Tirdas, 16th Heartfire, 4E 201

Travellers rest stop near gate to Cyrodiil border: Unexpected visitor.

My dreams were dominated by Rigmor.

Her face, voice, smell, touch and most of all, her laugh.

No nightmares. No flashback to sadness, danger, tears or fear.

Just Rigmor happy, confident, playful and delighted in the beauty she saw around her.

I awoke mid-morning and crawled out of the tent to whiteness and cold and in the distance, the gate to Cyrodiil.

The paradox was gone. Sometime during the night I had simply replaced it with the truth.

The truth is I broke my promise. As sacred to me as any oath I have sworn, I broke it.

The need for the mantra gone but the hole in my life remained.

The guilt I felt was enormous. The fear I felt even greater!

It is still my duty to be Rigmor’s Guardian and there is nothing more important than that!

When Rigmor walked through that gate she entered a pit of vipers.

The people of Cyrodiil believe themselves superior to us brutes in Skyrim.

What kind of low life animals resolved problems by hacking each other to pieces?

Murder, assassination, bribery, political plots and intrigue are the chosen weapons in Cyrodiil.

The histories are full of horror stories from that most civilised of provinces.

Rigmor is a phenomenal warrior. The brief time she led warriors showed she excelled in that as well. She has no skill when it comes to the games of Cyrodiil!

Do I have any more knowledge in that skill set than Rigmor? I have no idea. That does not remove my duty.

I should be next to her. I need to be next to her!

To guard her.

To love her.

How can I commit to anything else without knowing she is safe?

How do I commit to anything else with my need and want to be with my beloved is all consuming?

I had no room for anything else.

I grabbed some firewood and built up the fire again. I got some oats and a feedbag from my saddlebags. I put the now full feedbag on the ground and Dogmeat started munching on his first food for too long.  

I had no idea what to do. How to move forward.

I sat by the fire and stared at the flames hoping for inspiration.

“My son, you have not broken your promise to Rigmor.”

(I looked up and sitting on the stump was a familiar figure. Not familiar because of the statues of him all over Skyrim. I simply knew him.

The elderly warrior wore Colovian armour that went out of fashion centuries ago. I could see how Imperial armour developed from it. He had piercing blues eyes, trimmed beard and white hair.

I had not asked for their help. Why bother me? These are subjects they have no knowledge of. I challenged him. I was not in the mood for him.)

I promised to never to let her go. She is there. I am here. I have resigned myself our love is over. Of course I have let her go.

“Have you really given up on your love?”

What would you know about love?

“Our Lord rarely allows me to use this aspect. It contains my understanding of all the mortal emotions gathered during my time on Nirn. I must be careful lest I slip and ruin great plans.”

So you are like a Dwemer mechanical man that thinks it knows love?  

“I am here to help. You know how hard this is for us to do. I advise you put away your bitterness. Listen and show appreciation for such effort!”

You are only here because your toy is broken and you still need me to do things. Why not blank my memory and let we wake up when and where required. It would be less cruel!

“There were reasons for what we did and I will not discuss them. Yes, we need you. So does every mortal on Nirn. Including Rigmor!”

(With that he stood up and moved in front of the fire. Like any soldier posted in a cold region, he showed great relief in just warming his hands over the fire. I joined him on the opposite side and waited.)

“Ahhh…one of the most looked forward to rewards after a night on patrol! Whose stupid idea was it to not issue underwear?”

(I remembered Rigmor asking if Imperials Soldiers wear underwear. Try as I might I could not resist a chuckle and smile.)

“If I can show an understanding of humour why not trust me where love is concerned?”

Our love is over. I forced her away. I broke my promise.

“You still love her. As long as you hold her in your heart you have not let her go.”

I will never stop loving her. I know that with no uncertainty.

“You are destined to meet again. We want you to meet again. We need you to meet again.”

How? When? Where? In what capacity? Can you guarantee this? Can you tell me she will be safe?

“I am here to help but there are restrictions. You know how things work. We need you to perform many tasks before your reunion. I will not give you information that endangers the completion of those tasks.”

