Sundas, 26th First Seed, 4E 205

High Rock: What bullshit is this?

We entered the temple and I was drawn to a mummified figure. It was a most unusual thing to have on display in a Temple of the Nine.

Then when I read the plaque I understood why.

The last Champion to be named by Lady Mara was Mados. We was a local legend and lived between 4E 119 and 4E 174. He is considered to be the last true War Knight of High Rock as the values of the order and title became more debased since the massacre 20 years earlier.

I walked toward the Shrine of Akatosh to pray when a man I mistook for a priest approached me.

“A devotee of Lord Akatosh I see. Not usually the choice of warriors.”

“I am a devotee of The Divine.”

“Don’t you mean The Divines?”

“No Priest, I oppose the Daedric Lords who continually compete against each other which aids me. The Nine on the other hand always work together, as a single unit with a single purpose. Therefore I do not regard them as nine entities but one cohesive force, The Divine.”

“I am actually a Missionary. The name is Reamonn or if you hail from Cyrodiil, Raymond.”

“Which part of Cyrodiil?”

“Well, I did mage training at the College in Winterhold in Skyrim then spent years in the Imperial City pouring over old manuscripts, maps and books in the Imperial Library. I originally thought I might learn some things from The Synod but they turned their noses up at me.”

“They will not be doing that for much longer I can assure you.”

“Disheartened I ended up back here. However in retrospect… I wouldn’t have it any other way. As we speak here, a lot of innocent blood is being spilt and if I want to do something about it, there’s no point staying where it’s safest.”

“You must be going out on missions often then.”

“Until recently I use to, yes. Quite a bit of fun too, never leaving Arnima without a shiv hidden in your boot. Now you need a bloody armed escort!”

“What is your opinion on the Witchmen?”

“I might be a bit biased there. Make no mistake, they were always savages who couldn’t stomach civilization and would soon gut you than explain why. But their ‘ways’ have sustained their lot for several era, whereas we drift from one failed Empire to another.”

“Hopefully for my family’s sake the new one is not a failure. It is refreshing to hear a more open minded view of the ancient Reachmen. Do you admire them?”

“Know them too well for that. At the same time, I know enough to keep an open mind like you said. It is the current ones we are up against that are truly beyond redemption.”

“I never write off a people so easy. I have seen tribes of Falmer starting to move away from their blind hatred, pardon the pun, and embrace a new spiritual side. The Witchmen have become enamoured of a particular Daedric Prince. Remove that influence and they would become the more gentile version of decades ago.”

“That is an even more generous assessment than mine. Many people only see the Madmen of the Reach, blades-drawn, but in my travels I was able to catch them just going about their lives. I saw little tykes catching frogs by the river, young gals painting each other’s face to look like wights. Imagine fighting someone like that!”

“You saw what all mortals crave if they strip away the false values of rank and nobility and wealth. One of my beloved Wife’s favourite memories is catching frogs by a river and she is now comfortable financially yet she continually wishes for that simpler life.”

“Do you think the Reachmen and Bosmer and Nord etcetera could ever co-exist?”

“The Reachmen proved they can co-exist with Nords and others when they captured Markarth. For more than two years they and the citizens of Skyrim lived fairly harmoniously by adopting the simple principles of mutual respect. No matter how strange another’s religious beliefs are or their daily routines, problems only occur if you think they are wrong and try to correct them. Titus Mede II and High King Torygg were comfortable enough with what they heard they were willing to cede land to them so they could be their own nation. That chance was violently ended by Ulfric Stormcloak and his militia. Much like Munstor, the true barbarians and savages were not those annihilated in the bloodbath.”

“The Witchmen lost all hope of a peaceful co-existence when the type you now see became the majority. They slaughter whoever will not fall in line. Some escaped but it seems most were genuinely interested in these new, even more dark and savage ways.”

