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I am exceedingly proud of my collection. There are some absolutely amazing artist on this site.

The only issue that I have is with the slide show's order. It's set up from newest to oldest. I wish it were more random as there are days that I'll get on some wild kind of kick and there are suddenly 12 Star Wars pics in a row (yeesh).

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What a fantastic romp! Oh, Joldi, you have a thing for priests and so do I. It's that whole forbidden thing. Heiwako, as always, you ne...

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Leslie Mertz aka Lord of Cakes
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
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A Valentines Gift

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 8:56 PM

Valentines can be hard. I've always hated this particular holiday. When I was single, there was always the crushing pressure of trying to find someone, lest you get this common response: "Oh, you're not doing anything for Valentines..."

Sometimes I would foolishly go through the motions: I'd go out  to a bar, hang out, get drunk and maybe wake up to some other idiot who is also over-compensating for this stupid holiday. Other times I'd come home alone, wake up with hang over and wonder what the hell was wrong with me. For singles, Valentines suck.

Even for those who are attached to another Somebody, this holiday can create problems.  One person could forget or worse, fail to meet the others ridiculous expectations.

To me, this is a bullshit holiday designed to make florist richer, singles miserable, couples disappointed and trees felled to print stupid cards that say "I love you" in the most cheesey ways.

My advice to those struggling with this stupid holiday:

Singles: Don't beat yourself up over being single. Enjoy the time you have with yourself; you won't realize how valuable that time is until it's gone.

Couples: Forget expectations and timelines. Do something for someone you love on April third, or September 17th, or whenever.  You don't need a holiday to this.

One of the best pieces of relationship advice was given by the brilliant Dan Savage and can be found here:

His column can be found here:…

Texture by Seykloren
Skin by Riemea


A Valentines Gift

Sat Feb 14, 2015, 8:56 PM

Valentines can be hard. I've always hated this particular holiday. When I was single, there was always the crushing pressure of trying to find someone, lest you get this common response: "Oh, you're not doing anything for Valentines..."

Sometimes I would foolishly go through the motions: I'd go out  to a bar, hang out, get drunk and maybe wake up to some other idiot who is also over-compensating for this stupid holiday. Other times I'd come home alone, wake up with hang over and wonder what the hell was wrong with me. For singles, Valentines suck.

Even for those who are attached to another Somebody, this holiday can create problems.  One person could forget or worse, fail to meet the others ridiculous expectations.

To me, this is a bullshit holiday designed to make florist richer, singles miserable, couples disappointed and trees felled to print stupid cards that say "I love you" in the most cheesey ways.

My advice to those struggling with this stupid holiday:

Singles: Don't beat yourself up over being single. Enjoy the time you have with yourself; you won't realize how valuable that time is until it's gone.

Couples: Forget expectations and timelines. Do something for someone you love on April third, or September 17th, or whenever.  You don't need a holiday to this.

One of the best pieces of relationship advice was given by the brilliant Dan Savage and can be found here:

His column can be found here:…

Texture by Seykloren
Skin by Riemea

Ode To Joy

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 6:09 PM

Well, dA I hate you slightly less.  Though, it must be said you were the cause of at least two rage strokes today.  For some reason when I uploaded my new story Annika and the Pier, it treated it as journal entry.  I had to take it down twice.  It's never done that before.  I don't know. 

But the story is in and I am quite proud.  Annika and Pier is my and Gaspode5 entry for :iconthe-bards-college: Collaboration Contest.

I, and other fantastic writers and artist took part in the contest.  You can check their stories out here: the-bards-college.deviantart.c….

Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: sexual themes and strong language)

Annika and The Pier by Gaspode5

“Are we all packed up, Julan?”

“Aye, love. We’ve loaded up all our ill-gotten gains from Ald-Daedroth.  Annika, I swear there’s enough here to feed the Ahemmusa for a year.”

“Idiots. I love it when stupid people wear expensive armor.  So, we have at least six hours to kill while you steer our little ship to safety through the Inner Sea.  What shall we talk about?”

“You could tell me a story…about your life…about Anvil.”



“Julan, you know I hate talking about that.”

“Look, you know everything about me, about my bastard birth, my crazy mother—well pretty much everything.”

 “It’s pretty gory. I guess you should know everything before we marry.  I probably should have told you this sooner.”

“Nothing you tell me could ever change my mind about marrying you, Annika.  Besides, it can’t be that bad.”

“Yes, Julan, it can.”


Everything was lost.

The gold sun slowly melted in the sea as the smell of brine and salt invaded my every pore.  Again, I wiped my eyes as a stream of salty tears seeped into my lips. The night was coming; the last of daytime’s gold and pink light lingered on waves of the vast sea. I knew I should be leaving, as the docks were not safe. But I couldn’t move. I just didn’t have the strength. 

I turned slightly, examining a rip in my tattered frock. Within the splintered wood pier, I saw a beetle weaving effortlessly in and around the aged planks. I closed my eyes and for a time imagined that I was as slight as this insect, as insignificant as speck and safe and secure within a little nook with no one and nothing to fear.

 I spent a few comforting moments in that idle reverie until I was startled by the sound of large boots and creaking wood. The tiny creature I was studying scuttled away and disappeared entirely. Turning, I saw a large figure approaching.

“Well, what do we have here?” boomed the loud, female voice. 

“A…uh, a girl. I’m a girl,” I murmured with some trepidation. Looking up I saw a tall woman, with a halo of fuzzy blonde hair. 

I can see that,” the woman said slowly as she knelt down to my level. “I’m Erica Bone-Bottomed—don’t even think of looking at my ass.”

I kept my eyes on Erica’s face and not the plank of her backside.

“I’m Annika Blue.” I said, rising. This Nord was a giantess. Standing a full height I barely reached her chest. “I’m new to Anvil.”

“Not really, you’re not.  I’ve seen you down here before,” Erica countered. “You usually wait here for that boy that worked Hurley’s Haul.  I haven’t seen him in a few days—haven’t seen you either,” she said, noting the newly formed tears that sprung into my eyes as she spoke.  “Left ya here, didn’t he?”

I nodded; it was all I could do as my throat was choked by repressed sobs.

“Well, you can’t stay here.  It’s not safe, that is unless you’re trying to court those shipyard boys into paying customers.”

“No! I’m not that kind of girl!” I said that but I knew the odds were not in my favor. 

“Well, you will be one of those girls if you continue to stand out here,” Erica said gruffly. “Look, you come and stay with me, help me out with the blacksmith shop.  Maybe pick up a few shifts at a tavern.  You’re pretty, your ass isn’t bone-bottomed so you should be able to make some sort of living.”

“Thank you for your kind offer,” I said.  I knew she was right: that would be my fate soon, unless I could find someone willing to help me.

Erica smirked, “It really isn’t so much of an offer as it’s a proposition.”

Well, this is interesting. I gulped as I looked beyond Erica to men on the docks and the ladies of ill repute that were standing beside them. I looked back at Erica standing there with her hand on her hip and wry smile. 

“Let’s go.”


Wait, Anni, you’re telling me that you and Erica…”

“What?  Shared a bed? Yeah, Julan we did. What of it?”

“Well, it’s just… um…I…I didn’t know that. You never told me that.”

“You never asked. Can I continue?”

“Sure, Anni. Can’t wait to hear what happens next.”


In the following months I learned my role in this odd partnership. We were lovers sometimes, yes, but mostly she wanted a confidant, a friend, a sister, and someone she could mother.  I was Erica’s wide-eyed young protégé.   I was the one who listened at night to her fears and failures.  Erica was a master blacksmith—an artisan, really— but often the strain of competition was more than she could bear. ‘It’s a woman’s lot,’ she would say bitterly, when ship captains and the like passed her stand up for her male counterpart in the stand four stalls down.

Erica also had another job. To supplement her shop’s meager income, Erica peddled skooma, a highly addictive drug.  Most of her customers came from Cana’s House of Pleasures, the brothel round the corner. The girls would come in either before their shift would start, as a way to face the night, or they’d come in the morning as Erica set up shop, to forget the things they’d done the night before.

One morning, Nan, a frequent customer, came and approached Erica for her fix. “Cana saw your girl,” she said, looking over at me.

