Alduin’s Wall

Stone Bridges lead the way into the temple. Two sets of them have to be lowered to gain entry.

Sky Haven temple it is. Easy to get into it is not. A bunch of Forsworn live out here along the river, and they even have a Hagraven with them. Hagravens are women who supposedly gave up most of their humanity to gain more powerful magics, and as a result they grow feathers, talons, their noses become more hooked like a beak. They look like humanoid vultures to me, and they can be downright nasty in my opinion. As long as I can take any of my prey by surprise I’m okay, but if they see me and I’m a good distance away, they start throwing fireballs like crazy. And Hagravens are responsible for the Briarhearts, men who agree to have their hearts removed and replaced with a different sort of heart that grants them better strength or something. They’re pretty tough, like the male version of the Hagravens. Crazy, evil, dark magic stuff there.

And as if fighting to forsworn wasn’t bad enough, a dragon decides to go swooping in and attacking them and us at the same time. Us is myself, Delphine and Esbern. I met up with them just as the dragon came in, so while the dragon was attacking the Forsworn, I was attacking the forsworn. It wasn’t until most of them were dead when the dragon landed and was severely wounded by all the arrows and magical spells that found their mark upon him. By then I landed the last blow… an arrow right into his skull.

The last test where I have to drop some of my own blood onto a symbol in the ground. Can’t I just use graffiti?

Once everything is quiet, I lead the way towards the temple, which has a few puzzles to solve. The first are three pillars, which have three different symbols on them. I turn the pillars so the dragon symbol is facing front, and the first stone-bridge lowers. The second test is easy. Pressure plates cover the floor, and if you step on one of those, a trap goes off… in this case it’s a fire trap. Now normally I’d have to watch my step and only walk on the squares that have a dragon symbol on it. But I am a thief, and as such I have a very high sneak skill. With the perk point, I can walk on pressure plates without setting off the traps. So, naturally, I waltzed across the room at my leisure and pull the chain that turns the traps off. Now Esbern and Delphine can follow me. Lazy twerps they are.

This better be worth it. I can’t take pain, I can only give it!

Finally we reach the door and it’s sealed up. The only way to open it is for a bit of my blood to drip onto the rings on the floor. I cut my palm and let a few droplets fall. The rings start to circle, and when they’re done moving, the symbol of the dragon is restored in the floor, and the door opens. I go inside.

Esbern goes on up ahead and lights a brazier next to Alduin’s wall. I tell him to hurry up. I wasn’t too interested in the history – I just needed to know how to defeat Alduin. “Yes, yes, of course… let me see…”

The hallways have bas relief artwork in them. I always pronounced it as “Bass” like the fish, but it’s more like the “Bah” of a sheep. I still like “Bass.” They’re tasty.

Five minutes later he still hasn’t said anything further. I look around. Delphine should have come up and lit the other brazier… why hasn’t she? I run back down to the entrance to the temple and she’s just standing there. I get behind her and attack her with my claws (being a Khajjit, unarmed combat is much better since I attack with my claws, and all the other races just have their fists). She doesn’t respond. Finally I roll my eyes, and then shout, FUS RO DAH! and she gets blasted up the hallway by the force of my Thu’um. She takes her time getting to her feet… I might have stunned her a bit, but once she’s back up she starts walking at last.

While Delphine lags behind, Esbern and I approach the wall.

Yeah… I had to push her after all. (Thankfully she doesn’t react as if she’s under attack and I don’t get a bounty on my head. In a sense she acts as a follower now, and is immune to most attacks… I say most because I could still Shout at her and it would work)

10 minutes later I go back and give Delphine an Unrelenting PUSH up the stairs. Now Esbern can tell the both of us what the wall has to say for itself.

So now that both braziers are lit, Esbern moves to the center and comments that it looks like the ancient Nord heroes, also Dragonborn, used some sort of Shout to bring Alduin down… Delphine asks if I know of any shout that can knock a dragon out of the sky. I tell her no, so now I get to go back to High Hrothgar and ask the Greybeards. Delphine doesn’t like them too much, and the reason being is because all they do is sit on top of a mountain and meditate. What else do they do? Nothing. They don’t lift a finger or raise their voices to help out in the civil war or the dragon attacks.