“Why is the cause not obvious to you men of faith? I have seen it over and over and the real histories are full of it. It does not matter if an individual or a people, if they are oppressed and the future looks bleak and their Gods do not seem to care, the whispers of mortals and immortals that promise a better life become attractive. The Witchmen would have seen what happened to their kin in Skyrim. They would realise that the Bosmer are never going to accept them. They would have seen how the Orsimer are treated. They would have seen the massacre twenty years ago when Bosmer slaughtered other Bosmer, devout followers of The Divines, because they wanted the simple things like time to watch their child catch frogs. The lies of charismatic mortals or mysterious dark gods replace the hypocrisy of religions that only offer lip service, not action. The failure to uphold the values of The Nine has led to the current crises. That is a fact your nobility better face up to or they will be abandoned by their Gods as the Ayleid were.”

“And who are you to make such a judgment?”

“You profess to be a servant of The Divine and I trust you and I see good in you. Do not disappoint me by sharing with others who may not be so devout.”

I put my mouth close to his ear and covered it so none could lip read and said, “I am the Dragonborn, Champion of The Divine on Nirn and here on a mission given to me by Mother Mara herself. She wants me to stop the evil in High Rock from growing and consuming Tamriel and the rest of Nirn. I will do this no matter what and I already know our foe. With co-operation no towns or cities need be razed, no populations put to the sword, no nobles strung up by the neck. If co-operation is not forthcoming then as Emperor and Divine Champion I will cut out the cancers to save what is left of High Rock and the rest of Nirn. Understood?”

I will give Reamonn credit, he did not act surprised or shocked.

“I was waiting for you to confess. Do you think people did not notice when an Imperial General rescues a poor Orc girl from torture, kills one of the Lord’s favourite pets then walks into his den and out again in one piece? Keep your General’s armour on but rumours are already circulating. How a handful of soldiers wiped out both Orc rebels and Redguard pirates and you and your crew were seen slaughtering both like god warriors from the past. Like Mados.”

“Let the rumours circulate. Nobles will act differently if they do not know for certain.”

“I would like to discuss what you have discovered but that is best done on the road and not a temple full of echoes. Is there something you need help with?”

“To further the loving bond between the Empire and ol’ Morty, we have agreed to recover his missing amulet.”

“So far five mercenaries have come to asking the same question. Three of them gave up on the idea after I told them what they are going up against. You will probably find the remains of the other two in various pieces. I doubt it would deter you. Let me see your map. The amulet was taken into a cave here… ”

He marked the spot.

“… It is located up the valley, pass the Exile camp and close to the falls.”

“We were up that way yesterday. Found a Derinni Soul Stone portal up there and used it to zap back here. Let us walk to the one in town and talk some more.”

The Sentinel formed a block around us which is not 100% proof against lip reading but makes it a lot harder. Somebody trying to observe us discretely would stick out if trying to change their vantage point.

“Is it wise to use them?”

“The risks are small and I would rather not have to slaughter dozens of Witchmen, even if they are Daedric devout.”

“I must beg a favour. Could you please tell me anything you find within the cave, particularly anything to do with the Direnni or anything pertaining to Daedra worship? We are stumped as to what’s making these Witchmen so feral, and any finding you tell me of will contribute to this research.”

“They are beholden to Namira. We found her altars within a buried Ayleid ruin. From that evil temple we could teleport to several locations. One housed her avatar. I have dealt with many avatars of the Daedric Princes and none have come near the strength of this one. That strength alone tells me her power is nearing its peak. As per usual she tried to recruit me and threatened bad things when I refused.”

“I can’t fathom ever talking to an immortal and certainly not as evil as that entity.”

“I also get to speak to The Divine and that is a much preferable experience most of the time. They have tempers too.”

“See anything Direnni?”

“No, this lot seemed to be Ayleid fixated. They have some sort of ward over their territory powered by a Great Welkynd Stone. It appears corrupted. I have seen a clean one and its beauty was undeniable. This one just did not seem right. They are also fixated with Gut Gardens and Flesh Sculptures. Hermaeus Mora might also be involved. He and I do not get on at all.”

“Excuse me but to hear somebody talk so casually of things many scholars spend their life in pursuit of is… disturbing?”

“Surely a scholar like you has at least some idea of what I have been doing. I and others have saved every soul on this planet from death or worse on many occasions. Sometimes I get to experience at least some of the wonder and sense of discovery. Too often I or somebody else is in mortal danger so I have no time to smell the flowers.”

