Fredas, 5th Hearthfire, 4E 201 to Sundas, 7th Hearthfire, 4E 201

Rigmor of Burma quests: Scourge, Boethia, Oblivion.

It was a relatively short and uneventful ride to Boulderfall Cave from Sethri’s farm.

I left Hashire untethered as he now knew the farm was home and I noticed some large predators in the vicinity.

I have decided to behave myself with Malesam and just get the information required. I am not going to try and educate or argue. He will be no different than Sethri and will believe gods have powers on Nirn that simply do not exist.

If I just said that about behaving to Rigmor I would get a big fat, “Yeah, right. Pffft!” from her.

I thought to myself, “If this is not a Necromancer’s Den, I will eat my socks.”

My socks are safe! Some skeletons greeted me.

An Orsimer Necromancer was chipping away at some ore.

Other inhabitants included a young female mage, another Necromancer working at an Alchemy Station and a balding Altmer who I disliked even from the entrance.

As I approached, the Altmer said, “Ah! Just as I suspected. Rigmor’s Guardian alive and well.”

“Ah, just as I suspected. A nobody who takes credit for information given to him by another. You were told I live otherwise you wouldn’t be sitting here expecting me to visit.”

Malesam did not look pleased. I just dented his ego.

The young mage looked a bit grumpy as well. I wonder what their relationship is. Ahh, on reflection, no, I don’t want to know.

I sat down and said to Malesam, “I will listen to you but don’t try and boost your importance in the scheme of things. You are a messenger passing on information and nothing more. Tell me what your superior has ordered you to tell me.”

I was rewarded with silence and emotionless stares from the two.

I said, “Oh, maybe you only respond to questions? Let’s try the first one. Where is Rigmor?”

“Only my Mistress knows where she is, but don’t worry, Rigmor is unharmed.”

“Unharmed? Being dragged by Aedriath into a dingy cell in some dark dungeon is Rigmor’s worst nightmare come true, and you sit there and say she is unharmed! Why am I talking to you if you don’t have the information? Let me speak to the one that does!”

“What will I do if I don’t obey your demand? Kill me, and you’ll never see her again.”

“I haven’t threatened you, but you see it in my eyes, don’t you? Who knows how long I can keep the rage gifted by Lord Akatosh under control? Didn’t you know I was Dragonborn? Neither you nor your ‘Mistress’ cares about Rigmor in the slightest. But you probably care for the young mage behind you. If I don’t stop the New Order, she will die, but not at my hands. So how about you save her life by just being an excellent little courier and pass on the information without adding bullshit that makes me want to rip your throat out?”

“Yes, we do have a vested interest, you and I. What the New Order are trying to establish is madness. They are blind fools trying to restore Tamriel to an ancient time long gone by.”

“They hope to kill all Talos worshippers and erase him from history. This erasing will aid in the quest they share with the Thalmor, the destruction of the linear time in which we exist. They then hope to become immortal like they once were. Aedriath should have been more careful about what he wrote in his journal. But everybody who looks behind the ‘Man cannot ascend to God’ argument knows that is the reason behind the Thalmor hatred for Talos. The New Order just think they have a quicker way to reach the desired outcome.”

Malesam looked surprised. The young mage smiled.

I explained, “The Divines have made sure I am well educated. I am a Master in all five recognised Schools of Magicka. I can speak and read several languages. I have superior skills of deduction and can smell bullshit from the other side of Nirn as well as pick locks and juggle! I am not just a killing machine, Malesam.”

Malesam continued, “Then you would not be surprised that only the upper echelons of The New Order know what is going on. They have bided their time for decades planning this so-called Restoration. Once I knew they were attempting to construct a portal gate, I informed my Mistress.”

“You are fortunate not to have been there when we came visiting. I would not have known you were a spy or cared before I killed you. Your Mistress would have had to hire another courier!”

“I serve my Mistress as Sethri serves his.”

