Sunday, July 28, 2013

Morrowind Day 57 - Falasmaryon revisited

10 Frost Fall
The Ashlanders start their days far earlier than I find comfortable. Even while I was in the Auxiliaries, I typically woke up an hour or so before breakfast was served, as I still prefer. To say I spent the night at the Urshilaku Camp is a stretch, for it was still night when the entire camp seemed to wake at once. I was offered a breakfast of dried meat and berries, which I ate and supplemented with my own food once I was out of sight of the camp. No good comes from fighting on a nearly empty stomach. 

The hunters of the tribe dispersed into the wilderness after everyone ate and I wandered east into unknown territory. There was not much to see, just a lot of ash and dry soil that cracked underneath my steps. I did spot three Dreugh lazily swimming along the shore, which is unusual, as so far all my encounters with them have been with single creatures.

I did come across a long-dead Silt Strider and the remains of its owner, whose skeletal remains bears the marks of having been long in the wasteland. Thick vines had grown over the skeleton, creating a simple sort of memorial to the unfortunate soul.
While wandering, I passed by a tomb entrance and my curiosity got the better of me. The tomb was small and guarded by three of the multi-limb floating skeletal creatures, all of them powerful spell-casters  The confines of the tomb worked more against them than me though and I managed to fight my way through all three, only to discover...nothing. The tomb had either been raided before or never held anything of value to begin with. I wandered onward.

South of the camp, I came across Falasmaryon and decided to explore it a bit further.
There was a Dunmer living in a hut on the roof of the fortress, he was displeased to see me, but not hostile. He claimed he liked living there due to the solitude, which he used to perfect his archery. He offered to train me, for a fee, but I did not have time today. I told him I would return later, if time and money permitted.

As I expected, the fortress had been claimed by Sixth House creatures, but for the most part their lack of functioning eyes and/or limbs allowed me to pick them off one-by-one. I dispatched many of the strange "men" with the tentacle in their face by firing arrows down the corridors. If the first shot did not kill them, they inevitably ran towards me before casting their spells. They were typically dead before they got close enough to do anything.

The Sixth House cultists had dragged a body clad in expensive clothing and glassed armor into one of the alcoves. Whoever the Dunmer was, he was seemingly either quite accomplished or quite wealthy to be adventuring like that. Sadly, it was obviously not enough to prevent his death in Falasmaryon.

In a larger alcove I encountered a new creature of the Sixth House. I do not know what I will be calling it, but its anatomy left any pretense of formerly being Dunmer (as many of the creatures appear to be) far behind. This thing had a hunch-backed appearence and seemed to float along the ground rather than walk. Multiple tentacles sprouted from what might have been a face and only its arms and hands resembled anything like a Dunmer. It made a constant murmuring sound as it glided around the room, but I could not tell what it was actually doing, if anything. 

It had not seen me peeking at it, so I retreated back down the hallway and cast my Invisibility spell. No matter how powerful the foe, I have yet to fight one capable of seeing through my spell before I strike. This enemy was no different, but where a lesser creature would have been killed instantly by the Daedric spear, this thing recoiled shock or pain and turned on me, immediately casting its own spells, one of which was poison.

I fought the nausea as best I could and slayed the monster with two more strikes from the spear. Instantly, the creature vanished, leaving nothing behind but a large skull whose origin is unknown to me. I then spent the next ten minutes heaving up breakfast before the poison spell wore off. Hardly the thing told in heroic tales.
The shrine it had been circling around was quite ornate and dotted with the same small statues and red candles that are the characteristic of any Sixth House hideout and contained very little treasure worth taking.

