TESL Battlespire: Shade Perilous

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At the end of the third part, I went through a teleporter which took me to the part of Nocturnal's realm known as the Shade Perilous.

I found a note from Vatasha as soon as I left the teleporter. There was a Frost Daedroth not far away. I approached it.

Frost Daedroth 1: Interloper! This realm is not for your brittle kind!

Sinder Velvin: Who is this realm for, then?

Frost Daedroth 1: For us! With but an infinitesimal measure of our vast power have the Frost Daedra subjugated this land!

Sinder Velvin: Whom do you serve?

Frost Daedroth 1: You are not fit to utter the name of the master of the Frost Daedra, mortal!

Sinder Velvin: Why do you want this land?

Frost Daedroth 1: This land holds rich mysteries and great rewards. But not for mortals. Now I shall end your profane trespass.

Sinder Velvin: Talk tough to me, pretty boy.

I defeated it and started exploring the realm, soon coming across a Fire Daedroth.

Fire Daedroth 1: A party crasher! Wicked little party crasher! Did you think we would not notice your wicked intrusion into our new banquet hall?

Sinder Velvin: I should have known that one as great as you would find me right away.

Fire Daedroth 1: Your obsequious flattery has purchased you another moment of precious life. I shall torment your soul a moment longer before I send it into the darkness forever.

Sinder Velvin: I thank his lordship. Why is his lordship in this realm?

Fire Daedroth 1: This is our party! The Shade Perilous is the sweetest delicacy in Nocturnal realm, and it now belongs to the Fire Daedra! Our master shall feast with us forever within its darkened splendor!

Sinder Velvin: Who's your master?

Fire Daedroth 1: Such notions are beyond your ken, naughty manling. You've been wicked and you must be punished.

Sinder Velvin: What did I do to deserve punishment?

Fire Daedroth 1: You have interrupted my frolic! You thought you could come here to play? Now we will play with you! I shall sear your organs and shrivel your mortal soul with exquisite flame!

Sinder Velvin: Less chatter, and more batter, would suit me fine. Let's fight.

After sending the Fire Daedroth to a very nasty place, I spoke with a nearby Frost Daedroth.



Frost Daedroth 2: The great Xivilai Moath shall bring order and control to this dark land! Xivilai alone deserves to rule here!

Sinder Velvin: Yeah? Well, maybe Xivilai isn't the only one planning to harvest the power and glory for this triumph.

Frost Daedroth 2: Hah! Xivilai alone will possess this rich, darkling land! He is the true heir to the great Mehrunes Dagon! Faydra Shardai is too consumed with fripperies and foolishness to do the hard work of conquest. Her Fire Daedra are too frivolous to harvest the mana riches of this realm, just as they were too frivolous to help imprison the Nocturnal Lieutenant.

Sinder Velvin: So what are we going to do about those pesky Fire Daedra?

Frost Daedroth 2: Our accursed pact forbids us from fighting them directly. But we deserve the mana, and they deserve Oblivion.

Sinder Velvin: Tell you what. If you help me kill them, I'll do your dirty work for you.

Frost Daedroth 2: Yes! That is a most orderly arrangement! We agree, and to seal the pact, we shall gift you with the Greaves of Ice Crystals. Its potent charm will protect your bones from the scorching heat of the Fire Daedra.

Sinder Velvin: Thanks. Now we are great friends forever. Right?

Frost Daedroth 2: Understand that servitors of the great Xivilai Moath must continue to attack you as long as you are within the Shade Perilous. Flee vigorously from us and attack the Fire Daedra! Bring all our enemies to heel!

Sinder Velvin: Hey, what do you know about the Dremora?

Frost Daedroth 2: They serve our Lord Mehrunes Dagon through the court of the Grand Vizier, Imago Storm.

Sinder Velvin: What's this Imago Storm up to?

Frost Daedroth 2: He controls the details of the invasion, that our Lord Mehrunes Dagon may be free to think greater thoughts.

