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   Chapter 32 No.32

An Enchanting Tale By AaronDennis Characters: 12328

Updated: 2018-01-10 12:02

An uneventful return trip to Winterhold ensued after the group said their goodbyes to Falion. Upon their return, they all convened within the Midden to see what was going to happen. Standing before the Oblivion Forge, S'maash looked at the mount whereupon the sigil stone once sat.

"It does not appear as though the greater sigil stone will fit properly, " Brelyna commented after gauging the stone's design.

It was true. The new gem was closer to being diamond-shaped with rough edges and much larger than the sigil stone. With a subtle shrug, S'maash held the glowing, red jewel over the circular pedestal. To their amazement—as if the forces of magicka themselves took control—the stone hovered eerily above the pedestal. It spun slowly while bobbing up and down.

"Well, that's something. What will you do next, " Zolara asked.

All eyes were on the dark elf; he took the fragments of the Heart of Lorkhan and placed the obsidian-like jewels inside the offering box along with the daedric heart gem.

"You…might consider taking a step back before I do this, " S'maash suggested.

After heeding him, they observed how he used the lever. For a second, nothing happened. Uneasy glances passed. Then, a subtle hum emanated from the greater sigil stone.

As its glow amplified, the stone spun faster and faster. Rays of red light danced across the group's faces. A final blast of blinding red ensued. Then, the light and the humming died out. Upon the Oblivion Forge sat the Heart of Lorkhan; it was a crystalline, beating heart of red and black. An unnerving echo left them all silent. It was alive.

"You've, " S'maath started speaking, but a violent tremor ensued.

The event demanded everyone's attention. A purple flash of light came from behind them. When they turned about, their eyes grew wide in horror, their mouths agape in wonder.

A veiny mass of purple tentacles writhed about itself. Many eyes sat upon an oblong and expressionless face. Razor sharp teeth grew every which way from something resembling a mouth. Hermaeus Mora appeared in true form and filled most of the space behind S'maash and friends.

"Excellent, " the daedric prince's voice was different, a gurgling and guttural groan rather than the breathy echo. "You have completed a portion of your quest, young elf. Now, you will return full circle. Where your own heart lays, and deep beneath the fires, you will travel.

"S'maash, S'maash, you will place the Heart of Lorkhan where it truly belongs, in the chest of the God of Tamriel, in the center of Mundas, " the deardic prince ordered. "Now, a final gift for my servant."

Hermaeus Mora's words were incomprehensible. S'maash was about to ask a question when the writhing mass of slithering tentacles vomited the gift of which it spoke, a set of red, crystal gauntlets, not unlike the Heart of Lorkhan.

A second tremor ensued, causing dust and debris to fall from the ceiling. Hermaeus Mora vanished in an eruption of purple light. Still in shock, everyone kept their eyes on where the daedric prince had been, except S'maash, who bent down to take the faceted gauntlets. They were more than beautiful; they were utterly resplendent.

A flash of pain broke through S'maash skull. Ringing assaulted his ears. He dropped the gauntlets and doubled over. A voice erupted inside his head.

"How dare you! Blasphemer, you have caused me once more to lose my hold in Tamriel. Curse you and your kind, dark elf, " Azura blared.

With the pain gone and her link broken, S'maash realized his friends were trying to help him stand. "I'm fine. Azura just cursed me for creating the Heart of Lorkhan, " he huffed.

"What are they, " Zolara

"By the Nine! Return to Damlzthur and travel under the fires. Remember brother, it was full of lava?" S'maash cheered.

"And do what?" S'maath was incredulous.

"Well, that I don't know. Kagrenac's tools must play a role, and the way they vibrate when held with these gauntlets is nothing short of strange, " S'maash said.

It was during the short pause in conversation that one more entered. Aicantar had arrived.

"Greetings, Brelyna, Zolara, S'maash, and everyone. Glad to be here, " the altmer smiled. "What have I missed?"

They caught him up. Aicantar stood and paced about, a habit he picked up from his uncle.

"The final question is; what to do with these tonal tools?" he thought out loud. "I'm sure it's rather simple. After all, they are tools. Yes. Perhaps?"

"Aicantar!" a few called.

"What? Oh sorry. Yes. I believe I have an answer, " he said, approaching the table. "Kagrenac's tools are designed to create not destroy."

S'maash and his brother traded glances. Brelyna winced. Tolfdir stroked his beard. Zolara looked away, and Falion snickered.

"The Nerevarine used them to destroy the Heart of Lorkhan, " S'maash whispered.

"Yes, but a fist may smash into your flesh, thus dealing damage while an open palm might rub the same damage away, " Aicantar rebutted.

"Are you suggesting we rub the Heart of Lorkhan with those tools, " Zolara asked, askew.

"Haha, no, well…not exactly. Listen, if you know where we are going, we should go at once, " Aicantar suggested.

"We, " Brelyna asked.

"Are we not all going into Damlzthur, " Aicantar asked.

"It is quite dangerous, my friend, " Tolfdir said.

"We can't let S'maash go alone, or even with just his brother, " Brelyna contended.

"I'll go, " Falion interjected. "Truthfully, the gift of a bound demon was worth quite a bit more than I anticipated. While that Sultar Tuvik finishes his tasks, I have nothing else that requires my attention. I will go."

"I'm in, " Zolara said with a shrug.

"Master Tolfdir? If I may be excused of my duties one last time, " Brelyna pleaded.

He nodded, yet appeared ambivalent. The old man shook his head a bit, wondering what dangers waited in the unknown.

"So, there, " Aicantar said. "With all these great warriors and mages, I should be rather safe. Furthermore, I am a master illusionist."

It was agreed. Brelyna, S'maash, his brother, the argonian, Falion, and Aicantar were traveling to Morrowind.

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