“Yeah, so?” Erica snapped.

“Well, she just wanted to let you know there were some open shifts—either for a serving girl, or…acrobat.” Acrobat being the polite euphemism for prostitute.

“We’re not interested,” Erica said sharply.

“Maybe,” I spoke up with some force. Business was not going well at the shop and over the weeks I had watched Erica become one her own best customers. The habit was always there, she told me she had started young, but as the business failed her used of skooma, or as it was commonly called sugar, increased. Over the course of weeks on several occasions I had held her as she vomited heavily and shook after taking in too much sugar.

I looked over to Nan, whose long, red locks gleamed against the sun’s early rays. “I’ll consider her offer, as a serving girl, perhaps.”

Nan nodded as she took fix and left.  I turned to Erica, who looked crestfallen. “By the fucking Nine,” she muttered, hunched over the forge.

“Erica, I only said I would consider it. You and I both know business isn’t what it should be.”

“It’s winter; business is always a bit slow this time of year,” she said, still feeding wood into the kiln.

“Erica, look me,” I said. She stopped and turned toward me, and I reached out to her, clasping her hand. “You and I both know I’m terrible at this.  For fuck’s sake I’ve shattered countless swords--”

“I fixed them,” she countered. “There were no complaints.”

“Erica, I smash swords, botch shields and drop tongs. By the gods, I can’t even keep a bloody fire burning. Last week you called me ‘Cold Iron Anni.’”

Erica smiled at that. She held my hand as we walked toward the bench near the worktable. “You just haven’t given yourself enough time.”

“Time has nothing to do with it, Erica.” I then unfolded her hands, placing my palms against hers.  Even unfolded, my fingers barely reached her knuckles. “You have these,” I said as she sobbed quietly. “These hands are your gift.  With these hands you create things that, even if I was given a hundred years, I couldn’t possibly make."

She leaned back and wiped the tears from her eyes, then turned to me. “I guess you’re right.  Annika, there are many, many things you’re wonderful at, but by gods you’re right—a blacksmith you are not.”

“Well, I might not be able to forge steel, but I’m pretty sure I can schlep drinks.”

“It’s just…”

“What?” I asked as she released my hands. Erica was cradling herself.

“It’s just Cana’s such a bitch—she’ll eat you alive,” she said, holding her head in her hands. “Even her sister fled. I hear Dresele now has her own brothel on that gods-forsaken rock, Vvardenfell. She drove her sister halfway across Tamriel.  She shorts the girls and she wants them hopped on skooma.”

“Is that how you started, Erica?” I asked already knowing the answer. She said nothing as she stood and wiped the tears from her eyes.  She quietly walked over to the wood pile and gathered the logs, placing them into the forge. 

She said little to me the rest of the day and I did not force the matter.  We both knew the inevitable was upon us.  I loved Erica and she knew this, but I could sense that she was also afraid that she’d lose me, not only to sugar, but perhaps to a handsome patron of Cana’s House of Pleasures.  In the evening as we made love, I saw tears streaming down her cheeks.  I kissed them away, but she turned from me still sobbing.

“I know I’m going to lose you,” she said.  I wanted to promise her that she wouldn’t, but the words wouldn’t form or pass my lips. I loved her too much to lie to her, and I knew deep down that she was right.


“Did you go?”

“Yeah, Julan, I did.  Are you sure you want to hear the rest of this?”

“I’m not sure Anni. I do, but I don’t. I’m sitting here picturing everything you say and seeing someone else who is going through this.”

“We can stop.”

“No, no. This is the life you led. This is what made you Annika Blue.  I’m in.”

“Okay. Could you hand me a smoke, please.”

“Yeah, I think I’ll need one too.”


The building was much larger than I had expected; the house itself was a whopping three stories.  Hardly a hole in the wall where dirty deeds are done secretly in the night, Cana’s House of Pleasure seemed to send out an open challenge—it was brazen and brightly lit, with girls lingering on the large porch, flirting with the patrons. Inside the home was just as extravagant; the walls were covered with rich, red damask silk.  The air was heavy with smoke that swirled and danced in the pale, morning sunlight that stubbornly streamed in through the shuttered windows.   Richly decorated couches and chairs lined the walls.  Tables large enough to stand on dominated the middle room.   In the far back I could see two girls on a stage.  They were naked.  Their bodies moved mechanically around the pole as a few scattered patrons looked past them with utter disinterest.  I could feel goosebumps rising on my neck.

“Our best girls don’t come out until the night,” said the rich, female voice behind me.  I turned around to see a tall, lovely brunette.  Her eyes were large and deep set, her lips full and her smile beautifully insincere.  At the zenith of her youth, she must have been incomparable; as it stood now she was still a great beauty—enough to take your breath away.

“I can see that,” I said with more confidence than I possessed.  I extended my hand. “You must be Cana.”

“I am,” she said as her unimaginably soft fingers enveloped my own calloused hands in firm shake.  “And you must be Erica’s girl.”

“Annika Blue.”

“Well, Annika,” she said as she wrapped one lithe, perfumed arm around me, “this is my House of Pleasures.  Come on; let’s take a seat and talk.”

I followed her to the bar.  The blond, topless girl serving drinks looked me over and then nodded to Cana.  “She’s not bad,” the girl said as she handed me a steaming cup of tea.  I saw Cana glare at the girl, who quickly scurried behind the bar.

 “Do you like that?” Cana asked, motioning to tea. “The leaves come from Black Marsh.  We’re fortunate here in Anvil to receive Tamriel’s great bounty.”  I smiled and nodded, but in truth, I had never considered myself fortunate, especially since landing in Anvil. I certainly had not benefited from the city’s bounty.   Most nights, Erica and I considered ourselves lucky if we could afford to eat.  I looked up at Cana, but found I was too afraid to make eye contact.

“It’s really lovely,” I said I closing my eyes; taking in the tea’s sweet aroma. I’ve never tasted it’s like.  I lived most of my life in Chorrol and never tasted anything like this.”

“That surprises me, your being from Chorrol.  I would have thought you from High Rock, given your Breton features,” she said, smiling warmly.  There was something hypnotic about her eyes; the moment I looked into them I found myself pouring out my life’s story to her as she continued to pour the tea.  I divulged everything—my early abandonment, my upbringing in a monastery, all the way to my failed efforts as a blacksmith.

“I can see you’re nervous,” Cana said, taking my hand in hers.  “I’m sure Erica’s told much about me.  But let me ease your fears by being honest with you. “

“Okay,” I answered timidly.

“Here at The House of Pleasure you can make money one of two ways.  You can serve drinks to our patrons and make money off of the tips.  As you’ve seen, our servers go topless.  While that might be daunting to you now, especially with your monastery upbringing, it won’t be after a few days. “

“And the other way?”

“Is to be an acrobat, a dancer—“

“—A whore,” I said bluntly.  I could see Cana was taken back, but I refused to let her sugar coat my options. 

“Yes, Annika, a whore,” she responded coolly.  “Our whores set their own prices, but they generally take in about a thousand septim a week. Now understand that forty percent of that is mine.  Thirty percent is my cut and ten percent is room rental.  There are twenty rooms here.”

That’s still six-hundred septims! “Are servers…acrobats too?”

“They can be, but I wouldn’t encourage it. You won’t make the money that girls do on stage.  Annika, you’re a beautiful.  Your hair color is unique, your face remarkable, and your body delightful. Make the most of it. My advice to you is to work as a server for a while; that way the regulars can drink you in and wish. Then when you finally make the stage, you can command a high price.”

“Is there any other advice you can give me?”

“Don’t fall in love, and for godsakes, don’t get pregnant,” she scowled.  She then reached into her purse pulling out several gold coins. “You can come in tomorrow night—after you’ve shaved and bathed.”


“So you worked there, as a serving girl?  Is that why you hate it when I drink?”

“Yeah, you could say that. I don’t know, Julan, it’s just something about the smell of alcohol on your breath. The smell just triggers a memory.”

“I’m sorry, Anni.

