Hey, this is Destana. Much like I've been doing lately, I'm going to handle the narration today even if I'm not present.
After the kids and I finished with our fun in Valenwood, we headed for the fleet. It took us days to find them, and we didn't want to approach Summerset and give away our position or plans so we took it carefully.
Finally Jura used the Imperial missive mages to give us their position.
"The airship's finally here," Jura said. The morning of the 5th, not a moment too soon, we battled through heavy rain.
I took to the air to greet him in person on the Katariah. And of course the rain stopped after I was soaked and standing on deck.
"Jura, what's this I hear about an attack on your life?" I asked. It'd been in the missive - a large Thalmor attack.
Jura smirked, wearing a brown tunic, "They didn't know who they were messing with. Bad news though. They captured Sialius and wounded Ulfric."
"What? Where is he?" I said back.
"Galahad flew him to Daggerfall," Jura replied.
I suddenly felt my heart sink. So bad an Aedra with Resurrection couldn't heal him on his own? I lifted off the deck.
"Wait!" Jura shouted.
"I'm going to check on him," I replied, but how I would get there I wasn't sure. I set down on the airship's deck, where the kids were waiting for me. They'd heard the exchange.
Damien said, "Mom! Set your recall here on the deck of the airship. I have scrolls to teleport to Direnni Tower. It's just across Illiac Bay from Daggerfall and Sentinel.
"Do they still work?" I asked.
"They do. You might have to fight your way out, but it'll still be faster than hundreds of miles over the open ocean," he took out one of only a few more he had and handed it to me.
"Thanks," I said, casting Mark.
"Oh and could you give this note to Medora Direnni?" He asked, handing me the scroll and a long letter, much too long for a missive spell.
"I will," I said, taking it, and casting the teleport from the scroll.
I poofed into Medora's sanctum to find her sitting by the fire, dazedly staring into the flames. I ran up behind her. As soon as she turned, startled, I slid the note into her hands, "Hey Medora, Damien asked me to give you this."
WIthout giving her time to react, I said, "Sorry, gotta run."
I charged over to the door and kicked the thing open, shutting it as I ran by. I found a weak Lich on the other side and sliced through him, charging down the tower as fast as my legs could carry me.
When I was outside, I checked my map and took to the sky, flying toward Castle Daggerfall.
From Damien's description, it was much the same as it'd been in his day. I pushed the door open and found guards who didn't impede my entry.
"Sorry to rush in. Where's Ulfric?" I asked.
"You're expected. Room under the dais," the lead one replied.
I ran over and entered, paying no mind to whatever king or queen was sitting on the throne. I could be scolded later by proper royalty. I wanted to make sure he was okay.
"What did they do to you?" I asked aloud.
A voice replied from the corner, from a woman I hadn't noticed, "Don't worry yourself. Our best healers stabilized him."
"You the queen?" I asked, looking over Ulfric while I spoke.
"Yes, of course. I'm Queen Mynisera V. Named after the ancient one. It seems your husband and mine are in similar condition. But your looks young and strong. Sir Galahad will make certain he lives. In the meantime, I'm watching over him," she replied.
"Thank you, Mynisera. I'm Queen Destana of Skyrim."
"Oh yes, I've heard of you. The beautiful warrior queen of Skyrim. Go fight your war with the Thalmor. You do justice to us all," Mynisera replied.
"If it's all the same, I think I'd like to sit with him for a while," I said, sitting down.
"Yes, but don't tarry. Your men need you."
It hadn't taken that long for me to get to Daggerfall, but it was already time.
Back at the fleet, Tusselle and Roheisa stood on a small rowboat, piloted by a Stormcloak. Another man hammered at the mast, dutifully making repairs from the damage they'd taken from the storm a couple days ago.
"Hey Tusselle, why are we out here on a teeny ship?" Roheisa asked.
"To inspect the fleet and coordinate," she replied with a smirk. Jura'd said it was because the two of them were absent for a couple of sea scuffles and storms they'd missed.
Calleius stepped to the edge of the deck of the Katariah. Being the newest general, Jura'd given him the task of communicating with the other nations. He leapt onto their small rowboat.
"You're getting bolder, young genny," Tusselle jabbed him in the arm, "Let's get a status update."
"All provinces have sent us a ready signal except Elswyer," he replied.
"Well the ships are all in top-shape, it seems," Roheisa said back.
Jura peeked over the edge of the Katariah and clapped to get their attention, "Is this where we're having the meeting now?"
He shrugged and leapt onto the small ship.
About the same time Damien took to the air from the airship's deck with Runa and Fenrir tethered to him. They set down across from the Emperor.
