The Adventurer, A Dark Elf Rascal
Komon, A Priest of Akatosh
Lheban, Another Priest of Akatosh
Stete, A Priest of Julianos
Raic, Another Priest of Julianos
Shub, A Mage
Shub, A Different Mage of the Same Name
Nephron, A Somewhat Sleazy Merchant
Crunn, Husband of Millie
A Lusty Contessa
Millie, Innkeep and Philosopher
Gurnsey, Bovine Wench
Assorted Wenches and Cads of the Taverns
Daggerfall and Environs in the Doldrums of
the 3rd Era
Part The Oneth - Concerning Priests and Nackles
As related at length by two Priests of Akatosh to the Adventurer,
who at the time was not having an adventure, and had nothing
better to do. In which some (probably unwanted) light is shed
upon the Priesthood and its members, and upon an old peasant
myth of some significance, especially common in High Rock.
And in which the mysterious Fools' Ebony appears, that strange
material that could bring either drastic cultural change for
the many, or just great profit for a few, or death for a bunch,
or have no result whatsoever.
Early in the month of Frostfall. The Dead
Daedra Inn. Enter Prologue
Prologue: Our poor players will try and
remember their lines and not trip over our meager set. I beg
you, the audience, not to heckle, badger, or throw rotten
foodstuffs. You will only make this short play last longer.
The Guild of Playwrites, Actors, and Dramatists wish any of
you who are sensitive or allergic to rambling dialogue, wooden
acting, incomprehensible exposition, or unsatisfying endings
that leave one confused and unhappy to exit the theatre immediately.
Your gold will, alas, not be refunded. As a saving grace,
this series of vignettes contains gratuitous references to
all pleasures of the flesh. You may enjoy it. Ah, here comes
our hero, the roguish Dark Elf called the Adventurer. It is
time for Prologue to trip merrily away.
Enter the Adventurer
Adventurer: What an odd conversation I just
heard between those two mages. It is best not to speak of
such matters next to privy hedges.
Enter 2 Priests of Akatosh (Lheban, Komon)
Lheban: Mind if we join you, fellow? ...
Good, need some company ourselves. I am named Lheban, my fellow
priest here is Komon. We both serve Akatosh, all in our own
ways, of course ...
Adventurer: Make yourselves at home, it's
not my bench. But I thought that priests ... didn't go to
... er ... places like this, Inns. I mean ... unless on duty?
Lheban: Oh, we're not on duty. Got to regenerate
our internal vital energies, so we can go on blessing and
Komon: We often come here, hike up our
robes, kick up our heels, as it were. Fill up with some bottled
Lheban: Looking for those in need of comfort
and blessing, of course ...
Komon: Oh, yes, Oh yes ... like that young
girl outside the other evening ...
(Lheban kicks Komon)
Komon: ... and anyway our High Priest told
us to get lost...
Lheban: He means told us to get some air.
We've been having visions, you see...
Komon: Yes, sort of weird, really ... and
we hadn't even been taking any of that ...
(Lheban kicks Komon)
Lheban: Both of us been having the same
visions - real odd.
Adventurer: Do tell, I'm not going anywhere
in a hurry.
Lheban: Well, we've both been hearing sort
of ... words ... for a start. Like 'Sir Nich' or 'Sain Nack'
Adventurer: You said 'Nick' or 'Nack'?
Just a minute ... let me have a swig from your bottle, Brother
... Ah! That's better - high-class stuff you fellows drink!
Yes, I recall - some story or old legend about an elf, name
of Nuckle, I think -- from Morrowind?
Lheban: You know, maybe you're on to something
there -- there is a old legend around these parts, comes from
deep in High Rock I think ... hmmmm ... Nackles, that's it!
