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as Emperor, Doriam Kor-Azor changed the name of the fourth planet of the Kor-Azor system to Eclipticum and its moons to Black Viperia, Griklaeum, and Kileakum in honor of the champions who won him the throne.

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Author Topic: The continuing adventures of Vikarion the Blue, Breton Mage in Skyrim  (Read 3785 times)

kalaratiri

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Just posting to say that I am greatly enjoying these :)

Oh, that's good to hear. Uh, read. I was starting to wonder if anyone was reading them.  :P

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Somebody is :P
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"Eve roleplayers scare me." - The Mittani

Havohej

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Just posting to say that I am greatly enjoying these :)

Oh, that's good to hear. Uh, read. I was starting to wonder if anyone was reading them.  :P
Confirming I've been reading them as they're posted.  Enjoyable writing style, entertaining.  Making me want to return to Skyrim.
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This is a forum on steroids tbh. The rate at which content worth reading is being generated could get you pregnant.

Vikarion

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Journal,
Well, no plan goes unchanged, eh? I managed to get Sorine and Gunmar to sign up, but when I returned, Serana was there. Isran - the fool - wanted to kill her, but she had some information. Apparently her father wants to blot out the sun. Somehow.

Obviously, this can't be allowed. Serana says that it has something to do with the Elder Scroll she carries. So, it's time to find a moth priest.
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Vikarion

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Thanks, for the nice comments, guys.  :D

Incidentally, I have to say that I really loathe playing the Dawn Guard side of this questline. It's incredibly buggy, and besides making me reload and redo quests at least five-plus times, I also had to use console commands to fix the Gunmar quest, which means some achievements are now unobtainable. For this reason, I'll be drawing this character and his story to a close after completing this questline and the main one. Never fear, though, I intend to start up another character and write his story as well.

Well, we found the moth priest. He'd been kidnapped by the vampires. No great difficulty aside from an increasing sense of having been here before when I rescued him. As if I'd seen this happen three or four times before. How odd. Perhaps it's an effect of the Elder Scroll Serana carries, or the moth priest himself, warping reality to where you almost sense all sorts of alternate futures, futures in which the moth priest, for example, repeatedly attacks us after speaking to us, or attacks Isran when we return to the Fort.

Ah well. Isran was still skeptical when we returned, but the Moth Priest was able to read Serana's scroll. Unfortunately, it only told us what we mostly already know. Harkon is up and about to do something to the sun. We need two more Elder Scrolls.

Serana took me aside and told me that her mother might have one of the scrolls. She will meet me at Castle Volkihar to examine her mother's quarters for clues as to where she might have gone. I'm on my way to her now from the task Isran gave me: recruiting some priest of Arkay named Florale...Florenti? I can't remember his name very well. Florentius, I think. Crazy priest. Always talking to Arkay. Well, if he was actually talking to Arkay, Arkay must not care for him very much, because first Arkay got him locked away at the bottom of an excavation, and now he's been recruited into a group that, if I have my way, is not long for this world.
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Vikarion

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Journal,
So, we found Serana's mother. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I have to say, I did not expect one of my problems with this plan to be the difficulty of becoming a vampire too soon. Yet, after we made our way to Valerica's (Serana's mother) lab, rather cleverly hidden, I might add, and activated the portal to the Soul Cairn, we discovered that I couldn't enter it unless I lost my soul or became a vampire.

Well, after what Serana told me about the Ideal Masters, there's not a chance in hell I'm handing even part of my soul over to them. This required some rethinking. Isran and the rest probably won't care for this, so I'll need to get cured and then become a vampire again. I explained to Serana that I wasn't too keen on staying with the Dawnguard either, so if she wanted me to go with her, I would need her promise to turn me again later. She agreed.

It seems like being turned should be more...complicated, but it wasn't. A bit of her blood, bitten into mine, and I blacked out. I suspect that if I were less toughened and powerful, it might have been more affecting, as it was, it was...strange. It's a dry, hungry sort of feeling.

