his medicine woman to bring more potions and poultice; to some of the village women to take bins of water and bandages to his tent as he quickly pulled the stopper from a flask, drawing the potion into his own mouth before bringing it down on Evony’s – forcing the warm fluid down her throat. Cael repeated this process through two vials of strong healing potion until Evony’s eyes fluttered and her pulse started to steady. It was weak, but it was steady. Cael looked at Odahviing as the dragon surveyed the flurry of activity in the village, due to the unexpected guest that, literally, dropped in, and quietly stated, “I have her, and I will keep her safe”. With that Cael nodded to the large dragon as the mighty beast backed up before lifting off and returning to the skies.

    Rona
    Participant
    Post count: 117

    Great start to your story! Evony is beautiful! I wonder if she will fall for Cael over Bishop since he left her. What a jerk!

    BattleMage
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    Chapter 4 – Cael

    The Dragonborn, Nord legend, being hidden and cared for by the Forsworn. Well this was an interesting turn of events, Cael thought to himself as he easily picked up the small woman and carried her up the many levels of his village, to his tent, where her wounds would be treated. When he first met her all those months ago at the shrine outside of Markarth, Cael was captivated by her pale beauty and gentle nature. She was much smaller than he thought she would be. The stories being told of her throughout Skyrim of her strength, endurance, and achievements, never mentioned the fact she was about the height of a great sword and not much taller than the bow that was taken off her back. “Daedric, enchanted, improved…interesting choice, Small One.” Cael quietly stated to the unconscious woman he held close to his chest. Cael knew she was lovely and often thought back to their chance encounter. Of course you could see the Nord influence in her, but he often wondered what else was she? She was not just Nord, no he could definitely see an elfish influence, her features were fine,  even covered in her own blood, but no elf race was this small. No, Evony was definitely a unique creature that captivated the young Chieftain.

    Cael quickly rushed her into his tent, where with the assistance of the medicine woman and her apprentice, quickly removed the ruined armor and stared at the horror that was hidden underneath. Evony had a sizeable amount of flesh torn free from her left upper arm and shoulder, but it was curved large puncture wounds that tore completely through her body running from her left collarbone arcing across her ribs, her hips, and her left thigh, the sheer amount of devastating damage to this Nord hero, and the incredible amount of blood that covered her, never before had anyone in the tribe suffered this much damage from any battle. All the wounds were packed with red tinged snow. “Unmelting snow”, stated the medicine woman, “she must have come back to this world at the Throat. The Greybeards made a good choice, it saved her life”.

    “How are we going to do this?” Cael asked, his trademark soft-spoken, steady voice taking on a hint of almost panic as he surveyed the damage in front of him. Looking down at the blood covered woman before him, “how did you not pass from this world, Small One, what God is watching over you?” The medicine woman surveyed the work that lay ahead of her and replied, “We must do one wound at a time, she will die of we remove the snow from too many at once. First let’s wash the blood off and see if there is more hidden damage.”

    As the three of them washed the dirt and blood they came across other scars, lesions, and scratches. The healing potions forced into Evony, combined with what the dragon was able to pass to her seemed to ease the wheezing and gurgling of her lungs and start healing some of the more minor injuries. The puncture wounds that ran her through were definitely the worst of the damage. Alduin’s powerful jaws had completely run her through in many, many areas and tore her insides up creating much internal damage and hemorrhaging. As the medicine woman began removing the red, packed snow from Evony’s thigh she instructed Cael to administer more healing potions. The wound completely punched through her flesh, the medicine woman could see through her leg as the large entrance narrowed only slightly at the exit. “It looks like there is not a broken bone and thankfully the damage was to the meat of the outer thigh – away from the artery – she never would have made it out of Sovngarde.” Cael paused administering another potion to see the damage for himself “how can she even heal from this? She will never walk again, that leg will have no strength” concern growing in his voice. “Have faith, Chieftain, she is not like any other Nord. Continue with the potions, she will need all the help she can get. This will be a long process.”

    A long process indeed. The three of them worked through the rest of the day, and all through the night, without stopping or pausing, knowing any delay could end the life fighting to stay in this world. Every few hours, more villagers would come and assist, resting the others and taking over their efforts. One wound at a time had the packed snow removed; healing potions poured through the wound to clean it, seal one end with waterproofed hide and beeswax, and fill the wound with more healing potion, sealing the top of the wound with more hide and beeswax. It was a tedious process, every new wound required Cael to administer another healing potion mixed with other herbs to keep her unconscious, if she were to wake, the pain would be unbearable. Other warriors offered to rest their Chief and take over the potions, but Cael refused to leave her side. “Thank you, but no, the dragon from our forest brought her to me and I will watch over her until she starts to heal and is more stable”.

    As dawn washed over the eastern horizon it found the medicine woman coming back in to attend to the last of the wounds and Cael administering yet another potion. “I have never touched the lips of a woman as much as I have hers over the last 20 hours” Cael quietly lamented. The medicine woman glanced at him and lifting a brow to her Chief, with a knowing look, flatly stated, “I noticed you didn’t let any other warrior give her the potions, during these last 20 hours”.  Cael wasn’t embarrassed, with all of his self-confidence he replied, “I got into a rhythm”. Really? That was what he was going with?

    Finishing the initial healing treatments the medicine woman looked at her exhausted Chieftain. “She is patched up, for now. Sleep Chieftain, I will take the first watch”. Cael didn’t argue he had seen the broken warrior through the initial process. The medicine woman stayed by her side, checking the seals on her patches and making sure her wounds stayed full of the potion. Evony was going to need it. Cael moved from the furs, near his bed, where Evony rested, laid down on the soft, thick furs on his bed, laying on his side so he could still watch her. As sleep finally claimed the exhausted Chieftain, his mind filled with the remembrance of how soft her lips were and the little thrill touching them each time had brought him. The medicine woman noticed the slight smile that tugged on the corners of her Chieftain’s mouth as he drifted off to sleep. “Well this is certainly going to get interesting” she whispered to the sleeping Evony, as she pulled one of Cael’s furs back over her attendee, to keep her warm. Cael had never really shown any interest in any of the tribal women, even though many from across the Reach had tried to lure him in. Yet, this creature lying before him, this creature has definitely captured his attention.

    Evony had to remain in this unconscious state for the next few months. Slowly the tissues of her body started to reconnect, requiring less and less potions to fill the gaps to constantly administer healing and keeping her sleeping and pain free. Cael’s strongest warriors slept in shifts with their Chieftain through this process. They developed a routine and often passed on her progress or their concerns to each other. After about eight weeks Evony had started having nightmares, and tears would often fall as choked sobs were wrenched from her breast. This was concerning on many fronts for Cael. It meant she was becoming immune to the added herbs that kept her unconscious and in a dreamless sleep, and he didn’t know what has caused her that anguish, so he couldn’t help it. He knew the sobs that would erupt were not from physical pain, but emotional, what happened to this captivating creature that could have put her through this much pain? He wondered if it had something to do with the brash companion who was with her the fateful day they met. Did he have something to do with her trauma? There was no way of knowing. During one of Cael’s shifts looking over Evony, the most guttural sound of sheer agony erupted from her lips, jerking her body. Cael immediately moved to her side and laying down next to her, put his arm over her and moved close to her side. He whispered in her ear soothing words and noticed his soft voice seemed to calm her as he gently wiped the tears streaming from her eyes. “What agony have you suffered, Small One”?

    Evony’s cries brought in the warriors, seeing their Chieftain lying with her on the floor, they decided to move her to his bed. It was going to be the most comfortable for anyone who needed to calm her. Cael looked at his warriors, “we need to find out what happened to her. What loss did she suffer? She will not remain unconscious forever and we must be prepared for how she will react when she wakes. Her magic is fierce and there is no telling what spell she will have at the ready, being disoriented as she comes out of her nightmare. We need to send someone to the town for supplies anyway, listen to the talk of the townspeople about the Dragonborn”. Cael’s warriors nodded and headed off to prepare for the journey.

    In town everyone was abuzz about the news, since the bellows that were heard from the Throat of the World, the Dragonborn had disappeared. She was not seen leaving the mountain and although some believed the Greybeard’s shouts of her death, many wondered if she was being housed at the monastery instead and wondered why she needed to stay up there. It took time for the rumors and stories to make their way throughout all holds, but soon all of Skyrim knew what went down on the Great Porch of Dragonsreach and the unending search by TWO guilds, for the ranger that broke her heart before sending her into battle. It would have been three guilds, but Evony, being tired of the constant assassination attempts by her enemies preforming the Black Sacrament, went in and eliminated the Dark Brotherhood almost nine months earlier.

    The Rudahan warriors now knew what to expect, kind of, she was going to be in the greatest pain she has ever felt….and she was going to be PISSED. They looked at each other and decided it would most likely be Ice Spike and Incineration, unless she pulled out her ‘other’ magic. They returned to the village with a load of new supplies and informed their chief of what they learned.

    “What news do you bring?” Cael asked of them, he was waiting at the edge of the village for their return. The warriors all told part of the tale, “well we know the Dragonborn had been traveling with the ranger for about a year. We found out they were planning on marrying upon her return from the battle of Alduin. We also learned just before she was to mount the dragon who brought here, he was to fly her to Skuldafn; the ranger became angry and left her there on the Great Porch. We also believe she will not awake with spells at the ready, the rumor coming from Whiterun’s companions we overheard in town is, she has no magic as long as she has no passion, her powers are tied to her emotions…they called her the White Witch.”

    Looking incredulously at his warriors, he slowly asked, “THE White Witch. That is exactly what they called her? You are sure it was not a ‘pet name’ due to her hair color and her mage abilities?” The warriors looked at each other and simply stated “no Cael, it was not a term of endearment, it was a title. She is the White Witch, the Countess of Cyrodiil”. Countess, well that explained the amulet she wore, the front was her family crest, but the back confused him, it was a different family crest and he had no idea what it meant. Knowing now who slept in his bed, his intent became clear. “No one speaks of her to anyone outside of our village. No outsider can know she is here, her enemies are many and if they suspect she is alive and she has no magic, they will come for her. We will increase our patrols of the forest. The White Witch would be a formidable ally”.

    Chapter 5 – The Dovahkiin Wakes

    “Chieftain, she cannot heal. Both mage abilities and her White Witch magicka are dormant. That is why she almost died in the battle with the World Eater. She is weak, and fragile. We don’t even know if she will regain the ability to walk. She is not much of an ally; we should move her from our village and take her back to her people”.

    Cael coolly looked at his warriors as they nodded in agreement with each other to move her from their village, “for now she stays right where she is. The choice to stay or go will be hers to make. I will talk to her when she wakes; no one else is to interact with her until I have spoken with her.” Cael didn’t need to ask if he made himself clear, his word was final. Rarely did Cael use his rank; he led by mutual respect not fear. He listened to his people and he considered every view point….but this was the stance he would not budge on, regardless of the wishes of his leadership council. Evony stayed. Period.

    Night after night, Evony’s nightmares got worse, Cael would always be at her side to calm and soothe but one night it was more than he could stop and Evony woke up screaming. Soon everyone heard that distinctive sound, there was a dragon coming in, and it was coming fast. Evony was trapped she had strangers all around her! They kept trying to calm her; they acted like they knew her? That she should know them? Everything was too foggy. She clutched her head, willing her mind to clear. She hurt. Her mind was racing. She had no memory after she lay bleeding to death in Sovngarde. How was she alive? Where was she was she safe or is she in great danger? Not even thinking, she instinctively called out the one name that came to her fogged mind, Odahviing. He hovered outside the tent and calmly spoke to her in a language the Rudahan have never heard conversed between dragon and mortal. Cael didn’t know what was being said, but at least whatever it was it clearly calmed her some, at least she stopped throwing his things at him. She conversed for a few minutes staying in place, watching the warriors that gathered as well as the man who moments ago was blocking another book that was hurled at his head. The words they understood were Safe, Reach, Rudahan, and Cael. Then the dragon began speaking in the common tongue, “small dragon, you are safe, I am nearby”. She must have thanked him for speaking with her because they could hear his wings beat against the air as he lifted off, to return to his spot in the Rudahan forest.

    Evony squeezed her eyes shut as she held her hands at the side of her head, trying hard to focus her thoughts, her memories; the name Odahviing spoke. Cael. Why did she know that name? Turning her blue eyes on the blonde man standing on the other side of the bed, Cael could tell she was reading him, and trying to remember, constantly going over everything the dragon had told her. Cael gave her the time she needed to put her memories back together. Cael. She stared at the young Chieftain. “I know you. I can’t remember how, memories are disjointed, nothing is cohesive….Evony started to panic. Cael, quickly came around the bed and held her. “You are safe here, preying on my weakness for beautiful women, your memory will come back with time”. Weakness for beautiful women. Suddenly Evony’s eyes flew open and she stepped back from Cael with a look of recognition in her eyes. “Cael! Chieftain of the Rudahan and the Raven of the Reach, or Wolf depending on who you talk to. I remember you now. You gave me an amulet I still carry in my pack”. Evony flew back into the young Chieftain’s arms. Evony was remembering her life before she died; things were staring to fall back into place. She was safe here, with the soft-spoken Cael. Stepping back from his warm embrace, she looked at the exquisite features of the man before her and at the warriors in the tent with her. They were happy to see she knew who they were and they meant her no harm. “Anu! Yes, before you ask, I am still killing things with my ‘temper tantrums’” Evony stated as she gave the large warrior, and Cael’s second in command, a quick hug before returning to Cael.

    Cael sat down on his bed, pulling Evony next to him. He was curious about the tongue she spoke with the dragon. “What word were you saying over and over? The language is strange”. Evony held his calm gaze, and simply said, “Odahviing, it is his name. It was the first thing that came to mind. He was the last creature I remember having contact with, I sensed his nearness.” Cael asked “what did you ask him?” That was a valid question. Shifting uncomfortably to ease her sore leg Evony responded, “I asked if I was safe, how was I alive, where I was, and who was I with. Odahviing responded that indeed I was in the safest place he knew of and the only man he trusted with caring for me. Memories are foggy but that he does trust a mortal is high praise coming from a dovah. I don’t quite remember why he trusts you, but he does and that is enough for me. I’m sorry I didn’t remember you. Apparently dying scrambles the memories a bit and throws off the time line of events. I am also sorry I threw your stuff at you. It was a little startling to find myself in bed with someone I didn’t know, well right away at least.”

    Cael, smiling replied “I am impressed with your aim, being so disoriented.” He has a sense of humor at least, Evony thought to herself. Starting to focus a little better she surveyed the scene around her and saw her armor across the room. She slowly hobbled over to it and gently lowering herself to sit back on her heel with her left leg resting in front of her. As her fingers ran over the damage to the shoulder Cael noticed she instinctively twitched her own left shoulder.

    He stayed sitting down on the edge of his large bed, close to her, resting his forearms on his thighs and just watched her. Evony was seeing so much for the first time and thoughts flooded her mind. Just how bad was her damage? How many hours did they have to work over her? How much sleep did everyone lose just to make sure she lived? Why was her life so important to them? Cael noticed the multitude of emotions cascading across her features – sadness, gratefulness, confusion, anger, frustration, and pain. Quietly sitting there while holding her armor she just said two words, ‘thank you’. Cael stayed quiet, knowing she was trying to find the words to the flurry of questions rapidly coursing through her brain, questions she needed to know answers to. “How long did it take to get me cleaned and patched?” Cael responded in his trademark soft-spoken voice, “about 20 hours. You required a lot of potions and care.” Evony looked at Cael and the warriors still standing inside the door, “you all took turns watching over me?” they all simply nodded. “Right, so who bathed me?” Cael couldn’t help it, this made him laugh out loud and Evony decided she really like hearing his quiet gentleness in this way. “Really? That is what you want to know?” Cael met her gaze and quietly responded “I did”. Huh. Evony, still holding his gaze, raised an eyebrow and asked “frequently”? Cael about lost it on that question. “Yes. Very frequently. Had to keep the wounds clean”. Huh. “I may need to tap your memories when I recover my magic” Evony responded with a sly smile.

    Cael still looking at her, “do you think you can recover your magic”? Evony responded, “yes, but I will need some help”. Noticing the wide eyed glances being thrown between each other and Cael, she simply sighed, “not THAT kind of help you guys! Tiber’s tits! I don’t just fall into bed with anyone to heal. Yes, I have succubus characteristics but I am not a full succubus”, looking over at Cael she did add, “although….no I have some friends that can help me get my magic back. I will need to summon them with the help of Odahviing.  But before I do, I need to understand what happened to me.  I don’t remember everything from before the battle yet and the only thing I remember from afterwards, is dying.”

    With that statement, tears once again streamed from her eyes. Cael stood up from the bed, offered her his hand, picked her up and sat back on his bed, holding her close. He nodded to his warriors and they departed his tent. Cael moved to a more comfortable position, leaning against the solid, ornate headboard and shifted her in his lap. For some reason, Evony was strangely comfortable with this, it felt….normal. Cael held the crying women as she wept about what she couldn’t remember…..and what she could. Sometime later, she quieted and Cael easily shifted her around so she could lie down, he moved to his customary position beside her and covered them both with his furs. Cael surrendered himself to sleep once again with Evony tucked close to his chest. As she started shifting more in her sleep, Cael whispered in her ear, immediately calming her once again and absentmindedly stroked her hair – never fully waking.

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    Chapter 6 – The Village in the Reach

    It was midmorning when Evony did wake again, startled, but quickly calmed when she remembered where she was. She sat up and looked around seeing things for the first time. She was still groggy, but doing better than she was when she initially woke in a complete panic. The large, ornately carved bed was quite comfortable with the stuffed mattress and the thick furs. The tent was large and covered with furs, amulets, and….books?…..scattered everywhere. There were different sections to the tent, this was the backmost section and as she gingerly slid across the bed, aware of the ache in her thigh Evony slowly stood, checking to see what kind of weight she could put on it. Not enough to do battle yet, but enough to limp through. Not great, but good.  Whatever damage she suffered, the healer here was pretty damn amazing. Evony saw her pack she always kept at High Hrothgar next to her destroyed armor, the Greybeards must have grabbed it, knowing she wouldn’t exactly be able to go home and bathe. Seeing the thick fur and beeswax bandages she still wore, she knew her clothes would never fit over them. She looked around opening Cael’s dresser she found some of his clothes, he was a large man compared to her so his clothes would definitely be loose enough to not put too much pressure on her bandages. She found some pants pulled them on and tied them as tight as they would go and rolled up the cuffs. Cael is definitely a big man. Then found one of his shirts and noticed he has very soft shirts. Huh. Evony slowly limped out to the next section, there were chairs and a large table covered in maps, plates, wraps, potion bottles….more books. Avid reader. Huh. Moving forward she found the front area of the tent, with a wooden stands covered in fur wraps with shoes on the floor. Undoing the flap of the tent, she stepped out into the sunlight for the first time in …… well she didn’t really know. It felt like a really long time.

    Moving to the stairs at the front of the tent, she could finally start taking in the camp. This place was HUGE! Multi-leveled areas sprinkled with common meeting places, fire pits where people were gathered laughing and talking. There was so much activity! It was kind of overwhelming. Slowly Evony made her way down the flights of stairs, taking in each level as she went. A child first noticed her walking around. I guess she would stick out a little bit wearing the Chieftain’s clothes and she did summon a dragon to their village – there was no doubt, the Dragonborn was here. The child quickly ran off after seeing Evony up and walking around, obliviously reporting to someone that Evony was out of the tent. Was she supposed to stay in the tent? She really didn’t know. Soon she felt a familiar presence come up behind her. She turned and in the sunlight could really see the man that saved her life for the first time – again. He was tall, well built, blond messy hair, blue eyes, but when he spoke it was his voice that held her in rapt fascination – it was so soft, almost breathy, low and steady, it sent shivers down her spine – and totally not in a bad way. Huh.

    “Good morning, Sparrow, you should take it easy on that leg, it has not fully healed yet”. Evony had to physically shake herself, looking at him she replied, “sorry, your voice is just really….hypnotic. I am still a little groggy and …I, I don’t even know where to start.” Seeing the look of lost desperation on her face, Cael once again offered her his hand, which she accepted and he quickly picked her up and carried her around the village, introducing her to people and getting her familiar with her surroundings. Again, during this time she couldn’t help but feel his actions were strangely familiar and loved hearing his voice. He carried her away from the village to a small clearing with a tent the size of a Khajiit trader’s tent that had a large bedroll, lantern, and more books inside. It was located in such a beautiful place, nestled under a large tree, next to a lake. “I come here when I need to think, it’s a quiet place and no one will disturb us. It’s time I fill you in on what has transpired in the world since your return.” Evony sat in silence as the words flowed steadily from his lips. His lips. She knew they were soft, gentle, and kind. How did she know that? What in the hell had she been up to while unconscious for what did he just say, just over three months!?

    Cael filled her in on how the country was settling down after the Shouts that half of Tamriel heard from the Throat of the World. He also let her know what people were saying about her and that not everyone believed she was dead. Cael did inform Evony that no one outside of the village knew she was with them, not even his uncle, the King of the Forsworn. Without Evony being able to fully heal and restore her magic she was defenseless. Evony was safe here.

