Online:Hireling (Enchanting)

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ON-icon-Question Mark.png Hireling
Line Enchanting
Skill Rank Line Rank
Rank I 1 3
Rank II 2 12
Rank III 3 32
Hireling I: A hireling will send you some runestones every day.
Hireling II: A hireling will send you runestones every day. You have a chance at Essence and better Aspect runestones.
Hireling III: A hireling will send you runestones every day. You have a greater chance at Essence and better Aspect runestones.

Hireling gives you a hireling, Abnab (alternating with his brother Ezdab), to be followed by Melina Cassel and various employees of Velothril Sisters), who will give you an assortment of Enchanting items every day. These will arrive in your mailbox as letters with attachments which must be claimed within 30 days or they will be lost. You do not receive shipments if you don't log on, so they won't pile up if you don't play for a few days (or use a different character).


Complete correspondence from enchanter hirelings as of 2017-10-13 is listed in the table below.

Hireling (Enchanting) Correspondence
Number Author Message
1 Abnab Esteemed employer. My name is Abnab al-Babnab, and I've included a gathering of components with this letter. May they serve well. I plundered them from an ancient tomb, and happened upon the angry dead within. I fled, distracting them with a shrill noise. Should word reach you from my brother Ezdab, I assure you I was not "shrieking like a boy."
2 Abnab Abnab and his brother, Ezdab, have found for you a fine shipment of components. And enroute, we slayed the largest frost atronach I have ever glimpsed. Must be mages around--we hid in a tree for a day, let the sun work on its armor before I cleft it in twain. When it was over, Ezdab said the sun was in his eyes, but I think he was weeping quietly.
3 Abnab Esteemed employer, let it never be said that life be taken for granted. I attempted to lessen the weight of my cuirass with an enchantment before my morning swim, but my spell must have failed, for I sank like a mudcrab hurled into the sea by a precocious child. I am fortunate Ezdab was nearby, or you would not be receiving these components.
4 Ezdab Honored employer, this is Ezdab writing you. My brother Abnab is currently indisposed. Did he tell you? The fool tried to swim wearing armor he enchanted! I had to dive to the bottom of Leafshadow Lake to rescue him, but it was worth the effort! I have not been so amused since he slept on an ant hill. Use these components well!
5 Abnab I hope you'll find these components of use, esteemed employer! There are a hundred ways to die in the dungeons and crags of Tamriel, and just as many ways to save yourself using enchanted equipment. Plan accordingly!
6 Ezdab Esteemed employer, another shipment for you. I was among relatives today, cousins, and I had forgotten that my penchant for the art of enchantment is irregular amongst our people. I distrust and abhor most uses of magic, though enchantment is a family tradition. My father was a journeyman, having learned the art from the Altmer.
7 Abnab Another shipment for you, friend. I hope my brother Ezdab handled the last package well. He is an oaf and a fool, and though both oafs and fools have their uses, they are prone to mucking about. Forgive me. I do not mean to share my sibling misgivings with you, but I only have so much ink and a single parchment, and the words wrote themselves.
8 Abnab Another day, another shipment for the esteemed employer! There are few weapons that feature a design as elegant as the sword, and a sharp edge provides balance and control to its wielder that blunt weapons or unwieldy axes lack. And there is no personal arm finer than an enchanted sword, regardless of what the Nords and the Elves say.
9 Abnab Esteemed employer, may these components avail you. I hope you fare as well in your journeys as my brother and I. Never fail to keep up with your enchanting! It could save your life! We would hate to lose you.
10 Abnab The kwama of the Darkshade Caverns in Deshaan are terrifying! I visited on my way to sending the components you now hold, adoring kwama eggs as I do. But the creatures there, that produce the magnificent egg, are grotesque and unlovely. They screeched at me like creatures from Oblivion. I will never look at those eggs the same way again.
11 Abnab Though Redguard have mastered blade design, the Dwemer have mastered everything else. Their constructs are the deadliest mortal-made artifacts I have ever encountered. I often ruminate on how Dwemer would improve the nearly-perfect Redguard scimitar. (An instrument that launches scimitars through the air comes to mind.) Enjoy your components!
12 Abnab Another day, another shipment for my esteemed employer. Enjoy, my friend. I could sleep for many days after the last venture. We had stumbled upon an old Imperial fort--abandoned, of course, and we plucked it dry of resources. But we barely escaped the jaws of the wamasu that lived there. Its skin shed lightning! It was a storm on four legs!
13 Abnab This latest package was our swiftest yet! A shame the delivery will slow your receipt of it, but my brother and I filled our packs days ahead of schedule. Perhaps we'll go our separate ways for once. It'll be pleasant not to hear his jeers and taunts. I tell you, my brother has the arm of a Sword Saint, but the brain of a child. Use your components well!
14 Ezdab Honored employer, this is Ezdab, brother of Abnab who writes to you. Along with the letter comes our latest shipment. Use it well, for there may not be another coming. My brother has disappeared. I do not wish to trouble you, nor do I think you can help--by the time this reaches you, if Abnab has not been found, likely it will be too late.
15 Ezdab Honored employer, it is I, Ezdab, brother of Abnab, writing to you, again. My brother remains missing, but know that I will ensure you get your components. I've done the work for both of us, in his honor, and I always will, even if I never see him again. I would say that I regret haranguing him, but those are my fondest memories.
16 Ezdab Honored employer, here are your components, as usual, and of the quality you are accustomed. I am pleased to report that my brother, Abnab, lives! By Leki's shining blade, I never thought I would see him again! I had worries about preparing a third shipment of components on my own, but the Scimitars of al-Babnab are reunited!
17 Abnab Esteemed employer, it has been some time! It is I, Abnab, recently escaped from the clutches of the pirate scourge of Tamriel! I apologize for my absence. Luckily, the pirates had a use for my sword arm, and thought to have me serve as an enforcer. A story for another time, perhaps. As always, enjoy your components.
18 Abnab I hope these components avail you, esteemed employer. I realized today that I never told you how I came to escape the pirate crew. Those men were deranged. They told me to kill for them or die, so I confiscated a blade from my captors and killed them, instead! I was like a hero from out of a Yokudan myth! I assure you, they were all villains.
19 Abnab I'm afraid this shipment's component came with an extra price. Not for you, esteemed employer, but for myself and my brother. Ever since my time in captivity with the pirate crew, my blade has thirsted for blood. I provoke conflict as a matter of course. I cut a man down today, as he reached to lunge at my brother with his dagger. We fled.
20 Abnab May these components avail you. My brother and I have fled the city, as the guards have not given up their pursuit. I have sworn never to draw my sword on a lesser man again. Sword Saints of old exercised similar control over their aggression.
21 Abnab Another shipment for the esteemed employer! May it serve you well. My brother and I have returned to the wilderness, living off the land, and plundering wayward caves and abandoned spires where we can. We're fortunate that Tamriel is full of them. May fortune favor you, as it has done for me, my friend. It is good to be alive.
22 Abnab It is good to be adventuring again, esteemed employer. We filled this shipment faster than usual--enjoy. There will be another for you, soon, but the caverns and hollows of Tamriel await!
23 Abnab I hope you consider me enough of an ally to suffer a little pondering with your components. I cannot sleep, of late. As you may remember, I recently slew a man to save my brother's life. I am skilled with a blade, and done my heritage proud, but I lament having to kill anyone. I wonder what my Yokudan ancestors would think.
24 Abnab Esteemed employer, I struggle to impart with words how good it feels to test my mettle against the beasts of the wilderness. Nothing to hold back, no guards to stop the fighting. Just a bundle of primal rage between me and your components. May this latest shipment avail you, my friend.
25 Ezdab Honored employer, it is I, Ezdab, brother of Abnab, who writes to you. I apologize for my brother's penned rambling in recent shipments. We do not mean to burden you with our troubles. I tell him that you are our honored employer, and not an emotional outlet. The next time he feels like sharing, I assure you, I'll share my fists with his face.
26 Abnab Esteemed employer, this is Abnab. Ignore my brother's previous letter. I know that, were I in your position, I would appreciate being kept abreast of all goings-on regarding my employees. Thus, I provide detailed reports in my correspondence, along with the components, and will continue to do so.
27 Abnab Esteemed employer, behold the latest shipment. All goes well, though terrible dreams plague me of late, wherein my surroundings are shrouded in mist, and beasts, dozens, perhaps hundreds of them, scuttle in the space just beyond my vision, hungering to devour me. The dream is relentless, and is the same every night. No more kwama eggs before sleep.
28 Abnab Components on their way to you, esteemed employer. However, my unpleasant dreams continue. I've come to remember that they began when I slew a strange creature in an Ayleid ruin. It wielded a massive axe, but I was quicker, and its body dissolved before my eyes as I clove it in two. Perhaps it did not truly die. Perhaps it remains near me.
29 Abnab Our work continues, unhindered, though my unpleasant dreams persist. I experienced a different one tonight. A man who identified himself as the Harvester offered me great power if I would kill a captive of his. He would trade my sword for a crushing bludgeon that would drink the souls of my enemies. Ezdab woke me before I could answer.
30 Abnab I dreamed the dream again: A being called the Harvester offered me power in exchange for the murder of a man. The would-be victim, trapped in a claw-like cage, kneeled before me. When I refused, I felt the Harvester bristle, and I woke. Ezdab said I had left our cave for parts unknown during the night. I have never been a sleep walker.
31 Ezdab Ezdab writes you to please forgive the recent ravings of my brother. He has been odd since his encounter with the creature in the Ayleid ruin. A Dunmer mage we met in our travels spoke in a broken accent that it must have been a minion of a Corner of the House of Troubles, whose death attracted the Corner's attention. I nodded as if I understood.
32 Abnab As always, components of the highest quality for you, esteemed employer. They come all the sweeter with the fact that my brother and I slew a lich for them. Chased us out of the cave where we found it and half the length of the nearby stream before we realized our swords could cut it. We reduced it to lifeless bonemeal relatively quickly.
33 Abnab Esteemed employer, you are of few people more worldly than I. Do you believe the legend of the Sword Saints of Yokuda? That they were caretakers of ancient sword techniques capable of rivaling the heretical power of eastern magic? To me, they are metaphors for the importance of sword skill, not beings with powers greater than other swordsmen.
34 Abnab Esteemed employer, my brother and I stumbled upon a coven of witches, this day, and there are few things I despise more. I don't know from where witches derive their supernatural abilities, but they are abhorrent. Luckily, these seemed to be asleep. My brother and I stripped the cave of resources and slipped away. Enjoy.
35 Abnab Esteemed employer, scholars may call me ignorant all they wish, but if the Sword Saints of Yokuda (called Ansei by those of greater intelligence and culture than I) could produce blades formed from nothing but spirit, then why in Oblivion would they carry steel of any kind? Preposterous. Ezdab and I nearly came to fisticuffs over it.
36 Abnab Esteemed employer, I have sent you a package. It is full of the components of your dreams. Once again, I have sweat and fought and bled for them. Have you ever considered doing the same for me? I'm not bitter--but I can see through everything. And I do mean everything, like it's made of glass. Not malachite glass. Looking glass. It's terrifying.
