"The High King is a wise man, which is why I supported him, and not the mad king, Ranser. We all have the ability to make our own decisions. Long ago, I decided to live in peace with the mortal world, not feast upon it."
Upon entering the castle, Verandis asks the Vestige to drink a potion that would allow them to explore his repressed memories. Baron Montclair asks Verandis to use his vampire powers to turn his wife into a vampire so that she would not die from her illness. Verandis tries to save Baron Montclair's dying wife. However, once she is a vampire, she turns uncontrollable, and has to be killed by Verandis as a result.confirmation needed
"Not so fast, my friend. You don't have to deal with this on your own."
After freeing the Nobles:
"I'm surprised Baron Dorell didn't accompany you here. He's never been one to shy away from getting his hands bloody in defense of House and country."
'Why are you so anxious to help resolve the situation in Shornhelm?Shornhelm's stability affects all of Rivenspire. If Montclair and his allies take over the city, I fear all of Rivenspire would soon fall. And then they would look beyond our borders. He's always fancied himself the true heir to Ranser's throne."
That doesn't explain everything."I usually leave politics to other nobles. I prefer to deal quietly with ... more unusual problems. As for the why of things, call it an obligation. But now is not the time to discuss the past."
While approaching the stone door:
"I suspect Reezal-Jul is behind that stone door. Along with his portal. We need to stop him from bringing through more reinforcements."
At the portal:
"I can feel the magic. There's a portal close by. We need to close it before we're overrun by more Montclair soldiers."
You need to close the portal."I should be able to close hte portal. It won't take me more than a few seconds."
"There. That should keep them out. Shornhelm will be safe now. I shall begin my research at once. Try to determine where Reezal-Jul has gone. In the meantime, you should seek out the High King."
After the portal is closed:
"With the portal closed, we've stopped Reezal-Jul from sneaking more Montclair troops into the city. It's frustrating, though, that Reezal-Jul slipped away. That Argonian is sly and cowardly."
Any idea where Reezal-Jul disappeared to?"No, and that's what worries me. He must be tracked down and dealt with. Swiftly. Thank to your efforts, though, Montclair's plan to take control of Shornhelm has been stopped. You should inform High King Emeric and the other nobles."
Is the High King in Shornhelm?"According to my sources, he was close before I entered the Mews. I have no doubt that the Shornhelm Guard has reclaimed the upper city. I assume Dorell, Tamrith, and the High King are even now in Shornhelm Castle. Give Emeric my regards."
Show: Dream-Walk Into Darkness
"I apologize if the scene before you makes you uncomfortable. I did not expect you to arrive during our meal time. As for why I kept my true nature hidden? Well, let's just say that Emeric insisted. And one does not refuse the High King lightly."
You're a vampire?"I have been called far worse. But I prefer to think of myself and my companions as gifted. We are not ashamed of our condition. We are not monsters. Now this is the part where you gasp and ask calmly, "How can I trust you?""
High King Emeric said I should trust you."The High King is a wise man, which is why I supported him and not the mad king, Ranser. We all have the ability to make our own decisions. Long ago, I decided to live in peace with the mortal world, not feast upon it."
Can you tell me anything that can help us deal with Montclair?"You were able to drive off Reezal-Jul and take back Shornhelm. Those were no small feats, I assure you. But Emeric needs our help to restore Rivenspire's tranquility. You need to understand. There is more to Montclair than simple ambition."
You've hinted at this before. Tell me what you're talking about."Walk with me and I will explain. There is much I need to show you and time grows short."
[Intimidate] Vampires are evil! I must destroy you!"[?]"
"To understand the path that Montclair follows, you must understand how he came to walk upon it. I believe the key to stopping him hides within my own memories. Memories are elusive shadows, hiding truths behind our perception. But what if someone else could examine them? What would they see that we do not? I'd like to try something, if you're willing. This potion will allow you to dream-walk through my memories. Perhaps your eyes will see what I have missed."
If spoken to:
"I would never bring an outsider into my memories if I didn't believe it was imperative. The memories we will revisit. They are ... painful for me. It is with a heavy heart that I ask you to embark upon this journey with me."
I need to know more before I agree to this."Ask your questions, then. I will answer what I can."
What's in this potion?"Nothing that will harm you, rest assured. The mixture contains various herbs, dusk nectar, and a few drops of my blood. But don't worry. It takes more than a little blood to turn someone into a vampire."
What if I choose not to drink the potion?"Then we learn nothing new. Montclair continues his campaign and Rivenspire eventually falls. It is inevitable. Please. As you will see, I have blind spots where Montclair is concerned. I need a fresh perspective to determine our next moves."
Why me? Why not one of your vampires?"They know me too well, and they are used to acquiescing to my will. They don't have the perspective, the distance, to see beyond what I saw. I need someone who has proven their worth, a relative stranger I can trust."
After drinking the potion:
"I must say, it's rather strange seeing you as ... me." "Even in retrospect, reliving this is difficult. Her pain, her suffering. She had so much courage." "Something's wrong. I have vague recollections of talking to someone else, but why can't I remember? You need to look around, see what we missed ...." "Without your help, my friend, I would never have recalled that Reezal-Jul led us to the Ayleid relic. What else have I forgotten, I wonder?" "We were so happy at this moment. We were all together, friends and family, enjoying each other's company. For the final time ...." "I ... I don't recall speaking with Leila. Why can't I remember that?"
Upon approaching Verandis:
"Reezal-Jul knew about the Ayleid relic the entire time. He convinced me to give it to Wylon. Why didn't I remember that? And this memory. I recall our celebration, the toasts. But this moment, talking to Leila ... I don't remember that happening."
