Tirdas, 10th Sun’s Dawn, 4E 202 & Middas, 11th Sun’s Dawn, 4E 202
“And here we are, Reamonn, in Silverpeak Lodge near Whiterun.”
“You didn’t warn me about the dark and the cold during teleporting.”
“You were nervous enough as it was. It’s a bit like having a tooth pulled. Distract the patient then yank.”
“And this is your home?”
“One of them. It was full of friends and children not long ago, but many different people and beings want me dead. Anyone I care about is in danger by association. The decision was made to move them all to Dragons Keep, where I have dozens of Legionnaires and several dragons as guards.”
“You have children?”
“Currently, my orphanage caters for close to one hundred children. I have not fathered any.”
“Are those people over there more of your guards?”
“No, they are The Sentinels. They join me on my Divine Tasks. They are my friends.”
“And they fight the horrors of this world voluntarily?”
“We wear Penitus Oculatus armour as His Imperial Majesty thought that would aid me in my tasks, and he was right. But we are independent and mostly involve ourselves with tasks given to me by The Divines. But we help whoever needs help.”
“And you are going to swap The Sentinels who accompany you in Evermor?”
“Yes, I think it is too much to ask the same four to keep up with me for more than a few days. There is an urgency in Evermor, and I have been pushing very hard. Anyway, we shall find you something more suitable for protection when facing Dwemer Centurions and Daedra than furs. But first, I want to say hello to a couple of Sentinels.
Reamonn and I walked over to one of the dining tables.
- Wulf: Aranea, this is Missionary Reamonn of Evermor. Reamonn, this is Priestess Aranea, Seer of Lady Azura.
- Aranea: I am pleased to meet you, Missionary Reamonn.
- Reamonn: Ahh, just Reamonn will do.
- Wulf: Reamonn can find items through scrying.
- Aranea: Are you a worshipper of Azura, Reamonn?
- Reamonn: That would not be a healthy thing to be in Evermor. So no, I am a very devout follower of The Nine.
- Aranea: So, you do your scrying without guidance? That must be disturbing at times.
- Reamonn: You know of this ability?
- Aranea: People inflicted with foresight or scrying often turn to Lady Azura for guidance. She helps make sense of what they see when using their talents.
- Reamonn: Infliction? I do not regard it as an infliction.
- Aranea: But you still see things that you cannot explain. Perhaps you have yet to see things disturbing enough to regard scrying as an infliction or curse.
- Wulf: I fear that Reamonn will see and feel such things if he continues to scry for objects in Evermor.
- Aranea: Reamonn, Wulf can help make sense of what you experience.
- Reamonn: Wulf?
- Wulf: That is my name, Reamonn. Envoy Valdr or Commander Valdr are official titles.
- Aranea: You are swapping over The Sentinel squad?
- Wulf: All except Ghorbash, although I haven’t told him yet. I need an Orsimer with me.
- Aranea: He has told me of his time in The Great War. He is an experienced campaigner and should be able to keep up with your pace.
- Wulf: I shall take Derkeethus, Inigo and Serana.
- Aranea: A multiracial mix shows you don’t just speak for Imperials or Nords. A wise move when playing diplomat.
- Wulf: I will be making Lydia the Acting Commander. She will fill you in on what we potentially face. The Sentinels will be representing His Imperial Highness when in Evermor. It is vitally important that the citizens of Evermor regain confidence in The Empire.
- Aranea: Understood. I am sure Lydia will make that abundantly clear.
- Wulf: Hopefully, I won’t see you soon, Aranea.
- Aranea: Haha, I hope I don’t have to see you soon.
I looked upon The Sentinels and could not help but think if they have to fight dozens of Daedra, will they all survive?
Erandur came over and said, “If you are in Evermor for many more days, I would like the chance to join you again. I have never seen a people in such need of Lady Mara’s guidance.”
“Which is strange in a kingdom that supposedly reveres her as Mother.”
“Lady Mara loves them despite the blasphemous Priest Circle.”
“Yes, she does. And that is why she sent me, knowing that I will do my best for them.”
“Lady Mara’s blessings, Wulf.”
“And Divine blessings to you, Erandur.”
We went to the basement and selected light armour and some reasonable weapons for Reamonn. He had remained silent since I introduced him to Aranea. He didn’t even flinch when I told him to hold my hand for the teleport to Dragons Keep.
I walked over to Serana.
“How would you like to join me in Evermor?
“Will we be dealing with impossible odds, powerful things that want to kill us, and terrible weather?”
“How did you guess?”
“It sounds like fun.”
At Dragons Keep, I gathered the squad together.
I then teleported to Arnima with Reamonn. As soon as I materialised, I summoned The Sentinels.
- Inigo: My friend, this place makes Windhelm look inviting and cosy!
- Wulf: Evermor is quite attractive. It is just Arnima that has this pall over it.
- Dekeethus: I doubt I will meet another Saxhleel while here. Breton are even more xenophobic than Nords.
- Reamonn: That, unfortunately, is a sad fact.
- Wulf: You have regained the ability to speak!
- Reamonn: I have never met people who knew about scrying. I went to Cyrodiil on a search for those who did. It seems I visited the wrong people.
- Wulf: You wouldn’t have found them in prison.
- Reamonn: What?
- Wulf: As soon as you mentioned carrying a shiv, I knew you had been behind bars. I am trusting you, Reamonn. You can tell me your story when you feel comfortable.
- Inigo: That makes three former inmates in this one little group!
- Reamonn: Ahh, who else is a former inmate?
- Wulf: Me. I had to go to prison to rescue the King of the Forsworn.
- Serana: Wulf, can we get moving. I don’t mind getting wet, but this water feels….
- Wulf: Slimy?
- Serana: Yes.
We walked to the Soul Stone.
- Wulf: This Soul Stone will teleport us close to the Dwemer ruins. We will be in the middle of Witchmen territory.
- Ghorbash: They are not very tough, even if the local guards seem terrified of them.
- Reamonn: Envoy Valdr, are you sure this outfit will protect me against Witchmen poison?
- Wulf: Yes, Reamonn. I have placed a dweomer on it to protect against poison.
- Reamonn: And it will keep me warm?
- Wulf: Yes, far better than that bulky fur outfit you had.
- Serana: Don’t worry, if you freeze solid, I will cast a Fireball your way.
- Reamonn: What!?
- Wulf: Okay, one at a time through the portal. Follow me.
I teleported then the team appeared one by one. When all were present, we started towards the Dwemer ruins.
As we walked, I told the group about what we had encountered so far and who our enemies were. I left nothing out as Reamonn had to realise how grim the situation was. He loves his country, and the truth did not scare him but strengthened his resolve to help us.
As we crossed a bridge, I asked Serana, “Do you know why they gather and hang taproots?”
“Think of them as Magicka storage for Hedge-Magic. In this case, I would say they have a dweomer to keep the rabbits fresh.”
