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The Queen's Decree

Author: 
Anonymous

As the player arrives in Shimmerene, chief port into the Summerset Isles, they see an Altmer fleeing from something.

Calibar

Let the cat fight those monsters! I'm getting out of here!

The island's sprung a leak! Run!

If the player talks to the elf, he will say:

Calibar

First the Queen issues a decree that changes the status of Summerset from an isolated paradise into a ... a tourist attraction! Now monsters! Sea creatures! I've never seen anything like them! Well, I say let the cat fight them! Better him than me!

Player

Monsters? Cat? Slow down and tell me what happened.

Calibar

Suddenly the ground opened, spewing water and strange creatures! They attacked us! Luckily, one of the newcomers, a Khajiit, leaped in and drove them back. Called himself Razum-dar. He could probably use some help, if you're so inclined.

Player

I'll go talk to Razum-dar.

The player does just that. If they are quick, they will see Razum-Dar killing the last of the strange creatures, and destroying a strange blue-black orb that floated near them. The player approaches the Khajiit.

Razum-Dar

Have you ever seen such creatures? Raz has not. Probably neither have you.

You are a newcomer, yes? New to this island of High Elves? This one has an eye for such things. And you look capable. So, can Raz interest you in some cloak-and-dagger work?

Player

Cloak-and-dagger work? Sounds ominous.

Razum-Dar

Ominous? No, nothing of the sort. Well, maybe a little of the sort. Depends on how things develop.

Raz has come to Summerset at the behest of Queen Ayrenn. To make sure her decree regarding the opening of the island proceeds as she directed.

Player

So how can I help?

Razum-Dar

Ask some questions. Determine the mood in Shimmerene and see how the newcomers are faring.

Rumors have reached the Queen and she is concerned. So Razum-dar comes to see what’s happening and fights strange creatures. Now Raz is concerned as well.

Player

I’ll ask some questions around the city.

Razum-Dar

While you ask questions around the city, Raz can take care of some other business. It may or may not involve scratching and clawing.

Let’s meet near the entrance to Shimmerene when you have something to report.

Before heading out, the player wants to learn more from Raz.

Player

What were those strange creatures I saw you fighting?

Razum-Dar

Raz never saw such monsters in his life! They appear related to water, but this one tends to avoid the stuff. That pearl, though. Raz swears it was calling those creatures.

A mystery for another time, perhaps. Now we need to see to the newcomers.

Player

Anyone in specific you want me to talk to regarding the Queen's decree?

Razum-Dar

As a matter of fact, Raz made a list!

Olnewil, a High Elf artisan, spoke out. See what she complained about. Then there's Tsoxolza, a persecuted Argonian newcomer. Finally Rhanul, a city resident noted in the Divine Prosecution's observation log."

Player

What did Olnewil speak out about and where can I find her?

Razum-Dar

Olnewil complained about … no, no. Raz doesn't want to prejudice your investigation. You will find out when you talk to her.

The artist likes to gather shells along the eastern coast. She uses them to make paints and dyes.

Player

Rhanul? That doesn't sound like a High Elf name.

Razum-Dar

True. Not enough syllables. Rhanul's a Redguard whose family has lived in Shimmerene for generations. He's a well-respected trader with a few warehouses along the docks.

Talk to him before the Divine Prosecution decides to arrest him.

Player

What's the Divine Prosecution?

Razum-Dar

The Divine Prosecution serves as lawkeepers and protectors of social standards. Very persnickety.

When rules are broken, they record it in their observation logs. If your name winds up on their list, things get complicated.

Player

What do you mean, Tsoxolza is being persecuted?

Razum-Dar

Something to do with monks and newcomer registration. Raz is still looking into that.

Last I heard, Tsoxolza was seen leaving the city and heading west. Probably trying to reach the water. Lizard like water, yes? Not Raz. Raz hates the wet stuff.

Player

What does all this have to do with that geyser and those creatures?

Razum-Dar

Nothing at all. Unless you think they came to Summerset because of the Queen's decree? No, that would be ridiculous. Let's not lose focus.

Just see what Olnewil, Tsoxolza, and Rhanul have to say about newcomers and the mood in Shimmerene.

Player

What do you expect me to learn by talking to these people?

Razum-Dar

We need to confirm these rumors or else put and end to them.

Everyone should be pleased with the Queen's decree. Opening the borders shows progress, yes? However, if any of her loyal subjects reject progress ... well, Raz needs to know that, too."

Player

Anything I should know about Shimmerene before I head out?

Razum-Dar

Hmm. Raz knows very little about city ordinances or how to tell the difference between mead and ale, so let's avoid these topics, yes? Otherwise, this one knows all about the Queen's decree and the initial reactions of the nobles and Kinlady.

Player

Tell me about the Queen's decree.

Razum-Dar

Queen Ayrenn, Her Most Excellent Leader of the Aldmeri Dominion, has issued a decree opening the once-forbidden land of Summerset to traders, visitors, and immigrants of all races.

