2nd Day of the Second Seed
Upon my arrival in Vulkhel’s Guard, I stepped off the ship transport and took in the magnificence of the city around me. I had never seen such a large city before, and my adventures in Khenarthi’s Roost left me realizing that if I never saw desert again, it would be too soon.
As I walked to the stairway leading into town, I noticed a grim lieutenant of the Vulkhel’s Guard soldiers staring at me suspiciously, almost as if she knew something about me that I didn’t already, so I made my way by her quickly, making sure not to do anything to arouse her suspicions further. And that’s when I saw it.
All around me were the bodies of dead civilians. There were a few citizens wandering about, but they looked over their shoulders with trepidation, almost as if they knew it was only a matter of time before it was their own time to die.
It was then that I saw a darkened, cat-like person in black robes skittering about the streets, sticking close to the shadows. And then, almost as if on cue, the cat person pounced out at someone, and that unfortunate citizen joined the ranks of the dead that were lying all about me. As the dark cat person robbed the latest victim, its eyes made contact with mine, and it spoke, almost hissing as it did: “You saw nothing.”
I nodded slowly, not about to get on the wrong side of someone who was seasoned in killing the local town folk, as I certainly did not want to join their ranks. I smiled and turned away, making sure to keep a hand on my coin purse, as I suspected that it might go missing from my side if I didn’t pay it that close attention.
“What brings you to VG?” said the cat person, who I was suspecting was a male, although I was not familiar with this race of people. The voice seemed deeper than a Nord female, so based on that little evidence I had before me, I had to make my determination.
“I am hoping to make my fortune,” I said, even surprising myself as I said it.
He just smiled at me and then turned to seek out another future victim.
But it was true. Even though it was the first time I had ever said the words aloud, my reason for leaving the Roost was to find prosperity somewhere more inviting. Most of the occupations there had been limited to farming and spirituality. Unless you were a Dunmer or a sheep-herder, you weren’t going to do much on that island, and I was most certainly neither of those. I’m not even that much of a fighter. I guess if you had to search the lexicon for a better description, I was more a lute player than a ruffian, although quite often my lute playing led exactly into ruffian behavior. A wild crowd usually results in a wild response to a performance.
But my lute master at the Roost took me aside and said: “Mierkal, there is little future for you in this endeavor. You do not seem capable of playing the song.”
And he was right. Even though I knew the melody, and I knew what notes to play, I often found myself deviating from the tune, causing people to immediately take offence at my music, and quite often leading to me being chased out of local alehouses. Yet, for reasons I cannot understand, I continue to make the same mistake each time I am playing before a crowd.
My master thought it might be best for me to seek out an audience far from the Roost. He said it was for my own good, although I suspect it may have had more to do with him wanting me as far away from his as possible. After all, people would always know I was his student, and as long as I wasn’t willing to play the tune, then it would reflect poorly on him.
So I booked the trip to VG and now found myself in this strange land.
Clueless, but willing to learn.