On the trail of an Asp

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Glenumbra, Midyear, 20, 280

Sergeant Timothy Dwight reporting,

I will report in here what I have discovered thus far, we have something hunting in these lands, not man or beast, but supernatural. The marks bear the hallmarks of a vampire. What is strange is that whoever is doing this is not trying to hide its intentions at all, the bodies are found bobbing up and down in the harbour. Three dead have already been found and as for suspects, there are always new people here. At the moment I have three leads, a redguard woman. The second is a wealthy merchant whose vessels came in, there is rumors about what goes on, on his ships. The third is a woman who bears all of the hallmarks of a reach woman. That said I really don't have a good feeling about this case.

Midyear 30, 280
I write what follows with a clear mind and an honest heart. I was following the lead of the merchant and was able to get two men onto his ship for one of his parties and I told them to hang a red flag in a window on the ship in case of trouble and I would come on board with the guards. Nothing I have seen prepared me for what I saw on that ship. I had a lookout to tell me if anything amiss was happening or they saw the flag but late into the evening there was no sign and I went to sleep. The morning came and the ship was still out of its slip just sitting there in the harbour anchors down but no one visible. I took two row boats full of guards and we secured ropes to the vessel and boarded.

The fog was thick but there was no mistake for what was there, several dismembered corpses on the deck. We went below afraid that what did this was still on the ship and we searched room by room, and we only found more gore and signs of struggle. The merchant was found drained of his blood in his quarters. The hold was where the chaos happened, it looked like some of the guests tried to take over the ship, I assume for robbery. In the chaos of the melee the creature plucked off stragglers. I am claiming this with certainty because with all weapons accounted for, there are 7 bodies with axe wounds yet no axes of that type were found anywhere near the scene of the kills.

All of this while terrible was not the worst, one of my men came up his face flush, and told me that I had to come to a room with him alone. In that room were my two men on the ship, their bodies had been...scavenged, ribs spread, flesh missing, but dismembered parts formed the words "I know." I ordered my men to the deck, we lifted the anchors and got the ship to get a headwind while we started fires below decks. No one needs to see what happened there.

Last Seed 15, 280

I thought it was over, there had been no reports of anyone going missing or any bodies appearing in the past two months. I have received a letter to go to Hag Fen to talk to someone with information on the night of the barge disaster. I don't like it, it seems like a bad idea but maybe someone saw something and has gained the courage to speak up, we will see.

Last Seed 30, 280

He's dead, and no one seems to want to talk about him. Rumors that he took to drinking pretty hard after the incident in the ship. His contacts being butchered in that way. Apparently no one even knew he was missing until the body was found. Three arrows in his chest, and a bite mark on the neck but we don't know why that was done, if it was just to add insult to injury, the arrows themselves would have been fatal.

All I know is that both of his suspects that remained well there is not much to go on, other than one is a redguard woman and the other looked like she was from the reach. "Whatever that means," this place looks like it's been ransacked but his friends said this was how he left it, so many other non official notebooks, scrawled with what seems like mad thoughts. Several are filled with apologies and conversations with the "ghosts" of the two men he sent to their deaths. The "reachwoman" is gone, no one has seen hide nor hair of her for over two months.

As for the redguard, I inquired if ship has left for Hammerfall. I was told that three did and as for redguards they laughed and said of course. I asked about thing odd, way too much covering for the season, and a dockworker said there was one woman that he heard had she had leprosy that was cured but her body was horridly disfigured from it.

I was going to take the next ship to the port the ship was going to when I was told I was needed urgently back at headquarters, all hands were needed for breaking up a werewolf clan. I want to refuse and stay on this increasingly cold trail but I can't do that, my orders are my orders.

*pages missing*

Evening Star 21, 282

I hate this desert, the Alik'r is a deathtrap, if you don't die from the heat, the snakes, the scorpions, the people hell I think even the sand itself has daggers waiting for you. Yet I come here each leave I get, clues, rumors, supposition but still it's something. There is something bigger than a snake that is causing people to vanish in this desert.

It just doesn't make sense that the local vampire clan would be so bold, already there have been patrols by militia's looking for vengeance. Yet no matter where I am took, the trail is already cold, whatever is doing this is not like most vampires. This thing eats the people or at least takes parts of them in addition to drinking their blood. It makes no attempt to hide what it's done, it's like a cat marking its territory.

Again, a month in this desert and no closer to finding the redguard...I know she is here, waiting, stalking, planning her next meal, and until someone puts her down she will not stop. But just as I was about to leave the night before we made it to port, I heard a campfire story about the desert asp, that took the form of a woman, and would tempt, stalk, snipe, or charge at her prey, whatever it took to feed.

