Alda'hirakam ghar Ara; Chapter 19




    The canis root tea soothed his mind while Neloth sipped it with closed eyes. Today he’d continue his research, but he’d need a heartstone for it. Sending Talvas to find one was the idea, but the wizard needed his apprentice to be close. Where did that youngling go?  “Talvas!” Neloth called out.

    “Yes, Master Neloth?” The apprentice asked while he walked towards the Wizard from the other side of the tower. His Master didn’t need to shout as he could hear well. Talvas stopped by the table and looked to the Telvanni.

    “Have you seen the youngling you brought in yesterday?” Neloth asked and sipped his tea again. Varona makes such great tea if she wasn’t spending too much time with the cook. His meals and teas were always delayed because of it. She thought he didn’t know, but he knew - nothing went on without him noticing it. “I need a heartstone for the research.”

    Talvas thought a moment. “I did see them. I think they disappeared somewhere in the area.” He replied, rubbing his chin — just like how Neloth does when he’s thinking deeply. “I can go to find the heartstone.” He offered as he had no idea of where the two mer had gone to, but the Master wasn’t willing to send his apprentice away.

    “No, I need you to do something else.” Neloth said and he gave the empty tea cup to Talvas. “Find Varona and tell her to go Raven Rock for the items I requested. Now!” He ushered the apprentice off and turned to his table. Something caught his attention and the wizard began to search through the books and scrolls. “It must be somewhere…” he muttered. For a extended moment, through shuffling his scrolls and notes, Neloth’s hand found what he was looking for. It was an old scroll bearing a Telvanni symbol that was also old. The wizard frowned as he straightened up and examined the scroll with a frown.

    Give it to him when you see him. You’ll know it’s him through his eyes, you’ll see me.

    The puzzling parting words of a female Telvanni triggered a flash back for Neloth and he had to sit down on the nearest chair. Why had he taken the scroll and said the doubtful words for her? He hadn’t believed her to go through with her project, but yet, here he sat with her scroll. A scroll that he thought he had forgotten until now. His eyes found the scroll in his hands, wanted to break the seal and read the secrets. Secrets? Could it be that? It might be just a scroll of mundane information like a family tree or some recipe for a potion. No, it had to be something more important as she had given it to him because he might live longer. Neloth let out a frustrated sigh.

    Talvas opened the Kitchen house’s door and stepped in, only to see Ulves saying a poem to Varona. The Steward smiled at the cook, but both of them looked at Talvas. “Can’t you knock on the door, s’wit?” she asked him. The apprentice frowned. She had chosen Ulves instead of him. It sullied his mood. “Master Neloth tells you to go to Raven Rock for the supplies and the items he required.” He said in a cool tone of importance. “Have you seen Ciel’nn and his partner today?”

    “I’ll go when everyone has their damn lists ready.” Varona scoffed. “And, I did see those two s’wits this morning. Gone somewhere, I don’t know. I don’t care.” She said being irritated now. “Off with you, Talvas.” Seeing the apprentice sulking, then leaving the Kitchen, the Steward turned his eyes to the cook and smiled. “Do you have the list, Ulves?”


    The stone doors of Nchardak were firmly shut and Ciel’nn started the mechanism next to the doors. He wondered what was needed to open them. No matter how hard he thought, the young mer couldn’t find a way. It was a pity because he knew Teldryn would have liked to go in. He let out an annoyed sigh and turned away from the doors. “Are there other ruins on this rock? Or other places to explore?”

    Teldryn observed the beach line as he had been keeping guard while his partner tried to solve the mystery of getting inside. The fight with the reavers had left some marks on them, but it wasn’t serious - not what a Well-being potion could heal. He turned to his partner, who seemed to be a bit upset. “There is something in the North, but as I said earlier — it’s cold out there.” He thought a moment as if he was remembering something. “I think I remember Sadri telling me something about another ruins. Close to the Temple of Miraak and before the snowy areas.”

    “Who’s Miraak?” Ciel’nn asked as he stepped closer to his partner. He hadn’t heard of such a person, but the name sounded like…

    “Some say he was a Dragonborn. Can you believe that?” The older mer replied. He had heard this and that about the Dragon War, but it was better not to dwell on those things. Things that didn’t matter for him or his partner.

    “A Dragonborn? I’ve seen one Dragonborn by myself, Teldryn.” The young mer said and thought of Sarade. I wonder how she’s doing now. I’ve been away for some time now. I wonder if Skyrim is still under the dark shadow like she said? He felt the older mer stepping closer to him and Ciel’nn looked to him. “She’s made of snow and ice, Teldryn. Saved me and the Nord  a couple of times, too.” The longer he thought of her, Ciel’nn became saddened and he shook his head slightly. “Anyway, let’s head to the ruins Sadri spoke of to you.”

    They walked back to the beach line and Teldryn frowned. “Skyrim seems to bring only sad memories to you. Tell me about this Dragonborn you’ve met.” With asking Ciel’nn this, he hoped it would ease his painful memories. The soft sigh let him know the younger mer was trying to process something to say.

    “Sarade is her name. She… makes us believe we’ll live through tomorrow.” Ciel’nn paused to take a breath. “She makes you calm and feel safe, and when she gets mad the air gets cold and frosty. She brought me back from a dark place, Teldryn.” He looked to Teldryn, slightly feeling sad.

    That look is like ‘can you keep me safe?’ In all this Sarade sounds like a hero from the Nord folklore. I’m not a hero, though. The older mer looked back to Ciel’nn with a smirk. “And, what do you feel with me around?”

