Tirdas, 10th Sun’s Dawn, 4E 202
After breakfast, I was preparing for the day when Lydia, Celestine and two Legionnaires came rushing into my room.
- Alecina: Your Excellency, a dragon landed in the courtyard, and we were going to fire arrows at it, but Inspector Lydia told us not to because Odahviing was a friend and he was huge and red, and his voice was so deep, and he was magnificent, and I told him that, and he laughed and it was marvellous!
- Wulf: If that sentence were any longer, you would have fainted from lack of breathing!
- Lydia: You can’t blame Alecina for being excited. She had never seen a dragon before.
- Carlorna: Or me!
- Lydia: Carlorna hadn’t seen a dragon before either.
- Wulf: Is Odahviing still there?
- Celestine: No, he said there is an aggressive dragon in the mountains nearby, and he wasn’t in the mood for a fight.
- Wulf: He would win and have to kill another dragon when their numbers are dwindling.
- Lydia: He did leave a message.
- Alecina: Yes, Your Excellency, he said, ‘Bormahu wants Dovahkiin to go to Monahven.’ I have no idea what that means!
- Wulf: Lord Akatosh wants me to go to The Throat of the World.
- Lydia: Then you had better go. I promised to do some training with these two, so I might as well get started while you are gone.
- Wulf: When I return, we will head for Arnima.
I teleported to The Throat of The World.
Paarthurnax and three other dragons were there.
I stood before each and used the Thu’um to say hello,
“DREM YOL LOK. GREETINGS, PAARTHURNAX.”
“DREM YOL LOK. GREETINGS, GAAFKROKULAAN.”
“DREM YOL LOK. GREETINGS, HEVNOFOKRID.”
“DREM YOL LOK. GREETINGS, TOOMAARFEYN.”
All four dragons replied in unison, “DREM YOL LOK. DOVAHKIIN.”
I asked Paarthurnax, “Bormahu wanted me to visit here. Do you know why?”
“Walk past Toomaarfeyn and turn left. Bormahu has sent a unique companion to aid you.”
“Who is it?”
“She would burn me until I am crispy if I were to spoil the surprise.”
“Well then, I had better go meet this mystery lady before she freezes to death.”
“She is no lady, Dovahkiin! None of her kind has visited Nirn for thousands of years. Give her the respect that we four have shown her.”
I walked past Toomaarfeyn as instructed and turned left. I stopped and stared.
A burst of unmistakably feminine laughter, a female sounding avalanche, came from the magnificent being that was waiting for me.
“Wulf, stop staring as if my arse is showing! Oh, it is showing. Well, forget that and come closer.”
I walked up, bowed, and then said, “Drem Yol Lok. Greetings, milady.”
“Don’t you start speaking Dovahzul to me, young man! And I am not a lady either in manners or shape.”
“But you are a dragon, and Dovahzul is your language.”
“I know your mother very well. I doubt she raised you with the ill manners required to argue with your elders. I have hardly spoken a word of Dovahzul for thousands of years. Ayleidoon, yes. Dovahzul, no. This Cyrodiilic or Tamrielic or whatever you call it is rather new to me. I quite like it.”
“May I ask your name?”
“May you? Is that mouth of yours capable? Try it and see.”
“Most beautiful and magnificent Dovah, may I humbly request your name.”
“From rude to nauseatingly polite. That was a very impressive transition! My name is Silah. And yes, before you ask, it means Soul Hunter. A stupid name as I never have or will hunt souls.”
“What is a Jill doing on Nirn? I thought you were expected to work beside Bormahu and keep the threads of linear time from tangling or breaking.”
“So, if I was a female mortal, would you expect me to be pregnant and barefoot in front of the oven preparing some male’s dinner?”
“Now hang on, I said you were expected! I did not say I expected or thought you should be working beside Akatosh. I am certainly not one for generalisations or gender-based expectations! I am simply trying to figure out why you are on Nirn.”
“The quickest way to an answer is to ask a question.”
“I did. I asked what a Jill is doing on Nirn.”
“But then you added all that extra rubbish which negated the question and begged for admonishment.”
“And admonished I am. So, Silah, why are you the first Jill to visit Nirn in thousands of years?”
“Did you not pray to our celestial father for help if the situation is as grim as it looks in Evermor?”
“As yet, I haven’t decided how grim it is.”
“Oh, and how many times have you bothered to pray to our father recently? To your birth father a lot. To your celestial father, hardly ever. Therefore, it is safe to say that you already think things are not going to turn out well in Evermor.”
“You have been sent to punish me because Lord Akatosh thinks I don’t appreciate him. Is that it?”
“I have been sent because I am awful at that time weaving thing as I find it boring. I have constantly been pestering father to let me fly the skies of Nirn, get into fights, be boisterous and roar a lot.”
“You said you know my mother.”
“Yes, we are the best of friends. But she is busy at the moment, so I was getting tremendously bored. In that state, I tend to bother gods and dead mortals alike. Then our father had this great idea. He sent me to help you!”
“I appreciate the thought, but you can’t exactly fit into most places I visit.”
“Are you implying I have a big arse?”
“You have a big everything. You are a dragon.”
“Yes, you do have a point. Perhaps father will give me the ability to shapeshift into a mortal. Maybe an Argonian? Yes, I think that would be a good fit. Scales, horns and tail.”
“So, do I need to know a Shout to summon you?”
“You can summon your mortal friends. We are now friends, so you should be able to summon me!”
“It would be unfortunate if I was in a small room and summoned you in dragon form.”
“Give it a day or so. I will come up with a spell, or one of the others up there will. It will be a clever spell, and know what size I should be when you cast it.”
“You said you speak a lot of Ayleidoon.”
“Did I? Oh, well, there is a good reason for that, but don’t worry yourself over it.”
“Is looking after the weaving of timelines that boring?”
“The other Jills love doing it, and they swap gossip and news like you wouldn’t believe. You know, stuff like, ‘Oh, did you see that timeline where High Queen Elisif gets swallowed by a giant Slaughterfish? I am glad we aren’t using that one. She is such a lovely lady.’”
“I thought that task would require continuous concentration.”
“It does, and when the Jills are not careful, Dragon Break! They are such a tangled mess and take ages to fix. It is like unravelling the universe’s biggest knot. BORING! And when you finally get the preferred timeline back on track, there is nothing but complaints!”
“One of the most annoying directed at me was, ‘Cyrodiil used to be a jungle, and now it isn’t!’”
“What did you answer to that?”
“It was that or Nirn gets conquered by giant, sentient Mudcrabs!”
“It was a lie, but nobody admits to missing niggly little details. Jungle. No jungle. Who cares?”
“I do like to take different people with me. It would not be fair to take you on every trip.”
“That is okay. You can always call on me when a huge dragon might come in handy.”
“Well, this has certainly been interesting. In all honesty, I will be honoured to have you as a friend and companion, Silah.”
“I wonder what my voice will sound like in Argonian form?”
“Like you have been smoking tobacco your whole life. They all sound like that.”
“Father said that me coming here is guaranteed to bring blessed peace.”
“Nirn needs that.”
“No, not for the mortal plane but Aetherius.”
“I think you and Rigmor will get along just fine.”
“She can teach me that game where you all drink lots until everybody else is passed out on the floor. Then you win, and then you vomit. I have always wanted to try that.”
“Until we meet again, Silah. Divines bless you.”
I teleported back to the compound. Lydia was not taking it easy on the young Legionnaires, but they seemed to be learning quickly.
I thought I had better tell Rigmor about Silah. It is the type of news that will amuse her.
“Good morning, my beautiful lady.”
“Good morning to you, my handsome but currently bald Dragonborn.”
“Odahviing visited this morning and scared the crap out of the troops.”
“Oh, what did he want?”
“To tell me Lord Akatosh wanted me to visit The Throat of the World. Which I promptly did.”
“And there were four dragons there. Paarthurnax seemed a bit perplexed at what waited for me a bit further up the mountain.”
“A Jill. A female dragon. The first in thousands of years to visit Nirn.”
“Oh, was she pretty?”
“She is silvery-white with metallic blue and green mixed within. I have not seen any other dragon with her colouring.”
“What is the difference between dragon genders? It is not like male dragons have big dangly bits flapping in the wind.”
“Their reproductive bits are protected by scales and only come out to play, so to speak.”
“But dragons can’t reproduce, so why mate?”
“Oh, silly question.”
“They can’t reproduce because Akatosh never intended them to become the dominant species. Alduin didn’t care for his celestial father’s plans and successfully made Dov the dominant species for some time. Fortunately, they couldn’t reproduce.”
“Do you think they will ever be allowed to?”
“I assume it would not be much of a tweak to make it so. Perhaps they might be allowed to in limited numbers. Who knows what is planned for the future?”
“How come I haven’t fallen pregnant? We take no precautions.”
“I don’t know. Sometimes an individual can’t make babies. That has caused the downfall of kingdoms in the past.”
“The heir and spare stuff expected of some nobles. How can they have a healthy intimate relationship with that sort of pressure placed upon them?”
“There is often no love in those marriages. The intimacy is solely to produce the heirs. You know that! I am sure Freathof has filled your head with what is expected of a Countess and others of noble rank in Cyrodiil.”
“Yes, he has, and I have told him many times that is not for Rigmor, Countess of Bruma.”
“Well, when the world is allowed to know we are together, we can always get a physician to check us over.”
“What is the name of the lady dragon?”
“Her name is Silah, and she said she is a good friend of my mother’s. You will like her. She is an opinionated defender of females.”
“Is she on Nirn to accompany you?”