I didn't have time to reflect, though. We were in Castle Volkihar, and we needed to move. This time, I entered the Soul Cairn without difficulty.

I won't go into the atmosphere there, except to say this: by comparison, Apocrypha is positively welcoming. The Soul Cairn is a lifeless ash desert of basalt rocks and suppurating fissures, with glowing pits and above, an infinite devouring blackness.

We raced across the desert to a great building, where we found Valerica. She was concerned, and stubborn, but Serana changed her mind. Unfortunately, "convincing" the Ideal Masters to let us in to the courtyard with Valerica took more work. The sort of work that involves running around and killing all of their agents involved in holding things together, including a...semi-undead, I guess...dragon. But we got the scroll. I promised Valerica that we'd be back for her, before leaving both Cairn and Castle.


Oh, I almost forgot. Said dragon can't be killed. However, he offered to let me summon him to Tamriel, as an ally. Not a bad day's work.
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Vikarion

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Dear Journal,
Obtaining the Elder Scroll Dragon was much more difficult, oddly enough. First, we had to travel to the College of Winterhold, and then north, deep into the ice ocean, just to find someone who might know where it was. He did. He also wanted a copy, in some sort of Dwemer contraption. I agreed.

I also lied. The moron wants to get into some sort of Dwemer safe which he says contains the Heart of Lorkan. Now, if he was a High Elf, I might agree. But the last time someone screwed around with that, their entire race disappeared, and he's a human. He'll never see me again, or his little record of the Elder Scroll. For once I can say that an act of laziness is working on behalf of all mankind. Also, I don't want to swim through a mile of icy water again - if I wasn't a vampire, I doubt I could have survived that.

Anyway, he told us where the Scroll was: deep in an ancient Dwemer ruin, naturally. There's not much to say about exploring the ruin, until we got to Blackreach. Blackreach is magnificent. You see this ancient home of the dwarves, and you begin to understand their power and majesty. A seemingly endless expanse of cavern and construction, now overgrown and infested with Falmer, yet still awesome even in ruin. All of the works of man and mer pale in comparison to the works of the Dwemer.

Deep in the tower of Mzark we found the scroll. Fortunately, the trip back to the surface was easier, now that we could use a lift. We returned to Fort Dawnguard and spoke to Dexion, the moth priest, who, inconveniently, was now blind. Apparently the idiot decided to forego his usual precautions when reading the first Elder Scroll.

So, I get the job. However, to avoid being blind, I have to do it in an "Ancestor Glade", surrounded by moths. Oh, and none of the rest of the Dawnguard will speak to me, or Serana. In fact, there were some rather vile threats. So, it's off to get cured and read the Scroll.
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Vikarion

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Well, I'm not "cured", but I do have a rather nice bow.

Heh.

We went to the glade. It was actually rather anti-climactic. Provided you can get enough of the little fuckers to take a liking to you, reading the Scrolls is quite possible, if headache inducing. As I experienced it, I saw branching paths through time, and simply "walked" down them to see what would happen. The path where Serana and I prevail had us finding Auriel's bow, and so I "walked" down the path in time to where we found it.

This led to a rather long trek through caves, glades, and an icy wilderness, completing an ancient pilgrimage to open the way into Auriel's Temple. Frankly, if I had to do it again, I'd just fill up that freaking ewer of water from the nearest stream. Bloody useless rituals.

Incidentally, it turns out that the person responsible for the prophecy is an ancient snow elf vampire. He did his best to kill us, but failed - just like his plan for revenge against Auriel (who, it turns out, is the Snow Elf god of the sun) failed. What is it with vampires and trying to blot out the sun? Mortals don't hunt too well at night, but you don't see them trying to set the moons on fire. They just carry a torch. Do likewise: wear a hood. Serana does. Quite frankly, she's the only one in this entire mess who has any sanity at all.

