Tirdas, 7th Sun’s Dawn, 4E 205

The Imperial Palace: Rigmor makes a choice, Boring speech, Decree signing, Sickening proposal, Genius gameplay, Bobby bull, Figuring it out, Not so sneaky, Secret revealed, Rigmor taken, Blackwell visit, Moronic Morag, Weeping Wulf.

I awoke and gently shook Rigmor awake. As I washed and shaved Rigmor dressed herself in her finery.

We were still being careful about what we said and to keep up appearances. It was weird, as a bard I am used to putting on an act but it was the first time I had an invisible audience. We might not have an audience at all but I doubt that very much.

Rigmor approached and asked, “Almost ready my Guardian?”

Yes Milady. So we are off to sign the Decree this morning?

“Yes, soon. They will be waiting for us in the Imperial Chamber.”

How are you feeling?

“To be honest, I feel relieved but a little nervous I guess.”

Have you thought about the offer from the Count’s son?

“I have decided to say yes if the offer is made.”

It is your choice Milady and we do not really know what would be best.

“If a later action makes them come after us. We would be back to square one…”

I suggest strongly we not discuss in detail right now Milady. You know what I am capable of and you know what support I can call from above. If you have done the sums and think we are out-numbered six to one you are wrong. Even if I do not wish to use those of my blood in battle they can inform my colleagues what is happening. Remember who is sworn to protect you. Malesam and Cerys know. Some of the best warriors and mages in all of Tamriel would come to your aid. With control of the heights and the immense walls of Bruma we could hold them off indefinitely. Trust your Guardian General on this.

“I do and we can discuss it more if the situation looks like arising.”

Come Milady, let us not keep them waiting.

“After you Guardian.”

We made our way to the door of the Imperial Chamber and stopped to gather ourselves. I looked at Rigmor and she nodded her head.

I opened the door and surveyed the room quickly.

There were eight heavy infantry flanking the entrance. Blackwell’s two goons were also ready to block the entrance or jump into an affray as needed. On the Ruby Throne was the Emperor. Tamriel has had many warrior Emperors. Now they have a milk drinker. Next to him stood the real leader and a killer of children, Morag. Blackwell was standing next to a lectern looking impatient. The stick up his arse must have splinters. On the lectern was the Decree.

I took my position to the left of the lectern. On the left and right of the lectern were the noble parasites of the other cities. There was another eight heavy infantry flanking the steps to the thrones.

If Rigmor was not with me or if she was in her armour with her sword I would be tempted to take the throne from the murdering bandit scum and that child murdering bitch. Surely they must know who I am? Hasn’t Morag’s Daedric Rapist told her?

This is how easy it would be. I would use the Shout, ‘Whirlwind Sprint’, to reach the top of the steps in less than a second. Morag’s head would come bouncing down those steps a second later and Emperor milk drinker would be missing his a second after that. I would toss his body onto the floor and sit on the Ruby Throne and that would be it. I would call myself Wulf Septim and everybody would live happily ever after.

I could control anybody in this room with the evil I learned from Hermaeus Mora. I could get Blackwell to walk up and stab his Emperor in the guts if I did not mind tainting myself with Daedric evil.

I could make every single person in the room attack the nearest other person and fight to the death if I wished to use a tiny part of my Magicka. It would be fun watching Morag and her husband try and kill each other.

I could summon several Dragon Priests from the past. The most powerful mortals that have lived apart from Dragonborn. They could wreak havoc whilst I laugh at Morag’s feeble attempts to defend herself against real power.

But I do not want the throne and neither does Rigmor. We just want to get this done, go home, get married and have little Wulfs and Rigmors.

I am sure this whole throne business is secondary to the main Divine Task which is yet to reveal itself.

Rigmor stood just to the front and left of me as protocol requires.

Morag then started a propaganda speech while the rest of us just wished she would shut up, “Two years ago we rode into this city at the head of an army. This army was not one of occupation, this army was not one of subjugation, no… this was an army of liberation.

(‘This was an army of constipation!” Please beast, shhhh!)    

“Liberation of an Empire left buckling under the weight of poverty and recession. An Empire, ravished by pirates and bandits from the lawless border regions. An Empire, threatened by a Dominion with its sights set on reclaiming this land for the Elven nations. An Empire, left decadent and abandoned by its predecessor.”

(This Child Killer can’t even speak our language correctly. I am sure she means ‘its previous Emperor’ and not the Ayleid Empire.)

“In this very room, upon this very floor, lay the crown of this once great seat of civilization. And by legal right of combat, it was the people of this great city that placed them upon our heads. And we flourished, we became great again. We prospered and thrived and the old was replaced with the new.”

(‘Except her. She is old.’ I know beast.)

“A new dawn, a new Era and with it the creation of a New Imperial Army to protect and serve the six counties of Cyrodiil and the Imperial Territories.”

(‘Are we in a new Era?’ No beast, she is showing her ignorance but I bet the sycophants in here clap at the end.)

“Provinces and Colonies once weak, annexed and lost were now once again reclaimed and the world trembled and knew its place.”

(She was slowly walking down the stair as she spewed for this garbage. NOTHING has happened outside of the Cyrodiil borders under this Emperor and his Child Killing monster. They did not even send a representative to High Queen Elisif’s coronation.)

“History is to be made this day, this very moment, as the County of Bruma returns to the fold. And we shall stand united as we become, once again, the seven counties of Cyrodiil, to show to the world our strength, our unity and our fortitude in our wholeness. And they shall come to know of our intention to strengthen our resolve. And they shall come to know of our intention to be a global force to be reckoned with. And they shall come to know of our intention to expand our Empire as is our divine right.”

(The Empire was never supposed to be expansionist. Pure twaddle is coming from those dead lips.)

“United under the name of the most powerful dynasty in all of Tamriel.”

(So he adopts a name he has no right to. Just after she dissed the last Emperor to carry the Mede name. While there is real Mede blood in the room. As for the most powerful dynasty, does she really think the Mede dynasty compares to the Septim?)

As I thought they would, the morons in the rooms started clapping and cheering.

Morag made it to the bottom of the stairs and we made eye contact. She still has no idea who I am. I am surrounded by 100% certifiable idiots.

When she sat Rigmor made her way to the lectern and it was the Bandit Kings turn to speak, “Countess Rigmor of Bruma. You have graced us with your presence here today, to sign the Noble Decree. With it you will inherit what was set out in the White-Gold Agreement including full access to trade, a personal Imperial Legion loyal only to you and a place at the seat of representatives here in the Imperial Chamber. By signing the decree you forfeit your status as a Free City and by doing so revoke the corrupt, weak and unelected International Laws. You also legitimize your Emperor’s claim to the titles of the Mede Dynasty. Do you wish to say anything before you sign?”

Rigmor did the perfect amount of arse licking, “Only that I would like to thank the Emperor for this opportunity. And I thank all the noble houses for their openness and kindness since I arrived. And that you can all be assured of the House of Bruma’s loyalty and support.”

Sethius said, “Lord Chancellor, please proceed.”

Blackwell said, “Approach the lectern and sign Milady.”

Rigmor stepped up and signed the Decree then Blackwell announced, “The House of Cyrodiil are united. Long live the Emperor!”

More cheers then Robere stepped forward and said, “Please, could I have everybody’s attention. I have an important announcement to make. As many of you know, Countess Rigmor and I have been acquainted this past year and I cannot think of any better occasion to tell her of my undying love.”

(‘Can I kill him now?’ No beast, however gut wrenching this is, it is our plan, right or wrong.)

Robere walked closer to my beloved and asked, “Rigmor of Bruma, would you do me the greatest of honours and agree to be my wife? Will you marry me?”

Rigmor did a perfect job of the hopelessly in love damsel, “Oh the Gods Bobby! YES! Yes of course I will marry you!”

There was applause but it was muted. A move in the political game had just been made and some of the nobles disapproved. They started to leave the Imperial Chamber.

