The Deadlands

Sundas, 30th Sun’s Dusk, 4E 201

to Tirdas, 2nd Evening Star, 4E 201

We stood still in Rielle’s entrance and listened. We could hear shuffling and clanking but no combat.

I whispered, “The Ayleid Wrights are patrolling. Watch out for pressure plates as the Ayleid were quite fond of them. Some will open doors, and others will trigger traps. So don’t assume a pressure plate in front of a door is meant to open it.”

We could see where Mythic Dawn cultists had breached a wall to enter Rielle.

  • Rigmor: There was none of this gold in the part of Rielle I visited.
  • Wulf: If the part you explored were easily accessible, the gold would have been robbed.
  • Celestine: That damages the architecture, so it is one of Wulf’s least favourite things.
  • Rigmor: I remember tombs ripped open and bones scattered.
  • Wulf: The Daedra worshipping Ayleid were often interred with expensive grave goods. Grave robbers would not care if they had to pull apart a corpse or skeleton to obtain them.
  • Carcette: The lack of audible combat suggests the cultists have left or are dead.
  • Wulf: We know that at least one escaped their initial foray, according to the journal of Calario Junellia.
  • Lydia: But none returned from the second foray led by Janus, their Ayleid expert.
  • Wulf: That entry was for the 27th, meaning they entered in the last day or two.
  • Carcette: You said that Ayleid Wrights are not a great danger.
  • Wulf: Not to us. Your Vigilants would find them a challenge, and I doubt many of the Mythic Dawn cultists are capable warriors.
  • Rigmor: This place looks pretty but is giving me the creeps. Let’s get the Welkynd thingy and get out of here.
  • Wulf: Am I a Welkynd thingy?
  • Rigmor: Well, you are not a Great Welkynd Thingy.
  • Wulf: No, I am a sensational one.
  • Rigmor: Yeah, right. Pffft!

We destroyed the first Ayleid Wright we encountered with arrows and spells.

We were on a balcony overlooking a large room. Several Mythic Dawn members lay dead. Another Wright was wandering around the room.

I leapt down and disposed of the Wright.

The others soon joined me, and we inspected the dead.

I asked Celestine, “What do you think?”

“They were killed no more than two hours ago.”

“Yep, I concur.”

One of the deceased was Janus, the Ayleid expert. I retrieved his journal and read the relevant sections to the group.

“Middas, 5th Sun’s Dusk, 4E 201

I was called upon to assist with the Rielle expedition and have been studying urgently and without rest. I was entrusted with a page from an ancient Ayleid text retrieved from a researcher in Bruma.

My Ayleidoon is not very good, but I understood something about elemental shards and ‘sleeping guardians’ within the ruins. None of this would be a problem if Vonos had granted me more time, but he and our Lord are impatient. But I will make do. My research is what matters.

The Ayleid believed the four elements to be Air, Water, Earth, and Light. From what I understand, shards representing these four elements may serve as ‘keys’ to certain hidden chambers. It is fascinating to ponder how many Great Welkynd Stones may be hidden among ruins thought to be barren.

If there is a hidden chamber within Rielle, this might be how they are opened. But how? Where? At the cost of their lives, many of our disciples have searched nearly every corner of the ruin but have yet to discover anything. I will study the texts further.

Morndas, 10th Sun’s Dusk, 4E 201

It would have been prudent to keep the Ayleid expert alive to assist with Ayleidoon translation. Alas, he was stubborn and refused to aid in the destruction of all he loved. Therefore, in their infinite wisdom, those above me decided to offer him as a sacrifice to our Lord. They made him scream for hours, but he never renounced his faith in The Divines. I wonder how many within Mythic Dawn would have the same conviction.

Turdas, 27th Sun’s Dusk, 4E 201

Vonos has issued urgent orders to descend upon Rielle with the last of our expedition team to try and find the Great Welkynd Stone. I am to go with them and lead the team. The Vigilants of Stendarr are assumed to be on our trail, so we must act quickly.

I must not allow this latest wrinkle to deter my research. It is almost within my grasp.

Loredas, 29th Sun’s Dusk, 4E 201

Woe to those who entered before me and met their fate. I imagined not the horrors that awaited me.

Our persistence in this expedition has awoken Ayleid Wights – guardians who have waited for untold centuries, sealed in their sarcophagi, awakening to protect the ancient powers within.

And yet, all is not lost. I found four Welkynd Stone holders in the Rielle Crypt, each coloured gold and positioned to the north, south, east, and west. The directions correspond to each of the four elements.

North, upward to the Air (Wel) in the sky.

South, for the Earth (Sercen) under our feet.

East, for the Light (Alata) of the rising sun.

West, for when the Water (Nen) devours it.

A diagram in the Ayleid text matches this pattern. If these shards are retrieved and placed in the correct holders, I believe the Great Welkynd Stone’s secret chamber will make itself known.

Sundas, 30th Sun’s Dusk, 4E 201

My team has been slain, and I have been injured. A pity, as I have heard rumours of an area underneath the college where this stone could have been used better. I need to hold out a little longer….”

  • Rigmor: Those bastards killed Professor Endiel!
  • Carcette: After they tortured him.
  • Wulf: Enforcer Aciys did the same to Priestess Enakain. One group of people, Mythic Dawn, are expected to torture and murder according to the wants of their chosen deity. Enforcer Aciys’ actions are contrary to his chosen deity’s teachings. My loathing for both differs not at all.
  • Rigmor: Professor Endiel didn’t betray Nirn or The Divines.
  • Wulf: He should be remembered, Rigmor.
  • Rigmor: Yes, he should. With Auryen’s help, we will finish the Ayleid Museum, and it will be named after Professor Endiel.
  • Wulf: Make sure the Carvain family is recognised as the collectors.
  • Rigmor: Oh, they will be. It was one of their quirks that endeared them to their citizens. Every item added to their collection produced visible joy. Nobody would have been surprised if Sofia became an archaeologist.
  • Carcette: What are Elemental Shards?
  • Wulf: They are Welkynd Stones infused with one of the four Ayleid elements. They already store starlight. Therefore, sunlight is used for Alata, which means light. They were decorative items, but, in this case, they act as keys.
  • Lydia: So, we must find the four Elemental Shards, and there is someplace below to use them.
  • Wulf: Yep.
  • Rigmor: If the other Wrights are as weak as the first two, it will be easy peasy!
  • Carcette: Janus said the Great Welkynd Stone could be used below the college. What is that all about?
  • Wulf: I think he referred to the Atronach Forge under The College of Winterhold. I don’t know how the Great Welkynd Stone could be used with that device because I have not studied it.
  • Rigmor: Thank goodness. Otherwise, we would get ten minutes of excited mumbo jumbo explaining major gobblygook.
  • Lydia: You rave for half an hour over each new fashion you see in Cyrodiil.
  • Rigmor: Yes, but we both know that is vital information, not weird stuff.
  • Lydia: True. Very true.
  • Wulf: Remember what I said about the traps.
  • Rigmor: We took a vote and decided you should be the first to step on any suspect pressure plates.
  • Wulf: I didn’t see anybody vote.
  • Rigmor: It was a secret ballot.
  • Wulf: Why didn’t I get to vote?
  • Rigmor: Because.
  • Wulf: Because what?
  • Rigmor: Because I said so.
  • Celestine: A countess does not have to explain anything to a commoner.
  • Wulf: I am a lord.
  • Celestine: A commoner who has purchased their title is still a commoner.
  • Wulf: A princess who has run away from an arranged marriage is still being hunted by her father. It would be a pity if he found her.
  • Celestine: Countess Ragnarsdottier, you must respect Lord Welkynd more.
  • Rigmor: I can write letters to High Rock as well.
  • Celestine: You were right to put that smelly commoner in his place.
  • Wulf: Bah, why did I let Inigo spend time with Langley? I could do with some support.
  • Lydia: This expedition would have been far more interesting with the blue fleabag to abuse.