“Well, how could have possibly known?  I never told you any of this.  Anyway, for two months I had been working  non-stop as a serving girl, tolerating the constant barrage of indecent proposals and unwanted gropes. I had put up with all of that for the wages were descent and little was expected of me. ‘Just stand there and smile.  Act like serving those cretins is your greatest pleasure. You’ll rake it in,” Cana would say.  She was right, yet despite the coin I’d made from the House of Pleasures and the money from the smithy, we never seemed to have enough. Waking up I often found my coin purse was much lighter than what it had been the night before.  Then one morning everything changed. I had just come home an hour ago from Cana’s…..


“Anni wake up!”

I woke to Erica’s hysterical shouts on a cloudy morning.   

Skooma had taken Erica completely.  Most mornings I would wake and find her naked body stretched over the cold, wooden floor, with the sickly sweet stink of skooma hanging in the air. Before, when I was at Erica’s side daily, her use had been controlled.  Without me, her loving gyroscope, she slid further and further down the spiral.  Prayers, pleas and empty threats of leaving did not stem the tide that threatened to envelope us both.

“Anni, they’re going to kill me,” she said through choked sobs. 

I shot up like a spark. “Why, what’s happened?”

“Three days ago, a large shipment had come in. I had sold a good deal, but—

“—But not enough to cover what you took for yourself,” I snapped angrily. Erica stood there, with her arms cradling her chest and her head hung low like a child chastened.  I shrugged and simply said, “You’ll have to sell your father’s tools.”

Erica took in a deep breath and gulped, “I sold most of them already, Anni. There’s nothing left but the stall and that doesn’t belong to me. You know that.”

“Take the coin on the table.”

“It’s more than that.  Anni I’m short four-hundred septims.”

I sighed deeply, knowing there was only one way I could get that kind of money. I held Erica’s head in my hands and looked at her.  I wanted to scream, shout and shake her wildly.  

“I’ll speak to Cana this evening. Tell them they’ll have their gold in the morning.” 



“What, Anni?”

“Julan, perhaps I should stop. Your eyes look like they’re going to pop out of your head and you’re not concentrating on steering the ship. I’ll stop.”

“No! I mean, I’m kind of invested in the story. Please continue.”

“Fine.  I’m taking the helm. We’re not going to die in the Inner Sea today.  You just stand over there.  We’re about to enter the bowels of this particular tale.”

“You mean it gets worse?”

“Oh, much worse, Julan.  Much, much worse.”


“Cheer up, girl, nobody likes a sad whore,” Cana said as she passed me a glass aged brandy, as I spilled Erica’s story. “We’ll make a show of it tonight.  It will be fun and you’ll get the money you need.” I drank down the brown liquid, feeling it warm the whole of my body. I drank several more drams as Cana laced up my serving girl corset.

That evening as crowds of men came in from the dock. As the rich captains lefts their wives and families for an evening on the town, I served drinks to them wearing virginal white. Suddenly, the music stopped and I looked to Cana, who nodded giving me my cue. I flung the tray of drinks to the floor making a loud crash.  Every eye was on me as I strode toward the main stage.  Climbing the stairs, I could hear the patrons cheer as I unlaced the front stays of the corset and tossed the garment carelessly on the ground.

I could feel the drum beats throughout my body. The brandy’s dizzying effect was now at its height, burning and tingling throughout me. Gyrating my hips against the pole like it was a lover, I danced.  As the beats quickened, I swayed; my hands caressed my breast and stomach,  pretending they were Erica’s hands, the farm boy’s hands, every man’s hands in this bloody brothel.  And then it stopped. 

As the drums died down, the lute switched to a softer melody, I looked over at Cana who nodded.  As another girl took the stage I walked in the dark, grabbing a flimsy cover the girls wore after exiting the stage for a successful bid. 

Standing beside Cana was an older gentleman, with a strong build and dark brown hair.  He looked me over; his icy blue eyes were appraising my worth.  “She’ll do nicely, Cana.”

“I think you’ll like her,” Cana purred. “She’s a bit inexperienced.”

“All the better,” he said as he led me into a cheerfully lit room. 

“What a treasure you are, my dear. Let’s see what you have to offer,” he said sliding the robe from my shoulders letting the soft cloth pool at my feet.  His hands bore down on my shoulders until I was kneeling before large bulge in his pants that longed to be set free.  He took my hands and placed them on his breeches, nudging me to unlace them.  I heard his breath hitch as I pulled his dripping cock free.  He hands moved from my shoulders to my mouth.  He took his thumb and circled my lips, wetting them with my own saliva. I could taste the salt at his tip and feel his hand threading through my hair as I took him in entirely.   Back and forth I moved against him as he groaned loudly, crying out the Nine; his cries urging me to go deeper.  I could feel his fingers digging into the back of my neck as his cock throbbed releasing the warm, salty liquid in my mouth.

I rose slowly, looking him in the eye, silently questioning him about what came next.  Gently he wiped my lips and then turned, pouring us drinks from the bar.  “You put on quite a show tonight my dear. Cana tells me it was your first; I find that hard to believe.”

I shrugged. “Cana told me no one likes a sad whore. If figured if I was going to do it, I’d give it my best.”

“Well, you were truly magnificent,” he said as I walked toward the bag of gold lying on bureau. “Wait, where do you think you’re going?”

“I thought you were done with me,” I answered sheepishly.

He placed the drink down on table and approached me again, saying nothing.  Wrapping his arm around my waist, he picked me up and threw me stomach-down on the bed.  Plunging into me, his graveled voice bled into my ear, “No, my dear I’ve bought you for the night.”


“I don’t want hear anymore, Annika.” 

“Tough shit, Julan.  You wanted to hear about this. I warned you that it was awful.”

“I don’t want to hear about you fucking another man, Annika!  Gods, I wished I never asked you about any of this.”

“You’ve asked me several times about my early life and I’ve always avoided talking about it. ‘Tell me about Anvil.’ You constantly ask that over and over again. Well, guess what, Julan, ask a fucking question, and you get a fucking answer.” 

“I wasn’t prepared for this!”

“Neither was I! But don’t worry, Jules, that was the last trick I turned.  I swore I’d never allow myself to feel so empty again. So can I continue?”




In the morning I woke to the sounds of birds tweeting.  The bed was empty, but still warm. I turned over and saw my patron dressing.

“Oh, you’re awake,” he said with some disappointment.

“Aye,” I answered quietly as I shook my head.  I was groggy; my head hurt from all the drink and my body ached from last night’s exertions.

“Well you were entirely enjoyable—worth every septim.”

“Thank you,” I said in a hushed tone.

An awkward silence ensued.  “Well, good day,” he said briskly, as if he was embarrassed. I said nothing but nodded.  I waited for him to leave before I rose.  The nauseating smell of stale liquor hung heavy in the air. I felt sticky and sore, empty and used.  Moments after he left, there was a knock at my door.  I opened the door slightly.  It was Cana.

“You did well last night, darling,” she said, as she entered the room cheerfully, handing me my clothes.  “You brought the house down.  I already have more bids for you tonight.”

“Forget it,” I said while slipping on my sandals. “I’m done with this.  I never want to see this place again.”

“Really?” Cana asked, her voice a sweet and insincere as before. “Annika, the coin purse on the bureau is full of golden septims.  You’re angry now and that’s fine, but you’ll get over it. Trust me, you will.  Now, here’s some tea; you need to drink as that particular gentleman is ceaselessly fertile.  He ruined a few of my best girls.”

I looked at Cana and took the cup from her hand. I gulped down the bittersweet, steaming liquid and nearly choked.   It was the most disgusting concoction I had ever tasted.  “Did these leaves come from the Black Marsh too?” I asked acidly.

“No, thank the gods, or I’d be entirely without girls,” she replied. “The tea comes from a native plant grown here.  You’ll have to drink more over the course of the next few weeks for it to be entirely effective.”

I took another sip of the tea. That smell, that unmistakable smell—it wasn’t just the tea leaves—I had smelled this sickly sweet odor day in and day out for months.  Skooma.  That bitch was adding skooma to the tea.  This is would explain why most of Erica’s clientele came from Cana’s House of Pleasure.  They had no chance.  They probably didn’t realize what they drinking until it was too late.

“So this how you keep your girls in check, Cana?”

“Whatever do you mean?” she replied sweetly.

