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The Duel

Author: 
Xan

MOURNHOLD, ROYAL PALACE

King Hlaalu Helseth

:service to your king:
"By your actions so far, you have proven yourself to be both strong and loyal to our throne. It is now time for you to prove yourself to me. Personally. I have plans for you, Faern Sargtlin, and it is almost time they were put into motion."

:plans for you:
"All in good time. First you will prove yourself."

:prove yourself:
"I require all those close to me to be powerful, able to defend me from any adversary. Perhaps you have met my personal bodyguard, Karrod? He is a perfect example: the finest fighter I have met in all my travels, and loyal to me to the death."

:Karrod:
"I met him many years ago, a deaf and dumb child wandering the streets of Wayrest. The boy actually had the audacity to try and rob my stepsister, Elysana. I marveled at his courage, and took him into my employ. When a dog has been beaten, Faern Sargtlin, it will lick the hand of one who feeds it even the most meager of scraps. Now he is my most loyal of servants, and one of my most deadly. I wish for you to fight my champion."

:fight my champion:
"That is correct. I have come to know you a bit, Faern Sargtlin. I believe you can be of some use to me. But the plans I have will require someone of great strength or wit. Perhaps both. The time has come for you to prove this to me. You will return here tomorrow, and you will duel Karrod. If you are able to defeat him, we will discuss my plans for you."

Faern Sargtlin

(go out and talk to Plitinius Mero)

Plitinius Mero

:Karrod:
"Best fighter I've ever seen, and I've seen the best in Tamriel. Hell with a sword, deadly with his bare hands. Shrugs off most attacks like they were beestings. A good fellow, though. Doesn't speak, but you can tell by looking in his eyes. Can drink most of my men under the table, too! Take care with him, Faern Sargtlin. If you haven't already, you might speak with the Lady Barenziah about him. She's spent some time in his company."

Faern Sargtlin

(go talk to Barenziah)

Barenziah

"You are to fight the mighty Karrod soon, Faern Sargtlin. Do you really have the time to be chatting with me?"

:Karrod:
"As fierce a warrior as I have ever seen, and completely loyal to my son. You'll often find him at the Winged Guar, enjoying a Cyrodiilic Brandy. It will be difficult for you to defeat this man in combat, Faern Sargtlin. I wish you luck."

Faern Sargtlin

(go to The Winged Guar)

MOURNHOLD, GODSREACH

Faern Sargtlin

(talk with Khajiit bartender)

Ra'Tesh

"How can Ra'Tesh help you?"

:Karrod:
"Mmmm...the big Redguard. Ra'Tesh serves the brawny man his brandy almost every night. Ra'Tesh hears you are to duel him tomorrow. Ra'Tesh is sorry he will be losing a new customer."

:losing a new customer:
"Why you, of course! Karrod cannot lose...although you look a bit dangerous to Ra'Tesh. Ra'Tesh would not like to see lovely Karrod disfigured in any way! Ra'Tesh would hate to see that! If you promise not to mar the lovely Karrod, Ra'Tesh will help you in the duel. What do you say?"

Faern Sargtlin

"I will do my best not to harm him."

Ra'Tesh

:losing a new customer:
"Excellent. Ra'Tesh will have one of his barmaids occupy Karrod for the evening. He will be very tired when it comes time for the duel. Fight well, but don't hurt the face! Not the lovely, lovely face. Ra'Tesh would miss seeing beautiful Karrod."

Faern Sargtlin

(spend the rest of the day in the tavern)
(the next day, go back to Royal Palace)

MOURNHOLD, ROYAL PALACE

King Hlaalu Helseth

"Have you come to fight my champion? Are you prepared to face Karrod?"

:fight my champion:
"Ahhh...you have come to meet Karrod in battle. Good for you. Karrod is looking a bit under the weather today, but no matter. Perhaps you've heard that Karrod has never been defeated in battle? It's true. Amazing, don't you think? Regardless, this will be a fair fight. You may both use whatever weapons are at your disposal. I wish you both luck. None are to interfere, and you will begin on my command."

Faern Sargtlin

(begin the fight)
(after several severe blows at Karrod...)

Karrod

"Hold! I am beaten. You are the greater warrior, Faern Sargtlin. You should speak now with my liege."

King Hlaalu Helseth

"Enough! I have seen you fight my champion, though I find it hard to imagine how you have succeeded. I did not believe anyone could best Karrod, but you have shown me otherwise. And he speaks! There are depths to you, Faern Sargtlin, that I will fathom in time. For now, you have proven yourself to me."

:fight my champion:
"I'm impressed, Faern Sargtlin. None have ever defeated Karrod in battle, and I certainly didn't expect you to be the first. You continue to surprise me. You have proven your worth to me, as well as your loyalty. Take this as a token of my faith in our friendship. It was my father's ceremonial dagger, and I place it now in your possession. Do not disgrace his memory, Faern Sargtlin. Now, let us discuss my plans for you."

Faern Sargtlin

(receive the Dagger of Symmachus)

King Hlaalu Helseth

:plans for you:
"As I'm certain you know, Mournhold is one of the seats of power for the Tribunal. The goddess Almalexia resides here in her Temple, surrounded by her High Ordinators. I have no great love for Almalexia, her Ordinators, or the Tribunal of which she is a part. In light of recent events, I believe it is time to gather more information about them."

:recent events:
"The attack on Mournhold was as unexpected to me as it was destructive to the city. And I make it my business to remain forewarned of this sort of event. Many believed the attacking creatures to have been Dwemer constructs, but we know now that this is not the case. These creatures were beyond anything dreamt of by the Dwarves, creatures it would take the power of a god to create. I would like you to learn more about the attacks."

:learn more about the attacks:
"I believe that the only person who might shed more light on this situation is Almalexia herself. All indications are that these creatures must be the constructs of Sotha Sil, and only Almalexia is likely to have information about him. I wish for you to speak to her, learn what she knows about the creatures, and report to me. There is no reason for the goddess to suspect that you and I may be allied. Use this to your advantage. Do not approach me again until you have learned all that you can."

:Almalexia:
"Yes, I sent you to her to learn more about the attacks."

:Sotha Sil:
"One of the Tribunal. None have seen the Tinkerer in centuries, from what I understand. I distrust these man-gods, especially ones I cannot find."

Faern Sargtlin

(talk with Barenziah)

Barenziah

"Good to see you, Faern Sargtlin. What can one who has defeated the mighty Karrod wish to speak about?"

:Karrod:
"So you have defeated the Redguard? I am impressed, Faern Sargtlin. He is a truly powerful adversary. I can only imagine my son's surprise!"

:Sotha Sil:
"Sotha Sil is one of the original companions of Nerevar who have come to be known collectively as the Tribunal. It is said he is a powerful mage and a wizard with mechanical devices. Little else is known about this reclusive god."

Faern Sargtlin

(talk with Plitinius Mero)

Plitinius Mero

:Karrod:
"I heard you defeated him! Amazing!"

:Sotha Sil:
"Sotha Sil is one of the three God-Kings of Morrowind. While Vivec and Almalexia have traditionally been fairly visible to their followers, Sotha Sil has been more reclusive. He is known as a great mage and scholar, and is said to live in a Clockwork City of his making."

Faern Sargtlin

(go to see Almalexia)