Tirdas, 16th Hearthfire, 4E 201
to Fredas, 19th Hearthfire, 4E 201
I had prepared and eaten my supper when there was a knock on Breezehome’s door. I opened it and let in Celestine.
She said, “Before you panic, Wulf, there is nothing wrong with Rigmor. Quite the opposite, she has recovered all her memories.”
“So, Jenny worked!”
“It seems so.”
“After returning from our trip to Riften, I thought that the poison was still in her system.”
“It is, and Rigmor is having random tummy cramps. I told her the concoction they gave her will slowly be filtered out.”
“Ahh, that is where she got that word from.”
“Did Rigmor say anything about the little girl in her dreams?”
“Yes, but Rigmor wants to tell you about that. We are setting out for Yngol’s camp to collect The Sons of Talos. However, there is no way we can reach Whiterun before tomorrow morning.”
“I don’t think they are crucial to our victory, but I am not sure if tomorrow will be the day of battle.”
“If we commandeer some wagons and horses, we can be here by midmorning of the day after.”
“We might have been fighting for a couple of hours by then. Still, we don’t know what forces The New Order will field, so a late arrival of Rigmor and the veterans could prove useful.”
“It seems The New Order were planning on Morthal being pacified and have spent time with poorly coordinated attacks on the city. You were right when you said they would have few quality officers.”
“The ones they sent here to command their forts and so on were not the brightest.”
“Please, Wulf, don’t worry. We will teleport to Windhelm, and then it is a short ride to Yngol’s camp. After that, Rigmor will be surrounded by many veterans.”
“I can’t leave here even for a minute and trust you completely, Celestine. I know if Rigmor were not well enough, you and Lydia would not let her travel.”
“Rigmor went outside and did ten minutes of sword forms with her new weapon. Seiko and Taku watched with their mouths open, then enthusiastically applauded when she had finished. Both of them talked to her about the advantage of a kai-katana.”
“Ten minutes of accurate sword forms is a good cognitive and physical health test.”
“It certainly is. I am amazed at how well Rigmor has recovered. She is probably the only person on Nirn as stubborn as you.”
“I prefer the word determined.”
“Yes, but stubborn is more accurate.”
“Give Rigmor my love, Celestine.”
“I will. If there is any news, where will I find you?”
“Either at the Command Post in the field or Breezehome. You can teleport directly into Breezehome. I promise not to be naked, and if on the privy, the door will be closed.”
“Okay then, I will head back now.”
It was no use heading for Dragonsreach till later as I am sure the Jarl and others would be sleeping. So, I ate some more, wrote journal entries and read random books I found in surprisingly well-stocked bookcases.
Not long before sunrise, I made my way to Dragonsreach. The sky was clear. I believed Rigmor’s dreams with the little girl were also foresight. Like all foresight, it is a possible future seen. Therefore, the attack will likely not happen until the sky is grey and rain pours down.
I entered Dragonsreach and talked to Jarl Balgruuf.
“Jarl Balgruuf, how goes the defence planning?”
“The Companions will help defend our walls. Ri’saad turned up with a couple of dozen of his people, and they will also help defend Whiterun. Every person who can hold a spear will stand on the battlements if need be. Others will form bucket brigades in case fires are a problem. The Temple of Kynareth is ready to treat the injured.”
“I think we shall have no problems defeating them on the plains. They are moving fast, so I doubt they have catapults or trebuchets. We have had no reports of them fielding Battlemages. Hence, even if we were to retreat to inside the walls, we could hold them off for quite some time.”
“We were going to fix up weaknesses in the walls, and then along came the civil war. Even though we are not participating, our coffers are strained as everything costs considerably more.”
“Your walls are good enough to deny The New Order entry, Jarl Balgruuf.”
“Irileth and I will tour the city in about fifteen minutes.”
“I will head out and see if the enemy has arrived on the plains.”
The weather was still fine when I exited Dragonsreach.
As I neared the market, an Argonian member of The Companions approached me.
He said, “Guardian General, The Companions will be defending Whiterun’s walls.”
“What is your name?”
“Jeelius, please tell your Brothers and Sisters that the Guardian General thanks The Companions.”
I exited Whiterun, and from the battlements, I could see no sign of a large enemy army. There were a few pockets of scouts and archers, but nowhere near the numbers required for The New Order to attack.
I made my way to Yngol and Casius, who sat astride their horses.
Using Night-Vision, I still saw no evidence that the main army had arrived.
- Wulf: I don’t think they will be attacking today.
- Yngol: No, if they force-marched here, they would be exhausted.
- Wulf: Plus, there is no pouring rain or storm.
- Casius: Rigmor’s premonition?
