written as Wade Asahbe
04/20/2006


He did not know me.

He said I had appeared in his dreams, that he trusted me.

Yet, still, he did not recognize me, did not step forward to embrace me, to fulfill my own childish dreams of finding my father, my grandfather… any family other than my mad mother capering before the altar of Sheogorath and my scheming Machiavellian half-sisters.

And now it’s too late. Just as it was too late when I finally abandoned Indocar, after clinging to years to the forlorn hope my mother would reclaim her sanity. I waited until my dear sister Delphine and her ashborn paramour grew tired of my attempts at interference, and I was forced to flee penniless from Highrock, bitter and with a trumped-up bounty on my head.


This time, however, I am not the one whose life was shattered by my waffling. Uriel Septim VII, the Emperor, died while I wavered, torn between urgency and indecision.

When we first met, I hesitated to speak up, untrusting after my time in prison and too in awe of the Emperor and his gods and visions for revelations or confessions.  But the ache to speak out, to reach out, became unbearable after the old man twice defended my virtue in the face of his guard’s skepticism.  By then, however, we were in full flight from the Mythic Dawn assassins.  There was neither time nor breath to declare the bleak nightmares that had impelled me to leave my island sanctuary in the Sea of Ghosts, risking arrest with each step as I began the long trek southward to the Imperial City.

In the end, caught by surprise when the emperor grasped my wrist, I lost my focus when the old man spoke what turned out to be his final words and pressed some bauble into my hand.  Mephala help me!  I dropped my guard, and that brief opening was all the assassin attacking the two of us needed. He mocked my ineptitude with my borrowed sword as he struck the Emperor down, even as I cast the spell that ended his own murderous life.

Baurus, the only other survivor of our mad tunnel crawl, seems as shaken as I was and am. I try to listen as he hands me a key to unlock my escape route through the sewers and tells me that the trinket looped around my wrist is indeed the Amulet of Kings. He says that I must take it to someone named Jauffre at Weynon Priory near the town of Chorrol.

I start down the tunnels toward the sewer, my thoughts aswirl. I took my first human life today; there is blood on my hands, on my clothing. I was freed from prison by the Emperor and watched him die before I could ask the question that has driven me since Delphine and Moragar turned me out and made a fugitive of me.

Yet the answer to my question was handed to me even as the Emperor perished! As soon as I am out of sight of Baurus, I find a quiet alcove and fasten the Amulet around my own neck. Woe! Dearest Azura, It will not stay latched. As soon as my hand drops it uncatches itself and slithers away from my shoulders as if it were alive!

So, I cannot wear the Dragon’s diamond. Does this mean that Ellenor of Indocar lied about her affair with Uriel Septim, and my mother was not the bastard child of the Dragon as she had always led me to believe? But… perhaps the Amulet only recognizes the male Imperial line.

Uriel Septim spoke only of his sons’ assassinations, not his girl get.  Perhaps I did, however briefly, finally speak with my grandfather today.

Nonetheless, even if that is true, any female survivors of the massacre will have gone into hiding. Where to turn? Wait! Uriel Septim had an unknown son, who escaped the decimation of the royal family. Baurus says the monk Jauffre knew of him. Perhaps Jauffre will also know of my grandmother’s claims. Perhaps the truth, whatever it turns out to be, will give me what I need to break the dark hold Delphine has over my mother and younger sister, and finally end my exile.

Perhaps. But one thing is clear. I cannot expect that the Mythic Dawn is done with me, even if I were to drop this Amulet of Kings down a fissure and declare myself free of both it and them. When we meet again I must be prepared. My spellbooks were taken from me when I was taken by the guards. I must regain my greater magics and learn the ways of weaponry and stealth as well.

By the Emperor's will, I am freed from prison. And Baurus spoke as if the false charges of necromancy and vampirism which made a fugitive of me have also been forgotten, in Cyrodiil at least.

If I have indeed been granted a second chance, then I must set a clear course and cease to waver. Goodbye, grandfather. If you were my grandfather. For your sake or mine, I go now in search of news of your son, perhaps my uncle, and if so my last living male relative.

Thank you for trusting in me, for defending me, for trusting me to defend you.

I cannot decide if your trust is blessing or curse.

But I thank you anyway.

 

I wrote this piece after I read what seemed a perfectly valid criticism of Oblivion. 
What possible motivation does a freed prisoner have to actually deliver the Amulet of Kings to Jauffre?