Necromancer

  • The sun had long ago set and yet the steps of the Bannered Mare were coated in the soft reddish glow of the fire within as its light escaped from below the doorway. Cheering and song mingled with mindless chatter, forming an incomprehensible noise which streamed outside. Those passers-by who were drawn to their beds after another long do of work, were each tempted to stray from their course by the sound of the music that somehow managed to keep in tune as it cut through the din.

     

    The latest stragglers to be charmed by the music; some of which had made the first step towards the inn, were snapped back to their senses at the sight of an elderly man in the orange robes of a priest storming towards them. Despite his age he was moving surprisingly fast and it took only moments for the closest of them to make out who he was.

     

    Raising his hand in greeting he called out to the priest, “Andurs! It’s good to see you up and out of that crypt, how about joining us for a drink?”

     

    Andurs didn’t even seem to notice the greeting, instead just storming past on his way towards the Bannered Mare. Having been ignored, the straggler looked around at his companions who were all grinning at his confusion. Stepping forward one of them gripped his shoulder.

     

    “Come on, it’d be best to be out of earshot before Andurs gets started”.

     

    ****

     

    Standing in the centre of the Bannered Mare’s common room, just beside the fire was a slender woman draped in a black robe and hooded shawl. Under the hood sat a bone white beaked mask that obscured her face from the nose up, and what little skin that could be seen identified her as being a High Elf. Her hands seemed to almost caress the lute from which music was pouring forth filling the room. The most striking thing about her was that she was flanked by a pair of skeletons with blood coated iron warhammers strapped to their backs, and where their eyes should have been sat lights pulsing with forbidden magic.

     

    While it would have been normal for the patrons of the inn to cower in fear before the High Elf or to run her out of the city, if they had the courage to do so, they instead sat either listening to the music of her lute or going about their business with only the occasional curious look in her direction.

     

    The sound of talk and the clatter of cutlery against plates that pervaded the room transformed into a sudden silence at the sound of the inn’s main door flying open. The only sound that could be heard as the patrons turned to see who had just entered the inn, was the music of the woman’s lute as she had not even missed a note at the sudden intrusion. Standing just inside the threshold of the inn was an elderly man most recognised as the city’s resident priest of Arkay. Everyone in the room knew instantly why he was here and quite a few moved as though to make a quick escape before realising there was no way to do so without drawing attention to themselves.

     

    Catching sight of his prey Andurs stormed through the room to stand directly before the woman, as he came to a stop her skeletal guards moved in union to ready their warhammers. Without stopping her playing the woman shook her head to signal them to stand down, and then turned to face the priest.

     

    Before she could say anything he burst out in anger, “Cyre! How dare you bring these abominations into this city! How dare you desecrate the bones of the dead for your own ends! I don’t care if you really are the Dragonborn or Whiterun’s only Thane, you have no right to defile the dead”. As he spoke his face grew all the more red and his voice got louder.

     

    The moment he paused to take a breath the woman he was berating took the chance to greet him, “Well a fine evening to you too Andurs, how about a drink. On me of course.” Finally stopping her playing, Cyre rested the lute against the bench beside her and sat down. Once seated she turned to the woman behind the bar and motioned for her to pour them a couple of drinks. Having done that she turned back to Andurs and indicated for him to sit across from her, a warm smile showing from below her mask.

     

    Instead of taking her up on the offer Andurs remained standing his anger visibly showing on his face.

     

    The rest of the Mare’s patrons watched on some trying their best not to laugh at how seemingly unfazed she was by Andurs’ fury and the others trying their best not to be dragged into the spectacle that the two had become.

     

    As the silence stretched on the inn’s owner walked out caring two tankards filled with mead. When she reached them she hesitated unsure what to do. Noticing her predicament Cyre stood and took the tankards from her, “Thank you for that Hulda, if you just wait a moment I’ll have your septims”.

     

    Placing one of the tankards on the bench beside her lute, she then turned to Andurs and offered him the other. When he refused to take it she shrugged and walked over to the nearest table and handed the tankard to the elderly farmer seated there, smiling cheekily at him. Turning back she started to dig through one of the small bags strapped to her belt.

     

    Having found what she was looking for she returned to Hulda and grasped her hand before placed a handful of septims in her palm. Instead of releasing Hulda’s hand like the on lookers were expecting she instead continued to hold it before finally releasing it.

     

    “You have wonderful hands Hulda, especially your finger bones.”

     

    Not being quite sure how to react Hulda looked around trying to find an escape. After a moments pause she closed her hand around the septims and made her way back across the room to stand behind the counter.

     

    Taking her seat on the bench once more, Cyre picked up her tankard and using her free hand to lift her mask completely out of the way she took several mouthfuls of mead. Placing the tankard back on the bench she looked up at Andurs, “So Andurs, for what do I have the honour of your presence again?”