37 Abnab Is this how cat-folk see the world? Like looking into a bent mirror. Another package full of the things my brother and I collect. I hope you receive them intact--I can see straight through the container. At least, I believe that is what's happening. Brother Ezdab has been agitated with me of late. Are you agitated with me, as well?
38 Abnab Ecstatic employer, I am writing to you from atop a pile of my own filth. But I didn't let that get in the way of work. The shipment is of the quality you are accustomed. My life has taken an interesting turn of late. I don't ever remembering being so free. I wonder if this is how a cliffracer feels, flying in the sky, as they do, so high.
39 Ezdab Honored employer, I, Ezdab, brother of Abnab, apologize for my brother's recent correspondence. The usual shipment is included with this letter. Abnab is a light drinker, and only after he sent the last package did he stop to drunkenly mention that he has been writing to tell you of his stupor. I hope you will remain in business with us.
40 Abnab My friend, my brother has already apologized for my recent letters, but he does not know the entire tale. I was addicted to skooma. Some time ago, I met a Khajiit who was eager to part with his wares—he offered moon sugar at bargain price. Unfortunately, it was in a more-processed form. I hope we can continue to do business.
41 Abnab Another shipment for you, esteemed employer. You must tire of this, but allow me to apologize again for my skooma-penned letters. I hope, though you must think less of me, that you feel you can still rely on me as your premier source for enchanting components. My ancestors would be ashamed of me, just as I am of myself.
42 Abnab I am glad I found my calling as an enchantment specialist, I could not work in another field. I happened upon a professional chef in our travels this week and that Dunmer gourmet gave me a look of disgust that made me want to disappear. I was eating a kwama egg, lightly seasoned with moon sugar (my momentary skooma addiction led to a craving).
43 Abnab May these components avail you! I continue to be surprised by the intolerance of my people against the enchanting I perform. There are magical elements to enchanting, but nothing so heretical as summoning a lich or absorbing another creature's essence. Enchanting is quantifiable, understandable. Given the chance, even Redguard can be strange.
44 Abnab Esteemed employer, there are a hundred reasons why one should never step foot into the home of a mage who is widely known as mad. However, one fantastic reason to do so is that mages are a great source of enchanting components, especially when they've taken leave of their cave. Enjoy your components!
45 Abnab Esteemed employer, I have never trusted eastern magic, but I have never truly been menaced by it. Until now. This past week, the mad mage whose home I visited without permission decided to visit mine. Ezdab was asleep and saw nothing. I thought it was the end, but the mage simply stood in my chambers. Staring.
46 Abnab Esteemed employer, it has been some time since I invaded the home of that mad mage to pilfer some crafting components for you. The mage has taken to visiting my home in the evenings, though how he gains entry, I don't know. Every night, he stands next to my bed, watching. Brother Ezdab doesn't believe me, but brother Ezdab never sees him.
47 Abnab I have managed to ship components to you despite great duress, esteemed employer. As you may remember, a mad mage has been hounding me, visiting my bed chambers nightly, doing nothing but gazing at me. I've never been more terrified in my life. I don't know what he wants. I don't even know his name. No one believes he exists. By Leki's blade!
48 Ezdab Honored employer, it is I, Ezdab, brother of Abnab, handling the current shipment. I wanted to ensure everything was in order. Abnab has been indisposed as of late, and sleep-deprived for many days. He swears on Leki's blade that a "mad mage" haunts him late at night. I hope he hasn't returned to his skooma habit.
49 Abnab My friend, you may remember that a mad mage has been sneaking into my bed chambers every night for some time. Ezdab finally glimpsed him. The old man was sitting in a corner, staring. Ezdab gave him all our components. The man accepted the satchel, and left out the front door. We have not seen him since. I wish I had thought to do that.
50 Abnab Esteemed employer, I feel privileged to write you. You'll find the shipment intact, but I nearly lost my head! A duneripper the size of a carriage ambushed me, and I shattered my sword against its hide (though I must say I am proud to have struck first). I was forced to flee, and luckily had already ransacked the ruins that beast called home.
51 Abnab Use well these components, my friend. I lost several swords finding them, and thought of my father, who would be incensed I had wasted good blades. "We are not like the Sword Saints of old," he said, "who could create Shehai—swords made of spirit." It was odd to me that my father believed Shehai were real. Perhaps he also had partaken in skooma.
52 Abnab I worry that my brother Ezdab has been led astray by the metaphorical tales of the Sword Saints. His techniques contain extraneous moves he swears the Saints of old also utilized. The Saints also claimed to be able to forge swords out of "spirit energy," which is a claim a Bosmer tale would make. At any rate, may these components avail you.
53 Abnab Your components, esteemed employer! And let it never be said that the undead give nothing back to society, especially when one has mashed them into bonemeal, freeing one to scour their dwellings for components!
54 Abnab Esteemed employer, when walking with an Orc, never pass in front of him in the open. The fool may engage you in a footrace and then cross in front of you (thereby cheating) to win. They are a cunning people.
55 Abnab Esteemed employer, what do you know of forest spirits? I believe I encountered one in an Ayleid ruin deep within Grahtwood. Whispered words I couldn't understand. Or I could have been hallucinating from malnourishment. I was at the end of a twenty-hour excursion. I left, in any event, as I already had the components you hold. No need to tempt fate.
56 Abnab Visiting a community, even a small town or hamlet, works to break the cadence of daily treks through ruins. It's nice to live a while where the challenge is not to find a place to sleep without being consumed alive, but to find a lass one fancies and ask her for a dance. At any rate, I hope you are well, and may these components avail you.
57 Abnab Behold the latest shipment! I must say that I outdid myself--I completed the package in a single excursion. Ezdab claims he has a nose for enchantment materials, but he doesn't have my sense of direction in the deeps of Tamriel. He enjoys jeering me for my (very reasonable) fear of the undead, but he can't find his way out of most linear caverns!
58 Ezdab Honored employer, it is I, Ezdab, brother of Abnab. I hope this shipment is to your satisfaction. My brother has been infuriating of late. He's in a tavern right now, boasting to all about how much time and cost he saves for the business. There is never any mention of my contributions, my (far superior) skill with a blade. He believes he is so great.
59 Abnab My friend, please ignore any backbiting my brother Ezdab may attempt on me in his letters to you. We have been feuding. He is a skilled enchanter and warrior, but he is not me. My father always said that none but the Sword Saints of old could rival my blade, and my sense of direction would make me a superior scout. He was correct on both counts!
60 Abnab My friend, may this set of components avail you. I regret to inform you that my brother Ezdab is no longer with us. Rest assured this will not complicate our business relationship in the slightest.
61 Abnab Esteemed employer, I now realize I was unclear in my last correspondence. My brother is very much alive, though he has taken his business elsewhere. He refuses to express the nature of his absence, and I find myself competing with him in scouring the land for runestones and their like. I'll do my best to weather this development.
62 Abnab Esteemed employer, it is I, Abnab, with the latest shipment of components. I am afraid my brother continues to compete with me for resources, though I've managed to stay a pace ahead of him. I remain bewildered at his abandonment, as we have worked together all our lives. He shames me, and he shames our family.
63 Ezdab Honored employer, it is Ezdab who writes to you. I hope these components serve you well. You shall not be receiving a package from my brother Abnab this month, as he is indisposed. He has no components to give to you, at any rate--his skills cannot compare to my tremendous abilities. I have always known his arrogance would be his downfall, and today I proved it.
64 Abnab I've completed another shipment for you, esteemed employer, though my brother has betrayed me, and works to undermine me. The bastard stole the last shipment I collected. I have challenged the ruffian to a duel, as only one of us is going to provide this service to you. Enjoy your components, and prepare for many more from me.
65 Abnab I'm pleased to report my brother and I have resolved our differences. We dueled atop the highest desert dune we could find. Sparks from the crossing of our swords lit the night, and Ezdab matched me strike for strike until, with a final, gleaming slash, our blades shattered. No blood had been drawn, and there was nothing left to do but clasp hands.
66 Abnab May these components avail you, my friend. I hope you've used what I've sent both often and well. The power of enchanting should never be underestimated! Give me a dozen ways to defeat an opponent, and I'll give you twice as many enchanments [sic] to turn the tide!
67 Abnab Another shipment for you, esteemed employer. I have come to a realization today that I replace more swords than the average adventurer. Brother Ezdab tells me it is the way I use them: as doorstops, to fell trees, shave. But what does he know? Ezdab believes that the Dwarves tossed a hammer across a continent.
68 Abnab Few weapons can match the elegant design of a good blade, and among blades, the scimitars of the Redguards stand as shining examples. The only possible improvement on such a weapon is an enchantment. You should try it. I doubt the spirit swords of the Sword Saints ever existed, but flaming scimitars do. I crafted one this morning.
69 Abnab May these components avail you, friend! Let it never be said that a sword isn't worth sharpening. I lost a scimitar today, when I thrust it into the gnashing gears of a Dwarven construct. I don't lament it--even a masterfully crafted blade can be replaced. Fortunately for me, even a lethal Dwarven machine is susceptible to a Redguard blade!
70 Abnab Hagravens can be dangerous opponents, but my brother and I have become quite adept at fogging their minds by striking them in the brow with our sword hilts. They can't light the cave on fire when they can't see straight, and they're much easier to slay that way. May these components avail you!
71 Abnab Your enchanting skills should be quite formidable at this juncture, esteemed employer. Have you considered utilizing a crushing enhancement? Such enchantments can turn the sharpest blades into effective bludgeoning instruments. Properly applied, one can smash ebony armor with the knife from one's boot!
72 Abnab Esteemed employer, my brother and I passed a Breton village under siege by creatures of angry, crimson skin. We skirted the edge of the commune, and the sounds of clashing metal, cries of death, and the smell of burning flesh gave us horrified pause. We moved on. My brother and I are not heroes; not everyone can be you, my friend.
73 Abnab My brother and I were taking a shortcut in the city sewers (which were surprisingly unguarded) when we ran across a horde of crocodiles. Before today, I had never been in a city sewer before, nor had I seen a crocodile. Collecting for you certainly keeps life interesting. May these components avail you. They may be slightly odorous.
74 Abnab The life of a component collector is a dangerous one, esteemed employer. As a Redguard swordsman, I regularly practice sword forms to ensure my skills are as sharpened as my blades. I've heard the Sword Saints of old practiced forms that could conjure gusts of wind, and allow them to take flight like birds. Why, then, did they ever build staircases?
75 Abnab Esteemed employer, this will seem like just another shipment to you, but my brother and I count ourselves lucky to be able to deliver it. We were trapped on a small boat when we lost our oars to a vile horker that wanted nothing more than for us to die. We drifted for two whole days before reaching sight of land. Were that I could duel that beast.
76 Abnab Enjoy this set of components, esteemed employer. I have taken up the chase for the vile horker that left my brother and myself stranded on a boat for days when it dragged our oars to the bottom of the sea. I can tell the flopping bastards apart by the dagger that I sank into my opponent's flank. I've tracked him to a frozen islet to the north of Skyrim.
