D.P.F. 14: The Servants of the Barrow

D.P.F. 14: The Servants of the Barrow

Apr 09, 2022

Eldaline and her crazed but very obedient Thalmor accomplices are in Scourg Barrow. What are they planning?
Were the skeletons nailed down, or dead, or are they about to jump up and frighten everybody? We'll soon find out.

"Hello?" said Eldaline, as the skeletons began to get up.

"You have come to receive the gift of death!"
"You will be rewarded with the darkest sleep!"  said the skeletons.

"Not yet." said Eldaline, cooking a large fireball.

"It is time! It is time!" called one of the rising dead, on fire.

"It was a trick, Second Archivist!" cried Aralina. "Can you believe that a walking skeleton would play such a trick?"

"Yes, they were just trying to tempt us down here with promises of kindness." said Aranwen. "It is heartbreaking and I feel utterly betrayed."

Eldaline ceased to be a furious bringer of fire and doom. "Neither of you are quite correct. These are the old servants of the Necromancer himself. They truly consider death to be an honour they gladly bestow upon all who would enter here to visit their master. So they mean well."

They met many more such people along the way.

 All the people were only bones, talking in reedy voices about the glory of death.

  The Thalmor were busy so were forced to take some of them apart for a time.  The stone walls had disappeared, and now they had given way to the tunnels in the mountain.

"Second Archivist Eldaline, if you tell us what kind of door we are looking for, we might find it faster." Aranwen shouted, after she had cut a skeletal mage in half. "Bleed, you dead bastard! You can't, can you? Because you're no fun, that's why."

"Have those ingredients ready." Eldaline said, from the entrance to the south tunnel.
"Ingredients, Madam?" said Aralina.

Aranwen stopped, and prevented the party from going forward. "I thought we were delivering that Ansei-Sword we stole from those dead Redguards in the desert."

Eldaline said, "We are. And we are also making a pot of tea, Aranwen."

Grudgingly, Aranwen let her commander and Eldaline's secretary pass. 
"When you say the Necromancer, Second Archivist, do you mean The Necromancer?"

"Yes, Aranwen, The Necromancer. The King of Worms once dwelt here, with his followers, before his departure to become a god. Why do you ask?"

"Oh, no reason. I was just curious which Necromancer you were talking about. You mean the one that blots out Arkay once every eight days?"

"Yes, the Necromancer's Moon." said Eldaline. "It illuminates this chamber, and is about to turn brighter still."

Aranwen tried to stand outside the light, but found it difficult to escape. "Now, there was an Elf who knew what he wanted."

"Can I ask what you're making that tea with?"

"Certainly." Eldaline said. "Ghost Blossom, and ground stone from a Shrine of Arkay defaced with the blood of one of his faithful. Thank you for nutting that guard, by the way. I used the mill at that mountain hamlet to grind as much of the shrine as I could."
"With respect, Second Archivist, I'm not drinking that." said Aranwen.

The snow had eased, but the cold hadn't.

Skavild crept across the bridge without looking down.

"This damn thing had better not fall down and kill me. I'll damn well kill it if it does. Damn bridge. Actually, nice bridge, nice bridge. Please don't fall down, you're a nice bridge."

Where the valleys narrowed after the bridge, just before they disappeared into the broad expanse where the barrow sat, it always snowed. A little snow-cloud hung always overhead, as a last warning to turn back.

Skavild did not turn back.

The air was still, not even the noise of his boots could be heard, and nothing looked out of place.

Skavild found it rather pretty. At least the trees here didn't stab him.

"I hope those bottles weren't all full of red herring." he said.

"Don't be silly, Skavild. You can't put a herring in a bottle. That's ships." he said.

"Footprints." said Skavild. "Only where fresh snow hasn't fallen. Some Elves were here not three hours ago. Wonder what took them so long? They had a three day head start."

The loud bang as the door fell to had surprised Skavild too. "Coffin lid pushed off, and a room underneath it." he said to himself.

"Hello?" he said. "I'm coming down there. And I'm not joking. First Elf I catch is going over my knee."

Skavild fell uncomfortably but not dangerously into the crypt below.
"So you say." said a voice that wasn't his.

"Who said that?" demanded Skavild.

He couldn't be absolutely certain that there was something or somebody standing in the corner of the crypt. It could not possibly be anything. Nothing appeared neither there, nor absent.
But the voice certainly was present.
"Your intent is bold and rare. For do you know how many centuries have passed since a mortal threatened to put me over their knee?"

"Is someone there?" Skavild tried next. "Look, whoever it is, I've got no quarrel with the ghosts here. Just with my friend Eldaline, who's escaped."

"Escaped?" said the voice. "No! She is eager, but has not yet escaped. But give her time to flee, Skavild. You cannot keep her for all time. I thought you would bring me word of your father. Why does he live still, and renounce his art? Once, he spoke so often with the darkened sky. Alas. The Moon has risen. Arkay the Enemy is hid from Mortal Eyes. I am summoned."

"Wait, you know who my Da is?" said Skavild. "Who are you, and more importantly, who is my Da? No, I don't want to know, tell me who you are first. How in Oblivion do you know my Da?"

The thing that was not there ceased to be in the corner. But just before it left, it became very apparent, for a short moment that made Skavild feel dreadfully cold.


Enjoy this post?

Buy CKord a coffee

More from CKord