Temple of Mara, Ivarstead, Markarth: Incognito, Love triangle, Fish caught, More lovers.
“The Pull” has been directing me to the Temple of Mara in Riften. For that reason I have done my usual routine of playing in the local inn, The Bee and Barb, for a few nights.
Eorgi the World-Weary is now a very popular and successful bard. He gets paid well and for that reason I have taken to wearing far more expensive clothing when playing.
I left the Bee and Barb just after 8:00AM and headed for the Temple.
When I entered The Pull directed me to a Dunmer Priestess.
After my awkward start to the Task in Markarth’s Dibella temple I decided to not even mention who I was or what I was doing.
Umm, hello, my name is Eorgi and I am new to Skyrim. Which of the Nine Divines do you serve?
“Good day to you Eorgi. I am Dinya Balu. This temple is devoted to the Goddess Mara. She gave mortals the gift of love that they might have a hint of eternity. Her blessings are many. To love is to know the true nature of the gods.”
May I receive her blessings?
“Not all can hear the broad echoes of deepest dawn.”
(I have spent a long time studying each Aedra and Daedra. I have no idea what that sentence means! I think Dinya is pushing the wise oracle act a bit far.)
“To receive the touch of Mara you must first act as her hands in the world.”
(Codswallop! The blessing can be given to anybody anytime with no prerequisite task!)
“Explore the facets of the infinite jewel.”
(Any more of this mumbo jumbo stuff and I will vomit all over her nice floor!)
“Are you prepared then to help bring the light across this land?
Just tell me what to do.
“The dawn surely opens upon you child. You must bear its light that all may see. Mara has reflected an image to me. At the foot of the throat and the young woman… almost a girl… her fickle love must resolve itself. The village of Ivarstead. The woman called Fastred.”
(Patience Wulf. Just a tiny bit more mumbo jumbo to go.)
“This is the prayer heard by the goddess and relayed to her servants. Return when she has seen her path.”
(Why could she not just say, “Go sort out Fastred in Ivarstead.”?)
“I will entreat Mara on your behalf.”
What can you tell me about Mara?
“Mara is the handmaiden of Kyne, the Goddess of the Storm and the Mother of Men. She is the bearer of love and the patron of marriage.”
(A very Nord interpretation of Mara. The Dunmer generally ignore Mara and have no equivalent in their pantheon. It is interesting to see a Dunmer Priestess of Mara.)
“She is the bearer of love and the patron of marriage.”
Farewell for now priestess. I will return when Fastred has seen her path.
“May you carry the warmth of Mara to all corners of the frozen wastes.”
I made my way out of the Temple and met my companions for this Divine Task, Celestine and the now mortal Serana who asked,
“What deadly foes are we to face this time Wulf?”
You ladies will be thrilled to know I am tasked with resolving the love life of hopelessly smitten Skyrim citizens.
“Sounds dangerous! Lucky you have two powerful mages with you!”
I said when I did the task for Dibella that sometimes I might just be doing a favour for a Divine.
“And you ended up rescuing a little girl from some Forsworn. I know, this might turn into something more than being a match maker. It would be nice just to have a quiet ride and not save the world though.”
First stop is Ivarstead. Let’s go.
We collected our horses from the stables. Serana had given up her flaming horse and also had a new sword. She wanted a clean break from her days as a Daughter of Coldharbour.
The fog was thick and sound muffled by it. It leant a beauty to the Reach I am sure Rigmor would have loved.
We arrived in Invarstead not long after midday.
Fastred had a hoe in her hand and was helping on her parent’s farm when I approached her.
“Are you the one sent by Mara?”
Yes Fastred. My name is Eorgi and that is Serana and that is Celestine. How did you know we were coming?
“I prayed to Mara and she spoke to me in a dream. She said a stranger would appear to help me.”
What is troubling you?
“My parents are being impossible. Bassianus wants to marry me. I think I love him. But he wants to move to Riften afterwards and my father won’t allow it.”
Your father only wants what is best for you.
