The following contains several pieces that I wrote for the Pirate RP, where I planned to do the story of Caleb's origin and integrate him to the story. These pieces were written over the course of a week and by the time I ended the story arc, they had already moved onto the sequel, which was set after Age of Tamriel. I gave up and keep this small Rise and Fall story as a fond recollection of my early RPing days.
Since this has very little to do with the RP that it was set in, I figured that it could make its own story, so I decided to make a compedium of the pieces.
Chapter I: Whisperers in our midst.
The Agro slowly skimmed across the seldomly calm waters of the Sea of Ghosts, it's dunmer captain stood on deck, watching his people scurry about like ants.
The Captain's first mate, Caleb, had just woken up or so they believed. Caleb rarely slepped in, he'd built a false reputation of doing so, so he would have a few hours of solitude before his day started.
"Have you heard the news about Bravil? Town was ravaged recently..." Caleb informed him, part of his job was to listen out for towns that could be vulnerable to a good raid.
"Ha, good! It's been a while since we've raided a Cyrodiilic city..." The Captain replied, he stood still, statue like with his arms folded and his grey beard flowing in the cold, biting wind, like it was a cloud that had fallen to earth.
"There's a good reason for that, Imperial guards are the best equiped, most of our skooma junkie crew could never take them on." Caleb reminded him, his crew had never been foolish enough to attempt such a thing but every few years a captain would drink a few too many skooma bottles and get some 'bright idea.' Still it was smarter to attack Bravil than it was attacking Anvil, as Bravil had less riches and therefore less security, however, in turn there was less loot making it a fruitless exercise.
"Besides, they've been raided recently, for all we know, they could have taken everything of value..."
"That'll do Caleb, I get your point..." The Captain replied, showing his annoyance at the dunmer's ability to think of everything. As the Captain went back to his cabin, Kelzar approached the first mate. Something he could never do infront of the Captain, as the Captain had nothing but scorn for beast races...
"He doesn't have a clue, does he?" Kelzar said with a smirk.
"You know, part of me is convinced that I wouldn't have to kill him, I could just do nothing for a week and watch him kill himself." Caleb replied, with a similar smile on his lips.
"Why don't you?"
"Because I want to see that bastard's face when I betray him..." Caleb replied, smiling and bearing his teeth.
Chapter II: The Betrayal
Caleb studied the map, dragging his ruler across the page while the rest of the crew drank and lusted over wart riddled tavern wenches from back home.
The dunmer had a disgust for all human life...
Whether they were Men, mer or beast, it didn't matter to him, he found all them to be pathetic animals that only driven by instinct. Well... everyone except Kelzar but he grew up a slave, he was never taught to lust over women or to crave poison, never taught the meaningless sentimental value of tradition.
As the pirate glanced over at his candle, he noticed that it was running out of wick, when it did they would collide with a thalmor vessel. He didn't tell anyone of course... why would he? Under the stress of running into a powerful foe, his captain would be distracted and Caleb could get that vital shot...
All of the planning, the many months spent with his ear pressed to the ground, listening out for every tremor and waiting for the earthquake... All of it was about to be worth it, Kelzar was at the helm if all was going to plan but even if the argonian had failed to drug the helmsman, lady luck was on his side. There was a dense fog around the sea of ghosts and not even a veteran could prepare themselves for this.
-tssssst- The wick had gone out, Caleb stood up and grabbed his swords, calmly waiting for the signal. He had to be in this room or it would look suspicious, he was orchestrating an accident and the only ones who will ever know will be him, Kelzar and that fool Sea Captain.
Caleb barely even stumbled as the Agro crashed into a thalmor vessel, the dunmer straightened his coat and smiled as he heard the crewmen on the upper decks scurrying about in panic.
"Caleb!" Kelzar called out with convincing concern.
"Fine..." The pirate responded, playing his part.
The two of them nodded and went to the deck, it was all falling into place...
