RAT WAY: Esbern.
This journal entry was written about 10PM 19th Heartfire.
We left Dragon Bridge at about 8:30AM
We passed the farmhouse where we had witnessed a civil war clash the day before. A few Stormcloaks were still hanging around with a couple of dozen other soldiers from both sides dead. A waste. How many Bjorn amongst that lot. What for?
We arrived in Riverwood and I entered the inn just after 12PM.
I told Delphine the Thalmor know nothing about the dragons return and in fact suspected the Blades were at fault. I told her they were looking for a Blades scholar called Esbern who they think is hiding in Riften.
Delphine was obviously fond of the old man and was surprised the Thalmor had not got him yet. He was known as a bit of an eccentric because of his obsession with dragon and Dragonguard lore. She said if he is in Riften the obvious place to hide would be The Ratway. She suggested I talk to Brynjolf.
I told Delphine I would speak to Brynholf as a last resort. That he tried to recruit me for his guild of thieves and there is nothing more obnoxious to me apart from the assassins.
Delphine told me Esbern will be very paranoid and if I had trouble to ask him where he was on the 30th Frostfall. It was some code they used to identify friends.
So Lydia, Meeko and I set off for Riften.
I had not been there since that wonderful day out with Rigmor. I can replay it entirely in my memory. Those memories are some I will rely on during any dark days ahead.
On the way to Riften we were attacked by bears. Sorella’s influence on wolves was no longer valid. It appears Rigmor’s influence on bears is also gone.
We entered Riften and headed straight for the underground catacombs called “The Ratway”.
Within a couple of minutes we came across the first fools who thought they could intimidate us. The idiots demanded we hand over our money. I was more than a foot taller than either of them and twice as wide. Both of us had far superior armour and weapons. With us was a huge white dog that could chew them both up in seconds. They probably robbed beggars and citizens with success and thought that makes them tough. I decapitated one, Lydia the other. Morons!
We had to cut down a half dozen other low lives as stupid as the first two. Why try and rob us?
We entered the Ragged Flagon. This inn is renowned for being a central meeting point of the Thieves Guild. I felt like yelling “Boo!” using the Thu’um just to watch all the idiots staring at us as potential victims shit their pants.
I knew the back of the place led to more of the tunnels under Riften. We went through the back door and were set upon by Thalmor. I took that as a sign we were getting close to Esbern’s hideaway.
After dispatching the Thalmor and a handful of pathetic thieves we came across a door so solid and iron bound it screamed, “There is a paranoid fugitive Blade hiding here!”
I banged on it with the hilt of my sword and a peephole opened up to reveal an Elderly gentleman. I greeted him by his name and told him I was Dragonborn and that we came to take him to Delphine. I warned him Thalmor were in the tunnels and looking for him. He finally agreed to let us in and after several minutes of open locks and moving slide bolts the door swung open.
I walked up to Esbern and told him Delphine is an innkeeper in Riverwood and thought he had been captured ages ago.
Esbern told me he had lost all hope and was watching helplessly as Nirn’s doom approached. If I was Dragonborn there may be hope after all.
I knew the dragons were a danger to the populations of Skyrim but the whole of Nirn? I asked Esbern to clarify how they could possibly be a threat to Nirn.
Esbern is a typical scholar. They forget other people do not spend their lifetimes studying their area of expertise. They act incredulous when other people are ignorant of the knowledge they possess. If I handed him an unstrung bow and told him to string it he would have no idea how. Something most ten year old Nord of either gender could do. So I was patient with him as he explained. Here is what he said in summary:
- The dragons returning are the final portent of the “End of Days”. This refers to a prophecy concerning me that I will detail later in this journal entry.
- Alduin returning is also part of this prophecy.
- Alduin is supposedly from the dawn of time.
- Alduin devours souls both on Nirn and the afterlife.
- Alduin will devour all things and the world will end.
- The only thing that can stop him is me, the Last Dragonborn.
Esbern gathered a few books and other things before we left. I told him and Lydia that the Thalmor are now on his trail so we will not stop till we get to Riverwood and we will probably continue straight on to somewhere safer with Delphine after that.
We encountered another Thalmor patrol in the tunnels which showed I was right. Riften is a Stormcloak controlled hold so they are not going to be walking the streets or be tolerated anywhere near it.
We left Riften at approximately 9:30PM
END OF DAYS PROPHECY:
- When misrule takes its place at the eight corners of the world
- When the Brass Tower walks and Time is reshaped
- When the thrice-blessed fail and the Red Tower trembles
- When the Dragonborn Ruler loses his throne, and the White Tower falls
- When the Snow Tower lies sundered, kingless, bleeding
- The World-Eater wakes, and the Wheel turns upon the Last Dragonborn.
“Misrule” refers to the events called “The Imperial Simulacrum” that occurred after Jagar Tham stole the Imperial Crown from Emperor Uriel Septim.
“Eight corners of the world” refers to the hiding places all over Tamriel where Emperor Uriel Septim III hid the eight pieces of the “Staff of Chaos”.
“Brass Tower” refers to the Numidium also known as the “Brass God”. It was a humanoid golem over 1000 feet tall created by a Dwemer craftsman called Kagrenec. Tiber Septim used Numidium during his conquest of Tamriel. This is the walking referred to in the prophecy.
“Time is reshaped” refers to the “Warp in the West”. It was a “Dragon Break” where Akatosh loses control of time. The laws of causality are suspended and time becomes flexible. My sword, a masterpiece of the blacksmith are rarely matched in history, was created by a normally talentless apprentice during the Warp in the West.
“Thrice-blessed” refers to the ruling gods of Morrowing and the Dunmer people. By the end of 3E 427 the three gods were killed or had vanished. That is the failure referred to in the prophecy.
“Red Tower” refers to Red Mountain also known as Dagoth Ur, Mount Vvardenfell and in dragon tongue, Sahqo-Strunmah.
“Trembles” refers to the eruption of Red Mountain that occurred in the “Red Year” which was 4E 05.
“Dragonborn Ruler loses his throne” refers to the assassination of Uriel Septim VII in 3E 433.
“White Tower Falls” refers to the 12th Second Seed 4E 174 when Emperor Titus Mede II abandoned the Imperial City to invading Thalmor forces during the Great War.
“Snow Tower” is a reference to the “Throat of the World” which is the highest mountain in Tamriel. IN the prophesy it represents Skyrim where the mountain exists.
“Sundered, kingless, bleeding” refers to the murder of High King Toryyg of Skyrim by Ulfric Stormcloak and the subsequent and currently ongoing civil war.
“World-Eater” refers to Alduin.
“Wheel turns” refers to the belief heroes appear at certain points in history when most needed.
“Last Dragonborn” refers to me, Wulf, Champion of The Divines. Whether or not it means I will be the last Dragonborn ever or the last to appear so far is unknown.