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A Necessary Alliance

Author: 
Anonymous

Ceporah Tower

Oriandra

Grief does us no good unless we use it to focus our commitment. We need to rally our forces. It's time to turn this Daedric tide before the waters of Oblivion overwhelm us.

Thankfully, Sotha Sil returned while you traveled the Dreaming Cave.

Player

Did Sotha Sil have any news to share?

Oriandra

Sotha Sil said he had information meant only for Ritemaster Iachesis's ears. He asked me to send the Ritemaster to see him when he returned from traveling the Dreaming Cave.

Player

Someone needs to tell Sotha Sil that the Ritemaster is dead.

Oriandra

We also need to convince Sotha Sil to share the news he brought with us. But without the Ritemaster, he may decide to simply depart. Like all the members of the Dark Elf Tribunal, he can be very enigmatic.

Maybe you should talk to him.

Player

I'll speak to Sotha Sil.

Oriandra

You'll find Sotha Sil in his study on the upper levels of Ceporah Tower.

In the meantime, I'll make sure Valsirenn and the Golden Knight see the Psijic healers. I think we'll need them at their best before too long.

Player

Before leaving to speak with Sotha Sil, the player checks in with Darien and Val.

Darien Gauiter

I hate this! I was supposed to save everybody. That's what Meridia sent me here to do. I am not used to failing so spectacularly. Not used to it at all.

Valsirenn

First my husband betrays us. Then my friend and mentor dies at the hands of a Daedric Prince. This situation gets worse and worse with every passing moment.

Player

They go up to Sotha Sil's chamber, where the wizard is waiting.

Sotha Sil

How unusual. The Psijics know better than to disturb me in my private study. And the Ritemaster has kept me waiting for an inordinate amount of time.

That leads me to a single conclusion—the Ritemaster has not returned from the Dreaming Cave.

Player

The Ritemaster is dead. Nocturnal killed him.

Sotha Sil

That is unfortunate. I enjoyed my infrequent talks with Iachesis. Ah, well.

Now if you don't mind, I have preparations to make before I take my leave.

Player

You're just going to leave? But I thought you had information to share with the Ritemaster?

Sotha Sil

I am and I did. But the Ritemaster is no longer in a position to receive that information.

Now, once again, I ask—

Player

We need your help to stop Nocturnal. Tell me what you were going to tell the Ritemaster.

Sotha Sil

A demand? Interesting.

Then hear my words. Nocturnal stole a secret I thought well hidden. I developed a technique for utilizing life energy as a source of power. I suspect she will use that technique to amplify the Crystal Tower.

Player

What will amplifying the Crystal Tower do?

Sotha Sil

The Crystal Tower exists on multiple planes of reality simultaneously and possesses capabilities we do not fully understand. We must assume that Nocturnal's options are infinite.

I suggest you find Valsirenn and inform her of this development.

Player

Nocturnal's no longer working with the other Daedric Princes.

Sotha Sil

I find it hard to believe that Nocturnal, Mephala, and Vile worked together for as long as they did. Daedric Princes aren't known for their willingness to share.

With the Heart, Nocturnal moves one step closer to gaining control of the tower.

Player

Why is the Heart so special?

Sotha Sil

Transparent Law, the crystal at the top of the Crystal Tower, anchors its metaphysical structure to all realities. With the Heart, she can restore the crystal, utilize its capabilities, and make herself master of the tower.

Player

How can the Crystal Tower exist on multiple planes at the same time?

Sotha Sil

The tower straddles every reality. Its true purpose remains lost to time, but I theorize it was created as a watchtower of sorts. A doorway to everywhere.

It stands to reason, then, that the tower is the key to omnipresence.

Player

How does that help Nocturnal?

Sotha Sil

Imagine a Daedric Prince who can exert influence throughout the multiverse at the exact same moment in time. Nocturnal could become infinite.

If she accomplishes that, then her power would multiply accordingly. She would be … without limits.

The Crystal Tower exists on multiple planes of reality simultaneously and possesses capabilities we do not fully understand. We must assume that Nocturnal's options are infinite.

I suggest you find Valsirenn and inform her of this development.

Before the player has a chance to leave, Darien bursts into the room.

Darien Gautier

You need to go to Valsirenn's study right now. There's a problem.

He's really … tall.

Sotha Sil

Knight of Meridia, stay and talk with me.

Player

The player rushes down to the main chamber and back up into Valsirenn's study. There, they find Val levitating and choking Leythen, while Oriandra attempts to calm her down.

Oriandra

Valsirenn, stop! You're going to kill him!

Valsirenn

Arrgh! Fine! Let our friend finish the interrogation.

Oriandra

You got here just in time. I've never seen Valsirenn with such … murder in her eyes.

Valsirenn

Oriandra doesn't trust me right now, and I can't blame her.

