Imperator, Midwood Island: Death visits the island.
It was just before 9:00AM when we disembarked the Imperator. It will soon set sail again as I will set up a beacon and summon the airship when we want to leave.
A few people were curious about an obviously high ranking Imperial Legion officer but nobody seemed concerned, just a few friendly waves and greetings.
The voyage had been so smooth it was hard to tell I was aboard a vessel in notoriously rough seas. The Admiral told me senior members of the Mages Guild had ‘ensorcelled’ the ship when it was first constructed to provide a smooth ride for the delicate Emperors and easily bruised nobility of the day.
Titus Mede II preferred a smaller ship, The Katariah. The Admiral was supposed to be on the voyage where the Emperor vanished but fell ill a few days before it set sail. Titus Mede II was not well regarded by many but he had an admirer in the Admiral. He saw the reality of the man who lost a war and half The Empire during his reign but saved what he could with the despised White-Gold Concordat. Titus Mede II was just a man not one of the Dragonborn Emperors. He did not have some giant Dwemer automaton or the backing of The Divine. He relied on his soldiers and although they were the best troops in the world, they lost and he shouldered the blame.
When we discussed what Sethius had been using Imperial Navy vessels for the Admiral was shaking with rage. He had read the reports but was hoping they were wrong somehow. He wanted the truth, no matter how grim, and I did not hold back on the sounds, smell and terror I saw amongst the ‘cattle’ as Morag described them.
He was very impressed with Casius, or should I say the Count of Leyawiin. His reputation as a soldier on land was legendary. His quick adaptation to the tactics and logistics of naval warfare was phenomenal. The Admiral said he was like a young child on every voyage harassing the senior officers with questions ranging from basic seamanship to complex fleet manoeuvres. The Admiral remarked Casius had the most important skill of all, gaining the trust of men and showing he trusted them.
The Florin port was busy. There were a few trading ships anchored waiting to dock and unload goods from High Rock or Skyrim and return with gold, timbers and other produce of this tiny kingdom.
We approached the “Royal Longhouse”. Not a castle or huge expensive edifice. It was like somebody had taken Yngol’s residence in Falkreath and dumped it here. The only thing denoting the highest authority in the land lived there was the crown on the banners fluttering either side of the door.
King Lokan and Queen Elysia were dressed well but not garishly. There was no flaunting of wealth.
They both stood to greet us.
- King Lokan: On behalf of all the citizens of the Kingdom of Midwood, I greet you Emperor Wulf Septim.
- Wulf: It is a pleasure to meet you King Lokan and Queen Elysia. I wish it was under better circumstances.
- King Lokan: So a prophecy ignored has proven to be true. It must seem negligent and naïve we have nothing pre-planned to combat Lord Zahkris or his followers. We have been caught unawares and now rely on you to prevent our annihilation.
- Wulf: The people of Skyrim have a history with many High Kings and other famous warriors and mages who fought the Dov. Yet most citizens and their Jarls and even High Queen Elisif thought they were a fable until they started destroying towns and killing indiscriminately. You had one hero who fought Zahkris a long time ago. Your complacency is natural and when compared to that of Skyrim it is of minor proportion.
- Queen Elysia: You have a reputation for compassion and empathy. We appreciate you can be so understanding but the fact remains you are risking your life for our people. That is hard for us to reconcile.
- Wulf: Queen Elysia, I doubt you have read my published journals and I do not expect you to. Yes, I am Emperor of The Empire but more importantly I am Dragonborn. That is not just a title, it is a commission. I am the Champion of The Divines. Lord Akatosh has blessed me and it is my duty, not a choice, to risk my life for all mortals on Nirn. Not just the citizens of The Empire. Not just those who are friendly. All mortals! I have done so many times and faced much more powerful beings than this Zahkris.
- King Lokan: You seem dismissive of Lord Zahkris. Is he not a Daedric Prince, a God?
