Snow Forest, Roscrea Forest, Allies’ Hut: Run, Jump, Swim, Laugh, Cry, Almost die.
I woke around 7:00AM and Rigmor was not in the cave.
I panicked. I ran outside yelling her name. Please, not again, no more separation, please!
I heard a cheery, “Over here my silly Dragonborn.”
I found her sitting in front of the fire cooking breakfast.
I sat down feeling rather embarrassed about the panic and she said, “That is probably the first time I have ever snuck out of a room, or cave, without waking you. I’m sorry, I should have realised.”
You have done nothing wrong. It is just so unusual for me to outsleep you.
“Well, we, umm, really didn’t leave much time for sleep. I am proud how I figured out whose limb was whose and untangled myself.”
You have changed Rigmor. So full of confidence after getting rid of that damn secret…
“I know. We can plan and do what we want and not look over our shoulder.”
Now all we have to do is win a war, stop a Daedric Lord and shove a sword up somebodies arse.
“Eat this breakfast before it gets cold! Look Dragonborn, it is such a beautiful day. We might as well make the most of it and enjoy a leisurely walk through a beautiful forest where the nice wolves ignore us.”
Did you have any more dreams?
“Yeah, a huge Minotaur was sitting on a throne. He must have been a King or Lord. In one hand he held a mace and in the other a soul gem. Below on the dais a Dragon was locked in an eternal battle with a serpent.”
I don’t think that was a Minotaur.
“It had huge horns, Minotaur horns, but it was dark. What else could it be?”
Molag Bal. His mace is known to trap souls and the one he was holding was probably empty. I think he was watching a fight between Akatosh, the dragon, and the serpent. I do not know enough to guess who the serpent is supposed to represent.
“This could be a premonition?”
Could be something happening right now or in the past. It is your mortal brain trying to make sense of whatever it had seen in the ripples in the void. At some stage in your life you would have seen Molag Bal as a Minotaur like figure. Certainly all the statues and drawings I have seen of him look that way. Akatosh is often depicted as a dragon. Many entities are depicted as a serpent. Azura could possible tell you if enough of her seers had seen similar.
“That is kind of disturbing Dragonborn! I wonder if Malesam found anything on Morag Sethius? He was going to Hammerfell wasn’t he?”
He was going to go after we returned from the Imperial City. Then he was going to go after your trial but no longer needed to. Sethri turned up and volunteered for the job. He is much better at snooping than Malesam so that was fortunate.
“Why would he volunteer to go? How would he even know?”
You called to Azura outside your ‘den’. Maybe she heard you?
“Yeah, I did… didn’t I.”
She could also have had her sticky fingers in all this anyway. I doubt she would enjoy Molag Bal gaining any sort of ascendency. She does love her Khajiit and I do believe she feels some affinity with you.
“Do you think Sethri will find something?”
Sethri has the brownest nose in history. He sticks it into everybody’s business. If there is something to be found on Morag and her activities, he will find it.
“Ha ha, I wonder if he still walks around in his underwear? Yeah, he stank.”
Underwear? Only if Royalty was visiting otherwise his green hairy dangly bits were on display! Poor Sorella probably had nightmares for years!
“Do you mind. I just ate breakfast!”
As for his emissions, he could empty a room in five seconds.
Never stop laughing Rigmor. Are you ready to head out?
“Yeah, ooh, wait here a moment. I need to pee.”
Rigmor ran towards for some small hills nearby to make yellow snow. It has always amused me that between intimate couples the act of urination is still so taboo Rigmor felt she has to go several hundred feet way. I suppose men have the advantage of just flopping it out and peeing standing up. No need to bare our posterior to the cold.
I yelled out, “Watch out for frostbite!”
A little while later Rigmor came bursting out from behind the hillocks with Frost Trolls in pursuit yelling, “DRAGONBORN RUN!”
She was not going to outrun them especially when trying to pull her trousers back up. So I hit them with a fireball. Like most creatures than live in the snow and ice they were more susceptible to flames that their warmer climate cousins.