- Wulf: Premonitions are not certainties, but instinct tells me that no miserable weather means no Battle of Whiterun.
- Yngol: My runners and scouts have reported the bulk of The New Order army is hours away. They won’t wade into battle with tired troops.
- Casius: You might as well introduce yourself to Captain Quintus.
The veterans dismounted, and we walked to the Command Post.
Quintus saluted and said, “Guardian General. I am Captain Quintus Vitalis, second in command and advisor to General Varon.”
“At ease, Captain. I don’t think we will see any action today, but I will stay here for a couple of hours. General Aedriath is renowned for doing the unexpected.”
“As you say, General. There are some scouts and so on in the valley, but, as you said, it is unlikely The New Order’s main army will reach here today without exhausting themselves.”
“Yes, so stand the men down if the enemy does not show up in an hour.”
I turned to Casius and Yngol.
- Casius: Is Rigmor with you?
- Wulf: No, she was too ill when I left the farmstead.
- Yngol: The Sons of Talos won’t fight without Rigmor. But…
- Wulf: Stop! Rigmor used all of her reserves to do that magnificent speech in front of them. She did not ask them to fight for Ragnar’s memory or her. She asked them to fight for their loved ones, way of life, and homes. They cheered and smashed their shields, and as far as I am concerned, that was a commitment to fight. I have never heard anything more idiotic than standing by as your country burns because a teenage woman is too sick to fight!
- Yngol: I was going to say…
- Wulf: You would say they serve a purpose by keeping some enemies occupied.
- Yngol: Yes.
- Wulf: That is bullshit, Yngol. Your man, Brom, told me his father was a Son of Talos. He is angry with those veterans. I guarantee that anger would be expressed by everybody you ask about that idiotic attitude. Inside the walls of Whiterun, every able-bodied citizen is willing to do their part to defend their loved ones, home and way of life. Yet those veterans are willing to sit back and do fuck all!
- Yngol: They didn’t have to come to my camp and offer their services!
- Wulf: Casius, are some of the men you campaigned with and who had retired ready to fight once more?
- Casius: Yes, just as many as what turned up at Yngol’s camp.
- Wulf: Do they need a teenage woman with no experience of battle or command experience to lead them?
- Casius: No. They have been integrated into the ranks and boost morale amongst the inexperienced troops.
- Wulf: I was informed that Rigmor left the farmstead last night and headed for Yngol’s camp. Rigmor and The Sons of Talos should arrive tomorrow morning if they can gather enough horses and wagons. If it turns out she was not well enough and only crawled out of her sickbed to get those veterans to do the right thing, I will not go easy on them.
- Yngol: What if the enemy attack today?
- Wulf: Then we win with the men that you two insisted were adequate before that bunch of veterans turned up at your camp! But I doubt we will have a battle today. The enemy has wasted time trying to take Morthal. But even if they arrived in daylight, their troops would be exhausted. After an hour, stand the troops down. If the enemy starts appearing in large numbers, we will reassess our troop disposition.
An hour later, our troops returned to their muster points and relaxed. An hour after that, I returned to Dragonsreach and spoke to Irileth.
“Irileth, I don’t think The New Order will attack today. I have ordered the troops on the plains to stand down and return to their muster positions. First thing tomorrow morning is the most likely time for the battle to commence.”
“Jarl Balgruuf and I participated in several forced marches during The Great War. The last thing soldiers want to do is immediately wade into battle. I shall give the same order to the guards and volunteers.”
“If you need me, I will be in Breezehome.”
I spent the rest of the day in Breezehome practising my alchemy skills, reading and studying the enchantment on my helm. Mother was keen to teach me alchemy, and I was an excellent student. However, I have never been a prolific exponent of it.
Celestine teleported twice into Breezehome to let me know of Rigmor’s progress. I expect the battle to commence at around 7:00 AM. Rigmor and The Sons Of Talos will be lucky to reach us by 10:00 AM. Celestine also told me a large group of Bosmer, most likely archers, were occupying Dragon Bridge.
The New Order army trickled in during the day and their torches at night stretched into the distance. It was a formidable force, but I did not think they were a match for the combined army that faced them, most of who were trained by The Imperial Legion.
I caught a few hours of sleep. When I woke, I smiled as the sound of rain and thunder greeted me.
I exited Whiterun and saw no enemy campfires. That meant they ran away or were in position, waiting for some sunlight before attacking.
Bashita was heading for Whiterun’s entrance, and we spoke under some battlements and out of the rain.
She said, “Wulf, I thought you would have been at the Command Post, so that is where I headed first.”
“Why would I stand in this torrential rain longer than need be? And don’t Yngol and Casius realise what good targets for lightning they are?”