- Wulf: The sacrifice of Martin Septim was a continuation of the concordat between Saint Alessia and Lord Akatosh to prevent the Gods of Oblivion manifesting on Nirn. Zahkris is apparently walking the mortal plane. A Daedric Prince cannot do that without opening a portal to Oblivion and maintaining it. If such a thing occurred within this kingdom you would have known and I would be too late.
- Queen Elysia: The actions of the past, both truthful and mythical, become interesting stories and not crucial information for day to day survival. I know I have never thought about the barrier protecting us since my tutor made me learn about it when a child.
- King Lokan: What Elysia says is true. Those before us had to give our monster a name and the scariest thing our predecessors could think of are the Dark Lords.
- Wulf: There are seventeen Daedric Princes and that number has not changed since just after Nirn was created. I am not sure what Zahkris is but he is not one of them. I have encountered many beings who think they are a God or think they can become one. Zahkris may be immortal but so are Dovah including Alduin the World Eater. So was Lord Harkon, the most powerful vampire in history. The fact he needs my body and soul to conquer not just Midwood but all of Nirn indicates how weak he really is. Molag Bal, Boethia, Malacath and Mehrunes Dagon did not need the powers of a Dragonborn in their plans to conquer Nirn. Zahkris is a minor power compared to a Daedric Prince.
- King Lokan: The danger is to more than Midwood?
- Wulf: He started with your kingdom for unknown reasons. He is restarting from here because it was where he was banished. If he conquers this kingdom he will have the power and resources and souls to aim for something bigger. He would slowly build his power-base. If he was a Daedric Prince he would be virtually unstoppable. But they aim for the heart of Nirn from the beginning. They do not start with small kingdoms.
- Queen Elysia: You have given us much to think about. We will provide what resources you need. You have but to ask.
- Wulf: Thank you Majesty but this will probably come down to me vs Zahkris and no huge battles or armies. We shall see.
- King Lokan: May I suggest you speak to Advisor Sythin as a starting point, unless you already have a plan?
- Wulf: No Majesty, no plan. I was going to ask where to start and you have already provided the answer. Where can I find Advisor Sythin?
- Queen Elysia: He is probably just outside the longhouse waiting for us to do our morning tour of the city.
I bowed to the royal couple and made my way outside. I did not have to find Advisor Sythin, he found me and said, “By all the Gods, The Emperor has come as promised! We have all heard such stories about your Majesty.”
“Advisor Sythin is it?”
“Oh, forgive my manners. Yes, I am Sythin, Advisor to King Lokan and Queen Elysia.”
“I think I am going to have to work up the ladder of command to reach Zahkris. So the first person I need to find is called Drakus.”
“Sorry but I have not heard of him. That is certainly not a Somner name.”
“He is the one who sent the assassins that attacked me. Who defiled a house of The Nine!”
“Perhaps Falas the District Mage of Florin can help you. He often has access to information I don’t and vice versa. You will find him in the longhouse.”
“Thank you Advisor Sythin.”
“Before you go Majesty can I quickly express the gratitude of all here for your actions against Alduin. Most of us know you saved all our souls that day.”
“It was not just me. My good friend Lydia fought beside me that day.”
Lydia did a slight bow to Sythin. He returned a very deep one to her.
We returned to the longhouse and found Falas bent over an alchemy table crating some concoction.
I approached and said, “District Mage Falas, I am Emperor Septim and have been told you might be able to assist locating an individual.”
Without standing up and addressing me as he should he remained hunched over and answered, “I may be able to. Who do you seek and why?”
“The why should not be asked as it is irrelevant to you. But I shall tell you anyway and perhaps you might realise the gravity of the situation. His name is Drakus and he works for Zahkris.”
“I am afraid I do not know of him. I suggest you go to Alverton. One of the guards there is called Velkir and is a descendent of the warrior who killed the Daedric Prince Zahkris. Maybe his connection to the event may give him some insight I do not. Velkir moves around a bit so I suggest you speak to Councillor Algal as he may know where to find him.”
