North West Camp, Diamond Ridge: Apology, Bear scare, Surprise priest, Azura, Rigmor’s destiny, Divine’s task revealed.
I am writing this journal entry just after 11PM on Loredas, 6th Heartfire, 4E 201.
I have been “dead” for three days. This is what I remember. I do not think I have forgotten anything crucial. Luckily the Thalmor only stabbed me numerous times and did not cave my head in with mace or hammer.
I woke Rigmor and headed downstairs, grabbed a table and ordered our breakfast.
When Rigmor arrived she sat opposite and the silence from yesterday continued.
I asked her to look at me. When she did she had hurt in her eyes and I can understand why.
I was a bastard to crawl into my own head and miseries and not think of Rigmor’s reaction.
I told her how sorry I was and that she had done absolutely nothing wrong. I told her I too am caught up in events not of my own making. That being Dragonborn is a very heavy burden and sometimes it is too much. How I had no right to ignore her concerns so I could deal with mine. How today is all about finding her mother and how I will be by her side. I asked that she forgive me and try to stay confident and focused on our task.
She looked at me and just nodded. Then she tried to look away before I noticed the tears. I went and paid our tab before she saw mine.
I will never do that to her again!
We mounted our horses and left Dawnstar later than I wanted. I was still confident we would get to the North West Camp well before sundown.
We were still outlaws and now we were going deep into Imperial territory.
I expected some Thalmor encounters which we could not just ride past. We would kill every one of the bastards we saw.
Imperial patrols we would try to ride past at normal pace. If an alarm was raised we would push our horses to their limits and run away. I did not want to have to kill Imperial soldiers.
Our route would take us through Dragon Bridge and near Northwatch Keep. We would gallop though Dragon Bridge if an alarm is given and hope Imperial troops do not try and block our progress. We would be well wide of Northwatch Keep as we were not trying to reconnoitre this time.
Rigmor was her chatty self and I was more than happy to join in. It was almost like my selfish silence of yesterday never happened. It did happen and neither of us said a word about our time at the lookout.
A couple of hours into our trip and Rigmor rushed ahead on Ren yelling something out about Mr. Bear. I pushed Dogmeat to his limits when I saw what concerned her. There was a snow bear lying in the middle of the road. I doubted it fell asleep there so was confident it was dead. I could also tell it was not Mr. Bear. I told Rigmor we were a long way still from where we encountered Mr. Bear. I also said this was a young bear and less than half the size of Mr. Bear. Rigmor wasn’t convinced and asked me to have a closer look as she did not want to see any wounds if it was him. So I walked up to it, felt underneath and found an embedded arrow. Rigmor could see its size relative to me and happily announced it wasn’t Mr. Bear. We mounted out horses and continued.
There may be events during that trip and our time in the mines that I have forgot and may never remember. That event I can recall as if it was five minutes ago.
A heavy fog drifted in and it was a blessing. Visibility was limited by being quiet we would hear soldiers long before they saw us. This enabled us to easily avoid several patrols.
We encountered a few civil war skirmishes but each time we were ignored.
Last time we came through Dragon Bridge there was a Thalmor roadblock. The tents and some of the barriers were still there but no sign of Thalmor. We trotted through Dragon Bridge and it was devoid of Thalmor and the Imperial troops who saw us left us alone.
Strange thing about the several Thalmor patrols we encountered is that they concentrated their attacks on Rigmor. They would run by me as if I was not even there. Occasionally one would turn to attack me but only after I was breathing down their neck. When fighting Rigmor they seemed to be trying to capture and not kill. Rigmor is a deadly opponent when you are trying to kill her. All of the Thalmor were not going for the kill so were dealt with swiftly.
We rode past Northwatch Keep and there was no sign of Thalmor activity at all. I wonder if they abandoned it after we slaughtered every single piece of slime that was assigned there.
We followed the same trail as last time we visited North West Camp and soon arrived there to find an unexpected figure standing and waiting for us.
The thief from Windhelm, Tendril Sethri, was wearing what looked like fairly senior Restoration school robes. The type worn at the College Of Winterhold.
I approached him ask asked if there was a sinister reason or him being there or was this just a coincidence. He told me not to fear for all is about to be revealed. I asked him what he was, thief, spy, mage or disciple. He claimed to be a messenger but would not tell me for whom. He then wanted to speak to Rigmor.