Since we had the bow, Harkon's plan was impossible, so it was time for me to go get "cured". Falion, in Morthal, apparently knows the trick - exchanging a soul to Oblivion for reigniting life in the body. It was actually remarkably quick and easy, since I'd stolen a filled Black Soul Gem from the Soul Cairn. I'm not sure that using a soul for this purpose is entirely a nice thing to do, but then, I doubt Oblivion is worse than sitting in the Soul Cairn. It was a distinctly unpleasant sensation, however. Like a sleeping limb waking up - numbness and painful tingling. I comfort myself with the fact that this is the last time I'll be a mortal.

As a mortal, though, the insane fanatics at Fort Dawnguard were happy to have me back. They were even happier to accede to my suggestion that the time for an attack on Harkon had come. I've spoken to Serana about my plans, and she agreed. Perhaps if, when she had first shown up, Isran hadn't had her next to the rack and ready to be tortured, she might be more willing to defend him. As it is, neither she nor I have any intention of letting a man who enjoys collecting the skulls of his tortured enemies survive. Killing her father is a necessary evil. Killing Isran will be a pleasure. We're on our way to do the first now.
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Vikarion

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Note: normally Isran and three other Dawnguard members are "essential", which means you can't kill them. However, since I had to use the console so much just to get them to let me continue the quest-line, I figured fair is fair and took away their "essential" status after the Harkon battle. There are other members, but they are all perfectly mortal. :P

It's done. Harkon is no more.

The plan worked perfectly. The assault on Castle Volkihar was bloody and long, and the vampires, for all their bloodthirstiness, were no cowards. Yet, they fell. Of course, Serana and I helped, although we made sure that, in the heat of battle, several members of the Dawnguard fell as well. No one noticed that a few of the bodies were burned by spells that didn't come from vampires.

Serana and I confronted Harkon alone. He was still committed to his plan of sacrificing his daughter to blot out the sun. Maniac. He went down hard. Isran, ever the lout, only showed up to stomp on the ashes in from of Serana. For a moment, I thought he was about to compliment her - but no, then he mocked her by saying she'd done more than she had to do. Very nice. Tell a woman she didn't really have to go as far as she did right after she had to put her insane father down. After he left, we shared a look. It was time.

We went back to the spot where I'd found the priest of Arkay: Ruunvald, and there, in the lair of an ancient vampire at the stroke of midnight, Serana shared her blood and power with me for the second, and last necessary, time. Then we went to Riften, bought some elven arrows, and used her blood to bless them with a curse on the sun. It will do the trick. Now, we have arrived at Fort Dawnguard, at high noon, where they are off guard.
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Vikarion

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As we walk away, I can still see the column of smoke that marks the funeral pyre of the Dawnguard and their fort. The Fort has fallen, and the Dawnguard lie dead and broken amid the ashes and char.

As we approached the fort, I drew back the Bow of Auriel and loosed a bloodied arrow at the sky. The sun blackened, and the sky turned red. Racing up the path, I transformed, became a flying hunger. I ripped the life from the outside guards, and we raised their bodies to fight those who were still left. Returning to human form, we both stepped inside, where Isran and others were just entering the main room on their way to mid-day meal.

I did not speak a word. I merely changed, again, and killed. The fight was long, and brutal, and Serana nearly went down, but I was too fast and too strong for them. The Moth priest died, and then others, and then Isran, Florent, and Gunmar. After that, there was only cleaning up. We went from room to room, tower to tower, casting detect life and rooting out the stragglers, from trolls to Dawnguard. No mercy was asked or given. And as I went, I torched everything with flames, from the cages, to the food, to the tables, to the books. Especially their books. And lastly, before I left, I made sure to take an axe to the bodies and then burn them, too. Isran's vision is dead, and will stay dead.

After similarly scouring the exterior, we left. Fort Dawnguard is still burning in the distance as we walk away. Now I will keep my promise, and go again to the Soul Cairn to tell Valerica that she may return home.
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Vikarion

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Dear Journal,
Well, what do you know. Delphine is actually alive. More on that in a minute.

