I dropped Laurenna at the house and told her I'd be back in a few minutes after talking to Caius. I fugured it wouldn't take long, that he said he'd check over the notes and get back to me later.

How wrong I was.

Caius answered the door, looking his usual half-sober self. He took the notes and checked them over for a few minutes, sitting on his bed, and acting as if a heavy weight was on his shoulders. After reading the notes twice, he finally spoke up.

"Thanks for the report, Eldorf, but keep Zainsubani's notes on the Ashlanders. You'll need them."

"Well, thank you." I said, "But what would I do with them?"

"I'm promoting you," he said, "and sending you to the Urshilaku camp to speak with this Sul-Martuul and Nibani Macsa. But before you go, I think it may be time to tell you what is going on. Perhaps you'd better sit down."

I found a small chair and sat down, wondering what all this was about.

"I'll be frank with you, Dragonmeal." he started. "The Emperor and his advisors think you have the appearance of meeting the conditions of the Nerevarine prophecies. That's why you were pulled out of prison on his Majesty's authority and sent to me, so you could satisfy the conditions of the Nerevarine prophecies, and become the Nerevarine."

I looked at him with disbelief. "Me?" I asked. Caius handed me a small package, the very one I received on my first day here in Morrowind. "Here." he said, "This is a decoded copy of the coded package you gave me when you arrived. Read it later. It should explain everything.  


He continued, "As you'll see in the decoded message, the Emperor and his counselors say you have the 'appearance' of satisfying the conditions of the prophecy." He looked me right in the eye, seeming to sober up on the spot. "Do you really satisfy the prophecy? Are you really the prophesied Nerevarine? At first, I thought you were just supposed to create a persuasive imposter." He looked at the floor, breaking eye contact with me. "Now, I don't know what to think." He gathered his thoughts for a moment, then added, "But I am sure of one thing. This is not just primitive superstition, and we will treat it seriously, just as his Majesty commands."

"Now, Zainsubani says Sul-Matuul and Nibani Macsa at the Urshilaku camp are the heads of this Nerevarine cult. I'm sending you to speak with them. I want you to tell them your story and have them test you against the Nerevarine prophecies. As heads of this cult, they can best judge whether you satisfy the prophecies. When you've spoken with them, report back to me. Here's 200 drakes for expenses. Go pick up essential supplies at Fort Moonmoth."

"What kind of supplies would be considered 'essential' to me?" I asked.

"Before you go to the Urshilaku camp," he replied, "see Somutis Vunnis and Crulius Pontanian at Fort Moonmoth. I have asked them put aside some potions and scrolls for you, courtesy of the Emperor. In particular, you'll want the cure potions; I hear the blight is very bad up north."

I didn't bother to mention that I had my own at Solstheim Castle, but I didn't want to break his train of thought.  


"So," I asked, "what makes me that special?"

"Listen, Eldorf the Wise," he replied sarcasticly, "the package you gave me described the prophecy's conditions, and you seem to match them. 'An orphan and outcast.' 'A youth born on a certain day to uncertain parents.' Standard vague prophecy stuff. I can see how it would be nice to have a Nerevarine in our pocket. Just in case. But the Emperor and his advisors seem to think this prophecy is genuine - whatever a 'genuine' prophecy is - and we're going to take it seriously, aren't we, Mr. Dragonmeal?"

He gave me a stern look, the first one I had seen from him since first meeting him. I guess he was serious, but my mind was still spinning from this information.  


"My informants tell me that the Urshilaku camp lies close to the Sea of Ghosts, north of the village of Maar Gan. Once in Maar Gan, seek out a scout by the name of Nuleno Tedas; you'll probably find her either in the Inn or the Outpost. She'll be able to tell you where they're camping out at the moment."

"Fine." I said, "I'll leave in the morning."

"Bright and early, Eldorf." he replied, "And no side jobs. This is important."    


I met Laurenna coming up the stairs to Caius' home, wondering what was taking me so long.

"Hi, stranger." she said, "I thought you fell down a well or something. Are we eating in or out tonight?"

Then she saw the disturbed look on my face.

"Is anything wrong?" she asked.

"I have some notes to read." I said, not wanting to put a damper on her mood. "But I may tell you about it later.

"I have a mission to the Ashlands tomorrow, and it'll be pretty dangerous." I said. "Well," she replied, "you're taking me along. I need to practice my marksmanship skills, and a long walk would be just the thing for that."

I smiled a reassuring smile, and we headed to our house. I figured we'd head over to the Eight Plates and have something to eat, then get a good night's sleep.  


Once home, I excused myself from Laurenna to read these notes.

What I found was ..... disturbing, at the very least.

This was the package I had received from Selus Gravis in the Census office when I first arrived here, and it concerned me directly.

Spymaster Caius Cosades, Knight-Errant of the Imperial Order of Blades, Director of Imperial Intelligence in Vvardenfell District, Eastern Provinces.