I added, “The rabbits are placed here for Witchmen scouts and messengers who might not have time to hunt. The Forsworn do something similar.”
A bit further on, Inigo announced, “I can smell fire.”
“Yes, it is hard to see through this green fog, but there is a watchtower ahead with a fire burning on its roof.”
We came upon a bear which reared up and roared. Reamonn readied his bow.
“Put it away. The bear won’t attack.”
I whispered, “KAAN DREV OV.”
Reamonn immediately blocked his ears with his hands. When he saw The Sentinels laughing, he dropped his hands to his side.
I explained, “That was The Thu’um. The Voice. People think it is all about being loud when in fact many Shouts, the spells of The Thu’um, are whispered.”
Reamonn replied, “But it still sounded like you yelled in my ear!”
“That is the power of The Thu’um. But that Shout would not have been heard from very far away. Don’t ask why as the answer is very complicated.”
“Do the words mean anything?”
“Roughly translated, they mean Kyne Peace Trust. They don’t make up a sentence but are like the nonsense words of a spell.”
“And what does it do?”
As we approached it, the bear gave one snuffle, then curled up and went to sleep. Reamonn shook his head as we walked past the snoring beast.
A bit further on, we reached the outskirts of Witchmen territory as marked by a mammoth tusk pyramid. Several wolves charged.
And I disintegrated them with Unrelenting Force.
I said to Reamonn, who was looking somewhat disturbed, “The Kyne’s Peace Shout is still in effect. The wolves attacked as they were ensorceled. The mammoth tusk pyramid denotes an area claimed by a particular Witchmen tribe. They set the wolves as sentries using Hedge-Magic.”
More wolves came running, and we took care of them with spells and weapons.
As we approached the watchtower, Reamonn said, “I have never been this far north. It is sad to see how any form of civility completely vanishes as you trek through these woods.”
“I know what you mean. Where are the beggars, the prostitutes, drunks and Skooma addicts? Where are the signs of oppression and elitist nobility? There is not a single starving serf or child prostitute in sight! You couldn’t get more uncivilised.”
The Sentinels laughed, and Reamonn looked embarrassed.
When the watchtower came within sight, Ghorbash said, “I hear that weird chanting. I think one of those sickly yellow Briarhearts are on top doing a ritual.”
Inigo added, “I could hear it a while ago and was unsure what it was.”
I said, “Let us run and catch him by surprise!”
We ran to the watchtower. As we climbed the stairs, the deep baritone voice I heard when we first arrived in Evermor declared, “The King will have his tower!”
I was first to the top of the tower and had my sword drawn. Nobody was there.
The Briarheart was gone leaving behind a half-finished flesh sculpture.
A mage had been placed on the fire. I dragged him out, hoping it was not somebody I knew.
A dweomer protected the mage, so he had not burnt. He looked like a travelling mage. The type of mage that protects pilgrims on the roads of Skyrim.
On a table were body parts ready to be added to the flesh sculpture.
There was also a journal titled ‘Mother’s Muse’. After quickly reading it, I said to the group, “This appears to be the dogma or beliefs of the Briarheart we interrupted. He is artistic, if not very cheerful!”
I read the group the first part titled ‘Muse One’.
“As all life is born to die, so all men are born to decay. There can be no succour in this world. As the centuries drag past, our cultures will fade, just as our bodies waste and our passions cool as the winter of life approaches.
All shall be forgotten with the passing of years. There will be no exceptions.
For who amongst us can escape the predations of time? That which is young can only grow old. That which is whole and sweet can only shrivel and sour. It is the fate of all things that they are bound to time, and time is twin to decay.
So, bend a knee. Bend a knee all who would embrace their fate and rise above it.
And this is how the world will end. Not with fire and tempest, but with a collective sigh of failed passion and lost hope.”
Inigo commented, “What a cheerful fellow. I used to hear the same ramblings in the Skooma dens I frequented.”
I replied, “Oh, that was fluffy white clouds and sunshine compared to his poetry.”
I read the Briarhearts poem, called ‘Muse Two’, to the group.
- Despair all ye nations deny not that we’re sick,
- for our blood is like water where once it was thick.
- And our minds have grown leaden, our bodies gone weak,
- And venom pours from our lips whenever we speak.
- Despair all ye nations, for the time draws apace,
- When the rot of the cynic shall steal our good grace.
- And our sweetest of dreams shall fade to lost hope,
- Our pride and our arrogance, our noose and our rope.
- Despair all ye nations, see the years drawing on,
- Our great cultures are fading, and soon they’ll be gone.
- So conceited our scholars, they jeer through their teeth,
- with their theories so shallow – quite soulless beneath.
- Despair all ye nations, for the ending is near,
- when the Lord of Lost Heart shall govern us with fear.
- Our weakness unfetters as we face this unknown,
- and our faith trails to nothing; we stand here alone.
- Despair all ye nations, the Corrupter has come,
- and the sad days of this world are nearing their sum.
- For the shining ideals through endeavours we sought,
- grow sour as she passes and are coming to nought.
- Despair all ye nations, there’s no hope for us now,
- for we made this monster, placed a crown on her brow.
- She fed on our apathy; our pain made her swell,
- We gave her Dominion; she gives us Oblivion.”
Serana laughed and said, “That poem had quite a good meter till the last line!”
I commented, “We don’t stand here alone. Many who embrace the darker side of Daedra worship believe the lie that The Divines and other gods don’t care. Mortal agents are continuously saving Nirn and Mundus from the plans of Dark Lords. They couldn’t do so without the assistance of gods who do care.”
Finally, I read aloud the predictably named ‘Muse Three’.
“Indeed, the very process of construction and creation foreshadows destruction and decay. The palace of today is tomorrow’s ruin, the maiden of the morning is the crone of the night, and the hope of a moment is but the foundation stone of everlasting regret.”
I remarked, “What a load of nonsense. An elderly woman with her wisdom and wrinkles is just as endearing as a young maiden. Yes, mortal made buildings eventually crumble and return to the elements from which they were constructed. That does not mean their construction is without purpose. As for hope, I intend to turn it into reality. That transformation will be the source of everlasting regret for this Briarheart and his ilk. Realised hopes will stop the Dark Mother.”
Derkeethus commented, “Can you sing us a happy song? I feel like crawling back into my egg after those three recitations.”
As we continued towards the Dwemer ruins, the low clouds and rain made it as dark as midnight.
I used night-vision. Inigo could already see better than the others with his feline eyes.
I warned the group, “We are approaching what seems to be a major religious encampment. Don’t expect a warm welcome and nice chat over a cup of tea.”
The entrance to the encampment had one of the bone sculptures that I believe represent Namira.
A large fire outlined us as we entered the encampment. The Witchmen attacked.
We cut down a dozen in mere seconds.
