Chapter 13 Night Falls on Ebonheart
Last Seed 28
I leaned against the stone ledge and held the tip of my dagger against my index finger. The blade was sharp, and nearly pierced my skin as I ran it down the palm of my hand. Looking out at the water from the lower edge of Fort Hawkmoth’s wall, I squinted my eyes as the setting sun changed the sky from dusk into twilight.
Vailant! Put down that weapon and come here,” Glabrio said to me. He had been barking orders at me during the whole trip to Vvardenfell, all the way from Cyrodiil. I was getting fed up with his attitude.. “Put down the weapon? I’ll put you down, you old fool.” I thought. I wouldn’t have minded jabbing my dagger right into his spine. I refrained from such actions, of course, and did as he said. I was a professional, after all, and I needed the money. Glabrio Belienus was the Head Secretary to the Emperor, and quite an important figure, as I heard. We had traveled from the Imperial province, my home, because of an important job he had for me. Along the way, he had been slowly explaining it to me, bit by bit.
I walked along the terrace, with one hand grazing the stone ledge. As I drew closer, I then realized that the man we had been waiting for had arrived. “Cauis,” Glabrio said to him.
“Glabrio,” he responded. “It’s been a while since I’ve seen you.”
“Yes. Well, how are you, Cauis?” Glabrio said back.
“I’m well. And you?”
“I’ve been busy. But I too, am doing well. Do you know why I’ve asked you to come?”
“To discuss the Emperor’s orders, of course. That always seems to be the reason you send for me.”
“Ha ha. Ah, yes. I suppose you’re right. Some time we should really sit down under more pleasant circumstances and talk.”
I interrupted their good-humored banter with a disruptive throat-clearing.
“Eh-hem!” I coughed, quite loudly. Glabrio turned his head with the usual unpleasant look on his face. “Not going to introduce me?” I asked with a snide tone of voice.
“Yes. Vailant, this is Cauis Cosades, Spymaster within the Blades. Cauis, Vailant here is the mercenary we’ve hired from the Fighter’s Guild. He’ll be around to fix up anything that isn’t going according to plan.” The Spymaster and I shook hands as Glabrio introduced us.
“It’s good to be working with you, sir. I’ve heard much about you.” I said to him. “Do you have any messes that need cleaning up? Anyone who needs their throat slit?” I asked him. Cauis gave his Imperial colleague quick look, and Glabrio returned it, before speaking.
“As a matter of fact, yes,” he said to me. I smiled. Cauis then began to report to Glabrio. I silenced myself, and allowed them to continue where I had interrupted.
“How is Belmont doing?” Glabrio asked.
“Oh, he’s doing fine. I’m confident that he’ll be able to progress as planned. At least as well as anyone can against the forces of Dagoth Ur,” Cauis responded.
“And the supplementary players?”
“Well, actually, I’ve just had a talk with one of them.”
“Really? When did this happen?” Glabrio said with surprise.
“Just a few hours ago. I met with Magnus the Greymind.”
“Hmm, the Nord, if my memory serves me correctly.
“And were the other two with him?” Glabrio asked.
“Therein lays the problem. I could tell that he had met with the Khajiit, because he had the papers, but he gave no mention of the Wood Elf. And there was another Nord with him. He went by the name of Snorri.”
“Hmm, so no elf, and an extra Nord. That will change things.” Glabrio then looked over at me. “You haven’t forgotten what you have to do, have you?” he asked.
“Not at all. I’ve been waiting for months for this. Three go in and one comes out. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that after all the time you’ve spent drilling it into my head.” The entire trip that the Imperial agent and I had spent coming to Morrowind, he had continued repeating the plan over and over to me.To assure that the prophecy is fulfilled by Simon Belmont, a separate series of events must take place parallel in the timeline. All supplementary players must come in contact with each other through some means and the climax must bear only three witnesses and one survivor. Three go in and one comes out. By the grace of Zenithar, I’d never forget. “Don’t worry, I’ll make sure all the circumstances are right,” I said to the both of them.
“Good. Use the resources from the Imperial forts if you need to. Track them down, lure them, falsify documents, kill them, whatever it takes,” Cauis said to me. I just nodded.
“One thing I was wondering though,” I began “If you two have got the Blades at your disposal, why did you come to the Fighter’s Guild for help? Why not just keep it internal?” I asked. Glabrio was the one to respond.
“The Blades are the eyes and the ears of the Emperor, as I’m sure you’ve by now come to realize. While it is true that from time to time, they have been known to remove those who provide problems, it is not their main function to involve themselves in murder. And especially not in a situation as clandestine as this one. Hiring you, despite your Imperial work in the past, cannot be linked to either of us, or the Emperor. Your actions, if discovered, would be viewed as the work of the guild, and nothing else. A bounty, or some such matter.” It made sense.
“All right, then …” I began. ”…one more thing, though. Seeing how you’re pulling the wool over these supplementary players’ eyes, and leading them to near certain death, how do I know that my name isn’t on this list you keep mentioning, and that my blood being spilled isn’t the final step in this series of necessary events? How do you know that, although I am a professional, I’m not just going to rat you out and give this information to the Duke?” Cauis and Glabrio looked at each other. Glabrio then smiled, and answered my question.
“Well, not despite, but because of your Imperial work in the past, you know how efficient the Blades can be at removing any problems from the Emperor’s plans. One with less knowledge of the inner workings of the Blades might try to benefit from the information that you’ve been allowed access to. But because of what you’ve seen with your past Imperial work, we can be sure that you are too educated on the matter of betrayal.” While Cauis had a stern look on his face, I was sure that he was thinking the same thing as the smiling Belienus. Even I was thinking it. If I did betray them, it would literally be my last mistake.
“Well it’s a good thing that I have no intention of doing that,” I said to them.
”Yes, it is. And as for your fears of being pulled into the prophecy yourself and being put at risk, I suppose that you have no assurance. It’s probably best for you to just think of the money.” And so I did. I said my farewells to the two Imperial agents. They wished me luck in my mission, and I gave them insincere well wishes for their trip back to Cyrodiil City. I then used the same door that Cauis had came out from to enter Fort Hawkmoth.
I walked down the dimly lit hallway, I thought of my current situation. It was funny how as the clock on the apocalypse was counting down, all the important people were leaving and all the grunts were being pushed closer towards the peril. “Oh well.” I thought. “Maybe I’ll get a chance to jab my dagger into Belienus’ back later on. Until then, I’ll just think about the money.”