“Yes, they are the tallest thing for some distance.”
“So, I assume you have some news of Rigmor’s progress with the veterans?”
“They should arrive at about 9.30 AM. They will leave their wagons on the road near the stables then make a lot of noise marching towards the plains.”
“It is an effective tactic when you can hear the approaching troops from a fair distance. Unfortunately, this rain might drown them out. Still, they will enjoy reliving old glories, I am sure.”
“Rigmor said the rain and storm will clear soon after she joins the battle.”
“Rigmor the Weather Diviner! Please tell her The New Order army arrived yesterday afternoon and overnight. The battle should commence shortly.”
“I will. Then I will head back to the other Blade mages. We have finished harassing The New Order around Morthal. We are now doing the same with the Bosmer who left Dragon Bridge and headed your way. I think they only promote people they hate now! When the Bosmer enter the battle here, we shall head for Casius’ camp. Vayu thinks it is too lightly defended if a large contingent of nearby Orsimer mercenaries attack it.”
As I approached Yngold and Casius, the Herald announced, “Attention! The Guardian General has arrived.”
I stood between them and surveyed the battleground. Light varied from poor to almost moonless midnight such was the ferocity of the storm.
Much cheering accompanied us as we made our way to the Command Post and joined Captain Quintus.
- Casius: It seems we have the terrible weather as expected, Dragonborn.
- Wulf: Please, as I explained yesterday, do not refer to me as Dragonborn. I am General or Guardian General. I ask this for reasons I do not want to divulge.
- Casius: My apologies, Guardian General.
- Wulf: What have they brought to the slaughter, Casius?
- Casius: The enemy forces consist of a Bosmer Auxiliary battalion, a couple of mercenary Orc Brigades, a detachment of Dark Elven archers and a New Order infantry division.
- Wulf: The archers will hate this weather.
- Casius: One Orc Brigade has dug itself in on the Pale border opposite my encampment, just as we suspected they would. The other Orc Brigade’s whereabouts are unknown.
- Yngol: The sooner we start cracking skulls, the better.
- Wulf: Captain Quintus, can you explain the disposition on the map for me. The Akavir use different symbols.
- Quintus: The enemy has split into four forces. An Orc Brigade, mercenaries, are deployed east of here adjacent to our Imperial encampment on the border of The Pale. They are indicated in the top, right-hand corner of the map.
- Quintus: To the west, we have a Bosmer Auxilia Battalion composed of two companies. Red and white denotes archers, and solid red denotes infantry. They have dug themselves in at Dragon Bridge, indicated in the top left of the map.
- Wulf: As predicted, they have deployed forces to halt any attempt of the Solitude and Windhelm garrisons from sallying forth. That protects the rear of the main New Order force in front of us. However, the Bosmer Auxilia are on the way here and will arrive before Rigmor. The Blade Mages have been killing their leaders. Once the Bosmer Auxilia engages us, the Blade Mages will change location and help defend the Imperial encampment.
- Yngol: According to the reports I received, the killing of officers has caused mass confusion and inaction.
- Wulf: Yes, it proved effective against most opponents in Akavir. Since they are the only ones not accounted for, on this field of battle, we are facing The New Order infantry and Dark Elf archers?
- Quintus: Correct. Adjacent to us, the enemy consists of a New Order infantry division and a Dark Elf Archer battalion of two companies.
- Wulf: Do we have Scouts and Runners in place? I don’t know if we can rely on the Blade Mages keeping us updated as that is not their primary purpose. I don’t want that missing Orsimer Brigade sneaking upon us.
- Quintus: Yes. Several Scouts have been sent to shadow the approaching Bosmer and report any movement of the Orcs on the Pale border. Other outlying scouts should see the other Orc Brigade long before they arrive here. Runners will notify you of anything of import during the battle.
- Yngol: We can wait for them to come to us, and I’ll hold them with a shield wall. Casius can then bring his Legion in on their left flank.
- Wulf: Sitting and defending is what The New Order command expects us to do. They would engage us with everything but the Bosmer Auxiliaries. Their numerical advantage would pin us down and restrict our movement. That manoeuvre would allow the Bosmer Auxiliaries to flank us on the left. The pressure of two battlefronts would most likely make our position untenable. It is doubtful either the Imperial or Stormcloak troops on the field would route, so a controlled withdrawal into the city would be the most likely result. The casualties on our side would be unacceptable. Therefore, I say we take the initiative and attack. Their archers, especially in this weather, are extremely vulnerable.
- Quintus: I would wager that the enemy command will commit once you engage the Dark Elven Archers.