“As I serve all the mortals of Nirn. That is why I am willing to deal with your Mistress. I assume she is a Daedric Lord and wants the Dragonborn to do something none of her couriers is capable of in exchange for the whereabouts of Rigmor.  The histories are full of such bargains.”

“Yes, my Mistress requires your services, Guardian. Before The Entity can enter as a Living God-King, he must own Scourge.”

“Malacath’s wonderful mace? That truly was a useful gift he created! It was last seen when the Nerevarine recovered it just before the Oblivion Crises.”

“Its power will tame the Daedra, and the New Order will be free to cleanse Tamriel as they see fit.”

“The stupidity of that statement is beyond belief. But if that is what your Mistress tells you it must be true! The New Order is searching for it in Morthal. Have they got the location correct?”

‘Yes, officially it’s an archaeological excavation, but unofficially they are looking for the mace. But they are digging in the wrong place, and fortunately for you, they believe you are dead.”

“Why would my death make the slightest difference to their search for Scourge, and why would their mistaken belief in my demise be fortunate?”

Malesam’s brow furrowed as he tried to come up with plausible answers.

I said, “Forget Scourge for a minute. Explain to me how Rigmor fits in with their plans.”

“Before The Entity can enter the realm of mortals, it must transform. But a sacrifice must be made for it to do so. The Nordling girl Rigmor is to be the sacrifice on the ‘Alter of Restoration’ so The Entity can enter the mortal realm as a living God-King.”

“Rigmor is not an inanimate object known as a ‘Nordling girl Rigmor’. I warn you, do not continue to prove she means fuck all to you. Refer to her as Rigmor!”

Malesam flinched as my Dovah came to the fore. I took some deep breaths and calmed down enough to suppress the desire to rip his throat out.

I asked, “What changed? They have been trying hard to kill her, and then she suddenly becomes crucial to their plans. Plans you, actually your Mistress, claim have been in place for decades.”

“At first, yes. The New Order had found another potential…replacement for Rigmor…another child of noble birth.”

“Rigmor is no child, so age has nothing to do with her importance. As for her nobility, there are thousands of offspring of those whose noble status has been bestowed, not inherited. What makes the ‘potential replacement’ and Rigmor different than all the others?”

“Let me tell you a little story.”

“If it is facts about Rigmor, then go ahead. Otherwise, no thanks.”

“Many years ago, a little girl was born in Bruma. The only daughter of a Nord War Chief and a schoolteacher. Nothing unusual there, most would have thought, but this little girl was ever so special. So special it would cause gods to vest their interests in her wellbeing, not only for her but for themselves as well. The New Order has a very powerful Master that orchestrates everything. The Daedric Princes only know it as The Entity. But my Mistress knows it’s identity.”

“If your Mistress is a Daedric Prince then that is atrocious grammar on your part now isn’t it? Maybe you should have said, ‘The other Daedric Princes…’ She has told you its identity, but you will not be allowed to tell me, and you always obey you Mistress like an excellent little courier. Am I correct?”

“Alas. I am not at liberty to discuss that further.”

“Of course not. That would be exercising your mortal free will. Sorry for the interruptions but they help keep my Dovah away and are therefore beneficial to your health. Please continue.”

“A once in a millennia scheme was about to unfold. Azura took it upon herself to protect the child, but in doing so, would ultimately put herself at risk. The Entity’s first strike was the whereabouts of the Black Diamonds. He entrusted Tumrenen Kaeuseus, a killer, bandit and thief to travel all of Tamriel searching for them. Anyone who possessed them was tortured as to ascertain the location of the vein. They were then killed and the diamonds forged into armour. As you probably know by now, the diamonds are linked to Azura’s power. It was a cynical plot to weaken that power. It worked well until Kaeuseus murdered Casius Varon’s family. Casius tracked him down and killed him. That was not something The Entity had foreseen.”

“The Entity sounds like a complete moron. Capture a few of Azura’s disciples and seers and torture them or the jewellers who made items such as Casius’ mother’s necklace. That would make a lot more sense than targeting the ignorant recipients of such gifts. I have a bag full of gems. Am I supposed to know from where they were mined?”

