632. A banner of convenience

The largest of all the insidious Dark Anchors to fall upon Tamriel during the Planemeld still holds the Imperial City enslaved beneath its repugnant shadow. That most grim night still lives on in my nightmares. That first dread horn echoing across the capitol’s six districts, followed by the crash and grind of iron grapnels that shock the very walls of the city. I could not tell in which district the first fell, but it mattered not for soon a second and third horn bellowed; crash, grind, and then more, from which endless demons poured forth. We tried to fight them back of course, be as the daedric horde kept growing, we were losing the battle for the streets inch by inch. And then our own comrades turned against us and all was lost. Next thing I remember is awakening upon a cold stone slab and the wicked worm king standing over me with impious bodkin in hand… and then emptiness.

631 (c). A banner of convenience631 (d). A banner of convenience

Talk amongst the soldiers at the High Rock Gates is that whilst many of the legionaries in the city suffered the same fate as I, some fought on, sacrificing themselves so many citizens could escape the horror. And what’s more, it is rumoured that although the battle was inevitably lost, there are some still within the city who fight on even now. I must know, I must see for myself. The bridges into the city however are buckled by daedric spells, and that same outlandish magic has so riled the waters of Lake Rumare that it is now impossible to cross. Yet I hear from a Breton captain that their sappers managed to establish a forward base within the city’s sewers before the access tunnels were collapsed. So it appears that the only road to the ruby throne is through the sewers… wasn’t it ever thus?

So I am to rely upon Covenant portals to gain access to the Imperial City. As much as I feel at home in Daggerfall, and whilst Emeric’s intentions to restore the Remen empire might be the most tolerable of the three alliance’s ambitions, I hold no loyalty for this Covenant. In truth I do not believe that the High King, who without Wrothgar would hold no crown at all, can win this Three Banners War. Finding Emeric drowning in a mire of self-pity at the mercy of Vaermina’s nightmares, left me feeling that what is cracked is sure to shatter. Yet it is better to share a banner of convenience with a cracked King then to be under the yoke of a drunken Nord, or worse. I do not consider myself a bigot, for many years I served to protect the most cosmopolitan city in all Tamriel, but I’d rather be damned to Oblivion then live under the boots of Elves.

631 (g). A banner of convenience631 (h). A banner of convenience

As soon one enters the sewers, the malodorous air begins to weigh heavily upon your lungs. The torches lining the dripping stone walls of the dank tunnels battle against an onerous gloom. But most unsettling of all are the unseen sounds. The footsteps of boot, hoof, and claw from above, the muffled howling, shrieking, and groaning from behind the walls. The scuttling of rats and spiders, the clank and grind of chains. And then there are the sudden winds that chill your bones. Yet the alliances have managed to create bastions of sorts within these sewers. I lived for years in this once great city without ever knowing just how extensive the sewers beneath the streets were; I can’t imagine many did outside bureaucratic or builders circles. And not even they could have predicted that these sewers would become mortals last refuge in the grandest city of them all.


631. The Red Dawn

631. The red dawn

Hope fades, with the setting of the sun,

anchors falling, savage brume choking lungs.

The Banners dance, across our wounded home,

Alessia weeps, for the fires that no longer burn.

Ere the vipers fled, and the crowing caws now gone,

o treacherous legion, seating worm upon throne,

our Heartland altars, no more divine.

Upon the winds, their chorus sails,

echoes of a revolution still sung.

Shadows lift, heavens hue foretells,

the red dawn calling you home.

Akatosh’s legacy, by sin or virtue fades,

honour Whitestrake, who lived and died as none.

Forget not, how White-Gold tamed jungle to home,

or how crops thrived, by the grace of the Niben.

How thirst was quenched, by vines of West Weald,

and by Jerall and Valus, the Heartland shield our kin.

Wherefore art now thou blades, and thou spells to light the dark?

Upon the winds, their chorus sails,

echoes of a revolution still sung.

Shadows lift, heavens hue foretells,

the red dawn calling you home.