I yelled out, “Hey Rigmor, come and see the Ice Giants! Just like in the cave paintings.”
These ones wanted to hit me with their giant clubs so I gifted them some fireballs as well.
Soon all her pursuers were dead.
I caught up to Rigmor who then yelled, “There are more of them! Come on, this way, quick Dragonborn!”
I turned and hit the pursuing trolls with Inferno. It caused far more damage than Fireball but only on an individual, not a group.
They were soon all dead and I caught up with Rigmor standing next to a frozen pond. She said, “Across the ice, quick!”
I let her run ahead as I took care of the last trolls chasing us.
When I caught up with her she said, “Let’s get to the forest quick.”
Then we heard them. Rigmor stopped and said, “The wolves Dragonborn”.
I instructed Rigmor, “Stay behind me and I will clear the way as much as I can.”
The first huge pack hit us not much later and came from different directions. I cleared the lot in front of us then turned to find Rigmor surrounded by another six. Rigmor and I fighting together was second nature to us. Yet this was the first time we had done so in well over three years! Her skill with that bastard sword still amazed me.
When they were all dead she turned to me and asked, “Enjoying your walk through the forest Dragonborn?”
Immensely! The wildlife is just so friendly. Let us continue our leisurely stroll Milady.
A bit further on another pack attacked. I killed most with Unrelenting Force.
Rigmor finished the last, a huge Alpha Male, with a single swing of her sword.
We were not far from the cave when attacked by another wolf pack, half a dozen trolls and several giants. We were winning but getting tired when an unexpected ally appeared. A huge white bear!
I looked back at the corpses and was amazed what Azura’s Daughter and the Dragonborn achieve when chopping things up together.
Rigmor said, “Dragonborn, I am sure this is Mr. Bear.”
If so, how would he have got here from the mainland?
Uhuh? Maybe he floated here on an iceberg. They do that sort of thing yanno.
I guess he could have. He sure looks the same.
Rigmor ran towards the huge beast exclaiming, “It is. It is Mr Bear!”
She looked tiny next to him.
She said to the bear, “Hello Mr. Bear. Thank you for helping. It is so good to see you again.”
Then she did as all men and mer do. She talked baby because no matter how big and deadly he was still a cute fluffy animal.
“Have you been a good liddle bear while I was away, ‘ey ‘ey?”
Mr. Bear answered with what I assume was, “Don’t worry. I won’t eat you.”
“Is this your liddle house?”
More grunts which I interpreted as, “Do you see a house you moron?”
I swear Mr. Bear had to stop himself vomiting after all that sweetness.
I said to Rigmor, “You are right. That is Mr. Bear!”
“Yeah I know. Cool huh?”
I saw some more trolls headed our way so walked up to Mr. Bear and said, “You are a very good boy and thank you. Oh look, more bandits! Who is going to get them nasty bandits?”
Mr. Bear headed at full speed towards the soon to be dead trolls and I yelled, “Go on boy. Kill! Kill!”
Rigmor yelled, “Mr. Bear, come back!”
Wasn’t it great to see him again!
“Yanno, I felt something special just then, inside me, and right now, I have never ever felt so happy in all my life.”
(I knew that this was a gift from Kyne. Like Sorella’s affinity with wolves. A Divine gift to aid us at crucial moments. A gift to make sure we stick to the Divine script.)
“Me, you and Mr. Bear. I think I’ll write a poem about it someday. I can see the title now, ‘The Dragon and the Bear.’”
How about, ‘The Dragon, The Beauty and the Bear.’
“How about, ‘Leave the poem title to the poet!’”
I admit, that is one cool bear and he came and helped us again.
Rigmor, you are one absolutely crazy girl. I have never met anybody like you.
“Crazy in a good way?”
Crazy enough to love me so yeah, in a good way.
Rigmor walked up and gave me a kiss on the cheek then said, “Your right, I must be crazy.”
Come on crazy lady, this cave should bring us out onto the dry part of this huge forest.
“Dragonborn, hold on… “
Rigmor walked a little and faced the direction her furry friend had gone. She yelled, “Thank you Mr. Bear!”
