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For the Love of the Dead - Chapter 9In Winterhold, Nianire took refuge at the College. It was large and beautiful, and she wished she'd come here back when she could have belonged. Instead of getting mixed up with Astrid.
Sitting in the Arcaneum, she looked up from a copy of The Lunar Lorkhan to see the newly appointed Archmage speaking with his advisor, Nelacar.
"The man had clearly gone insane. He was paranoid that I was trying to sabotage his work when I had actually helped." the Nord said.
"Slifjar, many mages are paranoid, and for good reason. But I do not think that makes him mad."
"But you've never met him. He surely was..."
"And I do not plan to. I am most content spending my time here with you."
Slifjar blushed lightly and gazed at his trusted friend.
Seeing the couple's interactions made Nianire's heart ache with jealousy. She wished to return to Cicero's side, but he hated her now. How could she possibly change that and right what she had done?
"A gift is usually what people use to settle fights,
For the Love of the Dead - Chapter 8Cicero returned to Falkreath, and instructed Nianire to stay in Dawnstar. "Cicero cannot risk harm befalling the precious Listener." he'd said.
Several ghosts patrolled the halls, but most did not pay her any mind. One of them asked her if she'd heard the tale of Mathiew Bellamont, and she told him that she hadn't.
"Kill a boy's mother, and vengeance festers in the son." He said. Nianire thought it was a very short and unsatisfying story.
Growing bored, Nianire found an old and tattered journal on a table next to a set of motley. Flipping through the pages, it appeared to be a record kept by a Dark Brotherhood assassin from several years ago living in Cheydinhal. What was it doing in Skyrim?
"Something about the Purification. The Dark Brotherhood losing power. A brother who had lost home and heart" she was startled by the author's poetry, but read on, giggling when he said he left the corpse of the Grand Champion to the bears.
"Everything is falling apart. They're losing hold
For the Love of the Dead - Chapter 7In the dark, Nianire sat at the table in the mage's lab, working furiously away. She hadn't moved or eaten in days. Her vision was growing blurry, but she refused to stop, and her hands were covered in small cuts due to carelessness. She vaguely remembered other members attempting to speak to her, but she'd ignored them. She was so close to completing this spell, and soon everything would be put right.
"Finally" she whispered, engrossed in her notes. "This should be it."
When she cast the magicka in her hand, something went horribly wrong that she did not expect. A terrifying scream filled the Sanctuary, and she held her face as she tumbled backwards to the floor. She couldn't stop screaming, her eyes were burning.
"Huh?" "What was that?" "What now?" "Sister?"
She breathed deeply and clenched her teeth. Those voices... didn't sound close at all...
Light steps ran up the stairs to her, but each one sounded like a crack of thunder.
"Nianire, what is wrong?" She felt strong hands p
For the Love of the Dead - Chapter 6Far to the North, just outside of Dawnstar lay what remained of the Dwemer city known as Mzinchaleft. Many ancient ruins could be found throughout Skyrim, but all of them had long since fallen into disrepair and the hospitable ones were inhabited with bandits.
As Nianire crept through, the few bandits that she met proved no trouble, but it was not bandits she was worried to come across. She had heard rumors, of what lay deep within the ruins, and wondered whether they were true.
She found Maluril sitting behind his desk, writing until he collapsed and joined the bandits in the void. Curious, Nianire looked over his journal to find that he was a refugee. He had been on the run from someone in Bruma and had hired the bandits outside to protect him. Nianire shivered, wondering who he'd been running from, and how they'd contacted the Dark Brotherhood.
"Or maybe he was one of us" she thought "No, that's ridiculous, but if I mess things up with Astrid, will I end up like him? Hidi
For the Love of the Dead - Chapter 5Nianire slept in the next morning, wishing to lay in an alternate realm for as long as she could. When Astrid returned from Volunruud, she announced her news to the family.
"Brothers, Sisters, we are about to embark on a path the Dark Brotherhood has not seen in ages. The assassination of... the emperor."
Veezara whistled, Arnbjorn gaped, and Festus spoke. "Well, well. Isn't that something. I do hope the you are not pulling our leg, Mistress. First you became the Listener, and now the assassination of an emperor. It all seems just too good to be true."
"Because it's not true!" Nianire had to keep herself from screaming. She bit her tongue and smiled bitterly.
"Emperor Titus Mede II will die by my hand, and the Dark Brotherhood will be feared yet again."
Astrid went on to explain how they would lure the Emperor into Skyrim, through the wedding of his cousin. It all seemed terribly boring and as Nianire was about to walk off, Astrid stopped her.
"Nianire, I need you to run an errand for
PetalsThe grass tickled between her toes as her father toiled away with the roses by the letterbox. She watched his fingers weave between the thorns to pat the soil around each bush, humming to some John Lennon song she couldn't put a name to. Despite the sun just tipping the horizon, she saw sweat prickling his brow and his eyes squinting against the light. The fine lines on his face were suddenly accentuated by shadow, and for a moment, she swelled with wonder.
'Maria, come here,' he said, waving her over. 'You're not going to learn anything sitting all the way over there.'
Excitement sparked her limbs into motion, and she crawled over to sit next to him, careful to tuck her skirt beneath her thighs to avoid the dirt.
He picked up a pair of clippers from beside him. 'Now, you need to snipe back these diseased parts here and there from the base of the plant. It helps it grow better.'
Snipping off two pieces of wood with ease, he deposited them in Maria's outstretched hand. Their rough textu
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