He called her Rigmor of Bruma and Child of the Twilight. I remember I chuckled a bit when she responded with “Who?” Tendril went into full mysterious prophesy mode. He told Rigmor, in very flowery words, that this chapter is coming to an end. That what she seeks in not far from here. I will quote what I remember him saying next as it still makes fuck all sense to me.
“But what is sought is one and the same as what you will find at Diamond Ridge.”
My brain hurt trying to figure out that mumbo jumbo.
He then advised us we must follow the cairns at dawn or dusk. That they will light the way to a mother’s love and Rigmor’s final destination.
I am glad Rigmor was following this mystical bullshit. She wanted to know how he knew what we were looking for. Good question. We know him as a thief and he seems to know way too much.
Tendril advised Rigmor to make haste as time was running out. It was still at least three hours before dusk. Does he want us to make haste or wait till dusk?
I asked him about this dusk and dawn mumbo jumbo. He told me it is vital I follow the cairns at twilight. They will lead us to a cave that gives us access to the Diamond Mine.
I asked, hoping for some clarity, what Rigmor would find at Diamond Ridge.
How to finish of a load of prophesy double speak? With his answer, “She will find her destiny.”
With that he wandered off in the direction of the tent and campfire Rigmor and I used the other evening.
I did not trust this. To me he is a thief and as slippery as an eel. We were told the mine was well defended. It smelt like a trap to me. So I decided we would arrive early and spoil the party. We would try and follow the cairns now, hours before dusk. If for some mystical reason we couldn’t then we would wait for sundown.
I told this plan to Rigmor and we mounted our horses and set off.
We had no difficulty following the cairns. We arrived at a huge statue of Azura and a shrine. It had been desecrated.
Bits of the puzzle were coming together in my head. The original letter Baa’Ren-Dar gave me to give to Rigma invoked Azura’s blessing. He also told me she had a destiny. Tendril called her “Child of twilight” and kept mumbling about dusk and dawn. All indicators he was a disciple of Azura. He just told her she would find her destiny up here. Thinking back on weird prophesies there was the thing about the black diamond necklace Casius gave to Rigmor. He suggested it was for a purpose and that Rigmor would know what to do with when the time comes. We are near a diamond mine. I suspected that time is now. I also anticipated what was worrying The Divines would finally be revealed.
Azura is a Daedric Lord who uses mortals to predict future events. Some of her followers have foresight. She calls them seers and they have the ability to see into the future. Their visions are often confusing to the seer. They can’t tell how far away an event is. Soon, later or far away is about as accurate as they can do. Azura gathers these visions and tries to make sense of them. If she discovers something she wants her followers to know she will give them a vision. For instance she let them know of the imminent Red Mountain eruption. Azura can’t read the infinite timelines like Akatosh but she can seem almost omnipotent to her followers.
What I did not expect was for Azura to talk to us directly.
I asked Rigmor is she was ready for this. She wanted to know what this place was. I told her it is a shrine to Azura and had been desecrated. She wanted to know why. I did not know but reminded her Tendril had said all would be revealed.
Rigmor stated the she was scared. I do not blame her. If she has the attention of a Divine, in this case Azura, it might not be a good thing. The Divine and Daedra rely on mortals to perform tasks on Nirn. The end result is what immortals care about. There can often be dire consequences for the mortals performing these tasks. That is acceptable collateral damage to the immortal.
I told Rigmor not to be scared. That I thought she might be about to meet her Guardian Angel. Rigmor said she hoped so and we both approached the shrine together.
I found it poetic that it was dusk, Azura’s favourite time of the day. It was a breathtaking sight to see Azura’s likeness, even if vandalised, silhouetted against countless stars. If we had followed the thief’s advice we would just be setting out from the camp.
Then Azura spoke and I was genuinely awed. I had never spoken to a Divine or Daedric Lord. I had not even prayed to The Divine since awakening. Here was a God ready to have a chat. To Rigmor, not me. That did not prevent it being a wondrous thing to experience.
This is what I think was said. I am not 100% sure but the gist of it is important for history. Even if Rigmor is never recorded in other journals, which I doubt, a Daedric Lord speaking to a mortal is history. I will comment on it at the end.
“Rigmor, my child, come closer and place your hands on the altar so I can join with you and touch your soul.”
Rigmor hesitantly reached out and placed both hands on the altar. I remember a mixture of awe and fear etched on her face. Then she took them off and stood looking into the face of Azura. The connection had been made.
“Ahh yes, my wonderful, beautiful child. Daughter of Azura”
“I don’t understand.”
