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【书籍搬运】The Horrors of Castle Xyr 塞堡惊魂

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英文名:The Horrors of Castle Xyr

作者:Baloth-Kul

原文出处:http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Oblivion:The_Horrors_of_Castle_Xyr

翻译:s_sir

塞堡惊魂

巴洛斯-库尔(Baloth-Kul)著

一场独幕剧

出场人物

克拉维斯(Clavides),帝国警卫队的队长。赛瑞迪尔人(帝国人)。 阿娜拉(Anara),一个丹莫族女仆。 乌利斯(Ullis),帝国警卫队的一个中尉。亚龙人。 佐拉萨(Zollassa),一个年轻的亚龙人法师。

第一幕

晚上。舞台背景是司凯斯-埃纳德(Scath Anud)地区一座城堡入口处大厅的内部,大厅里满是精美的家具和挂毯。火把是唯一的光源。大厅的正中有一座大铁门,把守着城堡的主入口。通往上层的楼梯紧挨着这座门。舞台的左面有一扇通往图书馆的门,现在是关着的。舞台的右面是一套巨型盔甲,有二十英尺高,几乎要碰到天花板了。虽然台上看不到人,但可以听到从图书馆门里传出女子的歌声。 一声巨大的敲打铁大门的声音打断了女子的歌唱。通往图书馆的门开了,阿娜拉,一个寻常姿色的女仆,走了出来并赶忙过去打开大门。克拉维斯,一个身穿帝国制服的年轻男人站在那里。

阿娜拉:晚上好,瑟乔。(瑟乔serjo:大人,黑暗精灵语,对男性贵族的尊称——译注)

克拉维斯:晚上好。你的主人在家吗?

阿娜拉:不在,瑟乔,只有我在这。我的主人塞杜兰·凯纳·泰尔梵尼·霍达夫·塞尔(Sedura Kena Telvanni Hordalf Xyr)在他的避暑庄园。有什么事我能为你效劳的吗?

克拉维斯:或许有,我能进来吗?

阿娜拉:没问题,瑟乔。请进,我能为你上点弗林酒吗?

克拉维斯走进大厅并向四处张望。

克拉维斯:不,谢谢。你叫什么名字?

阿娜拉:阿娜拉,瑟乔。

克拉维斯:阿娜拉,你的主人是什么时候离开司凯斯-埃纳德的?

阿娜拉:走了有超过两星期了。这也是为什么只有我还在这座城堡里,瑟乔。所有其它的仆人和奴隶都随老爷一起走了。有什么问题吗?

克拉维斯:是的,有一个。你认识一个叫苏尔-卡里法(Sul-Kharifa)的灰原之民吗?

阿娜拉:不,瑟乔。我不知道没有人叫这个名字。

克拉维斯:你估计也没这个机会了,他已经死了。他于数小时前被人发现在灰烬之地因冻伤而挣扎着死去。他当时情绪非常激动,语言已难于识别,但他遗言里有“城堡”和“塞尔”这两个词。

阿娜拉:在灰烬之地的夏天死于冻伤?天哪,太奇怪了。我猜想我的主人可能认识这个人,不过他是一介灰民,而我的主人则属于泰尔梵尼家族(the House of Telvanni),嗯,请恕我有点无礼了,瑟乔,我不认为他们会是朋友。

克拉维斯:那是你主人的图书馆吗?你介意我进去看一下吗?

阿娜拉:请自便,瑟乔,去你想去的任何地方。我们没有什么好隐瞒的。我们是忠诚的帝国臣民。

克拉维斯:是啊,就像我听说的那样,整个泰尔梵尼家族都是如此。

(来自剧本作者的注释:这句话不要以讽刺的语调说出来。观众肯定会发笑的——它从未失败过,不管当地人的政见如何。) 克拉维斯走进图书馆并仔细检查里面的书籍。

克拉维斯:图书馆需要打扫了。

阿娜拉:是的,瑟乔。当你敲门的时候我正在打扫。

克拉维斯:我对这点很感谢。如果你已经扫完了,我就不会注意到在灰尘里有一块空白,一本相当大的书刚刚被移动过。它表明,你主人似乎是一个巫师。

阿娜拉:不,瑟乔。我的意思是,他研究了很多,但他没有施展过零条咒语,如果你所指的巫师是那样的话。他是个凯纳(凯纳kena:学者,博学之人,黑暗精灵语——译注),上过大学,了解所有事物。你看,我现在想了想,我记起来这本书发生了什么事。另外一位从大学来的凯纳昨天来过这里,他借走了几本书。他是主人的一个朋友,所以当时我想没什么问题。

