TESL Battlespire: Havok Wellhead

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At the end of the fifth part, I went through a teleporter that took me to the Daedric Realm called the Havok Wellhead.

I was greeted by a Herne when I got there.

Herne 2: A manling. As promised. For our sport. Very good.

Sinder Velvin: The last Herne who thought I looked like good sport is steaming in the Abyss, Clown. You know Egahirn?

Herne 2: Yes. Yes. Egahirn is our Oathkin, Playbrother, Lapmate, and Lipfast. What of him?

Sinder Velvin: He fancied himself a Huntsman, but he misjudged the Hare. I just poked him with the Spear of Bitter Mercy, and I think he’ll be bouncing around the Cruel, Dark, and Deep for quite a while. So. Anyone else here fancy a wrestle?

I defeated it and, after a very short while, found another one.

Herne 3: Oh. Look. An itsy-bitsy eentsy-weentsy toy. Just for us to play with. Isn’t our Lady thoughtful?

Sinder Velvin: Look, but don’t touch, gristle-wit. I have an important message for Faydra, and she’ll give me hell if I get your fat, greasy juices all over it. So do yourself a favor, and get out of my way, or I’ll have to tear a hole in you big enough to poke a barrel through.

Herne 3: Yeah? Well, get about your business, mortal, and stop stinking up my air.

Sinder Velvin: You have the nerve to talk about my smell. Have you sniffed those britches you’re wearing lately? Oh. Sorry. Not britches. So maybe you could wash that tail of yours. Or shave it.

After I defeated the Herne, I encountered a Seducer.

Seducer 5: Does my form please you? Would you taste of its delights?

Sinder Velvin: What’s your game? What are your interests here? Who do you serve? Make your play. Can we share a side? Or play both ends against the middle?

Seducer 5: My game is deep, mortal, too deep for you. Just stay out of it, and away from me, if you know what’s good for you.

Sinder Velvin: Thanks for the tip. But us monkeys have got curiosity disease bad. We just have to poke into things. And, if you won’t tell me what you’re up to, I’ll just have to open you up and find out how what makes you tick.

The Seducer went bye-bye, but I encountered another one.

Seducer 6: By the Dead and the Living Gods! It is the manling. Alive yet. We must tell his Lordship.

Sinder Velvin: Yes! Behold the BOLD MANLING, and TASTE FEAR! I — Hey. Where are you going?

It vanished. The next Daedroth I encountered was a Daedric Count.

Daedric Count 1: You are good. Yet you are tired, reserves exhausted. And we are fresh. And very good. Those you have defeated? We are their masters, and greater by far than you have seen.

Sinder Velvin: All this may be true. What is your point?

Daedric Count 1: You are flesh, and mortal. Do not, in your pride, perish, and pass away forever. While there is still a chance of your success, no matter how slim, we know you must struggle. But when all hope is gone, and death is upon you, yield to us. We will guard you well, for you are a prize of great value.

Sinder Velvin: I mark your words, but I know not your honor, nor the honor of your Lord, and would not test it by yielding up my life and arms.

Daedric Count 1: Yes. We know of the treachery of Egahirn, and are shamed by his false actions. Yet consider. Though we will be praised as your conqueror, be you quick or dead, still our fame increases if you honor us by becoming our ransom. Even if our honor is stained, reason proves our interest in preserving you whole to our glory.

Sinder Velvin: I will consider your words. But now we must return to our contest of arms, upon which rests both our fortunes.

During the nasty battle that I had with it, I tried talking to it again.

Daedric Count 1: Have you considered our offer? Would you yield to us?

Sinder Velvin: Yes. I will yield, on the condition that my life, and the life of my companion, are spared.

Daedric Count 1: I can speak for your life, upon my own honor, but not for the life of your companion, which is in my Lord’s hands.

Sinder Velvin: Then I must be satisfied with my own life. I lay down my arms and armor, and yield to you.

My weapon was now on the ground.

Daedric Count 1: I accept your surrender. And now will execute upon you Middle Justice, as is the right of our station. We condemn you to die for making war upon our sovereign Lord. Heh-heh-heh.

Sinder Velvin: I suspected your treachery, perfidious Dog. Now you face a desperate foe, and greatly will I savor your destruction and humiliation.

I picked up my weapon and defeated it. I then spoke with a Clannfear.

Clannfear 1: We smells FLESH! Flesh is wrong! Escapes, has it? Or steals our treasures? Now we takes and strips it, yes, and seeks for its surprises.