“Ever since you were born I have been watching over you, even when you were a little girl I have influenced the destinies of many, and entwined them to bring you here at (to?) this moment.”
“But why me? I did not ask for any of this and I’m scared…”
I could see tears rolling down Rigmor’s cheeks.
“Do not cry my child. Do not be afraid. My guardian had helped protect you well up to now, but mortal danger awaits you both at Diamond Ridge. The forces of darkness conspire to wreak havoc at the behest of a usurper. From Oblivion comes a new danger, one who seeks to reside in the world of mortals. This entity has yet to show itself but it cannot yet enter this world. Not until a New Order is established throughout Tamriel.”
“But surely you have powers! What could I possibly do?”
“Oh Rigmor, pure of heart, you do have something very special. A power no Lord or God could ever wish for. You are blessed by a mother’s love! Until now I have used all my powers to thwart the forces of darkness and weaken their intentions. I have shielded you from harm, shrouded you in my robes and delivered you from the abyss. But now, my own powers are weakening. I will eventually fade into the void.”
“Black Arts are being used by Necromancer to fuse Daedric steel with black diamonds. These diamonds are the essence of my heart. They connect me to this world and the next. They are attempting to forge armour and weapons. The armour they forge will make them invincible.”
“Then everything will have been for nothing! How can we stop and invincible army? There is a way! Am I right? Is that why I am here?”
“They are successfully forging armour. Each piece they make weakens me in this world! They cannot forge the weapons. Their magic won’t work and they do not know why.”
“Then there is still hope!”
“Only a Daedric weapon forged from my heart can void the armour’s invincibility. This can only be so if pieces of heart have something very special. The essence of a mother’s love from two sources wrought from bane. One source to fuse it. One source to wield it. Both must be blessed.”
“A mother’s love? I..?”
“Place your mother’s ring on the altar. Place the necklace Casius Varon gave you on the altar. Place your sword on the altar.”
Rigmor suddenly became enthused. All confusion gone from her face.
Rigmor gently placed the items on the altar. There was a hint of regret about her mother’s ring but she did as Azura asked. The Azura’s voice used the power of a God to forge a most wondrous weapon.
“I am the Goddess, Azura Mother of the Rose, Queen of the Night Sky, The Dusk and Dawn. Behold Rigmor of Bruma, Protector of the Pure of Heart, Daughter of a Mother’s Love. I am the Bane of Azura, The Poisoned Chalice of Woe, Vanquisher of the Forces of Evil. Behold Rigmor of Bruma, Child of the Twilight, The Chosen Champion of Azura.”
Sitting on the altar was a magnificent two handed sword. A golden guard, similar to “The Sword”, and runes on both sides running parallel to the edges. I quickly checked for glamour and detected nothing. That has been my experience with all Daedric dweomer. It was not my place to pick it up and inspect it. It had been placed on Nirn for one person to wield. Rigmor of Bruma, Owner of my Heart.
“Go my child! Go quickly and smite the Forces of Evil with my blessing. Only the chosen can wield Azura’s Bane, make sure it never leaves your side. Go with my blessing, and my love. May the Guardian watch over you.”
Rigmor pleaded, “Wait…don’t go!”
Azura replied, “Your destiny awaits my love. Your mother is waiting.”
As reverently as she had placed the items on the altar, Rigmor gently reached for “Azura’s Bane” When it was in her hands a smile crossed her face. She hefted the sword. Changed it from hand from hand. Looked along its edge and read the runes. Then she took her normal two handed grip and did some lightning fast forms that I had trouble following. I would never have done them as fluently. I doubt I would have completed half as many in the few seconds she spent evaluating her new weapon. Then she sheathed it with a grin and approving nod of her head. I think the Thalmor are in for a hard time.
Rigmor turned towards me. Her face a kaleidoscope of mixed emotions. Awe, hope, confusion, determination and love spent a few heartbeats each on that wonderful face.
I asked her, “Daughter of Azura?”
Rigmor said in her usual matter of fact way, “Yeah! I would never have believed it!
We had arrived at the altar just as the sun set. Yet the stars told me we had just begun a new day.
What seemed like minutes was in fact hours.
I kept this information from Rigmor. She did not need to know we were being hurried along by a God who just spent hours doing what was needed.
I asked her if she was ready to find the cave entrance.
Rigmor confidently replied, “Yeah I’m ready” and we went looking for her mother and her destiny.
