TESL Battlespire: The Soul Cairn

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At the end of the second part, I went through a teleporter which took me to the Daedric Realm known as the Soul Cairn.

As soon as I left the teleporter, I was attacked by a Wrathman. I tried talking to it.

Wrathman 1: I smell your life, and rave with hunger. I can suck you to a husk, and still scream for thirst. Run, now. There is no hope… Only horror.

Sinder Velvin: I wish I could help you, but I’m in real trouble myself. For what it’s worth, I feel for you, but I’m warning YOU… Get in my way, and you’re going to get hurt. I think. These weapons and spells, they are hurting you, right?

Wrathman 1: What can your puny weapons, your feeble sorceries, avail against an immortal spirit? I CANNOT DIE, you fool! CANNOT DIE! I LAUGH at your pity. I mock your tiny fists.

Sinder Velvin: You are a bad thing. Soon I will make you go away. Far, far away.

I tried fighting it, but it was invulnerable, so I fled. I soon encountered two Bonemen.

Boneman 1: We die. We pray. To live. We serve.

Sinder Velvin: You’re undead. How can you die?

It didn’t reply. The second one wasn’t too talkative, either. I had to fight both of them. After I turned them into dust, I found a note from Vatasha Trenelle. One Boneman later, I also found a note on a wall.

After walking around a bit, I was attacked by a Wrathman.

Wrathman 2: You have taken my life, and given me NOTHING! Eternal happiness? Life everlasting? No! Eternal nightmare! Death everlasting! Nothing now. Nothing forever more.

Sinder Velvin: Sounds terrible. So, who do you think you’re talking to? Or are you just talking to yourself?

Wrathman 2: What does it matter? It’s not MY fault! You said I’d live forever. And this is LIFE? You CHEATED me! I HATE you!

Someone must have taken a certain Oasis song seriously…

Sinder Velvin: It sounds to me, friend, like YOU are the one who got yourself into this mess. Don’t blame me. Don’t fool around with necromancy, and blame someone else when you don’t like the results. And if you go around sucking the souls out of folks, don’t be surprised if they want to blot you out like a bug. Goodbye.

I avoided it. A bit later, I was attacked by a Mistman.

Mistman 1: Death is the Mother of Beauty.

Sinder Velvin: That’s very nice. Very poetic. Thank you for sharing that. I would prefer, however, that you stop trying to kill me. Please?

It didn’t reply. I had to fight and defeat it. After walking around for a short while, I was attacked by another Wrathman.

Wrathman 3: Cheated! Betrayed! Deceived! You promised! But you lied! Forever!

Sinder Velvin: Have I caught you at a bad time? Never mind. We can talk later. Goodbye.

I avoided it, like usual, and was soon attacked by a Mistman.

Mistman 2: The seasons turn to winter. In the frozen whiteness, time stands still.

Sinder Velvin: Would you please tell me how to get out of here?

I once again received no reply and was forced to fight it. I found another one nearby.

Mistman 3: We came this far for beauty. We came this far for love. From this place we can see forever.

Sinder Velvin: You’re wasting your breath. So to speak. I’m alive, I like it, and I’m staying that way. Goodbye.

After I made the Mistman go bye-bye, I entered a room with a small pool and a Morphoid Daedroth.

Morphoid Daedroth 1: Come here, little manling. I won’t hurt you. I just want to tell you a… Secret.

Sinder Velvin: Don’t be tedious. I’m here searching for Vatasha Trenelle. I’ve taken the form of a manling to trick her. Now go about your business as if you never saw me.

Morphoid Daedroth 1: I have to make sure you aren’t the manling. So I’m going to beat on you a little. So if you really are a Daedra, you can show me while I’m pounding on you.

Sinder Velvin: Come on. I’m a DAEDRA. Anybody can see that. No manling could wade his way through an army of daedra and show up here, fresh as a daisy.

After defeating the Daedroth, I entered a hall with inscriptions on the walls. Out of those, only one was of any importance. There was a Wraith in the large room at the end of the hall.

