Is it true what they say? Are you a man or beast?
Why don’t we get a room and you can find out for yourself?
It’s not that kind of art. Perhaps I should explain. I wish to offer you a cure for your…affliction.
Now why would I want that?
need to account for skjarn not following
I take it you were listening to our little conversation. What do you think? Do we trust this woman?
decided not to make companions a prereq, so no witch heads.
All right, mage. I’m listening. What is it you want me to do?
We can figure out the particulars afterward.
If you got errands to run, I’ll meet you there. Don’t worry, when it comes to beautiful ladies, I’m always on time.
You! This is your doing! Damn you Nord, I should’ve known! Only you would stoop so low!
had to change to tie up
As if I need to tie you up to kill you. What in Oblivion is he doing here?
It is as I told you. This man is sick. He suffers from an advanced stage of sanguine vampiris, a disease for which no normal cure will suffice.
What you call a disease is the blood of rulers and kings!
Perhaps. And yet, the only thing you can rule is the darkness, when the very sun melts away your soul.
But neither of our opinions matter in this case. It is not I who will decide your fate.
Well, what will it be, wolf? Will you save your mortal enemy? Make your choice, and reveal yourself as man, or beast.
Ha, why even bother even asking! The coward will do what comes natural to him.
Shut up, Breton, I’m trying to think!
Great. So the choice is between saving the person I hate the most, or ending our duel in the most cowardly way imaginable.
What would you do?
I’d end this feud. You have a mutual enemy. Kill her.
The woman? Well, I’d rather not, but now that you mention it, she’s really the only one keeping the imp hostage.
Kill her, and we don’t have to save him. The fool can save himself.
Just kill Edwayne and make up some story like you always do.
Well, I don’t make up stories. Unlike some bards, everything I say is fact.
For instance, I know for certain that vampires get stronger when they don’t feed.
If anything, this imp is at the height of his powers. It’s not our fault they’re so piddling.
Carmella will kill him, not you. You just won’t save him.
True. And if not her it’d be something else, like a mudcrab or mosquito or something.
There’s really no shame in letting nature take its course.
Give him your blood. Cure him. It’s the right thing to do.
Eh, I suppose you’re right. He’ll probably thank us with the tip of his sword, but it’s not like we’d feel anything, given he’s a harmless weakling.
All right. I’ve made up my mind. The imp lives, but you die.
I expected you to be angry, but this is an interesting development.
This exhibit has truly been an enlightening experience. But like life, everything has a beginning, and an end.
But worry not, I won’t dispose of your bodies. The two of you will make for lovely art pieces.
All right. I’ve made up my mind. The imp lives.
paragon is pair-a-gawn
So the wolf is a man after all. And yet, even the path of the paragon has consequences.
I’m sorry, but I misled you earlier. For vampires, the wolf’s blood is poison. There is no cure.
That’s fine. I’ll just take your body as payment.
That you will. Because by letting this vampire live, you are condemning me to die. I have no choice but to kill the three of you.
That is the nature of choice. You think you have full view of the stage, but ultimately, you can never see past the curtain.
And with your deaths, I will bring this show to an end.
All right, imp. The mage is dead. You’re free.
Hmph. If you think this absolves you of your crimes, Nord, think again! When my strength returns, I will put an end to our feud once and for all!
Mark my words, I will humiliate you so thoroughly, you will rue the day you ever crossed swords with Edwayne of Solitude!
Is it too late to change my mind? I think I’d rather just kill him.
In any case, sorry about dragging you along. This turned out to be a disaster.
But the important thing to remember is that I’m still alive, and women across Tamriel still have a reason to wake up in the morning.
If only I could wake up from the nightmare of having you as a companion.
Your denial can’t change the truth. Women want me, men want to be me, and the Breton wants to kill me. But only because he’s jealous.
That’s why, despite your little insult, I’m still going to give you a reward for helping me out. That’s just the kind of guy I am. Here.
I agree. Crisis averted.
Yeah, and I couldn’t have done it without you. Well, that’s a lie, I can do pretty much anything, but then I would’ve had to sweat.
Here. This is a helmet I found a little while ago. Don’t have much need for it. The last thing I’d ever do is cover up part of my face.
They have a reason to wake up, and he’s standing right in front of you.
