The Graveknight's Oath - Chapter 3 - Interlude - Quaranir

  • Chapter 3 - Interlude - Quaranir

    Isle of Artaeum, 9th of Hearthfire, 3E 432

    Initiate-Quaranir slowly trailed his fingers along the spines of the assembled books on the shelves.  All were in perfect order, just as they should be.  He lingered on a particularly enjoyable tome about the care and cultivation of Domica Redwort.  His fingers itched just thinking about working in his garden come the day of First Planting.  Redwort was a transplant and did not easily grow on the Isles, but he had managed several blooms this past year.  A very deep and beautiful crimson.  Ah, good times.

    Wait, what is this book next to it?  Out of place!  He would have to speak with the aides about their diligence in returning books to their proper places.  Perhaps he would really give them a good thorough talking-to about process.  How was a scholar supposed to work if there was chaos in the Archive?

    Straightening resolutely Quaranir determined to find the Head Archivist this very moment and make sure the aides were chastised for their indolence.  He stomped down the aisle, his footfalls echoing loudly in the still air, deliberately making sure all others in the stacks knew of his irritation.

    Sage-Soliriil threw himself to the side just in time as the double doors from the stacks burst outward and Quaranir strode through in a huff.  He had perceived the younger Altmer’s presence not a second too soon.  Soliriil reached out to grasp Quaranir’s shoulder, startling the other elf.  Quaranir had been so intent on his purpose he had not even noticed Soliriil.

    Soliriil noted Quaranir’s usually pale-gold face was flushed bright with crimson, but whether with anger, exertion or excitement he could not determine.  “Initiate-Quaranir, my friend,” Soliriil began, “Where do you travel with such determination?  Why, had I been but a moment later you should have managed to find my nose in that door you have but recently treated so shoddily.”

    Quaranir paused mid-stride and took a deep breath, “Sage-Soliriil, I have no time for flowery speech today.  I must locate the Head Archivist.  It is essential his subordinates be punished.  There was a book out of place in the Archive.”  Quaranir’s nostrils flared as he finished.

    The older elf quirked an eyebrow at this, a forcibly scant indication of disapproval and waited for the other to notice.  Quaranir had been elevated to the Psijic Order only in the past year, and occasionally his lack of patience with those he considered his inferiors was put on display.  It would become his downfall one day if not curbed.  Soliriil had not yet come to agree with the Loremaster’s insistence on elevating many new members to the ranks of the Order.  As a council member though far be it for him to disagree with the Loremaster’s decrees in public.

    Those like Quaranir had so far proven themselves unready for the burdens of the Sages of the order, at least in Soliriil’s estimation.  Quaranir was a scholar and horticulturist at heart, whatever his accomplishments in the study of the Old Ways.  He was never happier than when he was puttering around in his garden or the Archive.  He saw change only in the seasons, not the conflicts in the wider world: the Men and Mer and the ancestor spirits that those Men and Mer had termed the Aedra and the Daedra would be what propelled the world forward.  And the Psijic Order would advise those who sought to steer the world.  These would drive the future. Soliriil estimated that Quaranir had no understanding of the storm fast approaching.  If the Psijic Order was to find its place in the coming decades then those younglings like Quaranir must become members in more than name.  Soliriil nearly wept for the future.

    As the moments passed comprehension finally dawned on the young elf.  His emerald eyes, bright with reflected light, dimmed a bit as he cast his gaze downward to stare at the floor.  In a voice somewhat stilted with embarrassment Quaranir said, “I apologize Sage-Soliriil.  I must be more mindful of my surroundings.”

    “Indeed you must Initiate-Quaranir.”  Soliriil waited a moment longer to make sure his impromptu lesson sank in.  “Now then,” he continued, “Forget about chastising the Archive aides.  Loremaster-Celarus would like the presence of your company.  I am to escort you directly to his study in Ceporah Tower.  Walk with me.”

    Quaranir dutifully followed the older elf through the hallways out onto the promenade between the towers that housed the Order and all its members, supplicants and servants.  Though the Psijic Order hosted little more than a few dozen members, there were many supplicants who desired to join the order, as well as chosen scholars granted access to portions of the Archive.  Quaranir paid little attention to them as he passed.  He recognized a few of the supplicants from his time as a supplicant himself, but their names escaped him at the moment.

