Shizzal and Drai Declare Their Allegiances

The Dunmer moved slowly, as if stiff and sore, but proudly, as if just come from a fiercely fought battle. He made his way slowly up the long winding guar trail to the Tengri camp, and no Ashlander either called out to him in friendly greeting or challenged his presence. Like a pariah, yet not, Shizzal thought.

Shizzal watched him from his yurt. For the few days he had been here, he had been struggling not to fall back into his old habits at the Ebonheart Temple, reminding himself to bless only by the Three and take care not to specify which Three he was speaking for. He wondered if either Daedra or the Tribunal would mind the mix-up, and he had gotten the reputation for being a jumpy sort around the camp. Still, it was all for the good. If he were to stop the destructive Mephalan cult, he needed to employ his diplomacy just as well as his espionage skills.

At least none of the warriors had yet got the bright idea to hone their intimidation skills on him by a bit of bullying. Too proud, he supposed. But that Ashlander, walking up the guar trail as if he owned the place…there was blood spotting his hides, Shizzal noticed.

He called out to him to offer healing. The Ashlander ignored him, face bowed and hidden in his hood.

So Shizzal walked out and followed him. He was used to that response. Sometimes Dunmer, the native ones in particular, needed a bit of encouraging before they consented to being helped.

The Ashlander sensed his approach and rounded on him, but then he only stared, one hand coming to his face as if trying to decide if Shizzal were real or not.

“It’s okay,” began Shizzal. “I know I’m not one of your tribe, but I’m here to offer healing, if you want–“

“Outlander,” came the other’s voice, gruff and angry. “What are you doing here?”

Shizzal recognized the voice, and could not believe it. “Drai…?”

Drai threw back his hood, and there was no mistaking the tattooed and weather-beaten face.

“Drai! You–how did you–“

“You should not be here,” snapped Drai.

“But I–“

“Do not speak to me!” Without giving him an opportunity to reply, Drai whipped about and continued his walk. He did not stop or pause until he had entered the camp, then made his way for the trail leading up the hill behind it.

Confused, hurt, Shizzal let him go. “I thought you were dead…”

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