Middas, 31st Evening Star, 4E 201 & Turdas, 1st Morning Star, 4E 202
The Sentinels were looking tired after their short nap.
I was rewarded with sour faces and a few moans when I cheerily announced, “We are getting flabby flying around in an airship. Therefore, I have decided we will walk to Raven’s Rest. It is not far from Kynesgrove.”
We exited the nice warm cabin into a miserably cold and bleak Windhelm.
As we crossed the bridge to the stables, I looked behind me. I have seen people walking to their execution with happier faces! Windhelm was the cause, I am sure.
At first, I was baffled by the number of travellers we encountered. Then I remembered, it is the eve of a new year. Families would be gathering to welcome in the two hundred and second year of the fourth era. We will more than likely be traipsing through somewhere bleak and dangerous while our friends in Silverpeak Lodge enjoy a festive meal and activities.
We reached the burial mound of Sahloknir. Next to it was Raven’s Nest.
Alduin must have been worried when I killed his newly resurrected ally before he even left the ground. The World Eater should have fought me there and then. Without Dragonrend, I would not have been able to force Alduin to land. That would have made him invulnerable to my attacks, for he could not be harmed when flying.
On another occasion, Rigmor and I rode past the burial mound when accompanying Yngol as he searched for a missing Stormcloak patrol. We found the patrol who a large group of bandits had murdered. The bandits ransacked an Orsimer camp, slaughtered its residents and taken up residence. We helped the huge Nord kill the bandits in bloody vengeance for his slain men and Orsimer.
We stood at the entrance of Raven’ Nest and drew weapons. The Sentinels knew I would broker no mercy for the Morag Tong.
We entered and traversed a long corridor. Corpses of travellers and farmers acted as silent witnesses to the senseless brutality of the foreign assassins. My Dovah’s growls and anger grew with each new corpse we discovered.
The first Morag Tong encountered died without ever seeing his executioner.
Banners and shrines suggest that Raven’s Crest was once a place of Arkay worship.
Morag Tong are barely competent melee fighters. They feel pride in their expert slaughter of the defenceless and unaware. They revel in the terror their name invokes. This day it was they who knew terror as our wrath swept through Raven’s Nest.
Draugr would occasionally join in the fighting and attack both sides.
Nubaree’s Destruction skills were exceptional. She set a Morag Tong lieutenant on fire.
Then she turned him into bloody chunks with Lightening.
Nubaree also used Ice Spears to kill several Morag Tong.
The young Argonian mage was pleased with her handiwork.
Among those I killed was a member of Mythic Dawn. It seems Mehrunes Dagon is the Daedric Prince who wants The Amulet of Kings reconstructed.
I searched the cultist’s body and found a key, a shard, a note and the setting for the new Amulet of Kings.
I read the note to The Sentinels.
“Camorac, the amulet’s setting is accurate according to the craftsman we hired. When he finished making it, I arranged a little accident instead of handing over the large payment he expected. We can’t risk loose ends.
Keep the shard and setting with you at all times!
- Lydia: This ‘O’ person needs my sword in his belly!
- Wulf: It would be good to track him down, but that is not our primary objective. We must concentrate on ruining his Lord’s plans. At the moment, ‘O’ is just another Daedric worshipper with misguided loyalties.
- Gregor: Did ‘O’ hire the Morag Tong or did Camorac? And I thought they only took assassination writs?
- Wulf: Sometimes, they are hired to kill whoever had possession of an item and bring it back. ‘O’ hired the Morag Tong.
- Lydia: Then the Morag Tong subcontracted Argus and Ezra to help with the search and provided them with information regarding the Guardians. Argus and Ezra took that information and went rogue.
- Gregor: That is very brave or very stupid. I vote for the latter.
- Wulf: Before sending him to The Void, I will inform Argus of how their greed could have caused another Oblivion Crises.
- Gregor: I find it difficult to believe some idiots want another Oblivion Crises!
- Wulf: There is an infinite queue of mortals who think their chosen Daedric Lord should be allowed to wreak havoc on Nirn and Mundus. The New Order was a recent example. Do you know of Mythic Dawn’s theology?
- Gregor: No, and yet another hole in my education is exposed.
- Lydia: Another hole in a lot of peoples’ education!
- Wulf: I warn you that I will rattle off a list of facts. There is a lot of material available if you want to know more.
- Gregor: Go ahead.
- Wulf: Mythic Dawn believes Lorkhan is another Daedric Prince and the rightful ruler of Nirn. To his followers, Mehrunes Dagon is a patriot trying to rescue Nirn from foreign occupation, and The Divines are traitors who murdered Lorkhan. Since Nirn seems to be in a constant state of war, turmoil and change, Mythic Dawn argues it is more suited to Daedric rule. They regard Daedra as strong and Aedra weak. They believe their afterlife will be in a pocket realm of Oblivion called ‘Paradise’. I find it strange that their souls do not go to Sovngarde, where Shor, Lorkhan, rules. Paradise was destroyed when the founder of the Mythic Dawn, Mankar Camoran, was defeated by the Hero of Kvatch. Current cultists seem willing to ignore that fact. When it existed, Paradise was never a utopia but a hell where Daedra hunted loyal deceased. Gregor’s grimace warns me I had better stop before his head explodes.
