Sundas, 21st Hearthfire, 4E 201 to Tirdas, 23rd Hearthfire, 4E 201

Skyrim quests: Elder Knowledge, Discerning the Transmundane, Alduin’s Bane.

Skyrim mods: Inigo.

Honeyside has a smaller spa bath than Breezehome and tiny compared to Silverpeak, which has three, but it was still a relief to get rid of the accumulated dirt and grime of our travels.

I then broke my fast on the decking overlooking the lake. Rigmor will definitely like this house and its view.

My companions were ready to go at about 7:30 AM.

I was just about to hire a carriage when Inigo cried out in pain.

I asked him, “Is it your head once again?”

“My friend. My mind it being tugged again! It is very strong this time. I see wooden posts upright in the snow, a tower. I recognise the tower! Argh! I see the cabin again. Its door is locked tight. It is receding. It is over… for now. My head is pounding. Ow!”

“We need to figure out what is happening. I am worried the attacks seem to be worsening.”

“I agree. I think I know where to start. I saw a ruined tower in the snow. I think I camped there long ago.”

“Where is this tower?”

“It is a short hike from Dawnstar. It is called Snowpoint Beacon. It is nothing special from what I can remember, but I think it is close to the source of these embarrassing episodes.”

“I promise we will travel to Snowpoint Beacon as soon as we can. First, let us go to Winterhold. It is not too great a distance across the icefields to Dawnstar from there.”

“OK. My mind hopes we can find time later. It is in pain.”

I hired a carriage to Winterhold. We piled aboard, and the horses followed.

I was still not sure where the compass was pointing when we arrived in Winterhold. We stabled the horses while I walked around, trying to narrow down where to go next.

We were halfway across the bridge when I told the others, “It is not the College but somewhere in the small islands behind it. It looks like I will have to go for a swim.”

We retrieved our horses then rode to a small fishing village.

Lydia asked about a shrine, “Is that Kynareth?”

“I think so.”

There was a plaque which I read to the group,

“In memory of those who perished during the Great Collapse. May Shor’s widow comfort them in His sacred halls.”

I said, “Many believe that Kyne is Shor’s widow. It gets very complicated when you think of Kyne and Kynareth as the same god and Shor and Lorkhan being the same.”

Lydia said, “I prefer that nice one of Kyne at High Hrothgar. This one is a bit depressing!”

I said to my companions, “There is a huge tavern over there. I need you all to stay there while I cross the ice and water.”

Christine asked, “How are you going to do that?”

“Hashire will run along the seafloor.”

“Of course. We all knew that.”

We all laughed. It was good to have a bit of humour back in our travels. But I was telling the truth, not a joke.

The tavern was huge!

Inigo said, “Take your time, my friend. There is no need to hurry!”

I left the tavern, accompanied by more laughter.

I mounted Hashire and asked him, “Have we done this before?”

He neighed what I took as an affirmative.

We were soon walking along the seafloor oblivious to the cold water or need for oxygen. It was a rather interesting experience!

We had to search for a break in the ice before we could surface. My internal compass was pointing to the centre of a small island. I found an entrance that may lead to my target.  The compass was moving around slightly, which meant the target was most likely a person.

As soon as I entered a narrow tunnel, I could hear metaphysical gobblygook being spoken by somebody to themselves.

There was a ramp leading down to some excavations. An elderly mage was walking in seemingly random patterns as he talked to himself.

He said to himself, “Dig, Dwemer, in the beyond. I’ll know your lost unknown and rise to your depths. When the top-level was built, no more could be placed. It was and is the maximal apex.”

There was a large Dwemer contraption that had been chipped out of the ice. If one man did the work, it would have taken months if not years.

I made my way down the ramp. The mage removed his hood and waited for me to approach. He was wearing Master of Conjuration robes from the College of Winterhold and was of Imperial stock. The compass pointing to him ceased once I started talking to him.

I said, “Hello, my name is Wulf. I was looking for information on Elder Scrolls. Can you help me?”

“Elder Scrolls. Indeed. The Empire. They absconded with them. Or so they think. The ones they saw. The ones they thought they saw. I know of one. Forgotten. Sequestered. But I cannot go to it, not poor Septimus, for I… I have arisen beyond its grasp.”

“Are you all right? Have you bumped your head or eaten funny mushrooms? Not a Skooma addict perchance?”

“Oh, I am well. I will be well. Well to be within the will inside the walls.”

“So where is this ‘forgotten’ Elder Scroll?”

“Here. Well, here as in the plane. Mundus. Tamriel. Nearby, relatively speaking. On the cosmological scale, it is all nearby.”

“Good. No quick trip to Oblivion then. Where on Nirn will I find the scroll?”

“I could tell you, but as one block raises another, perhaps ourselves could help each.”

“Why can’t anybody ever say, ‘Here you go Wulf, just what you need with no strings attached.’ What do you need me to do?”

“You see this masterwork of the Dwemer. Deep inside their greatest knowings. Septimus is clever among men, but he is but an idiot child compared to the dullest of the Dwemer.”

“They were so smart they disappeared up their rectums.”

“Lucky then they left behind their own way of reading the Elder Scrolls. In the depths of Blackreach, one yet lies. Have you heard of Blackreach? ‘Cast upon where Dwemer cities slept, the yearning spire hidden leanings kept.’”

“I have heard of Blackreach. It is where they mined Aetherium, and it connects the four major Dwemer cities of Skyrim. Do you know of an entrance? What is this spire?”

“The hidden keep. Tower Mzark. Alftand. The point of puncture, of first entry, of the tapping. Delve to its limits, and Blackreach lies just beyond. But not all can enter there. Only Septimus knows the hidden key to loosen the lock to jump beneath the deathly rock.”

“Alftand is not far from here. How do I get in?”

“Two things I have for you. Two shapes. One edged. One round. The round one, for tuning. Dwemer music is soft and subtle, and needed to open their cleverest gates.”

“The round one is a key to a Tonal Lock?”

“Yes. The edged lexicon, for inscribing. To us, a hunk of metal. To the Dwemer, a full library of knowings. But…empty.”

“How do I use the lexicon?”

“Find Mzark and its sky-dome. The machinations will read the Scroll and lay the lore upon the cube.”

“So, there is a transcription machine. How do I operate it?”

“To glimpse the world inside an Elder Scroll can damage the eyes.”

“Or the mind. I think you may have read one too many!”

“The Dwemer found a loophole, as they always do. To focus the knowledge away and inside without harm. Place the lexicon into their contraption and focus the knowings into it. When it brims with glow, bring it back, and Septimus can read once more.”

“You hope the knowledge contained will let you operate this Dwemer machinery.”

“Ooooh, an observant one. The Dwemer Lockbox. Look upon it and wonder. Inside is the heart. The heart of a god. The heart of you. And me. But it was hidden away. Not by the Dwarves, you see. They were already gone. Someone else. Unseen. Unknown. Found the heart, and with a flair for the ironical, used Dwarven trickery to lock it away. The scroll will give the deep vision needed to open it. For not even the strongest machinations of the Dwemer can hold off the all-sight given by an Elder Scroll.”

Septimus handed me a sphere and a lexicon. I left and rode Hashire underwater back to the fishing village.

I entered the tavern, and my companions were relaxing and mingling with the locals. I told them about our destination and that we had to get going.

They reluctantly followed me to the horses then we started our ride to Alftand.

As we rode, I tried to think of what to do about Septimus. He thinks Lorkhan’s Heart is within the Dwemer lockbox. If so, there is no way I will allow him to keep it. It is one of the most powerful artefacts on Nirn. Nations would go to war to possess it. There is no way I was going to leave it in the hands of a lunatic.

By the time we arrived at Alftand, I had decided that I would have to work with Septimus to open the Dwemer Lockbox. I would then take Lorkhan’s Heart and hand it to the College of Winterhold to store safely.

