Elsweyr, Bruma: Island Paradise.
It was 8:00AM when we docked the Waning Moon and attacked the Topal Sea pirate base.
It turned out they were nearly all aboard their vessels conducting a raid somewhere. They left behind a senior mage and some apprentices.
They were easily despatched and we found Jo’ran locked in a cage aboard a small boat. The deck was covered in dead toads, most of which looked like they had exploded!
I unlocked the cage and Jo’ran carefully stepped over the slippery insides of the dead amphibians.
“Greetings Jo’ran, I am Emperor Wulf Septim, this is High Queen Rigmor Septim and these are our guards, Sentinel Lydia, Sentinel Kharjo and Master Mage J’Zargo.”
“Jo is honoured but confused!”
“We have been secretly helping New Elsweyr’s cause. Khulan is at the docks in the Waning Moon airship. He asked us to rescue you so here we are.”
“Praise Alkosh, finally. Jo refused to teach pirate mages and was chained to deck and sometimes put in cage. Jo was getting bored around here so decided to experiment with flying toads. Had idea after seeing Waning Moon fly last week.”
“So all this mess is failed experiments?”
“Jo would fill toads with different gases. Some would fly then explode. Some would fly then land hard and explode. Jo can say in peace now: toads are bad in art of flying. Worse than Khajiit in swimming, in fact, and that is truly bad.”
“Let’s get you out of here before the pirates return.”
“Actually, Jo will stay here, Dovahkiin. This place has some scent of mystery, and Jo wish to investigate. Perhaps Jo could be able to turn this island into a useful New Elsweyr stronghold.”
“We can’t just leave you here. The pirates could return any minute!
“Jo heard them tell mages they would be gone few weeks. They truly believed this place safe as there are thousands of tiny islands in Topal Sea. But nothing is hidden from Khulan.”
“How did he find this place?”
“You know the Waning Moon is telepath-navigated, yes?”
“Yes, Master Mage J’Zargo and I have been learning from Khulan on how to control Waning Moon.”
“As a kitten, Khulan was my apprentice. He has some powers beyond Jo. He must have told Waning Moon to travel to me, not a destination on a map. He told me he was going to experiment doing such things. It is the only way he could have found this place, yes?”
“He said he finally found where this place was yesterday. He must have put you on the map in his head. I will have to ask him. He is remarkable indeed!”
“Ask Khulan to send my apprentices here, and this place will be cleaned up faster than Dovah can shout “Miaow”.
“I shall do that but we will stay with you and help clean this place up. It does not need much work. Plus we can scare off the pirates if they return early. They will go find somewhere else if fireballs greet them.”
I left the others with Jo’ran and they started making plans on what needs doing.
I said to Khulan, “Jo’ran is safe. Only a small number of pirates were left behind and the rest are off somewhere for a few weeks. He wants to turn this island into a stronghold. I think it is a great idea since the Tenmar Forest might be crawling with Thalmor for some time.”
“Jo’ran is a great strategic asset. It is a good idea, yes?”
“We will stay and help him. If you go and get his apprentices we should have enough people to get the basics done by tomorrow. Then we must leave for home.”
“It is a short distance from here to Leyawiin. Khulan can take you there in a few hours.”
“OK, sounds like a plan.”
I returned to Jo’ran and the others and we were soon busy opening barrels and chests and taking inventory. That took up half the day. By the time we had finished that task Khulan returned with an airship full of Jo’ran’s apprentices.
We helped where we could but these people were used to quickly setting up and dismantling camps and this was just a larger one.
Khulan left to gather a blacksmith and other tradesmen and did not return till very late.
We enjoyed our time helping these brave people and finally crawled into our bedrolls weary from more manual labour than we were used to.
We awoke to the sounds of hammers on anvils, shouted instructions, laughter and other background sounds found in any small village.
After a good breakfast Rigmor and I sought out Jo’ran.
“I am truly impressed Jo’ran. This place is suddenly a comfortable village. All it needs is an inn!”
“It has gone really well, as the eye of the Dovahkiin can see. It is a good place for hideout. If the Dovahkiin wish to bring its home here, people of the Mane would be pleased.”
“I think the Tenmar Forest will be too dangerous for quite a while. If I have need for a secret diplomatic visit in the future I will be sure to stay here I think.”
“The Topal Sea could be quite busy if the Akaviri do invade. It would be easier to defend if it was a free Elsweyr co-operating with Tamriel.”
Rigmor said, “We have given the city of Leyawiin to a good friend of ours. He is an excellent soldier and sailor. His name is Casius and will be in charge of our navy in these parts. At the moment he is planning to defend with just Tamriel resources but perhaps he should visit and discuss what would be possible with Elsweyr ships assisting?”
“Not just ships Queen Rigmor. Bases like this hidden amongst these many islands would give Akaviri problems, yes?”
“It would be like having well defended forts on the mainland. Do you risk bypassing them or do you need to lay siege? Anything that would delay them or force certain tactics would be of benefit.”
“Khajiit regrets the need to remove Thalmor shackles first.”
“That is our fear Jo’ran. The Aldmeri Dominion may risk all by wanting to stop their ‘protectorates’ from gaining independence. They may aid the enemy by suppressing our allies when they should be using all resources to fight the Akaviri instead.”
“Jo’ran thinks they may take advantage of a weakened Empire if the war is a long one.”
