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An Enchanting Tale By AaronDennis Characters: 18445

Updated: 2018-01-10 12:02

At the courtyard, before the College of Winterhold, four adventurers met for a most daunting task. A chilly wind blew errant snowflakes about as dark clouds obscured the sun. The statue of Shalidor appeared to stand in approval as it loomed over the small group.

"I'm so glad you made it, brother. Having you by my side fills me with confidence, " S'maash cheered.

"It's my pleasure to be here. I could never pass up a chance to stride through the planes of Oblivion, " S'maath admitted.

"This will be a most dangerous quest, " Brelyna remarked.

"A profitable one, to boot, " Zolara added, comically.

"I see why you needed a seasoned warrior, brother, " S'maath said in jest.

"Yes, " S'maash chuckled. "Let us make last minute preparations then. To my room." The four convened agained, that time, in the room. "Do we need any enchantments?"

"No, " Both Zolara and Brelyna announced.

S'maath stood smiling. He still wore the glass armor his brother had enchanted during their previous journey.

"I do not require anything, but you do, " S'maath proclaimed.

"How so?" the younger elf asked with raised brow.

"I have brought you gifts."

From a large, travel trunk, one everyone had eyed previously in wonder, S'maath produced an ancient set of armor. It was eggshell white with hints of beige. The bony equipment was ominous in appearance.

"Bonemold armor, " S'maash asked.

"Aye, even the fine nords of Skyrim have nothing so…terrifying, " S'maath commented.

"Where did you get this, " S'maash asked while running his hands over the individual pieces.

"Ilteriel crypts."

It was their ancestor's armor. S'maash saw one more piece in the trunk, a beautiful, elven, great sword. Its golden hue and feathery filigree was sublime.

"You robbed our ancestors' grave?"

"Not robbed…borrowed. S'mael was the greatest warrior of our bloodline. I have my equipment, and it will one day lay ensconced in my own burial chamber. Should either one of us live long enough to have children, they may one day borrow my armor, and I will be proudly looking down upon them."

S'maash smiled as he shook his head. "Then, I shall have to enchant this."

"By all means, take your time, " Brelyna offered.

S'maash took the new equipment to the arcane enchanter and set himself to the task. In a fashion similar to his current equipment, he bestowed enchantments upon the bonemold armor fortifying his new sword and spell style of fighting. Of all the pieces, the helmet was perhaps the most terrifying. S'mael's old helmet was designed to resemble the head of a dragon, or rather the skull of one. Upon completion of his task, the enchanter nodded to the group.

"Off to Dartwing Cave, " Zolara said.

Clamor of cheers ensued. The group left Winterhold for their next adventure. After some travel across the paved road, they cut down a beaten trail. From there, it was not long before they saw the entrance of their destination through a blustery snowstorm.

Dartwing Cave's interior was laden with ice. The short, round, entrance chamber was bedecked with tapestries. The dark cloths portrayed the necromancer's symbol, a skull surrounded by hands. An unseen source of lighting made it an easy journey into the cave's deep. At the center of a large room stood Falion.

"Welcome to my workshop. This is where I perform rituals most minds cannot grasp, " he announced.

Four, stone pillars stood in support of the chamber. Worn shelving lined the walls. On the ground was an evil-looking depiction of the mage's symbol, an eye over a pentagram. Oddly, the eye was closed and the pentagram was actually a heptagram, a seven-pointed star.

"There is no time to waste, " Falion said, holding a bottle with glowing red and black liquid. "This is the blood of Dagon. With this substance, I will hone upon his very essence, Deadlands. Please enter the design on the floor." Once everyone gathered, Falion drew a daedric dagger, a red and black blade with sharp, serrated edges and hooks. "Hold still."

He passed to each person and made a small cut upon their forearms. A single drop of blood from each dripped onto the design at their feet. He then took the blood of Dagon and traced the four-pointed star in the design. Starting from the other end, he then traced the three-pointed star.

"Soltak. Malakar. I force this reality bend to my will. Dagon. Alatar. Send these warriors to Deadlands, " Falion announced, dramatically.