He chuckled, "So I guess this IS the hangout. Destana coming back?"
"No sign of her so far," Damien replied.
"So where's General Quintus anyway?" Runa asked.
"He's on loan to Elswyer," Jura replied, "I think Baa-Ren'dar specifically asked for him. Shouldn't be a problem though. I have two of the best generals in the Empire right here."
Jura leaned over to Runa and whispered, "Hey, would you fill in a little bit with the Imperial commanding duties? Princess..."
"No prob," Runa replied.
Calleius cleared his throat, "Skyrim and Cyrodiil fleets are ready when the Emperor gives the go-ahead."
Jura pulled out a large scroll and laid it across a box. It was a map of Summerset and the surrounding parts of the mainland, "Cyrodiil and Skyrim are attacking Alinor."
"Valenwood is attacking Skywatch," Tusselle continued, "Hammerfell attacks Firsthold."
"It's a miracle we got this many so quickly," Fenrir said.
"Well, Hammerfell doesn't like the Thalmor at all. And they saw how badly we were beating them. Gods help us if they decide our plan for Summerset afterward isn't to their liking," Jura explained.
Damien grinned, "Elswyer is in position. Airships and all."
Calleius smiled, "Thanks, Damien."
Everyone could see Calleius' nerves were on edge from coordinatingan entire attack force. Damien smiled back and patted him on the shoulder, "No prob, love ya buddy."
"Wait, Elsywer has airships?" Runa asked as she put her arm around Calleius, giving him even more comfort and support.
Calleius replied, "Seems the Thalmor had four prototype airships. One of them..."
He gestured to the air.
"Stolen by me," Fenrir didn't look up. He was fiddling with his gear, still not having put his armor on. Damien rubbed his chin. Mist be something cool to work on until the very end.
"One was destroyed (by Fenrir and his friends) and the other two were stolen by the Elswyer resistance. Which I guess is just the Mane's new government now," Calleius explained.
Calleius took a beat and a breath, looking over all he'd worked for. His friends. His General-turned-Emperor. He smiled and asked with pride, "All that's left is the order. Emperor Jura, sir?"
"Generals, sound the horns of war. Let's get this thing done."
It was actually a lot less action-packed than you might imagine at this point. They were miles away from the shore and it took about half an hour to sweep into port. But it was definitely quick on the scale of war.
"Hey little lady," A soldier said, just waiting for the ships to pull in.
"Yes?" Roheisa asked, in her usual pleasant tone.
"I know I've seen you a few times, hanging out with the princess. And you were with us in Valenwood. I have to ask, who are you?" The man asked meekly.
She smiled, "Ser Roheisa of Wayrest."
"Ah, I thought the High Rock guys pulled back home. Something about a civil war, and trouble in the west Reach," he replied.
"That's right. But there's always a war going on in Illiac Bay. Political plays are part of High Rock life. I insisted on staying with the Skyrim-Cyrodiil group. What do you do, sir?" Roheisa asked.
He smiled back. He wasn't used to being called sir, "See this here catapult? I'm part of the crew. I'm going to fire it when we get to shore."
Roheisa's eyes lit up a little, "That's interesting. I've never fired a catapult before."
The man smiled back, "Would you like to take the first shot before you run into battle?"
"I'd love to!" She said excitedly.
The man scratched his head timidly. It was now or never, "Truth is, I'm sure you know, this is going to be a hard fight. Even with the coalition. The reason I decided I had to say something was because... if we all die today... I just wanted to tell you... you're beautiful."
Roheisa blinked, blushed, and turned her head away, "Thank you, sir."
"I might be safer than most, being on the ship. But if you guys lose, I go too when they take the ships. Just want you to be careful out there. The world would be less without someone like you in it," he said, barely able to get the words out.
Roheisa turned away, walking slowly away. She could hear the rest of the catapult team hooting and cheering for the man in the distance. "You finally said something?? Dude! Legend!"
Tusselle cupped her hands next to Roheisa, "Get ready! Sound the horns!"
The ship shook and trembled as it ran slightly aground. Roheisa snapped back to reality and turned to face the land, "We're here!"
"Who's going first this time?" Tusselle called out to the command group, but Runa was already, sword in hand, charging off the front of the deck. She ran to the right of the catapult and leapt onto the beach to be at the front lines with the soldiers.
"Catapult shot!" Roheisa threw the lever and the thing flung its weight into the Thalmor's welcoming group.
Then Roheisa ran off the left gangplank, followed by Tusselle.
