I entered Tel Fyr, and it looked strangely familiar, as if I had been here before. Oddly enough, I had been here earlier to retrieve one of those Dunmer indexes that work with those teleportation devices.

Somehow, I seemed to know the way to go...following the roots upward and into the next chamber. There was no one in the next chamber (unless you count the bed as a person), but I did hear noises coming from up a vertical shaft over my head.

After about 10 minutes, I decided to use one of those flying potions that Caius had given me. Flying to the upper level, I gently touched down on the edge and headed into one of the other chambers, where I met a very nice man by the name of Divayth Fyr.

"Say, that's an interesting Dwemer piece you have." he said. "What can you tell me about it?"

"Oh," I said, without thinking, "it is something I brought for you as a gift. I saw it and said, 'Now, there is something Mr Fyr would like to examine.' I handed him the artifact that Caius had given me. Divayth chuckled quietly as he examined the piece. "A gift, for me?" he said. "How thoughtful...and shrewd. I suppose you know I am a collector of such things, and that such a gift is bound to please me." He smiled, putting the artifact on his shelf, adding it to his collection of various items. "I congratulate you on your diplomatic skills."

He looked me over carefully, obviously noting my diseased skin. "So, why have you tried to butter me up? Come to consult the great Divayth Fyr? You have the divine disease? Want to plunder the dungeon? Or did you just come here to leer at my daughters?"  


"Why do you call it the divine disease?" I asked. I've seen it's effects on others, and it's not pretty."

"Oh, the magical principles of corprus are elusive, but at the same time, miraculous." he said, as if talking to a first year student. "The principles are far more subtle and powerful than any conventional sorcery or enchantment." He reached over to the table and grabbed a cup of tea he had there. Tea would be so good right now, but I didn't know if I should push my luck right now.

"I'm persuaded that it is, in some manner, the curse or blessing of a god." he continued. "Perhaps both a curse and a blessing. The victim, of course, cannot appreciate the marvelous nature of corprus. Oh, yes, it kills the mind, and eventually destroys the body, but to a wizard, it is a profound and glorious mystery, a riddle worth a long lifetime of study."

"How do you mean?" I asked. "What good could come of such a disease?"

"Well, for one thing," he replied, "did you know that corprus makes you immune to disease?"

"No," I replied, "I wasn't aware of this."

"Well, now you've learned something." he laughed. "Have you ever heard of the prophecies of the Nerevarine? The Ashlanders say the Nerevarine will be immune to disease. I've always thought that, based on that belief, that maybe the Nerevarine is in my Corprusarium, and I wouldn't even know it." He let out a hearty laugh. "Can you imagine? The Nerevarine is a fat, disgusting corprus monster, and mad as a marsh rat. Wouldn't that be funny?"

I laughed weakly. Oh, yes, that would be funny, alright. "Well," I said, "based on what I've already learned about these prophecies, I might have been the one to fulfill them." I proceeded to tell him what I had learned about the prophecies, my talk with the wise woman, the attack of the Sixth House, and so on.

He gave me a very odd look, thought for a moment, then said "That's a fascinating story you tell. So, you might be the Nerevarine. Oh, it means nothing, of course, Corprus victims have all sorts of delusions, but ... let me think ..."

He turned and looked at a shelf with several potion bottles on it. He checked several of them, then turned to me and said "I've got a potion. In theory it should cure corprus. Doesn't work, though. It'll probably kill you." He shrugged his shoulders. "Killed all my test subjects. But you've got nothing to lose."

Well, THAT was a comforting thought.

"Listen," he said, "Before I give it to you, I want you to look around below in the Corprusarium. Know what's in store for you if you don't take the potion. I want you to understand that if you chose a life down there, you'll be protected, and cared for. It's my hobby. Oh, while you're there, I want you to pick up a pair of boots from a victim. He calls himself Yagrum Bagarn. He's my oldest patient. Handy fellow, too. He fixes things for me. Bring the boots back, and then you can have the potion.

"Excuse me," I asked, "but why keep them there in the first place?"

"Oh, it's a hobby of mine, as I said before. Poor devils. Wretched existence. Constant pain. Ferocious appetites and passions. No reason at all. Mad as marsh rats. But marvelous, too, in their way. Completely immune to disease. They live forever, you know, barring accidents. Us ancient wizards need projects to keep them occupied, and the Corprusarium is mine. Off you go now, and don't forget to use the levitation potion to go down the shaft."  


I headed to the shaft leading down to the lower level, my mind racing with the possibility of a cure for corprus, or the possibility of a quick (and hopefully painless death).

I tried doing a spell of slowfall, which would make me float down as gently as a feather.