- Lydia: Gregor’s skull is kind of thick. I am sure he can take it.
- Wulf: The founder of the Mythic Dawn was Dragonborn. In his writings, he tells of learning a new language and breathing fire. He could also wear The Amulet of Kings. Yet he had a pocket realm in Oblivion!
- Gregor: Okay, that one did hurt my brain.
- Lydia: You will have to explain the gobblygook one day.
- Wulf: I will when I figure it out.
- Lydia: The surviving et-Ada that helped make Mundus are the Aedra. The ones who did not help create it are the Daedra and Magna Ge. Therefore, the Dark Lords have no legitimate claim of ownership or authority as they did not sacrifice to build it. Are Mythic Dawn members stupid?
- Wulf: Lydia, you are applying logic to religious fanaticism.
- Lydia: Yeah, that was silly of me.
- Wulf: As evidenced as we travelled through it, this place was once dedicated to Lord Arkay. Raven was a son of Mankar Camoran, so logic dictates this place was renamed in Raven’s honour by the Mythic Dawn.
- Rayya: Why do mortals always succeed in stopping the schemes of the Daedric Princes?
- Wulf: Mortal greed, ambition and free will are a Dark Lord’s worst enemy. Their champions turn against them. Other times a hero has powerful allies, including other Daedric Princes. For instance, Boethia and Azura aided me against Malacath. Not that I regard myself as a hero!
- Lydia: There is a Mythic Dawn Museum in Dawnstar.
- Wulf: Yes, and I think we will visit it to see if it is involved in O’s plot. But first, we must retrieve the final shard.
- Rayya: Was Mehrunes Dagon weakened by the Oblivion Crises?
- Wulf: Logically, he must have been severely weakened. But we don’t know because The Divines and other gods can’t see into his realm, and other Dark Lord’s haven’t told us.
- Rayya: Where do we search for the Orsimer?
- Wulf: Argus’ journal said Ulgarg was lying low somewhere in the western reaches. I will ask the Chieftain of Dushnikh Yal, the Orc Stronghold in that region. Ulgarg may have sought assistance there.
- Rayya: Will the Orsimer speak to you?
- Wulf: Urag informed me I am considered Blood Kin by the Skyrim Orsimer, which means they will talk to me.
- Lydia: Even if you were not Blood Kin, the Orsimer are citizens of The Empire and respect the authority of the Penitus Oculatus.
- Wulf: That is a good theory, Lydia. I wouldn’t want to test it when surrounded by a few dozen belligerent Orsimer.
- Nubaree: Do we have to do more walking to reach the Orsimer?
- Wulf: You don’t want your tail to get flabby, do you?
- Nubaree: I don’t want thighs the size of a dragon’s either.
- Wulf: I will manually fly Bostin from Markarth to Dushnikh Yal.
- Nubaree: And I shall conquer the hammock!
- Lydia: Nubaree has been sleeping on a bedroll. She can’t get on the hammock without falling off.
- Nubaree: But I can turn Morag Tong into bloody chunks with lightning!
- Gregor: Yeah, how come that happens?
- Nubaree: Lightening generates a lot of heat. The struck individual’s blood instantly boils and creates steam. The steam expands and makes them explode.
- Gregor: Impressive but not as much fun as hitting them with a hammer!
- Nubaree: Whose armour is not covered by bloody gibbets?
- Gregor: Fair point.
I placed the shard in my journal case. We made our way to Bostin, and I set a course for Markarth. As I read some books in my room, a loud clunk, swearing, and laughter told me the hammock had conquered the Argonian once more.
After arriving in Markarth I came on deck to fly the airship manually. It is debatable which city I dislike the most, Markarth or Windhelm?
I looked to the top of the nearby mountains. I once climbed to the summit and down again to retrieve Scourge for Boethia. The number and strength of Draugr protecting that relic had almost overwhelmed me. My urgent need to rescue Rigmor powered both sword arm and Thu’um that day!
The residents of Dushnikh Yal looked briefly at Bostin then went about their business. They knew what it was from news sheets and did not display the curiosity of the Nords.
I warned The Sentinels, “Do not take the bate if an Orsimer is rude or aggressive. Until you prove yourself, you will be considered a weak outsider who is sticking your nose in Orsimer business.”
A large Orsimer with an interesting blue tinge to his skin challenged me.
“Halt, outlander. By the Code of Malacath, this stronghold belongs to the Orcs. Therefore, your kind is unwelcome.”
“I am Commander Valdr of the Penitus Oculatus. I am Blood Kin of the Orsimer.”
