Narova and the Necromancers

Akavarin Death

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The black-haired Bosmer returned. Bursting through the front door of my apothecary like she owned the place.

She still had those dark, bottomless eyes—like twin wells on a moonless night—but the rest of her face had changed rather dramatically since I saw her last. No longer an immaculate example of elven beauty. Her nose and face had been mashed to pulp and then repaired by someone with an extremely crude grasp of Restoration magic. A snaking scar ran from the bridge of her nose down beside her mouth, and then twisted its way along her left cheek.

The other side of her face still held the remnants of fresher wounds. A few yellowing bruises. Scrapes and cuts scattered around like mud crabs in a pond.

Life goes hard on an assassin, I suppose.

And she brought a massive Nord with her. Silver-haired and massive. His animal stench filled my shop and betrayed his true nature.

I never cared much for werewolves. They’re undoubtedly powerful creatures, but I always feel like they’re just a hair’s breadth away from pissing on the floor. Too much beast, not enough…culture.

But the Bosmer’s new weapon was the most interesting thing about her return. Instead of a rusted dagger at her hip, she had somehow acquired an Akaviri katana. Generally, to come by a weapon like that, you have to kill a member of the Blades.

And there are precious few of them left to murder. I should know, I killed a rather significant number of them in my youth.

What can I say? The Thalmor are insufferable but they pay extremely well.

“Morlanus,” she said by way of greeting. “Have you learned my name yet?”

I smiled. “As promised, word of Narova Black Hair’s dark deeds arrived on my doorstep some time ago. Sujava’s…transformation is the talk of Skyrim. It is an honor to have such a creative killer in my presence. I must say, however, I expected you back much sooner.”

She shrugged. “Sithis is unpredictable.”

When she didn’t elaborate, I turned to her companion. “And you must be Arnbjorn, unless there is another lupine member of the Dark Brotherhood I am unaware of?”

Arnbjorn narrowed his eyes—looking at me like I was some kind of snack.

“That’s right, hamshank. I’m the werewolf. And you’re the poison maker.”

“Guilty,” I said, reaching below the counter and pulling the stopper from a Poison of Mass Incineration. Can never be too careful.

“No need for that,” Narova said casually. “We’ve come for your help. Not your life.”