Wraith of Kirel Aman: I’ve failed. I’ve betrayed my sacred oath and trust. I swore to defend the Battlespire for my Emperor. And now I’m dead, and all in my charge dead, too, and the Battlespire in ruins, plundered by Daedra, and ruled by the Prince of Destruction.

Sinder Velvin: What? Who are you? And what are you doing here? And why do you attack me?

Wraith of Kirel Aman: I am Kirel Aman, Praeceptor Superior of Battlespire. I was sucked dry of my power by Daedra, paralyzed, dominated, and carried to this place, where I told my captors all they wished to know. I could not prevent myself, so deeply had they my will enthralled. Even through death I could not escape them. And now I am doomed to haunt these halls for all time. The madness comes on me, and I become a Wraith, a fiend, a monster that feeds on the souls of others.

Sinder Velvin: I am searching for a companion who came to Battlespire for testing, and managed to evade the Daedra. Her name is Vatasha Trenelle. Is she here?

Wraith of Kirel Aman: I have not encountered another mortal here, but your companion might have passed this way without my knowledge. I cannot pass beyond the Daedric sigil wards.

Sinder Velvin: If you see her, tell her thanks for the presents, and I am looking forward to seeing her. Real soon. The Daedra are careless, disorganized, divided in counsel, and they don’t seem to know we threaten them. With luck, we will avenge you, and all those who died at Battlespire.

Wraith of Kirel Aman: I bless you. Listen, and mark well, for the madness comes upon me, and I cannot command my own spirit. Lord Dagon, Mehrunes Dagon, and all his hosts fell upon us without warning. How they entered the citadel, I cannot know, for it should be impossible. There must have been a traitor. You must return to Tamriel, and warn the Emperor.

Sinder Velvin: You have my word. I will get word to the Emperor as soon as I can, and I will avenge your death, and the deaths of all Battlemages and guards who fell defending Battlespire. But I would not leave you here to suffer. Can I release your spirit from its ensorcelment?

Wraith of Kirel Aman: A Wraith cannot be destroyed, save by the power that created it. Yet I know another way. You may bind my spirit to an enchanted soul gem, and pledge that soul gem to eternal vengeance. I know the ritual, but cannot perform the rites without a material form.

Sinder Velvin: Could you teach me the ritual? Can I use this ritual on anyone?

Wraith of Kirel Aman: The rite may only be performed on a willing discorporate spirit. The praxis is necromantic, and evil, and condemns my soul to everlasting torment, but gladly will I endure such to avenge myself, my friends, and my Emperor. Will you learn this rite, and swear a solemn oath to wield the spirit-doomed device in the war upon our enemies?

Sinder Velvin: If you choose this fate of your own will, I am willing.

Wraith of Kirel Aman: Now compose your spirit, and speak the words. I myself will provide the praxis and the power for the rite. My ghostly form will disappear, and you will find a magic gem. Take this gem, use it well, and when you strike against our foes, think of me.

Sinder Velvin: I understand, and I’m ready.

Wraith of Kirel Aman: Repeat after me:

Thy power spend, thy form in flames,
Curse my foes, and curse their names.
Vest thy power and consecrate
This weapon’s art to damn their fate.

Sinder Velvin: Thy power spend, thy form in flames,
Curse my foes, and curse their names.
Vest thy power and consecrate
This weapon’s art to damn their fate.

The Wraith disappeared. I was then attacked by a Mistman.

Mistman 4: There will be no sad farewells, no tears goodbye. No death stalks this distant shore of peace and love.

Sinder Velvin: Is there any way I can help you? Ease your pain? Release you from the curse that chains you here?

No reply, of course. I defeated it and looked around. The chamber I was in was connected to the chamber to the north through a corridor blocked by a Daedric sigil. I decided to enter the large chamber with a pool that was to the west. I was attacked by a Wrathman there.

Wrathman 4: Once I was a man filled with love and hate. Now I am a monster, empty, and hungry. I surrendered my life, and now I must feast upon yours. Flee, mortal, for I have no heart, and would feed on yours.

Sinder Velvin: Can I help you in any way? Do you want me to put an end to your miserable existence?

