Casius’ Encampment, Tabletop Mountain, The Pit: Victory or not?
I had woken and watched Rigmor sleep for a while.
It was stunning to think that our child was sharing her body. Taking what she needs from Rigmor and growing even as I contemplated the miracle of motherhood. To experience such a thing, a life growing inside of you, must be so rewarding, so overwhelming. I hope to share the experience and feel Kintyra grow even if only my hands that do. To talk to her before birth and tell her about her mother. To welcome her to a life of love and scrapped knees and sneaking sweetrolls before dinner and bedtime stories and everything else that Rigmor decides a child needs to experience.
I must survive today. I want to at least share some time with the miracle inside my beloved.
I left the tent and my sleeping Princess to talk to Quintus. I asked him, “Quintus, what is the situation?”
“Everything is ready. Sethri has joined Casius and his unit to help protect Sorella. They have already gone ahead to await the attack and will follow in you wake. Count Camaeus and his men are in position. All we need to do now is join them”
So Count Camaeus is there. Good man.
“There was doubt?”
A crises of faith. He learned some things that might have crushed others. I can see why my Lord Akatosh chose him.
“I take it he is not here for the reasons he stated?”
They are a small part of the big picture Quintus. As is this battle and any move we make on The Emperor. I will never trust the Thalmor but I trust The Divine have not placed a danger to the Countess amongst us.
“Anything else Guardian General?”
Go ahead and take care of the final preparations for your men to lead the first assault on the base camp. I will join you shortly with Rigmor.
I walked to our tent and Rigmor was waiting for me,
- Wulf: It is time to go Milady. Are you ready?
- Rigmor: As ready as I’ll ever be.
- Wulf: There is something I have to tell you about Camaeus.
- Rigmor: You told me he was on the same path as us.
- Wulf: I was unsure if he would turn up for the battle and he has.
- Rigmor: And?
- Wulf: He is my backup. If I fail by dying or making a mistake or changing sides he is to complete my task. That includes being your guardian.
- Rigmor: You would expect me to trust him enough? No way Dragonborn.
- Wulf: I am not telling you what to do, just what he has been told by The Divine to do.
- Rigmor: But you will not fail.
- Wulf: I think he knows something that I do not. Something I am supposed to figure out so the knowledge comes to me at the right moment and does not affect the choices I make before then. He would have been given it and it would only become relevant after I have got to the point of enlightenment. Understand or is that gobblygook?
- Rigmor: If I had known Sorella was in that cell when we entered the fort I might have concentrated on rescuing her and we would have missed the information on the New Order we gathered.
- Wulf: Exactly.
- Rigmor: Dragonborn, what is going to happen when…
- Wulf: When what Rigmor?
- Rigmor: What’s going to happen, I mean if…when…
- Wulf: When?
- Rigmor: If we do manage to defeat Morag, march into Cyrodiil and defeat Leyawiin, all the nobles who turned against us, manage to get to the Imperial City and fight our way across the bridge, fight our way through to the palace, the Praetorian Guard to the throne…What then?
- Wulf: I don’t think either of us would want to fight through the streets of the Imperial City. Why should the citizens suffer for a war they did not ask for?
- Rigmor: Can we leave Sethius on the Ruby Throne?
- Wulf: Quoting Blackwell, ‘Who so ever takes off the head that wears the crown…reigns supreme.’
- Rigmor: Oh, that’s easy then. You can do it.
- Wulf: I have said I would if I get the chance. Let us hope he takes the field and I can kill him in combat.
- Rigmor: If not. If he stays hidden in the Palace?
- Wulf: Then we see what the Senior Council in exile want. If they demanded the Praetorian Guard to stand down there would still be enough New Empire troops to make a fight to the Palace unacceptable to both of us I think. If there is no clear direction from the Senior Council then you and I may have to parley and negotiate.
- Rigmor: Walk into his nest. What stops him killing us or outing us in jail?
- Wulf: Protocol and a big fucking army on his doorstep!
- Rigmor: If you do kill him at some stage what do we do?
- Wulf: We both have claims to the Ruby Throne. We both have dynastic blood. I also could claim via right of combat or even as the wearer of the Stormcrown.
- Rigmor: I don’t want to be Empress! You do not want to be Emperor! Can’t we just walk away and get married and live a normal life?
- Wulf: I don’t think that would be an option. If we left the Ruby Throne empty there would be a Tamriel wide war to claim it. If Kintyra is to bring the peace and stability The Divine have promised Alessia then she must be Empress one day. It would be better if one of us occupied the position and abdicate when Kintyra is ready.
- Rigmor: You or me?
- Wulf: If the people really want Princess Rigmor to become Empress Rigmor and we have not lopped off Sethius’ head then you. If I have shortened him with my blade then it has to be me.
- Rigmor: So the Gods have forced us into a corner haven’t they? This nightmare just never ends and I can’t see any way out. It goes on forever Dragonborn! I’m falling into a black fucking hole that goes on forever and I can’t make it stop!
- Wulf: I am going to need your help today Rigmor so be scared but with me. I need to know you trust me more than ever because for the first time I am doing this sort of shit without full faith in The Divine. I do not know why they got Talos to say some of the things he did yesterday. It is if they do not trust me to do the right thing this time. They have told Camaeus that I can’t be trusted to do the right thing. I do not even know yet what the right thing is! The only thing I do know is I need you there to support me and trust me and love me. I know our love is the greatest power I have seen or experienced. I know that if temptation is thrown my way I can resist because of our love. I know I can defy a God or Gods if armoured by our love. I am not the Dragonborn the people need without your love. Just give me that today and I will be unstoppable.
- Rigmor: And they shall come to know your name and tremble, be it Gods, Demons or Kings. The Dragonborn comes.
- Wulf: They shall come to know your names. Rigmor and Kintyra. The love that conquers all.
- Rigmor: Let us go do this and know my love is with you always.
We made our way to the muster point in silence. The whole world seemed silent. It was saving all its energy for the cacophony of war.
