Vanity in men and mer is little more then a defiler of our dignity, but in our emperors and kings it is their legacy, for where else do we inherit so much of our knowledge of history then from the vain monuments and biography’s of Tamriel’s rulers; and of course knowing our history allows us to better understand our present.
So where better to start our hunt for the leader of the Anka-Ra then in his own biographies and testaments recorded in the forgotten library of Rahni’Za. Indeed it is here where we discover that the body of the self-proclaimed emperor was interned at the Yokudan burial grounds of the Na-Totambu, but to gain entry we will first need to retrieve two magical seals.
It was no surprise when we find the burial grounds crawling with the risen Anka-Ra, whilst gargoyles, imps, dunerippers and many conspicuous traps also need to be overcome before we can finally coming face to face with Tarish-Zi, and return his walking corpse back to the dust.
Vanity… the defiler of men and mer, the legacy of emperors and kings, and ever the folly of the ambitious.
The warrior not of this time looks down upon his own sarcophagus. This tomb forgotten is the sum of every moment of his life; a heroic life yet unglorifed by the shallow rhymes of the vagabond bards, or the sugared yarns of the Spinners.
His every achievement in life, and every sacrifice, every decision made both foolish and wise. Every battle he fought whether won or lost, every ally saved and enemy slayed. Every laugh shared in joy, every tear shed in grief, every kiss, every touch, and every embrace. Every courageous stand he ever did make, every moment of cowardice an unfading stain. Every virtue laid bare and every vice that he hid, every graceful dance, and every drunken jig. Every curse, every prayer, every thought, every word, the sum of his every breath… forgotten.
Great victory requires great risk, yet too oft it is only in such victory that one discovers the prize was not worth the risk at all.
In the ancient Yokudan tombs of Kardala the eternal Anka-Ra have risen from the dust. Incorporeal spirits of the heroic Ra Gada roam the repositories coarse chambers under the sway of a powerful Lich; and Izrunath the Corrupter of the Scaled Court stands guardian before the defiled Apex stone of the fallen Warrior. The Celestial Thief cannot aid me here beneath the sands for fear of ambush, so this grim fight must be fought and won by mortal alone.
With this fiendish cartel overcome I am thus able to call upon the Aspects of the Lord, Lady and Steed using the Skystone Amulet to cleanse the Warrior’s Stone of the Serpent’s venom. But their ghostly visage is swiftly usurped by the umbral form of the Serpent itself, gloating that mine is but a victory vain. For whilst I have prevented further corruption to the Celestial Warrior’s stone, I am too late for it’s master is already trapped in mortal form and fully under serpentine control.
Sometimes it is the hardest fought victories that seemingly achieve the least.
In the deepest chambers of the Dwemer ruins of Mtharnaz I find the Skystone Amulet which the Star-Gazers believe can help us gain access to the Warrior’s Apex Stone in Kardala. The Scaled Court, as the followers of the insidious Serpent are known, have weakened the Warrior’s Stone with their magics. The Celestial Thief hopes that the aetherial energy from the Mundus stones of the Warrior’s celestial charges, the Lord, the Lady, and the Steed, will allow us to loosen the Serpent’s grip on the Warrior, in much the same way as we did for the Celestial Mage beneath Elinhir.
It is rather strange when we are told that the Dwarves had a far deeper appreciation of astronomy then the scholars of today, that they chose to build so many of their settlements deep underground. Did the Dwarves fear the gaze of Aetherius that much? Or to take this tavern theory a few mugs deeper, could it be that the Dwemer astronomers foresaw the corruption of the Celestials centuries before? Or could they have perceived a far worse threat from the skies above that has yet to come to pass?
Wild hokum and conjecture of course, but all arrows with which to pique and rile the pompous saloon scholars of the Crossroads Tavern the next time I have an evening to sate.