I'M ON A MISSION FROM TIENIUS DELITIAN
The guard downstairs said to go to the Throne Room and speak to Tienius Delitan about this Dark Brotherhood business.
I figured I'd report in, get him investigating all this mess, find out who this "H" person is, have the guards deal with him, and head back home.
The best laid plans.........
I found Tienius in the Throne Room, as expected, surrounded by a fearsome group of Royal Guards.
"I am Eldorf Dragonmeal." I started, "I have a matter to discuss with you concerning an attack on my life by the Dark Brotherhood."
"Yes, I am Delitian," he replied, "Captain of King Helseth's Royal Guard. So, you wish to know who sent the assassins to kill you in your sleep?"
"Exactly." I replied, hoping to get this over with quickly.
"I won't deny my knowledge of it," he continued, "but I believe it is more important now to speak about an official matter."
"More important than my life?" I asked, holding back my anger. "You do know who I am, right? The Nerevarine, the one who destroyed Dagoth Ur at Red Mountain, that Eldorf person."
He gave me a glaring look, as if his intelligence was being insulted. "Yes, I know your name, and your reputation." he replied. "As Captain of King Helseth's Royal Guards, I have influence with King Helseth. And King Helseth is known for rewarding his friends."
I showed him the evidence that Helseth himself tried to have me killed. There could only be one person referred to by the leader of the Dark Brotherhood as "My Liege" with the letter "H" on a contract. Unless there's another king I don't know about hiding in the woodwork somewhere. Yet, even presented with the evidence, Tienius seemed unconcerned about it.
"I won't pretend I don't know about this." he replied. "Of course, I'll deny it publicly. But don't take it personally. You appeared to present a threat to King Helseth."
My eyes went wide. Me? A threat? To the King? I didn't know we even had a king.
"Perhaps mistakes were made." he said. I'd have to say that was an understatement. "But you can prove they were mistakes," he continued "if you can prove your loyalty to King Helseth. So, are you interested in helping me with my problem?"
I had to think for a moment. Me - a threat to a king I didn't even know about. I decided I would have to investigate this situation myself, and it appeared that the only way to do that was through Tienius Delitian himself. I decided to take the bait, knowing full well that it was bait, and not the answer I came looking for, asking him to tell me more of this "official matter" he wanted to discuss with me.
"There are rumors among the people about King Llethan's death." he said. "Rumors that Athyn Llethan did not die a natural death. There's no truth to them, of course. Speak to the people about King Llethan's death. You are not known to them as my representative, and they may be more candid with you. Let me know if you find the source of these rumors."
"I see." I said, only half-way convinced about this story already. "And, did King Athyn Llethan actually die a natural death?"
Oh, his response was so cordial. "That's a silly question." he replied, in a vary sarcastic tone. "I don't like silly questions."
"Well, I don't like being attacked in the middle of the night, either," I replied just as sarcastically, "however, I'll see what I can find out for you, since I've already traveled all this distance."
"Good." he replied. "Report back to me when you've learned the source of the rumors about King Llethan's death."
Not having ever been a detective before, I decided to start my investigation in the Bazaar, chat with some of the people there and see what I could find.
The sky was beautiful, the walkway was clean, and everything about this place was just so perfect. It was hard to believe there were odd things afoot around this place.
In the Bazaar, I came across a very nice Dunmer female, so I thought I'd start with her.
"Excuse me," I started, "I was wondering if you could help me."
"Oh, I'm sorry, she said, "No time to talk, so much work to be done, no time for silly fancies, like drinking, dancing...but what I wouldn't give to meet someone new."
Well, that was different, I thought. "What do you mean, about meeting someone new?" I asked.
"Yes, that's right." she said, in a very sad voice. "Believe it or not, I had no intention of working here when I came to Mournhold. It's quite a sob story; are you sure you want to hear it?"
"Oh, sure." I said, knowing that I might be able to squeeze my own questions in there somewhere.
