Keeper and cult

Loredas, 29th Sun’s Dusk, 4E 201

& Sundas, 30th Sun’s Dusk, 4E 201

After I had slept most of yesterday, Rigmor and I spent the afternoon and night at Tundra Homestead.

After a swim, we donned our armour. Rigmor was impressed with the new bow I gave her. Well, it isn’t new since it was made by Nedic when Mother was young. She gave a similar one to me when I was a boy.

Celestine, Lydia, and Jordis would accompany us to the Windcaller’s Pass excavation to see how that is progressing. Then we shall visit The Hall of the Vigilant and see if they have information I can use. We must act on Daedric activity quickly as the Liminal Barrier weakens.

The tundra was shrouded in fog.

I had told the ladies I would summon them early. Therefore, they responded instantly to the summons, ready to travel.

I decided Rava was a distraction. The airship’s usefulness to me is limited. However, Auryen and the others were ready to start their excavation today instead of in a few weeks. That is due to Miraak transporting them and all their gear in the airship.

Not far from the homestead, we came across bandits attacking pilgrims.

We killed several on the homestead side of the river.

Then I blinked to the other bank and killed more of them.

I summoned my squad and continued towards the excavation.

A recently killed Draman lay on the road near the camp.

Many bandits lay dead within the camp.

I approached Auryen.

“Good morning, Auryen. It seems you provided too much temptation for the local bandits.”

“I was impressed how quickly The Dragonguard carved them up. I did get to bloody my sword, though!”

“Had anybody inspected the cave yet?”

“We had a quick look early this morning and saw several dead hunters. A large population of carnivores and territorial beasts have made Windcaller’s Pass their home. After seeing half-devoured corpses, Miraak ordered us to leave the cave. The Dragonguard will clear it out soon. Then we can start the excavation.”

“I am glad Rava proved so useful.”

“Yes, the airship saved us two weeks of travelling.”

“The excavation could take a couple of weeks.”

“I will stay here. High Queen Elisif’s coronation has been delayed. Therefore, the opening of the museum is delayed.”

“Guests from High Rock are hesitant to travel. The situation in that province is delicate. I don’t expect the situation to improve soon, so Elisif might have to forge ahead with the crowning and accept apologetic visits later.”

“Did you bring anything back from The Shivering Isles?”

“I was shoving things into my Journal Case as I went. So, I have several sets of armour, weapons and exotic plants.”

“Any artefacts?”

“Nerveshatter and Shadowrend.”

“I was sure that Nerveshatter was in that cave near Riften. Hidden by some means that stopped it being looted.”

“Remind me when I have a few spare hours, and I will investigate the cave.”

“Did Shadowrend have a guardian?”

“Yes, a doppelganger appeared. It wasn’t my hardest opponent, but it wasn’t a pushover.”

“I look forward to reading your journal, Guildmaster. Your last visit to The Isles was strange. I assume this one was equally as odd.”

“This one was more straightforward. But there is nothing mundane about Uncle Sheo’s realm. Good luck with the excavation.”

My sense of urgency since leaving The Isles had been building. I was wise enough not to ignore it. I needed yesterday evening and this morning with Rigmor, but now I had to act.

I briefly spoke to other guild members and Miraak.

I inspected the beacon that would summon Rava. The airship would appear from the ether in seconds and then drop its ladder.

When I was ready to go, I found Rigmor looking out over Whiterun’s tundra.

I said, “It is beautiful but dangerous.”

Rigmor turned to me and replied, “Needing to carve up the occasional bandit or other nuisance is worth it. I dunno. It is like I have a connection to this land. I feel at home here and in The Rift.”

“I am sure that Bruma has a beauty of its own.”

“Oh, it does, and I love my county. Perhaps my curtailed desire to see more of Skyrim has made it seem more than what it is.”

“No, my beloved, you can see the beauty that others miss. Whiterun’s tundra is a perfect ecosystem where carnivores and herbivores do what is needed to survive. The brutality of their existence is abhorrent to many people.”

“But I see the harmony and natural order. That is beautiful and as our gods desired.”

“It is a pity that introduced pests, like Draman, endanger the balance. Whichever Daedric Prince placed them on Nirn did so to destroy the beauty you recognise.”

“Bastard or bitch or both! It is hard to imagine some Daedric Princes as the opposite gender they currently appear as.”

“Okay, let’s head for Heljarchen Hall.”

“Your anxiety has been building, Wulf.”

“I don’t know how I would be without Our Quiet.”

Rigmor held my hand as we gathered the rest of the squad.

We were met by a snowstorm when we exited the ether.

Tsubaki was attending to the cattle.

  • Wulf: Good morning, Tsubaki.
  • Tsubaki: Greetings, Wulf, Countess, Princess, Lydia, and Jordis.
  • Celestine: You know I prefer to be called Celestine.
  • Tsubaki: My apologies. I am still untraining myself.
  • Rigmor: And I am still Rigmor.
  • Tsubaki: Now that you have expressed that preference, I will try and adhere to it.
  • Wulf: How have things been?
  • Tsubaki: It seems the bandit problem has been dramatically reduced by the return of patrols. More merchants and pilgrims are passing through and stopping here than ever before.
  • Wulf: That is good. The more income for the orphanages, the better. That will enable me to argue that they can be funded with a few select properties.
  • Tsubaki: Your wealth will always be used to counter that proposition.
  • Wulf: Yes, but I can show the ledgers to prove it.
  • Rigmor: We are visiting The Hall of the Vigilant. Do you think this snowstorm will annoy us all the way there?
  • Tsubaki: I doubt it. They are pretty brief around here and clear very quickly.
  • Rigmor: Good, because I hoped to see some of the countryside. That is hard to do when you can only see ten feet in front of you!
  • Tsubaki: Some Legionnaires stopped by yesterday. They said the bandits who once populated Fort Dunstad still harass their patrols on occasion.
  • Rigmor: They are the bastards that butchered the family who ran the inn.
  • Wulf: Yes, the Sendu family. That was a dark discovery.
  • Tsubaki: The Tsaesci commit such atrocities all the time. However, I understand how rare such deeds are within this province.
  • Celestine: I think they occur more than the population of Skyrim knows.
  • Wulf: The dead make poor witnesses.
  • Rigmor: Come on, Dragonbum. Let’s see the countryside and forget this morbid subject.
  • Wulf: Yes, Countess. I am but your humble servant.
  • Tsubaki: Celestine, have you been training Rigmor?
  • Celestine: Only a bit. Rigmor intuitively knows how to control males. She probably learnt it from observing her mother, who was a teacher.
  • Tsubaki: There are many similarities between unruly children and adult males.
  • Wulf: I must be dumb to select an all-female squad to travel with.
  • Lydia: That is a wise decision. Wisdom and intelligence are not the same thing.

As we started our trek, Rigmor asked, “Are you sure you know where we are going?”

“I might not have one of your wonderful maps, but trust me, I have all of Skyrim in my head.”

A while later, Dwemer ruins halted progress.

