The Gang of Five

It certainly has been a crazy year, hasn’t it?  Well, thankfully, a new year is upon us and here at the Gang of Five forum we have a new year of showcases, prompts, and themes to get the new year started in the right way.  We wish you all a happy new year, and we look forward to what you have in store for us this year!

For the month of January we have a new character showcase.  Please warmly welcome Littlefoot's Mother! :)littlefoot The character showcase topic for this month can be found here.

Also keep in mind that the December and January prompts for the fanfic prompt challenge is now open.  We are doing things a bit differently this season and allowing for people to either fulfill a monthly prompt or a suggested prompt during each month.  I look forward to seeing what you all come up with! :)  The fanfic prompt rules and list of monthly prompts can be found here.

Loving a Shadow

StarfallRaptor

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And this is the second story I'll post here...  My Oblivion Dark Brotherhood story.

Loving a Shadow--A tale of the Dark Brotherhood
Chapter 1:  A Shadow is Cast
Disclaimer:  Adrian is my own Oblivion Character.  Other than that, the characters in this work are all works of Bethesda, and owned by such.
   Assassins.  We’re people like anyone else.  But many don’t realize that.  Not surprising, since only the coldest, most sociopathic of us are ever found out.  The truth is that we all feel the same emotions as anyone.  We feel fear, feel pain and loneliness, understand despair, and we…we fall in love.  That last one was one of the most surprising moments of my life.  The Argonian leader of my Brotherhood Sanctuary, Ocheeva.  The woman who holds my heart forever.  This is our story.
   I suppose I should begin with myself, and my induction into the Family.  My name is Adrian Starr.  Yes, I’m the same one who supposedly saved the Empire from the Oblivion Crisis.  But in reality, I had little to do with that.  The hero the people were looking for was Martin.  It was him who cast Mehrunes Dagon back into Oblivion, not me.  I guess that I’m the next-best option, since Martin either vanished or became the Dragon of Akatosh in the Temple of the One.  Either way, people looked up to me.  So why become an assassin, you ask?  It was that foolish drunkard in Cheydinhal that changed me forever.  
   It was a night much like any other when it started.  I had gone to one of the local taverns to pass a few hours among the colorful chatter and warm comforts of the many travelers that passed through there.  At around ten o’clock, I got up to leave the tavern, and, once outside, stretched my arms out to relax in the cool night air.  As I headed up the street to the house I had recently purchased, a man approached me from one of the many side alleyways.  He was unsteady at best, and even from my distance I could smell the reek of alcohol on him.  
“Hey!  You’sh the Ch-Champion of Cyrodill, ain’tya?  Got any more money for me to shhpend on shomethin’ to wet my poor dr-dry throat, Mishter Champion?”  He slurred, leaning heavily against the wall for support.   Curtly, I waved him away, replying…
“You hardly seem to need more to drink, sir.  I have no coins for the likes of you.  Now leave me in peace.”
As I turned to walk away, I heard the man’s footsteps behind me, and in one moment, the deed was done.  He lay there, a deep wound slashed across his torso.  I looked at the bloodied blade in my hand, and felt strangely…guiltless.  Men like him were nothing more than parasites on the world, and had no purpose other than death, I reasoned, as I cleaned my blade before placing it back in its’ scabbard and finishing my walk home.  That night, I found sleep hard to come by, as it felt like someone or something was watching me.  As I awoke, I started, for there was a man next to my bed.  

“You sleep rather soundly for a murderer.  That’s good. You’ll need a clear conscience for what I’m about to propose.”
He said, looking down at me.
In a second, I was on my feet, drawing my katana blade and leveling it at his throat.
“Who are you? What do you want?”  I asked, eyes narrowing faintly…
“I am Lucien Lachance, and you, sir, are a cold-blooded killer.  Your work pleases the Night Mother, and I would like to invite you to the Dark Brotherhood.”   These words piqued my interest, and by the time we had finished talking, I had been given a dagger and orders to find and kill a man named Rufio at the Inn of Ill Omen.  I quickly mounted my horse, a fine, black beast outside the city walls, and in less than a day’s ride reached the inn.  Once inside, I slipped into the sublevel where I sensed a life aura, and found Rufio slumbering.  In one swift movement, I slew him, my dagger piercing his spine at the base of his skull.  I withdrew my blade, pushed the corpse off of the bed, and fell asleep for a brief rest.   I awoke again to Lucien standing near me, and he congratulated me and directed me to the Brotherhood Sanctuary in Cheydinhal, with instructions to open the sealed door blocking entrance.  I returned to the place specified, and when I opened the door, I was greeted by a large, underground hall.  A voice from my left startled me, and I turned to come face-to-face with a vampire.  Reacting quickly, I drew my new dagger and readied myself for his attack on me, but it never came.  Rather, he spoke to me in a rather quiet, calm fashion.  
“Now, now, Dearest Brother.  It’s not polite to draw a weapon on a member of your family.  I am Vincete Valtieri, a member of the Brotherhood, and, yes, a Vampire.  You needn’t fear, though.  The five tenets come more importantly than feeding, so I would never dream of harming you. Come, your other family members are eager to meet you.  They are right through this door.  I’m sure Ocheeva will introduce you to them all.  
I stepped through the door Vincente indicated, and found myself in what looked like a great hall of a castle.  Seated at the table were five other figures in black armor, arrayed in a semi-circle.  As I stepped forwards, a seductive, feminine voice to my right stopped me dead in my tracks.  
“Ah.  You must be the new Brother we’ve been told would be coming.”  I turned, and saw an Argonian female staring at me, eyes appraising my abilities, I had no doubt.  My eyes began to wander, and I began to notice how her armor, made of high quality leather, no doubt, clung to her body tightly, leaving little to my imagination.  As my eyes began to travel even lower, she suddenly nodded, then grabbed my arm and led me in front of the others.  
”Please, dear brothers and sisters, a moment, if you will.  Sithis has been good to us this day, and has delivered a new family member to us.  Please introduce yourself, Brother.”
I stepped forwards, eyes examining each of the assassins in turn, then bowed.  Rising I introduced myself to them, then they stepped forwards and we exchanged greetings.  The first was a young Breton girl by the name of Antoinette Marie.  She seemed very friendly, eager, and open, and so her being an assassin was a bit of a surprise.  The next to introduce himself was an Orc by the name of Gogron gro-Balmog.  He seemed a bit…blunt, but honest.  He said he wasn’t one for sneaking and would rather bash his opponent in close range, so I was severely doubting his capability by the end of our talk.  Then the Argonian, Teinavaa, introduced himself.  Of the ones I’d met so far, he struck me as being the most capable of any of them, both talented and strong, but still seemed eager and impulsive at times.  Then an Altmer rose, walked over to me, and introduced herself as Telaendril.  She carried a bow with her, so I guessed that she was an archer by profession.  The last of the group, a Khajiit, sat at the table and sullenly refused to even make eye contact with me.  A hand brushed my shoulder, and once again, I found myself face to snout with the female Argonian that had stood at the door.  
“Pay M’raaj-Dar little mind.  He is mostly like this.  Rude and impossible.  My name is Ocheeva, and I am the leader of this small place of sanctuary.  Here, put these on and come speak to me once you do.  I’ll be in my chambers.”  She handed me a bundle of the same leather clothes as my new brothers and sisters, as well as a hood for my face, but as she walked off, my attention was more focused on her tail and butt, which swayed gracefully as she walked away.  I donned my new armor in a shadowed corner, thinking to myself how long a stay I might…enjoy here.  One thing was for certain, though.  I had found a family, and had fallen head over heels for an Argonian.  My time here might seem very, very long indeed…