“Cut the crap, Cana, I can smell the skooma,” I said, glaring at her.  “Cana, you are the most detestable creature I’ve ever met. Gods, Erica warned me, but she never said it was in the tea—maybe she never knew.  Perhaps I should alert the Imperial Guard.”

Cana laughed heartily at this. “Don’t bother, little one.  Who do you think you serviced last night?”


“This is how it works, Annika—this is how real life works,” she said as her eyes bored holes into mine. “I ensure that Captain Avidius gets the pick of the litter, so to speak, and in return he kindly looks the other way with all the House of Pleasure’s business. So go ahead and tell him, though I’m sure it won’t get you anywhere other than a long drop off a very short pier.”

I stared blankly at her.  This woman, this hag, would never get caught.  She would continue to destroy the lives of everyone she touched and she would get away with it—and that’s just life. I grabbed the gold purse; I hurried past her, and ran out into the cool, mid-morning air.  Erica, I whispered to myself, praying I wasn’t too late. 

I ran like a madman to our flat.  Upon entering I gasped, for our home was demolished; blankets and clothes were strewn all about and the floor was carpeted with shattered skooma vials.  She wasn’t here.  I ran down the cobblestone streets, calling out to her.  The smithy was emptied entirely. I checked the docks and taverns.  I ran blindly through Chaplegate, Westgate and Guildgate looking for her throughout the day.  She was nowhere to be found. As the last of the evening light faded, I returned our home, empty, aching and exhausted.   In the dark, I struggled to find a single candle and match.

Finally, after cutting my hands on shards of broken glass, I found my quarry and lit it—then screamed, for I was not alone.


Julan: *Blink*


A large lizard-man—an Argonian— emerged from the shadows.  I picked up a broken mug and flung it at him.  With lightning-quick reflexes he caught cup in mid-air. Madly, I dashed around the room looking for the sword Erica kept hidden.

“Ah, were you looking for this, little one?” he asked as he tossed the heavy saber at my feet.  He then pulled out a slim sword and stood there, expressionless. With every ounce of courage I possessed I charged toward him. With almost no effort, he managed to knock the ungainly sword out of my hand.

Resting his blade against my neck, the creature spoke, “That sword is not the right size for you, it is large and clumsy, and you are small and unskilled. This one would be a better, for it is sharp and light, though strong enough to slice through your pretty little neck.”

“What do you want?” I stuttered, while tears of fear streamed down my cheeks.

“You have something of mine, I do believe.”

“I don’t know you. What could I possibly have that you’d want?”

“I’m here to collect a debt that your Nord friend incurred.  She promised you’d have the gold on the morn. It is well past morning, little one.”

“Where’s Erica?” I gulped. “I won’t give you anything until you tell me.”

“No, I could take all now, if I wished,” he said playfully, pushing the sharp blade further against my skin. I could feel the blood pooling around my shoulder.

“Please, just tell me she died well, that you didn’t make her suffer.”

The Argonian sheathed his blade.  “I did not kill her.  At first light she was taken in by the Imperials.  What they did with her after that is beyond my knowledge.”

“And so you waited here for me to return.”

“Of course I did.  I knew you’d return at some point, though it took much longer than I expected.”

“I spent the better part of the day looking for her. Here, there’s your bloody gold. Take it and be gone,” I said without emotion.  I was drained and just wanted to sleep.

He stood there counting the money, when he was done he looked over at me. “You must have worked very hard to get this.”

“You have no idea, Argonian.”

“Do you like that kind of work?”

“You mean do I like being whore?” I hissed. “No, not particularly, though that all that’s left to me.  I have no skills; as blacksmith, I break blades, taverns are out as most are family run and want no encroachers; I couldn’t even find a job as a bloody maid and I’m afraid of the docks.”

“You should be, but…you could be an adventurer,” he suggested. “I could teach you.”

“Why would you do that?”

He walked around for a moment, touching the wooden paneled wall. “This is quite a nice home you have here; much better than the hovel I’m living in now.   It will be many weeks before my ship leaves  this port, so I propose trade of sorts.  The racist fools that own this abode will not let it to lizard scum like myself and unless you decide to go back to Cana’s, you can’t afford this place on your own.  I could stay here with you.”

“You won’t expect—

“—No,” he said forcefully. “I will not meddle with you as your kind does not inspire my passions.  As I was saying, I could stay here, teach you a bit about swordplay and stealth, maybe even find you work in one of the sea captain’s homes.”

I couldn’t think of anything else to do.  He was right; this was my only option—and yes, I longed to live the life of adventure…but most of all, I longed to be unafraid.

“What do I call you?”

“My name is Hslshur-Je, though the humans call me Hides-His-Blades.”

“I like Hslshur-Je better.”

“So be it.”


“So for the next several months Hslshur-Je trained me in the fine art of theft.  He taught me how to pick a lock and pocket; he taught me how to gauge whether or not a cavern or barrow was worth robbing. He taught how to choose a blade and then how to swing it.  He trained me in the way I trained you, Jules.”

“You just threw me in.”

“Exactly.  Anyway, this went on for the next three months, until I discovered something.”


“Well, I never went back to Cana’s to finish the tea…”

“You mean…”

“Yeah, I was pregnant.”


“Annika, you’ve saved enough money to leave. Just go and forget about me.  I’ve brought you nothing but trouble,” Erica whispered from her cell.

“Erica, I can’t go back to Chorrol, I stole a great deal from the monastery.  It’s just not possible.  Look, you have two more months to serve.  Hslshur-Je found me a job with Oaken-Hull's House as maid.  Yeah, sure Hasathil, is a bitch—“

“When she not screwing Enilroth.”

“The blacksmith—no way!”

“Yes, way. Look, Anni, you should get out of here while you can. Heinrich can be a real bastard. Just ask anyone of the girls who work there.”

“Look, I’ve never met him. He spends all his time at sea. I can make it there for two more months and then we can leave this pit for Dagon Fel. We can start over.”

“Anni…I don’t know.”

“Erica, you’re the only friend I have.  Please,” I begged. “I don’t want to do this alone.”

“Okay, fine, we’ll do this.  I’ll serve the time and we’ll leave. Just make sure you’re nowhere near that house when Heinrich returns.”

“Sure, Erica,” I said. Of course I didn’t tell her that Heinrich had returned over a week ago.

I had kept my head down, and tried my best to disappear into the walls.  I served their meals, cleaned chamber pots and changed their sheets unnoticed.  Until one day.  One morning I arrived to angry shouts coming from the bedroom.  Accusations were hurled back and forth.  I saw Hasathi sweep out of the home in a rage—most likely running to her lover.  A sense of dread washed over me when I was instructed by the butler that I would be serving Heinrich that evening.

I walked and poured his wine.  I was relieved that he didn’t even look me.  I went to get his soup and while serving it, I felt the baby stir.  I tripped and poured hot soup all over him. He then rose, shaking the soup off himself and as he looked up me—a twisted smile spread across his face. He seemed almost joyful; like he wanted me falter so he could punish me, in the place of punishing his errant wife.

“Sir, I’m so sorry,” I uttered.

“Sorry doesn’t cut it, wench,” he said, shaking the soup from his sleeves.

“Please, let me help,” I said as I handed him a rag from my apron.

“Oh, you’ll help me, alright, you ruined whore,” he said as he approached me. “I saw you at Cana’s, you slut.  My wife keeps hiring those sluts—probably to make her feel better about her own whoring.”

“Please, don’t hurt me,” I begged as I backed away. “Please, sire, I’m with child.”

He then lunged me, throwing me to floor. I landed on all fours and from behind I could feel him yanking at my skirt. He tore it as he held me in place.  I could hear him unlacing his breaches as I struggled to get free of him.

In front of me was the fire place.  I grabbed the poker and swung wildly, knocking him back. I stood and went to hit him again, but he grabbed poker out my hand and swung it at me.  As fell, I grabbed a small statue mantle and flung it at him.  It hit head and fell.  I picked the statue up from the floor and continued to hit him…”


“You know the rest, Julan.”

“No, no I don’t. What happened to you, to the baby?”

