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Miraak... So much talk and posturing; appearing from thin air to steal the souls of dragons that were rightfully mine, then vanishing like a mudcrab in the reeds. Miraak, hiding from his destiny amidst infinite volumes of books tended by tentacled giants and sadistic floating librarians, mocking me from behind his dragons.
This Miraak turned out to be quite the diversion, the genesis for which my own Lakeview Manor served as the setting. I knew the moment I stepped off the carriage that something was amiss. The gentle breeze reeked of arcane energy and of something more... sinister. Two mysterious figures stood by the open entry-hall door, Lydia lay motionless in the dirt, glassy-eyed, apparently dead. Unsheathing my dual Nordic blades I began my approach. The two figures were dressed alike wearing dusty, tight-fitting cloth accented by chitin, their faces bemasked behind hideous boney effigies. Green threads of aethereal light shot forth from the fingers of one figure, seething toward me. It was meant to be a paralyzation spell but I denied it's effectiveness with a mere thought and quickened my pace. My thu'um quaked the very air and my dual blades whirled with elemental fury like wind through flesh. They were dead before they hit the ground. Lydia came to with a gasp.
Inside, I poured some ale and pondered a note found on one of the intruders. My name was becoming known throughout Tamriel; these two were sent by someone in Morrowind who was claiming to be Dragonborn. Fools can claim what they like, it matters naught. Yet this individual, this Miraak, had sought me out, intent on my destruction. So I called upon Jordis, my wife and partner in destiny, and set off to Morrowind to sow some destruction of my own. I would seek Miraak on the island of Solstheim where he currently held much of the islands' inhabitants in thrall.
Once there, events moved quickly. Gaining the assistance of an ancient if tempestuous Telvanni Wizard called Neloth, along with the Skaal Nords and their shaman, I learned that Miraak's physical form was bound within the Oblivion realm known as Apocrypha. I would need to seek him there, the very plane of existence governed by the Daedric Prince of Knowledge, Hermaeus Mora. Miraak would continuously attempt to thwart our every advance with his agents on Solstheim. Such futile nonsense. At last I stood before the entrance to Apocrypha, which unsurprisingly, was a heavy black book. With Jordis looking on, I opened the book, and proceeded to be sucked into Oblivion, where I would make my way through horrors unimagined.
Where I would make my way to Miraak.
I rode to Miraak, in true Dragonborn fashion, on the back of a dragon. For all of the shock and fear he must've felt upon seeing me, he remained surprisingly calm. More talk... he blathered on about the first Dragonborn killing the last. Krosus; how the spinners of fate must've laughted! I ignited my dragon aspect. Miraak did the same. We shouted ancient obscenities at each other, filling the air with the sound of a hundred storms. Miraak tried to use lightning against me, but I'd grown accustomed to being shocked so it was to no avail. He then met me in melee combat, but that was not to be. My mace, Ale Smasher, bludgeoned and smashed while Miraak staggered back. Now on the defensive, he launched an arc of toxic noodles at me from a staff that appeared from nowhere. This, I cannot wait to tell to Ysgrammor in Sovngarde, who's shield protected me from the worst of it. The obscene wriggling mass caused me to lose my footing, enraging me further. Like a ravenous whirlwind I flung myself at him closing the distance in an instant. Miraak was overmatched and out of options. He began sacrificing his dragon followers just to stay alive, and that would be the final, cowardly act in the legacy of Miraak. Hermaeus Mora could stand it no longer, and so ended the battle by piercing Miraak and absorbing his soul.
Before leaving this retched realm behind, Hermaeus Mora courted me with the idea of becoming his new champion. My reply was of course no, and that he already knew that. His chilling counter-reply was that there are a multitude of timelines in which I answer yes. I stepped up to the Black Book. This would not be one of those timelines. It was time to return to Mundus, and to Jordis.
Subjective ages have passed, though Jordis tells me it's been a shade under two years. She's been handling my affairs out there, in the world, whilst I've lived in utter seclusion at Heljarchen and the surrounding tundra. Had not my ineptitude in destruction magic repeatedly caused the ignition of my supplies of parchment, I may've found time to scribe my thoughts during this interregnum.
