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January 25, 2012
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'You said she would be safe!' by The13thBlackCat 'You said she would be safe!' by The13thBlackCat
Part 1: You Are Here Part 2: [link] Part 3: [link] Part 4: [link]

---

Fadali raised her eyebrows in surprise as she entered the Ragged Flagon. Something felt...wrong. It seemed quieter...or maybe that was her imagination. Maybe Dirge looking at her oddly as she passed was her imagination too. She wondered what his expression had meant, nodding slightly in greeting to him.

The usual suspects were there: Vekel at the bar, cleaning the top disinterestedly, Tonilia and Vex sitting out on the deck, Delvin at his usual table in the back corner. Brynjolf was there too, at the table nearest to the entrance, and he looked troubled. Fadali cocked her head, ears twitching, and altered her course, sitting down across the table from him. He looked up.

She hadn't seen Brynjolf look so somber before; he was usually a cheerful man, even when he was serious. But now he was frowning softly, looking disturbed and a little bit lost.

"What's with you, Bryn?" Fadali laced her fingers together, resting her chin on them. "You look like someone killed your puppy."

She thought she saw him wince a little, and wondered if the joke had hit close to home. Oops. She didn't think he had a puppy, though...

"I was wondering when you'd be back here, Fadali." His voice was low and a far cry from its usual cheerful tone. She noticed he hadn't answered, but decided not to push it just yet; instead, she glanced surreptitiously around the room again. Delvin and Vekel were minding their own business, Vex and Tonilia talking quietly. Dirge was, as always, glaring at anything that moved. By all accounts, it should have been a perfectly normal day in the Flagon, but something still felt off to Fadali, like there was a layer of something coloring everything different. She wasn't certain what.

"Can't stay gone for too long," she said finally, "you'd miss me. I make it fun here. Speaking of which..." She cut her eyes back to Brynjolf. He wasn't looking at her anymore. "...what's wrong? Seriously. This is still a tavern, for the Divines' sakes. Why is everything so..." She gestured vaguely. "...so gloomy here?"

Nobody answered her immediately, and Fadali took the moment of silence to continue. "By Sithis, we need Mrr. She knows how to cheer you people up. Wasn't she supposed to be back soon?" She turned in her seat to glance back at the entrance, as if Mrrsizha was about to step through it any moment.

Brynjolf let out a breath. "About that, Fadali..."

Fadali's ears twitched and she looked at him sharply. Her voice was low, warning, when she next spoke.

"What about that, Brynjolf?"

"Mercer's back. He arrived today."

Mercer... Fadali thought that was the Thieves' Guild's leader. He had some name starting with an M, she seemed to recall. She'd only seen the man maybe once, though, and Mrrsizha didn't say much about him. She almost growled when she asked in response, "And Mrrsizha?"

Brynjolf let out a short, harsh breath. He reached out to place something on the table in front of her: it took Fadali a moment to recognize the gold-and-moonstone earrings she'd given Mrrsizha shortly after they'd become friends. Mrrsizha treasured them, and the Khajiit wore them everywhere.

Brynjolf shouldn't have had them.

"She's dead."

Fadali's breath caught. She forced herself to swallow around the lump in her throat, shakily picking up the earrings and waiting for Brynjolf to tell her he wasn't serious, or that he didn't mean dead dead, or that--

"What?!" The Dunmer didn't realize she'd stood until she was leaning over the table towards Brynjolf. "She can't be dead!" She was dimly aware that everyone in the Flagon had looked up at the outburst; Brynjolf stood as well, so she wasn't standing over him, but Fadali didn't care, reaching across the table to grab the front of his armor and yank him forward.

"You bastard! You said she would be safe!" She realized her vision had blurred, but she didn't care. She shoved Brynjolf back. "Where is that son of a bitch?!" She didn't let Brynjolf answer, pushing past him and starting for the door that led down to the inner sanctum of the Thieves' Guild.

He caught her arm before she could get far, though, beginning, "Fadali--" The assassin lashed out in response, and felt a twinge of satisfaction when she felt her fist connect with Brynjolf's jaw. That wrist was abruptly jerked back a moment after, though, because Dirge had intervened; it took both him and Brynjolf to subdue her, and the Dunmer only relented when both men had her pressed to the wall, her arms twisted painfully behind her back.

"You promised!" Fadali's voice was choked and gasping, and she realized she was crying. "You were supposed to take care of her!" She started to struggle again, but knew it wouldn't matter; she couldn't wrestle away from Brynjolf and Dirge. "He was supposed to take care of her! Let me go! I'll kill him!"

