Deal with a Daedric Prince

Author: Anonymous
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It had finally come to extreme measures. Pestilence and disaster had settled on our land. First it was a series of chill nights in the summer, then a flood, then a heavy miasma descending upon the town. Then the water darkened and turned foul. Finally, the animals began to sicken, followed by the people—including the Dark Elves.

I and my fellow healers could keep up, initially, with our spells and poultices and potions. But soon the numbers of the ill became too great, and we sent for aid from other nearby communities, but they turned us away for fear of the plague spreading to their locations. We exhausted our own supplies, including the reserves we had stored away. And then even our healers began to fall ill.

I could take no more. I dug through our ancient texts and, using the prescribed vampire dust, silver, a death bell, and a ruby, invoked the alien words and called upon the source of our afflictions.

"Peryite! I summon you to accounts!"

In a flash of light and a billow of smoke, a ghostlike skeever emerged from the swirling mists. I thought the summoning had failed, until the skeever said, "You have called. I have answered. How shall you venerate me?"

"Venerate you!" I spat. "You have inflicted a plague upon my city, for no reason and with no end. You must stop!"

"Plague? What plague do you speak of?" it asked innocently.

"The grippe," I responded sharply. "Ague. Consumption. The beastly horrors. Fiddler's quinsy. Even flying heart ticks! Each plague worse than the one before!"

I thought the skeever shrugged, but it said, "I have done nothing other than let nature take its rightful course."

"You decimated my village!" I said.

"You pray for a cessation of your suffering?" asked the skeever.

"I command you to stop!" I shouted.

The skeever gave a chittering laugh. "You command a Daedric Prince? Really? Can you force me, mortal?"

"I have knowledge," I replied. "I can gain more. I will be relentless in my pursuit of you. And I will spread that knowledge through the land. I will not just deal with your deadly afflictions, but cut them off at the root! Your power will fade and you will become a lesser thing."

There was a silence for a moment. Then it said, "What is it you want?"

"I want my patients to be free of these plagues," I said, "I want the people of Tear to be afflicted no more."

Then after a moment's thought I added, "For a year and a day."

Again, the silence, then a chuckle, which sounded very strange coming from a skeever. "Very well."

And with that, the ghostlike skeever disappeared. And with the dawn the people of Tear began to recover. The consumptive coughs became milder, the ague subsided. Even those with the worst cases of fiddler's quinsy began to regain their strength.

Yet it was not without cost, for all deals with Daedra always come with a heavy price. I soon felt a weakness set into my limbs and in the days that followed my skin grew scaly and lizard-like, spreading across one arm. Boils appeared on the other. Food lost all taste. Sleep eluded me. Breathing became difficult.

Now my vision is failing. I weaken. Something unpleasant moves inside my chest. I have sealed myself in my quarters and have instructed all to avoid me. Through my declining ears I can hear bells. Tear celebrating its good health with cheers and cries of joy. I am happy for my people, but I curse what has befallen me.

I curse Peryite. And I curse myself for dealing with a Daedra Prince.

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