Sinder Velvin: Is Imago loyal to Dagon?

Frost Daedroth 2: What strange thoughts you mortals may entertain. ALL are loyal to our Lord Mehrunes Dagon. Now go and root out the interloper Fire Daedra!

Sinder Velvin: Thank you for your wisdom and generosity. Goodbye.

I kicked its spotted owl anyway. After going up with an elevator, I found a Seducer.

Seducer 1: What DO you think you're doing, you -- Wait -- Are you --

Sinder Velvin: Yes! You see your doom before you. Flee while you still can.

It tried to flee and I defeated it. I soon encountered a Fire Daedroth and a Dremora. I spoke with the Fire Daedroth.

Fire Daedroth 2: Our Lord Faydra Shardai is all-powerful! We exalt her name!

Sinder Velvin: Yeah! Exalt her a lot. Faydra Shardai, that is.

Fire Daedroth 2: Faydra Shardai shall revel in the Nocturnal ichor that flows with darkling mana! Only Faydra Shardai understands the beauty of that deadly power, and only Faydra Shardai deserves to keep it!

Sinder Velvin: Yeah? Well, maybe Faydra isn't the only one angling to claim the credit for the success of this little caper.

Fire Daedroth 2: But you are wrong! Xivilai Moath is too dull-witted to understand the power that is here. Faydra Shardai, greatest child of Mehrunes Dagon, planned this attack, and only Faydra Shardai shall drink of the rewards!

Sinder Velvin: But Xivilai's Frost Daedra are drinking rewards too. What do we do about them?

Fire Daedroth 2: Yeaaah! We can do nothing! Nothing! Faydra and Xivilai have a pact that forbids us from melting them to vaporous mists!

Sinder Velvin: Tell you what. If you help me roast them, I'll do your dirty work for you.

Fire Daedroth 2: Ah! Ahhh! You are indeed wicked! We agree to this bond, and to bind our agreement, we gift to you a Helm of the Fire Opal that will warm your delicate flesh when the icy winds of Frost Daedra wrap you in their frigid embrace!

Sinder Velvin: Great. Thanks.

Fire Daedroth 2: Be not surprised that we continue to attack you while you are in the Shade Perilous. We may not evade our orders. But if you shy away from our revels, and seek the plodding Frost Daedra, we will not have to melt your mortal clay. Now we dance the dance of triumph, and drive the Frost Daedra from our glorious party!

Sinder Velvin: Hey, what do you know about the Dremora?

Fire Daedroth 2: Like the Frost Daedra, they do not understand the pleasures of the dance. They have no joy in the revel. They even stopped our wicked sport with the lesser Nocturnal.

Sinder Velvin: Who?

Fire Daedroth 2: When we did capture and bind the Nocturnal Lieutenant Jaciel Morgen, the lesser Nocturnal Deyanira Katrece also became our prisoner. Our master, Faydra Shardai, sought to drain the lesser Nocturnal of her darkling power. Power for our pleasure. But the passionless Dremora stopped us! The Dremora are dry husks, and the fires of desire rage not in them. Their hearts are colder than the frigid Frost Daedra!

Sinder Velvin: So where are these Nocturnal prisoners?

Fire Daedroth 2: Wicked mortal! You ask for more than you deserve!

Sinder Velvin: If you want me to crush Frost Daedra, you better tell me.

Fire Daedroth 2: Yes. I see. Well. The lesser Nocturnal is the farthest cell in the southern vault. We visit her to torment her with Fire and Frost. The portal only opens to the command "The Gerent of Dagon Rules Here".

Sinder Velvin: And what about the Number One? The Noctural Lieutenant? Where's she?

Fire Daedroth 2: The greater Nocturnal is beyond the whirling spiral grinders, but she is beyond even MY power to visit. Now run, wicked one! Run and splinter the Frost Daedra, as you swore in your pact! We will cavort while you shatter the Frost Daedra into a thousand icy shards!

