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Abandon Quest?

Started by Niritin
Post #102831

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It had taken over a week of bribes, petty tasks and favour currying for Thorvald to be granted access to the higher tiers of the sprawling, organic metropolis that was Port Telvannis. It had taken nearly all of his patience and resolve to reach that point without losing his temper and simply quitting the city in favour of places less obtuse. It was almost as if the locals had yet to be informed of the recent alliance that their race had sealed with his own, he felt, considering he’d been witness to Dunmer being given precedence over himself at almost every turn. An entire day he had wasted waiting in the foyer of a local trade prince’s manse, forced to sit in the ridiculously ill-fitting and uncomfortable outfit he’d had foisted on him, in assurance that wearing local styles would please his prospective benefactors. Sat watching Dunmer arriving hours after he had and being promptly ushered through caused him more than once to question the entire point of this endeavour.
Patience, though not a trait his people were renowned for, was his virtue in the end. His shield-brothers when he was but a young stripling had coined the moniker ‘Thorvald the Stoic’ in recognition of this, something he took a satisfied pride in. The task he’d been assigned by his Fighter’s Guild contact in Firewatch had seemed trivial enough; to locate and destroy an infestation of undead in a tomb on the western coast of the largest of the Telvanni isles. The Dunmer’s reverence for the deceased that he had seen in the Redoran lands did not seem to be upheld so strongly out in the wild east, however, and where he had expected the locals to welcome the prospect of having a lair nearby purged, instead they met him only with grim mistrust. ‘What business has a Nord in the grave-site of Dunmer, eh?’ A sentiment asked him by a taverner and echoed by mostly everyone else he had spoken with. Thus he had cajoled his way into an audience with the patriarch of House Tuvar, the last local descendant of that line and holder of keys to the family crypt.
Being admitted to the private chambers of Murith Tuvar had been one of the few graces to save the entire affair for Thorvald. When the mer’s steward ushered him into a seemingly empty chamber within the mushroom pod, he had smirked as the Nord had simply stood there, appearing to be uncomprehending. Thorvald was no fool though, or not too great a one at least, and promptly uncorked and drained a small vial of shimmering violet liquid he had plucked from his satchel. As he slowly began to float upwards, into the vertical passage leading to the upper halls of the manse, he nodded to the servant who had already twisted his smug expression into a frown. “Thank you, that will be all.” The Nord afforded himself a slight smile as the steward slammed the door to the passage closed as his boots slipped out of view.
The chamber had the scion of Tuvar lounging upon a mound of large scattered cushions, green-glass lanterns casting their faint glow through the haze of wispy entrails of incense smoke. “You are a persistent Nord.” It came almost as much a question as a statement from the pampered Dunmer, as he raised his brow while he appraised the petitioner. “Though perhaps not so in your purchases. Your attire strikes me as… hurried.”
Thorvald had come too far now and suffered too many petty injustices to be riled so by snide remarks, though he knew undoubtedly for some of his brethren this would be coaxing enough to simply grab the elf and break him in two. Or to attempt to, anyway. The Nord was only too aware that to get anywhere better than the gutter in Telvannis, you had to possess at least a rudimentary grasp of the arcane. It was time he got to the point.
“Sera, my Lord of Tuvar, I have been sent from Firewatch under direction of my guild to assist in the extermination of a local menace that stems from within your ancestral tomb. Whether it be a lich, or..” He had practiced this introductory speech numerous times in his head as he waited and considered it rather polished, so was distraught when the Dunmer cut him off with a bark of laughter.
“Ha! A lich, indeed. Firstly, my hoary friend, I do not care for the insinuation that this is the fault of me or mine. Secondly, we have had no report of such activity, nor would I care to send any other than one of my own hirelings to investigate.”
The nord tried to protest, to attest to the legislation behind his task and present the documents he had carried with him across the peninsula and narrow stretch of sea that had comprised his journey from Firewatch. He could not, however, speak. It was then he noted that there was a faint glow coming from the hand of the dark elf opposite and realised he was being held under a spell of silence. To compound his broiling anger and shame, his potion of levitation also decided to expire at this point and he came thudding to a stagger as he landed gracelessly upon the floor.
“Our people may be held by compact,” the Dunmer continued on, obviously enjoying this very one-sided lecture, “But you must not presume that this opens up doors for you simply based on heritage. I’m sure within that thick Nord skull you feel a great injustice, but do not deny that similar distrust would be met by one of my brethren should they go a-gallivanting around Skyrim, especially within the tombs of your people. Ah, yes, of course, you cannot deny it.
Now, far be it for me to presume a lack of foresight on your part, I’m presuming that you only purchased a single potion of levitation, correct? Ah yes, I see by your helpless expression that this is so. Never fear, I shall cast one upon you that you may leave my presence. You will talk to my steward about my compensation for the magicka costs.”
Before he could gesticulate for something, anything that may grant him another chance to impress upon the lord his prowess and benign intentions; to express grief at causing offence and begging many pardons; Thorvald began to float helplessly back out of the room and down the passage to the waiting hall of the manse.
The door to the passage opened almost as soon as he reached it, the smirk returned to the face of the servant and so ingrained that it seemed he may never again craft his face into any other mood. “I am led to believe that you are to compensate my lord for the magicka costs he was forced to devote to aiding you in your departure, correct?”
“Yes,” Thorvald sullenly replied, realising then that he was free of the enforced silence, but feeling none the more empowered for it. “How much do I owe?”
“Oh, only a pittance. Say, fifty septims?” The steward’s eyes glittered in the gloom of the hall as he conned the shamed petitioner; of fifty he could get away with skimming at least ten. This was a natural pattern of thought, it was almost expected of the position to have a little extra benefits, off the books so to speak.
“Fifty it is…” The Nord slung his satchel onto a table and rummaged around inside, counting out the coins into a small guarskin pouch before handing them over, utterly defeated.

An uneventful journey took the man back across the thin strips of land and sea to Firewatch, where he found himself in the tavern down the road from his guildhall, trying to pluck some Nord-courage from within the dregs of maitze at the bar. “There’s a lesson for ye there, lad,” the barkeep Vingar offered, a fellow Nord who’d been served the whole merry tale from the lips of the sullen adventurer before him. “Those elves, they love to put a man in his place. Next time you go a-questin’ in Dunmer lands, don’t be callin’ yerself ‘The Stoic’ like some bloody Imperial everywhere ye go. You sign your ‘hospitality papers like that and yer beggin’ for a merry chase!”

Thorvald’s next assignment was removing a rat menace from a local bakery.

(Note, this is my first post here so I hope it's in the correct section etc, also I found the hardest bit knowing what existed and what did not during the time-frame of ESO so if I have made any blatant errors let me know and I'll remedy them.)
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