397. Anthem of defiance 

sunset over the tigonus dolmen in the eastern alik'r


From the southern Tigonus road I hear the now all too familiar bawl of the dread horn, the metallic grind of cog and chain, and the thunderous rumblings as the insidious minions of Coldharbour breach our plane and another dark anchor falls upon the desert sands.

But then I hear the turbid commotion of hoof, paw, boot, and claw, the clarion of the resistance, as another disparate band of adventures answers the call, setting aside the colours of their banners to unite in the defence of Tamriel.

The tumult of battle follows, the reverberant clash of blade upon blade, the vivacious blasts of lightening, ice, and flame, the dynamic fizz of a hundred flying arrows, screech, scream, roar, wail, the tempestuous chorus of the dark anchor.

Soon it is over, victory for Tamriel as the final pinion is destroyed, casting the chains back into the anchor itself in a defiant crescendo that dooms the remaining daedra to fall to their disintegration on the land below. But it is not long before another anchor is summoned in its place, and this rhapsody of the Planemeld begins once more.

And so it goes on into the night, the cultists return, the dolmens are formed, only to be driven away in a seemingly endless cycle. Nowhere on Tamriel are the anchors met with such determined resistance and repelled so adeptly as they are in the Alik’r Desert, yet the more vigorously they are repelled the swifter they seem to return.

I remember reading in some dusty tome that deadra cannot be killed, they are just banished back to oblivion where they will eventually be given form again. So what hope for Tamriel? How long before the Fighters guild and their associates becomes spread too thin against this seemingly endless army of deadra? One needs only look to the fate of the Imperial City to know that to endure is no longer enough.

If the anchors continue to fall and the Banners continue to war, then Tamriel is doomed. But not tonight. Tonight we stand resolved to meet each new anchor wherever and whenever they fall. Tonight each bawl of the dread horn shall be answered by an anthem of defiance.


396. Mirudda and Huzal


I delved deeper into the Sandblown Mine in the eastern Alik’r, attempting to discover the intentions of the Khajiiti bandit gang who now occupied the barren caves.  Eventually I reached it’s deepest chamber, and in a far corner, amidst scattered human bones and carapaces of large spiders, I found the bandits leader Mirudda, sat upon a rock gently petting a giant snake curled up beside her.

The scene reminded me of an old Redguard proverb I’d heard, ‘Those who believe that love can conquer all, should try giving a kiss to a desert snake.’ Unfortunately whilst I was contemplating this, the hungry serpent picked up my scent…


395. Unwelcome guests


When a mine in the Alik’r stops yielding its precious metals or minerals, it is often just left abandoned and falls into ruin and disrepair to be eventually reclaimed by the sands. However, little of late that is abandoned in Tamriel remains unoccupied for long as I was to discover when I sought refuge from a sandstorm in the old Sandblown Mine on the Southern Tigonus road.

Whilst I was offered only a hostile reception by the band of Khajiit hiding in the barren mines, they themselves were being treated as unwelcome guests by the giant spiders that had already made the dismal shafts and caverns their home long before the Khajiiti bandits arrived.


394. Shame of the Redguard



Travelling through the southern Alik’r, I discover the crumbling vestiges of an ancient temple deep in the eastern Tigonus. There are no signposts to direct you to these secluded ruins, and no map will tell you that this is known to only the few as the Tears of the Dishonored; because this is the shame of the Redguard.

These cursed grounds serve only as an open graveyard for the bodies of those thought beyond redemption, the disgraced, the sullied, the dishonoured. Their dead bodies are dumped, unwashed, unconsecrated, and unburied. Redguards who in punishment for crimes they committed in life, are denied passage to the Far Shores in death.

Remains of both women and men lay all about the ruins in varying states of decay, their exposed limbs sun-blanched and distorted, the dank, putrid smell of their rotting corpses hanging so heavily that even the jackals refuse to dine here. Instead harpies and buzzards gather in the air about to pick and squabble over the freshest of the cadavers.

The only other visitors that the residents of this graveyard receive are the Hagravens seeking fresh additives for their vile concoctions, and the ghosts of those denied their journey to the Far Dunes, howling injustice upon the desert winds.

These are criminals condemned in the name of honour, killed in the name of law, and damned in the name of justice. For the Redguards, honour, law, and justice are the homefires around which their colonization of Hammerfell has been built, yet sometimes smoke from those fires can becloud the eyes of even the most wise, and the innocent can be condemned as guilty.

Is justice best served by condemning an innocent person to eternal damnation, at the risk of saving a guilty one from the same fate? Is it not enough for people of the desert to punish the guilty by forfeiting their life, or have they now usurped their own Gods by deciding themselves who is worthy of making the journey to the Far Shore?

In the Alik’r the unconsecrated dead have developed the rather unpleasant habit of rising again of late. Bury them all I say for the sake of the dead… and for the sake of the living.