The Elder Scrolls

Fanfic – Kalpa, Part 4

TheElderScrolls14 - Fanfic - Kalpa, Part 4
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Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

   LOK VAH KOOR.

"Sky… Spring, Summer?" asked the Augur. "Hjalti wrecked the cosmos by… I guess… wishing for better weather?"

"Not wishing," said Ayrenn, "Making. Those words are not mere conversation in Dovahzul, they are action in purest form. The Dov speak in the echoes of the cosmos, and their Voices shape reality."

"But Hjalti wasn't a dragon. He wasn't even dragonborn… was he?"

Ayrenn shook her head. "Not in life. When Talos was Tiber Septim, he was dragonborn. When Hjalti was Tiber Septim, he was not. When Talos met Hjalti after their deaths, Hjalti had already ambushed Wulfharth and his proxy Zurin Arctus. He incorporated their souls into his own, and became the Oversoul. He was far more potent than Talos. Their contest of wills was… cataclysmic. I was truthfully concerned they would wake the Dreamer."

"I know very little of the Dreamer," said the Augur, "But that little suggests that the dead god who dreams our very existence can't wake. He's dead. She? Anyway, the Dreamer is dead. How can the dead wake?"

"How can the dead dream?" Ayrenn asked, by way of an answer. "Death is a transition, in this Kalpa. With sufficient power, it is reversible. Wulfharth returned more than once. That experience, that power, went to war with Talos at Hjalti's bidding. It was not hard to convince Wulfharth, as Talos was in a killing mood. Talos hid outside of Aetherius in the Honing Winds that keep our cosmos turning. He thought he could dictate the terms of their battle."

"And the Oversoul denied him that advantage…" said the Augur.

"By clearing the skies, yes."

"Did it work?"

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Ayrenn paused a moment. "That depends on how you define it. When Wulfharth's voice erupted from Hjalti's throat, Talos knew he was outmatched. Unlike Hjalti, though, unlike Wulfharth, Talos was dragonborn. Wulfharth learned to speak with the Thu'um of a Dov through decades of effort and discipline. Talos spoke Dovahzul as naturally as he breathed. He could shout a dead soul back to Nirn. He tried to bluff by threatening to "restore" Wulfharth, but Wulfharth was too familiar with that path to be pulled against his will, and he knew that if he allowed himself to part from the Oversoul, both Hjalti and Talos would see him as a liability."

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"And where was Zurin Arctus in all this?"

The Augur saw Ayrenn's smile for the first time since he had arrived. "Lounging in the Oversoul," Ayrenn said, "eating sweet rolls that he made from nothingness. Arctus hated everyone involved in the battle, and he would be content to watch all histories of all Kalpas come to a grinding halt if it meant the other three would perish."

The Augur closed his eyes, reminding himself that the woman he loved was dead; that he would never see her again. "So why isn't the Newest Divine named Hjalti instead of Talos?" he asked, his voice shaking slightly.

"He asked Hjalti to help him with one final task — to wake the Dreamer. To shout it back to life."

The Augur looked dizzy for a moment. "He would… That would… What would that achieve?"

"I do not know. None of the four knew. They could predict that the changes would be profound. They would not recognize the world afterward."

"Surely Hjalti wouldn't agree to that."

"He did not have to. Arctus agreed."

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