The Journal of Astera Tirell (Modded Skyrim Special Edition)

Giron

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Yes, I know the Champion of Cyrodiil is canonically Sheogorath, but I don't consider Veya to have ever done the Shivering Isles. Of course, the whole Sheogorath/Jyggalag thing would've been fixed during Veya's time, but she herself didn't do it.

Honestly, giving her a connection to Helgen Reborn was a more recent addition to my headcanon, as Helgen Reborn is probably my absolute favourite quest mod for Skyrim. Though I did have to do a full read of both volumes of "The Keepers of Hattu: Real or Myth?" before putting details in.

The Blade of Dawn

"What?" Astera asked Marcus, shocked. "Veya... was a Keeper of Hattu?"

"More of an... honorary Keeper," Marcus replied. "Valerius and I were shocked when the Champion of Cyrodiil herself had shown up to help in what would've been a surprise assault by Aerindil. Without her intel, we might have been lost..."

Hammerfell, 4E 177

"Valerius Tiberius Artoria - the hero at the Battle of the Red Ring..."

"Who are you?" Valerius asked. "Are you one of Aerindil's lackeys?"

The Dunmer laughed. "That fool? Far from it. Who do you think's been sending you intel on the Dominion's movements so far?" She approached Valerius, a smirk on her face. "You're lucky I'm a sucker for near terrible odds." She put out a hand. "The name's Tirell. Veya Virian Tirell."

"The Champion of Cyrodiil?" Marcus asked. "You were said to have disappeared!"

"Well, you can calm your feathers, because I'm helping you out. I'm not the biggest fan of the Concordat, I can tell you that much."

Present day

"She managed to keep Aerindil's men from attacking the evacuating townsfolk, and even managed to push them back somewhat. When the battle was over, she disappeared, and said she would meet us at Stros M'kai when it was over. She continued to send us information, and while she didn't fight at the battle at Hattu Mountain, her intel was instrumental in making sure Valerius's plan came to fruition."

"Impressive..." Astera muttered. "So what happened then?"

"After the Second Treaty of Stros M'kai was signed, and the Dominion forces began to withdraw from Hammerfell, we received word of her being in the area and I went there to meet her... only for something terrible to have happened. She was betrayed by someone she called friend..."

Stros M'kai, 4E 180

"To an independent Hammerfell," Veya said, raising a glass with her companion. Her companion raised his, and they touched their goblets.

"Indeed." With that, the Dunmer and Imperial drank. When they put down their goblets, the Imperial lowered his eyes. "I'm sorry, Veya."

"Sorry?" she asked. "For wha-" Her voice cut short as she gripped her chest in pain. She glared daggers at her companion as one of her hands went to a dagger on her hip. "Poison... you *******... she made you do this, didn't she?"

"She has my family, Veya," he replied.

"I knew it..." Veya growled. "Curse that Thalmor *****. How could I have been so complacent?!" She looked back up at him. "What did she offer you?"

"I'm sorry... but she said she would release them if I... disposed of you."

"You idiot... you damned idiot."

"Huh?"

"You realise that she's probably already had them executed by now?" The imperial's eyes widened as Veya continued despite the pain. "They're Talos worshippers! You know they had no chance in Oblivion the moment they were captured after the Concordat was signed." She breathed in and out, her breath becoming ragged. "I could have helped you, you know... but it's far too late for that. For me..." Her eyes narrowed. "And for you."

At once, she pulled out her dagger and threw it. The blade sunk right between the eyes of the Imperial - whose eyes rolled back as he fell to the floor, dead. Veya turned her eyes to the door, just as they opened and a familiar face arrived.

"Veya?" she faintly heard Marcus's voice as she stumbled and fell. "Someone, get a healer, now!"

"Don't bother, Jannus," Veya said, her voice barely above a whisper now. "The poison is too deep in my system. Just... one thing..."

"What is it?"

"If... if you ever hear... of my counterpart... the Blade of Dusk... find her... and let her know of my fate..." She grimaced. "Let her know... if she ever comes across that ***** Elenwen... to drag her to the depths of Oblivion."

Present day

"After that, the poison took her life," Marcus said, shaking his head. "A coward's tactic." His eyes turned to Astera, whose whole body was shaking. Was it anger? Rage? Sadness?

"Elenwen..." the Blade of Dusk growled. "That ***** caused this?" She let out an angry laugh. "Ha! I met her at that damned Embassy of hers a couple months ago! She was right there! I could've ripped her throat out while I was there, but no..."

"To be fair, Astera," the blue Khajiit, Inigo, said. "You were searching for information on the dragons at the-"

"I know, Inigo! I know!" Astera shouted, before shaking her head. "Sorry, I shouldn't have shouted." Getting up, she began to walk to the door. "Sorry, Marcus, but... I need to go outside, clear my head, before I can give you an answer."

Marcus nodded. "That's okay."

"You want us to go with you?" Ignacia asked. Astera shook her head.

"No," she replied. "Don't worry, I won't be gone long."

"Alright." Ignacia nodded. With that, the Blade of Dusk went back into the snowy ruin of Helgen.
 

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Journal Entries 189-192

Entry 189
Last Seed, 4th, 4E 201

I don't know what to say. Veya a Keeper of Hattu? Poisoned by her own companion - who was threatened by Elenwen?

I knew something was fishy about her when we first met in the Embassy. Something in her eyes screamed "I know exactly who you are."

As I've thought about it, I have to admit that she was a little complacent... but the person who did it was someone she trusted... what if that happened to me? If Ellary, if Ignacia... if INIGO did something like that to me... I really don't know what to think.

Marcus has something else to say, but he let me gather my thoughts out here in the ruins of Helgen before he talks about the next step.


Entry 190
Last Seed, 4th, 4E 201

I've decided to continue helping Marcus and Valerius. Veya clearly trusted them, so I suppose I can trust them as well. We all have a shared hatred for the Thalmor now.

Anyway, Marcus wanted me to look for some guards - and had Patsy put up recruitment notices in a few cities: Solitude, Dawnstar, Whiterun, Riften, and Windhelm. I know I should go talk to Arngeir and see about the truce, but... my mind is still clouded. I'm not ready for that yet.

