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Divine Inquiries

Author: 
Anonymous

Vivec

The ritual confirmed my worst fears—divine energy flows out of me for no reason that I can discern. I felt the power imbued within my Blessing Stone get wrenched away as soon as you added it to the ritual. I couldn’t stop it.

Vestige

You’re losing diving energy? How is that possible?

Vivec

To quote my own words as the Warrior-Poet, “No lock exists that the determined thief cannot open." Follow the trail of my missing energy and try to discover the identity of the enemy Llevule’s ancestor warned us about.

Vestige

You think an enemy is responsible for your energy loss?

Vivec

Something drains my energy. Find Archcanon Tarvus in his office and ask if he gleaned anything useful from the ritual. If not, I know his earlier research indicated new avenues to investigate. Go where he tells you and learn what you can.

Vestige

I’ll talk to Archcanon Tarvus.

Vivec

My divine energy diminishes with every passing moment, but the ritual confirmed my affliction is not natural. I regret that I could not reveal the full nature of these dire circumstances until your trustworthiness had been demonstrated.

Vestige

I’m not sure Archcanon Tarvus shares your assessment of me.

Vivec

Yes, well, Archcanon Tarvus has always been cautious about ideas and ideologies that didn’t originate within the Tribunal. And recently, that prudence has grown a thousandfold. He’s a faithful servant, however, despite his narrow-mindedness.

Archcanon Tarvus

I performed that ritual countless times and it never exploded in my face before! If I discover that you sabotaged the divination… No, I shouldn’t take my failure out on you. It’s not your fault that things are … difficult.

Vestige

By difficult, you mean Lord Vivec’s loss of power?

Archcanon Tarvus

How do you know about—Lord Vivec told you? Of course he did. It’s his prerogative, I suppose. You must swear to keep this a secret, though. There would be panic in the streets if the people believed one of the Tribunal was incapacitated.

Vestige

Lord Vivec said you might need help investigating the source of the problem.

Archcanon Tarvus

It’s true. I’m much better at scholarly pursuits than field work. And the ritual wasn’t a total failure. It confirmed three locations from my earlier studies—Balmora, Ald’ruhn, and Barilzar's Tower. I need you to investigate each of these sites.

Vestige

Tell me about these locations before I head out.

Archcanon Tarvus

I researched what I could using the resources available here in Vivec City. To learn more, I need an agent to personal assess each location. Lord Vivec thinks you’re the best one for that job. I hope he’s right.

Vestige

Can you tell me anything about Barilzar’s tower?

Archcanon Tarvus

I believe the mage seen in the ritual is Barilzar, who works out of an ancient Velothi tower. His experiments radiate energy similar to Vivec’s affliction, but they’re not a perfect match. Find out what he knows about the transfer of divine energy.

Vestige

What can you tell me about Balmora?

Archcanon Tarvus

House Redoran controls the town and nearby mines. House Hlaalu also has interests in the region. Rumors of a cult in the area concern me the most. I believe we saw a cultist during the ritual. Make discreet inquiries and see what you can learn.

Vestige

What kind of a cult are we talking about?

Archcanon Tarvus

I have no idea. That’s why we’re sending you. I suggest you start at the inn. Secrets get spilled along with the drinks in such places. The miners may know something as well. And I’ve heard that House Redoran has issued some kind of proclamation.

Vestige

What do you know about Ald’ruhn?

Archcanon Tarvus

Savage Ashlanders, like the one seen in the vision, use the area as a tribal meeting ground. These nomadic heretics deny the divinity of the Tribunal and have no love for Vivec, but how they could be involved eludes me. See what you can uncover.

Vestige

Is there anything else I should know?

Archcanon Tarvus

I traced tendrils of Vivec’s energy to these locations and the ritual confirmed the connection before it went awry. Just don’t discuss Lord Vivec’s condition with anyone. We don’t want to start a panic. If anything changes, I’ll contact you.