Controversial, yes, but part of her plan for the Dominion's future.

Razum-Dar

For some. High Elves talk of perfection, but they are a complicated people. Various individuals in Summerset take issue with their Queen. With change of any sort, actually. The Kinlady, for example. Some nobles.

Makes my job ... complicated.

Player

Who are you again?

Razum-Dar

Raz is wounded to the core! Forgotten already. This one usually leaves a better impression.

I am Razum-dar, Queen Ayrenn's Eye and dark-lantern agent extraordinaire. But that is a secret between you and me. To everyone else, this one is simply Raz.

Player

Armed with information, the player headed off to look for the three citizens Raz mentioned. First they started with the artist Olnewil, found on a nearby beach.

As the player approached Olnewil, she yells out:

Olnewil

Go find your own patch of beach!

Not that you'd understand the concept, but the Path to Alaxon requires dedication and complete concentration. I must find the perfect shells or my pigments will be substandard. And do you know what that will do to my art? Exactly!

Player

What's the Path to Alaxon?

Olnewil

An Altmer concept practiced widely here in Summerset. Alaxon is the state of perfection that every High Elf strives for. The Path to Alaxon represents the approach we take to achieve that state.

Now, why have you interrupted my work?

Player

I heard you made complaints in Shimmerene. I'd like to hear about that.

Olnewil

I believe in caution as much as the next High Elf, but sometimes the rules get in the way of common sense. My apprentice lived here for more than a year. Good help is so hard to find, especially among the newcomers, and she was adept at making dyes.

Player

What happened to your apprentice?

Olnewil

They took her away! Said they had to scrutinize her qualifications, test her knowledge of culture and etiquette. But I haven't seen her since!

My work suffers, so of course I complained to the monks. Now I have to gather my own shells!

Player

Did the monks offer any explanation as to where she was or when she'd be returned?

Olnewil

They told me I could fill out some forms and appeal to the Kinlady, but who has time for such bureaucracy? And for a Wood Elf?

I've said too much. I have work to do and all this aggravation has diverted my Path to Alaxon."

Player

I'll let you get back to your work.

Next, the player headed for the Shimmerine docks, where Rhanul is working in a warehose. His dialog differs a bit if the player is an Altmer.

Rhanul

A newcomer? In the warehouse district? Unusual, but how can I help you today, my friend?

Player

I was wondering how your name ended up in the Divine Prosecution's observation log.

(If the player is an Altmer)

Rhanul

The Divine... Did a justiciar send you to harass me? I've lived in Summerset my whole life and I did nothing wrong!

You High Elves! You say we're welcome and then you treat us like criminals! Is there any wonder I had to speak out?

(If the player is not an Altmer)

Rhanul

The Divine... who told you that? If a justiciar sent you to try and trick me into confessing—no, no. The High Elves would never send a newcomer to perform such a task.

But I admit it. I made my thoughts known.

Player

And what were those thoughts, if you don't mind me asking?

Rhanul

I arranged to bring my cousin here to work with me. The ship arrived, but all the newcomers were carted away. For questioning, they said. I complained to the Kinlady and anyone else who would listen. And what has it gotten me? Nothing!

Player

You're not a High Elf. Have you lived in Summerset very long?

Rhanul

Oh, my family has been here for generations and generations. Before the Queen's decree, outsiders might have been rare, but we were not unheard of. Our business has grown and gets better every day. That's why I sent for my cousin. We need the help.

Player

Do you like living in Summerset?

Rhanul

Summerset is a rare and beautiful jewel in the Abecean Sea. I love it here! The High Elves treat us like children, but they have never been hostile.

The Queen's decree has stirred the waters, though. I fear it will get worse before it gets better.

I really must get back to work now. Every moment that my cousin remains sequestered is another moment where I must perform the work of two people. Pleasant travels, wayfarer.

Player

Finally, the player set out to find Tsoxolza. Unfortunately, the Argonian is dead, his body washed up by a river. His backpack, located nearby, contains a letter describing Tsoxalza's imprisonment and near-sacrifice.

Having tracked down all three people, the player returns to Razum-dar. The Khajiit is located near the entrace to Shimmerine monastery. At its steps is a group of Altmer making trouble.

Veranquel

This is unheard of! Why have you closed the monastery?

Aldrach Tilcalar

Good people, I hear your concerns.

Indalinwe

But the workers I hired? They were aboard the ship from Rivenspire!

Aldrach Tilcalar

The Kinlady and I, we have only your best interests in mind. Every guest must be sequestered while we ascertain their suitability for Altmer society.

Daalinden

The Aldarch's right. Lock up the newcomers!

Corimin

Send the newcomers back where they came from! We don't want them here!

Player

The player speaks with Raz.

Razum-dar

Such anger! Raz never expected to hear such words from the Queen's loyal subjects. The sentiment isn't universal, but enough feel this way for Raz to be concerned. Did you learn anything interesting from the people I sent you to talk to?

Player

The artist's assistant and the Redguard's cousin have both been sequestered.