“There is that possibility as well. Akatosh had placed a great burden on my husband and I. The Dovahkiin can be a terrible thing to behold when he unleashes the wrath of our Gods. History has shown what would happen if he was forced to do so. We wish to help all mortals on Nirn but if the Dominion is selfish they may not survive to see the reign of our daughter. If every single Thalmor has to die so everybody else can live in the promised peace then what choice would Wulf have?”
“Jo’ran has heard of the prophecy. If this is Alkosh’s will then all must be done to make it so. The people of the Aldmeri Dominion as a whole do not support the actions of the Thalmor. Perhaps it is time they chose different leaders. Instead of just a Khajiit rebellion, the mer can also say enough is enough.”
“That would be something to see. How wonderful if the Aldmeri Dominion actually achieved its real potential instead of the narrow and selfish ambitions of the Thalmor.”
Jo’ran turned to me and said, “Dovahkiin, Rakis wishes to speak to you, he has found a great treasure.”
We soon found Rakis.
“Jo’ran said you wish to speak to us?”
“Rakis sorted through some of the pirates treasures and discovered this amongst other minor magicka trinkets.”
He handed me a staff. It was of a wood I did not recognise and it had leaves growing out of it. I detected a very strong dweomer. It was an extremely potent Staff of Chain Lightning. Many times more powerful than any I had encountered before. In the hands of a Master of Destruction, such as me or J’Zargo, it could quickly devastate dozens of enemy with each strike and from a great distance.
“This is a formidable weapon. Do you know its origin?”
“I believe that is the Staff of Indarys.”
“If so the Hero of Kvatch once owned it. It was given to him by the Count of Cheydinhal, Andel Indarys, as a reward for rescuing his son from within an Oblivion Gate. That was an important stage in the war against the Daedra as Indarys then provided troops to help break the siege of Bruma.”
Rigmor asked, “So that staff may have been used by the Hero of Kvatch, the Champion of Cyrodiil as we call him, when fighting beside Rigmor of Bruma?”
“If this other Rigmor fought beside him and helped close Oblivion gates then yes. He may have handed it over to another to use mind you but it would have been there.”
I tried to hand it back to him and Rakis said, “No Emperor. It belongs to Tamriel. We are always in danger of discovery and leaving it with us risks it falling into Thalmor hands. If one of us dared to use it in battle they would do everything in their power to take it from us.”
“I have gathered many powerful weapons doing my duty for The Divine. They are protected by the best magical wards we have. I shall put it with them and it will be safe. It is a weapon that would be devastating from the back of a Dovah!”
“Thank you for all you have done and may the blessings of our Clan Mothers be with you both.”
We said goodbye to Rakis and many others as we made our way to the Waning Moon.
“OK Khulan. We are ready to go home.”
Rigmor was looking at the map and asked Khulan, “Do you know enough about Cyrodiil to safely take us to Bruma instead of Leyawiin?”
“Dovahkiin and Queen Rigmor keep watch for mountains, yes?”
I asked Rigmor, “Do you think it is worth the risk? We could just get an armed escort from Leyawiin?”
She looked at me with those big brown eyes, tipped her head a bit and said, “Pleeeeeeease?”
“Oh, alright then.”
Khulan laughed and asked, “Has your Queen been receiving any advice on how to train her mate?”
“Believe me Khulan; she already had that trick perfected.”
Rigmor and I sat on deck and watched our homeland slowly approach. It was my home now. Far more than Skyrim ever was.
When gliding over the Cyrodiil countryside Rigmor was like a child in a candy store. She would point to something that grabbed her attention only to excitedly switch to something else.
Lydia was playing a dice game with Skullcat and Kharjo and by the sounds of her laughter and the swearing coming from Skullcat she was winning.
Eventually Bruma castle came into view and it was obvious the semaphore had been working overtime. Sigunn and the rest were waiting in the courtyard.
I went below and Khulan said, “You will have to use the ladder as there is no suitable docking place.”
“Thanks for all your help Khulan. We will help you wrest your homeland back from the Thalmor. You have my word.”
“I know Dovahkiin. I shall bring the Waning Moon back to Cyrodiil soon. It is needed to help get our new home ready.”
“Good luck Khulan.”
The airship got as low as it safely could and a rope ladder was thrown over the side. As we started climbing down the gates to Bruma were swung open and a crowd soon surrounded us.
“It’s our Rigmor!”
“Look, it is Rigmor!”
“Queen Rigmor is back from her honeymoon!”
Not a mention of the Emperor. I was used to it and just felt pride at how she was loved by her people.
As Skullcat was reeling in the ladder he paused and gave me a perfect Imperial salute. I gave him one back. He disappeared from view and the Waning Moon slowly lifted then flew away at a good rate of knots.
We finally made it into the castle after The Sentinel gently forced a path through the crowd.
Around the table over a good meal and surrounded by friends and family we regaled them with our tales of exotic Elsweyr.
The official debrief tomorrow will be a long one and Rigmor decided I would be tackling that myself.
So much for 50/50 rule!
I wrote this journal entry and then joined my beloved in bed.
Rigmor said, “I think we did a lot for them in those few days.”
“I think they did a lot for us. They are a remarkable people.”
“I would love to visit Baa’Ren-Dar. Just to see my old home again and the staff and the children I learned to love.”
“Hopefully we can one day soon Rigmor. When they boot those arseholes out and hopefully reunite under the new Mane.”
“It was difficult to talk about all that happened and not mention they have one!”
“That was the ultimate trust they showed us. I hope we can repay that trust.”
We talked about inconsequential things till milady fell into sleep.
I know not what time I fell asleep.
I know it was the gentle rhythm of the Waning Moon.