TESA Redguard: Arrival In Stros M’Kai, Part 3

Released In:

Having nothing else to do in the Mage's Guild, I left it. I then decided to go to the Cartographer's shop, which was right next to the Mage's Guild. Inside there were many maps, rolled up or otherwise, and an old Redguard man was working on a Summerset Isle map. I spoke with him.

Maiko: Yes?

Cyrus: Good day. I'm Cyrus.

Maiko: Aren't too many youngsters around these days, specially not as well-spoken as you. I'm Maiko, the local Cartographer. How can I help you?

Cyrus: Do you know a young woman named Iszara?

Maiko: I'm afraid not. I don't know too many of the youngsters around town these days, you see. I prefer to spend my time with my maps.

Cyrus: I wonder if you've heard of the Restless League?

Maiko: Hmm... The alliance between Daggerfall, Wayrest and Balfiera against the Cyrodiils during the First Era? No, no, that was the League of Unrest... Sorry, I'm not familiar with it.

Cyrus: What are people talking about around town these days?

Maiko: Damning the Governor's eyes, mainly. I try not to get involved in all those troubles. I've seen more than enough suffering in my life. I just want to spend my last days working with my maps.

Cyrus: Is life under the Imperial Governor so harsh?

Maiko: I said I didn't want to speak of such things.

Cyrus: What do your maps tell you?

Maiko: Maps are like people, did you know that Cyrus? There are good maps, bad maps, indifferent maps. You shouldn't trust most maps, they'll lead you astray if you give them a chance. An honest map is rarer than a true friend, remember that, young sir.

Cyrus: I've heard tell that your basement is used as a Smuggler's Den.

Maiko: Really? How about that? I rent the downstairs to some local lads. They're quiet, and always pay up on time. I can't imagine they're up to anything illegal.

Cyrus: These local lads... Do they have names?

Maiko: They never said. Perhaps you should run downstairs and ask them yourself.

Cyrus: Do you have any maps for sale?

Maiko: Sorry, I don't sell retail. Contract work only. But perhaps I can make a map for you?

Cyrus: I could use a map of the island.

Maiko: I used to make those, but I can't compete with the big Hammerfell Cartography Houses. Hire beggars and street urchins to copy off a master map. You've probably seen their cheap city maps around. Nothing like a good hand-drawn map, but people don't seem to care about craftsmanship anymore.

Cyrus: We'll talk later.

Having nothing more to talk to the Cartographer about, I left his shop and went down the stairs to the basement, after which I knocked on the door.

Urik: What's the password?

Cyrus: Open up!

Urik: Sorry, mate. Can't help you.

Cyrus' Logbook
Tried to enter the door under the Cartographer's Shop, but didn't know the password, and was refused entry.

Having been refused entry, I decided to go somewhere else. Seeing as I didn't want to go into the Temple of Arkay just yet, I finnaly went into the Draggin Tale inn.

Once inside, I saw three Redguard men sitting around a table near a fireplace. An Argonian was behind the counter, and a Nord man was in front of him. I approached the Nord, who was actually Tobias, Cyrus' good friend who had sent him the letter that had brought him here in the first place. I, of course, spoke with him.

Tobias: Cyrus! You made it! Come here, lad! You look good! It's been too long!

Cyrus: If you hadn't retired --

Tobias: Mercenary life's younger men's work!

Cyrus: Bah, he said.

Tobias: Ah-hah-hah. I prayed that you would get my letter.

Cyrus: Is it safe to talk here?

Tobias: As safe as any, and the ale is good. Dreekius can be trusted as much as any walking Lizard can be. It might get a little rough with all the Forebears around but I'll be here until I leave Stros M'Kai.

Cyrus: It is lucky you were here, Tobias, or I wouldn't have known Iszara was in trouble. I have not been in Hammerfell since the --

Tobias: I know, lad, what you mean.

Cyrus: Anyway, Stros M'Kai has no one who could've reached me. Thank you.

Tobias: I sent the letter some weeks ago, Cyrus. I fear things have gotten worse for your sister since.

Cyrus: How do you mean worse? What more do you know about Iszara?