Brynjolf let out a harsh breath, helping Dirge haul her off the wall. He stepped away as Dirge took hold of her arms, wiping the back of his hand across his mouth. "Get her out of here." His voice was quiet, flat, and Fadali could almost shriek at his indifference. Brynjolf had been Mrrsizha's mentor, her friend, the reason she was in this damned guild at all. How could he be so indifferent?!

Dirge almost had to pick her up and carry her to the door, but he finally got her there and shoved her out, none too gently. Fadali heard the door lock behind her, sealing her out of the Ragged Flagon. She sank to the floor and curled up against it, sobbing.

She should have never let Mrrsizha go alone. She should have been there, she should have made sure she was safe, she should have done anything. She couldn't have lost her just like that.

After a few minutes, her tears abated. She looked up, rubbing a hand over her face. Maybe she could get back into the Flagon, she thought, through the back way. Find Mercer, kill him for failing Mrrsizha. But they would be expecting that. She let out a harsh, hoarse breath. No. Mrrsizha couldn't be dead. She couldn't. That Khajiit was too smart, too stubborn to just be dead.

Fadali shoved herself to her feet, her hand clenching painfully around Mrrsizha's earrings. She swallowed, then started back towards the entrance of the Ratway, her stride quick and purposeful.

She was going to Snow Veil Sanctum herself, and she was going to find Mrrsizha.

Then she would kill Mercer.

---

Just a sketch of Fadali, ~CountessofTheGhastly's Dunmer assassin and my Mrrsizha's best friend. Due to not exactly being lawful herself and being Mrrsizha's friend, she spends an inordinate amount of time in the Ragged Flagon, and more-or-less befriended a good chunk of the Thieves' Guild. Brynjolf was the one who drew the short straw and had to tell her when Mrrsizha "died" at Snow Veil Sanctum during the Speaking With Silence quest.

It didn't go well.

Luckily, nobody got stabbed or set on fire. Which is a very real possibility, with Fadali.

I think Fadali has a braid or something IDK but I don't care nearly enough to fire up Skyrim and load her game just to stare at her creepily for a dumb sketch so deal with it
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:iconlyhlitheluminescent:
LyhliTheLuminescent Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Huh, I didn't realize you started a short story of sorts here. I shall be creepily going through your gallery and reading them!

Great emotion in this, by the way, both in the story and the drawing.
Reply
:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha, feel free. I keep meaning to update it and put it all together into one thing--particularly since I have to edit a part or two somewhat heavily--but I just haven't gotten around to it. Largely because I have no idea what to call the damned thing if I do. =P

It's one of my favorites on both counts. I keep thinking about going back and redrawing this, since I adore Fadali's expression, but on the other hand, I really like it as-is. The second part of the story is actually my favorite bit, but I more-or-less like it all pretty good.
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:iconlyhlitheluminescent:
LyhliTheLuminescent Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I'll keep in mind that's in needing of an edit here or there, but I'll still be reading it for the adventure!

If you still have the original image, you could try continuing from there if you really want to. Otherwise, I certainly have no problems with how it is! You can draw people really, really well!
Reply
:iconiamash18:
iamash18 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It took me a wile to understand what was going on but after I figured it out......jade to fave. Love the story
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:iconnekonax:
Nekonax Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014
The fave's mostly for the story, not the sketch. It's a cool story! Is there more?
Reply
:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha, no problem, the story's the best part anyway. XD You have no idea how much I hate this silly sketch.

Since you only faved and commented on this one (at the time of me writing this comment anyway) I'll assume you haven't seen the rest. :) It's a four-part series, though I'm thinking about compiling it together and submitting it properly as literature. Anyway, the links to the other parts are at the top of the artist's comments, above the actual story bit.
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:iconnekonax:
Nekonax Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2014
I must have been blind >_<

I'll read the rest when I manage to steal some more time. It would definitely be cool if  you submitted the full story as lit ^_^
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hee, well, it's just a little line of text, so it's easy to miss.

Yeah, I really think I need to. To make it cleaner and prettier if nothing else. XD
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:iconcantbreath45:
cantbreath45 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Dang, love the emotions in the story and picture both. Super brilliant.
Reply
:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks. :) Glad you like it!
Reply
:iconassassinnoir:
AssassinNoir Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
oh dear I came here looking for Brynjolf and got good OC stories

yes good this is very good
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:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:blush: Thank you so much, I'm glad you liked them. :3
Reply
:iconmichaelberretta:
MichaelBerretta Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
The emotion in your Dunmer comes out brilliantly. Both in the picture, the way you write the story, and in the way she punches Brynjolf in the face.
You also clearly portray the effect that Mrrsizha's "death" has had on Brynjolf, the shock and distress it is causing him, and the pain it causes him to utter those two words.
"She's dead."
I loved this.
Reply
:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh my gosh, thank you so much! This is one of my better writings, I think, but not my best; I'm amazed you like it so much, and I apparently managed to so effectively portray everything.