“Do you know what ails our lord?”

“I do but will not discuss that till I have gathered more information. A piece of the puzzle is missing.”

We arrived at the portal and he said, “The portal you want is The Maw. That is probably the one you used to get back here. Good luck and may Stendarr protect you.”

I activated the portal and we were immediately in the middle of Witchmen territory.

Serana asked, “You are not quite sure of the temples and priests yet are you?”

“No, there is a connection between the lords and the priests that is yet to be fully explained. Do they owe fealty more to their lord or to The Divine? Did they support the actions of twenty years ago? Why should we see a Bishop in Evermore to get more information about the Sabbat mage, why not a local priest?

We need time to figure out all the players. We need time to ingratiate ourselves with as many of these players as possible. I do not want to test the power of my name and title. I want to negotiate a solution to these problems from a position of knowledge and friendship. Most of all I want to go home with no stain on my soul.”

Surprisingly we encountered no Witchmen on the way to the cave.

Outside the entrance was a trail of blood. Ulkarin said, “Look! See that blood? Our man was probably bleeding out after barely escaping the guards. Best follow this blood trail to find that amulet.”

“No, best follow common sense to find that amulet. ‘Oh look, the blood trail leads to a room with a thousand Witchmen and one angry Skeever. Let us just wander in as everything will be okay because we are following the blood trail.’”

“Don’t be such an arrogant arsehole!”

“Do I have an option? I wish somebody had told me sooner!”

We entered the cave and strange symbols were daubed on walls and corners. They did not resemble any of the languages I knew.

When we were attacked by several Witchmen and I gave in and used the Thu’um. The first Cyclone Shout almost made Ulkarin wet himself.

More weird symbols on walls that might just be decorative and not a form of writing as I first thought.

We came across an injured Bosmer. He was wearing light armour and seemed to have a physique more suitable for sneaking than fighting.

“Looks like this sneaky one did not sneak enough.”

“I snuck when I should have sneaked.”

“Sneaky how a snuck can sneak up on you.”

“This is hilarious entertainment I am sure but some healing would make it slightly more amusing.”

I cast a powerful restoration spell and he was almost as good as new.

“Hired by ol’ Morty?”

“Yep, now I owe you for that but have no coin on me.”

“Free of charge courtesy of the Imperial Legion.”

“If I get out of this hole, and you do, look me up beneath Evermore. Name is Byrne. Maybe I can help you imperials in return.”

“Any clues on what lays ahead.”

“Yeah, lots of Witchmen who shoot first and ask no questions after.”

The winding corridors were getting tedious.

In one cavern I did a killing blow on a large Witchmen and he transformed.

Into some skeleton thingy that looked like the other skeleton thingy we encountered yesterday. Except this one was much tougher.

It seemed berserk and even killed Witchmen with its very powerful flailing arms.

It took a lot of arrows, Ice Spears and whacks with “The Sword” to bring it down.

Calder said, “That was fun. Imagine an army of them things crawling over a castle wall!”

I replied, “Hopefully they are slow breeders.”

I found a staff nearby with a strong dweomer. I had no idea what it did but took it anyway.

The were-skeleton thingy had been guarding a passageway blocked by those pulsating vine things. These were very thick and proved impervious to weapons.

Fire made them retract allowing us to pass.

We came upon a Witchmen so intent on finishing her Flesh Sculptor she did not even hear us or the arrow that ended her life.

Normal looking Hagraven were dotted along the way.

We came to a ledge overhanging a fast flowing river and before I could tell people to be careful it gave way.

And I ended up face to face a one eyed ugly similar to the one we encountered yesterday.

After killing it, a few assorted skeever and skeletons the others casually walked into the cavern as if I hadn’t been fighting for my life.

“You could have hurried!”

Argus replied, “You could have waited!”

There was a very large and elaborate bone and gut creation that was more like the ones the Forlorn made.

There was also scattering of Direnni architecture.

Clutched in the one eye monster’s hand was the pendant. If there was a dweomer on it I could not detect it. It just looked like a traditional Forlorn bone pendant. On it was the inscription “May your stomach never sour.” That was confusing. If this pendant had anything to do with Namira I might expect some reference to cannibalism but this inscription made little sense without some context.