- Wulf: The Dark Elves are mercenaries and will not stand and fight. The New Order must commit their infantry. Otherwise, they will lose their numerical advantage as we slaughter their archers. If they do not commit, they risk a rout.
- Casius: I agree. An attack on their archers will draw the main body of troops forward and commit them to battle.
- Yngol: I also agree. Let’s be more unpredictable than General Aedriath!
- Quintus: Your orders, Guardian General?
- Wulf: Yngol, they expect your men to sit there and make a shield wall. Do the opposite and treat them to an old-fashioned Nord charge! Make as much noise as you can, and the archers will shit themselves. Once they commit their infantry, Casius can strike and outflank them.
- Yngol: Good choice. My men will cut through the archers with ease.
- Quintus: Guardian General, you would be wise to remain here at the Field Command Post until General Varon receives your orders for the Legion to advance.
- Wulf: I will remain here until it is prudent I lend my sword to battle.
- Yngol: Hey, Casius, this is like old times, you old goat.
- Casius: Aye, you old fox. Let’s hope the gods are as favourable now as they were then.
- Yngol: Be well. I don’t want to have to come to save your ass all over again.
- Casius: In this present scenario, it seems the fortunes of war are reversed, and I will be saving your ass. Take care, old friend.
We watched Yngol ride into battle to much cheering from Legionnaire and Stormcloak.
Our soldiers were disciplined enough to stop cheering once Yngol reached his troops. They knew his commands were crucial to the survival of his men.
Yngol encouraged his men, and they charged with the ancient war cries of the Nords. Yngol raced ahead on his horse. Not because he wanted to fight on horseback. He simply wanted to be the first to start wading through the enemy troops. He leapt off his horse and started swinging his hammer.
The sounds of battle reached us. The clash of metal on metal, thuds of metal on flesh, screams and the occasional pitiful cry for mercy echoed off Whiterun’s walls.
A horn sounded. The New Order was doing as we expected.
Quintus said, “That’s the call for the enemy to advance. Their main force is now committed. General Storm-Blade won’t be able to hold them off indefinitely.”
“He just has to hold out long enough for all of The New Order infantry to move forward to rescue their archers.”
I noticed a group of New Order Officers observing the battle. I thought it was unfair for their rank and file to do all the screaming and dying. So, I sent some Fireballs their way.
The cacophony of war was accompanied by the thunder, lightning, and Fireballs exploding.
The officers died.
The Herald announced, “Guardian General, a Runner approaches!”
I waited for the Stormcloak Runner to reach me.
I ordered, “Give me your report.”
“Guardian General, The Bosmer are about an hour away.”
“Thank you, soldier. Make sure I am updated on the situation regularly.”
“Yes, Guardian General.”
I turned to Casius and said, “Time to show the enemy what the best trained and most professional soldiers on Nirn can do. Make sure they can’t run away. I want every single one of them dead!”
I watched full of confidence as Casius, and his men entered the battle. An audible gasp of despair could be heard from The New Order troops as the Legionnaires smashed into their vulnerable flank.
The rain had eased enough for me to use Night-Vision. I could see we were vastly outnumbered.
The clashing of weapons, yelling and screaming ebbed and flowed as the groups of soldiers clashed and died in small melees scattered across the battleground. The survivors of each melee looked for and found other groups of enemies to conquer. The concept of mercy is lost in such a scenario.
While observing the battle parts visible to me, a despatch rider rode up and handed Quintus a message.
Quintus handed it to me, and it read,
I have just received some important news. After learning of the invasion fleet landing in Skyrim, Mede sent his army north of the Imperial City as a ruse.
The enemy Southern Army Group thinking Mede’s Legions were heading north, crossed the border from Elsweyr into Cyrodiil.
Mede’s Legions traversed and struck.
The battle for the south then ensued.
The news from the Isle is the New Order Coup has failed, and all top-level New Order activists have been arrested in Alinor.
I will keep you informed of the battle.
I told Quintus, “The coup in Alinor has failed. The battle in the south began yesterday evening.”
I watched The Battle of Whiterun again as it ebbed back and forth.
About half an hour later, The Herald Announced, “Guardian General, another Runner approaches.”
I waited for the Runner to reach me.
“Guardian General, behind us, another army approaches.”
“Is it Lady Ragnarsdottier and The Sons of Talos?”
“It’s too early to tell.”
“Well, see if you can find something definitive, then report back.”
“Yes, Guardian General.”
The runner saluted and then left.
Quintus exclaimed, “It is bad if the Bosmer Battalion is almost upon us!”
“Why do doom merchants surround me? All it means, Captain Quintus, is that I will have to start slaughtering in great numbers using The Voice, and I hoped to avoid that!”
