It has been two months since my escape from the Imperial City prison. During this time, I had visited several cities in the Imperial province, learning a number of very useful spells, trying a number of different types of armor and weapons, and learning a lot about alchemy. My skills had reached such a stage that I could even create fairly good potions with a mixture of excellent to ordinary equipment. I had learned one very important spell in my travels, which was total invisibility. This allowed me to do a lot of fighting by summoning a zombie, a skeleton, and a scamp. While they were not very powerful creatures, it was helpful in the sense that they could be summoned to do battle while I went totally invisible, avoiding injury, able to shoot fireball and lightning spells from a distance while my opponents were distracted by my summoned creatures.

While I had won some pretty good armor, some of it was quite heavy, and eventually decided to sell it. I had kept some glass armor because it had several enchanted parts, but for the moment, my best armor was simply "not being seen".

I finally arrived at the city of Chorral, checking in with the Mages Guild as my first priority. One of my desires was to gain access to the Imperial City Mages Guild College. There, I would be able to learn how to enchant my own items with whatever spell I wished. The only way to get access to such a place was to gain a recommendation from each guild office around the province. After doing a small task for the Guild leader, I finally received my final recommendation. This guild office also had a person who was able to sell me a number of new summoning spells. This gave me the ability to summon a virtual army to my side in times of need.

At this time, I felt it was time to go and deliver the Amulet of Kings to Weynon Priory, rid myself of this burdon, and make my way back to Morrowind.


I practiced my new summoning spells for a few hours the night before, then went to bed in the Mages Guild offices. The next morning, I had a big breakfast, thinking that once this amulet had left my hands, I would be returning here to pick up my belongings, and make my way back to Ald'Ruhn. It would be a long journey, but it would be great to surprise my family back home with my arrival.


Weynon Priory was located just outside the gates of Chorral, so it only took a few minutes to get there. I checked in the chapel, where I was told that Brother Jauffre would be found in the priory's library.


Brother Jauffre was right where I was told he would be, up on the second floor (they said to go right on in, no need to knock on the door). I found him at his desk, reading a book. He was so lost in his reading that he didn't even hear me approach.

"Brother Jauffre?" I asked. He looked up at me with a kindly face. "Yes, child, I am Brother Jauffre. What can I do for you?"

"I have something very, very important for you." I said. "I'm just not sure where to begin."


"Well, then," he said with a smiling face, "why not just start at the beginning. Why did you come here?"

I thought for a moment, not wanting to say that I was in prison when I met the Emperor, but I had to start somewhere, so I just blurted out "The Emperor sent me to find you." It wasn't the way I wanted to start this conversation, but it just came out that way.

"Emperor Uriel?" he asked. "You know something about his death?"

"Well, um, yes." I replied. "I was there when he died."

His face suddenly showed signs of concern, as if he thought I might have been the one to have killed the emperor. "I think you'd better explain yourself." he said.

"He gave me the Amulet of Kings." I responded.

"You brought me the Amulet of Kings?" he replied. "This cannot be. Show it to me."

I brought out the Amulet and showed it to him. His face went white. It had been two months since the Emperor had been killed, the Amulet missing, all the while in my possession. "By the Nine!" he said, finally. "This IS the Amulet of Kings." After a moment, his gaze returned to me, asking "Who are you? How did you get this? What do you know of the Emperor's death?"

I explained everything from the beginning; how I ended up in prison, how the Emperor came to my cell to use a secret escape route, the strange people that seemed to know exactly where to trap him, and eventually kill him, and the last words of the Emperor to me.

Brother Jauffre sat back in his chair, pondering everything I had told him. "I assume you had been in hiding all this time." he said, giving me a stern look. "However, given the circumstances, I can hardly blame you. I am still glad you finally brought this to me." He look at the Amulet again, lost in thought for a moment, then continued, "As unlikely as your story sounds, I believe you. Only the strange destiny of Uriel Septim could have brought you to me carrying the Amulet of Kings."


"Brother Jauffre," I asked, "the Emperor mentioned something about closing the jaws of Oblivion. I'm afraid I don't understand. Do you know what he meant?"