“I prayed to Lord Akatosh to send help if Evermor looks like exploding into violence. I don’t know if I can stop it, Rigmor. There are so many different factions and ancient animosities.”
“When you told me about Munstor, I cried.”
“I know. The rings let us know all.”
“Do you think what is happening in Evermor stems from that incident?”
“No. I think that incident was just another step in a Dark Lord’s plan.
“Do you think your meeting with Lord Mortifayne will provide some clues as to the Dark Lord’s identity?”
“I don’t think talking to him will, but I intend to snoop around his keep.”
“And ‘his’ priest, what a weird concept, knows nothing of this Dark Lord?”
“I think the priests of Evermor owe more loyalty to their lords than to their people. They pay lip service about helping the citizens but ignore the cause of the poverty and problems. A real priest would confront their lord about disobeying the Ten Commands.”
“How can they say they worship The Nine yet allow something like Munstor to occur?”
“And to top all of it off, we have Thalmor playing games.”
“Wulf, just kill them and save time and grief. That usually works.”
“I have to play politics. I have to try and unravel who is allied with who and why. Killing the Justiciar may trigger the chaos I am trying to avoid.”
“The straw that breaks the camel’s back?”
“Ahh, what is a camel anyway?”
“A long-legged animal with one or two large bumps on its back. I will show you a picture as they are hard to describe.”
“One of the serving girls at the Tap&Tack has longs legs, but her two large bumps are at the front.”
“Oh, I will have to check that out when I visit Bruma.”
“So, you can tell everything through these rings?”
“Yes, my dear, and there is no need for the knife. I am forever yours and one hundred per cent faithful. But it does not harm anything to enjoy the scenery.”
“But what is she bends over to clean the table? And I supposed to stare at the ceiling?”
“What if they jiggle and try to escape the flimsy top that is barely keeping them restrained?”
“I could zap there, kick you in the goolies and zap back here.”
“Or you could zap here wearing a bar maid’s outfit, and we could….”
“You need to have a long, cold bath.”
“How about a warm one with you at one of my houses?”
“You can’t and won’t leave Evermor for more than a few minutes.”
“I could be here for weeks!”
“I have to go, my love. Duty calls. Well, Cerys calls, but it is the same thing.”
“I will talk to you when I know more.”
“Be careful and remember, our love is stronger than anything a Dark Lord can send your way.”
“As Malacath learnt to his detriment.”
One of the young Legionnaires was flat on her back after Lydia swept her legs from under her. They consistently concentrate on Lydia’s sword at first. But she was a guard and learnt the dirty tricks of the street. Lydia helped her up and explained what signs indicate a possible leg sweep. Lydia can’t be simultaneously balanced well for sword forms and for sweeping with her leg.
Lydia finished her lesson, and The Sentinels joined me. As we walked to Arnima, I told The Sentinels about Silah. All were keen to meet her.
I decided to stop and have a closer look at the giant statue of Lady Mara. In the light of day, it was apparent that the statue was not made of solid gold, as reported in some travel guides and histories. It was made of clay with gold paint. In a way, I was relieved. I hated to think that millions of septims were needlessly wasted on a religious statue when farmers and others were starving. The statue is a symbol of hope and fulfils its purpose, gold or clay.
I did not expect Lady Mara to talk to me, but she must have felt the need to impart some wisdom.
“Special Child, The Nine knew you would find worship in Evermor an affront. We ask that you always remember they are a product of thousands of years of history.”
“The Direnni Hegemony was feudalistic, but that does not excuse modern Breton, thousands of years later, from practising what amounts to slavery. The creation of a priest caste is simply an extension of feudalism and against the principles of the Ten Commands. The nobility of Evermor has chosen to ignore how the rest of Tamriel treats its citizens and pretends to follow tradition as an excuse.”
“You are right, but the status quo will not be changed overnight. You must continue to work within the existing structure and use it to achieve the compromises required.”
“I have battled my inner self to keep ‘diplomacy’ alive. Even if I gather proof of a Dark Lord’s plans, fear might trigger the events I seek to prevent. I was trained in martial and magic skills. With diplomacy, I am but an amateur.”
“A good diplomat seeks to understand why others think and act as they do. With that understanding, they begin to formulate solutions. You are doing what is needed. You would realise this if you did not feel such urgency.”
“You are speaking to me without mumbo jumbo. Why is this?”
“You know the answer. We speak in riddles when we want you to figure things out and thereby learn by doing so. Encouragement does not need flowery talk, just the facts. You are doing well, Special Child.”
“Silah is an interesting individual.”
“She is much loved by your mother and unique amongst her kind. Her mind is not suited for the repetitive mundane. The Nine hope she finds the stimulation she craves amongst our beloved mortals.”
“This morning’s meeting with Lord Mortifayne may be crucial in preventing that canker of which you warned.”
“Indeed, it may. Blessings, Special Child. Go now and have faith in yourself.”
Erandur said with awe, “I have heard her voice in my head many times. To hear it as if she was a mortal speaking was not like I imagined. She sounds so…so….”
“Well, let’s go see ol’ Morty.”
We entered Arnima just after a strong gust of wind cleared away most of the fog. It was an improvement, but still, the place could do with a good soapy bath.
The knights stared at us as we walked through the arch they guarded and proceeded up the steps to Morty’s Keep. The place has a much longer and very pretentious name. So, Morty’s Keep it will be in this journal.
We know that Mortifayne is most likely insane as well as paranoid. The Sentinels and I will go along with whatever delusions he suffers. We certainly won’t try and enforce proper etiquette or deference to my higher noble status.
Heads on spikes adorned the entry patio’s walls. They are cliché’ and not very intimidating.
Upon entry, I had to use night-vision to make out details in the dark and dreary place. The furnishings and fittings were of reasonable quality.
We entered the throne room, which was far brighter than the entrance hall, and overheard the end of a conversation.
- Maarin: Forgive me, My Lord, for I must be a most irksome pest. Let me return to my brew, which I hope is to your liking. As always, I have only used the most delectable ingredients for My Lord.
- Mortifayne: Yes, yes, Maarin. By all means, go away. I have another guest.
- Maarin: Then I will happily leave you to your affairs, My Lord.
- Mortifayne: Maarin, is it supposed to be so odorous?
- Maarin: Mmmmm…that stench! I like the smell of this brew, My Lord. I think it’ll be the one to get things moving. Now, where did I put my spoon?
Maarin turned and made his way past a rack. Torture devices are not usually found in throne rooms, although Rigmor might be tempted.
- Mortifayne: Come forward, Envoy. Don’t try my patience.
I approached and gave a slight head bow. If Mortifayne believes he has noble rank over me, he might voluntarily provide me with the information he would reluctantly do so if ordered.
Lord Mortifayne looked far more Imperial than Breton. I looked into his eyes and saw madness. Lord Sheogorath would like the man.
- Wulf: Lord Mortifayne, I was informed we could be of assistance in catching a thief.
- Mortifayne: Yes, it is fortunate the Legion can spare you. I require an errand boy.
- Wulf: We are always pleased to assist the loyal nobles of Evermor.
- Mortifayne: Two days ago, my guards butchered a small group of Witchmen just outside the city walls. It was the first time in a while that they had come this close. They slaughtered all but one that left for the hills deep within the valley. By coincidence, a necklace of mine went missing.
I knew full well that it was the amulet given to him at the Munstor massacre. But I wanted more information. Acting the idiot worked as usual.
- Wulf: A man of means such as yourself can surely afford another necklace. Therefore, I assume the missing necklace is of sentimental value.
- Mortifayne: Hearing you speak of such relics like they were common jewels make me sick. The amulet in question keeps you and this town safe!
- Wulf: Forgive my ignorance, Lord Mortifayne.
- Mortifayne: I shouldn’t become riled with naivety. Now off you go before forgoing the safety that I have generously given you within my walls.
I did a prearranged hand signal, and Lydia played her role to perfection.
- Lydia: Pardon me, Lord Mortifayne. Perhaps if we knew more about why the amulet is special, we would have a better chance of finding it.
- Mortifayne: What is special about your life? This amulet is worth a dozen Legion lackeys. The material of which the pendant is made is worth more than all this town’s scum. Is it not evidence enough that I have three fresh heads outside my manor as a testament to that fact? You could be joining them if you return with forgery or deceit.
- Wulf: Lord Mortifayne, you do Inspector Lydia and the Penitus Oculatus injustice with such threats and misplaced distrust. Commander Drugo has proven the worth of the Penitus Oculatus to Arnima by quickly disposing of the Orsinium’s Sons threat at your very doorstep.
- Mortifayne: A threat that existed only because Legionnaires ran from the Orcs in the first place!
- Wulf: If you wish us to be successful in this endeavour, we require more information. Why do you think the Witchmen took the amulet?
- Mortifayne: Is it not enough that you know your task? Do you wish an education on those untamed scum? They are flesh and blood and a story you have undoubtedly come to know. Someone of your lowly craft should have small trouble in combating their criminal horde.
- Wulf: The Penitus Oculatus not only want to retrieve your amulet, but we would also like to understand the motives for the theft. That will aid us in preventing further insults to yourself, Lord Mortifayne.
- Mortifayne: They have stolen it for something far more sinister than I can dream of in my most haunting nightmares.
Mortifayne started to look around with fear in his eyes and mouthed incoherent whispers.
- Mortifayne: There are spectres of evil clawing at this town, hungering for the day these walls fall, and we all are feasted upon by something most ugly.
There were more incoherent whispers and darting eyes from Mortifayne. They were seeking an enemy that haunts only his imagination, for now.
- Wulf: I apologise for upsetting you, Lord Mortifayne. We shall return with your amulet. Of that, you can be reassured.
