3: You Did WHAT With a Daedric Prince?!
“Yeah, I beat Sanguine in a drinking contest once.”
I stared at my friend, the Dovahkiin, the Dragonborn, Silva, in disbelief. “You did not,” I insisted. She just grinned at me, her white eyes bright in the candlelight of the Sleeping Giant Inn. I thought for a moment that I saw hints of pink around her iris, remnants that told me she once had normal Dunmer-colored eyes.
I was surprised at how loose-lipped she became after a few swigs of mead. I didn’t expect her to drink at all, really. I watched her slowly drink down another large gulp of the stuff, straight from Maven Black-Briar’s brewery, courtesy of Maven herself! Maven had sent her a case after she essentially helped Maven become the Jarl of Riften, something Silva said she regretted, but “in the end, it was for the better.”
“Right in the Frostfruit inn, back in Rorikstead,” she continued. “We had a small drinking contest, I won, and then we went about Skyrim to fix his staff and ended up having a night filled with lots of fun, actually.”
“Really? Like what?”
“Well, I got engaged to a Hagraven, sold a prized goat to a giant in Rorikstead in fact, and trashed the temple of Dibella in Markarth. It was quite fun…from what everyone told me. I hardly remember a thing.”
“Ah.” I stared at her, not sure if she was drunk or if she was being serious. She finished off her third bottle and sighed, done for the night. She looked at me and smiled, and I returned it. “Want to see my Daedric collection?” she asked me.
“Iona? Where’s my trunk?” she called from downstairs. We were in Honeyside. Iona and I sat by the fire, listening to her rummage through her things.
“My Thane, your trunk is at the foot of your bed…as always,” Iona responded, sounding uneasy.
“Ah, so it is,” Silva said as she walked back up, shaking her head. She sat in front of it and opened it, an array of lights shooting up onto the ceiling.
“What’s even in there?” I asked, leaving my seat at the fire and sitting on her bed. I peered over a tad to see if I could see through the light, but it was blinding.
“Favors I won from helping Daedric princes,” she replied. She pulled out Sanguine’s Rose and handed it to me. It was gorgeous and felt comfortable in my hand. The bright green stem was hard like wood but still felt alive like a fresh plant. The red petals shone in the lights and glowed softly.
“What does it do?” I asked as I gave it a jerk in the air, and an armored Dremora appeared right next to Iona. She fell back in her chair and almost landed in the fire. She rolled away quickly and stood up, hand on the hilt of her sword. The Dremora just stood there, waiting.
“It does that,” Silva said, organizing her trunk.
“How long will it be there?”
“About a minute.”
By the time she was done, the summoned Daedra went away with a groan. “I helped Hircine by killing a werewolf,” she said, pulling out an outfit made from a large wolf’s hide. She set it in front of me, and I felt the coarse fur, the powerful enchantment in it sending vibrations through my undead fingers. “Have you helped all of them?” I asked her, my eyes meeting hers.
“No, not yet. Namira, for sure. She’s into cannibalism, last I heard. I’d rather just…not. I’ll take cave bears over people biting me. Or even wolves.”
I smiled. “Or dragons?”
She smiled back at me. “Especially dragons.”
She sat back on her haunches and thought. “I’ve helped…all the Daedric princes except for Namira, Sheogorath, Meridia, and Vaermina. I haven’t visited Meridia’s shrine; I haven’t run into the God of Madness yet; I had the opportunity to help Vaermina, but I chose to destroy a relic of hers instead that was haunting residents of Dawnstar. I made a friend in the process. We should visit him sometime.”
“Of course you helped Azura.”
“Well, yes, of course.” No surprise there; dark elves and their Daedric princes.
“As a Nightingale and member of the Thieves Guild, she’s very important in my life, yes.” She was very open about her participation in the Thieve’s Guild, so this also came as no surprise. As she pulled out armor and weapons for me to view, I racked my brain to remember all the princes. “Wait, so does that mean you’ve assisted Mehrunes Dagon?” I asked her.
“Yeah, actually, I helped him, too.”
“What?!” How could she have helped the god that planned on destroying the world? The one responsible for the Oblivion Crisis?
“Well, I met a Dunmer named Silus…” She explained the details: the museum of the Mystic Dawn, gathering the pieces of the Razor for him (I rolled my eyes; did she ever say no to anyone??), meeting Silus at the shrine, and eventually killing him. “Why did you kill him?” I asked at the end of her story.