I know I need to do it soon, as Alduin will be getting stronger, but...

I don't know what to do.


Entry 191
Last Seed, 5th, 4E 201

First stop on our guard recruitment trip was the Bannered Mare in Whiterun. We met a Breton named Kindrick who didn't have a speck of combat experience from what I could tell, but somehow made it to Whiterun from High Rock all on his own. So... to give a little test to him - and every other recruit we'll come across at the other cities - he's got to get to Helgen on his own and speak to Korst. He should be fine, but we'll see how things go.

Anyway, we also met someone named Vilja... who I ended up deciding to help out along our journey. She's looking for ingredients to help release whatever's in her magical bottle or something.

Well, we're heading to Riften so... yeah. See how that goes.


Entry 192
Last Seed, 6th, 4E 201

Well, this past time in Riften has been eventful. Firstly, I stole a horse from Black-Briar's estate, then found an Argonian named Wanan-dun - who I promptly sent to Helgen - and ended up finishing the task for the Thieves Guild.

From there, Brynjolf sent me to Goldenglow Estate to steal some things and burn some beehives, which I managed to do swimmingly. Well, the strange dragon showing up helped a little - even though it was gone by the time I got back outside.

And now, Inigo and I have talked, and he realised that the person he thought I was was dead. He said that the person definitely used the mantle "Blade of Dusk", but realised it might have been someone else who decided to use the name.

But our now false past together doesn't matter. After our adventures together, I'm proud to call Inigo one of my greatest friends.
 

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I wanted to write something a bit different this time around, and I've had this in a google doc for a while, so I thought: the Thalmor MUST have a Dossier on Astera at this point. Why not write one up for her? I've seen other people make Dossiers for their own characters, so this makes it a bit interesting.

Thalmor Dossier: Astera Tirell

Name: Astera Tirell

Status: Observe with great caution (do not engage), high priority, Emissary Level Approval

Description: Dunmer Female, unknown age, short hair. Mainly wears strange otherworldly armour. Often accompanied by an Imperial, Breton, and blue Khajiit.

Aliases: Dragonborn, Blade of Dusk

Known allies: Inigo (Blue Khajiit), Ellary (Breton, surname unknown), Ignacia Deflagratio (Imperial from Cheydinhal). Appears to have connections in Morrowind and High Rock. Believed to have connections to Veya Viran Tirell. (Blade of Dawn, see separate dossier)

Background:

Astera came into our radar after the Second Treaty of Stros M’kai when she moved from Ebonheart to Skyrim. Our sources indicate her being a former member of the Morag Tong - operating under the alias of the “Blade of Dusk” - a similar name to the Blade of Dawn. It is believed the two are related somehow. Further studies by our sources seem to indicate some lineage to a mythical figure known only as the "Vestige", which itself seems highly unlikely.

Before being revealed as the Dragonborn, she seemed to express disdain towards the Thalmor - and cleared out Northwatch Keep, as well as agents assigned to eliminate her. She appears to have only gotten more powerful after this revelation. Many of our agents have noted her strange ability as similar to Ulfric Stormcloak.

She owns a ship known as the Scarlett that travels along the Sea of Ghosts, and appears to have the ability to teleport to that location on demand. Attempts to enter the ship have failed, due to strong resistance on the ship. It is believed that the Scarlett makes port in a cavern west of Northwatch, however, these rumours have not been followed on.

She is armed and accompanied by strong fighters. To approach her is to earn a quick death by her dual daggers or being riddled with arrows. However, if possible, means to capture or eliminate her should be analysed, discussed, and, if possible, put into action.

Further notes:

Astera infiltrated the embassy and stole a multitude of important documents - including our dossiers on Stormcloak, Delphine, Esbern, and our reports on the Dragons - and killed all the officers and justiciars stationed there. She did not seem to have any knowledge of Veya’s demise by our hands, and was somewhat amicable upon first meeting with the First Emissary. As well, our operatives in Riften were also slain, and Esbern (see separate dossier) seems to have escaped - their location is unknown.

She was last seen with an Imperial man and her companions heading to Helgen, for reasons unknown. There is not enough information to determine the Imperial’s identity, other than the name “Marcus”.

Notes on companions:

Inigo:
A blue Khajiit, seemed to have met Astera in Riften and has travelled with her ever since. Wields a bow and sword made from Ebony. Is known to make many insults. Do not succumb to these.

Ellary: A Breton wearing a strange yellow fox mask, appeared with Astera near the Tall Mast Tavern south of Dragon Bridge. Seems to wield a dagger and a strange wooden shield.

Ignacia Deflagratio: An Imperial from Cheydinhal, accompanied Astera to the strange ruin known as Morwitijaal, and has been travelling with her ever since. A strong fighter, wielding a strange helix-like blade that can fire some strange energy beam.
 

Giron

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Journal Entries 193-196

Entry 193
Last Seed, 10th, 4E 201

Spoke to a short Nord named Herd in Windhelm about recruitment, as well as two Redguards in Dawnstar. We then stopped at Morthal on our way to Solitude.

Once there, I spoke to an... interesting fellow named Hoth - seems like a bounty hunter for hire. Well, I hired him, but I'm unsure what to really do with him. He seems quite strong, but... well, we'll see.

Anyway, in Solitude was a Khajiit named Joto. After sending him over to Helgen, I took the carriage myself and spoke to Korst. Now, it's time to evaluate these recruits. Unfortunately, my merry band will only get the way of it.

First up is the Argonian. We're to take out some vampires west of here. Let's see how well he does.


Entry 194
Last Seed, 11th, 4E 201

Wanan-Dun did very well... considering the circumstances. That being that those vampires gave ME a run for my money. There was even a vampire that had some sort of symbol on their clothing - probably a vampire clan. I'm not sure which. I did find another word of power.

Anyway, next up is Joto. We're headed to Brittleshin Pass to deal with Necromancers.

Should be fine... now if only Korst can get Herd to stop wasting Bomb Arrows on targets... I don't like waking up to the sound of explosions.


Entry 195
Last Seed, 11th, 4E 201

Ugh, ice spells. Ice spells, Ice spells, Ice spells. I've had it up to here with them. On the plus side, Joto got his dog.

