Feb 09, 2022
12 mins read
The story so far...
Eldaline, certainly the cruellest librarian ever to be posted to Skyrim from the Aldmeri Dominion, has been accused of burning down the Hall of the Vigilant although the real culprits were powerful vampires. In order to clear her name, she has joined the Dawnguard and is helping her former prisoner and now library assistant Skavild and his friend (and hopefully soon-to-be-fiancee) Serana put an end to the vampire plot to hide the sun. To this end, they have acquired Auri-El's bow and are now marching on the vampire fortress to confront none other than Lord Harkon, Serana's father.
"For too long we've allowed these vampires to poison the night and kill our people!" Shouted Isran.
Skavild whispered, "Hasn't it actually just been a couple of months? I mean, that's when we all joined the Dawnguard."
"I think by 'we' he means People in General, and Vampires in General." Eldaline whispered back.
"Ssh." Said another Dawnguard.
"Now, we finally have the means to strike back! We now have Auriel's Bow. The gods themselves have favored us and we must answer with action!" Isran cried.
"I think it was a bit unfair that he didn't mention that we were the ones who found it." Said Skavild, a little more loudly.
"Quiet!" Said somebody else. "Isran is speaking!"
"The time has..." Isran paused, looking around for the source of the disturbance. "The time has come to finally put an end to Harkon and his unholy prophecy! We will march on their lair and destroy those wretched abominations so they can no longer corrupt our world! This is our fight and this is our fate!"
Of course, it was not as fast as Isran made it sound. Fort Dawnguard was at the other end of the province from Castle Volkihar, so it actually took several days, and some of the enthusiasm had worn off by the time they arrived. Nevertheless, they fought like valiant knights, like noble Nord beserkers, like sabre cats, or, in the case of Eldaline, like former Aldmeri Field Commanders who were angry about being imprisoned by accident.
Eldaline wielded the Bow of Auri-El, though she had begged Skavild or Serana to take it. She was not happy carrying a divine artefact, as she felt neither worthy of it, nor competent enough an archer. But the creatures of the night fell before the bow as dust.
The great battle continued inside the castle. The Dawnguard pressed forward, revelling in battle. But Eldaline took no delight in death and slaying. Even when those she slew were already, technically, dead. It was not pity she could feel, only an absence of satisfaction. Pity does not serve the enemy you destroy, nor does it serve you. She thought. Reject it!
"Go on ahead, with Isran! Lord Harkon has taken refuge in the Cathedral!"
Out loud, Eldaline said, "Skavild, you should probably propose to Serana now, before we try to kill her father. She might not accept you afterwards."
"Hmph." Said Skavild.
"You know why we're here." Said Serana.
"Of course I do." Said Lord Harkon, though it was difficult for him to concentrate because Eldaline found his true form very funny. "You disappoint me, Serana. You've taken everything I provided for you and thrown it all away for these... pathetic beings."
"Your voice drips with the venom of your mother's influence. How alike you've become."
"No." Said Serana. "Because unlike her, I'm not afraid of you."
"And you..." Lord Harkon turned to Eldaline, "I'll give you a single chance to turn over the bow to me. There will not be a second." He added, "And stop laughing!"
"Never!" Cried Eldaline, though whether she was referring to giving him the bow or not laughing is unclear. "You are perhaps the only creature of this world less fit to carry it than I am! Auri-El, if I ask for nothing else, guide my hand!"
"I knew I made the right decision, letting you carry that bow!" Said Skavild.
"No, Serana! Your own father!" Called the disintegrating vampire Lord.
"Did you ask her?" Said Eldaline.
"Not now, Eldaline!" Said Skavild.
At last, it was time for Knight Paladin Gelebor to go back to his chantry of Auri-El. He made Skavild a little nervous and the Nord was glad to see him go. Not because of some ancient enmity between his ancestors from Atmora and the ancient Falmer of Skyrim, but because Eldaline had been following him about and seeking spiritual guidance, and it was irritating.
"I do not think Auri-El will ever speak to me, Skavild." She said.
"Nonsense." Said Skavild. "I'm sure he will once he sees how you vanquished the vampire menace."
"Well, I suppose you will be remaining here to marry Serana." Said Eldaline. "I regret that I have business to attend to in Solitude. I must go and pack."
"Hmph." Said Skavild. "Doesn't even want to come to my wedding. I haven't even proposed to Serana yet and already Eldaline is refusing to come to the wedding." he sulked around the corridors of Fort Dawnguard for a while, until he found the Moth Priest, Dexion, who was now blind, and Eldaline speaking with him. He watched them from beyond the door, hoping not to be seen.
"Ah, my rescuer!" Said Dexion.
"And I can say the same of you." Said Eldaline. "I have fulfilled my purpose here, and must shortly return to my duties with the Thalmor. But as you told me I would, nearly thirty years ago, I have found not one, but three, Elder Scrolls. Though you left me with little choice but to promise them to you, and not to my beloved Dominion, I can find no reason to keep them."
"Once again, the Elder Scrolls have proven their value." Said Dexion.
"Three Elder Scrolls are worth more than one Archivist's life. But, I am often happy to be alive these days, Brother Dexion."
"Oh?" Said the Moth Priest.
"Oh, do not say 'Oh', but take these three scrolls from me before I change my mind and bring them to the embassy. Although this course of action would bring me great power and station, I do not think even I am ready for the fuss we could cause with such things."
"Thank you. You are too kind. I hope to return them to their rightful place in the Imperial City. But the third scroll, the dragon scroll, you should keep for now."
"Why?" She said.
"Because I think it wishes to stay with you. Perhaps you will have need of it. But I cannot say for certain. This has certainly been quite the adventure, hasn't it?"