The Vestige travels to all three locations to search for clues. They can be checked in any order. In Barilzar’s Tower they talk to the mage Barilzar.

Barilzar

Such displeasure and disappointment! Nothing works even though every calculation is precise. And now an interruption. How infuriating! Wait, wait. Sometimes the Great Gear turns from frustration to opportunity…

Vestige

Do you know anything about divine energy?

Barilzar

Divine energy? I’ll have you know I participated in Lord Sotha Sil’s Nine Analyses of the Exalted Enigmas. But we have more important matters. I’m about to determine the correlation between color and time, and I could use another set of hands.

Vestige

If I help will you answer my questions?

Barilzar

A reciprocal exchange? Interesting. Yes, I can see the benefits of such an arrangement. Very well. Just activate the crystals in the proper sequence while I modulate the energy flow. Less chance of an explosion that way.

Vestige

All right. I’ll see if I can determine the proper sequence.

Barilzar

Perfect! Such are the benefits of an extra set of appendages! The energy flows freely and without disruption, allowing the rods and pistons to align in a most pleasing manner. Thank you. Now, why do you want to know about divine energy?

Vestige

Well, I was sent to ask you about the transfer of divine energy.

Barilzar

Sent? How intriguing. I was just thinking about my former master, Sotha Sil, and the experiments we conducted. He desperately sought to understand the power he and his companions attained—especially whether or not that power was temporary.

Vestige

Did Sotha Sil reach a conclusion?

Barilzar

Not while I assisted him. He had a tool that he used to drain away minute bits of energy to store and study. He could extract it and return it as he saw fit. Not sure what became of the tool, but here are my notes from those days.

In Balmora, the Vestige has to check three things in three places in order to find out about the Shulk Ore Mine. The first one is reading a House Redoran Proclamation. The second one is a Khajiiti miner, Renaku, talking to a boat captain.

Renaku

Please, this one needs to get out of here! Those cultists, they’re insane!

Glendora

All right, but keep your voice down. I’ll be ready to leave soon enough. In the meantime, if anyone asks, you’re just here to haul cargo.

Renaku

What? Who? This one is just here to haul cargo!

Vestige

Relax, I’m here to help. What was that you said about cultists?

Renaku

Cultists? This one said nothing about cultists! Perhaps you’re thinking of another Khajiit… Look, Renaku just wants to leave all these crazy Dark Elves behind and find a safer mine to work in. The Shulk Ore Mine is cursed!

Vestige

If you tell me about the cultists, I might be able to do something about it.

Renaku

Really? You? Just leave Renaku out of it! If you want to know what happened so badly, just go out to the Shulk Ore Mine and see for yourself!

The third one is Milesa Relavel in The Randy Netch Inn.

Milesa Relavel

I love seeing new faces! For a while, it was just the same old miners and the occasional traveling merchant. Thought Carellon might have to shut this place down. Look at me, talking your ears off! What can I get you?

Vestige

Any idea why visitors have been scarce?

Milesa Relavel

At first I assumed it was the usual House squabbles. Redoran and Hlaalu arguments can get pretty heated. Then I thought maybe the Ashlanders were scaring people off. But after that proclamation— No, I’d rather not talk about that with a stranger.

Vestige

I just want to help.

Milesa Relavel

I’m sure you do, but I have to live here, you know? Look, there’s nothing I can tell you. If the Houses ever found out I told an Outlander about our troubles… Maybe one of the miners would be more willing to talk to you.

Vestige

Maybe if I paid you for your trouble...?

Milesa Relavel

I like the color of your gold, Outlander! Just between us, I heard the House Guard shut down the Shulk Ore Mine. Something to do with violent cultists who attacked the miners and took over the place. Even got the Crew Chief, or so I heard!

At the entrance of Shulk Ore Mine, the Vestige encounters Crew Chief Hondulf.

Crew Chief Hondulf

You shouldn’t be here! Didn’t you read the House Redoran proclamation? I wouldn’t be here myself, but some of my miners are still in there!

