How Eldaline joined the Dawnguard (even ...

How Eldaline joined the Dawnguard (even though she didn't want to) part 5

Feb 09, 2022

The story so far:

Eldaline, one of the worst and cruellest librarians in the current Aldmeri Dominion and possibly the entire history of the rest of Nirn, has been accused of burning down the Hall of the Vigilant, even though it was actually some vampires. She has been broken out of prison by her own former prisoner, the Nord Skavild, and his friend Serana, daughter of a powerful vampire lord. To foil the plot of the aforementioned vampire lord, and to clear Eldaline's name, they have joined the fabled Dawnguard and are now searching for Auri-El's Bow in a location revealed to Eldaline by an Elder Scroll.

Eldaline, Skavild and Serana were in some water at the bottom of a deep hole.

"Well, it was your idea to carry all those pretty rocks back across the bridge." Said Eldaline. "I still say that the direction I chose was correct, in theory."

"Why don't all these tunnels have proper Nord bridges, not these collapsing Elf ones? I always collect pretty rocks when we go on expeditions. A bridge has never done that before."

"I think Serana has gone ahead to fight something." Said Eldaline.

"Yes, we should stop arguing and help her."

When they arrived, the disgusting giant insects that Serana had been fighting were already dead.

"Done and done!"

"It was very thoughtful of you to kill the giant insects, Serana." Said Skavild.

"Yes, you were very competent." Said Eldaline. "Perhaps you would like to go on ahead and clear the entire cave."

Eldaline and Skavild did actually help Serana clear the rest of the cave.

"I've found an elf, Eldaline." Said Skavild. "Can you talk to him?"

"I am Knight-Paladin Gelebor. Welcome to the Great Chantry of Auri-El." Said the strange elf, who was also understandable by Skavild and Serana. But Eldaline had gone quiet and suddenly seemed very shy. And so Serana went to negotiate for the wonderful and storied Bow of Auri-El, their only hope in their plan to foil a vampiric plot to blot out the sun.

"So let's get this straight. We need to do all that nonsense to get into the temple, so we can kill your brother and claim Auriel's Bow?"

"I know how it all sounds, but if there was another way I'd have done it long ago." Said Knight-Paladin Gelebor. "The only way to get to my brother is by following in the Initiates' footsteps and traveling from wayshrine to wayshrine just as they did."

They followed the winding and Falmer-infested caves around. The Falmer were a peculiar people. They tied skeletons in strange ways with hands on their heads.

"Why didn't you want to talk to the nice priest of Auri-El?" Said Skavild.

"Because he might have asked me about my meditation and communing with Auri-El, and I have never actually heard from him personally." Said Eldaline.

"I'm sure he wouldn't judge you for it."

"He has sent us to kill his brother for turning a bit odd."

"That is true." Said Skavild.

"I was never attuned to the voices of the gods when young. I thought I would hear them when I gained greater knowledge. I have acquired powers from beyond this world, but I do not think these were from the Aedra."

"Well, perhaps the Divines would like you more if you stopped cavorting with Daedra." Said Skavild.

"But, I have to cavort with them. I am married to one of them." Eldaline said. "But, let us speak of more cheerful things."

"Yes, you're right. It's such a lovely cave."

There was a pale, translucent Snow Elf keeping watch by the next wayshrine.

"Welcome, Initiate. This is the Wayshrine of Illumination. Are you prepared to honor the mantras of Auri-El and fill your vessel with His enlightenment?"

"... Yes." Said Eldaline, although usually she killed ghosts on sight and drank their raw ectoplasm. It was an unusual habit, for which she was known in Alinor, where there was even a popular song about it.

"Then behold Auri-El's gift, my child. May it light your path as you seek tranquility within the Inner Sanctum."

"Well!" Said Skavild, on the other side of the Wayshrine. "How pretty."

He was thinking it might be a nice place to ask Serana to marry him, a plan he had come up with recently. But the next wayshrine was almost in view, and the moment was gone!

"Do we need to move quite this quickly?" He asked, as Eldaline performed the part of the ritual with the bowl of water and the jug.

"Yes, because some vampires are trying to blot out the sun." Said Eldaline.

"I suppose so." Said Skavild.

