Morndas, 6th Frostfall, 4E 201

& Tirdas, 7th Frostfall, 4E 201

I woke well before daybreak and consumed a quick meal of fruit.

I summoned Inigo, and he appeared from the ether almost immediately.

He said, “My friend, I am concerned about what I shall see today.”

“While fighting the enemy, it will not seem different than smaller melees. You will be concentrating on staying alive. However, if the pauses between opponents are too long, you will hear the wounded and dying. If you look around, you will see piles of corpses. I suggest you find another enemy quickly. However, when the battle ends, the horror is unavoidable. The smell is bad enough with my nose. With your hooter, it will be overwhelming!”

“I am angry about The New Order, but I doubt that can protect me against what you describe.”

“Your anger is a poor shield against compassion. You will see piles of bloodied meat that once were people, and pity will arrive. We can’t know why somebody becomes a mercenary or bandit. We don’t know what lies New Order troops have been told. All we truly know is that they threaten innocents and people we love.”

Inigo followed me outside, and a thick fog greeted us. It was more like Riften than Whiterun.

I said to Mallo, “Head inside, Mallo. You might get in the way out here.”

Mallo sat and attacked an itch.

When we exited Whiterun, the sky darkened further, and persistent rain started to fall.

We stopped to talk to Ri’saad.

  • Wulf: I can’t see the kittens, Ri’saad.
  • Ri’saad: It is permitted for adult Khajiiti to remain on this side of the wall foolishly. This one would not dare risk the little ones.
  • Inigo: You do our people proud with your service, Ri’saad.
  • Ri’saad: Khajiit hopes the insanity of this caravan selling at cost doesn’t become well known.
  • Wulf: Others would not expect such a sacrifice. They are not risking their lives against a significant threat. If anything, such generosity will garner more sales at reasonable prices.
  • Ri’saad: That is likely, but it is not why Khajiit is doing this.
  • Inigo: Thane Balgruuf will ensure all those who listen know you did it to aid the brave troops.
  • Wulf: Stay safe, Ri’saad.

Like yesterday, I was recognised, and many soldiers called out greetings. Inigo’s chest swelled as some recognised him and also called his name. News Sheets were thorough in their coverage of who fought beside me in Sovngarde.

The light was so bad I used Night Vision.

I stood between Yngol and Casius and used Zoom Vision to examine our troops.

They stood at the ready, and even from a distance, their eagerness was palpable.

  • Wulf: The effective range of their archers has been severely reduced. Therefore, they have placed them forward of their infantry. They still expect to be the aggressors.
  • Yngol: They probably think, since we have the heights, that our archers are further back and therefore not visible.
  • Inigo: Do they think we will stand and allow several volleys?
  • Cassius: Yes, Inigo and our use of infantry without archer support will shock them.
  • Wulf: Anything that keeps them guessing is to our advantage.
  • Yngol: How do you feel before a battle, Inigo?
  • Inigo: This will be my first, General.
  • Yngol: From tales I have heard, I doubt you are afraid.
  • Inigo: I am not afraid but dread what I will see and experience. My friend has painted a grim picture of what a battle entails.
  • Cassius: Keep busy looking for opponents during the battle, and don’t look too hard when it is over.
  • Inigo: That is similar to what Wulf told me. I shall endeavour to do so.
  • Wulf: Time to go to the Field Command Post and start the party. I could use some intel. Therefore I will summon Silah.

As the veterans made their way to the Field Command Post, Silah came out of the ether without a summons.

She flew in circles and telepathically said, “Wulf, His Imperial Majesty engaged The New Order’s Southern Army Group before dawn. The battle is not going well for the enemy, and a complete rout is expected soon. However, they have nowhere to run, and there is no inclination to take prisoners. The agreement with The Dominion is that they would swoop on The New Order’s agents in Alinor simultaneously.”

“I have no doubt The Thalmor have had them under surveillance for years and know them all.”

“Such are the political games. Be glad you don’t have to deal with that bullshit.”

“Although we have endeavoured to minimise civilian losses, large armies invariably cause many.”

“Yes, and it may take some time to tally the cost in lives and damages.”

“And Skyrim will suffer more as I doubt Ulfric will wait too long before restarting his insurrection.”

“Couldn’t you challenge and kill him?”

“I was thinking of doing so but have decided that is not the best option. Killing Ulfric will leave a lot of Nord Warlords eager to continue fighting with many troops at their disposal. The better option is to destroy his main army and quickly dispose of the depleted forces guarding each capital. We do not need to use trebuchets and catapults, and melee within the cities should cause little if any, damage or civilian casualties. I expect much of the population will fight beside us in some cities.”

“A Bosmer brigade of light infantry and archers have stopped next to Fort Greymoor.”

“That is logical. The enemy fears the garrison making a sortie and attacking their rear.”

“If the battle is going bad, the Bosmer may try and attack your flank.”

“The route they would have to take would put them in conflict with several territorial giants and their mammoths. I don’t think the Bosmer would enjoy that. There are also large nests of bandits in that area. They might see a profit in killing a few Bosmer.”

“Aedriath is with his elite guard and hiding in an old fort. The ship anchored at the fort, but Nahfahlaar gave the crew an ultimatum. They can flee and wait for the fighting to stop, which means they live and their ship remains intact, or they can burn with their vessel.”

“I guess they ran.”

“Quite fast, according to our amused friend.”

“Are the Orsimer guarding the fort?”

“Nahfahlaar said they are spread over the route to the fort, and only a few dozen guard it.”

“That is foolish. Out in the open, the Orsimer stand no chance.”

“They stand little chance inside the fort.”


“I have a request from The Divines.”

“Which is?”

“Use The Voice sparingly as The Nine desire to minimise any evidence of General Welkynd being The Dragonborn. Even though everybody knows it, official records can be edited. The less often old soldiers talk about its use, the easier the deception.”

“I am sure Father or you will explain why later. I will use some quiet Shouts that are not known to be the tools of a Dragonborn. Also, I have enabled the dweomer on my helm, so descriptions of General Welkynd will vary in race and size. One thing I will not do is use The Voice to let the enemy know who they face.”

“Or the fact their leader has run away.”

“I had better get to the Field Command Post. At the moment, I am getting dizzy watching a silent dragon.”

“I think I might swoop over the enemy before leaving. I love making scum soil their pants.”

Silah swooped and roared over parts of the front line as I walked towards the Field Command Post. Our troops shouted her name as she did so. Some told her how beautiful she was. Jills are dragons, so such praise is treasured.

I stopped using Night Vision as I wanted to assess how miserable the weather was. I was satisfied it was sufficiently dark, gloomy, and wet enough to place our enemy at a disadvantage.

