A Favor Forgotten Part III, A Vitus and Friends Tale


    Drem Yol Lok…”


    The foreign words washed over and through them. The Words shook them all to their bones and filled their souls. The breath of fire and brimstone encompassed all that they were, but it did not burn them. Instead it brought the comfort of a warm hearth fire sheltered from the elements. For a brief moment while the sound reverberated through them, it felt as if the universe had opened up in perfect clarity. With that one phrase they knew without a doubt that they were welcomed and would have sanctuary. Feeling came back into their fingers and when they looked into the dovah’s eyes again they saw the endless expanse of all skies that had been and all that could still be.


    “Greetings,” the dovah translated the Words to the common tongue, but it wasn’t needed.


    Drem Yol Lok, those Words carried more than just sound, they carried all meanings of the concept without bias or perspective. To simplify that message to their tongue felt hollow, almost sacrilegious. Everything the mortals relied on to communicate was like the skin of a fruit to the idea they meant. With that one phrase, the dovah had shown them what it was like to bite deep into the meat of concept. Then as quickly as it came, the Words moved on, leaving only a vague echo of what was briefly so clear. While the speaking of the Words had been a greeting, the silence following the fading sounds was a warning. They had stumbled across something beyond the mortal comprehension; they were but a splash in an eternal current and delving deeper would only sweep away their brief flash of individuality before their time.


    “So. You have made your way here, to me. No easy task for a joor… mortal.”


    While the others were still slack jawed in awe, Lydia pushed herself up and brushed the snow off her knees.


    “Sorry, big, immortal, dragon guy, but our quest is still further up. So, if you could move aside…”


    For a long moment the two molten eyes just stared at her. Khjaro started carefully edging his way away from her just in case the dovah revoked its welcome. Then the timeless beast released a series of staccato roars. The mortals all dove for cover as the deafening sound ricocheted off the rocks and snow began cascading down the treacherous slopes. Only after the mountain stopped shaking and they saw the twinkle glinting in those fiery pools of its eyes did they realize that the dovah had been laughing.


    “In all Tiid… in all pasts and possibilities I have witnessed, this is a first.” The escape of flickering flames highlighted a chasm of teeth that they hoped were arced into a smile. “If Tinvaak… discussion with me is not the quest, then what ambition inspires such a journey?”


    “We’re looking for an old pickaxe,” Lydia stated as if that explained everything.


    The Dovah blinked, at a loss for words for possible the first time in its existence.


    Verner hesitantly raised his voice, “Um, Sir? Dragon…”


    The dovah released a low rumbling chuckle that was more felt than heard at the miner’s attempt to find a suitable title. “I am called Paarthurnax… Ambition Overlord Cruelty in your tongue.”


    All blood drained from the mortals’ faces as the distant echo of the right-wing of Alduin, the first born, eater of the world, name shook their souls. In a time when man was but an ant beneath skies ruled by the dovah it may have been Alduin ruling, but it was this dovah’s claw that enforced order. It was a name feared as much by the other dovah as by man, but a present sorrow clouded the details of the past and a spark of hope fought through a nebulous future to light another way.


    “Your name…” Annekk whispered. Tears froze against her cheeks and she’d fallen back onto her knees under the weight of the dovah’s identity.


    That low chuckle rumbled from Paarthurnax again. “Do not fear; I no longer succumb to my name’s nature. I meditate upon a different Way now, a way first shown by one your kind upon this very mountain.”


    “Perhaps your nature has not changed at all. Perhaps it has only drawn inward?” Khjaro spoke up, reflecting on the sorrow surrounding the name.


    Aal... You would not be wrong, but is that the same as being right?” Paarthurnax swiveled its great head towards Verner. “But before diverging too far, this one had more to say.”


    Verner swallowed heavily; how could he speak before something so ancient and wise? “It’s nothing really. My grandfather came up this mountain searching for ore, neither he nor his lucky pickaxe were ever found.”


    Paarthurnax closed its eyes and followed the weave of memories down the current past. “Ah, I remember his passage. Few joor venture this high, a las I could not allow myself to be discovered at that time.”


    “So you killed him?” Vitus spoke up.


    The dovah nodded. “I did not act to save his life. The result is the same.”


    Vitus watched Verner carefully, ready to hold the miner back should emotions trump sense. Disbelief, anger, grief, and finally understanding washed across the man’s face.


    “The World Eater, this spot was where it all happened. You waited all those generations to face him again when he returned…”


    “And if the Nords had known a dragon still lived…” Lydia added.


    Paarthurnax nodded.


    “Kriosis... with threat now passed, only habit holds me here; but I have indulged my desire for Tinvaak long enough. This once, dovah shall move for joor; and clear theway to what it seeks.”


