"You dare defy your--!" the voice roars angrily, cut off from Hengis and Thael's perspective by their sudden departure.
Despite the dust and drizzle, Goldbrand gleams as beautifully as it might on a cloudless night, with the moon and all the stars shining clear upon its perfect blade. Its craftsmanship is well beyond the talent of any mortal to mimic--near impossible for any man with an eye for beauty and a love of artistry to ignore. Unique too. And storied. It comes and goes through the eras, finding its way several times into hands belonging to men and mer who stand in history like pillars in a cathedral.
Few have touched it or, indeed, any daedric artifact. It must feel so strange to hold (or even just touch, just for a moment) a thing as old as time, written into the scrolls with that same ink that drew the sky. Those who have held it spoke only of its power--but this is an elegant and important sliver of creation... future generations yearn for a poet to have carried it just once, in all the long centuries, just one solitary time. Why should every beautiful thing belong forever to one or another conqueror or villain or even a well-meaning oaf of a warrior?
It's valuable as well, obviously. Worth an Emperor's fortune. Worth a pardon, certainly. Perhaps even worth genuine forgiveness, considering the sum of good a man could do with a mountain of gold for those he's wronged. How many ballads end with the villain redeemed of a wicked life by a single act of selfless good?
Imagine it, too, in a jeweled scabbard, displayed in the court of Sultan Fahara'jad VII of Hammerfell. His rivals, at home and abroad, could hardly pretend any longer that His Majesty was just some opportunistic, provincial upstart rather than the Heart of the Heart of the Enlightened Land. These things have a way of awing the loyal and cowing the faithless... they show to the eyes of men what is already known in heaven; that the bearer has been harnessed with the burden of greatness. At any rate, its delivery would far exceed what expectations the Grand Caliph might place on an agent tasked with a mission of mere good-will diplomacy. Men have sat long at the Sultan's right hand for much less. Such a deed could earn a place for a man's son, and grandson, and a dozen generations after.
Hengis is wise, but his demon anger is sometimes quicker to act than his angel of calm. Whether he stands by his proclamation against Boethiah or rethinks and regrets it once his blood has cooled, the obvious task of a loyal friend and follower would be to secure this relic.
If, in the end, he chooses to be rid of it, then he should dispose of it consciously--destroy it even. Deny Boethiah one of her avenues into the world, through which she tempts men to betray one another. And if he chooses to keep it, it would certainly exhibit one's good judgement to have it waiting on hand. Or perhaps he will be indifferent to this magnificent blade, and do as he has with the other shiny trinkets he has no use for: cast it to one of his lowly servants as a gesture to secure their continuing servitude. Maybe the next time Hengis orders a "companion" to die on his behalf, this sword and whatever other discarded scraps have been thrust onto them could empower the slave to at least see to his own survival.
Or to the survival of a certain long-exploited comrade.
By Boethiah, it would hardly be surprising if he took her away alone so there'd be no witnesses. Does she really think he's going to set aside his agenda for a day or two on her behalf? She should have someone by her side who understands the burden she carries, and who cares enough to share her urgency. Someone really should've had the courage to stick up for her interests by now. Somebody ought to have put a (golden) sword in that petty scoundrel and shown this band of heroes what they're capable of when led by a man of conviction and courage and compassion.
Or just leave it there in the rubble for some completely random rag-and-bone junk-picker to find. Awful powerful magic to leave to chance though. Here's hoping the illiterate gravedigger or dimwit stableboy that finds it is pure enough of heart to resist its charms. In fact, here's hoping that whoever finds it is a random nobody in the first place. The world should be so kind. No... if you leave that weapon lying there, you can count on seeing it again someday.
Down in a claustrophobic earthen shaft, Thael and Hengis snap into being just a few feet before the bloody, limping dunmer. The elf's cursing and spitting stop abruptly as his eyes widen in surprise.
Aaaaand, gotta cut there. I'll try to run the actual attack later today or tomorrow. If anybody's feeling particularly eager and helpful, a quick update on attack and damage bonuses would sure make it easy on me.