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Escape From Prison

Author: 
Lorus & Proweler

Emperor Uriel Septim narrates an introductory movie, as if speaking in a dream.

Uriel

I was born eighty seven years ago. For sixty-five years I ruled as Tamriels Emperor. But for all these years I've never been the ruler of my own dreams.

I have seen the gates of Oblivion beyond which no waking eye may see. Behold in darkness a doom sweeps the land.

This is the 27th of Last Seed, the year of Akatosh 433. These are the closing days of the Third Era. And the final hours of my life.

Player

The player wakes up. They are in a dark prison cell somewhere beneath the Imperial City. There is a rude Dunmer in the cell across from them. When the player approaches the cell gate, the Dunmer taunts them. What exactly he says depends on the player's race and gender.     

Imperial Dungeons

Valen Dreth

If the player is an Altmer male:

Well, well, look at the high and mighty Altmer. Where's your dignity now, huh? Where's that famous High Elf poise and bearing? You know, my time's almost up. Pretty soon I'll be free, and you'll still be stuck in this rat hole, waiting for your execution. That's right. I heard some of the guards talking. You're going to die in here, "High" Elf! You hear me? You're going to die in here!

If the player is an Altmer female:

Well, well, look at the elegant Altmer maiden. Where's your dignity now, huh? Where's that famous High Elf poise and bearing? You know, my time's almost up. Pretty soon I'll be free, and you'll still be stuck in this rat hole, waiting for your execution. That's right. I heard some of the guards talking. You're going to die in here, "High" Elf! You hear me? You're going to die in here!

If the player is an Argonian of either gender:

Hey, lizard! It must break your heart, huh? Being so close to the water, knowing you'll never get to swim again... You know, sometimes, when they let us in the yard, you can hear the sounds from the lake. The boats, the gulls. So close... No, you'll never get to swim again, Argonian. But don't worry, you'll be dead soon enough. That's right. You're going to die in here!

If the player is an Breton male:

Pale skin, snotty expression. You're a Breton! The masters of magicka, right? Hmph. Nothing but a bunch of stuck-up snobs with cheap parlor tricks. Go ahead, try your magicka in here. Let's see you make those bars disappear. No? What's the matter? Not so powerful now, are you Breton? You're not leaving this prison 'til they throw your body in the lake. Oh, that's right. You're going to die in here, Breton! You're going to die!

If the player is an Breton female:

Pale skin, snotty expression. You're a Breton! The masters of magicka, right? Hmph. You're nothing but a stuck-up harlot with cheap parlor tricks. Go ahead, try your magicka in here. Let's see you make those bars disappear. No? What's the matter? Not so powerful now, are you Breton? You're not leaving this prison 'til they throw your body in the lake. Oh, that's right. You're going to die in here, Breton! You're going to die!

If the player is a Bosmer male:

Hey! Wood Elf! You're a little far from the forest, huh? Looks like your days of woodland frolicking have come to a tragic end. To go from the gladed realm of Valenwood to a rat-infested hole like this... how very sad. Those walls must feel like they're closing in on you. Pretty soon you'll go mad, and the guards will cut your throat just to stop the ranting. That's right. You're going to die in here, Wood Elf! Die!

If the player is a Bosmer female:

Well now, a pretty little Wood Elf. You're a little far from the forest, huh? Looks like your days of woodland frolicking have come to a tragic end. To go from the gladed realm of Valenwood to a rat-infested hole like this... how very sad. Those walls must feel like they're closing in on you. Pretty soon you'll go mad, and the guards will cut your throat just to stop the ranting. That's right. You're going to die in here, Wood Elf! Die!

If the player is a Dunmer male:

Hey, there! You! Kinsman! I haven't seen another Dunmer in here in I don't know how long. Where you from, huh? Vvardenfell? You got a wife back home? Tell you what. I'm getting out of here in a couple of weeks. When I get back to Morrowind I'll look her up. She must be so lonely. Don't you worry, eh? I'll take care of her long after you're dead. Oh, that's right. You're going to die in here!

