Dragonborn Gallery, Dragon Bridge, Steepfall Burrow, Windhelm, Dragon’s Fall, Sancre Tor, Oblivion: A beautiful thing!
With The Sentinel in tow once again I headed to see Auryen at about 10:30AM.
I found him sitting and relaxing in the library. He asked, “When are you planning to leave for Sancre Tor? I though you said you were off to the airship?”
“I was there for hours but it was only about five minutes here. As I guessed it is in its own pocket plane at the moment.”
“That must be disorienting for you. Were you successful?”
“Yes and no. I spoke to the Qolaas, the Herald of Akatosh. My Lord was aware of my endeavours but then again he probably had it all planned. However the Amulet of Kings can’t be reforged without further symbols of, quote, ‘those who came before me.’”
“How exactly did he word this?”
“Quote, ‘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.’”
“…blood of the mother you have in full…yet breath of the father you have yet to fully obtain.”
“That is what he said. Obviously we have enough symbols for Saint Alessia but not enough for Akatosh. But he said fully obtain and one thing I picked up that the shards reacted to is this ring.”
I handed him the ring and he studied it before declaring, “Oh my, this is an Imperial royal advisor seal with the crest of Zurin Arctus, the Underking.”
“Yes. His curse that Martin Septim had removed was returning. I needed to release him from his prison so I could defeat him and break the curse. He was a very strong Destruction mage and obviously a pretty good necromancer as well.”
“You know of the confusion about the Underking?”
“I was hoping to avoid this subject but yes I do. Go ahead and tell me in your words what the myths say. Maybe we can gain a clue or two.”
“Zurin Arctus, Imperial Battlemage and advisor to Tiber Septim, was referred to as the Underking, but so was Wulfharth in one of his lives.”
“I know his first one was as High King of Skyrim and he came from Atmora.”
“Yes and he was said to have saved Skyrim from Orkey.”
“He was the old Nord God of mortality. Often call Old Knocker and supposedly the same entity as Arkay.”
“That is him. Just remember we are talking unproven myths here so do not get angry at some of it. Anyway, Orkey summoned a shadow of Alduin to consume the entire population’s age down to that of children.”
“In some places everybody being six years of age would be an improvement.”
“That might be so but the tiny Wulfharth was not impressed and summoned Shor to fight this shadow Alduin.”
“Wulfharth learned a Shout by watching the battle between Shor and shadow Alduin.”
“Yes and he used it to restore the people of Skyrim to their correct ages. However it aged Wulfharth many years and he dropped dead.”
“And his second life was when Shor raised him.”
“Correct again. The people of Skyrim ‘sung forth’ Shor to lead an army to march upon Morrowind. Shor raised the ashes of Wulfharth to be the general.”
“That is where he got the name ‘Ash King’.”
“Yes but after that battle he was once again slain and his ashes carried back to Skyrim by Kyne.”
“Why was he not allowed to rest in Sovngarde? Surely his death in battle earned the right.”
“Sounds unfair and probably was. When returned to Skyrim he became the Grey Storm or the Storm of Kyne. He was summoned forth many times over the ages to exact revenge and help with conquest. Eventually he rested for a time which is where his “Underking” title derived.”
“It is unfair he was still denied Sovngarde! The Gods are ill using him.”
“He later awakened when the Greybeards spoke a prophesy of the coming of Tiber Septim. Wulfharth would eventually come to serve him as the Storm of Kyne and how the name Talos Stormcrown came to be.”
“Well done Auryen. You did not mention the rubbish in the Arcturian Heresy that so many people believe. In that he thought he was the hero the Greybeards were calling and visited them only to be shouted back to dust or ash or whatever. Then they supposedly shouted him back into existence later on.”
“You do not believe anything in the Arcturian Heresy?”
“Some parts yes but that part no. I asked the Greybeards if those things occurred. No with the proviso there was a Dragon Break soon after these supposed events was their answer.”
“What a fascinating subject Dragon Breaks are.”
“Yeah, right up there with Elder Scrolls and who lights all the candles and torches is ancient tombs.”
“Let us stick to Wulfharth then! He is also regarded as being the Tongue of Shor, or an Avatar of Shor. His power with the voice was so extreme in fact that he never spoke as a single word could tear down an entire mountain face. He made his many royal decrees through the written word.”