The fortress had lower floors I had not explored, but I was not feeling up to further battles after the encounter with the floating thing, so I left the fortress and made my way back to the camp. One of the tribesmen told me that I was to speak with the wise woman when I had returned to the camp, but when I entered her hut, she looked at me and bade me to rest, saying we would be talking in the morning. So be it then.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Morrowind Day 56 - Kerra to the Rescue

9 Frost Fall
Quite often I find myself side-tracked by small tasks while traveling to take care of a larger one. I have never seen these as annoyances or hindrances, but as opportunities to improve myself. I am certainly more relaxed than I used to be, even though my duty as the (possible) Nerevarine should have me more worried than I ever have been before. I trust my instincts and I have found that breaking down large problems into smaller ones has been serving me well. I may be the Nerevarine and therefore responsible for the fate of Morrowind...or I may not be and my part may be only to deliver the lost prophecies to the Ashlanders. Worry about what is in front of you, right?

I woke up at the Six Fishes and water-walked across the bay to the nearest canton (forget which one) and paid a gondolier a few Septims to ferry me to the Foreign Quarter canton. I always mean to spend some time at the bowyer's there, but again I had more pressing business. The Vivec Mages Guild sent me to Ald'ruhn and from there my only choice was to trudge north until I reached the coast.

A blight storm greeted my arrival as I stepped outside of the Ald'ruhn Mages Guild, but the dread has long since past. Now it's more of an annoyance than anything else for the red sky and swirling dust makes it hard to see.
I suffered the storm for almost the entire walk, barely glimpsing Maar Gan through the red haze as I walked past it. The storm ended as I was near the shore and it dissipated rapidly, leaving the more pleasant smell of the sea in the air and sunlight determined to break through the ever-present overcast.
While walking along the final stretch before reaching the shore, I noticed a door set into the hillside that I had not noticed during my previous trips. Judging by the intricate designs on the door, I assumed it was a family tomb, but the few tombs I have visited that were still in that use never showed signs of heavy foot traffic. This one did and curiosity dictated that I see why that was.

The tomb was very small, barely two rooms, three if you want to count the short corridor the stairs emptied to. The door at the end of the corridor was ajar and I slowly pushed it open with my spear. I might as well have kicked it open. A Dunmer and a Khajiit were running at me before the door was open enough for any one of us to step through it and the Dunmer yanked it open, savagely stabbing and slashing at me with a steel dagger.

Were I unarmored I am sure he would have dealt me a great deal of harm, but the dagger skittered uselessly off of the dreugh carapace. He was unarmored to the extreme of being nearly naked and my own dagger sent him to a quick death. The Khajiit was more cautious, surprisingly throwing spells through the door at me, so I retreated back up the stairs and waited for him to pursue me. The ferocity of the Dunmer's attack smelled strongly of vampirism to me and the Khajiit's over-eager pursuit strongly supported that. He made for an easy target and three arrows fired downwards into his chest ended his life. My examination of the bodies showed they were certainly vampires and their bodies dissolved into valuable dust soon after. It is a grisly business, but the dusty remains of vampires is extremely valuable and I can sell it in Balmora with no issues...not that I really need the money. The tomb offered nothing else of interest.

 The man was pacing at the crossroads in front of the tomb went I exited and he turned to me, terrified, when he heard the door creak open. I assured him I meant him no harm and I asked him what was wrong, as the man was visibly distraught and close to tears.

He became even closer to tears when he told me his story. His name is Sason, his wife's Malexa. They were traveling from Khuul to Maar Gan along the dirt path when cultists ambushed them. He was paralyzed via a spell and had to watch, helpless, as his wife was dragged away to become some sort of sacrifice. Unsure what to do, he was making his way back to Khuul to try and find help when I stepped out of the tomb in front of him. Neither of them were any sort of warrior and he had been certain her rescue was impossible before I appeared, armed and armored, nearly right in front of him.

He begged me to try and find her, but I did not need much encouragement in order to agree. He stated that they dragged his wife off to the west, which was fortunate as there is not much to the west of where we were: Only Ald'Velothi and a Daedric ruin, with Khuul roughly north-west of where I met Sason. Obviously the kidnappers were not going to Ald'Velothi, so it was either the ruins or a cave. He described them as cultists, so I felt that the ruins was safer bet for Malexa.
A group of Ashlanders were camped just beyond the ruins, but they did nothing but watch me warily as I passed by. Armed, as usual, with chitin armor and weapons, they would not have had a chance of survival anyway.

