Morrowind:The Four Suitors of Benitah
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Up until he was ten years old, Oin Parnafacasis was in an elite group of the very best families of Gnisis. They went to the very best tailors, shared the same tutors, played in the same exclusive company. When his mother died, and his father discovered that the money they had been living on was based on a thief's salary, he suddenly found himself on a very different kind of society, one that he had been ill-equipped to deal with. They were poor.
Oin eventually learned to make a living at the only skill he seemed to be well-suited for: gardening. In time, he had grown an impressive garden of willow anther, gold kanet, chokeweed, white bloatroot, and trama shrubs. He had also grown himself into a remarkably uninteresting man -- aside from his gardening, he had little to say for himself. Unlearned, uncharismatic, unathletic, uncoordinated. And yet he yearned. Specifically, he yearned for a girl he had known before all his trouble, a sweet thing with curly locks and a joyous laugh named Benitah Gorgoth. Once when at play he had pushed a bully away who was trying to hurt her, and the look of appreciation she gave him was enough to make all his days since then worth their while.
As he tended his garden one springtide, not very many years ago, he heard some people talking through the thick tall trama shrubs about the marriage of Sedura Indoril Pavflek Mamoona, one of the wealthiest and most respected nobles in Gnisis, and Serjo Benitah Gorgoth. His heart fell. She had found another, a mere nine years since she had given him that look while at play.
As spring turned into summer and summer into fall, Oin began to sell his herbs, including some to Kena Yakin Bael, a prominent healer in town. He had been a tutor to both Benitah and Oin, and told the young man that the lady's husband was not very well. Oin held back his happiness and continued on his errands.
Not long afterwards, Sedura Indoril Pavflek Mamoona fell ill and died, despite all the skills of the great healers, including Yakin Bael. When Oin came to deliver the herbs that day, he said, “If you are still in communication with Benitah, please give her my sympathies.”
“'Nchow,” said Yakin. “If I could get a word in with all her counselors. They are trying to find her a new husband, and she has made it clear that she will only marry the strongest man in Morrowind.”
“Who is that?” asked Oin.
“Horath the Strong,” replied Yakin. “It is said that he can lift a wagon with but his forefinger and thumb.”
“You can teach me a spell that will fortify my own strength,” said Oin. “I beg you to teach it to me now.”
“Very well,” replied Yakin. “But in return, I want your next season's worth of trama root, all to myself.”
Oin agreed, and Yakin taught him the spell to fortify his strength. It took him some time to master it, visualizing magicka streaming through his body, pumping through the very fibers of his muscles for a time, giving him strength far beyond the puny power nature had intended. When Oin met Horath on the street of Gnisis, he cast the spell and challenged him to a duel of strength.
“I am Horath the Strong,” said Horath the Strong, predictably, “Witness as I lift this wagon with but my thumb and forefinger.” And he did so.
“I am Nimlom the Mighty,” said Oin, taking some artistic liberty. “Witness as I lift the stable that houses your wagon with but my forefinger.” And he too did so.
The word went out quickly throughout Morrowind: the strongest man alive was in the province. Oin went to visit his friend, Yakin Bael.
“Her lady Benitah has heard of the strength of Nimlom the Mighty, and has said that she was mistaken. She was not looking for a man of strength to marry, but a man of intelligence, a great scholar. The greatest in all Morrowind.”
“Who is that?” asked Oin.
“Kena Warfel Tomasin,” replied Yakin. “It is said that he can best any man or woman in a battle of wits.”
“You can teach me a spell that will fortify my own intelligence,” said Oin. “I beg you to teach it to me now.”
“Very well,” replied Yakin. “But in return, I want your next season's worth of white bloatroot, all to myself.”
Oin agreed and for the next couple of weeks, Yakin taught him the spell and trained him in its use. He taught him how to entrench his mind for the sudden assault of awareness and aptitude that would assail it, how to give himself to the sudden thoughts and theorems that would invade his consciousness. When he met Warfel Tomasin in the Mages Guild of Gnisis, he cast his spell and gave the challenge.
“I am Kena Zombel Mokafa, and I can prove that you do not exist,” said Oin. He wrote out the mathematical formula, which proved correct, and Kena Warfel Tomasin vaporized on the spot.