Collecting the Elemental Shards was not a difficult task. It consisted of killing Wrights and avoiding traps.

After collecting the four Elemental Shards, we entered a room with four empty sconces.

I told the group, “Search the walls all you like, and you will not find the hidden doorway. Ayleid engineering was superb.”

Rigmor asked, “Will we get swarmed by Wrights?”

“I don’t know.”

I inserted Wel into the northern sconce.

Then Sercen was inserted into the southern sconce.

Alata was installed into the western sconce.

When I installed Nen into the eastern sconce, a corridor was revealed.

Standing on a pressure plate lowered a wall to give us access to a large room containing the Great Welkynd Stone.

At the end of the room was a sealed sarcophagus with writing in Ayleidoon upon its lid. There were low balconies to the left and right of the Great Welkynd. Other sarcophagi were scattered around the room.

I inspected the writing on the sarcophagus and then returned to the centre of the room.

  • Wulf: The writing on the sarcophagus is in Ayleidoon. It says that Norion the Undying lies within.
  • Rigmor: He is waiting for you to take the Great Welkynd Stone.
  • Lydia: Why call him undying?
  • Wulf: He is probably a Lich.
  • Carcette: If Welkynd Stones need starlight to create Varliance, how long before they become empty when underground?
  • Wulf: There are probably systems of mirrors we haven’t discovered that shine starlight upon the Welkynd Stones. But a Great Welkynd Stone could store Varliance for many centuries, if not millennia, without starlight.
  • Lydia: We don’t know where the Oblivion Gate is.
  • Wulf: Their Oblivion Gate is useless without the Great Welkynd Stone. Therefore, there is less urgency to find it. Now, I am about to remove the stone.
  • Rigmor: There may be other Wrights on the balconies and the coffins.
  • Wulf: Let me deal with Norion if he appears. Concentrate on other Wrights if they attack us.

I opened my Journal Case. Then, I quickly removed the Great Welkynd Stone and placed it inside.

Norion the Undying sprang from his sarcophegus. He was, as expected, a Lich.

Also, as we surmised, Wrights appeared on the balconies and emerged from the other sarcophagi.

I admired the clothing Norion wore. It was a pity I had to ruin it.

Norion the Undying lasted two slashes of my katana before collapsing into ash.

We quickly disposed of the Wrights.

Amongst Norion’s ashes, I found a crown and a reasonably powerful staff.

I retrieved the Great Welkynd Stone from my Journal Case and passed it around.

  • Celestine: It feels no different than the Welkynd Stones in Aurane. I can tell it stores Varliance, but that is all.
  • Wulf: I must have some affinity for it, for I can tell it carries many thousand times the Varliance of any ordinary Welkynd Stone.
  • Rigmor: Is the one in Aurane as small as this one?
  • Wulf: No, it is much larger. You would have seen it without knowing what it was, for it looks like other crystal formations. They don’t have to be shaped into something recognisable.
  • Carcette: What do we do now?
  • Wulf: We shall head for the Hall of the Vigilant and see if Enforcer Aciys is there or has provided information to your Vigilants. We will have to exit these ruins on foot. Like Aurane, Rielle has a dweomer to protect against teleportation without authorisation. However, this dweomer works both ways and prevents exit teleportation.
  • Celestine: Portals and teleportation dweomer are another thing you are sensitive to.
  • Wulf: The same dweomer protects most of the prisons in Skyrim. They were placed long ago when teleportation magic was more common.

Groups of Vigilants and Mythic Dawn had entered Rielle while we were below. When Carcette saw them, she said, “They are members of my Vigil. We must help them!”

The Vigilants were slightly better warriors than the cultists but paled in comparison to us. We quickly eliminated all Mythic Dawn members in Rielle.

We approached one of the surviving Vigilants.

  • Carcette: Enforcer Botirdis, what are members of our Vigil doing here?
  • Botirdis: Enforcer Olfirid came to the Hall of the Vigilant and explained the situation. As the senior Vigilant present, I decided to aid them. We did not know you would be here, Keeper.
  • Wulf: Why did Enforcer Olfirid, not Enforcer Aciys, approach you?
  • Botirdis: Enforcer Aciys was searching for the cave containing the Oblivion Gate. It is believed he was killed or captured. We came here hoping to stop Mythic Dawn cultists from obtaining a Great Welkynd Stone.
  • Carcette: We have the Great Welkynd Stone. However, we do not know where the Oblivion Gate is.
  • Botirdis: You have the stone?
  • Wulf: Yes, Enforcer Botirdis.
  • Botirdis: Enforcer Sgrggar is at the entrance. He, Enforcer Aciys and Enforcer Olfirid were sure they discovered its location. That is Olfirid on the ground. She died fighting by my side.
  • Carcette: Enforcer Sgrggar is part of my Sigil and is known for his keen mind.

I searched Olfirid’s corpse and recovered her journal. I read the relevant sections aloud to the group.

“Fredas, 10th Frostfall, 4E 201

Our spies in the cities of Skyrim have reported hearing whispers of the Mythic Dawn among the populace. Though the last of those abominations were slain hundreds of years ago, we must take all reports seriously and stay alert. Enforcer Aciys says this duty falls upon our Vigil, as the one in Skyrim is ineffectual and cannot be relied upon. Our Keeper cares not as long as we are successful.

Loredas, 18th Frostfall, 4E 201

Our agents in Cyrodiil reported a band of mysterious travellers visiting Bruma. The travellers asked a well-known researcher, Professor Pelator Endiel, many questions about the Ayleid. Professor Endiel told our agents that the travellers seemed most interested in Great Welkynd Stones, which haven’t been seen for hundreds of years. During the conversation, he suggested that one may exist within the ruins of Rielle. Professor Endiel is often consulted about Ayleid matters and did not deem their enquiries suspicious. He did remind them that permission must be gained if an excavation of Rielle is planned.

The names the travellers gave Professor Endiel did not match any taken by Legionnaires at the border.  

Enforcer Aciys thinks the travellers are travelling to and from Skyrim to Bruma. Therefore, he has sent a few Vigilants to the Pale Pass to monitor things. If darkness is at play, the light of the Vigil will find it.

Fredas, 31st Sun’s Dusk, 4E 201

Another suspicious group of travellers was seen traversing the Pale Pass into Bruma. This time under the cover of night. They were followed but were lost in the shadows. Our agents set up a blockade to stop and question all who passed, but the group was not seen travelling through there again.

If they did return to Skyrim, they would have had to do so through the Jerall Mountains by moonlight. Stendarr have mercy upon anyone lost among those jagged slopes in the darkness.

Morndas, 3rd Sun’s Dusk, 4E 201

Professor Endiel has gone missing, and we must assume it was at the hands of the suspect travellers. If the rumours of the Mythic Dawn are true, Stendarr will need us to prevent them from getting their hands on a Great Welkynd Stone. What could they possibly need such a powerful artefact for?

Enforcer Aciys has dispatched agents and spies to every corner of Skyrim to inquire among the townsfolk and track anyone who is remotely suspicious. Due to the poor reputation of the local Vigil, we don’t expect much cooperation.

Tudas, 20th Sun’s Dusk, 4E 201

We have begun following a man named Skorvild. We believe he may be a Daedra worshipper and possibly a member of the Mythic Dawn. His brother was recently reported missing.

Vigilants report that Skorvild is wary and possibly aware of our surveillance. We will attempt to follow his movements closely.

Turdas, 27th Sun’s Dusk, 4E 201

After several days of observing various suspects, Enforcer Aciys decided to capture an imperial woman called Enakain Callatius. She is a popular trader of general goods in Leyawiin. However, our agents believed her to be a high-ranking member, possibly a priestess, of Mythic Dawn.

When Vigilants searched her quarters, they found red robes bearing the sun symbol of Mehrunes Dagon. They also found a journal which claimed an Oblivion Gate had been created, and attempts to open it permanently are underway.

Priestess Enakain confessed her rank as a matter of pride. However, she would not yield any further information and died during interrogation. It was a slow death, but the Vigilants of Stendarr have no mercy for Daedra worshippers.