Chapter III: Clash of the tyrants.
Caleb stepped out onto the deck, the bow had gotten caught into the thalmor's staysail and the impact had sent cracks along the wood of the Agro from bow to stern. The ship as going down and it was taking the thalmor's ship with it...
Dammit... I thought the Agro was stronger than this... Caleb thought, as his plan went to ruins.
There was only one thing left now, take the thalmor's ship for their own, it was the only way out of this...
Caleb looked up as a clap of thunder echoed across the sea and the waves grew more furious, as if the battle was disturbing its peace. Even Kelzar found himself staggering back and too as if he was drunk but Caleb could not be moved. He'd been sailing since he was a boy and it would take more than a few waves to move him...
"Come on..." Caleb ordered, drawing his swords and making his way over to the bow in order to watch the captain duel the thalmor captain. It was a mathematical certainty that the two driving forces behind the entwined ships would clash and one would fall to his own men...
Kelzar followed him, drawing his iron dagger and, silently praying to every God and Deity that he could think of. Caleb ignored the crewmen that ran past, frantically doing everything they could to save the condemmed ship, Caleb cared nothing for it or any crew members stupid enough to die for it.
Several elven sailors began to attack, swinging across and dismounting, landing infront of Caleb and stopping him from reaching his objective. The dunmer drew his cutlass and swung vertically with both swords, slashing right through the thalmor soldier and sending him spinning to the ground. The second one was a recruit, screaming and charging in with his sword over his head, Caleb kicked him to the floor and struck own with both swords, killing him instantly.
Too easy... The dunmer turned around to see Kelzar lunge at a recruit, unarmed. Anyone who didn't know the lizard would panic but Caleb knew that it was the recruit who needed the help, the recruit's screams could be heard over the howling wind. The dunmer ran up to the bow and observed the fight, he had long awaited this. The captain of his ship was deep in battle with the captain of the elven ship, the pirate almost felt bad for ruining such an impressive display of violence.
He drew his sleave back as well as a dart that he had kept in hisk, coat, pocket. He loaded it into the mini crossbow and pulled it back, ready to fire.
Damn wind... I have to get in closer...
Caleb stepped forward and managed to balance on the bow, tightroping across as it got thiner and thiner. He did it as quickly as possible to avoid being blown into the sea, uppon making it to the other side, he turned around and gestured to Kelzar to stay where he was.
"Caleb!" The captain called, noticing his presence, "don't interfere!"
Sorry... but I can't help myself...
He nodded in response, waiting for the Captain's back to be turned before firing the shot. The shot stuck in his shoulder, causing the pirate captain to grimace. He thought nothing of it as he began to fight the elven captain, the dunmer began to see the poison's effects. The captain's swings grew slower at first, leaving a long gap between them as the elven captain sent a gash across his chest, causing him to stumble backwards.
"You... you ain't sh..." The captain fell to his knees as the thalmor captain placed his sword beneath his chin.
"Do you yield?" He asked, impatiently awaiting the predictable response.
"Never!" The Captain lunged forward, driving his sword through the thalmor's stomach. He heald it for a few seconds as they looked eachother in the eye, until they both keeled over, dead...
Chapter IV: The true Captain of the Agro.
Caleb marched around the ship, executing any of the its original inhabitants...
Excellent... The pirate thought as he slit a thalmor's throat and kicked him into the sea. The storm, the loss of his ship and the damage caused by clash of both boats had done nothing to his plan. The dunmer considered this a victory, not the victory he had envisaged but a victory none the less.
He sighed as the stormy weather sent the wind through his hair, it was partly the reason that he grew it long... that and he didn't care about his appearance most of the time.
The dunmer turned around to see his argonian first mate stood behind him, he stood with his former crew, mixed in with one or two thalmor deserters. "Ah, excellent! I was just about to send for you..."
"Don't worry, I can't rely on my first mate to do everything for me, now can I?" Kelzar replied, folding his arms.
