Hey, it's Destana. I'm a Volkihar vampire, ex-guildmaster of the thieves' guild. Future Queen of Skyrim (maybe). Hero of the Stormcloaks. Mother to the Listener. Slayer of Dragons. Skilled mage and archer. What else... gods I'm bored. I feel like a lot of time has passed since I made an entry. But really that's because I've been sitting here for two days, waiting for Urag the Librarian to actually find all the scattered notes on the Elder Scroll.
"Gods! What is taking him so long?!" I shouted, and someone in the distance shushed me.
"This is a library, please be quiet!"
"Sorry," I said.
"On the bright side," Serana started, flipping the page of the book she'd been reading, "Another one for the pile."
She tossed the book into a pile of books behind her, now uncountably large.
"Talos, how fast do you read?" I asked.
"Very fast," she replied.
"Okay, well, have you found anything helpful?" I asked.
"While you're reading chapter books I've learned a few spells," I said.
She nodded, opening another book. I sat there, listening to Urag in the distance thumbing through more books. The silence - deafening. I felt like I might scream. It's hard for me to just sit still and do nothing.
"Okay, I'm getting antsy. I need to be out there, doing things," I said, standing up.
Serana looked at me, "What you gonna do?"
"I think I'm going to use Clairvoyance and just walk until I find it. All I need to do is focus on what I want to find," I huffed, "Do you want to come?"
"Well... I did just crack open a new book," she said.
"Okay," I kissed her. No harm, no foul. I walked out of the Library and into the cold.
I realized the spell pointed back at Urag, but then I switched to casting the spell on the quest for Harkon which was just "Bring me more Elder Scrolls." And since we had both the other ones, it pointed to the next objective. I followed it to the north until I found a strange cave with a strange man, and a large dwemer box.
"Hey, I've been all over the countryside looking for it. You don't happen to have an Elder Scroll here, do you?"
"Well, it is nearby," he replied.
"You have an Elder Scroll, just sitting around?"
"I've seen enough to know their warp of air, the weft of time. Here as in it's in this plane. Mundus. Tamriel. Nearby, relatively speaking."
"So can you help me find where specifically it is?" I asked.
"One block lifts the other. Septimus Signus will give you what you want. But you must bring him something in return."
"I assume that's you. What do you want?"
"You see this dwemer masterwork. Deep inside their greatest knowings. Septimus is clever amon men, but an idiot child compared to the dwemer. Lucky they left behind a way of reading Elder Scrolls. The dwemer found a loophole, as they always do. In the depth of Blackreach, take this Lexicon and transcribe. You will find the scroll there. Elder Scrolls look left and right in the stream of time. Past and future are as one. Sometimes they look up. What do they see then? What if they dive in? Then the madness begins. Under deep. Below the dark. The hidden deep. Tower Mzark. Alftand."
I found Alftand and when I did, a dragon turned to me that'd been perching on top of a nearby structure. It was a mechanical dragon! It dropped summons - drawing small dwemer spiders to it. I figured this was a good time to replenish my blood supply. I was a supervamp just like Serana so I didn't need to feed very often either, but I now also could feed from the energies in undead and constructs. I shifted to Vampire Lord form and threw blood storms at it until it landed, then finished it off. I wandered around, first in the tower, then in a ravine, trying to find whatever I was supposed to find here. I climbed out of the ravine to find another dwemer mechanical dragon. This time, I got out my new bow and lightning arrows and pelted it until it landed in front of me. It shot a cone of steam, and I slashed it across the face, bringing it down. Eventually I found some scaffolding that lead deeper into ruins. I was excited to test my newly enchanted equipment. The gloves would detect life everytime I drew a bow. The boots were both muffled (stolen from disenchanting my shrouded boots) and cushioned which meant I wouldn't be hurt by falls.
I fought through more dwemer constructs and a few golden dwemer ghosts, unlocking doors and chests along the way, until I got to a deep shaft. I spied chaurus eggs and chitin pens, so I knew I was getting close to falmer territory. I hopped down sequentially to the wall formations on the shaft and the tower in the middle, killing falmer silently as I went. When I reached the bottom a large group of them finally heard me when I missed a shot, but I peppered them with arrows until they were down. I started wondering if this was some kind of satellite or fledgling group, because they not only didn't have fully grown chaurus, they were weak as hell. I came across a couple traps that I disarmed easily, and then I reached the Cathedral. I shot a guy through bars, shot another couple just standing around, then opened the bars and continued. Maybe... it was all these constructs that kept the falmer at bay. When I crested the stairs, a huge dwemer construct broke free of its bonds. Not as big as the numidium, and indeed not as tough as it either. I got a starting shot on him, then used my speed to my advantage, dodging and slashing at it's legs until it went down. I noted there was another large centurion already smashed.