A red glow erupted from the star at the group's feet. "Whoa, " Zolara exclaimed in surprise.

"Remember, now! You cannot return until you break the anchor from Dagon's plane, " Falion yelled.

A violent sound like burning wind had assaulted the room. "How do we do that?" Brelyna yelled back.

"Just take the greater sigil stone from the war machine's interior. It will suffice, " Falion screamed.

A flash of blinding, red light forced the group to shut their eyes. Then, darkness washed over them, silence. After vertigo accosted the group, they opened their eyes; a vast wasteland was revealed; hot winds blew.

"My goodness, " Brelyna whispered.

The group stood upon craggy, gray stone. Cracks and crevices glowed with lava flowing beneath. Around them, more of the lava bubbled, and heat wavered off its surface.

"Where do we go, " S'maath asked.

S'maash looked around. It was obvious the only path was the traversable stone before them. A bridge-like structure led to a spire in the distance. S'maash took the lead, walking carefull

s whipped through his helmet.

"The second spire might lead us where we need to be, " Zolara howled.

"It's as good a plan as any, " S'maath replied.

They continued into the second spire, and much as the first, the interior held a red hue, and also like the first, they cut through a few daedra before reaching the peak. The room was covered in some material not unlike batwings, though much sturdier, allowing them to walk across. Two dremora, one in black robes with a daedric, great sword, and one in daedric armor with a daedric, war hammer, attacked.

"I will feast on your heart, " one claimed.

"I honor my lord by destroying you, " the other shouted.

The demons were not overly difficult to fight, but after their defeat, the group found little other than some treasure in hanging sacs. "There's nothing here, " S'maash complained.

"Not quite, " Brelyna rebutted.

On the far wall were large gears, which were built into the spire's structure, and below them sat a lever. She pulled it, and the gears rolled with deafening clanks.

"What now, " S'maath asked.

"Let's work our way back down and check the doors, " S'maash suggested.

All the running in the excruciating heat, down the batwings, and through the doors, was tiresome. Over an hour had passed since their arrival, and they had not stopped running or fighting. Finally, they reached a door that led back outside.

"Whoa!" Zolara called out.

He had taken the forefront after opening the door and was beset by fear. Beyond the door was nothing but a short bridge. Before anyone uttered another word, the tower rumbled. Holding onto each other and pushing back inside the tower, S'maath managed to tug the argonian to safety.

"What, " Brelyna started, but the short bridge extended. From the opposing end, another spire across from them also extended its bridge. Once the portions met in the center, the bridge effectively connected the spires. "I suppose this is the way."

"I think you're right, Brelyna, " S'maath smiled.

Careful scrutiny of their surroundings revealed they were very high up. From their new perspective, the war machine looked like a creeping, mechanical dragon, but without a defined head, wings, or tail.

"Hopefully, from the looks of it, this next spire will allow us to work our way down, " S'maash said.

They pushed through the door into the spire, expecting what the previous two held, yet all they saw was a grating of sorts. It was little more than a round, metal platform with several, large holes.

"There's a switch over there, " S'maath exclaimed.

"Perhaps, we can take this down, " Brelyna offered.

S'maath looked from her to the switch. He walked over, boots clanking, and passed some, bloody skeletons. When he reached for the mechanism, Zolara howled a warning.

"What, " the dark elf asked.

"Why all the dead bodies, " Zolara asked with a point of his snout to the ground.

"I'm certain, it's fine, " S'maath said, pulling the switch.

A jolt moved through the group. The lift clanked as it lowered them.

"I…am not so sure about this" S'maash said.

With furrowed brow, he looked over the bones, assuming they had simply died in the spire. After a moment, the reason became clear; the lift was lowering them onto large pikes built into the ground beneath.

"Move, move, move!" S'maath ordered, and shoved them all off.

By hopping off and dropping some ten feet below to the ground, they avoided death, yet the landing was less than gentle. They shook their heads in dismay before bolting through the only door in the spire. Outside, they were surprised to find themselves right, smack, behind the war machine.

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