Weye Military Camp, Imperial Palace: Prophecy.
I dreamt a most wondrous dream in which Rigmor and I were married in the Cathedral in Bruma.
Baa’Ren-Dar was walking my beloved down the aisle following a trail of red flowers.
I knelt before Talos awaiting my beautiful lady.
It was gloriously happy and I was reluctant to wake up even though my senses told me I should.
I was soon brought to reality by Rigmor elbowing me in the ribs saying, “Get your arm off me so I can get up. I need to pee! Bad!”
Then she disentangled herself from me and rushed off to the privy while I chuckled at the contrast to my dream. Rigmor’s hair was messy. She was sweaty and smelly in her armour. There was not a single sign of makeup or finery. Yet she was no less beautiful than in my dream.
When she returned I asked, “Hungry? We could get something from the mess. Smells like bacon, egg and sausages.”
Rigmor turned a bit green and said, “No my Dragonborn. Bit of a bad stomach. Nerves I guess.”
Okay then, let’s get this over with and then I can take you home. Are you ready?
“As much as I’ll ever be. Come on then my Dragonborn.”
So I followed Rigmor through the encampment.
As we were passing the fire pit Rigmor asked Amon, “Hey Amon. Where is Tish?”
He replied, “Tish had decided to go home to Highrock. You might be able to catch her if you hurry.”
Rigmor darted for the road to Weye and I followed.
Luckily we intercepted Tish and B just in time.
- Rigmor: Tish! Wait!
- Tish: Hey girl…what’s up?
- Rigmor: Where are you going?
- Tish: Bruma has been good to us. We don’t wanna outstay our welcome.
- Rigmor: Tish, please…won’t you stay?
- Tish: Agh, Rigmor, don’t do this to me…
- Rigmor: Tish…please, don’t go. You will always be welcome here! Where will you go?”
- Tish: Agh! Look, me an’ B gonna head up to High Rock n’ see what’s happening up there. I got some unfinished business and talking to you kinda cleared my head a bit.
- Rigmor: I understand. No regrets huh?
- Tish: One of my biggest regrets in my life was killing all those dragons.
- Wulf: Tish, I know Dov who regret killing humans. If you ever want I can introduce you to them. I am sure they would enjoy a tinvaak, a talk, with you. They are magnificent beings with a wisdom that spans millennia. They may help with your regrets. The Greybeards are also wise in these matters even if, like me, you find their religion a load of bollocks. Many a good friend can be found amongst old enemies.
- Tish: I hear some call you Dragonslayer. You are far from that.
With that the unlikely duo rode away and Rigmor looked forlorn. I asked her, “You and Tish got close when I was busy dying?”
“Yes. She sat and listened to my stories about Dad and my childhood and captivity and my times with you. All those hours as I sat by you and last night was the first time she opened up about her past.”
I replied, “I hate killing Dov. They only die through violence otherwise they live till the end of time. Most I have slain died because they listened to Alduin and did not choose to overcome their baser instincts. Others simply wanted to test their strength against me. They are fierce and show no mercy if they allow themselves to lose control. I have to fight that impulse but I have had love and compassion to help dampen it. Most Dov are solo beings and the fight against instinct is far harder for them. Come on my love and let’s continue on to my least favourite place.”
I followed Rigmor through Weye and was pleasantly surprised at the clean up the Imperial troops had done. There was even smoke coming out of chimneys indicating citizens had returned to their homes.
Quintus and Camaeus were waiting at the foot of the bridge.
- Quintus: Watch out for a trap. Sethius will be surrounded by his Praetorian Guard.
- Rigmor: I’ll be fine Quintus. I have my Dragonborn. What could possible go wrong?
- Quintus: If anything untoward happens I will march my Legion into the city in the name of Titus Mede II and give control back to the Council of Elders.
- Wulf: Relax Quintus. I have a spell prepared that would turn however many troops surround us against each other. I would then happily lop off Sethius’ head. Rigmor is safer than that piece of excrement.
- Quintus: Oh!
