One-Shot: Ritual

With a deep breath, Nimah stepped out into the cold, afternoon air, walking down from the stone steps of Ebonheart Chateau, and casting a sober look to the west as the sun dipped beneath the mountains of Stonefalls. This territory was unfamiliar to her; how she longed for the grand trees of Valenwood to greet her.

Alas, this was her home now, and she was thankful for it.

Becoming a scout for the Lord Heceril was easy enough and the rewards were worth the servitude. Thought it was not without sacrifice. She was lone wolf, after all. Nimah stiffened a forced smile at that thought, the truth in that statement was much more real than she intended.

But now she had to move quickly, the current daylight would not last long and she had a final errand to run for the day...

With brief quick steps, she made her way to the stables and found her horse, saddling the bay mare quickly and mounting her. They had barely taken two steps before she urged her horse into a canter, pounding down the stairs and across the bridge. The horse panted, but still they did not stop, galloping across Morrowind's ashy land and  over the hills to the north.

She only slowed when she knew her destination was near and the young mer tugged on her horse's reins to bring her down to a walk and they paused on the edge of a ridge. Nimah dismounted and came to her mount's nose, patting the mare softly. This was routine, every month. It was what had to be done. "Such a good girl, Sweetroll..." she murmured to the mare, still stroking her brown fur. "Now go!"

And with those words, uttered, she struck the equine on its rump with her bow, making Sweetroll bolt off with a high-pitched whinney. She would make her way home. She always did.

Now truly alone, Nimah begun to descend down the cliff-side she was perched on. following the path she always took. Fingers dug into well-known crannies and toes gripped onto familiar nooks. She knew this path. She had to know.

When she finally reached more solid ground. the Bosmer lit a torch from her pack, holding it high as she walked forward. Deep in a crevice, a remnant of a long-over earthquake, approached a cave and stepped inside it.

It was dark, very dark, but her torch was enough to find what she seeked - A set of wooden doors embedded deep in the stone. With a key pulled from belt, she inserted it into the worn lock and turned it right, making the doors swing open wide.

Nimah walked into her cave and threw the torch into a stone brazier, making the dried twigs in it ignite immediately. She turned away from it, not wanting to see the sight that would greet her and  instead focused on locking the door. It was padlocked, dead-bolted and even jammed with a spare block of wood against the bottom.

Satisfied, she looked back into the small cavern. It was not much, deep enough yes, but no more than the average bear den. But that was not what scared her.

Dried blood stained the walls; crimson splatters forming pools and puddles on the floor, joining littered bones of both animal and man. Two huge pillars of rock ejected from a makeshift altar with a single deer skull upon it, and close to that, two loops of chain embedded deep into the stone with leather cuffs. Hanging from the roof was another chain, looped at the end with what appeared to be a collar, also of leather.

This was the ritual. She had to obey it.

Nimah moved towards the chains and attached the cuffs to her own wrists. They were much too large for her but she trusted they would hold. They had to.

The leather from above was also placed around her neck, tighter than the cuffs but still loose. It would tighten. She knew it would.

This was the routine, the torture she put herself through month after month. Just for one night of peace.

It must be done.

It was nearing sun down and the fire burnt even brighter as the cracks in the ceiling let darkness seep through.

The change was coming. She could feel it. Her bones ached and her muscles throbbed. Nimah curled her lips into a grimace and bared her teeth. It was time. By now she was used to the pain, the stretch and the overwhelming hunger that would fill her from her toes to her tongue.

A sliver of moonlight fell upon her. With a final sigh she gave in. Everything had to change. The monster would win tonight, yes, but it would not taste blood.

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  • Brilliant story tae.
    • Thanks Curse!
  • Looking forward to what's to come!
    • I might write more for her but this story has ended. Glad you like it!
  • Just a quick fyi, if it doesn't flow right or there are some mistakes, it was because it was originally written in Discord
  • Ohhhhh, I was wondering what she was doing when she started shackling herself, but then after you said "Just for one night of peace." I immediately got it.
    Good read, as always.
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      • Ha. I was trying to make it subtle.

        • Don't get me wrong, you kept it a good mystery for the majority of the story. I just have a tendency of finding things out before I'm told. 

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                    • Regardless let's be respectful of Tae and not spam the comment section of her thread with irrelevant comments
                    • Yes, I removed all off-topic replies. It wasn't fair to myself to get s notification I was getting a comment only to find banter. I don't mind but it was getting out of hand
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