I made my way back to where the other’s waited and handed the pendant to Serana.

She said, “No Dweomer I can detect. I have no idea about the inscription.”

“I am going to put the pendant on. Best way of finding out what, if anything, it does.”

When I wore it I immediately sensed Oblivion. Which plane of Oblivion I did not know. The pendant acted as a conduit between the realms.

It was not wise to keep wearing it so I quickly removed it.

Serana could see I was disturbed.

“We are missing something. A King as the Briarheart said on our first day in High Rock. Maybe she is not trying to make a conduit to Mundus to cross over herself. Maybe she wants to place a devoted follower here. Is this king a new entity or a resurrection? Somebody thought dead but is biding their time. I was hoping this amulet would answer some questions but it just shows how little we know.”

“What did it do when you wore it?”

“I was partially in Oblivion is the best way I can describe it. It was not a plane I recognise.”

“Don’t despair yet Wulf. We have accomplished a lot so far. We just have to keep digging for clues.”

“You are right. Let us get this thing back to ol’ Monty.”

As we moved along the corridor a voice invaded my head. I quickly put up my blocks and hid my identity and memories.

“Little lord, the hour approaches yet you stall. If you become a pest then the rape of your peoples will be unending… No, this isn’t your touch, little lord. We have another observer, come to listen in on these affairs. You hide who you are well. It seems you are experienced in talking to such as me. It matters not. Hear me fleshy vessel, obfuscation of what is ordained for your realm will only evoke a more squalid demise. The threshold has been crossed, we no longer need the noose you hold to undergo the ceremony. Come what may, thy kingdom will return.”

Serana was standing before me, trying to get my attention.

“Wulf, answer for fucks sake. Wulf!”

“It is okay Serana. I did not go anywhere, just blocked my mind from some immortal. Looks like wearing that pendant for a short time let him in even after taking it off.”

“Was it the king?”

“I think so. Let me tell you what he said… “

I recited the one way conversation and Serana knew it to be accurate with inflections and all.

She said, “The worrying part is the claim they no longer need the necklace, the ‘noose’.”

“But they are still relying on Mortifayne to do something with a promise it will go easier on his people if he complies. It seems they are not sure if he will do as asked. We do not know enough Serana. Not by a long way. What threshold was crossed? How much time do we have?”

“Stick to the plan Wulf. Let us ingratiate ourselves one group of people at a time.”

“It is taking so long even using the Direnni Soul Stones. I can usually keep going for days on end but am finding myself weary. I still think an attack on Mortifayne will be a big mistake. We need to snoop around his place a bit more.”

“Giving him his amulet back should cement him as an ally. What books did you pinch from his place?”

“I suppose we need to give him the amulet. We do not know enough to understand the consequences if we don’t.”

“Wulf, the books?”

“Oh, on the Hecularana. I remember they used the word Nagasel, something to do with a tower whilst the Nagasel we just dealt with was the city Molag Bal built on top of Pilvi’s. I have not had chance to read them. I just remember mention of it when researching the last of the Ayleid kings.”

“And do you always steal books?”

“Not that I recall.”

“Intuition maybe?”

 “Let us get out of here and worry about them later.”

We found an exit that looked out onto a path leading to the Direnni Soul Stone.

We had to kill and few Witchmen and Hagraven and encountered more flesh sculpting.

We reached the portal… and zapped back to Arnima.

We entered the temple, I approached Reamonn and said, “We return from the cave and I can tell you of what we saw.”

“What you have faced in your past I suppose it was not difficult?”

“There was one creature quite difficult to kill but it died in the end. We only encountered a small amount of Direnni architecture but it was there.”

“That affirms our accounts of those ancient elves, masters of trade they were called. There was no market in Tamriel that wasn’t influence dramatically by the Direnni’s dealings.”

“They made good money dealing in mortal goods with mortals alone. Greed turned their attention to the Daedric Princes. Did they not think that wealth means nothing to those immortals? That any trade will involve the things they do covet which is not shiny gold coins.”

“If they did the pursuit of profit urged them on. Colossal gates within many a Direnni ruin linked our realms with those of dark planes.”

