Author's Note: This is the first piece of fan fiction I've written, as well as the first piece with even the slightest bit of humor. Feedback and constructive criticism are appreciated, but no flames please. Oh, and I don't own Morrowind (unfortunately); Bethesda does. With that aside, hope you enjoy!
It was a peaceful day on Ald Daedroth. Not that any day was peaceful; you always had your occasional Daedroth biting off a Scamp's head, Ogrim body-slamming a Clannfear and Dremora stabbing a Golden Saint in the face, but this day was unusually peaceful. It was already noon, and so far this day, only a single Scamp had been killed. In fact, some of the Daedra were actually talking to each other, rather than punching each other in the face.
"I'm hungry," said a Hunger, whose name was Vyron.
"You always be hungry," interjected a Clannfear.
"Shut up, Bo," Vyron said. "I think I'm gonna go outside and find some luminous russula to eat."
"That stuff be poisonous," Bo spoke up. "I eated some of that before, and I getted sick and I no could get up for much much days."
"It ain't poisonous!" Vyron exclaimed, rising to his feet. "I ate some of that stuff before, too, and it didn't do nothin' to me! It ain't poisonous!"
"Yes it be!"
"No, it is not!"
"Yes, it be!"
"No, it is NOT!"
The two Daedra almost came to blows before a Golden Saint named Erya stepped in between them. "Thou art both ignorant fools," she said, "to start a fight over a petty argument on mushrooms."
"Yeah?" Vyron said indignantly. "What about yesterday when you stabbed that one Dremora in the face just 'cause he wouldn't move out of your way? And you're supposed to be a saint?"
"Thou shalt address me with respect!" Erya cried in fury, drawing her glass claymore and pointing it directly at Vyron's heart.
A Flame Atronach walking past saw the three Daedra ready to fight, sighed and morphed into his frost form. This Atronach, named Zaigonblyroi, was the one of the very few Atronachs who could change his form at will. Conjuring up a beam of ice, he froze Erya, Vyron, and Bo in place.
"I really don't want to clean up any disemboweled intestines today." He changed back into his flame form and walked away. A few minutes later, the low-level ice spells had melted, and everything was peaceful again.
"I'm still hungry," Vyron said. "I'm going outside to get some luminous russula."
"But they be – " Bo began, but a sharp whack on the head with a glass claymore silenced him. Vyron proceeded to the door of the shrine and walked out.
Erya and Bo were silent for a while, before Erya spoke.
"Hast thou ever wondered," she said, gazing off into the distance, "What we are doing here in the first place? What's our purpose here? I mean, why are we all living in this shrine, instead of residing back in the Outer Realms?"
"'Cause it be fun to kill mortals!" Bo exclaimed.
Erya smiled. "I admit that there lies a certain pleasure in eviscerating the ignorant fools, but, I mean, there has to be some other reason for being here in the first place. Perhaps destiny has something to do with – "
At that moment, the door to the shrine flew open and a bleeding Vyron ran in. He slammed the door shut and stood pushing on it with all his might.
"Vyron!" Erya cried, leaping to her feet. "What hast thou done to thyself?"
"Need…lock…spell…" Vyron muttered, still leaning against the door. Casually, Erya walked to the shrine door and cast a level-100 lock spell on it. Bo followed closely behind her. Vyron relaxed and fell to the ground, panting.
"What be happening? Bo asked. "You is bleeding."
"I know that!" Vyron exclaimed. "Well, you see, I was outside mindin' my own business and gettin' that luminous russula, and the next thing I know – "
"If I may guess," Erya said. "Thou hast been attacked by a mortal."
"How'd you know?" Vyron said sarcastically. "Only happens every other day. Dude was an elf. Looked like a Dunmer to me, but I'm not completely sure. Had this huge steel battle axe. Had some sort of fire enchantment on it – hurt like hell! Oh, and he was wearin' tons of armor. Daedric."
There was a moment's pause, where you could almost literally feel the anger radiating from the three Daedra's bodies.
"Detestable wretch!" Erya muttered, gritting her teeth. "We come to the mortal plane for a visit – you know, perhaps slaying a person or two – and they go and make armor out of us." She swung her claymore in anger, nearly taking off Bo's head.
There was a small pause, and then Vyron asked, "You know, why do all the mortals hate us, anyway? I can understand them tryin' to kill us when we're attackin' them; I mean, their flesh does taste pretty good – " Erya looked away in disgust – "but it's startin' to be that every time a mortal sees one of us, even if we ain't doing nothin' to them, they'll attack us. That's just gettin' ridiculous."
"What do 'ridiculous' mean?" Bo asked, but the others ignored him.
"Thou hast a point," Erya agreed. "As I am a saint, I try not to attack mortals until the most dire of circumstances. But I have noticed what thou hast; the mortals attack us before we even draw our weapons. What could be the cause of this?"
"Maybe they just want our cool-lookin' armor and weapons," Vyron suggested. "If we stopped carryin' them around…"
"I doubt that," Erya said. "I don't think that most mortals would challenge some powerful Daedra like us just so they can get their hands on some nice weapons. Especially as the mortals have many more sources of weapons in their world."
There was another moment of silence, and then Bo spoke.
"When I was back in the Outer Realms, one of my friends telled me about this one god that everyone who be on this island trust. His name be Vivec. Maybe he be telling everybody that we Daedra be bad, and we should be make dead."