Vestige

Can you tell me what happened in the mine?

Crew Chief Hondulf

Our mine was invaded by violent cultists! They showed up and just took the place over. My people are trapped. I’m no expert, but it looked like the cultists were preparing to conduct a ritual before the Ashlander interrupted them.

Vestige

Why do you think the cultists are conducting a ritual?

Crew Chief Hondulf

Probably because I heard one of them say, “With this ritual, we’ll call forth a mystical weapon and attain the power of a god!" Or something along those lines. Look, I was just trying to get me and my miners out of there when the Ashlander showed up.

Vestige

An Ashlander interrupted the cultists?

Crew Chief Hondulf

Well, I never actually saw an Ashlander, but I heard a cultist yell, “Ashlander thief! That’s our mystical weapon!" That’s not an exact quote, but you get the idea. I don’t know what happened after that. I was kind of busy trying not to die.

Vestige

I’ll go into the mine and see what I can find out.

Crew Chief Hondulf

Really? That’s awfully brave of you. If you see any of my miners, tell them to get their arses out here. I’ll wait as long as I can. Or until I hear screaming. Then I’ll go to Balmora and try to find some help. Good luck in there.

The Vestige enters Shulk Ore Mine in order to find out about the Nycotic Cult inside, and then returns to the Chief.

Crew Chief Hondulf

Did you find what you were looking for in the mine?

Vestige

I’m not sure. I need to consult with my contact.

Crew Chief Hondulf

Of course. I perfectly understand. I think I’ll wait a little longer and see if any of my miners were able to escape from the cultists. Good luck with your mission, whatever it is.

In Ald'ruhn, the last location to be investigated, the Vestige sees Seryn talking to the Red Exiles.

Seryn

I demand to see my brother. Lay hands upon me, and you will lose them!

Seryn then notices a bystander, the Vestige.

Seryn

You there! The territory of the Red Exiles shouldn’t be traveled lightly.

Seryn

Ashlanders once respected each other, helped one another. You’d think these were House wolves or Tribunal dogs, the way they treated me. Speaking of the Tribunal, you have the smell of dog about you. I wonder why that is?

Vestige

I’m looking into something for Lord Vivec.

Seryn

"Lord" Vivec, is it? And I thought all the Tribunal cared about was building monuments to their own greatness. Nice to see that one of them cares about what’s going on beyond their borders. Well, perhaps we can aid each other this day, Outlander.

Vestige

What kind of help do you need?

Seryn

Ashlanders are nomads, but we gather at sacred sites to trade, confer, and pay homage to the past. Ald’ruhn is such a place. That’s why Chodala invited the Red Exiles here. But these outcasts won’t let me into their camp. I need to find my brother.

Vestige

Who’s your brother?

Seryn

My brother, Chodala, is the Ashkhan of our tribe and I am his ambassador. I act as a go-between among the tribes. Chodala wants to unite the Dunmer and calmly end the era of the bickering Houses. He hopes to convince the tribes to follow his lead.

Vestige

So what do you need me to do?

Seryn

Head into the Red Exiles camp and find my brother. Otherwise, see if you can find out what he was doing in there and where he’s gone. Be wary of the outcasts. As you saw, they won’t hesitate to attack without reason or provocation.

After visiting the Red Exile camp and finding only a scroll titled "Meeting with Chodala" and not Chodala himself, the Vestige returns to Seryn.

Seryn

You seem to have survived your visit to the Red Exiles camp. Did you find my brother?

Vestige

No, but I found this record of his meeting with the Red Exiles leader.

Seryn

Interesting. I never suspected that the outcasts were disciplined enough to keep records such as this. Oh no. I can’t believe my brother would be so… brazen.

Vestige

He calls himself the Nerevarine. Do you know what that means?

Seryn

It means that Chodala really has changed. With his newfound powers and rising ambitions, I fear what he plans for the tribes. I suppose you have a right to know what I’m talking about. Take this. I found it among my brother’s possessions.