Can the power of a Great Welkynd Stone be corrupted and used for the cult’s twisted purpose? We cannot allow this to happen! We must find the Oblivion Gate!

Enforcer Aciys said we may have to ask Keeper Carcette’s Vigil for reinforcements.

Enakain’s journal contained a torn page containing the following cryptic passage, ‘‘In the shade of Velothi, where rivers run black. Shor’s Stone at our feet, Whiteshore at our back. Windhelm on our shoulders, beyond the fair night. Before the dawn rises, red scars bleed the light.’

This passage could be a clue as to their location. Enforcer Aciys will take several Vigilants to investigate, including our fastest scouts. If I do not hear from them by the 30th, I am to assume they have been killed or captured. In the meantime, I will approach Keeper Carcette and ask for assistance. Our smaller Vigil is not of sufficient size to stop what is unfolding.

30th Last Seed, 4E 201

We have heard nothing from Enforcer Aciys or the scouts and believe the Mythic Dawn has captured them. May Stendarr have mercy upon them. We would typically have been more careful, but our need to act quickly was paramount. 

Keeper Carcette was not at the Hall of the Vigilant. Enforcer Botirdis, the most senior Vigilant present, informed me that Lord Welkynd was accompanying Keeper Carcette after Lord Stendarr requested that he do so. We have always been suspicious of somebody who claims to be Champion of The Divines yet openly confesses dealing with Daedric Princes. His disdain for Vigilants is well known. He is a mage of renown and could easily have mimicked Lord Stendarr’s voice. It would not surprise me to find he is also a member of Mythic Dawn.

Enforcer Botirdis agreed to assist, and we have assembled a group to descend upon Rielle. We may be able to ambush the Mythic Dawn cultists before they obtain a Great Welkynd Stone. Simultaneously, we have sent a small group to investigate the area Enforcer Aciys believed contained the cave where the Oblivion Gate was constructed.

Blessings of Stendarr upon us.”

  • Carcette:  Enforcer Botirdis, you did the right thing by agreeing to assist Enforcer Olfirid.
  • Botirdis: I can assure you, Lord Welkynd, that nobody within Skyrim’s Vigil believes you are anything but what you profess to be. The Vigilants accompanying Enforcer Aciys do not adhere to Lord Stendarr’s teachings.
  • Wulf: I don’t care, Enforcer Botirdis, what idiots like Enforcers Aciys and Olfrid believe. However, I take great umbrage when they break Imperial Laws and harm mortals I desire to protect.
  • Celestine: Do you know where Enforcer Aciys was searching for the cave?
  • Botirdis: I believe it is called Red Scar Cavern. Enforcer Sgrggar might know more.
  • Wulf: I know where that is.
  • Rigmor: Should we trust that map in your head?
  • Wulf: It has been accurate 99% of the time.
  • Carcette: Enforcer Botirdis, nobody is to touch any Welkynd Stones or take any items from here! Be aware of the pressure plate traps. Once you are sure all Mythic Dawn cultists are dead, you are to organise the transport of all fallen Vigilants to the Hall of the Vigilant.
  • Botirdis: Yes, Keeper Carcette. I don’t think any Vigilant would want a souvenir from this place.
  • Wulf: Can any of you perform Arkay’s Rights?
  • Botirdis: Several of us are qualified to do so. It will be performed over each fallen Vigilant as soon as possible.

We made our way outside.

Enforcer Sgrggar was startled to see us. The remains of several Skeletal Warriors indicated he had been using his crossbow.

He turned to face us.

  • Carcette: Enforcer Sgrggar, we have the Great Welkynd Stone and must now find the Oblivion Gate. Do you believe it is inside Red Scar Cavern?
  • Sgrggar: Yes, Keeper Carcette. That was our best guess from the clues in the Priestesses journal.
  • Wulf: And a small contingent of Vigilants are headed there?
  • Sgrggar: Yes, Lord Welkynd. We decided the more significant force should tackle Rielle.
  • Wulf: I am not going to contradict that decision. It was made based on the information the Vigilants had at the time.
  • Rigmor: Why have several of you remained outside?
  • Sgrggar: Enforcer Botirdis sent us outside once she realised that Mythic Dawn numbers were fewer than expected. We guard against the abundant undead continuously approaching the ruins and for Mythic Dawn reinforcements.
  • Wulf: It seems those reinforcements arrived just before the Vigilants, for there were no living cultists when we retrieved the Great Welkynd Stone. I don’t think there will be others, as Mythic Dawn will want to guard the Oblivion Gate.
  • Sgrggar: If there are large numbers of cultists, I doubt any Vigilants we sent to Red Scar Cavern will survive.
  • Wulf: We shall arrive there well before the Vigilants. Hopefully, we have wiped out the cultists before your comrades arrive.
  • Sgrggar: Keeper Carcette, we were unprepared for such an event as this. I think you will find this Vigil changed somewhat. However, we do not want to be like Enforcers Olfrid and Aciys.
  • Carcette: Most Vigilants in Cyrodiil and High Rock are not like those two. However, they are more active than this Vigil has been. I shall discuss it on my return to the Hall of the Vigilant.
  • Wulf: I am sorry for your losses, Enforcer Sgrggar. The people of The Empire will know of their bravery and sacrifice.

A sense of urgency permeated the group when we teleported into Shor’s Stone.

There was no discussion or light banter while we headed to Red Scar Cavern.

As per usual, I Blinked over a mountain to save time.

I summoned the others on the other side, and we soon arrived at Red Scar Cavern.

There was only one sentry guarding the cavern entrance. I quickly removed their head.

When we entered the cavern, I whispered, “I shall use Night Vision and Heat Vision to find the enemy. We want to travel rapidly but silently. Let us proceed.”

The enemy never saw us, and we hardly paused as we meted out death.

In total, we killed two dozen cultists along the way.

We opened a noisy door to find we had arrived at the cave containing the Oblivion Gate.

I could only see two cultists with Heat Vision, and neither faced the door we just entered. Vonos had his back to us and was chanting mumbo-jumbo in Daedric.

I used Zoom Vision to study Vonos.

The Oblivion Gate symbolises terror, especially amongst the many Mer who lived through The Oblivion Crises.

I talked to Rigmor via Mara’s Rings.

“My beloved, something is not right. The cultists in here must have heard the door’s squeaky hinges.”

“There were not enough cultists defending this place and they were spread too thin. It was as if they didn’t care we made it this far.”

“I assume that is Enforcer Aciys on the table. Mehrunes Dagon would relish the sacrifice of a Vigilant.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I am not going to ignore my intuition. It tells me that Vonos’ back is too easy a target. So, instead of putting an arrow in it, I will paralyse him and then have a friendly chat. Celestine will recognise the spell as I prepare it.”

I cast Paralysis, and Vonos fell rigid to the floor.

I then Blinked to the enemy and disposed of the two cultists.

I stood over Vonos. He would be paralysed for a few minutes, so we had time to talk.

  • Wulf: Carcette, is that Enforcer Aciys on the dais?
  • Carcette: Yes. I did not like him, but nobody deserves the death he received at Vonos’ hands.
  • Celestine: This was too easy.
  • Rigmor: That is what Wulf thought. We chatted via our rings.
  • Wulf: So, Vonos, let’s see if you have any information we can use.

I searched Vonos and retrieved his journal. I quickly read it and cursed.

Rigmor asked, “What is it, my Guardian? What has upset you?”

I replied, “Listen to their plan.”

“7th Mid Year, 4E 200

The voice of Mehrunes Dagon permeates my dreams. At first, it was a whisper, but it had become a roar inside my skull. The seeds of strife and violence plague this land, the soil enriched by the blood of battle. ‘Tamriel will soon be ripe again for the taking, for my vengeance is at hand’, the voice says.

I must heed his voice. What must I do, my Lord? I will visit his shrine, and he shall speak to me not in a dream but in reality. I shall pass the Hall of the Vigilant to reach the mountain path and laugh at their failure to see their doom walk by.

