Skyrim Wilderness, Shrine of Azura, Dragonborn Gallery: Memories.
We crawled out of bed at about 7:00AM and had a quick breakfast.
Rigmor stayed below decks while I flew Nafalilargus to a surprise stop.
After I anchored the airship The Sentinel scaled the ladder to make sure the areas was safe.
A few minutes later they called the all clear so Rigmor and I joined them below. Not far from the ladder was the entrance to a store called “Divine Elegance”.
“What is this place?” my beloved asked.
“The best clothing shop in The Empire bar none.”
“What is it doing out here in the middle of nowhere?”
“They know when a person walks through that door they are not likely to be time wasters. Speak to any clothing store proprietor in Cyrodiil or Skyrim and they will bemoan how much of their day is wasted with people trying on clothes and trying to barter prices and end up walking out with no or very small purchases. The proprietors of this establishment make the clothes and armour they sell and would rather not deal with such people.”
“Are they expensive?”
“Very! I purchased nearly all my Bard clothes here. I thought you would like to buy a new outfit for the cold so you can spend more time on deck.”
“Can I buy more than just one outfit?”
“Just the one outfit Rigmor! I would like to visit a few places today. Wouldn’t you rather come back here with Elisif and shop for hours?”
“Of course and then you don’t have to act interested as I try on dozens of outfits.”
“Their lingerie section is extensive. I would not find that boring!”
“Come on then pervert.”
An hour later we both emerged with fur lined clothes that were not too showy. The proprietors almost had a fit when they saw us walk through the door. I have no doubt they will soon be telling people they are Royal Tailors. I don’t mind, they deserve any extra sales that generates.
I told Rigmor the next flight will take about ninety minutes so she went below decks again to have a quick nap. It seems that before midday each day Kintyra is taking such a toll that a nap is almost compulsory. I was not worried as all the experts keep reassuring us it was normal.
Several dovah had spotted us flying over the last few days and some came close to have a look. It has been quite some time since I had encountered a hostile one and a few introduced themselves to me. It seems to me the Dov population in Skyrim is a lot larger than I first thought.
I reached the planned destination and the bell rang. When The Sentinel appeared on deck I said, “You can check the area then I want you back on deck. You can see if anything approaches the hot springs we will be in from up here. I want some privacy with our Queen.”
As the scouted the area Rigmor came to stand beside me and looked over the side.
“Oh my, is that where you proved to me what kind of dirty pervert you are?”
‘You wanted me to see the scars on your back and you know it!”
We waited for The Sentinel to return then climbed down and headed for the little camp near the hot springs.
We sat on the same bench as three and a half years before.
I asked Rigmor, “Can you remember that day we sat here?”
“Ha ha ha, that morning you smashed the door down when I needed to go to the privy!”
“Yeah, I thought somebody was attacking you but they had just forgotten to put a pisspot in there.”
“I was pretty down that day wasn’t I?”
“Very. The previous night Baa’Ren-Dar said you were the third target for assassination on the Thalmor list. You realised how much danger you were in. Just after that revelation we had to kill some more bounty hunters.”
‘That was why you were so paranoid when you heard me yelling and banging on the door.”
“Can you remember how beautiful the lake was that morning?”
“Just outside the stables I wanted to talk to you so we sat on a bench and fog hovered above the lake. All sounds were muted. Water birds of all sorts were calling out to each other. In the distance I could barely hear the spruikers in the Riften marketplace and the banging of the blacksmith’s hammer on anvil. It was beautiful Wulf and I think I fell in love with Riften there and then.”
‘Yes, you can tell why Sethri purchased that farm close by.”
“I ruined the mood a bit by complaining about fate and how I never asked for the shit I was in or what had led to that point.”
“I gave you my heartfelt reassurance that we would find Sigunn and felt like a fraud doing so. Although I wanted to I did not show you the blubbering barbarian that was inside. To fight it I let my inner beast, my Dovah, feed on the anger I felt at the injustice done to you and your family.”
Rigmor held my hand, “Even then I knew you would come through my dear Dragonborn. Only the night before I found out that was your title and had only heard of such a thing in history books. I sat there staring at you over breakfast wondering if your mother or father was the dragon and how they did the ‘deed’.”