Wrathman 4: How could you ever understand my pain? You know NOTHING. You understand NOTHING! You are an Animal… A weed… A STONE… Compared to me. I see all, feel all, suffer all, HATE all, FOREVER! You know NOTHING!

Sinder Velvin: I see. Excuse me, but this conversation has lost its luster.

I avoided it and noticed that the corridor leading north from there was also blocked by a Daedric sigil. I went back to the chamber where I had spoken with Kirel and from there went through the corridor leading east. I encountered a Mistman in the corridor.

Mistman 5: Judge no man, mortal, born to die, happy before his death. In death, all is peace and joy, serene, eternal.

Sinder Velvin: I naturally assume, you being undead and all, that you are suffering terrible anguish and torment. Aren’t you? You sure don’t seem all that miserable to me.

I fought it and then went east to the other large chamber with a pool. I was attacked by a Wrathman there.

Wrathman 5: Your weapons amuse me. Against flesh, they may triumph, but they scarcely stir the gossamer threads of the Revenant Spirit.

Sinder Velvin: Help! Help! I’m really, really scared. I’m going to flee in terror. Right now. PLEASE have pity on me, o mighty, wonderful being of eternal power and glory, and let me run and hide myself from your awesome presence.

I tried to avoid it, but encountered another one on the other side of the room.

Wrathman 6: Where is this land of joy and plenty you promised? No days, no nights. Tired without rest. Weary without hope. Time without end. And this is the paradise you promised?

Sinder Velvin: No offense, but you’re mad as a loon. And not enjoying it, more’s the pity. Is there any hope for your salvation? Or would you like me to put you out of your misery?

Wrathman 6: Listen carefully. We take little harm from your weapons or spells. Seek the Book of Rest and Endings. Speak the Words, and dissolve the Bonds.

Sinder Velvin: Thank you. I’ll do as you say, and with a blessing.

The corridor leading north from there was also blocked, so I jumped into one of the pools and went through an underwater tunnel that led to the chamber beyond the Daedric sigils, where I was attacked by two Mistmen. I tried talking to the first one.

Mistman 6: We lift the veil, and enter into night, eternal night, glorious with stars.

Sinder Velvin: This doesn’t seem to be very productive. Goodbye.

I then tried talking to the second one.

Mistman 7: Love is stronger than death. He who serves death shall not die.

Sinder Velvin: Words to live by. Hah- hah. That was fun, but it looks like I have to resort to violence. Goodbye.

I defeated both of them and then spoke with the Morphoid Daedroth on the other side of the chamber.

Morphoid Daedroth 2: What are you? And what are you doing here? Come closer, so I can talk to you.

Sinder Velvin: Report, you fool. What are you doing here? And who do you serve?

Morphoid Daedroth 2: Grr. You want to talk to me, you show some respect. Or maybe I’ll pound you.

Sinder Velvin: Sorry. I’m a little irritable. It may have something to do with all the dead things shambling about. Okay. Where I come from, warriors have a little chat before a fight, get to know each other. Then, if you want, we can beat the brains out of each other.

Morphoid Daedroth 2: Okay. We talk a little. Then I have to pound on you. And catch you. Alive. Can’t forget the alive part. So. What you want to talk about?

Sinder Velvin: Who is your boss, and what are you doing here?

Morphoid Daedroth 2: Xivilai Moath. He’s my boss and he’s very important. Mehrunes Dagon likes my boss a lot, because he’s so smart and tough. He sent me here to guard this place and look for the manling. He wants the manling. Alive, he said.

Sinder Velvin: I just came from the Battlespire. Nice work. How did it go? Those Battlemages are supposed to be real tough.

Morphoid Daedroth 2: Battlespire was a cinch. Traitor opens a gate, we go in, mop things up. Catch Battlemages and guards asleep. Some are pretty tough for manlings, but just a couple. Hundreds of us. Bang, bang bang. Job’s done. So rest of troops head home, leave Scamps and Vermai to clean up.

Sinder Velvin: Where are you supposed to take me after you capture me? Alive. Remember.