We then entered the cave.
We exited onto a ledge overlooking a waterfall thundering into shallow lake.
Rigmor was looking at the vista and when I approached she said, “That is quite a view huh?”
Yeah, the lake is pretty too.
“Sorry, out of kisses.”
Damn. Yes, that is quite a view but we need to find a way down.
“See where the waterfall enters the lake. That looks pretty deep to me.”
I hope you’re not thinking what I think you’re thinking.
“Come on Dragonborn, where is your sense of adventure?”
Smothered by my survival instinct.
Rigmor walk back a little, ran as fast as she could and leapt over the side with a, “Wheeee!”
I rushed to the edge and saw her make it to the shallower water and start wading to the other end.
I leapt and held my shield out front to slow my entry down.
I made my soggy way to Rigmor who was waiting with a smile as wide as the world on her face.
We spent a couple of minutes getting the water out of boots and wringing trousers and my cape as well as we could. Finally we were only half as wet as a drowned skeever.
Rigmor said, “Ready to go drippy Dragonborn?”
We need to get our bearings first.
“The river flows East, we can follow it down then turn off to the woodcutter’s camp located on the map.”
OK, follow me.
“Yanno, I haven’t felt this happy since I was a kid. All this has brought it all back and I was wondering… “
(No… no… please don’t ask me my beloved… please!)
“What did you do, yanno, when you were a kid?”
I knew this would come up one day. Like you dreaded people finding out about your Royal blood, I have dreaded the day you asked me this. I was hoping to have an answer ready. But I don’t and…and…
Rigmor rushed over, held my face in her palms and looked me in the eyes. “What is it Dragonborn. You can tell me. There are no secrets any more.”
I can’t tell you what I did as a child. I can’t tell you where I was born, who my parents were or even what my real name is. I can’t tell you anything before I awoke on a carriage next to Ulfric Stormcloak and minutes away from being executed. I have no memories Rigmor. The Divine took them away!
Rigmor held me tight as I wailed. Not like the heartbroken blubbering barbarian she has seen before. This was her happiest moment one minute and my darkest the next. I cried for what had been stolen from me.
Rigmor understood. She had been trying to recapture her childhood after it was cut short by those Thalmor bastards. In the last hour or so she had finally started to remember what it felt like. The wonders of the world and new experiences filling her with happiness like they do a child. Our trek over the ice fields, the cave paintings, the cold forest and seeing Ice Giants. It does not matter the discomfort or the fact we were fighting for our lives. They were new experiences to be soaked up and reminisced about later. She knew how to do that. She learnt it as a child and remembered how. The meeting with Mr. Bear was the ultimate. How did he get there? Why does he like us? New and wonderful memories and mysteries.
Finally I calmed down a bit. This hurt inflicted upon me by the Gods I love is soul deep. Every being has a right to know what and who they are. Every being!
Rigmor spoke to me softly, “My beloved, beautiful man. I have often wanted to ask and for some reason never got around to it. Perhaps it is like me sending only two letters? Maybe now is the right time for me to ask? I know I have always been happy to be with the Dragonborn I have grown to love more dearly than life itself. That is the wonderful, compassionate man that has attracted the myriad friends he had made and earned the respect of countless. The man who has put his life on the line over and over again to anonymously save even those who despise him. How many of the orphans you have helped save from the dark have you cried over? All of them I bet! You even shed tears for Morag. Even if you do not remember it, your past has shaped you and I can only think love unmeasurable could have resulted in what you have become.”
I worry Rigmor. I worry that I did something so alien to me I became useless to their plans. I became defective and wiping my memory was the quick fix. Maybe I was like that other Dragonborn I killed, Miraak was his name. Like him I may have given up fighting for The Divine and became enamoured of the power offered by a Daedric Lord.
The scariest scenario I play over in my head is this one. Maybe I had come to one of those free will decisions. Sacrifice innocents and/or somebody I loved to save the inhabitants of Nirn from death or enslavement. The collateral damage scenario our Gods can live with but not a mortal with compassion unlimited.