Ha, I don’t mind a little competition. Most people can’t hold a candle to me, but you aren’t as dim as most people.
After all, there’s one area you clearly have me bested. Your choice of companion.
This woman included. Glad you’re still around.
Ha, you’re not so bad yourself. I do my best to suppress my wolfish instincts whenever I catch your scent.
But one of these days, you might get more of me than you bargained for.
In any case, here. This is in exchange for your help. I figure you could sell it. I don’t think it’s a good idea for either of us to cover our face.
Ha, you’re not so bad yourself. Although obviously, nowhere near my level.
All right. I’ve made up my mind. The imp’s yours. You can do with him as you wish.
So you choose the path of ignorance, in hopes it will absolve you of guilt. But the Gods will judge you for your neglect.
Sure, whatever. Now let’s you and me find someplace quiet.
Like a beast, you seek my flesh. But you aren’t the only one. This man’s allies lurk in the shadows, warded off by the light.
But we shall see how his brethren treat you! Let them be your judge and executioner!
All right. I’ve made up my mind. The imp dies.
So the man is truly a beast. I suppose it doesn’t matter then that there is no cure.
Well, it’s not a big deal to me. You’re the one who’s going to have to deal with it, when I’m ravaging your body.
You desire my flesh, but the hunters, they come for your skin. You have outed yourself as a beast, and as such, you will be hunted as one.
Fight or flee, animal. Your only goal is to survive!
vampires come out
I should’ve known you’d resort to hailing your bloodsucking friends, imp.
You know, I’ve got to hand it to you Nord, not even I thought you were dim enough to confuse these overgrown hams with vampires.
Yet with every word, you continue to break new ground in the field of stupidity. Bravo, Nord, bravo!
What’s he talking about? Those things were vampires, weren’t they?
They are whatever you mind believes them to be. For truth is in the eye of the beholder.
When you revealed yourself as both man and beast, that decision came with a consequence.
To help demonstrate that consequence, I hired these men to attack us.
Well, that takes care of them. Where did these idiots come from, anyway?
When you revealed yourself as a beast, it was only natural for hunters to come looking for you.
But yes, I may have hired them to drive this point home.
That was that foolish. They could’ve killed us. Well, you anyway.
It was a risk I was willing to take, Nord. I will not compromise the art to save myself.
Artist…bah! I’ve wielded hammers with more artistic sense.
As far as I’m concerned, the whole lot of you are fools! And when I free myself of these bonds, I will make morsels out of all of you!
Except you Nord. Your foul blood is not fit for consumption. For you I have a different fate in mind.
First, I will twist my knife into your belly, stirring your entrails into a fine soup.
Naturally, the foul toxins emanating from your bowels will be bottled into a poisonous gas and sold to the military as a torture device.
Meanwhile, as the light fades from your eyes, you will begin to beg for death’s embrace.
But alas, it will not come. For I with my other hand, I will slather a healing poultice to your wound, keeping you from the brink of death.
There you will stay in purgatory, lost in an endless eternity of suffering that will never know relief!
(Skjarn actually forcegreets while Breton is still yammering away via text above)
Agh, well, this was a big waste of time. I’m beginning to think that Redguard’s blind after all.
Blind and deaf, if she can put up with the Breton.
True. Normally I don’t mind a damaged woman, but keeping that imp in her company is where I draw the line.
It just goes to show you can’t trust a pretty face. Well, except mine.
Actually, a woman would need to have pretty low self-esteem to sleep with you.
So what you’re basically saying is, women in general have low self-esteem, given they all want to sleep with me.
Which means this Redguard must actually be a man. It’s really the only logical explanation.
It wasn’t a total waste. We got to kill some people.
Yeah, we do tend to do that. Sometimes I feel kind of guilty, until I realize these people are beneath me.
It’s like when a spider builds its web in your home. You let it live, and in a week the entire place will be infested.
What about Edwayne? Are you just going to leave him here?
Who? Oh right, the imp. He isn’t worth my time.
Hopefully he’ll find a new life as this Redguard’s puppet. It’s probably the closest he’ll ever get to being with a real woman.
Either that, or he’ll find a way to escape. That’s the one thing he does better than anyone.
What will you do now? Will you keep looking for a cure?
I doubt it. Like I said, I don’t really mind the wolf blood. Having flaws is what keeps me humble.
