Raven Rock Exile, Part III: The Riekling Massacre
“You want to rob a bunch of Rieklings?” I asked.
“More like massacre them and take all their shit, but yeah.”
Elira and were sitting cross-legged in the abandoned building. She’d drawn a map of Solstheim between us and marked the mead hall where the Riekling had evicted a bunch of pussy Nords. I figured it at about half day’s walk.
“And you said they’re not much in a fight?” I asked. Elira had to explain to me what the little buggers were. I’d had some run in with sewer goblins back in Blacklight—these bastards sounded similar.
“One at time they’re not, if they rush us in a group it might be tricky,” Elira admitted.
“How much, you figure?”
She shrugged. “Orunt-Go-Lock scoped the place before he cut his head cut off. He figured on a thousand gold apiece between the two of us.”
“How did his estimates tend to fare in relation to reality?” I asked.
Elira bit her lip. It was an unconsciously sexy action. “Let’s call it seven-fifty each. Not a bad take for a day and a night’s work. I figure we head out after breakfast, kill everyone by evening, then spend the night in the mead hall. Tomorrow we’ll head to Skaal village and sell everything off. They overpay for metals.”
“Gods you really don’t know anything about this place.”
“I’ve been here one night.”
“Still. Read a book or something.” She motioned idly to a stack of dirty and water-warped tomes in the corner of the room. I thought it was weird an outlaw would have so many books but I didn’t say that.
“How old are you?” I asked instead. Somehow she seemed too young to carry the irony of killing for money and reading for pleasure. Plus, I didn’t want to make a move on a kid.
“What difference does it make?”
“I’m more curious about what we’re gonna eat for breakfast. I’m broke.”
I had the three-hundred Septims in the trunk, but something told me that’d do me more service as a last-resort stash than a peace offering between thieves.
“Me too. I’ll kill something on the way to the mead hall.”
“You good with a bow?”
“Good enough, when I have one.”
Elira smiled. The bizarre contrast of her perfect top teeth and crooked bottoms was going to be a problem for me, I could tell. She got up, stretched, and dug around in the back storeroom for a few minutes. Came back with a decently made hunter’s bow and some almost-decent arrows.
“Let’s go,” I said.
I killed an elk on the way to the mead hall. Shot through the eye. It was just luck—I wasn’t being modest when I told Elira I was just good enough—but I didn’t tell the girl that when she clucked her tongue with admiration.
I cut myself some strips of venison, covered them with gall bladder juice, and started eating them raw.
“What the fuck are you doing?” Elira asked, raised flint frozen in her hands, hastily prepared tinder bunched in a ball at her feet.
“No time for a fire,” I said between bites. “C’mon, hurry. I want to be inside that mead hall by sundown.”
Elira hesitated. Then put her flint away and ventured a bite. I’ll give her credit, she didn’t yak. Just gagged a little and then kept at it.
“Where’d you learn to do that?” she said, motioning to the spent gall bladder.
“Khajiit. Nobody knows how to eat on-the-go like the cats.”
“You’ve ridden with them?”
I nodded. “Did a tour in the Imperial army with a Khajiit Sergeant. And then some work for a caravan later.”
“More like…an acquisitions specialist.”
“Uh-huh. You’re just full of surprises aren’t you, Ren?”
“My life’s been colorful so far.”
“Mine’s been muddy and full of violence, mostly,” Elira said.
We had about half an hour of sunlight left when we reached the mead hall. You could tell the Riekling had been there a while—there was a big hole torn out the roof with tiny ladders poking out of hit. The queer huts of the little goblins were scattered around the yards and the smithy was packed full of shit. A few of the little bastards were milling around the front porch. One of them was working on a fence repair and two of them were rutting out in the open like dogs.
“Orunt had a whole plan,” Elira said softly. “Start a big fire out of sight in that ravine.” She pointed. “Then depending on the numbers that went to investigate, kill the scouts or take the mead hall right then. Hide inside for the scouts to come back and then kill them. Or the other way around.”
“Uh-huh.” The litte bastards would need a spear just to reach my cock. “How bout I go in the front and you sneak around the back?”
“It’s more concise, at least.”
“Good. Let’s get it done.”
I didn’t try to hide my approach. Figured that’d give Elira a better chance at staying hidden. I was vaguely worried she’d leave me to deal with the squat bastards on my lonesome, but figured I’d be able to handle myself if that happened.
The two Riekling that were fucking each other saw me first. A Nord walking up with steel drawn ruined the mood between them. The male backed up and pulled his breechcloth back into place and grabbed a spear. For little creatures, they have big cocks. He was moving but pretty slow.
The girl wasn’t as patient. She got up from all fours and hucked a spear at me. Hard.
I dodged just enough so it whistled past my cheek. Then I charged.
I cut the female in half at the waist and split the male from dome to naval. The one working the fence was just realizing the fix he was in when I split his head open and bashed my way inside.
I nearly puked it smelled so bad inside. Like someone had been cooking mold and shit on low heat for six months.
“Oh shit,” I said once I’d looked around. There were at least thirty of them inside.
I took them by surprise, but they went to arms pretty quickly. Grabbed spears and knives and axes. I killed five of them before they were organized, and then they were on me.
A spear chunked into chest. Hurt like an arrow wound at first but didn’t make it through my hides. I yanked it out, jammed it through a Riekling’s eye, and kept swinging. Hot smelly blood was all over my face and hands. They were screaming and I was screaming too.
“Elira!” I yelled. “Where the fuck are you?”
Right on time, the skinny girl leapt out from behind this big throne thing the Riekling’s had set up in front of the kitchen. She had daggers in both hands and she had the element of surprise—killed ten of them with quick spin moves before they even knew she was there.
I got a few more myself, then caught some movement from the ceiling. I looked up just in time to see a fat Riekling fucker with a massive beard and crown snarling and rushing towards me. Must have been their chief.
I parried his spear so it didn’t ram through my mouth, but he got me in the stomach instead. With the momentum from the fall, it went deep.
I stumbled backwards but kept my feet. The chief rolled into a corner and then rolling himself right back up, drawing a big meat-cleaver type thing and rushing me. We crossed blades in the middle of the room. I tried to cut his head off but he ducked. Tried to stab him in the face but he scuttled sideways like a mudcrab and slammed his cleaver into my foot.
I fell over, landed on my back so all I could see was the big hole in the ceiling. Then the snarling chief’s face. His teeth looked like boulders that had spent a century growing barnacles and moss. He pressed a hand against my forehead so my throat turned up exposed and he raised the cleaver over his head. It was not one of the good death’s I’d pictured for myself.
Right before he brought the blade down on me, an arm snaked around his face and a blade cut his throat open. Green-blue blood sprayed all over my face.
I pushed myself backwards until I hit the corner of the big room. Wiped my eyes. Elira was standing in the middle of room, daggers dripping. She was smiling at me. All the Rieklings were dead.
“Close call,” she said.
“Yeah.” I stood up with a great deal of effort, found a chair and collapsed again. The spear was still sticking out of my belly. I moved it a little and an alarming amount of blood spurted out beneath the shaft.
“I might be in a fix here. Hold on.”
I looked around the room and saw a shelf in the back that looked like it might have some bandages.
When I stood up to fetch some, I passed out.