Several of them, including Morag and her puppet husband, stared at me as if I did something wrong. I checked my fly and that was OK. I had no booger in my nose. No idea what I have done!

I turned around and almost bumped heads with Blackwell who said, “Bravo bravo… and might I say, very impressive!”

Excuse me Lord Chancellor but I don’t quite follow.

“Oh, I think you do. Morag Sethius was just sucker punched by a master-stroke of genius. You call yourself the Guardian and Protector of the Countess Rigmor of Bruma. That is indeed a title you should be so very proud of.”

Oh I am Lord Chancellor. More than you could possible know.

“Meet me in the Temple Gardens tomorrow morning before the Coronation. There are some things I would like to discuss.”

Blackwell walked out thinking I had arranged this wedding. That I was some master of this game I was an utter and complete novice at. The group leaving and his assumption needed Rigmor and I to work through. What does it all mean?

I walked up to Robere to, as best I could, offer my congratulations, “Congratulations Ser Robere.”

“Thank you Guardian. If you have a moment?”

Robere walked to one of the far walls and I followed.

I approached him and asked, “Yes Ser Robere, what is it?”

“I’ve found out what’s been going on. Last night I discovered a ventilation shaft behind the wall. Every room has one and they are all connected. There is a concealed access panel behind some banners.”

Yes Ser Robere, we knew there must be. They would not have gleamed any information about your plan from us I assure you. One of the best things about your engagement is I can stop pretending to be normal. Rigmor was frightened I would scare you away. I don’t know why.

“Thank goodness you were careful. When father was asleep I inched my way in and managed to manoeuvre myself within earshot of Chorrol’s room. Morag Sethius was there discussing the fate of Bruma.”

(‘I smell bullshit.’ You don’t even have a nose but yes, he is speaking bovine pooh.)

Go on Ser Robere.

“For whatever reason, she wants to even the balance of power. My father commands the largest army in Cyrodiil and has Anvil in his pocket. Anvil has access to Quintus Vitalis and his army. Do you know of him?”

Of course. He fought beside me and your new fiancée at the Battle of Whiterun. Rigmor showed great leadership of her men that day and helped prevent the New Order from conquering all of Tamriel. You would never have seen Rigmor in a battle Ser Robere. She is the best proponent of the two handed sword I have ever seen! Her ability to lead men and their loyalty towards her is second to none. I would be careful how you treat her Ser Robere. She could dice you into little pieces without breaking a sweat. Thanks to her bravery and skill you and all the ‘nobles’ here today are not Dominion slaves or dead. That is why Titus Mede II gave her the deeds and titles. That makes Rigmor the most noble one here don’t you think?

(If Ser Robere really loves Rigmor he would show pride in his new fiancée and the compliments I just gave her.)

“Umm…yes… Anyway the plan was to set Rigmor up for a fall after she signed the Decree. Mercenaries were to be paid to raid the counties of Chorrol and Cheydinhal and the blame put on Bruma for not taking prompt and appropriate action to stop it. Then they were to call a meeting of representatives in the Imperial Chamber. A vote of no confidence in the house of Bruma was to be conducted and passed. The House of Bruma would then be dissolved. Chorrol and Cheydinhal were to march into Bruma County, take control and divide it up between them. Cheydinhal was to get the iron ore deposits and the mines. Chorrol was to get control of the city and with it the title of Duke of the counties of Chorrol and Bruma. He would demand 1000 men, and together they would reset the balance of power in Cyrodiil. Rigmor’s family are considered commoners and with Morag’s persuasion, the Emperor would turn a blind eye just to please the nobility.”

But Robere, with your troops and Rigmor’s, my dragons and the whole of the College of Winterhold plus the thousands of troops in Skyrim who would march to the defence of their fellow Nords we need not fear such weaklings. I can call on heroes from Sovngarde, the Sons of Talos and many others to join in the fun. What a glorious battle it would be! Have you ever seen a dragon swoop out of the sky so fast you can hardly turn your head quick enough to follow and then it burns alive hundreds of troops in a single pass! The screams are like music to my ears and I can’t wait. I know Rigmor will love it hey Ser Robere?

(The little weasel was turning white.)

I understand. The glorious vision of such a magnificent slaughter of ones enemies can leave one speechless and, umm, a bit rigid in the nether regions if you know what I mean. Excuse me while I rearrange things.

As I adjusted my trousers a bit I asked, “Is that why all those milk-drinkers stormed out as if we had slapped them in the face with a wet herring?”

“Exactly but I don’t think the Emperor knows about the plot. Once the coronation is over I intend to inform my father of Morag Sethius and her possible motives. He will know what to do.”

Then why did Sethius leave with the rest of them? Surely Morag would have told him to stay so she could be alone with the conspirators and discuss this disaster that has befallen them? It would have been wiser to hedge bets and have him congratulate you and Rigmor.

“Ummm…”

Your father will know exactly what to do! He will drink some mead. Bed a lusty wench or two. Strap on some armour and lead his troops in the glory of the upcoming battles. I am sure he could find a spot for you in the forward lines next to him.

“Yes well…”

It will be difficult waiting till after the coronation to paint the blood of my enemies on my face! What can you tell me about Morag apart from giving you a trouser tent every time you see her?

“Sure… um… Morag had always been there. Many years ago we were based in the Colovian Highlands. My father was a local bandit chieftain and Sethius arrived with 200 men. They had parley and we were to join them. Morag was already with Sethius. He never went anywhere without her. Over the coming years Sethius banded together all the bandit chiefs in the border regions. We became unstoppable, even before Titus Mede II mysteriously disappeared.”

Nothing mysterious at all. I know exactly who did it.

“You do! Oh, on very rare occasions Morag would disappear. Nobody knew where, but she always came back looking younger than she left.”

Probably the hot springs near the Eldergleam Sanctuary. People swear by them.

“Ah… OK… Morag has maintained her looks to this day. Leading to rumours… “

So whose idea was it to pinch my throne?

“Your… what? Sethius didn’t want to usurp the Imperial Throne and neither did my father. Morag Sethius insisted!”

Important lesson there Ser Robere. If Rigmor says jump you ask how high and immediately. If you had the chance would you have not done the same and taken the throne? I would have to kill you for being on my throne though.

“Sethius did not want to as I said. Morag has some sort of power over him Guardian. You would think what she has already she would be happy with that.”

After your wedding night you will know what power women have Ser Robere.

“Are you OK Guardian?”

Perfectly fine Ser Robere. You were saying about Morag?

“She seems to thrive on causing dissent, scheming and sowing seeds of discord. None of that matters now, Bruma will have the support of not only the house of Leyawiin but Anvil, Skingrad and Bravil plus Quintus’ Western Army.”

That is the spirit Ser Robere! I would be honoured if you joined me on my Dragon for the first battle of the campaign.

“Sounds… ah… great. So my work is done here and I have you to thank for it. But I would love to be a fly on the wall later if you catch my drift. Beware of Blackwell, he has taken a keen interest since you arrived.”

He has! Not really my type but then again choice is scarce with all the security. Do you think he would like me in leather? Should I get him flowers… or some sweet rolls maybe… Mmmm…

“Are you that way?”

You don’t think they would let a big fit man who isn’t that way spend so much time with Rigmor, in her room, next to her bed, when she has nothing on and is sometimes hot and sweaty with rivulets of perspiration running down between her…

“OK Guardian. I get the picture. I bid you goodnight, take care of Rigmor for me. After the coronation tomorrow we can plan our wedding and set things in motion.”

I know! A whip. A nice new whip and maybe a ball gag. Oh, sorry Ser Robere, good night.

Robere walk away muttering to himself with the occasional look behind at me followed by a shake of the head.

(‘That was weird… even for you!’ If I had not amused myself then his engagement to Rigmor would have been cut short by at least a head.)

