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What Lies Beneath

Author: 
Anonymous

Hidden Mysteries

Player

The player jumped in the hole left by the destroyed statue and headed into the Ayleid ruins. They were expansive and deep, filled with skeletons and wights which the player quickly dispatched. At the very end of the ruins, they found a burial chamber with an empty sarcophagus, and, on the other side of the room, an ornate Crypt Door. It could not be unlocked, however.

The player headed back up to tell Saashi about their discovery.

Saashi

So, what did you find?

Player

An ancient tomb, lots of undead, and an empty sarcophagus.

Saashi

An... Ayleid sarcophagus?

Player

Looked pretty old, but it was opened only recently.

Saashi

It is possible there was some sort of warding enchantment on the statue.

Destroying the statue would have broken the spell, and released whatever was trapped in there.

That would explain the burst of magick energy that people witnessed.

Saashi will see for herself to find out more. Now that it is safe.

By the way, old Henrik Seven-Swords was looking for you earlier. You should seek him out near the West Gate.

Player

The player headed that way.

Henrik Seven-Swords

An informant tells me there are some of the Bloodflall Queen's mercenaries near Falcon Hills Deep.

I've also been told their association with the Queen may be at an end.

Player

This informat sure has a lot to tell.

Henrik Seven-Swords

Oh, yes. He's quite talkative.

Care to pay these thugs a visit? You may have to kill a few to loosen their tongues.

Player

I think I will...

Player

I'll consider it.

Henrik Seven-Swords

Let me know if my informant was right.

Mercenaries on the Run

Player

Quite mad at the mess the mercenaries have caused, the player heads into the woods to check in on them. The player takes out a few before arriving in a small village camp and locating their leader, who is looking for conversation rather than a fight.

Mercenary

Who are you, and what was all that noise?

Player

That was me teaching your men a lesson.

Mercenary

Wait, hold on... Maybe we can talk this through.

Player

Tell me about the attack on my town.

Mercenary

The Queen told us to just scare the townsfolk into paying up. Nothing more.

I have no idea how the fire started; it must've been an accident. The Queen was furious about it. I swear, that's the truth.

Wights and skeletons have been hounding us ever since, roaming outside the Queen's castle.

We weren't hired to fight the undead, so many of us just left.

There's always money to be made with the Greencap Bandits, anyway.

Player

You're nothing but a bunch of cowards.

Mercenary

Call me a coward all you want. I get to live to see another day, and that's what counts.

Player

Get out of here before I change my mind.

Mercenary

Good luck, Warrior, you'll need it!

Player

You don't deserve to live.

When the player returns to town, they head straight for Henrik.

Henrik Seven-Swords

So, did you learn anything?

Player

The Bloodfall Queen has an undead problem.

Henrik Seven-Swords

Well, that's some sort of poetic justice, I guess.

Player

With that out of the way, the Blade wanted to get back to Saashi and exploring the underground ruins. He found the Loremaster near the ruins of the old statue.

Saashi

Ah, [Player Name]! Saashi has made much progress regarding the Ayleid crypt under the town.

First, Saashi learned who was buried in the tomb. An ancient Ayleid Sorcerer-King, ruler over these lands back in the First Era.

Little is known of him. His successor went to great lengths to have him erased from historical records.

Saashi could not even learn his name. It seems, though, that he was a powerful necromancer. That... might explain why the tomb is empty...

Player

Interesting, anything else?

Saashi

But this, this is exciting: inspecting the burial chamber, Saashi found a secret lever that opened the large door.

There is a whole other section of the tomb to explore!

Saashi hopes to find more about the identity of the Sorcerer-King in the unexplored chambers.

Player

You're right, I'll go.

Saashi

Saashi will accompany you, show you the door that opened.

Player

Let me know what you find.

The Name of Evil

Player

The player descended down into the ruins beneath the town, followed by Saashi. Together they made their way down to the main burial chamber, and Saashi pointed out the newly opened door.

Saashi

Saashi stumbled upon a door, and seems to have found a whole other section to the tomb.

