Protected, no longer; Chapter 22


    Chapter 22


    Ciel’nn cast his eyes warily around the ominous hall he was standing in. There were crystal stands and pieces of them everywhere. It was a dim if not near dark place. The floor was reflecting his image like it was made of dark glass. Daedric tomes were lying around the floor. He wrapped his arms around himself as a cold chill flew through the dark place.

    He should leave, he knew, but where to?  The hall seemed to go on endlessly.

    Wandering around the hall, he found an old rustic table; it had a small red candle burning and some strange daedric markings which twisted in a red glow into dunmeric language— “Marked”. Ciel’nn narrowed his eyes at this weird event. What could this possibly mean? His head turned sharply into the darkness.

    “You…useless… Daedra take you!” Maltrys’ voice echoed from his left side.

    “I’ll find you!” A hissing snarl belonged to Marquis.

    Ciel’nn tried to focus his gaze, but he didn’t see either of them, and yet it felt like they were close to him. Instinctively he began to seek for a way he’d would escape.

    “When I get my hands on you….”  The voice of Maltrys muttered near him.

    “I have plans for you…” The sinister hiss of Marquis sang behind his back, making Ciel’nn gasp in shock and stumble upon a tome.

    He didn’t want this— not to die like this. He didn’t want to end up in Oblivion after his death. A touch on his shoulder made him scream.

    In a swift move, Ciel’nn had grabbed his dagger and had tried to slash at the person who had shook him awake. His head felt still hazy from the dream and he had a dreadful feeling in his heart.

    The ranger blocked his attack by grabbing Ciel’nn’s wrist. She was a weathered Nord woman with a concerned face. “Calm down! It’s safe— you’re not in danger.” She tried to soothe the Dunmer, who stared at her with wary and frightened eyes. “I’m Sarade’s friend, Eiruun the Bird-caller,” she introduced herself, and looked at the man close by, “This man is Valdr, he is also Sarade’s friend.” Eiruun waited a moment to see if the Dunmer would relax as she slowly moved Ciel’nn’s armed hand away from her.

    Ciel’nn frowned, but he began to relax as he saw she meant no harm. Slowly he put his dagger away, and blinked— still hazy. “Where is Rangalen?” he asked in a rough tone as he tried to sit up. He was still worried about the Nord and wanted to know if he was going to make it. What had happened to them was a scary experience— it was his own fault, Ciel’nn didn’t deny that, but there was something else going on. He didn’t know what it was, yet.

    Eiruun the Bird-singer sat down on her bedroll and glanced at the sleeping young warrior. “He’s still unconscious. I have given him Kyne’s incense to wake him up, but it takes time,” she explained.”What did happen to you two? We only heard a strange sound.”

    Valdr looked to the Dunmer. “It was a very ominous sound. Sounded like a gate of Oblivion opened,” he said in a low tone. “We rushed to see what was happening, but found you two lying on the ground instead.”

    “Daedra happened.” Ciel’nn decided it was best to give a little information to avoid anyone else getting injured on his behalf. “We were attacked by the Daedra. Rangalen was thrown against the tree.” So the Nord was still out of cold. Ciel’nn pondered what he would do meanwhile. He eyed their surroundings— they were still within the Falkreath region and it was past midday already. He rubbed his face. What am I going to do? Ciel’nn eyed the camp they were in.

    “Please, rest a while. We’ll keep an eye on your friend,” Eiruun held her hand in front of her. The news about  the Daedra attack was disconcerting. She looked to Valdr, who gave her a grim look. “Oh, we saved your fishes, too.” The Nord ranger smiled.

    “Thanks, Sera. What does Kyne’s incense do?” Ciel’nn asked, sighing inwardly that he wasn’t able to do a thing. Just watching Rangalen sleeping on a bedroll wasn’t an easy thing to do. At least they were safe, for the moment. He wasn’t sure about the coming night. His nightmare had been distressful at best and it had left him nervous and frightened.

    “Kyne’s incense should ease one’s mind and bring calmness in their sleep. It’s made from various flowers.” Valdr replied. “Only Sarade knows the origin of it, though. What do you plan to do with the fishes?” The Nord was curious, for he wasn’t an alchemist. He’d rather fry the fishes and eat them with a drop of honey and mead.

    “Poisons,” Ciel’nn answered in a low tone. The look on the ranger’s face was enough to make Ciel’nn smirk briefly. He would make some poisons now, but he didn’t have any Deathbell with him. Anise had said she had some, but he didn’t know where the witch was now. “I would make some now, but I need Deathbells. The witch, Anise, has some her cabin. Could one of you go and ask her to give  me some? Tell her that Nightshade sent you. She should know.”

    Valdr and Eiruun looked at each other for a brief moment. Valdr nodded as he stood up. “I’ll be back soon.”