12th Mid Year, 4E 200

I have spent countless hours and days praying to Dagon and heard nothing. Finally, I had dreams of fire and smoke. Heat upon heat. I was descending into a cavern, further and further down. The heat began to cook and blister my skin.

But I kept moving downward through fire, smoke, heat, and rock. And then I saw it. The very mouth of Dagon. An Oblivion Gate.

With a blinding flash, I began to have visions of Akatosh and Dragons. What could be the meaning of this?

I awoke covered in sweat and with a deep sense of purpose. I feel drawn eastward. I must heed the call.

15th Sun’s Height, 4E 200

Dagon’s voice has led me to a cavern deep within the Velothi Mountains. His worshippers used to gather here. I feel their presence. I feel his power.

An Oblivion Gate is buried here. I can feel it.

It is my destiny to reach it. I will spend night and day with pickaxe in hand until it is freed from this stone prison.

6th Hearthfire, 4E 200

For nearly two months, I have toiled, digging deeper and deeper, only stopping to rest and take nourishment. Stone by stone, inching ever closer to my destiny. Ever closer to the fires of Oblivion.

Others have begun to heed Dagon’s call and have found their way here, to me, to our Lord. We are the high priests of the new order, the chosen few who are attuned to his will.

As we traverse deeper, the remnants of an ancient Mythic Dawn temple are revealed like diamonds from the rock.

Priest Vitus was the first to discover the gate’s stone. My ecstasy was short-lived when I found, like every other Oblivion Gates, it had been destroyed. Still, I could feel its power like heat against my skin. Many other pieces like this are scattered throughout the lands of Skyrim. They are buried deep and lost to time. We shall find them. We shall reproduce them and open the jaws of Oblivion once again.

4th Morning Star, 4E 201

Visions of Dragons cloud my dreams once more. Images of Martin Septim and Akatosh make my blood burn with anger and vengeance. I keep hearing the phrase, ‘Black wings unfurling against a red sky.’

I do not yet understand the meaning of these visions, but Dagon’s hatred has become a burning coal in the pit of my stomach, driving me ever forward.

21st Second Seed, 4E 201

Over the last several months, we have searched Skyrim’s deepest reaches and retrieved enough remnants of the various shattered Oblivion Gates to copy and create one whole again. Its very presence inspires power, awe, and reverence.

A pact must now be made. Dagon requires that each of us offer a personal sacrifice, a blood offering proving our dedication. With each soul cast into the fires of Oblivion, his power grows.

The Liminal Barrier is weaker here, and the turmoil and conflict boiling in the lands only weaken it further. I must now summon a Dremora Lord to acquire a Sigil Stone and find a way to open the gate.

10th Sun’s Height, 4E 201

I have performed the rites as dictated in Liminal Bridges and successfully penetrated the barrier into the realm of Oblivion. However, my attempts to use the gate as a vessel of trans-liminal attunement have failed. The portal to Oblivion is thin and temporary, as one might expect. I have smelled the sweet sulphur of The Deadlands, but only for fleeting moments.

I have studied all there is to know of the Mysterium Xarxes. I have been to Dawnstar countless times to observe its last remaining page. Yet the necessary piece has remained a mystery.

Silus Vesuius is a fool with basic knowledge of our Lord. Yet he distracts our enemies as Vigilants stare at him while we work in the shadows. I look forward to the day we take what belongs to Mythic Dawn from his ‘museum’ and sacrifice him to our Lord.

As I pray to Dagon for guidance and confer with his Dremora, I now understand that a Sigil Stone is not powerful enough. Something of greater power may be required to open the gate permanently. But what kind of artefact could hold such power?

I have dispatched the most loyal of my disciples to all corners of Tamriel to search for any artefact or source of power worthy of becoming the key to Oblivion. I must remain patient and trust Dagon’s will.

14th Last Seed, 4E 201

Fevered visions haunt my dreams once more, and as the time draws near, I now understand what must be done.

The Dragonborn Prophecy foretells a chosen one will come forth, their blood and soul blessed by Akatosh. The Dovahkiin’s arrival is imminent.

The Time Wound will open, and Alduin the World Eater shall also return.

Though both are fragments of Akatosh’s soul, these two will wage war against one another. And as children of Akatosh, they will reap the vengeance of Mehrunes Dagon.

But pain and suffering nor death will satisfy. Only the ultimate betrayal will suffice…

Permanently opening the Oblivion Gate requires a ritual of the highest order. It must be carefully designed. An artefact of untold power must be corrupted, a great sacrifice made, and above all, the Dragonborn must become the unwitting instrument of Dagon’s will.

I will become the sacrifice, the final step. And as the Dovahkiin takes my life with a blade in one hand and Great Welkynd Stone in the other, they will complete the ritual and become the very key to opening the gate.

This ultimate betrayal will shatter The Liminal Barrier, opening the Oblivion Gate and giving Dagon a foothold into the mortal realm while he rebuilds his armies.

It is a divine plan beyond anything I could have comprehended. The world will be bathed in the fires of Oblivion, and the blood of mortals will be on the hands of Akatosh.

None can be made aware of this plan. It is too fragile, too perfect.

29th Last Seed, 4E 201

It has begun. Alduin has returned!

20th Frostfall, 4E 201

My scouts have said that a Great Welkynd Stone may be hidden within Rielle, an ancient Ayleid ruin. Could this be the source of power needed to open the gate? It very well may be.

How delicious the irony of an object once used against Dagon becomes the very thing that unleashes his power back into the mortal realm.

My scouts are working diligently to uncover any further information they can. And as I pray to Dagon for guidance, his voice says, ‘Patience, all shall be revealed in time.’

22th Frostfall, 4E 201

Curse the Vigilants of Stendarr. They have blocked the Pale Pass through the Jerall Mountains, making access to Rielle within Bruma impossible. We cannot risk exposing our plans. We must find another way.

If we cannot make our way into Cyrodiil by road, we will do so by force directly through the mountains. We have done it once to get to this sacred place and shall do it again. I have dispatched a team to begin excavation immediately.

17th Sun’s Dusk, 4E 201

Skorvild has been missing for several days. His spirit broke after witnessing his brother being sacrificed, and he deserted the order, just as I had planned.

He will seek help as the most unforgiving Vigilants are on his tail. They have long forgotten the concept of mercy.

My Lord is certain that Lord Welkynd, the Dragonborn, will become involved. Once Skorvild’s role has been fulfilled, he will be slaughtered.

Lord Welkynd, in his arrogance, will continue to embody ambition, much to Dagon’s pleasure. He will no doubt seek to obtain the Great Welkynd Stone. Then he will hunt and find me. When he does, the final act of the ritual will begin.

28th Sun’s Dusk, 4E 201

Priestess Enakain has been taken captive by the Vigilants of Stendarr, but she, too, serves a greater purpose. Her spirit will not break, but her journal will lead the Vigilants to where they need to be to aid Lord Welkynd. Where they will utterly fail, the Dovahkiin will succeed.

His success will be short-lived. The Sigil Stone has been destroyed, and its dweomer transferred. That will ensure the gate will remain open. Moreover, two of Dagon’s Dremora Valkynaz, Gatanas and Methats, are waiting in the Deadlands to lead the assault. They are the heralds of the coming siege; through their works, we will unleash a scourge of torment upon our Lord’s enemies.

The dawn is breaking.”