I approached Rigmor and said, “Milady Rigmor. I think the wonderful news of your engagement to that nice young fellow and the slight illness you had yesterday have caught up with you. May I suggest a nice afternoon nap would be in order?”

“I think that is a good idea Guardian. My heart is all a flutter. What a wonderful surprise don’t you think?”

She turned to the remaining nobles and said, “Thank you all for your support. I will see you all at the coronation tomorrow.”

They bid Rigmor farewell and she said to me, “Lead on Guardian. I do need that lie down!”

We walked to the Private Rooms in silence. When we entered Rigmor sat at the table. I sat opposite and said, “That was not easy for you Milady Rigmor. Are you feeling OK?”

“I feel sick to the stomach if you must know.”

I stood up and addressed the wall, “I am sick of this subterfuge crap. Get ready for some juicy bits and why don’t you get a real job!”

I sat down and Rigmor laughed then asked, “What did Bobby want?”

He claims Chorrol and Cheydinhal, with Morag’s help, want to carve up Bruma between them.

“But why?”

To balance the power amongst the nobles. It actually kind of, sort of, makes a bit of sense.

“Is that what all this is about? This is the reason we’re here and not what we thought?”

I don’t think so. I have not said a bad word about Bobby since arriving from Skyrim but now is the time I think. I have only survived doing the things I do because I have a great sense of intuition and an uncanny ability to smell bullshit. Bobby sets off my alarm bells and I think he is playing us. Please Rigmor, I am not saying this because of your previous relationship. I am saying this as your Guardian.

“You will have to do a good job of convincing me about Bobby. I am not easily fooled either and their anger and walk out seemed pretty real to me.”

Rigmor got up and started pacing around while listing the known facts, “Morag storming off and I noticed Chorrol and Cheydinhal left pretty quickly too. We are in the heart of the Imperial Palace Dragonborn. These people don’t do play acting to such a huge scale.”

Bobby said he does not think the Emperor knows of the plan yet he stormed out with them. That stumped Bobby when I mentioned it to him. They all gave me a deadly look as they passed. It is if I had something to do with ruining their plans.

“There may still be something in what Bobby said.”

You are much better with local politics than me. I am having difficulty making sense of it all.

“It is like they pick up on things, anything, and use it to mess with your head.”

Rigmor sat on the bed and I on the chair. I told Rigmor, “Bobby’s proposal and your acceptance had upset the apple cart. There was an instant division between those who approved and very visibly disapproved. Of course some who remained in the room may have been a bit slower working through the pluses and minuses for their city.

“Yes, it was very instant wasn’t it!”

To confuse me even further was what Blackwell said.

“What did he say?”

He thought whatever happened in the power shift was my plan and that it was genius. He seemed to enjoy the thought I had outwitted Morag.

“Blackwell is the best player of them all and that is why he survived the disappearance of Mede and got the advisory job with Sethius.  There is no love lost for the Lord Chancellor. He might not even know about the plot between Morag, Chorrol and Cheydinhal.”

As you said he is the best and I doubt he would miss the machinations behind such a plot. If there is a plot why would it come about?

“Let us assume what Bobby said is true. I can see how it benefits each player except Morag. Why would she want to balance the power? The only thing I can think of is that she fears Leyawiin. It has the strongest force right?”

You are very good at this my beloved. That was very clever.

“What? I didn’t do anything.”

If Bobby marries you he becomes the Count of Bruma. Leyawiin would then have most, if not all, the best playing pieces!

“Of course! He would have the support of Anvil, Bravil, Skingrad and Quintus’ army in the West.”

Oh no Rigmor. I would never have wished this to happen. I am sorry.

Rigmor said angrily, “BY THE GODS. Bobby doesn’t want me. HE WANTS BRUMA! If I were to marry him he would become Count by default. Morag did not storm out because of any plot she had with Chorrol and Cheydinhal being subverted. She was upset because the balance of power has just become weighed in the favour of The Count of Leyawiin. Does that ignorant rude man want the Imperial Crown for himself?”

Let us say Blackwell thought you were genuinely going to marry Bobby and seal that alliance between your cities. He may then have assumed we planned this shift of power with father and son Leyawiin. That would explain The Chancellor’s comments to me.

Rigmor’s anger boiled over. She stood and then stormed across the room saying rather too loudly for my liking, “Pffft! You know what? All this bullshit makes me want to go knocking on the Emperor’s door and say to his ugly face, ‘Hey arsehole! I have got a real Royal bloodline that goes back to the Emperor Mede the first. Who between us is the commoner and who is the real noble? So go bite me!”

I rushed to her and she turned towards me. I said, “Honestly, I think there is a lot of resentment towards Bruma and your family.  I believe it is not just about position and money. It is how and why Titus Mede II gave such a gift to somebody who was not even playing their stupid game. Some might have been genuinely sorry about the Count’s accident, the girl’s disappearance and the mother’s suicide. I guarantee in no time all empathy was lost. They would all have been manoeuvring for parts if not all of Bruma. Intricate plans put in place to lure Mede into accepting their claims. Then he ignores them all and gives the title and deeds to you. ‘Who the fuck does she think she is? My little Girl/Boy deserved a chunk of that and not that foreign bitch!’

“My family was noble before it was ripped apart. When we returned the average citizens knew who we were but not of our pre-disaster nobility. That is because we lived amongst the people and had no airs or graces. To those who knew us we were just a well-respected family torn apart by the Thalmor. My father had been awarded a family crest and so on for his services. That was acceptable to these people as he never tried to get a piece of their pie. I have no doubt he would have been the target for the same hostility if he did.”

I assume Freathof and Malesam did not want to ever stress your previous nobility either. That would have drawn attention to your pre disappearance and greater scrutiny of your family history.

“Correct. If you trace all of these families at some stage some Emperor gave them their titles. Mine is by blood, not given for services rendered. Yet I have not tried to use it to get a bigger piece of their pie. If they did know my nobility is by blood then a lot of the hostility would be gone. Only the Emperor and those who rely on his good will, the Leyawiin, would care and worry.”

So in reality keeping it a secret has probably increased the hostility from the Counts and Countesses but kept you safe from the Emperor. If you had announced your bloodline when Titus Mede II was alive you would have probably been marched into this cesspool as Empress after his disappearance.

“But I never wanted that!”

If you are the last one on Nirn with a bloodline from a previous Emperor you would have automatically become the Empress by default and you would have no say in it. That is still the case now but there is an incumbent so you are labelled a pretender instead. If Sethius were to die and your bloodline known that would be the scenario. Empress Rigmor.

“Except if he is replaced by somebody who won the throne via right of combat. So if I go to trial as a pretender does this reverence for my Royal bloodline help or hinder?”

It helps with the sentencing but increases your physical danger outside of the trial. Any nobility, even if the others personally think you a commoner, prevents the death penalty right now because of that agreement you all signed. Without your Royal blood your estate could be happily chopped up and given to others as in the scenario Robere outlined. There would be no need for a vote of confidence as a guilty verdict automatically stains the family name.

“But if I have Royal Blood then their reverence for it and fear of me becoming Empress would probably ensure my estate and family name is left alone. Who would want to be living in Bruma Castle if I ever became Empress? Who would want to be seen profiting from a possible future Empresses’ misfortune?”

This is all speculation as we are not experts on any of this. All I am sure of is that your Royal blood makes it more likely they would try and ensure you do not survive your exile.

“You know, it is like a kind of violence, what they say and do, how they can instil fear into someone with just words. Makes you sick to the stomach with fear and worry. I feel like a rat caught in a trap.”

They chose the wrong Guardian. Malesam would have been better at protecting you in this type of environment than me. I am terrified. This is not a place for a killing machine such as myself. It is a place for those who don’t mind crawling in the sewers of spying and political machinations. Unfortunately it is I who is here. It seems we no longer have a choice. We have to get ourselves dirty and play the game as best we can. Just you accepting Robere’s proposal has placed us in the middle of it all anyway.