Morphoid Daedroth 2: Oh. When I capture you, I wait here a while, and someone opens a gate. I don’t know how to open gates. So then we take the gate to Shade Perilous, then we take another gate to the Chimera and then home to the Wellhead. Okay. We talk enough? Now we wrestle?

Sinder Velvin: No. Wait. I haven’t had a chance to talk yet. It’s my turn, isn’t it?

We fought and it lost. I soon encountered another one.

Morphoid Daedroth 3: Well. It IS you, manling. I hear you are quite the little fireball. They say for us to capture you alive. I tend to get excited in a fight, so please remind me about the ALIVE part if I seem to get too excited.

Sinder Velvin: Look. Are you SURE you’re supposed to capture me alive? That’s not what I heard. Who told you that?

Morphoid Daedroth 3: Capture the manling. Alive. That’s what Xivilai Moath said. Capture ALL the manlings alive. So they talk. Just like the three Battlemages. They talked and talked and talked about all sorts of things. Xivilai Moath MAKES them talk. They were HAPPY to talk. Tell lots of secrets. Xivilai Moath MAKE you talk, too, you bet. Tell all your secrets. So. Now it’s pounding time. Ready?

Sinder Velvin: Sure. I’m ready. But don’t forget. Capture. Alive. Very important. Wouldn’t want to upset your boss.

I defeated it and found the sigil of entry I needed among its remains. I decided to explore the formerly blocked corridors that connected the northern room to the western and eastern pool rooms. I encountered a Mistman in the western corridor.

Mistman 8: Beyond death, there is no fear, no shame. In death, the spirit arises, pure and proud.

Sinder Velvin: Where am I? Who are you guys? Or who were you guys? What’s going on here? Can’t you just give me a hint?

It was the usual story, all over again. In the east, I found an interesting document.

I went back to the northern room and kept going north, soon encountering two Bonemen. I spoke with one of them.

Boneman 2: We die. We pray. To live. We serve.

Sinder Velvin: You swore. To Serve. Your Lord. Commands.

Boneman 2: I serve His Will. I walk His Way.

Sinder Velvin: Go forth and smite my enemies. You know. All the nasty… Well… You know. Undead things.

It attacked the other Boneman and I decided to make every Bonemen I found do my bidding. After walking around a bit, I found an underground river and a boat. After I found an underwater entrance to a small cave with a very useful book, I went back and used the boat to get to the shore far to the east, where I encountered a Wraith.

Wraith of Paxti Bittor: And THIS is the thanks I get. Betrayed, tortured, sucked dry, murdered. THEN, for good measure, they rip out my soul and set it adrift in THIS gods-forsaken hole.

Sinder Velvin: Sounds rough. So who’s the rat who betrayed you?

Wraith of Paxti Bittor: Those dog-sired Daedra, that’s who. And that damned Seducer. AND that Sirran Angada. If I get my soul-suckers into that motherless backstabber, I’ll make him a hot, empty husk.

Sinder Velvin: So. The Daedra betrayed you. I see. That’s really terrible. I HATE it when that happens. Go ahead. Tell me all the details.

Wraith of Paxti Bittor: Well, I realize that it’s risky dealing with Daedra, but that Seducer… Well, let’s just say it may not be Eight Heavens, but it’s all right. And Angada promised he’d set me up like a wounded survivor, a hero…

Sinder Velvin: Excuse me. Angada? Should I know that name?

Wraith of Paxti Bittor: Sirran Angada? No, perhaps not. A leechcrafter retainer of Jagar Tharn, the Emperor’s Battlemage. He set it all up. I open the gate to the Prince, he comes in, cleans out the Battlespire, and I just barely manage to escape with my life, bringing the tragic news to the Emperor and Tharn. I’m a big hero, a personal retainer of Jagar Tharn, close to the Emperor and his family. In time, I get my own province. A great deal. And I delivered! But the scum cheated me!

Sinder Velvin: That really steams me. I hate it when a guy welshes on a deal. Look. What does this Angada guy look like? If you want, I’ll look him up and give him a good thrashing for you.