“We shall do that and thank you for your help. Three things before I go. First is that a basic knowledge of Martin’s Sacrifice and the nature of Daedric princes would tell you Zahkris could not be a Daedric Prince since he has manifested corporeally on Nirn. Second is the basic knowledge that Daedric Princes can’t be killed, ever, even by another God. Both of those should be known by a mage of your standing.”
Still bent over and pounding something in a mortar and pestle Falas asked, “And the third?”
“You wear the colours of the College of Winterhold. As the former Arch Mage I am horrified at your manners. You are addressing royalty but even if I was a beggar from the street you should have the courtesy to stop your alchemic endeavours stand up and address the other party face to face. It is a privilege to wear those colours and you represent the College when you do. If you can’t uphold the expectations and traditions of that revered establishment then remove its colours and do not embarrass it any further.”
I did not wait for a reply and walked out with The Sentinel following close behind.
Celestine remarked, “That was rather rude and you would have told him off College colours or not.”
“Yes, I am not one for protocol but manners are a different matter. His lack of basic knowledge on the nature of the barrier and Daedric Princes is also unacceptable. It is to be expected from the normal citizens and even royalty but somebody who claims the title mage should know such things.”
The roads and buildings are all well maintained and it is obvious the kingdom is prosperous. It is not densely populated. We saw nobody else on the main road.
It did not take long to reach Alverton. There was a single guard on the ramparts over the entrance and he did not challenge a group of strangers carrying an assortment of weaponry.
“Trusting lot around here!” exclaimed Iona.
“They have had peace here for a very long time. As far as I know they have never been at war. You get sick of looking out for the bad men when they refuse to turn up for centuries.”
From the outside the longhouse looked identical to the one in Florin.
The inside was the same except for a single throne instead of two. Seems like any Mrs Councillor has no noble rank.
There was no finery on the Councillor. Slightly expensive working clothes but nothing a well off farmer would not mind tilling the soil in. I approached him and he said, “Welcome to Alverton Emperor Septim. I am Councillor Algal. I have been informed of the purpose of your visit to our humble kingdom. Is there something I can assist with?”
“I believe a descendent of Midwood’s great hero Vorir lives hereabouts. His name is Velkir and District Mage Falas suggested you may know where I can find him.”
“He went to hunt an irritating bear a while ago and hasn’t returned yet. If you leave Alverton and head west towards the old fort he should be around there somewhere.”
“Thank you for your time Councillor.”
“I have merely answered a simple question. But you I thank humbly for defeating Alduin and all those others whose plans you have thwarted. I have actually read the journal entries published and greatly admire you and High Queen Rigmor’s sacrifices for the normal people. I wish you luck against our ancient foe.”
Not far out of Alverton we met our first violence. A small pack of wolves felt suicidal and attacked.
We rounded a corner and came upon three of Drakus’ men harassing a local and asking him where I was.
I yelled, “Over here if you wish to die!”
They lasted seconds after me and The Sentinel descended upon them.
The man we rescued stood with his weapon drawn and exclaimed, “Who are you? Don’t think that just because you helped me I’m going to lower my weapon.”
Lydia walked up behind him and hit his sword arm with the pommel of her sword at just the right spot. His hands opened reflexively and his sword dropped to the ground. Lydia picked it up and smiled at him.
“Forgive Lydia but she does take offence at people pointing their weapons at her Emperor.”
“Oh, of course, we were told you were coming. Just a bit rattled from being attacked by those three.”
Lydia offered his sword hilt first to him. He gently took it and sheathed it.
“Understandable. Is your name Velkir?”
“No, my name is Tyrek and a mercenary by trade. Velkir’s my friend but we were separated.”
“By the rogue bear he was hunting?”
“Not a bear. Some more of these people ran further west with him in pursuit.”
“Obviously they wanted him to follow and he is probably in great danger. Don’t worry, we will find them but we must hurry.”
“I am coming with you. Velkir is my friend!”
“Come on then. You sword arm should be as good as new in a minute or so.”