    Her memories were still so jumbled from before she died. She could remember times growing up with Galvin and her boys and could remember her musical troupe she is the primary vocalist for; she could remember some of her time in Skyrim but so much of the last year was just….missing, like it was being blocked. Cael was right; it was just going to take time. She also had flashes coming to her about conversations she heard from the different warriors coming and going from where she slept. Stories they told. Did they tell them to her? Or each other? She couldn’t be sure but everyone was very nice to her and Cael was never far away. Evony was restless, she hated being sidelined. While she struggled to heal and put all her memories together Evony would wander to the lake or around the village. She would often catch Cael just watching her, was he waiting for something to happen? Cael studied this warrior of legend, wearing his clothes – which did bring a smile to his face. She was so small and she completely drowned in his shirt, but he agreed that she needed something loose while she healed, and he didn’t mind seeing her this way. Cael was definitely developing feelings for this woman, knowing she would be with him for a while as her healing would be slow. Evony would spend her days working with the smithy building new armor and better weapons for the hunters and warriors. Cael commented, “What we wear and wield is from tradition”, Evony responded, “Cael, I understand that and I can appreciate tradition, but what you use barely cuts through leather armor and it will definitely not take down a dragon. And what you wear is not armor, it’s bedding”, she added with a smile. Cael just raised his eyebrows and simply asked, “want to climb under my covers then?” as he winked and turned to talk to the warriors that had just called out to him.

    Evony’s eyes flew open and she really had to bite her tongue, because since she did sleep next to him every night, there has been more than one occasion she would wonder what his kisses were like and would his stomach muscles ripple if she touched them. Cael was definitely a tremendously patient and kind man, but he was also so very delicious to look at. Cael found time each day to spend a few hours alone with this beauty that was rapidly winning his heart. Often they would venture to the lake together and would share stories of their past. Evony talked of her childhood in Cyrodiil, of Galvin her personal body guard and her best friend, the only man who could anchor her by helping her find her center, the three High Elf brothers, all linked to Evony through magic, and that were as devastatingly handsome as they were shameless in their exploits in, but especially out of battle, and her shield brothers and sisters from the Companions, as well as her guild mates from Riften. Evony enjoyed that quiet time with him, hearing of his battles, exploits, and sometimes of the current situation between Ulfric and his people. Odahviing would sometimes come to the clearing and stay close to them as they talked. As the days passed more and more of the memories of Evony’s life were coming back to her. Odahviing was pleased with the healing process of the Dovahkiin but he could sense something was brewing beneath the surface.

    Chapter 7 – What Simmers Below

    The days after Evony woke turned to weeks and the weeks turned to months. Evony was healing slow and steady; her leg and ribs were taking the longest though. There is something to be said for the Grand Healing spell. Memories were still coming in flashes and with the onslaught of nightmares she had an increasingly hard time sleeping and was often given potions to help her rest. The nightmares were getting worse; something was trying to surface, but what? Things were still coming together for her and she was feeling restless, but she wasn’t sure why. Her time with Cael had become increasingly intimate and Evony did enjoy that, but she couldn’t shake the dark feeling. Evony willingly came to Cael every night. Touching him, enjoying his large muscular frame twitch and ripple beneath her touch – feeling all the small responses his body had to her touch, her tongue, her heat. Even though Evony remained ‘pure’, there was so many other things Cael and she enjoyed doing to each other – bringing immense pleasure as only a lover could. Evony loved him, he loved her, but why wasn’t her magic coming back? The nightmares were getting worse – there was something just beneath the surface – not knowing and even fearing what was trying to break through kept her from asking Odahviing for help in putting all her memories in place. Maybe she didn’t need to remember but then again, if it was something that could be dangerous if she didn’t remember, then she should talk to Odahviing.

    Evony had taken her torn armor with her to the lake. She often touched the damage to help her put things in order, not just the battle, but the moments before – there was still something there that felt blocked and Evony tried very hard each day to break down that ‘wall’ that kept her from fully restoring her life before death.

    Evony was so tired, she wasn’t sleeping well, and since she often would lean against Odahviing and talk with him in the dragon tongue, she found the most comfortable places to sit. She found that she fit really well on this back and she would often lay there talking with him as his deep timber in his voice would actually ripple through her. How is it she could remember this ancient language but not something that seemed to be so important…….so big. Evony was laying on Odahviing’s back as she thought back to that day – the day she died.

    She remembered Skuldafn and she could remember being sad – gutted was more like it – but why. She thought back to how she got there, how did she make it to Skuldafn. She saw Odahviing flying her there…okay, this was good….going back a little farther to where she first got on Odahviing…..okay that memory was becoming solid. Evony kept working backwards seconds at a time, she saw her shield siblings, Vilkas and Farkus, and that she was crying – why was she crying? Evony was trying so hard to remember. There was someone else there, he’s fuzzy, but becoming clearer, tall with messy brown hair clad in black armor – a ranger. Ranger. Bishop.

    Then it hit Evony all at once. All the love she had for him, all the pain he caused and finally all of her memories fell into place.  The emotional hit was more than she could process and all Cael heard was her agonizing one-word scream ‘Bishop’. She remembered. She remembered it all. Cael rushed to the lake to see Evony huddled under Odahviing’s wing violently shaking and sobbing against him. Cael went to collect her but the look Odahviing gave him stopped him in his tracks – Odahviing did not want anyone around Evony right now – she was emotionally shattered. Cael wanted nothing more than to carry her back to their tent and hold her as the waves of pain washed over her – but he respected this great beast and he let Odahviing take over – dovah to dovah. Evony sobbed for hours, until there were no more tears left in her body. Soon she quieted as she slept against her friend, Odahviing gently covering her with his wing to keep her warm. Evony, emotionally exhausted, slept through the night. Waking, Evony didn’t want to move, she didn’t want to breathe, she didn’t want to think – to remember. Her soul was shattered and she just wanted the pain to be over. So she laid there, in the dark under the wing of Odahviing. And she stayed absolutely still – for the next week.

    Cael was out of his mind! He had gotten so used to sleeping with her that being without her was taking its toll. Every day we went to where Evony was and every day Odahviing gave him the same look – do not approach. Cael could hear her sob from time to time, and it broke his heart to see her in this much pain. It also concerned him, would she ever come back from this, come back to him? Would she heal or would she run – run from the pain, run from the memories, run from Bishop, run from him? Not knowing was killing him. Evony staying in seclusion was killing him. All Cael wanted to do was hunt down this ranger and skin him alive before ripping his heart out of his chest and crushing it before Bishop’s dying eyes.

    Day eight of remembering life before death. Evony started to move, she crawled out from under Odahviing’s wing. She didn’t see Cael watch her from the edge of the clearing, she seemed smaller and paler to him, and he watched her walk over to the lake as she jumped in. Cael watched for her to resurface but she hadn’t. How long can she hold her breath? Seconds ticked by and Cael still saw no movement on the surface –becoming alarmed he raced for the lake and dove in. He had to resurface several times for his own air as he searched frantically in the water for Evony. Finally, he found her, she was on the bottom of the lake and she wasn’t moving. He grabbed her pulling her to the surface and over to the bank. He turned to be able to lift her to the bank and found himself staring into her blue eyes, “What in the hell are you doing Cael? Are you trying to drown me?” Evony stated slightly perturbed as she pulled herself out of the water and sat on the bank. Cael followed staring at her with such a flurry of emotions cascading across his features you couldn’t pick out just one. “Me trying to drown you! ME! You have been in seclusion for over a week. Then the first thing you do when you emerge is jump in the lake and not resurface. Just what in the HELL did you expect me to? Let you die. AGAIN!” Cael was emotionally spent and although he didn’t want to yell at her, he did, and in that moment he wasn’t sorry about it.

    “Cael, I can breathe underwater.” Cael just sat staring at her caught between wanting to kiss her and strangle her at the same time. Evony could have that effect on people. Cael gave up, he just fell back and let his arms splay out, “of course you can. You have water breathing magic.” Evony looked over at this man that was just as emotionally spent as she was and softly said, “thank you for always watching over me.” With that she got up and walked back to Odahviing. Then it hit Cael like a charging Elk. She could cast her magic again – at least her mage magic. She had to have to be able to cast the water breathing spell. He quickly got up and ran over to her, grabbing her by the shoulders and turning her around. “You can cast your magic again!” Evony looked back into his blue eyes and cast her Grand Healing spell as a swirl of white light surrounded her, Cael grabbed her and kissed her. When Cael released her he asked, “when did your magic come back? I thought you needed to have passion? “Cael, I do have passion, I am passionately angry right now – my magic is tied to my emotions – and as fully charged as my anger is right now I have all my master mage magic back. Right now I just want to incinerate something so maybe this is the greatest time to be around me.” Cael just looked at her, he had never seen her so angry before, her eyes actually looked like they were changing color – getting paler. He decided she was right, she had to work through alone. He turned without a word and walked back to the village as he heard ice spears and fire balls explode behind him. Evony was angry. Angry was necessary.

    Even after a few hours of letting off some steam she just didn’t feel any better. She knew what she needed to do – she couldn’t find her center; she couldn’t calm down – she was spiraling out of control so she did the only thing she could do. She summoned. In a swirl of wind and white lights Evony was staring ………………..into amber eyes.

    Bishop stood blinking, trying to piece together what he was seeing. Evony. ALIVE! Standing next to a really angry looking dragon. “Evony….” Bishop said, looking around at where she was, a tent, a lake, back to the dragon. “What happened to you? The Greybeards announced your death! Have you been here the whole time. HIDING!!” Oh that did it. Evony let loose with a flurry of cursing that would have made Captain Jack proud. As Cael and Anu came running into the clearing they stopped dead in their tracks when they saw Evony pacing back and forth yelling some very creative colorful adjectives and metaphors directed to the man that Cael wanted nothing more than to make him suffer like he made Evony suffer. “Hiding?! HIDING!! SERIOUSLY! I have been here HEALING, no thanks to YOU CONSTANTLY MAKING EVERYTHING INTO THE BISHOP SHOW!”

    “Evony, don’t you see, everything I did – since we met – was for YOU!” Bishop tried walking towards her, his Ladyship. Damn he had missed her so much, and when he heard she had died he almost did too, from a broken heart. Bishop never forgave himself for walking out on her that day to the point he was hoping one of the guilds WOULD actually find him and put him out of his misery – but they really were not that great at tracking.

    Evony used her magic and held him in place, she didn’t want him holding her right now. “Excuse me? For me? YOU LEFT ME! I faced off against my greatest foe when HE was at his strongest and I was at my WEAKEST!”

    “Evony unfreeze me, please. I just want to hold you. I lived for you!” Bishop said looking hurt and dejected.

    Evony retrieved her armor and upon releasing him from her magic she threw her ruined armor at him, “I DIED for YOU! I died on the Throat of the World. Dragon magic brought me back, Odahviing shared his life force with me and Cael’s non-stop effort in constant healing kept me alive.”

    Bishop held her armor, stared at the damage and the dried blood. Looking back at her, “How bad was it?”

    Evony took off Cael’s shirt and pants right there, in front of Cael, Anu, Bishop and Odahviing. Standing in her underwear as she peeled off the rest of the bandages, Bishop could see the huge dark red, swollen scars on her body where Alduin’s teeth sunk through her and where her flesh was ripped from her shoulder and reattached. “This is how bad it was, Bishop, this took Cael and his medicine woman 20 HOURS to clean me and patch me. And this is what I look like after healing for these several months and casting a Grand Healing spell. I may ALWAYS be disfigured. I may ALWAYS be ugly. And every day I have to look at these scars and REMEMBER being gutted by you and dying to save the world my mother died bringing me into. And that is something I have had to deal with. I didn’t want to live after you left, but once again the Gods intervened in my life and sent me back. They won’t LET me die so I have been forced to LIVE with the physical pain and the emotional torment of what dying does to a person. And through it all Cael and his people have been nothing but kind and patient with me. No Bishop, everything THEY have done has been for me. They healed me and Cael has kept me hidden and protected until I can fully restore all of my magic. I still have a lot of enemies that want me dead and I will be DAMNED if I am putting ANY of these people in their line of fire. So, no Bishop. What you did was all about you.” Evony took back her armor from Bishop and digging into a hidden pocket she pulled out Bishop’s wolf ring and the engagement ring and handing them back to him then she touched his chest and with one word, sent him back home to his forests.

    Evony was done. She pulled Cael’s shirt back over her head, gathered her things and walked past Cael and Anu, who simply stared at each other, back to the village and headed straight to her and Cael’s tent. The warriors smartly said nothing, they could hear her raving from the village. They just let her pass in peace, in her mood they were afraid the next person that pissed her off would be shouted into the neighboring hold.

    Evony didn’t leave the tent and knowing she hasn’t eaten in over a week, Cael brought a plate of food and some wine up to her. Evony drank her dinner that night. Thankfully when she passed out she didn’t dream. She didn’t want to dream. She was tired of it all. Evony felt lost, drifting on the currents of someone else’s ocean. Cael wanted to reach out to her, but he didn’t know how. He didn’t know she wanted to stay in Sovngarde and he could only imagine how alone she must feel in the personal hell she was in now, now that she had remembered everything.

    The next day, Evony woke, bathed and for the first time since arriving, donned her own clothes. She laced up her leather pants, threw on her belted tunic and leather shoes and grabbed her weapons – all of them. She was restless and she needed to find some inner peace – that only came from Galvin, but she wasn’t ready to see him yet, she didn’t want to explain everything that she would have to. It was still too fresh. So she did the next best thing, she trained. Over the next few days the villagers would stand in rapt fascination as she easily switched from dagger melee, to her bow and target practice, to her polearm. This one they especially loved watching her do. Her grace and elegance working this ancient weapon was beautiful to watch. Evony didn’t talk to anyone – she just trained – alone. After day three of watching her go through this Cael thought it was high time to remind her that he loved her and that she loved him. So he grabbed up his duel swords and challenged Evony. Evony fought well but her stamina was still coming back so she could only spar for a few hours at a time before she had to rest. Cael kept her attention on him for those few hours in an effort to bring her back from the edge.

    Evony appreciated what he was trying to do, but she just wasn’t ready to be with anyone, not yet. She felt disfigured and she felt ugly and not worthy of love. Every day she cast more Grand Healing and Close Wound spells to hopefully little by little, clear some of physical scar tissue and wondered if her emotional scar tissue would ever heal. Cael ached to hold her close and to kiss her deep, like he used to but she just wasn’t ready to listen that to him, she would never be ugly, and that he loved her so much more because of the scars. They represented a bravery and courage he rarely saw in this world. She knew she wasn’t going to make it out alive, and she went in anyway.

    When Evony wasn’t training she was with Odahviing, he would feed when she was training so he could be with her when she was not. She often laid on his back and just stared up to the sky. Cael approached her, “You know, Sparrow, it isn’t always safe to be out here by yourself, there are predators man and animal alike in these woods.” Cael’s gentleness always touched Evony, even in the mindset she was in, she still could feel his love.

    Evony rolled her head to the side to look at this insanely handsome man and gently smiled, “master mage in all schools of magic” she said with Incineration magic in both hands and pointing to Odahviing, “fire breathing dragon. I should be good.” Cael just gently smiled back and reached out for her. For the first time in weeks she accepted his touch as he lifted her off the back of Odahviing, he set her down and removed his hands from her waist – he was letting her take the lead and thankfully she did. She stepped up to him and slid one hand up his chest and to the back of his neck, pulling his lips down to hers. Cael’s heart soared, and it took everything he had to not crush his mouth against hers. Instead it was a slow and deep kiss as his arms encircled this woman and pulled her close to him. When she released his lips she laid her forehead against his chest as her arms went around his waist. Cael held her by the waist and one hand to the back of her head, smoothing her hair. He let her stay that way as long as she wanted, he was holding the woman he loved so much again, and she could take all the time in the world.  Evony slowly stood back and grabbing Cael’s hand said, “Let’s go to bed, it’s late.” Cael nodded and linking his fingers with hers, walked to the village and up to bed. The medicine woman simply smiled. Cael was still healing Evony’s wounds with his patience and gentleness. She had to shake her head a little, the mighty Chieftain, known and feared throughout the Reach and much of Skyrim was turned from the Wolf to the Dovahbunny by the smallest, palest woman she had ever seen.

    That night Evony returned to Cael’s arms.

    And of course, her dreams returned. Evony was seeing all of her battles, her good times with her friends, Galvin, her boys, and Bishop. Why did it have to be Bishop? His amber eyes haunted her and she was not liking it. Evony slowly returned to regular life in the village, all the villagers gave her the space she needed. She would often join the hunters in the morning before Cael was even awake, he was finally sleeping better now that she was beside him again and he could hold her close. This morning was a particularly good hunt, several elk, goats, a few bear and saber cats as well as some rabbits were brought in. This hunt alone would feed the whole village for over a week. Cael was just coming down into the village when the hunting party returned, the women quickly helped with the skinning so they could work the hides and the rabbits were quickly prepared and put on spits, over the morning fires. They would be ready soon to feed the hunting party. Evony was storing her bow and quiver in the smithy when Cael joined her. He held her from behind and breathed in her scent. Turning in his arms Cael claimed her mouth as he hungrily took in her tongue. Cael was definitely feeling overly amorous, so much so, Toran, the smithy decided it was a great time to go get some breakfast, and it should probably take at least an hour. About 45 minutes later, Cael and Evony emerged from the smithy tent as Evony was finishing adjusting her belt, they went to get some breakfast themselves walking past Toran, who just raised an eyebrow at Evony with that knowing look. Evony returned the look with a wink. Toran, just laughed and went to work sharpening more of the weapons that Evony had made. Finally, his Chief was returning to his old self. The last few months have been particularly straining on him, but his Chief was a patient man, and Evony was definitely worth the wait. That morning the village collectively breathed a sigh of relief. Life was normal again. For the next few months’ things continued on, then Evony returned to having nightmares and not sleeping well again. Then she started getting sick.

    Things went from bad to worse.

    The fog in her head continued to grow more and more over the next several days. Evony became increasingly confused, fevers raged and passed and raged again. Cael was at a loss, neither he nor his medicine woman could figure out what was going on with her. Every day she would have time where she was clear and completely lucid, then she would times where often forgot where she was or who she was with. Then one day she collapsed. Infection and fever raged through her body, something was terribly wrong. It would be another three weeks before the tiny, pale Nord/Elf lying unconscious, being guarded by day and wrapped in Cael’s arms at night, would wake…. and all hell would break loose.

    It was early, very early in the morning. Cael was sleeping soundly next to her, where he was every night. She woke up screaming looked around, completely panicked, and not comprehending where she was. Cael tried to talk to her to calm her but she scooted away from him so fast it stunned him, and hurt him. Although he completely expected this reaction, he was surprised to find that the rejection stung as badly as it did. Cael kept trying to calm her. Warriors rushed in and seeing the panicked woman throwing whatever she could get her hands on, at their Chieftain again, as she swore pretty profusely was both humorous and, there was no and. It was funny as hell to see their normally calm and controlled Chieftain, ducking and covering and trying to reason with the clearly hysterical Nord, whose height barely reaches his collarbones. “Evony, my love, it’s me, Cael….your husband.”

    That did it. Evony immediately fell silent and stared at this stranger, slowly lowering the book back to a table. My what? What did he say? Memories. Foggy. Shattered. Evony started pacing with her hands to the sides of her head willing herself to remember. Fever. Pain. Distress. Love. Pleasure. LOTS of pleasure. Sensing Evony’s distress Odahviing once again came to the tent at the top of the village. Evony ran out the tent, crying. “Odahviing, I can’t remember, things are jumbled, I don’t remember where I am, what I have done”. Odahviing spoke in the common language so Cael would understand as well, “dovah, be calm. You have the ability to put your memories in order again, you know how”. Odahviing brought his enormous head closer to Evony and as she rested her forehead against his and the mental link that is shared between Dovahkiin and her Dovah put all her memories back in place. Many were very fuzzy, she wasn’t sure why, but things were becoming clear again. When the calm fell over Evony, Odahviing lifted his head back up. “There Dovahkiin, you are better now”. Cael had been watching from the end of the walkway at the door to his tent, waiting for his bride’s reaction. Did she honestly not remember getting married and the wedding night……

    Evony turned and looked at him, studying him; she was putting all the pieces back together again. He remembered from the last time, it takes a minute for all her memories to resync. She was going through the timeline of events – her time with Cael was increasingly intimate, foggy memories, clear memories, YES! There it is! She is seeing the proposal and making her dress and exchanging rings, she did get married and WOW, the memories flooded back in a rush of ….. Damn that man was delicious! Evony looked to Cael’s left hand and immediately flew into his arms, relief spreading across Cael’s face as he held this precious creature against his heart. Releasing her only long enough to capture her lips with his own and sending intense pleasure through her entire body. Their kiss was long, slow, and incredibly passionate, Cael picked up his bride and wrapping her legs around his hips carried her back inside the tent before setting her back down. Damn that man could leave her breathless!

    Cael looked into Evony’s focusing eyes, smiling and loving that his kisses had that kind of impact on her. “What exactly happened, my love, why couldn’t you remember? I know you have been down with fever and infection and waking up would be disorientating – like before – but you scared me when you looked at me with no sense of recognition”.  Evony was confused as well, “honestly Cael, I don’t know why I was in such a fog. Wait….where are the potions I was given when I couldn’t sleep”? Cael walked over to the table and handed Evony two small purple flasks. Evony uncorked them and poured a small amount on two plates sitting on the table. She moved the liquid and herb pieces around identifying all the elements from each vial – then she saw it the common link – Cyrodilic Spadetail. In the right combination it can fortify restoration, which was in one of the flasks and in the wrong it can ravage health, which was in the other flask. The two flasks were remarkably similar. The apprentice mixed them up. “Well it looks like I have been accidently poisoned, my love”. Cael’s features instantly grew dark as he stalked over to the table and looked at the potions. Evony guided him through, talking about the ingredients in each flask and showing how similar the flasks were. “So you were not completely coherent when we married? Did I…..did I take….. advantage…. of you……when we consummated our marriage…” Cael choked out dropping to his knees. Evony quickly dropped down in front of him taking his mouth with hers. “No, my love, do NOT ever think you did anything like that! I will always come to you willingly” Evony raised an eyebrow at her husband, “I just wish I had clearer memories of our wedding night….care to ‘refresh’ my memory, my love?”

