I'll Be Watching You, by Chris Hoekstra

Story name: I'll Be Watching You
Author: Chris Hoekstra
Publication date: October 19, 1999 (on TSA-List)

Date: Mid-June, 706 CR1
Location: Metamor Keep

Overview

Raven tries to figure out the mystery of Rickkter's powers, in spite of the Lothanasi gods' orders.

Summary

Raven is searching for a reason for the great disturbance she felt the day before. She learned of a great battle between the Keepers and the Lutins that took place to the north. The soldiers spoke of fire raining from the sky, wielded by magic spirits of flame. Her subsequent research in the Lightbringer Archives revealed nothing. The spells were too powerful for a nymph or Hell Hound to perform, and the method, while fitting Yajiit's nature and abilities, was uncharacteristic to her style. The closest she felt was during her attempt to heal Rickkter the week before. Unable to sleep, she contacted Samekkh, who refused to reveal anything when he learns of Rickkter's involvement, and told her to stop investigating.

She is shaken by this warning, but not deterred. Another visit to the archives, and a similar audience with Kyia reveal nothing. She takes Nathaniel with him to the battlefield in the early morning, where she receives a third message from the gods, in the form of a raven, telling her to cease investigating.

Meanwhile, Jione meets with Brian Coe to thank him for caring for Bender. Brian Coe tells her to thank Rickkter, as his magical healing saved Bender from certain death. He wonders how Rickkter, a professional soldier, had as much knowledge as a trained medical student. He shows her the fine stitching on Bender's arm, and the clean wounds healed with magic on Bender's face; he also tells of Rickkter restarting Bender's stopped heart.

Around mid-morning, Raven contacts Akkala, who has been permitted to answer a few of her questions. She learns that none of the gods or daedra were involved directly, but that it is indeed related to Rickkter. Akkala refuses to elaborate further, but assures her that Rickkter will never harm them, and to leave him alone. Raven promises that she will no longer ask the gods for answers.

When Akkala leaves, Raven confronts Rickkter, who is already expecting her. He condemns her arrogance, and leaves yet another warning to stop her investigation and to leave the past alone. He leaves, and the enraged Raven is about to perform a Truthsayer spell on him, when Sammekh's voice resounds in her mind, that she has ignored five separate warnings, and deserves death four times over. Raven pleads for forgiveness, and Sammekh solemnly revokes his patronage of her. She humbly returns to her temple, promising to herself to keep a close watch on Rickkter.

Brian meets Rickkter in the hallway, still covered in blood from the battle. Brian offers to take him to the baths, and briefly leaves to fetch his supplies. He asks if Rickkter has practiced shifting, a skill that all morphs can take. Rickkter eagerly shrinks into a smaller raccoon, but is unable to take off his talisman to his frustration. He returns to normal size, and Brian demonstrates how to bathe. Rickkter is at first annoyed by how much water his fur holds, but then shifts down to his smaller raccoon form to shake himself off.

Rickkter returns to his room and tries to light a fire, getting only a jolt of pain from his burnout. He resorts to flint and steel, taking many minutes to succeed, and falls asleep in his robes as a full raccoon.

Characters

Main characters:

  • Raven: The Lothanasi Lightbringer of the Keep. She dislikes the unknown, and cares a great deal about protecting the Keep. Thus she investigates the unknown energy source, defy the gods' demands to stop. Although she fails to
  • Rickkter: A mercenary and mage, and newly changed raccoon morph. He can use magic from his surroundings to perform magic, but using too much leaves him sore afterwards. After healing Bender and the battle the day before, he is exhausted for most of the story.
    • Nine years ago, Rickkter discovered something that the Lothanasi gods did not think it possible for anyone to discover. The gods refuse to let its nature be discovered or discussed, as it is forbidden by "the Others".
    • He wears a gold and ruby talisman around his neck. He is unable to remove it under any circumstance; it adapts to his changing size, and to magic in general. This talisman is somehow connected with the incident nine years ago.
    • His father taught him to use flint and steel when he was six years old.

Supporting:

  • Brian Coe: The Keep healer, a raccoon morph. He is currently tasked with healing several soldiers who were injured in the battle yesterday, as well as watching over the still-injured Bender. He studied in medical school, in contrast to the combat medics who pick up slang in the field. This is what tips him off that Rickkter has also received profesional training.
  • Samekkh: The Lothanasi aedra of prophecy. Normally he is friendly and fatherly, but he can be wrathful towards those who do not show obedience.
  • Akkala: The Lothanasi aedra of healing. Her voice is sweet, and her embrace is warm and comforting. Her eyes are sapphire-blue.

Minor characters:

  • Nathaniel: A Lothanasi acolyte, a male gender morph. Like other acolytes, he can open his mind to see surrounding auras. He joins Raven in her investigation of the battle, though he does not grasp the significance.
  • Jione: A professional soldier, a female gender morph. She cares a great deal about her soldiers; she visits Bender and thanks Brian personally for his services.
  • Bender: A scout, a wolf morph. He is still recovering from his injuries in Live and Let Die. He suffered from a severe wound to the face, down to the bone, and another injury in his right arm. Rickkter save his life
  • Kyia: The nymph who resides within Metamor Keep. Within the boundaries of the Valley, she has almost as much power as a goddess. She can be summoned like the Lothanasi gods.
  • The presences: Sentient beings that nonphysically watch over Rickkter. Rickkter is able to speak to them and sense their responses. There is one presence in particular that always watches over him.

Important mention:

  • Yajiit: The fire aedra. She is known for causing great destruction with her fire, but never with intention. She can project fire around her foes, and erupt the earth with every step.
  • Moorley: A scout, who brought in Bender with Rickkter. He left as soon as he got there.

Referenced:

  • Magus: A powerful wizard of the Keep.
  • Chris: A tutor and minor wizard of the Keep.
  • Kammoloth: Leader of the aedra.
  • Pascal: The Keep alchemist. She made the fur-cleaning soaps that the animal morphs bathe with.

Story connections

  • Bender's injury was gained 3 days ago in Live and Let Die.
  • This story was meant to be the third part in a three-part story that included Live and Let Die. However, the second story, which was to cover the huge battle that Rickkter participated in, was never finished. This story was posted many months after Live and Let Die.

Points of interest

  • Vulcan nymphs and Hell Hounds are fiery beings like Yajiit, but much less powerful. They scorch the earth wherever their feet fall.
    • Vulcan nymphs can cast short-range line-of-sight fire spells, but no power beyond that.
    • Hell Hounds can use their fiery breath to ignite fires.
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