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   Chapter 6 No.6

An Enchanting Tale By AaronDennis Characters: 16073

Updated: 2018-01-10 12:02

S'maash slowly came to. He was lying on the cold floor of Anutwyll. Only able to open one eye, he searched his surroundings. The bandits were gone, so were his dagger and coin purse. He sighed then winced in pain as he stood. At least, I left some of my goods back at the inn. Injured and discouraged, he made his way back to town.

The painful walk of shame provided the wizard ample time to mull over his next course of action. A warm sun sat atop the sky. S'maash looked into the blue expanse. Some clouds were rolling in. He thought about the College of Winterhold. I hope it's not like the Mages' Coalition back home. I'd hate to travel all the way out there just to face the same problems. Suppose I won't know until I go….

He strolled through Bravil, avoiding the gaze of the townsfolk. After pushing aside the doors to the inn, he plopped down at the bar. The innkeeper's daughter stood behind the counter. She, like her father, had dark eyes and thick hair. Her apron was smeared with early morning's breakfast.

"Looks painful, " she remarked. S'maash looked at her with his one, good eye. She was a cute, young, woman. "How about one on the house…if you tell me your story."

S'maash obliged her. He started with work in L'Thu Oad then told her about the trip through Damlzthur. She listened intently as he drank and spoke. By the end of the tale, he arrived at the point where the bandits gave him a sound thrashing, and put forth his dilemma.

"So, now you're going to move to Skyrim, " she asked.

"I don't know; it's either that or go home, I guess. I wish my brother was by my side."

The lass shrugged before leaving him to tend to the next customer. S'maash left the bar for his room. After a quick nap, he checked the remainder of his gear. He figured selling off all things unnecessary was sufficient to afford a ride to Cheydinhal. From there, he needed to find someone to take him into Skyrim. Then, it was only a matter of finding the College of Winterhold, if Skyrim was his destination.

Rapping his fingers on the table, he recalled S'maath's words, and so he wrote a letter to his brother explaining the circumstances. After handing the letter to a courier, the elf went to the local, supply store. He sold off his camping gear, some potions, and other, miscellaneous items. By the end of the transaction, he had only his traveling pack, the magick boots he had found, food, water, the stones he took from Anutwyll, the clothes on his back, and forty seven Septims.

It was an early Middas when he reached the stables outside Bravil. There, he spoke to a stableman, an orc named Grogot no Grob. Though brutish and pig-like in appearance, the orc wore fine clothes and spoke quite eloquently.

"Yes, dark elf. We do have a carriage we can arrange for you to take. It will cost you a paltry, twenty Septims for a journey to Cheydinhal. I'm from there, you know?"

"Do you know the best way into Skyrim from Cheydinhal?"

Grogot stroked his thin beard. "I do not, though I have heard of nord clans living in the Jeralls. Perhaps, you may find someone in Cheydinhal who can tell you more. I haven't actually been to Cheydinhal for many years. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to gather my son, horses, and carriage for your departure, " Grogot said, holding out a green, open palm.

S'maash nodded as he placed the twenty Septims in Grogot's hand. Shortly thereafter, he was on his way to Cheydinhal. Rorgot, the wagon driver, made four stops along the way to allow the horses some rest. Throughout the trip, the chatty orc asked many questions for which S'maash had only guesses. While Rorgot wasn't interested in magickal theory, he did listen to the elf's ramblings.

"Do you miss Morrowind, " Rorgot asked one night as they rested by a fire.

"I do not miss the land so much as the people I knew…mostly, my brother. This traveling is lonely and difficult…."

They stared into the fire for many minutes before fatigue set in. The area chosen for camp was somewhat rocky, but level. Native insects buzzed around, but didn't disturb the campers' rest. After waking, they took back to the paved roads. If nothing else, Cyrodiil's streets were easy to traverse; the imperials had built quite the road system between their towns.

They arrived in Cheydinhal on Freddas. It was a well-to-do town with fine, dark elf architecture. From the gates, S'maash immediately located the tavern. Inside, he listened to conversations. Once he found the right person, he asked around for a guide through the Jerall mountains. He was directed to clan Snow-Shield; they were known to make most of their money doing just what he needed.

Upon meeting with them in a cabin just north of town, they agreed to help him for a small fee. He learned they also helped couriers and mercha

Hall of Attainment."

They both entered a large, round tower; a perfect circle of gray stone. His room, a very modest area, contained a bed, a trunk for his belongings, and scattered reagents and soul gems. He quickly unloaded what little he possessed before making his way to the Hall of the Elements.

The second tower was much like the first. The only real difference was the large practicing area in place of rooms with beds. On either side of the tower were doors leading to areas unknown. An old nord in blue robes stood before young mages, explaining the difference between alteration and illusion. His calm demeanor was a welcome respite from recent events.

"So, you see, alteration is a practical change in the flow of magick, whereas illusion is the appearance of change granted by one's control of the flow of magick, " Tolfdir said.

"Reminds me of the Response to Bero's Speech, " a nord boy claimed.

He had a peculiar way of speaking. While his accent was obviously nord, there was something strange about the way he accentuated his S's.

"Aye, good call Wulfbore, " another nord said.

"Thank you, brother, " the first boy replied.

"What's this, a prospective student? A traveler with questions, perhaps, " Tolfdir asked as he approached S'maash.

The entire class turned to look. "Yes…prospective student. I have studied quite a bit in the field of enchanting. I am S'maash."

"Excellent. Settle into the class and follow along, " Tolfdir instructed.

The following days passed by with little incident. S'maash met the instructors of each school. He found it odd, however, that he had come all that way to find there was no instructor for the school of enchanting. Of the instructors, a few stood out for one reason or another. The khajiit, conjuration master, J'zargo, only eyed S'maash. The illusion master was friendly enough, but S'maash had little interest in illusion.

Brelyna, a middle aged dunmer, was instructor of the school of alteration. Collete Marcene, a strange and annoying breton, taught restoration, but her constant self-judgment was a nightmare. Lastly, Faralda taught destruction, though it was a rare occurrence.

Forced to confinement after hours in the Hall of Attainment, S'maash made some friends with the students. One night, while drinking some mead with the nord brothers, he posed a question to them.

"Why is there no instructor for the school of enchanting?"

"I don't know. Far as I can tell, they don't focus on enchanting or alchemy here, " Wulfgar said.

Wulfgar was taller and broader than his older brother, Wulfbore. Wulfgar also kept his thick, red, hair long and braided while Wulfbore kept his neatly trimmed.

"I heard a story of someone who used to teach here. He sought help from the Dragonborn shortly after the defeat of Alduin. Word is, he was looking into the disappearance of the dwarves, but it might just be a tale, " Wulfbore explained.

"That is most intriguing. I have done some studies on the dwemer. My brother and I explored Damlzthur in Morrowind, " S'maash said.

They passed the night exchanging stories of adventure. Unfortunately, no one had any answers regarding the school of enchanting.

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