You interrogate Leythen. Get him to tell you why they killed the Ritemaster. We need answers! Otherwise, I—I'm not sure what we should do.

Leythen

This is ridiculous! I had no wish to see Iachesis harmed. He was my friend! He tried to save my daughter!

If my wife wants a battle, though, tell her I'm ready to oblige!

Player

Nocturnal betrayed your Prince when she killed the Ritemaster and took the Heart for herself.

Leythen

What are you talking about? Nocturnal, Mephala, and Clavicus Vile are partners in this. That's why our three sects formed the Court of Bedlam. Three Daedric Princes working together to make the world a better place.

Player

I saw Nocturnal banish Mephala and Vile from her realm. I don't think she's still part of your team.

Leythen

No, that can't be right. Why would she betray the triad like that? Unless—

You must let me leave Artaeum. I need to contact my Prince!

(Although these options look mutually exclusive, the player can select both if they click all the way through the dialog two times)

Player

We need to know what the Princes were originally planning.

Leythen

And I need to return to Summerset, but it looks like we're both going to be disappointed.

Player

Whatever Nocturnal has planned is a threat to Mephala and the rest of the Court of Bedlam.

Leythen

Which is why I have to warn my Prince!

Look, help me and I'll help you. You're going to need my Prince if you have any hope of taking on Nocturnal. Consider it a necessary alliance.

Player

[Intimidate] Tell me what the Princes were originally planning or I'll turn you back over to Valsirenn.

Leythen

Look, you have to let me return to Summerset and warn my Prince. Let me go and I'll convince Mephala to help you. You're going to need my Prince if you really plan to take on Nocturnal and the Crystal Tower. Consider it a necessary alliance.

Player

First, tell me the triad's original plan.

Leythen

Do we really need to go over this again? Mephala and the triad sought places of power—the Clockwork City, the Crystal Tower—anything they could use to change the rules of reality and remake the world.

They wanted to make things better!

Player

Why would Nocturnal betray the triad and take the Heart?

Leythen

I still only have your word that my Prince has been betrayed. But I'll play along.

Daedric Princes aren't used to working together. If Nocturnal acquired the Heart of Transparent Law, I could see how she might then decide to go her own way.

Player

So you think she'll use the Heart to take control of the Crystal Tower?

Leythen

I was under the assumption that the triad needed to work together to take control of the Crystal Tower. That was always my understanding.

To attempt this on her own, Nocturnal must have found another source of power.

Player

How were the Princes planning to enter the Crystal Tower?

Leythen

The Crystal Tower has its own protections, though we know those have been weakened with the removal of the Heart of Transparent Law.

Still, we tried to acquire the Resolute Diamonds, the Sapiarchs' keys to the tower.

Player

So without the Sapiarchs' keys, Nocturnal can't enter the Crystal Tower?

Leythen

I didn't say that. Nocturnal has the Heart and her power as a Daedric Prince. It won't be easy, but she'll be able to enter the Crystal Tower.

You, on the other hand, will need help. Which brings me back to my offer. Make an alliance with my Prince.

Player

What happens to the Court of Bedlam now?

Leythen

What Court of Bedlam? You dealt with Clavicus Vile's earl and I'm your prisoner. The Court is in shambles, just like the triad, if what you say is to be believed.

But beware Nocturnal's champion. Her earl won't fall as easily as Tilcalar or I.

Valsirenn

Leythen is a shell of the man I fell in love with. We can't trust anything he says.

No, we have to deal with this ourselves. And the key is reaching the Crystal Tower before Nocturnal can accomplish a similar feat.

Player

Sotha Sil says that Nocturnal stole his secret for using life energy as a source of power.

Valsirenn

Just another horrible bit of news in an otherwise horrible situation.

All the more reason for us to get to the Crystal Tower. Last I heard, the Sapiarchs were attempting to rapidly attune two new tower sentinels. We need to see if they succeeded.

Player

Where are the Sapiarchs attempting the attuning ritual?

Valsirenn

Likely at the Crystal Tower Gatehouse, northeast of Lillandril. The ritual usually requires a full year and a day to complete, but the Sapiarchs reluctantly agreed to try to speed up the process.

We should head out immediately.

Player

I'll meet you at the Crystal Tower Gatehouse.

Valsirenn

Oriandra, tell Darien to meet us at the Crystal Tower Gatehouse. And keep an eye on Leythen while we're gone.

Meet Darien and me at the Crystal Tower Gatehouse. It lies to the northeast of Lillandril.

I just hope the Sapiarchs have found a way to speed up their ritual. We really need the tower sentinels right now.

Leythen

Rushing a spell as complex as the Sapiarch ritual will not end well. I researched the diamond keys to find out how they work, and the magic isn't stable.

Mark my words. It can't be accelerated without dire consequences.

Player

No time to waste, the player rushes off to the Crystal tower.

