*Chapter 6: The Golden Armor
Fathis Aren stepped out of the Main Ingredient and immediately encountered the aroma of steaks being grilled that was billowing out of the chimney at the Merchants Inn restaurant. A delicate breeze twirled the scent in a dance under the noses of the pedestrians, Fathis noticed several lifting their noses to the air to catch a better whiff of it. His stomach rumbled its response.
He still had an appointment with Varnado at the Best Defense to discuss the armors he had seen on his recent trip to the Shivering Isles, and had to walk right past the door of the Merchants Inn for the meeting. He found his head turned of its own volition towards that door as he passed and forced himself to look ahead again. Maybe Varnado would be willing to close up a little early if Fathis offered to treat his meal. After all, it was a business discussion for Varnado.
With that in mind Fathis stepped into the doorway of the Best Defense and hailed Varnado, but the words died on his lips as soon as he set foot in the shop. There, hanging on display was the golden armor he had given Maxical at her graduation! He couldn't be right! Surely it was a different armor, but no. There was the M he had engraved in the armor! The satchel of alchemy ingredients in Fathis’s hand dropped to the floor.
Rage building quickly inside him caused his face to take on a purplish hue and what appeared to be steamy vapor seemed to emanate from the vicinity of his face. With what can only be described as a restrained growl, Fathis asked Varnado where he had that armor from.
Varnado stepped from behind the counter and started over to Fathis calling, "A Khajiit brought that in a couple weeks ago, nice, isn't it? Are you interested in..." Varnado blanched, his speech coming to a grinding halt as he stepped back from Fathis Aren.
Without another word, Fathis turned on his heel and stormed out of the shop, slamming the door behind him and leaving the satchel filled with Alchemy ingredients on the floor.
Fathis was in a towering rage when he left the shop, all thoughts of hunger burned away by the hot rage that was filling him. As he strode through the Imperial City to the stables people were glancing up at him then hurrying out of his way.
He leapt on his horse's back in one jump. Without bothering to undo the fence, Fathis put his horse at the gate and squeezed his thighs with such force that the horse did not balk, but leapt cleanly over the fence.
Fathis pushed his horse into a full gallop and kept that pace for the full trip to the Faregyl Inn.***
It was an ugly scene. I would never pawn anything Fathis gave me, but that is exactly what he thought I had done. The one who robbed me was a Khajiit, he must have pawned it. Fathis assuming the worst of me…that hurt. Fathis being mad at me…that hurt badly. In all the years I’d known him, and all the things I had done and gold I had cost him, that was the first time he was ever angry with me.
Sometimes when your Speechcraft is low like mine, you just can’t explain yourself right to an angry Dunmer. I looked into his eyes and tried to plead with him to let me explain, but about that time S’Jirra stepped up to him like a raging mother bear. He left angry.
On top of that incident, S’Jirra and Alix discovered a rather large key amongst my things. Fathis had given me the key to a Wizards tower he bought up in the Jerall Mountains in case I wanted to use it or live up there. He said I could have it, it was all set up for a mage. That was part of the presents from him at my graduation.
Alix and S’Jirra added that key together with Fathis coming in a rage. Then somehow my blue show got thrown into the conjecture, I guess because I hadn’t had it the last time they saw me. They calculated all this and came up with a scenario that hadn’t happened…yet. And with Fathis mad at me it didn’t look likely to happen any time soon.
I’m not going to say they raged at me, because they didn’t. But they were…concerned. In spite of the fact that I had the show to prove I was mature, at seventeen they felt I was too young to start acting like a woman.
I proved to them how mature I was by running away. I didn’t go far, and it wouldn’t be hard for Alix to figure out where I was if he remembered what I had written him in my letters from the Arcane. I went to the Imperial City Arena. I cried the whole way there. ***
While passing through the Market District on my way I hunted down my armor, it was hanging on display at the Best Defense.
"How much for the gold armor?" I asked the man who introduced himself as Maro Rufus.
"Better ask Varnado," Maro stated, then followed me over to Varnado's counter. He stepped behind the counter and elbowed Varnado. "She's wanting to know about that gold armor." Maro said, not taking his eyes off me.
Varnado instantly looked over at me, then both of them were leering like they had an inside joke.
