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Chapter 691: Clockwork Tools
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Three portals, each one leads to one of the Tools of Sotha Sil, each one will be obtained with great difficulty.
After he stepped into the first portal, Glymet found himself in utter darkness. He didn't realize he was done with teleporting yet until it took a little bit too long for any sort of light to come to interact with his eyes.
Glymet didn't cast a spell but he rather held the hilt of his sword and drew it out rapidly. The movement of his blade drew an instant fiery line that thinned out in the air and calmly started to flicker around the blade as it shed its light on the surroundings.
A tomb, a crypt maybe, or an old catacomb.
Glymet's movements just now caused something to break and without any resistance, three skeletons crumbled to the ground.
The battle-hardened senses of Glymet were so heightened to the point where even if he can't see it, he knows where danger looms from and acts upon it.
Then why didn't this sense work during that time when they were sneaking into the tunnel shaft? Well… that's what is currently plaguing his mind.
Was it carelessness?
Was it bad luck?
Or was it something else?
These thoughts were so loud in Glymet's head that just to fight them, he was running around in the ancient tomb and hunting down the undead, which caused them to rattle and shriek loud enough to keep him focused on his quest.
He was now all alone, he knew the benefits of being alone and preferred it this way.
He can't be hindered anymore and there is no one to lose but his own self, a self he rarely cares about saving or losing.
His ancient dull brain haunted him and he ran from it, his limbs flurried around as he fought a horde of undead as if he was being chased by a greater evil and once all the skeletons were put down, he found himself standing in front of an Elder Vampire.
The Vampire said something but little did Glymet care. The moment he started the fight with the Vampire, Glymet returned to the rhythm of battle and let himself be battle drunk until he slew his enemy.
That was fast, it took him less than an hour and he immediately found the treasure hidden in that crypt, Sotha Sil's version of Wraithguard.
He took it then he returned to the Chamber of the Throne Aligned via the portal. Back there, it seemed that the group was still waiting for him and Laaneth had worked on hiding their activities with magic so no Abomination creature would easily notice them.
Without saying much, Glymet handed the Wraithguard to Galyn and took the second portal. That one led him to an unexpected yet familiar location.
Skyrim, Eastmarch. Not too far from Windhelm in the southern area down in the shadow of the Snow Throat mountain.
As he looked left and right, volleys of arrows and bolts of magic started flying sideways in both directions.
Just as he managed to take cover and find a safe spot, the sound of marching steps and rustling armors reached his ears and he could see a full battalion of Legionaries matching against the rain of arrows. Tagging behind them was a large score of Imperial Legion Archers who were split into smaller formations that would keep going ahead and retreating behind the cover of the Legion shield wall. The formation that would go ahead would shoot their arrows and the one that retreats would ready the next volley.
On the right and left flanks were two Imperial Cataphract cavalier formations that would charge with their armored horses against the Stormcloak infantry formations and would keep the Nordic Skirmishers at bay.
On the other side where the Nords gathered, they had the high ground advantage and the largest ma.s.s of their forces were Longbow Archers that positioned themselves on top of the hill that led to their camp.
The Stormcloak Archers had an overwhelming advantage against the Legionaries and the other archers but the Nordic Infantry found it impossible to descend from the hill and face the enemy on even ground. Even though they would be outnumbered and exposed to the Imperial Battlemages that are mixed within the Legionaries' shield wall, they would still hold their ground against the Cataphracts that posed danger to their archer advantage.
The Nordic Commander seemed to be a cunning one as he used half of his infantry troops and created a shield wall at the road leading up the hill. He even sent three patches of spearmen to form three points of cavalry kill zones known as the Hedgehog Formations.
These Hedgehogs would use their round shields like sh.e.l.ls and their spears like stingers. They managed to deal some damage whenever the Cataphracts tried to get past them and dropped a few hors.e.m.e.n with ease.
The Imperial Commander's only hope was to put his Legionaries in a direct confrontation with the Nordic Spearmen but he was terrified of the impending danger of Nordic Tongues.
While the Imperial Legion had its exceptional Battlemages, the Nordic Clans have produced many Tongues that would speak the words of power and cause bursts of destruction among the Imperial Legion with their Draconic Thu'um, a power that proved to be the backbone of many Stormcloak strategies.