“He only cares about this stupid town. Bassianus makes me happier than anyone ever has.”
And your mother?
“She is not any help either.”
Would you like me to speak to your parents and see what they have to say?
I walked over to Fastred’s father.
Hello. My name is Eorgi. Your daughter has asked me to speak to you.
“My daughter is driving me crazy so forgive me if I am a bit on edge. My name is Jofthor.”
Well met Jofthor. Fastred has prayed to Mara for guidance.
“I’m sure I know what this is all about. She thinks she’s in love with Bassianus and wants to leave town. With him.”
Any you are not pleased with that?
“Let me tell you how I see it. Until a few months ago the girl was head over heels for Klimmek. Wouldn’t stop talking about him.”
And then Bassianus turned her head?
“Now if I thought she was really in love with Bassianus that would be one thing. But she’s a child. It will pass.”
She is of legal age to marry and therefore decide her partner. Why do you want her to stay so badly?
“Look around here. There’s not much left. Ivarstead used to be a good-sized town but folks have been moving to Riften for a while now. If all the young people leave, what happens to Ivarstead?”
I am concerned your objection is not so much Bassianus but the fact your daughter will move away. Do you think forcing her to stay means she will get over Bassianus?
“You know how children are. Her fancies change with the moon.”
What if Bassianus stands up for their union?
“Like always the boy lacks any kind of spine.”
Thank you Jofthor. Be assured I am not trying to undermine your concern as her father. She is of age however and the decision should be hers.
I walked towards Fastred’s mother.
Hello, my name is Eorgi. Fastred prayed to Mara for guidance and I am here to help her.
“I am Boti, her mother. This has probably something to do with the men. We all wish we had her problems.”
Well met Boti. Fastred seems to have fallen for Klimmek and suddenly changed over to Bassianus.
“Now, don’t tell my husband, but I don’t have any problems with Bassianus. Even if it means her leaving Ivarstead I want Fastred to be happy.”
Do you think she could be happy if it caused conflict with her father?
“If they just snuck out of town together, I could manage my husband.”
Elope? Surely Bassianus, if he truly loves Fastred, should do the honourable thing and ask for her hand in marriage!
“Bassianus is still so terrified of Jofthor. If he knew that I’d keep him from hunting the poor boy down he would take Fastred to Riften without a second thought.”
And forever be a coward in the eyes of his father-in-law!
“Let him know that I’ll watch out for them. I just want my daughter to be happy.”
We will see Boti. In the end it is your daughter’s decision.
With that we started walking towards the inn. They might know where to find the gentlemen in question.
I asked Serana,
Your opinion Serana? I am sure your 650 plus years had filled you with wisdom on these matters.
“Over 600 asleep in an upright coffin and the only boyfriend I had was a Daedric Prince. Not even a boyfriend or a lover, a rapist!”
Still, you heard the arguments.
“I know neither males involved. However, if she once claimed she truly loved Klimmek and in her own words “thinks” she loves Bassianus then we need to find why the switch. Perhaps Klimmek failed in one area and the other is a rebound.”
And your opinion Celestine?
“I would like to think a man who loves me would have the guts to ask for my hand in marriage. Times have changed and women do not expect men to be their protectors but they do like to see some backbone. Plus I think a hasty elope would cause long term problems with the father.”
We arrived at the inn and entered.
I will admit I am biased here. I know Klimmek. For years he has charitably put himself in danger to deliver food and other goods to High Hrothgar. He also fishes a lot and feeds the poor and downtrodden. When I saw him sitting with another man in the inn I went over to him.
Hello Klimmek. Good to see you!
“He stood and looked me up and down. Do I know you?”
I forget my changed appearance. It is Wulf!
“Well met old friend. I suppose there is a story with the new look?”
A long and complicated one. I heard you and Fastred were keen on each other. What happened?
“Oh Fastred. I’m not sure what happened. One moment she is smiling at me. The next I can’t even meet her eyes.”
And you don’t know why?