     

    Barely holding back his anger Andurs took a moment to compose himself before responding, “I’m here because you’ve been openly practicing necromancy, which is in direct opposition to the teachings of Arkay.”

     

    “So it would be alright if I did it in secret then?”

     

    “What…?”

     

    Following this exchange stifled laughter could be heard from several of the Mare’s patrons, which fell to dead silence at the glare that Andurs gave the room.

     

    Thoroughly enjoying Andurs’ confusion, Cyre spoke up.

     

    “Well you said that the reason you’re here is that I’m openly practicing necromancy. So it would then be fine if I were practicing it in secret?”

     

    Andurs was now physically shaking in anger at what he was hearing, “No! Of course that would not be fine. The problem is that you are practicing necromancy which is something Arkay outright forbids. If you continue to…”

     

    Holding up her hand to signal for him to stop talking Cyre reached over and picked up her tankard, once more drinking several mouthfuls of its contents. When she was done she continued to hold her hand up and seemed to take her time thinking about something.

     

    “But I have their permission, so I’m not breaking any of his teachings and so you have no reason to be so upset. And now that we’ve got that settled, why don’t you join me for a meal, the mead here is wonderful.” When she finished talking Cyre took a sip from her tankard and then smiled warmly at the priest.

     

    To the on lookers it was as though Andurs’ jaw had hit the ground. He was deathly silent and he seemed to be mentally reeling from what she was implying. After what seemed like ages of Cyre smiling up at him and his mind being unable to comprehend what she could mean, he finally managed to speak up.

     

    “Who… who in their right mind would give permission for their body to be desecrated after their death? And what does it matter that they gave you permission to raise them? Arkay still forbids it.”

     

    “Oh is that so? Well first of all they were bandits so naturally they weren’t in their right minds. And secondly isn’t it that you bless the dying so that their souls are not used without consent? Well admittedly I haven’t trapped their souls, I’ve simply infused my magic into their bones so that they are capable of moving.”

     

    Taking a moment to catch her breath, she turned to Hulda and held up her empty tankard requesting a refill. Having done that she turned back to Andurs and started talking once more.

     

    “And then there’s Arkay’s Law which prevents the use of someone’s body unlawfully. What is it that makes it unlawful? Is it simply that you’ve said it is or is it no longer unlawful if I’ve obtained their consent?”

     

    She stopped talking to trade her empty tankard with the full one that Hulda had brought over. Once again she dug through the bag at her belt and then placed the septims she had retrieved in Hulda’s hand. The moment the coins were securely in her grasp Hulda snatched her hand away from Cyre and made her way back to the counter.

     

    Ignoring Hulda’s reaction Cyre turned back to Andurs and continued from where she left off, “Now as for me getting their consent, before I raised the bones I performed a ritual that let me get in contact with their spirits. I won’t bore you with the details of it, for one because it’s dangerous and I don’t want anyone getting any ideas to try it themselves and secondly it’s fairly boring. What was most surprising is that most of them didn’t care what happened to their bodies, since you know they’re dead and as such they have no need for their bodies.”

     

    Having finished her little speech, Cyre picked up her tankard and motioned for Andurs to have his turn, all the while a smile visible below her mask.

     

    For his part Andurs looked as though he was ready to snap, but was doing his best to hold himself together. To try and steady himself he moved across to the bench across from Cyre and lowered himself onto it. After taking several deep breaths to calm himself he looked up at the woman sitting across from him and finally responded.

     

    “Look, no matter how you twist Arkay’s teachings what you’ve just said is blasphemy. Now in consideration for all you’ve done I’ll give you one chance to repent your crimes. If you don’t despite what the Jarl says I’ll have to do something about all this.”

     

    The room was filled with dead silence following the priest’s declaration, the Mare’s patrons weren’t quite sure how to react. Did Andurs really think he could manage to force a person who could literally fight and kill dragons, to do what he wanted? Sure maybe he could get away with ignoring the Jarl on the grounds of his duties as a priest of Arkay, but there was no way he could best the Dragonborn.

     

    The silence was finally broken by Cyre sighing and reaching her hand up under her mask to rub the bridge of her nose.

     

    “Please Andurs, don’t do this…” pausing in the middle of her sentence she picked up her tankard and took long draught of the mead, “Fine then if you won’t accept that then would you punish someone for using the bones of an animal? No probably not since we use them for things like needles, buttons and even broths… so why is what I’m doing any different?”

     

    In the pause that followed Andurs moved as though he was going to dispute what had just been said but he was cut off by a raised hand.

