151. Skyshards in the dark

As I venture deeper into the dark arteries of the mine I espy the unmistakable ethereal glow of a skyshard illuminating in the thick dust-filled air.  It is not uncommon to find skyshards hidden deep beneath the ground; one can only speculate as to why.

Perhaps it is as the scholars suggest that the Ayleids had found a way to manipulate the mystical properties of the shards for their own purposes.  Or maybe it is as the priests would have us believe, that the shards are being actively sought and hidden away by cultists in a plot by certain Daedric princes to keep mortals from discovering something of the mysteries of creation.  Or perchance it is as the philosophers would have it, that it is simply in a mortals nature that when a star falls from the sky, we feel the overwhelming desire to shield its beauty from the world about, less others might despoil it somehow.

One wonders if the people who hid this one away even knew what they had found, or any idea of what to do with it.  Certainly the bandits in this mine seem far more intent on mining for crystals then appreciating the infinitely more valuable shard that sits gently vibrating so close behind them.

Back in the prison on Coldharbour, the old man told me that skyshards carried within them the very essence of Nirn.  All I can say for certain is that when I connect with one, I am filled with such a surge, that my very blood tingles in my veins, and briefly… just briefly, that fathomless emptiness deep inside where my soul should nest, overflows with warmth and vitality.


150. The Koeglin mine

Deep in the caverns of the once abandoned Koeglin mines, a mysterious Dark Elf named Girara oversees a band of Ember-eye bandits who are pressing their captives to dig, delve and shovel.

These excavations were only recently re-opened on behalf of the Wayrest Mages guild to extract rare crystals needed for making soul-gems; the venture was to be an abject failure.  In hindsight it would have been better for the unfortunate locals if upon their withdraw, the miners had collapsed the mine behind them… nothing abandoned in Tamriel remains forsaken for very long.

It is unclear whether there is a connection between this Dunmar ‘Girara’, and ‘Giara’, a mage who was sent to oversee the failed enterprise.  Certainly the Dark Elf proved very adept at casting elemental magic to augment her skill at wielding a mace.  Alas that the sharpness of my blade means that it may forever remain a question unanswered.


149. Guiltless, but far from unsullied

149 (a). Guiltless, but far from unsullied149 (b). Guiltless, but far from unsullied149 (c). Guiltless, but far from unsullied

Anchored to the south of the Koeglin Lighthouse is the Bloody Scupper, dread-ship of the infamous Dunmeri pirate and slave trader Captain Angarthal.  Whilst searching for the Captain, I discover letters in his cabin from the Telvanni, one of the ‘Great Houses’ of the Dark Elves.  Whilst this correspondence offers proof enough of Angarthal’s guilt, it also serves to absolve the Ebonheart Pact from any direct involvement in this incident.  One need not be a scholar of Dunmeri politics to know that the House Telvanni are isolationists, and continue to refuse to join the other Houses in the Pact.

Guiltless here perhaps, but far from unsullied; whilst their ‘Pact’ required the release of all chained Argonians, the Dunmer continue to make slaves of innocent people of other races.  That the snow barbarians seemingly choose to ignore this immorality is shameful… that the Lizard men do, is beyond contemptible. It is because of the indifference of those who should know better that evil endures.

I was eventually to find the Captain below deck; accompanied by a rather brawny looking Nord in full battle attire… it would appear that I had been expected.


148. Severing the chains

It was not friendship, love or mutual respect that united High Rock and Hammerfell behind the banner of the Daggerfall Covenant; it was a shared fear and hatred for a common enemy.  Perhaps one day the Three Banners might find that same fear and hatred unites them against the pernicious threat Molag Bal poses to all of Tamriel; but I suspect not.  As the alliances of men and mer chase each other’s tails around Cyrodill, their leaders become ever more blinded by the false promises of the ruby throne.

Tamriel however is a land full of banners, so when I stumble upon a party of worm cultists attempting to summon forth an anchor of Oblivion, I was soon joined by others intent on fighting back the Daedra and severing its chains.  Most likely some were fellow members of the Fighters Guild, possibly others were locals taking a stand to protect their homes and families, mayhap that even a few may have been fellow former guests of Coldharbour who also managed to make their escape during the chaos of the uprising.  Whoever they were, I was glad of their company.


147. Encounter with a Nereid

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The Nereid, wondrous daughter of the sea.  Grace in water, yet lithe on shore, she rides waves as effortlessly as she walks ocean floor.  Her scale and skin glisten with aqua hue, hair trussed with seaweed, shimmers deep marine blue.  She searches shoreward for a quarry unknown, for someone or something, anything or anyone.  As she dances the sand she hums a sorrowful hymn, whose melody like a love lost, haunts my restless sleep.  So swift to temper at her solitude disturbed, her fury was like the wave breaking upon shore.  Half cry, half roar, she let fly a storm, wondrous daughter of the ocean, who’ll dance no more.