We both got up bright and early the next morning, and had a good breakfast. I looked around for my bright yellow robes, but they were nowhere to be found.

"Oh, those robes." said Laurenna. "Um, they smelled like rats, so I put them in the wash for you. You haven't been hunting rats in the sewers again, have you?"

"Well, yes, and it was a big one." I explained. "It was about 5 feet long."

"Eeewww!" she replied. "Well, I'm glad you got rid of it. You know how I hate rats."

"Yes, indeed I do." I said, giving her a peck on the cheek. "More council work today. I'll let you know if I'll be home for dinner."

"Just so long as you don't come home smelling of more rats." she shouted as I headed out the door.  


Once out the door, I used the Servant of the Sea amulet to teleport back to Romana Corvus in the undersea device.

"Eldorf, you're back." she said. "I hope you had a good rest. I have an interesting assignment that involves you directly for some odd reason."

"Myself directly?" I asked.

"Yes." she replied. "Some time ago, we captured a live Ascended Sleeper. He's imprisoned in the brig on the lower deck. We'd given up on interrogating him. Likes to play with chalk all over the walls, and so on, but he hasn't said anything at all - until this morning. When I brought him his daily ration, he looked at me and said 'Bring Eldorf Dragonmeal to me.' I guess that means he's ready to speak, but wants to speak to you only. Lucky for us you're right here."

"What should I say to him?" I asked. I had never actually spoken to one of these things before, just killed them before they killed me.

"I'm sure you'll figure out something to chat with him about. Just let him lead the discussion and see where it leads. DON'T kill him. If he attacks, cast a charm creature spell. Oh, and DON'T let him loose!"   


Since my first visit to this strange place yesterday, I had wondered what this locked door held. Now, I wasn't so sure I wanted to go in here. This creature had asked for me by name, and being related to Dagoth Ur, and the mission I was originally sent here to complete, I found it disturbing that things and people knew me, before I knew the whole story. Well, perhaps this creature could shed some light on this mystery for me.

Slowly, I approached the locked door, inserted the key, gave it a gentle turn, and hearing the lock release, opened the door.  


In the dim, uneven light of the cell, he stood there, several feet taller than myself. Until now, I had never gotten this close to a live one without an attack taking place. Yet, this creature seemed resolved to his fate as a prisoner, and yet, still of use, in the sense that it could communicate with me.

"I understand you have asked for me directly." I said. "I am Eldorf Dragonmeal."

The creature stirred, waving it's tendrils about, then hissed a response. "I have been waiting for you, Eldorf Dragonmeal. I am Dagoth Skarrin. My master has foreseen this meeting, as he does all things. Ask your questions, but know that, in doing so, you too serve his will."


"We will see about who is serving who's will." I replied.

My eyes wandered to the floor of his cell.

Everywhere, walls, floor, anyplace he could find a space, he had scrawled the same thing, over and over: "The dreamer is awake."

Obviously obsessed, yet I could not blame him, considering his condition. I decided to find out what I could.   


"What is your name?" I asked.

"Name?" came the reply, almost with a laugh. "My name is Many. My name is Legion. My name is DAGOTH, as are all of House Dagoth. We are together, eternal, Dagoth. Dagoth is the One who is Many, the Many who are part of the One. What need for any further name? But if it matters, when this body was a simple Dunmer in the service of House Redoran, it was called Skarrin."

"Well, it is easier for me to refer to you with a name." I replied. "It is easier for me than 'Hey you!', if you take my meaning.

"If it pleases you, yes." came the reply.    


"What is corprus?" I asked. "Is it a natural disease, or something more?"

"It is much more, Eldorf." replied the sleeper. "It is a creation of Dagoth Ur, using the Heart of Lorkhan to create a contagion which itself carries a message and a power. Those afflicted suffer from horrible, disfiguring growths and become maddened and insane. But when someone with the blood of the Sixth House in their veins gets corprus, it is different. The disfiguring growths are actually guided by the blood, transfiguring the afflicted into an Ascended Sleeper. The process is lengthy and painful, but then is birth also not painful?"

So, finally, the mystery of why corprus could not be cured by normal means was revealed. Not natural, it was, in a sense, a spell, cast scattershot over the land, hoping to find and transform those of the original Sixth House into these creatures.   


"Who is Dagoth Ur, and how does he know me?" I asked.

"He was your friend, once." replied Skarrin. "He would be again. As a friend, he once served you, Nerevar. Are you too proud to serve him as he did you? Go to him, and he will forgive your betrayal. You, too, can be transfigured by the Heart of Lorkhan."

Somehow, having a face full of tentacles didn't appeal to me.

"How long have you been held in this cell?" I asked.

"Months." came the reply. "It matters not. I am connected to House Dagoth, as are all the Ascended Sleepers. What one sees, all see. What one hears, all hear. What one knows, all know."

"What are these Sleepers?" I asked, trying to get a handle on the concept.

"The Sleepers are those of the blood of the Sixth House. It matters not how diluted it has become over the generations, Dagoth Ur's sendings will locate one who has any smallest fraction of the Sixth House blood in their ancestry."

That was a valuable piece of information. I did remember that according to writings on the Battle of Red Mountain, the Sixth House had been destroyed, and that surviving members of that house had been absorbed into other houses. Anyone descended from those original members would, naturally, be sensitive to anything related to the Sixth House.    


"Where do the powers of the Ascended Sleepers come from?" I asked.

"Why, from our shared Sixth House blood, of course. Once transfigured into Ascended Sleepers by corprus, the disease further changes our physiology. It grants us our resistances, our increased tolerances to pain, our innate abilities." All guided by the blood, the blood which knows and remembers. It is what separates an Ascended Sleeper from just another Lame Corpus Beast."   


The creature raised itself up and stretched it's tentacles in the air, as if trying to reach for something invisible.

"You have what you need to know." he said. "Now, go and report to your masters, and see how much good it does you!"  


I turned to leave this wretched mess of a creature and report what I had learned to Romana. Perhaps she could make use of some of this information. I still had to wait for the findings of the Wise Woman of the Urshilaku Camp as to what my true path should be in all of this, yet everyone on the evil side of the fence seemed to already have the answer.

"You will come to him." the sleeper shouted as I left. "You have no choice. It is your destiny."

"I may go to him, as you say." I said, my back still turned to him. "But it may turn out that your master may wish I had not."

"If you go to him as an enemy," came the reply, "you may not survive the first of us."

"We will see." I said. "I have already survived his gift of corprus. I intend to survive much more than that."

No reply from the sleeper on that point. I left the room, slamming the door shut and making sure it was tightly locked.    


Romana was in the crystal room working on whatever it was she was involved with. When she saw me, she asked "Well? Did it cooperate with you or did it just ask for more chalk so it could keep scribbling on the walls?

I advised it had answered all the questions I has put to it. She was not happy that they could not tap into the powers of the sleepers unless one had the blood of the Sixth House, and if one did, one would turn into an Ascended Sleeper.

She went on to say that the order wanted to investigate these little red ash statues that seem to be associated with this Sixth House. I had seen a number of them, and sold them off, but she needed six of them to study. It seems they act as an amplifier for the Sixth House.  


Easiest mission I had ever been given. My spell of Recall was set to arrive in front of Creeper, in Caldera. He still had every one of the ash statues I had ever sold to him.  I paid Creeper for six of them, then used the Servant to the Sea amulet to return back to Romana in just minutes.


Once finished, I decided I needed to give Laurenna a little more attention, and took my leave from Romana, telling her I would come back the next day for another assignment.

"I hope you do." she said, "It's going to be an important one, so be prepared for travel."