256. Gwendis – The vampire’s call

256. Gwendis - The vampire's call

As dusk casts her ebony shawl across the Rivenspire sky, wearied and bloodied, I return to lodge in Shornhelm.  Languidly I sink into recline, and the only sound to break my tranquillity are the fervid chirps of the birds carried into my window upon the cool evening breeze from the spring blossomed gardens below.  I close my eyes and breathe… just breathe.

I hear her nocturne call, her voice a honeyed melody with which she chains me, binding me in nectarous whispers.  I see her now in my mind, her coltish half-smile, her eternal eyes vanquishing my will; and with every trembling breath my gravity tumbles away and I submerge deeper into sweet rapture.  Shepherded now by her narcotic whispers under that blissful veil, sinking into moonlit pools of a lucid dream, down into the depths of a saccharine realm where there is only she.

Too soon I awaken, and as I lay tamed in fettered muse, her aria still warming my hazy mind, the only sound to break my tranquillity are the fervid chirps of the birds carried into my window upon the cool evening breeze. 

And it is in those songs of the birds that I perceived my inescapable fate.  For just as they are compelled to answer nature’s call and return to these spring gardens year upon year, I find I am now compelled to answer her call and night upon night return to her ethereal embrace.

it just is, and I just am… forevermore hers.


255. The more I know, the less I know

255 (a). The more I know, the less I know255 (b). The more I know, the less I know255 (c). The more I know, the less I know

That I choose a different fate for Janeve Tamrith is not because I now know more and am more certain of what may be, it is the very opposite.  After meeting with Count Verandis and Gwendis, who have proposed to take Janeve under their wings, I no longer have a clear definition of what being ‘alive’ is.

These vampires, who I had thought but mindless undead, whether born through curse, infection, or spell-craft, are not so different from me.  Despite having no soul they feel the pain of the flesh as I do; perhaps the desire too.  They feel sorrow and happiness, fear and faith.  They retain the memories of who they were… are.  Perhaps the only difference between myself and a vampire is that I prefer my meat well-done.

Like Janeve I am soulless… and if she deserves to die for that, then so do I.


254. One last jape

254. One last jape

I remember reading a plaque somewhere near the chapel at Shornhelm which read ‘Tamriel has no sorrow that Arkay cannot heal.’  Deep in the Shadowfate Caverns, I fear I have found a rebuttal.

How quickly the victory bell dullens to wooden thunder, and sweet lauds of triumph turn to ash upon our tongues.  In one last jape upon Rivenspire, with one final twist of his dagger into the hearts of her people, Reezal’jul turned their most gallant daughter Captain Janeve, the Shield of House Tamrith, into the very monster she fought so valiantly to protect her people from.

For her sister the Countess Eselde Tamrith, whose soul and spirit now suffocates under weight of anguish, there is now only fretful cerebration.  Through trembling lips I hear her whisper “It will be a mercy…”  Through trembling lips I hear Janeve’s reply “… I want to live”.


253. A savage retribution

It was the Countess Eselde Tamrith who spotted Reezal-Jul first, skulking in the darkest recesses of the Shadowfate Caverns, preparing no doubt for one last act of repugnancy.

There were no threats, no pithy retort, no guttural battle cry; and yet he was defiant to the end.  But with his vampire soldiers either dust or in flight, he became what he is, just a dry old lizard, adrift in his own insanity.

I wonder… do bad men live just as long as the good?  Do they make just as many friends in life?  Do they take just as much pleasure from the taste of wine and the intimacy of others?   Do they sleep just as long every night?  Do they fear the light as much as the good fear the dark?  I wonder if I am a good man, or bad.

Surely a good man with an enemy beaten and at the mercy of his blade might be satisfied in showing clemency and letting law and justice decide his fate.  I took my satisfaction in the feel of my sword cracking the lizard’s ‘erect spine’ in two.  For some offences there can be only savage retribution.

Perhaps the only difference between a good man and a bad one is the cause of his savagery.


252. Brave the darkness

252 (a). Brave the darkness252 (b). Brave the darkness252 (c). Brave the darkness252 (d). Brave the darkness252 (e). Brave the darkness252 (f). Brave the darkness252 (g). Brave the darkness

In the aftermath of the heinous attack upon the refugee camp in the Eyebright Feld, Reezal-Jul’s vampires dragged Captain Janeve Tamrith deep into the black heart of the Shadowfate Caverns.  The light has no power here and Arkay himself has forsaken these ruins; Yet I shall not abandon the Captain to the shadows.  What blessing is strength if you have not the heart to brave the darkness to make use of it?