I returned to Castle Volkihar to tell Valerica that all was settled. She was glad to hear it, and returned to the Castle with Serana and I. In time, I imagine that she will create another brood here, to replace the one I destroyed, but hopefully a much less bloodthirsty and violent one. One in her image. We will see.

On my way back to Riften, I stopped by the Sleeping Giant Inn in Riverwood. There, I met Delphine. Finally. She's been gone so long that I thought she was dead. Fortunately, it turned out that she'd been coming up with a plan to investigate the dragon's return: to infiltrate the Thalmor Embassy. Personally, I doubt that the Thalmor are responsible, but she insisted. She also insisted that I "infiltrate it", rather than blowing down the front door. Fine.

So, off I went to Solitude to find her contact, hand him my best gear (which he'd damn well better return to me inside), and get ready. I'm about to hop on the cart to the Embassy's party. Here goes.
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Vikarion

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Journal,
Well, I was right. The Thalmor aren't responsible, in fact, based on the documents I collected, they're even more puzzled than yours truly. But I already figured that.

What happened was this: infiltrating the party was easy. Got in, gave them my invitation, got someone to make a distraction, met my contact, and slipped out a side door and got my stuff. And then I started the great Thalmor-killing party of 202, The Fourth Era.

I know Delphine wanted me to be quiet. I know that there was every chance they might catch my accomplice or try to destroy the documents. But by the Nine, no sooner had I suited up in my armor and opened the door out of the pantry then I walked straight into a Thalmor wizard. Oops. Hi.

Well, better to introduce oneself than look awkward. I introduced myself with a blast of fire. And then I just...sort of kept going. Through the rest of the embassy, through the courtyard, into the Elenwen's Solar...I suppose it wasn't necessary to set fire to her dresser. Or her armoire. Or her bed, her bookshelves, her table, her desk, and her fruit platter. Oh well. I have bad aim.

I also found her dungeon, and the documents. That was useful. Apparently, my rampage had clued off a couple of the most intelligent Thalmor, who walked in holding my Wood Elf accomplice hostage. What they hadn't taken into account was that I was standing right next to the stairs when they did so...and that I know the "slow time" shout. I was up the stairs and killing Thalmor before they managed to even finish entering the room. Too bad for them, but quite good for the Wood Elf, Malborn.

From there, it was an easy egress out the dungeon's combination trapdoor and trash chute. When I made it back, Delphine was quite flummoxed to learn that the Thalmor had nothing to do with any of this, aside from their attempts to get in the way of those solving the problem. Fortunately, the Thalmor documents did contain information about another member of Delphine's organization (the Blades), named Esbern, in Riften. Which led to the second part of my Thalmorcide party, when I discovered that both I and they had decided to go after Esbern at the same time.

I won.

It took some work, but dragging the stubborn little man out of his literal rat-hole was accomplished. When I got him back to Riverwood, he then decided to be more useful than normal, substituting hitting me in the back with firebolts with telling us about Sky Haven Temple and Alduin's Wall, which will tell us...something. Actually, I'm waiting for him to figure it out as I write.

Incidentally, it turns out that Sky Haven Temple is very close to Karthspire, which is to say, I topped off my Thalmor-killing party with a Forsaken-killing party. Quite frankly, I find the Forsaken harder opponents than the Thalmor. They're just harder to hit. Of course, when you do, they go up like...oh, Esbern is saying something. More later.
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Vikarion

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Well, it turns out that the wall has a record of something called a "Dragonrend" shout. The "Blades" didn't know anything about it, so I went back up the seemingly infinite number of stairs to High Hrothgar again. Turns out they didn't know it, either. But Arngeir seemed to think that their master might. So, after teaching me a shout to calm the wind and weather (I could have used that a few times in the past), it was time to go up another few thousand steps, to the very top of the mountain.

It was a long climb. To think that I had thought High Hrothgar was high. Hah. The only comfort in it was that Serana was with me.