Yet another pause. "Well, I shall admit that I cannot think of any better reason that everyone on this island hates us," Erya said. "I, too, have heard of this Vivec. He was a legendary war hero who was eventually accepted by the island's inhabitants as a god. He resides in the city of Vivec, what he hath named after himself. Perhaps Bo speaks the truth; perhaps Vivec is telling everyone that we Daedra are to be hated."
"Yes!" exclaimed Bo. "I be right!"
"Well, what are we gonna do about it?" Vyron asked.
"There is only one thing to do if we desire equality," Erya said. "We must journey to the sacred city of Vivec and speak with this god."
Vyron and Bo considered this, then nodded.
That night, there was a meeting held in the inner recesses of Ald Daedroth. Erya, Vyron and Bo had worked tirelessly to complete the nearly impossible task of gathering every Daedra living in Ald Daedroth around the statue of the goddess Azura. Erya, a naturally talented speaker, began her speech.
"As thou hast most likely noticed, we Daedra are not very welcome on the mortal plane. Though we sometimes cause mischief, it has gotten to the point where mortals will attack us without question, regardless of if we are bothering them or not. Is this not true?"
There was a murmur of agreement throughout the Daedra.
"I'm glad thou agreest with me. After my friend Vyron was attacked today by another mortal, we decided to ponder the reason why we Daedra are so unwelcome in Vvardenfell. My friend Bo came up with a relatively reasonable hypothesis; that the god Vivec, whom most that dwell on the island trust, has taught the population that Daedra are to be hated. Thus, we have planned to journey to the city of Vivec, where the god resides, to argue for our rights."
There was a murmur of excitement, and a Daedroth exclaimed, "A journey? Will we be able to kill mortals?"
Erya shook her head. "I would assume that any casualties taken within this journey would not leave a good impression for Vivec."
The Daedroth looked a bit disappointed, and sat down.
Next, Erya needed to choose Daedra to represent each of the nine Daedric races. For Scamps, she chose Shadow, an expert thief who excelled at stealth. She chose Hubor to represent the Ogrims, as he was very skilled in combat, and could actually be motivated to do things, unlike most other Ogrims. She chose Zaigonblyroi for Atronachs, as his ability to transform into all three of the Atronachs' elemental types may prove useful. Vrodik, the most intelligent Daedra in all of Ald Daedroth, was chosen to represent Dremoras. Erya chose the Daedroth Rai on account of his brute strength, and the Winged Twilight Viridi for her mastery at flight. And, of course, she would be going on this journey, along with Vyron and Bo.
"We are now ready for this journey," Erya said to the Daedra. "Have plenty of rest tonight, as we will depart at dawn tomorrow!"
There was much cheering and clapping, and slowly, the Daedra departed.
The next morning, at daybreak, the selected Daedra gathered in the Outer Shrine. They gathered all of the necessary supplies, ate a small breakfast (well, not in Vyron's case), and began to walk out of the shrine.
"One second," said Shadow, looking around. "Where is Hubor? Shadow has not seen Hubor this morning, he has not."
"Yeah, where is he?" Vyron said in between bites of rat meat.
"Like, I'll bet that he's, like, still sleeping," Viridi spoke up. "I'll go check." She left and was back a few minutes later, dragging Hubor behind her.
"But I am still sleepy," Hubor grumbled, yawning.
"Sucks for you," Vyron said. "We've been up since dawn gettin' stuff ready, so I wouldn't be talkin'." He swallowed his last mouthful of saltrice and threw his bowl to the side.
"Are we now ready?" Erya asked. The other Daedra nodded. Erya opened the shrine door, and they followed her outside. The Daedra walked toward the shore of Ald Daedroth, wary for mortals, but there were none. They arrived at the shore before they realized that they had a slight problem.
"Um, like, we don't have a boat," Viridi said.
"Oh, that's just great!" Zaigonblyroi cried, sparks flying from his fiery body. "We've planned for all this time and now we realize we don't have a boat?"
There was a moment of silence, and then Vrodik's eyes lit up. He walked over to Erya and whispered something to her. Erya giggled.
"Hubor," Erya asked. "Knowest thou how to swim?"
"Huh?" Hubor said, looking dumbstruck. Vrodik sighed, drew his sword and poked it into the Ogrim's back.
"Argh!" Hubor screamed and jumped twenty feet into the air, landing with a splash into the Sea of Ghosts. The other Daedra laughed, but Vrodik held his breath. A few seconds later, Hubor's body surfaced and bobbed around on the surface. Vrodik let out his breath.
"Apparently so," Vrodik laughed. "Hubor will be our method of transportation to the mainland of Vvardenfell." Vrodik leapt into the water and swam over to Hubor, who seemed to have fallen asleep. He pushed the unconscious Ogrim to shore, where he, Erya, Vyron, Bo, and Rai climbed onto Hubor's stomach. Shadow and Zaigonblyroi, who was now in his frost form, were back a few seconds later with some broad, durable sticks, ready to be used as paddles, and climbed on.
"Is Viridi coming?" Shadow asked Viridi, who was still standing on shore.
"Like, I'll pass," she answered, spreading her wings. "I'll just fly behind you guys."
"Fine with us," said Vyron. "We're runnin' outta space anyway."
Rai grabbed one of the sticks, and Bo took the other, and they pushed off from shore and began to paddle south toward the mainland.
