(Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

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(Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

Post by Taius Auric on Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:21 pm

A chill wind cascaded across the forest outside Chorrol. The trees shifted in response, the conifer branches stretching in all directions. Millenia ago, these trees had been nonexistent, the environment a tropical jungle, not a forest. That had changed at the will of the Patriarch of the Septim Dynasty.

With Talos's legacy all around him, and the song of Kyne whispering in the gale, the half elf journeyed off the beaten path, resembling a wandering bandit more than a crusading knight. The only metal armor was a slightly elaborate but effective shoulder guard, otherwise dressed in padded leather. It was the only thing he could afford, as he lacked legitimacy as a knight, and more durable armor might single him out to those who sought his bounty.

He still had a sword and shield, reliable steel, but nothing that would reveal his allegiance to a long disbanded order. Taius Auric, despite his faith and dreams, would likely never be recognized as an heir of of the legacy of Pelinal. He'd come to accept that, however, the words of his mentor comforting him as he lived his life.

"Holliness" he'd said to a younger Taius "Lies here" he pointed at the younger man's heart "and here" and he repeated the guesture towards the boy's head. "Everything else, be it a sword, or altar, pales before that. Remember that, boy"

Thus Taius Auric came to Chorrol, to learn the truth, his blue eyes narrowed. He would determine whether the actions commited by the Vigilants of Stendarr were guided by sacred intent, or the utterly profane.

Just have to make sure I get to Chorrol before I meet with any of them. If they have been corrupted, then I'd prefer a wall and a city guard on hand.

The hooded man thought, as he crept through the forest, with as much swiftness and discretion as he could manage.
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Re: (Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

Post by Reckoning on Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:19 pm

Unfortunately for Taius, the Vigilant of Stendarr had already arrived at the city stables, awaiting the man that they knew the face of. There were four of them, each in the attire of the Order, the typical robes of Restoration and the amulet of the God of Mercy, except for one. One imperial man was garbed in a full set of steel plate save for the helmet. It had been polished to gleam in the sunlight, and his amulet, rather than hidden in the robes like the other three, was resting on the breastplate of his armour. A large glass greatsword was set on his back, and under his arm he carried a familiar looking tome.

They stood quietly, by the road and out of the way. The leader, the man in the steel plate, watched all who walked by quietly, while the others just chatted quietly behind him.
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Re: (Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

Post by Taius Auric on Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:05 pm

Taius paused at the sight waiting for him at the gates. With his great helm and symbol of faith on his chest, the leader of the vigilants was not difficult to make out.

Taius frowned contemptively, considering where to go from here. He could try to slip past them, or find another entrance to the city. But he'd come to determine their validity, and while he'd feel safer in the city, this seemed an exposed enough area to avoid the risk of being trapped.

Thus, he approached the Vigilants of Stendarr.

"Alvar Quintius?"

The hooded man queried.
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Re: (Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

Post by Reckoning on Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:48 pm

"Aye." The man in the steel plate stated as he looked at the approaching Taius. The three behind him fell quiet and simply looked at the man, studying him. "You must be Taius Auric. A pleasure to meet you."

Alvar held out a gauntleted hand, a friendly smile on his face.
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Re: (Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

Post by Taius Auric on Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:38 am

Looks like a good start.

Deciding that with his other arm holding that book, (Another ledger?) shaking the armored man's hand held little danger. Taius gripped the presumed leader of the Vigilants.

"Likewise, I'm sure."

Taius then turned to study the robed vigilants, meeting their curious gazes with his own.

"And your fellows, of course. Might I know your names as well?"


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Re: (Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

Post by Reckoning on Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:32 pm

The other three vigilants shook their heads, remaining quiet as they watched Taius cautiously.

"They're just here to keep the peace." Alvar replied as he looked back at his cohorts. "The Vigilants must stand ready at any time in case we come across daedra. They're young, though, so they focus more on the combat part of our duties. So they do not get bored, let us get down to business." There was the tiniest change in Alvar's demenor as he looked Taius over. "You are one of the holders of the Ledgers of Herma-Mora, are you not?"
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Re: (Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

Post by Taius Auric on Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:20 pm

Taius had already been in the process of extending a hand to the mute acolytes. Feeling awkward and rebuffed, he pulled his arm back, and decided not to be offended, though concern began to twist in his gut.

"...I would not be here if either us did not." The blonde man pointed out, his previously friendly inflection slightly muted. "Although I didn't know Hermaeus-Mora had a hand in their creation until you informed me so."

Taius admitted, uncomfortable with the prospect of carrying an artifact of Julianos' daedric counterpart. He quirked his head in thought.

