How Eldaline joined the Dawnguard (even ...

How Eldaline joined the Dawnguard (even though she didn't want to) part 3

Feb 09, 2022

Second Archivist Eldaline, one of the worst and cruellest librarians in the history of the Aldmeri Dominion, is mistakenly suspected of burning down the Hall of the Vigilant, simply because she threatened to. After being rescued from prison by her library assistant Skavild and his new friend Serana, Eldaline has agreed to help bring an end to a vampiric plot, and so clear her name.

However, after stumbling upon some more corpses, fearing another mistaken accusation of murder, Eldaline, Skavild and Serana are hiding behind a cart.

"It's no good." Hissed Skavild. "Sneezing is natural. I can't just suck a sneeze back up my nose. Especially not with these thistles tickling me."

"Thistles and sneezing will be the least of your problems if you don't suck it back up your nose, as I have instructed you to do." Said Eldaline.

"This won't end well for you!" Said Serana.

"Well, dat's nod vebby nice." Said Skavild, holding his nose. The two travelling bodyguards they were hiding from were joined by their merchant client.

"Oh... What happened?" Said the merchant.

"I'm going to find whoever did this!" The bodyguard repeated.

"We don't have time for this." The merchant said. "Let's keep moving." And slowly, to Eldaline's relief, all three moved on.

"Teamwork, right there." Said Serana.

"How was it teamwork?" Said Skavild. "I was sitting there in the thistles, trying not to sneeze, with you two just telling me not to sneeze."

"Yes, you can sneeze now, Skavild." Eldaline said.

"But now I don't need to."

"Well, what are you complaining about, then? Let's hurry. One of these corpses has a note saying they took the Moth Priest to a cavern somewhere nearby."

The sun briefly came out before they sneaked into the place called Forebears' Hideout. As quickly as it had appeared, it went back behind a cloud and the setting resumed in vampiric style.

"There's our Moth Priest, up on that platform." Eldaline whispered. "There's a vampire guarding the top of the stairs. Can you get him with your crossbow from here?"

"Leave it to me." said Skavild. "Ah... A-TSH-YOO!"

"What was that?" Said the vampire at the top of the stairs.

"Argh, why did I have to sneeze now?" Skavild shouted. "Bloody vampires, I'll kill you all!"

"Skavild, calm down and concentrate!" Said Eldaline. "You said yourself, you can't hold in a sneeze."

"You can shut up as well!" He roared, reloading his special issue Dawnguard crossbow.

Skavild was a very good shot. Very soon, there were no enemies left and their Moth Priest was free.

"I'm sorry I told you to shut up." Skavild mumbled.

"That's quite all right, Skavild. Hello, Brother Dexion." Said Eldaline.

The Moth Priest, meanwhile, was staring at Eldaline in faint surprise.

"Twenty-five years or more must seem longer to a human." She said. "But it is I; Second Archivist Eldaline. You predicted once, in the White-Gold Tower, that I would find Elder Scrolls. I have one. This vampire has another."

"You have an Elder Scroll? Remarkable!" Said the Moth Priest.

"Imagine Eldaline knowing a Moth Priest." Skavild said, as they stopped in an inn on the way back to Fort Dawnguard.

"Yes, imagine that." Said Eldaline.

"Like the best of friends." Said Serana.

"Well, not quite, but as an Archivist, I afford the Moth Priests almost the respect of a colleague." Said Eldaline. "Don't concern yourselves. It took me by surprise, seeing him again, that is all."

"Eldaline." Said Skavild, when Serana had wandered off for some secret vampiric purpose. "I'm thinking of asking Serana to marry me."

"I see." She said. "Well, I suppose I can have your quarters extended to make room for her. Are you sure she is not a little young for you?"

"She's a five thousand year-old vampire." Said Skavild.

"That is true. But I was thinking of you. Have you not been married before?"

"Yes, but they say, 'Fourth time lucky'." Said Skavild.

"Well, do not listen to me, then." She said, heading for the bedroom. "I'm going to get some sleep, Skavild. Good-night."

"Where are we going to sleep?" Said Skavild.

"You'll have to ask the innkeeper." Eldaline said. "I said Good-night, Skavild!"

Once back at Fort Dawnguard, the Moth Priest wasted no time in reading the first Elder Scroll.

He entered a trance and at first, Skavild thought that he must have seen a picture of a naked lady. But this was simply how Moth Priests looked when entering a trance.

"That Moth Priest, Dexion." Said Serana. "He said we needed two other Elder Scrolls. I think I know where we can start looking. We need to find my mother, Valerica. She'll definitely know where it is, and if we're lucky, she actually has it herself."

"But, you said you didn't know where she went." Said Skavild.

"The last time I saw her, she said that she'd go somewhere safe... somewhere that my father would never search."

Some days later, under cover of night, three intrepid figures broke into the cellar of a great castle.

Serana, vampire, adventure-seeker, and daughter of Lord Harkon, whose castle it was.

Skavild, failed Stormcloak assassin, now Dawnguard warrior, trying stop a vampiric plot and also trying to court Serana.

Eldaline, a Thalmor archivist with a past drenched in blood, daedric pacts and treachery, trying to clear her name of a very small amount of murders.

Occasionally, the situation got out of hand. Whenever Serana raised anything from the dead, Eldaline also had to raise something fromthe dead. Soon, Skavild could hardly move for dead Death Hounds, dead Skeevers, dead Draugr, dead Skeletons and dead Vampires.

Although admittedly, four out of those five things had already been dead before they had been killed.

"Can you two please stop raising everything in the castle? We'll wake up the vampires." Said Skavild.

"No! One more draugr!" Said Eldaline.

"Back to dust!" Shouted Serana.

At last they came out into the fresh night air of an overgrown courtyard.

"I used to walk through here after evening meals. It was beautiful, once. This was my mother's garden..." Serana said. "If I had to guess, I'd say the moment mother fled the castle, father went on a rampage. Knowing him, anything at all that reminded him of her was just destroyed."

"From these notes of your mother's, she seems to be some sort of genius." Said Eldaline, once they were past the next secret door. "For example, I have always wanted to go to the Soul Cairn. Now, thanks to this mysterious Valerica, it is within my grasp."

"I'm not sure I want to go to the Soul Cairn, though." Said Skavild.

"Get the ingredients in the vessel and let me know when you're ready." Said Serana, and Skavild wasn't sure she'd heard him.

"Why didn't you go away with your mother?" Eldaline said.

"It's not that simple. I guess it never is with families, is it? What about you? What were your parents like?"

"What a thoughtful question." Said Eldaline. "My mother and father were commoners from a small fishing hamlet near Sunhold. They were uncomplicated and timid people, as I was, when young.'

'... I enjoyed nothing more than tending to the fishing nets and lobster pots we kept along the coast, often frolicking for hours on the warm sand. It was there that I was discovered by two young noble elves, who engaged me as entertainment for their fashionable parties in the city, often with exotic dancing, or more rarely, imaginative displays of women's wrestling.'

'... Alas, it was in this was that I fell into bad company, and left my family with a young lover of higher birth, to join a rebel group resisting the power of the Thalmor. My mother died shortly afterwards, probably of a broken heart, for which I have never forgiven myself."

"I'm sorry, Eldaline, but I think Serana was asking me." Said Skavild.

"You're probably right, Skavild." Eldaline said. "Look... souls."


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