C.o.t.W Chapter 140: A Question of Purity

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After many hours, Hasir gasped in awe at the idealistic buildings and countryside. Ceralyne giggled behiind her hand as she saw Hasir's dumbstruck expression as he took in the beatutiful details of it all. He wore an expression of disbelief as he thought that Tamriel had no right to have sa local as awe-inspiring.

 

As the Argonian rode into the biggest of the Summerset isles and followed the Altmer's instructions on their way to the main city. As the pair passed over an arched bridge made of greystone and stabled the stag at the stables outside the city. They walked into a city full of identical grey buildings carved out of stone. Hasir was under the impression that they were headed to the castle which was sillouhetted on the horizon not too far away. They, however, turned and walked up a set of white stairs, along an arched path to another set of white steps leading to a magnificent black rooved house beset with beautifully patterned windows adorned with grey arches and a upper porch that jutted out a few inches from the house's entrance.  Again, the Altmer smirked at the Argonian's gasp of awe as he took in the whole picture. She shook her head bemusedly and entered the house followed by the Argonian.

 

The inside of the house was equally as detailed as the exterior. As they passed under the archway that seperated the stairway and the entrance, he noted the impressive details and wondered who the Alinor architects were and were they got their inspiration. Hasir's mind came back to the present as he heard a female voice drifting down towards him.

"Ceralyne, is that you?" Her mom, Mirine, said as she came downstairs wearing a blue and gold robe. Her mom told her that her father was upstairs. She turned from her daughter to Hasir, :Who might this be? A friend of yours?" Ceralyne shook her head and said that they had been dating for a couple moths. "Excuse me?" She asked, angrily. "Are you telling me that you intend to rebel against the well established ruled our ancestors have set down to deter any impure creatures... like him." She said, gesturing to Hasir, who hissed in indignation, "Ceralyne, don't you care about tradition?" She said, casting her a worried glance.

 

Ceralyne shook her head; leaving her mother red faced.

"Mom, I love you... I really do but I would rather make my own decisions, live my own life. I am sick of our traditions. I believe I should be able to date whomever I want." She said, giving her mother a scathing look. Like a rock wall fitted with loose stone, er mother crumpled under her gaze.

 

Ceralyne blanked her and she and Hasir proceeded up the stairs to a mostly wide-open landing and saw her father sitting in an armchair by the fire in the eastern-most room. She and Hasir sat down opposite him.

"Good to see you father. I have turned to my mother and she thinks I am breaking tradition, but I think otherwise."

 

Her father, an Altmer doning the same robes as her mother, cleared his throat.

"Ceralyne, calm down. You will drive yourself crazy by trying to place all the pieces together yourself. You should go your own way and forget the silly traditions of our people."

 

Ceralyne stared at her father, wide-eyed. A thought occured to her that her parents meant to contain her like a wolf in a cage.

"I will never forget our traditions. I am simply trying to bend the rules a bit." She said, screwing up her face. "I think its stupid that the tradition is a lock keeping the Altmers' hearts in a cage that nothing except negative emotions seem to penetrate."

 

She looked up at her father, whose face was redder than a crimson nirnroot.

"Why would you think that? I thought you would be better than this! Sewing the seeds of disbelief upon the wheatfield of tradition?  We, your mother and I, took jobs at the Thalmor Embassy for your security. Please, do not squander this do to you wanting to be the wolf amongst golden sheep."

 

Hasir goggled at Ceralyne's father in indignation.

"You work at that awful place? I know of Altmer superiority, I mean I don't, my mom told me. The entire Telvanni tower of Uvirith knew about it and they told her. She said your people are so self-centered that you would rather sell your children instead of blemishing your own skin? How selfish can one elf get?" He said rather bluntly.

 

Faelion stood up and threw himself at Hasir. Nose to snout, his eyes bore into the Argonian's. The silence was punctuated by a hiss of pain as the Altmer male's fist collided with the Argonian's scaly cheek. The Argonian drew his axe and stared angrily at the Altmer. Ceralyne stepped in and glared at the two warring parties; daring either one to make a move. 

 

Hasir was about to rush past Ceralyne and decapitate Ceralyne's father when there was a loud knock on the door. Faelion went down the stairs and answered it. Four red garbed redguards stood there with sharp scimitars.

"Sorry to bother you but we heard that there were Thalmor in this city. We don't like the Altmer because of... the past experiences we've had with them  I will not bore you with the details but, nonetheless, you are and your wife are part of the most hated group in our nation.  Come with us, now or we will be forced to take you by force."

 

Faelion swore angrily. He had no idea that there were groups of people that hated the Justicars that help uphold the law.

"I don't-what are you lot doing? This can be defined a breaking and entering. Get out of my house. My wife and I will not go with you willingly, not forcefully, not at all." He said, screaming at the top of his lungs.