77 Abnab Esteemed employer, I remain in the north of Skyrim, hunting the horker that nearly killed me. Fear not, I shall ensure your shipments are uninterrupted, though enchanting components are difficult to come by out here. I spied the beast on an icy peak this morning, and will pursue. I despise it. I despise its beady, cowardly eyes.
78 Abnab I gaze full upon that cursed horker, and it gazes back. It has proven unexpectedly agile, and has the fortitude of a hundred workhorses, but today, it has nowhere else to run. I have chased it from frozen tundra to glacial isle, on foot and by boat. It is time. May these components avail you, for I know not which of us will walk from this melee.
79 Abnab Esteemed employer, I met the horker in combat. The sun hid from us as battle dawned, and only a grey gloom lit our skirmish. My scimitar sang as I drew it, eager for blood, and the bastard horker gnashed his teeth, narrowed his beady eyes. I fought like never before. And let me assure you--the horker's end was most disagreeable.
80 Ezdab Honored employer, please do not tell my brother, but when Abnab bragged to you about his defeat of "the horker from Oblivion" he brought the body home, and in his feverish delight, failed to notice that there was no dagger wound on its flank—the beast's only discerning mark. I think my brother slew the wrong horker.
81 Abnab A Nord woman invited me to fisticuffs today. She was cheerful, and I assumed fisticuffs was slang for some jolly game until she punched my neck. I shoved a boot in her face lest I be laid low. We brawled. Afterward, my eyes were swollen, but I glimpsed her, and she smiled broadly, as blood streamed through her teeth and down her chin.
82 Abnab More components for the esteemed employer! If, one day, my brother and I find the time, we would enjoy visiting you. You could tell him how he should stop wasting his time studying the Sword Saint myths. It's ruining his sword stances; his fighting style is full of useless flourishes and movements patterned after dubious manuals he's found.
83 Ezdab Another day, another shipment! It is I, Ezdab, brother of Abnab. Please ignore the rambling my brother must be heaping on you. I'm sure he's mentioned that he does not relish my studies of the Sword Saints, but I read voraciously. The greatest Sword Saint rose to prominence when he was fourteen years of age. I am already eighteen!
84 Abnab May these components avail you. And may Leki avail my brother Ezdab, who will not stop filling his mind with the senseless drivel of the Sword Saint legends! In our latest excursion, we fought a harpy, as we do--repulsive creatures--and he swung a circular blow that took the harpy's head and nearly shaved my ear! He's going to get us killed.
85 Ezdab Honored employer, please accept these components. Accept them as I wish my brother Abnab would accept me. I'm sure you recall that he abhors the research I conduct on Sword Saint techniques. He calls the idea of the Sword Saints a flight of fancy, that it pollutes my sword technique. But I match him in our duels, with any blade.
86 Abnab Another set of components for the employer! I wish you could meet with my brother Ezdab for he will not listen to reason from me. He could become the greatest swordsman I've met, if he would adhere to Redguard technique and forget the rubbish from the Yokudan Sword Saint manuals. They are ancient, misunderstood, and metaphorical in nature!
87 Abnab My brother and I have finally settled our dispute, and will trouble you about it no longer. Fear not, for it did not hinder our collecting in the slightest. So eager were we to prove the other's sword skills inferior that we became like a single, whirling Dwemer of destruction. And I was the victor. Thirty slain beasts to my brother's twenty-eight.
88 Ezdab Components for the honored employer! We are well, brother Abnab especially, gloating as he has been about (what he calls) his Redguard sword style triumphing over the wasteful flourishes of my techniques, which are informed by Yokudan Sword Saint manuals. I will never tell him, but I let him win. I'd like to think a Sword Saint would do the same.
89 Abnab A group of bandits wanted me to collect components for them in an Alik'ran cavern today, and bring for them a child who had entered to escape them. I gutted them before returning the child to his nearby village. I was once too fearful to help a village fight the Daedra. I swore it would never happen again. May these components avail you.
90 Ezdab Honored employer, I do not understand why my brother Abnab enjoys making trouble for us so. He may have boasted to you about it already, but he recently slew a group of bandits who had kidnapped a child from a Breton village. May these components avail you, for it may be a while before we can send again. Word has it the bandits seek vengeance.
91 Abnab Esteemed employer, the inn where we slept tonight was owned and run by a bandit gang--the same bandits who want me dead! The fools snuck into our room in the night, but we were already on the rooftop. It was a long way down. For them.
92 Abnab Esteemed employer, I sometimes wonder if Nocturnal manipulates fate just to amuse herself. I'm sure you recall the bandit gang that declared war on me recently, and that I tossed about a half dozen of them off of the roof of their own inn. I expected I would need to flee, but the gang's leader, Gabryel Hoger, offered me a job!
93 Abnab Esteemed employer, I don't want you to think that, though my brother and I have accepted a gracious offer from a second employer, that the quality of your shipments will be affected in any way. We are committed to serving you as we have always been! May these components avail you.
94 Abnab I've found that there is nothing more useful to an adventurer than preparedness. And nothing helps that better than enchantments. Just this afternoon, I burned an impeding spider's web with a fiery axe, stared straight through a lich's flame from behind my frosty helm, and smashed a skeleton to bits with the crushing edge of my knife.
95 Abnab Ezdab leaves his Yokudan texts aground after long nights of studying Sword Saint drivel, and today I happened upon an entry about the ancient welwa. It appears that welwa were myths even to ancient Yokuda, with the jaws of a bear, and the charging strength of a boar. It's a shame when beasts go extinct, but I'm glad not to meet welwa today.
96 Abnab Components for you, esteemed employer! I could have lost a foot to a guar today, were it not for the strengthening spell that gave my leather boots strength like steel! Never forget to enchant from head to toe if you can afford it, my friend, and may these components go a long way towards that.
97 Abnab Most adventurers treat Dwemer facilities as natural features of the Tamrielic landscape. After all, they've always been there, and many remain unclaimed, full of traps and mechanized death as they are. But I am quietly staggered when I stop to fathom how such a vast and mighty people could simply vanish and leave so much behind.
98 Abnab My brother Ezdab perhaps had too much to drink last night, for he swore from Alik'r to Skyrim that he had formed a Shehai, a spirit sword, like the Sword Saints of old. I asked him how. He said, matter of factly, "Through sheer force of will." I had to threaten to exile him from the family before he agreed to wear a sword for today's excursion.
99 Abnab An angered guar makes sounds like a pair of tortured scamps inside a rolling barrel. Ezdab swears he does not know where it came from, but I was caught swordless as we made camp. I have never run so fast nor far in my life. There are more dangerous beasts that stalk Tamriel, but the gaping maw of a guar's mouth is a thing out of nightmare.
100 Abnab Let it never be said that a good sword never breaks. Today, I braced a one-of-a-kind, Yokudan-forged scimitar against a descending Dwemer door. It shattered in moments, but had I not offered it, I would have lost my brother and our scouting husky. Dwemer tombs and their damned secrets. May these components avail you.
101 Abnab Enclosed are your enchanting components, esteemed employer. I hope you find them useful.
102 Melina Cassel Thank you so much for allowing me to handle all your enchanting component needs. You will never have reason to regret or fear your arrangement with Melina Cassel. My base of operations is Castle Ravenwatch in the kingdom of Rivenspire, though I range far and wide to gather the best materials for your use. On that, you have my word.
103 Melina Cassel Patron. May these components find you well. Do not let the rumors and innuendos trouble you. House Ravenwatch, to whom I owe allegiance, is an ancient and honored house. It wields much respect and power in Rivenspire. Anything you may have heard to the contrary is most likely not true. And it should not affect our arrangement in the slightest.
104 Melina Cassel Not only am I an excellent purveyor of enchanting components, I am an accomplished enchanter in my own right. I am still a relative novice, but I grow more skilled every day. Never fear, however. I will never keep the choicest materials for my own use. That would be a conflict of interest. As you can see by this shipment, I share and share alike.
105 Melina Cassel Lady Melina Cassel of House Ravenwatch here! I apologize for the tardiness of this shipment, but circumstances beyond my control limit my component collection activities to the darkest hours of the night. I don't want to worry you, but I have a peculiar condition that requires I stay out of the sunshine. I do my best hunting at night, however.
106 Melina Cassel Ah, I love the night! The darkness is so peaceful, so serene. I don't see why people find it frightening. The night is not to be feared. It is to be enjoyed! Now, the things that wander around in the darkness are an entirely different matter, but we cannot allow a few hooligans to ruin the experience for the rest of us. Your shipment is enclosed.
107 Melina Cassel Melina Cassel again, writing to you in the darkest hours before the dawn. I hope this package of enchanting components reaches you in a timely manner. I continue to endeavor to make sure you rarely notice my peculiar affectation, though I guess I should refrain from mentioning it so often. In the meantime, enjoy these components.
108 Melina Cassel Have I told you about Estelle? She is one of the servants at Castle Ravenwatch. She does everything around the castle--she cooks, she cleans, she mends our cloaks. I hesitate to mention, but she also provides a service beyond the call of duty. I will not bore you with the details, but without her, life at the castle would be much more difficult.
109 Melina Cassel I suppose I should tell you something about life at the castle. I am one of the wards of Count Verandis Ravenwatch. I live here with Adusa and Gwendis, and they are my very best of friends! In addition to studying enchanting and providing components to patrons such as yourself, I learn to cope with "our special gifts," as the Count calls them.
110 Melina Cassel We also have a number of trusted and devoted servants. Estelle is one, as is Kalin, though he often travels with the Count. The castle and its grounds are extensive, and there are many chambers within its thick, stone walls. I love it here! But the Count has so many rules. Sometimes I think the rules hinder us, but I suppose the Count knows best.
111 Melina Cassel I was mentioning the rules we must follow here at Castle Ravenwatch. I'm certain they are similar to the instructions your elders set for you. We must not eat to indulgence. We must not kill our food. We must not hunt innocent blood. All rather standard fare. But the Count and Adusa are sticklers that we follow these rules to the letter.
112 Melina Cassel As I was saying. Rules. I believe they were created to be broken. Gwendis agrees with me. I'm sure you do, too. How can we strive for greatness if we can't leap over the boundaries that surround us? I say leap, my patron, leap! But don't let Adusa know. She refuses to break so much as an egg, let alone a rule. Your components are enclosed.
113 Melina Cassel Another evening of resource collection, another shipment of components. Thus, the cycle of patron and hireling continues. On my most recent outing, I happened upon an unusual sight--three happy scamps dancing merrily within a circle of glowing stones. I watched for a time, fascinated, when I noticed another figure in their midst.
114 Melina Cassel The figure that the scamps were dancing around was a young man, bound in thick ropes and gagged with a piece of ratty old cloth. He looked frightened. Not at all as happy and gay as the prancing scamps. I felt sorry for the prisoner, but I also wanted to throw off my clothes and run into the circle to dance with the scamps. Is that strange?