Tell me more about this celebration."As I now recall, Reezal-Jul gave me a shard—a piece of an Ayleid relic. I presented it to Montclair and he, in turn, used it to heal his wife. In less than a day, Leila was recovering and on her feet again. It was nothing short of miraculous."
The shard cured her?"Not exactly. It helped, but I can't remember why. We were here, celebrating Leila's improved condition, when ... And that's all I can recall. I'm sure the key is hidden in my memories. Please, explore this moment and see what you can learn."
"I remember now. The translation—we misinterpreted it. We assumed the Crag housed a powerful healing artifact. But we were wrong. The hillside community, though. Why didn't I ever look into that?"
Do you know what this means?"Not exactly. Not yet. But I will figure this out. In the meantime, there is one more memory I want you to explore. We ascended the Doomcrag. And that's where everything changed."
What's the Doomcrag?"A perilous peak that rises from the mountains to the north. It has always been a haunted, desolate place. Look for anything I may have missed. But more, I want you to see what happened to Montclair. I want you to understand why he must be stopped."
After observing the ritual:
"Remarkable! What a strange sensation of new recollections and old. I believe that Reezal-Jul somehow removed those moments from my memory. But you were able to restore them. And now you understand what we are facing."
I'm not sure what I actually saw."Disorientation is understandable. Somehow, when I joined the ritual, I altered the power of the relic. I turned Leila into a monster. I had to kill her. And Montclair and the others ... they became vampires imbued with the power of the relic."
How did you escape?"I have Gwendis to thank for that. She pulled me out of there before Montclair and the others were fully recovered. Now Montclair claims he wants to end death and suffering. That he wants to take the throne of Ranser. And it's all my fault."
So what happens now?"The Ayleid text referred to an outpost in the hills. I need to find out where that is. It may be that the answer to defeating Montclair can be found in this hidden location. But first things first. There is a more urgent matter for you to deal with."
Show: The Blood-Splattered Shield
"Now you know how this sordid situation began. And you know how I, to my great and everlasting shame, helped Baron Montclair reach the Lightless Remnant. But now to more immediate matters. I know where Reezal-Jul can be found."
Then I should go after the mad Argonian."Not so fast, my enthusiastic friend. My agents have learned that Reezal-Jul struck in the west and is still in the area. Captain Janeve, Countess Tamrith's younger sister, has established a camp for displaced refugees. She must be warned about this."
I can take word to her."I had hoped you would make such an offer. My instincts tell me that Reezal-Jul allowed the refugees to survive. It's a trap. It has to be. Find the camp and tell the Captain what I have learned. Then help her end this threat once and for all."
I'll find Captain Janeve and warn her about Reezal-Jul.
Show: The Conceiling Veil
"There you are. I hope you didn't have any trouble finding this place." "Ah, I take it Gwendis found you? And I assume that you dealt with Reezal-Jul? Then we are ready to begin. Let's find out why they tried so hard to hide this place from my memories."
What is this place?"A forgotten tumble of ruins in the desolate Lorkrata Hills. I found a trap door that should grant us access to the chambers beneath, but it's locked tight. Look around for a way to open the trap door and I'll meet you at the west tower."
I'll try to find a way to unlock the trap door."I advise caution, my friend. As with Reezal-Jul and Camp Tamrith, I have a feeling that the enemy remains at least one step ahead of us. Since I assume that Montclair's memory was never affected, who knows what we may find in the ruins below?"
Can I ask a few questions?"Of course. It isn't as though we're trying to save Rivenspire or anything, now is it? Go ahead. Ask your questions."
I understand Montclair and Reezal-Jul's role in all this, but what about Lleraya?"Lleraya was a sweet young woman, committed to her family and infatuated with me. She didn't ask for what happened to her, but that doesn't excuse her behavior since."
What do you mean?"Her father gave her command of a portion of his troops—just as he did with Reezal-Jul. She's been active in the north and east, creating bloodfiends and causing chaos. I assume she has her eye on Northpoint. It would make a handsome prize."
What are we looking for here?"When you restored my missing memories, I recalled that the Ayleid manuscript mentioned two ancient outposts—the Doomcrag and a place in the hills to the east. My research indicates an Ayleid ruin lies beneath this abandoned Breton fortress."
What do you hope to find down there?"I'm not sure. But there must be something here that we need. Why else would the two Ayleid outposts be linked as they are in the manuscript? First, however, we need a way to open the path downn. Without that, this ruin is nothing but a dead end."
Inside the ruins:
"The way ahead ... can it be? It is! A veil has been cast upon these ruins. It's just as I expected. Lleraya knew I'd come here and has placed an obstacle in our way." "As I feared. The delay caused by my missing memories allowed Montclair to reach this place before us. This veil ... it has Lleraya's deft touch about it."
Veil? What do you mean?"Lleraya has placed a veil upon these ruins. It's a simple illusion spell that she amplified using the power of the Lightless Remnant. It hides the true topography and makes us see exactly what she wants. She set the trap and we walked right into it."
So what do we do now?"We push forward. Lleraya's veil is far from perfect, and she made it specifically to hinder me and my vampiric charges. She wasn't expecting you, however. You should be able to guide us through the veil using the tears that litter the illusion."
After examining the tear:
"You did it! You were able to widen the tear so that we can see that path ahead as it truly is." "The way ahead appears blocked, but I'm sure it's another illusion." "The veil hid this gauntlet of traps from us. We need to move through this area with caution." "A real chasm or another illusion? We probably shouldn't chance it. See if you can locate another tear." "This way. With the veil torn I can see a way up over there."
After exploring the ruins:
"We need to clear this portion of the veil so that we can move forward. See if you can rip open a tear and shred this illusion."