“So who do we believe?”

Exactly! We do not have enough information on who to believe, who to trust.

“So we need more information but how?”

Robere could be setting us up for a fall but it seems one thing he said can be easily confirmed. See the banner next to my bed. I mean the nice comfy real bed, not the chair.

“What about it?”

According to Robere the breeze is caused by a ventilation shaft that connects all rooms.

“You are not seriously thinking about crawling around in that thing eavesdropping are you?”

We have to do something Rigmor. We have to try and find out who is telling the truth.

“What about me?”

If you do not wish me to go then I will not leave your side. I am not going to make promises that you will be OK. I do not know how far away I will be. I asked you yesterday to help me with these damn guesses and decisions. This is the sort of uncertainty I deal with all the time. An occasional clue from The Divine would be great!

“I don’t think we have a choice Dragonborn. As for Malesam being a better choice as Guardian. Pffft!”

I will be as quick as I can. Why don’t you do something to calm your nerves. Since we do not give a stuff about being discreet any more, why not change into something more ‘ladylike’.

“I would love that! Hey, what if you bump into one of the spies in that shaft?”

This shaft is too obvious. It is not well hidden and if I had slept in that bed the moving banner would have led me to it. There will be other hidey holes we would probably never find without being shown. No real spy would use this thing.

“Remember Dragonborn, this was our decision. I have an idea for a poem that will keep me busy. I will be OK.”

With that I climbed through a trapdoor into the ventilation shaft.

The first vent was of course Rigmor’s room. I whispered, “Psst… lady… when are ya goin to take them clothes orf?”

I got a “Yeah, right. Pfffft!”

The second vent I came to was for the Chorrol slime:

  • Lady Chorrol: You are going to have to tread carefully. Who knows, with the Leyawiin boy marrying that common strumpet, the real Nobility in this land could be squeezed out completely. I don’t trust any of them, least of all Morag Sethius.
  • Count Chorrol: We shall have to wait and see my dear. After all, now the Count of Anvil’s daughter has agreed to marry our son, Leyawiin’s influence will diminish and ours will grow. Also with Anvil’s family ties to Skingrad, the West will become much more secure. Quintus’ army sits on the border of Hammerfell as we speak and comes under Anvil’s jurisdiction.
  • Lady Chorrol: What of Cheydinhal in all this?
  • Count Chorrol: The Count of Cheydinhal doesn’t like what is happening one little bit. He cannot imagine why Bruma would relent and sign the decree unless there’s something more… sinister going on. It was madness to sign! Bruma was perfectly within its rights to remain a Free City under International Law.
  • Lady Chorrol: Why would the countess change her mind now? All she had to do was buff Sethius off. I would have sent Blackwell packing with an arrow up his arse and then reached out to us and Cheydinhal.
  • Count Chorrol: She could have reached out to all provinces. Sethius wouldn’t dare to touch her. It does make you wonder of the reasons the Leyawiin boy took such an interest in her… to think we almost had it in the bag…

Malesam and Freathof better have damn good reasons why they insisted Rigmor sign the decree and why I was not told about the Free City revocation when she did. I was sent in blind to a situation that should never have occurred in the first place. There are three possibilities,

  1. One or both are playing for another team. I do not know enough about Freathof but Malesam doing as his Mistress tells him is a real possibility. That is dangerous. It may be a wild card The Divine had not counted on. Setting things up so their mortals will make certain free choices is one thing. Reacting quickly enough to a Daedric Lord’s plans around ‘ripples in the void’ is another. Malesam said Boethia had detected ripples or nodes as I call them. If that immortal bitch can see a possible profit she will ask her minions to do things not planned around by Akatosh. She did not help with information I needed to help Rigmor till I got ‘Scourge’ for her and defeated her champions. In this case she could be betting on an outcome and not give a stuff of the ripple effect. She could make The Divine’s preferred timeline impossible. Before the Dragon Fires and Martin’s shield the immortals appeared on Nirn and ensured their will was done. Now the Daedric Princes can have projections but to physically appear at all, like Hermaeus Mora did when he killed Storn, requires a whole lot of circumstances and power. Hermaeus managed that because Storn was carrying a gateway to Apocrypha, a Black Book, in his hand. They rely on mortal free will. No Daedra follower can ever honestly say they were made to do something. His Mistress will not stop my wrath if this suspicion proves true.
  2. Both were simply incompetent. To me this is the most palatable but also the most unlikely answer.
  3. The Devine and/or Daedric Lords have the ability to influence free will not just by setting up circumstances but more directly. Rigmor deciding to do no more than rely on two letters to resolve our relationship. Malesam not telling me about the Free City revocation. Decisions forced and not free will. This is frightening and makes me wonder if all decisions I have made are mine? Fuck that! I will think about it later.
  4. A fourth just occurred. Sigunn, Freathof and Malesam are playing the game. Rigmor and I being here and now is part of a grand stratagem. Unlikely but still possible.

Did the conversation prove or disprove what Robere told me? The main points are,

  1. ‘Lady Chorrol does not trust Morag.’ Nobody does! It would not stop them making the deal Robere outlined.
  2. ‘There is a marriage agreement between Anvil and Chorrol.’ That makes sense if they wished to weaken Leyawiin.
  3. ‘Cheydinhal mystified why Rigmor signed the Decree.’ This mistake by Rigmor has given Cheydinhal and Chorrol a chance to scheme with Morag. It is natural to wonder why this mistake was made. Was it part of another plan?
  4. “Rigmor could have ignored Blackwell and Chorrol and Cheydinhal would have supported her.” It would have had political and economic advantages. Not because they are friend of even like Rigmor. Plans changed when she signed. Now they will have to change again.
  5. “Chorrol almost has it in the bag.” This to me proves what Robere told me is true. Rigmor signed the Decree, Chorrol started to believe their plan was working then Robere caused havok

On the balance of it Robere was telling the truth about the Morag/Chorrol/Cheydinhal plan.

Did he find out by spying? Maybe or, being the paranoid political game player I am now, he found out the plan from somebody else. Even from Morag. That is the type of game Rigmor and I are now involved in.

(‘Can’t we just kill them? This is giving me a headache.’ It is my head that hurts beast and no, we can’t kill them.)

Third vent was the Leyawiin duo. Robert knew I would be spying and was laying it on thick like I still believed he loved Rigmor. Maybe his idiot father might let something slip.

  • Count Leyawiin: Well my boy, I would have never thought you would have made such a proposal in front of… everyone.
  • Ser Robere: Father, when are you going to come to terms with the fact I love Rigmor. Why is it such an issue?
  • Count Leyawiin: I had hoped you would marry into nobility. I don’t want to disrespect your Rigmor, she’s a great girl, but she’s hard work Bobby. You said it yourself. She had constant mood swing, she’s argumentative, she has baggage. Look, she’s not even a native of Cyrodiil.
  • Ser Robere: That is where you are wrong and I won’t hear of it. She was born in Cyrodiil to respected parents.
  • Count Leyawiin: Hahaha! You are just a young fool blinded by love. She is a Nordling, a Barbarian. Just because a dog is born in a stable it doesn’t make it a horse and your Rigmor is no thoroughbred. Marrying into Imperial nobility would make something of you one day. Command respect and an army to conquer new regions, territories or even provinces. Instead of counting icicles on that mountain with her Guardian breathing down your neck. The county is worthless… and full of Nords. Love doesn’t create Empires my boy, those are made by blood. Blood and guts on your sword. Even though your intentions are sincere with Rigmor and marrying this girl will indeed help our cause. It will help strengthen our position here in the province only slightly. You still have a lot to learn.
  • Ser Robere: Lady Rigmor is going to be my wife and I will hear no more of it.

What do I make of this? Robere is a very good liar who has just given himself away.