Crystal Tower Gatehouse

When they approach the tower gatehouse, they can instantly see that something is wrong. There is a purple cloud of magic swirling around the top of the tower. At the gatehouse steps, they see Razum-dar arguing with two Sapiarchs.

Razum-dar

No more stalling! Tell Raz what's happening at the Crystal Tower. Now!

Sapiarch Uudilwen

Climb the watchtower and see for yourself.

Razum-dar runs off to the nearby watch tower to do just that.

Sapiarch Tumbadoril

Why did you tell him that?

Sapiarch Uudilwen

His teeth were very sharp, Tumbadoril.

Player

The player tries talking to the two of them, but they're not very helpful.

Sapiarch Uudilwen

If you're here about the Crystal Tower, too, I'll tell you what I told the Khajiit. Climb the watchtower. You'll get a better view from up there.

Sapiarch Tumbadoril

The Sapiarchs are in the middle of a very delicate operation up at the Crystal Tower Gatehouse. I probably couldn't stop you, but I'm supposed to do my best to discourage any visitor to the area right now.

Player

They follow Raz up the stairs to the top of the watchtower. From there, they have a good view of the top of the tower. Razum-dar is there, alongside another Sapiarch.

Razum-dar

The Crystal Tower isn't supposed to do that, yes?

Sapiarch Isinborn

The tower started glowing right before you arrived.

Player

The player speaks with the Sapiarch first, to get caught up on the situation.

Sapiarch Isinborn

The Crystal Tower just started glowing. It's never done that before.

We thought our ritual of attunement might have caused a reaction, but the Sapiarch of Arcanology says this is something totally different.

Player

Nocturnal has the Heart of Transparent Law. Maybe that has something to do with this.

Sapiarch Isinborn

A Daedric Prince has part of the tower crystal? How? No, don't tell me. I'm going to have nightmares about this as it is.

We're in the midst of attempting a hastened attunement ritual to replace the tower sentinels. I should get back to it.

Player

Will the ritual work?

Sapiarch Isinborn

I—I hope so. We've never attempted to rush the ritual before. A lot depends on the suitability of the chosen sentinels, as well as the disposition of the diamond keys. They can be quite temperamental.

Razum-dar

Raz was nearby when he heard that the Sapiarchs were up to something at the Crystal Tower. This one didn't expect the tower to start glowing. I hope this is the work of the Psijics, yes?

No. This is something worse. Raz feels it in his paws.

Player

Nocturnal has the Heart of Transparent Law. This could be her doing.

Razum-dar

Daedric Princes. Raz hates those things.

This one supposes that if Nocturnal takes control of the Crystal Tower, that would be bad for Summerset, yes?

Player

Sotha Sil says she could use the Crystal Tower to become infinitely powerful.

Razum-dar

So that would be a yes on the bad for Summerset question.

Infinite. A number so big it makes Raz's head swim just trying to imagine it. So, what should we do about this? You have a plan to save the day, yes?

Player

The Sapiarchs are trying to create a new pair of sentinels so we can enter the Crystal Tower.

Razum-dar

So that is what the Sapiarchs are doing at the gatehouse! Raz should have known. Magic makes this one's fur stand on end.

All right. Let's go to the gatehouse and see how the Sapiarchs are coming along before something else happens to the tower.

Player

Let's go to the gatehouse.

But before they can go anywhere, the Crystal Tower cracks! The cloud around it grows darker, as does the sky, and the tower is enveloped in black-purple crackles of energy. Meteors begin to fall from the sky as the day turns to night.

Sapiarch Isinborn

The tower! What's happening?

Razum-dar

Raz thinks this is bad.

Come, my friend! To the gatehouse!

Player

The player rushes down to the tower gatehouse, encountering ravens and Shrikes. When they get there, they see Valsirenn and two Sapiarchs attempting to atune themselves to the Resolute Diamonds.

Sapiarch Illmildil

Don't lose … focus!

Sapiarch Rundirwe

The diamond key … it won't meld with me!

Valsirenn

Keep trying! We need to open these gates!

Time is running out. The Sapiarchs still haven't completed their ritual, and now Nocturnal has launched an attack against them. I sent Darien and Razum-dar to defend the Sapiarchs, but the Daedra keep on coming!

Player

What do you need me to do?

Valsirenn

I'll stay here and try to assist with the ritual. You go and help Darien and Razum-dar.

We need to buy the Sapiarchs enough time to attune themselves to the diamond keys.

Player

Tell me more about this ritual.

Valsirenn

While the Sapiarchs here work to attune themselves to the Resolute Diamonds, other Sapiarchs perform their parts of the ritual at the north and south platforms.

Nocturnal has sent Daedra to disrupt the ritual platforms. You need to stop them.

Player

The player rushes to the platforms below. They take the one with Raz first.

Razum-dar

Finish the ritual! We will keep you safe!

Razum-dar and the player fight off a variety of Nocturnal's Daedra.

