I’ve managed to get most of the pig blood and squid ink off. At least it’s hard to tell that it has stained my skin. I think they used mostly pig blood, so I’m only a little darker in some places than normal. It almost would look good if not for the reason behind it.
I had managed to calm myself down and slip back into the city. I did not want to see anyone. In part I just wanted to stay locked in my room for the next month. I didn’t know where the Altmeri spies may be. Yet facing so many again, when they knew where I was staying was not wise. I figured it was best to go to the Companions, tell them of what happened, and see if they could not aid me. Perhaps even help me take on the Altmer who had no doubt given me up to his superiors.
I quietly slipped through the back alleys and made my way to the Companions. I opened the doors and was greeting by shouting and buckets of ink and blood thrown on me. I stood there as it dripped off me and the Companions came around to congratulate me. They even asked if they had done everything right.
I didn’t understand at first, mostly in shock about the whole situation. That’s when they told me about how they had been told by a local shopkeeper of the Dunmeri tradition of Sunad N’wah. That doesn’t even make sense in Dunmeri, so I asked if they were trying to say osuhn suna n’wah. They muttered amongst themselves having been pretty sure of how the Altmer had pronounced it. The Altmer. That did not slip past my hearing.
In the end they decided triumphantly that it was indeed. And they asked if the kidnapping part had been done properly. They said they had hired a mage to perform a paralyzation because they were worried about me getting hurt or hurting myself.
Much of my anger slipped away as they all looked to me apprehensively about if they had done everything in proper accordance to my customs.They looked so earnest. They had only done this horrendous thing because they had truly sought my favor. What could I say to that? How could I let my murderous anger direct itself towards these gullible, but ultimately well meaning men?
I told them they had done well. That paralysis is a common, if not preferred method. I told them that it was a more common tradition in the north-east and that I had never actually been a part of it before. That I was honored, because even amongst Dunmer, it is only performed for the very most important guests. Ones you hold to be like your own kin. Though truth be told, some Dunmer find the practice distasteful, so it is probably best not to perform it without asking the person if their traditions include it. I do want to dissuade them from doing it with all Dunmer they might take a liking to, it is too unpleasant for that.
I asked about this Altmer who had shared his knowledge with them. And who do you suppose it was who had told them? Yes. That Altmer. I should have known his hand was in this, oh wait, I did. That wonderful mer that continues to visit his own unique blend of fortune upon myself and those I care about. I knew I had to drop by and visit him. One must thank people who are so generous to you time and time again.
I headed straight for the shop. I did not bother with cleaning off the blood and ink. No, I wanted to show the mer his handiwork. I also wanted to show it to his master, who would no doubt, not object to me demanding compensation for my ruined tunics and personal distress, among other grievances. I figured I could at least get by with getting a finger, or an ear. Nothing to keep him from still being useful to the business, should the good mer wish to still keep him. Though of course, I was secretly hoping he would be furious and tell me to do as I pleased with him.
I entered demanding to speak with Master Rialas, who greeted me quite calmly, as always. As I began to describe the quite distressing events the Altmer had visited upon me. At first we were negotiating a suitable punishment and all seemed to be going well. Then he began to protest my ideas. He spoke of spanking when I offered lashes and he refused the use of a whip or switch. He seemed to want the mer whole and unmarred. When I insisted he actually defended that walking corpse!
It ended up that when I continued to press for blood that he began to discount me and what his man had done. Insisting it was but a few Falmer and just some pig blood. That I was unharmed, what did it matter. What did it fetching matter? What did it fetching MATTER?!
He barred his teeth at me. The threat was made. I knew then that he was indeed in league with that Altmer filth! I had to laugh. I had hoped for more from someone like him. This is what optimism gives you. I could feel the surge, the hunger deep in me. Mephala calling me to take their lives. I would set shop ablaze and kill anyone who escaped.
Then my heart stopped. Qau-dar appeared. My knees tried to buckle under me.
He asked if I was alright. He spoke to me. He… he was checking on me.
I tried to answer him, but words wouldn’t come.
Then he informed everyone he would be going to Cyrodill and taking a horse and leaving Morndas. I could not handle the surge of feelings. It felt like my head was caving in on me. My heart ached. I felt like the room was spinning. As soon as he left the main room I fled. I fled to the river and threw myself into the cold waters, scrubbing off everything I could. Dried blood, ink, skin. I felt soiled. I tried to burn my own skin, I felt those cold dead Altmeri hands on me again. But my own flames would not burn me. In the end I went back to the Companions and sought out Algar.
I told him I just needed him to keep others away and let me be alone for a while. That I had seen my husband but did not wish to speak about it He has so far left me to be. I really should do something to show my appreciation. I am going to try to sleep now. The scent of Algar’s hair oil is soothing.