Wraith of Paxti Bittor: That’s generous of you, but this Angada has a special Transmorph spell, so he could look like anyone. Angada was posing as Lomegan Mariel, the Emperor’s Personal Liaison to the Battlespire, when the Daedra took the place, but he — Or she — Could look like anyone by now. I appreciate your help, but you might want to run away now, because I feel the hungry madness coming on again, and I’m not much fun to be around.

Sinder Velvin: I appreciate the warning. Goodbye. Oh. But there’s just one more thing. How are you with verse incantations?

Wraith of Paxti Bittor: I’m a master. Or… I used to be, anyway. Why do you ask?

Sinder Velvin: I’ve got a verse incantation you might find interesting… YOU SNEAKING, LYING, CRAVEN TRAITOR!

From fifty Fathers
Frozen in slavepast!
Rip from the wraithloom!
Sunder the lifeweave!
Lock tight in earthgrip!
Hold firm in gravefast!

The Wraith was destroyed. I found a note from Vatasha nearby and took the amulet she mentioned. I then went back to the western shore and, several persuaded Bonemen later, encountered a Wrathman.

Wrathman 7: Show me your little toys, child. Play your little parlor tricks. See how little tin and tinsel avails against the Soul Which Never Dies.

Sinder Velvin: With these words, I free you, piteous, unclean spirit, from the bonds of undeath.

From fifty Fathers
Frozen in slavepast!
Rip from the wraithloom!
Sunder the lifeweave!
Lock tight in earthgrip!
Hold firm in gravefast!

It disappeared. Afterwards, every Wrathman I found was destroyed this way. I then I entered a room with coffins. Coffin in the Soul Cairn were protected by a riddle, but I had found the riddle answers on an inscription earlier. I opened one of the coffins in the chamber and spoke with the Ideal Master inside.

Ideal Master 1: Who disturbs our rest?

Sinder Velvin: A celebrated master of arts martial and arcane, intent on a quest, and worthy of your aid.

Ideal Master 1: You are not invited here. WHY DO YOU DISTURB OUR REST?!

Sinder Velvin: A traveler through the outer realms, I have come upon your world, and found it wondrous strange. I seek to learn more of its mysteries. What is this place, and what is its purpose?

Ideal Master 1: You stand within the precincts of the Soul Cairn, an otherworldly refuge dedicated to peace, love, eternal rest and harmony. You stand before one of its Makers, whose name is so exalted you may not even speak it. You walk among its servants, who have pledged themselves in service to us, and who in reward have been gifted with life eternal and the peace that passes all mortal understanding.

Sinder Velvin: All this religious mumbo jumbo is making me nervous. Are you going to help me or not?

Ideal Master 1: Would you enter our service, mortal?

Sinder Velvin: I am surprised and honored by the prospect, but am curious. How might I enter your service?

Ideal Master 1: Put off your mortal garments, and stand naked in the spirit. Your stained tablet must first be washed white by the fires of mana.

Sinder Velvin: That sounds very nice. And how would I go about getting my tablet washed?

Ideal Master 1: Seek the twin Fingers of Life in the Chapel of Love. Stand upon the pedestal and bathe yourself in the manabeams. The corruption of the flesh shall fall away, and the spirit shall be revealed in its glory. Then may you stand before us and serve for eternity in peace and joy.

Sinder Velvin: Uh. Bathe myself in MANAbeams. Yes. Flesh. Falls away. In chunks, I bet. Sorry. I’ll struggle along with my comfortable old stained tablet, thank you.

Ideal Master 1: Unless you join our service, we offer you no aid. Affairs of mortals are not our concern. Each mote of mana spent diminishes our eternity. Go and trouble me no more. But you speak with our brethren, who perhaps better recall wearing flesh, and who may look more generously upon your request.

Sinder Velvin: I shall certainly be happy to speak with any of your more generous brethren. Lots of you talking crystals floating in coffins around here, I take it? Dandy. I sure hope they are much more generous than you are. But thank you for your patience. Goodbye.

The Ideal Masters in the other two coffins in the room were also uncooperative (As in, had the same dialogue.), so I continued to explore the realm.

I soon found another Mistman…

Mistman 9: Deep be roots, sturdy be limbs, tough be fibers of bark and heartwood… But, mortal, before the winds of death, you cannot stand.