Caleb thought he had missheard... "I'm sorry?"
"I said that we can't live off of the efforts of my first mate alone..." The argonian replied, turning to his men, "well go on then, help him dispose of the bodies."
"Is this a joke? This was my plan!" Caleb replied, he was in completele disbelief.
"It may have been but that doesn't mean that you should have reaped the reward..." Kelzar turned to his crew, "how many did we lose today?"
"Too many!" The crew yelled back in legion.
"Who do you want leading you, out of this storm?"
Caleb stood waiting for it... the killing blow.
"One of us!" The all chanted in unison.
Caleb felt a rage build up inside, he grabbed the shard of a broken bottle and ran foward, jumping on the argonian and pulling him to the floor. Kelzar punched the dunmer several times but Caleb was going to do this, no matter what. He forced the shard of glass down as Kelzar tried to stop him, no crew member dared to intervein.
Kelzar was no match for Caleb, the dunmer forced the shard of glass into the argonian's eye, causing him to scream out in pain as Caleb cried out in rage.
"Help!" Kelzar managed to call, prompting several crewmen to come over and start beating on the former captain. They knocked him to the floor and kicked him, stamped on him and beat on him until Kelzar got up and told them to stop with gesture, the glass was still stickin out of his eye.
"Somone get this out!" He cried out, showing his fear and anguish.
Caleb smiled at his former friend's suffering, until he was punched in the face for doing so...
Chapter V: The Fall of Caleb Adlis
Caleb was dragged over to the port side by two of the argonian's crewmen, they threw him forward, causing him to stumble and nearly fall over the edge. It was clear that they just wanted to put some fear into the dunmer, they should have known better…
Kelzar emerged from the captain's cabin, now wearing a bandage around his eye, he approached his former comrade. The argonian seemed incredibly calm, despite the fact that he had lost his eye moments before…
“Well…” He began with a grin on his face, “feels like the end of an era, doesn’t it?”
Caleb said nothing, he simply stood there, building up more murderous rage… The second that he was free, he’d make sure that the argonian wished he was dead. A wish that Caleb had no intention of granting immediately…
“Turn him around, make him face me…” Kelzar ordered, he was always calm when he was in control, no matter what happened prior. It was when he lost control that you had to look out, as he turned into a savage, like an animal that was backed into a corner…
Caleb struggled, quite fiercely as the guards turned him around, trying to knock one of them into the sea, so that he could make his escape.
Kelzar gasped as he clapped, rubbing his hands together in devilish glee, laughing to himself. “I find this ever so humorous…”
“You would…” Caleb muttered. To be fair, he would most likely be amused if he was stood where that shit kicking argonian was…
“The ‘master,’ shackled up in chains… the irony of it all…”
Wait… that is what this is all about?
“Kelzar, you can’t be serious… that was years ago!” Caleb said, in an almost pleading tone, with a sudden desire to reason with him. “I freed you, for the Neravine’s sake!”
“You freed me, because I was the only one who could get you out of there…” Kelzar snapped, “but think of all of those you didn’t!”
“That wasn’t my fault! I… we barely got out ourselves!” Caleb reminded him; the night of their escape still haunted him, even after his many years on the sea.
“You lie! They were your slaves!” Kelzar snapped, “Those argonians were your slaves! Those Khajit were your slaves! Me and my sister were your slaves!” A blaze was set off in Kelzar’s eye as Caleb’s heart sank…
“Sis-sister?” Caleb stammered, he truly had no idea… This was the first time, the argonian even mentioned a sister or any family of any kind. “Why didn’t you say something? We could have gone back for her!”
“For her corpse… she died in the first wave of cholera.” Kelzar seethed.
Caleb tried to free himself, though he no longer had the desire to lash out anymore, he just wanted to reason with the argonian. “Look… those people were my father’s slaves, I never agreed with it, I told you that!”