115 Melina Cassel No, patron. I didn't throw off my clothes and run naked into the glowing circle of stones. Just get that image right out of your head this very instant! Although I really wanted to get naked and dance, truth be told. Oh, very well! Imagine away. Here's your shipment of components.
116 Melina Cassel So there I was, fascinated by the prancing scamps and concerned about the captive young man in equal measure. It dawned on me that I was being influenced by some kind of charm or enchantment, and that piqued my interest even more. It was time to live up to the code of House Ravenwatch and take action. After I send you these components.
117 Melina Cassel It was a simple matter to startle the prancing scamps and send them scurrying into the darkness. Stepping into the glowing circle of rocks, however, was another matter entirely. As soon as my foot broke the border of the circle, the desire to start dancing once again rose inside me like lava rushing to erupt from the mouth of a bubbling volcano.
118 Melina Cassel It took an extreme effort not to succumb to the silent beat of the enchantment. I drew back my foot. Then, in a burst of inspiration, I kicked out and knocked over one of the glowing stones. The glow faded and the desire to dance popped like a soap bubble. I'm not sure I expected gratitude, but the fear in the captive's eyes seemed uncalled for.
119 Melina Cassel Turns out, the fear in the young man's eyes had nothing to do with me. Instead, it was directed toward the menacing figure sneaking up behind me. I barely dodged out of the way as the Daedra-worshipping cultist tried to swing his sword through the spot where my neck had been a moment before. But I haven't forgotten--your components are included.
120 Melina Cassel Dear patron, I won't bore you with the details of how I dealt with the Daedric cultist. Nor do I want to burden you with facts about me that would at best upset you and at worst make you see me in an unfavorable light. Suffice it to say, I subdued the villain and followed the Count's strictest rule: Never feed to excess--except on a villain.
121 Melina Cassel Now where was I? Oh, yes. The villain. I dispatched the cultist with relative ease and had a quick bite. (Fighting makes me peckish.) Unfortunately, my actions seemed to upset the captive young man, who recoiled from me. I must admit, I was expecting him to be a bit more grateful to me for rescuing him. Perhaps if I remove his bindings...
122 Melina Cassel I guess the old saying is true. Never eat on a first date. The captive I rescued from the cultist is the son of a lesser noble house. Lyam Fontbonne is tall, with dark eyes and a tuft of dark hair. He's also rude and ungrateful. And he had the audacity to call me a monster! If he thinks we're going to have a second date, he's probably mistaken!
123 Melina Cassel It took some doing, but I was able to calm Lyam down. I convinced him that his eyes were playing tricks on him. The stress of almost being sacrificed to a Daedric Prince and all. Of course I didn't bite the cultist! And I never sucked the blood from his neck! Now that that's behind us, I wonder if he has an escort for the High King's ball?
124 Melina Cassel What a wonderful evening! Lyam and I talked for hours on the walk back to Shornhelm. He really is quite charming when he isn't being sacrificed to Daedric Princes. He still seems a little shy around me, and I think I make him nervous, but I'm sure he's going to invite me to attend the High King's ball! Your latest components are enclosed.
125 Melina Cassel Oh, patron! What did I do wrong? It's been two days and I haven't heard a word from Lyam Fontbonne since we said good night on the steps of his family's home in Shornhelm. I saved him from scamps! We shared a moment! And now, nothing! I must be a terrible person! But never fear, I haven't shirked my duty. Your components are enclosed.
126 Melina Cassel Oh happy day! A messenger arrived at the castle today. He brought a letter from Lyam. He apologized for the delay and wants to see me! What should I wear? I need to find Gwendis! She's so much better at these sorts of things. I promise to tell you all about my meeting with Lyam. Next time.
127 Melina Cassel Gwendis is amazing. She was so helpful! She advised me all about what dress to wear, how to set my hair, all sorts of things to make my meeting with Lyam unfold as smoothly as possible. He still seemed nervous and a little shy, but he did eventually ask me to attend the High King's ball. I, of course, told him I'd think about it and let him know.
128 Melina Cassel Gwendis volunteered to respond to Lyam's invitation to accompany him to the High King's ball for me. She's such a good friend! She let him know that I would be both honored and delighted to attend the ball as his companion for the evening. Now all I have to do is wait patiently for the night of the ball. Arrgh! I don't do patiently very well.
129 Melina Cassel While waiting for the High King's ball, I decided I needed a distraction. A short trip into the wilds of Rivenspire to search out new components seemed like a good idea. I hadn't poked around the ruins of the Lorkrata Hills for a while, so that was as good a destination as any. I was immediately successful, as you can see from this shipment.
130 Melina Cassel I'm not as alone out here as I had thought. I know someone is watching me. The question is, is this mysterious observer benign or dangerous? Well, either way, they are about to discover that Lady Melina Cassel can be deadly when the need arises. In the meantime, enjoy these components.
131 Melina Cassel I slipped into the shadows and moved through the ruins, keeping to the darkness. I was certain that I was nearly invisible to my mysterious observer. In that way, I was able to approach his hiding spot without him noticing. He was so focused on scanning the ruins that he never suspected I was now right behind him. It was time to play with my prey.
132 Melina Cassel Interesting. The man who had been watching me in the Lorkrata ruins wasn't as clueless as I suspected. He was a hulking Nord who wore the armor of a Resolute of Stendarr. He moved as fast as a Wood Elf and was upon me in an instant, his weapon at the ready. I smiled and introduced myself. It was the polite thing to do before I ripped his face off.
133 Melina Cassel Have you heard of the Resolutes of Stendarr? They're a holier-than-you group of warriors, intent on hunting down and destroying anything they don't understand. The Resolute I met in Lorkrata called himself Jakothon Sacred-Oath. He was everything you think of and more when you hear the words "religious Nord." And, yes, he was here to kill me.
134 Melina Cassel Why does a Resolute of Stendarr want to kill Lady Melina Cassel? Well, that is the question. It was the first thing I asked him after he made his intentions known. "Because you are a foul, unholy, ugly creature," Jakothon replied. "Because you are a vampire!" What an ill-mannered brute! I am in no way ugly! As for vampire, well, he had me there.
135 Melina Cassel Does my true nature surprise you, patron? Does it disgust you? Fill you belly with terror and your bowels with dread? Really? If so, I'm disappointed in you. After all, I've served you faithfully and honored our agreement to the letter. I'm not a monster. Count Verandis says we're special. That we have a duty to those who don't possess our gifts.
136 Melina Cassel I'm not sure how it would have turned out, but Jakothon and I did not fight that day. While we were in the midst of exchanging harsh words and harsher insults, a pack of mindless bloodfiends emerged from the darkness behind the Resolute and fell upon him with savage gusto. With a sigh and despite our differences, I decided to save the Resolute.
137 Melina Cassel I must say, Jakothon Sacred-Oath certainly knows how to dispatch bloodfiends. Once I intervened and gave him a chance to get his bearings, he took down the rest of the bloodfiends with only a modicum of help from me. He didn't thank me. He didn't decide to be my friend. All he said was, "I'll be watching," and he turned and walked away.
138 Melina Cassel Since I'm still employed, I'll assume that my being a vampire doesn't concern you--at least not enough to stop receiving enchanting components from me. If you're interested, I'll tell you more about life in House Ravenwatch and how we use our special gifts. For now, please accept these materials as a sort of thank you for your ... understanding.
139 Melina Cassel It's me again, Melina Cassel. I'm an enchanter-in-training, a supplier of enchanting materials, and one thing more. I'm a vampire. I live by the same code as all members of House Ravenwatch, a code put in place and enforced by Count Verandis. Our primary goal is to do good works, to use our special gifts to help in any way we can.
140 Melina Cassel The rest of our code involves such high concepts as honor and vigilance, noble spirit and restraint. We only feed from willing volunteers, and never to excess. The only exception to that rule is when we encounter criminals and evil cultists. In those cases, we can give the monsters within us full rein. Your components are enclosed.
141 Melina Cassel Now that you know the particulars of my unique existence, let's get back to the more mundane aspects of my life. The night of the High King's ball is fast approaching, and I have a list of preparations as long as my arm to deal with. That means I need assistance. That means I need Gwendis! She really is an expert at these kinds of affairs.
142 Melina Cassel The High King's ball is almost upon us and I still have a hundred-and-one tasks to do. I have to have my hair set and my make-up done. And I need a gown. And a bouquet of the most beautiful flowers in the land. Gwendis says she's working on everything, but I'm starting to become nervous. I want to make a good impression when Lyam comes to call.
143 Melina Cassel Gwendis did it again! She brought six women into the castle and four hours later my hair is perfect, my make-up is exquisite, my gown is gorgeous, and I feel beautiful! Now all I have to do is not move for the next six hours until Lyam arrives to take me to the ball. But I haven't shirked my responsibilities, patron! Your components are enclosed.
144 Melina Cassel Be still my beating heart! Lyam arrived at our door and he looked simply smashing! (And, yes, contrary to popular belief, our hearts beat quite well, thank you.) How handsome the scion of the Fontbonne family looked in his finery! And, I'm pleased to say, he seemed as impressed by my appearance as I was by his. He took my hand and we were off.
145 Melina Cassel Have you ever attended the High King's ball, patron? What a marvelous production! The music, the food, the entertainers! We danced the night away and enjoyed each other's company. My only regret is that the party eventually came to an end. That's the trouble with the night. It never lasts as long as you want it to. Use these new materials wisely.
146 Melina Cassel Dawn approached as Lyam walked me to the doors of Castle Ravenwatch. I could sense Gwendis watching from the shadows, but she never revealed herself. Lyam told me how much he enjoyed the evening. We kissed. I wanted it to go on forever. But the sun was rising. Reluctantly, we parted. Now I'm happy and sad at the same time. Isn't that strange?
147 Melina Cassel Do you think it's too soon to see Lyam again? Would it be too forward of me to call upon him? To throw myself upon him and ravish him with sweet kisses? I feel like a school-girl and it feels wonderful! Gwendis claims all the credit, but I think my wit, charm, and beauty had something to do with Lyam's reaction. But here are more components.
148 Melina Cassel I couldn't stand being cooped up in the castle for another moment, so I grabbed my pack and headed out to acquire more enchanting components for my clients. It was either that or go mad waiting for word to arrive from Lyam. His silence can be infuriating at times! Not a note since the ball! But my work provides a distraction--for the most part.
149 Melina Cassel A few days away from the castle and worrying about Lyam Fontbonne has done me a world of good. I even got to perform a community service (as the Ravenwatch code commands of us) when I saved a couple of travelers from bandits along the road to Shornhelm. I'm heading home now. And there better be something from Lyam waiting for me when I get there!
150 Melina Cassel Oh joyous day! There was something from Lyam waiting when I returned to the castle. He filled our great hall with the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen! It was like all the colors of the rainbow exploded inside the castle. I guess I did make an impression! But where is everyone? Why is the castle empty? What happened while I was gone?