“I took what I could off of Heinrich and ran to one of the sea coves.  I stood in the waves and let them wash over me. The water wiped his blood from my body and carried my still-born daughter out into the deep.  I was found shortly after, half-starved and raving.  I was tried for murder and sentenced to die. Then, I was thrown head-long into a dank, little cell until such time that my sentence could be carried out. Erica was still there and I think it was she that saved me for I had lost my will to live.”


Time was unfathomable; one day melted ceaselessly into the next.  I had no idea how long we’d been in that cell. Finally, the guards came and told me to prepare myself; on the morn my sentence would be carried out. In a way it was a relief; finally the agonizing wait and the unending fear were over.

“Erica, I’m going to die.”

She held me close in her long arms. “I know and it’s all my doing. I’m so sorry, Annika.  I’m just so goddamned sorry.”

“You’ll live,” I said, without any bitterness or anger. “You’ll survive, so long as you leave this wretched place behind.  Erica, I want you to promise you’ll leave. Go to Dagon Fel, go to Chorrol, go to Oblivion for all I care; just promise me that you’ll leave Anvil.  Get the hell out and don’t look back. Erica, I want you to promise me that. My life will have meant something if I can save yours.”

Erica promised over and over, and in between sobs, that she would leave. I fell asleep to the sound of her tears and promises.

In the morning, I heard the cell door slam open. I woke with a start as the guards lifted me from the cold ground.  I heard Erica scream and plead for my life until a guard backhanded her, knocking her to floor.

“Quit crying, you cow,” the guard shouted. “Your girlie’s got a change of plans.” He then turned to me, and grabbed my face, as he shook my head back and forth. “That right, doxy, you’re leaving here and going to the Imperial City to die proper.”

“I’m not going to die at all,” I said, then spit in his face.  I knew if I were truly to die, they wouldn’t bother dragging my carcass across a continent.  Fate had something entirely different in store.


“And so fate brought me here.  It brought me to this tiny rock in the sea and it brought me to you, Julan.  A good end to a rather grim fairy tale.”

“I don’t know, Anne, I’m hardly a prince.”

“No, Julan, you’re much more, much, much more.  You’re the Ashkhan to a great tribe of people. That is something far better, far more interesting than some petty prince locked in a moldering tower. I think fate was kind to me.”

“It was more than fate, my love. It was the will of  our blessed mother of the night’s sky—it was Azura’s will— that you live so that one day you, Annika Blue, our fearless Nerevarine, would beat the baddie under Red Mountain and save all of us lunatics from ourselves.”

“Something like that, Jules,” I said as our hands met and fingers interlaced. “Something like that.”

Annika and the Pier

This is my origin story for :iconthe-bards-college: Collaboration Contest.

The brilliant (and unceasingly patient) Gaspode5 rendered the art portion of this work.

This story is set in the time before the Nerevarine; it is the tale of Annika Blue's life prior to any prophesy.  This isn't the story of her redemption, though through her others were redeemed.  This isn't the story of hero or a savoir of men; it is the story of girl and the events that led her from the seedy town of Anvil to a prison ship bound for the tiny island of Vvardenfell. 

It is a story I've longed to tell.

For more Annika Blue:…


I set the story in the town of Anvil, a sea port in Cyrodiil.…

I have used a few characters from Oblivion.  Heinrich Oaken-Hull, Hasathil and Captain Avidius belong to Oblivion © 2006 Bethesda Softworks LLC. 


Erica's character was inspired by CanadianIce's mod Metal Queen though it should be noted that the storyline and dialogue are mine.

Julan Kaushibael, Annika's soon-to-be husband' character is based off the incredible mod by kateri-t and can be found here:

Desele:… (she is Cana's sister).

All other characters are mine.


It should be noted that I used very few references to the game play in either Morrowind or Oblivion, but games are where the story's universe is set.



Game info:…


Ald Daedroth:…

The Oblivion storyline doesn't really factor into this story, but you can find information on the game here:…

Morrowind © 2003 Bethesda Softworks LLC

Oblivion © 2006 Bethesda Softworks LLC


Anyone Up for Russian Roulette?

Fri Jan 30, 2015, 6:56 PM
Last night my computer stopped working.  I didn't know what went wrong.  My husband said my hard drive crashed.  Every bit of art, every family photo, every screen shot (there were thousands) all the side projects I've been working on are lost.

Years have been lost.

I was such a dumbass.  Please people, if you learn anything from me, please, please back your stuff up externally.  I could have but I was lazy. I could have used cloud, or something external.

Could have. Would have. Should have.


Skin by SimplySilent
Empty is the Head... by Lesliewifeofbath
Empty is the Head...

The Setup:  Ondolemar and Marceline have been making their way across the countryside in search of some fat loot said to be found in Ragnvald Barrow.

Ondolemar: Marceline, for the love of Mara…

Marceline:   Again, Ondolemar? Really?

Ondolemar: *Sigh* No, darling not that. I just want you to admit we’re lost.

Marceline:    We are not lost.  The barrow is lost. And it’s not my fault that the bloody barrow is lost.  Besides, if we stand up here long enough, we’re bound to spot it.

Ondolemar:  You’re just standing there.

Marceline:    Not just standing, Ondolemar— EPICALLY standing—there’s a difference.

Ondolemar:  Ok, so while you’re EPICALLY standing—

Marceline:     With the moon in the distance and sunset and pines at my back...and my new outfit!

Ondolemar:   And a dragon—

Marceline:     Ooohhh, a DRAGON! *Clapping* I hope Leslie gets this…and my good side.  She knows my right side is my best side and yet she’s constantly—

Ondolemar:   *Exasperated* Marceline! Night is falling, our provisions are running low and there’s a bloody dragon circling below, ready to make a meal out of our horses!  For the love of Magnus, let’s go, aaallllrrreeeaaadddyyyy!

Marceline:      Why did you change it to Magnus?  He’s not exactly sexy, ya know.

Ondolemar:    *Having a rage stroke* BBBAAAHHHHH! How, by the Eight—

Marceline:       Nine, sweetie, you mean Nine…

Ondolemar:    *Throwing hands up in the air* How are you the Dragonborn?  Was there a mix up in the selection process?  A glitch by the gods? HOW ARE YOU THE SAVIOR OF MAN AND MER?  HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE????

Marceline:   *Menacing Glare* FUS RO DAH!

Ondolemar:  FALLING Thump, thack!  OUCH! Bump, crack! Oh, that’s going to swell….

Marceline:   *Peering down over the cliff* Hey, honey?  While you’re down there, can you take care of that dragon for me, please…

Ondolemar:  #&@%!!!! Yeah, sure, darling.

Empty is the Head Too by Lesliewifeofbath

Marceline: Totally worth it.


Just some birthday fun at Odie's expense.  Poor dear.

Ondolemar Copyright Bethesda Softworks.
Empty is the Head Too by Lesliewifeofbath
Empty is the Head Too
Totally worth it....

See: Empty is the Head... by Lesliewifeofbath

Skryim Copyright Bethesda Softworks.

Ohhhh Myyyyy.

Journal Entry: Sat Jan 24, 2015, 7:22 PM
So, I've writing the Courtesan Series since 2013 and I can promise you that an end is in sight.  I'm working on the final chapter of this particular series, but have decided not to write an epilogue as the adventures of Marceline and Ondolemar are far from over.

Speaking of adventures. I have been writing so much about Skyrim that I've kind of forgotten how fun it is to actually play the game.  So to that end I've picked up a few new mods and have been...uh...quite inspired since installing them.  I've already listed the links to said sexy mods here:

Guess Which Mod I've Been Using.... by Lesliewifeofbath

If you have any questions about any of the mods I use, please drop me a line and I'll gladly send you a link. 

For those of you who are waiting with baited breath for the Courtesan Series Finale, it should be out by the end of this month, early next month.  I've just been super busy with my submission to :iconthe-bards-college: Collaboration Contest.

After I write the Courtesan Finale, I will be taking a long hiatus as far as writing goes.  My family and I are planning to move to Portland, Oregon in July and as that's on the other side of the country (I'm close to Washington, DC), the move will take most of my free time.

I will still be monitoring my groups, but will decidedly need some help in July and August.

Guess Which Mod I've Been Using.... by Lesliewifeofbath
Guess Which Mod I've Been Using....
I have been writing so much about Skyrim and the adventures of Marceline that I've forgotten how much fun it is to actually play said game.

