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   Chapter 21 No.21

An Enchanting Tale By AaronDennis Characters: 13107

Updated: 2018-01-10 12:02

After a tale for the ages in the New Gnisis Corner Club, the dunmer brothers hired a cart ride back to the College of Winterhold. The sun overhead shone brightly in the College's courtyard upon their arrival. S'maash stood by the well before the statue of Shalidor.

"Good bye, dear brother. Safe travels to you, " S'maash said, embracing his kin.

S'maath patted his brother's back for a moment then took his shoulders. "Aye. I am proud of you as are our ancestors. May your continued success bring you happiness."

The warrior walked away, sun glinting off malachite. S'maash watched him disappear over the bridge. He wanted to run after him, ask him to stay a little longer. No. That is selfish, and I have much work to do.

Inside the Hall of the Elements, Tolfdir was lecturing a new set of students. S'maash had never seen them before. It was amazing to see how quickly the people of Skyrim progressed. He stood behind the class, waiting patiently.

"So, there you have it, class. You are not truly invisible; you have only fooled others to your presence, " Tolfdir proclaimed before approaching S'maash. "Glad to know you and your brother returned unharmed."

"Indeed. I enjoyed your explanation on invisibility…."

Tolfdir looked away, modestly, but smiled. "I assume you came to me for more than a simple lesson."

"Yes. We managed to trap KrifAhrkDir's soul within the fragments of Lorkhan's Heart, but after reviewing Farengar's notes, I am at a loss. I do not know how to bring the pieces together, nor understand their link to the daedric heart gem" S'maash said, perplexed. Tolfdir shifted his stance as he took a deep breath. "You know something?" The old man was hesitant. "I understand your concern, but I have come too far to dawdle now, " S'maash added.

"Of course. Forgive me. I do not have the answers you are looking for, but I know what might, " Tolfdir sighed.

"Please, tell me."

"You must speak with the Augar of Dunlain. It will probably have the knowledge you seek, though I recommend this as a last resort, " Tolfdir replied.

"What is this Augar, and why is it a last resort?"

The students had emptied out of the Hall of the Elements, leaving S'maash and Tolfdir alone. Their voices had echoed amidst the immense chamber, so they grew quiet and still. Seconds passed as the two looked upon one another. Finally, Tolfdir broke the silence.

"It is difficult to explain what the Augar is. Suffice it to say, it was a student once…. As for it being a last resort, the Augar of Dunlain can create a rift in the mental stability of one who approaches. This is not something it does intentionally. Its power, knowledge, they are vast and as dangerous as trying to read an Elder Scroll, " the old man look concerned, almost fearful.

"It was a student, you say?"

Tolfdir grew uneasy again and shifted his balance. "Yes. Like yourself, he wanted, sought, knowledge. I am unsure of what exactly took place, but an accident occurred. He did not only receive knowledge on the topic he was studying, but received a general knowledge. He knows that, which should not be known. In his presence, you will feel that unknowable truth swirl about you, " Tolfdir maintained his grave tone. He then took S'maash's shoulder. "Promise me you'll be cautious, " Tolfdir said then began to leave.

"Wait! Where is the Augar?"

"In the Midden…beneath the College, " Tolfdir answered without losing step.

He was out the door, leaving S'maash alone in the tower. Tolfdir's words, and odd behavior, left him with an unsettling fear in the pit of his stomach. Then, I am off to the Midden. S'maash thought it was wise to speak to others about the Midden before entering, though, and went to the Arcaeneum.

Urag was wiping dust from books carefully with a linen wrap. Smash frowned. He knew the old orc didn't like being disturbed while cleaning his prized possessions.

"Urag, a momen

Heart of Lorkhan is not designed for knowledge of this realm. It is designed for knowledge of all realms. Like the dwemer, you seek that of which you are not a part. Like the Elder Scrolls, the Heart of Lorkhan is from many worlds, " the Augar explained.

S'maash wiped cold sweat from his face. His thoughts meandered a bit. He was not sure he understood. Straining against reason, he opened his mouth to ask a question. While seeking clarification, he suddenly lost his train of thought. After shaking his head and taking a deep breath, he cleared his mind.

"Are you saying forging the Heart of Lorkhan will break my bond as Azura's champion? How can that be? The task from Hermaeus Mora is unrelated, " S'maash argued.

The longer their exchange, the more noise, like swirling winds, emanated from the unseen. S'maash had to yell over the sounds. Furthermore, every time the Augar spoke, its voice grew louder, physically thundering inside S'maash's skull.

"Incorrect. The paths before you cross, but it is you, who must decide which to traverse for eternity. Should you forge the Heart of Lorkhan, you must erase the daedric heart gem from reality. Should you choose to leave behind the path of darkness, you will never learn that which is hidden from you, " the Augar said.

S'maash took a seat before the small well, where upon the Augar of Dunlain floated. It took every fiber of the elf's being to remain focused. He was on the verge of vomiting. A throbbing headache gripped him, like the beating of too much blood in his veins.

"How do I forge the Heart of Lorkhan?"

"During your journey to this place, you passed the Oblivion Forge. Mistakenly, it has been referred to as the Atronach Forge. Placing all the pieces inside its container will fuse the energies of the daedric heart gem and the fragments of the Heart of Lorkhan.

"Chaos and order, all possesses these forces, albeit unequally. The dragon soul has been filtered into both fragments, though its chaos is much more prevalent. The daedric heart gem contains the hatred of the nords, whom you slaughtered. It must be purged and replaced by a soul of order, " the Augar's instructions roared all over.

S'maash was reeling. His head spun. His stomach convulsed. Finally, he bent over to vomit. Behind closed eyes, images swirled; concepts beyond his reach. His drive for knowledge consumed him. He had one final question.

"Where do I find a soul of order?"

"In nature, " the Augar replied.

There was nothing left to ask. S'maash crawled on hands and knees out of the room. The door shut behind him, and he collapsed.

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