Retaking Kvatach (Part 1)
"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
                                                                     ----- Mark Twain

I had done it! I had closed the Oblivion Gate that had been blocking the gates to the city of Kvatach. I found myself at the starting point, just outside the city walls. I ran back to the barricades to report back to Savlian Matius.

"You did it!" he shouted gleefully. "What about the men I had sent inside? What happened to them?"

I told him the sad story of Menian Goneld, trapped in a cage that was impossible for him to get out of, and the fate of the others he had sent in.


"That is sad." he said, knowing that he had sent them to their deaths. "But their deaths shall not be in vain! This is our chance to launch a counterattack."

"But you have only a few men left." I said.

"Yes, that's true." he said, taking in the numbers of what was left of his troops. "Listen, I need you to come with us."

"Me?" I asked. "I'm no soldier."

"Maybe not." he replied. "But you've got far more combat experience than these men, and we need all the help we can get. Can you help us?"


I considered, again, not having any armor, several good spells, and a few helpful potions. Had this been my home of Ald'Ruhn, well, based on what I had just survived, how could I refuse such a request.

I agreed.

The next thing I knew was that we were all headed into the gate, into what would most definitely be a pitched battle with very, very deadly creatures.


The gate slammed behind me. I had visited other cities in Cyrodiil over the past two months, each of them beautiful in their own way.

But this...I could not believe my eyes.


The city was in a shambles. Fires burned everywhere. Several daedra were scattered nearby, already attacking the few soldiers that had come in to do battle.

Ahead, the chapel, it's lofty steeple knocked down and lying in flames, blocking access to the rest of the city.

And everywhere I looked, the bodies of the dead, townspeople and daedra alike.


I am only one, but I have learned to summon an army to my side.

Creatures summoned from Oblivion to fight creatures from Oblivion. It seemed a fair exchange.


Each time one of my summoned creatures fell, I would resummon them, sending a constant barrage of fighters into the battle.

The solders saw what I was doing, and cheered me on.

"Keep them coming!" I heard. "We're winning!!"


Suddenly, two creatures ran over to attack me! I had to use my sword. It had run out of magical charge, failing to paralyze them, but it could still inflict damage. I used a potion to increase my strength, and had just enough time to take another one that would constantly heal any wounds for several minutes. They attached me. I swung my sword, over and over, in a blind rage, not even caring if I won or lost. It was as if all the anger caused by the loss of my family and home was more than enough magical charge needed to put these monsters down.

I was badly wounded by their attacks, but I won! The healing potion did its job, and in seconds I was fine again.

And the area was clear!


We ran into the chapel, greeted by cheers from the refugees that had been hiding inside.

Once inside, one of his soldiers, Tierra, reported on conditions. "Sir, we're all that's left. Berich Inian, myself, and these civilians."

Savlian Matius was not happy. Just himself, two soldiers, and a bunch of non-warriers, not including myself were all that was left. It seemed that no one else had survived. Except possibly for the Count.

"Tierra," he said, "get these people out of here. The way to the gate is clear and the Oblivion Gate has been closed."

"But sir!," she protested, "I want to fight!"

"You will." he replied, "Once they're secure, get back here immediately. We'll need every available blade, and there'll be plenty of fighting to go around."

Tierra was ready and willing to fight, but realized that the refugees were why they had been trying to get in here in the first place. "Civilians, it's time to move out! Let's go!" she shouted.

The group of refugees hurried out the door, among them, one that looked as if he were dressed as a priest. Could it have been Martin? I wasn't sure. I was about to ask, but the entire group walked out the door before I had a chance to ask.

Savlian, after watching the last of the civilians leave the chapel, came over and addressed me directly. "We've done it!" he said, almost in disbelief. "I didn't really think this would work."

"We got this far." I said, trying to be encouraging.

"Well, maybe we do have a fighting chance." he replied. "This was only the first step. If this town is to be ours again, we'll need to get inside the castle. The Count may still be alive, if he's barricaded himself properly. If we're truly going to succeed, I'll need your help with those summoning spells of yours."

I thought about it for a moment. I had several potions left, some of which would fortify magika and strength, healing, and so on. "Let's do this." I replied, with a determined stare.


