Journal of Anya Fire-Heart – Tirdas, 30th of Hearthfire, 4th Era, Year 201
“Two Loose Ends”
This morning I set out to accomplish two ends. Visit the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary and turn in my contracts and then visit Jorrvaskr to talk to Aela about what was next in our war with the Silver Hand. After a good and filling breakfast, I headed to Falkreath and then ran to the Sanctuary.
Things were a little out of sorts as the Night Mother and her Keeper had arrived. There was a pretty hostile conversation between The Keeper Cicero and Arnbjorn at first when I came in but Festus Krex stood up for the jester assassin. Yes, I did recognize him as the man I had helped get his wagon repaired so long ago. Astrid eventually settled things by both telling Arnbjorn to show both The Keeper and the Night Mother some respect and told Cicero that she was the head of this sanctuary. This seemed to settle things for the time being.
Astrid told me she had a more complicated contract. I was to go to Markarth and make arrangements with a Muiri at the Hag’s Cure for an assassination. Because it was my first big contract I could keep the payment. I was to handle myself professionally and with discretion but the means was left up to me.
Cicero was very thankful to me and gave me all kinds of information on his role as Keeper and the Night Mother. He seemed to be concerned that the Night Mother had not picked a new Listener. The Listener is the highest honor in the Dark Brotherhood as she hears the Night Mother’s Voice to know who is looking for a contract. He offered a hint that he was waiting for someone to say certain words that would reveal who the Listener was going to be.
The situation is rather awkward as I made my rounds and talked about the current state of affairs in the sanctuary and my latest contract. Only Gabriella and Festus seem genuinely supportive of the old ways and the Night Mother being returned. Both however still expressed concerns about the Keeper. That last part was pretty universal as Cicero is not trusted very much as he is both new comer to them and well … probably insane. As far as the Night mother was concerned everyone has a passing respect for her but it is kind of like those who show up for worship of he divines and then go home never thinking about them again until the next worship day. Sithis is always respected highly. My own view is, that while Astrid may be correct about having to do what was needed to survive, the abandonment of tradition and discipline is also part of the decline of the Dark Brotherhood as a whole. We are not feared and we need to be.
My contract was a different story as some expressed disbelief that I was handling everything from beginning to end as usually Astrid was the one who arranged the contracts. This meant to some that I was being tested as far as my abilities. It wasn’t just about the kill this time. There were also some suggestions that I should not waste a trip to the Hag’s Cure or Markarth for that matter.
I left the sanctuary and traveled to Whiterun, stopping in Falkreath to hop on my carriage for the rest of the trip.. Entering the city at mid-afternoon, I found my way to Jorrvaskr. Aela looked relived to see me at last and I gave her the fragment of Wuuthrad. She told me that she felt Kodlak might know what we were doing because he had requested to see me. I went to him in the basement of the mead hall and he asked me to sit down.
Our conversation centered around why we were taking on the Silver Hand. He felt vengeance had already been taken. I objected saying that the Silver Hand will never stop until we are all killed. They had started this war, I was aiming to finish it. In any case our conversation shifted to the Beast Blood. I told Kodlak it was my understanding that a curse had been laid upon us. He said that was only partially true.
The matter of Beast Blood has only gripped the Companions for a couple hundred years whereas the Companions have been around for thousands of years. It is a recent phenomena that was created by a short-sighted Harbinger who traded with the Glenmoril Witches for the power of he Beast Blood. The Companions were cheated and since then the Blood seeps into the spirits of all the Companions so they are claimed for Hircine. Kodlak wanted to be clean. He felt that only by taking the witches heads could they begin to reverse the process of the Beast Blood. I agreed to perform this task and he left me with the words: “Talos Guide You Lass”.
I personally feel my Beast Blood inside. I however has not transformed since that first time. It is like the Dragon-Blood keeps the beast in a cage. I would be rid of it now that I know it is part of treachery committed by the Glenmoril Witches. It cannot be trusted, so I need to consider getting rid of it myself although I am fairly sure it is what has kept me free from disease. I left Whiterun and arrived back at Lakeview Manor as the sun was setting. I spent some time smithing until now when I am writing just before heading to bed.
All things considered, I can see some things converging and coming to a finale. Markarth however calls me and now I have another reason to go – I could do the contract arrangement for the Dark Brotherhood and while their I could visit the Temple of Dibella. I can’t shake the feeling I will find some answers there and perhaps some healing. I will set out tomorrow for Markarth and on the return trip deal with the witches. They will know my fire and my steel.
Next: The Heart of Dibella