As we were running Tyrek said, “I suggest we look on the other side of the fort. That is where I last saw Velkir when these foul necromancers separated us. I think you are right and that they forced me away so I could not see where the others led him.”
“What makes you think they were necromancers?”
“Because they said their master wants your soul and unless I told them where you were they would take mine.”
When we skirted the fort some bandits sallied forth and attacked us. For the second time in minutes Tyrek saw The Sentinel and I dispatch numerous attackers in seconds.
Celestine sometimes shows her superb sword skills rather than blasting her opponent with a spell. As she cut the last bandit down she admonished him, “Just remember as you enter The Void. This was your decision!”
Tyrek exclaimed, “Even your young mage can chop armed and armoured men into bloody chunks!”
Celestine laughed and replied, “I bet I am older than your grandmother.”
I still feel regret sometimes that I dragged Celestine from her previous world of dispensing healing to one of inflicting death. She is amazingly adept at both.
Tyrek was having a hard time coming to grips with my merry band of killers. I asked him, “Tyrek, time is of the essence. Where do you want us to look?”
“I lost sight of him around here. I might be able to track them so let us look around.”
After a couple of minutes Jordis called us over. She had found a trapdoor covered in blood.
She had also killed the sole lookout. She remarked with disgust, “We might have walked right past this bolt hole and been none the wiser. But they had this idiot on guard and might as well have had big sign saying, ‘Hello, bad guys this way. Have a nice day!’”
“Maybe they wanted us to find it and there are lots of these clowns waiting below. Every one of these goons we have encountered is adept at magicka but pathetic with weapons. Just close quickly and reduce the number of spells they can cast before you gut them but not before I use my Thu’um on any that are massed together.”
Tyrek asked, “How do I know if you have used your Thu’um?”
Iona laughed and said, “Your ears start bleeding and people in front of him are reduced to bloody chucks or lumps of ice or piles of ash.”
We entered with weapons drawn. We could hear voices and what sounded like somebody cleaning a pelt.
To our surprise there were only three idiots in the place and we caught them completely by surprise. I did a hand signal and The Sentinel swarmed in and despatched them quickly.
Tyrek followed them but did not draw his weapon. He was fixated on a body atop a slab and slowly walked towards it. When he got to it he yelled, “Nooooo! Those fucking bastards!”
I walked up, had a look and asked, “Is that Velkir?”
“Yes…and I failed him.”
Tyrek stood with head lowered over the remains of his friend and whispered, “I will avenge you Velkir. I swear it!”
Tyrek moved away with tears in his eyes and I examined the scene. They had tied Velkir to the table and slowly killed him in a ritualistic manner. That did not shock me as I had seen such many times before. What did shake me were the runes drawn on the table. Lydia knew me well and saw concern written on my face. She asked, “Okay Wulf, you have seen plenty of scenes worse than this. What have you noticed?”
“Those symbols under Velkir are the same as I saw in Evermore. Our friends are not Mythic Dawn but they are worshippers of Mehrunes Dagon.”
“That is an assumption. They may not know of any connection to Dagon. Even Drakus may not know. Ultimately they follow this Lord Zahkris. Look at the idols they build. They have nothing to do with that Daedric Prince.”
The idols were bloodied cloth draped over a support of sticks. A clay sculpture of a head with two faces sat atop.
I explained to Lydia, “The leader of the mercenary army in Evermore was a Valkynaz, a Dremora Prince. He had been in hiding on Nirn since Lord Akatosh defeated Mehrunes Dagon in battle and ended the Oblivion Crises. I have a feeling Zahkris may be something similar and could even be a Feydnaz, the best of the best as it were.”
“In time a Dremora Prince could easily have been mistakenly called a Daedric Prince.”
