New Sheoth Brothel

A letter arrived for Clark, bearing the seal of the Count of Kvatch. Nelrene had returned from her vacation in the Shivering Isles and he'd talked with her during his last visit to Gweden. She'd told him of a brothel that had opened in New Sheoth, but something wasn't right about it. Nelrene couldn't explain what it was, so could Clark investigate, please?

Clark was a bit reluctant to do that. His one and only visit to the Isles had seen him beaten on by Flesh Atronachs, and he didn't relish a repeat of that. He'd also had Nelrene with him, and she wouldn't be available this time.

"The Count's the Madgod, isn't he?" Taminwe reminded him. "Ask him if he couldn't arrange an escort for you. The Saints and Seducers are his to command."

An exchange over the flash telegraph soon reached a reasonable compromise. The Count/Madgod would teach him the spells to summon Saints and Seducers, so he'd have a protector when he needed one.

"They won't be quite the companion that Nelrene was, but Syl will make up for that, if you give her a good spanking."

Clark would also be given a map of the Isles, where the safe roads were marked. He'd be passing Zealot or Heretic camps where he might find some trouble, but that's what the spells were for.

"What about the Gatekeeper?" Clark inquired. "Last time, Nelrene took me past, and he ignored me. Won't he stop me if I'm alone?"

"Yes, you might have to summon an escort to leave the fringe. But if he's seen you enter before, you'll probably have no problem. Relmyna and Nanette pass through the gates regularly; he's not stopping everyone."

Clark was running out of excuses. He agreed to meet the Champion in Kvatch later in the week, so he could learn those spells.

Gaius Prentus rowed him out to the Island where the Strange Door stood. He was amazed to see him making a second trip.

"I hadn't seen anyone come back out of that door sane before the Champion did it. You're only the second one, and you weren't in there very long. Do you think you can keep your sanity going back another time?"

"The Champion's the Madgod now, which means he runs the place. It's slowly becoming a bit more normal now he's in charge," Clark replied. "And he seems to think it won't hurt me, so I hope he's right. Besides, he suspects that most of the ones who went in were crazy before they did that. Sheogorath has a Shrine just north of Leyawiin where most of them go before they make the trip. Nelrene told me that everyone there was nuts, too," he continued.

"Nelrene? Was she the big dark woman with the purple hair and that gorgeous pair of ... She was the one that was with you when you visited last, right? Of course, she wasn't walking around topless that time, like she was when the Champion brought her back with him."

"If you looked at her face instead, you might know her again," Clark laughed. "But didn't you get to see her when she returned?"

"Must have been someone else on duty then, lucky fetcher."

Clark made it to New Sheoth without having to use a summon spell once. He'd chosen the route through Mania, as he'd seen more of the Dementia side in his last visit, and the countryside looked so bright and cheerful on a sunny day. A Golden Saint patrol had dealt with the Grummites that were waiting in ambush half-way. They'd overtaken him, and engaged the creatures, before he even knew they were there. He'd tried to thank them, but they did little more than acknowledge his presence before continuing their patrol, at a pace he couldn't match without tiring.

Another Aureal was standing guard at the Gates of New Sheoth. He inquired about the brothel, but was brusquely advised to ask one of the citizens of Bliss instead. Why would an Aureal know about places like that?

Amiable Fanriene knew about it, but "I've never been there myself. It's indoors, you know. With walls that might fall down. I can't risk that. And worse, it's underground. I might be buried alive!"

He was able to give Clark directions, however. The entrance was around the corner, just outside the city walls. Clark decided to ask a few other citizens about it before trusting directions from someone who was obviously a bit odd.

The bookshop was a likely place to get good advice. Reading books was always good for your education, and booksellers often knew more than anyone else in a town. This one was a bit more than he expected, however.

"Hmmm... how do you do? I'd say, very well from the look of things. I'm Sontaire, spend one night with me and I'll remind you why they say love hurts."

It didn't seem right to ask about the brothel after that greeting, and he wasn't inclined to accept the offer, either. He browsed the few books she had on the shelves, and found one about the Saints and Seducers that looked like it might be useful. He paid, and ducked back out of the store.

The beggar he bumped into as he left, Fimmion, asked for a sweetroll, rather than gold, and Clark was happy to provide one. Then he had to refuse the pants that Fimmion wanted to give him in return. "Put them back on. I already have some."

Fimmion thought he was very strange, not wanting anything in exchange for the sweetroll. So Clark asked for directions, instead. Fimmion repeated Amiable's directions to the brothel.

He went through the passage into Crucible, intending to ask there, but the first person he met, Bolwing, was totally incomprehensible. He gave up that idea, and went back through Bliss. He'd just have to hope the directions he'd already been given were right.

The entrance to the brothel was a manhole just a few yards from where the Aureal was guarding the city gate. The one who knew nothing about it, when he'd asked her. She watched him open it, and descend the ladder.

The ladder took him to a corridor, where two signs pointed in opposite directions. One directed him to "Dyssa's Den of Debauchery" and the other pointed to "Pasha's Palace of Perversion". It appeared that, like most of the Shivering Isles, there was a Dementia side and a Mania side to the brothel.

Pasha was a Khajiit. A remarkably normal one, except for being completely nude. And that wasn't too unusual in a brothel. He didn't think Prizna was too strange for never wearing clothes, and Pasha was at least wearing all her fur. But perhaps she was too normal. She'd be happy to have sex with him, in a couple of weeks' time, when she thought she'd be ready for it. "The moons aren't the same here, so I'm not exactly certain when it will be. Must be soon though, I'm sure."

Clark remembered what Shulassa had told him about her grandmother. Her grandfather had needed a leather cuirass to prevent her clawing his back to ribbons. Something told him Pasha would need the same kind of precautions, if she was ever in the right mood.

Equally naked was a large golden woman, with bulging biceps and cropped hair. Her chest was large, but it was all muscle. Arneh the Aureal was prepared to take his money in return for letting him serve her sexual needs, but if she wasn't satisfied with his performance, he might not have all the equipment he arrived with. She gave him a demonstrative squeeze that removed any doubts he might have had.

The only other woman present barely deserved the term. Where Pasha had found a goblin, Clark had no idea. He didn't understand why, either. She looked even more repellant naked than the clothed ones he'd met in Tamriel.

"Let me know about the moons," Clark told Pasha as he left.