Are you ready to move forward?"Whenever you are, my friend. I just hope there are a sufficient number of tears for you to rip apart. I'd hate to get trapped within Lleraya's veil with no way out."
After destroying the tear:
"Hopefully, that's the last of the veil. Let's see if we can get through that door now." "Well done, my friend! I'll meet you on the other side." "I think what we're looking for is just beyond this chamber." "The item we seek is through here. Follow me." "This must be what we're looking for. Amazing. It's as though it has been waiting for us all of this time. I wonder ... is this book real or just another of Lleraya's illusions?"
After Verandis picks up the book:
"Remarkable. It appears to be an intact volume of Ayleid lore. If it's real, then this is what we came here to .... No. This can't be correct."
What does the book say?"This is all about the Remnant of Light. Before it became corrupted. It mentions that the Remnant requires a vessel to make full use of its limitless potential. A container for its abundant power."
Is Montclair that vessel?"That seems likely. Between the relic's magic and the vampiric abilities I inadvertently provided, Montclair has become more powerful than I expected. The book also says that if we break the vessel, we break the relic. I will need to think upon that."
Outside the ruin:
"Well, my friend, it appears that the book is real and not part of Lleraya's illusion. I believe it will be of great help to us in the trials ahead. That said, I have much research to do. Ancient Ayleid isn't my native language, you know."
Is this book really going to help us?"I believe so, yes. I have much more reading to do before we get to that point, though. Know that we wouldn't have this advantage if not for you. I could never have navigated Lleraya's veil without your help."
Show: Northpoint in Peril
"While I continue my research, you should head to Northpoint. Gwendis caught wind of Lleraya in that area, and I had her direct Dorell and Tamrith to take their troops north. I'm sure they'd appreciate any help you can provide."
What can you tell me about Northpoint?"Baron Dorell considers Northpoint to be his seat of power. He has a number of holdings there, including a lucrative maritime endeavor. It makes sense that Montclair would send Lleraya there. If they control Northpoint, they control the north."
Should I ask for anyone in particular when I get to Northpoint?"Gwendis reported that Northpoint has been sealed. I fear Montclair already controls the city. Find Baron Dorell. He commands the troops amassing outside the city. I'm sure he has a plan in motion. Talk to the Baron and see what you can do to help."
I'll find Baron Dorell."I expect that Baron Dorell and his troops will have found a good vantage point outside the city. While you help them liberate Northpoint, I'll continue to study the Ayleid book we discovered."
I have a few questions before I go."Very well. Ask your questions. And then I expect you to make your way to Northpoint with all due haste."
Have you finished translating that Ayleid book?"[?]"
Are you certain that Lleraya commands the troops at Northpoint?"Certain? No. But her hand was definitely present here at Lorkrata, and we know she commands Montclair's forces in this area. I expect you will face Lleraya before your work at Northpoint comes to an end."
Has there been any sign of Baron Montclair recently?"As far as I can tell, no one other than Reezal-Jul and Lleraya have seen Montclair since the events at Doomcrag a few weeks ago. He could still be atop that desolate peak. On the other hand, he could be anywhere. So stay on your guard."
Show: The Liberation of Northpoint
"Poor Lleraya. I never wanted it to come to this." "I had hoped to save Lleraya from this fate. Or else, I should have been the one to end her campaign. I'm sorry this unfortunate task fell to you."
I'm not sure I understand what happened here."Lleraya gathered the nobles here, played with them, forced them to love her. It was the closest she could get to real happiness since the loss of her mother. When she was done playing, she was going to turn them all into bloodfiends."
This veil is slightly different from the one at Lorkrata."Your perceptions are excellent. She used this veil in two ways—to hide herself and to overwhelm your senses with illusion. Unlike Lorkrata, instead of shredding the veil, this time you used the tear to enter Lleraya's illusion."
What happened to the nobles?"With Lleraya's death, the power of the veil fades. As soon as it dissipates, the nobles will appear. But now the final confrontation draws near. Gather our forces and meet me at the Shrouded Pass. We must return to the Doomcrag to end this."
Show: Puzzle of the Pass
"My friend, I am sorry you had to be the one to end Lleraya's troubled existence. It was unfortunate, but necessary. And now if we are to save Rivenspire, we must engage in another unfortunate act. The time to deal with Baron Montclair is upon us."
Are you sure Baron Montclair is here?"Montclair is here. Of that there can be no doubt. He waits atop the Doomcrag, where he somehow activated ancient defenses to block our path. We need to find a way around these defenses and then set up portals to transport our troops up the mountain."
What can I do to help?"The book we uncovered at Lorkrata contains maps of the ruins, among other things. These maps show two portal chambers leading to the top of the Doomcrag. If you can reach the first chamber and open a portal, we can begin moving troops into position."
I'll find a way to reach the first portal chamber."Be on your guard. In addition to activating ancient defenses, Montclair has somehow awakened the Ayleid guardians that haunt these ruins. You may have to deal with them as well as you make your way into the first portal chamber."
Can I ask a few questions before I begin?"Of course. But let's try to move this along. I fear Baron Dorell will charge straight into an Ayleid trap in his haste to make something happen."
Why is this place called the Shrouded Pass?"A recent appellation, it refers to the thick fog that develops within the pass up the mountain. But my translation of the text tells me this was once a great place of learning and worship, with pilgrimages occuring daily to the top of the Doomcrag."
You said something about defenses being triggered?"Baron Montclair must have triggered the ancient wards. Many of the passages have barriers that were not present the last time I was here. He also seems to have disturbed the bones of the ancient Ayleids. They are now awake and angry that we're here."