克拉维斯:这位凯纳,他叫沃维姆(Warvim)吗?

阿娜拉:可能吧,我不记得了。

克拉维斯:有一个在大学里搞亡灵术的疑犯,叫凯纳·沃维姆的,被我们于昨晚逮捕了。我们并不清楚他在大学里干了些什么,但那是些非法的事,这点是肯定的。是这个凯纳借了那本书吗?一个瘦小的家伙,一个拖着条残腿的瘸子?

阿娜拉:不,瑟乔,昨晚来的不是这个凯纳。他是个能走路的棒小伙,我看到是这样的。

克拉维斯:我要去检查一下这屋子的其他部分,如果你不介意的话。

克拉维斯上了楼,并在二楼楼道和房间里说接下去的台词。阿娜拉继续在楼下打扫卫生,她把一个高靠背的椅子移到盔甲前以便擦洗地板。

阿娜拉:我能问一下吗,瑟乔,你在找什么呢?也许我可以帮你。

克拉维斯:城堡里的房间都在这了吗?没有密道?

阿娜拉(笑):哦,瑟乔,塞杜兰·凯纳·泰尔梵尼·霍达夫·塞尔要密道来干吗?

克拉维斯(看着那副盔甲):你的主人身材很高大。

阿娜拉(笑):哦,瑟乔,不要取笑。那是巨人穿的盔甲,只是个装饰品。我的主人十年前杀了那个巨人,然后把它留下来做个纪念。

克拉维斯:没错,我记得我刚来这里履职时听到过这件事。有一个叫塞尔的人杀了个巨人,但我不记得他的名字是霍达夫。我的记忆恐怕模糊了。那个巨人叫什么?

阿娜拉:我恐怕我不记得了,瑟乔。

克拉维斯:我记得,他叫托范(Torfang)。“我从托范的盾牌里出来。”

阿娜拉:我不明白,瑟乔。托范的盾牌?

克拉维斯跑下楼梯,检查那副盔甲。

克拉维斯:苏尔-卡里法说过一些话,关于什么从托范的盾牌里跑出来。我原本想他那时神经错乱了,自己瞎编出来的。

阿娜拉:但他没有盾牌,瑟乔。

克拉维斯把那把高靠背椅推开,在盔甲的底部露出了一面固定着的巨大盾牌。

克拉维斯:是的,他有。你用这把椅子把它藏起来了。

阿娜拉: 我不是故意这样做的,瑟乔!我只是在打扫卫生!我每天都看见这副盔甲,瑟乔,我发誓我以前不是从来没有注意到这面盾牌!

克拉维斯:好的,阿娜拉,我相信你。

克拉维斯用力推了盾牌一下,盾牌向后退去,底下露出了一个地道入口。

克拉维斯:看来塞杜兰·凯纳·泰尔梵尼·霍达夫·塞尔确实需要一个密道。你能给我一支火把吗?

阿娜拉:天哪,以前我不是从来没有看见这个!

阿娜拉从墙上取下一支火把,然后把它交给克拉维斯。 克拉维斯进入地道。

克拉维斯:在这儿等着。

阿娜拉看着克拉维斯从地道口消失。她显得很烦躁,并最后跑向大门。当她打开大门时,乌利斯,一个亚龙人帝国警卫队中尉就站在入口处。她尖叫起来。

阿娜拉:不要现在来!走开!

乌利斯:恐怕队长不这样看,小姐。

阿娜拉:你是……和队长一起的?圣母啊。

克拉维斯走出地道,脸色苍白。他花了一会功夫才开口说话。

乌利斯: 队长?下面有些什么?

