Sundas, 15th Sun’s Dawn, 4E 202
We teleported to Breezehome then Rigmor dragged me immediately into the spa. The dweomer in the water took a few minutes to clear the red dirt that surrounded me like blood leaking from a wound. Rigmor pretended to ignore it.
I couldn’t relax. Even within our quiet, I felt an urgency and a need to return to Evermor.
I didn’t want to explain what I saw and experienced in Scuttling Void. Not while it is so raw. But Rigmor needed to know, and I needed to share, the last few minutes.
“Rigmor, I was going to die. I asked Rados to pick up the Sigil Stone so he could come home. I thought that I could use the Ayleid Waystone, but I never had the chance. The whole tower vanished, and I was under a sea of blood. I was going to drown because the dweomer on my armour stopped working, and I was paralysed. I was holding my breath, but I knew I was going to die. I didn’t want to leave you, but I couldn’t fight anymore, and there was nobody there to help me. No Azura, no Divine, and our love could not save me!”
Rigmor gasped, and tears rolled.
I touched her cheek and traced a tear track to her lip. She kissed my hand.
I continued, “I am going to be taking these risks all the time. And if I die in a place like that, you must get confirmation from The Nine that I am gone and not wait for some miracle.”
Rigmor said, with that familiar tone of stubbornness, “But they might not know. You have said before that The Divines can’t see into Oblivion. Mortals have survived for hundreds, even thousands of years in Oblivion.”
“Then ask Azura! But even if she said I was alive, who knows if and when I could escape?”
“What are you saying? That I should move on? How long should I wait before I give up on you?”
“I don’t know! I truly don’t know! But if I ever have to take that last breath, it will be easier knowing I am not leaving you alone in the dark and that you will find somebody who cares!”
I started to sob, and the world was a dark place. Rigmor held me as she cried quietly. The only thing to penetrate the pitch black of despair was our love. It was brighter than a thousand suns.
Later on, I sat on the ground with my back against our bed. Nobody who uses Breezehome is allowed in our bedroom. The place where we first made love is sacred to us. It contains memories unlike any other. It is where we irreversibly became two mortals with shared souls.
I was staring into infinity, something I have caught Rigmor doing on occasion. I think a lot of people do it when there is too much for their mind to process. I suddenly remembered some of the people in Arnima after I closed the Oblivion Gate. They, too, just stared into infinity.
I didn’t notice Rigmor come into the room or respond to her words.
She lay across the bed and was close enough for our quiet to surround us once more.
She quietly said, “I don’t know where your mind wandered, but I know it has as you didn’t answer me.”
“I am sorry, my beloved. Did you say something?”
“I asked you to climb into bed. It is far more comfortable than the floor!”
I climbed into bed, and we were soon re-enacting that special night. I am positive Rigmor had us kicked out of The Bannered Mare as part of a devious plan to molest me.
It wasn’t a perfect re-enactment because we didn’t have to giggle our way through learning the basics, and we were far from bashful.
Rigmor cooked a simple breakfast, as she has done a few times in Breezehome. We ate in our undergarments, a freedom that is grossly undervalued. Then we had another bath, minus the tears.
On the way to our bedroom, I commented on the armour I first wore when I met Rigmor.
“I was too large for that armour, and I ripped the seams at the armpits. I am positive it is from my youth.”
“Have you ever wondered how old you are?”
“Your only as old as the women you feel, so that makes me eighteen!”
“You might be a perverted, lecherous old man taking advantage of my naivety!”
“Several times last night. You would think your naivety would vanish, and more resistance would then be encountered!”
“Yeah, right, pffft!”
We left the house carrying no weapons and wearing comfortable but not overly expensive civilian clothing. We planned to spend the day relaxing. In the back of my mind, I knew it was going to be a futile exercise.
Rigmor asked, “What first?”
“Rorikstead Milk! It is my favourite vintage.”
“You said milk, not wine. And I know you don’t think you are a Nord, but milk! Really?”
“You uncouth barbarian! Let me educate you!”
Opposite Breezehome was the market stall of Jeer-Tai, an Argonian who has lived in Skyrim for decades.
- Wulf: Good morning, Jeer-Tai. I can always count on you being open for trade this early.
- Jeer-Tai: Good morning to you, Thane, and you, milady.
- Wulf: Milady, do you know why Jeer-Tai open his stall so early?
- Rigmor: He has a wife that nags him and fifteen noisy children?
- Jeer-Tai: I did have a husband and children when I was Deetja-Tai. But he ran off with a maid and took the children with him. I then visited The Hist, and here I am, Jeer-Tai, the happy bachelor.
- Wulf: Being a Nord, milady is a milk sceptic.
- Jeer-Tai: Ahh, then she would understand why I opened my stall so early. It is so the Nords of Whiterun can sneak out before the streets are crowded and purchase their milk. They will often walk past this stall several times until they are positive nobody can see their shame. If I were selling Skooma, I would witness less embarrassment!
- Rigmor: No way!
- Jeer-Tai: It is true!
- Wulf: Please, Jeer-Tai, can I have two of your pint bottles of Rorikstead Milk.