    Evony stood, turned and looked at the amused warriors, “if you care to excuse us, gentlemen, I need to ravage this man’s body to apologize properly for, once again, hurling his things at his head”. The warriors, laughing, quickly retreated, sealing the tent door behind them. Cael loved this woman with such intensity, and now that she was fully back with him, mentally and physically, it was time to remind her just what she did to him. And it was going to take all night.

    BattleMage
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    Just a warning, the next chapter does have explicit sex in it

    BattleMage
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    Chapter 8 – The Summoning  (explicit sex scene)

    Evony pulled her husband up to his full height, dragging his furs down his hips as he stood, stepping close to him and pulling his head down to hers, she could feel him swell against her stomach. Snaking her right hand down Cael’s wide, muscular chest she ran her fingers around his swollen head, as Cael’s body shivered in pleasure and a low moan escaped his lips. Oh this was going to be fun. Lying on his large, soft bed Evony tore her mouth from his lips to trail kisses down his neck, lightly biting where his neck met his shoulder. She could feel Cael’s thick shaft pulse in response. Slowly Evony thoroughly explored Cael’s chest, flicking her tongue over his nipples. Cael’s sudden inhale only encouraged Evony’s slow exploration.

    Her tongue traced his defined stomach muscles as she felt them twitch under her lips. With an achingly slow speed she continued further down, running her tongue along the inside of his thighs before her tongue traveled up the entire length of his shaft and she pulled him into her mouth. Cael about lost his mind. Never before has he felt this level of pleasure. Reaching out with both hands he gripped the furs beside his hips as his wife’s tongue and hot, wet mouth worked her magic on him, repeatedly moving her mouth up and down his ever swelling and pulsating manhood. “My love” Cael managed to get out between moans, “unless you want to finish me like that, I suggest you stop, I am barely in control”.

    Slowly releasing him with a wicked smile she moved herself over his hips and slowly lowered her body onto his. Her center was hot with desire and Cael gripped her hips to keep her from moving as he fought against release right then and there. “You Daedra! Don’t. Move”. Laughing Evony stated “actually my lineage is Aedra”. Slowly Cael’s body calmed, a little, letting up on his grip on his wife’s hips, then she slowly started grinding into him. Cael could not hold it any longer. Swiftly rolling on top of her, and supporting his weight on his forearms, he took over the motion, pulling his full length from her before pushing it right back in. Long, slow strokes built a burning need for release in his wife and feeling her tighten around him his rhythm increased until Evony, gripping his back and neck, suddenly released as an intensely hot liquid spilled from her body and her legs quivered around his hips. Having no control left Cael’s body joined hers as his moan escaped his lips and his body went into deep spasms, releasing his own hot liquid deep inside of his wife. Slicked in sweat, the lovers, collapsed from the sheer pleasure of their love making. Cael’s heavy breathing next to Evony’s ear gave her such pleasure, knowing he was totally sated. His soft voice sent a shiver down her body that even he felt, since he was still throbbing inside of her. “I love you, Evony”. Pulling his lips to hers, they shared the deepest kiss, each one’s tongue, exploring the other. Purring her response and looking deep into his blue eyes, “I love you too, Cael”.

    Oh yes, being married to this man was going to mean she would have this pleasure, whenever she wanted it. Slowly Cael moved from Evony’s body, enjoying the sensation of her. Collapsing onto his back he pulled his beautiful and intoxicatingly pleasurable wife to his chest, after finding a dry fur on the floor, next to the bed, to cover them with. They both surrendered to the deepest sleep they have ever had. Tonight there would be no nightmares for Evony. Since both Evony and Cael were wrapped in each other’s arms, breathing deep and steady, no one noticed the bright swirling white lights surrounding the Dragonborn.

    Cael woke early, as usual, and trying not to wake his wife, moved her arms slowing from his body. He was met with a death grip around his waist, and a soft voice asking, “Just where do you think you are off to?” Chuckling Cael responded, “my love, it’s time to start the day”. Evony thought to herself, No. No it’s not. Dragging her hand from his hip she gripped him and slowly started stroking him. Cael’s body quickly responded to her touch, and he rapidly changed his mind about getting out of bed. A few hours later, they made their way to Cael’s private bath house and washing off the sweat and both rounds of lovemaking they dressed and holding hands, went down into the village. The medicine woman saw the couple descend the stairs to the lower levels and commented loud enough for the surrounding levels to hear, “My Chieftain, what causes you to be so late today?” Cael grinned wickedly as he responded, “blame my wife”. Evony was, of course, right beside her husband and flatly responded, “I am not even sorry about it, either” giving her husband a wink. The medicine woman openly laughed and continued picking herbs for her potions.

    Walking through the village, the children were running and playing all around. So many happy voices. Then something caught the attention of the village. The hunting party that went out at first light was coming back, and something was definitely wrong. They were all torn up, bleeding, and shaking from poison. Others rushed to grab the injured men and move them into one of the triage tents on the ground level of the camp. Both Evony and the medicine woman ran into the tents to look over the injuries. Evony looking over the deep gashes and the oozing green liquid seeping from the wounds asked “what happened?” Through his raspy coughing fit he was able to respond “it was a dragon, my Countess”. Damn, she was hoping that would not be the case, the hunting party tangled with a poison spewing dragon that also has poison tipped claws and tail. The medicine woman looked at Evony, pulled her aside and sadly stated, “I cannot heal this”. Evony looking at the injured hunting party and the concern on Cael’s face, she closed her eyes and felt a familiar stirring deep inside of her, opening her eyes she stated very calmly “I can”. Cael looked at his wife as her demeanor changed into a force to be reckoned with. Evony was back.

    Evony starting talking to the other men around her, “move them into a circle around me. I will need three of you to stay and help me”. Cael, Anu, and Thad, one of the warriors that took care of Evony, volunteered. Evony explained how the healing process will work. “I will need to draw deep from my magic; you will each need to be touching me with one hand so I can channel my magic through you as you hold your other hand over their wounds”. Looking at Cael, “the severity of the wounds will drain my magicka, I will collapse and after two days of sleeping I will rage with fever for two more. Do not worry, this is normal. My White Witch magicka will alert any Thalmor in the vicinity to my presence where they can track my magicka signature if they are close enough. They will come for me, knowing I am drained”. Cael looked deep into his wife’s eyes, “nobody is taking my wife from me, now, or ever. Let’s get started”.

    Moving outside the cramped tent, Evony summoned her White Witch powers, the ancient magic passed through her bloodline from the Aedra themselves. With a rush of wind and snow she was engulfed in an ice cloak and both hands splayed in front her, palms up, had her strongest ice magic. In the form of the White Witch, Evony always appears in frost first, with waist length white hair and dressed in white robes and the entirety of her eyes white as well. When Evony would summon her ancient magic she would levitate back and up out reach of anyone she didn’t want to injure since her initial ice cloak magic was deadly. Cael stared up at his wife, in complete awe of what he was seeing, Gods she was just as beautiful in this form. Evony quickly changed to her telekinesis magic with the swirling purple cloak surrounding her white robes. She floated always a few feet off the ground, back into the tent to the stunned tribe members, she looked at the men surrounding her and told them to grab her robes. She quickly channeled her magic through them, “it will tingle a little bit”. Working as fast as she could the four of them began drawing the poison from the designated hunter lying in front of each of them and having it flow into the bowls positioned beneath the wounds. When Evony sensed all poison was gone, she shifted into Restoration magic and using her Grand Healing powers, quickly healed and fully revived all the hunters. Upon completion, Evony slowly floated to the ground and transformed back into the Evony they all knew with shoulder grazing white blonde hair, dressed in her customary leather pants and belted tunic with her leather shoes. Everyone was stunned into silence as Cael deftly caught his wife as she collapsed.

    Not bothering to answer any questions from his confused villagers just yet, he quickly ran his exhausted wife up to their tent, tucking her into bed. He whispered his love to her, smoothing her hair from her face, completely entranced by this small creature that dropped into his life only a year ago. He had no idea what may lay ahead for them, but for the first time in his life – he was excited to greet each day. Little would anyone in the village notice, but someone was alerted to the use of her magic, in fact four ‘someones’ were alerted and sharing a look between them, they knew exactly where to find the woman they were searching for.

    Chapter 9 – Incoming

    Gathering their weapons and supplies, they prepared themselves for the ensuing battle. These skilled warriors knew what was coming, getting to her would not be easy but that was not concerning to them – they would get to her as the threat needed to be eliminated and now was the perfect time. She was lying helpless. Channeling a unique power, the four of them were immediately transported to their quarry. Down below in the village, Cael sensed the ripple of the intense magic. Having had his wife’s channel through him – he was sensitive now to its use. Turning from where he was he raced up the several levels to his tent, hearing voices coming from inside he quietly entered and staying in the shadows, with his heart in his throat as he made his way close enough to see the three men hovering near his wife, and the one who was lowering himself next to the love of his life…..a High Elf with black hair that was about shoulder length, tall at 6’6”, broad shoulders, and he had exquisite features and the most intriguing hazel eyes. Clad in black leather armor, his head was bent over Evony as his hand scanned her sleeping frame. Cael recognized the soft white light emanating from his hand – he was healing as he scanned her body for injury. This must be Taylen. Cael recognized the men from the stories she told during the many days he spent with Evony by the lake. These men were the most important people in her life, besides him of course. From the shadows he watched and listened. “Tay, what do you sense” asked the large Nord with them. That must be Galvin, Evony’s bodyguard. Galvin too was 6’6”, heavily muscled with short blond hair and intense deep blue eyes. Galvin carried himself as a warrior and wore black leather armor with a deep blue cuirass. Galvin carried a large two-handed battle sword while the elves seem to favor a dagger. “She is resting, she had a lot of recent healing within the last few months, I can sense new tissues in her leg, ribs, and shoulder”. Other than that, she is good. “Talon, what can you sense?” The exact duplicate of the man that was just sitting next to his wife now joined her – he remembered Evony stating Taylen and Talon were twins and their brother Darian was only 1 year younger. Talon scanned Cael’s wife; he was reading her mind – her feelings and emotions. “She is conflicted, but content.”

    Conflicted, Cael had no idea she harbored that. What would she be conflicted over? Cael continued watching with renewed intent. The Nord asked, “What else can you read”? Talon looked her over and holding up her left had showed the men in the room “she is content, she is loved, she has been VERY well taken care of “. Galvin moved to his Countess for the first time, he placed her left hand on his heart and leaned down to her, putting his forehead against hers – read her soul. Galvin had no magic of his own, but he was the closest person to Evony and many, many years ago she linked her soul to his – giving him the power to read her and center her. Galvin always has been her anchor in this world.

    The three High Elves looked at Galvin when he sat back up. He had tears in his eyes when he turned to them. “Her soul suffered terribly. We have never seen her go through the kind of trauma she did. Talon, link to her mind, we need to see her memories.” It was then that Cael quietly spoke from behind the men. “Please don’t invade her mind like that. I ask that you wait until she is conscious and freely offers to show you what we all want to know”. The men turned and looked at the handsome soft-spoken warrior behind them. The elves had to visibly shake themselves. “sorry, your voice is very ….hypnotic”. Cael chuckled and lowered his eyes to his sleeping wife, “that is what she said as well”.

    Galvin moved forward, “do I have the pleasure of addressing the husband of my Countess? The Chieftain of the Rudahan, the Wolf of the Reach – Cael”? Cael took the offered hand of the Nord and in customary greeting, each man would grab the others forearm. “You do indeed, Galvin of Cyrodiil, legendary warrior, fierce in battle, and personal security to the Countess Evony – The White Witch”. “So” Galvin began, “we have much to discuss. Darian, put a protective shield around the village to alert us to any bandit or Thalmor activity. I can sense they are close and I don’t want to be caught off guard.” Tapping into Evony’s magic, Darian, the younger brother only in age, standing at 6’6” with his older twin brothers had short messy dark brown hair with green eyes, dressed in the same black leather armor as his brothers, did as requested.

    The four men followed Cael out into the village, down the multi-levels to the bottom level to the large communal gathering place around the fire. The warriors were hesitant and confused on how these four men were able to infiltrate their patrols and come walking out of the Chieftain’s tent. Cael gathered his warriors around them and made the introductions. Understanding who these men were and how they got to Evony without being seen, they relaxed some and joined Cael around the fire with their new guests. Cael looked at the men and asked “how did you know how to find her”? Galvin was the first to respond, “We have been linked with Evony since she first came to us. Evony and I grew up together. You have probably heard about how she came to live at the palace”. Cael looked at him and replied, “Some, she didn’t go into much of her life before the palace”.

    Galvin sat back and took in this warrior. “This would be Evony’s story to tell, but I feel she would not mind if I helped you understand exactly who we are to her and why we are here now”. Galvin relayed Evony’s life before she came to live at the palace. Evony was born to The White Witch and a Nord warrior, a Stormshield. Cael asked, “Is that the second coat of arms on the back of her amulet?” Galvin replied, “yes, and it is also why she aligned with Ulfric to begin with. She did not want to get involved in this war, but when it became clear she would have to deal either with Ulfric or with the Thalmor, she fulfilled the oaths taken by the three Storm families; the Stormcloaks, Ulfric; the Stormshields, Evony; and the remaining Storm family the Stormblades. No one is sure if their blood line is still in existence, but the oath taken by the families, generations ago, was to uphold a claim of honor, joining families if the cause was just. I doubt Ulfric knows who she really is, since she goes by her adoptive name – preferring to keep her Storm identity secret. Evony knows what it would mean to Ulfric if she identified herself and I am guessing, that was a battle she didn’t want to fight at the time”.

    Galvin continued, “Evony’s mother died during her birth, she bled out and there was nothing that could be done to save her life. Upon her passing from this world, her powers as The White Witch were then passed onto her offspring. Evony grew up having this immense power and had to learn to control it. She lived with her father, while we don’t know much about him, he was a good man and Evony loved him dearly. He went to battle just before her sixth winter and never returned. Evony was gifted with the most angelic and passionate voice anyone had ever heard. She would sing on the street corners of our town, earning enough money to buy food and a place to sleep. One day the Count and Countess were traveling through town when they heard this soft, hauntingly beautiful voice. Stopping the carriage, they were mesmerized by this small child and talking with her they learned she was orphaned and made the immediate decision to bring her to their home.”

    Cael could not even imagine the strength it took for someone so young to be able to take care of herself in the months following her beloved father’s death. Every day it seemed he was becoming more and more intrigued with her and more and more grateful that this beautiful creature was not only a part of his life, but was his wife – his love – his heart and soul.

    Taylen then took over, “when Evony was brought to the palace, Galvin’s father, being the head of the palace security, was tasked with being Evony’s first personal security. She always gave him a run for his money. Being so small and stealthy, she would easily give him the slip. She would eventually be found, usually with the palace mages learning their magic or out with the palace guards, playing with the weapons”. Talon took over his brother’s re-telling. “We would often practice with the guards, since our father was a commander in the palace army. We would train with Galvin in all forms of the arts. Evony loved to watch the sparring and upon taking an interest, and showing some skill, the palace smithy made a custom set of daggers, polearm, and a bow and arrows for her to learn to use. She was too small for the standard size of equipment.”

    “She basically still is”, Darian interjected. Cael had to laugh, “When I first met her, I couldn’t believe this tiny, pale, Nord mix was the mighty Dragonborn. She was barely taller than the bow she carried on her back. Never having seen her directly in battle, I can only assume the stories about her are a mix of fact and fantasy”. This made the four men laugh, really hard. Darian responded, after having gathered himself some, still smirking, “wait until she wakes up, Cael. She is strong now, fully healed. She or I will summon her Companions here, and you can see a demonstration for yourself, just what she is capable of. She has bested each of us from time to time – and you know what we can do”. Cael just narrowed his eyes slightly and looked at him kind of sideways, “bested each of you? You were holding back, correct, as to not hurt her?” It was a valid question, as much as these men loved their Countess they knew her ferocity in battle and in unison they simply glanced at each other and replied “Nope”.

    Cael could not be more intrigued. He knew she needed her rest but now he wished she was already fully recharged and ready to go, this he had to see.

    The four men sat around the fire, talking and conversing with Cael and his villagers, speaking with the medicine woman who had used her knowledge to heal Evony to the best of her abilities. They noticed that Odahviing walked to the base of the village, near the group and near where he first brought Evony all those months ago. He had never seen these men, but felt a kinship to them, as he shared Evony’s memories, heart, and soul. Cael walked the men over to the great dragon and made the introductions. “Odahviing, these gentlemen are everything that Evony is. Galvin of Cyrodiil, her soul; Taylen of Cyrodiil, her heart; Talon of Cyrodiil, her mind; and Darian of Cyrodiil, her magic. Gentlemen, this is Odahviing, Evony’s life force, friend, companion, confidant, and protector. Odahviing bowed his head in respect to these men, as they did the same to this great dragon – the one who brought their Countess back to the land of the living and delivered her to the man standing on their right. The man that not only healed Evony’s body, but also her heart.

    Galvin looked at the great beast with honor and respect, “thank you for bringing her back to us. We understand some of what happened, but will not know the extent until she wakes and shares with us her memories. We sensed her pain, her anguish then, we sensed nothing”. Odahviing spoke in his low and slow speech, “that is when her body ceased to live, but her soul – weak but true – stayed with her. I gave her part of my life force. This is why I can sense when she is anxious or in danger. We share a life force; I will always be with her.”

    The men paid tribute to the great dragon before they returned to the fire. Cael noticed how late it was getting, “let me show you to your tents, you are welcome to stay with us as long as you wish. I am sure Evony will want you close by for a while, now that she is fully healed. Come with me.” Cael walked them up two levels of the village and to an arrangement of empty tents that were used when honored guests visited his village, like is uncle, the King of the Forsworn. “Please make yourselves at home; you are welcome to all that we have. I will take my leave of you now and return to my wife”. The men bid Cael goodnight and got settled in. None of them knew what to expect when they came to Evony’s side, but they were impressed with their reception and the genuine kindness being shown to them – far different than the stories of these people they heard about back home.

    Chapter 10 – The Reunion

    Cael returned to his beloved wife becoming more restless in her sleep. He immediately went to her and feeling the heat pouring off her body was surprised she was raging with fever so soon, she should have another day of sleeping restfully first. Cael went to draw some cool water and gather some rags; he returned to his wife and applied cold compresses to her face and body, drawing some of that heat out of her. The fever raged hotter than anything he had ever experienced, so he did the only thing he knew, he retrieved her healer. Cael entered the large tent the four men shared – they were used to bunking together on military excursions so they opted for the same tent instead of separate. Cael entered, and upon seeing the men still awake, quickly ushered them to his tent. On the way up the last two levels he hurriedly stated, “I have put cold compresses on her, but the fever so high I fear permanent damage to her body. The men rushing into the tent felt the heat radiating from her small frame. They immediately shared the same feeling, this was not normal. Taylen immediately started healing, but it wasn’t taking, the fever was just too high. They gathered and brainstormed a solution. Galvin, looking at Darian, “could you channel her ability of telekinesis, and linking your power with Talon’s, draw the heat from her body as Taylen uses his restoration magic?” It was a daring solution, but they didn’t have options. Darian looked at them, “I have never done something like that before, I am not even sure what to latch onto to. Telekinesis generally requires a physical object” Cael, looked at him, pleading with his eyes, “please try.”

    Darian and Talon, joining magic, searched for the heat and linked to it the best they could and began pulling the heat from her body. It was working! This had never been done before, but it was working. Evony was slowly cooling and Taylen was able to bring her back to a normal temperature. Then men all breathing a collective sigh of relief looked at each other. Galvin stated, “I have never seen her burn that hot before Taylen, is there any damage?” Taylen and Talon scanned her brain and body for any damage the intense burning may have caused. When Talon shook his head and Taylen finished scanning the rest of her body, “I am not sensing any damage. Darian scan her magic.” Darian went to work to scan her abilities for any anomalies. “Well this is interesting” he stated, “her magic is…..changing?” The other four men looked at each other, “changing how?” they asked in unison. Darian simply looked at them and shrugged his shoulders, “it’s getting stronger”.

    Galvin looked at Darian, “What do you mean getting stronger? She already is the most powerful creature in all of Tamriel.” Darian looked at the men gathered before him, “well, if she keeps this up, she will be the most powerful creature on all of Nirn.”

    As each man regarded this information from their own viewpoint, they all headed back to bed to contemplate what exactly was in store when the Countess regained consciousness.

    Cael, assumed his usual position next to his sleeping wife, holding her close, thankful she was once again okay. He was concerned about what Darian had said not knowing what kind of power could she wield and would it take her away from him? He would just have to wait to find out. For tonight, she was here and Cael wrapped her tight against him, smoothing her hair and kissing her temple. For now, she was still his and he hoped she always would be.