克拉维斯(面向阿娜拉):你知不知道你的主人是一个亡灵巫师?以及你们的地窖里塞满了尸体?

阿娜拉晕了过去。乌利斯把她抱到椅子上,并扶她躺下。

乌利斯:让我看看,瑟乔。

克拉维斯:你待会能看个够。我们现在需要此处驻地的全部士兵都过来以搬走所有的尸体。乌利斯,我曾看过足够多的战场,但我从来没有看见哪一次像今天这样。没有两具是相像的。虎人,斯劳德人,丹莫人,赛瑞迪尔人,布莱顿人,诺德人,活活烧死的,毒死的,电死的,融化的,身体被撕裂的,内脏被掏出的,躯体被撕成碎片后又缝起来的。

乌利斯:你认为那个灰民逃了出来,这就是事情的真相?

克拉维斯:我不知道。为什么会有人做这样的事,乌利斯?

大门那响起了敲门声。克拉维斯打开门。一个年轻的亚龙女子,佐拉萨,站在门口,手持一个包裹和一封信。

佐拉萨:早上好,你不是塞尔老爷吧,你是吗?

克拉维斯:不是。你手里拿着什么?

佐拉萨:一封信和一个包裹,有人要我交给他。他会很快回来吗?

克拉维斯:我不这么认为。谁给的你这个包裹?

佐拉萨:我大学里的老师,凯玛·沃维姆(Kema Warvin)。他有一条坏腿,所以他让我把这些带给老爷。实际上,告诉你们实话吧,我被要求昨晚就转交它们,不过我太忙了。

乌利斯:你好啊,阿妹。等我们碰见老爷时,我们会把这个包裹交给他的。

佐拉萨:啊,你好,阿哥。我早就听说司凯斯-埃纳德有一个亚龙人帅哥。不好意思,我答应过凯纳·沃维姆要把包裹亲手交给老爷。我已经迟到了,我不能再……

克拉维斯:我们是帝国警卫,小姐。我们将拿走这个包裹和信。

佐拉萨迟疑地把信和包裹交给克拉维斯。她转身离去。

乌利斯:你待在大学里吗?如果我们要见你的话。

佐拉萨:是的,祝你好运,阿哥。

乌利斯:再见,阿妹。

在佐拉萨离开后,克拉维斯打开那个包裹,里面是一本夹着许多活页的书。

克拉维斯:好像我们找到了那本失踪的书。就这样送到我们手上。

克拉维斯开始默不作声地阅读这本书。

乌利斯(自言自语,非常开心):另一个在司凯斯-埃纳德的亚龙人,而且这么可爱。我希望我们刚才对她不是太粗鲁。我已经厌倦了这里的女人,皮肤光滑又湿润。如果在我下班后我们能见个面,那将是多么美妙的一件事啊!