    The Ceporah Tower stood in the distance.  Rumored to have been built by unknown architects centuries before the Altmeri even set foot on the Summerset Isles, and steeped in the mystical arts and Psijic rites for centuries afterward, the tower sometimes seemed almost alive. Quaranir had been there only once; the day he was elevated to the Psijic Order from the ranks of the supplicants.  He had spent decades as a supplicant and had never been granted leave to tour the tower.  Since his elevation he had declined to enter the tower again.  Something about it disturbed him; he just couldn’t quite put his finger on it.

    Sage-Soliriil continued on toward the tower, his stride longer than Quaranir’s, forcing the younger elf to quicken his movements to remain close.  Quaranir began to wonder if he was in trouble for something.  He had never been called to see the Loremaster before.  Even on the day he had been elevated the Loremaster had not spoken with him beyond reciting the words of the Rite of Passage for him to relate back.  He dared a quick question, consciously aping the other elf’s preferred 'flowery speech’, “Sage-Soliriil, please, must I know.  Am I to be rebuked for some unknown transgression?  If so I would know what was said indiscretion?”

    Soliriil stopped and quirked an eyebrow again, but this time in amusement at Quaranir’s failed attempt at ‘flowery speech’ to appease him, as well as the question itself.  He had no idea what was coming or how his life was about to change.  Pray he is up to his task and does not fail.  He said, “Have patience Initiate-Quaranir, and all will be revealed in time.  Set your mind at ease though for you have committed no transgressions as yet.”  Soliriil spun and began walking again, deliberately quickening his stride a bit to force the other elf to walk faster than his preferred casual pace.  He smiled surreptitiously when he knew Quaranir could not see.  It was the little things that gave him pleasure sometimes.

    Relieved, Quaranir raced to catch up, his mind ablaze with possibilities for this meeting.  Perhaps the Loremaster had need of the knowledge he had gained in his scholarly endeavors and was prepared to offer him a greater position in the Order.  That would suit most satisfactorily.  Visions of Sage-Quaranir danced in his head, and he barely noticed as he passed under the leering gargoyles above the archway that led into the Ceporah Tower.


    Loremaster-Celarus paced in his study, his thoughts jumbled; his bearing anxious.  His gaze caught and lingered upon a portrait of Zenosha, painted all those years ago, and he began to collect himself.  A few steady breaths helped.  The vision had rattled him, and once again he cursed his talents.  No one should be forced to experience the ordeals of the future before they happened.  No one should know that their fate had been given into the hands of another!

    And now I must burden the young with that variable destiny as well.

    A timid knock on the door brought him out of his reverie and he responded with a terse, “Come.”

    Initiate-Quaranir entered the study.  Loremaster-Celarus.was struck with how truly young the elf was, and how much he still had to learn.  And the burden I am about to place upon him.

    “You requested my presence, Loremaster.” The younger elf was trying desperately not to make eye contact.

    “Yes, Initiate-Quaranir.  Please sit.”  He indicated a compact wooden stool near the window.  As the other elf seated himself Celarus began to pace once more.  “I will attempt to be brief.  I have received a vision of the future.  They occur irregularly.  I have not received any visions in some time, but the events during the Rites of Moawita a week ago induced a new vision.  I have spent the time since in meditation as I have tried to divine the meaning of the vision.”

    Celarus paused to see if Quaranir was keeping up.  The other elf sat in rapt attention.   Satisfied, Celarus continued, “The vision produced events that may not occur for another 200 years or more.  It defies me that I have received this vision now as from all indications there is a force at work in the world, or perhaps outside it, that is leading to a Great Event in the near future.  I see you are confused.”

    Quaranir sat with his jaw wide in shock.  He had no idea. “Loremaster, I have not heard anything about this.”

    “No of course you have not.   It is not for initiates to know or understand yet.  Far be it for me to prevent the acquisition of knowledge, but I have actively sought to keep all of the new initiates ignorant of the coming affairs.  Alas, for you that has changed.”

    Celarus drew a deep breath, “But that still does not concern you.  My vision placed you with another man, a Breton, over 200 years from now.  This Breton has been given a Choice.  The Decision he makes with this Choice has not been given to me, but I have seen that he has been given the power to lift this world up from despair, or Doom it through indecision and apathy.”

    “Forgive me Loremaster, but I do not understand.  If this man is a Breton surely he will not survive for 200 years.”  Quaranir fidgeted, clearly uncomfortable with the turn of this discussion.

