The air smelled so fresh and bandits awaited, Lurren suddenly felt free from the bonds of Skyrim’s grip. She didn’t need their help; they were more of a hindrance to her mission. Next time Indigoblade sends her to find someone, she will do a thorough interview to unearth any other tag alongs. Onward to find some bandits and get to the top leaders.
“You are exactly what I was looking for” The dog jumped up in front of Lurren, who jumped back.
“You were looking for me?” Lurren was trying to figure out how a dog was looking for her that could also talk.
“Honestly, I’m not sure.” Barbas was wagging his tail. “I just knew to sit here until someone came along to help. You came along, you will help.”
Lurren pondered this then requested clarification, “Could that be interpreted as the first person or any other individuals following behind me?”
Barbas looked around Lurren, “There is no one behind you.”
Lurren flipped around quickly. “Success!” She looked over at Barbas who was pushing her down the path. “I could help you as long as you remove your nose from where it is.”
“Come with me. You can patch up a falling out I had with someone.” Barbas trotted ahead of her.
“Fighting with the hand what feeds you?” Lurren asked as she silently thanked the divines for one dog over a million followers.
Barbas laughed, if dogs can really do that, “He doesn’t feed me. Princes don’t feed others, they expect you to feed them.”
“A Prince? Well now, does he need to be rescued?” Lurren hoped he wasn’t a frog because you can get warts from kissing those.
“He does. Has people fanning all over him. Protecting his shrine and won’t let him leave.” Barbas kept leading Lurren along the path while stopping to put his scent on trees along the way.
Lurren stopped quickly, “Why would a prince have a shrine?”
Barbas kept trotting along the road, “He’s a Daedric Prince…Clavicus Vile.”
It was time to review the pros and cons of dealing with one Daedric Prince and a large family of followers. Lurren braked in the road, determined to not follow any further. “He is a what?”
“You know, a Daedric Prince…Lord…who cares about these titles.” Barbas had returned to his reluctant follower. “What should peak your interest is he has the power to grant of power and wishes through ritual invocations and pacts. That’s why vampires are there. And I need you to clear them out.”
“Just for report purposes, which is required as an OBIS agent on mission. You want me to go talk to a Daedric Prince/Lord after I kill vampires to make a pact with him to patch things up between you two?”
“Couldn’t have said it better myself! That is precisely what you need to do.” Barbas would have clapped but he failed the class in Paw Dancin’ to the Oldies. “That’s why you are perfect.”
Lurren smiled all embarrassed, “Well, can’t argue with you on that point.”
“I know, I know you have other tasks to do, guild business to conduct, family gatherings, things like that.”
“Any bandits in that cave?”
“Did I mention those? Vampires. Tell you what; come help later at Haemar’s Shame. He’s not going anywhere until someone helps.” Barbas left Lurren standing on the road while he returned to his master.
Lurren was glad to have gotten rid of that sneaky mutt. No way was she helping Mr. Vile or any other Daedric Prince. It’s nothing but trouble with those gods so best to stay steer clear of them. She decided to go back west with wishes to the dog that one large family finds him before she does.
“Greetings, Lurren.” Nikolai said when she was passing him on the road.
Lurren smiled at him, there was something quiet and mysterious about him. “Nikolai. What are you doing out here?”
“Hoping to find you.”
She knows that trap and won’t fall for it this time. “Why is that?”
“Seems like things went crazy in Falkreath. I would like to follow you. Help out.” He was checking his sword while talking. “Win a few games playing Frostybite.”
Lurren laughed at him, like a friend sharing a good joke. She didn’t know if he was sincere or setting her up. “I reckon it depends on who you were following, Vilja or me. I’m not taking that clan with me any longer though you can come with me. Choice is yours, Nikolai. Either way is okay with me.”
He looked back toward the town, “I prefer you though I did volunteer to do some things for some people here first.”
“All right, I’ll wait for you to finish them.” She was walking back with him. ”They aren’t waiting to pounce on me or anything like that?”
“No, no one has said much actually especially Thrynn.” They were passing the tavern while eyes from the porch watched.
“He never said much anyway.”
When they reached a path leading down between two buildings, Nikolai stopped. “I just need to run some crops down to the farmer. “Can wait here or follow.”
Lurren shook her head. “I’ll wait.” She leaned against the wall of one building as Nikolai headed for the farmer.
Sven was the first to arrive with his newest follower; the half-dressed redguard woman that used her long hair to keep warm. “Umm, DA13, this is Nadina and she needs to be paid.”
“So? Pay her?” Lurren wished the woman did not beat on her drum during the conversation.
“Thanks, DA13. She just needs 150 gold, that’s her fee.” Sven held out his hand for Lurren to give him the gold.
Lurren crossed her arms, “Why am I paying for her fee? You hired her, didn’t you?”
“Bards never pay another bard. Non-bards are the paying customers.” Sven smiled in that way when someone knows they have a skill you don’t. “You are not a bard so.”
“What you are telling me, Sven, is out of the entire group, I am the only non-bard?”
“I am afraid so. You have never attended the Bards College, or my classes or even joined us in a sing-along.” He sighed sadly. “You are the only one.”
She dug through her knapsack then slapped the gold pieces into his hand. “Get out of here.” Lurren looked down the path for Nikolai to avoid any further interaction with Sven and his naked snow bunny.
“Here you are, my little snookums.” Sven dropped the gold into Nadina’s hand.
Lurren glanced back at him, wondering he if had forgotten all about his lovely Camilla.
Nadina slipped the coin into a special pocket hidden inside her vest top then sang to him while walking away.
“It’s the coin we love, love, love,
It’s the why in what we do, do, do,
Now to buy those new shoes, shoes, shoes,
And sing once more for you!”
Sven cheered and hollered it was another masterpiece and one for their songbook.
“DA13, didn’t expect to see you back so soon.” Golldir came over with his royal princess cruising right next to him.
“I’m not back, Golldir. In fact, I’m not even standing here.” Lurren was starting to think Nikolai wasn’t coming back and everyone else was.
“Hmpf, here I thought you were a true Nord and didn’t back down.” Golldir had his hand on Princess’s arm that was hooked through his arm.
The cat-eyed woman gave a sweet smile to Lurren, “Perhaps you need lessons on how to attract and woe men. From what I have seen, epic failure in that category, DA13.” She purred softly while nuzzling against Golldir’s ear. “There is a difference between playing hard to get and getting to play hard.”
Golldir felt moved by her words, “Such womanly wisdom.” He gave Princess a kiss on the cheek.
“Is there something you two wanted or did you just need an audience?” Lurren was looking down the path Nikolai went.
Princess spoke up as if she was the elected spokesperson for the group. “Your handling of Thrynn was a bit unprofessional. Apologies are in order.”
“You are right. I will do that as soon as I see him.” Lurren smiled sweetly at Princess.
“Good, he’s in the tavern. Go tell him now.” Princess pointed with her long painted finger at the tavern.
“You misunderstood. I said when I see him not when you wanted me to see him.” Lurren decided to move over closer to the Blacksmith’s shop.
“That could be easily arranged.” Her words floated behind Lurren’s back as Princess headed to get Thrynn.