  • Robere’s father does not seem very concerned his son just wrecked Sethius’ plans for Bruma. Robere said to me yesterday, “My father told the other Counts and Countesses that the Emperor has plans for Bruma and they should no longer be concerned.”
  • He also said, “As you know my father is the Count of Leyawiin. He commands the largest force but is loyal only to Sethius, as am I.”
  • You would think that if his father was loyal to Sethius he would have discouraged his son from marrying Rigmor yet yesterday he asked, “So when are you going to pop the question to this beautiful damsel?”
  • When Count Leyawiin was supposed to have mentioned Sethius had plans for Bruma, would that of not prompted those working with Morag to ask what plans?
  • Count Leyawiin thinks very little of Bruma and considers the potential gain from a marriage as slight. Surely not the gain he would get from telling Robere to back out of it and leave Bruma to the Emperor?

You are a lying piece of shit Robere. Very good but your own cleverness has tripped you up.

(‘Can I kill him now?’ No. We need more proof than me trying to sort out this mess using logic.)

There was a ladder I had to climb to get to what I assumed were the Royal Suites.

I found myself listening to Blackwell and Sethius.

  • Sethius: Ah! Blackwell, enter.
  • Blackwell: My Lord, you summoned me?
  • Sethius: Yes and you had better have something good for me Blackwell. Who is he and what is he doing here? More to the point, how did he manage to surface out of thin air and become such a problem?
  • Blackwell: Is Milady present? I am sure she would like to hear.
  • Sethius: She… she will be back shortly. She needed to visit her… her father. Please continue.
  • Blackwell: Little is known from the time he spent with the Countess. Very little is noted or recorded in manuscript. We know they worked together to stop the New Order incursion into Skyrim. We do know he is the last Dragonborn. Reportedly the most lethal killer in all Tamriel.
  • Sethius: Somebody must have brought them together for a reason.
  • Blackwell: He was hired to protect Rigmor from the New Order, a breakaway sect native of Alinor that tried to overthrow the Isle and invade Cyrodiil. He was only publicly recognised by the public as the Dragonborn after Rigmor was no longer with him.
  • Sethius: Did you recognise who he was when you first saw him? Surely his face is well known! I find it disturbing such a killer was in the same room as your Emperor.
  • Blackwell: I first saw him when I delivered your ultimatum to Lady Sigunn. He was in the uniform of an Imperial General and I simply thought he was next in line for parley and dismissed him from my mind. The next time I saw him was when I entered the meeting yesterday to tell everybody you were delayed. He was wearing his full uniform with helmet and I still did not recognise him. I have seen no news sheets with him dressed as such. It was only a little while ago I recognised him. I talked to him after Ser Robere sprung his surprise. He was wearing his famous armour that all pictures I have seen depict him wearing. After a quick discussion with him about the marriage proposal I rushed to my quarters to see what was known prior and after his time with Rigmor. That is where and when I received your summons My Lord.
  • Sethius: Somebody must have known who he was and decided a man of his skill was needed to Guard Rigmor. But what did the New Order want with her?
  • Blackwell: The girl disappeared for years until she resurfaced at the Battle of Whiterun. She was linked to a Khajiit Emissary who frequented the Imperial Court and had the ear of the Council of Elders. It was all kept very quiet, a matter for the Council and heads of state. I was not privy to the proceedings and instead was asked to take care of the affairs of the province. A job I continued to do after the disappearance of the Emperor until…
  • Sethius: Yes, not pleasant for you to witness was it. Please go on Lord Chancellor.
  • Blackwell: After the New Order were crushed the Thalmor made good their time in Cyrodiil erasing all evidence. After the events Titus Mede II bestowed upon the girl the noble title of Bruma County. Supposedly for the exemplary service she provided in stopping the New Order. As I said earlier, her time with the Dragonborn is not well documented. There may have been other actions she was involved in leading up to that decisive battle that we know nothing about. Rigmor and the Dragonborn parted ways almost immediately after that victory. It was about eighteen months later when the Emperor disappeared. That is all we know. I spent some time dealing with the remnants of the Dark Brotherhood and had not pursued further knowledge of her till recently. The Thalmor were expelled when the White-Gold agreement was signed and they left so little of their records behind the trail went cold.
  • Sethius: I don’t like it Blackwell! She was only meant to sign the document. Do you think Rigmor and the Dragonborn are complicit in a possible plot with Leyawiin?
  • Blackwell: The balance of power here in Cyrodiil is constantly changing. At first it was prudent to have friends loyal to you such as Leyawiin to hold the upper hand amongst the counties. Your position relies on fealty and although there is no evidence of subterfuge there is a rivalry between the counties that has now become so very obvious. The announcement of the marriage between Bruma and Leyawiin has only added to the suspicions of their rivals.
  • Sethius: I can understand that politicking. It is a natural state of affair here. I am at a loss about the naming Rigmor as the Countess of Bruma. She may well have earned her nobility through her actions against the New Order but such things are usually listed in the writ bestowing the titles and deeds. The previous Emperor has left too much mystery by simply saying, ‘For her actions against the New Order’. Surely I am not the only one who asks what is so special about her. Something he did not want on the writ. Perhaps the very reason she is important enough for the Dragonborn to be involved in Skyrim and now Cyrodiil.

Morag Sethius entered.

  • Morag: I’ll tell you why she is so special. So special to have at her side the most dangerous killer in all Tamriel. Of course it is now all so obvious. It all fits in the ripples in the fabric of the void. How she hid her truths. She has been hiding it for years, afraid for her very life. Cursed by her blood from the day she was born. A product of a liaison that produced a Royal bastard. Her veins coursing with the Royal blood of the dynasty we usurped. Her Guardian, a half beast Dragonslayer, Champion of Boethia and the Defeater of Alduin. She is a pretender by default and I want her. I want them both Lord Chancellor.
  • Blackwell: We would need evidence before we could touch her. A confession or someone to testify.
  • Morag: Hahaha. The girl will confess even if I have to do it myself. And as for her guardian.

Morag looked directly at the vent and my blood went cold. She said, “Aren’t you mean to be protecting your beloved Rigmor Dragonborn?

Then she laughed and I knew I had been set up by Robere and Morag. Fell right into their trap. This time there was no arrow to the neck and sword thrust thrice to bring me sweet relief from the immediate guilt and sense of failure. Please Divines, Azura, any fucking thing listening. Do not let me hear her being dragged away whilst calling my name. Please, please, please, I beg, I plead, no utterance of ‘mercy’ do I want to hear!

(‘She needs you. I know I am of no use for this. Go to her. I will not interfere.’)

We knew this might happen. I must assume The Divine want this or a Daedric Lord has forced it. It does not really matter. If Malesam is true and can be trusted then there is a sequence to be followed. No force of arms will save her at the moment. We have gone from the murky undefined rules of the political game to the strict rules of law. To help Rigmor I must allow the law to control her for now. Obey the law and I help Rigmor.

I slowly made my way back to our room. I could hear no sobbing or angry words. I had a quick look though the vent and was relieved to see Praetorian Guards and no New Empire troops were surrounding Rigmor. She looked calm and she looked beautiful.

I entered the room via the vent and ensured my hands were far away from my weapons. A Praetorian officer said, “Halt, I implore you good Sir, to hold your weapons or the lady Rigmor will be summarily executed.”

I pose no threat to Imperial troops doing their duty Captain. No need to threaten violence upon Milady.

“We know that Sir but we have to stick to the script. Regulations Sir. Anyway, The Countess of Bruma is charged with treason and will stand trial at the nearest opportunity. She will be taken to the Imperial City Prison to await the arrival of her attorney. No harm will befall her as long as you comply with the law. You are to remain here under house arrest for the time being until further notice.”

With all due respect Captain, you know as well as I that my best behaviour will not guarantee Milady will remain unharmed. Once again you have no need to fear my actions. I ask you to do what you can to mitigate the actions of others that may cause her harm.

My beloved spoke with courage and dignity, “It is OK Dragonborn. I am kind of glad it ends this way. I feel relieved in a way. Have Malesam take care of my things for me. Whatever happens at the trial, please do not screw it up OK?”

