Act 0: Gildergreen Part I
14th of Last Seed, Year 4E 201
Terezi woke up feeling uncomfortably flushed, kicking the covers off. She rolled over on her stomach and wrapped an arm around the still sleeping Vriska beside her. The two were staying at The Bannered Mare for the night while visiting Whiterun. They decided they'd explore around some, talk to people, and do a few tasks around town for money.
Terezi grumbled some and tried to get back to sleep, but was too hot to do so. She rolled back over onto her back and faced the ceiling and laid there thinking for a while. The crackle of the fireplace downstairs rumbled soothingly, and would have put Terezi back to sleep if it wasn't annoying warm. Soon the chatter of people grew louder down below, indicating that it was morning time. Vriska soon slowly woke up herself, and sleepily snuggled into Terezi, which Terezi put up with despite already being hot.
"Mmm mornin' babe," Vriska murmured lazily. Terezi sighed softly and reached over, stroking Vriska's hair.
"Good morning sleepyhead," Terezi replied. Terezi watched as Vriska drifted in and out of sleep, admiring her slight bedhead and gorgeous face. Terezi softly brushed some of Vriska's hair out of her face, and then leaned over and pressed a kiss into her forehead.
"Come on, wake up." Terezi murmured to Vriska. Vriska mumbled something inaudible in reply, and rolled over off Terezi. Terezi chuckled at her, totally not a morning person of a girlfriend. Terezi got her own self out of bed and began to start getting ready for the day, hoping this would also encourage Vriska. Terezi dressed herself in her normal, everyday clothes. Terezi had started to brush her hair out as Vriska finally rolled out of bed.
Vriska yawned and rubbed her eyes. She gave herself another moment to wake up more and then started her morning routine too. Vriska equipped her tattered Thieves Guild armor that she always insisted on wearing, putting her Nightingale sword on her belt and the matching bow on her back. She also carried around her Nightingale Armor.
The two soon finished getting ready, equipping their weapons and gathering all their items. Terezi carried around a steel staff she manufactured herself. At the top of it there was a wooden carved dragon head she had added for appeal.
Terezi walked up to the door and let her hand rest on the handle. She looked back at Vriska.
"Ready?" She asked.
"Yup," Vriska responded, and gently pecked Terezi on the lips. Terezi grinned and blushed lightly.
"Okay, let's go. I'll head outside first thing. It's too hot in here for me," Terezi said, still bearing a slight grin on her face.
Vriska brushed back Terezi's hair affectionately, and nodded. The two headed downstairs, Vriska watching as Terezi made her way outside through the main door. Vriska breathed out heavily as she looked around the inn and at all the people gathered in it. Many were either enjoying the fire or a nice cold drink or two. She then walked over to the bar, and set her arms down on it and leaned against it. The innkeeper Hulda looked up at her.
"What can I get you?" Hulda asked unenthusiastically. Vriska took a deep breath and dove into the conversation.
"Well, have you heard any rumors lately?" she asked.
"Well, Danica Pure-Spring has been looking for help with the Gildergreen. I don't know if you've seen it, but the tree is in the roughest of shape. And apparently only a special sap or something can heal it, but it's hard to obtain," the innkeeper replied. Vriska nodded, interested.
"Also, can I get a ale and a loaf of bread?" Vriska asked, digging out her coin pouch.
"Sure thing," Hulda replied, and got out the requested items, "it'll be 17 gold please." Vriska fished out the amount and handed it over, and picked up the ale and bread.
"Thanks," she added, with the innkeeper saying the same in return. Vriska proceeded to leave the inn and met up with Terezi who was waiting outside, leaning against the tavern's wall. The bright morning sun shone down and lit up the lively city.
"Here take some breakfast," Vriska said, pulling the bread apart into two pieces and handing one half to Terezi, which Terezi graciously took.
"Is this really all we could afford?" Terezi asked, annoyed by their lack of funds. Vriska nodded grimly.
"Yeah, and there's barely enough for lunch and dinner. I think I've found a job for us though, I don't know how much gold we'll get out of it but at least it's something," Vriska answered.
"What's the job?" Terezi asked curiously.
"Oh, saving the old tree up there, I think," Vriska replied and motioned up towards the direction the Gildergreen was in. Terezi listened and nodded along.