“See, there is more evidence of myth equalling bullshit. The Ancient Tongues could talk. Arngeir of the Greybeards can talk and his Thu’um is the most powerful of the four. Jürgen Windcaller could talk. I can talk.”
“Remember Wulf, we are talking mythology here and not proven history.”
“I know but logic keeps begging for mercy. His time with Tiber Septim is where I think this duality becomes even more confusing. I also question the whole betrayal bit.”
“When he allied with Tiber Septim and Zurin Arctus they supposedly betrayed him and trapped his soul within the Mantella.”
“Is it betrayal when Wulfharth had already abandoned Tiber Septim because he didn’t wipe out the Tribunal and conquer Morrowind? He was no better than a deserter. He was brought back to aid Tiber and ran away.”
“I suppose the betrayal is in the lie they used to get Wulfharth back in the Imperial palace.”
“Today that would be considered a good move in the political games they play. Anyway, this is where the two souls come intertwined is it not?”
“Correct. Arctus had already given some of his life force to power the Mantella and therefore the Numidium. When Wulfharth was slain by Imperial soldiers his soul was entrapped in the Mantella but he slew Arctus with the Thu’um with his dying breath causing his soul to also be trapped inside it.”
“When Arctus placed a curse on Tiber Septim’s shrine within Sancre Tor it was revenge for the use to which the Numidium was used. This was what four spirits of trapped Blade champions told Martin Septim. Could it not as easily have been Wulfharth seeking revenge for the betrayal?”
“That is a good theory. I know you would dislike the idea Tiber used the Numidium to wipe out many innocent families but he also used it to conquer the Summerset Isles.”
“And Tamriel was united and the end justifies the means.”
Auryen was about to say something and I put my hand out to shush him. He looked a bit worried when I started mumbling to myself. Finally I said, “I have had an epiphany!”
“Go on then.”
“I have always said that all creation theories are correct and that the God’s of the differing pantheons exist. Our histories and myths are full of contradictions but only if you take the view there can only be one correct timeline.
I think you could take any of the major pantheons and find a consistent story from creation to now if you only viewed things from that single pantheon’s perspective.
That is why the Skaal’s belief in the All-Maker is just as valid as The Redguards Yokudan pantheon. The Old Nord pantheon is just as valid as The Divines.”
“I see where you are heading Majesty. Following your logic then all the myths and alternate histories are true so some of the duplicities are true.”
“Some people believe in mantling where a mortal taking a very similar path to a God can become that God. The story of Tiber Septim, Arctus and Wulfharth is eerily similar to Lorkhan’s death at the Convention held at the Adamantine tower. Those who believe in mantling would make some great connection between the two rather than just say it was coincidence. Talos’ victory at Sancre Tor and the Nord deciding to follow him is similar to Reman winning at Sancre Tor and the Akaviri deciding to follow him. Why can’t it just be coincidence?”
“I will admit to enjoying the theory of mantling. I quite like finding things that could be seen as evidence.”
“Is that not picking things to fit a theory and ignoring everything that doesn’t?”
“True, but it is fun.”
“Mantling is getting into metaphysics and I just don’t think any mortal is capable of understanding even a tiny fraction of forces Gods can sense. I can sense time like a Dovah but you cannot so I struggle to explain things like why linear time feels different at the moment. Some people have foresight but it takes a God like Azura to figure out what their visions mean. We are simply not equipped to judge the probability or not of such things as logic fails when senses you don’t have are at play.”
“I remember having a discussion about this once and you gave the analogy of describing the colour blue to somebody who has been blind from birth. Then they ask, ‘What is the difference to red?’”
“Have you ever thought how a person deaf from birth thinks? They do not have voices in their head as they have never heard one!”
“You used logic to shoot down my theory on how Alessia changed Akatosh yet say we can’t apply logic to metaphysics.”
“Logic tells you the belief in Marukh and the writings of his followers is not based on historical or mythical knowledge. His monotheistic pantheon has no consistency from creation to now. He was a liar and his ramblings used by the racists of Nord to justify mer prosecution. Something Alessia herself did not do. Many of her friends and advisors were Ayleid.”
“Point taken and I must admit if you view each religion in that context it is easy to detect the fraudulent.”
“There are different myths/histories about the creation of the Chim-El Adabal, the Red Diamond. Some say it is the crystallised blood of Lorkham that fell after his defeat at the Convention. Others like me believe it was created from Akatosh’s blood as per the description in the Trials of St Alessia.