Tobias: Nothing more than my letter has described -- That she is gone and no one knows where -- Just a bad feeling that's grown worse with the wait. The Governor has not been merciful with the Crowns that survived the battle. I hear his Dragon's belly is full of the overloud, and that many died later in the burning of the Old Quarter.

Cyrus: How did you know where to reach me, Tobias? Our paths parted so long ago.

Tobias: I didn't send it to you directly. I knew that damn Cat was probably still getting you into trouble even to this day. S'Rathra seemed the likely solution, and through the channels I'd heard he'd made Wayrest his port of late.

Cyrus: He's moved from the throneseekers of the Old Empire to the lesser lords of High Rock, still playing them to his benefit, raking in the gold on all fronts.

Tobias: I thought that Septim had solidified the Bretons.

Cyrus: As much as the Witchmen will, but there is still a lot of money to be made in the drawing of borders before the provincial laws dry completely. Mercenaries are in great demand right now, as are fixers like our Cat-friend.

Tobias: Does he still stink so?

Cyrus: To here.

Tobias: I think I will go to see him when I leave. It's been too long.

Cyrus: What happened to the Old Quarter?

Tobias: The Crowns fled ashore there after the battle. It was their last stand. The Governor sent his Dragon and it was done.

Cyrus: Was Iszara there?

Tobias: That section of town is closed off. No one I've talked to knows if she was there or not.

Cyrus: Where's the Dragon now?

Tobias: It's disappeared, too. Some say it has returned to the Imperial Province. Others that the Governor keeps it well-aid and fed in the Catacombs below the Palace.

Cyrus: Is there another way into the Catacombs?

Tobias: There is the traditional way.

Cyrus: Imagine that I laughed. A secret entrance, maybe.

Tobias: Maybe. I don't know.

Cyrus: Do you think Iszara chose sides in the civil war and that is why she has disappeared?

Tobias: Your family's always been partisan, lad, since your early days in Sentinel. I ventured she still held her old allegiances even if you haven't. Few Crowns in Stros M'Kai survived the battle with the Imperials, but I know Iszara was one of them.

Cyrus: How?

Tobias: Hearing of the defeat of the Crowns caused me much concern. When I arrived, I searched for word of Iszara's safety. The only ones here who knew of her said that she had disappeared shortly after the Imperials landed.

Cyrus: I see the harbor is already arrayed in the flags of the Emperor, and that his men walk the streets as if born to them.

Tobias: Stros M'Kai's a dangerous port these days; there's an Empire to be built, you know, and Tiber Septim shows no sign of slowing its increase from here to the edge of the world map. High Rock's border kings bent knee to the Cyrodiil long ago. Even my father's fair Skyrim is adorned with flags of Red Dragons and foreign men. We are entering a new era, I fear, with Septim's name writ long and wide upon it.

Cyrus: Any kind words for our new Emperor?

Tobias: He is good at what he does and sees the holes lesser men leave wide. No offense to your Prince A'Tor, of course --

Cyrus: Hammerfell's problems are her own. I was only asking if Septim was the tyrant they say.

Tobias: Of course he is! Tyranny means never having to say you're sorry. But Iszara's fate has nothing to do with the Emperor, I'm sure. Look to the Provisional Governor if you suspect Imperial entanglements. He's the real tyrant around here. Septim's no Cyrodiil from what I've heard, though he rules their remnants and rebuilds their Empire; he's something worse, or greater, depending on your disposition to the center sun.

Cyrus: If he has no blood tie to the Cyrodiil throne then how did he make it his?

Tobias: Come on. For the last four hundred years the petty kings of Cyrodiil have been squabbling over the title of Emperor, all claiming forebearance -- Imperial throne's blood's thinner than a sea dream and half as wet. Tiber Septim took the throne as he took your people's.

Cyrus: Hail the new conqueror.

Tobias: There's a good little subject.

Cyrus: You used to hire out to those petty kings, did you not?

Tobias: Twenty years ago, maybe, when the whole heart of Tamriel was in chaos. I can admire Tiber Septim insofar that he has managed to consolidate the rags and tatters that bickered there then.

Cyrus: No Empire is a good thing, Captain.