     

    “Let me ask you a question Anders. I’ll be honest with you, despite the fact that I’m the Dragonborn I can’t fight a dragon on my own. So would you prefer that I take some of the people around us to fight beside and risk them not coming back to their families or that I used the bones of a couple of bandits in their place so that there is no chance of anyone else losing their lives?”

     

    The moment Cyre finished talking she rose to her feet and picked up her lute from where it rested against the bench. Turning to the Mare’s patrons she spoke, “Unfortunately my performance will have to end there for the night as I am no longer in an appropriate mood. Hopefully you will all be here to listen the next time I visit Whiterun, but for now I must bid farewell.” With that she made her way out of the inn the pair of skeletons following not far behind.

     

    Andurs was left to stare after her in silence, her question hanging in the air as the sound of conversation returned to the inn.

     

    A Table of Cyre

Comments

11 Comments   |   Paws and 7 others like this.
  • Dragonborn2121
    Dragonborn2121   ·  August 24, 2017
    Heh, that was a fun read Goldie, a deep one too. Made me think about Arkay and I came to the conclusion...I don't like thinking about Arkay, and I like the way you kind of shut down all of Andur's arguments here. I'll have to read the rest of the series.
    • Golden Fool
      Golden Fool
      Dragonborn2121
      Dragonborn2121
      Dragonborn2121
      Heh, that was a fun read Goldie, a deep one too. Made me think about Arkay and I came to the conclusion...I don't like thinking about Arkay, and I like the way you kind of shut down all of Andur's arguments here. I'll have to read the rest of the series.
        ·  August 24, 2017
      I remember this blog spawning a couple of discussions in the Lore group back when I first posted it, so you aren't the only one that I made think about Arkay too much :P


      So about the "rest of the series"... there isn't any, this was a...  more
      • Dragonborn2121
        Dragonborn2121
        Golden Fool
        Golden Fool
        Golden Fool
        I remember this blog spawning a couple of discussions in the Lore group back when I first posted it, so you aren't the only one that I made think about Arkay too much :P


        So about the "rest of the series"... there isn't any, this was a one entry side th...  more
          ·  August 24, 2017
        I meant more the overarching idea of Cyre then :P But yeah really I just meant that I need to read the other stuff.
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  October 1, 2016
    That's a great ending and indeed it does make one think. I prefer wolf familiars myself but they to tend to misbehave. Get working on another one GF...
    • Golden Fool
      Golden Fool
      Sotek
      Sotek
      Sotek
      That's a great ending and indeed it does make one think. I prefer wolf familiars myself but they to tend to misbehave. Get working on another one GF...
        ·  October 1, 2016
      They may misbehave, but there's no way they can be noisier then a pair of skeletons. All those bones rubbing against each other and constantly creaking...
      • Sotek
        Sotek
        Golden Fool
        Golden Fool
        Golden Fool
        They may misbehave, but there's no way they can be noisier then a pair of skeletons. All those bones rubbing against each other and constantly creaking...
          ·  October 1, 2016
        You haven't read my story much have you?  Rofl. Howling (not just Aela) chasing sticks and running across the tables in Jorrvaskr? Play fighting with Aela and Sotek?
        • Golden Fool
          Golden Fool
          Sotek
          Sotek
          Sotek
          You haven't read my story much have you?  Rofl. Howling (not just Aela) chasing sticks and running across the tables in Jorrvaskr? Play fighting with Aela and Sotek?
            ·  October 1, 2016
          No I haven't :P The thing with Skeletons is that the creaking is constant, it wears at you giving you no chance to rest until it eventually starts to break you (it's even worse when you're wearing headphones :P)
          • Sotek
            Sotek
            Golden Fool
            Golden Fool
            Golden Fool
            No I haven't :P The thing with Skeletons is that the creaking is constant, it wears at you giving you no chance to rest until it eventually starts to break you (it's even worse when you're wearing headphones :P)
              ·  October 1, 2016
            Hahaha  I can imagine. I'll stick to my wolves. There's nothing like the soft patter of a werewolf running alongside. 
  • Legion
    Legion   ·  September 30, 2016
    This...makes me all kinds of uncomfortable. But good writing ought to.  I need to have a think on this, convene with Arkay for a bit. Let's just hope Cyre never meets Sibella. 
  • Paws
    Paws   ·  September 30, 2016
    (co) More of it! Salient points raised along with the dead. Can there possibly be an argument to counter such well-reasoned reasons?
    And this:
    “You have wonderful hands Hulda, especially your finger bones.”
    :D Love it.
    • Golden Fool
      Golden Fool
      Paws
      Paws
      Paws
      (co) More of it! Salient points raised along with the dead. Can there possibly be an argument to counter such well-reasoned reasons?
      And this:
      “You have wonderful hands Hulda, especially your finger bones.”
      :D Love it.
        ·  September 30, 2016
      Well this Cyre does have a thing for bones :P