  • Wulf: Captain Quintus, please explain the disposition on the map for me. The Akavir use different symbols.
  • Quintus: The map represents Aedriath’s original plans. The enemy had split into four forces. An Orc Brigade, mercenaries, were 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. Rigmor and The Sons of Talos have destroyed most of the brigade, but smaller groups broke away before the decisive battle and are causing issues throughout that area.
  • Wulf: Dragons will locate those smaller groups, and The Dragonguard will destroy them.
  • Quintus: To the west, Aedriath had a Bosmer Auxilia Battalion composed of two companies. Red and white denotes archers, and solid red denotes infantry. From conversations overheard by our mages, we know they were initially to be dug in at Dragon Bridge, indicated in the top left of the map. However, they are now close to Fort Greymoor.
  • Wulf: As planned, the enemy fears Fort Greymoor’s garrison. The Bosmer protect the rear of the main New Order force from that garrison. Silah and I agree that if the battle is going badly for The New Order, the Bosmer will try and attack our flank. Fort Greymoor’s garrison will not sally. However, The Dragonguard inside the fort will leave and start the extermination of the rogue Orsimer mercenaries.
  • Yngol: According to the reports I received, killing officers has caused mass confusion and inaction.
  • Wulf: Yes, it proved effective against most opponents in Akavir. Aedriath had significantly weakened the enemy by taking an Orsimer brigade and hiding in an old fort on Morrowind’s border. He hoped to escape on a merchant ship, but Nahfahlaar told the crew to run away or get roasted with their ship. Aedriath is trapped, and I look forward to watching Rigmor slice him in two.
  • Inigo: Does that mean we face New Order infantry and Dunmer archers?
  • Quintus: Yes, Inigo. Adjacent to us, the enemy consists of a New Order infantry division and a Dark Elf Archer battalion of two companies.
  • Wulf: The enemy has deployed their archers in front of their infantry. So far, they are behaving like they expect to be the aggressors. That is what we wanted, and they are ripe for the slaughter.
  • Yngol: They expect us to wait for them to come to us. If they do, I’ll hold them with a shield wall. Casius can then bring his Legion in on their left flank.
  • Wulf: We cannot let them attack first as 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 rout, so a controlled withdrawal into the city would be the most likely result. The casualties on our side would be unacceptable. Therefore, as we planned, I say that we take the initiative and attack. Their archers, especially in this weather, are highly vulnerable.
  • Quintus: I would wager that the enemy command will commit once you engage the Dark Elven Archers.
  • Wulf: The New Order must commit their infantry. Otherwise, they will lose their numerical advantage as we slaughter their archers. The Dunmer are mercenaries and will soon realise their promised reward will never eventuate.
  • Casius: I agree. An attack on their archers should draw the main body of troops forward and commit them to battle.
  • Yngol: I also agree. Let’s be more unpredictable than General Aedriath!
  • Wulf: They risk a rout if they do not commit their infantry. I might have to make hesitant infantry regret any inaction. We want them to throw everything they have at us. I am confident our troops will prove superior in the chaos.
  • Quintus: You said Silah talked to you, but I didn’t hear her speak.
  • Inigo: Silah spoke using telepathy. That way, the enemy is unaware of what she said. She was kind enough to allow me to hear the discussion.
  • Wulf: Via telepathy, I can discuss things with Silah that are not for the ears of many, including my allies. For instance, she gave me instructions from The Nine.
  • Yngol: Cassius, would you ever get used to Wulf’s casual mention of gods?
  • Cassius: Never. We are used to being pointed towards enemies and told to stab them.
  • Yngol: Of whack them with a hammer.
  • Cassius: I am still recovering from Lord Shor’s avatar joining us.
  • Wulf: He will again when I am ready to join the fray.
  • Quintus: Your orders, General Welkynd.
  • Wulf: The enemy seems hesitant to attack. I think they await more favourable weather. General Yngol Storm-Blade, 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 possible, and the archers will shit themselves. Once they commit their infantry, Legate Casius Varon can strike and outflank them.
  • Yngol: My men will cut through the archers with ease.
  • Quintus: General Welkynd, you would be wise to remain here at the Field Command Post until Legate Varon receives your orders for the Legion to advance.
  • Wulf: I will remain here until it is prudent that I lend my sword to battle.
  • Inigo: Should we tell them about the other army?
  • Wulf: His Imperial Majesty engaged The New Order’s Southern Army Group an hour before dawn. Silah says the enemy is in disarray and close to routing. They will be eradicated, and no prisoners are to be taken.
  • Quintus: What about Alinor?
  • Wulf: Simultaneously, The Thalmor were to arrest or kill The New Order’s agents on the island. I did not ask Silah if we have an observer in Alinor. Unless one of our mages or a certain Khajiiti emissary is there, it may take some time for us to learn of their success or failure.

Yngol turned to Casius.

  • 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.
  • Inigo: Who is going to save The New Order’s ass?
  • Wulf: Not Malacath. He is waiting for Tilar Aedriath to join him in The Ash Pit.
  • Yngol: Does Aedriath have any family?
  • Wulf: He has a wife. If arrested, I don’t think she will enjoy Thalmor questioning. They will torture her even if they think they know all The New Order agents. I doubt they will leave her alive. However, they might leave her alone if her family is important enough.
  • Yngol: Okay, it is time to crack some skulls!

Just as Yngol said that, lightning flashed, and thunder boomed. I had my suspicion that Lady Kynareth was responsible for the weather.

Yngol ran to his giant horse.

It looked at him, and I imagined it was thinking, “Not again. My back hurts!”

We watched Yngol ride into battle, accompanied by much cheering from Legionnaires and Stormcloaks. The civil war was forgotten, and we were now a united Empire. I have no doubt Ulfric will be eager to erase that illusion.

The 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 barked orders. They charged with the ancient war cries of the Nords, striking fear in the enemy.

Yngol raced ahead on his horse. Not because he wanted to fight on horseback. He wanted to be the first to start wading through the enemy troops. He leapt off his horse and started swinging his hammer. Over the din of battle, Yngol’s hammer striking flesh was audible.

The other sounds of battle were a familiar tune. The clash of metal on metal, shouts and grunts, screams, and the occasional pitiful cry for mercy echoed off Whiterun’s walls.

A drop-off stopped us from viewing much of the battle, but from what I saw, the enemy archers were falling rapidly. However, the Altmer infantry stood watching without indicating they intended to rescue the outclassed Dunmer.

I said, “The commanders, or what is left of them, seem unable to make logical decisions. Therefore, I will encourage them to commit their infantry.”

A couple of Fireballs killed many Altmer.

A horn sounded. The New Order was now doing the logical thing.

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.”

Inigo announced, “My friend, a runner is approaching.”

I turned to face the runner.

I asked, “Do you have something to report?”

“Yes, General Welkynd. The Bosmer have abandoned their post opposite Fort Greymoor and are approaching diagonally across the tundra.”

“They might not find that path as easy to traverse as they hope. Keep us informed of their progress.”

“Yes, General.”

I turned to Casius and said, “Legate Casius Varon, it is 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 Casius mount his horse and gallop to his assembled Legionnaires.

His commands were precise and clear and easily heard over the cacophony of battle.

When the enemy realised they were being flanked, an audible gasp of despair arose. A loud crash followed that as Legionnaires smashed into Dunmer and Altmer. Soon, the familiar cacophony resumed, but at a higher volume.

