Part 1: [link] Part 2:
You Are Here Part 3: [link] Part 4: [link]
She had looked everywhere.
Fadali just stared into the sunken Nordic ruin, waiting for something to reveal itself to her. Her horse snorted softly where she'd made camp nearby.
She had looked everywhere
The Dunmer assassin was certain she knew this burial ground better than its own designers
had; she'd been here for a week now, feverishly searching the tomb and countryside for any sign of her best friend. The only thing she'd found out of place was a grave near the ruin...not incredibly fresh, but new enough to spark her suspicion. It had only contained a bare human skeleton, however, and Fadali had covered it back up and let the unknown person rest undisturbed.This is impossible!
been here--Fadali had made certain this was the right place, asking everyone who lived at all nearby to make sure this
was Snow Veil Sanctum. It was, and Fadali knew she'd heard right when Mrrsizha told her where she was going; she was good at remembering things like that.She'd been here.
But she wasn't anymore, and there were no tracks or signs Fadali could follow. She was a hunter of men and mer in their cities, not in the wild, and they were vastly easier to track then...she didn't know anything about finding one Khajiit in Skyrim's wilderness.
But if Mrrsizha was alive, she would have found a way to contact her. Fadali was her best friend
; if she would contact anyone, it would be Fadali, or her Guild. And Fadali had heard nothing from them, or from Mrrsizha.
It was like the Khajiit had vanished.
Fadali felt her knees give out and dropped to them before she could even decide to react. She only realized she was crying when the wind chilled her tears on her cheeks.
The Dunmer made an angry noise, swiping at her cheeks. "You can't do this to me, Mrrsizha!" She swallowed, looking up. It was evening, and the stars were just now coming out. "Y-you...c-can't...you're too s-smart to be dead, d-dammit!" And there was no body, no remains of one...that meant she had to be alive, right? Right?
Somewhere, wolves howled, and Fadali suddenly had a sick idea: of course there was no body. It had been out here, probably unburied, for weeks. Animals wouldn't pass up an easy meal.
Fadali felt ill the moment she even thought it, and, briefly, she hated that she had had the thought at all. It was just such a sick, callous thing to think about her best friend. But she couldn't help it; it made too much sense. Mrrsizha wasn't here, and she had no reason to be anywhere else without Fadali knowing. Something must have found her before Fadali did. An animal, or...A necromancer?
The Dunmer almost physically recoiled at the thought of her best friend's body being desecrated, defiled
like that, like she was just another chunk of bone and flesh. She shook her head, swallowing. No. Animals. It had
to be animals. Sithis help her, if it was otherwise she would personally execute every necromancer that lived for the crime.
She just stare at the tomb for a few minutes, unable to talk herself into leaving. What if?One more time. Maybe I overlooked something.
The Dunmer woman got to her feet and walked over to the lip of the tomb, dropping down into the open entrance. She took a breath, popping her neck. It was a large tomb, and going through it again was going to take a bit.
Before she could start towards the door, though, something caught her eye, nestled among the burial urns: a small nightshade plant, just barely able to take root between the broken stones. She stared at it, feeling sick and unhappy.
Fadali didn't put much stock in omens and other silliness, but this seemed...too much, to be a coincidence. Nightshade was most well-known for being poisonous and growing near graveyards and other places of death; it was heavily associated with her own Brotherhood, serving as a calling card, poison, and necessary part of the Black Sacrament. Not a comforting bloom to find, but not really unusual here, except that the rest of the land here was wind-blown and snow-scoured.
It also had one meaning Fadali knew of: silence.
And it was Mrrsizha's favorite flower.
Fadali swallowed, walking over to it and kneeling, cupping her fingers around one of the small purple flowers. Despite being in such an unforgiving part of Skyrim, it seemed healthy and vibrant.
And even though Fadali didn't put much stock in omens, she couldn't help but wonder if finding the nightshade--a flower associated with death and silence and Mrrsizha--was some kind of sign.
She expected the thought to hurt, but she just felt numb. She stood, plucking the nightshade flower she'd been holding. She just looked at it for a moment, then reached up, tucking it behind her ear like she'd often seen Mrrsizha wear them.
She made her way back up the stairs that led to the rest of Skyrim and turned to her small camp. The Dunmer woman set her attention to packing her belongings back up, keeping her mind blank and empty of anything but the task before her even as she realized she'd come here for nothing.Mrrsizha wasn't here. Not anymore.
Once she had loaded everything onto her horse, she hoisted herself up onto his back.
She didn't look back at the ruin as she turned to begin the long journey back to Falkreath.
Welp. Finally decided to do a follow-up of [link]
since it's so very popular. o.o I actually wrote a handful of ficlets in this "mini-series" of Fadali Being Emo About Mrr. It gets happy 'ventually.
I feel so very clever about all my heavy-handed symbolism here, and those of you well-versed in flower meanings (IE: none of you*, probably! 8D) will know why. Entirely a coincidence, but it worked out nicely. I love it when a plan works out.
Dark Brotherhood armor confuses me. >> And, uh,
I kind of forgot her war paint in the first picture. The title for this one comes from the quest that started all this emo BS: Speaking With Silence.*Spoiler for people who don't wanna do some googling themselves (not that I blame you): Deadly nightshade, IRL, has several meanings that I found. Silence, death, and most commonly: lies.