"Welcome, Moon-and-Star, to this place where destiny is made."
                                                                  ----- Dagoth Ur

I closed the door behind me. The stench of dead and decayed flesh was overpowering, as if a thousand bodies had all decided to just come here to die within the last month.

My eyes adjusted slowly to the light, and there, before me, in the distance, the object of this entire trial awaited me.


Dagoth Ur awaited my arrival.

"Welcome, Moon-and-Star, to this place where destiny is made."

I approached, cautiously. I wasn't sure if he wanted to chat, or if his next move would be an attempt to take the tools by force.


"It began here. It will end here. Have you any parting words? Or would you prefer to skip the speeches, and get to our business? You are the challenger here, after all. So to you goes the courtesy of the first blow."

"Now that you have come to me here, there can be but one result. Many times I have considered offering to share this place with you. I considered offering to accept your oath of service. You might try to buy my trust by giving me Wraithguard, Keening, and Sunder. I thought we might once again be friends... comrades... brothers in arms."

"But I have won this place and power by right of conquest. By right of daring and enterprise. I will not risk it to cunning and deceit. I offer you no deals. If you are my enemy, I cannot trust you. And even if you are not my enemy, I cannot let you live. It will all be decided here. I believe I will prevail. But I cannot be sure, and I am vain enough that, should I fall, I would wish to be remembered in my own words. So, if you have final questions you would ask, ask them now. I have final questions I would ask you, if you would answer."

"Very well," I replied, deciding to probe for some answers, if possible, "ask your questions of me." The least he could have done was offer me a cup of tea, not that I would have accepted, suspecting he'd poison it, but it would have been a much more friendly gesture.

"My first question is: Are you really Nerevar reborn?"

Well, that was unusual, but I had an answer for him. "By the grace of gods and fate, I am Nerevar reborn." I showed him the ring, Moon-and-Star, that only Nerevar could wear. Though I could not see his face through the mask, I could hear a sort of sadness in his response.

"That is bitter." he replied. "The gods and fates are cruel. I served you faithfully once, Lord Nerevar, and you repaid me with death. I hope this time it will be you who pays for your faithlessness."

Ok, so, not the response I expected, but no matter.

"My second question is: if you win, what do you plan to do with the power from the Heart? Will you make yourself a god, and establish a thearchy? Or will you complete Akulakhan, and dispute control of Tamriel with the Septims? Or will you share the Heart with your followers, as I have, and breed a new race of divine immortals?"

I guess he wanted to know if I was as power-hungry has he was, and perhaps, as power-hungry as the Tribunal had become. "I have my own, secret plans for the heart." I replied. Those plans involved a lot of damage to the heart, but then, I think he knew that's what I had in mind.

"Well. Perhaps there may be surprises in store for me yet." he replied,  "Or perhaps you obscure your plans on principle. Or perhaps you are an instinctive bluffer. No matter. My final question is: if I had offered to let you join me, would you have surrendered Wraithguard, Sunder, and Keening to me to seal your oath?"

I glared a very angry stare at him. "No." I replied, without hesitation, "I would never join you."

He surprised me with a slight bow. "Thank you for your forthright response. And now, if you have any questions, ask them. Otherwise, you are the challenger. I await your first blow."     


I decided to ask a few questions of my own. It's not every day you get to chat with a living god, and I decided to clear up some mysteries in the process. I just hoped I could live through the ordeal so I could report my findings back to the rest of the world.

I asked my first question: "What is your plan for the Heart?"

"I will continue to draw divine power from the Heart, and distribute it to my kin and followers." he replied. "I will continue to broadcast divine power upon the blight winds, so that it will touch each soul on Vvardenfell, and then more broadly, across the waters to the rest of Morrowind and Tamriel. In time, every mortal in Tamriel shall feel the liberating contact with the divine."

Like all madmen, bent on ruling the world, and proud of it, too.

I asked my next question: "What is your plan for the Sixth House?"

"The Sixth House will serve as the elite cadre of our movement. As cultists evolve through various stages of enlightenment, they will become, as suits their abilities, either holy warriors or priests. Their duty is to prepare themselves for service; their joy and liberation is to enter ever-more-deeply into the profound enlightenment of the divine dreamworld."