How do we stop Baron Montclair?"The Lorkrata text may provide us with some insight that will help us deal with Baron Montclair. I just need to finish my translation. This requires great care and concentration. I don't want to make an error that will cost us dearly later."
After opening the portal:
"I knew you would find the chamber and open the portal."
What should I do next?"As our troops emerge from the portal and take up position outside, you need to make your way to the second portal chamber. Once you activate that portal, we can get the troops that much closer to the top of the Doomcrag."
Then what happens?"Let's not get ahead of ourselves. We must step through each door we come upon in turn. For now, you need to reach the second portal chamber."
"Go on. The second portal chamber should be on the third level. I want to make sure this portal is stable and then I'll follow after you."
At the second chamber:
"Another barrier blocks our way. Look around and see if you can find a way to disable it." "Larelleis? The time of sweet water? That must refer to spring rains." "Morilatta? The dark light? Dusk? I think this one is referring to autumn." "The green shine? That's close but not quite right. I'm guessing this refers to summer.""Anga? That could mean iron. Or cold. I suppose this one refers to winter." "The barrier has fallen! The portal chamber should be just a short way ahead." "The Doomcrag waits just beyond this chamber. The Doomcrag and Baron Montclair."
After speaking to Baron Dorell:
"Once again, you succeeded at the task set before you. Well done, my friend."
I think everyone is here. The pass is ours."A battle won, but the war rages on. We must reach the Lightless Remnant and destroy it. But Montclair will grow more desperate the closer we get to that cursed relic. Are you ready, my friend? Once more into the breach?"
Show: The Lightless Remnant
"I fear that Montclair will have a surprise or two waiting for us within the Doomcrag. I suddenly have the feeling that bringing an army up here was a terrible mistake."
A mistake? What are you talking about?"Never mind that now. We must reach the Lightless Remnant and end this madness. Tell the troops to remain here. They need to make sure none of Montclair's soldiers follow us up into the Doomcrag."
You had us bring the troops all the way up here just to stand guard?"Do not question me! If my orders aren't followed to the letter, Montclair will defeat us and Rivenspire will be lost! Talk to Countess Tamrith and Baron Dorell. Tell them what I have said. Then meet me at the bridge that leads to the Doomcrag."
All right. I'll pass on your order to Dorell and Tamrith.
"I trust you have spoken to Tamrith and Dorell. Are the soldiers standing guard at the second portal?"
Tamrith and Dorell won't wait. They want to see this through to the end."The fools! I wish I would have realized our mistake before we made it this far."
You mentioned that before. What mistake did we make?"I didn't think. Didn't realize that our proximity to the Remnant would be our undoing. The Remnant feeds off life. Devours it. Not only will Gwendis and I be susceptible to its lure, but the soldiers—they're just more fodder for the blood-curse."
I can try to make them see reason."No. It's too late for that now. We have to move forward and hope we're not overwhelmed by our own forces. But if any of them turn into bloodfiends, I promise to end their suffering as quickly as possible."
After Montclair's trap:
"I never should have brought everyone here. I should have handled this on my own. You're in danger as well. Montclair will eventually try to use you against me."
Where did he take the others?"Montclair has never left the Remnant chamber. He was able to defeat us by working through a projection! I assume he's teleported Gwendis and the others to his side."
So how do we stop Montclair?"I am still connected to the one who turned me. The answer to our problem rests with him. If we're going to defeat Montclair, you must trust me this one last time. I will not betray you."
The one who turned you?"We can discuss that later. For now, we need to reach Gwendis before the Remnant corrupts her and she feasts upon the others. Head upstairs and I'll follow right behind you."
Let's go find Gwendis and the others."I can feel them. Gwendis, Tamrith, and Dorell are still alive. But I can also feel Gwendis' hunger. She won't be able to hold back much longer. We must be ready to do whatever is necessary. Let's go."
"Be on your guard. Montclair will do everything he can to stop us." "If Gwendis has been harmed, or any of our friends .... I'll show him no mercy."
In front of Gwendis:
"If we don't get Gwendis out of there soon, those restraints will break and she'll feed on the nobles."
What's going on here?"Montclair has constructed a blood ward to imprison Gwendis and the others. The Remnant. It's proximity is playing havoc with Gwendis' hunger. The urge to feed is stronger in her than ever."
What about these statues? What are they doing?"He's using Ayleid magic to increase the power of the ward. I'll do my best to dispel it, but I think we'll need to destroy the statues if I'm going to have any chance to succeed. You must protect me while I attempt to unravel the spell."
Protect you? From what?"Montclair will strike when I'm distracted. You must keep me safe or we'll never reach Gwendis in time. One more thing. Watch for an opportunity to destroy the statues. As long as they power the ward, my efforts will be less effective. Are you ready?"
I'm ready."Then may luck be upon us both."
After freeing Gwendis:
"Rivenspire needs Tamrith and Dorell. They cannot be allowed to perish here. I need to help get them to safety before I join you up above."
I thought Skordo and Darien would take care of that?"They will, with my help. Besides, I can't face Montclair just yet. There are preparations I must make to ensure our success. But time grows short and you must distract Montclair to give me the time I need for my preparations."
I don't understand."If Montclair dies while connected to the Remnant, the relic breaks and unleashes its curse upon Rivenspire. No one would be safe from the bloodfiend plague. We need to stop Montclair, but we need to do so in a way that doesn't doom Rivenspire."
And how do we do that?"That, my friend, is what I still need to work out. And while I do that, I need you to keep Montclair busy. You have done more than I ever hoped, my friend, and I am proud to have fought beside you. Now go. We both have jobs left to do."