  • Rigmor: Your intuition was correct, Wulf. This arsehole was asking to be killed by you.
  • Wulf: As always, we deal with idiots who think their chosen Daedric Prince is infallible.
  • Lydia: Just a hint, Vonos. If you don’t want people to discover your fragile, perfect plan, writing it down is a bad idea.
  • Celestine: I cannot detect the Great Welkynd Stone. It is inside your Journal Case and not in Mundus.
  • Lydia: The morons assumed Wulf would march up with an awkwardly sized Great Welkynd Stone hanging off his belt or something.
  • Carcette: They also assumed that Wulf would be the one to kill Vonos.
  • Wulf: So, Vonos, even if I killed you, the power of the Great Welkynd Stone could not be used. Don’t you feel silly?
  • Rigmor: Lord Dagon thought you would aid Skorvild and the Vigilants out of ambition. That proves he has no idea who you are or what motivates you.
  • Celestine: No doubt Vonos thinks his Lord is omnipotent and infallible.
  • Carcette: Vonos, Lord Welkynd is Champion of The Divines. He is tasked with protecting the mortals of Nirn and does so selflessly. Lord Dagon was wrong, as were other Dark Lords who underestimated him.
  • Wulf: Alduin is a shard of AKA, as is Lord Akatosh. I am not. However, I do have an affinity with The Liminal Barrier. Their plan may have worked if I killed Vonos and the Great Welkynd Stone was exposed and nearby.
  • Celestine: What do we do now?
  • Wulf: I don’t think this Oblivion Gate will lead to The Deadlands but to a pocket plane therein. I believe they have transferred the anchor point from inside a Sigil Stone into a being. I am guessing the anchor will be one of the two Valkynaz chosen to spearhead their forces.
  • Celestine: Just like Mankar Camoran and Gaiar Alata!
  • Wulf: Yes, in many respects.
  • Rigmor: Please explain the gobblygook.
  • Wulf: I will have to go into lecture mode!
  • Rigmor: Oh, goody!
  • Wulf: Celestine, if Vonos starts to twitch, paralyse him again.
  • Celestine: I hope he is enjoying hearing his grand plan fail miserably.
  • Wulf: I am sure Mehrunes Dagon will remind him of his failure for the rest of this kalpa.
  • Rigmor: Can you pee yourself when paralysed?
  • Celestine: Yes, the spell doesn’t stop normal bodily functions.
  • Lydia: Phew! I think Vonos shit himself as well!
  • Rigmor: The pong might keep us awake as Wulf drones on and on and on…

“I will remind the large-bottomed lady that she asked for an explanation. As I have mentioned and Vonos discovered, even with a weakened Liminal Barrier, the portal to Oblivion is short-lived. That was not a problem during The Oblivion Crises, as there was a very weak Liminal Barrier for some time and then none after The Dragonfires went out.

My connection to Lord Akatosh means I can influence the Liminal Barrier. Vonos and Dagon hoped to use that connection via the Varliance in the Great Welkynd Stone to weaken the Liminal Barrier severely. Unless I willed it, I doubt their ritual could eradicate it.

During The Oblivion Crises, Mankar Cameron created his pocket plane within The Deadlands. He called it Gaiar Alata or Paradise. The anchor point for the gateway to Paradise was not within a Sigil Stone but inside Mankar Cameron. To open the gateway, Martin Septim used the blood of Tiber Septim and a Great Welkynd Stone. The Hero of Kvatch entered Paradise and recovered The Amulet of Kings, which Mankar Cameron was wearing. When he killed Mankar, it was like destroying the Sigil Stone. The anchor holding open the gateway was destroyed, and The Hero of Kvatch was returned to Mundus.

The lecture is over, so you can stop dribbling now, milady.”

  • Rigmor: If you kill the Valkynaz that contains the anchor point, this Oblivion Gate will close forever.
  • Wulf: They don’t just close quietly, Rigmor. They explode. People at the end of The Oblivion Crises did not smash apart the Oblivion Gates.
  • Celestine: Remember, Rigmor, what happened when Wulf destroyed the Sigil Stone?
  • Rigmor: Well, I was unconscious, but you told me, and Wulf described it in his journal.
  • Lydia: BOOM!
  • Carcette: What do we do now?
  • Wulf: Let me study the Oblivion Gate for a minute. I am sure I can open the gateway and enter the pocket plane. It may stay open for a considerable time, so you must guard against Daedra coming through it.
  • Carcette: What do we do with Vonos?
  • Wulf: Leave him paralysed where he is. If the explosion of the Oblivion Gate doesn’t kill him, we shall ensure he is jailed for the rest of his life. Either way, when Mehrunes Dagon has his soul, his punishment will be more severe than anything we can inflict.
  • Rigmor: So, this is it. You enter Oblivion once more, and I will calmly await your return.
  • Wulf: Let’s see if I can open the gateway first. Get ready for any nasties that might jump through it.

I studied the Oblivion Gate. Its shape was symbolic and was the Daedric letter Oht. The Daedric alphabet existed long before the first Oblivion Gate was constructed. It could be any shape and still work as long as it had a point of focus. The Oblivion Gate Martin Septim opened into Paradise did not resemble the one before me.

There was a wound in the Liminal Barrier at the centre of the gate. As I experienced with the Time Wound, my senses railed against its wrongness. The gateway was similar to the portals I had been experimenting with before Alduin started the chaos. There was no Creatia involved, just Magicka. A considerable amount of Magicka was required to open the gateway, but I did not need the Great Welkynd Stone to achieve that amount.

I muttered an incantation in Daedric and willed the gateway to open. It did.

Vanos’ Lifeforce was absorbed, which killed him. Mehrunes Dagon is now in possession of his soul.

I warned, “Everybody back away. You do not want to be near the Oblivion Gate when it explodes!”

We all moved away from the gateway. The others let Rigmor and me have some privacy.

She said, “Wulf, don’t dilly dally! Kill who you must and come back as quickly as you can.”

“I killed many Dremora and other Daedra in The Ash Pit. I will be okay.”

“Not if Mehrunes Dagon interferes.”

“It is a risk I must take, Rigmor. If not me, who else?”

“I know. Go, my Guardian. Put an end to this darkness.”

I gave Rigmor a quick kiss and returned to the gateway.

The smell of sulphur was strong.

I stepped forward and was in the ether for a split second before appearing within a cave. Rigmor’s presence through Mara’s Rings vanished.

The air was hot, and sulphur fumes burned my throat. I had a mask in my Journal Case that would help, but I didn’t bother. It was bearable.

As I did in The Shivering Isles, I collected reagents, some of which I hadn’t seen since living with my parents.

I exited the cave and confirmed my suspicion. In the distance was The Deadlands. A portal to the rest of Oblivion was visible above the many towers where Dremora lived. There was a barrier between the pocket plane and The Deadlands.

A horse resembling a Fire Atronach saw me and ran to the left. Not knowing where the Valkynaz were, I decided to follow the horse.

A Fire Atronach approached.

An arrow ended it.

After it exploded, its soul tried to escape.

I am one of the few beings sensitive to souls. I tracked and eliminated it.

I saw a Valkynaz grooming the horse.

I walked closer and said, in Daedric, “I challenge you, Valkynaz. What is your name so I can laugh when I think of it?”

The Dremora turned and growled, “I am Valkyn Gatanas, mortal. Prepare to meet your doom!”

“Oh, come on, can’t you say anything more original than that?”

I stepped back a few steps and assumed a defensive stance.

Valkyn Gatanas ran to me and swung his mace with great strength but little skill.

I blocked it and sliced him across the middle while he was off guard. That was the end of Valkyn Gatanas.

I wasn’t expelled to Mundus, so he was not the portal’s anchor.

The horse seemed friendly enough. It watched as I gathered more reagents.

I fought more Dremora of different ranks and several Atronachs as I travelled. I also collected more reagents.

I eventually arrived where a Valkynaz sat on a raised throne.

I called out, in Daedric, “You must be Valkyn Methats. I hope you are more of a challenge than Valkyn Gatanas. He lasted three seconds!”

Several Atronach attacked simultaneously with Valkyn Methats, but I ignored them.

Valkyn Methats lasted no longer than Gatanas.

As soon as I cut him down, I sheathed my sword. A split second later, I was unceremoniously ejected from Oblivion.

I enjoyed the less toxic air as I travelled. I was not heading for a comfortable landing, so I flipped over. I landed on my stomach and skidded for some distance. My armour created a shower of sparks and loud grating noises guaranteed to put some people’s nerves on edge.

