Charon's Non-Meeting with Ur-Dra

  • Some say dreams are a vision into one's own subconcious. They say dreams never lie. And when they do, it often doesn't really count. The point being dreams show many things. They show that which you strive to attain or lingers upons actions you failed to take. But my dreams of late are not products of my desire or even regret, at least not my own. No, they are not my dreams at all. I know because I have been running through this dream like the endless kalpic cycles of my world.


    The dream begins on a peaceful cliff overlooking the Alik'r Desert, untouched by the dangers that lurk beneath the sand. Several things stick out to me from here. A worn throne, its back, a mess of writhing serpents; and its armrests, swords. Betrayal and...sacrifice, perhaps? Warnings for what awaits me? Then there is the wind that moves the mountainous dunes like waves in a golden sea. I wait for the winds to reach me on my sundered throne, but nothing reaches me here. Has the goddess of all-under-sun's-domain abandoned me?


    Eventually these images fade away, replaced by nothing, for I know not what else to call it. It was not the shrouding darkness, that many scholars fear the Void to be. But true nothingness. Dull. Grey. Empty.


    "Have you waited long enough?" I heard whispered. I saw a sudden darkness shift and turn, and from it arose a slim, threateningly tall figure. The mist-like shadows stuck out in the grey emptiness. Fully formed, she looked human, save her eyes. I have scoured the realm of Apocrypha and have seen beyond what any mortal should, but the eyes revealed nothing. No, instead I felt they were taking something from me.


    "Done gawking? Do you know who I am?" questioned the robed woman.


    "Nocturnal. Master of the Unknown and eldest of Oblivion," I answered. There are many Daedric Princes, all of them dangerous. From the brutish Prince of Destruction to the scheming Webspinner. But many believe Nocturnal to be the most dangerous. She is called Ur-Dra. A title fit for the firstborn child of Oblivion.


    "You do know me," she said, approvingly. "Many of your kind have erased me from your annals. But I had heard that you were well-learned. I had also heard that your schemes are...interesting. You seek to free your people, the Redguards, from the never-ending cycles that bind Mundus."


    "Where did you hear such things?"


    She waved her pale hand, dismissively. "I am the firstborn of Oblivion. My siblings give me respect fit for my birthright. I had spoken with my one of my brothers, the one many call Mehrunes Dagon, and he said he spoke with you. And he said he let you go. My brother knows only destruction, and yet you talked him down."


    "I told him I would help." She stared at me, questioningly. I continued, "I had read of his once-life. As the Leaper King. Before he became what he is now."


    A wicked grin spread across the demon's face. "Exploitave little mortal," she said. It seemed a compliment.


    The mist persisted. It seemed a tangible thing here, like a shroud hiding the entire world from me. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't unnerving. I knew who I was dealing afterall.


    "Now what do you want? Does something ail the Ur-Dra? Something that I can help one with?" I asked. I was unsure what power she currently held over me but I wanted to be rid of her.


    "Oh no, no, dear star child. I had simply wanted to speak with the mind that told the Destroyer not to destroy. To see if you could accomplish your goals, to see if you are who claim to be, the avatar of HoonDing, your God of Make-Way. But I warn you now, your people sailed the sea-between-cycles before, be careful of tempting your Tall-Father's mercy again," she cautioned.


    "I care not for your warnings. You may live in the ignorance and doubt of most mortals but you shall find neither in me, trespasser."


    The mist grew even heavier and my head began to hurt. Her voice was all around me now, as if the entire world echoed her commands. "Trespasser? You are in my realm. The realm of the unknown. Oh, you claim knowledge, but here, you truly know nothing."


    The pain got worse. How could this possibly be her realm? This was my mind. My knowledge is locked within this place, not her's. "I am calling your bluff, Firstborn. You are the trespasser here. This place is mine."


    She laughed cruelly. "This is the mind of a madman. You think your mind is your's? The stories are true, your determination is admirable. You believe yourself to be a god. And now you are face to face with one. Tell me, mortal, do you live up to the title?" She asked.


    "I am the Way-Maker, demon."


    She laughed again. "What is this title you give yourself? 'Way-Maker'? Do you know how many men have claimed godhood?"


    "I am the HoonDing. The God of Make Way chose me to bare this responsibility," I said. I had to be, I thought to myself.


    Nocturnal appeared closer in front of me. "Oh, you're doubting yourself. After all, what if you're wrong? What if this divine knowledge you claim to have was...just a whisper. A whisper from some manipulating force," she suggested, smirking. "It certainly sounds like something Mephala would do."


    "No!" I shouted. She stood there smiling at me. "I am the Way-Maker. Leave my presence, trespasser."


    She sighed. "I told you before. This is my realm now. I am no trespasser. Your mind is filled with doubt and shadows and the unknown. And it will drive you mad. You live by your knowledge and determination, and I have taken both from you."


    I slumped down. She's playing me, I thought to myself. I will not let her take my faith from me. More images formed around me. A cluster of images all at once; swords melting, the winds fleeing, and even the stars set by Ruptga himself blacking out one by one.


    Was I being played? Has this journey occurred for the simple amusement of some distant being? All the lives I've taken, the blood I've split; all this pain and doubt for nothing. That couldn't be.


