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   Chapter 13 No.13

An Enchanting Tale By AaronDennis Characters: 13152

Updated: 2018-01-10 12:02

S'maash was slowly rocked from side-to-side as he endured the long cart ride from Whiterun to Winterhold. Mere hours after traveling north, and the winds turned to snow. Though it was cold, the elf managed to fall asleep. Recent trials and tribulations had exhausted both his mind and spirit completely, so much so that he slept all the way to Winterhold. Suddenly, he was shaken to daylight.

"Wake up. We've arrived, " the cart driver said.

Lazily, S'maash looked around then thanked the man before approaching the College. Upon seeing the stone arches and bridge, sentimentality gripped him. Faralda glared at him from her post.

"Greetings. Did Tolfdir ever manage to look over my journal, " S'maash asked.

"I don't know, and I don't care, " she barked.

"Hold on to those feelings, and while you do, summon Tolfdir. I have another journal for him to look over, " S'maash replied, unaffected.

"I'll do no such thing."

S'maash nodded to himself for a moment. Then, he pulled the daedric heart gem from inside his fur-lined, blue robes. It beat with the sound of Farengar's soul. With an ephemeral thump, it glowed.

"I think he'll want to see this, " S'maash coaxed.

Faralda was speechless. She simply stood with her mouth agape. Finally, she managed a heavy sigh.

"What is it?"

"Please, summon Tolfdir, " S'maash reiterated.

She nodded then made her way to the College. Moments later, and frozen to the bone, S'maash saw two figures come across the massive structure. Another moment passed, and he was in the company of Faralda and Tolfdir.

"My, my. That is something. Faralda said you brought it for me, " Tolfdir asked.

He looked upon S'maash, slightly askew. The elf thought he appeared embarrassed, yet at the moment, the daedric heart gem possessed all of their attention.

"Ahem! This is mine. This is for you, " S'maash said, providing Tolfdir with the other journal.

"Ah, let's see. Mmhmm. Oh, he was a Psijic monk? Surprising, I thought only altmer were Psijics…well. Yes, apologies are in order, " Tolfdir muttered. "S'maash, I've kept this to myself for a long time. I made a mistake and reacted poorly. I–"

S'maash raised a hand in protest, saying, "It's fine. Farengar told me necromancy has become a problem. If not for your rash decision, I might not have found my way to him. At any rate, if you could be so kind as to reinduct me, I have to gather supplies for a ritual to summon Azura, " S'maash explained.

"Yes, yes, of course, come with me. You can take Arniel's old room again. You know, after that awful misunderstanding, while we were cleaning, that is, we found some interesting logbooks, " Tolfdir said as he laughed shyly.

S'maash explained his and Farengar's theories on their way to the Hall of Countenance. Upon walking into his old room, he sat on the bed's green linens. He ran his hands over the silky fabric, smiling. Then, he continued.

"So, naturally, I have to bring this to completion, for myself, Hermaeus Mora, and most of all, for Farengar, who gave his life, " S'maash explained.

"Yes. Any deal struck with a daedric prince is…well…permanent, to say the least, " Tolfdir agreed.

"I am glad you understand. I need some glow dust as an offering right away. There's no time to stall."

"Mmhm. Yes, Faralda, be a dear, would you, and grab our friend what he needs, " Tolfdir said. "Now then, you plan to offer the daedric heart gem to Azura then I thought you said you would have to go to her plane of Oblivion, but I must have misheard."

Tolfdir laughed shyly once more. S'maash let a weak smile play across his face for a moment.

"Absolutely not. If she accepts my offering then I must continue into Oblivion. There is no alternative."

Tolfdir looked into the elf's eyes. He had changed and quite a bit. He was no longer an eager student with some traveling experience. S'maash was a hardened and experienced traveler with a wealth

vered the bottommost portion of the statue. A voice accosted them.

"What is the meaning of this summons? I am Azura, Lady of Dusk and Dawn. You, dark elf, you have called me here, " the voice rang throughout the night sky as did the winds, seconds before.

"I did, my Lady! I come with an offering to tie you into our plane. I have forged a new gem for you. Behold, the daedric heart gem, " S'maash said, holding the sinister heart above his head.

He felt its pulsations, the essence of Farengar. There was no answer. Silence prevailed for a moment. The beating of the gem grew louder and louder until it echoed over the shrine.

"A new vessel? Why do you offer it to me, dunmer?"

"My Lady, I have been made aware of the fate which befell your Star of Azura. This is a replacement, but it is weak, forged by man and mer, not a daedric lord such as yourself. I bestow it upon you to restore your power to this plane, but I require the Breath of Everlasting. Will you allow us to journey into the plane, Moonshadow? Will you allow me to be the caretaker of your vessel?"

"Yes!" she replied. "From the days of old when I cursed the chimer, I had faith that my children would be so kind as to restore their benefactor, should she ever need it. Yes, S'maash Ilteriel. Come, come and bask in the shadow of moons."

A flash of blue light momentarily blinded the three comrades. When they opened their eyes, a blue tombstone shaped door sat before them. It wavered hauntingly, revealing a glimpse into the world of Azura. S'maash took a step.

Still from a sitting position, Brelyna reached out and grabbed his ankle. He turned to look down in confusion.

"What are you doing, " she asked in disbelief.

"What do you mean? She granted us passage!" S'maash replied.

"You can't go in there! It's a nonsensical world of dreams and such. You can only travel spiritually, " she said.

S'maash looked to the giant statue. It was silent.

"No. I'm going in. Both of you are welcome to stay behind."

"I'm up for the challenge, " Zolara chimed in.

Brelyna stood and looked them over. "You're crazy, both of you…you can't, " she looked away.

S'maash took her shoulders in his hands and brought her close. "Listen to me, we'll be fine. She granted us passage. No one said it would be safe, but I have to try this, " he said, gazing into her eyes. "Come with me."

"Yes, " she whispered.

S'maash looked back to Zolara. He picked some ice off his horns and shrugged. The wizard nodded, gave Brelyna one, last look, took her by the hand, and walked through the blue door. Zolara was the last to step in.

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