Protected, no longer; Chapter 5

  • Chapter 5


    The old thick books were heavy on his arms. He tried to carry them with care – the books were the elder Dunmer’s favorite books, and he wanted Ciel’nn to move them. On top of the books was a grand soul gem. Ciel’nn tried his best to balance them, but his arms were getting tired.

    Walking out of the basement, he didn’t see a basket that was lying about, and Ciel’nn tripped on it. The grand soul gem flew in the air, and crashed on the stone floor.

    Still in shock, he managed to look up, and he saw Maltrys who had just come home, was looking furious. Ciel’nn’s heart started racing wildly, and his stomach turned upside down.

    “I said do not fail in this, and…” Maltrys hissed, stepping over the books to Ciel’nn. He grabbed the young Dunmer by the collar of his shirt, lifting him up, and he threw him back into the basement.



    Ciel’nn was leaning on a wooden pillar, listening to the folk of Rorikstead while he waited for Rangalen to wake up. The Nord’s arm had been injured, but there wasn’t any healer that he would knew of here. The Dunmer frowned as he his fingers traced the hilt of his dagger, and then he turned his head towards the Innkeeper – maybe he knows where to find a healer.


    A groan escaped from the young warrior’s throat – his arm felt like it was burning in pain. Rangalen thought his arm was going to lose it if they couldn’t find help soon. The lady had given him some herbs to ease the pain, but it wasn’t enough. He grimaced while he struggled to get up. His ears caught the Dunmer’s voice. Is he talking to the Innkeeper? He wondered as he pushed the fur blanket away, trying not cause more pain for himself. “Ciel’nn?”


    “I heard Old Hroldan has visiting healers sometimes. Maybe you can find one there.” The Innkeeper spoke.


    Pondering, Ciel’nn thought if the Nord would agree to go to Old Hroldan since it was relatively close by. The Dunmer turned around to see his friend at the doorway of the room. A slight smile was curled on his lips. “How is the brave warrior?” He looked directly at Rangalen’s, catching misty blue eyes.


    The young warrior frowned visibly. Something was different about Ciel’nn, but he let it go. He winced. “I think I’m losing my arm. Hurts like hell.” Rangalen replied as he walked over to the Dunmer.


    “Old Hroldan might have a healer. We have to go there, and hope someone can help you. Can you hold on that long?” Ciel’nn asked as he looked at the Nord’s arm – the wound looked worse than in the day before. “You need a new wrapping!” The Dunmer looked around for a clean cloth, but sadly there wasn’t any. He turned to look at the Nord again, worried.


    “I think I can hold it if we leave now.” Rangalen spoke, holding his arm.


    “But you haven’t eaten anything yet!” Ciel’nn objected. “Quick, hmm… Eat this apple!” He held a green apple that he had bought earlier, out for the Nord. “You need to eat something. Hopefully they have more food at Old Hroldan.” He would made sure the Nord would eat something. Going out with an empty stomach was out of question especially when injured. He had eaten a stew earlier.


    Sighing, the Nord took the apple from Ciel’nn, and he started munching with his healthy hand. The Dunmer was right – he had to eat something. He still wondered about his friend’s remark on ‘brave warrior’. Once he ate the apple, Ciel’nn practically shoved a stamina potion into his hand.


    “Drink it.”


    On the road they didn’t see much of activity, so they walked at a moderate pace. Ciel’nn was walking ahead of the young warrior, his hand on the hilt of his sword. He kept his eyes on their surroundings. The Innkeeper had explained the way to Old Hroldan, but Ciel’nn was hoping they wouldn’t need to go all the way around to the vale entrance. He glanced at the Nord. “How are you holding up there?”


    “I will manage. I just hope we don’t come across any Forsworns since we’re entering The Reach soon. I’ve read they are nasty folk.” Rangalen replied as he eyed the area.


    “You have never been in the Reach before?” The Dunmer asked. “Fors– …they are more than nasty.” He continued – somehow the word Forsworn didn’t roll well on his tongue. “They are savages, Rangalen. Nothing more.” Ciel’nn looked around, and something caught his eye. “A-ha!”


    Savages – that meant the Dunmer had met some of the Forsworn before. “No, I haven’t been there before.” The young warrior pondered, and he thought he would like to know more of these savages. His attention turned on Ciel’nn’s excited exclamation. “What is it? Is someone coming?” His tone was cautious.