乌利斯一边说话一边拆开信开始阅读。

乌利斯(继续自语):她看起来好像来自南方,和我一样。要知道,来自黑沼泽(Black Marsh)北部的亚龙人长得要……小……得多……

乌利斯继续看信,被信里的内容给吓得目瞪口呆。克拉维斯已经粗略地看到书的后面,开始阅读最后的段落。

克拉维斯(朗读):用黑墨水写的“男性虎人出人意料的对初级闪电咒语都没有一点抗性,但我在持续数天缓慢地对他施加一个中级强酸咒语后,得到了一个有趣的生理学结果。”用红墨水写在页边空白处的,“是的,我看到了。这个强酸咒语是均匀地施加在对象的整个身体上的吗?”用黑墨水写的“女性诺德人在忍受了十六个小时的霜冻咒语后,最终陷入假死状态,并从这个状态最后走向死亡。男性诺德人则不是如此,男性灰民也不是,他们陷入昏迷状态的时间要早得多,但随后又苏醒了过来。那个灰民试图逃跑,但我阻止了他。那个诺德人接着对一个初级火球咒语产生了有趣的过度化学反应并死去了。情状参看附随的绘图”用红墨水写的,“是的,我看到了。肢体火烧的痕迹和伤口的形状揭示了某种程度的内部碳化,这可能是短时间的火烧和长时间的霜冻一起作用的结果。很遗憾我不能亲自前来观看这个实验,但我非常欣赏你精彩完备的实验记录。”用黑墨水写的,“感谢你关于对我的女仆阿娜拉进行渐进性下毒的建议。你所建议的剂量产生了迷人的效果,在不知不觉中腐蚀着的她的记忆力。我计划逐渐增加咒语的毒性,看看多长时间后她能有所察觉。说到这里,有一点我觉得很遗憾,就是我没有一个亚龙人实验品,不过奴隶贩子们已经答应我在秋天提供一个健康的样品。我将测试他们肌体的代谢情况,并同精灵和人类进行比较。按照我的理论,一个中级闪电咒语,以连续波的形式持续施放在一个亚龙人身上,至少数小时之内都不会引起他的死亡,同样的结果我在女性赛瑞迪尔人以及,当然,那个巨人身上都曾获得过。”用红墨水写的,“要等到秋天才能看到结果真是遗憾。”

乌利斯(朗读那份信):用红墨水写的,“这就是你要的亚龙人。请让我知道结果。”署名是“凯玛·沃维姆。”

克拉维斯:凯娜瑞斯(Kynareth)啊!(凯娜瑞斯Kynareth:九圣灵之一,掌管天空、清风、自然元素的女神——译注)这不是亡灵术,这是毁灭术。凯玛·沃维姆和凯纳·泰尔梵尼·霍达夫·塞尔不是在用死尸做实验,而是在研究活人忍受法术折磨的极限。

乌利斯:这封信不是寄给凯纳·泰尔梵尼·霍达夫·塞尔的,它是寄给塞杜兰·艾奇拉·塞尔(Sedura Iachilla Xyr)的。会是他的妻子吗,你看?

克拉维斯:艾奇拉,这就是那个我曾经听说过的和杀死巨人有关的塞尔家的泰尔梵尼成员。我们先不要管这个。她需要去看医生。

克拉维斯唤醒了阿娜拉,她看上去有点精神恍悟。

阿娜拉:发生什么事了?你们是谁?

克拉维斯:别担心,一切都会好起来的。我们准备带你去看医生。

乌利斯:要穿件外套吗,艾奇拉?

阿娜拉:谢谢,不要了,我不冷——

阿娜拉/艾奇拉打住了,意识到自己被设了套。 克拉维斯和乌利斯拔出了他们的剑。

克拉维斯:你的手指上沾有黑墨水,夫人。

乌利斯:还有当你看到我站在门口时,你以为我是你朋友沃维姆送来的亚龙人。这就是为什么你会说,“不要现在来。走开。”

阿娜拉/艾奇拉:你们的观察力比阿娜拉强多了。她从来就没搞明白发生了什么事,甚至当我对她施加了三倍威力的剧毒咒语,让她在巨大的痛苦中死去时,也是如此。

乌利斯:你原本准备对我干点什么,闪电还是火球?

阿娜拉/艾奇拉:闪电。我发现火球的效果太难预料了。

在她说话时,火把上的火焰全部熄灭了。舞台陷入了完全的黑暗。 从中传来打斗的声音,剑碰击的叮当声。突然,一道闪电一闪而过,然后周围安静了。在黑暗中,阿娜拉/艾奇拉说话了。

阿娜拉/艾奇拉:多么迷人啊。

伴随着幕布的缓缓合拢,又有多道闪电从中划过。

剧终。

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The Horror of Castle Xyr
by Baloth-Kul
A One Act Play


Note: This book appeared with minor wording changes in Tribunal, but is identical, except for their inventory names in the other games. The Online version is split into three parts.

Dramatis Personae


Clavides, Captain of the Imperial Guard. Cyrodilic.

Anara, a Dunmer maid.

Ullis, a Lieutenant of the Imperial Guard. Argonian.