- Mortifayne: Stop, no… I shall not speak any further. I’ve understood the cost of hope, and it is my burden to bear.
- Wulf: A heavy burden, no doubt.
- Mortifayne: My eyes struggle through a simmering disgust, and you have achieved my agitation. Now beg for my forgiveness or endure a terrible death.
- Wulf: Clear your eyes and see your best defence against the lies and plans of others. You speak to His Imperial Highness when you speak to me. I want to help you, Lord Mortifayne, and am in the position to do so militarily and politically. If somebody or something tells you otherwise, then they accuse your Emperor and The Divines of deception. We shall return with your amulet. Have faith in that as Lady Mara has faith in you.
We left Mortifayne whispering and with eyes darting from place to place. The only thing missing from the popular depiction of lunacy was frothing of the mouth. As we passed the rack, I wondered if Brother Rirrard had visited ol’ Morty recently. It would be fascinating to hear his explanation for what sits in this throne room.
We stepped outside and down the steps, where I cast a Mark upon the spot. I teleported to Procul Praesidium and summoned The Sentinels. They would remain there while I searched Morty’s Keep.
I cast Recall and returned to the foot of the steps. I was aware guards and citizens watched as The Sentinels, and I teleported. I wanted the Envoy of His Imperial Highness to be whispered about, and a reputation of power gossiped.
Towards The Bridge, I heard a dragon in the distance. I might go looking for him later.
I went ethereal and proceeded up the stairs. To anybody watching, it would seem I have teleported once more.
I entered Morty’s Keep and started my snooping.
I visited the throne room to see if Mortifayne had calmed down. He had.
There was nothing of interest in Mortifayne’s private rooms. I entered the library and walked past a guard who remained oblivious to my presence. The guards had set routes and spent the same amount of time in each room. Any experienced thief or assassin would quickly learn the routine, and the guards might as well not exist.
The library had many bookshelves and bookcases. A wardrobe did not belong! Once again, secrets were hidden behind poor security.
The guard had moved out of the library and would now be standing in Mortifayne’s bedroom. Therefore, it was safe for me to open the wardrobe door and slide the back panel across. I closed the doors to the wardrobe after entering the not so well-hidden corridor.
The short corridor led to an alcove with a Shrine of Dibella and Shrine of Mara. There was also a cup and foul green liquid in a bowl. There was no need to taste the liquid. The pungent smell of Stinkhorn told me it was meant to reduce stamina and mental capacity.
A journal with the title, ‘To Belize’ lay between the shrines. It read,
“I love you, my dear. I am so sorry.
My grief spills out daily, and those under my wing take the worst of it.
They do not deserve such a hateful lord as I, but the rage consumes my soul each night. When the Dark Mother comes to whisper in my ear again.
You know I can’t do anything against that chef, Belize. For he is a part of her demonic Envoy. His death would have untold implications upon this town, and I would not render any more suffering on my people.
When I remembered that night of your disappearance, I had to vomit for hours on end. I embraced death by my own hand for the thing that I’ve done to you. But the Dark Mother stopped every advance for my demise, telling me that I would interfere in her plan.
I hope we shall see each other soon, and a kinder lord takes my place. I have done dreadful things each time I wept. I know I’m an impulsive man. I cannot help it.
That pestilent mother takes advantage of my volatile phases, and she makes me carry out morbid acts. But I never ordered for your death. That was a trick. I had a lingering rage for that chef ever since, but as I’ve said, he cannot be harmed.
The chef, Maarin, is a mortal minion of the Dark Mother. I may have to risk pickpocketing him and see what he has of interest. I placed the journal back to where it lay.
I knew no guard would be back in the library as yet. I entered the library and carefully slid the ‘secret’ panel across, and closed the cupboard doors. I then went ethereal once more.
I made my way to the kitchen then used heat-vision to see if Maarin was mortal or something else.
After confirming Maarin was mortal, I decided I would not risk picking his pockets for now. I silently left the kitchen.
I made my way to the other wing of Morty’s Keep. A door with an excellent lock soon opened with some determined picking. I made my way into the room beyond and closed the door behind me.
I came out of the ether then looked inside a cell. I battled my Dovah, who wanted to roar in rage. I forced myself to open the cell door and approach the inconceivable.
I used night-vision, so no detail of the atrocity was lost to memory.
A mother and child had been burned alive. The child held onto their mother’s leg as she protectively covered the child.
My Dovah roared in my head, “Let us kill the whole fucking lot starting with Lord Mortifayne!”
“We cannot. If an Oblivion Gate opens, there will be many who suffer this fate.”
“You don’t even know what will trigger it? You know the Dark Mother stopped Mortifayne from suiciding. She needs him alive, so do the right thing and kill him!”
“We don’t even know if he did this or is even aware of it. This room might be Maarin’s playground. And we don’t know if Mortifayne is the catalyst for the Oblivion Gate opening as Rigmor was for Malacath’s. If we kill him, we have not tried to find a peaceful solution as Lady Mara requested. So no, leave this to me, Dovah.”
My Dovah subsided, Rigmor took his place.
“What is it? Talk to me!”
“No, I cannot speak of it at the moment. To speak of it is to encourage my baser instincts. No, not now. Maybe later.”
“How are you doing that?”
“I can no longer tell your mood. You are…just you. Not angry or sad or happy or anything but you.”
“I have locked my emotions behind a wall in my mind.”
“Like you can lock your memories and other things when something tries to read your mind?”
“Yes. I didn’t know I could do it till just then. It would have been nice to have done it in the past.”
“Wulf, what happens when you remove the wall?”
“I suppose all the emotions will come flooding out at once. Oh, that might not be a good thing.”
“I will need to lock my emotions away until I get out of here. I do not have The Sentinels with me. I will look around some more.”
“You need me. We need to be enclosed in our quiet. You will have to find a way for us to be together.”
“Okay, that would be good. I think. It would be good, wouldn’t it?”
“Yes, Wulf, it would be good.”
“Be careful, and I love you.”
Other victims lay in silhouettes of agony. Just killing was not the aim of the murderer. Sustained suffering was the aim.
The more I looked, the more I was certain Maarin was responsible for the deaths. However, Mortifayne was aware of them. I believe he orders such atrocities at the request of the Dark Mother. There is a lot more to discover concerning motivation and free will.
What first appeared to be a well in the middle of the room was a portal. Where it went, I had no idea. Blood on the walls indicated bodies and body parts had been tossed into it.
“Rigmor, can you talk?”
“Yes, and I don’t like this blanking of your emotions.”
“I have to. I have to clear my mind of the anger, frustration and sadness. I have to.”
“We will discuss it when you aren’t blanked. Then you will realise how upsetting it is to the woman who loves her Wulf for what he is, raw emotions and all. I am not talking to him at the moment. I am talking to a shell.”
“I am about to enter a portal. I have no idea where it goes. It may go to another plane which means our rings won’t work. Okay?”
“No, I am not okay! But I know your logic tells you to do this, and nothing I say will sway you as I am just a voice, not Rigmor, your beloved!”
“You are wrong. Our love is the strongest force in the world! I can’t just dampen my love for you. I can dampen the anger and overwhelming feeling of injustice and the compassion I have for dead strangers. They interfere with my decision making. Our love aids me in everything I do. It is my anchor to all things that are good when surrounded by evil and darkness. It is not logic that tells me I have to enter this portal. It is the irresistable need to stop more of what makes me want to curl up and cry. Please understand.”
“Wulf, I am sorry. I know I should not try and stop you from doing what you think is best. It is just that I never want you to casually say you are stepping into danger with all the emotion of a rock. They may be the last words we share.”
I dropped my barrier. My eyes darted over to the burnt mother and child, and I wept.
“There is a mother bent over her child. The child has their arms wrapped about their mother’s leg. They were burnt alive by a person who deserves to die, but I can’t kill for fear of triggering a catastrophe. Will I ever be able to provide justice for this mother and child? Will I negotiate a resolution where their killer continues to live in luxury? There are others nearby who suffered a similar fate. If I jump into this portal, will I encounter even more evidence of the evil that permeates Evermor? All under the watchful eye of priests who live in beautiful and expensive temples and profess love for The Nine. I have to stop this, Rigmor! I have to enter this portal and deal with whatever is on the other side! I have to!”
“Oh… oh my dear, beautiful Dragonborn. It is like they knew the quickest way to bring you to your knees. What kind of creature tortures a mother and child? Do what you think is best. You are always right, and I should not double guess you or try to influence you due to selfishness. You need sensible advice, not emotional outbursts.”
“What I need is for the chance to punish the wicked. But their deaths will not erase the terror and pain that mother and child endured. Therefore, I must concentrate on preventing further atrocities. That is my only choice.”
“If you can talk to me after entering the portal, please do so.”
“Okay. Here I go.”
I thought a skull that floated in the portal was a bit stupid.
I teleported next to a Shrine of Namira.
“Rigmor, I am somewhere in Evermor. Deep underground but still Evermor.”
“And what do you see?”
“A Shrine of Namira. It is onyx-black, and the air close to it is chilled. It channels the blood of the sacrificed into a shallow trench. It is almost identical to others I have seen, including the one the cannibals were using in Skyrim.”
“Now you know who the Dark Mother is.”
“Yes, but that doesn’t change much.”
“It is another piece of the puzzle, my dear.”
“That is creepy!”
“Describe the creepiness.”
“The shrine is in a small room. Dwemer architecture is in abundance. On either side of the room are piles of rotting corpses. Growing from the corpses are eyes, the size of a person’s head. They follow me as I move around. I hope Namira is waving back.”
“You are not waving to a Dark Lord!”
