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   Chapter 24 No.24

An Enchanting Tale By AaronDennis Characters: 13902

Updated: 2018-01-10 12:02


The Companions cut their way through a handful of reanimated dogs, men, and mer during their descent into the cave's depths. A nord ruin awaited them. They gathered at the half rotted, immense, wooden doors before planning their next move.

"This cave seems to harbor an ancient ruin, " Aela stated.

"Aye, one I had not known existed, " Vilkas added.

S'maash eyed the necromantic symbols adorning both doors. "It would seem they have found an ideal place to resurrect their unholy army."

"An awful desecration of the great nords of Skyrim. Fallen warriors and heroes alike belong in Sovngarde, not roaming old halls as undead, " Farkas spat.

"Let us not waste time, " Aela said, pushing the doors open.

A large, decorative, stone room stood before them. Smoothed walls lined with candles and braziers glinted with an orange hue. The opening of the doors drew the attention of many undead inhabitants roaming within. Creaky, old bones turned to meet the Companions. Several skeletons grasped their axes, hammers, and blades. The group of four spread out.

"I will destroy you, " Aela yelled.

Clashing of steel along with the crashing of bones bouncing off stone erupted. It was a relatively simple battle as the skeletons were no match for the Companions or S'maash. The dark elf wielded dual, icy spears, sending shards of ice into his opponents. Skeletons exploded from magickal impacts. The Companions hacked and slashed their way through. Farkas spun like a mad dervish as he brought all his girth behind his blade in horizontal slashes.

Vilkas, surprisingly quick as well, ran to one skeleton, ducked beneath a swing from opposing sword, butted the undead in the jaw then cleaved it. Without so much as slowing, he ran to the next, side stepped and swung overhead three times, leaving nothing of the former enemy but bone meal. Aela fired a few arrows as well. In mere seconds, the group of four vanquished a dozen undead.

"Good work, team. Now, we search this place, " Aela ordered.

"I have a feeling there's trouble ahead, " Vilkas remarked.

Without regrouping, each man went about their own way. The large room harbored thick pillars with alcoves carved into all, four sides, likely where the undead had been stationed. Adorning the pillars, were more candles. Far ahead of them, at the end of the room, was the only passage. They convened and moved on.

Before long, the ruin gave way to natural stone. Some tight corridors led the Companions to a group of necromancers. Having heard the approach of the intruders, they were ready for battle. With protection spells in place, several reanimated corpses, and summoned atronachs of all kinds, the evil wizards ran into battle.

"I'll rip your heart out, " Vilkas screamed, charging like a steel bull into battle.

Again the group fanned out, each choosing an enemy to battle. S'maash summoned a flame atronach of his own while casting ebony flesh. Fire bolts, icy spears, and chain lightning rained throughout the stone chamber. From the far end, sitting upon a throne of bone, a man fully clad in steel plate came to his feet. From the slit in his winged helmet, an ominous, red glow emerged. He drew an ebony sword, curved and wicked. In his other hand, he held a round, steel shield. He did not enter the fray, but observed.

S'maash covered the ground with wall of ice, freezing the reanimated men. He then drew his sword while firing icy spears. Necromages spouted insults as they unleashed their spells of destruction.

"Time to die, hero, " one called out.

Farkas squared off with a frost atronach; the frozen golem stood eight feet in height. It brought clubbed arms down with a stilted movement, too slow for the fast warrior. Farkas side stepped, hacked into the atronach's right leg, brought his blade back overhead, and swung down with all his weight. The atronach stumbled back, and he ran it all the way through. It was banished back to Oblivion.

Fire bolts then crashed over the warrior's back. He turned and charged at a flame atronach. Aela spotted it out of the corner of her eye. She fired arrows at the necromage, who had summoned it. His death

vampires, hehe heh.

"Delyla planned, instead, to subjugate the minds of conjurors, instill a need for them to revere her. As she doles out potent spells of conjuration to some, she feeds on others. They have been tricked into believing she will give them unlife and limitless potential, but she only feeds to bolster her own powers. Because she is immortal, you and J'zargo cannot slay her, only slow her progression, but this one has found a way."

"What way? How far are we going?"

They had been walking quite a ways. S'maash felt the ground slowly descend as they continued.

"Not much farther to go. Listen to J'zargo, for he is wise, " he ordered. S'maash did listen, but wondered about the Companions. Surely, they had noticed his absence. "J'zargo has been to the Soul Cairn, a go between of worlds for those souls who have been filtered. It is an awful place of death and lost souls. Gray skies and lightning rains upon strange spires of black stone. In the Soul Cairn, khajiit located a soul for Delyla. It must be infused to make her mortal."

"Restore a soul to a vampire? Is that possible?" S'maash interjected.

"Very much so. As J'zargo has stated innumerable times, he is very clever. A reaper gem, a sort of soul gem, can be used to restore a soul. J'zargo has this reaper gem. You will force her to take it. Merely touching it, will reinstate the soul, " J'zargo said.

"Wait, I'm doing this? What about the College, why are they absent from this task?"

"A stupid question. J'zargo knows the presence of many College mages will start a battle of epic proportions. Fearing an attack, Delyla would surely have taken necessary precautions to battle the mages. Many would die. J'zargo does not want this upon his conscience…nor his records with the College.

"You and your Companions have arrived with impeccable timing. Together, you and J'zargo will defeat Delyla. As one of her most trusted, this one is privy to her chamber room, unlockable only by a spell granted from Delyla. J'zargo has seemingly captured you as an offering to her. When she goes to feast upon you, you will strike her with this, " J'zargo said as he crammed a cold and rough edged object into S'maash's hand. They stopped walking, then. "The door is right here. J'zargo will open."

S'maash took his hand off the khajiit's shoulder. He then saw a violet glow around J'zargo's claw. He touched what looked like a stone door. An effervescent light took hold of the door, enveloping it with the same glow. It shimmered then opened inwards.

The room beyond was lighted by torchlight along the far walls. The fires revealed clean bones strewn about the floor. At the end of the room, only dozens of paces away, the elder vampire, Delyla, sat upon a throne of skulls.

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