We reached the muster and I had faith those I saw would not falter, would not retreat and would show no mercy.
Sorella was ringed by Casius and his crew and Marines. Sethri was there and I felt confident she was as safe as could be walking into chaos.
Rigmor and I walked through the troops so they could see our confidence and be emboldened. Rigmor had rallied herself and forgot the Gods and their games for now.
I approached Camaeus, “Count Camaeus, I have decided to take the Legion with Rigmor and I for the initial assault. We can discuss what is to happen in ‘The Pit’ when we have cleared the slopes. Once we are in battle follow with your Silver Swords. I am pleased you are with us today and may The Divine be with you.”
I approached Quintus and asked, “Is everything ready General Quintus?”
“Guardian General, the men are in position and await the call. They have noticed small detachments moving but as planned they have ignored us. We will have the element of surprise.”
I will take the Legion with Rigmor and I for the initial assault. Once we are engaged Count Camaeus and his Silver Swords will advance and engage. Once we are at the summit you are to bring up Casius and the reserves.
“As you command.”
I turned to Rigmor and said, “Nothing can stand in our way. Nothing.”
I turned back to Quintus and said “Signal the assault and may The Divine be with you. May they be with us all this day.”
“Signifier, call the assault.”
Then the sounds of war took over and nothing more was to be said.
I let some heavy infantry take the lead and be the battering ram for Rigmor and I.
This allowed me to slip past the melee and take out the supporting archers.
I checked behind me and the Legion and Rigmor were carving though the Raiders easily. Camaeus had not yet caught up to us.
I move further up the hill and took out more supporting archers.
One of the Raiders had rudimentary offensive magic but it did not seem to bother the Legionnaires at all.
Some of the archers had learned quickly and used their platform more effectively as protection against fireballs. So I climbed a few ladders.
I then used Cyclone to lift them high into the air and they plummeted to their deaths. I did this for several platforms and cleared them quickly.
Rigmor, some Legionnaires and Camaeus had run ahead of me as I cleared the platforms. The Thalmor was determined to protect Rigmor. Never a stranger sight have I seen than that.
I noticed a few injured troops and quickly ran around healing some.
As Rigmor and the most forward troops were engaged in another melee I moved ahead again to destroy any archers.
I encountered the Elven renegades. Their nightmare from Skyrim was back.
I was much more powerful than then and they died screaming.
I could hear Rigmor and the others not far behind me. We had reached the summit almost as fast as we could have run up it unopposed. I paused. There was a huge shrine to Auri-El in dragon form. A small percentage of Ayleid had worshipped The Divine after Saint Alessia conquered Tamriel and created that pantheon. So the shrine could be from the time of the rule of the Ayleid or the rule of Alessia.
I was slaughtering the troops at the summit for a minute before Rigmor and a mixture of Legionnaires and Silver Swords arrived.
I started to use other spells when Fireballs would cause too much collateral damage.
As the enemy were being overwhelmed I healed some of our injured.
Eventually the last enemy standing faced Rigmor who cut him down in a spray of blood.
Chaos to silence then the jingling of troops running to join us.
I turned to Rigmor and said, “Sorry I got a bit ahead there but I would wipe out one lot and another would appear and I would wipe them out and so on.”
She replied. “You trusted me to hold my own and were being the Dragonborn our people needed.”
Casius eventually reached us with his troops and Sorella and we gathered around for a quick discussion,
- Wulf: Casius, I have changed my mind about sending a runner to get you. I do not know what the window of opportunity will be. Follow after we have entered the ruins but stay back from the fighting and let us clear the way.
- Casius: Don’t worry, I understand.
- Wulf: If you think it is too dangerous for Sorella get out of there and don’t hesitate.
- Casius: It shall be so. Good luck Dragonborn.
- Wulf: I don’t need luck Casius, just good guesses.
- Sethri: We have them on the rope Dragonborn. Through that door is the ancient catacombs and lots of nasties between us and the anti-chamber.
- Camaeus: I will take point and lead the charge with my Silver Swords.
- Rigmor: Don’t push your luck Justicar.
- Camaeus: That is ‘Justiciar’ actually, ahem…
- Rigmor: Pfft, whatever.
- Quintus: Lady Rigmor, the Count’s help would undoubtedly be welcomed. We know not what awaits us. Time is running out.
- Rigmor: I don’t trust him Quintus, something is not right. Plus we have the Dragonborn. Who better to lead the charge than the very one who went into Oblivion and was victorious?
- Sorella: Whoa! No Way.
- Camaeus: I assure you Princess I only have your well being in mind. We cannot have you taking unnecessary risks. Not in your condition.
- Rigmor: Give me one good reason Why I don’t run my sword through your guts.
I had enough and used my Thu’um to get the attention of all.
QUIET AND PAY ATTENTION!
Everybody immediately shut up and all eyes turned towards me.
In a loud but normal voice I continued,
- Wulf: At the Roscrea prison I faced dozens of these Tsaesci and remnants single handed and slaughtered them all. Have you even faced one Camaeus?
- Camaeus: No Guardian General.
- Wulf: I expect to come face to face with Gods in there Camaeus. I have been as close as you are to at least a dozen. Have you ever been close to one, and the priest is just an avatar of one remember.
- Camaeus: No Guardian General.
- Wulf: I am the Champion of The Divine and blessed by Akatosh himself. Do you have God given powers Camaeus?
- Camaeus: No Guardian General.
- Wulf: Who do you think is a better to lead the way and guard Princess Rigmor? You and your troops or me?
- Camaeus: You Guardian General.
- Wulf: And who is commander of this force Camaeus?
- Camaeus: You Guardian General.
- Wulf: Then shut the fuck up and do as ordered. Quintus and the Legionnaires will accompany Rigmor. I will be a little ahead of them on point and use magicka and Thu’um to clear as much of the enemy as possible. You will follow behind and protect our flanks. My experience of these places tells me they may spring from hidden side passages. Understood?
- Camaeus: Understood.
