Kelmen Locke fears history will paint him a coward.
When Craglorn was beset by the Dark Anchors of Molag Bals insidious Planemeld, it was he and his fellow guild members that braved the regions rocky wilderness to greet them with defiance. Indeed, aided by the atronachs they eventually overcame; but then the Serpentine One appeared. They sent their minions against it, but the atronachs refused their oaths and instead turned against their masters. Whilst his comrades died unmerciful deaths, Locke fled.
Is it cowardice to run from certain death? Is not fear the survival instinct innate in every man, mer or beast? Yet every soldier knows the clutch of fear, but they choose to stand and fight because they know that if they do not then others shall be forced into a fight that wasn’t theirs to begin with.
Someone once said that the fighting is done by brave fools and the thinking by wise cowards… In truth I could not tell you whether that was written by a soldier or a scholar.
Locke is able to inform us that those first atronachs that the Celestial Mage taught them to summon were ancient and somewhat cognizant. He claims they were able to commanded the others through them using a mystic gem which he has now given to me.
In the end if Kelmen Locke had not run away and left his comrades to their deaths we would not now have this opportunity to perhaps stop the atronachs before they overrun the whole of Craglorn. In saving his own life the coward may have inadvertently saved a thousand more.
History is not written by the winners, it is written by the survivors.