“Yes, I am. I would bare my arse, but it takes ages to get my armour back on.”
“I can imagine Namira throwing unholy curses at you.”
“Remember that time you could look through my eyes?”
“Yes, instant headache. And I am not looking at the corpses and spooky eyes!”
“Look at the door I am facing, and tell me what you think.”
“It looks Ayleid. See where the lock is. Down low for some reason. That was common in the Ayleid ruins I explored as a child.”
“Can you see the roots on the floor?”
“Yes. Are they similar to the ones that held the giant heart in Grey Belmor?”
“Yes, and you had better stop the looking through my eyes trick.”
“Yes, instant headache. Ouch!”
“The vines are all over the floor. There are a few on the walls.
“Can you see the portal?”
“Looking straight up, there are more bodies and creepy eyes. But I am not close enough for the eyes to be useful, so they remain closed. The roof looks similar to the domes of some temples. I would not be surprised if this is a domed building that I am in.”
“Is the Ayleid door the only exit?”
“No, there are two portals similar to the ones Snow Elves use. I am not tempted to exit through the Ayleid door or step through either of the portals. I think I can teleport back.”
“Anything else interesting?”
“There is a Dwemer fence. Even using night-vision, I can only see a few feet past it. Unnatural darkness lays beyond.”
I teleported to the inside of The Temple of The Nine.
“I am inside The Temple of The Nine. I will talk to you later.”
“I love you!”
“And I love you!”
I summoned The Sentinels.
- Wulf: I will tell you what I discovered soon. This temple is not the place.
- Lydia: You have been crying.
- Wulf: Yeah, I stubbed my toe.
- Lydia: And I am Mede in disguise.
- Wulf: Ahh, that explains the facial hair!
- Lydia: Cut the humour, Wulf. You will tell us all the details and not worry about our emotions.
- Ghorbash: Wulf, just agree and salute.
- Wulf: Alright, Lydia, you will be told of all the horrors. Now let us test my waning ability to resist throttling people.
I approached Brother Rirrard. I have to ensure he calms Mortifayne. It is time that Brother Rirrard knows part of the truth and realises how important that task is. Diplomacy is not needed in this instance.
- Wulf: Brother Rirrard, I might be disobeying what Lady Mara told me mere hours ago, but I must express my displeasure.
- Rirrard: And what displeasure is that, Your Excellency?
- Wulf: There is an almost total lack of adherence to the Ten Commands of The Nine Divines within Evermor. You and the rest of the Priest Circle ignore them, so why should the population live as The Divines desire?
- Rirrard: That is a disturbing accusation. What evidence do you have?
- Wulf: Stendarr says. ‘Be kind and generous to the people of Tamriel. Protect the weak, heal the sick, and give to the needy.’ Yet there are farmers and their families starving to death within sight of this temple! So desperate they risk execution for stealing a loaf of bread!
- Erandur: One Command not obeyed.
- Wulf: Arkay says, ‘Honour the earth, its creatures, and the spirits, living and dead. Guard and tend the bounties of the mortal world, and do not profane the spirits of the dead.’ Yet you have the remains of a mortal, Mados, on display instead of being interned. And you allow people to pray to this corpse as if Mados was a god. His immortal spirit cannot be resting with such blasphemy directed at his mortal remains.
- Erandur: Two Commands not obeyed.
- Wulf: Mara says, ‘Live soberly and peacefully. Honour your parents, and preserve the peace and security of home and family.’ Priests and priestesses are required to aid the people so they can adhere to this Command. Yet your people cannot preserve the peace and security of home and family as the nobility you support and have made yourselves part of, do not obey other Commands of The Nine.
- Erandur: Three Commands not obeyed.
- Rirrard: How dare you suggest…
- Lydia: I would keep quiet, Brother Rirrard. Let His Excellency finish, and then we shall see if you can defend yourself.
- Wulf: Zenithar says, ‘Work hard, and you will be rewarded. Spend wisely, and you will be comfortable. Never steal, or you will be punished.’ The people of Evermor, especially the farmers, work hard but are rewarded with poverty. Serfdom is in direct opposition to Zenithar’s Command. The Priest Circle allows slavery within this kingdom!
- Erandur: That is the fourth Command not obeyed.
- Wulf: I can demonstrate transgression for all ten, but let us jump to number ten, shall we? The Nine say, ‘Above all else, be good to one another.’ Within Evermor, I have seen individuals try and adhere to this Command. I have seen no evidence the Priest Circle even attempts to do so. They have placed themselves above the people they are supposed to serve. That alone is blasphemy! Even worse, it is a dereliction of duty.
- Erandur: Okay, I am comfortable saying, Brother Rirrard, that you and the Priest Circle are not faithful followers of The Nine. You are charlatans!
- Rirrard: Why, Your Excellency, do you desire to denigrate priests like myself?
- Wulf: Because the plans of Dark Lord’s have been allowed to take hold in Evermor as the Priest Circle have abandoned their duty to the people and made themselves part of the ruling class. I have seen evil this morning that made me weep. And if I do not stop a chain of events put in motion decades ago, you will find Daedra on the streets of Arnima. Do not think that prayers to The Divines will protect you from harm or stop this disaster. You will die along with the men, women and children you have failed.
- Rirrard: Perhaps we can help you stop the disaster?
- Wulf: What you can do is reassure Lord Mortifayne that I am here to help him. If you mention me working to stop the Daedra, you will certainly ensure they walk these streets. This is not the petty politics and bickering of the nobles, Brother Rirrard.
- Lydia: Brother Rirrard, you are in the middle of a battle for Nirn itself. A battle for the souls of all mortals.
- Wulf: I have taken a significant risk by telling you some things. Be a Priest of The Nine, Brother Rirrard. Do your best to assure Lord Mortifayne that those acting against him are being told to cease by me using the authority of His Imperial Majesty. In that way, you will be protecting the people of Evermor.
- Rirrard: It has been a long time since Lord Mortifayne has spoken to me.
- Wulf: I do not suggest you visit him without invitation. How long has it been since you stepped into his throne room?
- Rirrard: It was more than a decade ago.
- Wulf: If he does summon you, you shouldn’t be surprised at what you see. After all, what have you done to stop Mortifayne’s public displays of brutality?
- Rirrard: Is he evil?
- Wulf: No, I think he is a good man that has lost free will. But the circumstances leading to this sorry state stems from evil. An evil allowed to take root and prosper by the Priest Circle. You have his ear. Use it to aid your people.
- Rirrard: You have a brutal way of recruiting others to your cause, Your Excellency.
- Wulf: I do not have the time to play diplomacy. I desire to protect the people of Evermor and the rest of Nirn, not pander to those who have created the situation.
- Rirrard: Should I say anything to others of the Priest Circle?
- Wulf: No! Some of the Priest Circle may even be complicit in the schemes of the Dark Lord. I will recruit those who can help and that I trust.
- Rirrard: May I ask which Dark Lord is involved?
- Wulf: I know of one. But Evermor is full of disgruntled people and is an ideal hunting ground for the Dark Lord’s. Promises of revenge and rewards resonate with the oppressed and the hungry. For now, I will keep the Dark Lord’s identity a secret from you.
- Rirrard: I have a lot to consider. I can see your aim was not to throw scorn upon me for no purpose. I influence Lord Mortifayne, so I will do as you ask if he reaches out for advice.
- Wulf: Divines bless you, Brother Rirrard.
Conveniently, the next person I wanted to speak to walked into the temple as I finished with Brother Rirrard.
- Wulf: Reamonn, I have agreed to find Lord Mortifayne’s amulet.
- Reamonn: Your Excellency, he has sent five mercenaries after that bauble. Three of them dropped the venture entirely as soon as I told them what they were going up against. Two of them have never returned.
- Wulf: It is more than a bauble to Lord Mortifayne, and I believe it must be returned to him.
- Reamonn: I am sure you have your reasons for believing so.
- Wulf: None that I am free to discuss with you at this point.
- Reamonn: It is inside a cave up in the valley, past the Exile camp and close to the falls.
- Wulf: Please, mark it on my map and the locations of the Soul Stones.
- Reamonn: I need to speak to you about the Soul Stones and other matters. Would you mind following me?
- Wulf: Certainly. Lead the way.
We followed Reamonn. As I passed Brother Rirrard, I noticed he was preparing healing potions.
We ran past a guard firing fireballs at a target. He was not powerful in Destruction. I was surprised to see any proponent of that School of Magicka at all within Evermor. The Priest Circle believe such magic is too powerful.
Celestine said, “You are wondering why they let guards use Destruction spells.”
“Yes, and you have a theory?”
“I bet they didn’t allow it until Afflicted entered Evermor.”
“They would burn Afflicted to death?”
“It seems an appropriate answer to the problem given the fear of the disease expressed to us.”
“I hope you are wrong, Celestine.”
“So do I, Wulf.”
We reached a Soul Stone.
- Reamonn: Here is a Soul Stone. This mode of travel isn’t used often, for the obvious reason.
- Wulf: Ahh, not so obvious.
- Celestine: It is not obvious at all!
- Reamonn: Well, you’re never sure if you will come out the other side in one peace.
- Wulf: I assume the Soul Stones were made during the time of the Direnni Hegemony.
- Reamonn: According to local historians, yes.
- Wulf: What is supposed to happen to some travellers who use these portals?
- Reamonn: They appear at their chosen location either mangled or simply dead.
- Celestine: And what causes these random deaths?
- Reamonn: Spiteful gods or lingering Direnni omens. Take your pick.
- Wulf: What a load of utter bullshit! They are just portals no different than many others I have used from many different races and civilisations. Have you been witness to one of these accidents? Has one even occurred to your absolute certainty?
