Online:The Year 2920, Vol. 11
|Veja também||Versão da Lore|
|Anterior||Volume 10||Próximo||Volume 12|
|Coleção||Tales of Tamriel|
“Your Imperial Majesty,” said the Potentate Versidue-Shaie, opening the door to his chamber with a smile. “I have not seen you lately. I thought perhaps you were ... indisposed with the lovely Rijja.”
“She's taking the baths at Mir Corrup,” the Emperor Reman III said miserably.
“Please, come in.”
“I've reached the stage where I can only trust three people: you, my son the Prince, and Rijja,” said the Emperor petulantly. “My entire council is nothing but a pack of spies.”
“What seems to be the matter, Your Imperial Majesty?” asked the Potentate Versidue-Shaie sympathetically, drawing closed the thick curtain in his chamber. Instantly all sound outside the room was extinguished, echoing footsteps in the marble halls and birds in the springtide gardens.
“I've discovered that a notorious poisoner, an Orma tribeswoman from Black Marsh called Catchica, was with the army at Caer Suvio while we were encamped there when my son was poisoned, before the battle at Bodrum. I'm sure she would have preferred to kill me, but the opportunity didn't present itself,” The Emperor fumed. “The Council suggests that we need evidence of her involvement before we prosecute.”
“Of course they would,” said the Potentate thoughtfully. “Particularly if one or more of them was in on the plot. I have a thought, your imperial majesty.”
“Yes?” said Reman impatiently. “Out with it!”
“Tell the Council you're dropping the matter, and I will send out the Guard to track this Catchica down and follow her. We will see who her friends are, and perhaps get an idea of the scope of this plot on Your Imperial Majesty's life.”
“Yes,” said Reman with a satisfied frown. “That's a capital plan. We will track this scheme to whomever it leads to.”
“Decidedly, Your Imperial Majesty,” smiled the Potentate, parting the curtain so the Emperor could leave. In the hallway outside was Versidue-Shaie's son, Savirien-Chorak. The boy bowed to the Emperor before entering the Potentate's chamber.
“Are you in trouble, father?” whispered the Akaviri lad. “I heard the Emperor found out about whatshername, the poisoner.”
“The great art of speechcraft, my boy,” said Versidue-Shaie to his son. “Is to tell them what they want to hear in a way that gets them to do what you want them to do. I need you to get a letter to Catchica, and make certain that she understands that if she does not follow the instructions perfectly, she is risking her own life more than ours.”
- 13 Second Seed, 2920
- Mir Corrup, Cyrodiil
Rijja sank luxuriantly into the burbling hot spring, feeling her skin tingle like it was being rubbed by millions of little stones. The rock shelf over her head sheltered her from the misting rain, but let all the sunshine in, streaming in layers through the branches of the trees. It was an idyllic moment in an idyllic life, and when she was finished she knew that her beauty would be entirely restored. The only thing she needed was a drink of water. The bath itself, while wonderfully fragrant, tasted always of chalk.
“Water!” she cried to her servants. “Water, please!”
A gaunt woman with rags tied over her eyes ran to her side and dropped a goatskin of water. Rijja was about to laugh at the woman's prudery—she herself was not ashamed of her naked body—but then she noticed through a crease in the rags that the old woman had no eyes at all. She was like one of those Orma tribesmen Rijja had heard about, but never met. Born without eyes, they were masters of their other senses. The Lord of Mir Corrup hired very exotic servants, she thought to herself.
In a moment, the woman was gone and forgotten. Rijja found it very hard to concentrate on anything but the sun and the water. She opened the cork, but the liquid within had a strange, metallic smell to it. Suddenly, she was aware that she was not alone.
“Lady Rijja,” said the Captain of the Imperial Guard. “You are, I see, acquainted with Catchica?”
“I've never heard of her,” stammered Rijja before becoming indignant. “What are you doing here? This body is not for your leering eyes.”
“Never heard of her, when we saw her with you not a minute ago,” said the captain, picking up the goatskin and smelling it. “Brought you neivous ichor, did she? To poison the Emperor with?”
“Captain,” said one of the guards, running up to him quickly. “We cannot find the Argonian. It is as if she disappeared into the woods.”
“Yes, they're good at that,” said the captain. “No matter though. We've got her contact at court. That should please His Imperial Majesty. Seize her.”
As the guards pulled the writhing naked woman from the pool, she screamed, “I'm innocent! I don't know what this is all about, but I've done nothing! The Emperor will have your heads for this!”
“Yes, I imagine he will,” smiled the captain. “If he trusts you.”
|Ant.: Volume 10||Acima: 2920: The Last Year of the First Era||Próx.: Volume 12|