January 24, 2012

Character Week: Sandahla

Although some of my more memorable characters have been in my table top games, it doesn't stop me from making little stories for my video game characters too.  Right now I can't stop playing my dunmer in Skyrim


Unlike a lot of the other video game RPGs I've played, your character doesn't necessarily have a lot of a chance to make a personality in Skyrim.  Some of it you just assume along the way.  And there isn't any "romance" in the game either, in the sense that there's no story built around it.  You want to marry someone? Just complete a favor and wear this amulet and bam!  You can get married.  It's more economical, really.  Although I am not fancying anyone in this game, it seems Sandahla has been gravitating toward a fellow dark elf who keeps a shop at Windhelm.

Sandahla slammed the door shut right behind her, the sound booming through the shop.  Revyn as always was behind the counter.  He was shocked to see her.

"Rushing to get in before I close?"  He checked to make sure the garnet pieces he had been inspecting before had not fallen away.

Sandahla brushed away the snow on her shoulders and took off her hood, revealing her new moonstone circlet.  "You could say that.  I had a question for you, friend."

Revyn raised an eyebrow.  With the short time they had been doing business, she had yet to call him friend.  "Certainly."  He had no reason to tell her no.  Not only had she brought him rare things that sold for quite the profit, she was also a lovely dunmer.  Having her to look at made the time pass agreeably.

"I was hoping I could stay here tonight, Revyn.  I only stayed in Candlehearth Hall one night, and that innkeeper didn't trust the way I breathed in her place, let alone me sleeping in one of her rooms.  I can't stand that place."

"Oh yes, Elda.  She does have no problem taking dark elf coin, though she'll stare you down the entire night.  I've only been there once, after that I stuck to New Gnisis." 

There was a pause as Sandahla waited politely before asking, "Does that mean I can stay here for the night?"

"Oh, well, of course.  I don't think I'll be needing my bed tonight anyway."  Revyn quickly put away the garnet on the counter.  "I think I have a spare bearskin to keep you warm tonight."

Sandahla gently put a hand on his, her gold ring still cold from the outside.  "No rush, please.  I do have some things to sell you first.  And I don't need to sleep right away.  I have books to read."

Revyn looked into her eyes, red and bright.  There was no reason for him to trust her initially, but a couple weeks ago when he needed someone to discretely return a ring to the affluent Viola, Sandahla was eager to help.  He could tell that it wasn't for the gold.  The gleam in her eyes was the one of someone who sought out adventure, no matter how small. 

Revyn let the gems drop from his hand.  "Alright, what would you like to sell?"

Sandahla realized she left her hand linger too long, and slowly removed it to bring her bag on top of the counter.  It looked especially fully today.  Could it be more mage robes, Revyn pondered, or possibly elven armor?  He tried to hide his anticipation.

Slowly Sandahla reveled what seemed to be over-sized claw bones, which she neatly arranged in the order nature had intended on the counter.  She whispered to him, "Dragon bones."

"Dragon bones?!"  Revyn gasped.  "Where did you find these things?"  He picked up a knuckle and began to scrutinize it.  

"It's... a trade secret."  Her face was stoic with that answer.  Revyn could tell she was hiding something, but he wasn't sure if he wanted to pry.  She hadn't tried to hide anything before.  She had been very forthcoming about retrieving her items from assassins and imperials.  She had even mentioned an infiltration job where she had stolen Thalmoor boots out of necessity.  Revyn was willing to let that slide since he knew of a buyer who would keep her mouth shut.  

He raised his brow.  "I hope you're not offended if I ask--"

Sandahla shook her head.  "It's not stolen.  I wouldn't do that to you."

Again with the familar phrases.  What had changed?  "Considering what you've done for me before, I will honor your word."

"Thank you.  And if you like that, I also have scales from the same dragon."

"You must have been very close to the beast," Revyn supposed.

"I was."  A decidedly short answer.  Revyn stopped prying.

"Well thank you for these finds.  This is a rather lucrative bounty.  Right now, for everything, I can offer you 900 gold."


He smirked.  "You do remember I'm the one who taught you to haggle?"

She smiled back.  "950 so you know your lessons taught me well."

"910 at the most and I'll be satisfied with your progress."

"I'll take it then."  She left the scales and bones on the counter, took out a spell tome and went toward the fire in the adjacent room.  "You can give it to me in the morning.  I'll be leaving early, before the sun is up."

"Making yourself at home so quickly?"  Revyn organized his new merchandise behind the counter.  He wasn't offended by her actions, just surprised.

"I'm sorry.  I just wanted to start studying this spell before I went to bed.  Could be useful for tomorrow."

"And what, may I ask, is the adventure tomorrow?"

"I have to go kill an ice wraith."

Revyn stopped his sorting and leaned over the counter to question, "Are you certain?"

Sandahla walked back out to him, tome still in hand.  "When did you start questioning my actions?"

"I'm sorry, it sounds dangerous.  Wouldn't want anyone to get hurt."

"Only the wraith."  She walked back up to the counter, her circlet now off, her black hair framing her face.  "I'll be fine.  I'll take a potion of healing from you in the morning if you're so concerned."  

Revyn sighed.  "On the house.  I would hate to think my shrewd practices would be the death of you."  It surprised him how much he meant it.  "Shall I get that bear skin for you then?"

She nodded.  "Thank you, I still have a chill."  She went back to the side room.  Revyn finished putting away the bones, scales and garnet, and then went to the cupboard for the skin.  He entered the side room to see Sandahla deep in study.  

Knowing it may be stepping over unestablished bounds, he gingerly place the bear skin over her shoulders.  Sandahla noticed and looked to him, but didn't protest.  In the fire light Revyn noticed something typically hidden under her war paint.  "Sandahla, may I ask how you got that scar?"

"When I was young on my own I was chased up a tree by a bear, and he swiped a paw at me before falling down eight feet onto stones.  I then used the dagger my father lent me to put him out of his misery."

"How old were you?"

"But a child.  Why?"

In honesty, Revyn didn't like hearing she had been put in harms way.  But he couldn't say that.  "I now understand why the ice wraith does not phase you."

Sandahla grinned.  "I'll be back with more trinkets at the same time tomorrow."

"And feel free to stay here whenever you like."  He was surprised he said that.  He was not one to offer up his home so freely.  

"Thank you, friend."

"Of course.  Someone who helped me so eagerly needs to be repaid."

"I've already spent the gold, Revyn."

"Having a good soul does not get repaid enough."

Her grin lessened, and she looked to the fire.  "Thank you for the flattery.  I don't know what to do with it."  She looked to him, with the question that neither had the answer for behind her eyes.  She then went back to her tome.

Before he went back to check his figures, Revyn stood and looked at Sandahla for some time as she studied on his bed.  The fire revealed the courageous demeanor hiding behind her eyes, the beauty in her marked face, and the strength under her robes. 

Revyn could get used to seeing her there every day.

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