The ruins were well guarded by Clannfear and Daedroth, but the chaotic architecture worked against the Clannfears' charges into meele combat and the Daedroths' spells. Three Clannfear and two Daedroth later made the ruins relatively safe to escort Malexa out of, should she have been inside.
My instincts proved correct. The inside of the shrine was dominated by a giant statue of a Daedroth and two Dunmers equally clothed in rich purple robes were busying themselves around it, probably preparing to sacrifice the poor woman as an offering. They were more priest than warrior and had no guards of any kind inside the shrine. It was easy for me to slip invisibly behind them, sending each to a quick death with a strike to the throat. 
Malexa was locked in a small room off of the main shrine, but the lock was simple enough for me to pick the lock instead of using a spell. Malexa was alarmed when I entered, but her husband's name instantly calmed her and she agreed to follow me out. The walk back was uneventful, Malexa was not injured and eager to re-unite with her husband, so the trip was a quick one.

The couple were overjoyed to be together again and Sason pressed a sack of Septims into my hand and would not hear of anything involving my not accepting them. He is also a retainer of some notice in House Redoran and promised to spread the news of my "great deed", as he said, among the House. I offered to escort them to Maar Gan or Khuul, but they declined. I do wonder what Faral would think of a Redoran retainer unable to defend himself or his wife. It is probably best for the two of them that she never finds out about this. I do hope Sason is careful with his tale-telling.

It was night by the time I finally reached the shore and I water-walked along the coast, past the ruined ship and the Daedric ruins. The Urshilaku camp lay just beyond the hills of the ruins and the wise-woman welcomed me and my scrolls into her hut. She read  through them quickly, then announced she would need time to consult the ancestor spirits and to think upon what I have given her. In other words: come back later!

Rather than recall back to Ald'ruhn, I have decided to spend more time along the north coast of the island, which so far remains largely unexplored by me. After a few days I will consult with the wise-woman and see what my next steps should be.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Morrowind Day 55 - Endless Errands

8 Frost Fall
I had written yesterday that I would be traveling to the Urshilaku tribal camp today to deliver the documents of the Dissident Priests to the wisewoman, who I believe will be able to interpret them more clearly. However, when I looked at my woefully incomplete map of Vvardenfell the camp was so very far away and Molag Mag so very close to Telasero. As such, I found myself in Caldera soon after I woke and was plodding away from Telasero as the sun began to rise.

I was told the Redas tomb was south of Molag Mar just over the mountains, so I reasoned that walking across the bay from the fortress was a more direct route. Naturally, the weather was overcast and rainy around the former fortress,which made walking across the water seem a little ridiculous. The entire bay is dotted with blunt mounds of rock and small islands, making it useless for shipping, but great as a shortcut.
The only approachable shore of the peninsula is straddled by rock formations on either side, making for a very defensible harbor...if the Daedric ruins were not in the way. I managed to skirt the ruins and encountered only a few lean-looking Nix-Hounds  while I searched for the tomb. Faral had said that the tomb had an Ashlander camp right outside of it and true to her word, there was a sizable camp of at least four individuals sitting right outside the entrance. They eyed me as I walked by, but I did not approach them any closer than I had to and they let me be.
The tomb was heavily guarded by Dremora and the winged Daedra women, though two of the three Redas family heirlooms (the robe and chalice) were in a room just a few steps from the entrance, guarded by a Dremora wielding a nasty looking mace. Once fearsome, the Dremoras' predictable combat strategies have lessened the thrill a bit, but I will never be so foolish as to completely discount an opponent. Nearly all the Dremora I have fought start by casting spells, usually beneficial ones on themselves, then crippling ones against me. I use this habit to my advantage by getting their attention  and waiting for the spell-cast. This immobilizes them long enough for me to shoot them with an arrow or two, which can break their concentration and ruin the spell. Should this happen, they inevitably charge me disadvantaged and injured.

