608. Ghost tales

608 (a). Ghost tales

Some people believe that ghosts are nothing more then unfinished stories, and that aptly describes the ghosts I find here in the Burial Grounds of Shada’s Tear. The Nedic phantoms re-enact their tale of how when under imminent threat of invasion by the Yokudans, they turned to the Neried Queen Shada for help, and all she asked in return was for them to drink of the waters.

Of course the voices of ghost are no less treacherous then that of the living, and all history is but reflections of partisan or perception, be it theirs or mine. What sympathy I had for their fate was soon however to evaporate when the ghosts began to materialize back into their physical forms to attack me.

A deadly poisonous cloud, a huge Flesh Atronach, and the tortured soul of General Zal’ik himself must all be overcome before I can eventually confront Emi’liah, the daughter of Shada who corrupts the waters of the burial grounds.

608 (j). Ghost tales

S.K

607. The curse of thirst

607 (a). The curse of thirst

The claustrophobic cavern streets of the city district are patrolled by bands of skeletal Nedes and their Neried stewards, who attempt to prevent my trespass into their sunless city with as much force as their osseous frames can muster. It is impressive that any research group might have made it far into these oppressive tunnels, but I was soon to find a survivor of one group who did.

607 (d). The curse of thirst607 (e). The curse of thirst

An injured Bosmer tells me of how some of her companions mistakenly drank of the corrupted waters and swiftly succumbed to the curse, turning them, like the undead that roam these streets, into thralls of the Water Spites. Just why one would want to drink of these stagnant green waters in the first place is beyond me. They attacked the Wild Elf and captured another of her companions, taking her deeper into the city.

607 (i). The curse of thirst

To rescue her companion I will need to overcome the ancient Nedic pillar puzzles and her bedevilled former colleagues who I fear now are beyond redemption. Only then might I find the daughter of Shada responsible for corrupting the waters of the Shada’s Tear city district.

607 (j). The curse of thirst

S.K

606. Cursed waters

This lost Nedic city not only outlasted its builders, but also its conquerors.

606 (a). Cursed waters

The treasure hunters, scholars, antiquarians and Hermaus Mora’s worshipers who excavated this subterranean city have been here in number long before I arrive, but now their progress has hit upon trouble. The large pools and waterways that are a feature of this city are not only occupied by Nerieds singing they eerie vespers, but are also apparently cursed. The first researchers who drank from them quickly became irrational and deluded. They began to believe that their colleagues were in fact invaders from whom they needed to defend the ancient city.

The waters flow through the ruins from the two wings to the east and west, and together they make the main chamber to the north unreachable. The scholars have requested that I enter the two wings to see if it is possible to cleanse the waters from there.

Whilst it may never have been breathtakingly beautiful, the architecture of this ancient Nedic city has a certain ominous character, almost an impiety in every brick. It’s original name is still unknown, as is whether the Nerieds were already here when the city was founded, or if they came after. But what is known is that when the city was under threat of invasion, in desperation its people unwisly turned to the Neried queen Shada for help.

606 (j). Cursed waters

Whenever you bargain from a place of weakness the price is inevitably raised, and for the people of this city is seems the cost of their mortal liberty was to be eternal enslavement to their saviour. Thus the researchers have taken to calling this city ‘Shada’s Tear’.

S.K

605. What lies beneath

605 (a). What lies beneath605 (b). What lies beneath

Lying North-east of the Bangkorai gate can be found the ruins of an old Yokudan settlement. From a distance it is looks little more then plain rock and rubble, but from up close some of what still stands is in fact finely carved stonework and evidence of a cultured society. In times afore this settlement would have been a home, a fortress, and a crown upon this barren landscape. The people who lived here were a community, surviving the harsh Craglorn wastes only because of one another. From millers to masons, fletchers to guards, butchers to smiths, apothecaries to rat-catchers, together they were the heartbeats of these chiselled stones.

Yet sadly, and inevitably, the people would eventually be driven out from their crown and their buildings began to fall. Now these ruins are home only to a barbarous tribe of Dusteater goblins and their rabid durzogs who for some reason have chosen to make their beds here rather than their traditional home in the Dragontail Mountains.

Many communities in Tamriel have been built upon the remains of ancient settlements, whether they be Ayleid, Nedic, or even Dwemer, but what lies beneath these ruins is astonishing even for Tamriel. A small crevice in the northern section of the ruins accessed only by ladder, or risking a leap into the stagnant waters below, leads down to an ancient Nedic city that has remarkably withstood the pillages of time.

605 (h). What lies beneath

S.K

604. Revelations beneath Belkarth

604 (a). Revelations beneath Belkarth

Sometimes one must trust instinct over reason, for whilst at times lucidity will betray you, your heart will not. When Hara, the leader of the Star-Gazers is abducted before our eyes, it leads to revelations of secrets that were foolishly kept, for rational reasons.

604 (b). Revelations beneath Belkarth

It was the warrior not of this time, Titus Valerius, who remembered that there was a secret Nedic temple buried deep beneath Belkarth itself; its entrance sealed by the self-proclaimed Emperor Tarish-Zi back in his own time. At the lake to the south of town the Breton conjurer Kelmen Locke once again proves his worth; his arcane intuition helping to unlock the puzzle to reveal another entrance to the sunken ruins.

We three soon find ourselves battling our way through members of the Scaled Court who had somehow infiltrated the corridors of Reinhold’s Retreat. Eventually we come upon a large chamber and found yet another Apex Stone. This one however had a giant ethereal snake coiled about it, and bound in magical chains before it was Hara.

604 (f). Revelations beneath Belkarth

During our violent encounter with the aspect of the Serpent, Hara revealed herself to be none-other then the Celestial Thief. Perhaps it is true what the philosophers tell us, that all the secrets of Nirn worth knowing are indeed hidden in plain sight.

It may have been Celestial hubris that prevented Hara from putting her faith in her only allies, but hiding her Apex Stone beneath the town, and her true identity from us, could have cost us Belkarth, and eventually Craglorn itself.

604 (j). Revelations beneath Belkarth

Our hearts may not betray us, but alas unlike mortals, the Celestials have no heart to trust.

S.K