Although confident, I could see we were vastly outnumbered. From what little I could see, Stormcloak and Legionnaire were far superior in skill and commitment. However, experience has shown me that when retreat becomes impossible, doomed troops fight far harder than previously. Weak enemies are soon disposed of, and a hardcore and competent number remain.

The clashing of weapons, yelling, screaming, and cries of mercy ebbed and flowed as the groups of soldiers clashed and died in smaller melees scattered across the battleground. This battle fragmentation is common, and tactics give way to barbarity and anger. The survivors of each melee look for and find other groups of enemies to conquer. The concept of mercy is lost in such a scenario.

Vayu appeared from the ether while I observed the battle. He called my name to gain my attention.

  • Wulf: It is good to see you, Vayu. Do you have news?
  • Vayu: Yes, Wulf, I have some good news. The Southern Army Group have been utterly destroyed. No mercy was shown, and His Imperial Majesty displayed his contempt for the enemy by cutting many down from horseback. The New Order relied too much on mercenaries, and although the Orsimer did not rout, the Dunmer did. The ensuing panic led to the Altmer also routing. The Orsimer were overrun, and every Legionnaire vented their anger on the fleeing troops.
  • Inigo: What about Alinor?
  • Vayu: Luckily, and not unexpectantly, Baa’Ren-Dar had a way of teleporting to Alinor.
  • Inigo: That would have been hazardous!
  • Vayu: No, as the last thing The Dominion would do is harm a famous Elsweyr emissary. Besides, not all of the leaders of The Dominion object to him rescuing Rigmor.
  • Wulf: I am positive Baa’Ren-Dar will report to us when he can.
  • Vayu: We don’t think it would have taken long for The Thalmor to arrest all known New Order operatives.
  • Wulf: I agree. Their list would have been thorough and Thalmor in place for a synchronised attack.
  • Vayu: Silah said she would scout for Orsimer mercenaries and coordinate attacks by The Dragonguard.
  • Wulf: Yes, she should be doing that soon, as the Bosmer brigade sitting next to Fort Greymoor is marching our way.
  • Vayu: General Tullius is rather upset the Bosmer brigade did not stay near Dragon Bridge. Still, he will take a contingent of Legionnaires and hunt for New Order deserters. I hope he finds some, as he is not used to standing next to a battle map for days.
  • Wulf: I am sure he will get to bloody his sword when Ulfric restarts the civil war.
  • Vayu: Legate Rikke suggested the same thing. General Tullius laughed and said he needed to remove the rust before then.
  • Inigo: How is Ko’rassa?
  • Vayu: Lucky you asked, Inigo. She warned me your dangly bits were in danger if you didn’t.
  • Inigo: Honestly, she has been in my thoughts throughout this ordeal.
  • Vayu: As Celestine has been in mine. Ko’rassa is fine, and she is a favourite of Nahfahlaar.
  • Wulf: Okay, you love forlorn duo. I had better return to doing General stuff.

When Vayu vanished, I watched the battle for some time.

Then Quintus said, “General Welkynd, a runner approaches.”

I turned and waited for the runner to reach us.

I asked, “Do you have something to report, Soldier?”

“Yes, General Welkynd. The Sons of Talos have arrived at the stables and are disembarking.”

As the runner walked to a nearby knoll, I watched The Sons of Talos take a position on our left flank. Somebody must have told Rigmor that is where they might be needed.

Celestine, Iona, Jordis, and Iona came running and stayed silent. They know who I am waiting for.

The runner yelled, “General, Rigmor of Bruma is here!”

I ran past my friends, who laughed at my eagerness.

I came to a sudden halt and stared at my beloved. Rigmor 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 also saw a young woman made whole again. Rigmor is a woman who delights in discovering a new butterfly colour. She is a woman who can read the mysteries hidden in light reflected off water and teach idiots like me. She is the woman who shares my soul and who I love with every fibre of my being.

When my eyes met Rigmor’s, I gasped with the power of the connection and the love that we shared.

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 alone, 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?”

“That I can’t escape my past, Wulf. I am what I am. There’s no use hiding or running away. You must be sure you’re ready for what life has in store. I realise that now.”

“The little girl showed that you are part warrior but also the girl who played with Jenny. Sometimes you have to swap one role for another, but both exist. I am pleased you learned that important lesson.”

“That is a good summation. But then again, you have often had to swap the killer for a big softy.”

“Who told you about the Bosmer?”


“They must be kept away from the main battle. Our enemy has almost routed, and I don’t want a resurgence of hope amongst them.”

“I don’t think Bosmer will provide much of a challenge for The Sons of Talos. They carved through the Orsimer as if no time has passed since The Great War.”

“The Bosmer should arrive soon. Be careful. Far on the left flank are a couple of giants and their mammoths.”

“We shall wait for the Bosmer on the top of the embankment. You should join the central battle. Silah told me that we are greatly outnumbered.”

“I want to watch my battle maiden issue some orders first.”

“Haha. By the way, Baa’Ren-Dar will be here soon. He ran over to say hello and returned to chinwagging with Ri’saad and the others. The ladies should fight beside you. They have deserved the right to kill the Altmer invaders instead of their hired help.”

I was going to argue the point, but Lydia and Celestine’s stares told me to shut up and obey.

“Okay, milady.”

“My dear Dragonbum, who knows what tomorrow brings for us? But for now?”

“We have a war to win.”

Rigmor galloped to the front of the veterans and halted.

Her beautiful voice was turned into an instrument of command.

She said, “Sons and daughter of Talos, the enemy is arriving over the crest. Wait for them to get close, then engage them in general melee. There are no formations needed for such an inferior enemy. Show no mercy! Onward for The Empire, those we love, freedom, and victory!”

I was impressed. Rigmor is a natural leader and demonstrated why Aedriath was right to be afraid of her potential.

When I returned to the Field Command Post, Baa’Ren-Dar awaited me.

I laughed and said, “So, after spending time gossiping with Ri’saad, you have decided to join us.”

“That one’s humour still needs work. Khajiit is pleased to inform General Welkynd that all known agents of The New Order have been killed or arrested in Alinor.”

“That is excellent news!”

Quintus yelled, “General Welkynd, the enemy is starting to waver!”

I replied, “Then it is time to make them run. Stay at the Field Command Post, Captain.”

In the past, when I Shouted Shor’s Wrath, Tsun had been summoned. Yesterday, Shor’s avatar manifested.

I drew my sword, then Shouted Shor’s Wrath, and found myself fighting for my existence against an accidental foe.

I was enveloped in a blue light, and most colour was drained from my vision.

Another Consciousness battled for control of my Lifeforce. It had no malice but seemed to think it belonged. I was frozen in place.

If the intruder succeeded, my Consciousness would be tossed into The Void. I doubted I could return to Mundus and would have to await my summons to Aetherius. I would be dead.

I knew whose Consciousness it was, and its assumption of ownership made sense if some speculation about Father’s ascendance was correct. Although perturbed by the idea, I had no time to brood.

All noise was muted, but I heard Inigo yelling, “My friend, what is happening?”