Jeer-Tai handed me the bottles, and I gave him payment plus a generous tip.
I handed a bottle to Rigmor and said, “Cheers!”
I polished off my milk without taking a breath. Rigmor took a tentative sip then smacked her lips with a surprised expression. She then took a mouthful, smiled, then downed the rest without pause.
I waited for it, then it erupted. Rigmor let out a tremendous belch worthy of the best drunk!
- Jeer-Tai: A classy burp that any male would fall in love with!
- Wulf: Yeah, I told her it was her laugh that hooked me. But when she recited the entire alphabet with burps, my heart was hers!
- Jeer-Tai: Does she look like her mother right at this moment?
- Rigmor: Why would drinking milk make me look like my mother?
- Wulf: You have a milk moustache, my dear.
- Rigmor: Wulf, are you saying my mother has a moustache?
- Wulf: Oh, it is only noticeable in certain lighting conditions.
- Rigmor: Such as?
- Wulf: Anything but pitch black.
- Rigmor: Jeer-Tai, you are about to lose a customer.
- Jeer-Tai: Just don’t break his jaw. I don’t stock drinking straws.
- Wulf: Come, milady, let’s continue our meandering.
Carlotta was also one of the stallholders who opened early. Mainly to cater for those with an empty larder looking to break their fast.
- Wulf: Good morning, Carlotta.
- Carlotta: I haven’t seen you for some time, Thane.
- Rigmor: He has been too busy being an idiot. Oh, and saving Nirn when not being an idiot.
- Carlotta: And thereby giving me the joy of opening so early each morning. Just to have people grope my wares and complain about them being too soft, hard, or wet.
- Wulf: Ahh, an opening for a segue. Are the men of Whiterun still harassing you?
- Carlotta: You’ve got no idea! Half the men and women in Whiterun have proposed. Some were even single! But right now, all that matters is my daughter Mila. No man is going to get between my little girl and me!
- Rigmor: Just kick them in the goolies!
- Carlotta: Some of the Nord men would regard that as foreplay.
- Wulf: Did you ever receive further information about Suruto’s fate?
- Carlotta: No, but at least he put me down as next of kin when he joined the Legion. The pittance of a pension helped this seventeen-year-old, unmarried pregnant girl get a new start in Skyrim.
- Rigmor: Your accent suggests Bravil.
- Carlotta: Yes, and the backwards morality of that place made Skyrim a logical choice to have Mila. Here there is no prejudice and no labelling of her or me.
- Wulf: I hope it won’t be so long before I visit again.
- Carlotta: The same here. Nazeem makes himself scarce when you are around.
- Rigmor: Did Wulf do something to Nazeem?
- Carlotta: Nazeem was his usual obnoxious self to all he spoke to. Our Thane cast a spell that made Nazeem pee himself. That was so funny!
- Wulf: Blessings of The Divines on you and Mila.
We wandered around a bit more, then Rigmor grabbed my arm and stopped me.
“You can’t relax. I can see it and feel it via our rings.”
“I have the overwhelming urge to return to Evermor. The being that saved me wants, no, he needs me to return. It is a tugging, not unlike my compass and Divine Task.”
“Then gather a squad, and we will return.”
“You can travel with me?”
“I didn’t give any date for my return to Bruma. They don’t ask too many questions when I put on the Penitus Oculatus uniform. I will not let you travel that kingdom without me. You know there is something else going on and will tell me your suspicions when you are ready. You need me!”
“As demonstrated with the blubbering brute last night, I need you with me more than ever!”
“You, my dear, sweet Dragonborn, are my soulmate for eternity. If some Daedra has taken part of your soul, he has stolen from both of us.”
“I don’t think his intent is malicious. I will wait for answers to come rather than too much speculation.”
Milady put her arm through mine, and we walked back to Breezehome smiling and seemingly without a care in the world.
I summoned Lydia. Celestine and Inigo. They took a few minutes to respond as all were asleep.
“My friend, that was not an experience from which fond memories shall be made!”
“I am heartened by the bravery of the Legionnaires and the civilians.”
“Yes, once the children and injured were inside the temple, many fought for their home with bravery and tenacity. I saw a few target guards who offended them in some way. It did not turn out well for the guards!”
“Understandable. But there were a handful of guards that fought like Jackos. Perhaps the rotten ones have been culled from their ranks?”
“So, where are we going?”
“We will stop off at the College first to see what progress there is on finding a cure and treatment for The Afflicted. I also have some papers written in Ayleidoon that I need translating.”
“What about your new lady dragon friend? She can read them to you!”
“What a brilliant idea!”
“Yes, I have the advantage of never being dropped on my head!”
I laughed then we gathered the ladies and teleported to The Throat of The World.
“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, LYDIA, CELESTINE, INIGO AND RIGMOR.”
- Celestine: You know our names?
- Paarthurnax: All those who fought Alduin here and in Sovngarde are known to the Dov. Their blood is now part of Monahven, as are the memories of that struggle.
- Inigo: That was a brutal fight!
- Paarthurnax: Indeed, it was Inigo. Your people, Kaaz, are ferocious and brave warriors. They dealt with Dov almost as powerful as Alduin without the aid of a Dovahkiin. The world forgets these things when neither Man nor Mer is the hero.
