Medora - part 1

When Clark and Taminwe needed to discuss anything, they always went to one of the bedrooms at the Club. There wasn't an office, and the bar was too public for what they usually needed to talk about. While he was just a reporter, and an under-cover agent, it made sense that they appear to be just a working woman and her client.

And in the earlier days, it was training, as much as debriefing. He'd needed to practice doing that and thinking at the same time. Even when his partner was distracting as Taminwe could be. The same applied to her, of course. She needed to hone those skills as much as he did, and much appreciated his help!

Now he was manager of the Red Dragon Club, they didn't need to. They still did, but the original reason had long ago been overtaken by a better one.

Clark was used to a continuous stream of chatter from Taminwe, even during sex. The only time she was quiet was when she ... no, she was often noisy then too, it just wasn't talk. After that, maybe she'd quiet down, especially if she was tired. But then he'd be tired too, and maybe fall asleep and miss that precious silence.

He'd almost fallen asleep this time, when Taminwe suddenly sat up with a shocked expression on her face. "There's someone in my head!" she exclaimed.

There was indeed. Telepathy is a bit disconcerting, the first time. Taminwe was familiar with the concept, but she'd not had the patience to take the training for it. You needed to meditate in a darkened room, clearing your mind of everything, so that it could become receptive to the thoughts of others. Taminwe's mind was always too full of intrigue and plots, except when that had all been flooded out by ...

"Sorry, Medora, my mind's rambling." she said. "I'm surprised I didn't break the connection."

"Who's Medora?" asked Clark, but Taminwe shushed him back to silence.

"Yes, we had just been doing that," Taminwe said, apparently in response to her telepathic partner. "Are you getting everything I feel, as well as think?" Clark had never seen her blush before.

"Yes, he is rather special. Of course, I didn't know your Lysandus, so I can't compare, but I imagine they have a lot in common."

"Do you really think so? That would certainly explain why we understand each other so well. We always thought it was the other way round, that we each knew what the other was thinking because we spent so much time together. Can you do telepathy unconsciously like that?"

Clark was beginning to hear the other side of the conversation, too. The woman's voice was soft, but resonated like she was in a much larger chamber than this small bedroom. He felt compelled to announce that he was becoming part of the discussion.

Medora replied directly to him. "So you can hear me too? Excellent! Taminwe's told me so much about you. More than she intended, I'm sure."

"More than I thought I could tell," Taminwe admitted. "You can't express some things in words, but it seems like I didn't have to."

"I wish I'd made contact a little earlier." Medora's voice had a humorous, but wistful tone to it. "Apparently I just missed some major fun."

Medora explained that she'd lived alone in Direnni Tower ever since Lysandus died. He'd been the King of Daggerfall, and she'd been his court sorceress, and mistress. After his death, his wife, Mynicera, had banished her from the court. She didn't have any reason to stay at that point, so she left willingly.

She'd spent the next few years trying to resurrect Lysandus, but she'd only succeeded in raising undead all over the Island of Balfiera. The Tower itself was now populated entirely by undead; zombies, skeletons, liches, and ghosts. They were harmless to Medora, as they owed their existence to her, but they kept visitors away rather effectively.

At the time, she couldn't leave the Tower either. Nulfaga, Lysandus' mother, had gone mad when he died, and she'd falsely believed that Medora had contributed to her son's death. She'd put a curse on the place to stop her leaving. Nulfaga was as powerful a sorceress as Medora, although as a Breton, a shorter-lived one. Medora had been prepared to wait her out.

However, she had nowhere else she wanted to be. Without Lysandus, the Direnni Tower was as good a home as any other. She was able to research her alchemy and mysticism without disturbance, and for a time that had suited her. The whole Warp in the West had happened without her being aware of it, and it was only when she reached out later with telepathy that she found out about the new order in the Illiac Bay.

The Imperial agent she'd dealt with at the time had completely disappeared. He was one of the few people she'd been able to contact telepathically who wasn't of the Direnni clan. The late Nulfaga was another, and she'd mentioned contacting the agent, too. It seemed that some men had the capacity, but most didn't.

"Are you a Direnni?" Clark asked Taminwe.

"Yes, on the maternal side, which is where it counts for magical things," she replied. "But there's a lot of Dunmer, and Breton, and other races mixed in on the paternal side."