Razum-dar

Sequestered, hmm? Just a different word for imprisoned, yes? Rhanul's cousin just arrived, but Olnewil's assistant has lived on Summerset since long before the Queen ever issued her decree. What about the lizard? What did Tsoxolza have to say?

Player

Tsoxolza was dead by the time I reached him. I found this letter in his pack.

Razum-dar

Why would the Aldarch gather up newcomers and non-High Elf residents alike and send them to the monastery? Does the Kinlady condone this behavior? Raz's head itches, and not in a good way. Our course is clear, five-claw. We must go to the monastery!

Player

All right, I'll help you investigate the monastery.

Razum-dar

Raz admires your enthusiasm, but this one needs you to enter the monastery on your own. Raz has other fish to catch. This one will help you get past the sentry, though. When you notice that the sentry is distracted, just slip quietly inside.

Raz approaches the nearby guard and begins the distraction.

Sentry! Raz owes you for that game of cards and has come to pay!

Monastery Sentry

Huh? I don't recall any... you say I won some gold?

Razum-dar

Don't you remember? Raz always pays his debts. And he always buys the drinks!

Monastery Sentry

Gold and drinks? Well, my relief should be along soon, so why not

Player

With the guard successfully lured away, the player is able to enter the Monastery of Serene Harmony. The player sees a monk sleeping on a bench and decides to question him.



Monastic Nuleros

Not now, please. Your spiritual well being can wait until after my nap.

Player

Where can I find the people that have been sequestered?

Monastic Nuleros

You'll have to ask one of the monks that the new Aldarch brought with him. They deal with all the newcomer testing and evaluations. I'm just a simple monk trying to catch up on my sleep. That was a hint, by the way.

Player

Tell me about the Aldarch and the new monks.

Monastic Nuleros

Aldarch Tilcalar arrived right after the Queen issued her decree. He came highly recommended by Kinlady Avinisse, or so I heard. It's not unusual for monks to form attachments and move together, but there's something strange about that bunch.

Player

Strange? What do you mean?

Monastic Nuleros

The Aldarch and his monks keep to themselves. They've taken the undercroft for their own purposes and ordered the rest of us to avoid the ancient vaults beneath the monastery. Now, please, let me get backto my nap!

Player

You must have some idea where they're sequestering the newcomers.

Monastic Nuleros

Again with the questions about the newcomers. Why do you care about the complexities of Altmer bureaucracy? Still, if I had to make a guess, I'd say they were taken into the undercroft for registration and processing. Now go away.

Player

Anything else I should know about this monastery?

Monastic Nuleros

The monastery should be a place of peace and meditation, but the Aldarch has closed us down until further notice. That means if any of the monks spot you, they'll raise the alarm. Me? I never saw you. Now if you don't mind, my nap awaits.

Player

The player looks around some more. They find a letter from the Kinlady nearby, and a list of sequestered guests on a side table by the stairs. Finally, in an office upstairs, they located a the same sort of blue-black orb that they saw earlier in the day when the mysterious creatures attacked Razum-dar. This must be the final clue. They begin to examine this "abyssal pearl," but are quickly interrupted by a voice from outside.

Valsirenn

Unusual knick-knack for an Aldarch's office, wouldn't you agree?

I noticed you skulking around while I was engaged in some skulking of my own. I suppose we both came to the monastery with a similar purpose in mind.

Player

And what purpose would that be?

Valsirenn

The sequestered newcomers. I came to find out what happened to a friend. I assume that's what brought you here as well?

A house of worship shouldn't be used as an internment camp. And it shouldn't be locked to the public, either.

Player

I saw a pearl like that. There were strange creatures nearby.

Valsirenn

Interesting. I've never seen anything quite like it. I find it intriguing and a bit disturbing.

But we aren't here to discuss curios—strange creatures notwithstanding. We need to find out what's happening with the missing newcomers.

Player

How did you happen to get past the sentry, by the way?

Valsirenn

The sentry doesn't appear to have stopped you, so I could ask you the same question. Let's just agree that we both have our methods.

Curious, but I feel that there's more going on in Shimmerene than the usual politics and community relations.

Player

What else could be going on here?

Valsirenn

That's the question, my cautious friend. We have a newly appointed Aldarch and a disgruntled Kinlady, both opposed to the Queen's decree. What's their connection to the missing newcomers?

I was about to explore the undercroft. Care to join me?

Player

I'll meet you in the undercroft.

As the player is walking away, Valsirenn has a few more lines.

Valsirenn

A curious pearl. I wonder where the Aldarch acquired it?

Probably not important. I'll meet you in the undercroft and we can see what's going on with the newcomers.

Player

The undercroft is located directly underneath the temple.

Valsirenn

Something's wrong down here. I sense magic. Vile magic.

Further down the stairs, the player and Valsiren find a room full of cages. One of them still contains a live prisoner.

Cages? These people did nothing to deserve such treatment.

There's someone alive over there. See if you can help her.