- Rigmor: I am sure Blackwell is as good as his word. Thank you again Quintus for everything you have done for me and Bruma.
- Quintus: Don’t make it sound like it’s the end. This is just the beginning. Good luck Milady.
- Rigmor: Come on my Dragonborn. Let’s get this over with.
- Wulf: How is it going Camaeus? Talos visited lately? If so I hope you were polite because him and I go way back.
He gave no reply and that wasn’t surprising.
As we were crossing the bridge I told Rigmor of my dream.
- Wulf: I dreamt we got married in the Bruma Cathedral. Just like your childhood fantasy!
- Rigmor: Really! Who was there?
- Wulf: Who would you want to walk you down the aisle?
- Rigmor: The one who had been like a father to me. The one who rescued me. Baa’Ren-Dar.
- Wulf: So I got that part right then! He looked so distinguished in a green suit with fur collars and high boots.
- Rigmor: And what was I wearing?
- Wulf: A beautiful white dress with a red flower in front of your cleavage. Not that I was looking there. You had your hair up high with a gold Tiara and lace at the back. You were stunning. But then you always are.
- Rigmor: Who else was there?
- Wulf: No nobles. Just your friends from Cyrodiil plus Yngol, Sigunn and Sorella. She had her hair in a bun and it was dyed blond.
- Rigmor: A lot of girls start to show interest in hair and makeup and clothes at Sorella’s age. About the same time they start noticing boys.
- Wulf: You would have to be brave to ask Yngol permission to take Sorella out anywhere. Probably have one of those huge Nord chaperones staring at him all the time.
- Rigmor: I wonder what they would have done if Bobby…you know…showed interest in um…
- Wulf: They would not have had to do anything because I do not think you would have.
- Rigmor: You are probably right but I did love him you know.
- Wulf: I know and he made sure you did. He is locked away in Bruma so forget him. I wonder what he thinks of his father now. Who cares, we were talking about our wedding. Or my dream anyway.
- Rigmor: None of your friends from Skyrim? I would love to have Lydia there.
- Wulf: No. Probably because they have not really been on my mind lately. Just a few weeks ago I crossed the border but it seems like I have put that part of my life mostly behind me now. I am concentrating on our future. Of course I will visit them often but I think I have left everything in capable hands. I do miss Lydia and Meeko though. We did spend a lot of time facing danger together.
- Rigmor: Has she moved on from Bjorn?
- Wulf: I think when she met him in Sovngarde that helped. When I met High King Torygg there he was so worried about Elisif. I don’t think the dead feel any jealousy. Just love and therefore wish their partners to be happy and if that means falling in love again so be it. Lydia has only recently started a relationship with the current Captain of the Guard at Dragons Keep. Of course I would invite her and others to our wedding including Meeko.
- Rigmor: It would get a bit squishy with lots of people. Probably have to remove the pews.
- Wulf: I was kneeling with my hand outstretched waiting for you to take it. You were following a trail of red flowers to me.
- Rigmor: They have been an important part of us. I think that may be Azura’s influence.
- Wulf: She sent us Sethri and I don’t think we could have done all this without him.
- Rigmor: We would have to seat him near the door I think.
- Wulf: He was up front next to Sigunn. She looked so proud of you.
- Rigmor: What was the ring like?
- Wulf: I never got to that before some barbarian elbowed me screaming she had to have a piss.
- Rigmor: Remember that night in Riften when you barred the door and they hadn’t left a pisspot in the room! Then you thought I was under attack and smashed the door down!
- Wulf: I helped them get married. I found some rare gems for their wedding band.
- Rigmor: Well here we are my Dragonborn. The gates to the city.
There were two New Imperial slugs either side of the entrance. They did not say a word.
Rigmor opened the gates.
And there was Akatosh. As we passed I gave silent thanks to him for giving me back to Rigmor.
We passed two real Imperial soldiers at the entrance to the courtyard. Once again no words were exchanged.
As expected the entrance to the Imperial Palace was flanked by Praetorian Guards.