    Ciel’nn beamed into a smile. What did he feel around the older mer? He’d start with ‘home and comfort’, but he deemed it was too early for such confessions. Also, he wasn’t sure if the other mer could read faces, but he flashed a fond smile at his partner as he tucked a stray hair behind his ear. “With you around I can be myself and I can face whatever comes next.” He wanted to say more, but it wasn’t the time yet. All he could do was to feel his quickened heartbeat when he noticed the older mer just smiling at him.

    Tel Mithryn came into view and they spotted Talvas sitting on a rock alone. The mage was reading a book with a gloomy frown. It was as if he didn’t see them at all, until Ciel’nn walked closer. “I thought you’d read in the mushroom?” The young mer asked and the mage looked up to him.

    “Where did you disappear to? Master Neloth wanted to talk to you.” Talvas closed the book and stood up.

    “Problems on the home front?” The older mer asked the mage in a sly tone.

    “I didn’t know we’re required to stay put.” Ciel’nn replied. “What does he want from me? He didn’t seem to want to talk yesterday. We’re going to check out one ruins.” What could possible Neloth want from him? He didn’t have anything valuable to offer or give. “How’s the work with my ring?”

    The mage stared at the older mer with a scowl. How can Ciel’nn stand him? “It’s not for me to ask what he wants from you. As for the ring, I have started the work, but I need more time. It’s a very strong enchantment. Will you come inside and meet Master Neloth? I’m sure it won’t take long.” To him, the young mer seemed to be strong willed and it made it harder to convince them to stay once they were at there.

    The young mer threw a thoughtful look at the mage. He wanted to go check the ruins while they had the daylight for it, but this mage was almost begging them to stay. All for the Wizard. Ciel’nn shifted in his place, being aware of Teldryn waiting to know what he was going to decide. “We’ll go to the ruins now and come back later. If you teach me how to cast runes?” He offered a friendly smile.

    “Runes?” Talvas repeated. “But, you’re no mage…” He thought about it as he witnessed Ciel’nn’s frown. He wouldn’t lose anything but some study hours and it would keep the two mer close to the tower, in case Master would need them to fetch something, like a heartstone. “I.. I’ll see what I can do.”

    “It’s a deal, then.” Ciel’nn smirked. “See you around, mage.”


    Ondren observed the market area and the new guards the Redoran Officer had posted. They were nothing like the ones that N’wah had bribed. They were firm in their position and watchful like hawks. His Captain on another hand — he was in hot water with Daynes Aroa. He didn’t know the details, but after the questioning had ended, Captain Veleth had been roughened up and the look he had given him was the look of a person who had his last chance to man up. The young Redoran guard heard someone coming and turned to see Raryn walking towards him. “How are things in the mess hall?”

    “They’re beaten. Everyone will  be sent back home by the sound of it. Those who the N’wah bribed will be shamed and punished later. It leaves us and the Captain here. It’s his last chance, I understand.” Raryn said as he took a deep breath. His own turn in the questioning had gone well enough even though he had been nerve-racked before it.

    The young Redoran guard nodded. The next trade ship would bring more hard-trained guards on it, and Raven Rock town would make a full recovery and start over. I wonder what will happen to the Councilor Morvayn. He let it all happen.

    Inside the Retching Netch, Daynes Aroa read through the dirty notes that Mogrul had written. Mostly about who loaned from and who to hurt if the loan was late. There was a note on Garyn Ienith — Mogrul had him killed for a delayed loan, next would have been his wife, Milore. Daynes read through various notes about Slitter, who had worked for the Orc. “Slitter became a liability— kill him soon.” The Redoran Officer read the note. Slitter was behind bars, but no one had told him who was behind it. Mogrul had planned killing Slitter, too. He frowned and went on with the notes. One particular note that looked like a journal page without a date caught his attention. He wrote about the dark elf kid, who somehow got in his way. He frowned again.

    This kid is a threat to me and I have Slitter to find him, to ask questions. He keeps being evasive. He knows he’s getting in my skin as today he snatched the mercenary from under my palm, just when I was about to pay him! I swear I’ll kill the kid!  The last note was a part of almost actual writing and a part of madman gibberish. Raven Rock is mine to control!

    Did he lose it in the end? Daynes Aroa rubbed his chin thoughtfully. Where is this kid now? He needed to know what transpired from the kid’s point of view. He stood up and gathered the notes into a notebook and wrapped the ribbon around it. He cleared his throat, realizing he needed a drink.



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4 Comments   |   Karver the Lorc and 4 others like this.
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  July 16, 2018
    Very curious how Veleth is going to recover from this. Also, I wonder what secrets Neloth has. 
  • GailOlm
    GailOlm   ·  May 29, 2018
    I'm surprised that Neloth didn't open the scroll. I wonder how Neloth will react when finds out Ciel'nn's relationship to the writer of the scroll. I loved the dialogue between Ciel'nn and Teldryn about Sarade and how she helped Ciel'nn.  (L)
  • The Sunflower Manual
    The Sunflower Manual   ·  May 29, 2018
    'Shamed'? You don't see that word used as some kind of disciplinary action in military protocol very often... or does Daynes Aroa have those kinds of fetishes? Hehehehehe.
  • Karver the Lorc
    Karver the Lorc   ·  May 11, 2018
    It was nice to see Ciel open up about his time in Skyrim, about Sarade. Hmm, and Neloth's got a secret it seems. A mystery. Now I'm very curious. 

    And the Redoran official is piecing the shit together. I wonder if Veleth's gonna ...  more