I needed a way to wrestle my Lifeforce from a being infinitely more powerful than me. The Dragon Aspect Shout relied on the person having the soul of a dragon. It used the uniqueness of such a soul and drained a small part of Lifeforce while in effect. I guessed that if Dragon Aspect attached the Lifeforce of my soul to my body, Shor would retreat.

I Shouted Dragon Aspect.

I controlled my limbs once more, and as I made my way to the battle, Shor retreated, and my vision cleared.

A quick scan of the battlefield showed me what I had experienced many times before. The neat battle lines had transformed into smaller skirmishes. The Altmer were fragmented but determined to fight. I could see very few Dunmer mercenaries still on their feet.

I placed the incident with Shor behind me as I started my Dance of Death. I flowed from opponent to opponent and added to my roll of death at a rapid rate. The enemy guessed who I was by my armour, and they often attacked in coordinated groups.

I caught glimpses of my friends carving their way through the enemy.

Celestine was a terrifying force on the battlefield. The destruction dweomer I placed on her staves was as powerful as any I have found on an artefact. Her Mastery of Destruction amplified their power many times over. Few enemies survived one strike from her staves. None survived two. She reduced enemies to screaming pillars of flame, piles of sparking ashes or frozen corpses.

The killing continued without pause. One group of Altmer would be decimated, and then I would find another to plunge into.

Wild animals would join in the fighting due to Kyne’s Peace. Horses were left unmolested by our allies, but they didn’t understand that wolves and other predators could be trusted. Unfortunately, that uncertainty led to the demise of many beasts.

News was relayed that giants and mammoths were attacking a group of veterans on the left flank.

As my friends and I ran to provide aid, we passed Rigmor sitting on Ren behind a tree.

I asked her, “What is up?”

“The Bosmer archers keep popping over a ridge and firing arrows my way. They must know who I am. So, until we can charge them, I will play chicken and use this tree as cover.”

“Okay, once we clear the giants and mammoths, we will help deal with the Bosmer. By the way, have I told you how beautiful you are?”


“I was talking to Ren.“


Many Sons of Talos had been killed by the enraged giants and mammoths far from their camp. They must have been hit by Bosmer arrows and blamed the veterans.

It did not take long for me and The Dragonguard to cut them down.

The Bosmer charged us and soon regretted their decision.

Once we dented the initial charge, I yelled, “Dragonguard, back to the main battle. The Altmer are the danger, and plenty of them remain!”

We rushed over, and once again, my Dance of Death shocked others on the battlefield.

I decided I had killed enough and watched the remnants of Aedriath’s army get annihilated. A blessing of the rain was blood, gore, and sweat was washed off my friends. Inigo had a haunted look in his eyes. Only a thorough clean later would remove all physical remnants of those we slew. The mental evidence would take more effort and longer to erase.

Weary from the physicality of battle and horror, we slowly walked to the left flank.

I was pleased to see other giants and their mammoths had not been killed by the madness of war.

A group of people, including Baa’Ren-Dar, Yngol and Casius, gathered in a circle. I could not see Rigmor and panicked.

As I ran full pelt towards them, Yngol yelled, “General Welkynd, Rigmor is wounded.”

People parted, and I stopped before Rigmor. She was sitting with her back to a rock and clutching her midriff.

I knelt and stared into her eyes. Rigmor was not injured. She was physically ill.

I whispered, “Are you still getting cramps from the concoction?”

“Not cramps but sharp stabbing pains followed by the worst tummy ache imaginable. Strong emotions are the trigger.”

“Has Celestine diagnosed an ulcer?”

“Yes, she said that the concoction burnt my stomach lining. Strong emotions create more acid, which is weird knowing we have any acid inside us. Healing spells repair it temporarily, but I need stress-free rest to let it fully heal.”

“It is strange how we can repair large cuts and other external injuries, but the stomach causes many issues. If even a tiny scar is left, stomach acid works away at it, and ulcers result. Being stress-free will be difficult since you are going to be Countess. It might be hectic at first.”

“I think a few days with you, surrounded by Our Quiet, will suffice. I haven’t had a real rest since you rescued me.”

“There is no need for you to rush across the border. I am sure Baa’Ren-Dar and your mother would like to prepare things before your grand entrance.”

“Grand entrance?”

“The people of Bruma will want to greet their new Countess with fanfare and celebrations.”

“Oh, great.”

“There will probably be copious amounts of mead and other booze.”

“Well, that doesn’t seem too bad then.”

“I think a few days in my Tundra Manor will be ideal for the both of us.”

“Lydia described it as a small farm next to a river.”

“Yes, that is an apt description.”

“Does it have a spa bath?”

“Nope, I didn’t want one. All my other houses have them. Instead, I have placed rocks to make a shallow pool in the river.”

“That would be freezing!”

“You are a Nord. The cold won’t bother you. Or have you become a milk drinker due to the luxury of Baa’Ren-Dar’s estate?”

“It sounds wonderful. But first, there is an arsehole that needs killing.”

I stood and healed Rigmor. It removed the pain, but she was still queasy and wisely remained seated.

I knelt again then told Rigmor, “I have to arrange a few things. Rest for we have a way to travel.”

“Silah said Aedriath was hiding on the border with Morrowind.”

“That is where he was. I don’t know if he is still there. But now he is not surrounded by a large army, making it easier for our dragon friends to find him if he makes his way elsewhere.”

“We can’t let him get away, Wulf!”

“We won’t. Now relax for a few minutes.”

I stood to talk to the others.

  • Wulf: Rigmor is not seriously hurt. She suffers stomach problems from the concoction The New Order made her drink.
  • Yngol: What is next?
  • Wulf: We need a few Restoration mages to attend to the wounded, and our fallen need to be identified and sent to the respective Halls of the Dead.
  • Casius: What do we do with enemy wounded?
  • Wulf: If they are Altmer, heal them, truss them up, and deliver them to the Dominion embassy in Solitude. Heal the Dunmer and Bosmer mercenaries and deliver them to Solitude’s jail, where they can await their trial.
  • Casius: I didn’t think your no-mercy stance would last.
  • Wulf: I can’t kill people incapable of defending themselves or order it to be done. Call it a weakness.
  • Yngol: It is not a weakness but something enemies might exploit.
  • Wulf: There is to be no effort to identify the enemy dead. They must be transported to the snowfields and thrown into trenches without markers of where they are. Cover them with rocks and dirt and let Skyrim’s snow hide all evidence they ever existed.
  • Yngol: I know of an area near Winterhold. It will be an ideal resting place for the scum.
  • Baa’Ren-Dar: Khajiit will inform His Imperial Majesty of today’s success. Then this one intends to take Sigunn to Bruma but must travel the roads.
  • Wulf: I will ask two squads of Dragonguard to accompany you. You may have to make camp halfway. I will also ask for a dragon to be a scout and guard.
  • Baa’Ren-Dar: That will be a relief. Ri’saad said bandits had become bolder while everybody watched the invaders.
  • Wulf: When Rigmor is ready, the ladies, Inigo and I, will accompany her to whatever hole Aedriath is hiding in and finish this.
  • Baa’Ren-Dar: Okay, this one shall stay with Rigmor till she feels well enough to join Dragonborn.
  • Wulf: I will meet everybody near the command tent soon. I need to view the battlefield. I do it after each battle to remember the senseless loss of life in detail. Also, I may learn something that reduces the carnage in future battles.