If the player is a Dunmer female:

I must surely be dead, and in the halls of Azura to look upon such a vision. You are so beautiful, my dear Dunmer maiden... One of the guards owes me a favor, you know. I could get us put in the same cell. Would you like that? You should have some fun before the end. Yeah, you heard me. No matter what the law says. No matter what they told you. You're going to die in here! You're going to die!

If the player is an Imperial of either gender:

Oh, look, an Imperial in the Imperial Prison. I guess they don't play favorites, huh? Your own kinsmen think you're a piece of human trash. How sad. I bet the guards give you "special" treatment before the end. Oh, that's right. You're going to die in here, Imperial! You're going to die! Imperial criminal scum like you give the Empire a bad name, you see. You're an embarrassment. Best if you just... disappeared.

If the player is a Khajiit of either gender:

Wake up, kitty kitty. That's it. There's a rat in my cell, Khajiit. A fat, tasty rat. Does the kitty want it? Is the kitty hungry? You'd better take whatever you can get in here, Khajiit. They don't feed the new prisoners. Didn't you know that? First they starve you. Then they beat you. Then, if you're lucky, they kill you. That's right. You're going to die in here!

If the player is a Nord male:

My, my, you're a big one. A Nord, I'd guess, right? So strong... But you can't bend steel, can you boy? You can't do anything to get out of here. And those big muscles? They're going to waste away. When the end comes, you won't even have the strength to cry for your mother. That's right. You're going to die in here. You hear me, Nord? You're going to die in here!

If the player is a Nord female:

Oooh, aren't you a fair lass. Your skin is so pale, so pure. And your body is so... strong. Let me guess. A Nord, right? I bet you think you're pretty tough, huh? I bet you can swing a sword and everything. Well, it doesn't matter! Not in here. It does no good to fight. But don't worry. The guards always treat the pretty ones nice. Right 'til the end. Oh, that's right. You're going to die in here, Nord!

If the player is an Orc male:

By the Nine Divines, you're an ugly one. But then, all Orcs are ugly. The most repulsive race in all of Tamriel, really. At least you've got that brutish strength, huh? Must be nice to just rip someone apart like some kind of monster. Oh, but you must be the one Orc weakling, huh? Captured by Imperials. How pathetic. You're going to die in here, Orc! Like an animal in a cage!

If the player is an Orc female:

By the Nine Divines, you're an ugly one. And female, no less. But then, all Orcs are ugly. The most repulsive race in all of Tamriel, really. At least you've got that brutish strength, huh? Who needs pretty when you can just rip someone apart like some kind of monster. Oh, but you must be the one Orc weakling, huh? Captured by Imperials. How pathetic. You're going to die in here, Orc! Like an animal in a cage!

If the player is a Redguard male:

Wake up, Redguard! Ah, there you are. How do you like your cell, huh? Roomy enough for you? I can't even imagine what it's like for you. No more sunshine, no more open seas. Just a box and a dirty beam of light for the rest of your life. Bet you're glad it won't last long, huh? Oh, didn't you know? No one ever leaves this prison alive! You're going to die in here, Redguard! Die!

If the player is a Redguard female:

Wake up, pretty Redguard! Ah, there you are. How do you like your cell, huh? Roomy enough for you? I can't even imagine what it's like for you. No more sunshine, no more open seas. Just a box and a dirty beam of light for the rest of your life. Bet you're glad it won't last long, huh? Oh, didn't you know? No one ever leaves this prison alive! You're going to die in here, Redguard! Die!

For the rest of this story transcription, we are going to assume that the player is a female Breton.

A trio of Imperial Blades come down the stairs.

Renault

Baurus! Lock that door behind us!

Baurus

Yessir.

Uriel

My sons...they're dead, aren't they?

Renault

We don't know that, Sire. The messenger only said they were attacked.