"How much for the armor?" I repeated. They just kept leering and elbowing each other. My red-haired temper started flaring, and this seemed to amuse them further.
Finally Varnado quoted a price that made my heart drop. There was no way I could come up with that kind of money, no wonder Fathis had been angry when he thought I had sold his armor, it had cost him a small fortune!
As I was leaving the shop disheartened, I looked back to see them elbowing each other and laughing. I looked down to see if my armor was undone or something, and found it had mud splashes from the walk here. Maybe I should clean up before going to ask for work at the Arena.
Before I was halfway down the street I looked back to see Varnado and Maro standing outside the shop pointing at me and jabbing each other, laughing. I stopped and checked my armor again to see if something was showing that shouldn’t be. My eyes fell on the white of my hand.
"Oh, it's because I'm an albino…those bastards."
As I was walking to the Arena I passed a storefront window and caught a glimpse of myself. My hair was bedraggled and my eyes were swollen and a puffy red from crying. I had splotches of mud everywhere.
I hurried down to the Lake Rumare and bathed in it, scrubbing my armor. I had no comb, so I ran my fingers repeatedly through my hair to train it into some semblance of order. I splashed water on my face, but doubt it helped much. ***
The Arena was filthy; I shouldn't have bothered cleaning up. Blood smeared the walls; the place reeked of death, blood, sweat, and something else really disgusting. Everyone was pretty rude to me, but surprisingly I was given a chance to be a combatant by Owyn, the Blademaster.
My first few fights were over with before they even started. I may have been a raw pit dog here, but could have swung my blade against much higher skilled men than they were sending in. They died quicker than a mud crab would have.
My thoughts about that were soon realized. The Yellow team started sending in ringers. I don’t know, maybe they thought Owyn was doing that sending me in.
Since I was a runaway, I always wore an eye mask so no one would know who I was. I made it part of my Arena persona. Okay, so I am not the brightest person in Cyrodiil. The fact that I was a white Khajiit could still clearly be seen. I found out later that my name was posted on a board out front too. There are times in your life when you do stupid things, and later on you look back at them and laugh…I doubt I will ever look back on that with anything but humiliation. ***
One day the Yellow team sent in three combatants at once to fight me. Owyn tried to stop it but there was nothing in the books that forbid it. I was surrounded quickly and realized I was outmatched this time. I made the mistake of backing myself up against the wall and immediately they swarmed in like a disturbed hive of hornets. I had one in front of me and one on either side. I was going to go down, and fast. I was afraid for the first time since I joined the Arena.
Khajiit have an evil eye that frightens anyone that sees it. It is kind of like a spell. It was my only option to get out of the situation. The man in front of me got the full force of it when I cast it. He ran yelling for me not to kill him, and I followed as fast as my feet could carry me. He left a trail of pee as he ran from me. The crowd was laughing, so I pointed out his trail of urine with my sword making my mouth into a big O as I chased the man. They roared.
I was trying to stab him in the liver as he ran away from me, and finally managed to pierce him. He didn’t die, but it injured him pretty badly. I think I took out a kidney.
The other two men didn’t know what happened, and it took them a few seconds to come after me. It was enough time for me to chase down ‘I P Freely’ and take him out from behind.
At least it was a little more evenly matched now, if you could call it that. These men were both good fighters, and quite a bit taller than me. They had more strength too. I started using the moves Alix taught me and combined it with a whole lot of running away to avoid fighting two at once.
The crowd was in a mood to laugh. I didn’t know if I was leaving the Arena today, no one ever does when they walk in. But if I was going down, I wanted to be remembered. I started making my tail do funny things like I used to get in trouble for at the Arcane.
I would face my tail to the crowd and make it look like a question mark, as if saying “What are they going to do next?” I was facing the combatants, so they couldn’t figure out why the crowd was laughing so hard.
The thing about the crowds at the Arena, they just want to be entertained. It doesn’t matter if you make them laugh, cry, or scream. If you make them feel anything they will love you. They started calling my name…my name. I was outmatched, and the Yellow team couldn’t figure out why the crowd was cheering for me instead of them.
********** The Fights:******* About to kick someone's face in:This post has been edited by mALX: Oct 24 2012, 01:30 AM