I asked the teller of the story how long they have told this. He told me not too long, about the huntress, but there is another story, of a young huntress who passed her initiation into adulthood but changed, after it went horridly wrong and has never been seen again. He said that there is no way she'd still be alive as his grandfather told him his story as he witnessed her do the trial as a young woman. She's as dead as those the huntress takes. But she changed when those snakes bit her. Maybe this creature that steals travellers in the night is her spirit, continuing the hunt.

I set off the next day, more sure than ever that she was closer to my grasp. I will go to the village this young maiden was from and see if I can hear any stories. I don't think I'll find anything but I must go there when I return.
Posted Mar 17, 14 · OP
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Malexia's own Journal now that she is out of hiding

Odd leather-bound tome: "He sends servants to contact me, why Malog Bal lives and knows of our plot but lets us fester and suffer. But when they came, I had not spoken to anyone that I was not planning on hunting and killing for two years. Every action had a purpose and the purpose was predation.

One worm cultist approached and baited me to come out, I knew from the uniform who he served and while I serve the Lord of Domination, I was not going to bow to a mortal. I made him the offer I had made others that I was sure I'd win against, that if they could defeat me they would live, if not their life was forfeit.

In full disclosure I only made this claim three times, usually I said nothing I just snuck up behind them and paralyzed them with the gift of the Khulari and then they were mine in body and soul until I grew tired of them and devoured them. There is no feeling like total domination of someone, I suppose many people love dogs because a dog is an acceptable slave for them to have. Dogs are sickening carrion, they are like the teeming crawling masses of useless people always obedient unless you show weakness, then they will try to fight the predators that rule over them.

But back to my story, I circled around him and as I struck he put up some shield that blocked my blade, and his friend appeared. I was willing to hear them out but if they wished battle I would not flee. I have said I would never go to Coldharbour until I dragged their via death. I may serve Malog Bal but I have no illusions of what my fate will be like, for if I was him I would do the same.

They promised things and offered me a place among his fold again, via the worm cult. I told them I would serve them loyally but I don't really know if I am capable of that, last time I had any faith in my allies we were betrayed and scattered. If they serve Malog Bal as they claim they do, I will be a steadfast ally, but if they falter if this is just some cover for some grand con or quest I will end them all. I know it's said Mannimarco runs this Order of the Black Worm and it would be interesting to meet him. The Altmer that changed the world, that is a mortal of consequence. That said I am joining them on my terms, I will not hide my nature or stop the hunt...I can't it's what I live for, the chase, the satisifcation nothing can surpass it.

Still I couldn't lose face, I would not submit to them because it looked bad. I said I'd join on the condition that I got to feast on one of them, I would not infect him, but I would drink his blood. They saw that I looked near rabid, I hadn't drank in 10 days, my bones ached with desire for nourishment and control. The place they found me was a camp that had fresh footprints, I was waiting for the owner to come home and slaughter and feast on the lot of them.

The one in the armor agreed if I would give him two vials of my blood. I agreed and gave them first and then I drained him quite a bit, I wanted him to falter, not lose consciousness but to know that at that moment his life was in my hands. I took a portal with them to Stormhaven and once there I bathed and fed some more so I would be presentable for my mission.

I was to intercept a courier headed to the Wayrest Mage's Guild my plan was simple, we are in chaotic times and I camp out on a road near Dreughside. I will scream for help when I see the courier come. I saw a few people coming but none looked like they could be a courier. When he got there I screamed for help and that a dreugh had broken my leg. The courier looked away and tried to keep walking, I got up and leaped onto him using my training as a duskblade.

He had a wrist mounted mini crossbow but I was able to pull his wrist up when he fired, and it missed me. I used my left hand and my claw to dig into his neck and bite down, he collapsed, I kept feasting until I was convinced he could not run away. I dragged him away to behind a hill. I searched for the Dwemer tomes and sure enough they were there. He tried to talk weakly and ask: "Why..." No, do not ask why, that is beyond your concern. You will find your new life easier if you don't ask questions. But there are consequences for imprudence. I took a fieldstone and slammed it into his right knee, while my left hand covered his mouth. SPEAK ONLY WHEN SPOKEN TO, you will find your new life preferable to the past....soon enough but now we must walk, and finish our work.

The first 24 hours are always the most fun...pleasure and pain, breaking and molding them, by the time the infection rages inside and takes over he is already mine. I gave him a change of clothes and a story about bandits and then the bandits being slaughtered by the Dreugh but one got away with the books. Go to the guild and return to me, failure to do so and Wayrest will know of the vampire masquerading as a courier.

He stopped in his tracks, turned and kowtowed, "that won't be necessary Asp, I will do as asked." After he left I had contacted my new allies and told them I had recovered the tomes and even a bonus... There was just one matter left...chance, fortuna...whatever you want to call it, does he die does he live. I took out a knucklebone that had been turned into a dice by me. One, three or five he lives; two, four, six he dies. The dice having been cast, landed on a four. So be it, I picked up the die and left.
Posted Apr 16, 14 · OP