In Episode 90, Buffy went shopping and surrendered most of her gold for a beautiful new black cuirass. She then found Daenlin engaged in an ominous discussion with an Imperial working for the Surilie Brothers Winery named Reman Broder. The conversation seemed to have something to do with an old love triangle and lingering rivalries. Rider-
Thank you for that warm endorsement of Buffy's new armor and how her bargaining skills were not totally outclassed by Olaf! Heh, as you do, I suspect he still made a profit. mALX-
Thank you so much for your continuing enthusiasm over the tourney. As well as you know BF, I'm so delighted that we were able to sneak Diana in here with a touch of surprise!Ceidwad-
I'm very humbled that you find the tournament innovative. It is a large departure from our normal style, in that Buffy and I will have to manage and interweave some subplots. I thank you for pointing out the potential for confusion in one of our sentences; I agree and applied some minor adjustments. King Coin-
I'm so glad that you and others enjoyed the Buffy-Acadian exchange in that episode about saving money! Mara help us - Buffy and I are going to try and weave some mystery into her normally very simple story! The foray into plot weaving will only last as long as the tourney though. SubRosa-
Thank you for noting Olaf. Our intent was to show that although Buffy did well, the old Nord was an experienced merchant and quite able to push several of Buffy's buttons. I thank both you and Rider for your kind words regarding our attempt to bring a Ren Faire feel to Bravil for the tourney. Yes, plenty of foreshadowing at the end of that last episode. I must thank you for the computer magic you worked to so generously to dye a set of Buffy's buckskin greaves black for her. She now has them in four colors! Given Teresa's superb eye for attractive women, Buffy is happily twirling across my desk to read such a delightful compliment of how she looks in her new black bling! Destri-
Yes! All's fair in love and retail! Thank you for noting the protective demeanor that Daenlin adopted when he perceived insult to his young charge. You are exactly right that your favorite in-game Bosmer now approaches Bravil. Zalphon-
Woohoo! You wrote a song for Buffy! Gosh, I hope her story ends on a happier note. TK-
Hee! As you know, Buffy can certainly be a bad girl and is a master craftsman at rationalization. I expect we should be glad she lacks the aptitude toward destruction magic to learn Delphine's spell, 'Merchants Explode'. Can you imagine shopping with the Diva of Destruction?
Well, Buffy still tends to select her adventure wear based primarily on looks but, like you, I'm pleased to see it now include several light cuirasses to match her rainbow of dyed buckskin greaves/boots. MyCat-
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the haggling for that cuirass and that you share Olaf's opinion that it looks pretty good on Buffy. Oh my -
thank you so much for catching that I misspelled Daenlin's name.
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91 The Tournament of Archers, Part 7- Master, Are You Proud of Me?
Daenlin and I slowly made our way west along the Green Road from the tourney grounds. The festive noise fell behind to be replaced by the gentle sound of water lapping the banks of the Larsius River. The air between us had remained wordless since the confrontation with Reman Broder. I tipped my face toward the midday sun, squeezed a long drink from my water bag, then offered the half full goatskin to Daenlin.
The Bosmer shook his head. "Buffy," he said as he finally broke the silence, "I'm sorry you had to see and hear that."
"I'm a good listener, you know. I mean, if you want to talk about it." I then added hesitantly, "I knew that you came to Bravil from Skingrad many years before I was born, but I never knew why."
"Well," he said, "you heard most of the story back there in the Surilie tent. I'm sure Diana left to preserve the friendship between Reman and I." After a moment, he looked away from me and added, "She loved us both, I expect."
As I thought about my own propensity to run away from Savlian Matius, I said, "Perhaps she was frightened and confused by the feelings in her heart. Did you ever find out what became of her?"
"I like to think that she found love and is happy somewhere with grandchildren at her knee. In truth though, I have no idea," the old elf shook his head sadly, "and it's probably just as well. Reman and I simply blamed each other for driving her away and became bitter. Finally, I left also and came to Bravil. I can only imagine how disappointed Diana would be to see us now. Reman retired his bow years ago and, as you saw, went to work for the Surile Brothers."
I looked at Daenlin. "That didn't sound like an idle threat he made." With the Buffy Doctrine in mind, I pressed, "Do you think he might try to hurt you?"
Daenlin returned my gaze. I suspected he saw the protective fire in my narrowed eyes because he quickly shook his head. "I wouldn't put it beyond him to try and discredit me perhaps, but attacking? No, Buffy, his bark is wors-"
We both stopped and crouched as the sparkling creature came into view ahead. The will-o-the-wisp was just hovering above the road as if waiting for a victim. Clearly, it didn't see us. Both our bows were still uncharged, as required by the tournament competition rules. I pulled Azura's Star, along with a small soul gem, from my pack and we partially charged the weapons.
"This one's mine," I quietly said. "Keep an eye out, for you know better than I that they often travel in pairs. Let me show you what your apprentice has learned."
I assessed the distance and checked the wind. Nocking an arrow, I applied some tension to the bowstring. After carefully aiming for windage, I elevated the tip of the arrow skyward, drew full tension and released it. I quickly aimed a second arrow directly at the wisp. When the silent count of my predetermined delay was complete, I loosed it.
The simultaneous impacts of the high and low trajectory arrows collapsed the creature into a puddle of glow dust.
Daenlin nocked an arrow and stepped forward, "Here comes his friend."
In typical wisp fashion, the second creature disappeared before our eyes, but was no doubt closing for an attack. Rather than fumble for my detect life rings, I nocked an arrow as well. We waited.