I turned over and tried to sit up but decided to wait until I was sure where up was.

Rigmor came over and knelt close by.

She said, “Celestine doesn’t think that was as impressive as last time.”

“What? The explosion or the landing?”

“Both. You will have to try harder. Perhaps complete a full somersault next time.”

“Some concern about your Guardian’s health is in order.”

“I know you are perfectly healthy. Our rings don’t lie.”

I was still groggy when Vigilants and Mythic Dawn cultists burst into the chamber. I jumped to my feet and helped eliminate the enemy.

I took a quick look at what remained of the Oblivion Gate.

Then we exited the chamber to help kill the rest of the cultists.

We made our way outside, and a Dunmer Enforcer approached. Another Dunmer Enforcer stood on the other side of the entrance.

  • Carcette: Enforcer Nelsul, I am glad to see you survived.
  • Nelsul: I think the chase almost killed me. It was easier for the cultists to run in their getup than this tin can. The groups spotted each other not far from Shor’s Stone. We weren’t sure where the Oblivion Gate was, so we were grateful they led us here.
  • Carcette: So grateful you helped kill them all.
  • Nelsul: I heard an explosion. Was that the Oblivion Gate being destroyed?
  • Wulf: Yes, I opened it, entered Oblivion, and closed it by destroying its anchor. Hence the boom.
  • Nelsul: We were curious why Keeper Carcette left with The Dragonborn. Now we know. I am glad we managed to redeem ourselves somewhat.
  • Carcette: You did the Vigil proud and are far closer to what Lord Stendarr desires than those who followed Enforcer Aciys.
  • Rigmor: I gotta ask. Are there many Dunmer Vigilants?
  • Nelsul: None that worship the old or new Tribunal. I was raised in Falkreath and dedicated myself to Lord Stendarr when I was young.
  • Carcette: Ensure Arkay’s Rights are said over each of our fallen. Arrange for Enforcer Aciys and those of his Vigil to be returned to Cyrodiil. I expect a pile of identity tags on my desk tomorrow. I would say today, but I need to sleep.
  • Wulf: You have done well to keep up with us, Keeper Carcette.
  • Rigmor: We are all pooped, so get us home, Dragonbum.

We gathered close.

Then I teleported the group to the Hall of the Vigilant.

I told Carcette, “I will visit Dawnstar tomorrow and investigate the Mythic Dawn Museum. I don’t think the owner is a cultist. I will return in a few days and see how things are. I am sure the Vigil may take some time to recover.”

“Yes, I shall have to try and squeeze replacements from Cyrodiil. There will be a lot of mourning amongst my people. That is the price they must pay if they want to do as Lord Stendarr asks. Now they have some understanding of what a Vigilant is.”

“Hopefully, we won’t have any more organised cults to contend with.”

“You know that is unlikely, Wulf.”

“If you will excuse us, Keeper Carcette. We must get home, have some food and sleep.”

We teleported into Aurane, and the group went their various ways. Celestine headed for her house. Others raided the kitchens.

I said hello to Merlin, and then Rigmor dragged me into my rooms.

We had a spa and then something to eat. After dinner, we sat before the fire and talked about the last few days.

Rigmor was concerned about the situation in High Rock. I told her I would speak to some Orsimer who had fled into Skyrim and see what they say. It was time I visited some Orsimer Strongholds and looked for potential recruits. Argonians are also absent from The Dragonguard.

Upon retiring to bed, we fell asleep within minutes.

After breakfast the next morning, my squad arrived for the day. Vayu, Seiko, and Taku would accompany Rigmor and me to Dawnstar.

We teleported to the outskirts of Dawnstar.

A brief snow storm blew in as we headed for The Museum of the Mythic Dawn.

Silus Vesuius was Imperial and most likely of Colovian lineage. He dared to wear Mythic Dawn robes. He must rarely step outside, for he did not recognise me.

“Good morning. Are you the custodian of The Museum of the Mythic Dawn?”

“Yes, indeed. Silus Vesuius is my name. Why don’t you come inside and browse the displays.”

“Oh, what is the entrance fee?”

“Nothing, but there is a donation box if you wish to volunteer gratitude.”

“Lead the way.”

We entered, and I had to stifle a laugh. Skulls were placed to make the place seem mysterious and spooky.

I looked in a cabinet that contained an exquisite Daedric scabbard.

Silus said, “Notice the emblem on the scabbard? It is an Oblivion Gate. A key symbol of Mehrunes Dagon, the patron Daedra of the Mythic Dawn.”

“I would see it if the scabbard was flipped over.”

“Oh, ahh, well, I assure you, it is there.”

I was impressed by the quality of his set of Mythic Dawn Commentaries. It took Auryen years to find the set in our museum of similar quality.

Silus told me, “The Mythic Dawn cult leader, Mankar Camoran, wrote the Commentaries on the Mysterium Xarxes. He promised a paradise awaited his followers when they died, that they would be reborn by Mehrunes Dagon’s side.”

“Did he fulfil his promise?”

“Why, of course, he did. He was a great and honourable person.”

I felt like telling Silus the truth. Dremora hunted all mortals entering Paradise for sport. They would resurrect and be hunted again. If Mankar sent them to The Deadlands, they would be tortured for eternity. Mythic Dawn cultists were incredibly naïve. However, I continued to play dumb. I wanted to ascertain Silus’ knowledge and, more importantly, his affiliations.

I moved to another display cabinet.

“Those robes were worn during the Mythic Dawn’s secret meetings. That is where they plotted to bring the Daedra called Mehrunes Dagon into Tamriel. Each bolt of yarn used to make a robe was coloured with a dye consisting of sacrificial blood.”

“What fun people! I bet they had wild parties! I think it would be embarrassing when vampires sucked on their robes.”

“Ahem, did you hear what I said about plots?”

The last cabinet held an item Auryen would love to add to our museum’s collection.

Silus gushed, “That burned page is all that remains of the fabled Mysterium Xarxes. It was a blasphemous book written by Mehrunes Dagon himself. It’s said that Mankar Camoran used the book to open a portal to a Paradise where all his followers would live forever.”

I stood before Silus, and he looked nervous. I can be a bit intimidating when towering over somebody.

I asked, “Why did you open this museum, Silus?”

“How do you know my name?”

“It is on the pamphlets you have been polluting Skyrim with over the last few months. You also told me your name outside.”

“Yes, of course.”

“Why did you open this museum, Silus?”

“It’s no secret that my family were once members of the Mythic Dawn. One of my forefathers was even chosen to assassinate Uriel Septim himself. For years, we hid from our past and became tradesmen, people of coin and influence. But I realised that the Mythic Dawn’s importance, our importance, to history cannot be denied. I’ll ensure that everyone in Tamriel knows that for a moment, we held the world’s fate in our hands, for good or ill.”

“I am a great believer in telling the truth about our past. The good and the bad. What can you tell me about Mythic Dawn?”

“They were worshippers of Mehrunes Dagon, the Daedric Lord of Destruction and Change. The Mythic Dawn killed Uriel Septim VII and his heirs, triggering the events that led to the Oblivion Crisis when the Daedra invaded Tamriel. I’ve gathered all that remains of the infamous cult in my museum.”

“You have the hilt of a dagger but did not explain its importance.”

“After the Oblivion Crisis, several groups cropped up dedicated to wiping out the remnants of the Mythic Dawn. One of these groups found Mehrunes’ Razor, the artefact of Dagon. They split it into three fragments and pledged to keep them apart forever. That was almost 150 years ago, and the descendants of that group are still keeping the pieces. And they’re right here, in Skyrim.”

“Ah, so the sheath is part of Mehrunes’ Razor. Why haven’t you obtained the other parts for your museum?”

“Some owners are nothing more than common, but very dangerous, marauders. I would have no hope of stealing the parts, and they will not sell them.”

“We could obtain them for you if you pay well enough.”

“How about 200 septims per part? That is 600 easily earned coins.”