Sinder Velvin: How can you tolerate these Hernes? They mock the Law. They cheat in the Hunt, and brings dishonor on you all. And, by the way, in case you don’t know who you’re dealing with, I just killed a Huntsman. Yes. Egahirn. A Huntsman protected by the Sacred Ritual. So. Why don’t you go do something about those disgusting Hernes?

Clannfear 1: You LIES, person. You can’t kill a Daedra. Immortal is your word, yes?

Sinder Velvin: Oh, sure, if you have to be technical about it. But I smacked him with the Huntsman Spear – With Dagon’s own power. That should put him out for a LONG time.

Clannfear 1: The SHAME! The Huntsman slain by a mortal. The Hernes bring nothing but shame and shame. The Hernes must learn — Honor the Law. And Faydra must teach — Honor on the House. They taunts and tests us. They steals our glory, and raids our treasures. And now, this must stop. Honor at stake. Pride demands! Chasten them with Rods of Law. Hammer them to the Straight Path!

Sinder Velvin: You and me, Lizardboy! Let’s go put hurt on Hernes! Hooray!

The Clannfear joined my side. I soon talked to another one.

Clannfear 2: Smell THAT! Warm. Soft. Wet in our teeth. FLESH! Flee, manling, so we bites the BEST parts!

Sinder Velvin: Sober up, and stop spitting on me. Where’s your master? Dammit! I’m in a hurry. Stop gawking, and start talking.

Clannfear 2: Hhhsssss! Threatens us, does it? Hhhsssss!

Sinder Velvin: Yessss. Threatens the sissy little lizard. Then splits its sissy little gizzard.

Well… Do I have to tell you what happened to that Clannfear? I’m sure you can figure it out. Anyway, I came upon yet another one shortly afterwards.

Clannfear 3: How dare you, mortal? Fool, or assassin? Spy, or thief? Then here is your reward, sneak-thing – DEATH!

Sinder Velvin: Look. No offense. But I’ve been shucking skins off your lizard guys like my Mom used to shuck peas. Think a bit. Shouldn’t you wait for help?

Clannfear 3: Clannfear not scared of sneaky pinkskin. Clannfear SMART. Clannfear talks and talks and talks with pinkskin. Soon — Plenty of Clannfear, yes? You waits here? Yes?

Sinder Velvin: Yeah? Well, I’ll take you on, and all your little friends, too.

It went on a vacation to the Daedric Void and I continued to explore the realm. I found Imago’s castle in the north and spoke with the Daedric Count guarding the front entrance.

Daedric Count 2: I have assured My Lord Imago that you will not be interested in speaking with him. It should not be difficult to persuade you. It is always possible that I am wrong. Do you think that possible? That I could be wrong?

Sinder Velvin: Whether I am interested in speaking with Lord Imago is of little account. What matters is whether Lord Imago wishes to speak with me, and in that, I am his willing servant.

Daedric Count 2: If I cannot persuade you that you are not interested in speaking with him, then, indeed, Lord Imago wishes to speak with you. I carry an amulet. When you have that amulet, then you may know that My Lord will speak with you.

Sinder Velvin: I see. And you will not just give me the amulet.

Daedric Count 2: No. Of course not. Do you jest?

Sinder Velvin: No. I do not jest. I earnestly desire the amulet, and if it were available for the asking, it would be arrogant to neglect to ask. Therefore, I honor you, and your offices. Let us proceed with the weighty matters of persuasion.

After I defeated the Daedric Count, I lowered the castle’s drawbridge and went inside. His Guards were a bit stubborn, but I eventually got past them and spoke with Imago Storm.

Imago Storm: Thank you for coming. I regret the disturbance you’ve caused, though, in your place, I might have thought it excusable.

Sinder Velvin: Disturbance? If that is not simply polite understatement, I shudder to consider the normal state of affairs here.

Imago Storm: I daresay that by mortal standards all this must seem an unsettled existence. Well, you are not here for an extended stay. I have a proposal to make, but before I do, are there any questions you’d like to ask?

Sinder Velvin: I am bewildered by the subtleties of daedric clan politics. Can you sort out for me the players in this little drama?

Imago Storm: Faydra’s clan represents the vital, but impulsive and undisciplined element of the destructive principle. Xivilai’s clan represents the ambitious, but occasionally overreaching and imprudent side of Destruction. I, and my Vassal Lords, and the Dremora clan, represent the principle of Destruction as Evolution, aspiring to arts and powers of ever-increasing potency and aesthetic refinement. The Seducers are Masterless Daedra, cast adrift by the failed fortunes of their Lords, and recently accepted, much against my counsel, into Lord Dagon’s service. Is that clear?