“That is a possibility. A High ranking Dremora who did not die in that battle would bring shame upon itself. It would not be welcomed back in the Deadlands, the Oblivion realm of Dagon. It may desire to remain on Nirn and live like a God rather than face the wrath of its Overlord or even Dagon. If it was a powerful enough mage it may even create a pocket realm in Oblivion. It could place dweomer on itself to return there if defeated on the mortal plane. The prophecy says, ‘…Zahkris will rise again, built on the souls of fallen Mer…’ If there were followers sacrificing people over a long enough period of time then that may have empowered his return. Powerful Lich and other necromancers have achieved the same.”
“But we will not know for certain till we confront him or Drakus?”
“It is good speculation based on solid evidence but no, it is not a certainty.”
I walked up to Tyrek and said, “I am sorry for your loss. Would you like to discuss it?”
“Not right now Majesty. Let’s get back to Alverton, they will want to know what happened and gather the remains for burial.”
When we entered Alverton the Councillor and others were grouped together. Councillor Algal yelled, “Emperor! Come and help us fight these bastards!”
I decided to call the robed morons ‘Worshippers’ as that is basically what they are. Several dozen attacked evenly divided across the three main entrances to the city.
It was a bloody battle and many of the guards were killed or badly injured.
At one gate I used my Thu’um for the first time since stepping on Midwood Island. Three Worshippers were thrown high into the air by my Cyclone Shout and fell to splatter their insides all over the cobbled road.
Tyrek had been stunned by lightning and I killed his assailant with Unrelenting Force then healed him.
After a few minutes all of the Worshippers lay dying or wounded. I gave a hand signal and The Sentinel methodically put the wounded ones out of their misery. We would not get anything out of them unless we used or watched somebody else employ torture. I will never allow that.
I made my way to Councillor Algal who still had his unbloodied sword drawn. I doubt he had ever seen such carnage in his lifetime. His guards had done well to protect him but paid the price. I asked, “Are you okay Councillor?”
“By all the Gods, I never anticipated something like this would happen!”
“It is my presence that cost your men their lives. This was more bait to ensure I follow the trail to Drakus and Zahkris. That is why they waited for me to return before attacking. They are playing a game I have seen many times before and are incredibly naïve if they think I don’t know it.”
“What are you going to do?”
“Pretend to swallow the hook and let them think they are reeling me in.”
“You have returned without Velkir. Does that mean…?”
“Yes Councillor, I am sorry to say he was sacrificed by these people. May I suggest you send men to their hideout; Tyrek can point it out on a map for them. I do not know of your burial rites in Midwood but if you have somebody who can do the blessings of Arkay over the remains it will protect his soul from Zahkris if has not already been taken.”
“That is indeed a tremendous loss. We bury our people with the rights of Arkay spoken over the grave. There are no Houses of the Dead on this island. But I hardly have men to spare with the number of dead and injured. I am afraid I have no one to fetch him.”
“Where are the injured? Christine and I are Masters of the Restoration school of magic. We can fix the injuries and they will be good as new. Just like Orisys Stormsong did for the injured after that terrible earthquake.”
“I regard it as a high compliment you have made the effort to learn our history! Speak to Advisor Falith. He will be in the longhouse doing what he can for the injured. I will get some citizens to help gather the dead. Most of the guards have local families. We will be in a state or mourning for some time I believe.”
“I know your people are not used to such violence. I will end the perpetrators. This I swear on The Divines.”
Councillor Algal nodded his head and then changed into leader mode. As citizens stuck their heads out to see what occurred he ordered them around like a Sergeant in the Legion. He will keep them so busy the time to mourn will have to wait till the terrible chores are completed.
We walked into the longhouse and introduced ourselves to Advisor Falith, “I am Emperor Septim and these are my guards, The Sentinel. We have come to offer our aid with the wounded.”
“It is a great honour indeed Majesty. I have them all in the basement where there is plenty of room to work. We need supplies, potions and so on. Daylas, a merchant on the west side of town, should have plenty for us to use.”
“No need Advisor. Lead us to the basement and we shall quickly do what we can.”
