220. False Dreams

220 (a). False dreams

Quagmire, Vaermina’s dread realm of Oblivion; a realm of dreams, of nightmares, of horrors… and of lies.  Nothing here is real, not even Vaermina.  Too long have we mortals fawned and cowered to these false Daedric gods who, when faced with resolute heart and valorous spirit, even in their own realms choose to make their threats and barbs from behind the facade of effigy and statue.

Perhaps… perhaps one day mortals might come to Oblivion, not as slave and victims, but as regiment and legions, and then perhaps we shall be the ones to ravage and raid, maraud and lay waste as these Daedra have done to Tamriel for far too long.  Or perhaps that is just another false dream.


219. The monster in the dream

Like most children in times of upheaval and uncertainty, I suffered from the most vivid nightmares imaginable; of scamps and imps, horned beasts and prowling shadows, of giant Nords and bearded Elves.  But by far the worst terror that tormented my sleep was the monster from Oblivion who could never be stopped, and never be slain.

When I woke my mother with my screams she would try her best to sooth and reassure me that it was nothing more than the mischievous whispers of the Dreamweaver; none of it was real, and there were no monsters in Tamriel.  I knew she was lying, for I could see the truth of my dreams reflected in her tear-filled eyes, but she would still manage to comfort me nonetheless as only a mother knows how.

219 (e). The monster in the dream

The Daedric prince’s dread consort Galthis finally makes it’s appearance in the guise of Vaermina’s victims during its campaign of terror against Stormhaven.  Firstly High King Emeric himself, and next his betrayers; Sir Hughes, Count Hosni, and General Godrun.  I battle desperately to overcome each pretense until the Night Terror itself rises before me; the monster from my childhood nightmares, who could never be stopped, and never be slain.

219 (f). The monster in the dream219 (g). The monster in the dream

Fear buckles my legs, doubt overcomes my balance and I drop limply to my knees overwhelmed by adolescent terror; it was true, my childhood nightmare was rising to life before me and I felt helpless, unable to stop it.

But then, then I hear my mother’s soothing voice, crystal clear and all around me as if the wind itself had become her whispered breath.  And suddenly all my terror was forgot, replaced solely with confusion.  I had entered Emeric’s dream, yet why, how could he dream of my mother’s voice?  It made no sense, unless… unless this was in fact Galthis’s dream; the dream of the monster from Oblivion.

219 (h). The monster in the dream

And as the skeletal Night Terror towered to its full height, preparing to end me, I rose to meet it… because now I realize I am the monster in the dream, and I will not be stopped, and I will not be slain.


218. What is cracked will shatter

218. What is cracked will shatter.

I find Emeric in his nightmare at the centre of his fallen city, drowning in a mire of self-indulgent pity; I fear he is aware that I am here and yet continues his prostration.

When the first Dark Anchors began to fall upon Cyrodiil and the Imperial City, none of us in the Legion were prepared for the horrors and savagery we were about to witness.  Some of those men and women I stood shoulder to shoulder with would attempt to shield themselves behind stoicism and stiff jaws, whilst others wore their emotions like mirrors of their hearts, trembling when afraid, crying out when in pain, weeping when in terror; yet none, none of them ever showed weakness.

Perhaps I am still too much the soldier, but I can no longer trust, or respect any man who has shared with me his weaknesses.  I do not believe Emeric can win this Three Banners War, for what is cracked will eventually shatter.  Perhaps though he may yet broker a way for the Covenant not to lose; as he has done so before.

I will fight to save Emeric this day and slay his demon, and I will continue to work with him for now and aid his people where I may, but he is not my King, and this land is not my home.  I do so because, should the old man and Lyris fail, he may yet prove to be my best route to Mannimarco.


217. King Emeric’s dream

We rush back to Wayrest only to find King Emeric has indeed fallen into Quagmire, Vaermina’s insidious realm of eternal nightmares.

It is said that our nightmares are the shadows of our very souls.  Indeed, Emeric’s nightmares seem to consist of his deepest fears realized.  He has lost Stormhaven to the Supernal Dreamers, everyone he held close has betrayed him, and his own perceived weaknesses stand naked and exposed for all to see.

This Quagmire is a realm of blur, murk, shadow and screams.  When we awaken we oft forget the particulars of our nightmares, not because we can’t remember the details, but because, like paintings or music, a nightmare is a language all on its own, and we cannot express it in words.  So instead we suppress it to the deepest depths of our core, in the vain hope it might become lost or forgot.  But in reality, we carry them around inside us our whole lives.

Sometimes however our nightmares escape and become reality, and the monsters that dwell in them become real also.  The only way to defeat them is with a bigger, badder monster…

And that’s why I’m here.


216. Vaermina’s Weaver

216. Vaermina_s Weaver

At the fallen statue of the Weeping Giant, the Supernal Dreamers attempts to open portals to Oblivion are defeated, yet not before at least one Daedra made it through.

I find Vaermina’s Weaver hiding at the waterfall; it is a beast of such terrifying appearance that it can only be a conjuration of nightmares.  Its upper physique takes the form of a female elf, whilst its lower body has the all the anatomy of a giant spider.  It stands perhaps two hands taller than a Nord warrior, but as it recognizes my approach it rears up upon its hind legs to stands at least four hands taller.  Between its razor-sharp claws, and the lightning bolts it readily fires from its Elven appendages, I am uncertain whether it is best to stand close and at range, but when its spiderlings begin to cast their sticky webs at my feet, my decision is made for me.

As the beast closes in I keep my shield held strong and block its powerful flurry of claw strikes.  Frustrated it begins to cast its storm magics once more, but as I feel the air around me begin to crackle and charge, I strike out hard with my shield at the beasts face, leaving it sunned and staggered, defenceless against the sharp of my blade.