by AJ Marks
Zoe looked on as the man behind the counter placed down the glass he was cleaning and looked over at them.
“Leah, what are you shouting for?” he asked, cleaning his hands and making his way over. “If you want something to drink let me know.”
Zoe watched unsure what was going on as Leah waited for OMB to walk over to them.
“Just come over here,” Leah said waving him over waiting until he crouched down next to them.
“Now, I’m here, what’s going on?” he asked, looking at Leah.
“Zoe here says you sent her a letter,” Leah said pointing to her. She watched as an unusual expression covered his face.
“Zoe?” he said, now looking at her. “Zoe Scotlite? From Cyrodiil?””
“Um, yeah,” Zoe replied, now feeling slightly uneasy with his attention.
“Yes,” he said, standing and seemed to sniff the air. “I thought things were slightly different in the past few minutes.”
Now Zoe felt confused. She looked over at Lydia who merely looked on waiting as well from where she sat in the bath.
“I don’t mean to sound rude, but what is going on?” Zoe asked.
“Can we get everyone here,” OMB said looking at the others.
Zoe waited watching as a few more girls wondered into the open area and some came down the stairs. So there was an upstairs as well. She looked around and counted seven girls including Leah now around the area.
“What’s up OMB?” a blonde with a ponytail asked.
“Yeah,” a few others chimed in as Zoe noticed one of the girls was an elf, which surprised her.
“All right, just thought you might want to be here when I make this announcement,” OMB said sitting down in a chair. “As you all know there is no current owner.”
“Yeah, that’s been a concern for us all,” one with short, spiky black hair said, and Zoe thought her to be a Breton, like Leah.
“Well our search is now over,” OMB said with a smile and looking at Zoe.
Zoe had a strange feeling she suddenly would be tossed into this situation. They probably wanted her to find some long lost owner.
“You said only a special person can be the owner,” Leah said speaking up.
“Yeah, you never mentioned why that is, but something about a pact, but wouldn’t elaborate,” the blonde said.
Now Zoe had an uneasy feeling but continued listening.
“Well, here is our new owner, Zoe Scatlite,” OMB said, looking right at Zoe who merely coughed at that statement.
She would be the owner of a luxury suite? She had no clue about business, or how to run one. And she knew of no one in her family who had such a business. This had to be some sort of prank.
“Her?” a few others seemed to ask.
“Yes, I imagine that summon by the Greybeards was directed at you?” OMB asked.
“Um, yeah,” Zoe replied, unsure how he would know that.
“You see, only a Dragonborn can own this place and make it run properly,” OMB stated. “You have doubts, come with me.”
Zoe stood and made her way out of the bath sharing a look with Lydia who hadn’t said anything. The other girls all seemed to be watching, judging her on something which she had no idea what. He tossed her a towel and she dried off and put on a dress another girl handed her.
“So, where are we going?” Zoe asked.
“Basement,” OMB said, moving along and down a trapdoor. The others all stayed above the ground.
The downstairs room had a bed, and a large smelting area, a bit odd considering it was indoors.
“Whose bed?” she asked.
“Farquar’s, says its peaceful down here,” OMB replied with a shrug.
“So, where are we going?” Zoe asked.
“Not us, you,” OMB said to her confusing her.
“Now I’m not too sure about this,” Zoe replied, stating some concerns over what he wanted her to do.
“Do not worry, you will return unharmed,” OMB said.
“All right,” Zoe replied, opening the door to reveal a large bluish orb thing. She had never seen anything like it before in all her life. She looked back to see that OMB had left. Looking back in front of her she wondered what this thing was. Moving forward she was cautious, unsure what she was getting into.
“I can smell your energy.”
Zoe froze, looking at the, well, thing and then around the room making sure no one else was there before replying. It seemed to be a large ball or energy, or magic or something.
“What are you?”
“Will you make the pact, like the others before you Dovahkin? Like Ymir?”
Ymir, the name rolled around in Zoe’s mind for several seconds.
“Yes, before he was General Talos, Ymir found me, and made the contact.”
“Um, what is the contract?” Zoe asked, unsure what this entity meant. She had no idea if it was male or female despite having a very female voice.
“I will drink, for I am always thirsty,” It replied. “I will not harm you. Your man Farquar knows me, as does the other man, but they cannot make the contract.”
“And by making the contract, I become owner of this place?” Zoe asked.
“Yes, for only the dovankin can make the contract,” it replied.
“Who are you?” Zoe asked, unsure still what it was, wanting some more information before making a decision.
“I am the Bride of Migal,” it replied back to her.
Zoe gave it some thought, going over what it said to her. What was this contract, and what did it mean to drink?
“What is this contract, you ‘drink’, but what do I get out of it?” Zoe asked.
“I can transport you back here at almost any time you wish,” it replied.
Zoe’s eyebrows rose at that. She could see where that might be very useful in her travels, especially when coming back. But what was this drinking it spoke of?
“It won’t harm me, this drinking?” Zoe asked.
“No,” it replied. “But I am always thirsty. I drink from your energy, you call it magic.”
Zoe considered it for a few seconds.
“Will you make the contract?” it asked.
“Yes,” Zoe replied.
In seconds she felt drained, but only tired as if she had used up a great deal of magic. Like it had told her, and she knew the spell to transport her back here. Otherwise she felt fine.
“Mmm, thank you, come back often,” it stated. “For I am always thirsty.”
