Chapter 28:

Evelyn feels much better after taking a few days to just relax and rest. Deciding to hang around Whiterun for a bit, she takes this moment to just enjoy the simple things in her life and spend time with her closest friends. One day, she was sitting in the meadhall, having a chat with Drizzt. She found she rather liked the Drow. She's not to sure where Jarlaxle ran off to, but as long as she doesn't hear anything he must be behaving. He tells her more about his kind, how he grew up. What the Underdark was like. How he got his hands on Guenhwyvar and the ten years he spent in the wilds of the Underdark. He goes into detail how he found his way to the surface. He even admits to his lack of knowledge of the surface world and his first accouter with a skunk. She lets out a low snort, trying not to laugh. But he starts first and she joins him. She doesn't mind learning more about him and he doesn't mind sharing his story. It's near lunch time when Vilkas walks up to her. "Someone is here to see you.." She rises her brow and slowly gets up to see who had entered the hall. To her surprise, it's a old looking Dark Elf, most of his head is shaved aside from a Mohawk. She can spot a few gray hairs in his natural dark hair. "Mernon!" She smiles wide when she sees the old elf. A bit surprised however to see him. But she wraps him in a tight hug. Artemis looks at the elf, realizing this must be the elf that raised her.

He looks up at her, crossing his arms. "A letter would have been nice you know." She rubs the back of her neck, he was using his 'fatherly' tone on her. "I'm so sorry, things have been...crazy." He narrows his red eyes at her. "I forgot." He nods at this, he knows her all to well. "Imagine my surprise when I learned you became the Harbinger for the Companions." He's tapping his boot as he looks up at her. He looks a bit miffed that she's left him in the dark for so long. "I also run the Collage in Winterhold.." He shakes his head at her. "Evelyn...." She throws her hands up. "I'm sorry okay, I would have written to you sooner, but I didn't think my letters would even reach you. Then everything else happened..." He rises a single brow at her. "Oh sweet Azura, what else is there?" She bites her lip as she shuffles nervously. "I'm also Dragonborn?" He doesn't look as surprised as she thought he would, strange. "I'm aware, that's why I'm here. It's all everyone talks about in the Imperial City is about the Dragonborn that fought along side General Tullius." She had no idea people back home where talking about her. No wonder he was so angry and now she feels even more guilty. "I'm so sorry..." She looks down, feeling horrible now. He just lets out a low sigh at her, but smiles. "It's fine, I know you well enough to know you don't do these things on purpose."

After a minute of talking, she turns to her fellow Companions. "This is Mernon, he raised me when I was a little girl." It all adds up and they nod, understanding better. Artemis had already figured that out. But there's something about this meeting that doesn't sit right with him. He's not sure what it is. She turns her gaze back to the elf. "So what brings you here, other then to catch up?" He takes a look around. "We need to talk, in private." She blinks at this, but nods, heading downstairs and he follows. Artemis narrows his eyes at this, moving after them. Once she's in her room, she closes the door before turning to him. "Alright, what's going on?" He paces the room, looking around before turning to her. "You need to return home." She rises her brow at him. "This is my home. You're starting to worry me.." He runs his hand through his stocky hair. "The Elder Council has gathered. They want you to become the new Emperor....well Empress." Her mouth drops slightly, wondering if he's messing with her somehow. "How did this come about?" "General Tullius has returned to the capital. He told the Elder Council how you help during the Civil War up here. He also told you were the Dragonborn. It's been a long tradition those with the Dragonsblood rule Tamriel." She doesn't know what to say to this, what can she say? "How do you know this?" "Well since you left, I took over the guild in your place. Knowing I raised you they asked me to be apart of their council in the hopes I would be able to find you. Good thing Tullius knew where you were."