“Make it 300 per part, and you have a deal.”

“Good. Here are my notes on current owners, including a map.”

Silus handed me a bundle of papers. I had a quick look and decided the charade was over.

I asked, “Are you a member of Mythic Dawn, Silus Vesuius?”

“How can I be? They no longer exist.”

“You have had a visitor who studied the burnt page of Mysterium Xarxes several times. He was a member of Mythic Dawn.”

“Nonsense…he would have told me out of respect for my ancestor’s service to his Lord.”

“His name was Vanos, and he died earlier today when Mehrunes Dagon claimed his soul. He made a deal with Lord Dagon and created a working Oblivion Gate. I foiled their plans by visiting Oblivion and destroying the gate. He thought you were an idiot and planned to sacrifice you to Lord Dagon.”

“Why would I believe such a tale?”

“Look at me and my companions. The sword I wield is worth over a hundred thousand septims. The armour is worth many times that. Do we look like we need nine hundred septims divided between us?”


“You don’t get out much, do you, Silus? If you did, you would know I am Lord Welkynd, a Thane of Dawnstar, Dragonborn and Champion of The Divines. Do you still question my word, Silus?”

“Not at all! Please, I am not a member of Mythic Dawn. I knew nothing about what they were doing. Vanos could have been any of the many scholars who have viewed that page. Unless he wore a Mythic Dawn uniform, how would I know what he was?”

“To keep this museum open, you must tell the truth. Show remorse for your ancestor’s actions, not pride. He murdered a good man and a fine emperor. By doing so, he endangered all of Nirn. Everyone would have died or been enslaved if Emperor Martin Septim the First had not sacrificed his life. Just think of all the innocents you see, including children, who would have suffered for your ancestor’s ambition and willingness to betray The Divines. He chose Lord Dagon over the gods who sacrificed much to build all you see around you.”


“Heed my words, Silus. If you show pride and no remorse, I will close down this place. We shall return with the parts of Mehrunes’ Razor. Then I shall take them and the hilt to my museum. There, replicas will be made for display in your museum and mine. That artefact is dangerous and not for display to glorify the enemies of The Divines.”

I told the group, “We will start with the Forsworn at Dead Crone Rock. Drascua is their Hagraven matriarch and guardian of the pommel. We shall not attack unless they do. We shall wipe them out without mercy if they want to fight.”

We teleported to the outskirts of Markarth and then headed for Dead Crone Rock.

Many pilgrims were heading for Dibella’s Temple and Talos’ Shrine. Despite the head of Skyrim’s Talos persecutors living in Markarth, Father’s shrine remains untouched.

I Blinked over a mountain and summoned the group.

I reiterated, “We shall approach with weapons sheathed. If they attack, then they all die.”

They attacked, so we eliminated them.

Some of them were lycanthropes.

We found civilians tortured and killed by the tribe. I did not doubt that Drascua was part of a Daedric Prince worshipping coven.

After carving our way through dozens of Forsworn, we finally encountered Drascua.

I quickly cut her down and a Briarheart guard.

I recovered the pommel of Mehrunes’ Razoe from Drascua’s corpse.

I told the group, “There is a Word Wall up the stairs. We might as well visit it.”

On top of the tower, a victim had been slowly burnt to death.

I stood before the Word Wall.

When the transfer of knowledge was finished, I addressed the group.

  • Wulf: The Word Wall tried to teach me Faas, which means fear. It is the first Word of Power of the Dismay Shout. I already knew the Word and Shout and how to use it.
  • Rigmor: Can you imagine having to visit all of these Word Walls? Meanwhile, Alduin and his allies are decimating towns, villages, and cities.
  • Celestine: Don’t forget that Alduin also removed souls from this and all future kalpa.
  • Wulf: It was not The Divines’ best plan. Lucky for us, Lady Kynareth had a better idea.
  • Vayu: I want to know how good my Dovahzul is.
  • Wulf: Well then, give us your Dovahzul and then Tamrielic translation.
  • Vayu: Nonvul bron dahmaan daar rot do fin Fodiiz Bormah faas ni brendon do dinok fah rok los qolaas do moro ahrk hin aak wah lot Sovngarde.
  • Wulf: Excellent. There was some tricky pronunciation you did perfectly.
  • Vayu: Okay, I think it roughly translates to, ‘Noble Nord, remember these words of the Hoar Father. Fear not the spectre of death, for he is the herald of glory and your guide to great Sovngarde.’
  • Wulf: That is an acceptable translation.
  • Rigmor: Who is the Hoar Father? Is that a male version of a Brothel Madame?
  • Wulf: H o a r, not W h o r e. It means old. Hoar Father is an imaginary wise old man who gives sage advice to Nords. The Word Wall is advising Nords not to be afraid of Arkay.
  • Rigmor: What are some of Hoar Father’s wise sayings?
  • Celestine: Noble Nord, remember these words of the Hoar Father. Virginity is like a bubble. One prick, and it is gone.
  • Seiko: Noble Nord, remember these words of the Hoar Father. A man who walks around with his hand in his pocket will feel cocky.
  • Taku: Noble Nord, remember these words of the Hoar Father. Never play Leapfrog with a unicorn!
  • Vayu: Noble Nord, remember these words of the Hoar Father. If you give a person some fire, they will be warm for the rest of the day. Set that person alight, and they will be warm for the rest of their life.
  • Rigmor: Ignoble idiots, remember these words of the countess. If you give her stupid answers, expect a greatsword up your arse!
  • Wulf: Luckily, my dear Rigmor, all those answers were witty, not stupid.
  • Rigmor: Okay, no bloodshed is warranted. What next, Dragonbum?
  • Wulf: We visit Jorgen Axe-Bearer, the mill owner and operator in Morthal. His family have guarded the hilt since the end of The Oblivion Crises. Unlike the other two families, the Axe-Bearer clan have not become outlaws.

We teleported into Morthal.

Several people greeted us as we walked towards the mill.

Jorgen was chopping logs when we approached.

I said, “Excuse me, Jorgen, can we talk?”

“Unless it’s about the mill, I don’t have time to talk. Too much to do.”

“It is about your family’s safety, so pay attention to your Thane.”

Jorgen put his axe down and turned to me with arms crossed.

He growled, “Okay, spit it out so I can return to earning a living.”

“You wouldn’t have a life to earn a living if it weren’t for The Dragonguard and me, so cut the attitude!”

“Yeah, that’s what I have been told.”

“Okay, I am going to pretend you are not a stupid, ignorant arsehole and ask nicely. Do you have the hilt of Mehrunes’ Razor?”

“I don’t know what you are talking about.”

“Perhaps a day or two in Morthal’s jail will jog your memory? The Mythic Dawn is in Skyrim and has killed many people. Yesterday, I travelled to Oblivion and closed an Oblivion Gate to prevent another Oblivion Crises. Fortunately, I am here to ask politely about the hilt. Mythic Dawn wouldn’t ask. They would kill and then search. Goodwife Jami would not be spared if in their way.”

“I have always thought my family wasted eight generations keeping that Razor safe from a dead cult. Now you say it is not dead, and we were doing something useful. That should make me feel better, but then again, without asking, my ancestors have put us in danger.”

I retrieved an emerald from my gem bag.

I handed it to Jorgen and said, “That emerald is worth five hundred or more septims if you sell it to the Khajiiti caravan. It is more than a fair price for an incomplete artefact.”

“You didn’t have to pay for it, Thane. Forgive my surliness.”

Jorgen held out the emerald.

I told him, “I was not insulted till now. How dare you suggest I would take advantage of my noble rank! Surely, your mill needs new blades.”

“By The Divines, you are right. Here is the key to my front door and another to my chest. Leave the keys on the table as you leave.”

“Thank you, Jorgen.”

We entered Jorgen’s house and unlocked the chest.

I retrieved the hilt and left the keys on a table.

Rigmor asked, “Where is the last bit?”

“Cracked Tusk Keep. The Orsimer tribe there has turned to banditry under their chieftain, Ghunzul.”

