|Posted on June 20, 2014 at 9:15 PM|
Vivec stood before me, the cantons towering high. There was a very bright sunset, and the light glinted off the water. Gondolas went to and from different areas of the city, ferrying the citizens. I took Julan's hand and then paid seventeen gold to be ferryed to the Temple canton.
"Have you thought this through?" Julan asked. "I...I mean, what if they arrest you?"
"I don't have any choice," I said as I looked towards the temple, wincing as I passed the Ordinators, who were looking towards me nastily. I had no doubt in my mind that they knew who I was.
"Quickly! Over here!"
I turned around and saw an older Dunmer woman wearing light blue robes. Her dark hair had been pinned up in a tight bun.
"You're Ulina Therayn, right?" She asked.
"Did you want to meet the archcanon?" Instead of answering, I glanced towards the Ordinators, and nodded quickly.
"I'm Danso Indules," she said. "The archcanon is in his private quarters, and he very much wishes to speak with you."
"I got that letter from him about two weeks ago," I replied. "I guessed as much."
"Oh, so you know?" Danso nodded towards the door. "I must warn you... avoid confrontations with the Ordinators at all costs. The archcanon has spoken with the High Fane Ordinators, but if you are a wanted criminal, they may try to arrest you."
So they'd probably ignore the archcanon anyways? Great.
"..If the blood of faithful servants of the Temple is spilled, it will make a reconciliation all that much more difficult," Danso finished.
I narrowed my eyes.
"Do you really think I'd try to kill an Ordinator?" I asked.
Danso blanched. "Of course not! I meant no disrespect -"
"Come on, Julan, let's go."
A few moments after we left Danso's line of sight, Julan leaned over and whispered, "for the record, I do think you'd try to kill an Ordinator."
Luckily for me, the Ordinators didn't seem to pay much attention as Danso seemed to indicate they would. The archcanon was sitting back in a chair in his office, and frowned when he first saw me and Julan.
"And you are…?"
"Ulina Therayn," I told him. "This is my partner, Julan. We've come to see what you have to say."
"Ah," he nodded. "I am Tholer Saryoni. Thank you for coming…" he glanced at Julan. "Would you mind stepping out, sera, so Ulina and I can -"
"With all due respect, whatever you have to say to me you can also say it to Julan," I told Saryoni. He scowled, but didn't order Julan out.
"Very well," he said. "You know the Temple's doctrine on the Nerevarine. Perhaps it is time to change that doctrine."
"Change it?" Julan asked. "You mean you won't persecute her anymore?"
"Perhaps not," Saryoni replied. "The Temple must, of course, protect the people from false doctrines. And your association with Imperial intelligence makes your motivations and integrity suspect…"
"So basically you summoned me here to tell me off?" I asked bitterly. I should have expected that.
"By the Three, bite your tongue!" Saryoni was angry now. "I was going to continue!"
I rolled my eyes and sat on one of the empty chairs. Saryoni cleared his throat.
"But, despite all that, you have been chosen Hortator and Nerevarine by the Dunmer people. And we have reached a crisis with Dagoth Ur. We can no longer defend the people against the awakened Sixth House. You and your prophecies may represent our last hope."
Great. They've called me Outlander, N'wah, Imperial spy and a traitor, and now I am a last resort for them. Sounds great, I thought.
"You're kidding, right?" Julan snorted. "After all the lies you and your temple has spread, now you want her to get rid of Dagoth Ur for you? Surely those 'gods' of yours would do a better job?"
"Therayn," Saryoni said sharply, ignoring Julan. "Lord Vivec has asked to see you about this."
I blanched. Lord Vivec? From what I had come to understand he was one of the three living gods the Dunmer worshipped. One of three that wanted me dead. The first thing that came to mind was that the whole thing was some kind of trick.
"Would you agree to a private meeting with him, and hear in person what he has to say?"
I exchanged looks with Julan. He didn't even have to say that he thought it was a bad idea. I could see it on his face.
"Of course," I said.
"Are you insane?" Julan yelled as we walked towards Vivec's temple. "He's going to kill you, Ulina! Again!"
"Yeah, well, I think it's better that I get this meeting over with," I told him. "I mean, what use would it be to walk from a god? He'd only hunt me down in the end."
Julan wanted to stay outside. I couldn't blame him; the thought of me alone seeing Vivec was scary enough. I took a deep breath and entered the circular shaped building in front of me.
"Ulina Therayn. We have business, you and I."
I didn't even close the door. It slammed shut almost of it's own accord. In front of me was Vivec. He was half Dunmer and half something else. It took me a few seconds to realize he was half-Chimer. Vivec sat crosslegged, floating in the air. His face seemed almost feminine.
"Vivec," I said.
The living god nodded. "When I was young like you, I was very impatient. So I will keep our business short. Then, later, there may be time for other things."
"So, what do you want?" I asked. "To kill me?"
"No," Vivec said. "First, I want to remove my curse upon the Nerevarine, end the persecution of the Dissident Priests, and proclaim to all Morrowind that Ulina Therayn is the Incarnate and Nerevarine, the prophesied savior of Morrowind, and the last hope to withstand the menace of Dagoth Ur and the Sixth House."
I opened my mouth to speak, but then realized I was too much in shock to say anything, so I closed my mouth again.
"These things I will do, whether you wish or not," Vivec said simply. All I could do was nod. "Next, I propose to surrender to you the power and responsibility of defeating Dagoth Ur. You may choose to refuse; I will not compel you."
"I won't refuse," I said quietly. I had come too far to refuse Vivec's help now.