 

The lead redguard drew his bow and pointed it at Ceralyne's father.

"Very well. The hard way it is then." He said as his fingers tightensed on his bow. 

 

Snesing this, Mirine used herself as a human, or, more precisely, elven, shield. She became an elven pincushion and dropped to the ground like a heavy bale of wheat. Faelion turned to her, tears in his eyes and then to the redguard, took his saber and stabbed him through the heart. The redguards stared at their fallen leader and drew their swords. Faelion charged a lightning spell and cast a fireball spell simulaneously. He flung the fireballs at the redguard combined with lightning crackling among the orange flagrant orbs. 

 

He smirked to himself as the rudgaurds where trees fit to burn as an unlikely fiery thunderstorm uprooted them, throwing them a few feet over the edge of the balcony leading to the house. The odd storm fell away from Faelion's outstretched hands as he looked at his wife's fallen body. Tears fell from his golden face as he bent over and respectfully closed his wife's eyes. Ceralyne hugged her father and tried to comfort him but, despite her best efforts, the dam flowed unimpeded.

 

Hasir came downstairs to see what the tumult was. Seeing Faelion's tearstreaked face, he scoffed.

"Why do humans and elves bother with sobbing over planks of wood floating on an everflowing river? In my culture, we do not bother sobbing nor do we bother burying our dead. We simply surrender our dead the the earth, to the Hist where our kind comes from. We believe in reincarnation, soul transference. Our ancestors give us new vessel for our souls upon being granted new life."

 

Faelion scoffed at this and muttered something about stubborn Saxhleel not understanding about their ways. Hasir shrugged this off, grabbed Ceralyne and strode out of the townhouse.

 

Hasir turned to Ceralyne and released her arm.

"Ceralyne, you never told me that your parents worked for the Thalmor. My mom told me about the Thalmor. She heard about them from a colleague when she joined the Telvanni." She tried to pull away from him by Hasir's claws hung on like an unreleting cliffracer. Don't you know the thalmor were responsible for the deaths of a thousand people just because they were not as pure as them? Someone needs to give those assholes a reality check; either that or burn the embassy to the ground with all those purebred idiots inside." 

 

 

Ceralyne glared at Hasir who chuckled but, after realizing she did not find this funny, dammed up the flow og laughter.

"Hasir, how could you? You can be so heartless sometimes. My parents were kind of indocrinated into the embassy, they had no choice. My grandparents were part of the embassy back when we lived on SKyrim and, at the time, my parents honored that tradition, so they did not dare question their parents and joined up. Also don't insult my culture in front of me or my parents, it is rude." She eyed him maliciously, her golden laserbeams failed to cut through his inch-thick scaly armor. "I know being rude is not as much as a thorn as it is to other races." She said, icily

 

Hasir tried to apologize but she'd already disappeared into the house. Sighing, tail limp as a bent branch, he went in after her.When Hasir crossed the highly-detailed threshold and went upstair he saw Ceralyne's mother's body laying next to an earthy looking funeral putr. The argonian looked up from the body and saw Ceralyne sitting on one of the stone benches and her dad sitting on a stone bench close to his wife's body.

 

Ceralyne saw Hasir yjtpihj yrat-streaked eyes.

"Hasir, I d-din't expect you to c-come in." Hasir asked her if she had put the lid on her emotions towards him yet. She nodded and asked him if he ever heard about the Almmter funerary rites before. He raised a spikey eyebrow. She explained them to him. He had to stop himself from laughed because he'd never heard anything so preposterous in his life. She went to hit him. He shrank back like a wolf being shown fire. She got up when her father motioned for her that it was time. She nodded, gestured to Hasir and, together they lifted the body onto the earth funeral pyre and carried it out of the building, down the stairs to a beautifully detailed mausoleum that, Hasir knew, served a purpose similar to that of Skyrim's halls of the dead.

 

Ceralyne signaled for the pyre bearers to gently set it beside the door. Her father asked her if she would be along. She nodded and he went in. The Argonian was about to go in the impressive marble building but she put a hand out to stop the Argonian.

"Hasir, promise me that you won't act stupid around whatever or whoever we encounter in there." She said, nodding at the door.

 

Hasir nnodded halfheartedly. A thought occured to him.

"Ceralyne, whomever we meet in there will be dead. They don't care how I act."

 

The Altmer sighed as she and Hasir lifted the funeral pyre and proceeded inside.

 

Hasir gasped as they passed by the mouth of the beast into the stomach. He saw numerous marble tombs bearing fallen Altmer kings, those that died in battle, the wealthy and common Alter residents of the Isles; each tomb adorned with their name on a gold plaque. Hasir saw at the very back of the building was a blank space with a plaque on it that, he knew, was for Ceralyne's mother. 