- Wulf: Count Camaeus, I agree with Princess Rigmor. You are up to something. I do not care if you think you are serving Lord Akatosh. I know I am and it is why I exist. Do not interfere with my Divine Task or you will feel his wrath through me. Understood?
- Camaeus: Understood.
- Wulf: Rigmor, we do not know all that we face so Camaeus has to be with us.
- Rigmor: Yeah, OK. It is for the best.
- Wulf: All of you listen and take note. I do this all the time. This is new to all of you and old hat to me. If I give an order you obey immediately. Not to do so will not only jeopardise your life but the mission and therefore your loved ones at home. If I am in discussion with Morag Sethius or Molag Bal you are to remain silent. I must concentrate on their words to make the right choices. Do not think I am succumbing to their evil magics. I have had many Gods try and fail to dominate me. Do not approach the Crystal. Does everybody understand?
I got a chorus of affirmation.
I turned and said to Rigmor, “I meant what I said about not yelling or carrying on or breaking my concentration if I am speaking to Morag or her Daddy.”
“I will try but that bitch!”
I know but please try really hard. Trust me and do not think I am ever under her control or considering what she is offering. If I let her talk I may get vital information. Understand?
“Yes my Dragonborn. Guess after guess.”
We will get through this my darling Rigmor.
I said to Quintus, “General Quintus, let’s move out!”
“Yes General. OK men, look lively, you know the drill. Close quarter to quarter. Take no prisoners, show no mercy. These are neither Men nor Mer. These are monsters to be slain!”
The doors to The Pit stood before me.
I entered into what the whole of Nirn will look like if we fail.
I made sure a good number of Legionnaires had entered.
Then I proceeded into the bowels of depravity.
I raised a portcullis and saw many vampire grouped at the bottom of some stairs.
I used Cyclone and we rushed in to kill the survivors.
As expected some vampires attacked from hidden passageways and were taking a toll on the Silver Swords before we backtracked and helped.
We went down several more sets of steps and through portcullis and rooms full of vampire.
I turned to Rigmor and said, “Just ahead should be the elite troops, the Akaviri and Tsaesci. Stick close to me please. I will not be going ahead this time.”
“OK Dragonborn. She is not far ahead is she?”
No. She is not far from death either.
We entered a huge chamber with a lake in the middle. The elite troops were standing on the far side.
The idiots were prime targets for Fireballs and I thinned their numbers considerably before melee was joined.
Then it was slice and dice. I saw their leader and cut him down.
Then I annihilated any that came near.
Rigmor had been close but I told her I need to do some healing and she ran off to help kill the last few.
As I healed them I reminded them to get the antidote from Sethri soon.
I could see no Imperial or Thalmor casualties.
I said to Rigmor, “This will give them pause if they ever get a report. We just slaughtered their best and all have survived. They better have something else if they invade Tamriel.”
I barked an order, “Okay, we are about to enter the chamber. Remember my instructions. Quiet and get ready to run if I say so.”
I looked and could see the ‘Bridge of Sighs’, in the distance and three Oblivion gates.
I crossed the stone bridge and paused. Still no sign of Morag but being the egotistical creature she is I expected some sort of grand entrance.
I looked behind me and was not pleased to see Camaeus and his troops crossing over before the Legionnaires. He is after something. He was too eager to take point and now he has forced his way to the front. I could not spend time worrying about him.
- Rigmor: There is the Bridge of Sighs!
- Camaeus: Careful, I have a feeling we are not alone.
- Quintus: You can feel it, like a…a tinderbox ready to explode.
- Rigmor: Dragonborn, we can just take it, there’s no-one here. Take the soul gem.
- Wulf: Of course there is somebody here and I would turn into a mushy Dragonborn puddle if I touched the gem. Now will everybody please SHUT THE FUCK UP! That is an order.
And on queue Morag appeared. Cliché grand entrance achieved.
- Morag: I underestimated you Dragonborn. It pains me you have come all this way just to die. We could have made such…such a lovely couple.
- Rigmor: Over my dead body!
- Quintus: Countess! Quiet as the General ordered please.
- Morag: All in good time peasant wench. I shall enjoy disembowelling you and devouring your entrails…just to make sure, after my children have had their fill of ravishing you again and again. But…you Dragonslayer have my full attention. You see, we have reached a stalemate you and I. But I have a proposition that would benefit us all.
- Rigmor: Don’t trust her Dragonborn!
- Morag: Quiet whelp! Know your place lest it be on the board of Molag Bal!
I turned to Rigmor and told her, “You promised to trust me. I told you I need to concentrate. For the sake of Kintyra and all those you love I am begging you to please be quiet. She has what is coming to her.”
“I’m sorry Dragonborn.”
Just remember, I love you and this will be over soon.
Morag said, “Come forward Dragonslayer, so we can speak intimately. Let me enlighten you on the questions you have always wanted answered”
I stood before Morag. I was going to talk but use the Thu’um so all could hear my answers.
- Wulf: I have nothing to say to you so don’t bother boring me any further.
- Morag: That’s not exactly what I had in mind, you see, father would never allow it.
- Wulf: And I am supposed to care what your Daddy allows?
- Morag: You must ask yourself, is the mortal realm worth saving? Just look around you. Weak pitiful creatures who know nothing of lasting peace while the Gods meddle and plot in their affairs. They continue to murder themselves in the worst way. Commit atrocities in the very name of their foul Gods.
- Wulf: Weak and pitiful? Step away from the Bridge of Sighs and let Princess Rigmor, the Chosen Queen of Tamriel, show you how weak she is. The only meddling The Divine do is to preserve the sacred covenant. To stop your Daddy and his kind from crossing into Mundus from Oblivion. Man and Mer will always commit acts of evil and the Gods do not make them. It is free will and free choice. Greed, jealousy and hatred are part of who we are. You can exercise your free will and deny Molag Bal and there is nothing he could do about it. He could not stop Serana, his favourite Daughter of Coldharbour, from turning her back on him and becoming mortal once again. Don’t you wish you had the powers he gave her?