“The Dragon Fires and now Martin’s sacrifice prevent the easy connections once exploited by the Direnni.”

“True. The question that needs answering is what attracts the Witchmen to these structures.”

“I think the obvious answer is residual magicks from those gateways to Oblivion. Maybe with the current Reachmen the residual power is utilised in dark rites and magics.”

“That is as good an answer as any. All we know is places once connected to Oblivion attract them like flies to a turd.”

“Everything I have seen on this visit has the stain of Oblivion on it.”

“Tell me about it! Thanks for your efforts. I will let the other priests of the Circle know.”

“This Circle of priests will be useful in my endeavours on behalf of Mother Mara I hope.”

“Trust me we’re very valuable allies to have in this part of the world.”

I approached a Priest of the Nine. He turned and asked, “I have asked the Missionary this question and he refused to answer. So I will ask you direct. Are you a Son of Akatosh?”

“And if I answer in the positive what does that make me?”

“Probably the only individual that can get us out of the quagmire we created.”

“Mother Mara thinks so and told me so. She sent me here.”

“I shall keep the secret. I understand the need.”

“Explain the importance of the priests in High Rock.”

“In fear of tooting my own horn, I would say we are immeasurably important. Considering that the clergy have congealed with royalty – the two castes have governed in tandem and continue to do so in some kingdoms. Every lord and king has his own priest – sometimes to keep up traditions but most commonly to convene meetings with other kingdoms via the priests’ relation to one another. Normally overseen by the Priest Circle.”

“Explain who they are what their function is.”

“A council of priests, set up soon after the dissolution of the Mages Guild in the province, supplanting their purpose yet with a limited interest in the arcane, as from what came before. With restoration taking centre stage in our studies, we don’t dabble in the more destructive arts.”

“I am going to regret asking this. Why is that?”

“Many royals fear their kingdoms turning into despotic theocracies with a ruling mage class. As happened with a number of kingdoms when the Mages Guild held prominence.”

“What a load of utter crap! Name these kingdoms! What you have is a ruling class who pretend to worship The Nine but keep their seats via massacres and slavery. The longest theocracy in history, 1970 years of the Alessian Order, was a theocracy ruled by priests.”

“Your judgement seems harsh.”

“Does it? I am sick of having to repeat this as it should be obvious. The woes befalling High Rock are a plot by one or more Daedric Princes. The Daedric Princes rely on whispers to the downtrodden, disfranchised, enslaved and abused to create converts. If the nobles of this realm had practised the Ten Commands of The Nine there would be no crises bad enough for Mother Mara to request my help. If their pet priests had done their sacred duties I would not have to be here. Both ‘castes’ have failed the citizens. Empire citizens who are part of the beloved mortal families so cherished by the same Gods these two groups profess to obey. There has been no mass conversion to the Dark Lords in other provinces of The Empire. The Daedric Princes had to ship in soldiers from outside Skyrim and Cyrodiil to cause the dangers and chaos that High Rock now faces from its own citizens. So tell me again my judgement is harsh. Ask The Divines themselves if you have the fortitude for the answer.”

“So you obviously do not want our help since you think so little of us.”

“You can go sulk or you can think of ways to help me resolve the crises. Mother Mara wants me to solve as much as I can via negotiation. Since you all seem to be as much diplomats as priests you will probably be crucial. Also take advantage of us being here. Are there issues that need resolving?”

“We have recently suffered a string of thefts within this very temple. And I have no idea why. It is not like our coffers are being emptied. The thief seems to take an interest in particular relics.”

“Has anybody else offered assistance?”

“We have requested the guard to help in this minor crises. They have been generous enough to spare some eyes to watch over the temple during our absence. But nothing, neither beggar nor vagrant has appeared. So failing that, our temple’s missionary; Reamonn, has taken up the pursuit. He is quite the prodigy in alteration.”

“I am a master in all five schools of magic. I fail to see how Alteration can help find a stolen object. I will ask him myself. So what and where is it?”

“It is Mados’ Ring and it is in the dungeons of Grey Belmor.”

“I know where it is. What dwells there?”

“We do not have the faintest idea so I advise you take great caution.”

