Fate's Games

It doesn't matter. You're safe now.

"It doesn't matter. You're safe now," she breathed softly to him, hand gently coming to his cheek, caressing it and coaxing him out of the daze he was in. He didn't understand. What had happened? All he knew… All he knew was that his life had been in peril, and if not for her he would be dead now. He dreaded to know what would have happened to him as he gazed blankly around at the bodies surrounding them.

"Thank you," he heard himself saying. Had he been talking before that? He couldn't remember. "I owe you my life. I can never repay you for what you've done, but here, take this. It's a small payment, but it's all I can do." He handed her more than one-thousand pieces of gold and left without a word more. He had to get out of here. He just wanted to leave. And as he went he felt her eyes on him.


He never thought he would see her again. After all, what reason did she have to return here? Why did he care? Why did he stand gazing listlessly at the statue of Arkay? Had he done much else since they had parted ways? He wasn't aware at which point he crawled into his bed to try and sleep; to block out everything and just sleep, but he was aware of at which time a voice pierced through his dreams, whispering like bells. "Verulus… Verulus, open your eyes."

He moaned softly and his eyes flickered open only to fall on her! His lips slowly parted in awe. He was still half asleep. He was dreaming, seeing things, and oh he never wanted to wake up again if this vision could only stay gazing down upon him as he lay in his bed. He would die here content if this picture never again faded away. "Why do you torment me?" he asked softly.

"You are angry with me," the nighttime apparition said to him as she knelt, in a tone that bordered on surprised sadness. Oh to erase the sound of her sadness from his memory, from her lips.

"Anger? No, beloved one, never anger," he replied, hand gently going to her cheek and stroking it adoringly. It was a dream, after all. A dream could not harm you; a dream could not reject you. When had he started to view her like this, he wondered? Perhaps from the moment he had first seen her coming towards the Hall of the Dead, head held high and proud…


She carried herself like nobility, fully confident in her beauty. She carried it as a weapon, no fear of anything or anyone; and every male eye was upon her. Such beauty… Dibella herself would be ashamed to bask in her presence. But such beauty so often hid an ugliness inside, a cruelty. He had been taught such from a young age. Yet he could find no fault in her. His own eyes were blinding him, oh the irony. She had come up to him and he had wondered very much, who could she possibly be coming to mourn here?

He had forbid her entry, as was his order. She had questioned and he had told her about the cannibalism, the disgrace done to the bodies inside. She had been intrigued, had offered help. He had doubted her but who was he to refuse? In moments she had returned, a look in her eyes that appeared slightly disturbed and yet intrigued. She declared the problem was done with and accordingly he had thanked her. It wasn't supposed to be more than a thank you, but it was. He found himself giving her his amulet. The amulet had never left his throat since the day he'd been given it, and yet here he handed it to this stranger. She had taken it and left without a word, a quiet and approving smile directed at him…


"What have I done to displease you?" she questioned softly, an amused look in her eyes as he stroked her hair so gently.

"Nothing! Oh goddess, never could you displease me," he insisted.

"Then how have I tormented you, young priest?" she questioned.

"Don't you know, lady? Since the moment we parted your image alone has consumed my mind," he replied. "And harder still, I will never see you again."

She looked confused, but her eyes soon lit in realization. A gentle grin graced her features and he could swear his heartbeat echoed throughout the Hall. Smiling she said, "What would you do to have me back?"

"Lady, if I thought there was anything at all I could do to get you back… Maiden, I would do it in a heartbeat," he answered…


He'd thought his dealings with her were over after she had saved the burial hall, but hardly two nights later she was back. She had come to his room and awakened him from his sleep. She had told him she was in need of a priest on her travels. He had deduced, correctly might he add, that she wanted him in a tomb. Who better to follow than a priest of Arkay? He had initially refused, he had had his own business here. She had persuaded using all her feminine wiles, and like a fool he refused.

There had been the look again. She was hesitating to do something. Intimidate… She hesitated to intimidate. Instead she offered him gold, over three-hundred pieces, almost four-hundred, and he knew it was something important to her. He'd agreed. He followed her. Like a dog he followed her over fields and through marshes until they reached a secret door. She had led him through. How was he to know the peril he had been in? In this place there was a banquet hall, and many were gathered around the table. What was this? Still she led on, and blindly he followed, devoted to her. She had him under a spell and he'd never known.