I approached Reamonn, who looked a bit stunned at the display of skilful slaughter he had just witnessed.
“You did well, Reamonn. I see one of your arrows sticking out of your adversaries head.”
“It is one of Derkeethus’ arrows next to it. Fired from way over there!”
“We don’t expect you to be able to fight like us. You stood your ground. I am impressed.”
I examined the large structures constructed by The Witchmen.
I told the group, “These represent the tower of The King.”
During the fight, I cut down the ugliest Hagraven I have ever seen. She had a beak like a bird. I retrieved a key from her corpse.
I asked Reamonn, “Have you ever heard of Hagraven like this?”
“No, never. From all reports, the Hagraven encountered at Munstor were the normal ugly crone type.”
“I think she has been altered to look like a Gryphon.”
“No…oh…you might be right!”
“Namira has a sense of humour.”
“Everybody in Evermor will be mightily insulted.”
“Ahh, that was the point.”
In the centre of the encampment was a circular hole. A platform hung over the hole. Bloodstains indicated sacrifices were made then thrown into the pit.
I leant over and stared into the hole.
I gasped then quickly stepped back.
- Inigo: My friend, you have gone awfully pale.
- Wulf: This hole is a portal. A one-way portal to Scuttling Void, Namira’s realm of Oblivion.
- Reamonn: Are you positive?
- Serana: Reamonn, Wulf is rarely wrong. Where he obtained much of his knowledge is unknown.
- Wulf: I am sure, Reamonn. The Witchmen have been tossing sacrifices into the portal. I only hope the poor souls were dead before arriving in Oblivion.
- Reamonn: We can’t be far from the Dwemer ruins. I would like to get away from here.
- Wulf: Come then, let’s keep moving.
From the encampment, we could see the entrance to the Dwemer ruins. We headed for the path that led there.
We encountered a lot of Witchmen along the path but quickly disposed of them.
The Witchmen had constructed two strange wooden platforms. Their exact purpose we could only speculate, and one was burnt.
I said to the group, “These ruins are Nord in design. I am curious, but we must concentrate on the Dwemer ruins.”
We arrived at the gates to the Dwemer ruins without any further encounters.
I turned and we explained to Reamonn what we may encounter.
- Inigo: I think we eliminated all Witchmen between here and the Soul Stone.
- Wulf: Here we are. Dwemer ruins. I cannot contain my excitement.
- Reamonn: I am excited as well. I have always wanted to explore them!
- Serana: Wulf, I think he missed the sarcasm dripping from your comment.
- Wulf: Reamonn, Dwemer ruins are the same every time. They are all full of bland architecture and automatons that want to eviscerate you. They are about as exciting as cold porridge.
- Inigo: Don’t forget The Betrayed.
- Reamonn: The what?
- Wulf: One of the last Snow Elves asked us not to call them Falmer. His preferred name for them is The Betrayed.
- Reamonn: And Betrayed will be inside there?
- Wulf: Almost certainly. They were made slaves by The Dwemer and remained behind when their masters vanished.
- Ghorbash: Don’t worry, Reamonn. They are completely blind.
- Reamonn: Oh, that’s good.
- Ghorbash: But they use their ears and noses to find where you are, and their marksman are renowned for their pinpoint accuracy.
- Reamonn: Oh, that’s not good.
The key I obtained from the strange Hagraven unlocked the gates.
Not far past the gates, Kyne had marked a troll.
My single arrow took it down.
Reamonn was fascinated by the dead troll.
- Reamonn: Is that a troll?
- Wulf: Yep.
- Reamonn: Why is it transparent green?
- Wulf: Lady Kynareth taught me a lot of the Shouts that I know. She will occasionally mark an animal like that troll, and the power of my Thu’um increases if I kill it within seconds. It will soon stop being transparent green.
- Reamonn: Huh?
- Inigo: Reamonn, do not try and make sense of these things. Just nod your head sagely like it is not weird at all.
- Reamonn: Just like a blue Khajiit is not weird.
- Inigo: Blue Khajiit are tremendously handsome and intelligent examples of their species.
- Ghorbash: The same with blue Orsimer.
- Derkeethus: I have a blue tongue!
- Reamonn: Thank goodness Serana is normal.
- Serana: Should I tell him?
- Wulf: No, we don’t want Reamonn running away and screaming.
- Reamonn: Tell me what?
- Serana: Oh, nothing, nothing at all.
We came upon a Dwemer monument. It was the first Dwemer artwork I had ever seen.
- Wulf: That is remarkable.
- Inigo: I think some Dwemer experts in Skyrim would get tented trousers over this.
- Serana: That conjures a picture of Professor Marassi that I could do without.
- Reamonn: What is so exciting about a metal statue?
- Wulf: I have traversed dozens of Dwemer ruins. Not once have I encountered Dwemer artwork.
- Reamonn: What is that thing on the end of the chain?
- Wulf: A Betrayed.
There was a plaque with Dwemer glyphs and archaic Cyrodiilic glyphs.
I announced, “I will try translating the Cyrodiilic. The language is almost identical to Tamrielic, but the inflexions are a bit different.”
“Even in their most degenerated form, the slave had coveted delusion that the master was good, and all there is. Without his tutelage, uncertainty – the slave finally forgoes thought and accepts fully what pride repressed; Bondage is destiny.
All praxis used by the master hitherto has fostered fear in the slave, greater than the torture of its servitude, that uncertainty is the worst of all prospects. So, the master leads with the torch, battling against this great unseen – all the while, holding firm to his chain.”
- Wulf: Sounds uncannily like feudalism, doesn’t it?
- Ghorbash: The nobles and Priest Circle of Evermor want the serfs to forgo thought. They want them to obey without question.
- Wulf: They also want them to fear the wrath of the upper castes and the uncertainty of other forms of government.
- Reamonn: Do you despise them?
- Wulf: If I had my way, I would round up the nobles and put them on trial for Munstor. I would get every priest denounced by the leaders of Divine worship. I would place an Imperial Governor in charge until such a time a transformation to a better form of government was completed.
- Ghorbash: We are here to stop a danger to all of Nirn. It is a danger that came about because of your nobles and priests.
- Wulf: I want to save the farmers and other citizens of Evermor. I will reluctantly save the nobility and false priests.
- Reamonn: But the Dark Mother is to blame!
- Wulf: No, Reamonn. Namira has simply used the greed and lies of the nobles and priests. She did not force them to slaughter the innocent at Munstor.
- Serana: It is convenient to blame gods for the actions of mortals. Reamonn, your country is in its current state because your people chose to persecute the Orsimer and Witchmen. Your people decided to keep feudalism when the rest of High Rock and The Empire, in fact, all of Tamriel, abandoned it long ago. There are still societies that use slaves, but at least they don’t hide behind another name for slavery.
- Reamonn: Other kingdoms of High Rock sent soldiers to the siege of Munstor!