When we dismounted, Inigo said, “Somewhere deep below us an Elder Scroll is waiting. I can almost smell it.”

One a bench in the building where I stabled Hashire was an Expedition Manifest. It said,

“We’ve managed to secure the site and hold off any others who may try to steal our discoveries so far, especially those from the College of Winterhold, who seem to think the glory of exploring every ruin should be theirs alone.

The crew for our expedition is as follows:

  • Sulla Trebatius (myself) – Expedition leader
  • Umana – my constant companion and bodyguard
  • Valie – a mage not associated with Winterhold (took some time to find)
  • Endrast – a fellow explorer of some local renown
  • Yag – a great brute of a woman, hired to keep the rest of the labour in check
  • J’darr and J’zhar – two Khajiit brothers, hired as our labour

Need a couple more labourers, getting through the ice is proving difficult.

We’ve set up a shelter and scouted the area. The small ruins on the lower plateau of the glacier don’t seem connected to the main structure, and we haven’t managed to find a way into the tower parapet we’ve seen here. Yag mentioned spotting a fissure in the glacial wall that may lead into the ruins, so we are going to try to find a way to get down there with the gear. It looks like a storm is coming.”  

A burnt body lay under the ruins of a tent.

I said to my companions, “A dragon did this. Keep alert.”

A well-constructed walkway let to the entrance of Alftand.

Not far inside, we found the journal of the expedition leader, Sulla Trebatius. I read it aloud,

“We tried to get through a glacier at the top, but we couldn’t find any way into that tower parapet. Yag spotted a fissure in the glacial wall and construction of a catwalk was finished just in time for a storm to hit. At first, we thought to wait it out, but it has only gotten worse. A shift in the glacier took out several of the new labourers.

I ordered everyone to quickly move as much of the supplies as we could into the fissure, and we managed to get most of it. One of the hands decided he wasn’t going to listen and tried to make it out through the storm, but got blown off the catwalk by the wind.

It looks like we are well and truly stuck in here. But for all that, I feel even more driven that I should be the one to uncover the mysteries of this ruin. I’m tired of all the credit for my work going to the Mages or the Legion. It will be my name that goes down in the history books for this discovery.”

I growled, “If I find out this Sulla is a Legion deserter in the middle of a war his discovery will involve three feet of steel in his stomach!”

Inigo replied, “Sounds fair. Now, if I were an Elder Scroll, where would I be hiding? Probably somewhere warmer.”

The campsite was covered in blood. We were not far into the complex, so whatever attacked did not wait to see what the expedition was doing in Alftand.

As we travelled, we found more bloodstains. It seems some of the expedition members at least made a run for it.

As we were walking, Iona asked, “There are a lot of Elder Scrolls. They had a large library of them in the White-Gold Tower. How do we know this is the one we need?”

“It will make itself the one we need. Imagine if we needed three Elder Scrolls to obtain three different pieces of information. The first three Elder Scrolls we read would provide that information even if we randomly selected them from a large pile.”

“So why don’t we just travel to the Imperial City and read one there?”

“This will be quicker, and The Divines have forbidden me to travel to Cyrodiil. Just accept that restriction is necessary for now and I will explain soon.”

“OK. But to clarify, this Elder scroll we are retrieving may not be the one the ancient Tongues used?”

“It is doubtful that it is but that doesn’t matter. It will have the same information that allowed the Tongues to cast Alduin into the time stream.”

“Will you go back in time?”

“Time travel is possible, as evidence by Alduin’s return, but I don’t think I will physically go back in time. I think the Elder Scroll will let me be an observer of the events. I doubt the ancient Tongues will detect my presence but a Dovah might. I would be out of synch with the linear time they are sensitive to.”

“I noticed you did not inspect the Time-Wound.”

“As Paarthurnax said, I am as Lord Akatosh made me. The Time-Wound is unpleasant for me as I am sensitive to linear time. A brief glimpse of the Time-Wound made me nauseous. A wound is an apt description.”

Our conversation stopped as the voice of J’darr reached us. He said, “Where is it? I know you were trying to keep it for yourself J’zhar… You always try to keep it to yourself!”

Inigo cringed at what he was hearing. Ghosts of his past had come to haunt him.

After a few seconds, J’darr continued, “No! There’s got to be more Skooma… Shut up! Shut up! Don’t lie to me, J’zhar! You hid it! You always try and steal it from me!”

When it was apparent J’darr had no more ranting to do I looked at Inigo. He looked into my eyes then nodded. He was ready to continue.

We came upon a Dwemer Spectre. The warrior type is not overly dangerous to us. Tonal Architects are deadly with both Thu’um and slow-moving but powerful bolts of energy. An arrow took care of it, and we moved on.

The most common Dwemer Animunculi is the Dwarven Spider. When we encountered our first one, I warned my comrades, “Try and take out the spiders from a distance. They can explode with electrical energy which does not tickle.”

Inigo likes killing normal spiders, and his enthusiasm got the better of him. He ran up and hit the Dwarven Spider and, as I warned them all, it exploded.

Inigo yelled out, “Ouch!”. The rest of us laughed.

Sometimes Dwarven Spiders leap out at you from hidden places, and you have no choice but to use melee weapons. Inigo hit another one and the inevitable explosion followed by quality cursing followed.

Another attacked and we were treated to both Iona and Inigo cursing in harmony.

There was a bedroll on the floor and bloodstains leading away. On a table were dissected Dwarven Spiders and research notes written by Valie, the expedition’s mage. I read them to the group,

“If only Umana would have left one of these Dwarven machine creatures intact for me to study. The fact that they almost killed those Khajiit brothers in the middle of the night doesn’t mean we couldn’t have found a way to disable one. We dragged some stuff in front of the pipes they came out of to stop them from coming back.

They are simply fascinating! It is just as Calcelmo described in Dwarves, v2. Their appearance does, in fact, resemble that of an arachnid. I had thought that to be an embellishment given by his source. The inclusion of the soul gem into the design of the apparatus is quite remarkable. It could explain the focus of the lightning that he describes.

Oddly enough, it doesn’t appear to be the primary power source for the apparatus. Perhaps some sort of harmonic resonance with the energies contained in the soul gem to bring the heat to a small boiler? Too early to say conclusively. That does raise the question of where they get the liquid for the boiler, however.

Huh, that was strange. I thought I just saw something moving beyond the barred door. It looked vaguely humanoid. I wonder if it could be an undiscovered automaton? I’m going to move my bedroll down here to see if I can catch another glimpse of it. This is all so exciting!”

I said to my colleagues, “I don’t think Valie was a victim of the Dwemer machines. I think the ‘vaguely humanoid’ thing she saw was a Falmer. Not the majestic Mer race but their twisted form created by the Dwemer when the Snow Elves sought refuge from Nord genocide. They still infest their old homes as the Animunculi do.”

We move further into Alftand and found more evidence of the expedition in the form of dropped torches.

Lydia said, “We seem to be following the path of the expedition. Do you think they knew of the Elder Scroll?”

“I don’t think so, but it is a possibility. I think they were mainly interested in Dwemer technology they could discover.”

It was my turn to invent a new swear word after hitting a Dwarven Spider.

We came upon J’darr kneeling over the corpse of his brother. He stood up and drew his axe, saying, “What? Who is this, Brother? More of the smooth skins looking for food? But these weren’t trapped with us… “

I trained my bow on him and yelled, “Halt J’darr or I will kill you!”

He kept coming so I released the arrow.

As we stood over the corpse, Inigo said, “Wulf’s arrow did not kill him. Skooma did.”

Another axe lay next to J’zhar’s body. His brother had tortured him to death!

