Sherlene Thibaus was trekking through the fresh snow as her team of four followed suit. The breton had endured this miserable cold from the blizzard for hours on end, but she wasn’t about to let her trail go cold. Doesn’t matter if it’s the treacherous swamps of Morthal or the freezing cold of Dawnstar, she was determined to stop these cultists in their tracks. She then wondered why the cultists themselves were inside this blizzard, but then again, Sheogorath’s servants were extremely unpredictable and usually did things for seemingly no reason. The only thing that mattered to her was that they weren’t unstoppable.
She then turned around to her team for a quick glance. They were all covered in heavy plate armor like herself and all carried either a large two-handed weapon or a sword and shield. Even with her team fully decked out she still worried for them. Ever since she had joined the vigilants, people were dying left and right on missions with her. Sherlene just thought it was because the vigils would take anyone who could carry a sword, but she had the feeling something else was at play. She suddenly saw a silhouette of a man in the harsh blizzard.
“Excuse me sir? Do you need any help through the storm?” She continues to approach the mysterious figure as her team follows suit. Suddenly, the figure sprints at her.
“CHEEEEESE!” he yells at the top of his lungs. He lunges at Shelene with all of his energy and starts smearing a goat cheese wedge on her helm. This was a follower of the daedric prince of madness without a doubt. After the cheese, the madman reaches for a dagger from his back before one of her team members charged in. One fell swoop of his greatsword lopped off the madman’s head with ease.
Sherlene removed her helm now covered in cheese grease obscuring her view, revealing her messy and short brown hair with her eyes to match. She gave a firm nod to her sudden saviour as she got back on her feet. She unsheated her enormous battle-axe and charged into some more silhouettes in the distance, realizing their nefarious motives as followers of Sheogorath. With no hesitation, she lodged her battle-axe into one of their skulls, killing the receiver instantly. Another one seriously rushed Sherlene with a rusty fork, but that didn’t make a dent on the confused Sherlene’s platemail.
Before she knew it, she felt a sharp pain in her back and turned around to see another madman. He got a pickaxe stabbed through her back, fortunately the puncture was rather shallow and missed her spine. Sherlene swung her battle-axe at the man, her thoughts and actions now fueled by adrenaline. Regrettably, the man was able to get another slash across Sherlene’s face. This caused a deep gash on the lower right side of her face as well as a cut under her right eye. This made Sherlene even more ferocious as she unleashed a series of rapid swings from desperation and rage. This effort sliced the man up into ribbons.
While Sherlene was immersed in her rage, the fork woman finally found an opening in Sherlene’s armor in her left leg. This made Sherlene have a mysterious feeling, as if she was being drained. She fell to one knee from the shock, she knew that she needed to retaliate fast. Fork lady tried to take advantage of this by lunging at Sherlene, but Sherlene got up quicker than fork lady anticipated. Sherlene then looked back at fork lady who had fallen into the snow, as she sliced off fork lady’s leg without hesitation.
Satisfied with her payback, Sherlene turned around to check on her teammates only to discover a tragedy waiting for her. An absolute blood bath, pure and simple. Everyone was dead, the cultists, Sherlene’s team, everyone, and there was blood everywhere. While she was distracted, fork lady made one last comeback as she stabs the back of her right knee. Sherlene fell down to her knees once more as she slowly tried to turn around, fork lady continuing to try and stab through her armor. In a strike fueled by grief, she lodged her weapon into the lady's stomach, forcing her intestines to drop to the snowy floor.
This took up Sherlene’s last bit of strength she had, collapsing right next to the fork lady’s body. The agony from her wounds plus her armor buckling under her forces her to stay prone. She tries to muster her magical power to heal herself only for nothing to happen. Then it hits her, the draining feeling she had earlier was a magicka draining poison from fork lady’s weapon.
She cursed in disbelief as she begins to crawl through the snow to get to safety, a crimson trail following her. Realizing her attempt was next to pointless, she began crying for help.
“Stendarr, god of mercy!” she yelped aloud in the howling winds. “Please! Save your humble servant so that she may continue to destroy evil!” She heard nothing. “Do something! Anything to save me!” She heard nothing. “Show the mercy you are known for and spare me! I BEG YOU!” She heard nothing.
She kept on crawling as she waited for something to happen. She kept moving for what seems like forever as she lost track of time. Eventually, she began to think on her time as a vigilant, and how so many of her teammates would die. She wondered why Stendarr would allow the deaths of so many people fighting for him, especially since he was the “god of mercy”.
Then an idea hit her, what if Stendarr being the “god of mercy” is a complete lie and he was just tricking his followers? Maybe he was just an entity who followed Boethiah, the Daedric Prince of betrayal, or even worse, what if he was Boethiah in disguise. She thought that could be the only explanation for all of the vigil’s loses as Boethiah loves the murder of mortals for almost no reason. She believed she understood why “Stendarr” didn’t care about any of his followers.
“Curse You!” She screamed out in anger, “You can’t manipulate me anymore!” She kept on crawling now fueled by her unyielding rage. This kept her moving for a lengthy amount of time until it seemed that her efforts yielded fruit.
She saw another silhouette of a human shape that seemed completely covered in armor. With her last bits of strength, Sherlene waved at the figure thinking it was another vigilant. The figure responded by slowly raising his hand to his head for a few seconds and putting it back down soon after. Sherlene was relieved to see someone finally come to her rescue. However, as the silhouette moved closer, she began to notice some off-putting features.