(I was trying to stay calm. I know I could ask many questions only to be denied answers. I decided to just let him tell me what is allowed.)

Tell me what you’re permitted.

“We need you to be together again. It matters not if lovers, friends, enemies, guardian. Our preference is for you to renew your loving and intimate relationship. It increases the chance of successfully completing Lord Akatosh’s plans and we find joy in it.

Rigmor is in Cyrodiil and a high ranked noble. You have read many histories since awakening. You know that fact alone makes her a playing piece in their games of power. We must rely on those mortals around her to keep her safe and so must you. Nothing is guaranteed.

You can’t meet her until we need you to. You can’t contact her. This is necessary!”

(They can’t guarantee she will be safe. They can’t tell me when we will meet again. They can’t guarantee we would renew our relationship, just that it is their preference.  I can’t contact her to express my continuing love. I can’t even let her know why I have not visited or written. I must maintain this discipline for an unknown amount of time.)

I find none of this a comfort or incentive to move on!

(Anger emanated from this being. It would make most mortals shake with fear. It just increased my determination to get something more. I needed more.)

“I am not here to comfort you!

Co-operation increases your chance of renewing your relationship with Rigmor.

Sometimes the wants of the Dragonborn coincide with those of The Nine.

The love you share is not ordinary or common. It is an extraordinary bond that we would like to see renewed for its beauty and wonder. It is unique.

Even when we desire something we can’t force it.

You know all this!

Your ongoing angst only increases your suffering and increases the chances of failure.

I will put this plainly and against Lord Akatosh’s instructions.

Nirn will face a danger unlike any previously!

My Lord is disturbed. There are two outcomes.

He knows you being in the presence of Rigmor will lead to the desired outcome.

That outcome is the continued existence of Nirn.

The other outcome is darkness!

This is why you must continue.

You must continue to save Nirn, Rigmor and us.

We have no other who can do this.

(I could see genuine concern and worry on the old warriors face.

I remembered my anger when I thought the Sons of Talos would not help defeat the New Order. They were willing to watch Skyrim be overrun if a petty request was not met. I suddenly felt everything I wanted to happen was just as petty when so much is at stake.)

The love between Rigmor and I is unique. I have known that all along.

I agree with all you have requested but not just for Rigmor. I can’t simply stand by and allow such an outcome!

I thank you for telling me more than Lord Akatosh wanted.

Only a mortal would recognise that need.

Therefore I swear before The Divines I will do as required.

“We are relieved.”

Will I ever see you again?

“I can’t say because I do not know. Maybe other aspects of me. If so I apologise beforehand. They speak in that flowery non-direct way you hate.

You know it is far easier for us to reach you at a consecrated temple.

This was not ideal.”

Can I ask you one more thing?

“Of course my Son but you know the rules and I must leave soon.”

I have commanded many fine men who co-operated to defend Skyrim. Within days they will start killing each other over the right to worship Talos.

Have you told a mortal that this is necessary? That such deaths are justified?

I must stop this war. I must stop it without mass slaughter.

“Our power is not dependent on how many worshippers we have.

We are not offended by Gods of other pantheons being worshipped. You know that quite often they are aspects of The Nine anyway.

Our only enemies are the Deadra who wish to end all that we find joy in, including the mortals on Nirn.

We like to have many followers as that allows for more temples.

More temples mean more chances to interact with and sometimes instruct mortals.

Any temple can be used by us and by any worshipper.

Let the Thalmor destroy a few Temples. They are worshippers of The Divines who have gone astray.

It would not stop Talos from being worshipped or his contact with mortals.

The Stormcloaks are wrong to use Talos to justify the worst kind of warfare.

Neither Thalmor or Stormcloak has received instruction from any of us.”

(I thought so. Now I know what I have to do but will have to time it right to stop more slaughter. I had been looking into flames as I contemplated this. I looked up to find the old soldier walking away. He looked in my direction and tossed a coin towards me.)

“I thought you might like a lucky coin. Shhhh, don’t tell Lord Akatosh.”

I watched the coin’s flight and caught it. When I looked to where he had been, Talos was gone.

