Dragonborn Gallery, Sancre Tor: Myths and legends.
Blackwell and Baa’Ren-Dar were both using their resources to find ‘O’. I personally think if he does not make a move to take the fragments from me we may never find out who he is. If an organised Mythic Dawn congregation has remained hidden till now then they must be good at it.
Silus Vesuius either knows nothing about all of this or his pants wetting in the throne room was masterful acting. He seemed only semi panicky whilst Rigmor and I spoke to him but when I introduced Blackwell his reputation was enough to make Silus whimper and piss himself. Blackwell wanted him to clean up the puddle but I just used a bit of magicka.
Silus is home again but I wonder if his enthusiasm for all things Mythic Dawn has diminished?
Neither Freathof nor Malesam know anything about this. Freathof because he would have no idea what to do and Malesam for the reasons discussed several times before.
It was just after 8:00AM when I left Nafalilargus for the museum with The Sentinel in tow.
When Auryen saw me he rushed over and said, “My friend! I have some incredible information about the relics to share with you.”
“We had better sit and talk then before you faint with excitement.”
“Then please come this way.”
We sat at the staff dining table. Auryen blurted, “Ah, good, well, where to begin?”
“Try the beginning Auryen. If you start with the end and ruin the plot for me I will cry.”
“Okay but I know that I tend to expound upon things, but I’ll try and be to the point for brevity’s sake.”
Lydia laughed and said, “Can you teach Wulf how to do that?”
“Yes well, if you’d like to know more about anything just ask, otherwise I’ll assume you know what I’m talking about.”
“Even if I think I know I will get your point of view Auryen.”
“A wise move because you never know what you don’t know, you know.”
“Yes but I usually know what you know so we both know, you know.”
“Moving right along now, I’ve done a good deal of research to confirm some theories and from what I can tell the connection between the shards and shield is due to their connection to the covenant of Akatosh made with Alessia.”
“Akatosh drew from his breast a burning handful of his Heart’s blood, and he gave it into Alessia’s hand, saying, ‘This shall also be a token to you of our joined blood and pledged faith. So long as you and your descendants shall wear the Amulet of Kings, then shall this Dragonfire burn — an eternal flame — as a sign to all men and gods of our faithfulness. So long as the Dragonfires shall burn, to you, and to all generations, I swear that my Heart’s blood shall hold fast the Gates of Oblivion.”
Auryen smiled and said, “I have no doubt you have immersed yourself in all you could find concerning the covenant. ‘The Trials of St. Alessia’ has its opposition like almost all historical texts.”
“I keep an open mind but as a son of one of the participants and having been blessed by the other this rings true.”
“It is interesting because in many ways Akatosh only came to be because of her actions.”
“Oh no, you are not a believer of that rubbish are you? Go ahead and I will tell you the real story.”
“Well I believe that during the ‘Middle Dawn’, a period of the first era that lasted one thousand and eight years, which was brought about by the Marukhati Selective, a group within the Alessian order, used the Staff of Eight to ‘dance upon the tower and reshape the nature of Akatosh. By their dancing ritual they were able to purge the elven aspects of Auriel from Akatosh and instead bind the time element of ‘Aka’ to the Colovian Shezzar, which was a sort of heartland version of Shor, the god of mortals. By doing so they established Akatosh as the god of time across ALL time, past, present and future, as if he had always been there, essentially breaking the concept of linear time briefly but that resolved itself on its own. They did this in order to appeal to their Nordic allies who would never have accepted a central deity with ties so closely to the elven Auriel.”
I sighed and replied, “The Marukhati Selective believed and taught the teachings of Marukh. His teachings and the Alessian Order are the greatest blasphemy against Saint Alessia and The Divines. Almost two thousand years of mer persecution and the denial of The Eight. Even the Marukhati Selective’s own warped ‘Exclusionary Mandates’ shoot down this bizarre theory. One of them says, ‘That the Supreme Spirit Akatosh is of unitary essence, as proven by the monolinearity of Time.’ In other words he has always been the God of Time according to their mandates!
Not only that, the event you believe happened was a long time after Saint Alessia died so do not say anything done by the Alessian Order is an act of hers or in any way represents her morals!