  • Lydia: Did you suffer brain damage, Wulf? Is that why this shortcut of yours doesn’t work?
  • Wulf: Rigmor wanted to see more of Skyrim. So, here is a wall you might not have seen, my Countess.
  • Rigmor: That is a very nice wall, and it was kind of you to show it to me.
  • Lydia: Hang on! Why aren’t you picking on Wulf, Rigmor?
  • Jordis: Yes, there is something suspect about this.
  • Rigmor: We can all make mistakes.
  • Wulf: When we followed Rigmor’s map to get to Fort Black, we ended up at a dead end and had to backtrack.
  • Rigmor: I still think you read it wrong.
  • Wulf: I have the map at Aurane. Perhaps we should show others your work of art? The squiggly mountains are lovely, but the trolls are the most abstract.
  • Rigmor: You are treading on dangerous ground, Dragonbum.

I laughed as I decided on another route and started walking.

A giant had just smacked a wolf on the head and must have thought we would steal his lunch.

He came roaring towards me, so I hit him with Unrelenting Force. It is a pity that Kyne’s Peace does not work on giants. I don’t like to kill them.

Fort Dunstad came into view, and we could hear the sounds of battle.

Rigmor growled, “It is those arsehole bandits!”

We ran to the fort and killed about a dozen bandits.

The garrison soldiers thanked us, and we continued on our way.

Rigmor observed, “Tsubaki was correct. That snowstorm cleared quickly. What a wonderful day!”

The Hall of the Vigilant came into view. It was one of several Vigilant outposts dotted around Skyrim. A new Temple of Stendarr was being built in Stuhn Ravine, near Dawnstar. It is more fort-like than the others.

A Vigilant called down from one of the towers, “Lord Welkynd, I have been expecting you. I am Keeper Carcette. Please, come and speak to me.”

Rigmor whispered, “I hate it when people say they were expecting you. I bet she asks you to do something dangerous!”

I whispered back, “Well, I did come here to see if they needed help or if they could provide information on Daedric activity.”

We met Keeper Carcette on the tower.

  • Wulf: Greetings, Keeper Carcette.
  • Carcette: Welcome, Valdr Septim.
  • Rigmor: Woah! Who told you Wulf’s name?
  • Carcette: Relax, Countess Rigmor Ragnarsdottier. I can be trusted. That is why Lord Stendarr has told me many things about yourself, Wulf and The Dragonguard.
  • Rigmor: Why would Lord Stendarr do that?
  • Carcette: The Nine are worried and think I can aid Wulf.
  • Rigmor: Yeah, but all your mob do is harass citizens.
  • Wulf: Rigmor, you know that The Nine rely on mortal agents to gather information, especially on suspect Daedric activity.
  • Rigmor: You said yourself they run away or ignore the hard stuff. So why pick Keeper Carcette as an ally?
  • Carcette: There are things we must speak about in private. Lord Stendarr said you would be cautious, Wulf. I suggest you approach his statue next to the entrance. It is a consecrated shrine.
  • Wulf: I will be able to detect any fakery, Keeper Carcette.
  • Carcette: I am sure you can, but I have nothing to fear.

Keeper Carcette accompanied me to the statue and watched.

Lord Stendarr’s voice boomed, and I respectfully bowed, for The God of Mercy spoke.

“Dragonchild, you adhere to my teachings as much as any mortal, and for that, I am grateful.”

“Your teachings summarise what The Nine desire, and therefore what I desire.”

“Keeper Carcette can aid you in the tasks ahead. Put aside preconceptions and speak with her where you cannot be spied upon.”

“I shall, Lord Stendarr.”

“Always remember, The Nine trust you and that our love for Nirn’s people is unending.”

Lord Stendarr’s presence faded. I looked up at his statue and mentally ticked him off the list. I hope one day to have spoken to all Nine Divines.

Keeper Carcette looked stunned when I stood before her. My squad were behind me.

  • Wulf: I will teleport you to my palace. I could take you to my room in Aetherius, but that can be uncomfortable for some.
  • Carcette: Lord Stendarr only ever talks in my head.
  • Wulf: I have blocks on my mind. Only certain beings can speak to me telepathically.
  • Rigmor: Won’t the other Vigilants be curious about Lord Stendarr speaking to Wulf?
  • Carcette: They may not be the ideal Vigilants, but they obey protocol. Lord Stendarr did not hint at how I may help Wulf or why he may need that help.
  • Celestine: Standing here will attract more curiosity. I suggest we talk further in Aurane.
  • Wulf: Have you ever teleported, Keeper Carcette?
  • Carcette: Ahh…no.
  • Wulf: Place your hand on my shoulder, and I shall teleport us to my palace. Physical contact will not be needed when I get to know you better.
  • Rigmor: Don’t worry, Keeper Carcette. We do it all the time, and it has been at least a week since somebody died teleporting.
  • Wulf: Nobody has died teleporting.
  • Rigmor: Somebody got turned into a dog.
  • Wulf: That was a deliberate misuse of portals by an insane wizard.
  • Celestine: Ignore, Rigmor. Teleporting is safe.
  • Rigmor: Party poopers!

I teleported us into Aurane, and after the initial excitement and curiosity, Keeper Carcette was ready to talk but asked we restrict the number of people involved. Lydia and Jordis understood and didn’t join the discussion. We sat at the children’s dining table.

  • Wulf: We don’t use honorifics here. Tell me, Carcette, what you think you know about me.
  • Carcette: You were born on a small island near Roscrea. Your parents are Lord Talos and Saint Alessia. You are mortal but have many blessings gifted by The Divines. You left Roscrea for Akavir, where you received training from The Dragonguard and Psijic Order. You are both The Dragonborn and General Welkynd. The deception is needed as The Nine make preliminary plans for tackling The Obscurity. In the meantime, as The Liminal Barrier weakens, we can expect more activity from some Daedric Princes and their minions. You have been to several different realms within Oblivion and even closed an Oblivion Gate. I am sure there is more I was told but have forgotten.
  • Celestine: Do you understand why much of this has to be kept secret?
  • Carcette: Wulf does not covet The Ruby Throne, but if his parentage is discovered, many will regard him as the next emperor, and others will wish him harm for the same reason.
  • Rigmor: What do you know of me?
  • Carcette: You and Wulf have entwined souls and are probably crucial for Mundus to exist after The Obscurity. Lord Stendarr says that is most likely but not guaranteed as they don’t yet know what causes it.
  • Wulf: Gods work on instinct like mortals. That is what instinct tells them, and we must assume they are correct.
  • Carcette: Lord Stendarr told me these things so you can work with me without worrying about keeping secrets. He did this after I asked for guidance about a potential threat to Mundus.
  • Wulf: What kind of threat?
  • Carcette: Read this letter that was delivered to me yesterday.

Carcette handed me a letter, which I read out loud.

“Keeper Carcette,

I write to you with an urgent plea. I have done unspeakable things which I have come to regret, and the consequences are imminent. If you know of The Oblivion Crisis, then you know I make no jest when I say the fate of Nirn is at stake.