Damien looked into the sky, seeing the faint dot of the airship over them an incredible distance up in the air. He casually walked off the gangplank, surveying the situation. He'd decided he was going to wait for Fenrir.
Runa was doing that thing she usually did. She looked over the men fighting and traced the Thalmor's positions. She found the archer group assailing her boys and charged immediately to them. First, she blasted them with a, "FUS - RO!"
Then she ran up the ramp to them while they were still staggered and started to cleave through them.
A cheer went up from below, "Princess Push! Princess Push!"
Referring to Runa pushing ahead at alarming speed. Like she always does. The Imperials in the crowd joined in, remembering her from the push to the Imperial Palace.
The Thalmor didn't seem to know what to do with her. A couple soldiers tried to prevent her from rolling over the backlines, some of them conjured daedra and undead, but they fell before her blade. Roheisa and Tusselle were down below with Galmar and the Stormcloaks practically eating the Thalmor soldiers alive. Calleius rushed by Damien at about this time with the Imperial forces.
Damien noticed Runa and the head of the forces were nearing a large platform (the ramp curved up to the left) which ended in a bridge.
This bridge also towered in front of him, was a source of a lot of the return fire both where Tusselle and Roheisa were, and where the ships had pulled in. A well-placed vantage point AND choke point.. He smiled, cracking his knuckles and readying one of his not-oft used spells, "Allow me to lighten the load."
Damien charged up Fireball Repeater and blanketed the bridge in a carpet of blasts. This knocked off several of the archers to their deaths, knocked off barrels of oil uselessly (not that the Thalmor were using them effectively anyway, our forces had really swept in here), and cleared a path for the men.
"Fenrir, where are you?" Damien said to himself as he finished.
"Here I am," Fenrir said. And like magic, he was there. He'd obviously jumped out of the airship and had very good aim.
Damien smiled, "Game plan: clearing the bridge."
Fenrir loaded up his autocrossbow and started to unload at the bridge guys, "Sorry, had to get my new toys. How far ahead are the girls?"
"Roheisa and Tusselle are on the plaza," Damien replied, "I'm curious to see your new stuff."
"I'm saving them," Fenrir smirked, reloading.
"Runa's near the bridge," Damien said, "Correction: ON the bridge."
Fenrir took one more shot at a glass-armored Thalmor on the bridge and said, "Gonna head up."
As he was charging up the beach, Damien said, "Don't get hit by stray comets."
"Did he just say comets?"
Damien finished his spell and huge icy rocks started to fall from the sky. One of his new spells learned in Valenwood: Comet Swarm.
Another boat started to unload now. Damien smiled at them, "Glad you could make it."
"We followed your instructions, Prince. It is insane how fast you were able to get us here. I was in Whiterun an hour ago."
"Figured you boys would want a slice of the action without the weeks of sea travel. Magic development marches on," Damien replied, "New and improved teleportation range. Waystations. Chronomancy. I did have to use one of the dragon batteries on it, but I think it was worth it."
"Spare me the details," he said, "Just point me to the fight."
"Hey Tusselle and Roheisa," Fenrir said as he charged through the gazebo. Some of the Thalmor archers had them pinned down and Fenrir just zealously ran into their ranks and started unloading with his crossbow, killing them.
Roheisa smiled, "Hey Fen."
Tusselle chuckled, "Hey kid, thanks for the cover fire."
"Anytime, hon," Fenrir smiled, taking aim at the elves on the platform next.
"How you guys doing down there?" Runa shouted from the bridge. It started to pour down rain, but only for a short time.
Galmar, standing next to her, said, "The Stormcloaks advanced. The Imperials took a right turn instead of continuing the advance. I guess the magic school is that way? Looks like a few are pinned down behind."
"Fuck it," Runa said back. She found one of the Thalmor spellcasters in the courtyard and leapt off the bridge. She slapped him with a "FUS!" then impaled him, lifting him off the ground and his innards spilling out over her chest.
"Damn, girl," Galmor blinked. He ran ahead.
"C'mon Fen, let's get going," Runa said, grabbing him in the courtyard.
Damien charged forward, seeing all the battles getting out of his range at this point, and found Roheisa supporting an unconscious Tusselle.
"What happened?" He asked. Then he found the giant ice shard lodged through her stomach. It wasn't fatal, yet. But it would be in a couple hours. And it would suck.
Damien furrowed his brow. Not like a concerned friend, more like a surgeon looking at a patient. Ro laid her down and summoned a skeletal mage to protect them so Damien could concentrate. Damien charged up a regular Flames spell with Healing on the other hand, melting and healing at the same time. Tusselle gasped and wriggled as she came to.