“So, where are we zapping to?”

“Falkreath. It is not a long walk if I Blink over the mountain.”

“Do we assume they are aggressive?”

“No, but the usual rule applies. If the clan attacks us, we will eliminate them.”

When we approached with weapons sheathed, an Orsimer sentry attacked us. So, we wiped out the clan in minutes.

I retrieved the shards of the blade of Mehrunes’ Razor from a chest next to Ghunzul’s corpse.

I told the group, “Let’s get the sheath and take the bits to Dragonborn Gallery.”

We teleported to Dawnstar and then made our way to Silus.

I told him, “Silus, we have all the parts of Mehrunes’ Razor. Our artisans will have a replica available for you within a week. We might even construct a replica of the complete dagger.”

“I have the sheath. You will agree to my plan unless you intend to take it from me forcefully.”

“As Thane, I could demand it from you. Then arrest you if you don’t hand it over. But go ahead, tell me your plan.”

“I have spent much time and money tracking down the dagger parts. I want to see it complete.”

“It is Daedric. No mortal smith can repair it.”

“But Mehrunes Dagon can. He will recognise who I am and the debt he owes my family. If we visit his shrine, he will repair it.”

“Mehrunes Dagon would not care about your family, Silus. You would be fortunate if he didn’t reply to your request. He is harsh in his criticism.”

“Can you allow me to try, even if it turns out as you suggest?”

“It could turn out even worse. It could be dangerous.”

“I want to try. I deserve the chance to try.”

“The Vigilants of Stendarr would argue that point with weapons drawn. But I have warned you, so I will agree to accompany you to Mehrunes Dagon’s shrine. It is not far from the Hall of the Vigilant. Place your hand on my shoulder.”


“So that I can teleport you most of the way. The path from the Hall of the Vigilant to Dagon’s shrine should be a fairly safe walk.”

We teleported to just outside the Hall of the Vigilant. I didn’t think appearing in their compound with a broken Daedric relic and suspected Daedric worshipper was prudent.

A steep stairway led to the shrine. Our walk to the foot of that stairway was uneventful.

  • Wulf: I want you all to remain here. Mehrunes Dagon’s power will be the greatest near his shrine. I don’t know how powerful it could be with the reduced Liminal Barrier.
  • Rigmor: You hope Silus will learn the truth about Mehrunes Dagon, right?
  • Wulf: Yes. If he insists on having his museum, he must understand the nature of the Dark Lord.
  • Celestine: Silus, Wulf warned you it could be dangerous. We can take you home if you want.
  • Silus: No, I have dreamed of doing this for many years. Surely, if Mehrunes Dagon agrees to my request, I will also learn of his nature.
  • Wulf: I champion free will. Even if Silus’ choice seems unwise, it is his to make.
  • Lydia: Nobody is forcing Silus to do this.
  • Wulf: Exactly. So, please wait here. We shouldn’t be long.

His eagerness demonstrated Silus’ naivety concerning Daedric Princes. He ran ahead, which was foolish in the dark on slippery, moss-covered steps. Using Night Vision, it was almost midday to my eyes. It would be pitch black to the fool running ahead.

I placed a lit lamp on the dais when we reached the shrine.

I handed Silus the parts of Mehrunes’ Razor. He placed them, with the hilt, on the dais.

Silus silently prayed to Mehrunes Dagon. I was not privy to the conversation.

Eventually, he turned to me and said, “Lord Dagon finds me unworthy. He said my ancestor suffers for eternity for his failure to kill The Hero of Kvatch.”

“Mortals are tools and playthings to Lord Dagon. I will collect the pieces and return you home.”

 As my hand neared the broken artefact, I felt several attempts at breaching my mind barrier.

I said, “Lord Dagon, my mind is protected. You must speak aloud.”

Dagon’s voice was full of spite and arrogance. He said, “You, mortal, are worthy of speaking to. You have claimed the pieces of my Razor. It has been an amusing game to witness. But Dagon does not declare a winner while a rival exists. Kill Silus. He and his family have served their purpose.”

“You lie, Lord Dagon. You cannot observe what I do in Mundus. Your offer proves you have no idea who I am. If you did, you would realise the absurdity of what you ask. I would never harm an innocent mortal.”

“Only Dagon can declare if a life is preserving! I HAVE SPOKEN. Kill him. Take your rightful place as my champion, or I will crush you!”

“I am Wulf Welkynd, Dragonborn and Champion of The Divines. I opened the gate to The Deadlands, entered the pocket realm and killed Valkyn Gatanas and Valkyn Methats. I destroyed your Oblivion Gate. You can do nothing to me.”

I used my Thu’um and said, “I WILL NOT HARM SILUS. I HAVE SPOKEN!”

“Do you think they were my only mortal followers? You cannot stop them all.”

“Other mortal champions will. Nirn is full of Martin Septims and Heroes of Kvatch.”

“You think to betray Mehrunes Dagon? Suffer!”

“I took no oath nor made a deal, so betrayal does not exist. I deny you, Lord Dagon. That is a better description, don’t you think?”

A portal opened, so I yelled, “Run, Silus, things will get a bit busy.”

Silus started to run, but Dremora stepped out of the ether and hit him with a Fireball. Silus screamed as he flew over the cliff edge and plummeted. It was quite a distance to the ground, and the Dremora laughed as the scream faded.

The entire area was brightly lit as my assailants used spells and weapons to inflict fire damage on me. Their effect was minimal, and I cut them down.

I found a key on the male Dremora.

I tried it on the doors behind him, and they opened.

I entered and quickly disposed of three more Dremora.

Unrelenting Force killed a Valkynaz.

I lopped the head off a Markynaz.

A sword in the belly finished off a Kynval.

I collected some rare Dremora Lord armour and a few trinkets, then returned to fresh air.

My friends were waiting for me.

  • Vayu: We heard your diplomatic denial of Lord Dagon.
  • Rigmor: Then Silus pretended to be a meteor and went splat.
  • Lydia: So, we decided to see what was happening.
  • Taku: It’s not fair! Why do you always get to kill the Dremora?
  • Wulf: There are more inside those doors. If I had known you were coming, I would have left some.
  • Rigmor: Did Silus finally realise what an arsehole Mehrunes Dagon is?
  • Wulf: Yes. Lord Dagon told him his relative was suffering for eternity. His crime was killing the emperor but failing to kill The Hero of Kvatch.
  • Vayu: Dagon wanted you to kill Silus.
  • Wulf: It was my chance to become his champion! Oh well, it seems I won’t collect the entire set.
  • Seiko: Perhaps he will make you his champion even if he hates you. Mora and whatsername did.
  • Wulf: Which whatsername? Boethia or Meridia?
  • Vayu: I think Boethia is fond of you, sort of, in a creepy sort of way.
  • Rigmor: You lost the chance for the set when you pissed off Vaermina and Mephala.
  • Wulf: Let us visit Silus’ house and collect the other artefacts. They do belong in a museum.

I collected the parts of Mehrunes’ Razor from the dais, then teleported us close to Silus’ house.

After gathering everything, we teleported into Aurane.

Rigmor spent the night with me. In the morning, I will return her to Bruma.

2 thoughts on “The Deadlands

  1. Well Silus learned the hard way by pretending to be a meteor. Had to laugh at that. Diferent to the game, I liked this ending. The banter within the group just keeps on getting better. Thanks Mark.
    P.s. I’m still reading your first journals, they were brilliant too you know. Yeah I know you know.

  2. As usual, my friend: you exceeds expectations. I thought I wouldn’t find a finer, more complete and exciting journal but you always smash it.
    I want just to quote two things that I loved: ” Ignoble idiots, remember these words of the countess. If you give her stupid answers, expect a greatsword up your arse!” And the Dragonborn to the Daedra lord scum “I used my Thu’um and said, “I WILL NOT HARM SILUS. I HAVE SPOKEN”
    And now to catch up with the last one.
    May the road leads you to warm sand!

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