Illuminated by Sightless Eyes

  • 4E 175 ~ Imperial City, Cyrodiil


                The fire of the hearth roared to life in the Elder Library. Illuminated, countless books lined the wall and further in, some say, lay the Empire’s collection of Elder Scrolls. For this was the home of the Cult of the Ancestor Moth, the readers of the illusive tomes.


                “Master Kalarus, is there any news from Skyrim?”


                Kalarus sat by the fireplace, the soft glow giving his white beard a golden sheen. “The war just ended, Dexion. Communication is still slow and the Empire is still recovering,” he said, not looking up from his book. “The Imperial couriers have better things to do than worry about how the Nords feel.” The younger man kept silent, his hands tucked into his sleeves. Kalarus sighed. “There are some murmurs. A few Jarls are upset with terms of the Concordat.”


                Dexion’s face grew pale. “Rebellion,” he whispered.


                The old priest slammed his book closed and exhaled. “I said no such as thing. Skyrim has been part of the Empire since the days of Tiber Septim and they will remain a part of it.” He raised an eyebrow at the younger man’s distant expression. “You are worried about something else, aren’t you?”


                “A prophecy, Master.” Dexion looked around the stone library, apparently paranoid of being overhead. “‘When misrule takes its place at the eight corners of the world. When the Brass Tower walks and Time is reshaped. When the thrice-blessed fail and the Red Tower trembles. When the Dragonborn Ruler loses his throne, and the White Tower falls. When the Snow Tower lies sundered, kingless, bleeding.’”


                “You fear the Snow Tower is Skyrim?” Kalarus rubbed his eyes. He was the oldest moth priest that still had his sight. Reading the Elder Scrolls had a cost; it seems blindness was closing in after all these years. “Well, you’ve spoken this much. What’s the rest of the prophecy?”


                “I, uhh. I can’t quite. Remember.”


                “Do you at least remember which scroll it was in? Maybe it’s still in there.” Kalarus sighed. The Scrolls were aloof. People thought the Moth Priests stored them for safe keeping, but the Scrolls don’t obey boundaries, walls, or confines. You count the Scrolls in the vault and when you recount, there will suddenly be three more. Or less.


                “Well,” Kalarus said, tilting his head towards the vault. “Go and fetch it.”


                Dexion jumped, startled. “Of course,” he said, running off towards the vault.


                Kalarus liked the young man. He was late joining the priest, in his mid-30s, and that was more than five years ago. He was certainly a romantic. Must be a side effect of the damn war, Kalarus thought, laying back. Still, he seems like the one to take over. And with the war over, maybe he can finally relax.


                The old priest heard the vault scrape open. Then a sharp intake of breath. “Master,” Dexion said, out of view. “They’re gone.”


                “The Scroll’s not there?” Kalarus yawned. “We’ll catch it some other time. Skyrim will last the night.” It was getting dark out. Or maybe it was just the fire dying down.


                “No.” The young priest sounded scared. Even more scared than with the prophecy. “They’re all gone.”


                Kalarus rose from his seat, the book on his lap falling to the floor. “What do you mean?” He strode over to the vault, the young man almost cowering beside it. He looked over shelf in the vault. A chill ran down his spine.


                “Master, what’s going on?”


                Kalarus’ jaw tightened. “I don’t know. This has never happened, even during the Oblivion Crisis.” He looked around at the rest of the library. Too damn dark, he thought. He could barely make out Dexion.


                “Fetch me a pen and parchment. The Emperor will want to know about this,” Kalarus said. “And throw some wood in the hearth. I can’t write with a dead fire.”


                He saw some movement from the figure in front of him before Dexion spoke. “Master,” the young priest said in a questioning tone. “The fire is fine. Its flames are reaching the top of the hearth.”


                “But it’s so…Ah.” Kalarus sighed. The inevitable finally took him. “Sorry, lad. Looks like you’re about to become a much more active assistant.”


                Dexion understood as well. “I’m sorry, Master. Are you really-?”


                “You think I would fake this now? No time for regrets or sympathy,” the old priest said, pulling a thin strip of cloth from his pocket. He was hoping he wouldn’t be wearing this for a few more years at least. He slid the cloth over his eyes and tied it at the back.


                “Well,” Kalarus said, as much authority in his voice as ever. “We have work to do, young Dexion. Between the Dominion, this prophecy, and the disappearance of the Scrolls, Tamriel is going to be a very interesting place indeed.”


3 Comments   |   Meli and 2 others like this.
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  July 8, 2017
    I hope we'll see more of your work in the near future. This would make a great opening...
  • Paws
    Paws   ·  June 22, 2017
    Moth priests, Fenes? A departure from that which I last read but not unwelcome. Do you remember that quest in Oblivion where you fight the blind dude? He was nails, I can't help wanting to see Kalarus dueling. Also, why does that name sound so familiar? G...  more
    • Matt Feeney the New Guy
      Matt Feeney the New Guy
      Moth priests, Fenes? A departure from that which I last read but not unwelcome. Do you remember that quest in Oblivion where you fight the blind dude? He was nails, I can't help wanting to see Kalarus dueling. Also, why does that name sound so familiar? G...  more
        ·  June 22, 2017
      Thanks, man! I'll admit I pretty much ripped the name straight from Codex Alera (although that guy's name was Kalare, not Kalarus), but the characters are obviously totally different. Or do you mean Dexion? He's the Moth Priest in Dawnguard.

      ...  more