Sinder Velvin: What’s your stake in this? Are you angling to supplant your boss?

Imago Storm: You think I am ambitious. My interest is purely in the welfare of the clan. Dagon’s tolerance of the antics of Xivilai and Faydra, and his acceptance of the clanless Seducers into the inner counsels of our clan, are an unfortunate divergence from Dagon’s otherwise prudent policies. It would be better if my Lord, and his most wayward lieutenants, were to take a short vacation while I restore Clan Dagon to its normal stability. Is that clear?

Sinder Velvin: Lord Dagon and his clan wants to add Battlespire to their dominions, yes? If so, why are you, his Chief Lieutenant, and your followers, working behind the scenes to confound this ambition?

Imago Storm: In taking Battlespire, our clan has overreached its resources and judgements. A time of change is coming — It is written in the firmament — And it is time to make fast and conserve our realm, not to extend our grasp. Battlespire is a rich resource, and will be coveted by the other clans. We do not need such distractions, especially as the Storms of Change come upon us. Is that clear?

Sinder Velvin: I can’t understand why any of the Daedric clans have anything to do with mortals. Why would even the least of Daedra answer a mortal Sorcerer’s summons? And what on Tamriel could possibly interest any of the Immortal Powers?

Imago Storm: Mortals are short-lived, ignorant, and feeble by contrast with the Daedra. But you mortals are also potent engines of change and innovation, of desperate and reckless improvisation and industry. Thus do we so prize the fruits of your mundane and arcane engineering. Thus do we bargain and plunder and steal to gain these treasures. We have lived too long, and grow dull and complacent. You live too short, and so are wonderfully sharp and inventive. Does that make sense?

I then decided to hear his proposal.

Imago Storm: Here’s my proposal. I will give you the neonymics of Faydra, Xivilai — And Lord Dagon. Do you know what a neonymic is, and what it signifies?

Sinder Velvin: Heh, heh. I know a little about such things. The neonymic gives me the power to banish a Daedric creature into Oblivion.

Imago Storm: You are correct in general. Actually, the incantation of the neonymic drains the vital force from an immortal, forcing him to follow that force into Oblivion. There one abides until the vital force is replenished. The experience is somewhat analogous to sleep for mortals. However, sleep is a normal experience for mortals. It is NOT a normal experience for an immortal. Suffice it to say that it is as close to the terror and despair of death as an immortal can come.

Sinder Velvin: So. You will give me the neonymics. And then?

Imago Storm: You will use those neonymics to cast them into Oblivion for the present. For reward, you shall have your life, and the life of your companion. When Dagon is cast into the Void, you may take his Amulet of Entry, pass into the Ward Sigil that hangs in his sanctuary, and thus be teleported back to Battlespire, where you may pass through his Sigil there and return to Tamriel. Does that satisfy you?

Sinder Velvin: Very much. Too much to be true. But I know that I will not get a better offer from anyone else, and I also know I am too ignorant of Daedric politics to be a significant player without your help. So we have an agreement.

Imago Storm: Dagon’s incantory neonymic is Djehkeleho-dehbe-effehezepeh. Xivilai’s neonymic: Wegerohseh-chehkohieu. Faydra’s Neonymic: Nepehkweh-kodo. I will give a document bearing the appropriate neonymic, the Daedric characters, the transliteration into Tamrielic, and a phonetic transcription to help you pronounce the phrases effectively.

He gave me his notes.

Sinder Velvin: You think of everything. Which is quite terrifying.

Imago Storm: You have to trust me. You have no choice. I appreciate that. It must be very unpleasant. And now here is one of the three keys to the gate. When all three keys are placed in the gate lantern in the center of the chamber, this gate will carry you to Lord Dagon’s Hunting Lodge, where your friend is held. And the other two keys are held by Faydra Shardai and Xivilai Moath, so I know your path must cross theirs.

Sinder Velvin: Thank you. An old man told me that I am a tool in the hands of the Gods. I thought it funny, and cruel, at the time, but, as you suggest, the path the Gods have painted is unmistakable.

Imago Storm: They are your Gods, mortal, and none of my affair. There is no reason for us to speak further. It has been a pleasure to meet you. Perhaps we shall meet again some day. Farewell, and good fortune, mortal.

Sinder Velvin: Farewell.

Imago disappeared. I went to the eastern part of the realm, where I eventually found Xivilai Moath.

Xivilai Moath: I will speak to you simply and directly in the manner of your race.

Sinder Velvin: Thank you, your Lordship. I am sensible of the honor you do me.

