Fredas, 18th Sun’s Dusk, 4E 204

Hall of the Dead, Reachcliff Cave: Cold meals, Idiot cannibal, Boring cave and Draugr, Ugly shrine, Dinner invitation, Brave priest, Carnage.

“The Pull” started directing me to Markarth, specifically The Hall of the Dead, several days ago. So it looks like it might be Arkay’s turn to use the Dragonborn.

After spending the night at The Silver-Blood Inn we were ready to find out what the Divine task was this time. Serana and Iona were my companions for this one.

We reached the Hall at about 9:00AM and found the attendant Priest of Arkay, Brother Verulus, standing out the front. He was who I needed to speak to.

“I am glad to see you Dragonborn. I have been praying to Arkay for help.”

I was in fact sent here by The Divine. What is the problem Brother Verulus?

“We have discovered that some of the dead have been … eaten. Flesh has been chewed off, bones were snapped to get to the marrow inside. We haven’t caught anyone or anything yet. It is like it knows when I am there.”

We will take a look. Can I have the key please.

Brother Verulus handed me the key. I unlocked the doors and we entered. Serana laughed then said, “I have seen better restaurants!”

We moved further in when a disembodied female voice said, “Not many would walk blindly into a crypt, smelling of steel and blood, but not fear.”

I don’t find dead things scary. Annoying when they say “Grrrrr” and try to kill me though.

“I feel the hunger inside of you. Gnawing at you. You see the dead and your mouth grows wet. Your stomach growls.”

(I was dealing with a 100% loony here. I will play along and see what happens.)

“It’s all right. I will not shun you for what you are. Stay. I will tell you everything you have forgotten.”

(If she could manage that I would let her chew on my own leg.)

“You were young when you first tasted human flesh weren’t you? A brother or sister had died? An accident of course.”

(She appeared in front of me. Probably thought a simple invisibility spell would impress this ignorant bumpkin in armour.)

It was I swear! I have no idea how she ended up on the spit. Or who basted her while she was slowly turning over the open flames!

“Then the hunger set in. Curiosity. What is the harm in just one bite?”

Chicken. My little sister tasted like chicken!

“It is okay now. You have found a friend who understands you. You can let go of your guilt.”

I am guilty. I hardly left any for my parents. They were so mad.

“A lot of our kind block out the memory of their first meal. The shame is too much. But you don’t need to hide any more.”

I don’t? The guards have dropped that ridiculous charge of lollygagging? Wow!

“Namira, the Lady of Decay, accepts you for what you are. She has a place for us. A place where we can sate our appetites without judgement.”

(Namira, another lovely Daedric Lord. I wonder if her and Molag Bal have dinner parties?)

“It is inside Reachcliff Cave. But the dead have stirred from their slumber recently and I was forced to flee here.”

So the undead have stopped you eating the dead?

“My name is Eola. Meet me there. We will fight our way to Namira’s embrace together.”

Oh yes please. I could do with a good hug.

“Until then tell the people of Markarth that their dead won’t be disturbed any more. We have bigger plans ahead.”

Eola cast her invisibility spell and left the Hall via a back entrance.

I turned to find Serana rather annoyed. She said, “If I have to put up with one more bad pun or joke I will bite you!”

We left the Hall and Brother Verulus asked, “Is the Hall of the Dead safe now?”

Yes, the lady cannibal has left.

“A cannibal? Not a wild animal like I had hoped?”

Yes, a real life cannibal. She thinks we are cannibals as well and has told us where they worship Namira. She came here when driven out by Draugr.

“Namira! Oh my. Do I need to get the Vigilants of Stendarr?”

Maybe later. We are going to help remove the Draugr and then see if we can snare more than just her.

With that we left Markarth and mounted our horses for the fairly short ride to Reachcliff Cave.

Apart from a large Goblin tribe we reached the cave unmolested. Eola was waiting for us.

“You’ve come. The Draugr infesting Namira’s sanctuary are inside.”

Wait here. We will take care of them.

We entered the cave. It was pretty boring.

We cut down about a dozen Draugr on the way to Namira’s Shrine.

The room with the shrine had a large dining table.

Namira’s shrine itself was pretty hideous and covered in old blood.