Sinder Velvin: I abjure thee, spawn from beyond the grave! Abomination! Unholy specter! In the name of all that is good and just, I revile thee, and pray for thy destruction!

Yes, you already know what happened next.

A bit later, I found two more Ideal Masters. Only the second one had something new to say (And boy, was it boring…).

Ideal Master 2: Who disturbs our rest?

Sinder Velvin: Look. I don’t know what’s going on here, but it smacks of necromancy, and I won’t stand for it.

Ideal Master 2: Clearly you have little or no comprehension of necromancy, and are therefore in no position to judge. You are clearly mortal, ignorant, and pitiable, so I will overlook your impertinence. Now. Introduce yourself, or leave.

Sinder Velvin: As you have guessed, I’m a mortal. I arrived here through no will of my own, and ask for your help.

Ideal Master 2: Would you enter our service, mortal?

Sinder Velvin: I am surprised and honored by the prospect, but am curious. How might I enter your service?

Ideal Master 2: You must die and be born again. The form your spirit may take afterwards varies. You will have seen the servants of our realm.

Sinder Velvin: You mean I die and become a walking skeleton or a howling ghost? If that’s how it works, then I’m not joining your service.

Ideal Master 2: Perhaps you can explain why we would wish to lavish our favors on one so churlish as to refuse us service?

Sinder Velvin: Daedra have invaded the Battlespire, the War College and Celestial Citadel of my Emperor. They have slain its guards and mages, looted its libraries and armories, and despoiled its arts and treasures.

Ideal Master 2: And how would this possibly interest me?

Sinder Velvin: The Daedra who invaded the Battlespire are here, destroying your servants and plundering YOUR treasures. They clearly plan to hold this place as a waystation between their own realms and their newly conquered domains. I doubt you would welcome the traffic, or the quality of guests that might travel this way.

Ideal Master 2: Yes. I take your point. I would not wish to stand between you and your vengeance upon these Daedric marauders. Very well. Listen carefully.

Sinder Velvin: I hear, and mark your words.

Ideal Master 2: Look carefully at the pillars which support our halls. Around some of these pillars are four bars. If you look closely, you will see that most are square in cross-section. Three of these are exceptional, round in cross-section. One is found in a Coffin Chapel. Another is found in the room with whirling disks. Yet another is found in the antechamber to the Chapel of Love. These three rods are the control rods for the Mana Font in the Chapel of Love.

Sinder Velvin: Let me make sure I have this straight. Most of the bars around pillars are square in cross-section. Three are different, and round in cross-section. These are control rods for a Mana Font in the Chapel of Love. Is that correct?? Is this Chapel of Love nearby? How will I recognize the Mana Font?

Ideal Master 2: The Chapel of Love is close by to the southwest. Seek the twin Fingers of Life which you must first kindle.

Sinder Velvin: Right. Step One. Kindle the Fingers of Life in the Chapel of Love. Then?

Ideal Master 2: Step into the pool before the Emerald Gates, and you will be transported to the top of the vault.

Sinder Velvin: Okay. Step Two. Jump in the pool and teleport to the top of the vault.

Ideal Master 2: Then take the three rods — The Rod of the Pilot, the Rod of the Pillar, and the Rod of the Passage — And place each, one by one, into the socket in the pedestal.

Sinder Velvin: Yes. Step Three. Three rods go into the socket in the pedestal.

Ideal Master 2: Then the Mana Font will send you to any of the known outer realms, provided only that you know the name of that realm, and that you speak that name at the Emerald Gates of the vault that encloses the portal.

Sinder Velvin: And. Finally. Step Four. Speak the name of the destination at the Emerald Gates.

Ideal Master 2: You DO know the name of the realm you seek, don’t you?

Sinder Velvin: Yes, I know where I’m going. Thank you for your help. I am in your debt. Farewell.

I went back and took the rods. After doing that, I went to the Chapel of Love with an elevator. Several Morphoid Daedra later, I followed the Ideal Master’s instructions.

Once I was done, I told the portal I was going to Shade Perilous. I then went through it.

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