563. The siege of Craglorn  

563 (a). The seige of Craglorn

Atop the tallest hill in the city Belkarth sits an Observatory. It is the home of the Star-Gazers, a group of scholars who the locals tell me are thought of as at best eccentrics, at worst moonstruck. Yet their principle theories, that the stars are bridges to Aetherius, and the constellations are transmundane collections of these stars, seem in accordance with the theories of many academics across Tamriel.

Throughout history the constellations have been used to impart stories of beliefs, creation, and mythology. Indeed it is a widely held belief that being born under the influence of any of these signs has a profound impact on the whole of our lives. And what more tangible evidence of the power of the constellations are there then the Mundas stones found throughout Tamriel, granting their blessings upon any who are open to receive them.

563 (b). The seige of Craglorn

Hara, the Star-Gazers leader, tells that a short while ago the three guardian signs, the Warrior, Mage, and Thief, disappeared from the night sky along with that unbound agitator, the Serpent. Soon after their disappearance three powerful beings calling themselves the Celestials began an assault upon Craglorn. They have identified themselves as the Warrior, Mage, and Serpent, whilst the Thief has yet to reveal itself.

563 (c). The seige of Craglorn

The Serpent has reportedly gathered its forces in the mountainous regions to the north, driving the Dragontail Orcs from their homes. To the east Atronachs that were once summoned to defend Craglorn against the Dark Anchors, answer now to a new master and attack those they once served. Whilst to the west a brutal army of ancient Yokudan warriors known as the Anka-Ra maraud  seemingly unchallenged across the barren wastes.

Craglorn is a land under siege by malevolent forces from abroad and beyond and it is to the Star-Gazers that the people of Craglorn now look to for deliverance. Yet the Star-Gazers are but scholars, so they wisely opened their doors and welcomed the once shunned Fighters and Mages guilds to share their halls. And now they welcome veterans and soldiers of fortune like myself into their order.

563 (d). The seige of Craglorn

During my initiation, an apparition appears before me claiming to be the Celestial Thief. It alleges that the Serpent has trapped the Mage and the Warrior and is forcing them against their true nature to attack Craglorn. It is a lot to take on faith, and I am not usually a bird that signs before the sun has risen.

563 (e). The seige of Craglorn

None of us knows what is to come and whether the sun will rise again tomorrow, yet still we go forward every day because faith is not about eliminating the questions, but about finding the answers. So we must go out into this most rugged of lands and take the fight to our enemies wherever they slither, and force these Celestials to show their true nature.

S.K

562. Belkarth

562 (a). Belkarth

“Doom has come to Craglorn!” yelled the Star-gazer, “Doom!”

If ever there were a city founded upon a bedrock of foreboding, then it is Belkarth. For was not Belkarth built as a waypoint for the wayward, a shelter for the fugitives and outlaws fleeing from Cyrodiil and High Rock? And indeed, has the city not prospered ever since upon the purses of unscrupulous merchants, thieves, and smugglers?

562 (b). Belkarth562 (c). Belkarth

Even today as I took my first steps from the cart, dodging the numerous charging horses, guar and senche, looking about the streets all I see are mercenaries and soldiers of fortune. Blades and staves for hire for whom violence is usually the first resort.

562 (f). Belkarth

Sand blown in by the strong winds from the surrounding rocky crags rage through the streets like a drunk Nord screaming in a tavern, and my clothes, hair and throat are soon covered in dust. I cross the open bazaar in the middle of town but do not tarry to browse or barter, for the traders stalls here are strictly for the caravans and travellers. The true trade of Belkarth takes place at the notorious City’s Edge Stalls on the outskirts, away from the prying eyes of Belkarth’s guards and bailiffs.

562 (j). Belgarth

And beyond the bazaar sits the infamous Crossroads Tavern where I hope to find myself board and lodgings. My chances though are slim, for Belkarth is a fugitive place, the kind of place where everybody is from somewhere else. Full of people who are either chasing dreams, or running from nightmares; and everybody keeps their bags packed, just in case.

S.K

561. A restless soul

561 (a). A restless soul

Upon my return from the discordant realms of Oblivion I chose to make a home in the High Rock city of Daggerfall. I purchased a modest house and attempted, with little artistry or varnish, to make it feel like a home. I filled the shelves with the many books and tomes I have collected though-out my travels, and planned to idle my evenings away by the fire, adrift in poetry and literature.

Since the fall of the Imperial City and my subsequent escape from Coldharbour during the uprising at the Wailing Prison, I have been somewhat of a vagabond, a drifter in body and soul. Of all the towns I  visited during my travels through these Covenant lands, it was Daggerfall that felt the most familiar, and comfortable.

561 (d). A restless soul

Perhaps it was the refuge I found in her crowded streets, bustling market place, and busy harbours, after so long spent in the desolate wilds of Coldharbour. Perhaps it was the sanctuary I felt behind her high gates and stone walls, insurmountable even to the great army of the Black Drake. Or perhaps it was the reassuring shade cast by the castle and her twin towers standing sentinel, ever watchful and alert from atop the hill so her citizens need not be.

Alas… though there is so much to interest me here, nothing seems to hold me. The restlessness of my soul grows by the day and casts an invisible blanket between my will and ambition. And whilst in the past I was ne’er so lonely as when in a crowd, it is the creak of the floorboards in this empty house that is the loneliest sound I have ever known.

I must go somewhere, see something, find something; yes, I need to find something.

I recall Merida’s offer to see the world from the perspective of the other Alliances… now wouldn’t that be a thing. But no. I am done being a puppet of Daedric Princes, no matter their painted hue.

561 (h). A restless soul

I do remember however that there was a man with a cart outside the Cloudy Dregs Inn in Wayrest offering passage to Craglorn to the east. I believe he called himself a Star-Gazer, and babbled something incoherent about the stars vanishing from the sky. Proper sugar-glazed that one. But it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve joined the voyage of a soused captain. Anyhow, every mercenary worth his purse will tell you that if you are searching for something, be it trail, adventure, coin, or even yourself, then the town of Belkarth is the first place to look.

S.K

560. Ethereal threads

560. Ethereal thread

As I watch the encounter between Meridia and Molag Bal unfold before me, I begin to realise that our souls have become but leaves in the storms created by these ‘gods’. Their influence is like an ethereal thread through the needle of a mortals life, everything that happens on Nirn is stitched with their colours.

When ordinary people turn to evil and justify the unjustifiable in the name of their piety, you can be sure it is because of daedric influence. They have us so on edge and obsessed with worrying about our afterlife that we have forgotten how to cherish our scars and live the mortal life we have.

Meanwhile their priests and cultists continue to preach that we should kneel and grovel to these all-powerful ‘princes’, but surely if we mortals are to learn anything from the Planemeld, it is that our tenets should no longer be about whether these ‘deities’ can forgive our weaknesses and transgressions, but whether we can forgive theirs.

S.K

559. Stranger

559. Stranger

It is strange, I was always taught that life is an odyssey, that every step we take nourishes, grows and cultivates our soul. It is what we are, who we are. During our journey our naked soul becomes dyed with the colour of our thoughts, and echoes to the timbre of our deeds.

But as I look upon mine now, I see nothing familiar; no colour, no stain. No blush of my conscience, no sully that ought lay unrevealed. I hear no echo of my clash and toll, I hear only a symphony played by instruments I recognize not.

I have become a stranger to my own soul.

S.K