By: Briseadh | : 1075
Spoiler Alert. The Elder Scrolls Online has been out for over a year now. However, if you are new or have not played through Coldharbour and went on to Defeat of Molag Bal, this is your warning. I don't want to ruin your experience in game so continue reading at your own risk.
I, Velaeria Vitalia, Imperial Night Blade of the Ebonheart Pact, would like to share with you the tale of my adventure that helped to save all of Nirn from the clutches of Molag Bal.
I do not recall how I wound up soulless and imprisoned in Coldharbour by Molag Bal, but one moment I was living my life and the next thing I know I am waking up in a cell in Oblivion. With the help of Lyris and the Prophet, I was able to escape and ended up in Davon’s Watch. From there I was able to locate the Prophet at the Harborage and was sent out into the world to find and save the five companions from Molag Bal.
After many adventures I was given counsel from Vanus to seek out the leaders of the three alliances: Ebonhart Pact, Aldameri Dominion, and Daggerfall Covenant. I attempted to negotiate a cease-fire in the Alliance War, so that they could commit their full resources to an assault on Coldharbour. Though rejected, the alliances did endorse a smaller action, in which the Mages Guild and Fighters Guild forces would help me to invade Coldharbour to stop the Planemeld.
Finally back in Coldharbour I was able to work with Vanus Galeron, leader of the Mages Guild and King Laloriaran Dynar, the leader of the Fighters Guild, to build an army with soldiers from both Tamriel and Coldharbour. No thanks to the interference from the Dremora, Lyranth, who I ran into before my journeys took me to Coldharbour.
Vanus arrogantly brushed Lyranth off, though I understood why, as I’ve had enough run ins with Dremora and Daedric Princes to last ten lifetimes. Still, I knew that we could use her help, though I hated being manipulated, I just hoped that whatever she was playing at somehow in the end would benefit Nirn.
Our plan was to get into the city and take it over, but with the main gate blocked we had to find another way in. The soldiers of the Fighter’s Guild were able to go through a tunnel to get into their guild hall, but they could not leave the hall until the wards blocking their way out were deactivated. Lyranth pointed out a breach in the city wall that she claimed wasn’t heavily guarded: however, upon further questioning she would only comment that the little mortal (meaning me - and this is why I dislike Dremora) shouldn’t worry and just use it.
After dispatching some enemies that barred my path, I was able use the ward key to open the Fighter’s Guild. Then they were able to secure part of the city so it was easier for me to get to the Mages Guild where I could activate a portal for the them to join us. This was tricky as I still needed to sneak around unsecured parts of the city to find four portal stones that then had to be placed on the four quadrants of the portal, thus activating it for the Mages to come through and finish securing the city.
Once that was done we had to deal with Vanus and his vain glory comments, but at least he was a competent mage and not a dremora, so of course Lyranth showed up to tell us about a Labyrinth that we would have to go through after taking out the citadel. This just kept getting better and better. In order to secure the Citadel and access the key to the Labyrinth we had to kill his Dremora, Valkynaz. But I guess I should have expected that Molag Bal had managed to keep people out somehow.
At this point we finally found out why Lyranth wanted to help us. This Valkynaz was responsible for the destruction of her entire clan. So even if she was a Dremora, I felt some sympathy for her having lost everyone and everything that she ever cared about. I understood her wanting to exact her revenge, but by the rules of the dremora, she could not be the one that killed Valkynaz.
When we finally reached him, Valkynaz was not alone. There was also a Titan that we had to kill. Luckily for us, it must have been a weak one because even after a tough fight, it died fairly quickly. (There were some challenges, but it did not feel as epic as I thought a titan fight should be.) The beast itself was huge, at least four times the size of a horse, then there are the wings. I just kept dodging, sticking it with my weapons and using my Night Blade skills I had until eventually we had both the titan and the Valkynaz dead.
At last the Citadel was secure and the key to the Labyrinth acquired and I got the pleasure of knowing that Valkynaz’s death made Lyranth happy and then she disappeared.
Once we were all gathered up and ready to move forward to the entrance of the Labyrinth, King Dynar gave us a briefing and sent the Strike Force out to cause a disruption while I went ahead with a small group of soldiers to follow behind me to keep the way clear until we came to Molag Bal’s reinforcement portal.
