The Alliance of HoonDing was a change for the better in Hammerfell, a Martial Alliance between the local Forebears and Crowns as well as the independent factions. The goal of "getting rid of the walking dead" unified the factions that were in dispute for years and led them northeast.
Prince Kareem was t.i.tled the Leader of the Alliance and his Court Wizard Krilon dominated the position of the High Mage of the Alliance despite the fierce compet.i.tion from the recently joined mages. It was safe to say that in front of Jon's destructive powers, even the Master Mages didn't want to cross spells with him. Still, Jon utilized both [Greed] and [l.u.s.t] to keep a low profile granting him a mysterious background.
On the 14th or Rain's Hand (April), 4E 200; the Alliance swept and mopped the undead across the Republics of Rihad and Teneth crossing the rivers Tark and Irk reaching halfway in the Crown State of Gilane. There, the situation was much better than the Forebear Republics.
In Gilane, the Alliance of HoonDing has reached 7000 in total and started to face serious opposition from some local lords regarding the policies. It was safe to say that Jon paid each Lord a visit making sure whether or not they were traitors that joined the Worm Cult or just fools who want to stuff politics in the time of great crisis.
There were indeed some traitors among those lords but Jon pointed them out in less than a few hours, after that, the whole front was united again and no one dared to question the heroism of Prince Kareem or his Court Wizard.
Still, the only hurdle that made Kareem grind his teeth was the Governor of Hew's Bane. That governor was the same guy that rejected the help of Stros M'kai and almost sank two of their boats claiming that there is no way that a small island like Stros M'kai can survive on its own. This Governor appeared by the day of departure, he claimed that he is forming an Alliance to rid Hammerfell from the undead and he has reached out to his friends in the Empire so the Seventh Imperial Legion will arrive to a.s.sist him.
That moment, Jon himself jumped off his seat, took off his mask for the first time in public after applying [l.u.s.t] to change his appearance into a Redguard then he started beating the Governor of Stros M'kai and stripped him naked from his fancy clothes and threw him across the camp. The aids of the Governor of Hew's Bane wanted to defend their Lord but still faced the same fate under the heavy hands of the infuriated Jon.
"That's f.u.c.kING it! I don't give a f.u.c.k anymore! Stop f.u.c.kING up with my f.u.c.kING plans, you f.u.c.kING f.u.c.ktards!" He f.u.c.kING shouted.
The political state in Hammerfell was as weird as in High Rock and the Empire combined. The land was divided on the Lord of the Crowns and the Forebears.
While the Crowns are narrow-minded and xenophobic, the Forebears are more flexible and friendly to foreigners. This may look like a plus to the Forebears but many events showed how treacherous they can be when they switch sides. The story of Hilda and Jonrad when they were betrayed by their allies in Hammerfell was an example of that.
The Crowns mostly don't like foreigners but not to a hostile degree. They are mostly just similar to the Nords and the High Elves.
Those two factions existed ever since the Yukodans arrived in Hammerfell and had both good and evil in their ranks as anything else.
Anyway, after the events of Gilane, Kareem had a private meeting with Jon and his team to discuss how to proceed from now on.
"I must say I never expected a Warband of a 1000 Hunding Chargers to turn into an army of more than 7000 HoonDing Soldiers, history will remember us, friends."
"Indeed." Jon nodded. "For the good and for the bad."
"Let's not get ahead of ourselves then. Right now, the Lords of the Alliance expect me to come with a decision regarding the next direction. Hew's Bane is behind us but we can rest a.s.sured that its governor has already cleared it from Undead despite being the idiot he is. Now, we have two directions. Hegathe and Sentinel.
Hegathe is where most of the undead are and where the refugees come from. The city of Hegathe has faced a great deal of destruction at the hands of the leader of the cult. I know we need to meet with the Imperials and the King at Sentinel but we can strike Hegathe at once and be done with it. If we choose to go to Sentinel which is our second direction, we will waste a lot of time.
For myself, I say we strike Hegathe and be done with it." Kareem said.
"Haste makes waste, Kareem. We can't attack Hegathe. Don't let those petty achievements you made get to your head." Jon responded.
"But we have a chance…"
"To run in a clouded territory where the enemy is the strongest and their Soul Snare spell make them even stronger? In case you haven't noticed, the Necromancers are getting stronger the more we head west, we can't risk the men marching behind us, Kareem."
Jon and Kareem had opposite opinions which was not the first time happening. However, Kareem was smart enough to know that Jon's opinion is always based on many future calculations.
"So you are saying we should march in the desert?"
"I didn't say that. I'm waiting for the midget to share her divination with us." Jon pointed at Beth.
"I have news." She said.
Everyone looked at her waiting what their seer found out.
"I'll start with the good news about the situation in the North. The Imperials have managed to free Elinhir and Dragonstar, they gathered a lot of local lords and were joined by some unexpected powerful allies from Skyrim." She said.
"Oh! And who might those be?" Mirren asked.
"The Nordic Companions." She replied.
"Huhu! The boys are coming to play. Man, I never expected to hear of them this early." Jon became excited.
"Your friends?" Isha asked.
"Not all of them but they are cool. What else is there, shorty?" He asked.
"The bad news, it is regarding Hegathe and the Alik'r Desert."
"As the Champion of Boethiah said, Hegathe is too dangerous. We may have faced many kinds of undead up until now but the true power of the cult is focused on two points, one in the Alik'r in the other in Hegathe." She said.
"And what of the Citadel of Ebonarm? Shouldn't they control the Alik'r." Kareem asked.
"... They were forced back."