Uriel

No, they're dead. I know it.

Renault

My job right now is to get you to safety.

Renault

What's this prisoner doing here? This cell is supposed to be off-limits.

Imperial Guard

Usual mixup with the Watch. I...

Renault

Nevermind. Get that gate open.

Renault

Stand back prisoner. We won't hesitate to kill you if you get in our way.

Imperial Guard

You! Prisoner! Stand Aside. Over by the window. Stay out of the way, and you won't get hurt.

Player

The player steps aside and stands over by the window.

Baurus

No sign of pursuit, Sir.

Glenroy

Stay put.

Renault

Good. Let's go. We're not out of this yet.

Uriel

The Emperor turns to the player. 

You...I've seen you...Let me see your face...You are the one from my dreams...Then the stars were right, and this is the day. Gods give me strength.

Player

What's going on?

Uriel

Assassins attacked my sons, and I'm next. My Blades are leading me out of the city along a secret escape route. By chance, the entrance to that escape route leads through your cell.

Player

Who are you?

Uriel

I am your emperor, Uriel Septim. By the grace of the Gods, I serve Tamriel as her ruler. You are a citizen of Tamriel, and you, too, shall serve her in your own way.

Player

Why am I in jail?

Uriel

Perhaps the Gods have placed you here so that we may meet. As for what you have done...it does not matter. That is not what you will be remembered for.

Player

What should I do?

Uriel

You will find your own path. Take care...there will be blood and death before the end.

Player

I go my own way.

Uriel

So do we all. But what path can be avoided whose end is fixed by the almighty Gods?

Renault

Please, Sire, we must keep moving.

Renault

Better not close this one. There's no way to open it from the other side.

Baurus

Looks like this is your lucky day. Just stay out of our way.

Player

Together, they enter the passageway. One of the Blades addresses the player. 

Glenroy

Don't try anything. I'm watching you.

As the group progresses into the sewers, four assassins attack. The Emperor stands back while the Blades defend him.

During the fighting, Captain Renault and the assassins are killed.

Baurus

Baurus approaches the Emperor.

Are you alright, Sire? We're clear, for now.

Uriel

Captain Renault?

Baurus

She's dead. I’m sorry, sire, but we have to keep moving.

Uriel

There's trouble ahead.

Baurus and the Emperor join Glenroy across the room.

Glenroy

How could they be waiting for us here?

Baurus

Don't know, but it's too late to go back now.

Baurus

Don't worry, sire, we will get you out of here.

Glenroy

They won't be the first to underestimate the Blades.

Glenroy

I'll take point. Let's move.

Player

The player follows the party through the iron gate.

Baurus

You stay here, prisoner. Don't try to follow us.

Baurus locks the door behind him.

Player

Shortly after the door closes behind Baurus, a nearby wall collapses and several rats rush thorugh at the player. The player is able to defeat them, and, after arming themselves with equipment from the dead Cultists and Captain Renault, they proceed into a collapsed section of the palace tunnels and then into a series of caverns. They fight and defeat rats, zombies, and goblins.

Eventurally, they emerge back into the palace underdwell and hear a conversation between Glenroy and Baurus in a room below.

Glenroy

We should find a defensible spot and protect the Emperor until help arrives.

Baurus

Help? What makes you think help will get here before more of those bastards? We need to get the Emperor out of here.

Right on schedule, the Emperor is attacked by more assassins.

Baurus

I think that was all of them. Let me take a look around.

Player

The player moves into the next room.

Uriel

Have you seen the prisoner?

Baurus

Do you think she followed us? How could she?

Uriel

I know she did.

Glenroy

Sire, we have to go now.

Uriel

Not yet. Let me rest a moment longer.

Player

The player chooses to reveal themselves.

Glenroy

Dammit! It's that prisoner again! Kill her! She might be working with the assassins!

Uriel

No, she is not one of them! She can help us. She must help us.

Glenroy

As you wish, sire.

