581. “Why was I not made of stone like thee?”

581 (a). Why was I not made of stone like thee

The pass to Molavar in eastern Craglorn is guarded by sentinels of stone. Crouching lifelike yet lifeless, these unnatural figures with their great claws, goatish horns, and batlike wings are seemingly carved out of the very rocks that furnish the surrounding foothills. So pacific they sit that even the leeriest are liable to tread closer then their jitters would usually bear. And that is exactly when the gargoyle will spring into savage life and attack like a rabid werebear.

These gargoyles are but golems, atronachs if you like, typically animated by masters of the mystic arts to serve as guardians. The only question is whether these monsters were crafted to keep us out of the ruins of Molavir, or to keep something in?

S.K

580. Of brave fools and wise cowards

580. Of brave fools and wise cowards

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.

S.K

579. Haddock’s Market

579 (a). Haddock’s Market

There is no sovereign of all Craglorn, the regions few cities and townships must maintain their own autonomies by employment of guards, militia, or mercenaries. Thus the roads and trails outside of these settlements, despite being key trade routes between the provinces of High Rock and Cyrodiil, are left unguarded and lawless. And any caravan or expedition braving these routes without ample or able guard, will undoubtedly fall prey to the ruthless Greycloak Mercenaries.

579 (b). Haddock’s Market

The Greycloacks are an outlaw band, and by outlaws I don’t mean the rascals and rogues that are but the trite invention of the tavern bards. These are vagabonds, bullies, cut-throats and petty thieves. Along the eastern road, just outside the jurisdiction of Belkarth, can be found a huge mountain cavern from which the Greycloacks run much of their illicit businesses. Exploring the cavern I found everything from the essential to the exotic. Teas, textiles, spices and sugars, weapons, armour, jewellery and even caged beasts; all no doubt smuggled or purloined.

579 (e). Haddock’s Market

They even have a giant adult Wamasu, a dangerous reptile rarely seen outside of the Black Marsh. Just how the Greycloacks managed to get it down here is beyond my comprehension, or indeed just what they intend to do with it. I recall back in Glenumbra reading the lament of a sea captain who had foolishly tried to transport a full grown Wamasu matron to Anvil on the Gold Coast. During a storm the brute broke free of its crate, crashed through the hold and proceeded to destroy the ship in tempestuous fury. So it is no great surprise to now watch on as the Greycloack handlers loss control of their beast too.

579 (h). Haddock’s Market

Perhaps their misguided confidence came directly from their leader, a fierce Redguard named Ariana At-Fara, who herself keeps two senche-tigers close as hand at all times; perhaps as guards, pets, or companions. She might do well to remember the Khajiiti adage, ‘One can befriend a senche, one can train a senche, but one can never, ever, tame a senche’.

S.K

578. Homeward-bound

578. Homeward-bound

Serving in the Imperial Legions can take you to some unexpected places in inhospitable lands. Antonia Gratas of the Sixth Legion has set up camp near the Mountain Overlook Wayshrine in Craglorn where she attempts to sell her military surplus in order to get back to Cyrodiil. Often the most arduous journey of them all is the one that leads back home. Whilst she may seem brusque in manner, it is but a soldiers pretence to mask the throe in the pith of every Imperial legionnaire across Tamriel; that ineffable longing for our green and verdurous heartland home.

S.K

577. The twice betrayed

577 (a). The twice betrayed

How numb have I now become to the agonies of Tamriel. The more oft I see things around me – even the wicked, vile, and hateful things – the more they have become invisible to me. In the same way that I often used to take for granted the beauty of this world, in these times of strife I have seen the awful so oftentimes, that I see them now less and less.

577 (b). The twice betrayed

At the Proving Grounds Dolmen in Craglorn, the corpses of the Mages Guild members who fought so valiantly for our freedom lie abandoned, their sacrifice disregarded and unhonoured, treated with as little lament as the Worm Cultists that rot alongside. These Mages were not the victims of the cultists or their Daedric allies however, but of the very atronachs they summoned to defend against Molag Bals incursion. It seems as soon as the Dark Anchors were defeated, the atronachs of the Celestial Mage turned upon Craglorn and its defenders.

577 (c). The twice betrayed

The Celestial Thief wants to discover how and why, and for that we need to find a conjurer named Kelmen Locke, the sole survivor of this most unmerciful betrayal.

S.K