I found J’zhar’s journal and read it to the others,

“This one is at his wit’s end. I signed J’darr and myself up for this expedition to try to get him clean of the Skooma. I brought a small supply to try and bring him down slowly, but the storm has had us trapped in the glacier for weeks.

The others have not yet caught on that one with fur should not shake so much from the cold, but I’ve run out of the little Skooma I brought, and J’darr is getting pretty bad. He’s started hallucinating creatures coming out of the ice and the ruins, the others are beginning to think he may be behind Valie’s disappearance, but I know he would never do something like that.”

Empty Skooma and Healing Potion bottles were scattered nearby.

We stood aside and gave Inigo some personal space as he lay the brothers side by side and said a traditional Khajiit burial prayer over them. We then continued further into Alftand.

Just past the sad story of the Khajiit brothers, we found another journal. This one belonged to Umana and read,

“It’s been about a week since Valie went missing and now Endrast is gone too. We found blood leading over to the barred doorway, but Sulla seems to think that they found a way through and that they are trying to cut him out of the discovery.

He keeps saying that we need to press on. We’ve managed to break through into another section of the ruins, an “Animonculory”, where the dwarves would produce their automatons.

We learned the hard way that the metal creatures are still alive in there and it hasn’t improved Yag’s mood at all. She holds that the Khajiit brothers aren’t involved with the disappearances and has been keeping a stern eye on Sulla.

The rations have all but run out, and we are going to have to decide soon whether to brave the storm or try to push further into the ruins. I don’t know if the echoes of screams I’ve heard in my sleep are those of our missing comrades or my own nightmares.”

At one point we came upon a corridor full of flammable fumes. I cast a Fireball to burn them away.

Sometimes the exploding spiders killed other enemies for us!

Virtually every room we entered had at least one enemy.

We came across some gelatinous piles of eggs.

Iona asked, “Yuck. What are those disgusting things?”

Lydia replied, “Chaurus Eggs. They are delicious with the right salad and wine.”

Everybody stared at Lydia, who just shrugged her shoulders, then said, “You never know unless you give it a go!”

We soon came upon our first Falmer and in large numbers. They were battling Dwemer Animunculi, so we took advantage and killed both machines and their mortal opponents.

Individually a Falmer was not a match for the larger Dwemer machines. To overcome this, Falmer tended to swarm and attack in numbers. This was evidenced by how many Falmer arrows were embedded in a single one of their metallic enemies.

The body of a female Orsimer warrior was in amongst the broken machines and dead Falmer.

I said to the others, “This is most likely Yag. By the amount of blood in front of her, she gave a good account of herself before being brought down.”

As we went further into Alftand the number of Animunculi lessened and the number of Falmer increased.

We found the corpse of Valie. The Falmer had tortured her. Not for information but for amusement.

We encountered the largest of the Dwemer Animunculi, a Centurion.  

We brought it down then I found a key amongst its wreckage.

Not far from the Centurion we heard two people arguing.

“Sulla, let’s just get out of here. Hasn’t there been enough death?”

“Umana, you want me to leave because you are just waiting for me to turn my back so you can have all the glory for yourself!”

We turned the corner then I trained my bow on Sulla.

I said, “Both of you, drop your weapons. We will not harm you if you comply.”

Both decided to attack. Both died.

I stood over Sulla and said, “I hate deserters. The worst scum on Nirn.”

The key I retrieved from the Dwemer Centurion opened a gate next to Sulla and Umana. We stood on the Dwemer Lift, and I pulled the lever.

As expected, the lift was to the entrance near where we had left our horses.

We went back down in the lift and were faced with a Dwemer Tonal Lock. I put the sphere that Septimus had given me into the receptacle.

Some tones were heard, and the lock was released.

I retrieved the sphere then we watched as a set of stairs emerged.

We walked down the stairs then I opened the door.

We entered Blackreach. It was nothing like any of us had seen before and was spectacular! Giant luminescent mushrooms floated or stood upon huge stalks. A constant blue from Aetherium ore added to the varied colours of the fungi. Dragon sight showed me both Dwemer Animunculi and Falmer populated the area.

Inigo said, “Me eyes are having trouble taking this place in. It is magical, mysterious and menacing.”

I took care of one menace before we ventured further into Blackreach.

Our objective was the Tower of Mzark and the Elder Scroll. For that reason, I did not want to explore much of what we saw. We could always return at a later date if we wished to do so. I did enter one small building immediately in front of the entrance.

It turned out to be a laboratory of sorts. An Alchemist called Sinderion had been investigating the properties of a crimson version of Nirnroot. I had heard of them before and even mentioned them to Rigmor once just outside of Whiterun.

Sinderion had been killed by Falmer as evidenced by their arrows protruding from his skeletal remains.

I found his journal on a nearby bench and read it aloud,

“I’ve spent a large portion of my life unravelling the mystery of the Nirnroot, and yet I still feel unfulfilled. The trilling sound this strange herb emits seems to taunt me, to push me even harder to discover its secrets. Even after a generous and indomitable traveller became a field collector in my stead, and provided me with five score of the nirnroot, I was only able to muster what I consider a mediocre alchemical creation at best. This only served to strengthen my hunger and whet my appetite for the solution.

It wasn’t until over fifty years later that the answer to my prayers was carried into my basement workshop at the West Weald Inn. The first thing I heard was the familiar tone – that unmistakable warble unique to the nirnroot. But when I turned around, my heart leapt, and a chill ran down my spine. This was indeed a Nirnroot but of a variety the likes of which I have never seen. The herb was awash in a spectacular array of red hues, each leaf seemingly emblazoned with innumerable variations of crimson. I couldn’t move – I was utterly transfixed. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined a species of Nirnroot with such a unique property.

After an awkward silence, I finally managed to stammer out a few questions to the traveller who’d brought me this treasure. He told me his name was Obeth Arnesian, a treasure-seeker from Skyrim. Apparently, he’d been exploring a vast subterranean network of grand caverns called Blackreach and had stumbled across what he dismissed as “a noisy red weed.” His expedition was mostly unsuccessful, and he didn’t want to leave the caves empty-handed, so Obeth picked one of the Crimson Nirnroot to bring home. He said that it took some time, but eventually he was pointed my way and that perhaps I’d pay a fair price for it.

Before I could gather my wits and ask anything else, Obeth offered to sell me the crimson Nirnroot sample, a map showing me how to find Blackreach and the strange key needed to breach its outer defences. It took me mere moments to decide. Obeth left Skingrad a thousand septims richer, but I would have easily paid ten times that amount to obtain the sample alone.

It took a year of planning, but I was able to pack up and sell my workshop and make my way into Skyrim. Before delving headfirst into Blackreach, I knew I needed to set up a new laboratory, but wished to do so in seclusion. After making inquiries at the College of Winterhold, of which I was an honorary member, I was directed to speak to Avrusa Sarethi, a student of botanical alchemy who had a small farm near the city of Riften. By bartering my knowledge of nirnroot cultivation, I was able to secure Sarethi Farm as a launching point for my field research. I kept the knowledge of the crimson nirnroot a secret from Avrusa but imparted everything else I knew to her in exchange for her hospitality.

A few months passed, but I was finally ready to enter Blackreach. I used the Attunement Sphere that Obeth had provided and descended into the depths. My goal was to gather enough Crimson Nirnroot to produce my greatest alchemical creation to date – I was certain it would take at least thirty of them to provide the necessary catalyst.

This brings me to the present. My initial research seems to indicate that the Crimson Nirnroot has a similar affinity for moisture as the garden variety, but also maintains some sort of symbiotic relationship with the enormous fungi that inhabit Blackreach. I guess that the fungi are a source of water, absorbing it from the moist subterranean air like a sponge. This provides the ideal environment for the Nirnroot to grow. Unfortunately, the Crimson Nirnroot appears to have a vastly shortened lifespan, and they are in no way plentiful down here. Gathering thirty of them will be quite the challenge, but hopefully, the denizens of Blackreach will allow me to gather my samples unhindered.”

