Elara's Song, Chapter Two

  • “[A]nd he was Pelinal the Third, though whether this was because some said he was a god guiser, who had incarnated twice before already, or that, simpler, he was the third vision given to Perrif, anon Alessia, in her prayers of liberation before he walked among the quarters of rebellion, is unknown.”

    The Song of Pelinal, Volume 1


    “I think that ingredient is liquefied,” Brelyna’s voice arched into Elara’s thoughts.  She glanced down at her pestle and found the hanging moss that she had intended to only gently crush was indeed a liquid.  It would certainly not do in place of the essence she intended to distill into an oil to treat chaurus rash. 

    She sighed and carefully laid down the pestle and crossed her arms to face the concerned Dunmer.

    “It would do the Arch Mage good to leave her tower more than once a week,” Brelyna remonstrated, and then, kindly, “it would do my friend Elara good to see her friends.”  The Dunmer pursed her charcoal lips into a sympathetic smile, while her eyes traveled over the Breton’s disheveled form.

    Elara’s fingers were stained with plant dye, and unbelievably, it seemed a different color for each fingertip.  Her face was correspondingly streaked, along with a few dabbles of color in her hair, which Brelyna was fairly certain had not seen a brush in quite a while.  Her perceptive glance rested on the dark circles under Elara’s bloodshot eyes, and neither color was the result of a mashed ingredient.

    That is what I have been doing all this time,” Elara croaked.  She gestured to a bookcase next to her worktable.  It was bursting with dozens of bottles and jars, neatly arranged and labeled in Elara’s tight script.

    Brelyna’s eyes widened.  “You completed all of this in a week?”  It was a prodigious effort, a manic effort, she noted grimly.  The labels indicated these were all potions and salves she had never heard of before.  “I know the upcoming symposium is important to you, but you are working yourself like a mad woman.”

    “Who says that I am mad?” Elara raised an eyebrow.

    “No one,” Brelyna sighed, “We are all working to ready the college, though no one understands what alchemy has to do with magic.”

    “Absolutely nothing, which is the point,” Elara nodded more to herself than as a response to Brelyna’s confused expression.  The brisk movement made her dizzy, and she stumbled against the workshop.

     “Have you eaten?” Brelyna asked sternly, reaching out to steady her friend.  “Something that wasn’t an ingredient?”

    “A little,” Elara acknowledged, and sat down, too weak to protest the kind ministrations of her friend.

    Brelyna bustled about the room, searching for a few scraps of food that had not become stale or moldy.  She opened a bottle of spiced wine and set it on the alembic to warm up the wan Breton.

    “There,” Brelyna said proudly, setting down a decent tray of food.  Before she could put forward the questions she really wanted to ask, a knock and a soft, “Arch Mage?” was heard at the heavy oak door.

    “Enter,” Elara coughed, still trying to find her voice.

    Tolfdir entered, his observant eyes not missing a detail in her haphazard appearance or the chaotic state of the room.

    “I am sorry to disturb you at your meal, Arch Mage, but a report of unexplained environmental disturbances has reached the College from west of here, near Dawnstar.  They sound similar to the ones that emanated from the Eye of Magnus.”  Tolfdir’s kindly blue eyes met the searing blue of Elara’s.  “I wanted to inform you before I dispatched Faralda and Arniel to handle it.”

    “What!”  Elara stood up quickly and fought against the resulting vertigo, gripping the alchemy table and hopefully hiding her weakness by reaching for the warm wine.

    Elara took a deep breath.  Volatile temper, he said.

    “I will go, Tolfdir, but per College protocol, I will take a companion.  Brelyna, do you think J’zargo is ready for some field work?”  Elara grinned, looking more spectral than human in the flickering candlelight.

    “Yes, he would jump at the chance.”

    Elara nodded and grabbed her hood, carefully walking out the door. Tolfdir glanced at Brelyna, who narrowed her eyes.

    “J’zargo is perfectly safe.  Elara would not let anything happen to him.”

    “He is not the one that worries me.”


  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  June 29, 2013
    I certainly agree with you there on Alchemy, Vazgen, but since it seems more acceptable to Nords, Elara wanted to make the connection a little clearer in hopes of establishing trust in Skyrim with the College and hopefully magic users. 
  • Vazgen
    Vazgen   ·  June 17, 2013
    I think Alchemy is connected with magic, since everything on Nirn is inherently magical and some effects you get from potions can be amplified by perks in appropriate magic school. I always saw it as more a support skill for mage characters instead of enc...  more
  • Eviltrain
    Eviltrain   ·  September 9, 2012
    @Kyn, now that you mention it, it seems, me, you, bilal (by my count) have all used Brelyna as foil at one point or another in our respective stories. What is up with her? Maybe she just looks trustworthy...
  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  September 9, 2012
    @Bilal, Brelyna seems to be the favorite confidante of the bloggers at the College for some reason...glad you gave her her own story in your Photoblog!
  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  September 3, 2012
    @Ricardo, I agree, Eviltrain is doing a wonderful job at portraying the characters at the college in all of their neurotic glory, and I will be leaving him to do that...I am simply using the college as a backdrop, and while I agree that there are many pos...  more
  • ricardo maia
    ricardo maia   ·  September 3, 2012
    It's somewhat funny to see Elara following the same track as the late archmage - all serious and duty conscious while everybody is busy conspiring and backstabbing around her and the College is falling apart. From all ambients in the game, the College has...  more
  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  September 3, 2012
    @ Charlie, yup, mountains of sad!  It will be debatable if things get better for her...I have not been nice to my characters lately.
    @Eviltrain...I think the insular environment is the correct read, and one that makes the most sense given the cultur...  more
  • Eviltrain
    Eviltrain   ·  September 3, 2012
    I'm visualizing a someone with frizzy hair. Volatile temper HE said? Or she said? Loved the descriptions and somehow it never occurred to me to think the college would be involved in outside activities. Probably makes more sense than the more insular envi...  more
  • Batman
    Batman   ·  September 1, 2012
    D: just piling on the sad there Kyn!!
    heh could totally picture the manic alchemist look about Elara. I hope things get better for her soon :)
  • Kynareth
    Kynareth   ·  September 1, 2012
    Matthew, Tobias, thanks for reading and commenting.  It will probably be one of my shorter chapters, but I am trying to establish a structure that I will maintain until a bit before the end.  You gentlemen are very kind!