    It was early when Evony awoke; she felt her husband’s arms holding her exceptionally close. He usually was much more relaxed when he slept, what happened to cause this change? She starting running her right hand up and down his back and curling it around his shoulder. She loved feeling the raw power he kept under tight control. The Wolf of the Reach, indeed. He was ferocious when he needed to be, ruthless even, but with her the only time he unleashed some of that power was when their lovemaking became more heated, more passionate, and more intense. Cael slowly woke to the soft caresses of his wife, and realizing just how tight he was holding, released her some. “Don’t you dare let me go, husband, you can hold me as tight as you want to, my love.” Cael easily moved her to where she was straddling him as he sat up and wrapped his arms around her, bringing her mouth to his. Kissing her so deeply and with such intensity his body quickly responded to her sex being situated over his. Easily maneuvering around his pants he was soon inside of her. Her heat and desire escaping her in soft moans as she wrapped tightly around his shaft as he moved against her. Deftly rolling her to her back, the strokes became long and slow until he could not hold back any longer, driving into her with everything he had, he was taking her hard and fast. Deep need and passion driving him to move faster and harder until they both exploded in a shower of intense pleasure that gripped them in a blinding climax.

    Cael collapsed on top of Evony, supporting his weight by this forearms as to not crush her. Evony’s arms were wrapped around his neck and cradled the back of his head, his hair wet with exertion. “Well, good morning, my love” Evony said still catching her breath, “mind telling me what that was all about?” Cael lifted himself to an elbow, running is other hand over her body, she was still wearing his shirt – he didn’t even bother undressing her in his time of intense need. Cael wasn’t sure how to put what he was feeling into words. Evony saw the hesitation in his eyes and simply touching his face to draw his eyes back to hers stated quietly and lovingly, “Cael, I know there is something you want to say, so please just say it so we can work through it together.” Cael, loved this woman so much, but how can he tell her what he has learned, what he wondered, and what he feared. Cael quietly stated “let’s bathe first, love, then I will explain the things that have transpired in the last day since you collapsed.” Last day? “What do you mean the last day; I have been out for the last four”. Cael looked at his wife, of course how could she know. “No, my love, you have only been out for one day. You healed the men early yesterday morning.”

    Wow, well this was definitely a first. She has never healed this fast, what did it mean? Evony accepted Cael’s outstretched hand as he pulled her up from bed and into a loving embrace and deep kiss. They walked to the bath house together and after sharing a bath that required another bath, they finally emerged dressed and entered the village. Cael led her down to the main communal area, as was customary, for some breakfast – when he didn’t bring it to her bed – and settled her in on her favorite low stump that allowed her feet to actually touch the ground while Cael sat behind her on the tree logs that surrounded the fires throughout the village. As he often did during the evening times at the fire, he would lean forward with his arms either resting on his thighs and his chin resting on Evony’s shoulder or if she was sitting with her knees pulled in tight, he would lean forward and wrap his arms around her, often picking her up and putting her in his lap. As Cael brought her plate of meats, bread and cheese and sat down behind her, a drink appeared from her right as some fruit appeared from her left. Confused she looked right and left to who was offering her food. Her head swiveled back and forth as she was trying to make sense of who she saw.

    Taylen put her drink down as Talon put the fruit on her plate. Evony sat stunned for a moment before instant recognition hit, Darian deftly grabbed her plate, just before she let go of it, and sat it down as her eyes flew to the man opposite her at the fire, Galvin. Jumping up Evony flew into Galvin, nearly knocking him back off the tree log. Regaining his balance, he stood with his precious Countess dangling over a foot off the ground as she hugged him so tight he nearly lost consciousness from restricted blood flow in his neck. Laughing he bent over to lower the small woman back to the ground where he gently pulled her arms from their death-grip. “Evony, please I will need to maintain blood flow to my brain.” Evony released him and immediately wrapped her right arm around him, placing her left hand over his heart and resting her forehead against his chest. She stayed that way for several minutes as Galvin’s arms wrapped around her shoulders and cradling the back of her head. He lowered his head to be able to kiss the top of hers. When Evony had found her center again she stepped back looking up at the man who had been by her side since she was six years old, touched his face gently.

    “Hey, where is our love?” Darian asked feigning hurt feelings. Evony turned from Galvin and was immediately surrounded and enveloped by the three towering elves. Only the Gods knew how much she meant to them. After the crushing unison hug, she greeting them all individually in the same way she did Galvin, left hand over heart, forehead against their chest, right arm clutching them close. With each she stayed this way. When she had finally released Darian she looked at the four of them. “What are you guys doing here? How did you find me?” Galvin replied, “We sensed your White Witch magic, and knowing how drained you would be, Darian tapped into your power to transport and he brought us right to you. I have to say you healed in record time, Little One, one day. Your fever raged hotter than it ever has so last night when Cael couldn’t bring it down with cold compresses he came to get us. We had Darian and Talon combine magic, Darian tapped into your Telekinesis and they pulled the heat from your body with Taylen using his healing to get your body temperature back under control and reverse any damage the high fever caused”.

    Evony looked somewhat confused, “I have never healed that fast or that intense”, looking at Darian she asked, “What did you sense”? Darian shrugging with his hands splayed open in front of him, “I honestly don’t know Ev, I have never seen something like this. Your magic is changing; it’s becoming more powerful. I really can’t say to what extent it will develop. I mean, it was strong when you were with Bishop, but now with Cael….your powers are tied to your passions and your emotions.” Darian looked at Cael, “powerful love, powerful magic. It’s the only thing I can think of”. Evony regarded this statement and Cael watched her contemplate what was being told to her. Looking at her husband, she went back over to him, pulling him to his feet as Cael put his breakfast plate down where Evony usually sits, she pulled him into a loving embrace and passionate kiss. Only coming up for air after some comments of ‘take a breath, and, ‘go back to your tent’, Evony finally released her husband. “Yeah, it makes sense, Cael is the reason I live and all that I am is his. Powerful love, powerful magic”.

    Turning around in his arms, Cael still held his wife and nuzzled her hair. She turned her head into his gesture of love and brought her hands up to cover his and lace her fingers in his. She returned her attention to her boys, “so how long are you guys here”? They all looked at each other and shrugged, “we haven’t really thought about it, but you know now that you are back in fighting form, you need to summon the twins”, Talon responded. Evony looked slightly confused, “my Dremora Lords or Farkus and Vilkas”? Talon just laughed and said, “the latter, Ev. I doubt the former would really care”. Evony thought about it, this was very true. Moving from the fire pit she went to the clearing just a few feet towards the forest. She held out her hands, lowered her head, and closed her eyes, and chanted ‘Farkus and Vilkas. Come forth. I summon thee.’ With that in a swirl of wind and a flash of light the two Companions were transported from Jorrvaskr and found themselves standing in front of the women they heard had died. They stood stunned for a moment….then they descended on her, like a pack of wolves. Farkus reached her first and grabbing her up into an intense bear-hug he held her close and spoke into her hair, “We heard the Shouts from the Throat. You had died. Many mourned you but Vilkas and I just couldn’t believe you were really gone”. Evony hugged her friend back and weakly replied, “Farkus, I need to breathe brother, would like to keep my ribs where they are – just got them healed again”. Upon hearing that, Farkus released her and lowered her to the ground, he sheepishly apologized as Evony wrapped her arms around his lower chest and told him it was okay, she missed him too. Looking over at Vilkas, Evony could see the tears spilling down his face; she released Farkus and walked over to his twin. Gently wiping the tears from his face as he brought her into a tight embrace against his chest. One arm around her upper back and the other cradling her head against his chest as his chin rested on the top of her head, before he turned it on the side to hold her closer.

    Cael bristled slightly as the closeness and, dare he say, intimate way this man was holding his wife. Seeing his growing dismay, Farkus walked over and looked at him, “don’t worry about Vilkas. Yes, he loves her; we all do, but not like that”. Looking at Cael, looking in his eyes, and smelling the pheromones coming from his body, Farkus just smiled and said, “he definitely doesn’t love her like you do and as recently as you have”. With that he laughed to himself and walked back to Vilkas and Evony. “No, Vilkas has always has a soft spot for our little sister, probably since she bested him on the sparring grounds when she was first being tested by our Harbinger”. Vilkas had finally released Evony and having wiped the tears of relief and joy away commented, “I really didn’t think she could take me, I mean look at her, no bigger than a butterfly and about as tough looking as one”. Everyone laughed at how perturbed Evony looked at being compared to a butterfly. Darian responded, “You know, I have always wondered how she could hail from two of the tallest races” gesturing to himself, his brothers, and Galvin “and end up being what 5’4”? How did that happen?” Evony simply smiled sweetly at Darian and the others, “it only takes a spark to light a torch to see by, to start a fire to cook and stay warm by, or to rein a hell fire down unlike anything ever seen before.” Small, but powerful. Yep that was their Evony.

    “Butterfly. More like DRAGON, I would say” she responded “besides, I am back and stronger than ever, care to see for yourselves how fierce my dragon has become”? Farkus and Vilkas looked at each other. “You aren’t even in your armor, those leather pants and that tunic will not offer you much protection, Little Sister” Farkus stated. Evony replied “it’s only a problem if you land a hit on me…which you won’t”. Calling for her daedric daggers and having them appear in her hands she spun them around getting warmed up. The twins never being without their weapons unsheathed their two handed swords and slowly circled their prey.

    Chapter 11 – The Powers That Be

    The twins slowly circled Evony; she moved around to face the fire pit more, staying in one place, moving her shoulders around to loosen up. Her boys and her husband stepped back to give the trio room to move. Galvin was on one side of Cael and leaned in to whisper, “you healed her broken wings, now watch her fly”. Evony had her head down and her eyes closed, she was centered and feeling the movement of the men around her, her breathing was slow and steady, her heart rate under control. Her boys and Cael watched her intently. Suddenly Evony opened her eyes and snapped them to the side toward Vilkas. Taylen leaned over to Cael and simply said, “watch this”.

    In an explosion of activity Vilkas leapt first at Evony, whose back was toward him. Upon sensing his initial movement Evony launched into a double backflip that landed her behind Vilkas where she swatted him across his ass with her dagger before dropping into the splits, laying forward to avoid the swing of Farkus, curl her legs around so she could spring into a sideways roll coming back onto her feet in a low crouch with her daggers drawn back and to her sides. She stood again, twirling her daggers and getting back into a somewhat crouching state while rocking back and forth, waiting for the two to make their next move. The twins decided two against one was better than one-on-one. Evony was small and fast, plus it didn’t help when she spent more time being airborne out of reach of their swords than she did being on the ground. The villagers gathered with Evony’s friends and their Chieftain to watch the graceful evasions and what an aerobatic warrior she really was. She had actually flipped onto a charging Farkus and with one summersault in the air landed on his shoulders, swing her feet under his arms and around his back to anchor before mock drawing her daggers across his neck.

    Farkus just laughed, he has missed his little shield-sister. Evony told Farkus to stand still and lock his legs to stabilize them. Evony unhooked her legs, brought them out into the splits as she threw her daggers up and in front of her. She swiveled her body up into a hand stand, bring her legs back down and now standing on Farkus’s shoulders she launched off of his, did a double front-flip with a full twist landing in a lunging crouch with her hands out to the back and side where she deftly caught her daggers and crossing them behind her brought them back out in a battle ready position. Vilkas just watched her and putting his sword tip in the sand, leaned on it and said “now you’re just showing off”. Evony just smiled and cocked an eyebrow at him. Returning to her full height she sheathed her weapons and laughing hugged her shield brothers again as the villagers, the boy’s and Cael just cheered, amazed at how agile she was when she was fully healed. Evony’s boys asked Farkus “how did you know to brace the way you did”? Farkus looked at them and explained “it was evident early on that Evony had a lot of grace and speed. She and I decided to find a way to use it to our advantage. There were times she would come running at me and I would swing her to throw her up on a roof or balcony where she could start sniping the enemy with her bow. Lots of days we would just mess around in the training yard and see what we could do. I was strong enough to brace her and she was light enough she wouldn’t hurt me standing on me and pushing off. We figured out how we fight best together when we needed to get creative”.

    Right about that time, Darian’s magical shield alerted the boys that danger was approaching. Galvin, the boys, the twins, Cael and Evony went out to see who was invading and met head on with a large Thalmor war party. A Thalmor Justiciar announced, “We are here for the White Witch, we know she is here and she is powerless to stop us from taking her. Hand her over and your village will not be harmed. Defy us and you will all die.” The boys just smirked as they parted to reveal the last thing this invading war party wanted to see – the White Witch casting blood magic. Evony locked onto the signature of ‘Thalmor’ and dual casting a blood red energy wave, engulfed the war party – each Thalmor slowly dissolved. Cael and the companions just stood in awe, they had never seen anything like that before. Evony shifted back into her usual form, turned to see them just stare at her explained, “this is the power they fear, blood magic. I have the ability to destroy an entire race just by ‘locking onto’ a shared trait and channeling the destruction magic to seek out and destroy anyone who has that trait. I can cast it over a short distance, like with this group, or across all of Tamriel. The farther I need to reach out, the longer I need to cast the magic. This is why they came for me; I should still be down from the mass healing. I was the last thing they were expecting to see.” Cael just grabbed his wife and kissed her deep. When he released her lips he asked, “is there anything you can’t do?” to which Evony responded, “I really suck at needlepoint. I can’t weave a tapestry to save my life, but I can conjure one, which is how I made it through my private lessons my parents insisted on me taking. I would often sneak out of needlepoint practice to go learn from the mages or spar with the boys. When I was done I had to sneak back into the practice room, conjure the needlepoint, and go present it to my tutor.” Cael just hugged her and laughed. “That’s our girl” Galvin said smirking.

    The group made their way back to the village and informed everyone that all was well before returning to the fire and sharing a meal. Evony was enjoying the reunion so much. She really did miss these guys. Yes, she loved being in the village and couldn’t think about not being with Cael every day. Life was just peaceful, and after the ‘year of the Dragonborn’ she really needed this respite. Yes, the world was still going on and there were still dangers she would need to thwart, but not today. Today, she was going to enjoy the most precious men in her life. And she did, for the next four months – then the world invaded.

    Evony was sparring with her guys, as she did every day to build up her strength and endurance, she loved the physicality of it. After another rousing session taking on the elves, Evony was walking toward her water fixating on how to incorporate general acrobatics into more of her every day battles that she almost missed the nagging sensation….almost. Moving away from the group she lowered her head, closed her eyes, and using the eyes of a bird soaring over the forest, she scouted the area. Galvin, knowing the signs of her searching for an enemy came over to her and just asked, “How many”? Evony took a few more seconds, opened her eyes and said “About 55 incoming bandits, it’s a raiding party. All my boys with me, we are gonna have some fun”, Evony said smiling. “Cael, I will take my boys out to meet them, as Chieftain I will not tell you how to run your men, but I would really like to have you join me in battle”. Cael looked at his wife, she seemed almost……elated at the aspect of taking on over 50 bandits with just six men. He remembered what Galvin has said that first time she sparred with her Companions, ‘watch her fly’. Cael knew he couldn’t miss the chance to see what she was capable of. Cael turned to his men, “set up a perimeter at the forests edge and take out anyone who gets through. No quarter. No mercy”. With that Cael turned and joined his wife and ‘her boys’ to head into battle.

    Evony led the men out of camp, approaching Odahviing she looked at him, “get clear they are coming”. With that warning, Odahviing lifted off and moved farther north of the village where he stationed himself on the outskirts to be close if Evony needed his fire. Evony led them through the forests for several minutes, running quickly and deftly avoiding any obstacle until she started slowing and waiting for everyone to join her. She gathered them around her and briefly, yet mischievously, told them her plan. She received the standard reactions, the elves just laughed, the Companions shook their heads, Galvin put his head in his hand and Cael just hugged her, completely amused. Never before had he gone into any battle with people who actually had fun doing it.

    Evony was back in her element. Yes, she was a Countess in Cyrodiil, professionally trained in vocals and culinary arts. She was also Cael’s wife where she would spend her days making potions and smithing armor and weapons, but in her heart of hearts, Evony was also a battlemage and always felt more comfortable on the field of battle than at High Court. Evony put a magic barrier in front of the men she loved so dearly, blocking them from the view of the bandits who were rapidly approaching. As they drew near they all slowed and looked at the small woman who was waiting for them. Alone.

    The leader let a low whistle, “look at what we have here, men. Isn’t she a pretty little thing? May need to take her for my own for a while”. Evony sneered at the grotesque looking man, “the only way you are getting sex is by force or by paying for it”. She scanned the crowd of men looking to their leader who was growing angry at this defiant little creature. Evony looked at one of the men three to his left, “now you could get a woman the old-fashioned way”, she said winking at him, “you are definitely cute enough”. The leader growled back at her, “that’s it you little bitch, I will have you!”

    Evony held up her hand and froze him in place, “now, now, now, don’t get impatient, we are just starting to get acquainted. Besides, I am pretty sure I know some men that would not approve of how you are treating me”. The bandit leader looked at her, “I don’t see anyone else here BITCH, now release me so we can get further acquainted, right here, right NOW”! Evony looked around her, “oh, how rude of me, let me make the introductions, on my far left we have the High Elves of Cyrodiil” Evony lowered the shield to show the three men standing there with their arms crossed, staring fiercely at the group of bandits. Evony continued, “on my far right, just for flavor, the Companions” again Evony lowered this part of her magical shield to reveal the two wolf-like brothers both with weapons drawn. Continuing Evony looked at the bandits, they were definitely growing concerned. They all knew the battle prowess of the three elves – EVERYONE in Tamriel knew of their exploits, on and off the battlefield- and the Companions, fierce in battle and merciless in slaying their enemies. The bandits were looking at the five men and Evony, who was this woman to travel with such men?! Evony only lifted her brow and continued with a dramatic flair, “the man on my immediate left, needs no introduction” with that Evony revealed Galvin. The collective gasp could be heard with many men whispering, ‘that’s Galvin of Cyrodiil’ and ‘what is he doing here’. Galvin standing his full height flexed his shoulders and drew out his chest a bit as he crossed his arms across his broad, heavily muscled expanse. The bandits’ eyes were growing wider by the second as Evony finished, “and to my immediate right, the man whose village you were on your way to ravage, my husband…” Evony dropped the last part of her enchantment to reveal Cael, only a few inches shorter than Galvin and the boys. These bandits have only heard of him, never seeing the warrior he really was. This tall, blonde, and densely muscled man was MARRIED to this mage. The bandit leader, having been released from Evony’s magic still stood, frozen in place. He surveyed the scene in front of him. Looking at Galvin, he stated, “you accompany the Countess and you are never away from her side when she travels”. Galvin only cocked an eyebrow and flatly replied, “I still am”. Realization hit all the bandits about the same time. “That means you….”, the leader pointed at Evony, “you are the….the…..White Witch”. Evony gave a low sweeping bow, “at your service. So now that all the introductions have been made, how about we get to the killing?” Evony stated wagging her brows and smiling.

    It was a cacophony of sound. The elves started out wielding their respective magic and their blades. Bandits were set on fire; some were transfixed and started killing each other, while more were being taken down by the summoned atronachs. The Companions deftly swung their two handed weapons plowing through men left and right. Galvin was taking two out a time. Evony was firing off her ice magic picking the bandits off one at a time as Cael, slit throats and gutted men one right after another – he started with the bandit leader. Slitting his throat so deep it damn near decapitated him – threatening to rape HIS wife, Cael was PISSED. As Cael and the boys moved through the throng of bandits Evony was using her healing magic to keep them patched up, then she saw it….a bandit that circled around Cael and plunged a dagger deep into his back, severing his spinal cord. Evony lost her mind. She immediately flew into the White Witch and calling upon her fire, she lit up the sky as her raging anger matched the hell fire she rained down on the men around her. Her boys crouching and turning their faces away from the searing heat, were untouched by Evony’s magic. Her magic didn’t affect the people she loved, the boys were immune. It was still pretty hot though. Evony was screaming as the torrent of fire and searing lava flowed from her hands, burning the bandits around her. She lifted herself over the crowd of men and in one final spell exploded a fire ball that was ten feet in diameter as she drove it into the ground with all her force. As the world exploded around her, all she could see was Cael. Taylen had already made it to his side and started healing, but the wound was bad. Evony came over with tears in her eyes, gently dropped to her husband’s side, closing her eyes she drew deep, very deep into her magic and with the dark blue, almost black, cloak replacing the fire cloak swirling around her, she lowered her healing hands to his spine. She could ‘see’ the severed nerves and the strands that made them up. Slowly, one by one, she knitted them back together as tears streamed down her face. The work was delicate, if she screwed this up Cael would never walk again. Quietly the men around her watched her work as she slowly put her husband back together. This level of magic has never been seen before, and as Darian clearly concerned with the scan he was performing on Evony as she used this new magic to mend her husband, looking at his brothers, he silently mouthed “her magic is bordering on the Dark. This is DAMN close to Necro magic.”

    Each nerve fiber was being reconnected and nerve clusters were reformed. Evony was using her magic at an alarming pace, but she was not going to stop. Cael’s life was in her hands. “Taylen, she gently called, could you please come and assist me? Can you start mending his tissues as I keep rebuilding his spine?” Taylen was by her side in a second, kissing the top of her head, her long white hair still fluttering around her. Evony had not changed back; she was using old, deep White Witch magic. Taylen moved to the other side of Cael as he closed his eyes and scanned the wound. Taylen started putting the muscle fibers back together and sealed severed blood vessels. Together they worked for another hour repairing Cael and bringing him back to his full strength. As they finish, Cael stood and looked at the woman who was responsible for his continued ability to do so. Taylen got to his feet and Cael reached out his hand, each man gripping the forearms as their other arm gave each other a warriors greeting of thanks. Cael then reached down to his wife and pulled her in all her White Witch beauty into the deepest kiss they have ever shared. This pulled Evony back into her usual form and as Cael pulled back to gently wipe the tears from his beautiful wife’s face, he once more stared into her blue eyes.