Uriel

They cannot understand why I trust you. They've not seen what I've seen. How can I explain? Listen. You know the Nine? How They guide our fates with an invisible hand?

Player

The player has three choices for what they can say. Regardless of their response, the Emperor says the same thing. 

The Nine guide and protect us. -OR- I'm not on good terms with the Gods. -OR- I don't know. I don't think about it.

Uriel

I've served the Nine all my days, and I chart my course by the cycles of the heavens. The skies are marked with numberless sparks each a fire, and every one a sign. I know these stars well, and I wonder...which sign marked your birth?

Player

The player can now select their birthsign. We have chosen The Lover. 

The Lover. 

Uriel

The signs I read show the end of my path. My death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.

Player

What about me? 

Uriel

The Emperor's dialog differs depending on what birthsign the player picked. 

Your stars are not mine. Today the Lover shall sweeten your journey as you confront your fate.

Player

Can you see my fate? 

Uriel

My dreams grant me no opinions of success. Their compass ventures not beyond the doors of death. But in your face, I behold the sun's companion. The dawn of Akatosh's bright glory may banish the coming darkness. With such hope, and with the promise of your aid, my heart must be satisfied.

Player

Aren't you afraid to die?

Uriel

No trophies of my triumphs proceed me. But I have lived well, and my ghost shall rest easy. Men are but flesh and blood. They know their doom, but not the hour. In this I am blessed to see the hour of my death...To face my apportioned fate, then fall.

Player

Where are we going?

Uriel

I go to my grave. A tongue shriller than all the music calls me. You shall follow me yet for a while, then we must part.

Baurus

You may as well make yourself useful. Here, carry this torch and stick close.

Player

Tell me about the Blades.

Baurus

We're the Emperor's bodyguards. Our job is to get him out of situations like this. Although I admit, things are not going according to plan.

Player

Will Uriel Septim life?

Baurus

My job is to make sure the Emperor gets out of here alive, and I intend to do it. Stick close and let us do our job and you'll be alright.

Player

The Blades and the Emperor journey further, and the player follows. Soon, more assassins attack and are defeated. 

Glenroy

Hold up. I don't like this. Let me take a look.

Glenroy checks the gate.

Glenroy

Dammit! The gate is barred from the other side! A trap!

Baurus

What about that side passage back there?

Glenroy

Worth a try! Let's go!

Baurus

It's a dead end. What is your call, sir?

More assassins attack.

Glenroy

They're behind us! Wait here, sire.

Baurus

Wait here with the Emperor. Guard him with your life.

Glenroy and Baurus

For the Emperor!

Glenroy and Baurus attack the assassins.

Uriel

The Emperor and the player are left alone. Sensing that his doom is upon him, the Emperor has a few final words for the player. What he says depends on his distance to the player and if the player is currently engaged in combat. 

If the player is in combat and Uriel is close enough to initiate dialog, he will say: 

I can go no further. You alone must stand against the Prince of Destruction and his mortal servants. He must not have the Amulet of Kings! Take the Amulet. Give it to Jauffre. He alone knows where to find my last son. Find him, and close shut the jaws of Oblivion.

If the player is instead not engaged in combat, Uriel will approach and say: 

My guards are strong and true, but even the might of the Blades cannot stand against the Power that rises to destroy us. The Prince of Destruction awakes, born anew in blood and fire. These cutthroats are but his mortal pawns.

Take my Amulet. Give it to Jauffre. I have a secret son, and Jauffre alone knows where to find him. Find the last of my blood, and close shut the marble jaws of Oblivion

The player can choose to ask the Emperor one of two questions:

Player

Your Amulet? Then this is 'Goodbye'?

Uriel

This is where my journey ends. For you though, the road is long and dangerous. Now, give me your hand.

Player

What Amulet?

Uriel

The Amulet of Kings. It is the Empire's sacred emblem of rulership. It must pass to the last of the Dragon's Blood. Keep it safe from the pawns of the Destroyer.