“I bet my friend Bassianus here would know what is going on. He understands women.”
(Poor Klimmek! He was sitting having a mead or two and a chat with the man who has tried to steal his sweetheart. He had no idea.)
Perhaps she wants you to make a move. Be more assertive. Tell her how you feel.
“Wait… you mean I should just… tell her? Tell her how I feel?”
What do you have to lose? Only her heart if you don’t do it! I know from experience that the sooner you get true feelings out in the open the sooner you can move on with your life.
“Ysmir’s beard, you’re right! No fish was ever caught by staying away from the shore. I’m off to see her!”
Klimmek rushed out of the inn and headed for Fastred. We followed close behind. We had to witness what came next.
Klimmek got real close to Fastred and looked her right in the eyes.
- Klimmek: Fastred, I have something to say to you.
- Fastred: Klimmek? What is it?
- Klimmek: I have heard rumours you want to leave Ivarstead. Please, I don’t want you to.
- Fastred: Why not?
- Klimmek: Because… Because I would miss you!
- Fastred: But I thought you only cared about your fishing!
- Klimmek: What good are fish if you have to eat them alone?
- Fastred: Oh, Klimmek…
We discretely move away. I hope Mara is happy with the solution.
We mounted our horse and headed back to Riften. Serana asked,
“Why Klimmek? Was it just because you knew him?”
Partially. I know Klimmek is a good man. It would have been unfair to judge Bassianus on a single conversation. It turned out both men lacked some courage. Weighing everything up, there would be less family drama and uncertainty if Fastred chose Klimmek. Her mother thought she loved Bassianus but that was not the impression I got. Fastred did not seem certain of her feelings for Bassianus but her father said she had gushed over Klimmek. If she makes a mistake choosing Klimmek she has family and home close at hand. If she makes a mistake choosing Bassianus she would be far from home and have an estranged father. Easy choice but in the end their conversation showed it was the right one.
“Not the most romantic was he?”
Better than Molag Bal I bet!
“Yes, good point. Let’s not go there shall we?”
Strange concept. Bedding somebody to become their daughter.
“You really want a lightning bolt in your back?”
Let me change first. These clothes cost a fortune!
We arrived back at Riften exactly on 5:00PM.
We made our way to the temple where I found Priestess Dinya getting the latest gossip from Mara.
Sorry to interrupt Dinya. I helped the young lovers in Ivarstead.
“How wonderful. Like the sea, their love roils and swells, but brings life and nourishment to all.”
(Like a roiling, swelling sea, Dinya’s flowery words bring nausea to all.)
Does Mara require more of me?
“I see you are eager to carry the light. As you ventured, Mara filled my mind with more visions of love in peril.”
“Embers lie nestled in stone, needing only fuel to bloom a flame that will warm all around them. Go to Markarth. There you will find Calcelmo, wise, acid and reclusive. Help him to emerge and state his intentions.”
Calcelmo! The mage fixated on Dwemer? Has he dug up a female dwarf?
“This is the prayer heard by the goddess and relayed to her servants. It does not matter whom he loves as long as they are of age.”
I think a few thousand years would be old enough. I shall leave immediately and do as Mara requires.
“May you carry the warmth of Mara to all corners of the frozen wastes.”
So we left Riften and proceeded with the long ride to Markarth.
I was just after midnight when we entered the Silver Blood Inn.
Kleppr the innkeeper greeted me enthusiastically.
“Eorgi! How wonderful to see you. I was not expecting you for several weeks.”
Alas, not here to perform in your fine establishment. Just passing through on other bardic business. Two rooms please. A double for my lovely assistants and single for me. Can you put them on my tab good sir?
Certainly. Would you like some late supper brought to your rooms?
That would be absolutely delightful.
So with that we went to our rooms.
I sat and wrote this journal entry and decided I might as well pray for Mara’s help. No tonight though. I will have to think how to word it so she can work around Lord Akatosh’s restrictions when answering.
I know not what time I fell asleep.
Calcelmo in love? Who would have thought it possible?