Oh, darn, that was the water-walking ... SPLAT! ... spell. I should have used the levitation potion as instructed. It was a good think I had a healing potion with me.   


After repairing my legs with the healing potion, I continued down into the lowest roots of the tower, until I came to a large nodule, where I found one of  Divayth's daughters (that he apparently grew himself, you know how ancient Telvani wizards need hobbies). I asked about the Corprusarium, and she said it was in the door to her right.

"Be careful in there." she said. "Many of the victims there are completely mad, and quite violent. Just look for Vistha-Kai or Uupse Fyr, since they attend to the needs of the inmates."   


There, as promised, was the door to the dreaded Corprusarium, and quite possibly, my future home for the rest of my life.

Well, Fast Eddie did say I'd love it there.  


I headed inside, and immediately noted the smell (why can't any of these places smell nice?).

The cave tunnel was dimly lit, but I could see a light and a door ahead of me.

Standing just to the left of the door was an Argonian, guarding the door. It was Vistha-Kai, and he hissed at me as soon as I came into the light.   


"I am Vistha-Kai, Warden of the Corprusarium." he said, in a somewhat unfriendly tone. "I warn you: do not harm the inmates. If you come to plunder the dungeon, you must endure their attacks, and take you chances with me, their Warden and Protector."

I explained that I was definitely not here to plunder anything.

"So you say." he replied. "But I am the guardian and peacekeeper of the Corprusarium. I have spent long years in service to Lord Fyr, first as a slave, then as a free hireling, and now as a friend and partner. He has been kind and generous to me, and I take his interests, and the interests of those he shelters, to heart. The treasures of his dungeon are open to sport, according to Lord Fyr's whim, and you're welcome to try to steal them. But I, too, find great sport in hunting thieves."

"I am no thief." I stated. "I'm just here to pick up a pair of boots for Lord Fyr, at his request."

"I understand." he replied, "But do know that if they see you, they will attack. You must endure their attacks. Do not harm them. I will not tolerate you adding to their suffering. Oh, yes, I know, they are brutal and ferocious, and will kill you if they can, but remember: you are their guest, and you may not harm them. Do so, and you will answer to me."

I could see he meant business. "Why does he keep this place here?" I said, trying to show interest.

"Lord Fyr shelters and maintains the victims of corprus here in this place. He does them a great service, since no other could, or would, help them. He also does the world a great service by keeping them here where they can do no harm to others. The inmates are sad, distorted monsters, angry and cruel, and their sufferings are great, but they still live and feel, and I honor Lord Fyr's care and compassion for them."

"I understand." I said. "I will do your lord the honor of not plundering anything, and not harming anything or anyone here. On that, you have my word."

"Then, enterrrrrrr." hissed the Argonian guard.   



With Vistha-Kai's blessing, the gate was opened, and I stepped inside.

There was something about the lighting here - it didn't seem to work very well. There were torches here and there, but they didn't seem to cast very much light. It was as if the place "wanted" to be dark and sad.   


I put on my belt of night-eye, but it didn't help very much, as even that didn't brighten things up very much.

I continued down one tunnel after another. I could hear the shuffling of feet on stone coming up ahead. Rather than risk an attack, I readied the amulet of shadows, and continued on through the darkness.   


Out of the shadows, the source of the shuffling noise came forth. I activated the amulet of shadows, turning myself 80% invisible.

It was one of the victims of corprus, walking aimlessly through the tunnels, moaning softly, as if he was lamenting his situation, but his eyes had run out of tears.  


I froze, as the corprus victim stopped in his tracks, writhing in pain, moaning, trying to catch his breath.

He lowered his head, grabbing it with both hands, as if he was trying to remember who he was, as if the thought was just out of his reach, like a piece of food on a string just out of reach.

He let out a cry of pain, then began shuffling down the tunnel again.   


I continued down the tunnels, trying to find the guy with these very important boots I was supposed to bring back.

One thing after another passed by, each of them in various stages of the disease. Thanks to the amulet of shadows, I was not attacked by any of them. Still, the amulet would eventually run out of charge, leaving me vulnerable. It was getting more important to obtain these boots and leave this place.  


I finally found another door, this one leading to the deepest part of the Corprusarium.

Inside, I found more tunnels, twisting, turning, and everywhere, more victims of corprus.

After going through several twisting tunnels, I saw lights up ahead. It looked like a camp with at least two people there, including a clothing cabinet. I figured this must be the place and person I was looking for. I breathed a sigh of relief that I would finally get to meet this Yagrum Bagarn.

Little did I know I was in for a shock, for Yagrum Bagarn
was no ordinary corprus victim. He was truly one-of-a-kind. 









Coming up: A Person Most Rare