- Wulf: We have come to ask Silah to read some Ayleidoon for us.
- Paarthurnax: We are mystified how Silah can contort her mouth over such a language!
- Wulf: I hope to return soon for a long tinvaak.
- Paarthurnax: A long tinvaak is what Silah starts when discussing a favourite subject or a piece of obscure news. What she calls ‘gossip’.
- Rigmor: Oh, I love gossip!
- Paarthurnax: Is an argument between two rah, gods, from thousands of years ago still relevant?
- Rigmor: Absolutely! It’s gossip!
- Paarthurnax: Dovahkiin, when you come for a tinvaak, you can explain how females think.
- Wulf: You are many thousands of years old. I was hoping that you could tell me!
- Lydia: The difference is that we use our brains before opening our mouths.
Paarthurnax did that laugh that always makes me worry about Silverpeak Lodge, Whiterun, and anything else near Monahven!
As we approached Silah, Rigmor whispered, “She is gorgeous!”
- Silah: And you, Rigmor, are as beautiful as Lady Mara told me.
- Rigmor: You heard my whisper?
- Silah: Just because Dov don’t have big floppy ears sticking out of our heads does not mean we are deaf.
- Rigmor: Well, you are the most magnificent dragon I have ever seen!
- Silah: Dovahkiin, does Rigmor have to accompany you? We could spend hours complementing each other and discussing important things.
- Rigmor: Gossip?
- Silah: Oh, yes, lots of gossip.
- Lydia: And complaining about males?
- Celestine: And laughing at their silliness!
- Silah: It would be like the Jills in Aetherius but without the tedious timestream weaving. How marvellous!
- Inigo: Pardon me while I yawn. Loudly and with meaning.
- Silah: Dovahkiin, step closer.
I walked closer to Silah, who sniffed me and, quite charmingly, her head then tilted from side to side, like a dog contemplating something.
- Silah: Dovahkiin, there is a taint. What filth have you been playing in?
- Wulf: Hey, I had a bath this morning!
- Silah: No, Dovahkiin, there is a taint on your soul. You carry something within you.
- Wulf: I am not sure. I visited Scuttling Void and was rescued by something. Most probably a Daedra, a Deyra.
- Silah: The Saliache kings stunk of their corruption! Yes, that is the smell you carry.
- Wulf: Did you know King Laloriaran Dynar?
- Silah: Not when he lived. I have had the pleasure of speaking with him amongst the stars.
- Wulf: Deyra Kulaan Namira pretended to have the soul of Dynar as her puppet to rule over Mundus.
- Silah: What have I told you about using Dovahzul?
- Wulf: You started it! You said Deyra instead of Daedra and Saliache instead of Ayleid!
- Silah: Rigmor, you will have to train Wulf better. He thinks he can win an argument by using logic and facts.
- Rigmor: I know! Shocking, isn’t it?
- Silah: Scandalous!
- Inigo: My friend, we are surrounded by misogynists!
- Silah: No, you are surrounded by fleas.
- Wulf: Haha!
- Silah: I hope you have not come for the summoning spells. They are not yet done, and you haven’t called on Odahviing or Durnehviir whilst in Evermor.
- Wulf: No, I am not here for that. And I haven’t called upon a Dovah for aid as I fear the enemy knows the Bend Will Shout.
- Silah: I am not familiar with that one.
- Wulf: It is not a product of Lady Kyne but Hermaeus Mora. With that Shout, a Dov has to bend to the will of a mortal master.
- Silah: That is disturbing. A similar thing, a mask, was used by the Khajiit to defeat the invading Dov. Both ally and friend feared it at that time.
- Wulf: I will never teach the Shout or write it down. But it can never be lost as long as mortals have something to trade with Hermaeus Mora.
- Silah: What, then, is the purpose of this visit? If it is to introduce your friends, then I am pleased.
- Wulf: That is why I brought them with me, but I also have a favour to ask.
- Silah: If the favour involves eating a mortal, the answer is no. Most of them are too stringy, and I get drunk consuming Nords.
- Wulf: Rigmor, Silah is jesting. The only dragon I saw consume people was Alduin, which generated fear, not because he found us tasty.
- Lydia: Please, can we not talk about what Alduin did in battle?
- Wulf: Oh, I am sorry, Lydia.
- Silah: Wulf, see what happens when you transgress from the topic at hand!
- Wulf: You brought up the eating people topic!
- Silah: Rigmor, what should be my response to Wulf’s accusation?
- Rigmor: Did I? That always makes Wulf turn red and splutter.
- Wulf: Traitor!
- Rigmor: I am standing by my sister!
- Wulf: Okay, Silah, the reason I have visited is to introduce my friends and that traitor called Rigmor. I was also looking forward to being abused, so thanks for that. I also have some papers written in Ayleidoon and hoped you might interpret them for us.
- Silah: Papers in Ayleidoon? Well, why didn’t you say so in the first place? Hold them up next to my right eye. If you hold them in front of my snout, I have no hope of seeing them. How many are there?
- Wulf: Six.
