Friday, May 18, 2012

Skyrim: A Journal of War - Chapter Thirty-One: Paarthurnax Course


Mjoll: Beloved!
Me: Baby! 
Mjoll: It's good to see you, dear.  Have you come to check on the store?  Get a home-cooked meal?  Or perhaps a night of the ol' "Lover's Comfort"?
Me: Okaaaaaay.  Little disturbed at how the ass-kicking amazon I married has gone all Stepford Wife.
Mjoll: Does that mean I can change back into my real armor and out of this oddly skimpy armor you gave me, which seems more suitable for a dockside rent-girl than a proud Nord shield maiden?
Me: No.  Actually, I needed you to join me on a quest and it's important that you look as classically Nordish as possible. 
Mjoll: Oh?
Me: I need someone to watch my back as I go to confront the Greybeards over some secret lore they may have been hiding from me for reasons unknown..
Mjoll: Ah.  And you think they will be more respectful in the presence of two warriors who obviously respect the proud traditions of our people. 
Me: Absolutely.  *mutters* Plus, they'll be too busy starring at you to think straight.


Arngeir: Hail to thee, Matthias!  Thane of Thanes and -
Me: Yeah, yeah.  Praise me and all that!  Listen, I need to learn the Shout that can knock dragons out of the air.  The one that was used to defeat Alduin?
Arngeir: What?  Where did you learn of that?  Who have you been talking to?
Me: The Blades.
Arngeir: Oh, Oblivion!  Those meddlers specialize in fiddling about with things they barely understand.
Me: Yeah, that sounds about right.
Arngeir: Have you learned nothing from... wait, what?!
I agree with you.  They're a bunch of idiots who claim to be great dragon slayers, but aren't doing a damn thing to actually fight the dragons.  They're supposed to be great spies but they sent me on an undercover mission with an invitation made out under my own name!  And they're supposedly age-old servants to the Dragonborn, yet they keep bossing me around and telling me what to do!
Arngeir: That... is far harsher than even I would be.  Still, I am pleased you have seen them for what they are.  For all their talk of serving the Dragonborn, they do not.  They serve only their own interests.
Me: Yeah.  Which is why I need the Shout so I can deal with the dragons and get free of their influence.
Mjoll: Also, to save the world, of course.
Me: Well, I thought that would go without saying...
Arngeir: Alas, I cannot teach you the words of the Shout called "Dragonrend".  For I do not know it.
Me: Then why were you making such a big deal about me asking?
Arngeir: Because while I cannot teach you, the head of our order, Paarthurnax, might.
Me: Emphasis on the "might". So where do I find this Paarthurnax?
Arngeir: You do not.  You are not ready to meet him.  You are not worthy to face him.  And yet, The Blades have given you questions that only he may answer...
Me: So just send a message to him and deliver his answer to me here!
Arngeir: It is not so simple.  He lives in seclusion upon the highest point of this mountain, protected by the very elements.  But we shall teach you a shout that will enable you to reach him.
Me: Really?   What happened to me not being ready or worthy?
Arngeir:  I figure you shall prove me wrong or you shall die horribly.  Either way, it will get you out of my hair for a time. 


Me: I'm liking this new shout to clear away the fog and storms.  How about you, Mjoll?
Mjoll: ... so... very... cold.
Me: Yeah, it is cool.  And we're nearly at the top!  But I don't see any monks up here or a shack they could live in.  Just that big mountain peak that is moving and... ACK!  Dragon!



Paarthurnax:  Drem Yol Lok.  Greetings, wunduniik.  I am Paarthurnax.
Me: ... you're a dragon?!
Mjoll: He's a dragon?!
Paarthurnax: Indeed.
Me: ... how did you become a dragon?
Paarthurnax: I have always been a Dov, ever since I was young, which was quite a long time ago.
Me: But... how?
Well, my mother and father with both of the Dov.  And then one night, after sharing a meal of a small village...
Me: No, no, no... I mean.... how is it that you are the head of the Greybeards?
Paarthurnax: Ah.  An interesting tale, that.  But first there are formalities that must be addressed. For I sense that you are DovahkiinAnd it is custom among my kind that when meeting a stranger, you test your power against theirs.
Me: Who wrote your customs?  Stan Lee?
Paarthurnax: Nay.  Tis a tradition longer than the Age of Man.  And by tradition, the Elder speaks first.
Me: Oh, Oblivion!
Paarthurnax: Hear my Thu'um!  Feel it in your bones!  Match it if you are truly Dovahkiin!  VOL TOOR SHUL!
Mjoll: Ack!  Fire!  Skyrim belongs to the Nords!
Me: What?!  Mjoll, no!  Don't!  It didn't touch me!



Me: Paarthurnax, let me apologize again for my wife.  I think she's gone a bit crazed with blood lust having been at home for so long.
Paarthurnax: No apologies are needed, Dovahkinn.  Long has it been since I indulged in base combat with a lesser being!
Lesser being?  I will show you what a lesser being can do!
Me: Not that again!
Paarthurnax: I see why you took this one as a mate, Dovahkiin.  She has the fire of a Dov in her... but I think it best we continue this talk with me out of arrow range from her.
Me: She's very protective of me.  What can I say?



Paarthurnax: Now... the introductions are out of the way.  I have taught you the secrets of breathing fire and I am safely in the sky.  Why did you come here to disturb my meditations?
Me: I need to learn the Dragonrend Shout. 
Paarthurnax: Ah.  You did not come to speak with an old Dov.  Merely to seek a weapon against Alduin?
Me: Well, I did enjoy the talk  And the new Words are nice.  But Alduin is making a mess of things.  And The Greybeards thought you might help me. 
Paarthurnax: Help you I might.  But I do not know the words of Dragonrend.  I cannot. 
Me: What?!  Why not?
Paarthurnax: Dragonrend was fashioned by man to use against the Dov.  Our minds... they cannot even conceive of the concepts the Dragonrend shout imparts to those who hear it! 
Me: So how do I learn it?
Paarthurnax: Hmmmm.... let me answer a question with a question.  Why do you seek the Dragonfrend to begin with?
Me: Because Alduin is trying to destroy the world and I rather like it as it is.
Paarthurnax: An honest answer and as good a reason as any.  But some say that the death of this world shall bring about the birth of the next.  Would you stop the next world from being born?
Me: The next world can look after itself.  It is my destiny to save this one.  Apparently.
Paarthurnax: Hmmmm.  Do you know why I live here at the top of the world, Dovakhinn?
Me: Because the Jarl's wouldn't let you buy property in the city?
Nay!  Because this is where Alduin was defeated so many years ago!  And none save me remember just how he was defeated.  The heroes of Skyrim then did face him with a Shout, tis true.  But more - they used an Elder Scroll to send him into the mists of time for a later hero to face him once and for all.
Me: Let me guess... those heroes were Blades, weren't they?
Paarthurnax: How did you know?
Me: Call it a hunch.  So in order to find out what they did...?
Paarthurnax: ... you will need to find an Elder Scroll.  And not go mad reading it.
Me: ... great.

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