New Chapter! Not much to say prior to the story, other than have fun and let me know what you think (positive and negative)!
Word count: 4260
“Master, what are you saying, Nirn will end? Do you mean a new Kalpa begins?” Andrew asked in surprise to the Redguard in monk robes. Micciah felt even more confused. A Kalpa? What was that? What were they talking about?
“The Great Wheel will come to an end. No more cycles, no more ends and no more beginnings,” Yeshua answered in his own strange way, “Instead, Aurbis will become as it was always meant to be. Fear not, but rejoice.”
“Eh… Okay, and when will that happen?” Taksim joined his brother in questioning the priest.
“The day will come when it will come. One who seeks his destiny before he is ready, will only find his demise,” Yeshua then stood up and while straightening his robes, he said: “But the hour is late and I need to rest now.”
“Yes, well, while you sidetracked us completely, there is still the matter why we came here in the first place,” Lovilas quickly addressed Yeshua before he could take off, “So until that conspicuous day of yours arrives, let us worry about the task at hand, shall we?”
All eyes were fixed on the elf now. Micciah’s too. A myriad of emotions swam through her eyes, dominant among them being rage, directed towards Lovilas for single-handedly destroying their chance of learning more about the Staff.
Luckily, Yeshua still remained calm and said: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, you came here with questions, but know that a wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”
“Nice try, but you haven’t even provided any answers to the given questions yet,” Lovilas jumped up with his brows descending and his lips frowned.
“A fool can ask more questions in an hour than a wise man can answer in seven years,” Yeshua said, standing with his hands folded in front of him. Next, Lovilas raised his arm with his finger pointed in the air and ready to respond, but then Micciah stood up and lowered the Altmer’s hand: “I am very sorry for my friend’s behavior,” she exclaimed before Lovilas could utter a word, “Please forgive him.”
“There is nothing to forgive him for, as he was only following his heart,” Yeshua walked back to his chair and took a seat, “I see that your heart too is in unrest. Very well. What is it that you ask of me?”
“I bring with me a very powerful staff and I was hoping you could tell us what to do,” Micciah started to explain, after which she walked to the corner of the room where she put the Staff when she entered the room. She unfolded the linen that were wrapped around it and the weapon became visible for everyone to see.
“I cannot believe it! That is the Balac-thurm, is it not?” Andrew yelled as he jumped up from the bench. With big eyes he examined the weapon: “W-where did you get this?” he surveyed in admiration as he stroke his hands over it. He wanted to grab it, but Micciah was reluctant to let go.
“I found this Staff in a cave in the Druadach Mountains, close to Solitude,” Micciah looked to Yeshua instead of Andrew. However, the master kept his lips together, so Micciah continued, hesitating if she should add the details about her visions: “It was in an underground room that I discovered.”
“But how? It was supposed to be protected,” Andrew finally looked up from staring at the Staff and sat down, “The Balac-thurm showed you the way in your mind, am I right?”
“Yes, it gave me visions,” Micciah admitted, swallowing, “But how does that even work?”
“To those who can hear, the Staff’s words appear,” Andrew quoted a verse. Then his gaze turned away from Micciah and he enunciated: “They can harken its plea, but are alien to see.”
Suddenly he stretched out his arm and gently grabbed Micciah’s snow white hairs. She froze, scowling at him, only to see the soft look in Andrew’s dark brown eyes in which no traces of ill intent were visible, only tranquility. It eased her and she let his fingers slide between her lochs.
“You were not born with those pale hairs, were you?” Andrew inquired. Thereafter he retreated his hand and Micciah gasped when he let go, as she felt the warmth disappear. A second passed before she shook her head and Taksim’s brother continued: “Tell me then, when did that happen?”
“Sixteen years ago, when I was ten,” Micciah gazed down at her hands in her lap.
“Did something change with you, as well as your hair?” he continued his interview.
“I started to have visions visiting me in my dreams after that happened,” she answered, sitting now on the edge of the bench, “But when I was in the cave, the visions I got were different. I figured they came from the Staff. Do you think it’s connected?”
“No, I do not think. I know,” Andrew stated confidently and again he observed the staff laying on the lounge table between him and Micciah, “The Balac-thurm, or the Staff of Chaos as you name it, is powerful indeed, but it cannot call out to anyone. You need to have a special gift in order to be called upon it,” he explained, “Tell me, do you know how you received your talent?”
