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An Interview with a Nightscourge

  • Member
    March 5, 2015

    The text below was found folded inside a stained copy of that loathsome book, The Lusty Argonian Maid, on one of  the top shelves in our library. What became of the book after I threatened to incinerate it I do not know, but I do know that I am getting fed up with finding these ill-conceived and poorly written interviews turning up all over the place.

    This particular piece appears to be an interview between that foolish Argonian from the last lot who is too stupid to see what sits before her, and a blasphemous creature of legend. Coincidently, our very own scholar Borommakot once traced his lineage and family history and it turns out he had an ancestor who claimed to be a Lord of Volkihar at about the same period in time. I need to keep an eye on him...

    As is always the case with such writings, rather than have them cast into the fire I leave them here for others to judge their relevance, if any, to our prestigious library.

    Table of Contents



    Alazir the Nightscourge

    26th Evening Star 4E 201

    The Frozen Hearth



    Dear Mr Alazir

    Please allow me to introduce myself, my name is Walks-the-Road. I represent the University of Gwylim as an itinerant scholar and am currently in the process of gathering information about the recent history of Skyrim. My aim is to compile several interviews with noteworthy people to get a true account of the events of the last several months.

    During my stay at the College of Winterhold your name was mentioned by the mages there as someone I'd do well to talk to.

    If this interests you, please reply naming a meeting place of your choice. I pride myself on my alacrity and will endeavour to be at your location in mere days.

    Thank you for your time.

    Yours sincerely,



    2nd Morning Star 4E 202

    Castle Volkihar



    Madam Walks-the-Road

    I received your letter with great interest. I endeavored to reply quickly, but it was my misfortune that the courier who delivered your message seemed rather drai exhausted from his journey, so we allowed him to rest here a few days, and I have sent my own man in his stead.

    Regarding your inquiry, it would be my pleasure to meet with you. I confess I'm quite curious to hear what impression I made at the College. But of course I shall also be happy to answer some questions for you. I have an estate in Hjaalmarch, and my steward, Valdimar, will gladly receive you. The hall is a short journey south of Dawnstar; not entirely on the road, but safe enough with good weather. Should you arrive before I do, you may have to encourage Valdimar to put a fire in the hearth, but he will be quite accommodating if you show him this letter.

    Should such a trip be inconvenient, I have business in Winterhold two weeks from today, and can meet you at Candlehearth Hall in Windhelm. As I shall take my journey through Hjaalmarch, you may send a messenger there. I look forward to our meeting.

    With regards,



    5th Morning Star 4E202

    The Frozen Hearth



    Dear Mr Alazir

    Thank you for your prompt reply in which you agree to meet with me. Your dwelling in Hjaalmarch will be a perfectly fine meeting place and I'll leave for it as soon as I finish writing this. Unfortunately, I would not be able to meet you in Windhelm. Gaining entry to that city is problematic for one such as I.

    I'm dreadfully sorry to hear about the courier. I hope he is making a speedy recovery. It has never been my intention to put anyone in harm's way, yet it seems he may have been over zealous in pursuit of his business, an admirable trait in anyone I'm sure you'll agree.

    I look forward to meeting your man Valdimar, he sounds like a loyal fellow.

    Until then I remain

    yours sincerely


    P.S: Below is a portrait of me so that you or your steward will recognise me when we meet.

    10th Morning Star, 4E 202, The Pale, Heljarchen Hall.

    I was reluctant to leave Winterhold, although I confess to not staying longer than a few days at the college after taking up Arch-Mage Elnarya's offer. At first I was delighted with the place and spent the first day occupying myself with the books in the library and in discussions with the librarian. He didn't like me at first, threatened me with atronachs if I so much as knocked over a stack with my tail. However, my charm soon won him over and we talked for hours about the rare books in his collection.

    It wasn't until the following days that I decided to make a move. I was fascinated by the talent of the apprentices and glad to be included in their experiments when they approached me for help. At first it was a novel experience, but after one of them turned my beautiful scales to the ugliest shade of blue, I felt enough was enough.

    I moved back to the inn I briefly supped in after arriving in Winterhold and immediately hit it off with a former student of the college. Yet all good things must come to an end and, after we moved the furniture back in their original positions, I bid farewell to Nelacar and travelled to meet my new interview subject, the proud wearer of a new set of robes.

