Elder Scrolls - The Cosmic Threat

Avatar of Talos

When he regained consciousness he was tied to the mast, along with his companions. The argonians, who he had made the mistake of trusting, were commencing the attack on the large, fancy ship. Ethigrim liked to think the best of people, so when the Argonian captain had reluctantly agreed to turn his back on his fellow pirates and take them to their destination as he had promised, Ethigrim had believed him.
But he had been betrayed. The lizard was a liar and a pirate and an unrepentant sinner.
And now, having tied up Ethigrim and his friends, sought to practice his sinful ways at the expense of innocent lives, as well as Llyjek. Although Ethigrim had little love for the elf, they were brothers in cause and had fought side by side, and Ethigrim would not see him die, least of all in a situation as unworthy as this.

The lizards didn’t pay any attention to Ethigrim – and why should they? He was tied up, was he not? He had no armour, no weapon, no shield. They thought him helpless.

Fools. While he had his faith, a true servant of Talos was never helpless. I’ll show them the error of their ways.

“So, either of you got some of that there magic?” Harbront asked.
“Magic? Oh yes. I think I’ve got just the thing.” Ethegrim responded.

His eyes filled with white light as he channelled the power of his god. His soul flared with holy energies, which spread through his veins. As it did, he grew. The ropes strained and the ship groaned as Blizzardbeard grew larger and larger.
Then, finally, with a mighty roar, he pushed his legs downwards, tearing the mast from the hull. The argonians scrambled to surround them, and his friends took up battle stances. Ethigrim tossed the mast to the side. The pirates had been given the chance to save themselves. They had squandered it for the promise of earthly trinkets, and now their lives were forfeit. Magic energy built up inside him again, and he let loose his battle cry:

ALL SINNERS, FEAR THE WRATH OF TALOS!”


Chaos. Screams. Smoke.
Ethigrim was caught up in the heat of battle. His giant form, now made of iron, towered above the pirates, and none could – or dared – lay a hand on him. He noticed a group of argonians attempting to repair the ship.

“Oh no you don’t” he growled, starting towards them.

The deck gave way beneath Ethigrim, and he fell. Although the landing was rough, he felt no pain. In this moment He was the avatar of Talos, and destruction was all he knew. He recited another prayer as he rose to his feet again, and his body filled with holy energy yet again.
There would be no survivors this day.

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Legends

Ethigrim had never seen a dragon. His father had often spoken about them, with a mix of fear and awe in his voice.
Dragons were the greatest of foes, a worthy challenge to the greatest of warriors.
Seeing one now, in a cave beneath the sea, was more than a little exciting to Ethigrim. The creature, covered in scales and spikes, was abhorrent but majestic. When it spoke in its native tongue each syllable chilled his very bones.
Dragons were thought to be extinct, the Dragonborn killed the last of them. The knowledge that one was still alive gave Ethigrim a twisted sense of joy: One day, Nord warriors might once again get to test their mettle against these beasts of legend.


…or not. He had been so awestruck by the presence of the dragon that he had forgotten that its kind was utterly evil, every last one of them.
It soon became apparent, however, as the beast demanded the crown of a Jarl in exchange for the artefact they sought.
He, and his companions, tried reasoning with the creature, but even the death of the entire world did not overcome the monster’s greed.

Ethigrim let out a frustrated sigh. He looked over to Llyjek, and their eyes met. Although they did not see eye to eye in most matters, this was an exception.
Talk was getting them nowhere. It was time for battle.

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Enough bloody chit chat

Llyjek had had enough. Talk was getting them nowhere and this bastard dragon was getting on his nerves. Words achieved nothing and this only served to prove it. Everyone was made of wind and noise no drive no passion no chance.

The fat useless mage in the college of Winterhold seriously believed that stopping the mass extinction of all life on earth would have to wait while someone retrieved an old helmet from a vault. Let’s face it the bloody thing wasn’t going anywhere soon but no we just had to go trudging through the tundra and swimming through an ice cold very deep sea for this monumental ball bag.

Oh yes I will of course help you but first you must go and get attacked by drugar in the bottom of an underwater ancient graveyard. Bloody Nords who built these things here it’s ridiculous. That bloody dragon. Oh yes, I’ll give you what you want but you’ll have to get me what I want and to get that you’ll have to get someone else something else JUST SHUT UP!!! Enough of this bullshit enough waiting we’re damn well taking that helm and if that damn mage has anything to say other than “I’m on my way” his going to get his legs broke. Now to handle this flying rat.

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The Fatherland

It had been a long, long time, but Ethigrim found his homeland exactly the same as he had left it. Its white glistening peaks reached into the sky, a monument to the glory of its inhabitants, and a warning sign to would-be invaders.
“Beware,” it said. “This is the home of the Nords. The animals, the weather, and the land itself culls the weak and the cowardly. Our very ancestors take up weapons against us to make sure that only true warriors persevere.
This is Skyrim, the land that breeds heroes.”