Zollassa, a young Argonian mage


Act I


Late evening. The play opens in the interior Great Entrance Hall of a castle in Scath Anud, replete with fine furnishings and tapestries. Torches provide the only illumination. In the center of the foyer is a great iron door, the main entrance to the castle. The staircase up to the landing above is next to this door. On stage left is the door to the library, which is currently closed. On stage right is a huge suit of armor, twenty feet tall, nearly touching the ceiling of the room. Though no one can be seen, there is the sound of a woman singing coming from the library door.

A loud thumping knock on the iron front door stops the woman's singing. The door to the library opens and ANARA, a common-looking maid, comes out and hurries to open the front door. CLAVIDES, a handsome man in Imperial garb stands there.

ANARA: Good evening to you, serjo.
CLAVIDES: Good evening. Is your master at home?
ANARA: No, serjo, it's only me here. My master Sedura Kena Telvanni Hordalf Xyr is at his winter estate. Is there something I can do for you?
CLAVIDES: Possibly. Would you mind if I came in?
ANARA: Not at all, serjo. Please. May I offer you some flin?


Clavides comes into the Hall and looks around.

CLAVIDES: No thank you. What's your name?
ANARA: Anara, serjo.
CLAVIDES: Anara, when did your master leave Scath Anud?
ANARA: More than a fortnight ago. That's why it's only me in the castle, serjo. All the other servants and slaves who tend to his lordship travel with him. Is there something wrong?
CLAVIDES: Yes, there is. Do you know an ashlander by the name of Sul-Kharifa?
ANARA: No, serjo. I don't know no one by that name.
CLAVIDES: Then you aren't likely to now. He's dead. He was found a few hours ago dying of frostbite in the ashlands. He was hysterical, nearly incomprehensible, but among his last words were “castle” and “Xyr.”
ANARA: Dying of frostbite in summertide in the ashlands? B'vek, that's strange. I suppose it's possible that my master knew this man, but being an ashlander and my master being of the House of Telvanni, well, if you'll pardon me for being flippant, serjo, I don't think they coulda been friends.
CLAVIDES: That is your master's library? Would you mind if I looked in?
ANARA: Please, serjo, go wherever you want. We got nothing to hide. We're loyal Imperial subjects.
CLAVIDES: As, I hear, are all Telvanni.


(Note from the playwright: this line should be delivered without sarcasm. Trust the audience to laugh -- it never fails, regardless of the politics of the locals.)



Clavides enters the library and looks over the books.

CLAVIDES: The library needs dusting.
ANARA: Yes, serjo. I was just doing that when you knocked at the door.
CLAVIDES: I'm grateful for that. If you had finished, I wouldn't notice the space in the dust where a rather large book has recently been removed. Your master is a wizard, it seems.
ANARA: No, serjo. I mean, he studies a lot, but he don't cast no spells, if that's what you mean by wizard. He's a kena, went to college and everything. You know, now that I think about it, I know what happened to that book. One of the other kenas from the college been round yesterday, and borrowed a couple of books. He's a friend of the master, so I thought it'd be all fine.
CLAVIDES: This kena, was his name Warvim?
ANARA: Coulda been. I don't remember.
CLAVIDES: There is a suspected necromancer at the college named Kena Warvim we arrested last night. We don't know what he was doing at the college, but it was something illegal, that's for certain. Was that the kena who borrowed the book? A little fellow, a cripple with a withered leg?
ANARA: No, serjo, it weren't the kena from yesterday. He was a big fella who could walk, so I noticed.
CLAVIDES: I'm going to have a look around the rest of the house, if you don't mind.


Clavides goes up the stairs, and delivers the following dialogue from the landing and the rooms above. Anara continues straightening up the downstairs, moving a high-backed bench in front of the armor to scrub the floor.