Minone Aloette

Thank the Divines! You aren't one of the monks. Please, let me out of here!

Player

Why did they lock you in a cage?

Minone Aloette

It's a nightmare! We came to Summerset to seek new opportunities. We barely stepped off the ship when they marched us to the monastery. Instead of questioning us or the usual High Elf bureaucracy, they locked us in these cages.

Player

There are only a few of you here. Where are the rest of the newcomers?

Minone Aloette

The monks gathered them a few moments ago and took them through the door on the far side of the chamber. Please, let me out of here before they take me away like the others!

Player

I'll unlock the cage then see what's going on in the next chamber.

Minone Aloette

Oh, thank you for setting me free!

Player

While Minone frees the other prisoners, the player returns to Valsirenn, who is examining a corpse nearby.

Valsirenn

Is that a … Skaafin?

A Daedra? Here? And that's a Skaafin, if I remember my Daedric recitations correctly. Very curious.

Player

What's a dead Skaafin doing in a monastery devoted to the Eight?

Valsirenn

An excellent question, and one I hope to find the answer to. From the evidence before us, it appears this Nord killed the Skaafin before he succumbed to his own wounds. Good for him.

I found this key on the creature's belt, so we can open that door.

Player

That's where the prisoner said the monks took the rest of the newcomers.

Valsirenn

Then I suggest we pick up the pace. We need to determine what's actually happening down here and who's behind all this.

Without answers to those questions, we won't be able to decide on our best course of action.

Player

What about your missing friend?

Valsirenn

I'll explain everything later. For now, we need to hurry.

Player

Together, they proceeded into the Undercroft Great Hall. From the balcony they were able to see some sort of ritual taking place down below.

Valsirenn

Daedric cultists?

Earl of Clavicus Vile

More newcomers? Unfortunately, the magic only effects those who have been prepared. But never fear. Your turn will come.

Before the player could stop him, he sacrificed the newcomers and summoned the same creatures from before out of the Abyssal Pearl.

Valsirenn

I'll deal with the pearl, you hold off these creatures!

The pearl's magic attracts these creatures. Hold them off while I complete my spell!

Player

As Valsirenn cast her magic onto the pearl, the player was forced to defeat waves of enemies. Once they were vanquished, Valsirenn and the player ran for the door on the other side. Once safe, they were able to talk.

Valsirenn

Those poor people. This wasn't just about newcomers and opposing the Queen's decree. That was Daedric magic back there! I just wish we had arrived a few moments earlier.

Player

What happened to the pearl? Did you destroy it?

Valsirenn

I promised to explain what I know. I suppose that now's as good a time as any.

I'm a member of the Psijic Order. Our Ritemaster sent me to investigate a warning we received about a plot involving Summerset. My inquiries led me here.

Player

The Psijic Order?

Valsirenn

The Psijic Order is an ancient magical monastic society. We served as advisors to the rulers of Tamriel, but that was before we removed our island home from the world. Now this threat has drawn us back.

But why are you involved in all this?

Player

I'm working with Razum-dar, one of the Queen's Eyes. But what happened to the pearl?

Valsirenn

An Eye of the Queen? Interesting.

I diffused the Daedric magic and transported the pearl to Artaeum, the Psijic island, for safekeeping and study so we can learn more about it. But we can discuss this further once we get out of here.

Player

All right. Let's go.

Together, they proceeded through the Undercroft Labyrinth, fighting off Skaafin. Before splitting up, Valsirenn has a few more things to say.

Valsirenn

Living on Artaeum for a few centuries doesn't prepare you for physical activity.

Let the Eye of the Queen know what we discovered and I'll catch up with you later.

Player

Before going to find Raz, the player has a few more questions to ask Valsirenn.

Valsirenn

We were warned that Daedric Princes had their eyes on Summerset, but I didn't expect that level of danger from what was supposed to be a simple investigation.

I suggest you tell the Eye of the Queen what we discovered. I'll catch up with you later.

Player

How did you get involved in this? I thought you said Artaeum was sent away.

Valsirenn

We received word that there was the potential for trouble in Summerset, so the Ritemaster sent me to take a look.

Even so, Artaeum isn't a prison. We're Psijic mages! We can come and go as we like, just so long as it advances our studies.

Player

And what about that missing frined you mentioned?

Valsirenn

A partial truth. Easier to remember than an outright lie.

Another member of our Order came to Summerset a few months back. We haven't heard from him, so I decided to look into both matters while I was here. Unfortunately, he continues to elude me.

Player

You think he's hiding from you?

Valsirenn

No, not intentionally. We may be sages, but we're still just people. We can become restless, succumb to sorrow or frustration.

My friend may have decided that life on Artaeum was no longer satisfying. I just want to know he's safe.

Player

Why didn't you tell me you were a member of the Psijic Order?

Valsirenn

I did tell you, once I ascertained I could trust you and the time was right.

When we make a rare visit back to Nirn, we try to keep a low profile. Rumors about our Order tend to make people uncomfortable and even nervous in our presence.