“We can’t change our past Dragonborn even if you do remember it. You may be right that something forced them to blank your memory to save their Champion. So he can continue their work. I have another theory if you wish listen to it.”
Please Rigmor. I always listen. Well mostly.
“Perhaps knowledge from your past makes it less likely you will make the right decisions going forward? You have told me our future destiny involves something far greater than just who sits on the Ruby Throne. Something so important the Gods hurt one they loved so he could accomplish it. Perhaps they look down and do not just regard your loss of memory as collateral damage but a sacrifice they have also made. They have done so in the past when they gave up much of themselves to create Mundus and therefore Nirn.”
Yes, they could have abandoned Mundus, their creation, like Magnus and the Magna-Ge did. They gave up much to preserve it. I can’t give up at least knowing who my parents were. I have built an identity, Wulf Gudbrand, that needs more of a foundation to seem real. I picked the name Wulf within minutes of awakening but it has always felt like a lie. That is why I do not mind Dragonborn instead. I know that is what I am, I do not know if Wulf is who I am.
“Then let us work together to find your parents.”
Freathof has taught you well.
“I know. I asked Freathof why I must learn all this mystical mumbo jumbo. What does it have to do with being a good Countess I asked him. ‘To understand people you must understand their Gods at least a little.’ was his answer.”
I am sorry I wailed like a baby Rigmor.
“You would not be the man I love if this did not hurt.”
As we walk can you do a favour and recount some childhood memories? I have always cherished them and used them as substitutes for my own.
“Now I know your secret you will feel relief like I did with mine. Let’s go so I can ramble on about random memories as they come.”
So I started walking with my beloved and instinctively I knew she was right. I had to have much love and compassion both experienced and witnessed to shape who I am now. I know my Gods love me and perhaps wiping my memory was a hard decision. Maybe I will never know the truth but for now I am more content with that possibility than ever before. Once again I thanked all that is good for the one soul in eternity who would understand was walking beside me.
It was a beautiful walk and Rigmor’s voice transported me to her past, “Yanno our old house in Bruma? Well it used to have a gate. My Dad built a small fence and the gate was in two sections. He was really proud of that gate and I… ooh…I must have been about 4 or 5… I used to swing on it. It is one of my earlier memories because it was getting late and time just stood still. I remember the sun was setting and the yellowy orange top my Mum had made lit up like it was made out of the brightest gold. I remember looking down at my feet and I would wriggle my toes and swing my legs to make the gate swing to and fro. My Mum would come out and tell me off, ‘Don’t you break that!’ and ‘Get off before you father gets home.’”
“My best friend at that time was a Dark Elf girl called LoonaShadow. Her dad was a stable hand at the Brandynut stables. He would travel down to the Gold Coast every now and then to pick up supplies in a carriage and take us with him. I loved going to Anvil, it’s right on the coast and we used to stretch our necks at every hilltop to see if we could see the sea. ‘It’s this one, no the next one’ and then it would be ‘the one’ and you would catch a glimpse of the sea in the distance. It would fill you heart with that… I dunno… childish wonder? The light bouncing on the waves, even from that far away seems like diamonds dancing in the sky. We would laugh out loud and Loona’s dad would laugh with us. I’ll never forget that.”
“Hahaha, Oh my, Loona and I used to throw snowballs at the Tap&Tack until Colin would come out. We would run as fast as our legs would take us. Oh my, he would wave his fist at us shouting ‘you’ll fetch it’. Then one day he chased us down. Loona got away but he grabbed me by the scruff of the neck, ‘Aha… gotcha!’ and marched me home. Mum was so angry, ‘Wait till your father hears what you did!’ It was so funny after that. I waited in my room until Dad came home. I heard Mum tell him what I did but he didn’t come and get me. I plucked up enough courage to face the music and asked him, ‘Dad, am I in trouble?’ He patted his thigh for me to sit on his lap. He just held onto me for what seemed like ages the said softly, ‘You are meant to throw the snowballs AFTER Colin opens the door!’ Hahahahahaha! Loona’s dad got a job in Morrowind raising horses. I never say her after that.