“I would be dead long ago if I did not take great caution. I have a question you might help me with.”

“And what is that?”

“I came across Elven ruins deep beneath the ground near the Skyrim border.”

“You most likely came across remnants of Direnni civilization, a wonder to modern architects and labourers alike that their structures still hold after all these years.”

“It was not Direnni, It was Ayleid. I know this for a fact. Not only was the stonework Ayleid, the hostile spirits who dwelt there were a combination of Ayleid and slave and they suddenly decided to slaughter Witchmen who had been living there for some time. It was too coincidental. That upon our arrival they turned hostile toward them.

There were sounds of lamenting and crying but no source could be found. We entered a temple that had two sacrificial shrines to Namira, back to back. I also believe Hermaeus Mora had a presence there.

There were two portals exiting the temple. Not Direnni Soul Stones. More like the teleports used by the Snow Elves. We stepped through one portal and I talked to an avatar of Namira. The strength of the avatar leads me to believe her influence on Nirn is almost at its peak.

The avatar tried to recruit me. They always do every single time without fail. It was ominous in its warning. Whatever plot Namira has had brewing is almost complete.

We stepped back into the temple and out the other portal. We were in a valley full of Witchmen that had a protective dome above it. It felt like a Ward spell. We were puzzled as to where the Witchmen would get enough energy to sustain the shield.

We found it in another Ayleid ruins. A Giant Welkynd Stone was giving them almost limitless magicka. It was tainted though. I have seen untainted ones before.

There has been so much more evidence I have gathered about the plot of Namira but that is enough for you to know for now.

Does your local knowledge tell you what these ruins might be?”

“I believe it was an Ayleid embassy, built by the Direnni all those millennia ago”

I knew what was coming. He was going to quote a complete fabrication of the truth that makes Dynar out to be some heartless demon. I listened with little patience.

“You’ve heard of the Alessian Empire surely? And their revolt against the Ayleid of old Cyrodiil, ages before the Empire came to be.”

I did not answer but just stared at him.

“Then I needn’t bore you with yet another recital. That slave revolt having swept over large swathes of Cyrodiil had then turned their gaze west to the Direnni Hegemony, now High Rock. Desperate and engulfed in panic, the Direnni pooled whoever they could from what remained of the Ayleid. One of them a prominent figure with the moniker, ’The Last King’. His name was Dynar and he had followed the fleeing diaspora.

Some accounts said he was in exile, despondent to suffering of his Ayleid kin and had only wanted to join the Direnni cause to indulge in the slaughter.

The Direnni built his stalwart stronghold at the very interstice of the warring forces and the Last King couldn’t have been happier.”

I said, “And of course everybody knows that being an Ayleid made him a terrible person.”

“It was a very desperate alliance to speak the truth, in no other situation would that vile King interact with an outsider, let alone send aid for his kin. When the first Alessian stepped into his periphery, the nightmare was unleashed, The Reach had turned into some damned oblivion-scape that would send any timid soul running to the other end of Tamriel.”

He was getting worried. He could see my anger rising.

“So he was defeated?”

“That’s what the tomes show, though such a being that was surely the product of Daedric consort, could have just faded into the arms of whatever Daedric Prince he knelt to. When they did breach the inner sanctum, scholars had talked of the interior being a patchwork of human bodies, stitched together from one end of the giant hall to the other. The Last King and his debauched Ayleid underlings were seemingly unconcerned about the assailants at the gate, still immersed in their profaned work. This allowed those forlorn Nords to approach. Upon realising that his artistry was meddled with, he recoiled and flayed those unfortunate souls who made their advance, almost in an instant. Then came the cacophony of scream, killing those further back immediately after.”

“It sounds like they needed a demi-god to win the battle against this evil mer!”

“When it proved futile that mere men weren’t up to the task, Alessia had called upon a friend. All evidence and description of this person pointed to one candidate.”

“Oh no, could it have been the most ruthless mer killer of them all, Pelinal Whitestrake?”

“Yes. The scribes of the time spoke of him entering the sanctum and having the gate sealed behind. What followed was a cosmic clash of noise and magic reverberations, that had shaken rock and stone, where even the very ground seemed to sink into the depths.”

