High Hrothgar, Throat of the World: Kyne’s approval.
After my trip to Coldharbour and the exhaustion it brought about I thought I earned at least a week of rest. Alas it was not to be.
On the 1st I had been relaxing with Rigmor at her apartment when one of The Sentinel rapped on the door. I opened it and was handed a letter that had arrived by courier. It was from Arngeir,
I was summoned to the Throat of the World by Paarthurnax. On arrival I was surprised to see a very ancient Dovah as well as our leader!
He introduced himself as Khakaankrein and we had a fairly long tinvaak. He told me of the time Kyne asked him and some of his fellow Dov to reject Alduin. That he and others were instructed to learn about mortals and the best way to do that was to return to living with them but this time as equals.
He told me how these instructions from Kyne were before any Dov taught mortals the Thu’um!
This history was known to us but we were unaware any of those Dov had survived. When I asked Paarthurnax he also said he thought all had perished.
If you had not released Khakaankrein from his prison in Coldharbour then Molag Bal’s part in the Dragon Wars may have remained hidden. The brave Dov who rejected Alduin and later turned to stone could not tell of how their fate came about.
Khakaankrein is one of the few Dov who can speak to Kyne. However he said it is very difficult with Martin’s Barrier in place. He wishes to speak to you and give you Kyne’s reward and an important task.
This ancient Dovah has recovered remarkedly from many millennia of confined internment in his few days back on Nirn. However, he says he must go elsewhere for all of his wounds to heal.
We have heard rumors of such places of power where Dov dwell and not only recuperate from wounds but also bury their slain. We have never pursued knowledge of its location as they obviously wish to keep that secret for whatever reasons.
While visiting I invite you to look at the renovations your generous donations have allowed us. We agree that to attract recruits we must provide training other than the contemplation of The Voice. Hopefully the changes we have made will lead to such an outcome.
When Rigmor joined me in the sitting room I handed her the letter. She read it then we decided she would accompany me to High Hrothgar then fly back to spend the day numbing her backside on the throne.
So early on the morning of the 2nd we arrived. We had just finished breakfast when it was time for me to leave.
“Have fun with today’s list of supplicants my beloved.”
“It couldn’t be any more boring than a day with the Greybeards.”
“I admit I am curious as to what task Kyne might have for me. Whatever it is I will not go anywhere till you return tonight and we can speak about it.”
I kissed Rigmor on the cheek and headed outside.
It was remarkable what the Greybeards, and some very expensive but talented tradespeople, had accomplished in such a short amount of time. Large sculptures of Kyne that had been worn away by the weather have been restored along with the intricate engravings in some of the stonework. Fires burnt bright on the tallest towers so the location of High Hrothgar could now be known from most of Skyrim.
I entered and Arngeir was busy meditating whilst sitting on some new carpet in front of another restored carving.
The end of the Greybeards sleeping area now had a blazing fire. I have no idea why they put up with the cold for so many centuries. I can only think they lacked the coin to do anything about it.
Previously unused corners now had alchemy and enchanting equipment. Quite often those who seek knowledge of the Thu’um are mages and alchemists. Now they do not have to give up their study of one discipline while learning another.
There was also a new library and rooms set aside for quiet study.
One sculpture caught my attention. It was of Shor and Kyne in a loving embrace. They were both depicted with Mer like features. I don’t think it would have been popular with members of the Alessian Order.
Smithing and tanning skills were also catered for in areas that were wasted space for millennia.
A dormitory to cater for half a dozen students had also been built.
On my way to the Throat of the World I stopped and climbed the tower to look over High Hrothgar. I have described only a small part of the changes the Greybeards have made with the money I donated. The whole mountain was covered in fog. It was almost as dark as midnight!
Thankfully the weather cleared and I enjoyed the steep climb. Clear Skies echoed loudly and I had no doubt would be heard as far away as Whiterun.
The pale and fragile Dovah I had seen in Coldharbour had been replaced by the healthy green and youthful looking Khakaankrein that greeted me.
- Khakaankrein: Drem yol lok Dovahsebrom!
- Paarthurnax: Drem yol lok Dovahsebrom.
- Wulf: Drem yol lok Khakaankrein. Drem yol lok Paarthurnax.
- Khakaankrein: Because I am still rusty with Dovahzul let us use the common tongue.
- Wulf: You spoke first. Does this mean you are older than Paarthurnax?
- Khakaankrein: Only Alduin was older than he. I Just thought I had better take control of this tinvaak otherwise we may be here for many days.
- Paarthurnax: What Kyne offers I will double it if you return this young one to his cage.
- Wulf: Over six thousand years old and still young!