“The Dragonborn! My apologies for you are indeed Blood Kin and welcome in all Orc Strongholds in Skyrim. My name is Ghorbash the Iron Hand.”
“I am pleased to meet you, Ghorbash. Do you know if an Orsimer named Ulgarg has visited Dushnikh Yal?”
“Yes, he arrived a few days ago. He said assassins were pursuing him but did not say why. My brother, Chief Burguk, can tell you more. He is sitting over there watching the rest of us work.”
“Thank you for your assistance Ghorbash.”
“Commander Valdr, can I join your guards, The Sentinels as the news sheets call them?”
“Why would you want to? It is a hard life with many dangers.”
“I have recently returned to Dushnikh Yal after serving many years in the Legion where my enlisted name was Ghorbash gro-Dushnikh. There is freedom the roads give me that this stronghold does not. The Legion provided a greater purpose where I served all the people of The Empire rather than just my Blood Kin. We Orsimer honour the bravest fighters, but I have seen many types of bravery in my travels, which widened my perspective. I was pensioned out of the Legion, but I have many years of strength in me. I would like to use my remaining years to help the people of The Empire once more.”
“I will see what your Legion records say. If favourable, I would be honoured to accept your service.”
“Then I will wait for your decision. I am confident you will find I served honourable and with courage.”
I approached Chief Burguk.
“Chief Burguk, I am Commander Valdr.”
“It is an honour to meet a warrior with your reputation. What can I do for you, Commander?”
“I am looking for an Orsimer by the name of Ulgarg. He fled from Cyrodiil with an item vital to the security of The Empire. Morag Tong assassins are in pursuit. I hope to rescue him before they kill him and take the item.”
“He stayed a couple of days but left when we slept. There is a note on the table.”
“He is a hero, Chief Burguk.”
“The note confirms your claim. Rescue Ulgarg if you can. Avenge him if you can’t.”
I read the note to The Sentinels.
“Thanks for the food and the warm bed, brothers, but I best get on my way. There are many Morag Tong bastards on my heels, and if I stay any longer, I could endanger you all. Malacath smile on you all. I’ll be heading east, so if anyone comes looking, send them west, will you?
I said to Chief Burguk, “Well, east is not the most accurate of directions, but who knows, we might find him.”
As we left Dushnikh Yal, I reached under my armour and touched Talos’ coin. Finding a particular Orsimer in the wilderness will require the luck of the gods.
We had barely stepped through the gates when Kyne marked a target.
I informed The Sentinels, “I am going to use one of the Super Surprise Arrows that Uncle Sheo gave me.”
The arrow killed the marked target and from it grew a large Gnarl.
Lydia quipped, “That thing is almost as ugly as you, Gregor.”
He replied, “It reminds me of grandmother!”
A large pack of wolves decided they did not like the Gnarl and attacked it.
We chopped the wolves into chunks with the Gnarl proving a handy melee fighter. It will be fun firing the Super Surprise Arrows near enemy guards!
After defeating the wolves, we found ourselves atop one of the highest hills for miles. From that hill, using my zoom sight, I saw a small camp to which we headed. The Gnarl vanished a few minutes into the walk.
The camp showed signs of an ambush. Arrows with bloody tips lay next to a campfire, and bloodstains coloured the rocks.
Night vision increased the contrast, so it was relatively easy to follow the blood trail.
The blood trail led to a cave entrance.
We stepped inside the cave, and Lydia said, “I bet there are Draugr in here!”
The cave terminated in a small cavern not much further along. Two Draugr climbed out of their coffins to greet us.
After dispatching the Draugr, we found and inspected a deceased Orsimer. Arrows inflicted his wounds, and he most likely bled to death. The Draugr had not killed him.
I left a shard in my gem bag in case it flashed when near something. As I approached the dead Orsimer, a red flash emanated from my bag. The corpse’s stomach glowed red.
I knelt before the body and said, “This is Ulgarg!”
Rayya asked, “How can you tell?”
“There was a brief red flash when I approached, and now his stomach has a red glow.”
“Does that mean….”
“Yes, Ulgarg swallowed the shard to keep it from Argus. Now I have to cut him open to retrieve it.”
The Sentinels have seen plenty of blood and gore, but they all turned away when I sliced into Ulgarg.
I could tell reasonably accurately where the gem was, so I did not have to butcher the brave Orsimer. I retrieved the shard, washed it with water from my canteen and then placed it in my journal case. I touched my lucky coin and did a silent thanks.
I walked past the still turned around Sentinels and beckoned for them to follow.
We exited the cave and quickly made our way to the Orc Stronghold. We discovered many of the residents having dinner within Burguk’s Longhouse.
As befitting my rank as his Thane, Chief Burguk moved so I could sit at the head of the table.
I informed him, “We located the body of Guardian Ulgarg. That was his title, and he has proven to be a hero of The Empire.”
I showed Chief Burguk my map and the location of the cave, then said, “Guardian Ulgarg deserves a crypt burial if that is your tradition in this stronghold.”