She has to sit herself down, before she faints. She knows him well enough to know he wouldn't joke about this sort of thing. Though she wonders why the General didn't come to get her. But no doubt he has to stay behind now the war is over. She has no idea what to even say. What will happen when several years pass and she doesn't age. People were bound to notice that kind of thing. Not only that, but this also effects those around her. "I don't know what to say, I had no idea they were even planning such a thing." Mernon lets out a low sound at this. "At least come to the capital to talk this over with the council. Maybe we can figure something out. It's clear you've made quiet the life here." She smiles at him brightly. "I have a far larger family then I could ever imagine. I'll travel with you. At most it'll take a few weeks. But sadly I will have to turn down the offer." He rises his brow at her. "Oh?" She looks down a bit as she tries to think of what to tell him. "I've learned a lot since I've been here. Other then me being Dragonborn. There's...more to it then just stealing the souls of dragons." He crosses his arms at this, waiting for her to tell him more. "As it turns out, me absorbing said souls has made me immortal." He gives her a surprised look, he didn't expect that. "What do you mean immortal?" She gives him a helpless shrug. "Just like I said, like dragons I wont die of old age. So yeah, people would take notice. I haven't even told anyone here yet because it sounds so crazy."

After a minute or so she rises from her chair. "Alright, let me get my crap together and we can get going." He just nods and heads out of the room. She watches him leave, her brows slowly knitting together. It's not long before Artemis comes out of hiding, having heard the whole thing. "Something about this doesn't seem right.." She could only nod. "Aye, this isn't sitting right with me either. But hey, lets play along, he did rise me. So whatever is going on, we'll figure it out aye?" He agrees as he places his hand on the small of her back. Without her notice, he had removed the pin Jarlaxle had placed on his belt, in hers. She makes her way upstairs to see her friends all waiting. It makes her oddly nervous to have so many people looking at her. Even if she knows them as well as she does. "Get back to work you lazy louts!" They all turn and go back to what they were doing. She finds Vilkas and pulls him to the side. "I need you to watch over things for a bit. I need to return home for a bit to take care of some things." Vilkas nods, understanding well enough. "I can handle things here. Safe travels." She nods her head as she heads out, to her home. She pulls on her armor, as well as grab Charon's Claw and her dagger. Once they were both ready, they make their way to the main gates. She finds Mernon, waiting near the stables for them. He seems surprised that she didn't come alone. He lets out a low huff when they meet. "Who is this?" "This is Artemis he's..." She pauses for a minute. "Lover." He finishes for her and she gives Mernon a sheepish smile. The elf just glares at her even more.

He decides to not say anything however as he gets onto his own horse. She leaps onto Shadowmere, only for Artemis to join her. She just follows after Mernon, staying a few feet behind as they ride. She's still trying to figure out just what is going on. But for right now she decides to trust her foster father. After all he did raise her. But there's still something really strange about this whole thing. She just can't place her finger on it, but at least she's not alone. The trip south goes well till they reach Helgen. The town is dead silent as she stops riding and looks around. the town is half finished, it looks just like new again. But no one is here, even Mernon stops and gets off his horse. She leaps down as Artemis joins her. She places her hand on her sword as she looks at Mernon. "It's far to quiet here.." Artemis slowly pulls out his own weapons. Her eyes turn to her foster father. "Alright, time to drop the act, somethings up." He again says nothing, but backs away. Her eyes narrow slightly, when she feels a jolt hit her. She hits the ground as a sharp electric shock flows through her body. Artemis holds out his gauntlet as another bolt is aimed at them. He takes the bolt and absorbs the spell. He holds it close as his eyes scan the area. It's not long before a army of Thalmor rise from the surrounding area. A lone male steps out, dressed in a fine elven armor. Her eyes narrow at the elf, her teeth chattering after the powerful shock. "This is the all powerful 'Dragonborn' I've heard of?" He tilts his head slightly as Artemis steps in front of her.

The elf ignores him however. "Mernon, you disappoint me, if you only handed the girl over from the start we wouldn't be here." Her eyes go wide as she turns to her once foster father, but he just looks the other way. Still holding the spell, Artemis unleashes it on the elf in front of her. He uses a Steadfast Ward to block the spell. "What an interesting turn, we don't have any entail on you.." The Altmer looks down at the assassin. He was already short, compared to them he was tiny. "No matter, we're here for her. Who may I remind you, should have been turned to us from the start.." She slowly gets up, shaking her head, holding out Charon's Claw. "I don't know what deal you made, but I swear you'll pay for it.." As far as she's concerned, they're all dead. Evelyn turns her back to Artemis, as he turns his to her. Both of them keeping their eyes on the surrounding elves. The leader just rises his brow as if this is more annoying then anything. "You'll hardly do anything other then come with us. We plan to put a end to this." Evelyn holds out her sword, ready to fight. "I dare you to try it!" Everything happens so fast, but something rushes at them, and knocks over Artemis. She takes in a deep breath, but also gets hit by a powerful bolt once again. It's so strong, she swears she feels something wet trail down her leg. The nearby Thalmor swarm her, and place a gag in her mouth to keep her from using her Thu'um. Someone knocks her out and she slumps. Shadowmere rears back and kicks one of the elves in the chest.