- Silah: I will read all six to myself and then narrate them to you.
I held up the notes one at a time and tried not to be disturbed about a giant eye moving from side to side, up and down, a few feet from me. It was only Silah’s eye and not one of those creepy things in Scuttling Void.
- Silah: Okay, I have finished, and I think I know where they came from.
- Wulf: I found them in a building with lots of Dwemer machinery within Scuttling Void.
- Silah: You have an apparatus that can record your thoughts into your journal, correct?
- Wulf: Yes, but I hardly ever use it. It is quicker for me to just write after the event rather than worry about the present and past context.
- Silah: Much ancient magic was shared between the Mer of old, Ayleid, Dwemer and Snow Elf. The notes are random thoughts of beings who intentionally or unintentionally recorded them on a device similar to your journal writer. They have later been transcribed onto parchment by a being who has somehow retrieved them.
- Wulf: Are the memories all from the same being?
- Silah: I think they are memories of different beings.
Silah told us, “The being whose memories are transcribed in the first note seems to have witnessed the beginning of this Kalpa or another. There is no context to ascertain one or the other. This one is the earliest memory and numbered zero.”
- Neither vision nor sound resides here. Black for but a moment. An eternity without the time dragon. No order.
- They conspire. The trickster conjures a world out of the dreams of the sleeper.
- It’s time to live.
- Wulf: The trickster, in this Kalpa, is Lorkhan. The time dragon is AKA. The world conjured is the mortal plan, specifically Mundus and Nirn.
- Silah: And the sleeper is?
- Wulf: There is a theory that the creator of everything is a sleeping being, and we are a product of that being’s dreams. It is impossible to prove or disprove since we would be part of the dream and could not observe it from any other vantage point.
- Silah: There is also a theory that if a mortal realises, not just suspects, that they are part of a dream, they ascend to become a god.
- Wulf: That is one of the explanations for my father’s ascension. But not the only one.
- Silah: You have been wise not to ask him, for it involves knowledge for which you are not prepared.
- Wulf: If he and I are Shezarrine, I will go to my room and sulk!
Silah looked concerned. The implications of what Akatosh’s Herald told me still haunt me.
- Rigmor: Wulf has told me several times that gods, The Divines and Daedric Lords and others, have answers to some mysteries but not all.
- Silah: He is correct. Most of the gods currently worshipped on Nirn existed as spirits in the Aurbis. Who or what created them?
- Rigmor: The Aurbis is the universe?
- Silah: Yes, it is this universe. There may be other universes, and some gods came to Aurbis from them.
- Wulf: Some believe there are infinite universes.
- Inigo: My brain is begging for mercy!
- Wulf: The Monomyth is a tome that needs to be read and understood even to begin unravelling that first memory in its entirety.
- Silah: But the memory suggests something important about the being who generated the memory.
- Wulf: That memory is of a being that existed in another Kalpa and observed what we can assume is the beginning of this Kalpa.
- Celestine: Several historical figures are reputedly from other Kalpa. Pelinal Whitestrake is reportedly from a future Kalpa sent back in time by Akatosh.
- Silah: Or sent sideways from a parallel universe.
- Inigo: I think I will chase my tail. It understands me, and I know it is real. Shush, Mr Dragonfly, I don’t care if chasing my tail makes you dizzy. This conversation makes me dizzy!
- Silah: The male Dov would have you believe us Jills discuss trivial topics as if gossip is unimportant, but we engage in discussions that would make our fuzzy blue friend’s brain explode. You can’t sit and weave strands of time and possibilities without pondering the mysteries that perplex the gods we serve.
- Wulf: I am guilty of conclusions based on flimsy speculations. I must learn just to accept the inexplicable and hope answers are provided at some stage.
- Silah: That is how both gods and mortals must behave if they are to survive. Otherwise, the tiny part of the truth uncovered may lead to disaster. The Dwemer demonstrated the danger in this folly. Even The Divines are unsure as to what happened to them. They experimented using some knowledge that The Divines were wise enough to know incomplete. The Dwemer thought it was the path to becoming gods.
- Wulf: The gap between knowledge and wisdom often leads to such disasters. And I made assumptions in Evermor that proved incorrect and prevented me from stopping Namira.
- Silah: It seems these notes were transcribed as if essential points in a narrative. I would surmise the narrative is that of the life of the transcriber.
- Celestine: It is a bit like Wulf’s journals, but the transcriber has gathered perspectives from several lives and retrospectively.
- Lydia: Mages have weird brains!
- Silah: Lydia, that may be true, but Celestine is adept at understanding these complex concepts.
- Wulf: If you read The Monomyth, it introduces the concept of parallel creation. That several creation myths may differ, but they are all correct.
- Celestine: That is like a Dragon Break. Linear time is not in effect till AKA enforces it, so parallel events are possible.
- Silah: Excellent, Celestine! You are on your way to being a Jill. Now all you need are some wings, scales and a few horns.
- Celestine: No offence, but weaving time threads sounds tedious. A bit like darning an endless supply of socks.
- Silah: Oh, what a wonderful analogy! I will have to use that one in the future.
- Inigo: My brain says it might survive if we move on to another note.
