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The Lock and the Legion

Author: 
Xui'al

The Vestige accepts a mission to scout the Elven Gardens District. The Drake of Blades is waiting above.

Drake of Blades: You haven’t seen any legionaries that seem out of place, have you? He’d be shorter than I am, with very little hair?

Vestige: You’ll need to be more specific. What’s the problem?

Drake of Blades: My contact in Legion Zero, Captain Regilus, is missing. He’s sharp. Tenacious. A good man - I guess. Anyway, I haven’t heard from him in weeks. He drank that Coldharbour brew to maintain his cover. I’m afraid it might have gotten the better of him.

Vestige: I’ll look for him. Any idea where he might be at?

Drake of Blades: We use a system. When I want to meet, I draw the seal of the Dragonguard on a wall near the thoroughfare crossing. That’s the signal to meet in the sewer hideout. I’ll mark it on your map. I’m not convinced he’ll show, but... he’s invaluable.

Vestige: I’ll seek him out and find out where’s he been.

Drake of Blades: If you see him, please tell him how angry I am. Or maybe “disappointed” is better. Just... whatever. You know what I mean. Use your imagination.

Vestige: Why do you think he’ll show for me and not for you?

Drake of Blades: I’m... difficult. He could simply be avoiding me.

Vestige: Do you think that’s likely?

Drake of Blades: No, of course not. He’s a consummate professional. He wouldn’t let something like that interfere with his duty. He’s always taken my peculiarities in stride. It’s weird.

Vestige: So why do you think he’s not showing?

Drake of Blades: I have two theories. One, he has been captured, or two, he’s determined that a meet is too dangerous. I have a hard time believing that he’s been killed or captured. He’s far too clever for that. His work is too clean. Cleaner than mine.

Vestige: So what could be making a meet too dangerous?

Drake of Blades: The corruption. Members of Legion Zero are forced to drink a foul potion. It’s an initiation of sorts. It makes them aggressive. Erratic. He probably doesn’t want to endanger me... my mission, I mean. He might be less concerned about hurting you.

The Vestige draws the seal on the wall and is contacted by the captain. The two meet at the captain’s safehouse.

Captain Regilus: Keep your distance! I’m sorry. I don’t know how much longer I’ll have control.

Vestige: Are you all right? What happened to your eyes?

Captain Regilus: Nice to meet you too. Do you always lead with indelicate questions? I tend to introduce myself first. First impressions and that. Sorry... it’s been a long week. I’m Captain Regilus. I’m assuming you’re working with the Drake of Blades?

Vestige: Yes. She sent me to look out for you.

Captain Regilus: I figured. I’d have met with her before, but it’s getting too dangerous. I can feel myself succumbing to Molag Bal’s corruption. I thought I had it under control, but... Listen - the Daedra have found a key.

Vestige: A key to what?

Captain Regilus: An ancient door, deep beneath the city. I’ve heard the leadership talking about it. Nothing solid. Just whispers about a relic, locked up tight. I’m tempted to simply steal this key, but I think we’ll have better luck if we make a switch.

Vestige: What did you have in mind?

Captain Regilus: I made a key mold. It was a risky play, but I was running out of ideas. If you can make a false key and switch it out with the real one, it should keep the Daedrea off your back for a while. Give you a chance to learn more about this relic.

Vestige: So you want me to make a fake key?

Captain Regilus: Yes. I’ll give you the mold. If you can get your hands on some scrap metal from these soldiers, you should be able to cast the key in the western forge. Once it’s made, we swap it with the genuine article and no one is the wiser. Although...

Vestige: Yes?

Captain Regilus: It’s fresh from the mold, so it won’t look as worn as the actual key. AFter you cast it, bring the fake key over to the laboratory on the northwest side of the district. You can give it a good acid bath there - some pits and scars will sell it.

Vestige: Forge a false key, then treat it with acid so it looks old. Got it.

Captain Regilus: When you’ve got the key ready for the switch, meet me at the groundskeeper’s storehouse. We’ll go over the rest of the details there.

Vestige: I’ll meet you there after.

