Gathering Clouds, Chapter 26

  • Chapter 26





                    Lencius drew his bow back, adjusting for wind speed, gravity, and the movement of the target while holding his breath. He released it along with the bowstring. The horn on the belly flexed as the banded, polished wood snapped outward, and the shaft disappeared from the arrow-rest with a thrum that never failed to bring a smile to his face.


                    A full two seconds later, the deer he had his eye on keeled over on the other side of the ravine, the arrowhead buried under her shoulder and in her heart.


                    Unaka whooped, making him jump. ‘What a shot! Not even our best archers can boast of hitting a mark from so far away all on their own, and we use enchanted yumi with draw weights of up to nine thousand angaids. You must have the eyes of an eagle, Lencius-dar.’


                    ‘By the Eight,’ Lencius swore after the hairs on his neck drooped back down. ‘Stop sneaking up on me like that, I might shoot you by accident.’ She could probably slash the arrow clean out of the air, though.


                    ‘Sorry!’ Unaka stuck her tongue out sheepishly, her voice as bright as usual. For someone who belongs to an order of assassins and spies, she’s certainly very jovial.


                    ‘How much further is Tsukikage?’


                    ‘Hmm. Another week, give or take a few days. Are the supplies from Bruma lasting you well, Lencius-dar? Wildlife will likely be scarce once we enter the higher reaches of the Jeralls.’


                    ‘I’ll be fine,’ Lencius grunted, slinging the bow back onto his shoulder and jotting down a few landmarks. He whistled for his horse and it trotted over to him obediently.


                    Emperor Titus Mede II had never been to Tsukikage before, and neither had his entourage of advisors, generals and bodyguards. Their few meetings with Shadeclaws had either been in the comfort of the Imperial City Palace, discreet meeting points arranged by the Grandmaster, or – in the case of the generals – war-torn battlegrounds during the Great War.


                    ‘Let’s keep going. The sooner I make my report to His Majesty, the better.’


                    It had taken them almost two weeks to journey from Skingrad to Bruma, and another week to reach the highlands close to the Jeralls, his horse slowing due to the rough terrain. The riding had been rough – he spent almost every waking moment in the saddle. And still I feel like I’m only slowing Unaka down.


                    The shinobi didn’t even have a horse. She ran with a graceful, loping stride that was deceptively fast, keeping pace with him and almost even outstripping his horse at times, her arms swinging in perfect tandem with her feet. Lencius had gawked at her for the better part of a day when they first set out from the Skingrad stables. If only we had these ‘Rendanshu Flasks’ in the Oculatus. The things we could accomplish… we could deploy agents to every province with impunity, root out threats to the Empire almost instantly, then be back home and debriefed just as quickly. That’s exactly what makes the Shadeclaws so formidable.


                    He had seen the full extent of Unaka’s speed only once, when she was building up momentum to jump across a canyon with a raised drawbridge on the other end. She had tilted her body at a lower angle to the ground, flung her arms behind her and left them rigid, then dashed towards the edge with short, quick steps so rapid that her legs were a blur. The gap had been at least a hundred feet. She’d leapt across with room to spare.


                    He was snapped out of his ruminations as they reached the felled doe. Lencius checked the arrow carefully as he pulled it out. No damage. It hadn’t hit bone at all. He slipped it back into his quiver and pulled out his knife.


                    ‘You mentioned that game is going to grow sparse as we proceed, so we ought to take more than usual.’ Lencius skinned the animal and began to cut it up into sections. ‘The cold air will probably preserve the raw meat for far longer, anyway.’


                    ‘Mhm.’ Unaka nodded. ‘Oh, be sure to remind the Emperor that if he brings horses, he should bring the hardy mountain breeds. Flatland horses might be faster, but they would never make it up to Mount Furiya. The thin air could kill them.’


                    ‘Understood,’ Lencius said grimly, stuffing handfuls of deer meat into his saddlebags. He swung himself back onto the saddle. ‘Let’s go. Lead the way.’


                    Unaka turned and set off at a sprint again, leaving his horse struggling to catch up.


                    ‘The solution is obvious,’ Bengakhi snorted disdainfully. ‘Rendanshu or not, if the elf boy can’t be of use, dismiss him. If he still functions as a shinobi, he stays. Simple as that. His emotions are his own business.’


