haute ecole rider:
Maybe the soju comes from what Teresa does on the chamber pot? ghastley
: Looks like a hungry farmer ate that a
. Thank you for rustling up a new one. Acadian
: Teresa is going to have to learn to cook, if she is going to be living in a house in the country someday. There are no hot food stands out there after all. Hence her decision to learn. I also lay odds on her acquiring that house before a husband!Thomas Kaira:
Why do you think that named that stuff after Niben Bay?
It is great on everything!
Thank you for the simmering observation. I was able to use it to go back and add in a little something about it. Grits
: You got it! P&P all the way. Look for more Jane Austen references in the future. Jacki Dice:
I love other people's kids. I doubt I could handle it if I had to raise them round the clock though! My cat is a handful as it is!
It does indeed look like Teresa found the perfect house to buy for Simplicia!Olen
: Teresa's dinner is all an outgrowth of the relationship she began with Decimus and the two kids way back at the beginning of chapter 25, when she first came to Silverbridge. Next
: In our previous episode, Teresa made a nice dinner in Silverbridge, and learned that Decimus' old house might be for sale. Next we return to Bravil a day later, where Teresa is thinking about making another meal. Chapter 31.2 - Inheritance
"So, who wants to stay for dinner tonight?" Teresa asked from the doorway of the guild house's sitting room.
The common area sat just off the vestibule, and had a wide window looking out onto the street in front of the building. The room was lit by glowstones set into wall sconces, and was furnished with tables of polished oak, stuffed couches, and padded chairs. A small bookcase rose along one wall, and a fireplace with an elegant marble mantle dominated another. Vincent and Chance sat at a small, round table playing cards. Ancondil lounged in a chair, picking at his lute and looking down at a sheet of music laid out on the low table before him. Last of all Tadrose sat alone along a wide couch by the window, engrossed in a book.
"Pappy is showing me how to make stuffed cabbage," Teresa continued.
"More grazing?" Vincent rolled his eyes from behind the cards he held. "No thanks."
"I'm seeing someone over at Silverhome On The Water
," Chance declared, then laid down his cards. "Full castle, Queens over twos!" The Breton sitting across from him dropped his cards in disgust, and the Redguard pulled the pot of copper remans across the table, to join the small pile already in front of him.
"Well I should be delighted to partake." Ancondil looked up from his lute to smile at Teresa. Then he dropped his head back to his sheet music, and plucked away at the lute once more.
"How about you Tadrose?" Teresa stepped over to the dark elf, who looked up with surprise as the forester approached.
"I am sorry Teresa, I was a bit caught up." The Dunmer smith set the book down into her lap and gazed up at Teresa with a smile. "Of course I will stay for dinner."
"So what is that you are reading?" Teresa asked, turning her head so that she could see the book's title better.
," the dark elf declared, "By Juno Austenius."
"Oh that is playing at The Globe
, isn't it?" Teresa thought out loud. Then before she knew it, her tongue ran away with itself. "Why don't we go see it tonight after dinner?"
Teresa instantly bit her lip, wishing she had not said a word. Out of the corner of her eye she could see Ancondil looking at her with a barely concealed grin. Thank Aetherius the other two men were too occupied with their card game to notice, Teresa thought, else Vincent would probably start hooting.
"I think that would be wonderful." Tadrose smiled, and the wood elf felt her heart leap higher than Magnus overhead. "I did not know you enjoyed Juno Austenius?"
"Of course!" Teresa said quickly, sitting beside Tadrose and setting her wineglass on a nearby table. "Who doesn't? I've seen all her plays." She saw Ancondil shaking his head with lips tightly pursed, and knew she had put her foot in her mouth.
"She was a novelist my dear," Tadrose whispered, too low for anyone else to hear. "People only starting adapting her work for the theater a century ago."
"Oh," Teresa looked down at her lap, certain that her face was redder than a boiled lobster. Then she felt Tadrose's hand touch her own. Looking up, she saw a crooked smile playing across the other woman's features, and her eyes glowing like Masser on a clear night.
"Would you like me to read you some?" Tadrose said. "I think you will enjoy it. It is all terribly romantic, but has a sense of ironic humor most people do not expect."
"Oh no!" Vincent groaned from across the room. "Let's get out of here before they start knitting doilies!"