    After checking that everyone was okay and healed, Evony turned to look at the brothers, they were all standing together just staring at her with a look of deep concern. They knew the kind of magic she wielded, and they didn’t like it. “What!” she stated clearly exhausted by the effort it took to restore Cael and exasperated with them. She knew the accusing looks; she knew what they were concerned about. They didn’t have to say a word. Darian just raised is eyebrows and kept his arms folded across his chest. Evony just narrowed her eyes and pointing a finger at him, “Don’t. You. Dare. No, you do NOT get to look at me that way. I saved his life! Gave him back the ability to WALK! No, you do not get to judge me!” With that Evony raised her hand and disappeared.

    BattleMage
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    Chapter 10 – The Reunion

    Cael returned to his beloved wife becoming more restless in her sleep. He immediately went to her and feeling the heat pouring off her body was surprised she was raging with fever so soon, she should have another day of sleeping restfully first. Cael went to draw some cool water and gather some rags; he returned to his wife and applied cold compresses to her face and body, drawing some of that heat out of her. The fever raged hotter than anything he had ever experienced, so he did the only thing he knew, he retrieved her healer. Cael entered the large tent the four men shared – they were used to bunking together on military excursions so they opted for the same tent instead of separate. Cael entered, and upon seeing the men still awake, quickly ushered them to his tent. On the way up the last two levels he hurriedly stated, “I have put cold compresses on her, but the fever is so high I fear permanent damage to her body. The men rushing into the tent felt the heat radiating from her small frame. They immediately shared the same feeling, this was not normal. Taylen immediately started healing, but it wasn’t taking, the fever was just too high. They gathered and brainstormed a solution. Galvin, looking at Darian, “could you channel her ability of telekinesis, and linking your power with Talon’s, draw the heat from her body as Taylen uses his restoration magic?” It was a daring solution, but they didn’t have options. Darian looked at them, “I have never done something like that before, I am not even sure what to latch onto to. Telekinesis generally requires a physical object” Cael, looked at him, pleading with his eyes, “please try.”

    Darian and Talon, joining magic, searched for the heat and linked to it the best they could and began pulling the heat from her body. It was working! This had never been done before, but it was working. Evony was slowly cooling and Taylen was able to bring her back to a normal temperature. Then the men all breathing a collective sigh of relief looked at each other. Galvin stated, “I have never seen her burn that hot before Taylen, is there any damage?” Taylen and Talon scanned her brain and body for any damage the intense burning may have caused. When Talon shook his head and Taylen finished scanning the rest of her body, “I am not sensing any damage. Darian scan her magic.” Darian went to work to scan her abilities for any anomalies. “Well this is interesting” he stated, “her magic is…..changing?” The other four men looked at each other, “changing how?” they asked in unison. Darian simply looked at them and shrugged his shoulders, “it’s getting stronger”.

    Galvin looked at Darian, “What do you mean getting stronger? She already is the most powerful creature in all of Tamriel.” Darian looked at the men gathered before him, “well, if she keeps this up, she will be the most powerful creature on all of Nirn.”

    As each man regarded this information from their own viewpoint, they all headed back to bed to contemplate what exactly was in store when the Countess regained consciousness.

    Cael, assumed his usual position next to his sleeping wife, holding her close, thankful she was once again okay. He was concerned about what Darian had said not knowing what kind of power could she wield and would it take her away from him? He would just have to wait to find out. For tonight, she was here and Cael wrapped her tight against him, smoothing her hair and kissing her temple. For now, she was still his and he hoped she always would be.

    It was early when Evony awoke; she felt her husband’s arms holding her exceptionally close. He usually was much more relaxed when he slept, what happened to cause this change? She starting running her right hand up and down his back and curling it around his shoulder. She loved feeling the raw power he kept under tight control. The Wolf of the Reach, indeed. He was ferocious when he needed to be, ruthless even, but with her the only time he unleashed some of that power was when their lovemaking became more heated, more passionate, and more intense. Cael slowly woke to the soft caresses of his wife, and realizing just how tight he was holding, released her some. “Don’t you dare let me go, husband, you can hold me as tight as you want to, my love.” Cael easily moved her to where she was straddling him as he sat up and wrapped his arms around her, bringing her mouth to his. Kissing her so deeply and with such intensity his body quickly responded to her sex being situated over his. Easily maneuvering around his pants he was soon inside of her. Her heat and desire escaping her in soft moans as she wrapped tightly around his shaft as he moved against her. Deftly rolling her to her back, the strokes became long and slow until he could not hold back any longer, driving into her with everything he had, he was taking her hard and fast. Deep need and passion driving him to move faster and harder until they both exploded in a shower of intense pleasure that gripped them in a blinding climax.

    Cael collapsed on top of Evony, supporting his weight by this forearms as to not crush her. Evony’s arms were wrapped around his neck and cradled the back of his head, his hair wet with exertion. “Well, good morning, my love” Evony said still catching her breath, “mind telling me what that was all about?” Cael lifted himself to an elbow, running is other hand over her body, she was still wearing his shirt – he didn’t even bother undressing her in his time of intense need. Cael wasn’t sure how to put what he was feeling into words. Evony saw the hesitation in his eyes and simply touching his face to draw his eyes back to hers stated quietly and lovingly, “Cael, I know there is something you want to say, so please just say it so we can work through it together.” Cael, loved this woman so much, but how can he tell her what he has learned, what he wondered, and what he feared. Cael quietly stated “let’s bathe first, love, then I will explain the things that have transpired in the last day since you collapsed.” Last day? “What do you mean the last day; I have been out for the last four”. Cael looked at his wife, of course how could she know. “No, my love, you have only been out for one day. You healed the men early yesterday morning.”

    Wow, well this was definitely a first. She has never healed this fast, what did it mean? Evony accepted Cael’s outstretched hand as he pulled her up from bed and into a loving embrace and deep kiss. They walked to the bath house together and after sharing a bath that required another bath, they finally emerged dressed and entered the village. Cael led her down to the main communal area, as was customary, for some breakfast – when he didn’t bring it to her bed – and settled her in on her favorite low stump that allowed her feet to actually touch the ground while Cael sat behind her on the tree logs that surrounded the fires throughout the village. As he often did during the evening times at the fire, he would lean forward with his arms either resting on his thighs and his chin resting on Evony’s shoulder or if she was sitting with her knees pulled in tight, he would lean forward and wrap his arms around her, often picking her up and putting her in his lap. As Cael brought her plate of meats, bread and cheese and sat down behind her, a drink appeared from her right as some fruit appeared from her left. Confused she looked right and left to who was offering her food. Her head swiveled back and forth as she was trying to make sense of who she saw.

    Taylen put her drink down as Talon put the fruit on her plate. Evony sat stunned for a moment before instant recognition hit, Darian deftly grabbed her plate, just before she let go of it, and sat it down as her eyes flew to the man opposite her at the fire, Galvin. Jumping up Evony flew into Galvin, nearly knocking him back off the tree log. Regaining his balance, he stood with his precious Countess dangling over a foot off the ground as she hugged him so tight he nearly lost consciousness from restricted blood flow in his neck. Laughing he bent over to lower the small woman back to the ground where he gently pulled her arms from their death-grip. “Evony, please I will need to maintain blood flow to my brain.” Evony released him and immediately wrapped her right arm around him, placing her left hand over his heart and resting her forehead against his chest. She stayed that way for several minutes as Galvin’s arms wrapped around her shoulders and cradling the back of her head. He lowered his head to be able to kiss the top of hers. When Evony had found her center again she stepped back looking up at the man who had been by her side since she was six years old, touched his face gently.

    “Hey, where is our love?” Darian asked feigning hurt feelings. Evony turned from Galvin and was immediately surrounded and enveloped by the three towering elves. Only the Gods knew how much she meant to them. After the crushing unison hug, she greeting them all individually in the same way she did Galvin, left hand over heart, forehead against their chest, right arm clutching them close. With each she stayed this way. When she had finally released Darian she looked at the four of them. “What are you guys doing here? How did you find me?” Galvin replied, “We sensed your White Witch magic, and knowing how drained you would be, Darian tapped into your power to transport and he brought us right to you. I have to say you healed in record time, Little One, one day. Your fever raged hotter than it ever has so last night when Cael couldn’t bring it down with cold compresses he came to get us. We had Darian and Talon combine magic, Darian tapped into your Telekinesis and they pulled the heat from your body with Taylen using his healing to get your body temperature back under control and reverse any damage the high fever caused”.

    Evony looked somewhat confused, “I have never healed that fast or that intense”, looking at Darian she asked, “What did you sense”? Darian shrugging with his hands splayed open in front of him, “I honestly don’t know Ev, I have never seen something like this. Your magic is changing; it’s becoming more powerful. I really can’t say to what extent it will develop. I mean, it was strong when you were with Bishop, but now with Cael….your powers are tied to your passions and your emotions.” Darian looked at Cael, “powerful love, powerful magic. It’s the only thing I can think of”. Evony regarded this statement and Cael watched her contemplate what was being told to her. Looking at her husband, she went back over to him, pulling him to his feet as Cael put his breakfast plate down where Evony usually sits, she pulled him into a loving embrace and passionate kiss. Only coming up for air after some comments of ‘take a breath, and, ‘go back to your tent’, Evony finally released her husband. “Yeah, it makes sense, Cael is the reason I live and all that I am is his. Powerful love, powerful magic”.

    Turning around in his arms, Cael still held his wife and nuzzled her hair. She turned her head into his gesture of love and brought her hands up to cover his and lace her fingers in his. She returned her attention to her boys, “so how long are you guys here”? They all looked at each other and shrugged, “we haven’t really thought about it, but you know now that you are back in fighting form, you need to summon the twins”, Talon responded. Evony looked slightly confused, “my Dremora Lords or Farkus and Vilkas”? Talon just laughed and said, “the latter, Ev. I doubt the former would really care”. Evony thought about it, this was very true. Moving from the fire pit she went to the clearing just a few feet towards the forest. She held out her hands, lowered her head, and closed her eyes, and chanted ‘Farkus and Vilkas. Come forth. I summon thee.’ With that in a swirl of wind and a flash of light the two Companions were transported from Jorrvaskr and found themselves standing in front of the women they heard had died. They stood stunned for a moment….then they descended on her, like a pack of wolves. Farkus reached her first and grabbing her up into an intense bear-hug he held her close and spoke into her hair, “We heard the Shouts from the Throat. You had died. Many mourned you but Vilkas and I just couldn’t believe you were really gone”. Evony hugged her friend back and weakly replied, “Farkus, I need to breathe brother, would like to keep my ribs where they are – just got them healed again”. Upon hearing that, Farkus released her and lowered her to the ground, he sheepishly apologized as Evony wrapped her arms around his lower chest and told him it was okay, she missed him too. Looking over at Vilkas, Evony could see the tears spilling down his face; she released Farkus and walked over to his twin. Gently wiping the tears from his face as he brought her into a tight embrace against his chest. One arm around her upper back and the other cradling her head against his chest as his chin rested on the top of her head, before he turned it on the side to hold her closer.

    Cael bristled slightly at the closeness and, dare he say, intimate way this man was holding his wife. Seeing his growing dismay, Farkus walked over and looked at him, “don’t worry about Vilkas. Yes, he loves her; we all do, but not like that”. Looking at Cael, looking in his eyes, and smelling the pheromones coming from his body, Farkus just smiled and said, “he definitely doesn’t love her like you do and as recently as you have”. With that he laughed to himself and walked back to Vilkas and Evony. “No, Vilkas has always has a soft spot for our little sister, probably since she bested him on the sparring grounds when she was first being tested by our Harbinger”. Vilkas had finally released Evony and having wiped the tears of relief and joy away commented, “I really didn’t think she could take me, I mean look at her, no bigger than a butterfly and about as tough looking as one”. Everyone laughed at how perturbed Evony looked at being compared to a butterfly. Darian responded, “You know, I have always wondered how she could hail from two of the tallest races” gesturing to himself, his brothers, and Galvin “and end up being what 5’4”? How did that happen?” Evony simply smiled sweetly at Darian and the others, “it only takes a spark to light a torch to see by, to start a fire to cook and stay warm by, or to rein a hell fire down unlike anything ever seen before.” Small, but powerful. Yep that was their Evony.

    “Butterfly. More like DRAGON, I would say” she responded “besides, I am back and stronger than ever, care to see for yourselves how fierce my dragon has become”? Farkus and Vilkas looked at each other. “You aren’t even in your armor, those leather pants and that tunic will not offer you much protection, Little Sister” Farkus stated. Evony replied “it’s only a problem if you land a hit on me…which you won’t”. Calling for her daedric daggers and having them appear in her hands she spun them around getting warmed up. The twins never being without their weapons unsheathed their two handed swords and slowly circled their prey.

    Chapter 11 – The Powers That Be

    The twins slowly circled Evony; she moved around to face the fire pit more, staying in one place, moving her shoulders around to loosen up. Her boys and her husband stepped back to give the trio room to move. Galvin was on one side of Cael and leaned in to whisper, “you healed her broken wings, now watch her fly”. Evony had her head down and her eyes closed, she was centered and feeling the movement of the men around her, her breathing was slow and steady, her heart rate under control. Her boys and Cael watched her intently. Suddenly Evony opened her eyes and snapped them to the side toward Vilkas. Taylen leaned over to Cael and simply said, “watch this”.

    In an explosion of activity Vilkas leapt first at Evony, whose back was toward him. Upon sensing his initial movement Evony launched into a double backflip that landed her behind Vilkas where she swatted him across his ass with her dagger before dropping into the splits, laying forward to avoid the swing of Farkus, curl her legs around so she could spring into a sideways roll coming back onto her feet in a low crouch with her daggers drawn back and to her sides. She stood again, twirling her daggers and getting back into a somewhat crouching state while rocking back and forth, waiting for the two to make their next move. The twins decided two against one was better than one-on-one. Evony was small and fast, plus it didn’t help when she spent more time being airborne out of reach of their swords than she did being on the ground. The villagers gathered with Evony’s friends and their Chieftain to watch the graceful evasions and what an aerobatic warrior she really was. She had actually flipped onto a charging Farkus and with one summersault in the air landed on his shoulders, swing her feet under his arms and around his back to anchor before mock drawing her daggers across his neck.

    Farkus just laughed, he has missed his little shield-sister. Evony told Farkus to stand still and lock his legs to stabilize them. Evony unhooked her legs, brought them out into the splits as she threw her daggers up and in front of her. She swiveled her body up into a hand stand, bring her legs back down and now standing on Farkus’s shoulders she launched off of his, did a double front-flip with a full twist landing in a lunging crouch with her hands out to the back and side where she deftly caught her daggers and crossing them behind her brought them back out in a battle ready position. Vilkas just watched her and putting his sword tip in the sand, leaned on it and said “now you’re just showing off”. Evony just smiled and cocked an eyebrow at him. Returning to her full height she sheathed her weapons and laughing hugged her shield brothers again as the villagers, the boy’s and Cael just cheered, amazed at how agile she was when she was fully healed. Evony’s boys asked Farkus “how did you know to brace the way you did”? Farkus looked at them and explained “it was evident early on that Evony had a lot of grace and speed. She and I decided to find a way to use it to our advantage. There were times she would come running at me and I would swing her to throw her up on a roof or balcony where she could start sniping the enemy with her bow. Lots of days we would just mess around in the training yard and see what we could do. I was strong enough to brace her and she was light enough she wouldn’t hurt me standing on me and pushing off. We figured out how we fight best together when we needed to get creative”.

    Right about that time, Darian’s magical shield alerted the boys that danger was approaching. Galvin, the boys, the twins, Cael and Evony went out to see who was invading and met head on with a large Thalmor war party. A Thalmor Justiciar announced, “We are here for the White Witch, we know she is here and she is powerless to stop us from taking her. Hand her over and your village will not be harmed. Defy us and you will all die.” The boys just smirked as they parted to reveal the last thing this invading war party wanted to see – the White Witch casting blood magic. Evony locked onto the signature of ‘Thalmor’ and dual casting a blood red energy wave, engulfed the war party – each Thalmor slowly dissolved. Cael and the companions just stood in awe, they had never seen anything like that before. Evony shifted back into her usual form, turned to see them just stare at her explained, “this is the power they fear, blood magic. I have the ability to destroy an entire race just by ‘locking onto’ a shared trait and channeling the destruction magic to seek out and destroy anyone who has that trait. I can cast it over a short distance, like with this group, or across all of Tamriel. The farther I need to reach out, the longer I need to cast the magic. This is why they came for me; I should still be down from the mass healing. I was the last thing they were expecting to see.” Cael just grabbed his wife and kissed her deep. When he released her lips he asked, “is there anything you can’t do?” to which Evony responded, “I really suck at needlepoint. I can’t weave a tapestry to save my life, but I can conjure one, which is how I made it through my private lessons my parents insisted on me taking. I would often sneak out of needlepoint practice to go learn from the mages or spar with the boys. When I was done I had to sneak back into the practice room, conjure the needlepoint, and go present it to my tutor.” Cael just hugged her and laughed. “That’s our girl” Galvin said smirking.

    The group made their way back to the village and informed everyone that all was well before returning to the fire and sharing a meal. Evony was enjoying the reunion so much. She really did miss these guys. Yes, she loved being in the village and couldn’t think about not being with Cael every day. Life was just peaceful, and after the ‘year of the Dragonborn’ she really needed this respite. Yes, the world was still going on and there were still dangers she would need to thwart, but not today. Today, she was going to enjoy the most precious men in her life. And she did, for the next four months – then the world invaded.

    Evony was sparring with her guys, as she did every day to build up her strength and endurance, she loved the physicality of it. After another rousing session taking on the elves, Evony was walking toward her water fixating on how to incorporate general acrobatics into more of her every day battles that she almost missed the nagging sensation….almost. Moving away from the group she lowered her head, closed her eyes, and using the eyes of a bird soaring over the forest, she scouted the area. Galvin, knowing the signs of her searching for an enemy came over to her and just asked, “How many”? Evony took a few more seconds, opened her eyes and said “About 55 incoming bandits, it’s a raiding party. All my boys with me, we are gonna have some fun”, Evony said smiling. “Cael, I will take my boys out to meet them, as Chieftain I will not tell you how to run your men, but I would really like to have you join me in battle”. Cael looked at his wife, she seemed almost……elated at the aspect of taking on over 50 bandits with just six men. He remembered what Galvin has said that first time she sparred with her Companions, ‘watch her fly’. Cael knew he couldn’t miss the chance to see what she was capable of. Cael turned to his men, “set up a perimeter at the forests edge and take out anyone who gets through. No quarter. No mercy”. With that Cael turned and joined his wife and ‘her boys’ to head into battle.

    Evony led the men out of camp, approaching Odahviing she looked at him, “get clear they are coming”. With that warning, Odahviing lifted off and moved farther north of the village where he stationed himself on the outskirts to be close if Evony needed his fire. Evony led them through the forests for several minutes, running quickly and deftly avoiding any obstacle until she started slowing and waiting for everyone to join her. She gathered them around her and briefly, yet mischievously, told them her plan. She received the standard reactions, the elves just laughed, the Companions shook their heads, Galvin put his head in his hand and Cael just hugged her, completely amused. Never before had he gone into any battle with people who actually had fun doing it.

    Evony was back in her element. Yes, she was a Countess in Cyrodiil, professionally trained in vocals and culinary arts. She was also Cael’s wife where she would spend her days making potions and smithing armor and weapons, but in her heart of hearts, Evony was also a battlemage and always felt more comfortable on the field of battle than at High Court. Evony put a magic barrier in front of the men she loved so dearly, blocking them from the view of the bandits who were rapidly approaching. As they drew near they all slowed and looked at the small woman who was waiting for them. Alone.

    The leader let a low whistle, “look at what we have here, men. Isn’t she a pretty little thing? May need to take her for my own for a while”. Evony sneered at the grotesque looking man, “the only way you are getting sex is by force or by paying for it”. She scanned the crowd of men looking to their leader who was growing angry at this defiant little creature. Evony looked at one of the men three to his left, “now you could get a woman the old-fashioned way”, she said winking at him, “you are definitely cute enough”. The leader growled back at her, “that’s it you little bitch, I will have you!”

    Evony held up her hand and froze him in place, “now, now, now, don’t get impatient, we are just starting to get acquainted. Besides, I am pretty sure I know some men that would not approve of how you are treating me”. The bandit leader looked at her, “I don’t see anyone else here BITCH, now release me so we can get further acquainted, right here, right NOW”! Evony looked around her, “oh, how rude of me, let me make the introductions, on my far left we have the High Elves of Cyrodiil” Evony lowered the shield to show the three men standing there with their arms crossed, staring fiercely at the group of bandits. Evony continued, “on my far right, just for flavor, the Companions” again Evony lowered this part of her magical shield to reveal the two wolf-like brothers both with weapons drawn. Continuing Evony looked at the bandits, they were definitely growing concerned. They all knew the battle prowess of the three elves – EVERYONE in Tamriel knew of their exploits, on and off the battlefield- and the Companions, fierce in battle and merciless in slaying their enemies. The bandits were looking at the five men and Evony, who was this woman to travel with such men?! Evony only lifted her brow and continued with a dramatic flair, “the man on my immediate left, needs no introduction” with that Evony revealed Galvin. The collective gasp could be heard with many men whispering, ‘that’s Galvin of Cyrodiil’ and ‘what is he doing here’. Galvin standing his full height flexed his shoulders and drew out his chest a bit as he crossed his arms across his broad, heavily muscled expanse. The bandits’ eyes were growing wider by the second as Evony finished, “and to my immediate right, the man whose village you were on your way to ravage, my husband…” Evony dropped the last part of her enchantment to reveal Cael, only a few inches shorter than Galvin and the boys. These bandits have only heard of him, never seeing the warrior he really was. This tall, blonde, and densely muscled man was MARRIED to this mage. The bandit leader, having been released from Evony’s magic still stood, frozen in place. He surveyed the scene in front of him. Looking at Galvin, he stated, “you accompany the Countess and you are never away from her side when she travels”. Galvin only cocked an eyebrow and flatly replied, “I still am”. Realization hit all the bandits about the same time. “That means you….”, the leader pointed at Evony, “you are the….the…..White Witch”. Evony gave a low sweeping bow, “at your service. So now that all the introductions have been made, how about we get to the killing?” Evony stated wagging her brows and smiling.

