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I Have a Little Plan - Part III

Started by Harlwystyr
Post #102550

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Daggerfall Covenant
Part I
Part II
Part III

Marching dutifully down the dim corridor, Jalinda and Thalric did not speak much. They had briefly discussed what the old wizard recently had spoken to them both about, and agreed on swift action. Even though it probably wasn't their call to make they were going to remove the Flamesteel Blade and bring it to duke Rolorn Erold, to convince him that it would only imperil the castle and those who resided within it - including themselves.

They were stopped by Hagstann, the only nord and wizard in the Camlorn Blades. He wore a strange, menacing smirk.

"Well met," he greeted the two pleasantly. "You look much more handsome out in proper light than you do in here, skulking about in the shadowry corridors of a duke's private crypt, stealing things that do not belong to you."

Thalric frowned. "What are you talking about, Hagstann?"

"I speak of the Flamesteel Blade," the nord murmured. "Sadly missing from its longtime hiding place. Sadly missed by some."


"Don't be daft, captain. There are other factions across High Rock interested in magical objects of great power than just deluded old fools - if he is the real Harlwystyr of old."

"What are you doing here?" Thalric snapped, hefting his sword meaningfully as he took a step forward, Jalinda behind him with the Flamesteel Blade on her back.

The wizard waved an airily dismissive hand. "Merely seeking to retrieve the blade for one of the aforementioned factions. I can't say I believe their course bellow of great justice, but the pay is good, and I've been promised certain privileges in the High Rock they'll shape with the artefacts. I... seek a better High Rock. I deserve a better High Rock."

Thalric's eyes went brooding, his fingers tightening around the grip of his sword. He knew that Hagstann was a wizard of no small accomplishment, and could likely end him in seconds if the nord had prepared spells for the encounter - which was also most likely.

"As do I, Hagstann. Unfortunately for friendly accord between us now, that does not mean we agree on what 'better' is. You desire a High Rock that is better for you. Yet you lack the vision - and honesty - to admit this."

By the way the nord raised his hand, Thalrich knew that forceful magic was about to be hurled. Jalinda seemed more diplomatic, stepping forward and delivering the sword into Hagstann's hands. Then that thought was shattered into a recent memory, thanks to an all too familiar voice ringing out behind the wizard.

"A moment, lad."

Hagstann spun around. "Who-"

"Release not deadly magic," his gaunt old visitor snapped. "If ye do so, half of the guardsmen and hired mages will rush here, and ye'll have no hope of dispatching them all or spiriting away with the Blade in time."

By way of reply, Hagstann sneered and strode forward with ready hands. "Whoever you are, I guess I'll just have to use a silent spell up close, then, and-"

"Harlwystyr's the name," the old man told him cheerfully as he tossed a handful of small metal vials under the wizard's boots; another hand quickly reaching out to seize a chalice from a nearby table.

Hagstann slipped, smooth metal rolling under his feet. He made a wild grab for support, found it - and went down helplessly, dragging the table down atop himself and dropping the Flamesteel Sword.

A moment later, a chalice came down and rang against his head, and Evermore went away very suddenly.

"Satisfyingly solid," Harlwystyr remarked approvingly to Jalinda and Thalric on the other side of the unconscious nord and bent low to retrieve the Flamesteel Blade on the floor. "Ye might want to leave now, before-"

"It's too late?" a coldly malicious voice said in their ears out of a sudden roiling glow, just before it claimed the three in a savage roar of unleashed magic.


Harlwystyr opened his eyes, feeling weak and burnt.

He was someplace else, although still in the castle he knew; in a small stone room he'd seen a time or two before. A chamber with stone benches built along two walls, closed doors in the other two, and a table in the center of the room.

Jalinda was lying on it, face up, dead or senseless.

Harlwystyr staggered to her to see which.

Her eyes opened, her gaze seeming different from Jalinda's, somehow, as he bent over to murmur, "Lass?"

Needlelike pincers erupted out of her to impale him.

Spewing blood, eyes wide in disbelief and pain, Harlwystyr staggered back - and up through the body of the woman that wasn't Jalinda, bursting it apart like so much wet custard and rending the table and floor from beneath, came a horribly mutated vermai.

Large and bile-green it loomed, surrounded by a forest of attached tentacles that ended in grasping pincers.

"No more meddling, Harlwystyr," it said in a deep, gloating tone. "No more guiding your cherised High Rock this way and that, arrogant as you move men and women about like mindless pieces on a chessboard. All your schemes and strivings end here and now."

Two princes snared Harlwystyr's hands - and snipped them off at the wrists.

Blood spurted, and the old breton reeled.

"Yes, the moment of my revenge has come at last, Harlwystyr of Daggerfall. As you die your final death - your oh-so-overdue death. All your Art stripped from you, sealed across High Rock, and all your wards destroyed over time, drained, and used down long and patient years of watching and sending you foes, and 'accidents,' and unfortunate coincidences. Outwitting you, arrogant Ealthar. You did not end me last time - so I had the advantage of surprise in this, and will outlast you. Now embrace Oblivion in fitting agony, knowing it is I, Arthaurak, who has slain you!"

Deadly spells lashed out from the vermai's eyes to blast and Harlwystyr, sending violet rays into the old man and driving him to his knees. He fought gaspingly to find breath enough to scream, his arms seared off at the shoulder, his body aflame. And failed.

"I will end you now in the name of Flaivere, and so many other names of power and position you have driven me from down the long years. Die, old fool!"

The vermai's body exploded, and the man on the floor was blasted to ashes-

-that slumped down into swirling ruin, even as they last remains of the vermai coated the walls of the room in flesh and blood, and dying laughter could be heard, leaving only the roling echoes of its gloating behind.


"I know this way. It leads up the passage and out from the castle!" Thalric panted as they sprinted along the corridor together. "We'll just have to keep going for a little while yet!"

"I wonder where Harlwystyr got teleported," Jalinda gasped, the redguard's voice holding sadness, much to Thalric's annoyance.


Durana Emhardt raced like a furious whirlwind, her boots bringing her into a little stone room where... human blood and innards were spattered everywhere.

And a heap of faintly glowing enchanted trinkets she recognised, amid ashes... Harlwystyr.

Or all that was left of him.

Magic darted around like tiny torchbugs in the night, winking among a swirl of ashes on the floor, and she became very still, holding no doubt she was gazing at his remains.

"No," the breton woman looks betrayed her actual age whispered, lips trembling. "No. Damn you, Harl, not like this! Not without giving me a chance to bid you farewell! I loved you, Harlwystyr Ealthar! Divines and Daedra damn me, but I loved you!"


Harlwystyr's ashes rippled for a moment on the floor and from them rose a faltering pillar of thick and living air... and took on a vaguely human shape.

"And I love ye, too," he whispered emptily. "Though perhaps I should say 'What is left of me' loves ye."

He'd survived! In undeath or something like it, but-

Durana burst into tears and rushed to embrace him.

Causing him to fall back into a cluster of ash - which promptly rolled down her bodice and along her side, making her shiver in both dread and amusement. Once the ashes came to the floor, another ghostly barrier of air rose, from which a headlike shape could be seen.

"Always wanted to do that," Harlwystyr said in satisfaction.

Behind them, the door crashed against a wall. Thalric Camry and Jalinda looked at the ongoings. As they both stepped closer, the sight of the manlike 'air' trying to smile at them caused both - weary already from excitement enough to last a year - to faint.
This post was last modified: December 3rd 2013, 09:05 AM by Harlwystyr
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Post #119033

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Good read although may I suggest I spellcheck?
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Post #119759

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Ah, cheers! Will give it another look.
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