Xivilai Moath: You’ve gotten this far against considerable opposition. Therefore, you are able to protect yourself. You are talking to us. Therefore you have something to sell. We will hear your plea – Simple and direct. Then we will consider your appeal, or call your bluff.

Sinder Velvin: Bluntly spoken, sir. In short, my Lord, I have your neonymic. I can tell you where I got it. I want to rescue my friend from your Lord Dagon. I need to get to his Hunting Lodge to accomplish this rescue. As you know, I can use the neonymic to banish you, take the key, then fight my way through your troops. Or you can give me the key, tell your troops to display honorable but prudent valor in defending the gate, and I keep the neonymic my little secret pending the unlikely event of a future encounter between us.

Xivilai Moath: Who gave you my neonymic?

Sinder Velvin: Your erstwhile ally, Faydra Shardai. You ought to keep an eye on that one, Lord. She’s a sneaky one.

Xivilai Moath: I misjudged Faydra. I wonder how she discovered my neonymic? Very well. I shall require a oath to the Powers that you will never reveal the neonymic to another soul…

Sinder Velvin: Other than yourself, of course…

Xivilai Moath: Ah. Yes. Of course. You will never reveal my neonymic to any soul save myself; in return, you shall have the gatekey to Dagon’s Hunting Lodge, and a secret safe conduct from my clan.

Sinder Velvin: To your proposal, by the Great Powers, I so swear.

Xivilai Moath: Here is the gatekey. I shall issue orders to my clan immediately. I believe I shall comfort myself with the conquest of Battlespire, and be grateful to have you out of my way at so modest a price. And now, if you’ll excuse me, my clan and I have some pressing business with the Shardai clan and its honor-stained leader.

Sinder Velvin: If you don’t mind, I think I’ll make myself scarce before things get too dangerous around here. Good luck, and good hunting.

I found Sirran Angada nearby.

Sirran Angada: Why have I been kept waiting? Lord Dagon will wish to see me immediately. The portents are most propitious, but a crisis is coming, and he will wish to take the tides at their flood.

Sinder Velvin: It is all a mystery to me, sir. In fact, I have no idea who you are or why you are here. I pass this way looking for a pair of Boots of Grotesque Liveliness that seem to have gone missing. You haven’t seen them anywhere, have you?

Sirran Angada: This is unacceptable! This is but the calm before the storm. The tides of magic are at the remotest ebb. His Lordship MUST be prepared to ride them at their flood, or all may be lost!

Sinder Velvin: Sorry. Don’t know WHAT you’re talking about. But if you’ll give me your name, your purpose, and a brief message, I’ll see that it gets to Lord Dagon, or one of his chief lieutenants, right away.

Sirran Angada: See here. My name is Sirran Angada. I’m a mortal Sorcerer.

Sinder Velvin: Well, anyone can see that.

Sirran Angada: Listen, knave, and cease your prattle. My Lord, Jagar Tharn, the mortal Emperor of Tamriel, and your Lord Dagon are ordering affairs high above your counsel. Tell someone in authority that I MUST speak with his Lordship.

Sinder Velvin: What? I’m not up on current affairs, but isn’t the manling Emperor called Septic or Septem or September or something?

Sirran Angada: Gooood. Gooood. You CAN think, after a fashion. Yes, Tamriel BELIEVES that Uriel Septem still rules, but in fact, my master, Jagar Tharn, has taken the form of the Emperor and rules in his stead.

Sinder Velvin: That is VERY interesting. But what has that got to do with you and Lord Dagon?

Sirran Angada: Lord Dagon was instrumental in assisting my master in this imposture, and as partial recompense, my master has temporarily placed my not-inconsiderable skills in reading the vagaries of the magica tides at your master’s disposal. And it is this very counsel that your master so earnestly desires THAT YOU ARE KEEPING FROM HIM BY YOUR SILLY QUESTIONS.

Sinder Velvin: Lord Dagon is always VERY busy, and not likely to take interest in the incomprehensible babble of a manling booby.

Sirran Angada: Listen. The fate of the Realms and all that is in them is affected by the ebb and flow of magica. Out there, in the Void, the Waters of Oblivion have receded far from the shores of the mortal and immortal realms.

Sinder Velvin: Oh. Say. Is that what all this claptrap lying around is about? Are these those – Whatchamachit – Magiscopes? Can you really see the Beginning and the Ends of the Worlds in those things? Hey. How about my fortune? Tell me my fortune?

