: Awkwardness certainly describes Teresa! Although thanks to Nerussa, she is learning to overcome it. haute ecole rider
: Oblivion is kind of odd with Kvatch. Unless you actually go to the city itself, you would never even know it was a part of Cyrodiil. Everyone in the game goes on as if nothing ever happened there, either before or after the main quest. That attitude is something that is hard for even me to shake when I am writing, as I am so used to seeing Cyrodiil as Kvatchless. I purposely worked the city into that scene in an effort to overcome that. Olen
: Aradroth was fun to write into that scene. It is always fun to do crossovers. I have another one coming up in seven more chapters.
Teresa does indeed have a poet to look up. One of the things that made the scene between Teresa and Ardaline so much fun for me to write was the parallel between that between her and Ancondil. A great example of turnabout!Thomas Kaira:
I don't really see Tamriel as being as homophobic as the modern West is irl. It lacks the elements to drive it. Rather I imagine Tamriel is much the same as the Ancient Greece or Rome. It is just something some people do. Although I picture humans, and Imperials in particular, being more sexually conservative, and having more of a stress on having kids and families. But that is because their societies seem more patriarchal in nature than the elven ones.
I have not seen hummus in wraps, so I left it out. Tabolueh I have though. Maybe next time Teresa will get some pita bread and baba genough? Acadian:
mALX has indelibly etched Fathis in my mind as a creepy, promiscuous stalker. I just cannot picture him any other way.
That last scene was enjoyable not only because of the parallels to Teresa's encounter with Ancondil, but also because as you noted, now she can see how Nerussa feels around her.
Good call on the an
. I think I lost the "n" in one of my edits. Jacki Dice:
Sometimes you just say the sweetest things. Grits
: Thank you Grits. It was one of those cases where I hoped the scene would convey more emotion if I made less of it obvious, and more of it inferred below the surface. I am glad it worked. Zalphon
: Thank you Zalph, making things feel like a real world is what I strive for. Next
: The previous chapter saw Teresa have dinner with an unusual Orisimer during her first evening in Bravil. Then she spent the next morning at the Mages Guild selling potions, learning spells, and forming a friendship with the local alchemist. Next she returns to her room to find she has an unexpected visitor. Chapter 28.1 –Through A Nightmare Darkly25th Last Seed, 3E433
Teresa returned to Silverhome On The Water
clutching a pile of clothing and shoes to her breast, along with her spell pamphlets, a pair of books, and a bottle of brandy. She was barely able to turn the latch to enter the front door of the inn, and only managed it after dangerously shifting her load of goods around in her arms. Striding through the common room, she answered the publican's greeting with a nod and a faint smile.
She did not linger on the ground floor, heading straight to her room instead. She thought she heard the Altmer proprietor say something behind her, but could not catch his words as she scurried up the stairs to the second floor.
She could not wait to put on the green velvet dress she had bought, and hastened down the corridor. Its soft touch against her skin felt lovely, and the matching shoes that went with it were simply adorable.
No one back in the Imperial City would even recognize her, the wood elf thought with a faint smile as she performed another act of juggling to retrieve her key and fit it into the lock of her door. Yet it did not click open when she turned it, for it was already unlocked.
She was certain that she had locked it when she left. She always locked her doors when she had something valuable, like the ingredients she had left over from the previous day's potion making. Had she been robbed? Was the thief still in the room?
With the latter thought in mind, Teresa carefully set down her things beside the door. Her heart galloped like a racehorse as she fixed the symbol for her Flare spell in her mind. Cautiously opening the door a crack, she peeked within. The portion of the room she could see through the opening was empty, and better yet, undisturbed. Pushing the door open the rest of the way, she found that the other half was occupied however.
Sitting at the small table beside her bed was the commander of the Fighters Guild. He was dressed in tan linen pants, a long-sleeved white shirt, and a dark brown vest. A long, straight sword rode at his hip. Unlike most arming swords, it had a gold-engraved guard, a white bone handle, and a curious lobed pommel. An opened bottle sat on the table in front of the swordsman, along with a pair of shot-glasses. His blue eyes rose from the book he was thumbing through and met Teresa's.Screenshot
"Where have you been kid?" the Colovian said as he closed the book and set it on the table beside him. "I've been waiting for almost an hour, and this Ayleid history is nearly as boring as that other book you have about plants."
"Herminia Cinna is hardly boring," Teresa declared. Still, she relaxed her stance and leaned back against the doorframe. "If I had known I had a guest, I would have arranged for something more entertaining, like a grizzly bear."
"Well, it wouldn't be the first time for that!" the Colovian laughed and lifted one of the glasses to his lips. His head rocked back as he downed the contents in a single gulp, and Teresa detected a slight wince on his features as slapped the empty glass down on the table with a clack!
She shook her head and stepped back into the hallway to gather her things. Carrying them into her room, she set them on the bed and shut the door behind her. "So do you make a habit of breaking into women's rooms?" she looked down upon him with her arms akimbo.
"I didn't break anything kid, the innkeeper let me in. He's a friend of mine." The guild commander poured a smoky amber liquid into each of the shot-glasses. That made the wood elf wonder if what the innkeeper said to her as she rose the stairs had been a warning about Pappy? "You know you missed your training session this afternoon."