"How do you know that they belong to him, and are not the work of some sorcerer?"
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Re: (Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

Post by Reckoning on Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:45 pm

"The Vigilants have ways of researching these things. Daedric magic clings to them even after their creation." Alvar replied with a frown, as he held up his ledger, before tossing it as though it were a discus. His arm was good, and it went into the forest, crashing into a wolf that was minding its own business. The wolf snarled audiably and attacked the book.

Moments later, there was a yelp of pain, and Alvar was reaching into his bag once more. He withdrew the ledger that had appeared in the depths of the bag and frowned.

"Besides, no mage would be able to create so many copies of the same book, forming a network between them and scattering them all over Tamriel. Nor would they manage to make it indestructible." He looked at Taius with a frown on his face. "If it were possible, why use that enchantment on a book, when one could make buildings, armour, and the like impervious to damage?"
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Re: (Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

Post by Taius Auric on Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:04 pm

Taius raised an eyebrow at the show of the odd book's power. After a moment, he took out and studied his own copy, identical to Alvar's.

"I make no pretense to understand magic beyond the most basic knowledge and lore. The affairs of wizards and all that. As for why not, perhaps the wizard wasn't very militantly minded. Perhaps we should be thankful malevolent forces like Molag Bal or Mehrunes Dagon try something you've described. They're threatenting enough as they are."

Taius studied the identical ledger a moment longer, before putting his away. He turned his gaze to Alvar, blinking thoughtfully."

"Which of course, brings us to why we're here. I've been hearing rather concerning rumors concerning the actions of the Vigilants of Stendarr. You invited me here so I would be given an explanation. So please, enlighten me."

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Re: (Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

Post by Reckoning on Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:04 am

Alvar let out a small sigh as he looked at his ledger. "These ledgers are daedric artefacts, and as such, we must treat any and all who carry them as daedric worshippers." The Vigilant set the book in his bag once more before turning to Taius. "We had offered the people a chance to give them up willingly, but no one answered our call."

"As we looked through the ledgers and sought the carriers, we found troubling things. Barely any who picked them up were innocents." Alvar held up a few fingers, counting them off. "One is a worshipper of Malacath, another her protector. Two are members of the Dark Brotherhood, killing innocents. One is a werewolf, another a vampire, others still are bandits who prey on the weak. In fact, the only one without crimes as far as we can tell are the Khajiit, who wrote a slanderous story on us, and a few merchants. Those we have not sought.

"Those that we have hunted for their crimes are more vocal than anyone else. That is why the rumors persist. For all their braying, we only hunt the unjust."
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Re: (Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

Post by Taius Auric on Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:24 am

"...I see."

Taius said, and he did. Already one of the fellow ledger holders had admitted to being a bandit and a killer. Accusations of members being part of the Dark Brotherhood, Daedra worpshippers, and monsters was certainly worthy of concern.

But...

"But that raises a few more questions. How did you expect people to give up the ledgers when they're attached as they are? And how exactly did you gain such information on all of them? Did the ledger unveil all their secrets? Including mine?"
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Re: (Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

Post by Reckoning on Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:49 am

"We have been working on a way to separate men from their ledgers." He gestured to his own. "One of our mages already has a ritual in mind that might work, but it is still being worked on."

Alvar looked carefully at Taius before he spoke again. "The ledgers revealed enough for us to investigate further. Most of those who write in them, surprisingly, have public information available. All we needed was a name and a face, which the Ledgers provided. You, for example, have a bounty on your head..." He took out a sheet of parchment from his pocket, and held it up to the halfling. "One thousand gold for being of the Knights of the Nine."
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Re: (Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

Post by Taius Auric on Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:14 am

Taius immediatley ripped the parchment, swiftly folding it away, and pulling his hood low.

"Please don't show that in public."

He asked, before handing it back. Another furtive glance around confirmed no suspicous watchers, before he turned back to Alvar, shrugging apologetically.

"Sorry. Generally I don't have to worry too much about exposure beyond those in need of gold or those who actually submit to the Thalmor. Thankfully few."

He considered the folded parchment for a moment, frowning in thought.

"You're saying that the people who've gotten these ledgers, most of them have information easily accesable?"

Taius considered that for a moment, before his eyes widened with comprehension.

"Perhaps thats why they were chosen? It can't just be coincedence that we recieved this."

He picked the book up, considering it carefully, before his eyes narrowed.

"Any idea why you recieved one?"

He asked, an idea beginning to gestate in the corner of his mind.
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Re: (Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

Post by Reckoning on Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:42 pm

"If only it were that simple. And do not worry, we have no intention of turning you in. You hold the Eight and One in high regard, which is unfortunately uncommon these days." Alvar replied as he sighed, looking towards the gates of Chorrol.