I heard a man and woman arguing. She said, "Of course you want me to leave. Just waiting for me to turn my back so you can have all the glory for yourself!"
I ducked behind a pillar, watching their conversation. They both drew weapons and so did I, silently.
"It's time to end this little game," the man said, and blasted her with a fireball in his offhand.
She raised her shield as he charged in and they fought for a bit. Eventually, the fire took it's toll, though, and she fell, him wounded. And it put him in the perfect position.
"TIID!" I shouted, slowing time and not taking chances. I hopped out from cover and slashed him across the back, killing him.
I sheathed my weapons. They didn't seem to have much on them, and not sure how they got this far. Perhaps they'd killed the other centurion and were doubly wounded. Behind them was the elevator to the surface, to which one of them held the key (oh, that's probably it). But there was also a dwemer mechanism, that opened up square spiraling stairs below, to which I entered.
"I wonder if the others would enjoy this. These guys are barely a challenge," I whispered out loud.
I stepped into Blackreach, the vast cavern above holding numerous lights and mushrooms. And yes, I figured I should probably summon more eyes to behold this wonder.
Serana said, "What the..."
She was dressed in her Vampire armor again for some reason. Eh, not gonna nitpick.
"This cavern is immense!" Inigo blinked when he popped in.
"Are you seeing this?" Serana continued, "I knew my father used to go to Blackreach from time to time, but I didn't expect it to look like this."
"Your father came here?" I asked.
"It's an entire cave ecosystem. There's probably nothing else like it in Tamriel. Back in my time, there used to be a royal clan of vampires here. The Gray Host. Think Castle Volkihar, but underground, and massive."
Shirley took a second to switch into her armor from the purple dress, and Sofia was already ready.
"It's really pretty down here. Who knew something like this was just below our feet?" Shirley commented.
Then I got a strange thought. I had a way of summoning one of my children at a time, that I'd never used because I figured it was pretty invasive. But I wondered if Damien would fancy a second try at fighting beside me. I summoned him.
"Whoa!" he turned to me, "Mom!"
It took him a second to recover, then he looked at the cavern ceiling, and he was all about this.
"I figured it would be a good thing to report on for school. Maybe learn something," I said. He nodded. I realized I probably wasn't spot-on, he was going to enjoy himself whilst traveling in the back and flinging spells with Serana.
We started off, fighting falmer and chaurus and Damien commented, "I wonder if it stays warm down here from steam vents?" Gods, my boy is smart.
We trekked through what seemed like miles of underground (fighting more falmer) until we came to another structure. It looked dwemer.
"This must be the place," I led the way. Indeed, it was filled with dwemer treasures. It was some form of living space, and had a ramp leading up.
"I would find the dwemer's inventions fascinating if they weren't trying to kill us," Damien said.
Inigo looked at Damien, "I wonder if the Elder Scroll feels starved of attention down here. I doubt many of the residents know how to read." They both chuckled.
I ventured up the ramp and found a dwemer ghost lounging on a raised platform. He hadn't seen us yet. To my right was a wonderous, spinning device with mirrors. I took out my bow to deal with the dwemer.
But Sofia said something loud to Serana, who yelled back to her as she got to the top of the ramp, "First off, Sofia, that's a myth. Vampires are okay with eating garlic. There was an elder vampire before that just happened to be allergic to it. That perpetuated the myth."
The ghost popped to attention and drew a sword, but my guys were so on top of it with arrows and spells it fell before it even turned to attack. I told the group to stay down in the living area for a few minutes while I fiddled with the lexicon.
I popped it in, pressing the first button and the thing sprang to life, spinning into position. I noticed Damien was up on the raised platform with me.
"I'm pretty fascinated by this stuff. The dwemer created so many wondrous machines. I wonder why nobody followed in their footsteps," Damien stroked his chin.
Using my puzzle skills gained from a lifetime of solving nord puzzles, I solved it. The aperture at the center opened and I grabbed the scroll. The group came up the ramp (I figured they were watching).
Inigo shouted, "Well done, my friend!"
"That thing hurts my eyes just looking at it!" Sofia said.
Back to the weird old guy first. I gave Septimus codex to him, but he didn't seem extremely happy.
"I got that lexicon inscription for you."