                    Takarro gave his advisor a stern look as Jorra, Mokko and Torako exchanged glances. ‘The mental well-being of everyone in the village is our responsibility, Bengakhi. And you should know better than anyone that a sound mind is a shinobi’s most potent weapon.’


                    ‘Exactly. If Harrow is so easily disturbed and distracted from his mission, then cut him loose. Problem solved. We are not here to coddle kits well over their first decade, Takarro-dro.’


                    The Eastern Akaviri honorific of ‘-dro’ was used either to denote a man of great age and wisdom, or as an insult directed at age and dulled wit. Bengakhi’s tone made it sound closer to the latter. Takarro’s hackles rose, then he calmed himself.


                    ‘Don’t worry, Bengakhi. I’m not about to start pampering the boy. I expect him to become a full Shadeclaw. He will be sent out of the village as an urotsuki-nin when his training is complete, and we will begin assigning him medium to high-priority missions when he returns – just like the rest of Year 182, and just like the rest of the Po’ Tun. I think we can all agree that that’s what he wants as well, no? To be one of us?’


                    ‘What he wants is irrelevant,’ Bengakhi snarled. ‘It’s whether or not he has the skills to do so that matters.’


                    Now it was Jorra’s turn to bristle. Mokko’s face remained disciplined and expressionless, but the cords on his neck tightened subtly. Even Torako frowned. Now Bengakhi wasn’t just being rough on Harrow, he was disrespecting the boy’s teachers as well.


                    Takarro could sense their displeasure; he gave them a chance to vent it. ‘Well, then, I trust his instructors and his senior can set your worries at ease?’


                    ‘Harrow has mastered all the kata and stances of Whispering Fang up to the intermediate level, and is already capable of performing moves on the advanced level,’ Jorra started immediately. ‘Not only that, he has memorised all three hundred and sixty-five acupoints and can hit up to one hundred of them reliably. Very few shinobi can do so at such a young age.’


                    ‘Jorra-dar is right,’ Mokko said in his matter-of-fact voice. ‘Harrow remains one of the top students in the class. He may lack experience and can be too reserved in his combat style, but his martial prowess is undeniable. Unaka-daro would say the same of his bladework.’


                    ‘His expertise with offensive magic is also unprecedented for a kit, likely due to his Altmer blood,’ Torako spoke up as well. ‘I should remind you, Bengakhi-ra, that out of Harrow’s twenty-one recorded kills, nine were executed with lightning. Achieving an electric current strong and precise enough to cause heart stoppage or lethal damage to the nervous system takes considerable skill and raw Magicka reserves…’


                    Bengakhi picked up on the magic instructor’s lapse immediately. ‘But not as considerable as a Po’ Tun who has taken the Blue Flask, correct? I am not interested in the boy’s proficiency as of now. I hear about that often enough. Kits are supposed to be learning and growing, aiming to become Shadeclaws. Harrow is obviously not fit for that title yet, or else Takarro-dro would already have bestowed it upon him.’


                    ‘That’s hardly fair, Bengakhi-dro,’ Jorra objected. ‘Of course he’s not ready, none of Year 182 are. They’re only fourteen!’


                    ‘The rest of Year 182 have access to Rendanshu,’ Bengakhi replied coldly. ‘Harrow does not possess that potential. As Torako himself has calculated, a shinobi who has only consumed four Flasks is forty-seven percent less effective in the field than one who has consumed five and above.’


                    Torako stiffened in silent outrage as he heard the advisor refer to him without an honorific. Who does he think he is? The Grandmaster?


                    ‘That was indeed my calculation based on average statistics,’ he said, his voice wooden. ‘Which in no way indicates the efficiency of individual shinobi. Jorra-jo has a self-imposed rule of never killing, which has historically been rare and caused, on average, a seventy-two percent reduction in mission success rate, but have you ever let that get in your way, Jorra-jo?’


                    Before Jorra could answer, Bengakhi swung his head around to look at him directly.


                    ‘Then perhaps we should re-evaluate his usefulness as well,’ he sneered unpleasantly.


                    ‘Excuse me, Bengakhi-dar,’ Mokko said quietly, a hint of menace entering his usual monotone. ‘I’m afraid I didn’t hear you correctly. Would you care to repeat that?’