- Silah: I think your brain is being overly optimistic. But still, the next note it is.
Silah explained, “This note is marked as memory number five hundred and one.”
- The malice and sadism of the elves have no equal. Across this land, cruel lords host galleries to display our shame.
- Gut Gardens, one of ours coined the term.
- The hand that governs this realm pays tribute to her, the dreadful maiden. He uses us to show his appreciation.
- He makes shapes out of Man that are unfathomable. Arms replacing legs, heads in the buttocks. I once saw his artists tear apart three women to create the gory spider that terrorised the quarry.
- Whispers from the north talk of rebellion. By Kyne, will it so that we see peace from this evil.
- Rigmor: The owner of the memory refers to ‘the elves.’ That term suggests they are Man or Beast Race.
- Wulf: The memory owner was most likely a Nedic and slave of an Ayleid lord who indulges in at least some of the Ayleid ‘arts.’
- Silah: What is different about the exponent of those arts referred to in this memory?
- Wulf: They have created at least one living creature by combining parts of other living creatures. A hybrid beast that resembles a spider but is constructed from women.
- Silah: There was one exponent of the Ayleid arts that did such a thing. But I suggest you wait and see if you discover their involvement in Evermor before concerning yourself about that fact.
- Lydia: Isn’t that replicating what the Daedric Princes do? Aren’t all of their minions only modified creatures initially made by the Aedra?
- Silah: They can take wandering spirits and create new races.
- Inigo: Like my people, created by Azura.
- Wulf: From what I have seen, many of their inanimate objects are replica’s, not conversions. But some things came from their imagination, and they resemble nothing created by The Divines.
- Silah: I don’t think a mortal has ever created a hybrid that can breed similar hybrids. The spider hybrid, if it could give birth, would most likely produce normal mortal children.
- Rigmor: I thought the mother’s race determines the race of a child.
- Silah: Yes, and the hybrid’s race, even altered as it is, is most likely Nedic, and so would the children be.
- Celestine: And mixed-race parentage can produce mixed-raced children with characteristics of both parents. That is how Breton came to be.
- Rigmor: Ahh, I understand now.
- Inigo: What is that, Mr Dragonfly? You understand this baby stuff as well. Nobody likes smarty pant insects. Yes, I do realise you don’t wear pants. Sheesh!
- Wulf: This memory refers to Lady Kyne. The Nedic worshipped Celestials or the Aldmeri Pantheon. The mentioning of Kyne suggests the ancient Nord pantheon influenced this person.
- Rigmor: And they have already heard of Saint Alessia’s slave rebellion which dates this memory.
- Wulf: Yes, it would be from 1E 242.
- Silah: And who is the dreadful maiden that is mentioned?
- Inigo: Hah, I know this one. That would be Namira as she likes hideous things and would be pleased by Gut Gardens and hybrids.
- Lydia: Inigo, if Namira likes hideous things, you would be a favourite of hers!
- Inigo: Stop laughing, Mr Dragonfly, or I will cover the air holes in the lid of your jar!
Silah said, “The next memory is number 23345 and reads,”
- The eyes look down from above and cast me into an eternal horror.
- I can’t see the sun.
- Wulf: Eyes seem to be important to the worshippers of Namira in Evermor.
- Lydia: The Witchmen have a partially closed eye on their tattoos and clothes.
- Wulf: Eyes were growing from piles of bodies in the room with Namira’s Shrine. An eye watched Rados and me as we approached the tower holding the Sigil Stone. It sent a group of minions to stop us from reaching the tower.
- Silah: I would like to discuss some things about your time in Scuttling Void after we have finished with the memories.
- Wulf: I shall try. There are some things I need help figuring out.
- Silah: That is apparent. You are not your usual self, Wulf.
- Wulf: Things must be severe if you use my name.
- Inigo: I think your friends need to understand some things if we must provide suggestions and help as we move forward.
- Wulf: As I said, I will try.
- Celestine: The eyes from above suggest The Divines, not Dark Lords.
- Wulf: That is a common perception. Good things exist above us in the light of the sun and the myriad stars, plus Secunda and Masser! Evil things live in the dark below us. But I don’t think you can regard Oblivion and Aetherius as above and below. They both encircle the mortal plane.
- Rigmor: And as you keep telling people, good and evil do not apply to the Dark Lords.
- Wulf: I think the owner of this memory was sent to Oblivion. Who sent them there would only be speculation. We have no context for the eyes or what ‘above’ means.
- Rigmor: It does suggest they were sent to Oblivion as punishment.
- Wulf: I don’t think we can be sure of much from that memory.
Silah told us, “The next memory is number 82230 and says,”
- I came across the most sordid sight. A village all on stakes.
- The pikes were thrust from their rears and out their mouths, shattering teeth. Some still breathing through this atrocity.
- A young boy impaled right beneath his father. He was choking upon excrement of his precursor.
- Why would the gods allow this?
- Wulf: If The Divines could intervene, they would. Lady Mara would have stopped the tragedy of Arnima, and Lord Akatosh would have appeared and battled Mehrunes Dagon. But they can’t manifest on Nirn and therefore rely on mortal agents and avatars.