I laughed then said, “How would you like to join your husband in a nice soak in the hot springs.”
“Umm, The Sentinel?”
“You will have to leave you underwear on although you were not shy stripping off in front of a man you barely knew all those years ago.”
“Yes but as you said just before, I wanted you to see the scars I got in Haven.”
We stripped down to our underwear and I exclaimed, “Those are new!”
“You did not think I could leave Divine Elegance without some of their lingerie did you?”
She looked at mine and said, “Besides, they are new as well!”
“Yes, well the others were a bit smelly and The Sentinel could have seen the brown stains from up there.”
“Remind me why I love you…yuck!!!”
“The water looks like a lighter shade of green than I remember?”
“You’re the alchemist, you know about mineral content. The heat and the chemicals in the water come from molten rocks underground. Yano, the same stuff that causes volcanoes so Freathof taught me.”
“The gases coming off are the same that a good blow off smells like. You are going to bathe in water the God’s have farted into.”
Rigmor giggled as we waded into the water then said, “Stop just here. This is where I bathed last time.”
“I kept checking till I found a spot not too far in but protected from your beady eyes.”
“Plus far enough from the giants and so on that are on the far side.”
“Yes, that reason as well.”
We sat down with Rigmor in front and she leaned back into me.
“When I saw those scars I also saw your curves. Until that point you were a skinny teenager with attitude. It was like you had been hiding your femininity with your shaved hair and male armour.”
“You were a grown woman with attitude.”
“I wanted you to see the scars because I wanted to continue telling my story. Apart from Baa’Ren-Dar I had never really told anybody before.”
“Isn’t it weird we have never been able to heal them? Serana says she has seen such before. They become part of who you are just like your eye or hair colour. They are part of your soul and identity.”
“I still forget and roll over in bed and they hurt. Sometimes they hurt when we make love. They certainly hurt if I lean back in that damned Ruby Throne. I don’t need such reminders of my past when I have done everything I can to move forward.”
“I cried when I saw them and had to quickly compose myself when I saw you coming back.”
“I did not know that till I read your journal. You are a big softy.”
“You sat on the bench and told me about your shopping trips with Sigunn and how she would make up stories so she could take you instead of you doing your practice with Ragnar.”
“How come we have never seen or heard from the spirit of my father?”
“I do not know Rigmor, I truly don’t.”
“You refused to tell me about what being a Dragonborn was like.”
“I was still figuring it out myself. I knew I was the Champion of The Divine and great responsibility had been thrust upon me. I was directed to Baa’Ren-Dar by a Divine Task but did not know what that was yet. I was still sorting out my feelings towards the Gods and knew you had a destiny thrust upon you as well.”
“Baa’Ren-Dar said that when you first met him didn’t he?”
“He called you a, ‘Nordling with a destiny.’”
“And of course to make our day complete we were then attacked by more bounty hunters and to top it off we had to go to that horrible Windhelm where Ulfric reigned.”
“You saw my Dovah that day as I slaughtered those bounty hunters whilst laughing and taunting them.”
“I grabbed your chin and made you look into my eyes. Do you remember what I said?”
“You said, ‘Now you understand how I managed to kill a whole company of Thalmor and everybody else in that fucking embassy.’”
“I know the beast inside as well Wulf.”
“What a bleak place Windhelm was at the time. But still, we got to meet Sethri!”
“He is a remarkable person even if a bit smelly.”
“He is one of bravest, smartest, sneakiest and smelliest people on Nirn!”
“We went to the other inn and I finished telling you my story.”
“Then you laughed and I fell in love. Out of the blue you stole my heart.”
“I think you already had mine but the anger kept coming to the surface. Everything was happening at such a rushed pace. I had no time to just think.”
“It was chaotic. Like when we finally arrived back in Bruma from your exile.”
“Let us make sure we do more of this Wulf. I like reminiscing but we can also make plans for our daughter and enjoy our peace from the pull of fate and destiny.”
I kissed her on the forehead and we just enjoyed our quiet. For a time I could forget the latest thing demanding my attention. The possibility of the shards making another Red Diamond had been troubling me all morning.