After defeating Wylon Montclair:
"The power threatens to break free. I can feel it ... the power. I could consume it. Become stronger than I ever imagined .... No! I can't give in to this temptation. I must remove teh Remnant from this place ... take it to the plane of my master. We need to talk ... this one last time." "Time is against us, my friend. I must remove the Remnant from this place before it's too late. I ... I need you to do something for me first, though."
What do you need?"Adusa ... my oldest, most trusted ally. Tell her that House Ravenwatch is hers now. She must carry on our work ... continue to train Gwendis ... and any others who need her help."
I don't understand. Why are you talking like this?"Because I need to take this relic out of this realm. It needs to be transported to a place where it can't do any harm. I have made a deal with my master. Molag Bal has agreed to take me and the relic to Coldharbour."
You're giving the Lightless Remnant to Molag Bal?"It is the only way to make certain that Rivenspire is saved. Molag Bal will take the relic into his realm. Rivenspire, all of Nirn, will be safe."
There must be another way."The deal has already been made. It's either this or allow everyone to turn into the very fiends we worked so hard to save them from. There is no other way. Tell Gwendis that I will miss her. She was always so full of ... life. Farewell, my friend."
"Good to see you, my friend. I could use an ally in this desolate place. The Gray Host has turned its attention upon the Reach, but the local ruler refuses my help. This so-called Despot of Markarth thinks walls and sentries will hold back their fury"
The Despot of Markarth?"Ard Caddach, self-proclaimed ruler of the Reach. He rarely ventures out of his Understone Keep these days. I've come to offer my assistance, but he refuses to listen. Meanwhile, even here in the shadow of the city, Gray Host agents plot and conspire"
Gray Host?"An alliance of vampires, witches and werewolves bent on slaughter and conquest. I want to protect the Reach, but to do that, I need to uncover the Gray Host's plans and secure Ard Caddach's cooperation. Would you be willing to help me in this?"
All right. I'll help you gather information and get an audience with the Despot of Markarth."With your help, we may save the Reach yet. While I continue to exert diplomatic pressure. I need you to find information the ard will consider valuable. Something concerning the rebels that plague his rule, perhaps. Start by talking to the sentry."
How will information help get us an audience with Ard Caddach?"Reachfolk deal in bargains. They respect strength and skill. And they believe in rewarding favors. If we can bring something important to the ard while demonstrating these qualities, I think he'll agree to hear us out."
You really want to work with someone called the Despot of Markarth?"If we're to stop the Gray Host and help the Reach, we don't have a choice. At the very least, we need his resources and support. In my time here, I've heard about these rebels, but I'm not sure the extent of their rebellion. See what you can learn."
I'll see what I can learn about the rebels and their rebellion."Remember, remain respectful but wary when dealing with Reachfolk. They don't suffer long speeches-or even short ones. Keep your conversation with the sentry brief and to the point. Once you find something, meet me in Markarth at Understone Keep."
Why has the Gray Host come to the Reach?"This Gray Host is somehow connected to the army that ravaged the land in the First Era. Like their ancient counterpart, I assume to conquer and destroy. I need to learn more to know for sure. Meanwhile, we must get to the Reach to prepare."
But the Reachfolk are barbarians, aren't they?"[?]"
I stopped the Gray Host in Western Skyrim."Yes. So my ward Fennorian has told me. Which is even more of a reason for you to help me here in the Reach. Whatever Rada-al-Saran began in Western Skyrim, I believe he has something more terrible in mind for thr Reachfolk."
Why do you care about this Gray Host and the Reach?"[?]"
"You couldn't have timed your arrival any better. Ard Caddach holds court as we speak. We'll never have a better chance to gain an audience with him. Did your investigation undercover anything we could use? What did you learn?"
The rebel leader might be Arana. They're gathering in the eastern hills."Arana? I've heard that name during my time here. Did you happen to learn what these rebels are rebelling against?"
Not exactly, but they have spies in the city, urging people to flee to the hills."Flee the city? With the Gray Host prowling the countryside? Well, that's three valuable pieces of information. I want you to represent me before Ard Caddach. Explain what you learned and convince him to finally agree to meet with me."
I'll present my findings and try to convince Ard Caddach to meet with you."Speak with the ard's sentry. You'll need to convince her to gain an audience with Caddach. I think the information you uncovered about the rebels will be enough to interest the Despot of Markarth, but you can never be certain with Reachfolk."
Why don't you come with me to speak to Ard Caddach?"I'm lucky to have made it this far into the city. Caddach and his entourage have little patience for a noble such as myself. Especially a noble from a land they consider to be the home of their enemy. No, this task is better in your hands."
So what will you be doing while I'm trying to see Ard Caddach?"I shall wait around here and continue to discreetly learn what I can about the Reach and its people. I also want to think about Arana and her rebels. Maybe there's a way to add them to our arsenal. Go. I'll be here when you get back."
"Before you run off, tell me about your audience with Ard Caddach."
Ard Caddach sent me to his advisor, Lady Belain. They asked me to find the rebel leader, Arana."Impressive! You accomplished more in mere moments than I have been able to do since I arrived in this savage land. Find Arana. See if the witch-rebels will join our cause. I will continue my own investiations and meet you back here."
"Your arrival is fortuitous, as I have only just returned myself. Were you able to make contact with the rebels? Did you meet with Arana?
Yes. I have also learned that Lady Belain is a vampire. She's in league with the Gray Host."I sensed some deception but her illusion is powerful. How else did she hide her nature from me? As for Arana, do you think we can convince her and her rebels to join our cause?"