- Morag: What would you not give to curse and banish the Gods for what they have done to you? What they have done to Rigmor? The screams of your mother as she brought you into this filthy world. To die in a bloody fucking mess. Tainted by the seeds of Talos. Are they no cruel and relentless foul spirits of woes already trembling in their nests of filth they have made for themselves!
- Wulf: Your Daddy does not know does he? You believe he knows all but in reality he is blind compared to Lord Akatosh. My mother did not die giving birth to me. I will not say her name here so you can befoul it. I am born of two Gods. I am not a Dragonslayer, I am a Dragonborn blessed by Lord Akatosh with powers beyond your feeble comprehension. So I am of three Gods and I serve The Nine. You are nothing but a vampire with no more power than hundreds of your kind I have slaughtered. All that was done to me. All that was done to Rigmor was to save the world from slime like you and that depraved foul creature you call Daddy. Does he ever rape after the first time? Just to cement that loving relationship? Ignorant bitch!
- Morag: We can be as one. I want you. I always wanted you. I lust for you and would have you inside me in a heartbeat. I would carry your Dragonchild without the risks a lesser mortal has and many others.
- Wulf: I am one with Rigmor, Chosen Queen and mother of the Chosen One. We are one soul, one love and one destiny. Rigmor will give birth to our daughter Kintyra and she will survive the birth because Lord Akatosh has made it so. Kintyra will rule over a united nation of Men and Mer where her absolute power will guarantee the peace you only promise. You are too late but you never stood a chance anyway. You have never loved and have no concept of what it is or its power. As if I would betray a real woman for a wrinkled old corpse like you. The prophecy has been fulfilled Morag.
Morag was getting desperate. She knew nothing of this as Molag Bal knew nothing of it.
- Morag: Rigmor and all your friends can live and embrace their new home in Coldharbour. This is my promise to you. I would kill that false Emperor and place you on his throne next to mine. I would forge a new Amulet of Kings and relight the Dragonfires, not to banish the Daedric Lords, the true and deserving Gods. You will have your revenge as that rank, wretched king Akatosh will drown in his own tears for ever writhing in the agony of his failure as he and his kind are banished..
So we finally get around to the Red Diamond and Amulet of Kings.
- Wulf: And how does a weakling like you create a new Amulet of Kings?
- Morag: Did you not know? The Bridge of Sighs holds the very essence of Molag Bal and of Alessia. The radiance is the battle within. The children’s souls a catalyst to a fountain of youth. To keep the children’s spirits alive Alessia must battle night and day. She wants her children back. But she is weakening and her soul has become tainted black. To destroy it now…
- Wulf: SHUT UP! To destroy it now would ensure Alessia’s soul remains pure. Destruction now would stop you from using Alessia’s blackened soul in a warped Amulet of Kings. You wish to replace the barrier of Martin’s sacrifice with a new one that restricts The Divine’s influence on Nirn. Any Daedric Lord that manages to create a portal to Nirn would be unchallenged by The Nine. That would not bring peace. Imagine Boethia and Molag Bal sharing Nirn? There are so many combinations of the 17 Daedric Lords that would war and rip this world apart and you think peace would prevail. Not only is death and misery the inevitable outcome but you are asking me to sacrifice my Mother’s soul for this madness. Saint Alessia is my mother. Talos my father. Rigmor my love and my daughter Kintyra the future Empress and the Chosen One of prophecy. You have failed and will die knowing the fool you are Morag.
- Morag: Come with me my love…
Morag tried to control my mind and her power was unlike anything I had experienced before. I suddenly realised it wasn’t her. It was Molag Bal via the Bridge! I could not move as she kissed me but I filled my mind with Rigmor’s face. With Rigmor’s smile. With Rigmor’s laughter. That last gave me the strength to finally move and I shoved Morag away and used the full strength of my Thu’um to yell, ‘NO! RIGMOR AND I SHARE A LOVE THAT NO GOD CAN OVERCOME!’
There was a flash and I found myself sprawled on the floor.
As I stood Morag was laughing in triumph. Then she looked behind me and screamed.
Sorella has the power to destroy the Crystal, the soul gem known as The Bridge of Sighs. She has the power because Rigmor and I rescued her from certain death. She has the power because she loved Rigmor so much she went looking for her when Rigmor was kidnapped and Sorella was taken by Morag’s brood. She has the power because Kyne has gifted her with wolf friendship and that stopped Morag’s wolves from tearing her apart. She has the power because I rescued her and slaughtered Morag’s brood. She has the power because l gave her a special ring and bow the belonged to Xenia’s mother. A brave woman whose love for her Xenia, her lost child, led to Morag’s brood. She has the power because that little girl called Xenia defied the power of Molag Bal and did not enter the Bridge of Sighs. She has the power because I reunited the lost soul of Xenia with her mother’s. She has the power because Xenia told her what needed to be done. She has the power because her adoptive mother taught her how to shoot an arrow and never miss.
Such was the exquisite and perfect plans of The Divine culminating in Sorella aiming and letting lose an arrow.
That arrow flew true and hit the Crystal soul gem shattering it.
The trapped souls and the essence of my Mother were released in an enormous burst of energy.
Energy concentrated enough to open a rift to the realm of Coldharbour in Oblivion.
Molag Bal was coming to Nirn and all here but I must flee.
I ran to Quintus and ordered him, “Quintus get everybody out of here now! Molag Bal will be here soon. Take Camaeus and Rigmor with you. I trust Camaeus will protect her with his life as you will. She may need you both if I do not make it. Now go!”
“I understand Guardian General.”
I ran to Rigmor and said, “You can’t help me when Molag Bal gets here. The magic Alessia gave me is gone. If you die at that God’s hands I can’t bring you or Kintyra back. Please my love, go with Quintus now.”
I have the Eye of Boethia. I have Scourge. I have our love and as you just saw even Gods are powerless against it.