Honestly, Joto could have done a lot better... but he could've done a lot worse, considering. Anyway, apparently the bandits that Val managed to get rid of are camping in Pinewatch. Fun times...

Next on the evaluation list is Herd, the short Nord. No doubt after him will be the two Redguards... I shudder to think what will go down with them.


Entry 196
Last Seed, 12th, 4E 201

Well, it wasn't TOO bad, I guess. Herd held his own rather well... all things considered. Honestly, all of them need more training, but against what they fought... they did well.

Anyway, next is Orianthi, the Redguard woman. Someone wants us to clear Upper Embershard Mine. I didn't realise there WAS an Upper Embershard Mine. Well, I don't know everything about Skyrim.

Better grab her and see where this leads.
 

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Journal Entries 197-201

Entry 197
Last Seed, 12th, 4E 201

Dremora. Why did it have to be Dremora? They took over the mine... and the warlock's powers messed with me a bit. I'll admit, having Oriantha there helped. She did well.

As well, we helped the spirit of a child named Hanna by killing the warlock. The people of the mine might be able to rest in peace now.

For now, it's off to another dig with her brother, Sorian. Time to see what the second Redguard is made of.


Entry 198
Last Seed, 13th, 4E 201

Sorian surprised me. Though he seems to think I'm as harsh a taskmaster - perhaps even more - than Korst. I suppose... considering how many Draugr I left to him. He made it out okay, though.

Though Staadomar also had a Dragon Priest screwing things up. Thankfully, we took care of it.

Just one more recruit to go... Kindrick. Korst has got intel about the previous bandits making preparations for an attack from Skybound Watch.

Time to hit them by surprise... and see what the Breton to got from High Rock on his own has managed to learn.


Entry 199
Last Seed, 13th, 4E 201

There were more bandits than we thought. At least they're gone now. Kindrick did... surprisingly well, considering the numbers we were facing.

We got back and reported the news to Korst. Seems the guards of Helgen are going to continue training, to keep the defence up while Helgen is rebuilt.

Now then... I suppose I've earned a bit of reprieve before we continue on our journey. Apparently, Marcus decided to give the central tower to me as a 'home' or 'base of operations' similar to the Scarlett here in Helgen. And Patsy is apparently a taxidermist, who knew? Well, time for a rest, then onto more important things.


Entry 200
Last Seed, 14th, 4E 201

I finally decided to return to High Hrothgar and speak with Arngeir. Now... we need to head to Windhelm and Solitude... and see if we can't get Ulfric and Tullius to the negotiating table.

I've been putting this off too long. Alduin won't wait for me to invade Sovngarde to fight him. The World-Eater never rests... but I've been prancing around all of Skyrim doing other things.

Time to settle this once and for all. Marcus and Val know what I'm talking about, and told me to represent Helgen's interests during this meeting if at all possible. I'll see what I can do on that front, but that depends on the other two parties...


Entry 201
Last Seed, 14th, 4E 201

We've spoken to both Ulfric and Tullius. I expect them to move towards High Hrothgar in the morrow. We'll be there waiting for them, I suppose. Depends on how quickly the delegations move from Windhelm and Solitude over to Ivarstead.

For now, though... I'm just hoping this all goes to plan. Alduin is by far the bigger threat right now, and if he isn't stopped soon...

There won't BE a world to have a civil war in.

Ugh, I need to clear my thoughts. Some meditation at the High Hrothgar Library should do me some good...
 

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Season Unending - Part 1

"Where's the Dragonborn?" Delphine asked. She and Esbern had arrived after the Imperial and Stormcloak leaders... as well as Elenwen. She was speaking to Ignacia, after her "argument" with Arngeir. Astera's other companions - Inigo, Vilja and Ellary - had taken up spots near the meeting table.

The Imperial took a deep breath. "She will be a few minutes. She said she needed to meditate."

"Meditate? Her?" Delphine asked, sceptical.

Ignacia sighed. "I'll agree with you there, she didn't seem the type. But this matter is serious."

"It is serious," Esbern agreed. "But I do not understand the Dragonborn's need to-"

The sound of someone's throat clearing interrupted them. They turned to the stairs to find Astera standing there, her hooded helmet and face mask still on.

"Apologies for taking so long," she said, approaching the group. "Arngeir has filled me in - the 'men of violence', as he put it, are here. We mustn't keep them waiting any longer."

"Astera, a moment, please," Ignacia said. Astera looked at Ignacia with a raised eyebrow, ignoring the Blades as they made their way to the table.

"What is it?"

Ignacia approached the Dunmer and lowered her voice.

"Elenwen is here."

Immediately, she saw Astera stiffen, and her breathing became hitched. "Tullius brought her?" Astera asked in a low, but strained, whisper.

Ignacia nodded. "Not by choice, from the looks of it."

Astera took a few deep breaths, ordering herself to calm down. "As much as I would love to slit her throat right now... it would completely destroy both the truce... and our standing with the Greybeards." She closed her eyes. "If I manage to kick her out, let her leave. As much as I don't want to, I can't let my revenge ruin what's about to happen."

Ignacia nodded. "Of course."

Astera grabbed the amulet around her neck - shaped like Azura's Star - and took a deep breath. "Thanks for your warning, Ignacia." With that, the Blade of Dusk - the Dragonborn - made her way to the meeting table.

As she walked in, she took note of who was in attendance, ignoring the First Emissary. Ulfric and Galmar for the Stormcloaks; Tullius, Elisif and Rikke for the Imperials; Delphine and Esbern for the Blades; Arngeir for the Greybeards, Jarl Balgruuf for Whiterun... She looked at the attendees as she stopped at her seat at the head of the table. And me... the Dragonborn... who's also representing Helgen because Marcus and Valerius had no interest in coming up the mountain. Behind her face mask, she sighed, sitting down. Taking off her helmet and pulling down her mask, she braced herself for the coming storm.

Season unending, indeed...
 

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Season Unending - Part 2

"Now that everyone is here, please take your seats so we can begin," Arngeir said. "I hope that we have all come here in the spirit of-"

"No," Ulfric said, cutting off Arngeir. I sighed, knowing where this was going. "You insult us by bringing her to the negotiation? Your chief Talos-hunter?"