Rigmor, I will respect the law as long as it respects you. You have my word on that. Malesam will be the lead in what happens during this phase. He was hired for his ability with law as much as his knowledge of the politics.

“I might not get another chance to speak to you in person again. Even during the trial it may not be permitted. I know we have talked about all this before but, if I do not make it, please do not blame yourself.”

I will uphold that promise we made in that beautiful place where the flowers bloomed, the light on the water held wisdom and the deer leapt. Where a beautiful child thought she could hide from all the cruelty of this world.

“I want you to know this and remember it and never doubt it. I love you. I have always loved you. I will always love you. We are one. One heart. One soul. One destiny moving forward.”

Oh, my beloved beautiful Rigmor. I know. To the core of my soul. I know.

“Goodbye Dragonborn.”

Rigmor. Know this and use it as a shield against cruelty. Robere lied. He voluntarily conspired with Morag. He was not coerced.

I could see her anger bubble to the surface. I know this woman. I know she will not cry over wasted affection. She will use that knowledge as further incentive to survive. She will want to confront him and try and understand how one person can do that to another. She might never understand. We cannot think as creatures like him.

She turned and nodded. She is now as armoured against Morag as I could make her in such short a time. I just hope she does not blame Morag for corrupting Robere. He was born corrupt.

I watched them march her out. I bet they have never used this many heavy Praetorian Guards before for a single prisoner. It is a pity I am so mistrusted when it comes to the law.

As Rigmor was leaving Blackwell entered the room. I was not good at this political game. I will no longer try and be clever. I will stick to what I know. The truth never hurt anyone! Isn’t that a motto parents tell their children knowing it to be a lie.

Eventually there was only myself, Blackwell and his two goons in the room. We stared measuring each other. Eventually he said, “You made a very serious misjudgement coming here. I know it is no consolation but no one knew about her ties to the Mede dynasty. It was a complete surprise. Suffice to say, she kept her secret well. Please sit.”

Blackwell sat in a chair. I sat on the bed I have never used.

I said, “It was a judgment made in ignorance. I was not provided with all the facts. But nobody is to blame. The Divine wanted it this way and here we are.”

“Yes, Champion of The Divine isn’t it. Morag did not mention that one.”

There were many she did not mention because her Daddy didn’t tell her. What do you want Blackwell?

“Actually I came to ask the same thing. Why would the Countess come down from the mountain and pledge her support? She was protected under International Law. However much the Emperor demanded it, she was well within her rights to ignore his demands.”

She received bad counselling. Whether that be intentional or manipulation of the Gods I am yet to find out. She was told she had to sign the Decree and risked war otherwise. I knew nothing about the revocation of Free City status till we were already in the vipers nest. She couldn’t be certain if her secret was known or not so I was sent as her guarantor. To ensure people thought twice about dealing with her outside the law so to speak.

“The sudden urgency of Sethius wanting her to attend, and I remember you witnessed my ‘ultimatum’ to Lady Sigunn, would have made any advisor suspect we knew.”

I wondered why they were worried about her attending here when she could have been picked up at any of the regular spots she visited with Ser Robere. I did not have time to learn all the intricacies of Cyrodiil law and politics. I now understand the paranoia that made them think you must have known.

“Of course… and I bet you have prepared for this very situation in advance. Pray tell me, what of the Leyawiin boy. Where does he fit in all this? Was Lady Rigmor involved in a plot?”

I swear by The Divine she simply wanted to sign the Decree and go home. Nothing more.

“I would have believed you without that sacred oath Dragonborn. I must admit though you had me fooled. I thought this was all about the struggle for power between the Noble Houses. That the joining of the Houses of Bruma and Leyawiin was part of a plan. But it wasn’t was it?”

It was not. Milady Rigmor has never been interested in power or politics. She simply wanted to go home and do the best she could for the people of Bruma.

“Ser Robere’s proposal, for whatever reason, was seen as a way out. The Countess was prepared to make that sacrifice to live in peace. I can understand why she made that decision. With what she knew about herself, she must have felt very scared, even desperate.”

When Emperor Titus Mede II was around people did not look too much into his writ giving her those deeds and titles. I was not surprised to find you had been poking around. I understand how it feels to be told to guard something with facts hidden from you. You were told to look after the province with information withheld. When the Emperor disappeared Rigmor and her advisors expected his correspondence and records to be investigated and her secret revealed. It was very difficult for her and it was making her unwell.

“The trial will take place tomorrow. I have already sent word to her court adviser. He is a knowledgeable man and will represent her well and will arrive in the morning. They will need evidence to find a verdict or they will have to let her go.”

I am shocked Blackwell. Do you mean to tell me the knowledge gained from a Daedric Lord is not admissible?

“No, it certainly is not and it does not matter whose mouth speaks it. Rigmor will be interrogated and offered a chance to confess in return for her freedom. She would then have to give up her titles and leave the province. I do hope she has some resolve as confessing won’t help her, not now.”

We know that Blackwell, that is why I am here. We know they will try and hunt her down and will be relentless. So was the New Order. That should be an excellent lesson on what happens when people threaten those I love. I am many times more powerful than then and I doubt any of the slime here could muster the size of the armies the New Order had. We now have many more times the troops willing to fight for her including a large percentage of the real Imperial troops within this province. Milady Rigmor is regarded as much a hero as I am. You know how Nords love their heroes. If the Emperor wishes to keep the Empire in one piece he would be well advised not to mess with the innocent protected by myself and my friends. Do your homework Blackwell. I could be the greatest threat to Sethius or his greatest defender. He chooses. He has to keep control of those who should obey him or be held accountable like any other leader of men.

As for Milady’s resolve under interrogation. For three years she was beaten and whipped by the Thalmor and their toadies. Your current Emperor wanted to know why she was given the titles? It was not because of alleged Royal blood. It was your former Emperor trying to make amends for what happened to Rigmor’s father. One of the greatest heroes of Tamriel’s history sacrificed for the White Gold Concordat. He was portrayed as a war criminal, his name besmirched and his family imprisoned. He confessed to save them and was betrayed once again. He died and his false confession used to justify leaving Rigmor and her mother to the loving embrace of those monsters. They were still terrified of her dead father and even more terrified of his young teenage daughter even when she was beaten and still shackled. That is why her records were hidden from you Blackwell. Rigmor was given Bruma by a guilt ridden Emperor who was ashamed of his actions.

I understand the need to make sacrifices for the good of all. Sometimes those sacrifices fight back.

“Thank you for filling in some of the blanks of Titus Mede IIs rule. I have my reasons for telling you this. You see, I am rather fond of the Countess. Even more so after your enlightening description of her tragic history. However, my loyalty is to the seat of the Imperial Throne and not who occupies it. You must know that I will pursue the bidding of the Emperor, no matter who, no matter my personal opinion or thoughts to the letter of the law. I will execute any orders I see fit to protect and serve with absolute, unwavering ruthlessness. It isn’t personal but it is vitally important we understand each other.”

There is your advantage Blackwell. I am restricted by a moral code not because The Divine forces it upon me but as a free choice. If I wished to be ruthless I would be unstoppable. I would unleash powers not seen since Tiber Septim. Not just those of The Divine but those I have learned from the most evil of Daedric Lords. There is only one thing that would create such a monster and that is the death of Rigmor, Countess of Bruma. Do we understand each other? I think we do.

“Good, I am glad you understand because if you listened carefully, if you paid attention, what then… Dragonborn?”

(So basically we both know the score. For now we will both fight for our respective sides with everything we have. He can handle doing anything needed while I have lines I currently will not cross. If we are in the position to take the Ruby Throne he will happily serve either of us in the same capacity. Our own little ruthless Blackwell to eliminate those pesky problems for us! Such as, for example, taking care of a man who owns a dog that kills some chickens.)

