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   Chapter 37 No.37

An Enchanting Tale By AaronDennis Characters: 14434

Updated: 2018-01-10 12:02


A reverberation rang and completed the octave. The aetherium golem vibrated violently. S'maath lost his footing before he was able to strike. He slipped and fell to the ground. As he rolled over, he and the others saw the creature come apart; the dwemer of eight had run out of time. The group kept a firm gaze on the enemy, but the dwemer did not attack, instead they took a knee.

"What is this? What are they doing, " S'maash asked, out of breath.

The foremost experts, Aicantar and Falion, had no reply; they simply stood slack-jawed. The deep elves removed their helmets revealing bronze skin like their wood elf counterparts. An old one with white hair spoke. His words were ancient and incomprehensible to most.

"He says their time has come to pass, " Aicantar breathed.

The group of travelers walked over to the line of kneeling dwemer. "What does that mean, " Brelyna asked, still aghast.

Aicantar looked to her and shrugged when the old elf spoke again in his staccato language. "For eight tones, you have fought, and for eight tones, you have survived. You may pass to set foot upon Xranthrnl, if you can restore life to a dead world, " Aicantar said.

"He must mean restoring the Heart of Lorkhan, " Falion interjected.

Panting, S'maash put away his weapons and produced the beating Heart of Lorkhan. The dwemer then stood, awed, and still holding their helmets, they walked to the puzzle box. S'maash and friends slowly followed suit.

"Wait, wait, wait, " Zolara huffed, coming to his feet. "We're done fighting?"

They ignored his ramblings. One, deep elf took a small, dwarven metal tool, shaped like a Y and tapped it against the box. The round door spun, causing the circles to alter their arrangement. A second elf did the same, and again, the door spun. The procedure was repeated five, more times, and the circles were neatly arranged, but the door did not unlock. The only one who had not done anything was the old elf. He took a knife and cut his hand before placing a drop of blood on the round door. It rumbled then sank into the ground. He turned to S'maash and spoke again.

"Only a living world can grant knowledge and passage, " Aicantar translated.

S'maash looked to his friends. They nodded and turned back to the opening. He walked inside to find a small altar. Two, stone hands were present on either side as though awaiting something. The old dwemer walked in behind S'maash and pointed to the altar. The wizard gingerly placed the Heart of Lorkhan on its top. The old elf pulled two, dwemer pipes and secured them to the Heart of Lorkhan by way of spinning couplings. He turned back to S'maash and spoke. By then, Aicantar had followed in.

"Order and chaos cannot exist separately. Life granted by a God can only be held with the hands of a demon, " Aicantar said.

"Hands, " S'maash asked.

"Yes…probably the ones Hermaeus Mora gave you, " Aicantar answered.

S'maash and the deep elf made eye contact for a second. He then took the red, ruby-like hands from his pack and held them. The old elf pointed to the stone hands. S'maash slid the gauntlets over the fingers; it was a perfect fit. Again, the old elf spoke.

"Life and death resonate as one, " Aicantar said.

S'maash shrugged, but knew he needed Kagrenac's tools for something. He produced them as well. The old elf spoke more.

"A fist might smash, but an open palm can create, " Aicantar said.

"Yes, I've heard that before, " S'maash smiled.

Aicantar translated those words into dwemer and the dwemer replied. "Place the tonal tools in the hands, " Aicantar told S'maash.

When the dunmer did so, the gauntlets came to life. They gripped the tools and held them, ever so close, to the heart. A wavering like too much heat off a forge obscured the sight of the Heart of Lorkhan, and swirling light manifested before them.

"Come, friends, " S'maash called out.

As they stumbled closer to peer inside the puzzle box, the remaining dwemer walked in. One-by-one, they entered the swirling light and vanished. The old dwemer spoke one, final phrase before he, too, entered.

"See for yourself what an eight of dwemer can truly forge, " Aicantar whispered.

"We must go to Xranthrnl, " Falion said.

They were in agreement, though they were not altogether composed. "I will go,

ontained within may help you to discern the nature of enchantments. I must inform you, it is not possible to find all that you require in one world, " Aicantar translated.

The tome was then given to S'maash, leather-bound and pristine. Inside, were dwemer symbols, designs, and diagrams. S'maash nodded in approval, though he did not yet understand what it was he possessed. Finally, Malkriis spoke one, last time.

"To stay too long in a world of difference can be detrimental to those who are not around you, " Aicantar said, slightly confused.

"We're existing in a different flow of time. What is minutes here might be hours or days in our world, " Falion clarified.

"Then, we should make haste, " S'maath said.

"Yes. I shall accompany you back to the way we came, " Aicantar replied.

They all bid farewell to their deep elf friends and returned to the lift. A simple pull of the bottom-most lever took them back to ground level. They slowly walked the corridor, back to the waterfall, and around the dome in the courtyard of Xranthrnl. The eerie twilight provided ample radiance, and the travelers arrived before the podium upholding the Heart of Lorkhan. As they drew near, it vibrated, and the portal back to Tamriel opened.

"I will see you all again soon, I'm sure, " Aicantar said, tears in his eyes.

"Goodbye, my friend, " Brelyna said.

They all said goodbye and stepped into the portal. After a slight vertigo, they were back in the deep recesses of Damlzthur where a battle had been won, where lava bubbled, where now, there were only five travelers. They made for home.

End

In L'Thu Oad, the brothers split once more. S'maath had a great deal of work to do with the Reyda Tong, and S'maash was anxious to begin studies on the tome he received. Falion had told him it was comprised of mystical designs used in the creation of a new kind of arcane enchanter, a potent and mysterious tool, sure to unravel significant finds in the school of enchanting.

Brelyna kept in touch with S'maath, by way of letters, in hopes than one day, he might move to Skyrim, or she to Morrowind. At the College of Winterhold, she continued to teach alteration. Falion returned to Morthal where his studies attracted Zolara. He, in turn, abandoned the College to work with Falion on new discoveries in the school of conjuration.

S'maash stayed in touch with everyone as he bounced back and forth between his court wizard duties in Whiterun and giving lectures on enchanting at the Mage's College of Winterhold. With the help of Urag, Tolfdir, and occasional meetings with Falion, he learned enough of the dwemer tongue to decipher the tome for himself.

S'maash was shocked to find that among the required artifacts, some of which were nearly indescribable, was an Elder Scroll, Arcane. That became his top priority, and one day, he left in search of it.

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