- Wulf: Politics. They did not want an unstable Evermor. They were also afraid of The Reachmen establishing a new nation. Breton are fearful of every other race, and Evermor has always been a place of battling factions. Nord, Imperial, Colovian, Direnni, Ayleid, Alessian Order, Orsimer and Reachmen. Their blood soaks these lands, and still, even with the current kingdom, ownership of these lands is in dispute.
- Serana: This is an ideal playground for some of the less pleasant Daedric Princes.
- Wulf: We recently had Witchmen kidnap the Sybil of Dibella from Karthwasten, a small mining village in The Reach in Skyrim. Their clan worshipped Molag Bal. They were going to wed the child, barely eleven summers old, to that Dark Lord. If it weren’t for The Sentinels and me, that child would have suffered the indescribable.
- Serana: I don’t know if Wulf has explained this to you. Both Forsworn and Witchmen would prefer to live in peace alongside and with the other residents of The Reach. But the Markarth Incident and Munstor made them ideal recruits for the ambitious plans of their Daedric Princes. When faced with the savagery of ‘civilised’ neighbours, you return the brutality.
- Ghorbash: And in case you have forgotten, Reamonn, the unwarranted savagery shown to the Orsimer has resulted in Orsinium’s Sons. So don’t blame gods for the current problems. The blame is, as Wulf says, with the nobles and priests.
- Reamonn: Is it too late to save the kingdom?
- Wulf: Probably, but we will save what we can. Our priority is the preservation of the innocent, not the kingdom.
- Reamonn: But how can you say that? Arnima is not the entirety of Evermor.
- Wulf: I have only started scratching the surface of the problems in this kingdom. I have concentrated on Arnima as it is the most pressing, and an Oblivion Gate opening is a danger to all of Nirn.
- Ghorbash: Once we resolve Arnima and start looking at the other issues, we believe we will encounter more corruption and evil within your nobility.
- Wulf: There has to be more corruption. Otherwise, Arnima would not be an issue and neither would The Witchmen or Orsinium’s Sons. The same nobles and Priest Circle rule now that oversaw the massacre at Munstor.
- Reamonn: And I thought I could help by returning to this wretched kingdom.
- Serana: Reamonn, you are with us and learning the truth. That is helping your country.
- Wulf: People being too scared to say anything, and with good reason, is one of the catalysts for Evermor’s problems. Remove the fear, and the people will be heard, and change will happen.
- Reamonn: Well, I have to survive this trip first!
- Wulf: Yes, let us get moving.
I could see a massive statue of a Snow Elf. Even when travelling to confront Arch-Curate Vyrthur, we did not encounter any busts, paintings or sculptures of a Snow Elf.
- Serana: I can’t see it as clearly as you, Wulf. But is that a statue of a Snow Elf?
- Wulf: Yes, and I just thought we never saw Snow Elves depicted in art even within the Hidden Valley.
- Inigo: It is wearing half a Dwemer helm!
- Wulf: I wonder what that signifies?
- Derkeethus: Maybe it represents how Snow Elves slowly became absorbed into Dwemer society.
- Wulf: That is as good an explanation as any.
- Reamonn: By The Divines, what a sight. The Dwemer were a vain society, weren’t they? Then again, most Elves share the same trait.
- Ghorbash: He didn’t just say that, did he?
- Wulf: Breton xenophobia.
- Ghorbash: Reamonn, didn’t Wulf say minutes ago that he had never seen Dwemer art before?
- Reamonn: Yes, he did.
- Ghorbash: All I can see are Dwemer buildings no different than dozens of other ruins spread all over Tamriel. They have no adornment except for the ever-present Dwemer busts. The facilities are not painted or decorated. When we enter the buildings, they will be the same inside as countless others with the same furniture and fittings. That is why Wulf gets so quickly bored with them. Have you ever been to an Orsimer stronghold?
- Reamonn: Ah…no.
- Ghorbash: They are the same all over Tamriel. There are no adornments on them either.
- Wulf: If Erandur were here, he would tell you that Dunmer buildings and houses have few adornments. Having travelled all over Solstheim, I can confirm that.
- Ghorbash: Contrast this with the palaces and temples of Breton, Nord and Imperial. Each building is constructed at great expense to try and outdo similar structures. So, tell me again, Reamonn, who is vain?
- Reamonn: Okay, point taken. I apologise for what I said.
- Ghorbash: Good. That means I don’t have to punch you in the face.
- Reamonn: And that means I can still chew my meat at mealtime.
We made our way up some stairs and into the courtyard of the site.
A Wisp Mother approached.
Reamonn gushed, “What a beautiful lady. What does she want?”
I shot the Wisp Mother, and she turned to ash. I explained to Reamonn, “She wanted your soul.”
Reamonn stared in horror at the ash pile as we walked past it.
We made our way to the upper walkway, and as we passed the Snow Elf statue, I wondered what Knight-Paladin Gelebor would make of it.
We entered the main complex.
- Reamonn: The gauntlets are deeper within this complex. My scrying drew my mind towards a large cavity within the mountains.
- Wulf: Inigo, you have some friends about to drop in for a chat.
- Inigo: SPIDERS! They are mine!
- Reamonn: Spiders?
- Serana: Look up, Reamonn.
Reamonn looked up and squealed.
- Wulf: Relax, Reamonn. They haven’t decided you look juicy enough to attack. Yet.
- Inigo: Come on, little spiders, nice Inigo will not hurt you.
- Wulf: Don’t mind Inigo. He replaced his Skooma addiction with a compulsion to squish spiders.
- Inigo: They make such a superb crunchy sound, don’t you think?
- Reamonn: Okay, I will stand over here. Have fun when they drop on top of you.
- Inigo: I can’t wait. Hurry up, my eight-legged friends!
A dead Betrayed lay below the spiders. It looks like he died of Frost Bite Venom.
I made my way to a balcony where Dwemer apparatus displayed a star chart on its central console. Two receptacles for Attunement Spheres, one on each side, were empty. Without those, I could not operate whatever the contraption is.
The spiders decided we were juicy after all and dropped from the ceiling.
Inigo was too slow to react, and I killed both arachnids with lightning.
I continued to study the Dwemer apparatus as Inigo called me all sorts of unflattering names.
On the upper walkway was a gate with a very recently destroyed automaton and another dead Betrayed nearby.
We walked through the gate, and as expected, familiar Dwemer architecture greeted us.
We killed automatons and The Betrayed as we walked through endless corridors and rooms.
Eventually, we came upon something more interesting.
A Dwemer Lift was behind a gate that could only be opened via Dwemer machinery.
To unlock the door to the lift, we had to turn the correct combination of Tonal Locks.
As soon as we got the combination wrong, Dwemer automaton would attack.
The strength of the automatons increased each time until eventually, two Dwemer Centurions were released and attacked.