    It was a cacophony of sound. The elves started out wielding their respective magic and their blades. Bandits were set on fire; some were transfixed and started killing each other, while more were being taken down by the summoned atronachs. The Companions deftly swung their two handed weapons plowing through men left and right. Galvin was taking two out a time. Evony was firing off her ice magic picking the bandits off one at a time as Cael, slit throats and gutted men one right after another – he started with the bandit leader. Slitting his throat so deep it damn near decapitated him – threatening to rape HIS wife, Cael was PISSED. As Cael and the boys moved through the throng of bandits Evony was using her healing magic to keep them patched up, then she saw it….a bandit that circled around Cael and plunged a dagger deep into his back, severing his spinal cord. Evony lost her mind. She immediately flew into the White Witch and calling upon her fire, she lit up the sky as her raging anger matched the hell fire she rained down on the men around her. Her boys crouching and turning their faces away from the searing heat, were untouched by Evony’s magic. Her magic didn’t affect the people she loved, the boys were immune. It was still pretty hot though. Evony was screaming as the torrent of fire and searing lava flowed from her hands, burning the bandits around her. She lifted herself over the crowd of men and in one final spell exploded a fire ball that was ten feet in diameter as she drove it into the ground with all her force. As the world exploded around her, all she could see was Cael. Taylen had already made it to his side and started healing, but the wound was bad. Evony came over with tears in her eyes, gently dropped to her husband’s side, closing her eyes she drew deep, very deep into her magic and with the dark blue, almost black, cloak replacing the fire cloak swirling around her, she lowered her healing hands to his spine. She could ‘see’ the severed nerves and the strands that made them up. Slowly, one by one, she knitted them back together as tears streamed down her face. The work was delicate, if she screwed this up Cael would never walk again. Quietly the men around her watched her work as she slowly put her husband back together. This level of magic has never been seen before, and as Darian clearly concerned with the scan he was performing on Evony as she used this new magic to mend her husband, looking at his brothers, he silently mouthed “her magic is bordering on the Dark. This is DAMN close to Necro magic.”

    Each nerve fiber was being reconnected and nerve clusters were reformed. Evony was using her magic at an alarming pace, but she was not going to stop. Cael’s life was in her hands. “Taylen, she gently called, could you please come and assist me? Can you start mending his tissues as I keep rebuilding his spine?” Taylen was by her side in a second, kissing the top of her head, her long white hair still fluttering around her. Evony had not changed back; she was using old, deep White Witch magic. Taylen moved to the other side of Cael as he closed his eyes and scanned the wound. Taylen started putting the muscle fibers back together and sealed severed blood vessels. Together they worked for another hour repairing Cael and bringing him back to his full strength. As they finish, Cael stood and looked at the woman who was responsible for his continued ability to do so. Taylen got to his feet and Cael reached out his hand, each man gripping the forearms as their other arm gave each other a warriors greeting of thanks. Cael then reached down to his wife and pulled her in all her White Witch beauty into the deepest kiss they have ever shared. This pulled Evony back into her usual form and as Cael pulled back to gently wipe the tears from his beautiful wife’s face, he once more stared into her blue eyes.

    After checking that everyone was okay and healed, Evony turned to look at the brothers, they were all standing together just staring at her with a look of deep concern. They knew the kind of magic she wielded, and they didn’t like it. “What!” she stated clearly exhausted by the effort it took to restore Cael and exasperated with them. She knew the accusing looks; she knew what they were concerned about. They didn’t have to say a word. Darian just raised is eyebrows and kept his arms folded across his chest. Evony just narrowed her eyes and pointing a finger at him, “Don’t. You. Dare. No, you do NOT get to look at me that way. I saved his life! Gave him back the ability to WALK! No, you do not get to judge me!” With that Evony raised her hand and disappeared.

    BattleMage
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    Chapter 12 – The Temple

    Galvin looked at Darian clearly concerned now, “What did you read?” Darian returned his look and glancing at the others, he settled his gaze on Cael. “She used Dark magic to heal you. Evony has always had it in her, but she has never tapped into it like this before. I am concerned with how easily she slipped into it. This magic is old, very old, from the time of the first Aedra her lineage hails from. This is NOT an easy magic to even lock onto, much less wield with the grace of a practiced master. I have sensed her magic is evolving, and I am concerned as to what she will become. The Aedra were masters of Light and Dark magic, and they wielded it without caring how it affected anyone around them. Evony got angry today. REALLY angry. As soon as she saw you go down, she laid out a streaming fire and lava attack that burned with an intensity we have never seen from her. We are immune to her magic and it was still hot to us! This is concerning, dying has apparently removed a ‘barrier’ that kept her magic, well, more or less in check. Now she has unlimited Dark as well as Light powers that she can tap into and wield them with ease.” Cael looked down as he contemplated was this man was saying, was his wife turning dark? Cael just could not believe she ever would. He has seen how much light is in her and how pure her intentions are. She may have used Dark magic, but she used it to heal – not harm. Clearly that had to mean something. As Cael raised his eyes to the others he simply nodded his head and said “let’s get back to the village, it’s time to rest and celebrate our victory”. It didn’t take long for the warriors to return to the cheering village, as they gathered with the people, sitting around the fire, sharing food and drink as they retold the story of the battle; Cael noticed his wife was still missing. Where had she gone?

    Cael left the party some time later, sensing Evony’s pain, but not her presence. How far away did she go? When would she come back? Cael didn’t like going to bed alone, he liked it even less when he woke the next morning to see a still empty bed beside him. Rising, he bathed and dressed for the day, going to the central meeting area for some breakfast. Sitting by the fire, he stared into the flames contemplating the events of the last few days. Soon the Companions came and joined him. They both glanced at him and in return he slowly shook his head. Looking somewhat downtrodden, the twins made their breakfast and sat with Cael in silence. As Cael was finishing his plate, Taylen and Talon joined the trio. Looking around for their younger brother, they asked in unison, “has anyone seen Darian”? Cael looked at the two, and shook his head, “no, Evony still hasn’t returned either. I could sense her pain last night, but not her presence”. The brothers then realized what happened. Darian was tapping into Evony’s magic to track her and bring her home.

    Darian tracked Evony’s movements all day, through the night and all through the next day. She was bouncing all over the place – apparently she knew he would come after her aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand she was going to make this as difficult as she could. From one location in High Rock she sent out eight, yes eight, different paths of magic. Evony did not want to be found. Undaunted, Darian simply scanned a little deeper to find the path that reverberated with the humming of Evony’s magical signature. She went to the Imperial City. To The Temple of the One.

    Evony arrived at the Temple, fresh from her fight with Darian. Well as close as they ever got to fighting. She had sent out a spider web of magic trails crisscrossing all over Tamriel.  She knew Darian would follow and she knew she needed some time. Evony was still stinging over the accusations leveled from his eyes. She was angry at his concern. She was angry…..because he was right. Evony had delved deep into the old magic of her lineage, she has always been able to sense the power emanating from darkness inside of her, but she never felt compelled to explore it to ‘see behind the curtain’. Apparently when Evony died, that curtain came down because Evony now had unlimited access to the Dark. The magic there was as easy to access as picking up a book and flipping to the chapter that explained what each power did. Darian was right; she was delving into old and powerful Necro magic, but with her own healing twist. She needed of power of intense reconstruction and reanimation of dead nerves but she infused it with her own intense power to heal to make sure Cael stayed, well Cael. She effortlessly blended the Dark with the Light. She understood why Darian was concerned and he was right to be. It had been too easy to travel that path. Evony needed to center herself, but the part of her in turmoil was more than Galvin could focus. So she went to the one place where both of her powers from the Aedra could be settled. The Temple of the One.

    Evony entered the Temple drawing a conjured hood up over her hair and hiding her eyes. To fully commune with both Akatosh and Alessia she had to be in her White Witch form, since she always carried her dragonblood with her. She knew the priests recognized her, but out of great reverence and respect for whom and what she is, they left her in peace. They understood if she was coming to the Temple in this form, she needed to commune without a gaggle of admirers breaking her reverie, the priests closed the Temple to the citizens as Evony let the hood disappear and her white robes and long white hair fluttered around her. She closed her completely white eyes and reached out to the only beings that would understand what she was going through and give her the guidance she so desperately needed. Evony was at the Temple for three days and nights in an endless meditation with both aspects of her powers. Even during the morning of the fourth day, when part of her sensed a familiar presence she continued her meditation. Darian nodded to the priests and just sat on the bench and let her meditate. Right now he wished he had Talon’s power of sensing her mind and although he could tap it, something inside him just didn’t want to invade Evony’s privacy like that. Darian could make out the whisperings from, well what could only be the Aedra themselves, communing with the tiny manifestation of both their essence. Evony stayed in constant meditation for another three days. At the end of the seventh day, Evony stood up, turned around and went to Darian. She said nothing, just held out her hand. As soon as he stood and took it she raised her other one and in an instant transported them back to the forests of the Reach. The priests reopened the Temple and continued with their prayers.

    A week! Evony and Darian have been gone a week. Even though the boys were used to Evony coming and going, this time it was different and it put everyone on edge. The twins, both sets, were getting restless; Galvin was in conference with Odahviing every day to see if he sensed her return or anything about her and Cael, well Cael did what he could do. He focused on his people as he slowly started to unravel. Nobody knew anything. No one could sense anything. She just disappeared. What if Darian couldn’t find her? What would he do? Every night was pure torture for Cael, he couldn’t sleep and he was barely eating. He rested the best he could, took sleeping potions to help him and would doze off cradling Evony’s pillow. He breathed in her scent as the potions would kick in for a few hours. When they wore off he would wake again and feel how damp her pillow had become from his tears. This was agony. All he could do was send his love out into the heavens and pray she could sense it. Day after day, Cael’s under eyes became darker, even his paint couldn’t hide how sunken they had become from lack of sleep; his face more drawn. Cael’s usual calm demeanor was definitely frayed as he grew more and more on edge, fearing he may never again hold the woman that changed his life forever.

    Suddenly, the wind picked up.

     

    Chapter 13 – A Time for Firsts

    Everyone recognized the magical signature of Evony’s teleportation spell, small gust of swirling wind, bright white lights and SHAZAAM – instant Evony and Darian. The boys were relieved she looked well as she finally transformed back into the Evony they all knew and loved. Galvin glanced up the few village levels where Cael was and a look of sheer relief came over his face. Before Evony could say anything, Galvin stepped up to her, gave her a quick hug and looked down at his precious Countess, “Darian will fill us in”, turning her to where she could see her husband, “you need to go take care of him right now. This hiatus has been a non-stop torturous hell on him. Now go!” Galvin gave her a small shove in the direction of Cael. Evony wasn’t sure what to expect, he wasn’t running toward her, he wasn’t smiling and seeming happy to see her, he was just standing there. Darian looked up after Evony as she ascended the stairs to where Cael was, “damn he looks like hell”. Galvin replied, “I think this was a first for him, having Ev take off like that. I mean none of us like it when she has in the past, but we have become accustomed to her needing to leave and be gone for a while. Cael did not do well with this disappearance at all; he really has no idea just how…nomadic she can actually be”. Darian just kept looking up at them as Cael didn’t say anything he just offered Evony his hand and he took her straight to their tent. What the boys couldn’t see was Cael pulling Evony onto the bed, grabbing her tight and holding her close and falling asleep in under a minute. Darian watched as they went into their tent and simply stated, “Well he is going to have to learn how to deal with Ev, because he has another first coming his way soon”.

    Galvin narrowed his eyes at his close friend “What did you read”? Darian recounted the few days he spent with Evony as she was in deep meditation. How at times she would have a colorful aura around her – sometimes white, sometimes purple, sometimes blue, and sometimes red. Nobody was getting what Darian was trying to say. “Look, she was in such a deep meditation with the Aedra, she would not be able to cast any kind of aura like that. It looked almost like a weak version of her White Witch flame, frost, lightning, and dark magic cloaks. When they would appear I scanned her magic to see what she was up to. I felt the usual signature of her magic, but then there was something faint underneath. There was a new signature”. Taylen and Talon looked at each other, “are you saying her magic signature changed during meditation”? Darian looked at everyone, “I am saying there is an ADDITIONAL magical signature, NOT a replacement. Ev, has TWO magical signatures emanating from her”. Galvin’s eyes got wide as everyone shared knowing looks between them, “you don’t mean to say……”. Darian just shrugged and replied, “I mean to say”.

    Evony and Cael slept through the rest of that day and through the entire night, waking early the next day. Evony had been in deep meditation for seven days and 6 nights straight and Cael, well the man was a complete wreck. Cael was reluctant to release her; he just held her close and breathed in her scent. “Don’t ever do that to me again! I damn near went out of my mind; I swear the entire village took a collective sigh of relief when you appeared because I was finally going to stop unravelling.” Evony pulled him tighter against her; she had no idea how rough her sudden departure was on him. She did notice how dull and sunken his eyes were and how tight his normally relaxed features were. Evony loved this man with everything she was. “I am so sorry, Cael, I didn’t think, I just acted. I forget you are not used to me just up and leaving to begin with, and especially after a fight with someone I love. I honestly didn’t mean to cause you such distress.”  Evony could hear him sigh, “Evony, I passed ‘distressed’ after day three. I was rapidly approaching ‘total mental breakdown’. I cannot function without you in my life and wondering if you were coming back, drove me damn near over the edge! I understand you will need to travel from time to time, but PLEASE do not just take off on me like that again! I couldn’t bear to live through that hell again”. Evony pulled from his tight embrace to bring herself up to her elbow so she could look at him. She saw the lines of worry and traced over them with her fingers. Cael captured her hand and kissed her palm. Evony leaned over her husband and gently brushed her lips against his. “I promise you Cael, I will never just leave without letting you know where I am going and when I plan on returning. I am so used to the boys – they understand my absent-minded nomadic ways, but I have a home now, here with you, and I need to be mindful of that. I am sorry, Cael. I never meant to disrespect you in such a fashion.” Cael ran his fingers along his wife’s cheekbone, reminding himself just how soft she was. He just simply nodded and said, “thank you”.

    They decided they should finally get out bed, take a bath, and put on clean clothes. Evony took a quick bath instead of luxuriating in the tub as she often loved to do. Even Cael noticed how fast she was, she didn’t even take time to dry her hair. He gave her a questioning look and she simply said, “I’m starving!” Cael was just getting out of the bath as Evony was heading down into the village, to the main gathering area where everyone ate. It was in between breakfast and the mid-day meal, but she was absolutely starving, she had not eaten the entire time she was in meditation and couldn’t believe how hungry she was now. She grabbed a plate of meats, cheeses, and some bread, sat down on her usual space and dug in. She reached for her wine but Galvin thrust a mug of something else into her hand. “Here Evony, try this we found some berries during our hunt this morning and thought it would make a really great juice.” Evony shrugged and tried it, “mmmm, crushed snowberries mixed with ….. a hint of lavender and creep cluster? Why are you making a ‘juice’ that enhances carry weight, fortifies stamina, and can help me resist fire, frost and shock?” Galvin just smiled, “oh, no reason”. Evony narrowed her eyes at him, but drank the potion anyways – it actually did taste pretty good. About this time Cael joined the party and after getting his plate he looked around at this group of men, they clearly adored Evony, but today, there was something different about them. Something was up.

    As Cael tore a hunk of bread from a fresh loaf he noticed Darian and Taylen ‘casually’ sitting very close to Evony with their hands poised in such a way – well it looked like they were trying to scan her without her noticing. They weren’t distressed, so whatever they wanted to check out was not life threatening. But why were they trying to hide it, she has them scan her all the time if they sense something out of the ordinary. Huh. Cael walked over to where Evony was sitting and took his customary place behind her, keep her close and protected between his legs. He was watching these men carefully, something was definitely up. “Would you like some more meat, Evony?” offered Vilkas, “you really should get some more protein, it’s not good for you to not eat for so long – you should take better care of yourself.” Talon chimed in, “and you should sleep better, you really are too hard on yourself, your body needs a break.” Cael looked at these men with narrowing eyes, oh yes, there was definitely something up. Evony reached again for her wine and again Galvin handed her a different mug. Evony looked at him, “and what kind of special ‘juice’ is this that you discovered while hunting this morning?” Galvin just flatly looked at her and said, “Drink it, Countess.” It was rare when Galvin gave an order to Evony, so now she was totally suspicious. “What does this one do?” she asked. Galvin replied, “It fortifies your health, healing rate, magicka regeneration, and stamina regeneration.”

    “Okay you guys, what in the HELL is up with all of you? You are feeding me, surprisingly delicious, potions that are increasing my defenses and carry weight? What in the HELL is that for? You know I have enchanted packs that let me carry anything and fit snugly in my belt. You are trying to scan me for magic and health – without me noticing and failing miserably – AND you are all treating me like I am going to break!” Evony was getting mildly irritated at all of them, “spit it out, ONE of you tell me what is going on!” Cael was watching the interchange between Evony and these men. Suddenly his eyes flew open wide and he got up so fast he nearly knocked Evony over. He stalked up to Taylen and Darian looking at them he excitedly asked in an even quieter voice than usual “are you sure?” The men looked at him and shrugged their shoulders while nodding, “yeah, we are. We have found an additional magical signature and a faint heartbeat.” Cael swung around, ran back to Evony on the other side of the fire, picked her up and hugged her tight. Evony was really confused now, and was Cael….crying? “Cael, what is going on?” Evony asked as Cael finally set her down again. Evony wiped the tears from his face as he picked her back up again, feet dangling again, and held her in an almost crushing hug. Through his tears he said into her hair, “Evony, my love……you’re pregnant.”

    Evony’s eyes flew open as she shrieked, “I’m WHAT!” Unfortunately, it was also very close to Cael’s ear, he flinched a little setting her down again and laughed as she absentmindedly reached up with one hand to heal him while spinning around on the boys. “What do you mean I’m pregnant? I CAN’T get pregnant, remember? Three of Alduin’s teeth tore clean through my womb. I even warned Cael to not get involved with me because he needed a wife that could give him an heir to his throne.” Darian sat down at the fire, “I don’t know what to tell you Ev, I sensed an additional magical signature coming from you when you were at the temple. I kept scanning you over the few days I was with you as it started getting stronger. Taylen scanned you when you sat down to eat and has found the heartbeat. Ev, we can’t explain how your scar tissue healed, but it has. You are pregnant.” Evony sat down stunned. She knew she would be the last Dragonborn, that was no secret and after her battle with Alduin she had grieved for the loss of her ability to have children and resigned herself to the acceptance of being the last of the White Witches and the last of the Stormshield clan. So which of the Gods decided that should no longer be the case?

    Cael asked Taylen, “can you determine how far along she is?” Taylen nodded his head and said, I can give you a rough guess and maybe you can narrow it down. It would be helpful to know when she is due so we can prepare.” Taylen scanned her stomach again and Darian scanned for the strength of the magical signature of the baby. They looked at each other and agreed, “Between four and five months”. Evony thought back, she looked at Cael, “the night I came out of the fever induced coma, and didn’t remember who you were until Odahviing helped me get my memories back in order. That was the night we – umm many, many, times before collapsing in each other’s arms at the break of dawn. That was when my White Witch magic came back. If we conceived then, the baby was infused with my White Witch magic as it was restored.” Suddenly looking concerned, “Taylen, is the baby okay? Did my magic overwhelm it?” Taylen hugged his little Countess, “Ev, the baby is fine, trust me, I have checked. Yes, the baby has your mage abilities as well as your White Witch abilities and apparently is already wielding them, so good luck with that – but the baby is healthy. Don’t worry, we are not leaving your side until you have had this child and all is well.”

    Evony was just stunned. Completely stunned. Looking back at Cael she suddenly got even more pale than usual, Talon caught her and noticed, “She needs to calm down, her blood pressure is way too high. Cael, get over here, put her hand on your heart and hold her – she needs to open that psychic channel with you and you need to help her.” Cael looked at him, “Galvin has her soul, Taylen her heart/health, Talon, you have her mind, Darian you have her magic – what connection would she have with me, how can I help her?” Talon smiled and he looked at Cael, “you have her essence, her love, her passions, her desires…” Farkus and Vilkas looked at each other, “everything that Evony is. Everything that makes Evony, well, Evony.” Cael held his wife as they told him, he closed his eyes, brought his mouth down to her hair and whispered comforting words – then he felt it. This was such an amazing experience! He was actually a part of her, he could feel her emotions, he could read her fears, her racing thoughts, and he could channel his joy, love, and peace to her. Slowly Evony’s mind quit racing, her body was recovering from the initial panic attack as her heart rate returned to normal and she was at peace again. Evony opened her eyes and looked up at the complete peace and joy her husband’s eyes and face reflected. This was the first time she and Cael connected on such an intimate level. Evony has shared memories with him in the past, but he has never formed that psychic bridge she shared with ‘her boys’. Evony and Cael truly were one.

