1 Evening Star
Another short day owing to the trip between Vvardenfell and Solstheim, but a productive one. I have finished visiting the Skaal's Stones and am ready to begin my next great task.
Every morning that has started in Ald'ruhn has meant for a much better rest than I would have on the island, but it also results in a rather long day, the middle of which is spent on the boat between lands. Thus it was already late into the afternoon when I landed on Solstheim and much of the day was already spent.
Still, there was time enough to find the Sun Stone's 'Halls of Penumbra' and I worked my way to the Stone first, then trekked west, per the Stone's instructions. The cave was preceded by a series of stones leading towards it from the stream that could not have been merely coincidental.
The Hall itself was just another typical cave on Solstheim: frozen earth covered with snow...much like the island itself! This cave was a little different in that it had torches bored into the walls at regular intervals, but they were not lit. Being a Khajiit, the lack of light did not bother me in the least.
There were some of the Nord's undead patrolling the cavern, but relatively few given the size of the place. I ran into two dead-ends, but each one had a collection of chests and bags that provided me with a decent weight of coin.
The Sun Stone only said that I was to free the Sun from the cave, but naturally did not do much to describe what it was I had to do. Nothing I found seemed to represent the Sun and I continued along the last unexplored passageway hoping to find something that would make the task a bit less confusing.
I need not have worried about failing to find something. At the end of the last passage was a giant creature nearly twice my height. It had equally large hands tipped with claws that appeared able to tear me in half without the slightest difficulty. It made no sound other than a snuffling sort of breath and it ponderously made its way down the passage upon seeing me.
I loosed arrow after arrow at the thing, at its size missing was nearly impossible, but they seemed to have little effect. One arrow even uselessly shattered upon striking the beast. Unfortunately it looked like it was up to my spear once again. I lured the creature farther down the passage, past the bodies of the few undead that had inhabited the place and brought it to an incline where I might have some advantage in higher ground.
It was as powerful as it seemed, but very slow, even slower than the Corprus creatures of Dagoth Ur's. The hulking creature's claws effortlessly tore chunks of the frozen earth up from around us, but he fortunately did not come close to landing a blow upon me or I would likely not be writing this right now.
It is a grim thought to wonder what someone would think, stumbling upon the body of a Khajiit warrior deep within the frozen earth of Solstheim. That would certainly be a mystery to them!
Nevertheless, the thing did collapse eventually and I carefully examined the corpse thinking that this was somehow my key to the Sun Stone. My intuition proved correct: the creature's glowing "eyes" were really gemstones and hot ones at that. Even removed from the body they continued to glow and give off heat enough that holding them without a glove was not possible.
I returned to the end of the passage where I first encountered my foe and saw a very bright glow at the end of the chamber, in front of which I found a thick sheet of almost entirely clear ice. I could not force my way past, so on a hunch I placed my hard-earned gemstones against the ice wall.
This worked far better than I anticipated. The stones' heat shot cracks through the wall and after a few minutes the entire thing came crashing down in a blinding flash of light.
When I could see again I first realized that my gemstones were gone. Their heat had been very welcome in this place and having something like those stones to warm myself on my journeys is a pleasant thought indeed. After a few minutes I gave up on finding the stones underneath the wall's wreckage and turned to leave the cave, wondering if I had freed the Sun in some way.
I walked quite a ways down the cavern before noticing that all the torches were now lit. Then the Stone's task became a little clearer: to someone who could not see in the dark, it would appear now that the "Sun" had been freed, but I could not notice a difference either way.
When I reached the Sun Stone it began emitting orange sparks of light that gently floated up into the night sky. With that I was finally done with the Skaal's test, but it was too late in the night to make the walk all the way up north.
Instead I am now visiting with my new friend Kolfinna and will be taking a short nap before starting the trip back to the Skaal village. While I have completed their quest, I have not taken the time to educate myself on their legends and thus have no idea what the significance of what I have done is. I should probably spend some time teaching myself these things before I visit them, lest I insult them in some accidental way.