The wisp suddenly materialized in front of Daenlin's drawn bow and projected a thin red beam into the Bosmer's chest. Daenlin returned fire while stepping back to break the short range of the life-leeching spell.
Quickly sidestepping to ensure I wouldn't hit my master, I released my own arrow and killed the wisp.
We stared at each other while shouldering our bows. "You're hurt." I placed my hand on Daenlin's chest and willingly replenished what the wisp had stolen from him.
"Thanks," he said, "that feels better. Now, where on Mara's green Nirn did you learn to hit a target with two arrows at once?"
"I've been practicing. Master, are you proud of me?"
"I am indeed, Buffy." Daenlin continued, "Amazed, in fact. I've known Legion archers to use high angle fire to shoot over the ranks ahead of them, but I never would have thought to combine the tactic with direct fire. Creatively conceived and expertly executed. The student exceeds her humble teacher."
"I will never match your skill, Master. No one could."
Without further incident, Daenlin and I continued our short walk to the head of the Larsius River. Once there, we retrieved an old target that we kept hidden among some rocks near the entrance to Bloodmayne Cave. After half an hour or so of solid archery practice, Daenlin sat on one bank of the river soaking his feet.
I resisted the urge to drop my clothes and play in the water, as I knew it would make the old Bosmer's face turn red. Instead, I harvested some bergamot which grew in the area. It made for a wonderful tea that helped ward off disease, and the scent imparted a lovely citrus smell to my hair conditioner. It could also be crafted into alchemical elixirs that could dispel magic effects or even prevent spellcasting. I paused to study the elf who had taught me the way of the bow. This was a familiar spot for us, and steeped in memories of archery training. The small bow I wielded was made for my ten year old frame by Daenlin, as was the arrow that he placed in my hand. I loosed the small wooden missile . It was accurate but had little effect on the mud crab lumbering toward us. "Again," said Daenlin gently while handing me another arrow. After I bounced several more arrows off the huge beast, it was getting dangerously close. I didn't turn and run though, for I knew the protection of my master was close.
Daenlin's bow spoke loudly once. An arrow blossomed from the mud crab, propelling its body away from us. The sight and sound was both thrilling and comforting.
"I kept shooting like you told me to, even though I was scared. Master, are you proud of me?"
"I am indeed, Buffy. Someday, you will shoot better than I." Daenlin beamed down at me and gently brushed some wayward blond strands from my face. "I've only once before seen an archer that possessed your level of natural ability. She too had locks of spun gold."
As the memory faded, Daenlin was still soaking his feet. He had plucked a long piece of grass and was leisurely chewing on one end of it. The mysterious blond archer he mentioned so long ago now had a name.
Finally, we returned to the city, parting ways at the stables. The early morning qualification shooting had delayed Superian's exercise.
As I led her north through the crowded tournament area, the mare cleared quite a swath. She fairly pranced sideways from pent up energy and nerves caused by the palette of people, sights, sounds and smells that now painted our city.
Once Superian and I cleared the bustle, I was able to calm her down somewhat with a gentle touch and soft words. I slid on my rings of detect life, then swung up into the saddle. After a whisper in her ear, we were both reveling in speed as we thundered north along the Green Road. Upon seeing a large pink glow appear ahead, we slowed to a walk and continued cautiously. When a white horse and rider came into view, I drew Superian to a stop and slipped off my rings. We waited, ready for a burst of unmatchable speed if threatened.
I could see now that the rider was a wood elf in leather armor, equipped with a bow and quiver. "Hail, friend, where are you bound?" I said pleasantly as she reined her mare to a stop beside us.
"Bravil." Her tone was cautious but not unfriendly. "Is it near?"
"It is indeed. I'm done riding and would be happy to accompany you. My name's Buffy," I then added with a smile, "from Bravil." With an unconscious pressure from my leg, Superian turned for home.
"Well met, Buffy. I am Alawen, Ranger for County Anvil." Side by side, we slowly headed south.
"Ranger?" I asked tilting my head. I could see now that she had large hazel eyes and her pretty face was framed in brown by hair the color of burnt sienna. I could not discern her age, which no doubt meant that she was in her long elven prime.
"It is like a forester, but I am not Legion at all. I serve Countess Millona Umbranox, as did my mother before me, and my charge is to protect the wilderness of County Anvil." After a moment, she added, "My Lady has asked me to represent her City of Dibella in the tournament of archers."
"May your arrows fly swift and true, Alawen," I said earnestly. "I'm competing as well. Where will you be staying while you're here? Even though it's only the first day of qualifications, I fear the inns may be getting quite full by now."
"Buffy, did you say you are from Bravil?" After I nodded, Alawen continued, "Frankly, I am more comfortable sleeping outdoors. In fact I live at Troll Candle Camp near Anvil. Is there perhaps an abandoned campsite nearby?"
"There surely is. When we get to Bravil, I'll mark Bawnwatch Camp on your map and send you a short distance south of the city. It's a beautiful campsite right along the river. I love sleeping under the stars too," I patted Superian's neck, "but I must admit a taste for real sheets and hot baths."
As we arrived at the stables, I marked Alawen's map and wished her well.
"Thank you for your kindness, young elf. Sweet water and green paths to you." Alawen flashed a smile, clicked twice to her mare, then continued along the Green Road.
* From Buffy's scrapbook: Screenshot1 Screenshot2 Screenshot3 Screenshot4