ANARA: Can I ask, serjo, what you're looking for? Maybe I could help you.
CLAVIDES: Are these all the rooms in the castle? No secret passages?
ANARA (laughing): Oh, serjo, what would Sedura Kena Telvanni Hordalf Xyr want with secret passages?
CLAVIDES (looking at the armor): Your master is a big man.
ANARA (laughing): Oh, serjo, don't tease. That's giant armor, just for decoration. My master slew that giant ten years ago, and kind of keeps it for a souvenir.
CLAVIDES: That's right, I remember hearing something about that when I first took my post here. It was someone named Xyr who killed the giant, but I didn't think the first name was Hordalf. Memory fades I'm afraid. What was the giant's name?
ANARA: I'm afraid I don't remember, serjo.
CLAVIDES: I do. It was Torfang. “I got out of Torfang's Shield.”
ANARA: I don't understand, serjo. Torfang's shield?


Clavides runs down the stairs, and examines the armor.

CLAVIDES: Sul-Kharifa said something about getting out of Torfang's shield. I thought he was just raving, out of his mind.
ANARA: But he ain't got a shield, serjo.
Clavides pushes the high-backed bench out of the way, revealing the large mounted shield at the base of the armor.
CLAVIDES: Yes, he does. You covered it up with that bench.
ANARA: I didn't do it on purpose, serjo! I was just cleaning! I see that armor every day, serjo, and b'vek I swear I ain't never noticed the shield before!
CLAVIDES: It's fine, Anara, I believe you.


Clavides pushes on the shield and it pulls back to reveal a tunnel down.

CLAVIDES: It appears that Sedura Kena Telvanni Hordalf Xyr does have a need for a secret passage. Could you get me a torch?
ANARA: B'vek, I ain't never seen that before!


Anara takes a torch from the wall, and hands it to Clavides. Clavides enters the tunnel.

CLAVIDES: Wait here.


Anara watches Clavides disappear down the tunnel. She appears agitated, and finally runs for the front door. When she opens it, ULLIS, an Argonian lieutenant in the Imperial guard is standing at the entrance. She screams.

ULLIS: I'm sorry to frighten you.
ANARA: Not now! Go away!
ULLIS: I'm afraid the Captain wouldn't like that, miss.
ANARA: You're ... with the Captain? Blessed mother.


Clavides comes out of the tunnel, white-faced. It takes him a few moments to speak.

ULLIS: Captain? What's down there?
CLAVIDES (to Anara): Did you know your master's a necromancer? That your cellar is filled with bodies?


Anara faints. Ullis carries her to the bench and lays her down.

ULLIS: Let me see, serjo.
CLAVIDES: You'll see soon enough. We're going to need every soldier from the post here to cart away all the corpses. Ullis, I've seen enough battles, but I've never seen anything like this. No two are alike. Khajiiti, sload, dunmer, cyrodiil, bretonnord, burned alive, poisoned, electrified, melted, torn apart, turned inside out, ripped to shreds and sewn back up together.
ULLIS: You think the ashlander escaped, that's what happened?
CLAVIDES: I don't know. Why would someone do something like this, Ullis?


There is a knock on the door. Clavides answers it. A young Argonian woman, ZOLLASSA, is standing, holding a package and a letter.

ZOLLASSA: Good morning, you're not Lord Xyr, are you?
CLAVIDES: No. What do you have there?
ZOLLASSA: A letter and a package I'm supposed to deliver to him. Will he be back shortly?
CLAVIDES: I don't believe so. Who gave you the package to deliver?
ZOLLASSA: My teacher at the college, Kema Warvim. He has a bad leg, so he asked me to bring these to his lordship. Actually, to tell you the truth, I was supposed to deliver them last night, but I was busy.
ULLIS: Greetings, sistre. We'll give the package to his lordship when we see him.
ZOLLASSA: Ah, hail, brothre. I had heard there was a handsome Argonian in Scath Anud. Unfortunately, I promised Kema Warvim that I'd deliver the package directly to his lordship's hands. I'm already late, I can't just --
CLAVIDES: We're Imperial Guard, miss. We will take the package and the letter.


Zollassa reluctantly hands Clavides the letter and the package. She turns to go.

ULLIS: You're at the college, if we need to see you?
ZOLLASSA: Yes. Fare tidings, brothre.
ULLIS: Goodnight, sistre.


Clavides opens the package as Zollassa exits. It is a book with many loose sheets.

