Chapter 675: Prepare for the Clockwork
A/n: Hello, my name is Don and I specialize in double chapters! ➡️ https://linktr.ee/donovel ⬅️
The Fight with Ancano took a toll not only on the College but on the entire city. A lot of damage happened due to the strange anomalous wisps that started to appear and randomly attack everything.
While the Local blamed the Mages for not controlling their experiments and wanted them to just “dispel” the things, the Mages insisted that these wisps are the byproduct of the Thalmor’s attack on the College and it would have been much worse if not for the rapid response of Lady Alina.
It is a known fact that House Dare and the Thalmor are the very prime example of “archenemies” and siding with one is automatically being an enemy of the other. Jon Dare stated many times in public that if any Nord on Nirn was to ever support the Thalmor, he would go right to their homes and burn it down on their heads.
So this was as far as things would go. However, this is the first time the Thalmor attacked after the Battle of Winterhold when Jon slew ten of their Arch-Wizards when he was on Godmode. Even when Jon was absent for 3 years, they didn’t retaliate at Winterhold ever. This caused a little bit of confusion in the rumors that were being spread.
But the confusion was a good thing in this situation. Alina had to take the next day working on soothing the city and repairing the damages to the College. She even spread some of the rumors herself and showed up on the doorsteps of many houses in order to heal anyone injured and such.
During her visits, she made sure to spread some rumors. The first was that Archmage Savos Aren was a victim of an assassination attempt and he is now in critical condition. The second was the fact that the College of Winterhold houses a score of Expert and Master Mages, who in terms of power are at par with Jon’s occasional displays of power. Moreover, there is a handful of Arch-Wizards in the College including Archmage Savos, Lady Nurina, and Master Tolfdir.
While in terms of raw firepower, Jon was a brute of a wizard with many deadly toys in his arsenal, the rest of the Arch Wizards are able enough to put on the same level of display. Alina made sure to deliver those facts subtly and carefully to embed them into the hearts of the people and make them aware that there is no good in confronting the Mages, and making sure to remind them that such a confrontation will be exactly what the Thalmor hope for.
But away from all the crowd control, Alina was worried sick about this whole situation.
Archmage Savos was indeed in a critical condition since he suffered the full burst of energy coming from the Eye of Magnus. Moreover, Nurina hasn’t left his side since then and she seemed to be in great sadness.
According to Nurina, Jon seemed to have passed a gift to Archmage Savos once he returned to Skyrim last year. Jon said that this Artifact was something that he discovered in Elsweyr and it is used to nourish the vitality of its user. Such an Artifact was precious to any Mage in any class of the Arcane Arts and Savos decided to keep it on himself.
According to Mirabelle Ervine, this artifact glowed in Red Aura and released a whisper of Thu’um that seemed to have been stored inside. This somehow saved the life of Savos Aren.
It also meant that Jon lied about the Artifact being from Elsweyr and was aware that the Archmage’s life would be in danger. How Nurina felt about this concerned Alina quite a bit but it seemed that she was more worried for Savos rather than being mad at Jon for not telling her what he knows.
On another front, there was the matter with the Eye of Magnus. Alina wanted to move it away and seal it with the Staff of Magnus but four Monks from the Psijic Order appeared and said that they were to take it away.
Alina was furious at them and accused them of standing aside and watching while letting the disaster brew in front of their eyes. Quaranir, the leader of the four monks, apologized to Alina and told her that even her husband Jon knew something like this would happen and didn’t seem to be interrupting Fate as well. However, once Quaranir found out that Archmage Savos was rescued, his face showed surprise for the first time, and started stuttering around his words as if that was out of his calculations.
Quaranir then told Alina that in any case, Archmage Savos won’t be able to keep his duties as Archmage for long, and as the person who conquered the Labyrinthian of Archmage Shalidor, there is no one as fit as her to take the mantle of the Archmage of the College of Winterhold.
This worried Alina quite a bit but at the same time, it was an honor greater than anything she can ever think of. Being a Nord and an Archmage of the College will take the institution to new heights in Skyrim among the Nords once this recent incident passes smoothly. It will also give House Dare a very incredible boost since, from this moment, they will control both the City and the College, a unification that has never occurred since the time of the College’s foundation.