Rigmor halted at the foot of the stairs leading into the Palace.
- Rigmor: My Dragonborn wait. What shall I say to them?
- Wulf: If you wish I can represent you.
- Rigmor: Please do but be diplomatic.
- Wulf: I will follow your example and keep the swearing for the end of my rant.
- Rigmor: Hahaha! Well I certainly won’t be marrying that arsehole Robere so check that off the list. The best he can hope for is his freedom, same with his father.
- Wulf: You were never going to marry him. I would stop it not out of jealousy but out of respect for the sanctity of marriage and your self-worth and if you hated me for it then so be it. It is such a horrible concept this marriage for political advantage. Skyrim has had far longer peace, apart from the civil war, than Cyrodiil and does not have these stupid political games. I noticed you called him Robere.
- Rigmor: Bobby was the pretend him I fell in love with. The reality is Robere. You would not have been the only one to do all they could to prevent that marriage. I think Baa’Ren-Dar would have made a visit and given me a stern talking to.
- Wulf: Both him and his father have been marked for exile.
- Rigmor: We hold the upper hand in the negotiations right?
- Wulf: They are begging for the deal. Beggars can’t be choosers as Kharjo once told me.
- Rigmor: Imagine if they asked me to marry the Emperor!
- Wulf: Negotiations would have to be postponed till we both stopped laughing!
- Rigmor: All this political bullshit! How do they even live with themselves? They will do anything, stoop to the lowest of the low and fuck each other over at every opportunity for power.
- Wulf: Without the slightest influence of Gods Rigmor. Just our flaws exercised without restraint because that has been allowed. Regarded as civilised. The System in Skyrim has Jarls who do not fight each other. Whose main concern is for their people. Except that arsehole in Falkreath and they got rid of him and put Yngol in his place. What is one of the first things he did? Built a school!
- Rigmor: Exactly and that is what really pisses me off. The power they fight over does not belong to them. It belongs to the citizens, the people of Tamriel. If only I could but be a true voice for the people.
- Wulf: Well if this goes to plan you can at least help the people of Leyawiin as well as keep up the good work in Bruma.
- Rigmor: Dragonborn, do you think I have what it takes to become Empress.
- Wulf: Let’s see. You are compassionate, ethical, a champion of the ordinary citizen and can cut a man in half with a single sword stroke. All the requirements to be an astounding Empress.
- Rigmor: Pffft! I don’t think so.
- Wulf: What you just said about the power belonging to the people and your earnest desire to be their true voice. Add those to what I have already said and you truly are capable of being Empress and one that is loved by the people.
- Rigmor: What about us? What will you do no matter what happens next?
- Wulf: I am with you no matter what. I will never leave you! Our love saved me against Molag Bal. If I had not broken that kiss I would have died there and then. Our love brought me back from the brink of death. Akatosh placed me there but I would never have made it out and into the light without you helping me. Our love is beautiful, eternal and so strong Gods can’t stand in its way.
- Rigmor: I love you Dragonborn. I belong to you and you alone and I will never stop loving you!
- Wulf: One heart. One soul. One destiny.
- Rigmor: Do you believe in the prophecy thing?
- Wulf: Absolutely 100% Rigmor. I have been as close as you are now to Saint Alessia. Not the small part that was Allie but all of her complete. So much love radiated from her there is no way she would play games with me or let The Divine get away with doing so. Some things that The Divine have done to us are personally hard to accept but I have slowly learned to see the necessity of what they do. Would either of us want a different life if it meant the end of Nirn and/or Mundus? We were not asked to make the sacrifices we have made but if it means lasting piece on Nirn then so be it. The Prophecy is true Rigmor. We will just have to wait and see how the end comes about.
- Rigmor: What will become of us?
- Wulf: We shall have a daughter by the name of Kintyra. She will want for nothing and will be loved by us and the citizens of Nirn. She will usher in a new era of peace and such fame she will have that we will fade into the background of history. The love we give her will continue for eternity as it is passed on from generation to generation. The strongest force known that even Gods can’t withstand. I could not think of a greater gift The Divine could give us or Nirn.