At about noontime, the Daedra reached the northern shore of Vvardenfell and set up camp. They ate the rest of the food they had brought from Ald Daedroth, and then all but Rai took a nap, who passed his time hunting down rats and scribs, ripping them to pieces and hanging the flesh out to dry.
The Daedra woke up in the afternoon, where Vyron ate all of the rat and scrib jerky that Rai had collected. They were about to set off again before they found another problem.
"Okay! Now we be going to Vivec City!" Bo said, turning to Erya. "Lead the way!"
Erya looked confused for a second, and then said, "But…but I thought thou knewst how to get to Vivec." Bo shook his head. Erya looked around desperately at the other Daedra, and asked, "Dost anyone know how to get to Vivec?" No one answered.
Zaigonblyroi turned fiery again, and said angrily, "Great. Just great! First we have no boat, now we don't know how to get to Vivec. Great. I don't know about you guys, but I'm ready to head straight back to Ald – "
"You know, you were much more likeable in your frost form," Vyron interrupted, shutting the Atronach up. "Hey Viridi, do me a favor and see if there ain't some sort of mortal settlement nearby. We can ask 'em."
"What, are you crazy?" Zaigonblyroi exclaimed as Viridi flew into the sky. "You know no one likes Daedra! They'll kill us all and – "
"You should definitely have chosen a Frost Atronach instead," Vyron said to Erya. "So what if they don't talk; at least they don't get pissed off."
A minute or two later, Viridi was back. "Yeah, there's a small mortal settlement nearby," she said, landing on the ground. "It looks like some sort of, like, camp."
"Great!" Vyron exclaimed. "Let's go in and ask for directions!"
"Hold on a second," said Vrodik. "I doubt most mortals would be accustomed to seeing a group of nine Daedra walking in on their settlement. Who knows; they might even attack us. Plus, most of us don't even know the language that the mortals on Vvardenfell converse in. Common, is it called? Hang on, does anyone know Common?"
Everyone shook their heads but Shadow. "Shadow does," he told them. "Shadow traveled a lot before he went to Ald Daedroth. Shadow will speak to the mortals."
"Excellent," Erya said.
"Shadow suggests that the Daedra hide," Shadow advised. "Most mortals do not like Daedra, they do not."
As soon as the other Daedra were well hidden behind a large rock (which was quite difficult for Hubor), Shadow proceeded to walk toward the camp. But before he even got close, someone saw him.
"A Scamp!" yelled a Dark Elf. "A Scamp! Everyone, get your weapons ready!"
Shadow tried to speak, but before he could start, twenty arrows came flying in his direction. He dodged them as best as he could, but one of the arrows grazed his shoulder and cast its shock spell. Ignoring the pain, Shadow sought to remember something from his travels in the mortal world. Something about a symbol of peace – something about the arms and raising it up…
Shutting his eyes, Shadow raised both of his arms into the air and prayed that he remembered the right gesture. A few seconds later, Shadow realized that he was not dead, and slowly opened his eyes. The Dark Elves were staring at him in a mixture of curiosity and suspicion. One of the bolder ones spoke.
"What do you want of the Ashlanders of the Ahemmusa Camp, Daedra? If you're here to start trouble, you'll get much more than you bargained for."
Though Shadow had not spoken or heard Common in years, he understood most of what the Elf was saying. Keeping his hands in the air, Shadow said, "Shadow does not want to start trouble. Shadow wants to ask question."
"What kind of question?" Asked another, aiming his bow straight at Shadow's heart.
"Shadow and his friends need – " Shadow began, but was interrupted.
"You brought friends?" Yelled one of the Dark Elves, causing a nearby pack guar to squeal in fright. "It's an ambush! Come out, wherever you are!"
Arrows started to fly again, and Shadow scurried off to the rock where the other Daedra were hiding.
"Daedra must come out now," Shadow said nervously.
"What are you talking about?" asked Zaigonblyroi irritably.
"Shadow made a big mistake." Shadow confessed in a guilty voice. "Shadow mentioned his friends by accident, and now the mortals want to kill Shadow and the Daedra."
"That's just great!" Zaigonblyroi roared. "Why did I ever decide to hang out with you group of – "
"Shut up and listen!" Vyron hissed in anger. "And transform your frost form, please. We don't need extra noise. Keep goin', Shadow."
As Zaigonblyroi's body began to cool and grow ice crystals, Shadow continued. "Daedra must listen very carefully. Daedra must all walk together into the camp, and Daedra must not hurt a single mortal, no, they must not."
"Hear that, Rai?" Vyron said. The Daedroth sighed and nodded.
"The Daedra must then lay all weapons on the ground," Shadow continued. "Then Daedra must all put their arms into the air, like this." Shadow demonstrated for the others.
An arrow whizzed past and hit a gold kanet plant, which burst into flames and burned to ashes. "Daedra have little time," Shadow said. "Daedra must not worry about pain or get angry. Hurry! Daedra must go!"
The Daedra all got up and arranged themselves into a line. They walked hastily toward the camp, ignoring the arrows that pierced their skin and cast painful fire and shock spells. When they were in plain sight of a few Ashlanders, Shadow told them to stop and put down their weapons. Erya placed her glass claymore on the ground, as did Vrodik with his ebony spear and dwarven shield. Shadow nodded, and the Daedra all raised their arms into the air, though Rai looked like he was exerting all the power in his control to prevent himself from running over to the nearest mortal and biting off his head. A few tense moments passed, and then one of the Ashlanders lowered his sword a few inches.
