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Divine Delusions

Author: 
Anonymous

Archcanon Tarvus

After further examination of the documents your brought back, I have to agree with your assessment. The Ashlander Chodala has somehow siphoned divine energy away from Lord Vivec.

Vestige

So you know how to restore Lord Vivec's power?

Archcanon Tarvus

Not exactly, but now that we know that the affliction isn't natural, we can work toward a solution—one that probably involves Chodala's staff. How the Ashlander got his hands on Sotha Sil's tool and turned it into a weapon is beyond me, though.

Vestige

You want me to acquire the staff called Sunna'rah?

Archcanon Tarvus

Eventually, but we need to be cautious. If Chodala is as respected as you say, attacking him would start a war we can't afford to partake in. Go to Ald'ruhn and talk to his sister, Seryn. I don't trust her either, but she worked with you before.

Vestige

I'll go talk to Seryn.

Archcanon Tarvus

Get to Ald'ruhn and locate Seryn. She needs to tell us more about Chodala and then help us acquire his staff. Without it, we can't restore Vivec. Meanwhile, I need to placate the populace. The people grow concerned over VIvec's continuing isolation.

The Vestige travels to Ald'ruhn, to the Urshilaku Tribe's camp, and meets Seryn.

Seryn

I've been thinking about my brother's claim that he's the Nerevarine since last we spoke. No matter how I try, the word tastes false on my tongue. And now I fear he's about to convince the Wise Woman that his quest for power will benefit the tribes.

Vestige

What can I do to help?

Seryn

My brother is respected and revered. He has allies in all of the tribes, not to mention his personal Red Exiles. We have to proceed with caution, respect the Ashlander customs and traditions. Anything else will lead to violence and bloodshed.

Vestige

So what do we do?

Seryn

We talk to my brother. Try to convince him this isn't the way. Barring that, we make sure the Wise Woman doesn't get drawn into his madness. Whatever Chodala says or does — don't attack him! We don't need a war between the Houses and the Ashlanders.

Vestige

I'll follow your lead.

Seryn and the Vestige go to the Wise Woman Dovrosi's Hut.

Seryn

The Wise Woman... I was hoping she'd be here.

Chodala

You're too late, dear sister. Despite your protestations, the Wise Woman has gone to the Cave of the Incarnate to confirm my claim.

Seryn

Brother, do you really want to pursue this dangerous course?

Chodala

There was a time when you gave me your unconditional support, Seryn. I miss those days.

Chodala leaves the hut.

Seryn

My brother Chodala is about to do something foolish—and dangerous. But by dusk and dawn, Azura put you and I on the same path for a purpose. I just hope we have enough time.

Vestige

What's Chodala going to do?

Seryn

He's about to claim the title of the Nerevarine and try to unite the Ashlander tribes gathered here. He already convinced the Red Exiles to support him. He's using them to intimidate the other tribes. If he persuaded the Wise Woman to his cause...

Vestige

Tell me about the Wise Woman.

Seryn

Wise Woman Dovrosi, the most respected councilor and spirit guide this side of Red Mountain. She went to the Cavern of the Incarnate to meditate on Chodala's claim. If she confirms my brother's assertion, the tribes will follow wherever he leads.

Vestige

We need to talk to the Wise Woman.

Seryn

Agreed, but I dare not leave Chodala alone with the tribes. I feel the hand of Azura in all this. Go to the Cavern of the Incarnate and talk to the Wise Woman. I'll stay here and try to keep things under control until you return.

Vestige

Then I'll head for the Cavern of the Incarnate.

Seryn

The cavern's to the northeast of Ald'ruhn, on the other side of the mountain. Hopefully, the rumbling and lava won't slow you down too much. Get to the cavern and talk to the Wise Woman. If she accepts Chodala's claim about the Nerevarine...

On the way to the Cavern of the Incarnate, just after leaving Wise Woman Dovrosi's hut, the Vestige hears a dialogue between Chodala and Gulakhan Yus-Zashten.

Chodala

She won't refuse my claim. But just in case, make sure the Red Exiles are ready.

Yus-Zashten

Your word is law, Nerevarine.

At the entrance, the hero notices Wise Woman Dovrosi fighting three Skaafin and helps her.

Wise Woman Dovrosi

Azura is my shield, you foul creatures.

When the Vestige enters the Cavern of the Incarnate, Wise Woman Dovrosi is talking to the statue of Azura.

Wise Woman Dovrosi

An Outlander? Surely there must be another way... No, my lady, of course not. I'll do as you ask. Come here, Outlander. We must talk. It feels strange to talk to an outlander in such a sacred place, but the Queen of the Night Sky insists. I need to render judgment on an important claim, and she says you can help me reach the correct decision.