Blackwell stood and said, “I am also to escort you to the Imperial Chamber. Lady Sethius requires an audience. You will be able to talk freely to her, with impunity. Please come this way.”

As we walked to the Chamber I had a discussion within myself. I think I talk to the beast as I have no companions travelling with me. Even Meeko gave good opinions sometimes.

(You did well and I need you to keep quiet with Morag as well. I will get plenty mad enough I think. ‘I will watch with anticipation.’)

We entered the chamber and Morag had her back to us.

At the bottom of the first set of stairs Blackwell announced, “Ahem, Guardian and Protector to the Countess of Bruma Milady.”

Morag waited for Blackwell to exit and close the doors. We were alone. No Guards. They didn’t need any. They had Rigmor.

Finally she turned and said, “Come forward Guardian, or should I say Dragonborn.”

“I summoned you here because I wanted to see you up close, in the flesh. To look upon your face.”

Then look.

“Hahaha, please do not tell me you are just like the rest of them, play acting the good high and mighty champion of the poor and downtrodden. Good does not always mean right. But you of all people should know that. If you could call yourself a person. What are you, a half breed or a half beast?”

Neither. I am a mortal like you once were. Except my God gave me powers far beyond yours out of love for me and all the other mortals on Nirn. I did not have to spread my legs and get raped by Daddy.

“You are a product of your environment, nothing more, nothing less. You are what you are. A cold instinctive killer who would take no more notice of a pin in your little finger than the destruction of a whole entire nation.”

Your Daddy does not give you anything useful does he? I have killed over 2600 man and mer and not once has it been out of pure anger, greed or jealousy. I have refrained and taught others not to kill something for what it is. I only kill a being for what it has done or is trying to do. If I was as you describe I would be on that throne. Do you really think you could stop the power of Tiber Septim if unleashed without restraint?

“We are one and the same you and I.”

Now this I have to hear. Go ahead.

“You are the epitome of hypocrisy. How many dragons have you slain to become what you are now? How many of their souls have you violated and sucked into your essence to attain your power? Far more than I? A soul is a soul Dragonslayer. It matters not from who you take it but the very act itself. How many men, women and children have you slaughtered without the blink of an eye? Or  a remorseful back glance at some poor wretch you left lying in the snow in a pool of their own blood?”

I do not kill innocents. Souls are not just souls. Some are earned. Others are stolen. I take mine from dragons who attack me or innocents first. They fight back and the weakest would crush you like a bug. They decide to risk their souls. I kill them and earn the souls they risked. What have I used their souls for? To enrich myself? Definitely not. To conquer nations? I could, but I don’t. I use them to fight and kill evil monsters like you. Monsters that try to kill and enslave the innocents you say I kill without remorse. If I hadn’t defeated Alduin we would not even be standing here having this riveting conversation. There are others I used my God given gifts to defeat. Others that would have wiped you from existence. You do not fight for your souls against a deadly opponent. You kill little children who mean you no harm and could do you no harm. They have not chosen to risk their souls. You have chosen for them! What do you use their souls for? Nothing, your Daddy has them. You steal their souls for Daddy. You use their flesh and blood to make yourself look pretty in the mirror. We are opposites Morag. I do not have to claim the high moral ground. My actions and deeds as recorded in history award me that accolade without doubt or equivocation.

“You are judge, jury and executioner because of some entitled moral high ground? You killed my children Dragonslayer! My brood. Did they not have a right to live, to grow and to multiply. Yet you took it upon yourself to execute them all. Not content with having saved your ward and with true righteous bigotry you delivered the sentence of death where you had no legal right. Leaving them in their own bloody fucking mess!”

Do I not have the right to defend myself? I walked into the Bloodlet Throne looking for a little girl your brood had kidnapped. On the way to finding her only one of your brood died. He attacked me first and he died. Is that no the same as the law here? When we found my ward she was surrounded by the wolves your brood set upon her to kill in your barbaric dinner ritual. They did not kill her because one of my God’s, Kyne, or Kynareth if you wish, made her a friend of wolves. The Divine wanted her alive. Your Daddy was too weak to overcome the blessing of a Divine. We were escorting the girl out of that place with no further threat to your brood and they attacked us. Most were killed by the same wolves they had ordered to kill my ward. When my ward was safe I continued to look for the soul of a girl who escaped the clutches of your Daddy. Once again every death was your children attacking me. I reunited the little girl with her mother. Her love for her child allowed her to track your brood down. That child’s will too strong for your pathetic Daddy. Same as the Divine blessing on my ward was. I did not execute your brood. They committed suicide. The blood in the fucking mess was not their own. It was the blood of the most precious thing on this planet, innocent children. The same children you just accused me of killing without remorse. You are the hypocrite here.

“Hmm, I like you. It is such a pity we are on opposite sides. I would make you my Emperor and discard the weak fool. He has already outlived his purpose… if you can call it that. Is the Black Widow wrong to devour its mate the instant it has copulated? It is within the nature of the beast. The endless cycle of life and death played to a backdrop of a world that couldn’t care less. Surrounded by a cold harsh void that is eternally trying to strangle and crush the very life from a world it considers an intruder. A blemish to be expunged from its cold external darkness.”

You are sprouting the ethos of your Daddy and the other Daedric Lords. I am the Champion of The Divine. They work together and that is their strongest advantage of the ever squabbling Daedric Lords. Via myself and others, Priests and Priestesses for instance, they show that the world they created does care. That the beauty of nature, life and love are gifts to be enjoyed and cherished. I work tirelessly to ensure the world is not expunged. That is what I use the gifts given to me by Lord Akatosh for and not the base reasons you mentioned. That sort of behaviour is the domain of your Daddy and the other fifteen. I will not include Azura with that lot. She has created life and therefore has a similar view to my Gods.

Where were we? That’s right. You were mentioning something about treason?

“I piss on treason! I could crush Blackwell’s skull like a chicken’s egg. Do you know who I am?”

Sorry to ruin your surprise but I recognise what you are. You are a Daughter of Coldharbour and you use that as an excuse for your behaviour. I recently killed two of the most powerful vampires in history. I was aided in this endeavour by two Daughters of Coldharbour. They helped me because they used their free will and chose to help who you now accuse of being your enemy. One, a good friend called Serana, stood by my side as I killed a vampire who was powerful enough to create a false prophecy and have it inscribed on Elder Scrolls. He enslaved thousands of Falmer and had them kill the last of his species on Nirn. He wanted to kill Serana so he could corrupt the sun by using a bow made and wielded once by my Lord Akatosh. He died when the power of Akatosh and Kyne issued forth from me and crushed him.  I used that bow, blessed by my Lord Akatosh, to wipe out the oldest and most powerful Vampire clan that has ever existed. Serana was by my side during that annihilation of vampires infinitely more powerful than you. Then we killed their leader, Lord Harkon. Blessed by your Daddy with the powers of a Vampire Lord. In his own chapel, where Molag Bal’s aid to him was the strongest, we killed him. Every time your Daddy renewed Harkon’s power, a single arrow from Akatosh’s bow annulled it completely. He died screaming Serana’s name for she was his real daughter.

I know your story Morag.

You were a young girl. A daughter, slave or prisoner. It doesn’t matter because you were offered to Molag Bal by those who thought it would gain them favour with their chosen God. Sometimes these young girls are volunteers blinded by the lies told of the power and prestige that could be theirs. Others, and I am guessing you were one, are terrified young virgins thrown to this most evil of beings without mercy. You probably watched some of those before you get fucked to death by your Daddy. Ripped apart in a macabre imitation of Lady Dibella’s gift to mortals. It was your turn and as he grabbed you and started thrusting you screamed for help and when that was not forthcoming you begged to die. When he had slated his lust on you those watching congratulated you on your triumph. Eventually he took notice of his new daughters. The small percentage of the lucky offering who survived.