                    ‘That’s enough.’ Takarro waved his hand tiredly. ‘The Grandmaster’s office is not a place for petty squabbles. We have the Council Chamber for that. You are all dismissed… except for Torako.’


                    Jorra and Mokko marched out to one end of the corridor, while Bengakhi stalked to the other, shutting the door behind him.


                    ‘I cannot believe that he is first in line for Thirty-Fifth Grandmaster, Takarro-ri. My most sincere apologies for my disrespect, but why did you nominate him? Bengakhi-ra cares not for individual shinobi. He would sacrifice half of the Po’ Tun for the village.’


                    ‘Dark times are ahead,’ the Grandmaster sighed. ‘I barely saw Tsukikage through the Great War, Torako, and although I kept most of our shinobi alive, I can’t help but feel as if I failed the Emperor. We are not honourable folk to our opponents and threats, but a Shadeclaw always keeps his word. The Village under the Shadow of the Moons has stood by the Cyrodiils, the Septims and now the Medes through thick and thin – just as they allowed us to trade, flourish and remain secret in these five leagues of land, so too will we always come to their aid in their hour of need. But when the Aldmeri Dominion rose once more, did I commit to the Empire’s defence?’


                    Takarro shook his head, gazing forlornly at the Akaviri glyph of nin that hung over his desk, penned by First Grandmaster Furiya herself. ‘A paltry four hundred shinobi. That was all I mobilised. That was all I thought to spare for the Empire we owe this land to. Bengakhi will not make the mistake that I did. He understands what it means to be shinobi perhaps better than I do. He will guide the village more firmly than I ever did.’


                    ‘Throwing our lives away for loyalty?’ Torako’s lips tightened. ‘We are shinobi, Grandmaster. Not samurai. We are meant to live for our cause, not die for it. Remember than nin means both concealment… and endurance. Shame, defeat, humiliation, dishonour, a shinobi endures it all-’


                    ‘-whilst the samurai slit their bellies,’ Takarro chuckled reluctantly. ‘I have not forgotten. Don’t worry, I’ve still got a decade or so left in me. And you needn’t fret about Bengakhi. He simply sees the greater good. Individual shinobi do not concern him as much because he looks to the future of the village as a whole. He will demand more of everyone, yes… but it is exactly because of this that he will be able to lead Tsukikage through the crises that are sure to come.’


                    Torako felt a chill run down his spine. ‘You are so certain of misfortune, Grandmaster?’


                    ‘War is one of the few constants of the world,’ Takarro said sadly. ‘And already conflict is brewing once more. The peace that the White-Gold Concordat bought us will not last. Jorra’s findings and this visit by the Emperor only confirms it. Which reminds me, are the detection spells ready?’


                    ‘Fortified and doubled. Any creature living or undead will be revealed when they come within ten miles of the village, if the scouts don’t find them first. I will have one of the enchanted maps sent to the office.’


                    ‘That would be helpful. Thank you, Torako.’ Takarro leant back in his chair, whiskers twitching. ‘Ah, and before you leave – one last thing. It’s about Harrow. I’ve thought of… another way for him to keep up.’




                    Torako looked up from the desk, glancing critically over the boy. Deep bags under his eyes, and his hair was a tad messier than before. ‘Do sit. You haven’t been sleeping well lately?’


                    ‘No,’ Harrow admitted, keeping his voice low as a bookkeeper glided past him. ‘Are we meeting in the library for a reason, Master? This isn’t the best place for a discussion.’


                    ‘Well, I wasn’t planning on talking much, but now that you’ve brought it up,’ Torako shuffled his notes and peered shrewdly at him from the top of the pile. ‘You haven’t been doing well with your studies recently. Your marks are dropping below Diia’s and even Shiyo’s. Mokko-do also mentions that your performance in sparring matches has been declining. You even let Ambarro beat you soundly a couple of times.’


                    ‘My apologies, Master. Without the advantage of Rendan-’


                    ‘Hmm. Are we making excuses, kit?’


                    ‘No, Master. Of course not. I shall try to do better.’


                    Torako huffed. ‘I know you’re still upset about your situation, but I thought you’d have lightened up about it a little by now. Especially after the talk Grandmaster Takarro had with you.’


                    ‘He told me to “find my own edge”,’ Harrow said, sounding helpless. ‘But I don’t know how.’