CLAVIDES: It appears we've found the missing book. Delivered to our very hands.


Clavides begins to read the book, silently to himself.

ULLIS (to himself, very pleased): Another Argonian in Scath Anud. And a pretty one, at that. I hope we weren't too rude to her. I'm tired of all these women with their smooth, wet skin, it would be wonderful if we could meet when I'm off duty.


While Ullis talks, he opens the letter and reads it.

ULLIS (continued): She looks like she's from the south, like me. You know, Argonians from northernBlack Marsh are... much... less...


Ullis continues reading, transfixed by the letter. Clavides skips to the back of the book, and reads the last sentences.

CLAVIDES (reading): In black ink “The Khajiiti male showed surprisingly little fortitude to a simple lightning spell, but I've had interesting physiological results with a medium-level acid spell cast slowly over several days.” In red ink on the margins, “Yes, I see. Was the acid spell cast uniformly over the entire body of the subject?” In black ink “The Nord female was subjected to sixteen hours of a frost spell which eventually crystalized [sic] her into a state of suspended animation, from which she eventually expired. Not so the Nord male, nor the Ashlander male who lapsed into their comas much earlier, but then recovered. The Ashlander then tried to escape, but I restrained him. The Nord then had an interesting chemical overreaction to a simple fire spell and expired. See the accompanying illustration.” In red ink, “Yes, I see. The pattern of boils and lesions suggest some sort of internal incineration perhaps caused by the combination of a short burst of flame following a longer session with frost. It's such a shame I can't come to see the experiment personally, but I compliment you on your excellent notation.” In black ink, “Thank you for the suggestion about slowly poisoning my maid Anara. The dosages you've suggested have had fascinating results, eroding her memory very subtly. I intend to increase it exponentially and see how long it is before she notices. Speaking of which, it is a pity that I haven't any Argonian subjects, but the slave-traders promise me some healthy specimens in the autumn. I should like to test their metabolism in comparison to elves and humans. It's my theory that a medium-level lightning spell cast in a continuous wave on an Argonian wouldn't be lethal for several hours at least, similiar [sic] to my results with the Cyrodilic female and, of course, the giant.” In red ink, “It'd be a shame to wait until autumn to see.”
ULLIS (reading the letter): In red ink, “Here is your Argonian. Please let me know the results.” It's signed “Kema Warvim.”
CLAVIDES: By Kynareth, this isn't necromancy. It's Destruction. Kema Warvim and Kena Telvanni Hordalf Xyr haven't been experimenting with death, but with the limits of magical torture.
ULLIS: The letter isn't addressed to Kena Telvanni Hordalf Xyr. It's addressed to Sedura Iachilla Xyr. His wife, do you think?
CLAVIDES: Iachilla. That was the Telvanni of the Xyr family who I heard about in connection with the giant slaying. We'd best get the maid out of here. She'll need to go to a healer.


Clavides wakes up Anara. She appears disoriented.

ANARA: What's happening? Who are you?
CLAVIDES: Don't worry, everything is going to be fine. We're going to take you to a healer.
ULLIS: Do you need a coat, Iachilla?
ANARA: Thank you, no, I'm not cold --


Anara/Iachilla stops, realizing that she's been caught. Clavides and Ullis unsheathe their blades.

CLAVIDES: You have black ink on your fingers, your ladyship.
ULLIS: And when you saw me at the door, you thought I was the Argonian your friend Warvim sent over. That's why you said, “Not now. Go away.”
ANARA/IACHILLA: You're much more observant than Anara. She never did understand what was happening, even when I tripled the poison spell and she expired in what I observed as considerable agony.
ULLIS: What were you going to use on me first, lightning or fire?
ANANA/IACHILLA: Lightning. I find fire to be too unpredictable.


As she speaks, the flames in the torchs extinguish. The stage is utterly dark.



There is the sound of a struggle, swords clanging. Suddenly a bolt of lightning flashes out, and there is silence. From the darkness, Anana/Iachilla speaks.

ANANA/IACHILLA: Fascinating.


There are several more flashes of lightning as the curtain closes.



THE END.

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