"What do you want, anyway? It's not every day that nine Daedra walk into camp and people don't die."
"Like Shadow said," Shadow began, "Daedra need directions. Daedra need to get to the city of Vivec."
The other Ashlanders slowly lowered their weapons as well. "And why do you need to get to Vivec?" Asked another Ashlander. "Surely Daedra don't just wake up one day and say, 'Why don't we go visit Vivec City today?'"
"Actually," Shadow told them, "Daedra need to talk with the god Vivec about some affairs."
"What kind of – " began one Dark Elf, but he was interrupted by another one.
"It's none of our business," he said, and turned to Shadow. "None of us know where Vivec is, but I'm sure our wise woman, Sinnammu Mirpal, will be able to give you directions. Come, follow me."
"Daedra must stay here," Shadow told the others in his native tongue. "Shadow will get directions."
If the wise woman of the Ahemmusa Camp was the least bit surprised that a Scamp walked into her yurt, she did not show it. Instead, she greeted Shadow as she would any mortal, and calmly asked him what he needed of her.
"Shadow needs directions to Vivec," he answered. The wise woman did not speak, but looked at Shadow with an expression that asked, "And why?" Shadow continued. "Shadow and his friends want to talk with the god Vivec."
Sinnammu considered Shadow's story. She knew that Vivec was a false god, but decided that letting Shadow know that would only further complicate his problems. And if her guesses about the Daedra's motives were correct, it wouldn't matter if Vivec were a true god or not.
"All right," Sinnammu said, conjuring up a sheet of paper. She ran her index finger across the paper, and a thin black line appeared where her finger had touched the paper. "Haven't drawn anything in a while," Sinnammu said to Shadow, who was staring at the paper in awe. She flipped the paper over and began to draw the outline of the island. She put a dot on the northeastern-most point of Vvardenfell. "This is the Ahemmusa Camp," she told Shadow, writing the letters to the right of the dot. She moved her finger to the southernmost point of the island, and placed a dot there. "And this is Vivec." She saw Shadow's eyes widen in horror, and said, "Yes, it is quite far from here. However, I can cast a recall spell on you and your friends, and that should take you to Ghostgate, if my memory serves me correctly." She put a dot near the center of the island. "That should make your journey a bit easier."
"Shadow thanks Sinnammu very much."
"There is no need for your gratitude," the wise woman said gently. "Go get your friends, and I shall send you to Ghostgate. Keep in mind, however, that it is in your best interest to stay out of every mortal's sight. Not everyone on Vvardenfell is as sympathetic as the Ashlanders of the Ahemmusa."
Shadow walked out of the yurt into the camp, where the Daedra were still standing motionless with their arms in the air. Rai was beginning to twitch.
"Daedra need to follow Shadow," Shadow told the others. "Vivec is very far away, and wise woman will take us a bit closer, she will. Daedra should pick up their weapons."
Sinnammu was unusually calm, considering nine armed and rather dangerous Daedra had just entered her yurt. She politely greeted each of the Daedra, which greatly surprised them all, especially Rai, who stopped flexing his claws. As she was preparing her recall spell, she told the Daedra,
"When you get to Ghostgate, follow the foyada south until the foyada splits into two small paths, facing east and west. You will have passed an ancient Dwemer bridge. Take the west path at the crossroad. You should have arrived at a lush grass-covered field, around this area." She put a dot on the map. "From here, just head directly southeast toward Vivec. You might have to cross a few lakes and ponds, but you won't find any mountains or giant stone columns blocking your way. And it's better than asking for directions again. Do any of you have any other questions?"
The Daedra all shook their heads, and Sinnammu began to conjure up a purple-colored ball of energy. When it had grown to a sufficient size, she hurled it toward the Daedra, where it exploded and cast purple sparks everywhere. A few seconds later, when the sparks cleared up, the Daedra were all gone.
"I think I'll call it a day," Sinnammu said, and lay down on her bedroll.
When the Daedra came to their senses, they found themselves at a barren, rocky canyon. In front of them lay a large gate, with towers on either side of it. Beyond the gate, the red-colored Blight threatened to enter the foyada, held back by a clear field of energy. And it was also raining.
Shadow studied his map, trying to keep it dry. "Ghostgate is to the north," he said, "and Daedra need to head south. So Daedra should turn around and walk forward."
The Daedra all turned the opposite direction, and began to walk south. They walked a few minutes in silence, and then Bo spoke.
"I feels like there be less of us than before," he said.
"Yeah, I feel like that too," Vyron said. He counted the Daedra. "Eight. Who's missin'?"
There was a pause, and then Erya gasped and began to run at top speed in the opposite direction. "Zaigonblyroi!" She yelled. "It must have been the rain! Not one of his forms provides any protection against water! Come on, we may already be too late!"
Zaigonblyroi lay motionless in front of Ghostgate. His once icy, frost-covered body now lay warm and half-melted. Chunks of ice, which could only have come from Zaigonblyroi's body, lay scattered around the drenched rock.
"Zaigonblyroi!" cried Erya, kneeling by his devastated body. "Art thou all right? Oh, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry…" The other Daedra stopped by the Atronach's body, and stood silently (except for Hubor, who was breathing very heavily). "Quickly, dost anyone know a healing spell? It needs to be at least level 50."