After another half an hour we decided we were wrinkly enough. The fire at the small camp kept us warm as we sat there in our underwear waiting for it to dry. Eventually we made our way back aboard Nafalilargus and Rigmor headed for the cabin. I flew us to the next destination.
I had to stop Nafalilargus further away from where I wanted to take Rigmor due to the very tall trees around the area. When I stopped it and the bell rang The Sentinel did their usual sweep of the area but stayed on the ground as they would accompany us this time.
While they were doing that I want below and changed into the new fur lined outfit I had purchased that morning.
When I came back on deck Rigmor stood next to me and I asked her, “Does this look familiar?”
“Not really. We crossed so many streams on our travels together.”
“I think I will change again, I am too hot in this getup!”
I changed into an outfit similar to one I already had at the Imperial Palace. The old one had travelled with me a bit and was starting to look second hand. I was happy when the tailor told me my measurements were still the same.
Rigmor was waiting with The Sentinel down below and we set off for the second spot of nostalgia for the day.
After about ten minutes walking Rigmor recognised where we were going and ran ahead yelling, “Come on Wulf!”
I took the bundle from Kharjo that I had handed him before he started the area sweep.
I told The Sentinel to stay on guard as once again I wanted some privacy with Rigmor.
When I got to the small camp I hid the bundle behind a log and walked to the Overlook.
Rigmor was beaming as she took my arm and leant into me.
“As beautiful as you remember?”
“Oh yes! Even though I can see things from up high aboard Nafalilargus this is special as I ingrained it in my memory. It meant a lot to me to be with you standing here that day.”
“We were both guilty of not telling each other those three words that day. It would have saved a lot of heartache for both of us.”
“We had our reasons Wulf. We did get to say them eventually and look at us now. Did you ever visit here when I was in Cyrodiil?”
“Yes, several times. I even yelled out using my Thu’um that I loved you. That probably caused a few avalanches here and there!”
“It is a wonder you did not find somebody else to love during those times. You were under so much pressure and constant danger. There I was with nothing but boring Countess duty to worry about then falling in love with the biggest arsehole in Cyrodiil.”
“You fell in love with a fake, not the real person!”
My tone was one of anger. Rigmor looked at me and I felt shame.
“I am not angry that you fell in love Rigmor. I am angry that I know I would have let you, Tamriel, the whole of Nirn down if you had married him. I would either have fled or become that thing that Pelinal Whitestrake and my Mother had arranged me to see. In that alternate future I was a heartless killing machine that earned contempt from you. I had got my revenge on the thing that had taken you away and lost all chance of winning you back. Ever! No matter how much you hated me, if I stayed to help with Table Mountain you would still have had our child. How is that for fucked up?”
“You are doing a whole lot of ifs, buts and maybes when you simply do not know and it does not matter. This is our reality now! Look at the view. Look into the eyes of the woman who loves you beyond measure. Think of our little girl and the miracle of her as she grows inside me. Think of the love of the Gods you know exists despite the shit they have to do and who they have to do it to.”
Rigmor squeezed my arm and lent into me closer and said, “Remember the God that sent you to get three rabbit legs for her lunch and the love she expressed over Sovngarde.”
I couldn’t help but laugh and said, “Remember what you and Allie were talking about when I was asleep in that chair. Imagine me having the same conversation with your mother.”
“Oh by the Gods no! Remember how shocked we all were when she said the word ‘shit’?”
We both laughed out loud and were quiet for a good ten minutes just looking at the view and enjoying our quiet then I said, “Let us go and sit by the campfire for a while.”
We walked to the little camp and as Rigmor headed for the stump she sat on the previous two visits I leant behind the log and retrieved the package.
“As Casius would say, ‘Hang on little lady!’”
“Is that a…”
“So not only did I sneakily buy a new pair of underpants at Divine Elegance I waited till the tailor had finished measuring you and asked her to alter a dress I had seen. She told me she would do it minus the hard to see baby bump so you could wear it post pregnancy. It reminded me of the one I gave you here that day. I hope you like it.”
“But how did…”
“Kharjo brought it here for me. Like J’Zargo he is very good at hiding things.”
She took the package out of my hands and started walking towards the same bushes she used to hide her modesty the first time and said, “Well, if we are going to be nostalgic then I had better change over here.”