I said to my team, “As long as we don’t have to go out of the way we might as well collect these Crimson Nirnroot as we travel through Blackreach. Perhaps we can give them to an alchemist to see if they find useful properties that will result in medicines for the common people.”

Inigo said, “You are always concerned for the welfare of others.”

“Whoever influenced my early years must have demonstrated empathy through their actions, and I merely mirror their example.”

“That, my friend, is the best form of parenting.”

We left Siderion’s lab and continued down the main road of Blackreach. So far, there was no sign of the Tower of Mzark.

Falmer attacked us, and in doing so, they accidentally activated a Centurion. We took it down and killed dozens of Falmer.

The Falmer had slaves who also attacked us. I found it ironic that a slave race now had slaves.

Above one of the main Falmer strongholds was a Dwemer Sphere. I had read that they provide an artificial source of sunlight for above ground crops the Dwemer may have grown within Blackreach.

Inigo suggested, “Maybe we should hit that big orange globe up there with something. Maybe not.”

“It might explode and kill lots of the enemy. I think I will see what happens.”

“There you go again Inigo, giving Wulf bad ideas.”

I fired an arrow, and it bounced harmlessly off the globe.

I did Unrelenting Force and was surprised when the globe pealed like a giant bell.

I was even more surprised when that peal summoned a dragon. It came roaring its name ‘Vulthuryol’ which means ‘dark overlord of fire’.

Vulthuryol started killing Falmer and their slaves with devastating fire and frost attacks.

As our enemies concentrated on the dragon, we continued to kill them.

When the last of the Falmer had been dealt with, Vulthuryol attacked me. I retaliated and killed him.

I absorbed his soul as the others caught up with me.

I said to Inigo, “Perhaps we should leave the next giant orange globe thingy alone?”


No far from where I fought Vulthuryol was the Tower of Mzark. I pointed to it and said, “That is where the Elder Scroll is.”

We approached it, eager to retrieve the Kel and return to Paarthurnax.

We walked through some living quarters. A bedroll on the floor suggested some other explorer had made it this far.

At the top of a winding ramp, the spectre of Mzark attacked us.

We peppered it with arrows and turned it into an ectoplasm puddle.

A massive piece of machinery dominated the top room of the tower.

An array of four buttons was used to control the machine. In the centre of the four buttons was a celestial map.

To the right of the buttons was a receptacle for the blank lexicon.

I placed the lexicon into the receptacle. The furthest button to the right became lit.

I pushed the button, and the machine came to life. It consisted of lenses and crystals that concentrated and directed light from above and when they were in place the button second from the right lit up.

I pushed that button several times. Each time I did, the lenses and crystals would change their configuration. Eventually, the lexicon opened and glowed.

When that happened, the button second from the left lit up.

Pushing that button several times rearranged the lenses and crystals till the incoming light was divided then focused on several crystals on the circumference of the machine.

This caused the button on the far left to light up.

Pushing that button caused all of the crystals and lenses to be moved out of the way. An egg-shaped crystal container was then lowered. It opened with a cranking sound to reveal the Elder Scroll.

The lexicon had closed but now glowed with the blue of Aetherium. I removed it from its pedestal.

The elder scroll was unfurled within its container.

When I removed the Elder Scroll, its contents automatically rolled back inside.

Inigo came up to me and said, “You got the Elder Scroll! Well done, my friend.”

“We got the Elder Scroll. We are a team, Inigo. As soon as I take this Kel up to The Throat of the World, it might attract Alduin. If we are to fight him, I want you to be with us. So, we had better figure out the problem with your head before we go see Paarthurnax.”

“It is best if we head out from Dawnstar. It will help me remember where Snowpoint Beacon is.”

“Sounds like a plan. Let’s get out of here!”

On the floor near the machine was a skeleton. Logically it was the owner of the bedroll we had noticed earlier. Next to the skeleton was a journal which I read aloud,

“I was never one for writing about my life. The king-priests of old deserve their stories told, but Drokt is a simple man. So, this isn’t no journal, and I’m not telling any stories here. But this infernal machine done worked its way into my brain-space and I won’t leave till it’s figured out.

The whole contraption just sets like a dead horker if it doesn’t have the box. Putting the box in the hole made it all come to life.

Five rings, but only four buttons? Most of them don’t work most of the time anyhow. When the lights line up, more open, but they don’t seem to help. Just make another damned thing move.

The old fleabag Khajiit what sold me this cube said something about “the light through the knowledge through the machine rests on the cube.” I remember because he made me say it back at him until I wanted to throttle him.

So, I did.

Tried to leave, but wolves to the top and them eyeless freaks outside the tower. Gotta stay here till I get it right.

And I will get it right.”

I said, “It seems like Drokt got what he deserved for murder.”

A door at the back of the room allowed access to another Dwemer Lift.

It took us to another entrance and a small camp.

When we walked to where our horses were, a mechanical dragon attacked. It seems the Dwemer decided to leave even bigger guardians than the Centurions behind.

It was the most challenging dragon we had yet faced, but it eventually succumbed.

Once again idiotic bandits saw us kill a dragon but still decided to attack us. How stupid can you be?

We swiftly disposed of them.

During the brief bandit fight, I slowly absorbed the soul of the mechanical dragon.

Inigo asked, “Do you have to do that every time we kill a dragon? The smell you give off afterwards is… unfortunate.”

“You know I have no choice, and your bottom burps do not smell of roses!”

“Bottom burps?”

“That is a legitimate and polite way of saying farts, so live with that fact!”

“Sometimes, my friend, you are… well…”

Lydia offered, “Weird?”

Christine said, “Very weird!”

Iona said, “The weirdest weirdo that has ever been weird!”

Inigo said, “Yeah, that!”

We rode the horses to Dawnstar and stabled them there.

We then walked to Snowpoint Beacon.

We had no encounters during the walk. As we got closer to our target, Inigo said, “I hope my mind vibrations are not leading us into a trap, my friend.”

“I am going to try something, and it will probably give me a headache as well.”

“What is that?”

“You read my journal so you know I used to speak to my Dovah half.”

“Yes, a bit strange.”

“Says the Khajiit who speaks to a dragonfly in a jar.”

“Fair point. So, what are you going to try?”

“My Dovah forgot to tell me I also have night-vision. I can amplify the light coming into my eyes and see in the dark as well as a Khajiit.”

“That is much better than relying on that lantern you carry.”

“But I am not used to it. I experimented a bit the other night and suffered an instant headache.”

“So why try now?”

“I find it too easy to lose track of enemies when relying on the lantern so I might as well get used to my night-vision.”

We crept up on Snowpoint Beacon, and I could see everything as if it was as bright as midday in summer, but the colours were washed away.

There was a sentry, and I decided she was a bandit, so I shot her.

Another five bandits came streaming out, but since we were not using lanterns, they could not see us.

I yelled, “Hello, bandits. Free milk over here!”

They came running towards my voice and died without ever seeing me.

We entered Snowpoint Beacon. I found a note from the bandit leader, which vindicated my assessment of them.

Inigo said, “OK, this is Snowpoint Beacon. Next, we need to find the wooden posts I saw. They must be close. In my vision, the posts were worn and weather-beaten. According to my nose, all the wood here seems to have been cut fairly recently. I can also smell stone and ice, and you after that smelly soul thing, and… Wait! I can smell old timber. This way, my friend!”

We chased after Inigo who ran recklessly ahead.

We caught up to him then I said, “Inigo, running ahead will get you killed. Only hours ago, we had a dragon attack us not far from here!”

“I am sorry, my friend. But the source of my vibrations is east of here. I am sure of it!”