If they are both correct then to rebuild the Amulet of Kings we need three things associated with Akatosh and three associated with Lorkham.”
Auryen was deep in thought like I was a few minutes ago. I knew I was going to have to rely on his vast knowledge to solve this puzzle.
After a few minutes he smiled and said, “The connections are clear in my head so let me try and explain.”
“Just a brief explanation will do. I also think that similar names given to people over time are a clue. I also think the Herald of Akatosh is very literal. I wanted to see if you drew the same conclusions.”
“Yes I did so I am glad I do not have to try and justify those assumptions. This is still speculation though.”
“I do not mind trying and if it doesn’t work I am sure the Herald will just grumble at me and not eat me. I will come back and we will rethink it. So speculate away.”
“So literally ‘the blood of the mother’ referred to Alessia and the three symbols associated with her represent the Akatosh side. I believe, taking the literal sense, ‘breath of the father’ refers to the Voice otherwise called the Thu’um. Do you regard Lorkhan and Shor to be the same entity?”
“The Nord pantheon would not work if they were not! So yes, they must be one and the same.”
“Good then the rest should make sense to you. As Alessia’s symbols represented Akatosh I believe three symbols associated with Shor will represent Lorkham.”
“My head hasn’t exploded yet so keep going.”
“The heart of Lorkhan was not available to Arctus when trying to power up the Numidium. The next best thing was the heart of Wulfharth as he was supposedly an Avatar of Shor.”
“Once again that must be fact otherwise say goodbye to the Nord pantheon. It would also explain why his soul has not been allowed to rest in Sovngarde. He is part of Shor who already resides there.”
“One of Wulfharth’s titles was ‘Breath of Kyne’ which also fits in with the Thu’um theme.”
“Okay so far and that is a bit worrying!”
“We know that Zurin Arctus’ ring is a symbol and that would be due to his soul intertwining with Wulfharth’s.”
“That fits. Good speculation so far!”
“And the third symbol must belong to Morihaus. Would you like to try and guess my reasoning?”
“Yes, give me a minute to remember what I know about possible Step Dad.”
Auryen laughed at that but if he wed Saint Alessia that is what he is. There is no reference I can remember saying they wed. Plenty saying they are the parents of Emperor Belharza who is my half- brother by blood.
It only took me a few seconds to realise the connection and I said to Auryen, “In the book ‘Shezarr and The Divines’ he is referred to as Morihaus Breath of Kyne. Some sources also say he is the Son of Kyne but I think that is figuratively.”
“Aha…so our speculation matches!”
“There is only one artefact I can think of associated with Morihaus and that is The Lord’s Mail.”
“There is also a wing feather of his somewhere but I have not been able to track it down. However The Lord’s Mail was in Solitude till very recently. It was supposed to be delivered so I could make a replica for display and then be returned to its keeper. The rather upset person it was stolen from is General Tullius.”
“Isn’t it also called the ‘Gift of Kynareth’? Myth says that if an unworthy person tries to wear it Kynareth will hide it till she finds somebody worthy of it.”
“General Tullius assures me he has not worn it so Kynareth could not judge him unworthy. It was given to him for safe keeping by Emperor Titus Mede II during the Great War. He is adamant it was stolen and he knows who did it. It is being kept very quiet as it is embarrassing to the Penitus Oculatus and the general.”
“Then I had better speak to Commander Maro in Dragon Bridge. Don’t you get a sense of Divine meddling in a lot of this? Take Reman’s shield for instance. How many people have wandered through that jail and never moved the ceramic pot hiding the pull chain? I bet you had no idea where the Lord’s Mail was till General Tullius offered it to be replicated.”
“I had been searching for it but the Great War then the change of Emperor created an unsurmountable dead end. I think the thief learnt of its existence because of the offer from General Tullius.”
“What about Wulfharth’s item?”
“Let us hope The Divines have left you a clue as I think the first step in finding Wulfharth and some item of his is to visit Windhelm. There is a plaque commemorating him plus he lived in the Palace of Kings.”
“I will have to do this as an Imperial officer then. We can’t just have the Emperor wandering around cities looking at plaques or sniffing around castles.”
“Leaving from the airship again?”
“Yes and I thank you for super speculation skills.”
“Take care Majesty.”