Loona was the little girl who stole your doll wasn’t she?
“I never told you about her! Yes, she was.”
When you were kidnapped I asked your mother for a story from your past. I wanted to help her cope with her worry. She told me about that incident. She used that memory and others to help survive her time with the Thalmor much as you did. Such memories have helped with a lot of the children we have rescued. Sometimes, like me, they have not a single fond memory to fall back on. So those who work with them tell them popular stories and get them to imagine it was they who was the little boy or girl in the tale. I do that with your stories Rigmor. I am the kid looking out for the first view of the sea. I am the child swinging on the gate. The thing I miss most is reading stories to the children. I could feel and see their wonder and excitement. It was beautiful Rigmor.
“I have often wondered about what happened to Loona. If she ever thinks about me. Does she have children? Is she happy?”
Have you tried finding her?
“I used to think she would have moved on and I would be an unwanted intrusion on her life so no. Now I think it was just another thing I was afraid my secret would eventually destroy if we did become friends again. So maybe when all this crap is out the way and if the world still exists I might try.”
We were near the woodcutter’s camp when Rigmor stopped and pointed to a ship, “Look Dragonborn!”
It is an Imperial war galley by the looks of it.
“Looking for us maybe? It had been a couple of days now.”
It was only a matter of time. We need to get off this island fast!
“Come on then, let’s get going.”
We soon found the camp. Some tents, chairs and a fire. All you really need in life. As well as toilet sheets, can’t live without those!
Rigmor sat in one chair and I the other.
I said, “Not too far and we will be at the village.”
“Where will we go? What is the plan?”
I say we go back to Bruma via Skyrim and the Jerral mountains.
“We could sneak through the enemy lines at night or fight our way through.”
Sethius, being the bandit that he is, knows of all the passes and had them guarded pretty heavily before this shit. I would say fighting is almost inevitable.
“We need help Dragonborn!”
I have said I do not want to drag too many from Skyrim into it. If we marched in with the numbers I could easily muster the whole of Skyrim would get involved. Such a large scale war would be so random. We could find ourselves unable to make decisions like we can if the scale is smaller. We are already facing uncertain alliances just within the other six counties in Cyrodiil! Plus this is not yet a fight for the Ruby Throne. Crossing over with large numbers of Skyrim troops could change that.
“So who do we get to help?”
The Sons of Talos have scattered again after the end of the New Order and would take too long to muster. Casius is out at sea most of the time. Quintus is the Marshal of the army in Anvil and I can’t ask him to defend again his Emperor’s forces. That leaves Yngol. He can probably muster quite a few, ex Stormcloak, troops.
“It has been nearly three and a half years Dragonborn. Why would he help?”
Because you are the daughter of Ragnar and he owes everything he has to your father and you. His pride, his freedom, his little girl and his wife. All of them owe me their lives. Do you think he would dare refuse help if asked?
“OK, but don’t expect him to come along skipping and smiling!”
Grumbling and farting is OK.
Rigmor suddenly became tense and starting looking around. She said, “Shhh! Dragonborn, listen.”
There was silence. Not the one Rigmor and I can share when close. An unnatural hush.
“The crickets? They have stopped and so have the birds!”
The answer why soon arrived. Akaviri!
Rigmor and I cut a swathe through them with frightening efficiency. I cut down my last when I hear Rigmor scream for help.
Unlike me Rigmor was not immune to their blood magic. Her strength was failing her and the last Akaviri alive was going to win. I leapt in and cleaved the things head from its shoulders.
Rigmor seemed tired but OK so I started searching the bodies. I was looking for a Tsaesci as they seemed to be the commanders. I found one and a note on him that read,
“Kill them all and leave no witnessed.
Bring the girl to Table Mountain.
Alive or dead.
I called Rigmor over and handed her the note and said, “Same guys, Akaviri, who attacked the prison. They were after you and are working with Morag.”
She read it and asked, “What does she want with me?”
She expressed to me an unhealthy interest in you. She wants you for herself. Dead or alive!
