Fort Dawnguard, College of Winterhold: Scrolls for help.
I have done some Bard work at the Four Shields Tavern in Dragon Bridge the last few nights.
This morning I set off from there with Kharjo and Meeko to see Dexion.
We arrived at Fort Dawnguard around 10:00AM. I found Dexion inside without a covering on his eyes.
“Well if it isn’t my saviour and killer of Harkon.”
Hello Dexion. I see you have taken the bandage from your…
“Oh yes, this morning I woke with perfect vision! I have never heard of this happening before. Sometimes a Moth Priest will get some eyesight back but never completely and so quickly.”
Maybe The Divine blessed you for your assistance. Who knows with these things? Sometimes we just have to accept the impossible happening!
“Wise words stemming from experience I think.”
You might be right there. I have given up on some of the tough questions I have posed myself in the last few years.
“Sometimes when you stop looking you find what you are no longer looking for.”
Very true! I would like to talk to you about the Elder Scrolls. Twice they have done me great service.
“Of course they have. They have this habit of turning up when most needed.”
A Dovah friend of mine hinted at that. He thought they were almost sentient.
“If I may ask, what will you do with them now?”
Do you have something in mind?
“I did in fact. Quite perceptive of you.”
I can guess but go ahead and ask.
“I’d very much like to have those scrolls. Someday I may be able to return them to their rightful place in the Imperial City.”
They are yours, free of charge, but I ask a favour, a very important and personal favour.
“I will help if it is within my power.”
I have seen how our history is often not written, which is unacceptable. It is worse when people deliberately alter history for political reasons. It seems that scholars and historians are deliberately rewriting texts to appease the Aldmeri Dominion. Heroes are made out to be villains. The real reason an event occurred altered. Awkward events erased entirely.
“History is written by the victors. That has always been the case.”
But it is wrong. All species of all political and religious beliefs have a fundamental right to the truth.
“There are many good men and mer who believe that and have found themselves cut off from funding and even access to Imperial libraries for saying so.”
Like your colleague who told the world what he read in an Elder Scroll about the Forgotten Hero. He dared to tell the truth and in doing so embarrassed the Emperor.
“Yes, I warned him. He is now in hiding. There is word he could be tried for treason.”
Do you agree with what he did?
“Of course I do. All real scholars and historians do. We have dedicated our lives to finding and recording the truth. If somebody is ordered to alter an existing book they will do so as if a snivelling and obedient servant. Meanwhile they have made sure the original text is saved in multiple places. You need not fear. There are none I know of with such low moral fibre they would be tempted by quick riches.”
Good, because I have the truth, my truth, that needs to be preserved and one day published.
“And you are looking for guidance on how to do that?”
Quite perceptive of you!
“So what is this truth, where is it and who do I need to see?”
Come with me and my companions. It is a nice day for a long ride to the College of Winterhold. I will show you and we can discuss things with Urag.”
“You have some influence with Urag? I found him to be one of the most knowledgeable individuals I have ever met. He is also the by far the most cantankerous!”
As Arch-Mage I have a little leeway with him. I still have to look after his books or risk him chewing my hand off though!
“Arch-Mage! Well you certainly chop things up well with a sword for the head of a school of magic!”
And I found your sword skills pretty good for an old man in a robe looking for dusty old scrolls.
“Yes, I did very well did I not? Trying to decapitate the annoying person who kept punching me!”
With that we both laughed and headed out to travel to Winterhold.
Dexion proved a most enjoyable companion on the ride. Every monument, ruin, shrine or even animal we passed would be accompanied by his knowledgeable insight. He even found great beauty in the vast expanses of white snow and ice near Winterhold. I had stopped looking at it after the first couple of trips past it. Now Dexion had opened my eyes, much like Rigmor could with her beautiful perspective on all things natural. It would have been a shame if his eyesight had not returned. I do not think Divine reward people with such ‘miracles’ but I thanked them anyway.
We found Urag inspecting some damaged books.
“Afternoon Arch Mage and welcome back Dexion. I hope I can be more useful than this pile of rotted rubbish I just paid a treasure seeker to retrieve for me!”
Let me guess, you were looking for a pristine first edition of The Lusty Argonian Maid?
“As a comedian you make a good mage. Stick to your strengths.”
OK Urag, no need to bite. Can you please retrieve your copy of my first journal for me?
“Is it wise to let others see these things before we have safer storage?”
That is why Dexion is here. I want him to read particular passages so he knows the gravity of what we possess. I trust him entirely even though he did try to decapitate me.
“Did you try to be funny near him as well? I am sure I will learn all about it when deciphering those scratches and scrawls you call writing. I will go get it. I hope Dexion is not allergic to bad grammar and mixed tense. It is a faithful reproduction except the average person can read my pen work.”
Urag disappeared into the repository of all things secret. I know from the protection he had put around the Elder Scroll I had given him that the best mages in Tamriel would be foolish to try their skills in there. Several members of the Thieves Guild have regretted tripping one of the non-lethal dweomer and having an angry Orc librarian beat them bloody. As Urag would explain to them, they are only alive because he gives the incompetent a chance to turn back before they are killed. I think some of them would have preferred being vaporised or impaled by ice spikes.