“All of this was enough to distract Azura, and the New Order struck. Ragnar was arrested, and his family kept as hostages. He was extracted to Alinor in chains and executed. They needed him dead. They feared him. But the girl child Rigmor? She has noble blood dating back some two hundred years. All the pieces were in the right place, Ragnar’s, execution, the child kept under close guard for the sacrifice of noble virgin blood. But Aedriath slipped up, and the sentimental Khajiit whisked her away. Hahaha!”

“Yes, and Rigmor was protected by Diplomatic Immunity until she came of age. Then she slaughtered everybody in the Bruma embassy, and so the hunt began and the huge bounty offered. How idiotic was it to hunt to kill when a hunt to capture made much more sense? They would not have to scramble for a replacement would they?”

“Near the completion of the…”

“Do not say the portal gate. It is an Oblivion Gate!”

“Near the completion of the Oblivion Gate, the boy child, unfortunately, perished in an unforeseen accident.”

“More proof Evil Megalomaniacs make shitty babysitters.”

“The New Order were running out of time and now needed Rigmor alive.”

“Yes, and I fell for Aedriath’s trap. I figured that out. I handed them Rigmor and got killed for my service. Now get on with what I have to do.”

“You have caused them great distress to the point that maniac Aedriath was foaming at the mouth in an apoplectic rage, hahaha!”

“I don’t give a fuck how he feels or how amusing you find this. Tell me where to get Scourge!”

“Before he could unleash the ‘Great Anguish’, Mehrunes Dagon had it taken to a Temple carved into the mountain rocks somewhere close to Markarth. But the entrance is not beneath Markarth as the New Order think. Markarth is beneath the entrance. You will need to climb the rockface to the right of the main doors to the city. Eventually, you will come to a pass. Follow the stream until you can see the city below you. There you will find the entrance.”

“And why do you think The Entity needs Scourge?”

“If The Entity has Scourge, then it will be free to unleash its frenzy. Nothing will be able to stop it, not even the Daedric Princes.”

“What do I do with Scourge after I have recovered it?”

“Bring it to the nearby Shrine of my Mistress. In return, she will give you the location of your beloved Rigmor.”

“Which of the Daedric Princes is your Mistress?”


“Anything else?”

“If you do save the girl, bring her to the College of Winterhold. There are some things she needs to learn about her past. I’ll be there waiting.”

“Like Sethri, you mistakenly believe Daedric Princes have far more powers on the mortal plane, Mundus, than they have. Why do you think Martin’s Barrier and before that the Dragonfires were put in place? Saint Alessia begged Lord Akatosh to stop gods using Nirn as a battleground. He placed a ward around Mundus to prevent gods from manifesting themselves in Mundus, and that includes Nirn! Even the creators of all you see can’t even walk on the creation they sacrificed so much to make. Avatars and aspects can appear but only though certain elements, such as the Black Diamonds, can limited powers be utilised by the gods. Azura could not prevent Ragnar’s arrest unless she had prior knowledge, via her seers, and had mortal agents in place capable of thwarting a legal arrest sanctioned by the Emperor himself! On the one hand, you allocate omnipotence to these gods, and on the other, you say Azura was distracted!”

Malesam looked uncomfortable. I don’t know if it was the logical truth or my Dovah showing his fangs.

“I could cut your head off, and Boethia could not stop me. I could walk over to her shrine and blast it into rubble with my Thu’um and Magicka, and she could not stop me. The same as other mere mortals desecrated Azura’s. You believe The Entity would be unstoppable, but does it have more power and followers than Mehrunes Dagon, Molag Bal, or even Boethia herself? They all failed in their attempts and no doubt many ignorant morons like you screamed, “Unstoppable! They are unstoppable!’ Lord Umbriel had hundreds of thousands if not over a million troops and a flying city but was stopped!”