- Reamonn: Well…no to both questions.
- Wulf: Please mark on my map the approximate location of each Earth Stone.
I handed Reamonn my map, and he quickly marked each location. Then he handed it back to me.
- Wulf: So, we need to travel to The Maw Soul Stone?
- Reamonn: Yes, and I’ll pray for your return. Hopefully, this time I will be answered.
- Wulf: The Divines do not work that way, Reamonn. They have no power to save mortals on Nirn. They rely on mortal agents, of which I am one, to do their work in Mundus. Even in our darkest hour when Mehrunes Dagon walked on Nirn, only an avatar of Lord Akatosh could manifest. The energy of Martin Septim’s sacrifice and the destruction of The Amulet of Kings was required to manage that manifestation. Do you think they could somehow make an appearance and save me? No, they cannot.
- Reamonn: And you see why my travels have confused my worship. It is hard to accept what the Priest Circle teach is so demonstrably wrong.
- Erandur: But wrong it is.
- Wulf: Reamonn, what is your opinion of The Witchmen?
- Reamonn: They were always savages who couldn’t stomach civilisation and would sooner gut you than explain why. However, their ways have sustained their lot for several eras, whereas we drift from one failed empire to another.
- Wulf: I sense some admiration on your part.
- Reamonn: I know them too well for that. At the same time, I know enough to keep an open mind. It is the ones we are up against that are truly beyond redemption.
- Wulf: The Reachmen were content to live peacefully with others. That was demonstrated both in Markarth and Munstor. The savagery of High Rock nobility and Ulfric Stormcloak’s ambition created Forsworn and the current form of Witchmen. Have you ever observed ordinary tribal Reachmen families?
- Reamonn: Yes, in my travels, I managed to see them going about their lives. Children were catching frogs by the river. Young girls were painting each other’s faces to look like wights. Imagine fighting something like that?
- Wulf: That is precisely what your nobles did when they slaughtered all at Munstor! The atrocities committed that day and by Ulfric at Markarth were not something The Reachmen practised or expected.
- Erandur: All because the false nobility of this land did not want their subjects to have the freedoms enjoyed everywhere else in The Empire.
- Wulf: I rescued the King of the Forsworn in Skyrim from illegal incarceration.
- Reamonn: I am sure the Nords that he and his clan kill will thank you.
- Wulf: He gave me his word he would only defend, not attack. And his word is more binding than most noble contracts and treaties. Not only that, Reachmen are citizens of The Empire and subject to its laws. He was illegally jailed, and I had every legal right to free him.
- Reamonn: Do you genuinely believe Breton and Nord can peacefully co-exist with Reachmen?
- Wulf: Yes. So successful were The Reachmen at governing Markarth, His Imperial Majesty was about to offer them their own country. Instead, we ended up with The Forsworn and current Witchmen thanks to unforgivable violence acted upon them. And now you have Orsinium’s Sons due to the unwarranted savagery perpetrated upon the Orsimer. Ask yourself, Reamonn, who should be seeking redemption?
- Reamonn: You have given me much on which to think. May I ask you a favour?
- Wulf: Yes, of course.
- Reamonn: Could you inform me of anything you find within the cave related to the Direnni or Daedra worship.
- Wulf: And why do you want this information?
- Reamonn: We are stumped about what makes these Witchmen so feral, and any findings you tell me will contribute to this research.
- Wulf: I have no idea why you think the Direnni have anything to do with the current Witchmen. But I know for a fact a Daedric Prince is involved and which one. I am still trying to figure out what this Dark Lord wants to achieve. I know that an Oblivion Gate is one part of the plan.
- Reamonn: Then you must inform the Priest Circle!
- Wulf: No, Reamonn! I must deal with this in a way that prevents needless death and destruction. The priests of this land are no better than their nobles. Fear and ignorance will not help me in my Divine Task.
- Reamonn: There are some of us whose only concern is the welfare of the people.
- Wulf: I would like to believe that, Reamonn. Maybe if you stopped lying about your gift, I might trust you.
- Reamonn: What lies?
- Wulf: I am Arch-Mage of The College of Winterhold and Master of all Schools of Magicka. Inspector Celestine is a Master of several Schools of Magicka, including Alteration.
- Celestine: Your ability to find objects has absolutely nothing to do with Alteration!
- Wulf: Tell me the truth of how it works and what happened in Cyrodiil, and you may earn my trust.
Reamonn stood with denial about to sprout from his mouth. He thought about it for a few seconds, then dropped his head. He realised that lie would have removed any possibility of trust.
I used the Soul Stone to teleport to The Maw. I then summoned The Sentinels.
- Wulf: It is time to fill you in with what I know.
- Lydia: With which Daedric Prince are we dealing?
- Wulf: Namira, The Mistress of Decay, The Spirit Daedra and, apparently, The Dark Mother.
- Lydia: Well, at least she already hates you for destroying her cannibal coven in Skyrim.
- Wulf: She has been whispering in Mortifayne’s ears ever since he started wearing the amulet given to him at Munstor. Those amulets were handed to all the nobles. It didn’t matter who wore it or how many as Namira would have picked one and done precisely the same to them as she has done to Mortifayne.
- Erandur: You said to Brother Rirrard that you did not think Mortifayne was evil. You said he had lost his free will.
- Wulf: I don’t know the whole story so far. I found something Mortifayne wrote to his wife. It was in a hidden alcove between Shrines of Mara and Dibella. Mortifayne still uses those shrines. Does that sound like the actions of one whose soul is dark?
- Erandur: A Shrine to Mara! Now I find myself feeling pity for the man and not revulsion.
- Wulf: From the message to his wife, I ascertained the following. A mortal agent of Namira’s works as Mortifayne’s chef, and his name is Maarin. Mortifayne believes that if any harm comes to Maarin, a great catastrophe will happen to Arnima. Mortifayne suspects Maarin murdered his wife, but the body was never found. Mortifayn had no way of avenging her death or disappearance. Such was his despair at his wife’s fate, Mortifayne tried to kill himself, but Namira would not let him die. He was crucial to her plans, she told him.
- Lydia: Why did Maarin kill his wife or make her disappear?
- Wulf: I don’t know and can only speculate.
- Lydia: What is the purpose of the atrocities and murders?
- Wulf: I think Mortifayne believes it is the only way to stop Namira from destroying Arnima. Mortifayne is not interested in power or riches. He genuinely wants to protect his people and can see no other option than to do as Namira instructs. If he was removed as lord, he could no longer protect his people.
- Erandur: And Namira has told him when to ramp up the terror and violence?
- Wulf: Yes.
- Erandur: Do you still think Mortifayne can trigger the disaster he is trying to avoid?
- Wulf: If he thinks it will save more of his people, then yes. Namira has probably told him that more of his people would be saved if he triggered it. I don’t think it would make a difference, but Mortifayne would believe her.
- Celestine: I don’t think Mortifayne’s problem was just in his head.
- Wulf: Either do I. I found something that he is drinking that contains Stinkhorn.
- Ghorbash: Was does that do?
- Celestine: It takes all your energy and makes it hard to think clearly. If you wanted to keep somebody confused and too tired to fight back, it is ideal.
- Wulf: Namira invades Mortifayne’s dreams and gives him instructions. When Mortifayne thinks of what happened to his wife, he is more inclined to order random acts of violence. The whole process is designed to ramp up the level of violence and paranoia.
- Lydia: And the more extreme the acts, the more likely The Council and King will act against him.
- Wulf: And Namira may be tapping into this terror and misery to power her plan for an Oblivion Gate.
- Erandur: So, Namira can either trigger the event to open the Oblivion Gate via another mortal agent or knows Mortifayne will trigger it when others arrive to remove him from his office.
- Wulf: Yes, that is what we face. Are we capable of preventing it? We can but try.
- Lydia: What makes you sure it is Namira behind this?
- Wulf: I broke into another part of the keep. There was a portal there. I stepped through the portal and found myself standing next to a Shrine of Namira. In a room with piles of bodies and eyes that grew from the bodies and followed me when I examined the place.
- Lydia: Do you know where the room was?
- Wulf: I could not see stars or the sun, so I had no reference. But I know it was in Evermor. Two other portals are on in the room and a door that Rigmor thought was Ayleid in design.
- Lydia: That is handy sometimes when she can look through your eyes.
- Wulf: It is but guaranteed to cause her discomfort.
- Lydia: Now tell us, what made you cry?
- Wulf: In the room in the keep with the portal were other bodies. People who had been slowly tortured. The remains of a mother were draped over a child. She was trying to shield the child, and the child had their arms wrapped around their mother’s leg. They had been burnt to death. I know Maarin did it, and I can’t get justice for those he tortured.
Tears came unbidden to my eyes once more.
- Lydia: Oh….
- Wulf: I can’t just shrug my shoulders and put such things to the back of my mind. I imagine the horror of mother and child and how their love defeated their torturer. It also reminded me of what Rigmor endured at the hands of The Thalmor. Maarin was probably hoping for some breaking of the bond. But all I saw was courage and love, and they deserve justice. Mothers and their children represent all that is good and pure and beautiful. Lady Mara is part of virtually every pantheon because she is the Divine associated with motherhood. To defile that special bond for whatever motive is an act of pure evil.
- Lydia: Did you tell Rigmor?
- Wulf: She made me tell her. She wanted to share the pain and help me move forward. I would give anything to have her beside me in this terrible land. But it is too dangerous. And she would not be able to hide what she sees and experiences when back in the comfort and safety of Castle Bruma.
- Ghorbash: Then what you said to Brother Rirrard earlier was somewhat restrained.
