Whiterun: Experimented, Made list.
Woke up fairly early and found Lydia had already been up and made breakfast and had already scoffed hers down. She looked like she had some things in a backpack and was about to ask a question when I stopped her and gave her permission to do what she wanted all day as long as she took Meeko. If she was going outside the city gates she needed his eyes and ears, especially if she was going to be in deep grief somewhere. I told her I might need her tomorrow so please be back before dawn. She nodded and headed out the door with Meeko as close as a shadow.
I would have loved to give her as long as she needed to grieve but I had no idea what I was going to face in Riverwood or where it would lead me. I was 99.9% sure it was Delphine. I just hope she learned something about respect. Not for the Dragonborn but for the word of an honest man.
Time to experiment with the “pull of fate”. That is too awkward a name. How about “The Pull” instead.
The way it works is this. The pull feeling in my head lessens the closer I get to the compass direction I need to go. If I turn 180 degrees to the required direction the feeling is at its maximum. The strength of the feeling increases the closer to the time I am supposed to be at the crises point. Although the change is immediate it does not seem to cause nausea if I turn quickly. It does not interfere with concentration or memory. It does not interfere with my ability to fight or caste spells.
Ignoring it would be like trying to hold your breath voluntarily till you pass out. I can’t do it. I don’t think any physical harm would come if I simply could not get there in time. I assume the further away I am the earlier the feeling would start. I am within walking distance to Riverwood so a few days is plenty of warning. If I was needed in Cyrodiil or Solstheim the feeling might start weeks ahead.
I slowly revolved in the main room of Breezehome till I felt I was facing the right way. Using a compass I took out pencil and map and drew a straight line from Breezehome at the angle I was facing. It went through Riverwood.
I walked out of Whiterun’s gate and made my way on foot to just outside the ruined Watchtower. Scaffold was already up and repairs being made to the structure. Most of the stone that had fallen was singed but serviceable. Several wagons of wooden beams were lined up waiting to be emptied to add to the impressive pile already there.
Mirmulner’s skeleton lay where he died. It had become something many Whiterun citizens had come out to look at. Childhood monster come to life. I looked in the direction I had seen the other Dovah during the fight. It was there and flying around what looked like a set territory. Back and forth, round and round. If anybody else noticed they chose to ignore it. Just another childhood nightmare and adults do not believe those.
Nobody recognised me which was good. I don’t think I was keen on any hero worship.
I slowly turned. Gradually I had the direction where it was the least. Pulled out my map and compass and drew a straight line at the correct angle. It intercepted the one from this morning in the part of Riverwood where the inn would be. I hoped Delphine makes the first part of my task easy. It obviously involves dragons and she and her employer needed a Dragonborn for something.
I walked to just outside the meadery. Did the same turning routine. Drew a line and it intercepted the previous two. Not exactly where they intercepted each other but both near the inn. This was not an exercise in accuracy, just an experiment to prove an assumption.
Satisfied I had solved one question I walked back to Breezehome to list the many more plaguing me.
Who Am I?
What is my real name, Where was I born? When was I born Who are my parents? Do I have family?
What Am I?
The more you read about “Dragonborn” the more confusing it gets. I need to read more histories and biographies. Dragon Blood and Dragonborn? Are they the same? Does Akatosh have to give you something else on top of just being born with Dragon Blood to become Dragonborn? Can a Dragonborn be the child of any two who mate or do they have to be Nord and of a particular bloodline or what combinations are allowed? Nothing is known of Tiber Septim’s parents.
I am more than just Dragonborn. The skills I have are not a gift from Akatosh. They are the result of hard training. Tiber Septim was an excellent warrior and tactician. He may have been an excellent marksman and competent mage but they are never mentioned and such prowess would logically have been. Nords give their historic figures many titles, as seen by that heap bestowed upon me by the Greybeards, and do not hesitate to list and exaggerate all the abilities they allegedly possessed.
Spells and Thu’um. Why do I have to relearn them?
Both feel the same when I learn them. The best way I can describe it is am imaginary clunk in my head like something sliding into place.
Spell books have a dweomer that gives you the words and knowledge required to cast a spell and then destroys the book. Same when you read a scroll except the spell is only immediately available and does not remain. The book about Blaze did not self-destruct. Seems to me it is a choice when they make the dweomer whether or not it destroys the book. Normal spell books and scrolls probably destroy themselves to create supply and demand for those who make profit from their sale.