"Oh come now!" Ancondil finally did speak once more. "Juno Austenius is one of the most beloved Imperial writers to have ever lived. It has been four centuries since she died, and her works are still counted among the finest literature Cyrodiil has ever produced."
"I don't know the first thing about literature," Chance grinned, "but I saw that play the other night with Eutropia from castle. I tell you what, it made her wetter than the Niben!"
"Did someone say wet?"
Teresa looked up with the others as the sound of the husky voice. Standing in the doorway leading to the vestibule was an Argonian with light red scales on his face, except for two small slices of green that rose from either side of his nostrils. He wore a dark green tunic over a pair of trousers, and a gently curved sword hung at his hip. The grip was wrapped in crisscrossing patterns of cloth, and the pommel was engraved with the snarling face of an eastern dragon. Screenshot
"Storm-Tail!" Tadrose exclaimed, rising to her feet with a smile. "When did you get to Bravil? I thought you were at school in the Imperial City?"
"This one has left the academy of numbers," the Argonian - whom Teresa could tell was young from the bright shade of his scales - shifted uncomfortably. "He has come to see Commander Vitellus."
Teresa wondered who the Argonian was. Tadrose obviously knew him, but the other fighters all had stares as blank as her own. So clearly they did not know him either. Turning her gaze back to Tadrose, the forester saw that her eyes fell to the sword at the Argonian's hip, before rising once more to his face. Her eyes widened for a moment, before a dark look clouded her features.
"Oh no, you are not going to join the guild!" she declared.
"This one has reached the age of majority," the Argonian - Storm-Tail - insisted. "He may do as he wills."
"Does your mother know you are here?" Tadrose's hands fell to her hips, and Teresa was glad she was not in the Argonian's scales. "Have you told her about this? Have you thought about what this will do to her?"
"This one has a duty to his father's memory." The Argonian swallowed hard, and his tail twitched nervously. Yet his orange eyes did not falter under Tadrose's burning stare. "This one must follow where the father has led."
"Where he has led?" Tadrose fumed. "Do you want to see where it led? Go to Bruma, look at the graves! Is that what you want?"
"Storm-Tail will speak with Commander Vitellus," the Argonian insisted once more. Teresa admired his determination. She was not sure if she could stand up to Tadrose's fury, even as carefully leashed as it was now.
The Dunmer opened her mouth to reply, then closed it again. Shaking her head, she swept from the room and beckoned for the Argonian to follow.
"So what was that all about?" Chance muttered. "I thought she was going to strangle him."
Teresa shrugged her shoulders, and Ancondil did the same. But it was Vincent who spoke next.
"I think I know," the Breton said quietly. "I've never met him before, but I've heard his name a few times. He's the son of one of the old guild members: Morning-Star. That was his father's sword he was wearing. I saw it once before, at Bruma."
Teresa felt the glowstone ignite in her mind. Bruma, she thought, Storm-Tail's father had died there. Now the son was following in his footsteps. No wonder Tadrose had been so exasperated.
"The shadow of your father can be a hard thing to escape," Ancondil murmured. "A hard thing indeed."
Teresa blinked, and saw Chance nodding in unison. "What are you talking about?" she breathed. "Can you imagine how his mother feels? First her husband dies, and now her son is queuing up to be next?"
Mara, what did Simplicia think? Teresa thought. Wasn't she doing the same?
"You don't know what it's like to be overshadowed by a father," Chance offered up, and Teresa wondered if his voice sounded hoarse, as if his throat were choking on the words. "Sometimes it's almost like you have to fight him, just to be a man in your own right."
'I never had any trouble like that," Vincent offered. "My father's a fisherman, and with three other sons, he's glad one of us found a trade on dry land. Granted my mum's not too happy about it all. But mothers always worry about everything."
"What about you?" Chance looked Teresa in the eye. "What does your mother think about you being in the guild. You said you're doing all this for her, didn't you?"
"It's complicated..." Teresa stared down at the wineglass in her hands. Gods, what a hypocrite they must all think she was!
"Complicated does not begin to explain it all, I am afraid," Ancondil said. "It is not an easy thing to make your own way in the world, especially when your parents have your entire life all planned out before you are six. To walk a different road can be hard indeed. Yet I do not imagine it is any easier when the position is reversed. Can any of us imagine what it would like having a son or daughter in this business? Knowing that they are placing themselves in danger with every contract, and able to do nothing but sit by and pray for their well-being?"
