Book Two, Part Two, In Which Nerussa Comes Clean

  • 12th Hearth Fire, morning


    I do not enjoy sleeping in a tent. Although the dog is quite nice to cuddle up to. I forgot to mention him, I think. Bought him outside Markarth from the stable hand. Rather a rash thing to do, but I was feeling a little sorry for myself, and he didn’t look happy with his current home. He’s called Vigilance, but I might change that. Just a mongrel, nothing like Shasephona back home, but he’s very affectionate and quite an enthusiastic protector. Reminds me of someone. Oh no, no, that will NOT do. None of that. Focus. Yes, so, camping! I ended up spending several hours wandering around Solitude, enjoying being in something approaching a real city again.


    I bought a couple of dresses in Radiant Raiment, and one of the young Altmer girls who run the place asked if I’d be interested in modelling one of their outfits if I was heading to the Palace. I hadn’t really intended to, but I am ] the Thane of Whiterun, after all, so why not? Jarl Elisif seems sweet, if rather malleable, and she liked the outfit, which pleased Taarie. Eventually headed out of the city to look for the cavern Olivia marked on my map quite late in the afternoon. Didn’t have too much trouble finding it, just in time to catch the Khajiit’s last words and reassure him I’d deliver his notes.


    After that, I was feeling ambitious, and decided to look for the place mentioned in a note I found in the Temple of the Divines. Talos worshippers, leaving instructions on how to find them, in the Temple in Solitude, less than two miles from the Thalmor Embassy. They’ve got guts, I’ll give them that. I’m not really sure what I’ll do if I find them, but needless to say, wandering around in the increasingly dark night did not prove fruitful, and I was lucky to find an area I could set up camp, rather than tumbling down the side of the mountain – I’ve just looked out of the flap, and I was even luckier than I thought, I’m about ten paces from a sheer drop. Just as well the dog was happy to stay in the warm all night. I think there’s supposed to be a Doom Stone nearby, I might look for that, as well. Not one of the ones I can use, I don’t think, but they’re strangely fascinating nonetheless.



    14th Hearth Fire


    Rumarin frowned at the knock on the door. Blast it, he’d been concentrating on sorting out the figures in Ulundil’s ledger, the one thing he could actually help with, and now he’d have to find his place again. He brightened when he opened the door and saw a familiar… No, not a familiar face, but it was definitely Nerussa, and there was a man with her, in priestly garb. He invited them in to the stables’ cramped interior, feeling guilty again about imposing on Ulundil and Arivanya, and waited for Nerussa to introduce her new companion.


    “Valgus, this is Rumarin, the young mage I was telling you about.”


    Oh. Was that how she thought of him? Well, best foot forward, and all that. Now, which was his best foot, again? “Very nice to meet you, Valgus, I presume Nerussa’s told you about my, ah, difficulty?”


    “Yes… I have been giving it some thought on the journey here. I myself learned how to better close wounds by reading tales like that of Princess Talara. Still, knowledge of the spell itself always came by tome. Rumarin, I’m sorry. Tales and legends may offer hints at how to improve at Restoration, but a tome is still necessary to learn the spell itself. My advice is just to perservere. Don’t rush, it will come eventually. ”


    Hmph, what was the good of that, then? Fancy priest, with his stupid, gravelly voice, and his stupid, handsome, able-to-learn-spells face. “So, you’re saying I need to work hard and study to achieve my goals… but what if that goes against everything I stand for?”


    The Imperial laughed. “Then, sadly, I can’t help you. And now, I’m afraid, I must leave you, for I am already behind my usual schedule of visiting the army camps.”


    Nerussa showed him out, and when she returned there was a dog with her. “Sorry, I thought he might be a bit more use than that. Maybe I should try helping you with one of the spell tomes I brought back from Winterhold?”


    “No, you know I can’t get my head around those, and anyway, you’re much more advanced than I am, I can’t imagine you’ve got any Novice level tomes in that pack of yours.”


    Nerussa nodded and looked thoughtful. “You remember you mentioned sewer mages? Well, I was testing some new spells on the squatters in the Ratway, and I met someone who would definitely fit your ‘unconventional’ criterion. Bloody strange, and I’ve known some bloody strange mages in my time, even met a few Telvannis. Said he was dead, actually.”


    “Well, you know what they say, second time’s the charm! Or was it the third time? Does that mean this one will be a failure, too? So, a talking corpse in a sewer, huh? Well, you do take me to the nicest places!” The light was bad, and her new face had different colouring, but he could almost swear she was blushing. Now, that was interesting. “So, are you going to explain the new look? It’s very… nice, and everything, although I must say I’ll miss your old face.” Yes. Definitely blushing. Well, well. He’d only managed to get her to blush once before, and that with the ‘I wonder what your vice is’ line, which didn’t really count.


    She’d stopped blushing now, and was looking dreadfully serious all of a sudden. “Rumarin, I know you grew up in Skyrim, but, well, you’re an Altmer… Do you have an opinion on the Thalmor?”


    “They’re tall, punctual and have excellent posture!” Damn, one look at her told him what he should have realised, this was not the time for flippancy. “Sorry, force of habit. I… don’t really think about them much. My parents weren’t much for religion, or politics, troubadours, you know. Why?”


    “I have to tell you something. For a start, my name’s not really Nerussa…”


    Table of Contents


  • Gnewna
    Gnewna   ·  August 5, 2015
    Hehe! Definitely a relief for her to come clean.
  • The Wing
    The Wing   ·  August 5, 2015
    Time to spill the beans, Starry. >:}
  • Gnewna
    Gnewna   ·  August 4, 2015
    Plot twist!
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  August 4, 2015
    She's.... OMG!!! She, she's Koor..
    Wait nope that ain't right... Heh I know who she is like I know my own tail...
  • Gnewna
    Gnewna   ·  August 4, 2015
    "Nerussa isn't Nerussa!!! " Rumarin was pretty shocked, too! I believe if you're up to date with Lisette's story you've come across her real name, although I'm intending it never to appear in her published version of events. By the time this book is publi...  more
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  August 4, 2015
    *Lissette has a big grin on her face*
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  August 4, 2015
    Nerussa isn't Nerussa!!!    Looks like I'm not the only one to throw in a big bottle of the unexpected...
    The tent scene is impressive. You've done well...
  • Gnewna
    Gnewna   ·  August 4, 2015
    I don't know why, but I really enjoy writing Rumarin's POV :)
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  August 4, 2015
    Ah, the big reveal. I remember this chapter fondly at Steam forums. Nice to see it up here.