- Wulf: I felt like slapping him and asking what he knew about the rack in the throne room and the bodies and portal to a Shrine of Namira. I felt like dragging him to the keep and showing him the mother and child. I blame the Priest Circle for what is happening in Evermor. Namira’s plans would have come to nought if they only taught and practised the Ten Commands.
- Lydia: Why did the Witchmen take the amulet?
- Wulf: To make Mortifayne even more paranoid is my guess.
- Celestine: Maybe they wanted to see how Mortifayne behaved without the whispers in his ear?
- Wulf: Yes, that is also a possibility. Maybe both?
- Erandur: What will we face in this cave?
- Wulf: I don’t imagine The Witchmen will make it easy to retrieve. Perhaps another of those immortal creatures. But we had better proceed, for I can hear voices over the nearby hill. We are in the middle of enemy territory.
We quickly inspected the entrance to the cave. Most footprints entering and leaving were made by soft footwear or bare feet. One set of prints were widely spaced and deep and made by armoured boots. We thought they were probably caused by a mercenary dashing the entrance.
Strange symbols seemed random to us but probably signified something to The Witchmen.
We entered, and I had to use night-vision to see. I rarely use my lamp as the enemy can see its light long before they can hear us, but a lamp was needed even with night-vision.
Poisoned spikes were dangling from the ceiling along the narrow pathways. They would rattle if touched as well as have the ability to incapacitate a person spiked by them. We spotted blood suggesting somebody was killed or injured next to one set of spikes.
We occasionally found dead Breton, and there were always Witchmen near the corpses.
The Witchmen were no match for The Sentinels and me. I think they relied on their poisons rather than their martial skills.
There was plenty of evidence that the Witchmen were followers of Namira.
Forsworn and Witchmen use standard symbols to represent which Daedric Prince they worship. The large bone sculptures we encountered were similar to the symbol for Namira used by the Witchmen. I can’t say for sure that is what they represented, but there was enough of them to suggest the connection.
Here is my attempt at reproducing The Reachman symbol for Namira.
It had been some time since we encountered Witchmen when we heard a person cursing their luck and ol’ Morty. Bloodstains and cursing led us to the owner of the voice.
On the way to the voice, we saw familiar vines on the floor.
We turned a corner, and there sat a mercenary, badly injured and in need of help.
- Wulf: Well, you survived ol’ Morty, so I shouldn’t be surprised The Witchmen didn’t kill you.
- Byrne: Oh, very funny. Do you have something more valuable than your wit, like a healing potion?
- Wulf: They are costly items. I demand something for your healing!
- Byrne: What kind of person takes advantage of an injured man?
- Wulf: My type.
- Byrne: Well, if I want to get home and forget I ever met Mortifayne, I have no choice. What is your price, you bastard?
- Wulf: Why, your name, of course. Hand it over!
- Byrne: My name is Byrne.
- Wulf: I am Envoy Valdr, also known as Commander Valdr. Dragonborn and Champion of The Divines. Now let’s get you healed.
I cast Grand Healing on Byrne.
Byrne stood up, made sure all limbs were still attached, and then smiled.
- Byrne: Ah, that feels good. I always thought I would die some more spectacular way than slowly bleeding out.
- Celestine: You did it again, Your Excellency. Why do you constantly mix up Grand Healing and Fireball?
- Byrne: Hey, young lady, what have I done to deserve a fireball to the face?
- Celestine: He is kind of cute and gullible. Can I keep him?
- Wulf: There are no pets allowed in my castle, Inspector Celestine.
- Ghorbash: He probably isn’t even house-trained, and who would end up cleaning after him? Me! That is who.
- Byrne: You lot got too close to ol’ Morty and caught his insanity. Am I correct?
- Wulf: Albatross!
- Byrne: Dribbling lunatics or not, I owe you one, don’t I? Obviously, I have nothing to repay you with unless one of you fits into my clothes.
- Wulf: No, Byrne, you owe us nothing. I don’t think you caught who I am, did you?
- Byrne: Oh, so you are The Dragonborn, and that wasn’t part of your delusion?
- Wulf: Yes, and forgive us for trying to lighten the mood in this dismal place.
- Byrne: Maybe I can help you with your mission. And don’t act surprised the lowlife underground network knows of you and why you are here.
- Wulf: I am not surprised. Knowledge is life for those skirting the laws of this country. Mind you, just breathing in Evermor seems to be enough to secure a death sentence.
- Byrne: And you never know what useful information the unwashed and ignored gather. Look for me beneath Evermor and ask questions, get answers.
- Celestine: We are under Evermor, so may I ask a question?
- Byrne: Evermor city. Not some stinking Witchmen cave!
- Celestine: I will ask anyway. Are you married?
- Byrne: Oh… ahh… no… and I don’t think I have any children if that is your next question.
- Wulf: I would quickly make your way out of here, Byrne. We are going to kick the ant’s nest, so to speak.
- Byrne: That is an excellent idea. But I will wait till you are a bit further away, and when I hear screaming and explosions, I will make my way home.
As we walked away from Byrne, Celestine had a dreamy look on her face.
- Wulf: I do believe our young mage was smitten.
- Celestine: Breton men are so handsome, don’t you think?
- Lydia: Compared to muscle-bound, sweaty, hairy Nords with knuckles that are bloody from dragging along the ground? Absolutely!
- Celestine: So, you see the truth!
- Lydia: Maybe, but he might break during a good romp in bed.
- Ghorbash: Like all Breton, he is too small!
- Celestine: Not where it counts, my blue friend.
- Lydia: Yes, I have heard that about Breton men.
- Erandur: I thought size doesn’t count?
- Celestine: Says a Dunmer who are on the other end of the endowment scale.
- Erandur: I will have you know, young lady, that I have never heard a single complaint!
- Ghorbash: That’s because sheep and goats can’t talk.
- Wulf: I do believe I hear voices ahead and Ghorbash, watch the tripwire you are just about to, umm, trip.
I broke the tripwire. A giant claw swung violently and would have impaled Ghorbash.
- Ghorbash: That lower claw would have ruined any chances of me becoming a father.
- Celestine: That’s okay. The top one would have improved your face and increased the odds.
- Lydia: Oh, you do turn vicious when you are feeling frisky!
- Wulf: Okay, let us continue on a bit quieter, shall we?
- Ghorbash: You wait, skinny girl, revenge shall be mine!
Celestine giggled, and I stared at her. My attempt at a stern face made her giggling uncontrollable. I just shook my head and moved forward, hoping the Witchmen were deaf.
A bit further on, I started using heat-vision. I hand signalled there were three enemies to the left and one to the right. Another hand signal informed The Sentinels that I would take the lone enemy on the right, and they were to rush and engage the other three.
The fight was over in seconds.
One of the dead was a witch. I turned her over, and she was identical to many amongst the Forworn.
I said to The Sentinels, “I think she serves a Hagraven. They usually stay in the most secure part of the cave, camp, building, etcetera. I think we must be getting close to our objective.”
Lydia replied, “I am surprised there are so few Witchmen in here.”
“There are probably hundreds of them not far from the cave entrance. They should have had sentries watching the Soul Stone.”
A corpse atop a table was being prepared for flesh and bone sculpting.
A bit further on, I killed a Briarheart. Unlike the yellow one atop the watchtower, this one had normal pallid skin.
The mysterious vines covered the floor throughout the cave complex.
Spriggan taproots were hung from the ceiling at regular intervals. I have no idea why.
I signalled to The Sentinels that there were at least three Witchmen ahead.
I finished one with an arrow to his back.
I let a witch get closer, then killed her with my second arrow.
One of the Witchmen ran away. That was unusual. The Witchmen, like The Forsworn, are known to always run towards a fight, no matter the odds.
I used Whirlwind Sprint to close on the fleeing enemy.
My arrow hit his midsection, and I thought that was the end of him.
Another blocked my view, but I soon disposed of him.
The one I had pursued did not die.
He transformed into one of the creatures we encountered in Grey Belmor.
We attacked the creature, and this one was not immortal. However, our most lethal attacks barely scratched whatever it is.
Once again, I was the sole target of its anger. I could sense its distaste for me. I was positive it recognised what I was and who I represented.
It said to me, “I am the worm!”
The only enemy we have faced that proved harder to defeat was Alduin.
This time the creature’s corpse did not vanish. When I inspected it, I found it had the heart of a Daedra. It was one of Namira’s minions.
- Wulf: Mortifayne’s amulet is not on the corpse.
- Erandur: If the Oblivion Gate opens and these things stream out of it, the guards of Arnima are doomed, and so are the people.
- Wulf: Every Sentinel would be needed to guard the temple, which will be the main shelter.
- Ghorbash: Some of us will have to herd the civilians in that direction. That will not be easy with the panic and horror.
- Wulf: We will discuss a strategy later. We need to find the necklace, amulet, whatever.
During our battle with The Worm, I noticed some very thick vines moved when the fires of spell and weapon came close.
I approached the vines and used a Flames spell upon them. They moved to the side.
I did this several times till all obstructions were gone and we could enter another cavern.
A witch was doing incantations in front of a crude flesh sculpture.
I killed her as she stood to attack us.
A Hagraven at the far end of the cavern attacked.
Her best spells failed even to make me flinch. She screamed as I cut her down.
Her guard soon joined her in death as my sword removed his head.
Neither of them had Mortifayne’s amulet, and a search of the cavern did not locate it.
A short passaged led from the Hagraven’s cavern to an underground stream.
The stream formed a waterfall as it cascaded over a cliff.
We had searched the areas where the Daedra and Hagraven lived, and there was no sign of the amulet.