My anger was growing, and I did not want it to abate.

“If Scourge is such a fantastic weapon, why did Mehrunes Dagon not use it? It is useless against mortal champions of the gods such as myself and the Nerevarine! It is a weapon for use against Daedra and Daedric Princes, and that is not who The Entity will be combating on Nirn! Boethia and other Dark Lords cannot appear on Nirn to fight The Entity! The Dark Lords can invade each other’s realms in Oblivion, but The Entity will be down here, reborn as a living God King! And if you know the power of Scourge, all it does is return the more powerful Daedra to their originating realm.”

I held little hope I would get through to Malesam. He is like all religious fanatics. They will always believe the bullshit of their chosen deity than straightforward logic and indisputable facts.

“Boethia lied to you. She does not want Scourge for the reason you think. It is just something she wants and a mortal capable of getting it is handy. You have been manipulated! I will fetch Scourge even though she has not sworn to me to uphold the bargain you parroted like the good courier you are. But she will tell me where Rigmor is because The Entity is a threat to her and she will want me to stop it. That is why mortals like me and the Nerevarine exist. Gods are powerless on Nirn and rely on their champions to do their tasks!”

The young mage nodded. I doubt she is under Boethia’s spell.

“Aedriath wanted Rigmor dead even after the little noble boy had his ‘accident’! We killed dozens of well-armed opponents to get to the Forge via the mine. The enemy was not trying to capture Rigmor! We killed many more formidable opponents as we made our way through the Forge. Aedriath had no idea we would have allies to accomplish that and once again the intent was to kill Rigmor, not capture her! His Elite Guards were the best warriors Rigmor and I have fought, and their diamond armour made them even more of a threat. Aedriath did not know Rigmor would turn up with Azura’s Bane or that my skills would negate the armour. They tried to kill Rigmor, not capture her! It is only when he failed to kill her but managed to kill me did Aedriath bother with the capture of Rigmor. As my love for Rigmor made me vulnerable at that point, her love for me made her vulnerable when she saw me collapse with an arrow in my neck. She could have easily killed the remaining Elite Guards and Aedriath if she had fought back. So yes, Aedriath planned to kill me, but he did not think that would hand him Rigmor alive! At the last second, he decided to obey the wishes of the senior members of the New Order. That is how evil always loses. There are always people like Aedriath, whose ego and pride get in the way of the best plans. I bet Boethia told you none of this. You just know what she wants you to know!”

Malesam was not even trying to refute what I was saying. He knew it was the truth.

“Surely even an ignorant git like you has heard of The Culling! When you do as Boethia asks it is not the same as Sethri obeying Azura. Boethia has tried to do the same as The Entity, Molag Bal, Lord Umbriel and Mehrunes Dagon. She has tried to thwart the ward placed around Mundus and harm the mortals I am sworn to protect. Azura has never tried to harm the mortals of this world!”

I raised my voice but did not use my Thu’um. The cave was too fragile!

“Listen well, Jonte Malesam! You are an agent for an enemy of The Divines and the mortals of Nirn. If your Mistress asked you to do something harmful to Rigmor, you would do so! Once I have saved Rigmor, you had better tread carefully, or I will kill you without hesitation. I, Wulf, Champion of The Divines, herby swear this on all I hold sacred!”

I said to the young mage, “Malesam thinks Rigmor is unharmed. The New Order think they need a virgin for their sacrifice. How did they reassure themselves that Rigmor is, in fact, a virgin? If they did nothing else to her, how do you think Rigmor would feel about that intimate invasion of privacy by monsters from her worst nightmares? She also saw me killed. Seconds after telling me she loved me. Minutes after our first kiss. Rigmor is far from unharmed!”

I stood and walked quickly out of the cave. My urge to slaughter Malesam only stopped by the look on the young mage’s face. She was full of empathy for Rigmor’s plight. I did not want to harm an innocent.

It was just before 8:30 PM when I arrived at Riften Stables and hired a carriage to Markarth.

