The next morning saw me up, bright and early and knocking on the door of Caius Cosades. I had dressed in my finest robe, expecting to head off to Vivic, and part of my cover was being Arch-mage of the Mage's Guild, so naturally, I wanted to look my best.

"Eldorf, come in!" he said, opening the door for me for once. "I am very happy to see that you have been cured of corprus!" He shook my hand, seeming remarkably lucid and sober for once. Something had to be wrong. He shuffled a few things around in an old trunk he was packing. "Are you traveling somewhere, or preparing me for an expedition?" I asked, half-joking with him. "Oh, well, you see, I've had a bit of bad news." he replied. "You see, I've been recalled to the Imperial City." I was stunned. Caius had been my 'touchstone' in this place, my so-called cornerstone of reality with what was really going on here. "What is to happen with this investigation we are conducting?" I asked. "Oh, you'll be promoted to Operative," he said, "and you'll head the Blades here in Vvardenfell until I return. I only waited here to give you your final orders before I leave for Ebonhart, and then take a boat to the mainland for my trip to Cyrodill."

"But why would they recall you in the middle of what is supposed to be a pet project of the Emperor himself?" I asked. "Probably internal politics." he replied. "Some concern about my sugar." That made sense, it seems. Caius was always strung out on moonsugar and skooma, which can be additive. Both of them, are a very bad combination, and it seems the Empire had spies spying on their spies.

"I thought about refusing the recall," he continued, "but they have members of my family back in the capital. I'm afraid it may have something to do with the problems of succession. As the Emperor's health declines, factions are maneuvering for advantage. I may be gone for a while, which is why you're promoted to Operative here." Caius turned and grabbed some enchanted clothing, giving them to me, along with a few hundred pieces of gold. "Operative makes you the ranking Blades agent here in Vvardenfell district - as far as I know, that is. There are probably other Blades agents here I don't know about. Just assume everyone here could be an agent and you'll be ok." He smiled and winked, knowing I'd understand what he meant.

"Caius, I know nothing about running spy outfits as sophisticated as the Blades. I would I know what I'm supposed to do?" I asked. "Oh, there's nothing to it." he said, waving his hand at me. "Each agent has his own assignment, and they report directly to Cyrodiil. The only reason you're promoted to Operative is mostly to preserve your independence." He stopped packing clothes into the trunk, sat on this bed and looked directly at me. "Look," he said, "you're no fool. The days of the Empire are almost over. When the Emperor dies, nine hells are going to break loose. Forget about the Imperial City. Just worry about the Sixth House and Dagoth ur, squabbles between the Great Houses and the colonists. The rest of the political nonsense doesn't amount to a plate of scuttle, as far as you and I are concerned."

He turned to continue packing, carefully tucking away a skooma pipe, as if I hadn't seen him do it. I figured his problems would be just starting if he brought that habit back with him.

"You know," I added, "along with these disturbing dreams, I've been attacked while sleeping, twice now, including one attack just last night. I had seen evidence of someone tampering with the lock on my door here in Balmora, and thought it was just someone from the Thieve's Guild. The attackers are ash-zombies, like the kind I had encountered in that Sixth House base."

Caius stopped what he was doing, and thought for a moment. "That's worrying." he said. "We know that the Sixth House does exist, and for some reason, they want you dead." He turned away from his packing activity. "Perhaps it is not safe for you to sleep in town. Makes it too easy for them to find you. Maybe camping out in the backcountry would be safer. Or maybe you should take the fight to them." "To THEM?" I asked. "It would make sense." he replied. "It's possible there might be a Sixth House base nearby."

"I see." I replied. I hadn't realized that they might have secret locations nearby. I wondered how many more bases they might have. I knew of only two directly, and that was in one of those old Dunmer strongholds near Suran and one near Sadrith Mora. And of course, the one that had given me corprus. I decided to persue this course of action, when time permitted.

"So what should I do now?" I asked.

"Continue pursuing the Nerevarine prophecies, as the Emperor commands." he replied. "You should go to the Hall of Wisdom and Justice in Vivic, and get Mehra Milo to help you find the lost prophecies. She's being watched, so if something has gone wrong, find her private quarters; she'll leave you a message there under the code word 'amaya'. Once you have the lost prophecies, take them to Nabani Macsa at the Urshilaku Camp. From that point, you'll have to follow her directions, and follow the prophecies."

I was being handed off to someone else, as far as my own destiny was concerned. I felt like a child being kicked out of the house, and told to find a new house.

"Oh, and Eldorf," Caius said, continuing to pack, "I think you've seen just how important this has all become. I wish you the best of luck. My only regret is that I won't be here to see the final outcome."

Caius shook my hand, and smiled. He knew he'd have a tough road ahead of him, considering the Emperor's spies had found out about his moonsugar and skooma adictions. Somehow, I felt he'd have a tougher time than I would. Politics can be a more treacherous thing than a dozen monsters coming at you.  At least, as far as the monsters are concerned, you can see them coming.    


I reported back to Laurenna what had happened, that Caius was leaving, and that we should go to Vivic and talk to Mehra about the lost prophecies.

I used the castle recall scroll and spent the rest of that day in my lab mixing as many restore health and restore magic potions as I could. At 5 pm, I teleported back to Balmora, and Laurenna and I headed to the Eight Plates for dinner. I ate slowly, thinking about what Caius had dumped in my lap, then figuring I should see this through. The attempts on my life made me determined that the Sixth House was evil, and needed to be shut down.    


