Chapter 8 Conspiracy Theory
Last Seed 22
“Whatever they’re paying you, I’ll double it!” the Orc yelled out to me. I had no interest in bargaining with her.
“I’m not here for the money,” I responded. I could recognize the panic in her voice as she tried to reason with me again.
“If you don’t want my money, then what are you here for?” I laughed a bit before I responded. My tail swished around with anticipation and I firmly gripped my axe.
“If the Orc comes down here, she will find out.”
I was in Balmora. I had been given a bounty, by the Fighter’s guild, on a female Orc named Dura gra-bol. It didn’t take me long to find her. When I entered the house, I gave her a clear warning, as I usually do, that I was there to kill her. After a brief fight, she had run upstairs to the highest level of her tower-like home. I was positioned at the bottom of the stairs and I readied myself around the corner. We had been there for about two minutes, at a standoff, as she tried to bargain her way out of the predicament.
I stepped out from behind the wall and slowly crept up the stairs. Being a Khajiit, I was naturally capable of stealth. As I reached the top of the stairs, I could hear her heavy breathing begin to slow down. That was how I knew she was about to make a move. To no surprise, she quickly dove out from her cover, with a crossbow in hand. It was a quarter way through the dramatic leap before I heaved my battle axe down on her torso. Her momentum ceased and her body separated into two. The brutal assassination lasted no more than five minutes from when I walked in the door. It was actually a disappointment. Orcs are usually fearless warriors, always ready for a good fight. This one was steeped in cowardice. Nevertheless, it was money, and the rights to root through her belongings. And so I did.
Later on, after I had collected my reward from Eydis, the Balmora guild steward, I was cleaning myself off in the lower chambers of the Fighters Guild. My newly acquired medium weight, bonemold armor was in good condition. I wiped the Orcish blood off of it.
I had left Vivec soon after arrival. There were too many ordinators there for my liking. I preferred the town of Balmora. Of course, there was still much of Vvardenfell yet to be covered. And I had plans on traveling across it and seeing as much as I could. Ever since I had been taken out of the Imperial province, I had felt the urge for adventure. I needed something to keep me going. In Cyrodiil, there were always bounties available, and always jobs ready. Although in Morrowind, I was yet to encounter anything that was a challenge for me.
“Excuse me,” a voice proclaimed to me. I looked up to see a Breton man, wearing Imperial armor, standing by the open door, in the hall. “I’m looking for a man by the name of Hasphat Antabolis. Do you know where he is?” He was polite, although I suppose all Bretons are. I answered his question.
“Down the hall to the right.” I said nothing more, and the man left. I had just recently met Hasphat, and I didn’t know much about him. All I knew was that he was proficient with many weapons, and a well worn traveler. My curiosity got the best of me and I rose to follow the Breton man. I stepped out the door and down the hall slightly. I only came close enough to overhear their conversation, which, with the ears of a Khajiit, wasn’t hard.
“Caius sent you?” I heard Hasphat exclaim.
“Yes, and I have orders from him. I need information about the Sixth House and the Nerevarine cult.”
“Hmmm, so you’re the new Imperial agent are you? Caius’ new hound for the Blades?”
“You…you know about the Blades?”
“I’ve known Caius Cosades for a long time. His work with the Imperial government is his own business, but that doesn’t stop me from picking up a few things now and then. I know that every once and a while Imperial agents are sent over from Cyrodiil to have “meetings” with him. I know enough of what goes on. He’s been pretty tight lipped recently though. I can tell that something of importance is going to happen soon.”
By this point, my interest in their conversation had grown significantly. I perked my ears to ensure I didn’t miss anything.
“So then… you’ll help?” The Breton asked.
“Oh, yes. I’ll tell you everything that I know. First off though, you could do me a favor. I’m willing to help you and Caius, but I have something that I need you to do for me. There is a Dwemer ruin nearby called Angthkand. Inside there is rumored to be a Dwemer puzzle box. It’s a small, metal box, about this big. Retrieve it for me, and I’ll tell you everything you need to know.”
“I…I suppose so.”
“Of course you do. Besides, I’ll need time to write up everything I know about the two cults, and I’m guessing that it’ll take about the same amount of time that it would take you to travel to that ruin and back.”
The rest of the conversation consisted mostly of Hasphat informing the Breton of the specific location of the Dwemer ruin. I then heard their discussion coming to an end, so I quickly returned to cleaning my armor. There was one last interesting thing that I heard, however. “Before you go, though, what is your name?” Hasphat asked him.
“Simon Belmont.” the Breton man responded. He turned back and walked down the hallway. As he walked by the room I was in, I made sure to poke my head up and speak to him.
“Did the Breton find everything he wanted?” I asked. He briefly responded, and then left.
“Yes.” He said.
My tail swished about with interest. An Imperial faction of agents known as the Blades. Spies being sent in from Cyrodiil. All quite interesting. Especially due to the fact that I had just recently arrived from Cyrodiil, under the watch of the Imperial legion. The recent information made my head fill with possibilities; involving myself, this new character Simon Belmont, and every Imperial guard in the province. I didn’t let myself get paranoid, although I couldn’t help but get excited. The idea of being encircled by this newfound, yet undefined conspiracy was invigorating. I very suddenly felt the need to investigate, and I could only think of two places to start. Socucuis Ergalla, the Imperial agent that had released me, and this Cauis Cosades. I quickly gathered my belongings and made my way out of the guildhall.
I didn’t know the location of Cauis, but I did know where to find the Imperial station in Seyda Neen. I made a few quick purchases at the shops of Balmora before taking the silt strider back to Seyda Neen. At the time, I wore a full set of bonemold armor, short of a helmet. I left my two-handed steel battle axe back the Fighter Guild hall. Instead, I had decided to go with the faster, less powerful, yet ultimately more effective, silver war axe. I had also stopped by the Mages Guild to learn and revise a few spells that I predicted would be helpful. The school that I studied was Illusion.
