Part 4 - Ald'ruhn and Barilzar

I suppose any cultist is not in a normal state of mind, or they wouldn't have become one to begin with, but why do they have to become homicidal? At least there weren't many of them.

I found a couple of items that might be useful: a Nycotic Ritual Bag that may provide some clue as to what they were doing, and a note that had been dropped by the invading Red Exiles that had stolen the weapon. The latter told me that it was a staff, perhaps the one the divination vision had shown us? It didn't tell me much more, except that the sender's initials were "CC".

After talking to the crew chief again, who was still reluctant to enter even after I told him the place was cleared, I set off for Ald'ruhn.

As I approached the wayshrine just outside Ald'ruhn, I saw a young(ish) Dunmer woman in an argument with a couple of uniformed men. She was demanding to see her brother, who was apparently in these Red Exiles' camp. Whether that was voluntarily or otherwise wasn't clear.

Red Exiles were the ones who had taken the staff from the cultists, a further clue.

She'd apparent;y seen me approach, as after knocking the two men down, she called out to me. Even though she didn't appear to need any help, she solicited mine, in return for her assistance with Lord Vivec's quest.

She was Seryn, and her brother Chodala was Ashkhan of the nomadic tribe they belonged to. Her job was as ambassador to the other tribes. He was trying to unite the Ashlander nomads against the Morrowind Great Houses, but hadn't progressed very far with that, yet.

I went to the Red Exiles' camp, hoping they'd be more hospitable to a stranger, but was not surprised that they weren't. I did manage to discover that Chodala was no longer there, but a document of his meeting with them was still lying around. I took it back to Seryn.

I talked with Seryn for a while longer, getting more information about her brother, herself, and their Urshilaku tribe. Something in the document I'd retrieved alarmed her, and she gave me a scroll of her brother's writings to help clarify why. It appered that he believed himself to be the Nerevarine - a term that rang a faint bell in my faulty memory. I imagined that these writings would make more sense to Vivec, anyway.

The last location on my list was Barilzar's Tower, and that was way across to the east of the island beyond Molag Mar. Apparently it wouldn't have been a significant journey if I'd found the wayshrine, but you had to travel to those and find them, before you knew how to get there. Since this was my first trip, I'd have to do it the hard way. I could at least use the one at Ald'ruhm to go back to Vivec City, which cut the travel in half.

The route to Molag Mar took me through the town of Suran, which seemed familar in many ways. Azura had told me I'd 'remember' places from the future, if they'd stayed much the same over the intervening years. That was true with Seyda Neen, where things seemed to be where I expected them to be, and there was much familiar-feeling about Suran.

I went into the local tavern, called "Desele's House of Earthly Delights" with such a feeling, However, the interior was a different matter. Presumably interiors get redecorated more often. I never did discover what the 'Eartly Delights' were. I don't imagine they were the drinks, which seemed to be the same varieties i'd found in the bars of Vivec. In particular, there weren't any dancing girls. I don't have any clue why I was expecting any, other than a vague hope from the name of the place.

Molag Mar was quite a bit farther. It was built in the same style as the cantons of Vivec city, so I wasn't sure if that was the source of any familarity, or if I'd been here in future. In any case, Barilzar's tower was out in the coastal wetlands between there and Azura's Shrine. The shrine was on my map, but the tower wasn't. I found the local wayshrine first, and from there a passing traveller pointed out the tower in the distance.

Barilzar was in his tower when I arrived, but in the middle of an experiment that couldn't be interrupted. I offered to help in exchange for a few answers, and he readily agreed. I could activate the crystal for him while he operated the modulator, whatever that was. Apparently this would make an explosion less likely.

The required order wasn't hard to guess, and we did it quickly, and without any explosions. Barilzar was relieved (and maybe surprised) at that.

I told him that Lord Vivec had sent me to inquire about the transfer of divine energy, and that was a familar topic to him. Apparently, he'd worked with Sotha Sil on just that topic, and his master had a tool that permitted him to do so. With its aid, he was able to isolate some of his own power and analyze it, drawing conclusions on how it might be sustained, and whether it was temporary or permanent.

I suspected that tool might have been a staff, and the notes he gave me only strengthened that suspicion.

As soon as I stepped outside, an apparition of Archcanon Tarvus appeared, urging me back to Vivec City as fast as possible. There was ... a problem.