“I just want you to know I love you.”
I love you more than life itself.
“Oh my Dragonborn.”
We kissed a kiss of legends. It said more than a thousand words could about our feelings.
Quintus urged, “Lady Rigmor, time is running out. Come on. Follow me!”
I looked in her eyes for what could possibly be the last time and she turned and ran for her and our daughter’s lives.
I turned and saw Morag getting to her feet and I ran for her.
She screamed as I closed in.
With a growl of pure hatred I cut the head from her false body of vanity.
I looked upon the corpse and smiled.
My Thu’um returned and I used it to shout, “Morag Sethius is dead at my hands as befits an enemy of The Divine!”
As the last troops crossed to safety I turned to see Molag Bal stepping through a portal and I was not afraid.
He was making threats to Lord Akatosh and threatening to drink from my skull. He was also a bit pissed off about Morag’s failure.
I did not want to get squished like a bug so used the Eye of Boethiah and there she was.
She laughed, “Hahaha! It worked!”
I replied, “You boyfriend is a bit angry.”
She turned to face her nemesis who showed his affection by yelling, “Boethiah. You fucking bitch!”
Proving the effect such loving words can have on a young God she replied, “The thought of devouring you has made me come. I am in rapture…”
Then they were just like a married couple as they fought to the death over some minor dispute.
Of course an open portal to Oblivion is going to attract tourists. Dremora of various types came pouring through and down the stairs intent on killing me for no other reason than I wasn’t one of them. The odd thing about Dremora is they are immune to the fires of Oblivion but burn to a crisp when hit by Fireballs in Mundus. So I just blew them into crispy Dremora chunks as they charged.
In between waves of Dremora I watched the two Gods fight. If Rigmor was as tall as them and they did not cheat with all that immortal God crap she could cut them both down in seconds.
More Dremora blown up.
Some Dremora decided to gang up on Boethia.
I thought that was very ungentlemanly conduct so blew them to pieces.
There were bits of burning Dremora and Dremora corpses all over the place.
I decided there seems to be a lull in the smaller bad guys so drew Scourge to tackle the big bad guy.
I had to dodge two set of God’s feet to avoid being squashed like a bug and finally walloped Molag Ball just above the knee with Scourge.
For the third time in two days that resulted in me being hurled many meters by an explosion.
I got to my feet and looked around. No Gods to be seen and the Oblivion Gates were destroyed.
The bridge behind me was gone and most of the cavern had collapsed into an internal lake.
I climbed the steps to see if I could spot an exit.
I could see some sort of drain down below.
I leapt and was dragged by the current under a grate.
I came out into a still body of water. I look around to get my bearings and headed for the bank.
I found the trail we had walked up this morning to join the muster.
I soon spotted the encampment.
I paused at the gate. I hoped Rigmor made it back safe.
I opened it and four were standing there, Sethri, Quintus, Camaeus and my beloved.
Rigmor came running at full pelt and yelled, “Dragonborn!” and flew into my arms. The kiss matched that of earlier and all I could think was, “This is the greeting I should have got in the Roxey Inn!”
As the other three were shuffling feet and trying to look elsewhere Rigmor finally came up for air and then asked,
- Rigmor: Is she dead?
- Wulf: Cut her head clean off as she screamed.
- Rigmor: That was too quick for her!
- Wulf: Her Daddy was walking through the gateway. I didn’t have time to tickle her.
- Rigmor: Was he like my dream. The one you said was not a Minotaur.
- Wulf: Yep, horns and all.
- Rigmor: What about the eye thingy.
- Wulf: It worked and they did not say nice things to each other. I will have to ask Malesam if he knows about his Mistress’ weird sex fetish.
- Rigmor: And you hit Molag Bal with the mace?
- Wulf: After killing a few dozen Dremora yes. I couldn’t reach his dangly bits so hit him as hard as I could just above the left knee.
- Rigmor: Then?
- Wulf: Then what?
- Rigmor: Dragonborn!
- Wulf: Then most of the place collapsed. I jumped into an underwater lake. Got swept out to the river. Walked here and got attacked by a skinny Nordling girl with a destiny and a huge sword.
- Rigmor: How did she mesmerize you? You told me not to worry then she is locking lips with you?
- Wulf: In a way I was kissing Molag Bal. He channelled some power via the Bridge and though Morag. He caught me unaware and overwhelmed me easily.
- Rigmor: Like that letter you wrote, our love was too powerful.
- Wulf: I just thought of things I love about you. The first time I realised I loved you was when you laughed that time in Windhelm. I thought of your laughter and here I am.
- Rigmor: Well that is one thing out of the way.
- Wulf: It was not the end of my Divine Task. There must be more to it. Maybe I missed something or maybe I have to do something else that will reveal itself. I don’t know.
- Rigmor: Camaeus is very subdued. Maybe you are right and he was supposed to do something as well.
- Wulf: I think you are perfectly safe around him but he kept pushing to be at the front of everything. He wanted to accompany you at the beginning of the battle. He wanted to spearhead the attack on The Pit. He was the first across the stone bridge after you and I. It was like he wanted to spot something and get it before we did.
- Rigmor: You look very pale Dragonborn. Are you OK?
- Wulf: Pretty fatigued. Probably all the magicka I used and fighting Gods and all that.
- Rigmor: You had better talk to the others.
I approached Sethri,
- Wulf: Sethri, good to see you safe. Has Casius gone?
- Sethri: Ships already left for Dawnstar. He is going to drop Sorella off at Falkreath and try and join us later over the Pale Pass.
- Wulf: Thank The Divine she is safe. Sorella was true to her word. One shot. Amazing considering the distance and the pressure.
- Sethri: Yes, amazing, but Dragonborn, you don’t look too good.
- Wulf: Have you ever seen yourself in a mirror?
- Sethri: I mean ill. Really ill. Like fucked!
- Wulf: Just the fight Sethri. I will be okay after a sleep. Let’s start making plans for out next move.
- Sethri: Well, you better look in the Command Tent. You have a visitor.