"Extraordinary. I see it now," Septimus replied, "But this dwemer device seems to have a second lock, bound by dwemer blood. A panoply of their brethren could gather to form a facsimile. A trick. Something not even they would anticipate. Gather me vials of blood from Altmer, Bosmer, Dunmer, Falmer and Orsimer."
Whatever. Later. I had the final scroll. I walked toward the exit.
"Inigo, Sofia, Shirley. You guys can probably go home now. But be on standby. I see some stuff going down soon. I'm going to see a guy about a shout. On a mountain," I explained. They had already walked out when I neared the exit.
"What the fuck?" I said.
A black, roiling mass was in front of me, filled with eyes and tentacles, blocking my exit.
"Come. Bask in my presence," it said. Ew.
"No thanks. Who are you?"
"Hermaeus Mora. Guardian of the unseen, knower of the unknown. I have been watching you."
"Of course you have. I seem to be liked by daedra," I muttered.
"Most impressive, mortal."
"What do you want?" I asked.
"Your continuing to aid Septimus renders him increasingly obsolete. He has served me well, but his time is nearing its end. Once that infernal lockbox is opened, he will have exhausted his usefullness to me. When that time comes, take his place as my emissary. What say you?"
"Ugh. Again. No thanks," I replied in disgust.
"Be warned. Many have thought as you do, and I have broken them all. You shall not evade me forever," it said before it vanished. I paused there for a moment. First, to make sure all the squicky tentacles were gone, but then to think.
If a daedric lord wants something so much that a group of mortals made, then those mortals must be kind of a big deal. At that moment I started to think of the dwemer in a new light. Their tech could definitely do things that not even daedric princes could do. That... was on the level of Tiber Septim, the Nerevarine, or the Hero of Kvatch. Maybe I should look into their tech a little more at some point. Also gotta remember it got them exploded or whatever.
I stepped outside.
"What took you so long?" Serana asked.
"Just... eh, don't worry about it," I said.
Then I traveled to High Hrothgar and left Serana and Damien there, scaling to the peak again.
As I reached the summit, Paarthurnax landed on a nearby rock face, "You have it! The Kel. Tiid kreh qalos. Time shudders at its touch. There is no question. The very bones of the earth are at your disposal. Go! Fulfill your destiny! Take the scroll to the Time-Wound. Alduin will feel the signs! Hurry!"
I stepped into the vortex of power at the top of the mountain and opened the Elder Scroll. I felt a blinding light envelop me, and I was looking into the past. A young man and woman and an old man were fighting with a dragon.
"Today Alduin will reclaim his throne! I honor your courage. Die now, in vain!" The dragon yelled. He blasted fire at the man, who stood behind a pillar.
The woman leapt atop the dragon's head and slashed it in the eyes, while the man finished it.
There was much cheering.
The man said, "The battle below grows ill. If Aldun does not rise to our challenge, I fear all is lost."
The woman replied, "You worry too much, brother. My blade has felled four of his kin today alone. He can't refuse this invitation."
"He cannot ignore out defiance," the old man said, "He does not fear us, even now."
And he appeared. That black dread dragon landed on the high rocks above and shouted, "Meyye! Tahrodis aanne! Die, mortals!"
"Let those that watch from Sovngarde envy us this day!" The woman shouted.
Aldion reared back and the three of them did the same. He shouted and shot a cone of frost, and the three of them answered with, "JOOR - ZAH - FRUL."
I could feel that familiar pounding in my ears and I knew it. Dragonrend. Mortal - Finite - Temporary. Alduin fell to the snow and they converged on him.
"What have you done?! What twisted words have you created? Tahrodiis Paarthunax! My teeth to his neck!" Alduin roared, "You will feed me when you go to Sovngarde!"
"I will not die in fear!" The woman yelled.
But it seemed, his weakness wasn't enough to stop him entirely. He snapped the woman in his jaws, and as he flung her in the air, her organs and blood sprayed over the battlefield. Alduin was grounded, but he wasn't out. The man cleaved him several times in the face, but Alduin blasted him with fire that blew him away.
"Enough! Hold, Alduin on the Wing! Sister Hawk, grant us your sacred breath to make this contract heard!" The old man pulled out the Elder Scroll, "Begone World-Eater! By words with older bones than even your own! You are banished! Alduin, we shout you out from all our endings unto the last!"
Alduin blasted fire at the old man, but the fire hit the scroll and turned to nothing. Alduin faded, and vanished.
I blinked, having been ejected from the time wound. Then I heard a roar that made my hair stand up.