And so, the whole situation in the city was being managed. Still, another situation was brewing inside the Dare Tower where Glymet met Jonrad.
“I am sorry. Your son was taken to another world.”
Jonrad’s reaction wasn’t expected by Glymet… or rather it was expected from Jonrad knowing his situation with Jon.
“Shut up, Jon!” But it was Hilda that shouted at him and turned to Glymet with a serious face, “What happened, Glym?”
Glymet’s eyes were narrowed as he looked at Jonrad while he started to tell Hilda his account of what happened in the Rift and to her son. He also highlighted the critical detail that their son was taken to Clockwork City by the ring known as Barilzar’s Mazed Band.
“To his stupid lawyer face!” Jonrad shouted again… in absolute happiness.
“Will you be quiet? I just put the kids to bed.” Hilda focused her fiery glares at Jonrad once again.
“It is just, honey, when that boy made fun of me last time at Solitude while I was drunk, I’ve been meaning to return the favor and… Glymet here helped me out so…” Jonrad tried to explain his latest grudge with Jon.
“I didn’t do anything to him!” But Glymet defended himself right away, “We were all trying to acquire the ring and your son was tossing everyone left and right. I swear no one had the chance to do anything with him being that aggressive.”
“Don’t worry about it, Glym.” Hilda assured Glymet that he is not in any trouble and returned to her husband, “You and I need to talk.”
“Oh!” Jonrad realized that he is in for an earful.
But just as they were meeting at the entrance of the second section in the Tower, Alina walked in with a tired face.
“I want to sleep so bad.” She said as she dragged herself across the hallway before running into the three elders, “Oh, I didn’t realize we had a guest. You are the Adventurer who helped last night.”
“Alina, this is Glymet, a friend from the War days.” Hilda introduced Glymet to Alina.
“Oh, hello!” Alina’s face turned bright right away, “Jonrad told us a lot about you.”
“You are young Jon’s wife?” Glymet asked while trying to be careful around his words.
“Yes, did he do anything bad?” Alina asked while being fully prepared for what comes.
“He was forcibly taken to Clockwork City.” Hilda said.
“Oh no!” Alina’s reaction was that of pure shock, “Without me?”
“Forcibly taken!” Glymet highlighted the important words.
“Come on!” Alina held her head, “Being forcibly taken to another world again! Damn it!” She then turned to Hilda, “Mom, dad, if I find out that your son has cheated on me over there…”
“He’s all yours, daughter.” Hilda didn’t even bother arguing for her son.
“Totally.” And Jonrad was somehow hyped for what would happen.
“Should I feel sorry for him?” Glymet asked himself in a quiet mumbling.
“Traveling to other realms is kinda his thing, Glym. Jon can handle himself.” Hilda said while getting up, “Now if you excuse me, Thor and Idun have been quiet for some time, I am afraid they’re up to no good again.”
As she left, Glymet couldn’t still drop the concerned face.
“Alright, if he’s in there, I should at least be less worried about Swims-at-Night with him.” Glymet said while massaging his temples.
“Wait. Your Argonian friend is over there as well?” Jonrad asked with wide eyes.
“Yeah, he was the one who got taken with him.” Glymet nodded.
“This is bad.” Alina held her chin.
“What is?” Glymet turned to her with his heart almost jumping out of his chest.
“Jon is in Clockwork city and you have a friend missing over there as well.” Jonrad showed concern too.
“The problem with Jon is that he loses his marbles the moment he is surrounded by Dwarven toys… meaning…” Alina explained.
“He won’t bother with anything… let alone Swims-at-Night.” Jonrad confirmed.
“Alright…” Glymet took a deep breath in and waited for a few seconds before continuing, “I need to get to Clockwork City.”
Alina and Jonrad looked at each other and thought for a while.
“To be completely honest, I have no idea how to get there.” Alina said.
“Then get me in touch with Laaneth.” Glymet said, “I can’t find her since after the attack.”
“She’s camping with Master Nurina.” Alina said, “Archmage Savos is badly wounded so the two of them are looking after him. You need to go to the College and see Mirabelle Ervine to get in contact with Laaneth.”
“I understand… thank you.” Glymet thanked Alina and took a step backward, “I’ll be off then.”