"Calm down!" Damien shouted, and one of her fists slammed into his face. Roheisa grabbed her hands and pinned them against her sides. Damien shook his head to shake off the daze and hit himself with a hands-free heal.
"Talos' balls she hits like a truck," Damien chuckled.
"She's really strong too!" Roheisa shouted.
Tusselle fell unconscious again.
Damien gathered up and blasted her with his largest healing spell. Her wounds closed but she was still unconscious. She seemed to be alright. Stable.
"I can take her," Roheisa said.
"No," Damien grabbed a soldier passing by, "Hey. I need you to take the General back to the middle ship. The one with the med-bay."
He pointed, "Get her in a bed, make sure she sleeps. This is very important. She was in bleedout, but I saved her."
"Yes sir," the man said, carrying her off.
"Damn," Damien said, "Really makes you think that that could happen to us at any time."
Roheisa hung back to heal up a few of the Stormcloaks that hadn't received the same attention. Damien caught up with Runa and Fenrir, fighting their way up the ramp to the bridge (again).
"Shit, reinforcements," Fenrir was saying.
Damien sighed, "And the rain cancelled out my comet storm. I think there's a caster up top countering my big spells. I don't think the Thalmor were completely prepared for how big this assault was going to be, but they do have some tricks up their sleeves."
"They definitely didn't expect Hammerfell and Elswyer to jump in at the last minute. I'd say they're spread really thin right now," Runa said, "There just aren't enough High Elves in existence to fight us."
"Runa, run ahead to the army. We're going to clear a path," Damien said, "I prefer to hang back and blast."
"I'm just going to Levitate up to the soldiers," Runa replied flatly, "Thanks for teaching me that back in Valenwood."
Damien smiled, "Anytime."
Damien reached the platform again and started blasting the newly-populated bridge, while Fenrir was unloading his crossbow into the seemingly infinite stream of summoned creatures they were aiming at him.
Damien grit his teeth. They must be using some kind of teleportation or chronomancy to funnel in all these new soldiers. But how?
"Get out of my way!" Damien said sternly.
He was getting pelted by spells and arrows, but he chugged a health potion and a magicka potion, starting to channel a spell.
"You're going to fucking move!" Damien shouted, throwing his hands to the ground. Another comet storm. He ducked to one of the decorative side pieces to crouch and take cover while frozen hell rained on them.
At the same time, Fenrir had ducked behind the structure to Damien's right and was tangling with his own group of Thalmor. Runa had just Levitate'd over to a balcony adjacent to the far side of the bridge and was one-woman-army pushing to the Stormcloaks.
The various perched archers and mages took shots at her, but she ducked into the next courtyard and bull'ed through.
It started to rain again. Damien silently cursed, taking his position at the start of the bridge again and yelling, "I said, get the fuck out of here!"
He casted Firestorm and a line of fireblasts blanketed the Thalmor in front of him. He chugged another magicka potion. These spells weren't cheap, and he could feel himself starting to get light-headed.
"These jerks just don't wanna give up this bridge, even though Runa and half the army is behind them!" He shouted to Fenrir.
"These guys are tenacious too," Fenrir said, pulling out a new ranged weapon, "I see how it is. Time to unveil my new gadget."
It was a thick, short barrel. When he pulled the trigger, like a crossbow, it shot it's payload in a long arc, which was a firebomb. The first blast chewed through the Thalmor's summons, and the second blasted them to kingdom come.
"Whoa dude!" Damien looked over his shoulder, "That is legit one of the coolest things I've ever seen."
"For real? You're summoning storms and raising the dead over here," Fenrir replied.
"No, serious. It's simple but effective. You took something that's existed for a little while - bombs and grenades, and made them better. Grenade launcher. It takes years to master magic. If some random joe picked up your launcher they could do what I do in five seconds," Damien chuckled, then he shot a Forbidden Sun at the last remaining Thalmor, scattering the bodies and the limbs of his one target, "Also, bridge is clear."
"You're not messing with me?"
"Nah man. Keep it up."
"Well, that's not my only reveal today," Fenrir smirked.
"For real??" Damien grinned.
This was the first time his older brother had been impressed by his inventing. All this took was some alchemy, some smithing, and a LOT of dwemer knowhow. But he had invented this himself. The crossbows were just refurbished ancient tech, but this was his own.
"Dammit! They're already sending more reinforcements," Fenrir said he he rounded the corner to the bridge.
Damien shook his head, "Well, let's get across before they can."
Fenrir took out his autocrossbow and mowed through the couple in front of him. It was really much better at taking down single targets. Damien pulled out dual staves and helped. His magicka was tapped out and he was nearly out of potions as well. Been chugging them like a fiend.
