The Traveler from the Marsh - Chapter 7


    5th of Second Seed 4E203, Solitude


    Teekus stopped a moment outside the city gates as he noticed Iona was lagging behind. It was a uphill short walk from the stables outside the gate but he didn't think she was that badly out of shape. The look on her face suggested something was amiss but dismissed it when Teekus asked. She didn't want to tell him he would have to make the journey alone. Not yet.


    “Come, my home is not far. You can rest there” he beckoned entering the side gate into the city.


    Iona reluctantly followed gazing round at Solitude's buildings and the bunting strung between the buildings across the street. It seemed a much nicer town than Riften which became even more apparent as they walked through the poor district and into the upmarket area with it's large manor houses and the castle. Everywhere looked clean and well maintained the exact opposite to Riften's ramshackle buildings and decrepit walkways over the foul smelling canals.


    “Nice place” she commented.


    Teekus took a swig of his waterskin and nodded. “Han-Ei thought so too but he's far more suited to Riften than Solitude.”


    “Huh” Iona answered and decided it wasn't worthwhile asking why that was; she assumed because of Han-Ei's lifestyle choices and dishonesty he'd fit right in. Seem as she was born and raised in the city whatever insult Teekus could come up with would apply to her as well. She didn't give him the pleasure.


    Even the city guards welcomed Teekus home or said 'morning' as they passed; the complete opposite to Riften's guards who were rude and would ensure that you knew your place seemingly finding any excuse to belittle most of the town's inhabitants. Most citizens of Riften were deemed to have some sort of dealings with or members of the Thieves guild. Some of the guards were likely to be in league with them but didn't want to admit it. Sleaze, distrust and dishonesty was the order of the day in that city.


    Eventually Teekus led her to a flight of steps leading up to a side door of two identical houses on the spotless street. “Just here” he beckoned. Iona looked up at the imposing 3 storey building with it's high tower and followed the Argonian to the heavy wooden door which he unlocked and went inside.


    Proudspire Manor's interior was cold and dark as they entered. No fire burned in the fireplace and the window shutters were drawn. Teekus looked around suspiciously and flung them open revealing some of the manor's splendour lit from the sunlight streaming through the glass windows.


    Iona was taken aback as she looked around; fine furniture lined the walls and magnificent paintings graced the walls along with some of Teekus's trophies – some not so nice. Rugs covered the stone floor and a large table sat in front of the fireplace to which Teekus directed her to.


    “Take a seat. I will just go and see where Shahvee and Saliith are then we will talk more about our trip. There's a few things I want to go through with you before I make my final decision.”


    “I thought you had made your mind up already” Iona objected. “If you were to drag me all the way to Solitude I would have thought you were going to help me.”


    Teekus frowned and turned away dismissing her question.


    “Lydia wasn't pleased she wasn't coming with us” she added for conversation.


    “You had already said the journey is only for people who know Han-Ei to make. Anyway I had only dropped in to stay the night when I had business in Whiterun to attend to. I was coming back to Solitude anyway so I had no need for her. To be honest she winds me up and does my head in. She's a pain in the arse. I prefer the company of Argonians and she couldn't move to Solitude. It was in our best interests for me to let her live in my house free of charge as long as she looked after the place. I was gifted the place so it's no financial loss to me. Now if you please I need to get a few things ready.”


    Iona turned to the fireplace and thought she would be useful by lighting a fire in it.


    Upstairs, Teekus entered his bedroom and changed out of his armour donning fresh clothes noticing that Shahvee's work outfit was strewn across the bed as if she had intended to get up and go to work but never made it. He grabbed a sword from the stand by his bed and stopped and listened, his keen hearing picking out faint argonian voices from below.


    He returned downstairs following the sounds to the basement recognising Shahvee's and Saliith's voices coming from his room. He lowered his sword deciding that there was no threat but knew something was out of the ordinary.


    He pushed open the door to the guest room which served as Saliith's bedroom and found him sat naked apart from a loincloth on the wooden bench at the foot of his bed. Shahvee was sat next to him thankfully dressed to Teekus's relief but both seemed in a giddy mood. Shahvee's smile dropped as she saw her husband standing in the doorway.


    “Thought you were not going to be back till tomorrow.” She said.


    A slight snarl appeared on Teekus's face. “What is going on here? And why are you not at work?” he demanded.


    “Woah wait” Saliith said getting up as he knew what Teekus was thinking.


    “Well that's some greeting. Explain yourself” he snapped pointing at Shahvee,


    “She does not need to explain anything... ugh! Oof!” Saliith exclaimed as he was forcefully pushed against the wall with a green argonian hand at his throat which was no easy task given the larger red skinned argonian's physique.


    “If I find that you have..”


    “Teekus, Teekus you silly man” Shahvee interrupted. “Saliith has been sick over the past few days I was merely keeping him company. The store can wait – I've decided to take the day off.”


    Teekus relaxed his grip slightly. “Tell me this is true” he growled looking the argonian over. His scales did look kind of pale and he trembled although Teekus couldn't tell if it was fear or not.


    “Fine.” He said letting go. “But what was I to think when I saw you two together like this?”


    “Jumping to conclusions as normal.” Shahvee said angrily. “Don't you trust me?”


    Teekus lowered his head in apology. “Of course I do. I'm sorry.” he trailed off.


    Shahvee smiled and kissed him. “How about you make it up to me. Properly” she continued grabbing his arm and leading him out of the room. Saliith grinned and returned to bed.