Satisfied, the player heads for the Anchors Awaigh Inn to find Razum-dar.

Razum-dar

Ah, this one's new partner returns! What interesting scandal did you uncover in the monastery? Tell Raz every juicy detail!

Player

The people that were sequestered were killed to power a Daedric ritual. I found this letter.

Razum-dar

This isn't the kind of scandal Raz was hoping for. Murder, Daedric rituals, and traitorous behavior have a way of ruining an otherwise perfect day.

We need to learn the extent of the Kinlady's involvement. And by we, Raz means you.

Player

You want me to go and accuse the Kinlady of conspiring with a Daedric cult?

Razum-dar

Accuse? Not exactly. Raz wants you to talk to her. See what she knows about the Aldarch. The Kinlady is meeting with local leaders. Attend that meeting and learn the truth.

This invitation and set of elegant clothes will get you through her door.

Player

I also met a mage from the Psijic Order in the monastery.

Razum-dar

A Psijic? Raz has heard rumors, but there are always rumors about the Psijics. For an island of sages who disappeared more than three hundred years ago, they certainly seem to get around.

Did this Psijic mage say what the Order was investigating?

Player

Something about a warning, and she seemed pretty interested in the life-sucking pearl.

Razum-dar

There was a life-sucking pearl? You should probably have led with that bit of information!

Well, we can worry about the Psijic mage and figure out where these pearls came from later. For now, go see what the Kinlady has to say.

Player

Shouldn't you speak to the Kinlady? You do work for the Queen, after all.

Razum-dar

Kinlady Avinesse and Raz … do not get along. You see, there was a horse, a platter of pudding tarts, and—no, this one won't bore you with the sordid details.

Besides, everyone behaves well when they see Raz. You'll learn more than I would.

Go on. Pretend you belong and no one will notice you, especially once you put on those elegant clothes.

Meet Raz nearby after you talk to her. This one looks forward to hearing what she has to say about all of this.

Player

The player heads for the Kinlady's party. Before the player is able to enter the house, a mysterious figure appears nearby.

Golden Knight

You there! I have a- damn it! why won't this work?

Lianalah

Did you see a golden knight?

Olunandon

I have no idea what that was, and I'm not sure I want to know!

Player

Unable to see anything more of the golden knight, the player heads into the mansion. Inside, they locate the Kinlady's servant, a Bosmer named Galmelor.

Galmelor

Yes? And who might you be?

Player

I need to speak to Kinlady Avinisse

Galmelor

The Kinlady is currently engaged. She's holding a conference with Shimmerene's elite to discuss certain... political matters.

Player

(If the player is not wearing their elegant attire)

I have an invitation right here.

Galmelor

Hmm, yes, so I see.

However, I can't allow clothing of that … vintage … anywhere near the Kinlady. Please return after you've acquired something more … suitable … for an affair of this magnitude.

Player

(If the player is wearing their elegant attire)

I have an invitation.

Galmelor

Hmm, yes. So you do.

And may I say that your outfit is suitably elegant. Please, head into the garden.

Player

Inside the garden party, the Kinlady is giving a speech.

Kinlady Avinisse

We all have concerns regarding the Queen's decree. I assure you that I am working with Aldarch Tilcalar to safeguard the sanctity of Shimmerene and all of Summerset.

Enjoy the food and drink. Business of the city requires my attention, but I shall rejoin you shortly.

Player

She departs, and the player is left to wander the party and talk to various guests and servants. First, they decide to speak with Chief Justiciar Suriwen, standing by the fountain. Her dialog depends on the player's race.

(If the player is not an Altmer)

Chief Justiciar Suriwen

Another newcomer? The ink has barely dried on the Queen's decree and there are already more of you than I can count. I look forward to hearing how the Kinlady and the new Aldarch plan to protect Summerset's interests.

(If the player is a Altmer)

Chief Justiciar Suriwen

Have you come to hear what the Kinlady has to say as well? I thought her open letter brilliantly captured the mood of Summerset's elite, but the Ascendants know the Queen has her supporters. Even here.

Player

It sounds like you're not too fond of the Queen's decision to open Summerset's borders.

Chief Justiciar Suriwen

Does it? Perhaps. The newcomers are different. They understand neither Altmer society nor the rules of protocol and etiquette.

Makes my job as an officer of the Divine Prosecution more difficult. I just hope the new Aldarch really has a plan.

Player

What's the Divine Prosecution?

Chief Justiciar Suriwen

The Divine Prosecution serves as Summerset's premier lawkeepers. We enforce secular and religious law, making sure that all social and cultural rules are adhered to.

The fact that you didn't know that proves the Aldarch's concerns are justified.

Player

What can you tell me about the new Aldarch?

Chief Justiciar Suriwen

Well, I don't really know the new Aldarch all that—wait a moment. I don't know who you are and I'm not sure I like the tenor of your questions.

Perhaps you should move along before I forget this is a social gathering and that I'm not on duty.