I stood and waited for her to reappear. She eventually emerged and took my breath away.
She had a huge grin as she walked towards me and asked, “Well, what do you think?”
“No shoes! Barefoot and pregnant, I have accomplished my goal!”
“You look absolutely stunning Rigmor. Will you marry me?”
“You think I am that easy? One dress and I am yours?”
“Nah, I know it takes at least half a pint of mead as well.”
She walked up and gave me a good long kiss as a reward.
“Guess what I am going to ask you next?”
“No, it is crap and I can’t sing!”
“You have read my journal. You know what that song means to me. As for your voice, it is beautiful and all the more because it is yours.”
I sat and Rigmor sang,
“There is a small child lost in the dark, in my dreams, she’s still there.
She had fallen down and she waits. Will someone come? Might someone care?
Her heart, she’ll give you, her love be true.
Where’s her Dragonborn, to save her, to never let her go.”
She could see the blubbering barbarian had made an entrance. I asked her, “Can you please sing it again? Several times I wrote a counterpoint and I would like to finally try one with you.”
I stood and held her hands and we sang.
“There is a small child lost in the dark, in my dreams, she’s still there.
I found you my beloved. You are no longer there.
She had fallen down and she waits. Will someone come? Might someone care?
I came and picked you up. You know how much I care.
Her heart, she’ll give you, her love be true.
I took your heart and gave you mine. Our love is eternal and always true.
Where’s her Dragonborn, to save her, to never let her go.
Your Dragonborn is here. We saved each other and I will never let you go.”
We looked lovingly into each other’s eyes and then the mood was ruined by Kharjo who yelled, “Will you two quite singing. Your soppiness made the ladies cry!”
I said the Rigmor, “Come on my lady, I have another stop that I think you will like.”
“If it is not a long flight I will put on my new furry outfit and watch from the deck.”
“We are heading for the frozen north so I will also put on my new outfit.”
We joined the grinning Sentinel and headed for Nafalilargus.
I said to Kharjo, “Must be the dust. Looks like you have been crying.”
“Yeah, must be the dust.”
We all headed for the cabin where Rigmor and I changed and then joined the others for a late lunch.
About an hour later we emerged on deck for the flight north-west from where we were.
After an hour and a quarter Rigmor pointed to the huge statue of Azura outside of Winterhold and asked, “Is that where we are going?”
“Yes, I thought you would like to visit your adoptive mother.”
Another 15 minutes later I stopped, the bell sounded and The Sentinel scrambled to do their sweep. I told them, “Just over there you will see two weird looking giants with an ice troll or two. The trolls will not come any closer but the Yeti may. They are harmless, leave them be.”
As the disappeared down the ladder Rigmor asked, “What is a Yeti?”
“Like I said, some sort of giant but these ones are almost extinct. Nobody hunts them or kills them any more so perhaps they will survive. They always travel in bonded pairs. If their partner gets killed they never bond with another.”
“That is so sad. How long can they live?”
“Over two hundred years.”
“That is ever sadder. Imagine if their partner got killed when they were young.”
I pointed to a lady preying in front of the altar, “See that priestess, she has been attending this shrine for over 190 years. The last 175 or so alone and living in that little camp you can see. Her name is Aranea Ienith and is Sethri’s love interest.”
“I remember her from your journal. I thought she was working in your orphanages.”
“She does except for a few days at the end of each month when she attends her shrine. Remember I gave money for the temple underneath to be restored? I received a letter saying it was finished so let us have a look shall we?”
The Sentinel came back on board. They agreed to do a look out from the deck once again.
Rigmor and I climbed down and started heading for the stairs when a slow ‘thump thump’ let us know the Yeti were approaching.
“Do we need to get out of their way?” Rigmor asked.
“Let them get close if you wish, they will not stomp on you.”
When they got really close Rigmor asked, “Which one is the male?”
“Look for the thumb-marks on the forehead.”
“Ha de haha! I think the one at the front as it looks slightly bigger and broader.”
“I saw a couple with a cub once. It was just as ugly but kind of cute as it wobbled along between them.”
We headed for the stairs and made our way to the top. Aranea greeted us with a bow.
- Aranea: Welcome Emperor Wulf Septim, Champion of Azura and Queen Rigmor Septim, chosen Daughter of Azura.