    Iona saw Teekus and Shahvee dash up the stairs from the basement and then up the next flight to the upper part of the manor. “Teekus!” she called getting up to follow them but both ignored her. Persisting she ran after them slowing down when they entered their bedroom; the door being slammed in her face. Sounds of clothes being rapidly pulled off together with giggles from Shahvee indicated what they were up to.


    “Oh” she exclaimed to herself and returned downstairs.


    * * *


    It was a couple of hours before the two argonians joined Iona at the table. Saliith had heard them return and joined them at the table sitting at the opposite end to keep his distance.


    Teekus's head feathers were out of place and he looked tired with Shahvee looking equally dishevelled. Teekus clapped his hands to get everyone's attention jolting Shahvee upright.


    “So, I'd better tell you what is going on or more accurately Iona here is “ he waved with his hand in her direction. “Iona if you please?”


    The Nord looked at the three argonians not knowing which one to concentrate her attention on. She settled on Shahvee. “A few days ago Han-Ei received a letter something about a quest that only he can undertake. Anyway to cut a long story short we ventured to an old abandoned mine where we found a portal to which several bandits were unsuccessful in entering. Han-Ei however just stepped right through with it closing behind him.”


    Saliith shot a questioning look at Teekus who ignored him and beckoned Iona to continue.


    “The portal was not created by anything of this world. A man named Jalamar sent this letter but he seems to be more than a man as he seems to have the ability to be in two places at once.”


    Saliith's face became even more screwed into an expression of confusion.


    “It would seem he has been chosen to fulfil some prophecy and is now on the island of Falskaar.”


    “Hah! Saliith laughed scornfully with a wicked smile appearing on his face.


    Iona ignored his outburst and continued. “Anyway, Jalamar said for the prophecy to be fulfilled he must be accompanied by someone very close to him who is also of a noble heart. He then followed up with that the dragonborn here would be the ideal candidate. I wasn't sure what he exactly meant by that but I'm sure that the dragonborn must accompany him rather than it being an option. As the portal is closed we will have to journey by boat. It leaves from Dawnstar.”


    There was a long silence. Teekus grinned as he had already had most of the tale told to him as they journeyed from Whiterun. Despite his belief that his duty to Tamriel was done and the world would leave him in peace it seemed there was always something else. What if he ignored Iona? What would the consequences be? It was worthwhile going along with it; after all he could always return home if he decided this wasn't for him. Han-Ei would have a lot to answer for if this just turned out to be a territorial war between two rival sheep farmers or something. There again this Jalamar, the portal and the prophecy sounded intriguing.


    “So, Dawnstar is it?” He said thoughtfully. “I was going to ask you how we plan to get there. How long do you think the journey will take?”


    “How should I know?” Iona shrugged. “I'm not of the seafaring type.”


    “Then we will ask when we get there. I have some other questions you can answer on the way; Dawnstar will be at least a day's ride from here.”


    “My lord?” Saliith questioned turning to Teekus.


    Teekus just smiled. “It seems we must help Han-Ei but I'm not doing it just for him. It seems there is more to this prophecy that I intend to find out about. I think if Iona is correct I should have gone with him through the portal. But seem as things turned out the way they did... Well that's prophecy's for you.”


    “But you can't I can't believe you are falling for that trick. After what he did; the guy is an asshole! Surely you are not considering this? Uah!” he said throwing his arms up in exasperation when he saw that Teekus and Iona were serious.


    “Well you had better get used to it because you are coming with me. The journey will do you some good.” He answered stifling a laugh.


    Saliith folded his arms in anger and glared at Iona. “What about Ji'Arsha? He was closer to Han-Ei than Teekus is or should I say was.”


    “Ji-Arsha is in Hammerfell – exactly where we do not know. He cannot return to Skyrim so that leaves only Teekus.” She answered without breaking eye contact.


    “How convenient” Saliith muttered turning his head away from her. “And forgive me for being rude what do you find so amusing?” he asked directing some of his frustration towards Teekus.


    Teekus slowly sat upright and combed his head feathers. “You seem very protective of me all of a sudden. And to answer your question, I am not laughing at you. I just find this whole thing a little amusing.”


    Saliith nodded. “I am your housecarl and bodyguard. It is my duty to protect you from this nonsense. Sometimes you do not think rationally and need someone with some sense. I mean Han-Ei noble hearted. Come on. Really?”


    “What I do and think is none of your concern. If I want your opinion I will ask for it.” Teekus said slowly with a hint of menace in his voice. “I pay you to fight by my side and to perform your duties as a housecarl and furthermore I provide you with a roof over your head and food in your stomach. Be grateful for that.” He continued annoyed at Saliith's remark.


    There was another long silence and Saliith and Iona glared at each other. She knew he hated Han-Ei and she was about to drag him into something he had little control over. He also didn't want to loose the life he had become accustomed to; meeting Teekus had done him a big favour since he had arrived in Skyrim seeking employment. Nope the best thing to do was to grin and bear it. “Unless maybe put this illness on a little?” he thought to himself.


    “Well boys and.. girl I'm sure you will make a fine team” Shahvee said after a few minutes breaking the awkward silence getting up from the table. “Ill put dinner on.” She knew she wouldn't be going with them.


    I think I'm going to enjoy this little holiday” Teekus thought.


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1 Comment   |   Sotek likes this.
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  October 6, 2016
    Nice chapter Teekus. I wouldn't dare to think what Aela would have done if she was in Teekus's boots. 

    Shame about Shahvee, I'm feeling sorry for her...