Chapter 16 Dunmer History X
Last Seed 30
It was late morning. Magnus, Snorri, Prophiter and I were heading back towards Bal Isra. We had just this morning recovered from the diseases that had been spread to us. Prophiter, the Wood Elf, had scampered off in the night, and returned with the remedies that we needed. It was a strange coincidence as he had described it. Meeting a mysterious figure in the night, during a raging ash-storm. He had come through well enough though, so I didn’t question him.
We had defeated the thieves that afflicted the Redorans and brought the Master Helm back with us. As we closed in on the final steps towards the Berossus manor, we were prepared to speak with the Redoran noble. The four of us approached the entrance at the stone wall, to be met by the same guards as earlier.
“We have the helm,” Magnus stated to them.
“Let me see it,” one said in response. I had been carrying it in my pack. I pulled it out for them. It was a well-sculpted, sturdy helm made from the same bonemold material that most Dark Elf guards wore. He inspected it and then led us into the manor. The Berossus manor was well-lit with high ceilings. In the first chamber there were swords, axes, and shields hanging from the walls. We followed the man, who had previously addressed himself as Guls, down a set of stairs and into a larger room. There were other Redoran house members there. All of them eyed us as we walked through the door. Guls then told us to sit down as he spoke to Berossus privately.
The lower level of the manor had three doors connecting to it. One leading to Berossus’s chamber, one that we had entered from, and a third that was closed. The room had bookshelves against the walls and tables and chairs in the middle. We had sat down against a small bar in the corner. One of the Dark Elves offered us each a drink. No one accepted, except for Snorri, who downed a small glass of flin quite quickly.
After a brief wait, Guls then emerged his private conversation and asked two of us to come in. Without hesitation, Magnus and I both arose. We followed Guls down a short hall and into Berossus’ chamber, leaving Snorri and Prophiter sitting at the bar.
As I entered the room, I saw Doth Berossus standing formally, with his hands behind his back. Because of that, I didn’t extend my hand in greeting. He looked to be a prime example of a Dark Elf. Coal black skin and bright red eyes. Long red hair and a finely trimmed bright red beard. He wore fine clothes with the colours common to Redoran nobles: red and gold. And to finish the look, he had a very serious, unreceptive demeanor to his face.
His room was large and well decorated. There were tapestries and fine weapons hanging from the walls. Over to the opposite side from were we stood, was a huge Daedric battle axe looming above his bed. It was a magnificent looking weapon. I was momentarily frozen as I gazed upon it.
“Hello. I am Doth Berossus, Brother to the Great House Redoran.” His voice was especially raspy, more so than the usual Dark Elf. He stood, and did not offer us a seat. “Why is it you have requested to speak with me?” he asked. Magnus was again the first to speak.
“Serjo Berossus, I am Magnus the Greymind and this is my companion Xighden. We are simply here to ask you a few questions.” Magnus then hesitated before asking anything. I understood. All we wanted to know was whether or not this Elf could give us any information about the prophecy. But there would be no sense in telling him anything that he didn’t need to know. All that would do is alert more people to our actions. So we needed to choose our questions wisely.
Magnus then began. “Do you recognize the name Simon Belmont?” That question seemed to spur Berossus’ interest.
“Do I know of Simon Belmont?” he responded. “Yes, I have heard of him. Why do you ask?” From that point, I did not know what Magnus was going to say. Listening to him, I began to examine his ability to turn a conversation in his favor.
“Simon Belmont traveled through Ald’ruhn recently. We were looking to speak with him.”
“Speak with him? And why would you think to come to me?” he responded, quickly. Magnus did not answer right away, as it seemed that the Redoran was interrogating us as much as we were him.
“Well, we also had questions to ask you,” Magnus said. Doth Berossus kept a stern look on his face and I could tell that he was wise to our questioning. He knew that we had an ulterior motive for being there. “There has been word that the forces of Dagoth Ur have been extending their reach to the rest of Morrowind, past Red Mountain. We are looking for Simon Belmont to ask for his assistance in the matter. Also, you govern over the territory that neighbors the Ghostfence, so we assumed that if anyone would have news of such activity, it would be you.” Magnus had really been direct with that. It actually seemed to make Berossus sit up and take notice in him, though, so I understood his forwardness. We then both looked at Berossus, as he looked back at the both of us, waiting to respond. The three of us stood still, in a moment of minor anxiety.
