They delivered Lathenil to Taminwe, and set off across town. Before they went to the shack, they had a few things to buy and sell in the Market District. They cut through Green Emperor Way, instead of going through the Elven Gardens as they usually did. The sisters looked at all the tombstones around the lower level and were just in awe at the extent of the cemetery.

But one tomb in particular got their attention. At the very North of the graveyard, just before they reached the entrance to the Market District, was a circle of columns surrounding an obelisk. They wanted to know who was buried there. So they all walked over and tried to read the inscription. It was too weathered to make out what it said, but they were still impressed, especially close up with the columns soaring above them.

"Wouldn't it be wonderful if our parents had a monument like this!" Angeline exclaimed. Diablita seconded that idea, and the reporter felt another quest coming on.

Well, the only way to talk them out of it was to do a bit of research and show them that they couldn't afford it. They were headed to the Market District, so they could ask there. Vinicia, at the Office of Imperial Commerce, was the one who should know, or at least be able to point them at the right person.

She knew several people who'd have parts of the answer. Damian Magnus, at the Waterfront office of the Imperial Trading Company, would know all about pricing for the stone. They were the importers for all the raw stone used in city construction. But then they'd need a mason to cut it and she didn't know one of those. "But if anyone does, I'd bet it would be that Ida Vlinorman. She knows more about architecture than anyone else I know."

They'd start with Damian Magnus when they went back to the Waterfront. Maybe he'd have a large number to quote them that would put it out of their range.

He did at first, but it turned out that most of the cost was shipping. When he heard that they wanted the monument on the Island, he cut the price in half. "That's close to the quarries in southern Valenwood. It won't be on the ship for very long, so it won't cost anything like as much to transport it."

Now he had to count on the mason. That would have to wait until the next day. It was getting late.

They unlocked the door to the shack and the sisters were surprised at the upgrades he'd made. "And where are we going to sleep now?" asked Diablita.

Just then someone knocked on the door. It was Carwen. She'd seen his door closing as she came through the arch, so she knew he was back in town. Then she noticed the two women behind him. "Oh, I didn't know you had company."

Carwen looked so disappointed that he had to do something. Maybe he could solve both problems at once. Carwen's place was much bigger than his. There would be room for them all to sleep afterwards. He just needed a bit of help to balance the numbers. Did Carwen know any sailors who could help entertain his sisters?

He wasn't quite being untruthful in calling them his sisters. They were sisters, and they'd just about made themselves 'his'. They were certainly his problem tonight.

Carwen did a double-take. "Same father, different mothers" he explained, neglecting to mention that it just applied to the girls. She bought it.

Soon the sisters were happily entertaining a couple of sailors in Carwen's shack, while he took care of her in his own. And there was just enough room to get a night's sleep afterwards. He was glad she was a slender wood elf, and not a buxom Nord.

Ida Vlinorman lived in the Elven Gardens District, and they met her just coming out of her house. Yes, she did know a mason. Her next-door neighbor, Marinus Catiotus, was the brother of one. She suggested they go there and ask him where to find Terranis.

Marinus told them that his brother was working on some repairs for the Bruma Chapel. He'd be staying at the Jerall View Inn, because it was so close to the work. No, he didn't know when he'd be finished, and he might not be back in the city after that. His brother hadn't told him if he had another job lined up.

He knew nothing about mason's work himself, so he couldn't even hazard an estimate of what their work would cost. "You'll have to go ask Terannis," he told them "He's the only one who can give you a proper quote for the job."

It was getting to the point where avoiding the quest was as much effort as taking it on, so they travelled up to Bruma to see Terranis. Maybe he'd run into Uzgash, or Gudrun, or any of the Riders who were at the Lodge. It wasn't necessarily a waste of time.

They arrived on a Loredas evening, so they looked in at Olav's Tap & Tack, expecting to watch Uzgash dance. But it wasn't her swaying in the corner. "Gudrun?" the reporter exclaimed.

"Can't stop now," she replied. "I'll explain when I'm done."

They had a job finding seats for the three of them, but eventually one of the men got up to move closer to the action, and they slipped into the bench in the corner. They couldn't see Gudrun from where they were, but they got a good idea what was happening from listening to the crowd.

After a loud cheer, everything quietened down again, and a somewhat breathless Gudrun came over to join them, wrapping a robe around herself as she sat down. "Uzgash has been teaching me to dance," she began. "And she's also been giving Timo a few advanced lessons in 'recharging'. She can only do that when he's not busy with one of the others. It just so happened that Timo's lesson was due on a Loredas this month, and she couldn't be in both places at once. So she asked me if I could fill in for her. It's good exercise, and with my office job I really need that!"