It would be safer for us to speak further in person. Please meet me at the Shrine to Stendarr between Fort Greymoor and Rorikstead. I will lay bare my sins in Stendarr’s presence. Perhaps he will grant me forgiveness.”

  • Rigmor: That sounds like a trap to me. Why not meet you at The Hall of the Vigilant?
  • Carcette: He is afraid of other Vigilants. Unfortunately, not all of us practice what Lord Stendarr teaches through his command and four precepts.
  • Wulf: Lord Stendarr’s command is, ‘Be kind and generous to the people of Tamriel. Protect the weak, heal the sick, and give to the needy.’
  • Rigmor: I don’t see the Skyrim Vigilants doing much of the healing, protecting, and giving.
  • Celestine: they got mixed up and thought they should be threatening, harassing, and taking.
  • Wulf: The four precepts are, ‘Never refuse aid you can provide. Go among the infirm and the wounded wherever you find them. Offer prayer to Stendarr every day. Do not hoard wealth or indulge physically.’
  • Carcette: It is the first two precepts that many Vigilants forget or ignore. The writer of the letter is asking for aid. As a Vigilant, I am sworn to provide that aid to anybody who asks.
  • Wulf: Lord Stendarr loves the afflicted, the hopeless, the forgotten and the heretical.
  • Rigmor: Wulf protects all the mortals of Nirn, so his beliefs mirror those of Lord Stendarr.
  • Carcette: I know there are vampires within The Empire who are trusted and provide valuable advice to leaders. Similarly, some lycanthropes minimise their chances of harming innocents by moving to remote locations. Dunmer and Khajiiti worship Daedric Princes, but their societies are not inherently evil or immoral. Vigilants are not supposed to attack and kill beings simply for being one of the four abominations. We are supposed to practise forbearance and mercy.
  • Wulf: Vigilants are not exempt from the laws of the provinces in which they reside. Killing an Empire citizen simply for being a vampire is murder. You may not have noticed, but vampire children are living here. Vampire children are living in my orphanages.
  • Carcette: Could I tell just by looking at them?
  • Rigmor: Their fangs are a giveaway when you speak to them.
  • Wulf: The vampire children consume regular food. However, they drink animal blood on occasion to stop the cravings that are part of the curse. Cyrodiilic Vampires blend into society without detection, and many have held high positions within The Empire. Volkihar Vampires, the primary type encountered within Skyrim, can sometimes look like the cursed beings they are. The curse might have dramatically altered their physical appearance. Still, Volkihar Vampires should also be judged on actions, not their curse.
  • Celestine: Erandur, a Dragonguard, was once a Priest of Vaermina. Some Vigilants would have killed him without pause. He is now a Priest of Mara and will soon teach religion at Wulf’s biggest orphanage.
  • Wulf: Zealots like The Silver Hand, and I assume The Dawnguard, are not doing Lord Arkay’s bidding. They use religion as an excuse for their hatred and persecution. I have no doubt some of them experienced or witnessed things that turned them into zealots. Such people are hard to reason with, mainly because they refuse to listen. Anything that threatens their self-righteous crusade is dismissed.  
  • Carcette: I was sent to Skyrim to try and change the local Vigil to what is seen in Cyrodiil and High Rock. We should emphasise supporting the local community with our healing and attacking the organised vampire clans, witch covens, necromancer lairs and Daedric cults.
  • Wulf: Your task is admirable, but you have met stiff resistance from Skyrim’s Vigilants.
  • Carcette: Yes, they are adept at disobeying without seeming subordinate. That is why I will hand the Keeper’s position to Brother Thorondir. He is in charge of the construction of the new Temple of Stendarr. That will become the centre of Vigilant activity in Skyrim. I am better suited to field work than commanding a Vigil.
  • Wulf: A vampire clan led by a famous Cyrodiilic Vampire, Movarth Piquine, planned to take over Morthal. When I informed some of your Vigilants, they dared to question my honesty. Instead of listening and acting upon my warning, they did nothing.
  • Carcette: I know the three Vigilants you spoke to. When you became a Thane of Morthal, you threatened them with jail unless they left the Hold. They did not tell me the whole story.
  • Wulf: I assume your Vigilants also knew of The Bloodlet Throne.
  • Carcette: Yes, and your journal entries on that clan are disturbing. We should discuss them further after we have dealt with this problem.
  • Celestine: You said the letter writer is scared of other Vigilants. How do you know that, and who are these Vigilants?
  • Carcette: A brash young Vigilant Enforcer, Aciys Celello, visited me recently. Under our order’s laws, he was required to ask me if he could conduct activities within my Vigil. I had no valid reason to deny his request. Plus, he had orders from Cyrodiil giving him rights he usually wouldn’t have. Therefore, I permitted him despite his lack of respect for my rank. He has tracked what he claims are followers of Mehrunes Dagon from Bruma into Skyrim. He is the worst type of Vigilant! He cares not for the laws of The Empire and will break them in pursuit of his quarry. Kidnapping and torture are tools he is known to employ. I believe the letter’s writer is one of the people Enforcer Aciys pursues.
  • Rigmor: And that is why the letter writer turned to you for help.
  • Carcette: Yes, for I am known to be more moderate in my dealings with Daedric worshippers.
  • Wulf: Have your Vigilants reported Mehrunes Dagon cultists?
  • Carcette: We know of the Dawnstar museum and what seems to be an archaeological excavation near Ivarstead. We watched that before Enforcer Aciys barged into my territory and insisted we leave the cult to him.
  • Wulf: We shall investigate the Dawnstar museum later. The letter writer is our priority.
  • Celestine: It seems Carcette is now a Dragonguard.
  • Carcette: I should remain at The Hall of the Vigilant until the new temple is finished and Brother Thorondir is promoted to Keeper of the Vigil.
  • Wulf: Lord Stendarr has trusted you with my secrets, so I, in turn, must trust your discretion. I have no objection to you remaining at your post when you are not accompanying me.
  • Carcette: Thank you for your trust.
  • Wulf: Did Enforcer Aciys tell you the name of the cult leader?
  • Carcette: Yes. He is a Skyrim native called Vonos.
  • Rigmor: What is the next step?
  • Wulf: Celestine, please get Keeper Carcette a kimono and bring me her armour and weapons. I must hone her weapons and place dweomer on them and her armour. While I am doing that, you should sit with her while she reads my unredacted journals. It will not take long if she has read the redacted version.
  • Celestine: Rigmor and I will answer any questions you have, Carcette.
  • Rigmor: May I ask your full name, Carcette?
  • Carcette: Yes, of course. It is Carcette Briee, like the cheese but with two e’s. I was born in Wayrest and lived through the Corsair invasion. It turns out they are pretty adept and fair rulers. Few people in Wayrest would claim our old nobility was better. Living in a port city, I became used to many people of different cultures roaming the streets. That is why I understand that not all Daedric worship is terrible. People like Enforcer Aciys do evil in the name of the Divines. Most who worship Daedra never murder, kidnap, or torture others.
  • Rigmor: As Wulf always stresses, you must judge a person on their actions, not their beliefs.
  • Wulf: Once Carcette is adequately equipped, we shall meet with the mysterious letter writer.

