Prologue: Alchemist’s Tale
The last drop of venom splashed into the bottle. Nessus smiled a wide grin that hinted at the rather sharp teeth below his lip. In a proud motion with his bony hands, the wood elf tightly sealed the cork on the bottle’s mouth and placed the newly perfected poison in his knapsack.
It was late in the night when Nessus stood up from his tucked away alchemy table and walked to the window across the room. He leaned on the natural opening in the giant tree he called home and peered thoughtfully into the night. From a passing breeze, he breathed in the smells of the thick Valenwood wilderness, the fresh leaves, soil, bark, and moisture all combined to create a rich midsummer night scent.
Nessus was especially fond of these nights, the moonlight shimmering in small streaks though swaying braches above and below. Always full of life and patchy chatter, Valenwood’s Falinesti nights were Nessus’s favorite place to be on all of Nirn and in all of time. There were voices from man, mer, and beast floating up from just below his window, merrily enjoying the tavern life and all the alcohol and music that came with it. Every now and then, Nessus would catch a waft of grilling meats from the tavern spits that made his mouth water and stomach ache.
This time, he truly hadn’t eaten all day due to his tedious potion making, so the savory smells caused him to pounce of his perch at the window and grab his ratty robe from the back of his writing desk’s chair. The wood elf then scurried around his room closing drawers and carelessly tossing miscellaneous items into their incorrect places. With a fast shove, the bone mold door swung open and Nessus stood starring down at the suspended walkway below. He sprang off the deck and dropped below like a fleshy four-legged spider climbing headfirst down the rope net. With a youthful flop forwards, he dismounted from the netting and then began trotting towards the wavering torches and joyful laughter that filled the tavern district.