You were chosen to get special treatment. Who knows why he picked you but he did. He offered you eternal life and beauty as long as you gathered and consumed children. You did not absorb their souls like I do with dragons. You consumed their flesh and blood whilst Daddy harvested their souls for some twisted reason I will eventually discover. You think it a triumph you look so young and all you had to do was kill and eat children.  What are you? 300 maybe? Serana’s mother is over 1000 years old and does not need to kill and eat children and suck their blood. She looks to be 40 years of age at the most. Lord Harkon was also over 1000 years old and looked much younger than your husband. Serana is almost 700 years old and looks to be in her early 20s. No killing of children needed and they have the powers of Vampire Lords gifted by your Daddy. How come a loyal servant such as you is left with weaker powers?

When I asked Serana about your brood she thanked me for wiping them out. Even other vampires think your type is an embarrassment to the species. Serana and her clan would have wiped out your brood after being judge, jury and executioner.

You are what you are via choice. You Daddy tells you to do things, you chose to do them. It is not in the nature of what you are. It is you choosing and deciding your life is more important than those thousands you have killed.

You Daddy never told you about these powers or his favourite clan did he? He has led you on for centuries by appealing to your vanity so you harvest the souls of children. That is why you have been left a weak second class vampire. Serana and her family were the nobles of the vampire culture. You and your brood would not even rate as their boot polishers.

Serana is no longer a Daughter of Coldharbour. There are good people that can make you mortal again and remove Molag Bal’s grip on your soul. The power of The Divine allows them to do this and your Daddy is powerless to stop them.

“We would make such a perfect couple you and I. Just imagine for one moment Dragonborn, a Daughter of Coldharbour, Empress of all Tamriel, no, all of Nirn, with the champion of Boethia by her side. We would fulfil the Alessian prophecy and I would be the Queen of a golden age and you would be my king. Father would be so proud of me. I would even give you the daughter of Azura to do with her as you will. I could even make her a Duchess to preside over all the Counties of Cyrodiil if you so wished it. Keep her, let her go, marry her off to Bobby… hahaha. Or we could adopt her and she could be our Princess. We would never tire and preside over Nirn for millennia.”

(‘Dragonborn… does this thing know what she just gave away?’ No and let me finish this and get out of here before she does. She does not even know of the love Rigmor and I share.)

I am the Guardian of Rigmor of Bruma. I am duty bound to protect her.

“Hahaha, I understand, I really do. Rigmor is your only concern at this moment and I must commend both you and her betrothed who unwittingly placed her in a prison cell with your ham-fisted attempt at courtly subterfuge. It was most laughable.”

(‘She had got you there. Best comedy you have ever done!’ I am going to dig you out with a spoon!)

“Not forgetting the excellent job you did of guarding and protecting her from exposing her secret because I would never have guessed otherwise. But of course Daddy did help there a little bit. He is such a wealth of information at times like this. I don’t want to keep you from… well actually, I’m not keeping you from anything am I. But you must be tired and could use some sleep if you want to be fresh for the trial tomorrow. I am sure you must be looking forward to that because I am so excited.”

(‘You said you would get mad.’)

“Which reminds me, I promised Rigmor I would pop in for a friendly chat. I hope you don’t mind… after all she is the reason we are standing here at all.”

Morag started to walk away and I said, “Morag, wait… “

When she turned around and said, “Come again?”

You are right. Rigmor is the reason.

“Reason for what?”

I reached out with one hand and my fingers almost fully encircled Morag’s neck. I lifter her off the ground and used my Thu’um so what I said echoed for many seconds.

THE REASON YOUR HEAD ISN’T BOUNCING ACROSS THE FLOOR. YOU SICK TWISTED FUCKING MONSTER!

(‘Well done!’ Thanks. After all the things I have told her this is the first emotion she has shown!)

I held her for a few seconds and I could see the panic and fear. I smiled and dropped her.

She stepped back, still with fear on her face, and yelled, “Guards!

I still had a beaming smile as she stared at me and then started to leave the chamber. Her final words were, “The only way out is to play the game Dragonslayer. Get it right and you both go home.”

(‘You’re brilliant game play got you into this spot’ Get fucked!)

In came two regular Imperial Army light infantrymen. They escorted me to my room. There were two heavy infantrymen guarding the door.

I entered and noticed what was on Rigmor’s bed. Her clothes and boots. There was also a piece of paper with a red flower on top.

I stared at it for five minutes and then picked up the flower. I smelt it. It must have been from her childhood hangout. I got out my journal and removed the page with the mountain flowers pressed and preserved. I placed the new flower in the middle of them and closed the book.

I then stared at the piece of paper for at least ten minutes. I finally picked it up and read it.

“They won’t win.

I have broken through these chains laid upon me, I will make them see that they cannot break me, I will not let you control my life any more, These scars are my pride the you made me bore, Through your hate, I found my fate, Cast a thousand sins, As you harm my skin, I will not break for you, And you will get your due!

For I am no longer alone, I feel it to my very bone, My Guardian is the only one who can make or break me, This is not the last you will see of me, No longer will I hide, I have the dragon by my side, Talos guide my strength to seek my retribution, I will be the one to deliver,

Your execution,’

(‘What are we going to do Dragonborn?’ I have no idea right now. ‘I suggest you stop holding it in. It hurts. Let it go’ What use are tears when nobody sees them? ‘Look up. They will see them.’)

So I did. I fell to my knees and looked up. And wept.

After several hours of crying away all the guilt, frustration, helplessness and fear I sat and wrote this journal entry.

I have some idea of the importance of this Divine Task thanks to Morag.

I think she deliberately gave me the clue. She is hoping I consider it at least.

At some stage she expects to have her hands on an Amulet of the Kings or maybe just the central gemstone, the ‘Chim-el Adabal’

Commonly called the Red Diamond it was forged by Ayleid craftsman from the blood of Lorkham. When Akatosh slew Lorkham he tossed his heart and it travelled across Tamriel spraying blood. Some of the blood landed in an Ayleid well where craftsmen used magicka to turn it into the Red Diamond.

When Saint Alessia was dying my Lord Akatosh visited her and placed her soul into the Red Diamond. Just prior to that Saint Alessia and Akatosh had made a covenant where the Devine promised to defend Nirn from Oblivion. The Red Diamond was placed into the amulet of Kings and it became both a symbol of the covenant and the right to sit the Ruby Throne.

If the covenant allows Molag Bal to benefit and Morag to sit the thrown then something drastic would have changed. The covenant would now have the Daedric Lords presiding over Nirn and the Aedra, The Divine, would have severely diminished powers. For that to happen Martin’s shield would need to be replaced by new Dragon Fires or similar.

This will be the hardest Divine Task simply because there will be so many factions to deal with as well as different Gods trying to help or hinder.

As I thought, all this political crap and possibly a war is secondary to stopping Molag Bal.

I have finished this entry and it was the hardest. Tomorrow is the trial and I will be relying on a man I have learned to distrust. Malesam the Boethia worshipper. He was incompetent enough to send Rigmor into danger unnecessarily.

I know not what time I fell asleep.

I know it was with my head on the pillow my beloved use last night.

I know I fell asleep to the smell of her hair and my tears.

2 thoughts on “Tirdas, 7th Sun’s Dawn, 4E 205

  1. It’s hard to write dialogues within RoC dialogues. But it turns out perfectly. Passing the mod, there was a belief that the Malesam himself knew what the outcome of the trip to the Capital (the signing of the decree, the arrest, trial, exile and so on) it’s no wonder his Mistress Deity of intrigue.

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    1. No matter which Daedric Lord they can only guess what the ripples are whilst Akatosh knows. Azura can get an idea because her seers can see past them. Boethia tends to react to ripples and not plan ahead. When you got the Scourge for her she did not want it to get Molag Bal years later. But when she finally figures out what is happening it is a weapon ideal for the job. She might help Malesam figure out the correct move in the game but she would not be able to predict the outcome of Rigmor being arrested.

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