Entering Skyrim – The Rift in Eastmarch

Posted to Entering Skyrim and AO3

Your name is Argo, and you have no idea why your fellow Vestige has just come roaring through an active battle field in full werewolf form, chasing after another werewolf who seems to have been on the receiving end of quite the brawl.

In fact, it is such a strange sight that the battle currently going on grinds to a halt as both sides stare on and watch as the white-furred werewolf you recognize as Silica leaps at the other Werewolf- covered in bloody black wounds and running for their life- and slams the thing face first into the ground- and then it yelps and works its way out from under the girl before running off at speeds you’re amazed it can move at with those injuries.

What’s even more surprising is when Silica takes off after that werewolf at an even pace- bounding and leaping and snarling as they take the road northwards out of the Rift and into Eastmarch. You’ll admit you’re curious, and so you follow on horseback for the time being, no need to shift into werewolf form yourself unless it’s necessary.

The escaping werewolf heads up the road, and by sheer luck, falls out of his wolf form right outside the tunnel entrance towards that blasted mountain top ruin, Skuldafn. He (it’s a Khajiit, you note) enters, and Silica, shifting back to human form at will, chases after him. You, however, know a quicker path, and head towards the closest wayshrine to teleport up there.

Arriving up there, you try to figure out where Silica will come out at if the other Werewolf managed to escape all the way without dying to her blades/claws.

Like the tunnel that had let the Ebonheart Pact reach Skuldafn in the first place, there must have been another shortcut somewhere inside after that main gate because they emerge a lot sooner than you expected, in a completely different part of the ruin than you were expecting.

That is to say- they emerged higher up in the ruins than you’re able to get to from where you currently stand, and so you run and climb towards the top floor- where that chase is heading- where the portal to Sovrengard resides.

It shouldn’t be open, you know, and as you run, you can’t see the damned thing being open at any stage, but it’s still a concern.

“SURRENDER NOW, ATRIUS! AND I’LL GO EASY ON YOU!” Siica yells from somewhere above you.

“THIS ONE WILL NEVER SURRENDER!” The Khajiit yells back in anger. “HIRCINE WILL FLAY THIS ONE ALIVE!”

And then there’s a dual roar of two Werewolves shifting, and then the sound of claws against fur once again.

You continue to ascend towards the portal floor, taking your own shortcuts where-ever possible… But by the time you get up there, it’s too late. Silica delivers a blow to the Khajiit that makes him revert to his normal form right next to that damned portal and… is it glowing? It’s glowing slightly and that is never a good sign.

“You Fool!” The Khajiit growls as he grabs at the knapsack that had barely hung onto him across transformations. “You have no idea the power that Atrius wields!” And then he- Oh by the Eight!!

You don’t know where the hell the Khajiit-Werewolf got his hands on a Divines damned Elder Scroll (You’re willing to place good money on somewhere in Cyrodill, though), but he’s taken it out and brandishing it as if it’s a staff or a sword or something.

Silica reverts to human form and is holding her hands out, “Alright! Okay! Just put the scroll down…!”

You crouch into a sneak and start making your way towards the mad Khajiit as he rambles.

“All this one wished to do was make a few thousand gold selling the gift Hircine so kindly gave him!” The Khajiit growled. “So many things they would pay with! This Scroll was one of them! Hah! You think Hircine sent you simply just to end my schemes??! NO!” he spat at the ground, “Hircine wanted this Scroll for himself! He sent you to do his dirty work!!! This one will never give it up! NEVER!!!”

Silica leaps before you can get into range- grabbing at the Scroll as the Khajiit throws himself backwards onto the portal which, going by the rapidly increasing glow, is very likely about to op-

And then there is a blinding flash of light and you can’t see a thing.

-en.

Well. That was a worst case scenario.

By the time your vision restores itself, there’s nothing. No Khajiiti Werewolf, no Elder Scroll, and no Silica in sight.

Or at least, that’s what you think before you hear a distant scream- the Khajiit’s grating voice is yelling out some obscenities. You look up on a hunch and—

SPLAT.

The damned Khajiit-Werewolf slams head first into the stonework that made up the portal’s ground layer- his head snaps off at an awkward angle and yeah… he’s dead.

You know this to be true because a moment later, a spectral werewolf fades into existence above the body, looking around in confusion before a chain suddenly wraps itself around the wolf’s neck and begins dragging it through the air towards some unseen portal…

And then Hircine’s voice echoes out as the spectral werewolf disappears into thin air: “It. Is. DONE.”

And you…?

Your name is Argo and you suddenly understand nothing.

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