Friday, July 10, 2015

Oblivion Day 24 - Undercover Cultist

20 Heartfire, 3E433

Tar-Meena was good on her word. The next morning I found her back in the University library, poring over the copies she had made of the first two volumes. She suspected the first letter of each paragraph, which was larger and stylized, was significant, but did not have anything more than that for today.

But it was enough for me. It was so simple that I am embarrassed to admit that I did not think of it first. Each of the letters in each paragraph of each volume combined to spell out "Green Emperor Way Where Tower Touches Midday Sun". I thought this was telling me the location of the Mythic Dawn, but it did not. I had quite some time until midday, so I futilely spoke to the other students at the University about finding someone willing to train with Illusion magic, but my questioning turned up nobody.

At midday I walked to the Green Emperor Way plaza which doubled as the city's graveyard. The clue did not give any hint as to what I was looking for exactly, so I walked along the graveyard examining the headstones. My thought was that one of them was a fake and would serve as a switch to some secret underground staircase or something, but things were not to be that simple.

What I found was a hidden map on the tomb of the unfortunate Prince Camarril, glowing red with the symbol of the Mythic Dawn.
The map depicted a much-shrunken Cyrodiil with a marker set over a small lake near Cheydinhal. This is the clue that prospective cultists clever enough to decipher the "hidden" meaning of the 'Commentaries' received, so I was obviously meant to go where ever the marker was depicting. I knew of nothing notable in the location it pointed me to, so I guessed my destination was a ruin or ex-mine of some kind.

Thanks to my trusting horse I made it to the lake before the sun set and went about finding an entrance to the Mythic Dawn's hidden site. Soon enough I came upon a very old door set against the hill side and cautiously crept in, aware that there could be dozens of cultists if I was in the right place.

They were a great deal more confident than they should have been. Only one guard was posted at the front door and he let me in without a blink, self-assured that I was a loyal worshiper of Mehrunes Dagon. Once inside I was greeted by Harrow, a Dunmer who described himself as the Warden of the shrine which lay deeper inside. He insisted I leave all my equipment with him and not wanting to ruin my seemingly perfect cover, I agreed, throwing all of my sacks, satchels, and equipment into a huge bag he had been carrying around. In return I was given an ill-fitting Mythic Dawn robe and told to follow.

Mankar Camoran himself was in attendance at the shrine and Harrow whispered as we approached that I would be given the honor of being inducted into the Mythic Dawn by the Master himself.
Alas, the honor was not to be mine. As soon as he was done with whatever speech he was giving a small portal opened behind him, looking very much like the Oblivion Gates I have been closing. He stepped through the portal and it disappeared, taking the Amulet of Kings with him. Clearly the man was favored by Mehrunes Dagon and therefore is not one to be underestimated.
I could not go back to the Blades empty-handed, so I designated a secondary target: the Mythic Dawn's holiest book: the Mysterium Xarxes, said to be penned by Mehrunes Dagon himself. To attempt to read it was to court madness, yet Mankar had read it and from the book wrote his 'Commentaries', forming the Mythic Dawn as it is today. Perhaps if the Blades had the Daedric volume someone could use it to track down the Amulet of Kings. I have to hope something is possible for us to succeed. 

The cultist next to me died without knowing what had happened, his throat torn open by my inexpert swipe of claw. The next closest started to react and died just as messily. But I only got two free kills and the remaining cultists yelled and started to swarm me. As luck would have it Harrow was at the head of the assault. The man had no skill in melee and foolishly attempted to wield my own blade against me. He was quickly disarmed and impaled, quite a sudden reversal of fortune. 

Armed with something familiar I made short work of the remaining four cultists and only then realized I was still not alone. An Argonian lay on a slab underneath a large statue of the Daedric Prince and I quickly cut his bonds. As soon as he was able he leaped off of the slab and ran out of the room, ignoring my warning about more cultists possibly lying in wait ahead of us.

I grabbed the ordinary-looking book and ran after him through more corridors and rooms, pausing twice to duel with cultists desperate to curry their Master's favor by slaying me.
The Argonian was nervously waiting outside of the cavern for me. He introduced himself as Jeelius and thanked me profusely for saving his life. He is a priest in the Temple of the One in the Imperial City, so I will have to visit him once I am back in the capital. But it was too late in the night to ride back there today, so I left him to his determined journey and turned my horse towards Cheydinhal. On my way I came upon a sign of Mehrunes Dagon's displeasure: another gate to Oblivion and I marked it on my map for later attention.

Tonight I am staying at the Newlands Lodge and tomorrow I shall close the Oblivion gate on my way back to Bruma, for Martin will surely be interested in the book I managed to recover. I can only hope that it is enough to make up for the temporary loss of the Amulet of Kings.

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