Yes, we had won. But at what price? Martin had transformed himself into the avatar of Akatosh, the Dragon God of Time. As a god, he was able to defeat Mehrunes Dagon, banishing him to Oblivion.

I did not know if Martin was dead or had ascended to join his ancestors. As a dunmer, it is our belief that our ancestors look over us. And if this is true, perhaps we have not lost him completely.


Suddenly, High Chancellor Ocato arrived on the scene, bloody, but alive.

"What happened?" he asked. "Where's Martin? I must congratulate him! Mehrunes Dagon is defeated! Cast back into Oblivion! We've won!

"Martin is gone." I said.


Ocato looked at me in disbelief. "What do you mean, gone?" he asked. "We saw the Temple done explode; the avatar of Akatosh appear.

He hesitated for a moment, then realized what I had meant. "That was Martin?" he asked.

I nodded in the affirmative. "Yes." I said. "He shattered the Amulet."

Ocato realized the truth of the matter. "The joined blood of kings and gods." he mused. "The Amulet of Kings. The divine power of Akatosh."

"...and Martin's blood, too..." I continued for him.

Ocato gave me a sad look. "Then Martin is gone." he said, fully understanding the situation.

"But the gates are sealed." I replied.

"Yes. Sealed forever." said Ocato. "Mehrunes Dagon and his ilk can never threaten Tamriel again. Martin is dead. But he died an emperor, and a hero to rival Tiber Septim."

"What about the Empire?" I asked.

"What indeed." came the reply. "This victory is not without cost. We've lost Martin Septim. What an emperor he might have made. His sacrifice was necessary, but it leaves the Empire without an emperor. I don't know what happens now. These are troubled times again for the Empire. But now is not the time to worry about the future. Let's just give thanks that we're alive."


Just then, Jauffre came running in to find out what had happened.

I explained what had transpired, and told him of the Empire's loss of Martin.

"A victory beyond hope!" he said. "You and Martin defeated Mehrunes Dagon in the very moment of his triumph! All hail the Champion of Tamriel!"

"Champion?" I asked.

Jauffre pointed to High Chancellor Ocato, who replied "Yes, in my capacity as Lord High Chancellor of the Elder Council, I hereby proclaim you Champion of Cyrodiil!"

"Champion...." I said, half dreaming that this was being told to me.

Ocato continued, "You have earned the highest rank possible in the Order of the Dragon, the illustrious order of Imperial knights founded by Tiber Septim himself. It is a high honor. Only six other Champions have been awarded in the history of the Empire. And, as a small token of gratitude for your service to the Empire, I have ordered a suit of Imperial Dragon armor made for you. Imperial Dragon armor is normally worn only the by Emperor himself. But you deserve no less, Champion."


We all took our leave, going our separate ways to begin rebuilding the Imperial City, getting our lives back to normal. I took a room at one of the inns, dropped into the bed and falling into what must have been the first long, peaceful sleep I must have had in weeks.

And while there was plenty of damage around the city, it was repairable. The city would live.

And the Temple quarter now had a new statue attesting to the power of Akatosh.


I wrapped up my affairs in the city. My Dragon armor would be ready in a few days. My horse was in Chorrol, so I had to go there and pick him up, bring him back to Bruma.

As I was getting ready to leave the Imperial City, I took one last look at the statue in the plaza near the entrance to the city, and couldn't help feeling a sadness welling up in my heart.


Each of us had done their part, sacrificing much for this victory. Some of us had thought they had given too much. I know I had. That is, until I realized that Martin had given much, much more. If he was with his ancestors, they had better prepare a grand place for him.

As for me, I was at peace with Martin's decision. He knew that had been the only way to win the battle. It left us without an Emperor. But the alternative would have been leaving us with Mehrunes Dagon.

But the Elder Council was still viable, and I was certain that the same rules running the Empire now would still hold true.

Life would now go on, and I'm sure that it will for all of Tamriel. Ald'Ruhn had been avenged. All that remained for me to do now was follow my original plans for my life. I had amassed a huge amount of gold during my adventures. Somewhere in Tamriel, someone needed a dress shop selling nothing but the finest clothes. I'd have to find out where that place was. After all, that's all I really wanted to do in the first place.






















The End

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