Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Skyrim Day 063 - Battling Nostalgia

19 Frostfall, 4E201

I had only to deliver the pieces of Mehrune's Razor to Silus for my task to be complete. I thought about dumping the remains of the artifact around the province before realizing that doing so would mean I just spent days at nothing at all. Had I wanted the pieces scattered about I needed to do nothing at all before now. Much as I was loathe to admit it as I carved my way through beast and bandit, I wanted the Razor. I wanted to hold one of Mehrune Dagon's artifacts in my hand...just before tossing it into the sea.

At least, that's what I kept telling myself the past few days. As it was, the rather cliche story of an adventurer being overcome by greed and desire wound up not happening, simply because I am not a murderer. But I get ahead of myself.

Walking from Markarth to Dawnstar meant traveling through either Solitude or Whiterun, but I always seem to be distracted by something at Whiterun so I chose instead to head north to Solitude. I was stopped along the road by a Stormcloak rebel, but she only advised me to tell all the "true sons and daughters of Skyrim" to join up with Ulfric Stormcloak and retake Skyrim for the Nords.

Why she felt a Khajiit would concern herself with this, I do not know.
Dragon Bridge was free of Dragons today and I reached Solitude by mid-morning, having left Markarth as soon as I possibly could. I spent some time at my home, but could not find much purpose in being there. It is an empty place and one that served only to lighten my purse, apparently nothing more.

Hoping to save time I paid a few Septims for a ferry from the warehouse docks to the swamps of Morthal across from it. I planned to trudge through the muck of the swamp and over the snowy hills between Morthal and Dawnstar rather than take the easier, though much longer, road.
I encountered nothing save for a Khajiit standing near the road within sight of Dawnstar. He appeared surprised to see me, covering his lack of attention with an offer to sell me some skooma or moon sugar. I declined his offer, he was probably a smuggler waiting for his goods via one way or another.

It was pleasing to see one of the caravans camped outside of the city. I stopped briefly to unload my gemstones and jewelry in exchange for vials of healing and restorative elixirs. Kharjo was there as well, expressing his delight at seeing me healthy and whole once again. I wished him the same and headed into town, somewhat ashamed that I could do so while the Khajiit behind me could not.
Silus was overjoyed to receive all the pieces of the Razor. Once he judged them all safely in his possession, he admitted that the plan had been to return them to Mehrune Dagon's nearby shrine so that the Lord of Change would repair the deadly artifact. This did not come as a surprise to me and I cautioned him about dealing with the Daedric Princes, especially Mehrune Dagon. Nothing they give ever comes without a price.

But he was not to be dissuaded. With a shout over his shoulder for me to follow, he ran out of his museum and into the cold. He was in an over-excited hurry, but I easily kept up with him, mage that he is.
In all the years since the Oblivion Crisis I have never once felt the urge to revisit my old foe in any way, but it was somewhat gratifying to know time has not altered his appearance for the better. The giant statue in front of his shrine leered down with a grimace, giving the impression the viewer was something unpleasant he had just stepped on.
Silus took no notice of the statue and rushed to the bare altar before it. Laying the pieces atop it, he raised his voice, rather too dramatically I think, and beseeched the Prince to repair the Razor in His Great Name. After a minute or so of this he stopped and looked at me, dejected.

"The Daedric Prince wishes to speak with you", he said sadly, his life's ambition brutally crushed.

That set off numerous warning bells in my head. Perhaps I was remembered and a trap set? I loosened my blade as I walked towards the altar, conscious of the sudden drop to the icy ground just behind me. When I was standing before it a voice boomed inside of my head. I caught Silus wincing out of the corner of my eye, so I immediately knew he was hearing something as well.

Mehrunes Dagon claimed to have watched my little quest to retrieve the pieces with amusement, stating that I had proven myself a worthy mortal to speak with. It sounded as if he did not realize I was the same Khajiit that foiled his plans during the Crisis, but it may be that he also did not much care.

The Prince's price tonight was predictable: a life taken for a life-taker. If I killed Silus Mehrune Dagon would restore the Razor to its murderous glory. If I chose not to do this, I was promised consequences.

When I turned to speak with Silus his eyes went wide and he begged me not to kill him, evidently hearing a message of his own. He spoke quickly, obviously afraid, promising that he and I could return to Dawnstar with just the pieces, which he would put in a harmless display case for the rest of its days. I felt that was just asking for a burglary and a slit throat, but it would not be me doing the cutting, so I agreed.

Mehrune Dagon was not pleased, but the "consequence" was laughable: two Dremora, of whom hundreds were banished back to Oblivion by my hand so many years ago. One of them popped into existence right next to Silus, who took off for Dawnstar with a yelp.
The battle was practically a delight. I have spent over two months in Skyrim as an adventurer again and all I have fought are wild animals, bandits, and Draugr. Occasionally a Dragon, but few and far in-between. Fighting the two Dremora was a pleasant change and I was pleased to realize how much of my experience with them came back to me as we fought. They were well-armed and armored, but they went the way of so many of their brethren. Foiled, Mehrunes Dagon was silent, but there was a key on one of the Dremora that I suspected would unlock the door at the base of the statue.

There was nothing else nearby it could have possibly unlocked, so my being correct in this was not a great accomplishment. The door opened to a tunnel hewn from solid ice, the statue evidently having been built into the hillside itself. The tunnel was short and easily transmitted the sounds of more than one person ahead of me. I was expecting cultists, but found two more Dremora, one in nothing but a robe, the other in full armor.
The robed one fell silently to my dagger, the armored one fell rather more loudly to the same. The ebony blade slipped right through the Daedra's armor, wavy blade and all. It crashed to the ground with a rattling gasp and I was free to explore the inside of the shrine at my leisure.

Mehrune Dagon's shrine had known prosperous times. I pocketed handfuls of gemstones and several ingots of gold alongside several powerfully enchanted items. The greatest find, however, was a full-size ebony blade, a perfect complement to my new favorite weapon, though far more heavier and less graceful.

By the time I returned to Dawnstar it was just past midnight and I did not want to bother Silus until he had calmed down, a process which may take more than a few days after his brush with the Dremora. Joke aside, I will visit him tomorrow before some enterprising thief takes it upon herself to claim the Razor and end the pool fool.

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