"Anyhow, I agreed before I found out that it involved taking my clothes off. Oh, well, at least Uzgash lent me some civilian clothes to use. I wouldn't have felt right using my uniform. And besides, you know how quickly that comes off! That wouldn't be any good."

The reporter asked if she was filling in for the rest of Uzgash's duties.

"Just the dancing," Gudrun said firmly. "A member of the Imperial Mountain Riders never charges for her services."

They'd booked rooms at the Jerall View Inn, as they knew the Tap & Tack didn't have accomodation for three. Hafid Hollow-leg may not have the drinking crowd that Olav gets, but he does provide more spacious rooms. They needed to find Terranis, too.

Hafid asked them if they'd been to see the dancing at Olav's. They admitted they had. "What's that Orc woman like, then?" he wanted to know. Before the reporter could stop himself, he'd told Hafid that it wasn't an Orc tonight, it was a Nord.

"Oh, there's two dancers in town, are there?" Hafid beamed. "That makes things different."

They quickly changed the subject and asked about the mason. Terranis was still working on the chapel, and he'd gone to bed early so that he could get an early start. He'd told Hafid that tomorrow was likely his last day before it was completed.

They missed him in the morning. He was up at the crack of dawn, and the threesome had put a good night's drinking in with Gudrun, so they needed extra rest. But they'd surely meet him over at the Chapel of Talos.

He came down a ladder from the tower, brushing dust off of his apron. "All done," he told Cirroc. "Let me know if the frost cracks any more of those finials. I'm guaranteeing my work for the next five years, but the ones I didn't touch might not last that long."

Cirroc sighed. It was a never-ending battle against the elements here. And you couldn't work on the outside of the building at all in the middle of winter, with all the ice. Terannis was sympathetic, but he pointed out that getting the job done right made it last longer. "Whoever did the roof last was looking to come back soon to do it again."

The reporter was lapping this up. Terranis was obvious a Master Craftsman, who'd charge way more than they could afford, and it would all be put to rest. When Terannis turned away from Cirroc, he stepped up to him and asked about the sisters' proposed monument.

Terannis listened to his description of what they wanted. He knew the original on Green Emperor Way, as he'd done some repair work on that, too. "But you're telling me you want to build a completely new one, aren't you?" The way he said it made it sound even more costly.

Terranis wanted to know more about the Island. The reporter let the sisters take over, and tell him what the place was like. He listened to what they said thoughfully, and pulled a piece of paper from his pocket and made some calculations.

"I reckon it would take me about a month, assuming I had laborers to do all the moving and lifting for me. I'm a craftsman, and my job is cutting the stone and making it all fit properly together. Mostly, that's been replacing pieces that have broken or worn out, like I was doing here. And it hasn't been too comfortable working on a windy chapel roof, in cold Bruma."

"And now you're offering me a job on a warm tropical island, where I'm making it all new, and can take pride in doing the whole thing. It will be like a vacation for me. I won't charge you a Septim!"

The reporter almost went into shock.

"Mind you, I expect the laborers will want paying," Terranis continued. "And I don't have my own crew. If you can find some strong men, and a ship to get there, I'll do it for you." He smiled warmly at the girls when he said that, and they blew kisses back.

It would appear that they were headed for Anvil next. He could ask Varulae for passage again, and Newheim could always find a crew of laborers. Usually it was a ship's crew, who were waiting on a refit. There were plenty of caves and ruins on the way to check for treasure, so they'd undoubted have enough gold by the time they got there. They'd order the stone when they passed through the City, and that would arrive about the same time as the workmen. It was all coming together as if someone had planned it that way.

Varulae was happy to lend her ship again. All she asked in return was that they find her a copy of "Charts of the Southern Seas". Hers had been destroyed when the first crew were killed, and she hadn't been able to lay her hands on a replacement. There wasn't a bookshop in Anvil, and she couldn't leave her offices here to go look in the other towns.

Newheim knew just the crew for the stonework. They'd been on a vessel from Valenwood, and they'd handled stone cargoes before. Maybe on the same ship that was delivering theirs. As experienced sailors, they'd be able to help the Serpent's Wake's small crew on the voyage too.

So it was all happening. Terranis arrived in Anvil and the men boarded the Serpents Wake while the three set out to find Varulae's book.