    So, Kyne’s incense helps one’s mind? It surely didn’t help mine. Ciel’nn shifted next to Rangalen and looked at him— deeply asleep. “We will see in the night or next morning if he wakes up.” Ciel’nn heard Eiruun saying. …”if he wakes up”… The idea of not waking up at all scares me. He took a deep breath and reached out to brush a few hair off from his friend’s face. I’ll be here when you wake up. He gathered his legs in front of him and reached for his backpack to touch the soulgem, which was so important to him. It brought him comfort. Ciel’nn wrapped his arms around his knees and let his gaze stay on the young warrior.

    The night had fallen on the forest when Rangalen came to. Slowly his eyes adjusted in the dim lighted camp. He heard the night wildlife making sounds, but none of them were threatening. He winced as his back ached and felt like he had been stomped by a mammoth. Ciel’nn! Rangalen tried to get up as fast as his body would allow, but grunted as his back ached. “Damn it..” He needed to see if the Dunmer was alright, if the Dremora Lord had injured his friend. The monster had said the Dunmer is his to take, but the young warrior disagreed on that matter— Ciel’nn was nobody’s to take.

    “Oh, I’m so glad you’re awake!” Ciel’nn turned to the Nord as he put his book away. “Shh, take it easy. How do you feel?” He asked in a low tone as he placed his hand on the Nord shoulder. Ciel’nn tried to read  his friend’s expression, but what he could make out was the Nord wanted to punch someone in the head. It should have made him smile, but he didn’t. “Did you dream anything? Nightmares?” He wanted to know if the incense had worked.

    Rangalen was relieved to see his friend alive and not injured. That was something. He managed to give a small smile. “I feel like I was stomped by a mammoth. I’m glad you’re unhurt. What happened after I was thrown?” he asked, frowning. His eyes caught the bruise on Ciel’nn’s neck. That bastard had had his friend by the neck! “I had a calm sleep. Does that hurt?” A terrible guilt came over him; he should have been awake to stop anything to happening to Ciel’nn, but he seemed to be powerless against the forces of Oblivion. Damn it!

    Ciel’nn told the Nord, what transpired after he was thrown against the tree trunk. He explained what had exactly been said between the Dremora Lord and the female Daedra who had come to take Marquis away. Also, it seemed someone wanted the monster back. “This is all my fault, Rangalen. I did something bad in the past and now they are after me. Sooner or later our luck runs out.” Ciel’nn paused to ponder his next words. “I think it’s better if we go separate ways. I don’t—”

    “No!” Rangalen winced while he sat up. “I gave my word for Sarade to keep you safe, and I intend to do that. We’re not going to be splitting up, Ciel’nn.” He paused for a moment and stared seriously at the Dunmer. “You’re my friend, and I’m not going to abandon you. Not now, or later. It is not good to face those monsters alone. If we run out of time, we’ll face them together.”

    The Nord’s outburst wasn’t unexpected, and the Nords were stubborn at best. “I heard you, Rang. Together it is, then.” Ciel’nn smiled. “Here,” he said and searched his backpack, “take this potion. It should help for the pain.” Ciel’nn paused as he touched his bruised neck— it was still sore. “And, I don’t think my throat is going to heal,” he said in a rougher tone as it ached. “Best to rest now. If you feel better tomorrow, we can go to Falkreath, and see the priest.” With that they settled down again and waited for  sleep  overcome them.

    Eiruun had been listening all that time, but didn’t say anything. With a heavy heart, she watched the camp fire burning and pondered a lot of things. Her and Valdr’s responsibility was the Falkreath region, and they did what they could. She was also Sarade’s second in the region. The Huntress had sent a message; Skyrim has fallen under a grim shadow and they need to be prepared. A worry for the two boys had risen in Eiruun’s mind.


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5 Comments   |   The Lorc of Flowers and 3 others like this.
  • A Shadow Under the Moons
    A Shadow Under the Moons   ·  November 17
    Oh, lovely, you end the last chapter with one cliffhanger... then open with another one?!

    You're a cruel one. T_T
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  August 7
    Some wounds heal easy while others are slow. Nice to see you reflected this. That was a bit of luck to cross paths with friendly faces. Things were on the edge there...
    Wonder if  Eiruun will join up with them or part ways. 
  • GailOlm
    GailOlm   ·  August 6
    I like how you integrated Valdr and the Falkreath bear hunters into Ciel'nn's and Rangalen's story. I'm intrigued by Kyne's incense...
  • William McNee
    William McNee   ·  August 5
    I actually thought Anise would be the one to help them, but it's nice to see some of Sarade's friends show up to help out. Ominous portents with her message...:O
  • The Lorc of Flowers
    The Lorc of Flowers   ·  August 4
    They were lucky Sarade's friends showed up. And it is always good to see how common people are helpless against higher Daedra such as Dremoras, needing time to recover. Let's hope they'll be alright soon. :)