"What?" Isha jumped off her seat.
"Impossible!" Even Jon exclaimed.
The grim look on their faces was carrying a shocked meaning to it. The Citadel is strong much like the Companions of Skyrim. No one can push back those battle crazed maniacs with normal strength.
"They retreated to the main Citadel near Sentinel and abandoned most of the Mosques and Halls across the desert including the Ansei Pyramid in the Dead Sand region, the only reason that happened was the vessel of Mannimarco. Zain has personally moved to eradicate the Citadel."
Those words left a ringing silence in the room.
Zain himself pushed back the Citadel. His powers seemed to have grown considerably, even Jon doesn't think he can push everyone in the Citadel on his own.
"You've got to s.h.i.+tting me!" Isha slapped the table and went out.
She was frustrated by the fact that her brother was the one who did such a thing. Their Master, his wife, the people of the Citadel; these are all the family of Zain and Isha. Yet the foul Cult and the Daedra simply use him to their gains just like that. It was infuriating.
Mirren walked up and went after her.
"Please tell me that is the end of the bad news." Jon asked.
"Then I would be lying." Beth replied.
Jon closed his eyes and took a breath.
"Well, do your worst."
"The Cult is forming a new Horde of Undead in the Ansei Pyramid instead of the one you destroyed in the Ghost World."
"Boethiah has a task for you." She said.
Jon paused looking at Beth closely.
"Boethiah? Why? I don't remember being her Labourer."
"Even better, you are the Champion."
"Sigh! What does your mistress want?" Jon asked with an annoyed face.
"Hehehe, I saved the best for the last. Our agents have discovered the location of the Cult of Clavicus Vile and it is not far from here." She said.
"And?" Jon didn't seem interested.
Beth smiled and got closer to him.
"Every artifact, every treasure, every rare thing Zain has gathered for Clavicus Vile. It is all there. A Vault filled with things a Daedric Prince craved for is just there for the taking and only the most accomplished thief from Riften who pulled the most ridiculous of heists can reach it."
Those words said by that tiny girl made a large man like Jon tremble. It wasn't from any emotion other than excitement.
For a very long time, he longed for nothing. He had no desire to steal anything for he was already too rich to care but now… Catatoskr had a challenge.
"Prince Kareem, I believe we are already in agreement about where to go next." Jon said.
"Indeed. Hegathe is a tough nut to crack and the Citadel needs our help. Meeting our allies in the north and uniting the fronts is also good. I'll mobilize the forces."
Kareem understood the severity of the situation and started preparing. Even if they attacked Hegathe, being exposed to the Alik'r desert from the back is sheer madness. Crossing the desert may be not wise but what else can they do?
On the other hand, Jon took Beth to the side and sat facing each other.
"Now tell me, little Beth. What will I be stealing?" Jon said with a wide smile.
"Little Beth? I remember being called Midget and Shorty just a while ago." She said.
"And you have my sincere apology. Now tell me, I haven't stolen anything since the [Ebony Blade] in Whiterun and that was ages ago." He said.
"Okay okay, don't be so excited. It is in a place on the road to Hegathe called Shady Grove."
"Shady Grove? I see, it is not far on the map. Do you have more details?"
"No, not that you need it. Go there and look for any presence for the Cult of Clavicus Vile, infiltrate, steal and come out. Simple, right?"
"No no no! I haven't stolen anything in ages, I must make it the most dramatic heist ever. What do you think? Which ident.i.ty should I use?"
"That's none of my business."
"Okay, I'll go there and empty the vaults? Is there any bonus quest or anything?"
"No… or maybe there is. Get any dirt of Clavicus Vile while you are at it." She said.
"Come on, dirt on a Daedric Prince? I need a shovel to unearth the f.u.c.ker, his last name is Vile for heaven's sake. Well, how about this? He is a dog person."
"Fair enough." Beth was patiently keeping up with Jon's excitement.
"Ok. What is my reward?" Jon rubbed his hands while asking.
"Whatever you steal is yours?" She said.
"Come on! Boethiah can throw a thing or two her good ol' champion."
"Hmmm! How about a blessing?" She asked.
"You mean like that Blessing of Isha that can make everything go in a swirl?"
"No, each Daedric Prince has a few dozens of those blessings lying around. You'll get a suitable one."
"Okay, I'm in. A Blessing of Boethiah, that should be a good one." He looked up wondering what kind of blessing it is but then he spotted Miranda sitting silently and reading from a book.
"Hey, Mera. You and your brother have a Blessing of Mephala, right? What is it like?" He asked.
Miranda froze in her place as if she remembered something extremely horrible.
"... D… don't wanna talk about it." She said and buried her face in the book.
"Hm! Why? Is something wrong…" He was just asking but she teleported away.
"Okay… what was that about?" Jon asked Beth.
"You know, some things are just too sensitive to talk about especially the Blessing of Mephala those twins have." Beth said.
"Is it that worthless?" Jon asked.
"Actually the opposite, I've never heard of a blessing that ridiculous before. If I am correct, which is always the case, that Blessing can make them as strong as you once you go all out." She said.
"... The h.e.l.l! Those two can do something like that? Why didn't they do it before? We could have just solved almost anything." Jon was taken aback.
"Well… you see… you know that thing you always tease Mirren about. The G…"
"Language, girl." Jon flicked her forehead, a minor should say those words.
[A/n: she's talking about the Gay Scene.]
"Well, if they used that Blessing of Mephala, that thing may come true… in some way." She dropped the bomb on Jon.
Jon couldn't help but exclaim.
"After that heist, I'm going to have a few words with Mephala."
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