“Yes, I understand your eagerness to stop those headaches. I am curious as to who is doing it.”

“Well, the cabin must be nearby. These are the posts from my vision. Come on, let’s follow them.”

“Any new flashes?”

“No, but we are on the right path. I am glad you are all by my side. Let us push on.”

Four Goblins greeted us at the bottom of some stairs. Unrelenting Force knocked them over then we ran to engage them. We soon disposed of them all.

Inigo cried out, “Argh! More mind vibrations. The source is at the top of these steps. I can feel it.”

We climbed the stairs and came to a small cabin.

Inigo said, “Thank the gods. I am not crazy. There it is… the cabin I saw. My friend, I bet you a hundred Septims the door is locked tight.”

“Make it two hundred, and I will blow it off its hinges with a Shout. It wouldn’t be locked tight then.”

“Very funny. I think I have a solution, though.”

“We could knock, and if they ask who it is, we say, ‘We are missionaries spreading the word of The Divines. Can we come inside and talk to you about the gods?’”

“Maybe there is danger inside. If there is I would rather it did not know we were coming.”

“I had better hold that fart in then.”

The ladies laughed. Inigo was a more challenging audience. He said, “During one of my painful episodes, I said ‘It is under the rug.’ Remember? Give me a moment.”

Inigo ran up some steps leading to the front veranda of the cabin. He then knelt and retrieved something from under the front doormat.

He exclaimed, “Yes, here it is, a key.”

Inigo stood then said, “My mother used to do the same thing. She also used to hide a spare key under the rug.”

Inigo handed me the key, then said, “Why don’t you do the honours. My hands are uncharacteristically shaky for some reason.”

I whispered to everybody, “Weapons sheathed. If they are not hostile, we don’t want to scare the crap out of them.”

“Crap?” asked Celestine.

Lydia said, “I think he means shit.”

“Well, why didn’t he just say shit?”

“He is trying to be polite in front of ladies.”

“Well, that is fucking stupid!”

I stared at Celestine, who gave me an angelic smile in return.

I shook my head, then opened the door. We all entered the cabin.

I had to stop using night-vision. I will have to get used to it in small doses. It wasn’t needed inside the cabin anyway.

There was a painting of Inigo opposite the door, so it was the first thing we noticed.

Inigo said, “Is that a picture of me?”

“Yes, and it is probably meant to scare anybody coming through the door.”

“Not funny! What is this place? Let us look around.”

Shelves held a strange assortment of items such as a helmet and a giant’s club.

Apart from the coloured picture of Inigo, there were other paintings, including one of him looking decidedly dark and foreboding.

The cabin occupier, and probably the Conjuration mage, was asleep.

On the bedside table was a copy of ‘The Lusty Argonian Maid’. It looked like several pages were stuck together. I wasn’t willing to pick it up and confirm my suspicion.

I turned to Inigo and said, “Well, what do you think?”

“This is unsettling, but I do not sense danger here.”

“The bearded one on the bed. Is he from your visions?”

“Yes, I saw him during one of my episodes.”

“What do you want to do?”

“This room smells like forgotten memories. Maybe we should wake the owner.”

I walked over and gently whispered in the man’s ear, “What a big loaf! How do I make it rise?”

The man whispered, “Oh, my foolish little Argonian maid, you must use your hands.”

Everybody’s laughter woke him.

As he got out of bed, he said, “Oh my, You’re… you’re here. I was beginning to lose hope.”

“Well, we are here now. What do you need help with?”


“I asked what we can help with.”

“No! Not you, you Imperial menace. Him!”


“Get out of the way!”

The scrawny little man tried to barge past me. I grabbed him by the shoulders and pushed him back. Then I stared into his eyes. He quickly realised his mistake.

I asked him, “What is your name?”


“Speak to me like that once more, and you will be shitting out your teeth for the next week. Nod yes if you understand, Langley.”

He nodded, and I let him pass by. I then walked away before I did hit him.

  • Langley: Inigo? Is it really you? Or am I dreaming?
  • Inigo: That is my name, and let me tell you this, if you insult my friend again, I will also be forced to harm you. Do we have an understanding?
  • Langley: My apologies. I am often too terse for my own good. I mean nothing by it; I assure you.
  • Inigo: OK. My friend here is the legendary Dragonborn and deserves your respect.
  • Wulf: No, Inigo, I have earned respect by merely being another person. Civility costs nothing.
  • Langley: Well, I’m sure you all make quite a team, Inigo, but it is you who I have been seeking all these years. I’m so glad you are still alive.
  • Inigo: Who are you? Why have you been seeking me?
  • Langley: As I told your friend, my name is Langley. Langley Longseer to some. Dear boy, I have much to tell you. How did you find me?
  • Inigo: I started to get brief, painful visions a while ago. They showed me flashes of this place and you. I also felt a nasty, tugging sensation.
  • Wulf: The tugging was probably after Langley read that book on his nightstand.

Langley seemed confused as to why the ladies burst out laughing. Inigo struggled to keep his face straight.

  • Langley: At least the spell works. Not quite as intended but it got you here in the end. I was about ready to string that Conjuration mage up by his toes.
  • Inigo: You summoned me? I have to tell you; your spell needs work.
  • Wulf: I bet there is nothing wrong with the spell. Just a certain somebody whose expectations exceed their skill.
  • Langley: I’ve been trying to locate you for quite some time. I even travelled to Riverhold. I found your parents shortly after they died; gods rest their souls. Oh dear, you do know about that, don’t you?
  • Inigo: They were killed protecting a trading caravan. I heard. Were you there?
  • Langley: Yes. I am so sorry for your loss. For all your losses. In a way, I’ve been travelling with you. Just a step behind.
  • Inigo: Did my mother and father die well?
  • Langley: They met their end with dignity. I was the one who found them, and I made sure they had a fine burial. They died holding hands.
  • Inigo: Why were you there? Were you looking for me even then?
  • Langley: I had hoped they could lead me to you. I continue to track you for years, and then the trail went cold… after I found your brother.
  • Inigo: You found Fergus? How? Have you always been hiding in my past, haunting every step I take? Why? I do not know you! What do you want from me?
  • Langley: I have come to know you very well. I am your friend, Inigo. Perhaps the greatest friend you have. We are destined to work together!

Inigo looked over to me.

  • Inigo: I already have the only friend I need.
  • Lydia: Inigo, we are your friends as well. Never forget that!
  • Langley: You don’t understand. There’s a great evil coming. I don’t know when exactly, but it is close. I’ve seen it in my dreams. You are there too. You are the champion destined to destroy the Doom Strider.
  • Inigo: What are you talking about? The Doom Strider?
  • Langley: Yes, The very avatar of destruction and death. The demon that has plagued my dreams for decades.
  • Inigo: I… I need to sit down.
  • Langley: Take a seat. Rest, and I’ll tell you all I know. I’ve been keeping a note of everything.

Inigo turned to me and said, “I am sorry, my friend. I need a moment. My legs are a little wobbly all of a sudden.

Langley said, “Go and sit down. It is a lot to take in, I know. Make no mistake, Inigo, you are safe here. You all are.”

Inigo walked to the table and sat.

Langley said to me, “Inigo and I have much to discuss. I don’t wish to be rude, but perhaps it is best if you leave us to it for a bit. In fact, if you could do something for me, I’d be most grateful.”

“I will give Inigo a minute and then ask him if he wishes me to leave. That decision is his to make, not yours.”

“Inigo may trust you, but I don’t know you at all, and I’d rather speak to him alone for a bit. Much of what I have to say is personal. If you are half the friend that he thinks you are, I’m sure you understand. I’m not asking you to go very far. I just need you to do something for me.”

