467. The inexplicable duel

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As the Battlemage Papus fell to my blade, the abyssal voice of Molag Bal thundered threats and menaces through the Royal Crypts. There can no longer be any doubts that Septima Tharn and her Seventh Legion are but minions upon Nirn for the Lord of Brutality.

I made my return back up to the courtyard just in time to hear the dread horn bellow and witness the mammoth metal chains of a Dark Anchor crashing into the very heart of the Garrison. When the dust and smoke settled I expected to see a horde of daedra awaiting us, there was however but one solitary figure, a Xivilai by the looks of it’s horns and azure skin.

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So instead of a battalion of daedra to crush our weary troop, Molag Bal sends a single champion against us. It is clear this is to be a challenge, a duel, a champion of Coldharbour against a King’s champion. For such a dishonourable prince, it is a strangely honourable challenge, and one I feel I am honour bound to accept. As I make my way down to the dolmen below, I begin to wonder just how I came to this?

Despite what that blind old man in the cave claims to have seen in his scrolls, I do not believe that I am slave to destiny. I was never born to be a champion, especially for a King in who I have no faith, a country that is not my home, or a Covenant I cannot in all good conscience fight for. it’s all just… utterly inexplicable.

I was raised by my mother and father to spend my days in Cyrodilic fields and Colovian markets. I joined the legions, not to become a champion or a hero, but to escape that fate; the recruiter after all promised that I would see the world.

In training I was never the best recruit, I never stood out at any particular discipline. I just fulfilled my duties to the best of my abilities and it proved enough for me to earn my place as just another spoke in a wheel of the Empire’s legions.

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And my eventual demise in the Imperial City was not through any heroic sacrifice, nor any grand act of martyrdom against the invading daedra. I was doing little more then my expected duty when I was ambushed on the streets by cultists, and died on that cold stone slab to the ritual bodkin of that most villainous Mer.

And I remember well that anarchic night in the prison when the pale Argonian freed me from my cell, for it feeds my nightmares still. I saw hundreds that night just like me, scrambling blindly about the forge and Undercroft like panicked guar fleeing from a Black Marsh storm. And who knows just how big the Wailing Prison truly is, I saw hundreds, but there may well have been thousands, all desperately trying to escape that underworld and find a way, any way, back home to Nirn.

And though it has been through deed that I have earned the title of King’s Champion, it was because I posses any special skills or talents, but through sheer bloody mindedness, and from fighting alongside and learning from some of the greatest warriors in all of High Rock and Hammerfell.

I shall indeed meet this champion of Coldharbour in single combat, and I shall drive my blade through it’s neck and send it back home to Oblivion in pieces… and by my victory shall Molag Bal know our measure.

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S.K

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