"I have every right to be at this negotiation," Elenwen replied. It took every bit of my willpower not to grab for my dagger. "I need to ensure nothing here violates the terms of the White-Gold Concordat."

"She's part of the Imperial Delegation." Tullius said, folding his arms. "You can't decide who I bring with me to this council."

"Please," Arngeir said, cutting off Ulfric's next protest. "If we have to negotiate the terms of the negotiation, we will never get anywhere. Perhaps..." His eyes turned to me. "We should get the Dragonborn's input on this matter."

I sighed. "Fine." My tone betrayed my anger at the situation, and as I looked at Elenwen, I noticed her eyes betrayed their own convictions - particularly, confusion, but also... realisation.

"What do you think, Dragonborn-" Tullius started to say before I put my hand up.

"By Ysmir's beard-" I put my other hand up, shutting up Ulfric.

"Ulfric, you don't want her here - that much is obvious. Tullius, you had no choice bringing her here - that much is also obvious. As for me, and in the interests of the affiliated parties I also represent..." I narrowed my eyes as I put down my arms. "I've already made my decision. The Thalmor have no place at this table."

"Your affiliated parties?" I heard the Legate ask, but Elenwen stood up from her seat.

"Very well, then," the Thalmor said, turning her gaze from me to Ulfric. "Enjoy your petty victory, Ulfric. The Thalmor will treat with whatever government rules Skyrim. We have no interest in interfering with your Civil War." Her gaze turned to me for a few moments, before she left the room.

I sighed, and leaned back in the chair, tuning out the jab Galmar let out and Rikke's response. Soon, both delegations were seated, and Arngeir continued.

"Now, may we proceed?"

"I have something to say, first," Ulfric said.

"Here we go..." I heard Rikke mutter. For some reason, I silently agreed.

"The only reason I agreed to attend this council was to deal with the dragon menace. Nothing more. I consider even talking to the Empire a generous gesture."

"Are you done? Did you just come here to make speeches? Or can we get down to business?" Tullius asked, unimpressed and unamused.

Ulfric was silent for a moment. "Yes, let's get this over with."

I silently sighed with relief.

"Jarl Ulfric. General Tullius." Arngeir said. "This council is unprecedented. We are gathered here at the Dragonborn's request. I ask that you all respect the spirit of High Hrothgar, and do your best to begin the process of achieving a lasting peace in Skyrim. Who would like to open negotiations?"

"With respect, General, there is something else," Rikke said.

"What is it?" Tullius asked.

"I would like to ask the Dragonborn about her affiliated parties. And, as we may have heard, there have been signs of interesting activity in Helgen as of late." I could feel her - and everyone else's eyes - turn to me.

"Helgen is off the table," I said immediately. "The party I am affiliated with is indeed involved with the rebuilding of Helgen, and they wish the city to remain neutral in this civil war." I narrowed my eyes. "This is not up for debate. Clear?"
 

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Season Unending - Part 3

Both General Tullius and Ulfric nodded, to the Legate's mild protest. A silent gaze from the General silenced her thoughts, however.

"I never even considered it, Dragonborn," the Jarl said, before turning to the Imperial delegation. "We want control of Markarth, Tullius. That's our price for this truce."

"So that's why you're here, Ulfric?" Elisif cried. I could feel a headache coming on as I tuned out some of what she said.

"Enough!" Tullius said. "Let's be clear, first. This council wasn't my idea. I personally think it's a waste of time. You're a traitor to the Empire and deserve a traitor's death. However, I will at least negotiate in good faith. Dragonborn," he turned to me. "Since we're all here at your request, I would ask your opinion on what you think Markarth is worth."

I was silent for a moment. "Markarth is a major hold in Skyrim, correct? A large, walled city with a large amount of territory."

"I suppose."

"Where are you going with this?" Jarl Elisif asked.

"Shush," I said. Elisif's eyes widened at the sheer bluntness of my statement, but I continued. "For the sake of fairness, a major hold for a major hold. Markarth... for Riften."

"I suppose..." Tullius said. "It secures our communications to Cyrodiil, and threaten's Ulfric's southern flank... and as you said, it's a 'major hold'." He turned to Ulfric.

"The Dragonborn has spoken, Tullius," Ulfric said. "Markarth is ours... and Riften is yours. Now we'll see if there's anything behind your talk of good faith."

The two argued for a little, until I slammed my dagger into the stone table, silencing them. Esbern seemingly had the same idea, as he got up.

"Stop!" he said angrily. "Are you so blind to our danger that you can't see past your petty disagreements? Here you sit arguing about... nothing! While the fate of the land hangs in the balance!"

"Is he with you, Delphine?" Ulfric remarked. "If so, I advise you to tell him to watch his tongue."

"He is," I said, my dagger still digging into the stone. "And I'd advise you watch your tongue."

"Thank you, Dragonborn," Delphine said. "He is with me. And, like the Dragonborn said, I advise you both to listen to what he has to say, before you do anything rash."

Esbern continued. "Don't you understand the danger? Don't you understand what the return of the dragons means? Alduin has returned! The World-Eater! Even now, he devours the souls of your fallen comrades! He grows more powerful with every soldier slain in your pointless war! Can you not put aside your hatred for even one moment in the face of this mortal danger?"

The two leaders were silent for a few moments. "I don't know about the end of the world," Tullius said. "but this dragon situation has gotten out of hand. If this truce will help the Dragonborn here put an end to that menace, we both gain. Remember that, Ulfric."

Ulfric huffed. "Fine. If he's right about Alduin... we both have just as much to lose here."

"Back to the matter at hand, then," I said, putting away my dagger.

"Right. Ulfric, you know as well as I do we can't hand over Markarth on these terms," Tullius said.

"Shor's bones, when will these demands end?" Galmar remarked.

"Out with it, then," Ulfric said.

"We want compensation for the massacre at Karthwasten," Tullius said, putting his hands on the table. At that, Legate Rikke got up from her seat. I raised an eyebrow.

"You slaughtered the very people you claim to be fighting for!" she cried. "True sons of Skyrim would never do such things."

"Damned Imperial lies! My men would never stoop to such methods, even in retaliation for your butchery at-" Galmar said, before being cut off by Ulfric.