151 Melina Cassel Other than the flowers from Lyam, Castle Ravenwatch is deserted. Gwendis, Adusa, even the servants have disappeared without leaving so much as a note to tell me where they've gone to. I was especially happy when I arrived to find the flowers, but now I'm concerned about my friends and family. I'm growing irritated with these reversals of emotions.
152 Melina Cassel I'm alone in the castle. Gwendis and Adusa are missing. The servants are gone. Even fair Estelle, who usually offers me my evening meal, is nowhere to be found. I'm hungry! And I'm worried about the household, as well. Why couldn't I have one day to revel in Lyam's loving gesture? Your materials are enclosed.
153 Melina Cassel Still no word from Gwendis or Adusa. Not even a message from any of our servants. I should be basking in the scent of the beautiful flowers that Lyam sent me after the ball, but instead I'm pacing back and forth and imagining all kinds of horrible fates that may have befallen my family. Well, the time to wait is over. I need to do something!
154 Melina Cassel I took another look around the castle before striking out blindly and I discovered something disturbing hiding behind one of the baskets of flowers. It was a brief note from the Resolute of Stendarr. "Your prisoners shall be free," the note said. It was signed "Jakothon Sacred-Oath." The fool! Those are our household servants, not our prisoners!
155 Melina Cassel I need to reach Jakothon and the servants before Gwendis and Adusa find them, otherwise House Ravenwatch might well wind up at war with the Resolutes of Stendarr. I really don't need this trouble right now, patron. Things were going so well before that Nord started following me around. Oh, and enjoy the new materials I've enclosed.
156 Melina Cassel If I were a hulking Nord who thought all vampires were fiends and practiced a religion of intolerance and piety, where would I hide? The cathedral in Shornhelm? A Stendarr shrine in the wilderness? Maybe in a cave rumored to be haunted by evil spirits that's actually home to a pack of domesticated wolves? How should I know? I'm not a Nord!
157 Melina Cassel I decided to take a chance and check out some of the caves near Castle Ravenwatch to see if Jakothon was using any of them as a lair. I must say, the hunger pangs are beginning to cloud my judgment, but I won't let a skipped meal or three get the better of me. I just hope I find him and the servants before Adusa does.
158 Melina Cassel Have I told you about Adusa-daro? She's the bravest Khajiit I know, always undertaking missions for House Ravenwatch. If she was around when Resolute Jakothon took our servants captive, she would have torn the hulking Nord's arms from their sockets. Since there weren't any extra limbs lying around, I assume she was away when Jakothon came by.
159 Melina Cassel I was about to charge into the third cave in the hills around Castle Ravenwatch when Gwendis emerged from the shadows and stopped me. "There's a Resolute of Stendarr in there," she hissed quietly. "I know," I whispered back, "Jakothon Sacred-Oath." Gwendis quickly explained that she and Adusa were away when the Resolute "freed" our servants.
160 Melina Cassel "We should wait for Adusa to return," Gwendis cautioned as we watched the cave where the Resolute had taken refuge. I refused. Not only was I hungry, I was angry that Jakothon thought our beloved servants were prisoners in our castle. And his solution was to make our servants prisoners in his cave? I couldn't allow this situation to continue.
161 Melina Cassel Gwendis reluctantly agreed to wait as I approached Jakothon's cave. The Resolute emerged, his mighty warhammer held firmly in hand. "I just want to talk," I told him. He said he had freed my prisoners. "Did they tell you they were captives?" I asked. "We pay them, house them, treat them like part of the family. They're your captives, not ours."
162 Melina Cassel "You've taken our household servants captive, Jakothon, and I've come to set them free," I said to the Resolute of Stendarr who considered me nothing more than a monster. At least, I thought he did. He gave out a tremendous sigh and lowered his weapon. "Your servants have been very cross with me, my lady. I apologize for my actions this day."
163 Melina Cassel I couldn't believe my ears! The Resolute actually apologized. To me! Jakothon said he had never encountered monsters such as the Ravenwatches before and didn't know how to deal with us. "Your servants have spoken very highly of you and your house," he added. "I don't understand it, but it seems I was wrong about you."
164 Melina Cassel Gwendis led the servants back to the castle. I was about to follow when Jakothon cleared his throat. "My lady," he began hesitantly, "if it's all right with you, I'd like to call upon you in the future. In an un-professional capacity, of course." I do believe the Resolute wants to court me! My life just gets more interesting every day.
165 Melina Cassel I was hungry. I was tired. So I did the only reasonable thing I could think of when a Nord who's also a Resolute of Stendarr asked if he could call upon me sometime. I said I'd be delighted. I felt guilty a moment later, but it's not like Lyam has asked for my hand in marriage or anything. I kissed Jakothon on the cheek and ran back to the castle.
166 Melina Cassel Dear patron, how are things in your part of the world? Things here at Castle Ravenwatch have returned to normal. The servants are safe and we're feeding regularly again. Adusa has returned from another one of her secret missions. And I'm back to practicing my enchanting. And collecting components. Here are some materials for you.
167 Melina Cassel Lady Melina Cassel, at your service! I've undertaken another trip to enhance my skills and gather components for my clients. This time I'm traveling to Sentinel, deep in the heart of Alik'r, to study with the fabled enchanter, Veroine Gimbert. I met her once in Daggerfall, and she indicated that she remembered me. I wonder what she can teach me?
168 Melina Cassel I'm writing from on board the High King's Gold, a worthy sea vessel, on my way to the city of Sentinel. My servant Estelle accompanies me, providing company and sustenance as necessary on this long journey. I can't wait to study with Veroine Gimbert. I understand she can do things with runes and glyphs that I've never even dreamed about!
169 Melina Cassel Dear patron, it seems we're under attack! The High King's Gold is a superior sailing ship, but there are three vessels flying pirate flags bearing down on us. I can see the ballistae pointing in our direction. I've never participated in a naval battle, but I would have hoped for more even odds for my first such experience.
170 Melina Cassel I feel helpless as the ballistae bolts crash into the sea around us and arcane fire flies from the fingers of mages on both sides. I guess if one of the enemy vessels gets close enough, I can employ my unique gifts against them. In the meantime, all I can do is stand back and watch what happens. With luck, these components will still reach you.
171 Melina Cassel It appears that the pirate vessels would rather capture our ship than sink it. One of their vessels has pulled up alongside us and has begun the boarding process. I hate to reveal my true nature in such a public fashion, especially this far at sea, but I see no other option. I won't allow the pirates to gain control of the High King's Gold.
172 Melina Cassel As I prepared to get all unladylike on the enemy attempting to board our vessel, a fleet of Daggerfall warships emerged from the fog to our west and sailed toward us. For a moment, I thought the pirates were going to stay and fight, but then we heard the shouted orders. "Disengage!" someone commanded. "Fall back!" shouted another.
173 Melina Cassel The pirate ships sailed off, most likely disappointed that the treasures of the High King's Gold wasn't going to fall into their hands this day. Truth be told, I was disappointed as well. I was actually looking forward to bashing a few pirate heads together as they tried to board our vessel. Oh, well. On to Sentinel. New materials included.
174 Melina Cassel Sentinel is a desert jewel on the western shores of Alik'r. The spires and domes of the city are a welcome sight as the High King's Gold approaches the harbor. Even Estelle seems thrilled about exploring a new location, and she's still recovering from the excitement of the sea journey and the pirate battle. I hope Veroine is ready for us.
175 Melina Cassel Veroine Gimbert is amazing! First, she recognized me for what I am the instant I stepped into her shop. Second, she accepted my condition and then moved onto the reason I had traveled all this way. She started to teach me enchanting techniques I had never been exposed to before. We spent hours as teacher and student. What a great experience!
176 Melina Cassel Patron, it's me again, Melina Cassel. This newest shipment contains components I collected while in the company of the famed enchanter, Veroine Gimbert. She's taught me so much in the time I've been here! But, alas, all good things must come to an end. I've booked passage on a ship heading for Northpoint and we sail on the morrow.
177 Melina Cassel Estelle and I have booked passage on the Broken Fin and should be back in Rivenspire in a few days. I plan to use the relative quiet of the sea voyage to review my notes and commit all of Veroine's lessons to memory. Unless the pirates attack us again. Then I plan to reveal my darker side to the rabble in the most direct manner possible.
178 Melina Cassel Alas, patron, our return voyage was uneventful. Not a sign of a pirate, not a storm cloud in the sky. Not even an angry wave to rock the ship as it sliced through the water. I admit it, I was a little disappointed. And bored. I was so very, very bored. But we're home again. I'm sure something exciting is happening around Castle Ravenwatch.
179 Melina Cassel I was wrong. Nothing interesting is happening at Castle Ravenwatch either. Perhaps I've had all the adventures that were allotted to me. Perhaps I've experienced all of the excitement that I was entitled to. Perhaps the rest of my days will be filled with sadness and regret as boredom overcomes me. Your newest materials are enclosed.
180 Melina Cassel Oh, patron, my days are so ... similar! I awaken. I draw sustenance from a servant. I practice enchantments. I collect components. I ship them off. Then I do the same thing all over again! You must think me an ungrateful debutante, living a life of luxury in a castle while complaining about minutia. But it's more than that! I feel unfulfilled.
181 Melina Cassel It's me. Melina Cassel. The whining brat who wishes for excitement and adventure. You must find me dreadful! I wish it weren't so, but it's how I feel. And there doesn't seem to be anything I can do to change it. Oh. What's this? A letter! Perhaps it's from Lyam. An invitation to another ball? That would be spectacular! But it has a strange seal.
182 Melina Cassel Remember that strange seal on the mysterious letter I received? Turns out it was the mark of the Resolutes of Stendarr, pressed into a circle of silvery wax. Was it a letter from Jakothon Sacred-Oath? I never did find out how a Nord wound up as a Resolute. Perhaps I'll ask him the next time I see him--provided he isn't trying to kill me.
183 Melina Cassel Wait a moment. Didn't Jakothon ask if he could call upon me? Yes, I believe he did. Is that what's in this sealed envelope? An invitation from a Resolute of Stendarr requesting a romantic meeting with a vampire? Well, I was hoping for some excitement. I guess I won't know for sure until I read the letter. In the meantime, here are your materials.
184 Melina Cassel The seal seemed to spark with arcane light as I broke it and drew forth the folded parchment. It was indeed a letter from Jakothon, but the Resolute wasn't seeking a romantic rendezvous. He apparently needs my help. He requests that I meet him outside the Crestshade Mine at an hour past sundown tomorrow evening. Whatever shall I wear?
185 Melina Cassel I decided to accept Jakothon's invitation and meet him at the Crestshade Mine. He was rather vague about the type of help he required, so I decided to dress for battle. Just in case. There's nothing like an adventure to clear away the cobwebs of boredom! Perhaps I should reconsider my career choice. Maybe the adventurer's life is more to my taste.
186 Melina Cassel I'm here, outside the Crestshade Mine, and there's no sign of Jakothon the Resolute. I'd say it isn't like him to be late, but I really don't know the man very well. Wouldn't you imagine that someone who calls himself a Resolute would be punctual? You see my point. I'll wait a bit longer. Just to be polite. Here are more materials for your use.
