Author's Notes: Last chapter! Significantly shorter than the rest, but only because I didn't want to prattle on for pages and pages with useless stuff. I thought it would be better to be concise and to the point. Thanks for everyone who read, reviewed and liked! I appreciate it. I hope you like this chapter as much as the rest!
When I awoke, I was surprised that I had at all. I didn't open my eyes right away, nor did I move my body. It was in complete pain, that much was obvious. But if I wanted to get anything done, it would need to be done. Slowly, and with a rather loud curse, I moved to sit up. The dagger was still in my shoulder. How long was I out for, I wondered? It couldn't have been very long—everything seemed to be in exactly the same spot, and there were no rats nearby, and there wasn't much blood staining my robes or the floor of the underworks.
Removing the dagger from my shoulder hurt like hell. Some blood poured out of the wound once it was free of it, staining my robe even worse. At this rate, I thought, I was going to have to throw it away. I focused as intently as I could on casting a healing spell. It took a couple of them before I could actually move without there being a new wave of pain coursing through my body. What was weird was the sudden fatigue I felt in my magicka reserves. I could normally cast that spell several times with no concern about not having enough, but it felt as if I had depleted my entire power by only casting it those few times. What was worse, it felt like I hadn't completely healed the wound. What was going on?
It hit me suddenly—my father's poison. The four ingredients combined caused a long-lasting damaging effect to my health and my magicka, not to mention a small duration of fire damage and paralysis. The only way to get this completely cured was to go to a temple and pray to be cured. I had never been to a temple here. I hadn't even been here long enough to figure out what it was I needed, if anything, to pray at the temples. The good news was that I was still in Vivec, which meant that I wasn't far from a temple.
After weighing the damage done to me, I stood very carefully. My wound wasn't bleeding anymore but it was still open, which meant that climbing the ladder was going to be very difficult. Once I was up, though, I was able to see the thief's body floating in the water not too far away from me. There was a surreal feeling to the entire thing that made me think I was simply dreaming, or was under the influence of Skooma, or something of the like. It felt as if it couldn't be real. But yet, there she was, floating on her back in the water. My father's killer was dead. The killer of the seven innocent people in Vivec was dead. I hadn't felt this sort of pride since helping the Anvil Mages Guild back in Cyrodiil with the merchants on the Gold Road.
I kneeled down to pick up her dagger. The enchantment had worn off, so it would need to be recharged. It would be my spoil, along with knowing that I had made her suffer just like I wanted to. Placing the blade in my bag, I moved toward the ladder that led back up to the canalworks. By the time I had finished climbing it I had made the wound bleed again, and so I had to heal myself. The good news was that I was at least capable of walking, which meant that, maybe if I went to Elam Andas in the Office of the Watch, he could help me with the temple.
"You've done Vivec an amazing favor," Elam told me, patting me on the shoulder. I winced, and he chuckled in response. "Oh, sorry about that…" A pause. "Now, about your reward."
I had completely forgotten the mention of a reward when he told me about what the deed was. Killing her had really been enough. "Reward?"
"Yes. For your courageous efforts, I can offer you either an Indoril Cuirass and Helm, or you can take this enchanted belt, the Belt of the Armor of God." Elam gestured to the table nearby us which had all of the armor laid out. The belt had an enchanted glow to it that brought a smile to my face.
"I'll take the belt." When he handed it to me, I slipped it around my waist. It tied my robes a little tighter, which hurt my wound. I winced again. "I need to get to a temple to heal this…my ability to heal to full capacity was damaged, as was my magicka. The temple, what do I have to give it—"
"—Oh, you needn't worry much about that! Here, all you have to do is pray in the High Fane and give one of the pillars a donation for the temple, and you'll be cured of what ails you. It's instantaneous." Elam scratched at his chin. "In fact, once you walk out of here, just go down the stairs and take a left, then walk all the way down the hall and go through there to the temple. It's very easy."
I nodded. That did sound very easy, and I was thankful for that. "Thank you," I told him.
"No, thank you. Should there be any situation like this again, I'll be sure to ask you. You live here in Vivec, correct?"
"In one of the St. Olms housing units, yes." I didn't tell him that I wasn't planning on staying there.
"You're a curious man, do you know? With what you've told me, you have what it takes to join the Mages Guild here, in the Foreign Quarter plaza. Doing so would get you not only a place to stay, but guaranteed food, too. You'll need it to get back to optimum shape."
"Join the Mages Guild?" I repeated quietly, rhetorically. Given that I hadn't planned on staying in Morrowind, in Vvardenfell nonetheless, the idea of joining the Mages Guild here was sort of weird. At the same time, however, I didn't turn it away completely.
Elam cleared his throat. "Just something to think about. But, keep me notified so that I know where to send any requests for assistance."
I nodded once again. "Not a problem." Since there was an uncomfortable silence growing that clearly meant the conversation was over, I thanked Elam once again for the belt, turned around, and then stepped out of the room. I followed his directions to the temple, and once I arrived, part of me felt out of place. Before, in Cyrodiil, I had never actually been afflicted with anything that couldn't be cured by a potion. Going to chapels had become pointless. Here, though, in a world that I didn't know and with ingredients that I was unfamiliar with, making a potion might have just made it worse. Thankfully, by doing exactly what Elam said, I was able to cure myself of the damage done to my health and magicka, and I felt much better. My wound was still there but it hurt no more than a light bruise would.
On my way back to my room, I pondered all of the things that had happened in the past week. I hadn't been in Morrowind very long at all, and I had managed to do exactly what I accomplished. To think that a few weeks ago, I was completely discouraged about whether or not I would be able to catch this thief and make her pay…was actually somewhat unbelievable. Then again, the fact that this had all happened so quickly was just as unbelievable, if not more so. If only there were someone to tell of what happened, someone to share my accomplishment with. But, no, I was here in Vvardenfell alone, aside from the friend that I had made in Elam Andas, and he already knew what had happened.
Maybe joining the Mages Guild wouldn't be such a bad idea. Were I to return to Cyrodiil, I would just go back to the Arcane University and continue my studies of magic. Since I had paid for a month of staying in the unit in the St. Olms canton, it would be a waste, I thought, if I didn't utilize it to its fullest. In that month, I figured that it would be a good idea to test out the Mages Guild here. It was a foreign province, after all…there were bound to be spells and enchantments here that didn't exist in Cyrodiil. I wouldn't be a true student of magic if I didn't take advantage of that. And if it proved to be too much, or even not enough, then there was always the option of returning home. Or…whatever I could call home back in Cyrodiil, as I was now alone and had no one, really, to turn to in terms of family.
But I had had enough action for the day. When I arrived at my new home, I slipped inside, removed my robes and crawled into my bed. It had been a while since I had gotten a comfortable, decent night's sleep, and now, with the worry of the thief off of my mind, I knew that I would finally be able to get it.