"This is our homeland, Tullius. All the blood spilled in this war is on your head."

Tullius turned to me. "So, Dragonborn," he said. "What do you say?"

I crossed my arms and thought about it for a few moments, before nodding. "While I'm not sure what exactly happened at Karthwasten... Ulfric should compensate you for the massacre."

Tullius smiled a little. "For once, Ulfric," he said, turning his head back to the Jarl. "You'll actually pay for your crimes." Ulfric folded his arms and said nothing.

"Is that all?" I asked.

Tullius was silent for a moment, before nodding. "I guess that's the fairest deal we're going to get."

"It seems we are in agreement," Arngeir said, before getting up to address the table. "Jarl Ulfric, General Tullius, these are the terms currently on the table. Markarth will be handed over to Ulfric's forces. Jarl Igmund will step down, and Thongvor Silver-Blood will become Jarl of Markarth. The Stormcloaks will withdraw from the Rift, allowing Imperial troops unhindered access. Jarl Laila Law-Giver will step down, and Maven Black-Briar will become Jarl of Riften. And finally, the Stormcloaks will pay the Imperial Forces compensation for the massacre at Karthwasten."

"You both agree to this?" I asked, knowing what Arngeir was about to say.

Ulfric looked from Arngeir to me, then to Tullius and nodded. "The sons of Skyrim will live up to their agreements. As long as the Imperials hold to theirs." His eyes turned to Jarl Elisif - and I could sense a hint of provocation from his voice. "What about you, Elisif? Are these terms to your liking? Speak up. I'm sure General Tullius is waiting to do your bidding."

Elisif turned her head away. "I have nothing to say to that murderer." She then address Tullius. "General, you've proven yourself a good friend to Skyrim. I continue to trust that you will do your utmost to safeguard our interests."

"Thank you, Jarl Elisif. I appreciate your loyalty." Tullius then turned to Arngeir. "The Empire can live with these terms, until the dragon menace is dealt with. After that, Ulfric... there will be a reckoning. Count on it."

The Stormcloak delegation then got up from their chairs. "Come on, Galmar," Ulfric said. "We have a lot of work to do."

"Giving up Markarth is a heavy price for this truce, Dragonborn," Balgruuf said, surprising me, since it was the first thing he said in the entire meeting. "I hope it was worth it."

I leaned forward. "Well, I think it's entirely obvious I'm not one for politics." My voice lowered to a mutter, and Rikke, who was the closest, widened her eyes in shock. "Besides, I'm more of a murderer than Ulfric, but that's beside the point."
 

Giron

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Season Unending - Part 4

"Jarl Balgruuf," Arngeir said, returning to his chair. "I assume you are familiar with the Dragonborn's plan, yes?"

"Yes, I'm ready to do my part," the Jarl said. "Just say the word, and my men will help you spring this trap."

"Thank you, Jarl Balgruuf," I replied.

"But the difficulty remains..." Arngeir said. "How to lure a dragon to Dragonsreach at all?"

I blinked. "Ah..."

"Well, that's an excellent question," Tullius remarked. "You haven't overlooked that detail, have you?"

I was about to admit I had overlooked it with my head being filled about this whole negotiation when Esbern spoke up. "Ah, I believe I can be of help here."

"Oh, thank Azura..." I muttered under my breath in relief.

"I anticipated the problem. While you were arranging this meeting, I was busy in the library of Sky Haven Temple. An unguessed trove of lost lore...but the important thing is that the Blades recorded many of the names of dragons they slew. Cross-referencing this with Delphine's map of dragon burial sites, and I believe I've identified one of the dragons that Alduin has raised up."

"And this helps us, how?" I asked.

"The names of dragons are always three Words of Power - Shouts," Esbern replied. "By calling the dragon with the Voice, the dragon will surely come."

"You're sure he'll come?"

"Dragons are prideful by nature, Dragonborn, and loathe to refuse a challenge. Your Voice in particular is sure to intrigue this dragon, after your victory over Alduin. I believe it is very likely he will be unable to resist investigating your call."

I leaned back on the chair. "So... what's the name of this dragon?"

"Ah, yes. While I am no master of the Voice like these gentlemen, it is here on this scroll: Od-Ah-Viing. Winged Snow Hunter as I read it."

"Od-ah-viing..." I said, the name on my tongue. Snow... Hunter... Wing.... The name entered my mind.

"I suppose that's takes care of that, then," Tullius said. "We'll be off, then. Good luck, Dragonborn, Jarl Balgruuf." The Imperial delegation started to leave, as well as Esbern and Arngeir, but Delphine approached me.

"There's one more thing, Dragonborn," she said. "We know about Paarthurnax."

"Ah... so you know he's a dragon." I replied. "However, he has been of incredible help."

"That's fine." the Blade said. "We needed his help. Now we don't, and it's long past time for him to pay for his crimes. And he's not just any dragon. He was the right hand of Alduin. He committed atrocities so infamous they are still remembered, thousands of years later. He needs to die. He deserves to die. And it falls to you to kill him. Until he's dead... well, I'm sorry, but we would dishonor our oaths as Blades if we continued to help you." With that, Delphine left.

With the room empty, my own 'delegation' sat around the table. "Are you feeling alright, Astera?" Ellary asked.

"The Blades want you to kill the old fellow?" Inigo asked. "While he is smelly-"

I smiled ruefully as I got up. "Speaking of Paarthurnax, I'm going to go see him. Ask him about Odahviing... and the Blades. Rest up, we'll be heading to Whiterun when I get back."

"Yes, ma'am," Ignacia replied, as I left the monastery, and began to make my way up to the top of the mountain.
 

Giron

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Journal Entries 202-204

Entry 202
Last Seed, 15th, 4E 201

The delegations arrived in the morning - along with Delphine and Esbern. Elenwen had no place at the table, so she left upon my demands.

Helgen was touched upon briefly, but I shut that notion down very quickly. From there, the terms were set and agreed upon.

The Imperials and Stormcloaks exchange control of Markarth and the Rift, and the Stormcloaks pay compensation for Karthwasten. It'll take a few days for those to go into effect. But in that time... I'll be trapping a dragon called "Odahviing" in Dragonsreach. By Azura, I hope this works.


