By dankempster 2 Comments
Day Twenty-Five - Putting Spirits to Rest
I set off from Falkreath at the break of dawn, and arrived at Valthume a little before midday. The barrow proved more difficult to find than I'd expected, being nestled deep within the Druadach mountains southeast of Markarth. Upon entering I was greeted by the ghostly apparition of an old warrior, who introduced himself as Valdar. He explained that Valthume was the resting place of a powerful sorceror named Hevnoraak, who was now threatening to return to power. Valdar, whose shade has been here presiding over Hevnoraak's tomb for centuries, asked me if I might further explore the catacombs of Valthume and retrieve three vessels, in a bid to finally end Hevnoraak and prevent him from ever returning. Seeing as I was planning to explore the dungeon for another word wall anyway, I agreed to offer him my assistance.
The three liquid-filled vessels were spread throughout the cavernous passageways of Valthume, and each of them guarded by a small army of threatening Draugrs. I retrieved all three on my journey to the deepest part of the barrow, where I also learned a new Word of Power from a word wall, bestowing me with the Aura Whisper Shout. With all three vessels in my possession and a new Shout under my belt, I returned to the main chamber where Valdar was waiting for me. He told me that the liquid within the three vessels was Hevnoraak's own blood, and that he'd been planning to resurrect himself as a powerful lich. In order to bring an end to his plot, Valdar said we would have to resurrect him prematurely by pouring his blood into a sconce and sitting at the nearby throne. With not a little suspicion, I did as I was asked.
No sooner had I brought myself down into the ancient throne than the lid of Hevnoraak's sarcophagus burst off and the lich emerged. Even in this weakened state Hevnoraak proved a most formidable foe, his powerful lightning-based spells forcing me to exhaust my supply of Resist Shock potions. I drenched the edge of my Orcish sword in magicka-damaging poison and drove it deep into Hevnoraak's chest, throttling his casting abilities and allowing me to mount my own attack without fear. When the lich finally fell, Valdar thanked me for my help and pointed toward the Dragon Priest mask sitting atop the mound of Hevnoraak's ashes, suggesting I might find some use for it. I slipped the mask into my pack and left both Valdar and Valthume behind.
It was already early morning when I emerged from the barrow. I thought for a second about heading to Karthwasten, but it was simply too much ground to cover if I expected to sleep. I therefore instead turned my sights to the west, towards the ancient stone city of Markarth. It must have been around 4:00am when I finally passed through the city gates, and I was immediately confronted by an apparent Forsworn assassination of a local merchant. As the city guards dispatched the assailant and cleared up the scene, I was approached by a Breton who called himself Eltrys. He subtly slipped a note into my hand, on which he'd written to meet him at the Temple of Talos. Not having the time to address such matters right away, I made straight for the Silver-Blood Inn and booked a room. I was asleep before my head even hit the pillow.
The next morning, after settling my account with the innkeeper, I left Markarth and followed the road back to the south-east, this time in search of the fabled Reachwater Rock and Gauldur's final resting place. The entrance was hidden behind a small waterfall, but it didn't take me long to find. The entrance to Gauldur's crypt was heavily guarded, and I found myself having to re-use the ivory claw from Folgunthur, in addition to the newly-found emerald claw within the cave's first chamber. Eventually I came to the spot where Gauldur was interred, and placed all three fragments of the shattered amulet upon a pedestal. As soon as the third and final fragment left my grasp, I was thrown backwards by the force of a Shout - remnant shades of all three of Gauldur's sons, presumably locked within the amulet fragments, appeared before me, ready to do battle once again.
Having already faced the real remnants of each murderous sibling in combat, dealing with their shades proved fairly trouble-free. When all three had been subdued, the ghost of Gauldur himself appeared before them and banished them from this realm in a flash of brilliant light. When my eyes became re-accustomed to the gloom of the burial chamber, Gauldur's amulet sat re-forged upon the pedestal. I picked it up and placed it gently over my head, feeling myself growing stronger as the weight of the amulet pressed against my chest. With my role here complete, I left Reachwater Rock and returned to Markarth. I spent the remainder of my day conversing with the residents, finding out much of the local gossip and taking on a few new tasks in the process. Come evening, I booked myself into the Silver-Blood Inn for another night. I will decide what course of action to take next tomorrow morning. Until then,
- Day Twenty-Four - Fragments of a Legend
- Day Twenty-Three - Secrets Beneath the Sleeping City
- Day Twenty-Two - A Gray-Mane Saved and a Mage Made
- Day Twenty-One - Whiterun Errands and a Missing Gray-Mane
- Day Twenty - Search for the White Phial
- Day Nineteen - Siding With the Stormcloaks
- Day Eighteen - Two Sides of the Same Septim
- Day Seventeen - Tracking the Telvanni Line
- Day Sixteen - Finding Lost Books and Lost Words
- Day Fifteen - The Axe and the Masque
- Day Fourteen - A Daedra and His Dog
- Day Thirteen - Treason and Betrayal
- Day Twelve - Counsel from the Greybeards
- Day Eleven - Old Towns, New Faces
- Day Ten - New Thu'um, New House
- Day Nine - Retrieving the Star
- Day Eight - Azura's Champion
- Day Seven - Wuuthrad and Werewolves
- Day Six - Kynareth's Will Be Done?
- Day Five - The Companions and the Sleeping Tree
- Day Four - Duelling With a Dragon
- Day Three - The Bandit, the Wife and Her Lover
- Day Two - The Golden Claw
- Day One - Escape from Helgen
- Day Zero - Here Begins My Journal