- Rigmor: Come on my Dragonborn.
I opened the doors to our future.
There were a few dozen Praetorian Guards. Not enough to cause us issue if I get my spell off and they start hacking into each other. Using my Slow Time shout I would have minutes to cast a spell that takes a few seconds.
Sitting on the Ruby Throne was Sethius. To the right of the stairs was Blackwell.
We entered and stood between two huge columns. A few seconds went by before Sethius started his rant.
“Blackwell, order your men to kill these traitors!”
I was ready with Shout and spell. If Blackwell gave the order they would all die.
Rigmor tensed and was ready to draw her sword.
Blackwell ordered, “Hold your swords!”
Sethius approached Blackwell and yelled in his ear, “I am your Emperor!”
Getting absolutely zero response from Blackwell made his pitch higher as he glared at a guard and shrieked, “You! I demand you kill them. You…you must obey me! You must do as I say!”
As he crossed the room he pointed to a random guard and said, “You will cut them down this instant!”
Still not even a twitch to comply or acknowledgement he even existed.
He looked up at another guard and shrieked, “You…pick up your sword and cut them down! Cut them down I say!”
When nobody moved his shoulders drooped and realisation hit.
“Then I…I am undone…”
He started to walk towards us and like all rats finally caught in a trap he insisted on squealing.
“It wasn’t me. I…I am innocent. It was her. Morag murdered the children, not me!”
I said to Rigmor, “Stand behind me. He is unpredictable.”
As Rigmor started to move behind me he said to her, “You! You can keep the crown…take it…”
Then he said to me, “Please, quarter…”
Rigmor had stopped moving behind me and stood where she was.
Sethius looked at Rigmor and pleaded, “Mercy…”
Then Rigmor did the most epic projectile vomit I have ever witnessed!
I said to her, “I know he is ugly and needs a bath but really, is that very diplomatic? Hey, where did all those carrots come from?”
I turned to Sethius just in time to dodge a swing from his knife.
He was very quick with it and nicked me once as I dodged and weaved. What I did not want to do was use Unrelenting Force where it might hit the Guardsman.
As soon as he was in position I used my Thu’um to smash him against the entrance.
As he scrambled to his feet I yelled, “Morag had no power over you. You chose your own path of your own free will. Every evil decision was yours alone.”
I must admit I did not think he would recover enough to charge at me but he did.
I could have beaten him to death or blown him to pieces with a spell but I am a bard and like actions to match the narrative.
I said to him, “From the moment I saw the raped women a children and slaughtered families at the border I was going to kill you.”
He ran full tilt at me and I stepped aside and did a lazy backhand with “The Sword”
I said quietly to him, “Now you die.”
His head flew off in a spout of blood and like Silas, the last thing he saw was my face.
I smashed his head with my shield and it flew off into some dark recess of the room.
His knife fell from his lifeless hand and fell with a resounding clatter onto the floor. Its echo marked the transition to a new era as well as any trumpet fanfare could.
I sheathed my weapon.
I whispered to Rigmor, “Are you alright?”
She answered, “Yes my Dragonborn. Yanno it was over two weeks ago I last ate carrots!”
She looked startled. I don’t know if it was from the surprise carrots or the fact I just lopped the Emperor’s head off.
We faced Blackwell who announced, “The Emperor is dead! Long live the Emperor!”
The Praetorian Guard started yelling “Dovahkiin”.
I said to Rigmor, “Please stay here while I figure out what is going on.”
“Okay but does that make you…”
I replied, “Apparently.”
I approached Blackwell and said, “It looks like you served the Empire this time.”
He replied, “Majesty, whom so ever takes the head that wears the crown, reigns supreme.”
I replied, “And so the plan of The Divine reveals itself.”
Blackwell said, “Take your place upon the throne of Dragonborn Kings!”
I asked, “Do we have any cushions. Looks like haemorrhoid heaven that thing!”
