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A Blade in the Dark

Author: 
Fiore1300
Librarian Comment: 

This page remains a work in progress. Nothing here is a final edit.

Delphine

We need to talk.

Follow me.

Player Character

(after giving me the Horn of Jurgen Windcaller, Delphine asked me to meet with her in private. I follow her into her bedroom, where she opens a door hidden in the wardrobe, which leads down stairs to a secret chamber)

Delphine

Now we can talk.

The Greybeards seem to think you're the Dragonborn. I hope they're right.

Player Character

You're the one who took the horn?

Delphine

Surprised? I guess I'm getting pretty good at my harmless innkeeper act.

Player Character

What's with all the cloak and dagger?

Delphine

You can't be too careful. Thalmor spies are everywhere.

Player Character

What do you want with me?

Delphine

I didn't go to all this trouble on a whim. I needed to make sure it wasn't a Thalmor trap.

I'm not your enemy. I already gave you the horn. I'm actually trying to help you. I just need you to hear me out.

Player Character

Go on. I'm listening.

Delphine

Like I said in my note, I've heard that you might be Dragonborn.

I'm part of a group that's been looking for you... well, someone like you, for a very long time.

If you really are Dragonborn, that is. Before I tell you any more, I need to make sure I can trust you.

Player Character

How do I know I can trust you?

Delphine

If you don't trust me, you were a fool to walk in here in the first place.

Player Character

Why did you take the horn from Ustengrav?

Delphine

I knew the Greybeards would send you there if they thought you were Dragonborn. They're nothing if not predictable.

When you showed up here, I knew you were the one the Greybeards sent, and not some Thalmor plant.

Player Character

Why are you looking for a Dragonborn?

Delphine

We remember what most don't - that the Dragonborn is the ultimate dragonslayer.

You're the only one that can kill a dragon permanently by devouring its soul.

Can you do it? Can you devour a dragon's soul?

Player Character

Yes, that's how I first learned I was Dragonborn.

Delphine

Good. And you'll have a chance to prove it to me soon enough.

Player Character

You said the Thalmor are after you?

Delphine

Yes. We're very old enemies. And if my suspicions are correct, they might have something to do with the dragons returning.

But that isn't important right now. What is important is that you might be Dragonborn.

Player Character

So what's the part you're not telling me?

Delphine

Dragons aren't just coming back, they're coming back to life.

They weren't gone somewhere for all these years. They were dead, killed off centuries ago by my predecessors.

Now something's happening to bring them back to life. And I need you to help me stop it.

Player Character

Do you know how crazy this sounds?

Delphine

Ha. A few years ago, I said almost the same thing to a colleague of mine. Well, it turned out he was right and I was wrong.

Player Character

What makes you think dragons are coming back to life?

Delphine

I know they are. I've visited their ancient burial mounds and found them empty.

And I've figured out where the next one will come back to life.

We're going to go there, and you're going to kill that dragon. If we succeed, I'll tell you anything you want to know.

Player Character

How did you figure all this out?

Delphine

You should know. You got the map for me. The dragonstone you got for Farengar, remember?

Player Character

Right. You were at Dragonsreach when I gave it to him.

Delphine

So you were paying attention. I arranged to have Farengar recover the dragonstone for me.

It's what I do. I make things happen from behind the scenes. After all, here you are.

Player Character

The dragonstone was some kind of map?

Delphine

Yes. A map of ancient dragon burial sites. I've looked at which ones are now empty. The pattern is pretty clear.

It seems to be spreading from the southeast, starting in the Jeralls near Riften. The one near Kynesgrove is next if the pattern holds.

Player Character

So where are we headed?

Delphine

Kynesgrove. There's an ancient dragon burial near there. If we can get there before it happens, maybe we'll learn how to stop it.

Player Character

Let's go kill a dragon.

Delphine

I need to get into my traveling gear. Give me a minute and I'll be ready.

That's better. Let's get on the road to Kynesgrove.

(I follow Delphine outside)

Kynesgrove is this way. We can travel together or split up and meet there, your choice.

(I decide to travel there with Delphine)

I hope you're Dragonborn, I really do. But we'll find out soon enough.

Better to stick together. I don't want you to get yourself killed before we even get there.

We may both end up dead, but at least it gets me out of Riverwood. I don't really think I'm cut out for the quiet life.

(as we pass Valtheim Towers)

This is a notorious bandit hideout. But it's also the shortest way to Kynesgrove, so... we may have to kill a few bandits.

We'll cross to the White River and follow it to Windhelm. Then we can swing south to Kynesgrove.

There's an inn at Kynesgrove - the Braidwood. I hear they serve a nice dark ale. Nothing on the Sleeping Giant, of course.

Remember, we're not looking for trouble. We need to get to Kynesgrove as fast as we can.

(as we past Windhelm)

Not too much farther now. Kynesgrove is just down the road to the southeast of here.

This is Kynesgrove. Not much to look at. The innkeeper ought to be able to tell us if there's any dragon mound nearby.