"Okay, sure," she said after Vriska was done.
"Yeah it can't be that hard," Vriska finished.
"Let's get going then," Terezi said. The two started their trek towards the direction of The Temple of Kynareth, munching on their pieces of bread on the way, and every now and then Vriska took a swig of her ale to wash it down.
"You really shouldn't be drinking that at the start of a day you know," Terezi commented.
"I know, I know, but what else is there really? They didn't even have fresh bottled water," Vriska replied. Terezi sighed and shook her head slightly. She reached down to get her water canteen off her belt, only to realize she herself had no fresh water left and would need to refill it somewhere where the water was safe to drink at least.
Terezi sighed once more before asking Vriska for a drink of her ale, which Vriska agreed to. Terezi took the half empty bottle and accidentally guzzled it all in thirst.
"Oh come on now don't drink it allllllll," Vriska said annoyed, swiping the completely empty bottle out of Terezi's hands.
"Heheh sorry," Terezi replied innocently. She rubbed her forehead disapprovingly.
"And you were the one saying not to drink it..." Vriska sighed. Terezi snickered softly. The two continued on their way to the temple to meet this Danica person and start their job. They climbed the steps to the cloud district, Terezi stumbling.
Once they reached the top the couple stopped to examine the tree in question. Vriska stood looking the tree up and down, but she noticed Terezi was peering back in a direction past the tree at a nobleman. Vriska shrugged and looked back up the the tree. Terezi snickered and smirked.
"I'm gonna pick his pocket," Terezi suddenly said.
"What...?" Vriska asked, looking up at Terezi's smug grin.
"I'm gonna do it," Terezi repeated.
"Terezi," Vriska tried to say, but it was too late, as Terezi had began to snuck over behind the nobleman. Vriska straight up face palmed at her increasingly tipsy girlfriend. Vriska then nonchalantly sat down at one of the benches around the tree and looked away as to not draw attention to Terezi, knowing there was no way to stop her now without causing a scene.
Terezi tried her best to stealthily sneak over to the guy. He was distracted by the priest preaching in front of the Talos statue. Terezi approached behind him and easily slipped a hand into his pocket, and felt around until her hand stumbled upon a amethyst necklace. She began to slowly pull it out when the guy turned around and and caught her. She panicked and tumbled back onto the ground, the necklace still in her hand.
"Thief! Thief!!" The nobleman shouted, alerting the guards. Then as if on cue a guard came running over, sword out. Terezi scrambled up to face him.
"You have committed crimes against Skyrim and her people. What say you in your defense?" the guard asked as if it was the thousandth time. At this point Terezi could hand the necklace back and try and pay off her small bounty if she had the gold. Or she could punch the guard and run for it and hope for the best. Terezi went with the latter. She lashed out and punched the guard, the necklace flailing around in her fist. The guard stumbled back slightly in surprise, and this in turn gave Terezi a brief moment to make a break for it.
"Oh my fucking god Terezi," Vriska whispered, just noticing what was happening. Terezi had began to sprint away but tripped over the uneven ground, and another guard quickly ran up. Terezi tried to climb back up, but the guard out sped her and had pinned her hands behind her back and held her down.
"By the order of the Jarl, you're under arrest," the guard said in a monotone voice. Terezi groaned as her wrists were tied together and she was forced up onto her feet. Vriska looked on in a mix of amazement, surprise, and disbelief. The guard began to drag Terezi off to Dragonsreach Dungeon for who knows exactly how long. Vriska rolled over onto the bench. She sighed heavily and leaned up to get one last glance at Terezi before she and the guard disappeared above the steps to Dragonsreach.
Vriska leaned up completely and rubbed her face. She was quite familiar with jail time herself, but it was different for each city. She didn't know Dragonsreach at all, as she grew up in Riften with its jail, which when she first joined the Thieves Guild she found in self sitting in often.
Vriska sat for a moment wondering what the hell to do. She could continue on and save the tree, or bust Terezi's way out of jail. The latter was probably the worst option and would ban them both from Whiterun and its towns to avoid being caught again.
She could also wait it out, but it's unknown how long that would take. She decided she'd continue on with saving the poor old tree, which who knows, it might end up easier as a one person job anyway.
Vriska stood up, made her way over to the temple and pushed her way in the door.