It turns out that the master of the Greybeards is Parthurnaax. Who is a dragon. More friendly than usual, though. Of course, I've suspected that not all dragons are hostile, as some just fly overhead and then leave, but they certainly aren't the majority. Unfortunately, Paarthurnaax didn't know the shout either, but he did know where I could find it - more precisely, when...and by looking into the past to see how Alduin had been banished before, to boot. I was expecting that this would lead to some long and annoying trek through some dwemer ruin or cave system, but it turned out that the elder scroll he wanted was "Dragon". Yeah, that one. The one that I had already retrieved in the course of making sure Serana didn't get used as a prophecy.

It's nice to know that dragons can be surprised. Paarthurnax certainly was when I whipped the Elder Scroll out of my pack. Still, it worked. I saw the ancient battle, and heard the words. Finite, Mortal, Temporary. Easy. Easy for me, not for a dragon, apparently. And then Alduin dropped it.

Perfect timing. It turns out that Alduin doesn't like being "Finite, Mortal, and Temporary" than I did back when I was. What a pity. One moment he was working up to a really good pass at me, complete with flame and invective, the next he was skiing across the top of the world on his breastbone while eating incineration. I won't say it was an easy fight, but I will say that the element of surprise certainly helped.

Well, until he got away. According to Paarthurnax, my little surprise weakened him, so he's gone off to eat the souls of the dead in Sovngarde. Frankly, after seeing the Soul Cairn, I've come to the conclusion that there's some things I just won't do, and one of those is letting souls be destroyed, save if I have no choice. However, I also have no way to find out how to get to Sovngarder alive - well...sort of alive, at any rate, ambulatory - without capturing one of Alduin's allies. And that led to asking the Jarl of Whiterun if I could use his ancient citadel as a dragon trap, which led to...

Well, let's just say that, right now, I'm waiting for all of the heads of the warring factions in Skyrim to show up at High Hrothgar for a truce, so that I can catch a dragon in the city which lies at the center of the war zone. And, oh, look, there's the Thalmor ambassador just now.

I swear, never rains but it pours.
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Vikarion

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Well, it worked. The peace summit, and the trap.

The peace summit was slightly...absurd. Not in and of itself, but you would think that the return of dragons would be taken a bit more seriously by both sides. Instead, what happened was a dragon-born vampire staring across the table at a frustrated Greybeard while Tullius and Ulfric alternately traded cities and called each other names, with the various Imperial lackeys doing their best to upset the conference. Still, I managed to get a truce. Ulfric gets Markarth, and the Imperials get Dawnstar, while Ulfric will pay reparations for the "massacre at Karthwasten", whatever that was. Personally, I've been through Karthwasten, and it looks very...un-massacred. But whatever. What was important was that neither side was happy, which means I did my job. I suppose.

Perhaps ironically, trapping the dragon was easier than getting three soldiers and politicians to agree on letting me do so. I called Ooda, as I've taken to calling him, hit him with the "dragonrend" shout, and then dropped a collar on him. He was...embarrassed, if I don't miss my guess. His exact words were "caught like a bear in a trap". He did make a feeble attempt to fool me to save face, but gave up quickly. It turns out that he's not exactly thrilled with Alduin's leadership, so he's willing to ferry me to Alduin's temple and portal to Sovngarde.

Hopefully this won't be my last entry.
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Vikarion

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Sovngarde was beautiful.

It was...it almost is, the opposite of the Soul Cairn. The sky is an ever present noon sun, radiating life and magic, but without burning you. I feared I would have to fight Alduin under the sun, but it did not burn. I almost wish I could have stayed.

The path to Shor's hall was a nightmare, though. Not for what it should have been, but rather because Alduin had cloaked it in a thick, heavy, cloying, stinking mist. Like grease on the skin. Now and then I spotted him diving into the mist to devour a soul. I tried to catch him, but he eluded me. The coward.