At this time I am required to choose one companion to go with me. After considering all of my options I decided on Cadwell, who has lived in Oblivion a very long time and though he might be crazy, he certainly knew how to fight.
There were a few daedra to take out before the portal would be closed. It was enough of a fight to make things interesting. I was just working with Cadwell, who zealously ran into every fight, until we had nothing left to fight and the portal stopped working. I honestly do not remember how we managed all of that.
We took a moment to catch our breath before we had to deal with the gatekeeper, a nasty looking Harvester. For those of you that have never seen one, think of a crazy snake lady with arms and a really bad attitude. I switched to my bow for this fight knowing that it worked more efficiently on the Harvesters that I had fought before, due to their healing orbs. This one looked like it would take a little more effort, but I was not alone. Once we were ready, Cadwell ran at the beast as I let my arrows fly. Having Cadwell there made taking out this Harvester far easier than I expected.
Finally, we reached the entrance of the Labyrinth and Vanus Galerion caught up with us to tell me how things would proceed from here. The main force was going to go in to deal with Molag Bal’s minions, while I made my way through the Labyrinth. He wished me luck and then took Cadwell with him back through his portal.
Garielle Benele, a talented mage, stepped up to help me with the next part of the journey, to get into the Labyrinth. With her assistance I made it through the first door into the Labyrinth, a crazy room of circular platforms at various heights and partial walls with pipe ends sticking out all over the place. There were several shelves around the room too, making it seem even more surreal (I was even able to find readable books in the weirdest places.)
After I navigated my way through the maze of shelves I came to the next part of the room where I found two mages, Malkor Valus and Ragnar Vanus, reading through various books. I was able to convince them to help me by deciphering the puzzle that would open the door on the other side of the chamber and let me in to the next part of the Labyrinth. Between the books and their knowledge of the room I was told that I had to light the ends of the pipes by throwing fire at them in order to progress to the next area.
There were lit braziers strategically placed around the room, I just had to take the magical fire into my hand and fling it at the end of a pipe, but there was a time limit of how long the flame would exist in my hand before it would extinguished. It didn’t burn, but then again Coldharbour fire is weird like that.
The first three pipes were easy enough to light, but the others were harder as they were increasingly out of reach and difficult to get to. I had to jump from one platform to another over what appeared to be a bottomless area, like the whole place was just suspended in the air. I survived it, although it was a bit gut wrenching to look straight down while I was jumping. With all the pipes lit properly, the door to the next chamber opened and Garielle and I stepped into what was called the statue room. Seemingly out of nowhere we were attacked by groups of indescribable humanoid creatures, as we made our way towards the next door.
Luckily Garielle knew the spells needed to open this door. As she worked the spells I had to defend her against the attacks from the fiends, twisted creatures created by Dremora that were determined to get at her and to stop us from opening the door to the next chamber.
Vanus Galerion showed up just as we made it through that door. This time he ported to us with Cadwell’s help, to let me know that our forces were not holding up as well as they had expected them to and to hurry me along. Vanus took Garielle back with him to join the others while I continued on alone.
The entrance to the Planemeld was not far ahead, but it was well guarded, first by minions that were easily dispatched and finally the true portal guardian, a beast named Telkar the Unforgiving. He gave me some trouble at first, at one point I was nearly dead, which I resolved by using a healing potion. However, once I was able to figure out his tactics, which included some subtle moves leading to powerful hits, and how to avoid most of them, I was able to defeat him.
When Telkar fell, I was greeted by the Groundskeeper, Meridia, a powerful daedra prince (note: to the daedra, the title of prince applies to both male and female) from the Hollowed City telling me that I had done a good job. (I was really starting to hate how people could just pop up in this place while I had to fight through everything along the way.)
From Meridia, I learned that I had to go inside a storm to find and release the anchors within to unmoor the Planemeld and with Meridia’s Light, destroy it.
Prepared with the shards from Cold Harbor, Meridia brought all of the survivors of our expedition to me so we could take out the anchors together. In the mix of all of this, we had three champions of Molag Bal, oversized daedra and titans that had to be dealt with. The fights were daunting, but in the end we released the anchors.
Portals open and minions start pouring out, the tricky part was that we had to try to fight them within range Meridia’s magical shield bubble for protection. All the while we were fighting, Meridia was casting her spell, finally, she told me to release the light to destroy the Planemeld.
