Do what’s right. Humbly pologize for your rude behavior, and THEN inquire about the schedule. Don’t do it the other way around.
Okay okay okay, before you say anything, I want to say that I’m sorry. When we first met, it wasn’t right for me to mock you for being afraid of cultists. I should’ve known better, especially when I have my own nightmare-induced phobia that nobody else takes seriously. Also, I shouldn’t have gone flaunting to you that I used to be a cultist, especially since it was only half true. Like, technically I was in a lot of cults, like three at any given time, and it was mostly just getting gangbanged on stone altars. I know that’s probably too much information but I’m trying to be honest and open here and that always goes weird places. Just bear with me for a minute.
When I told you I had terrifying, recurring nightmares that were almost just like yours except with a king instead of a cultist, I swear I wasn’t lying. And when I said the dream had tried talking to me with big, glowing letters the other night, I also wasn’t lying. It was just as weird to me as it probably sounded to you, and I totally get why you thought I was bullshitting you. But like… I’m not; I’m confused and trying to figure out what’s going on with my weird nightmares, just like you are.
I’m sorry I handled everything between us really badly. I hope we can be, like, not friends, but in that sort of comfortable state where you aren’t going to punch me in the face. Just coexisting; you afraid of cultists, me afraid of kings.
Well I still say kings aren’t scary in the slightest.
Two and a half hours later, Gaius begrudgingly concedes that there are perhaps some valid reasons for people to be afraid of kings. Likewise, you admit that a reasonable apprehension of cultists could be conditionally justified. You’re glad the two of you cleared that up.
So let’s say you were telling the truth yesterday. The nightmare was carrying on per usual, then suddenly big, glowing words appeared, addressing you directly?
Yes! They told me not to be afraid. And then, like… the big king attacked me, I was about as afraid as anyone would be in that situation, and the floating letters berated me for it. They said they’d be back later, and to “wait there”.
And did you see them again last night, Gaius asks?
To be honest, I haven’t slept since then. My life’s been taking a pretty good turn recently, so my current plan is basically to just never sleep again.
Speaking of, is that coffee on the table?
Gaius says that it’s two hours cold, and also his. You ask him what the fine would be for stealing his cold coffee. Two septims, he says. Okay, you say.
Anyway, if the big, glowing words in the nightmare were telling me not to be afraid, they can’t be Vaermina, right? You said she was really big on fear and really bad at lying.
Understatement on the lying, but yes. Assuming you’re telling the truth about having nightmares like mine and aren’t yet another bogus lead, this glowing message could very well be the “dream thief” she spoke of. But, if the words you saw were the same entity giving the nightmares, why would they object to your fear? Were they speaking as though it were some sort of twisted test?
Not really? It was more like they didn’t have control over the nightmare. Realtalk, though: four hours ago my major goal in life was to find thirty septims I lost, so speculating on the machinations of supernatural entities is kind of whiplashy and already feels like a horrible mistake. Is there, like, some evil god expert we can field this to?
Far more of them on Nirn than I am comfortable with. But, few other than Vaermina cultists claim their dark patron holds any dominion over dreams and nightmares. A vampire, maybe? I believe one lives over on the east side of town.
Okay, tangent here, but I’m glad we’re just both openly acknowledging that fact right now.
Wait – Vaermina gave you her number! She said to have a conjurer call if you found any new information about your nightmares. I’m a conjurer now, and we have information! If you give me the number, I might be able to ask her for help!
Gaius cocks an eyebrow. You expected me to hold onto a scrap of paper given to me by an unhelpful demon?
Wha… yes! That was clearly an important item! Why would you throw away something given to you by a literal evil god?
I feel like we have very different ideas of what should be done with things left behind by evil gods.
Whatever, you say. The point stands. She said she wants information on your weird dreams – our weird dreams. She’s the Daedric Prince of normal nightmares, right? The next time one of us is having a normal nightmare, maybe we can get her attention and tell her about the weird glowing letters?
Hold on, Gaius says, you have normal nightmares?
You never found the trick to that? If you concentrate really hard on something else scary when you’re going to sleep, like half the time you’ll have a normal nightmare instead of a crazy monochrome terrortrip.
Outside of a reasonable apprehension toward cultists, there aren’t many things that scare a seasoned Captain of the Guard.
Man, you screwed yourself over then. You gotta be like me: afraid of kings, queens, and also everything else.
Oh, speaking of being afraid of everything: do you have a patrol schedule for the Legionnaire on the Gold Road? I need to head back to Anvil, but I wanna travel with him if I can. Safety and all that.
Safety is rarely much of an issue along the road to Anvil. But, if memory serves, on Tirdas he reaches the base of the mountain around 5:00 PM.
When we traveled here he said he was going to request a six hour change in the schedule to catch a bandit that’s been dodging Legion patrols. Have you heard anything about that?
Any change in local patrol schedules would have been reported directly to me, and I haven’t gotten anything. I wager the bureaucrats are probably still waffling on it, or just passed it along to the Fighter’s Guild. Then again, if the goal is to catch a bandit off-guard, the change might be unannounced.
Great. Guess I should’ve, like… asked if it was shifting six hours earlier or six hours later.