“We do not know you at all, and I certainly do not trust you! It is up to Inigo if I leave him in here alone with you or not. Do you understand? And if you lie to me once more, I will do as promised earlier and punch you in the face!”


“You want me out of the cottage so lied about needing me to fetch something. Correct?”

Langley turned red. He was trying my patience.

I continued, “Also, your rudeness earlier was way out of place!”

“I don’t appreciate your inability to pay attention. I already apologised for my… initial greeting. It is not my fault you weren’t listening.”

“I was listening, and your rudeness had nothing to do with your moronic words. It was your tone and body language that told me what I wanted to know. Your apology was insincere!”

“I can’t help that. Emotional honesty had always been my greatest weakness. I have a fiery temperament I can’t always control.”

“You saw what I am when you stared into my eyes. If I can control the dragon in me, you can control your temperament. You had better try to do so if you are going to deal with my friends or me.”

I turned my back on Langley and walked over to Inigo.

I asked him, “Are you OK? You did look a bit queasy before.”

“I’m a bit shaken by how well this man seems to know me, but I’ll be OK. I wonder what else he has to say. I hope my poor mind can take it.”

“Langley wants me to leave you two alone in here. Are you comfortable with that?”

“He seems to have a lot to tell me, and sadly I don’t think he will do it with you here.”

“I don’t trust him. I already caught him in a lie.”

“I personally do not sense danger here, but perhaps you shouldn’t go too far from this house. If you hear any screams of agony, come running, OK?”

“I will be just outside. Stick your head out the door and call for me when you have finished.”

There is a very prominent statue of Talos that can be seen for miles out the front of the property. It would attract Thalmor attention, and I would not be surprised to find Langley has not been here long and found the previous occupants missing.

Approximately forty minutes after we stepped outside, Inigo stuck his head out the door and called us back inside.

I walked up to Langley, and he said, “Inigo and I have had a bit of a chat, and he’s persuaded me that you can be trusted. It seems we are in this together. I have given him my notes, and I’m sure he’ll let you read through everything. If you have any questions, I’ll do my best to answer them.”

“Good. Now if you don’t mind, I would like to speak to Inigo in private.”

Langley walked away, and I sat opposite Inigo.

I said, “Well?”

“This Langley fellow may be a bit rude and gruff, but he’s on our side. He gave me some books. He found my father’s journal, can you believe it? He also gave me two books he’s written about his search for me. They contain a lot of information about how important I am. They are very good books but also sad. Apparently, I have my own prophecy. If you want to hear more about it, I’ll tell you what I know. Langley says we are going to save the world. That is, of course, unless you think we have something better to do.”

“We shall talk prophecy in a minute. More important at the moment is your health. How is your head?”

“It is still a little tender. Oh, that reminds me. You should ask Langley about the summon spell that has been causing my mind vibrations. He has a spare copy. Maybe he will let you give it a go. My mind is not keen on the idea, but I think a spell such as that could be useful, my friend.”

“I am a Master Conjuration Mage. I guarantee that if it is a valid spell, it will work for me. So, tell me about your prophecy.”

“I will tell you what I know.”

“Ther is no need to worry about it sounding unlikely.”

“OK. The Inigo Prophecy. Somewhere out there in the world, there is a very nasty being gathering its strength. If left unchecked, it will grow until its evil influence burns away all that is good in this world. It has appeared in Langley’s dreams for many years often as a gigantic figure striding through the land, leaving nothing but pain, anguish, and death in its wake. He calls it The Doom Strider. In the same dream, he sometimes sees a handsome blue Khajiit defeat the menace with his help. He calls this fellow The Champion. That is me, my friend. Much of Langley’s prophecy is hazy, and he says that sometimes his dreams show more than one outcome, but now he and I have finally met, he believes we stand a good chance of preventing much suffering.”

“Standard prophecy stuff so far except no mention of any other source except his dreams. Can I ask you for some details?”

“Of course. What details can I help you with?”

“What can you tell me about The Doom Strider?”

“Not much, I’m afraid. Langley is the man to ask about that. All I know is that I am destined to fight whoever and whatever it is. I hope you will be at my side when the time comes, my friend. Of course, I will do my best to keep this from interfering with my debt to you.”

“You are my friend, and that is why I will be with you all the way, Inigo.”

“It warms my heart to hear you say that, my friend. With your help, I know I can finally put some good back into this world.”

“Tell me about the book Langley gave you.”

“They are called ‘In Search of a Champion’ and ‘Da Vinci’s Journal’. My father wrote the journal, and Langley wrote the other one. Langley’s book is in two volumes and contains the story of his search for me and a few tales about Fergus and me. The journal is my father’s personal account of our upbringing. In my opinion, these books are informative and quite moving.”

“What I would give for a journal outlining my upbringing. It is a precious thing Langley has given you.”

“I did not think of how this may seem to you. Yes, it is a precious thing, indeed.”

“Did you find out anything about your birth parents?”

“Like all Khajiit, my physical characteristics were probably determined by the moons at my birth. I seem to be the product of a very rare celestial alignment that only occurs briefly every few hundred years or so. In the backward village where I was born, a blue child was seen as a bad moon omen. I would have been sacrificed if my birth mother had not smuggled Fergus and me away.”

“Was Fergus also in danger?”

“We were not identical, but we were twins. Perhaps his life was forfeit by association. Whatever the case, I like to think that my birth mother could not bear the idea of separating us.”

“I assume he wasn’t blue due to a change in the celestial alignment.”

“Correct. I can only guess that there was enough time between our births for the moons to shift. Langley thinks the alignment that produced me may only last for a few moments. I am incredibly unique, my friend.”

“Tell me what you think of Langley.”

“He is interesting.”

“I will take your word on that. How do his visions work?”

“Langley has dreams that often come true. He usually foresees the beginning, the middle, or the end of a future event, but never all three. So, he may know that a man at the market will get into a fight, but he won’t know why. Or he will see a dead man at the market, but not know how he died. To make matters worse, he sometimes sees two or more possible endings. Until we met, he couldn’t be sure that we ever would. He is understandably relieved.”

“He sounds like a typical seer. He is far from unique with his foresight. Tell me about his search for you.”

“All he knew, in the beginning, was that The Champion was Khajiit, avoided death at an early age, and had blue fur. He finally heard about a remote village among the shifting sands of Elsweyr that ritualistically sacrifices any child born among their number whose fur is blue. He deduced that The Champion was likely a blue child from this village that somehow escaped their fate. He set off in search of the village, but on the way, he found Riverhold and heard about me. That was a few years after Fergus and I left to find our fortune though, so he began to track us. Along the way, he heard tales about my brother and me. He even collected mementoes from our endeavours. You can see a few of them over there on those shelves by the chest. After finding Fergus lying among the remains of our camp, he lost track of me. The years went by, and he grew weary. He eventually returned here and employed a group of adventurers to continue the search for me and to look for any signs of The Doom Strider. He also paid a Conjuration mage to concoct a Summon Inigo spell. My mind vibrations were the result of him trying unsuccessfully to use the spell.”

“No wonder you are blue. You said all that without taking a breath! What happens next?”

“We wait for Langley to receive more information, either from his sources or his dreams. When he hears something new, he will let us know.”

“I hope he is not going to rely on giving you a headache to contact us!”

“That was his plan.”

“A terrible plan, but we have time to figure out something else. I think I had better go talk to him.”

“I will stay here, my friend. I have a feeling you will speak a lot of gobblygook, and my brain is still recovering.”

Langley was sitting at his desk writing. He didn’t look up when I approached.

I asked, “May I ask you some questions?”

“You may, but I must warn you, I’m recording this conversation for posterity.”

“Not to worry for I am not one for applying floccinaucinihilipilification to such records. You might have to forgive my sesquipedalianism, but it is a trait of my Dragonblood. Such records are not impedimenta to me but the opposite. So long as it is recorded without tergiversation, equivocation, circumlocution or prevarication. Don’t you agree?”