- Khakaankrein: We have had a long tinvaak about what was more tedious. Sitting on top of a mountain or stuck in a cage in Coldharbour.
- Wulf: At least you had a variety of different species and both dead and undead to speak to you. Paarthurnax has had to deal with the Greybeards for a very long time.
- Khakaankrein: I thought Paarthurnax had gone insane when he tried to explain the ‘Way of the Voice’ to me. Then Arngeir said the same dribble as him so I started to think the whole of Nirn had gone insane.
- Paarthurnax: I am right here you know!
- Wulf: This is refreshing. Dov humor that does not involve dismemberment and terror.
Both Dov laughed which was a bit concerning when rocks started tumbling down the slopes from the still substantial mountainside that loomed above us. When I had to dodge a rather large boulder they both laughed louder.
- Wulf: You are still wearing your collar and manacles.
- Khakaankrein: And I still have many spears, lances and arrows protruding from my hide. Those things will fall out over times and it is less painful and less harmful to my hide to be patient and let that happen. The manacles and collar will stay in place. They do not bother me but will remind any I speak to, be they mortal or Dov, what cruelty can be inflicted by our Father’s enemies.
- Paarthurnax: That is a wise move my friend. They speak clearer than the most eloquent words.
- Khakaankrein: Lady Kyne, or Lady Kynareth if you are one of the modern troglodytes, was very pleased that you rescued me from that prison. You have proven yourself strong in the Thu’um and mighty in your pursuit of justice. There are many shouts created by one not very powerful in the Thu’um but certainly one of the cleverest. His name was Hodir.
- Wulf: I must admit I have never heard of him.
- Khakaankrein: He lived here with the Greybeards but did not share their philosophy. He studied the Words of Power for longer and learnt more about them than any previous mortal. But he was not strong in the Thu’um and his work was dismissed. His beautiful temple to Kyne was forgotten by all except the Greybeards. They were unable to enter it after his death and subsequently had a wall placed in front of the door. Recently they uncovered the door during their renovations but Arngeir was not sure as to why they did so.
- Paarthurnax: We think Kyne intended you to learn what Hodir had discovered. That is why they were influenced to unblock the door.
- Khakaankrein: In the chest over there are the two gifts from Kyne. The key to Hodir’s temple and a Blessed Amulet.
- Wulf: I am sure I will appreciate the amulet but Lady Kyne knows I would not forsake the one I wear.
- Khakaankrein: A surprise upon arriving back on Nirn was to find another God had joined Bormahu. Not of Aedra but of Man. Then I am told you are his son. Lady Kyne would not expect you to remove his symbol. Accept the gift for what it is. There is no insult if you do not wear it.
- Wulf: Arngeir wrote that you also have a task for me.
- Khakaankrein: It is a request from Bormahu. There was an order of knights skilled in the Thu’um. One of them betrayed the rest and offered up a sword as payment to Molag Bal. With this sword the Dark Lord hoped to open up a portal and invade Mundus.
- Wulf: He is always trying and unfortunately finds enough mortals willing to help. Does this sword have a name?
- Khakaankrein: It is called ‘The Blade of Akatosh’. It was made on the same forge as your sword. Its dweomer is directly related to the Shout you have prepared mentally to use.
- Wulf: I do not think Molag Bal will be bothering us for some time. Still, justice needs to be served.
- Khakaankrein: Funny you should say that since Lord Stendarr is next in line.
- Wulf: It seems to me both sides of this immortal war are determined to ensure I spend as little time as possible sitting on that throne or attending to my wife.
- Khakaankrein: You can feel there is something wrong with time. Perhaps our enemies think Bormahu is weakened.
- Paarthurnax: In a way he is. Nothing is certain and all is dark after the Chosen One is born.
- Wulf: You make our daughter sound like a herald of doom rather than the savior she is going to be.
- Paarthurnax: Forgive me for the phrasing but you know my intent.
- Wulf: Of course I do. It is almost as if Kintyra is a pre-determined Dragon Break.
- Khakaankrein: Her birth will be another step towards the promise of the prophecy but not its fulfillment.
- Wulf: I do not want to sour my mood by contemplating what is to come. Tell me, how do I start the task of retrieving this sword.
- Khakaankrein: Go to Arcwind Point and retrieve the amulet of their order from within. It will take you to their headquarters, called Cloudreach Tower, far across the Padomeic Ocean. There Grand Paladin Irelebor will be able to tell you more.
- Wulf: That is far more information that I usually get!
- Khakaankrein: You must do this alone unless your companions are also skilled in the Thu’um.
- Wulf: I assumed as much.