“Wait!” Alina called, “Make sure to not bring up any word about Jon getting missing in Clockwork City in front of Master Nurina. She’s a bit sensitive right now and it may upset her hearing about Jon’s situation.”
“Ah! I remember.” Glymet replied with an understanding face, “The adoptive mother, right?”
“That she is.” Jonrad nodded.
“I’ll be careful then.”
It was unknown what situation the Archmage was in but so long he is alive, things would be stable in the College for some time.
His life was saved by Jon’s artifact and if not for it, he wouldn’t be around. Nurina understood that and wanted to thank him for saving her only surviving blood relative in the world.
While Nurina and Savos aren’t really getting along, she considers herself to be his elder sister of some sort and he was family. Saving his life, no matter the cost, is a big deal to her. However, she didn’t understand why Jon kept the info that Savos’ life was threatened by her.
“His mind is still active. I can conjure some Daedric Energy from Vaermina’s realm of Quagmire to induce nightmares in his head and allow it to find its way during this coma.” Laaneth said.
“The method is a bit radical, don’t you think?” Nurina asked.
“The Archmage is no simple man. If we give him a chance, he will easily push through it and fight his way back to us.” Laaneth said, “In my opinion, a Coma is like a mental block except that it actually blocks one’s brain from his body. The senses still work so we can give him just a little push.”
“I see. Let’s hold on that idea for the night and see if there are any orthodox options on the table. Colette Marence still hasn’t shared her opinion with us.”
“Restoration is a valid school of magic.” Laaneth tried to ease up the mood with an inside joke to the college.
“It is indeed.” Nurina appreciated the comment.
“Well, it is all up to you in the end, Lady Nurina.”
“Thank you, Laaneth.”
While it was all true, it wasn’t ethical to do this to Savos. Inducing nightmares from Vaermina’s realm into his head will add variety to whatever is locking him in there and will probably pull him through this.
But Nurina wasn’t so heartless to let it happen. After all, Savos Aren has too many regrets to not be allowed to face. Some of these regrets were still fresh news to Nurina once Alina told her what happened in the Labyrinthian.
The Labyrinthian was the place where the Staff of Magnus was being kept and it is also a place where Archmage Shalidor, the founder of Winterhold and its College, has set up a test for his successors as the Archmages of Winterhold.
Usually, it is not a place that one can conquer on their own or even as fast as Alina did but she had all the toys Jon kept lying around in the Dare Tower and had some help as well. Still, once in the past, Archmage Savos Aren attempted to challenge the Labyrinthian as well and the result of his expedition wasn’t all good.
In Savos Aren’s expedition, he had five Masters of Winterhold with him, Atmah the Redguard, Girduin the Bosmer, Takes-in-Light the Argonian, Hafnar Ice-Fist the Nord, and Elvali Veren the Dunmer. All of which were possible candidates for the seat of the Archmage, all but Savos got their souls trapped in the Labyrinthian whereas he survived the fool’s errand they called expedition and became the Archmage.
The death of his friends weighed too much on Savos’ soul to the point where he was committed to the College his whole life and never once thought about giving up the seat that he got by the sacrifice of his friends. He didn’t truly conquer the Labyrinthian since he failed at the final test but things would have turned out badly if it wasn’t for him leading the College of Winterhold all this time.
And so, Nurina didn’t even know how to approach his coma knowing that in his long sleep, Savos is somewhere he wants to be.
But while she was contemplating, the door to the Archmage’s chamber was opened and Mirabelle Ervine walked in asking for Laaneth. From how it seemed, Laaneth had a guest, but while she was reluctant to meet him, Nurina urged her to do so.
Still, from what Nurina could tell, it seemed like this man named Glymet was the one Laaneth told her about.
As for Laaneth, the Dunmer conjuration sorceress, she was thankful for Glymet’s help during the fight against Ancano while being a little bit on edge with him since the time they broke up.
It wasn’t that pretty how they ended up.
Before they were an item, they were friends from the War and adventure companions for some time but the situation with them being distant caused them to go their separate ways. Long-distance relationships hardly succeed to begin with and Glymet has met someone else a few years ago. While Laaneth doesn’t know all the details, she knows that Glymet watched that someone die and it wasn’t a peaceful death.