Just over ninety minutes later, Carcette was in her improved armour and ready to travel.

Rigmor, Celestine and Lydia would accompany us as we visited Stendarr’s Shrine.

I told Carcette, “We shall teleport into Dragons Keep, my orphanage in Whiterun’s tundra. From there, we shall cross the tundra to Lord Stendarr’s shrine.”

“I have had my crossbow, sword and armour for many years, but now they feel different.”

“There is a reason The Dragonguard can defeat forces many times their number, not just their superb skills. The dweomer I place on their weapons and armour is superior to any I have found on an ancient artefact. You will understand better if we get into combat, which is almost inevitable when crossing the tundra.”

“Rigmor and Celestine explained many things in your journals. What I had read in the redacted versions was almost unbelievable. The unredacted versions are frightening. I understand the various reasons why you have not told the public everything.”

“But they will eventually be told everything. I loathe the censorship of history.”

“Yes, Rigmor told me about the museum and what happened to her father’s reputation.”

“After reading the unredacted journals, you should realise how each Daedric Prince must be dealt with according to their personality and desires. Those were imprinted at the beginning of this kalpa. Like all Dark Lords, Lady Azura lies, but she does protect Nirn and its mortal residents. She saved my life. Boethia aided me, but only because it benefitted her. Uncle Sheo does not want harm to come to Nirn and mortals. His dark side would appeal to some of his mortal agents. He would not ask me to do something contrary to my beliefs. Despite all the evidence, Hermaeus Mora refuses to accept the existence of mortal free will. Meridia thinks mortals will revere and obey her. She takes advantage of her ‘good’ reputation.”

“You made it clear several times in your journals that the concept of good and evil is irrelevant when discussing Daedric Princes.” 

“Okay, I should be able to teleport you without physical contact. Is everybody ready?”

When all four ladies answered in the positive, I teleported us into the entrance hall of Dragons Keep.

With perfect timing, bells started ringing, telling the students to seek shelter and the garrison to defend the castle.

I ran outside and yelled, “What is happening?”

A Legionnaire replied, “A gang of bandits approached and ignored Strunmahwuld’s warnings. They kept coming, so Nolokhovrilaak joined Strunmahwuld and also warned the bandits. Then, one of the idiots fired an arrow at Strunmahwuld. A few others fired arrows our way.”

I ran to the edge and leapt over it.

Rigmor yelled, “Show off!”

I killed a couple of bandits before summoning the squad.

The quick demolition of dozens of bandits, an enraged giant, and a Draman followed.

Celestine walked over to me.

She asked, “What kind of idiots attack a fortified castle guarded by Legionnaires and two dragons?”

“That is one of life’s mysteries, Celestine. It is almost as perplexing as, ‘Why is snot green?’”

Celestine shook her head, and we continued towards Stendarr’s shrine.

When a bit closer, I used Zoom Vision and Heat Vision.

  • Wulf: There is nobody at the shrine. However, there are three people hidden near it.
  • Carcette: Ahh, did you use your dragon eyesight?
  • Wulf: Yes. Now, who do you think is hiding?
  • Carcette: It could be some of Enforcer Aciys’ Vigilants. They may wait to see if other Mythic Dawn cultists approach the shrine.
  • Rigmor: It could be a trap, and Mythic Dawn cultists are waiting to ambush Keeper Carcette.
  • Wulf: I think they are wearing Mythic Dawn uniforms. Why people openly display their allegiance like that is also a mystery.
  • Carcette: But not as mysterious as why snot is green.
  • Wulf: Nothing is more mysterious than why snot is green. However, the mysterious blue colour of belly button fluff comes close.
  • Lydia: Please don’t encourage Wulf, Carcette.
  • Carcette: I think the colour of snot is a legitimate mystery.
  • Rigmor: So, Great Guru of Snot, what do we do?
  • Wulf: We walk up to the shrine without a care. If they are aggressive, we kill them.
  • Carcette: I like simple solutions.
  • Wulf: There is one person behind the furthest rock outcrop. One hides behind the rock outcrop to the right, and another behind the rightmost column.

We passed by a mammoth recently killed by a dragon. Dragons consume their fill, and carrion eaters soon devour what remains.

Rigmor yelled, “Bandit!”

She drew her Nedic bow, notched, then released an arrow which flew true and hit the bandit in the heart.

I gave a hand signal to Lydia. She headed for the right-hand rock that somebody was hiding behind.

As I inspected the bandit’s body, I remarked, “It seems you like that bow.”

Rigmor laughed, then replied, “Yeah, it’s pretty cool!”

Lydia yelled, “It’s a Mythic Dawn cultist!”

She quickly cut down her assailant and then ran towards the one hiding behind a column.

Too late, the second assailant realised their cover was blown. Lydia quickly despatched them.

Rigmor said, “I got the one above us.”

I climbed to where the third assailant was, and Rigmor had shot him in the forehead. She was deadly with her new bow!

A huge wolf came trotting up.

I explained, “Let me check the body, then it is all yours.”

The dead cultist was a Nord. I retrieved some orders and quickly read them. The three assailants were assassins.

The assassin cut down by Lydia was an Imperial. She had a crossbow bolt in her neck, courtesy of Carcette, but nothing useful.

The third assassin was a Forsworn, who was also devoid of anything useful.

The mystery letter writer lay dead near the shrine. He was a Nord and wore regular clothing. He had not been dead for long. On him was a folded note.

I inspected the shrine. A pool of blood indicated where the letter writer met his death.

The group gathered, and I read the victim’s note to them.

“If you are reading this, it means I am dead. The Mythic Dawn does not tolerate desertion. A fitting end for my transgressions, I suppose.

You may think The Mythic Dawn cult was eradicated long ago, after the Oblivion Crisis. This assumption was valid until perhaps one year past.

As discord began to sow in the lands of Skyrim, the whispers of Mehrunes Dagon made their way to the ears and mind of a fervent worshipper named Vonos. These whispers led him deep underground to an ancient Mythic Dawn temple, long since collapsed, where rumours spoke of an Oblivion Gate, lying in ruin for centuries.

Vonos soon made a pact with Mehrunes Dagon, quietly reformed The Mythic Dawn, and established himself as its new leader. He began cultivating more members to the cause, and I fell victim to the promise of such power.

After the Oblivion Crisis, most of the gates throughout Skyrim were buried deep within the lands. However, with much effort, we retrieved many Oblivion Gate pieces and used them as templates. After much trial and error, we successfully constructed a new Oblivion Gate.

Vonos, a master of Conjuration, has been working tirelessly to open the gate and give Mehrunes Dagon’s troops a doorway into Tamriel.

As dictated by the pact, cleansing the Oblivion Gate required a personal blood sacrifice from each of us to prove our devotion. Blinded by ambition, I offered up my brother, Farrald. He was a simple farmer who would not harm a Dartwing.