I turned to The Sentinels.
- Wulf: I am going to leap into the water.
- Erandur: You don’t know how far down it is or how deep it is?
- Wulf: Lydia, what would Rigmor say?
- Lydia: Erandur, where is your sense of adventure?
- Wulf: I will jump first. If you hear a splash, join me. If you hear a splat, don’t follow.
- Erandur: Wulf, one day your luck will fail you.
- Wulf: Not while I have my lucky coin!
I jumped and fell thirty feet into chest-deep water. I moved around a boulder to where it was waste deep and came upon a Daedroth.
I rushed it and cut it down.
A Witchmen traded arrows with The Sentinels and lost.
I searched the Daedroth and recovered Mortifayne’s amulet. On it was a stylised version of the Reachmen symbol for Namira.
We looked around and saw another of the large stone sculptures that I am positive represent Namira.
There was also a doorway, similar in design to some Ayleid doors we had on display in the museum. Still, I was sure I had seen identical doors in colour drawings of The Adamantine Tower, renamed Direnni Tower long ago.
More of the strange vines could be felt underfoot and underwater. They also climbed up several walls.
There were more crude flesh sculptures on the overlook where the lone Witchmen lost his shooting contest.
I turned to The Sentinels.
- Wulf: Okay, let’s discuss.
- Erandur: What in Mara’s name was that thing? It looked like a crocodile walking on two legs!
- Lydia: A Daedroth. We encountered one when riding from Silverpeak Lodge to Whiterun a few months ago. It scared the horses.
- Wulf: I have rarely encountered them. Some Dark Lord’s use them as minions. Molag Bal has his Deadroth wear heavy armour, which makes them far more formidable.
- Ghorbash: Why have the amulet with a Daedra far weaker than The Worm?
- Wulf: Does anybody want to speculate on Ghorbash’s question?
- Celestine: The Witchmen, and probably Namira, wanted somebody to recover it. A sneakier person may have avoided confronting The Worm and Witchmen but taken their chances against a Daedroth.
- Lydia: To me, both this and Mados’ ring seem like lures to traps. Traps that are designed to eradicate any competent hero who might oppose Namira.
- Wulf: They need the amulet to be with Mortifayne. I am confused as to why they made it so hard to retrieve. Did they know I am in Evermor and expected me to recover it or die trying? If we failed, would it suddenly be returned to him? There are too many unknowns. We have to continue gathering pieces of the puzzle.
- Celestine: Are you going to give the amulet back to Mortifayne?
- Wulf: Maybe. I am going to wear it and see if anything tries to speak to me. I can isolate who and what I am and let them talk in my head. I want to know if they recognise who I am. If we are fortunate, Dark Lord arrogance might give me a vital clue.
- Celestine: And, of course, you can unsettle them by being just as arrogant.
- Wulf: Isn’t my superiority blatantly obvious?
- Celestine: Does that fancy helm of yours expand with your head?
- Wulf: The best way to sound arrogant is to mimic Thalmor. They even think their farts smell like roses.
- Lydia: They have to smell better than Ghorbash’s. They pong like something crawled up his rectum and died there, weeks ago.
- Ghorbash: It is a skill perfected in my family over many generations.
- Celestine: Those large bone sculptures could just as likely represent Molag Bal.
- Wulf: Yes, the horned skull certainly makes it resemble the Reachman symbol for Bal.
- Lydia: Doesn’t their Hagraven determine a clan’s chosen Daedric Prince?
- Wulf: Yes, but they might tolerate the worship of other Dark Lords within the clan. After all, both Munstor and Markarth demonstrated Reachman tolerance for other forms of worship.
- Erandur: Is there anything else puzzling you?
- Wulf: Yes, there is. Reamonn asked us to look out for Direnni ruins. And there is a Direnni door where we retrieved Mortifayne’s amulet. I am at a total loss as to the connection between Direnni and Witchmen.
- Ghorbash: That yellowish Briarheart near the border gave you a clue. He said, ‘The king will have his tower.’ Perhaps he meant the Direnni Tower?
- Wulf: You might be correct, but we are a long way from The Isle of Balfiera, where the Adamantine Tower is. More unanswered questions to ponder and get grey hair over.
- Lydia: Luckily, you have no hair at the moment.
- Wulf: I am going to grow my hair long again!
- Lydia: Oh, and Rigmor has permitted you?
- Wulf: I am an independent and strong male capable of making my own decisions.
- Celestine: Oh, you poor delusional thing.
- Wulf: Okay, time to wear the amulet. If I start measuring your limbs and drawing sketches of flesh sculptures, run.
As soon as I put the amulet over my neck, I felt a conduit to Oblivion open. It was similar in some ways to the conduit I had with the Ancestor Moths. My eyesight was blurred as part of my conscience was split between Oblivion and Mundus.
Celestine asked, “Wulf, are you okay? You look a bit…faded.”
“Yes, I seem to be partially in Oblivion. Everything is blurry, but I feel fine.”
“I will tear it from your neck if I think it is necessary. Don’t argue. I am your physician.”
“Wait until I get to the dribbling, raving lunatic stage.”
“Ahh, I don’t think so.”
A short passage led from the cavern.
At the end of the passage, I could sense something trying to talk to me. I placed my identity and memories behind walls and opened my mind.
It was not Namira that spoke, but some far less powerful and male being. His voice in my head did not make me feel dirty and defiled like Dark Lord’s have in the past.
“Little Lord, the hour approaches and yet you stall. If you become a pest, then the rape of your peoples will be unending….”
I waited patiently while the being figured out what was wrong.
“No, this isn’t your touch, Little Lord. We have another observer who has come to listen in on these affairs.”
“It seems you were unaware of this part of Namira’s plan.”
“Hear me, fleshy vessel. Obfuscation of what is ordained for your realm will only invoke a more squalid demise. The threshold has been crossed, and we no longer need the noose you hold to undergo the ceremony.”
“You are the king of nothing who does not know to whom he speaks. You were unaware Witchmen had taken the amulet from Lord Mortifayne. Why were you not informed of this by Dark Mother? You are a powerless puppet, and I will end your existence in Mundus or Oblivion. The Divines are infinitely more powerful than Namira as I am infinitely more powerful than you.”
“Come what may, thy kingdom will return.”
“You keep telling yourself that while worrying who it is that will stop you as he has stopped many others.”
The conversation ended. I replaced Mortifayne’s amulet with that of Talos. My eyesight returned to normal.
I gave a sign for silence, for I had heard coughing ahead.
As we made our way towards an exit, my marksmanship resulted in several deaths of Witchmen who didn’t even know we existed.
The exit was above the entrance we had used. We found ourselves in a cluster of tents, Witchmen, witches and Hagraven.
I quickly disposed of them all.
We had a quick look around the camp but found nothing of interest.
I quoted the mental discussion with ‘The King’ word for word to The Sentinels. Then we discussed it.
- Lydia: Perhaps the stealing of Mortifayne’s amulet wasn’t part of the overall plan. It might have been an independent decision by The Witchmen or at least the ones in the cave.
- Wulf: Yes, that is possible. They may have wanted something from The King or Namira and took it as ransom. That would explain why they didn’t leave it with one of her minions.
- Celestine: Wasn’t the Deadroth one of Namira’s minions?
- Wulf: Yes, but not one of the smarter ones. It probably had no idea what the amulet was or the plans of its mistress.
- Ghorbash: Ah, what is obfuscation?
- Wulf: The correct word for mumbo jumbo. The King thought that me wearing the amulet was to help disguise a scheme. He feels that the scheme is an attempt to thwart the ordained fate of Mundus.
- Ghorbash: Namira’s pet is worried. He now knows he has a powerful enemy.
- Wulf: The King’s arrogance provided vital information. He used the word ‘realm’. That suggests that Namira’s intention is not the conquest of Evermor or High Rock, or Tamriel. It is the conquest of Mundus with a king appointed by her as its new sovereign.
- Ghorbash: Why not rule herself?
- Wulf: I don’t know. We have an idea of what Namira intends in the short term but not her motivation or long-term plans.
- Erandur: The King implied the amulet is no longer needed for a ceremony to succeed.
- Wulf: It is safe to assume he refers to the ceremony that will open the Oblivion Gate. The threshold most likely refers to the number and severity of violent actions. I also think an act of violence, most likely a sacrifice, will be the culmination of the final ceremony.
- Ghorbash: It was a bit rude calling you a fleshy vessel. You are not all that fat!
- Wulf: There is not an ounce of fat on me, unlike the space between your ears.
- Ghorbash: Oh, ah, what does it mean then?
- Wulf: The King does not have a body. He is in spirit form. Like a ghost, if you will. We poor mortals are prisoners in our bodies. It is a common opinion held by some beings who believe they have reached a higher form of existence by abandoning the flesh.
- Celestine: Will he require a body in the mortal plane. Wasn’t that what Malacath sought?
- Wulf: The current natural laws of Mundus enforce that requirement. But if The King had control of the Adamantine Tower, maybe he could change the natural laws. More fun but pure speculation on my behalf.
- Lydia: What next?
- Wulf: I was going to look for the dragon making all that noise near the border. But it is getting late, so I will teleport to the Mark near Mortifayne’s keep and summon you. Then we will visit ol’ Morty with the good news.
- Lydia: Oh goody, he is such a fun, cheerful person.
I used Recall to teleport to the Mark I created in Arnima.
I then summoned The Sentinels, and we made our way to see ol’ Morty.
We entered the keep, and as we made our way to the throne room, I noticed Maarin drinking a hot brew in the sitting room.
I gushed, “Maarin, we have found Lord Mortifayne’s amulet! Isn’t that fantastic?”