Vestige

This is about Chodala and the Nerevarine, right?

Wise Woman Dovrosi

Words of truth from the mouth of an outlander. Remarkable. The Red Exiles and a few others believe that Chodala is the Nerevarine. He's convinced them, but not me. I came here to consider my options. I fear a bloodbath if I oppose his claim.

Vestige

Isn't there a way to prove he's not the Nerevarine?

Wise Woman Dovrosi

Perhaps, but I must remain impartial. If someone else reveals the flaws in Chodala's claims by comparing him to the Failed Incarnates, that might do the trick.

Vestige

The Failed Incarnates?

Wise Woman Dovrosi

We thought the Incarnates were possessed by the spirit of Nerevar, but each had a critical flaw that made them destine to fail to fulfill the prophecy. Their spirits reside here. Yes, you should speak to the Incarnates. I see Azura's wisdom now.

Vestige

How do I talk to the spirits of the Incarnates?

Wise Woman Dovrosi

Take this pouch of blessed grave dust. Sprinkle a pinch upon the bones of the Incarnates to call forth their spirits. Return to Ald'ruhn after you have learned all you can. Perhaps we can curb Chodala's ambitions before they lead us to war.

Wise Woman Dovrosi walks away, but says one last thing before she exits the Cavern.

Wise Woman Dovrosi

We need knowledge to defeat Chodala, Outlander. Listen well to what the Failed Incarnates have to say.

The Vestige interacts with three Incarnate Corpses, using the Pouch of Blessed Grave Dust on each of them. They talk to three Failed Incarnates' spirits.

Incarnate Aduri

Once I was the hope of my people, but then my claim was proven false. Now I wait and I hope for the Nerevarine's return. State your question, Outlander, and I shall do as Azura urges.

Vestige

They decided you weren't the Nerevarine. Why?

Incarnate Aduri

To fulfill the prophecy, I followed a path of blood and war. In the end, my path became a road that led nowhere and I was cast down from my lofty spot. Take my scroll and help the Wise Woman understand the futility of a senseless war.

Incarnate Ranso

We are the Failed Incarnates, the Ashlanders who proudly proclaimed themselves to be the Nerevarine but were found wanting. The Lady of Dawn and Dusk urged us to cooperate, so ask your question, Outlander.

Vestige

What flaw made you fail to fulfill the prophecy?

Incarnate Ranso

Take my scroll and help the Wise Woman see the lie of unbridled power. I thought myself the reborn Nerevar, for I was the strongest, most powerful warrior in all the land. But power alone won't save my people. In the end, it couldn't even save me.

Incarnate Danaat

The Nerevarine remains a promise unfulfilled, and I am as guilty of prideful posturing as every other Failed Incarnate that occupies this hall. Ask your question and let's be done with this, Outlander.

Vestige

What ended your quest to become the Nerevarine?

Incarnate Danaat

The Nerevarine must listen as well as proclaim. I refused to accept wise counsel, which led to the doom of my tribe and the end of my quest to embody the spirit of Nerevar. Take my scroll and remind the Wise Woman that wisdom ignored is ignorance.

Azura

Mortal, let us speak.

The Vestige talks to Azura via her statue.

Azura

I foresaw your usefulness before you even set foot in Vvardenfell. Now comes a test that will challenge your ability to separate truth from lies. You must convince the tribes that Chodala is not the Nerevarine.

Vestige

I communed with the Incarnates, just as the Wise Woman commanded.

Azura

Dovrosi's wisdom outshines most other mortals. She recognizes the futility of Chodala's claim. If she rebuffs him, however, the tribes will turn on each other and blood will flow. The staff, Sunna'rah. It makes Chodala confident, reckless.

Vestige

The staff is the source of Chodala's power.

Azura

Your instincts serve you well. Chodala's path took a dark turn. However, my sight clouds when I look too closely. Sotha Sil built Sunna'rah, but he did not create it with this vile purpose in mind. You must act on my behalf—and Vivec's.

Vestige

I'll do what you ask.

Azura

Then go. Return to Ald'ruhn and help the Wise Woman reveal the falsehood of Chodala's claim. And let Seryn assist you. She is my champion and a trusted friend of all Ashlanders.

The Vestige returns to Ald'ruhn to take part in a council.

Seryn

The Wise Woman returned from the Cavern of the Incarnate and went right into Skar to meet with the tribes. Chodala's in there, too, about to be named the Nerevarine. Tell me you came back with something to stop my brother's rise to power.

Vestige

I spoke to some of the Incarnates and they gave me these scrolls.