One of the Thalmor soldiers charged Fenrir and he slammed the butt of the crossbow into his face, swapping to sword-and-shield. At this point, he was fairly certain this wasn't THE Umbra, but a replica. But it was VERY strongly enchanted, and stronger than any sword he'd ever held. So he didn't mind.
He fought with the soldier for a minute. He was actually really good.
"Fen, stop screwing around with that guy and come on!" Damien said as he killed a mage who'd been taking shots at Fenrir from the bridge. Then he sprinted across the cleared bridge.
Fenrir dropped his dwemer autocannon, then took out his launcher, "Oh yeah, I guess I could just blow him up."
He shot a firebomb from about 15 feet away. The Thalmor tried to dodge, got hit in the blast anyway, and stepped in front of the autocannon, getting destroyed.
Another mage replaced the old one Damien'd just killed, and Fenrir knew they were using magic to resupply. He fired a bomb and hit the new mage center mass, killing him instantly.
He picked up the cannon and crossed the bridge, rain starting again. He heard Damien cursing in the distance.
Fenrir traded shots with a Bosmer archer and a mage until Damien came up behind him, casting 'Blind Guardian' on him, which summoned a ghostly shade of Fenrir to protect him.
"Hey there you are."
"Here, have a guardian.
A small party of Altmer entered across the courtyard and the brothers engaged.
"Alright, time for another ice (comet) storm," Damien said. He started to cast, but this time, the rain started again before he could even finish, "Dammit. Sporadic tropical rainstorms or spellcasters. I'm not sure."
"Best give up the storm spells for now. They're watching us," Fenrir said, "They're definitely teleporting in reinforcements."
"Or chronomancy," Damien said.
Fenrir backed out the door as a whole new group of Thalmor materialized to threaten him.
He took out his other new gadget, which looked like a grappling gun, and shot the soldier it could reach. He was snagged, dragged across the ground and ended up at Fenrir's feet.
He took out sword and shield, backing around the corner, but a mage materialized right inside to backup the soldier.
"This is ridiculous!" Fenrir shouted.
The soldier got up and made to rush him, then someone pushed past him.
"Need some backup?" Roheisa said, slicing her scythe through the soldier.
"Nice of you to join the party," Fenrir said.
"Yeah well, I'm running ahead to find Runa," Roheisa said.
"Okay, good luck!"
And as soon as she left, the Thalmor started to pile on.
"Shit! They have a Clannfear!" Damien shouted from the far right, running back to Fenrir. It lunged at him, launching him just behind Fenrir.
"Get up, bro. I need you to tank for me," Damien said, healing him. Then as his brother blocked the creature's path, Damien blasted it with an Elemental Bolt, killing it.
About this time, Runa reached the Stormcloaks, who were hurting against the Thalmor's renewable defenses.
"How the hell are they doing this? They seem endless!" Runa shouted.
"Look!" Galmar shouted, hefting one of the Thalmor soldiers from the pile of bodies. As he showed her, the man vanished. Then he pointed to a Thalmor soldier at the head of the line charging for them.
"It's the same man!!" Galmar shouted, "Somehow, they're rewinding time to before these mer are dead and having them fight us again and again."
"Another Thalmor scheme," a voice shouted as it dropped from the sky, "Seems like it's not perfect though. They're reduced every time."
"Jura!" Runa shouted.
"Still, effective," Galmar said, then he flung himself into the fight.
As the two sides clashed, Jura and Runa were both clipped by paralysis spells, "Gods, I hate these guys."
The two lines pushed back and forth, eventually leaving them to lay there motionless. The Altmer who'd frozen them approached smugly.
"Up to your old tricks again, huh?" Jura said, "But! Here come the Skyrim paratroopers."
"The what now!?" Runa asked, and about twenty Stormcloaks landed about 10 feet away and swarmed the soldier coming for them.
"Did you just give them all Cushioned boot enchantments?" Runa asked, still unable to move.
"Sure did. I still have a few tricks up my sleeve," Jura said. When he was dead, they all rushed off to support the lines, who were now getting beaten back.
Runa and Jura were still laying there.
"Talos. How long does this shit last? Is this that super paralysis they used on mom when she was restoring Helgen?" Runa sighed.
"Seems like they refined it a little bit," Jura said.
Finally, they got up.
"You alright?" Runa asked.
"Yeah. You go ahead. I'm getting too old for this crap," Jura said back. And she charged off.
After a little while our reinforcements overwhelmed their renewability and we were left with an empty courtyard. After a moment of searching, Runa found a button that opened up a gate leading to an impressive looking building.