The worship of The Divines had already been in place well before Marukh’s lies. So the Nords had already accepted Akatosh as he was.
Anu and Padomay created the Cosmos from the Aurbis. Akatosh was formed by the natural forces of that creation. Other et-Ada followed after him. When Nirn was first created and the Gods walked upon it there was chaos and the Cosmos was unstable.
The Convention at the Adamantine Tower was where linear time was first forced upon Nirn and ended the Dawn Era. The Cosmos stabilised. Magnus left the mortal plane after the Convention and some other Aedra followed him. Some of the remaining Aedra become the Earthbones and others the progenitors of man and mer.
Please show me where Nord objections to Auriel are mentioned. He was an Aedra, not a mer! The Eight Divines had other Gods of mer association. That was the whole idea. Create a pantheon acceptable to both mer and man. No changing of the essence of what they were was needed.”
“I know your own existence has forced upon you a need to defend and champion certain religious values and beliefs. I on the other hand am simply fascinated by the myths and legends. Your objections are valid. I will have to think more on the subject. Perhaps less flippancy from me on possibly sensitive issues might be in order as well.”
“We are at the mercy of the myths and mixture of truths and untruths handed to us. But logic is a tool we can use to see what is sensible and what just does not fit in. Blasphemous mortals dancing atop the White Gold Tower cannot change the nature of what was created at the beginning of the Cosmos.”
“Do you not use the word ‘gobblygook’ to describe the illogical? But you have learnt to accept it.”
“Only sometimes though and it depends on how many sweet rolls I have had.”
“Moving on then, Queen Alessia’s soul was bound to the Amulet of Kings in the covenant and was captured within the gem upon her death.”
“As were the souls of all Dragonborn Emperor up to Uriel VIII with Tiber Septim being the exception for obvious reasons. This Oversoul of Emperors would be of great benefit to me. At the moment the shards give me fragments of their memories and it is probably wise for me not to touch them again.”
“Do you think her soul might still be bound to the gem even in a shattered state?”
“No. I have met her Avatar and her corporeal form. Her soul was divided for a while but not within the shards. I simply think the shards respond to my Dragon Blood or Dragon Soul as they contain Akatosh’s blood.”
Very few people know what the new Red Diamond contains. Part of Alessia’s soul is within it along with part of Molag Bal’s. A bit like part of my soul was entrapped when I entered the Soul Cairn. It is not something I have divulged to Auryen.
“This is pure speculation Majesty but I believe if we were to bring enough relics that tie to the covenant we may be able to appeal to Akatosh to reform the amulet.”
“That is pure speculation indeed! I am willing to try but the only mortal he has spoken to since the time of the Snow Elves is High Queen Rigmor. An Avatar/Aspect as an intermediary is possible.”
“Do you think it would be fully restored?”
“No I don’t Auryen. A physical repair is not going to fill it with the souls that have been residing elsewhere since Martin’s sacrifice. The plans to get the new Red Diamond created at Nagasel into my unborn daughter’s hands spans centuries if not millennia. Such an effort by The Divine would not be logical if rebuilding the old amulet restored the Dragonfires. To what end would that be useful as they were no more effective than Martin’s barrier. The current barrier and the Dragonfires before it have proven inadequate. The aim of the Chosen One prophecy is not to just maintain the current barrier but to improve it.”
“Maybe the amulet will at least empower the White Gold Tower. Prior to the destruction of the amulet the tower was impervious. As you know, it has since been damaged during times of war.”
“Perhaps we had better hurry up with Rigmor’s renovations then!”
“It will be interesting to see if restoring it will have any other effects on the larger scheme of things.”
“It will be of great personal value to me Auryen. I don’t care if it has no more magicka than a grape.”
“Of course it would mean much. To any Emperor it would be a thing of reverence and for you a familial connection. Thinking of the other figures that may be involved there is Reman Cyrodiil who had a rather… mythological origin.”