This appears to lead to the entrance of the tomb. Saashi believes we arrived at the end, if that makes sense.

Is [Player Name] ready to see what is out there?

Player

I wanted to ask you something...

Saashi

What is it?

Player

Why don't you speak like most Khajiit?

Saashi

Ah, that. Saashi left Elsweyr when she was very young.

Saashi grew up in Skyrim. Speech patterns are difficult to learn, and while Saashi has tried, she has had limited success.

Player

Satisfied with the little history about their companion, the Blade headed down into the tomb. Inside, they fought the typical array of wights, skeletons, and spiders. After a while, they arrive in a new room, where they find an inscribed stone tablet. They pocket it and return to the surface to show Saashi what they've found.

Saashi

[Player Name], you are back! Did you find anything new down there?

Player

I found these inscribed stone tablets.

Saashi

You did? Wonderful! They must have quite the story to tell... Saashi will begin deciphering them right away.

In the meantime, perhaps [Player Name] could ask the Town Elder if he needs anything? Dear old Junius is too proud to ask for help.

The Bloodfall Queen

Junius the Elder

Saashi told me of what you discovered beneath the town's statue.

We all knew it was old, but I'd never have dreamed it could date back to the First Era.

Could there be a link between what you've found, and the recent undead sightings?

Player

It's possible.

Junius the Elder

As if we weren't suffering enough with the Bloodfall Queen's men hounding us.

Do you think you could speak to her? Find a way to placate her?

Player

I'll get her to leave us alone..

Junius the Elder

Thank the Divines for you, [Player Name]

Player

I'm not sure that's the best use of my time.

Player

The Blade was eager to meet with this Bloodfall Queen, and headed out into the woods beyond the town towards her castle. They met a variety of undead as they approached her hold, including a lich guarding the cavern that was the castle's back entrance.

Once inside, the Blade found themselves in a modest throne room guarded by Mercenaries. The queen was on the second story near her throne, alongside two of her lieutenants, who the Blade chose to speak with first. One was a Breton in a mage's gear, and the other an Argonian in armor.

Edrien Geornis

I am Edrien, the Queen's mage and counselor.

We've heard some unsettling rumors about you, Warrior.

Player

They're all true.

Player

Don't believe everything you hear.

Edrien Geornis

True. I imagine there are some rumors about myself I'd find less than flattering.

Edrien Geornis

Do you have any questions for me?

Player

Where are you from?

Edrien Geornis

I am from the city of Camlorn, on the western coast of High Rock.

I arrived a few years ago, seeking a fair and just monarchy to serve. Fortunately, I found such a ruler here.

Player

What do you think caused the town fire?

Edrien Geornis

Ah, yes. A terrible tragedy, certainly. As to what caused it, it's hard for me to say.

It sounds like some sort of magical enchantment which released its energy when the statue was damaged.

However, it's unlikely that the incident has anything to do with our undead troubles.

Player

Satisfied with the lieutenant's answers, the Blade spoke to the Queen herself.

The Bloodfall Queen

So, you're the one they call [Player Name]? The one who's been killing my men?

Player

Your men aren't worth the coin you paid for them.

Player

Yes, I am.

The Bloodfall Queen

You admit to your crimes, then?

Player

I acted only in my defense, and that of my town.

The Bloodfall Queen

So, you say you're from here, then? How is it that we've never met?

Player

Your grandfather was still king when I left.

The Bloodfall Queen

I see. Well, my grandfather could count on loyal soldiers to defend his realm.

Most of them died with him during the Great War, fighting for an Empire that has never given much of a damn about us.

I am forced to rely on mercenaries who are willing to work for a pittance, which is all I can afford.

With these, I have to defend the realm against constant attacks from Greencap Bandits.

And now, it seems we also need to fight goblins and the undead. All of that costs money... a lot of money.

When a town doesn't pay, I must act. That said, the fire was a complete accident. I never told anyone to break the statue.

For that, I am truly sorry.

Player

I accept your appology.

Player

I'll help you deal with your foes.

Player

You can add "regicide" to the list.

