Blessed Mother Ch 3

  • Blessed Mother

    Chapter Three: The Mother Speaks

       Fenrir is awoken from a deathly slumber by the sound of Gabriella’s voice, “He hasn’t moved in two days. He barely breathes! You said he would wake up soon, Babette.” Fenrir sits up from the stone floor of Babette’s chambers and looks around, but sees no one. Then he hears Babette’s small voice replying dismissively to Gabriella, “What did you expect? This is not a cold or indigestion. He lost a lot of blood and waited a long time to cure himself. Sanguinare Vampiris is a potent strain of Vampirism. There is no telling how far it... progressed. It takes time to recover.”

        Fenrir struggles to get to his feet, using Babette’s stone bed for leverage. He stumbles to the doorway and says to his Sisters in the hallway, “You two could wake the dead…” Gabriella breathes a sigh of relief, “You’re awake… How do you feel?” Fenrir rubs his eyes, “A little better than dead… Thank you, Babette.” She nods and says, “Nazir came by to check on you earlier. I think he has another contract for you when you are feeling up to it.” She walks away and Fenrir looks to Gabriella, “She wanted me to turn, but did not object to me curing myself. She helped me greatly. Try to be a bit more patient with her, will you?” Gabriella looks carefully at his eyes, “I… reacted poorly, but you…” Fenrir stands straight, “I’m fine.” He looks longingly into her eyes and she shakes her head. “Stop doing that.” she says and turns to walk away, but he grabs her arm and pulls her back to him. He pulls her hood back and brushes her hair from her face. He traces his finger down her cheek, “No… I can promise you only one thing… I will never give up on you.” She pauses a moment, “You should… I have seen my death. I die young and in violence.” He lowers his brow and looks more sternly, “The future is always uncertain. Whether you have the sight or not. You know that better than most. Just from seeing it, the outcome can be changed… and you’re an Elf. You will be young for centuries yet. Why are you so afraid?”

       Screaming is heard through the halls. Cicero howls angrily at someone. The pair race towards the chapel. The door is locked, but they can hear voices on the other side. They hear Azirath’s voice say “Darkness rises when silence dies.” Cicero is stunned and mutters “She… She said that? She said those words… to you? Darkness rises when silence dies…”  Cicero’s eyes widen, “But those are the words, the binding words, written in the keeping tomes! The signal so I would know. Mother’s only way of talking to Sweet Cicero.”  Fenrir and Gabriella look at each other confused for a moment as the fool continues his ramblings. Cicero begins to dance, “Then.. It's true! She’s back! Our lady is back! She has chosen a Listener. She has chosen you! ALL HAIL THE LISTENER!! HA HA HAAA!!”

       Fenrir ponders a brief moment and asks Gabriella, “Can this be true? The guy has been here less than a week and he’s…” They hear a door burst open and Astrid yell, but the pair just walk away. “The Listener… After all this time. Can it be true?” Gabriella asks. Fenrir replies, “I have always been able to feel the Dread Father’s presence. He watches this. I can feel it… I think it’s true. They were alone in a locked room. If it was a trick, they would have done it where all could see and hear.” Fenrir stops and Gabriella asks, “What is it?” His gaze is down, “The civil war, the return of the dragons and the Dragonborn, the resurgence of the Theive’s Guild, and now this? ….. Something is coming… something bad… More events will happen quickly now.” She smirks, “I thought I was the seer here.” Fenrir’s gaze rises, “You don’t need to be a seer to feel the Wheels of Fate turning around you.”

       Several hours later, after Astrid has sent Azirath out on a new contract and Cicero has gone to sleep in the chamber provided to him, Astrid calls a meeting of the rest of the family in the dining hall. “What is it, woman?” Festus growls, “You wake an old man from his sleep? I’ve killed people for less.” Arnbjorn snarls, “Shut it, old man!” Astrid’s head hangs down as she says, “There’s… been a development. One that concerns all of us. The Night Mother has, supposedly, spoken.” That shuts Festus up in a hurry. Babette asks, “Supposedly? You doubt this?” Astrid raises her head, “I…. don’t know. The Fool seems to believe it.” Fenrir speaks up, “It’s true. Gabriella and I heard the whole thing.” Astrid glares at him, “Eavesdropping now?” Gabriella says, “We heard Cicero screaming, but when we got to the Chapel, the door was locked. We could hear Cicero and Azirath talking.” “Azirath?” Veezara asks. Astrid nods, “Yes. Apparently, the Night Mother has given him a task. He’s been asked to speak to a man named Motierre.” Ambjorn scoffs, “Why? Cause the runt says so? We taking orders from him now?” “No!” Astrid says abruptly, “I am the leader of this Sanctuary. That will not change. I don’t care how many corpses he talks to.”