- Wulf: Who?
- Sethri: That Blackwell bloke from the Palace.
This should be interesting. Blackwell and Rigmor were already sitting and waiting for me in the Command Tent.
I sat and tried to ascertain the mood. Rigmor looked bemused. Blackwell looked like Blackwell.
- Wulf: Brave of you to come here Blackwell.
- Blackwell: I have no choice. I am, as they say, caught between a rock and a hard place. The Emperor needs me more than ever now that Morag Bal has been destroyed. That I can be sure of as you are both sitting here with me right now.
- Rigmor: He is not my Emperor!
- Blackwell: Oh but he is ‘The’ Emperor Countess. As long as there is breath in his lungs I am sworn to protect him and protect him I shall.
- Blackwell: Please, Rigmor will do just fine.
- Wulf: I can assure you Morag is dead. I lopped her head off myself and even bruised her Daddy’s thigh. It was quite a party Blackwell. Didn’t you get an invitation?
- Blackwell: Let stick to business Dragonborn. I have a proposition. Please hear me out.
- Wulf: Go ahead. You deserve to be heard.
- Blackwell: Firstly, the demise of Morag changes things. The Emperor is in a very vulnerable position. Not only in danger from your army but also Leyawiin. I want to strike a peace deal or come to some understanding that allows the Emperor to remain on the seat of the sundered Kings.
- Rigmor: What do you mean he is in danger from Leyawiin?
- Blackwell: It is very unlikely you will defeat him. He now has the ear of Cheydinhal and Chorrol. Even Count Bravil is set to send troops to join his alliance against you. But I fear in defeating you he will then descend upon the palace and take all. If that were to happen, the Emperor, and myself, I am sure would come to a grisly end.
- Rigmor: Cheydinhal and Chorrol? No…
- Blackwell: Yes, Morag’s original plan was to incorporate Bruma into their counties to balance the power against Leyawiin. Morag’s desire was to protect her own interests by protecting Sethius. She feared Leyawiin’s growing strength. Robere’s plan to marry you was a brilliant master-stroke to thwart the plot, as Bruma coming over to the Leyawiin camp would have silenced him for good. Now? They seek a deal with Leyawiin to destroy you and their payment for backing him, Bruma, and the shared rights to rebuild Kvatch.
- Rigmor: Like a Northern Powerhouse?
- Blackwell: You could put it that way. Bravil is very reluctant and the weakest link. Chorrol will only commit if he thinks there is as chance to defeat your army. Cheydinhal has already joined Leyawiin and joined the siege of Bruma. Already your garrison has been forced back inside the walls. It is only a matter of time Rigmor.
- Rigmor: So what is your proposition?
- Blackwell: Marry Robere de Medalius.
- Rigmor: No way! After everything he has said and done.
- Wulf: I am telling you this Blackwell. That will never occur. As Arch Mage of The College of Winterhold I am duty bound to protect the descendants of Morgan. I can bring the full power of dozens of mages in hours to defend Bruma and totally destroy the besiegers. He planned to kill Rigmor. He would still kill Rigmor.
- Blackwell: I have nothing to offer unless that is on the table.
- Wulf: Rigmor is not a fucking piece of slave flesh up on the blocks for auction! We are not playing your political game anymore Blackwell. You have been in the camp for a while I assume. Heard any rumours from the troops?
- Blackwell: Tell me Dragonborn. We are not playing games remember?
- Wulf: I am duty bound to fulfil the prophecy of the Chosen Queen. Duty bound to The Divine. I will declare who I am and let us see what that does to the plans of your Counts. The son of Tiber Septim leading an army! What if I also declare myself as Ysmir and wearer of the Stormcrown as endorsed by the Greybeards? What if I call up a few of my Dovah friends and kill hundreds of troops in seconds and there is not a thing any of our enemies can do about it? We do not want to fight our way through the Imperial City and kill the innocent to steal a throne. But we can and will destroy our enemies besieging Bruma and we will park ourselves around the Red Ring Road and we will wait till the Elder Council in exile demands Sethius stand down. He would then no longer be your Emperor Blackwell. What then?
- Rigmor: Stop it! Both of you! I do desire peace, over…over…this! No Dragonborn, I never asked for any of this. I have never had a life. If I could stop it, this…madness, I would. Screw the Gods and screw the prophecy!
- Wulf: Tell me how long before there is another political play in Cyrodiil? You would leave a weak Emperor on the throne that is guilty of heinous crimes. The children raped and murdered at the border crossing. That was not Morag. What a waste of food! That was Sethius! He was not under some spell with Morag. He chose to be as evil as her.
- The Divine are not responsible for this political game Rigmor. They are not responsible for the greed of the Counts of Leyawiin, Cheydinhal and Chorrol! On behalf of The Divine I have saved you and Sorella and every person you love over and over and over. They are not evil. They do not sacrifice and eat children to keep themselves beautiful and to make a gateway for the undead. They do not put a young Nord virgin on a sacrificial table ready to plunge knives into her heart so Malacath can kill every mortal on Earth. They do not arrange for every man, woman and child in the Imperial City to be sacrificed so Boethia can rule Nirn. They do not assassinate Emperors and put out the Dragon Fires and kill and plot so that Mehrunes Dagon can destroy Nirn.
- We are now parents of the Chosen One. People will not ignore that fact. Kintyra will be in constant danger. I am a Septim. I will be in constant danger. You are a Mede. You will be in constant danger.
- Do not blaspheme The Divine who have done nothing more than provide a way to stop the wars over the Ruby Throne forever. To provide a way for us to defeat what is coming from the West. This little skirmish was a prelude Rigmor.
- The greatest Emperors and the longest peace have been products of The Nine! Only when a none Divine blessed Emperor sits upon the Ruby Throne is there no peace!
- You can’t have a normal life. That option is gone. You can help me provide the safest world possible for Kintyra to thrive in and grow. A world where the political game is null due to her Divine Right to rule. To do that you or I has to sit on the Ruby Throne for now.
