Lives of the Saints

Shizzal Gets a New Job

It was a few days after Shizzal had arrived in Ebonheart, asking to join the Temple of the Three. He wasn’t sure what had led him to it: perhaps only a passing interest in the religion behind the 36 Sermons and the traditions of his people.

The priest’s cell assigned to him was small and cramped, but as Shizzal had lost most of his belongings when he had first entered Morrowind, it hadn’t become a problem yet. He had gotten what little he’d brought to the Temple unpacked now, spread haphazardly across the bed and half the floor.

He had expected to feel something by now. Pride, anticipation for his new life, even a bit of nervousness. Instead he stood staring at himself in the small brass mirror allotted to the Temple’s initiates, and thought about how funny he looked in a robe.

His reflection grinned sardonically back at him. Shizzal picked at a ridge of the burn scar on his face, more out of habit now then out of self-consciousness. “Suppose the the robe will eventually become a part of me too, huh?” he said to his reflection.

The reflection shrugged back at him and kept picking at the scar.

“Well, it’s not like there’s anyone around here who’d notice I’m not in my robes at all the proper hours. Except for the Archcanon, and she has other things to do. So there. Doesn’t that make you happy?”

Shizzal rolled his eyes at himself and went to sit down on the bed. It was a simple cot a couple of feet off the floor, and the mattress was hard. Better for the back, supposedly, but sometimes Shizzal thought the clergy just liked to punish themselves.

“And that’s the whole difference between you and me,” he said to the reflection. “I’m not the solemn dot-all-my-Ohts-and-Yoods and Almsivi-while-I-piss sort. I can talk a guy around to my way of thinking, sure, but not through sermons and blessings.

“That a bad thing, you think? It’s just my style, and everyone’s got that. Like my old man had his…”

Shizzal closed his eyes tight at the thought. It dully occurred to him the inanity of the situation, talking to his own bronze-y reflection in a tiny mirror. He looked up at the ceiling.

“I never did get a chance to tell you about all this Temple business, Dad,” he murmured. “Wonder what you’d think, all this straight-laced preacher stuff. Doesn’t seem like something you’d care for.” He gave the leg of the bed a kick.

“I’ve got so many questions for you, but I know it’s a bother to come visiting from the afterlife, so I’m not going to ask.” Shizzal looked down at the floor. “Truth is…I’m starting to feel a little homesick,” he murmured.

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