“I will,” Zoe said before moving back to the main room, closing the doors and heading back upstairs where everyone else seemed to be waiting. She noticed there were seven girls, Lydia, Farquar and OMB standing there waiting to see what was going on.
Zoe walked over to where they were all seated and looked over at OMB.
“So, you understand more now?” OMB asked. “Only one like you may be the owner.”
Zoe had a feeling he was speaking of the Bride of Migal, whatever it was.
“Yeah, a bit more,” Zoe replied.
OMB seemed to look around, smelling the air before looking back at her.
“And it appears you have come to an agreement with being the owner,” OMB said.
“Does all this have to do with the locked room downstairs?” Leah asked.
“Yes, there are some things which are only for the owner,” OMB replied. “We’ve been over this.”
“Yeah, but still,” Leah replied, obviously curious about what was back there.
“As owner, I’ll be needing your help,” Zoe said to them, watching as the conversation turned and they looked at her. “Hey, I know nothing about running a business.”
She saw a few people who seemed hesitant at her admission.
“I’ve never run one before,” Zoe said to them.
“And we can teach her, while running the suite as we always have,” OMB said to them all. “Also, being Dragonborn she was summoned by the Greybeards. I think you’ll be busy running around all over Skyrim. You can think of this as your base of operations.”
Zoe gave it some thought, it did sound nice, a place to come back to relax, and larger than her house in Whiterun. She also noticed that the others didn’t seem to object to that too much. Probably meant she wouldn’t be here much allowing a transition slowly instead of all at once.
“Think I should get a tour around the place,” Zoe said, she wanted to get an impression of what all she suddenly became an owner of.
“Good idea, perhaps one of you can,” OMB said to the girls.
“I can,” Leah said quickly.
Zoe gave her a smile.
OMB returned back to the bar and seemed to go and finish up his washing.
“I’ll start with this right here, our main attraction, the bath,” Leah said. “We offer food and drink as well, and a small eating place as well.”
Zoe looked around seeing that everything appeared well taken care of and clean.
“Behind the bar, that’s where we cook and there are two beds, usually Rashaal and I share that room to sleep.”
“Rashaal?” Zoe asked.
“She’s the Redguard,” Leah replied. “The blonde Nord is Wyla, the other Nord is Trudy, both have been here a couple of years. We also have two other Bretons, Rayna, who also has black hair, and Estria. And Elise who is a dark elf.”
That surprised Zoe a bit as she turned to look at the elf.
“Oh, don’t mention the Thalmor around her, seems as if she had a run in with them in her past,” Leah said.
“No problem,” Zoe replied, knowing she had her own problems with the Thalmor. Just the mentioning of them brought up another problem she had a feeling she might get involved in, the Stormcloak rebellion. She wasn’t sure about the Empire side as they seemed to support the Thalmor, yet she had been befriended by an imperial soldier who helped her out. He was the reason she was here now.
She focused again on the tour, as they headed to the side opposite the bar where she spotted a couple of beds, and a staircase leading to the basement. Instead they headed up, giving her a look at a several beds.
“We have several who stay the night on their travels,” Leah said. “And we use the beds as well. On the other side is the owner, I mean, your bed.”
Zoe didn’t bother to correct her, but noticed another level.
“What’s up there?”
“Oh, even more beds,” Leah replied. “We have beds all over the place, one of the largest lodgings in Skyrim.”
Zoe wondered how many beds there were. It looked like several already as they walked across the building towards another seating area.
“This is part of the owner’s area,” Leah said as Zoe noticed an enchanting table and a bit of a closed area which had a double bed. “The owner’s bed.”
Zoe took a second to take in the room. The bed looked very inviting, and the small area off to the side where she could store her armor and other belongings. Things looked very different compared to when she left the Imperial City only earlier in the month. She now was considered the owner of this suite. It almost sounded too good to be true.
Zoe flopped down into the bed before looking over at Leah.
“You’re not quite happy about this are you?” Zoe asked.
“No, well,” Leah stopped at her protest and seemed to think about the question. “I guess I expected someone else, or something else. I mean, the last owner was an older man, not someone, well, so young.”
“Well, I’m only twenty-five seasons,” Zoe replied, not sure she should be insulted or not.
“It’s not that, but I think we all expected someone older than that, more like forty or so,” Leah said. “And a male.”
“You’re disappointed because I’m female?” Zoe asked, sitting up in the bed.
“Oh, no, it’s, well we all had expatiations, had some visual image in our minds and you didn’t fit any of that,” Leah replied.
“Is that good or bad?” Zoe questioned taking a better look at the dark-haired beauty in front of her.
“Well, you are beautiful,” Leah stated as she looked Zoe over.
“Not used to that, and I figure I’ll be on adventures, don’t think this visit to the Greybeards will be the end of whatever is going on,” Zoe said to her.
“This can be your homebase,” Leah said repeating what OMB had said.
“Its quite large, has all the things I need, and I’ll probably be doing some dungeon diving,” Zoe replied.
“We can sell what you bring back,” Leah stated. “It will expand our reputation. And really, we’ll be here to operate it all.”
“Yeah, I wasn’t about to change anything,” Zoe stated. The idea of going out on her adventures and returning here to such a place seemed to brighten her future. Perhaps coming to Skyrim had been a good thing after all.
“Come on, give me the rest of the tour,” Zoe said, getting off the bed and walking with Leah back down and into the basement where there were was a larger table to eat at, a larger bar, and side rooms full of beds.
End part 6