“It is, and he shall receive one immediately. His name will be entered into our books, and any family that asks shall be informed of his bravery.”
“Thank you, Chief Burguk.”
“When we give him this burial, Ulgarg becomes part of my clan. Therefore, I ask you to make the murderer pay the required Blood Price on behalf of my clan.”
“Rest assured, Chief Burguk. The murderer will die.”
Once inside Bostin’s cabin, I set course for High Hrothgar.
During the flight, we occupied ourselves with ‘friendly’ poker. Nubaree proved to be an adept gambler and cackled with delight each time she claimed the pot. Finally, when the docking bell rang, The Sentinels queued to exit Bostin.
I told them, “You can observe from the deck but do not interfere with Argus and me. Once again, this is a personal matter.”
The Sentinels watched from Bostin’s deck as I approached Argus’ camp.
I walked casually towards Argus with my sword sheathed and my Dovah to the fore. The bastard looked at me. Then fear flickered across his face.
I cheerfully said, “You will be glad to know I have all five shards and the new setting.”
‘You are the Dragonborn. I knew it!”
“You knew nothing. But thanks to this, I knew all I needed to know.”
I held up Argus’ journal. His eyes widened, then he stood up and asked, with genuine concern, “Where is Ezra?”
“Dead. But I swear that I didn’t lay a hand on her or cut her down!”
“How… how did she die?”
“Every bone in her body shattered when my Thu’um smashed her against a wall.”
Argus yelled, “I’ll kill you!” as he started to draw his hammer.
Frost Breath froze him in place.
My Dovah’s voice was full of rage as I growled, “I won’t kill you when you can’t fight back. However, I do have an overwhelming desire to break all your bones one by one. I regret that Ezra’s death was too lenient and quick. But first, I want you to reflect on how foolish you have been.”
Argus’ eyes stared at me, but he could not reply. His mouth was frozen in place.
I continued, “If you had managed to gather all the shards and handed them to ‘O’, what do you think would happen? Do you think he would pay you for your service? He killed the jeweller who made the setting for the Red Diamond to protect his plan’s secrets. You and Ezra would have received the same payment. Let us imagine the unlikely scenario of him paying you. Where would you live to avoid retribution from the Morag Tong? They would hunt you and Ezra to all corners of Nirn. The Morag Tong are good at making public statements with those who double-cross them. Imagining what they would do to you and Ezra makes me shudder. If you managed to avoid both those fates and O’s plan succeeded, Mehrunes Dagon would enslave and torture every mortal on Nirn! So instead of enjoying your wealth, you would be screaming alongside the children and other innocents you had condemned to that fate!”
Argus’ eyes widened as I spoke. Tears formed and froze, but my Dovah felt no pity.
I continued, “I only used a tiny part of my power to freeze you. When you thaw out in a few seconds, you can attack me. I have killed over two thousand mortals in combat, but maybe you will get lucky? Perhaps you can manage to do what Alduin failed to do? It won’t be long now.”
Argus thawed then drew his hammer. I stood with my sword and shield at the ready.
I stared at Argus, who once again looked into my Dovah’s eyes. But, then, all courage was abandoned, and he ran.
I used Whirlwind Sprint to catch up. Argus turned to face me.
My Dovah asked, “Will you run out of breath and stop screaming before hitting the ground or will the impact end your scream? Oh, I almost forgot, happy new year!”
I did a weak Unrelenting Force as my Dovah did not want to kill Argus outright. Instead, he wanted Argus to enjoy his fall into The Void.
Argus’ scream continued for several seconds, then ceased abruptly when replaced by the sound of impact.
As I walked back to Bostin, The Sentinels turned as one and entered the cabin.
When I entered, Nubaree greeted me with a grin.
She said, “I am glad you did not do a stronger Shout because he may have landed on Silverpeak Lodge!”
“How would you like to fly Bostin down to the house?”
“I will try not to emulate Argus!”
“That would be advantageous.”
We docked at Silverpeak Lodge half an hour later, at about 1:30 AM.
Whatever new year celebrations had occurred were over. Everybody was in bed.
The Sentinels staggered off to their beds, as did I.
When I lay down, Rigmor said, “I have just left the party. My dress was the talk of the Noble ladies. I think I have made a particular Solitude dressmaker a fortune.”
“I am happy one of us got to enjoy the celebrations. I started two hundred and two by killing Argus. My Dovah enjoyed himself.”
“I can tell you are worn out once more. Did you retrieve all of the shards?”
“Yes, and now I can relax.”
“I will join you soon. But first, I have to make my way to Bruma and see what crap needs attending to.”
“The Divine Task is not complete. I have no idea what is required of me.”
“Maybe your next step will be made clear after you talk to Auryen.”
“Have you made a new year wish and resolution?”
“No. I might sound like a party pooper, but those traditions seem silly to me.”
“I agree with that sentiment entirely.”
“Get some sleep, my beautiful Dragonborn.”
“I love you.”
“And I love you.”