Vrodik stepped forward. "I know a healing spell," he said. "I haven't cast it for some time, and it's only level 43, but here goes…" He closed his eyes, conjuring up a blue-colored ball of energy, and cast it at Zaigonblyroi's twisted body. The Daedra held their breath, but at long last, the ice crystals began to grow back, and Zaigonblyroi's eyes opened.
"Thank goodness," Erya said, breathing a sigh of relief. "Art thou all right?" Zaigonblyroi nodded. "I shall cast a level 100 shield spell on thou," Erya told him. "That should keep thou safe until the rain ceases. I hope I have enough magic…"
And luckily for Zaigonblyroi, Erya did have enough magic for the spell. Granted, she looked a little worn out after casting it, but other than that, she was just fine. Rai and Vyron helped Zaigonblyroi to his feet. Zaigonblyroi transformed into his storm form, and though there was much less electricity running across his body than usual, he was still able to walk with Rai and Vyron's help.
"You have no idea how painful that was,' Zaigonblyroi said, speaking at super speed. "We got sent here and it was all raining and stuff and you guys started walking away and I was all like, 'Hey, wait up, guys,' and you didn't hear me and I tried to walk and I couldn't and the rain just kept landing on me and my fire started to go out and I transformed into my frost form and I tried to walk again but I couldn't and I started to melt and then I fell down and pieces kinda fell off me and then I passed out and then I lay there and lay there and then…"
"Oh god," Vyron said, putting his hand over his face. "Even your fire form was less annoyin' than this."
With Zaigonblyroi's weakened stage to slow them down even further, it was soon nighttime, and the Daedra had not yet even reached the Dwemer bridge. They set up camp, and Zaigonblyroi lit the sticks that Shadow and Bo gathered. They roasted the rats, scribs, kwama foragers and nix-hounds that Rai had caught, ate them, and with Vyron complaining that he was still hungry, went to sleep.
The next morning, Shadow was awakened by a shrill cry piercing the predawn silence. He looked around at the still dark sky, saw nothing, and went back to sleep. There was another cry, and before Shadow knew what was going on, he found himself being held by the arms by a brown bird-like creature, and the ground was shrinking at a very fast rate. As he didn't feel like becoming breakfast just yet, and couldn't move his arms, his only form of defense, he cried out.
"Help! Help! Daedra must wake up! Shadow needs help!"
Rai stirred, yawned and got up. He looked around at the sky, and was just about to lie down again before he saw Shadow being borne away by the bird. Getting up, he shook the other Daedra and said,
"Get up! Get up! A cliff racer carried Shadow away! Get up! When I get my claws on that thing…"
All of the Daedra except for Hubor jumped up. The Daedra tried to chase after the cliff racer, but it was too fast, even for Viridi.
"Dost anyone have any ranged weapons?" Erya asked desperately. "Bows, throwing stars, anything?" No one answered. Then Zaigonblyroi spoke up.
"I have ranged spells. The racer is too far away for me to do anything here, but if you could get me a decent levitating spell, I might be able to catch up with him."
Erya immediately began to conjure up a ball of energy, and cast it at Zaigonblyroi. He leapt into the sky, and began to fly toward the cliff racer at an incredibly fast rate. "How long does this spell last?" he yelled down to Erya.
"Sixty seconds!" she answered. "You better hurry!"
"What?" Zaigonblyroi cried, and swallowed. It had already been twenty seconds since she had cast the spell. Pushing the levitation spell to the extreme, he managed to get within feet of the cliff racer, who had no idea anyone was following it.
"Have to…aim this just right…" Zaigonblyroi said through gritted teeth, conjuring a fireball from his fingertips. He let it loose, and it hit the cliff racer straight on the back of the head, missing Shadow by inches. Zaigonblyroi breathed a sigh of relief, and the next instant, he was falling.
Zaigonblyroi, Shadow and the cliff racer hit the ground with a thud (and a puff of smoke for decoration), and were soon approached by the other Daedra, dragging a sleepy Hubor behind them. Vrodik immediately healed Zaigonblyroi and Shadow, while Rai seized the hapless, barely alive racer and tore off its head. The Daedra then headed back to their camp, with Rai dragging the twitching cliff racer corpse behind him.
The Daedra roasted the cliff racer, and had a rather large breakfast. They then continued to follow the foyada south, passed the Dwemer bridge, and eventually came across a fort. The Daedra tried very hard to avoid being spotted, but the keen eyes of the Imperial archers caught them, and they had to flee for their lives under a hailstorm of enchanted silver arrows. By the time they were out of the archers' range, they had reached the split in the road. Shadow, who was leading the way, glanced at the map, nodded, and took a left. The Daedra were in a grassy field, with a lake to their south.
Shadow glanced at the map again. "From what Shadow can see," he said, "Daedra will have to cross the lake." He pointed to the southeast, and said, "In this direction."
After much persuasion, Hubor leapt into the lake, splashing water all over the other Daedra. He moved near the shore, and the other Daedra (except for Viridi) got on his stomach. With two new paddles, the Daedra rowed their way southeast across the lake, with Viridi flying closely behind. By the time they got to the other side, it was noon, and the Daedra ate lunch, which consisted of roast rat and scrib courtesy of Rai. Shadow etched an southeast-pointing arrow into the ground with his claws to remind himself which direction they were heading, and then the Daedra all took a short nap. They woke up in the early afternoon, and continued to head southeast.
