Chapter 8 – Fellglow Keep
Part 3: The Caller

Feeling safe and able to let down her guard, Ienarath spent the day drifting in and out of sleep. Occasionally she would awaken and pick up bits of conversations. However, with one foot firmly in the land of slumber they were fragmented and made little sense.

“Is that her?”

“Yes, we saw her coming down the hill…”

“What happened?”

“We don’t know…”

“...collapsed…”

“...are you sure it’s the same girl?”

“Without a doubt.”

“...The Caller…”

“Yes, she knows.”

“.......”

***

“Caller. How can I be of service?” Said a dark robed figure.

“Good evening, Mikal. I’m searching for Celeste. I was told she came to see me earlier, but I was unavailable to receive her at the time,” replied The Caller.

“Celeste? She was in the common room, on the main floor, last I saw. Looking after the girl. But she was talking about moving her to the women’s quarters, so she is most likely there,” answered Mikal.

“Ah yes, the girl, the very reason I wish to speak with Celeste, and likely the reason she came to see me earlier. Tell me, what do you know of her?”

“I’m sorry, Caller, but very little, really. It was Andromeda and Celeste that saw her coming down the hill, and Fellgrim that carried her in when she collapsed. Of her personally, I know nothing other than she has been sleeping ever since she was brought indoors.” 

“I see,” said The Caller. “Thank you Mikal,” and with that, The Caller continued to the area where the women’s sleeping quarters were.

When she arrived, Celeste was there, as Mikal had suspected, doting over the girl that she had only briefly met more than a year before. She looked up as The Caller walked in and immediately stopped what she was doing, stood up, and waited respectfully for The Caller to address her.

“Celeste, it appears that you have assumed care of our guest. Tell me what you know.”

They moved to a nearby table where they both sat down, and as they did, The Caller took a bottle from a nearby shelf and motioned for Celeste to grab two chalices.

Pouring the wine into the cups, The Caller looked at Celeste and simply said, “Proceed.”

Celeste spent the next hour speaking with The Caller about the girl. On occasion, The Caller would stop her and ask her to expand upon something, but mostly she nodded and sipped her wine with intense interest as Celeste detailed her experiences with Baldr’s henchmen the night she met the girl. Celeste went on to offer her thoughts about when she first heard about the deal that was struck with the bandits.

“And when I heard about what he wanted to barter for, I knew something interesting was going on in Valtheim Towers. I mean, books? Baldr surely didn’t want them for himself. And the titles he was asking for: ‘Herbalist’s Guide to Skyrim’? ‘De Rerum Dirennis’? ‘Song of the Alchemist’? These are all well beyond Baldr. But, it was not for me to question, of course, and the ingredients that were procured in the trade, well, they are still paying dividends. Anyway, when Sifkni, Mikal, and myself made the trade, the girl was there. I could tell immediately that she was the reason that they wanted those titles. 

“She had an aura about her that I picked up on immediately that night. That’s when I decided to hand her the bag directly and whisper our location to her as I did so.”

“You took a big risk in doing so,” stated The Caller in a rather indifferent tone.

“It was a calculated risk, Caller.”

“No doubt. Well, thank you for your accounting. So, you are convinced of her magical potential then? And someone that can be molded to our way of thinking?” Asked The Caller.

“I do,” replied Celeste.

“Very well, but I will take a look for myself. Ah, and it appears that our timing is good. She seems to be waking up.”

And with that, she pushed her empty chalice back a bit, stood up, and walked over to Ienarath’s bedside.

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