Watching the knife penetrate his body sent shock and horror through my entire being. The blood that fountained from his heart was that of my blood. At that moment, I realised what I had done. It was not power that bewitched me but deceit.

As an Acolyte, I was not privy to much information, but I know Vonos is searching for a powerful, ancient artefact necessary to open the gate. What that artefact might be, I do not know. I heard something about an excavation camp to the southwest of Ivarstead, near a mountain pass. Perhaps more information can be found there.

Lastly, to keep its location secret, all but the highest priests in the order are blindfolded when taken to and from the Oblivion Gate, so I have no further information to give as to its whereabouts. I only know it was a cave. I wish I could tell you more.

I’ve been on the run day and night, and now the most rabid Vigilants of Stendarr are also on my trail. I can only imagine what they might do to someone like me, so I sought aid from someone who might better understand my plight.

Whoever is reading this, please stop the Mythic Dawn however you can. For myself, my forsaken brother, and the whole of Tamriel.

Skorvild Asaldson”

  • Wulf: The assassins were slack. Skorvild has been dead for several minutes. They should have searched him.
  • Carcette: I have visited Cyrodiil. The remnants of Oblivion Gates are out in the open. I don’t think anybody buried them in that province. They are also left where they fell in parts of High Rock I visited.
  • Wulf: They have buried them in Skyrim. However, in Cyrodiil, they serve as reminders of the danger that some Daedric Princes present. They are also memorials to the many brave people who fought the invading Daedra in both Mundus and Oblivion.
  • Rigmor: There are several destroyed gates near Bruma City. They mean more to me now that I know my namesake’s involvement in closing them.
  • Carcette: I look forward to learning more about you and your ancestors, Rigmor.
  • Celestine: The ritual cleansing was a test of commitment.
  • Wulf: A lot of ritual is mumbo jumbo designed to convince followers that something mystical and powerful is involved.
  • Lydia: How will they activate the Oblivion Gate?
  • Wulf: We call the person on Nirn who opens an Oblivion Gate, a Mechanic. The first thing a Mechanic has to obtain is a Sigil Stone. They communicate with a Daedric Prince interested in their scheme, who will then engrave a Sigil Stone. The markings on a Sigil Stone are, logically, called a sigil. The Mechanic summons a Dremora, who delivers the engraved Sigil Stone to Nirn. Does this make sense?
  • Lydia: Yes, it is easy so far.
  • Wulf: The Mechanic must directly communicate, using spells or enchantments, with the Daedric Prince who engraved the Sigil Stone. Together, the Daedric Prince and the Mechanic perform a Conjuration-based ritual, and upon activation by the Mechanic, the charged Sigil Stone is instantly transported through The Liminal Barrier to the exact location where its sigil was inscribed. This ritual can require a lot of Magicka. Usually, more than most mages naturally have. Therefore, in many cases, an artefact of some type is needed to boost available Magicka.
  • Rigmor: I never knew this stuff!
  • Celestine: It is extreme gobblygook. Wulf is doing well to simplify it.
  • Wulf: When the Sigil Stone returns to its place of inscription, a transient portal connecting Mundus to Oblivion is created. The duration of the portal’s existence is fleeting, determined by the strength of The Liminal Barrier at the chosen locations. The most prolonged duration I have read about is nine minutes. That makes using any portals the Mythic Dawn open of limited use. Every Oblivion Gate that is active weakens The Liminal Barrier.
  • Carcette: The Liminal Barrier is deteriorating after Alduin’s return.
  • Wulf: Any portal opened will last longer than before The Word Eater returned. During The Oblivion Crises, The Liminal Barrier had failed, so portals stayed open till somebody destroyed the Sigil Stone.
  • Lydia: What can they do while the gate is open?
  • Wulf: They can have lots of Daedra run through it. Multiple portals of unlimited duration were the problem during The Oblivion Crises. A single portal of limited duration is only a problem if they have a chance to repeat the process many times. Building an army of Daedra big enough to threaten a single city would take a long time. They would be discovered long before their numbers threatened Tamriel.
  • Carcette: Malacath using Rigmor to enter Mundus was a different problem.
  • Wulf: Yes, and if Mehrunes Dagon has hatched a similar plan with Vonos, then the danger to Mundus is extreme.
  • Celestine: Carcette, you mentioned some of your Vigilants had spotted Mythic Dawn’s excavation camp.
  • Carcette: I know where it is and can find it if we walk from Ivarstead.
  • Wulf: I will read the note I found on one of the assassins. Oh, Rigmor managed to shoot him in the forehead from a fair distance.
  • Celestine: That is impressive considering, not long ago, you couldn’t hit the side of a mammoth from ten feet away.
  • Rigmor: I could say I had an excellent teacher, but Wulf’s head is big enough already.

I read the note to the group.

“There have been whispers of traitors among our ranks and pathetic attempts to sabotage our mission. But nothing will stand in the way of Lord Dagon’s Valkyn.

Your duty is to seek out those who oppose us and eradicate them.

Acolyte Skorvild and Priestess Enakain have gone missing. Find them. If there is any scent of betrayal, they must be swiftly destroyed.

Afterwards, travel to the excavation camp to await further instruction, but take the utmost precaution. The Vigilants of Stendarr have increased their activity and may be aware of our presence.

The dawn is breaking.


  • Wulf: Valkyn are the highest rank of Dremora in The Deadlands. They are Mehrunes Dagon’s guards.
  • Rigmor: Would they be a danger to you?
  • Wulf: No. Any of The Dragonguard, and you, could easily take down a Valkyn. But they cannot be slain in Mundus. Their soul would return to The Deadlands, where Creatia would create a new body for it. You can slay Dremora in Oblivion. Uncle Sheo’s Daedric minions could not be slain in The Isles. In that respect, they are superior to Dremora.
  • Celestine: Let’s hope we find Priestess Enakain before the Mythic Dawn does.
  • Carcette: Let’s hope we find her before Enforcer Aciys does. He would not gently extract information from her, even if she cooperated.
  • Wulf: I would not hesitate in arresting Aciys and throwing him in jail.
  • Rigmor: Carcette, how far is it from Ivarstead to the excavation camp?
  • Carcette: It will take a couple of hours if we hurry.
  • Wulf: I can’t wait to say hello to more Mythic Dawn cultists. They are always so welcoming and jolly.
  • Carcette: Is Wulf always sarcastic?
  • Rigmor: No, sometimes he is asleep.

We teleported into Ivarstead, where the weather was much brighter and warmer. The ladies were still giggling at Rigmor’s jest, so I started walking fast, making them run to catch up.

Not far out of Ivarstead, the local militia was having trouble with bandits.

We took care of the attackers, and Celestine healed a wounded militiaman.

A bit further along, we came upon a bear ensorceled by a Spriggan Matron. Neither one thought us a threat and let us pass in peace.

Not long after that, we came to the base of the mountains.