“What chance do you give of your prophecy coming to pass?”

“On average, the accuracy of my visions is about ninety per cent. That percentage goes up when the event I predict is closer in time and, or, the subjects of the event are known to me. The fact that Inigo and I have now met and had a chat suggests the chance that the rest of my vision will come to pass has increased substantially. Do you follow?”

“Absolutely. My very existence on Nirn at this precise time was written in prophecy on an Elder Scroll. Gods have told of another prophecy of which I and another are central to. So yes, I understand.”

“Oh, um, good.”

“What can you tell me about the Doom Strider?”

“I’m horrified by how little I actually know on the subject. I think it’s human, or at least I believe it walks in human form. My dreams and visions are often metaphorical, so it’s hard to discern exactly what it is, or the nature of the destruction it will bring.”

“So, for instance, it could be a plague carrier that walks the land, causing death and devastation through disease rather than war or physical damage.”

“Yes, I suppose it could be. But Inigo’s skillset revolves around killing, so I think it is more likely that The Doom Strider has a corporeal form.”

“Describe what the Doom Strider looks like in your dreams.”

“There are two dreams. In both, I see a towering, dead minded, red-eyed monstrosity, walking the world, leaving sorrow, death and despair in its wake. The very gods are powerless to intervene. In one vision, I see them watch in horror as Nirn decays and rots.”

“And Inigo saves the day in you other vision?”

“Yes. It starts out in much the same way, but this time The Champion is there to stop The Doom Strider. I see a baby blue Khajiit elude death before his first birthday. I see him grow into a great warrior. I see him and I talking in earnest, and I see the gods rejoice as he defeats the demon.”

“You do realise the gods are always powerless to intervene? That is why they have mortal champions like The Vestige, The Nerevarine and others. Recently I had to stop a God’s plan to conquer Nirn. Soon I will have to stop Alduin ending this age and birthing a new Kalpa. So, if this is a true prophecy, then Inigo may indeed be such a Champion, and the gods will rely on him to save Nirn.”

“What do you mean if this is a true prophecy?”

“The only place the Inigo Prophecy is mentioned is in your writing and is a product of your brain. Any additional evidence is yet to be presented to confirm it. You forcing an eventual meeting with Inigo is not an indication that the prophecy is true. Tamriel suffered for nearly two thousand years because people believed the false prophecies of one mortal. So, forgive me if I remain sceptical until I encounter independent verification. I will not express my doubts to Inigo, but I hope for your sake this is not a load of bullshit, intentional or not.”

“Do you think I am making this up?”

“I am saying you have no evidence. That is not the same as saying you are a liar or are mistaken. So put your ego away and tell me how Inigo defeats the Doom Strider.”

“That is unclear to me. Perhaps now Inigo and I are known to one another, my dreams will offer up a clearer picture. I’ll be sure to keep him posted.”

“If Inigo spent more time with you, would that possible help clarify your foresight?”

“It may well do.”

“Then I will suggest to him he considers spending time here when he is not accompanying me if that is agreeable to you.”

“Yes. I was going to suggest that anyway so I am glad we are in agreeance.”

“You are a learned man. Can you enlighten me as to where you were taught?”

“I’m a native of Skyrim, but I moved to Cyrodiil in my teens. I had a talent for magic, and I was packed off to the Imperial City on an apprenticeship. I never joined a guild or anything. I received my training from an angry little man called Barton Barius. Bit of a pyromaniac but a decent sort really. He never used his power against humans, wouldn’t hear of it, but he enjoyed burning everything else. Anyway, he taught me a great deal about Destruction Magicka, alchemy and even how to hone my visions. He imbued in me a thirst for knowledge, and I soon began researching a variety of subjects outside the discipline of magic. When I returned to Skyrim, I travelled the Holds making gold by predicting the weather for farmers and such, but my main focus soon became science.”

“The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experimentation.”

“Oh, you know of the discipline.”

“It has its uses, but sometimes you just have to accept the metaphysical is beyond our comprehension. Many have wasted their lives trying to figure out why rather than just accepting what is. But the gods will not give you a better plough or more efficient irrigation. They gave mortals free will and the capacity to think. To apply science to better the mortal life is what the gods want. The Dwemer bent it to try and compete with the gods that made them. They dabbled in the metaphysical when they should have concerned themselves only with the physical.”

“I have been doing you a disservice haven’t I?”

“You have been doing Inigo a disservice by questioning my abilities. He is going to risk his life fighting beside me against Alduin. If we lose you will not have to worry about the Doom Strider for this world will cease to be, and another will replace it. He needs to believe in me as he seeks his redemption. Do you understand what I am saying? You are risking his moral! He has to believe we can defeat Alduin.”


“I am not trying to replace you. You have this vision of Inigo and yourself saving the world. I will be happy to sit back and let others do it for I am already tired of the burden. The Divines will let me know what if any part I have in this. Now I request you let me try the spell. It is no reflection on you if I get it to work, and you can’t. I am a Master in Conjuration, and you are not.”

Langley called Inigo over and said, “Inigo, you stay here, and your friend and I will go outside.”

He then said to me, “Once we are on the path, I’ll give you the spell, and you can try to teleport Inigo to us.”

“Let’s go. Alduin gets stronger as we dally.”

Inigo said, “Good luck, my friend. I will wait and brace myself.”

We went outside then Langley handed me the spell.

I briefly studied the spell then said to Langley, “There have been many teleport spells and dweomer over time with countless subtle differences. This one is unique in that I can place Inigo anywhere within visual range. But I cannot unsummon him. In principle, it is the same as this one…”

I summoned Hashire, which Langley’s surprised expression told me was not expected.

I said, “But I can also unsummon my horse.”

I sent Hashire back to where he was before the summoning.

I said, “The first part of the spell is almost identical except I am concentrating on Inigo, not Hashire my horse.”

I cast the spell then a rather startled Inigo appeared before us.

He came running up to me and said, “Woah! It worked! I am outside! One moment I was inside casually not tasting Langley’s cooking then WHOOSH! I saw your face, and I was out here! It was amazing!”

“How did it feel? Could you refuse the summons? Did you get cold?”

“It felt good. No mind vibration at all. It is like a brief, warm, embrace followed by a pleasant floaty sensation. When you summoned me, I felt like I had a choice. That I could choose not to go if I didn’t want to go. This is a fantastic tool, my friend!”

“Do you want to test its range?”

“Yes, try to place me farther away.”

I said to Langley, “This part of the spell is new to me. Let’s hope it works!”

I cast the spell, and Inigo appeared where I aimed. He came running up all excited.

I said to Inigo, “Imagine a bunch of smelly bandits who have raised their drawbridge and are firing arrows at us while blowing raspberries. They think they are safe then WHOOSH, Inigo The Champion appears in their midst slicing and dicing till there is nothing left but bloody bandit chunks.”

Inigo grinned, then said, “WOW!”

I was feeling sorry for Langley. This was not turning out as he expected.

  • Wulf: Langley, the spell will just take practice. I suggest when you and Inigo get a chance, try summoning him only a short distance at first. That way you will not deplete your Magicka reserves. As you get better at the casting, the amount of Magicka used will reduce. I simply think you ran out of Magicka each time you tried the spell.
  • Inigo: I saw you two talking a bit more civilised before. Trust me, Langley when I say you could not wish for a more worthy ally.
  • Langley: I am beginning to realise that. Anyway, I’m getting cold. I think I will head inside. Feel free to make yourself at home and stay as long as you like. When you leave, I’ll be sure to contact you with my lesser version of the spell if I hear anything new.
  • Inigo: Thank you, Langley. I am glad we finally met.
  • Langley: I am too. I can see you’re every bit the champion this world needs. I’ll see you soon.