My thoughts on our encounter with Azura are these. I may return to them later if they need expanding or are relevant to other knowledge acquired.
As I have expressed before, The Divines and Daedric Lords need us to perform tasks on Nirn.
The Divines care about Nirn and its inhabitants but theirs is a view best expressed by that wonderful philosopher Leonard Nimoy when he said, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” This is in direct contrast to how mortals often act. We will sometimes place the needs of one, especially one we love without hesitation, above the needs of the many.
The difference is mortals think mainly in the here and now. We do not have the ability to understand how everything has a ripple effect. Every action results in a myriad new, some philosophers say infinite, timelines. We also do not have the ability to read these infinite timelines. We do not understand how to manipulate and coerce events so our preferred timeline is more likely to emerge.
All Daedric Lords have a limited ability to detect important changes in timeline and sometimes recognise important nodes. Dov, dragons, all have a limited ability in this. Nodes are places where it is crucial to influence mortals so a desired outcome results.
When you read of those who speak to Daedra that their masters often speak of ripples in the void. That is when significant changes in timelines have occurred and/or a node is detected.
Akatosh is a master of reading and manipulating timelines as he was the first to emerge when all we know was created from nothing. He was at the beginning of time and thus is its master. He will aid other Divine in recognising Nodes and devising plans to obtain the desired outcome so the desired timelines are more likely.
Azura needed a sequence of events to occur to ensure her existence on Nirn is protected. She would not know Akatosh’s plan and preferred timelines but via her seers she has better knowledge of upcoming nodes than other Daedric Lords.
She could have been manipulating many mortals for many generations in the hope of achieving her desired outcome.
Apart from having seers Azura is unique amongst the Daedra as never having done a single thing I would regard as evil. She has a reputation of swift justice for those who cross her though.
Azura is also unique for having created a race. She made Khajiit from Bosmer. She therefore had a vested interested in keeping Nirn intact. Other Daedric Lords do not care for any mortals or the survival of Nirn.
Azura would have no hesitation in manipulating Rigmor’s family, even going back centuries, so she had what she need to defeat those using her essence, black diamonds, and weakening her grip on Nirn.
She needed the essence of mother’s love from two sources. Not just any two sources, they had to be wrought from bane. It would be almost impossible to find random sources and manipulate everybody quickly so they appeared at the altar that night.
It would be easier to make sure there were two sources that she knew about long ago and had time to manipulate to appear where and when needed. There were probably many sources so the chances of two appearing when needed were increased.
Wrought in bane requires that the owners of the sources had to suffer and their loved ones know of the suffering and receive the sources. Siguun had to suffer and Rigmor receive her ring knowing that. Casius’ mother had to suffer and he obtain the necklace knowing that. I doubt he would even remember saying those words of prophesy to Rigmor. So there you see the philosophy expressed by Nimoy but in this case practised by a Daedric Lord, not a Divine.
Azura’s manipulations snared Rigmor as collateral damage. Azura may very well be the Guardian Angel who stopped Rigmor from dying of that horrendous abuse. It should never be forgotten that her manipulations placed Rigmor in that stinking cell in the first place!
Rigmor then became a weapon that could be used. A convenient wielder of Azura’s Bane on Nirn.
The Daedric sword would have become a family heirloom because of Azura’s manipulations.
Baa’Ren-Dar recruiting me could have been part of Azura’s manipulations. She called me her guardian. Her sword for hire. It was a bargain I was also Dragonborn. Two tools for the price of one.
There is no denying that Azura’s influence removed from Nirn may not be desirable. That may be enough for me, “The Dragonborn and Champion of The Divines” to be given this task.
The unknown entity trying to force it way onto the mortal plane would definitely be a reason to give me this task.
I do not know if keeping Rigmor alive would be of any concern to Azura or The Divine after the unknown entity is stopped. There I may have to use our mortal philosophy. The needs of one outweigh the needs of the many.
I am also unaware of how much Azura’s plans might interfere with or complement Akatosh’s. Would he be aware of Azura’s plans and use them or even manipulate events to ensure Azura does particular things? Logically he must know something if saving Azura’s diamonds leads to defeating the unknown entity.
This is all pure speculation. How much The Divine and Azura know of each other’s plans is unknown. How much Azura has been manipulated by Akatosh is unknown. Who planned the events that impacted Rigmor’s family is unknown.
All I know for sure is Rigmor and I have been manipulated by immortals. Gods have planned our lives and hope we follow the timetable. Our mortal free will does not guarantee that we will.