Player

So, this is it?

Uriel

For me, it ends here. You are our only hope to stem the blood tide. Give me your hand.

The player then has three options for bidding Uriel farewell.

Player

With all my heart... farewell...

Uriel

Stand true, my friend. May your heart be your guide and the gods grant you strength.

Player

I won't forget you...

Uriel

Remember me, and remember my words. This burden is now yours alone. You hold our future in your hands.

Player

I'll take it from here...

Uriel

Then go. Take with you my blessings and the hope of the empire.

The Emperor hands the player the Amulet of Kings, and the player pockets it. Then, right on queue, the wall behind the Emperor opens up and an assassin appears. He strikes the Emperor, and Uriel dies.

Journal

I witnessed Emperor Uriel Septim's assassination. Before he died, the emperor gave me the Amulet of Kings. He told me to take it to someone named Jauffre, and that Jauffre would know how to find his last surviving son. He warned that the assassins were in the service of the Lord of Destruction.

Baurus

Baurus runs in and kneels at the Emperor's body.

No...Talos save us...

Baurus turns to the player.

We've failed. I've failed...The Blades are sworn to protect the Emperor, and now he and all his heirs are dead. The Amulet, where's the Amulet of King? It wasn't on the Emperor's body.

Player

The Emperor gave it to me.

Baurus

Strange. He saw something in you. Trusted you. They say it's the Dragon Blood, that flows through the veins of every Septim. They see more than lesser men. The Amulet of Kings is a sacred symbol of the Empire. Most people think of the Red Dragon Crown, but that's just jewelry. The Amulet has power. Only a true heir of the Blood can wear it, they say. He must have given it to you for a reason. Did he say why?

Player

I must take it to Jauffre.

Baurus

Jauffre? He said that? Why?

Player

There is another heir.

Baurus

Nothing I ever heard about. But Jauffre would be the one to know. He's the Grandmaster of my Order. Although you may not think so to meet him. He lives quietly as a monk at Weynon Priory, near the city of Chorrol.

Player

How do I get there?

Baurus

First you need to get out of here. Through that door must be the entrance to the sewers, past the locked gate. That's where we were heading. It's a secret way out of the Imperial City. Or it was supposed to be secret. Here. You'll need this key for the last door into the sewers.

Player

The sewers?

Baurus

The game attempts to guess which class suits the player best based on their performance in the dungeon. After Baurus suggests a class, the player can disagree with him and pick their own if they so choose.

There are rats and goblins down there...but from what I've seen of you, I'm guessing you are an experienced Knight. Am I right?

Player

I'm a Knight.

Baurus

I thought so. A few rats and goblins won't give you any trouble.

Player

After the sewers, then what?

Baurus

You must get the Amulet to Jauffre. Take no chances, but proceed to Weynon Priory immediately. Got it?

Journal

Baurus, one of the Emperor's bodyguards, told me that Jauffre was the head of the Blades, an order of knights sworn to protect the Emperors.

Player

No. Please explain more.

Baurus

Take it easy. You'll be fine. I know this is a lot to take in all at once. No one's more surprised than me that I'm sending an escaped prisoner off with the Amulet of Kings! But the Emperor trusted you for a reason, and I trust the Emperor. The Amulet of Kings must get to Jauffre at Weynon Priory. He'll know what to do with it. Jauffre should know how to find the heir that the Emperor spoke of. The Amulet must reach Emperor Uriel's heir so a new emperor can be crowned!

Player

What about you? What will you do?

Baurus

I'll stay here to guard the Emperor's body, and make sure no one follows you. You'd better get moving. May Talos guide you. By the way, thanks for recovering Captain Renault's sword. I'll see that it is given a place of honor in the halls of the Blades.

Player

The player enters the sewers through a door nearby. After a short treck through the tunnels, they find a round grate and exit to the outside.

 Next, they travel westward across Cyrodiil to Weynon Priory, near the city of Chorrol.