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Acquisition

Can be found randomly in loot containers, and is randomly sold by general goods and books vendors.

Contents

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With no need for secrecy this time, Cyrus went a more direct route to the temple of the Ansu-Gurleht. Near a crossroads that split on the westernmost fall of the Tendus there was a wayside shrine to Morwha, with a sprawling statue inside of a fashion he had seen before in his own lands. He left coin there in a wax-hollowed candle holder on the goddess' knees and felt a sudden relief in the wound of his lower back. He nodded to the ugly, fat face of the Yoku mother spirits and gave thanks and moved on.

The day became hot, for he was unused to wearing chainmail and helm and greaves, and heavy padding underneath all of it. He'd done so at times, battled in armor, but even at war in M'kai or the Rim he went without it and relied on speed instead, because his fighting style did. There would be no speed against the demon-king of the dunmer, Cyrus had learned, only force and hard defense. His mind was heady with the sword-thought of the ansus. It was all of it breath and geometry of edge and lessons that were lost on him because he had not the physical training for them.

He wondered about the Barons of Move Like This and the impossibility of their designs; how they were an advantage of Vivec's that few warriors could compensate for. He wondered how that any stone-knowledge he'd absorbed had already been dealt with by a countermove that did not exist yet; and that the Ansu-Gurleht had no doubt trained in it. Finally, he wondered of various ways to just plain cheat.

"There is nothing you can say to insult this Tribune, Captain," Gar had said. "He is divine and goes all back all eras. He has endured slights from every power-- of the dark, and of the starkeepers, and of the lesser royalty of Man-- and delivered them back with laughter. His main joy is foul effrontery, one could say, and will gain you nothing."

Cyrus told Gar he wasn't helping.

"Actually, I'm trying," Gar said. "More than insulting him with something unlikely to earn anything but amused contempt, I'm afraid that he would counter with something worse. He has a godsmind, Captain. He knows he could unshake you, and you cannot suffer that to happen in your duel with him."

~~~

It had somehow rained only inland the past day. The earth near the Shredstart was soft and unlovely, broken by stream. Cyrus stopped and looked down a wide gulf, thinking in Yoku, netu anselim, which was the small version of the thought "turn back." Below, salmon leapt upwards along a low river in their unparsible function.

Another Yoku phrase almost rose, but Cyrus smothered it, saying only, "Yes, that's just about right." The salmon and their desperate natal stretch was an answer he agreed to.

He set the unease of the stone-knowledge into his stomach, removing it for a moment to become again what he remembered himself to be and not what magic had wrought, the ancestor idioms breaking across a bank inside him.

He cursed the ansus for their interference. No one should be made to swallow a language whole. He looked to the fish again and shrugged, finally moving on. Yes, he thought, it's only a fool that picks which dooms he subscribes to if he has more than one that breach his sky...but, well, there you go.

"I'm coming for you, woman," he said, quickening.

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