    “Are you better now, my love?” Cael asked in his signature gentleness. Evony nodded, “yeah, I think I am. Just a little overwhelmed there for a minute at the news and what I still need to do and how am I going to do it all. But sensing your calm, your love, I know we can do this because we will figure it out together and with the baby’s six uncles surrounding it with happiness and love, we are going to do just fine.” She said smiling. Right then, one of the village messengers ran up, “Chief, we have received confirmation that the High King is planning on marching on the Reach, most likely when we are all at the upcoming Tribal Summit. Cael’s features turned dark, very dark. “Why is he marching on us?” the messenger just looked at Cael and settled his stare on Evony, “he’s looking for her, he’s looking for the White Witch. He has been searching for her since she was brought here. He didn’t believe she was dead and he has been relentless”…. It was here in the conversation that Evony snuck away to their tent. She donned her new battle armor beautiful black and silver armor that had an open front, like her royal vampire armor did, so her amulet with her family crests could be easily seen. She also donned her crown. Throwing some things in her pack she headed back to the group that was gathered, Galvin saw her come up and went to his tent to retrieve the one item he had yet to use on this trip – Evony’s standard that announced to the world, who she was as she rode into town. Evony was going to meet with Ulfric and she was going to bring all the power of her title with her.

    Cael finished conversing with his men, and turning, he noticed Evony was in her new battle mage armor. Looking at her he asked “and where do you think you are going?” Evony leveled her gaze at her angry husband, “Cael, I am going to Windhelm to re-introduce myself to the High King and to negotiate a lasting peace between the Empire, the High King, and the people of the Reach. There are a few things about me that Ulfric does not know and I WILL use them to my advantage in negotiations.  I will meet you at the summit with the negotiation in place; you just need to stall your uncle before he calls all the warriors from the tribes and incites a war. Your uncle is a reasonable man; just give me some time to work my ‘magic’.” Evony said with a wink.  Cael was not pleased with this idea at all, “Evony, I don’t know why he has been searching for you, but he has been for more than A YEAR! I don’t know what he will do with you once you go back. I can’t risk anything happening to you, ESPECIALLY now!” Evony has never seen her husband this upset before. EVER. “Cael, Love, I will take the ‘boys’ as my delegation, their reputations precede them. Ulfric will know the people of the Reach have their support as well. I will even bring the Ginger – just for added flavor – huh Bryn?” Everyone looked around as the tall red haired man casually strolled out of the shadows of the tents. “Never could sneak up on YOU, Lass”. Evony smiled and went to her second in command. This was the first she has seen him since Alduin. “I would ask how you knew where to find me, but I probably don’t need to know”, she said smiling and giving Brynjolf a huge hug. Bryn just looked at her and said, “I saw your dragon fly this way and I could have sworn I saw a shock of white hair in its claws. I figured you were injured and needed to stay hidden, so we have stayed out of the way. Then we heard the rumblings of the High King and the relentless search for you throughout Skyrim, the Reach is his last place to look. I knew if anything was going to bring you out of hiding, it would be this, Lass, figured it was time to get reacquainted with my favorite guild master.” Fair enough.

    “Cael, if I can stop a war I will, I put that power-hungry bastard on the throne, and I need to remind him that I can remove him just as easily. Go with your men to the Summit, I WILL meet you there. Don’t worry, I will be fine, I am surrounding by magic, stealth, and warriors. There is no one between here and the Palace that would be STUPID enough to try and attack us. I WILL see you in about a week.” Evony looked at Galvin as he unfurled her standard and proudly put it in the notch by his stirrup. Evony was going to make a royal entrance. This was going to be good.

    BattleMage
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    Chapter 14 – Ulfric, What in the Sphincter of Oblivion are YOU Playing At?

    Evony’s delegation traveled non-stop to Windhelm, every few hours one of the men traveling with her would try and feed her, or get her to drink another pre-natal potion, or see if she needed anything, did her back hurt – and on, and on, and on. Seriously! They just needed to relax. Evony was now wishing for the confrontation with Ulfric to get here as fast as possible! If she was offered one more piece of cheese was going to shout them ALL into the next hold! By the GODS, she was pregnant, not dying – she did that already, it didn’t take.

    Finally, Windhelm was coming into view and the activity around the city was absolutely buzzing. With the Emperor being in the city his guards were present as was the newly appointed security detail for the recently crowned High King. In addition, there were other Jarls in attendance to discuss the upcoming march on the Reach and what it would mean for the other holds. Evony’s standard was recognized by one of the Emperor’s guards, being from Cyrodiil, he knew all the noble and royal families. He waited by the stables to welcome them. The delegation turned their horses over to the stable hands as the guard took a knee, “Countess Evony, welcome to Windhelm. I will be honored to carry your standard and announce you to the court.” Evony looked at the guard, “Rise, my friend. I would be honored to have you escort my delegation to the court.” With that Evony was on her way, she was happy she would be seeing her friends again, and she was a little anxious to possibly have to do ‘aggressive negotiations’ with them, because Ulfric couldn’t be satisfied unless he was pissing someone off. Today, it was her.

    The delegation made their way through the city, as they passed everyone, citizen and guard alike, took a knee or bowed out of honor and respect – not just for Evony’s crown, but for her deeds. Soon they were at the doors of the Palace and with a double door entrance the guard announced loud enough to be heard over the large crowd in the mail hall, “My King, and honored guests, may I present Master Brynjolf of Riften; Companions Farkus and Vilkas of Whiterun; Taylen, Talon, and Darian the High Elves of Cyrodiil; Galvin of Cyrodiil personal security and accompanying the Harbinger of the Companions, Guild Master of Riften, Arch Mage of Winterhold,  master assassin that eliminated the Dark Brotherhood, Thane in all nine holds, the Dragonborn Countess Evony Stormshield Rinaldi of Cyrodiil, the White Witch.” The room fell absolutely silent as the delegation moved through the room; all of the guards, Jarls, and nobles in the room took a knee or bowed before her. Ulfric was absolutely stunned. He exchanged looks between Galmar and Ralof – did he just say Stormshield. Was Evony a part of the three Storm families?

    The delegation made their way to the front of the hall where Ulfric was seated on his throne, Evony had moved to the front of her group to stand before the new High King. Ulfric waited for her to bow to his crown – yeah this was not going to happen. Evony leveled a glare at Ulfric, “a word if you will, High King.” Ulfric stated in his smug drawl, “Anything you have to say can be said here in front of the entire council.” ‘Fair enough’, Evony thought, “What in the SPHINCTER of OBLIVIAN are you PLAYING at Ulfric?” The oxygen level of the room dropped significantly with the collective gasp by everyone, well everyone who wasn’t traveling with Evony. All eyes leveled on Ulfric, everyone waited with bated breath to hear not only his response but the response of the Emperor, who had just come from Ulric’s war room. You could hear a skeever fart from the ratways of Riften. Then the entire room about passed out when all you could hear was the Emperor start laughing, really hard. As he started to catch his breath he looked over at Evony, who was still glaring at Ulfric “Oh my God Daughter! How I have missed you, my child.”

    The entire room was abuzz, was she truly the Emperor’s God Daughter – seriously? The Emperor walked over to his God Daughter and gave her a huge hug. Evony was surprised to see him here, “What are you doing here my Lord? I have missed you so much, GF, so much! I can’t even begin to think on where to start to get you caught up on; there is so much from the last two years I want to fill you in on. How long will you be at Court?” The Emperor replied, “Negotiations should take about one more month to get ironed out. You should put on a concert, Evony.” Evony looked around for the Emperor’s scribe, “Jarren, could you please send word to my parents and to the musical troupe to plan on a concert here in Windhelm, um, three weeks from now?” Jarren replied, “Absolutely, but you should know, your parents are already here, they arrived with the Emperor.”

    Evony turned a confused look to her God Father, “why are my parents here?” The Emperor just laughed and walked away. Evony turned her confusion to Galvin and the boys – they all just shrugged their shoulders, they had no idea why her parents would attend negotiations that had nothing to do with the city they were the ruling family of. Evony would deal with that in a minute but first Evony returned her leveled stare at Ulfric “you are going to tell me WHY you have been searching for me for over a year, and WHY are you HELL BENT on starting a war with the people of the Reach?” Ulfric sat clearly amused. She looked good; he couldn’t believe it has been almost a year since the Shouts announcing her death went out across Skyrim. Ulfric could just feel that she was still alive, he didn’t know how or why, but he just …. knew. Now, hearing that she is a part of the Storm families, it made sense. “Evony” Ulfric began “come we have much to discuss.” Evony flatly responded “the only thing I am interested in hearing is your declaration to stay out of the Reach and let them take care of themselves. You have no business there. Leave them be.”

    “Evony, in negotiation there is always a give and a take. What would the rest of Skyrim get from it?” Ulfric asked, loud enough for the entire room to hear. Evony responded “First off, the people of Skyrim exist alongside the peoples of the Reach, they trade with them and they get along just fine. There is no reason to march on the Reach, there is nothing to get out of going to war with them. Second, they would keep their High King on the throne. As Dragonborn I have claim to the Empire, which I will not lay claim to because my God Father is doing an amazing job” turning to the Emperor she did quietly state, although I will be taking on the Thalmor very soon, but we can discuss that in a minute.” Returning her steady gaze to Ulfric “and as a Stormshield, I can take you off of the throne I put you on a year ago and as the White Witch, I have the power to do both. So here is what is on the table, Ulfric, stop being a power-hungry bastard by leaving the people of the Reach alone or lose your throne to me and I will make the declaration myself. What say you? Do we have an accord?”

    “Evony, come with me” Ulfric walked Evony into his war room where her parents were sitting at the table in hushed discussion. “Mother, Father, what are you doing here. In Windhelm. With the Emperor?” Evony was confused and rapidly becoming suspicious. The boys moved over to where Galmar and Ralof were standing so they could see inside the war room and keep an eye on their Countess. She hadn’t rested at all on the journey and with the baby casting magic all the time, it wore down on Evony’s stamina, trying to keep it all contained. Also being pregnant, and tired, Evony was getting REALLY cranky.

    “Your parents are here on my request” Ulfric began “we are talking about a merger.” Evony narrowed her eyes, the boys were really not liking her body language as Taylen and Talon scanned her Tay whispered, “her heart rate is through the roof” and Talon added, “and she is getting really angry”. Evony spoke very slowly when she questioned Ulfric “what KIND of merger”. Ulfric smiled slightly as he replied in his standard drawl “why a marriage of course.” That’s IT, Evony lost her mind. Evony quickly crossed the distance between her and Ulfric carrying with her A LOT of anger, punched Ulfric square in the face, knocking him on his ass just before she shouted back into the throne room. Galmar and Ralof exchanged shocked expressions, “well that is the first time I have ever seen that reaction to a marriage proposal” Galmar quietly stated. The boys’ eyes flew open wide as they looked at Galmar, THAT is why Ulfric was searching for Evony, he wanted her power and position to firm up his own. As Evony came into the throne room she was full on White Witch. Shouting at Ulfric, who was still trying to stand, “WHAT IN THE HELL, ULFRIC” Evony used her powers to levitate Ulfric off the ground. “Marriage is NOT a business contract, it is NOT using my power and my FAMILY to firm up your position. You have been searching for me for over a year so you could USE me to build an alliance with the Emperor and secure your throne FOREVER! Well aren’t you out of the loop! I AM ALREADY MARRIED. You POWER. HUNGRY. BASTARD!”

    Evony was slowly losing control again; her magical cloak was changing from frost to Dark magic. Nobody spoke, except Darian as he quietly whispered “Cael, come forth, I summon thee”. In an instant Cael was standing with the boys watching his beloved wife slowly strangle the High King with her magic. Evony was angry, very angry and right now angry was not good. “Evony, my love, you need to release him” Cael gently spoke. Evony’s eyes quickly flashed over to see her husband, slowly Evony released the force choke on Ulfric and let him drop. As Evony drifted back down she walked over to her husband. Cael gently stroked the side of her face “Sparrow, you need to calm down, the stress is not good for the baby.” Cael reached out to touch Evony’s slightly rounded stomach, he could see her heart racing in her armor.

    Ulfric still coughing as he was getting his breath back, completely stunned, looked at Evony, “you married a Forsworn savage and you’re PREGNANT by him?” As Evony turned to swing on Ulfric again, Cael quickly wrapped his arms around her and whispered into her hair to please calm down. “No Ulfric, I married Cael, the man who SAVED my life. The Greybeards weren’t lying, I DID die that day, only through dragon magic did I get my life force renewed and only through Cael’s unending care and dedication do I live today. So NO, I will not be entering into a ‘merger’ with you. You are damn lucky I DIDN’T strangle you to death. You want to go to war with a people you know NOTHING about and for what?” Turning to face the stunned audience “I fought the dragon attacks to save all of you, in a country that is not mine. My mother died bringing me into this world and I died saving it. I died saving everybody REGARDLESS of their heritage! The very LEAST you can do is get to know who I saved and then who saved me.” With that Evony turned, kissed her husband, looked into his eyes and stated “I have to show them who you are.” Cael simply nodded and stepped back to where the boys were. Evony’s White Witch power was unlimited, before she could only share her memories with someone through touch, now she could show them just because she wanted to. Evony floated up and with unseen wind fluttering her robes and hair, she closed her eyes and projected her memories. Evony showed everyone in the room and in the guards’ room Bishop leaving on the Great Porch, her time getting through Skuldafn, the battle in Sovngarde, dying on the Throat of the World, Cael’s initial triage of the dying Dragonborn and the ferocity of her wounds that required his 20 hours of dedicated healing to this creature. She shared memories of his time, his attention, but especially Evony shared with the world his love. When Evony released everyone from her control she floated back down to the ground and looked around the room, there wasn’t a dry eye to be seen. “That is the man I married. His people only want peace and because of him, many wars within the tribes have been averted. Cael will become the King of his people and there will be peace in the Reach.” Looking at Ulfric, “so the offer on the table is, you stay out of the Reach, and you get to keep your throne. You use my family against me again or you come after the people I love and I. WILL. END. YOU. Do we have an accord?”

    Ulfric simply nodded and went into the war room to write up the iron-clad peace treaty with the people in the Reach – in triplicate of course. Evony’s parents rushed over to their daughter and Cael. Evony’s mother hugged her daughter as her Father hugged Cael. Cael was a little stunned at this reception but Evony’s parents switched and her mother hugged him tight and whispered “thank you for saving our baby girl and for healing her heart.” Cael gently responded “I think Evony actually saved my life and I can’t imagine a day without her in it.” Evony’s mother turned and looked at her daughter “wow, his voice is hypnotic!” Evony just laughed as Cael smiled and shook his head. The Emperor also hugged Cael and Evony “how far along are you God Daughter?” Evony glanced back at the boys “well from what they can scan, I am about 5 months. So I will need to be taking the fight to the Thalmor very soon, before the baby doesn’t fit in my armor. But first, you need to meet someone who can help with the logistics of obtaining and moving supplies, my Emperor, this is Brynjolf.” With that Evony smiled as the men shook hands and went to a quiet corner to talk.

    When Ulfric had returned to the main throne room, he had three copies of the treaty he presented to Cael for his signature, as the heir to the throne in the Reach, Cael had the authority to enter into treaties that would benefit his people. Ulfric maintained a copy for his records, a copy would go the King at the Summit, and Evony asked her parents to hold onto her copy. Ulfric addressed the room “Now that business has been handled, let us feast.” Evony was good with that, she was starving.

    All through dinner, different nobles and Jarls would come up and converse with Cael about his people and his customs. Evony was happy that they were trying and they didn’t just treat him like the savage they thought all Forsworn were. Ulfric was not pleased with this change of events, but he also knew that his personal history with the Forsworn did not involve Cael and the memories that Evony shared with him showed him the kind of man he was a fierce warrior, a dedicated Chieftain to his people, and the loving husband that Evony deserved – Ulfric really didn’t like Bishop, never did. Skyrim was definitely changing, it doesn’t have the dragon menace anymore, there is a High King, and the Dragonborn will not only be the Countess in her lands, but the Emperor has named her as his successor to the Empire and she will be the Queen of the Reach. His alliance with her is not the one he intended, but it would do.

    After dinner Evony chatted with her parents and the boys as Cael drifted over after having yet another conversation with another Jarl, Morthal was that one – no that one was from Dawnstar, that’s right because Evony helped end their nightmares and release the people being held captive by a Daedric prince. Cael was looking a little tired still, he still hadn’t fully recovered from the week Evony was away and just as she got back she was gone again. All he wanted was some peace and quiet with his wife. Evony took a look at her husband and could see he was drained. After hugs all around were given Evony let her parents know they would have to leave for the Summit in the morning but the concert would be in three weeks and she could spend more time with them. Evony summoned Cael’s heavy furs before heading to Candlehearth Hall for their room. The boys were staying in the palace with the other ‘honored guests’ but Evony just wanted out and walking in the cold snowy night, she could finally clear her head.

    “You’re awfully quiet, Sparrow, are you alright?” Cael asked taking Evony’s hand in his as they walked through the inner courtyard of the Palace. “I’m just thinking of the timeline. We have the Summit to get to in a few days, I have to plan the attack on the Thalmor, and get back here in three weeks for the concert. It’s a lot to fit in.” Cael stopped and turned towards his wife on the stairs between the Palace and Candlehearth. “You plan on warring with the Thalmor, now, while pregnant? Evony, I can’t agree to that, I cannot let you put yourself and our baby at risk like that.” Evony loved this man, but he was tired and getting very stressed. “Let’s talk about this on the ride to the Summit. Right now I just want my husband to wrap me in his arms so I can feel the heat of his skin.” Evony stated playfully. Cael just looked at her “there is no heat here, love, thank you for remembering my furs. I am not used to this cold.” Evony just smiled and continued walking to Candlehearth.

    Once safely tucked into their room, Evony got a fire going and the room warmed quickly. Cael was definitely out of his element here, and being the only Forsworn in town, he was drawing a lot of attention. The guards all nodded and greeted him by title, the men nodded or shook his hand and the women openly and unabashedly admired his quiet way and stunning looks. He was the talk of the town and word was spreading faster than Evony’s mage fire. Soon the room was warm and Cael finished his wine and was finally warm enough to strip down and climb in bed. Evony changed into one of Cael’s shirts she always slept in and crawled in next to her husband. Cael held his wife and rubbed the soft skin of her stomach as he quickly drifted off to sleep. Evony could feel Cael’s steady breath in her hair as his left arm was wrapped across her chest and his right hand rested on her stomach. He was holding his wife and his growing baby close.

    In the morning, Cael pulled on his standard lion furs and walked out barefoot and bare chested to inquire about breakfast for himself and Evony. Remarkably, the Hall was full of people at such an early hour, apparently word got around they were staying there and everyone wanted to see the Forsworn Chieftain that won the Dragonborn’s heart. Some admired Cael’s quiet self-confidence while most admired Cael being half naked and completely comfortable with it. He was definitely drawing a lot of attention. As he turned to head back to Evony you could almost hear the swooning take place. Evony was up and dressed as Cael returned with breakfast. The Gods only knew how much she loved this man and choosing to eat in the peace of their room suited her just fine. She could only imagine the throng of new admirers. Evony carried her armor out of the room and upstairs where the boys were talking and laughing by the fire. Dear Gods the eye candy that accompanied this small woman was unprecedented. Threading her way through the gathered admirers and curious observers, she and Cael made their way over to the fire. Galvin hugging his Countess asked “are we riding with the standard, if so I will need to let the guards know so they can retrieve it from the Palace.” Evony looked at him and nodded “yes, we are riding to the Summit with the heir to the throne and the treaty in hand; we ride with full colors, which means…” Evony closed her eyes said a quick spell and summoned Cael’s tribal standard as well. His warriors would ride with an identical standard to announce the tribe as they arrive at the large gathering area. Cael would have led his men, but his plans changed yesterday, today he will ride with his wife carrying the standards of the Wolf of the Reach and the White Witch.

    Chapter 15 – The Summit

    Arriving at the Summit the Anu led the Rudahan warriors as they made their way to their designated area, across from the King to denote Cael’s rank among the tribes. Many of the tribal women were gathered and searching the faces for the handsome Chieftain – word had not spread yet that Evony was with them, nor that Cael had married six months ago – this was going to be an interesting Summit. Anu, Cael’s second in command was greeted by the King. “Where is Cael, he is not with you?” Anu, dismounting his steed, “No my King, he is on his way with the Delegation that went to Windhelm to meet with High King Ulfric.” King Madanach narrowed his eyes “who was in this Delegation that went to Windhelm and why wasn’t I informed of this by Cael?” Anu simply smiled and said nothing. How could he explain any of this?

    It was only a few hours more before the gathered tribes were met with the most…regal…. sight they had ever seen. All tribes gathered along the path that went through the camp grounds of the tribes. Galvin carried Evony’s standard and Darian carried Cael’s they lead dressed in their formal black armor. Next rode Taylen and Talon with their identical level of gorgeousness, behind them rode Evony in her black leather and silver battlemage armor with her crown and her gorgeous husband beside her resplendent in his full royal forsworn furs and his crown. Behind Evony and Cael rode the two Companions in their full war paint. Brynjolf had stayed in Windhelm to discuss the logistical matters with the Emperor, even pulling Delvin up from Riften. As the processional rode slowly through the onlookers, whispers and mumbles about whom Cael was riding with could be heard. All the tribes were here with their respective delegations and never before had an outsider ever attended. The tribesmen and women followed the group as they rode up to and stopped before the King. Anu smiled and lifted his voice to announce the royal arrivals. “King Madanach and honored guests of the Summit I present The Wolf of the Reach, Heir to the throne, Chieftain of the Rudahan tribe, Cael and his bride The Countess Evony Stormshield Rinaldi of Cyrodiil the White Witch and the Dragonborn. With that Evony and Cael dismounted followed by the rest of the processional. King Madanach couldn’t believe what he just heard, Evony was alive! She helped him and his men break out of Cidhna mine but he had heard she died. Has Cael been hiding her this entire time and did Anu say she was his BRIDE?!

