13 Heartfire, 3E433
Given the length of the ride from Bravil to Leyawiin I elected to get up earlier than usual, anticipating bandits, Oblivion gates, rain, whatever this land has to offer a weary traveler. As it was, I found the body of a bandit dead at least two days, but nothing else save for two wolves and a little dock along the road with a boat tied to it. It reminded me of the nearly uncountable numbers of smugglers that had dotted the coast of Vvardenfell. I made good time and was standing before the gate of Leyawiin before the dawn broke.
Leyawiin has always been an interesting city. Stuck in-between Elsweyr and the Black Marsh, the city boasts the highest population of Khajiit and Argonians of any city of Cyrodiil, including the Imperial City. Such a diverse group of people tends to attract a diverse group of visitors and the few who were awake when I arrived wasted no time in telling me about an Orc name Mazoga who had presented herself to the Count claiming to be a knight of some kind. Interesting, but hardly relevant to my reason for being here.
I sold my silvered long sword at a blacksmithy called the 'Dividing Line' and purchased a steel short blade to replace it. The long sword had been a welcome addition when I received it, but I am no armorer and rigors of my several trips to Oblivion has left the blade worse for it. I could have had the Argonian blacksmith repair it, but I would much rather have a sturdier, if somewhat shorter, blade in its place.
The Mages Guild in Leyawiin has fallen on hard times. It's Master, an Altmer named Dagail, has been unfocused to the point of incoherence and her second, an Imperial named Agata, has been running the guild in her stead. This lack of focus is a recent thing however and Dagail was normally an effective leader. Focus or no, only Dagail could give me the recommendation I sought, so I had no choice but to speak with her. Her speech was not as vague as I had been led to expect and I found her understandable, if rather meandering. She did complain of constantly hearing voices and I assumed that they were the cause of her unending distraction.
Dagail did say that her amulet silenced the voices, but that it had recently gone missing. She asked my help, but could do little else but direct me to Agata to learn what was required of me. Agata was surprised that Dagail revealed the cause of her misery to me, but she did not know much about the disappearance herself. She suggested I ask around the Guild to see if anyone had seen an amulet laying around, but I figured if it had simply been laying around it would have been found before my arrival. Nevertheless, I spent some time acquainting myself with the other guild members, including the resident Alchemist, S'drassa who asked that I keep my eyes open for crystals called "Garridan's Tears", powerful ingredients that I have been promised a fair quantity of money for, should I bring him any. He also mentioned that a guildmember, Kalthar, had been talking about an amulet.
Kalthar was happy to hear that I was searching for the amulet, but not in a helpful sense. He crowed that the guild's "facade" was ready to collapse and that Dagail's entire family had always suffered from these bouts of strangeness. He then talked of Dagail's father, who according to him served the Empire for years and died in an unmarked grave. Why the man's anonymous fate bothered Kalthar, I have no idea.
After asking Dagail about her father she told me in a roundabout way that he had fallen in battle, possibly against a dragon, near Fort Blueblood. I am not familiar with the specific fort, but Dagail told me to search the south-west for its ruins and within it, her father's amulet which would quiet her own voices. I left the guild expecting the rest of the day to go rather quickly.
On my way out I encountered the Countess and her bodyguard and she actually stopped to speak with me, asking if I was an adventurer. When I replied that I was, she praised my actions, stating that the Empire depended now on people like me to keep the roads safe from bandits and "rabble-rousers" instead of Legion. Disquieting, but I pretty much already knew this to be true.
As I left the city via the east gate the sky began to glow red and my fur stood on-end, sure signs of an Oblivion gate, but I was literally standing just outside the city. I thought the gates opened only well outside the cities to stealthily stock the land with Daedra, but this gate was an arrow's shot away from the city wall.
When I asked the gate guard about it, he admitted to being scared of the thing and said that the Count had been trying to raise a small force from the city guard to invade the gate, but that had been days ago and no one stepped forward. Thus the gate was left alone to spew forth Daedra and eventually destroy the city. As the Countess had said moments prior, it seems up to adventurers to defend the Empire in these difficult days.
The gate led me to an area of Oblivion with which I was very familiar already: six small towers surrounding a large tower, each of which controlled a gate on the ground. Opening the gates allowed entrance to a smaller tower which led inside the large one, enabling me to claim the Stone and close the Gate.
Tomorrow I shall complete my own business and then look after the Orc and see if we cannot come to some sort of understanding about what the Empire requires from people such as us.