  • Wulf: I will Blink over the mountains and summon you on the other side. That will save at least an hour.
  • Carcette: I have never been summoned before.
  • Rigmor: You will know who is summoning you and roughly where they are. You mentally accept the summons. The rest is the same as being teleported.
  • Carcette: Okay, and Blinking is where Wulf travels via the ether using his will.
  • Wulf: Yes, as long as I can see the destination, I can Blink to it. I have used it many times to avoid long walks around mountains. It proved especially useful when I had to retrieve Scourge for Lady Boethia.
  • Lydia: You seem very accepting of Wulf’s weirdness.
  • Carcette: He uses blessings from The Nine. Therefore, I must accept Wulf’s weirdness.
  • Rigmor: Oh, you have seen nothing yet. I am the only one to see Wulf change into his hybrid form. That is the weirdest weirdness in the history of weird.
  • Wulf: It is probably something I wouldn’t do near Vigilants.
  • Carcette: Why?
  • Wulf: They would attack me, and I would have to eat them.
  • Carcette: Oh…um…
  • Wulf: If they are wearing armour, I could use Dragonfire to roast them.
  • Carcette: Ahh…
  • Wulf: Don’t worry, Carcette. I wouldn’t eat them. The last lot gave me indigestion.
  • Lydia: You will get used to Wulf’s dark humour.
  • Carcette: Am I supposed to laugh?
  • Lydia: Oh, never, no way! Do not laugh!
  • Rigmor: Wulf might think he is funny and subject us to more of it.
  • Wulf: I don’t have to stand here and be insulted.
  • Rigmor: Yeah, you can go anywhere you want and get insulted.

As the ladies once more laughed at my expense, I Blinked over the mountain. Then, I summoned them outside the house of an eccentric alchemist.

Our walk was pleasant as the afternoon sun shone. Rigmor and I basked in Our Quiet, and I was pleased she saw more of Skyrim.

A travel lantern in the middle of nowhere told us we were approaching the excavation.

We crept forward.

I whispered, “There are three cultists. Let me take them out.”

I aimed, released, and my arrow flew true. A brief scream alerted the other two cultists.

My second arrow killed another cultist.

The last cult member was looking for us. I yelled out, “Over here. I wonder if you will make it or drop dead with an arrow in your belly?”

As the cultist ran towards us, my third arrow planted itself in his midriff. Momentum carried the corpse a few more feet.

We searched the corpses but retrieved nothing that would aid us.

In one of the excavation tents, I recovered the journal of the excavation leader, Calario Junellia. There was also a map with a hand-drawn cross. ‘Varlais Cavern to Rielle’ was written next to it.

The others gathered close as I read the relevant sections of the journal aloud.

“Turdas, 2nd Frostfall, 4E 201

The dawn is breaking. Vonos has successfully pierced the veil of The Liminal Barrier.

But there is much work to be done. We have unearthed an anchor point but must still construct the gate itself. And even when it is complete, the veil of The Liminal Barrier remains. Vonos, in his infinite wisdom, continues to work day and night to find a way to break it.

It may be a singular gateway, but Valkyn Gatanas and Valkyn Methats await us on the other side, preparing to march for our Lord.

I will keep the faith in Lord Dagon.

Fredas, 10th Frostfall, 4E 201

Vonos has been studying all known information about The Mysterium Xarxes, consulting with Dagon’s Dremora, and experimenting tirelessly, but is still unable to open the gate.

However, he believes that an object that could be strong enough to hold the portal open may exist. What kind of artefact could hold such power? Even a thousand Soul Gems would likely dissolve in the presence of a Sigil Stone.

We must redouble our efforts. I have sent additional scouts to Solstheim and Cyrodiil to learn anything they can.

Morndas, 20th Frostfall, 4E 201

One of my scouts has returned from Bruma with promising information. The Ayleid are well known for their Welkynd Stones, rare aetherial fragments of meteoric glass. A Great Welkynd Stone, the most powerful of these stones, was typically held within the heart of each Ayleid city, but these stones have long since been plundered or lost to time.

Researchers have speculated for centuries that other Great Welkynd Stones may exist, but none have been found. The last Great Welkynd Stone seen on record was in the Third Era. That is when it was snatched and used to bring the downfall of our Lord.

Then, it was ultimately Mehrunes’ undoing, but irony may be smiling upon us. Something of such power could be what we need to bring the gate to full power.

One researcher has set their sights on the Ayleid ruin of Rielle as such a place where a Great Welkynd Stone may exist. Many have explored its depths through the years, though none have ever found a trace of such a thing.

Could a Great Welkynd Stone truly be hidden deep within Rielle? I’ve told my scouts to capture this researcher and bring him to me. We must learn all we can.

Sundas, 2nd Sun’s Dusk, 4E 201

My scouts captured the Ayleid researcher from Bruma, but upon returning, the Vigilants of Stendarr were seen guarding Pale Pass. My scouts had to detour through the wilderness of the Jerall Mountains to avoid them. Could the Vigilants be aware of our movements? Is there a traitor among us? We cannot risk confrontation with the Vigilants until we have the full might of Dagon behind us. There is too much at stake.

While interrogating the researcher, I learned that Rielle is structurally weak, making entry difficult. With the Vigilants blocking Pale Pass, this significantly inhibits our expedition. He also spoke of other dangers, but I dare not repeat them lest I give substance to his ravings.

We must find a way into Rielle. Vonos and I have agreed that we have no time to waste. I have selected only our most trusted disciples to set up a base camp in the mountains west of Ivarstead. We will operate under the darkness of night to excavate our pathway through the Jerall Mountains and into Rielle. It will take time, but it is the only way.

Fredas, 14th Sun’s Dusk, 4E 201

After much blood and sweat, we finally breached Rielle through its northwest corner, but the challenges have proven quite deadly. The only man who returned alive claimed he barely escaped the clutches of an undead monster. Several have gone inside, only never to return, and I am unsure how many more souls I can spare.

All this and yet no signs of a secret chamber or Welkynd Stone.

Legible portions of untranslated words are on the pages retrieved from the researcher in Bruma. I’ve summoned one of my best scholars, Janus, to assist me in my Ayleid studies. Perhaps there is something we are missing.

Loredas, 15th Sun’s Dusk, 4E 201

According to the books Magic from the Sky and Glories and Laments, the Ayleid believed that Nirn was composed of four elements: Earth, Water, Air, and Light. Janus and I feel this is extremely important and may be the key to obtaining the stone. The incomplete texts recovered from the researcher in Bruma make mention of previously unseen Elemental Shards. But what are they? Where are they? We will prepare another team to descend upon Rielle with this information.

We’re running low on supplies and may need to delay the search if we lose more men.

Turdas, 27th Sun’s Dusk, 4E 201

Vonos has sent an urgent communication. The Vigilants of Stendarr have increased their presence and have been seen questioning townsfolk. Acolyte Skorvild and Priestess Enakain have gone missing, their whereabouts unknown.