While the Thu'um wasn't fully exclusive to Nords, only they knew its secrets and the Dragonborn was a fine example of what the Thu'um can do if it was mixed with the blessings of the Divine Akatosh.
But while the Nordic Tongues were a bit rare, the Imperial Battlemages were numerous and they overwhelmed the Nords many times with their magic.
Still, this situation is turning into a deadlock on both sides. Neither the Imperial impressive formations nor the Nordic terrain advantage gave them the edge they needed.
It was very obvious that one side would need just the advantage of a single talent that can tilt the battle to their favor. This talent would surely be an exceptional soldier or a powerful hero but neither side had it yet.
Glymet realized that and by no means he was willing to be the Hero for either side, that's not his role or his fight. He was done fighting the wars of the misguided mankind. All he needed was to win one last fight and fully retire without looking back.
As he read the motions of the battle, Glymet found the truth behind many questions that loomed in his mind, and he wanted to express all of them. He carried a sad expression on his face and started walking towards the battle with his sword still placed in its sheath.
He pa.s.sed many fallen soldiers from the two sides and as he looked at them, he remembered the old days of the Great War. The nightmare which reshaped his life to this day.
As the battle continued and the Imperial Cataphracts closed on the Stormcloak shield wall in an attempt to break it, the arrows repelled them back for another failed attempt. It was then when a Legion Knight rode by Glymet while he was regrouping with the Cavalry formation.
"Civilian!" The Knight called, "Move out of this place or you'll be caught in the fight."
Glymet indeed looked like a civilian. Despite having a single sword dangling from his side, he was wearing light traveling gear, something that people don't wear in battles.
He also wasn't a Nord from his general looks so by default he wasn't a Stormcloak… but he can be.
"Civilian!" The Knight called again when Glymet ignored the first call and seemed to be frustrated by the uncooperative civilian.
Glymet walked towards the Stormcloak shield wall and as he pa.s.sed the hedgehog formations, the Stormcloak Soldiers started to notice him.
One couldn't tell if he was an Imperial or something else but to the besieged Nords, it was all bad news. Around eleven arrows flew towards him from the direction of the archers above the hill.
Glymet felt the sharpness of the arrows in the air and stood his ground. He didn't seem to be concerned for his own safety and just as he felt the sharpness of the arrows at the point where dodging had become impossible, the sharpness suddenly disappeared.
All the arrows landed on the ground behind him and he remained as he was, unharmed and in a straight path towards the shield wall.
As he reached the shield wall, the spearmen raised their weapons and aimed them up across the entire formation. This wasn't just for antic.i.p.ation against the weird hooded man but also for the Cataphracts that were turning and rushing once again at the shield wall's left flank.
Seeing this strange man standing in the middle of it all, there wasn't much they could do about it now. Many innocents get caught in the war because of their stupidity, it wasn't the first time they saw it. Just the other day, an apothecary from Riften threw herself in the crossfire between two armies looking for the body of her son.
But the story of this man was going to be different from this point onward, it was going to change everything regarding this battle with a single word. Not a word of power like the Thu'um but rather something different, something filled with authority…
Just as the Imperial Cataphracts closed onto the shield wall and the Nords aimed their pikes to intercept them, Glymet uttered a single word.
He didn't shout it, he just spoke out in a voice a tad above the normal.
Immediately, all the Imperial Cataphracts changed the direction of their horses and the Nords started peeking through the shield wall. In a strange feeling, all the power, the fear, the adrenaline, the rage, and the will to sacrifice oneself, all have suddenly disappeared.
Enough was enough, a single command stopped everything.
Miraculously, the Nordic Commander started breaking his shield wall and walked out of it while the Imperial Commander redirected his horse and rode ahead to the Cataphracts in the direction of Glymet as well.
As the two commanders reached each other where Glymet stood, they exchanged looks and nodded to one another. Ivar Bear-Biter and Arcton Vedes were the two men respectively, two old Legion veterans of the Great War.
The two exchanged words with Glymet and then decided to retreat immediately. They agreed to continue fighting another day.