                    ‘Truly?’ Torako asked, incredulous. ‘Are you only capable of seeing your own shortcomings?’


                    ‘Boasts are for the rude, and arrogance is for the unwise.’ A quote from Weizhiquen the Sage. Torako hadn’t heard that one in years.


                    ‘There’s a difference between confidence and arrogance,’ he retorted. ‘Have some more faith in yourself. I’m asking you again – do you really not see the advantages you have?’


                    ‘I may be marginally more… well-versed… in magic and kenjutsu, but that doesn’t mean much when the other kits begin taking more Flasks. And I inherited the former anyway.’


                    ‘Agh, always back to Rendanshu,’ Torako threw up his hands, exasperated. ‘Magic is your strong suit not just because you bear the Altmer gift!’


                    He rose and bowed to the librarian in apology for raising his voice, then continued.


                    ‘Listen. You possess an intellect matched by few shinobi in history. I’ve known that ever since you slipped past my ward almost five years ago. Add to that your memory that allows you to pick up and learn skills at far greater speed than most other kits, and you have the makings of a formidable mage. I find the fact that I have to remind you of this ridiculous. And although I do not know as much about swordsmanship as I do magic, I’m sure Unaka-ko would agree that your cunning and creativity are what contribute the most to your skill in kenjutsu, not your speed or reflexes.’


                    ‘Master, I…’ Harrow seemed taken aback by his sudden praise. ‘Thank you.’


                    ‘Oh, don’t start your thanks yet,’ Torako grunted, pulling out a heavy bundle of books and piling them on top of the desk. ‘Here.’


                    Harrow squinted as he inspected the titles.


                    Advanced Application of the Elements. Theorems on Generation of Electricity. Thermal and Temporal Dynamics of Arcane Plasma.


                    These were Dwemer tomes, interpreted by Po’ Tun scholars.


                    Bala av Bel. Latta Emeratu. Magicka Agea. Magicka Malabel. Sercen Anyammis.


                    Ayleid works, still not fully translated.


                    The Drifting Cloud and the Storm. The Speck atop the Crashing Wave. Words of the Thirty-two Sages.


                    Ancient Akaviri texts. Few other cultures had such obscure titles.


                    That wasn’t all, though. Harrow spotted books written by Telvanni magisters, archmages from every province, even a short treatise by Shalidor himself.


                    ‘I haven’t seen any of these before,’ he said, quite shocked. ‘After all my time in the library…’


                    ‘And well that you haven’t. The techniques detailed in these works are highly advanced,’ Torako explained. ‘Most kits never study them, and only shinobi with immense talent for magic are allowed to access these texts. I am proud to say you are officially the youngest to count among that number. The Grandmaster himself has given permission for you to use these tomes in your training – so it’s not me you have to thank!’


                    Harrow had risen from his seat and sunk into a deep, ninety-degree bow, where he stayed for almost a full minute. Torako shifted in his seat, feeling awkward and pleased at the same time.


                    ‘Perhaps,’ Harrow murmured as he picked up the books, cradling them like boxfuls of precious diamonds. ‘But I would thank you all the same, Master.’


                    ‘… and so the Emperor would likely take longer to arrive. He’s stalling the Thalmor attachments to his delegation as best he can to give us more time to prepare, which I think is very sweet of him. Lencius-dar was kind enough to provide us with a list of high-ranking officers and representatives in the Emperor’s party. Here you go, Grandmaster-ri.’


                    ‘Many thanks, Unaka.’ Takarro reached out and took the list, flipping straight to the section covering the Dominion’s representatives. ‘I trust that the mission was not too difficult?’


                    ‘No, but I did have to take out a Justiciar patrol, who were on the lookout for Lencius-dar. They knew that we’d be meeting, Grandmaster-ri. Someone tipped them off.’ Unaka chewed her lip, her usual cheer a little subdued. ‘I buried their bodies in the forest and there were no witnesses, but there’s still a chance they could be found. Even if they’re counted missing, the Thalmor could easily put two and two together and figure out that a shinobi was behind this.’


                    ‘That may be so, but without definitive proof, they cannot act on their hunch,’ Takarro reassured her. ‘Especially not right under the Emperor’s nose. I’m more concerned about allowing the Thalmor on our land. As always, we will be casting illusions on their surroundings and leading our guests to the village in circles to mask Tsukikage’s exact location, but Mount Furiya itself should not be difficult for them to find from now on, especially with their own use of magic.’