Within the hour, I was sitting on the back of a silt strider, being quite swiftly carried to Seyda Neen. Night had come, and it was about ten o’clock. Upon arrival, I first made my way around the southern end of the town. I planned on entering and exiting the building through stealth rather than combat, so I needed a place to hide my medium armor. I found a large tree, and easily scaled it. It seemed a bit primitive, but it was a town where I had no friends, and I didn’t want to risk capture. I then hopped down, wearing black plants and no shirt, and climbed over the wall that enclosed the Imperial office. The only possessions I had on me were my lockpicks, and my axe. As I pressed my hand against the lowest level, wooden door, I cupped it, to excel my hearing. From within, I could hear murmurs of conversation. I hadn’t expected there to be anyone home. I then needed to find another point of entry. I made my way around to the courtyard, and quickly surpassed a lock to gain entry.
I entered the room and realized that I had been in before. It was where I had received my briefing from Sellus Gravius, the Imperial Captain. His chambers seemed like a good place to start. There was nothing of interest on the table or shelves, but in a small locked chest, after a brief picking, I found there were several papers. Before I could thoroughly read the material, I heard the sound of approaching footsteps coming from the adjoining hall. I quickly shoved the papers in my pocket and made for the exit. As I made my way through the door and began to close it, I heard the other one opening. Stepping out onto the dusty street of Seyda Neen in the dark of night, I wasted no time in hurriedly walking off. As I suspected however; the door that I had previously opened, did so again and two Imperial guards followed after me. “You there! Stop right now!” one of them yelled. I just kept walking, not turning my head as I rounded the corner. Their speed increased, as their voices rose. “Come back here! Stop!”
I did stop, and I even began to turn. As they caught up to me, I applied on old, yet useful Khajiit trick. The “Eye of Fear”, as many humans called it. I spun around with my shoulders out and my chest bore. In a lightning fast movement, and roared as loudly as I could, baring my teeth and claws. My pupils became large, and filled the yellow of my eyes with black. The two men were very shocked, and both stumbled back and fell down. I very quickly turned and walked away. While one of the men was plagued with fear, and ran, the other gathered his wills, and followed after me. Before he could even catch up to me, I had already returned to the thick branches of the tree. As he walked around below, looking for me, I watched him, and gathered my belongings. After I was suited up in my armor, I hopped down from the tree and evaded the town guard on my way out of Seyda Neen. It was then just the small effort of persuading the silt strider ferryman to keep quiet about my presence there.
After the trip home, I needed to find a place to sit down and go over the several pages of Imperial information. From what I had quickly seen, they seemed to be personal letters, of much interest. I knew the Fighters Guild would have been full at that time of night, so I found a secluded table at the Eight Plates. I ordered a jug of mazte and sat down. As I read, I soon became astonished.
To the acclaimed and respected Sellus Gravius, Champion and Imperial Guard Captain of Seyda Neen:
Greetings. Even though we have never met in person, you are spoken quite highly of; so I’m sure that, although these orders from the Emperor may seem odd, and even disruptive, you will not have a problem complying with them. There is disorder in Morrowind, and especially in Vvardenfell. The historic prophecies of the Dunmer people claim that a reincarnated hero, Indoril Nerevar, will be born on a certain day to uncertain parents. Although the Imperial office does not usually concern itself with such local superstitions, after the consultation of recently acquired “seers”, we believe that it would be best to try to fulfill this prophecy. Our seers have received many visions, some clear, and some mysterious. We do know, however, that certain circumstances must be met in order for this prophecy to unfold.
Therefore, over the next few weeks, there will be three prisoners arriving from Cyrodiil. Socucius has already been informed of their release, but it will be your job to assign them all orders. Individual orders are attached. For the cases of the Khajiit, Xighden Lienx, and the Bosmer, Prophiter, whether or not the orders are followed is irrelevant. It is only necessary that their presence in Vvardenfell is assured. The Breton, Simon Belmont, however, must fulfill his orders. Unlike the other two, he is of a respectable and sound character, and should not be defiant. The status of this mission is of the utmost importance, and while it is understandable for the specifics to be confusing, progress will be checked and the Blades will be watching. Also, we have plans for a few men to be sent in along the way. They will also be necessary for the monitoring of this complex mission.
Aside from the three prisoners, the seers have had clear visions of other Vvardenfell colonists coming into affect. Their names are listed below:
Magnus the Greymind: Nord, Mages Guild,
Doth Berossus: Dunmer, House Redoran,
Lemnos: Altmer, House Telvanni,
Arwaen: Bosmer, No affiliates,
Swift Foot Wanders: Argonian, No affiliates,
Draco Brim-Drethan: Orc, No affiliates,
These six have been clearly seen as necessary characters in the prophecy. Under no circumstances should they be detained or imprisoned. While exiting boats have already been cut off from Ebonheart, we will need you to send out orders to the forts about their presence and importance. Say only what you must, for secrecy is also crucial. Your assistance in this complicated mission is invaluable. I thank-you and wish you luck.
Glabrio Belienus, Head Secretary to Emperor Uriel Septim the 7th
I looked at the other pages. They detailed my original orders in Suran, as well as the orders of the Bosmer; Prophiter. It was hard to believe. Such a great conspiracy seemed impossible, especially since I was a part of it. I then remembered the name Simon Belmont from earlier. He was the man who Hasphat had spoken to. After I reflected upon the new information, I gathered that the best thing I could do was investigate further. I had a list of names and a well of ambition. I was excited to begin. I had never attempted to unravel an Imperial plot before, but I guessed that it would be a worthy challenge.