"As for why I had received mine, it was simply bad luck. I had cut down a necromancer that was terrorizing a hamlet, and the book was on his person. When I touched it, it bound itself to me." The Vigilant replied as his fellows shifted behind him, perhaps tired of simply standing around. They continued to watch Taius quietly under their hoods.
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Re: (Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

Post by Taius Auric on Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:29 pm

The shuffle of movement, though minor, still prompted Taius to glance at them, concerned.

"Hmm. All the same, have you considered that, if these books truly are the work of Hermaeus-Mora, then your actions might be due to its manipulations? Consider it. You are the servants of Stendarr, lord of mercy, and yet are using Daedric tomes to hunt and kill."

Sternly, Taius guestured to the silent, fidgeting students.

"How many of your brothers have died as a result of using this book?"
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Re: (Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

Post by Reckoning on Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:58 am

Alvar frowned slightly and looked carefully at Taius. "We are not manipulated; we are protected by the Nine. All we wish to do is destroy these ledgers. So far, everyone that we've run into that owns a follower of daedra or a criminal."

He seemed to ignore the second question as he continued on. "We never show mercy to those who do not show it themselves. To the servants of Daedra and all that would contest the good in Nirn. We are there to protect the people, not exploit them."
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Re: (Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

Post by Taius Auric on Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:21 am

"You did not answer my question, which says more than enough."

Taius felt righteous anger beginning to ferment in his heart, but he kept it chained, for now. If they were to rediscover the righteous path, he could not indulge in the same madness that drove them.

He gestured once again the robed acolytes, the movement passionate and clear.

"Look at them. Boys! Barely men, if that, silent as the grave, and I wonder at it. The children of Stendarr look at me not with compassion, but with fear, waiting to see if I draw my weapon upon them."

Taius turned his gaze to Alvar, meeting the armored man's iron gaze with one blazing with cold fire.

"You have forgotten the face of your God, Alvar. You carry his mark with pride, but you've forgotten what it means. Your Lord is the master of Merciful Forbearance as well as Righteous Might. Might you forever forget one, and mar one of the Nine? For that is exactly what you're doing."

"Your actions diminish yourselves spiritually and physically. You reduce your order to assassins, sent to kill without the offer of mercy, and your are surprised at the rejection fermenting, and the embrace of the Daedra and worse, over the worship of the true gods? How many will be left Alvar, when this madness runs its full extent? Will Stendarr be remembered not for compassion, but for sending men to die in his name?"

Taius took a breath, realizing he'd let himself wind up more than he intended. He exhaled audibly, before concluding, in a semblance of calm.

"You need to remember that compassion and mercy are at their purest when offered even to the most reviled enemy. And that sending boys like this to die is a path that has no honor. You must realize that."
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Re: (Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

Post by Reckoning on Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:51 pm

A dark look of rage came to Alvar's eyes, but otherwise, he seemed nonplussed by Taius' words. "We forget nothing, Auric. But it is clear that you cannot, or simply will not, turn yourself in."

Behind him, one of the initiates created flame in one hand, launching it up into the air. A signal to others. Soon, five other Vigilants emerged from Chorrol, while another three came from the direction of the forest. All of them surrounded Taius; some with weapons raised, others simply with magic in their hands.

"You are surrounded, Taius." Alvar stated as he withdrew his sword. "I am giving you one chance; surrender and let us take your tome, or perish."
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Re: (Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

Post by Taius Auric on Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:28 pm

Taius could do the math quite clearly in his head. Even if he wanted to fight, even if he tried to flee, the odds would not be in his favor.

But he didn't intend to simply submit to this farce of Stendarr's disciples. Facing Alvar, Taius deliberately took out the tome, facing the leader of the Vigilants.

"I see that you'd be willing to kill me, even if I did not draw a weapon in response. Very well, in the sight of these men and the gods, I challenge you to a duel, Alvar. You are so certain that your faith is not misguided, why don't you put it to the test, and best me yourself. Right makes might, is it not so? Defeat me, and the gods have proven they favor your interpretation."

He gestured to men surrounding him,

"Or do you really need to have over fifteen men overtake me? Regardless, I will not harm them."

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Re: (Outside Chorrol, Cyrodil) Differences in Theology

Post by Reckoning on Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:43 pm

Alvar watched Taius carefully. On the one hand, his men had their orders that they would carry out no matter what. And on the other, he still had honour enough to humour a request. The captain nodded and he looked to Taius. "Very well." He stated as he set his own tome down, shifting his hold on his weapon. "Let this be honourable then. Should you win, my men will stand down and let you pass. Should I, you and your tome will come to us."

"Is this fair to you?"
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