A few minutes after leaving the camp, it finally stopped raining. Laurenna was enjoying the scenery."It seems so peaceful and beautiful here." she said. We found a small pathway and followed it for a bit, but it took us too far away from the direction we wanted to go, which was due south.


We decided to abandon the roadway and headed directly south again, keeping the mountains just to our right. We also encountered some of the creatures that graze here. Some didn't mind our presence. Others objected, making their displeasure known by trying to bite us with long, pointy teeth. I countered with a few poison spells, and Laurenna tried some of those new silver arrows I had found.


We passed the old Dwemer ruin, and as expected, a few minutes later we arrived at the Zainab camp.


Many of the villagers were curious about us, asking why we had come here, what we wanted, and so on. I just asked if we could see their leader, their ashkhan.

One of the children grabbed me by my hand and practically dragged me to his yurt, announcing loudly "Kaushad! Kaushad! Eldorf has come to us!"

I guess my reputation precedes me.


We found the ashkhan of the tribe, Kaushad, in his tent, tending to some of his weapons.

"So," he said, as we entered, "You are Eldorf Dragonmeal, also known as "Eldorf the Wise, the outlander who claims to fulfill the Nerevarine prophecies. You are welcome to our hospitality, outlander. But you must tell us, how can an outlander be the Nerevarine?"

I explained to him the path I had followed up to this point, including my bout with corprus, and especially the Moon-and-Star ring.

"Ho ho!" he laughed, "Excuse me. Do not think me rude, but seriously, do you believe this story yourself? I mean no offense, but you must admit, you are an outlander, and completely ignorant of our ways. How could you ever be our war leader? What sensible ashkhan would ever choose you to lead the tribes?"

He continued laughing. Laurenna was visibly upset, and put her hand upon her broadsword.

"Kaushad," I said, "Set a task for me to perform, as proof of my sincerity."

"Very well." he replied. "Nearby, you will find the Nerano Ancestral Tomb. Inside, you will find a vampire by the name of Calvario. He comes here once in a while in an attempt to feed upon my people. If you are as worthy as you say you are, dispose of this vile creature for my tribe."

I explained to him, that as a former vampire myself, I had already visited this tomb, and had killed Calvario already. I described Calvario for him in minute detail.


Kaushad was impressed. "Well then," he said, "Perhaps I was mistaken. Perhaps you should be Nerevarine."


"Ahem, well, I will be happy to acknowledge you as Zainab Nerevarine," he continued, "But, it is customary for one seeking an honor from the Ashkhan to offer the Ashkhan a generous gift as a mark of respect."

Ah yes, there's always a string attached, isn't there?

"Because you are an outlander, and do not know our customs, I will do you the great favor of naming the gift I wish to receive."

"Certainly," I replied, "If it is within my power to provide it, it will certainly be done."

He smiled. "I wish to receive a high-born Telvanni bride - a pretty one, plump, with big hips to bring me many sons."

Oh, just that? Why not a piece of one of the two moons as well? "Where would I find such a bride for you?" I asked, gritting my teeth, trying not to sound bitter.

"Oh, that is simple." he replied. "You should visit high-born Telvanni lords and inform them that Ashkhan Kaushad of the Lordly Zainab would do them the honor of making their daughter his bride. Surely many Telvanni lords would be honored to receive such an offer."

Sure, many would be eager to leave their life of luxury and servants and jump at the chance to live in a tent.

"Consider carefully the many daughters offered and choose for me the finest. Take counsel with my wise woman, Sonummu Zabamat. She knows my mind well in such matters."      


I would have preferred an entire tribe of vampires to slay, yet, this was the task before me. I guess if it were easy, anyone could do it, right? Naturally, the next stop was at the yurt of Sonummu Zabamat, Wise Woman of the Zainab.

"You seek my council, young man?" she asked. Me? Young? I liked her already. I told her of my need to be named Nerevarine, and the task to find a bride for Kaushad. She chuckled softly.


"Kaushad wants a Telvanni bride, eh?" she laughed. "No high-born Telvanni would wed an Ashlander. But I have a plan. Go to my friend, Savil Imayn, slavemistress of the Festival Slave Market in Tel Aruhn, and tell her you need a pretty Dunmer slave to pose as a Telvanni lady. She will tell you what clothes to buy, and will dress her like a high-born Telvanni. Then escort the pretty slave back to our camp and present her to Ashkhan Kaushad as a high-born Telvanni bride. He won't know the difference."

THAT is why they call her the wise woman.


I left Laurenna in the care of the wise woman, went outside, and changed into a cliffracer. Tel Aruhn was not far, as the cliffracer flies, and I arrived there in just minutes. There was also a drenching rainstorm that greeted me upon my arrival.

Now to find this slavemistress and see what we can do about finding a "high-born Telvanni bride" for this lonely guy.


Savil Imayn was not hard to spot from the air, I could see the cages keeping the slaves for display easily.

I landed nearby, changed back into my very handsome self, and introduced myself to her. I explained my situation, and she nearly burst into tears of laughter.

"You need a slave to pose as a high-born Telvanni lady?" she said. "Sweet Alma, that Sonummu Zabamat and her cunning plans."


She cleared the tears of laughter from her eyes, composed herself, and continued, "I do have just the slave you want, Falura Llervu, a pretty Dunmer girl. But first, you must get an exquisite shirt, exquisite skirt, and exquisite shoes, to dress her in. Go get these things and bring them to me, and then we will discuss a price for her.

Oh, good, another treasure hunt.















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