I had spent several days in my new tower, enjoying the "ambiance" of having my own stronghold. Plenty of room, but not much to do other than be watchful for smugglers in the area. I had found a few of them not far from my tower, and put the bite on their illegal operations in the area. There were creatures nearby that I could bite to satisfy my "feeding" needs, so that wasn't a problem for me. Since most townspeople didn't like vampires around, I felt comfortable living alone with my Telvani co-workers. Any potions I needed were just a 1 minute walk away to one of the other smaller pods. Still, the days seemed to drag on. Reading books during the daylight hours helped to pass the time, but I missed things: sleep without nightmares, a cool, refreshing drink of water, garlic toast, a friendly greeting from ordinary people instead of fearful glances, like I used to get what seemed like such a long time ago. As the days stretched on and on, I felt more and more angry with my situation. The only cure most people seemed to have for being a vampire was the destruction of the vampire. There had to be another solution to this. I remembered that I still had some type of mission for the Emperor to perform. How could this be done in my present state? Surely, something must be done about it.
I decided to go to the Mage's Guild offices in Sadrith Mora. I had to find a few books on vampires for Skink-in-tree's-shade. Perhamps he might have learned something. Unlike the Telvani, the Mage's Guild tolerates vampires, but don't like them very much. The only thing working in my favor was the fact that I was still Arch-Mage of the guild. Skink didn't seem to have any useful information for me, but one of the other mages rememberd a rumor about someone who had been a vampire, and was actually cured of the disease. Vampires of Vvardenfell Volume II might have the answer. Since I had given that, and two other books on the subject to Skink-in-tree's-shade, I bought the books back from him.
Volume I, told of the various powers of vampires, and of the three basic vampire clans that were known. This was information I already knew. Volume II, told of a guard that had managed to cure himself of vampirism. The real answer, however, was found in a third book that I had to sneak out of the hidden library of Vivic for Skink: Galur Rithari's papers. In that book, Galur explained how he had traveled to a temple just north of the city of Suran, called Bal Ur, the shrine of Daedric god Molag Bal. Molag Bal was, according to lore, the creator of monsters, including vampires. Doing a quest for Molag Bal resulted in Galur being cured of his vampirism.
I put the books back on the shelf and thought the whole thing through. Was the story true? Valid? The temple had supressed Galur's papers because they didn't want "thrill-seakers" becoming vampires, enjoying the powers and thrill, knowing the condition could be un-done at any time at Molag Bal's whim. Still, you'd think that someone else would have heard this story, been able to confirm it, verify it. Galur Rithari was supposed to be still alive, working as a guard at the stronghold of Ghost Gate, near the dreaded Red Mountain region. Going there and talking to him directly might put him in jeopardy, as the temple didn't want anyone knowing the truth about a vampire cure. I would have to take a chance and go to the Bal Ur shrine and find out for myself if the rumor was true or not. It was not far from my own stronghold.
I used the master index and had Folmes teleport me to Marandus, the old Dunmer stronghold nearest to the Bal Ur shrine. From there, the walk was long and trying, making my way through a blinding ash storm.
After walking for what seemed like hours, I finally approached the shrine itself. Inside, the usual bevy of worshippers of evil things, and they attacked me without provocation. I somehow managed to convince them of the error of that move. I could have looted them, but I was not here for money or riches. I was on a mission to see if I could get my life back to normal. There would be time for material things later.
After wandering down into the depths of the temple, and fighting my way past several of the creatures that guarded it, I finally came to the inner shrine of Molag Bal himself. He was truly a creator of monsters, based on his likeness. His priest cursed at me, but I did not pay her any attention at all. I approached the statue, and as I touched it, I heard it's voice in my head. He knew what I wanted, and gave me a "small task" to perform in return for this huge favor I was asking.
It seems he wanted me to travel to a cave called Dubdilla, just south of the Telvani village called "Vos". There, I would find Molag Bal's daughter, Molag Grunda, and her boyfriend, a Frost Atronach by the name of Nomeg Gwai. It seems daddy doesn't approve of his daughter hanging around with frost people. Just who she should be hanging out with, I couldn't really say. He wants me to do both of them in, where Molag Bal can punish them for defying his authority. Seems that even the gods have trouble with the kids now-a-days. I almost chuckled at the thought, but decided to hold it in until I got outside the temple. No sense biting the hand that feeds.
The trip to Vos would be a long one. It is a shame that since they're both related, that daughter and daddy had to live so far apart from each other. Molag Bal has anger issues he needs to deal with. I guess that's why she moved so far away from him. Oh well.
I stopped overnight (overday) at my stronghold and then started the long trek north just after sunset. After several hours, I finally arrived at Dubdilla.
