Protected, no longer; Chapter 10


    Chapter 10


    In excitement he observed how Maltrys took a sip of the Shein in the chalice. The elder Dunmer seemed to frown first before he started coughing, nearly collapsing on the stone floor. Ciel’nn hadn’t shifted, but he watched in delight how Maltrys tried to reach a water cup.


    “Mirane!” Maltrys shouted in the midst of coughing. “Get me water!”


    Ciel’nn deemed that his experiment had failed and he needed to return to his poisons later. Obviously Maltrys would blame it on the liquor merchant first before he turned his suspicions to Mirane. He crept away silently and returned to his room.



    With the brisk morning wind blowing in his hair, Ciel’nn followed with his eyes how Sinmir was training the young warrior. He watched Rangalen trying to break Sinmir’s defense stance. The older warrior laughed and Ciel’nn cut a precise slice of his apple with his spare knife.


    The training made him remember his first lessons with his first knife. He and his cousin spent hours outside of Mournhold to practice dagger fighting. Ce’vale was a great mentor and an assassin for that matter – he’d never forget him.


    “Good one!” Sinmir’s delighted shout drew the Dunmer out of his memories, and he glanced at the men still training. If he wasn’t mistaken Rangalen had gotten a few bruises as he narrowed his eyes as if to see well.


    The young warrior held his shield firmly as he eyed Sinmir. The training had been harsh but he had learned new moves and ways to use his shield more efficiently. The few bruises on his side and on his face weren’t much even if they ached. Rangalen was in good spirits and had gotten a good amount of confidence. He was more certain he’d be able to protect Ciel’nn if he needed to. He wanted to glance at the Dunmer, but Sinmir was coming to give him another blow.


    The training continued a few more hours after midday, and the warriors were ready for a break and food. The dark clouds were looming in the sky, and they hurried to take shelter from the rapid rain.


    “He’s learning fast.” Sinmir nodded after he drank his mead at the table where they were sitting. “I know another man who would train him, too” the older warrior added thoughtfully.”


    Ciel’nn and Rangalen exchanged their glances. “Who would it be?” The young warrior asked. He’d be grateful for any help as he doubted his father would give any training and the men in the ranks were sloppy if anyone ever asked him.


    “However,” Sinmir continued, “he is a true Nord, and is not easy to reach. He lives as a hermit somewhere in the Rift. Goes by the name of Skawulf Bear-Roar.” he eyed the two.


    Ciel’nn thought about the Rift – he had been there, but he couldn’t remember any Nord by that name. They would have to do some searching and asking around in the Rift. He didn’t mind that. Maybe they could find a few gems – he loved gems. Some gems and a chalice… “I’m sure we’ll find someone who might have seen the man.” he said in a curious tone. The Dunmer was sure he didn’t know every corner and rock of Skyrim, but that made the journey more fun as he was doing it with the young warrior.


    The young warrior took a chug of his mead and nodded. “Do you think Skawulf is friendly and able to show me something, Sinmir?” He glanced at the Dunmer who idly observed the patrons – always aware of possible threats. Those red ever sharp eyes watched everyone’s move. Rangalen couldn’t say why but he found himself fond of the Dunmer. The journey to the Rift could be challenging though. The roads weren’t safe, but the young warrior was confident they’d be moderately alright.


    “I don’t know,” Sinmir rubbed his chin, “I’m afraid I can’t tell you anything else. Hopefully someone in the Rift can advise more.”


    “That’s alright. I think we can find something and thanks for the training.” the young warrior replied.


    “You need more training, lad, but it’s a beginning for every warrior.” Sinmir smiled. ”Stay safe on the roads when you decide to leave. Talos guide you.” He added and looked at Ciel’nn, “Such rare companionship you have here.”


    Ciel’nn chuckled and titled his head so his hair fell and covered part of his face. Companionship sounded good, but he and Rangalen were friends. It was good that way and Ciel’nn didn’t want to ruin it in any way. On the other hand, the young warrior was handsome enough and caring. Damn it! Why did Sinmir have to bring it up? He felt a touch on his shoulder.


    “Ciel’nn, are you alright?” Rangalen asked in a soft tone once Sinmir left for his own business. The Dunmer looked like something was on his mind and Rangalen didn’t want to be too nosy. He was a bit confused by the companionship that the older warrior had said to Ciel’nn. In his opinion they were friends, nothing more. He hoped the Dunmer was alright.


    Pushing his hair to the side, Ciel’nn glanced at the young warrior. Caring… He smiled slightly. “I’m fine. Are you ready to go tomorrow?” he asked in his usual rough tone. He was eager to get moving again.


    The young warrior nodded. “Yes, if you want to. We can leave in the morning. I actually want to know why the man’s a hermit.” Rangalen said in a warm tone. “Do you mind if we visit at the Temple? To see if Danica can help with your nightmares?” He asked the question very carefully in a tender tone as he knew it was a sore subject for the Dunmer.


    There it came – the question about helping him with the nightmares. Ciel’nn lowered his gaze as he pondered why his memories had surfaced after the first encounter with the Dremora Lord. He didn’t want to talk about his past yet either. “I guess it is worth to try even if I doubt it’ll help.” Ciel’nn replied in a quiet tone as he looked at the young warrior.


    They left the Inn, and headed towards the Temple of Kynareth. Climbing the stairs, they saw Nazeem coming towards them, but he turned around and hurried away. He bumped into a guard who was coming up the stairs, too.