[Reminder: Alisanne Durpe, the former Listener of the Dark Brotherhood from the story of Jonrad and Glymet, the one Jonrad killed in order to steer Glymet away from the path of Sithis.]
But for Glymet to come after this long time and ask to see her, she wasn’t that excited, to begin with, until she met him.
“Thank you… for meeting me.” Glymet spoke with his not meeting her save for a single second.
“Glym.” Laaneth looked at him and noticed many things, “So, like all humans, you became an old man so quickly.”
“Older indeed but not any wiser, I am afraid.” He replied with an awkward smile.
He has grown from the young man she met during the Great War to a late-middle-aged man with white hairs lining the sides of his hair and his beard. Aside from that, some wrinkles and blemishes marked his face as someone who is almost 60.
If he was like any of those clans who had giant-blood or ancestral magic, he may have lived to an 80 or something before looking this old but Glymet was just the epitome of regular humans. On the other hand, Laaneth is well beyond 100 with the looks of a young woman in her 20s or 30s.
“Laaneth, listen…” He pushed all awkwardness aside and focused on the thing that matters, “It’s about Swims.”
“Swims?” Laaneth was surprised, “What happened to the old lizard? Last time I checked on him, he was going around Winterhold.”
Laaneth smiled vividly as she remembered their mutual trouble-maker friend, Swims-at-Night.
“He came to Winterhold?” Glymet asked.
“Yes. He was here looking for a crew of adventurers but Tyr showed up and ruined his whole thing. Classic Tyr, right?” Laaneth laughed as she remembered the situation from a month ago but seeing how she immediately started laughing around Glymet, she was the one to feel awkward this time around.
It has always been like this. She was always comfortable around him for some reason and he was always distant and seeking something greater than himself.
If he can just settle down and be…
“He has been taken.” Glymet said.
“Who?” Laaneth became alert immediately, “Swims?”
“Yes. It happened when he came to find me in Dawnstar…”
Glymet then told Laaneth a full account of what happened until now. Her reaction was to take in a few deep breaths and hold her head.
“A fight in the Rift with an unknown Arch Wizard, the Ruins of Forelhost which are forbidden even to approach, drinking Magicka draining poison, fighting with Jon Dare over the Barilzar’s Mazed Band…” She repeated what she understood, “And what on Nirn were you planning to find in Clockwork City? Oblivion! That’s not even Nirn, to begin with, it is a different world altogether, a branch dimension!”
“Just tell me that you know how to get there.” Glymet asked patiently.
“Easy! You don’t.” Laaneth replied, “Barilzar’s Mazed Band is one thing but that’s a legendary thing… something unique… a backdoor of… sorts.” Laaneth started to mumble at the end as her head was getting some ideas at the moment.
“Alright?” Glymet waited for her to finish her thoughts.
“Look, I’ll be honest.” Laaneth said, “Barlizar was not just some ordinary wizard. He was a Clockwork Apostle who learned under Sotha Sil then left him and went to serve Vivec to gain access to real Dwemer Technology.”
“And what does that have to do with this?” Glymet asked.
“I am trying to say that if you want to do something Barlizar did with his Mazed Band, you need someone on equal footing if not greater than a genius like Barlizar. The only one I know of is Lord Divayth Fyr.”
“That’s impossible.” Glymet laughed, “Is he still alive?”
“Who knows?! Lady Nurina and Jon Dare said that he is but if it is Divayth Fyr, maybe it is some clone of his or whatever. That doesn’t matter either way since he has multiple clone wives.” Laaneth said.
“Clone wives? Oblivion!” Glymet couldn’t imagine cloning one’s self, to begin with, let alone cloning a wife of yourself.
“It is called Selfcest, but who are we to judge at this point?” Laaneth shrugged her shoulders, “Either way, one of the clones happens to live just outside Winterhold.”
“So if not Divayth Fyr, we can just ask that female Divayth Fyr.” He said.
“Yes.” Laaneth said, “Lady Alfe Fyr is her name, just make sure you don’t upset her, she can kill us with her mind and we won’t even know it.”
And so, Laaneth and Glymet sat out to meet with Alfe Fyr for access to Clockwork City to save Swims-at-Night and possibly Jon Dare if he wanted any saving.
A/n: 13 Early Access Chapters on P4treon and MORE! ➡️ https://linktr.ee/donovel ⬅️