I approached closer and was disappointed She didn’t start ordering me do this and that. All I could hear was whispers. So far Namira has been the most pathetic Daedric Lord I have had to deal with.

We explored a bit and found a much quicker exit from the place.

We entered again and found Eola making her way to the shrine.

“You’ve done it. The shrine is ours again. Now we need to prepare a grand feast to welcome you to Namira’s coven.”

Will there be cake? I love cake.

“You will have the honour of brining a fresh kill for the main course. And I know the perfect person.”

Is it the fat stable master? I think he is grain fed.

“No, but he does look juicy. It is a priest filled with the taste of an easy life. Brother Verulus from Markarth.”

Oh I am so glad it is not a jester. I ate one of them once and he tasted funny.

(Serana let out a warning growl behind me.)

“Give him this gold. Tell him you need Arkay’s help exploring an old cavern for treasure. When he stands in Namira’s presence she will take care of the rest.”

We exited the shrine and rode quickly to Markarth with no encounters to slow us down.

We found Brother Verulus inside the Hall of the Dead.

“Welcome back. Did you take care of the cannibals?”

No but they have invited you to dinner.

“What?”

You are to be the main course at my initiation ceremony.

“Have you turned into one of them? Arkay will protect me!”

Relax Brother Verulus. You know who I am. I swear by The Divine you are in no danger from me or my companions.

“Then you have a plan?”

You will come with me and pretend to be tonight’s sacrifice to Namira. They will think you were unprepared and simply accompanying me to hunt for treasure. But you are prepared so use your faith in Arkay to fight whatever control they or their Lord attempt. Do what you need to so you seem to be a compliant and scared man. Do not be alarmed if Namira talks to you. She has no power over you if Arkay fills your heart and mind. I will start killing the moment I see any danger to you.

“What will your companions do?”

Kill everybody there without mercy after I deliver the first stroke.

“After that I can bring in the Vigilants?”

Certainly. There is nothing they enjoy more than desecrating and destroying Daedric shrines.

“Then let us go. Arkay’s protection is absolute.”

So we did the trip back to the Reachcliff Cave without an encounter. It was 7:30PM when we arrived at the entrance.

We entered and I asked Brother Verulus, “Are you ready?”

“I have my faith. They and their evil God can’t touch me.”

When we entered the room Eola tried voice control on Brother Verulus. I am a bard and appreciate good acting and he was excellent as he pretended to be under her control.

I asked Iona and Serana to guard the door. I did not want any of them to escape their punishment.

Brother Verulus had reached the shrine and started to lay on the altar as instructed.

The idiots around the table were staring with anticipation. Did Eola even know who I was? It did not matter. I know some of them at the table knew me. It made my anger boil to think these animals had been living amongst the decent folk of Skyrim. I let loose the beast.

With all the ignorant arrogance of a Daedric worshipper Eola said, “The meal is on Namira’s table. Go ahead. Carve.”

The Sword swung over my shoulder.

Then swung back with such speed the wind whistled. Eola gasped and her head flew.

The six dinner guests flew at me in a rage and died in seconds. One sword stroke each without pause.

Brother Verulus barely had time to climb off the altar and cast a protection spell on himself before it was all over. He looked at the pile of bodies and said, “They were pretty stupid to think devout followers of The Nine would succumb to their evil.”

Many have unfortunately. Nearly every Nord is raised to revere The Divine. Many are seduced by the words of these Daedric Princes.

“Namira spoke to me. She told me how her power is greater than Arkay’s. How he will tremble when one of his priests is consumed by her followers. Then she screamed and fled. That was when I opened my eyes and turned my head. You killed them like it was a dance and with a grin on your face.”

I am Champion of The Divine. They experienced the wrath of the Gods via my hands. That always makes me smile.

“I think I need a hot bath. Namira in my head made me feel like I was drowning in a pool of filth.”

I might suggest you clean your robes as well. You were lying in left overs from their last few dinner parties.

“I will tell the Vigilants about this place so they can do their thing. I think I will stay amongst our honoured dead.”

We escorted Brother Verulus to the gates of Markarth then on to Dragonfall Castle.

I thanked Serana and Iona and retired to my private quarters.

I wrote this journal and climbed into bed. I know not what time I fell asleep.

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