Laurenna and I spent countless hours snuggling with each other, swapping stories and such. No, really, we did.Well, other things, too (thank goodness for that bottle of Flin on the windowsill, ha ha). We had our meals brought up to us, and we could hear the partying going on in the throne room below. We finally decided to join the party downstairs.
We found everyone in high spirits (no pun intended). Sigrid asked me to head over to the mead hall, and let Gwenn and her husband know that they could now make mead available to everyone, that the restrictions on it imposed by Ragnar had been lifted forever. Well, I needed a walk to stretch my legs, and Laurenna needed to talk to her brother for a bit, so I agreed.
I found Gwenn and her husband at the mead hall, just finishing up a fresh batch of the tasty brew. "Good news!" I shouted. "Mead can now be given to anyone, now that Ragnar is gone." Naturally, they were overjoyed with the prospect of being able to sell mead to everyone again.
When I got back to the castle, two people were missing: Wulfren, and Lisendra. Seems that while I was away, Father Raul married the two of them in a very, very short ceremony. Sigrid was a little upset that Wulfren didn't want to wait until the entire family could join them, but none-the-less, the deed had been done. Laurenna didn't like Lisendra much. She thought Lisendra was too pushy, but was glad that Wulfren had agreed to move into Lisendra's house near the inn. At least I wouldn't have the two of them growling at each other.
Although Laurenna didn't really want to, I decided to head over to Lisendra's house and wish the two of them well. Wulfren and Lisendra were packing a few things when we arrived. "Eldorf, let me ask a small favor of ya." I agreed to hear him out.
"Lisendra doesn't really want to live in a castle - she's more of a small cabin type of person. I want you and Laurenna to consider the castle your second home. I'll still carry out the duties of chieftain of Lokken, of course." I thought about it for a minute, then agreed. "One other thing." he added. "Lisendra and I were hoping to take a honeymoon to the imperial provence, you know, see the sites, and such. I've been hearing things about the imperial palace, and it's tall tower. Have you ever been there, Eldorf? I hear it's a grand sight." I didn't want to let him know that I was in it's dungeon for 50 years. "Well," I said, "I can't say I've seen it, but I hear it's a grand city as well."
Wulfren smiled, and added "Well, then, here's a favor I have to ask of you: I was hoping you could take care of some of the day-to-day business for me while we're gone."
I looked at Laurenna, she looked at Wulfren, and nodded her head and said "Don't worry, Wulfren, I'll help him with what needs to be done." Wulfren looked as though a heavy burden had been lifted from his shoulders. "I should mention," I interjected, "that I also have duties to perform with my own castle in the northern island, but I don't mind making the journey back and forth between the two, so I'm sure we can handle things." Wulfren put a smile on his face. "It's settled, then. We'll be off and out of your hair..." he winked at me, knowing I didn't have that much hair to be out of.
We saw them to the boatdock and watched them sail off for Fort Frostmoth, which would take them to Blacklight on the mainland, through Silgrad Tower, and eventually to the imperial city itself.
Out of my hair, indeed!
It was late that night that I spoke to Laurenna about returning to Solstheim Castle. "There is a lot there that I would like to show you, if you would like. We could travel back and forth by boat, since it's not very far." Then I felt I should tell her more of my mission here. "Laurenna, there is something I need to tell you, and I hope it won't make you angry with me. I may have missions to perform soon." "Missions?" she asked. "What kind of missions?" "Well," I said, "I'm not sure yet. All I can tell you is that they're related directly to the Emperor himself. Please understand, you are not to disclose this to anyone, but as my wife, I felt you should be made aware of it."
Laurenna moved closer, and took my hand in her's. "Eldorf, after all you have done, I don't care if you work an ugly old ork. I'll be willing to help you, if I can." She smiled at me, and everything was just fine after that.
"So, when do we leave for this special castle of yours?" she asked. "When would you like to leave?" I responded. "How about now?" was her reply. Impulsive. I like that.
We headed to the boatdocks, and wouldn't you know, there was a boat just getting ready to leave for Solstheim castle, and at 5AM, no less. We paid the boatman, and headed to the north.
It was about 6:30AM when we arrived at the castle dock, and the sun was just struggling to peak over the horizon.
Even in the mist, Laurenna was impressed with what she could see.
I took her around the grounds, showed her the local stores, gave her a tour of the wine celler, the training rooms, library, and we even took a dip in the pool. She loved the fish that were swimming with us.
After that, we went out further west, across a bridge, to Ripplewood Grove. "There are wolves and bears here," she exclaimed, as wolf walked past, "but they do not attack us. Is it some kind of spell?"
"I'm not actually sure," I said, "but if it is a spell, I will do nothing to disturb the peace of this place. It is as if in all the world of Nirn, this is the one place of peace, and it is why I wanted to share it with you."
A gentle snow started to fall when we came to the pond. There was a gentle waterfall in the distance. I put my arm around here, and we just listened to the waterfall, becoming lost in it's gentle song. It was then, that I rememberd an old friend nearby, someone that I promised another tall tail to.
We made a short walk to the grave of Aegir Brondolf. "Eldorf, why are you taking me to a grave?" "Actually," I said, "there is an old Nord in here that I have to say goodbye to." I saw her uneasy look. "You can wait here for me, I should only be a few minutes. He's the former owner of the castle."
"Well, ok, but don't be long, ok?" I agreed, gave her a kiss and a hug of my own, and stepped inside.
Inside, in his usual spot, was the ghost of Aegir Brondolf. "Eldorf, old friend, what news of the outside world do you bring." "Well, you have heard of Lokken, right?" "Lokken? Why, of course, how is old Wulfgar the White doing these days? Still has good hunting there, right?"
I told him about my adventure, about Wulfgar's death, his son being changed into a white wolf, the battle to regain the throne, and a marriage.
"Ah, a Nord lady, have ya? Well, she'll give ya sweet dreams, trust me, Breton, I know. I had many a lovely lady myself in my day."
"There is one other thing I need to tell you, Aegir. I found out who killed you. It was the captain of the guard, Captian Killanious. He had a huge, evil lab under your castle. He now resides in your prison, where he will spend the rest of his life."
Aegir smiled, and said "Ah, so justice has been done. I thank you, my friend, for taking the time to share your stories with me. I can rest at last. Farewell, my friend."
With that, he faded into a mist, and the fire that constantly engulfed his body suddenly disappeared. There was a huge chest of treasure of jewels on the boat, but this was one tomb that would not be raided by anyone. I would order the tomb sealed permanently. This is one Nord that would take it with him.
It was the least I could do for a good friend and a great storyteller.
I met Laurenna outside the barrow. "I was getting worried about you, thought maybe some dead creature had you for dinner." I smiled, and told her about Aegir, his death, his killer, and that Aegir was now, finally, at rest.
"You really are the humanitarian, aren't you?" she asked. I smiled and said "Well, one does what what one can."
She smiled, and I took her arm, and said "Now, how about a skinny dip in the pool before dinner?" She put a big grin on her face and said "I'll race you! Last one in has to clean the dishes!"
A mission from the Emperor,
A strange order of mages,
and maybe, if you look up in the sky, you may see.......Dragons!