                    ‘We don’t really have a choice, though, do we, Grandmaster-ri?’ Unaka fingered her katana, scowling. She always did hate dealing with problems she couldn’t solve with her sword.


                    ‘Not in deciding their visit, no,’ he replied, stroking his whiskers as he reached the end of Lencius’ report, his mind racing.


                    ‘That in no way means that we’re out of options. We could even turn this into an opportunity of our own. First Emissaries from Hammerfell, High Rock and Cyrodiil are all going to be present – hmm, the one posted in Skyrim is busy – and so are numerous garrison commanders. This is an excellent opportunity to gather intelligence, especially from the commanders. If they kept the practice of carrying their orders in that sealed pouch on their…’ Takarro trailed off as he stared at the list.




                    ‘Larethor of Shimmerene,’ he said, gripping the paper tightly. ‘The Twinstinger is coming to Tsukikage.’


                    Unaka’s eyes widened, and her knuckles cracked on the hilt of her katana. ‘Are we just going to let him walk inside? That mer is a savage brute and a war criminal,’ she spat. ‘He should have been tried and hanged. Would have been, if not for the timing of the Concordat.’


                    ‘Refusing to allow him inside would be the height of discourtesy,’ Takarro said, though even he looked reluctant.


                    Unaka looked down at her feet, her discontent obvious, her silent objection clear to Takarro. I’m still letting him in, yes.


                    Larethor of Shimmerene earned the title Twinstinger with his two favoured weapons.


                    His first sting gleamed eight feet long from shaft to tip and had once marked General Jonna in the cheek before battle swept them apart. With it, the High Elf had led countless routs of Legion troops and even more slaughters in captured cities. It was said that the spearhead had never spent more than a day dry of blood.


                    His second sting hung between his legs, and he used it far less discriminately. Women, young and old, whoever caught his fancy at the time. Pregnant wives. Widows he’d made himself. Children. Young boys and girls alike.


                    Unaka shook with disgust as she bowed out of the office, and Takarro didn’t blame her. Shinobi tactics are one thing. This… animal… is another.


                    But he could guess why the Dominion brought him along. They want to test our waters. Push our boundaries. See how much we are willing to take.


                    Very well, the Grandmaster thought grimly, slipping the list into a drawer. Let them probe our depths if they dare. If they fall and drown, so much the better.


                    ‘Damn it, I lost the beat again!’ Ambarro yowled like a wounded sabrecat. ‘This is ridiculous, it’s just a bundle of strings on a block of wood, for crying out loud!’


                    ‘Now, now,’ Diia patted his shoulder with an extended hand as she trilled a few chords on her zither with the other. ‘Don’t worry, Ambarro-to. You have a whole month to practice. All you have to do is remember the basic rhythm and move on from there. Try focusing on getting the individual notes right first, and then slowly add in the chords.’


                    ‘There's going to be notes in between your own notes too, right?’


                    ‘Right! So all you have to do is memorise the tempo, then time them with my cadences. Your chords will usually accompany obvious shifts in my own notes, so all you have to do is listen for those cues.’


                    ‘And you’ve lost him already,’ a snide, familiar voice commented from behind. ‘Just get him through the first part and tell him when to pluck the strings, it’s really all his brain has room for.’


                    ‘You’re not helping,’ Ambarro muttered and took a look at his sheets again, grinding his claws impatiently against his own zither. ‘So how did it go again?’


                    ‘Welcome back, Harrow-to,’ Diia greeted him. ‘How was your meeting with Master Torako?’


                    ‘It was… fruitful.’ To her surprise, Harrow was actually smiling. Not only that, but his body language as a whole was different. There was a new spring in his step, and life was beginning to return to his motions. What did they talk about?


                    At any rate, she was glad to see his eyes lose that desperate fire. It had begun to worry her, that glare of his.


                    ‘Are the preparations coming along well? The feast is still a while off, so I’m sure you’ll be familiar enough with the piece by then.’


                    ‘I’d say that it would take me a few more days to become familiar enough with the entire arrangement, but both of us are getting steadier in our rehearsals. What about you, Harrow-to?’


                    ‘I’ve memorised the entire passage, though I find it difficult to emote properly. Dramatic reading is not my forte.’