Suddenly I found myself alone with Meridia. She tells me that my adventure is far from over and our world will remain for some time to come without being sucked into Oblivion. However, the Daedric Princes have taken note of my exploits of ruining Molag Bal’s designs on grabbing Nirn up into Oblivion.
I rejoined the small remnant of the crew that I had first started out with on this expedition in the Hollowed City. Sadly, King Dynar had been mortally wounded during the last fight when it he took a blow outside of Meridia’s shield. He just managed to survive long enough to be taken to this safe place. As the last of the Ayleid, his tragic death ended their influence upon Nirn, but his sacrifice meant the Nirn would now be safe from Molag Bal.
The Prophet took me aside to tell me it was time to return to the Harborage and then to lead the five companions to defeat Molag Bal and reclaim my soul as well the souls of the surviving vestiges. He also informed me that there was a ritual of power and I would have to sacrifice a companion in the process. Wow, I knew this final task of defeating Molag Bal wasn’t going to be as easy, but this was rough.
Then the Prophet portaled me and the companions right into the heart of Oblivion. Ahead of us was another portal that kept spewing out enemies - a combo of Dremora and giant Daedroth. I hoped that this portal would close when they were defeated, instead a bigger things popped out. It took us a while to destroy the Titan, and right behind him was something even nastier, Balefire the Implacable Guardian. After his demise we could finally enter and explore the Area.
Moving forward we found Mannimarco pinned down and being tortured by Molag Bal. As much as I didn’t want to release the worm, in the end it was inevitable.
Ungrateful wretch, as we destroyed the skeletons around Mannimarco and he just spat angry words at us. He might find a way for his egotistical ideas to manifest into something we have to worry about again, but I think Nirn is safe for a bit.
We had to fight through more skeletons on the Path of Woe to reach the Seat of Tyranny where Tharn started the ritual. After some incantations and waving his arms about, it was time for the sacrifice and I chose the Prophet. With a few more words a great force sucked all of the Prophet’s energy and I felt a great power being transferred to me and the ritual was complete.
I had to go on alone, now that I was infused with power everything before me seemed to melt and I easily blew through three different walls in the process of reaching Molag Bal. He was in a gigantic form and snatched me up like I was a bug, but when I worked my hands free I and blasted him with the power, he dropped me. Somehow I managed to land on my feet unhurt, and he seemed to shrink some. Now in a more manageable size (still huge), I decided to stick to a ranged attack with my bow because he hit hard!
He had a lot of moves, including jumping in the air and landing hard enough to damage things around him. I spent half my time dodging these attacks all the while sinking arrows into him whenever I could. I came close to dying a couple times and was glad for the health potions I had brought along. It was a long, hard fight and it the end, I unleashed one last surge of power and was able to finish him off. I won.
Now I have my soul back and as do all the surviving vestiges. We spent so long getting here, that I am not sure what to think and wonder what I am supposed to do now.
Leave it to Meridia, she pulls me into another surreal place where I find myself running across clear surface, when I look down all I can see is an endless void. When I finally reach her, I learn that Molag Bal is not dead, just banished for for who knows how long, and other Daedric princes have made note of me. Wonderful!
After our little chat, she sends me back to the Harborage where I bid the remaining companions farewell. No longer just a soulless one, a vestige, and with some suggestions from Cadwell, I go in search of my next adventure...
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About the Author
Althea joined Gaiscioch back in October of 2009 and has been here ever since with only a few month hiatus between Warhammer and Rift. As soon as she knew they were in Rift, she jumped ship to Faeblight and has followed them onward through every chapter since with a few side games thrown in for spice.
She has been an avid player of RPG style games since 1980 when she first played Dungeons and Dragons. Since then she has created her own tabletop gaming world used with various rule sets as D&D progressed. Once she could get online she played MUDs. Her MMO days started with Everquest and have moved through over a dozen games with some lasting only a month's time in her life and others going for years. She has tested several games from the perspective of a disabled gamer with hand issues due to her multiple sclerosis.
When not playing games she can be found writing, reading, and painting. She is even adding woodburning this year as another artistic outlet to go in conjunction with her husband's wood carving. The hope is that the painting, woodburning, and wood carving turn into a fun little business to be enjoyed.