187 Melina Cassel A tall, gaunt man in flowing robes emerged from the mine and approached me. "You must be Lady Melina Cassel of House Ravenwatch," he said with a smooth yet cheerless smile. "Allow me to introduce myself. I am Mazular al-Abec, and I am in need of an enchanter." If this rings alarm bells for you, patron, Imagine the noise resounding in my head!
188 Melina Cassel So Mazular al-Abec needs an enchanter. That explained a lot but told me nothing. Where was Jakothon Sacred-Oath? Had he called me here to help Mazular or is there something more sinister going on here? I had to bide my time until I had more information, so I summoned up my most charming smile and asked, "So what can I do for you, good sir?"
189 Melina Cassel Mazular al-Abec asked me if I had ever heard of the theoretical quartonic runestone. "The Celerity runestone?" I blurted out. "Ah, so you do know it," Mazular said. "Then perhaps you can help me extract the rune from its housing." I imagine at this point you might be confused, patron, as I don't know the extent of your enchanting training.
190 Melina Cassel Camilonwe of Lillandril asserted that it was impossible for there to be only three types of runestones. He theorized the existence of a quartonic runestone, which he named the Celerity rune. He spent the last two hundred years of his life searching for Celerity, but he never found it. Could this Mazular al-Abec really have discovered one?
191 Melina Cassel I agreed to help Mazular, provided he let me talk to Jakothon Sacred-Oath. "The Resolute of Stendarr?" he laughed. "Do you know that the fool actually tried to kill me?" That was a troubling revelation. It meant that Mazular was a vampire, werewolf, or other creature that preyed on mortals. And probably not a benevolent one. Not like me.
192 Melina Cassel Mazular had his followers bring Jakothon out so I could see him. He had been beaten, and he was bound up and blindfolded, but he appeared to be mostly intact. When he sensed my proximity, Jakothon called out, "Don't trust the Redguard, my lady!" This earned the Resolute another strike across the head. "I'll help you, Mazular," I proclaimed.
193 Melina Cassel It's a wise person who knows when to cooperate. Either that, or a weak one. But I couldn't bring myself to see Jakothon hurt any further by Mazular and his thugs. I had no idea who this Redguard was or why he contacted me, but I knew I was the only one who could save Jakothon. I just had to successfully extract a theoretical rune from its housing.
194 Melina Cassel Mazular directed me to a wagon and pulled away the tarp that covered it, revealing a mound of fresh earth. In the mound was a runestone, a rune still embedded within its oddly shaped surface. "Free the Celerity rune from its housing and you and the Resolute can go free," Mazular said. "After you create a specific glyph for me, of course."
195 Melina Cassel I studied the strange runestone for a few long moments. I didn't know if this was the legendary Celerity rune, but it certainly wasn't any of the usual Potency, Aspect, and Essence runes I normally deal in. I didn't know what purpose Mazular had for the rune, but I sensed that if I let him obtain it terrible things would occur.
196 Melina Cassel Here are some new components, patron. Now let me tell you what happened with Mazular and the strange runestone. I took out my rune extracting tools and prepared to begin working on the stone. At least, I hoped that's what it looked like. I only had one chance at this, and all would be lost if Mazular realized what I was actually planning to do.
197 Melina Cassel Instead of carefully placing the tip of my blade at the corner of the exposed rune, I drove the blade into the center of the stone with all my vampiric might. The stone cracked with a surprisingly sharp sound, immediately alerting Mazular to my treachery. Jakothon tried to break his bonds as Mazular shouted, "You will die for that, Breton wench!"
198 Melina Cassel As I leapt back and prepared to defend myself, I watched as Mazular began to cast magic--dark magic. Skeletal warriors began to emerge from the ground, ready to do the Redguard's bidding. But do you know what the best thing about being a member of House Ravenwatch is? Help is never far from my side--help in the form of Adusa-daro and Gwendis!
199 Melina Cassel Three vampires trained in the art of war make for devastating opponents, as Mazular al-Abec discovered that night near the Crestshade Mine. It didn't get any easier for him once I freed Jakothon Sacred-Oath and the Resolute of Stendarr joined the battle. In short order, his followers were dead and his skeletons were scattered bones.
200 Melina Cassel Have I ever mentioned how much I hate users of dark magic? They always have a contingency plan for any situation. I guess you realize what that means. Mazular escaped. But at least he didn't get the rune he was seeking--whatever it was. Once again House Ravenwatch has saved the day. It's what we do.
201 Velothril Sisters Greetings, new patron! We at Velothril Sisters have purchased your contract from Melina Cassel. It is our aim to provide you with the same outstanding level of service. Though we have included our first delivery, we sent our employee Valgus into the field to recover material which will supplement your enchanting.
202 Valgus the Barrow-breaker Valgus the Barrow-breaker, at your service. It is my goal to provide you a wide variety of quality enchanting material, pulled straight from the resting places of those who no longer need it. Soon I travel to recover material from an untouched Ayleid ruin. Until then, enjoy something from my private stock.
203 Valgus the Barrow-breaker Valgus again. Though I do provide enchanting material, I assure you it is only ever from the long-dead and the much-hated, such as Ayleid flesh-warpers and followers of the dragon-priests. If they passed in this era, I leave them be. (Worm Cultists are an exception. But I do wash the blood off.)
204 Valgus the Barrow-breaker I, Valgus, have arrived at a remote Ayleid ruin located by the Velothril Sisters and scouted by a previous employee. I am fully prepared for whatever dangers may lurk within, be they ghost, creature, or bandit. Tomorrow I will send you the first of many deliveries culled from the ruin. I look forward to sharing what I pull from within!
205 Velothril Sisters With great regret, we at Velothril Sisters must inform you of the demise of our employee, Valgus. Please accept this delivery from our reserve. We have assigned our employee Gaereleth to handle your account from this point forward. We offer our apologies for this inconvenience.
206 Gaereleth Surefoot Hail! I'm Gaereleth Surefoot, a rune diver from Valenwood. The Velothril Sisters reassigned me, so it's good to be working for you. I understand there was an issue with your previous hireling, something about a failure to deliver? Fear not, I'm told there's an untouched Ayleid ruin ripe for the picking. I'll have those runestones to you shortly!
207 Gaereleth Surefoot Gaereleth here. Rune diving is a lost art, but it requires a staunch commitment to the Green Pact. You travel along the graht-oak boughs at night. When you spot a runestone glimmer, you drop down by vine, pry it out, and ascend, all without touching the ground. The Green Pact does many things well, but driving away spirits isn't one of them.
208 Gaereleth Surefoot It's Gaereleth. My instructions were to enter an untouched Ayleid ruin scouted out by a previous employee. I don't have much to go on regarding the interior, but I've brought plenty of vines and sap glue. Fasten enough of them to the ceiling and I'll be able to travel above the empty heads of any skeletal guardians. Rune diving at its best!
209 Velothril Sisters With great regret, we at Velothril Sisters inform you of the demise of our employee, Gaereleth. Please accept this complimentary delivery from our reserve. Due to the recent irregularities in your service, we have assigned our most trusted employee Sixul to your account. Again, we offer our profound apologies for this inconvenience.
210 Sixul the Thorough I greet you, patron. My compatriots call me Sixul the Thorough. Velothril Sisters recalled me from Black Marsh to assign me as your hireling. They weren't particular regarding the circumstances, but said they required someone with my particular skills to manage your contract. And a promotion. Call me Sixul the Exceptionally Thorough, if you wish.
211 Sixul the Thorough It is Sixul. According to my instructions, my first task is to rendezvous at an Ayleid ruin. It was apparently discovered by a former employee, of whom Velothril Sisters has provided no details. The entire matter seems ill-advised so I shall research the ruin before setting out. Please, accept this delivery from my private stock.
212 Sixul the Thorough Sixul again. I plan to seek out the local Mages Guild for additional information regarding the Ayleid ruin. I am not a member myself. All they seem to care about these days is locating books that presumably careless Mages Guild members left in remote places. I have no desire to become a glorified librarian's apprentice to forgetful magicians.
213 Sixul the Thorough A minor difficulty. I presented myself to the local Mages Guild as Sixul the Exceptionally Thorough. When I said I worked for Velothril Sisters, the magister gained the same look on her face as most dryskins do when I explain Argonian mating rituals. I was escorted from the premises and told not to return. Of course, I will ignore this suggestion.
214 Sixul the Thorough I have a plan to gain access to the Mages Guild. I purchased a robe to conceal my distinctive scale patterns and elegant crest. I will return and present myself as Hunts-For-Books, an initiate from Black Marsh. (Without practice, most dryskins have difficulty distinguishing unique Argonian voices. I take no offense. Truly, I prefer the anonymity.)
215 Sixul the Thorough My plan to access the Mages Guild went swimmingly. This is an Argonian joke. Did you enjoy my attempt at levity? No matter. I found a promising book on Ayleid ruins. More promising, there is a lock on the book. Most promising was the note stating it should not be sold to a Velothril Sisters employee. In accordance with their wishes, I borrowed it.
216 Sixul the Thorough The Mages Guild realized their locked book on Ayleid ruins went missing. I am technically fleeing. Please accept this hastily prepared delivery.
217 Sixul the Thorough When pursued by hostile creatures in Black Marsh, one hides in the depths of the swamps. Yet I am not currently in Black Marsh, and the hostile creature pursuing me is an irate Mages Guild magister, so I went where she was unlikely to follow: the foulest sewer in town. I have emerged briefly to send your delivery. I suggest you wash the contents.
218 Sixul the Thorough The magister caught my scent. Because I was in the sewer, you see? No matter. I returned to the sewer, where I stumbled upon a loose collection of people. I am assured they are fine, upstanding citizens who specialize in an alternative form of shipping. In fact, one was willing to deliver your goods. (But please inform me if anything is missing.)
219 Sixul the Thorough It is not just alternative shipment I found available in this sewer refuge. It seems there are freelance locksmiths as well, so I availed myself of one such entrepreneur. He will open the locked book I borrowed from the Mages Guild, regarding the Ayleid ruin. Until then, please accept additional deliveries from my private stock.
220 Sixul the Thorough I confess to some amount of confusion. The Mages Guild book, the one they explicitly wished to keep from anyone connected with Velothril Sisters, has absolutely no mention of the Ayleid ruin where Velothril Sisters directed me. The book was written long after the Ayleids disappeared from Tamriel. But how does an entire Ayleid ruin disappear?
221 Sixul the Thorough Please accept this hasty delivery. It seems I am being hunted! The magister has placed a bounty on me for borrowing an ultimately useless Mages Guild book. I ask your pardon for wrapping the delivery in my own wanted posters, but I had already torn down so many of them, and I am not the kind of person to let things go to waste.
222 Sixul the Thorough In the sewers, it seems you can truly find gold amidst the muck. The alternative shipper who has steadfastly delivered your packages asked after my particular inconvenience. When I explained my troubles with the Mages Guild, my new ally proposed a different sort of shipment out of town: me! Soon I shall be free to pursue my original task.