“He was conceived and born like every other mortal. Do not recite the stupid myth about the hill in Sancre Tor and Saint Alessia. If she is his father and King Hrol his father then they knocked boots. Hrol did not mistake some muddy hole in the ground for Alessia. Reman did not emerge from the ground like some potato with the Amulet of Kings embedded in his head. He was born amongst the blood of his mother like every other child. I do believe Reman was planned and that Pelinal Whitestrake knew that. Hence his calling of Reman’s names millennia before his birth. If Saint Alessia is his mother then Reman is my half-brother.”
“Oh my, that makes this personal as well!”
“Come on Auryen. A lot of these myths make no sense logically! Why would the Gods bother with such one off showy phenomena? Especially when it makes a mockery of both Lady Mara and Lady Dibella! There must be something special about our mortal heroes. They can’t be conceived and born the same way as the town blacksmith! So a stupid myth is constructed and the laymen lap it up as truth. Logic Auryen! We are supposed to revere the processes involved in making and birthing children yet the Gods themselves shun such a thing? No they didn’t.”
“But you see where I am heading and who is also connected?”
“Something from Reman we have with the shield. Something from my father, Tiber Septim, we need. I am certain the armour I have was the set he wore in most battles yet the shards do not respond to it like they do with Reman’s shield.”
“Do you know the history of the “Battle of Sancre Tor’ that Talos won?”
“Yes, in 2E 282 Nords and their Breton allies occupied the passes and strongholds of the Jerall Mountains. The majority of their forces used Sancre Tor as their headquarters as they awaited the winter to pass before continuing their push into Cyrodiil.
King Cuhelain sent his brilliant young general, Talos as his troops called him, to assault the fortress.
Talos’ troops were tired from continuous fighting and were not really equipped for such an assault.
A turncoat whose name and race are lost to history had let Talos know of a secret passage discovered at the rear of Sancre Tor. Talos left a smallish but very noisy force outside of the front gates who taunted and insulted the defenders in the hope they would sortie to crush the insolent mob. They did exactly that and the bulk of Talos’ troops then followed him through the secret entrance and they quickly overwhelmed the undermanned fortress. They captured nearly all the Nord and Breton generals and forced them to surrender.
After the battle Talos had some of the Breton Battlemages executed and released the Breton troops. The Nords were so impressed by Talos they swore allegiance to him and helped with the rest of the conquest of Tamriel.
Talos went into the catacombs and retrieved the Amulet of Kings from the tomb of Emperor Reman III. He then received Akatosh’s blessing making him Dragonborn.
The Blades had aided Talos to such an extent he gifted them his armour. Because that was the set he wore when blessed by my Lord it probably has a connection to the Red Diamond and Amulet of Kings that my set does not.”
“That is what I was thinking. During the Oblivion Crises, Martin Septim gathered the blood of Tiber Septim in a ritual.”
“Only the blood of a Divine could open the portal to Manker Camoran’s realm of Oblivion. Martin took some blood from Tiber’s chest plate.”
“Yes, and they used it to send the Champion of Cyrodiil through the portal.”
“More evidence of Talos’ divinity the Thalmor pretend doesn’t exist. There is definitely a shrine to Father in Sancre Tor. Many Blades would make a pilgrimage to view it. Whether it is his tomb is open to conjecture. I know other famous Emperors who are not buried where the history books say they are. But that set of armour should be there.”
“After Martin’s Sacrifice the Champion of Cyrodiil asked for the armour to be returned to Sancre Tor and placed in Tiber Septim’s tomb.”
“So we will take the chance his armour is still there. It would be a bonus for me if his remains were also there. How do I get in? It has been magically sealed for centuries.”
“You are familiar with Snow Elf teleports?”
“Yes, and Direnni Soul Stone portals and other types I have encountered on my travels.”
“The Ayleid had similar portals but also had what we call Ayleid Waystones.”
“They acted like a permanent ‘Scroll of Recall’ if I remember. They were used to transport a person to a set point.”
“I have gathered a few. The inscription on this one indicates it will take you to Sancre Tor.”
“So wear it then zap, I am in Sancre Tor fighting off hordes of who knows what trying to stop me robbing my own father’s grave.”
“Yes, be on guard as there is no telling what may be lurking there.”