- Khakaankrein: I suggest you hurry to Hodir’s temple. I believe his knowledge was extensive and it may take many hours of contemplation to learn what you need to know.
- Paarthurnax: I will not insult you by rehashing my philosophy. I have a feeling Kyne did not entrust Hodir’s knowledge with any other, mortal or Dov, because of the power it contains. You are already formidable Dovahsebrom. All I ask is that you consider if something can be accomplished without using the Thu’um to inflict death and terror.
- Wulf: You have my word Paarthurnax. Like all things I will weigh up the morality of what I learn. You know it is my Dovah that will not care and use what I learn with less forethought or remorse.
- Paarthurnax: And that is why you must be careful for you will bear the guilt for what he does.
- Wulf: He has still not tried to use the abhorrent things I have learned from the Dark Lords. Even when enraged he has in mind the consequences to me if he goes too far. What I discovered during my recent Divine Task is that even when ensorcelled my basic principles will win over strong compulsion. I can also take back control easily. Something I could not do when I used to suppress him all the time.
- Khakaankrein: Is it not odd you regard yourself as two halves?
- Wulf: I am not two halves. I am one mortal with one soul but my Father, Tiber Septim and not my celestial father Akatosh, gifted me this rage as he also had to use such on occasion. He saw the need for me to use it in the service of The Divines. I do not know if other Dragonborn had to deal with it or not. It is easier for me to give the rage the voice of a Dovah. It suits that species far more than an angry mortal. Even a mortal berserker does not compare.
- Paarthurnax: That is why you will always be an enigma to me. You feed the rage and need for dominance that I have spent millennia learning to suppress.
- Wulf: Yet you are not a pacifist and neither are the Greybeards. You would have no hesitation using the Thu’um to all its deadly effectiveness in the defense of yourself, High Hrothgar and the Greybeards. You were prepared to do so if I had agreed with The Blades and tried to kill you.
- Khakaankrein: Dovahsebrom is defending his High Hrothgar and his Greybeards. They just happen to be all of Mundus and every mortal. From my very brief catching up with recent history it appears he is a champion of your philosophy. He does not use his powers for dominance. He reveres and respects the powers entrusted to him. I think that is why Kyne feels safe to gift him the knowledge of Hodir.
- Paarthurnax: Of course I know all of this. I am just taking charge of the tinvaak. It has been ages since I have had a chance to argue a philosophical point. It is not like that even younger upstart Odahviing manages to say anything interesting.
Odahviing just happened to be passing by during his seemingly endless play in the thermals and updrafts surrounding The Throat of the World.
- Odahviing: Your mind had got more holes in it than what is left of your wings. Logic makes you dizzy and facts are an inconvenience.
- Paarthurnax: And Alduin only promoted you because I had left at Kyne’s request.
Al three Dov laughed this time and more snow and rocks tumbled from the summit.
- Wulf: Arngeir says you are leaving to heal quicker and more completely.
- Khakaankrein: There is a place where our Father’s power is still strong despite the barrier. It is a place sacred to us.
- Odahviing: It is where I took the remains of Numinex when I recovered them from Dragonsreach. One day you may be told of its whereabouts but that is up to Bormahu. I can only assume that right now it would prove a distraction. We shall see.
- Wulf: Yes, it would be so. I am not in a hurry to learn more…
- Odahviing: … gobblygook?
- Wulf: Exactly!
- Khakaankrein: I urge you to head to the temple now Dovahsebrom.
- Wulf: It has been an honour meeting you Khakaankrein. I wish you well for your recovery.
I walked over to the chest and retrieved the amulet and key.
The Blessed Amulet of Kyne was of superb craftsmanship. A very strong dweomer to reduce the recovery between shouts was on it along with another powerful one to protect against Magicka.
I then started my jog back down the mountain path to High Hrothgar. Even as I approached its entrance I could still hear the deep rumble of the three Dov in deep conversation. No doubt Paarthurnax was expertly leading the other two on so as to extend the tinvaak.
The door to the temple was visible at the end of a long corridor.
I stood before it and wondered at this subtle manipulation the Gods are capable of. I have seen several examples of it lately and it is a bit disturbing. If I asked Arngeir why they had the wall removed he would not know.
I entered and was faced with another long corridor. Not surprisingly torches and braziers were lit in a place that had not been visited for hundreds if not thousands of years.
A small room acted as sleeping quarters. A statue of Talos dominated one wall. It was of a design I had never seen before.
Within the main temple was a magnificent, and very large, shrine of Kyne. She is often represented as a hawk but this was far more fascinating. To think of our Gods in familiar mortal form is comforting and makes them seem less distant and incomprehensible.