Maarin just stared at me.
I continued, “It looks remarkedly like an Amulet of Namira, but we both know ol’ Morty wouldn’t wear such a thing, don’t we?”
“Well, it was nice meeting you. By the way, it is a bit pretentious to call yourself a chef when you are barely a cook, don’t you think?”
I grinned at Maarin as I turned to leave. A low growl issued from him as we left the room.
I walked straight up to Mortifayne and did not bow before speaking to him.
- Wulf: Lord Mortifayne, we have successfully recovered your amulet and disposed of the thieves.
- Mortifayne: You look uneasy. You best give me that amulet before the power of it sunders your mind!
- Wulf: I wore it, and although quite attractive, it held no power or danger that I could detect.
- Mortifayne: How dare you sully such a relic!
- Lydia: Lord Mortifayne, Envoy Valdr owns a museum in Solitude that may be familiar to you. It is called The Dragonborn Gallery. It is filled with over a thousand of his relics, most worth many times that of your trinket. Some of his relics are priceless, including the armour he wears and the sword he wields. Envoy Valdr is one of the richest men in Skyrim and an expert on ancient relics.
- Wulf: Lord Mortifayne, I am also Arch-Mage of The College of Winterhold, which also owns countless relics of immense worth and power. I wore your amulet to ensure the thieves had not placed harmful dweomer or curses upon it. I am glad to report it is harmless and safe for you to wear, and there is no need to thank me.
I handed the amulet to Mortifayne, who inspected it to ensure it was his. He did not put it on and seemed frightened of it.
- Wulf: Now, if I can beg your leave, Lord Mortifayne. I have other important business to which I must attend.
- Mortifayne: I’ve heard The Missionary inside the temple has news of a discovery. At last, they are helpful. Perhaps you should have a word with him.
- Wulf: I thank you for that information and will do as you suggest. Lady Mara’s blessings upon you.
We quickly left the keep.
Lydia commented, “That was clever. You let him know how powerful you are and how the Dark Mother’s gift didn’t affect you when you wore it. But you did it in a way where he could be nothing but indebted to you for ensuring the amulet is safe.”
“I mentioned my monetary worth as that seems to be of importance to the nobles of this kingdom. Money equals prestige, and that is why they get so upset at anything that even minutely reduces their coffers.”
“And you told Lady Mara you aren’t a diplomat.”
“Politics and diplomacy are not the same things.”
“I think you will find different, Envoy Valdr.”
I pointed to a couple of guards using the Flames spell to burn a house.
I growled, “If they are doing what I think, I might not be able to control myself.”
We rushed over to the guards.
Reamonn was watching them, so I confronted him.
- Wulf: Reamonn, who are those men and what are they doing?
- Reamonn: They are volunteers who have learned some elemental Destruction spells. We call them Evermorin Aventurier.
- Wulf: And what are they doing?
- Reamonn: Unfortunately, something needs to be done since the gods don’t seem to be lending their divine aid any time soon. At least their suffering is at an end now.
- Wulf: You are burning Afflicted in their home? Live Afflicted?
- Reamonn: Afflicted peoples who have resigned themselves to this fate out of their own volition. A more altruistic act than any I could deign to accomplish. The town remains safe.
- Wulf: You ignorant pack of morons! I should kill every single noble and other ignorant bastard and place farmers in charge! Why am I wasting time trying to find a solution to this kingdom’s problems when the answer is obvious?
- Lydia: Wulf, shut up for a minute before you undo everything.
- Celestine: Please, Wulf, do as Lydia suggests.
I shut my mouth and stood clenching and unclenching my fists.
- Erandur: Reamonn, if Envoy Valdr being here is not The Divines providing aid, what is? He has the Master Mages of The College of Winterhold, who in turn are aiding their compatriots in High Rock, working on a cure and prevention for the affliction.
- Celestine: Some medications would reduce the symptoms of the affliction to manageable levels. The Afflicted are not overly distressed till near the terminal stage. Instead of providing this care, your backwards logic thinks murdering them most horrifically and painfully possible is acceptable.
- Wulf: Were there children in there?
- Lydia: Wulf… please…
- Wulf: Reamonn, I order you as Envoy to tell me now. Were there children alive in that house?
- Reamonn: Yes.
- Wulf: The name, Evermorin Aventurier, suggests they are troops of the King. Is that correct?
- Reamonn: Yes, local nobility has no jurisdiction over them. However, we can request their aid in controlling the problem.
- Wulf: A cure could be found within days. Too late for these innocents who have been murdered. Needlessly killed because the nobility in this kingdom and their priests are ignorant savages! If people want to end their suffering, you have the option of giving them painless and sweet-tasting poison that puts them into a deep sleep from which they don’t awaken. Instead, you make them suffer and destroy property that will remain in ruins because not a single septim will be spent to repair the damage. Where is the logic in this, Reamonn? Where are the Ten Commands of The Nine Divines in this? Answer me!
- Reamonn: I… I don’t know.
- Erandur: The answer is easy. These senseless murders are in no way compatible with the teachings of The Nine.
- Lydia: They don’t even make common sense.
- Wulf: I am yet to speak to King Sigmayne. When I do, I will tell him that this practise is outlawed. In the meantime, I will protect the innocents of Evermor. I will kill every single Evermorin Aventurier that tries to harm Afflicted. The two over there are fortunate they will leave with their lives this night.
- Reamonn: Take your anger out on others, Envoy Valdr. I do not make the laws.
- Wulf: But you have travelled and seen how the rest of Tamriel lives. Yet you stood there and accepted this barbarism without protest!
- Reamonn: What can I do? Get myself strung up or beheaded for speaking up?
- Wulf: Mortifayne said you have some news. What is it?
- Reamonn: It involves my particular skill, which you know is not of the Alteration School.
- Wulf: We will discuss the truth of that later. What has gone missing, and where is it?
- Reamonn: Gauntlets belonging to the blessed and venerated War Knight, Sir Mados. The items vanished, and no one had any answers as to where they were. Until now, of course, with the help of yours truly.
- Wulf: Terrific, I will make sure you get a medal for your excellent divination. Where are they?
- Reamonn: Far to the north, way beyond this kingdom’s grasp. Most strange is how far below the earth my search took me to. They are in the depths of a Dwemer ruin.
- Wulf: I am bored, and I haven’t even been there yet.
- Celestine: You have no idea how the gauntlets got there or how Mados’ ring found its way into Grey Belmor. We suspect Witchmen took Mortifayne’s amulet into those caves, but nobody knows how it was removed from his keep as the Witchmen never entered Arnima or his residence.
- Lydia: If somebody was of suspicious tendencies, they might think the person who knows where they are is the one who placed them there or was told by the thieves where they are.
- Erandur: Suspicion is increased because that person lied about their supposed scrying ability in the first place.
- Reamonn: I am trying to help the people of Evermor. You must believe me!
- Wulf: The answer to what can you do about the nobility of Evermor and how to prove your innocence is the same.
- Reamonn: Yes, and as you can see by my garb, I was going to ask if I can accompany you.
- Wulf: Although those furs protect against the cold, they are insufficient to protect you against the denizens of Dwemer ruins. I will equip you with suitable armour and a weapon. You will witness what is behind the troubles in this land. We know most of the plans of the Dark Lord. The two times we have recovered stolen items, we have learned more.
- Reamonn: Do you think more clues will be found as well as Mados’ gauntlets?
- Wulf: I am starting to think the thief is leaving us a trail and working against the Dark Lord. They may be an agent of another Dark Lord.
- Lydia: You never mentioned that theory before!
- Wulf: it just occurred to me. Three items of not much monetary value were stolen and placed where the Dark Lord’s people were secretly working. I guarantee the Dwemer ruin will fill in much of what is missing from the narrative.
- Lydia: Reamonn, realise this. Envoy Valdr and I have fought side by side against Alduin and other powerful enemies. Envoy Valdr has defeated enemies that would kill me in seconds and you even faster. We have fought two minions of the Dark Lord, one in Grey Belmor and the other in those caves, that were equal in power to anything the Envoy has faced before. The normal automatons of the Dwemer and the Betrayed, or Falmer as you call them, are nothing compared to those Daedra we fought.
- Reamonn: If you ask if I am still willing to risk my life, then the answer is yes. I did not lie when I said I returned to Evermor because I thought I could help.
- Wulf: That is good, Reamonn. Because if I can’t figure out how to stop the Dark Lord, those powerful Daedra will swarm all over Evermor like ants. One of them would be enough to wipe out Arnima’s entire garrison. The Priest Circle and their blasphemous prayers asking for Divine Intervention will not save the people. I don’t know if we could.
- Reamonn: Pass me your map, and I’ll mark the location of the ruin’s entrance. I know most of the local geography like the back of my hand.
- Wulf: We will have to use the Soul Stones as I cannot teleport to places with which I am unfamiliar.
- Lydia: Another night’s sleep lost?
- Wulf: Yes, and I have made up my mind. I will swap you four out for another squad. I need you four to prepare the other Sentinels for a defence of Arnima from Daedric forces. Use the best maps you can find.
- Lydia: Dragons?
- Wulf: Yes, I will call on Silah and Odahviing to help.
- Ghorbash: Where to first?
- Wulf: Silverpeak Lodge. We will gather The Sentinels from there and teleport to Dragons Keep.
- Celestine: Have you ever teleported before, Reamonn?
- Reamonn: No. I have always been too scared.
- Wulf: Hold my hand Reamonn. You are about to travel thousands of miles in a second.
Reamonn weakly held my hand. I changed it to a firm grip. He squealed then I teleported us to Silverpeak Lodge.