Player

Next, they choose to talk to Canonreeve Elquisa, sitting on a nearby bench.

Canonreeve Elquisa

A newcomer, here in the Kinlady's garden? And during her latest rant on the dangers of the Queen's decree? Oh that's just grand!

I really can't wait to see her expression when she finally notices your presence.

Player

You seem to be taking the business of the Queen's decree rather lightly.

Canonreeve Elquisa

Am I? Some probably see it that way. What do I care? I'm the canonreeve of Shimmerene! Kinlady Avinisse may outrank me, but I'm the one who keeps the city's bureaucracy functioning smoothly. It's what I do.

What were we talking bout again?

Player

Do you know what the Kinlady plans to do about the Queen's decree?

Canonreeve Elquisa

Complain, most likely. My cousin excels at that! I assume she may have something else worked out with the new Aldarch, but he has yet to bring me into her confidence on the matter.

Frankly, I assumed that's why we were here.

Player

What's a canonreeve?

Canonreeve Elquisa

I'm a canonreeve, my dear. I thought we established that.

It's an official title, given to diplomats and bureaucrats who administer to county seats. A gift from my cousin Avinisse, I suppose. In your land, I'd probably be called the mayor.

Player

Up next, Craftreeve Midalmo, lounging nearby on a different bench.

Craftreeve Midalmo

First the Kinlady invites us to discuss the situation in Shimmerene. Then she tells us to sit here and wait. And now a damn nebarra is standing close enough for me to smell it!

Well, nebarra? Speak up! Or is talking not part of your repertoire?

Player

What do you think the Kinlady is planning?

Craftreeve Midalmo

Everyone knows what the Kinlady thinks of the Queen's decree. I suppose she plans to oppose the new policy. Keep more nebarra from reaching our shores. Somehow.

I just hope she doesn't do anything that ruins our expanded trade agreements.

Player

How do you feel about the Queen's decree?

Craftreeve Midalmo

That's a loaded question, nebarra. look, I get as nervous as a pigeon in a gryphon aerie just thinking about having a lizard living right next door, but I can't argue with the Queen's success.

The expanded trade agreements have been a star-send!

Player

What does that word mean, nebarra?

Craftreeve Midalmo

Nebarra? Well, I suppose that's our word for the newcomers. I guess you could say it's impolite, but old habits can be hard to break. No offense.

Look, I don't have an issue with the newcomers. Some of my best workers weren't born on the island.

Player

The other guests and servants don't wish to talk, so the player heads for the final and most important guest: Aldarch Tilcalar. His dialog branches depending on whether the player is or isn't an Altmer.

(If the player is an Altmer)

Aldarch Tilcalar

I see the Queen's decree has even attracted some of our wayward brethren back to our shores. But make no mistake. Altmer or not, you're as much a newcomer as one of those cats or lizards.

(If the player is not an Altmer)

Aldarch Tilcalar

How bold of you. The nebarra dares to stand in my holy presence. Very well, bold nebarra. What can the new Aldarch of Shimmerene do for you? And please, try not to bore me or spray any spittle on my spotless vestments.

Player

I hear that you and the Kinlady have a plan for administering the Queen's decree.

Aldarch Tilcalar

You heard that somewhere, did you? Hmm. I'll have to have a discussion with the Divine Prosecution about how lax our security has become.

No, no. I jest. The Kinlady and I have nothing but the best interests of Summerset and the newcomers in mind.

Player

Is that why you're sequestering newcomers and other non-High Elves beneath the monastery?

(If the player is an Altmer)

Aldarch Tilcalar

You really are well informed about things here in Shimmerene, aren't you? For an outsider. Oh, your heritage might be Altmer, but you aren't a native of Summerset. You simply don't have the bearing and cultured air of a true child of the island.

Player

Like the High Elf monks I saw working with Daedra beneath the monastery?

(If the player is not an Altmer)

Aldarch Tilcalar

You really are well informed about things here in Shimmerene, aren't you? For a nebarra.

Player

You keep calling me "nebarra." What does that mean?

Aldarch Tilcalar

You're right. Where are my manners? Using a word you couldn't possibly be expected to understand.

It means unwelcome. As in, you are not welcome here.

Player

I see. And is it common for High Elf monks to conspire with Daedra?

Aldarch Tilcalar

That's a serious accusation to toss around so casually. What did you say your name was again? I want to make sure to add it to the Divine Prosecution's observation log.

For you own protection, you understand.

Player

If you'll excuse me, Aldarch Tilcalar, I just remembered I have someplace else to be.

Aldarch Tilcalar

I suddenly remembered some business I need to deal with as well. Feel free to pester the other guests in my absence.

Player

All out of guests to pester, the player heads inside the mansion and finds the Kinlady in her room upstairs.

Kinlady Avinisse

No, I refuse to deal with one of the Queen's guests—especially not in my own home! How did you get in here, by the way? No, Never mind that. Since you found your way in, I assume you can find your way back out.

Before I call the guards.

Player

Why do you oppose the Queen's decree?

