- I have a mixed tidings notification to make. Work has picked up (good for bills, bad for fan-fic time) and I won't be able to be on the site as often as I have been. I will still faithfully read and write as often as possible, but it will be at a slower pace.
@ Dr. Rider
- I wanted to do so much more with the possibilities, but my mind was defeating itself with ideas. I was worried that readers would think that I took the easy way out, because I kind of did. I am so glad that you found it plausible.
- Yes indeed, Talendor is headed south! Unfortunately, since I am so far behind in Buffy's story, he will miss the archery tournament.
- Thank you again for being an invaluable editor. Dem nits be picked.
Stealth seemed the better way to Talendor, lest we give D. Foxy any club waving fodder...
- Still seeing imps in Honditar's eyes? Everyone else seems to trust him...but it is good that you wonder what he will do with the books.
- The little bugger can't keep his mind on important stuff when food is in front of him.
As to the nit, I actually thought of that when I was editing. I decided to leave it because I was calling back to the earlier sentence deliberately.
- Equal thanks to you all for your comments. You all rock!
Chapter 22 – Bravil at Last
My heart was racing with excitement as I inventoried my belongings. I was finally going to Bravil! My mind was keeping pace with my pulse. I felt a sense of personal purpose again. I was on an errand for myself now.That’s it…stay focused…get answers…you’ve done your bit for Chorrol…do some for Talendor now…or whatever your name is…
I would have to make one stop before leaving Chorrol. I had neglected to trade in the old iron shield that I had been toting around ever since I left the sewers. That seemed like ages ago, but truth be told, it had only been a few weeks. Going to see Rasheda again chafed at my urgency, but I was tired of lugging that heavy disc around. All it did was collect dust in my room like some unused paperweight. My switch to a shortsword required a shield for defense, but this thing was too cumbersome. So visiting the smith was necessary.
Since I had to wait for Fire & Steel to open, I decided to use the time for making some poisons. A few minutes later, I was in Angalmo’s corner of the Guild hall. The Altmer was there, reading a list and checking the contents of his shelves.
“Good morning Angalmo,” I greeted him.
“Well, if it isn’t our newest Associate. Is there something I can help you with woodlander?” he replied, glancing from up his list.
“As a matter of fact, there is. I have some time to kill, and I wondered if you might have the ingredients I need to make a few vials of poison?”
“It is likely I do. Will you need the apparatus that you borrowed the other day as well?” he inquired.
“That would be helpful. Here, let me show you what I have,” I said as I pulled the mushrooms from my bag.
“Wisp stalk…ok…I have nightshade, St. John’s Wort, some lotus seeds, and of course, stinkhorn,” he told me. It looked like he was checking the items off on his list as he recited them.
“All of those will work with wisp stalk caps?” I asked.
Angalmo cocked an eyebrow and said, “Do you doubt me?”
“No! Not at all. It’s just that until now, I hadn’t known of lotus seeds and the saint’s warts. By the way, how do you get the warts from Saint John?”
He sighed and said, “Wort
, not warts. It’s a plant. St. John’s Wort nectar comes from a yellow flower that is plentiful in these parts.”
“Oh. Well then, I will take enough to use up my wisp stalk then,” I said.
* * *
After returning Angalmo’s equipment, I walked out of the Mages Guild with four new vials of poison. I hadn’t realized that the weather had taken a turn for the worse. A steady rain and some distant lightning dampened my spirits. I did not want to walk to Bravil in the rain. Fire & Steel was open now, and just far enough to have water cascading off of my armor by the time I entered. Rasheda asked me to shake the excess off before I fully entered her shop. She chuckled a bit as I did my best wet dog impression to shed the water.
“I would like to trade this iron wagon wheel of a shield for something a little more suitably sized, please,” I said, letting it rest on its edge with a clank against the stone floor.
“Well, all I have in stock right now is that hardened fur shield,” she replied, pointing to a pitiful looking piece of stretched hide on a shelf. That thing is gonna break if you look at it too hard…
I sighed and thanked her anyway as I refused the transaction. I walked out of the shop and looked at the water pouring out of the clouds.Well, you’re one for three this morning…got poisons, but it’s pissing rain and you still have to tote this load of a shield...
Hoping to kill a bit more time and allow the rain to let up, I jogged over to Northern Goods. After all, I did have this ring that was formerly owned by a shirtless freak. Seed-Neeus greeted me with a fond salutation as I walked up the stairs of her shop. Dar-Ma came running into the room and gave me one of her bone-cracking hugs, calling me ‘her hero’ again. I blushed as I tensed up enough to prevent broken ribs. The young lizard could hug like a bear!
“What can I do for you Talendor,” Seed-Neeus asked after Dar-Ma released me.
“I have a ring to sell,” I said. I pulled it from my bag and handed it to her. After holding it up to a candle, she said that it was worth eleven Septims. We closed the deal and I placed the coins in my purse, The Argonian peddler’s eyes went wide.
“You aren’t planning on traveling around with that much money, are you?” she asked.
“Actually, yes, I was,” I replied.
