A Mission from a Goddess

I decided to do a little more exploring north of Cheydinhal and see what new treasures I could find. One of the members of the Fighters Guild told me about a number of mines and caves in the area, but there was one rumor that I found intriguing, and that was one concerning a peaceful cult involving the Goddess Azura. I had known about the older Daedric temples scattered about Morrowind. As a child, I had been warned to stay well clear of them, and with good reason, too. Many evil creatures lived around them, as well as those who worshipped the evil gods they were erected for. Azura, being an Aedra, had a reputation as a beneficial Goddess. I surmised that perhaps some benefit could be had by finding her shrine. I knew there was such a shrine in Morrowind, along with southeast shore, but was glad to hear that there was another such shrine here as well.

I traveled north, finding a small mine, but not much loot there to take home with me. I knew that better spells for greater creatures would be more expensive, so more gold was important to have.

I had been told approximately where the shrine would be located, and continued into the mountain range north of Cheydinhal. As I crossed a suspension bridge (that someone had thoughtfully provided to such travellers as myself), I stopped to look south. Even at this distance, I could make out the outline of the Imperial City.


I decided to turn east and follow the mountain ridge for a while. It was very cold here, and snow covered some of the rocks, making a loud crunching sound beneath my boots.


It was late afternoon when I finally arrived at the shrine's location. There were three worshippers there, and decided to ask one of them what to do.


The local priest, Mels Maryon, greeted me. He didn't want to speak with me at first, but a wise old man once said that the most powerful spell here is called "gold", and it certainly had a profound effect on his disposition towards me.

He said that I should have an offering of glow dust (which I just happened to have found when killing a will-o-the-wisp earlier today), and that I should present it to the Goddess at either dusk or dawn (since She is the Goddess of twilight).

It was much too early for that, so I sat down on one of the benches and waited until the sun began to set.


As the sun began to set in the west, I approached the shrine of Azura and placed my offering of glow dust on the base of her pedistal.

Suddenly, in my mind, I could hear Her voice speaking to me.

"I have seen your name, Traveler, and heard it whispered in twilight. I ask a service, which holds promise of fame and reward. Many years ago, five followers slew the vampire Dratik and its kin, but all were infected by the foul creature. Knowing their fate, they sealed themselves up in the vampire's lair. Their suffering weighs heavily on me. Travel to the Gutten Mine. The door will open to you. Bring the peace of death to my followers, and you shall earn my gratitude."

I remembered the mine, since I had passed it on the way here, but the door would not move an inch, held in place by powerful forces. I guess this was why the door was held shut in the first place.


I made my way back to the Gutted Mine that I had passed earlier. Knowing that there were vampires inside did not make me feel very comfortable about this mission. Those who survive battles with vampires will sometimes contract Prophyric Hemophilia, and if you don't cure yourself of it within three days, you end up as one of 'them'. I shuddered at the thought.    


As promised, the door opened for me, but slammed shut immediately behind me. I had hoped that this was caused by Azura, and not the power of a vampire spell designed to keep "food" from escaping.

I cast a spell of torchlight to better see my way in the dark, and a spell of detection.


It wasn't long before that second spell allowed me to see the first of the five vampires around a curve in the cave tunnel.

I summoned a skeleton and zombie. Appearing a few feet ahead of me, the attracted the attenion of the vampire, and he attacked them. I added a scamp which tossed fireball spells at the vampire. I included a number of powerful fireball spells of my own, then resummoned my "army" over and over until the vampire was dead.   


Two more vampires fell, but not before one of them nearly killed me. I managed a healing spell and counted myself lucky that I had not contracted Prophyric Hemophilia during the battle.


Another detection spell proved that there were still two more vampires down here, but I could not get to them. I finally found a rope near a rock wall, and taking a guess, pulled on it. One of the rocks in the wall rolled down into the ground, exposing a new passage.

This had to be the way to the last two vampires.


As I came to the end of this new tunnel, more evidence of vampires became apparent: their sleeping coffins, surrounded by the bones of their blood-lust victims.


I managed to draw one vampire out and with a bit of luck, defeated him before he killed me. There was still one last vampire in a corner, and he was an ork, proving very difficult to kill.

I managed to keep him distracted with my summoned creatures while I hit him with my most powerful fireball spell. Some of them missed, since they take a few seconds to arrive at their target, and he kept moving around during the battle with my summoned creatures.


I finally managed to defeat the final vampire, and found a note near his body. The note gave the names of each of his companions and a request to thank Azura for their final peace at last. It ended with:

"It is only by fate
that any life ends,
and only by chance
that it is mine...
not yours."


In spite of his being a vampire, knowing they would act on instinct, it was nice to know that they had retained at least something of their humanity.

There were a lot of things here that I could bring back and sell, but one thing truly stood out, and that was a set of daedric armor.

Yes, it was heavy, but I had been plagued by things hitting me and causing injury. One I finish my report to the Goddess, I would return here, gather the items up, and use the spell of Recall to bring it all back home to sell.


I returned to the shrine and touched the base of Her statue, placing the note from the last vampire upon it.

Once again, the Goddess spoke to me.


"Thank you, mortal. Their spirits are free, and henceforth, above my shrine, five bright candles shall burn forever in memory of their sacrifice. For your service, take this token, that your deeds might be entered in the Book of Fate."

Above her shrine, five candles appeared. It is rare that a Goddess pays homage to the living.


At the base of Her statue appeared "Azura's Star", the most powerful soul gem known to men and mer alike.

I took the soul gem and stored it away for future use.

I sat for a moment, thinking about the vampires I had been asked to kill. I felt a great sadness for them.

They didn't ask for their lives to be changed, but, knowing their mission was vital and important, they accepted their fate with dignity and grace.

Then I remembered the Amulet of Kings, and the quest I had been given by the Emperor, still not done, causing things that needed to be put in motion to wait for me. Just me.

What kind of a person am I, wanting to run home to Morrowind? Was there nothing more important to me? Were my own needs and wants more important than a simple request from the Emperor himself, to simply deliver the Amulet to a trusted colleague?

I realized that I was being selfish, and felt ashamed.

I decided that perhaps I should stay here for a while longer, learn better skills, better spells, but then head to Chorrol and deliver the Amulet as promised.

I headed back to the Gutted Mine cave, gathered all of the armor and weapons, and casting the spell of Recall, ended up in my room at the Inn.

It was definitely time for a nap.


COMING UP: Development, and the Journey to Chorrol

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