Clark certainly saw the Dunmer influence. She may not have had the compulsion to promiscuity that he'd just seen in Rinnala, but Taminwe made it no secret that she enjoyed her work. And her looks weren't as starkly elven as some other Altmer, so he appreciated the contributions of the other races.

"That would certainly account for my being able to reach her," Medora added. "You're the one that's a bit of a mystery, Clark. An Imperial's not normally a telepath."

Clark's parents had both been Imperial, although he didn't recall the races of his grandfathers, who'd both died before he was born. There was no guarantee that the men who'd married his grandmothers were actually his ancestors, of course. Plenty of opportunity for Altmer in his family tree, and quite possibly Dirreni. He just didn't know. Nulfaga was a Breton, and she'd been able to do it, so maybe it was a Breton thing in his case, too.

He'd aroused Medora's curiosity. Possibly more than that; he wasn't sure just how much she'd got from Taminwe. Medora wanted to come and visit them.

Balfiera and the Direnni Tower were a long way from the Imperial City, but Medora wasn't planning on traveling overland. She asked Taminwe to listen carefully, while she taught her a new spell. "You can listen in, too, Clark, but this one might need more magicka than you can muster at present."

Taminwe cast the Mark spell, and Medora seemed pleased with the result. Clark couldn't see that anything had happened, but that all changed as Medora cast another spell herself.

A small column of purple mist appeared in the corner of the room where Taminwe had cast her spell. It condensed into the figure of a tall, and rather elegant, Altmer. She had reddish-brown hair and green eyes, and a curvaceous figure that was well complemented by the purple velvet dress she wore. Clark could easily understand how this woman became a King's mistress.

"And all without Illusion," Medora said, obviously still reading his mind. "Thank you for those kind thoughts."

Now that they were all in the same physical location, they could converse in an easier, more conventional, manner. Clark was aware that more was passing between them than just the spoken words conveyed. That wasn't really anything new, he realised. Taminwe and he had been doing it unconsciously for a long time.

Medora had been nudged out of her reclusion in the Direnni Tower by contact from someone in the Summerset Isle. He'd warned her that some group of wizards calling itself the Thalmor had plans for the eventual destruction of all the Towers. It seemed that it was part of their plan to un-make the world, and return to a time of perfection, or some such clap-trap. He clearly didn't hold the same objectives himself.

She found out from him about the loss of the Crystal Tower. Although that had been the work of the invading Daedra, with the power of Mehrunes Dagon behind them, it was proof that the Towers weren't indestructible. Whether the Towers really did maintain the existence of Mundus wasn't clear, but if the Thalmor thought so, then they were a genuine threat.

"Are you still in contact with him?" Clark asked. "I've met a wizard from Sunhold who told me his own crazy story about the Thalmor. There are similarities here that add credence to an otherwise incredible rant."

"No, there's a lot of unrest in the Summerset Isle, and I gather that my respondent has become a victim of the violence. It's a pity, because I have little contact with my fellow Altmer these days. Most of that is with the locals in Wayrest, who have little real knowledge of the current situation in the other provinces."

"When he disappeared, I started seeking other contacts. Although I haven't established any new ones in the Summerset Isle, I have found you, which is promising."

"We're in the Imperial City, which is built around the White Gold Tower," Taminwe mused. "Do you think the Towers might help with the telepathy?"

Medora hadn't considered that. It might account for the difficulty she'd had, with the Crystal Tower no longer able to function in the same way. But the wizard had managed to contact her, so that couldn't be the whole story.

"I'm sure that was as much because of my state of mind at the time. I'd got over my loss of Lysandus, but I hadn't been ready to go back out into the world before that. I hadn't felt lonely in the Tower, because it was home to me, and I'd been burying myself in research. But that was beginning to wear off. I could tell from my dreams that some of the old desires were re-surfacing. That's probably why it was a male wizard, too."

"Now you've got me confused," Clark interrupted. "How did you link up with Taminwe?"

"Because she was feeling just the way I wanted to. And her mind was open, thinking about nothing else. Your presence helped both ways, as a male telepath, and as a contributor to her receptiveness."

Taminwe chuckled at that wonderful understatement. He'd just contributed, all right!