Jura approached, "The Summerset Throne should be in there. Probably a trap. Best wait for everyone."
Roheisa approached after another moment, "Princess, you move so fast. I can't keep up."
"Where is everybody?" Runa asked.
"Tusselle is injured. Calleius is mustering all we have left," Roheisa replied.
"We did have a lot of casualties. Galmar is mustering the Stormcloaks as well," Jura added.
"And my brothers?" Runa asked. Then she heard Fenrir's crossbow, cannon, and his other gadgets. He approached before they moved.
"Hey. Damien headed for the magic school," Fenrir said, "I figured you might want my help."
"By himself? No. You go help him," Runa said, "We'll wait. I'm wondering when mom is going to show up. We might need her for the big fights."
So Fenrir took off in search of Damien, taking the same side path the Imperial army went down earlier.
"Seen Prince Damien?" He asked a couple soldiers.
He chuckled, "Follow the path of destruction."
Fenrir laughed back. That soldier was spot-on. The trail of bodies led Fenrir right to the magic school. Inside were a bunch of weapons humming with magic, lying lifeless on the floor. Fen grabbed what treasure he could before he heard a voice, "Perfect! Glad you came. I'm pinned down in the courtyard beyond. Help me out."
Fenrir popped out, launcher ready. He was met with Damien in a standoff with a small group of Thalmor and the Master Wizard here. His appearance sparked a powder keg, because everyone started shooting spells. Fen ducked behind a ridge in the building and used it as cover.
After a few moments, only the wizard was left.
Damien shouted from his cover, "Give up! You're the only one left!"
"What do you want from me?" She asked.
We three stopped firing.
"All I want is magic secrets. Then you can go free."
"You're going to trust her?" Fenrir asked.
"I don't. But a lot will be lost if we just destroy this place without a thought," Damien replied.
"I am willing to negotiate. What do you want?" She asked.
"What's your name?" Damien asked.
"Master Wizard Carahil," she said, snidely. She hated being put in this position, they could both tell.
"I'm a Master Wizard of the College of Winterhold. Damien."
"Now, Carahil. There's no reason why we can't be civil. I know to you we're just an invading army, but you know what the Thalmor have done to the rest of Tamriel."
"No more or less than you would be doing to each other, were we not a common enemy. The Thalmor offer peace through rule. And elves have the long sight to see it through," Carahil folded her arms.
Fenrir shook his head.
"I understand elves are great. And I understand why you think we're inferior," Damien scratched his head, "But we're fighting to stop you because we need to be free."
"If elves are so damn great, why don't they spend their centuries of life to get better than us with weapons and magic?" Fenrir asked.
"You're like bugs. There're too many of you to squash and you multiply so quickly. You two seem to be the exception to the rule," Carahil fingered her chin, "Yes, I know who you are. Prince Damien and Fenrir. You are exceptional. Normally it takes many men to equal a single mer in combat."
"I think we're done discussing philosophy," Damien said, "First, how are the Thalmor replenishing their troops so quickly?"
"What do you know of Chronomancy?"
"I'm probably one of the few *humans who knows how to use it," Damien replied.
Carahil sighed, like she didn't want to give away the elves big secret.
"What is it? Let me remind you my brother has a bomb launcher and an itchy trigger finger," Damien said.
Carahil shook her head, not willing to give her life for the damn Thalmor's cause. She was just a teacher, wanted to live in a world of peace far from this war.
"Alright. Do you know how long Altmer live?"
Fenrir raised an eyebrow, "How is that~"
"Wait, let her go on," Damien said, "Two to five hundred years."
"That's what the history books would tell you. And what the Thalmor would have you believe," Carahil said, "But that's wrong."
Damien tilted his head, "Tell me more."
Fenrir cleared his throat, folding his arms, "I don't think we should listen to any more. I mean, she's clearly pulling a Scheherazade maneuver. Telling us a long story to buy time until her situation improves."
"You may be right. But I don't see things getting any better for her," Damien said, he extended his arm, offering her a seat at her own table in the courtyard, and they all sat.
"You know the Oblivion Crisis, yes?" Carahil asked.
"Of course. Who doesn't?" Fenrir asked.
"Sorry, I don't know how much men know. I was alive when it happened."
"That was 216 years ago. You look so young," Damien said.
"Well, I was a child. But this also feeds into my explanation. The Altmer have a secret. When Martin Septim gave his life, cutting off daedric influence to Nirn, do you know it also diminished aedric influence? Aedra don't often appear on Nirn like they did in the old days."