Wait. Something's wrong.

(a woman comes running towards us)

Iddra

Ho, you don't want to go up there! A dragon... it's attacking!

Player Character

A dragon is attacking Kynesgrove?

Iddra

Well, I don't know. Not yet... it flew over the town and landed on the old dragon mound!

I don't know what it's doing up there, but I'm not waiting around to find out!

Delphine

(to me)

Come on. Hurry. We might be too late.

(we head up towards the old dragon mound. A great roar greets us)

Alduin

Sahloknir! Ziil gro dovah ulse!

Delphine

Lorkhan's eyes! Look at that big bastard! Keep your head down, let's see what it does.

Alduin

Sahloknir! Ziil gro dovah ulse!

Slen Tiid Vo!

(Alduin hits the mound with a great Shout)

Delphine

Steady. I don't know what's happening. Let's watch and wait.

This is worse than I thought...

(the mound erupts and a dragon skeleton emerges, quickly recovering its former flesh. It looks up to Alduin)

Sahloknir

Alduin, thuri! Booan tiid vokriiha suleyksejun kruziik?

Alduin

Geh, Sahloknir, kaali mir

(turning to look at me)

Ful, losei Dovahkiin? Zu'u koraav nid nol dov do hi.

You do not even know our tongue, do you? Such arrogance, to dare take for yourself the name of Dovah.

(turning back to Sahloknir)

Sahloknir, krii daar joorre.

Delphine

Did you hear that?

(Aduin flies off as Sahloknir attacks us. We prove our mettle against it)

Sahloknir

I am Sahloknir! Hear my voice and despair!

My lord Alduin requires your death. I am glad to oblige him.

It's to be a real fight, then. Good!

(we slay the beast)

Delphine

I'll be damned, you did it!

That was well done. Come on. I've been wanting a closer look at one of these buggers.

Wait. Something's happening... gods above!

(I absorb the dragon's soul)

So you really are...

I... it's true, isn't it? You really are Dragonborn.

I owe you some answers, don't I?

Go ahead. Whatever you want to know. Nothing held back.

Player Character

Who are you and what do you want with me?

Delphine

I'm one of the last members of the Blades.

A very long time ago, the Blades were dragonslayers, and we served the Dragonborn, the greatest dragonslayer.

For the last two hundred years, since the last Dragonborn emperor, the Blades have been searching for a purpose.

Now that dragons are coming back, our purpose is clear again. We need to stop them.

Player Character

What do you know about the dragons coming back?

Delphine

Not a damn thing. I was just as surprised as you to find that big black dragon here.

Player Character

I've seen that dragon before, the one that got away.

Delphine

Really? Where?

Player Character

It was the one that attacked Helgen, when Ulfric escaped from the Imperials.

Delphine

Interesting. Same dragon...

Damn it, we're blundering around in the dark here! We need to figure out who's behind it all!

Player Character

The Blades? Who are they?

Delphine

Exactly. Nobody even remembers our name these days.

We used to be known across Tamriel as the protectors of the Septim Emperors. Those days are long gone, though.

For the last two hundred years, we've been searching for the next Dragonborn to guide and guard, as we are sworn to do.

But we never found one. Until now.

Player Character

What's our next move?

Delphine

The first thing we need to do is figure out who's behind the dragons.

The Thalmor are our best lead. If they aren't involved, they'll know who is.

Player Character

Remind me... who are the Thalmor?

Delphine

The faction that rules the Aldmeri Dominion. The ones who almost destroyed the Empire during the Great War, thirty years back.

There's no worse enemy of humankind in Tamriel. The Empire barely survived the last war. The Thalmor don't intend to lose the next one.

Player Character

What makes you think the Thalmor are bringing dragons back?

Delphine

Nothing solid. Yet. But my gut tells me it can't be anybody else.

The Empire had captured Ulfric. The war was basically over. Then a dragon attacks, Ulfric escapes, and the war is back on.

And now the dragons are attacking everywhere, indiscriminately. Skyrim is weakened, the Empire is weakened.

Who else gains from that but the Thalmor?

Player Character

Why are the Thalmor after you?

Delphine

Before the Great War, the Blades helped the Empire against the Thalmor.

Our Grand Master saw them as the greatest threat to Tamriel. At the time, that was true. Maybe it still is.

So we fought them in the shadows, all across Tamriel. We thought we were more than a match for them. We were wrong.

Player Character

So, we need to find out what the Thalmor know about the dragons. Any ideas?

Delphine

If we could get into the Thalmor embassy... it's the center of their operations in Skyrim...

Problem is, that place is locked up tighter than a miser's purse. They could teach me a few things about paranoia...

Player Character

So how do we get into the Thalmor Embassy?

Delphine

I'm not sure yet. I have a few ideas, but I'll need some time to pull things together...

Meet me back in Riverwood. If I'm not back when you get there, wait for me. I shouldn't be long.

Keep an eye on the sky. This is only going to get worse.