I had a hard time sleeping that night.  Caius had indicated that this was so dangerous a mission that he directed me not to bring Laurenna along on this trip, even though he had obviously let this stuff slide on the last couple of missions. The fact that it was an order, and not a suggestion, worried me. Was this really going to be that dangerous? My mind raced with the possibilities of what was to come, until sleep finally slapped me across the face and took hold of my tired mind.

The next morning came much too early for me. Laurenna was up before I was, and I could tell that, while she knew I was under orders not to bring her along, she was still upset that she could accompany me.

"I made you some eggs for breakfast." she said. "I don't want you going off to battle on an empty stomach."

I thanked her, and sat at our small table to eat. "Will you be ok here by yourself?" I asked. "Oh, certainly." she said. "Can you leave me some money? I'll go get some things for dinner when you get back."

I smiled and gave her several hundred drakes. The fact that she expected me home in time for dinner was comforting.

The mission would be simple: Go to Fort Buckmoth, near Ald'ruhn, find out from Champion Racsa Pullia about where the 6th house base would be find, go there, find Dagoth Gares, kill him, and return home in time for dinner. It was supposed to be near Gnaar Mok on the west coast, and I could teleport home easily after work.  Dinner would be greatly appreciated.   


I grabbed some important rings and things, kissed Laurenna goodbye, and set out to the Mage's Guild for a quick ride to Ald'ruhn. My mind was definitely elsewhere when I did this, as I would soon find out.

The weather outside definitely matched my mood - overcast and raining like there would be no tomorrow.  


A few gold coins later, I was transported to the Mage's Guild offices in Ald'ruhn, and from there, just a short walk through a blinding ash-storm to the fort.   


Once in the fort, it didn't take me very long to find Racsa Pullia. She was busy dictating something to a guard, who then bowed and quickly took the notes to where ever they were going.

"Excuse me." I said. "I am Eldorf Dragonmeal. I was told to seek you out for some information concerning a base you had found.

Racsa looked me over with a slight look of surprise, as if she felt this old man wouldn't live up to the task.

"You're the one that Caius sent to handle this Sixth House base situation?" she said. "Well, I guess you'll do."

She didn't seem too confident in his choice, but then again, she didn't know I had killed four dragons recently.  


"What can you tell me about this situation?" I asked.

"It was horrible." she started. A patrol of ours stumbled upon a Sixth House base, and per standing orders, they went in to wipe it out."

"What was so bad?" I asked, assuming any standard-sized Imperial Legion patrol would be able to deal with a few monsters. Her answer shocked me.

"Only one trooper returned." she replied. My eyes opened wide in amazement. "One trooper out of an entire patrol?" I asked. She turned away from me for a moment. "He died soon after his return here." she said. "He was horribly disfigured with corprus, half out of his mind." She turned back to me, continuing. "In his ravings, he said something about a cavern on the west coast, calling it 'Ilunibi'. Now, it's not on any of our maps, so you'd have to check with someone in Gnaar Mok."

"What happened there?" I asked.

"He said that they fought with cultists and disfigured man-beasts, probably corprus monsters, since the disease does cause physical change to the body in ways I cannot describe. They ran through cave after cave, getting lost in the twists and turns of this dark place until they encountered a half-man creature that called himself Dagoth Gares."

She gathered her thoughts for a moment, then continued with her report. "This Dagoth Gares slew the rest of the patrol, but spared the one trooper."

"Why do that?" I asked. "I thought that if trying to keep a secret base secret, having someone go out raving about it's existence would be counter-productive."

"I would agree." she said. "But Gares told the trooper he was being spared, so he might tell others that 'The Sleeper Awakes,' and 'The Sixth House has Risen,' and 'Dagoth Ur is Lord, and I am his Priest,' and 'All will be One with Him in the Flesh.' The trooper awakened outside the caves and returned here. We couldn't recognize him at first, and he didn't respond to questions. He just kept repeating those statements until he died."

"He died of corpus?" I asked, now very concerned.  I had seen earlier stages of the disease, but never one so advanced that it could kill.