“But of course the hero survived!”

“People had fled, tension gripped those who thought Pelinal had fallen. Yet among the rubble, that metal-clad hand had erupted from the heap. So the filthy king of spite was no more, and the Alessian continued their march west.”

I controlled my anger. This was a temple to my Gods. People were there for comfort.

I said to him, “YOU ARE A FOOL AND THAT WAS BLASPHEMY!”

He went to say something and I put my finger to his lips. He looked into my eyes and saw what waited behind them.

“Virtually every word that came out of your mouth was historically wrong.

The Battle of Glenumbra Moors occurred hundreds of years after Saint Alessia’s first empire ceased to be. The Alessian Order’s empire was not her empire!

The battle occurred hundreds of years after she and Whitestrake died and had ascended to Aetherius.

Alessia was urged to revolt by Lord Akatosh. He despaired that the Ayleid people had mostly abandoned their Aedra Gods and turned to the Daedra for the dark powers and the wealth promised.

Her empire was one of tolerance. Many Aedra worshipping Ayleid aided her in the revolt. It was not an anti mer uprising. It was an anti Daedra uprising!

Saint Alessia invented the pantheon you so badly fail to teach or even understand. She did so by uniting the old Gods of the Nords with the Aedra Gods of the mer.

Many Ayleid Lords and Kings continued to rule their cities and territories under her Empire.

The Alessian Order was based on a lie told by a barely literate Ape. Everybody knew it was a lie but the racists used the name of Alessia to give it authority.

When the Alessian Order seized the Empire they started almost 2000 years of mer prosecution on the continent of Tamriel. Worship of The Eight was banned. The rule of law abandoned as priests decided what was right and wrong without trial or recourse.

King Laloriaran Dynar was not evil. He fought the real evil. The men who wished to wipe all mer from existence. The men who had slaughtered every citizen of his Kingdom who had refused to flee with him to High Rock.

He helped stop the Alessian Order conquering High Rock and negotiated to have mer and man treated equally under the Direnni Hegemon. He was an ally of your own people. Both Bretons and Nords fought by his side! Dark magics did not defeat the Alessian armies. Better tactics and the strength of those defending their homeland let him lead the allies in the crushing defeat of the invading Alessian.

He was a prisoner in Oblivion for several millennia after being kidnapped by Molag Bal. He was rescued by the Vestige and members of the Mage Guild and Fighters Guild. They were there to stop Molag Bal’s Planemeld that threatened to drag Nirn out of Mundus and into Coldharbour.

The Fighters Guild had lost their leader and he took command of them. With the aid of Meridia they defeated Morag Bal’s forces and ended the Planemeld.

King Laloriaran Dynar died in that conflict when closing one of the Daedric portals.

He died a hero and helped save your homeland and Nirn yet you spew forth such vile lies about him!

You speak of magics that could not be wielded by Daedric Princes on Nirn because even with the Alessian Order in control, the Dragon Fires still burned.

Mortals could learn such magics and if they could tap into huge reserves of magicka, such as that provided by a Giant Welkynd Stone or The Eye of Magnus, the devastation you described was possible.

The Last King was a Daedric worshipper but so were The Direnni. They were the ones who continued to make deals with the Dark Lords and create gateways between the realms.

There are large numbers of mortals on Nirn who worship the Daedric Princes. A very small percentage of those get lured by the dark whisperings.

It is possible desperate Direnni wielded such evil magics though no history I know of lists them being used.

There is nothing in history, even when his own kingdom was being razed, that says the Last King used dark arts.

The invading Alessian hordes committed atrocity after atrocity on the people of this province yet your account makes them sound like liberators and heroic fighters of evil mer wielding dark magic.

Why did the most anti mer people on Nirn, the Skyrim Nords, side with the Last Ayleid King?

Why did the Bretons side with the Last Ayleid King?

Whitestrake may very well have been sent from Aetherius to go into battle once more. Not to fight an Ayleid King. To fight the evil unleashed by the corrupted Daedric worshippers.

He may have even been sent to prevent a breach of the barrier and a Daedric Prince walking the mortal plane. I have done that several times and so have others in the past including King Dynar.