It was good to be back. None of the exhausting heat of Hammerfell, none of the sickening bureaucracy of Cyrodiil, just the invigorating cold wind.
The loss of Amir still weighed heavily on Ethigrim’s heart. He would have liked to show him Skyrim, where the best efforts of the Empire could not extinguish the light of Talos.
He shook his head. Enough of this. Amir was in Sovngarde, and Ethigrim’s attention was required by the living. It was good that they were in Skyrim – here they might have a chance of finding someone to take Amir’s place.
A cold notion, but sentimentality would not win any battles.

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Undue Scorn

Some people are just ungrateful. Llyjek had destroyed the dwemer machines ensuring the safety of the group as a whole. Granted there had been some collateral damage but it was clear that the Redguard, whatever his name was, was dead already. They seemed to be blaming him for their inability to deal with the grief. Pathetic really. If they had been able to handle themselves he wouldn’t have needed to intervene. In fact these people were heaping scorn on him from all sides, undeservedly. Why do your bombs hit us Llyjek? Why can’t you heal us Llyjek? Why can’t you be more helpful Llyjek? Why can’t you save us Llyjek? First off, if you don’t want to catch fire don’t stand in the blast radius, simple. Second, researching healing for other people takes time, time that could be better spend learning how to stop the damage in the first place by killing the cause. Prevention is better than a cure. Thirdly, helpful, really, who had figured out the stairs in this place? Who spoke the language? Who had committed the acts which needed to be done but no other seemed willing to do? Who was willing to commit small, necessary crimes in order to save the world? If these people were serious about this they would stop playing games and get their priorities straight. Lastly of course, he had vowed to save the world, not them, and one life was worth sacrificing to save millions. There were always more adventurers ready to throw themselves on the prior for glory and fame.

Sentimentality. That was the problem. These people were too sentimental to get the job done. If this continued on the world was doomed. No half measures. Either you were strong enough to complete the job or you were left rotting by the wayside. Empires are built upon the ashes of the weak and frail by strong men with the vision to take what they wanted. This was the kind of drive that was needed to save the world. It wasn’t his fault if the others couldn’t see that, but that was their lot, after all they were the ones who would be killed by their ignorance. For example, they would have considered taking the redguards’ weapons and gold an insult, but that attitude wasted resources which were sorely needed. Another, whilst they would have taken a long time to carefully lower the corpse down the shaft, it was faster and easier to simply tip him down. In fact leaving him there was easiest but that seemed to be non-negotiable. Time was precise. All they had rested on ticking hands. Whatever the case, he didn’t need their approval, he just needed their help. Skyrim lay before them and another “Wizard”. Another step in the plan. Another part of formula. There’s no sentimentality here. No half measures. It’s all just alchemy.

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Memento Mori

The landing was rough, knocking the breath out of Ethegrim. He lay in the dark for a couple of seconds, mumbling a silent prayer to Talos to calm and focus his mind, before getting back on his feet.

He waved his hand over his mace, causing the mace to emit white light, and held it up like a torch.
It seemed he had fallen quite far – the walls here looked natural, more like an underground cavern than a temple. The collapsed stairs which he had fallen from were far too high up to get back to.
With no way to communicate or reunite with the rest of the group, Ethigrim held up his torch and started off into the cavern – a lone beacon of light in the vast darkness.


That thrice-damned knife-ear. That craven heretic. If he would not show respect, let him help himself down. Amir was worth a hundred of him, even in death. Ethigrim would give him a warriors funeral.
He carried Amirs burnt and broken body to the river, and lay him down in one of the boats.
In the way of his ancestors, he put the warriors hands on his chest, gripping his sword (although his favoured weapon, the bow, was suspiciously missing).
Then, lastly, he altered the spell on his mace, causing the light to turn into actual flame. He set his formed comrade aflame, and sent the boat down the river.

For a warrior of Talos, death in battle is expected and glorious. Still, a holy light had been snuffed out and the world was worse off for it. True believers were rare in this age, and every time one falls the worlds salvation drifts a little further away.

“Farewell, my friend. May we meet again in the halls of Sovngarde” Ethigrim whispered. As Amir’s burning body drifted down the stream, and his soul went on to glorious afterlife, Ethigrim Blizzardbeard remained in Tamriel – a lone beacon of light in the vast darkness.

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Scars

Ethigrim studied his own reflection. He had not returned unmarked from those ruins: his cheek was scarred and his eyes bore the colour of ice in starlight. This did not trouble him – indeed, he rather liked it. Any worshipper of Talos worth a damn should have battle scars, and the glow of his eyes showed that he was truly touched by his Lord.

