Silence's Voice

'Other' fanfiction. Category: AT, or Alternate Timeline. Same universe as canon, but a different point in that universe's history.
Just an assassin. Nothing more since fourteen, when the murder of a thieving Wood Elf who got what he deserved ended in recruitment into the shadowy cult of assassins at home in the deep deserts of Anequina. Until she decided to interfere. She decided to ruin everything!

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1. Someone Else's Contract

The Listener was angry today, breaking the bliss of the Sanctuary.

It had been a quiet day until the slam of the Black Door thundered through the Sanctuary's rocky halls. Well, quiet apart from the hot winds of the Ne’Quin-Al desert whispering through every hairline crack, and the occasional yelping laugh of Banshee, the Sanctuary’s pet. A dull day was very rare in the northern Anequina Sanctuary. Not just as it’s so close to the Cyrodiil border, but our Sanctuary plays host to the Listener herself. Their Grand Powerfulness. The one with the gift of hearing the Night Mother, and the temper of a lion with rockjoint.

“Felaano, where are you!” The Listener’s bark called out, as I dropped the golden arrow balanced on my upwards-stretched feet, letting it impale the wolf skins of my bedding and pierce the straw beneath. Felaano is not my real name. Well, it is, but not my first name. The Listener has a habit of only addressing me by surname, not my forename, Savil.

“Felaano...Felaano, can you hear me? Have you gone deaf? Felaano, I’m right here! Felaano!”

I could see the Listener standing in the doorway, a snarling hulk of rage hidden in black and red robes. Their face was hidden as usual, concealed behind the black net veil sewn into their hood.

“Felaano!” They barked, before sighing in defeat. “Savil!”

I turned my head slowly to face the Listener, as blank as a statue. “Yes, Listener? What do you want?”

“Where’s Daro’Rihana?”

“No idea. Why you asking me?” I lied. I knew exactly where that Khajiit was, but the flawless garnet tucked into the pocket of my robes said otherwise.

“You know who Casona Palgus is?”

Casona Palgus...Casona Palgus...oh right! “The woman who used to own that jewellery store?”

“Yes, that Casona Palgus. Our Unholy Matron says she performed the Black Sacrament in her new home. I was going to send out Daro’Rihana to meet with her, as she’s not had a contract for a while.”

So that was why the golden-furred feline had skipped out so quickly once she’d bribed me. Huh, lazy furball. Can’t be bothered to do the odd contract now and again.

“However, as she’s not around, you’ll have to take her place.”

I sat up with a grunt, dislodging Vixen from my bed. “Why me?” I groaned. “I did the last one on Lazz Gra-Khalg. Can’t you ask anyone else? Effe-Zeeis is free. So are both the Bronze-Heart twins, and Rosette’s familiar with that area.”

Though their face was hidden, I could tell the Listener wore an unpleasant smile beneath their veiled hood. “I know that,” the Listener purred, “but I’ve already given the contract to you now. Enjoy yourself out there, Felaano. Let Sithis’ hand guide your blade.”

I spat on the blanched stone by the footboard of my bed once the Listener left, getting up and gathering Vixen and her arrows in my arms. ‘Let Sithis’ hand guide your blade.’ Bah! I don’t fight with a blade and the Listener knows it! It’s why I was recruited. Impaling that backstabbing Bosmer Maengor with his own bow and arrows.

Saved me from the executioner’s pyre, the Dark Brotherhood did. They’re the only reason why I’m here, so I might as well repay them in blood and fear. Loading my golden arrows into their plain leather quiver, I shouldered it and carried Vixen through to the armoury, to pick up my set, and a set of plain robes to wear it under.

The armoury was large and spacious, with wardrobe alcoves all along one wall for all our armour, weapon racks for our weapons, and various grindstones for improvement through the middle. Rosette Vautrelle had even pleaded with the Listener to have a small alchemy lab installed, for those who require poisons. She was in there now, leaning over the table and grinding what looked like a red dust with her pestle.

“I can smell the rage coming off you. Don’t tell me, Their Greatness set you up on another contract?” The young Breton asked, brushing back a red curl that had escaped her leather tie, rendering her shrouded robes pure black once more.

“Yep.” I spat, picking up my shrouded armour and feeling the poison and disease resistance shimmering through its every fibre.

“One that was meant for another?”

“Yep. Daro’Rihana skipped it to go trip again.”

“Damned skooma-tooth.” Rosette snapped, pausing and itching her nose, leaving sparkles of red powder mixing in with her freckles. “Her bribe not really worth it?”

The flawless garnet rattled in the pocket of my shrouded robe, winking teasingly at me as I pulled it out. “Not really, she only gave me this. Only worth about ninety septims at a push.”

“Then why not sell it through your old contacts?” Rosette asked, standing up to add a chunk of red flesh to the mortar, before resuming pounding on her mix.

“Ninety septims is if I go through my old contacts. I’ll most likely have to anyway. Knowing Daro'Rihana, it’s probably stolen.” I replied, draping a set of plain green farm maiden’s robes over my arm, and swiping a matching hood from the hook in Huldra Bronze-Heart’s alcove.

“Bloody skooma cat! Tell you what," Rosette said, "next time she skips on you and you get stuck with her contract, I’ll take it if you look after Belle for me.”

I could feel a slight skip in my heart as I ducked behind the screen and shoved the garnet in my cover-robes pocket. Belle was a sweet little ten-year-old, who already had an aptitude for alchemy, like her mother. Looking after her for a bit would definitely be better than going off killing again.

“Sure, I’ll take care of her. Thanks, Rosette.”

“No problem. Hey, if you pass by Cure Anything, can you get me some siligonder venom please? I’m running a little low, and I need it for a poison I have planned.”

“Sure thing, Rosette.” I replied, pulling my cover-robes over my armour, and coming out with the extras. The shrouded shoes I could stash in my alcove, as the boots would be hidden under the robes and carried the exact same muffling enchantment, but I’d have to keep the shrouded cowl under my robes until the time was right. Same with the gloves.

“Thanks, Savil. Let Sithis guide your aim.”

I grinned and waved back at her for that, tucking the gloves and cowl under my robes and shouldering Vixen. Her and her arrows shouldn’t stand out too much. It’s pretty common for farms to get attacked by siligonder or hyenas, so I could claim they were for that if needed. Pulling my hood on and letting it cover my face, I pushed open the Black Door, and headed out into the Anequina desert.

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