Well, at least he was going to try to be productive with them.....sort of.


I asked my next question: "And the Dunmer people? What is your plan for them?"

"I will free the Dunmer from the Imperial yoke, and cast down the false gods of the Temple. I will lead them out of their ancient superstitions, and gift them with intimate knowledge of the divine. Then, perhaps, when Morrowind is once again restored to its ancient glories, it will be time to consider whether the Dunmer should cultivate ambitions of empire."

So, he would cultivate the very empire he despised, with himself as ruler. Not much of a change, when you think about it - replace one Emperor with a different one, full of Corprus victims. Not a pleasant thought.


My next question was a bit more direct: "You have attacked me in my sleep, and caused nightmares in the dreams of innocent men, women, and children.  How do you justify your crimes?"

"If, by my crimes, you mean the inevitable suffering and destruction caused by war, then I accept the burden of leadership. The Sixth House cannot be restored without war. Enlightenment cannot grow without the risk of upsetting the tradition-bound and complacent herd. And the mongrel armies of the Empire cannot be expelled from Morrowind without bloodshed. As I have charity and compassion, I grieve. But our mission is just and noble."

Yes, well, says you, ok?


I asked one right out of the blue, just in case he knew the answer: "What happened to the Dwemer?"

"I have no idea what happened to the Dwemer. I have been denied the opportunity to study Wraithguard, and I am not sure how much of Kagrenac's lore was invested in his tools, and how much in his own sorcery and mastery. I have long studied Kagrenac, and have come to admire his wisdom and craft. Someday, after the campaigns of the Sixth House are secure, I hope to have time to dedicate to this mystery."

I was tempted to tell him he might not have the opportunity to study those tools after this battle was done. Then, again, I didn't want to push my luck.


I decided to ask one more, perhaps silly, question: "Why are you building Akulakhan?"

"Akulakhan will serve three purposes. First, it will be the champion of my armies, liberating first Vvardenfell, then Morrowind, and then, perhaps the rest of Tamriel. Second, it will serve as a sower and cultivator of the divine substance derived from the Heart. Three, it will serve as the prominent banner and symbol of our cause -- to defy the Empire, to liberate mortals from ancient superstitions, and to glorify our crusade against the gods."


"So, Moon-and-Star, if you are done talking, then we should get down to our business. It is a pity, however, that it should come to this."


Quickly, I summoned a battle axe, knowing what was to come. I wasn't sure if it would do me any good, but it was the most powerful weapon I could muster at the moment.

"Did you really expect me to come all this way, just to turn tail and run?" I asked. "Did you expect me to just give up?"


Dagoth Ur bellowed out a hearty laugh.






"No, Mr Dragonmeal."





"I expect you to die."


Well, he was supposed to let me have the first blow. However, before I could give the battle axe a good swing, he jumped back, and cast a spell in my direction. While I absorbed the magicka into myself, I could feel its effects, none-the-less. He was robbing me of my strength, willpower, agility, intelligence.

Still, I managed to push him into the wall, and gave him a good wack with my battle axe.

Three blows later, he simply disappeared!

There was no way it could have been that easy to destroy a living god. If it were, the Tribunal would have done it centuries ago. No, something was up here.


Just then, a door opened up to my left. It was another one of those "shells" that hide doors. It opened part way, then appeared to jam in that position. I didn't know if it was just old, or if it was held there by design.

I decided to check and see what it was.


The door indicated it lead directly to Akulakhan's chamber.

There is no way this was an accident.

Dagoth Ur was goading me into entering this chamber, daring me, taunting me a second time.

And yet, I knew I had no choice: the Heart was there, and had to be destroyed.

I had to do this, or die trying. I didn't like the idea. This was Dagoth Ur's environment, his home base, his source of power.

All I had to do is get past a living god and destroy his source of power.

I prepared a few spells in my mind, readied a few shield scrolls, and hoped that all this preparation over the last year was sufficient to complete the task at hand.

Another deep breath, and I pushed the door aside, let the clamshell doors open for me on the other side, then close, locking me in, and beheld a monstrous sight.    







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