We eventually figured out the correct sequence involved just two of the six Tonal Locks.
The gate swung open, and we rode the lift deep into the earth.
At the bottom was a short corridor and door.
Through the door was Blackreach.
- Reamonn: What is this place? It is beautiful!
- Wulf: It is called Blackreach, and it spans much of Tamriel.
- Inigo: Wulf, no using the Thu’um against giant orange globes! Okay?
- Serana: Lydia told me about that. Not one of your brightest moments, Wulf.
- Wulf: Inigo made me do it.
- Inigo: I just suggested it, so I don’t think you should blame me for that ‘incident’!
- Reamonn: What happened when Wulf used the Thu’um on the orange globe?
- Wulf: It rang like a bell and summoned a large and furious dragon.
- Reamonn: What is the blue fluorescence?
- Wulf: They are Aetherium crystals.
- Serana: Aetherium was used by Dwemer to create powerful artefacts. But they ended up having a civil war over control of the element, which decimated their population and destroyed some of their major cities. Many scholars believe it eventually led to their disappearance.
- Reamonn: Why isn’t it mined? Look how much there is!
- Wulf: Only The Dwemer knew how to extract the pure element from the ore and forge it. Only one forge was made that could smelt the crystals, and nobody is quite sure where it is.
- Serana: The Dwemer took a lot of their knowledge with them when they vanished.
- Reamonn: Does anything live in Blackreach, apart from angry dragons?
- Wulf: The Betrayed live in many Dwemer buildings inside Blackreach. There are also giants and Chaurus.
- Derkeethus: Chaurus eggs! Ghorbash and I love Chaurus eggs.
- Ghorbash: Listen, you disgusting lizard! I do not like them!
- Derkeethus: They are so delicious and fun to eat. The way they pop in your mouth and deliver all that slimy goodness is exquisite.
- Reamonn: Okay…
- Derkeethus: Do not fret, Reamonn. I will control my greed and leave you some if we discover any.
- Reamonn: Thanks… I think.
- Wulf: We have to head up to find Mados’ gauntlets.
- Reamonn: I didn’t say that. All I know is they are in this general area.
- Wulf: My internal compass is telling me. I have been following it since we left Arnima.
- Inigo: You didn’t tell us that The Divines has given you directions.
- Wulf: Reamonn already told us where to go. But now we are here, and my compass will stop us from wandering around for years looking for them.
- Reamonn: What is this ‘compass’?
- Wulf: The Divines give me clues by pointing to where I should go. Nothing else but a direction is provided. I have to figure out what to do when I get to the place they have marked. I am guessing the compass is pointing to the gauntlets. It would not be wise to ignore it.
- Reamonn: I find all of this amazing, but you are all so casual about this stuff.
- Inigo: We have had a long time to get used to Wulf’s weirdness. Not that a blue Khajiit is normal, as you observed earlier.
We encountered several automatons on the way up.
We arrived at what the compass pointed to. It was a Dwemer lever. Nothing happened when I pulled it.
I looked below and could not believe what I saw. I rushed down a ramp with the others hurrying to catch up.
- Reamonn: Is that what I think it is?
- Wulf: It is an intact but dormant Oblivion Gate.
- Serana: To which domain?
- Wulf: See the vines near it. They are everywhere Namira’s presence has been. I believe this is a gate to Scuttling Void.
- Derkeethus: I suppose you will find out how to enable the gate and step through? And with no more concern than a stroll through your favourite park.
- Wulf: I think Mados’ gauntlets are in Scuttling Void and have been placed there by an enemy of Namira. Somebody or something has been leading me to clues that will help me figure out her plans.
- Ghorbash: If they are powerful enough to enter Scuttling Void, they are probably excellent thieves.
- Reamonn: And that is why we never caught the thief!
- Inigo: What is the giant metal spider?
- Serana: I think that was a Harvester, but it has been altered. Let’s have a closer look.
We all got closer to inspect the spider-like being.
- Serana: Harvester have a serpentine body and only four arms. But see the face, that is unmistakably a Harvester. I would say this is a Dwemer creation. They have taken a Harvester and turned it into this thing.
- Reamonn: For what reason?
- Wulf: A guard, and it looks like it did what it was designed to do.
Underneath The Harvester was one of Namira’s minions.
I dragged it clear so we could have a closer look at it.
- Inigo: My friend, this ugly thing does not look formidable.
- Wulf: The first one we encountered was impervious to all damage till I destroyed a giant heart. The second we encountered was a Witchmen who transformed into one of these Daedra. Not unlike how people transform into werewolves and Serana could turn into a Vampire Lord.
- Ghorbash: That second one took damage, but it was like chipping away at a granite block.
- Reamonn: A Vampire Lord?
- Serana: Yes, Reamonn, I am vampire nobility. Now pay attention to what we are discussing!
- Wulf: This Oblivion Gate leads to Scuttling Void. There must be another that leads to Coldharbour.
- Serana: Yes, as that is the only place The Dwemer could have obtained a Harvester.
- Wulf: Well, let’s figure out how to get this gate open.
Reamonn looked very confused.
- Wulf: Do you have a question, Reamonn?
- Reamonn: You are rushing around trying to prevent an Oblivion Gate from opening in Arnima. Yet you wish to open this one?
- Wulf: Portals and gateways to Oblivion realms are pretty common. I carry an Ayleid Waystone that allows me to travel to a pocket plane of Oblivion whenever I desire. I keep a lot of equipment there. The College of Winterhold uses another pocket plan of Oblivion to store relics and manuscripts.
- Serana: This gate probably opens into Scuttling Void and not a pocket plane. That is why that Daedra came through. But it can’t be used by Namira to enter Mundus, the mortal plane. That would require far more energy and preparation. That is why Mehrunes Dagon could not appear on Nirn till the end of the Oblivion Crises despite dozens of Oblivion Gates opening all over the globe.
- Reamonn: And you will all voluntarily walk into the Scuttling Void?
- Wulf: The Sentinels would, but I won’t let them. If we get the gate working, I will enter it alone.
- Reamonn: Why alone?
- Wulf: Because I believe it is too dangerous. If I entered Scuttling Void and encountered Namira, I would be helpless against her. But then again, an entire legion would be powerless against her within her realm. There she makes the laws of her reality and is in full power. Therefore, I have decided that only I will risk annihilation when entering a Dark Lord’s realm.
- Serana: You risk worse than that, Wulf, and you know it.
- Inigo: None of the nasty Dark Lord’s would waste the chance to play with a Son of Akatosh.
- Reamonn: Akatosh is your father?
- Wulf: Celestial Father as he is for all dragons. The same as Saint Alessia is the Celestial Mother of all minotaur.
- Ghorbash: And Inigo is the Celestial Father of all fleas.
- Inigo: I would be offended if there was not some truth in that. Damn fleas!
