Monday, February 10, 2014

14th of Heartfire – Gauldur

I’m sitting outside the ruins of Folgunthur now, looking at Solitude in the distance. After being named Arch-Mage, I spent the next day resting in the Arcanaeum, picking through books almost at random until I came upon one describing the legend of Gauldur.

Archmage Gauldur was a powerful and renowned conjurer who lived in Skyrim during the opening days of the First Era. His aid and counsel were sought by many. A major source of his power was his magical amulet. 

Though Gauldur was wise, wealthy, and honourable, his sons Jyrik, Mikrul, and Sigdis Gauldurson resented living in their father's shadow. They killed Gauldur in his sleep and split the amulet between them. Consumed by power, the three brothers laid waste to the surrounding villages until High King Harald sent Archmage Geirmund and a company of battlemages to stop them, which they finally did after a great effort and many casualties. Because of the destruction caused by Gauldur's family, King Harald ordered the Gauldur name struck from all historical records. But despite this age-long campaign to wipe out all mention of Gauldur, whispers of the legend survived, although bards still refused to tell the tale four thousand years later.

Something about the description of the amulet tickled a vague memory, so, running to my quarters I searched through the rings and amulets I’d collected until I found what I was looking for: An amulet I picked up under Saarthal. It looked very much like the one described in the story, and since Lydia was pointedly mentioning that sitting at the College didn’t accomplish anything, we headed out the next day.

The fort I mentioned on the way to Labyrinthian, Fort Dunstad, had now been occupied by Stormcloak troops. They were suspicious at first, but when I, very patiently, I might add, explained that Lydia and I were the ones that removed the bandits, they most graciously let us rest there. 

The Word Wall of Folgunthur
When we arrived at Folgunthur we found evidence of someone else having been there as well, and that not too long ago. We found further evidence inside, with the frozen bodies of people along with the broken bodies of draugr. It appeared that the draugr had been victorious, though, since those were the ones we had to fight. We soon found the leader of the ones that had come before us, one Daynas Valen, who had also been searching for the amulet. He had been overwhelmed by the draugr, but he had given some more clues where I should look for the last piece of the amulet (once I’d found the one that was deeper within Folgunthur, of course).

In the deepest chamber of the ruins I experienced that bloody tug of a word wall again. Of course, that happened at the same time that the remains of Mikrul burst out of his chest. I’m afraid that Lydia carried that fight, what with me being so distracted by that thrice cursed word pull. We prevailed, though, and I got both the second piece of the amulet and another word in my head. Oh, and I also found a rather peculiar gem. Me being me, I picked it up, and a voice started talking to me out of nowhere. Turns out that the gem belongs to the Daedric Prince Meridia, and she wants me to help her. Now, I’m not convinced that cavorting with Daedra is a good idea, and Lydia agrees with me. Still… I know that Meridia hates the undead, so at least in one point we’re in agreement, and having a Daedra owe you a favour can’t be bad. Right?

We’re heading to Solitude today. We’ll just visit briefly, then head south towards Ivarstead, where the last piece of Gauldur’s amulet is supposed to rest. And it just so happens that Ivarstead is right on the doorstep of the Greybeards…

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