- Rigmor: Delighted to meet you Priestess Aranea. Just Rigmor and Wulf will do.
- Aranea: Then I am just Aranea. I was not surprised when I saw your airship approaching. The news-sheets have been full of stories about it appearing all over the place.
- Wulf: Give it a week or so and it will be old news. Just another eccentricity of The Dragonborn to add to his horse made of fire and his tendency to ride dragons.
- Aranea: But now you are Emperor and the Jarls will know when you are visiting Skyrim. Of course they hope you will dock at their city. Rumours will abound every time you visit one.
- Rigmor: With all due respect Aranea, I would rather talk about anything else than politics. It gives me heartburn.
Aranea laughed and looked years younger than when I had first met her.
- Wulf: I intend to have Mages from the College fly it around quite a lot doing various tasks. People will soon learn that its appearance does not mean a royal visit on most occasions.
- Rigmor: This statue of Lady Azurah is magnificent. The Empire was quite generous after the eruption of the Red Mountain. Out of guilt I think. But this was built from the funds of Dunmer who fled to Skyrim was it not?
- Aranea: Yes. The most devoted of Azura’s followers in Morrowind were inaccurately named the Azura Cult. Lady Azura warned us of the upcoming disaster and that gave us time to prepare and save most of our wealth and of course our lives. Many fleeing Dunmer were accepted into the College of Winterhold and the city itself had a large population of my people. The Jarl was generous enough to donate the land and with the funds we had rescued from Morrowind we paid for the materials and construction.
- Wulf: Then the disaster of Winterhold occurred. The Sea of Ghosts smashed most of it to rubble with the combined magics of the mages not enough to save the city. Its elevated position meant the College escaped relatively unharmed but the people became suspicious and many blamed ungodly experiments by the mages as the cause for the disaster. The usual anti-mer sentiments reared their ugly head and most surviving Dunmer left the region.
- Rigmor: How terrible for all but especially the Dunmer. First their home was virtually wiped out by the eruption of Red Mountain then their adopted home destroyed by the Sea of Ghosts.
- Wulf: The biggest issue was the mages could not explain what caused the disaster and still can’t. Arch-Mage Tolfdir sent me a letter saying they had found an entrance to parts of the old city underneath the College. Apparently it is some sort of time portal. Perhaps one day I can have a look and see if I can solve the mystery. If it happened once it can happen again.
- Aranea: Surely others are advising you against such risks?
- Rigmor: We will weigh up each “venture” and decide together if he should risk it. Anything that will help secure The Empire and make us ready for the Akaviri will be a risk worth taking.
- Aranea: I admire both of you for the efforts you have already made to change how The Empire is ruled. Perhaps it would never have lost so many provinces if other Emperors were like you two.
- Wulf: Perhaps. Anyway, I noticed some pilgrims camped below. Have you had more visitors lately?
- Aranea: Not only more visitors, two seers have joined me again. They came to me looking for advice after their foresight failed them. Then we discovered all are having that problem and Azura herself has not told us why.
- Wulf: I don’t think anybody fully understands what is happening at the moment. Myself and the Dov are sensitive to linear timelines and we can detect something is wrong. I asked Paarthurnax last night. He has lived as long as Nirn has existed and he does not know what has gone wrong. He is not worried. He says it will fix itself. I agree. Instinctively I know it will right itself soon. My best guess is two portals to different part of Oblivion were opened at once. The Divines are also blinded Aranea. I know you no longer have foresight but it must be a shock to the seers to lose it without reason.
- Aranea: How does it seem like to you, the problem with time?
- Wulf: Linear time has infinite possibilities but they are all parallel. At the moment it feels like timelines are combining and splitting again at random. If a being could read the timelines they would not be able to follow a thread. I believe Lord Akatosh is also blinded by this. It is not like a Dragon Break. When they occur all timelines are real at once to an individual. Non logical things can happens such as more than one person owning a unique artefact at the same time. People remembering multiple versions of a conversation and the weird thing is they all occurred. That sort of mind bending gobblygook.
- Aranea: When do you think it will repair itself?