Sinder Velvin: Revel on, Fire Lord. And save that last dance for me. See you later.

I defeated it and then talked to the Dremora.

Dremora 7: You wish to stop our battle? We Dremora are not appeased by submission. We have no need of mortal captives.

Sinder Velvin: I'm not surrendering! I'm trying to talk to you!

Dremora 7: That is intriguing. What does a mere mortal have to say to a Dremora?

Sinder Velvin: I've had a chat or two with some of your oathbrothers, and I get the distinct impression that, despite your threats and assaults, you plan to preserve my skin for some schemes of your own.

Dremora 7: Hmmm. You are clever, for a mortal. And you have backbone. Perhaps we can make use of you.

Sinder Velvin: Only if I can make use of you too.

Dremora 7: Hah hah! But of course! Let us both use one another, and see who gets the greater use of the other!

Sinder Velvin: Good plan. So. Tell me how to free my friend!

Dremora 7: To do that one would travel beyond the gates of this land, thru the Chimera of Desolation, thru the Havok Wellhead, and finally to Dagon's personal pleasure palace.

Sinder Velvin: How do I do that?

Dremora 7: Only Jaciel Morgen, the immortal Nocturnal Lieutenant, can send you through the great locks that separate this realm from the next. But she has somehow hidden herself within the Shade Perilous. The great Daedra Lord, Mehrunes Dagon, was persuaded that this realm would be an essential waystation toward the conquest of Battlespire, and sanctioned our passage. But he did not sanction the overthrow and occupation of this realm.

Sinder Velvin: Get to the point, please.

Dremora 7: Understand. Dagon's Oathkin and Proteges, Faydra Shardai and Xivilai Moath, crushed this realm where they should have simply obtained passage by negotiation, or with limited force. These spawn of Dagon became -- Overzealous in carrying out Dagon's orders. The dark temptations of this Nocturnal land proved far too appealing to them, and they overthrew the Shade Perilous while their Oathfather was occupied with weightier matters.

Sinder Velvin: Okay. So you think Dagon will be none too pleased by what has happened here? And you Dremora are trying to distance yourself from Faydra Shardai and Xivilai Moath and their retainers, just in case the wrath of Dagon might fall upon them.

Dremora 7: Yes. Faydra unleashed her Fire Daedra and Xivilai's unchained his Frost Daedra, granting them free rein to lay waste to this precious corner of the Nocturnal realm. They relished the chance to revenge themselves on their ancient enemies, the Nocturnals.

Sinder Velvin: Well, you can't embark on a campaign of conquest without ruffling a few feathers.

Dremora 7: Quite true, but they have gone too far, and must be chastened. Now that Battlespire is ours, we no longer need to hold this land. But many Daedra minions of Faydra and Xivilai decided that this land was now their domain, and remained here instead of continuing to the next step on the invasion route. They must be expunged and good order restored -- In order to redress the balance.

Sinder Velvin: What order and balance would that be?

Dremora 7: The order to be restored is the order of the Nocturnals. As for the balance... Well, that is more wisdom than you require.

Sinder Velvin: How do I go about expunging all these miscreant Daedra?

Dremora 7: Invoke the names of their lords, and they will grow docile and circumspect. Exploit their divisions and they will fall like barley before the scythe.

Sinder Velvin: How will that get me to my friend?

Dremora 7: One who would free your friend must gain the secret of passage from Shade Perilous to the Chimera of Desolation through the fugitive, the Nocturnal Lieutenant, Jaciel Morgen. But I have said too much. No one must know of our discussion. I will deny all knowledge of our colloquy. Now be off. Count yourself luckiest among all mortals that we have deemed you useful to our purpose. For had our goals not come into alignment, the last wisps of steam would now be rising from your lacerated lungs.

Sinder Velvin: I thank your lordship for such kindness. But tell me, who do you serve? Who is the prime mover behind your schemes? Surely not Lord Dagon himself?

