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The Stranger with the Fa(M)iliar Face (Jabba x Firesblood)

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Offline Jabbathejack

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Idryius shook his head blankly at the mention of the Great War.
"I have no knowledge of rings, red or otherwise." His smile faded. "But I know about battle."

He gazed into his mug for a moment before taking a drink.
"When I left Solitude, I was part of a mercenary group. But that was a long time ago."

He shook his head, looking up at Victor. How long had it been? He had no idea.
"What... what year is it? I feel silly even asking this. Its something that everyone should know."


Offline Firesblood

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“No reason to feel that way.  Your circumstances are hardly ordinary.  It’s 201,” Victor replied, turning a bit in his chair to refill his mug from the spigot.  “The Great War was 175.  I’m not sure when you are from, but I’m sure you’re familiar with the Aldmeri Dominion?  They got it in their heads to start conquering.  We beat them back many times, but in the end, they had resources that would have far outlasted ours.  So the powers that be signed a treaty.”

Victor’s features tightened slightly at this, betraying the hidden anger he had over it, still.  He was no happier about the concordat than the Stormcloaks who were currently warring over control of Skyrim, and while he would never enlist under Ulfric Stormcloak’s banner after the way he murdered Skyrim’s High King, his faith in the Tamrielic Empire had dwindled to non-existence.

“Did you travel much with the mercenaries, or were you based primarily here, in Skyrim?” 


Offline Jabbathejack

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Idryius stared at him, setting down his drink.
"It's been that long?" He rubbed at his face, as if he could wipe the confusion away. Sadly, it was a futile gesture.

He turned his gaze back to Victor, but it was bleak expression.
"I was born in 40. I was 26 when I was killed. Tsarin was a year older."

He shook his head again.
"How could he have lived for so long? I don't understand any of it. But then... I never did, not really. I knew he was working on something important, but he always told me it would be a surprise."

"I miss him, but... not what he became." He grimaced. "But you don't really care about that, do you? For you, its only what he did to you that was important."


Offline Firesblood

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Wow, it had certainly been a long time.  For all Victor knew, the whole of Tamriel could have changed a handful of times in those years.  The Great War itself had changed a great many things. 

“It could have been the magic he was into, or he could have had some blood from the mer races somewhere in his ancestry,” Victor reasoned.  He kept his voice even; his hatred for Idryius’ lover was still a fresh wound.  The man had been completely mad as well as sadistic—if the bodies they had discovered were anything to go by.  But Idryius had loved him, and Victor was not the sort to begrudge him of it. 

At Idryius’ comment about him not caring, he raised an eyebrow.  “If I didn’t care, Idryius, you’d be curled up wherever you were planning to go tonight instead of sitting here drinking ale with me in front of a fire.  We don’t often have control over whom we love.  It’s not your fault, what he did.  He was insane, and my family has suffered because of what he has done, but that doesn’t negate your feelings for him or make them matter any less.  It still hurts.  I do not think less of you for it.”  Victor grimaced again.  It hurt to admit it, but… “I can…sympathize with him, in a way.  There’s not much I wouldn’t do to bring Lor back to me if I lost her, and the woman enrages me more often than not.”



Offline Jabbathejack

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Idryius snorted with a bitter smile.
"I've slept in worse places than a cooling forge. It's shelter enough from the wind."

He paused, nodding as he reached forward to refill his mug.
"Yet, your company is preferred. I appreciate a friendly face."

Idryius frowned as he took a sip.
"Your son would rather I wasn't drinking right now. If he had his way, he'd be pacing the room worrying about Beka. I don't blame him, but what will be will be. Pacing and worrying will do nothing to right it."


Offline Firesblood

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Victor smiled with a little more warmth this time, pleased by Idryius’ comment about a friendly face.  He allowed himself a quiet chuckle when he described what Samuel was feeling; it was a strange situation, but it comforted him to hear his son’s side of things.

“He knows the way birthing goes here.  The women come together to offer support and welcome the new life, the men keep out and wait for the news.  He’d have been underfoot and suffering half a dozen glares if he had insisted on being there,” Victor said lightly.  Then, because he wanted to offer his son some reassurance, he added, “Beka is…a deceptively strong woman.  I am quite certain she will be fine, and the child too.”

Because they were somewhat on the subject, Victor hesitated and spoke again. “Has it been alright for you there, Idryius?  Have you begun to settle in?”


Offline Jabbathejack

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"Aye, he knows." Idryius nodded, smiling. "But that does not stop him from worrying."

"She is strong indeed, otherwise I doubt she would have had me with her, considering the circumstances."

Idryius frowned a touch.
"I don't think I could ever settle in here, as you say. There are few here willing to talk to me. Most just look at me as if they expect to see Samuel inside, or they look at me as if I murdered him."

"I'm comfortable, if that's what you ask? I have a roof over my head and food in my belly. For a time, Beka wanted to do everything for me, as if I was on my deathbed."