- Wulf: I think once my current Divine Task completes itself. Hopefully the outcome is the one desired by Lord Akatosh and all will track true from there. That is my guess but all this metaphysical stuff is beyond my knowledge. How long before I complete my Divine Task? If it is the successful birth of Kintyra with Rigmor surviving then seven months. If not that then I have no idea. People such as your seers will just have to keep faith I am afraid.
- Aranea: How thoughtless of me! May I congratulate both of you on your soon to be parenthood.
- Rigmor: Than you Aranea and forgive me for being curious but has Sethri been annoying you.
- Aranea: So you know of his interest then? I am taking it very slow. After all it was only two hundred years ago when I last had my heart broken and I don’t want to rush into things too soon.
Rigmor looked puzzled then realised the jest and laughed.
- Rigmor: I am not trying to play matchmaker but he is an extraordinary person Aranea and you will not find a more dedicated follower of Lady Azura.
- Aranea: I know a lot of what he has done for you two. He is charming enough in his own way. We will see.
- Wulf: Do you mind showing us the new temple.
- Aranea: Of course. The two Seers should be inside. Arveal Omaloren and Vonene Othaerus are their names.
We climbed down the stairs and stood in front of the temple. The doors had just been rubble when I last visited.
As soon as we stepped inside a Dunmer caravan guard asked Aranea if she would join him in some ritualistic prayer for safety. Aranea knelt in front of the shrine with him and they started their recitation.
Rigmor and I continued to look around. There were plenty of beds, cooking facilities, stores etc. It was just your typical temple that seems to be the same whether Aedra or Daedra worship is involved.
I walked up to the male priest and said, “It is good to see you have decided to help look after Lady Mara once again Priest Arveal.”
“And who might you be?”
“I am Emperor Wulf Septim, Champion of The Divine and Champion of Lady Azura. This is my wife High Queen Rigmor Septim, Chosen Daughter of Azura.”
It was almost comical how quickly Arveal got to his feet and bowed.
“I…I am sorry for not recognising you your, um, majesties?”
“Relax Arveal. We are simply having a look at the rebuilt temple. I am glad you have returned though. Continue what you were doing, I did not mean to interrupt.”
When we neared the priestess she laughed and said, “It takes a bit to rattle Priest Arveal. I thank your majesties for doing so. It was rather entertaining.”
“And you would be Priestess Vonene?”
“That is me. I am very glad to be back here at this temple and shrine to Lady Azura and I thank you both for your generosity in sponsoring the repairs.”
Rigmor replied, “If you do not know how much we both owe Lady Azura ask Priestess Aranea. I had a huge statue of her placed outside the font entrance to my castle in Bruma. Wulf is a Champion of the Divines but also proudly the Champion of Azura. That tells you how much we revere her.”
“I am glad her love transcends the usual religious bias. Perhaps we may see more of the locals come to learn of her through your journals Emperor?”
I replied, “I hope people of all races start to learn about all the Gods.”
“Priestess Aranea told me of how she teaches about Azura and our other Gods at your orphanage. That is a good start toward your goal!”
Aranea came up behind us and said, “It certainly is. Can I ask you a favour Wulf and Rigmor? Could you please take me up in your airship so I can look at the face of Azura without bending my neck like I have been for almost two hundred years?”
We said goodbye to Vonene, left the temple and boarded Nafalilargus.
Aranea looked nervous as I the airship started to go higher. Rigmor reassured her as I reversed a bit so I could manoeuvre closer to the statue.
I first stopped directly in front of Azura’s face and Aranea wept at the sight of it. Rigmor was also in awe at the majesty of the statue.
After a while Aranea asked if I could manoeuvre the airship so we could view it in more of a profile.
I did so then joined the ladies to have a look.
- Rigmor: Look at the damage Wulf! Can’t we do something about it?
- Wulf: If Aranea or Sethri can find suitable craftsman then certainly we can pay for it out of our own funds.
- Aranea: You would do that? You have already been more than generous!
- Wulf: When Lady Azura was at her weakest she used what little energy she had left on Nirn to save me from certain death and shield me from The Void. I owe her everything Aranea and I only do it out of our private funds to ensure no objections come from the narrow minded.
- Aranea: Do you think Sethri might know of people who can do this type of work.