Perhaps. She sent me to spy on Belain and I wound up talking to the Gray Host leader, Rada al-Saran. "You spoke to Rada? Did he-? No matter. If Rada al-Saran is here, our time grows short. Talk to Caddach. If he deems what you tell him worthy, maybe he'll finally be willing to work with me. Then we can figure out how to deal with the Gray Host."
All right, I'll talk to Ard Caddach."It was only a matter of time before Rada and I crossed paths again. I just didn't think it would be this soon."
Tell me more about Rada al-Saran."Rada al-Saran and I... we have a complicated history. There was a time Rada and I stood united in purpose. To preserve the lives and welfare of vampires. Then, as now, our kin suffered under Molag Bal's curse and the cruelty of mortal hunters."
You had some sort of falling out?"Not exactly. At least, not all at once. When I first met Rada, he was immensely proud but utterly consumed by his failures. He tried to find relief in bloodshed and battle, but he was truly lost. I did my best to help him."
Did it work?"Yes. His blood lust gave way to introspection, and introspection led to study. He was already a peerless scholar. All ansei were. But he became fascinated with vampire texts. Eventually, he found a new purpose."
A new purpose?"Vampiric salvation. To accomplish this, he needed to break Molag Bal's hold over us and stop mortals from hunting us. I counseled peace with mortals, and for a time he agreed. But things changed and I left the Gray Host. I thought he died with them."
I knew you were part of the Gray Host, but you never told me why you joined them."I sought to make the world a better place. I thought the Gray Council could help, but when it became the Gray Host... I formed the Ravenwatch as an atonement. For things I failed to do. Friends I failed to save-from mortals and from themselves."
After speaking to Ard Caddach for the second time:
"I've been watching, but Lady Belain hasn't returned to Understone Keep yet. I wonder how the ard plans to deal with her. Speaking of Ard Caddach, will he meet with me now? Will he help us stop Rada al-Saran and the Gray Host?"
Ard Caddach will meet with you, but he wants to keep Belain close for now."That's some progress at least. And farther than I was able to get on my own. Thank you. I'll talk to Caddach, then I'd like to make contract with Arana. We'll need the rebels' help and more if we're going to defeat the Gray Host."
Show: Blood of the Reach
"Your investigations uncovered that Ard Caddach's advisor, Lady Belain, is working with the Gray Host. And that she's a vampire. To hide that from me takes great power. Tell me exactly what you heard during Rada al-Saran's conversation with her."
Lady Belain mentioned her influence over the ard and that Markarth would soon be full of Reachfolk."With your warning, Ard Caddach can decide what to do with Lady Belain's advice in the future. As to why they care that Reachfolk gather within the city, I'll need to think about that. Did you hear anything else of significance during their exchange?"
Rada al-Saran said he needs something called the Arkthzand Keystone. He sent Belain to find it."Rada tried to use Dwarven devices once, but nothing came of it. Interesting. As I toured the city, I met Nolovan. He works with Drawven scrap in the southeast section of Markarth. Maybe he can lead us to this keystone before Lady Belain acquries it."
All right, I'll find Nolovan and ask him about the Arkthzand Keystone."Despite occupying the ruins of their lost civilisation, few Reachfolk want anything to do with Dwarven devices. That's why Nolovan intrigued me. While you deal with him, I'll seek out Arana's rebels. If I can't find them, they will surely notice me."
I thought you also wanted to talk to Ard Caddach?"And so I shall. Briefly. Caddach has a city full of Reachfolk to deal with, so I don't want to unduly distract him. Then I need to locate Arana. If we can get the rebels to work with us against the Gray Host, we'll have more than a fighting chance."
After gathering information from Nolovan and speaking with Arana:
"Between the Ravenwatch's expertise and Arana's knowledge of the Reach, we have a fighting chance against the Gray Host. Just stay mindful. Even sealed by a Daedric ritual, this alliance is remains young and fragile. We must nuture it."
I have a map that might lead to the keystone."Yes, Bthar-Zel. I overhead while you were speaking to Arana. We discussed finding it while you were gathering the ritual components. Locating the keystone is your next priority. Arana indicated that she wanted to accompany you."
What will you and Gwendis do while we're looking for the keystone?"Gwendis brought news from Markarth. Lady Belain has departed the city and she intends to give chase. I will assist her in the hope that pursuing Belain might turn up something useful. Just don't let that keystone fall into Rada al-Saran's hands."
"As soon as we lost Lady Belain's trail, we decided to instead pick up yours. And I see you've had some success. If the entrance the Bthar-Zel is here, I'm certain we can find it."
Once the door of Bthar-Zel is opened:
"The door opened, but something happened to Arana. She mentioned something about a darkness. We should check on her, but we also need to determine that the keystone we seek is here."
Do you know what happened to Arana?"No, but she has a sensitivity that I do not possess. Most powerful witches do. Let's hope she recovers quickly. It is said that mechanical horrors guard the depths of Bthar-Zel. No matter what, we must find the keystone."
I understand. Let's get moving."Mind the shadows and be on your guard. In addition to the mechanical traps and defenders, we know that Lady Belain is also seeking the keystone."
How could Lady Belain get into the ruins ahead of us?"Lady Belain has had more time to research the Arkthzand Keystone than we did. She may have already known about this location and the hidden door. Or she may know a different way to get inside. Then again, she may be looking somewhere else entirely."
You think we're in the wrong place?"I certainly hope not. Between the Dwarven scrap dealer and Arana's ritual, everything seems to point to this location. I only mean that Lady Belain may be operating off a totally different set of suppositions."
Why do you think the Gray Host needs the Arkthzand Keystone?"Dwarven keystones not only provide access to forbidden or otherwise sealed areas, they also tend to radiate ancient magic. The uses for such a relic are potentially limitless. I won't be able to determine more until I see the keystone itself."