I fell into a dreamless sleep within seconds. My internal clock woke me at 8:00 AM, the time I had mentally set myself.
Nubaree was the only Sentinel awake when I entered the living quarters.
“Nubaree, I am setting a course for the museum. Then I will be in my room trying to figure out who ‘O’ might be.”
“If the others aren’t up in an hour, I will wake them.”
“What are you brewing?”
“Just experimenting. My Alchemy skills are not as good as they should be.”
I had several volumes on Mythic Dawn, including all four Mythic Dawn Commentaries. I surmise ‘O’ is more than likely a Dremora Kynreeve named Orthe. When the Hero of Kvatch killed Mankar Cameron, his realm in Oblivion, called Paradise, was destroyed. Orthe was Mankar Camoran’s chief torturer and despised mortals. So he lost a lot of prestige and an enjoyable occupation when Paradise was destroyed.
Revenge is not part of my Divine Task. Even if I desired it, Orthe most likely lives in Morrowind when he is on the mortal plane is therefore safe from me. Orthe is a Dremora. I could destroy his mortal body but would have to travel to Oblivion to kill him. The only vengeance I can inflict on Orthe is to thwart his plans.
So absorbed was I in my reading and contemplation, I did not notice the bell announce our docking. Lydia had to bang on my door to get my attention.
We entered the museum then headed for the library. We found Auryen on the second level.
- Auryen: You’re back. Were you successful?
- Wulf: I have all five shards, a reconstructed amulet mount and the shield of Reman Cyrodiil.
I handed Auryen the shield. He studied it for a couple of minutes then handed it back.
- Auryen: What makes you think it is Reman Cyrodiil’s shield?
- Wulf: Have you ever seen Alduin’s Wall in Sky Haven Temple?
- Auryen: No, but I have very detailed sketches.
- Lydia: Wulf, seeing one of those sketches would have saved you a lot of trouble and wasted time!
- Wulf: I did not think of asking at the time. We are always wiser after the fact.
- Auryen: Ah… the carving on the shield and Alduin’s wall were done by the same craftsman!
- Wulf: That is one fact that suggests it is Reman’s shield. The place we found it, Fort Pale Pass, is another.
- Auryen: Yes, although Reman never besieged that place, the Akaviri most likely received it as a gift from him.
- Wulf: It was in a hidden room that was a shrine to the Dragonborn they invaded Tamriel to find.
- Auryen: Anything else?
- Wulf: There was a flash of red light when I approached the shield with the shards. Like the light that glows when I hold a shard, nobody else could see the flash. I also feel a resonance between the shards and shield.
- Auryen: Do you think that is due to your dragon soul and blood?
- Wulf: That is the logical conclusion.
- Auryen: Did you find anything to suggest a Daedric Prince is involved?
- Wulf: I retrieved one of the shards from a member of Mythic Dawn. He also had a letter from ‘O’.
- Auryen: Do you think this is Mehrunes Dagon’s plan?
- Wulf: I have no evidence that Dagon is instructing ‘O’. The only person of significance that had something to do with Dagon and whose name starts with ‘O’ is Orthe. He is a Dremora Kynreeve and was Mankar Camoran’s chief torturer.
- Auryen: I have a hunch but will need a day to investigate further.
- Wulf: While you do that, we will visit the Museum of the Mythic Dawn in Dawnstar.
- Auryen: Please, be gentle with Silus. He is an excellent historian and researcher but fails to recognise the evil perpetrated by his forbears. I doubt he has anything to do with ‘O’ or Mythic Dawn.
- Wulf: For his sake, I hope you are right!
- Auryen: Be prepared for a lengthy tale on your return.
- Wulf: And you should be prepared for me to argue against false history.
- Auryen: I have no doubt my hunch will generate much scepticism.
- Gregor: A gobblygook duel! That is something to look forward to.
- Nubaree: Commander, I think Gregor is ill!
We entered Bostin then I set a course for Dawnstar.
We have spent another two hours fattening Nubaree’s purse. She swears she has never played poker before today.
Before exiting Bostin, I changed into my noble armour. Then I used my Thu’um to go ethereal before leaving the cabin and climbing down the ladder.
It wasn’t difficult to spot the Museum of the Mythic Dawn from Bostin’s deck.
I entered an empty alleyway where I made myself visible once more.
As I approach the museum, a mage is arguing with Silus. I recognise the mage. It is Madena, the Court Wizard of Jarl Brina Merilis. She often visits The College of Winterhold.
- Madena: Your ancestors wouldn’t want this, Silus!
- Silus: Why should I hide from it? This is my family’s legacy!
- Madena: It’s the past! Dead oaths on dead lips. Let it stay there.
- Silus: The museum will remain open, Madena.
- Wulf: Excuse my interruption. Is the museum open?
- Silus: Yes indeed. Come inside, and I will give you a tour.
After Silus entered his museum, Madena asked me, “Are you here as Arch-Mage or Commander Valdr?”