“What do you mean? No… no, this can’t be right. I feel sick.”
Look at this Tsaesci Rigmor. What does he remind you of?
“A snake… a serpent.”
And what am I Rigmor?
“Oh my… my dream! It was not Akatosh fighting the serpent. It was you fighting the Tsaesci!”
And the other dream you had. What did the mountain look like?
“Square… uh… flat.”
Like a table?
“Table Mountain in the note! But why are the children running around free if Morag has been collecting them? Who was the little girl who came forward?”
I don’t know. We do not know if that was the past, present or future. We don’t know how much of it is real or you brain interpreting something it can’t fully comprehend.
“Is this the sort of crap you have had to figure out all those years?”
It gets harder when prophecy is involved and the Gods are experts at confusion and delusion. Come on beautiful lady. Let us get out of here!
We were not far out of camp when Rigmor suddenly stopped. I turned to talk to her. She looked pale. She said, “How big is this island. Is it ever going to end? I thought the Great Forest was big. Something is not right. Not right at all.”
You don’t look so good.
“I don’t feel so good. Everything seems so heavy.”
I can carry you. We still have some way to go.
“I don’t know if I can make it. I just wanna sleep.”
Were you bitten?
“No but they tried to drain me. That is when I called for your help.”
I will carry you if and when I must but it would make it awkward if they ambushed us again. Keep up as best you can for now.
“OK. I’ll try Dragonborn but I am scared and sleepy and this is no longer the happiest I have ever been!”
I was terrified! I thought the vampire disease took three or four days to turn the bitten. I have seen people with me subjected to the energy drain and their energy soon returned. Maybe these Akaviri have a more lethal attack? Rigmor was not going to make it to the village and even if she did, what are the chances of anybody there knowing what to do?
I had a quick look around. I know this place. I know this forest. I knew with absolute certainty I have been here before. What I felt in the Imperial City was nothing compared to this. A vision came of a small home. Not far. Rigmor could make it there but then what?
We trudged onward and my beloved started to misstep and stagger. My panic was building and as I looked at her she pointed over my shoulder and said, “Dragonborn look. An old shack. There is someone there. Maybe we can pay for some food and I can get some sleep. I can’t carry on.”
I couldn’t see anybody but the outside lantern was lit and the door wide open. A universal “Welcome!” understood by all.
We go to the open front door and I tapped on it and said, “Hello. Is anybody home? My friend needs some help!”
There was no reply so we entered.
Rigmor was immediately drawn to a list of alchemy paraphernalia and said, “Dragonborn look at all these recipes!”
Before I even had a chance to respond she staggered over to a single bed and exclaimed, “Agh, I am so tired I could sleep for a hundred years.”
Then she lay down and was fast asleep in no time.
I turned and was startled to find an elderly lady who had somehow entered, closed the door and got within striking distance of me without a sound reaching my ears.
She looked familiar but not. I could not quite pin down why she was different than what I thought she should be. She scrutinised me but showed no surprise or fear of a giant barbarian who just invaded her home. She said in an ancient and crackling voice, “Welcome to my humble abode.”
I am sorry to intrude like this. My name is Wulf and I mean you no harm
Can I please have your name?
“If you insist you can call me Allie.”
Allie, my friend is unwell. I was looking for anybody who may help.
She walked over to Rigmor and said, “The girl is afflicted.”
Afflicted? Afflicted with what?
“It was you who did battle with the undead?”
Yes but how would you know about that. There is no way you could have walked here faster than us even with my friend being ill.
“Shush and listen. These remnant from Akivir, they have been here before. Visited many times. Your friend has become inflicted with living death, a perpetual malaise of sleep. It occurs to all who do battle with them.”
I am immune to this and other blood magic and I do not know why.
“Because you are anointed my child and a half beast.”
How did you know…
“Hush! That is not important but this is. I have a recipe that will save her. You must act quickly and gather some ingredients for me.”
What is it you need Allie?