Our goal was the castle gate, past which was a bridge which would take us to the Castle itself.

This part of the city was blocked off from the main city gate by the fallen chapel steeple, and as such, dozens of daedra were running amok all over what was left of the city. The smell of smoke and the heat of the fires was everywhere.

And at every turn, around every corner, behind every tree that was still standing, daedra waited for us, inviting us to our death.

I did everything I could to disappoint them. And succeeded.

After dozens of daedra had bloodied my shortsword, we finally made it to the castle gate.

It was locked!

Savlian was beside himself. "Dammit! This is no good!" he shouted in frustration. The gates are locked, and the only way to open them is from within the gatehouse.

"What do we do now?" I said, sounding just as frustrated after all this effort.

Savlian thought for a moment, checking over the gate structure, the rain pelting his face without mercy. "We can't open it from out here." he finally said. "The only way to open it is from inside the gatehouse, and the only way in there now would be through a passage at the North Guard House. But that's always kept locked." He pointed back at the Chapel. "Hurry, get back to the Chapel, find Berich Inian. He should have a key to the Guard House. Once you've got it, get to the Guard House, find the passage, get to the gate room, and open the damned thing. Once open, we'll be able to get inside the castle and secure it."

All that work! Well, maybe not for nothing. I ran back to the Chapel as fast as my feet could carry me in the driving rain.

As I entered the Chapel, two Imperial solders reported in, stating that they had seen the fires from the road, offering their help. I was glad to have it!


"Inian, do you have the Guard House key?" I asked.

"Well, yes, of course." he replied. "Why do you...?"

"They've locked the gate." I said.

"Oh, that's right." he said. "They would have closed the castle gates just before we were forced in here."

He thought for a moment. "We can't go directly to the Guard House. The city's in bad shape. I'd better come with you. We can go out through the Chapel Undercroft. There's a back door we can use there."

He turned to the two Imperial solders. "I hope you're ready for a fight." he said. "We're ready to help in anyway." came the reply.


We made our we down the Chapel steps to the basement. Once inside, we were greeted almost immediately by several daedra. They were everywhere.

I managed to summon several creatures, but I was not able to prevent Inian's death. I was busy fighting off a daedroth, and when I had beaten it, I ran to Inian's aid. He had been partially eaten by a Spider Daedra, and was bleeding badly. "Take the key..." he choked, "Get the gate open. For...Kvatach." His hand fell to his side.

I took the key from his bloody hand. "For Kvatach." I replied softly, closing his still open eyes.


The two Imperial solders and I made it out of the back door of the Chapel, right into a pack of daedra. One hit me with a shock spell before I even had a chance to go invisible. Lucky for me I had a ring that protected me from most of the effects of shock spells.

The two soldiers attacked the daedra while I went invisible, making my way behind a Spider Daedra. While it was trying to attack the two soldiers, I attacked it from behind. Three or four hits, then went invisible again as it turned to shift its sharp claws to me. I ran behind it, hitting it with a fireball spell, then a shock spell. One of the soldiers got in the way, and I nearly killed him by accident. "Watch it!" he shouted. "We're on your side!"

We finally won, and I apologized to the injured soldier. "I'll try to be more careful." I said. I hope he understood.


There was always another creature around every corner. I summoned my own, including some heavy hitters that didn't rely on just spells, but in some heavy-handed smacking.


We must have been getting closer to our goal. It seemed more and more daedra came to stop us, as if they knew what we were trying to do.


The constant rain made it hard to see. There were several kinds of daedra everywhere I looked. The soldiers were holding their own. Having no armor, I did what I could with summoned creatures, but it seemed that at times I had to go ahead and use my constant healing potion and take to my short sword directly. Just constantly slashing at these creatures while the potion did its work made it possible to complete this part of the mission.


We finally made it to the Guard House. "Look around for a trap door." I instructed.

The soldiers and I looked around for a few minutes, then came across a small round door with a keyhole in it.

The key worked, and the door opened up. While the door open, I could smell fires burning even down in this tunnel.

"Stick close." I said, and headed down the ladder.


COMING UP: Retaking Kvatach (Part 2)

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