- Lydia: This questioning of The Divines ability to intervene is an opening for the whispers of the Dark Lords.
- Wulf: Evermor’s warped idea of The Divines attributes good and bad occurrences to their whims. We must have displeased The Divines for the drought to have happened! Quick, let’s pray, and donate more wealth, to appease them and end the drought!
- Silah: Wulf, this disturbs you, doesn’t it?
- Wulf: If the worship of The Divines is practised as it should be, by simply obeying the Ten Commands of The Nine Divines, then our free will would be recognised as the progenitor of good and evil. Nature would be recognised as the progenitor of droughts and floods.
- Inigo: Wulf uses the examples of Morrowind and Elsweyr. Both have gods in their pantheons that others regard as evil, yet the peoples of those lands are no more likely to be evil than worshippers of The Nine in Skyrim or Cyrodiil.
- Wulf: The Ayleid kingdoms, like those of High Rock, were constantly at war. Before Alessia’s covenant with Lord Akatosh, the Daedric Princes could show greater power and influence on Nirn than The Divines. An Ayleid king that wanted to survive would turn to a Dark Lord for assistance. If a Dark Lord requested things like Gut Gardens, mortal free will decided if a king fulfilled that request. They were not forced.
- Celestine: Before the Covenant, a refusal could be met with destruction by an incensed Dark Lord. I don’t see many kings risking that possibility.
- Wulf: You are right, and there would be few. The threat of retaliation is why Mortifayne agreed to Namira’s demands. He thought that threat could be immediate due to his misunderstanding of Devine and Daedra powers on Nirn. When he resisted and the untouchable Maarin killed his wife, there was no longer any doubt in his mind about Namira’s capabilities on Nirn.
- Rigmor: Next memory, please, Silah.
Silah speculated, “This memory, number 722231, may well be the reason a mortal turned from Lady Mara to Namira. It reads,”
- A beautiful lass approached us. She blessed all with a kiss except me.
- She said I was a ghastly sight, without matter or fame.
- She cast me into the realm of spite to live a pariah.
- I saw my old company flourish under her wings. I was within the bracken, watching.
- I sought a new maiden.
- Our hatred of the loving mother was mutual.
- Wulf: Ouch! A young male lost his friends. They chose the company of a beautiful lass over their ugly friend.
- Rigmor: And that turned him away from Lady Mara and into worshipping the Dark Mother, Namira.
- Celestine: I don’t understand how Namira could be regarded as any type of mother.
- Wulf: Namira appeals to the dispossessed. Somebody like this memory owner would be accepted within a coven or other group of Namira worshippers. Ugliness in mind, body or deeds is not a cause for rejection. Those who profess to worship The Nine should never show bias to those who look different. But some do, and the victims of that rejection may blame The Divines, particularly Lady Mara. The Dark Mother is a natural substitute.
- Celestine: When the Witchmen accepted runaway serfs into their camp, were they practising the dogma of Namira worship? Did they regard the runaway serfs and exiles as dispossessed?
- Wulf: I don’t think so, but we don’t have enough information on that incident, and I doubt the nobles recorded the details. The Forsworn accepted the Nords and Reachmen into their society out of a desire for harmony. I want to think the Witchmen did the same.
- Silah: Wulf, you would like to avenge the innocents of Munstor, wouldn’t you?
- Wulf: How do you know of what I have uncovered in Evermor?
- Silah: There is a logical explanation for that if you just thought it through.
- Rigmor: You have said it yourself, Wulf, that the Priest Circle might be full of fake priests, but the people are devout followers of The Nine.
- Wulf: Aha! Lots of prayers involved the topic of Munstor! Lady Mara seems to have known in advance what would upset me in Evermor.
- Silah: Dovahkiin, you are resolute in your morals and opinions. It is easy for those who know and love you to predict your reactions to something accurately.
- Rigmor: That predictability could be used by your enemies.
- Wulf: I know. But I am who I am and will not pretend otherwise. And in answer to your questions, Silah, I would like to bring all the nobles involved to justice.
Silah continued, “The last of the six memories is number 32451322 and reads,”
- My fate is amongst the wretched. The vessel keeps me shackled to destiny.
- My face, ugly and untrustworthy, destroys my ambitions and hopes.
- No solace here. Mother hear me.
- Lydia: The memory owner asked Namira to rescue them from the mortal plane and bring them to Scuttling Void.
- Wulf: Or was explaining their plight to Lady Mara. We don’t know which ‘Mother’ it is.
- Rigmor: What about that ugly Daedra you described to me. The one called Ambition?
- Wulf: He was ugly but said it was a transient form. To become what he wants to be, he would have to change his appearance, but how was not explained. Perhaps what I saw was a stage in its life cycle. Like Chaurus and caterpillars change within cocoons.
- Inigo: Or it may steal a body. That sounds like something ambition without restraint would justify.
- Wulf: When an entire being that contained ambition with moral constraints, they may have been ugly. The last two memories may very well be from the same individual.
- Lydia: You told us Ambition wants you to help him destroy Namira. Why would an ugly being despise the Dark Mother?