Their quest was off to a promising start, although much still lay ahead. A redguard, a nord, an orc, an elf and an argonian made for an unlikely fellowship and unlikelier heroes, but heroes they would be. A thankless job, but in a world this corrupt, justice was its own reward. And besides, a grand gesture like this might help the Empire see the folly of their heretical ways.
Ethigrim would drag them to salvation, whether they wanted it or not.

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The Adventure Begins
Pitof and Peveral

The adventure begins with the party meeting up for the first time at the Imperial City jail in Cyrodill. Harbrônt, Llyjek and Ethigrim begin this story being released early from their cells by Captain Varen with an interesting proposal. Amir had been contacted by an imperial agent in a tavern many miles away in Hammerfell and Skaos had been sent to the Imperial City from vision given by a hist tree in the murky swamps of Black Marsh. The proposal? investigate a party of doomsayers predicting the end of the world and preaching their ideas in the Market District every day. Captain Varen suspected this group to be Aldmeri agents creating discord among the Imperial citizens to de-stable the Empires war effort. The reward? Gold, and for the three ex-prisoners the reward would also be their freedom.

The party began by briefly acquainting themselves with each other in a tavern in the city before making their way to the market district to see the doomsayers for themselves. At 3pm the group emerged dressed in lavish purple robes with one (their suspected leader) having a gold rimmed hood and sleeves. After their daily demonstration the party decided to follow this leader all the way to his home. There it was thought the best plan would be to force their way in. This plan was abandoned when a group of Imperial Guards stopped the burglary.

The next day the party decided to try again at following a group member but 3pm came with no sign of the doomsayers. Confused the party thought it best to try breaking in to the leaders house again. This time more planning went in to breaking and entering with Skaos distracting the guards while Llyjek and Ethigrim climbed in through the window. The party successfully gained entry without arising suspicion to find themselves in a large and grand house atop a tall tower. While attempting to sneak through the house the Breton owners of the house heard them and searched for them. The party managed to grapple and subdue the Bretons, one of which was wearing the gold and purple robes they had seen the previous day. While the two Bretons were tied up the party searched the house discovering a large telescope on the top floor.

The party wished to know more so they began to interrogate the two Bretons (who are brothers) called Pitof and Peveral . It was Peveral who had been preaching in the streets whereas Pitof was far more grounded and sane compared to his brother. They (although mostly Pitof) had been studying the stars for many years and recently Pitof had discovered what seemed to be a celestial object growing larger in his field of vision of the telescope, suggesting that it could be a object from space threatening to crash into Nirn. Pevereal needed no more convincing that the world was going to end however Pitof was not yet sure and told the party he needed more investigation before he could be conclusive. He did not think his telescope, and his knowledge alone, would be enough to study the cosmic object to the extent required. Pitof, as an apology for breaking into his home and tying him to a chair, requested the party to investigate the abandoned Arcane University which he suspected may house a much larger more powerful telescope. With some negotiating the party eventually agreed to investigate the Arcane University with the request that Peveral cease his ramblings in the street and that the party would be paid in gold.

The party gained access to the locked and abandoned Arcane University through the labyrinthine sewers beneath the Imperial City overcoming a handful of diseased rats and a river of 200 year old excrement along the way. The party explored the University in the dead of night discovering that indeed it did still house a large and powerful telescope but the lens on the end had been damaged scattering large shards of glass on the floor around it. The party returned to Pitof with the mixed news. Pitof took the rest of the evening to think about what to do next.

The next morning Pitof had a plan. He reckoned the telescope in the University could be repaired. Within the deserts of Hammerfell there is an impressive Dwemer city which has a massive curved glass ceiling buried under the sand. This glass ceiling could be cut down, cleaned, and used as the lens for the telescope. However the party would need to transport this huge piece of glass across a great distance. Fortunately Pitof was knowledgeable in the ruins of ancient civilisations and had heard of an Ayleid ruin in Cyrodill which contained a very powerful Varla stone which, when charged, could change the physical properties of an object including its size and weight. With this the party could carry the makeshift lens back to the Imperial City. Pitof Also required gears for the telescope to be moved around with suggesting the party collect Dwemer gears. Amir volunteered to craft some gears in the city to be used which Pitof agreed would suffice.

Pitof also would need help studying this object in space so gave three names of intelligent wizards with a knowledge of the stars for the party to seek out and bring to the Arcane University to help his studies. These are; Ulfer, a Dunmer wizard who lives and works in the College of Winterhold of Skyrim, Elara, a Breton magic advisor to the Noble house of Gawad Du in High Rock and Scorva, an Argonian hermit who lives in a cave near the summit of the volcanic Red Mountain in Morrowind.

Before the party can do any of this however they will first need to officially regain access to the Arcane University. The party will need approval from the Empire to open the gates of the University for the first time in 200 years.

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