We are back out on the open road. A rather wonderful feeling. I suppose I did not realize how watched I felt by Atia.
I was sad to part from Celsus, though. He is getting so old and fragile. I left him with a small pendant of Azura. It is the kind one often sees worn by elders in the ashland tribes as a way to protect from the evils that try to pray on you as you slumber. To the unknowing, it likely looks like a delightful charm. And I doubt you will find many here who have enough experience with the ashlanders to interpret its meaning.
I left some small gifts for Celsus’ family. Nothing much. Just a small thank you. The family has done me much good over the years and it was the least I could do. When next I return it could be Atia who is old and her daughter grown up and married. I just do not know. But I would like to continue to keep my connections if I can.
We had a small incident leaving. The guards stopped Qau-dar for money, unusual, but not unheard of. Instead of paying, or letting me take care of it, he knocked the guards down with his horse and sped off. I suppose it is only natural after having been imprisoned to not want to see any guardsman turn your direction. The incarceration must have truly been bad for him to be spooked so greatly.
When we stopped, I helped to soothe the muscles of his horse. I had time, for I did not run Tel too quickly. When I have done so before, he gets a raging appetite and I want to try and conserve his food as best as can be. I still had to give him a meal once I had finished massaging down Qau-dar’s horse’s muscles. Tel, the jealous little guar, made me do the same for him. I gave him melon, which seems to be his favorite, and worked the hide oils into him as I did. He gurgled and I found I could not stay mad at him. That sound is so soothing and adorable. When we stopped again at night, he stayed close by my side. Speaks-Too-Soon kept laughing at me. I suppose having to be put up in a stable for so long, he did not think I would return for him.
I stayed against Tel, well into the night, lightly strumming my lute and looking at the stars. It was an unusually clear night, despite the humidity and heat of the day. The relief of Last Seed’s cool nights a welcome respite. I fell asleep eventually, though I know not for how long. I was awoken when Tel got up and nosed his way into the tent. You can tell he is a southern guar. It is good for him that we are returning to Deshaan. I do not think he would appreciate the Skyrim winters.
In the morning I played my lute and made some fires dancing the Colonese, a dance popular in the Imperial City. As always she kept saying, “ako! ako!” whenever I made to stop. It was sweet. I indulged her. I do not know how long I will have the opportunity to do these things for her. Let her remember the delightful idiot Dunmer with his charming fires. No one hates the fool if he has something to offer. No one suspects him either. Let that be the legacy I leave behind with my companions. Let them remember the lovable idiot. Good hearted and well meaning. Perhaps, made a few mistakes, but always coming through in the end.
There is no need to share with them any more. They do not need to know the lengths to which I have had to go. they do not need to see the darker side of how I get things done. Qau-dar knows of my wife and that she is bad. Let her be nothing more than that in his mind. For if I play the lovable fool, she plays the innocent head-strong patriot. To look at her, she seems every bit the well educated, over-sheltered house mer. She seems genuine. She has a face that puts you at ease. She uses every bit of that to manipulate all around her. It is best that my companions never get close enough to her to be taken in by such an act. Nor for them to get involved enough to see what she is like once she has removed the mask she wears.
Guide me my three. Help your devoted follower that he might serve you that much longer.