As Yngol and Casius started barking orders, I turned to some of The Dragonguard.

  • Wulf: Where is Jordis?
  • Celestine: She is comforting a young Legionnaire who just experienced her first battle.
  • Wulf: Celestine, can you please quickly sweep the battlefield for the wounded? I will ask Silah to gather some other Restoration mages while you do.
  • Inigo: My friend, I saw many wounded being carried to a triage tent.
  • Wulf: We are more likely to find wounded enemies than allies waiting for assistance.
  • Inigo: I don’t know how to deal with what I have seen today.
  • Lydia: I was the same, Inigo. It seems we might be busy again soon as we chase down Aedriath. When we return home, I think a good talk and drinking session in Aurane’s tavern will help.
  • Jordis: I cannot imagine what some battles during The Great War were like.
  • Wulf: The Battle of The Red Ring was over a hundred times bigger than this. Even though his numbers will be reduced, Ulfric will send a much larger army against Whiterun than Aedriath fielded.
  • Inigo: My friend, what happened when you started glowing blue?
  • Wulf: I think I know, but I am unsure. I might ask Father, but he will probably not answer. He refuses to speak of some subjects, and what happened may infringe on one of them.
  • Inigo: Were you in danger?
  • Wulf: Yes. I could have died. An educated guess saved me.
  • Celestine: Please discuss it with me when you can, Wulf.
  • Wulf: Yes, of course, Princess. Now, I need to walk the battlefield. After that, I will finalise some things, and then we will find Aedriath and end his time on Nirn.

I walked around the battlefield. I healed a few people as I went and called over soldiers to take them to triage. Many corpses were hacked to pieces in the savagery of the moment. Young soldiers who never thought themselves capable will question themselves and their morality. The questions diminish as unblooded turns to experienced and then veteran.

After some time, I approached Quintus.

I asked, “Has Legate Varon given your orders?”

“Yes, General Welkynd. I had heard of your prowess with the sword, but what I witnessed was beyond any description.”

“But you saw no glory in my Dance of Death, for it has none. I would be content if this battle were never turned into bard songs or heroic novels. It should never be forgotten, but its reality should never be glossed over.”

I saluted the surprised Captain. It was not protocol for the superior officer to salute first. But Quintus did his duty well and deserved any minor recognition I could give.

Quintus saluted back with a smile as I turned and approached the command tent.

Silah had been flying around while I inspected the battlefield. She also remembered details for a debriefing of The Divines.

She manifested in her spirit form when I reached Casius and Yngol.

  • Silah: You always said The New Order armies stood little chance.
  • Wulf: I have been in enough battles to assess the worth of two armies accurately. We still lost many good people, and it will be some time before we know the full extent of the damage inflicted across Skyrim and Cyrodiil by The New Order.
  • Silah: Dragonguard mages are assisting Celestine with the wounded.
  • Wulf: Good, I was going to summon some of them.
  • Silah: The other Dragonguard are hunting rogue New Order mercenaries with the assistance of dragon scouts. A few dragons are also assisting General Tullius with his hunt.
  • Wulf: I will have to visit The Throat of The World and tell the Dov how grateful I am.
  • Silah: There is no need, Wulf. You allowed them to defend their home without risking death or straying from The Way of The Voice.
  • Wulf: Has Jarl Balgruuf been informed of our success?
  • Casius: I wrote a missive and sent it with a runner to the Jarl.
  • Silah: Aedriath is definitely inside an old fort called Blacklight Tower. He has no crew to sail the ship docked there. They wisely crossed the border and will now enjoy Morrowind hospitality while waiting to reclaim their vessel.
  • Wulf: I know where Blacklight Tower is. It is on the far east coast, a few miles from Morrowind’s border and was only decommissioned about a decade ago.
  • Yngol: Do you think the seven of you are enough to reach him?
  • Wulf: Yes, Yngol. We shall teleport to Windhelm’s stables, and as far as I know, the Orsimer mercenaries have divided themselves into smaller parties.
  • Silah: That is correct. I don’t think they will be much of a threat to Wulf’s group.
  • Wulf: Silah, there is a Dragonguard squad camped at Sethri’s farm. I want the Ka’Po’Tun squad to join them and escort Baa’Ren-Dar and Sigunn to Bruma’s border. I was going to suggest a carriage for Sigunn, but she has a horse and would probably enjoy the ride. They may have to camp overnight, but it should be okay if a dragon is guarding and scouting.
  • Silah: Okay, Khao is in the medical tent. I will tell him the plan, and they will teleport to the farm. I think Valminoor would like to be their scout. He has gained a lot of confidence.
  • Yngol: Then I guess this is goodbye?
  • Wulf: For now, Yngol. We will catch up for a pint of mead or two.
  • 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, I can’t say that is a surprise.
  • Casius: As you know, during the chaos, Yngol found time to talk to Angi often. 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, General. 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. 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: Yes, and I no longer desire to fight for the ambition of a single man.
  • Wulf: I was going to ask if Ulfric is okay with you retiring. I hope he is not going to declare you a deserter.
  • Yngol: He has no intention of moving these troops far outside of Whiterun Hold, if at all. I can no longer think of his cause as justified or him as honourable. Whatever you must reveal about him was unnecessary for me to come to that conclusion. He would not dare try and accuse me of desertion.
  • Wulf: I hope many of these troops go home to their families.
  • Yngol: Goodbye, General Welkynd. It has 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, Legate Casius Varon?
  • Casius: After I have overseen the total withdrawal of Empire troops from Whiterun Hold, I shall retire from the Legion. I have already finished my agreed service, and General Tullius knew I intended to leave before the battles for cities commenced. I do not have the stomach to face old allies across a battlefield after what we achieved together during The Great War and in Hammerfell.
  • Wulf: You must have a considerable pension. However, I can’t picture you pottering around a farm.
  • Casius: That does not appeal to me at all. I intend to see what adventures and fortunes will be had on the high seas.
  • Wulf: I hope you find some peace on your travels.
  • Casius: It is something I have always wanted to try. If you 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, General Welkynd. Farewell until next time.

Silah walked to the medical tent to speak to Khao.

Baa’Ren-Dar, Celestine and Rigmor had joined us.