"I had never seen the disease before," she replied, "but yes, it killed him. His flesh was swollen and covered with growths, bones twisted, deformed, you get the picture." I nodded in agreement. "He was speaking to himself, as if he was dreaming. The only way we knew him was his armor."

"Wasn't there anything anyone could do for him?" I asked.

"No," she said, "our healers tried spell after spell, and some of the best cure-blight potions, but nothing helped. I hear there is no known cure for it. The strange thing is that I had always heard this was a slow death, where the victims linger for years. I didn't realize how fast corprus kills. I don't know, maybe it was the way it was contracted. The troops here are pretty shaken, and to tell the truth, so am I."

"Ilunibi" I mumbled. "You said it's on the west coast?" She nodded in the affirmative. "No one here knows where it is," she said, "but I think if you check with the people of Gnaar Mok, they might know of it's location, that is, if you're in a hurry to get yourself killed."   


I thanked Racsa for her information and departed for Gnaar Mok.

The ash-storm continued to rage, bringing with it blight diseases.  Corprus was known to be a blight-disease, carried down from Red Mountain.

As I made my way down the crusty road, I thought about what Racsa had said about the trooper, and his condition.  I could see why Caius didn't want Laurenna along on this trip with me. Based on what Racsa had described, I certainly wouldn't want to expose Laurenna to such a fate.   


It wasn't long before I left the dusty ashlands region of Ald'ruhn and found myself further west, and after that, in the swampy lands of the Bitter Coast region. There was a gentle rain falling, but it was a welcome relief from the blinding ash and dust storm I had just left.  Gnaar Mok was just a short walk away.

During my walk, I had encountered a number of blighted creatures, all of whom fell at the touch of those nice Daedric paralyzing arrows.   


Upon my arrival in Gnaar Mok, I asked around about Ilunibi, and as expected, one of the guards knew exactly what I was talking about.

"Oh, yes, Ilunibi Caverns." he said, "There is an old sea cave up on the north end of the island. You know where Khartag Point is, right? Well, it's close to that location. Some orks consider Khartag Point a landmark. Something about an ork that jumped off of it on a dare. They say it didn't end well. You know how dumb orks can be, right?"

Well, I didn't want to get into a discussion with him about it, but I thanked him for the information and headed north from Gnaar Mok.  


There was a series of small islands just north of Gnaar Mok, and close enough together that some thoughful soul had decided to put a few wooden planks down to form a small bridge between them.

I don't know who bothered to do that, but I decided it was nice not to have to get my feet wet between these tiny islands.  


Some time back, Laurenna and I were in the area doing some quest or hunting when I decided to go look for a sunken shrine I had heard about. Well, I found the shrine, and the diety there gave me the task of having a new shrine built, for which I would receive a nice reward. Well, I had employed a very nice ork sculptor to make the shrine at Khartag Point.

On a small, northern most island in this tiny chain, Khartag Point suddenly came into view, and I could see several orks working furiously, smashing the rock with mighty hammers. They really seemed to be enjoying themselves. Since I had a mission to complete, I figured it would be best to leave them to their own devices and not medle in their hammering.  


As I finished watching the orks work at their rock, I turned to see a small door just behind where I was standing.

It was the entrance to Ilunibi.  I had found it.  


I used my wedding ring and contacted Laurenna. "I found the entrance." I told her. "I'll take care of business and see you shortly."

"Take care, my love." she replied.

With that, I checked my things, and found that among the things I had, my favorite, the Ring of Weapons, was missing.

I cursed myself for being such an idiot. That was one of my favorite enchanted rings, and it provided a weapon, shield, and chest armor, along with a slight ability of night eye for those dark places. Then I checked to see how many arrows I had left, and found that I only had 45 left.

I thought about it for a moment.  I could return here, now that I know where the place is, or continue in with what I had.

I finally decided that since I had come this far, I might as well continue.  I had plenty of restore health and restore magick potions with me, so producing trouble for this Sixth House base shouldn't be too much of a problem for me.

I took out my bow, put on my belt of night eye for night vision in dark places, and stepped inside the door to Ilunibi.