The first thing she noticed was the man’s size, he was about as tall as a giant if not larger. What made her really concerned though was the enormous but simple greatsword he was wielding with only one hand. Combine all of this with the fact that a helmet prevented her from seeing his face and you can understand why Sherlene was so distressed by this.
“You’ve got to be kidding me…” she murmured under her breath, yet all she could do was lay there and wait to see what the stranger would do. Fortunately, when he came within reach, the stranger simply picked her up with his open hand and began walking to what Sherlene presumed to be safety. She did not have the strength to find out because soon after she was picked up, she blacked out.
Sherlene woke up to warm, neatly stacked furs on top of and below her. A fire with logs organized in a triangle shape with a perfect stone circle surrounding it greeted the paladin warmly. Looking up, Sherlene saw she was under a cliff blocking all of the snow clouds sent her way. She also saw that it was the middle of the night she could tell not from the cloudy sky but from all of the snow changed from pure white to a more purplish shade. On the opposite side of the fire layed her armor and, shockingly, her battle-axe. The battle-axe was now clean from all of the blood and it looked to be sharpened. As Sherlene layed there, she wondered who that man was and how in Nirn did he find her battle-axe amidst the pile of bodies from earlier.
She didn’t have time to think of this, as she believed she needed to get moving to a town and fast. Who knows how long it will take before some bandits decide she’s their next payday? She got up from her bed, but as she did, she realized her wounds were bandaged and causing her little pain now. How long was she knocked out for? This question would have to wait as Sherlene put on her armor, grabbed her battle-axe and set off.
She began to go up the cliff side until she saw her saviour standing right next to a statue that looked a lot like him. He was still completely covered in armor with his greatsword in hand, yet Sherlene was understandably less intimidated by this now. She showed her bravery as she approached the armored figure, looking for answers and an opportunity to show appreciation.
“Thank you.” She spoke in a soft tone. The figure did not respond. “If I may sir, my name is Sherlene Thibaus, I was wondering if I could get yours?” This finally made the figure look at her, or at least she thought with the helmet and all. With this sudden change of attitude, the figure made a response.
“I am Jyggalag, Daedric Prince of Order.” Sherlene was shocked by this response, a daedric prince, here? In Nirn of all places? Even more confusing was that in her extensive research she did on the daedra, she had never heard about this “Jyggalag” before. Another thing perplexing her is that out of all of the power a daedric prince possesses, why did he waste his time for her? She continued the conversation to get these answers.
“If I may ask sir, why did you save me?” Jyggalag continued his blank stare with his response.
“This shrine is the only one in all of Skyrim and my oldest one. Those prophets of the mad god were looking to destroy this shrine and desecrate my name.” Sherlene realized what he was saying, she indirectly saved his oldest shrine from destruction. Realizing this, she shuffled closer to the armored giant as she advanced her questioning.
“No offense lord Jyggalag, but I’ve never heard of you in my studies of daedra, who are you really?” Jyggalag started to walk towards her. This worried Sherlene, did she offend him somehow? Luckily, there was no danger as Jyggalag passed her by to look over the horizon.
He looked towards Dawnstar which was surprisingly close to where the two were. He looked over the town, since it was night, the town was quiet and orderly with guards patrolling the areas. That was until someone came rushing out of their door screaming at the top of their lungs. A few others followed suit as mysterious nightmares brought chaos across the town. Jyggalag sighed, looking at the thing he dreaded the most, chaos.
“In a time before history was recorded, I was building a utopia of order in Oblivion. My influence grew immensely and it seemed an eternity of order was underway. Unfortunately, the other princes were jealous and fearful of me so they turned me into the one thing I dread most, madness." Sherlene was a bit freaked out by the sudden openness, but went along with what she was being taught.
“So you’re telling me they turned you into…”
“Sheogorath, yes. I was cursed like that for an era, then I would come back and reclaim my land. What I didn’t know was that everytime I reclaimed my realm, I’d turn back to madness. I was only recently freed from this torturous loop when a champion defeated me and took my place as Sheogorath.” Sherlene was shocked at this revelation.
“That’s why I never found anything about you. For the most part, you didn’t even exist!” Jyggalag nodded and continued.
“Now with my freedom, a new chance arises. My desire to build a world of order, peace, and fairness remains strong, and I must act on it.” Sherlene couldn’t believe she found a daedric prince with her ideas and interests. This seemed like the perfect replacement for “Stendarr”. Even though she just learned of him, he saved her life and empathizes with his ends.
“If what you say is true, then I see no reason why I should not assist you.” She bent down to one knee, this time willingly and not due to injury. She couldn’t tell what Jyggalag was thinking with his face-obscuring helmet. Luckily she found out when he used his colossal sword to touch Sherlene’s shoulders. This is when she realised her life was going to take a drastic turn once more.
“I dub thee my emissary and agent of order.” Sherlene was obviously surprised with the sudden acceptance.
“Huh. Well that was easy enough.” Sherlene commented
“I didn’t tell you yet, but before I manifested to Nirn, I saw you fight the cultists, and you handled yourself well… unlike the others. Also with my resurgence comes a high demand for followers, so I must act quickly. Speaking of which, I should probably look for Dyus now. May order light your way.”
As soon as he finished saying that, he vanished. Sherlene didn’t seem to mind as she already got what she wanted. Now that she’s working with a daedric prince, she was taking her first steps towards undermining Stendarr’s philosophy. The next step, become a summoner.