“Three rabbit legs, one small deer antler, three blood wort and one Namira’s Rot. You will find them nearby in the forest. Try not to stray too far as with the night danger lurks. I’ll look after Rigmor but we don’t have much time.”
I had not mentioned her name either. I know. I will ‘Hush!”. I would normally refuse to leave her side but I trust you Allie.
“I know you do Dragonchild now shoo. Get those ingredients.”
I started to walk towards a part of the forest I knew would be the best place to start. I just knew. No debate or inner discussion.
As I walked I contemplated the Déjà vu. The little shack is not what I expected to find. I have an impression of a multiple room abode. I will take a closer look when I get back.
Allie? Her mannerisms. Turn of speech. They kept prompting my memories with, ‘Who is she? Come on Wulf, you know! Stop teasing.
I shot a deer up the rear end with and Ice Spear. Sorry but I needed you antlers.
I blew up some rabbits with fireballs. I hope well done rabbit legs will do.
I soon found the flowers and fungi needed and headed back.
I was drawn to a corner of the garden where a grave and Talos shrine stood. I prayed and received Talos’ blessing and went inside wondering why I had an impulse to go there.
I checked on Rigmor first. Her breathing was very shallow and infrequent. I have sat next to her so many times I knew it was not right. Not the rhythm I am so used to.
Allie was watching me intently. I felt as if she knew my every secret. All my fears and hopes. My eternal and undying love for Rigmor.
I approached her and said, “I have all the ingredients.”
She took them from me and said, “Not a moment too soon.”
How is she Allie?
“The fever is taking hold and her temperature is rising. Once I administer the potion we should start seeing results. This recipe you can use to help you allies and also use it against the remnants.”
“It is a cure for mer and men but poison to the undead. Dip your arrows in it or apply it to your weapons and it will bring them instant death.”
How can I ever thank you?
“No need. Healing Rigmor from the malaise is thanks enough. Now, if you will excuse me I have work to do. Sit and I will concoct the potion.”
There was no way I could sit still. I was full of questions and curiosity. This whole place and Allie was familiar yet not. I started looking around for something, anything that would jog a solid memory. Not wishy washy but something that absolutely occurred.
Allie said, “I know you might have many questions. I can tell by your snooping you want answers. Let us just say I am a soothsayer.”
You are far more than that Allie but I will play the game if you wish.
“Call me a witch then or whatever you think I am.”
I think Allie is just fine.
“So be it. I have myself spent many years as a slave, so saving your friend is of vital importance to me.”
(I found a bow of ancient design from the early 1st Era. It was most likely made by a Nedic craftsman. It was perfectly preserved event though thousands of years old. The Nedic were star worshippers and placed great emphasis on constellations.)
“I have had many dreams and visions of possible permutation of the future of this world. Some are good outcomes but by far, most are not. I kind of look at it as having a gift, of course for good, but the path had been long and hard.”
Much like my blessings from Lord Akatosh.
“Indeed very similar and your journey, although already weary, is only partially done. But I digress and move to areas of which I should not speak.”
Please forgive me Allie.
“My partner and I moved out here as we needed to be closer to the natural world. We had a child and lived out here in isolation for many years. Then on my son’s eighteenth birth year he didn’t come home. My partner… returned to the heavens… a few years later. I had a shrine made just so I had a place to be able to remain close to them both. It was then one night I heard commotion from the forest and it was coming from the direction of my son’s last known location. I followed the sound, screams in a tongue I had not heard before. It was then I came across the slaughter. Remnants like you had been killed in the forest. Many of them lying dead in the foliage. I saw a trail of blood leading away from the scene. It led to a small cave near the ridge on a rocky outcrop. Then I saw it. A werewolf. I remained hidden until the light of day expecting a man to emerge but it was still in wolf form. The only times this occurs is if the creature had been afflicted in some way. It left the cave and disappeared into the forest. I took my chance and entered its lair. There were just bones, animal mainly. I was relieved because I was looking for a gold ring we had gifted my son on his eighteenth birth year and it was nowhere to be found. But of course maybe that is wishful thinking on my part. I cannot bear to think that my child had been a victim of that monster and had met with such a grisly death. I gathered my senses and left. I have never to this day been bothered by the beast. Like its kind and all the beasts of the forest, they usually keep a respectful distance. Now enough talk, the potion is ready.”