- Wulf: I have the blood and soul of a dragon. I am a mortal blessed by Lord Akatosh and placed on Nirn as a mortal agent for The Divines.
- Reamonn: And you can die?
- Wulf: Yes, as I conclusively proved once. Lady Azura saved me.
- Reamonn: A Daedric Lord saved you?
- Serana: Wulf is the champion of several Daedric Lords. Not all of them are enemies of mortals or The Divines.
- Reamonn: Once again, the Priest Circle lies to the people. All forms of Daedric Worship are banned as they are all evil.
- Inigo: Before Wulf goes into a lecture, there are no good or evil Daedric Princes. Ask him another time about that. We need to get these gauntlets and stop Daedra from eating your friends.
We returned to the level with the Oblivion Gate’s activation lever. Close to it was a smaller lever.
I told the group, “This is for firing those two Dwemer ballistae. They are very effective weapons, especially if they are armed with explosive bolts. The Dwemer were not certain their spider guard could stop all Daedra that emerged from the gate.”
On the opposite side to the levers, there were a set of stairs leading up. At the top was a Dwemer gate. I picked the lock and we entered a small room with a prison cell.
On the ground was a set of Daedric Armour, cracked open like an egg. A shattered Daedric Sword lay next to the armour.
In the cell was the body of a Dremora Lord.
- Ghorbash: It looks like he was tortured!
- Wulf: They would have to be careful. If he died on the mortal plane, his soul would return to Oblivion, and he would seek vengeance.
- Serana: The Dwemer must have been confident in their power to do such a thing.
- Wulf: They were full of the arrogance that led to them accidentally vanishing from Nirn.
There were not many paths leading from the platform with the levers.
It did not take us long to discover something of immense interest. This particular Dwemer ruin was not as dull as most!
A Dwemer bust had a Dark Soul Gen stuck into an eye socket. I assume it was to power the apparatus as the power conduit shot upwards but did not connect to any junction.
When I approached the bust, a metallic voice started speaking a language I could not understand.
“Sorry, if that is Dwemeri, none of us can understand it.”
“Cyrodiilic interface enabled. Animate being f-found. Sentience deduced. C-carrier of a large soul. What is your directive, m…m…master?”
“Do you know who lights the candles and lamps in ancient tombs?”
“S…sorry. I do not comprehend.”
“How long has it been since a sentient being has spoken to you?”
“It has been three thousand, seven hundred and eighty-two years. What tasks would you have me undertake?”
“Do you know if anybody else, apart from The Betrayed below, have visited this facility recently?”
“Apart from the subjects below, which you called Betrayed, there is no other sentient beings within the facility apart from those nearby. I will check for tampering since the time of my hibernation.”
The bust was quiet for a few seconds then reported its summary.
“Centurions…original structure remains unmolested.”
“Micro-Serving automatons…original structure remains unmolested.”
“WARNING! GATE COMPROMISED DURING HIBERNATION – WARNING – BREACH OCCURRED THREE NIRN CYCLES PRIOR TO CURRENT EVENTS”
I said to the group, “That can’t be a coincidence. That was the day we entered Evermor. The gryphon seemed to know who I was. Perhaps this mysterious thief also knows.”
I addressed the machine again, “Can you tell me who breached the Inter-Plane Gate?”
“Gate mechanics for the portal can only be operated b-by self-aware biologicals – RELAYING ARCANE FOOTAGE FROM CENTURION – Biological of unknown species. Biological was carrying black and gold items – DISCERNING ITEMS’ FUNCTION AND AGENT’S AGENDA – Items are gauntlets. Agent’s motive is unknown.”
“Where does the portal lead?”
“The portal leads to Subject Realm number one hundred and thirty-seven.”
“Is Subject Realm number one hundred and thirty-seven known as Scuttling Void?”
“Data collected indicates it is part of Scuttling Void.”
“Open the portal to Subject Realm number one hundred and thirty-seven.”
“Extremely hazardous materials will be encountered through your expedition in the Subject Realm. Are you sure you want to continue?”
“Yes. Open the portal!”
“I cannot comply. Power has been disconnected to Inter-Plane Gate. F-find energy director below. B-beware of subjects.”
“Is steam the power source?”
“I saw pipes with valves attached to the gate. Are they what we seek below?”
“Yes, three valves. Beware of subjects.”
I turned to the group.
- Reamonn: Mados’ gauntlets are ebony with gold trimming. That must have been them that the thief carried into Oblivion. But they had been stolen five days ago. That is before you arrived in Evermor.
- Wulf: How would your scrying find them in Scuttling Void? They were not deep underground but in an entirely different plane.
- Reamonn: I looked for them three days ago. It is exhausting doing the scrying, and I had already looked for Mados’ ring and Lord Mortifayne’s amulet in the previous few days. I saw the gauntlets before they were taken into the gate.
- Serana: You do not physically see the objects of your scrying, do you? Just a vague idea of where they are. So when you say ‘saw’, you mean you detected their presence?
- Reamonn: Yes, I can’t see them in a chest or on a table or whatever. I get an idea of where they are. And if I saw them in Scuttling Void, I am sure I would have been quite disturbed.
- Serana: Your gift cannot detect things in Oblivion. Your scrying revealed that the gauntlets passed through here. Not that they were still here.
- Reamonn: That makes sense. I have never had an item not be where I detected. Even after all these years, I am still learning about it.
- Wulf: As with the other relics, the thief has made it difficult to reach the gauntlets. It wasn’t enough of a test for the retriever to enter Scuttling Void. First, they would have to survive Betrayed to re-open the valves.
- Derkeethus: If we have finished with the chin wagging, I would like to get out of here before Ghorbash remembers he hasn’t had food since breakfast.
- Ghorbash: Mm…is Argonian better roasted or fried?
We made our way to the lift and back to the ground level of the cavern.
What followed was kill Betrayed, find the valve, turn the valve.
After that unpleasant task, we returned to the talking bust.
“Metal Head, are you still there?”
“STEAM HAS REACHED ALL NODES, SUFFICIENT CHARGE FOR GATE APERTURE. NEEDS ACTIVATION AT LOCAL SYSTEM RELAY.”
“So, all I have to do is pull the lever?”
“All systems primed for your traversal to Subject Realm 137. Activate the gate through the accompanied device. May the gods fear the march of enlightenment.”
“May the Dwemer vanish up their backsides! Oh, they have already.”
The lifeforce within the Black Soul Gem was fully depleted. The bust would speak no more.
We returned to the lever.
I pulled it, and the Oblivion Gate opened.
I said to Inigo, “My friend. None of you is to follow me in. If I don’t return within a day, I am never going to. I want your word on this.”
“But you are not going to my word! We have the right to decide what to do when a friend is in trouble. Our uniforms are irrelevant in this scenario, so don’t try pulling rank.”
“If I stand in front of the gate for some time, you know I am talking to Rigmor.”