The Bloodfall Queen

Thank you, [Player Name]. Wanum here will accompany you back to your town and serve as my emissary.

You must have more questions for me...

Player

Did your men find anything in that statue?

The Bloodfall Queen

My men brought back some enchanted stones and an ancient scroll, which they found inside the destroyed statue.

Do you think the undead might be after these artifacts? Should we get rid of them?

Player

No, let's see if they come back first.

When did the undead attack start?

 

Player

Tell me more about those bandits.

The Bloodfall Queen

The Greencaps were always a thorn in my grandfather's side, but lately they've become even more aggressive.

Player

Any idea where their base is?

The Bloodfall Queen

If we did, there would be no problem. Maybe you can discover where they hide.

Player

Tell me more about those goblins.

The Bloodfall Queen

There's been an increase in Goblin attacks over the past few months... could be due to a harsh winter, or overpopulation. Hard to tell.

There is an imperial envoy in your town, Gaius Platorius. He can tell you more about them.

Player

What happened to your father?

The Bloodfall Queen

I do not speak of him. Never mention him again.

Player

Okay, I won't.

The Bloodfall Queen

Keep Wanum up to date with any new information. He will relay it to me. Take care, [Player Name].

You are dismissed.

Player

The Blade and Wanum headed back into town. Once there, the Blade reported the new development to Junius.

Junius the Elder

So, did you talk to the Queen? How did it go?

Player

We made a deal.

Junius the Elder

You did? What did you offer her?

Player

My help fighting her enemies.

Junius the Elder

Well done, [Player Name]. I knew you'd settle the matter.

We can all breathe a little easier now that you've convinced the Queen to back off.

Saashi tells me she managed to translate those tablets you found.

You should consult her. She seems very excited.

Bloodfall Banner

The Batul family has been ruling this small kingdom for three generations. Officially part of the Empire, it is generally paid little attention by the Emperor, who has yet to visit the region.

Player

Saashi was back at the main gate, so the Blade headed there. The Khajiit did indeed look very excited.

Saashi

Good news! This one managed to learn the name of the Sorcerer-King: Celemaril Light-Bringer.

Player

That doesn't sound so bad...

Saashi

Not sure his people agreed with that. His own brother, Valentis, lead a rebellion against him.

He and the other Ayleid kings managed to stop the Sorcerer-King and bind him magically.

Saashi is fairly certain the statue destroyed by the Queen's men was of Valentis.

This one has found Valentis' final resting place. Perhaps there are runic inscriptions in the burial chamber...

Up for a bit of tomb robbing?

Player

I'm on it.

Saashi

Good. Saashi cannot wait to see what there is to be found.

Player

Not right now.

A Tale of Two Brothers

Player

They headed back into the ruins beneath town, ready to find some answers.

Saashi

This tomb looks a lot like the Sorcerer-King's, does it not?

It does make sense. They were built during the same era, probably by the same architects.

It certainly is just as... creepy.

Player

I take it you'll wait here?

Player

You stay here, it's safer.

Saashi

Khajiit is sorry. This one knows you take all the risks... but Saashi is a scholar, not a fighter.

Saashi will follow from a distance, and meet [Player Name] in the burial chamber.

Player

Although this tomb really was a lot like the other, one element was different: as they walked forward, the Blade noticed a ghostly figure running away from them into the dungeon depths. They followed this apparition as it unlocked doors, seemingly showing them the way.

After dispatching a lot of wights, skeletons, spiders, and even a troll, the Blade and Saashi finally arrived in Valentis' burial chamber. On the far wall was a magnificent golden mural.

Saashi

You did it, [Player Name], you found Valentis' burial chamber.

This mural, it's... mesmerizing. Look, there's the Sorcerer-King!

And this relates how Valentis fought back his brother's undead forces.

Here he is shown binding the Sorcerer-King in his tomb... somehow.

Let's copy those runes and go... I feel like someone's watching us.

Player

Together, they head back up to town.

Saashi

That was quite the adventure, was it not?

Player

Nothing we couldn't handle.