- Wulf: He was going to be the soul used for Whisper. Namira was going to sacrifice him. But instead, he divided into two beings and escaped. His resentment combined with unrestrained ambition would lead him to believe he can exact revenge on Namira. Doubt would hinder Ambition and therefore was shed along with other emotions and morals, and those rejects are Husk.
- Rigmor: I think we need to discuss what you learnt in Scuttling Void. It may help us with understanding Ambition and Husk.
- Wulf: Yes. Discussing these memories was not overly helpful since we do not know who gathered and transcribed them.
- Silah: However, if you discover the transcriber is a being with who you must deal, this discussion will prove extremely useful!
- Wulf: Okay, let me explain what Namira’s plan was in detail, and without interruption, then we can discuss it.
I stood next to Silah and faced my friends.
“The King thought he was King Laloriaran Dynar. We know that he wasn’t. He was, most likely, Umbacano, a fool who wanted to bring back the glory of the Ayleid. Umbacano died when trying to become the King of Nenalata.
The King said that Namira planned to replace The Adamantine tower with the one she constructed at the beginning of the next Kalpa. Her tower would not have the Zero Stone containing the Convention but one containing her rules. With her tower and her Zero Stone, Mundus and Nirn would become Scuttling Void. The inhabitants of the new Kalpa would regard everything as natural and how the one god, Namira, wanted it to be.
I will record the rhetoric of The King in my journals. It is not worth discussing here and now. They were the delusional ramblings of a clueless puppet.
That is all I have to say on Namira’s plan.”
- Rigmor: Who makes the Adamantine Tower?
- Wulf: At the beginning of each Kalpa, the spirits who want to create Mundus need a place to hold Convention. The et-Ada that participate in the building of Mundus become the Aedra, and they build the Adamantine Tower. The et-Ada who become the Daedra take no part in its construction or Convention.
- Celestine: You said the Zero Stone contains the Convention. It is a bit confusing. Is Convention a meeting or a set of rules?
- Wulf: Both. The Convention is a meeting where the Aedra decide the natural laws of the Kalpa, a pact if you like. These natural laws are the Convention that is stored in the Zero Stone.
- Celestine: Could Namira somehow swap the Aedra made tower for hers?
- Wulf: Let’s assume she couldn’t. What does that tell you about Namira’s plan?
- Rigmor: It would never work! And there is no way that Namira would think it could!
- Wulf: Let’s assume Namira could swap towers, and I failed to close the Oblivion Gate? What would happen?
- Lydia: We have already stopped this Kalpa from ending in the foreseeable future by defeating Alduin. Namira would have to wait a long time for her plan to come to fruition.
- Inigo: And gods who do not want this Kalpa to end would send more mortals into Scuttling Void to close it. Eventually, somebody would succeed or at least get Namira’s plans known.
- Wulf: It was too easy for Rados and me to reach the Sigil Stone. I got more suspicious as we went. Malacath defended his tower and Sigil Stone with far more vigour. I don’t think Namira cared that the Oblivion Gate would be closed.
- Rigmor: Why open an Oblivion Gate in the first place? Conquering Nirn by force was not Namira’s plan. She wanted to take over by doing sneaky stuff, so why attract such attention?
- Wulf: Lydia, I saw you using this tactic the other morning. You were not gentle in teaching it to the Legionnaires.
- Lydia: Distraction! They would be too busy concentrating on my sword, which made it easy for me to sweep their feet from under them.
- Rigmor: Oh, my! The whole King and Tower was a distraction. What is her real plan?
- Wulf: At first, I was convinced she had one. But now I am not so sure. Namira might simply be enjoying the way her followers are acting. We know she has something to do with The Witchmen. But what about the other factions? The Redguards and Orsimer, for instance. Does she have mortal agents whispering in ears and guiding them? Evermor could simply be a playground for Namira.
- Inigo: Did The King mention The Prince?
- Wulf: Not at all. I think The Prince was part of Ambition’s plan, not Namira’s.
- Inigo: What will Ambition do now that The King and his tower are not going to eventuate?
- Wulf: We can speculate, but I have always been cautious when doing that until recently. Despite my berating others for mistaking speculation for facts, I have done so in Evermor and regret doing so. I think we will leave Ambition and Husk as things to find out rather than try and guess.
- Silah: I suggest you also leave the question of Namira’s plans for now. As Wulf said, we don’t even know if she has any.
- Rigmor: Wulf, I think you need to discuss the being who saved you.
- Silah: Yes, that is of some significance.
- Wulf: When Rados and myself first spotted the tower, a crystalline globe a few feet across appeared. Both of us had the impression we were being observed via the globe. We lost track of the globe during the fighting on the way to the tower.
- Silah: Had you ever seen a globe similar to that one?
- Wulf: Similar ones were used in sculptures I saw in Scuttling Void, but I don’t think they were identical.
- Silah: Please continue.