Former ineptitude, that is. Mastery of the Arcane changed me. My once golden hair is now white like the tundra and my eyes... my eyes appear shrouded by an ethereal white mist yet I see more clearly than ever. The changes happened gradually after my exposure to the Eye of Magnus, and upon averting the cataclysm at the hands of that meddling Thalmor sload-fart, Ancano, the mages of The College anointed me as their new Archmage. I'd have none of it though, not with my then paltry knowledge of the Arcane. But that time is past. Now, I speak with the Gods daily.
With divine inspiration from Shor himself, I've fashioned my greatest armor yet. The Armor of Shor is fashioned from leathers and ebony, affording me all the protection of my old piece with half the weight. I've conversed with Talos about the thu'um and shouted curses at him to his delight. Tiber Septim, as he was once widely known, to me he is simply Hjalti. And Akatosh? Akatosh provides me with visions. Visions of Alduin.
With the help of the Blades agents Delphine of Riverwood and Esbern the Hidden I was able to learn of the existence of a shout that had felled Alduin in the past, but I would once again need to seek the Greybeards for it's understanding. Arngier pointed my way to the very Throat of the World where I would find Parthurnaax, the Greybeards' long-time master. I had suspected that he was a Dov for some time now, and greeting each other as Dov do, eventually learned that I'd need an Elder Scroll to unlock the secret of the Dragonrend shout. I'll not bother with the tedious details of it's acquisition, suffice it to say that I obtained the Scroll and used it to see through the wound in time created by three Tongues of old- the very conceivers of Dragonrend. Hearing their voices echo through time, I understood.
As for Delphine and Esbern? Sadly, these are not the Blades of old whom would guard the Emperor and serve him with honor. They serve their own interest, which is using me as their weapon. Once she learned the true nature of Parthurnaax, I was ordered by Delphine to kill the old Dov or, I would not have the Blade's as an ally. "You want him dead," I said. "Scale the throat and kill him yourself." And I walked away.
As I glance back in time through my writing in this journal, it occurs to me that I've been avoiding something of great importance out of fear. That something is the reason for my very existence. That "winged impossibility" from my first journal entry, and from my dreams, is real.
Alduin is real.
The world-eating, time-ending aspect of Akatosh is real, and he was there in Helgen when I was about to be executed. How do I know that the dragon at Helgen was Alduin? I just do. I knew it then but wouldn't- couldn't- believe it. It's time I prepare for the inevitable.
A small fortune was left over from the construction of my three manors. Much of it went to pay for training in the art of smithing. Eorland Greymane and Balimond of Riften are talented blacksmiths, but I would need to surpass even their prowess in order to forge weapons and armor worthy of my fate. And so I did. I spent large sums on materials and for weeks toiled at my own forge. I made armor and weapons for myself designed in the Ancient Nordic tradition, sturdy, yet relatively light.
For Jordis I constructed the most glorious armor ever conceived, along with equally spectacular sword and shield. Forged from the bones and scales of slain dragons, they're worthy of the Slave Queen herself. She is the resplendent and unstoppable founder of the empire, reborn. In the first era Morihaus helped Alessia win the battle that made the empire possible. In this era, Jordis will help Kohlar win the battle to save it.
Yet weapons and armor no matter how glorious won't be enough. Alduin is the physical manifestation of the apocalypse and is unkillable by mere physical means. I know little of the schools of magic aside from enchanting, and it's for that reason I write this from within the Hall of Attainment at the College of Winterhold. I've been admitted as an apprentice scholar. The mages were impressed with my abilities in the school of enchanting, and placed me at the level of expert. I know from practice with my uncle as a child that I've an aptitude for magic. The time has come for me to unlock those innate mystic abilities.Nurozoxi likes this.
We ravaged one another. There was a look in her eyes, an immediate understanding, and I must've had the same look. After some initial clumsy fumbling about, we wordlessly helped each other out of our armors and coupled right there on the cold of the stone floor. Even though we'd just met, there was a familiarity to this intimacy. Twas as if we'd done it hundreds of times, and yet not for awhile. I don't know how long the boys had been standing there watching, I'd forgotten all about them. I've not even written of them yet, I now realize.