After exploring Bthar-Zel:
"My friend. I thought I could catch Rada and Lady Belain. Convince him to... Anyway, I'm sorry I failed us. They acquired the keystone and escaped across the river. Toward that Dwarven structure in the distance."
So what do we do now, Verandis?"Unlike Gwendis, we can't rush off without a plan. Clear heads will win the day, mark my words. This contest is far from over. With a fresh trail to follow and new allies at our side, victory is closer than ever. And much of that is because of you."
Show: The Study of Souls
"This must be Blackreach. I've read the legends, but I never thought it was real. The stories hardly do it justice. Perhaps one day I'll have a chance to explore it more fully. For now, we have work to do. Are you still with me, friend?"
I'm with you, but Lady Belain took the Arkthzand Keystone."Ah, the keystone. What is it and how is it connected to that Dwarven structure? Why are they so important to Rada and Lady Belain? Perhaps they seek to harness some sort of Dwarven sorcery? Regardless, we can't allow them to achieve their goal."
Should we go after them?"Yes, but we need to proceed with caution. We don't know the purpose of the keystone, and we don't know what they plan to do with it. That said, we are not without our own talents. We can overcome and obstacles and find a way forward. We always do."
I'll help you find a way into that Dwarven ruin."I'll meet you across the river. Together, we'll find a way to enter the ruin. Seeing Rada again. It reopened many old wounds. He wasn't always the villain. At least, I like to think he wasn't. Ah, a fools hope is a dangerous thing."
You seem conflicted about Rada al-Saran."Conflicted? I suppose you could say that. We were friends once. Partners in a great and noble undertaking. And then Rada... changed. Or maybe it was me. Who can say? He betrayed what we believed in. And then he died. Or at least, I thought he did."
But we have to stop Rada al-Saran, right?"Without a doubt. Rada's plans, whatever they are, will prove catastrophic to the mortal realm if allowed to proceed unchecked. I hope I can talk to him. Appeal to his better half and make him see reason. If not, I'll do whatever I must to end this."
Why didn't you realize Lady Belain is a vampire?"We have the ability to mask our conditions from mortals, but it takes a powerful vampire indeed to hide from another of our kind. As much as I hate to admit it, Belain fooled me. I can tell you this-she's unlike any vampire I've met before."
What do you mean?"All vampires carry the stain of Molag Bal. It's the inescapable reality of our condition. But Lady Belain, I sensed something else inside her. A vacant darkness. Still, if I can speak to Rada, perhaps we can settle this without bloodshed."
Any guess as to what they plan to do with the Arkthzand Keystone?"[?]
After exploring the Dwarven ruin:
"This is where Rada and Lady Belain entered the structure, but I can't find any way to open the doors. I suspect this may be why they need the keystone."
So how do we follow them without a keystone of our own?"A good question. Let's look around. Not all of the ruin remains intact. Portions have crumbled over the ages. Perhaps we can find a path through the rubble. Just be cautious. I've seen both constructs and shadowy creatures prowling this ruin."
Constructs and shadowy creatures?"The constructs are Dwarven and expected. The shadows... some sort of beings made of inky darkness. Quite unsettling. And potentially dangerous. Something unusual has taken hold of this place."
Any idea what this place might have been?"I wish I could say for certain. I've done precious little reading on Dwarven ruins. I do recall the name Arkthzand being connected to a university or library.... This place does have a sort of academic look to it, don't you think?"
The shadow beings you mentioned. Do you think they're Dwarves?"I see nothing Dwarven in their manner or appearance. Dwarves were meticulous scholars. Their constructs, their architecture. Everything was precise and controlled. These shades are like wild animals. Whatever spawned them may not be Dwarven at all."
Arana sensed something down here. She called it a darkness."Reach magic strikes me as wild and unpredictable. Arana clearly shares a strong connection with the ebb and flow of the spirits, though. She might have sensed these creatures, but I suspect something else caused her distress."
Something else?"The source of these shadow beings. These shades. I sense a corruption... a void. The longer I'm close to it, the longer I suspect it may be the very thing that drew Rada and Lady Belain here in the first place. Stay alert, my friend."
Baron Alard Dorell: "You sent the Guard west? To chase a rumor? We need those troops to protect Shornhelm!" Countess Eselde Tamrith: "Only some of them, Baron. My father would have done the same. Captain Janeve will discover the truth and report back." Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Countess, Baron, please. We must remain focused. As long as Montclair controls the upper city, the whole region remains at risk." Baron Alard Dorell: "How can we trust you, Count Ravenwatch? Your friendship with Montclair is well known. What did you offer those captains to betray us?" Countess Eselde Tamrith: "I care for the Count even less than you, Baron, but he hasn't done anything to warrant such accusations—yet." Baron Alard Dorell: "We must end this debate and take action! Make an example of the two traitors and retake the upper city! How can the two of you not see that?" Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "I do not disagree, Baron, but we need to proceed with caution. There is more to this situation than meets the eye. I know I make you both nervous. Perhaps we should continue this after our blood has cooled." Countess Eselde Tamrith: "Mind your tempers, gentlemen. We have a visitor. Come forward, friend, and state your business." Baron Alard Dorell: "Bah! You both try my patience. I can almost understand what drove Montclair to abandon our triumvirate."