Tobias: There's a Redguard for you.

Cyrus: So the Nord Kings have submitted to Tiber Septim, too?

Tobias: They do not worry overmuch. They have outlasted empires before and this conquest will be no different. Hammerfell has been the bloodiest invasion of current record, and by comparison Skyrim's occupation seems like a ballet.

Cyrus: Imperial expansion has been feared for years. Why wasn't Hammerfell better prepared?

Tobias: Factional squabbles, divided counsels, miscalculations. Crowns lost heart when they lost the capital. Forebears lost their heads -- Completely -- When they welcomed the Empire's "friendship and aid".

Cyrus: So the Empire played the Forebears pretty well, eh?

Tobias: What else is a visionary with an open invitation to do? The Forebears are having futile second thoughts now, no doubt. Probably why they're so bitter and driven to bar brawls.

Cyrus: What of the Crowns?

Tobias: Not too many left around here. The few that are don't admit it to just anyone. Talk to Siona, a friend of mine -- You may have seen her down by the docks. Tell her I sent you so she'll know you're no Imperial stoolie. She may be able to help you.

Cyrus: How have the Forebears fared under Septim's rule?

Tobias: The throne of Sentinel is kept warm by another Imperial Governor, that should be indication enough.

Cyrus: How is the city of Sentinel? I never returned.

Tobias: For long my men plied the Iliac and Sentinel was along the run. That is how I came to know that Iszara moved from there to here. I kept up with her for your sake, even if it were a dream to think anything would come of it. When Volag's purge ignited through the north I went there seeking to help her, but she was already gone. Later I learned she'd come to Stros M'Kai.

Cyrus: What was Volag's purge?

Tobias: When Thassad died, Baron Volag led the Forebears into an uprising for control of the capital. All Crowns were forced to leave Sentinel after that first massacre. Your sister was among those that followed the Prince here to Stros M'Kai to plan the counterattack. I swear, Cyrus, are you always such a lamebrain when it comes to word of recent Hammerfell?

Cyrus: I've... Come to cultivate a certain indifference about the homeland --

Tobias: And this is a good thing?

Cyrus: So his character is in question. Again.

Tobias: She was your sister, Cyrus!

Cyrus: I was probably miles away.

Tobias: A proximity often and on purpose, I'd suspect. Well, you're here now!

Cyrus: Thassad II, so storied in song. It was unwise to invest the republic on one man.

Tobias: ...?!? The Forebears are over there, Cyrus, if you want the company to match the sentiment.

Cyrus: No. It's just... I mean, he was dying when I was still a young kid. We Redguards were only waiting for it to happen. My father kept his profession in one hand and a whetstone in the other. We knew that civil war would come. If Thassad was so greatwhy didn't he do more in his life to protect the kingdom after his death?

Tobias: Some things... Have to be left for the son. How long were you in Wayrest, Cyrus?

Cyrus: Long enough to piss off the locals.

Tobias: A bay-ride from Sentinel; close enough for you to hear about Prince A'Tor, then.

Cyrus: Yes. Of late the criers are tripping over each other there's so much to report of the blistery south.

Tobias: And you've listened to it all, I'm sure.

Cyrus: Fine. Recount all word of Prince A'Tor that I have shamefully ignored.

Tobias: When his father died and the capital of Sentinel was taken over by the Forebears, the Prince fled back here to his ancestral home of Stros M'Kai. After rallying the Crowns to his stead, he made for the throne again, and had it near. That's when the Empire came. Through a Forebear truce which no one expected. Again the Prince was forced back to Stros M'Kai, which he died defending. He will not be long forgotten. Lizard! Another drink!

Cyrus: What were the terms of the Forebear truce?

Tobias: Originally, the Empire was to lend its armies to the Forebear cause in return for a swath of holding titles along the southeast border -- But when Baron Volag disappeared during the ass-end of the war all bets were off. A new treaty was formed which garrisoned those Imperial armies in the cities --

Cyrus: "Until such a time as the native rulership can see fit to reinstate itself safely on its rightful throne."

Tobias: Something like that, yes sir.

Cyrus: The head of the Forebears is a subject of the Empire now.