“Might I offer you a suggestion, Talendor? We have a bank, here in Cyrodiil. I actually operate the branch office for Chorrol. You would do well to make a deposit and not carry such a thief’s bounty around with you,” she advised.
“Okay. It’s a bit heavy anyway. I’ll be glad to open an account with you,” I replied.
“I’m afraid that I can’t open accounts here. I can only process transactions for existing accounts. You will have to go to the main office in Imperial City to open one,” she informed me.
“Well, I shall do that the very next time I am there. Thanks for the advice,” I said with a smile, and then bid them farewell.
It was still pouring when I stepped outdoors. Lightning flashed brightly, followed quickly by booming thunder that echoed off the buildings.There is no way you are leaving for Bravil in this mess…
Disappointed, I trotted through sheets of rain back to the Guild hall. I saw the basement door as soon as I entered and stopped in my tracks. I stood there dripping for a moment, contemplating what was beyond it. An unmistakable voice in a tone like grating gravel startled me back to the moment.
“Associate, close that pneumonia hole!” Teekeeus barked.
“Oh, sorry,” I replied as I closed the door. I looked again at the cellar portal.You know what’s down there. You can get to Bravil dry as a bone…if you have the stones for it…
I walked down into the basement and found Josie in the Guild Guide room.
“It seems that I am more popular when it’s raining,” the Breton woman said with a sardonic smile.
“So…this thing really is…safe?” I asked with uncertainty, pointing to the dais.
“Yes, yes, yes. I told you…we never have…accidents, any more,” she replied.
“Okay,” I sighed nervously, “How much is it to go to Bravil?”
“Twelve Septims will cover it.”
I paid the fee and stepped up onto the dais.
“Don’t make me crawl out of a cow,” I implored, only half joking.
Josie chuckled and said, “At least that is survivable. The last accident involved a mage materializing several hundred feet in mid –“
There was a blinding flash and a sound I can only describe as what you hear when you open a bottle of ale, only much louder. When the after images faded from my sight, I was standing in a completely different room. A Bosmer looked up from his desk, and then rose to greet me.
“Welcome to Bravil. My name is Furgoth, and before you even ask me…no…I don’t know anybody
named Fargoth,” he said to me without a smile.
“Well that makes two of us. I’ve never heard of him either,” I replied, wondering who Fargoth might be.
“Thank Jephre! That saves me all of the responses to, ‘Are you sure?’ or, ‘You look like you could be his brother,’ and all that rot,” he grumbled.
“Could you tell me where I might find the Chapter Steward?” I asked.
“Kud-Ei is upstairs somewhere. Through there,” Furgoth said, pointing to a door directly in front of me.
I walked over to the door and almost broke my face on it when it failed to open.
Furgoth scowled at me and said, “If you cannot open that door, you are not supposed to be here.”
I stared at him stupidly, and then it hit me. I reached into my pocket for the Mages Guild key. A second later I was on the other side and closing the door. Furgoth was the first rude Bosmer I had met that wasn’t trying to kill me. Shrugging, I looked around at the basement. The masonry work was not nearly as clean as what I had seen in Chorrol. The joints were ragged and the stones looked like the masons had used whatever they could find. There was a damp, musty odor and the walls held the sheen of moisture. I saw stairs leading upward to my left. I walked up and entered the lobby of the Bravil Mages Guild.
The very first thing I saw may be what I remember the most. There was an amazingly beautiful Breton woman in a blue velvet dress. Breton ladies as a rule seemed to be attractive. Perhaps it was because they weren’t soooo…tall. But this one stole my breath. I was staring at her and realized she was talking to me.
“…elp you?” entered my hearing.
My mouth snapped shut and I blinked.Say something knot-head!
“Chapter steward,” I blurted, “Um…the…I’m looking for the Chapter Steward.”
“Okay,” she giggled, “She’s over there,” she said and pointed.
My gaze followed her arm slowly to the finger tip and saw an Argonian sitting on a bench. I turned just as slowly back to her and beheld that face again.Wow!
“Thank you,” rolled out of my mouth in what seemed like slow motion.
I stood there a moment longer and she giggled again before saying, “She’ll probably speak to you now,” and turned to walk away.
“What is your name?” I asked.
“Delphine,” she said over her shoulder as she left.Wow!
I walked over to the Argonian on the bench.I hope she isn’t a hugger…
As I stepped up, the Argonian looked up from reading. She was wearing almost the exact same outfit that Earana wore.
“Good Morning,” I said, “My name is Talendor. I am a new Associate in the Guild. I was hoping to get a letter of recommendation from you.”
“Welcome to the Bravil Guild, Talendor. I am Kud-Ei. When new Associates come through here, there are certain tasks they are required to perform. However, you arrive at an opportune time. I have a problem that is of a more personal nature than what the Guild would have me ask of you. I must warn you beforehand. It is likely to be more dangerous than what the Guild requires. I have offered a reward to have someone else do this, but I have had no takers yet. Your reward would be my recommendation letter. So, I don’t suppose you could help find my friend Henantier, could you?”
Nits picked.This post has been edited by TheOtherRick: Mar 25 2011, 03:03 AM