“I am here on a task from The Divines.”
“Should I be concerned? Is it something that endangers the people of Dawnstar?”
“You implied the Mythic Dawn is dead oaths on dead lips. That is wrong. Once again, they present a danger to Nirn and all mortals. The Nine have asked I thwart their plans. Mythic Dawn associates have already murdered innocents, including a Priest of Akatosh.”
“Is Silus involved?”
“I don’t know, but it is fortuitous I get the chance to ask your opinion. So, what can you tell me about Silus?”
“Silus comes from one of the oldest families in Dawnstar. They have a complicated history. Several of his ancestors belonged to the Mythic Dawn. His family’s involvement was only found out well after the crisis had died down, but it still ruined their reputation. They were outcasts. And now Silus is back, and this museum to the Mythic Dawn is his way of trying to rebuild his family’s pride. It’s misguided.”
“I believe it is important to teach true and detailed history no matter how unsavoury it may be. When you suppress knowledge, it becomes more desirable. If you do not provide the information people crave, they may seek it from less reputable sources. Educating people does not increase the chance of past horrors being repeated. Suppressing knowledge does.”
“I am concerned about the type of people such a museum will attract. Not just patrons but The Vigilants of Stendarr have threatened to burn the place down, with Silus inside!”
“My museum in Solitude contains many artefacts from various Daedric Princes. As long as such things are not glorified, and their sordid history is fully revealed, I fail to see what objections those blasphemers could justify. The Vigilants ignore the laws of The Empire and the tenets of Stendarr. If I heard such a threat from a Vigilant, I would not hesitate to arrest them.”
“I fail to understand why our emperor tolerates them.”
“He has to be careful not to be seen as overly comfortable with Daedric worship. Many powerful people want Daedric worship banned throughout The Empire, and The Vigilants have supporters within The Elder Council. A ban on Daedric worship is not what The Divines want, and such bans have caused nothing but resentment and problems when tried in the past.”
“Should I inform Jarl Brina?”
“I will inform Jarl Brina if Silus has committed any crime or is implicated in the current crises. You must decide if she needs informing of my investigation.”
“May I ask you a question? It has nothing to do with Silus or Daedric Lords.”
“Yes, of course, you can.
“How do you do it? How do you keep killing and remain sane?”
“I have only heard snippets of your story. Tell me in your own words what prompts that question. Then I can answer in context.”
“I was a Legion Battlemage and stationed in the Imperial City when the Aldmeri Dominion laid siege to it. It was the only action I saw during The Great War. I was on the front line for many days, blasting apart young Elven men and women with Fireballs and Lightning Bolts. By Akatosh, all the blood and the smell of flesh burned and pulled apart by magic! I never want to do that to another soul ever again.”
“I have killed thousands in a short amount of time. But in doing so, I have saved Nirn from destruction or mortals from slavery. When you killed the Dominion troops during the Great War, it was difficult for you to see the benefits their deaths purchased. On the other hand, when I hear a child laugh or see a young couple holding hands or even a farmer showing pride in his produce, I feel justification for my actions. I hate killing, yet The Divines need me to be the most efficient and ruthless killer of this age. By accepting this burden, I spare others from the burden. I would like to have spared you from it.”
“You resist Nords trying to glorify your actions. Jarl Skald spoke endlessly about your heroics and said you were of the old blood and what a Nord should be.”
“Did he still think so generously of me after I killed Ulfric?”
“He thought that was the Nord way and that you would become High King and kick the Imperials out of Skyrim. He thought that up until the Imperial troops marched him out of his throne room.”
“Did Jarl Skald ask you to fight in the Civil War? I remember he gave Brina and her housecarl a hard time.”
“Yes, and he threatened to have me tried as a traitor when I refused. Jarl Brina understands. She is also a Legion veteran and was also threatened by Jarl Skald when she refused to fight or choose sides. Nords seem to have difficulty with the concept of neutrality.”
“Yet the Nords revere The Companions who also remained neutral. You are Breton, are you not?”
“Yes. The history of my homeland is one of continuous civil war. I came to Cyrodiil to escape such violence. Then I found myself in the middle of The Great War and years later, the Skyrim Civil War.”
“Thank you for your time, Madena.”
“Thank you for accepting the burden you carry. I hope The Divines reward you with peace one day.”
I entered Silus’ museum and was welcomed with, “And here you are. Good. Come in, browse the display, and let’s talk.”
“What was that argument about?”
“Never mind that. Madena is a good woman, but I have my reasons for opening this museum, and I’m not changing my mind. I have a collection of artefacts from the group that toppled an Empire. Their importance to history cannot be forgotten.”
“Can I ask some questions?”
“Of course. What do you want to know?”
“Why did you open this museum if some people object to it?”
“It’s no secret that my family were once members of the Mythic Dawn. One of my forefathers was even chosen to assassinate Uriel Septim himself. We hid from our past for years, became tradesman, people of coin and influence. But I realised that the Mythic Dawn’s importance, my family’s importance, to history could not be denied. So I’ll see everyone in Tamriel remember that for a moment, we held the fate of the world in our hands, for good or ill.”