Kinlady Avinisse

Oh, such innocence! You really want to know why I oppose the Queen's order to allow newcomers to enter Summerset?

Because I'm trying to protect both the island and the newcomers. It's in everyone's best interest that we maintain a separation.

Player

And the Aldarch agrees with your efforts to protect the island and the newcomers?

Kinlady Avinisse

Aldarch Tilcalar... came highly recommended. He has grand plans for protecting Shimmerene. Grand plans.

Unfortunately, in my haste to deal with the Queen's decree, I may have made an error in judgement.

Player

An error in judgement?

Kinlady Avinisse

Not that it's any concern of yours, but my chancellor has been unable to verify the Aldarch's existence prior to when we met and I recommended him for the position at the monastery.

I assure you, Kinlord Milunthel praised Tilcalar to no end.

Player

And were you aware that the Aldarch's monks are killing the newcomers under the monastery?

Kinlady Avinisse

That's preposterous! Aldarch Tilcalar sequesters the newcomers to ascertain their suitability for life in Summerset.

Those who pass will find a place here. As for the rest, they'll be returned to wherever they came from. That's what we agreed to.

Player

It sounds like you should see for yourself what's happening at the monastery.

Before the Kinlady can respond, her servant barges in with a message.

Galmelor

My Lady, one of the monks said to deliver this message. It's from the Aldarch himself.

Kinlady Avinisse

The Coral Forest? An odd location for a meeting, but I need to hear the Aldarch's explanation.

Player

The Kinlady departs, and the player leaves as well. They find Razum-dar and report their findings.

Razum-dar

Pretend you are adjusting your boot or admiring the architecture. As hard as it may be, look anywhere but directly at Raz. Good, good. Now, tell Raz what you learned at the Kinlady's manor.

Player

The Kinlady believes that the newcomers are being sequestered and sent away.

Razum-dar

Raz thinks Avinisse is as naive as she is complicit, but she is not a murderer. This new Aldarch, though, has so much blood on his hands it looks like he's wearing red gloves. From what I could discover, he didn't exist before he came to Shimmerene.

Player

I overheard that the Kinlady was going to meet the Aldarch in the Coral Forest.

Razum-dar

The Coral Forest? A strange meeting place. Raz thinks we should go and see what the Aldarch is up to. After I take back that outfit. I might need it again later. Ah, you have a pretty admirer, my friend. The Psijic sage, yes? Here she comes now.

Player

Let me find out what Valsirenn has to say.

Valsirenn

I'm glad I found you. While watching the Kinlady's mansion, I saw her ladyship sneak out the back and leave the city.

Razum-dar

The Kinlady is meeting the Aldarch in the Coral Forest. Raz smells something and it isn't moon-sugar biscuits!

Valsirenn

Your reputation precedes you, Eye of the Queen. I am Valsirenn of the Psijic Order. And I agree that the Aldarch is more than a simple monk.

Razum-dar

We should work together, yes? But let's travel separately to avoid attracting unwanted attention. Raz will find you both at the Coral Forest.

Player

Valsirenn disappears in a magical poof, and Raz heads off in the other direction, so the player must find their way to the Coral Forest all by themselves.

Valsirenn

We need to find out why the Aldarch asked Kinlady Avinisse to meet him out here.

Player

How do we find the Aldarch and the Kinlady?

Valsirenn

Based on what we saw in the monastery's undercroft, I'm hesitant to use magic to locate them.

I suppose we'll have to find them through mundane means. Too bad the Queen's spy isn't here yet. I understand he's good at this sort of thing.

Player

The player begins exploring the Coral Forest, eventually stumbling on the Kinlady and Aldarch just as they finish arguing.

Kinlady Avinisse

Murder? That wasn't part of the plan, Aldarch!

Aldarch Tilcalar

You know nothing of the plan, you fool. Let me give you a taste of what the Prince of Bargains has in store for this pitiful world.

Kinlady Avinisse

Your Prince? I want no part of Daedra! Help!

Valsirenn

The Aldarch! We'd better hurry!

Player

The player fights the Aldarch, now revealed as the Earl of Clavicus Vile.

Earl of Clavicus Vile

Come, nebarra! Let me show you the power bestowed upon me by the Prince of Bargains!

Yaghra, destroy these fools!

Player

After defeating the Earl and his summons, the player speaks to Valsirenn.

Valsirenn

Razum-dar apprehended the Kinlady. They're at the west edge of the Coral Forest.

What happened to Aldarch Tilcalar? Did he escape?

Player

Aldarch Tilcalar is dead. I heard him mention the Prince of Bargains.

Valsirenn

I think we can conclude that Tilcalar wasn't actually an Aldarch. At least, not with his connection to the Prince of Bargains, Clavicus Vile.

Strange magic and creatures worry me, however. Hopefully, the pearl I sent to Artaeum can tell us more.

Player

You think you can learn something from the pearl?

Valsirenn

You'd be surprised what a particular object can reveal—if you know how to unlock its secrets. 

