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A Message in a Memory

Martin Septim sacrificed himself to become the avatar of Akatosh during the Oblivion crisis.  When he defeated Mehrunes Dagon, he became immortalized as the stone dragon statue of Akatosh that resides in Imperial City today.

My brother and I used to play in the courtyard when we were little.  We would pretend I was the The Champion of Cyrodiil and he was Martin Septim.  Sometimes we were Knights of the Nine on pilgrimage.  Together, we would defeat imaginary daedra and save the world.

Our Wood Elf caretaker, Anariel, looked after us while our parents were away on dignitary duties.  A priestess of Akatosh, I remember her smiling upon us approvingly with our play under the shadow of the stone dragon.  She often told us that we were blessed and favored by Akatosh himself.

We never gave this much credence, and chalked it up to religious fanaticism.  But now I was revealed as dragonborn, I spent more time trying to recall what she said to us when we were little.  Perhaps she was somehow trying to tell us something.

So many memories lost in time.  Often we need a key or trigger to remember events that happened in the past.  I remembered her teaching us about the Ayleids, and the formation of the divines.  Akatosh was the first divine.  The Aldmer called him Auri-El.

She told us the stories of Saint Alessia being blessed by Akatosh with the Amulet of Kings.  As long as an heir of Alessia wore the Amulet of Kings, the Dragonfires in Cyrodiil would keep the daedra sealed in Oblivion.

When Uriel Septim VII died without an heir to bequeath the Amulet of Kings, the pact was broken.  Daedra could enter the mortal realm.  When Martin Septim shattered the Amulet of Kings, in essence, he tore up the contract.  The Oblivion gates closed, but the pact between Alessia and Akatosh had come to an end.

The dynasty of Alessia was over.  The last of the dragonblood turned to a stone dragon in the courtyard in which we played.

Anariel believed that Akatosh was not done with the mortal realm yet, though.   The ending of the old pact freed him to create a new one.  She said a new era was dawning, and we were going to be a part of it.

To be honest, my brother and I always thought she sounded a bit like a lunatic with these musings.  The history lessons of the Empire were interesting, though.  We just smiled and humored her when she went on tangents about Akatosh prophecies.

She often ended these rantings with a Wood Elf saying: “One man’s miracle is another man’s accident.”

I never quite understood why she ended our lessons this way, but now I wonder if there was a hidden meaning.  The more I thought about it, the more I became convinced it was a message.

I had no idea what she was trying to communicate.  I was missing the cypher; a key piece of information.

If it were possible, I might have risked trying to contact her.  The problem is, she disappeared.  No one knew where she was.

Elves are long lived, but fortunately, our childhood years progresses as the same rate as other mortals.  The teen years are painful, awkward, and long enough, whether mer or man.  Mother returned to our lives when we were about 15 years of age.  Anariel disappeared shortly after.  My brother and I were extremely distraught.  We loved her, and she was gone without saying goodbye.

The fact that she disappeared so thoroughly with a trace made us suspicious.  We accused mother; she flatly denied it.  Mother put out a rather lengthy and expensive search for her.  Thinking back on it now, I do believe mother was trying to locate her.  She was most definitely not concerned for her safety, though.  Another piece of the puzzle, mother wanted something from her.  When her agents came back with no word, she was deeply frustrated.  Anariel’s disappearance was a source of great agitation.

Our life with mother was quite different than with Anariel.  Where Anariel was kind and patient, mother was stern and demanding.  She felt that Anariel had done poorly instilling us with proper Aldmer values.  We were sent back to the Summerset Isles, where mother hoped to correct this.

The island was beautiful. We loved the white sand beaches.  Alinor was a treasure trove of ancient Ayleid architecture, art and history.

But we were absolutely appalled with our kin.  We did not fit in.  Very proper and structured; had to use the right spoons and forks.  Well, actually, in that aspect they were very similar to the Imperials, but even more so.  The teachings at our new school taught us that Aldmer were descended from the gods.  Mer was superior to men.  Talos was man, and therefore, not divine.  His false worship would be purged from Tamriel.

Alinius started to settle in a little better than I.  He made new friends easily, and became very popular.  I, on the other hand, mostly kept to myself.  Since moving to the Isles, Alin was pretty much my only friend.  I became very withdrawn.

The Thalmor were working very hard to indoctrinate everyone with their grand plan of mer superiority.  Alin and I could not help but think this sounded suspiciously like the world before Alessia: men enslaved by the Ayleids.  History was repeating itself.

History did not end well for the Ayleids.  They disappeared.  Many believe they are extinct.

The Thalmor have not always been the dominate power in Alinor.  Until the Oblivion crisis, they were a small, factious, political party without much power or influence.  Their radical, militaristic, and nationalistic views were considered fringe.  During the Oblivion crisis, they were able to organize to protect the homeland.  They gained prominence due to their success.

With the Tiber Septim’s blood line ended, they became convinced it was their destiny to restore Tamriel to pre-Alessian rule.  Rule of mer over men.

Alin and I were relieved to find that there was a significantly growing faction that opposed the Thalmor on the Isles.  Especially among the youth.

The Thalmor were simply too extreme and radical.  They did their best to cover up their atrocities, but every once in a while, we would hear about the ethnic cleansings.  The Thalmor insisted it was overstated lies.  There was considerable doubt.

Dissent was growing within the homeland.

Published in: Story Blog on January 26, 2012 at4:49 pm Comments (0)

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