These creatures really like it to be dark inside, darker than vampires like it. I found a torch and carried it with me for several leagues into the cave. There were a few creatures in there that wanted to have me for dinner, including a Hunger, but I managed to get rid of them without too much trouble.
After going deeper into the cave, I finally came upon their lair. Momeg Gwai attacked first. He shot off a frost spell right at me. I managed to get off a spell of God's Fire back at him just in time.
The two spells met each other in mid-flight, resulting in a powerful flash of magick and energy. Fire and ice don't mix too well, apparently. The resulting blast was closer to me than it was to him, and nearly knocked me off of my feet. Casting a spell would take too long, so I used one of my rings of fire to deflect his next frost spell. This time, it was farther away. I shot off two more fireballs from my ring before it was exhausted. That gave me enough time to get out my ring of weapons, and just in time, too. Molag Grunda was already flying at me with her talons extended, ready to rip me to pieces. Grunda was a Winged Twilight, and they reflect magic 100% of the time, so a spell was useless against her. This would get up close and personal.
Grunda came at me with a look of hate in her eye that would chill an ordinary human. I think she knew why I was here, and she was furious. Her talons struck at me again and again. My shield deflected most of the blows, but while I was doing battle with her, her boyfriend was also attacking me from my left. I managed to kill Grunda with 3 blows of my daedric sword, once I was able to get a word in, edgewise.
Her boyfriend, was no easy kill, and in fact, nearly ended my life. After casting several frost spells while I was doing battle with Grunda, he started swinging at me with his huge fists. Even without the frost spells, he was quite a challange. Still, I managed to pull through.
The quest was complete. Now, all I had to do is get back to the Bal Ur shrine and report my success. I sighed to myself at the thought of yet another long walk. Why can't people live closer together?
I made my way back south through the grazelands, and back into the Molag Amur region. I arrived back at my stronghold just before sunrise. I would have to spend one more sleepless day like this. I found a kagoti, feasted on it, and then retired to my stronghold for the daylight hours. The sky was getting lighter, and already I was feeling the prickly pain that comes with sunlight. Thank goodness the ashstorm had finally died out. It all seemed so peaceful now that I wanted to enjoy the quiet, listen to the gentle breeze, but no, I had to go inside or I would burn up in the sunlight. I would have to bide my time before I could enjoy such things. I still had to find something to do but my books were all in Caldera. Well, there was a blue book of riddles in the den. I might as well amuse myself until night falls again.
When night fell, I left my stronghold, found another kagoti to bite, then continued on my way to the Bal Ur shrine. It took me about an hour to reach it, and made my way into the depths of this place, hopefully for the last time.
Inside, I found the statue of Molag Bal, and again, it spoke to me. I advised that I had completed the task assigned to me, and he acknowledged this fact. He said he would cure me, and he did.
What I was not prepared for was the pain. Terrible, intense, inhuman pain. I felt as though I was coming apart, that every part of me was flying off in all directions at once. I felt as though I was disolving into nothingness. I could hear Molag laughing in the distance, as if he was enjoying "undoing" one of his creations. I screamed. I felt as if I was being cut with a million razors, dull, rusty razors.
Suddenly, the pain stopped. I fell to the floor on my face, trying desperately to breath; it was as though I had forgotten how. My mind was swirling, like a badly-made soup. Then I realized what was happening: he was taking the spells reserved for vampires out of my mind, ripping them away from my memory. I could not fight it. I didn't want to. I just wanted it to end.
Just as I thought I could not take it any longer, the pain stopped, just as suddenly as it began. I struggled to my feet, drew my sword and looked into it's shiny surfce.
I was no longer a vampire; I could see my face. The cure worked! I was back to my old "Eldorf the Wise" self.
Among the things I had lost, was increased stamina, and most importantly, strength. I was down to half of my original strength when I first became a vampire. I could barely carry the equipment I had come with. I thanked the daedric diety for his time, then, using the amulet of recall, teleported back to my home in Caldera. There, I unloaded everything I had. It felt unusual, but for the first time in months, I was actually hungry for a piece of bread and some water. I found some in my storage urn. I didn't need much, but it felt nice not to have to dig my fangs into something in order to live.
I went upstairs, changed clothes, then looked at my pocketwatch. It was just after midnight, when I would normally have been out looking for someone to bite. I looked at the bed. How long it had been since I had been able to sleep. Every time I had tried, I woke up with nightmares, unable to rest.
Finally, this would be no more. Tomorrow would bring a new day, sunlight, normalcy. I pulled the covers back, climbed into bed, closed my eyes, and for the first time in months, slept peacefully.