461. For a thousand more

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The road west of Bangkorai Garrison’s High Rock gate comes to an end at a secluded grove which some locals have nicknamed, The Bear’s Dale. 

Few know it’s real name or why so many of the usually solitary beasts are drawn here, but all know that it belongs to the Glenmoril Wyrd, and as such no hunter, fisher, or rambler will dare set foot. This Dale however is not simply home to a large sleuth of bears, it is in fact the Wyrd’s temple to their daedric lord Hircine; or at least it was. For the dale has fallen to the Reachmen from the north, and the bears that once guarded the grotto on the Wyrd’s behalf have now turned against them. It seems Hircine’s favour has been lost, and I have been asked by the Wyrd to aid them in performing a task which goes against my every sentiment and morality.

And though I stand with bodkin in hand, I wont do it.

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The path to regaining Hircine’s favour begins with a sacrifice, it always begins with a sacrifice. Wyress Nyronie, who was responsible for the grotto when it was lost to the Reachmen, has offered her life in penance. They wish me to play a part in their barbaric ceremony, by cutting her still beating heart from her chest and offering it up to the Huntsman.

And though I stand with bodkin in hand, I wont do it.

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These wyrd value not individual life as a mortal should; no-ones, not even their own. I have witnessed their zealotry throughout the Viridian Woods, they are as much a cult as the Worms or the Bloodthorns. They believe we exist only to serve nature and whilst it is indeed a noble thing to dedicate ones life to a cause, there is nothing honourable in forcing your beliefs upon others. The Wyrd mindlessly adhere to a dogma that nature itself does not follow. The bears attack to protect their territory and to feed, not to defend an ideology, and yet the Wyrd do not hesitate to take a life to defend theirs, and expect me to do the same.

And though I stand with bodkin in hand, I wont do it.

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If I sacrifice this girl to Hircine I will be condoning the deed. These daedrac Lords deserve not a single sacrifice from mortals, for they gave nothing of themselves for us. If I do this, if I do as this girl begs and take her life to appease the bloodlust of a daedric prince, then I am no better then damned Hircine.

And though I stand with bodkin in hand, I do it.

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There are those who write that the means by which we achieve are equally as important as our achievements themselves. But I’ll wager they have never had to make a such a choice as this. Sometimes we must sacrifice our sentiment and morality, for a thousand more.

If I do not the Reachman would win the Briar Heart they lust for, becoming almost invincible, and Bangkorai would be at their savage mercy. Their brethren to the North would muster once more, and with the garrison already lost to the Seventh Legion, the Reachmen would quickly swallow up the North, and Evermore and all her people would fall.

Perhaps there are similarities between the sacrifice made by Saint Pelin atop the battlements of the Garrison, and Wyress Nyronie’s at this Fallen Grotto; only the difference being that Nyronie’s will not be remembered. She will not be made a saint, bards will not sing of her honourable deed, scholars will not pen her name in their histories, and the priests will not dedicate a chapel in her name or a royal graveyard in her honour. And yet her sacrifice today may save as many, if not more lives then St Pelin’s did thousands of years ago.

S.K

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