The Runner I just dismissed came running back saying, “Guardian General, it is Rigmor of Bruma! She has galloped ahead of her troops.”
I saw Rigmor, and ran.
I reached Rigmor, who sat perfectly straight with hands-on her reins. My entwined soul was a Warmaiden of legend.
Rigmor looked regal, confident and stern. A direct descendant of the most revered warrior in Tamriel’s history. The daughter of the most revered warrior in recent history. A born leader of men. An omen of the woe that will befall all enemies of Tamriel. The deliverer of that woe.
I was probably the only one who also saw a young woman made whole again. A woman who delighted at discovering a new colour of butterfly. A woman who could read the mysteries hidden in light reflected off water and teach idiots like me. The woman who now shares my soul and who I love with every fibre of my being.
Rigmor turned and looked at me. I gasped as her beauty struck me.
I said, “Rigmor, my beloved. You have no idea how pleased I am to see you whole and without doubts.”
“You didn’t think I would leave you out here all on your own, did you? That little girl, the one in my dreams?”
“You figured out what she wanted, didn’t you?”
“She was waiting for me to give her Jenny. That is what she wanted in return.”
“She wanted to remind you of your father’s love. Ragnar made Jenny for his little girl, not a son.”
“I gave her Jenny, and she gave me the sword. She had drawn a line in the dirt with it. I crossed that line.”
I am glad my helm hid my tears. I can’t imagine a blubbering General is good for morale.
Rigmor continued, “The little girl was laughing, and when I turned to look at her, she was gone. I awoke and was whole again.”
‘You wanted to change, and I supported that. What did the little girl teach you to bring you here?”
“That I can’t escape my past, Wulf. I am what I am. There’s no use hiding or running away. You just need to be pretty sure you’re ready for what life has in store. I realise that now.”
“The little girl taught you how I live my life and have told you often. I am pleased you learned that important lesson.”
“My dear Guardian, who knows what tomorrow brings for us? But for now?”
“We have a war to win.”
“What are your orders, Guardian General?”
“The Bosmer must be kept away from the main battle. The New Order forces are faltering, and we don’t need a resurgence of confidence!”
Rigmor rode slowly toward the just arriving veterans and started issuing orders like a seasoned officer.
I said to Vayu, Celestine, Lydia and Meeko, “Let’s help Rigmor and the oldies with the Bosmer!”
My dance of death moved between the Bosmer, and few opponents lasted more than one sword swing.
I towered over the Bosmer, but they fought bravely. They still died needless and meaningless deaths on foreign soil.
The transition from dark, rain and storm to bright sunlight was almost instantaneous. I think Lady Kynareth had something to do with that unnaturally rapid change.
I noticed Baa’Ren-Dar had arrived and showed the Bosmer how to kill with a bow. He was outstanding!
Quicker than expected, the Bosmer were a spent force, and I left it to The Sons of Talos to mop up the remnants.
Then I looked for and found Baa’Ren-Dar.
I exclaimed, “Baa’Ren-Dar, I did not expect to see you here!”
“Dragonborn, Emperor Titus Mede II has crushed the enemy army in the south!”
“That is excellent news! He probably did that even before this battle started.”
Quintus yelled, “Guardian General, the enemy command is leaving the field!”
I replied, “Stay at the Command Post, Quintus. I just helped Countess Rigmor of Bruma kill Bosmer. Now it is time for me to help Quintus and Yngol.”
Baa’Ren-Dar asked, “You know?”
“We have known for days, Baa’Ren-Dar. Rigmor has decided to accept the Emperor’s offer.”
“And I thought it would be a surprise!”
I yelled, “Meeko, Celestine, Lydia and Vayu, follow me! Yngol and Casius are hard-pressed.”
We entered the primary battle, and The New Order troops were in far greater numbers than the Bosmer. Such large numbers in a small area meant I could kill with less moving and greater rate. Even the courage and skill of our troops were barely enough to contain the enemy. My friends and I may provide the tipping point.
I cut down an enraged giant that was swinging his club wildly and killing both sides without favour.
There is not much to say. The piles of bodies were evidence of my ferocity. Many soldiers on my side stopped and watched as I butchered and killed without a pause. When asked to describe the Guardian General, they will disagree on my race, gender, size, and facial features in years to come. However, they will all agree they had never seen somebody carve through others with such efficiency and total dispassion. I could have killed them quicker with The Voice, thereby not adding to my rapidly growing list of remembered kills, but Father didn’t want The Dragonborn and Guardian General to be the same person.
I killed my last opponent, and the clash of weapons was gone. The shouting was over. What remained was the stench of offal, blood, shit and vomit. Moans from the wounded enemy were silenced with thrusts of swords. I didn’t have to issue the order about no prisoners. It was a given as no invader will be allowed to return home.