Let heathens tremble, under pounding hooves,

banners streaming, and trumpets clarion,

the Red Legions riding home.


630. What are we without our memories but empty shells and wasted years.

630 (a). Sand in an hourglass

When we are at our most desperate and in need, it is our memories that remind our hearts to beat. Titus Valerius, the warrior not of this time is fading away. The confusion of his new reality means his memories have become like arrows from a Jaqspur’s bow. Those from his former life flash by too fast for him to grasp, whilst those of this new time tear him open, leaving him in pieces. At the grave of his wife, Titus contemplates a warrior’s death as his only release from his torment. 

630 (b). Sand in an hourglass

In a rare moment of compassion towards mortals, the Celestial Warrior has decided to send him back to his own time before he looses all he was; perhaps these Celestial Guardians were once mortals after all. So with his duty here done, Titus Valerius returns home.

As for me, I am tired of these jagged wastes. With its armies broken, the Celestial Serpent has retreated to its mountain stronghold and as neither the Thief nor the Star-Gazers have asked any more from me, it appears it shall fall to others to make that final assault upon its Apex Stone. Thus my part in this story is also done, and I am once more adrift. So perhaps it is time now for me to return to my Heartland home, where my memories lie, to remind my heart to beat.


629. The rise and fall of the Exalted Viper

We enter the Loth’Na Caverns in Upper Craglorn in search of the fabled Temple of Skyreach. Emerging into an open glade, we try to ignore the snakes, lamias, and Scaled Court cultists mining nirncrux; stopping only to deal with the Argonian Visskar, for one should never leave an assassin at you back.

A magically hidden bridge leads directly into the temple itself, where in the centre of the chamber, before a giant pool of crimson nirncrux stands the ever loyal Little Leaf. Prepared to defend the one she loves beyond morality; proving that whilst true love is not blind, it is selfish. Eventually the Regent Cassipia surfaces, declaring herself to be the Exalted Viper. She believes she has elevated herself to become a peer of the Celestials and imbued with enough power to change the world.

629 (g). The rise and fall of the Exalted Viper

Great people have great egos, perhaps that is what makes them great, and who knows, maybe Regent Cassipia is potentially a great person. She has certainly proven her intellect, perception and cunning. Perhaps she is even, how did her little bosmer pet put it, “as bright and piercing as a million stars”. But ultimately she is still mortal and shares that one weakness all us mortals share, our egos. So concerned was she that she should be powerful enough to destroy all others, she neglected to be resourceful enough to protect herself.

629 (j). The rise and fall of the Exalted Viper


628. The weight of my failure

628 (a). The weight of my failure

I meet with Titus Valerius and the fallen Thief at the Sanctum of Farsight within the burial grounds known as the Howling Sepulchers. Whilst performing a ritual to locate the source of a magical disturbance, a vision develops before us of three figures, our comrade Kelmen Locke, Regent Cassipia the leader of the Scaled Court, and her pet diplomat Little Leaf.

628 (b). The weight of my failure

We could but watch as our worst fears played out before us. Like watching a tragedy we had seen often before, we knew how this was fated to end; but we watch on anyway in the naive hope that this performance will end differently. It didn’t. Cassipia has somehow discovered an ancient Nedic ritual to gain the powers equal of the Celestial Serpent, in order to begin creating a “new and better world”; which sounds very much like the ambitions of the Serpent.

628 (c). The weight of my failure

My stomach turned uneasily in the aftermath of the spectacle when I considered the part I have played in this madness. The Regent was only able to collect what she needed from The Spawning Pools and the Valley of the Scars because I made it possible. And who knows what vital information she was able to procure from Skyreach itself after I had unwittingly cleared a path. I always knew I was being manipulated of course, but what I never guessed at was the real reason. I believed I knew what she wanted because she told me what I wanted to believe. The weight of my failure can only be measured by my anger, and whilst her manipulations are to be the mark of my ire, she deserves less contempt than I who she made her dupe.