    Evony and Cael walked up to the King, both with huge smiles. King Madanach grabbed and hugged Evony so tight “I heard you had died, my child.” Evony returned his hug “I know, I’m sorry. I did die on the Throat, dragon magic gave me a life force again, Madanach, we couldn’t risk anyone knowing I survived. My dragon carried me to your nephew who, with the help of his medicine woman, painstakingly put me back together over a 20-hour time frame. I stayed unconscious for over three months as my body slowly mended and it took a few more months to get my stamina levels high enough to get all my magic back. The King greeting his nephew “What is this I hear about Evony being your bride?” Cael just laughed and replied “It was inevitable, having her in my tent, in my bed and overseeing her healing. I couldn’t help but fall in love with this small, beautiful sleeping creature, then she woke up and started throwing my books at my head and I was rethinking my decision to love her.” Evony’s eyes few open and her mouth fell open as she turned on her husband, hearing his melodic laugh, she couldn’t help but smile, while she shoved him. The King just laughed. Evony made the introductions “King Madanach, I am honored to present Galvin of Cyrodiil my personal security; Taylen, Talon, and Darian the High Elves of Cyrodiil; Farkus and Vilkas the Companions of Whiterun, gentlemen may I present Cael’s uncle, King Madanach of the Reach.”

    As an old warrior, Madanach knew each man by reputation alone; as he shook their hands he was happy to put faces to names. These men were very important to Evony, he remembered, even though she was not in Cidhna mine for very long, she did share some stories of these men. Madanach was instantly charmed by her open and honest personality. She was a little spit fire, with great passion, but such a charming disposition. The King was very pleased indeed that Cael and Evony were together.

    After the introductions, the King ushered everyone into his tent, “sit, sit, rest, eat, I’m sure you could use some respite from the long road.” The group thanked him and did settle in around the table, grabbed some food and the guys passed around the wine. Galvin handed Evony another of her potions instead. The King watched her and with a questioning gaze asked “my dear, you should have some wine. What is that potion for, are you not well?” Evony just smiled at the King and gave her husband the ‘are you going to tell him’ look. Cael laughed at his wife’s goading and turned to his uncle, “actually Evony is not ill, thankfully, since she IS five months pregnant.” The King about dropped his mug as he came around the table and pulled Evony into another hug, “truly, my child, you’re pregnant?” Evony just laughed, “Yes, I am. You can’t feel the baby move through my armor but when I change into my other clothes you will be able to.” With that the King rushed her to the tent she and Cael would be sharing, so she could get changed. Her boys would be camped round them with the warriors. Soon Evony returned to the King’s tent dressed in her standard, leather pants and a belted tunic. The laces on her leather pants had to be let out some to accommodate the baby. The King instantly was at her side, laying his large, warm hand on her gently swollen stomach. His eyes lit up when he felt the baby kick.

    “The baby has been really active the last few days, but thankfully Cael’s voice calms the little one so it stops beating me up from the inside. It’s rough enough containing the magic the baby wields, that really drains me.” Galvin looked at the King, “King Madanach, where is your apothecary? I will need to blend new potions for Evony.” The King walked Galvin to the tent where the alchemy and enchanting stations were set up and told him he could help himself to any of the supplies he may need. Galvin got to work blending stronger potions to boost Evony’s stamina. He couldn’t risk using a magic blocking potion on the baby for fear it could interfere with Evony’s magic as well, but he could ease the discomfort his Countess was going through. He quickly finished his new concoctions and returned to the others. Galvin handed a new potion over to Evony “try this Evony, it will double your stamina, one potion per day, it should help you keep up with the little one.” Evony stood up and gave Galvin a huge hug “thank you for always taking care of me, Galvin, I don’t know how you do it.” Galvin just laughed “you can be a bit of a challenge at times but you do make life interesting.” Evony took the potion and let Galvin know he did an amazing job with this one, she really was feeling much better. Galvin was quite gifted in alchemy and that was just one more thing Evony loved about this huge Nord who was her best friend.

    The group stayed talking with the King for several hours, but it was getting late and Evony was exhausted. She gave a round of good night hugs and headed back to her and Cael’s tent. Cael was still in conference with his uncle and the boys as they related the account of how the treaty, which would be presented to the Summit council the next day, came to be. The King roared with laughter when he heard how well Evony took the news of Ulfric’s marriage proposal and why Cael was summoned by Darian to calm his raging wife down. “She does have spirit” Madanach stated “I have always appreciated that about her. You two are really good together, your patience is your biggest virtue. I feel she may be challenging at times.” Cael and the boys just laughed, challenging at times? How about every day. Evony was the most intriguing person any of them had ever met, but yes to say she was challenging at times was a huge understatement. Her personality, temper, and talent always were brimming over the edges of the small package it was contained in. Many hours later, the group broke up and headed to their respective beds. Cael crawled in bed, next to Evony, and assumed his customary position – left arm wrapping across her chest and right hand resting on the baby. The little one was really active tonight, Evony must be exhausted if she isn’t being bothered by the movement. Cael moved to where he could talk to the baby. In his quiet fashion, he whispered to his child, asking the little one to settle down and give Evony the chance to rest. The baby immediately responded to his voice, his love, and his touch and quieted. Cael moved back to where he could hold his wife and child.

    The next morning, Evony really didn’t want to get out of bed, she was so tired. Cael left her to rest and called on Taylen to check on her. Tay brought Darian with him to scan her magic and Talon to scan her emotions. Evony was not sleeping well, apparently the baby was draining not only her stamina, but some of her magic and a little of her health. Galvin listened to the litany of items she was in need of and went off to make new potions. This little one was definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with – little spit fire, just like its mother. Cael was presenting the terms of the treaty that was hashed out with Ulfric and in the presence of the Emperor, when Taylen came in to get him. Evony was getting worse she needed to be healed. Cael immediately excused himself, handing the responsibility of delivering the terms to his people over to Galvin. Galvin just grinned at Cael as he left to get back to his wife, Galvin knew the kind of healing Evony needed – her White Witch magic required the succubus rapid healing process – Cael was going to be busy for a while. Sometime later as Galvin was relaying the last of the terms everyone was hit with an overpowering sense of health. The King gave a questioning look to Galvin who explained smiling “Evony is healing”. The King was still confused, but let it go for now.

    At the lunch break, Evony and Cael rejoined the other chiefs and the King. Evony was fully recharged with Cael’s help and Galvin’s potions just to be safe. The baby was growing fast and was constantly using magic. Galvin approached the couple “how are you feeling Countess?” Evony responded smiling “Cael got me back on my feet by keeping me off of them for a few hours and your potions are keeping my health and stamina up and able to contend with the little one. These last few months are going to be rough, the baby is really active and is always using magic both my White Witch and my master mage magic.” After lunch Evony and Cael joined the rest of the delegation at the Summit. The chiefs had questions about the treaty and would it could be upheld. Evony addressed the delegation “the treaty WILL be upheld. The terms laid out to the High King Ulfric left no room for error. I can remove him from his throne if he goes back on the terms, as part of the Stormshield clan I have the authority to challenge him and as the White Witch I have the power to defeat him. My dovah soos, dragon blood, is not enough because Ulfric also has the Voice, but I have more powerful magic – which he got a taste of. Ulfric will not be a problem and the Emperor, being my God Father, will give me his full support.” The King’s mouth fell open “Evony, my child, you are the God Daughter of the Emperor?” Evony responded, “I am indeed, and he has named me his successor to the throne, a Dragonborn will once again rule the Empire. So I can assure you all, the terms of this treaty are iron-clad. The Reach is free from invasion and persecution.” The room erupted in cheers as the chiefs brought in all of their accompanying delegates to deliver the news – the Reach was free.

    That evening as everyone was gathered in the main tent the King asked Evony a question, “Would you sing for us Evony, like you did when we were in the mine?” Evony smiled “of course, but I don’t have my troupe here for vocal and instruments. “Darian closed his eyes and whispered the summoning chant, in an instant of bright lights and a gust of wind, Evony’s musical troupe was with her once again. She hadn’t seen them in a year and a half – she missed them terribly. After the squealing and hugging was done Evony made the introductions, the boys of course knew the troupe well, having attended many concerts and High Court appearances. Cael was intrigued; he had only heard his wife sing once, a very sad song when she was still grieving over her broken heart. He couldn’t wait to hear her sing when she was happy and full of love. Galvin sat down next to Cael, quietly asking him with a wink “are you ready to have your wife make love to you with just her voice?”

    Evony’s troupe, A Night of Love, was getting their instruments set up – they were so much more than a flute, lute, and drum and their music was full of passion, fire, love, and desire. Songs that Skyrim had never heard before. One of the girls was asking Evony if she wanted to get changed into one of her performance gowns. Evony just smiled and declined “the corset dress will not fit over the baby.” The entire troupe stopped and stared at Evony in stunned silence – all at once they erupted into questions, hugs, laughing, tears, but most of all joy. Their friend, their premier vocalist, their Countess, was pregnant. Before the performance began, Evony took another of Galvin’s potions, had Tay scan her health and stamina levels and had Cael talk to the baby and quiet it down. Evony put a lot of energy into her concerts; her voice was magical and very powerful. The next few hours she and her troupe held the entire audience in rapt fascination stirring emotions, desire, and love. This truly was a unique experience for almost everyone in attendance – Galvin was quietly watching Cael’s reactions to Evony’s voice she was eliciting his love and passion and his personal desire for his beautiful wife. Galvin also noticed on more than one occasion Cael was having a personal crisis – as he shifted around in his seat, Galvin was used to seeing this response, it happened every time she sang. Evony was definitely going to be healing ALL night long.

    The Summit continued for another few days, but now that business was handled it became more of a gathering of the tribes in friendly competition with weapons and magic. Everyone was laughing and having a great time, but Evony sensed a shift and as Odahviing descended, she quickly found out why. Odahviing had come to inform Evony that Thalmor were spotted in the forests outside of the village, they were scanning for her magic and they were on their way to the Summit. Evony was not about to put anyone at risk here she quickly scanned the group for Cael and not seeing him, she made eye contact with Galvin and mouthed the word Thalmor. Galvin nodded and went to retrieve the rest of the boys and find Cael as Evony mounted Odahviing and flew out to meet the Thalmor before they could reach the gathering – all the chiefs and warriors in one place – it would be a devastating blow if anyone was killed. Cael was in a friendly competition with the other Chiefs on an axe throw as he heard the great dragon lift off and scanning the sky for his old friend he saw his wife and went in search of Galvin.

    The boys met up as the King approached, Cael was visibly concerned as he asked what was going on. Galvin relayed the one word Evony said – Thalmor. Evony was riding out to meet them before they could endanger anyone in camp. Cael was not happy at all, he wanted Evony to not have to worry about a major battle this far along in her pregnancy, the baby was enough of a toll on her system without having to be actively engaged in a life or death struggle. Darian scanned her magic to find out where she landed and having locked in on her signature he transported everyone to her side. Evony was already full on White Witch and her magical cloak was a deep red – she had tapped into the blood magic – the magic the Thalmor feared. Evony had the ability to focus on a certain characteristic or commonality among people and eliminate their entire blood line. Evony’s magic manifested to allow her to focus only on Thalmor, for instance, or eliminate the entire Aldmeri Dominion without eliminating all High Elves. This magic was very old and it took a great amount of concentration. The boys became her shield as she drew deep within tapping into her tremendous power. The Thalmor attacked and engaged the men in battle as two of their wizards held back and united their power focusing on the still Evony. Cael’s heart was in his throat as he saw his wife take the devastating blow – they were going to kill her! But no one could have foreseen what would happen next.

    Evony took the hit but she was shielded from any damage, the baby was casting a grand ward that protected them both giving Evony the time she needed to fully charge the spell. As she lifted off the ground, her white eyes flew open and from her outstretched hands she emanated a dark red energy that tore through everyone around her. The boys were unaffected by her magic and they watched as all the Thalmor were engulfed in this blood red magic and simply disintegrated. Evony was still casting even after she cleared the field around her as her energy stretched out, in all directions, across the lands. Evony was angry. Angry was good. Darian was constantly scanning her magic as Talon was scanning her health and stamina levels – Evony was holding steady. It took her over an hour to finish casting the spell. As she floated down to the ground she dropped to her knees and instantly returned to her natural form. She was exhausted, she had used all of her magicka but because the baby was casting health and stamina regeneration, she didn’t collapse like she did after she healed Cael’s men. The boys rushed to her side and as Cael picked up his wife, Darian teleported them back to the Summit.

    The King and the Rudahan warriors rushed up to their Chieftain and Cael quickly calmed their fears, Evony and the baby were okay. Cael carried his wife into their tent and gently placed her on their bed, she needed to rest, it was going to take time for her to fully recharge. He left his wife to sleep in peace and returned to the group waiting outside. None of the warriors could believe what they saw, the red energy that came tearing through camp, but affected none of them. Cael explained how that particular spell worked as he explained Evony’s White Witch magic. But all the boys were surprised by the abilities of the baby to cast such a protection spell; as long as Evony was pregnant Evony was invincible. The men briefed the King and the warriors on what occurred and relayed the dual casting by the pair of White Witches. This was unprecedented in the entire lineage – there have never been two, the magic is passed upon death to the next in the blood line – this baby was something very special. Taylen did go in and scan Evony’s overall health and checked in on the little one, both were sleeping soundly, both were completely exhausted. Both slept the rest of the day completely still which was becoming a concern for Cael that the baby was so still when he went to join his wife in bed, but a quick check by Tay put his mind at ease. Taylen put Cael’s hand on Evony’s stomach channeling his magic through Cael, allowed Cael to ‘see’ the baby the way Taylen could. Cael could feel the rapid heartbeat and sense the overall health of the little one; he smiled and thanked Taylen for sharing his magical abilities and putting his mind at ease. Taylen simply smiled, nodded, and returned to his own tent. Cael truly felt blessed to have these people in his life.

    When Evony woke, it was very early in the morning, she gently disengaged herself from Cael’s arms and although she was feeling much better she still took the two potions that Galvin had left for her last night. Quietly Evony left the tent and went in search of breakfast – she was starving! Cael woke to find his bed empty and quickly dressing went in search of his wife. He smartly checked the meal tent first and upon seeing his wife ravenously tear into the sandwich she made, smiled and went to join her. “Good morning my love, how are you feeling?” Evony just shook her head as her mouth was full, damn she could not eat fast enough. Evony offered some of the six sandwiches she had made to her husband as she polished off the first one and tore into the second. The boys eventually joined them and watched in rapt fascination as this tiny woman put down an additional two sandwiches. Finishing up, she finally said good morning to everybody. “Dear Gods woman, we didn’t think you would ever stop eating” Vilkas teased. Evony smiled as she replied “Baby was hungry”.

    Chapter 16 – The Call of the Reach

    As the Summit broke up and all tribes returned home Evony and Cael’s delegation returned to their village in the Reach, Cael addressed his people and informed them of the new treaty in place and everyone settled back in for the next week. They all traveled back to Windhelm to meet up with the troupe and perform the concert the Emperor asked for. He and Evony’s parents would be returning to Cyrodiil in another few days and Evony wanted to spend some time with them. Ulfric smartly stayed out of the way as Evony spent the next few days relaying the tales of her first year in Skyrim and all the places she went and the quests she did as the Dragonborn. Evony was now over six months pregnant and was definitely starting to show. Cael could not keep his hands off of her rounded stomach; he just loved feeling the baby move so much. Cael had always wanted to be married and become a father, even though as the Chieftain it was expected of him to do so. Cael just couldn’t believe how happy he was and never could have imagined all those months ago how this woman would change his life.

    After seeing her family off, everyone returned to the village to let Evony rest and prepare for the baby, the last few months would go by fast. The whole village was chipping in as they made clothes and little fur blankets. The craftsmen built a cradle for the baby and Galvin was at work with the medicine woman crafting potions to help ease Evony’s growing discomfort. Cael was never far away and would often be called upon to ‘speak to his child’ to get the baby to settle down. Evony was never at a shortage of help. Cael had to help her get in and out of their tub as well as help her put on her shoes, she could no longer reach her feet. He would just laugh watching her try to tie up her boots, which after drawing her ire, he would smartly stifle his laughter, although he couldn’t hide the mirth in his eyes. Cael would rub her back every day as the pain was getting worse, the baby was nearly here. Evony would often levitate down the many levels of stairs in the village instead of waddle down them. This of course drew the laughter of her boys and even more so when the disgruntled Evony fired off some lighting rounds at them, even though she knew nothing would happen to them. Evony was down at the lake when it happened, her water broke. Taylen, sensing a change in her health quickly alerted everyone to Evony’s status and they rushed to her. Evony was in full labor when they reached her. Cael easily picked up his very pregnant wife and rushed her up to their tent, the baby was coming. Taylen was constantly dual casting healing to Evony as Darian was working on relieving some of her pain and Talon was casting stamina.

    The medicine woman rushed in to see the companions pacing, Galvin trying to feed Evony a potion she was having none of, the High Elves casting and not looking and Cael trying not to get his hands broken as Evony gripped him with each contraction. Looking completely exasperated she quickly scooted everyone out of the tent, Cael was the only one allowed to stay with the Countess. The boys switched to channeling to Evony as they joined hands and combined their magic. Galvin, Farkus, and Vilkas resumed pacing. They could all hear the pain Evony was in and it was driving them crazy that they could not help her. More pacing. The medicine woman checked on Evony and the baby was crowning. Evony was giving everything she had, the head was cleared, the shoulders were coming and with one last agonizing push the baby came into the world in a swirl of white light. The medicine woman quickly cleared the airways and tied off the umbilical cord. Swaddling the infant she passed this beautiful little girl with white hair and her father’s blue eyes to the teary Cael. The medicine woman returned to finish with Evony taking care of the placenta and cleaning Evony up. Cael placed the baby in Evony’s arms as he sat up against the headboard and pulled Evony up between his legs and against his chest holding her close as she nursed their daughter. He quietly spoke into her hair “I am so proud of you, my love, you did amazing”. When Evony was ready for visitors, the tent flooded with her boys all rushing in together and gathered around their Countess as they were introduced to their ‘niece’, Tarra Galvre.  They took turns holding the baby Countess as Cael slid out from behind his wife, tucking her in to rest. Cael gathered up his tiny baby girl and went and introduced her to her people.

    Evony rested for a few hours before casting a grand healing spell and heading off to the bath. This was the first time in over a month she did not require assistance to bathe. Evony soaked in the warm water and let it relax her muscles; Evony had had back labor so this felt especially good. She could hear the village celebrating with her husband over the birth of their future princess as the word was being sent to all the tribes and the King announcing the baby’s arrival. Evony was sure Darian was already planning on summoning her parents and God Father to introduce them to Tarra. Evony exited the bath as the water was starting to cool, she dressed back in her regular clothes leather pants and belted tunic and leather shoes that she could tie all by herself again.  Her stamina was still low, but it was coming back pretty fast.

    Evony was greeted by everyone as Cael turned to see his stunning wife ready to join him. Cael had a hard time sharing his baby girl, always holding her and talking to her. Tarra still responded to his voice the same way she did when Evony was pregnant with her. Whenever she would get fussy, all her father has to do is whisper his love to hear and she quieted right down. The first few days, Evony and the baby rested a lot together, Evony was still pretty drained and having an infant that can summon a Dremora Lord when she is hungry, and Evony is not hurrying up enough to gather her from whomever has her, definitely has been something new. Thankfully, no one was affected by her magic – at least she did inherit that part of the White Witch magicka, it cannot harm the ones you love and apparently that also went for the people Cael and Evony love as well – which was good. Evony wished she could talk to her father and get some advice on raising a magical child because he was able to do it by himself with only the neighbor lady watching her when he had to go to battle. Cael was never far and sometimes laid down with them when they were sleeping and just watched them. He didn’t think his heart could hold anymore love. The celebrations drew on through the next week when the King and the other tribal chiefs came to pay respects and dote on their future princess. Tarra was a huge hit with her Great Uncle and he gifted her, her first elk. Every chief brought a gift for their future princess even Taylen, Talon, Darian, and Galvin presented her with Evony’s custom sized set of daggers, bow, quiver, arrows, and polearm that the palace smithy made for her when she was just a little girl.

    The first week after the baby’s birth was a celebration of the village. The second week was a celebration of the King and the other Chieftains, the third week Evony’s parents and the Emperor came to see where Evony had been living for over the last year. The boys asked her parents when they were all in Windhelm last when they wanted to come to meet the baby because Darian would summon them if Evony had no energy. The Count and Countess had asked Darian not to summon them since it makes the Emperor nauseous and to just teleport to them to inform them of the birth and they would travel the old-fashioned way. The village greeted Evony’s family in their traditional warm and open manner, which worked really well since Evony’s parents are huggers. Even Cael was starting to get used it. Tarra was just as big of a hit with the Emperor as he held this precious child against his heart. It has been a whirlwind of activity for the last month, but as Evony looked out over the village to where her parents and her God Father were laughing and conversing with all her boys, Cael was holding his baby girl, already spoiling her – she knew today was perfect. Yes, there were things going on in the land that would require her attention. But not today. Not today.

    Leonora
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    This is great!! Love your story!

    BattleMage
    Participant
    Post count: 9

    Thank you for reading, I am glad you enjoyed it!

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