       “Isn’t this a good thing?” Babette asks. She steps forward, “We haven’t heard anything from the other Sanctuaries in over 3 decades. We may well be the last. With the return of the Night Mother, this may signal the rebirth of the Brotherhood.” Babette turns to the rest of the family, “She created the Brotherhood. She could…” Astrid interrupts, “She is a corpse and other than Azirath and the fool, we have no way of knowing if any of this is true.” Veezara speaks up, “Locked alone in a room? If this is a trick, it’s a stupid one. And if the Night Mother has spoken, to ignore it would go against everything the Brotherhood stands for.” A silence falls on the room and all look to Astrid.

       The next morning, Gabriella wakes and looks to Fenrir’s bed to see it empty. She walks the halls and finds him sitting in the chapel looking at the Night Mother. The smell of decaying flesh permeates the room. “What are you doing? Waiting for her to talk to you next?” She asks. He remains motionless, “No, nothing like that. I’m just… thinking.” She sits next to him on the pew in front of the Night Mother’s iron coffin, “It’s a lot to take in. Any sign of Azirath?” Fenrir shakes his head, “Not yet… I  have seen Astrid. She is… Shaken. I’ve never seen her like this.” Gabriella looks at the coffin, “Her authority has never been truly challenged before.” Fenrir leans forward, “Babette is right. The Night Mother gave birth to the Brotherhood. Our numbers once spanned all of Nirn. There was nowhere safe from Sithis. As far as we know… we ARE the last. But if she is back… she could return the Brotherhood to the glory of old. She could… I don’t know.” Gabriella runs her gray fingers through his blonde hair, “I thought you would be more excited about this.” He sits up and looks at her, “I can’t shake the feeling that something terrible is coming… I have another lesson with Babette before she goes to sleep for the day.” Gabriella takes his hand, “How much have you learned from her illusion training?” He raises his hand and a green light swirls in his palm. The chapel fades and a vision of the great plains of Whiterun appears. The moons, Masser and Secunda, fill the night sky. Gabriella smiles, “You’re getting better.” Fenrir gently turns her head towards him and kisses her before she has time to react. She puts a hand on his chest to push him away, but stops herself. It is a moment, however brief, that she does not want to end. She simply thinks to herself, “Damn you…”

       Shortly after the kiss ends, Fenrir’s concentration is broken and the spell collapses as Nazir walks in and says, “There you two are. I have a contract for you.” The two just stare at each other a moment before Fenrir says, “Please Nazir, stay...What is it?” Nazir looks at the two knowingly as he flips through the contracts, “There’s Deekus, A shipwreck scavenger. Ma’randru-jo, a traveling caravanner. And Anoriath, a hunter. Fenrir, you get Deekus. He’s an Argonian layabout, likes to scavenge shipwrecks. My guess is he will run if threatened. Or swim if given the chance. You have a talent for putting your targets at ease. He’s all yours. Gabriella, I want you to go after Anoriath. The wood elf may run a stall in the city, but he retreats to the plains outside Whiterun to hunt. Do some hunting of your own. Kill him there and you won’t have to worry about witnesses.”

       All during his illusion lesson, Fenrir has had a small grin on his face. As he waits for Babette to make him a poison that even an Argonian can’t resist, Babette asks, “I know you relish your kills, but that smirk is uncharacteristic of you… What has you in such a mood.” His eyes glance at Gabriella sitting in the dining hall and he says, “Nothing important. Just.. in a mood. You sure that poison will work on an Argonian? They are notorious for being resistant to poisons.” Babette looks at him with an annoyed expression, “You dare doubt my alchemical skill? This stuff would drop a mammoth. It will easily handle one lizard… Just don’t miss.” He returns the annoyed glare, “I never miss.” She hands him the bottle and says, “Then get out of here and murder someone. And do come back with details. I love details...”

       Fenrir travels to Whiterun with Gabriella and part ways at the horse stables. He takes a carriage to Dawnstar while Gabriella waits for her target to go on his daily outing. On the long ride out to the hold of The Pale, Fenrir’s mind bounces between the ominous feeling about recent developments and remembering the taste of Gabriella’s lips. He muses to himself about how much his Nord parents would hate him being involved with a Dark Elf until the carriage comes to a halt. “Alright,” the driver says, “This block of ice is Dawnstar.” Fenrir hops off and thanks the driver as this is well off his normal route. After wandering the town and asking about -his ailing friend-, Fenrir learns that Deekus is camped off the shore near the shipwreck of Hela’s Folly. He’s been coming into town and selling the items he pulls out of the icy depths. He sets out after a hot meal and a mug of Ale at the tavern.