“Oh, there is one other thing that I meant to talk to you about. Why do we have no display for the Minotaur? It is bad enough they have been almost totally wiped out of written history. They are just as much a lost civilisation as the Snow Elves, Dwemer and Ayleid. One of the greatest heroes of the Nords was a Minotaur. The second Emperor was a Minotaur. I would also like a display for Saint Alessia.”
“Do you have ideas of what to put on display?”
“Saint Alessia’s slave manacles. I can retrieve the armour and weapon of the last ever Minotaur. I can dig things up if I look. How about I design and set up the displays myself. It is a rather personal thing as I am sure you understand.”
“That sounds like a plan.”
When I arrived back at Nafalilargus I went into my room and changed my appearance. I removed the beard and moustache I had grown for Evermore. Darkened my hair and reluctantly got rid of the ponytail. People had commented on how pale I had grown over the last few months so I darkened my skin tone with magicka.
While I was in the Imperial City the new armour for the mages in The Sentinel had arrived. It was similar in style to the other Sentinel armour. Celestine changed into hers and everybody agreed it fit in better.
I flew the airship to Dragon Bridge and decided to anchor it at the far end of the actual bridge.
The Sentinel checked the surroundings and gave me the all clear to join them on the ground.
Nobody took much notice of either the airship or us. While I was in the Imperial City Nafalilargus had been appearing all over Skyrim and Cyrodiil. At first people expected the Emperor and/or Queen to disembark but all they saw were Penitus Oculatus and Mages. The new-sheets that had been excited about the airship at first reported the droll use it was used for now.
We made our way unmolested to the headquarters.
Commander Maro did not recognise me at first till I spoke to him and said, “Greetings Commander Maro. I am here to help with that rather embarrassing problem.”
“There must be more to it then if they have you involved Commander…?”
“Commander Marcus. Yes, the retrieval of the stolen item is crucial to The Empire. What can you tell me?”
“Praefect Torbal heard about the item and was raving to others about how Kynareth would not want it left in the hands of the unworthy. He subsequently left his post in Dawnstar without permission. We arrested him for desertion when he made an appearance at Castle Dour.
He escaped his cell, killed two legionnaires and stole the item.
This was under our watch and is of great embarrassment and a dent in our reputation so all has been kept hush hush.
He was last sighted in the vicinity of Steepfall Burrow and a squad of agents have been sent to investigate.”
“I know the place. I recovered a helmet of sentimental value for a veteran Imperial scout from there years ago. Thank you Commander Maro, we will go see what the squad have found if anything.”
Steepfall Barrow has two entrances.
We started on the lower one. There were two deceased agents at the entrance. The Praefect was notching up quite the kill count!
We could hear some agents talking to each other but no sounds of battle.
We found the two men standing next to the naked body of who I suspected was the thief. His armour and underclothes piled next to him. The agents had blood on them and there were several large wolves dead nearby.
I walked to the agent guarding the body. He saluted and held.
“Stand at ease. What happened here?”
“We approached the cave entrance and he saw us. Instead of running further into the cave he ran outside instead! He disarmed one man and started swinging. He was an excellent swordsman, one of the best we had. So even though he was at first unarmed he still cut down two of our men. He stared at the bodies and a look of horror came over him.
He ran further into the cave and we were debating on whether it would be wise to follow him. Then we heard a scream and snarling. We rushed in and found him deceased with the pack of wolves ready to have a feast.”
“So he had probably not come far into the cave before your squad had arrived. Then when he ran further in he had his back to the pack looking out for you two. His sword skills meant for nothing when the pounced. Did you find anything?”
“As you can see we stripped him down searching. We did not find a thing. We were debating what to do next when your squad arrived.”
The Sentinel started searching and Iona found a bloodied note beneath one of the wolves. It read,
“By The Divines I wish it had never happened this way. The two guards in Solitude were only doing their duty but they didn’t understand. The General doesn’t deserve the armour! He is not a true follower of Kynareth.
I have been running since I took the armour and am cold and weary. How dare they put me in a cell when all I am doing is defending her from blasphemy!
I saw a cave above and it looked like a good place to rest but there were very large trolls who came in from hunting, saw me and charged. I jumped into a pool and swam down to this cavern. I will stay near the entrance so I can see anybody approaching.
I left the armour, my sword and shrine in the other cavern. I hope I get a chance to get it back.