                    ‘Perhaps it might help if you tried putting yourself in Tusok-ri’s position?’ Diia suggested.


                    ‘That’s the part I’m stuck on. It’s challenging enough to envision myself in the shoes of a legend like Tusok-ri, but I have to imagine how he felt as he retreated to Black Marsh as well. What drove him? How would he have felt as he prepared to commit seppuk-’


                    ‘A-ha! So that’s where you were holed up in!’


                    The doors to the music hall were flung wide open as Unaka barged inside, laughing. ‘Harrow, m’boy! Miss me?’


                    ‘Ah, Master Unaka. It’s good to see you safely return-’


                    Unaka grabbed her apprentice by the neck and locked him under one arm, grinding her knuckles back on forth on his head playfully.


                    ‘Chori chori chori chori chori,’ she teased, making his topknot bounce. ‘Slacking off on your training to play with zithers?’


                    ‘Never, Master. All the kits in Year 182 are expected to perform at the welcoming feast for the Emperor, but I understand that that’s no excuse. Apologies for neglecting my swordsmanship. If you so wish…’


                    ‘And you still can’t take a joke! I thought some more time with these two would have taught you something about a sense of humour.’


                    ‘We’re doing our best, Unaka-ko,’ Diia grinned. ‘Harrow-to is learning.’


                    ‘Not quickly enough, I’d say! Well, I assume you’re all going to be here a while. I’ll come check on you later, then. Don’t forget to have fun! It is a feast after all!’


                    Ambarro tutted at Harrow as Unaka sauntered towards the doorway, humming a merry tune under her breath. ‘Why can’t you learn more from your Master? The two of you are polar opposites.’


                    Harrow had just opened his mouth to retort when Unaka let out a squeak of surprise, her tail jerking upright and the flaps of her ears flushing.


                    ‘Is something wrong, Master?’


                    The doors opened again and Jorra walked into the music hall. ‘Oh, hello, kits. Hello to you too, Unaka-ko. Preparing for the feast, I see.’


                    ‘Uncle Jorra!’ Ambarro waved at him. ‘Haven’t seen you around today, keeping busy?’


                    ‘Plenty of preparations for all of us. The Emperor hit us all by surprise, springing this visit on Takarro-ri… Unaka-ko, are you all right? You look a little faint.’


                    ‘Jorra-to! Imagine seeing you here!’ Unaka’s voice was an octave higher than normal. Ambarro bit his tongue, trying to stop his lips from curving up as tiny pockets of air escaped from his nostrils. A Shadeclaw nearing fifty and still acting like a kit. And Jorra-to, no less. ‘-to’! Uncle Jorra, a ‘-to’!


                    ‘Ah, I trust I’m not interrupting your practice?’


                    ‘No!’ Unaka said quickly, unconsciously brushing down a tuft of her golden fur. ‘I mean, no. Of course not. It’s just the kits who're practicing here. How can I help you, Jorra-to?’


                    ‘I just wanted to congratulate you on your successful mission. I’m glad to see you return unharmed,’ Jorra said, smiling his usual, gentle smile. To Harrow’s intense discomfort, he saw Unaka almost swoon.


                    ‘Are your… um… flowers growing well?’


                    Jorra’s face lit up as he began to describe his garden. Unaka walked outside with him, nodding enthusiastically at every other sentence and occasionally making exclamations of wonder. Harrow was fairly sure that she knew next to nothing about his plants, though.


                    ‘Nice to see Uncle Jorra’s as oblivious as ever,’ Ambarro started to snigger, then stopped as Harrow snorted.




                    ‘Are you sure you of all people should judge?’


                    ‘You’re not making sense.’ Ambarro scratched his head, frowning.


                    Harrow turned and raised an eyebrow pointedly at Diia, who immediately took his meaning and looked away with her nose bright red, stammering indistinctly.


                    He swivelled back to Ambarro, who was still squinting at him suspiciously, and began laughing in his face.




                    ‘A-Ambarro-to, just let him be… It’s… ah, it’s n-nothing…’


                    ‘I don’t get it, what’s the joke here? No wonder Unaka-ko says that he needs to work on his sense of humour.’