Dremora 7: That is not for you to know. All you need know is that I and my fellow Dremora serve the Exalted and Most Puissant Lord, Gerent of Dagon, Mehrunes.

Sinder Velvin: Yes. Well. That's all, then. Goodbye.

He had to go bye-bye too. After looking around a bit, I pulled a chain that made the gate blocking the southern vault rise. I found Deyanira Katrece in the southernmost cell, which was actually a bit large for a cell... There was a Dremora guarding it.

Dremora 8: If you have something worthwhile to say, say it quickly.

Sinder Velvin: Nope. Nothing to say, Really. Just Teasing you. Hah-hah. Isn't this fun?

After I defeated it, I talked to Deyanira.

Deyanira Katrece: Please mortal! Spare me! Do not look upon my misery. Never before has a Daedra pleaded with a mortal, but I beg of you to turn from the sight of my wretchedness.

Sinder Velvin: I'm looking for Jaciel Morgen.

Deyanira Katrece: Jaciel. Jaciel. Her memory haunts me. She is gone to me. I cannot feel the traces of her in my mind. No fragment of her lingers.

Sinder Velvin: Actually, I think she's all right. At least, a Dremora said that if I could free her, she'd help me escape.

Deyanira Katrece: Oh Jaciel! Forgive me! It was my foolish pride that cost my mistress her realm. In my vanity I pleaded their case with her. The Seducers are Lordless warriors, and might shift allegiance at will. I thought they might remain loyal to Jaciel, once they knew her honest and honorable nature. But the Seducers were in turn seduced. Dagon rules them now. Though, to my everlasting shame, I fear some Seducers went to him -- Willingly. These Seducers Dagon has remade in the image of his own greed and treachery. All this horror is my fault, and I must atone for it.

Sinder Velvin: Excellent idea. For a start, you can atone by helping me out. Where is Jaciel?

Deyanira Katrece: My Mistress has hidden herself behind the Night Portal and driven her spirit into the Dreamsleeve. When Nocturnal mana flows, the Night Portal opens easily, as do the portals to other realms. But Dagon's troops have stoppered the flow of Nocturnal magica, sealing the Night Portal and all portals from Shade Perilous.

Sinder Velvin: How do I get the magica flowing again?

Deyanira Katrece: The Magica Tourbillions must turn again. But they will not budge until the Wheels of Heaven read the great code.

Sinder Velvin: What's the code?

Deyanira Katrece: I know not. It is in my Mistress' Book of the Wheels of Heaven. I know not how the codes work. But my Mistress knows. I have heard her speak of the book, the stools, and the tourbillions that make all magica flow.

Sinder Velvin: ... Stools?

Deyanira Katrece: I'm sorry, but my Mistress has not shared with me the mysteries of the arcane. Seek ye the Book of the Wheels of Heaven, for it contains the sacred codes. Perhaps the riddle of the stools is also recorded there. The Night Portal is locked by four secret levers. And then, when the Night Portal opens, you will find my Lady bound within the Dreamsleeve. This is an enchantment beyond my understanding, but she has told me the secret of its unraveling. Speak in the name of the Nocturnals to shake the spell's bindings.

Sinder Velvin: Okay. I'm looking for the Book of the Wheels of Heaven for the sacred codes, and for some stools, and some tour-something-or-others, and a Night Portal, which is locked by four secret levers, and then I have to wake your Mistress from this Dream-whatsis. Sweet Mara's Milk, I have got such a headache. You wouldn't happen to know where the secret levers are, would you?

Deyanira Katrece: Tour-BILLIONS, manling, and you will wake my Mistress from the Dreamsleeve enchantment by speaking in the name of the Nocturnals. Yes. And the four secret levers are known to me only by word, and not by deed. I recall my Mistress saying, however, that one is near a podium, another underwater in a hidden grotto, the third beneath a table, and the last in a storage room. I wish you good luck, and good speed.