Dragon Runes have a dweomer that places the Word into my head. Only select ones from a wall of them like in Bleak Falls Barrow and Ustengrav. The large wall of them is probably to ensure you notice it and investigate. I suspect they have been placed where they are by The Greybeards.
Absorbing a Dragon’s knowledge, or the similar trick the Greybeards did, triggers a dweomer that gives me the knowledge of the Word required to use it in a Shout.
Restoration mages say brains are divided into sections. Sometime you may receive damage to the part that involves speech or another for sight and so on. When they use their Restoration magic they do not try and repair the entire brain. That would take too much Magicka and they may need some for other damage that requires their skill. They concentrate their magic on the sections associated with the diagnosed problem. Every person had essentially the same layout of brain function within a species. Mastering restoration requires an understanding of where each function is located for a given species. I wonder if bandits are missing the part needed for hygiene.
Warriors have difficulty with such a concept. It all looks the same when you crack somebodies head open and have to wipe the mess off blade or hammer.
If my identity used the same area of my brain that stored spells and Word and Word knowledge then their loss is collateral damage.
Swordsmanship, marksmanship, lock picking are motor skills that are honed by hours upon hours of repetition and practice. Successfully reading an opponent’s manoeuvre and countering with sword or shield or body movement is a reflex skill honed the same way. Repetition and practice. Something new that requires you to rely purely on reflex is not as easily countered as Ralof found with the Imperial torturer in Helgen. If he had practiced against that two dagger technique many times he would have handled him as well as he did the other Imperials he faced.
Whatever was done to erase my identity did not touch those parts of my brain where motor skills are kept.
I have retained knowledge of language, the topography of Skyrim, how to wipe my arse after a crap for the same reason. All these things I have learned and retained but they are not part of my identity. Do you remember where you learned the word for nose? No, but you know it and you know you have one but it is not part of your identity.
Is Jurgen Windcaller’s philosophy valid?
No. Absolutely not. We were given the ability to understand the Dragon language as an aid to our development and gaining of wisdom.
We were given the Thu’um as a weapon. It should be used as such without guilt or having to meditate for hours on a sin that does not exist. No need to apologise for an insult to The Divines that does not exist.
As Dragonborn I do not have to adhere and am not expected to adhere to Windcaller’s philosophy. The reasoning behind that is why the Greybeards live so remotely. It is why I think Ulfric trained with them and failed to uphold the philosophy at some stage.
The Way Of The Voice does not survive the reality of civilization. If you are facing an enemy you will utilise whatever skills and weapons you have to increase your chances of victory. If Windcaller and his fellow Tongues did not use the Thu’um in the battle at Red Mountain they would still have lost. It had absolutely zero to do with the will of the Gods and everything to do with facing a superior enemy.
I know this with a conviction that brokers no doubt.
Can the Greybeards aid me?
Absolutely! No matter my personal opinion of their philosophy they are Masters of The Tongue. Within their heads, and I am sure hidden somewhere within High Hrothgar, will be knowledge likely vital for me to complete some of my tasks and also aid in my pursuit of knowledge and identity.
Then there is their leader, Paarthurnax. I have yet to find any history mentioning him. However the shrines on the 7000 steps claim he was instrumental in teaching mortals the Thu’um and therefore instrumental in their defeat of the dragons. A being who has lived thousands of years must be Nirn’s biggest history repository and may aid both my tasks and my quest for knowledge.
I will continue to show no disrespect for their beliefs in front of them. That would create an unnecessary barrier that could hinder my tasks going forward.
Was Ulfric’s use of The Voice blasphemy and is he a traitor?
I regard what Ulfric did with King Torygg to be blasphemy. Not because he used a Thu’um in battle. He used it in what was supposed to be a contest of martial skill. He faced a young man with no field experience of battle and of probably half his strength. The tradition of challenging a King in such a way is archaic and comes from a time when martial prowess was valued far more than intelligence, compassion and the ability to lead in peacetime. Nords are slow to discard such outdated traditions and King Torygg had no choice but to accept the challenge. A challenge issued by taking advantage of a friendship. A friendship I believe Ulfric nurtured simply so he could be close enough to the young King to one day issue the challenge.