This platform is safe! Go! Raz will finish up here!

Player

The player then runs to help Darien at the other platform, where they face a similar set of oponents.

Darien Gautier

This platform is safe. Go. I'll finish up here.

Player

With the platforms defended, they run back to the gatehouse to check in on the main ritual.

Sapiarch Illmildil

The energy. Something feels wrong.

Sapiarch Rundirwe

No. I think it's work—arrgh!

The two diamonds explode outward with energy, and both Sapiarchs fall to the ground, dead.

Valsirenn

Damn it, no!

Razum-dar

That was unexpected, yes?

Darien Gautier

The Sapiarchs are dead. Now what do we do?

The poor Sapiarchs. They tried to speed up their ritual despite the risks, and all they accomplished was to get themselves killed.

I don't know about you, but I'm losing confidence in the Psijic Order's ability to see us through this crisis.

Razum-dar

Raz feels so helpless. So much death.

We need to find a way to end this. We have to.

Valsirenn

I knew this wasn't going to work. Speeding up the Sapiarch ritual was a long shot, at best.

We should have had the Conclave working on a solution all along. The Psijics could have figured out how to attune the Resolute Diamonds.

Player

Isn't that still an option?

Valsirenn

You're right. Even without the Ritemaster, we can still do this. I can take the Resolute Diamonds and return to Artaeum immediately.

But … but … well, I'm kind of at a loss as to what we should do next.

Player

Your idea seems like the best option. Have the Psijics figure out how to use the diamond keys.

Valsirenn

I'll take the diamonds to Artaeum and get the Conclave working on them immediately.

Meanwhile, I need you to go to Alinor and warn the Proxy Queen. She has to make sure Summerset is prepared for the worst—just in case.

Player

We could try Leythen's suggestion and seek help from Mephala and Clavicus Vile.

Valsirenn

No, that was a bad idea the first time Leythen suggested it.

I'll take the diamonds to Artaeum and get to work immediately. Meanwhile, I need you to go to Alinor and warn the Proxy Queen. She has to make sure Summerset is prepared. Just in case.

Player

I'll go to Alinor and warn the Proxy Queen.

Valsirenn

Darien, gather the diamond keys. The Psijic Order will do what the Sapiarchs could not.

Darien Gautier

No. I'm done with the Psijic Order. Too many deaths, not enough action.

Razum-dar

Raz will meet our friend in Alinor. You two do what you must.

Darien Gautier

Val and the Psijics, they're too set in their ways. We need a better plan.

I'll return to Artaeum with her, because Meridia told me to cooperate. But as soon as I think of something more effective, I'll let you know.

Valsirenn

The knight tests my patience, but I'll let his words pass for now.

I promise you, if there's a way to utilize the diamonds to open the Crystal Tower, the Psijic Order will find it.

Razum-dar

Raz will meet you in Alinor. This one and the Proxy Queen have known each other a long time. She loves me like a brother. Of course, she hates her actual brothers, so what does Raz know?

Raz just hopes the Psijic can do what she claims.

Shimmerene

Player

Val and Darien returned to Artaeum, while Raz went off to Shimmerene. The player eventually arrived there as well, and linked up with the Khajiit.

Razum-dar

This one has seen many bizarre things working as an Eye of the Queen, but this may take the moon-sugar cake!

A strange dog walked up and spoke to Raz!

Player

A dog spoke to you?

Razum-dar

That is what Raz said! A dog. It spoke words as clear as day. It gave me a message to give to you.

The dog said you should meet it in the gardens because it had something important to tell you.

Player

I'll find the strange dog. You go warn the Proxy Queen.

Razum-dar

Yes, yes, Raz will go warn the Proxy Queen. That would be for the best. Just be careful, my friend.

This one does not trust dogs, especially ones that talk. Talking animals, so unnatural, yes?

Who would have thought such things possible? A talking dog!

Tread carefully, my friend. Raz smells a trap. Or maybe that's just poo.

Player

The player went off in the direction Razum-dar said, and eventually found the talking dog in a plaza.

Strange Dog

Follow me!

It ran off through the city streets, with the player following behind. Eventually, they found a quiet area near the bridge where the dog stopped.

Barbas

It's me, Barbas. Let's talk.

Wasn't that fun! Exercise is good for the digestion, after all.

Besides, I find that people look at me strangely whenever I start chatting in public. Oh yeah, I'm supposed to tell you that my master wants to have words with you.

Player

Who's your master?

Barbas

Where do you live? Under a rock? Everybody knows that Barbas is the Hound of Clavicus Vile!

Look, I was glad to come find you and get out of the house, as it were. Vile's fuming about how Nocturnal betrayed him. He just hates getting embarrassed.

Player

What does Clavicus Vile want to talk about?

Barbas

Probably wants to make some kind of a deal. That's his bread and butter, you know.