Soon, the Daedra came to a very large mortal establishment, with a few tiny shelters scattered here and there. Rai sniffed the air, and said,
"Mortals. Lots of 'em. If we can't kill 'em, we'll have to be very careful."
And there were a rather large number of mortals around, though some seemed to be much more well dressed than the others. Erya used every bit of magic in her body to cast a level-80 chameleon spell on each of the Daedra.
"This spell will last only sixty seconds," she told them. "That's why I did not bother to use it at the fort in the foyada. We should still be able to see each other, so head on, Shadow! And Zaigonblyroi, change into your frost form; the mortals will notice heat more easily than cold."
The nine Daedra sprinted through the settlement, passing many mortals on their way. Some of them looked up from their work, but did not notice the Daedra, and eventually recommenced working. Sixty seconds later, when the Daedra were almost out of the settlement, the spell wore off.
"Hey, who are they?" Asked one mortal, painting at the Daedra.
"Hang on, they're Daedra!" Exclaimed another. "Get out your weapons, everyone!"
"Run," whispered Vrodik, and that's precisely what the Daedra did. As Daedra are much faster than humans (with the exception of Hubor, who Vrodik had to cast a fortify speed spell on), the Daedra escaped the mortals. As soon as they were a safe distance away, they all sat down to catch their breath.
"It'll be so much better after we talk with Vivec," Vyron said in between bites of wickwheat. "I mean, not gettin' shot on sight…people maybe even respectin' us…"
There was a pause, and then Hubor (actually awake for once) said, "Do you really think that Vivec will tell everybody not to hurt us anymore?"
Another pause. "I know not," Erya answered, "but it's always worth a try. I do admit that we shall be considered very fortunate if Vivec does what we ask, but even if he does not, what have we missed? What would we have been doing back in Ald Daedroth, other than slaying one another?"
The rest of the short break was in solemn silence, and then the Daedra got up and began to head southeast once again. They crossed another lake, and then headed through a grassy field where there were a rather large number of mortal dwellings. Fortunately for the Daedra (and the mortals), none of them were outside. They continued to move southwest, before Bo noticed something.
"Hey, that thing over there be very like a Daedric shrine," he said, squinting into the distance.
Viridi flew ahead, and then returned seconds later. "Yeah, it is a Daedric shrine," she told the other Daedra. "I wonder if, like, the Daedra in that place are friendly, if there even are any Daedra."
"Well, there is only one way to find out," Erya said. "Onward to the shrine!"
The sun was beginning to set when the Daedra arrived at the Daedric ruins. Warily, they opened the door to the shrine, to find themselves in complete darkness.
"Visitors!" said a voice. "It's been a while since I've had prey…"
"Visitors?" another voice spoke. "I wonder how they taste; I'm starvin'."
"I don't know," the first voice said. "There's only one way to find out. Haven't had something to tear something apart in days…"
"Never thought I'd be askin' this," Vyron said to Zaigonblyroi, readying his level-10 shock spell, "but could you change into your flame stage, please?"
As embers began to ignite on Zaigonblyroi's body, the light revealed a Daedroth and a Hunger in the corner. Vyron cast his shock spell at the Daedroth, and Zaigonblyroi threw a small fireball at the Hunger. The Daedra watched in sadistic glee as the Daedroth and Hunger ran around in pain.
"Ow – we were just – ow – jokin'!" yelled the Hunger.
"Joke with someone else," Erya said icily. "So are we or are we not welcome here?"
"Of course – ow – you are," said the Daedroth.
"They sure didn't make Shadow feel that way," said Shadow.
The Hunger and Daedroth left rather quickly, and the Daedra sat down. A native Scamp brought them some food and welcomed them to Ald Sotha. After lighting the torches, he began to leave, but Erya spoke up.
"Wait!" The Scamp turned around. "How far is Vivec from this place?"
"Vivec is not far from Ald Sotha, it is not," the Scamp told her. "Vivec is just a bit southwest of Ald Sotha, it is. If Daedra want to get to Vivec, all Daedra have to do is head south until they see a bridge. The bridge will lead into Vivec, it will."
"Excellent," Erya said. "One last thing – dost thou have potions of restore magicka?"
The Scamp shook his head. "He does not," he said, "but he knows one who does. He shall go fetch her for you."
As the Scamp headed off, Viridi asked, "Like, why do you need potions of restore magicka in the first place?"
"Because Erya is smart," said Shadow. "Erya knows that there are many mortals in Vivec. The mortals cannot be allowed to see us, they cannot. So the Daedra must levitate over the city in order to not be seen. But Erya does not have enough magic to cast the spell on all of the Daedra, and that is why Erya needs the restore magicka potions. Is Shadow right, Erya?"
"To the last detail," Erya said. "Art thou hiding telepathic powers from us, Shadow?" Everyone laughed.
Soon, the other Scamp was back with another Golden Saint, who introduced herself and asked the Daedra for their story.
"We are on a quest," Erya told her. "We have noticed that mortals these days are attacking Daedra unprovoked, and we wish to speak with the god Vivec and ask if he can teach Vvardenfell not to fear Daedra anymore."
"Well, luck be with thou," said the other Golden Saint. "The god is located in the southernmost quarter of the city, in case thou knowest not. Now, you said something about needing potions of restore magicka?"
