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.