He blackened the name of The Voice by forever having it associated with such deceit. By using it to cheat in a contest where his martial skills would have let him win easily and were the only skills supposed to be used. By allowing his use of the Thu’um to legitimise his act of treason amongst the ignorant. Many Nord’s believe the ability to use The Voice is an automatic entry into the ranks of heroes. They do not know and/or acknowledge that any one of them could learn if they applied themselves. For these reasons his use of the Thu’um was blasphemy and unforgiveable.
His killing of King Torygg was treason because he used deceit to get close enough to challenge. He cheated to win the fight which turned it to murder, not a fair contest. It was no different than an assassin sneaking behind the King and thrusting a knife in his back. He did not wait to see if his claim to the throne would be legitimised because it never would have been. He used a murder to start a civil war. Treason.
Should Nord’s break from the Empire?
During “The Great War” no Dragonborn has been recorded aiding Titus Mede II. However there is the “Forgotten Hero” whose actions scream out as him being a Champion of The Divines.
When Titus Mede II escaped The Imperial City by forcing his way through the besieging forces of Lord Naarifin he left its citizens to the mercy of the Thalmor. Normal Thalmor brutality would have been enough to make this abandonment almost unforgiveable. Unknown to Titus and The Dominion Naarrifin was a devoted follower of Boethia. Boethia had a plan to get a foothold on Nirn but it required the deaths of thousands of mortals. It was called The Culling and Naarrifin was going to carry out his Master’s plan on the helpless citizens of the Imperial City.
The Forgotten Hero heard of this from a Dremora who had captured him and boasted of how Tamriel would fall. The Forgotten Hero and a Blade called Tyr escape the Dremora and headed for the front lines to warn Titus. They found the Emperor badly wounded. He had “miraculously” survived an assassination attempt but none knew of his predicament except these two. The Forgotten Hero donned Titus’s armour and in disguise led the Imperial forces to victory and saved the citizens of The Imperial City.
The Forgotten Hero also helped wipe out The Dark Brotherhood in 4E 188.
We only know these things because a Moth Priest read about the events from an Elder Scroll and despite attempts to silence his revelations he did his duty and made sure they were recorded for history. Street vendors of gossip and rumour are happy to sell you news sheets containing this information.
All of this is being called “Fake News” by those who wish Titus Mede II’s tattered reputation to be no further damaged. They also want Imperial citizens to feel safe when they go to bed at night.
I have a strong inclination this is true and therefore The Divines wanted Titus to survive and it can also be seen as their support for the Empire.
Is the worship of Talos that important? Yes, but as long as a Nord still breaths there will be Talos worship.
Titus had no option but to sign the White Gold Concordat. The terms including the banning of Talos worship were acceptable under the circumstance. To call it cowardly or treason is to ignore the situation he faced. What would history say of him if he refused and as a result The Empire was crushed under Dominion boots?
So no, Skyrim should not remove itself from The Empire as I see it being supported by The Divines and the concordat a reasonable compromise from an impossible position.
Are The Divines the only true pantheon?
The history of our worship of The Divines is so entangled with politics and racial bias that it had become impossible to separate truth from propaganda. I have sat and read and reread the book “Varieties of Faith in the Empire” and come away more confused than enlightened.
Each pantheon has selected parts of history that its believers claim prove it to be the true one.
Each pantheon has Gods it shares with others but with different names and domains.
Understanding exactly what happened in the Beginning Place requires knowledge of things incomprehensible to mortals. The basic laws and fabric of time and matter and life were defined, redefined and sometimes fought over.
We have Daedra, those Gods of Oblivion, still influencing events on Nirn despite the barrier created by Martin Septim’s sacrifice.
It seems every Daedra has some plan to circumvent any barrier between us and Oblivion. Only constant vigilance by The Divines and Gods of other pantheons has prevented their success and only by relying on mortal heroes.
One advantage The Divines have is theirs is a joint effort whilst Daedra are often at war with each other as much as Nirn.
I have no doubt I will be helped and opposed by Gods and other immortals from all pantheons. It would be more than foolish to say I am a Champion of The Divines so that is the only true pantheon. History has proven that to be false.
That is all the burning questions I am dealing with at the moment. Future knowledge may make my conclusions look like the rantings of a mad man. So be it. I am more than happy to be proven wrong as I would rather have true knowledge than defend my wrong knowledge.
I am weary and heading for bed with “The Pull” becoming almost unbearable in strength. I have no doubt I will need to rise early and start my trek to Riverwood. Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t buy a house there. Lydia has not yet returned. Knowing her devotion to duty she will be here when I wake. I hope she found some peace today.