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.


627. The Howling Sepulchers

627 (a). The Howling Sepulchers

At the behest of the Celestial Thief I have travelled to a secluded valley in upper Craglorn known as the Howling Sepulchers. It is about as pleasant as its name suggests. The Sepulchers are an ancient Nedic burial grounds set into the foothills of the Dragontail mountains, whilst the Howling refers either to the winds that blow unrelentingly across its jagged rocks and crags, or to the wailing laments of the undead that roam these grounds seemingly unbound by the usual etiquette of quietus.

627 (d). The Howling Sepulchers627 (e). The Howling Sepulchers

But there is something else strange about these undead, other then that they are up and walking about. They look very much like the draugr usually found in Skyrim. Indeed, as I look about the valley the architecture is all very reminiscent of Nord tombs. It appears whilst this may well have originally been a Nedic site, later on Nords took over the burial grounds and built their tombs on top. In one such tomb I discover a draugr actively awakening other draugr from their sarcophagi.

Another strange phenomenon I observe of these draugr it that many of them appear to be standing guard, and it is not until I reach the last tomb of the Sepulchers that I discover why. There on the central dias of a grand burial chamber I find the dragon priest Akiirdal performing some foul ritual. Surely there is no way that this lich has remained hidden away here all this time like some Dwemer Animunculi? I can only surmises that he has been, somewhat unwisely, resurrected by necromancy.

627 (h). The Howling Sepulchers

The dragon priests, like the dragons themselves, are now thankfully thought to be a thing of the past in Tamriel. The only reason I recognised his vestments is because I have seen them once before during the Mad God’s insidious tormenting of the Mages Guild. I was sent back in time to retrieve a relic from Vuldngrav, where I was to do battle with the dragon priest Korthor.

If left unchecked this resurrected dragon cultist who draws strength from his draugr servants, can only mean certain trouble for Craglorn. Especially for the potential restoration of Elinhir, to whom the roads of Upper Craglorn provide not only vital access to the stone mines, but also a trade route directly to Dragonstar.


626. Just another extraordinary

When I’d heard that the Chiselshriek Mines in Upper Craglorn had been closed after the work was interrupted by the appearance of extraordinary mystical beings, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Perhaps some new form of Scaled Court malfeasance, another fallen Celestial, or even remnants of their elemental army. Subterranean wispmothers however, disturbed by the mining sure wasn’t it.

I guess once upon a time I might have considered the sudden appearance of wispmothers extraordinary, but not now after all I have seen. It’s all a far cry from my life as a legionnaire, where you dedicate yourself to training for something you hope will never happen. Now when the worst doesn’t happen, I feel almost disappointed.

They say that in 20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t see than by the things you did, even if all you got to see was a stone mine that dug a little too deep.

626 (i). Just another extraordinary