223 Sixul the Thorough If you have never hidden within a bale of hay on a moving cart, allow me to share my thoughts. First, it is extremely uncomfortable. The hay above you leaves no cushion against the cart's juddering on unstable roads. Next, hay is stiff and painful--enough to scratch the thickest scales. Finally, it's worth it if the trip ends with your freedom.
224 Sixul the Thorough Today I bid a fond farewell to my alternative shipping friend. While consulting the temporarily borrowed Mages Guild book, I found mention of a separate Ayleid ruin within a day's journey. Perhaps it can shed light on the original Ayleid ruin the Velothril Sisters assigned me to investigate. Shed light, as in Welkynd stones, you see? No matter.
225 Sixul the Thorough I found the second Ayleid ruin near a small river. (I will refer to it as the River Ruin so it is not confused with the first, missing ruin. Ah, the Missing Ruin! It names itself.) Unfortunately, I was unable to enter the River Ruin. There are nearly a dozen individuals encamped within. All well-armed. Tomorrow, I will seek to learn who they are.
226 Sixul the Thorough The individuals camped in the River Ruin are most certainly bandits. They seem quite complacent and carry open bottles of wine more often than weapons, which means they recently found their way into a large amount of gold. In such a state of mind, it should be no trouble to slip past them and into the River Ruin.
227 Sixul the Thorough I have been seized by the River Ruin bandits. They were quite alert for complacent drunks. When I realized none of them can read, I convinced them this delivery is a hostage request sent to my benefactor. Have no fear, I am called Sixul the Exceptionally Resourceful for a reason. I will soon figure a way out of this unfavorable situation.
228 Sixul the Thorough The bandits who captured me have agreed to pass this along as another ransom request to a second imaginary benefactor, should the first fail to provide payment. Greed can be a useful motivator. The prospect of free gold without the need to do bandit work has intrigued them. Incidentally, please note how committed I am to completing my deliveries.
229 Sixul the Thorough The bandits don't consider me a threat, so I am free to wander the River Ruin. I found five etched panels which clearly depict Ayleid ruins from the Mages Guild book. A sixth panel had been scored clean, with the exception of a stylized Ayleidoon word. I took an etching for later. (Assuming this third imaginary ransom request reaches you.)
230 Sixul the Thorough Last night, as I pretended to sleep, someone placed a cloak over my head and a dagger at my back. I was told to keep quiet and move quickly, which was rather difficult in the dark. Yet somehow, we departed the River Ruin without alerting the bandits. It seems she is a passing adventurer who noticed my predicament. I am saved!
231 Sixul the Thorough I am not saved. The adventurer is actually a bounty hunter, looking for me. I believe she was hired by the Mages Guild, but she has not been forthcoming. I admit to some surprise when she allowed this delivery, provided she read the message I sent along with it. Though I am not saved, I do appear safe. For the moment.
232 Sixul the Thorough Today the bounty hunter interrogated me regarding the Missing Ruin. She primarily asked me to retrace my footsteps. I thought it strange she didn't react when I showed her the borrowed Mages Guild book. She plans to send a letter to her masters, and has graciously agreed to pass along this delivery to you.
233 Sixul the Thorough The bounty hunter works for Velothril Sisters! She was hired to track me down if I had not entered the Missing Ruin by a certain date. Now, she is to remain in my company until I successfully retrieve the enchanting material. A bodyguard, of sorts. A bounty guard, you see? No matter. (The phrase made her curl her lip at me.)
234 Sixul the Thorough I finally learned my bounty guard's name is Eron Salt. It took much questioning on my part for her to even share that. She is not what I would call a converastionalist, especially about herself. Before her arrival I traveled alone. If she doesn't care to speak, I shall continue to travel effectively alone. She'll have to get used to my humming.
235 Sixul the Thorough Having learned all I can from the River Ruin, my next step is to translate the Ayleidoon word found within. Perhaps it can reveal vital information about the Missing Ruin. I certainly hope so, as my enchanting materials are rapidly dwindling. Have no fear, I will find an alternate source if needed. A contract is binding, after all.
236 Sixul the Thorough I fought a troll! That is to say, Eron Salt fought the troll while I drank a potion of invisibility and called out its weak spots. It was surprisingly effective, and she seems to look at me in a new light. Just this morning, her nod was respectful rather than sarcastic. Now we hunt for the troll's lair.
237 Sixul the Thorough Upon investigation, I am not at all surprised the troll attacked Eron Salt and myself. Within its lair were hundreds of smashed potion bottles and various magical accoutrements. It seems this troll had a taste for the enchanted! Thankfully, there were enough materials recovered from the detritus to restore my stock. Don't mind the troll fur.
238 Sixul the Thorough Arrived in a small village today. The locals were delighted to learn we'd killed the troll that has been eating the traveling peddlers. They informed us of a local mage who would be most appreciative to learn of this, for it seems his orders have gone unfulfilled. Tomorrow we set out for his home. Perhaps he knows Ayleidoon?
239 Sixul the Thorough Davamin, the mage who lives in the troll-harassed village, was skeptical when I introduced myself as an employee of Velothril Sisters. Though he couldn't place the name, he was certain my employers had a poor reputation. (He put this more rudely than I describe.) Eron Salt suggested his body forcefully house the entirety of her boot. (As did she.)
240 Sixul the Thorough I mollified the prickly mage Davamin, despite Eron Salt's protestations. I suggested she camp outside the village while I plied Davamin with sweet talk. When that failed, I tried his sweet tooth. I'd noticed the various candies scattered about his laboratory, so gifting him with a particularly delicious Black Marsh slug taffy secured a meeting.
241 Sixul the Thorough According to Davamin, the lettering I sketched while amidst my bandit captives is indeed an Ayleidoon word. The letters form the word Hecul and roughly translate to outcast. The Missing Ruin is really the Outcast Ruin? The Ayleid have a harsh reputation. What could possibly have caused them to erase their own from their records?
242 Sixul the Thorough Despite my offer of monthly taffy delivery, Davamin could provide no further information on Hecul, the Outcast Ruin. He did write a letter of introduction to Prior Velan, whose clerk's mark graced the book on Ayleid ruins I long ago borrowed from the Mages Guild. If he made the manuscript's copy, he may have access to the original.
243 Sixul the Thorough After departing Davamin's village, Eron Salt spoke more angry words about the mage than I've heard her say since we met. Most of them are filthier than the gutters of Windhelm, but 'I'll make a cravat from his windpipe' was particularly inspired. Then he would be tongue-tied, you see? Or perhaps twisting in the wind? No matter.
244 Sixul the Thorough We arrived at the priory. Upon reading Davamin's letter of introduction, Prior Velan went a particularly ashen shade of gray. When I asked what he knew of the Outcast Ruin, he shouted 'Speak not its name!' and bolted from his own office. He made signs to ward off evil as he fled. What does one do when one's host flees the room? (I finished my tea.)
245 Sixul the Thorough Prior Velan refuses to speak with us. The brothers at the priory have gently but firmly requested we depart, and Eron Salt wants nothing more than to get moving. She thinks priests are bad luck, as they're always near the dying. When I suggested they best know how to care for them, she threatened to tongue-tie me. I did not press the issue.
246 Sixul the Thorough I suspect I am riding a stolen horse. Eron Salt woke me before dawn, insisting I get on a piebald palomino I remember from the priory. The pommel had a stylized 'Prior Velan' sewn into the leather. When I informed my erstwhile companion, she scraped the stitching off and said I was mistaken. I find it best to agree when dealing with bounty hunters.
247 Sixul the Thorough At great haste, and with the aid of the rarely talkative and always scowling Eron Salt, I returned to the Outcast Ruin. Velothril Sisters is contractually obligated to recover the enchanting material within nine weeks, and tomorrow is the last day. I would prefer more time to prepare, of course. Finding more questions than answers isn't reassuring.
248 Sixul the Thorough Today I enter Hecul, the Outcast Ruin. I will fulfill the letter of my contract, which is to recover one crate of rare enchanting material. I have potions at hand and convinced Eron Salt to lend me her dagger, which bears its own enchantment. I am Sixul the Thorough, and I have done everything I can to succeed on your behalf. Abavarlor.
249 Velothril Sisters We at Velothril Sisters were disheartened to learn of the demise of our employee, Sixul. We hope this complimentary delivery can allay the inconvenience. We are currently reviewing the most capable employee to continue with your account. Until then, we leave you in the capable hands of Valyne Hlan, the procurer who stocks our personal reserves.
250 Valyne Hlan This is Valyne Hlan with Velothril Sisters. Formerly with Velothril Sisters. The enclosed delivery was one of theirs. I will explain shortly, but for now I must escape the city.
251 Valyne Hlan I'm safe. May the Three shelter me from the retribution of Velothril Sisters. Their purses are deep and their tolerance for disloyalty is minimal. It is madness for me to cross them. Yet I cannot allow them to feed another colleague to that accursed Ayleid ruin!
252 Valyne Hlan Before proceeding, I must be clear where we stand. Though I departed from Velothril Sisters with much haste, and I did so with a large amount of enchanting material, it was all earmarked for you, an existing client. As long as your planned deliveries continue, I am doing nothing illegal. (Which is what I'll tell the Guard, should they arrest me.)
253 Valyne Hlan I must keep off the roads. Did you know Velothril Sisters pays dozens of innkeepers a fee to report on the movements of their employees? It's true, I've seen the reports. Why does a middling procurement business need to spy on its own people? How can they afford to do so?
254 Valyne Hlan I arrived at a village with little trust for outsiders. They've grown used to my visits through the years. I wouldn't say they trust me, but they will keep me hidden for a handful of gold. Also, they make a delicious bean curd. I can't expose the darkness beneath the surface of Velothril Sisters on an empty stomach.
255 Valyne Hlan I owe you an explanation, along with your latest shipment. I worked as a Velothril Sisters procurer for eight years. Though they deliver enchanting material for those such as yourself, the contracts fund their true interests: acquiring dangerous relics from the far corners of Tamriel. For what purpose? I don't know. But it can't be a good one.
256 Valyne Hlan Velothril Sisters have no real enemies, but in their hunt for forbidden relics they certainly haven't made friends. Their fixation on Hecul, the Outcast (or Missing) Ruin is baffling. My best hope is to find someone who holds Velothril Sisters in low esteem and work to expose them. And pray to the Three, of course. That goes without saying.
257 Valyne Hlan An armed woman arrived in the village, asking about me. The gold she offered for information was less than what I paid the villagers for silence, so for now I'm safe. It must be one of the bounty hunters Velothril Sisters keeps on retainer. At least it isn't Eron Salt. I hear that woman is relentless.
258 Valyne Hlan The bounty hunter was, in fact, Eron Salt. She'll soon return with enough gold to bribe the villagers. If I'm to remain a free woman, I must flee. Fear not, the truth is on my side!
259 Valyne Hlan The truth may be on my side, but the weather is certanly [sic] not. The rains should throw Eron Salt off my trail. I hope.