Alesan and Blaise are the two boys that I recently adopted. These boys had no living relatives in Skyrim and I certainly had the living space in Solitude, as well as my two Manors, so I decided to take them in. They'd had a hard life, like mine, and need a strong and disciplined male figure in their lives to ensure that they don't grow up to be the next Ulfric Stormcloaks. Sadly there are too many Nordic children being led astray by that nonsense, and it makes me fear for Skyrim's future. Blaise has already proudly proclaimed that he wants to enlist in the legion. I smile when I think of it.
Certainly, I didn't intend for the boys to learn this lesson yet, but what's done is done. I explained it to them the best that I could, which was to the point with no sugar coating. Afterward, they seemed to understand what the new housecarl and I were doing on the floor. As for Jordis and I, things are a bit more complex. When I explained to her that she was the image of St. Alessia in my dreams, she had a similar confession- that she had always dreamed of the demigod Morihaus, and I was him. Alessia and Morihaus, reunited as Jordis the Swordmaiden and Kohlar the Unkilled. What are the Divines thinking? By the Nine it's time for some ale.
I've spent the last few weeks building upon the property I purchased in Falkreath hold, the aptly named Lakeview Manor. The general layout of the dwelling is now complete, with an entryway attached to a great-hall. Now all that remains to be done is the furnishing and decorating, which I have left in Lydia's charge. A break from traveling together will do us some good, as the chemistry we once had has been replaced by tension. We enjoyed a basic meal and a couple bottles of mead together the night before I departed for Solitude.
I had been summoned by courier to meet with the Jarl's steward. It would seem that my reputation is spreading. The steward, Falk Firebeard, enlisted my help in clearing out a nearby cave that some of the locals had begun to fear. This turned out to be more than a simple quest. Necromancers had occupied the ruins within the cave and were attempting to resurrect the Wolf Queen, Potema Septim herself! Armed with my Nord Hero sword and battle axe, weapons of a quality only achievable through use of the Sky Forge in Whiterun, and the power of the Thu'um, I hacked, slashed, cleaved and shouted my way through Necromancer and Draugr alike. Ysgramor's shield reveled in battle, it's very soul reinvigorated by serving as a great warrior's protector once more.
My failure would've resulted in world-altering consequences. As I am not composing this journal entry from Sovngarde however, it would seem I wasn't fated to fail. Indeed, I was awarded the title of Thane of Solitude upon my successful return and given the opportunity to purchase a house within the city. How glorious this was, as I was taken by Solitude's beauty and tranquility right away.
During my training at High Hrothgar, Arngier had often sent me to remote and exotic locations previously untouched by men or mer for many generations. By and by I amassed a small fortune, more than enough to purchase Proudspire manor in central Solitude. I had also been assigned a new Housecarl, a warrior of renown named Jordis the Swordmaiden who was awaiting my orders within my new manor. With Lydia serving as my steward at Lakeview Manor I was excited at the prospect of a new traveling companion.
I entered Proudspire and spotted Jordis. She was sweeping in the Kitchen and didn't notice me at first, so I said her name. Upon seeing me she started. I stopped in my tracks and she in hers. The broom fell from her hands and clattered to the floor. I don't recall if my mouth was agape, only that I had trouble standing as the world seemed to spin around me. For standing before me with her eyes wide with astonishment was the women I'd dreamt of all my life. Staring at me with a look of startled recognition, was St. Alessia.
Arngier says that my training is going well, yet his eyes show shades of apprehension. I sense that he fears what I might do with my power, now that it's becoming honed. Who would blame the man, after what Ulfric Stormcloak did to the High King, and Ulfric's acumen lies significantly below my own.
With my voice, I can shout the sword from a man's hand, or send the man himself hurtling asunder. I can weaken his armor and drain his strength. I can set him afire, or turn him to ice. I can infect his mind with debilitating fear, and I can see him wherever he hides. I can turn all the beasts of the forest against him. I can rip open the sky to unleash a storm's fury, and I can slow the very flow of time. All with my voice.