I leave this note in case I do not survive. Know that I am doing this for Kynareth.”
I ordered the agents, “Bring your men in from the outside and make a fire if you need to. We will look in the upper cavern. If we find the armour we will let you know. One of you will then have to make their way to Dragon Bridge and inform Commander Maro. We will be taking the armour elsewhere at the orders of our Queen and Emperor.”
The two men saluted and we left.
We climbed up the icy path to the upper cavern entrance.
We entered and were soon confronted by two aggressive trolls. I cut the throat of one while The Sentinel killed the other.
The cavern had a large pool of water that led to the lower cavern. Nearby was Torbal’s sword, his shrine of Kynareth and The Lord’s Mail. I picked the armour up and was rewarded with the brief red flash from the shards.
Jordis looked at it and asked, “You sure that’s right Wulf? It looks too small for the pictures I have seen of Minotaur.”
“Morihaus was not a mortal Minotaur but a Demi-God. He could take on the form of a man when he wished. Which was probably a good thing for my mother don’t you think?”
Jordis thought about it for a second then her face turned red. She exclaimed, “Ouch! Yes, a very good thing.”
We made our way back to the upper cave and informed the agents we had the armour. One of them prepared to head for Dragon Bridge as we boarded Nafalilargus. The others headed below and I flew us to Windhelm.
J’Zargo and the others had set up the permanent dock for Windhelm on the bridge outside. I manoeuvred accurately enough that the ramp fell in the correct spot. It would have been a bit quicker to ether in but I enjoyed the flying. After all, I am part Dov.
The Sentinel joined me and we entered the city.
The plaque commemorating Wulfharth was just to the right of Candlehearth Hall. That is where I fell in love with my Queen.
The plaque was looking a bit worse for wear. The weather of Windhelm is not kind on any of the stonework. I could not quite read it all so brushed some dirty snow off it. The plaque moved a tiny bit. So I pushed it from the side and it slid a couple of inches to reveal a key and engraved map. I knew the place to go. It is called Dragon’s Fall and I could not enter it years ago as the doors could not be picked. I was just curious at the time and did not really care as it was not part of a Divine Quest or anything else important.
I had to anchor Nafalilargus close to the ground and a little way from the entrance as the path to the place was very steep. The Sentinel did a sweep and then I was allowed to join them.
Every time I looked at the airship I thanked my Khajiit friends. It has meant I have had to spend far less time away from Rigmor just in the last week.
The doors that had defeated my lock picking skills years ago stood before me. The key from behind the plaque opened them.
We entered and I talked to Celestine, “We may be about to disturb the spirit of one of the strongest users of the Voice that has ever lived. If he is hostile then he will hurt us and quickly. For that reason you are not to use any offensive spells. Just be prepared to heal and help with your Restoration skills.”
“Just like when I first joined you all those years ago.”
“It does seem like a long time ago doesn’t it. We have seen a lot together us five. I am blessed you all chose to join The Sentinel.”
We walked a few more steps into the place and an ominous voice echoed, “Ahhhhh interloper, trespasser. Who are you to disturb my slumber? Leave this place or be forever claimed by it!”
Iona whispered, “Shouldn’t you tell him who you are?”
I replied, “My father had him assassinated and his soul trapped to power a giant Dwemer automaton. I think I will keep my identity secret.”
“Oh! Good idea.”
The whole complex seemed to be dedicated to Arkay.
Some of the Draugr encountered were very strong in the use of Unrelenting Force. It is very disturbing to find myself at the receiving end of it.
For some reason there were dozens of copies of The Trials of St Alessia spread throughout the complex. Why? I have no idea!
I approached the end of a corridor and a stone slab slowly descended.
I could see several of the more powerful Draugr spread around the cavern. We entered and Wulfharth’s voice echoed once again. I realised he was using the Thu’um to make it louder.
“I HAVE MORE THAN DONE MY PART FOR SKYRIM! CAN I NOT BE ALLOWED TO REST?
I walked past a throne and approached his tomb.
“WHAT BINDS MY SOUL TO THIS WRETCHED WORLD? NEED I CLAIM YOURS TO PROVE I AM DESERVING OF THE DEATH I SEEK?”
He used the Shout that made him famous and we were buffeted by cyclonic winds. Celestine had done as I asked and stayed away from the melee. She summoned a Storm Atronach to protect her from the Draugr then cast healing and other protection spells as the fight unfolded.