Dexion was busy scanning the shelves and cupboards of the second greatest library in Tamriel and muttering to himself. I looked at the pile of ruined books Urag had been inspecting when we walked in. One title that caught my eye was, “The Further Adventures of Lusty Vol 3.” I had only read, I mean heard, about the first two volumes. I hope he can restore this third volume. It would be of great value to the general population and the young male and lonely old men demographics in particular.
Urag caught me gently turning the pages of the Lusty book and said,
“Let me sum it up for you Arch Mage. Lifts-Her-Tail gets plenty at twenty, flirty at thirty and naughty at forty.”
I just read them for research purposes.
“I have a new book that just arrived you might like. Its title is, “The Randyborn”. It is a compilation of the best tales about a Dragonborn, his gorgeous shield maiden sidekick and a faithful Dibella trained dog called Dicko.”
Funny one Urag. You are joking… aren’t you?
“Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it is already on one of these thousands of shelves. Maybe I forgot to catalogue it.”
My journal if you please.
“Here you are Arch Mage.”
Can you please follow me to discuss something with Dexion.
He handed me his translation of my first journal. I placed a bookmark on the entry of the 9th of Heartfire 4E 201 and we approached Dexion,
Dexion, I wish you to read entries in this journal, my journal. I have marked the date I want you to read. Please read that and the day after.
He took the journal and started reading. I could tell he was getting disturbed and re-reading particular passages because he is one of those individuals whose mouth parrots the words read. Eventually he handed the journal back to me and asked,
“This is true? You entered Oblivion and confronted Malacath!”
“You retrieved Scourge and talked to Boethia in her own plane?”
“You have a magical horse that is on fire?”
Two now. I visited the Soul Cairn, do you know what that is, and got another. Serana has one as well. Not as rare as you think.
“You went to the Soul Cairn and returned? And… you… you confronted Malacath himself! Oh, I already asked that hadn’t I?”
When doing the tasks of The Divine I have had to deal with Daedric Princes. I have had to travel to many parts of Oblivion. I have even met and made friends with Snow Elves and confirmed other parts of myths and history as correct or wrong! All of this will remain hidden and even lost if my journals are not kept safe and then published when the time is right.
“How much of such history and knowledge is lost to us?”
Until a couple of years ago we did not know the deeds of the Forgotten Hero. There have been others, some of them Dragonborn, whose deeds are shrouded in mystery and deliberate misinformation.
“But why? Political manipulations I can understand. But some of this does no harm and the people have a right to know.”
It can do harm at the time. Imagine the harm you colleague’s revelation about Titus Mede II had done to his reputation. Imagine the resentment “The Culling” has generated amongst those who believe his claims. A Daedric Prince wanting to kill every man, woman and child in the Imperial City! A Daedric Prince revered by the Dunmer as one of the good Daedra!
Imagine the populace knowing we did not just stop some foreign invaders at the Battle of Whiterun but the return of a deposed God who planned to kill every mortal on Nirn!
The fact we went to Sovngarde and killed the World Eater, Alduin, has been a cause of celebration as that is good Nord prophecy come alive. The average citizen could deal with that single threat being neutralised. Even then they do not know that Alduin was not killed. That he will return one day.
The populace could not handle all of these threats being revealed so close to each other. There are others in my journals. They must be safely recorded for history and revealed when appropriate.
“I see. Perhaps others before you have tried and failed in their attempts to have the truth saved.”
I believe so. So what we need is two things. First we need people with integrity and honesty that can be relied on to keep my journals safe. Secondly we need people with the wisdom to know when such histories can safely be made public.
“There are a lot of good people we could rely upon but the safety of your journals depends mostly on the politics within the Empire. There are many good and honest scholars within the Aldmeri Dominion as well despite your less than stellar opinion of the Thalmor. Your history has the ability to embarrass and even cause international tensions to rise dramatically. There would be many who wish it suppressed and do not care about history lost.”
You have shown the insight I hoped you would. I will leave you and Urag to discuss this further and when you have something in mind, contact me and we will put things into action.
I turned to Urag and said,
Urag, you heard and I know you have been racking your brains on how to accomplish this. Here is a chance to at least make a start on a resolution to the problem.
“I am sure Dexion and I can make some progress for you Arch Mage.”
It is not just for me Urag. It is for the citizens of Nirn and their basic and fundamental right to know the truth. You can also let Dexion read the journals completely. I trust him and having some of it in another repository, his head, is more insurance against its loss. Please make him comfortable and let him stay as long as he wants. He may even be able to help with those ancient Snow Elf texts I gave you the other day.
With that I left Dexion and Urag in deep discussion.
I quickly went in the Arch Mage rooms and changed into one of my Bard disguises. I felt like singing for supper and room rather than sink into the huge comfy bed a few feet away!
As usual I got a frosty reception from the patrons of The Frozen Hearth!
More comic genius! What would Urag know about humour? The height of Orc hilarity is laughing at one of their friends being decapitated in a fight.
I wrote this journal entry in my room and thought about some of the amazing things I have seen and experienced.
I know not what time I fell asleep.
I know I planned to discretely search The Arcanaeum for any copies of “The Randyborn” when I get the chance.