No one could fathom what just happened but all of them had just lost the will to fight and really couldn't think about it now. They all wanted to go back and rest for the day.
It was only explained later that a handful of Imperials who possess the unique traits of leadership can speak the word in the Voice of the Emperor. While it is similar to the Nordic War Cry and the Redguard Adrenaline Rush, it is as rare as the Breton Dragonskin. All of which are racial powers that transcend the normal traits of one's race.
Glymet just used that and an entire battle came to a halt. Many of the injured were picked from the battlefield by the two sides and their survival chances were somewhat guaranteed.
As for Glymet, he dug something out somewhere near the hill and disappeared from the place.
Once he walked back into the Clockwork City via the Portal, he handed out the second tool to Laaneth, Sotha Sil's version of the mighty hammer Sunder.
The last portal led to the Jerall Mountains, the mountain range that separates Skyrim and Cyrodiil. There, he arrived at a famous landmark known as the Dragonclaw Rock.
Just as the namesake stated, a Dragon was looming above the sky where Glymet's portal opened and the two noticed each other clearly.
The last time Glymet fought a Dragon, it took him days and he was exhausted beyond sense. Now, he is in front of another one of those mighty beings.
"I've come in peace." Glymet said and moved his hand away from the blade.
"Drem Yol Lok!" The Dragon descended upon the rock and greeted Glymet.
"I suppose this is greetings. Then… greetings to you too, ancient one." Glymet replied.
"You speak to a Dovah, a Dragon, rather than running around like the other joor. Sonziik! Peculiar!"
The Dragon spoke in the heaven-shaking voice of his race, mixing Thu'um with common speech.
"I have only come for a minor errand." Glymet replied, "My body is too tired to fight but I know I can always keep fighting. It seems that is something I haven't figured out how to quit just yet."
"Vrah! Indeed! Joor of your kind always squabbles over the little Nirn you were given. True on every Nirn I have seen. Krif! Fighting!" The Dragon replied but he soon changed his lamenting tone, "I have no wish to fight you, joor. But this is my Gaard, my Sanctuary. You have invaded it with your feet and I find myself Ahst Saan! At a loss of what to do."
"Have you never had guests before?" Glymet asked.
"Paarthurnax every hundred years or so." The Dragon replied, "Lately, the other Dov were in dismay against Bormah (Father) when he had given birth to a Dovahkiin. I have had more guests than what I would wish for since then."
"Sounds like your kind of trouble." Glymet said and immediately went to the issue at hand, "My query shouldn't be that much of a bother to you then."
"Then speak, joor. What is it that would bring you from that portal into the home of a Dovah?" The Dragon asked.
"A few years ago, maybe over 200 years, a great wizard came to this location and he hid something… a dagger I a.s.sume." Glymet explained, "I am in need of that thing."
"Sothah Rah!" The Dragon said in realization before explaining the words, "Sotha Sil!"
"That's him." Glymet confirmed.
"While not a path I wish for a joor to follow, Sothah Rah is a tirdun, a Wiseman. He and I made a pact that I would safekeep his treasured knife. Its power hums with a dangerous shriek that can make the world…" The Dragon searched for the word in his head before finding the right term, "… krul."
"Meaning?" Glymet asked.
"Mourn." The Dragon replied.
"Thus it was called Keening." Glymet shared his insights on the artifact.
"It would seem you know what it does, and here I thought myself to be the most knowledgeable of all seik… of all synonyms." The Dragon seemed to have been satisfied with the conversation and backed off, "You can find it up on the highest peak if you follow the road."
"Thank you, ancient one." Glymet bowed his head slightly, "What should I call you?"
"I am Vunnonvaal, the Exalted Tongue of the Greybeards and a follower of Paarthurnax." The Dragon replied then said, "It goes both ways when we exchange our names."
"Glymet. It wasn't always Glymet but it is the name that brought me good fortune." Glymet replied.
"It wasn't always Vunnonvaal either but it was the name that brought me peace of heart." Vunnonvaal replied, "Fare thee well, Glymet."
"Yes. May we see each other in the future." Glymet said as the dragon started soaring in the sky.
But the Dragon left Glymet with one last reply as he headed east.
"That won't be."
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