Nocturnal - Part III

At the shrine, Nocturnal's voice spoke from the statue. "Good, you came. What I need to discuss with you should not be spoken in public. I'll open a portal so that you can come to my castle in Evergloam." They all entered the portal as directed, and found themselves in total darkness.

And yet they could "see" clearly. Whatever sense they were actually using made everything clear, even though it was all totally black. They were soon in front of a large castle, and the door was opening.

They walked through the hall to a throne room, where Nocturnal sat waiting for them. Clark noted that her guards were Daedra Seducers. He'd not met one before, but they matched the descriptions he'd read in reports from Daggerfall and Sentinel. No sign of their wings at the moment, as they didn't perceive any threat to their mistress.

"You've heard the story of those two clumsy amateurs who stole my Eye down in Leyawiin, I presume?" Nocturnal asked. Clark had; his boss, the Count of Kvatch, had mentioned retrieving it for her, and getting rewarded well for the task.

"What I didn't explain to him at the time, was why it was available to be stolen. I'd intended that of course, but my plan was that it would be recovered by the Leyawiin Guard, and taken to the Castle. It's a pretty bauble, and I was certain that Countess Alessia would want it for herself. It would have given me an easy way to spy directly on her and the Count, and track what they were doing with the Black Bow bandits, and the Topal Bay pirates, and probably their little torture chamber, too."

"Those stupid Argonians had no real ambition. They didn't even try to fence it, just hid it in a cave, where it was no use to anyone. So I had it stolen back."

"And now I need another plan, and that involves you. There's a giant crystal ball in the basement of the Imperial Palace. Minx, you saw it when you activated the Glass of Time." Nocturnal looked at Minx, who nodded.

She continued. "It's a bit large to walk out with unnoticed, and that's what will make it easy to steal." She held out a small sack. "This is a magical bag of holding, that will contain items much larger than itself. Just put the ball in the sack, and nobody will believe you have it!"

"I take it that it won't be as heavy once it's inside the bag?" Clark wanted to know. "And how do we move it in the first place?"

"Well, naturally there's a spell you need to learn. You cast the spell on the ball, and it puts itself inside the bag of holding. I'll teach it to you, Minx, as this is a job you can do best alone."

"So why are the others here? Amusei, you're here because I want you to become my messenger, as well as Minx's. Some things I can tell you at the shrine, but others may need you to come here to Evergloam. So you need to start to learn the way between the castle and the portal, because you won't have a map to help you."

Amusei looked alarmed at that. He wasn't the best natural navigator, and he relied heavily on a well-annotated map. If he was lost, he just kept going in the same direction, until he came to a road or trail he'd already marked on it. Then once he knew where he was, he'd retrace his steps and add the new landmarks in the blank space.

Nocturnal was telling him he couldn't do that here. But she'd have a seducer guide him until the map was complete in his mind. "You don't need a diagram to tie a knot any more, do you?" she asked with a wink. Amusei looked embarrassed, and Minx blushed, too.

"And your turn will come later, Clark. I don't need information, yet, just physical items that Minx can steal for me."

That reminded Minx that it didn't make sense why Noctunal wanted the giant crystal ball. "Those giant things down in the palace basement are just novelties, with no practical use, aren't they?"

"They weren't intended that way when they were made," Nocturnal explained. "The giant hourglass was made to measure months, or years, I forget which. But it proved to be too large to turn over. Using feather on it stopped the sand from falling through, and fortifying the strength of the men turning it made it too likely they'd break it."

"So what was the problem with the crystal ball?"

"Well, you need to enchant a crystal ball to do a specific task. You can enchant for scrying, that is searching for something. Or you can enchant two of them, so they can each see what's around the other one. There are a number of uses, but each one requires a spell. The larger the crystal ball, the more magicka it takes. They made the ball so large that no mage could enchant it, because it would take more magicka than anyone has. Unless they're a Daedric Prince, that is."

"So you're the only one that can use it," Minx exclaimed.

"No, there are fifteen of my brethren that could also do that, but I'm the only one that cares to. Vaermina, for example, would achieve the same by listening to mortals' dreams. I'm perhaps the only one that would get extra satisfaction from the theft. Well, maybe Sheogorath might, but he's not himself at the moment."