Journal of Anya Fire-Heart – Morndas, 1st of Hearthfire, 4th Era, Year 201
“The Whispering Door”
Today has been a Triumph. We found the Jagged Crown but as I sit her in Breezehome there are other things that occupy my mind. The issue before me is one of politics and espionage. These are two topics that I am not comfortable with but I am seeing the need to learn more. The Stormcloaks need to be better at both given recent events.
The day started with me doing some smithing and enchanting. I also looked at my Wolf Armor and tweaked it some more. Once I was ready I headed out to the resting place of the Jagged Crown in Korvanjund. I circled around Whiterun to the east and then north. As I did so a courier stopped me with another message – a flyer from a man who had opened up a museum in Dawnstar. I continued on only to see a group of three Thalmor north of Battle-Born. It was a Wizard and two bodyguards. They didn’t react to me so I continued on. If I had been in Stormcloak territory, it might have been a different story. Once I reached Whitewatch Tower I suddenly fond myself helping the guards fend off an attack by three bandits.
North of this I found a jester standing next to a wagon right on the border between Whiterun and the Pale. He told me he was trying to transport his dead mother to a new crypt but his wagon wheel had broken and he couldn’t get the local farmer to help him fix it. He seemed a little odd to me but he was in need so I agreed to speak to the farmer, Loreius by name, for him. When I did so however Loreius objected saying that he didn’t think the jester was legitimate. He could have contraband in that box or whatever and he didn’t want any part with that. I convinced him to help anyway and Cicero (the jester) was very pleased. He certainly came through with the coin.
I headed north, Korvanjund was only a little ways away. The weather grew colder and soon the wind and snow were swirling but I found the band of Stormcloaks that was waiting outside Korvanjund. One face looked very familiar – Ralof. I embraced him and both of us celebrated that we were back in the fight. He revealed he was a little apprehensive about entering an ancient barrow but he would do his duty. The situation was not good as the Imperials were ahead of us. The Stone-Fist was angry and lamented the Imperial spies that were everywhere.
Korvanjund was a pretty typical ruin and not very large. It was occupied by draugr but also had Imperial soldiers that were obviously after the crown as well. Due to my experience with ruins, I found myself as the odd job man finding ways through that were not obvious. When we found the Hall of Stories and a claw made of Ebony, my experience with Bleak Falls allowed me to know what to do and the way to the crown was cleared. We found it on the head of a very powerful draugr sitting on a throne. He was bad enough but he also had two very powerful guards. Once we defeated them all, I was asked to take the crown and get it to Jarl Ulfric as soon as possible. On my way out, I found another Word Wall and learned the Shout: Time Slow by using Sahloknir’s soul. In my mind
I headed back to Whiterun, but as I did my thoughts were a jumbled mess. Imperial spies and the possibility of who they might be occupied them. I had an additional concern. I had received two attempts on my life by the Dark Brotherhood and at least three other attempts on my life by individuals that either tried to provoke me or just attacked me right away. I never considered how they knew where I was or if it was planned and coordinated. Who could be spying on me? The Battle-Born obviously but Vignar Grey-Mane had told me to stay alert but not act – for now. It did however make me wonder how many others were feeding the Empire with information and how many of them may be acting as my friends to get close to me. This was war and given all the attempts on my life something was going on.
I realize that I need to keep mindful of what is going on around me and I now know I need to ask about rumors and information whenever I can. Innkeepers and conversations, I need to pry a little. I am not a person who likes to pry, but if I don’t, it could cost me my life or the Stormcloaks the war. I have some sources about the dragons; I need some other sources for the war and myself. Information is too powerful a tool not to have.
I acted on this new mindset almost immediately after arriving in Whiterun. I headed to the Bannered Mare to see if Hulda had any new rumors. She had only one – something about the Jarl’s children. The idea that one of them was becoming wicked and the others violent caused me to think. I knew the Jarl leaned toward the Empire but to what extent and did he have any secrets that could be used as leverage to push him the other direction. I had helped him against the dragons but would that be enough to convince him when the time came to do so.
I headed to Dragonsreach and after a discussion with Irileth which confirmed that sometimes even she thought the children were trying to kill their father. I then discussed the issue with the Jarl and he said his youngest child had become hostile and even violent, but he didn’t know what he had done to upset him. I headed to Nelkir, the boy in question, and he revealed to me that he knew all the castle’s secrets which is why he had changed in his disposition toward his father. He knew his father still worshiped Talos and hated the Thalmor. He also knew the Jarl’s fears, that he would be run out of Whiterun. He also knew his mother was different than his brother and sister.
These revelations indicate to me the Jarl is a bit of hypocrite. One the one hand he cares about his people, but not enough to fight for them to regain their rights against the Thalmor. His main concern based on what I was hearing was not losing his position as Jarl and he would take any political position that allowed him to stay in power. When I asked Nelkir how he had learned these things he talked about the Whispering Lady. He told me I should go to the door in basement and listen. When I did so I discovered the real identity of the Whispering Lady – Mephala, the daedric lord of secrets, plots, intrigue and sex.
Normally it is a good idea to stay away from the daedric lords. That said I was already involved with Hircine with the beast blood and I needed information that involved secrets, plots and intrigue. Three out of four of the things Mephala is about. As for sex, well that is another matter for another day. I decided to ask her what she wanted me to do. Simple – unlock the door and take the power within. She told me to ask Nelkir what she meant. Nelkir told me that only two people had the key, the Jarl and Farengar. I waited until nightfall occupying my time with Enchanting. Eventually the Jarl’s household went to bed including Farengar.
I am lousy when it comes to sneaking but I managed through using a spell I had found in Korvanjund – Muffle. It kept me quiet as a mouse and I removed the key from Farengar’s belt without waking him. I then made my way back to the whispering door and opened it. In side, laying on a table was a two-handed blade made of Ebony Steel. There was also a small book that I read first which was an admonition not to use the blade. I took the book but also grabbed the blade. It was a thing of wonder a weapon truly fitting the daedric lord also known as the Queen of Spiders. She told me it power grows when it drinks the blood of treachery.
I came back to Breezehome and put away my Skyforge Steel Blade. I think I am meant to carry the Ebony Blade. I will use it to destroy those who are spies and against the Stormcloak cause. Hopefully as I feed its power, Mephala will reveal who the traitors and spies are. Their blood will feed its growing power. I need to get to Windhelm tomorrow and give the crown to Ulfric. After that it will be time to hunt down traitors and spies and fight for the cause.
Next: The Battle for Whiterun