Before heading home from dinner, we headed to the outfitter's shop for some extra things. Just near the bookseller, that same, odd sleeper stopped me, pointing his finger at me, and shouting that he was a sleeper, one among thousands. He said that Dagoth ur was calling me, the Sixth House is risen, and such.

I strongly resisted the urge to slap him in the face, what with the attacks in the night from his favorite house. Instead, I just scowled at him and brushed by, ignoring his chanting. A guard came over to him and asked if he was looking for trouble. He lowered his gaze and walked away, I assume biding his time until just the right moment. I glanced behind me, and saw that Laurenna had her hand on the handle of her dagger, just in case.  


We took turns sleeping that night, but strangely enough, no attack took place. When the sun came up that morning, we got out early and headed towards the Mage's Guild offices. I decided to look 'official', so I took the Staff of Magus with me. A wizard should always have a staff.*


*Pun intended :)  


Once teleported to the Vivic Mage's Guild, Laurenna and I quickly headed towards the southern end of the city, towards the Hall of Justice buildings.  


The one thing about Vivic is that it is huge.

I was almost tempted to stop for lunch in one of the cantons, but remembered that we had a mission to complete.  


After what seemed like an eternity of walking, we finally arrived at the Hall of Justice building, which also houses the Library of Wisdom, as well as the High Fane, the temple headquaters.

Overhead, suspended by the power of Vivic, the mortal god himself, the Ministry of Truth hovered over everything, a constant reminder to all of just how powerful Vivic truly was. As I headed to the door of the Justice offices, I wondered to myself if I would ever meet this living god.  


I was greeted with a lot of respect by everyone in the library, considering my ranking in the Fighters Guild, Mage's Guild, and position in House Telvani.

We wandered around the Library for a few minutes until we noticed that Mehra Milo was not in attendance.

One of the guards said that she had a small room just down the hall from the library, and that we might find her there.


As suggested, her quarters were just a short walk from the Library door. Must be nice to have such a short walk to work every day.

Her door was locked, and a guard was standing nearby. I pulled Laurenna over to me and starting giving her a big kiss. As I hoped, the guard decided to give us a little privacy and walked down the stairs to the lower level.

"You're good at this spy stuff, old man." said Laurenna, with a very big grin on her face.

"Well, let's hope I'm as good as my reputation." I replied, with a wink.  


Using a bit of magic, the spell of Ondusi's Open Door released the doorlock, and we stepped inside. Mehra was nowhere to be found.

A note - we should look for a note. I told Laurenna to check under pillows and in tables, while I checked the dresser and the chest of drawers.

I was going through a bunch of clothes in the bottom drawer when Laurenna tapped me on the shoulder, then pointed to a piece of paper left on the top of the dresser I was digging in.   


A simple note to someone by the name of "Amaya."

I read it, and realized that this would complicate things. In it, she hinted that she's probably imprisoned in the Ministry of Truth, and that I was to tell the guard at the entrance by the name of Alvela Saram that I was looking for Mehra Milo, and she'd let me in. She also hinted that I should bring a couple of Divine Intervention scrolls. I assumed that they were for an escape plan.  


We left her quarters and headed for the door. I had one Divine Intervention scroll with me already, and Laurenna had two of them, so that part of the plan was already completed.

Once outside, we looked up in the sky at the Ministry of Truth. The only way up there was a spell of levitation. Laurenna cast her's and I used my own Belt of Levitation. 


Once on the outer deck, we floated over the Alvela Saram, a Dunmer female guard.

"I'm sorry" she started, "No pilgrims are allowed in the Ministry. You'll have to leave... oh, you're not here to visit someone, are you?"  


"I am here to see Mehra." I said, interupting her.

Alvela hushed us up, indicating that the walls might have ears. For all I knew, they probably did.

"Mehra said you would come." she said. "I'll say that you subdued me with magic and stole my key. It opens all three exterior doors. The upper back door is best. You'll need other keys for other doors inside, including the prison cells. You'll have to search for the keys, probably in someone's desk, since no one carries keys while on duty."

"Where will I find Mehra?" I asked.

"She is in the Prison Keep, in the cell on the far right. Mehra said you'd bring scrolls to get out. And listen - this is very important: Some of us are sympathetic to the Dissident priests, BUT, if you kill an Ordinator, you'll lose that sympathy."

I indicated that I understood the gravity of the situation. It would not do anyone any good to make more an an enemy of the Ordinators than they already were. I had already decided to rush in with spells blazing away and do the dramatic rescue.

I could see that would have been a huge mistake. Stealth and cunning would be the best medicine for this problem.    


"Stealth and cunning?" said Laurenna. "Darn, I was hoping..."

"Not this time, sweetie." I said. "Besides, I have the amulet of shadows, and it has a full charge on it." I'll be fine. I'll just get in, give her the scroll to teleport out, and leave, and no one will be the wiser, no one gets killed, and I don't get blood on my good robes."

"Oh, and no blood on your beautiful dress, either." I added a moment later.

"Besides," I said, "we may have to look for that Sixth House base they've been attacking us from. You know how I hate being attacked in the morning before I've had tea."

"That would make two of us." she replied, with a big grin.

With that, I activated the amulet of shadows, blending into the sky behind me, and using the key I had been given, stepped inside this so-called Ministry of Truth.