  • 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.
  • Celestine: She will be okay, Wulf. It is just like severe cramps.
  • 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!
  • Celestine: All of the injured are being well cared for.
  • Wulf: I think the kill ratio was at least ten to one. Aedriath needed a much bigger army than he had.
  • Baa’Ren-Dar: Dragonborn, do you intend to join Rigmor in Cyrodiil?
  • Wulf: Eventually. I will have to stay in Skyrim to deal with the civil war. 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 be easier if Dragonborn and Rigmor worked together.
  • Wulf: I agree, but circumstances do not allow that ideal scenario.
  • Rigmor: Wulf and I will be together again when circumstances allow.
  • Wulf: However, I intend to spend a few days with Rigmor at one of my homes in Whiterun’s tundra. That will give you time to organise things in Bruma.
  • Baa’Ren-Dar: Indeed, that is time badly needed. Although macabre, we need to remove items of the previous Count and family. They should be returned to his relatives. New bedding will need to be purchased and some redecoration undertaken. It will be nothing too severe but what Sigunn suggests for now. Countess Rigmor can make more extensive changes upon her arrival.
  • Rigmor: I don’t want lots of money spent!
  • Wulf: I hope there is a spectacular parade to welcome Countess Rigmor Ragnarsdottier home!
  • Baa’Ren-Dar: Do not worry, Dragonborn. Khajiit has many plans for a grand entrance.
  • Rigmor: Will there be mead?
  • Baa’Ren-Dar: Copious alcohol from all over Tamriel will be provided.
  • Rigmor: Cool!
  • Wulf: Come, Rigmor. I am eager to leave this place of death.
  • Rigmor: Yes, lets us hurry so we can kill some more!
  • Wulf: We are going to end your nightmare, young lady!
  • Rigmor: Yes, old man, we are.
  • Wulf: It has been a pleasure meeting you, Emissary Baa’Ren-Dar. I look forward to being reacquainted one day.
  • Baa’Ren-Dar: Khajiit is waiting on news from home. Our reacquaintance may come sooner than Dragonborn may think.
  • Wulf: That sounds ominous! Never hesitate to ask for help, Baa’Ren-Dar. Goodbye for now.

Silah soared overhead and then roared as she flew away.

Rigmor hugged Baa’Ren-Dar as my friends gathered around. We then teleported to the beginning of Windhelm’s bridge.

It wasn’t raining, but the wind was bitterly cold.

  • Rigmor: I never thought I would enjoy the smell of Windhelm!
  • Inigo: The smell of entrails, shit and blood was disturbing.
  • Celestine: The smells of battle.
  • Jordis: The triage and medical tents were far from the muster area.
  • Celestine: The noise of the injured and dying are distressing for the troops.
  • Wulf: This will be quite a hike, Rigmor. Do not hesitate to let me know if rest is needed.
  • Celestine: Just whine, ‘Hey, wait for me!’
  • Wulf: That was an excellent mimic, Celestine.
  • Celestine: Well, that whine is embedded in my head after hearing it many times.
  • Rigmor: I do not whine.
  • Wulf: I think most of this walk will be uphill.
  • Rigmor: Oh, great. Thunder thighs, here I come.
  • Iona: That was a whine.
  • Jordis: I agree.
  • Wulf: But Rigmor never whines.
  • Lydia: And Inigo doesn’t have fleas.
  • Wulf: In reality, it should be a relatively flat walk.
  • Rigmor: You lied!
  • Wulf: Who? Me? I am not the one who said I never whine.
  • Rigmor: I didn’t remember how much I hated you until now.
  • Wulf: I am glad to help recover more missing memories. Now come along and don’t dawdle!

We stopped at the Khajiiti caravan.

  • Ma’dran: Is the battle at Whiterun over?
  • Wulf: Indeed, it is, Ma’dran. We are hunting some fleeing enemies.
  • Ma’dran: Many Orsimer and Altmer passed this way yesterday. None of them stopped to buy anything.
  • Rigmor: How rude!
  • Ma’dran: Indeed, but Ma’dran remained quiet as he likes his head where it is.
  • Rigmor: You need your head to sell things, so it was best you let the rude Orsimer ignore your wonderful goods.
  • Ma’dran: Does Lady Ramsbottom wish to purchase something?
  • Wulf: Lady Ramsbottom was a fake name.
  • Ma’dran: Ma’dran knows this. She is Rigmor of Bruma, but this one didn’t know if secrets were still needed.
  • Wulf: They aren’t, so let me introduce Countess Rigmor Ragnarsdottier of Bruma.
  • Ma’dran: Countess! That is of much higher rank than Lord. Perhaps your bag of coins or gems is heavier than Lord Welkynd’s?
  • Rigmor: I am afraid not, Ma’dran.
  • Wulf: May you walk on warm sands, Ma’dran.
  • Ma’dran: And may you part with many coins when next you visit.

A passing shower elicited a few grumbles. Nahfahlaar flew overhead and said, “Ahead, you will arrive at a wrecked house infested with bandits. Further than that, look for broken carriages. I might have accidentally knocked them over and made Orsimer scatter like ants. They have split into several groups, and they are all sword-wielders. I doubt they will be much of a challenge. Have fun! I am going home to have a long bath.”

Nahfahlaar vanished into the ether, and we continued.

The shower passed quickly, and the afternoon sun was warm as I looked at Windhelm’s docks. The Northern Maiden had returned from Solstheim.

Captain Gjalund Salt-Sage was busy doing maintenance.

  • Inigo: My friend, there is the Northern Maiden!
  • Wulf: I wonder if they have eliminated the smell in the cabin.
  • Inigo: It will probably smell like Ko’Pa’Tun puke for years to come.
  • Rigmor: Are you talking about one of those boats? Or are they ships? I get confused.
  • Wulf: The Northern Maiden is the boat that took us to Solstheim. It was also the one that Miraak’s Goons used to get here. I must speak to Vittoria Vici about the price gouging.
  • Rigmor: Silah told us you let Miraak live.
  • Wulf: He thought he could defeat Alduin without the Ancient Tongues. Unfortunately, he also fell for the Tentacled Turd’s lies. I don’t think his initial intent was selfish, and he deserved a chance at redemption.
  • Rigmor: So, the assassins he sent were just a misunderstanding?
  • Wulf: He didn’t send them. His devotees made their own rules. He asked to remain on Solstheim to finish killing them off. I have done the right thing, but he must earn my trust. He will live in the museum’s safehouse for some time.
  • Celestine: Wulf has given Paarthurnax and Odahviing a chance for redemption.
  • Lydia: And an annoying blue Khajiiti that we unfortunately know.
  • Inigo: Didn’t he rescue you from a brothel? You were starving because even drunk sailors wouldn’t pay you for sex.
  • Lydia: Not bad. How did Shiva fare as my substitute?
  • Wulf: Shiva got him a few times but hasn’t had your extensive Inigo bashing experience.
  • Lydia: As long as she made Inigo miserable, I am satisfied.
  • Inigo: Shiva didn’t make me nauseous. That is a skill you wield without words.
  • Rigmor: You must have a few tales of your time in Solstheim.
  • Inigo: We certainly do.
  • Wulf: I will tell you all about them, Rigmor.
  • Inigo: I think you would like Wulf’s new house in Raven Rock.
  • Rigmor: Another house?
  • Wulf: I want to spend a day or two in my homestead. Perhaps we can visit Solstheim for some time as well?
  • Rigmor: I would like to see more of the world before duties keep me pinned down.
  • Celestine: Once things are in place, the County will almost run automatically. Your primary duty will be dealing with supplicants.
  • Rigmor: You were trained for all that stick-up-the-arse, noble crap.
  • Celestine: If I could rule the kingdom and have my choice of partner, I would have enjoyed the duties. Nobushi, Akiho, Kayo and Tsubaki left Akavir for similar reasons.
  • Rigmor: I know that you gave it all up for Vayu. Meanwhile, I wouldn’t swap a Sweetroll for Dragonbum.
  • Wulf: Aww, you warm my heart with such talk.

