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Born of the Reach - Part III

Started by Harlwystyr
Post #123283

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Daggerfall Covenant
Part III

The aging innkeeper whirled where he stood. "Aha! Got you! You thought you could escape, did you? I take it you want to keep your job?"

The lean kitchen boy stiffened, a bowl of hot water in his tormented grasp, and sent Dunavic Lewynth a scared, almost sheepish look. "Uh, sir?"

The stout innkeeper lunged forward with surprising agility and raised a menacing fist into the air for a clear swing, his hairy hand seeming more like a boulder, and asked softly, "Oh, and now it's 'sir', is it? You're fond of your hide, aren't you?"

The fist waved back and forth warningly, and Algorn suddenly realised the depths of his mistake. "Uh, no, Master Dunavic, sir - ah, that is, aye, I am, but I did not mean to cause trouble, truly, and- and-"

As the innkeeper came nearer, the youth's voice began to quiver and eventually became a snuffed out squeak as the fist hung inches from his nose, "-and before all the Eight Divines - and the Daedra! - I swear I do not know what I have done to offend you so. S- sorry! Wha- what-"

"Hmpf," Dunavic grunted in frustration. "Is this all I am given to work with, in my twilight years? Is this the best of the young? Behold the eloquence of the generation said to save the world in years to come."

He turned away - then whurled around so abruptly that Algorn almost fell over, directed one finger towards the bowl of hot water in the kitchen boy's hands, and growled, "How many times must I tell you never to run with bowls of hot water in here, no matter the urgency? Never!"

Algorn opened his mouth, closed it again hastily, wet his lips, and then opened his mouth once more, grumbling, "I am sorry, Master Dunavic, sir... but I was really in a hurry this time. I've actually been wondering why we aren't allowed to..."

The greasy young man strode over to the back door leading out of the dingiest part of the Swanky Jester's Meal - a family-run home for elders, and half-time tavern - and peered out of the window. A myriad of snowflakes were dropping down from the night sky in constant waves, and it was clear that it would be a long winter to come this year.

Algorn scowled at the weather and turned to face the innkeeper. "You never told me, sir, why aren't we allowed to run with bowls out here, anyway?"

The door shone briefly in a brilliant white-blue light that hadn't been there before - and even before the kitchen boy had realised he'd dropped the bowl of water, and was staggering away in pure fear, a gaunt figure stepped directly out of the door's frame!

It groaned under some unseen pressure, Algorn saw as he swallowed his own words and scrambled away, signaling vainly for Master Dunavic to come to his aid. The figure became clearer, and the lad could see that it was a tall, bearded, long-haired old man in far-from-clean robes. The man flowed out from the closed door like a lingering ghost, strands of floating energy trying to attach their source to the door, but gracefully cutting themselves free, leaving the door unchanged and in its usual condition.

Merry, gray-green eyes sent the kitchen boy with a dropped jaw a glance under dark brows and gave him a wink ere turning to look at old Dunavic with a nod, a wave, and the words, "Thy son's turning out to have a bright feature ahead of him in Daggerfall, Dunavic, and more than a competent scribe!"

Algorn looked flabbergasted, his eyes wide with wonder and bewilderment at the same time - and the tall, gaunt man with a curved pipe floating by his side as he strode was gone in midstride. He had simply vanished.

"Who- wha- why..." Algorn gabbled.

Master Dunavic placed a hand on each of his hips and tilted his head, sending Algorn a sinister grin, and said proudly, "Now you know the reason why cooks and waiters are never allowed to stand at the kitchen door, Algorn. I don't think world-blasting archwizards like tumbling into water-carrying employees!"

"Huh? But..." Algorn narrowed his eyes, scratched his head, and asked in a low tone, "World-blasting? Archwizard? Who was he?"

"A very old friend who came to visit," Dunavic replied enthusiastically, turning to pick up the bowl of spilled water. "You wouldn't know him. His name is Harlwystyr."

He added a hearty chuckle and handed the youth a piece of cloth, waiting patiently for the flood of questions to come his way.

Yet, no questions came. Instead, his ears were treated to a gentle, wet "splosh", and then a loud thump. After peering around to see where the sound had come from, he realised its origins. Algorn had dropped the cloth down onto the puddle, and then fallen backwards onto a couple of sacks conveniently absorbing his fall. The good-for-nothing lad had fainted.

Dunavic rolled his eyes and struck his index finger a few times against the youth's temple. Perhaps he would need to splash water in his face to revive him. Oh, how courageous the younger generations were.


Her two half-brothers had been lying to her, of course. They must have been. Yet, looking back, she knew that their voices had been loud and spat out of anger, and not exactly controlled... and afterwards, they looked like they had said something they shouldn't have told her. The older of them had tried to convince her they'd been drunk and knew not what they were sprouting, but the other had remained silent and avoided her since then.

Ducking down behind a rotten barrel and below an equally unpleasant rooftop that would likely break and crush her where she stood, Dwyna hid from the guard patrol, and narrowed her eyes at what she heard.

"Yes, he's alive, and we found a gemstone next to him. It's Largreve the Moneylender."

Several men protested their disgust by growling in unison. "Shame the thief didn't end his life right there," one of older men said. "Unless you..?"

"Oh, don't worry, I still have some sense of decency, even to his kind. He couldn't explain the gemstone, said it wasn't his. Obviously he's lying, but what proof do we have? Perhaps we should look at more urgent-"

"That's exactly what we'll be doing," the older, deeper voice said again. "I'm sure that there are far more pressing matters for us at the gate on the other end of town. Help Largreve to the barracks, and learn if he has anything more to say, although I'll be deeply unsurprised if he doesn't speak."
This post was last modified: March 18th 2014, 03:14 AM by Harlwystyr
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