"I sense a disturbance in the force."
                          ----- Darth Vadar


We had a great dinner and huddled together during the night, grateful for the tent with protected us from the huge blizzard that enveloped the village for nearly the entire night.

We got up around 9 am, had a bite to eat, then ventured out into the new-fallen snow that had encrusted the village. The sky was a deep blue, playing innocent, as if no bad weather ever occurred here.

The guard nearby mentioned that Heart-Fang wanted to see me about an urgent matter, and was waiting for me in the Greathall.


"You have done well, Eldorf Dragonmeal." he proclaimed. "You have shown your loyalty and wisdom, but there is one thing further I will require of you. Now, you must prove your strength as a warrior."

All this, just to locate and retrieve the commander of a fort miles to the south. "Certainly." I replied. "What is needed?"

"I wish for you to travel to Lake Fjalding, the frozen lake to the south of our village." he replied. "Seek out our shaman, Korst Wind-Eye, who has traveled there already. He will give you further instructions. Look for him on the northern shore of the lake." Leaning closer, he also added "You might hurry, there's something odd going on there."


Thinking there might be some sort of gathering of beasts to fight, perhaps a bunch of bears or wolves, Laurenna and I headed back to our tent, got our weapons and armor, then headed south. Lake Fjalding was only a short walk south of the village, but as soon as the lake was in view, I could see why Heart-Fang indicated a sense of urgency to my mission. There was definitely some kind of disturbance requiring the services of a Mage.


A huge plum of flame was coming up from the lake itself.

Laurenna let out a short whistle. "Oh, that's definitely not right." she said. "In all my years as a Nord, I've never seen anything like that before."


Just on the northern shore of the lake, we noticed Korst Wind-Eye waving to us. "Ah, you've arrived." he shouted as we approached.

"What's the story on the lake?" asked Laurenna, anticipating my question. He shook his head in disbelief.

"These are strange times, my friends." he replied. "I am unsure what magic is being worked to cause such as disturbance on the lake, but were you sent here to prove your strength."

He look directly at me, indicating Laurenna should stay behind. Laurenna, being a Nord herself, and understanding these kinds of tests, did not protest.

"So, what do you think? Fire Antroch?" I asked.

"Hmm, fire from water, flame through ice. Strange indeed." he replied. "Heart-Fang believes that a Draugr Lord who lives beneath the lake is the source of this, but I am not certain. I fear that this could be a sign of the Bloodmoon Prophecy, though I pray to the All-Maker that this is not so."

"I have heard that term since arriving on Solstheim." I interjected. "What exactly IS a draugr? The only thing I know about them is that they're not very friendly."

"Ah, the draugr." he replied, as a wise old shaman would. "Once, they were warriors much like the Skaal. Trapped and hungry on this island, they feasted on the flesh of their fallen comrades, which is a crime against nature. The All-Maker cursed them with undeath, forever doomed to walk the land in search of more of the flesh of man to consume."

It would have been better if this All-Maker simply cursed them with death. They were certainly an annoyance to us so far. "What am I supposed to do to prove my strength?" I asked. "Do battle with a pillar of fire?" I meant that last part as a joke, but he didn't seem to get it.

"Heart-Fang has sent you here to show your strength, your ability to survive in the harshest of conditions." he replied. "Beneath that lake there are a series of ice caves. In one of those caves, you will find Aesliip, a Draugr Lord. Heart-Fang believes he is the one responsible for the disturbance on the lake."

"Exactly who is this Aesliip." I asked. "I've never known any of these draugr to have a name of any kind."

"From what I have read in the histories," he replied, "Aesliip was once a powerful mage who delved in necromancy. As a result of these dark magics, he was made a draugr, but he retains much of his immense power. You are to kill this creature, and perhaps end this madness." Wind-Eye put his hand on my shoulder. "Take care with this task, Eldorf Dragonmeal." he continued. "This situation seems odd to me."

I started to turn towards the lake, then remembered something he had mentioned earlier. "What was this Bloodmoon Prophecy you mentioned?" I asked.

"It is an ancient prophecy, one that I hope is but a myth." came the reply. "It tells of a time when the moon above will turn blood red, and the wolves that walk like men will walk the land. The prophecy tells of other signs that precede the Bloodmoon, but they are not all easily interpreted." he turned towards the pillar of fire shooting out of the lake, adding "Let us speak about this at another time. For now, you are to prove your strength."

"I understand." I replied. Turning to Laurenna, I said "Guard Wind-Eye. Make sure nothing happens to him until I return."

I could tell she wanted to come along, but knowing Nord traditions concerning proving one's self prevented her from joining me. Ensuring the safety of the shaman was a worthy task.


I had not heard of this Bloodmoon Prophecy before, and hoped that this was just an isolated incident.

I walked across the frozen lake, heading towards the pillar of fire.


The ice had melted where the fire was coming from, but there was very little heat coming from the flames. I was expecting the same effect as standing near a lava flow, but this was not the case. I didn't know for sure if this draugr was actually responsible for this effect, but I'd soon find out.


Using the Belt of Fishgills, I once again jumped into the icy waters of the lake. The belt also provides a small amount of Night-Eye spell, so I was able to make out a small cave directly under the hole in the ice.

It was odd, however, that I could find no spell coming directly from the cave itself.

I decided that time would tell, so I headed into the cave, looking for this Draugr Lord that I needed to get rid of.


I love welcoming committees, you always know to expect them. I climbed out of the water into an air pocket, then squeezed through a small cave into a larger tunnel.

As expected, a draugr and his pet bonewolf jumped to the attack. I shot off a spell of God's Fire, then used the Ring of Weapons to arm myself. The spell killed the bonewolf almost instantly, but the draugr needed some convincing to die. My broadsword helped put him in that frame of mind.


This was a case of tunnel after tunnel, dead-end after dead-end. I must have backtracked a half dozen times, finding nothing but draugrs and bonewolves. One thing I did notice was that draugrs are resistant to the spell of Medusa's Gaze. They certainly didn't like God's Fire, so as long as I could spot them from a distance, they'd never get near me.


I came to yet another junction, with four tunnels joining. This gave me the option for 3 different paths, and no idea which one to take. I decided to take one, but made scratches in the icewalls, marking my path. Again, more dead-ends.


Deciding to give some of these enchanted arrows of mine a try, I put on the new ring that would summon a daedric bow. As long as I wore the ring, I'd have the bow, light as a feather, but the most powerful bow available.

The torch and sun arrows seemed to do the most damage, killing off bonewolves in an instant, but draugrs needed to be hit a number of times before cooperating with me by dying. Daedric arrows of paralyzing didn't seem to have any effect on draugrs. Same held true for the frost-type and poison arrows. Oddly enough, the ones that seemed to work best were simple silver arrows.


I had reached yet another dead-end, but then realized there was a crack in the icewall. Quite possibly, I had reached the lair of this Draugr Lord.

Again, a tight squeeze, but I managed to make it through.    


Making sure I had silver arrows at the ready, as well as the spell of God's Fire ready to go, I checked the area on the other side of the icewall. No welcoming committee, but there was definitely a light on up ahead.









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