    One of my hands dropped to the ground, but it knocked against something warm. I looked down. A sword. It looked faint and shimmered in and out of existence, like it wasn't wholly real. Maybe it wasn't. But I needed a familiar sensation in this cold place. My hands wrapped around the handle and as I grabbed it, it grew less faint, more solid. My journey was not for nothing. I will make sure of it.


    I stood up, sword in hand. "I am the Way-Maker, Nocturnal."


    She sighed, irritated. "You are a mortal. Too wrapped up in your illusions of grandeur to see that your own sanity has been lost. I considered striking a deal with you, but I can see your mind is more befitting for the Sithis-shaped hole that is my brother."


    "I've had enough of your mind games. This is my mind, my realm. And you are not welcome here."


    I cut away the mist and immediately the emptiness was given life. Images poured in. A wind blew to the farthest corners of my mind. A wave of iron washed across the world around me, reflecting the rains of starlight that fell from the sky. The dark figure seemed smaller now, not the impossibly tall woman that once stood before me. Nocturnal's shadowy hood concealed her face from the blinding light. "You have made an enemy this day, mortal."


    "I am no mortal, demon. You are speaking to the HoonDing. Now get out of my head." I slashed through the figure that stood before me, shadow and all. Her image faded a way and the pain in my head followed soon after. And now it was the world's turn to fade away...


    I awoke rather violently. A large figure was shaking me. "Wake up!"


    My eyes shot open. Still tired, I muttered, "W-what is it?" I studied the figure before me. It was one of the mercenaries I hired. Bori? Boris? Bouris, that was it. A large Nord I met in Dragonstar. Easily recognized by his sun-burnt face, bright red hair, and some of the strangest armor I've ever seen; a mix of chitin, furs, and even bits of what he claimed to be dragonbones. Still he was agreeable enough. Certainly worth the money.


    "You were shivering and cowering. You'd think there were some wolves prowling around in that head of your's," he laughed heartily. It was a rather calming laugh, I'll admit.


    "That would be preferable," I responded. I finally stood up. I still had more work to do. And now more obstacles in my way. "Let's go," I commanded, leaving the tent. Bouris followed.


    The light was blinding, my eyes still adjusted to the darkness. I was relieved to see the Alik'r Desert stretch across the world around me. I knew this world well and that knowledge will serve in the coming times.

    "How often do you see ravens in these parts?" Bouris asked. I looked at him and followed his gaze. A raven perched on a withered old tree; its dark feathers clashing with both the bright sky and tan dunes.


    "Not often," I answered. Make your threats, Ur-Dra. When the End comes, you shall be met with teeth and claws and Hunger, and I shall be greeted at the gates of the Far Shore.

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    I have been sitting on this one for awhile. Not sure how accessible it is from a lore perspective. Probably not very, but Charon is pretty deeply embedded in Redguard lore. So here are some concept explanations. If you need further clarification on any or if I missed any, just ask (I know I probably could've used some less obscure terms, but I felt like they just fit really well. I promise, no more stories I post will be this...lore-wanky).

    • Kalpic cycles- A span of time starting with creation, ending in destruction so it begin again. In Nordic mythology, Alduin eats the world at the end of every kalpa.
    • Goddess of All-Under-Sun's-Domain- Tava, a Redguard goddess that rules over the entire sky; the wind, birds, and sun. Only the stars are above her, for they belong to Ruptga.
    • Leader King- It is believed that Dagon was a being known as the Leaper Demon King before being transformed into what he is now by Alduin.
    • Tall-Father- Ruptga, the head of the Redguard pantheon. Nickname is Tall Papa. He is not known for mercy.
    • Sea-between-cycles- It is believed Redguards come from a previous kalpa and that they traveled to this. They came in through boats so that's where the 'sea' part comes from.
    • Charon's Sword- A Spirit Sword. Some Redguard swordsmen could summon their Spirit Swords in the real world, but Charon can only summon it in his own mind.
    • Sithis-shaped hole- Sheogorath.

    PS: I fucking hate Ning's formatting. Don't know how you guys deal with this...

Comments

5 Comments
  • Matt Feeney the New Guy
    Matt Feeney the New Guy   ·  August 13, 2015
    Yeah, I was right about to post this and thought maybe I should add a mini Dune-esque Terminology section. Like I said, bit of a lore wank.
    @Lissette~ I can tell you enjoy the Altmer stuff with that Crystal Tower story. Haven't read any of it, but I...  more
  • The Long-Chapper
    The Long-Chapper   ·  August 13, 2015
    Hehe, yeah. This was a really cool read. I do more Altmer stuff, but redguard lore is awesome. :)
  • Veloth the Prophet
    Veloth the Prophet   ·  August 13, 2015
    I love the little lore nuggets at the bottom for anybody who's not up on the Redguards 
  • Matt Feeney the New Guy
    Matt Feeney the New Guy   ·  August 13, 2015
    Figured it would mainly be lore guys that like this, since it's kind of a love letter to the bizarre nature of TES. I enjoyed coming up with some weird terms; the sea-between-cycles, goddess of all-under-sun's domain, Tall Father (thanks, Odin), etc.
  • Paws
    Paws   ·  August 13, 2015