Teresa closed her eyes. Damn, she silently cursed. She had been so caught up in lunch with Ardaline and shopping with the high elf that she had completely forgotten. She had even resolved herself to go back to the Fighters Guild after all, in light of what Ancondil and Aia had said the day before. By Nocturnal, she could be such a fool sometimes!
"Sorry, I forgot," Teresa said, biting her lower lip. "I got caught up in things at the Mages Guild…"
"Really, they sell dresses and Surilie Brothers brandy there now do they?" Pappy asked. His eyes glittered with mirth as he nodded at the pile on Teresa's bed.
"Well, that came later," Teresa said, still biting her lip and turning back to her bed. Picking up the bottle of brandy and a book of poetry for Ancondil, she walked to the dresser and drew forth a small bag and placed them both within. "But I was with a mage so it still counts."
"Well, I would never come between a woman and a new pair of shoes," the Colovian laughed. "Come on sit down and have a drink, I have a proposition for you."
"Really? I've heard you have a talent for coming between women and their clothing." Teresa said, walking back to the bed and now taking her copy of Grogan's Guide
and setting it with her alchemical bag next to the small table. "If that's what you're here for, you are out of luck."
"Settle down Teresa," the older man frowned. "I don't sleep with the women in the guild. Not anymore. It's not worth the headaches. Besides, there are plenty of other fish in the Niben. Now are you going to sit down and talk or not?"
"I did not know I was in the guild," Teresa said as she sat across from him. "I am supposed to wait for two weeks remember?"
"Cut the bull kid," the Colovian said plainly. "We both know that if you aren't full of dreck you are in. Now have a drink."
"I'm sorry," Teresa breathed, willing the tension of the surprise visit to drain out of her. Why did the older man get on her nerves so much? He did not seem like a bad sort at all. He was a lot friendlier than Volsinius, that was for certain!
She reached for the glass, and studied the golden brown fluid within. From the smell it must be some kind of whiskey, she thought. She did not normally drink anything that hard. Wine was more than enough for her. But she did not want to turn him down, at least not yet. Perhaps more importantly, she did not want look weak in front of him. Not after her display of tears the other day.
She lifted the glass to her lips and let the amber liquor slide into her mouth. Instantly she regretted it. The taste was simply awful, making her wince before she could even begin to swallow. Worse, it was freezing cold, as if she was drinking ice. Before she could stop herself, she was spitting it out in a spray of golden droplets.
Pappy laughed as she doubled over and coughed. At least she had managed to avoid getting it all over him, or the bed. "Nocturnal, what is that cacat?" she wheezed, feeling a familiar warmth rise to her cheeks.
"That is Mímisbrunnr," Pappy said. "Nordic whiskey. It's not for everyone."
"Isn't that illegal?" Teresa asked. So much for not appearing weak, she thought glumly. Her mouth felt frozen, and she wished she could get the awful taste from her tongue. Finally she rose and lifted the pitcher of water next to the washbasin and took several deep gulps.
"I don't let little things like that get in my way." Pappy grinned, and the wood elf imagined that he was enjoying her discomfort.
"I've heard that too." Teresa said as she walked back to the table and sat down. She knew that she had made a complete fool of herself. She ought to be used to it by now, it seemed to be what she was best at after all. Biting her lip again, she tried to ignore the sting in what was left of her pride and continue talking. "I hear you don't like rules."
"No, I like rules." Pappy said with a smile that Teresa was certain would make most women melt. "I like to break them. That's why I'm here."
"So what are you breaking?" the wood elf could not contain a faint smile at his quip.
"I have a job for you," he said, pouring himself another glass. When he motioned to pour another for Teresa she held her hand up and shook her head. She was never going to even think of drinking that again! "A quiet job, off the books. That's why I'm up here, and not downstairs."
"So you want something stolen then?" Teresa frowned. "I told you, I'm not a thief."
"No, not stolen," Pappy knocked back another shot of whiskey. "This is a favor for a friend. She needs someone no one in town knows. Someone with at least a little bit of magic, who can think unconventionally."
Teresa nodded, that certainly sounded like her. But it was awfully secretive. "So who is your friend?" she asked, trying to decide whether it would be a good idea to do this. On one hand it would certainly help her with Pappy. But on the other it could be illegal. While she was not one to shirk at breaking the law, she did not want to end up in prison again either…
"Kud-Ei, the head of the Mages Guild here in Bravil," Pappy said evenly, staring Teresa in the eye. "She won't tell me what it is, but from the rumors I am hearing, I think it has something to do with one of her magisters. She's a real straight shooter. If she's going outside of official channels like this, he must be in big trouble."
"Henantier," Teresa breathed, remembering what Aryarie had said earlier about the two of them being missing from the guild hall.
"You seem well-informed for someone who just got here?" Pappy cocked an eyebrow in curiosity.
"Like I said, I was just at the Mages Guild this morning." Teresa shrugged. "They were talking about Kud-Ei and him being gone."
"Okay kid, here's the deal. I cannot pay you for this, and as far as the guild is concerned it never happened," Pappy said plainly. "But if you pull this off and Kud-Ei is happy, then I'll make you a probationary member when you come back."
"So this is another test then?" Teresa instantly regretted her words.
"No it's not another test," the Colovian said, and Teresa could not mistake the annoyance in his voice. "This is a favor for a friend, simple as that. Take it or leave it."
"Okay," Teresa said, wondering what she was getting herself into. "Where do I find Kud-Ei?"