"Dovahkiin! Alduin is here!" Paarthurnax shouted.
Fire fell from the sky in his wake, and he blasted the ground around me with frost, nearly killing me before he flew off again. I chugged a large potion.
"What good is knowing this shout if I don't live to use it!" I growled. But then I had an idea.
"It's time for you to fulfill your bargain, old buddy. DUR - NEH - VIIR!" I shouted, and a massive undead dragon rivaling Alduin's size sprang forth from the ground. At least that would keep him busy while I got to safety. I pulled out my bow as the two beasts fought in the air.
It seemed even Durnehviir had his limits, though. I took careful aim, trying not to hit both, then shouted, "JOOR!" I clipped Alduin in the foot, but it was enough. Suffused with blue energy, he fell to the ground.
"Never again!" He roared. I charged in and slashed him in the face. When it seemed like he would recover, I threw another Dragonrend, only using the first word to keep the recovery short and keep him locked on the ground.
"Don't you touch her!" Serana yelled, spitting frost as she approached.
After moments, Alduin turned to me, and said, "Meyz mul, Dovahkiin. You have become strong. But I am Alduin! Firstborn of Akatosh! I cannot be slain here, by you or anyone else!"
Then he leapt into the air, throwing off the effects of Dragonrend and retreating.
I sighed in relief as the weather returned to normal.
Paarthurnax perched on his word wall, "Lot krongah. You truly have the voice of a dovah. Alduin's allies will think twice after this victory."
"Victory? He nearly killed me... several times. And he got away."
"True. This is not the final victory. But even the heroes of old were not able to defeat Alduin in open battle," Paarthurnax said.
"Well, I did have help," I smiled at Serana. Durnehviir had already returned to the Soul Cairn.
"Alduin was always arrogant in his power. Uznahgar paar. He took dominion as his birthright. This will shake the loyalty of his dov."
"I need to find him and finish this," I said.
"One of his allies could tell us. Perhaps if you drew him to the hofkahsejun - the palace in Whiterun. It was built to house a captive dovah," Paarthurnax explained.
"The Jarl of Whiterun might not think kindly to that," I said.
"Hmm.. yes, but your su'um is strong. I do not doubt that you can convince him of the need."
I turned to Serana, "Well, I guess we need to figure out the name of one of his lieutenants. Esburn is pretty knowledgeable about these kinds of things."
I told Damien he could head home, then I traveled back to Sky Haven Temple. I approached Esburn.
"I have learned the identity of the leader of the Greybeards."
"Yeah, he's a dragon. He's helped me a lot," I said.
"Well, need I remind you that the Blades kill dragons? And Paarthurnax performed countless atrocities in Alduin's name. He should be made to pay," Esburn said.
"Yeah, well. I'm going to focus on killing Alduin first," I said, not committing to killing him at all, "Esburn, what do you know about other dragons that work for Alduin now?"
"Why do you ask, Dragonborn?"
"I want to trap him in Dragonsreach and get him to tell me where his master is," I said, "Another idea by Paarthurnax."
"Mmmm... excellent idea. Your voice in particular is likely to intrigue a dragon after your victory over Alduin. I have one name in mind - Od - Ah - Viing. Winged Snow Hunter, as I read it."
I must be getting better at this, because I picked that one up from a non-thu'um. I instantly learned to call him.
I grinned, "Alright. I'm going to see Vidnar. Or Balgruuf. Whichever."
I showed up in Whiterun now. This all felt like it was happening so fast, but I was definitely traveling a lot. I walked into Dragonreach and approached
"Vignar!" I said, "Good to see you're well."
"What do you want, Dragonborn?" He asked.
I smiled, "I need to trap a dragon in your palace."
"I must've misheard you. I thought you asked me to help you trap a dragon in my palace," Vignar replied.
"You know I wouldn't ask if it wasn't important," I said.
"Of course. You already saved Whiterun from a dragon. I owe you. But why would you invite it in when I'm trying to keep it out?"
"You may not have heard from the moot you were absent from, but Alduin is back. I'm trying to figure out where he's hiding. To do that, I need to call and trap one of his lieutenants," I explained.
He went from a scowl, slowly, to a smile, his moustache curling the length of his face, "You're crazy. But this is just crazy enough to work."
"I'll give you some time to prepare. I'm going to go work out the details of this other Elder Scroll."
Huh. I don't think I have anything to say. Just doing the main quest. I finished Dawnguard before I finished the main quest, so on to that next.
Edited by EnragedBard