Micciah held her breath, studying Andrew with intrigue while the rest of her vision blurred, as if the Redguard and herself were the only ones in the room, like Taksim, Lovilas and Yeshua weren’t there anymore: “Are you saying the Staff did this to me?” she questioned in disbelief, but with twinkling eyes of hope as well, “Did it give me my powers?”
“No, by the Divines, no,” Andrew chuckled, “The Staff does not have that kind of power, thankfully I might add. It does however, feel your presence when you are close and is able to show you the way.”
“Ever since I got my colorless hair and visions, I wondered why and how. No-one in the College of Winterhold could provide me with an answer,” Micciah sighed, as she almost thought Andrew had the answers she was looking for her whole life. Almost, “Are you sure they didn’t come from the Staff?”
Finally Yeshua opened his mouth to tell another riddle: “Everything in Aurbis is connected, as is the son of the Divines with his parents and with Mundus. But making assumptions where no direct connection is to be found, is a fool’s game.”
Little by little, Micciah started to understand where Lovilas’ irritation for Yeshua was coming from. But she set her boiling machinations aside and instead gazed hopefully at the monk: “Then do YOU know where my visions, the normal ones -if you can name them such- come from?”
“Blessed are those who are chosen by the Divines,” the monk spoke, his friendly brown eyes piercing through Micciah, but she still didn’t feel like her question was properly answered.
“So, the Divines gave me this power?” she asked, her hands twitching restlessly.
“It is as you say,” he stood up again.
Micciah threw her hands in the air in frustration. “Why?! Why would they curse me with something like that?”
“The ways of the gods are often a mystery. As a mother protects her child by keeping things hidden, so it is sometimes also with the son of the Divines. But for now, I must return to my chambers,” he spoke and was getting ready to walk away.
“At least tell me how to get control over them!” Micciah yelled, jumping up in an instant. But Yeshua ignored her and disappeared behind a door.
After he was gone, the sensible atmosphere in the chamber changed drastically and it was silent for a second. Then Lovilas, still standing, now next to the bench, stretched his back and said with sarcastic tone: “A real fun guy to talk to, isn’t he?”
“Yup, I warned you back in Markarth that he was different,” Taksim grinned looking at the Direnni, then to his brother, “But he sure is full of wisdom!”
“I doubt that,” Lovilas argued, after he gestured at Micciah, “He wasn’t able to answer her questions. Come to think of it, he didn’t help us at all.”
“Because my master doesn’t give you an answer you suspect, it doesn’t mean he can’t,” Andrew defended, his eyes losing the calm appearance, “He chooses not to always tell.”
“If you ask me, he is just full of rubbish,” Lov waved his hand past his head and turned around to take off.
Micciah spun her back while still sitting, to look at him with a raised eyebrow: “Where are you going?” she asked with confusion in her voice.
“I’m going outside. I have a sudden urgency to get some fresh air,” Lovilas ranged to the door.
“What about the Staff? We still don’t know what to do with it.”
“If this Yeshua thinks it can wait, so do I. Goodbye,” Lovilas went through the door and slammed it behind him, leaving only Micciah and the two Redguard brothers in the room.
The three looked at each other and it didn’t take long before Micciah took the word again: “Andrew, you said some rhyme about who can hear the Staff. Where is that from? Can you tell me more?”
“I can tell you, but I have a better idea,” Andrew beamed, a smile painting itself ear to ear on his face. He shot up and hasted to a corner of the room, where an oak lute was leaning against a chest of drawers. He picked up the instrument with gold colored decorations that pictured a phoenix around the resonance box, and struck the eight strings with his fingers. Then he opened his mouth and the voice of a nightingale left his lips:
“Oh good folk, oh good folk, it’s the Balac-thurm that spoke
I tell you, I tell you, it’s gold, light and blue
With an Aurbis bridging power, it awaits in the tower
It’s nigh, it’s nigh, the Balac-thurm’s cry
It was hidden underground, but wants to be found
To those who can hear, the Staff’s words appear
They can harken its plea, but are alien to see
I know, I know, I see the Balac-thurm’s glow.”