“I have heard that Mythic Dawn was some a cult. Is that right?”
“Some people call it a cult. They were worshippers of Mehrunes Dagon, the Daedric Lord of Destruction and Change. The Mythic Dawn killed Uriel Septim VII and his heirs, triggering the events that lead to the Oblivion Crisis when the Daedra invaded Tamriel. All that remains of the infamous cult I’ve gathered in this museum.”
“What is special about these books?”
“They are the Commentaries on the Mysterium Xarxes and written by the Mythic Dawn’s leader, Mankar Camoran. He promised a paradise awaited his followers when they died, that they would be reborn by Mehrunes Dagon’s side.”
“This singed piece of paper looks worthless.”
“Far from it, my friend. That burned paper is all that remains of the fabled Mysterium Xarxes. Mehrunes Dagon himself wrote that blasphemous book. It is said that Mankar Camoran used the book to open a portal to his Paradis where all his followers would live forever.”
“What about these robes?”
“Those robes were worn during the Mythic Dawn’s secret meetings, where they plotted to bring the Daedra Mehrunes Dagon into Tamriel. Each bolt of yarn used to make the robe was coloured with a dye made from sacrificial blood.”
“That is a fine-looking scabbard! Where is the dagger to go with it?”
“Notice the insignia? An Oblivion Gate. A key symbol of Mehrunes Dagon, the patron Daedra of the Mythic Dawn. As for the knife, I have a job that you may be interested in.”
“What kind of job and how much does it pay?”
“A little history, first. After the Oblivion Crisis, many groups cropped up dedicated to wiping out the remnants of the Mythic Dawn. One of these groups found Mehrunes’ Razor, the artefact of Dagon and what that scabbard is supposed to contain. So they split it into three fragments and pledged to keep them apart forever. That was almost one hundred and fifty years ago, and the descendants of that group are still keeping the pieces. And they’re right here, in Skyrim.”
“You want me to recover the three fragments?”
“Yes, but I must warn you. At least two of the owners, Ghunzul and Drascua, are dangerous marauders.”
“And the third owner?”
“His name is Jorgen. I only know he lives in Morthal.”
“What incentive are you offering?”
“How about five hundred septim per piece?”
“One thousand septim per piece paid on delivery. Don’t haggle, or I walk out the door.”
“Agreed. Here are my notes on the current owners….”
Silus handed me a book with a handwritten note inside. This is the relevant part of the book.
“KEEPERS OF THE RAZOR
by Silus Vesuius
An account of the separation and division of Mehrunes’ Razor into three pieces
Of all the groups that pledged to eradicate the Mythic Dawn from Tamriel, none were as inadvertently successful as the Keepers of the Razor. Originally a militia group founded to destroy the remnants of the Mythic Dawn. The group was renamed after discovering the legendary artefact of Mehrunes Dagon that became their namesake. How they found the Razor is a secret that I have been unable to uncover. Still, it is clear that they were not part of Frathen Drothan’s failed expedition to Varsa Baalim, and the group does not first appear in Imperial records until fifty years later.
The Razor was divided among the three highest-ranking members of the order’s inner circle, to be passed down from oldest child to oldest child ‘until the twin moons themselves disappeared from the skies.’ Although this pledge seems to have been loosely interpreted, as the moons did vanish from the heavens during The Void Nights of 4E98-4E100, yet the Razor’s pieces were still being bequeathed through the generations during and after this time.”
The note read,
“Tracing the lineages of the inner circle proved challenging thanks to the group’s unusual membership. While the leader of the Keepers of the Razor was a Nord and thankfully was easily researched through the clan’s family histories, the other two members were an Orc and a native daughter of the Reach, whose culture’s paucity of respect for literacy made tracking them down less straightforward. Fortunately, Othmash gro-Gularz and his sons are well-recorded for their service in the Imperial Legion. However, the daughters of Sorcha proved nearly impossible to find until I uncovered Markarth’s meticulously thorough tax records, which recorded each birth of Sorcha’s kin to administer specific petty fees. Moreover, Sorscha’s current descendent, Drascua, fled to Dead Crone Rock after the Markarth Incident and is considered by the Jarl to be a significant threat to the safety of the hold.
Current Descendants of the Inner Circle
Jorgen of Morthal, 8th generation of Clan Axe-Bearer to bear the Hilt of Mehrunes’ Razor. Son of Halnir, son of Hroi, son of Koli, son of Malte, son of Lygrleid, son of Neddrir, son of Lenne.
Ghunzul, leader of the Cracked Tusk Bandits, and 8th to bear the blade shards of Mehrunes’ Razor. Son of Shelakh, son of Mog, son of Grul, son of Durgob, son of Uzgakh, son of Ramolg, son of Othmash.