And if you're going to play it...well, you might as well go all out.  That being said, this screenie has been marked mature as I will be putting the references to what mods I've been using below.  These Mods are definitely adult themed.  If you want to know how adult themed, I will be more than happy to show you, but will not make the screenies public.

As always: Ondolemar belongs to Skyrim Bethesda Softworks©.

Rendered in Gimp 2.6

Mods Used:

Male body replacer.  The choice should be obvious (erect) but everyone has different preferences:…

This is really a sex mod.  It can be about prostitution, but not for my purposes: Skyrim Prostitution:…?

The Hairstyler:…

Amazing Follower Tweaks:…?

As I lost my good Ondolemar mod in the Great Skyrim Crash, I can't give you a link as the beloved mod is not longer at Nexus.  I'm not crazy about the one I'm using now.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Wed Dec 31, 2014, 10:54 PM
New me it's just January first.  To lots of people it means a new start, but oddly I've found myself going back to my roots.

I've spent a lot of time playing Morrowind recently.  I guess it's an inspiration for the story I'm writing for the Bards College Contest.  I've also gone through and did some more editing to Nerevar Blue, my first fan fiction.

It's been a lot fun going back and playing the game.  And of course I would be remiss not to mention my favorite mod Ashlander Julan: by the extraordinarily talented kateri-t.

I love all of you and hope you have a wonderful New Years (whatever that means to you).

Right now my only resolutions are to finish the story I'm working on now, complete the Courtesan Series and clean up my shame hole (the area around my desk where I do my writing and gaming).  It's a freakin mess.  I gotta do something about that...

Anyway, be safe and have fun!

Annika Blue in Sunset by Lesliewifeofbath
Annika Blue in Sunset
My beloved OC Annika Blue looking rather epic.

Rendered in Gimp 2.6

Morrowind © 2003 Bethesda Softworks LLC

A link to Nerevar Blue Series:…
Azura Moon and Star by Lesliewifeofbath
Azura Moon and Star
The Great Daedric Prince Azura, goddess of the evening sky.

Rendered in Gimp 2.6

Morrowind © 2003 Bethesda Softworks LLC

Nerevar Blue Series:…
Cliff Racer by Lesliewifeofbath
Cliff Racer
Just a lovely shot of Morrowind's most notorious pest, the lowly cliff racer.

Done in Gimp 2.6

Morrowind © 2002 Bethesda Softworks LLC

Belated X-mas Card

Journal Entry: Fri Dec 26, 2014, 7:09 AM

I hope everyone had a very merry X-mas.  Or if you don't celebrate that particular holiday, I hope you had a very merry ____________.

Much love to everyone. And please be safe throughout this holiday season.

Marceline and Odahviing by Lesliewifeofbath
Continued from:
Chapter 13:  A Season Ended: Part I

A Season Ended Part II


“So how come you never showed this to me before, Balgruuf?”  Marceline called out to the jarl as she ran her hands over the smooth, aged wood of the colossal dragon trap.  Would this work, she wondered as she saw how simplistic the trap actually was.  As the jarl and his men approached, Marceline attempted to stifle a giggle.

“I never thought it would come to this,” he said quietly with a sigh, taking his Thane aside.  “I hadn’t seen this old contraption since I was a child.  My father would show me this while he told me stories of the beasts.” He looked over at Marceline, who had finally lost control and let out a deep-bellied laugh.  “Why do laugh, wench?”

“Because your ancestors built a bloody pillory for a dragon!”

“It works for scofflaws and it will work for the beasts in the air as they are the worst miscreants of them all, Thane,” he retorted sharply, though with a hidden smile. Balgruff then shook his head ruefully and took a deep breath, looking out at the expanse of Whiterun and the territories beyond.

“So we’re here,” Marceline said after some time. 

“Yes, yes we are.  I can’t say I’m happy for it.”

“Once this is over, you’ll have to make a choice. You were never good at choosing.”

“No, I was never brave enough to make such a choice.”

“But soon you’ll have side with one of them. Who will you chose?”

“Ulfric,” Balgruuf said with resignation.  “I think he’ll win this, Marcy, I really do. And…”

“And what?”

“Gods help me saying this, but if harm comes to Aela, well, it would greatly benefit us all.”

“What do you mean?”

“Her death would be a battle cry for many Imperial Nords teetering on the balance.” Balgruuf then shuddered as if he regretted the thought itself.  “My gods, I am a selfish and cowardly man for saying this, for almost wishing it so.”

Marceline winced at the thought of Aela suffering, as she and the Huntress had, over time, become close friends.  Aela had even sacrificed herself for Marceline’s own happiness.  Marceline turned to Balgruuf.  “Well, you’re right in that such an act would strike lethal blow to the Imperial cause, and that’s precisely why it won’t happen.  Tullius is no fool.  But, again, it wouldn’t take much for either faction,  Aldmeri, Stormcloak, or even an Imperial to pour poison into a glass or creep into a chamber late at night, but—”

“But what?”

“She won’t die at anyone’s hands,” Marceline answered confidently.

Balgruuf cocked his head to the side as he stared at his Thane. “You say that with some certainty.  Do you know something I don’t?”

“Of course I do, Balgruuf,” she answered with sly smile.  Staring out into the gray expanse, Marceline prayed, May the beast within protect her

“In any case, let’s get on with this nonsense,” Balgruuf snapped. “I see no reason for further delay.”

“As you wish,” Marceline nodded then looked up, past the wispy clouds , into the gray afternoon sky.  From the balcony a light wind blew.  Taking in a deep breath, Marceline Shouted, “Od-ah-viing! 

Time stood still as everyone watched the sky. As the unending moments turned into minutes, Balgruuf scratched his beard. “I guess this was all for naught—”

“Mother of gods!” a guard shouted as the largest dragon Marceline had ever seen engulfed the balcony in a wall of flames.   Marceline and Balgruuf stood firm as the other guards, save for Irileth, skittered about in panic, breaking the line. 

“Hold your ground, you milk-drinking s’wits!” Irileth shouted as the guards slowly stepped forward.  Not too close, Marceline thought as she needed a place for the beast to land.  As the magnificent creature swept in again raining fire, Marceline knew this was her one and only shot.

Joor Zah Frul,” she Shouted, and the beast came crashing down, causing some of the balcony’s stone to give way.  Marceline moved in swiftly, aiming for the beast’s face, though took great care not to hurt the creature but to lure it in slowly.   She needed to make the creature angry enough to charge.  A little showmanship was all that was needed.  

As he moved in for the kill, a great crashing sound came from above as the massive trap snapped into place around the dragon’s throat.  The beast thrashed wildly as he was caught in a desperate attempt to break the bonds that held him.  After some flame and fight, the beast, whose strength was clearly diminishing, stopped the futile struggle.  As the dragon slumped, Marceline slowly approached.  In the fading sunlight, the dragon’s iridescent red and purple scales flashed brightly.  Though frightened, she was in awe of this creature’s beauty.

Nid! Horvutah med kodaav!” the creature muttered. “Caught like a beast in your trap.”

Zu'u los krosis dii fahdon,” Marceline said softly as she approached the creature cautiously. “Truly, I am sorry for this.”

“My... eagerness to meet you in battle was my undoing, Dovahkiin. I salute your… hmm…low cunning in devising such a stratagem.” 

Marceline nodded. “This trap was not my device, and thus I cannot take the credit— or blame— for such a contraption.  But you fought well, dear foe, and perhaps one day we will fight again.”

“So you will release me?”

“Maybe,” she shrugged, as the guards mumbled and gasped.  “That depends entirely upon you.”

“Seeing as you went to much trouble to put me in this…humiliating…position, I take it you want something of me.”

“No, Odahviing, I just wanted to catch up, see how wife and kids were getting along.” The dragon released a great plume of smoke and turned his head as Marceline knelt down beside him. “Ah, yes.  I see.  Well, of course I want something out of you.  But for now, I have only one question and I’m sure you already know what it is.”

“I cannot read the minds of inferior creatures, such as yourself.”

 Marceline pursed her lips playfully as she asked, “Odahviing, where would I find your master, Alduin?”