After securing the robe and cup in my pack, I continued further into the tomb. The only way led to a flooded tunnel guarded by one of the female Daedra. While I have been encountering them more frequently, they remain a potent enemy and definitely not one I am comfortable facing more than one at a time. Their barbed tails are capable of blows strong enough to take me off my feet and their wings are just as cruelly barbed. However, their wings enable them only capable of short hops and the spear's reach lends me a great advantage.

Regrettably, I could find no way to avoid having to dive underwater to navigate the tunnel, so I left most of my equipment, including my spear and bow, at the foot of the watery steps and drank a nearly-stale flask of Water Breathing. No Khajiit enjoys being submerged in water and the instinctive hesitation towards attempting to breathe the stuff makes it worse. No matter how many times I have done it, I cannot convince myself to willingly submit to the sensation of breathing water and it only comes after my body is quite sure I am drowning. This time was no different: I spent an embarrassing amount of time at the foot of the pool, floundering and splashing uselessly as I tried to stop holding my breath every time I slid into the water. The Argonians can keep their marshlands, the Khajiit, our deserts and forests.

The tunnel was short and ended at another small series of steps. My eyesight is not very good underwater, so I could not tell what, if anything, was waiting for me. I did pick out two stone columns near the staircase and managed to sneak out of the water and behind a pillar. It is fortunate that I had done so: another one of the female Daedra was stalking around the room while a bored-looking Dremora paced restlessly on the far side. Against these two I had only my spells, a few potions (most left behind) and my dagger.
Invisibility, as usual, proved a valuable ally. Casting my spell, I was able to sneak to the opposite corner of the room where the Dremora was pacing and deal it a grievous blow in the head with the dagger. It immediate zapped out of existence  only a small pile of valuable Void Salts remaining where it once stood. The female Daedra had not noticed its comrade's demise and I tried to repeat my trick on her, but my first strike was poor and only wounded her. As she turned to strike at me, I had a sudden burst of inspiration and ran back into the water. I had never seen Daedra of any kind in water and I was hoping this one would not want to enter it as much as I did not.

I was right: the creature stared into the water, but would not descend the steps into it to pursue me. The underwater tunnel was actually quite short and I managed to hold my breath for the duration of the swim back to my equipment. With my Water Breathing spell, I managed to drag my spear back through the tunnel and cautiously ascended the steps back into the guarded room. The Daedra had gone back to patrolling, seemingly not noticing or caring that the Dremora was no longer there.

The battle does not leave much to be described. The advantage gained from my invisibility spell and my spear made the battle a short one. The Redas family's axe was Dwemer-made and enchanted with a minor combat spell and such is my swimming ability that it took two swims through the tunnel, one to carry my spear through and one for the axe. I estimate that it was just about noon by the time I was back underneath the hazy sunlight of Morrowind and I dripped my way back to Telasero and eventually to the top of the Redoran canton in Vivec.

My reward was simply another task from House Redoran. A Redoran retainer had been challenged to a duel by a retainer of House Hlaalu, but had gone into hiding instead of facing his challenger. For House Redoran this was unacceptable behavior. My task was to shame the man into facing his challenger and thus restore the honor of House Redoran.

The man, Rothis Nethan, had been seen at the local Redoran cornerclub, Flowers of Gold. I don't know why he thought that would be a great place to hide, but I cornered him in the club while he was busy emptying goblets of flin. Possibly due to the alcohol he agreed to face his opponent in the Arena, but only after I supplied him with ten healing potions. I bought a dozen from the Redoran alchemist and he set off for the Arena canton.
The one-sided duel
The duel did not last long. Rothis had brought a dagger (silvered) to a two-handed sword fight, to twist the common phrase around. His opponent was skilled in using it and Rothis was clearly no fighter of any sort. Rothis fell quickly and House Redoran's honor was therefore (and somehow) assured. When I went into the pit of the Arena to fetch Rothis's personal belongings, his foe was respectful, stating that he knew he would win, but Rothis did prove to be a man of courage. I bit back the retort that Rothis had really been a man of drunkenness and stupidity. I returned his daggers to Faral, who was relieved the man had died, as he was something of an embarrassment to the House.