    The dovah did indeed move aside and released a shout that filled the sky and mountain shuddered more snow from its peak.


    “Lok Vah Koor!


    The Voice met the gale and stopped the blades of ice in their tracks. The sudden silence was deafening and the party swiveled their heads in awe as the blizzard transformed into the gently falling of snow. A beam sunlight broke through the thick cloud cover and followed the last flake of snow to the peak of the world. As the clouds dispersed, clear skies revealed all of Skyrim beneath them. The forest of eternal autumn in Riften, the great plains of Whiterun, the hunting grounds of Falkreath, the jagged cloud forests of Markarth, the great swamp of Morthal, the glitter of the Blue Palace in Solitude, and the endless winter coating the sleeping giants of Windhelm’s and Winterhold’s mountains with the roiling Sea of Ghosts beyond. The small village of Iverstead was nothing more than a speck at the foot of the mountain. The worries that felt so all-encompassing on the ground seemed so insignificant after seeing the vastness of the land from atop the Throat of the World.


    But they weren’t quite at the peak yet. At the very top ice glittered in the sun off the handle of a pick embedded in the stone. Lydia rushed up the final stretch and the rest followed close behind.


    Lydia circled the pickaxe and let out a disappointed sigh. “It’s just an old pickaxe made by Nords, not an Ancient Nordic Pickaxe. I guess it’s back to following theoriginal rumor to Solsthiem.”


    “Solsthiem! Isn’t that even colder than here!” Khjaro objected.


    “Yep,” Lydia said cheerfully.


    Khjaro released his frustration in an incoherent howl and started stomping back down the mountain. “I’m going to go Tinvaak with Paarthy some more. At least when the dragon speaks the air is warmed!”


    Lydia shrugged.


    “He’ll get over it. Well, no time to waste!” she said and started making her way down the mountain as well.


    Verner and Annekke, both still catching their breath, eyed Vitus next as if expecting him to disappear too.


    “What? I’m in no hurry,” Vitus said then wrenched the pick from the stone. He frowned when it gave him a static shock; a power surged within the axe and raised the hair on his arms. “An enchanted pickaxe? Who’d do that? ”


    “The stories did say it was lucky…” Verner said. “Can you tell what it does?”


    “Not with certainty; let’s find out!” He raised the pickaxe above his head, but a lesson from history stayed his hand. “Stand back first… no, further back. I have an enchanted tinderbox that taught me one can never be too careful around the arcane.”


    The Two miners hid behind a boulder and Vitus covered behind his shield, then he brought the pickaxe down upon a random stone outcropping. Lightning struck alongside the blow and split the stone with the crack of thunder.


    “Ha ha! By the booming cock of Talos, even I’d take up mining to use this!”


    The miners stumbled out from behind the boulder.


    “This is truly a mountain surrounded by the mystic. No one ever mentioned such an enchantment,” Verner said in awe.


    “It probably wasn’t before this mountain,” Vitus said. He didn’t know the details of how enchanting worked, but he did know he wouldn’t want to be standing somewhere so high and exposed during a thunderstorm. This pickaxe could very well contain the last light the miner’s grandfather saw. He sighed, Damnit; that means I can’t keep it…


    “I believe this belongs to you Verner,” Vitus said and handed the well-worn and notched pickaxe to Verner.


    Verner took his grandfather’s pick axe with reverence, but only kept it for a moment before he held it to out to Annekke instead. “No, this axe can’t be kept in the dark of a mine. I want my wife to take it and continue to show it the world.”


    “But this has been always in your family passed from father to son until it was lost…”


    “Then you’ll just have to drag me with you.”


    Annekke threw her arms around him and they embraced with the passion of when they first met. Vitus smiled and let them have the mountain top to themselves.


    The two lovers fell on top of the stone Vitus had split and Verner’s hand brushed off the layer of dust coating it.


    “Ebony! This is a lucky pickaxe!”


    “You have no idea,” Annekke said as she straddled him, then whispered in his ear, “This throat is going to take in the peak at the summit of the world.”










3 Comments   |   The Long-Chapper and 3 others like this.
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  February 15, 2017
    Nice close to the story, Exuro. Hehe, the promise of sex is always good. 
    • Exuro
      The Long-Chapper
      The Long-Chapper
      The Long-Chapper
      Nice close to the story, Exuro. Hehe, the promise of sex is always good. 
        ·  February 15, 2017
      Thanks, marriage counseling Vitus and friends style
      • The Long-Chapper
        The Long-Chapper
        Thanks, marriage counseling Vitus and friends style
          ·  February 15, 2017
        Figures marriage counseling with Vitus would involve a giant dragon. :D