Monday, August 24, 2015

Oblivion Day 36 - Counter-Assault on Oblivion, Finale

3 Frost Fall, 3E433

I set out for Bruma after a short nap, riding past the Imperial City through the seemingly ever-present rain. I suppose it is better than blood-red clouds and lightning, but I do not think a simple sunny day is too much to ask for.
A group of well-armed bandits accosted me outside of a ruin not far from Cheydinhal, each of them wielding Dwemer blades and wear Dwemer armor. Where they got these things is a mystery, but they were not well practiced in the use of their equipment and proved easier foes than I anticipated. Perhaps they had hoped to appear intimidating enough to avoid having to use their apparently new-found equipment, but a Khajiit who regularly fights her way through Oblivion needs more than a few extravagantly attired thugs to give herself pause.

The wet greenery of the forest gradually gave way to the wet grey of the northern mountain region as I approached Bruma. Given my nap and the melee with the trio of bandits, it was well into the evening when I dismounted before the gates of the Cloud Ruler Temple. I wasted no time in finding Martin, who seemed to have not stirred from his books since the last time I spoke with him.
He looked up as I approached, a rare smile stretching across his face. Excited, he told me that he had deciphered the second ingredient required for him to open a portal to Camoran's so-called Paradise: the blood of a Divine. Jauffre solved the mystery of where to find such a thing, suggesting that the blood of Tiber Septim himself, who became one of the Divines, might be acquirable. The secret to doing that lay with Jauffre himself and Martin asked me to talk with him.

Martin accepted my gift of Daedric artifact Spellbreaker with some surprise, stating that many would not give up such a useful thing. When I pointed out that it weighed more than the armor I was wearing, he laughed and conceded that usefulness is very much in the eye of the wielder. He had nothing more for me to do and asked again that I speak with Jauffre about two problems that needed solving.

The first problem was the blood of Tiber Septim, which Martin and I had briefly talked about. Jauffre provided me a key to a hidden catacomb known as 'Sancre Tor' where the armor of Tiber Septim was enshrined. Formerly a holy place, it became cursed with an evil presence a long  time ago and no one had returned from visiting there in many years. My task, of course, is to visit the catacomb, find the armor, not die, and return with the blood of the Divine Tiber Septim. But that had to wait in lieu of completing a second task, first.

The second problem was the expected (by me) opening of an Oblivion Gate outside of the city. Jauffre's request for this issue was a little different though: he did not want me to merely enter the Gate and close it, instead he wanted me to lead a contingent of city guards into Oblivion so that they might learn how to close the Gates themselves. 

I certainly would welcome a little show of self-sufficiency in the Oblivion matter, but I am no leader of soldiers and rode back to the town with no small measure of trepidation. Fortunately the Captain of the Guard, Captain Burd, was tasked with the actual leadership role. I was to be a sort of armed adviser as he led his men through Oblivion, a role I was perfectly happy to take.
I was also happy to have four other men at my back, for this particular plane of Oblivion was the most difficult one I have yet faced. Outside of the Sigil Tower wandered a dozen Flame Atronachs and inside were more Dremora than I ever hope to see in one place. The battle inside the Sigil Stone's chamber was frantic and bloody, us five against seven Dremora and one summoned Daedroth, a foe I have not seen in many years. Captain Burd had accounted for one Dremora before the Daedroth was summoned and quickly hacked the beast's head off with his two-handed sword.

Sadly, we suffered our only casualty as this was happening to a surprise attack from behind by a Dremora. The mace's blow caved in the guard's helmet and he died instantly. For whatever reason, the Dremora then charged past me to engage the Captain, leaving me open to drive my short blade into its back, ending its life just as it ended the poor man's.
We quickly dispatched the remaining Dremora and I took the Captain with me to steal the Sigil Stone from its pedestal. 

The two guards that Captain Burd had stationed outside the Gate had been busy, the corpses of Clannfear and Atronachs lay scattered about when we emerged from the closed Gate. Apparently I have somewhat underestimated the guardsmen prowess, but perhaps the guards of Bruma are made of sterner stuff than elsewhere.

I was informed that it was one in the morning and that a room at 'Olav's Tap and Tack' had been reserved for me courtesy of the City Guard. The ten Septims would not have hurt my purse, but I do appreciate the thought. Tomorrow I have two tasks ahead of me: the acquisition of the blood of Tiber Septim and the finding of the Draconian Madstone. One of these tasks is more important than the other, but I have given my word that both shall be completed.

I suppose this ends my counter-assault strategy on Oblivion. All of the city Gates have been closed and several agents of the Mythic Dawn have been exposed and killed. My priority now is to gain entrance to this Paradise of Camoran's and re-secure the Amulet of Kings. I have accomplished much, but there is yet more ahead of me that needs doing.

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