Well, it wasn't far off being the truth, was it?

The voice in his head spoke up, taking a moment out of worrying for his family.


Offline Firesblood

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“I imagine not,” Victor chuckled.  He had been there, himself, not terribly long ago.  It didn’t feel all that long ago.  He had been a nervous wreck while both of his sons were coming into the world, unable to sleep or be still until one of the old women came for him.  Likely, he’d be in no different a state when the child Lor was currently carrying decide to come into the world. 

As Idryius went on about the general wariness of the people, Victor sighed softly, swallowing a generous amount from his mug.  “This is an unprecedented situation, and no one quite knows what to think.  It will take time, but I’m sure once people grow used to the reality of what has happened, they will be warmer towards you.  It’s only been a week.”

Victor gave Idryius a look in response to his comment about Beka treating him like he was on his deathbed.  “You were.  Think on this; in all of our travels from Dawnstar to here, you were suffering from a grave wound left mostly untreated and largely unhealed because you refused potions.  You refused food—something that as a werewolf, you require more of than the average man, due to your supernatural stamina.  By the time we got here, Idryius, this body—” he gestured to Idryius, “—had become wasted by a noticeable degree, thanks to those deprivations.  You took sustenance and potions towards the very end, but it wasn’t enough to undo the damage immediately.  When Samuel left this place, he was healthy, strong, and whole.  When you arrived here, you most certainly did look like you were on your deathbed.” 

Victor refilled his mug and slouched a bit more comfortably in his chair.  He stared at his drink thoughtfully, mulling something over.  “I know that this has been very difficult for you.  The valley will begin to warm in a month or so, and we’ll be able to build again.  If things grow too uncomfortable for you, staying in Samuel’s home with Beka and their child, it would not be difficult to build a small place for you to live instead.”


Offline Jabbathejack

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Idryius snorted, shaking his head.
"I'm not a werewolf..."

The moment he spoke, Samuel's bitter laugh echoed in his head.

You poor deluded skeever wit. If I'm a werewolf and you've taken over my body, then what the hell does that make you now?

Idryius scowled, shaking his head as if that could dislodge the unwanted voice in his head. He looked up at Victor.
"As you can probably imagine, your son doesn't think much of that, but what else can I say? I don't feel that much different, even if I look it."

This was something he hated, being so vulnerable in front of someone he barely knew. His expression hardened; he would adapt, he had no choice.



Offline Firesblood

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Victor said nothing to contradict his claim; Idryius still had much to learn about this new life and the body he was in.  A part of him wanted to say something, if only for the fact that denying what he was now would only cause him long-term harm, but there was time enough for that.  With regular meals and good work, his health would only improve whether he believed that he was a werewolf or not.

Deciding that changing the subject may help release some of the tension, Victor took a generous swallow from his mug and leaned forward to throw another piece of wood on the fire.  “We’ll be sending out a small hunting party soon.  There are deer and wild goats aplenty in these mountains, and we’re due to restock our storehouses.  The party is typically gone for about two or three days, depending on success—sooner if the hunting is good.  If you would like to join in, we would be glad for the help.” 


Offline Jabbathejack

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"Aye." Idryius nodded, leaning back in his chair as he took a long swallow of his drink. "I'd like that."

Hunting was one of the few things that he had enjoyed as a boy, allowing him to leave his city life behind him and head into the hills. It offered him a chance to see the area that he now found himself in, travelling without being slung over the saddle like a dead deer.

"I appreciate you doing this." Idryius watched Victor with his solemn gaze. "I understand that it is not easy being around me."


Offline Firesblood

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“Excellent,” Victor said, a genuine grin flashing briefly across his face.  He, himself, enjoyed hunting a great deal.  Unfortunately he wouldn’t be attending this trip—there was too much to do, and he was responsible for dispensing judgement in village matters and disagreements, of which was long overdue.  He didn’t relish the next few weeks, but it was part of the job.  “I wish I was going with you.  It’s beautiful country.  Instead I get to listen to petty squabbles and complaints, and deal with all the mundane bureaucratic nonsense that comes with leading a village of this size.  You’ll have to kill an extra deer for me.”

When Idryius thanked him, Victor smiled slightly.  “You’re a good lad, Idryius, and that certainly makes it easier.  You could have been a complete bastard.  Fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case.  I know that this hasn’t been easy for you either.”


Offline Jabbathejack

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Idryius frowned as he realised that Victor would not be going with him on the hunt. Instead, he would be travelling with virtual strangers, most of whom would dislike him for what he was rather than who. Yet he had already agreed to it, he would be unable to back out now without appearing weak.

He nodded grimly, then he leaned forwards and helped himself to another mug of ale. He had the feeling he was going to need it.

"When do we leave?"

Inside, Idryius felt Samuel's turmoil, knowing that his host would not want to go too far away from his wife, especially at this sort of time.