Day 4 - Ruins
Day 4 - Ruins
Serjo Dres Khizumet’e, Hai Dresi Resdaynia, Duke of Mournhold, Lord of Ebonheart
Ruins / Campfire Written for @tes-summer-fest 2021 Wordcount: 1593 Content Warnings: Imprisonment Ao3 Mirror: here
The statue to Azura was always relic of the days long before memory, even back to when Morrowind was instead Resdaynia. Neither Wise Women nor careful Temple records recalled when it had actually been built. It had been impeccably maintained through the years, though by whom varied. Sometimes Ashlanders would come to groom the ash off Azura’s face and ensure the roses on her brow stayed sharp. Sometimes curious Telvanni would come, dusting off the plinth before her feet to perform some ritual or another, respectful of the Good Daedra’s power. Sometimes Temple pilgrimages would visit her as the Anticipation of Sotha Sil, the closest to the clockwork god they could get while he secreted himself away, and worthy of respect as was every piston in the Maker’s great design.
Those days had vanished with the Red Year.
Now the Reclamation’s statue was buried by volcanic rock that neither spell nor might could move - and both Temple and Ashlanders had tried, desperate for guidance in the wake of the now-absent living gods. The eighty-foot tall statue of the Lady was buried up to her waist in rock, details of her robe melted into the solid lava flow. Attempts at excavation showed the barest hint of the plinth at her feet, but no more than a thin edge, covered in burned down Temple-issued candles. In a way it was a ruin, a picture of despair, and perhaps that's why the Temple had withdrawn. New statues could always be built. Vvardefell, especially the southern coast, was too uninhabitable - too full of memory - for the statue to be any great reminder of what they had lost.
The Ashlanders clung still to their home. Zainab Tribe especially, ranging along the no-longer-grassy Grazelands, looked up to the imprisoned statue and felt for her. They too were rooted where they'd stood for generations with no way out. They too would survive, just as all the Three had taught them.
There were nights where Masser and Secunda were no more than slivers in the dark night sky. On those nights, keen Ashlander eyes could note that the statue - merely a silhouette against the stars - seemed to reflect some sort of moonlight. If not for the darkness of Tamriel’s moons, one would hardly notice it. The moon and star held aloft in Azura’s outstretched hand glimmered with the light as it diffused across the rest of the statue much more faintly. Moonlight, in a sense - but much more beautiful, with many more colors than Masser and Secunda could ever hope to give.
The Ashlanders saw this as a blessing, a boon, a prophecy. Azura had not abandoned them. She was watching over them now, even as her statue was imprisoned by the rock flow, and she would guide them from this night and into the twilight hours of prophecy and glory once more. This had to be the case. And chins started to lift in the small Ashlander camps, the despair no longer as heavy as the ash on the air.
The Wise Woman said nothing about all of this.
Dusanabi, Wise Woman of Zainab Tribe, had wanted to believe as much as her people when the lights had first been noticed. That first night she had retreated to her yurt and prepared a ritual of connection, dipping into her low-running stores to make the old tincture, setting it over a fire and allowing the steam to make its way around her and into her lungs as she fell asleep.
She was prepared to receive the cool, glittering, loving presence of her Prince into her dream. She was prepared to walk in Moonshadow, kneel at her Prince’s feet, and ask her for some bit of guidance she could pass on to Azura’s beloved people.
That was not what she received.
Instead the vision that took her was of the dim inside of a Daedric ruin. The air was stifling, ashy beyond the scent of the ritual herbs in Dusanabi’s lungs. When she looked back, the doorway was sealed by volcanic rock.
There was no statue inside the ruin, but Dusanabi knew in her heart who it was dedicated to. It would be difficult to deny. The single furnishing in the entire room was a bare stone slab, carved all around with praises of Azura in old Chimeris, and upon it lay a woman.
Dusanabi approached with gentle steps, her dream-feet making no sound and leaving no mark on the dusty stone floor.
The Dunmer woman had her arms resting at her sides, hands relaxed, fingernails glimmering with the faint light of the stars. Her eyes were closed. A fine robe covered her neck to ankle, a House robe - woven beautifully of gold and silver and gray spidersilk, though in a style so old that Dusanabi couldn’t recall ever seeing a House mer wear something similar. She did not stir as Dusanabi gently touched her chest, but there were thoughts there, under the surface - not the glittering unfathomability of a Prince, but the warm touch of a mortal.