    I arrived at Alazir's residence a number of days later than I had planned. The roads just aren't safe these days and the weather was atrocious. I knocked on the door in the late afternoon after being suitably impressed at the size of the place. The door finally opened to reveal a taciturn Nord who I took to be Valdimar. Following Alazir's advice, I showed the steward the crinkled and travel stained letter I had received from his master and gained entry into the mansion. After asking politely, Valdimar lit a fire in the hearth as it seemed colder inside than out.

    Time passed, the sun went down and it grew dark as pitch outside as a storm rolled in. The wind howled around the house and I could hear rain pelting against the roof and the sound of thunder getting steadily closer. I started to fear I had missed my opportunity to talk to my host. Valdimar I had not seen since I arrived. Just when I was beginning to despair and feel the first pangs of hunger gnawing at me, a well dressed man walked into the dining room where I was sat from a dark area at the back of the house. I was startled as I had heard nothing.

    He was a very tall Redguard with a regal bearing, his stature only enhanced by the stately clothing he was wearing. This apparel seemed to be a very light armour, almost appearing as clothing at first glance, concealed partly by an elegant cape. The man's hair was dark but I could see a smattering of grey here and there, also present in his thick but well styled beard which was otherwise as black as coal. His face was remarkable for the symmetrical tattoos extending upwards from each cheek before circling his eyes, which seemed to be glowing the most startling shades of orange and red.

    I assumed this was my host, but I was so taken aback by his silent arrival that I was momentarily speechless. I hurriedly pushed the chair back as I stood, the loud grating noise it made seemed to break the spell. I stammered:

    W-t-R: Oh... Hello! Um, sorry. I'm, err... Walks-the-Road. Are you Mr Alazir?


    Alazir: Please, Madam Walks-the-Road, *raising a hand and nodding* be at ease. Take a seat. *Sits down opposite her at the dining table, reclining* I am, indeed, Alazir. I apologize for keeping you waiting. Valdimar will be along presently with some roast venison; I'm sure the journey has worn on your appetite. But let's not delay our business on his account. Here, some of my good Stros M'Kai Rum to warm us while we wait. You may proceed with your questions at your leisure.


    N.B: For the first time I noticed Alazir's face bore scars on his right cheek.

    W-t-R: Allow me to apologise if I kept you waiting, I encountered a few difficulties on the way. Please, I brought you a gift of Spiced Wine I procured from the College of Winterhold. Truth be told I am hungry too, so the prospect of roast venison is welcome news, thank you. I haven't tasted Stros M'Kai Rum since I met with another famous Redguard in Hammerfell. You're a gracious host Mr Alazir.

    Onto business then. Forgive me for being so tactless, but you have the most striking features. Your Scars. How did you acquire such a dreadful injury?



    Alazir: Hnnn, these were the gifts of the desert during the early years of the Great War. When the Aldmeri Dominion landed, they quickly...overran most of the coast. The disjointed Redguard resistance was forced to flee through the Alik'r in the hopes of joining with Imperial aid near the border. In Hammerfell it's known as the March of Thirst. Many were driven into the desert without adequate preparation, and never made it to the other side. I doubt anyone made the crossing unscathed.


    W-t-R: The harsh note of The Great War still reverberates all these years later. Forgive me, but you look almost too young to have fought in that conflict. About your eyes, I've never seen anything like them. It's like they have a strange hunger to them. Are they another form of scar from your battles with the Dominion?



    Alazir: After a manner. The Dominion left many an indelible mark on me. Your words are flattering, but I do like to think I have been...preserved, to have a part in what will one day come of their conquering and enslaving. But I also firmly believe in the necessity of forging one's own destiny. It only requires the strength to make sacrifices. I have sacrificed and will continue to sacrifice. I'm sure you will agree, madam, that the surest tell of a person's motivation is in their eyes.


    N.B: When mentioning the Aldmeri Dominion, Alazir's eyes seemed to grow darker, more red than orange. It wasn't surprising to me that he would hold a grudge, but there was a depth of feeling which belied his calm exterior. One could get lost in those two glowing orbs, like a moth drawn to a candle flame. I stared, only breaking free of their hold when a particularly loud rumble of thunder sounded from outside. I sat back, not conscious of the fact I had been leaning forward, took a sip of rum to steady myself.

    W-t-R: Oh. Umm, I quite agree. It's in the eyes.

