The Telvanni Mage Gideon Viseth has recently hired a sage - a master of calculation, etiquette, rhetoric, and, of course, grammar. Quite pleased with his acquisition, the pair exits Fort Pelagiad, where the Breton sage was originally offering his services. Soon after leaving Pelagiad itself with his new companion, however, the Mage discovers that the logistician is not quite what he thought him to be...
The sky was coloured in a rich blue, something that could only be described as pitifully common in this region. The air was peaceful, and the sun was bathing the landscape in a rich golden ink. What this town needed was a bloody good storm. Maybe that would teach those people to show a member of House Telvanni some respect.
Since his arrival at Pelagiad, Gideon Viseth had encountered, against his wishes, plenty of less-than-reputable characters. He could deliver some of the blame for his apparent lateness to each and every one. They were pathetic. How dare they hold someone of his prestigious standing up for so long, asking pointless questions about magic? All he had requested was guidance to the location of the Breton sage he had come all this way for.
Now he required directions to Balmora, something that he would not trouble that oh-so-innocent populous with. He had a sage to do that for him.
'I presume that you have an extensive knowledge of the local area, sage?' asked Viseth, clicking his fingers to get the things attention.
The answer was dry and monotonous. 'Smug Statement: I believe that my memory of our immediate environs is sufficient to service your request, Dunmer.'
Viseth retorted at this, stamping his foot on the stone pathway. 'You will refer to me always as "Master," sage. Is that clear?'
'Acknowledgement: Yes, master.'
'Well then?' Viseth asked, a little frustrated, 'Where do we go from here? Our destination is the town of Balmora.'
'Answer: I believe that the best course of action from this point to accommodate your request would be for us to travel in a North-Northeasterly direction, master. However, from where we stand presently, there are faster methods to reach that place.'
Viseth looked puzzled. 'Such as?'
'Theory: You could travel directly across the mountains between here and Balmora. However, the gradient in some areas of the ridges equate to over 70 degrees.'
'I hardly think that is a suitable method of travel. That would mean that I would have to climb those ridges, which I cannot afford to do at this time.'
'Surprised Query: Why is that, master?'
'Because,' said Viseth, raising his voice in frustration, 'I must be in a presentable condition upon my arrival, for I am meeting with the Hlaalu scum. A climb such as this would damage my robes.'
'Observation: Master, you requested for a route to the town of Balmora, and I am giving you one. In the future, please mention if there are factors such as this that you wish to add or subtract from the equation.'
Viseth was becoming impatient. The hiring of this sage may not have been as good an idea as he had first believed.
'This is not mathematics, sage! I wish only for safe passage to Balmora.'
'Statement: Safe passage is hardly likely, master. Prediction: There is a high possibility that we will encounter some form of hostile wildlife during our journey.'
'Combat with petty creatures is beneath me, sage. If I encounter one, I will be sure to leave it's killing to you.'
'Defensive Statement: Master, as much as your arrogance fails you, I must convey that your skills in combat far exceed mine.'
'Sage, I do not wish to discuss this further! Let us head north.'
'Retraction: I was simply using my occipital lobes to note that you are the only member of this party in possession of a weapon, and, as you explained to me when you hired my services, you excel in the arts of Destruction, which could obviously-'
'Silence, worm!' Viseth exclaimed, 'We have moved on from Combat specifications and capabilities; we are now in the process of travelling. Do not bother me again with your speech unless it is necessary.'
'Explanation: In order for me to accommodate your request, you must first define necessary.'
By this time, Viseth had heard enough of the sage's dreary voice. The accent was annoying, the contents of the speech was infuriating and the lip synchronisation disturbing.
'Can you do anything sensibly?! Look, let's start the journey in... say - two seconds from when I say "now." Hear that? Two seconds, not one, or any other time you wish to bother me with. Alright?'
'Mathematical Theorem: One and two are equal, master, depending on your precept.'
Viseth exploded. 'Shut up! Do not speak unless I ask it of you! Just forget about the two seconds and follow me!'
The sage did not reply. That was comforting. At least he knew how to take orders.
The pair began to move north, their feet meeting first stone, then grass, then worn dirt. Their movements were nothing alike. Viseth's walk was heavy, implying that he carried a great burden or responsibility. This was, in fact, more likely to have been caused by his anger at the sage, and his gigantic disappointment at his performance. This was not what he had wanted at all.
The sage's walk, however, was smooth and flowing, almost graceful. His shoes made no noise as they fell, in contrast to Viseth's, which were scuffing loudly. The sage glanced at them, calculating how much damage they were sustaining as a result of this abuse. he determined hat they would not be in a presentable condition by the time they reached the town of Balmora. He wanted to warn his master of this, but quickly decided against it, wondering what sort of punishment he would incur.
By the time they reached a gap in the mountainous ridges blocking their path, Viseth's shoes looked terrible. He didn't sem to noyice this, however, and turned to his sage. 'You have permission to speak. Where do we go from here?'
The answer was quiet and retracted. 'Direction: We must travel through this gap and then northeast, following the River Odai.'
Viseth began walking through the small valley, the sage following.
'Fine then, just as long as we don't have to cross the river.'
'Statement: Oh, but we will, master. If not by bridge then by foot. The main entrance to Balmora is on the opposite riverbank to ours.'
'Why didn't you mention this? Didn't I tell you to mention anything like this?'
'Answer: No, you did not, master. You requested that I inform you if our journey would be suitable for the maintanence of your garments. May I add that your shoes suffer awfully while you proceed to scuff them.'
'For goodness' sake, you n'wah! In the future, mention any factors that you believe will be of interest to me!'
'Statement: Master, you wound me! Not physically, of course, but in my Limbic System.'
'You will be wounded physically if you don't listen!'
The sage took a step backwards. 'Statement: I am listening master. I am following your orders to the letter. If you choose to provide me with vague, ambiguous requests that any logically minded sentient would have great difficulty in complying with, then please do not blame me if I attempt to clarify your intentions.'
Two hours later, a tomb-raider would find a short Breton's corpse, still smoking and burned black by fire spells, lying in exactly the spot where he had last spoken. The raider would be disgusted to find that both eyes had been gouged out, and a significant percentage of the body's chest had been removed, and lay splayed out on the dirt pathway.
Six hours later, the meeting of house politics in the Hlaalu Council Hall in Balmora would be adjourned with no sign whatsoever of the Telavnni representative, Gideon Viseth. All members would leave feeling robbed, and stating that they would be hosting "animated" discussions on the subject with Archmagister Gothren.
Nine hours later, a prisoner just released from an Imperial incarceration ship into Seyda Neen would discover a Dunmer man in elaborate robes impaled on a sharp tree branch. The prisoner would loot the body of anything of value, including the clothing. It was these very robes that would later defeat Dagoth Ur, who would attempt to ingest them after losing his sanity at the hands of the Nerevarine's completely infuriating accent. Wait, what?!