- Rigmor: He will bend over backwards to find them for you Aranea. That I can guarantee!
We all laughed and then just stood looking at Lady Mara for another ten minutes or so.
- Wulf: Is it okay of we drop you back off at the temple now Aranea? There is something most urgent I need to do!
- Aranea: Of course and I thank you both dearly for letting me see this.
I lowered the ship and anchored. Aranea said her goodbyes and made it down the ladder safely.
I then cast off and slowly manoeuvred away from the area. Rigmor came up to me and asked, “Okay Wulf, I know what has happened. You are having one of your ‘gut feelings’ aren’t you?”
“Yes Rigmor. There was more I planned for today but the Red Diamond shard had been playing on my mind. I want to see if Auryen has found anything.”
“And if he has?”
“We decide if I need to immediately attend to it.”
“Can we visit your orphanage soon?”
“You know I would love that but we could not just appear and disrupt them. We will have to make a formal and planned visit so the kids can get involved. Okay?”
“That sounds good. Are you going to fly or ether to Solitude?”
“Ether as that will stop hours of worry on my part.”
“I will have a lie down then.”
We made our way into the cabin and Rigmor headed for our bedroom. I went to the map room and plotted the course for Solitude with no alarm. I headed back on deck and set Nafalilargus in motion.
A couple of hours later Rigmor and I found Auryen in the staff quarters of the Museum and I asked, “Find out anything?”
“I had to cover a lot of history and conjecture but yes, I think I have found a starting point for you.”
He handed me the shard still wrapped in my handkerchief.
“I suggest you keep that shard and all others you find with you. I do believe they are parts of the original Red Diamond and are now in Skyrim. The ‘Guardians’ believe that dragon fire could remake the Amulet and are converging here to seek the aid of a dragon.”
“Possible I suppose. The Ayleid may well have had Akatosh aid them in its construction as one of the last things he did on Nirn.”
“The fact you felt memories from it strongly suggests it is the original gem don’t you think?”
“Yes and it would be a great boon if I had access to the wisdom of the past emperors to aid me.”
“The Guardians may not even be aware they are being hunted.”
“Yes, that has been at the back of my mind all day and I now feel an urgency to track them down. Where do I go next?”
“I would probably advise starting your search at High Hrothgar as they seem to be a central authority on dragon lore.”
“So is Esbern of the Blades so we have at least more than one source. Of course I could always ask Paarthurnax or Odahviing or even travel to the Soul Cairn and ask Durnehviir.”
“I forget sometimes that you have such connections. Esbern has been more than happy to help me with previous questions. A bit hard to shut up when he gets going though!”
“Thank you for your help Auryen. The Greybeards had their first royal visit in a very long time last night and now they get another. I hope their hearts can stand the excitement!”
“Good luck Majesty.”
As Auryen walked off Rigmor said, “You have no choice but to start immediately do you?”
“No, I would not have been able to do anything till Auryen completed his research but now I can’t risk any more Guardians being murdered and the shards being taken.”
“I was hoping to spend more time with you but I understand. At least this time it looks like you will be in familiar territory, Skyrim.”
“I will get J’Zargo to ether us to Bruma. I would like to have a bit of a sleep before plunging into who knows what chaos. You can then spend some time with Sigunn before heading for the Imperial Palace.”
“A good plan my Emperor, lead on.”
So J’Zargo took over pilot duties while Rigmor and I fell asleep curled up together.
We groggily awoke when the bell chimed our arrival. It was pretty late and I sent Khajro ahead to make sure the Countess did not drag herself out of bed to greet us. He was also to inform the “Skyrim Squad” as Rigmor calls them to board the Nafalilargus as they would be my guard for this task. The rest of The Sentinel accompanied us into the castle.
I hugged my beloved and assured her I would be safe then kissed her on the forehead.
She whispered, “Thank you for today my darling husband. Be back soon okay. Love you.”
Then she walked away and I headed for our airship.
I quickly briefed Lydia, Iona, Jordis and Celestine on where we were going and what we were hunting down.
J’Zargo was given the task of piloting us to High Hrothgar and I retired to my bedroom to write this journal entry.
I crawled into bed and could still smell my ladies perfume on the pillows.
I know not what time I fell asleep.