    You mention you feel you have survived because you have yet some part to play in the politics of the age, but also that one is in control of one's own fate. Doe this mean you believe in something greater than us, shaping our lives to some degree?



    Alazir: I recognize a hierarchy of power. In the same way the lion, simply by dint of its existence shapes the life of the sheep, influencing where it travels, or seeks refuge and whether it lives or dies. Or perhaps something more relevant: The Jarl, whose laws shape the lives of his people. There are always those more powerful than us. They have become so be climbing that hierarchy, and with the right moves, any of us can do the same. Those who've gone before may even offer a hand. But no one will do for us anything that we are unwilling to do for ourselves. simply willing to do whatever it takes


    N.B: The wind outside increased it's ferocity so that the fire in the hearth sputtered. For a moment I felt like a sheep in the presence of a lion.

    W-t-R: The Jarls of this land do indeed hold much influence, especially in these dark days where the decisions of a few could effect the lives of many. When you say you are willing to do whatever it takes, what goals are you trying to achieve? Are you referring to political influence?



    Alazir: My court is modest, and though we are isolated, we want for nothing. Political gains would be of little value to us. That said, I have seen the Empire wearing the noose of the Dominion like a prized pendant for some time. The Imperial Legion "patrols" and "keeps the peace", but their efforts are all underpinned by the Thalmor. I believe it would do Skyrim well to be free of those same bonds, before they too are little more than thralls of the Altmer. I hope I may say this in confidence, Walks-the-Road, that my only goal for the immediate future of Skyrim is to see the Thalmor presence here reduced to ash.


    W-t-R: Of course this is totally confidential. It will be a long time before I publish this and even then I can edit any part you wish to leave out. Maybe by then Skyrim will free of the Dominion, rendering the point moot. 

    You mentioned a court. In your letter you said you had a castle and the mages of Winterhold told me something similar. It sounds as though you are an independent faction in your own right, not connected to the Jarls. I'm surprised I have not heard of your organisation because I studied the political and military powers before my arrival here. Could you tell me any more about your castle, court and people? What is your official title?


    Alazir:...I would first very much like to know who in the College made mention of me, and in what terms. It has been some time since I had any dealings with the College; I'm merely curious.


    N.B: Alazir's eyes narrowed into orange slits for a moment as he asked this. They reminded me of small pieces of coal, burning orange at the base of a fire. I decided to tread lightly here, although I risked my lie being detected. I sure as Oblivion wasn't going to mention the word Necromancy unless I had to. Even though it's use was no longer outlawed since the fall of the Mages Guild, people still equated it with the dark arts, which was the term the students used in their description of Alazir. This was one of the reasons I wanted to speak to him myself. The pursuit of knowledge has ever been my weakness...

    W-t-R: I'm trying to remember but I know it was nothing... bad. Just rumours from the students of Conjuration, I believe, that you were a master of something they called "Blood Magic." Can you tell me what that means?



    Alazir: I see. Blood Magic is not so rare an art in Skyrim as the Nords would like to think. It's what you might call a power of bewitching. It can dull the senses and the mind, not unlike the school of Illusion, but it also holds potent sway over life and death. At it's most powerful, mastering Blood Magic is akin to mastering three magical schools at once. It is the primary art practiced by those of my court. You would be hard pressed to find any substantial record of it; the Volkihar castle has stood for centuries without garnering any particular attention. As it's Lord, maintaining the privacy of those under my protection is my most important duty.


    N.B: I felt a nagging fear at the back of mind that I could somehow be under Alazir's sway right now, that all this time he had been using his Blood Magic upon me for some dark end... There was something else too: The name Volkihar was something I'm sure I had come across before, but I couldn't place the knowledge. I just had vague recollections of dark tales and ancient families. I shook the thoughts away, a childish fantasy, no doubt brought upon by the frightful storm outside and too many horror stories as a child.

    W-t-R: No wonder some of the students I spoke to were so eager to see inside your castle. I got the impression your estate isn't exactly open to the public, that people rarely go in or out. I think the mages of Winterhold view you as something of a mystery, Mr Alazir. Please tell me, have the rumours of dragons reached you in your seclusion?



    Alazir: They have, and most interesting they've been. The return of dragons, on top of Skyrim's current political upheaval? If true, it looks as though the province will be consigned to turmoil for quite some time. I can't imagine that even a well equipped camp of legionnaires could take on such a beast. Then again, maybe we will find that the legends have overstated their power.