"Indeed," replied Erya. "We need them so I will have enough magic to cast a levitate spell on each of my companions."
"How many dost thou need?" asked the other Golden Saint, getting out her potions.
"Eight," Erya answered.
"Eight?" the other Golden Saint exclaimed. "That's all I have made in the past two weeks! Very well, you shall have eight."
"How long dost thou take to make each potion?" Erya asked in curiosity as the potion maker examined each of her potions.
"Around five days," she answered. "Four if I'm bored, six if I'm lazy. Now, back to the potions. What wilt thou give me for these potions? Surely thou didn't expect me to hand them over…"
Erya swallowed; that was precisely what she had expected. "This one time, can we not…" she began.
The other Golden Saint shook her head. "If I get nothing, thou wilt get nothing as well."
"Very well," Erya said, turning to the others. "Have we anything to trade?" She lay down her glass claymore. "Would you like this? It has been a very useful weapon to me; very sharp."
The potion maker shook her head. "No, weapons are of no use to me. Nor are shields," she added to Vrodik, who was about to place his shield on the ground. "Dost anyone have anything else? Otherwise I must go, I'm afraid."
Vrodik looked uncomfortable. Reluctantly, he reached within his cuirass and pulled out an amulet made of emerald. "This was given to me by my master," he said, laying it in front of the Golden Saint, "and have grown rather attached to it. But if you are interested in this, I shall willingly trade it for the potions."
The Golden Saint picked up the amulet as the other Daedra watched anxiously. "Hmm…not bad, not bad at all," she said. "Very well crafted. The emerald is of very high quality as well. Hmm. Yes, I believe that I can trade my potions for thy amulet."
The other Daedra glanced at Vrodik, who hesitated, then nodded. The Golden Saint took the amulet, handed Vrodik the potions, and left rather hastily. The Daedra sat in complete silence for a few moments, and Erya was the first to break the silence.
"We all owe thou much gratitude," she said to Vrodik. "Thou art very generous. I know that if I were in thy place, I would have never been able to do what thou didst. So, thanks."
Vrodik nodded. "Well, let's think of it this way," he said. "If Vivec listens to us, our reward will be much more valuable than a single amulet."
"True," Erya replied. "We best get some sleep," she told the Daedra. "A long day lies ahead of us tomorrow."
Erya woke the Daedra well before dawn the next morning (which took quite a while for Hubor), saying that there should be fewer mortals around Vivec during the early morning hours. The sun had not yet risen when the Daedra left Ald Sotha and began to travel south. Soon, the bridge that the Scamp had described came into view. Erya readied her levitation spells.
"All right," she said, her voice filled with excitement. "Don't forget, this spell lasts only sixty seconds, so hasten. Also do not forget that Vivec's palace is the southernmost section of Vivec. Vrodik will lead the way, so follow him if thou becometh lost. Here we go!"
She cast the spell on Vrodik, who immediately soared into the air and began flying southward. Erya drank a potion, conjured up another ball of energy, and cast it at Viridi.
"Like, what are you doing?" Viridi asked. "I don't need the spell to fly, remember?"
"My mistake," Erya said, yawning. "I'm still tired." She drank another potion as Viridi flew away, and cast the spell on Shadow. She repeated this process with Rai, Zaigonblyroi, and Vyron. After Erya cast the spell on Bo, she realized that she had only one potion left, and she and Hubor were still left.
"Crap," she swore. She thought about going back to Ald Daedroth for another potion, but remembered the Golden Saint saying that it took her around five days to make each one. Erya sighed. There was only one solution.
"Grab my hand," she said to Hubor, drinking the last potion. She cast the spell on herself, and flew into the air, dragging Hubor behind her. By this time, the sun was starting to rise, and the ordinators below were beginning to notice them. Erya flew as fast as she could, but Hubor's weight slowed them down dramatically.
Erya was amazed that the spell was still in effect by the time she got to Vivec's palace. "Yes! We made – " she began, but then she and Hubor began to fall. Erya closed her eyes for the deadly crash, but it did not come. When she opened her eyes, she and Hubor were in the firm grasp of Viridi, who, with some difficulty, placed them down in front of the palace entrance.
"Like, you two owe me big time," Viridi said, landing with a graceful sweep of her wings.
"We do indeed," Erya said, walking to the door. She tried to open it. "It's locked."
"Hey everyone," Vyron said, glancing down the steep steps. "There's trouble. A bunch of mortals with big swords are runnin' down this way. We gotta hurry."
"Dost anyone have an open spell?" Erya asked. There was no answer.
"Just great," Zaigonblyroi said. "We arrive at Vivec's palace, and find it locked." He sighed deeply, releasing a stream of smoke into the air.
"Out of the way, everyone," said Rai. "If we can't open it, we'll have to do the next best thing; break it down." And with a powerful blow from his fist, he knocked the door into pieces, causing Vivec to fall out of the air in alarm.
"What the hell are you Daedra doing here?" Vivec exclaimed in the Daedric tongue, brushing dust off of his body. "Well, no matter. The ordinators will have you taken care of very soon. Begone." And Vivec rose back into the air and gathered himself in his meditating position.
"Hang on," Erya began. "We mean no harm."
Vivec snorted. "Oh yeah, and I'm sure you just want to have a little chat with me."
