Oh boy it has been an age. Writer's block is a BITCH. Well, here it is!
Of Magecraft and Spidersilk
Chapter 4: Into the Breach
The light of the portal was blinding. Most races are lucky to have just two eyes. But for we Perthans, flashes of light are agonizing. Our world of the Skein has rather low levels of light, at best only the bioluminescent glows of the flora, or the flickering wisps of light spells. So sudden bursts of light feel like knives when you have four eyes attuned to relatively little light. Luckily I am used to being summoned, so I adjusted quickly.
Tenkai and I found ourselves in a palace of shining gold. Shimmering pillars laden with reflective jewels surrounded us like a forest of gilded, bejeweled trees.
“Urgh, where are we?” Tenkai asked, holding his stomach. Ah portal sickness, it affects everyone the first time they use a transportation spell or, well, enter through a portal. Its symptoms are almost entirely identical to that of, say, seasickness. Dizziness, headaches, nausea, etc. Well, except portal sickness has an added side effect, or several, depending on one’s skill in spellcraft, one of the tamer ones ending up where you didn’t wish to go. One poor fool I remember once ended up having one of the nastier ones. Parts of him ended up in several different realms, and exploded, multiple times. Poor bastard was still alive through it all/
I tapped my finger, looking around. “Considering the rather gaudy architecture, and the rivers of what smells like wine flowing every other row of pillars, we’re either in one of Lord Sanguine’s realms….or Lady Meridia lost her Beacon again and is going on quite the bender.”
Tenkai, rather adorably, cocked his head. “Meridia...drinks...booze?” He asked. Ah yes, Lady Meridia often liked to show herself to the mortals as some benevolent, calm hater of the under, probably her time as an ex-Magna Ge, and probably her romantic failures with Kyne and Tava have led to her having quite the stick up her immortal ass. However, I have seen what she’s like in private. She can outdrink even Lord Sanguine if she puts her mind to it, and whenever she’s not sending her Aurorans or her lovechild Umaril to raid Lord Molag Bal’s realm, she’s planning practical jokes on the Lord of Rape alongside Lords Sheogorath and Sanguine. The last one involved chastity belts ending up on all Lord Bal’s Daedra, the rivers of fire and blood turning into mayonnaise, his hits did nothing but tickle whoever he struck, and horribly written romantic poetry would be read from the aether wherever Lord Bal went. It lasted, in terms of how we Daedra tell time, roughly two and a half months.
“Oh yes, she does. Particularly whenever Lord Sanguine hosts a party.” I smiled, barely noticing he still rode atop my thorax. “Wherever we are, I can sense….something, over that way.” I pointed towards one of a series of velvet draped doors lining the walls. “If my hunch is correct, it should be the cause of this little slice of Oblivion sparking up the desert.” My tarsi clicked as I made my way there.
“Hopefully.” Tenkai said, easing himself atop my back, his legs wrapping around my sides, as they would in more….intimate moments later in our lives. But that’s a story for a later time. My left hand moved upward, easily parting the curtain, while my right twisted the little gilded doorknob, finding ourselves in a chilly corridor, illuminated by sparse wisps of emerald green light on either side of the hall. Already the magical signature, pulsating like a beating heart, felt closer, so close I could almost taste it.
Eventually we came upon what we were looking for. Zooming across the an extravagant dining room, like a kitten, or perhaps a Khajiit, high on Ambrosia laced Moon Sugar, was what appeared to be a small sphere, about the size of an old Bosmer’s fist. My quartet of eyes traced its flight path. Though wild, it seemed to have a relatively set path it took, which eventually led it back to hover over the center of the feast table for a few nanoseconds. I waited, and once it reappeared over the table, I fired a web out, entrapping the floating orb, hauling it over like a fisherwoman reeling in her catch. It struggled as I soon held it in my hands.
Tenkai came over, “Good catch, I guess having more eyes must be quite useful, eh?” He said, as he began to inspect the orb, a warm cerulean glow indicating a calming spell, emanating from his palm, as the orb gradually quieted down.
“Indeed they are.” I chuckled, letting him do his work. While I considered myself someone who had a keen eye for detail, runes were never really my strong suit. Meanwhile, I kept my eyes on a swivel, even if we were in a pocket of Oblivion that an individual had made, or been bequeathed, such as how the presumed extinct Imperial Shadow Legions used small realms of Oblivion to train their recruits, it still felt rather off that we were alone. Even in self created miniature realms of Oblivion, we would at least see minor Daedra, it was quite hard for them not to subconsciously be summoned, even by the most introverted of conjurers.
“Ah, it's a puzzle of sorts, see?” I looked again at the orb. Thin lines, like one would find interlacing floor tiles, interspaced the runes. I nodded, and he began to fumble with it, trying to uncover the solution. Puzzles were never my strong suit. Eventually, he let out an “Aha!” and I turned, as the sphere began to glow a soft orange color, the panels making it up beginning to seperate, and shift about with a speed that even my quartet of eyes had trouble following. Finally, with a hiss, they resemble themselves, and then, with a small flash, fell into his waiting grasp. “We should probably leave before this place collapses around us.” He said with a small smile, his cheeks showing his dimple.
“Agreed.” I said, picking him up by grabbing his waist, and by Mephala’s mammaries, his waist was quite firm, causing him to let out the most adorable shriek, and set him atop my thorax. Already the pocket of Oblivion was beginning to crumble away, gleaming splinters forming in the ground and the sky. With one single leap, we soared through the gateway, and found ourselves face-to-face with Grand Vizier Leki and some of the Wardens. The aged Redguard said nothing, only simply holding out a hand.
Tenkai slowly climbed off my back, and handed the sphere to the elder. “The rift should no longer trouble you, Grand Vizier. Now, we must get back on our journey. There are still three more anomalies we must investigate.” He dusted himself.
One of the Wardens, a half-Dunmer by her slightly paler complexion, vaguely pointed ears, and reddish-brown eyes, held up a hand. “Please, you have traveled far, and I’m sure you two are exhausted after sealing away….whatever that was.” She said, gesturing to the sputtering remnants of the gateway. “You can stay the night in our compound for the night. Eat, drink, and rest.”
Tenkai and I looked at eachother, shrugged, and followed. We would continue our journey, refreshed, and restocked, in the following morning.
Our next stop was High Rock!