No mortal has possessed such power since Talos. Yet my dreams, now nightly, are of a time long before Tiber Septim, and it seems that these dreams are not merely such- they're recollections of a prior existence. At least that's how it feels when I awake. Lydia and I had been sleeping together since that fateful night in Whiterun, and within our bed chamber at High Hrothgar the walls have indeed echoed our passion nightly, she's distanced herself from me as of late. Apparently I speak the name Alessia in my sleep. If Lydia is made jealous by my dreams of a women long dead than so be it, I cannot be concerned by such trifles at this juncture.
I dreamed of St. Alessia during the night, as I do most nights. She was clad in mail made from dragon's bones, while I resembled a great bull with my furs and horned Nordic helmet. We soared through the void on the backs of dragons, guided by the lights of Aetherius. I've seen this dream, with some variation for most of my life. I'd always assumed the horned warrior to be Morihaus, Alessia's lover in legend. Only now do I realize the horned warrior is me. It's always been me. Perhaps the Greybeards will have some insight. After climbing 7,000 steps to their sanctuary of High Hrothgar, I hope that they'll at least have some ale ready.
After destroying the dragon at the watch tower, the Greybeards formed thunder into a word and summoned me from their mountain top. The word was Dovahkiin, which means Dragonborn in the language of dragons. The one called Arngier tested me, and confirmed what I knew to be true, that I have the dragonblood, bestowed by Akatosh. Through the Greybeards I've learned my first lessons in The Way of the Voice, whereby I focus my voice into a Thu'um or, words from the dragon language that contain great power. Somehow, I'd managed to kill my brother Sigurd out of anger when we were but children using such a shout. Arngier explained that The Way of the Voice could indeed be misused, as was the case with Ulfric Stormcloak, the rebel who used a thu'um to kill the High King of Skyrim.
Ulfric had trained with the Greybeards for some time. That he used a power such as The Voice to shatter the king when he could've fought blade to blade serves to cement my first impressions of Stormcloak. In time, he'll be dealt with. For now, Arngier and the Greybeards can feel the presence of the walls that shout. Word walls, they call them. I will seek out these walls in order to gain understanding of their words of power, thereby gaining that power. It's the stuff of stories and a lot to take in. For now, Lydia and I require rest, and I tire of writing.
The Greybeards must've hidden their ale before my arrival, but they did share bread, cheese, and wine. Yet before slumber ensues, an appetite of a different sort remains to be sated, and Lydia grows impatient. I can feel her watching me, and I wonder if the walls of High Hrothgar have ever echoed the sounds of passion.
The first time that I saw Aela the Huntress, she and her companions were slaying a giant to which I struck the killing blow. This event set off a series of dreams within which I knew the Huntress intimately. This was not so, in waking life. Still, these dreams forced me to seek out Jorrvaskr. Not only to get closer to Aela, but to see what The Companions were all about. They hold a place in the history of Tamriel, after all. I write this now as their leader, Harbinger of the Companions.
Once I arrived, events moved quickly. These are not The Companions of legend. The highest ranking members for some generations now have been seduced by Hircine- or rather, a pact was made with Hircine long ago, and one must walk this path in order to ascend to the heights of the Circle, who act as the Companion's leaders. Walking this path results in an after life spent in Hircine's hunting grounds. I'll admit that I too was seduced at first. Members of the circle would talk of "reveling in the hunt," yet do they not realize that in Hircine's afterlife they'll be prey, as well as predator? As for Aela and I, it's just not to be. She embraces the blood of the beast whereas I must endeavor to rid myself of it.
I will not do the bidding of Hircine, or of any daedra. I serve Akatosh, who has guided me in life and in dreams. Akatosh, and another...
Lydia and I searched the White River for days, never finding the body of the fallen bandit chief. The river took us all the way to the Great and imposing city of Windhelm. The city wasn't long in making an impression. Two Nords were being openly belligerent to a Dunmer woman, for no other reason than her being Dunmer, and they being drunk. They were a disgrace to Nords and ale alike. The Dunmer was unperturbed, I admired her for that. She required no help from me, so we made for the Palace of the Kings.
I once read that the old palace was one of the few remaining buildings from the first empire. I felt the chill of the oceans of time as I entered. Ulfric Stormcloak, formerly Ulfric the bound and gagged, was speaking with a strong looking warrior in furs. When I came within earshot, I didn't like what I'd heard. He spoke of taking the city of Whiterun by force if Jarl Balgruff refused join his rebellion against the Empire. Here I stood, in what was once the Great Palace of Ysgramor who fought for the Empire, and here sat this arrogant fool spouting nonsense, sprawled in his throne like a spineless horker. This was no leader. This was a cancer that had already spread like a pestilence through the once great city of Windhelm. I'd heard enough.