Langley turned to me and said, “I’m sorry if I spoke out of turn earlier.”

“I gave as much as I received, so no apology needed. We have to get along if we are to help Inigo defeat the Doom Strider.”

“Yes. I agree. Please don’t take anything I say to heart. I know I can be insufferable at times. Right. Goodbye for now.”

Langley headed up the stairs and into his cabin.

I said to Inigo, “Well, that was interesting!”

“I am glad you are giving Langley a chance, my friend. I believe he means well, even if he is not very good at showing it.”

“I have realised something about seers such as Langley. How can you get close to anybody if you might have a vision of something terrible happen to them or them doing something unacceptable? He also had this idea in his head that you and he would be some heroic pair together. He did not expect a third person to share the adventure and was afraid of becoming redundant. He also took his failure with the spell personally. He is not all that bad.”

“His heart is in the right place, I think. I find him quite amusing.”

“There was much more I wanted to ask him but feel we need to hurry a bit. Maybe next time we visit.”

“We solved the mystery of my vibrating brain, and you got a powerful new spell. A spell they do not teach at any college I wager.”

“Such spells were common in previous eras. I can adapt this one to summon others if given some time to study it more and experiment.”

“I am still trying to digest everything Langley told me. There is a lot to sort through.”

“If you want I can read the books he gave you. Perhaps then I can help some more.”

“That would be good. I have a feeling we are at the beginning of a fantastic adventure, my friend.”

“I think you will find that hanging around with us will take you on many fantastic adventures. Even Mr Dragonfly will get excited!”

“If you do not mind, when we have a moment, I would like to discuss something with you.”

“Of course. When we get a chance, we shall sit and talk.”

“Good. It is not a pressing issue, just something I would like to hear your opinion on.”

I said to my friends, “Let’s head back to Dawnstar. From there we will ride to Whiterun then take a carriage to Riften. We will then ride to High Hrothgar and will spend the night there before heading for the summit in the morning.”

We got to the bottom of the stairs, and then I went to the cliff edge to point out how close we were to Alftand. Another Dwemer Dragon was sitting atop one of the towers!

I raced down the steep slope and left it to the others to decide how to get down quickly. The dragon was too close to Winterhold and the fishing village we had visited. It had to be destroyed.

They all ran down the slope with me, laughing and enjoying the adrenaline rush.

Shouts, spells and arrows relentlessly pummelled the metal dragon.

It landed then we destroyed it quickly and efficiently. We were now a very effective dragon disposal squad. I hope it is enough against Alduin.

I look over to the archway outside of Winterhold. I took solace in the fact we had just saved more lives as I slowly absorbed yet another dragon’s soul.

We retraced our steps to Dawnstar and had no encounters.

We left for Whiterun near to 11:30 AM.

The main road from Dawnstar to Whiterun travels through Fort Dunstad, the one that Rigmor and I helped Casius clear of bandits. It was infested with dozens more, and I was enraged.

We slaughtered them without a word being exchanged. It was not only dragons my team was efficient at killing.

We approached a skirmish between Stormcloaks and Legionnaires with weapons sheathed.

A Stormcloak General ran at me and attacked. I leapt of Hashire and cut him down.

“Kill the Stormcloaks!” I yelled. And we did.

I said not a single word to the Imperial troops before continuing onward to Whiterun where we caught a carriage to Riften.

We arrived in Riften at about 7:30 PM then immediately started our ride to High Hrothgar.

We had no encounters on our way to Ivarstead or up the seven thousand steps. It was a different experience in the dark but no more dangerous than during the day.

No Greybeard accosted us when we entered High Hrothgar and made our way to Kyne’s Temple.

We set out some bedrolls. The ladies stayed in the Temple while Inigo and I went to have a private talk in High Hrothgar’s dining hall.

We sat down, and I could see something was worrying Inigo. I waited for him to start since he wanted the chat.

“My friend, do you mind if I ask you something?”

“Of course not! Now, what is it that is worrying you?”

“Langley is a fascinating man. He knows a lot about me, and there is a great deal of evidence that his visions usually come to pass. All that said, we have only just met him. In your heart of hearts, do you think we can trust him?”

“Yes. Langley thinks he is trying to do good. I began to understand his personality when I got over my anger. I think he is an honourable and honest person.”

“I feel the same way. He has many flaws, but who doesn’t. Even though we have just met, he has been a part of my life for years. He is a good man. Hearing your opinion had eased my mind. Thank you, my friend.”

“There is something else worrying you. We did not need privacy to discuss my opinion of Langley.”

“Yes, there is something else I am compelled to mention.”

“Go ahead.”

“I told Langley about how you spared my life and my debt to you. He questioned my memory. He said my mind has been through a lot with the Skooma, the grief, and the endless battles and so on. He suggested that maybe you are not the person I remember.”

“Inigo, I told you that when we first met. I can’t be the one you tried to murder!”

“What does Langley know anyway? He does not know you as I do. He does not know about our shared past. No, I will not entertain such a silly idea. I am not confused. I would know you anywhere. You are my friend. End of story. He is jealous of our friendship. Pay it no mind. Anyway, that is all I wanted to say. Let us talk of other things.”

“Yes, Inigo, I am your friend. We met at the jail in Riften and not before. Sooner or later, you will realise this.”

“Please, my friend. Drop it for now. Maybe later.”

“The lute in your cell was full of arrows. I take it you prefer singing?”

“Yes, I have never been very good, though. I enjoy writing songs, but sometimes it is more fun just making up words as I go along. Improvisation keeps the mind sharp and boredom at bay.”

“Maybe you can sing something while we are travelling?”

“Maybe, but nothing too serious. I would rather save my proper songs for the Bards College… For now, anyway.”

“I think I can guess why but tell me anyway.”

“Well, I know it is silly, but my songs are special to me. I would rather perform them in a special place.”

“That is not silly, and I understand. I intend to visit the Bards College when I can as I believe the Head Bard may need my help.”

“If you just want me to improvise something while we are travelling, maybe I can help out. We will see.”

“Go and get some sleep, Inigo. I know you all catch a few hours on our carriage trips, but tomorrow we may face Alduin in battle. We have done well against other dragons, but I think he will be an entirely different prospect.”

Inigo headed to Kyne’s Temple. I entered my private chamber then knelt before Talos.

“I know you can’t aid me in the fight against the World-Eater, but you can tell Rigmor of my victory or defeat. She should know as soon as possible. This favour is all I ask of you.”

I got up and retired to my bed.

I know not what time I fell asleep.

6 thoughts on “Sundas, 21st Hearthfire, 4E 201 to Tirdas, 23rd Hearthfire, 4E 201

    1. The rings provided by Mara at Talos’ insistence are better. Just got to stop the civil war and take care of Alduin first. The fight with Alduin at The Throat of the World took over 1.5 hours game time!

      1. I know this is a very long time from now but with the rings and with wulf and rigmor being able to see each other every now and then how do you plan on dealing with bobby eventually as if they never quote on quote lose each other like they did in the original storyline will bobby still be a love interest for Rigmor or will he just be what he becomes in the story towards the end but there again its most likely gonna be a long time before Jim is done with the ROC reboot well that’s if he plans on doing one

  1. As Talos told Wulf, there will be a period where there is no communication between Rigmor and Wulf. It is just shorter than what The Divines planned. I might also include a twist in the tale of Bobby. I am waiting to see if Jim makes any substantial changes first.

  2. Thank You Mark. I enjoy how you bring other characters into the mix, enhances the story. Thank You

  3. Just finished the reboot again, as a very young nord, more Rigmor”s age this time. I’m good looking to I may add. So I have to do what Wulf’s doing, completing the main quests so as to not dick with RoC story. Curious to see how the rings work.

Leave a Reply