Our wounded were being collected and taken to the temple in Whiterun. I summoned Sakiya. She said the Orsimer would likely attack Casius’ camp. I told Sakiya it was more important for the mages to help save people in the Whiterun temple. She went to collect them and do as instructed.
I continued to stare over the battlefield. I tried hard but could find no glory in what lay before me.
I used Magicka to remove the layers of blood and gore from myself, and then I looked for Rigmor.
I approached a huddled group, and Yngol yelled, “Guardian General, Rigmor is injured.”
I ran in his direction and saw Rigmor sitting, clutching her stomach.
Rigmor heaved, and a small amount of black sputum flew from her mouth.
I knelt and said, “Lie sideways in case there is more. It will be easier to purge.”
Rigmor leant over, and I stroked her face.
Rigmor said, “I thought purging involved peeing and pooping!”
“Chucking is another way of getting rid of toxins.”
“I think I am okay to stand now. My stomach is no longer cramping.”
Vayu came over, collected a sample of the vomit in a glass vial, and then exclaimed, “This will be interesting to analyse!”
Rigmor asked, “Guardian General, did he get away?”
“The New Order commanders left the field a while ago. I don’t know if Aedriath was amongst them or is dead on the field.”
I asked Yngol, “Do we know where General Aedriath went? Is there any correspondence, orders or officers we can politely ask?”
Yngol replied, “As a matter of fact, we have an officer. Give me some time to interrogate him. I’ll find out where that scumsucker went.”
I said to Rigmor, “We will find where he is. You need to get out of here and rest.”
“I’ll be fine.”
I said to Baa’Ren-Dar, “Please get Rigmor back to the farmhouse. If he still lives, I will kill Aedriath when I find his hidey-hole.”
“Yes, Khajiit will take Rigmor back to the farmhouse.”
As I approached Yngol and Cassius, a Bosmer commander was being dragged away by a couple of Legionnaires. He spat out a tooth and glared daggers at Yngol.
- Wulf: The Bosmer still has some teeth, so he must have told you where Aedriath is.
- Yngol: Yeah, the scumsucker was never here. He is holed up in a place called Blacklight Tower, waiting for news of the battle. Here is a map showing where it is.
Yngol handed me the map. Blacklight Tower was quite a distance away.
- Casius: As you can see, it is on the far east coast. Aedriath has a boat to take him to Morrowind if things go sour. He is not alone.
- Wulf: This is personal, and I will do this without an army. Can you two please finish up here?
- Yngol: Then I guess this is goodbye?
- Wulf: For now, Yngol. I am sure we will catch up for a pint of mead or two in the future.
- Yngol: After we have taken care of this, my soldiering days are over. Angi wants me to join her in the mountains and help raise Sorella.
- Wulf: Well, that is a surprise!
- Casius: During the chaos, Yngol found time to talk to Angi. He was smitten from the beginning!
- Wulf: Angi is a wonderful person and deserves some stability and happiness. I wouldn’t have Rigmor in my life if Angi did not heal her!
- Yngol: She’s a fine woman, Guardian. I think we have both earned the right to live in peace.
- Wulf: Sorella is a warm and loving child. Please make sure she never removes that ring I gave her. I have a feeling the Vampires will not give up on her.
- Yngol: I will make sure, Guardian. Both of them need protection, so I intend to build a good home for them, a good home for us.
- Wulf: That is what we fight for, a simple life without fear.
- Yngol: Goodbye, Guardian. It’s been an honour to fight alongside you. You know where to find me if you ever need me for anything.
- Wulf: And what about you, General Casius Varon?
- Casius: I shall retire from the Legion, maybe see what adventures and fortunes are to be had on the high seas.
- Wulf: I am surprised The Legion allows you to retire in the middle of a war. Still, you have done your part, and I hope you find some peace on the oceans and seas.
- Casius: Yes, it is something I have always wanted to try. If you ever need my help, seek me out by the Solitude docks.
- Wulf: I’ll remember that offer, Casius. But don’t be a stranger. At least visit my museum occasionally.
- Casius: It has been an honour to know you, Guardian General. Farewell until next time.
It was a relief they were both retiring. I would hate to think the old friends would have to face each other in the civil war. I would hate to have faced Yngol. I don’t doubt he would try his best to kill me, and I would have had to reciprocate.
I approached Quintus and told him, “Captain Vitalis, you are now in command.”
“Guardian General, I strongly advise you to rethink going alone to Blacklight Tower. It will undoubtedly be heavily guarded.”