We should assume the Vigilants know of our plans. There is no time left to delay. Janus must join one last expedition team to locate the Great Welkynd Stone. I will send the last of my guards along with him as protection.

This expedition is our last chance. Dagon, give us strength.”

  • Rigmor: I have been inside Rielle. I can’t remember tripping over a Great Welkynd Stone or seeing anything but rubble and robbed chests.
  • Wulf: When was that?
  • Rigmor: When I was twelve. I will tell you the long tale at another time as I can sense your urgency.
  • Wulf: They broke into Rielle at its northwest corner. That would be Skyrim’s side of the city, so you probably entered the southern part. The Alessian Order badly damaged Rielle during their crusades against the Ayleid. Therefore, it is likely that multiple entry points would be needed to access all of it.
  • Rigmor: My father scolded me, sort of, for entering those ruins. He was right, and they are dangerous. I only hurt my leg, but it seems that death awaits in other parts.
  • Wulf: Ayleid Wrights are often found in Ayleid ruins. Like Draugr, they don’t take kindly to trespassers. Child or not, they would have torn you apart.
  • Rigmor: Well, grown-ups should have boarded the place up!
  • Lydia: Would that have stopped curious children?
  • Rigmor: Probably not. We would have thought adults were trying to hide something exciting from us.
  • Carcette: What does the writer mean when he says, ‘Vonos has successfully pierced the veil of The Liminal Barrier?’
  • Wulf: It means Vonos contacted Mehrunes Dagon and now has an engraved Sigil Stone. If they have built an Oblivion Gate, they could open a transient portal between Mundus and Oblivion. However, as mentioned earlier, it would be short-lived because The Liminal Barrier is still strong, even if it has weakened slightly since Alduin’s return.
  • Carcette: Could they use something other than a Sigil Stone to keep the portal open longer?
  • Wulf: Perhaps they have found a way to use the Varliance within a Great Welkynd Stone to do that.
  • Carcette: Varliance?
  • Wulf: Energy from the stars stored within the crystalline structure of a Welkynd Stone. It manifests in a form we call Magicka.
  • Rigmor: They have kidnapped one of my citizens! I think it might be Professor Pelator Endiel.
  • Wulf: The one who wants to open an Ayleid museum in Bruma?
  • Rigmor: Yes. As you know, Professor Endiel has been working closely with Auryen on plaques and other things.
  • Wulf: Auryen said the collection of Ayleid artefacts obtained by the Carvain family was extensive. I haven’t had a look at the catalogue Professor Endiel produced.
  • Rigmor: According to the journal, he was kidnapped almost a month ago.
  • Wulf: He may still be alive. The cultists seem not the best at reading and interpreting Ayleidoon and might need Professor Endiel.
  • Rigmor: These people are stupid. There are many ways to reach Bruma. We used one so I could l could cross stealthily. My guards have been investigating others used by smugglers.
  • Celestine: It seems that even from the Bruma side, they would have to excavate Rielle to find what they seek. Wouldn’t your patrols have discovered them?
  • Rigmor: Yes, they would. I require anybody wanting to do archaeological excavations to get permission. That allows us to know their plans and ensure that grave robbing is not their intent. Anybody seen around Rielle would have been challenged.
  • Wulf: I don’t have enough information on their plans, so I can only speculate. However, I know where the entrance to Rielle is because they marked it on their map. It is inside a cave called Varlais Cavern.
  • Celestine: Do you know the area?
  • Wulf: Yes, and it is a hive of undead activity. To reach Varlais Cavern, we will have to walk through Arcwind Point. It is an above-ground Nordic Ruin populated by many skeletons and Thu’um using Draugr. There is also a Word Wall and, if Alduin restored him, a dragon called Qethqothsos, which means ‘Bone Tomb Blood.’ If he is there, I don’t know if Qethqothsos will be wise and friendly or a fool and attack.
  • Carcette: Why would a dragon risk their existence and attack you? Do some of them think they are strong enough to prevail?
  • Wulf: Dov are used to being the most powerful sentient species. Add that to a considerable ego and vanity, and you have your answer. Some cannot conceive of losing to a puny creature like me. Their logic is overwritten by their base instinct for battle and conquest.
  • Rigmor: We can understand why some dragons challenge Wulf. What we don’t understand is bandits attacking a castle garrisoned by Legionnaires and protected by dragons.
  • Celestine: Weren’t you listening? That happens because snot is green.
  • Rigmor: Oh, of course. How silly of me.
  • Wulf: We shall walk to Arcwind Point. I might have to do some Blinking and summoning to shorten the trip.

The sky was clear, and the murmur of the stars called me. I shall live among them one day with my parents and other loved ones.

It wasn’t long before the other waited for me to Blink and then summon them.

When I summoned them, they all pitched forward due to the steep slope on which they manifested. I couldn’t suppress a laugh and was pelted with snowballs for my impertinence.

After a few seconds of merriment, I whispered, “We are not far from Arcwind Point, and noise carries in these canyons. So, you must behave like adults for now.”

That earned me another volley of snowballs.

We were soon battling Skeletal Warriors and creatures I had not seen before. Draman Skeletal Lords are mentioned in texts but are very rare. It seems Arcwind Point was home to many of them.

My Thu’um caught the attention of Qethqothsos, who roared a challenge as he swooped from our right.

He said, “Dovahkiin, daar Dovah, dein ko Dii los. Zu’u dein daar fahdon.” (Dovahkiin, you disturb my rest. Death is the sentence decided.)

I replied, “Fahdon daar, Qethqothsos. Hi fahdon tol vothiid. Unslaad zin, ahrk pruzah wahlaan qeth.” (You have no chance, Qethqothsos. Fly away and live in peace. Attack me and be erased from this and all future kalpa.)

Qethqothsos failed to heed my advice and dived towards us. Dragonrend brought him to the ground.

As I rushed to him, I hit him with Dragonrend again.

Celestine summoned a Dremora Lord. Lydia fought beside me. Rigmor and Carcette attacked with their ranged weapons.

Qethqothsos quickly regretted his decision as we caused him immense damage in a short amount of time.

I swung and knocked the dragon’s head to the side.

While Qethqothsos shook his head and tried to recover, I leapt upon him.

No dragon has managed to dislodge me, no matter how much they bucked and shook their head. My opponent was doomed.

My sword entered Qethqothsos’ brain. As he started his death throes, I leapt off.

When the soul absorption started, I destroyed a pesky Skeletal Warrior.

And then I disposed of a Draman Skeleton Lord.

After I absorbed Qethqothsos’ soul, the area became quiet except for the wind and creaking of distant Skeletal Warriors. Lydia, Celestine and Rigmor knew it was not the time to speak to me. Rigmor’s empathy was strong through Mara’s Rings.

Carcette approached and waited for me to acknowledge her.

I said, “You must admit, it is quite spectacular.”

“In your journals, you explain what I witnessed and how it upsets you. It is a heavy burden you carry, Wulf. Every person alive owes you a thank you. They can’t be here, so accept my thank you on their behalf.”