For the first part of the voyage, I wrote a letter applying for acceptance into the College of Winterhold. I also requested to be tested as a Master Mage. I also asked for a favour from the Arch-Mage. I included details that the young Argonian mage who assisted us in Riften could verify, so they knew it was the Dragonborn applying. There is no way they could resist the chance to study the Thu’um! I had plans for the meeting with Malesam and knew he was no mage. He would be my subordinate within those halls.

The question that had bothered me, why Aedriath was concerned about the Bosmer gangmasters raping Rigmor, was now answered. But there is nothing logical about the virgin requirement for sacrifice. What if it was an eighteen-year-old male of noble blood and not Rigmor? How could they tell if he was a virgin? Many young girls tear their maidenhood via accident and other means without penile penetration. No, it makes no sense and is part of the ritual mumbo jumbo that is unnecessary but performed at such fun events.  A remnant of the archaic notion that young women should be chaste and unsullied for their husband.

What of Rigmor’s noble blood? Emperors and Empresses are famous for their inability to keep their clothes on. If it weren’t for the randy exploits of Uriel Septim VII, we would not have had Martin to save the day! Malesam said Rigmor’s noble lineage goes back two hundred years. I doubt very much Rigmor is of the Septim bloodline. If of high nobility then most likely of the Mede bloodline. But that is speculation. I am sure Malesam will have all the answers if he still has his head that is.

Rigmor’s nobility leads to an interesting question. Why would these supposedly brilliant gods not have shown great interest in the parent, great grandparent etc. that must also be of noble blood? Two hundred years of noble blood just ignored until Rigmor comes along? They did not know of her nobility at birth! That is the answer. They have no way of knowing a child’s lineage other than official records. That is why Mehrunes Dagon did not know about Martin Septim! More lies from the Daedric Princes. What a shock!

I was still nowhere near full fitness. I was not as bad as Rigmor was after I healed her but not the one hundred per cent preferable before entering Oblivion.

I slept for a few hours before the carriage driver woke me outside of Markarth.

It was almost 4:00 AM by the time I paid the stable hand to look after Hashire and started the climb.

It looked more straightforward than the climb to Azura’s temple near Rose’s camp.

Like Solitude, I am visiting the stables of a great city but not entering it. With Solitude, I have a powerful feeling I have been there before. Not so with Markarth. My curiosity will have to wait. I wonder if the exploration of both will be with Rigmor by my side?

It was a pleasant night for the climb.

A small Forsworn camp was a surprise. I was glad nobody was at home. I haven’t had to kill anything so far today.

Why do trolls live where there is very little if any prey?

A plateau led to the valley with the stream I was to follow.

It was more of a river than a stream and very cold. Quite a few rivers and streams fed into Markarth which was never short of freshwater.

I walked past the entrance to the crypt so I could look over Markarth. I have caught the pretty view bug from my beloved.

Thanks for the skeleton to warn me it was dangerous to enter. DUH!

I could sense that many Draugr waited for me.

Not just ordinary Draugr. They were the most potent type and in great numbers. Every one of them could use the Thu’um. I conjured two Dremora Lords to help. I decided to use my sword and shield as I would need better defence and a faster weapon than Azura’s Bane provided.

I was continually casting Restoration spells on myself and was in danger of losing my life on many occasions. There would be very few mortals who could make it to Scourge. None of Boethia’s many followers has been capable in all the centuries since the Oblivion Crises. It just confirmed that she wants it because I am convenient to get it for her and not because The Entity needs it.

With all the Thu’um being used, it was inevitable I would get smashed against walls and so on. That was not too bad but getting hit by Ice Form left me defenceless. If it were not for the Dremora Lords, I would have been killed quickly. They kept the Draugr busy while I thawed out.

After many brushes with death, I made it to the chamber where Scourge was kept.

As expected, many powerful Draugr, Skeleton Lords, Lich and Atronach were determined to stop me retrieving the ancient artefact.

For the third time, I found myself encased in ice.