“You still used them!”
“They still would have been slaves if I didn’t!” Caleb snapped at him, “My father would have forced them to work, no matter what I said!”
“My father’ this ‘my father’ that… remind me dunmer, when were you ever your own man?” Kelzar scoffed.
“The day I escaped…”
“And that… great accomplishment was mostly down to me.”
Caleb choked on those words but he was right… “I feel no shame in admitting that…”
“Well that makes it all better, now doesn’t it?” Kelzar mocked as a woman approached him with a knife.
“Ah… perfect.” The lizard stepped forward, raising the knife to Caleb’s face. “After all that we had been through, I felt that it wouldn’t be fare to leave you without a parting gift…” He began to laugh as he pressed the knife above his eyebrow.
“Here’s something to… remember me by.” He quickly dragged the knife down the dunmer’s face, scratching right through the eyelid, the eyeball and through some of his cheek. Caleb screamed out in pain as blood gushed down his face.
“Ta-ta…” The argonian took two steps back and booted him in the chest, sending him falling into the sea.
Chapter VI: Blind luck.
Caleb fell several feat and landed in a lifeboat with a loud thud, losing consciousness on impact. The dark elf groaned as he opened his eyes, his left arm and shoulder had struck an ore during the fall and it was incredibly painful. He then snapped out of it, realising that he had been given a blessing here and he had to make the most of it, fast! He sat up and reached for his sword, grunting out in pain as he did.
Okay, don’t move that arm… lesson learned…
He stopped, quickly realising that cutting the ropes would be a stupid thing to do. Even if he did manage with a, possibly, broken arm, he could still end up tipping the boat up. In order to get the boat out of suspension with any hope of it not tipping as it fell, he’d have to be sat down to even his own weight and he’d have to cut the ropes at the same time.
“Down there!” One of the pirates called, upon seeing him.
Crap! Caleb began to look around for anything that could be used as… well anything! He quickly gave up hope when he realised that ores were the only thing that were of any use in this life boat. Unless…
It was risky but Caleb had thought of something… what if the ropes were badly damaged and snapped at the same time? He grabbed one of the broken ores and ran over to the rope, grabbing it with his broken arm and sawing with his good one, he stopped as soon as the rope showed any sign of weakness.
Don’t break! Don’t break! He thought as he ran over to the other side and did the same, he did the other side a little better than his first attempt, which worried him as it was more likely to break…
Well, this is either going to be the greatest tavern story, you’ll ever tell or it’ll be the most embarrassing obituary ever… Caleb glanced up as he saw Kelzar run over to the edge of the portside, looking down at his former comrade.
The dark elf was desperate now, those ropes weren’t going to snap themselves and he had to make a decision…
Caleb stood in between the two ropes, hoping that it was enough to balance the weight… Okay… time to give it some incentive. The dunmer jumped and hit the ground with all of his body weight, breaking both of the ropes and sending the lifeboat falling into the stormy sea, knocking him to the floor but keeping it from capsizing. Caleb held on for dear life, as it bobbed off to sea...
Epilogue: Three Days later...
After several days at sea, Caleb had finally arrived somewhere but he wasn’t sure where. He had been using an old bandage as an eyepatch, it was most likely more disease riddled than the wound itself but it protected it and that’s all he cared about. He hadn’t eaten the entire time and his arm still hurt like hell.
The Dunmer shambled towards the nearest tavern, throwing himself at the door and falling inside on shaky legs as he stumbled to the nearest table and took a seat, groaning as pain shot through his arm, into his shoulder and down his back. He reached into his pockets, with his good hand and drew a soggy bag of coins, it felt disgusting...
A waitress came over to him as he placed it on the table. He ordered the most filling thing on the menu and took the strongest drink, in order to quell the pain in his arm, shoulder and face. The waitress walked away, leaving the dunmer to his thoughts and aching body.
From there, Caleb bided his time, waiting to get revenge...