Sinder Velvin: Thanks. Don't worry. I'll get your Mistress free. I'll be back. Sooner. Or later.

One of the levers was actually in her "cell". I pulled it and went on my way, eventually encountering a Seducer.

Seducer 2: I SPIT on Dagon's treacherous dogs! You'll get no mercy from me, maggot-eater! Come. Come closer so you can hear my EVERY CURSE UPON YOU AND ALL YOUR SPIT-LICKING KIN!

Sinder Velvin: Look. I'm siding with Jaciel and Deyanira, and I don't care WHO knows it! So if we're enemies, have at it. But if we are allies, let's stop burning each other!

Seducer 2: Oh. Yes. We've heard about you. Leave us alone, and we will return the favor. Harm or hinder us at your peril.

Sinder Velvin: Understood. Truce. Goodbye.

I continued to explore the realm, eventually finding a letter from Vatasha containing information that was now useless. After a while I encountered an unfriendly Seducer.

Seducer 3: Things are pretty much under control here, though a few of the more stubborn Sisters are still hiding -- But -- You aren't --

Sinder Velvin: Afraid a little manling will hurt you? Come on. We're on the same side. Relax. Can you tell me how to get out of here?

Seducer 3: CURSE the GODS, it IS the manling!

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

Seducer 4: Oh. Yes. We've heard about you, and that you favor our cause. Deyanira says you will be seeking the Book of the Wheels of Heaven for the Sacred Code. There is a copy of the book here, and in the Mortal Sciences Chamber. The code will be a series of four letters, but they will be in the Daedric alphabet.

Sinder Velvin: Great. I am not real familiar with the Daedric alphabet.

Seducer 4: No matter. Look at the Hand of Kindness. There is today's Sacred Code -- Doht. Yoodt. Seht. Koht. Or, in Tamrielic, DUSK.

Sinder Velvin: Oh. So who needs the book?

Seducer 4: Perhaps Deyanira thought you could read, and that it would be a handy reference.

Sinder Velvin: Yeah? Well, I do read, just fine, thank you. And do you know anything about the stools?

Seducer 4: Stools? What stools?

Sinder Velvin: Deyanira said something about stools and the tourbillion things.

Seducer 4: Are you sure? Stools?

Sinder Velvin: Of course I'm sure.

Seducer 4: I know nothing about stools. Nothing special, anyway.

Sinder Velvin: Fine. I'll figure it out. Thanks for the help. Goodbye.

I found the Book of the Wheels of Heaven under the Hand of Kindness and continued my exploration. After a while I found a Dremora at a dead end.

Dremora 9: We think you'll find this Quam Amulet of Passage useful. Now, if you have no further questions, I'll be leaving.

Sinder Velvin: Well, I have plenty of question for you, Mr. Mysterious. For one, what are you doing hanging around in this dead end tunnel?

Dremora 9: Waiting for you. You are quite predictable. Now, it would be better if we were not seen together, so goodbye.

Sinder Velvin: Thanks for the amulet, but would you mind telling me WHY you're being so helpful?

Dremora 9: It's just another of life's little mysteries, manling. But you're welcome. Good luck, and goodbye.

Sinder Velvin: Always a pleasure.

Sinder Velvin: Jaciel. In the name of the Nocturnals, Deyanira bids me awake you from your enchantment.

Jaciel Morgen: Awake. Awake. Awake. From sleep to despair -- And who are you?

Sinder Velvin: Er, hello. Pardon me if I guard my name, my Lady.

Jaciel Morgen: I rise though sorrow. I sink with hope. The night binds me in tiny steps.

Sinder Velvin: Indeed. I see. Well. You ARE Jaciel Morgen, right?

Jaciel Morgen: I murmur cold memories like the nibbling of rats on tiny toes in sleep.

Sinder Velvin: Unpleasant dreams, eh? Sorry.