A couple of guards were already diseased along with three citizens. Some of the injured had been poisoned by Falmer and other types that had been smeared on the weapons. We always carried plenty of Cure Poison potions. Along with our Restoration spells Christine and me quickly saved and repaired four citizens and eight guards.
Falith watched transfixed. When finished I said to him, “Those we got to in time are as good as new physically. But it may be some time before the trauma ceases if ever. Even those of strong faith find death a terrifying thought. Best thing for the guards is to be kept busy then their comrades will help with the mental burden. Best thing for the citizens is to be reunited with family.”
“We never see things like this except in distant natural disasters and the last time Lord Zahkris visited. What you just accomplished so quickly and competently suggests you have experienced this many times. You have my sincere thanks Majesty and I will pray to Erkaloth and The Eight that you one day see peace instead.”
I took one last look around at the good work we had done and the death we could not prevent and left the longhouse to talk to the Councillor.
I found him surrounded by guards and said to him, “We saved eight guards and four citizens. We got there too late to save two guards and three citizens. You people have suffered greatly this night.”
“It gets worse I am afraid. One of the guards said he saw a few of those…those…”
“We call them Worshippers.”
“One of the guards said he saw a few of those Worshippers escape to the east with some civilian captives. Another senior guard is in pursuit.”
“We shall go and save them if we can but must leave immediately. The morons will think they have led us into a trap. Even when you cut their heads off they don’t get any dumber.”
“I wish I could tell you more but east is the only clue.”
“We are experts at tracking plus they will deliberately leave clues as they wish us to fall into their sneaky trap. We will find them.”
“Thank you. I don’t know what we would have done without you today!”
“You would have lived lives untouched by this evil. This was all done to get to me as I said before.”
I turned to leave and Tyrek approached. He pleaded, “Those bastards killed my friend and have just attacked my home. Please Majesty, I need to come with you. I need revenge.”
“I understand but you must realise what we are dealing with. This is not just men with swords and a bit of magicka. This is evil incarnate and you may see and face things to challenge your faith and courage.”
“I…I must do something.”
“Okay but at any time do not feel guilt if it becomes too much. You are also to obey me. First time you don’t I will send you back without hesitation. I do not need your corpse to add to the list.”
“I agree. Let’s go!”
We headed east and as suspected obvious ‘clues’ were left for us to follow.
The pursuing guard was also doing his bit by leaving the occasional arrow ridden Worshippers corpse.
The Worshippers also killed the occasional hostage to make it easier for us to find them. My Dovah started to grumble. I might have to let him lose when we fall into their trap.
We came across the corpses of a dead Worshipper and the guard. It looks like he ran out of arrows and attacked with his sword. He had no chance against several mages.
Tyrek said, “He was also a family friend. I will make sure his heroism is remembered.”
Following some more obvious clues we soon came upon the entrance to their lair. One of their idols was next to the trapdoor.
We were not far in when my ‘Detect Life’ spell let me know where the Worshippers were waiting in ambush. I signalled The Sentinel and they rushed to the indicated spots and slaughtered them in seconds.
We entered the main cavern. Two hostages were unarmed. We released them and they ran back their families.
Tyrek remarked, “You saved me with your Thu’um and healing before. Then you knew where the enemy was before even seeing them. Then you communicated with these killing machines you call The Sentinel without words. I thought you were an overconfident arrogant know it all before. Now…”
Iona finished it for him, ‘Now you don’t think he is an overconfident arrogant know it all. You know he is an overconfident arrogant know it all.”
I replied, “Remember who pays your wages.”
“I believe they are automatically taken from the treasury as per the agreement when you first formed The Sentinel.”
“How would you like to spend a fortnight straight doing throne room duty.”
“Really Tyrek, he is the most humble man you will ever meet.”
The other Sentinel laughed and like many newcomers before him, Tyrek just shook his head and mumbled to himself about the madness.
I searched the bodies and on one Worshipper was a note that read,
“Find and kill the Emperor for me.
Once he is dead bring the body to me.
This time don’t fail me or else Drakus will be disappointed with you and I don’t need to explain what that will mean.
