The Exploits of Miss Claudina Ildene

Author: Phebe Peronard
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It is truly a fascinating and rewarding experience to follow the great Claudina Ildene and observe her work. While she herself has written many tales of her exploits, I find that she often does not reveal the true magic of her profession. She is not a woman for flair, of course. She sticks to the facts, which in and of themselves are intriguing. But she discounts the true wonder of her methods, the breathtaking feats she accomplishes with little to no effort, the sheer beauty of her talent! It is my duty to try to encapsulate the greatness that is Claudina in these writings. THE CASE OF THE CURSED STABLE

Most recently, Claudina and I were called to Windhelm to address a family's concern about their stables. They'd reported strange sightings, noises and a general unease from their horses. One of the elder siblings claimed to have seen an apparition. She said the ghost seemed to be trying to communicate, but she was unable to understand it. Claudina took to the case immediately. She set up wards around the stable and spread smelling salts around each stall. The horses weren't too pleased, but they tolerated it. Hours passed and nothing happened. The family went to bed, but Claudina stayed up to keep watch. She stood vigil over the stable for hours, saying nothing, merely observing. As thrilled as I was to be part of such an experience, even I became to succumb to weariness. I could barely keep my eyes open! But Claudina never wavered. She continued her watch like a statue. Then—finally! We heard whispering all around us. A shimmer began to dance in the air as the spirit became ensnared in one of Claudina's wards. It gave a terrible roar, and I (to my great embarrassment) screamed like a child. Claudina was unruffled, of course, and merely stood to greet the phantom. In a low, commanding voice she said, "Tell us your purpose."

The spirit molded itself into the shape of a man, though his clothes were from a time long ago. He looked perturbed, as if we were an inconvenience. I didn't believe he would speak but then he opened his mouth and with perfect clarity answered, "I've been trying to tell them! They built this stable over my grave!"

Claudina spoke with the spirit for a long while. While I could not possibly transcribe their entire conversation, I can say that it very much resembled an impatient customer arguing with a levelheaded merchant. Claudina listened to the spirit's concerns, nodded at appropriate times and asked a few questions. And that was that! When Claudina was done with the spirit, she conferred with the family and asked them to build their stable somewhere else. They were more than happy to have such an amicable end to their ghost problem that they got to work right away. I feel it necessary to mention that the family offered Claudina quite a large sum for her work, but she declined. When I asked her about this, she said "They did not have much, and I did them no great service. It was simple enough. They should keep their gold."

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