The Draugr were not immune to Wulfharth’s Thu’um and were being damaged by the winds. The Sentinel concentrated on bringing them down whilst I tackled the angry spirit.
After a few minutes they joined me and together we defeated Shor’s Avatar.
I searched his tomb and found a pair of armoured boots. When I picked them up the shards reacted.
“Okay Sentinel. That was a tough one and I don’t think we would have all survived without Celestine.”
Celestine was a very shy and reserved person so turned bright red when her friends hugged and praised her.
We made our way out and back into the cabin of Nafalilargus.
I changed into my Emperor Armour, approached Lydia and said, “Okay, I am heading to Sancre Tor once again. I do not expect any problems as I cleared out the undead and the Underking last visit.”
“We still do not know who ‘O’ is. We don’t know if he or his followers can get into Sancre Tor or not. You now have everything needed to rebuild the Amulet of Kings so now would be a good time to attack you. So be careful Wulf!”
“You are right as usual Lydia. I will be extra careful. See you soon.”
I put on the Waystone and was instantly transported to the cold and windy Jerall Mountains.
I entered the fortress and something did not feel right.
I slowly approached the main hall and saw there were magicka barriers blocking all exits from it. There was somebody here who should not be and the dweomers to protect the treasures within had been triggered.
I cast Dragonhide on myself and walked further in with sword and shield at the ready.
A smarmy voice came from my right, “You have been a might busy haven’t you? I have come to claim that which we have paid to be uncovered. I expect you won’t give me any resistance will you?”
“Unless you are stronger than Alduin, Morag Bal, Malacath, Lord Harkon and the myriad others I have defied and defeated then yes, I think I will prove to be very resistant. Show yourself lackey of the mighty ‘O’. He could not accomplish in months what I have done in less than two days!”
“Just place the amulet fragment on the floor and leave. Very simple, even a person such as you should understand these mundane instructions.”
“What kind of person am I? Do you mean one of the most powerful mages on Nirn and the son of Gods who had yet to be beaten in armed combat? I know your kind of person. You are a coward who hires others to do the hard work and hides in shadows like a frightened rabbit. ‘O’ must really hate you to send you on a suicide mission.”
“Perhaps the cold of Skyrim had dulled your wits? I do grow ever so weary of this game, but I suppose I could be persuaded to engage in another. Let’s see how you enjoy it.”
He appeared and had some sort of metal covered brute with him. He fired his bow and I blocked it with my shield.
“Oh my how scary! You have an invisibility spell and fancy bow. Have a free shot or two whilst I take care of your metal friend.”
A couple of arrows hit and fell useless to the floor as Dragonhide and the dweomers I had on my armour made me impervious. ‘The Sword’ sliced through the metal brute without slowing and it soon dropped dead at my feet.
My assailant teleported to another part of the room and I slowly approached him. He fired rapidly and his arrows had no effect except one that at almost point blank range managed to nick my check. Falmer poison burned for a second and dissipated thanks to another dweomer on my armour.
“Yum, Falmer poison is one of my favourites.”
He blinked out again before I could take a swing so I stood still and listened.
No matter how much training you have, when you are so outclassed death is inevitable you won’t be able to completely control the panic. I could hear his breathing and used my stealth skill to creep up on him. I threw a piece of rubble and he looked in that direction when I was within striking range.
This piece of shit was so damn confident at first! I was having too much fun to kill him yet so used my Thu’um and yelled “BOO!”
He looked at me, hastily scrambled backwards and managed to teleport again.
I heard him easily and ran towards where he re-appeared. He fired one arrow which I knocked aside then I froze him with the Ice Form Shout.
I stood over him, “You are one dumb fuck aren’t you! You thought a fancy bow and zapping around and your big metal buddy stood a chance again the Champion of The Divines. Do you think Gods choose pushovers to represent them? Now lucky for you the Queen and Emperor have banned torture of any form throughout The Empire. Sancre Tor is part of The Empire and being the Emperor I am not allowed to chip pieces off your body till you tell me who ‘O’ is. Unlucky for you, ‘I do grow ever so weary of this game!’ So just die you useless piece of shit.”
I hit him with ‘The Sword’ with enough force to slice through the ice, his armour and his body. I expected two pieces of idiot to be at my feet. Instead his remains vanished and all that was left behind was blood and his bow. I picked it up and it had enough dweomer on it to suggest it might be a well-known artefact and another item for the Dragonborn Gallery.