 “So you want to know of the World-Eater,” he chortled. “Dovah, if you wish me to answer your foolish questions, you will let me out of this confounded contraption.”

“No,” Marceline said as her lips curved into bemused smile.  “No, I can’t let you go, not yet, but do you see that quaking Nord off to the corner?”

Odahviing sniffed, “All mortals quake in my presence.”

“No doubt, but do you see the one in robes, carrying the equipment?  His name is Farengar,” Marceline said, extending her arm toward the quaking mage.  Odahviing snorted as the wizard dropped several instruments, sending them scattering across the stone floor.  Farengar skittered about nervously while trying to gather the fallen tools as Marceline turned back to the dragon.  “Farengar is the court wizard.  He is rather eager to study you; though I fear he’s not very graceful so his ministrations may hurt a tad.

“Farengar,” Marceline started as she began backing away from dov, “just go around the trap and approach from behind.” The hapless wizard scurried behind the trap to the back side of Odahviing.  “Yes, yes, that’s a good spot, love.  You may start.” Marceline flashed a smile at Odahviing as the Farengar clumsily yanked at the trapped dragon’s scales while mumbling pitiful apologies.  Odahviing let out a roar that shook the whole of Dragonsreach.

“Now, now don’t be timid, man,” Marceline cooed.  “I know you’ve ached to study such a magnificent specimen.  Go on.  Don’t be shy.  Make sure you take several samples of our guest’s blood and scales.”

“Well, I may need to cut into him,” Farengar murmured timidly. 

“Dovah!” the dragon roared. “You have made your point clearly.  Now what do want to know of Alduin?”

“I want to know where he’s hiding.”

“Rinik vazah—where he’s hiding. An apt phrase. Alduin bovul. One reason I came to your call was to test your Thu'um myself.”

 “Really?” Marceline asked as she walked back toward him. “Why, would you do such a thing?  The others—the lesser dov—seem to have no control over their actions.  They are feral and attack on instinct alone.  You are different.  Why would have taken such a chance?”

 “A test of strength. Many of us—even the ‘lesser dov’as you have so ignorantly described— have begun to question Alduin's lordship, whether his Thu'um was truly the strongest, amongst ourselves, of course.  None were yet ready to openly defy him, but forgive me, for I digress.”

 “Forgiven,” Marceline said knelt down beside the Odahviing. “So if you had bested me, the Dragonborn, your next move would have been to challenge Alduin?”

“You see much, little Dovah.  But you are not concerned about my plans or lost destiny.  You want to know of the World-Eater.”

“I do, Odahviing.  And what’s more, I think you want to tell me.”

“Hmm,” he purred. “I can tell you that Alduin has traveled to Sovngarde to regain his strength.  There he devours the souls of the lost.  The souls of the dead give him strength and he guards this privilege jealously.”

“Can mortals travel to Sovngarde?”

“But of course, little one,” he sneered.  “Just stand a bit closer.”

“Very funny, Odahviing—you dragons and your wicked humor.  I appreciate that, truly—but not right now,” Marceline snapped as she turned to Farengar. “You can continue.”

Dovah!” the dragon roared. “There is a door, or portal in the eastern mountains called Skuldafn, that both Dov and man can enter, but …”

“But what?”

“You may have the Thu’um of a Dovah, but without wings of one, you’ll never reach Skuldafn.”

“You could take me there—that would the price of your freedom,” Marceline said hopefully; this would solve at least one of her problems. 

Odahviing belched smoke.  “Serve you?  A mere mortal?  No little, Dov.  Perhaps when you have defeated Alduin, I will reconsider, but for now—“

 “Well then, Odahviing, I bid you goodnight,” she said shortly, turning toward the balcony’s door.

“Where are you going?” the dragon hissed as Marceline and Balgruuf walked toward the tower’s gate.

“I think I will eat and then perhaps rest as it has been a rather taxing day—for a mere mortal.  But have no fear, Odahviing, for I leave you in the very capable hands of our court wizard.”


“Think on my offer tonight, dragon.  I will see you on the morrow,” Marceline snapped as the palace doors shut behind her.  Once behind doors, Balgruuf approached her.

“Marceline, I do not know how long that trap will hold.”

“No worries, my liege,” she said stroking Balgruuf’s cheek. “He won’t last the night. He’ll give in before sunrise.”

“Well, in the meantime, there is another matter I must speak with you about,” Balgruuf uttered solemnly, as his eyes seemed to water. 

Marceline cringed.  Though I am not large yet, certainly word of my condition must have spread. Please don’t Balgruuf.  Stepping forward Marceline whispered, “What is it, my lord?”

“I have something for you,” he said, leading her from the balcony to his inner chambers.  From the corner of her eye Marceline saw Balgruuf’s son, Nelkir, scowling at her as they passed him.  There were things here that neither she nor time could ever mend.

“Here,” Balgruuf said as he stopped at the table in his chambers.  On the table was an ornately decorated wooden chest with a gold lock.   The chest was engraved with golden marking—letters that glowed and formed words she only vaguely remembered.  Marceline had seen this chest once as a child.  She remembered her mother putting it up—she was afraid that Sayroni—she was afraid the chest would disappear.

“Where did you get this?” Marceline whispered as she lovingly fingered the golden lettering.

“When my courier delivered the letters and purse to Lydia’s family, Lydia’s mother stated that this must come to you. According to her mother, Lydia had stopped by her family’s farm after returning from Raven Rock. She stated that they were to hold on to this chest until she returned.”

“Rorikstead is far off from Whiterun; I don’t understand why she would have stopped there. Unless…” Marceline said slowly as she turned to Balgruuf. “She must have known—“

“—She was being followed.”

A tear fell, and then other. “’I am sworn to carry your burdens,” Marceline murmured.  “She always said that.  I guess this was her last.”

“They said it was imperative that this reach you.  I had thought to take it to High Hrothgar, but…I feared it could fall into the wrong hands.  I thought it was best to keep it here…to keep it hidden.  This letter also came with it.”

Marceline looked at seal that carried her family’s crest. “The seal’s broken, Balgruuf.  Have you taken to reading my dispatches?”

He shrugged. “I always did.”

Marceline rolled her eyes in disgust, and then opened the letter; it was from her mother.


The word of your daring feats and new title travels over the land and sea like a wild fire.  I fear that you, like your great, great grandmother, have been burdened with the curse of prophecy. Within this chest is gift that has been handed down from generation to generation.  It kept Nerevarine safe throughout her trials; it is my dearest wish that it keeps you safe through yours.

— Mother

 Marceline gently refolded the letter and placed it beside the chest.  She turned to Balgruuf, “You didn’t try to open it?”

“Well,” Balgruuf said guiltily as he cleared his throat, “I was curious, but the lock, and the letters… I couldn’t open it; I couldn’t even pry it.”

“Of course you couldn’t,” Marceline said softly, wiping away the tears. “It’s written in Dunmeri.” Deftly, her slender fingers moved the pieces of the cryptex lock.  “The chest itself is well over two hundred years old.  And the code is simple, really—if you knew my people’s history.”

“What does it—“

“—Nerevarine.  Balgruuf, it says, ‘Nerevarine’. This was great, great grandmother’s chest.”

“This belonged to the Nerevarine?” Balgruuf gasped.  “I can’t believe it.”

“Believe it,” Marceline said shortly. “Now, let’s see what’s inside.”

“If you’d like me to leave.”

“No, it fine Balgruuf; you have helped me and I see no reason not to sate your curiosity. But do stand back; I can’t stand you breathing over my shoulder,” Marceline said as she gave Balgruuf a playful nudge.  As the chest opened, a glint of silver material caught her eye.  Carefully, Marceline lifted the ancient robe out of the chest.  It was made of a gray, translucent fiber that caught the light and almost seemed to bend it. 

“Well, what are you waiting for, Marcy?  Try the damned thing on.”

Marceline glared at Balgruuf as she wrapped the formless robe around her.  She could feel it shrinking to fit her form.  Behind her she heard a gasp and the sound of a metal goblet hitting the floor.  She turned around. “What?”

“Mother of gods!” Balgruuf said, as he turned ashen.

“What, Balgruuf!  By the Nine, quit blithering like an idiot!”