She stood aside then, and let some woman come to him, speak to him, and he began to feel dizzy, light-headed, weak. Slowly his judgement was slipping away from him and for a moment terror seized his heart before just as quickly leaving. "You need a rest. Go, lie down," the strange woman, Eola, had ordered him.

"Yes… Yes. Excuse me, I need to lie down," he had repeated. Still she held him with her eyes, hypnotized. But there was something there. Fear… Fear was in her eyes yet he couldn't see the danger he was in. The black table drew nearer to him. She was suddenly there, close at his side, almost trying to step in front of him before thinking the better of it and not. The spike above the table gave no warning. The name Namira meant nothing. He was dazed, under a curse. He lay upon the slab, the cold stone chilling him. So weak… he felt so, so weak. With a sigh his eyes had closed.

He heard their words but could not comprehend. "The meal is on Namira's table. Go ahead, Carve," the woman, Eola, was saying to the maiden whom had held him in the palm of her hand from the start. Devour, dine, those words he caught. Then all at once there were cries of anguish, death shrieks from all around. Still he couldn't move. And then it all went quiet…


"Young man, why so devoted…?" the dream murmured to him, and he felt her stroking his face softly while he lay now in his bed, back to the present time.

"Dragonborn, I wish I knew," he answered. She gazed into his eyes gently. "My life is yours," he breathed softly. "You hold my fate in the palm of your hand. You hold my heart bound to yours, and my savior I believe I am in love with you."

"You have only hardly met me. Young man, it is a sense of owing, of dependence, of gratitude, no more," she said softly.

"Oh divines, were it only so," he moaned. "Stay, dream vision, stay. Don't leave me. Oh immortals, never let me wake up. May I die here with your image at my side. Oh divines, maiden, why couldn't you have killed me as I lay upon that black table? Slaughtered me as I lay helplessly, your eyes gazing into my soul even when I was blind to all else. I would have died happily."

Then to his shock she sobbed. She actually sobbed; and she leaned her forehead against his, nuzzling him. She took his lips lovingly and breathed, "Never. Oh gods, never speak to me of such a fate befalling you again!"…


There had been silence, so quiet in that dark place as he lay there weak. Then footsteps and he felt her hand tenderly cupping his cheek. His eyes had weakly flickered open and fallen on her. She was wiping blood from her cheek looking tired and stressed. "Wh-what happened?" he asked, gazing up at her.

"Shh…" she soothed. "Shh…" She pulled him to his feet, drawing him up, and she held his hands gazing up at him. Tears shone in her eyes and he was afraid. What had happened to her, to him, here?

"What's going on?" he asked shakily, quickly brushing away a silvery tear from her cheek.

"It doesn't matter. You're safe now," she had replied. You're safe now…


"Why do you weep for the fate that should have been mine?" he asked concernedly.

"If only you could know. Oh gods, when she told me… It killed me to go to you, to ask you to follow. I never knew… I never knew if there would be an escape for you… To see you lying upon that table beneath the spiked chain… words cannot express my terror. If I had let things go too far already… With one strike from any of them, you would be dead; if that chain descended… oh divines," she groaned.

"Shh…" he soothed. "Shh…" he repeated, as she once had. "It's all right," he promised. "Oh sweetest dream, stay forever," he murmured to her, gently cupping her face.

"I am no dream," she whispered to him. His smile fled and he looked a moment pale, frightened. His mouth opened in shock as if he were trying to say something. She laughed through tears and kissed his forehead.

"You're here," he finally managed to whisper tightly, rising to a sitting position and cupping her face almost desperately. All at once, before he could stop himself, he had taken her lips and kissed her longingly. He drew her close holding her near. Her head rested on his chest and he knew she could feel the pounding of his heart.

"And if you so wish it, I will remain," she remarked suddenly, pulling away and drawing a necklace from beneath the collar of the gown she wore in place of armor. An amulet of Mara! His eyes widened. Shakily he reached out and took it in his palm. Looking up at her he suddenly seized her, drawing her close and kissing her.

(A/N: Quest Referenced: A Taste Of Death [Namira's Quest].

Yes, if you save his life and kill off the cannibals he gives you over one-thousand gold. No, you cannot marry him, at least not as far as I know. I could be wrong.)