“And don’t make love to any good looking holes in the ground!”
“You have a way of making the myths sound silly.”
“They are silly!”
“Be well Majesty and return safely.”
“Farewell Auryen. Who knows how long I will be if the place is in some pocket realm with all the magic protecting it. I will don the Waystone aboard the airship so if I return a bit scratched up there are three Master Restoration mages to help.”
I made my way to the cabin of Nafalilargus and just on 10AM I said to Lydia, “I have no idea what I am going to find or how long I will be. Use your best judgment on when to start panicking.”
“Not funny Wulf! We all know that being Emperor does not preclude you from having to take these risks. The waiting is not easy for us, your friends.”
“I know Lydia but better to leave with a smile is it not?”
“Take care Majesty.”
I put on the Waystone…and found myself facing some undead Blades in the typical cold bleary conditions of the Jerall Mountains.
There were two types of Blade undead. One was a glowing eyes black misty type.
The other was Blade skeletons.
I discovered two main doors and both were locked and could not be picked.
One door was so large it was obviously for use by Dov.
I could not concentrate on having a good look around with the undead trying to kill me so I spent some time clearing the area of all I could find.
I also tried removing the Waystone and could not. It is a peculiar feeling when something that should be simple, such as removing a pendant or amulet, proves impossible.
I climbed some ramparts and found the last remaining undead guarding a chest. It was a much stronger opponent then the others so was probably a commander or hero of some sort when alive. Its weapon was a beautifully crafted kai-katana covered in intricate runes.
I opened the chest it was guarding and within was a key.
I made my way back to the smaller door. The key unlocked it.
The fortress showed damage from battle and decay but the dust on the floor showed no sign of disturbance. I may have been the first to enter in hundreds of years.
There were many intricate tombs with the symbols of their chosen deity but no plaque or inscription to tell me their name.
Various Rune Stones could be approached for the receiving of a blessing.
Yet another type of undead Blade guarded the inside that was much stronger than those outside. They were not much of a challenge to me but would be a good deterrent to the average grave robber.
After clearing the entrance area of undead I took a look around.
Portcullises were in abundance but their pull chains and levers were not hidden.
After stepping through a door I found myself in the prison block where a few of the misty Blade undead roamed but were no obstacle. The floor was covered in a few inches of water that looked clean but I doubt would be healthy to drink.
I decided I would open every door of every cell or room or exit. This required a lot of lock picking.
The noise attracted what I thought might have been the undead jailer. However his keyring had only one key on it and it did not open any of the doors in the prison.
Through some bars I could see the skeleton of a prisoner who appears to have committed suicide.
After reaching his cell I searched his backpack. It was filled with archaeological fragments from Dwemer, Falmer and Nordic ruins, a patchwork cloak and a journal which read,
“My travels have finally come to an end.
After many years of travelling Tamriel far and wide, avoiding bandits and beasts, wars, plagues and horrid storms or sweltering sands, I now find myself confined to this place. I’ve barricaded myself into this cell which will end up as my tomb I fear.
I hear the dead lurk through the halls and the wails of the angry spectres echoing through the corridors. They occasionally pass my hollow cage and glance my way but make no effort to enter, if they even could that is.
I’ve run out of food, have no source of warmth and the water that lies at the foot of this place is fouled with the touch of the dead. I have precious little time and I would rather end it all now that wait for these foul creatures to finally overtake me.
If anyone reads these final thoughts take my cloak and protect it well. It is the prize of a long life of journey.
Examining the cloak revealed fairly strong protections against fire, ice, lightening and magic. A valuable item to any wide ranging adventurer such as he was.
One corridor ended in an impressive set of double doors.
On the floor in front of them was a fallen and shattered Imperial Seal. It appeared there was something beyond the doors that should be left well enough alone. So of course I tried to open them and they would not budge. The key I got from the thing that attacked me a few minutes earlier did not unlock them.
After having extensively searching the prison I returned to the entrance hall and headed for another set of doors leading from it. As I got closer to them I could sense my father. This had to be his tomb!
The key I got from the prison opened them and I entered with mixed feelings.