Thank you so, so much.
Reply
:iconmichaelberretta:
MichaelBerretta Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013
I always appreciate good literature, and yours is some of the best I've read on the site.
Reply
:iconwraythskitzifrenik:
WraythSkitzifrenik Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is so sad! Beautiful, and sad!
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:iconmaukieyumiz:
maukieyumiz Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
i love all your storeys ^.^
Reply
:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aww, thank you! :3
Reply
:iconmaukieyumiz:
maukieyumiz Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
iv started doing fan fiction 2 ^.^
Reply
:iconpunkroctorok:
PunkRoctorok Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
GOODJOB! I liked the story and your Dunmer is cute!
Reply
:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha, thanks, but she's not mine. She's my best friend, ~CountessofTheGhastly's character. :3
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:iconcanislupusdingo:
CanisLupusDingo Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2012   General Artist
The emotion in the picture and in the story...nicely done! For a moment I thought Wait, what? Mrrsizha's dead and Mercer is...? What?! and then I remembered the story arc for the thieves guild and I though Oh, wait, nevermind. I was rather relieved that Mrrsizha was still alive and that Fadali would eventually meet her again (and find out that she wasn't dead). Good work! :clap:
Reply
:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aww, thank you! Now you make me feel bad about only posting this and leaving poor Fadali hanging, hehe.
Reply
:iconcanislupusdingo:
CanisLupusDingo Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012   General Artist
You're welcome :)
And who knows, you might get a random urge to write a second part.
Reply
:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha, actually, I have about four parts to this. I just haven't bothered to...um..."illustrate" the others, if this scribble counts as an illustration. I'm working on part two, though, since this seems so weirdly popular. =P
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:iconcanislupusdingo:
CanisLupusDingo Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012   General Artist
:wow:
Yay! :boogie: I look forward to reading it.
Reply
:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
[link] There you go. =P
Reply
:iconcanislupusdingo:
CanisLupusDingo Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2012   General Artist
:squee: Off to read it right now!
Reply
:iconroguewolf14:
Roguewolf14 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Very compelling story and brilliantly illustrated! I love the emotion that you put into it!
Reply
:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Aww, thank you so much! I'm trying to do a follow-up for it.
Reply
:iconchimerasblood:
ChimerasBlood Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012  Student Digital Artist
wow. love how you've caught all the emotion in this! stunning work!
Reply
:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! :3 I've been thinking about doing a follow-up piece to it, but I'm not sure...
Reply
:iconchimerasblood:
ChimerasBlood Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2012  Student Digital Artist
i think you should certainly do a follow up piece :D
Reply
:iconzebraface19:
ZebraFace19 Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2012
This was..
Just, wow.
Increadible, really! Im just stunned, you can really feel the emotions in the text AND the picture.
Please make more, I really loved this!
Fantastic work c:
Reply
:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much! I've been thinking of doing a follow-up to this, but it would be much less emotional and more just sad and resigned, so I don't know...

I'm so glad you liked it! :3 Thank you again!
Reply
:iconsctya:
SCTYA Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Is this a Fanfiction??!!! I wanna read!!! Whats it called!?
Reply
:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's a oneshot I wrote, and the entirety of it is in the artist's comments. I usually don't write enough to make a proper fic. =P
Reply
:iconsctya:
SCTYA Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awwwwww... :-(
Reply
:iconaniphine:
Aniphine Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Professional Writer
I love how you did this, I love it so much. :D This is amazing.
Reply
:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, thanks! :3 I'm glad you like it so much!
Reply
:iconthelegendofkassi:
TheLegendofKassi Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is beautiful. I love it.
Reply
:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you. :3 It turned out a lot better than I'd expected.
Reply
:iconmassivelyattacked:
massivelyattacked Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I will fave anything with Brynjolf, but it was the expression on her face that actually got me.
Reply
:iconthe13thblackcat:
The13thBlackCat Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Her expression is easily my favorite part of this too, and the entire reason it's up in all its sketchy glory. (Well, that and I wanted to post the ficlet, but didn't think it deserved its own deviation. And I couldn't think of a title.)
Reply
:iconmassivelyattacked:
massivelyattacked Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Even ficlets deserve their own! But I'm glad you posted it with the picture. It's lovely!
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