She also had no more tasks for me, leaving me free to pursue the Nerevarine prophecy. I took a room at the Six Fishes in Ebonheart and will try to make my way up north to see the Urshilaku tribe once again.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Morrowind Day 54 - Lies & Questions

7 Frost Fall
So far as my time on Vvardenfell is concerned, today may have been the most important day I have had on the island.

The day began ominously  Though there were no faceless intruders in my house, I walked outside at six in the morning to see Ald'ruhn bathed in the pulsating red glow of a Blight storm. Those that were outside already had their faces wrapped up in cloth and their heads down. One woman stopped me while on my way to the Mages Guild, asking if I could chase a "scary man" out of her home. When I suggested she go to the guards instead, she said that they were busy herding people into their homes to escape the storm. I agreed to the task, figuring it was just a confused person taking refuge in the wrong house.

The scary man was a Sixth House cultist who had set up a small shrine in the woman's hearth, muttering his prayers to Dagoth Ur and rubbing his hands together. When I tried to speak to him he identified me as Lord Nerevar, telling me that I had betrayed Dagoth Ur and that his vengeance would be swift and terrible. Unfortunately for him, his bare-handed strikes against my armor was neither swift nor terrible and the battle was piteously one-sided. I dragged the body out of the woman's home and left it on the far side of nearby hill. The wind and dust of the ever-present storms will bury it quickly. The woman, who identified herself as Gindrala, regretted that she had nothing material to offer as a reward, but promised to tell everyone about what I did for her. Given my plans for my future in Morrowind, my reputation may wind up being the most valuable thing of all.

The storm was still raging when I stepped into the Mages Guild and I left a light trail of blood-red grit in my wake as I made my way to the Guild Guide station. I intended to resolve the issue with the slanderer in Balmora as reported by Faral, then visit Ebonheart to take care of some business from yesterday. 

I am beginning to think that the retainers of House Hlaalu cause trouble in the hopes of receiving bribes to simply go away. The Hlaalu slanderer, Meril, agreed to a bribe of one hundred Septims in return for formally renouncing whatever claim he was making against House Redoran. I did not ask what it was, nor do I care. I stopped at Nalcarya's shop to purchase more Recall potions, then took the Guild Guide back to Vivec. Faral rewarded my one hundred Septim expense with an enchanted bonemold shield...which I have no use for. She then asked me to go to the Redas ancestral tomb to fetch some items that were willed to the House, but as it is near Molag Mar, I do not see my travels taking me near it in quite some time. I suppose I could pop over to Telasero and get there pretty quickly should I find the time.

The time was not to be found today. Instead, I water-walked from the Foreign Quarters canton to the docks of Ebonheart and spoke with an individual about fishing along the coast.
The shipmaster said she knew a great place to fish, a personal favorite of our mutual friend. She invited me onboard and just like that I was on my way to the Dissident Priests. I had no idea where we were going, of course, and the trip took nine hours, nearly the rest of the day. It was close to eight in the evening when we finally docked against an unmarked wharf.

A monk of Dissident Priest's monastery was waiting for me on the wharf and the entire monastery had been told to expect me by my friend. I was given directions (which could be summarized as "follow the stairs") and told to wait until either dusk or dawn when the magically sealed door to the building would be available. Eight in the evening was close enough to dusk I suppose, for the door was available to me when I approached. 

Just inside was a large circular room ringed with altars and dotted with ash pits, looking much like any other temple on Morrowind. There was a sole Dunmer attending to the room and he welcomed me gracefully, pointing out the three stairwells leading away from the room, each of which would lead me to the Dissident Priests' library, the ultimate reason for me to be there in the first place.