Sirran Angada: If, by your feckless inanity and indolence, you fail to carry this message to Lord Dagon, and thereby squander the precious wisdom that might be used to shape the destinies of all the mortal and immortal realms, I believe Lord Dagon may use your mouth, and, indeed, your entire alimentary canal, as a fit and handy receptacle for his Terrible and Swift Sword of Destruction!

Sinder Velvin: Ahem. Look. I’m not a Daedra. I am, in fact, an Imperial Battlemage. Or, at least, I WILL be one. Very soon. And you are apparently the traitor responsible for opening the gates of Battlespire to the servants of Dagon.

Sirran Angada: What? What? Oh. Dear.

Sinder Velvin: The price of treason is death. I would prefer to bring you before the Emperor himself – Wherever he is – If he still lives – For His Justice, but I’m afraid I’m in a bit of a hurry. So. I pronounce upon you the Summary Justice of Emperor Uriel Septem, in his name, and by his Law.

Sirran Angada: But you can’t just kill me in cold blood. What about due process? My rights as a noble?

Sinder Velvin: Try begging me for mercy.

Sirran Angada: Hah. I’d rather die than beg mercy from you, stripling.

Sinder Velvin: Okay. Suit yourself. Then prepare to die, traitor!

After I killed him, I went to the western part of the realm, where I found an arena where a Clannfear and a Herne were supposedly fighting. I spoke with one of the Clannfear spectators.

Clannfear 4: Pinkskin! Stand clear. This combat for honor of Xivilai and Clannfear!

Sinder Velvin: You must have confused me with someone else. I’m no pinkskin. I’m a Living God. Fall on your knees right now and worship me, and maybe I’ll spare you eons of torment in a loud, nasty black drain hole of Eternity.

Clannfear 4: Foolish manling. Such foolish lies. Such insults! To think we would swallow such toad-droppings? You do us a great wrong.

Sinder Velvin: I apologize most sincerely for impugning your modest wit. Forgive me. I didn’t even know you had ANY wit! Hah-hah-hah. I slay me.

I defeated it and talked to Herne spectator.

Herne 4: Well. If it isn’t the manling master of war. Far from home, and all alone. Come to dance? Come to play? Come to sing? Come to paint the world red with your heart’s blood? Or would you fight in the Arena with us?

Sinder Velvin: Blah, blah, blah. If words could kill, I’d be digging my grave. Come on, goat-britches. Show me some action.

Herne 4: No, manling. Not in the arena. You’ll not provoke me into lawless riot here. But outside the Arena, watch your delicate skin.

Sinder Velvin: Oh. I can’t provoke you, eh? We’ll see about that.

I did manage to provoke it. It ended badly for the Herne. After exploring the realm a bit more, I encounered another Herne with new dialogue.

Herne 5: What have we here? A mortal? Abroad in the great wide world with no one to save him? Oh, how tired he must be of the long days and nights. Come, fall upon your weapon, and end the pain. Else I fear we must feed you your own dainty parts, and spoil that pretty skin with teeth and fire.

Sinder Velvin: I laugh at death. Hah-hah-hah! And at you. Hah-hah-hah. And at your goofy-looking boots.

Herne 5: Hoofs, mortal. Not boots. And all the better to kick in your silly teeth.

Sinder Velvin: And the tail — Hah-hah-hah! You slay me.

After defeating it, I found a small room with a hole in the middle and a note on one of the walls reading “INTELLIGENCE TRAINING”. The hole had some water, but not enough for someone falling inside to be able to get back up. Had I decided to explore the hole, I would have found this note inside. After some more exploration, I found Faydra Shardai.

Faydra Shardai: We are pleased you have come to us. You have proven your worth. We are prepared to grant you what you ask in return for your service. Only be careful… Ask wisely, and receive our blessing.

Sinder Velvin: I wish only the key to the gate to Lord Dagon Hunting Lodge, and safe passage there, where I might parlay with Lord Dagon for the life of my companion Vatasha and our safe return to Tamriel.

Faydra Shardai: So. You ask for much… But I am generous to my servants. Then swear to my service before the Great Powers, and you shall have what you ask.

Sinder Velvin: Actually, if you don’t mind, I’d first like to hear the terms and conditions of my service.


Sinder Velvin: Remember. You brought this on yourself by being so mean to me. So. I hereby banish you, Faydra Shardai, Nepehkweh-kodo, to the Wells of Oblivion. Bon voyage, pruneface.

Faydra went bye-bye and I took its gatekey. I now had all the three gatekeys, so I went back to Imago’s castle and entered the portal, which took me, as promised, to Dagon’s Hunting Lodge.

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