I had snooped into a big silver chest and found slave manacles made by the Ayleid. Once again millennia old but as new condition.
Allie, just one quick question if you please. What was the name of you son?
“I cannot recall.”
Allie brushed past me. I think that question was painful to her. She knew I was Dragonborn and Rigmor’s name but not her son’s. She sat next to my beloved and started feeding her the potion.
“Come on baby girl. That’s it. Drink the potion. Yes, just a little bit more, there, that’s a good girl.”
Is not the werewolf a half beast like me?
“Yes and he must be a tormented soul. No relief from the beast.”
I would not harm him Allie. Not unless you thought him a threat.
“After the werewolf slaughtered many of their kind the Akavir never returned to this part of the island. When I found the remnants you slayed in the undergrowth I was surprised they even ventured this far South. They must have had a very special reason.”
They did. She is lying in front of you. They are hunting Rigmor.
“And she has a Dragonborn for protection.”
Now and forever Allie. How Can I reward you for doing so much for us?
“Hahaha, saving Rigmor’s life is reward enough.”
Rigmor opened her eyes. She started speaking random and disconnected thoughts, “No! no…stop… NO! GET AWAY!… get away… leave him alone… DAD!”
Does she have to remember such pain Allie?
“It is part of the healing and the potion is working as I thought it would. Shhh baby girl… everything is going to be alright…”
Rigmor talked some more, “DRAGONBORN… Dragonborn… I’m so sorry… I’m so sorry… KINTYRA! Don’t go down into the valley… NO!”
You can’t warn Empress Kintyra my beloved. You were not there! You never have to say sorry to me ever.
“She has visions yes? They can be hard to distinguish from this time and reality. She just saw Empress Kintyra II enter the trap as if she was there. Oh sweetheart, shhhh, the Dragonborn is here waiting… shhhh.”
Allie stood and faced me with a smile on her face and said, “She’s settled down now. Her temperature is falling. Tomorrow she should be fine.”
Allies moved over to a chair and sat. I approached and said, “Thank you again for everything Allie. I only wish there was a way to repay you.”
“Your company is payment enough for a lonely old woman. It has been my pleasure. Take heed and know this. From this day forth Rigmor will forever be fragile so you will need to look out for her and keep her from harm.”
That is what I endeavour always Allie but our destiny seems to always put her in grave danger.
“She has cheated the Keeper of the Gate to the underworld and will always be marked for death. The darkness waits patiently for her to return. But I might be able to help you… if… something fatal were to happen to her.”
I am a mage of not small talent. I can resurrect recently deceased but have never done so. As you said, I would be cheating the Keeper of the Gate and who am I to decide when somebodies time on this mortal plane is not over. I doubt I could resist resurrecting Rigmor if no more than for selfish reasons.
“There are some deaths that even your magicka can’t reverse. It would also be a disservice to Rigmor to allow her soul to be taken by those who can inflict such a death. I will see what I can do to help. I must think about it.”
How could you help me Allie? Surely that is power beyond a mere soothsayer.
“All in good time Dragonchild, all in good time.”
I do not want to seem rude. I am finding this place is asking questions I cannot answer.
“Why don’t you go sit by Rigmor as you do. Enjoy your silence and the feeling you currently have will subside. You will be the first thing she sees when she awakes. Her Guardian Protector. Her beloved. Her Dragonborn once again by her side.”
Allie started to read a book about Saint Alessia and chuckled at some passages.
I was restless and sat next to Rigmor and found what Allie said was true. The silence enveloped me and Rigmor and I felt peace. Rigmor was still staring ahead which was perturbing but at least she muttered and shouted no more.
I wrote this journal entry and found that once again I was too weary to express more on today’s events than I have already written.
I know not what time I fell asleep.
I know it was to the regular breathing of Rigmor. That was a familiar rhythm and a relief.