Volume 5 – The Adventures The Young Dragonborn
Chapter #283 – Shadow Agents
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In Whiterun, there are two large clans known as the Grey-Manes and the Battle-Borns. In the game, both Clans lived in the Wind District and owned the largest houses in the city, they boast about their history and fame like all Nords and have some kind of feud.
In reality, things are a bit different. The feud hasn’t started yet but it started to show signs after Ulfric’s messenger spreading the word of resisting the Empire’s laws and all. Instead of the feud, there is what one can call a rivalry.
The Battle-Borns own a large farm business on the White River which is not something to look down on in this part of the world. Owning farms make people very rich very fast and that’s why I started the reclamation project to the roadside lands south to Winterhold. The Grey-Manes own a high quality yet small scale blacksmithing business as Eorlund Grey-Mane is the best in Skyrim and has the honor to forge in the famous Skyforge.
The other major difference from the game was that the families were much larger. Just like the Firemanes and the Moonblades, the Grey-Manes and the Battle-Borns do have a lot of people and more houses around their houses, more relatives that share the same last name and all else.
With the current friendship and rivalry between the two clans, it is possible to wrap make the marriage of Olfina and Jon become reality.
Announcing my identity in front of the Battle-Born house sure brought up a stir and soon the news of me being here will reach the Jarl but I was on a hurry. I stated the reason for my visit as coming to see Jon Battle-Born and we were led directly to the Clan’s largest building. Not only did I see Jon but the other senior members of the Clan too including Olfrid Battle-Born the patriarch of the Clan and his son-in-law Idolaf.
Showing up my gifts which are expensive sure made the Battle-Borns happy. They are an ancient clan and all but they sure love money as much as Imperials do. I also tried to avoid talking with the senior members unless it was business and focused on Jon Battle-Born. This will surely prove that the Dare Dragon Company can be linked to them by Jon.
Not long after we opened the matter regarding Jon and Olfina and the air got electrified all of a sudden. It seems that the political views of the two families have already taken form and started clashing but I am sure that Ulfric hasn’t brought up anything regarding an armed conflict so far but he heads of the clans are surely expecting one.
Still, the best thing Jon Battle-Born could take from his father was an unenthusiastic acceptance regarding his wish to marry the daughter of Eorlund Grey-Mane.
We couldn’t stay long and moved to the Grey-Manes with Jon Battle-Born with us. The reason we had to do this fast was to not give anyone the chance of going back on their words.
Clan Grey-Mane was a bit different than Battle-Born. Eorlund Grey-Mane didn’t come out to see us at the beginning (which made Wulfur’s heart almost break from sadness) and the one who met us were Vignar Grey-Mane, Eorlund’s brother and the one who oversees the public relations of the Grey-Manes as well as Olfina’s brothers Avulstein and Thorald.
The atmosphere was a bit intense at first but I took care of ‘breaking the ice’ at first and made a good trade deal by luck. I knew that the Grey-Manes were expecting Jon Battle-Born to be asking for Olfina’s hand but he had to have some merit he can show off with in front of them.
Luckily, Jon Battle-Born has a lot of those. He worked himself lately in Jorrvaskr and was accepted as a Companion, he won a tournament with me and Wulfur, he is a full-fledged warrior bard, and he works for me now… yep, I told him that he can take an important job and gave him a good position to manage the company’s outpost in Whiterun. Having an outpost in Whiterun meant that we can sell to the whole Skyrim as it is the hold that shares borders with all the other holds except Haafingar and Winterhold which still doesn’t pose a problem.
After a long while of talking, Eorlund Grey-Mane joined us and I barely managed to shut Wulfur up so that Jon can talk to Eorlund.
It took a while and we had to endure the glares of all the Grey-Mane senior members for an hour before the meeting came to a conclusion. Jon Battle-Born received the initial approval of Eorlund and we waited for the approval of Olfina herself and the rest of the family. Normally, Olfina’s and Eorlund’s words are what matters but the Battle-Borns and the Dare Dragon Company were involved in this matter so they Grey-Mane had to start giving it some thoughts too.
The marriage in this world is sure complicated even though the relationships are loose. Marriage as a sacred bond also depends on benefit, wealth and titles which made things hard for a lot of people.
I had a good feeling about the attitude of both the Grey-Manes and the Battle-Borns. They were not harboring any bad feeling towards each other and as far as my knowledge goes, before Ulfric’s words go around, the two clans were actually fixing their relationship and getting along.
Even though if they started their feud, things won’t go that bad. In the game, Thorald Grey-Mane was captured by the Thalmor when he was fighting for Ulfric Stormcloak, to get the news about him, one must know it through the Battle-Borns. From my point of view, it seemed that the Battle-Borns were concerned about Thorald Grey-Mane and asked around for him even though they feigned ignorance in public to not hurt the Grey-Manes with the fact that the Thalmor were involved. The Thalmor are relentless after all.
Still, we all were walking on eggshells here and we had to be swift.
Three days later, trouble started to happen.
The members of [Team 0] were attacked last night by an unknown force when they were doing business for me around the city. It was a night attack and both sides were made of highly trained assassins and rangers. The fight alerted the Jarl and his men but I hid my men fast in the Cube and made sure that no trace link back to me.
When I questioned my men, it seemed that some people captured one of our own and interrogated him about me. The man was badly hurt and lost some finger in the process but Alina worked on his wounds and he soon recovered.
A lot of eyes and ears started to pop around us since then.
These were all ‘Sleeper Agents’. People that the other forces planted in Whiterun to gather information and spread words. I was a bit inexperienced on how to deal with that kind of operatives. In Riften, there was only the Thieves Guild which I knew how they play and in Winterhold, all the ‘Sleeper Agents’ were weeded out periodically.
But to an established town like Whiterun, there were too many Sleeper Agents. Even the College of Winterhold had some of those around even though they don’t do politics.
‘Sleeper Agents’ can sometimes serve more than one master as double agents or even triple agents.
Anyway, my priority right now was to point out the loose ends and tie it up. In Whiterun, the Dare Dragon Company has an outpost and I started from there. I picked up all the weird movements and talked to some of those eyes and ears to see where I can reach with them. Sadly, it was hard to pull them to my side.
During the night, I sent Jullanar and Nefertiti to capture the ones that attacked my men. Jullanar always comes with results and she captured a Breton man for me and we pulled him in a dark alleyway for interrogation. The man proved to be hard to crack and tried to run on multiple occasions but I soon found a better way to handle him. The [Skeleton Key]!
I just had to ‘lock’ a part of his awareness and the truth was revealed as soon as I asked to next question.
This was the answer I received. The Empire was targeting me or to be more specific, the [Penitus Oculatus].
They are the new Imperial Guards and the Intelligence Agency of the Empire, known to the public as the [Penitus Oculatus] and to the underground as the [Specters].
The reason they came after me was not clear even to them but they were tasked to keep an eye on the Empire’s Loyalists and secure a foothold in Whiterun. Any presence that may affect the Empire’s influence in Whiterun was to be dealt with.
As I appeared in the Battle-Born Clan and started bringing them closer to the Grey-Mane Clan, the Imperial Operatives started to feel threatened that their supporters may switch sides by my actions and so they started targeting me.
Just by trying to prevent a feud in Whiterun to lessen the severity of the future Civil War and help a friend marry the girl he loves, I attracted the attention of the largest shadow organization in the Empire.
What a thrill!