I handed the note around then asked Tyrek, “I don’t suppose you know who this Untath is?”
“Sorry but I have no idea.”
“We are slowly working down the chain of command. Soon we will be ambushed by cooks under the order of a chef with a dire warning about failure.”
Jordis joked, “Kill the Emperor or I will make you cook and eat Lydia’s Apple Cabbage Stew!”
I added, “Nobody is that cruel!”
Lydia just glared at us as we moved out and returned to Alverton.
We entered the longhouse and I reported to Councillor Algal who was about to go to bed.
“We rescued what civilians were alive and killed the Worshippers. The guard who pursued them deserves recognition for his bravery. He took a few down by himself before they ended his life.”
“I well ask Tyrek to mark the lair on a map and send men to retrieve the guard and others.”
“As I suspected it was all to lure me into their pathetic trap. Read this note I found.”
I handed Councillor Algal the note and he read it before handing it back. I asked, “I don’t suppose you know who Untath is?”
“Untath? That’s an unusual name and I have no idea who that is. Queen Elysia prides herself on greeting every citizen by their name. Perhaps she might know?”
“I hope she is awake because it will be fairly late when we get there. As soon as Tyrek has marked the map we will head back to Florin.”
A few minutes later we were ready to leave. Tyrek walked up to me and asked, “I know I have not been much use so far but can I continue to travel with you?”
“You have local knowledge Tyrek. That is just as valuable as a good sword on many occasions. Of course you can continue to travel with us. I am sure you will get a chance to wet your blade on these arseholes soon.”
He smiled and joined The Sentinel as we set off for Florin.
It was not long before midnight when we arrived at the longhouse. I asked the guard on duty to see if the Queen was available or had already retired for the night.
A minute or so later he told us she was available and we entered.
She looked apprehensive and asked, “We received a preliminary report from Alverton. How bad was it?”
“I think they lost about ten guards and the same number of civilians. The attackers were not out to harm the town or kill your people. They wanted to get to me and if that failed, lead me to their lair. The Worshippers are all dead which offers little comfort for the grieving families.”
“We will do what we can for them. Midwood Isle is like a giant home where all the citizens are friends and family.”
“I am wondering if you know a person by the name of Untath. He is working for Drakus who is working for Zahkris.”
“It is an unusual name and it does not sound familiar. If he had been around our settlements I would know. Sorry. Perhaps ask Lokan.”
“Thank you Majesty. We will be but a minute and then go traipsing somewhere else on your beautiful island.”
King Lokan had overheard our conversation and asked, “Before the Worshippers attacked I heard you reported that Velkir had been slain by these people.”
“I am afraid that is true Majesty.”
“Damnit! Velkir was a good man. I can’t believe they had the nerve to attack Alverton. This is worse than I thought.”
“As I told Councillor Algal, they did not attack Alverton for any other purpose than to kill me and if that failed, to lure me into pursuing them and into a trap. I am the target of all this, not your citizens. They come later if I fail.”
“I do not know who this Untath is either and I doubt any of our citizens can help. I recently heard some bandits had overtaken Fort Boltan just to the north. Perhaps they may know of him and be willing to barter information for a reward of pardon and freedom.”
“The way this type of evil works is by convincing others to join their cause and thus build up an army piecemeal. It is more than likely these bandits are already allied to Untath or higher up in the command chain. We will visit them and if they are hostile then at least we have cleared them out for you.”
“While you are gone I will ask Falas to see what information he can find.”
“Good idea. We will leave in a couple of hours as we have not rested since early this morning. I will also be summoning a gift given to me by the Khajiit of Elsweyr. It is a flying ship. It will be at the docks if you wish to see it. Just present yourself and Queen Elysia and the mages on board will happily give you a tour.”
“A flying ship? That I have to see!”
We left and headed for the docks where I set a beacon. I activated it and summoned Nafalilargus.
As we waited for it to arrive we sat and had a very late supper.
I could tell tomorrow was going to be hectic.