Lydia and I took the Carriage back to Whiterun. We were loaded down with gold and gear, more than enough for me to purchase Breezehome. If Ulfric Stormcloak had the gall to invade Whiterun, I'd look for him on the battlefield. I told him as much, back at the Palace of the Kings. He'd remarked on my bravery, and said that I seemed changed since Helgen. Truer words were never spoken.
I write this tonight from within a troll cave. The Bandit leader of Valtheim towers is dead, the one with a bounty on his head. Apparently he fell to his death attempting to snipe Lydia before we even entered the towers. After slaughtering his feeble party and harvesting their loot, we began the search down-river for the body of the chief. This led me to cave at the base of the waterfalls close to the fort, and to gold deposits. Seeking more gold, we entered the cave. By and by we survived the assault of several trolls that inhabited the place. I'd never seen a troll before, and would rather I didn't again, but I'd fought a dragon and lived. How bad could a troll be?
We both very nearly died, Lydia and me. My dreams that night recalled the death of my father. Though I was raised in Bruma, I'd seen much of the world from my father's ship- The Windward Vengeance. The last time I was aboard, I'd just turned 16. It was to be my right of passage as a man. My father and his men set sail for the island of Solstheim; we were going viking.
Before this trip, we'd gone sailing for trade only, all the way to Atmora. Rumor had it that Solstheim was becoming a haven for Reavers, pirates prowling the shipping lanes between Tamriel, Solstheim, and Morrowind proper. Dunmer gone rogue. My father, his men, and me, were going to raid the raiders. And so we did. The first several engagements were successful. Our men were warriors practiced at land and sea alike, and we amassed much plunder from the bloated, unprepared pirate ships. But word spread among the reavers, and someone prepared.
A battle at sea all hinges upon one war party successfully boarding the vessel of the other and eliminating it's fighting men. I had tasted my first blood doing this very thing. Yet on our return home, pregnant with plunder, we became the hunted. Soon it was clear we would not escape. The pursuing vessel was low and long, gaining fast under sail and oars. Within a day and a half, it closed the distance. We sharpened our blades and prepared for battle.
These weren't ordinary reavers. With our ships grappled together, we cleaved the first two waves with uninhibited violence, yet we lost men. The sea upon which we sailed was relatively calm, yet the sea of blood in which we stood was anything but. Then I spotted him. Wearing an armor of a style I didn't know, he seemed to glow in the night. When he crossed the plank to our ship I prepared to meet him with my blade, but my father was there already. I couldn't comprehend what happened next. I watched as the glowing reaver mage conducted a symphony of lightning bolts from his hands to my father's face and torso. I wasn't close enough to see his flesh boil from his bones. I didn't hear him scream, nor do I know if he did, but falling to the deck of the Windward Vengeance was my father's final, lifeless act. Then I was hit hard from the side, and I fell into the ocean's black embrace.
Somehow, the remaining men of the the Vengeance were able to pull the ship away from the enemy and make it to shore in Tamriel. I later learned that they'd dumped most of their plunder into the ocean to gain the necessary speed. They found me snagged by the boot to some netting that had snagged the ship. I was long drowned, so they said. It would be an understatement to say that I frightened the men when I awoke on my funeral pyre just before it was set afire, but my vocabulary cannot summon a more accurate description of the crew's feelings at that moment. They called me Kohlar the Unkilled. I don't believe that I died, only that I'd slept and dreamt of Sovngarde. I vowed that I would learn magic to avenge the magic that took my father, and I wept for him.
I burst through the Jarl's longhouse door, resplendent in blood. All were silent as I strode with the poise of a bull up the stairs, toward Balgruuf the waiting. Sven slipped in like a mouse through the crack of the closing door. According to Sven, my eyes went white after absorbing the dragon's soul, as white as a blind man's. Yet my sight was clearer than ever. I was changed. I felt like one of the God-heroes of old that I'd read about as a child. Like Pelinal or Morihaus.