I have the honor to acquaint you with his Majesty's wishes concerning Eldorf Dragonmeal, an individual of no rank or consequence. Eldorf Dragonmeal has been released from prison by his Majesty's authority, and sent to you with this missive. Eldorf Dragonmeal is to be entered as a Novice in the Imperial Order of the Blades, and is to serve under your absolute authority as you shall see fit, except insofar as his Majesty's particular wishes are concerned

His majesty's particular wishes are as follows: A local superstition holds that an orphan and outcast, a youth born on a certain day to uncertain parents, shall unite all the tribes of the Dunmer, drive out the invaders of Morrowind, and shall reestablish the ancient laws and customs of the Dark Elven nations. This orphan and outcast is called in legend the "Nerevarine," and is supposed to be a reincarnation of the long-dead Dunmer General and first Councilor, Lord Indoril Nerevar.

Eldorf Dragonmeal has the appearance of meeting the conditions of this local superstition. Therefore it is his Majesty's desire that Eldorf Dragonmeal shall, insofar as is possible, satisfy the conditions of this ancient prophecy, and shall become the Nerevarine. Though this prophecy is indeed only an ancient local superstition, his Majesty has taken counsel on this matter with his most expert informants and confidants, and his Majesty is persuaded that the prophecy is genuine and significant, either in it's entirety, or in its several parts, and he earnestly demands that you treat this matter with the utmost seriousness.

Certain aspects of this ancient superstition are described at the end of this document, and further materials will be forthcoming by courier at the earlist occasion. It will, of course, be necessary that you acquaint yourself better with the details of this ancient superstition from your local sources. Since this matter intimately concerns Eldorf Dragonmeal, it is expected that you will employ him to gether information on this subject.

His Majesty has taken great personal interest in the legends and prophecies of the Nerevarine, and eagerly awaits your reports.

I have the honor to be, Sir, your most Humble and Obedient Servant, Glabrio Bellienus, Personal Secretary to the Emperor.


I put the notes down and closed my eyes in thought.

Deception. That is all that this is. The Emperor wants me to be a hero to these Dunmer. A hero he can control.

And yet, there were these strange circumstances, the fact that I may have actually met some of these requirements of this cult.

And then, the dreams, the nightmares I had been having, that Laurenna was having. Perhaps a trip to this camp would answer some of those questions. I wasn't sure if I should tell Laurenna about this or not. It's hard to be a spy when you tell all your secrets to your wife, but then again, it's hard to keep secrets when you're married.

I thought of sending her to visit her mother in Lokken, but deferred the decision until later.  


"Hey, sourpuss." she said. "Why the long face?"

"Just some disturbing business I have to deal with." I replied. "However, if we're going to walk the entire trip, I have some supplies to get at the castle. Give me a few minutes, will you? I'll bring you back some better armor, too."

"Sure thing." she said. I'll get dressed for dinner. Don't be long, ok?"

I gave her a peck on the cheek and used the castle return scroll to arrive back at Solstheim Castle.   


I spent a few minutes mixing together a few more 'restore magick' potions, along with a few cure potions of my own.

I then stopped in the armory and picked out the appropriate equipment to bring along for a long walk through the wastelands.


It was about 6pm when I arrived back in Balmora. Laurenna was already dressed up and ready to go out, so I did a quick change into something more appropriate, and we headed to the Eight Plates Inn for dinner.

We had a good time, and I forgot all about the disturbing revelations I had been given this day.  


It was about 9:30pm when I finally told Laurenna that we had better turn in for the night. I knew that the walk was a long one, and she didn't want to use any kind of fast travel to go where we were heading. There was no better way to see the lay of the land than on foot, and no better way to practice with a bow than on foot as well.

We settled down for a good night's sleep.



That's when the nightmare intruded upon my sleep.


This dream was different. I was aware of it!

A tall figure in a golden mask spoke to me.

Lord Nerevar Indoril, Hai Resdaynia!
Long forgotten, forged anew!
Three belied you, three betrayed you!
One you betrayed was three times true!
Lord Voryn Dagoth, Dagoth Ur!
Steadfast liegeman, faithful friend,
bids you come and climb Red Mountain!
Beneath Red Mountain, once again,
break your bonds, shed cursed skin,
and purge the n'wah from Morrowind!   


I awoke with a start! Dagoth Ur himself was creeping into my dreams! The devil himself was calling my name.  Calling ME Lord Nerevar!

I looked at Laurenna, still sleeping soundly, as if nothing at all was going on. I decided that I might tell her about all of this after I speak to the people at the camp, and try to figure out what is going on here.

I lay back down on the bed, and tried to go back to sleep. It was several hours before my eyes finally closed, and I fell into a restless, haunted sleep.  






Coming up: A Search for Answers