Entry 203
Last Seed, 15th, 4E 201

I went up to the Throat of the World to speak with Paarthurnax - about Odahviing... and about the Blades wanting him dead.

"What is better? To be born good, or to overcome your evil nature through great effort?"

I couldn't help but relate myself to that. Jarl Elisif had referred to Ulfric as a "murderer", and yet, I thought of myself as a bigger murderer than him. And now... the Blades are calling Paarthurnax a murderer.

I can't help but relate to that. I could never truly trust the Blades. If they don't want to hear from me until Paarthurnax is dead? Well, then that ends our relationship right there.


Entry 204
Last Seed, 16th, 4E 201

Skuldafn. Thanks to that Summon Inigo spell I learned ages back, I thankfully have a companion on my side in this journey.

It's tough. Lots of draugr, a few dragons... and lots of draugr. Honestly, saying it twice sort of makes it hit home that Skuldafn has a lot of Draugr.

This really is it. Once we get to the top... we reach Sovngarde. The afterlife of the Nords...

At least... I hope.
 

Giron

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Journal Entries 205-208

Entry 205
Last Seed, 17th, 4E 201

Sovngarde... the Nordic afterlife... it's certainly... Nordic.

Inigo went through the portal with me, so it'll be nice to have some company. There's a strange fog I'm noticing here - must be Alduin's doing.

I can't even hear Azura's voice here. Well, at least I can't hear Meridia or Mora, so that's a plus, I suppose.

Now... to get to the large hall... and find out how to defeat the World-Eater once and for all. After all...

I'm not only the Dragonborn, I'm a member of House Tirell. I can't shame my ancestors by falling to such a beast.


Entry 206
Last Seed, 17th, 4E 201

The Hall of Valor... I don't belong here. And no offense to Inigo, but he doesn't either.

I may be Dragonborn, but I am still a Dunmer, and my soul is still bound for Moonshadow. That vow to Lady Azura will not change my fate. After all, this is the afterlife for the Nords, not for anyone else.

Now there are three heroes to stand with us: the same three who faced Alduin in the Dragon War... with four Voices combined... it is time to bring the World-Eater to battle.

The fate of Skyrim, the fate of the world... it rests on our shoulders...

I swear whoever ends up reading this will think I have a flair for the dramatic...


Entry 207
Last Seed, 18th, 4E 201

Alduin has been defeated, and we're back in Skyrim. I spoke with Paarthurnax and Odahviing for a bit - to learn more about the Words of Power. I suppose the Rotmulaag still remains important. It gives me something to think about - to meditate on. I wasn't usually one for meditating, but I've found it helps clear the mind.

I'm not sure what to do now. Aside from checking the profits back at Lostport... oh.

Well, I could always visit the Thalmor Embassy. Then again... I have that supply problem in Falkreath to deal with.

Perhaps I'll leave Elenwen til later - once Helgen is rebuilt. Finding out the strength of the Keepers of Hattu may be surprising for her.


Entry 208
Last Seed, 19th, 4E 201

Decided to head back to Riften and report to Black-Briar. I don't even think she really cared that I was out there saving the damn WORLD... well, she's Jarl now because of me.

Anyway, I've headed to Solitude after a certain Gulum-Ei. Sounds like an Argonian. Only thing is... not to kill him. Brynjolf made that very clear.

So... threaten him, bribe him, do whatever. But don't actually kill him. Fine with me.
 

Giron

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Journal Entries 209-212

Entry 209
Last Seed, 19th, 4E 201

Someone named Karliah is involved, and Mercer's told me to meet him at Snow Veil Sanctum - "Just don't bring your entourage."

I wonder why... but it's not as if I can't handle myself.

Checking it out, it seems Snow Veil Sanctum is past Windhelm, on the way to Winterhold. It'll be a cold journey, that's for sure.


Entry 210
Last Seed, 20th, 4E 201

Damn it, I need to watch myself a bit more. Getting hit by a paralysis arrow, almost getting killed by Mercer Frey himself while paralysed. I need to work on my resistance to such stuff.

Regardless, Karliah was the one who got me out of that place. She sent me to Winterhold with Gallus's journal, where I found out I needed to head to Markarth and speak to Calcelmo - see what exactly Gallus put down in the Falmer Tongue.

But what the heck is Mercer Frey up to, then?


Entry 211
Last Seed, 21st, 4E 201

A Nightingale... Mercer's an agent of that *****, Nocturnal. And now Karliah wants us to be on equal footing with him...

Well, Mercer is going to die, regardless. Stealing from the guild, killing Gallus, and now he's after these "Eyes of the Falmer" - apparently the previous Guild Master's pet project - in order to basically be set for life.

But if Karliah is suggesting what I think she's suggesting...

I can only hope I can refuse. I'll take out Mercer, but Nocturnal is going nowhere near me.


Entry 212
Last Seed, 22nd, 4E 201

Good. I was able to refuse. While the Nightingale Armour is powerful... as soon I put it on, I could hear a voice in my head...

"A Tirell? Here in my Sepulcher? How curious..."

Nocturnal... It took all my willpower to get her voice out of my head. Once I was able to refuse and return the armour... her voice was gone, thankfully.

Regardless, we're headed to Irkngthand, a Dwarven Ruin, to kill Mercer and take back the Skeleton Key. Karliah will be able to take it back. She's the Nightingale of the group.
 

Giron

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Journal Entries 213-216

Entry 213
Last Seed, 22nd, 4E 201

Mercer's here. We know that for certain.

And now we're dealing with Falmer and Dwarven Centurions and traps and... all that as well. Then again, it's a Dwarven Ruin. What do you expect?

Anyway, after all this is over... apparently I'm going to be the new Guild Master of the Thieves Guild. I mean... it's an honour, but... honestly, it'll be a big stick in the arse for Nocturnal - having Azura's champion and her quote unquote "enemy bloodline" lead the Guild she watches over.

Granted, I'm not going to do anything like Mercer when it comes to the Guild, so I don't think she'll really care.