Look, it's no skin off my nose, but it seems to me that Nocturnal irritated you even more when she evaporated your friend and took the Crystal Tower's Heart.

Player

So how do I talk to Clavicus Vile?

Barbas

Head into the caves just north of the city. He told me he'd wait there but not to take too long. Like I said, he's still a little upset about the triad breaking up and all that.

Player

I'll go to the caves and talk to Clavicus Vile.

Barbas

My master has been livid since Nocturnal betrayed him. That's why I've been keeping my distance. Do me a favor and try not to make him any more irritated when you talk to him. I'd hate to see something bad happen to you.

Oh wait, no I wouldn't.

Player

Tell me more about Clavicus Vile.

Barbas

What? You never heard of the Daedric Prince of Bargains? The ruler of the Fields of Regret and the lord of tricks and wishes? Well, don't tell him that!

He's upset enough as it is. He had such high hopes until Nocturnal betrayed their partnership.

Player

Remind me, who are you again?

Barbas

I'm Barbas! Sure, I may look like a talking dog, but I'm actually … a talking dog! I'm my master's faithful hound and servant, although I have a tendency to annoy my Prince. Not sure why that is.

Anyway, this is just one of my favorite forms.

Player

With no better place to turn, the player decided to follow Barbas' suggestion and meet with the betrayed Prince. The proposed meeting place was a ruin in a cave called The Vaults of Heinarwe.

The Vaults of Heinarwe

Barbas was waiting for the player at the entrance to the ruin.

Barbas

Look at that, you can follow directions! My master's waiting for you deeper inside.

Barbas entered the cave, and the player followed.

Loadscreen Message
"Then so ashamed was Kinlady Heinarwe by her transgression with King Orgnum that she forsook name, title, and clan, banished all family and servants from the hall of her place, snuffed every candle and chandelier, and withdrew, alone, into her vaults." —The Infamy of Heinarwe

Barbas

I think I'll wait here. Vile let some of his more ferocious minions loose in the cave, and sometimes they don't differentiate between friend and food.

Try not to get killed before you hear what my master has to offer.

Player

The player went deeper into the ruins, clearing out various Skafin. Eventually, they reached a room with a cultist who collapsed in pain when the player neared him.

Alderdon

Please, master! Mercy—arrgh!

The cultist was struck down by something invisible, but his corpse rose up and transformed into Clavicus Vile.

Clavicus Vile

Even in death, they serve! So the Hound found you? Good. Let's discuss an arrangement, shall we?

Don't let these crumbled husks trouble you. I needed to vent my frustrations and my loyal followers were close at hand.

Player

You wanted to talk to me?

Clavicus Vile

Yes. Yes I did. I assumed Barbas would have made that clear.

I admire your persistence almost as much as I hate the fact that you constantly oppose me. Still, Nocturnal couldn't dispatch you, which indicates you may be useful to me after all.

Player

What are you talking about?

Clavicus Vile

We have a common cause now, you and I. A common enemy. Nocturnal turned her back on our alliance. She betrayed the triad. Worse, she betrayed me! Consider my next words carefully before you respond.

I can grant you access to the Crystal Tower.

Player

Why should I trust anything you say?

Clavicus Vile

You killed my Court of Bedlam earl. You dispatched our pet Sea Sload. I hate you, but I also respect you. And I need your help to gain vengeance against Nocturnal.

So I ask you this: How could you not trust me? Isn't the enemy of my enemy my friend?

Player

All right. So tell me how I can enter the Crystal Tower.

Clavicus Vile

Upstairs you'll find a key. With it, your Psijic friends can get you to my realm, where I can direct you to the Crystal Tower.

Getting inside, though. For that, you'll need the Resolute Diamonds. Unfortunately, I can't help you with that.

Player

How can I reach the Crystal Tower by going through your realm?

Clavicus Vile

Haven't you learned anything? The Crystal Tower exists in all realms. In my realm, however, there is no gatehouse to block your way. Just the tower's own defenses. And for that, unfortunately, you'll need the diamond keys.

Player

But the diamond keys need to be attuned and the tower sentinels are dead.

Clavicus Vile

A problem, certainly, but one I'm sure you can overcome. Perhaps another Prince would be willing to help you. I leave the details of that to you.

Just remember this favor I have provided when you restore the tower and save your beloved Nirn.

Player

And what do you get in return for this favor?

Clavicus Vile

I'm sure something of value will suggest itself when the time is right. I promise that whatever I ask for as compensation, it will not unduly cost you—anyway, no more than you can afford.

On that, you have my word.

Player

The player headed upstairs and found the key that Clavicus spoke about. As they prepared to leave the ruin, a projection of Valsirenn appeared in front of them.

Valsirenn

The Golden Knight has taken matters into his own hands! He set Leythen free and returned with him to Summerset.

Player

Why would Darien set Leythen free and go with him to Summerset?