My Dovah half commented, “You can be a bastard when you want. Well done!”
“I have learnt from the best. Now shut up, I need to concentrate.”
“Would you consider repealing the ban on torture?”
“Not a hope!”
I was impressed ‘O’ had got one of his allies inside Sancre Tor. What puzzled me is they only asked for the shards and not the rest.
All the barriers had vanished at the end of the fight and I made my way to the portal.
I stepped though and the Dovah stuck his big snout in my face again.
“Drem yol lok Herald of Akatosh.”
“The blood of the mother and the breath of the father bore by the one who is bound to both. You have brought forth symbols of the seven and as such, the fragment of the Chim-El Adabal shall be reforged.”
“Will the Oversoul be restored?”
“No but the stone shall once again serve to reinforce Nirn by bringing breath and blood to the White-Gold Tower again.”
There was a red flash and floating above flames and the symbol of The Empire was the Amulet of Kings. I took it with reverence and I felt the presence of Saint Alessia, Lord Akatosh and one I have only felt once before, in the Hall of Heroes in Sovngarde, Shor.
“I thank you Lord Akatosh for this most precious of gifts for the mortals of Nirn.”
“You understand its importance to all. You serve our father well.”
“So does my Queen.”
“I now take my leave and pass unto you the power of the Dragonsoul forge. The blue flame of the forge will allow you to give material form to the essence and power of the Dov you have vanquished thus creating a Soul Ingot. With these ingots you can rework the offerings into a true visage of the Dovahkiin. You can also reshape the instruments of the Ancient Tongues when you obtain them. As a final gift from our father you are gifted a single Soul Ingot and the knowledge to use it. With it you may make a relic of your own, the Grasp of the Qahnaarin.”
I retrieved the Soul Ingot from the flames.
“I bestow this knowledge unto you. With it you shall take your rightful place amongst the seven. Use it wisely, Now go forth one of seven. The wheel still turns and your prophecy is yet unfulfilled.”
The Herald launched with mighty wing beats and within seconds vanished into the ether.
What prophecy? The only one I know of is that which heralded my appearance on Nirn. The only line that refers to me is, ‘The World-Eater wakes, and the Wheel turns upon the Last Dragonborn.’ That matched what the Herald said, “The wheel still turns and your prophecy is yet unfulfilled.”
Well I will not be the Last Dragonborn after Kintyra is born but I think that is irrelevant. No use guessing, The Divine will reveal what it all means in time. Such as being ‘one of seven’.
The forge was not overly impressive visually but the sense of Akatosh was strong when I approached.
The anvil was of a metal unfamiliar to me.
I have dozens of souls I could use to create Soul Ingots but decided to think about the whole thing for a while. I did use the gifted ingot to make the gauntlets called, ‘Grasp of the Qahnaarin’.
I tried to sense time and found nothing. It was disorienting like it would be for any being that loses a sense they have had all their life.
There was a portal in the only piece of unbroken structure in this pocket realm. I stepped in and found myself in Sancre Tor. I removed the Waystone and was aboard Nafalilargus once again.
Lydia had hardly moved once again and said, ‘Only a couple of minutes that time Wulf.”
“You were right Lydia. An ally of ‘O’ tried to ambush me inside the fortress. He died.”
“How many times have people tried to ambush you and/or assassinate you.”
“Too many and I do not always survive. That time they killed me and took Rigmor for sacrifice for instance.”
“Let us go and see Auryen. What gobblygook level expected?”
“Zero as I have too much to sort through already. Any more and I will be sitting in a dark corner sucking my thumb.”
With The Sentinel in tow I once again made my way to the Dragonborn Gallery. Auryen once again came rushing up to get the news. I held up the Amulet of Kings and he gasped.
“It is done as you can see.”
“May I?” he asked hopefully.
I passed him the amulet and he held it like fragile porcelain.
“It is astoundingly beautiful. I don’t think any replica will do it justice.”
“I am sure your artisans will do an astounding job as usual.”
Auryen handed it back and asked, “Can you tell me your conversation with the Herald?”
I recited all that was said and a frown crossed his forehead.
I stated, “Some of it is puzzling is it not!”
“I do not suppose you know what he means by ‘one of seven’?”