I am Dragonborn. Akatosh will only bless those destined for the greatness of legend. I felt disembodied from my own voice as it explained the events of the watch tower to the Jarl and the implications as he listened in stunned silence. Proventus the steward broke the reverie, asking Balgruuf if he believed any such Nord nonsense. I snapped my gaze toward the steward, the force of it nearly knocking him flat, his voice stuck in his throat. For my deeds I had been made Thane of Whiterun, granted the Axe of Whiterun, and my own Housecarl, Lydia.
Lydia. We had women warriors where I came from, of course, yet this one was truly cut from a different cloth. She introduced herself as I approached, said she'd give her life for mine. I turned to Sven and told him to go home, his services were no longer need. I allowed him to keep the equipment I'd given him, but I took his bottle of mead. I was suddenly very thirsty.
There was a house for sale in the plains district, but I could not yet afford it. Thane of Whiterun and Dragonborn hero, I was about to go mercenary. I learned of a bounty that'd been placed on the head of a bandit leader, and set off to collect.
Fredas, 22nd of Last Seed
I could fill a volume of books with all that's happened over the past days, if I had the patiencs for so much writing, which I do not. I compose this entry from my newly acquired house Breezehome. It needs work, yet will serve for storage and sleeping. Since the fire pit has yet to be installed, I remarked to Lydia on the chill of the night and the utility of sharing a bed, for warmth. And so we did. Who is Lydia you ask? Well, I've grown fond of her I must say, but I'll write of that later.
The Jarl's longhouse, Dragonreach, is impressive to say the least. I'll have one like it someday. Jarl Balgruuf appreciated my news of the destruction of Helgen. I understood his skepticism, what I could not understand was how he tolerated that bulb-headed steward Proventus... The Jarl assigned me to his court wizard Farengar, who happened to be seeking the mysterious tablet I'd just taken from Bleakfalls Barrow. Farengar was impressed when I produced it and warmed up to me greatly, which is why I let him live. You see, I've a fervent hatred of mages since witnessing one destroy my father and uncle one fateful day. I've never discussed it with anyone.
My father was a great warrior, uncle Ulrik was a scholar. Through them I became both. My mother Anja said I was born with a blade in one hand and a book in the other. That must've been painful to her. By the time I was nine years of age, I was technically better with a blade than most men, yet still too weak to win at practice. So I practiced and was beaten down, but then my strength came the tables turned. Mother taught me some rudimentary alchemy, and Ulrik taught me to read spell tomes. But I was a blade's man, I had no interest in herbs and magic. That is, not until he came, that fateful day.
My ruminations were interrupted when a guard rushed in and announced that a dragon had been spotted at the watch tower. I was to meet up with a force of guards there, and we would slay it or die trying. I pushed from my mind thoughts of the dream I'd had last night. A dream no doubt inspired by the book I'd fallen asleep reading. I grabbed Sven by the arm, tugged him with me out of the room and told him that this was his chance for true glory. Survive this, I said, and Camilla will be yours. So to the watch tower we went.
The tower was scorched and the stench of burning flesh filled the air. A not too distant roar, and from out of the sky the dragon was upon us. The ground shook when it landed, breathing flame at the nearest guard who shrieked as his skin boiled and both eyeballs exploded while he haplessly swung his blade for the final time. Others including myself approached from the sides hacking with hatred mixed with fear and awe. It bludgeoned us with massive wings while snapping down on men with fatal ferocity. I was swinging for my life, using the enchanted sword I had taken from that last draugr in the barrow. Sven and several guards were being archers, sniping the beast from various angles. In the midst of bloody battle, you don't recall details. It's never as the bards describe. They don't sing songs of bodies being torn in two, of slipping on entrails, of men plopsting themselves.
When it was finally over, the dragon's body seemed to combust. From it swirled a vortex of aural radience which enveloped me, occupying my very veins. The stunned guards watched as my body sucked in the soul of the dragon. For that IS what happened. One of the men was speaking to me, but I was too stunned to hear his words. I walked back to town in a daze with Sven following, keeping his distance.
This is the first entry into the journal of the reincarnated Kohlar.