"Well, it's mostly my fault, really." she started. "I grew up in a small village in the south of Morrowind. They cared for me a great deal and only wanted the best for me. But when they arranged my marriage to a wealthy nobleman, I couldn't take it. He was disgusting, and I wanted nothing to do with him. So I ran away, and ended up here in Mournhold. I was convinced that I'd be able to find the man of my dreams. Only, it hasn't worked out that way."
"Please, continue." I said, wondering if I'd be able to ask her about the old king's death eventually.
"I was foolish about it, to be sure. I never considered that I'd need money to survive on my own. I was determined, though, not to go crawling back to the village and beg forgiveness from my parents and that loathsome man. I'd make it on my own, and only then would I contact my parents and let them know where I was. So I started working...and now it's all I do. I never have time to meet anyone."
She sighed softly, then looked at me with those red eyes, and asked "Let me know if you meet any nice, single men, will you?"
I said I would keep my eyes open, and she seemed thankful that she had a friend here at long last. Then I sprung the question about King Llethan's death.
"The king is dead. Long live the King." she replied. "What more do you want me to say? The Palace says he died of old age." She then looked around to see if anyone was watching. "I'm not sure that's what they'd say over at Llethan Manor, however."
I thanked her for her time, and continued inspecting the Bazaar.
I stopped to chat with one of the High Ordinators. He wasn't too friendly at first, but I buttered him up with some admiring statements, and the 1,000 gold pieces I gave him didn't hurt by any means.
"King Llethan death, yes, tragic." he said. "He was old, but not that old. Maybe he just died, like they said. But maybe someone helped him along."
"Helped him along?" I asked
The guard gave a look over his shoulder, then replied "There's a broadside sheet called 'The Common Tongue'. In there, it says Helseth poisoned hundreds of people when he was in the West, so why not here?"
Well, that puts a different light on the story. Someone named "H" wants me killed, the old king died, and people think King Helseth might be behind it, and several pieces of this puzzle seem to be falling into place.
Unfounded rumors my foot.
I figured I'd better get a few more opinions about this new piece of evidence before reporting back. I headed to the shops on the other side of the Bazaar. Shopkeepers talk to a lot of people, and perhaps they'd be able to shed more light on this mystery.
I stopped a Dunmer by the name of Drathas Reyas and asked him about the King's death. He didn't really have much to add, other than he thought it was suspicious, and mentioned that newsletter that was espousing this theory about who might have killed who.
"You're new here, right?" he asked. "Whatever you do, don't mess with the Hands of Almalexia. If you think Ordinators are tough, imagine Ordinators with bodies, souls, armor, and weapons personally blessed and fortified by Almalexia! You just don't want to go there."
I asked him if he new any other rumors going around.
"Oh, have you heard?" he asked. "A terribly powerful and evil wizard - 'something-or-other Velas' I think they said, I can't remember his full name - has taken up residence nearby? At the bar the other night, they were talking of the strange lights and sinister laughter late at night. I'd be on my toes if I were you. I'd bet this wizard will try to make a display of his power soon."
I thanked him for that piece of advice. It's always good to know when some young upstart is working the town. I decided to head to the shops anyway and see what more I could find out about the King's death.
The first shopkeeper didn't have much to add, but the bookseller had something interesting to say.
"Helseth is our new king, son of Queen Barenziah. I'd like to know what happened to King Athyn Llethan, and to his young protégé, Talen Vandas. It all seems a bit suspicious to me."
"Talen Vandas?" I asked.
She noted the Royal Guard near the door. "I should say no more of this." she said.
More dirt hiding under a rug. Interesting.
I decided to check out one more shop, but as I left the bookstore, I could hear the sound of a teleport spell to my right.
Suddenly, people started running from the area. The guards drew their swords, knowing trouble was brewing, and it seemed as though they knew who this person was.
As usual, I was the only one who didn't know who this was, but based on the reaction of everyone else, he wasn't one of the nice people.