A moderate applause followed, but it only seemed so because it came from two people, who were both clapping abundantly. Andrew made an elegant bow and after returning the lute to its former place, he sat down in Yeshua’s chair. As he took his place, Micciah asked: “Can you tell me more about the song?”
“I believe it was composed somewhere in the first Era, centuries after the Staff was lost for the first time,” Andrew elaborated, “Until someone, someone like you, heard its calls and rediscovered it.”
“Someone like me? Did this person also wrote about that? Did he know why the Staff called to him? And what do you mean, lost for the first time? How many times was it lost? How many times was it rediscovered?” Micciah interrogated only a fraction of the inquiries bursting in her brain, while trying her best not to twist her tongue, “Please, you have to tell me all you know about the Staff!”
Andrew chuckled and scratched his head, between his dreadlocks: “I’d love to, but it’s getting very late. So, what do you say, let us call it a day and come back tomorrow?”
“No it can’t wait,” Micciah protested, while shooting forwards and bringing her hands down on the lounge table, “We’re being chased down by soldiers, mercenaries, Khajiits and who knows what. Even the emperor himself is looking for us! Every hour counts!”
“Micciah, relax,” Taksim chuckled now as well as his younger brother, “You’re starting to sound an awful lot like Lov.”
“Look, Helgen is a three days journey from Falkreath, perhaps two with horses and without sleep,” Taksim tried to calm her, looking at her with a straight face, “No way they can track us down over a night.”
“You don’t know that,” Micciah kept objecting, “We teleported right in front of them. They know of that, so we need to be ready!”
“Ready to do what exactly? To keep running? To stay up all night? We need rest, Micciah,” Taksim said and Micciah was reminded of her own words she spoke to Lovilas only a few nights back. She calmed herself and rubbed her eyes. Taksim was right. It had been a long day and she could use the rest. A lot had happened lately and it was hard to imagine that they had been traversing through the forests of Falkreath just this morning.
“Is she always this fiery?” Andrew asked with a big smile, “Oh brother, you always knew what kind of ladies to pick, even back when we were children.”
“What? No, no, no, I’m not his girlfriend,” Micciah clarified waving her hands in the air, after she restored herself from a big yawn.
“Oof, now you break my heart,” Taksim dramatically put his hand on his chest and lowered his head, while trying to look sad. After, he returned back to normal and smiled while saying: “Well, there was of course that scene in the library.
“Don’t you dare-”
“What happened then?” Andrew interrupted, his eyes glittering in the curiosity of that of a little child, “Did you two make out?”
“No, no, nothing like that. It was just…” Taksim started with a big grin covering his face, but after seeing the angry glare Micciah held, he leaned back on his bench and moved his hand in front of his face, “Ah forget it. Vonguldak here will probably punch me if I told you.”
“You bet I will,” Micciah narrowed her green eyes.
“I’ll tell you after she’s gone, then.”
“That was a joke,” the Redguard jested in a high-pitched tone while shooting into a defensive postion as Micciah came off her bench with a vicious glare. But after she relaxed, he whispered to Andrew, but deliberately hard enough for her to hear: “I’m kidding, I’ll tell you.”
“Ugh, men,” Micciah breezed as she stood up, “I’m going to bed then. Eh… Is there anywhere I can sleep?”
“Well, with Yeshua in town, most of the inns are completely packed and beds are scarce,” Andrew stood up, “Lucky for you, we had reserved a guest room, but I am afraid you will have to share it with my brother and your other traveling companion of whose name I forgot,” he stretched out his arm and said: “If you follow me, I will show you the way to the room.”
“Good idea, I come as well,” Taksim got on his feet too and walked behind Micciah and Andrew to another, smaller room that was connected with the lounge-hall. There were two beds made and Micciah and Taksim looked at each other and they were quick to agree: “Lov sleeps on the ground,” Taksim offered and Micciah nodded.
It had been a very long time since Micciah had slept in a bed so soft. All that came close was that night in the inn in Markarth, but that bed was made out of stone and a hard mattress, and it could in no way rival this divinely piece of wood, wool and linen. She was in the clouds before she could realize it, until the cracking of the old wooden door woke her up. Micciah figured only a few hours had passed. She blinked and rubbed her eyes while a bright light shined down on her face.