A bit further along, Inigo said, “I can hear voices. The stink on the wind suggests they are smelly, unwashed bandits.”

“It is probably the wrecked house that Nahfahlaar warned us about. Follow me!”

I ran, and the others struggled to keep pace.

As soon as I was spotted, the bandits drew weapons.

My Thu’um killed them.

We quickly took care of the bandits inside the house.

Rigmor had run ahead and yelled, “Hello, some help would be good!”

When I reached her, my beloved had cut down two bandits with two trolls and a wild husky aiding her.

The bandits had a trained bear with them. I cut down a Khajiiti.

I disposed of another two bandits.

Then I killed the bear.

We saw a bandit with a huge trained troll. I killed the bandit.

Rigmor growled, “The hairy bastard is mine!”

I watched an angry Rigmor slice the huge beast several times while dodging its claws.

When the troll charged, Rigmor almost cut it in half.

It dropped dead, and we continued on our trek.

As we walked, I said to Rigmor, “I haven’t placed any dweomer on your sword or armour.”

“I know. Imagine how effective the sword will be when you do!”

“Giant trolls will only last two slices, not three.”

“I did get fatigued quicker in battle than I expected. I don’t think the concoction but the lack of dweomer was to blame.”

“You sliced and diced through the Thalmor embassy without dweomer. I think part of the fatigue in battle is caused by trying to assess the dangers. The enemy is in greater numbers and could approach from several directions. Your senses are heightened, and that contributes to the weariness.”

“You might be right. Now, don’t get carried away. The important word is ‘might.’”

We came upon a strange undead. I encountered one similar a few months ago near Lakeview Manor.

After we killed it, Celestine took some samples for testing.

When we saw abandoned carriages, I scanned the area using Heat Vision.

Heat and Zoom Vision revealed a large number of Orsimer behind a hillock.

I whispered to the group, “A lot of Orsimer are ahead. I can kill some with Unrelenting Force. However, we must charge the others and kill them quickly so they remain a mob, not an organised fighting force.

Unrelenting Force travelled swiftly.

All exposed Orsimer died before they realised the danger.

I led the charge and killed several more Orsimer with a Shout.

Many enemies converged from different directions.

They fought well but were no match for The Dragonguard, Rigmor and me.

  • Wulf: I doubt the Orsimer mercenaries know about Malacath’s involvement in Aedriath’s plans.
  • Lydia: Oddly, Malacath favoured 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. 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?
  • Iona: It would be a shitty experience!
  • Jordis: At least Malacath would get to the bottom of it.
  • Inigo: Was Malacath brown?
  • Wulf: No, he was light green.
  • Iona: 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 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 Dark Elves 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 discuss it while adding to the tally of New Order corpses.

Further on, dusk was swiftly approaching when Heat Vision revealed more Orsimer in waiting.

Unrelenting Force killed many, then we charged, and a general melee occurred.

We quickly and easily disposed of many more enemies.

We continued towards Blacklight Tower, and even the beauty of the aurora and moons did not elicit a comment from Rigmor. She was walking toward her nemesis again, and I could tell that fear was battling determination.

The ship came into view, and so did the old fort. Heat Vision revealed nobody aboard the ship, but a group of New Order troops awaited us.


As The Voice echoed, the enemy below ran towards one of two towers.

I told the group, “There is already fighting. I guess Orsimer mercenaries are not too pleased with their employers.”

Several Unrelenting Force Shouts killed most of those who hadn’t reached the tower.

I decapitated an Orsimer and rushed up the tower.

Orsimer had finished killing Altmer and Dunmer by the time I reached them

My Dance of Death ended their rebellion.

I climbed a level and looked across the bridge joining the two towers.

Three Bosmer archers guarded the far end.

Unrelenting Force travelled quickly, and all three died.

I leapt down onto the bridge and ran towards the other tower.


Some Altmer guarded the entrance.

They died.

I was well ahead of my friends, so I waited for them to arrive.

I asked Rigmor, “Are you ready for this, my beloved?”

“I am okay at the moment.”

“I am looking forward to a chat with Aedriath.”

We entered the tower, and I said, “There are three or four through the door and a few more above.”

I burst through the door.

Unrelenting Force killed several, and then we carved through the rest in seconds.

We rushed to the next floor and burst through a door.

The last three Black Diamond Armour-wearing elite guards attacked.

I laughed and said, “Let’s see how you do when I am not prone on the floor.”

I cut all three elite guards down and an Altmer wizard who had been hoping to escape.

I growled, “Please, remove them from my sight. They invoke unpleasant memories. Rigmor, we need to talk.”

As my friends dragged the corpses out of the room, Rigmor and I walked to the opposite door.

I told her, “Rigmor, that door will lead to the roof of this tower where Aedriath awaits his death. Are you ready to end your nightmare?”

“I can’t, Wulf. I can’t!

“Hey, I understand. Wait here with the others, and I will take care of Aedriath. But hand me Morganna. I want your sword to be the instrument of his death.”

“Just kill him and hurry back!”

“I promise I will kill him. How long that takes depends on him.”

Rigmor handed me her sword, then walked away from the door and sat down. She was clutching her stomach once again.

I said to my friends, “I will not be long. Celestine, please do something for Rigmor. She is in pain again.”

I made my way to the roof, and there stood Aedriath. Rigmor’s sword was drawn as I did not have a sheath.

I growled, “You have nowhere to run to this time.”

“I must say I have to agree, and it does seem my adventure had come to an untimely end. I should have made sure those fools had finished you off myself. Then I would not be in this predicament caused by the failure of so many others.”

“They did enough to kill me. However, The Divines and Lady Azura wanted me to live. The Divines stopped the poison and wounds from killing me before Lady Azura anchored my soul to the mortal realm. My love for Rigmor gave me the willpower to return from The Void to my body. Malacath can’t and wouldn’t save you from death. Such is the difference in the strength of my allies, mortals, and gods, compared to yours. Such is my worth to gods compared to your worthlessness.”

“I underestimated you. You have certainly proved yourself a formidable foe. Who exactly are you?”

“You know who I am. I am Wulf, Dragonborn and Champion of The Divines, Azura, Boethia, Meridia and Hermaeus Mora. More importantly, I am Guardian of Countess Rigmor Ragnarsdottier of Bruma.”

Aedriath’s eyes widened at Rigmor’s title.

I laughed and said, “Ragnar’s titles have been reinstated. The Dominion lies about him were removed from official documents. His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Titus Mede II, has given Rigmor the title of Countess of Bruma as compensation for the injustices done to her and her family. She will live in peace and luxury while you become Malacath’s toy in The Ash Pit. I don’t think he is pleased with your failure, Aedriath. Do you think he will believe your claim it wasn’t your fault?”

“Ahh, yes, Rigmor. Might I say what an excellent job you have done to ensure her safety? You really must be commended. If I had known what an insufferable thorn in my side she would become….”

My Thu’um shook the tower.