“I won’t be alone. You must have observed how my friends and I cut through the enemies! Plus, we must reach Aedriath before the news of this defeat does. A small group of us can teleport to Windhelm, which means we would be hours ahead of any New Order runners.”
“When The New Order disembarked, we thought they had two Orsimer brigades. We can only account for one. The other may lay between you and Aedriath. We should gather what we have left of our force and travel to General Varon’s camp.”
“We suffered relatively few casualties. Therefore, you have a large force at your disposal, Captain Vitalis. Travel to the Imperial camp while we ensure General Aedriath does not escape justice. If the other Orsimer brigade gets in our way, they will die.”
“As you order, Guardian General. It has been an honour to fight by your side.”
Captain Vitalis saluted and then left to muster the soldiers.
I sent one of the runners to Dragons Reach to inform Jarl Balgruuf of our complete victory here and in Cyrodiil.
Baa’Ren-Dar ran to me with Rigmor by his side.
- Baa’Ren-Dar: Dragonborn, Dragonborn, she won’t go!
- Wulf: Rigmor, we shall be walking, probably fighting, from Windhelm to Aedriath’s hideaway.
- Rigmor: My stomach is better, Wulf. You know I need to do this.
- Wulf: Then I humbly ask, Countess Ragnarsdottier of Bruma, would you like to accompany me and dispose of General Aedriath?
- Rigmor: Yes! Let’s end this!
- Meeko: Woof?
- Wulf: Yes, Meeko, you can come. You did well in the battle, my flea-ridden friend.
- Vayu: I just checked with the other mages. All is under control with the wounded, and they can do without me. So…
- Wulf: Meeko, you won’t be the only flea-ridden friend to accompany me.
- Meeko: Woof!
- Wulf: Vayu, tell Celestine and Lydia they are also accompanying us.
- Vayu: Will do.
Vayu and Meeko left to collect the others.
- Baa’Ren-Dar: Dragonborn, do you intend to join Rigmor in Cyrodiil.
- Wulf: Eventually. I will have to stay in Skyrim to deal with Alduin. I don’t know how long that will take.
- Rigmor: It will be hard for us, Baa’Ren-Dar. But we each have duties that should and will be our focus for some time.
- Baa’Ren-Dar: This one thinks these tasks would have been easier done with Dragonborn and Rigmor working together.
- Wulf: I agree, but circumstances do not allow that ideal scenario.
- Rigmor: I have adopted Wulf’s philosophy and will do some planning, but be prepared to deal with the unexpected. Wulf and I will be together again when circumstances allow.
- Wulf: Emissary, please use your not so secret Waystones and tell those at the farmhouse of our victory. They will be worried.
- Baa’Ren-Dar: Khajiit will do so. Be careful, Dragonborn. This one hopes it is not too long before we are all reunited.
- Wulf: Come, Rigmor. I am eager to leave this place of death.
I teleported to Windhelm stables and then summoned the others.
We started our long trek to Darklight Tower at a fast pace.
We walked past a homestead infested with bandits. They decided to attack us, so we killed them.
As we brought down the last bandit, Seeker Arrows rained down on us and several embedded themselves in Meeko.
This indignity pissed Meeko off, and he ran at full pace to tackle the archer.
Meeko killed the enemy in seconds.
The corpse of a mage lay nearby.
- Wulf: I don’t think this dead mage was powerful enough to control her.
- Celestine: I don’t think so either.
- Vayu: I agree.
- Rigmor: Ahh, hello, mage type people. I have no idea what that golden lady thingy is!
- Wulf: She is a Golden Saint, a type of Daedra. She comes from the Mania part of The Shivering Isles, Lord Sheogorath’s realm of Oblivion.
- Celestine: Dark Seducers are another type of Daedra. They live in another part of The Shivering Isles called Dementia. Golden Saints and Dark Seducers dislike each other and often clash to gain their Lord’s affection.
- Wulf: Some mages can summon a Golden Saint but do not have the power to control them. We think that is what happened to the dead mage.
- Lydia: She was deadly with her bow.
- Wulf: The arrows that Golden Saints use are called Seeker Arrows. They help with accuracy and do more damage than regular arrows.
- Meeko: Woof!
- Wulf: Yes, Meeko, it was rude of her to shoot you, and you had every right to tear her throat out.
- Rigmor: Are there male Golden Saints?
- Celestine: Yes, and their armour, unsurprisingly, covers more flesh. Same with the Dark Seducers.
- Wulf: And whose choice is it to wear more revealing armour? Males are subordinate in both groups!
- Rigmor: Races that don’t have to waste time training their males!
- Celestine: Yes, they are more evolved than Man or Mer.
- Wulf: Vayu, help me defend our gender!