Valsirenn

Who knows what all that time in Meridia's realm did to Darien's mind? He couldn't have gotten off the island without Leythen's help, and Leythen needed his assistance to circumvent the wards placed upon him. I need you to find out what they're up to.

Player

Where did they go?

Valsirenn

I sense Darien in Summerset's northwest region, but Leythen's magic prevents me from identifying a more precise location.

Please. I need your help. The Resolute Diamonds are proving more difficult to unravel than I imagined and there's no one else.

Player

I'll look for Darien and Leythen in northwestern Summerset.

Valsirenn

I'll find you as soon as the diamond keys are ready to use.

The Cathedral of Webs

Loadscreen Message
Once these halls echoed to the tread of scholars and ceremoniarchs, college functionaries tending to the oghmas and archives of the ancient civilization of the long-lived High Elves. But those days are long gone.

Player

They headed for north-western Summerset and quickly found a ruin called the Cathedral of Webs. Since Leythen was a Mephalan cultist, this seemed almost too obvious of a hiding place. The player found both Leythen and Darien attempting to open the door into the temple.

Darien Gautier

Hurry up, Leythen! They could find us at any moment!

Earl Leythen

Something's wrong.

Darien Gautier

Wrong? Why doesn't that surprise me?

Player

The player interrupted the pair to question them.

Darien Gautier

Now don't get mad, but there's a perfectly good explanation why Leythen and I busted out of Artaeum and came to this charming little hideaway.

Player

I'm listening, Darien.

Darien Gautier

The intentions of the Psijics are good, but we're running out of time. From what we saw at the gatehouse, Nocturnal has already taken control of the Crystal Tower.

Drastic action is called for and Leythen's agreed to put us in contact with Mephala.

Player

Is that really such a good idea?

Darien Gautier

Not you, too! I got enough doubt and dirty looks back in Artaeum!

Look, Mephala was betrayed by Nocturnal. It stands to reason she might want to help us. And we could certainly use the power since I still can't make contact with Meridia.

Player

You're right. Making an alliance with the betrayed Princes is our best option right now.

Darien Gautier

I knew I could count on you! As for Leythen, you should talk to him. We can make him pay for his crimes later. Right now, we need him to help us or we could lose everything.

Trust me. Just talk to Leythen and let him explain what he's thinking. He's actually not that bad a person … for an evil, power-hungry cultist, that is.

Earl Leythen

If you want to return me to Artaeum, I won't resist you.

But first, I need to find out if the rest of Mephala's followers are safe. Let me learn their fate and then I'll submit myself to your mercy.

Player

Darien said you were willing to put us in contact with Mephala.

Earl Leythen

I am, but I'm surprised that you'd go along with that.

If we can get inside and reach Mephala's shrine, I can attempt to make contact with my Prince.

Player

So you believe that Nocturnal betrayed your Prince now?

Earl Leythen

Not exactly, but it's obvious to me that you believe that's what happened. I need to see for myself. In any event, there's no harm in approaching Mephala's shrine.

I'm just a little concerned that it took me so long to open this door.

Player

Why does the door concern you?

Earl Leythen

It should have been a simple matter to identify myself and unlock the door. But the spells in place resisted me. It's as if I've lost my status as Mephala's earl … or as if someone or something interfered with the place's defenses.

Player

How did you get off Artaeum?

Earl Leythen

I spent years on that damnable island. Do you think the Psijics' magic could long hold someone who knows the intricacies of the place?

With the Ritemaster's death, the order is in chaos. Only Val even realized I was missing.

Player

How did Nocturnal breach the Crystal Tower without the Resolute Diamonds?

Earl Leythen

I'm just guessing, mind you, but I imagine someone with the abilities of a Daedric Prince who possesses the Heart of Transparent Law could walk into the Crystal Tower as easily as you or I could cross the threshold of an inn.

Player

Vile offered us a way to reach the Crystal Tower. Can Mephala help us use the Resolute Diamonds?

Earl Leythen

My Prince deals in secrets and hidden lore. If anyone can activate the keys to the Crystal Tower, she can.

That was our original plan, before you intervened. After I acquired the diamonds from the Sapiarchs, I was supposed to bring them to Mephala.

It took awhile but the way is open now. Of course, I'm a little concerned about how long it took me to unlock the door.

Darien Gautier

Looks like Leythen got the door open. Let's head inside.

The three of them head into the temple. Inside, they find slaughtered Mephalan cultists.

Earl Leythen

How did this happen? My people should have been safe within these walls!

Darien Gautier

Nocturnal's been eliminating the sects of the other Princes. Are you surprised she'd turn on her former allies?

Earl Leythen

I recruited most of these men and women. I was responsible for them.

Darien Gautier

Scout ahead and find the shrine. I'll stay with Leythen until he's ready to move on.

Earl Leythen

I know you consider my people to be nothing more than crazed cultists, but they didn't deserve this fate.

