Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Oblivion Day 25 - Delivering the Mysterium Xarxes

21 Heartfire, 3E433
Cloud Ruler Temple

Things continue to escalate, seemingly out of control. My discovery yesterday of the Mythic Dawn's secret hide-away and the knowledge that my battle will have to continue into a third Realm outside of my own and Oblivion has already been over-shadowed by today's revelations, but I have no other course but forwards.

My first stop this morning was the Oblivion gate I found last night. It was a small Plane with the two small towers and the single large one and I anticipated a quick closure.
What I did not anticipate was the failure of my blade. While fighting my way through the second small tower the blade became detached from the hilt, making it utterly useless. Fortunately the Scamp I had been fighting broke my blade when I delivered the fatal blow, so I was able to sweep up the pieces and secure them in my satchel, hoping to have it repaired later. 

But this left me in a quandary, for now I had no weapon at all. I wound up nervously improvising with a mace I back-tracked to which had belonged to a Dremora I had slain. Fighting with a mace was not by choice, but it was still better than fighting with my bare claws.

It also almost led to my death. The Enemy has definitely been bolstering his Oblivion garrisons, for not only have I fought more Clannfear today, but I fought with and defeated what must be a higher ranking Dremora clad in armor I have never seen before.
Desperation lent me strength and I brutally bludgeoned the Dremora to death, taking several blows of my own in the process. If I had been unarmed I would not have survived and I claimed the Plane's stone in no condition to venture into another Gate so far armed. Naturally I rode past another Gate while riding to Bruma and noted this one down in my map as well for later attention.
The greenery of Cyrodiil gradually gave way to the grey of the mountains as I got closer to Bruma and I was relieved to arrive without finding any more Oblivion gates spewing evil into the land. Most of the day was already gone by then, but I had business in Bruma that could not wait, the first being my equipment. I stopped by the local blacksmith and negotiated the purchase of a well-made steel long blade and backup dagger in exchange for my broken short sword and two hundred Septims. The short blade was enchanted, but quite simply it was just too short for my comfort and I greatly appreciate the greater length of the blade I am wielding now after the desperate fighting with my mace.

As I left the shop a man came running up to me and announced himself as Tolgan, herald to Countess Narina of Bruma. He extravagantly exclaimed that the Countess had requested my presence at the earliest convenience. I had time, so I detoured to the castle to find out what she was going to request of me.
The Countess of Bruma is a collector of Akaviri relics and boasted one of the most complete collections in Cyrodiil, except for one artifact, the Draconian Madstone. I had never heard of such a thing before today and the Countess explained that it was a stone talisman that would protect the wearer from poisons when worn like an amulet. Through her sources, she learned that the Madstone was at some ruins beyond the trail leading north into the mountains that I am actually familiar with. Should I succeed in retrieving the Draconian Madstone I will receive an Akaviri relic of some use. It sounds like an interesting diversion and one I will be sure to take up soon.

I was stopped by Jauffre as soon as I ascended the steps towards the fortress. He immediately pointed out that I did not have the Amulet of Kings upon me, but I soothed his worry by presenting my stolen Mysterium Xarxes. It was not what he had been hoping for, but Jauffre recognized the evil book as a possible weapon against Mehrunes Dagon and hurried me on to Martin.

Martin was still busily studying his books when I walked into the Great Hall but jumped out of his chair when I proceeded to withdraw the Mysterium Xarxes from my bag. He exclaimed that just handling the book was dangerous and was relieved to see that I had not been so stupid as to try reading it, for I would have gone insane instantly, at least according to him.
Martin was confident that he would be able to safely read the book and hoped to find a way to use it to open a portal of his own to Camoran's hiding place and therefore the Amulet of Kings. While he settled back down to his studies he asked that I speak to Jauffre about two suspicious people that had been seen prowling about the road for the past several nights.

Jauffre suspected that the individuals were Mythic Dawn spies sent to probe the Cloud Ruler Temple for weaknesses. This was doubly alarming, for it meant that they obviously knew of the heir's existence and location and I was tasked with eliminating this potential leak of information. So I set a trap of my own: the two always stopped at a painted stone along the road and I decided to wait for them there. If they proved themselves to be agents of the cult, then I hoped my sudden assault would kill the both of them without much warning.

Springing my trap required that I remain near the stone motionless, in the cold, for several hours. It was a very boring thing, but it paid off. As dusk approached I heard the sound of at least two people walking up the path towards me and the Temple. A Dunmer and Redguard came into view, stopped at the Stone, and began talking about my raid on the Mythic Dawn cavern! Clearly these two were the spies I had been waiting for and I sprung from my hiding place in the bushes and charged at them, long sword at the ready. I caught them completely unawares.
On each body was a key with a tag labeled 'Basement'. Somewhere in Bruma there was a Mythic Dawn base and I guessed the Captain of the Guard would be the best person to approach regarding the matter.

The first thing he said to me proved a shock: Oblivion Gates had opened outside each city! I thought the one outside of Leyawiin to be a fluke, but apparently the other cities are now suffering the same proximity, necessitating perhaps a journey identical to the one I committed to while trying to gain access into the Arcane University.

The second thing said was relevant to my current issue. He identified one of the spies as a citizen named 'Jearl' and authorized me to search her home for further evidence of her involvement with the Mythic Dawn cult. Like all good villains the evidence was found in the basement.
On a desk was a scroll from someone in the Mythic Dawn congratulating Jearl on her success in opening a gate outside of Chorrol and instructing her to move to Bruma in order to spy on the Cloud Ruler Temple so that the Blades could be eliminated for good. The letter talked about something called a 'Great Gate' which was talked of at a higher priority than three of what I assume are "lesser" gates. My own suspicion was confirmed when I read that the smaller gates are easily opened and re-opened after their closing, making my quest to eliminate the gates just as important as it apparently is futile. Amusingly, the letter closed with a warning not to engage the agent responsible for Martin's escape from Kvatch, as this person is "...not to be trifled with." Indeed!

Jauffre was predictably pleased with their deaths and even more-so by the acquisition of the Enemy's plans, at least part of them. Martin had already made progress with the Mysterium Xarxes and had discovered that four elements are needed to open a portal to Oblivion, one of which he was able to identify as "blood of a Daedric lord". He interpreted this to mean that a Daedric artifact would be required for the ritual and asked that I simply go out and get him one.

These artifacts are not found easily, nor granted lightly. Only service to a Daedric Prince can result in these gifts and according to the histories the artifacts never seem to stay with one person for very long. Martin referred me to the "Modern Heretics" in the Temple's library to aid me in my acquisition of such a thing. But it was too late for reading and I visited the west wing of the Temple so that I might find some place to sleep instead.

Tomorrow I need to review my plans. Gates right outside each city is a drastic threat, but claiming a Daedric artifact may be the only way to really stop this invasion. I am torn between two priorities and I wish there were somehow two of me to attend to everything. Three or more would be better. I can only take things a day at a time the best I can and hope that everything I do aids, in some way, against the forces of Oblivion.

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