"His meaning is unclear to me as well." he replied. "The Emperor seemed to perceive some threat from the demonic world of Oblivion. You know, the the Prince of Destruction, Mehrunes Dagon, is one of the lords of Oblivion. But the mortal world is protected from the daedra of Oblivion by magical barriers."

"But if our world is protected by magical barriers," I asked, "then how could the world of Oblivion threaten us?"

"I'm not sure." he replied. "Only the Emperors truly understand the meaning behind the rituals of coronation."     


"Where did the Amulet come from?" I asked. "I read something about it in the Mages Guild library, but..."

"Oh, the Amulet of Kings is Ancient." he replied. "Saint Alessia herself received it from the gods. It is a holy relic of ancient power."

"I see." I said. "But what is it actually for? What does it do?"

"Ah, a million questions." he smiled. "You see, when an Emperor is crowned, he uses the Amulet to light the Dragonfires at the Temple of the One in the Imperial City. With the Emperor dead and new new heir crowned, the Dragonfires in theTemple will be dark, for the first time in centuries."

I remembered visiting this temple while I was exploring the Imperial City shortly after my escape from prison. There was an alter, but no fire in it.

"It may be," he continued, "that the Dragonfires protected us from a threat that only the Emperor was aware of."


I had to ask. "Brother Jauffre, the Emperor asked me to find his son. I thought it was reported that his two sons were assinated. What son was he talking about?"

Brother Jauffre became quiet for a moment, mulling over what must have been a terrible secret he had kept all these years. "I am one of the new who knew of his existence." he began. "Many years ago, I served as captain of Uriel's bodyguards, the Blades. One night, Uriel called me in to his private chambers. A baby boy lay sleeping in a basket. Uriel told me to deliver him somewhere safe. He never told me anything else about the baby, but I knew it was his son. From time to time he would ask about the child's progress. Now, it seems that this illegitimate sone is the heir to the Septim Throne. If he yet lives."

"Scandle!" I thought. Even Kings and Emperors fall to the same weaknesses that any ordinary person could be accused of. "If he yet lives?" I asked. "Where would I find his son?"

"His name is Martin." replied Jauffre. He serves Akatosh in the Chapel in the city of Kvatch, south of here. You must go to Kvatch and find him at once. If the enemy is aware of his existence, as seems likely, he is in terrible danger."

"Do you know from where the danger orginates?" I asked.

"I am not totally certain," Jauffre replied, but I suspect that Mehrunes Dagon, the daedra Prince of Destruction might be behind this. An inveterate foe of all mortal races."


I had seen a statue of Mehrunes Dagon doing battle with one of the Tribunal, Almalexia while visiting the city of Mournhold as a child. My parents used to warn myself and my brother that if we didn't behave, Mehrunes Dagon would "get" us. That fact that we knew he was a real creature made sure we behaved!

"He was involved with Jagar Tharn's plot against the Empire years ago." Jauffre continued. "It doesn't surprise me to find his hand in the current calamity. The Dragonfires of Akatosh went out with the death of the Emperor. His successor is then to light them anew upon ascending to the throne. Unless a successor is crowned, the Temple of the One will be dark for the first time in centuries."

"I should take the Amulet to Martin in Kvatch, then?" I asked.

"You should to to Kvatch and bring Martin here." replied Jauffre, "However, I believe that the Amulet would be safest here with me. When you return with Martin, we will figure out our next move."


I found myself agreeing with Jauffre in spite of myself. I had thought that once I dropped the Amulet of Kings off with him, my mission would be at an end, and I could return to Morrowind, leaving this problem to experts in the field. Then I remembered that the Emperor had asked me to find his son. Again, how could I deny a dying man's last request?

These "Jaws of Oblivion" the Emperor had mentioned - even Jauffre didn't know exactly what he was talking about. "Close them" he said. I wasn't exactly certain what kind of threat the Emperor was trying to warn me about, but it must have been so terrible a danger that he would trust a lowly Dunmer girl such as me with such an important task.

I had learned much in these last 60 days. Many spells, many potions, many summoned creatures at my command. I was more than I was when I escaped the Imperial City prison. I was more confident, more capable, more sure of myself.

I put my backpack on, took just what I needed, and started my journey to the city of Kvatch.

I was determined not to fail the Emperor's last request.
















COMING UP: The Journey to Kvatch

PAGE 007