Saashi

This one had time to look over the tablets while we were traveling back here.

As suspected, it is a retelling of the struggle between the Sorcerer-King, his brother, and their allies.

In the end the brother prevailed, but regrettably, Saashi cannot decipher the last sentence.

Player

So, what now?

Saashi

Khajiit knows of a scholar who may be able to help.

His name is Talerendil, an expert in the ancient Ayleid language.

He's currently studying in some old ruins not too far from here.

You should seek him out at once!

Player

Sounds like a plan.

Saashi

Excellent. Saashi is sure he will be able to help.

Player

I have other things to do first.

Secrets of the Ayleids

Player

The Blade headed out for yet another Ayleid ruins. This one was full of both undead and necromancers. At the very end, they found Telarendil cornered by two skeletons. The Blade dispatched them before they could do any damage.

Talerendil

Thank you for rescuing me! Are you also a student of ancient history?

Player

You could say I've recently become one.

Talerendil

Wonderful! The past has so many great lessons to teach us, don't you agree?

Player

I do, and I think you can help me with that.

Talerendil

I can? How?

Player

Never cared much for it.

Player

Can you translate this stone tablet?

Talerendil

Where did you get this?

Player

I recovered it from an Ayleid tomb.

Talerendil

Ah, yes. That would explain the various references to their burial rituals.

Let's see. Hm... Yes, definitely ancient Ayleid written here. Wait, what's this? Celemaril the Sorcerer-King? Fascinating!

This describes his rise to power, his conquest of Tamriel and his defeat by his brother Valentis. Amazing!

It seems the victors of that conflict erased his name from history. That explains why so little is known of him.

Player

Does it say *how* they defeated him?

Talerendil

Let me see... it mentions Valentis using some kind of scroll to bind Celemaril under a statue.

Player

That must be the one the Queen's men took.

Talerendil

Now, this is interesting... the author describes the scroll as ancient, even for the Ayleid civilization.

My goodness. I... I think this may be referring to an Elder Scroll.

Player

I thought those were all in the Imperial Library?

Talerendil

Well, that's what it says...

Player

I need to go back home right now.

Talerendil

I'm coming with you! This is a major discovery!

Player

The two of them hurried back to town. Saashi greeted the Blade as soon as they arrived.

Saashi

Ah, you have returned! And with a translation of the runes, no less. Please, allow Saashi a look...

Oh. Oh my... Could this possibly be correct? There was actually an Elder Scroll in that statue?!

Player

That's what it says, anyway.

Saashi

An Elder Scroll... Right here... The implications of this are... enormous!

This one needs some time to... fully comprehend what all this means...

Also, [Player Name] should know that a group of Thalmor have arrived in town.

They are questioning everyone in their typically unpleasant way.

Player

What are they asking?

Saashi

Apparently they are looking for some sort of criminal or murderer. This one lacks those details.

They will probably want to talk to you, too. Their leader's name is Aranande. They are... difficult to miss.

Player

Not quite ready to meet the Thalmor, the Blade decided to chat with Saashi some more.

Saashi

What's on [Player Name]'s mind?

Player

Wondering about the Bloodfall Queen and the scroll.

Saashi

Khajiit is calm now. This one regrets losing her composure, but... an Elder Scroll...

Player

It has to be the scroll the Queen's men found.

Saashi

If that is the case, we absolutely need to make sure the Sorcerer-King does not get his hands on it!

That would explain why the queen is being raided by undead. We have to get it back!

Player

She might give it to us if I ask her.

Saashi

Are you two on friendly terms now, or perhaps this one has missed something?

Player

It's nothing like that.

Saashi

Well, you should definitely ask her then.

Player

Any idea how?

Player

Thinking of the Sorcerer-King gathering his forces.

Saashi

If the Sorcerer-King is back, then he is likely gathering forces somewhere.

We need to find his lair and figure out what we are up against.

We need to ask around town. Perhaps someone has heard of undead attacks in the region.

Player

I'll get right to it.

Saashi

Good. Let this one know as soon as you hear something.