Drascua, leader of the Forsworn of Dead Crone Rock and eighth to bear the pommel of Mehrunes’ Razor. Daughter of Cairine, daughter of Edana, daughter of Malvina, daughter of Muriel, daughter of Riane, daughter of Cayleigh, daughter of Sorcha.”
After quickly reading the book and note, I told Silus, “I will retrieve these items for you and expect payment upon delivery.”
I made my way to Bostin, set course for Morthal and changed into my Penitus Oculatus uniform.
Upon arrival in Morthal, I asked a grumpy local where I could find Jorgen. He told me to follow the sounds of the wood chopping and pointed north.
I approached the woodchopper then asked, “Excuse me, citizen. I am looking for Jorgen.”
‘You have found him, and unless this is about ordering wood from my mill, I don’t have time to waste.”
“On behalf of Emperor Titus Mede II, I am here to collect the hilt of Mehrunes’ Razor.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about.”
“Jorgen Axe-Bearer, you are the son of Halnir and the eighth of your lineage to protect the hilt. I am Commander Valdr, Dragonborn and Champion of The Divines. I believe your life is in danger because of the hilt. Therefore, let me take the hilt from you, thereby ensuring its security and your safety.”
“Danger from who? The Mythic Dawn?”
“Mythic Dawn have assassins in Skyrim killing innocents who possess relics from the time of the Oblivion Crises.”
“I thought my family had wasted too much effort keeping the hilt safe from a dead cult. Now you tell me the danger is real, and the cult is not as dead as I thought. Take the hilt. Here is the key to the chest in my house where I have placed it.”
While I was talking to Jorgen, Nubaree picked up his axe then smiled at me.
Jorgen jumped when she expertly split the log behind him.
I took the key from Jorgen then we made our way to his house.
We retrieved the hilt and headed back to our airship.
It was just after 5:00 PM when I set course for Falkreath.
We enjoyed a good meal and talked as we waited to ether to our destination.
After climbing down the ladder, I reminded The Sentinels, “We are dealing with bandits, not a legal Orc Stronghold. I will offer to meet with Ghunzul one on one. If that offer is refused or they show aggression, then we wipe them out.”
The Cracked Tusk stronghold was not far from Falkreath. The weather had closed in, and rain poured as we approached it. I use night vision to help navigate through the rough terrain.
We arrived at Cracked Tusk and stopped outside of bow range, I used my Thu’um and said, “I am Commander Valdr of the Penitus Oculatus. I wish to speak to Ghunzul and am willing to enter your compound alone and unarmed. Accept this offer to parley, or we will kill you all.”
My offer was met with silence. I used heat vision and tried again, “You do not know our strength. Yet I see two of you with bows drawn on the centre palisade. I see another sentry to the right and another to the left. I am going to approach. Do not fire upon me if you wish to see another sunrise!”
All four sentries fired their bows in the direction of my voice.
I eliminated the sentries with Cyclone. As a result, they did not see their death approach till a second before it struck.
We made our way into the compound and killed all who opposed us.
Those inside buildings fared no better.
Ghunzul was the last to face me. As he drew his axe, I told him, “Ghunzul, you are a fool! Othmash swore to protect the shards of Mehrunes Razor from those who worship Mehrunes Dagon. You heard my Thu’um. Do you think I am a friend of that Dark Lord? You should have accepted my parley. Everybody else is dead, and now you will join them!”
Ghunzul lasted seconds.
We had to bypass many traps before recovering the shards of Mehrunes’ Razor.
Once back in Bostin’s cabin, I set course for Markarth.
It was just after 11:00 PM when we docked. Unfortunately, the rain was even heavier than before.
On the way to Dead Crone Rock we encountered many pilgrims.
We also rescued a Vigilant of Stendarr from a giant spider.
After releasing their king from Markarth’s prison, many Forsworn tribes were friendly. But, unfortunately, the tribe that occupied Dead Crone Rock was far from pleasant. So much so I did not even try to parley with them.
Night and torrential rain allowed me to kill the Forsworn sentries silently and without detection.
From an overheard conversation, I knew we had found Drascua. She was a Hagraven! I also knew they had just killed a pilgrim and were about to consume his flesh.
I fired three arrows. Drascua and the two Briarhearts died before they realised there was danger.
Battling revulsion, I searched Drascua’s corpse and retrieved the pommel stone of Mehrunes’ Razor.
We made it back to Bostin without further incident.
I set Bostin’s course for Dawnstar, had a quick dinner then retired to bed.
Via our rings, I asked Rigmor, “How was the first day of the new year for you?”
“I returned home to the same bureaucratic bullshit as last year. Now I just have to remember to place the correct year when I date documents I sign. You might say that little annoyance tips the scales, and 4E 202 is currently worse than last year.”
“The blood and guts I cleaned off my sword and armour seemed no different than last year’s blood and guts.”
I talked to Rigmor for over two hours on many subjects. It was a pleasant way to end the first day of the new year.
I know not what time I fell asleep.