- Vayu: I might, but I will have to ask Celestine for permission.
- Celestine: Good boy! Would you like a scratch behind the ear?
- Meeko: Woof!
- Wulf: Sorry, Meeko, but Celestine was asking Vayu. I will scratch your ear.
After Meeko received his ear scratch, we continued towards Darklight Tower.
A few minutes later, we were attacked by an ensorceled bear, a Bone Hound and some type of undead.
After killing them, I lay out the undead so we could examine them.
- Rigmor: Why did the bear attack?
- Wulf: It was enraged by this undead creature. We encountered one similar undead on our way to Angi’s for the first time.
- Celestine: I took some flesh samples then but haven’t had a chance to analyse them. I will take some more samples from this one.
- Rigmor: Yeah, I dimly remember that.
- Meeko: Woof?
- Wulf: No, Meeko, I don’t know if Bone Hounds ever chew on their legs.
- Lydia: The best thing about going for a walk with Wulf is the variety of things that want to kill you.
- Celestine: I think they want to kill Wulf. We are just in the way.
- Vayu: Yes, and it was the same in Akavir.
- Wulf: It seems my popularity is universal.
- Vayu: I think it happens when they hear your jokes.
- Rigmor: Instant hate and a desire to kill.
- Lydia: Understandable.
- Meeko: Woof!
- Wulf: Thanks, Meeko. You are a traitor!
A while later, we came across abandoned carts and carriages.
We crept along while I looked ahead with Heat-Vision.
I whispered, “We have found the missing Orsimer. Let’s say hello!”
I switched to Night-Vision.
Then I hit half the Orsimer with Unrelenting Force.
We charged the remaining Orsimer. They charged us.
Another Unrelenting Force killed more enemies before we clashed.
Orsimer are vicious fighters and generate fear in many. They proved little more than an annoyance to my friends and me.
When the last Orsimer mercenary fell, we discussed their loyalty.
- Wulf: I doubt the Orsimer mercenaries know about Malacath’s involvement in Aedriath’s plans.
- Vayu: Oddly, Malacath favours Altmer over the race that worships him.
- Celestine: I wondered the same thing. If Malacath wanted mortal allies, why not choose the disgruntled Orsimer of Orsinium? Their mistreatment over the eras is infamous.
- Wulf: There has always been a schism amongst the Orsimer about Trinimac. Some believe Trinimac still exists and that Malacath is a fraction of him. In other words, a shard. Similar to how Lord Akatosh is a shard of AKA. Others believe Malacath is a reduced version of Trinimac, and there is no shard.
- Lydia: The Orsimer are another people torn apart by religion.
- Wulf: The priests and devotees who wanted to sacrifice Rigmor worshipped Trinimac, not Malacath. We know Malacath and The New Order expected him to return as a living God-King, but Trinimac never claimed any rights over Nirn or Mundus. He was a champion of Auri-El, and there is no basis for any claim of rightful rule over Nirn. I expect such false claims from certain Daedric Princes but not Malacath.
- Rigmor: Perhaps Malacath is insane?
- Wulf: I think he is. Who knows what travelling through Boethia’s digestive system would do to you?
- Vayu: It would be a shitty experience!
- Wulf: At least Malacath would get to the bottom of it.
- Vayu: Was Malacath brown?
- Wulf: No, he was light green.
- Vayu: Poor Boethia, it seems Trinimac upset her tummy!
- Lydia: There is no way any Orsimer, even sellswords, would accept Altmer as the preferred race of either Trinimac or Malacath. I agree with Wulf and think the Orsimer mercenaries are ignorant of the Malacath plot.
- Celestine: I was disappointed to see Dunmer mercenaries. The Empire has been generous to the Dunmer despite the small percentage of racist idiots around Windhelm and Winterhold.
- Wulf: Many Dunmer dislike The Empire because they felt abandoned during The Oblivion Crises. The Dunmer mercenaries’ religion is gold. Orsimer mercenaries would value their religion before gold.
- Celestine: The Bosmer mercenaries are the same as the Dunmer. All they saw was profit.
- Wulf: Now they can all rot together in a mass grave.
- Rigmor: How many did you kill, Wulf? You only used your sword, so each would have been added to your list.
- Wulf: I know the number, Rigmor. However, I don’t want to talk about it while I am still adding to the tally of New Order corpses. Not once did my Dovah threaten to come forth.
We continue towards Blacklight Tower, and even the beauty of the aurora did not elicit a comment from Rigmor. She was walking toward her nemesis once more, and I could tell that fear was battling determination.
A smaller band of Orsimer mercenaries attacked and died. Did they know their deaths were futile and meant to delay us so Aedriath could escape?