The last bit of the wall… this is showing my destiny… I think.

But I do. If I am dragonborn, then it seems that my destiny is to stop Alduin before he destroys the world. Time go climb that big old mountain again. I hope there aren’t any frost trolls to be encountered this time.

You know, I think this is actually an ancient comic strip about a character named “Draco”

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Amaki’dar Multitasking

I eventually started the quest chain for the Companions, situated in Whiterun. They’re a group of warriors who fight with honor and glory, and they show up whenever there’s trouble. The first time I saw their heroic feats was when a giant was attacking a farm just outside of Whiterun. I first met Aela there and she told me of their group and mentioned a Kodlak Whitemane. If I went to him, I could ask him if I could join the Companions. I finally did so, and after a while, I became blessed with Lycanthropy. Seriously, who needs a horse when you can simply shift to a wolf form and run on all fours? It’s much faster, and I don’t have to worry about mounted combat. Horses are kinda expensive, though only one thousand gold to be honest, but I love being a werewolf.

We have beds, food, drinks, parties, frisbees, and chew toys… wait, what were the last two again?

Now I know, I know, it’s pretty odd to see a cat turn into a dog, but stranger things have happened. I mean, look at those flying lizards, right? The breathe fire and ice, and one in particular seems to be able to resurrect dead dragons! Divines know what else!

Anyway, I left Whiterun after several other quests. It seems Kodlak wants me to go kill some witches, but instead I head down to Riverwood. I meet up with Delphine and tell her of my escapades at the Thalmor Embassy. She finds it hard to believe that the Thalmor are as much in the dark as we are as far as the dragons returning is concerned, however they had a lead on someone who does: Esbern.

Delphine is surprised to hear her old friend is still alive, and when I tell her he’s hiding out in Riften, she assumes it’s in the ratway. I now wish I had explored the Ratway more carefully. I might have run into him down there… or maybe I already have! Then again I have this notebook from the Thalmor… *flips open* Nope… “Male, Nord, late 70’s” Never seen anyone matching that description in the sewers. Hmm. Anyway Delphine asks me to go find him and tell him that the Thalmor are after him and that Delphine is alive and to bring him to her.

As I run to Riften once again, I can’t help but ponder the situation. I’m supposed to go into the flagon and meet up with Karliah, and then show the guild that she’s innocent and prove that Mercer Frey has been stealing right under the guild’s noses for years. If Mercer is there it could get rough, if not then we have a chance. And now I’m also supposed to go delving deeper into the sewers to look for Esbern. I wince and think to myself, Maybe I’ll deal with the guild first and then go talk to Esbern… if I can anyway.

We give the journal to Brynjolf. The first piece of solid evidence.

On my way down into the Ragged Flagon I get attacked by a Khajjit. Once she’s dead I go through her pockets and find a letter. Looks like Elenwin knows what I did. Bet she’ll be ticked off when she finds out I survived this little attack. I press on to the Flagon, and meet up with Karliah. Together we head into the Cistern to find all the guild members tensed up, blades drawn, ready to attack. Brynjolf agrees to listen to us however, and Karliah gives him Gallus’s journal, which is fully translated. To see if all this is true, Brynjolf asks Delvin to go open the vault.

We inspect the vault, the eye-opening evidence… it’s empty

The guild’s vault has a special lock, which needs two keys to open it. Delvin, Brynjolf, and Mercer all have a key, so at least two people had to be present in order to open the vault. Karliah says, “He didn’t need to pick the lock.” “What’s she on about?” Delvin mutters, and then he tries his key out on the vault doors. It’s still locked tighter than a drum. Now Brynjolf uses his key. The vault now opens, and we all head inside. The vault is empty. The gold, jewels, EVERYTHING. Mercer had cleaned it out.

Brynjolf stands behind the Guild Master’s desk, and now tells me to go infiltrate Mercer’s house to find out what he’s up to or where he’s gone.

