As my eyes slowly adjusted to the dimmed darkness, I realized I had made my ‘destination’. A dark musty cell, with a window of sorts well above my reach - moonlight spilling into the cell softly. Rising slowly to my feet, using the cold stone wall as support, I discovered a rusted gate, there was surprisingly strong, despite it's obvious age.
From beyond the gate a lustful voice spoke, ‘I must surely be dead and in the halls of Azura to look upon such a sight. You’re a goddess, my dear. How you came to be in these parts - I know not - but one of the guards owe me a favor, I could get us put in the same cell, for a time. If you get my meaning’.
‘I’d watch your tongue, if it weren’t for these bars. I can promise you, it wouldn’t be very pretty. If you catch my meaning’’, I seethed back through the shadows.
‘Oh, a feisty one. You best better be careful, an Imperial looking goddess like you - half naked as well - in a place no one cares what happens to you.. well, being feisty won’t help you, especially with the guards. You hear that? The guards are coming. For you,’ the lust driven voice replied back to me, followed by a menacing laugh.
Mere moments had passed till I found out the voice had spoken true. People were coming down the stairs. The clank of their armor and heavy footsteps told me they were armed. As fear flooded my body, one thought only came to mind - was that menacing voice right?
No, snap out of it. You’re a Daedra for Oblivion sake. Not some helpless feeble mortal woman.
Pressing myself up against the shadows, hoping my would-be attackers wouldn’t see me, I waited. Balling my fists, ‘feeling’ for any emotions from them or any other sounds at all that could help me out - but nothing. As I heard a key being hastily placed into the aged lock, I prepared myself for the possibility that this might be the last fight of my life.
Hearing the rusted door slowly open, screeching as metal rubbed up against metal, I pounced. My fists flying, aiming for anything, just as long as I could make it count. ‘Argh, what in Oblivion -‘, a pained yet surprised masculine voice exclaimed as my fist hit flesh. Shortly followed by a sudden powerful bash, knocking me down to the ground by one of my assailants.
Hitting the ground hard, stunning me briefly, I heard one of my assailants draw their weapon from its sheath, Seconds later, I felt it digging into my neck, drawing a droplet of blood.
‘Renault, sheathe your blade,’ an old royal like voice, firmly requested. ‘As you wish sire,’ Renault dutifully replied, removing her sword from my neck.
As I slowly started rising to my feet - curious about who these people were - I heard what sounded like gears grinding against each other, followed by the right wall moving swinging open towards me. Suddenly, I was blinded by a faint light, coming from the inside ‘tunnel’ and spilling into my cell.
As my eyes readjusted to the light, I was finally able to see them. An elderly, royal like old man protected by three mortals, armed in metallic grey armor, covering them from head to toe, leaving only their faces visible, adorned with what looked like gold in certain areas. Each one armed with an equally adorned steel sword and shield.
As I started rising to my feet, he spoke again. ‘I am Emperor Uriel Septim VII. These are my Blades, bodyguards if you will. Glenroy, Renault and no doubtedly you know Baurus,’ gesturing to each one as they entered the hidden wall ‘the one with the black eye, that you so happened to give him. You can help us. You must help us.’
‘Why? I could just -‘, seeing my only other exit locked again - ‘nevermind. Why though? I hardly know you -‘, raising his hand, abruptly silencing me.
‘Your fate is tied to the fate of Tamriel. You alone can stop the coming darkness. Beware though, there will be much bloodshed and tears before the end,’ the Emperor cryptically told me
My fate tied is tied to Tamriel? The coming darkness? What is going on?
As the Emperor started to join his Blades - without awaiting my reply - I looked on my options. I could sit here and slowly rot, wait for the inevitable unpleasantries or I could leave - follow this Emperor and escape this place. It didn’t take me long at all to make my decision.
Running down the stone walled tunnel, not knowing where I was going, I slammed into the back of the Blades, stumbling us both. ‘Ah, it’s you prisoner. You gave me a damn fright,’ said one of the figure. As I finally got a good look at him, I realized in shock - it was the same one I hit earlier.
‘Just call me, Jaciel. Apologies about the black eye,’ I replied with rather hastily. ‘Aye, no worries. Great shot though, I’ll give you that. Name’s Baurus. Come on, time is wasti-.’