       Fenrir comes across several feral beasts on his journey up the coast. He could have easily killed them, but decided to put some of Babette’s lessons to the test. He casts calming and fear spells at territorial Horkers and ravenous snow bears. The only thing he could not charm was a mad Dark Elf that charged at him. His madness could not be calmed and the man knew no fear. The Elf shouts nonsense as he savagely swings a Dwemer sword at Fenrir. Fenrir finds his attacks easy to dodge and block. The entire exercise is amusing to him. But there is a soul owed to Sithis, and this one is not it. Fenrir slices the forearm of the Elf making him drop his sword. Fenrir picks up the blade and swiftly beheads the mad man. The only thing on his person is an odd book. Fenrir looks it over, “Boethiah's Calling… Interesting.” The book speaks of the Daedric Prince, Boethiah, and how a devotee earned her favor. All adventurers know that appeasing a Daedric Prince often results in the Prince granting an item of terrible power… displeasing one often results in a fate worse than death. Fenrir puts the book in the inside pocket of his cloak and continues on.

       It’s nightfall by the time he finds the fires of Deekus’ camp. It’s out on a slab of ice floating in the sea. Fenrir looks out over the frigid waters, “Has he really been diving in there?” He dips his hand into the water. Even through his glove, the water stings like needles and he quickly pulls away. “Damn...If I swim out there, I may spook him. I’ll never catch him if he dives into the water.” Fenrir pulls his bow from under his cloak and thinks for a moment, “That’s at least fifty yards out… slight wind from the north east. There’s only enough poison for one shot… I should have stolen a skiff from the Dawnstar docks.” He climbs atop a broken off chunk of glacier on the beach and dips an Ebony arrow in the poison as he waits for Deekus to move. There is a stash of boxes between the Assassin and his target. “Stand up, damn you.” Fenrir thinks to himself.

       It takes over an hour for Deekus to move and to prepare his bedroll. Fenrir takes aim with his Ebony bow. “Dread Father, guide my arrow and may my aim be true…” He prays. He loses the arrow and it soars across the water finding its mark in the left side of Deekus’ chest. Deekus screams as he pulls the arrow from his chest and begins to crawl for the water, but with each heart beat that passes, his arms and legs begin to stiffen. He falls still mere inches from the sea. He claws at the ice trying to move, but Babette’s poison does its job. Fenrir climbs off his perch and swims out to Deekus’ camp. He turns the Argonian on to his back and keels beside him. With a slight stutter in his voice from the frigid swim, Fenrir says, “B-Blessed Mother... I, FenrRrir Black-Bolt, your humble messenger, offer you the soul you seek. Take him into your bosom and d-deliver him unto the Dread Father in the void. Blessed be.” Fenrir places a Nightshade flower in Deekus’ shirt and draws his Dwemer Dagger from its scabbard. Unable to move or speak, Deekus looks at the Nord with fear and confusion in his eye. Fenrir knows this look. The Argonian wants to know why the Nord is doing this, but Fenrir does not know who or why. Only that a contract was made and paid for. Fenrir says, “I have no answers for you, child. The only solace I can offer is that your death will be swift.” he sinks his dagger into the lizard’s chest and Deekus breaths his last as his blood pours out on the ice and into the sea.

       Fenrir rummages through the stash of scavenged items and takes some gemstones and jewelry. A small boat sits beside the frozen island. A boat that Deekus, no doubt, used to haul back his loot to Dawnstar. The day is just beginning by the time Fenrir reaches Dawnstar. He sells the jewelry to the local smith and asks when the next carriage would arrive. The Smith and his wife share a smile, “A week.. Maybe. They don’t come out here often. You’d be best served to try and barter passage with one of the outgoing ships.” Fenrir looks to the docks and sees a vessel preparing to depart. He nods to the Smith and heads for the ship.

       Fenrir approaches the captain and says, ”Hail, captain. Might you have room onboard for a passenger?” The man doesn’t even look up from his manifest, “This is not a passenger ship. Find someone else.” Fenrir looks around and sees only a small fisherman’s skiff, “Well… I’ve got a flawless ruby that says you do take passengers.” This gets the Captain’s attention. He looks up to see a crimson gem sparkle in the morning sunlight. The captain smiles and says, “You just bought yourself a ship. We’re heading for Windhelm as soon as the tide comes in. My first mate will take you below.” He goes to grab the stone, but Fenrir closes his fist. Fenrir says, “You can have the ruby when we get to Windhelm.” The captain scowls, “Fine… just know that you will be paying… one way or…” he nods to his men on the deck, “... another.”


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