Drai Dreams

Unfortunately we are reaching the part in this story where much of the plot was carried out through ingame events I didn’t save any writing from. In summary, Zeketah was given a vision of the Ebony Blade, an artifact of Mephala, and demanded Drai scry out its location for her. Frightened of how she might use the Blade, Drai reached out to his allies to set up an ambush for her. In the original plot, these were people from Goldleaf Acquisitions, not Shizzal’s Whirling School, but for the sake of condensing this plotline, I’ve re-geared the allies to come from the latter organization instead.

The relationship between Taargus and Nanna was another side-plot. Despite the Mephalan cult’s reputation for being cold-blooded killers, these two characters fell into true love. Though Taargus bullied Drai frequently, Nanna was closer to him, and out of all the cultists, these two were the only ones Drai wanted to spare from Zeketah’s machinations, so he feels some guilt for their getting caught in the ambush meant for Zeketah.

I forget who Nerien’eth was; I want to say it had something to do with Taargus’ backstory: either a past friend he had accidentally killed, or Taargus’ real name when he had been living with House Dunmer. I could be totally wrong, of course.

Author’s Note

Drai dreamed…

He was back on the hunt with Tengri. Taargus ranged far ahead. Yet instead of walking down an overgrown road through the salt marshes of Deshaan, the bloodthirsty Ashlander was now walking down a long, dark corridor before him. Drai tried to follow, but he tripped on something and fell, to find himself staring up at the cobwebs among the rafters of an old crypt. The webs crowded over him, solidifying like the buttresses of an outlander chapel. Someone was screaming in the distance.

“We have to leave! Are you alright?” Something else leaned over him. Nanna? He thought he recognized her eyes, but no, this was some other woman… “…Zeketah has gone mad,” she was saying. “…ambushed… Can you hear me? We have to go! …killing everyone!”

“Nerien’eth…?” Drai began, and though he knew he was the one speaking, he couldn’t tell for sure what he had said. The woman above him bowed her head, tears streaming down her face.

It was Nanna! Only it was also some other woman…

Drai had the eerie sensation the person she was crying over had been him. He heard whispers in the shadows, recognized Mephala’s voice. He sat up, but his body wasn’t his own. He looked down to see the hands of a Deathweaver, clenched around a long katana made out of ebony. There was blood on the blade.

Drai looked up again. Nanna-not-Nanna was clutching a gaping wound in her midriff now, gazing at him sadly, betrayal written across her face.

Drai stood bolt upright and stumbled back. Nanna looked up at him in concern, but with no trace of the tears or the blood this time. Heartbeat panicky, Drai’s head begun to clear. They were in Deshaan, not some old crypt. The katana had been no more than his own bow, the hard edges biting into his clenched hands.

He closed his eyes, understanding. He had lost consciousness and had dreamed. He was ready for the derision for his show of weakness, so he turned and stalked off before he could hear what Nanna had to say.

It only occurred to him later that Nanna probably understood his predicament better than any of the other Ashlanders. She had always been one of the softer-hearted, following her lover Taargas into the Mephalan cult for his sake instead of Mephala’s or Zeketah’s. Though Drai couldn’t be sure of the identity of the Deathweaver who had stabbed her in his vision, he didn’t have the heart to tell her what he feared for her future.

And now, he had missed the opportunity. He knew what he had to do at least, for the sake of the Tengri and any others who might come into contact with the cursed katana Zeketah sought. He just hoped Zeketah would see it that way once his own scheming came to the light.

“Why do you remain loyal to people who want you dead?” Shizzal had asked when Drai had contacted him, pleading for the support of his Whirling School Armigers. Drai hadn’t had an answer then. He had been too busy searching the shadows and trying to make Shizzal understand his riddles without giving anything away to the ever-present spies of the cult.

Now that he was alone, staring across the Deshaan marshes, Drai gave his answer. “Because someone has to do it, Shizzal. I don’t choose what I see, but I trust Azura gave the Sight to me for a reason. I am this tribe’s farseer, and a farseer is a guide, though one whose reasons are not often understood.

“Like you, dear Spinner.” He smiled, almost more of a smirk as he thought of the Daedric Prince. “I suppose we had more in common than I once thought.”

He bowed his head. “Praise Mephala…”

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