A Brush with Death

While chatting with people in Cheydinhal about rumors of what's going on here, one of the things other people always mentioned was that Rythe Lythandas, a famous painter in the city, is missing, and no one, including his wife, Tivela, knows where he is.

I had sold off all of my extra items, deciding not to bring any weapons or armor with me, as this city was pretty safe. I was curious as to how someone could just vanish like that, so I decided to pay Tivela a visit and see if I could find out what was wrong. I had solved a few other mysteries earlier, so I figured this would not be too difficult. If it involved going into a sewer or out into the forest, I figured I could always go back to the Inn and get my weapons and armor first.

Tivela told me that Rythe had gone into his studio to do some painting, but after a day or two, he never came out for food. Upon checking his studio, she found he was not there at all. Odd that his studio had been locked from the inside. She gave me the key to his studio, so I figured this would be a good place to start looking for a clue.

His studio was filled with a number of brushes, paints, oils, and a number of paintings, some finished, and some only partially completed. One painting was odd enough to attract my eye. What was odd is how real the images were. You could almost see the trees swaying in the breeze.

I looked closer, and much to my amazement, the trees were actually moving! Not by much, mind you, but they were actually moving. In disbelief, I reaching out to touch it.

That was a big mistake!

Around me, everything went dark, colors swirled around me, and then, suddenly, I found myself...somewhere else.


Everything looked....odd, like an oil painting. Then I realized that is exactly where I was; I was IN the painting I had just touched.

The entrace must be just behind me. I turned, but there was nothing behind me that resembled a way out. I was trapped here. Hopefully, Rythe might be here, too. He would be my only hope of getting back to the real world.


Just a short walk from where I arrived, Rythe suddenly appeared from behind a tree.

"Where are we?" I asked him.

"In the painting, unfortunately." he replied. He went on to explain that a thief brok into his studio and stole his Brush of Truepaint. The brush is charmed, and creates real paintings that one can actually enter. The thief apparently was going to create an exit in another location to cover his escape. While in the painting, the thief used the brush to create a number of trolls to protect himself. Trolls, being what they are however, turned on him and killed the thief. The brush, our only means of escape from this world of oils, is on the thief's body. All I have to do is get to the thief's body, retrieve the brush, and return to Rythe so he can paint our way home.


The trolls, of course, are all over the place. And I have no weapons with me, other than a few summoning and destruction spells.

This just isn't my day. I tried the spell of recall, but it wouldn't work, so I had my work cut out for me.

The trolls were big and fast. I barely had time to summon a skeleton to distract it. A second later, I summoned a zombie, then a scamp. Each of them fell quickly before the troll's mighty fist. I kept re-summoning my defenders one after the other. Inbetween summoning creatures, I hit the troll with a powerful fireball spell. I had to be careful about how many spells I was casting, since I didn't have any potients to restore magika with me. I also didn't have any spells to summon a weapon, and I could tell that hand-to-hand combat would not help me here. The thing was 3 times my size, and could just stomp on me with it's huge feet.

After about three minutes of battle and helping with fireball spells, the troll finally fell dead. I rested for a few minutes, then continued along the edge of a series of rocks. They were too steep to climb, so I figured sneaking would give me the best means of defeating the other trolls. It worked - I found the next troll up ahead before he saw me. I used the same technique on this one, as well as the other four trolls after him.


I finally arrived at what could only be described as an "unfinished" part of the painting. Up ahead was the dead thief. I found the brush on him and ran back to meet Rythe.     


I found Rythe in the same spot where I found him originally.

"I have the Brush of Truepaint." I told him. "Now, how do we get out of here?"

"I am a painter." he replied. "With the Brush of Truepaint, I can create a portal back to my home."


He took the brush from me and started to use it. I swirled it in front of us, knowing exactly what to paint, as if every detail was already in his mind, and was being transferred to the brush.


When the green mist cleared, the portal was now clearly visable, showing an exact rendition of his studio.

"You go in first." he said. "If I go first, the portal will close, and you'll be trapped in here forever."

I didn't have to be told twice. I touched the painting, and suddenly found myself back in Rythe's studio.


His wife heard us arrive back in her husband's studio.

"Tivela, I am back!" Rythe exclaimed.

"Rythe, oh, thank the gods you have returned to me." she said, giving him a big hug.

We explained the entire situation to Tivela, about the thief, the trolls, and the Brush of Truepaint.

She was very glad to have him back.


"Now, Rythe," I reminded, "don't forget to paint those trolls out of the picture."

"Ah, you're right." he replied. "I'll do that right now."

And with that (and a nice reward for my help), I decided to head back to the Inn and rest up a bit. That was a lot more work than I was expecting to do before lunch.
















COMING UP: The Goddess Azura speaks

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