Delvin and Vex go back into the Ragged Flagon to keep an eye out. If they see Mercer, they have to tell Bryn ASAP. I chat with Bryn, telling him everything I know: That mercer killed Gallus and framed Karliah. Karliah was behind Goldenglow Estate and Honningbrew Meadery, trying to make Mercer look bad in front of Maven Black-Briar. And the last bit of information, which is that Karliah, Mercer, and Gallus were all Nightingales, which Brynjolf only assumed was a legend. Now that I’ve reported everything, Bryn tells me to go infiltrate Mercer’s house, which is located right here in Riften. We need to know Mercer’s next moves, if possible, and I have permission to kill anyone who gets in my way. I crack my knuckles and sharpen my claws.

And I promptly go into the Ratway Warrens to look for a 70 year old scholar named Esbern. What a way to spend the day! The sewers really stink! Eventually I find a very heavy looking metal door, and when I knock, a little rectangular bit slides to one side, revealing just a big enough opening to see into. It must be him! I persuade him to let me in (which gets my speech skill to 70 , and that will let me invest gold into businesses, and intimidation attempts will be much easier), and we get to talking.

He feels that everything is hopeless, and explains that Alduin has returned. I ask about it, and it turns out that Alduin is a dragon that’s also known as the World Eater. He’s supposed to bring about the end of the world, basically, and is known to devour the souls of the dead in the afterlife, as well as attack and kill the living. So yeah, big old black dragon that eats everything and destroys — wait… Big black dragon? The one resurrecting the other dragons?! That black dragon who interrupted the executions at Helgen? THAT was ALDUIN!?

Esbern claims it’s all hopeless because the only way to be rid of Alduin is if there is a Dragonborn, and to his knowledge, no such person is known of in this time. I tell him I’m a Dragonborn, and his eyes light up. “Then.. there is still hope.” He gathers what he needs, packing rather quickly. I cast a magelight spell at the ceiling so I can see a little better… so I can take the gold coins and jewelry on his bookshelf.

What? I’m a thief!

Now it’s a darn shame I can’t shift into werewolf and just carry Esbern on my back, because it would be so much faster… well maybe… How much do you weigh Esbern? No reason, just wonderin’…. gosh darnit. The problem is a lot of people are scared of werewolves in this world, and they should be, because in that form I’m wild and untamed and more than willing to rip you to pieces and eat your heart out. So yeah, no super fast running back to Riverwood for me! Instead I get to walk/run there with a mage/scholar/Blades member trailing behind me. Sweet. Watch out for bears, will ya?

Try not to let the bears eat you… No pressure!

We get to Riverwood, and Esbern and Delphine go down into the basement with me right behind them. Esbern pulls out a book and starts talking about something called Alduin’s Wall. Delphine doesn’t know any more than I do, and Esbern is surprised. “Do you mean you don’t know about Alduin’s Wall?”

“Let’s pretend we didn’t. What is Alduin’s Wall and what does it have to do with fighting the dragons?”

Dragonlore eh? As in Manga?

Esbern then tells about how the Blades, a very long time ago, constructed a stone wall that was part history and part prophesy, detailing the events of Alduin and the dragon wars, and of Alduin’s defeat. Esbern says he’s found the location of Sky Haven Temple, where the wall can be found, and Delphine decides to go there. I tell her to go on ahead without me and that I’ll catch up. I always do that so I can wonder around Skyrim and cause mischief, but I don’t tell her that!

On her way out, she tells Orgnar that the inn is his now and that she’s leaving for good. I remember when I first came in here way back when I just escaped from Helgen. She came out of a room and was telling him the ale was going bad and they had to get a new batch. “Did you hear me?” she had asked, and when he confirmed, she scoffed, “Guess you don’t have potatoes in your ears after all.” All the while he was staring at me. I must have been giving him the adorable little lost kitten eyes at the time. So when Delphine tells him he’s gonna be the sole owner of the inn and that she was leaving for good, he said, “Well, that’s something to think about.”

Delphine and Orgnar say their farewells

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