On the ground in front of the shrine lay Hodir’s notes on his research. This is the introduction,
“Before my fellow students of the Thu’um were called by the Way of the Voice, many were adepts of the five schools of magic, trained from initiation to draw the Words along the sides of their diagrams and seek patterns where there were none.
Others were priests of Kyne, turning to the teachings of the mountains; or hunters and soldiers who took the Thu’um as their bow and shield, a tool crafted to their talents.
The Thu’um, however, is a language, and like any language, its Words have many meanings.
Most phrases in Dovahzul are devoid of deeper significance: words full of power but leading nowhere. Thus, the long history of the Tongues has been a journey of exploration and discovery of the holy phrases that resonate with the earth and sky and with the supreme being of Kyne.
My time under Kyne’s sky is nearing its end, naal suleyk do Shor. This tome represents the fruits of many years of meditation and contemplation: twenty-eight Shouts of power, a life’s work left unfinished.
I leave these Shouts to all who possess the wisdom to understand them. They are mighty indeed, use them wisely.
13th of Sun’s Height, 3E 282.”
The book explains the alternate meaning of each Word of Power and how they can be used within a Shout. Twenty-eight new shouts are then discussed in great detail. Needless to say I will not divulge this information within my journal. The book will be locked away with other artifacts of historical importance and its knowledge will not be shared without guidance from The Divine.
It was interesting to note that originally High Hrothgar had catered for students of other disciplines. The work being done was reverting it back to the original concept.
I already knew every Word of Power within the book but had not learnt the alternate meanings. I could not absorb this knowledge from the Greybeards or a Dovah as it was unknown to them.
Khakaankrein said I may need many hours of contemplation to understand what was written. That is not accurate as I now know word for word what is written.
Intuition told me I needed to pray and Kyne would somehow impart the knowledge I would normally absorb from Greybeard or Dov.
So I knelt and prayed to Kyne.
Within seconds I could hear nothing but my heart. It slowed down to a seemingly impossible long duration between each beat and my breathing also took on an equally slow rhythm.
My eyesight blurred and everything was of a high contrast and tinged green.
Without hearing a voice or seeing any of the theatrics I normally experience when absorbing such knowledge I slowly learnt all I needed to know about the alternate meaning for each Word of Power.
I had no concept time and felt no discomfort from what turned out to be nearly ten hours of this trance like state.
When I came to I stood astounded at what had just occurred. I now knew another twenty-eight three Power Word Shouts. I did not have to learn a single new Power Word but simply the alternate meaning for the ones I already knew.
Some of the Shouts border on the immoral in how they work. Some are of great benefit to others and not harmful at all. Perhaps I will be allowed to share the knowledge of those that do no harm. I will wait for permission from Kyne to do so.
I left the temple and inform Arngeir that the Greybeards and any visitors now have access to the magnificent shrine.
It was just after 10:00 PM when I made my way outside. Nafalilargus was moored at the dock so I made my way to the cabin.
I had a quick supper then sat to explain to Rigmor what had occurred. She was not pleased about tomorrow!
“What do you mean you have to go solo again? Do I have to put up with days of you being gone and not knowing if you will return? You told me there were several times in Coldharbour where your life was in great danger and you wished The Sentinel were there!”
“It is my duty and you well know it! I am the only one who can do this so must do it. Please, I thought we were over this?”
“I am sorry. My moods are swinging like a pendulum and I find myself petty and selfish and wallowing in self-pity at times. Have you notice dhow much I am eating?”
“I wish I could be by your side at all times!”
“How long will you be away this time?”
“I have no idea. They provided far more information than usual but there was nothing to indicate if this will be a quick task or a long one.”
“Not knowing when to expect your return. Not knowing if it is taking longer than it should. They make the waiting so much worse.”
“Let me write today’s journal then we can enjoy our peace. Let us sleep in a bit and both the task and Blackwell can wait till we are good and ready to make an appearance.”
“Have I told you my plans for the renovations?”
“Yes and I have told you some of the stonework can’t be altered. Especially after I remade the Amulet of the Kings!”
“Well, can you unmake it again until the renovations are finished?”
“Ah…no. It took the power of Martin sacrificing himself to summon Akatosh that broke it.”
“Wouldn’t that be worth it if I can have that balcony I really want?”
We both laughed as we made our way to our private quarters.
I wrote this journal entry and then slipped into bed next to my beloved.
Apparently a delegation from the Synod had felt her wrath when they came with cap in hand demanding an increase in funding. They left with decreased funding and told the money taken from their budget would go to those who actually help the citizens of The Empire.
I really must hurry up and disband them. Perhaps in another month or two when we have proven ourselves as leaders a bit more.
I know not what time I fell asleep.