And besides, if I was any more perfect, the Gods would start to get jealous, and we can’t have them taking their bitterness out on the townsfolk.
If you don’t mind, I’d like a word.
Of course you would. But sorry mage, you lost your chance. Now you’ll just have to wallow in your own tears.
Not with you, but with your companion.
I want to commend you for helping put together this art show. The results were quite illuminating.
Your friend chose to kill a defenseless vampire out of pure spite, and revealed himself as a beast.
And regardless of his physical form, his character is something that cannot be cured.
(skjarn dead) And regardless of his physical form, his character was something that could not be cured.
Your friend opted to choose the easy way out, to excuse himself from the hard decision.
The inability to make a choice makes him no better than a beast, but the self-delusion that his choice matters – that is a condition unique to man.
Thus your companion is both man and beast. Truly a stunning revelation.
Your friend chose the easy way out, and by that I do not mean death.
Like a beast, he failed to make a choice. He passed the responsibility to me.
But he believed his choice was good. That delusion is unique to man. In the end, he was both.
What was the point of all this?
Like all art, that depends on the viewer. To me, this was an example of mankind’s true nature.
To you, it may be something else entirely. It is not the artist’s job to tell you what it means.
I don’t care what you think. You’re a terrible person and an even worse artist.
My work angers you. I expected it to. I have always sought to take risks and push the boundaries of art.
The day you cease to be angry is the day I will retire.
It was a brilliant show and I was glad to partake. Bravo.
It’s my pleasure. I realize now that involving the audience in the process is important if my art is to take new direction.
What happens now? What will you do with Edwayne?
I’ve yet to decide. I am not a criminal. What I did was for the sake of art. Unfortunately, he may not see it that way.
And while he knows little about my identity, I would be remiss if I didn’t acquire some insurance.
What if I were to follow you on your travels? Being an associate of yours comes with a certain reputation. I wouldn’t mind having it.
Not on your life, witch. I hope Edwayne kills you slow.
That’s unfortunate. But rest assured I will nurse your friend back to health and set him free.
As for my offer, should you change your mind, I’ll be here.
I would love to have you as a companion.
Excellent. There are certain rules I have as an artist, but you’ll find I’m a capable mage nonetheless.
Either way, I thank you for your help. You are truly a friend of the art world, and perhaps a friend of mine.
I respectfully decline.
Very well. Should you change your mind, I’ll be here.
Think of me as your boon. After all, you have been aided the art world considerably, and for that, you deserve a reward.
I’ll think about it.
That’s all I ask. While my art limits what I can offer you, I am still a capable mage.
But whatever you decide, I wish you safe journeys, from one artist to another.
It appears the wolf is dead. But the art does not lie. Regardless of what skin he wears, there is no point mourning the death of a beast.
Ha! You didn’t have to go through this charade, mage! If you wanted to know if the Nord was an animal, all you had to do was ask!
But what do I care what method you used! The pig is now nothing more than bacon for the worms!
Your joy is an interesting reaction to say the least. But save your strength, Breton. You will need it.
As you wish.
That is beyond what I can do.
All right. This was fun. We should do it again sometime.
What do you need?
Very well. Let’s trade.
I’ll carry what I can.
If you have any skulls or soul gems, I’d be glad to hold on to them for you.
I’ll stand here and contemplate my next work.
Lead the way.
We’ve stopped. Is something the matter?
What is it?
What skills do you possess?
I use destruction and conjuration magic, but not all of it will be useful. Because regardless of what spells I know, I want to make one thing clear.
I am not a necromancer. I am an artist. I will not, under any circumstances use the dead as a weapon.
SKJARN POST-QUEST HELLOS
Shame what happened to that Redguard. She died without ever knowing my touch.
You still friends with that Redguard mage? Better keep her on suicide watch. The regret at denying me is probably eating her alive.
EDWAYNE POST-QUEST HELLOS
The Nord is dead! That ugly, stupid, disgusting ape is finally dead!
I have every reason to feel weak, tired and hungry, but right now all I feel is bliss!
Your mage friend has nothing to fear. I know she was the Nord’s pawn. He is the one who will incur my wrath.
When my strength has recovered, I will return to crafting my poem. I will not let the Nord’s tricks prevent me from reaching my goal.
The Nord may try and pass the blame onto the Redguard, but I see through his pathetic machinations.