    “Oh, no one is coming yet. I found us a short cut!” Ciel’nn beamed in excitement. He wondered how he hadn’t seen it before – it was probably newly made path down the vale. “Do you want to go down first?” He stopped at the edge of the cliff, and peered down the hill. There wasn’t much movement, just a fox, and couple of rabbits. With luck, they’d be at Old Hroldan before midday.


    The young warrior stepped up to the edge, and gazed down. “Looks peaceful enough. I’ll go.” he said.


    Rangalen descended carefully on the small path. If his arm wasn’t hurting, he’d be excited about seeing this new area. Perhaps the Old Hroldan people could tell him more about the savages. He glanced over his shoulder to the Dunmer following him.


    The Old Hroldan was ahead, and Ciel’nn was disappointed by the look of the small place. There was only an inn. Shrugging he looked at the Nord. “I don’t know what I expected, but there better be a healer inside. Come on.” He marched towards the door.


    The Inn looked empty, but there were a few patrons or travelers like them. Ciel’nn’s eyes shifted to a cloaked woman, whom he assumed to be a healer, “Sit somewhere. I’ll ask around.” he said to the Nord, and started to walk towards the cloaked woman.


    The woman had a differently tailored cloak than Ciel’nn had seen on other healers. Something in this woman made him feel uneasy. He stepped slowly, and before he managed to say a word – the woman turned to face him. The sight of her marked face made the Dunmer’s heart race in panic, and he wanted to flee on the spot, but he couldn’t move. Ciel’nn’s eyes widened as the woman locked her amber eyes into his and whispered in a low, mysterious tone.


    “Shh, listen to me child. I mean no harm to you. I have come from the depths of the Reach to search for you.” She reached the Dunmer’s arm, making his skin crawl.


    She’s a Forsworn!


    Ciel’nn could only stare, and let her speak. He wondered if Rangalen had noticed that something was going on, but time seemed to have stopped.


    “You seek aid for your Nord friend. I can offer that aid, if you’ll heed my warning.” The Forsworn woman continued, looking into his eyes with sincere concern.


    A Forsworn!! … How?


    “Rangalen? Come over here!” Ciel’nn almost coughed up as he was finally able to speak. The Forsworn woman had let his arm go, and waited.


    The young warrior stood up as he heard the Dunmer calling him – the tone of his voice made him worried. He hadn’t heard anything for a while, and started to wonder what was going on. Rangalen approached his friend and the cloaked woman. “Is something wrong?” he asked, then he noticed the look on Ciel’nn’s face.


    “Listen to her, Rangalen, and we get your arm healed.” Ciel’nn whispered. He didn’t like the situation at all, but it didn’t seem like they had a choice in the matter. He dared to shift a bit towards the Nord, for comfort.


    The young warrior nodded, frowning, and he looked at the Forsworn woman. Rangalen was about to open his mouth to shout something, but the woman made a “be quiet” motion with her hand.


    “Listen now, children. I am Gormva the last healer of the old ways, and I’m dying, but I have come to warn you.” She looked at them both, and continued, “Most people think the danger has passed, but they are wrong. When all is lost to failure, the one to be a legend must join forces with the other who already is. Be wary of the gilded robes – for they are watching.”


    Pausing, she looked at the Nord, “Give me your hand, young one.” The young warrior brought his arm in front of him, the Forsworn woman placed her hands above the wound, and started chanting in a lower tone, with strange words, and a tender glow surrounded her hands as she kept chanting the healing rite.


    Ciel’nn frowned, puzzled. The warning had made him feel uneasy, and anxious. What in the Oblivion did it even mean? He pondered as he waited, and watched how Rangalen’s arm was being healed by old, perhaps ancient magic. The Dunmer had never seen of such magic, or even heard such language. His eyes shifted on the Nord’s face – was he feeling alright? Tilting his head, Ciel’nn narrowed his eyes as he glanced at the door.


    “You will recover, young one.” The Forsworn woman said, letting go of the Nord’s arm, and then stepped backwards as the shadows hid her presence. “Be wary.”


    Rangalen felt relief on his being, as the wound had closed, and the burning ache was gone – it was like the wound hadn’t been there at all. He felt light-headed, “Thank you…” His mind was filled with warmth, and a warm feeling of being safe – it filled his frame, and he had an urge to sleep. His eyes felt heavy, and then the world disappeared around him.