Skavild hid behind the door, open-mouthed, and listened to Eldaline stalking away, out of the fortress. "Dexion!" He burst out, once she'd gone. "Why did she give you the scrolls? What's going on?"
Dexion looked up and tried to locate Skavild from the sound of his voice. "Ah. There you are. "Harkon's short-sightedness was his undoing. In his lust for power, he failed to see the full extent of his actions."
"That wasn't quite what I asked." Said Skavild, and hurried after Eldaline.
"Eldaline, are you going to tell me what that was all about, with the Moth Priest and giving our Elder Scrolls away?" He called.
Eldaline was having a swim.
"I would like to get washed in peace, Skavild." She said. But Skavild didn't go away.
"Dexion wouldn't tell me. He just told me some things about lusting for power and not seeing the full extent of your actions. He was talking about Lord Harkon, though. Not you."
"Well, not everybody is like Lord Harkon." Said Eldaline. "That is my problem. I have always lacked ambition." She dived under the water.
"Eldaline?" Skavild said nervously.
She emerged again. "Have you proposed to Serana yet?"
The next few days were very busy for Eldaline. Far too busy to attend Skavild's wedding to Serana, and certainly too busy to do any actual work, because she had to have her official uniform cleaned, and then spend several days writing and rehearsing a gloating speech for General Tullius, for having unfairly imprisoned her, or at least, his Legionnaires had done this.
"Don't worry, Imperial." She said. "I'm here to see your General, not to turn you into a dog again."
"And so, to conclude, General Tullius, I do not think a formal apology to the Thalmor Headquarters will be sufficient, under the circumstances. I am prepared, of course, to spare the lives of the unfortunate jailors of the Castle Dour dungeons for my two weeks' dire inconvenience, for I understand that even humans must find something to do with their time... even if that includes imprisoning helpless senior clerical officers, if it was done under your orders, I am sure you enjoyed your little joke and..."
"... have you had your hair changed, Legate Rikke? It looks very nice... I am prepared to let the matter go on my side in return for a rare suit of Dwarven armour, a week's holiday in Whiterun's prestigious Cloud District, a case of Shadowbanish wine, and a cuddly toy. Oh, and perhaps five thousand of your lovely Imperial Septims. To compensate me for my efforts in ridding Skyrim of a vampire menace, which is the Legion's job, not mine, and if you will allow me to say, it is not acceptable to impose upon your allies in this way."
"Do you know anything about this, Legate?" Said the General.
"Sir!" Said the Legate, which could fortunately have meant anything.
Eldaline turned back in the doorway. "Oh, and... one more thing." She said. "I have not forgotten this insult, and you will all pay for this!"
Eldaline had enjoyed giving her speech. She liked General Tullius and Legate Rikke very much, and it was a beautiful day.
"Skavild!" She cried joyously. "How nice to see you back so soon. When is the wedding? Have I missed it? I am so sorry." She hated weddings. She found them boring.
"Actually, Eldaline." Said Skavild. "There isn't going to be a wedding after all."
"Well, come in and tell me all about it." She said.
"... and so, after we went to see the wonderful wizard of Morthal, and Serana got herself cured of vampirism, we went back to Castle Volkihar to clean up some of the bodies, and that was fun, and then we went back to Fort Dawnguard, and that was fun too, but it wasn't really the same."
"You mean, once she wasn't a vampire, you got bored with her?" Said Eldaline. "And so, what happened then?"
"Foolish human." Said Eldaline's usually half-dressed blond secretary.
"Yes, yes." Said Eldaline. "Let him finish, Ondolemar. And go and change back into your summer armour, it is far too warm for that robe."
"You are weak, mortal!" Shouted Drods'ath, Eldaline's dremora.
"You as well." Said Eldaline. "Let Skavild finish his story."
"Ahem!" Skavild continued. "Well, I told her it just wasn't working, and here I am."
"That is the worst story I have ever heard." Said Eldaline.
"Well, I didn't think you'd believe me, but it's all true. Serana was all ready to marry me, but all that poncy castle living just wasn't for me. I'm a proud Nord. I should be in my home city. Solitude. Where a proud Nord belongs."
"Working as a Library Assistant to a senior Thalmor clerical officer and former Aldmeri Field Commander." Eldaline reminded him, helpfully.
"Yes." Said Skavild. He frowned. It didn't sound plausible, but neither did anything else he'd been saying for the past ten minutes.
"Well, I am sorry that your latest marriage did not go as planned, Skavild. I have a lot of letters to answer, so we will all be working into the night. A strange thing, though. In all of these letters, the First Emissary seems unaware that I was ever in prison at all. In fact, around the time I was arrested, there is just one letter from the Embassy, saying 'Please send this letter again, I cannot read your secretary's handwriting'. Skavild, tell me honestly: That letter that instructed me to escape and clear my own name. Was it really stolen from you by a bandit?"
"Err." Said Skavild. "Ahm well, if I'm completely and utterly honest with you, Archivist Eldaline, there never was a letter, because I thought it might be better this way."
"I see." She said. "That was very devious of you, Skavild."
"I'm very sorry." Said Skavild.
"Though also brilliant. For without my help, the vampires would undoubtedly have succeeded in stealing Auri-El's bow and blotting out the sun."
"Undoubtedly." Skavild said, very quickly.
"Oh!" Eldaline said, picking up another letter and forgetting about the whole thing.
"What is it?"
"Wonderful news, Skavild! You have been accepted at the College of Winterhold!"
"But I didn't apply to the College of Winterhold!" He cried.
"I know." Said Eldaline. "You are very forgetful, sometimes. You are fortunate to know me. My memory is excellent."
Eldaline and Skavild will return in Skavild the Wizard!