Entry 214
Last Seed, 22nd, 4E 201

Mercer is dead, and I've given Karliah the Skeleton Key. As the Champion of Azura, I have no such need of Nocturnal's trinkets or blessings.

With that out of the way, I suppose we'll need to wait for Karliah to come back from putting the Key back in the Sepulcher. I can't enter that place, nor do I want to.

Thing is, with all this being done and dusted... what now?

I still need to find more of those Word Walls... and then there's that Miraak fellow those Solstheim cultists keep trying to kill me over...


Entry 215
Last Seed, 23rd, 4E 201

Found a new Word Wall in a place called Silverdrift Lair - Viik, the final word of the Disarm Shout. As well, a strange red ruby called Din's Ruby - has the Triforce Symbol on it and everything.

I wonder what it's for...

As well, I think it's finally time to retire my Legionary Bow after so long. Found a scoped Ebony Bow on one of the Draugr here. With a decent enchantment, it'll definitely help out.


Entry 216
Last Seed, 23rd, 4E 201

Thank Azura for that teleportation spell. I was freezing to death on that snowy peak after getting Diin - the final word for the Frost Breath Shout.

After that, I grabbed my "entourage", and we decided to head to Boulderfall Cave for that Blood Dripping Crown mushroom. Now...

Well, I still have to wait for Karliah to come back from the Sepulcher before heading to the Thieves' Guild again... so I suppose we could continue to look for Word Walls...

Perhaps a trip to High Hrothgar is in order...
 

Giron

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Mods and Stats

Might as well go through with this. A full Mod List, and Astera's current stats. This... took a while to compile, and doesn't include stuff like added scripts and Bashed Patches.

A Matter of Time
A Quality World Map - Vivid with Stone Roads
A Quality World Map - Clear Map Skies
Achievement Mods Enabler
Additional Music Project SE
Honor the Tong
Amulets of Skyrim SSE
Amulets of Skyrim SSE Lift up meshes
Apachii Sky Hair
Apocalypse: Magic of Skyrim
Apocalypse: Magic of Skyrim - Ordinator Patch
Armor and Clothing Extension
Armor and Clothing Extension - Joy of Perspective/WACCF Patch
Audio Overhaul for Skyrim
Audio Overhaul for Skyrim - Enhanced Blood Textures Patch
Audio Overhaul for Skyrim - Realistic Water Two Patch
Audio Overhaul for Skyrim - Climates of Tamriel Patch
Auto Hide Ammo
Bellyaches HD Dragon Replacer Pack
Better Dialogue Controls
Better Dwemer Exteriors
Beyond Skyrim: Bruma
Beyond Skyrim: Bruma - DLC Integration Patch
Beyond Skyrim: Bruma - Tweaks, Enhancements and Patches
Beyond Reach
Blackreach Railroad
Blaze of Eventide
Blowing in the Wind
Book Covers Skyrim SE - Desaturated
Book Covers Skyrim SE Lost Library - Desaturated
Books of Skyrim
Bottles of Skyrim
Breezehome - Eli's Breezehome Overhaul
Bruma and Other Patches for Convenient Horses
BSBruma Patch - Ecotone Dual Sheath
Caliente's Beautiful Bodies Enhancer
Campfire - Complete Camping System
Character Creation Overhaul
Classic Morrowind Morag Tong Armor replacer
Climates of Tamriel
Climates of Tamriel - Falskaar Patch
Cloaks of Skyrim
Colovian Noble Clothes
Conjurable Chest and Crafting Furniture Spells
Convenient Horses
Crafter's Storage
Crafting Supplies - All in One
Cutting Room Floor
Cutting Room Floor - No Snow Under Roof
Daedric Punishment for Insults related to Sweet Rolls
Dawnguard and Volkihar Epilogues
Dine With Followers
Diverse Dragons Collection SE
Diverse Hold Guards
Divine Punishment for Mention of Arrows to the Knee
Dragon Lilly CBBE
Dragon Punishment for Cloud District Quips
Draugr Shout Less
Dual Sheath Patches - Zim's Immersive Artifacts (Chillrend Reshape)
Dual Wield Improved Animation
Ecotone Dual Sheath
Elemental Destruction Magic
Elemental Destruction Magic - Ordinator Patch
Eli's Breezehome - Open Cities Patch
Elizabeth's Tower - Azura Shrine
Enhanced Blood Textures
Even Better Quest Objectives
Exploding Chickens with Physics and Ragdoll
Falskaar
FileAccess Interface for Skyrim
Follower Trap Safety
Following Mercer
Fores New Idles for Skyrim - FNIS
Frostfall - Hypothermia Camping Survival
Fuz Ro D'oh
Gildergreen Regrown
Gold to Septims - Weightless
Greybeard Meditation
Hearthfire Multiple Adoptions
Helgen Reborn
High Quality Daedra Voices
Hold Border Banners
Holidays
Holidays - Open Cities Patch
Honed Metal
Hoth
Hoth - UFO Compatibility Patch
HQ Tree Bark
Hunterborn
Hunters not Bandits for RDO
Illr La Dagger
Immersive Armors
Immersive Children
Immersive Citizens
Immersive College of Winterhold
Immersive Dragons
Immersive HUD
Immersive Patrols
Immersive Weapons
Improved Eyes Skyrim
iNeed - Food Water and Sleep
iNeed - Bruma Patch
Inigo
Intro Scenes only once
JContainers
Jiub's Opus
Jobs of Skyrim
Joy of Perspective
Joy of Perspective Compatibility Patches - BS: Bruma
Joy of Perspective Compatibility Patches - Immersive Armor
JS Dragon Claws - 2K Textures
JS Dragon Claws - Amethyst Patch
JS Dragon Claws - Helgen Reborn Patch
LeanWolf's Better Shaped Weapons
Legendary Skyrim Crossbows
Less Tedious Thieves Guild
Lifelike Idle Animations
Lockpick Pro (KenMOD)
Lore-Based Loading Screens
Main Menu Music Replacer - John Dreamer
Man Those Borders
Map Markers Complete with DLC and OCS
Master of Disguise
Nether's Follower Framework
New Bard Songs
No NPC Greetings
No Snow Under Roof
No Spinning Death Animation
No To Nocturnal
NPCs Walk and Run at Your Pace
Open Cities Skyrim
Ordinator - Perks of Skyrim
Ordinator - Perks of Skyrim - Perk Points at Skill Level 50-75-100
Ordinator - Beyond Skyrim: Bruma Patch
PapyrusUtil SE
Perk Point Book
Pickpocketing Chance Cap Increased
Point the Way
Posh Skyrim Main Menu Replacer
Prince and the Pauper
QUARK - Amulet Restoration Kit
QUASIPC - Unified Patch Compendium
RaceMenu
RaceMenu High Heels Fixes
Random Open Cities Patches - Falskaar OCS Patch
Raven Rock - Fit Exit on Horseback
Raven's Peak (Standalone Dagger)
Realistic Water Two
Reasonable Hired Thugs
Redspire Manor
Relationship Dialogue Overhaul
Relation Dialogue Overhaul - Patches
Relics of Hyrule
Rotmulaag - Immersive Meditations
Rotmulaag - Immersive Meditations - Thunderchild Patch
Rugnarok
Ruins Clutter Improved
Run For Your Lives
Rustic Clothing
Rustic Daedra
Scoped Bows
Scoped Bows - Compatibility Kit
See Enchantments
Shouts in the Dragon Tongue
Skyland - A Landscape Texture Overhaul
Skyrim Better Roads
Skyrim Better Roads - Eastmarch Module
Skyrim Better Roads - The Rift Module
Skyrim Better Roads - Winterhold Module
Skyrim Skill Uncapper
Skyrim Unbound
SkyUI
SkyUI - Flashing Savegames Fix
Sneak Tools
Sovngarde - Mist's Font Replacer
Static Mesh Improvement Mod - SMIM
Stay at System Page
Stones of Barenziah Quest Markers
Stunning Statues of Skyrim
Take Notes - Journal of the Dragonborn
Thane Weapons Reborn
The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim - Tomebound
The Gray Cowl of Nocturnal
The Halls of the Greybeards
The Kids are Alright - Final Cut
The Kids Aren't Alright - Final Cut
The Kids are Alright - Beyond Skyrim: Bruma Patch
The Kids are Alright - Books of Skyrim Patch
The Kids are Alright - Cutting Room Floor Patch
The Kids are Alright - Falskaar Patch
The Kids are Alright - Hearthfire Multiple Adoptions Patch
The Kids are Alright - Helgen Reborn Patch
The Notice Board
The Notice Board - Better Solstheim Quests
The Notice Board - Open Cities Patch
The Paarthurnax Dilemma
The Scarlett - Buildable Ship
The Wheels of Lull
Thunderchild - Epic Shouts and Immersion
Tree Pine Forest Branch 2K
Unique Region Names
Unique Region Names - Beyond Skyrim: Bruma
Unique Region Names - Cutting Room Floor Patch
Unique Region Names - Falskaar
Unique Region Names - Open Cities Skyrim Patch
Unique Region Names - Realistic Water Two Patch
Unique Uniques
Unique Uniques - Scoped Angi's Bow
Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch
Unread Books Glow
Vigilant V1.30
Vigilant Voiced - English Addon
Vilja in Skyrim
Vilja in Solstheim
Violens - A Killmove Mod
WarZones - Civil Unrest for Skyrim
Weapons Armor Clothing and Clutter Fixes
Weapons Armor Clothing and Clutter Fixes - CBBE Patch
Wet and Cold
Wheels of Lull Unofficial Patch
Wheels of Lull Unofficial Patch - Bruma Compatibility Patch
XP32 Maximum Skeleton
YOT - Your Own Thoughts
YY Anim Replacer - Mystic Knight
Zim's Immersive Artifacts