Tobias: Or subject to the Empire's execution, from speak of it. He disappeared the day Stros M'Kai was taken, and Sentinel lay in a similar state. Provisional Governors rule both cities now.

Cyrus: Do you know if Iszara fought in the battle of Stros M'Kai?

Tobias: My investigations were limited, I'll admit. If she fought I can't say, but I would guess that she did. The battle was the penultra of the Crowns, and all who subscribed to the name no doubt took up arms. While most of them were slain at sea, others have been taken prisoner by the Governor.

Cyrus: Tell me about the Provisional Governor, Captain.

Tobias: When I arrived his Soldiers showed me the finer points of Richton's new docking tax, and scoured my ship for Leaguesmen. I must say he's a bit of an asshole. You'd better watch yourself around him.

Cyrus: So why aren't you in jail?

Tobias: Meaning why aren't said Soldiers in little boxes at the foot of the Palace Gate? Because I didn't come to port to get myself in trouble, but to get your sister out.

Cyrus: Should I look into seeing this Governor, then?

Tobias: That's where I'd look, laddie.

Cyrus' Logbook
Tobias suspects Richton in Iszara's disappearance.

Cyrus: Could she be in Jail?

Tobias: I haven't exactly knocked on the door to find out. That's your job now. But I know the Jail's off limits to non-Imperials, now. Read: no visitors whatsoever.

Cyrus: We'll see about that. Who in this town knew of Iszara?

Tobias: I did not question many for fear of ill allegiance. So I went to the Temple to ask of her, for the Brothers of Arkay are neutral in mortal affairs. There, Brother Nidal told me that Iszara had vanished and set me on the road of writing you. Also, Dreekius here knew that she was missing, too.

Cyrus: What can you tell me about Iszara?

Dreekius: She frequented this establishment much before the battle in Hunding Bay; less after, of course.

Cyrus: Of course...?

Dreekius: She was a fervent one, your nestling, who hated the Empire not in hushed tones. After the occupation, she disappeared for awhile--

Cyrus: She disappeared three months ago.

Dreekius: No, I'm talking about before that, right after the battle. Many Crowns had scattered in the wake then, hiding where they could. I didn't see her for several days following, but then she showed up, needed a drink and rampling, tense on some decision.

Cyrus: What then?

Dreekius: The Imperials came and I let her out through the window. I haven't seen her since.

Cyrus: So the priests are still safe from being conquered.

Tobias: Be that as it may, the Temple is quite empty of priests, save for Brother Nidal. It seems some of their ranks have disappeared, also.

Cyrus: I'm noticing a theme. Where did you hear that?

Tobias: Nidal told me Brother Kithral vanished around the same time as your sister. And that they knew each other.

Cyrus' Logbook
Tobias says that Brother Kithral (a Brother of Arkay) and Iszara both disappeared about the same time, and that they knew each other.

Cyrus: So I can count Brother Nidal as an ally, then?

Tobias: On my word. He was most helpful, but he seemed to be holding something back.

Cyrus: I wouldn't consider paranoia a bad character trait in Stros M'Kai these days. Besides, you're so ugly.

Tobias: That was it. He may open up to you more, being Iszara's brother and half as hard to look at.

Cyrus' Logbook
Tobias says visit Brother Nidal at the temple to learn more about Iszara.

Cyrus: Tell me about the Temple.

Tobias: The Head Priest, a Brother Nidal, was very helpful in regards to Iszara. He seemed to know her well and shared my concern over her disappearance. He is worth an interview.

Cyrus: I think I saw it across the Plaza. What is the "Restless League," Captain?

Tobias: Where did you hear that name?

Cyrus: They attacked the ship that gave me passage --

Tobias: Speak of it but in a whisper and not too often. The Governor is searching the surrounding waters for them and will see them broken and piked if he has his way. The League has survived the death of the Crown Prince and resists his enemies still. But they are few and going fewer from what I hear, and have been reduced to brigandry these days. Not far from the lives we led not too long ago.

Cyrus: Bold are these brigands the Restless League, to attack a ship in the very Harbor.

Tobias: They must be running low on provisions to act so desperately. They have been Ghosts of late, and this appearance is their first since I've been here.