Turdas, 19th of Last Seed:
Here I sit in the Bannered Mare, unparching my throat with cheap ale, with a funny looking Nord named Sven standing over me. I've arrived in Whiterun, a city I've only heard about. Though impressive in it's own, rustic sort of way, it'd surely be seen as below average by Cyrodiil standards. But perhaps I should explain how I got here, and why I'm writing about it.
I awoke a prisoner in the back of a wagon. By Shor it serves me right. Since the death of my father, Sigurd Sigurdson, I've acted less than savory. My childhood was brutal, and hellish, and I enjoyed it. Receiving beatings at the hands of my older brother Sigurd brought the best out in me. My father said I had killed Sigurd, though I don't know if it's true. I remember being particularly angry at him once, and that's when it happened. I shouted with such fury that my brother just looked at me, puzzled. Then he fell dead on his face. I'll tell the tale of my father's death later.
The wagon came to a town called Helgen, where apparently we were to be executed. I ignored the blathering of the others as I contemplated my fate. Would the Imperials take my head for stealing cheese and ale? Yes, and I can respect that. Never mess with a man's ale. So be it. On to Sovngarde I'd go, I was done with this life. Hadn't I had a dream like this once?
The man they called Ulfric Stormcloak, bound and gagged, didn't look like much. He was supposedly leading some kind of rebellion against the Empire, the bloody fool. I would've liked to know more about him if we had met under different circumstances, but it wasn't to be, so I'd resigned myself to meeting him in Sovngarde where I would punch his face, then drink with him, then punch him and drink... And then IT happened.
The very air quaked as an immense winged impossibility landed atop the tower adjacent to the chopping block. Commotion and panic erupted amongst Imperial soldier and prisoner alike, while I just stood staring. I've seen this, I thought, in my dreams. And strangely, it felt like a memory.
My escape from Helgen is more blur than memory though. I followed Hadvar the Nord, who seemed sympathetic to my plight at the chopping block, yet had done nothing to help. Not that he could've. Hadvar would surely have perished without me. I've grown up fighting, learning the dance of the blade from a very young age. I slaughtered many Stormcloaks that day, fellow Nords fighting a fool's war.
On the road to Riverwood, a bandit challenged me. I obliterated his skull with a Stormcloak iron warhammer. He was guarding an iron mine, so I took it upon myself to rid the mine of his ilk, availing myself of all the weapons and equipment I could carry. I even mined some of the ore, the way my father taught me all those years ago.
That night I slept in the house of Alvor, the smith of Riverwood, and brother-in-law (or something) to Hadvar. Alvor allowed me to work the forge, and bought the weapons and furs that I carried from the mine. He offered supplies, so I drank his mead and ate his bread. Out in the thoroughfare, a silly Nord named Sven stuttered his plight upon my ears, assuming for some reason that I cared, which I did not. Yet, I sensed an opportunity, and thus assisted Sven the inept. It happened that the proprietor of the general store had misplaced a valuable golden claw and would pay to have it returned. It happened that the proprietor's sister was the object of Sven's affection, and I could see why. It happened that the location of the claw was just where I was headed next, Bleakfalls Barrow.
I had my doubts, but Sven proved to be good help. I'd never encountered undead before, except for in dreams. The ancient Nordic battle axes that we took from the draugr were in surprisingly good condition, and had a good heft and edge. Something called to me from within the depths of the tomb. Along the way, I acquired the golden claw from a lying thief who's skull I split. Then I found the wall that shouts.
My father had often told me that I was different from other boys. I'd had vivid dreams all my life, and now they were coming to fruition. The wall was carved with ancient runes, and I could hear a rythmic shouting from within it, as if from a choir. Sven couldn't hear it. Suddenly a glowing wind launched from one rune and absorbed into my body, while an entombed draugr liberated itself for attack behind me. It never got a chance to use it's sword as Sven and me laid utter waste to it's already dead corpse. It had a nice sword.
After returning the claw and getting paid, Sven and me made for Whiterun, where I sit now in the Bannered Mare with some ale and mead and meat. Why am I writing this? Because when one's dreams suddenly start playing out in reality, there must be a purpose beyond what one can simply comprehend. Tomorrow I'll speak with the Jarl, but before I sleep tonight, I intend to commence reading the book that I picked up on my way out of Helgen. The Book of the Dragonborn.
