Tes3Mod:Tamriel Data/The Uprising, part I
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Publicus Larconius looked out over the fields of tall saltrice stalks, bending and swaying in the wind. He always grew melancholy when he saw the saltrice in the breeze. It reminded him too much of the sea, of the freedom of the open waves, of his former life as a sailor in the Imperial Navy. Five years it had been since that stormy night in First Seed, the night his ship got wrecked of the coast of Morrowind, when he was picked up by a Dunmer raiding party and sold into slavery.
Publicus went back to his work, bending low over the saltrice stalks and slicing them with his sickle, bundling the harvested stalks as he worked. A Redguard slave, by the name of Lakene, took Publicus' saltrice sheafs and placed them in a basket, but not before slipping him a piece of hound meat. Just a little something to get you through the day, he said.
As dusk descended, the slaves marched slowly back to their pens for the night. There the guards doled out their evening meal - a slimy saltrice porridge that smelt even worse then it looked - and it looked pretty bad. After the slaves had finished, it was back to the shacks for the night.
Publicus opened the door to his shack and went in. He shared the shack with two other slaves, Lakene, the Redguard who had slipped him the meat in the field, and a Breton named Jeroird, who had been press-ganged in the streets of Tear and sold to the plantation. Although he never talked much about his past Jeroird had told them that he used to be an apprentice to a great mage before he ran away in search of adventure. Now Jeroird, one of the younger slaves, worked as a cargo loader on the dock by the river, loading boxes of saltrice onto the ships bound for the cities on the coast. After a few hours talking to his companions, Publicus fell asleep.
In his dreams he had returned to that stormy night on the choppy sea. The ship lurched as wave after mighty wave crashed against its sides. The rain fell in huge bucketloads, as the thunder crashed and lightning arced across the dark, cloudy sky. The captain tried to shout orders over the wind, but it was no use. Publicus turned in horror as he heard that horrible sound that had plagued his dreams ever since that night, the terrible crash of the mast snapping and tearing the ship in two.
Publicus woke with a start. It was still dark outside but he decided to get up to calm himself down a bit. Reaching out, he felt something on the wall. Cautiously he ran his hand over it, feeling its shape. It was a knife! He woke the others quickly. Lakene took out a flint he had stolen from the guards and a short candle snub. Soon they were able to examine the knife in the flickering light of the candle.
The knife was stuck into the wall and, hanging on the hilt, was a small leather pouch. Jeroird opened it. Inside was a folded piece of paper and a key. Taking the paper from Jeroird, Lakene unfolded it and read the message written on it:
A gift from the Twin Lamps, was all it said.
With shaking hands Publicus took the key. Taking a deep breath he inserted the key into his bracer and turned. There was a sharp click as the bracer fell from his wrist and hit the floor. They were free!
After they had freed themselves the three friends set to work liberating the rest of the slaves. When most of the slaves were free they marched towards the manor house, grabbing whatever weapons came to hand: scythes, sickles, axes, even bare claws in the case of the Khajiit. Bitter fighting broke out between the well trained and equipped plantation guards and the furious slaves, drunk on the ecstasy of freedom and the thought of revenge.
One of the guards reached Publicus, and he was suddenly fighting for his life. While Publicus was one of the Imperial navy's best swordsmen, with his poor weapon he was no match for the well-armoured guard. Slowly he was pushed backwards, just barely keeping the enemies sword at bay. Suddenly the guard swung low. Publicus jumped back, the keen blade almost slicing his shins. Unfortunately he landed off balance and crashed to the earth.
The Dunmer guard smiled and raised his sword for the killing blow. Publicus raised his knife in a futile attempt to block his looming death. But the guard's smile had turned into an expression of surprise, as Lakene smashed his skull with a mighty blow from a wood-chopping axe. As Lakene pulled Publicus to his feet he was met with an extraordinary sight.
There was a huge explosion and the slave pens burst into flames. Jeroird was standing at the centre of the field. The guards watched as he slowly raised his arms and chanted in a strange, arcane language. Seeing what was about to happen, some of the guards ran forward to break the spell. They stopped, screaming, as two fireballs shot from the Breton's hands, erupting in a huge burst flame. The guards wavered as they saw their comrades writhing in agony on the ground, while the slaves, cheering in triumph and raising their makeshift weapons, pushed forward. The guards that fought were cut down were they stood, hopelessly outnumbered by the slaves. The ones that ran were caught by one of Jeroird fireballs.
Very few Dunmer escaped that night. Once the guards had died or fled the slaves entered the manor, the three friends in the lead. Cowering under his bed was the manor's lord. He was dragged outside by the slaves and put in the stalls used for the punishment of slaves. The old Dunmer begged for his life, promising the slaves their freedom. Lakene got a whip from the plantation's storeroom and started thrashing the manor lord. 400 times the wipe cracked across the bloodied back of the Dunmer, ten lashes for every slave present. Once the horrible task had been finished the mutilated corpse was hung from the top of the plantations walls, to serve as a message to any slaver: we will have our revenge.