“Well…” he began. “…you’re seeking Belmont to help fight the Dunmer’s holy war? As a member of the Tribunal Temple I can only respect your motive, but as a man of clear thinking, I know that you are lying.” We were both taken aback by his words. He crossed his arms, and explained his accusation.
“You two are only here because of the prophecy.” He was correct. “You think that this Simon Belmont that people have been talking about will turn out to fulfill the Nerevarine prophecies, and defeat Dagoth Ur. You are trying to locate him to stop him from doing so, in likelihood because you yourselves are agents of Dagoth Ur.”
He assumed we were both out to kill Simon Belmont and prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled. His tone had at that point turned to an aggressive one. I decided to step in and try and convince him otherwise. “Berossus,” I started. “…we have no affiliation with Dagoth Ur. We are here only to find out what we can and help this Nerevarine prophecy come into effect.”
“Why should I believe you?!” he quickly responded. “I’ve had several visitors recently, all here asking about the so called Nerevarine! Tell me why you are any different.” Bersossus had become hostile. His bright, red eyes only made him seem more viscous. Magnus then took over, in an attempt to calm him down.
“Hold on. These visitors you mentioned. Those who came looking for Belmont. Who were they?”
It seemed to work. Berossus lowered his voice and answered Magnus’ question. “The first came in about two weeks ago; a hooded figure that arrived with several men behind him. He said that he needed to speak with me urgently. After a brief talk in private, he introduced himself as Gares, and took off his hood.” Berossus then paused in his recollection and took a deep breath. “He...it wasn’t an elf, at least not anymore. He had the eyes of a Dunmer, but his face had become twisted and changed. He then told me that he served the “Lord under the Mountain”, and said that I would soon be needed to help him.” There was a silence as Berossus collected himself. He was obviously very disturbed by the visitor.
“And…what happened then?” I asked.
“I threw him out! I should’ve killed him where he stood, but his men outnumbered my own and I did not want to risk any lives. I was sickened more by his need for assistance than by his disfigured features. I’ve devoted my life to the Temple, and there is no force in the world whom I detest more then Dagoth Ur. I would never help him.”
“You seem very passionate towards your faith. That is a strong quality in a man,” I said to Berossus. He looked at me. There was a small moment, in which I thought that he realized that I was being sincere.
“Please, continue,” Magnus said, referring to the other visitors that had been mentioned.
“The next time, it was two of them. Just days ago. They did not look like Gares though, not at all. One was an Orc, who didn’t say a word. The other was a Bosmer woman. She asked me about Belmont, and mentioned the “prophecies”. She was very elusive in mentioning the Imperials and the Dunmer government. She darted my questions and again, like Gares, told me that I would be needed in the near future. She spoke the name Lemnos and then they left.”
Magnus and I both looked at each other, in an eerie state of realization. The name Lemnos was on the Imperial list. Lemnos, a member of the House Telvanni. I knew where our next stop had to be.
I soon turned my attention back to Berossus. “Berossus, I assure you, we have no connection with these other visitors you received, or with Dagoth Ur.”
“I know,” he said. My attempt to prove to him our good intentions was actually unnecessary, as he then explained. “When Gares spoke to me, I felt something from him. It comes from my training with the Temple priests. I can sense the presence of one’s soul. With him, I could barely feel anything. Dagoth Ur must have been taking away his essence, bit by bit. I had the same feeling when talking to the other two. Except with them, there was nothing. No souls. Nothing inside but the puttering an empty mind. Having spoken with you two, I can sense that you are nothing like them. I apologize for my initial reaction.”
It was a relief not to have his doubt placed upon us. It seemed as if we had made an important contact in the Redoran noble. My growing ease soon halted, however, as Berossus then brought up a new point. “While I can tell that you are not in league with Dagoth Ur, this doesn’t change my opinion of you. You are concerned with fulfilling the prophecy, and the prophecy is false.” At that point, neither Magnus nor I knew what he meant. He elaborated.
“I am a servant of the Tribunal, the three Dunmer-gods of Morrowind. The prophecy in which this Belmont character is supposed to fulfill, does not coincide with the teachings of the Tribunal.” There was a blank silence from Magnus and I. I didn’t know any teachings of the Temple, and I didn’t believe that Magnus did either. “Do you know why the prophecy opposes the Temple?” Berossus asked us, with an almost angry tone. We both answered no.