The word went out quickly throughout Morrowind: the most intelligent man alive was in the province. Oin went to visit his friend, Yakin Bael.
“Her lady Benitah has heard of the intelligence of Kena Zombel Mokafa, and has said that she was mistaken. She was not looking for a man of intelligence to marry, but a man of endurance, a rock. The greatest in all Morrowind.”
“Who is that?” asked Oin.
“I would say, Master Combova,” said Yakin. “They say he can stand in blue flames for twenty minutes.”
“You can teach me a spell that will fortify my own endurance,” said Oin. “I beg you to teach it to me now.”
“Very well,” replied Yakin. “But in return, I want your next season's worth of chokeweed, all to myself.”
Oin agreed, and for the next several weeks, he learned the spell to make his endurance like that of the oldest stone. He learned how to shrug off the effects of frost, poison, fire, and charges of lightning, pulling the pain into a reservoir of magicka and expelling it. The lesson learned, he came across Master Combova at the Madach Tradehouse.
“My name is Master Combova,” said the fellow, nudging the witch next to him. “Kena Leles, cast a ball of blue flame for me.” And he sat in the inferno of flame for twenty minutes before he left.
“Master Combova, my name is Master Vomph,” said Oin. “Kena Leles, cast a ball of blue flames for me.” Oin sat in the inferno of blue fire for very nearly an hour before he left.
The word went out quickly throughout Morrowind: the toughest man alive was in the province. Oin went to visit his friend, Yakin Bael.
“Her lady Benitah has heard of the endurance of Master Vomph,” he said, not entirely approving of Oin's latest sobriquet, “And has said that she was mistaken. She was not looking for a man of endurance to marry, but a man of agility, a nimble acrobat. The greatest in all Morrowind.”
“Who is that?” asked Oin.
“I would say, Funcrazot Priif,” said Yakin. “They say he is the greatest shield-blocker and pickpocket in Morrowind.”
“You can teach me a spell that will fortify my own agility,” said Oin. “I beg you to teach it to me now.”
“Very well,” replied Yakin. “But in return, I want your next season's worth of gold kanet, all to myself.”
Oin agreed, and Yakin taught him the spell that would fire his impulses with magicka. Over several weeks, he learned how to supplant his own natural energy with the spell's, how to view the world at the slower pace a man with advanced agility sees. In time, Oin came upon Funcrazot in a field outside the city, doing his regular exercises. Oin cast his spell and approached the acrobat.
“Ah, behold the power of the amazing Funcrazot Priif,” said the afore-mentioned, and prompted his sparring partner to attack him with his sword. He blocked the blows effortlessly with a shield for ten minutes, and then revealed afterwards that he had picketpocketed the young man's purse.
“Very impressive, Ser Priif. Now, behold the power of the remarkable Gazouf Mough,” said Oin, and prompted Priif's sparring partner to attack him with his sword. After twenty minutes of blocking the man's blows with his shield, he revealed that he had pickpocketed Funcrazot Priif's purse.
The word went out quickly throughout Morrowind: the most agile man alive was in the province. Oin went to visit his friend, Yakin Bael. The door was closed this time and he heard voices within.
“Have you heard about the remarkable Gazouf Mough?” Yakin Bael was asking. “He sounds like a very promising suitor.”
“The truth is, kena, that I have no more interest in him that I had in Nimlom the Mighty, Kena Zombel Mokafa, or Master Vomph,” replied a feminine voice that seemed familiar to Oin. “I will have to invent a new test for suitors, while I search for my true love.”
“You don't wish to marry the strongest, most intelligent, toughest, most agile suitors?” asked the old Healer.
“No, not at all,” said the woman. “I had to make some kind of test to rebuff the advances of so many men interested in my money and the money of my late husband. The truth is that I've never forgotten the young boy who was so kind to me when I was a little girl, and so brave fighting off the bullies. His name was Oin Parnafacasis.”
Oin burst into the room and was reunited with Benitah. They were married at once. A week later, he returned to Yakin Bael and learned how to fortify his personality in exchange for next season's worth of willow anther. Then they lived happily ever after.