Jaciel Morgen: I fade into the smallest part of my soul, a wisp of a whisper.

Sinder Velvin: Snap out of it! You've been released from your enchantment, and we have some serious business to attend to.

Jaciel Morgen: The shackles that bind me are far stronger than any mere magics. I shall remain here, alone. Let the Nocturnals come and find me stricken here. They will punish me, but they will punish the Dagon far more. There will be war in the heavens. The sky will crack, and the earth will split in two. All mortal things must perish in this howling storm of fire and night.

Sinder Velvin: Ah, that sounds like it would be bad.

Jaciel Morgen: It will be glorious.

Sinder Velvin: I think I'd rather stop that little war before it begins.

Jaciel Morgen: Catch your tears in a sieve of gold, mortal. It's too late for weeping. I have no tears left, and no pity for the tears of mortals.

Sinder Velvin: We can still stop them! It's not over yet! Think of Deyanira!

Jaciel Morgen: Ah. Deyanira. Her longing will not cease even in the face of overwhelming loss. How like a mortal she is. I could -- But no. The thought of her tears is almost enough to shake this mantle of anguish from my shoulders. Almost. But not enough. No, The only joy left to me now is the thought that the Nocturnals will scourge the Dagon until the magica drips in rivulets from his hollow eye sockets -- Twins to the tears I cannot cry. Farewell.

Sinder Velvin: Look, you can't get rid of me that easily --

Jaciel Morgen: Farewell, selfish mortal.

Sinder Velvin: But surely this is pretty excessive. I mean, you ARE a big-time Daedra Lady. Where's your pride? You're going to let those muttonheads push you around --

Jaciel Morgen: Leave me, mortal. Your miseries are not mine.

Sinder Velvin: Oh, this misery is yours, all right. Your faithful friend Deyanira says she will die if you don't return to rule.

Jaciel Morgen: She will not die. Immortals cannot die. Now be off, mortal.

Sinder Velvin: Right, right. So she can't die. But she IS very worried about you.

Jaciel Morgen: Leave me to my sweet melancholia.

Sinder Velvin: Fine. I have better things to do. But don't think you've heard the last of me. (That was not a big success. Maybe Deyanira will have a bright idea.)

I returned to Deyanira.

Deyanira Katrece: How goes your quest?

Sinder Velvin: Mission accomplished.

Deyanira Katrece: You return, and with you hope returns.

Sinder Velvin: I have spoken with your Mistress, but she's not been very encouraging.

Deyanira Katrece: I can feel my Mistress again. But I sense she has become dispirited by her deep loss. It is very much in the nature of Nocturnals to pine and mourn, even beyond the purpose of such grief. They nurse their misery in their bosom until their sorrow takes on a life of its very own. Until weeping is all there is. Until all the seas of tears run dry.

Sinder Velvin: I'm sorry, but she MUST be awakened, or I'm doomed, and my friend is doomed, and who knows what else is doomed -- Including you and Shade Perilous. What can be done?

Deyanira Katrece: Only the greatest of shocks can do that. A loss greater than the shame of the pillage of the Shade Perilous.

Sinder Velvin: Well, what else does she care about?

Deyanira Katrece: I know her better than any, and I do not know any such thing.

Sinder Velvin: Perhaps -- She does care about you, yes?

Deyanira Katrece: I told you. I know not.

Sinder Velvin: Your Mistress MUST hold your welfare high above lesser cares.

Deyanira Katrece: Perhaps you are right. But nothing short of casting myself into Oblivion could shock her from the refuge of her bittersweet melancholia.

Sinder Velvin: Hmm. Is there anything less -- Drastic you could try?

Deyanira Katrece: No. You are keen-sighted, mortal. I MUST leap into the darkness for her. Seek my Mistress. Tell her that should she not return to rule her realm, I will have no safe return from Oblivion, and remind her of her oaths and obligations. So honorable a Mistress would never be foresworn of her vows.