Eventually, it came down to me and two really ugly and very powerful Draugr.

I picked up Scourge, but like all other Daedric artefacts, I could not detect any dweomer. They were hidden from me.

A huge spider had been lurking above and dropped down to say hello to lunch. He was a transparent green but unlike the others that Kyne wanted me to be kind to, this one I was supposed to kill.

So, I leapt down and stabbed it. I got a sense Kyne was pleased.

There was an exit at the back of the room beyond which I could hear trolls.

I entered a small tunnel and killed the two trolls that stupidly attacked.

I headed for the tunnel exit.

I emerged near the excavation site in Markarth. I did not want to meet anybody as I wanted to avoid delays. So, I made my way out of the city while invisible.

I gathered Hashire, making sure I was visible again, so I didn’t scare him.

I then hired a carriage to Riften.

This time I slept all the way.

Just before 5:30 PM I mounted Hashire and headed for the local Shrine to Boethia. There is a much bigger one many miles away.

The trees were a brilliant gold colour. Rigmor would have had far better words to describe them than me.

There was a worshipper at the shrine.

I approached with weapon sheathed.

The worshipper said, “Last warning. Stay away!”

“Sorry, I have a delivery for Boethia. You can get in my way if you want. I am sure Boethia will understand.”

The Worshipper walked briskly away with nervous looks over her shoulder.

Boethia tried to get inside my head and failed. So, it was the booming voice trick again.

“Come forward, mortal. Do you have the mace?”

I placed Scourge on the altar, and it slowly vanished.

Boethia continued, “So you are Azura’s little toy?”

“I am no toy of a Daedric Prince. Surely the Great and Mighty Boethia should know who I am with her omnipotence?”

Boethia she doesn’t know, and that is why she didn’t tell Malesam. For the same reason Boethia did not recognise my soul, the Daedric Princes would not know about Rigmor’s noble blood at her birth. They don’t have that ability.

After a few seconds of silence, Boethia asked, “What does Azura know of the ‘Restoration’?”

“All she knows is that an entity wants to enter into Mundus from Oblivion.”

“Hahaha! You have served me well mortal, but are you worthy of my gratitude?”

“You didn’t personally give me your word that you would give the information I need so are not bound to do so. You know The Entity poses a threat to you. You also know that I am the only one who can stop the Restoration. Therefore, you can play your mind games with somebody else. You have to give me the information so I can remove the threat to you.”

“Do you love this girl?”

“This girl’s name is Rigmor, and I love her more than life.”

“Then you must be prepared to go to any lengths to save her.”

“Yes, I will even listen to drivel from a Daedric Prince.”

“But I have the mace, why should it concern me if she lives or dies.”

“As I have already said, The Entity is a threat to you. That is the reason!”

“But the sacrifice would suit me well, for I can do battle with The Entity and devour it. It would cause me great pleasure. The girl is worth more to me dead than alive.”

“Liar! The Entity will be on the mortal plane, and you can’t get here. You could not battle and devour it! I swear by The Divines that if you withhold the information and she does die, I will kill every one of your disciples I find and destroy every single temple of yours! I am a Son of Akatosh, and you could not stop me!”

“A Dragonborn! Then here is my deal. You must prove your worth as a warrior before me. Defeat my Champions, and I will give you what you need.”

“Do you give your word that if I defeat your Champions the whereabouts of Rigmor and the identity of The Entity will be revealed to me?”

“I give you my word.”

“Then I hope you are not fond of any of them!”

“This I have got to see.”

I was in the indescribable cold of the ether for a split second before appearing in the pocket plane called ‘Boethia’s Proving Ground’.

I slaughtered Boethia’s best in less than a minute. They came at me one at a time, then two, then three and finally four. Ten dead in less than six seconds each and these were her ‘Champions’.

Boethia walked out of the flames. I can’t say if she was beautiful because she wore a mask. She was very tall!

She stood before me then tried hard to get me upset.