Countess Eselde Tamrith: "This Reezal-Jul seized nobles! Such brazen acts must not be tolerated, Baron!" Baron Alard Dorell: "Indeed. It is time to act, Countess. No more talk. No more debate." Countess Eselde Tamrith: "How can we walk in the Light if we leave innocent townsfolk to languish ... wait, are you agreeing with me?" Baron Alard Dorell: "Don't look so shocked, Eselde. It was bound to happen eventually. Our friend will go to the Mews to free the hostages and stop the reinforcements while we assault the upper city. A two-pronged approach." Countess Eselde Tamrith: "Well, all right then. Baron, if you would. Give the command and rally the Shornhelm Guard." Baron Alard Dorell: "It will be my pleasure! It's time to show those Montclair cowards what it means to betray the people of Rivenspire!." Countess Eselde Tamrith: "One moment, friend. I may know something about the Fevered Mews."
Eat too fast
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Gwendis, my child, slow down. You eat too fast. You don't want to harm poor Kallin." Gwendis: "We need to eat to get stronger. When Montclair shows up, I want to be ready!" Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "That is not our way, child, and you know it. Stop feating. Now!" Gwendis: "Fine. Whatever. I mean, I'm sorry, Count Verandis. You know I only want to help." Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Of course, my child. Now, let's clear away our meal and welcome our friend. Kallin, as always, I thank you for sharing your life's blood with us." Kallin: "I live to pelase, my lord."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Adusa, please make sure Gwendis behaves herself. Poor Kallin needs time to recover." Adusa-daro: "The little one gets no dessert this evening. Adusa will make sure."
Power of the Remnant
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "You must do exactly as I taught you. The power of the Remnant will call to you, tempt you. You must be strong enough to withstand that lure." Gwendis: "I'm ready for this. You know that. Stop treating me like I'm a novice, Verandis. I won't fail you. I won't let you down." Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "You have never disappointed me, Gwendis. But the Remnant is more powerful than you can imagine. Be on your guard. Now head inside. I'll join you in a moment."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "This is where it happened. Where Leila died and Montclair ... changed." Gwendis: "Where are Montclair's forces? I thought for sure we'd have to fight a horde of bloodfiends to make it through this place." Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Montclair is a strategist. He's waiting for us to make a mistake that he can take advantage of. I fear tat mistake is about to be made." Baron Alard Dorell: "Soldiers, spread out! Secure the chamber!" Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "You should have heeded my warning, Baron. This is no place for you." Countess Eselde Tamrith: "You would deny our moment of glory, Count? The Light shines on us this day!" Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "There is no light here, Countess. Only darkness and death." Countess Eselde Tamrith: "Arkay protect us! What is that?" Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Baron Montclair. He's here." Baron Alard Dorell: "Troops! On my command!" Baron Wylon Montclair: "Welcome, Verandis! And like a good guest, I see you've brought me gifts to play with. Allow me to grant my blessing to your army." Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "This is exactly what I feared! He's turned our own troops into bloodfiends!" Baron Wylon Montclair: "How does it feel to watch those who you care about turn against you, Verandis? How does it feel?"
[After the battle] Baron Wylon Montclair: "My wife ... my daughter ... you've taken everything I ever loved, Verandis!" Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Wylon, I'm sorry. I never meant for any of this to happen." Baron Wylon Montclair: "My daughter loved you, Verandis. She loved you!" Gwendis: "The Remnant ... the power. It drove Lleraya insane! Are those giant skeletons?"
[After the second battle] Baron Wylon Montclair: "You've grown strong, Verandis. Your allies grant you strength." Baron Alard Dorell: "Come out and face us, you coward! You can't hide from us forever!" Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Wylon, please. We can find a way to free you from this power." Baron Wylon Montclair: "To what end, my old friend? My wife is dead. My daughter, killed by your own hand. What do I have, if not this power? I think I'd prefer to let you experience my pain. My suffering. To let you see what it's like to lose everything you hold dear!" Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "No, Montclair! Stop this madness!" Baron Wylon Montclair: "Come, Gwendis. You look famished. Allow me to prepare you a feast fit for my new queen!" Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "No, Montclair! Please!"
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "Gwendis? What has he done to you?" Gwendis: "Verandis ... help. Please, help me. Their blood ... smells so good! These restraints. They won't hold me back much longer." Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "You must control yourself, Gwendis. We'll find a way to get you out of there. Show yourself, Wylon! Tell me what you want! Damn you Montclair! Answer me! I'm sorry, my friend, but it seems we're going to have to play Montclair's game to free the others."
Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The power is dropping! Gwendis, are you all right?" Gwendis: "I ... I did it. I resisted! I didn't feed. Wait, what happened to the nobles? Did ... did I remember wrong?" Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "They're fine. Merely unconscious. I'm proud of your restraint, Gwendis." Darien Gautier: "What's going on in here? Is the Countess all right?" Skordo the Knife: "Damn it, Darien! Slow down! Wait for me, you long-legged bastard." Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "The Baron and the Countess are fine. But you both arrived just in time to move them to safety." Darien Gautier: "Take them out? But we just got here. We want to help take down Montclair! Neither of us had a good fight in ... well, it's been at least a couple minutes." Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "No, Darien. This battle is not one that you and Skordo can win. Leave Montclair to us." Darien Gautier: "But ... but ... oh, very well! But I get to help take down the next would-be world conquerer we come across. Deal?" Count Verandis Ravenwatch: "As you wish, brave Darien, as you wish. And now, my friend, the time has come to face Montclair."
"You must break free of her spell before all is lost!" — During "The Liberation of Northpoint"
"Just as in Lorkrata, Lleraya has cast a veil. It hides her. Protects her. You must find a way to enter the illusion. The basement! I can feel slight imperfections in the spell down there." — During "The Liberation of Northpoint"
"The veil is a powerful illusion. But just as at Lorkrata, you can manipulate its power using a tear. You have entered the veil. Now find Lleraya and finish this." — During "The Liberation of Northpoint"
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