Cyrus: How do you know about them, then?

Tobias: They ran the Iliac before the war. Our lanes have crossed.

Cyrus: But after the occupation they've stayed relatively scarce?

Tobias: Yes, which is why their attack on you is so troubling. No one knew of your impending arrival...?

Cyrus: Nobody but S'Rathra. Would it matter?

Tobias: I'm not sure.

Cyrus: We were never brigands when I served under you, Captain, only mercenaries.

Tobias: Tell that to those on the other end of the sword, lad. You see more of yourself in the men of the Restless League than you'd care to admit, I'd wager.

Cyrus: They're knaves with their eyes on providence, nothing more. My sword's never been dressed for diplomacy. Give me gold for a throat, the throat for a slight, and I'm well. Give me a well-paying war.

Tobias: "War is the continuation of politics." Erm, that's it, right?

Cyrus: You quote Hunding like a Redguard, Tobias.

Tobias: "Political power grows along the blade of a sword."

Cyrus: Okay, okay.

Tobias: A drink to the Redguards!

Tobias raised his cup and started drinking from it.

Tobias: I see you still remember your childhood heroes even if you've dismissed the homeland.

Cyrus: Hunding is a universal wellspring.

Tobias: "Be resolute, fear no sacrifice and surmount every difficulty to win victory."

Cyrus: See? Anyone could admire that.

Tobias: Tell me that your Redguard heart didn't buckle when you saw his statue at port.

Cyrus: Frandar Hunding is a great hero to Hammerfell, I'll admit, even a little to myself. Hail the Great Founder and all that nonsense. But it's an ill plan to try and trigger the homeland tug through the invocation of Hunding, Tobias.

Tobias: Really?

Cyrus: Don't forget he left his homeland, too. And never looked back.

Tobias: That's because it fell into the sea, you dolt...!

Cyrus: What brought you to Stros M'Kai?

Tobias: War and the rumors of war. Every merchant that's near and seaworthy has come to Stros M'Kai in the wake of recent events -- Either in service of the Provisional Governor or to fill the sea-lines that Septim has shattered, and that the Crowns can run no more. I thought I might profit from a visit, but it has brought naught but sorrow and the sign of darker days. I fear I shall be leaving none too soon.

Cyrus: You are leaving, Captain? When and where for?

Tobias: At sunset if all goes well. And as for where, whither I will. Stros M'Kai is not for me.

Cyrus: But I thought you might help me.

Tobias: The Imperials have been asking about yours truly around around the Docks lately. I fear my inquiries into Iszara's disappearance have interested them in all the wrong ways. I will help you as I can through the course of this day, but after that I must be done with it. I am too old for an Imperial Prison.

Cyrus: It won't come to that.

Tobias: You haven't been here long enough. My ship is ready to leave at sundown, but don't worry. I'll be here until then, you help you along if you need it. A lot can transpire in a day. We will see each other again.

Cyrus' Logbook
Tobias says he sails from Stros M'Kai at sundown to avoid risk of Imperial arrest.

Cyrus: Since when were you a merchant, Tobias?

Tobias: The fight left me after our little foray into Morrowind. It's been sweet commerce ever since.

Cyrus: I've not returned to Morrowind since then.

Tobias: Who'd want to?! All that ash and fire; those Dark Elves can keep their curse!

Cyrus: Don't forget the Bugs.

Tobias: Ach! Which reminds me, Governor Richton has a little sting of his own from those parts -- His Lieutenant is a Dark Elf! Watch out for that one, always close by the Governor, hiding in his shadow!

Dreekius: Which means he's got plenty of room to maneuver!

Cyrus: I'd welcome another chance at the Dark Elves. I've still got scars.

Tobias: Watch yourself.

Cyrus: The barkeep is a long way from Black Marsh, isn't he?

Tobias: That's right, and it's kept me good company in my wait for you. Trust it well after I leave, for it knows this island and all who live here. But don't bother asking about the Eye, because I already have.

Cyrus: Dreekius knows of the Eye of Argonia?

Tobias: It's got the skin for it, wouldn't you say? I'll find the thing yet, and before you if I get my way.