Adventurer: Nackles, eh! Seems that several
Dark Elves use that name ... particularly the ... more peculiar
Komon: Yes, I guess that the bad ones are
into all that weapons magicka stuff ... very nasty fellows
Lheban: (to Komon) Komon! This fellow's
got pointy ears and red eyes ...
me, friend ... it's sort of dark, and I didn't ... uh ...
Adventurer: Oh, that's fine. These are
strange times. You know, live and let live -- or die -- as
the case may be. Now ... suppose you tell me about this Nackles
myth? Here, let me help you with that bottle ... Ah! Thanks.
Lheban: Er ... sure, if you want to put
it that way ... Here, have another swig! Sure, we've got the
time, and I recall it clearly now.
Komon: Yes, we've a couple hours 'til that
little blonde shows up at her lamp...
(Lheban kicks Komon)
Lheban: (to Komon) Quiet! Remember, we
had to tell the High Priest her address, so she won't be around
for a while!
(to all) Very well, here's the story, best
as I can recall it. This is a tale the peasants up in High
Rock tell their kids to scare them into being good for a while,
I guess. They tell it, let me see ... either on Tales and
Tallows, or is it Witches' Festival? -- just before the kids
are sent out to the barn or pigsty to sleep.
Komon: Nasty cruel peasants! But then,
I'd send them all out to the midden ...
Lheban: Really, Komon! Remember, those
poor souls need our compassion and blessing, we are their
Komon: Now who's in Old High Mucky-Mucks'
Lheban: Er ... anyway. It goes a bit like
this. If the kids have been real good during the year -- filched
enough in the market, mucked out the stables every day, not
gone playing with goblins, left the sheep alone, and so on.
If they have been real good, they've nothing to worry about.
But if they haven't been real good then there is this nasty,
horrid Dark Elf spirit called Nackles. Doesn't look like your
typical Dark Elf -- thinner, taller. Pasty white face, long
as your arm. Walks like his knees and elbows bend the wrong
way. Snickers like when you drag your fingernails across slate.
Wears a tight black suit (not Khajiit, more like a formal
suit with buttons) but too tight and small. He visits the
bad girls and --
Komon: Why are you talking about Old High
Mucky again, Lheban?
(Komon hiccoughs) (Lheban kicks Komon)
Lheban: You really must excuse Komon here:
overwork, you know. Too many curings and conversions ... Anyway,
Old Nasty Nackles is supposed to wander under our Tamriel,
in dirty deep dark dwarven tunnels. Everywhere under the lands,
if you can believe that! Rides in a rusty squeaky old mine
cart, on old mine tracks ...
Adventurer: I saw some of those in Fang
Lair once, down in Hammerfell a long long while ago ...
Komon: (to Lheban) What the Sheogorath
was he doing in Fang Lair!?
Lheban: (to Komon) Hush! If he's who I
think he is, you do not want to know! (to all) Um, yes. Well,
Nackles gets pulled all around these deep tunnels by goblins
-- not your usual dirty yellow ones, but nasty black things.
Anyway, they pull Nackles round and through these dark tunnels,
and then, late at night, he stops below each and every bad
child's hovel or house or castle - makes no difference. Then
he slides up the drainage pipes ...
Komon: Creeps up cracks ... crawls through
Lheban: Oozes up oubliettes ...
Komon: Climbs giggling up garderobes ...
Lheban: Right into the kid's place! Then,
if the kid's only been sort of bad, Nackles will just mess
things up in general, so the kid gets blamed. Make greasy
dirty marks everywhere (more than usual, anyway), break some
things, steal some things, so on and so forth. Maybe take
the sugar sweets, leave some lumps of fools' ebony instead
Adventurer: Fools' Ebony - what's that?
Heard mention of that, oh, a few hours ago ... Some Mages
Lheban: You did now? Interesting ... Very
... Well, lets talk of that in a bit ... just let me finish
this Nackles thing. Where was I -- Oh yes ... Now, if the
little brat has been real bad -- then all the little brat's
toys get taken. The copper dagger,
the wooden sword, the little whip, and so on. All the usual
favorite kids things.