"You will receive the power as a gift, in the form of an artifact called 'Wraithguard.' You may accept the gift, then do with it as you will. You will receive the responsibility as an oath. You may give your oath, then keep it or break it as you like. First, will you accept Wraithguard as a gift?"
"I accept," I said, again in the same quiet tone I used before.
Vivec looked surprised, but then he smiled. And it looked genuine.
"Good. Sensible of you. And now, will you give your oath, before all gods and men, before all spirits visible and invisible, before my honor and your honor, to dedicate yourself and Wraithguard to the defeat and destruction of Dagoth Ur, and the preservation of Morrowind and its people?"
I looked into Vivec's eyes. One of them was scarlet red, just like my eyes. The other was gold. Needless to say, I saw a look of expectation in his eyes.
"I've come this far, Lord Vivec," I told him. I felt as if I was a scrib about to be squashed by a guar. "So yes, I do swear."
Vivec laughed. "Not very sensible...But very good. I was hoping for someone who would have no hesitations about making such an oath."
I suddenly felt angry...as if I had been tricked. Vivec had been expecting that from me.
"You will now have a brief, momentary sensation of time passing. Don't be alarmed. You are being taken out of time in order to avoid the unpleasant experience of learning how to use Wraithguard. It will be over before..."
Suddenly, for a split second, I felt as if I was floating in the darkness. There was nothing else but me and a bright shining light in the distance…
"...you know it."
Then, I was back in Vivec's Temple, with a dwemer gauntlet on my left arm. It was enchanted. Wraithguard. I remembered back to when I was reading books about Nerevar, the Tribunal and the war with the Dwemer. One of the important things about it was Kagrenac's Tools.
"Now, I will notify the Temple that you are our champion. There shall be no more persecution of the Dissident Priests, and I hope both sides shall swiftly be reconciled," Vivec's voice was cool and reassuring as he said those words. The fact that neither me nor the Dissident Priests were to be persecuted anymore was wonderful news!
"We have time for questions, if you like," Vivec nodded towards the door. "Or you may leave, as you wish. But I think there are at least two things you ought to know before you leave: how to use Wraithguard, and how to defeat Dagoth Ur."
"There are specific instructions?" I asked. "I...I thought…"
"That you knew?" Suddenly, a piece of paper appeared out of thin air. I didn't take it. "It's not as easy it sounds, Ulina, but if you are the Nerevarine, then you can do it.
"To defeat Dagoth Ur, go to Red Mountain to recover the artifact hammer Sunder from Gate Citadel Vemynal, then recover the artifact blade Keening from Gate Citadel Odrosal. Then proceed with Wraithguard, Sunder, and Keening to the citadel of Dagoth Ur. Within the citadel, find the Heart of Lorkhan. Use the three artifacts to sever Dagoth Ur's connection to the Heart, and he will be destroyed, and the Blight ended on Morrowind."
I didn't say anything. I just stood there, like I was some kind of mannequin in a store front. In all honesty, I had no idea what to say. The instructions already seemed kind of complicated.
"To destroy Dagoth Ur, you must sever his connection with the Heart of Lorkhan," Vivec continued. "To do this, strike the Heart with the artifact hammer Sunder once, then strike the Heart more than once with the artifact blade Keening. You must wear Wraithguard, because you cannot handle either Sunder or Keening unless you are wearing Wraithguard."
I glanced at the large gauntlet that was wrapped around my arm. At least I had Wraithguard.
"That is the short, simple explanation," Vivec finished.
"You mean there's more?" I asked, not surprised but more than a bit disappointed
Vivec gestured towards the floating piece of paper. "That is the long, detailed explanation, written down for your convenience. Read it, study it and commit it to memory."
With Dagoth Ur becoming stronger than ever, I decided it was time for me to take my leave and 'commit the instructions to memory,' as Vivec had so kindly put it.
The instructions were clear after rereading the piece of paper the next morning. There were five Citadels, but only two held Sunder and Keening.
"Vemynal and Odrosal," I said aloud while reading. I would have to attack more of Dagoth Ur's horrible Sixth House monsters. Between Dagoth Ur and his minions, I didn't know what I was scared of the most.
Then, I would have to step inside Dagoth Ur's citadel and kill him myself.
The body of Dagoth Vemyn fell to the ground, and with him so did Keening. I picked up the sword (oh, GODS, it's heavy) and managed to get it onto my back with little to no trouble, even if I felt it weighing me down.
"One more Citadel to go," Julan reminded me. I nodded in response, and we ran outside and across the dusty ground to Odrosal, where Dagoth Odros jumped out of nowhere.
"Sheogorath!" Julan yelled, then unsheathed his sword. Dagoth Odros laughed - and his laugh wasn't a very pleasant noise. It sounded like a cross between a witch's cackle and a scream.
"Have you come to serve, Ulina?" Odros asked. "Or have you come for Sunder? It's well hidden, I assure you."
I looked around. Sunder was right behind him! Obviously Odros realized I found Sunder, because it looked as if he was about to cast some sort of spell.
"MOVE!" I shouted, and Julan and I ducked as a bolt of lightning shot across the room. If these monsters could have facial expressions, I'm pretty sure Odros's would be rage. He started taking a few steps towards Julan and I, but I took advantage of that and ran behind him, grabbing Sunder and then hitting Odros over the head with it before he could respond.
"I guess you know what this means now, right?" Julan said as we trailed back to Ghostgate. I held both Sunder and Keening. They were both really heavy, but no one else would be to carry them back. "It mean you're going to have to go in there and defeat Dagoth Ur."
I looked towards Red Mountain. Somewhere up there, Dagoth Ur was waiting for me, and one of us would have to kill the other. I wasn't looking forward to it, and I would have to set my affairs in order before I went up there the next morning.