Dusanabi woke up in her yurt with a pounding headache and a sickness clutching her heart.
But she had to know properly. She couldn’t just leave it there, not when her people still gasped and hoped over the lights of the ruin the next night. This time she modified her ritual of connection - different proportions, different herbs, and drank a tea of strengthening before she lit the fire and allowed the scent to infuse her dreams.
The Daedric ruin was not the place she found herself in this time. Instead, a lively bed of coals crackled in the middle of a stone pavilion, built solid like a House mer home before Red Mountain had erupted. Scattered around the room were colorful cushions and blankets, bright colors and warm fabrics, contrasting against the lovely night sky outside and the breathtakingly ethereal gardens far below.
The woman in the ruin rose from a cushion to greet her.
She was quite solid, quite real, and not as unconscionably beautiful as her surroundings. Bright golden eyes flared from her angular gray face, and her brown hair fell loose around her shoulders. But her smile was warmer than even the coals at the center of the room as she bade Dusanabi to sit.
“Please,” she added once they were both settled, Dusanabi almost wishing she could feel the silks at her fingertips, because what sort of texture would the cloth of Moonshadow have? “I’m afraid I don’t quite understand how you’ve come, but I’m grateful for the visit nonetheless. Tell me- what is your name?”
“I am the Wise Woman of Zainab Tribe. They call me Dusanabi.” She squinted at the woman opposite her. “And you are our Nerevarine.”
The woman did not try to hide it, dipping her head with sadness furrowing her brow.
“So it is truly you, in the shrine.”
Arafel, the Nerevarine, nodded, giving life to all of Dusanabi’s fears. “My Lady thinks it best that I… do not interfere as directly as I once did,” she said regretfully. “I may still look out on the world and observe, watch it go by and change without me. But these past thirty years, I am not allowed to interact.”
Dusanabi folded her hands in her lap, glancing around herself. It was a very small pavilion, for all its beauty, for a woman to inhibit for decades unending.
“We had thought the statue imprisoned.”
Arafel laughed, a sound with no joy in it. “I imagine it is, in a way. But I do not think it would be if my Lady did not also want it to be a prison.”
Dusanabi’s face must have been very unguarded, because the Nerevarine looked as if she regretted her words instantly. She reached out, placing a hand over Dusanabi’s ethereal one.
“Please don’t worry over me, Wise Woman,” she said. “I would hate to give you grief when you’re doing such a good job of guiding the people I love. Looking out on Tamriel gives me solace, and the spirit of Nerevar is a great comfort. This is not the first time he’s gone through this at our Lady’s pleasure.”
“Her will is always as deep and obscured as her love,” murmured Dusanabi, falling back on the old maxims. She gained the favor of Arafel’s smile.
“It always has been.”
A few more words of numb nothings were all Dusanabi had time for before the connection began to fade, her mortal shell unable to sustain the dreamwalk to Moonshadow for long. She awoke alone in her own yurt, to an aching cramp curving up under her ribs at all the magicka she had spent, and to a somewhat more painful ache in her heart.
She slowly stood and exited her yurt. The faint, gorgeous lights still shimmered over the statue of Azura. Below, the people of Zainab Tribe had rallied around their evening fire, the conversation having more animation now than it had in several years.
It gave hope to her tribespeople to believe the lights at the shrine were a sign of favor. So Dusanabi sat and watched and gave evasive answers when questioned about the ruin against the skyline, trying to expel the ash of despair from her lungs.
Whether Azura had abandoned them was yet to be seen. But she had certainly abandoned her champion - and forced her to abandon the Ashlanders she’d advocated so fondly for in turn.
The Wise Woman quietly convinced the Ashkhan to break camp and move up the coast sooner than expected.
These glitches just write themselves 😅
Game: The Elder Scrolls 3 Morrowind
TIK TOK: mattymatuse
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me? designing a complex outfit for sheogoraths realm of mania but instead of showing it off I cover it up with EDGY lighting and a generic bg
I've been here before! I couldn't figure out how to get in lol
Lore dump time but really, as I sit here readin' more of these notes, this first one I read is unbelievably interesting and sums things up nicely on its own.
This is the "Kragrenac's Tools" note I was provided, and you'd think it was just a quick run down on the three artifacts 'ol Kraggy used to tap into the heart but it's actually a clear rundown of the whole of things to be honest.
Three tools, resonate with the heart and properly draw its power without any side effects or flaws what so ever, yada yada, it didn't work, yada yada boom.