Captain Regilus: You’d better get moving. The more time you take, the more time there is for things to go wrong.

Vestige: So what happened to you?

Captain Regilus: Right... I had to drink the Blood of Coldhabour to maintain my cover in Legion Zero. Tasted like a dead-man’s breath over ice. I wouldn’t recommend it. It changes you. Not just in body, but in mind.

Vestige: Why haven’t you succummed to it?

Captain Regilus: Antidotes, potions, herbal remedies... anything I can scrounge up. It’s not pleasant. If the corruption doesn’t kill me, these remedies will. That only gets me so far. It’s really about willpower. And even that has limits.

Vestige: Why go on with it?

Captain Regilus: Stubbornness, mostly. I can still be useful. Plus, I don’t want to give them the satisfaction of turning me. They’ll find me out eventually, of course. When they do, I’ll have my dagger ready, first for the one who outs me, and then for myself.

The Vestige collects the metal, makes a false key, and then plunges the key into an acid bath before meeting Captain Regillus at the storehouse.

Captain Regilus: There you are. I was beginning to think you’d been caught.

Vestige: How are you holding up?

Captain Regilus: Are you mad? How do you think - ? I’m... I’m sorry. I’m keeping together. Don’t worry about it. Did you make the false key?

Vestige: Yes, I have it right here. What’s next?

Captain Regilus: They’ve locked the key away in the old counting house. A Xivkyn named Zolgar the Brutal keeps watch over it. I’ll unlock the door and distract him while you slip in and make the switch. When it’s done, meet me back in the sewer hideout.

Vestige: All right. Good luck.

The captain distracts the Xivkyn with rumours of a plot in Legion Zero while the Vestige switches the keys. The captain murders the Xivkyn.

Captain Regilus: Any problems with the switch? I hope not, I can’t quite pull that off twice.

Vestige: What happened back there? I thought this was supposed to be quiet.

Captain Regilus: I’d say I don’t know what came over me, but I do. It’s the corruption taking hold. I... I killed him, but at least it was behind closed doors. This will work to our advantage. There will be infighting as they try to figure out who murdered Zolgar.

Vestige: So what now?

Captain Regilus: Bring the key and this report to the Drake. It’s everything I have written down on what we accomplished. As for me, I’m too much of a risk now. I’m losing control of myself and I can’t be allowed to tell them what we did.

Vestige: What are you going to do?

Captain Regilus: You and I both know what needs to be done. Thank you for helping me complete one last mission.

Vestige: I understand. Goodbye, Captain.

Captain Regilus: Oh - and when you see the Drake, tell her... Never mind. Just look after her, all right?

Vestige: I will.

Captain Regilus gives the Vestige a report to return to the Drake, and then he commits suicide via poison. The Vestige returns to the Drake in the sewers.

Drake of Blades: You made it back. Excellent. Did you find Regilus? What did he have to say?

Vestige: We managed to steal an ancient key from the Daedra. Here is Regilus’s final report.

Drake of Blades: A key? May I? Well, it’s certainly old. Seems like Regilus had some theories. Gods, his penmanship is atrocious. Luckily, some of the iconography seems intact. Between that and Regilus’s notes, we should be able to deduce its origin.

Vestige: What do you think it opens?

Drake of Blades: Something with a lock on it. I’d say a door, based on the size. Perhaps a very large box. I can guess more if you’d like. Sorry. There is something about a relic in his report... Wait, did you say his “final report?” What happened to him?

Vestige: Molag Bal’s corruption finally took hold. He chose to take his own life rather than lose control.

Drake of Blades: Oh.

Vestige: Are you all right?

Drake of Blades: Yes, of course I am. Why are you looking at me like that? Stop it. He was dead as soon as he drank that poison. We both knew that. I just thought he was going to hold on a bit longer. It’s... it’s a shame. That’s all.

Vestige: All right.

Drake of Blades: So. Yes. I’ll hold on to the key for now. I suspect we’ll need it sooner rather than later. Thank you for recovering it - and for finding Regilus. I’m glad someone was there. At the end.