The soft clicking of horse feet against cobblestone was the only thing that could be heard over the pouring of the rain as it fell through the trees of Pine Forest. The rain was light as it came down, but with how long it had been raining, it was enough to soak rider and horse alike.
The rider was a slim figure on horseback, the entire identity almost concealed in black and red light armor; all except for the eyes, so red they seemed to glow in the dim light of the stormy afternoon.
The horse and its rider road deeper into the forest, following a trail that had long since been forgotten about by usual citizens and that had over grown with different herbs and plants. Had the rider not been to this place before, it would have been easy to get lost.
There was a dead end not too far, one that stopped travelers with the bubbling of a warm tar pit. However, the rider's target was just before the dead end. A menacing door with the sign of the Dark Brotherhood glowing red.
The horse stamped its foot as its rider got off, patting its head before they slowly walked up to the very familiar looking door. It seemed to pulse with life, though ironically it stood for death, and an echoing voice game from the entrance.
"What is the music of life?" it slowly whispered, the words floating around the empty forest.
"Silence, my brother," she whispered, her voice just as chilling as that of the door's.
"Welcome… Home," it said before unlocking for her, silently opening wide for the woman. With a smirk under her mask, she walked through the doors and down the stairs, her boots making the only sound in the entrance hallway.
As always, Astrid, the leader of the Dark Brotherhood, was standing over a desk, looking intently at a map that had marked out the few contracts they had active. She was pulled away from this when she heard the clicking of shoes. Looking over, she saw the familiar armor of a Sister and smiled.
"Mortem, I'm so glad that you've arrived," the blonde's sultry voice said.
Mortem's red eyes glanced at the older woman and she had the grace to remove the mask and smile at her. "It was a long journey here from Bravil, but I made it sooner than I thought."
"And where is Cicero with the Night Mother?" Astrid pondered, looking over the woman's shoulder to try and spot the fool.
"He had many more preparations to make before he traveled with our dear Mother, so I decided to come along first."
"As leader here, I would like to welcome you to our humble abode," Astrid said with a smirk, sweeping her arm out to show her Sister her new home, "Please, take your hood off, relax, and meet the rest of the family."
With a nod of respect, Mortem pulled down her black hood and let her hair fall, revealing her full face to her new master.
She had pale skin—proof that she either kept to the shadows or didn't take her armor off enough to get tanned from the sun—and a black beauty mark on the inside of her left eye that made her naturally narrowed eyes that much scarier. Her flaming orange hair, hair that almost matched the color of her dear friend Cicero, was braided down her back and brushed the bottom of her backside. She wasn't too ugly or too beautiful, an average woman that could be gorgeous if she wanted, but it helped her blend. It made killing that much easier.
"The rest of our family is right down the stairs, probably all gathered 'round to tell stories of their favorite kills. Why not pop in there and show them a thing or two?"
Mortem's laugh was that of a practiced and wise assassin. It was one that had brought fear into the eyes of her many victims. "I'll make sure to do that."
She slowly started her decent of the stairs, her boots silent this time as she walked in without being detected. As Astrid had said, the seven assassins were gathered together in a large circle, their laughter echoing through the safe haven of their sanctuary.
"It was classic, the way he begged for his life. Even better, he offered his sick wife in place of the contract," Veezara hissed in his Argonian accent while his family chuckled darkly.
"Little did he know that his own wife had placed the contract," Gabriella said with a smirk, her eyes remembering the day so very long ago, "One of the best contracts yet. Deceit always tasted so sweet."
Babette started to smile at the heavenly sound of her Sister's voice but stopped herself when she heard the light feet of someone walking up to them, a set of footsteps that the vampire hadn't heard in a very long time. Her glowing red eyes darted up quickly to look at the approaching woman and a grin broke out on her child like face.
Hearing an unfamiliar name, the family turned to where Babette was staring and saw the entrance of the Imperial woman, sly smirk on her face as her slim form was revealed to them through the dim light of the sanctuary.
"Babette, it has been a very long time since I last saw you."
"I had no idea that you knew Mortem, Babette," Astrid commented, coming into the scene behind their newest member.
"We met once on the road when I was hunting," the little girl said, innocent smile on her face, "She was going to be my meal, but her reflexes were so fast that I didn't have a chance. She never even fell for my child act," Babette giggled like the child she always acted on, "We ended up trading killing tips."
"You're Dark Brotherhood?" Nazir asked, looking the woman up and down.
"I am, from Cyrodiil."
"I thought we were the only ones left," Festus murmured.
"In a way, you are," Mortem said with a sigh, "Cicero and I are the only remaining members from our family. We thought it safer to leave the war raged land to come and help the rest of our Brothers and Sisters," looking around at the ragged Sanctuary, Mortem's questions were answered, "We heard that you could use the help."
"Wouldn't need any help if we got more contracts," Arnbjorn growled.
"Now, now my husband," Astrid cooed, coming closer towards her family, "there's no need to be hostile towards Mortem because word of mouth isn't as strong as it used to be. She is family and will work with us to get our footing once again."
"I'm not here to tread on anyone's feet; I'm only here to help," Mortem said, bowing her head slightly in respect to the woman and her husband, "I know methods from the old days that will help spread of our return."
"Like what?" Nazir questioned.
"Back in Bravil, when word came to our ears that people started to disrespect the name of our Brotherhood," Mortem started with a smirk, "we would hunt them down and kill them, leaving their bloodied bodies in town with a message."
"I like this idea," Gabriella spoke, the sly smile evident in her voice.
"What did the note say, dear Sister?"
As if knowing this was how the conversation was going to go, the red haired Imperial pulled a piece of parchment from her armor. Unfolding it slowly, she showed it to her new Brothers and Sisters, giving them that haunting smile.
Their trademark handprint marked the paper in black ink and the words underneath the sign read "Hail Sithis".
A/N: Just to warn you all now, I have no idea where I'm going with this story. This is the only story I have on here (with a plot) that I haven't written at least 10 chapters for before posting. It won't be as frequently updated as my others, that way I have time to write in advance, so I all hope you have some patience. And I hope you enjoy!