“Good luck, my friend.”
I walked over to Reamonn and said, “The Sentinels will protect you if anything sinister comes through the gate.”
“Mara will be with you.”
“Unfortunately, I am going somewhere that she cannot.”
I walked down the ramp and stood in front of the Oblivion Gate.
“Rigmor, my beloved. I need to speak to you.”
“Hang on a second, and I will excuse myself from the throne room. My mother can take over for a while.”
I waited a couple of minutes as Rigmor made her way to her bedroom.
“Okay, Wulf, I can sense your anxiety. What is happening?”
“I am about to walk through an Oblivion Gate and enter Scuttling Void, the realm of Namira.”
“Oh no, did one open in the middle of Arnima?”
“No, this is a gate The Dwemer created. I don’t think I am entering the entire realm of Scuttling Void, just a pocket plane of it.”
“How much danger will there be?”
“I don’t know. I have no idea what to expect on the other side.”
“Can you quickly escape if you have to?”
“Yes, my Ayleid Waystone would take me out of there. I could then go to Sancre Tor and make my way back from there.”
“We can discuss the idiot Dwemer and them playing with Oblivion when you get back. You know the routine.”
“Yes, as soon as I can, I will let you know I am okay.”
“How long will you be?”
“I have no idea.”
“I love you.”
“And I love you.”
I concentrated on the love I felt via our rings and walked through the gate.
The Dwemer architecture extended into Scuttling Void. The strange vines were in abundance. There was a red and brown tinge to everything.
A huge, malformed skeleton of what I think was supposed to be a child of Man or Mer was held in place by the vines.
I looked up, expecting to see a portal to other parts of Oblivion. Instead, an obscure figure floated above with tentacles writhing. It was not Hermaeus Mora but something equally grotesque as befitting Scuttling Void.
A waterfall of blood cascaded into a pool of blood.
Large islands floated through the air. I wondered if they are inhabited.
I went up a Dwemer ramp to an alcove formed by thick vines.
Inside the alcove was a being held in place by chains. It was only partially formed. Its heartbeat sounded with a slow, steady rhythm.
Cradled in its arms were Mados’ gauntlets. As with his ring, they were of excellent quality, but the dweomer on them, to increase lifeforce, was weak. They were probably worth two thousand septims at the most. Something like my sword would be worth well over three hundred thousand septims. The gauntlets have significant historical value to the Breton of Evermor but not enough monetary value to be worth hiding in Oblivion.
I made my way down the ramp and was confronted by a most unusual entity. It was a bipedal Daedra with two arms, tentacles for hair and a vertical toothy mouth with four tiny arms surrounding the mouth. I kept my sword sheathed as its posture was not hostile.
In a raspy, slithery voice, it said, “There you are, the one to shatter this crimson cage and grant me freedom!”
“If by entering this realm, I have released you, that is purely coincidental and not why I came here. Does your species have a name? Do you have a name?”
“The Liberator wants a name, a moniker for this transient form. Very well, you can call me Ambition. I am what I feel, like any man!”
“You said transient, which implies will you change into some other form.”
“I am compelled, Liberator. Pulled towards my want by a great force, a desire converged upon by the gods, lords and men. That want is power!”
“Love, family and companionship are sought by the wise. Power is hollow and fleeting. Love is solid and eternal.”
“But the corpse king rotting atop his spire needs a prince, and who better to take up that venerated role than Ambition?”
“If you work with my enemy, I will have to stop you!”
“Palpable, proximal and personal. It is now possible. From this hideous pit emerges royalty who awaits his throne.”
“I get the gist of what you say. Perhaps you should clarify your purpose and intent?”
“Yes, strip away the artifice and cast away pretension. Forgive my joy, Liberator. Becoming aware of destiny rewritten has made me giddy.”
The creature breathed heavily. It was rather repulsive with the accompanying gurgles emanating from its throat.
“Yes, it has made me giddy.”
“What is the purpose of the construct behind you and the being within?”
“Take in the child yet conceived behind me. It gestates in the wanting womb, the very durance that bore me.”
“The vines are its umbilical cord. This pocket realm its womb, and you think the body was your prison.”
“Liberator, I wish you would kill this child and remove the final hurdle to my rise.”
Ambition then talked to Namira.
“Yet every harm directed is rendered hollow, aren’t they mother? You covet your child with such fervour.”
Ambition turned his attention back to me.
“The child is already named; would you believe that, Liberator? Mother has called it ‘Whisper’.”
“And why would I want to kill Whisper? I don’t murder in cold blood!”
“If only we could inflict death to the dead. To ameliorate that contradiction would cease my struggle. Yet, it cannot be. However! There is another who could be the source of your malice, an anchor to ambition – the bank of remembering; The Husk.”
“What can you tell me of The Husk?”
“If you see The Husk – this frail, pathetic…thing – kill it. Bring it low, tear it to pieces and hunt the remaining scintilla of its vessel. And I will be free, truly free.”
“You are asking a lot for somebody who does not kill without purpose. Until Whisper or The Husk do harm to me or others I protect, they will not have earned death at my hands.”
“Your every inflexion will be heard from here to the dying light, and your image burned for my future dreams. We will meet again, Liberator, and I will be pleased to see you.”
“I suggest you dress more sensibly if we are to meet in public.”
“The worm will conquer the mountain as they say! Haha! Everything that is ugly, everything that is weak, will all be burned away. And you will join me in this growth, where I had gone from scum to royalty, you will go from nomad to nobility. Then, you and I will destroy the Dark Mother together! Goodness and beauty will prevail!”
“I doubt we will ever have a common purpose.”
“Farewell, intrepid friend, may we divulge in the last axiom when our paths cross again.”
I watched Ambition as he ran for the gate. I had no reason to attack or stop the Daedra. I was confident he would run past The Sentinels without harm for the same reasons. He had not done or said anything worth killing over.
I looked up at the effigy of an unborn once more, then said, “Whisper, you don’t have to be what your mother demands.”
I then made my way through the gate.
“My beloved, put your fear away. I have returned unharmed.”
“I am in a mess after just a few minutes of not knowing. Imagine when people send loved ones off to war for years! How do they cope?”
“They cling onto hope and memories.”
“What was it like?”
“Albatross multiplied by Albatross.”
“Come on. Nothing is that weird!”
“There is a waterfall of blood falling into a lake of blood. There is a huge bone sculpture that is supposed to represent an unborn child. Inside the bone sculpture is a half-formed adult held in place by chains. The adult, when fully formed, will be called Whisper and is the son of Namira. I met a Daedra called Ambition who has tentacles for hair and four tiny arms surrounding his mouth.”
“It will take me some time to fully comprehend what Ambition said to me. I will tell you about it when I do.”
“Talk to The Sentinels. They will help unravel it.”
“I hope so. Anyway, I am safe and healthy so you can relax. Remember, I love you.”