“He was stupid for trying to repair the dagger, she spat. “It was his deserved punishment in the end. Imagine if he went on a killing spree of Dawnstar? Or if someone broke into his home and stole it? Irreparable damages.” She reached into the trunk and slowly pulled out Mehrunes’ Razor. It looked old and nasty and pulsated magic. I didn’t dare touch it.
“You met Hermaeus Mora?” I asked her, looking around for a relic of the prince of wisdom.
“Yes, and he rewarded me greatly,” she said as she started putting everything away. “With a book. It disappeared after I read it. It made me a lot stronger. I feel it’s one of the best things given to me to help me defeat Alduin.”
I smiled at her. She’s really done it all, hasn’t she?
I noticed I didn’t see a particular mace in the collection that she took out of the trunk. Probably out of respect for me. But I wanted to know anyway: “And…Molag Bal?”
“Yes I helped him destroy a priest of Boethiah,” she replied without looking up at me. “Gave me his mace in return. I don’t use it too much.”
“You don’t seem to use any of these much.”
“They’re valuable! Why waste them?”
I watched her put everything away meticulously. Was it possible for one person to do it all? To have it all? She owned five homes (She still hadn’t taken me to Hjerim or Proudspire Manor yet) across Skyrim, saved Tamriel more than once, and assisted nearly every person in existence, including Daedric princes. Unbelievable.
“I just wish I was there to have done it all with you,” I said sadly.
“Bah!” she exclaimed as she threw herself on her bed next to me. “We just have to find more adventures to go on!”
“You’ve been on all of them already.”
“There will always be new adventures, Serana. Now it’s time for bed!” She threw her armor on the ground and stripped down to her underclothes.
“I don’t really sleep on beds,” I said as I watched Iona put out the fire.
“Hm. Iona—go find someone to make a coffin for Serana.” Iona nodded and left quickly.
“It’s the middle of the night!” I cried. “She’s not going to find anyone right now.”
“It’s Riften,” she said as she began putting out all the candles around the room. “Someone is bound to be up. She’ll probably go to The Ragged Flagon and find someone or…something.”
“Don’t you think she wants to sleep, too?” I countered as she lay next to me in the darkness.
“She sleeps most the time when I’m gone. Why do you think she was wide awake when we walked in after trekking from Riverwood?”
I shook my head and slipped off my cloak. It hit the ground lightly. We lay in silence together for a long time. “You’re not falling asleep,” I said to her.
“How do you know that?” she asked.
“I can hear your heart and your breathing pattern in general. I know what it sounds like when a mortal is sleeping.”
“So you can bite me?”
“Haha. Not funny.”
She chuckled huskily before sighing. I could tell she wasn’t very tired. We had walked to Whiterun and then took a carriage to Riften where she took a solid nap. She was the type to run on naps, so sleeping for that many hours was surely like a good night’s rest for her.
“Tell me about some of your adventures, with the Daedric princes,” I asked, turning to face her, where I could see her perfectly in the dark.
She smiled at the ceiling.
The rest of the night was filled with her stories. I could imagine them perfectly: the fur, wet from rain, on the talking dog, Barbas; the blood flowing from the innocent bard she had led to the Sacellum of Boethiah, the sound of the skulls of Boethia’s followers cracking against Silva’s blade, and the sweat and blood dripping from her body as she struggled to get the final blow on the previous wearer of the Ebony Mail; defying Vaermina and letting Erandur destroy her skull; breathing in emerald fumes to speak with Peryite before slaying dozens of his diseased followers, their vomit burning holes into her skin; peeling the hide from the great wolf to put it on her body and have it meld onto her shape and give her the strength of another person; opening the Oghma Infinium and feeling her mind expand and having the knowledge of Hermaeus Mora penetrate it, leaving her with a feeling greater than a climax could ever achieve.
The sun was soon raised and peeking over The Rift as her last story was told. My head was swimming with the details of her amazing adventures. Iona came in with the coffin for me and put it downstairs next to the enchanting table. Silva made eggs with potatoes and leeks, all fresh from her garden, over the new fire as I decided to retire to my new coffin for a quick rest. The fresh wood smelled great and it felt comforting. I closed the door shut and tried to dream as I drifted off.
I almost did.