I could smell them as soon as I entered through the ornate stone doors… Daedra. Their unworldly briny blood stench is one you do not quickly forget. The Shadow Walkers of the Moonless Walk in Coldharbour claimed they can tell Clannfear from Scamp, Twilight from Daedroth, just by smell alone. I don’t doubt them, yet such woodland skills are beyond my capabilities. I am most certain however that these halls stink of Daedra.
Ibrula must have sensed my demeanour change for she was swift to offer explanation. The Seeker’s Archive is a Daedric shrine she tells me, built centuries before the Ra Gada had even landed upon the western shores. She has been visiting here for many years, offering up relic and curio to the Lord of Secrets, Hermaeus Mora, in exchange for esoteric knowledge. And she believes the Daedric Prince can provide the knowledge we need to defeat the fallen Celestials.
Ibrula deceived me because she wasn’t certain that I would help if I knew the whole truth; she was perhaps right. I had vowed never again to rush foolishly into another deal with a Daedric Prince after the devious scheming of Sheogorath. Yet now I think I might be equally foolish if I were not to at least listen to the offer.
Even if the Keeper of Forbidden Knowledge is not as ill-famed for his duplicity or treachery as the Mad God, we mustn’t forget the Anka-Ra crawling out from the sands and standing guard over the ruins of the temple above as if… how did Ibrula put it? “as if they were just picking up where they left off when they died”. Forever bound beyond their ruin to duty bear.
One has to wonder what sort of deal was offered to the Yokudans for them to build their great temple upon the site of his shine. And indeed, what ill-providence led to its downfall, yet left the Seeker’s Archive beneath curiously untouched.