Dreekius: Another softskin with dreams of the priceless King's jewel of ancient Black Marsh? You look the sort, too, all sword and swagger. Tobias he described you well.

Tobias: Aye, but Cyrus here must save that adventure for another day. He's got a ssssister to find. I've told him that you will help him after I depart, Lizard, so mark me well.

Dreekius: Whatever you say.

Cyrus: Captain, what do you know about the Smugglers' Den?

Tobias: Knaves that aren't worth my cargo. You should forget about them.

Cyrus: I see. I'll be back. If you're not here... Thanks for everything. And good luck.

Tobias: Just find your sister and get out of here. And send word through S'Rathra. Go on. You'll do fine.

There was nothing more to say to Tobias for the time being, so I talked to Dreekius the Argonian.

Dreekius: What will it be, traveler?

Cyrus: Barkeep, well met. I'm Cyrus.

Dreekius: I know. I had Tobias made out a fool to believe you'd come.

Cyrus: Why?

Dreekius: I'm the one that smuggled his letter out for him. The Empire's been watching all shipments from this port; I figured our chances were slim.

Cyrus: Many thanks, then.

Dreekius: Welcome to the Draggin' Tale, by the way, thesis-bound subsistence of mine, where there is good ear and ale coequal. What can I do for you?

Cyrus: What are you talking about?

Dreekius: This Tavern, of course, both site and subsidy of my studies. As well as a fine storehouse of spirits.

Cyrus: A drink might be nice. I'll use your ears later, maybe.

Dreekius: Ever-ready to listen, softskin; let adventure thine be mine. I'll share what thoughts I can.

Cyrus: What's your subject of study?

Dreekius: The other, of course -- Those not skinned in scale. We see that Septim's tribes will not be long satisfied with the thrones of men and the Elder Race. One day they will come to Black Marsh. Argonians have lost land once before when we did not know our enemy.

Cyrus: I see. And what better place to learn the wants of men than at the bar?

Dreekius: There are other places -- Universities, the military, the Magical Guild -- But I aim to chart man's geography of desire, which is most readily charted when he is drunk and blathering.

Cyrus: What can you tell me about Iszara?

Dreekius: The Imperials came and I let her out through the window. I haven't seen her since. A word of advice: beware the Dragon-tribe of the Emperor. The warrior-king Tiber Septim does not tolerate rebellion. And Governor Richton has promised summary execution to any who take arms to oppose his rule.

Cyrus: Wouldn't dream of it. Unless he's responsible for my sister's disappearance.

Dreekius: Even if he were responsible, perhaps it would be wise to proceed cautiously.

Cyrus: Cautiously, eh? If only I knew how to do that. You said the Imperials came here looking for Iszara the last night you saw her?

Dreekius: Not specifically for Iszara -- The Imperials had a list of dissidents they sought. Her name was there, with names of many other Crowns. Since that time I see only Forebears here.

Cyrus: So Iszara did survive the Battle of Stros M'Kai.

Dreekius: Aye, she did and then hid well in its aftermath, until three months ago.

Cyrus: The occupation, it seems, is taking long to consolidate, with the League about and the Imperials still hunting for wayward Crowns --

Dreekius: Hammerfell's the defiant line of the Human lay, still. They say some still fight the Empire on the mainland.

Cyrus: Is thus the Empire delayed in further expansion?

Dreekius: The whole wild-world -- The Elf-kingdoms, and the Beastlands -- Waits to see what finnaly happens here in the last land of men.

Cyrus: The Forebears seem to enjoy your place.

Dreekius: The Imperial liquor tax has forced me to serve everyone, even this city's ancestral villains.

Cyrus: Tell me about the Crowns.

Dreekius: Their fire is gone since the Prince was lost. Few show their faces in Stros M'Kai. Some have passed to the mainland. Some few plot and scheme still, nursing fading dreams. Is this your first visit to Stros M'Kai, Cyrus?

Cyrus: Aye, but the occupation makes it seem less so. With the Imperial standards aloft at port it seems like any other vassal-town of Cyrodiil.

Dreekius: But for the unrest of like-blood...?