“Lovilas? Where have you been all this time?” she heard her friend yawning, but was too blinded to spot him. The sound came from the direction where she knew Taksim’s bed was however, “What time is it anyway?”
“It is time to leave,” Lovilas sounded very earnest, “I overheard Yeshua talking. He plans to do something with the Staff.”
“Yes, well, that is what we came here for, right?” Taksim made the impression of being confused, and Micciah felt the same way.
“No, he wants something else, something sinister. We can’t trust him.”
“What do you mean?” Micciah blurted out, finally getting used to the light of the candle Lovilas held in his hand. She could see now he was fully dressed in his robes with his cowl covering his elven countenance.
“I don’t know, but I got the impression he wants to sell out as well,” the High Elf whispered with stress audible in his voice.
“Lov, I know hiding in the dark for years did a number on you and that you see ghosts in every corner,” Taksim sat up in his bed, “But I don’t think Yeshua is the kind of person that cares about money, nor betray us.”
“How do you know? We just met him,” Lovilas came closer to Taksim, bowing over him, “I may sound crazy to you, but I know no-one is as they seem.”
“But I believe my brother. He trusts Yeshua, and so do I,” Taksim sounded suddenly serious as well and Micciah felt she had to say something before things got out of hand.
“Look, Lovilas, you made it clear already you don’t like Yeshua very much. But give him another chance,” she said trying to look him in the concealed face as best as she could picture it, “Try to get some rest and we’ll get our answers tomorrow morning.”
“You both don’t believe me, do you?” Lovilas came off as genuinely offended, then edged closer to Micciah. She saw now for the first time he was holding the Staff of Chaos in his other hand. He put it on her blankets and said: “Very well, but just you watch. The soldiers will come storming down any minute. You have to teleport us out of here then.”
“Okay, you can count on me,” Micciah smiled as she grabbed the staff off her and laid it next to her bed, “But you have to wake me again when that happens, because I’m going back to sleep!”
The next morning, Micciah woke up to the delicious smell of roasted bread and the spicy herbs of a soup filled her nostrils. It put a smile on her face and she hopped out of bed, only to discover Taksim and Lovilas had already left the room. She traded her sleeping clothes for the dress Lovilas had given her a few days ago and after putting her feet in the pigskin shoes, she stepped into the other room, but there was nobody there.
She heard noises however, coming from the big hall and after entering it, she was surprised by an enormous crowd, who were gathered around Yeshua. Quickly, she spun around and hid behind the door frame. She hadn’t done anything with her hair and it looked horrible! Micciah didn’t mind Taksim, his brother and the others seeing her like this, but this many people?!
Luckily, everybody was too focused on how the monk was thanking the Divines for the food, that none could have seen her, right? She returned to her chamber where she found a mirror to start brushing. After some treatment and an approvable look, she faced the crowd again and started to search for Lovilas or Taksim.
The elf was nowhere to be found, but she spotted her best friend standing next to his brother in the company of Yeshua. He spotted her too and waved to come to him, after which the crowd let her pass.
“Nice, you made it in time for breakfast!” Taksim whispered elatedly. Other than the voice of Yeshua speaking, there was only the slight murmur of the public audible, which was impressively low for such a crowd.
“What is going on?” Micciah asked, entangled by all this.
“Yeshua is leading the breakfast to start the day. After, we will all be eating together in this hall,” he explained, “Apparently they have been doing this for over a week now, and I certainly could get used to it!”
After Yeshua finished his prayers, the hubbub of what you would expect from such a lot of people, returned and Yeshua, Andrew and Taksim took place at a table. It was next to Micciah, but she kept standing and saw how baskets of bread were passed around.
“No way…” she heard Taksim saying in awe behind her, “Is that… is that… Sentinel Banana Bread? I haven’t eaten that since I was a kid!”
Micciah saw the table got their own servants who put down plates with good smelling dishes. There were four plates and Taksim pulled her down to sit next to him. Before she could ask him something, he had already started to eat.
“Hwicciah, Ou awv fho fjy fhiwf,” he spluttered with his mouth full of bread and pulling Micciah’s arm. After chewing a few times and a swallow, he continued like he didn’t need to repeat his first line: “This is a Redguard’s recipe. Nothing in Winterhold comes close to this! Eat!”
