Nerevarine Rising

Chapter Twenty Four: Erabenimsun

Posted on June 20, 2014 at 9:05 PM

"What are you doing here, Outlander?" I heard someone snarl. "Any Outlander with common sense knows that this place is not for n'wah like you."

 

I broke away from the person who was holding me by the shirt, shaking off the feeling of disgust and anger.

 

"I'm Ulina Therayn," I said. "And I'm here -"

 

Before I could even continue with what I was saying, there was a chorus of jeers coming from the Erabenimsun. Men, women and children sat back and laughed. It was hard for me to tell if it was as a result from anger and embitterment, or if it was genuine amusement. They all stopped laughing when a fierce warrior pulled out a sword and started walking towards me with it in his hands, and started aiming for my throat.

 

"Get out of here, scum," he seethed. "Get out of here before I have to kill you."

 

"Don't threaten her!" Julan yelled, then charged forwards. I blocked his way with my arm.

 

"I just wanted to be named Nere -"

 

"Liar!" A woman shrieked. "Imperial scum! N'wah!"

 

And then followed a whole host of intelligible insults I couldn't understand, but judging from the looks on both Julan and Shani's faces, it was best if I didn't know. The Erabenimsun soldiers pulled out swords, spears and some even began readying magic.

 

"Ulina," Julan began, "I think it's best if we -"

 

"Stop it!"

 

Everyone turned around to see an older woman rushing towards us. She was wearing an old, tattered looking dress and had her greying hair in long braids down her back.

 

"They are with me," she said firmly, nodding towards the yurt ahead. It didn't take long for me to guess she was the Wise Woman of the tribe.

 

"Manirai," one of the soldiers growled in disgust.

 

"They are with me," she repeated, "go back to your duties."

 

With that, the crowd of Erabenimsun retreated, still giving me angry looks but this time saying nothing.

 

"No standing about, Outlander," Manirai ordered, "follow me."

***

 

Manirai poured all four of us a cup of her homemade tea, made with ingredients she had harvested from nearby. I had to admit, it did taste a little strange, but I quickly got over it. It was nice of her to give me anything in the first place, especially given how horribly her people had treated me.

 

"So," she began, eyeing me with interest. "You decided that it would be a smart idea to march into our camp, unannounced and declare you were the Nerevarine, just like that? Weren't you warned about Ulath-Pal and his war-loving ways?"

 

She didn't even attempt to hide her disgust for her Ashkhan.

 

"Er, no," I replied. And it was the truth. I honestly hadn't been told much about the Erabenimsun at all.

 

"Then you are a fool," Manirai continued. "Ulath-Pal will never name an Outlander Nerevarine. I suggest you get out of here as soon as you can."

 

I shook my head; I wasn't going to let it all come to an end now. Not without a fight, at least.

 

"You are the last tribe I need to convince before I can fulfill the Fifth Trial," I explained. "If you have a plan - anything - please, tell me."

 

Manirai's expression softened a moment.

 

"I think you might care for some more tea, Outlander. This is going to take awhile."

***

 

There was no way I would be able to be named Erabenimsun Nerevarine without killing Ulath-Pal and most of his Gulakhans, something I dreaded doing. I felt as if I had killed enough people recently. But if that was the way it had to be, I would just enter the yurts and kill them all.

 

When I left the yurt with Julan and Shani, I saw that four older Ashlanders, all carrying long, sharp looking spears. The one in front was wearing old bonemold armor (except for a helmet) and had scars all over his face. I could only guess that the mer was Ulath-Pal.

 

"So," he began, taking a few steps towards me, "you're the one who wishes to be named Nerevarine." he shook his head and laughed as if the whole thing was hilarious. "I can just imagine it; Nerevar reborn as a little girl like you."

 

"Oh, please," Shani said from behind me. "Little girl? Surely he could have come up with something better than that? Even that crazy woman who called you a wh -"

 

"Shani," Julan warned.

 

"Do you want something?" I asked Ulath-Pal coldly.

 

"A chance to say I put you down myself," Ulath-Pal replied nastily, then he started charging towards me. I wasn't expecting that. Someone must have overheard the conversation Manirai and I had in the yurt. There was no other explanation. Ulath-Pal then yelled out something in Ashlandic. I didn't understand the language fully yet.

 

"He wants to dual with you," Julan explained. "As if you haven't had enough trouble for one week."

 

"If that's what it takes," I said with a shrug, pulling out my sword.

