Volume 5 – The Adventures The Young Dragonborn
Chapter #183 – The Disappearance
Alina was expecting Jon to be there but it was only Jullanar and Wulfur with the overboss cat, Nefertiti, with a word that Jon will come a week from now.
A welcoming party was thrown to welcome the guests, some employees and guards from the Dare Dragon Group followed Wulfur and Jull transporting gifts from the company and also to negotiate about business.
This was a busy event that forced the dirty little schemesters to behave until Alina leaves back to the college.
“Friends, huh? This is sure unexpected.” Kaja was sitting next to her sister while grumbling about the matter.
“…” Elsa, on the other hand, was silent. In her mind, this only halted her plan a little.
Still, something was on her nerve.
The Black Cat that was eating from her own plate on the table across the room was staring at her as if they were some sort of enemies. The girl who half dark elven girl who was sitting beside Alina also noticed and kept looking at Elsa from time to time.
Elsa didn’t feel comfortable as if she was seen through, her instincts told her to never miss with those cat and girl pair.
Wulfur was conversing with one of the Moonblade elders and it seemed that the matter shifted from business to blacksmithing.
The mood was too harmonious for someone with ill intentions to stay in so some people have already withdrawn after failing to establish connections with the people from the Dare Dragon Group for they were already deeply affiliated with Alena.
Elsa and Kaja also walked away and stood at the wall of the castle watching the north.
“How will it go, sister? Will we be able to…” Kaja asked.
“… Not as simple as I thought it would be. I was a fool to underestimate the Firemane’s judging of characters.”
“Eh! What do you mean?”
“The people from the Dare Dragon whatever, they were coming with an agenda from the beginning. Alena made it sound like she was inviting some friends to come and play but not a fully armed group and businessmen. All those who were not planning ahead and acted carelessly while trying to make some connections are the people from our side. Alina figured them out.”
“Wait… she was aiming for that? But Igor won’t…”
“Speaking of which! Where is our foolish big brother?”
“Probably! Or maybe whoring in Dawnstar.”
“…” Kaja fell silent as she was already aware of what was in her sister’s mind.
Igor is not a bad swordsman and could practice the ancient martial tradition known as Aura, he could pass the minimum requirements of being a candidate, unlike Alina who already broke the record when it comes to talent. More to that, a rumor was going around lately that Alena and Jon Dare has developed some sort of relationship.
Igor’s chance of inheriting the leader’s seat was as good as gone now.
Following such a useless person was too frustrating for a person like Elsa who would only play for the win.
Still, she won’t admit defeat easily. If she won’t take the win, she would destroy the whole game.
Elsa walked away preparing her next scheme.
The next day and the day after went well. Wulfur was invited for the forge by its master and the two girls, Alina and Jull, toured the place together.
The one in the dull mood this time was Nefertiti.
As a Mage Sentry Cat, her senses were abnormal, and by following Jon around the past year, she could sense even the shadow itself. After transforming into her beast mode, not only can she speak simple words but she can even kill a dozen armed men and stay hide herself in places even Jon needed to use special ways of magic to find her.
In truth, Nefertiti was already in an unknown path of a magical evolution to the point that her keen could read the body language of any being.
All this and that made Nefertiti very wary of some certain individuals. If not for Jon strict training, she would have gone all wild and killed that strange girl from yesterday.
As strange as it seemed, one girl was carrying a very evil aura that made Nefertiti want to throw up. It wasn’t something that a human would have as Nefertiti was sure this girl came across something very evil but… she didn’t care too much. In the end, she is a cat and she shouldn’t alert humans, she can hunt and laze around but the point of her action is to remain unseen. This is the only iron rule that Jon cared about, other than that, she can just laze around.
So after warning Jullanar about the girl, Nefertiti decided to stay aside.
The next day, Elsa went out with some guards and returned once again. Nefertiti was watching and felt more suspicious, the aura around the girl meant that she came across something evil. Nefertiti decided to stay close to her friends just in case.
In the Moonblade hall, Elsa made some serious reports.
The Dawnstar Nightmare Problem started to take a toll on the people and it may be the work of some evil. Also, a girl was about to kill herself after seeing a very disturbing dream that awakened some old disturbing memories.
“It seems we have ignored that matter for too long indeed. Tell us, Elsa. How do you assess the situation?” Sigurd and the other elders questioned Elsa.
“I am not sure about the matter. I am only knowledgeable about the Destruction Magic but that thing seemed to be beyond what I know.”
“So you can’t tell if it is a curse or an evil creature that is causing the trouble?”
“I am afraid not but a curse is too far-fetched, life is normal in Dawnstar and people forget about the nightmares just by the next day but some of them started to look pale and exhausted from the stress. If it was a curse then it would have affected the people who visit the town too, not only its residents. Also if we are talking about an evil creature or an evil magic user, then someone must have noticed and no one did at all. I spoke with Medina, the Breton court wizard of Jarl Skald, and she pointed me at that tower we see when we stand on the northern wall, the one overseeing Dawnstar.”
“Oh, I see. It was an old place of monks of some sort!” One of the elders followed Elsa’s report.
“What happened to those monks?” Patriarch Sigurd asked.
“Orcish pirates invaded their tower long ago, no one of them survived that day and the place was avoided since then.”
“I see, so we are facing the tormented souls of the dead monks.” another elder came to a conclusion and the others agreed with him.
“So, we should send some of our monks and clerics?” Sigurd questioned Elsa.
“Of course, Patriarch. But shouldn’t we hire someone with knowledge around curses? I heard there is a mage who got dismissed from the College of Winterhold but he is very knowledgeable about evil souls. He now lives in Morthal, hiring him would be much of a help.”
“No need.” Sigurd dismissed her idea. “We have Alena who is an apprentice of an Arch-Wizard. This should be simple for her, right?”
Sigurd’s suggestion was faced with smiles from the elders, they all were very pleased with Alina.
Elsa, on the other hand, took her leave and walked out, her lips curved up as she walked away alone.
***[Back to the Present – Jon’s POV]
“So you’re telling me that Alena agreed to go then Jull and Wulf decided to go with her?”
I was standing in the middle of the Moonblade’s hall where all of them gathered around me.
In front of me, sitting on his seat while resting his head on one hand, Patriarch Sigurd nodded silently.
The man, who looked like a thirty years old man, seemed to have aged up all of a sudden. I was told that he didn’t eat anything for two days and they barely stopped him from going into the tower over Dawnstar.
Upon further investigation those last couple of days, the Moonblade discovered that this place was avoided by the locals because no one ever left this place alive after the pirate accident. They now surrounded the place and are looking for a way to figure out the place.
They even started asking Grandma Jenna for help and sent a report to Nurina.
I see now. So that was it.
I didn’t expect things to turn that way.
I know where my friends are but if I told these people here, they will get freaked out and lose all hope.
The cursed tower was Nightcaller Temple, a place where the cult of Vaermina used to live.
Vaermina the Dreamweaver is one of the seventeen Daedric Princes. Her sphere of influence includes nightmares, psychological terror and torment, dreams, bringing evil omens, and stealing memories.
Vaermina mostly takes the form of a female mage and she is one of demonic Daedric Princes.
Trying not to panic as much as possible, I led to myself to a place where I was told that Alena liked to stay in. It was an ancient Akaviri pavilion that overlooked the northern coast.
I gave the Moonblades and the men from my company one order, ‘Find a dark elven priest of Mara that goes by Erandur, search for him in every city, town and village. Whoever finds him must tell him to come and stop the Miasma, if he ever refused or resisted, bring him with force.’
The order was passed and the men returned three days later.
We all waited in front of Nightcaller Temple…