                    Harrow kept laughing, even well after the amusement had worn thin and both Diia and Ambarro were staring at him, looking slightly worried. He kept laughing because it felt good to laugh, because really nothing had changed, because Takarro, Jorra, Torako, Unaka, Diia, Ambarro and everyone else treated him exactly as they had before, because he could see now the fool he had been the last few weeks, because he no longer needed to obsess over a few bottles of potions, because he was…


                    Because I’m happy. Because I'm content.


                    Because I'm home. 













13 Comments   |   The Long-Chapper and 5 others like this.
  • Caladran
    Caladran   ·  January 18, 2019
    Bengakhi, I so dislike you! I wish I could slap, but I'd be too scared of just the sight of you!

    Yes, more books for Harrow so he can become the most lethal shock-using Shinobi ever!

    Larethor o...  more
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  February 16, 2017
    I wonder how Harrow will implement the tomes into his training. Books are seeds of the mind; full of possibilities. 
  • Karver the Lorc
    Karver the Lorc   ·  February 16, 2017
    Yay, so Harrow is going the magic route! I think that if he invests some time in Restoration he might temporarily catch up with Rendashu. Would be interesting, more situational. 

    And Twinstinger. I have to say I really dig that n...  more
    • The Sunflower Manual
      The Sunflower Manual
      Karver the Lorc
      Karver the Lorc
      Karver the Lorc
      Yay, so Harrow is going the magic route! I think that if he invests some time in Restoration he might temporarily catch up with Rendashu. Would be interesting, more situational. 

      And Twinstinger. I have to say I really dig that name, even though t...  more
        ·  February 16, 2017
      Shadeclaws don't really sort their spells into schools, but the techniques Harrow will become proficient with later on would likely go into Destruction and possibly Alteration if a mage from the other provinces were to observe him.

      Also, hooo...  more
      • Karver the Lorc
        Karver the Lorc
        The Sunflower Manual
        The Sunflower Manual
        The Sunflower Manual
        Shadeclaws don't really sort their spells into schools, but the techniques Harrow will become proficient with later on would likely go into Destruction and possibly Alteration if a mage from the other provinces were to observe him.

        Also, hooo now the pre...  more
          ·  February 16, 2017
        ( Also, hooo now the pressure is really on for me to write a compelling Larethor...) Game´s on!
    • A-Pocky-Hah!
      Karver the Lorc
      Karver the Lorc
      Karver the Lorc
      Yay, so Harrow is going the magic route! I think that if he invests some time in Restoration he might temporarily catch up with Rendashu. Would be interesting, more situational. 

      And Twinstinger. I have to say I really dig that name, even though t...  more
        ·  February 16, 2017
      No bad guy roster is complete without a sadistic psychopathic serial rapist, amirite?
      • Karver the Lorc
        Karver the Lorc
        No bad guy roster is complete without a sadistic psychopathic serial rapist, amirite?
          ·  February 16, 2017
        I still don´t have a serial rapist on my roster... :D
        • A-Pocky-Hah!
          Karver the Lorc
          Karver the Lorc
          Karver the Lorc
          I still don´t have a serial rapist on my roster... :D
            ·  February 16, 2017
          You have a Fist and a Bleak Walker, I think that's good enough for you. Oh and don't forget Morgul! :D
  • A-Pocky-Hah!
    A-Pocky-Hah!   ·  February 16, 2017
    Best way to crash a party? Bring the biggest douche in Tamriel!
    • The Sunflower Manual
      The Sunflower Manual
      Best way to crash a party? Bring the biggest douche in Tamriel!
        ·  February 16, 2017
      Don't forget trying to hide the fact that you're actually coming!
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  February 15, 2017
    YAY! Glad Harrow is feeling better. ANd BOOO! At evil icky thalmor person. 
    • The Sunflower Manual
      The Sunflower Manual
      The Long-Chapper
      The Long-Chapper
      The Long-Chapper
      YAY! Glad Harrow is feeling better. ANd BOOO! At evil icky thalmor person. 
        ·  February 15, 2017
      Oh, there's going to be plenty more on the Twinstinger next chapter, don't you worry.

      *snicker snicker*
      • The Long-Chapper
        The Long-Chapper
        The Sunflower Manual
        The Sunflower Manual
        The Sunflower Manual
        Oh, there's going to be plenty more on the Twinstinger next chapter, don't you worry.

        *snicker snicker*
          ·  February 15, 2017
        Hope Harrow cut off the little stinger