"What's your point here?" Fenrir asked.
"Patience. I don't believe the elves of the time fully understood what was going on. But mer lifespans drastically shortened after the Oblivion crisis," Carahil continued.
"Well now I know you're feeding us lies. Viranir is hundreds of years old," Damien said, "I mean, she's dead now. But not of old age."
"You know... Viranir?" Carahil asked.
"My mom defeated her. We met in the past, it was a whole... thing," Damien half-explained.
Carahil tilted her head, studying Damien for a moment, "Viranir was my master. She pioneered chronomancy. I continued her research after she disappeared. Recently, I've been getting notes from her in places I'd never found them before... like she was..."
"Speaking to you from the past?" Damien interrupted.
"What has she been saying? And where is she now?" Damien asked, "I always wondered what happened to her."
"Not entirely certain where ... or when... she is. It seems something happened to her between when she wrote the letters and now," Carahil thumbed her chin again, "She's been telling me that what we were doing with our research threatened to destroy reality itself. Normally only available at a dragon break to the lord of time himself, we are toying with things we were not meant to. But..."
"The Thalmor kept using the chronomancy anyway?" Fenrir interjected.
"Yes," Carahil replied, "They're using it to rewind time so our soldiers can fight and fall again and again."
"Godsdamned infinite army," Fenrir muttered angrily.
"So what is the deal with the lifespans, where were you going with that?" Damien asked.
"Sorry, I have meandering thoughts sometimes," Carahil replied, "V always said that was how I always pulled theorems out of nowhere that worked."
Damien smirked at her. C was talking about V like they were more like sisters... very close friends.... or lovers.
Carahil continued, "We believe Auri-El's influence was what gave us our long lives. Now his influence is diminished, and we live around 150 years naturally. No better than a Breton."
"Which brings me back to Viranir," Damien said, "And the wood elves. What about them?"
"The Wood Elves may have found another alternative method to extend their lives. Here's the point. There is a secret hidden spring hidden deep in a cave in a savage region of Summerset. We believe it was an ancient gift to us from Auri-El. When you drink from it, even a taste, it will extend your life by 50 years, and your youth to match. We call it simply 'The Wellspring.' I believe a few doses of it were captured by Titus Mede during the Great War."
"I know of this. Runa told us Ulfric and Casius Varon both got a taste," Fenrir said, "So that's why they couldn't actually reverse-engineer it. It's divine."
"No wonder a 50-something looks like he's in his thirties and in great shape," Damien said.
"I believe the Thalmor, failing at extracting energy from the Dragonborn to power their chronomancy..."
"They're using their own lifegiving wellspring as fuel to beat us??" Fenrir asked.
Carahil nodded, "If you happen to find this wellspring, there is also another part. It it jointly lagooned with another pool. Nobody knows the truth behind this ancient site, but we believe a daedric prince tried to corrupt the spring and ancient elves dug trenches to section off the fouled portion and stop them from interfering with each other. I'm told if you even touch it, you begin to age rapidly. One dip for about a minute or gulp is enough to age a person fifty years."
Damien rose to his feet, "Master Wizard Carahil, thank you. I have one more question."
"Uhh... yes?" She asked nervously. She didn't know what to expect from these savages.
"Any clue where I can find it?" Damien asked.
"There is a secret passage that leads to the region from a cave, I can mark it for you," Carahil did so.
Damien nodded and turned to leave, Fenrir following.
Carahil breathed a sigh of relief.
"What, you didn't think we were going to honor our promises?" Damien asked.
"I just haven't met a lot of Nords and Redguards. They teach us you're savage killers. I wasn't sure what to expect," Carahil replied.
"You should come to the college at Winterhold sometime. We're doing a lot with ancient magic," Damien turned, "Also, not a Nord. I'm half Redguard, half Daedra. Don't ask me about why my skin's this color. I don't understand phenotypes. Maybe because it's Sanguine. His human form looks pretty Nordic."
The brothers met up with the Imperials, mustering with Calleius on the bridge nearby.
"Calleius, good to see you. What's the news?" Fenrir asked.
"We're regrouping. I heard about a small ruin you guys might be interested in for the time being," he said.
"Damien?" Fenrir asked.
"Well, I'm not sure if it's the wellspring passage, but I'm down to party," Damien replied.
Calleius marked their maps.
"I think Runa might be waiting for us to storm the palace," Fenrir said.
"We have Alinor. We can take the throne when we need to. Don't worry. The girls and grandpa could probably use a rest anyway," Damien replied.
Damien tethered Fenrir and flew off toward the cave, "Looks legit. Right behind the school."
