The Gift: Chapter Eleven: PetsThe Dunmer’s home had once been the dwelling of a Telvanni wizard, but the old magician had died one night of natural causes- for a blade in a man’s chest naturally ended his life. After the mess had been cleaned and the summoned abominations had been dealt with, the dark elf had settled in.
It was a spacious home, built into a rising hill so that the wizard’s lab- the largest room- gracefully protruded from the side. The Dunmer had little use for magic, so the room was converted to a training arena. His many weapons, collected over two hundred years, hung from the walls and his “trophies” from his favorite battles and kills lined the shelves of his “office”.
Bedrooms that had once been the living quarters to novice mages lined the hallways and most had been turned into storage. The Dunmer had, of course, kept the master bedroom for himself and decorated it to fit his tastes. But his favorite rooms were the
The Gift: Chapter Ten: DiscoveryA tall Dunmer in a dark orange tunic adorned with deeply colored half spheres and a matching Mohawk strode fearlessly through the moonlit ashlands. His gray hand rested confidently on the hilt of a beautifully crafted ebony kitana, the gleam of enchantment rippling across its surface. Many a foe had met their end on its black edge, their blood dripping from the point, and it thirsted for more.
Much like its owner. The dark elf’s nighttime stroll was not a walking holiday. He was thirsty, but not desperately so. He simply preferred to maintain a regular feeding schedule. The problem was, that food had become hard to come by recently. Something was scaring prey off and he did not appreciate the competition.
So, tonight he was putting an end to whatever blighted creature had invaded his hunting territory and, perhaps, find some dinner on the side. He had been craving ashlander…
His pale eyes- the color of kwama milk- scan
The Gift: Chapter Nine: DeathDeath was supposed to be dark.
It wasn’t supposed to be… intense.
He could hear and smell and feel everything…
The sound of his robes shifting the grains of sand beneath him grated painfully against his skull. The bleating of an alit herd some indeterminable distance away seemed like explosions…
He could smell the tracks and odors of creatures that had walked past his location days ago. The ash reeked of sulfur and made his eyes water…
Every grain of ash was prominent against his exposed flesh, the points seeming to dig in like needles…
Somewhere a cliff racer screamed…
The Red Mountain belched…
A kagouti bull raked his tusks against stone, scamps hollered at each other, a winged twilight screeched…
He put his hand over his ears trying to block the sounds, his eyes tightly closed against the dizzying vividness of the ashlands.
Every breath brought with it new smells that made his head spin… Mus
The Gift: Chapter Eight: FeverThe journey back to Balmora had started promisingly.
But after Vicente rested against the same sand-smoothed boulder for the third time, he had to admit he was hopelessly lost. Nothing looked familiar- save the circle he had been going in- and it wasn’t entirely due to the blackness of the ashlands at night. He had gotten turned around somewhere along the path and had deviated into alien territory.
The notion should have frightened him more, but he was utterly exhausted. Even though he had covered little to no ground, he had spent hours walking… Well, stumbling, staggering, swaying… “Walking” was a woefully generous term for his pitiful shuffling.
He needed to think. He needed a better plan of action than to wander injured through the ashlands until something finished him off.
What better place to think than in the middle of nowhere?
Vicente thought wryly as he leaned heavily against the stone.
The Gift: Chapter Seven: AwakeThe vampire’s blade had pierced deep into Vicente’s chest, but it had- by some unspeakable miracle- missed his heart.
Moments later, Vicente dragged his consciousness out of the throbbing haze long enough to blindly touch a nerveless fingertip or two to his side and conjure the magical energies that would heal him.
But, magic was difficult to summon at the best of times and he was certainly at his worst.
The weak buzz of magicka flickered dimly through emptied veins and seemed to trickle into the wound rather than fill it with liquid warmth.
The feeble effort was proving too much. The damaged lung made breathing a shallow, gulping struggle as the other tried to do the work of two. Not that it mattered. Even if he had proper use of both, he didn’t have enough blood to circulate through his entire body and feed his organs with air. He was suffocating either way.
The magic fizzled out and his eyes rolled back into his skull as blissf
The Gift: Chapter Six: The AshlandsThe next morning had come swiftly indeed.
The group ate a hurried and tasteless breakfast before scrambling out into the overly bright morning sun. Luckily, their Mage’s Guild escort was already waiting for them outside.
Larienna Autrus was her name and she was a very lovely Imperial woman. A classic example of her race: strong features, wavy hair, and piercing eyes.
Her welcoming smile, however, masked her no-nonsense personality. She made it clear to everyone that she did not consider this expedition a holiday. To her, it was business and she expected that they treated it as such.
“A perfect match for our solemn guide, don’t you think?” Fasile whispered to Vicente as they prepared to leave the walled city.
The group proceeded in silence, many of them still trapped in the thralls of sleep.
Brelas met up with them just outside the gates, carrying at least a hundred pounds of armor and weaponry in addition to his pack.
The Gift: Chapter Five: RumorsBy the time the expedition team traversed all of Balmora in search of The Black Shalk Corner Club and finally made their reservations for the night, the sun had sunk well below the horizon.
Balmora was a beautiful city at first glance, but as the group quickly discovered, it was nearly impossible to navigate. The stone buildings all stood in perfect rows and they had the annoying tendency of all looking the same. Shops looked like homes and homes looked like clubs and the clubs were so out of the way that they all but disappeared completely.
But the grand city was still a wonder to behold. Though the architecture was not traditionally Dunmer, it was brilliant all the same. The buildings were made of enormous slabs of white and tan stone that were sanded and polished to meld seamlessly into each other and into that which covered the ground. Simple designs of blue were painted on the exterior walls and elegant banners of red and orange hung from the doors.
The city was separated d
The Gift: Chapter Four: VvardenfellThe ride to Vvardenfell was every bit as nauseating and distasteful as Vicente had imagined it to be.
The ship was rickety and creaked frighteningly often. Every wave found a new hole in the wood that was then patched with something akin to mud- which was almost always washed away by the salty sea water before it could harden- and the ropes that controlled to mast were so dry rotted that they broke twice.
The crew was even more “delightful”. Vicente had very strong suspicions that this unsavory group of bearded and tattooed men was more pirate than mercenary. They excessively drank a vile, homebrewed concoction and made inconceivably disrespectful remarks towards the young women aboard. It had actually gotten so bad that these poor girls needed two or three escorts just to walk across the width of the ship.
This pirate theory was solidified Vicente’s mind by the flamboyant mannerisms of their captain, Mister Girard Tsussaud himself.