Feb 09, 2022
7 mins read
Skavild was still held captive by Second Archivist Eldaline, and forced to work as her Library Assistant.
"Ahem." He said.
"What is it, Skavild?" Said Eldaline, who was helping her half-dressed blond secretary spell a difficult word.
"I would like you to release me from servitude. I... demand it!" Said Skavild. "Yes. I demand that you release me, woman! At least for a month or two. I'm a proud Nord, not a pet goldfish."
"Why?" Said Eldaline.
"It's every warrior's duty to join the Dawnguard. Skyrim is threatened by a terrifying vampire menace that preys upon her people."
"Join the Dawnguard?" Said Eldaline. "Be realistic, Skavild. Some months ago, you were so concerned about a Thalmor menace to Skyrim that you joined the Stormcloaks and tried to assassinate a senior clerical officer, and I do not need to remind you how that turned out for you. Permission is denied. If you joined the Dawnguard, I would give it three weeks before you were accidentally a vampire, and Lord High General Assistant to the Grand Admiral Vampire Lord, or whatever vampires have for ranks. Sometimes I think they make them up as they go along when they are not sure." Said the Second Archivist to the Consular. "Anyway. This Dawnguard are no more than attack dogs of the Vigil of Stendarr, those moralising, interfering windbags. We will hear no more about this Dawnguard business."
And she thought the matter was at an end. And it was, until two weeks later, when she received another written complaint from her least favourite people, the Vigilants of Stendarr.
"That's it!" She cried. "Are they not supposed to be helping the Dawnguard deal with a vampire menace? How can they still find time to harass me? I have had enough of these Vigilants, and their fanatical persecution of hard-working conjurers and necromancers. Skavild, put your cloak on. I will help my secretary put his cloak on the right way up. I am going straight over to the Hall of the Vigilant to let them know exactly what I think of them."
"It's close by. I can sense the sanctimonious and well-meaning judgement. Just beyond these trees."
"There's a big column of smoke over there." Said Skavild.
"Probably a chimney." Said Eldaline.
"That must be it." She said, as the hall came into view.
"Looks a bit on fire." Said Skavild.
"Don't be silly, Skavild." Said Eldaline. "Why would it be on fire?"
"Wait a minute!" She said. "The hall of the Vigilant is on fire!"
"No it isn't." Said Skavild. "It just looks that way because I'm a silly Nord and I don't know what I'm talking about."
"How dare they be on fire when I have come all this way to shout at them?" Said Eldaline.
It was a horrible scene.
"Oh... What happened?" Said Skavild.
"It looks like everybody died." Said Eldaline. "Spread out, and see what you can find. If you come across any survivors, tell them I want to speak with them immediately."
"Anything yet?" She said, fifteen minutes later.
"I got distracted with this pile of wood." Said Skavild. "Sorry."
"Oh... What happened?" Said Eldaline's half-dressed blond secretary.
"Go back to sleep, you bloody idiot." Said Eldaline. "This situation clearly calls for an army of daedra."
"I'm not sure it does." Said Skavild.
"Nonsense. It just so happens that I can call forth an army of daedra. Ha! Not responsible enough to have any more soldiers of my own, am I, First Emissary Elenwen? We'll see about that!"
"Stop making me agree with your First Emissary." Said Skavild.
As she was calling forth the power of ten Dremora, it occurred to her that it might not be a good idea to be seen with a huge army of daedra next to a hall of massacred Vigilants of Stendarr, but it was too late now.
An army of daedra appeared.
"All right, you disgusting maggots. Search the area, and find out what happened here! Bring any living person before me!"
"Looks like it might have been vampires." Said Skavild. "Here's a dead vampire and a dead vampire dog."
"Not now, Skavild." Said Eldaline. "I am trying to command a small army of Dremora. It is like trying to herd cats, and not as adorable."
"Mistress!" Shouted a Dremora. "Here lie corpses of the pathetic slaves of Molag Bal, who are weak and pitiful and not as handsome as the troops of Mehrunes' Dagon."
"Ah." Said Eldaline. "That means vampires, doesn't it? I have nothing against vampires, as long as they keep their seductive eyebrows away from me and their exciting fangs out of my neck."
She examined one of the bodies. "Definitely vampires." She said gravely.
"I said that ten minutes ago." Said Skavild. "And why did you steal his clothes?"
"I don't know." Said Eldaline.
"Anyway." Said Skavild. "There are some Imperial soldiers outside, and they want to speak to the owner of the small army of Dremora."
"What are you talking about?" She said. But it was true; and there were some Imperial soldiers.
"Are these your daedric servants, Madam?" Said a soldier.
"What kind of silly question is that supposed to be?" She said. "Who else here is of sufficient rank and wields enough power to command them? Do you even know who I am?"
"I'm afraid I don't know." Said a soldier. "Who are you?"
"Tell them who you are, that'll show 'em." Said Skavild.
"Eldaline Alkinour, Second Archivist to the Consular and the Aldmeri Dominion's foremost expert on humans and senior authority in enemy communications assigned to the diplomatic envoys in the Thalmor Headquarters. Now, stop harassing my army of Dremora and go away."
"That should do the trick." Said Skavild.
"With respect, that is just what a mad daedra worshipper would say after destroying the Hall of the Vigilant." Said the Imperial soldier. "Pretending to be a Thalmor officer so that the Legion would be too scared to arrest you!"
"Do you think that I burned it down?" Demanded Eldaline. "Tell me what grounds you have for this insulting and treasonous suspicion, before I order my army of Dremora to eat you for your insolence?"
"I heard you shouting very loudly across all of Solitude that you were going to burn the Hall of the Vigilant to the ground, two days ago." Said another soldier. "And, although I recognise who you are, we have checked with the Embassy, and your authority doesn't extend to killing Vigilants of Stendarr as well. Or eating soldiers of the Imperial Legion. So, if you'll just come along with us, I'm sure we can get everything sorted out."
"You have no authority to arrest me! Skavild! Tell them they were like this when we found them!"
"They were like this when I found them." Said Skavild. "Although I did arrive slightly after her."
"We can't accept you as a reliable witness, Skavild, as you're officially dead according to the Imperial Legion." Said the first soldier. "And you know how much we love our damned lists."
"I protest!" Said Skavild.
"Unfortunately, this also means we can't arrest you." Said the soldier.
"Then I don't protest." Said Skavild.
"If I give you this Elder Scroll that I found in your province, will you go away?" Said Eldaline.
"No." Said the Imperial soldier.
"Then I will come with you, but this is very inconvenient, and you will all be fed to griffons, and your families made to watch, and your descendents doomed to suffer disgrace and poverty for ten generations." Said Eldaline. "You!" She shouted at her secretary. "Take Skavild back to Solitude and see that he doesn't run away, and then write to the First Emissary and tell her to have me released from prison. And, by All the Library of Xarxes, let Skavild check your spelling before you send it."
"Don't worry, Archivist Eldaline." Said Skavild, as he began to look forward to a long holiday. "You leave everything to us."
"Oh... what happened?" Said Eldaline's secretary.
To be continued...