I looked at the coin. On one side was the familiar Dragon symbol representing Akatosh. On the other was a representation of Empress Kintyra. It was minted 3E45.

I sat staring at it for ages. There was so much about Kintyra that reminded me of Rigmor.

After I while I shrugged and put it in a secure pocket inside my armour. I suppose lots of things will remind me of Rigmor.

So much to think about.

The hole left by Rigmor going from my life was suddenly filled with determination and purpose.

The same determination and purpose I used when her Guardian. Her Dragonborn.

I would do my best to complete the tasks set by The Divines.

However long it takes!

I will miss the presence of Rigmor.

I will carry her laughter wherever I go.

I will see the world through her eyes and therefore beauty that once was hidden.

I will worry and fret and want nothing more than to hold her and say those three words.

She will get madder and madder at me as days and months and maybe years go by when I have not written or contacted her.

It will upset her and increase her heartbreak.

Maybe one day I can explain.

Maybe one day I can kiss away the tears.

No outcome is guaranteed.

I can only wish and hope like all other mortals.

I wrote this journal entry by firelight after hours of contemplation.

I wrote it before I have written the entries for the battles and my goodbye to Rigmor.

I need to prepare myself more before I can write of how her last words tore my world apart and almost spiralled me into darkness.

I know not what time I fell asleep. I do know it was with continued sorrow and yearning but a renewed purpose. A purpose I have always had but forgot in my heartache.

8 thoughts on “Tirdas, 16th Heartfire, 4E 201

  1. So I know I’ve requested this on a few entries in the past (this is also the first time I noticed a convenient button to notify me of comments!), so I apologize in advance! Is there anyway I can get a mod list? The imperial armor, talos’ gear, the guardian general and that beard on talos man, all just on point! Great work, it’s been pretty nice reading through these, and to some extent it’s inspired me to write again. Part of me wants to write something similar to what you’re doing, you know different type of dragon born. But another part of me would rather not. Needless to say, thank you for the entertaining work, and interesting take on the story. I think the two moments I really liked were the Delphine scenes, and the dart bit. I know they were little things in a way, but the small bits of detail really adds to the flavor and character of this epic! I think though, I’m crawling on here, keep up the great work Mark!!

  2. Imperial Armour: https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/19690
    Talos’ Armour: https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/11102
    Guardian General’s Armour: https://www.nexusmods.com/skyrimspecialedition/mods/5003
    Talos was a mod no longer available. I think his beard was standard Skyrim.

    Delphine and The Blades are morally corrupt. Hunting sentient beings simply for what they are rather than what they have done is simply not acceptable to Wulf. You will find he treats the Dawnguard in a similar manner. You have to judge them on their actions, not their breed. The dart scene was good as it makes up Wulf’s mind on The Dark Brotherhood. For a few coins they were willing to put the whole of Skyrim in danger. I doubt Sithis would like to see mortals wiped out by a vengeful God. So if Sithis is not guiding them, who is?

    1. Funnily enough, in my own head canon writing, I added in a little side bit of why my Dragonborn would go against the DB (besides them taking a hit out on him). That being they accidentally assassinate someone he’s romantically involved with (after Rigmor’s departure of course). Anyway, with Sithis there’s an interesting theory behind the whole not guiding them thing. The belief is that it’s actually due to the nightmother a “Form” of sithis has come to be and therefor does not truly exist, because supposedly merely enough people believing in the existence of something would cause it to be. That’s at least how the theory goes from what I’m told. I’d have to find it, or have the person who told me about it give it to me in writing, it’s a very interesting theory. And I’m not exactly giving it justice here, and more than likely getting a boat load of it wrong. Anyway, I have to agree on your stance on the Blades, but not the Dawnguard. The unfortunate truth is, in the current context of Skyrim’s political and situational climate, it’s uncertain and unstable. Any and all threats will have an elevated stimulus on the population, and there will likely be an increase in more dangerous characters taking advantage of such climates. As it is seen, the vampire’s are indeed becoming very bold to the point of attacking cities. The fact the Dawnguard is reformed makes perfect sense, and a cause I’d support. Granted Isran is a bit more extreme, but I do think his justifications are reasonable. The particular piece of his character that is notable is that he listens to you on Serana. which makes it clear he at least respects your thoughts, unlike Delphine who’s just hardline on it being her way or the highway. While also being quite privy to going on long tangents about it’s her duty to serve you. But I digress, I find the Dawnguard to be a more reasonable group than the Blades.