A great golden dragon radiant like the sun, seeded my dreams with images that I experienced as memories. Impossible memories. First, I saw myself as I was when I was younger, standing aside a fallen man in red robes at the top of a mountain. Silas Vesuius. Silas the maniac at the shrine of Dagon the vile, his face imploded by a blow from my mace, Ale Smasher. Yet that's not how it happened; unwilling to do Dagon's bidding I gave Silus his life, his face quite intact. I can recall the events clearly, yet the dream goes on.
Next, an assassin in shadows. Emperor Titus Mead II lay dead in a spreading pool of blood. The Dark Brotherhood? Impossible. I thwarted their operation in Skyrim. Their lair was burnt to the ground and no one survived. I made sure of that. ...The silhouette of an unknown heir mounting the throne- Then the dream changed.
I saw myself as I am now, old, grey, bent by the weight of time. Nightly, I circumnavigate the perimeter of my hall. So it was now, in the dream. From a lofty perspective on a star-lit night, I watched impotently as a red-robbed figure materialized seemingly from nowhere behind me. The blade struck true and I was dead. A familiar blade- it can't be. Vision faded and blackness encompassed all.
Something was very wrong. This was not Sovngarde. No ground beneath my feet, only the lights of Aetherius. Again, the golden dragon- the avatar of Akatosh! This has happened before, I realize now. Akatosh had bestowed upon me the blood of the dragon. A saintly women in white approached. Al-Esh; Saint Alesia. I knew her as Paravania, the Lady of Heaven. She was my lover.
She handed me a glorious ruby-red amulet. Swimming within it's facets were the faces of emperors. Tiber Septim; resplendent in war. Pelagius the Mad; looking on vacantly. Uriel Septim VII; a knowing smile upon an old face. Martin Septim; different somehow... Martin looked at me from within the stone, right into my soul, and his face contorted with tears and despair.
My breath left me with fervent suddenness, and my skin felt afire. Fear as I had never known paralyzed my bones, and my eyes could not comprehend what they saw. Glowing molten rock as far as I could see, towers of flame, the very sky ablaze with malevolent fire. Wretched creatures feasting on corpses; corrupted men unrecognizable in horrid disfigurement shambling aimlessly. This is what the world would become, but how? The Oblivion crisis was averted. Wasn't it?
In a horrid flash of comprehension, I understood. I've been allowed many lives, by the grace of Akatosh. It all hinges on me. It always has. I've been shown what should've been. I've been shown my own death, now inevitable, by the hands of my choices in this life.
I awoke with a gasp, fully out of breath. Everything I've built is but dust in the hands of fate. Will I remember anything of this life? I think so, if only in flashes of imagination. I've had those all my life, and it's no wonder. For I am no mere mortal. My incarnations are the stuff of legend. In this era I am called Kohlar the Unkilled, and the God's have use for me yet.
Miraak... So much talk and posturing; appearing from thin air to steal the souls of dragons that were rightfully mine, then vanishing like a mudcrab in the reeds. Miraak, hiding from his destiny amidst infinite volumes of books tended by tentacled giants and sadistic floating librarians, mocking me. I rode to Miraak, in true Dragonborn fashion, on the back of a dragon. For all of the shock and fear he must've been feeling upon seeing me, he remained surprisingly calm. More talk... he blathered on about the first Dragonborn killing the last. Krosus; how the spinners of fate must've laughted! I ignited my dragon aspect. Miraak did the same. We shouted ancient obscenities at each other. The very air quaked. Miraak tried to use lightning against me, but I'd faced worse from Zhakriisos. He then met me in melee combat, but that was not to be. My mace, Ale Smasher, smashed and bludgeoned while Miraak staggered back. In defense he launched an arc of toxic noodles at me. This, I cannot wait to tell to Ysgrammor in Sovngarde, who's shield protected me from the worst of it. The obscene wriggling mass caused me to lose my footing, which enraged me further. Miraak was overmatched and out of options. He began sacrificing his dragon followers just to stay alive, and that would be the final, cowardly act in the legacy of Miraak. Hermaeus Mora could stand it no longer, and so ended the battle, as you all surely know.
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