Seryn

Ah, of course! Use the tales of the Failed Incarnates to counter Chodala's arguments. That's brilliant! Well, except for one problem.

Vestige

Problem?

Seryn

An Outlander has no status in the council. The Ashlanders won't listen to a word you say. Someone else has to present the arguments. Someone they trust. I suppose that means I have to challenge my brother. With your help, of course.

Vestige

How can I help you if I can't talk during the council?

Seryn

You spoke to the Incarnates, not me. I'm familiar with their stories, but I'll need you to help me choose the appropriate argument to counter each of Chodala's claims. I hate opposing my brother in this. I just don't see another way.

Vestige

When should I give you Incarnate Ranso's scroll?

Seryn

Incarnate Ranso was strong and powerful. He thought that by strength alone he could unite the Ashlanders. He failed. When Chodala proclaims his power, that's when we'll refer to this scroll's sad tale.

Vestige

When should I give you Incarnate Aduri's scroll?

Seryn

Incarnate Aduri was a champion of my people. She defended us against great threats. But when she grew to love war for war's sake, she proved she wasn't the Nerevarine. When Chodala proclaims that war is the answer, hand me this scroll.

Vestige

When should I give you Incarnate Danaat's scroll?

Seryn

Incarnate Danaat thought his way was the best way. He rejected the counsel of the Wise Women and the Ashkhans. Something Nerevar would never do. When Chodala proclaims he knows better than anyone, we'll use this scroll.

Vestige

All right, let's go dispute your brother's claim.

The Vestige attends a council in Skar.

Chodala

Must we continue this farce? It's obvious that I'm the Nerevarine.

Wise Woman Dovrosi

Someone has stepped forward to challenge your claim, Chodala.

Chodala

Seryn? I'm disappointed in you, dear sister.

Wise Woman Dovrosi

Enough. I shall hear your arguments and render my decision.

Now, depending on the arguments given by Chodala, the Vestige gives Seryn appropriate scrolls. Spirits of the Failed Incarnates appear, speak, and then fade.

Chodala

Even the Outlander can see that I am the most powerful Ashkhan. My strength alone proves that I am the Nerevarine.

Incarnate Ranso

As a warrior and as an ashkhan, I was the most powerful of my age. But for all my strength, I failed my people. Don't follow my example.

Chodala

The faithless Houses dare to threaten our land, but we shall meet them in battle and I will lead us to victory.

Incarnate Aduri

I thought the path to the Nerevarine was a path of blood and battle, but my love of war was my undoing. War is not the way.

Chodala

These Failed Incarnates prove nothing! I need no counsel but my own, as befits my status as the Nerevarine!

Incarnate Danaat

I refused to accept the counsel of the Wise Women and the Ashkhans. I thought I knew best, but I knew nothing. That is not the way of the Nerevarine.

Wise Woman Dovrosi

Seryn and the Outlander... their arguments have merit. Chodala, we deny your claim. You are not the Nerevarine.

Chodala

This proves nothing! Look how the staff protects me. I am the Nerevarine!

Chodala runs outside. The Red Exiles, including Gulakhan Yus-Zashten, attack. After the battle, the Vestige leaves Skar to look for Seryn. When they find Seryn, she is posessed by Azura.

Seryn

I hate what my brother's become...

Azura

Mortal, I would have words with you. Chodala has been revealed as a failed Nerevarine, but that hasn't dissuaded him from his reckless course of action. As long as he wields the staff, he shall be unstoppable.

Vestige

So what should we do?

Azura

Time is against you, mortal. Even now Vivec, that pompous usurper, grows increasingly weaker. As much as I deplore him, Vivec cannot fall to Chodala's vile magic. There's another power at work here, one I can't quite put my finger on...

Vestige

There must be something I can do.

Azura

Return to Vivec City. Do what you can to aid Vivec. And pay heed to my faithful vessel, Seryn. I name her Champion of the Moon and Star. She will play a pivotal role in ending her brother's march toward godhood—if she survives.

Vestige

I'll return to Vivec City.

The Vestige returns to Vivec City to meet Vivec.

Vivec

As a god weakens, so too does his city suffer. I know my people grow fearful. Even the Archcanon is distressed. But the energy that remains to me holds the moonlet in the sky—at least for now. So, what news does my eyes and ears bring me?

Vestige

We discredited Chodala as the Nerevarine, but he escaped with Sunna'rah.

Vivec

How this upstart Ashlander learned to attune Sotha Sil's tool confounds my understanding. And he dares use my power? Still, your help is appreciated. Every strike and parry takes us one step closer to ending this threat and restoring my vitality.

Archcanon Tarvus

Due to Lord Vivec's condition, it falls upon us to find the solution.