Elara's Song, Chapter Thirteen

  • Onmund leaned against the wall of the Temple of the One, hands tucked into the sleeves of his fresh blue robes, a welcome change from the dirty olive tunic he had traveled in.  Dusky shadows enveloped him as he gazed across the street at the residence of the First Emissary of the Aldmeri Dominion to Cyrodiil, the house of his father.  Upon their arrival, Haakon had offered to put Onmund up at his house, but the Nord mage politely declined, and asked Haakon to direct him to an inn.  Onmund had been grateful that Haakon had not been insistent, as he had wanted to be alone after the lack of privacy on the road.  An hour later, Onmund had found himself at the doorstep of the emissary, and had walked the districts of the city for another hour, working out what he would say.    After a deep breath he crossed the cobbled pavement and knocked.   A yellow-eyed Altmer in brown robes answered the door.

    “I come with a delivery from Falkreath for Toranir,” Onmund stated.

    “Excellent, he is expecting you,” the Altmer replied and motioned Onmund to follow him up the marble stairs.

    Of course he is, Onmund thought.  Everyone is a couple steps ahead of me.  But he cannot know who I really am.

    Do you?

    We will see, won’t we?

    The Altmer ushered him into a room whose walls were lined with multi-colored leather bound books which reflected the light from a crackling fire.  An impossibly tall, lean Altmer in the traditional black robes of the Thalmor stood in front of the hearth.  Piercing green eyes gazed at Onmund above which rested a sharp and pointed forehead, capped by snow white hair swept back from golden hued skin and bound with a leather tie.

    “Welcome to the Thalmor Embassy in Cyrodiil, Onmund.  Elenwen told me to anticipate your arrival,” Toranir spoke softly, mellifluously.

    Onmund remained rooted to the spot, transfixed by the emerald eyes and voice which seemed made up of dozens of delicately ringing chimes.

    Toranir’s mouth turned up slightly at the corners.  “Elenwen did not prepare me for your loquacity.  In case you are an assassin, you may have noted your sole escape is behind you, which is now guarded by highly trained battle mages.  So be quick about it, for I have dinner with the Emperor this evening and I dislike being tardy.”

    Onmund, startled by the thought that he was an assassin, slowly pulled his mother’s letter from his satchel, including the leather wrapped amulet.  “This is for you, from Alfsa.”

    Toranir stiffened briefly, physically registering the shock of a name he believed belonged firmly in his past.  For the briefest of moments, it was as if this Nord had thrown a dagger at my chest, the Altmer observed, inwardly troubled by his reaction.  The mer regained his composure quickly.  “Alfsa, of course.  Elenwen mentioned you were from around Falkreath.  Thank you for making sure these items reached me safely.  Olor will have some gold for your trouble for you at the door.”

    “I am to await your response,” Onmund said gruffly, while he noted what appeared to be a brief flash of annoyance pass over Toranir’s features.

    “Well then, come sit by the fire while I read whatever you have there.  Do be quick about it.”

    Onmund handed the package to Toranir, noting he was a full head shorter.  Toranir waved his hand and Onmund felt a ripple of magicka around him, a welcome feeling after all this time of resisting its pull on him.  It seemed that Toranir had cast an invisible bubble around them.

    “A variation of a muffle spell?”  Onmund inquired, and Toranir’s eyes grew wider and deeper in response.

    “What do you want?”  Toranir hissed, all composure gone in the protection of the bubble.

    Onmund felt his temper flare.  Why did he not recognize Alfsa in him?  Did he even care about how he left her?  And the anger he had directed in his mind towards his mother began to sharpen and focus towards this High Elf.  “Read the letter!”  Onmund spoke through gritted teeth.  He should have known.  Anything dealing with his family was never simple or easy.

    Blue eyes met deep green.  The Altmer, resigned to the presence of this stubborn Nord, bent his head and began to read.  A few moments passed where Onmund forgot to breathe and watched as Toranir, deftly felt the shape of the amulet.  Eyes met again, defiant blue with brilliant green.

    “The amulet is yours, as I entrusted it to Alfsa and she saw fit, and rightfully so, to give it to you.”  Toranir pressed the package back into Onmund’s hand, the cool flesh of the Altmer soothing the flushed skin of his son.  “The letter, however, was strictly meant for me.  I will be pleased to answer your questions upon my return, but as I mentioned before, I dislike being late and the Emperor detests waiting for his dinner.  A Thalmor emissary has no room for error.”

    Toranir tucked the letter into his robes.  “If you had knocked on the door when you first arrived instead of waiting two hours, we would have this resolved now.  Olor will see to your needs.  You are welcome to read any of the books here to pass the time.”  Toranir gestured gracefully to the shelves on all four walls.

    Looking into the fire he spoke softly.  “You realize you were an assassin of sorts, that leaving I am no longer the same mer that walked into this room.”  With that he released the muffle spell and strode to the door leaving Onmund, deflated and miserable, staring into the fire.


    Torchlight sparkled off Lake Rumare, creating a parallel universe of soggy trees and blurry stars in the depths below.  Onmund crouched by the shoreline, tossing pebbles that absentmindedly rearranged the surface.

    He put me on a shelf like one of those blasted books, to read at his leisure, Onmund thought angrily.

    What did you expect him to do?

    Be a father, Onmund retorted.

    He only just learned of your existence.

    Onmund sighed.  Whose side are you on?

    The crunch of footsteps on gravel made Onmund twirl around quickly, his anxiety causing a momentary flicker of energy between his fingers.  Olor, surprised by Onmund’s swift reaction, instantly erected a ward.

    “Oh, it’s you,” Onmund apologized sheepishly.

    The Altmer narrowed his eyes and dropped his ward.  “Toranir was dismayed that you chose to leave his hospitality.  He wishes you would return at your earliest convenience.”

    “He could not deliver the message himself?”  

    “The Thalmor emissary has no time to fetch unreasonable Nords,” Olor responded coolly.

    Onmund smiled suddenly; happy his words hit a target.  “Well, at least we know where we stand with each other,” and strode cheerfully away from the irritated Altmer.


1 Comment
  • Vazgen
    Vazgen   ·  August 28, 2013
    And so they meet at last! :) You captured the inner contrast with Altmer and a Nord beautifully, Toranir and Onmund are so close, but at the same time so distant... Great job!