- Wulf: We fought our way to the tower and up the many levels of winding stairs. After defeating The King in battle, I asked Rados to pick up the Sigil Stone so he could come home. I thought I could use the Ayleid Waystone to go to my pocket realm, but I never had the chance. The globe appeared after we defeated The King. As I examined the globe, Rados removed the Sigil Stone from the Sigillum Sanguis. The whole tower vanished, and I found myself under a sea of blood. I was going to drown because the dweomer on my armour stopped working, and I was paralysed. I was holding my breath, but I knew I was going to die. I didn’t want to die and leave Rigmor and my friends, but I couldn’t fight anymore, and nobody was there to help me. No Azura, no Divine, nobody.
Rigmor came over and leaned into me. I put my arm around her.
- Wulf: I was looking up, and through the red, I could see the globe hovering above, its colouring distorted. Somebody was trying to speak in my mind, but I had my barriers up. Then the being talked, but the voice was not distorted as it should have been if I was immersed in liquid. I only just thought of that detail!
- Silah: That is why it is sometimes good to repeat an experience to others. It can help jog memories.
- Wulf: It said, ‘Fallen from the womb, crawl, strive. You shall survive.’ The voice was familiar. As the voices of siblings are often similar in tone and inflexions, the voice from the globe was similar to Ambition’s. I assume it was the voice of Husk but have no proof other than its similarity.
- Silah: And Husk is the other half of the being that Ambition came from?
- Wulf: Yes, but once again, that is an assumption.
- Silah: Dovahkiin, do not start double guessing yourself. Lady Mara warned you against it. You think you made mistakes, and perhaps you did. However, it would be best if you remembered that your hunches, speculation, educated guesses, and instincts are correct the vast majority of the time.
- Rigmor: Wulf fears the consequences of an error.
- Inigo: The bigger the stakes, the greater the fear and the more likely my friend is to doubt himself.
- Wulf: Hey, stop analysing me as if I wasn’t here!
- Silah: Wulf, be grateful you have loved ones who know you so well. That is a blessing!
- Wulf: How come you always use my name and not title when telling me off?
- Rigmor: My parents used to do that!
- Silah: Wulf, as per usual, we deviate from the topic. It is a bad habit of yours.
- Rigmor: Don’t deny it, Wulf. Just continue with your tale.
- Wulf: Husk said, ‘Fallen from the womb, crawl, strive. You shall survive.’ And then he said, ‘Forward unto the fissure and away from this crushing red. This cord will mark your journey home. This cord will tie us together.’
- Celestine: Do you think it was similar to the Silver Cord used by those who travel the Ethereal Plane?
- Wulf: Yes, but you had better explain what the Silver Cord is to the others. They have not studied these things.
- Celestine: When we teleport, we jump into the Ethereal Plane and out again. That is when you experience the absolute cold and blackness. Some beings can travel the Ethereal Plane as Wulf can walk in Oblivion and Sovngarde. The Silver Cord is an Ethereal Traveller’s connection to the mortal plane. You follow it to exit the Ethereal Plane, but only if you wish to return to where you started. If the Silver Cord snaps, you die. It is not physical but a metaphysical cord.
- Silah: We are talking major gobblygook!
- Wulf: Isn’t gobblygook just a magnificent word?
- Silah: Not as good as ‘cool’, and you have deviated once more.
- Rigmor: But both of them are far better than Albatross!
- Wulf: So, yes, Celestine, it was very much like the Silver Cord. I mentally followed it and found my way to Mortifayne’s keep. I teleported there and was free of any signs of submersion in blood.
- Celestine: I can’t think of anything that would stop the dweomer on our armours from working.
- Silah: Dovahkiin, I think you were the victim of an illusion. If the illusion is convincing, it can kill.
- Wulf: But the globe and voice and cord were not illusions?
- Silah: Illusions do not leave a taint that I could detect. There is something changed about you, and what Husk said must, logically, be true. The cord, whatever it is, has bound you and Husk together.
- Rigmor: We were going to spend the day recovering and relaxing. But Wulf feels the need to return to Evermor and cannot ignore it.
- Wulf: I must speak to King Sigmayne. He rapes children, yet I can’t just slice him from belly to neck as he deserves. If Namira does have other plans, we must root them out. That means we must play the diplomat for a while longer.
- Silah: The Divines are aware of the pedestal on which you place Children. To you, children symbolise the purity of mortal souls. To know another mortal would sully them enrages you. They know how difficult it will be to control your anger, but you must. They don’t ask this of you, assuming it will be easy, but they know it is possible. Rigmor and those who love you will aid you.
- Wulf: What would unravel me would be the witnessing of abuse. I could not walk away from such. Never!
- Rigmor: You would not be my Dragonborn if you could.
- Wulf: Thank you for your assistance, Silah.
- Silah: Thank you for bringing your friends for a visit. If only Rigmor could stay for a few weeks. There is so much gossip that needs discussing!
- Rigmor: I bet the male dragons are not good gossipers!
- Silah: They get this glazed look on their faces, and Odahviing yawned! I don’t know if you have ever seen a dragon yawn, but it isn’t very respectful.
- Wulf: Okay, we will teleport to Rados’ town. The walk from there to Evermor city will ease us back into the filth of that kingdom rather than plunge us into it.
- Silah: Blessings of The Nine on you all.
I Recalled to the Mark near the well in Rados’ hometown. The others soon joined me.