I could see at the far end there was a statue of my father and that confirmed it was his tomb or at least a shrine. So I was at first shocked when another tomb had a statue of Meridia as the occupant’s chosen deity.
But I knew Tiber Septim was just like me. He did not choose his most trusted guards based on religion or race. I have Khajiit, Dunmer, Orsimer and even an ex Daughter of Coldharbour amongst The Sentinel. He was completely opposite to most Nords who revere him. Their false sense of racial supremacy is no better than that of the Thalmor. Their dismissal of other pantheons was absolute and did not make sense. So shock was replaced with reverence and I silently thanked the long dead Blade for his service.
One deceased had chosen Shalidor suggesting he was most likely a mage of some sort.
The location of Tiber Septim’s tomb was first revered by The Blades as the location where he had received Akatosh’s blessing.
The set of armour he had gifted them was placed there long before he died and as I mentioned to Auryen many Blades made a pilgrimage to view them.
In front of Tiber’s tomb were four Blades. They were not undead and their flesh untouched by time or decomposition.
When Tiber Septim was still alive and this was the location of just the shrine and his armour a curse was placed upon it by Zurin Arctus, his deceased Battlemage and one of the most powerful mages known. Zurin had died confronting Wulfharth when constructing the Numidium, the huge Dwemer automaton. Both Zurin and Wulfharth are called the Underking in different texts and it may be that both are. But that is the type of gobblygook that makes me dribble so I will not get into it. There are plenty of sources other than my journals if you want to scramble your brains.
The story goes that Tiber Septim lied and said his loyal Battlemage died trying to kill him and take the throne. I do not believe that part.
Tiber Septim used the Numidium to wipe out entire families, even those who had showed no hostility to his rule. A thousand foot tall metal monster killed countless men, women and children so that he could feel safe in his rule. I know his aim was to provide a long period of stability to the people and he did achieve that. But this act is something I could not do, ever.
Zurin placed the curse from the afterlife because he believed that use of the Numidium was an insult to he who had helped get it working. Tiber sent his four best Blades to remove it. They never returned and the curse remained till Martin Septim helped remove it. He had to so he could get the armour and the blood it contained for the portal to Oblivion to be opened. The spirits of the four Blades had been trapped by Zurin and forced to be guards over the corrupted shrine. Martin’s actions freed them and they could enter their deserved peace.
Those four Blades trapped by Zurin were all male. Two of the four in front of me were female so these were obviously not those fabled four.
They must be volunteers who are now guarding the cleansed shrine and tomb. There was a Nord male and female, a female Redguard and a male Dunmer. The watched me as I moved about but did not respond to questions. I said to them, “Sorry but I do not know your names or history or how long you have been here. But I thank you for guarding my father’s tomb and shrine. Like Martin Septim I need to borrow a piece of his armour. I promise to return it soon.”
No response but then again I did not expect any. I am certain they recognised who I was and that my words did register.
I was dreading opening the sarcophagus and thanked The Divine I did not have to. Sitting on top was a helmet that was very similar to what Imperial Knights wore till recently. As a matter of fact I have requisitioned some fancy Imperial Knight uniforms from storage for the Legionnaires that will be taking over guard duty of the Dragonborn Gallery. They are no longer used in the field but look impressive.
I knelt and prayed,
I know you can’t answer and I don’t expect you to make an appearance but how could I not at least say a few words at this sacred place.
I have no real idea what is truth or lie, myth or history. I just go with my instincts which have been pretty good so far.
All this mysticism and gobblygook only goes to confuse me and makes my decision making so much more difficult. But that is the idea isn’t it? It makes me think things through a lot more.
So I do not know for sure if I am doing the right thing collecting these bits and pieces but it feels right.
I hope I have not got it wrong and disappoint you and our Lord.”
I held the covered shards in one hand and picked up the helmet with the other. A red flash lit the room and I could feel the same resonance as with Reman’s shield. I also feel the presence of my father similar to when I held my coin.
On the floor in front of the tomb was a sword case. Inside was a katana with a strong ice dweomer. I picked it up and the shards did not respond to it. Instinct told me it was important. If not I would return it.