- So tell me Rigmor, do you still want to talk a deal? Have some temporary peace until the next moves for the throne force us to war once more? Don’t worry, I would never leave you or our child but I would do all in my power to destroy any danger to either of you. Nothing, not even the Gods, could stop me.
- Rigmor: I will need to speak to others about a peace deal we would be happy with Blackwell.
- Blackwell: Of course but ride into that valley and you’ll force my hand against you.
- Wulf: You have nothing Blackwell. You would not be begging for your Emperor’s life if you did.
Blackwell left the tent and encampment.
I was not thinking. We should have played the game one more time. I could have corrected Rigmor in private. What the fuck did I just do? I was right but wrong. I don’t know.
Rigmor walked out of the Command Tent and into ours. I will have to talk to her. Quintus first though I think. Sounds like a good idea.
I walked up to Quintus and said, “Wait for me inside the Command Tent General Quintus. I need to speak to Rigmor. Then we can discuss the options which I doubt will include peace terms.”
The three headed for the Command Tent. I was going…going…to see Rigmor. That’s right.
I entered and sat down next to her on the bed. I really just wanted to lie on the bed but there were things. Important things I am sure, that we needed to talk about.
- Rigmor: I just want peace Dragonborn but you are right. The political game will keep going and it has nothing to do with the Gods, our Gods, The Divine.
- Wulf: I am right but I should have played the fucking game a bit longer. To be honest the moment he mentioned marrying that piece of shit I could see was the cycle repeating over and over.
- Rigmor: He really offered nothing but more of the same did he?
- Wulf: There was a young Raider today. He had really dark brown eyes and just enough stubble to be called a man. He was equipped with an axe that appeared to have been made in Morrowind but had a modified grip. His shield was so beaten it must have been a hand me down. He charged me with uncertainty but he had seen his friends apparently fight without fear and he wanted to prove he was no longer a child. He had no skill and I deflected his axe and smashed his face with my shield. With a broken nose and missing teeth he looked at me with pleading eyes just before I cut him from shoulder to belly button. He collapsed dead with his life blood spilling on ground that was not his home. If he is lucky somebody will roll him into a mass grave where he can rot with his fellow Raiders. Most likely he will feed the carrion birds and Skeevers and insects. Either way he will be forgotten by history. Forgotten by everybody except Tamriel’s most efficient killing machine. He was the three thousandth Man or Mer to join my library of remembered kills. I know there are a lot more as Thu’um and magicka kill at a distance and destroy the bodies so I can’t tell how many die at once. So if anybody on this planet claims they want peace more than me I call them a liar. Kintyra is going to be a Dragonborn. Will she have to kill like me or will her rule save her from such a life? If there is the slightest chance her rule will stop young Raiders dying on foreign soil or my daughter being a killer then the lives we take on the way to the Capital will be worth it. If they hold a weapon they die. Easy choice really.
- Rigmor: I am so sorry my love. I don’t know how you keep going.
- Wulf: I am looking at my secret power remember.
- Rigmor: Not so secret now.
- Wulf: Come on. Let’s discuss it with the others.
- Rigmor: You go. I’ll go along with whatever you decide.
- Wulf: This concerns us both Rigmor and I don’t think I am thinking straight enough. I will need you.
- Rigmor: Please, I’m so tired I just don’t care anymore. Dragonborn please?
- Wulf: How to defeat a Dragonborn. Make him fall in love with you then use a cute whiny voice.
- Rigmor: It is not whiny!
- Wulf: OK, you get some rest. I’ll let you know of anything important.
- Rigmor: Thank you and in case I have not said it one hundred times today, I love you.
I entered the Command tent and Quintus, Sethri and Camaeus were waiting. I really just wanted to go and crawl in next to Rigmor but things are now set in motion that need us to be quick, decisive and certain.
I sat and the discussion soon made not much sense to me. I decided I would just nod sagely.
- Quintus: Is Rigmor OK?
- Wulf: Yes, she is sleeping bless her.
- Quintus: What did Blackwell have to say?
- Wulf: He proposed a peace treaty. Rigmor was thinking about it. I told her it would never last. I told Blackwell we will either remove the Emperor or encircle the Capital City until he is removed by the Elder Council. He had nothing of value to offer. He was begging for the life of that arsehole dirtying the Ruby Throne.
- Quintus: I fear we have already gone too far and any peace would never work. Not with you deliberately letting the troops know of your Septim blood. What else did he say?
- Wulf: Cheydinhal has joined Leyawiin’s forces. Chorrol might too. Bravil is hesitant to join them. I assume that changes things?
- Quintus: Our flank would be completely exposed if Chorrol sallied forth from the castle.
- Sethri: You said he was begging for his Emperor’s life. I assume it doesn’t matter if we win or lose because Chorrol’s been offered a deal by Leyawiin?
- Wulf: Let me think…ah yes. Leyawiin will offer Cheydinhal and Chorrol Bruma to divide how they see fit.
- Sethri: In return they offer him their loyalty should they usurp the Imperial Throne?
- Wulf: I think so. It does not really matter. No peace treaty is acceptable. It would not guarantee long term peace. We want a permanent solution.
- Quintus: This changes things as we can no longer march down the Gold Road to engage Leyawiin’s army with our backs exposed to a possible attack from Chorrol. I fear either way we have been compromised. I don’t think we have much choice but to find some agreeable peace treaty.
- Wulf: Find a way to win with the forces already in the field. If you can’t I will add Dragons and Mages and whatever else I need to grind the fucking Counts into the ground. There will be no peace deal so remove that as an option in your calculations!
- Quintus: Did he give away where Leyawiin is now?
- Wulf: Both him and Cheydinhal have forced Yngol back into the castle. It is under siege again. There is not much time said Blackwell. Yngol’s men are some of the best soldiers I have ever seen. He also has some very sneaky characters with him. I would not be surprised to find another Yngol force appear after being summoned from Skyrim by said sneaky personage.