The horse was smart enough to stomp after anyone close to Artemis so they couldn't try to kill him while he was out cold. They have to retreat, they have what they want anyways and make a run for it. Once they leave, Shadowmere turns and starts to nudge the assassin. He lets out a small groan as he slowly gets up. He didn't see who hit him, but he can feel one of his ribs is broken from the hit. He winces slightly as he uses the horse to get up. They moved fast, nothing was left behind, but he can still find Evelyn. He just needs to find Jarlaxle, but finding him usually isn't that hard. He slowly pulls himself onto the horse and quickly makes his way back to Whiterun. He doesn't stop even as he reaches the gates. He ignores the guards as he rides past the gates, right up to Jorrvaskr. He almost falls off as he quickly enters the building. Drizzt pauses what he was doing when he sees the assassin and makes his way over. "What happened?" "Ambush, I knew something seemed off about this whole thing..." Artemis winces again as he slowly sits himself down. "I placed the pin Jarlaxle used on me on her belt. I need to find him.." Drizzt has a slight idea where his fellow Drow is hiding. "I'll go find him.." He heads off as someone hands a healing potion to Artemis. He blinks and looks up to see it was Vilkas. "We'll find her I promise. But we need details." Farkas is close by, ready to raise hell. Artemis can't help but smirk at this as he takes the potion. "From what I can understand, Mernon had a deal with the Thalmor, but I don't know anything more then that." Vilkas tightens his fist at this, while Farkas looked confused. "But this man raised her..."

"Guess the Thalmor made a deal he couldn't say no to.." Artemis had been around long enough to understand these sorts of things. Drizzt enters not long after, Jarlaxle right behind him. Seems the elf has been having the time of his life. He fixes his hat and smiles brightly. "So, what's going on?" Artemis lets out a low sigh. "Do I even want to know what you are doing..." "It's more, who I'm doing.." Artemis makes a face. "Enough, I need you to use that pin of yours to find Evelyn." Jarlaxle rises his brow at this as Artemis tells him what happened. He agrees quickly to use his magic pin to find the now missing woman. Right now it was cold, but he lays it in the palm of his hand. It turns slightly and points in the right direction. "I suggest we get moving. I don't know a thing about these Thalmor. But I have heard stories, and they put us to shame." Drizzt, Vilkas, and Farkas are willing to join Artemis as he nods his thanks to them. He glances at Artemis and soon all five of them are heading off. Shadowmere is still waiting outside Jorrvaskr, and the guards are now yelling at Artemis about it. He just ignores them as he holds out his statuette of a horse. "Lets go." Jarlaxle takes the statue and they all head out of the town. He summons both horses and jumps on the one belonging to him. Drizzt isn't to sure about this, but they can't waste time here. Drizzt joins Jarlaxle as the twins take Blackfire. Jarlaxle takes the lead and heads off quickly, with Artemis following after him.

Artemis just hopes wherever the Thalmor took her, they took her alive. He has no idea what they plan to do to her. What's worse is how long they've been after her. How long Mernon had been planning this. He tightens his grip as he rides. He has no idea why the elf would do this. But if he ever sees the man again, he would be dead. Only if he gets to him first, Evelyn no doubt will want her own answers behind this sort of betrayal. He just hopes they find her before any real harm is done to her. Knowing well enough what these people are capable of. Jarlaxle has to take his time however as the pin moves ever so slightly. He's still not used to the layout so he has to stop every once in awhile. It's a long ride as the sun starts to go down. Jarlaxle even gets lost a few times before he starts to realize where the pin is pointing him toward. It leads them to a old abandoned prison, on the other side of a fast moving river. But Artemis and the other spot a safe way to get across. Jarlaxle makes his way to the door as he jumps down from his horse. The pin was hot now, shaking in his hand. "I believe we've reached our destination. Don't suppose I should warn anyone how crazy this is....right?" Artemis just glares at him. "Consider this you paying me back, you owe me." The elf gives it some thought and shrugs. No point on arguing with that logic.