As I was running out of daylight, I changed into a cliffracer and flew back to the city of Vivic.

The sun was just setting as I approached the canton of St. Olms. Two of the council members lived here.

As I found out, one would be easy to find.

The other one wouldn't be so much fun.


My first stop was at the top of the canton, and the home of council member Yngling Half-Troll. As before, I told him my story and need to be named Hortator.

"That's a touching story," he countered, "but if you don't have 2,000 drakes, you won't get my vote."

Well, if that's all it takes........

"A pleasure doing business with you, Eldorf." he said, stuffing the gold into his pocket. "You get my vote for Office of Hortator of House Hlaalu."


I had one more council member to meet here - Dram Bero. The council member book said he had no determined residential address, but lots of people had mentioned seeing him around the upper parts of this canton.

After checking every residence and shop in the upper part of the St. Olms canton, I came to one that people seemed to avoid. It was a haunted mansion.

Once inside, there were sounds, noises, and ghostly sounds everywhere I turned.

Undaunted, I continued down into the residence, and eventually came to a locked door (which a spell of mine easily opened).    


Making my way into this haunted mansion, I finally found the room of Dram Bero.

He was anything but happy that I had found him, mentioning that he goes through great trouble to not be found (rumors abound that several members of House Hlaalu were associated with one or two criminal organizations).

A few thousand pieces of gold and a good story about the evils of Dagoth Ur later, and I had his vote for Hortator of House Hlaalu.

I did mention that I wouldn't give away his whereabouts. I think he appreciated that.

Now, I had to come face-to-face with the strange, and reportedly not-quite-right Crassius Curio.


Ah, Crassius Curio. Found in the Hlaalu canton, he seemed excited by my arrival.

"You want to be Hortator?" he asked. "A pity. Orvas Dren does NOT want you to be Hortator, and very few councilors would be willing to risk Ser Dren's disapproval. But your eloquent passion, your exquisit vulnerability moves me to tisk all and defy Orvas Dren."

Ah, but I have already gotten his approval." I replied.

"Ah, excellent!" he replied. "Yes, sweetie, I will name you Hortator. But I have something to ask of you first."

'Oh, rats, another monster to kill' I was thinking. No such luck. "What favor would that be?" I asked, anticipating a long walk to some dreadful dungeon.

"Will you give me .....a kiss?"     


I didn't really know what to say. I would have preferred some sort of ghastly creature that needed to be destroyed or some important paper to be delivered, but ... a kiss?

The rumors about him were true - he's definitely not quite right.

"Oh, hell," I thought, "I'll do it, but the Emperor owes me one for this!"

"How tender and thoughtful!" he said. "You've made me the happiest fellow in Vivic."

Yeah, I'll bet.


"And now, pumpkin," he continued, "it's time for YOUR gift. And I have just what you want. In my formal capacity as Councilor of House Hlaalu, I give you my vote for the title of Hortator.

And since all the councilors now agree, here's the Belt of the Hortator. Just snug it around that supple little waist, and don't forget Uncle Crassius, your lonely admirer." 


I left the room, closing the door behind me.

The guard nearby had heard everything, of course, and consoled me a bit.

"Don't worry," I was told, "he's like with with everyone, male and female. It's just that lots of money buys power in this house, and he's obviously got lots of money, so we put up with him."

"Well just so long as he doesn't go overboard with calling me 'pumpkin'." I replied.

The guard smile. "I won't tell no one if you don't."

I agreed.

I decided to head back to Balmora for the night.
I also felt a strong need for a shower.





















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