But also it gives at least a single telling of how Nerevar and Dagoth Ur fought, and more importantly a modern explanation to the risks the world is seeing between Dagoth Ur and the tribunal.
tl;dr "Things I found cool" version:
> Dwemer attempt to access the heart's power, it goes bad, see "Disappearance of the dwarves" for more info (lol)
> Nerevar and Dagoth are like "Oh shit, what do we do?"
> Nerevar tells Dagoth to protect the tools while he asks the tribunal (well I don't think they were called that yet, but his councilors who later become the tribunal) what do.
> The tribunal are like "shit, what do?" and Nerevar and them decide to return to Dagoth and all converse on what do.
> Dagoth, according to this telling, "Goes mad, and confused by the power" and when they come back asking about the tools he says something along the lines of "Nerevar told me to protect these, I refuse to cooperate, hate at you!" which semi-lines up with his telling to us as he said "You attacked me for protecting what you asked me to protect?" so it's a he-said-she-said deal but it's easy to believe someone involved, LIKELY Dagoth, was influenced by the power of the heart and some madness was involved. LIKELY.
> Fight scene.
> Fast forwarding passed the implications of said fight, the tribunal have used the tools to become gods, and Dagoth survived and has somehow drawn power from the heart WITHOUT the tools.
> Dagoth Ur has gone mad and his power is rising, while the tribunal are feeling the long term effects of using this corrupting power (a lesser madness is implied) and are growing weaker.
> Moral is painted as "The tribunal did good, yes, but they also shamefully persecute others to protect the truth of their godhood, and can not protect us. They are false gods and have moral failings and are empowered through a corrupt force- but regardless of this, they could and should team up with the reborn nerevar to defeat Dagoth Ur"
Seriously, a good read.
scrib my beloved
I hate this dude sm
He's like "ohh ahh women don't like me i built an unsafe ship for living breathing people just bc i don't value human life (and it's not even funny in the Neloth way) and invested a ton of money to get ONE (1) amulet that increases my speech skills so I can be irresistible"?
Joke's on him in the end i guess since the amulet of "infectious" charm literally infects him and he coughs a lot and idk i kinda deduce he'll die soon bc of it. But STILL this quest is so annoying bc this guy is such a moron, he could have invested all that time and money in buying an enchanted item that doesn't leave terrible side effects and people wouldn't have died, you wouldn't need to go from Ald'ruhn to SOLSTHEIM, while also technically risking your life.
And alright, you take on such a great endeavour but what's this guy's motive?? He wants women to be attracted to him 😭😭 sir please just don't use enchantments to manipulate women 😭😭😭 go collect your pension or something
Two new posts in one day? What is this blasphemy.
Anyway, little shout out to @nekrotikon who gets internet kudo biscuits for guessing correctly on my previous post of this WIP. The handsome Dunmer is indeed Erandur.
I had to draw him with his hood down bc that boi is holding out on us. You’re not allowed to have Thoreal hair like that and hide it under a hood. It’s illegal.
Nothing warms my heart more than the TES fandom rejecting the canon Divayth Fyr and just making him a wholesome father
“Aetherius, ancestral seat of the Nine Divines and the other original spirits, is the plane of pure magicka. Whereas Oblivion may surround us every night, it is aetherial energy that infuses our daily existence, from highest to lowest, and gives all the races of men, mer, and beast common purpose. Its magic brings the rain to the fields, love to our hearths, and scientific principles to our technological industries. It gives us the very Sun itself.”
- Pocket Guide to the Empire, 3rd Edition
Divayth and Luciana ⚙️
“Hlaalu Merchant”, “Redoran Warrior” and “Telvanni Mage” by Alexey Rudikov
The Nerevarine, corprus, and the Dragonborn
I stand by my headcanon that Teldryn Sero is the Nerevarine. Azura called him back because Miraak and the Last Dragonborn. His job is basically to kill the Last Dragonborn after they dealt with Miraak and Alduin if need be.
This headcanon has little to no foundation except that Teldryn's story doesn't make much sense (shouldn't one find this bandit camp somewhere in Skyrim???) and I wanted a better explanation for the fact that he always keeps his helmet in except "bug". Neloth doesn't recognise him because he is Neloth. (I like the old elf but he doesn't really pay attention to stuff that his neither him or his research or a cup of tea.)
In the same headcanon the Last Dragonborn is functionally immortal.
Teldryn and the Last Dragonborn become friends.