Skyrim Day 068 – A Collection of Crazy

From Traversing Tamriel

23 Frostfall, 4E201
This morning was a rare one for me: I had nothing pressing to attend to. I woke early, alone in my massive house and had a leisurely breakfast while contemplating my next move. I had Isran’s Dawnguard to visit again, news to deliver to Winterhold College, and various small tasks I accepted months ago before my life became somewhat exciting again. I still had a lot to do, but none of it seemed important this morning. With a light step I left my home and walked into a disaster.
The crazy old man who had waved some poor creature’s pelvic bone in my face awhile back had returned to my doorstep wielding another bone and rambling about his ‘master’ being lost. I tried to walk past him, but he followed me, bleating incessantly about his lost master. Guessing that he would follow me all the way to Winterhold College I turned to him and asked what he expected of me.
It was to enter the Blue Palace and sneak into an abandoned wing of the castle where his master was having tea with another gentleman. The very nature of that meant the wing was not, in fact, abandoned, but the poor man wound up being correct, as events would show. Wishing me luck he pushed the bone he was carrying into my hands and skipped off towards the city gate. It was a very odd exchange.
Despite the early hour the doors of the Blue Palace were open to visitors and I ran into the Steward on my way in. We talked for a bit, things around Solitude are quiet for the moment, and I ordered some enchanting equipment for my home. He asked what brought me back to Solitude and I told him of my previous encounter with the crazy man and the continuation of it this morning. Falk was puzzled as to why the man thought I needed to enter the abandoned wing, but trusted me enough to lend me the key for it.
The place was a ruin, furniture was strewn all over and hopeful cobwebs were stretched between every available surface. A small fortune in silver plates and goblets were enticingly left out in the open, but I suspect I would be found leaving with a dozen of each stuffed in my pack and no acceptable reason for it.

I continued to explore the place, but it was clear no one had been there in a very long time. Wherever the beggar’s “master” had gone, it was not to this place.

Or so I thought.

One moment I was walking down a dusty hallway pulling cobwebs off of my fur and the next found me in a field, damp with a cold fog that hindered my effort to figure out just what had happened.

Some of the fog cleared, revealing a long table set for many people, but only two were present: a sullen, hunched man sitting opposite his gregarious and very colorfully-dressed dinner partner. They were discussing something, the colorful man animatedly, the sullen man with barely a mumble. 

As I approached the first stood up and the second disappeared in a flash of purple light. Nothing about any of it suggested something good, but I felt I was going to get nowhere unless I played the part I was beginning to suspect I had been set up for. The remaining man complained to me that Pelagius was being very rude and refusing to host him for dinner…for a decade or two. I had no idea what was going on, but suspected that the colorful man was the “master” the beggar had been looking for.

When he asked my business I replied that a servant of his was looking for him to return from wherever we were then. He laughed and asked how I expected to make him, Sheogorath, Daedric Prince of Madness, leave the mind of Pelagius the Third, where all three of us were stuck…or at least Pelagius and I were.

I could have been more surprised, but I find my mind has aged far quicker than the rest of me and I thought only of what task the Skooma Cat would ask of me before he would let me leave. It is the nature of the Princes to watch us scurry and no Prince is happier than when one is scurrying under his direction. That is how I feel, at least.

True to my belief, Sheogorath promised to leave, but only if I could find the way out. This did not appear difficult, there were three archways away from the dining table, one surely would be the way out of Pelagius’s mind, though why I was in it to begin with is a mystery I never quite solved today.

To aid me in my desperate quest the Skooma Cat gave me a staff he called the ‘Wabbajack’ or something like that. Armed with a staff topped by three screaming heads I set off underneath one of the archways.

Sheogorath continued to talk as I walked away. Pelagius, according to him, had no easy home life. His mother apparently murdered people without provocation and Pelagius grew to be a fearful, paranoid King. If I remember my history correctly he died at an asylum, completely insane.

I took the story as mere rambling and came to a small arena where Pelagius was watching two Storm Atronachs fight each other while under the protection of two bodyguards.

Pelagius was unresponsive, but I found that using the staff on one of the Atronachs would turn it from Storm to Fire to Ice, then back to Storm. I thought I needed to only change “my” Atronach to defeat the other, but it would change along with mine, resulting in a battle with no end. I was at a loss, but then thought to use the staff on Pelagius…to no result.

The final words of Sheogorath’s story was that Pelaguis grew to expect danger at any time from anyone and I realized this was a hint of sorts, intentional or not. I used the staff on one of his bodyguards and the man changed into a wolf, attacking Pelagius immediately. The Atronachs, the mad King, and the wolf disappeared and the Daedric Prince congratulated me on completing the puzzle.

So that was it then: The remaining two archways led to clearings as well, each with some aspect of Pelagius’s fears or desires manifested in a physical way. Solving the other two puzzles required the use of the “Wabbajack”, which had different results on different things at different times. I solved the other two puzzles after some trial and error.

Triumphant, I returned to Sheogorath and announced my success at calming the spirit of Pelagius’s mind. He conceded his “defeat” readily and told me I was free to leave. I was about to ask him how to, exactly, when the beggar of Solitude suddenly appeared before us.

He was overjoyed to be reunited with Sheogorath again, but I cannot understand why. Perhaps it was a similar relationship as Barbas had with Clavicus Vile. No matter to me. They talked for a bit, then I found myself back in the Blue Palace with not a warning, still holding the “Wabbajack”, which I suppose is my reward for curing a mind I did not know existed. A weapon so unpredictable as Sheogorath’s staff is not one I want to be carrying around with me though.

It had been morning when I entered the Blue Palace, but it was evening by the time I left. I thought I had time to walk to Morthal to return a book I promised Jami a long time ago and left Solitude as the sky began to grow dark.

I came upon a trio of Dragon cultists on the road, but managed to sneak by them in the dark. Arriving at Morthal I took a room at the Inn, then spent a few minutes talking to the others in the common room. The Jarl’s housecarl, Gorm, appeared distraught, but opened up to me before I even had the chance to ask him what was wrong.

He fears the Jarl is losing her sanity and asked me to deliver a sealed letter to the the Captain of the Imperial Legion stationed in Solitude, Captain Aldis. I am expected not to open the letter, of course, but I am not curious about the workings of Skyrim’s politics anyway. I will give Jami her book tomorrow, deliver this letter, then see what next should be done.

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