He shouted in a loud, booming voice. "Greetings, fair citizens of Mournhold!!! I am the great, renowned, respected, and feared wizard, Ovis Velas!! In the coming weeks, you shall see more and more of me, as I bring this city to its knees. But for the moment, allow me to demonstrate my power on one of your hapless countrymen!!"
Seconds later, his gaze met mine. I guess it was just my handsome features that attracted his eyes, or that brilliant robe I was wearing was the reason for his stare. In any event, he chose his target - me.
"You there!" he shouted, pointing at me, "Yes, you, ugly Breton!"
"Prepare yourself to feel my wrath!!!"
.......followed by Kyne's Sweet Embrace, a spell that causes extreme weakness to frost spells, combined with a powerful frost damage spell.
Being a Dunmer, and susceptible to frost spells, his life expectancy between the time the spell hit him and the time it killed him was two seconds.
So much for this evil, terrifying, all-powerful wizard.
I've seen scarier things in my wine cellar.
Drathas Reyas, who had told me about this guy earlier, ran to my side. "I saw your fight with that Wizard, sara. That was certainly interesting. I expected, with all the rumors of how powerful and evil he was, that he would be tougher than he appeared."
"I agree." I said. "He picked the wrong mage to use as an example."
"I agree with you there, sera." he said. "Hmmm, he did say his name was Velas, right?"
"Yes, that he did." I told him. "Why do you ask?"
"Well, there's a Velas manor in Godsreach. Perhaps checking it out would shed some much needed light on this mystery."
Always another mystery popping up. Mournhold was a pretty busy place, it seemed, where mysteries were concerned. I decided to check out this manor later, when I had some free time.
I had some items from my journey into the sewer system that I decided to get rid of, so I stopped by the trader's shop and unloaded this heavy stuff on him.
He seemed a little depressed, so I thought I'd try to cheer him up a bit. One of the items was a pretty big helmet. "Try it on." I told him. "Wow, you look....terrifying." I quipped, as he donned the helmet. "No one will try to steal anything from here."
"Oh well," he replied, "Azura knows there's little else in the world worth doing. None of the rest of it matters...adventuring, fame, women, it's all pointless."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Bah - women!" he replied. "There's no happiness to be found. No lasting happiness, anyway. It's all a sham."
"It can't really be that bad." I said.
"Oh, I didn't always think so." he replied. "I had a wife once, and was madly in love with her. But then my foolishness took her away, and now, here I am, bitter, alone, and tired of life. I'll have little else to do with women, that's for sure."
"What kind of foolishness are you talking about?" I asked.
"Oh, that's what it was, all right." he replied, with a bitter tone in his voice. "The folly of youth. I had dreams, aspirations. I foolishly followed them, and took my wife to Vvardenfell for what was supposed to be a 'great adventure'. I paid for my foolishness, paid in full. Unfortunately, my wife was made to pay as well. She caught the Blight shortly after arriving, and her frail constitution couldn't handle it. I lost her to the damned disease, and it ruined me. No one could replace her. None of the women I've even known could ever replace her."
I thought about it for a moment, then mentioned the fact that Marena Gilnith, was looking for a good man in this town.
"Who?" he shot back. "Marena Gilnith? I don't know her. Don't particularly care to, either." he paused for a moment, then continued "But fine, if it will get you to leave me alone, then I'll meet her. It'll be a waste of time, though."
"Well, don't say that until you've met her." I replied. "She seemed like a very honest and caring person to me."
I received the gold for the items I sold to him, purchased some fresh bread he had on the table, and said I might check back later with more items to sell.
Outside the traders shop, I met another Dunmer female, stating the same thing about the old King's death, and how there were some odd things about how it occurred.
She also mentioned the same thing about that Velas wizard who tried to do battle with me earlier, and confirmed that there was a Velas Manor in Godsreach, but, as I was told earlier, no one had heard of any "Velas" living there before.
I decided that before I check further on this mystery, I should check in with Tienius Delitian and advise him of these rumors, and the "Common Tongue" newsletter.
COMING UP: MORE MISSIONS, MORE MYSTERY
MORE DISCONTENT, MORE DIRT TO DIG UP