Sinder Velvin: Can I help?

Deyanira Katrece: I implore you. You must do the deed. Take this Soul Dagger. If you strike true, you shall loosen my spirit, and darkness will swallow me. Into the Dagger I shall pour my hope and longings, which you must bear as a token to my Mistress, that she will know what I have done for her.

Sinder Velvin: Are you sure about this?

Deyanira Katrece: I can. I must. The realm must endure. And for the realm to endure I must make this sacrifice. I thank you for your care, but you do me a kindness. Raise this Dagger up against me and smite me with all thy arm and heart. Linger not. I do not fear, for I sense honor in your heart. And perhaps a touch of love.

Sinder Velvin: I strike, and bless you. Farewell, and fair return, most fair of the Daedra.

It disappeared. I went back to Jaciel.

Jaciel Morgen: I have nothing more to say to you.

Sinder Velvin: I don't know exactly how to break this to you, but -- Well -- Maybe you have better take a look at this dagger. She said -- Deyanira -- That is --

Jaciel Morgen: Aaaaaa! She is gone! GONE! I should tear your beating heart out and force you to eat it in tiny bites, one wriggling, beating bite each century! I should flay the skin from your body and hurl your living carcass into the sea of my salty tears.

Sinder Velvin: She did it for you.

Jaciel Morgen: You, mortal -- No doom so slow, no pain so tearing --

Sinder Velvin: Nothing you do will bring her back. She'll be back in her own sweet time, from what I understand about you Daedra. And for all that sweet time you can think about how little you cared for her, and how lonely you'll be without her, and how much she was willing to do for you, when you wouldn't do anything but pout and snivel.

Jaciel Morgen: What you say -- Perhaps is true. Too fair. But... You BASTARD! You TRICKED her into this, to serve your own SELFISH ends!

Sinder Velvin: No. It was her idea. I haven't got her kind of vision. Or character. I admit. I'd lie like a rug to save my skin. But I haven't got the imagination to think of a thing like she did. And it would NEVER occur to me that she might do it of her own free will. In fact, I'm sorry. And ashamed. That I helped her to do this thing.

Jaciel Morgen: Perhaps I can understand. You are a mortal. And mortals see things differently. A mortal must never regret, never feel shame, for what it does to save its life.

Sinder Velvin: Normally I'd agree with you wholeheartedly. But that's not how I feel right now. Look. She isn't really dead, is she?

Jaciel Morgen: Daedra do not really die. Not as you know death. But we can sacrifice ourselves to Oblivion. As she did. Oblivion is existence and self-awareness without the ability to see, hear, or affect the world. For an immortal it is hell -- Unspeakable pain and horror -- Absolute loss. Eventually we do return. But not all return as they were. There is sickness. Madness. Change.

Sinder Velvin: I'm sorry. I hope Deyanira will be all right. She certainly has a strong spirit, if that's of any consequence.

Jaciel Morgen: It is passing strange, but I feel your comfort, mortal. You have so much to lose, you things of flesh, and yet you do not despair. An intriguing mystery.

Sinder Velvin: Yes. My flesh does have a lot to lose. And another, a close friend, is also in danger. So please help me. How may I leave this place?

Jaciel Morgen: All other portals are sealed, but there is a back door. To the north you must cross the Rock Sails to a lesser portal, which will bear you to the Hex Room and the Gate. Four anchors bind the magica forces; loose these anchors, and the portal is ready. To the north is a door. Say "djemekweh" to enter. When you reach the final portal, I will have had time to open it to your use. But the Dagon have set a seal upon passage from all destinations but those of their own choosing. You must go where they wish you to go.

Sinder Velvin: Not having a lot of choice is refreshing at times like this. Keeps things simple. And I believe I must go where the Dagon think they want me. I'll just make sure I have plenty of surprises for them when I arrive.

