Tienius Delitian was very direct with me when I returned to the Throne Room, asking immediately if I had discovered a Temple informant. I told her all about Galsa Andrano, and her feelings about what might happen, what with how the Temple felt about the new king and all.

"Galsa Andrano speaks her mind," he said, "and, from what you say, sounds sincere. You handled her well. The Temple seems to recognize that King Helseth will not be content to be a puppet like King Llethan, and plans to act against us. Very good work, Eldorf. The king will hear of your loyal service. Now you can help us with another matter. King Helseth is concerned about possible disloyalty among the Guards."

"I was under the impression that all the guards would be loyal." I replied.

"Well, there are some concerns." he said. "I've replaced many of the former king's guards with more reliable men. But I had to keep some experienced guards, and I can't be certain of their loyalties. I will pretend you wish to join the Royal Guards. That's your excuse for talking to the guards, sounding them out, and looking for evidence of disloyalty. If you find any hint of treason or evidence of disloyalty, report it to me. Take no action. Report to me, and I will judge what action is appropriate."

Gee, don't they have people they could hire to do this?  Oh well......I said I'd take care of it, and left.


I headed back to Godsreach, and just hung around, looking for a guard to chat with. A couple of children were playing in the street, and a High Ordinator came over to shoo them off to a side street. I asked him if he'd care to chat for a moment. It took a hundred or so pieces of gold to gain his favor.

"Ah, King Llethan," he finally said, opening up, "Well, he was old, to be sure. Maybe he just died, like they said. But maybe someone helped him along. There's a broadside sheet around here somewhere, called 'The Common Tongue'. In there it says Helseth poisoned hundreds of people when he was in the West, so why not here?"

"It would seem to make sense." I replied, "But one would need more than a paper for something as serious as that."

The Ordinator nodded, then left, continuing his rounds. I seemed to feel there was a silent belief of who did what, but no one wanted to actually come out and say it - that people felt Llethan was poisoned. Of course, who's going to come out and accuse a King of being a criminal?


A short walk away, a couple of children asked if I was Eldorf the Wise. I told them I was, and there was an endless stream of questions about Red Mountain, monsters, and Dagoth Ur. They were shocked to learn that the stories of Dagoth Ur were true - that he wasn't just a story made up by their parents to make sure they'd behave.

They ran off, squealing with delight to their parents they had just meet a famous hero.


Yet another guard sang the same song about Helseth, how strange it was that Llethan died so soon after Helseth arrived in Mournhold.

I was definitely seeing a pattern here. I still hadn't been able to find "disloyal" guards, however.


Another High Ordinator mentioned something slightly new. "Helseth?" he asked, "He's our new king, I suppose. I would like to know what happened to King Athyn Llethan. Seems a bit odd that the old man died so soon after Helseth arrived in Mournhold. And what about Talen Vandas, Llethan's nephew?"

"Talen Vandas?" I asked. "What about him?"

"Well, everyone assumed he would be next in line for the throne." came the reply. "Until his accident, that is...."

"Accident?" I asked. This plot was becoming thick enough to cut with a knife.

"Ah, Talen Vandas." he continued, "Now that was a man who would have been a leader to our people! King Llethan knew what he was doing when he began grooming that boy for the throne. Of course, that all changed when Helseth arrived. Poor Vandas was found dead soon after."

"This is getting more and more intriguing." I said. "So the Palace insists the king died of old age, right?"

"Yes," replied the Ordinator, "I'm not sure that's what they'd say over at Llethan Manor."


Well, then, that would have to be my next stop. I was glad everything was close together in this city. Saved me a lot of walking.


A young Bosmer was standing guard inside.

"If you've come to pay your respects, speak to Ravani Llethan, the king's widow. She's in her room."


I asked her if she knew anything about King Llethan's death. She eyed me suspiciously. "He was an old man." she said. "Old men die. And now Helseth is king. Long live the king."

There was a definite lack of sincerity in her voice.

I gave her a few words of encouragement, telling her of my suspicions concerning Llethan's death. It worked. She told me the same thing about the broadside sheet, and it's accusations concerning Helseth and poison.

She opened the door to the next room, and suggested that I speak to Ravani Llethan.


"I am here to pay my respects concerning your husband." I said, entering her room.

"Oh, leave me alone with my grief." she said.

I told her a number of kind things about what the people had been saying about Llethan, how they wished he was still alive. This seemed to soften her temperament a bit.


"What can you tell me about his death?" I asked.

Her face clouded with anger. "They murdered him." she spat.

"They?" I asked.

"Helseth and his spiders." she replied. Everyone knows, and no one lifts a finger. Imperial justice. HAH! I SPIT on Imperial justice. They killed my husband, and now that wicked man is king. I curse Helseth, and all his kin! May they die tomorrow, weeping, watching their children die today!"

Spiders? This sounded bad. I asked how she was so sure it was Helseth behind her husband's death.

"Everyone knows." she replied. "It's there in print, for everyone to see, in the broadside sheet called 'The Common Tongue". It says Helseth poisoned hundreds of people when he was in the West. If Helseth was a wicked murderer before, why not now?"


I offered my condolences. I would have said more, but figured I should keep my true thoughts to myself until the time was right to act.

"Bless your honorable soul." she said. "Few enough have come to pay their respects. People forget their friends when the wind changes."

How true this statement was.

She turned away, so I couldn't see the tears in her eyes, and I decided to be discreet and leave at this time. I felt this conversation was not over, not by a long shot.


I decided I would continue my 'quest' to find disloyal guards, but I was definitely certain now that the king himself was at the end of this trail of crumbs I was following. With a room full of Royal Guards at his beck and call, however, I figured I'd better be very certain of what my next move was to be.

Certainly, someone this clever would slip up, eventually. I just figured I'd have to make sure I was ready when that slip happened.













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