Blue Palace, Wolfskull Cave, Proudspire Manner: The Pull, Scary story, Task given, Another title, Cave inspected, Queen escapes, Not the end, New housecarl.
“The Pull” is directing me to Solitude. The Blue Palace to be precise.
Meeko, Lydia and I set off for Solitude at 6:30AM. It was overcast, wet and miserable.
We decided to take more of an overland, scenic route. Despite the weather we were enjoying the countryside and fresh air.
As we were crossing a river a young green Dragon called Kahtuzud appeared. He seemed content on killing wildlife for dinner so we continued on our way.
Then he swooped overhead and hit me with a couple of Shouts. I replied with Dragonrend.
He was young, inexperienced and it was suicide to attack us. What did he hope to do? Beat the team that killed Alduin?
He did not last long. I wish he had just ignored us and chose to live instead of die needlessly.
I absorbed his soul and moved on. It was the first attack by a Dovah in months. I hope it is the last.
We were attacked by a Thalmor hit squad and some Imperial troops on patrol wiped them out without hesitation. All Thalmor in Skyrim are in danger if they keep arresting Talos worshippers and harassing people. If they thought the demise of the Stormcloaks made them safer they were mistaken.
We arrived at the Solitude stables at 11:00AM and made our way to the Blue Palace.
The Solitude streets were quieter than usual. We entered the Blue Palace and approached the throne. I still did not know who “The Pull” wanted me to speak to.
A Dragon Bridge resident, Varnius Junius, was asking Jarl Elisif for help.
- Varnius: “I swear to you, unnatural magics are coming from that cave! There are strange noises and lights! We need someone to investigate!”
- Elisif: “Then we will immediately send out a legion to scour the cave and secure the town. Haafingar’s people will always be safe under my rule.”
- Varnius: “Th… thank you, my Jarl. Thank you.”
- Sybille: “Your eminence, my scrying has suggested nothing in the area. Dragon Bridge is under imperial control. This is likely superstitious nonsense.”
- Falk: “Perhaps a more… tempered reaction… might be called for?”
- Elisif: “Oh. Yes, of course you are right. Falk, tell Captain Aldis I said to assign a few extra soldiers to Dragon Bridge.”
- Varnius: “Thank you, Jarl Elisif. But about the cave…”
- Falk: “I will have someone take care of the cave as well Varnius, you can rest easy. You’re dismissed.”
After Varnius started to leave Jarl Elisif’s advisors moved around and The Pull indicated Falk Firebeard was who I was supposed to talk to. I took a guess that this cave was where I should start this task.
I approached Firebeard and he greeted me,
“Hello friend. Good to see you!”
Hello Falk. What is this about a haunted cave?
“It is called Wolfskull Cave. To be honest with you, I was planning to let that go. Varnius is a bit jumpy at the best of times.”
I have a feeling there is more to it.
“There have been reports of weird happening near it. Travellers disappearing, odd lights. I suspect wild animals or perhaps bandits.”
There was a Stormcloak camp near there that I took care of months ago and the Imperial patrols are quite regular. If people are still spooked there might be more to it. I think we will take a look. Why is it called Wolfskull Cave?”
“The cave has a bad history. Long ago. Potema the Wolf Queen, used it for necromantic rituals. That’s where it got the name. That was over 500 years ago. Nothing much down there now but everyone’s always convinced the cave is haunted.”
I will report back what I find. I should only be a few hours.
Before we left I presented myself to Jarl Elisif.
My apologies for speaking to Falk first Jarl Elisif, I needed to urgently discuss Wolfskull Cave.
“We have known each other long enough Dragonborn. I am not going to get upset with slight breach in protocol. After all, we are co-conspirators in a most heinous crime!”
Imagine the spanking we would get if the Thalmor found out I had placed High King Torygg’s war horn at that Talos shrine for you!
“You hardly visit Solitude. That lovely house of yours, Proudspire Manor, must be full of cobwebs!”
Yes, the large Frostbite spiders that live there are an excellent burglar deterrent!
(Elisif laughed which was wonderful to hear. She had loved her King with all her heart. I remember her weeping when I delivered the message he gave me in Sovngarde.)
“I was going to send some people to kidnap you and bring you here. I have a present I have wanted to give you for months now.”
Oh, and what is that Jarl Elisif.
“I wish to make you Thane of Solitude. You have done many small services for my citizen’s apart from saving our lives on several occasions. I can think of no other better deserving of the title.”
I would be honoured and humbled to accept.
“Then I pronounce you Thane of Solitude. Here is your sword of office. I will send for your housecarl. She is busy killing some bandits for Falk but should return soon.”
Thank you my Jarl. Please excuse me as we have to rush off and see what this cave is all about.
With that we left the Blue Palace and headed for the stable to get our horses.
Just after 2:30PM we set off for Wolfskull Cave. It was raining again.
