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   Chapter 19 No.19

An Enchanting Tale By AaronDennis Characters: 15676

Updated: 2018-01-10 12:02


It was early morning by the time they entered the town's gates. Guards greeted the exhausted travelers.

"I used to be an adventurer like you then I took an arrow in the knee, " he said.

"Yes, I believe we've heard that one before, " Zolara snipped.

"Must have been from my cousin in Markarth, " the guard replied.

"Actually, it was in Markarth, " S'maash agreed.

They left the guard to his duty and entered the Bee and Barb to rent a room. After some much needed rest in their modest quarters, they woke to eat, drink, and discuss the next step of their journey. A lively bard strummed her lute, singing about the Dragonborn and his defeat of Alduin.

The surroundings were rather eloquent. Two argonians, a married couple, ran the two-story tavern. Several chairs and tables lined the social area. Riften's patrons laughed, drank, and joked.

"What does the journal say, " Zolara asked.

"It mentions something about an immortal soul. I am supposed to infuse the Heart of Lorkhan with something…." S'maash looked up from the journal. "An immortal soul? That must mean a dragon's soul, right?"

"Don't they resist soul trap?"

"Yes, however, they were not able to resist the Dragonborn's ability to steal their souls, a conversation I had with Farengar, " S'maash remarked.

"Then, what do we do? Do we try to find the Dragonborn?"

"I am at a loss, and the journal offers no more advice; we must find an immortal soul, and then place the Heart of Lorkhan somewhere forgotten, but I, I don't…."

The young elf huffed and shut the book. His friend patted his shoulder.

"We should head back to the College, " Zolara said.

****

Exhausted from travel, Zolara went to sleep in the Hall of Attainment. S'maash went to the Arcaeneum to redouble his study efforts. It was late and Urag had gone to sleep, leaving the elaborate library eerily quiet and dark.

"S'maash, " the Wretched Abyss called.

Briefly startled, the wizard turned to engage Hermaeus Mora. "What is it? What am I supposed to do?"

"You are already aware. I will grant you a boon for the next portion of your journey. Behold, dragon soul trap, " The daedric prince granted S'maash the ability to cast soul trap on dragons. "Go, now. Find a dragon and take its soul."

"Find a dragon? What?! That's madness, but even if I must fight one; what do I do then? How can the soul fill the Heart of Lorkhan if it is not intact?"

The Wretched Abyss vanished, and there was only silence. S'maash felt slighted with an impossible task. Grinding his teeth, he tried to take solace in the fact that he had at least received a partial answer. The following morning, he called Tolfdir, Brelyna, and Zolara for a meeting in the courtyard.

"So, what do you think, " S'maash asked after providing the information.

"I believe you should do your best to carry out the task at hand. Find a dragon, " Tolfdir said.

"Where is he going to find a dragon, " Brelyna was incredulous.

They were pensive for a moment. "The Blades might know, but they are difficult to speak with, " Tolfdir said.

"The Blades…Farengar made a similar comment to me once."

Faralda approached the group with a welcome interruption. "S'maash, you have a visitor."

He turned to her, but there was no one with her. "Where?"

"At the inn, in Winterhold. Non-practitioners are not allowed in here, " she condescended.

"Who is this visitor?"

"Your brother."

"Truly?" he grinned and almost leapt in the air. "You all keep thinking. I'll be back later."

S'maash ran into town and entered the inn. He spotted his brother immediately, the only, other, dark elf. He was covered in glass armor, had a glass, great sword across his broad back, and all the resilient malachite scintillated with a sparkling glow. Gold filigree held the glass-like metal in place.

"Brother!" S'maash called.

"Well met!"

"Truly, I am glad to see you here, " he said, holding S'maath's elbows and looking him up and down. "How are the warriors of the Reyda Tong? How are you doing?"

"We are doing fine. Fara fell…sad news, but I was promoted to leader of our chapter in L'Thu Oad, " he replied.

"A bitter-sweet promotion then; I am both glad and sorry to hear that."

"And yourself? The strange notes I received from you, expelled for necromancy, reinstated, running errands. Am I correct in understanding you're court wizard to the Jarl of Whiterun?"

"On paper, yes, but I have not even been there for close to a month, " S'maash replied.

"Any advances in your studies?"

"To some extent, yes; I have learned dual enchanting, and I have acquired a special sort of soul gem, allowing better use of the souls from me

e. Before he hit the ground, the blade struck his head. S'maath pressed on, slid his blade into another, and lifted him clean off the ground.

"Death is highly overrated, " the nord yelled.

S'maash ducked beneath the swing of an oncoming axe, stepped left with shield raised to block another axe, and then bashed a nord wearing thick, steel armor. As the enemy recoiled, S'maash plunged his blade into the enemy's throat. Blood poured from the mortal wound.

S'maash clenched his teeth, grunting, "S'wit!"

More arrows rained from above. The brothers had to dodge, block, and backpeddle. Small stones fell from the precarious path upon which they stood.

"Summon an atronach! I need to reach the archers, " S'maath ordered.

"Of course."

With no time to waste, he dropped his shield in the snow and summoned. Once the demon spawned, he recovered his shield. The atronach provided long ranged castigation, and S'maath cut down a spell caster, who fell a long way towards the base of Sigrid's Plunge. While in mid run, the fighter was vaulted up the stony path by a thu'um from his rear. Worried about his brother's safety, S'maash charged up beyond a woman with two maces in her grip.

"I'll have your head, " she yelled and gave chase.

Finding his brother already recovered and fighting enemies from the other end, S'maash engaged the mighty lass. She spat upon the ground before charging, long, red hair wavered in the breeze.

Though she was nearly completely covered in iron plating, she moved like lightning. The left mace came first. S'maash blocked it easily enough. The right mace came next, knocking his shield from his grip. With an icy spear launching from his left hand, and two quick slashes from his blade, he bested her; only a handful of archers remained.

"Damn you, dark elves, " an archer howled. "KrifAhrkDir take you!"

With no shield in hand, S'maash received a second arrow high on the left of his chest. "Brother, " he gasped.

The fighter heard his pleas, turned, and spotted the archer drawing another arrow. He charged at a full run, down hill, and crashed into the assailant. They tumbled off the cliff, twenty feet below. A metallic thud resounded with the impact of two bodies striking the rocks. S'maath writhed about for a second. A terrible pain was at his back, but the nord on his chest was motionless, and his brother easily slayed the remainder.

S'maash, with two arrows in his body, marched down to S'maath and pulled the deceased off him. The glass, great sword had pierced the enemy; a pool of blood collected in malachite grooves.

"A fine pair we make, eh, " S'maath smiled, panting.

His glass helmet slid off after the impact and his hair was a bloody mess. He rolled over to his knees and rested against the stone onto which he had fallen. S'maash knelt beside him and casted healing hands. Once the magickal, healing light helped S'maath to recover, he let his brother remove the arrows protruding from his body. Finally, the wizard healed himself.

"Now, all we must do is fight a dragon?" S'maath grinned, shaking his head.

"So it would seem."

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