    N.B: I could smell the venison coming from the kitchen and new it was time to wrap things up. I'm not sure if I wanted to stay for dinner, so rattled was I by the storm and my peculiarly menacing host, but I wasn't inclined to go out into the ferocious weather at this hour.

    W-t-R: I have one last question for you Mr Alazir. Along with these rumours of dragons, I have also heard rumours a of a Dragonborn hero returned. What is your opinion on this hero being a gift from the gods in Skyrims hour of need?


    Alazir: If there is an answer to the dragon problem, I welcome it. The Divines could use some good publicity. Maybe they realize how weak their following has grown. If there is a Dragonborn, so long as slaying dragons remains their sole concern, I expect we shall all benefit from having one around.


    W-t-R: Time will tell, I'm sure. For now, my nose tells me your man approaches with our dinner. If the offer still stands I'll dine at your table before leaving you in peace. Thank you for your time and hospitality Mr Alazir, you have been a delightful host.



    Alazir: Ha! Of course. The discourse has been most pleasant. Valdimar! Let's have that food, man! More rum, madam?


    N:B: After a hearty repast of the like I haven't tasted since sampling Chorrol's famous mutton, served up with the exquisite rum Alazir had left on the table, I took my leave of Valdimar. Strangely, my host had left before touching a morsel after a private word from his manservant into his ear. What bad timing. With the offer of a bed for the night, he left as quietly as he came.

    The storm outside had vented most of its fury and was moving on further north, so I decided to follow my gut feeling and decline this most tempting and generous offer and to leave for nearby Whiterun, knowing I should get there by morning at the latest.

    Valdimar closed the door behind me as I set off into the night, wrapped in furs and hoping I had made the correct decision to venture out this late.

    Farewell Alazir, may you someday find peace from the echoes of the past.

    Want to see more of Alazir? Check out Borom's RP Profile :)

  • Member
    March 5, 2015

    I love how this turned out Phil! Thanks for conducting it; this was a blast!

    So Walks...she's not practicing any Dibellan arts, right, because you said she's not religious. But she's got something like that going on. You aren't hinting that Lusty Argonian Maid was based on her, are you? XD Sorry, I had to guess.

  • Member
    March 5, 2015

    Love the connection to the College! Apprentices like to dabble in matters that the wise prefer not to mix themselves into XD

    I get the impression that Walks-the-Road will eventually meet an untimely demise at the hands of one of the people being interviewed :D Curiosity killed the cat :P

  • March 5, 2015

    Another awesome interview Phil! Who is up next?

  • Member
    March 5, 2015

    Thanks, Borom  The pleasure was all mine - I really enjoyed that Blood Magic stuff.

    Walks isn't religious, although she respects those who are. No, her activities are not ritualistic in nature   As for the Lusty Maid, in truth I did use a bit of that. When the idea of an Argonian Pilgrim character first entered my head, I started an RP discussion on how to portray that race you may recall. At that time I was delving back into the source material and that book is perhaps the most famous portrayal of an Argonian. It spawned many spin offs, songs, in-game gags and at last a historical analysis.

    The idea that so many men in Tamriel find lizard ladies attractive is just too damn funny to me to leave out something similar.

  • Member
    March 5, 2015

    Ha  I actually left a comment on Borom's Alazir profile because I wondered if he had something sinister planned for her.

    I mean, how do you portray a scholarly character who hasn't heard of the Volkihar, read Immortal Blood and acts like the rest of Skyrim when confronted with those freaky eyes? So rather than make her completely stupid, I put in a few touches of instinctual fear.

    I wonder, though, if she'd have stayed the night would she have lived to see morning?

  • Member
    March 5, 2015

    Thanks Twist, not sure who's next. I'll have to go through the thread but apart from pledges of support, I think Borom was the last person to say "I'll do it and with X character".

    So I know more people want to do it, Lazy Rocktime, Caesar Strong Heart, Henson and more, but I can't chase them. I need a definite character to read about, or in the absence of a profile ask questions about in order to attempt to tailor the interview to showcase the character.

  • Member
    March 5, 2015

    "...after we moved the furniture back in their original positions..."

    What the hell happened in there?  Guilty pleasures? I haven't read all the interview (yet) but it is awesome!

  • Member
    March 5, 2015

    I seriously got chilled by how creepy Alazir is.

  • Member
    March 5, 2015
    Thanks :D that makes me really happy.