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   Chapter 9 No.9

An Enchanting Tale By AaronDennis Characters: 10331

Updated: 2018-01-10 12:02


It was early morning in Whiterun. The sun had yet to rise. Dewy droplets fell from rooves as S'maash traveled to Dragonsreach. Before entering Farengar's study, he snatched a sweet roll off the large table in the palace's dining room. The court wizard was already working over the arcane enchanter.

"Made it back in one piece, I see, " he said.

"I recovered your tome."

"Excellent, let's have it."

Frowning, the elf found it odd that he wasn't able to get a read on the strange wizard. He never allowed for eye contact. Even when he turned his head, his eyes were covered by his black robe's thick hood.

Farengar placed the book on the enchanter. As S'maash observed him, he saw the wizard sort of rifle through the pages. After only ten or so seconds, he tossed the book aside.

"Did you read this, " he asked.

"No. I ran it here as fast as I could. Did you read it?" S'maash was surprised.

"Sometimes, I forget average people lack the ability to absorb knowledge at a decent rate. Forgive me, " Farengar said. S'maash grumbled. Even his apologies are insults, he thought. "I suppose you expect some kind of payment. There's a coin purse on the table behind me. It's yours. You may also want to read the tome when you have the time."

At first, S'maash remained silent. He took the purse and looked inside. He figured it was close to twenty Septims.

"So, that's it, " S'maash asked.

"You expected more gold?"

"No, I meant; there isn't anything else you need?" the elf clarified.

"Not at this moment, no."

"I'm going to rest for a bit then. Once I wake, I'll check with Adrianne for results, " S'maash said.

As S'maash turned to leave, he heard Farengar speak. "Don't be overly optimistic. Our first projects usually yield very little knowledge."

"What does that mean?"

"It means…best of luck."

He was too tired to care about more, veiled insults, and instead, he shuffled off to sleep in the basement. Mere hours later, he woke up. His mind had been overly preoccupied with obtaining results, so he left for Whiterun. As usual, Adrianne was hard at work outside her shop. Waves of heat wafted off the forge.

"How did it turn out, " S'maash asked.

"Not well, I'm afraid. Your ingot shattered, " she said with both hands on her hips.

"Shattered? I didn't expect that, " S'maash said to himself.

"Care to buy another, and try again?"

He mulled it over. "No. Thank you."

Disappointed, he went back to Farengar. A nagging feeling gave him the impression the wizard knew something. Chilly wind blew through his hair during the quick jog.

"Failure, eh, " Farengar asked, still bent over the worktable.

"How did you know?"

"It's simple, really; like any, enchanted item—be it ring, blade, or ingot—once external forces are applied to a point causing an effect to the item in question, it shatters before changing. Magickal fire—or fires of a forge—affect items similarly. Even a master smith cannot alter an enchanted item's structural physicality, " Farengar explained.

"How come they can sharpen blades then?!"

Huffing

abyrinthian, so you can drop me off on your way to Morthal, " S'maash clarified.

"Climb on back, " the nord stated.

S'maash hopped on the cart and began a discussion. "The Jarl's wizard tells me Labyrinthian is dangerous."

"You mean you don't know about it?"

"I've prepared as best I can. Farengar wants to protect his investment, I'm certain, " S'maash answered.

"Never met that one, the Jarl's wizard; I heard tale he was half crazy…."

"He's not so bad, just involved in his work…whatever it is."

"Aye."

The bumpy cart ride turned off the paved road and onto a beaten path. Hours passed by during their discussions. As they spoke of Whiterun, the other holds, and Skyrim's history, the sun set and cold winds blew. A little snow drifted about aimlessly. By early morning, before the sun rose, the nord stopped his cart.

"You'll want to get off here and follow the mountains. You'll find the entrance your wizard marked for you. Be careful in there."

Once the cart was out of sight, S'maash followed the instructions. He came upon some ruined arches and what looked like a cave-in in the side of the base of a cliff. He carefully approached the darkened area and considered the information the nord had given regarding the ancient keep. With a candle light spell, he saw an opening through which he promptly wriggled. That led inside a cave. Several, ancient, stone statues depicting large heads laid broken throughout.

Taking a breath to steady his mind and prepare for danger, S'maash closed his eyes, rolled his shoulders, and then began his new adventure. Slowly, he explored, picked mushrooms, examined statues, and so on. Eventually, he reached a dead end, but a quick inspection of the surroundings, yielded a pull chain hanging from a wall. It was covered in dust and cobwebs. He cleared them and tugged it, but it was rusted stuck, so the elf braced one foot against the stone wall to pull with all his might. The chain came loose. Stone scraped against stone, and a new path was revealed. S'maash entered Labyrinthian.

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