Cyrus: The only blood I care about is my sister's. As far as I'm concerned, new kingless Hammerfell has gone its way.

Dreekius: Your apathy is decidedly reptilian--

Cyrus: I don't know how to take that, coming from you. What do you think of the Restless League?

Dreekius: A Human tribe of ill account, but whose single-mindedness is something I can fathom. Their raids upset my smuggling operations -- And oft-thus my fair nature; Valenwood wine is hard to come by, you see -- But over-that I have nothing worse to say.

Cyrus: You sympathize with the League, then?

Dreekius: Oh, no. I merely noted their clannish drives, which any Argonian might admire, being used, as we are, to honor the clan's interests about our own private affairs.

Cyrus: How, then, does an Argonian manage to leave his tribe to wander Tamriel?

Dreekius: You refer to me? I do not wander, Redguard; this is a settled study for me, from which I'll add to the wealth of wisdoms when I return to my clan.

Cyrus: I myself was a victim of these raids.

Dreekius: More obstacle, I'd suspect, than victim. The raids had ended, it seemed; but your mischance may be token of renewed troubles the sailors speak of.

Cyrus: Hm?

Dreekius: The League is marshaling anew its forces... Or so the rumor goes.

Cyrus: Some second Battle of Stros M'Kai?

Dreekius: True, it sounds unlikely. But they are daggerlads, the Restless League, and they vow to make war again.

Cyrus: How have the denizens of Black Marsh resisted the Empire so long?

Dreekius: A thousand miles of swamp, bog, and stink aren't attractive to most Humans, and terror of the Knahaten Flu still holds most at bay. But our days of testing will come.

Cyrus: Dreekius, you mentioned taking part in some smuggling operations --

Dreekius: Minor stuff, is all, and mostly nil now that the Governor's men are keeping such tabs on me.

Cyrus: What can you tell me about the Smugglers Den?

Dreekius: It's run by some upright from the north; a quick-to-anger sort, and he only talks to members of the Den.

Cyrus: Hmm. I'd better keep moving. Can we talk later?

Dreekius: Any time, any time.

Having spoken with both Tobias and Dreekius, and having nothing else to say to either of them for the time being, I approached the Forebears sitting at the table and spoke with them.

Cyrus: Excuse me.

Forebear 1: Ey, lookee, Dagoo. A Crown's come out of hiding.

Dagoo: Is tha' so? Hey, Crown! Be good and bring us another round, eh?

Forebear 2: I hear you Crowns think you're real brave daggerlads. Want to test yourself against a real swordsman?

Dagoo: I'm sick of chit-chat, little Crown boy. Pull that blade out, if you know how, or leave me alone.

Cyrus: Stand and draw then, gentlemen.

Dagoo: Take 'im, boys.

The Forebears got up from the table and attacked me.

Dreekius: Gentlemen! Gentlemen! Take it outside, please!

I defeated the three Forebears, but would not kill them. Shamed and defeated, they returned to their table. I approached Dreekius and once again spoke with him.

Cyrus: Sorry about the swordplay.

Dreekius: Keep it just "play" and I'll not mind if it even happens again. The Forebears have their troubles, so it's no surprise they come here looking to share them.

Cyrus: It was good practice.

Dreekius: Practice as often as you like, save for the deathblow. And mind the furniture, please.

I then went and spoke with Tobias again.

Cyrus: I am out of practice, it seems, or else Iszara's plight disturbs me to distraction. Those goons have hurt me not a little. Where may I rest and heal these wounds?

Tobias: Drink this and be done with it.

Tobias gave me a healing potion.

Tobias: There is no time to rest, for this city crawls with shadows that mean you harm, and your sister's among them. You can buy more of these at the Mage's Guild, or visit the Temple, should you become wounded again. And knowing you, that will be often.

Now was time to actually begin this adventure. So far I had walked around Stros M'Kai and spoken to people, but I hadn't actually gone on any "quests" yet. I decided to go to the Temple of Arkay and speak to Brother Nidal, and go on a quest which would take me to the depths of the Goblin Caves underneath the city.

But that is a tale for the next part of the Redguard Storyline.

Scroll to Top