 

Ulath-Pal was no Bolvyn Venim, but he was strong even in his ridiculously old and damaged armor. When he went to impale me with the spear, I blocked him with my sword.

 

"You're strong," he observed, "but not strong enough."

 

The dual lasted for about five more minutes until Ulath-Pal accidentally fell against my sword. I heard cheers from the crowd of Ashlanders behind me, but there were also angry protests.

 

"I shall crush you like the scrib you are, N'wah!"

 

Two more Ashlanders - Ahaz and Ranabi - rushed forwards. This time, Julan sprung from the crowd the help me fight. Blood spilled onto the ground, but that was the least of my worries then.

 

"Watch out, you two!" Shani yelled, and then began pulling out her bow, preparing to shoot something. It was the last Gulakhan. Ashu-Ahhe.

 

"You murderous scum!" He yelled. His eyes shifted towards Julan. "Traitor!"

 

Julan shrugged. "They charged at us first."

 

The end result was the same as before; Ashu-Ahhe charged at us with his pear, intending to kill us. But this time, it was three against one and the last Gulakhan fell to the floor.

***

 

My clothes were ruined. They were covered in blood stains and dirt marks and I would have to get rid of them as soon as we left the camp. Manirai seemed to be very much in shock after the events of the battle, and left the yurt carrying things like an axe, an amulet and a robe. Julan and Shani cast me strange looks, but I only shrugged. I had no idea what was going on.

 

When Manirai returned, it was with a young mer who was wearing the robes, necklace and the axe. He was smiling.

 

"Hello," I said.

 

"Greetings," he responded. "I'm Han-Ammu, and I'm the new Ashkhan."

 

"You are?" I asked.

 

"Well, yes, but at first I didn't want to be, but now I see that I have to. It's my destiny, just as much as defeating Dagoth Ur is yours."

 

I then noticed that all of those items he was wearing were enchanted, but then shifted my eyes away and looked towards Han-Ammu, who handed me a belt.

 

"The Seizing of the Erabenimsun," he said with a nod. "Good luck."

***

 

The fifth trial was over, and the thought that I would have to go to Vivec and face the Arch-Canon's wrath was looming over me that night, as I tried to sleep.

 

"Are you OK?" Julan asked.

 

"Yeah," I lied, then turned over and closed my eyes again. Sleep wasn't going to come any time soon.

 

"Look, I know this whole Nerevarine thing has been occupying your mind a lot lately, so I...now that you've been named Hortator and Nerevarine I think you should, y'know, relax."

 

Julan's idea of relaxing was taking a trip back to the Azura's Coast region and spending time on the beach,, so we used our rings. I quite liked the beach, and walking towards the water's edge, and watching the cliffracers doing something other than attacking me for a change.

 

Suddenly, I felt a pair of hands cover my eyes.

 

"Guess who?"

 

"Shani," I chuckled. She pulled her hands away and smiled.

 

"Where's Julan?" I asked.

 

"Getting the fire ready for dinner," she said. "Have you thought about what you're going to do after this? I mean, are you going to meet the Arch-Canon or...what?"

 

"I don't think I have a choice," I replied.

 

"Well, tomorrow I think I'm going back to the Ahemmusa to help them move," Shani told me. I raised my eyebrows. "To Ald Daedroth. The last time we were there, the Blight was heading this way. We can't afford to lose anyone."

 

"I understand," I said.

 

"Just let me know how everything goes when you get back," Shani said. She spoke as if she was sure I would come back.

 

The evening was spent on the beach, eating a meat that consisted of Mudcrab meat, mashed ash yams and Mazte Julan had saved.

 

"Remember when we were here when we were kids, Shani," Julan said, pointing towards a rock in the distance, "and I met that talking mudcrab?"

 

"Remember how I said it didn't exist?" Shani retorted.

 

The day had been fun, and some part of me didn't want it to end. But it did, and after breakfast the next morning, Shani had to say her goodbyes.

 

"You will take me to Mournhold when this is all over, won't you?" She asked.

 

I hadn't forgotten; I wanted to go to Mournhold, too. That was where my adoptive mother, Llethsea Therayn had lived before marrying Dranen. If I wanted to find out more, that would be the place to start.

 

"If I come back alive," I said.

 

Shani said her goodbyes, and then started up the hill to Ahemmusa Camp. Julan and I just stood there for a few moments. I was going to miss Shani. Despite how hot-headed and rude she could be at times, she had been a good friend. I almost thought of her as a younger sister.

 

Then, Julan and I began packing. It was time for me to see the Arch-Canon, but not before stopping to see Mashti on the way.

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