- Quintus: Siege? But what about Robere?
- Wulf: I assume his father values him as much as me. Worthless scum.
- Camaeus: May I interject?
- Wulf: Well you are not here just for your pretty face. Believe me on that one!
I started to giggle. Important thingies are being discussed. Behave Wulf!
- Sethri: Are you OK Dragonborn. Your colour is not good and you have been a bit…
- Wulf: Fucked?
- Sethri: I was going to say vague but close enough.
- Wulf: I am here and Rigmor is not so I will have to do. You were saying Camaeus?
- Camaeus: I have been given leave to assist any way I can. The endorsement of the Elder Council in Exile permits my force to be available even in Cyrodiil.
- Wulf: Don’t want to be rude. I am never rude. Thalmor forces appearing to support us may be a catalyst for those sitting on the fence to get involved and not on our side.
- Camaeus: It is worth the chance of that happening if our presence made their side untenable. I propose splitting our forces as they don’t know how many we are. Quintus and I could take the main force to Skingrad. Once there we hold talks with the Count, see if he is willing to join us. Whether he does or not, we park our army on Chorrol’s doorstep and wait.
- Wulf: You might mention to the Count who is leading our army. That might persuade him.
- Quintus: Or confuse him. But if we do as suggested Leyawiin will hear of it and will move his forces to meet us, or block us from descending on the Citadel. If I were him I would make encampment on the Red Ring Road, protecting the bridge into the Imperial City.
- Camaeus: Exactly, he would leave behind a force big enough to make sure Bruma does not sally forth. I would assume Cheydinhal forces mostly. I am sure there is no love lost between then and The New Imperial Army. This is where you come in Guardian General. Take Rigmor and the rest of the army on a forced march to Bruma. Break the siege and relieve the garrison. If Casius and his marines join you more the merrier.
- Wulf: They are pirates! I am sure they know lots of merry songs.
- Camaeus: Guardian, do you need Sethri’s help?
- Wulf: Eh, no, go on.
- Camaeus: Make you way down the Silver Road and join us on Leyawiin’s right flank.
- Wulf: I am not quite picturing all you said but I don’t think splitting our forces is wise.
- Camaeus: The prophecy must be fulfilled. You know as well as I this is the only way. Not only for the future of Tamriel, no, all of Nirn but also for Rigmor. When the child is born we don’t want any debris on the doorstep as well as the flotsam that is going to be washed upon the shore.
- Wulf: Fuck me you are a moron. Why do you think I want to fight and not talk peace? Your mouthful of shit does not change the fact splitting the force is bad. It is not the only way. Speaking of splitting, what have you got for headaches Sethri?
- Sethri: After we have finished Dragonborn. I might have some stuff in me bag.
- Wulf: Then I could sleep a week.
- Sethri: I suggest we keep the army intact like Dragonborn says. March it to Chorrol and take Fort Ash and wait. That would bring Leyawiin off the mountain as Camaeus suggests and if all goes according to plan it will give you the edge and needed protection should both Chorrol and Leyawiin attack simultaneously if all goes South. I will go to Bruma and inform Yngol of the situation. Once Leyawiin moves, Yngol sallies forth. With his men, the garrison and the Guild, Cheydinhal doesn’t stand a chance. We’ll leave skeleton crew of picked fighter and make our way to Fort Empire on Leyawiin’s flank.
- Wulf: Skeletons are not very good fighters. Leave Casius men, they are a better crew. I have been on their ship so I know. Skeletons don’t even know how to sail.
- Rigmor: Dragonborn, this is no time for joking!
- Wulf: I wasn’t. Skeletons are not good fighters!
- Rigmor: If you not going to contribute please be quiet.
- Wulf: Alright. Getting bored anyway.
- Quintus: That could work, a lightning strike on Fort Ash. I’ll send a courier to make sure Count Chorrol knows what is best for him.
Hang on. Who just told me off? Rigmor! She is so pretty.
- Rigmor: We will need to stop him from crossing the Bridge, yanno, into the Citadel.
- Camaeus: Countess Rigmor. I am glad you are well and have joined us.
- Rigmor: He’ll occupy the ruins of Fort Nikel. That is what I would do. Also fortify the high ground outside Weye. If Bravil attempts to join the battle against us, that could cause problems. If we get that far I say we ignore Fort Nikel completely and strike the high ground giving us the advantage and dividing his forces. We could then take Weye and secure the bridge.
- Quintus: Of course. Go around the fort and it will be all but over!
- Camaeus: Leyawiin will be forced to surrender and the city will be spared.
- Rigmor: Well…What’s everyone waiting for? Let’s go!
My friend Rigmor wants me to go with her. She always has the most exciting adventures. She once showed me this cool treehouse!
“Dragonborn are you alright? You are sweaty and pale.”
She is very pretty my friend Rigmor. I have already said that haven’t I? Well she is so there. I hope we go to the pond and the frogs.
Shit! Oops. Naughty word! Ow, fell over.
Coming! Let me get up.
“Out cold…looks like that malaise people get from the Akaviri”
I’m not out in the cold. Why can’t I get up?
“But Allie said Dragonborn was immune…”
“Not immune from the ‘kiss of death’ from a broodmother.”
Mother always kisses me. Father does as well when nobody is looking. Sometimes his whiskers scratch my face.
“What are we going to do now?”
Yes, where are we going Rigmor? I like that Den where we pretend to be hiding from everybody. Can we go there? Please?
“It would take days to send for a physician. Give him some of that tonic of yours that might help.”
“We don’t have time to wait here. We will have to take him with us.”
Why can’t I go with Rigmor Mother? Why not Father? Haven’t I finished all my chores like you asked? I want to go with Rigmor. It is not nice when she has to go alone. She needs a friend and I am her best friend forever. Mother? Father? No, go away sleep. I want to play and see things and do things. I deserve it after all those chores! I don’t want to sleep…
“Dragonborn, hold on…I am not going to let you die…I’m right here OK…”