Startled, Aedriath stepped back, and his mouth immediately closed.

I continued, “Do you think anything a pathetic nobody like you might say could upset me? Do you think I will allow you to bad mouth Rigmor or boast of how this is not over and all that other tripe you mentally prepared as you waited for your doom? You are so fucking predictable and boring. Tell me, Tilar Aedriath, did Sharon sell her soul to Malacath?”

Malacath stood silent, but his face betrayed his yearning for the wife he left in Alinor.

I told him, “I assume Sharon didn’t, as she had no need. The Thalmor rounded up every New Order idiot simultaneously with His Imperial Majesty destroying your army in Cyrodiil. The Thalmor have known of your plans for years. They were happy to let you weaken The Empire’s defences, but you never stood a chance.”

Aedriath’s muscles tensed. I guessed what he was planning.

I asked, “If Sharon ever loved you, do you think she still did after they arrested then tortured her for hours? They knew all of your fellow conspirators, so the torture was superfluous. But why waste a good session of fingernail pulling and uncoiling? Maybe she died, or physicians repaired her enough to make a few gold coins on the slave market. Either way, I doubt she thought much of you after a short time. Sadly, you won’t meet in the afterlife. Therefore, you can never beg Sharon for forgiveness.”

Tears confirmed Aedriath’s feelings for Sharon.

I growled, “Any last words?”

In a voice I had learned to detest, he replied, “Do you think I would let you place your hands on me? If I am to die, it will be my own life to take. Give my regards to Rigmor.”

I laughed as I said, “This sword belonged to one of Rigmor’s relatives. I don’t know how sharp it is, but let’s find out, shall we.”

If Aedriath meant to take his own life, he was too slow. The space between us vanished as I Blinked to him.

Aedriath had time to recoil and scream before Morganna removed his head.

His head flew and landed near the edge. His torso stood for several seconds, then fell and lay horizontally, limbs twitching. Blood pumped for half a dozen heartbeats, then ceased as his limbs finally went still.

It was a death I did not mind adding to my list. It was worthy of replaying over and over.

I searched the corpse and found a letter to Sharon.

I walked to Aedriath’s head. The look of terror and mouth silently screaming appealed to my dragon soul.

I read the letter I retrieved from Aedriath’s corpse.

“To my loving wife, Sharon.

We have failed if you are reading this, and I am dead. Do not grieve for me. I died believing in a new dawn. A man who will not stand up and be counted for his beliefs can never be a real man. A man who will not lay down his life for a cause he believes is worth fighting for does not deserve the benefits and freedoms the blood and toil of others brought him.

I thought of you today from this wretched northern kingdom. I thought of the sun setting over Summerset Isle and how much I miss you and my homeland. So do not grieve, my love. Think of me, just for a moment, as the sun sets in the quiet of the evening.”

Your loving Tilar.”

I shouldn’t have done it. I could blame my Dovah tendencies, but it was not spite that made me say those things about Sharon. I wanted to see if there were any normal mortal feelings inside Rigmor’s nightmare. Now I have seen there was, and I cannot reconcile what I have discovered. I would have been better off remaining ignorant.

As I write this journal entry, I have many questions that need answers. One relates to the relative power of love compared to ambition and jingoism. I can understand a person being indoctrinated by societal norms before critical thinking matures. Everybody says Mers are evil, so the Nord child believes it. Everybody says the other races are inferior, so the Altmer child believes it. But surely even the most racist people must realise their nemesis also loves their country, spouse, family, and children? How can people like Tilar Aedriath purposely try and remove those treasures from other people? Why haven’t love and compassion conquered hate and ambition?

Did Ysgramor love a wife and children? He must have had children since tradition says all High Kings of Skyrim are descended from him. Couldn’t he see a commonality with the Falmer? How can a soldier butcher defenceless women and children and then return home to his wife and offspring?

It is too simple an answer to say pure hatred is the driving force.

I folded the letter and placed it into my Journal Case. I will find out if The Thalmor rounded up Sharon and, if so, what was her fate. If she still lives, Aedriath’s letter shall be delivered to her. Perhaps it will give her comfort. Perhaps it will tell her something Aedriath never said in person. Perhaps she will rip it up and try hard to forget Tilar Aedriath once existed.

I am constantly told that the love between Rigmor and me is powerful. What is its relative power compared to ambition, jingoism and love’s counterpart, which is hate?

What happened when I used the Shout earlier contributes to the questions. Did Shor’s avatar get confused as my soul so closely resembles his? If Father replaced Shor, that would be a possible reason. Other theories on Father’s ascension could also explain what occurred. I fear being a Shezarrine, for they let other emotions overcome love and leave behind all who love them.

I shook my head and breathed in deeply. I had to concentrate on the here and now, and my Rigmor waited for news.

I used Magicka to clean the gore from Morganna and then returned to my friends.

Undoubtedly my Thu’um would have been felt and heard by them. Curiosity would be high. However, no questions were asked as I made my way to Rigmor.

As I stood before Rigmor, Our Quiet enveloped me, which aided the relegation of burning questions into background murmurs.

The look of uncertainty on Rigmor’s face was unbearable. I told her, “Tilar Aedriath is dead.”

“Are you sure?”

“I cut his head off.”

“Well, that is usually fatal.”

“He was scared as I outlined his future. Malacath will not be pleased with him.”

“What now, my Guardian?”

“We shall go to Sethri’s farm and see if there is any news about Sigunn and Baa’Ren-Dar.”

“Good. I left my old armour in the chest where you had placed it.”

“Then we shall spend time together on a small farm beside a river. The wheat should have been harvested by now, but we can milk the cows, fetch eggs, grind the wheat, collect honey from the hives and plant flowers. We could cook meals with the fresh produce.”

“That sounds wonderful!”

Celestine said, “I will teleport us to Aurane.”

Rigmor hugged the ladies and gave Inigo a peck on his cheek. It was apparent the ladies had become close friends as they travelled and fought together.

My friends vanished, and I teleported Rigmor and me to Sethri’s farm.

Sethri sat on the porch and waved as my beloved walked towards him.

Rigmor was free of Tilar Aedriath, and I hoped he would be the last who tried to harm her.

7 thoughts on “Victory!

  1. You have no idea how much this journal was needed and appreciated by me, tonight(for me is midnight now). Above all, the way Wulf describes Rigmor as he sees her.
    Cheers, Mark.
    May your road lead you to warm sands

  2. That was a bloody good read, better than your previous journal entry. I think I would have put Tilar through what Rigmor experienced when he had whipped in the Embassy, that was gratifying, what he did with the letter to Sharon showed a great deal of compassion knowing what the bastard put Rigmor through. Thank you Mark, well done.

    1. No matter what Wulf did to Tilar, Malacath will do far worse. I decided that Sharon may be an innocent and if not, she still deserves closure. The next entry will be slightly delayed as I prepare and attend my brother’s funeral.

    1. He died from cancer five weeks after diagnosis. He didn’t suffer and was not afraid of dying and the funeral and wake was quite upbeat as he wanted. Anyway, I am just starting to write the next entry which is more upbeat between wars.

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