he lives up to his part of the bargain.”
Elsebet pulled the book out of her pack and gave it to him. “I hope you know what you’re doing.”
“That is my hope as well. I am trusting that you make this sacrifice worthwhile.”
“Father, you must not do this,” Frea told him, coming up to them. At the same time her brother, Paces, approached them. “That book is… wrong. Evil. Against everything you taught Paces and I our whole lives.”
“I must, Frea,” Storn said. “It is the only way to free Solstheim forever from Miraak’s shadow. There comes a time when everything must change. Nothing that lives remains the same forever. Do not fear for me, my daughter. This is the destiny that the All-Maker has laid out for me.”
Frea straightened her back and nodded with tears in her eyes. “I stand beside you, Father, as always.”
“As I do, too,” Paces said, standing next to his sister.
“I am ready for whatever the foul master of this book has in store for me.”
He opened the book, and instead of being sucked into it like Elsebet had, the book pulled itself out of Storn’s hands, tentacles coming out of the pages as the Skaal shaman took a step back, and pierced their sharp tips through different parts of Storn’s body, pulling him off his feet and into the air.
Hermaeus Mora himself appeared above the book as Frea let out a cry, the only thing holding her back from attacking the Daedra being her brother.
At last, the Skaal yield up their secrets to me.
Elsebet’s heart beat erratically in her chest as she watched Storn struggle against the tentacles holding him in place.
“You… liar… gah!… I won’t… not… for you…”
He let out a scream dripping in pain, and Frea held a hand out towards him.
“Father! No, stop!”
“Do something!” Paces told Elsebet.
It was at that moment that Hermaeus Mora’s eye turned to her.
Dragonborn, you have delivered me the gift I requested. In return, I keep my promise, as befits a Prince of Oblivion: I give you the Word of Power that you need to challenge Miraak.
Power filled her veins again, and the locked Word joined the rest that she knew. But there was something different about that Word. The entirety of her run to the Skaal Village, she had wondered what the third Word could be, if the second could control the minds of man and mer.
But now, she knew what it was.
The revelation hit her like she had been dropped by Alduin again. That was why Miraak was so powerful, why that Serpentine dragon, Sahrotaar, in Apocrypha did what Miraak told him to do. Because he could control dragons.
And now, so could she.
The tentacles were pulled from Storn, retreating back into the Black Book. Together, Storn and the book fell to the ground, the former dead, and the latter full of more knowledge than it had had before.
You will be either a worthy opponent or his successor, as the tides of fate decree.
He disappeared, then, leaving his book lying on the ground.
Frea broke out of her brother’s hold and fell to her knees besides her father. “Father! What have you done!” She looked up at Elsebet, tears streaming down her face, as her brother joined her. “Go. My father sacrificed himself so that you could
I shoved my hands in my pockets. “Ame could’ve been gentler with him. we should’ve taken things slower to not startle him.”
“Hindsight is 20-20. That’s just how it is. Even though it stinks so bad.”
“Oh, sweet, Minicha. Amethyst isn’t great at her job.”
He set the plate down. “Is she new at it? That could be part of it. Everything has some sort of learning curve.”
“That’s not the vibe I get.” I shook my head. “She’s had at for a while. She’s just not as attentive as he needs her to be. She hasn’t dealt with people like him before, but I don’t think that’s the biggest problem.”
“I don’t know who or what led him to believe this, but he thinks he has to fix his problems on his own. He’s a good kid who cares a lot for the ones he loves but keeps to himself otherwise.”
Cole stretched. “Is he still a kid?”
“I’m not really sure. I’m certain he’s younger than me, though. He’s not exactly tall, so at first glance, I’d assume he was around seventeen.”
“But you know appearances aren’t everything.”
I nodded. “I don’t know if it’s homesick or that he was hurt when I met him, but he’s been hurting inside. I don’t know why, and he hasn’t learned to deal with it yet.”
“He was hurt?”
“It wasn’t serious in and of itself, but he hadn’t gotten a home or anything ‘til he met Ame, so he hadn’t dealt with it properly. It seemed like it got infected, but he really didn’t want to let anyone near it.”
He raised his eyebrows. “Did Ame take care of it?”
“Sort of… I had to be the one to actually treat it, but she gave me the tools to do that.”
:45 to :00?
destroy Miraak and lift his master’s shadow from the land. Go, then. Kill Miraak. Do not fail.”
“I cannot defeat him now,” she told the Skaal woman. “I don’t have enough dragon souls to unlock the Words Hermaeus Mora gave me. I need to leave for now, but I promise, I will be back. I will defeat Miraak.”
Frea stood up, and clasped Elsebet’s forearm in her hand. “You have not disappointed us yet. I trust that you will be back. Just hurry, please. Avenge my father.”
Elsebet clasped Frea’s forearm. “I will. I promise.”
She slipped her arm out of Frea’s grip and made her way through the village, keeping her eyes on the ground as everyone watched her. She could feel their grief, and she wished she could help them, but she was still grieving herself—it really hadn’t been that long since Marcurio died, and he had been a childhood friend.
Oblivion, she still wasn’t over the deaths of Lydia and Risorallen.
It was a long trek to Raven Rock, that took up the rest of the day. She was exhausted, and cold. She pulled the hood of her cloak over her head as she left the Retched Netch, after picking up all of her items, and headed towards the docks.
Gjalund was happy to take her back to Skyrim, and as she sat on the deck watching the sailors man the ship, she realised just how quick the journey had been.
She’d gotten significantly more powerful in the time she’d been in Solstheim, with the Dragon Aspect and Bend Will Shouts, she’d been to a plane of Oblivion—another one, if she was counting the mind of Pelagius III—and she’d lost a friend.
All in three days.
The Northern Maiden pulled out of the dock, and Elsebet watched as the town of Solstheim slowly disappeared. Once it did, she went below deck and slept.
When she woke up in the morning, she could no longer see Solstheim.
Anyone want a war?
Do you want a war?
gomen. tis 11. waiting for my mom to put my sheets on my bed.