Player

While Leythen grieves, the player heads deeper into the ruins. They pass more bodies, and kill various Daedra and shadow yaghra. Eventually they reach a room that is bisected with a chasm. As they try to figure out a way accross, Nocturnal's earn materializes on the other side.

Earl Tundilwen

It pains me that it had to end this way, but my Mistress will not be denied.

Earl Leythen

Butcher! How dare you pretend to care about the men and women you slaughtered!

Earl Tundilwen

Every action I performed was in the service of Nocturnal's grand plan.

Darien Gautier

Leythen, she has my Dawnbreaker. Ask her if she'll kindly return it.

Look what they did to Dawnbreaker! It's all dark and gloomy now! It was a weapon of pure light and they corrupted it!

Player

You don't remember what happened in Nocturnal's realm? After she killed the Ritemaster? She took Dawnbreaker and corrupted it. I thought it was lost forever, but I guess she gave it to her earl.

I need to get it back. Somehow.

Earl Leythen

I never trusted Nocturnal's earl. A Dark Elf, in the Court of Bedlam? It was unprecedented!

Her daggers are as sharp as her temper, so we must tread carefully here.

Player

What do you suggest?

Earl Leythen

Nocturnal's champion is reckless and quick to anger. We can take advantage of that, perhaps get her to slip up and reveal what's going on here. There's a scent of magic that makes my blood run cold.

Player

What do you mean?

Earl Leythen

Nocturnal's magic is at work here. See how the yaghra have mutated into creatures of shadow?

We need to follow Nocturnal's earl. Harry her. Make her so mad she tells us everything. Hopefully, one of us will live long enough to use the information.

Player

All right, let's give it a try.

Earl Leythen

Champion of Nocturnal, what magic is this? I've never seen anything like it.

Earl Tundilwen

This was always the plan. Nocturnal's plan.

Earl Leythen

So Nocturnal did betray my mistress!

Earl Tundilwen

Your mistress is weak. Come with me and I'll show you what true power looks like!

Leythen teleports to the other side, and the two of them dissappear.

Darien Gautier

Leythen, no! Come on, we can't let them get away!

I want to trust Leythen, but even I have to admit that this doesn't look good. Let's try to catch up with them before something even more terrible happens down here.

I'd hate to think I set Leythen free just so he could betray us.

Darien and the player rush deeper into the ruins, clearing out even more Daedra. Eventually, they reunite with the two earls at Mephala's desecrated statue.

Earl Leythen

This magic, it destroys everything! What good is power if there's nothing left to rule?

Earl Tundilwen

This is what the Court wanted all along. An end to the old ways. A new beginning.

Earl Leythen

I won't be party to the death of innocents! I won't—

Tundilwen grabs and paralizes him with her magic.

Darien Gautier

Let him go!

Earl Tundilwen

Be silent, knight, or I'll let you taste the blade you once carried. I wish to speak to your friend now.

(If you have not previously met Tundilwen in Morrowind)

Earl Tundilwen

Look how the pearls shimmer with dark energy. Isn't it beautiful?

My Mistress offers a small mercy. Allow her to finish her work and she'll make the deaths of the Psijics fast and painless. But if you interfere, you will all suffer before you die.

(If you have previously met Tundilwen in Morrowind, where she was known as Veya Releth. We have continued to call her Tundilwen here for consistency, but she is named Veya Releth in game.)

Earl Tundilwen

I'm sorry it had to come to this, but nothing can stop the magic of the pearls now.

My Mistress offers a small mercy. Leave her to finish her work and she'll kill the Psijics quickly. But if you interfere, you will all suffer before you die.

Player

What are you doing with the abyssal pearls?

Earl Tundilwen

The Sea Sload trinkets? It was an easy matter for my Mistress to alter the magic. To use their ability to siphon life energy and funnel it into the Crystal Tower.

In the end, your own world will provide the power that spells its doom!

(If you have not previously met Tundilwen in Morrowind)

Player

That's what this is about? Nocturnal wants to destroy Nirn?

Earl Tundilwen

Nirn's destruction isn't the goal, it's just a means to an end.

The Crystal Tower grows more powerful with every iota of energy produced by Nirn's death. And with that power, Nocturnal will remake all reality into a perfect darkness.

(If you have previously met Tundilwen in Morrowind)

Player

Veya, you can't let Nocturnal destroy the world!

Earl Tundilwen

Stop calling me that! Veya died on a cold, hard floor in Balmora.

I'm Tundilwen now, champion of Nocturnal! As the Crystal Tower fills with power drawn from this dying world, it will provide my Mistress with what she needs to remake reality.

Player

So why betray the other Princes?

Earl Tundilwen

Mephala and Clavicus Vile are fledglings compared to my Mistress! Nocturnal existed before this reality was even imagined, and she will ride its destruction into the next!

This isn't an end—it's a new beginning!

