Hidden away in a small dark cave overlooking the Aswala Stables in the Alik’r Desert, a Deadric Harvester named Korignah works in furtive solitude to open a portal to Oblivion, believing that the Worm Cultists persistent attempts to open a Dark Anchor in the hollow below will keep the Fighter’s Guild from discovering it’s nefarious intent.
Daedric Harvesters are masters of conjuration and illusion, and are capable of draining the very vitality from their adversaries into dark orbs, which they then absorb into themselves through the air. Despite their huge size, or perhaps because of it, they struggle when faced with swift blade and agile foot; although one should resist the temptation to battle the Harvester face to face however, for their Black Winter illusion spell has been the downfall of many an over-confident warrior.
On my journey to Tava’s Blessing I was looking forward to paying a visit to the Aswala Stables, home to the horse breeders of the renowned Yokudan Chargers. The stables themselves claimed that their Chargers were bred from the off-spring of the legendary stallion of Divad the Singer who is said to have rode across the entire Alik’r desert in but a day.
Apocryphal claims perhaps, but I still remember the first time I saw one of these noble beasts ridden into battle by a Redguard Gallent. Its glossy ashen coat seemed to roll as fluid as water over its muscled body and stocky limbs as it drove with artistic brawn across the plain. Its flowing mane unfurled whipped at the wind, and its coursing hooves were almost mesmeric as they pounded the soft soil, sending sod flying in an arcing spray in its wake. It was a grand sight and such a pity that he rode against us, and that it was to be a legionaries spear that brought its majestic charge to an inglorious end.
I am awoken from this memory by a booming horn that echoed across the Hollow Wastes like a thunder clap, and to my horror I watched a circular rift open up in the sky above the stables and four huge black grapnels of Oblivion fall to the ground below.
I rode the breath from my steed but the anchor was already repelled by the Fighter’s guild and the mercenaries of the desert before I could make it. The battle for the Aswala stables however had already been lost long before this Dark Anchor dropped.
The stables were all but deserted but for vicious Clannfear and hulking Daedroth picking at the carcasses of the dead horses lying all about. Doors hang broken from building and barn, torn saddles, halters and bridles litter the pathways, water troughs overturned, and straw and saw dust flurry upon the arid air.
It is a desperate scene, Is this to be the fate of all Hammerfell should the Fighter’s Guild fail and the Dark Anchors of Oblivion go unanswered?
As I grieve the loss of the Aswala Chargers, the sky suddenly darkens and the dread clarion bellows once again.
The Kulati Gem Mines in the Hollow Wastes of central Alik’r have become overrun by large spiders. Whilst the majority of the prospectors safely fled, not all were accounted for.
An arachnid infestation in a remote subterrainian location may not seem so unusual, but during this era of turmoil in Tamriel, it was no surprise to discover a Daedric influence deep within its mine-shafts.
Whilst I will do my best to find what fate befell those lost, it will take a much larger force to reclaim the mines, and whilst the endless Banner war still rages in Cyrodiil, and the dead rise from the desert sands, it may be sometime before the famed amethysts of Kulati can be mined for again.
As the blistering sun sets behind the shimmering mountains, beyond the walls of Leki’s Blade a lone sentinel begins her nightly watch. Betwixt arid trance and tavern rumour, she has heard the stories and whispered fears of the ancestors risen, and how the Ansei’s bright wards have dulled ‘gainst the nefarious magics of the corpse-singers. And she too has heard the low voices of disquietude and resentment that whilst his people suffer, the Forebear King cowers beneath the opulent domes of the Samaruik. Yet each night the sentinel holds resolute to her duty to keep watch over the ever shifting sands of the desolate wastes, because she believes in Yaghoub’s dream, she believes in Tu’whacca’s promise, and she believes the Ra Gada will soon ride again.
More then a century after his presumed death, a former master has returned to Leki’s Blade from the desert wastes and feeds upon the life force of the students. As formidable and dangerous as it is to pit my blade against that of an undead swordmaster, I find my most difficult challenge comes in the aftermath when asked to stand judgement over those who the monster corrupted.
Too often do we mistakenly credit those with the strongest arm or stoutest heart as being the ones most capable to judge the culpability and atonement of others. I am as susceptible to predisposition and prejudice as any, and yet in my journey it has fallen upon me to determine the fates of the vampires Heloise Menoit, Janeve Tamrith, Klaandor Axe-Bearer, and now Master Fadalia.
I am but a souless soldier, and perhaps that makes me the most suitable judge… or the least, depending upon the perspective of the one judging me.