Micciah sunk her teeth in the bread and a few sensations danced on her tongue. It was light and fluffy, savory and sweet at the same time. She took another bite and the same tastes appeared, again and again, until she had to face the dire consequence she had eaten all of the bread. She had barely finished it before Taksim shoved the bowl of soup under her nose, that was now standing on her plate: “And this is Summer Sundas Soup. Also something these Nords don’t know,” he gushed. For a second, Micciah almost feared he would shove the spoon in her mouth. But he could contain himself as the next dish of the breakfast stole his attention.
Seeing as the soup was still too hot, she put it aside and looked over at Yeshua, eating just as calm as his everyday look. “Sir, if you are the son of the Divines, then why are there also elves like Bosmer, Altmer and Dunmer, or even Khajiits here?”
“The son has come to Nirn for all races to revel in his glory,” Yeshua spoke, after he cleared his mouth, “Blessed are they who have seen me and were not limited by the rules taught by their ancestors.”
“Ever heard of the Monomyth? All religions are connected, all tell us about the same gods but with different names,” Taksim started to explain the words of Yeshua, “The Divines are not limited to the Imperial Pantheon. Yeshua opened our eyes and showed us they are all connected.”
Andrew pushed away his plate to focus on Micciah, and as soon as he did that, Taksim quickly grabbed the juniper berries away. His younger brother saw it, but let it happen.
“In Hammerfell, we know of the Yokudan gods. Arkay, we know as Tu’whacca for example, Kynareth as Tava, Lorkhan as Sep and Sithis is Tel Papa. We even have Satakal, one who is known here in Skyrim as Alduïn, if I remember my master’s lessons correctly,” Andrew finished his sentence to quickly grab the ‘Rihad Beet and Garlic Salad’ before Taksim snatched that from him too.
Micciah used the time to take a gulp from the cooled down sweet and spicy soup. Then she asked: “I grew up learning about the Old Gods, like the Dragon, the Hawk, the Snake, the Fox, the Bear and so on. Are you saying these are the Imperial Gods as well?”
“Oh absolutely,” Andrew smiled, “In fact, that connection was already discovered by St. Alessia in the First Era, same with the Aldmeri Pantheon.”
“Still, even if that is all true, there is nowhere a prophecy of a son of the Gods.”
“Perhaps not, but a lot of other religions have,” Yeshua’s pupil stated as he grabbed his fork to start his salad, “In Hammerfell for example, we have the HoonDing, the ‘Make Way God’.”
Andrew continued: “Two years ago, when I was still a simple bard wandering around Hammerfell, I heard of Yeshua being crowned with the title of HoonDing. That is when I decided to become his pupil and ever since, I have followed him to some strange places. I have seen how Yeshua proved in Valenwood to be the savior of the Bosmer, by undergoing and passing a test of the ancient Orrery of Elden Root, beneath the Elden Tree. In Elsweyr, he was given the title Moon Hallowed, and the Dark Elves follow him because the Tribunal recognized him as their savior when he visited Morrowind.”
After taking a few bites off his salad, the bard continued where he left off: “Our next journey will take Yeshua to a chantry of Auri-El, somewhere in the Druadach Mountains of Skyrim, where priests will initiate him as well.”
“That must be quite the journey you’re undertaking,” Micciah nodded, actually impressed.
“That it is,” Andrew smiled, “You and my brother should consider coming with us.”
“I can’t, I have other duties to attend to,” Micciah laid down her spoon and frowned suddenly with a stern look at him, “Like maintaining the Staff of Chaos, the reason why we came here.”
“I know what you are going to say, but be patient. It is not like the staff is going anywhere,” Andrew laughed, but right at the same moment, Lovilas came storming towards the table and addressed Micciah angrily.
“I warned you. I told you it would happen,” he hissed in fury, “The Staff is stolen!”
The song of Andrew is on the melody of ‘The Dragonborn comes’
Cast (in alphabetical order):
Andrew by Rouge Outlaw
Lovilas Direnni by BenjaminBat12
Micciah Vonguldak by The Beautiful Princess Ashley
Taksim by Rouge Outlaw
Yeshua Courtea by Prince Betagne
Chapter 8: New Ways: – next Monday May 4th