Disclaimer: I obviously don't own Oblivion. Bethesda Game Studios does, and as one of their loyal followers and forum members, I would never dare claim ownership of any of their works.

Fac et Excusa

The storm raged over Bruma, as lightning crashed through the sky and rain poured down on the normally snowy city. There was a flash of red light in the darkness, and suddenly three figures were standing in the middle of Cloud Ruler Temple, overlooking the Nordic city. They were all garbed in blue cloaks, but one was obviously bigger than the rest. He carried no obvious weapons, while the two on either side of him had longswords at their hips. The tallest figure raised a hand, letting the rain hit it. Under his hood, he smiled.

He began walking forward, the other two behind him, as rain drops dripped off the point of his hood. It was raining hard, but Malinus loved the water. It was very interesting for it to be raining on the day of his mission. The two behind him looked distictly uncomfortable under their hoods, but said nothing. A single Blade had been guarding the main gate, but he hadn't noticed them. The two in front of them, guarding the door to the main hall, could possible be a problem though. They were standing under an arch, protecting them from the rain, while they cautiously watched the three approaching figures.

Ferrum turned to Arcturus, who had a hand on the hilt of his sword. The three cloaked figures were getting closer, and they hadn't said anything yet. Ferrum hadn't heard the gates open either. Something was wrong. "Arcturus, go get Captain Steffan."

The man looked at him for a moment, before nodding and going into the great hall. The doors creaked open, then slammed shut. The middle figure had paused to watch them, while the two behind him were waiting expectantly for his orders.

"Who are you and why are you here? This compound is restricted and your presence here is in violation of the law. Explain or leave immediately."

The middle figure looked up at the sky, and one of his non-gloved hands raised again. "Don't you just love storms? The rain, the thunder, the lightning. It all comes together to make natures drama."

Ferrum looked at him in confusion and began to ease his sword out of it's hilt. "I'll say it again. Who are you and what it your purpose?"

"I love storms. It makes for such a wonderful backdrop to my entertainment."

Ferrum drew his sword fully out of it's sheath and pointed it at the man. "This is your last chance. Who are you, and what is-"

His sentence was interrupted as he felt something sharp slashing through his body. Again, and again, and again. He couldn't even scream. He fell to the ground, his sword dropping to the ground with a clatter as blood pooled on the stone and rainwater splashed down on top of his body. He could just barely raise his head and saw the figure walking over him. One of the others followed, while the third drew his sword and raised it up. Ferrum could only watch as it came down towards him.

Malinus looked across the great hall, at the Blades who had managed to assemble there in such a short time. There were six, standing with swords drawn, as Malinus entered, his cloak still dripping from the rain. His two followers were also wet, and one of them had a sword with red drops of water falling from the tip. Captain Steffan signaled to his men. "Kill the intruders!"

All five men charged, their katanas out and begging for blood. Malinus merely nodded, and his two lieutenants moved in front of him. They both had longswords out, waiting. When the Blades were within a few feet of them, they dashed forward. The Blades were taken by surprise by this move. The lieutenant on the right moved around a slashing blade, cutting open the neck of his attacker, and flowed into another one, stabbing him in the chest. He moved backwards as if dancing when a third blade came down for him.

The second lieutenant cut one of the charging blades on the leg, making him stumble. He then grabbed him by his hair, pulled his head up, and broke his neck with a snap. He brought his sword up to block the blow from the other Blade near him, and held him there. Then his other hand flashed forward, and a wicked looking dagger pierced his stomach, shredding the unique armor like it was paper. He ripped it across and out of him, allowing him to collapse in a pool of blood, revealing the daedric blade of the dagger.

The final Blade glanced backwards, looking desperately towards his Captain, but Steffan was nowhere to be seen. When he turned around again, Malinus was standing on front of him, glowing, yellow eyes glaring at him from under his hood. The man dropped his katana, terrified of what he knew was coming. Malinus pulled back a hand, and as it came forward towards the man's face, two pieces of red metal sprang from his arm, making holes in the cloak. His hand didn't connect with his face, but instead passed through the air in front of him, causing the two blades that went down to his wrist to slash across his face, leaving terrible wounds. The man collapsed in agony, while Malinus only grinned. As the man clawed at the wounds on his face while on the ground, Malinus gathered his strength and punched downwards again, his fist actually going through the man and hitting the floor, which shattered under his strength.

Malinus and his two lieutenants fell gracefully through the hole, and ended up standing right in front of a shocked Steffan. "Thought you could run, eh? Thought maybe you could warn the city? You were wrong," Malinus said in his gravely voice as more lightning streaked across the sky above.

The shock left Steffan's face, replaced by a steely resolve. "You think killing me will mean the end of the Blades? We're scattered across all of Tamriel. You'll never be able to kill us all. We serve in the name of the Emperor and will strike down his enemies, even after his death. And you, sir, and clearly an enemy. A reckoning shall come to you for what you have done here today and in the past. The Grandmaster warned me this day would come. He warned me of what you are. You shall burn. You shall all burn for your sins in the eyes of the Divine."

Malinus gave a short laugh. "Very nice speech, Captain. It might actually mean something if we hadn't already hunted down and killed the rest of the Blades. This place was the last bastion of your power, and today it falls. Goodbye, Captain. May your Divines protect you in the next life."

Malinus's fist flew forwards again, impacting on Steffan's blade, which splintered into pieces under the stress. A split second later, and Captain Steffan was no more.

Malinus walked out of the grand hall to find a dozen men standing in front of him, all in the armor of the Blades. He nodded to his two lieutenants, and they teleported away. "Excuse me gentlemen. While I would sincerely love to play with you right now, I'm afraid I don't have the time. I'll have to kill you quickly, if you don't mind."

"You can try!" one of the Blades in the crowd shouted at him.

Malinus chuckled, confusing the Blades. "Gentlemen, gentlemen... I think what you fail to realize is that you're standing in a rain storm, and water happens to be my element of choice."

He flicked one of his hands, and the drops of water suddenly became razor sharp, cutting apart the Blades at blinding speeds as Malinus made a simple swishing motion with his hand. The men and women fell to the ground, cut in more places than would have been possible with a simple blade. The blood mixed with water on the ground as Malinus simply made another good-hearted sounding laugh. "How amusing, this human resistance is. Surely futile, yet they still try..."

He wrenched back one hand, water gathering behind him like a great tail. He smashed his hand to the ground, causing a great ripple across the ground like a wave, before the ground all across Cloud Ruler Temple shattered. The buildings collapsed in on themselves, and from above, rocks fell from the mountains, ready to crush whatever remained. The rocks would continue on and reach Bruma, and would most likely cause a great deal of death, but they were acceptable losses. They would all die eventually anyway, he was just shortening their life-span. Malinus snapped his fingers and teleported away, not staying to watch the destruction. He had already has his amusement for the day.

Several days later, an aging Redguard would make the climb to Cloud Ruler Temple, sprinting as fast as he could after witnessing the destruction and chaos in Bruma. He paused as he reached the wreckage of the great gate. He walked through what was left, staring at the total destruction of it all. There was nothing left. Nothing left of his home, of his friends. Baurus the Blade fell to his knees and wept. He wept for the past, for the present, but most of all, he wept for the future.