We arrived at the cave about 4:15PM and were greeted by some skeletons and a senior necromancer. All easily dispatched with Unrelenting Force.
I could hear chanting from within. Instinct told me this was not just a cave full of second rate mages and their bony friends.
When we entered the chanting stopped. I could hear a voice, a ‘Ritual Master” as necromancers call them, doing some sort of incantation. Those around him were muttering their part of the summoning after each sentence.
Unrelenting Force was all that was needed to take care of most necromancers, Draugr and skeletons we met.
Meeko was getting a bit annoyed he was not having a chance to tear open bellies or throats.
The chanting was coming from below. There was a lower level but I could not see any ladders so we jumped down and headed further into the cave system.
We came out onto a ledge and could see an ancient fortress not far away. On top of the fortress the invocation was nearing completion.
- Ritual Master: “Wolf Queen. Hear our call and awaken. We summon Potema!”
- Necromancers: “We summon Potema!”
- Ritual Master: “Long have you slept the dreamless sleep of death, Potema. No longer. Hear us Wolf Queen! We Summon You!”
- Necromancers: “We summon Potema!”
There was a form of a woman starting to solidify within the necromantic energy. We had not time to lose. Potema was pure evil in life. I don’t think she will be any different as an undead. Who knows what powers she may bring with her!
We started moving through the tunnels, up and down stairways as quick as we could. There was no subtlety or caution is our advance. If anything tried to stop us we obliterated it without a pause. Skelton, Draugr and necromancer fell in quick succession.
We killed and destroyed dozens during our relentless march to the ritual site.
When we neared the roof I told Meeko and Lydia to guard the stairs. Often when you interrupt such magic an explosion occurs. I did not want them being blown over the edge as we were fairly high up at that stage.
I stepped onto the roof and saw several necromancers feeding their magicka into the portal they had created between life and death.
Potema was pleased with their idiocy. Necromancers always overestimate their pathetic skills and ability to control what is summoned.
- Potema: “Yes! Yes! Return me to this realm!”
- Ritual Master: “As our voices summon you the blood of the innocent binds you Wolf Queen!”
- Necromancers: “Summoned with words. Bound by blood.”
- Potema: “What! What are you doing?! You fools! You cannot bind me to your wills!”
- Necromancers: “Summoned with words. Bound by blood.”
- Potema: “You ants don’t have the power to bind me!”
This was pure evil! The acolytes screamed as Unrelenting Force sent them, one by one, plummeting to their deaths.
I had to hurry, she was almost through the veil!
The final one, the Ritual Master herself, looked into my eyes and new death was moments away.
She screamed as loud as the others as she flew through the air. She bounced off a raised walkway and landed at my feet. The next Shout reduced her to a pile of ashes.
I was too late! Potema was not corporeal but her soul, her spirit, had broken through the veil. She laughed and swirled around the cavern in celebration of her freedom then escaped through a hole in the ceiling of the cave.
I called Meeko and Lydia and they came running up to me. I told them that I thought Potema’s spirit was now loose. I told them as we did well but she was unfinished business. I had no doubt this was only the beginning of my Divine task.
The summoning platform was still intact. It needs to be destroyed. The Vigil of Stendarr will need to be informed. That is their sacred duty.
We left the cave and were met by a group of Stormcloaks who had been waiting for us.
We soon dispatched them with Meeko finally able to sink his teeth into something when he helped a passing patrol finish the last few.
It was sunny while we were in the cave. Soon after mounting our horses it starting raining and did not stop all the way to Solitude. We entered the Blue Palace rather soggily at about 8:30PM. Falk was waiting for me.
“You have news of the cave?”
It was full of necromancers trying to resurrect Potema. They had been using the blood of kidnapped citizens in an attempt to bind her to them. They were not strong enough.
“Did you stop them?”
I stopped the ritual but it was too late. Potema’s soul was recalled to Skyrim. I was sent to do this task by The Divines. It is not over. We will hear from the ancient Queen again soon.
“You did what you could. If I hear anything I will let you know immediately.”
It may be some time before she has the strength to threaten. Can yo please inform the Vigil of Stendarr. The summoning platform will need to be destroyed by them.
“I will. Your new housecarl should be waiting to meet you in Proudspire Manor. Her name is Jordis the Sword-Maiden. She is a very young but very talented two-handed warrior. You will not find a more dedicated follower of The Divine. Good night Dragonborn.”
With that we left the Blue Palace and headed for my Solitude house to meet Jordis.
She was young. Barely twenty if that. Rigmor has taught me great skill is not reserved for great age. Jordis had a family heirloom sword and armour. The armour was of similar vintage and style to Lydia’s.
We all went to the Winking Skeever for a few meads, a good meal and a chance to talk and get to know each other. Lydia and Jordis immediately bonded.
When we returned to Proudspire Manor the housecarls and Meeko went to bed whilst I wrote this journal entry.
I finally crawled into my bed just before midnight.
I know not what time I fell asleep.