‘Baurus! Form up! Prisoner, protect the Emperor with your life!,’ ordered a rather feminine voice from just up ahead. Feeling fear spark with Baurus, I knew the voice spoke true. Wordlessly, we ran towards the sound of battle.
Reaching the end of the tunnel, we saw the battle. A five of mortals, cloaked in jet black armor and blood red robes. Each one swinging summoned Daedric weaponry, casting the occasional spell, attempting to overwhelm the Blades with pure strength alone.
‘Mythic Dawn agents…,’ breathed Baurus right beside me before joining his fellow Blades in the protective half circle, leaving me to defend the Emperor. The metallic twang of blood, as well as the pained grunts from our assailants, burdened my senses, almost overwhelming me.
Suddenly, a burning, red hot, fireball came out of nowhere, hitting Renault in the abdomen - sending her flying through the air - and hitting the stone wall with an almighty crack.
As I rushed to Renault, abandoning the Emperor, I began surveying the damage. A large burn mark, just below her breastplate, was all that was left of the fireball, which had melted through the armor and charred organs beneath.
Realizing nothing could be done to save her, I grabbed Renault’s sword, still held by her and charged head first into the fray. Dodging weapons and spells as they flew right past me, while I attempted to cut through the Mythic Dawn at any opening I got.
Breathing heavily, the battle was finally over. Surveying the area, I saw Glenroy and Baurus near the point of exhaustion, blood dripping off their swords, their shields dented from the furious attacks. All around them, the corpses of the Mythic Dawn, while burnt stone and flesh hovered in the air. Meanwhile, the Emperor had hid nearby surprisingly calm.
‘You may as well keep it, Jaciel. Thank you, but next time. Protect the Emperor and stay behind us,’ firmly scolded Baurus, as Glenroy was notifying he Emperor of Renault’s untimely death.
‘Alright, I’ll take point. Let’s move people,’ order Glenroy, leading the way through the white stoned sewers.
As we left Renault and the area, it was quiet, too quiet. No ambushes, no rats, nothing besides that disgusting stench and our footsteps echoing off the stone walls. Nothing but stone walls, and torches ablaze as we walked
As we approached our exit - a rusty locked gate - I felt dread slowly start to develop between the Emperor’s acting bodyguards, Baurus and Glenroy. Before we could discuss our next move, we heard them.
Hidden pathways within the coarse stone walls begun slowly opening, spewing out a score of Mythic Dawn agents, each one armed to the teeth - charging towards us.
‘Protect the Emperor, Jaciel! For the Dragonfires!,’ shouted Baurus as he blocked a Daedric Mace aimed for him.
Once again, all I could do was watch - protecting the Emperor - while the Blades formed another half circle and slowly began cutting down our assailants. But, they were getting fatigued from the fight - each swing from Glenroy and Baurus became weaker, each block gradually slower and slower.
The room was slowly becoming something out of a nightmare; corpses of the Mythic Dawn on the ground along, pained sounds from both sides, the sounds of weapons scraping on metal and sometimes flesh.
Could this possibly get any worse?
Suddenly, as if some being read my thoughts, I saw a blood stained Daedric Mace crush the side of Glenroy’s helmet as if it was paper, sending his body falling to the ground. Over the clashing of battle, I heard it.
Coarse stone grinding on stone behind me, releasing a single Mythic Dawn agent. The sudden blur of crimson red shadow sped past the corner of my eye. The agents’ Daedric sword glistening ever so slightly from the torchlight as I heard a pained gasp from the Emperor as the agents’ weapon effortlessly sliced his neck open, spraying blood all over me.
Tightening my grip on my sword, I charged towards the murderer. Before I could even strike, he swung aiming for chest - barely dodging it - I swung my blade, aiming for any part of him. Somehow I struck his upper legs, just below his armor, sending him stumbling back in pain. Using what little surprise I had, rammed my sword between his ribs hitting a weak point in his robed armor. Piercing his heart, killing him instantly.
Leaving the dead agent, I hurried to the Emperor, attempting to stop the bleeding as Baurus tirelessly finished with the final Mythic Dawn agent. Knowing it was too late, the Emperor gripped my wrist tight and calmly yet struggled to speak.
‘Take my Amulet to Jauffre at Weynon Priory, near Chorrol. He alone knows where to find my last heir. Find him… and close shut the jaws of…. Oblivion.’
What in Oblivion have I gotten myself into…