Finally, I made my way to Shor's hall. There, I had to defeat his guardian, Tsun, and gained entry. There, I a few of the heroes of old, although I was not permitted entry to deeper or wider halls. Three had volunteered to go with me. We returned to the field across the mist, and drove the mist away with our Shouts.

Alduin answered our challenge, and came. "Dragonrend" brought him down, but only a long struggle brought him down. As much as my companions were spirits, he made them bleed, and though I dodged and took his massive blows on my Stalhrim armor, I, too, say my own flesh bloodied and burned. Finally, I had an opening: he swung his head from right to left across me in an attempt to tear Gormlaith (one of my companions in the fight), and I managed to catch him at the base of the skull with an "incinerate", nearly tearing his head from his neck. Amazingly, he did not die then, but recoiled in pain, swinging back the other way, giving me an opportunity to catch him in the same location on the other side. That finally did the job.

In seconds, he burst into a consuming fire. Not like the fire of a dragon whose soul I devour, but a truly consuming flame. In his own funeral pyre, still screaming at me that he was immortal from a nearly severed head, the World-Eater burned away.

I feel that there should be more to write, but what more is there to write? The facts are pale things - when Alduin died, though, you could feel it, like the fall of a great mountain. It was what you might imagine the death of a Daedric lord to be, if they could die. And if the Son of Time itself could fall, perhaps they can. I killed a truly eternal being, and it felt as if Numidium had fallen at my feet.

When Tsun returned me to Nirn, I was at the throat of the world. There, dragons soared above, shouting. Most interestingly, it was not in sorrow, but in joy. "We are free!"..."overlord vanquished!".

So, if I have killed a magnificent and terrible being, at least I may consider that in doing so, I have freed not only men and mer, but also whatever dragons would be free from his tyranny. For his part, Paarthurnax seemed to feel as I do. On the other hand, he is also free to spread his beliefs. We will see if his Word is better than Alduin's. For my part, I do not think it can be worse.

I do not know what I shall do now. Perhaps I will aid Ulfric, now that the truce is over. Eventually, I wish to return to High Rock, or, failing that, settle with the Telvanni in Morrowind to pursue my studies of Conjuration and Necromancy. Serana has offered to go with me - she wants to see more than Skyrim, and she's a bit fond of me...she's said as much.

In fact, she's bothering me to go to Windhelm right now. More later, I suppose.

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Vikarion

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Epilogue:

Imperial report: dragon-born

Not much is known for certain of the Last Dragonborn after his exploits in Skyrim. It is known that he aided Ulfric in his victory against the Imperials in Solitude during 202 of the fourth era, and it's said by some that he himself killed General Tullius. Imperial forces dispute this, claiming that Tullius was killed by an arrow while leading his men in a final charge. It's also known that the Dragonborn defeated an small attempted Thalmor expeditionary force against the new Stormcloak regime during 203, although reports that the Thalmor were frightened by his charge into battle under a blood-red sun are surely fanciful. In 204 he moved to Solstheim for a period, where he is said to have proven a friendly but somewhat eccentric neighbor, spending a large amount of time with the Telvanni wizard Neloth.

In 208 he traveled to Morrowind, and lived among the Telvanni for a period. Argonian spies eventually revealed his vampirism in an attempt to remove him from Dunmer society, but his assistance in repelling a concurrent Argonian incursion ensured that, rather than expel him from Vvardenfell, House Telvanni proclaimed him an esteemed guest and under their protection. Thanks to his work in Solstheim, House Redoran also refused to condemn him or place a death-mark on him.

As of our last intelligence, the dragon-born has returned to Skyrim under Ulfric's invitation with a group of Telvanni wizards, excavating and exporting salvage, products, and technology from Blackreach. This has contributed greatly to the recent growth of Dawnstar and its merchant shipping trades. It is also rumored that the Telvanni have, drawing on the underground fauna of Blackreach, managed to construct their own settlement on the outskirts of Dawnstar, leading to a great deal of Dunmer immigration from Windhelm and even all the way from Morrowind.
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