Jaciel Morgen: Your cunning shines with a brightness that craves requiting. In the brightest light or blackest dark, we are equally blind. It may be that I owe you something. Or owe it to myself, and my pride. But if in the end you must stand before Dagon, call on me. I will use you as a link for travel, and it may be that even my modest powers can be one of your little surprises for him.

Sinder Velvin: Don't think I won't call you. I'm going to need a lot of surprises, and a lot of luck. Goodbye, then, and thanks.

Jaciel Morgen: Just one look before you go, mortal. Abide with me a moment.

Sinder Velvin: In memory of Deyanira, I abide with you a short while, fair Jaciel. Then I must go.

Jaciel Morgen: Ahhh. So faint a candle is the mortal's light. Faint, and it flickers so! But indeed this faint light of mortals might light up the sky. O, but I shall remember thee. And see thee again before the end. Farewell.

Sinder Velvin: Good. But. Well. I don't know what to say. And haven't the grace to say nothing. So it's just goodbye, then.

I went north, jumping on platforms floating in the air. After some time I found a magical barrier, but I got past it by saying the word "djemekweh". I found a Dremora on the other side.

Dremora 10: Once again, you exceed our expectations. We did not expect you to find Jaciel.

Sinder Velvin: Yeah. And I know who your boss is, and can guess at your game. Imago Storm would be willing to see his Master Dagon cast low and himself raised high. Right?

Dremora 10: Nonsense. There are none more loyal to Dagon as Imago Storm and all the Dremora clan. We simply hope to expedite the Battlespire campaign with as little disorder and unwarranted risk as possible.

Sinder Velvin: Sure. Maybe Lord Imago is content -- Even comfortable -- As the power behind the throne.

Dremora 10: Do not question my loyalty to Dagon, or the loyalty of my Lord, or you will answer for it.

Sinder Velvin: Fine. I want to talk to Lord Imago. Where is he?

Dremora 10: You overestimate your value in our eyes. If Lord Imago wishes to see you, then you will see him.

Sinder Velvin: If I'm going to be your pawn, there are things I need to know.

Dremora 10: You test my patience, mortal!

Sinder Velvin: So why are you still talking to me?

Dremora 10: Eh. Eh-hmm. A good point. Set aside the posturing. I have something to say to you. We Daedra have a standard joke about news, that there is no good news without bad news.

Sinder Velvin: We humans have a similar perception.

Dremora 10: So. The bad news is that Dagon has your companion.

Sinder Velvin: What? When? How?

Dremora 10: We don't know. All we know is that Vatasha Trenelle has been taken to Lord Dagon's hunting lodge. That is all we know.

Sinder Velvin: I see. And your good news?

Dremora 10: We can help you rescue your friend. We will not tell you how, or where, or when, but will hold it as an incentive to your continued cooperation.

Sinder Velvin: Such faithful and trusting allies you are.

Dremora 10: Seek fairer allies if you can. And now, for more bad news. There will be a hunt. And you are the prey. Escape Shade Perilous, and you will be hunted within the Chimera of Desolation by the Rites of the Innocent Quarry.

Sinder Velvin: That would be bad news. And the good news?

Dremora 10: In the Hunt, there are rules. Turn those rules to your use. And on the ground, seek hidden resources. Seek a thing that once was a man. On him is the mantle of distinction. Be patient, heed him, and learn.

Sinder Velvin: Could you possibly be more obscure?

Dremora 10: You are not to be trusted with more. You are bound by no oath or code, save your own self-interest. We risk much in our dealings with you. Do not look for more. If we deem it safe, we will leave you messages. Now I must go. You have done well so far. It would be very frightening for us to learn that you are the type, and not the exception, of humans. Farewell. And in the Hunt, good fortune.

Sinder Velvin: I am trying to appreciate what you are doing. It would help if I could trust you and your boss. If there is common interest between us, you would be smart to make it plainer. Tell that to your boss. Goodbye.

It disappeared. I went through a teleporter that took me to the gate to the Chimera of Desolation.

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