  3. Later on you will see i help the Dawnguard and together with Sorena we teach them the same lesson I taught the Blades. You can’t just kill a sentient being for what it is. You must kill only for what it has done and only then if it has not genuinely reformed. When Tiber Septim offered homes to the remaining Dov he did not give them citizenship. If he had they would have had the same legal protection as a Bosmer, Dunmer, Khajiit etc. The history of the Empire is one of mindless genocide. Ysgramor and his 500 thought it was perfectly okay to kill every Snow Elf as revenge for Saarthal. Saint Alessia thought the same about the Ayleid after the slave uprising. Senseless, mindless massacre after massacre simply as revenge. I assume you have played RoC so you know the same for the Minotaurs. Saint Alessia getting a taste of her own medicine. Somebody had to make a moral stand on this. Wulf has.

    As for Sithis and the Night Mother. Like a lot of Elder Scroll cannon there is contradictory information. Some of it states that the Morag Tong worshipped Sithis and used the Night Mother before there was a split. Most of them switched to Mephala and the othera left and formed the Dark Brotherhood. Divine can have aspects, avatars, appear on Nirn even after Martin’s barrier went up. The Daedric Princes can’t. However Sithis is not daedric and so the Night Mother could be an avatar.

    I have to carefully pick through the confusing cannon and choose what best fits my narrative. But the cannon also changes as happened with the definition of Dragonborn. There might be updated cannon in the next game that make nonsense of what I have wrote. I am also keeping a close eye on the Epilogue to RoC and RoT development so I do not write myself into a corner. As it is I will have to do a lot of rewrite in the early part of RoB when that mod is updated.

  4. Fair enough. Elder scrolls lore is a bit of a convoluted mess, unfortunately. Either way, I look forward to reading the Dawnguard sections!

    As for Sithis, he is an interesting character. He’s not Daedric, aye, but he is Padomaic. So who knows what applies to him and what doesn’t.

    I imagine there is a lot of planning and coordination in what you’re writing here. As you’ve said before, there’s a lot of contradictory sections of lore. From a writing standpoint, this really must muck shit up, I can only imagine how big a wrench the RoB rework, and RoC epilogue is throwing in your process lmao. On to a final note here, I do have to ask, would you mind if I made something similar to your journalistic Dragonborn Narrative? I’d of course be doing my own character, and be incorporating both new unique stories and some other mods into it such as Lucien. Consider myself inspired by your works, it’s been a while since I’ve done any writing, so I figured doing something like this, might be a good way to get back into the swing of things. This said however, I do feel the need to ask because this is your work, your style, I don’t want to like step on anyone’s toes (especially when I enjoy someone elses work lmao!).

  5. There was Skyrim fan fiction well before this and each is a unique perspective via the individuals eyes. There seem to be quite few amongst Inigo fans. That would be fun to write! Although the full Inigo coming up would keep you busy writing for years!

    So basically it is nice for you to ask but it was not necessary.

    Go for it!

    The writing has got far more complex now Wulf is in Cyrodiil. First day was over 13,000 words. Second day just hit 15,000 words. Mainly because Rigmor’s reaction to TDB had to be so generic due to the infinite variations of play possible according to the individual. Later in the mod it will be easier as you concentrate on the here and now rather than the “What the hell did you do for four years!” stuff.

    One thing I am really looking forward to is filling in the blanks of the epilogue. Visiting Skyrim with Rigmor and showing her what Wulf has done for the last four years. Taking her to the Throat of the World. Visiting the orphanages he has built.

    The Epilogue is huge. It is brilliant and I have enjoyed helping with some of the lore and story line.

  6. Sowing in the seeds of some doubt there ;). But! I feel I am up to the challenge. Either way, I’m looking forward to both playing and reading the Epilogue my dude.

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