As for the drivel about his hand reaching up from the rubble… he was a demi-god you fucking idiot! Not a character in a cheap adventure story.

I have had enough of speaking to you. You are no Priest of The Nine. You are a charlatan. A fraud.”

I stormed out of the temple with The Sentinel close behind.

Serana said, “This is all wrong Wulf. How can you ignore history and believe blatant lies and still call yourself a priest?”

“The same way you can call yourself a Priest of The Nine and serve lords who killed half the serfs in the kingdom out of fear.”

“What are you going to do now?”

“I am going give ol’ Morty his amulet. I am then going to snoop some more and see if I can find that missing piece of his story.”

A few minutes later I stood in front of his throne.

“I have your amulet.”

“You look uneasy. You best give it to me before your mind is sundered by the power of it.”

I handed it to him with no doubt it was the right thing to do.

“I thank the Empire for the assistance. It will not be forgotten.”

I bowed and made my way out of the room.

I told The Sentinel, “Head for the Imperial Embassy. I will meet you there later. I have some snooping to do.”

They knew not to argue and left the building. I cast invisibility and proceeded to walk from room to room looking for the lesson Mortifayne had learnt. The thing that stopped him fighting the evil whispers.

Even lords with great funds sometimes spend little money in their attempt to hide secrets. An empty cupboard in a room crammed with full cupboards and drawers is a giveaway. The hollow sound from a false back is another.

I found a hidden shrine to Lady Mara. The was a that painting had some significance to Mortifayne but I did not know what. There was also a shrine to Dibella in the room. I picked up a journal and found the lesson,

“I love you my dear, I am so sorry.

My grief spills out daily, and those under my wing take the worst of it.

They don’t deserve such a hateful lord as I, but the rage consumes my soul each night. When the Dark Mother comes to whisper in my ear again.

You know I can’t do anything against that chef Belize, he is part of her demonic envoy. His death would have untold implications upon this town, and I would not render any more suffering on my people.

When I remember that night of your disappearance, I had to vomit for eight hours straight. I embraced death by my own hand for the thing that I’ve done to you. But the Dark Mother stopped every advance for my demise, telling me I would interfere in her plan.

I hope we see each other soon, and a kinder lord takes my place. I have done dreadful things, each time I wept. I know I’m and impulsive man, I cannot help it.

That Pestilent Mother takes advantage of my volatile phases, and she makes me carry out morbid acts. But I never ordered for your death, that was a trick. I had a lingering rage for that chef ever since, but as I have said, he cannot be harmed.

I’m sorry.”

I placed the letter back and fled the building.

I took no notice of my surroundings or cared if danger lurked on my way to the Imperial Embassy. I might have even welcomed some attempt on my life. Violence is easy. There is no great puzzle to be solved. Kill or be killed. Simple!

I made my way to the room that had been set aside for me.

It was about 7:30PM and I was bone tired.

The only thing I can do is what I have been. Concentrate on one group at a time and build alliances.

I did not fear I had lost any chance of co-operation from the Priest Circle. They will know I do not lie about being here on Lady Mara’s behalf and that I am the only one who is going to save their arses from whatever evil plan is brewing.

I started sifting through the histories in my head and decided on a possible candidate for the King who says he is returning.

In 3E 433 an Altmer mage by the name of Umbacano hatched a plot to become the King of Nenalata and create an army of undead to conquer and recreate the Ayleid civilization.

Nenalata was the Ayleid Kingdom of King Laloriaran Dynar. Umbacano needed his crown and to conduct a ceremony in the throne room of Nenalata to become Dynar reborn. He asked the Champion of Cyrodiil to retrieve the crown for him. It is not known if that request was ever fulfilled.

It may be that dark soul who wishes to be reborn as a King.

I could think no more. Despair was taking over.

I wrote this journal entry and retired well before midnight.

I know not what time I fell asleep.

2 thoughts on “Sundas, 26th First Seed, 4E 205

  1. I also enjoyed this entry very much, mainly the humorous parts, but especially the part where Wulf corrected the priest’s false history lesson. That’s a great way to weave actual lore into this story, and I really appreciate it. This really is becoming very exciting, and I look forward to the next entry. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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