“Well, it’s a funny story…” Heceri began with a grin, and Irinde rolled her eyes in preparation for another of her husband’s unnecessarily detailed retellings. “We were both studying at the College at the time, and I had been helping Master Barnard - Gods rest his soul, but he’s long gone now - with his research on necromantic enchantments. He wanted to figure out how the Nordic Draugr survived in undeath for so long without a living necromancer to maintain them. It wasn’t exactly illegal work, I’ll admit, but so long as no-one was hurt by the research, Archmage Koreth never objected-” Irinde nudged her husband in the ribs, and rather sharply at that.
“Ceri, that’s a little more backstory than the greymage needs.” She whispered. Heceri rubbed his now sore ribcage, but nodded.
“Right, right, sorry….anyway, Barnard had requested that I actually go inside one of the crypts he was researching and bring him one of these Draugr…hmm, ‘alive’ isn’t quite the right world, but he wanted one still ‘active’. Of course, I was terrified.” The Altmer admitted freely. “I was proficient in Destruction magic at the time, but I’d never had much cause to use it against anything but trolls and bears - not against the undead!”
“So he asked me if I would accompany him.” Irinde spoke up, taking over the storytelling to speed things along. “It was no secret that I was raised by Nords, after all, and I was far better with a sword than he was. Still am, to.” She added, pretending not to notice her mate’s indignant look. “We got inside without trouble, but I was a bit too-”
“Fervent. Ardent. Zealous.” Heceri supplied.
“Enthusiastic.” Irinde nudged her husband again, earning a gasp. “The Draugr we met kept falling too quickly, and we had to go further and further into the crypt trying to find one that could stand up to at least one of my swings.”
“We ended up going a bit too far,” Heceri cut in. “And we - I!” He quickly supplied as Irinde readied another nudge. “I….accidentally triggered a defense mechanism that trapped us inside.”
“We had no choice but to keep going, and try to find the secondary exit, if there was one.” Irinde continued. “Ended up fighting the rest of the crypt, and some sort of priest near the end. That one was stronger than the other Draugr, and he nearly had me. Until-”
“I saved her life.” Heceri piped up cheerily. Irinde made a face, but didn’t jab his ribs again. As much as she would disagree, he spoke the truth, after all. “Shock magic from behind. Reduced that bonewalker to a pile of ash.” He grinned proudly. “He had this fascinating mask that survived unscathed, though. I thought Barnard might be interested in it, so I took it back with us. He wasn’t, and told me to keep it - he was much more fascinated with the Draugr.”
“We did eventually get that Draugr.” Irinde added. “We found one of the one from the final chamber still clinging to ‘unlife’, so we tied it up and dragged it back to the College. Barnard took it straight down to the Midden, and we didn’t see him again for two months.” She recalled.
“I guess you could say that adventure was a bonding experience.” Heceri chuckled. “Before we’d left, Irinde and I had been nothing but classmates, but after…well, I think you can guess the history from there.”