 

The entire of the tomb was fashioned of the same marble as the exterior was. He saw, in some alcoves devoid of marble caskets or marble urns that looked like they would look more at home in a masnion or castle. They set the pyre on a raised stone platform near where she was to be buried, her father said a quick prayer and set the funeral pyre alight. Hasir was taken aback, he;d yjought that Altmer buried their dead, like other Tamrielians. He watched as the flames from some ancient dragon engulfed Ceralyne's mother's body. He saw the Altmer's father scoop up the ashed and deposit them in a similarly decorated urn Hasir had seen dotting the crypt., walked over and placed it in the spaced that was reserved for it and firmly placed the gold plate upon it.

 

Not wanting his mind to betray him, the argonian tapped Faelion on the shoulder and asked the question that was a slow burning candle in his mind.

"What's the point of cremating her? There are a ton of coffin lying around, dump out the occupant and use one of them. They wouldn't mindm they're dead." 

 

Faelion rounded on Hasir, making him feel like a wolf cowering before one of Molag Bal's daedra.

"How dare you speak ill of the dead!" He thundered. "I'll have you know, we've always buried our dead in this manner." Hasir opened his mouth to argue but Faelion cut across him' "Yes, we did bury our ancestors in cakets like the ones you see before you. There was one caveat with that, however, space. They take up so much space. " Hasir thought on this but ended up agreeing with his irrefutable logic."So, in the end..."

 

Hasir sniggered at this. Faelion rounded on Hasir as to inquire what was so amusing.

"Well, no pun intended." Faelion raised an eyebrow. "Death is the end of all things so when you said in the end, I thought..."

 

Faelion turned as red as a crimson nirnroot.

"Enough of this Hasir or I'll throw you out for besmirching the dead." He snarled. He dared Hasir to contradict him. He didn't. Faelion sighed in appreciation and continued. "To that end, our ancestors thought up a better system for burial." to solidify his point, he gestured toward the urn his wife's ashes now lay in.

 

Hasir looked at Faelion and then at the ashes and paced beween the stone slab and the wall section containing the urns.

"Yes, but the body isn't the only thing that is burn, various bits of funeral pyre, on which the subject is burned, is combined as well. By that logic, your wife in indiscernable from bits of wood ash as well."

 

Failion got fed up and threw the smart-mouthed insolent argonian bodily from the mausoleum andd slammed the door behind him. Hasir lay face down in the street. He slowly got to his feet and started wondering what he did wrong when and image of the Altmer floated on his mindsea. He cursed himself and sat in dejection, so much that he did not even notice the crypt door open. 

 

Faelion storde over to Hasir  and sent him falling head over tail. Before he could deal another blow, Ceralyne stepped between him and the Argonian who just got to his feet.

"Father stop. Why must you do this? I admit that Hasir is a Xarxesdamned bigot who won't know kindess if it bites him on the tail but he in kind to me. That's all that matters. Lay off of him. This is because of your stupid tradition isn't it? Yes, the pieces all fit. Hasir was right in his own wierd way about that our race is concerned with smelling the ripest roses that all other flower just won't do."

 

Falion gasped at his daughter. He had no idea she would defeat a stranger; someone she hardly knew, over her own flesh and blood.

"Ceralyne... I just, I don't want to loose you. The altmer have our traditions for a reason. If we steered clear of those golden fields, our souls... they would be forfeit. You don''t want that, do you?"

 

Ceralyne stood resolute in her defiance. Her father sighed and headed to their home.

"Fine, do whatever you want. You know that your mother and I will still love you but, do not let us tarnish your free will painting. Know this, however, if your here for some quest, the Altmer will not be as sympathetic to your plight as I've been. He said.

 

After he disappeared into the house, Ceralyne ran to Hasir and embraced him.

"I thought you were a goner. He took it far easier on you than I thought he would've. What's our next more?"

 

Hasir sighted and looked eastward.

"Our next stop is Elsweyr. You father does not intimidate me, I've dealt will far worse... being wrongfully enslaved for one thing." He added in an undertone. "Anyway, we should get to your parents' house and sleep. We've a long day ahead of us tomorrow."

 

As they headed to the house, Hasir turned to Ceralyne and apologized.

Look, Ceralyne. I... can I call you Lyne for short? Ceralyne... it's... a tree-filled swmap in my mouth. What I mean by that is it's a tough name to navigate verbally." Ceralyne nodded, saying either that or Ceralyne is fine with her. Hasir smiled, "good...erm...we should get up to the house then." He looked over his shoulder at the mauseleum. "I don't think the pompous sunshine-skine descendants of the vampire worshipper would want ro join us anyway."

 

Ceralyne was on the verge of retorting but kept a cool head and nodded. Together they went up to the house and to their respective rooms. Hasir, too tired to do anything else, flopped, fully armored, onto the bed in the corner of the room and relished the peaceful release of slumber.

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