260 Valyne Hlan I stumbled across a Nereid today, amidst the rain. I don't know which of us was more surprised. I was still frozen in place as she curled her lips back. She aimed to tear my throat out, I'm sure of it. But then she pointed at me, shrieked in fear, and fled for her watery life. I am not an imposing person. Why would she do such a thing?
261 Valyne Hlan Fearful nereids aside, I stumbled across an abandoned hut not far from the road. I can hide from bounty hunters, stay out of the rain, and consider how best to expose Velothril Sisters. After I wring the entire Abecean Sea from my clothes.
262 Valyne Hlan It is settled. I'll seek out the mage Davamin, the taffy-appreciating mage who is no friend to Eron Salt. Sixul's private reports about his travels suggested Davamin knew more about the Outcast Ruin than he let on.
263 Valyne Hlan Did you know Velothril Sisters isn't actually a trio of Dark Elf siblings? It was originally a Breton outfit hoping to gain access to relics in Dark Elf lands. The 'three sisters' were a shallow play on our culture's veneration of the Three. All of it calculated, all a false front.
264 Valyne Hlan Davamin is dead! A few weeks ago he was found in his home, his throat sliced open, and his vocal cords done up like a bow on a package. It must have been Eron Salt. Isn't that fate what she wished of him?
265 Valyne Hlan Please don't think less of me, but I broke into Davamin's laboratory. I recovered his journal, but have no time to read it. His fellow villagers may have spotted me as I slipped from the lab. I write this from their own stables, allowing me to slip your material into the delivery pouch. I believe I have thrown off their trail.
266 Valyne Hlan I was wrong. I am still being chased by angry villagers. Must run.
267 Valyne Hlan I stumbled into a cave full of old rubbish. Broken bottles, a terrible smell, and signs of scavenging. This must be the troll lair Sixul and Eron Salt picked clean of materials. They killed the troll, so it's safe for me to rest and review Davamin's journal. At least for the moment.
268 Valyne Hlan Other than a surprising amount of prurient gossip about the village smith, Davamin's journal contains very little information beyond alchemical notations and notices to restock. I sit here in a dank, dark cave with the pungent odor of troll offal filling my nostrils. My brother would say it is the scent of poor decisions. I can't disagree.
269 Valyne Hlan Success! I used a thimble of blue-colored oil and some agitating oxide to create a mage's wick, a candle-sized flame that burns a bright white-blue for days. While it burned, I noticed some white-blue ink in the margins of Davamin's journal. He must have used ink to hide his thoughts in plain sight! Now, to investigate.
270 Valyne Hlan Davamin's hidden journal entries spoke of the meeting with Sixul and Eron Salt. The next entry seemed increasingly worried about the meeting Sixul, based upon additional readings. All entries after that repeat the same word, dozens upon dozens of times: Abavarlor. It sounds Ayleidoon, but what could it mean?
271 Valyne Hlan If Eron Salt seeks my trail in remote villages, the city where I started is the safest place to travel. I'm also running low on food. (And I refuse to eat mushrooms that grew in troll dung.)
272 Valyne Hlan I found a use for the troll dung mushrooms. You can trade them to shipboard apothecaries for use as ipecacs. In trade, I rented a hammock aboard his captain's moored ship until the day they set sail. Thankfully, Velothril Sisters does not bribe the dockmaster to watch the port. Hard to compete with the purses of Alliance spies.
273 Valyne Hlan I approached the Mages Guild. Sixul mentioned their dislike of Velothril Sisters, but I am cautious to mention the name until I know why. I made an appointment for tomorrow with one of their guild members who is fluent in Ayleidoon. Perhaps he knows what abavarlor means. I could swear I've heard that name before.
274 Valyne Hlan The Ayleidoon scholar informed me that 'abavarlor' roughly translates to 'forbidden symbol.' He seemed surprised at my inquiry, then grew suspicious. I made up a story regarding a relic I'd encountered in Cyrodiil, but as I excused myself he approached the magister. She signaled her adepts to take me into custody, so I fled.
275 Valyne Hlan I'm back at the ship, apparently safe. It appears the Mages Guild doesn't bribe the dockmaster either. Now to consider my next course of action. Also, to wring out my hair. I had to hide in a barrel of pickled perch, and since my return I have received nonstop innuendo from the Khajiiti boatswain. Most of it is crude, but some is almost poetic.
276 Valyne Hlan The Little Scrapper set sail today, and I with it. Velothril Sisters bounty hunters, Mages Guild adepts ... who shall pursue me next? Khajiiti boatswains excluded, of course. (Even the clever ones.)
277 Valyne Hlan Why such interest in this Outcast Ruin, and why did Davamin's journal repeat the Ayleid word for 'forbidden symbol?' Could it mean 'forbidden text?' If so, 'abavarlor' most refers to Hecul, the Outcast Ruin's real name. But why did it appear in the first place?
278 Valyne Hlan Abavarlor was the last word in Sixul's final update to Velothril Sisters. I remembered it this morning--nearly fell out of the boatswain's hammock. At the time I thought it was an Argonian farewell, or perhaps a prayer for luck. There's no source for this beyond Davamin, and Sixul certainly didn't gain access to his journal. Then how did he know?
279 Valyne Hlan Tomorrow the Little Scrapper makes port. Tonight I spend my last moments of relative calm with the Khajiit boatswain. I told him of the Nereid that fled from me, weeks ago, and he said they fear a curse greater than their own. When I asked what curse I bore, he said, 'the abrasive beauty of a driven woman.' I'll miss the scruffy sea cat.
280 Valyne Hlan I know my path. I must find Prior Velan, the skittish monk visited by Sixul. He knew more of the Outcast Ruin than he let on. I'm tired of being chased and I want answers. If he doesn't share, I'll force it from him. I don't fear retribution from his false gods.
281 Valyne Hlan I temporarily own a horse. An old nag, rented for a fortnight. She won't get me to Prior Velan any faster than walking, but I'd rather wear out the seat of one pair of breaches than the soles of my only boots.
282 Valyne Hlan You may wonder why I document my travels. You are insurance, of a sort. If I'm captured, I know of a substantial cache of runestones and can trade its location for your help in escaping. And if I suffer the same fate as my old colleagues? You'll have a record to bring to the Mages Guild, your Alliance, or someone who will take note. That's my hope.
283 Valyne Hlan No luck at the priory. The brothers insist Prior Velan is not to be disturbed. They said it was an illness, but those smug, cassocked s'wits are poor liars. From Sixul's account, Prior Velan copied the original book on Ayleid ruins for the Mages Guild. He must have seen what was written about the Outcast Ruin. I won't be denied this knowledge.
284 Valyne Hlan I abducted Prior Velan. Good thing I paid attention when Gaereleth Surefoot showed us how to properly toss a grapnel. I brought him to a hunter's cabin--it's remote, and unused this time of year. He hasn't made a sound since I captured him, but he will. This hunter's cabin has hunter's tools. Also? A hook to hang the quarry.
285 Valyne Hlan Prior Velan talked. I'm not proud of what I did to make that happen, but it was necessary. He kept saying 'thrice-written, once damned' and 'it comes for my words.' When I asked if he meant Hecul, he shrieked and began babbling. I couldn't make sense of it, half of what he said was 'abavarlor.' I've never seen someone so terrified.
286 Valyne Hlan It happened so fast. Prior Velan tore himself down from the hook and forced his way from the cabin. He kept shrieking abavarlor as I chased him, growing more and more distressed. Then he leapt headfirst into a ravine. Didn't even lift his hands. Said one word as he fell: Free. Then he dashed his brains against the rocks at the bottom.
287 Valyne Hlan I'm tired. I'm scared. It feels as though I'm being watched, but I'm fairly certain that's all in my head. Tomorrow I begin my journey back to the city. I'll go directly to the Mages Guild and insist they explain why they care so much about a book that says nothing. I don't care what happens. I just want to know what this is about.
288 Eron Salt My name is Eron Salt. Valyne Hlan is in my custody. She said she sent you letters. I need to know what she told you about Hecul. No need to write me, I will find you.
289 Eron Salt Something is abavarlor. Contact abavarlor Sisters immediately. Do not allow Valyne abavarlor to proceed. She abavarlor more than she knows. Help. I'm losing abavarlor. Abavarlor.
290 Eron Salt abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor abavarlor
291 Valyne Hlan Eron Salt is dead. I watched her unravel before me, like someone had plucked at a thread in a knit cap and tugged until there was nothing but a pile of string. She didn't call out. She just stood there, repeating abavarlor until her jaw was thin strips of bone and gore on the ground. I freed myself from the hook, but I don't know what to do next.
292 Valyne Hlan I think I'm responsible for Eron Salt's death. Before it began, she kept muttering abavarlor, over and over. I told her she was coming apart at the seams--and a few hours later, she did. How does that make sense? If I could decide someone's fate with my voice, my old landlord would have long since buggered himself to death.
293 Valyne Hlan I buried Eron Salt today. I wasn't sure how her people did it, what words they say. But I know enough about vengeful spirits to avoid creating new ones.
294 Valyne Hlan Eron Salt's fate matched what I said to her. This isn't the first time someone's words resulted in someone's death. Davamin annoyed Eron Salt, and it appears her offhand wish for his demise came true. It's as if they were covered in kindlepitch, and the wish for their death was a lit torch. If words throw the torch, what spreads the kindlepitch?
295 Valyne Hlan Prior Velan was most afraid of the Outcast Ruin's true name. 'Thrice-written, once-damned?' From my records, Sixul wrote it three times. Unless you count the etching he made from the River Ruin's walls. Does that count? I don't know how many times I've written it down. Two times? Three? Only in letters I sent. Do you still have them? Can you check?
296 Valyne Hlan Prior Velan said 'It comes for my words' and then would not stop saying 'abavarlor.' His own words became 'forbidden symbols,' replaced with that one Ayleid phrase. Davamin's journal entries kept repeating the word. Eron Salt's letters as well. Is it some sort of infection? Once it begins, does it signal your doom? Sounds like a curse of some kind.
297 Valyne Hlan The curse must be a Daedric. Some sort of knowledge trap. The more you learn, the closer you come to peril--like a blind kwama approaching a source of great warmth, not realizing it's a volcano's lip. Once you're over the lip, you fall until another's ill-spoken words burn you to ash. You survive by avoiding words. Life at a priory, perhaps?
298 Valyne Hlan I quit. I want nothing to do with this anymore. I'll flee somewhere remote and live a solitary life. Before that, I'll return everything I took from Velothril Sisters. If they want their souls to become Daedric playthings, so be it. As for you? I suggest you burn my letters and sever all contact with Velothril Sisters as soon as you are abavarlor.
299 Velothril Sisters We at Velothril Sisters have learned of the most unprofessional conduct attributed to our former employee, Valyne Hlan. As she maintained deliveries to you throughout her ill-conceived expedition, our contract with you was not technically in violation. Therefore we shall personally see to all future deliveries. Your discretion is appreciated.


  • The deliveries have a 24 (or 12) hour cooldown period, and require changing zones after that to be delivered.