21 Last Seed
I woke up at Shenk's Shovel earlier than usual, around 5am and performed what is becoming a ritual of mine: visiting the local Mages Guild of whatever city I'm in first thing in the morning. I bought a simple Locking spell to practice Alteration, but I still lack a spell for unlocking. Figuring that the easy road wasn't going to be doing me any favors I passed on using the Mages Guild Guide to teleport me to Vivec and walked out of Caldera before the sun rose.
The journey was uneventful and quiet, a few wild rats provided the only distraction from the morning's doldrums. I was just able to make out the walls of Balmora through the morning haze when I stumbled upon the body of a Dunmer, a note in his pocket identified him as Ernil Omoran. While it was impossible to tell, the presence of the skooma pipe on his person suggested an end from similarly unscrupulous individuals. The note was addressed to someone named "Tsiya" and I pocketed both the note and the pipe in case I ran into this person.
The best walking path between Caldera and Vivec passes through Balmora and I took the opportunity to purchase some minor supplies and ask about Tsiya. Ajira knew of her and she made her disapproval quite clear. Tsiya lives in Balmora, a Khajiit with a bit too much sugar in her head for Ajira's liking. She pointed me towards Tsiya's house along the river and asked that I remind Tsyia that Ajira was not a sugar-dealer.
Ranis, the Guildmaster of the Balmora Mages Guild, stopped me while I was leaving to suggest, quite pointedly, that it would be in both of our interests to join the Guild officially. Her demenor and tone made it seem almost a threat, but her reasoning was sound. The amount of time and money I've spent at the Guild so far does indicate I'm likely to return more than once and as a member I would get discounts on goods and training. For Ranis, increasing her Guild's headcount would bestow greater prestige and political power within the Mages Guild power structure on Vvardenfell. I agreed and am now an Associate of the Imperial Mages Guild. I have no aspirations for great rank, I joined because I know I'll be seeking the Guild's expensive magical training in the near future.
Tsiya's home was barely a minute away from the Guild. I knocked on the door and receiving no reply, walked in. Tsiya's was at the head of the stairs staring down at me and shakily asked me what I needed. She was clearly a bit out of her mind, so I walked up the stairs and handed her Ernil's note and the skooma pipe. Dulled by either sugar or skooma, she still managed to appear dismayed at the news of his death. No lost love though, he was her dealer, though an honest one. The return of her pipe resulted in a reward of 50 Septims and ten packets of her valuable Moon Sugar. I admit to forgetting to remind her that Ajira wasn't going to sell her any sugar.
I returned to Ajira with the sugar and asked her if she needed any help now that I was an official Guild member. She was quite excited to let me know that she needed various mushrooms collected for her experiments, if I could bring her some. I don't make a point of keeping clumps of fungus in my pack, but I told her I'd grab some if I came across any.
I left Balmora, walking past Fort Moonmoth and through the ashy foyada towards Pelagiad. Maurrie's glove was still occupying valuable space in my inventory of miscellaneous rubbish. I figured a quick detour into Pelagiad might net me the information I need to find the lady's bandit. En route to town I passed a small mine cut into the hillside along the road. I remembered passing it on the way to Balmora, but this time there were piles of refuse scattered about the entrance, molding sacks, discarded kitchenware, clothes. Miners would have been more discreet with their waste disposal, so I approached the mine warily, mindful of the last time I opened a door cut into a hillside.
No charging Orc greeted me at the door this time though and I took the opportunity to cast my Invisibility spell. Four times I tried and four times I failed. Joining the Mages Guild is seeming more like a wise financial move now. While it would have been nice to succeed, it turned out to also be unnecessary. The cave was tiny and only occupied by a female Dunmer and a male Nord, only the latter which provided any challenge in dispatching. Neither fit Maurrie's description and the bandit couple evidently settled on pilfering the surrounding farms, only the Nord's belt, radiating magic, was seemingly of any value at all. A silver bowl was the only other noteworthy find, as it was engraved for a "Piernette Beluelle" by the East Empire Company in gratitude for services rendered.
Inquiries made at Pelagiad about the bowl led me to Ygfa, the Imperial Cult Healer in Fort Pelagiad, who gave me some rather confusing directions to Piernette's farmstead. The farm is on the way toward Vivec, so I am planning on visiting tomorrow morning.
Before paying for a bed at the Halfway Tavern I asked around about Maurrie's bandit and a young Dunmer asked me why I was looking for him. When I replied that I had the lady's glove as a sign of her infatuation with the thief, he revealed himself as Nelos Onmar, Highway Bandit. He seemed touched by her gift and wrote me a note to give to her. It was getting dark, but I left the tavern and hunted down Maurrie, who was still standing under the giant mushroom, in the dark, seemingly oblivious to the dangers the night brings. She was overjoyed with Nelos's note and I escorted her back to the tavern. On the way she suggested I visit a friend of hers, Barnard Erelie, in Tel Branora, stating that the two of us would get along well. A name to make note of, but I'm not going to go out of my way to see this person without a better reason.
I did not make it to Vivec today like I had planned, but certainly will tomorrow. I would like to find more spells and start setting aside money for magical training as well. As for now, I can content myself with the joy Maurrie and Nelos seem to have found with one another and hope they enjoy a happy future together.