“Look in the mirror, Marcy,” he said, his voice monotone.  Marceline turned toward large, gilded mirror and gasped.  Her head was still visible though it appeared disembodied from a blank form—she was a specter that lived in the nightmares of children.  Quickly, she lifted the hood over head and transformation was complete.  There was no reflection staring back at her. 

Marceline started laughing hysterically.

“I’m glad you find this funny, Thane.  That getup was nearly the end of me.”

Marceline lifted the hood back. “Let’s go visit Irileth; I just want to see her face.”

“I have no intention of scaring my housecarl to death tonight,” Balgruuf said shaking his head.  “But if you give me few moments, I’ll scrawl a list of people whom I wouldn’t mind seeing—

“DOVAHKIIN!” came a roar that nearly leveled Dragonsreach, knocking both Marceline and Balgruuf to the ground.

“Bloody hell, there went all our fun,” Balgruuf said, pulling himself and Marceline from the ground.

“Not quite,” Marceline retorted devilishly as she heard the tale-tell sound of Irileth’s heavy footfall ascending up the stairs.

“Sire—the dragon threatens to level this keep—” Irileth said breathlessly before turning toward the disembodied head of the Whiterun’s Thane.  “Mephala!” she screamed before falling into a dead faint.  Marceline laughed so hard that nearly collapsed beside the petrified mer.

“Alright, you’ve had your fun, Marcy.  Now it’s time to deal with beast shaking my keep,” Balgruuf fumed as he shook his unconscious Housecarl. “Irileth, get up.  It’s just a bloody cloak.”

“Really, Irileth, I’m quite alive.”

“Pity,” Irileth scowled as she rose.  “Your grace, the dragon’s trap is coming apart.  We must slay the beast.”

“No, that wouldn’t do,” Marceline sighed. “I’ll go see him now.  Perhaps, he’s in the mood to make a deal.”

“He better be, Marceline,” Balgruuf glowered.  “If not, you’ll have to kill him.”

“I know.”


Marceline, Balgruuf and Irileth made their way to the balcony.  It was worse than she feared.  The chains holding the trap in place were coming loose from their beams.  A few more good shakes and her ride to the netherworld would be gone.  Odahviing also had the court mage dangling from his mouth, though he had not clamped down entirely as Farengar was still kicking and screaming.

“Something vexes thee, dragon?” Marceline mused as she approached the beast.

“Murh filth mage, Doe!”

“Spit him out, Odahviing!  It’s rude to talk with your mouth full,” Marceline chided.  “Besides, you have no idea where he’s been.”

With a quick flick of his head, Odahviing sent the poor, shrieking mage flying.  “My patience is at its end, Dovahkiin!”

“As is mine,” Marceline shouted, unsheathing Dragonbane.  “You will take me to Skuldafn now, dragon, or you will meet your end—either way is fine with me.”

Odahviing glared at slight woman standing before him with the glowing blade drawn, and then chortled. “Fine.  I have no problem taking you to your demise, Dovah, if you so wish it.”

“What little faith you have in me,” she sighed.

“I have little faith in all your kind, Dovah.  You will be defeated and the dragons will reign supreme. Your frailty will be your undoing.  It is that simple.”

“We shall see, Odahviing,” Marceline said as she turned to Irileth. “Release the dragon.”  Irileth turned to her soldiers who released chains that held the crumbling trap.  With a crash, the trap fell as Odahviing shook himself from his bonds. 

“Are you ready to see the world as only a Dovah can?” he smirked wickedly. “I must warn you, Dragonborn, once you’ve flow the skies of Keizaal, your envy of the Dov will eat at your soul until you breathe your last.”

Marceline mounted the dragon; she then leaned down, whispering in his ear.  

“Of that I have no doubt.”

Dragon Series 2 by Lesliewifeofbath

Chapter 14: A Season Ended Part II
I had so much fun with this chapter.  I think Dragons have a sense of humor, and what's more I think Odahviing is the Bender of the Skyrim Universe.  If you don't know who Bender is then for godsakes watch some Futurama.  You'll thank me.

The cloak is a tribute to my husband--he got me hooked on the TES universe via his crack dealer approach:

Leslie: Why do always play that stupid game?

Sam: Here honey, just try it.  You'll love it.  You get a pretty character and you get to decorate your home.

The Cloak of Masam was a part of a mod he made for Morrowind. With the help from cloak, helm, light ring, and lighter ring of Masam, I looted and pilfered all sorts of lovely shrines and then decorated all seven of my homes with all my ill-gotten gains.  It was glorious.

As always Odahviing, Balgruuf and Irileth (gods help that humorless mer) belong to Skyrim Bethesda Softworks©

A link to the Courtesan Series:… and….

A special thanks goes to Whisper292 for her sharp eye and endless patience (and knowledge of dragons).

Some in game dialogue was used. As I couldn't remember the entire scene (I played it well over a year ago).  Here's my source:…

Speak like a dragon:
I think you did a marvelous job in describing the day to day actions (and reactions) of a typical 11 year old. I could picture him absentmindedly playing the game while worrying about his mother.

Also, you did a great job in pulling the reader into the story--I want to know why his mother is crying (especially since she never cries) and why his sister is so angry.

Editing and grammatical mistakes seems to be your Achilles heel. Some sentences were awkwardly worded (as seen below).

He had to keep alert for any other surprises that the dark wizard that awaited him at the end of the dungeon may have lying in wait.

I would combine these sentences and make them a bit more dynamic. You want the reader to wince a bit at what sounds like a pretty serious injury.

Exhausted, the warrior leaned on the wall next to the door. His hand grasped at his side where he felt the large gash in his ribs.

I think this has the potential to be a great story. You need to hammer out the kinks.

Journal History




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BigSmoke11 Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Student Artist
Don't mean to spam but .....uhhh
I uploaded like 300 parts of skyrim, almost done with dawnguard & going to move on to dragonborn and after that story driven mods, so i though you'd like to check it out since you seem to like skyrim.
MTibbs-89 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2015  Student General Artist
'Tag a quality deviant, You’re it! Quality doesn’t mean that you have a lot of followers, or a lot of messages. It means that you’re nice to other people, and you deserve to be happy. If you get this message, someone is telling you that they love you as you are, and they don’t care how much followers you have.'

- Thank you! You deserve this, too! You're fantastic. :D
Lesliewifeofbath Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks love!
Whisper292 Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
You don't have to do this again, of course, but you deserved to receive it too.

Tag a quality deviant, You’re it! Quality doesn’t mean that you have a lot of followers, or a lot of messages. It means that you’re nice to other people, and you deserve to be happy. If you get this message, someone is telling you that they love you as you are, and they don’t care how much followers you have. Send this to 10 deviants who deserve it. If you break the chain, nothing will happen. But it’s just good to let someone know that you love them! Heart 


Lesliewifeofbath Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Clu-art Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for faving Pacific Northwest Leslie! :D
Life-takers-crayons Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2015
Thank you so very much for the fav :)
heiwako Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Tag a quality deviant, You’re it! Quality doesn’t mean that you have a lot of followers, or a lot of messages. It means that you’re nice to other people, and you deserve to be happy. If you get this message, someone is telling you that they love you as you are, and they don’t care how much followers you have. Send this to 10 deviants who deserve it. If you break the chain, nothing will happen. But it’s just good to let someone know that you love them! :D (Big Grin)
NorroenDyrd Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2015
Tag a quality deviant, You’re it! Quality doesn’t mean that you have a lot of followers, or a lot of messages. It means that you’re nice to other people, and you deserve to be happy. If you get this message, someone is telling you that they love you as you are, and they don’t care how much followers you have. Send this to 10 deviants who deserve it. If you break the chain, nothing will happen. But it’s just good to let someone know that you love them!

(Thank you once again for being so sweet!)
Skyrimfan2014 Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2015   General Artist
Tag a quality deviant, You’re it! Quality doesn’t mean that you have a lot of followers, or a lot of messages. It means that you’re nice to other people, and you deserve to be happy. If you get this message, someone is telling you that they love you as you are, and they don’t care how much followers you have. Send this to 10 deviants who deserve it. If you break the chain, nothing will happen. But it’s just good to let someone know that you love them! :D
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