“I can sense her heartbeat mortal. I can sense her love for you. How cruel a joke it is then that your love is untrue. It is a false love.”

“What would you know about love? Other gods know the strength of our love, and my despair shows your words to be nothing but lies!”

“Do you not have the same feelings for her as she for you?”

“Yes, and Rigmor knows it. Why persist with this charade. Now fulfil your end of the bargain!”

“Hahaha. She is now near death because you failed her. You abandoned her when she needed you the most. Isn’t this true, mortal?”

“I died because my love for her made me vulnerable. She was captured because she thought me dead and gave up in despair. That is how powerful our love is! You need me to stop The Entity, and your word is sacred. No more games!”

“Hahaha! The Entity? There is no entity mortal. It is Malacath.”

“An entity is something with a distinct and independent existence. We knew there was something but not what it was. Therefore, it was an entity. Stop talking nonsense!”

“Malacath the spurned fool! Malacath who wishes to be transformed into a God-King reborn as Trinimac.”

“Can we get this over with, it is pretty boring.”

“Would you sacrifice yourself on the altar of Trinimac for this girl?”

“I love Rigmor, and I would die a thousand deaths so Rigmor could live. That I swear on The Divines!”

“Then, your love is true, and you are a worthy Champion. And my word is true. You will know whence she is.”

Boethia started walking back to the flames.

She stopped, so I stepped in front of her again.

“There are many acolytes mortal. She is floating on her tears in a sea of writhing darkness. She will awaken at the moment her bosom bursts at the point of ten blades. Goblets ready so they might drink away her life force at the whim of a usurper. To get to the dais, you will need help, for you cannot do it alone. And once she is saved from the black pit of the abyss, you must go into Oblivion and strike the Sigil Stone with Azura’s Bane.”

“I do not need any help. I will do this alone, and you will witness the strength of my love for Rigmor. The Oblivion Gate will be destroyed, and if the New Order persist with their invasion, Rigmor and I will slaughter them all!”

“Then go and save your beloved mortal, who is even now asleep on the dais awaiting her fate. A fate only you can decide.”

Cold of the ether followed by the warmth of The Rift. The fading laughter of Boethia in my ears.

Malesam stood before me.

“Tell me where she is, Malesam!”

“They have taken her to an isolated island stronghold off the Northern Coast. It is of course, heavily guarded. I do hope you have some friends that might come to your aid in this time of need.”

“I need no help!”

“There will be a boat for you to use in Dawnstar, I would advise…”

“I need no advice from you. Your Mistress did not know I was Dragonborn. Ask yourself how she or any other Dark Lord could possibly know of Rigmor’s noble blood if they could not detect what I am.”

I leapt on Hashire.

I rode full pelt to Riften then paid for Hashire to be fed and groomed. I did not need him this trip.

I hired a carriage to Dawnstar, and my compass started. It was pointing to that city. Most likely to let me where the boat is after Malesam’s pathetic description. He didn’t even tell me where the island is! ‘Off the Northern Coast’ narrows it down to half of Nirn!”

I slept as I was not anxious and had no doubts about my ability to complete both tasks.

It was about 2:30 AM when I arrived in Dawnstar. It was yet another new city I have no time to wander around.

I followed my compass.

Malesam has arranged a barely seaworthy rowboat! I boarded it, and my compass changed. I started rowing as fast as I could.

It took just over three hours to reach the island.

I went invisible and approached the fort. I decided I would waste too much time tackling the many sentries with sword and spell and ‘honourable’ Shouts. I also could not leave the scum who hurt Rigmor alive.

I walked up to the fort and used the Storm Call Shout. The enemy staggered then ran around confused and then terrified as lightning rained down. Within thirty seconds, they were all dead, including the ones who tried to run away.

No guilt. No laughter. Just determination.

The storm outside would not stop for at least an hour. To those inside the fort, it seemed just like a severe thunderstorm.

I was the Dragonborn of myth. The unstoppable killing machine with no mercy. Thu’um and sword slaughtered all who stood in my way.