I spoke to my rescued friend in the library and she gave me quite a lot of information. I had assumed that the Temple's hostility against the Ashlanders and by extension, the Dissident Priests had stemmed from a lack of tolerance for beliefs veering away from the official dogma. But according to my friend, the Temple persecutes beliefs that go against their teaching due to the Ghostfence pretty much being powered by the peoples' faith in the Temple. The coming of the Empire and cracks in the Temple's armor has weakened the Ghostfence and allowed Dagoth Ur's influence to creep outwards from the Red Mountain. 

Curiously, my friend was surprisingly dismissive of the Nerevarine prophecy, stating that the Ashlanders' belief was nothing but silly superstition and they as barbaric savages. She also feels that their belief of the Tribunal being false gods is an insult to the Temple. It seems she is still loyal to the Temple as a belief system, though not as an institution. Whatever may come, I do hope she will be willing to assist me in the future.

The curator of the library, Gilvas Barelo, was more militant than my friend. According to him, all the Dissident Priests have to do is show themselves more capable of fighting the forces of Dagoth Ur and the people of Morrowind will rally behind them, enabling the Priests to supplant the Tribunal Temple under a new unified faith. Hardly a noble goal. He gave me three books, each which give differing accounts of Lord Nerevar and his (or her I suppose) end. The three documents are titled "The Real Nerevar", "Nerevar Moon-and-Star", and "Saint Nerevar".

"The Real Nerevar" spoke of Nerevar's earliest days when he led the people to Morrowind. Seeking to unite the warring tribes, he went to House Dwemer and commissioned a ring he named "Moon-and-Star". The ring was enchanted to increase the wearer's charisma and to kill anyone else who tried to wear it.  With the ring Nerevar was able to form the tribes into the First Council, but later religious disputes split the Council, with House Dwemer and House Dagoth on one side and the remaining houses on the other. The Dwemer-Dagoth alliance recruited Orc and Nord clans as allies and the warring sides met at Red Mountain. According to the document the Dwemer race disappeared due to side effects as a result of magic used during the battle and House Dagoth and their mercenary allies were completely slaughtered. Nerevar was said to have been killed, the ring lost, and afterwards the Grand Council and the Tribunal Temple was formed. That was the entire document and not very informative. Notably, nothing of the Ashlander tribes is mentioned.

"Nerevar Moon-and-Star" was a great deal more interesting. The document originates from Imperial scholars studying the Ashlander legends and presents a very different take on what occurred  The document completely skips the arrival of the Dunmer to Morrowind and Nerevar's acquisition of the the ring, simply stating that he already had it, only the legend calls it "One-Clan-Under-Moon-and-Star". Having promised the tribes to uphold their ancient ways, the Ashlander tribes united with the military forces of the Great Houses and marched with them to Red Mountain. Curiously, the enemy at Red Mountain was not a Dwemer-Dagoth alliance in the Ashlander legend, but only the Dwemer, who were defeated along with the outlander mercenaries. This document differs from "The Real Nerevar" in that it proposes that the leaders of the Great Houses (Dagoth included?) assassinated Nerevar after the battle and set themselves up as gods, creating the Tribunal Temple. The Temple neglected the promises Nerevar made to the tribes and the Ashlanders as they are today were therefore born. But if the document is to be believed, House Dagoth was on the winning side and as such would have been party to the assassination plot. Yet nothing is mentioned of his involvement, of lack thereof, in the formation of the Tribunal Temple, nor how he came to be stuck in Red Mountain.

"Saint Nerevar" is actually an official Temple document distributed for Westerners. In this telling, the united Houses marched against the Dwemer-Dagoth alliance, but the Tribunal (Vivec, Almalexia, and Sotha Sil) are said to have united the tribes alongside Nerevar with the power of "One-Clan-Under-Moon-and-Star". During the battle at Red Mountain, Nerevar is mortally wounded in battle against Dagoth Ur, but died only after witnessing the birth of the Tribunal Temple and blessing the unity of the Dunmer into the care of the Tribunal Gods. Quite a different telling from the first two, which at least seem to agree that the Tribunal was only present after the battle of Red Mountain.