I need to return and tell Ritemaster Iachesis all that transpired here. If you're willing, I'd like you to come to Artaeum and confirm my story.

Player

Who's Ritemaster Iachesis?

Valsirenn

The Ritemaster leads the Psijic Order from Ceporah Tower, on the island of Artaeum. This spell attunes you to a portal near Shimmerene, in the ruins of the Keep of Eleven Forces. It always leads to Artaeum, no matter the island's current location.

Player

I'll go to Artaeum to talk to the Ritemaster after I check in with Razum-dar.

Valsirenn

One more adjustment and … there! You are now attuned!

Find me on Artaeum after you finish with the Eye of the Queen.

Player

Raz and the Kinlady are at the outskirts of the corals.

Razum-dar

Ah, five-claw! The Kinlady and Raz had the most illuminating conversation.

Kinlady Avinisse

You can't treat me like some sort of criminal, you horrid creature!

Razum-dar

Queen Ayrenn will be disappointed that the Kinlady of Shimmerene allowed a false Aldarch to murder so many newcomers. Such a scandal makes other travelers uneasy about coming here, yes?

Player

The Aldarch called on the Prince of Bargains before I killed him.

Razum-dar

The Prince of Bargains? That could only be Clavicus Vile! What Oblivion inspired nest of vipers has Raz stumbled into? This one has a very bad feeling about all this. Where is the Psijic sage? Raz would like to ask her what she thinks.

Player

Valsirenn returned to Artaeum. She invited me to come and speak to their Ritemaster.

Razum-dar

The Psijic Order's interest in all of this concerns Razum-dar. This one has never had much love of magic or those that practice the art. On the other hand, now Raz has his own person on the inside. An Eye of Raz, if you will, yes?

Player

Valsirenn said the Order would try to find out more about the Aldarch and the abyssal pearls.

Razum-dar

Then you must go to Artaeum and discover what the Psijics have learned. When you return, you can tell Raz all about it so he can pass it along to the Queen. Yes, Raz likes this plan. In the meantime, Raz will investigate the Daedric connection.

Player

Before heading to Artaeum, the player chooses to speak with the Kinlady one last time.

Kinlady Avinisse

Have you come to gloat? To kick me while I wallow in my own misery? Well, go ahead. I deserve it.

Player

How did you get involved with Aldarch Tilcalar?

Kinlady Avinisse

I met him at Kinlord Milunthel's party in Alinor. We had similar ideas about the Queen's decree and I recommended that he lead the monastery.

Summerset isn't a stew pot, and the various races aren't ingredients to be sprinkled in like so much spice.

Player

So you knew he planned to kill the newcomers?

Kinlady Avinisse

What a hateful accusation! Tilcalar told me he was going to send them back where they came from. I had no idea he planned to kill them. I give you my word. I just wanted the newcomers to go away.

And to find out he worshiped Daedra! How crude!

Player

Do all of the monks at the monastery worship Daedra?

Kinlady Avinisse

I certainly hope not! We'll have to get the Divine Prosecution in there to gather up the monks Tilcalar brought with him to Shimmerene. We can't have Daedric cultists desecrating a holy site.

I suppose I need to beg for mercy from the Proxy Queen.

Player

That would probably be for the best.

Before heading out, they speak with Raz one last time.

Razum-dar

Stay alert, five-claw. Raz has heard Psijics turn people into chickens and make them explode. To die covered in feathers instead of fur, such a horrible demise.

In the meantime, Raz will send Avinisse home until the Proxy Queen renders judgment.

With this matter resolved, the player headed for the Keep of the Eleven Forces to access its portal to Artaeum. Once on the isle, they head for Ceporah Tower, visible in the distance. They encounter Valsirenn and the Ritemaster at the foot of the tower.

Valsirenn

And there was no sign of Leythen. I don't know whether to be grateful or concerned.

Ritemaster Iachesis

We'll find him, Val. Now go check on the pearl while I speak to our new guest.

What a rare honor Valsirenn bestowed upon you. Only a select few not of our order have ever walked upon this sacred island.

Val tells me your aid was indispensable in uncovering the false Aldarch's plot on Summerset.

Player

We discovered that newcomers to Summerset were being murdered to power the abyssal pearls.

Ritemaster Iachesis

Unfortunate, certainly. The magic you describe sounds familiar, though I can't quite recall where I've heard of it before.

I fear the pearls may be a harbinger of the threat Sotha Sil warned us about.

Player

Sotha Sil? What threat? I don't understand.

Ritemaster Iachesis

Sotha Sil, one of the living gods of the Dark Elf Tribunal. He's an honorary member of our order. After an attack on his Clockwork City, he warned us about a Daedric threat to Summerset and Artaeum. I sent Valsirenn to investigate.

Player

Is there anything more I can do to help?

Ritemaster Iachesis

Indeed, but not until we finish studying the pearl Valsirenn brought us. There are mysteries to unravel and Val believes you will be instrumental to our success.

We can get started immediately, unless you want to explore our island first.