    “I do not know how he shall survive, I only know the vision I have received.  I must assume in its validity.”  Celarus sighed.  Quaranir did not understand yet. “We stand on a knife edge.  Throughout the lore books of history there are…well let us call them gathering points in time.  It has been granted to but few to decide the course of history.  Some have chosen the righteous path.  Others have chosen another path.  All have brought us to the point in time at this very moment.  We of the Order have a unique opportunity to influence the men and women who will become these gathering points.  To prevent oegnithr…‘bad change’.  Your duty is to observe and influence this Breton such that he becomes an instrument of righteous change.”

    Quaranir sucked in a breath, “But I…I’m not…I mean, I’m a scholar.  I’m an initiate.  I…I don’t have any training to travel the world.  I don’t know anything about counselling another.  I thought that it would be decades before I would be sent into the world.”  Quaranir finished lamely, his voice drifting down into a whisper.

    "Remember the eleven laws Initiate-Quaranir.  What is the first and most important?"

    Quaranir's gaze drifted to the carved plaque behind Loremaster-Celarus.  "In Mundus, conflict and disparity are what bring change, and change is the most sacred of the Eleven Forces. Change is the force without focus or origin.”  Quaranir repeated the words of the plaque in a strained, monotone voice.

    “Continue please, and refrain from reading the plaque behind my back.”

    Quaranir cleared his throat and jostled his memory for the full words of the ancient Sage-Taheritae.  He continued, “…It is the duty of the disciplined Psijic to dilute change where it brings greed, gluttony, sloth, ignorance, prejudice, cruelty…and to encourage change where it brings excellence, beauty, happiness, and enlightenment. As such, the faithful counsel has but one master: His mind. If the man the Psijic counsels acts wickedly and brings oegnithr and will otherwise not be counseled, it is the Psijic's duty to counterbalance the oegnithr by any means necessary.

    “That is enough.  Thank you.”  Celarus fixed Quaranir with a steady stare.  “Do you understand now?”

    “I am…” Quaranir faltered.  He collected himself and continued, “I am to leave Artaeum?  Now”

    “You are to leave Artaeum tomorrow.  You shall observe this Breton and his endeavors.  From afar.” The Loremaster raised his finger for emphasis and continued, “If after much observation you deem him worthy – and not before -- you shall make contact and offer him the counsel of a sage of the Psijic Order.  If he is not deemed worthy you shall still continue to observe him until such time as he becomes worthy of counsel, or you shall endeavor to end him and whatever threat he may present.

    “Change comes to us all Sage-Quaranir.  It has now come to you.  Be ready.”

    Quaranir tried to swallow the lump in his throat.

    Chapter 3

    Art Credit:


  • Rhoth
    Rhoth   ·  November 14, 2015
    Connect the capital letters and the number.
  • Ry Willams
    Ry Willams   ·  November 14, 2015
    What happened? Hope everything is alright. Take your time. Best wishes.
  • Rhoth
    Rhoth   ·  November 13, 2015
    Quaranir will be making a return appearance in a few more chapters. I just had an, FALLing OUT with my writing 4 now. I'll get back to it soonish.
  • Karver the Lorc
    Karver the Lorc   ·  November 13, 2015
    Hm, Psijic. I didn´t see that one coming. I wonder what Quaranir will do about "that Breton"
  • Ry Willams
    Ry Willams   ·  October 12, 2015
    Let me first to say - You have one hell of an imagination!
  • Rhoth
    Rhoth   ·  October 11, 2015
    Thanks Ry, I appreciate the kudos. 
    Regarding the Psijics, I took some of what is in this chapter from the lore pages of the UESPwiki and Imperial Library, but other parts I made up (such things as using their titles when they formally address each other).
  • Ry Willams
    Ry Willams   ·  October 10, 2015
    This is some powerful lore here majestically displayed by you about the Psijic Order. There shrouded in so much mystery its hard for me to understand what they "Really" Do and their purpose. I believe the only role they played in Skyrim, was so little tha...  more
  • Rhoth
    Rhoth   ·  October 9, 2015
    Forward.     It will eventually lead to some things happening, but not right away.  One more interlude first and then back to Gaspard.
    I'm glad you guys are enjoying the story so far.
  • LokaCola
    LokaCola   ·  October 9, 2015
    Hm, interesting...Curious what this will lead to.
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  October 9, 2015
    When people are speaking in between descriptive text. :) My apologies for not being clear.