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   Chapter 29 No.29

An Enchanting Tale By AaronDennis Characters: 11747

Updated: 2018-01-10 12:02


The Hall of Countenance was a welcome respite from the previous trek and battles. To date, S'maash had not yet laid eyes upon a delivery from Skyhaven Temple. While the elf sat on his bed, Zolara entered the room.

"Yes?"

"I've been speaking with Brelyna, who in turn has been speaking with Tolfdir about this plan you're hatching, " Zolara stated.

"You want in, don't you?" S'maash smiled.

"Heh, I suppose I do. Traveling into Oblivion…again, that is. Sounds rather dangerous. Whose plane do you plan on entering for the greater sigil stone?"

S'maash reclined on his bed, hands folded behind his head. He looked up at the ceiling. Zolara took a seat in the chair adjacent the bed.

"So far as I know, it will have to be Mehrunes Dagon's plane of Oblivion."

"Are you worried?"

Turning onto his side, he looked at the argonian, who was relaxing his shoulder over the back of the chair. "No…I do wish there was a better way, but I am going to do this."

Zolara nodded. "You should accept our assistance."

"Our?"

"Of course. Brelyna also wants to join us, and how about your brother, the warrior?"

S'maash smiled. "Truly, it would be nice to have you three along. Surely, no harm could come to us then, " S'maash replied, facetiously.

He knew a tight knit group fared better. Since that book isn't here yet, I may have to write S'maath….

"Are you going to say something or just stare at my scales?"

"You're scales could use a shining, " he joked. "Perhaps, I will send for my brother. I need to wait for this damnable book to arrive as it is."

"Oh…right…you mean…this book!" Zolara howled in an overly dramatic fashion before producing a tome.

S'maash bolted upright in bed and snatched the tome. It was a heavy book and appeared to be bound in bony plates. He rolled it over a few times, feeling the covers. Then, he cracked it open. The pages were skin. He looked at Zolara.

"I know…looks fashioned from man or mer, " the argonian commented.

S'maash flipped gingerly through the pages. The book was written in a sharp-looking tongue. Pictures and diagrams of demon, man, and mer were rampant throughout the text. Strange diagrams reminded S'maash of the pages of Shalidor's Insights.

"I don't understand any of this. I had expected a recounting of the tale of the Oblivion crisis, " he said.

For a second, they looked at each other. "Urag, " they both said.

With a fire beneath their butts, they both jogged to the Arcaeneum. Urag was standing before an open bookcase, quietly dusting away, when S'maash and Zolara entered. The orc heard their commotion and groaned.

"Urag, we have a tome here, but we can't decipher the language, " S'maash said.

Urag sighed. "Maybe it's because you shouldn't be reading it."

"Just take a look, old man, " Zolara said.

Urag shot him a look of contempt. He then motioned for everyone to sit down at the counter. He took the tome, spun it to face right side up, and cracked it open. His eyes went wide.

"Where did you get this?" he barked.

"The Blades, " S'maash replied.

"Hmph. It's written in Daedradi, " Urag commented.

"Demon tongue, I presume, " S'maash said to Zolara.

"Aye. What are you trying to do? Open a plane to Oblivion?" Urag was smugly sarcastic.

"Well…yes, " S'maash answered.

"It's never enough with you students, is it?! You can't just go traipsing through Oblivion!"

"Why not? We did it before…with Moonshadow, " Zolara added.

S'maash nodded accordingly. Urag shook his he

"What do you mean?"

"You don't just strut into Oblivion unnoticed. The plane is a manifestation of the lord in rule. Mehrunes Dagon will feel your presence, " he answered. "Dagon is Deadlands!"

"I see…if it can't be avoided, so be it, " S'maash replied.

Falion let out a stilted laugh. "I won't help you get yourself killed."

"Sir, please, " S'maash pleaded. "You have to understand what I'm trying to accomplish, how far I've come, how close I am…."

The conjuror adjusted his purple robes. They held a subtle and undefined glow about them.

"Mmm, well…you're not going alone, are you?"

"No, I should have three of the most competent companions with me."

Falion eyed S'maash, wincing. He felt the power of his enchantments, too. In a way, he felt a kinship; both were born to contest limitations.

"You created your equipment?"

"Yes, and the equipment of my friends. We shall not be so easily overcome, " S'maash answered, proudly.

"You're a damn fool!" Falion barked and laughed again. "You don't understand what you're dealing with. The denizens of Oblivion are bad enough, and you're wanting to traipse through the most dangerous plane of Oblivion. Your magick won't keep you safe…only your wits will." S'maash nodded. "I'll help you on one condition, " Falion stated, gravely.

"What is it?"

After a long pause, the redguard replied, "You must bring me a bound dremora."

"You want me to subdue a demon and bring it back with me?" S'maash was nonplussed.

"If you don't agree, I won't help you, " Falion breathed and crossed his arms.

S'maash gave a subtle shrug. "Then, I agree. How will I do this?"

"Take this scroll. Once you're ready to return, you'll cast this spell of daedric chains. The dremora will have no choice but to follow you back from Oblivion, " Falion pasaued again before adding, "One, last word; greater sigil stones are housed in a creation called a war machine, a detestable construct created for the sole purpose of destroying any plane of reality. Inevitably, a portion of the war machine will come back through the portal with you. Luckily, I have just the place in mind…we won't be doing it here of course.

"Once you're all set, meet me at Dartwing Cave. Now, leave me to my preparations."

S'maash nodded. He exited Morthal and made his way back to Winterhold.

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