Level: 47
Health: 315
Magicka: 175
Stamina: 355

Skills
Alchemy:
42
Illusion: 28
Conjuration: 27
Destruction: 20
Restoration: 12
Alteration: 15
Enchanting: 72
Smithing: 19
Heavy Armor: 19
Block: 57
Two-Handed: 20
One-Handed: 101
Archery: 101
Light Armor: 113
Sneak: 102
Lockpicking: 107
Pickpocket: 20
Speech: 62
 

Giron

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Journal Entries 217-220

Entry 217
Last Seed, 24th, 4E 201

Well, that was both fruitful... and fruitless. I forgot Arngeir had already marked a Word of Power on my map, but I've meditated with the Words of Power I currently have, and now I have a bunch of new Shouts.

I spoke with Paarthurnax again, and meditated on the rest of the Words that I knew that I hadn't written down.

Now, I think we'll stay the night here in High Hrothgar, before making our way to Whiterun. We might stick around there for the time being - Harvest's End is coming up, so that should be interesting to watch. After that, it's straight to Markarth and Sky Haven Temple.


Entry 218
Last Seed, 25th, 4E 201

So... apparently a Khajiit named Ri'saad knows about Vilja's lost flute... well that's nice to know - if I even know where that damn caravan of cats are at this point in time.

Regardless, we found this cavern with a Khajiit named Vylintyn Mohkcshivek - strange name, I know. Even Inigo thought it was strange - but strangely calming to find another Khajiit who didn't talk in the third person. Seems she was raised by Dunmer.

We cleared the place of Bokoblins... but then we had a strange encounter with an assassin in a weird mask. Apparently, they're called the Yiga Clan.


Entry 219
Last Seed, 27th, 4E 201

We were originally going to stick around Whiterun... which then became Markarth, which, well...

Anyway, apparently there were leftovers in a place called Irknthamz - leftovers of Mercer Frey's plans. We decided to head there - and explore quite a bit of the area between Markarth and Dragon's Bridge. A Dwemer Ruin here, a Forsworn camp there...

Yeah... I can only wonder what Mercer's hidden away down here.


Entry 220
Last Seed, 27th, 4E 201

Along with the Guild's plans for the Reach, a shade of Mercer attacked us. It had a note saying there was "payment" in a cave near Bonestrewn Crest... that's in Eastmarch.

I hazard a guess we'll also find the Guild's Eastmarch plans there. Seriously, how much has Mercer spread across this freaking place?

Well, it's just after midday. I suppose we can make it to Markarth and enjoy the festivities... as much as it can be in a place like that.
 
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