    “Someone’s in a hurry.” the guard snarled at Nazeem.


    Ciel’nn smirked, but it faded as soon as they approached the Temple. The young warrior opened the door for him.


    “The to be cured ones goes in first.” Rangalen smiled.


    “Very funny.” Ciel’nn grumbled as stepped inside. He didn’t worship Kynareth but he felt the same calming presence as he had felt with Sarade, and yet there was something different about it. He saw Danica at the altar whispering prayers, then an acolyte approaching her, and speaking to her.


    The priestess of Kynareth nodded, and stood up. She turned around and walked towards them. “Welcome children of Kynareth. How I can help you?” she asked in a warm tone. A frown came on her features as she looked at the Dunmer. “You are troubled, my child.”


    Rangalen gently nudged the Dunmer to step forward, and hoped he didn’t feel uncomfortable. He wasn’t sure if Ciel’nn was going to talk about the troubles, but it wasn’t his place to speak for the other so he waited. The atmosphere of the Temple felt calming and the young warrior relaxed.


    Nothing came out even when Ciel’nn tried to come up with something to say. He felt different like he was being watched. Nervously he eyed the hall, but he didn’t see any threats so far. Where does this feeling come from then? he wondered as he was troubled even more. He glanced at the young warrior anxiously.


    “My friend has occurring nightmares. We thought that if you could help somehow?” Rangalen spoke as he saw the look on the Dunmer’s face as he placed his hand on Ciel’nn’s shoulder.


    “I see.” Danica said thoughtfully, “Well, let’s go to a side room and I’ll see what I can do.” she said as she began to lead them to one of the side rooms.


    She made Ciel’nn sit down on a soft chair while Rangalen stood nearby. “Now try to relax while I take your hand and reach out.” Danica advised the Dunmer. Noticing it wasn’t easy as the poor Dunmer was nearly restless, she took his hand gently and closed her eyes.


    Danica reached out and felt threated by an invisible force. All she saw was red like Oblivion. It almost strangled her. It was almost on her tongue when she gasped and she released Ciel’nn’s hand from hers. Her eyes opened wide as she collapsed on the floor. “You’re… tainted!” she gasped again. “Poor child… the Daedra…”


    Rangalen helped Danica on to another chair and frowned. “What do you mean by tainted?” He glanced at Ciel’nn who was more than annoyed. He looked like he was going to bolt and run away any second. “Ciel’nn,” he treaded carefully, “are the Daedra in your nightmares?” The young warrior stepped aside to reach for the Dunmer, but Ciel’nn stood abruptly and stormed out of the Temple. “Ciel’nn! By the Gods. I think this was a mistake after all. I’m sorry Danica. I have to go after him.” he said and left.


    Ciel’nn had ran out of the nearest doors, and headed towards the gates. He didn’t want to be seen, he wanted to be alone for a while. It was getting late, and he didn’t know where to go yet. He had slowed to a walking pace. He was angry – angry mostly to himself. Ciel’nn didn’t need to have people around him worrying so much. He understood the young warrior wanted to help him. What if she alerts the Stendarr agents after me? To cure? To purify? He didn’t want any of that.


    He walked until he found a covered spot in a small group of trees. Ciel’nn sat down and he leaned against the tree that was the middle of it. Letting out a heavy sigh, he hugged his knees and tried to calm down. Missing his homeland, Ciel’nn lost himself in his thoughts. Everything’s my fault… I let you down, Celani. I just couldn’t do it, not for Boethiah.


    Searching through the city, Rangalen couldn’t find the Dunmer. He asked the guards if they had seen a Dunmer with raven black hair, but they just shook their heads. “Must have been taken by bandits and…” they shook their heads again.


    “You’re all useless!” the young warrior hissed at the guards and continued searching. At the gates, he heard Ciel’nn had left with haste. This made Rangalen worried as he marched through the opened gates. Where would you have gone? he thought as he watched nightfall approaching.


    “Ciel’nn!” Rangalen called out as he began to searching for him. Where would he would ran off? I hope he hasn’t injured himself. I need to apologize, too.



    Back to ToC


5 Comments   |   GailOlm and 3 others like this.
  • The Lorc of Flowers
    The Lorc of Flowers   ·  Thu at 2:54 AM
    Interesting. I wonder which Daedric Prince has marked Ciel and what is it they have in store for him. The temple scene was interesting, how it made him uneasy. Guess that happens when you come from land alligned with Daedra and then walk into a Aedric temple. :)
  • Tenebrous
    Tenebrous   ·  April 30
    Someone get that mer a chalice! Honestly though, another cool chapter.
    • Caladran
      Someone get that mer a chalice! Honestly though, another cool chapter.
        ·  April 30
      Ciel'nn approves! Thank you for comment! :)
  • GailOlm
    GailOlm   ·  April 30
    Interesting prologue which revealed a little bit more about Ciel'nn's backstory. At least Ciel'nn and Rangalen tried to get help for Ciel'nn's nightmares. The episode in the Temple with Danica adds even more mystery to the story. And now with Ciel'nn runn...  more
    • Caladran
      Interesting prologue which revealed a little bit more about Ciel'nn's backstory. At least Ciel'nn and Rangalen tried to get help for Ciel'nn's nightmares. The episode in the Temple with Danica adds even more mystery to the story. And now with Ciel'nn runn...  more
        ·  April 30
      Thank you! I do like leaving cliffhangers for you! :)

      Yes, a chalice is must!