I returned to Rigmor and told her, “You will be called up as well. Chosen Queen does not have to be Empress but can also be the wife of the Emperor.”
She replied, “Normal life? Yeah, pffft!”
I walked up the steps and stared at the Ruby Throne and thought, “My Mother created it. My father was the most famous to sit in it. Our daughter will inherit it.”
I sat and the Praetorian Guard said in unison, “All hail Emperor Wulf Septim! All hail Ysmir, Dragon of the North and wearer of the Stormcrown!”
Blackwell said to Rigmor, “Milady, after you.”
I watched my beloved walk towards me with bemusement written on her face.
She sat and the Praetorian Guard said in unison, “All hail Rigmor Sigunnsdotti. Princess of Tamriel.”
As Blackwell approached I whispered across to Rigmor, “Soon to be Queen of Tamriel.”
He stood between us and said, “Your Majesty. As Lord Chancellor it is my duty to protect and serve and pursue your interests with absolute, unwavering ruthlessness. If you would kindly permit me to, and I am sure you’ll agree, tie up a few ends. We have to ‘nip it in the bud’ so to speak. All of them.”
I replied, “There will be new restrictions placed on unwavering ruthlessness in the future. For now I give permission to cull only the leaders. My position as Arch Mage and the writ from Titus Mede means they are an existing danger that I would personally eliminate. No spouses, family, extended family, cats or dogs are to be harmed. Understood?”
Blackwell replied, “Perfectly Your Majesty.”
He then looked worriedly at Rigmor and I followed his gaze.
Blackwell asked, “Milady, you look quite peekish…are you unwell?”
Rigmor replied with a surprised and then delighted look on her face, “I…I am with child.”
Was that a flicker of a smile on Blackwell? Nah, not possible. He said to me, “Your Majesty. If you will excuse me I will go make sure your wishes are carried out. I shall be back shortly with some housekeeping that needs finalising. It will not take long for either task.”
I just nodded my head and ran to Rigmor who stood to greet me.
The exit of Blackwell and the Praetorian Guard went unnoticed as I hugged Rigmor and cried into her hair and kissed her head and was not very Emperor like in my demeanour.
I looked at my beautiful, precious and beloved Rigmor and asked, “Are you sure? Absolutely sure? No doubt about it positive? You finally believe me?”
With a beaming smile on her face she said, “Oh my silly Dragonborn, of course I am sure. My menses is never this late and when have you known me to refuse bacon and eggs plus the mess against the ancient pillar over there so yes, a million times yes, I am sure.”
More blubbering on my part and this time Rigmor joined in.
I looked at her again and wiped some tears from her cheeks and said, “Well this is a bit more interesting than boring peace negotiations.”
“What are we going to do?”
I am sure Blackwell will help with the next steps but I want to ensure that you reign as equal and called Queen. That is if you wish to save your citizens from the epic blunders of Wulf the Unprepared.
“Our little talk before has convinced me that I can do it and do good for the people so of course we will be equal leaders. Or maybe 51-49 in my favour.”
Anything else my future Queen?
“I don’t want to have my baby here. I want to go home and have it in Bruma!”
Do you think I can make Bruma Castle the centre of administration? It will take some time before I am comfortable in these ancient rooms and even then Bruma is where you will always be comfortable.
“You are Emperor. You could make the Tap&Tack the centre of administration.”
Now there is an idea!
“Do you think you could take me home after we have spoken to Blackwell. I am sure there is a lot of boring stuff he does not need us for. He will know where we are.”
Well our horses should still be in the stables here. Poor Ben is probably thinking you abandoned him. The stable master would have looked after them surely!
“You wouldn’t be a stable master if you didn’t love horses! I would like a nice ride home and time to just enjoy my homeland.”
It might be our last chance to do anything without drawing a crowd.
I will leave that to my brother.
Just then Blackwell entered. When he was in front of me I asked, “Blackwell, fill us in on what happens next.”
PART TWO TO COME IN A COUPLE OF MONTHS.