"Yeah, my mother and I argued before I left Sentinel," Chance breathed, his eyes looking hollow. "I said some things I shouldn't have. But I just couldn't stay there any more, not after… Anyway, my father's somewhere here in Cyrodiil. And someday I'm going to find him."
"Really?" Vincent asked. "I thought your parents were both in Hammerfell?"
"No," the Redguard said. "My father had to leave years ago. Every now and then he sends a letter to let us know he is alive. The last one came a few months ago. He said he'd joined up with a band of outlaws, and they were camped out in some ruin called Vilverin. Wherever in Oblivion that is."
The glass fell from Teresa's numb fingers and shattered on the hardwood floor, spraying its red contents across the boards.
"You didn't say Vilverin?" she breathed. She knew that her eyes must be as wide as saucers, and she felt her heart racing like a Quarter Horse. No, it couldn't be, she thought. Chance's father couldn't be one of the bandits she found there. Could he?
"Yes," the Redguard leaped to his feet and was across the room in a flash. "What do you know about it? You've been there, haven't you?"
Teresa nodded and bit her lip as she stared down at red pool of wine that stained the floor. How on Nirn was she going to tell him what she had found in Vilverin? How could anyone tell someone that their father was dead?
"His name's Destri," the Redguard continued. "Did you see him?"
With that something Morcant had once said floated up from the depths of memory. "His name was Destri,"
the Witch had said. "He was just here a week ago. He had gotten stonejoint from a rat that bit him. I cured him for that suit of armor there."
"What did he look like?" Teresa asked, trying to stall for time while she gathered her thoughts. It had been Chance's father that had made the armor Morcant had traded to her. The same armor that had saved her life in the Jensine's shop at the end of the Oblivion Crisis! By Raven, she thought, this was just too much to be pure coincidence!
"Well, he looks like me," Chance said. "Older of course. He's almost forty now. He always had a beard that he kept trimmed real close, in a goatee, and he kept his hair cropped down short. So he's probably the same now. He has a Dwemer mace, it's been in the family since the days of Cyrus. There's a name written on it in elvish - Ncharcasti
- although I'll be damned if I know what it means."
A Dwemer mace, Teresa thought. The male bandit she had found near Lake Rumare had carried a Dwemer mace. That same mace had been in Jensine's hand during the Crisis. The Nord had used it on the scamp that had clawed her legs, and the clannfear that had nearly eaten her.
"Chance, if your father was with a group of outlaws, and Teresa met him…" Ancondil said quietly. "Well, you know that could not have turned out well."
"No, I'm not the one who-" Teresa gasped and looked up at both men before her. "I mean I… I found him, and the others."
"What happened!" Chance leaned down and grabbed Teresa by the arms. His voice was raw, and filled with desperation. "What happened to my father!"
"I'm sorry Chance." Teresa looked down again. "It was over before I got there. There was nothing I could do."
"No!" Chance shouted. He shook Teresa, and she wished she had never opened her mouth. Better if he had never known, she imagined, never had to face this. "My father is not dead, do you hear me!"
"That's enough Chance." Ancondil's voice was iron, and with that the Redguard's grip fell away. Teresa looked back up to see that the muscle-bound orc now stood between her and the Redguard, his hands braced on the other man's shoulders. "Just take a moment to collect yourself."
"Take a moment!" the young human raged. He strained against Ancondil, but the larger Orisimer was a rock. "This is my father!"
Teresa rose to her feet, thinking of the Emperor. He had faced his own death without flinching. She could at least give Chance the news of his father's end with the same resolve. Stepping to Ancondil, she moved him aside with a simple touch, and stood before Chance.
"I first saw Vilverin the night the Emperor died." The Redguard's eyes looked like those of a caged animal as Teresa stared into them. "Even then, I knew that something was waiting for me there. So I went back about a week into Midyear. I found all the bandits dead. There was one by the lake, he was a Redguard, with a beard, and he had a Dwemer mace. It was the only Dwemer mace I found in the ruin."
"It was a necromancer that did it," she continued. "A Redguard named Jalbert. I tried to kill him, but he got away. A few days later I met a Witch who knew one of the bandits. She had cured him of a disease in trade for a suit of armor that he'd made. That same armor saved my life during the Crisis. She said his name was Destri."
"Take me there," Chance said resolutely. "I need to see it."