The brothers entered the Vault, noting the dead Thalmor mage at the entrance.
"Damn this is spooky," Fenrir said, "Is someone there?"
It was dwemer in construction. Dang, their construction was far-reaching. The pair stepped onto an elevator with a lever. Fenrir threw it, and when it stopped, they were greeted by dwarven spheres, still rolled up and inactive. Damien took a step forward, but Fenrir stopped him, "Wait."
"These balls are probably set to activate if you step past a certain threshhold," Fenrir said.
"Huh. Balls," Damien chuckled, then he blasted the first one with Flames, downing it immediately.
"Whoa, what is that spell?" Fenrir asked.
"I souped up a regular Flames spell so it deals five times as much damage," Damien replied, mowing down the next one, and the next. He clipped Fenrir with the spell.
"Whoops, sorry. Friendly fire. Literally," Damien said. With the spheres down, he healed his brother.
"You know how I keep saying we should each pair with one of the melee-oriented girls?" Damien asked.
"I like hanging out with you, bro. Before Valenwood It'd been a while," Fenrir said.
"The feeling is mutual. Speaking of which, where is Valiana?" Damien asked.
"Driving the airship. I think she had a tough time in Valenwood. Wanted to sit one out," Fenrir replied.
"Let's see what we're working with," Damien threw the doors open to reveal a giant centurion with dwemer label across the arch, 'The Warrior.'
"That is a BIG BOY!" Fenrir commented and started to fumble with his gear.
"I call it an opportunity for both of us to test out our new stuff," Damien said. He stepped forward into the room, everything seeming to still be dormant.
"Guess I'll start us off," Damien said, finding another sphere. This time it was far across the room so he readied, "Sunlight Spear, taught by Solaire."
A hybrid sun-lightning spell from Lordran, Solaire's homeworld.
The sphere exploded and everything else sprang to life.
"Here he comes!" Fenrir shouted, lifting his autocrossbow to start unloading on the centurion.
The thing immediately charged for Damien, and he dodged, running through its legs, "Wait, why am I taking point? You're the beefy one."
"I don't know, man," Fenrir said, downing a sphere to Damien's left with his crossbow, "My plan was to stand inside this room and cheese the shit out of him."
Fenrir swapped to his shotgun crossbow and blasted the centurion from behind as it lumbered over toward Damien. The thing blasted fire and Damien dodged again, running back into the room with Fenrir. The thing recharged its breath weapon and blasted the doorway, the brothers side stepping around the threshold.
They met eyes and Damien asked, "Have we ever been in a worse situation? Not sure."
"Definitely not," Fenrir said, "I vote to use the cheese. Embrace the cheese!"
"Cheese for everyone!" Damien smiled back.
The centurion turned to back up (maybe to get a better vantage point to fireblast them). Damien took this opportunity and stepped into the room, casting a Comet Swarm. The centurion reared back and slammed it's fist where Damien was, but he rolled forward and charged across the room again.
"C'mon! Focus on me!" Fenrir unloaded autocrossbow into the thing's butt.
While it was pelted by comets, Damien took the opportunity to power up Forbidden Sun and launch it at the thing's legs. But it passed right through causing a massive explosion on the opposite wall.
"What the fuck?" Damien shouted, "That spell is not cheap."
He chugged a magicka potion, "Gods, half my spells pass right through him. I'm ducking into the back room."
He stepped back and found more spheres and about 15 treasure chests. He melted the spheres immediately and started to work on the chests with unlocking spells.
"What's going on back there?" Fenrir yelled, "You okay?"
Damien yelled back, "On the bright side, there's some decent treasure here. Bad news though I don't think we can beat this thing on our own. Probably time to call mom. Sit tight."
I opened my eyes to find a letter on my lap.
It read, "Mom, where are you?"
I stood to my feet. Were they already that far into the invasion?
"Are you needed?" Mynisera asked.
"Seems that way," I replied. I glanced at Ulfric, still sleeping soundly. He'd be okay. My presence here was not helping. I thought I glanced a few gray hairs, but I wrote it off as my senses running wild.
"Thanks for watching," I said to Mynisera and casted Recall. Time to kick ass.
Just want to let you know I've got no plans to abandon this platform. I love writing. But it is sometimes more convenient to format the subtitles on YT first, copy and paste here and write out the description. Also I grab a lot of the stills from the video now, though I do still make time for some premium shots. There will always be a reason to keep doing the blog, because there's a lot of information that can't really be conveyed in a video. You know, the reason the human race still has books. Anyway, here's
wonder the Youtube Video:
Edited by EnragedBard