In a bowl in front of the tomb were a key and a circlet with a large ruby in its centre. I took both.
There was much of the fortress I had not explored plus that locked door in the prison. I returned to the entrance and walked down one corridor. At the end was an obvious trap that dropped whoever tripped it into some sort of labyrinth. I skirted it and checked out the sword case and locked box and they were empty.
Another door was not locked.
When I entered I was attacked by many of the stronger Blade skeletons.
Two very strong undead were sitting on chairs facing a lectern with a book upon it. It was opened to its last page which read,
“Within this place shall forever be sealed away the evils of the Underking so that the spirit of the Great Tiber Septim may forever contain his presence within.
Bound to his sealed tomb by three keyblades of the Dragonguard, his tomb shall never again be opened without them.
Safeguarded within this fortress, these blades will have places of reverence within, only to be removed during the turning of the wheel, when the dead walk again and the Underking’s restless evil may once again stir.
So say we, Arktheius, Judge of Sancre Tor and Khal, Lieutenant of the Guard.”
I assumed the sword I obtained in front of Tiber’s tomb was one keyblade.
Searching the fortress I found another with a strong fire dweomer in the front of a shrine to Akatosh.
The third I found in the Catacombs.
I had to cut my way through dozens of very strong undead, some that used the Thu’um, to reach the third keyblade which was in front of a shrine to Kyne. It had, not surprisingly, a strong lightning dweomer.
The door with the broken seal must lead to the Underking so I headed for the prison once more and the two large barred doors.
The key I found in front of Tiber’s tomb unlocked it and I was faced with yet another portcullis.
A soon as I opened that and entered the room a huge surge of magicka emanated from a sarcophagus. The Underking knew I was there and was not happy!
To get rid of him I had to release him. To do so I placed the three swords in slots. Each time I did the statue behind exploded.
After the third Zurin Arctus burst out of his prison and was not happy with me at all.
I did not think telling him I was not my father would help. I was wearing his gold armour!
He was hitting me with by far the strongest Destruction spells I have ever encountered. The protection dweomers I had placed on the armour were the best anybody at the College of Winterhold had ever seen but still he was hurting me at a terrifying pace.
I roared and starting slashing ‘The Sword’ though his ghostly presence in a race to beat death.
He finally collapsed into a pile of glowing ash and I healed myself.
I searched the ash pile and found a staff with a strong raise dead dweomer and a beautiful ring with a red diamond centre. It had no dweomer on it I could detect but the shards reacted to it.
Further into the room there was a symbol of The Empire on the floor and emanating from it I could see and sense a portal.
Nothing tried, nothing gained so I stepped into it.
I was transported to a realm I did not recognise but it felt familiar. Before I could get my bearings a huge Dovah landed nearly on top of me and stuck his big snout within inches of my face. Then he bellowed,
“The wayward son returns home.”
“You are not Bormahu. May I know who you are before we tinvaak?”
“I am the voice, I am the eye and I am the breath which makes Akatosh’s will known. I am his Qolaas and you are his child Dovahkiin, or should I say Dovahsebrom.”
“It is truly zin, an honour, to meet you Herald of Akatosh. Do you know my purpose here?”
“You gather the symbols of those who came before you and have been brought here to beseech our Lord to do thine bidding.”
“Mortals need the symbol of Lord Akatosh’s covenant restored. I ask humbly for his aid in doing so.”
“And in time it may be restored, but not this day.”
“Do I need to gather something else?”
“The blood of the mother you have in full. The breath of the father you have yet to fully obtain. Go forth and make whole the symbols of the offering so that the heart too may once again be made whole.”
I felt warmth from the Waystone. I went to touch it and it fell into my hand.
I appeared back in the same spot in the cabin as I left from.
Lydia approached and asked, “Something go wrong Wulf?”
“No. It took a while but I think I did everything I could for the first visit. Why?”
“You have been gone less than five minutes.”
“I think I will sit and think for a while before talking to Auryen.”
“You have the glazed look so I guess more gobblygook?”
“Yes and I have a feeling Auryen will pile a mountain sized load on me.”
TO BE CONTINUED…