“Not the slightest. The Divine will reveal it in time. But go ahead and try and figure it out if you want.”
“Yes, I will have to think on that, a lot!”
“You were right about it strengthening, or powering as he said, of the White-Gold Tower”
“Fascinating isn’t it that what you have in your hand is somehow connected to that ancient construct.”
“It is truly a sign of the power of the Gods.”
“So we still rely on Martin’s barrier yet it is inadequate as were the Dragonfires. And we may be plunged into war because the Thalmor withhold the new Red Diamond. It does not make much sense does it Majesty.”
“It is in keeping with their track record.”
“It is a great shame you do not have access to the Oversoul.”
“I do not think Lord Akatosh would have allowed it even if possible. There is still much hidden from me in terms of my past. The Oversoul may have let me discover what is to remain hidden for now.”
“I do not suppose you are interested in what I think this all means?”
“Briefly Auryen as I have enough to sort through already.”
“I think this all deals with the nature of the towers.”
“But there are eight known towers, not seven. They are Ada-Mantia, Red Tower, Crystal-like-Law, White Gold, Orichalc, Walk-Brass, Green-Sap, Snow Throat and Doomcrag.”
“It is very convoluted and I have had an idea for some time that the Thalmor objection to Talos is also not as cut and dried as you think. If I am right in my theory then they have plans for the towers and Talos’ divinity gets in the way.”
“How convoluted are you talking about?”
“It is a bit like reading the 36 Lessons of Vivec while intoxicated.”
“That is the only way they made sense! Didn’t you read them blind drink?”
“No, but I can imagine that many do.”
“I was attacked by a friend of ‘O’. He was waiting to ambush me in the fortress. I won the fight but do not know if he is dead. He left this behind.”
Auryen studied the bow for a minute or so and said, ‘I think I know what this is but as usual let me do some research. It may lead us to ‘O’ as it might tell us who the assailant was.”
“Is there anything else while I am here?”
“Oh yes, I have done some additional research and have discovered in more detail how the Waystone works. As it turns out the amulet doesn’t draw the wearer to the destination directly. In actuality it draws the wearer into a pocket realm of Oblivion where it can then route the wearer to the intended destination. I found an incantation that will attune the amulet to the pocket realm where you can then travel to your intended destinations by way of portal.
According to my research, the pocket realm itself also acts as a staging area where the Ayleid could resupply on their way to their end destination. I believe you could utilise it as a storage locale during your adventures and save some extra supplies in case of great need.”
“Like several crates of mead in case I have to read the 36 Lessons of Vivec again?”
“That was very droll Wulf.”
Auryen handed me a scroll, “Use this scroll on the amulet and it should attune you to the Ayleid crossroad.”
“I will do so but before I forget. What are the instruments of the Ancient Tongues the Herald mentioned?”
“Some of the finest weapons and staves ever created. I have been pursuing their whereabouts for years. I know you are fond of you current sword and bow but if I could obtain those of the Ancient Tongues you might retire what you have immediately.”
“If I can only improve them on Akatosh’s own forge then they must be mighty indeed.”
“You will be the first to know if I find them.”
“Thanks once again Auryen. We are proving a formidable relic hunting force. Make room for a replica of these new gauntlets as well. I have not had time to study them yet.”
“And since they did not exist till today, I have no idea what they are!”
Auryen left to do museum stuff and I used the scroll on the Waystone. I then put it on and found myself facing a Great Welkynd Stone.
Ones such as these are used to support a city like Pilvi’s. It must take a huge amount of magicka to maintain this small pocket realm in Oblivion.
Looking up revealed concentrated starlight being used to keep the Welkynd Stone charged.
Down some stairs were portals very similar to those of the Snow Elves. Only one was active.
Looking through the portal revealed the steps leading to the main entrance of the Sancre Tor fortress.
There were plenty of storage chests.
I removed the Waystone and returned to the museum. Then made my way to the airship and entered the cabin.
Brelyna was preparing to go to bed when I told her, “Same as the other day. Can you please ether to the Imperial Palace at 6:00AM with a warning for the other end?”
“Not a problem Majesty. I am very confident after a few days practice.”
“Thank you and goodnight.”
I went to my room and wrote this journal entry.
I placed the Amulet of Kings around my neck before crawling into bed.
I know not what time I fell asleep.
I know I was full of wonder at what I had seen and experienced in the last few days.