“And I love you even if you insist on visiting Oblivion and making me age prematurely.”
“Believe me. I would rather not visit Scuttling Void ever again.”
I made my way up the ramp and to the observation platform.
Inigo approached and said, “My friend, something ugly came running out of the gate, but we did not shoot it, fearing it was you. Only too late did we realise it was not ugly enough to be you.”
“Remind me, why did I rescue you from that prison cell?”
“I often ask myself that very same question.”
“Where is Reamonn?”
“Hiding behind your other blue friend. He may have soiled himself.”
I walked up to Reamonn, who I had not seen at first as he was standing behind Ghorbash. The other Sentinels gathered around. I handed Reamonn the gauntlets and then outlined what I had seen and my discussion with Ambition. When I had finished, the analysis began.
- Reamonn: Daedra or not, that thing was sinister-looking regardless. I had feared the worst for you.
- Serana: Reamonn, if Wulf says it was a Daedra, then that is what it was. Comments relevant to your areas of knowledge are more valuable.
- Derkeethus: Reamonn, being Saxhleel, I know what it is like to be judged on looks alone. You thought that Ambition looked sinister and, therefore, must have presented a danger to Wulf. None of The Sentinels thought the same as we judge on actions, not appearance. And Ambition was different, not sinister.
- Wulf: I think we have almost lectured Reamonn to death this day.
- Serana: If he learned something, then his death would not be in vain.
- Reamonn: Wulf, it is okay. It has been ages since anybody tried to teach me anything.
- Wulf: Remember, Reamonn, that you are free to comment but be prepared for a tongue lashing about sensitive subjects.
- Reamonn: I doubted that we would ever find these gauntlets in the sprawling ruin. Now I need to return them to Arnima, although I would love to stay here for research.
- Wulf: Reamonn, you know nothing about Dwemer and would die a horrible death within hours of commencing your research.
- Ghorbash: A single Dwemer spider automaton would scare you to death or tear your arms off, or both.
- Reamonn: Unfair. I have faced Betrayed, Witchmen and Dwemer automatons by your side. But I have not the courage to face such beasts as exited that gate.
- Ghorbash: That is why you tried to hide behind the manifold and then decided I was a better shield.
- Wulf: Okay, enough dribble! I need some help sorting out what I just experienced and what Ambition said.
- Serana: You were in Namira’s womb.
- Wulf: Thanks for that, Serana. Now I feel a great need for a bath.
- Serana: And you entered and exited by her birth canal.
- Inigo: I hope a particular Cyrodiil noble doesn’t think that is being unfaithful!
- Serana: Ambition said The King would need a prince. Quite a bit of speculation leads me to believe The King will rule from Oblivion. A price will act as his spokesperson on Nirn. Namira will not be the direct ruler of Nirn.
- Wulf: That is logical, and I came to the same conclusion.
- Inigo: You two have different brains than us. I fail to see how you deduced that from the mumbo jumbo that Ambition said.
- Serana: Ambition said the corpse king, The King as we are calling this unknown entity, will sit atop its spire, the tower it has been promised and will need a prince. The only logical reason The King would need a prince is that it remains in Oblivion and requires a mortal agent.
- Inigo: Oh, similar to how The Divines need mortal agents like Wulf! That makes sense.
- Ghorbash: Who is Whisper?
- Wulf: The Prince would need a corporeal body. Perhaps the gestating baby, Whisper, will be that body and is awaiting whatever soul Namira places within. Assuming she has a candidate in mind for The Prince.
- Derkeethus: Why have The King and The Prince rule over Nirn? Why doesn’t Namira manifest and do it herself?
- Wulf: We don’t have enough information to determine her motivation or complete plan.
- Reamonn: Who placed the gauntlets in Oblivion?
- Wulf: The entity called The Husk. Ambition speaks as if its name represents its primary motivation. It does not doubt it will achieve its aim of becoming The Prince.
- Serana: Ambition fears The Husk. He described it as the anchor to ambition. In other words, the entity called The Husk can stop the entity called Ambition.
- Inigo: Empathy, fear and many other emotions can stop somebody from achieving their ambitions.
- Serana: It seems we have two entities with opposing personalities.
- Wulf: Oh, I think I have it. We are dealing with one person split in two!
- Serana: Please explain.
- Wulf: This will be the most speculative speculation I have ever speculated!
- Inigo: My friend, go ahead, but if our brains explode, it is your fault.
- Wulf: Okay, but I will have to go into lecture mode and present my theory in point form.
- Ambition believed the foetus to be his prison and the final hurdle to his rise, to his purpose.
- Ambition said, ‘I am what I feel, like any man!’. These words indicate he regards himself as a mortal person.
- Ambition was excited by destiny rewritten. This suggests that he no longer feels restricted by a previous destiny.
- He fears The Husk because that being has a bank of memories.
- What if they are Ambition’s memories?
- What if Ambition and The Husk are one soul that was planted into Whisper and somehow became divided? One being has ambition and few other emotions. The other being has empathy, caution, humility and other emotions that can constrain ambition.
- Something has gone wrong, and the soul has become divided. The metaphysics of Oblivion does not allow a soul to wander that plane without a vessel. A loose soul will be incorporated into a body of some sort. The Husk escaped Whisper first, was placed into a body, left Scuttling Void, and led us to the clues by stealing and planting the relics we recovered.
- Ambition no longer believes his destiny is to be a combined soul of Whisper. He thinks he can discard his current body and choose another. Then become The Prince instead of Whisper and without the constraints of what The Husk contains.
- Ambition without moral constraints is a danger. He would justify any action in the pursuit of his ultimate goal.
- What happens if Ambition achieves his ultimate goal of becoming The Prince and defeating Namira? Ambition needs a purpose, and he would invent one. It could be something terrible such as the elimination of a particular race.
- The Husk needed to use this Dwemer Oblivion Gate to return to Scuttling Void. The fact he knew of its existence suggests extensive knowledge. Such knowledge that a ruling Prince would need.
And that is my theory.
- Serana: I find no flaws in your logic.
- Reamonn: I will just nod my head sagely.
- Inigo: It is similar to what happened at Clockwork Castle.
- Wulf: Yes, in many ways. But in that instance, two complete souls resulted from the simultaneous creation of a Dragon Break and the death of an individual.
- Serana: Even if we don’t understand metaphysics, the logic is strong in Wulf’s theory.
- Wulf: I don’t think the loss of her chosen soul for Whisper will stop Namira’s plans. She may even be confident of retrieving the complete soul. Ambition thinks Whisper is still a threat to his plans.
- Reamonn: We had better head back to Arnima.
- Wulf: Yes, we have been gone all day, and the petty politics of Evermor have not stopped during our absence.
We started our journey back to Arnima, and as we travelled, I tried to find flaws in my logic.
I didn’t find any.