Komon: Whips? I like those.
(Komon hiccoughs) (Lheban kicks Komon)
Lheban: Now if that little brat has been
very, very bad then Nackles grabs the brat. Pops him or her
in his dirty great sack. Hauls the sack off down the holes
and cracks, down to his rusty old mine cart! And away they
Komon: Hope he leaves some bad little girls
(Lheban kicks Komon)
Lheban: Er ... so we can save them, of
course, friend ... Well. Sometimes, so I've heard tell, the
brat never comes back. No great loss, I guess, peasants just
Komon: Know 'bout that, I do, I do ...
(Lheban pinches Komon's nose)
Lheban: But, as the story goes round here
anyway, often the brat is just put to work, digging out lumps
of Fools' Ebony, shoveling dirt, bagging it. Extending the
tunnels of the Nackles. After a while, Brat is pushed back
up to where it came from. Seems that Brat might think it's
spent a year down there, but only a day has passed up top
... Brat comes back real thin and dirty though, covered in
black mess ... You know, come to think of it -- on the day
past Witches' Festival, I've often seen some little brats,
scrawny, real dirty black mess on them, looking terrified,
too. Parents drag them into Temples to get blessed and cured,
if they have the gold. By the Beard of Sheogorath, the wailing
and noise! Enough to drive a priest to ... er ... well, never
mind ... that's our problem ...
Komon: Nah ... it's a problem with our
suppliers, I tell you ...
(Lheben throws Komon through a screen)
Lheban: Anyway, that's the short of it,
this Nackles legend up around here. I recall now, it's widespread
all over Tamriel ... and knowing the place, probably more
than a grain of truth in the tale, much, much more ...
Adventurer: So, I guess some of the ...
er, darker Dark Elves sort of identify with this Nackles.
Take on the persona, so to say ...
Lheban: Yeah, that sort of sums it up,
I guess ... though we don't see those types hauling off brats
in sacks, now do we?
Komon: Nah, that's wot we does, girly brats
anyway, isn't it not?
(Komon hiccoughs) (Lheban breaks a bottle
over Komon's head)
(Komon falls unconscious)
Adventurer: Thats a very interesting tale,
gentlemen. Say, let me repay you with another bottle -- what's
that you're drinking? Ah, thought so - Innkeep! More holy
wine for these holy men!
Lheban: A blessing on you for that kind
Adventurer: I thank you, I sure could use
one or three ... Anyway, this 'Fools' Ebony', I've heard mutters
and murmurs about that of late -- mostly eavesdropping ...
pardon me ... listening ... to Mages and the like. What's
with this stuff? Here, have another swig ... good!
Lheban: Well, we're not supposed to tell
outsiders ... but then, you seem to know something already.
And if you have been hearing Mage gossip ... Why, maybe we
can do some business. Profit all round! Well ... for the Akatosh
Chantry, of course, and your fee, good Sir.
Adventurer: More and more interesting --
tell on, I pray you.
(Komon staggers to feet) (Komon hiccoughs)
Komon: Time for me to go convert that little
lamppost girl ... no, no, no - not last nights one, but the
(Exit Komon) (Female squeals from offstage)
Lheban: Friend, you'll have to excuse Komon.
He's a bit ... you know strange ... Got these ...
Adventurer: Oh, that's all right, we've
all got our own...
(Exeunt Lheben and the Adventurer) (Enter
Epilogue: Our apologies for the quality
of this drama so far. If those of you still present will wait
for a few minutes while our bard plays "Silence Implies
Consent," we will change the set for the next act, Part
the Twoth. Please don't forget to tip your wench. Do you believe
there's such a thing as Fools' Ebony? Maybe we'll find out
in Part the Twoth. Or maybe not.
(Flourish) (Exit Epilogue)
End of Part the Oneth, Being Mostly Concerned
with The Legend of Nackles.
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