I could hear distant chanting through a door.

I opened the door, and the chanting was replaced by the mumbo jumbo of an archaic ritual.

I rushed down a short tunnel then faced another door. The chanting was reaching a crescendo.

I smashed through the door then quickly assessed the situation.

There were rows of acolytes standing before a dais. A senior priest was standing behind the sacrificial table. Two other priests, one either side of the sacrificial table, were chanting along with the senior priest.

Upon the sacrificial table was my beloved Rigmor.

I could not use Shouts such as Unrelenting Force or Cyclone as they may reach Rigmor. I Shouted  Slow Time then started the killing.

Unarmoured and unskilled, no acolyte lasted more than one swing of my sword.

I killed the priest on the right.

Then I stabbed the senior priest in the back.

I decapitated the priest on the left.

From the time I entered to the last sword thrust was less than twenty seconds.

Some of the bodies still twitched. The pools of blood were still expanding. That is the power of a Dragonborn.

Rigmor was so pale. There was a miasma around her I dared not disturb. I yearned to caress her cheeks and kiss her on her forehead.

I knelt near Rigmor’s head and got as close as I could without disturbing the miasma.

“I am here, my beloved. I will say this once now and a million times more when you are awake.”

I cleared my throat as my emotions threatened to produce sobs, not words.

“I love you Rigmor Ragnarsdottier.”

I stood then enveloped myself with Dragon Aspect.

I pulled a chain to lower a portcullis.

Then I stepped into The Ashpit, Malacath’s realm in Oblivion.

Why do the gods always think they have a right to barge into my head uninvited?

I felt frustration at my impenetrable barriers, then a booming bass voice declared, “You are a fool to come here, prepare to die, mortal.”

“Are you going to kill me with banal remarks?”

I looked around and saw my target. The Sigil Stone would be on top of the tower to the right of where I entered.

There was no clear path to it. I would have to walk around pools of lava and sharpened stakes.

I expected Scamps and Fire Atronachs in this part of Oblivion. I readied my most powerful Lightning spell. It would be a long-range fight until I got inside the tower.

“You do not stand a chance against my minions. Only death awaits you here.”

As I got closer to the tower, the desperation grew. I was yet to see Malacath’s minions.

“You will never leave here alive. Turn back while you still have a chance.”

“Why would I turn back if I will never leave here alive? I might as well die fighting.”

At last Malacath’s minions showed up, then died.

The first wave of two dozen minions died in less than a minute.

“You dare interfere in the affairs of the Gods, you puny weakling.”

“You dare threaten the mortals I am sworn to protect! Keep your affairs in Oblivion, and I would not have to interfere.”

The second wave of minions lasted no longer than the first.

“You would believe the lies of a slut?” Now you will pay for your life.”

“Which one is the slut? I hope you are not speaking about Boethia! Show respect for the anus that birthed you!”

I did not know if that story of Boethia defecating to create Malacath is true, but I bet he hates it either way.

As soon as I entered the tower, Dremora attacked and quickly died.

Each time I entered a new level of the tower, Malacath came up with another pathetic insult or threat.

“I will suck the life from your loved ones and leave only dry, empty husks.”

“Is that what happened to your head?”

“I will feast on their bones, crush their souls and cast them into The Void.”

“A bit hard to do when they are on nice pretty Nirn, and you are stuck in this shithole. Oops, another defecation joke.”

“I will bathe in the blood of all your ancestors past and future to come.”

“It can’t be ‘future that has already been and gone’ now can it? That makes the ‘to come’ part a bit superfluous don’t you think?”

“I will suck the flesh from the bones of your children and decorate my shrine with their skulls.”

“But if I love my children, you have already sucked their life from them and left only a dry, empty husk. So make up your mind. Are you sucking their life or their flesh?”

“Fools, who will rid me of this slut’s lackey?”

“Grammar Malacath! Since there is no slut here you should have said, ‘the slut’s lackey’.”