“As you have seen, Carcette, The Dragonguard, and I act as one. Most of what I do is impossible without their support. I appreciate your thanks. Now, let’s take care of all the undead in the area. This place needs a good purge.”

We were soon battling more undead. Unrelenting Force quickly decimated the enemies.

For the second time in less than a week, I was hit by an Unrelenting Force Shout of considerable power. It seems some Draman Skeletal Lords are adept users of The Voice.

I didn’t fly far and rolled to my feet. If the bony arsehole wants a Thu’um duel, am happy to indulge.

Since my soul was altered when it converged with Lord Shor, my Thu’um’s focus has improved. I did not hold back, and another Unrelenting Force Shout rapidly crossed the space between me and my enemies.

Everything in its path was destroyed this time, including a Draugr emerging from its sarcophagus.

As we battled, I noticed the entrance to Varlais Cavern. However, I was determined to cleanse Arcwind Point before entering.

We fought to a Word Wall where Carcette was treated to a different light show.

  • Carcette: What Word of Power did it teach you?
  • Wulf: Word Walls will try to teach me a Word of Power even if I already know it. This one tried to teach me Gaan, which means stamina. It is the first Word of Power of the Shout called Drain Vitality. I know all three Words of Power for that Shout and how to use it.
  • Rigmor: And the message?
  • Wulf: In Dovahzul, it says, ‘Het nok kopraak do Svolo wo piraak mulaag wah kriin dovah nuz ni gaan wah kriin pogaan.’
  • Carcette: Dovahzul seems like it would be a complex language to master.
  • Wulf: It is, but Ayleidoon is worse, as these Mythic Dawn morons have discovered.
  • Rigmor: When Wulf speaks Ayleidoon, it sounds like he is trying to cough up a bucket of mucus.
  • Wulf: Riis nagaia yaloria yalania.
  • Celestine: Wulf!
  • Rigmor: What did he say?
  • Celestine: I won’t repeat it because my Ayliedoon translation might be wrong.
  • Wulf: I said, ‘Your bottom is very large!’
  • Lydia: Quickly, Wulf, translate the Word Wall message before violence occurs.
  • Wulf: Translation to Tamrielic is not precise, but my interpretation is, ‘Here lies the body of Svolo, who possessed the strength to kill a dragon but not the stamina to kill many.’
  • Carcette: Who was Svolo?
  • Wulf: Apparently, he was a not-very-good dragon hunter.
  • Rigmor: Do you think my bottom is large, Dragonbum?
  • Wulf: No, of course not.
  • Rigmor: Good.
  • Wulf: Its huge!

Rigmor tried to be angry, but the laughter of the others soon had her joining in.

We made our way back to Varlais Cavern’s entrance.

  • Wulf: The Ayleid Wrights should not be a problem. They cannot use The Voice and are slower than a live warrior.
  • Rigmor: I wonder if there are any Mythic Dawn in there?
  • Wulf: I hope there are, as that would mean they haven’t found the Great Welkynd Stone or are carrying it. Despite their name, they are generally not large objects. Great refers to how much Varliance a particular Welkynd Stone can store. That has more to do with the crystalline structure of the stone rather than its size. Their structure changes when they fall from Aetherius, so their capacity can only be determined through experimentation. I don’t think the crystals grown on Nirn are as efficient.
  • Carcette: Would it be the only Great Welkynd Stone left?
  • Wulf: No, there is one below Aurane. Barsaebic Ayleid also built cities after fleeing the war against Ayleid that worshipped Daedra. Even though many times larger than Aurane, they were hidden using the same dweomer and never found.
  • Carcette: Are there any Ayleid still alive?
  • Wulf: You would know that some parts of High Rock have populations strongly influenced by Ayleid and Bosmer intermarriage. I don’t think any purebred Ayleid exist, but I could be wrong.
  • Rigmor: Wulf, will you have to enter Oblivion again?
  • Wulf: More than likely, Rigmor. The Deadlands are probably as bleak as The Ash Pit. The realm consists of lava seas with many small islands. Many of those islands have large towers on them where Dremora live. There are many types of Daedra minions in The Deadlands, but I don’t know how numerous they are.
  • Rigmor: So, it would be far more dangerous than The Isles?
  • Wulf: Yes, Rigmor, it would be far more dangerous.
  • Rigmor: Do you think Professor Pelator Endiel is in Rielle?
  • Wulf: It would make sense to drag your enslaved Ayleid expert to an Ayleid ruin. So, I think he may well be inside if the cultists are still there.
  • Rigmor: I can’t help but worry when you enter Oblivion.
  • Wulf: I know, Rigmor, and I ask myself if this is how you want to live.
  • Rigmor: You will do what is necessary, and I will support you as best I can. That is what we decided, and nothing will change that. So, my Guardian, no more discussion on that matter!
  • Wulf: Yes, milady.

As we entered Varlais Cavern, Rigmor’s fear and worry were transmitted via Mara’s Rings. We both know I may have to enter Oblivion many times before Mundus is safe from Dark Lord incursion.

11 thoughts on “Keeper and cult

  1. No! Right when things escalated!
    I really loved this team up with Carcette. That makes sense. Great banter as usual.
    I know about the mod but she joins you by default in the new Anniversary mod or one of the others on the vigilants?

    1. There are a couple of mods where Carcette survives the destruction of The Hall of the Vigilant and you can recruit her. I didn’t want the hall destroyed, so I fudged a couple of mods to achieve that. I rarely play a mod as designed as I change them to suit my narrative. I am not happy with the lore in relation to how this mod ends, so am changing it quite a bit. That is one reason why I split it in half. I have to make sure the change I make works!

  2. About halfway down Lydia says, please don’t encourage him Celestine, Lydia ment to say Carcette. I haven’t finished yet I thought I would tell you before I forgot.

  3. Well Wulf was warned that when all the girls were with him he would be trouble and he was. I think he going to wear this green snot conundrum for a while, ha ha, love it. Thanks Mark

  4. So, I’m finally all caught up again. Great work, Mark! Looking forward to the next entry.

    BTW, do you know if it’s possible to get this quest with the downgraded AE version? I’m using 1.5.97 and the Best of Both Worlds downgrader.

      1. Okay, thanks, I’m going to have to try it out. For whatever reason, I don’t think it kicked off correctly in my build.

      2. Okay, so it’s official: I’m an idiot! It seems to get all the CC content, you have to buy the AE upgrade package. I thought it was free. LOL Anyway, I bought the package and have everything installed. Now I need to patch up, merge, or remove whatever is necessary, because my load order has now gone over the allowed 255 plugins. 🙂

      3. Well, I currently have 869 light plugins, and after some cleanup, 248 normal plugins. I only use MO2, since it keeps your actual game folder nice and clean, and I use a script in SSEEdit to compact form IDs and turn many plugins into ESL-flagged ESPs.

        I found a tool that allows you to convert the Creation Club mods into mods that can be managed with MO2, so I was able to deactivate the ones I don’t want, which also helps a lot.

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