"As a matter of fact," said Vrodik, "That is precisely the reason we're here."
The palace was silent for a moment. The ordinators arrived and began to attack the Daedra, but Vivec ordered them to stop.
"But, my lord – " one ordinator began, surprised.
"Leave. Now," he said, and the ordinators did so without hesitation, as he had just basically spared their lives. Turning to the Daedra, he said, "Since you've gotten this far, you must be pretty resourceful. Now, what exactly do you wish to talk to me about?"
The Daedra all looked at Erya, who sighed, and began to speak. "My lord," she said, "My companions and I have noticed a few things. In times past, mortals would attack us Daedra only when they themselves were being attacked. But recently, mortals have begun to attack us at first sight, regardless of whether or not we are attacking them. We decided to think of what could have caused this change, and our best guess was that thou hast told the inhabitants of Vvardenfell, whom thou surely influence greatly, that we Daedra are to be feared and hated. Is this true?"
Vivec was silent for a while. He strode over to the broken remains of the door and conjured up a new one. "You are brighter than I had assumed," Vivec spoke at last. "It is true; I told the inhabitants of Vvardenfell that Daedra are evil."
"If that is so," Erya continued, "then we beg thou to take back what you have told the island, and teach them that Daedra are not evil."
Vivec sighed deeply. "Before I was a god, " he said, pacing around the chamber, "I was attacked and deeply wounded by a Daedroth. Of course, I have battled much more powerful creatures since then (no offense to you), but that battle stayed in my mind, as it was the first time that I had felt completely helpless and at the mercy of another. After the island idolized me and the Temple made me a god, that event still stayed in my memory, and that led me to the proclamation that all Daedra are evil and deserve to be destroyed." Vivec sighed again. "Of course, I was rash and foolish then, and I regret it now…"
"So correct thy mistake," Erya said, her voice trembling with excitement. "Declare that Daedra are not evil, and you shall have nothing to regret for the rest of your immortal life."
"That is true," Vivec said, "but alas, it is too late to do so. Think about it; how could you even start trying to reteach an entire island populated with thousands of people, every one of whom have been brought up under the notion that Daedra are monsters; every one of whom have been hearing children's stories with 'the big bad Daedroth' as the main antagonist? It is impossible. I wish it were as easy as saying one simple sentence, or even reciting a speech, but it is not. It would take a lot of time; time that I don't have. Therefore, I cannot fulfill your request."
There was a long silence, where the Daedra could nearly hear an ordinator speaking fifty feet away. Then Vyron began halfheartedly, "But – "
"I'm sorry," Vivec said.
Erya bowed her head. "I have failed thou," she said. "I have lead thou on a useless, dangerous journey, all for the sake of nothing. I shall never forgive myself." She sighed. "Come, let us head back to Ald Daedroth." The Daedra began to leave.
"Wait," Vivec said. His voice rang with a strange tone – was it sympathy? "I have said that I cannot make the island respect all Daedra. But that does not mean that I cannot make the island respect you."
The Daedra stopped in their tracks and turned around. "Please explain thyself," Erya said. "Thou hast said that thou canst not change the attitudes of the inhabitants of Vvardenfell toward Daedra. So how canst thou expect to change their feelings toward us?"
"I cannot change the inhabitants of the island," Vivec said, "but I can change you. Keep in mind, however, that once you make a decision, there is no turning back. You shall have a moment to discuss."
The Daedra put their heads together. "Well?" asked Erya.
"I ain't gettin' turned into no fork!" Vyron exclaimed loudly.
All but Erya laughed, who said. "Think about it. Even if Vivec does turn us into inanimate objects, which is quite possible, art we really worse off that we were before? I mean, what will we have lost?"
"Our sentience," said Vrodik, and the Daedra laughed again.
Erya shook her head sadly. "If we were to stay as Daedra, how long dost thou think we would last before we are slain? Even immortals must die sooner or later. So wouldn't it be better to die now and be respected forever, rather than live a bit longer and be forgotten completely with our death? What dost thou say?"
The palace was silent for a moment, and then one by one, the Daedra nodded. Erya turned to face Vivec.
"Are you ready?" asked the god.
Erya nodded. "We are ready."
There was a flash of orange light, and the Daedra began to glow with a beautiful golden color. A few seconds later, the Daedra had disappeared. In Shadow's place lay a ring of transparent crystal, which granted the user invisibility. In Bo's spot, there was an amulet of emerald, which fortified the speed of the wearer. In the place of Hubor lay a large glass figurine, which cast a powerful shield around its carrier. Zaigonblyroi had been replaced by a ring of ruby, sapphire and amethyst, which shot out bolts of fire, frost or shock, depending on which stone one touched. In Vrodik's place was a necklace of ebony, which had the power to fortify one's intelligence. Where Vyron had stood, there was now a beautiful amulet of silver, which let the user detect nearby creatures. In Rai's spot lay a diamond piece shaped like a fang, which fortified the strength of its carrier. A pair of copper wing-shaped earrings lay in the spot where Viridi had stood, which granted the power of levitation to the wearer. And finally, in place of Erya lay an exquisite golden necklace, which contained the power to fortify one's magic. The jewelry glowed golden for a few more seconds, and then the beautiful light faded away.
"I shall return you to Ald Daedroth," Vivec said, "and you shall become the most treasured possessions in all of Vvardenfell."
There was another flash of light, and the Daedra were gone.