The notes drifted into the air, and there they hung as delicious apples from a tree, full ripe and brimming with tastes. Yet for all the pleasure in the soft sound, the haunting notes played. The quiet, high plucks of the lyre uttering of a pain, an old pain as ancient as it was deep and unmoving.
Listeners on the waterfront had already begun moving in to catch the song as it began its delicate finale. As it finished, the last note echoed in their minds, so that for a moment, the entire crowd held its breath in waiting. But no more music played, and somewhat dejected, they clapped in unison and moved along.
Regulus sat frozen for a short while. Staring out from the foot of the tree that stood right next to the archway between the slums and the Waterfront. It was a peaceful place, looking out onto Lake Rumare and the West Weald beyond and on the brightest days, sometimes you could see the topmost towers of Skingrad glinting in the distance. A pinprick or a star almost too faint for the mortal eye.
He got up, making the short distance to the Arcane University within moments. For a second he gazed into the coloured flames and watched them flutter and dance in their odd colours. As he approached the gates, the Guard in his Imperial armour and green hood looked him over, ready to stop him before seeing who he was.
“Enjoy your stay, sir,” the man nodded.
Regulus traversed the courtyard, entering the giant University and taking particular care on the Teleporters. No matter how often he used them, he could never get used to it. But eventually, he reached his destination. The Orrery. A marvel of Dwemer technology at the heart of the once proud capital of the Empire. And he had come here because...
...Regulus couldn’t remember. Was it something he’d read? Something he’d learned in song? Somehow his mind kept drifting to the Bard’s College in Skyrim, but when he tried to remember back then, when he tried to remember – whatever he was trying to remember, a pain shot into his mind. Something, there is a reason I am here!
He shook his head in annoyance and settled himself to simply staring up at the orbs spinning and rotating. So mesmerising. So beautiful. So perfect. Almost in a dream his mind drifted just like his music.
And the Elder Scrolls have foretold, when the planets align in the cold, from—
Regulus awoke, his book had fallen off his bed. It took him a while to understand what was happening. He sat up, groggily rubbing his eyes and scooped the text back up and onto the bed. Ancient Tales of the Dwemer, Part XI. He checked it was ok, after all, he’d had it brought in from the Cheydinhal Mages guild by request, it wouldn’t be proper to send it back in tatters.
Something nagged at his mind. Something had happened in his sleep, but the more he tried to recollect the harder it became to grasp hold of it. So instead, with a heavy heart, he got his items ready for his travel to Chorrol.