    “Rang!” Ciel’nn exclaimed, as the young warrior collapsed on the wooden floor. He knelt next to the Nord. “What happened?” He tried to look for the woman, but he couldn’t find her. “Rangalen! Damn it!” The Dunmer froze for a moment – a sense of imminent danger almost overcame him. He’d had those before but in different situations while he was still under Sithis protection.


    “Innkeeper! Someone, help me to carry the Nord to a room! Hurry!” he pleaded, but it was too late.


    Azura, hear me!


    The door was slammed open, and a party of black clothed altmers walked in as if they owned the place, even if it was pitiful, and they seemed like they were looking for something.


    The Thalmor! Ciel’nn’s heart raced faster than a kwama could run. He had pulled his hood on, and looked down, hoping they would ignore him, and the Nord. He wouldn’t know what to do if the Thalmor decided to pick on them. Should he fight them? Or…maybe something good could happen… One Thalmor Justicar seemed to walk closer to him, and looked over the place at that spot. Ciel’nn thought he’d choke up, and explode if the altmer came any closer. He felt the knot in his stomach.


    “Anyone who still worships Talos will surrender themselves to us! Now!” The Thalmor agent spoke aloud as he gazed around the Inn.


    “You don’t find them there, Thalmor. Dibella has her folk here. Leave now.” The Innkeeper responded roughly. He watched the Thalmor discussing among themselves, before grunting in annoyance, and leaving the Inn.


    After the sound of the door closing, Ciel’nn was able to breathe freely, but he was concerned about the Nord. That was far too close…


    The Innkeeper, and a wandering Breton man called Davellen came to carry Rangalen to a room, and laid him carefully on the bed. The Innkeeper promised to give one soup for free to Ciel’nn, while he waited beside the bed on where the Nord was unconscious. The Dunmer wondered why the Thalmor didn’t see them even when they were right under their noses, and where the Forsworn woman had disappeared to?


    He looked over Rangalen’s calm features, and brought his hand to the young warrior’s face, gently stroking the scarred cheek. Perhaps he was the most charming Nord Ciel’nn had met. He couldn’t bear the thought of the Nord dying – he was just getting to know him better, and after the warning, he had no idea where to start chasing legends if any existed, and if he had to do it alone.


    “I hope you’ll wake up soon.”



    Back to ToC


9 Comments   |   William McNee and 4 others like this.
  • The Lorc of Flowers
    The Lorc of Flowers   ·  May 15
    And here comes the prophecy and bad omen :)
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  April 3
    Apples, everyone's favorite food :D

    As for the warning, the old woman hasn't met Quentarii by any chance has she? Sounds like something she would say.......

    Cryptic to say the least...  I bet only after the ...  more
    • Caladran
      Apples, everyone's favorite food :D

      As for the warning, the old woman hasn't met Quentarii by any chance has she? Sounds like something she would say....... ...  more
        ·  April 4
      Apples for everyone! I had some trouble to come up with the puzzle warning. ^^ Sometimes simple ones are the best.
  • GailOlm
    GailOlm   ·  March 19
    I'm intrigued by the cryptic warning given by the Forsworn healer.
    • Caladran
      I'm intrigued by the cryptic warning given by the Forsworn healer.
        ·  March 20
      Very mysterious isn't it? :)
  • Tenebrous
    Tenebrous   ·  March 19
    Oh noes, Thalmor! Loved the tension in that scene.
    • Caladran
      Oh noes, Thalmor! Loved the tension in that scene.
        ·  March 20
      Thank you! It was suppose to be peaceful chapter but look how it ended! xD
  • William McNee
    William McNee   ·  March 19
    Damn Thalmor! Glad that Ciel'nn and Rang weren't spotted by them. Did Gormva have something to do with that I wonder? I wonder if Rangalen would have attacked them if he'd been concious...nice cliffhanger! :D
    • Caladran
      William McNee
      William McNee
      William McNee
      Damn Thalmor! Glad that Ciel'nn and Rang weren't spotted by them. Did Gormva have something to do with that I wonder? I wonder if Rangalen would have attacked them if he'd been concious...nice cliffhanger! :D
        ·  March 20
      ...and Thalmor steps in the scene. :) Damn them!  Thanks for commenting!