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THE NEREVARINE ABROAD
By Bic, Scribe Emeritus
(The Nerevarine, after Morrowind, as compiled from eyewitness accounts.)
“So, are you called Wise because you can state the obvious?” the Nerevarine growled irritably.
The Sensei only smiled at the insult, “No, I can also state the un-obvious, as well.”
“You are a Master in your own land, none may hope to oppose you. Yet, you, who have conquered Gods, search. Do you know why you are...here?”
“Why don't YOU, tell ME,” the foreigner said sarcastically.
“I am not the one searching. It is for YOU to discover the ultimate goal of your quest.”
“If that was mine to give, I would give it, and, gladly, if only to encourage you to leave my people to what peace they may claim. Although powerful, as you have shown in besting my most accomplished Warriors, you are sorely troubled in spirit. I see this as easily as I would recognize an open, festering wound. I tell you, this wound will be your end if you do not tend it.”
“P-tah!” the stranger spat, “AGAIN, you state the obvious!”
“You know your own sickness, yet, you deny its power over you!” the Sensei shook his head sadly.
“The Fates allow me no such luxury.”
“I am what I was made to be: a weapon. No more, no less.”
“You think the Fates heartless? Cruel? You succeed at your assigned task, then, are abandoned?”
“What else can I believe?”
“Perhaps, you misunderstand.”
“HOW?” the cry of desperate need was torn from a tortured soul.
Even the imperturbable Sensei's eyes opened in alarm at the unimaginable pain in his voice, “Stay,” he offered gently, “That we may discover this, together.”
They talked at length, of the world, of life, of the unknowable Fates, themselves. The Sensei was impressed by the Nerevarine's understanding of all, but, himself. Secretly, he feared that he would not be able to help this unfortunate. Unable, in the end, to save him, from, himself.
One bright day, the world seemed calm, serene, but only outwardly. A runner came with grievous news. A strange creature, known by none, a monster seemingly born from nightmare, threatened the North. The Sensei, and his abbey, were called on for Aid and Succor. Honor dictated that they reply. A quadry of Warriors gathered supplies and equipment.
Before they left, the Nerevarine saw the Sensei in his quarters, “I can do this, alone, if you like,” the Nerevarine suggested.
“No need. We are capable,” the Sensei assured him.
“What if I am...required?”
“Come, then, as you will.”
He accompanied them. It was not a great distance, but, the verdant plains turned to foothill evergreens. The Sensei quietly noted that their formidable companion ignored, and, was seemed unaffected by, the land's beauty. Again, he sadly shook his head.
They discovered the creature, quite literally more monster than beast, as it feasted on innocent victims, its great maw painted with their life's blood. The Warriors never gave thought, they dropped excess equipment and charged, the Nerevarine amongst them. The slaughter was great. Hour after hour, the Warriors fell, one by one, but, at the same time, the creature took wounds. The beast's screams mixed with war cries until any individual sound was unidentifiable.
As evening neared, the monster still stood against the Nerevarine, the Sensei, and three of his students. They looked at each other in amazement. This was all that was left of their relief expedition. All were exhausted.
“Let's DO it, and, END this madness!” the Nerevarine gasped. The Sensei nodded agreement, motioning his students to approach from opposite sides. He and the Nerevarine charged the creature's face. Four blades struck with death dealing precision. With one, final, defiant, scream, the creature fell.
It was suddenly over. The beast lay, dead, lying in a pool of its own blood. The Nerevarine felt a weariness such as never before. He staggered backwards from the grisly scene. His hand lost its legendary grip. He watched his sword fall into the dust. He looked at it like he'd never seen it, before, “I-I don't NEED to do this!” he said, amazed at the idea.
“Very true, Lord Nerevarine. You do not,” the Sensei murmured behind him.
“But, then, WHAT shall I do?”
“What is in your heart, God Killer?”
“I don't wish to be God Killer, any more,” he whispered as if what he said was the greatest of obscenities, “I do not wish to be responsible for the world, any longer,” he sighed.
“Then, do not,” The Sensei suggested calmly.
The Nerevarine looked at him, his eyes blinking with confusion, then, straightened as if a great weight was lifted from his shoulders.
Gauntlets worth a King's ransom joined the sword. After that, a breast plate that could buy half a continent, fell into the grayish dust. Piece by piece, world renown armor became no more than discards. Soon, the Nevarine stood in only plain cloth and a travel stained cloak, “There, that's better,” he muttered to himself. He looked at the pile of equipment, “I don't HAVE to wear you! I don't HAVE to USE you!” he scolded the pile, then, turned away, snagging his rucksack in a gnarled hand. Using a distance eating stride, he headed towards a range of tall mountains, far in the distance.
The Sensei quietly motioned for his students to gather the armor and weapon, “We will keep it safe for him, should need arise,” he explained with a satisfied smile.
Need never did arise. The Nerevarine, at last, had earned his rest.