"Be careful on the ice." Said Eldaline, through the next wayshrine. "Did you know that I can skate? Serana."


"Yes, in Sunhold, Magister Arandial used to freeze one of the great ponds. They say that I learned very quickly."

"Show us some skating, Eldaline." Said Skavild. "Serana and I will stay here and watch."

"Not now, Skavild. Look up there, that must be the temple."

The next wayshrine was over a hill beyond the frozen lake.

On the other side, they found a narrow crevasse. They went through it. What followed was a horribly confused warren of Falmer huts, where they kept losing each other.

"Where are you?" Said Serana.

"I'm over here." Said Skavild. "Eldaline's over there."

"I'm down here." Eldaline said. "What are you doing up there?"

"Who's there?" Said Serana.

"Come up, Eldaline."

"No, you come down."

"Where have you got to?"

"Over here!"

"Well, go over there!"

At last they arrived at the bridge before the temple gates.

"Still no word from Auri-El, in case you wondered." Said Eldaline, but she hurried, nonetheless.

"Serana! Eldaline! I can't go across this bridge!" Said Skavild. "It's too far down, and what if this one breaks, like the last one?"

"The last one was made of planks."

"Eldaline, do you think you could magic those eggs out of that nest from here?"

"I will magic you off this bridge." Said Eldaline. "Hurry up. Remember the vampire plot."

"Well, there he is." Said Eldaline. "I mean, there it is."

Before they opened the great door of the temple, she took one last look into the sky, in case she was killed indoors and never saw it again. There was an eagle flying there.

"Aaaaaargh!" Shouted Skavild.

"Are you okay?" Said Serana.

"It's all right, Skavild. It is only a statue."

"Not a statue! A frozen! I mean, a frozen Falmer. Do you think we'll be frozen too?" Said Skavild. "I'm just going to have a sit down."

There were a circle of frozen Falmer facing the shrine of Auri-El. Several of them held valuable artefacts in their hands, but on balance, Eldaline, Serana and Skavild decided that they had enough equipment with them and didn't take them. Eldaline anxiously put her hands on the shrine for the last time before they went into the chapel.

Serana said, "Something's not right here. Be careful. I think we may be in for some trouble."

"Did you really come here expecting to claim Auriel's Bow? You've done exactly as I predicted and brought your fetching companion to me. Which, I'm sorry to say, means your usefulness is at an end!"

"Wait. Are you talking about... me?" Said Serana.

"No, I'm talking about Skavild." Said Arch-Curate Vyrthur. "Yes, I'm talking about you."

"I won't let you ruin centuries of preparations! Death first!"

Eldaline was lying on the floor of the chapel for several minutes before Skavild and Serana cleared the rubble off her.

"Come on." Said Serana.

"Well, I was certain you were dead!" Skavild said. "You'll never believe what happened."

"He's dead, isn't he?" Said Eldaline, picking bits of the ceiling out of her hair.

Skavild pulled her upright. "We had to fight him. He wouldn't give us the bow. He said: 'Auri-El, forgive me.' Then, yes, he died."

"I knew that it would be too much to hope that one who abandoned his god could be saved." Said Eldaline.

"Don't start all that again." Said Skavild. "Once we get back to Solitude, I'll help you give up Daedra. You'll see. Anyway, Knight-Paladin Gelebor's here. He's opened the way to the bow. Serana and I think you should be the one to wield it, seeing as you're an elf and Auri-El is presumably your favourite god."

"I cannot carry it." She said. "It is so perfect and bright, and I'm drenched in blood. Again."

"Go on, pick it up." Said Skavild.

"Also, I'm a terrible shot." Said Eldaline. But she picked it up. Nothing dreadful happened.

The morning rose over the miserable scene, more beautifully than Eldaline felt it should.

"Come with us, Arch-Paladin Gelebor." She said. "Your guidance will be very welcome to me."

"The bow... You have Auriel's Bow!" Said Isran, in Fort Dawnguard. "I've heard it described in tales, but I could never have imagined its beauty."Let me address the Dawnguard, and then we'll be off. The men deserve to know that we've finally gained the upper hand. Everyone! Gather round! Come on then, we haven't got all day!"

Last chapter next time.

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