Player

I'll find a way to stop you.

Earl Tundilwen

Good luck with that. Now stay out of the way or death will be the least of your concerns.

She disappears, and Leythen is released from her grasp.

Earl Leythen

Nocturnal must pay for betraying my Mistress, but the magic of the abyssal pearls appears to do more than just siphon our life energy. It obscures my connection to Mephala.

This shrine may be blocked, but I may know another way.

Player

Don't you need the shrine to contact Mephala?

Earl Leythen

While a consecrated shrine offers the best conduit to a Daedric Prince, there are other means.

In the back chambers, I have a way to communicate privately with my Prince. I should be able to open a connection there.

Player

Will Nocturnal's earl try to stop us?

Earl Leythen

She's gone. I no longer sense her presence here. The abyssal pearls, however. The Court helped seed them throughout Summerset. I can tell the Psijics where to find them before Nocturnal activates them all. First, though, we must contact Mephala.

Darien, go the other way and meet us in the back chambers. We want to make sure Nocturnal's earl didn't leave us any surprises.

Darien Gautier

Watch your back. I trust Leythen. Sort of. But you can never tell with the servants of Daedric Princes. Well, except for me. I'm nothing like those people.

Anyway, I'll meet you in the back chambers.

I'll go, but if this is just a ploy so you can betray us, you'll have to deal with me.

Earl Leythen

Let's go. We can contact Mephala as soon as we reach my private chamber.

Player

The two of them go further into the temple and eventually reach Leythen's private chambers. Inside, they find a collosal shadow yaghra.

Earl Leythen

Destroy that creature and then I can contact my Prince!

Darien Gautier

There you are! This place is—Meridia's light! What is that thing?

After defeating it, Leythen grabs an artifact from a pedastal and goes outside to contact Mephala.

Earl Leythen

Meet me outside and we'll make contact with my Prince.

Mephala, appear before your faithful servant!

Mephala

I answer my earl's summons, only to find him with these … unworthies. Do you betray me too, Leythen?

Earl Leythen

Never, my Prince. We share a common enemy now. Please, talk to them and hear what they have to say.

Mephala

So, the mortal who opposed me wants to speak. If what you say doesn't interest me, I will order Leythen to kill you.

Player

Nocturnal threatens us all. I've made a deal with Clavicus Vile. Now I want to negotiate with you.

Mephala

And what did the cowardly Prince of Bargains offer you? Was it something so intriguing that you would risk my wrath, as well?

Speak before my patience wears thin!

Player

Vile offered passage to the Crystal Tower through his realm, but we need to attune the diamond keys.

Mephala

You would challenge Nocturnal in the Crystal Tower? Since gaining the Heart of Transparent Law, the tower serves as an extension of her own realm. It amuses me that you want to thwart her plans. She'll destroy you, of course, but I am still amused.

Player

Can you make the diamond keys work so we can enter the Crystal Tower?

Mephala

How desperate you must be to offer the very relics I once sought!

I will think upon your request. Before you enter Vile's realm, have my earl contact me again. At that time I will either help you … or I won't. As is my prerogative.

Player

We'll contact you again when we're ready.

Darien Gautier

That's it? A maybe?

Earl Leythen

I'll return to Artaeum with Darien and tell them what we learned. Meet us there.

My Mistress will help you. You just need to be patient.

As for me, I'll return to Artaeum and accept whatever consequences await me. You have my word.

Darien Gautier

Why are the Daedric Princes always so aloof and ominous? Would it be asking too much to just get a straight answer out of them once in a while?

Ah, well. I'll make sure Leythen gets back to Artaeum and meet you there.

Ceporah Tower

Player

The three of them return to Artaeum. The player goes to find Valsirenn and report on the deal they've made with Mephala and Clavicus Vile.

Valsirenn

We've failed. The Conclave, despite its best efforts, wasn't able to attune the Resolute Diamonds. We can't use the diamond keys to enter the Crystal Tower.

But what about you? Were you able to track down Darien and the traitor Leythen?

Player

I found them. Leythen helped me determine Nocturnal's true plan. She wants to remake reality.

Valsirenn

Using the Crystal Tower and Sotha Sil's technique for utilizing life energy? Then we really are doomed. Without a way into the Crystal Tower, we can't even attempt to challenge Nocturnal, let alone try to stop her.

Player

Clavicus Vile offered to let us use his realm to reach the Crystal Tower.

Valsirenn

Is that what the Psijic Order is reduced to? Forced to accept help from the same Daedric Princes that got us into this trouble in the first place?

Still, getting to the tower won't matter if we can't use the diamond keys to get inside.

Player

Mephala might be able to help us attune the Resolute Diamonds.

Valsirenn

I opposed this line of reasoning when Leythen first suggested it, as bargains with the Princes don't often end well. But what choice do we have?

Still, thanks for finding a way forward. While it's a long shot, at least it represents a chance.