“The Tribunal Temple is founded upon the three Gods, Almalexia, Vivec, and Sotha Sil, who were originally advisors to Lord Indoril Nerevar, a patron saint in the history of my race. Long ago, Nerevar died from wounds he suffered fighting Dagoth Ur, and left the tools of Kagrenac to his three advisors. They used the power of the tools and turned themselves into man-gods, to lead Morrowind in Nerevar’s absence.” While I found the history lesson quite interesting, from what I knew of Magnus, I was sure that he was not sharing my appreciation. He didn’t seem to pay homage to any of the known gods of Tamriel.
Berossus continued. “The false tale that the prophecy would tell, is that Nerevar’s three advisors murdered their leader in an act of greed and ambition. They then used the tools to become gods, and blamed the death of Nerevar on Dagoth Ur. This story is a web of lies, spun by the Daedra Lord Azura. Azura, Beothiah, Sheogorath, they and all other Daedra Lords, are only interested in their own gain. While her prophecy does state the end of Dagoth Ur, it also claims that the end of the Tribunal would come along with it. That the Tribunal is nothing more than three false gods, who are a taint to the Dunmer society.” Berossus stopped, and took a breath before continuing. Again, I could tell he was very passionate about his faith.
“The Tribunal is no such thing. They are the true gods of Morrowind. I have devoted my life to the Tribunal, and have blossomed from their teachings. They give the Dunmer strength, and if this prophecy is to succeed, then it would defy every thing the temple teaches and all the good that has been done. I know in my heart that it is simply untrue. Go if you must, and find Belmont or whoever you may seek. I feel I should tell you though, that this prophecy is not a guide to defeating Dagoth Ur, but a hindrance. If you are planning on truly attempting to defeat him, then you should not rely on any false prophecy. It would be a foolish to expect divine aid when facing such a dangerous enemy. You must face this threat with help only from what you can feel. What is in your hand, your mind, and your heart.”
Berossus was very sure of himself. He planned on stopping Dagoth Ur for the Dunmer and the Tribunal. It seemed that he only needed to rely on himself, because what the biggest part of him was, and what he cared for the most, where two things; his people and his faith. We shared a few words afterwards, and prepared to leave. “In the fight against Dagoth Ur, I wish you well,” I said to him.
“Thank-you,” he responded. We rejoined Prophiter and Snorri and parted ways with Doth Berossus. We then made our way back to Ald’ruhn.
In the Mages Guild, where we found residence for the night, I spoke alone to Magnus. We both sat down at the tables that lay in the main hall. We had already set our plans to meet in Sadrith Mora in two days. We were going to rest briefly before engaging our search for the wizard, Lemnos and his Telvanni Lord, Master Aryon. Prophiter had wandered out and Snorri was asleep at the Fighter’s Guild. I was drinking a jug of mazte, and Magnus was on his second glass of Cyrodiilic brandy.
“So what does the Nord believe? That we are following a divine path, or on a false road to destruction? Does Azura have us in her sights?” I asked him.
“Hmmm, I’m not certain what to believe. All I know is what I know for sure. Anything else would be speculation. Especially anything that comes from the blind devotion that Berossus was giving us.” I laughed.
“I thought that Magnus would think that.” He then looked at me.
“Oh, really? Why do you say that?” he asked me.
“Well, Magnus does not seem the type to put his faith in the gods. Or believe in them,” I said. I had only been traveling with him for six days, but I could at least tell something about him. He had faith in himself, and his magic. What he knew about the world, and what he would reach out and grasp.
Magnus then responded with a surprisingly aloof attitude. “So, do you think that you know me now?” he asked. I probably would have been taken aback by his question, if it had not been for what we were drinking. Still though, I tried not to act presumptuous.
“No, no. It’s just that I can’t help but pick up a few things when I travel with people. Plus, I watch well. I’m an observer.” He accepted the answer, with a smile on his face. I then realized that that was the first time I had ever seen him smile.
I drank from my jug of mazte. Magnus swirled the liquid in his glass and began to laugh, quietly. “What is Magnus laughing about?” I asked.
“I observed something about you also,” he said to me.
“Yes? And what is that?” I responded. He smiled again.
“When we spoke to Berossus, you called him “you”. When you’re talking to anyone else, you refer to them as “the elf” or “the Nord”. Why is that?” I did not restrain my laughter, nor did Magnus. There was something very humorous about that situation which seemed undeniable. For another few hours that night, Magnus the Greymind and I kept our drinks coming as I explained to him the subtleties of Khajiit speech.