When I asked Gilvas of the lost prophecies, he produced even more documents: "The Lost Prophecy", "The Seven Curses", and "Kagrenac's Tools". The "Lost Prophecy" was not as impressive as I imagined it to be. Only seven lines, it spoke of who would become the Nerevarine, describing the individual as "dragon-born and far-star-marked". 

"The Seven Curses" was vague, but Gilvas's notes made them a little clearer. The curses are said to be of: Fire, Ash, Flesh, Ghosts, Seed, Despair, and Dreams. Fire and Ash are obviously the Blight storms from Red Mountain and Flesh the corpus disease. Dreams is likely the haunting influence of Dagoth Ur at night, but Ghosts, Seed, and Despair are a mystery to me and Gilvas, who only remarked that they represent a threat as of  yet unseen.

"Kagrenac's Tools" is the most valuable document Gilvas provided me. While the scroll concentrates on the tools the Dwemer master craftsman fashioned, it provides far more background  on Dagoth Ur than any other document.

Beneath Red Mountain, the heart of the god Lorkhan was discovered by the Dwemer long ago. Seeking to use the heart's power, Lord Kagrenac created three tools: Wraithguard, an enchanted gauntlet to protect the wearer during the release of the heart's power, Sunder, a hammer designed to release the heart's power, and Keening, a blade to focus the released power.

Lord Kagrenac used the tools during the battle at Red Mountain and the disappearance of the Dwemer people was the result. According to the document, Lord Nerevar and Lord Dagoth found the tools after the battle, but were unsure as to what to do with them. Leaving Lord Dagoth to guard them, Lord Nerevar consulted with Vivec, Almalexia, and Sotha Sil, the three described as "councilors" in the document. With Nerevar gone, Lord Dagoth apparently succumbed to temptation and refused to give the tools to  the four when they returned to Red Mountain. A battle ensured and Lord Dagoth, thought mortally wounded, was driven away. The scroll does not go into what happened to Lord Nerevar or if he was killed by Lord Dagoth, but it does say that after Nerevar's death, the three former councilors broke their oath to Nerevar and used the tools, granting themselves god-like power.

Lord Dagoth, of course, was not actually killed and returned as Dagoth Ur, a powerful version of himself maddened by his connection to the God-heart and presumably immortal. The Tribunal used the tools more carefully and have not been driven mad, but Gilvas speculates that they have been corrupted as well, only more subtly. I suppose it is possible. 

Gilvas closes the document stating that the Tribunal are persecuting the Nerevarine cult out of shame for what they did, for breaking the promise they made to Nerevar long ago. He points out that in the coming battle against Dagoth Ur, the Tribunal Temple should be welcoming the Ashlander tribes and Dissident Priests as valuable allies, but instead waste time and resources hunting them down. Gilvas's last sentence is a caution to view the tools not as salvation, but of curses and doom, for it does appear that everyone who has come into contact with them ultimately meets a sorrowful fate.

I have to admit: I have no idea what to think. At face value, the final document is pretty damning against the Tribunal Temple, but what is ultimately the point? If the Tribunal is at fault and did murder Nerevar, it is at best a cautionary tale for myself. Nothing I can say or do will right that wrong and I don't see how it really impacts the struggle against Dagoth Ur today. It is good to know where the conflict originated from and what I may be dealing with, but I just don't see how the history is going to help me now. Perhaps I need to read them again and think on it when I have more time at home.

After reading all of the material and speaking briefly with the priests, I elected to drink a Recall potion rather than take the boat all the way back to Ebonheart. Doing so, I arrived in my home at eight in the evening, more than enough time to write all this down and think on my future plans. The ring, "One-Clan-Under-Moon-and-Star" seems a requirement to be the Nerevarine, but I have no idea where that might be or even if it is acquirable any longer. 

The wisewoman of the Urshilaku will have a better idea what to do with these than I do.