Vestige

Another scroll? Did Chodala write this?

Seryn

Chodala discovered a new power out in the wilderness and it changed his view of the world. He writes about it in that document. Now he believes that he’s the Nerevarine and incites the tribes while I try to keep them all from doing anything rash.

Archcanon Tarvus appears as a projection.

Archcanon Tarvus

Outlander! Over here! This requires a considerable amount of effort, so just listen. We have a…problem here. Return to my office immediately.

The Vestige returns to Vivec City to meet Tarvus in his office.

Archcanon Tarvus

At last! Did you see what’s happening outside? Red Mountain rumbles louder and more frequently, the sky grows dark, and, worst of all, the people are beginning to notice! Soon, I’ll have to muster the Ordinators to keep them from the palace doors.

Vestige

Is that the emergency? The people want to see Lord Vivec?

Archcanon Tarvus

In part. Lord Vivec is… not well. I won’t allow his followers to see him in this state. He continues to lose energy and it’s becoming difficult for him to maintain the realm in his usual fashion. Now, what did your investigations uncover?

Vestige

I investigated the three locations. Here’s what I learned.

Archcanon Tarvus

I’ll review these documents and present your findings to Lord Vivec. I was against bringing you into this investigation, but I was wrong. Thank you for aiding us. You should go see Lord Vivec now. He’s been asking about you. I’ll be along shortly.

Vestige

You’re going to just read the notes? I thought we could discuss what I learned.

Archcanon Tarvus

Very well. Tell me what you learned at each of the locations and let’s see what conclusions we can come to.

Vestige

Barilzar told me about Sotha Sil’s experiments with divine energy. He gave me his notes.

Archcanon Tarvus

Barilzar faithfully served Sotha Sil. He’s as loyal to the Tribunal as I am. He would never intentionally harm Lord Vivec. But that tool he mentioned. Perhaps one of the priests Vivec sent away could search the Temple archives for more information.

Vestige

Vivec sent away all his priests?

Archcanon Tarvus

Lord Vivec doesn’t want his followers to see him in such a weakened state. Only you, Canon Llevule, and myself are permitted into his palace now.

Vestige

An Ashlander named Chodala has been inciting the tribes.

Archcanon Tarvus

So your notes say. And this Seryn assisted you. Interesting. Most Ashlanders want nothing to do with the Tribunal. Even so, they rarely become aggressive. I’d say this Chodala bears watching. If we can spare it, I’ll send an Armiger to Ald’ruhn.

Vestige

Chodala’s newfound power might have something to do with Vivec’s problem.

Archcanon Tarvus

Interesting theory. Perhaps Chodala’s staff can steal Vivec’s energy, but I have a hard time imagining how an Ashlander could accomplish such a feat. Lord Vivec said the draining has grown more intense since you left. He doesn’t look well.

Vestige

Cultists took over the mine outside Balmora.

Archcanon Tarvus

From what you discovered, I dare say there may be a correlation between the Nycotic relic and the tool Barilzar mentioned. And it seems the Ashlander thieves are connected to Chodala. Your evidence points to a clear conclusion.

Vestige

Chodala is using Sunna’rah to steal Vivec’s energy?

Archcanon Tarvus

So it appears. Lord Vivec’s doing his best not to complain, but I can see how much the draining of his energy has cost him. Just seeing you again should improve his mood considerably. And the progress you made with your investigations, outstanding!

The Vestige leaves the Archcanon's office and heads to Vivec's palace.

Vivec

"The river drains into the sea, as my divinity flows out of me." Hmm. Needs some work. As you can see, I continue to lose energy, and it has made me somewhat agitated. Have you made any progress toward discovering the source of my discomfort?

Vestige

I think that an Ashlander named Chodala might be responsible for your condition.

Vivec

An Ashlander? That seems unlikely, but I trust your instincts. We need to find out more about this Chodala and the ancient enemy that aids him. Take this. Another token of my appreciation. And look, here comes the Archcanon now.